Drunken Speculation

MR | Fourth Edition, April 2014

margevthemonorailLast week on Drunken Speculation, we took a look at the upcoming GABS festival lineup and I reviewed a porter past its best.

I haven’t got much to talk about this week, so my Beer of the Week was Feral Brewing’s Barrique O’Karma. It’s a beer I can’t not buy if I see it. There’s something about the way the vanilla oak interacts with the black IPA I just can’t get past. Incidentally, I’m closing in on 500 unique beers on Untappd. Any thoughts on what the 500th should be? If someone wants to pay me to drink their beer, I’ll donate the proceeds to charity.

To Tweet of the Week!

Amusing but also proof, if the dominance of the local supermarket duopoly was not sufficient, that most people in this country do not give two tenths of a shit about the provenance of their groceries.

Moving on, what did others have to say last week?

The Full Pint – Interesting News Regarding The Bruery / 3 Floyds Collaboration

All of these beers are tasting absolutely fantastic, but we would like to let you know that our quality control team has found lactobacillus in both of the Three Floyds collaboration releases.  For those unaware, lactobacillus is a bacteria that is capable of turning a beer sour (we use it intentionally in our sour beers, but did not intentionally use it in this beer).  As for this beer, it is quite high in alcohol, contains healthy brewers’ yeast and is fittingly carbonated, all factors that do not make a good environment for lactobacillus to survive.  It is possible that its presence will never affect the flavor of the beer, but it is also possible that it will.

Quality is at the forefront of this week’s Monday Reading. I’m a bit torn on this issue. On one hand, they’ve decided to not charge the amount they originally intended, dropping the bottle price from $30 to $20. On the other hand, selling a product known to be defective – infected in this case – is poor form.

I suspect that the beer hoarders – a group I am yet to fully understand – will be all over this. For the few that actually drink it, it’s likely that every Untappd checkin will note sour lacto flavours, irrespective of whether it is detectable or not, because you get the consumers you deserve.

Appellation Beer – Because there are a lot of ways to make bad beer

What struck me in the Businessweek story about how well Corona sells despite the fact it is a “bad beer” was how reporter Kyle Stock leaned on populism, citing online ratings. So the story was “a lot of people don’t like Corona, but a lot of people buy it” and why. Wouldn’t it have been more compelling to have a critic explain why Corona is fundamentally flawed (or do it himself) and why people still buy it?

Beervana – Evolving GABF style guidelines

The last thing I’ll leave you with is this statement in the preamble to the rules.  It is, more than anything else, a distillation of the American view of brewing.  I have no problem with that as far as it goes–each country has very different brewing philosophies–but because the GABF and World Beer Cup are so influential, I do despair that this view should infect the thinking beyond our shores.

Beer Diary – Monteith’s “American Pale Ale”

Because the problem here is that this kind of massive mislabeling cuts both ways. It’s not just that beer nerds and brewers should feel affronted to see a venerable and popular style being so poorly aped, it’s that anyone who likes this could well be horribly surprised if ever they buy a true-to-style American Pale Ale. Everyone would be better served if this was marketed as Heineken Trading As Monteith’s Brand Fermented Product Number Sixteen, instead; as it is, no matter how much you know about the words on the label, you know nothing about the beer inside — and vice versa .

Monteith’s continue to make frustratingly piss poor beers it would seem. Maybe they’ve got this guy leading their team?

Vice – Mikkeller Beer’s Founder Sets His Sights on Food

One of his breakthroughs came in 2009, when a Mikkeller beer went up against wine pairings for a taste-off at the Michelin-starred Thai restaurant Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen, and the diners scored it at a draw over two days. Mikkeller has since created beers for restaurants across the globe, including Noma, Kiin Kiin, Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco, and El Celler de Can Roca in Catalonia, Spain—the current number one restaurant on the world’s Top 50 list “We have a lot of things in common with Mikkeller,” said Alfons Bonet Carbó, who is in charge of the beer selection at El Celler. “The innovation, passion, the best ingredients. The beer he made for us goes perfectly with our food.”

I have some half formed thoughts on the rock star that Mr Mikkeller is becoming. Is this focus on these brewing savants – at the expense of people who actually do the work – a good thing? (How broad is that for a question?)

Shut up about Barclay Perkins – Rice in German Beer

Rice in German beer, eh? It didn’t end with the introduction of the Reinheitsgebot to the whole country in 1906.

The quotes below come from a report on the German brewing industry produced by the British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee in 1946 which was reproduced in a recent issue of Brewery History. A group of British brewers went and had a nose around various German breweries and maltsters.

Other highlights included:

Anything I missed?

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