Drunken Speculation

MR | Fourth Edition, August 2014

4laocoonLast week on Drunken Speculation, ammo took some Temptress and baked cupcakes with it.

Thursday night was the 250 Beers Sniff & Sip Session. Five beers, five courses and more bloggers than you can poke a stick at. More details (sort of) on our Facebook page.

Beer of the Week was the Epic Brewing Hop Zombie had at said event. ammo gave it 5 stars and it was amazingly fresh and hoppy.

To the Tweet of the Week!

Presented without comment.

To the best from last week:

Literature & Libations – Of Pints and Prices

Before you scoff at that and swear to never drink another beer at the bar again, know that these prices are generally justified. To function properly, a bar has to pay for liquor licenses, staff training, labor in the form of cleaning and hauling and pouring, draft lines and systems, property rental, taxes, and other sundry business related expenses. They’re also probably trying to turn a profit to remain solvent, pay down any business loans, and make the owner some money, which is sort of the whole spirit of capitalism.

Of every beer you buy at the bar, ~25% of the price goes back to the brewer. Beer is a game of scale; the more beer a brewery can sell, the relatively cheaper their overhead becomes, as their static costs are further divided by every extra barrel they can produce and sell.

All About Beer – Born Again in Berlin: Bringing Real Berliner Weisse Back from the Dead

Once it was clear that nobody was going to spot them, the intruders set up shop. They borrowed a state-of-the-art clean bench—a futuristic, glass-enclosed laboratory work station that was guaranteed to be free of foreign contaminants, thanks to a process known as “laminar flow.” They prepared agar plates for culturing microbes and carefully sanitized the bottle that Andreas had brought in with him: a 25-year-old Berliner Weisse from a long-defunct brewery in what used to be East Germany, pouring two small glasses to drink while carefully leaving the precious sediment behind. “It had that cheesy character from oxidized hops,” Andreas recalls, though he keeps the other details of that night to himself. “But it had a nice and complex aroma like a well-aged wine.”

Blogging at World of Beer – It’s NOT “Belgian” or Even “Belgian-Style”

Belgian beer is NOT beer fermented with Wyeast #1214 or White Labs WLP550. It is NOT beer affected by Brettanomyces or any odd variety of yeast or bacteria. It is NOT wheat beer spiced with coriander and orange peel. And it is NOT beer fermented with cherries or dosed with cherry juice.

Belgian beer is beer that is brewed and fermented in Belgium. Period.

Okay, so there’s that dealt with, now let’s move on to “Belgian-style.” There IS one sort of beer that may be properly termed “Belgian-style” and that is a wheat beer brewed with a significant portion of unmalted wheat and flavoured with coriander and orange peel.

Interesting, although I don’t think I agree. Where the beer is physically brewed or fermented seems like it’s least important characteristic to me. What’s in it and who made it are far more critical.

It could do with a few more hops… – “Have they had their tongues cut out?”

Surprisingly there wasn’t much to differentiate them on aroma, especially the Heineken and Budvar. Taste wise it was obvious which one was the Stella, it was much thinner and didn’t taste like something you’d want to actually drink.

I was surprised by the Heineken, it was actually quite drinkable and I think if I’d done a proper blind-taste, I might have struggled initially to separate it from the Budvar. Having said that, for me, Budvar has more body than the other two and doesn’t get noticeably nastier the more you drink of it.

Surprisingly? I’m amazed there was any way to differentiate them at all.

Ale of a Time – Manatee beers

I feel like the same is becoming all to common in beer.

“Pinot barrel, imperial, rye saison… with mango”.

I know they generally inspire fervour and probably represent the essence of what this current beer revolution is all about; experimentation, fun, putting random shit into beers.

But I can’t be the only one that thinks they get a bit boring, right?

I’m all for fun ingredients, barrel aging, style bending, etc etc; but there has to be a limit. A tipping point where the beer itself is no longer found beneath a bunch of other stuff.

I don’t know about boring so much as pointless (cf Evil Twin Sønderho Hipster Ale). There’s a limited flavour spectrum consumers can pick up on any given product. The more flavour you cram in, the more is likely to get lost in transmission, which is just a waste of time and money for the brewer as much as anything else.

Boak & Bailey – Blogging About Blogging

We’ve also been rethinking the purpose of blogging: we increasingly use it to get thoughts and ideas off our chests — to put them into words, as part of the process of digestion, almost more for our own benefit than anyone else’s…

Being told off for snobbery, CAMRA-bashing, ‘craft’-bashing, anti-local sentiments, anti-corporate sentiments, pretentiousness, factual errors, failing to chime with someone else’s 30-year-old memory, being too young, being too old, having poor palates, lack of support for pubs, naming names, not naming names, and a million other offences, is all part of the fun.

(It doesn’t always feel like fun when an excessively blunt comment pops up at breakfast-time or just before bed, mind.)

Rings some bells. It would help if people didn’t confuse (their) opinion for fact and actually addressed the arguments you make, instead of calling you out for being an anonymous blogging trendy hipster from their safety of their own anonymous keyboard.

Also, more bloggery from Growler Fills who put forward some interesting ideas regarding ethics for the Beer Bloggers’ Conference in the States.

Pivni Filosof – Weekend musing

It’s not the first time something like that happened to me, but certainly the most remarkable one, and it made me think about new breweries in general and how they should be dealt with when it comes to reviewing them. Should they get a period of grace? And if so, for how long? On the other hand, it’s not that those breweries charge a “learning curve” price when they start. Besides, wouldn’t giving them some time to learn their trade be unfair to those who do things well from the very first day? And then there are also those breweries that start brilliant, only to fall into mediocrity, or worse, not much longer. So I guess we should let time decide after all, for better or worse.

Cracked – The 5 Most Ridiculous Drinking Myths You Probably Believe

But if that’s the case, then where did this fictional correlation between big bellies and beer drinking come from? One possible culprit is cirrhosis, a liver disease of chronic alcoholics that involves the swelling of the abdomen into that familiar beach ball shape. We guess somebody decided that calling it a “beer gut” instead of “organ failure” was less of a buzzkill at family reunions.

and if that wasn’t sufficiently click-baity for you: 4 Creepy Drinks That Prove We Can Ruin Anything. Have a guess which pink-bottled monstrosity featured in #1.

Other highlights were:

Anything I missed?


  1. Well, look at that. I got the tweet of the week. Thanks! Sorry I just now noticed. My time to read other blogs ebbs and flows. Lately it seems to ebb more than flow.

    • No worries. Tweet of the Week isn’t exactly the most prestigious award one can receive but I thought the photo/caption combo was pretty funny.

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