Drunken Speculation

MR | Third Edition, September 2014 – Cyclocross & tinfoil hats

800px-Coat_of_arms_of_SomaliaLast week on Drunken Speculation, I compared GABS beers then and now.

So this edition of Monday Reading is a bit late. I blame Armakeggon yesterday, the resulting nap (which was very much required) and then the world’s worst sleep that night which ruled out me getting anything done this morning. More details will be forthcoming this week.

Beer of the Week comes from a tough selection given the aforementioned festival. I’m going to give it to Riverside Brewing’s 777 Double IPA. It’s a pretty outstanding effort which has rightly received plaudits from across the land. I was very much impressed by the mango topnote, which I’ve seen described but I think this is the first time I’ve ever picked it up.

To the Tweet(s) of the Week!

Cyclocross:

Cyclocross is the cycling equivalent of Belgian beers: weird, unique to that part of the world and oddly enjoyable (although I’ve never personally given it a crack). A big part of the culture is drinking beer and eating chips while watching races and I guess throwing beer at riders. So, yeah, that’s what that is. Did my cultural cross-pollination work? No? Fine.

Moving on to the other highlights from last week:

Beer is your Friend – Duff drama is good news for Woolworths

People will remember what happened last time and see this as a way to make a quick buck. Of course, they won’t because there are still enough cans of Duff around for every man, woman and child in Australia to have one. But it’s the scarcity principle – as soon as something isn’t going to be around any more some people have to rush to get some before they all run out.

Which is great for Woolworths as it would create a market for a beer no-one was interested in a few weeks ago.

The Shout – Duff beer canning shows ABAC has teeth: Denita Wawn

Woolworths became a signatory to the ABAC Scheme in June last year. A spokeswoman said the company will respect the Panel’s adjudication and will discontinue the product after its existing stock is sold.

ABAC spokeswoman Denita Wawn told TheShout the decision was “a reflection that the quasi-regulatory body that we have in place is working and working well”.

Put those two stories together and don your tinfoil hat. ABAC is a “quasi-regulatory” body (a phrase used repeatedly on their website), which I take to mean that this is the industry’s attempt at self-regulation and keeping the government out of their business. Most of the mainstream coverage hasn’t looked at the body doing the banning and it seemed to go without saying that it was the government. This is patently not the case.

So why would a spokesperson for ABAC come out and say “we have teeth”? Did ABAC have to prove itself to the government as being effective? Was it then the plan all along to create a dubious beer (which might also be profitable, you never know), have the industry self-regulate in a show of strength for the concept? It would show the government that adults are in charge of alcohol industry advertising and government regulation was clearly not necessary. Hmm.

Clio’s Intemperance – West Indies Porter: Thoughts on Historical Context

One result of this conquest was the mass shipment of Irish prisoners to the West Indies. The act grew common enough that it became known as being “Barbadosed.” Even though they were officially labelled as indentured servants, historians have drawn comparisons between the forced migration and treatment of the Irish to the early years of African enslavement in the West Indies. Today, a small population of the descendants of these laborers, known as Red Legs, remain in Barbados, where many continue to live in a state of poverty. Though this story does not often receive much attention, it is by no means a secret.

See also: Forbes – The Tasty New Guinness Beer – US Lager, Not Irish Stout

I’ll Make it Myself – Bored of Sexism in Craft Beer, 2014 ed.: Pig Minds

In the end all the arguments end up going like

Writer: This is problematic.
Brewery/designer: NO IT’S A JOKE WHY DO FEMINIST HATE JOKES
Writer: No, I just don’t understand why you’re using a sad, tired trope to sell beer to–
Brewery/designer: I BET YOU’RE JUST LONELY UGH ALSO MAYBE ON YOUR PERIOD
Writer: –when you’re alienating half of your clientele and–
Random female misogynist: I’M A WOMAN AND I’M NOT OFFENDED SO YOU’RE WRONG I CHOOSE MY CHOICE
Writer: –and you criticize Bud for being bad but you’re doing the same thing–
Brewery/designer: AND YOU’RE THE WORST AND MY FEEEEELINGS ARE HURT BECAUSE I’M THE VICTIM HERE–OF YOUR MISANDRY
Male misogynist: Women don’t know anything about craft beer right yeah bros bros BROS BROS get back in the kitchen ahahahahahah
Brewery/designer: YOU FAKE BEER GIRL WAAAHHHHHHH I’M FEELING SO ATTACKED RIGHT NOW WAHHHH

Literally every time. Like clockwork.

Come the fuck on.

This. Also, gratuitous self-referencing.

Boak & Bailey – 100 Words: Hype & Prejudice

I like things. You over-rate things. They are fanboys.

The brewery I like gets well-deserved attention. The brewery you like is all marketing. The brewery they like is all hype.

The beer I like is hoppy. The beer you like is boring. The beer they like is silly, unbalanced hipster nonsense.

I take beer just seriously enough. You take beer too seriously. They are pretentious.

I know a good thing when I see it. You are entitled to your opinions, however absurd. They are fools, admiring the emperor’s new clothes.

Everybody else is wrong.

That’s right, everyone else is wrong.

Beervana – A Brief Primer on Czech Lagers

When you’re ordering these, you would mix and match.  That 12° amber would be a polotmavý ležák.  A 10° pale would be světlý výčepní.  Of course, you could also just order the beer based on its gravity, which is the easiest for Americans in whose mouths these words gurgle like giant balls of peanut butter.

Appellation Beer – Hops: Now you see them, now you don’t

Hops are spread 8 to 14 inches deep in the German system, 24 to 36 inches deep in the U.S. Heated air, forced through the bed from the bottom, dries the hops. Tom Nielsen of Sierra Nevada Brewing writes about kilning in the September issue of Beer Advocate and the new attention on preserving the quality and quantity of essential oils for brewers, and ultimately beer drinkers. Bitch all you want about the IPA-ing of America, but this emphasis is improving the quality of hops used in all beers.

Australian Brews News – Australian Small Brewery Update – September 2014

On the other side of the ledger, Cairns microbrewery Blue Sky Brewery has closed. The two companies involved in the production and supply of Blue Sky beer (Blue Sky Brewery Pty Ltd and Blue Sky Beverages Pty Ltd) entered in voluntary liquidation on 14 July. The brewery, in Lake Street, Cairns, commenced production in 2008.

Which explains why they only had two of their own taps at their bar at Cairns airport – using up the last of the stock.

Other highlights were:

Anything I missed?

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