Drunken Speculation

MR | (Late) First (Long) Edition, June 2014

Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peupleLast week on Drunken Speculation, we recounted our Good Beer Week and Great Australasian Beer Spectapular experiences through the art form known as the listicle.

The experience has so thoroughly drained us of the will to drink beer (plus a few other boozey nights in the last week) that we’re going to take a little break over the next two to four weeks to recharge our batteries. I, for one, should use the writing energy I would normally spend on this blog to advance my career. To account for our absence over the next few weeks – the hiatus will end when we’re ready to come back – this week’s Monday Reading is a bit longer than normal.

Before we get stuck into other people’s words, the Beer of the Week is Cavalier Brewing Imperial Stout. Rich, roasty and everything you want in an imperial stout without getting you trashed, because it’s “only” 8%.

To the Tweet of the Week!

A great read and given its dating around the turn of the century, remarkably prescient about how the beer industry has developed since then. It’s a little old to be included in Monday Reading proper though, so what did others have to say?

The BeerCast – The lies behind the ‘strongest beers in the world’

So this is the solution. Anytime the freeze distillation fails, they’ll just top up the difference with ethanol to make it to 67.5%. That’s the grand scheme. Declare it on the labels and all is fine. This is almost beyond comprehension. Firstly, as soon as any raw alcohol touches that conditioning tank, what’s inside is no longer classified as ‘beer’. So they can remove the tagline for Snake Venom being the ‘world’s strongest beer’ right away. It isn’t. It’s been grogged; it’s not a beer.

Another great read from The BeerCast, in the same week that Brewmeister’s beers arrived in Australia. I reckon they probably won’t be getting much traction down here.

NYTimes – Strange Brews: The Genes of Craft Beer

By getting a line-by-line reading of the 12 million molecules that make up the DNA of each yeast, Dr. Verstrepen said, the researchers will be able not only to tell how closely related two yeasts are (is Sam Adams’s closer to Stone’s, or Sierra Nevada’s?) but to answer other important questions: which breweries started with the same strains of yeasts, how these organisms evolved over time and, of course, how all of it translates to taste.

I’m sure, despite the thousands of years of domestication and artificial selection that yeast and every other agricultural product has undergone, someone will lose their shit about how genetically modified organisms are bad. How about we wait and see what Frankenstein’s yeast is capable of before breaking out the pitchforks?

Fairfax – Storm brewing as ACCC turns up heat on big boys of beer

He said it was not unusual for publicans to enter into contracts for the provision of beer, spirits and wine, and it was a long-standing practice for these contracts to contain exclusivity provisions. ”In regard to beer, many of these contracts provide discounts on the keg price, as well as investment in the pub, such as cool rooms, tap lines and fridges etc, and is quite often as a result of a pub going to tender.”…

A Lion trading agreement obtained by Fairfax Media demands exclusive access to 100 per cent of the venue’s taps, and specific volume requirements, in exchange for generous rebates and a new tap system worth more than $10,000 – which remains the property of Lion.

I must admit to being quite cynical when the story first broke because I assumed it would go nowhere. Lion and CUB must feel quite sleighted because while other multi-billion dollar businesses have their needs catered to by plutocratic politicians, they’ve got the government knocking on their door and asking why they make so much money. Seems unfair. It’s also unfair that they lock other breweries out of the market… I guess.

Luke’s Beer – Moa Shareholders Will Be Sad 😦

A few days ago I wrote about Moa and their latest Annual Results…

Since then Moa shares have continued to drop on the back of sharebrokers downgrading their recommendation on Moa stock from “neutral” to “underperform“

The questions the media have raised seem to be around:

When they run out of money what happens next?

A Good Beer Blog – Does Christ Care About A Hairy Beer Label?

Reasonable outcome? Holy City reimburses the reasonable legal expenses for both Paul Roof and the Charleston Southern University while the folk running the beard contest pony up for any lost wages Paul Roof may have suffered. All four parties sign a settlement document that requires each to not be so idiotic in the future. Jesus reserves right to smite some or all.

Belgian Smaak – Rondje Roodbruin: Brewery Tour of Flemish Brown-Red Ale

The second edition of Rondje Roodbruin took place on Sunday 27 April 2014 at four breweries in South-West Flanders. This ‘tour’ is effectively an open event during the course of one day where the public are invited to come along for a free visit and beer to celebrate the unique nature of Flemish Red-Brown Ale.

And make no mistake about it. There is much cause for celebration. In 2011 the four participating breweries – Omer Vander Ghinste (formerly Bockor) in Bellegem, De Brabandere(formerly Bavik) in Bavikhove, Rodenbach in Roeselare and Verhaeghe in Vichte – submitted a dossier to the European Commission to obtain European recognition of their red-brown ales and it is expected that this recognition will be awarded some time in 2014.

girl+beer – GBW 2014: Mega Dega

Last year’s Mega Dega was held after the East versus West event and since I couldn’t see myself surviving a multi-course lunch AND multi-course dinner I opted to only attend East versus West.

This year things were different and I grabbed my ticket for Mega Dega II.

My day started with a GABS session before heading to Pope Joan for the second edition of Mega Dega, not a bad way to warm up for a big dinner.

BeerGraphs – A Craft Beer Wake-Up Call for Germany

Back in Germany, a taste test is undertaken using the five most popular German beers: Oettinger, Bitburger, Beck’s, Warsteiner and Krombacher. In the taste tests on the street with passer-bys, the result is that most cannot tell the beers apart. This is confirmed in the lab. All five have an original wort between 11.3 and 11.6 with a range of 26-32 in IBU. Sierra Nevada’s gold medal winning pilsner is then tested and clearly comes out on top with 12.2 and 42…

Back in San Diego at the World Beer Cup, the viewer is confronted with the fact that no German breweries won gold medals in the most popular German beer categories. The 2012 winner for pilsner was Brio from Olgerdin Egill Skallagrimsson in Iceland.

The Liquor Ladder – Single Bottle Nonsense

So the gist of this rant is a plea. Please everyone stop wringing your hands about the single bottle sales thing. Instead, get your facts about the law and local alcohol policies straight along with all the other provisions of the disastrous Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act of 2012, not to mention Paul Christoffel’s thesis, and make rational submissions to councils that debunk the nonsense that is going on here.

Background here.

Courier Fail – $5 million Charming Squire brew bar ready to launch in Brisbane

Patrons will be able to see the stainless steel brewing vats and choose from 16 craft beers on tap. Chef Deniz Coskun, who formerly worked at Brett’s Wharf and Tank Restaurant, has devised a menu based around coal-fired spit roasts and a large timber char grill…

Craft beer still only represents a tiny sliver of the amount consumed each year in Australia.

Estimates suggests the market sits at between 65 million and 70 million litres a year, or just 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent by volume of all the beer consumed by Australians annually.

Of course, a bit of research would have revealed is that James Squire brands are not part of the sliver of the craft beer industry but, like Little Creatures, part of the 97.5% of the Australian beer industry controlled by Lion, CUB and Coopers. It hardly surprises that these guys will soon be on the dole queue.

Other highlights were:

Anything I missed?

One comment

  1. Pingback: The Six-Pack – June 6, 2014 | beer is your friend

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