Drunken Speculation

MR | Third Edition, June 2014

Tropper_1849Last week on Drunken Speculation, I talked up the beer excise for some strange reason.

On Saturday, we (and the other bloggers of Brisbane) hit up Riverlife for Five Flavours, featuring our very own local lads, Fortitude Brewing. Five beers, five food choices and five bands at the venue in Brisbane which is closest to absolute perfection, Riverlife on the banks of the river at the foot of the Kangaroo Point cliffs opposite the CBD. A big thank you to Fortitude for organising us some tickets, it is much appreciated. You can read more about the day on our Facebook page.

Because we don’t drink as much as we used to, the selections for Beer of the Week are a bit narrower than they used to be. For mine, it was the Fortitude Brewing Standard Lager. I’m very much not a lager fan but there’s been more noise in the blogosphere about appreciating this entire class of beer more. If more lagers were made like Fortitude’s with a creamy head and going a bit lighter on the shitty Australian bread/yeast combo, then I might be able to get on board.

To the Tweet of the Week!

As we mentioned in our 4 Hearts SEQBeers, Wade has found a location for his new brewery, which is awesome news for Wade, reputably one of the nicest guys going around beer circles, and Ipswich in general, which could use a bit o’ cultcha. My gut suggests the end of the year is a bit optimistic but the construction industry is quiet at the moment, so anything’s possible. More details on 250 Beers.

So what did others have to say?

Larsblog – Brewing with kveik

We couldn’t really judge it very well from this sample, but one thing stood out: a strong aroma of orange-peel and Christmas spice. We were completely baffled. Where did this aroma come from? The ingredients were supposed to be juniper infusion, pilsner malts, kveik (the family yeast), and noble hops. The source had to be the kveik, but who ever heard of a yeast that makes orange-peel aroma? This had to be investigated.

I think this one of the most interesting – and well written – articles I’ve read in a long time. It’ll be exciting to see what comes of kveik.

The (other) Beer Diary – BrewDog #PunkAGM2014 (Four Nations of Beer – Part 3)

The AGM 2012 was a messy but fun sort of riot… The hits outweighed the misses though, and it was still a great weekend. In 2013, there were noticeable improvements in every area, a sign that they were listening as much as they were shouting. It was a far slicker, better organised event that got just about everything right… The company was ready not just to grow, but also to grow up.

This year, that slickness became over-confidence, and organisational problems that many assumed BrewDog had outgrown once more reared their heads with a vengeance.

Bloomberg – Molson CEO says craft-beer firms are “massively overvalued”

While demand for small-batch beers is growing in the U.S. and Canada, the companies that make them are typically too expensive to justify an acquisition, he said.

“I’m sure the craft owners would say they’re not overvalued,” Swinburn said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York yesterday. “I’m just saying we have to generate value from any purchase we make, and we find it difficult to get the returns we want.”

The Artful Pint – 8 Craft Beer Trends, Overhyped, Played Out, or That I Just Don’t Get

This one really annoys the shit outta me. “Oh no, we’ve got too many craft breweries.” “Has craft beer peaked?” Whenever there’s an industry that’s booming you’re bound to see these guys crop up. Naysayers. Most of these douchebags are probably paid by big beer to help spread this bullshit to the masses.

I’ll admit I disagree with everything on the list (except maybe for collaborations) and note that these things only annoy you as much you let them, but the idea that only people in the pay of big beer would talk down the “craft beer bubble” is fucking delusional. You can read my thoughts here but in summary, there is only one law where money is concerned – what goes up, reverts to mean eventually. It is an inevitability that growth in the craft beer industry will end. I may not live to see it but that’s not the point. The question is not if but when because demand for beer is finite (not to mention the finite resources available). It’s economics, not fucking rocket science.

The Guardian – German beermakers look like winning their battle to stop fracking

“Germany is a beer nation: if their beer has no flavour, people will mount the barricades,” says Friederike Borchert. At her family’s brewery in Lünne, Lower Saxony, about 800,000 litres of beer are produced a year: a light pilsner, a dark beer and a buckwheat brew. Borchert, 27, dreams of one day making her own India pale ale, though now fears she may have to put her aspirations on hold.

In spring 2011, US energy group ExxonMobil made a horizontal test drill into shale rock under a field down the road, so far the only one of its kind in Germany.

Stouts and Stilletos – The Recovering Beer Snob

I went through a point where it was hard to interact with newer beer drinkers or those I considered to be…less educated…than I. They’d mention a beer and my immediate reply would be somewhere along the lines of “I’ve already had that” or “Meh”. It took a conscious effort to stop being a douche about it and actually start to engage with people about their beers. “I’m so glad you finally got to have that, what did you think of it?” has become the language I choose now. “If you like that you should try this” is acceptable vernacular in my eyes.

Craig Heap – #EBCC14: black Box Recording

“So I was thinking of starting a tea blog,” I said with a lighthearted chuckle.

The conference hall fell silent. Someone dropped a teku glass and it smashed loudly, spilling its third of sour, but no one paid it any notice. All seventy five pairs of eyes were on me.

In an effort to disarm the situation I gave them my best smile but it was too late. A Large Hand landed on my small shoulder. “We think it might be time for you to leave, sir,” a voice hissed into my ear.

Yep, the European Beer Bloggers’ Conference (#EBBC14) was on this weekend. I’m sure we’ll hear more about the 2014 event in the coming week.

Seeing the Lizards – A Matter of Taste

A patron couple entered this Craft Beer Bar, right, and proceeded to taste eight (Eight!) samples before retiring to a corner with a third-pint each. Could this phenomenon be partially responsible for the somewhat high prices of Craft Beer in such places, they wonder?

Well, I work in a shop that has, shall we say, a large selection of highly-priced alcoholic beverages. And yes, we do tasters of selected products frequently. “But that’s giving stuff away!” you’re saying “How will you make any money on it?”. There are several things to consider.

SOBS Blog – Barrel Fun Times

We brewed a Belgian Brown Strong Ale at 9% and filled the two barrels by SA Cooperage, bottling the remainderas a control test and for filling up the barrels’ “Angel Share”. One of the barrels originally contained port and the other sherry before they were used for the Kriek. It was decided that we would let it sit for at least three months before tasting it and that time is coming up very soon. II will be heading to Adelaide next week to see what kind of character the beer has taken on from the wood aging.

Anyone who had 10/10 last year will know that’s pretty exciting news…if you can get one.

Other highlights were:

Anything I missed?

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