Weekend Reading #32

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

Draft Magazine | Yeast & Bacteria 101 – Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus

Oh yeah, talk a little yeast and bacteria to me and I’m a happy girl! Mostly because I am still wrapping my head around these magical things. This is a great article to break down “brett”, “lacto” and “pedio” in a way that even me, lacking a lot in the science department, can understand.

Pirate Life Brewing | Why Cans?

I recently interviewed Red, brewer and co-founder of Adelaide’s new Pirate Life Brewing, so I had a good look around their website. This graphic is a fantastic summary of why cans are great. Whilst you’re there though, take a look around the site, I love the way it’s written. It feels like your best friend wrote it, the tone is casual and fun and honest.

Draft Magazine | Let’s ban “hoppy” and “malty” from beer descriptions

A valid argument here. “Hoppy” and “malty” not only don’t tell a beer lover about the beer but they also exclude any one who isn’t familiar with hops and malts. It doesn’t need to be Shakespeare or war and peace but make it relatable and interesting.

Australian Brews News | Try It Thursday

I have been really enjoying this series by Pete Mitcham that each week puts a spotlight on an Australian craft beer. Reading them makes me thirsty!

Weekend Reading #31

Articles this week from my new favourite Craft Beer Rising (UK) and local stuff from Australian Brews News & The Sip

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

The West Australian | Big Deal for Colonial Small Ale

Kicking things off with something very local with the news that Colonial’s super sessionable and super tasty Small Ale, yup that was a lot of S’s, has been canned.

The new 360 degree can, meaning it lifts the top off rather than just a small opening, lets people get their noses stuck into the beer and releases all its brilliant aroma in all its glory.

Release the hops, Small Ale is here. Plus the can looks really freakin’ cool thanks to come great design work by Emergence Creative.

Australian Brews News | Get busy drinkin’ or get very boring

Staying in Australia we have another great read, because the content on Australian Brews News is always tops, is some thoughts on enjoying craft beer. Recently it feels that craft beer articles are appearing more and more in mainstream media and they all tend to be the same, either stating craft beer is expensive or craft beer people are snobs. It’s like writing an article comparing Nobu to the sushi at the servo. Anyway, the same things tend to happen, the article gets clickbaitingly savaged, beer geeks get offended and lather, rinse repeat elsewhere. Pete Mitcham, the author of this article, offers a few measured thoughts.

CNN Money | How to start a successful craft beer brewery

More than some sort of guide, I thought this was interesting to see what it was like for someone opening a brewery in the US.

It is particularly interesting during this time in the US when craft breweries seem to be opening left, right and centre (at least that is the impression I get from reading articles on the internet). And last years Brewers Association conference left this super quotable line that I just love,

“Don’t fuck it up,”

Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association

Not every craft beer is amazing but amazing beer is well crafted.

More on the Brewers Association conference from last year and that great quote here.

ISSUU | Craft Beer Rising Issue 3

I have ben really enjoying this ISSUU app for my beer reading recently and Craft Beer Rising comes out of London but it is interesting to see the many parallels between their market and ours. There’s lots of good reading here but in particular I liked this short list from Melissa Cole.

2015 Predictions

Weekend Reading #30

This week features articles on Little Creatures Pale Ale and asking has it really changed or not, a beer geek science article on yeast and bacteria and a short case for wine glasses

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

It’s been a rather crazy busy week in my day job plus it’s been muggy and hot all week, this has resulted in me being in a constant state of sweat, craving sleep and my partner and I getting our ‘indoor camping’ on by sleeping in the lounge room to be under the air conditioning. This has also meant a heck of a lot less writing which I think makes me a very bad blogger for this week. Fortunately I have still been reading so here’s Weekend Reading #30 for your beery reading pleasure …

Australian Brews News | Little Creatures – Change for the Better

As far as Little Creatures is concerned I am happy to admit to some bias. I worked for the company for a couple of years as a sales rep and I genuinely enjoyed my job. I loved the beers, the people and its history and the weird little facts like that the site was previous a crocodile park, something I remember as a terrified child, and that the Pale Ale was actually called ‘Live’ when it was first released, so named in tribute to the yeast. Anyway, you get it, I like Little Creatures so when they were bought by Lion Nathan and I read the backlash on Facebook I couldn’t help but take a little offense.

I liked this article because it’s exactly how I remember the brewery and Russ, the head brewer. When I worked there, when it was independently owned, the brewers did their weekly tastings, they adjusted the brews when their new shipment of hop flowers arrived (that was a cool day at the brewery!).

