Beer News (Feb 3–Feb 10)

BWJlogoCraft beer is dead. Or, so says an author at Thrillist. The reason? Because he doesn’t like gose — the slightly sour, slightly salty style of German beer that is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. Needless to say, the response to his piece from craft beer enthusiasts has been negative. See the comments section of the article for examples.

The author’s point seems to be that since gose is now being revived, we’ve hit the bottom of the barrel when it comes to dredging up old beer styles, and therefore craft brewing is out of ideas. Among the things he neglects to consider is that new types of beer don’t have to come from resurrecting old beer styles. American-style pale ale, IPA, and double IPA did not exist prior to the craft beer revolution. And brewers around the world are more than capable of brewing new and interesting beers. The “Belgian-inspired” segment of brewing alone will likely continue to come up with many new and interesting brews. And of course, the simple idea that other people may enjoy something even if he doesn’t seems to elude him.

As beer enthusiasts, we’re used to shoddy reporting and commentary on beer and brewing related issues in the mainstream media, but this article is worse than most. It is better than the Food Babe’s crap, but that’s not saying much.

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Beer News (Jan 22–Feb 2)

BWJlogoEarly in yesterday’s Superbowl, Budweiser aired a spot that showed a puppy getting lost and finding his way home. Absolutely f%#$ing adorable. Now let’s move on. 

Late in the game came another Bud ad, one which has prompted a lot of comments from craft beer lovers. (See this article and this article for two of the better responses.) The ad starts with Bud proudly proclaiming themselves a macro beer.  (There’s no voice over, everything in the ad is presented in text, so blind people won’t get all crazy and start buying Budweiser.) Their proclamation is an interesting tactic, and one that has worked for others in the past — embrace who you are and adopt the language of the critics as your own. So, how should we view this proud macro beer?  [Read more…]

Beer News (Jan 8–21)

BWJlogoIf you’re reading this, odds are you enjoy beer. And it’s likely that your parents also enjoyed beer . . . or wine or spirits. In fact, it is possible that your ancestors have enjoyed alcohol for hundreds of thousands of generations. Recently, scientists discovered evidence that humans have been consuming alcohol for 10 million years, long before they understood how to control fermentations to produce alcoholic beverages. Here’s link to the original article.


What a Croc!

Ever go to a wedding reception, only to find out that the bar only has macrobrews? It could be worse, you could have ended up being poisoned by the beer. This happened in Mazambique where around 70 guests died after drinking beer that was supposedly tinged with crocodile bile. Although the poisoning was real, the idea that crocodile bile was the poison was questioned and later discarded as the culprit.

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Beer News (Dec 16-Jan 7)


This graphic? Again?

OK, here’s our first post of 2015. Let’s start with a listicle (an article in the form of a list). Here are the most influential beer websites in the world, as ranked by popularity. It’s an interesting mix of commercial beer sites, craft brew enthusiast sites, and one homebrewing retailer. Of course, if they had a list of beer websites with the most intelligent and best educated readers (and most pandering editor), it would be this site. Am I right? Continuing with lists, Meadist issued their list of the top 5 meads. (See, Beer and Wine Journal does cover wine as well as beer.)

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Beer News (Nov 22–Dec 16)

BWJlogo‘Tis the season . . . for endless listicles (articles in the form of a list). Here are a few in the endless parade of listicles recommending holiday, winter, Hanukkah, or Christmas beers. From NewsTalk, the Minneapolis Star/Tribune, USA Today, Londonist, and . . . you know what. just Google “Christmas beers” or “winter beers” and click the news button and you’ll find plenty. And speaking of Christmas beers, Anchor is releasing its 40th anniversary Our Special Ale this year. And in non-holiday lists, Thrillist assembled a panel of experts to give their top 10 IPAs.

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Beer News (Oct 27–Nov. 21)

BWJlogoOK, let’s start with some listicles (articles in the form of a list). Thrillist gives their 15 beers to drink this winter and Paste lists their 15 best Christmas beers. And, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gives their 9 beers to put you in the holiday spirit


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Beer News (Sep 25–Oct 26)

BWJlogoHalloween is coming up, so let’s start with a listicle (an article in the form of the list) giving 13 Halloween beers. If you like fall beers, as long as they don’t contain pumpkin, here’s a list of 5 non-pumpkin beers to try. If you’re Australian, Gizmodo lists 5 Australian beers it thinks you should try. And, if you’d a taste of the US’s colonial past, here are 5 colonial-era cocktails to try, via Serious Eats.

And for the last of the listicles, here’s a list of 20 facts about working in a brewery.

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Beer News (Aug 27–Sept 24)

BWJlogoAs usual, let’s start with some “listicles,” articles in the form of a list. Recently, GQ listed the best 50 craft beers as picked by experts. Who these mysterious experts were, they didn’t say. Next, here’s a beer list — 5 non-pumpkin beers for fall. The internet is filled with best beer lists, but this is the first list I’ve ever seen that collects beers that will activate your gag reflex. (I’ve actually tried the Belgian mustard beer and was pretty good. Interesting, but good.) Next, here is a list of 6 ways to incorporate beer into your desserts. And speaking of adding beer to things, Starbucks is testing a stout-flavored coffee.

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Rain Delaying US Barley Harvest: Losses “Catastrophic” In Some Areas


The vast barley fields — OK garden — of Bastrop, TX (in 2012)

Farmers in Montana and Idaho should have been harvesting their barley in the past two weeks. However, heavy rains have caused delays. In addition, the rains have been causing barley to sprout in the field. As little as 2% sprouted kernels will usually lead maltsters to reject a crop of barley, but in some parts of Montana, sprouting has exceeded 50%.

Much of the rejected malting barley crop could be sold as feed grain. But with prices already very low for feed, this is not much help for farmers with damaged crops.

In North Dakota — third in US barley production, after Montana and Idaho — rain is delaying the harvest, too. It is possible that US maltsters may try to buy barley from Canada, but Canada’s harvest is also being delayed by rain.

Some ag sources are calling the losses in some areas “catastrophic”. And, with the typical restraint seen in many on-line news sources, some are already prophesying a “beerpocalypse.” A note on the Probrewer forum, however, gives a slightly more sober assessment. Given that there are barley stocks left over from last year’s good crop, and at least some barley can likely be purchased from Canada (or perhaps elsewhere), the worst case scenarios are unlikely to unfold. A shortage of malt, for example, is unlikely. However, be prepared for malt and beer prices to go up.

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Beer News (Aug 5–26)

BWJlogoAs usual, let’s start with a “listicle” (an article in the form of a list). Here’s a list of fall beers. (And speaking of fall beers, if you’re looking for a pumpkin ale recipe, check out our Pumpkin Ale, by Mark Pasquinelli.) Here’s Thrillist’s ranking of US states according to their beer scene. And, here’s Paste’s confusingly titled “10 Irresponsible Shot/Beer Combinations.” They may wreck a good beer by dropping a shot in it, but the article never exlains why they are irresponsible. (The author also seems unclear about what a beer is, as a few of these involve a shot and Red Bull.) And finally, a useful list — if you are looking for employment in the brewing industry, here’s where the jobs are.

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