Drunken Speculation

MR | Third Edition, January 2014

800px-Jakob_Jordaens_001Last week on Drunken Speculation was bigger than expected. I thought we were going to settle into a three-post-a-week rhythm but there was too much to write about:

One of the interesting things to come out of our visit to Beard and Brau is that there’s another new brewery in the works in the Scenic Rim, aptly named the Scenic Rim Brewery. They’ve made a couple of batches of beer at Beard and Brau and are working on their own stainless steel at Moogerah. No details on distribution as yet but it is possible that it will flow through B&B’s distribution network.

To the Tweet of the Week!

The backstory is that the Sydney Morning Herald ran a review of a restaurant, which was actually two restaurants but owned by the same people. In the review, the critic only ate at one of the restaurants but failed to distinguish between the two. Net result: the restaurants closed, blamed the reviewer, sued for defamation and were eventually awarded $480,000 in damages. While we’re under no illusions that Drunken Speculation has the same pull as a Fairfax daily, it’s enough to make you think about running a negative beer review. It may surprise people but we don’t have that kind of cash.

In other news: the funniest clip about craft beer (at least recently) was shared by a number of people and if you need a giggle to get your Monday started, this is it.

David Penberthy – A new generation of gutless thugs

It appears to be mandatory to describe the random, mindless violence we have seen in pubs and on footpaths around the nation as “alcohol-fuelled” violence.I hate this term.

A more appropriate term would be scumbag-fuelled violence, as the focus on alcohol lets the scumbags off the hook.

Penberthy has eloquently and concisely summed up the issue around “alcohol-fuelled” violence. Namely that it isn’t not alcohol fuelled but rather fuelled by fuckwits, as just about anyone reading this and, indeed, police officers will be aware. And more from the Scenic Rim:

TheWestbender – Fortitude Brewing Takes Over the Mountain

For a long while the Mount Tamborine Brewery has been a highlight to those visiting the Mountain, but recently the brewery/attraction was put on the market. Dreams of co-ops and start-ups were publicly entertained, while we all secretly hoped/expected the recent arrivals to the Tamborine beer scene Fortitude, would take the reins and start a rocking brewpub, whilst massively increasing production.

Well it turns out they have.

Australian Brews News – The Tao of Beer

We’ve all been out to dinner with ‘the wine guy’ that makes everyone a little bit nervous about ordering the wine they like lest their selection be found wanting. If beer ever gets to the stage that the beer wanker escapes from the parody video into a mainstream movie with a line like, “I’m not drinking lager. If anybody orders fucking lager, I’m leaving”, I think I’ll go teetotal.

Beeronomics – Price Fixing and Beer

But the fact that they engaged in this illegal activity tells us a lot about the competitive nature of the German beer market.  There is so much competition that rents are hard to acquire.  And, once again, the specter of economies of scale mean that it is hard to sustain a number of smaller breweries in this environment.  Just like what happened in the US, the beer industry’s natural tendency is consolidation and scale.  So this is evidence that all breweries are feeling the pressure.

Literature & Libation – Journey to the Center of the Beer

All in the name of knowing my ingredients better. I’m still, to this day, amazed that four relatively basic foodstuffs can ultimately turn into something as complex and complete as beer. So today, I’m going to shrink myself down (using my macro lens). Aided by my friend, J. Cousteau (no, that’s too obvious…we’ll go with Jacques C. instead), we’ll journey deep into the heart of the beer, discovering the natural beauty hidden in what some people may regard as simple ingredients.

You ready to go Jacques?

Oui, d’accord. 

Pete Brown – If you love craft beer, set it free

Our collective failure to agree on a definition of craft beer doesn’t seem to be doing craft beer any harm. But whatever that definition is, we probably can’t hold on to ideas about size and scale of brewer for much longer. 40% of drinkers say they aren’t sure what the term ‘craft beer’ actually means, and 45% of drinkers say they would find craft beers more appealing if they knew more about them, so there is a need for greater clarity. But at the same time, 40% of drinkers also say they would be keen to try a craft-style beer for a large brewer.

Other highlights:

Anything I missed?

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