Have a read of this article for yourself, even take in the comments if you wish.

I think there is a lot to be said for someone’s palate changing more than a beer and for the increased exposure of things. When you first had an olive it may have tasted like the biggest flavour you ever had, now you might eat them by the bowl full. At the same time, you’re really liking olives now so you’re trying different types of olives, marinated in different flavours and stuffed with feta or pickled. There’s so much flavour now, they’re all different, it doesn’t mean the plain black olive changed.

Larsblog | What is it that ferments lambic?

Unleash your inner beer geek with this article that I have bookmarked because I need to read it another forty times to really take it in. It tells of a study looking at the yeast and bacteria in play at Cantillon in one of their lambics. We’re talking graphs, science and two new types of bacteria. Oh yeah baby, this is one sexy article.

In all seriousness, it’s a fantastic read and I can’t wait to read it again.

“It’s no surprise that lambic is complex in flavour given the ragbag army of microorganisms that go on the rampage in the fermenting wort

Draft Magazine | The case for drinking big beers out of wine glasses

I have yet to convert to complete beer geekery with a full range of proper beer glasses at home, it’s more out of laziness than non-believing. I am pretty happy with our wine, tall & straight and tulip glass options for our home beer drinking needs. Besides, we don’t drink much wine at home anyway!

 

 

Weekend Reading #5

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

An unusually busy week resulted in a lot less writing than I’d normally do but I still caught some good reading which I hope you like!

Paste Magazine | The World’s Next Great Beer Town? Paris, France
Pop culture website covering everything from gaming, food and drink, tech and entertainment

I read somewhere that “beer is to Belgium what wine is to France,” but judging from this article some French palates are craving a more frothy beverage. Romantic as hell, beautiful countryside and great cheese and now great beers too?! Oh my, Paris you are looking damn fine.

Serious Eats | Cheese 101: The Stinky World of Washed Rind Cheese
Food blogs and tasty stuff

Almost any article with “cheese” in the headline gets my full and complete attention like a kitten chasing a laser pointer. I’m a cheese-hopeless, if that’s a thing. Throw in the word “stinky” and I’m even more signed on. This is a great read that covers off an overview of what washed rind actually means, how they are made and the all important examples with droll inducing descriptions. My favourite description from the article is definitely this one:

Though it stinks up their air with shockingly rude odors, the flavor is deliciously meaty.

lingot d’argental
lingot d’argental

Serious Eats | Your Guide to Father’s Day Drinking

More from the Serious Eats page. It was father’s day in America recently so the usual articles appeared but I liked this one for the tasty food and drink recommendations that are normally not so enticing in a fluffy insert-celebratory-day-here piece.

Australian Brews News | On the Definition of Craft Beer
One of the best sources of information on beer in Australia

This topic isn’t very new, it is a debate that has kicked around for a bit. Personally I don’t really see the need for everyone to agree on a definition but when you consider how often the term is used it is unsurprisingly people want to define it in specific terms. How you would do this I have no idea. This article does not attempt to put a definition out there but does give us two very different examples which is an interesting talking point in itself. Well, interesting cause I’m a massive dork, hopefully you all are too!

Crafty Pint | A Spooning Spectacular
The other awesome Australian craft beer source of what’s happening

It’s collaboration fever, last month’s Good Beer Week attracted lots of international brewers to our sunny country so it’s only inevitable that some ended up brewing whilst they were here. The Fingerlime Saison sounds divine!

Beer of Tomorrow | There is only one thing you need to turn your wife or girlfriend into a Craft beer lover and you won’t believe how simple it is
Craft beer website from LA

I saw this title and almost didn’t click on it because I didn’t want to subject myself to another hideous “how to make women like beer” article. I just get mad and then feel compelled to open a stupid percent barley wine just to spite them. Anyway, I got a pleasant surprise when I read it. The last dot point is my favourite.

 

girl + Hottest 100 wrap up

There are already a couple of good wrap ups of this years Hottest 100 Australian Craft Beer countdown but I did want to do a little rambling too. I blame my delayed response on being in the middle of moving house, sleeping on an inflatable mattress does strange things to a girl, but here we go …

For those of us who choose Triple J as their radio station and good beer as their over-indulgence, the term “hottest 100” means two things on Australia Day –

  1. Triple J count down their Hottest 100 songs for the year as voted in one great big musical democracy, and
  2. The Local Taphouse, all round wonderful beer venue in Melbourne, runs their own hottest 100 on Australian craft beers with the support of Crafty Pint and Australian Brews News.

