Drunken Speculation

MR | First Edition, May 2014

2014 Milano - San RemoLast week on Drunken Speculation, ammo gave us a recipe for Blue Moon Cupcakes and I looked at the history of Bulimba Brewery.

There’s not much happening on the drunkspec front, other than we’re planning to take a blogging hiatus sometime after Good Beer Week. As such, my Beer of the Week was, sadly, Hoegaarden. It was a pretty pedestrian week of beer but it’s nice to remind yourself of why the classics are classics from time to time.

To Tweet of the Week!

Spiegelau’s Stout Glass will be available in Australia by the end of the month. Whether it will be as awesome as the IPA glass remains to be seen, although I have some doubts. As soon as we get some, I’ll be doing a side-by-side comparison with the stemmed pilsner.

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

The BeerCast – Brewmeister – the shame of British brewing

The turning point in my attitude goes back to the Armageddon. I paid £50 for my bottle. £50. For something that the brewery knew, all-along, was not as advertised. They released bad beer, to stay in production – but they also misled the public about the alcoholic content of a subsequent beer sold entirely on the premise that it was high-strength. And when I told Lewis that a lot of people spent a lot of money on Armageddon – that I spent a lot of money on Armageddon, you know what he said? What his response was? “Yeah, I know.”

If you read one piece of beer writing this year (outside of this blog obviously), it needs to be this. It may not be the most elegant prose but Richard from BeerCast absolutely crucifies Brewmeister and rightly so. Even Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewing weighed in:

And the response from Brewmeister? “Well that was a lot of lies Rich!” Muppets, indeed.

The Australian – Brewers warned over misleading craft beer labels

BREWERS have been put on notice over misleading craft beer labels after industry giant CUB was fined for potentially fooling drinkers.

The major brewer caught Australian Competition and Consumer Commission attention for suggesting Byron Bay Pale Lager supplies came from a small operation at the NSW hippy haven, when they were actually made at a mainstream CUB plant 630km away.

It has paid infringement notices totalling $20,400 and changed the advertising.

The press release from the ACCC is here.

So the big story in Australia was the paltry fine CUB, local industrial brewery, copped for misleading labelling. There was some schadenfreude amongst the beer nerds and some careful contemplation of what that might imply for small-scale contract brewers. I suspect nothing for the latter because I feel there is a difference between contract brewing and licencing a brand but that’s just a gut feel, not an informed opinion.

I also owe Matt Kirkegaard an apology. The very first comment left on this blog was from him giving me a bit of stick for being snarky about his crusade against CUB’s labelling of Byron Bay Pale. Turns out he was right to do so. I’ll start baking a humble pie now.

For the record, this is how beers should be labelled, although maybe not in a way enforceable by law:

The West Australian – Gage Roads warns of big beer loss

Gage Roads Brewing has warned a production problem at its Palmyra plant has forced it to throw out 140,000 cartons of its beer, costing $1.12 million in gross profit.

The company attributed the loss to a recent processing fault during the commissioning of some remaining items of its new brew house project.

Fortune – Building a beer for Latinos

With Coors Light Summer Brew, the company wanted a beer that had broad appeal to all consumers — but it heavily factored its research on Latinos’ preferences, such as a partiality for flavored drinks. The innovation team tested heavily with that demographic as it developed the new citrus-infused beer.

Pete Brown – Why Britain’s drinking problem has been significantly overstated

These effects of alcohol consumption are referred to as ‘protective’, in relation to those that are ‘harmful’. In 2010, a total of 21,162 deaths were attributable to harmful alcohol consumption. But calculating using the same methodology, 6,885 deaths were prevented by the consumption of alcohol, meaning the net figure of alcohol-related deaths is 14,277 – 33% lower than the gross figure.

Birbeck’s Brewing – What is craft beer

Forget about whether there are those trying to deceive the public. Focus on the human element, on the craft and the story the beer tells. We all like different things, we all drink and enjoy different things. Get some beer into you and find out more about who made it and drink the story. It may not be perfect, it may not be your perfect beer, it may come from a small brewery or large, contract brewery, state of the art brewery or recycled dairy equipment, it may not be what you expect, but enjoy the journey.

Stouts and Stilletos – Beer Fest Clothing Trends

I don’t see this one every festival but it does pop up from time to time. Some folks appreciate the old-time roots of the beer fest and pay tribute to it by dressing in a Celtic style.

Ale is Good – Who gets how much of your money*

Inspired by my new reality of being piggy-in-the-middle between pub and brewery beer pricing I’ve knocked up the following “infographic”… OK, it has minimal “info” and my “graphic” skills are suspect at best. But here we are, where does the hard earned money that you spend on a pint of beer go…

*In the UK for 4% beer

Other highlights included:

Anything I missed?

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