Drunken Speculation

MR | First Edition, March 2014 – SEQBeers update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast week on Drunken Speculation, I put some more work into my SEQBeers project with Brisbane Brewing Co and MT Brewery and, in a completely different direction, a Namibian stout.

Nonetheless, if you were wondering which is the “SEQ-iest” beer so far, it’s Burleigh 28 Pale on 81, followed by Newstead’s Out and a Bout Pale Ale on 76 and Burleigh’s Hef and Brewhouse’s Brisbane Pale Ale, both on 74. The brewery with the highest combined score is Burleigh, although it’s quite tight around the 200-point mark.

I’ve now covered ten breweries with, amazingly, still so many to go: 4 Hearts, Bacchus, Beard & Brau, Fortitude/Noisy Minor, International Hotel, Red Bay and Scenic Rim. The latter two were late additions. That’s sixteen breweries (plus one contract, for the time being) that call south-east Queensland home.

To Tweet of the Week!

Great topic with great responses. My favourites included “My sense of smell is terrible. Sometimes don’t get all of the beer aromas” (@billkostkas), “I always get a kick out of people who go on and on about mint. Never have I gotten that” (@BryanDRoth) and “I don’t really know what cat piss smells like…” (@L_AllenH). Incidentally, has anyone considered starting an #ozbeerchat or does that already happen and I just don’t know about it?

Speaking of, what did others have to say last week?

Vinography – Journalists banned from tasting Domain Huet wines

According to a remarkably even-tempered article by journalist Chris Kissack on his blog The Wine Doctor, he was cornered by Ms. Hwang and given a tongue lashing before being ejected from the winery’s booth at the trade show. The reason? He had written less than complimentary reviews of the 2012 wines — the first vintage, it should be noted, made without Pinguet in almost 4 decades, and not an easy vintage under any circumstance.

This is a little older than the other posts but I don’t make a habit of following wine blogs. I thought it was definitely worth sharing though – what happens when egos get out of control, I guess. I expect we won’t see something similar at GABS later this year. Not least because…

Luke’s Beer – After 4 Craft Bars, Time To Reflect

– Craft brewers can do no wrong 

I found several faulted beers at the four bars reviewed so far. The obvious concern was none of the staff could identify the beer as faulted. There were a couple of staff that identified the beer as something they liked the taste of, even with a high level of diacetyl. The general feeling I have got is staff just accept the flavour in the beer as they don’t know any better. This is no ones fault as there has never been any training given on what is good or bad in beer, let alone what you should expect to see and not see, in different beer styles. Bar staff and the general hospitality industry, is notably transient, and training staff to a level of competency on being able to identify faulty beer is a big call.

Tampa Bay Times – In craft beer community, everyone’s a critic

Sure enough, an early Yelp review of Green Bench gets right to the point: “Why 3 stars? Because your wheat beer can’t be hoppy.” Not only does this come as a surprise to brewers of white IPAs and other heavily hopped wheat beers, it also doesn’t offer any criticism beyond the fact that the reviewer doesn’t like hoppy beers.

To Johnson, this is an opportunity for craft brewers to educate their audience, which will help keep criticism useful.

So we, the consumer, need to be educated by brewers, the same people who some of whom are putting out defective products? This is a conundrum that the industry will need to resolve and quickly, before quality concerns tarnish the reputations of all breweries. And no, not talking about it is not a solution.

Fairfax – The World’s Weirdest Beer Laws

So whilst it’s illegal to import beer in Nigeria, it’s also illegal to brew it. But if you do manage to find it, drinking and purchasing beer is fine as long as you are over the age of 18. Confusing much?

The BeerCast – TSA to rebrand: “We’ve been at the back for too long”

This background, as well as his recent arrival, might explain Andrew’s brevity; with regard to TSA’s re-brand, nothing is off the table. The name will be one of the first things to go, for example. “Most Scottish breweries are named after their founders, or a geographical area. Traditional Scottish Ales? It’s too long, and it means nothing,” he says. “We’re looking to expand our market. Beer tastes have changed – it’s a great time for beer. Yet are we respected enough? No. We’ve been at the back for too long. We want to be a part of the beer community again.” This was all spoken without rankle, no chips are on shoulders in Throsk. It seems to be systemic, this approach to change.

The Dogs of Beer – Finally, the Unofficial Mascot of tDoB has a name – Say hello to Ludwig

Over time I’ve seen that picture a thousand times, and often wondered about it.  Who took it?  Why?  Was it a candid shot, or part of a professionally staged photo shoot?  And just what is that dog thinking about?  Then, on February 12th, I received a surprise email from a man named Bill Coleman who was finally able to give me some answers, “I was very touched by the picture of the dog with his head on the bar. Reason is, that was my dog, Ludwig, who passed away just shy of five years ago.”

Other highlights:

Anything I missed?

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