This week’s news round up starts with, you guessed it, another “listicle” — the best craft breweries in Michigan, according to Thrillist. And, here’s another list from them, about Chicago beers. Speaking of lists, remember when the Brewer’s Association blacklisted Schell’s Brewery — a family-owned, Midwestern brewery that brews a wide range of beers — for not being “traditional,” even though they’ve been around since 1860? Well, the BA has re-jerrymandered the definition to include Schell’s. I like this change since I grew up in the Midwest, but people who like consistent guidelines that don’t transparently play favorites are probably less happy. For example, here’s another article on the same topic. (See a homebrew clone of Schell’s Vienna lager, Firebrick, on our site.) And while we’re discussing the upper midwest, apparently sour beers are catching on in Wisconsin. New Glarus is in Wisconsin, so I guess that figures. Heading westward, here’s a list of three new beers being launched in California.
Art and Nature
Paste magazine posted an article about brewery art that includes some nice photos of paintings, murals and sculptures that adorn various breweries. Like art, nature can be beautiful, and some breweries do their utmost not to muck it up just to keep us all in frothy, delicious barley water. Sierra Nevada just announced that it operates nearly waste-free. Good for them.
Lagers, Legality and Leg Cramps
Table Matters posted a nice piece about what makes a beer a lager. It’s probably not technical enough to interest brewers, but a good explanation for non-brewers with an interest in beer. The California legislature may have inadvertently made homebrew festivals in California illegal. After a hard workout, what should your beverage of choice be for re-hydration and recovery? Why not a beer? NPR lays out the case for beer as a post-workout drink. What if you get bit by a poisonous snake? It won’t help you, but why not enjoy a cold one while waiting for the icy hand of death? (Thankfully for the guy in the article, he pulled through.)
Dude, Buy Me a Beer. No, I Meant A Good Beer.
Want to buy Pabst Blue Ribbon? Not a Pabst Blue Ribbon, the brand itself is for sale. If you read Beer and Wine Journal, odds are you might not view Pabst Blue Ribbon as a quality beer. But what constitutes a quality beer? The Hoptripper (Mitch Steele, Brewmaster at Stone) takes on this subject in his article on the dimensions of beer quality.
End on a Low Note
So, in a previous Beer and Wine Journal article, I mentioned that US barley production has fallen. (No worries, though, maltsters have contracted for all the malt they think we’ll need.) Then, in last week’s beer news, I passed along that parts of California are so drought ravaged that breweries could run out of water. What could be worse? Well, according to Esquire, we might be facing another hop shortage. (As with malt, most breweries have contracted for the hops they project they will need.)