Weekend Reading #36

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From the American craft beer scene, local beer news and anything else that tickles my beery fancy, there is a lot of excellent reading material out there! Every weekend (though I may miss the occasional one due to forgetfulness!) I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have enjoyed and hope that you will too!


Beer Is Your Friend | The Problem of “Pacific Ale”

[Published 25 May 2015]

A great read on the question of whether pacific ale is a style and how Thunder Road are, once again, in a trade mark argument.

If pacific ale is a style I don’t think I could easily describe it; what I am more interested in is one question – what on earth were Thunder Road thinking? No good was ever going to come of this, whether it’s intended or not, it feels like a poor attempt to hitch their wagon to the Stone & Wood Pacific Ale juggernaut. If you want your beer to be forever compared to one of the best in the country you had better be making a damn good beer first and foremost, surely far more important than debating who owes two words.


Draft Mag | Master Cicerone Rich Higgins Demystifies Beer and Food Pairings

[Published 15 May 2015]

Always like a good beer and food article, I like the way Rich has broken things down and thrown in a couple of suggestions that are not seen in typical ‘how to match beer and food’ articles.


Broadsheet | What Exactly is Sour Beer?

[Published 13 Jan 2015]

A short but good introductory article on sour beer. Just forget what the article says about drinking them in summer – sours are for always!

 

 

 

 

Forget the “craft” debate, let’s get rid of “snob”

Forget the word “craft”, it’s the word “snob” that really needs to be eliminated from the beer vocabulary.

Last week I posted about the word “craft” – Craft is the Word – and I know I was pretty late to the debate. It’s a topic that has been discussed at length by beer people far more experienced and opinionated than me. I wasn’t really compelled to write on the topic any earlier but since it seemed I was reading articles on the topic on a weekly basis so I found myself thinking about it more and more – hence the blog post.

Since writing the post, what has become far more apparent to me is that the word “craft” is not nearly as dangerous or threatening as the word “snob”. If there is one word that needs to be erased from the beer community, to me, it’s this one.

Beer snobbery is exactly what beer is not about. I could dribble on at length on the topic but another Australian beer writer, Glen Humphries of Beer is Your Friend, has already done it and, quite frankly, it’s spot on. Please read it here.

Seeing beer snobbery in action, like when someone tells someone else their beer choice is shit, and reading misleading mainstream articles that refer to ‘beer snobs’ like they are common place and representative of all craft beer drinking people is harmful.

Ok, so maybe it’s not harmful in the same way that smoking is harmful but the word ‘snob’ doesn’t encourage people to try craft beer, it reinforces a perception of exclusivity and elitism. None of these things are good.

The irrelevance and inaccuracy of the term ‘beer snob’ peaked for me on Sunday.

On Sunday it was International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day and all around the world women in the beer industry came together to brew beer. The style is pre-determined and I think there were hundreds of breweries around the world that participated. For the first time here in WA we did one too, I wrote an article on it for Crafty Pint which will be going up soon so I won’t be going into details of the brew here, but the happy feeling I still have from being part of such a day is wonderful.

IWCBD 2015
Ladies from the beer industry all around WA come together for International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day

It felt great to be a part of a genuine community and the way that Chloe, Charlotte and Leala of Young Henry’s Beer Farm, located in Metricup in our south west, threw open their doors and welcomed everyone in was generous and warm and, in my experience, completely indicative of the attitude of the beer community.

Beers flowed freely, no question was foolish and everyone was encouraged to get involved.

This is the beer world that I live in and its attributes of generosity, shared experience and support are echoed in the bartenders I know, the retailers I met and the people who drink craft beer. Sure, there are some moments when I shake my head, when I hear comments that are needlessly negative or mocking of others, but they are not the majority.

Move along beer snobs, we just want to drink good beer, share it with good people and that’s about it.

 

 

Weekend Reading #19

This week features articles about threats to the craft beer world, what beer snobs need to remember and 5 new brewers in the US to keep an eye out for …

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 Motley Fool | Craft Beer: The 3 Biggest Threats to the Industry

Within our wonderful craft beer world we love hearing how the industry is growing, that more and more people are discovering seriously tasty beer is accessible, affordable and rewarding. But perhaps goes less said is what could hurt our industry, what are the threats, whether they are internal or external, and what we can do to avoid them.

The author of this article asks Joseph Tucker, founder of RateBeer what he believes to be the biggest threats to the industry.

