Drunken Speculation

MR | Second Edition, March 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast week on Drunken Speculation, ammo reviewed a supermarket collab and explored why she drinks.

There’s not a lot to talk about from last week, other than my two non-good beer-related hangovers in seven days, which serves to remind me why I drink what I usually drink. That is, not cheap spirits and not industrial lager.

To Tweet(s) of the Week!

And I feel this from Seeing the Lizards is also relevant. I thought the Kiwi coincidence was interesting, as were the different fallouts, making for a great case study in social media PR if nothing else.

Ultimately, anything in the public arena is fair game for comment, even if the comment itself is fair or not (a different topic for a different time), and you can’t please everyone. Negative things will be said about your beer, bar or, God forbid, blog. Responding only legitimises the opinion in the first instance and sometimes, only leads to giving that opinion a much wider audience than it otherwise would have (e.g. @jimmccabe has 27 followers and @yeastieboys 5690, at time of writing). Unless you do a James Blunt, what do you really hope to achieve by responding? “Well, I put that unlikely-to-be-and-now-definitely-won’t-be-a-repeat customer in their place and surely gained widespread positive attention for my brand by taking a dump on their opinion”?

Coming from a defensive ego such as myself, that’s (very) hypocritical, however, the rational part of me knows that’s the deal.

So what did others have to say last week?

Australian Brews News – Change is brewing for women of beer

Saturday will mark the fourth collaboration brew day and resulting beer for the Australian Women of Beer collective. Their group was born from a one-off stage show at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in 2011, which was followed up by a collaborative brew day at True South and the release of their first beer, Ninkasi’s Angel. Since then, the all female team have gathered annually to craft a beer, with brew days in subsequent years at Matilda Bay’s Port Melbourne brewery and Red Hill Brewery.

The Hop Tripper – What is quality?

Brewers sometimes don’t list their unusual ingredients that could potentially make some people sick. And he has a point. With the exception of Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and some of the other brewers who have graduated from microbrewery status to “Regional Craft Brewery”, most of the smaller brewers in the USA have very rudimentary labs, don’t really analyze their beers, and don’t necessarily do all the due diligence required when adding an an unusual ingredient to their beers.

Beer Battered – The British beer boom: quantity over quality?

That’s not to say the boom has been bad for beer but the current state of flux has caused quality to waver over the last couple of years.

Consequently, a new, negative vocabulary has begun to penetrate the positivity, with phrases such as ‘London murky’ encapsulating the perceived lack of quality control practised by some new breweries.

On the one hand, this could be seen as damaging to the reputation of small-batch beer in the wider market but, on the other, it could be viewed as an unavoidable side-effect of a huge growth in choice.

Either way, the industry as a whole must concern itself with how best to maintain recent success.

The BeerCast – Everards to trademark Elixir Brewing Co out of existence

The Leicestershire super-regional has threatened legal action against the Scottish nanobrewery Elixir Brew Co over their pending application to trademark their brewery name. In a series of correspondence, I am led to believe that Everards have stated their ownership of the Trade Mark ‘Elixir’, and have demanded the Livingston contract brewery not only withdraw their application, but cease using the name ‘Elixir’ immediately. As I understand it, they have further demanded the withdrawal of all Elixir products from sale, in every UK market, by this Friday.

Some additional perspective from Great Heck Brewery.

Appellation Beer – Nineteen ninety-five: beer change afoot

Fifteen years after Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi began selling their Sierra Nevada beers in 1980 America’s beer renaissance demanded attention. In that sense, 1995 was little different than the year before or the one after, but taking a closer look at bits and pieces from that single year reveals a measure of history that was not yet obvious. American beer was not returning to some place it had been previously. A new beer culture had emerged, and with it new beers often unlike any brewed before and certainly unlike any made in America.

Quartz – How PBR became a billion dollar beer

There was no brilliant marketing campaign to thank for PBR’s remarkable growth. In fact, its branding has been largely unintentional. PBR, as a product, isn’t all that different from its competition—cheap, low in alcohol, and watery. “It’s the drink of choice for people who like any evening of carousing to involve lots of visits to the bathroom,” the Washington Post jokes.

The Beer Diary – Hipsters

Have you ever wondered why that is? It’s because in a BrewDog bar, these people – perhaps taking their first steps in the sometimes strange and mystifying world of good beer – feel welcome, are welcomed, and invited to try things, talk about what they like, and find the beer that suits them. How dare BrewDog provide such an environment. What are they trying to achieve – get more people drinking good beer? Well, they are. Their rapidly growing business proves this, whether you like them or not.

Montana Beer Finder – Bigfork’s 5th Annual Brewfest Brings New Meaning to “a Frosty Cold One”!

As I approached the little hamlet of Bigfork, I glanced over at the temperature reading on the dash thermometer of my car.  Burrr, 1 degree!  This was not good and I was not looking forward to even getting out of my car, let alone spending any length of time out in this weather.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect, where turnout was concerned, and I was hoping against hope that there would be at least enough people there that the event wouldn’t be deemed a flop.  I made the turn on to Electric Avenue and got my answer.  Cars…and lots of them, lining the the main street of Bigfork.  I should have known.  We’re Montanans, and if we let the weather stop us from doing things, then we would not get much done around these parts.

Other highlights:

Anything I missed?

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