Thankfully this year our ears weren’t subjected to Thrift Shop whilst our taste buds appeared to be unmoved from 2012 with Feral Hop Hog returning to claim number 1 position.

IMG_20131213_201258

There are a couple of good wrap ups from my favourite beer literature already out there (links below) but I wanted to do a little rambling too.

Victoria is how but WA and NSW still on top – James Davidson

Australian Brews News

Hottest 100, where to from here? – Glen Humphries

Beer is Your Friend

The top three – Feral Hop Hog, Stone & Wood Pacific Ale and Little Creatures Pale Ale – were unsurprising considering they’re very tasty beers that are widely available.

What I’m wondering … Is the inclusion of Little Creatures Pale Ale in the top 3 for the fourth consecutive year and owned by brewing giants Lion Nathan, reflect the continued quality of the beer or wider distribution or even a growing embrace of less “mainstream” beers?

2009 Results – click here

2010 Results – click here

2011 Results – click here

2012 Results – click here

So whilst the top three wasn’t a roller coaster of emotions, the other 97 are interesting.

One notable exception to the list was Little Creatures Rogers’. It’s appeared in the last four years, admittedly at varied spots – #58 in 2009, #32 in 2010, #80 in 2011 and #85 in 2012 – but was M.I.A this year. I don’t feel like the beer has dropped off in terms of quality, it’s still a great tasting reduced booze beer with decent availability so what’s changed? Perhaps just the landscape of Australian craft beer has changed – the beers keep coming but there’s only ever 100 spots.

Rogers
Photo taken at Five Bar by Sandra Megan

Still in the Lion Nathan side of the beer world, another notable exception are the beers brewed under the Malt Shovel  and James Squire brand. In previous years the James Squire Porter, Golden and Amber Ale have all appeared in the countdown and last year it was the limited release “Mad Brewers” Hoppy Hefe but this year, like it’s cousin Rogers’, both Malt Shovel and James Squire beers are M.I.A. Good thing for Lion the rest of the Little Creatures and White Rabbit brands are well represented.

What I’m wondering … Is the countdown attracting more “hardcore” craft beer nerds who have long left behind their James Squire days or are people discovering craft beer at the pointer end of craft beer? For me, I think it started with Matilda Bay Redback but maybe for others it’s beers from smaller players like Stone & Wood and 4 Pines that are sending people on the craft beer juggernaut.

On the other end of the distribution spectrum there were some limited release and hard-to-get beers in the countdown too. Beers like Feral B.F.H Barrel Fermented Hog, which I only ever really see at the brewery and has not made it into bottle production, and limited release beers such as Stone & Wood’s Stone Beer and my personal favourite Nail Clout Stout clearly made an impression across the country on what was likely to be just a few tastings.

2012 Clout Stout ... from opening the box to pouring it into a glass
2012 Clout Stout … from opening the box to pouring it into a glass

It was also nice to see a few GABS beers, those brewed specifically for the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular festival back in May, appear in the countdown. Beers like Bacchus White Chocolate & Raspberry Pilsner (#59), Feral’s Barrique O Karma (#33) and Two Birds Taco (#25) all made the cut. A surprising omission, at least surprising to me, was Brew Cult’s Acid Freaks – a Balsamic Baltic Porter that had all the hallmarks of gimmicky but worked amazingly well, so much so that I hung my head in beery shame that I ever doubted the idea. My hat, if I wore one, to it’s creator Hendo is very much being tipped.

Brew Cult Acid Freaks

Personally, one of the things I love about the countdown are the beers I haven’t gotten my beer-grabby little hands on. My beer wish list grows and grows; this years list gave me beers like Holgate Road Trip, Fortitude Golden Ale, Doctor’s Orders Cephalopod and 2 Brothers Grizz to name a few.

What I’m wondering … Does this list influence your perception of these beers? If you genuinely didn’t like Feral Hop Hog, would you admit it or think you’re taste buds were wrong? I’d love to know you’re thoughts on the countdown, whether it’s interesting, just a little bit of fun or what it says about our countries love for good beer …

For me the countdown is fun, what’s most interesting to me is what happens after the top three. I like seeing what breweries keep making appearances year after year, I like seeing if American IPAs and Pale Ales are growing or shrinking in representation and clearly, I like talking about it too.

Cheers!