“At what point is the industry so watered down with unqualified brewers that it begins to detract from the intrigue of craft brewing?”

Paste Magazine | The Next Best Breweries: 5 Young Breweries to Watch

This seems like a nice follow on from the above article. As the title states, it’s five relatively new breweries from this years Great American Beer festival, a big-ass festival and competition held every year, that impressed the author.

Beer is Your Friend | Blacklisted Beers – Day Two

“One of the biggest sins in the beer geek world is forgetting where we came from”

Amen.

In fact I almost don’t need to write any more on this as I think Glen’s opening line says it all. Once upon a time I thought that Beez Neez was, well, the bees knees. This was my beer of choice, before then it was Redback and from these beers I went exploring. We all started somewhere and that somewhere wasn’t barrel-aged nor was it wild.

I encourage you to read all of Glen’s Blacklisted Beers series this week.

Redback Original Wheat The Brisbane Hotel, Mt Lawley
Redback Original Wheat
The Brisbane Hotel, Mt Lawley

 

 

Weekend Reading #16

This weeks edition of Weekend Reading features pilsner and food pairings, an awful beer as that’s all boobs but no substance and an interesting cost breakdown of craft beer

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.

SBS News | Goodbye the blokey beverage: Calls for a reinvention of beer

I do like reading articles about the image of beer, for far too long this image has consisted of an overweight middle aged man in shorts and a single with his pint of fizzy yellowish stuff. Wine doesn’t get lumped with this image, why should beer be so damned? The biggest issue I have with the current accepted image of beer, you will be unsurprised to read, is the MEN bit.I could dribble on for ages but I’m sure you know what I’m going to say. This article, however, doesn’t go into this. Instead its about the unhealthy image of beer and even mentions nutritional labels as a possible reinvention tool for beer.

… Yup.

Somehow I’m unconvinced that nutritional value is where beers image is falling down. This ad is where beers biggest and continual image problem lies.

Beer is your friend | Another beer as gets it wrong

Now this, this is where I say a big, fat “DITTO” to Glen from beer blog Beer if your friend for his response to the horrible ad I linked to above. The ad is so bad it is actually insulting.

“That someone figured I was some sexist yob who just likes to sink piss and look at boobs makes me angry”

Serious Eats | Ask a Cicerone: The Best Pilsner (and what to eat with it)

Serious Eats is fast becoming one of my preferred reading materials and I especially like the Ask a Cicerone sessions. Though most of the suggestions in the articles are not available here there are plenty of local beers that would work beautifully.

Huffington Post | Here’s how a six pack of craft beer ends up costing $12

Putting aside that this article is based on the US and if us Perth-ites could get a tasty craft beer six pack for $12 we would be rejoicing, it is still a rerwlly interesting read in terms of breaking down costs and seeing where the large scale mainstream breweries are saving costs.

Weekend Reading #9

This weeks edition of Weekend Reading is a little delayed for no reason other than forgetfulness – forgetting to post that is, not forgetting to read. So, under the ever faithful guise of “better late than never” here is this week’s reading material for you.

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.

This weeks edition of Weekend Reading is a little delayed for no reason other than forgetfulness – forgetting to post that is, not forgetting to read. So, under the ever faithful guise of “better late than never” here is this week’s reading material for you.

Philly.com | Over-hyped and over-hopped, craft brewing needs some fresh strategies

I found this article link on beer blog Beer is Your Friend. Us funny little beer geeks get so caught up in the latest brew with the craziest additions with arguably so much boundary pushing that we potentially push away other beer drinkers. I’m not saying these beers are bad or shouldn’t be around, I’m always on board for a little crazy, but shouldn’t we be getting just as excited about a smooth and well balanced porter as we do about a juniper berry infused scotch ale aged on ex-shiraz barrel wood chips?

The idea of craft breweries doing mass marketing advertising was really interesting to me. In a world of Untappd badges and #instabeer hashtaging where does an ad on the telly fit in?

Since craft breweries are operated almost exclusively by white males, this marketing approach helps explain why the vast majority of craft beer’s audience is white and male.

If craft beer is to reach its stated goal of 20-percent market share, it needs to connect with women and minorities. It needs to cast a wider net, and the most efficient way to do that is paid, mass-media advertising.

