News, Nuggets & Longreads 5 January 2019: Gratitude and Onions

Here’s everything that grabbed our attention in the past few weeks (given that we took Christmas off) from St Albans to air raid shelters.

At The Pur­suit of Abbey­ness Mar­tin Stew­ard asks an excel­lent ques­tion: why do peo­ple vis­it brew­ery tap­rooms?

On the face of it, this is an odd thing to do. Brew­eries with­out tap­rooms may give you a taste of their beer, but they are hard­ly places to kick back and put the world to rights over a good ses­sion. They can be inter­est­ing for beer lovers, but, if we’re hon­est, set­ting aside the few with spe­cial archi­tec­tur­al, his­tor­i­cal or brew­ing points of inter­est, one is much the same as anoth­er.

But per­haps there is some­thing deep­er going on:

When we knock on the door of a pokey lit­tle brew­ery at the ragged end of a rain­swept indus­tri­al estate, are we real­ly respond­ing to a soul-deep thirst to express our grat­i­tude, in per­son, to the brew­ers of our much-loved beer?

Con­tin­ue read­ing “News, Nuggets & Lon­greads 5 Jan­u­ary 2019: Grat­i­tude and Onions”

News, Nuggets & Longreads 20 January 2018: Listening, Little Pubs, Lemp

Here’s all the beer- and pub-writing that we bookmarked in the last week, from personal experiences to industry rumblings.

First, a piece that we’ve been need­ing to read: for Good Beer Hunt­ing Lily Waite (@QueerBeerBrewCo) gives us an account of life as a trans woman in the UK beer indus­try.  One pri­ma­ry theme is frus­tra­tion at the smug assump­tion that the world of beer is some­how above prej­u­dice:

Too often, the respon­si­bil­i­ty and labour of ini­ti­at­ing change is left to those who need it most. Too often do we have to fight until exhaus­tion. If every­one in the beer industry—an indus­try that could be so much more inclu­sive (and ben­e­fit from that exponentially)—worked toward a com­mon goal of not alien­at­ing the already mar­gin­alised, then we would tru­ly begin to see a craft beer indus­try that is actu­al­ly as wel­com­ing and egal­i­tar­i­an as the majority—cis, straight men—within it think it cur­rent­ly is.

And per­haps the key take­away from dis­cus­sion around this post on Twit­ter: you are not legal­ly oblig­ed to cut in with an opin­ion unless you have some per­son­al insight or expe­ri­ence; it’s fine to lis­ten, reflect, and share.

SIBA, the organ­i­sa­tion which rep­re­sents a sub­stan­tial num­ber of inde­pen­dent British brew­eries, has appoint­ed Jae­ga Wise of Wild Card Brew­ing as a direc­tor fol­low­ing a vote at the South East region­al AGM. This is a strong state­ment giv­en Ms. Wise’s promi­nence as a crit­ic of sex­ism in the beer indus­try, most recent­ly in a high-pro­file piece by Kaleigh Wat­ter­son for the BBC News web­site.

In the US sev­er­al items of news have arrived togeth­er cre­at­ing a sense of unease – is the long-antic­i­pat­ed shake-out final­ly here? Smut­tynose Brew­ing of New Hamp­shire is to be sold at auc­tion blam­ing ris­ing com­pe­ti­tion for fail­ure to meet its growth tar­gets; Green Flash Brew­ing of San Diego has decid­ed to stop dis­trib­ut­ing beer in 32 US states and will be lay­ing off 15 per cent of its staff; and Men­do­ci­no Brew­ing has closed down along with a sis­ter com­pa­ny in New York. (Details via Brew­bound: 1 | 2 | 3)

Con­tin­ue read­ing “News, Nuggets & Lon­greads 20 Jan­u­ary 2018: Lis­ten­ing, Lit­tle Pubs, Lemp”