Now I’ll admit that I have loved some of the advertising for Carlton Draught, their Big Ad was fantastic, I think I even chose it to study for a university assignment. But it doesn’t make me want to have a pint of the stuff however the fact I still remember the ad and know the brand must say something for the campaign. I think Coopers is the one craft beer, and no I don’t care to argue the definition of craft, I see continuously advertising in the mass media area – bus shelters, billboards, magazines. Maybe it’s time for other craft brewers to get on board, even as a collective or handful, to recruit more to our wonderful world.

Coopers Best Extra Stout I've been seeing these at bus stops recently
Coopers Best Extra Stout
I’ve been seeing these a lot at bus stops recently
Canadian Club "over beer" campaign
Canadian Club “over beer” campaign Image from adnews.com.au
Coopers sends their reply to Canadian Club
Coopers sends their reply to Canadian Club
You can check out the full story here at the adnews website

Boston Globe | Monks in Spencer launch brewery

When the next Mane Liquor Beer Quiz night is held and the question is asked, “How many Trappist breweries exist?” you will be glad you read this article. This year the Spencer Brewery in the United States was added as one of the very few authentic Trappist breweries in the world and the only one on the US, most are in Belgium.

Money.com | 5 beer trends you’ll be seeing this summer

GABS: The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular

People are always saying that the Australian craft beer scene follows the United States but (insert subjective number here) years later. Whether this article gives a look into what we can expect soon I don’t know. Judging from this years GABS festival the sour beer love affair has already started but as to whether we would see a craft beer hotel or Trappist brewery here in Oz, well who knows?!

Marketing Magazine | Blogs: Small brands, big impact: why craft beer is top of the hops

This article is a little dated now, published just over a year ago, but even so it is still an interesting read. I think the “big boys”, aka Lion Nathan and CUB, very much understand the importance of connecting the brand with a story, a history that consumers can resonate with. That’s why you’ve got James Squire talking about, well, James Squire and the stories behind the beer names like 150 Lashes and Four Wives.

Maybe the difference is the smaller craft brewers have their brewer/s, who are sometimes also the owner/s, at every event. They are pouring beers at the beer festivals, talking to customers at the pub during ‘meet the brewer’ sessions and who may even be delivering the kegs to the bar. All this brings a connection between brewer-brewery-drinker that is extremely difficult to create in an ad.

Weekend Reading #2

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 is 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.

For those who didn’t notice from my ridiculous rate of Instagram-ing, Twitter-ing and Facebook-ing I have recently returned from 9 days of Good Beer Week action so I might be a little light on for reading material for you but I was busy drinking beer! Whoops!

The Guardian | Cooking with Beer: Ale and Hearty Ideas

The Australian edition of The Guardian news website

A post by Perth based writer, Max Brearley in the ‘Australia Food Blog’ section featuring my good friend and great chef Mitch Mitchell aka Beersine. Mitch shares two of his favourite recipes accompanied by photography by another talented person I’m fortunate enough to call friend, Jessica Shaver.

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Shaver Photography
Photography by Jessica Shaver

Craft Beer | Sustainable Uses of Spent Grain

American craft beer website

You can read about Game of Cones here if I can be so bold as to plug my own blog within my blog … which apparently I can

Inspired by Beersine’s spent grain pretzels at the Good Beer Week ‘Game of Cones’ event, I went looking for a few related articles on using spent grain. This was a really interesting read on what some American breweries are doing with their spent grains. It’s more than cattle feed!

Spent Grain on a Brew Day for Colonial Baltic Porter
Spent Grain at Colonial Brewing, Margaret River

Crafty Pint | Good Beer Week 2014 Review: De Vrolijke Boot

One of Australia’s very best craft beer news website

Naturally most of my beer reading has been orientated around Melbourne’s Good Beer Week and living vicariously through others by reading reviews of events I wasn’t able to attend. In my defence there were hundreds of events and the week only goes for nine days! This event was held at Merricote along with beers by Boatrocker Brewery and stretched across six courses. The cacao cigar paired with Ramjet, a whiskey barrel aged imperial stout, sounds like something I would really, really like!

Beer is Your Friend | Good Beer Week Recap

One of my favourite Australian beer blogs by Glen Humphries

Summing things up nicely, an art I am yet to master due to my tendency to simply spew words, Glen writes about discovering Feral Watermelon Warhead and Rodenbach, going to GABS and eating lots of cheesesteaks.