Weekend Reading #39

This edition looks at beer trends in the US, opinions on Matilda Bay Brewing and XXXX new Pale Ale …

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!


This apparently weekly post has been a little MIA of late, my apologies, hopefully things get back on track from here on in!

Nielson | Tapped In: Craft and Local are Powerful Trends in the Beer Aisle

Though it’s from the US it is still interesting to see the trends especially beyond just the mainstream versus craft beer categories. This looks at where people are buying their beer, what qualities are important to them and, most interestingly, what those qualities – things like “craft” – actually mean to them.

Beer Diary | Wellington Bars from inside and out

Phil Cook reflects on two recent articles in the New Zealand media on craft beer in a nice demonstration of when mainstream media starts to understand craft and when they don’t.

Australian Brews News | XXXX God Serves Up New Pale Ale

Ah, it is hard not to screw your nose up at something like this. I’d like to think it’s not because I’m a beer snob but because I don’t think it’s smart from a branding point of view.

VB tried this a few years ago, buried in the back of my beer muddled memory is some sort of tall and skinny bottle with a faux vintage oval label with the words “Victorian Bitter” something something on it. Anyway, my point being that VB tried to move their brand into the craft beer space and it didn’t work.

It doesn’t work, in my opinion, because you have a brand that is so entrenched in its roots that to change it, or to even try to change it, alienates exciting drinkers and confuses the rest. Either way it is not doing much for sales.

Maybe I’m wrong but I see the same thing here, XXXX drinkers like their XXXX, why would they change? Do XXXX even want them to switch to the Pale Ale?

“The craft beer market in Australia is starting to really take off …” – sorry, but the craft beer market has already taken flight, the take off was a while ago.

Ale of a Time | Matilda Bay: A Branding Mess

Beer is Your Friend | Matilda Bay: A Tale of Too Many Beers

Two great posts from two of my favourite beer writers on the muddle that seems to be Matilda Bay.

Once a brand that way very well respected and had a clear identity as WA’s pioneer of craft beer it has since become a bit of a nothing brand. It doesn’t seem to stand for anything, there’s no clear messages I can see and the portfolio of beers seem to keep increasing, each one more vague than the other. It feels like they’ve taken the approach of “the more darts we throw at the board, the greater the odds one will hit the bullseye”

I’d love to see Matilda Bay reclaim its identity and be the welcome drink to craft beer that it was for me when I started looking for beer with flavour, not just beers to get drunk on cheap. I drank Redback and Beez Neez and from there I found James Squire Golden Ale and then on to Little Creatures Pale Ale. I have a soft spot for Matilda Bay and I just hope they don’t kill off Alpha. That’s a pretty damn good beer.



Weekend Reading #18

This week features articles on the Lebanese craft beer scene, craft beers at sports stadiums in the US, a look at WA Beer Week and how our love affair with extreme beer might be shifting

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 Daily Meal | The Best NFL Stadiums for Craft Beer (slideshow)

I am not an NFL fan, in fact I don’t follow it whatsoever however this slideshow caught my attention given my post recently about the lack of any beer remotely crafty at Perth Arena. My partner and I had gone to see  Robbie Williams and it was the first gig ever where I didn’t even bother getting a beer. You can read my post here then look through this list of what I assume are some pretty big stadiums and lament how far we may be from seeing this sort of things in Perth. Sigh.

San Francisco Chronicle | Wine learns a thing or two from craft beer – which is good

Both wine and beer have shed the notion that either complexity or rarity have to be elitist

I really enjoyed this article as a look into what is happening in the wine industry, something I admit that I don’t pay much attention to.

Crafty Pint | WAy To Go

Yup, this is me shamelessly self promoting my most recent article on Crafty Pint about the upcoming WA Beer Week – just over two weeks to go! Plus James, aka Crafty, is kind enough to call me a “lady” … something that I don’t hear too often as I swig on my beer.

Matt Marinich at Bob's Bar - WA Beer Week official HQ
Matt Marinich at Bob’s Bar – WA Beer Week official HQ

The Economist | Lebanese Craft Beer: Pour Me Another

After reading about the craft beer scene in Mexico last week (here) this article caught my attention. It’s not in-depth but it’s nice to read about a few beer success stories.

The Globe and Mail | Let there be light: Why less intense craft beer is a good thing

I love my beer, I really do, and I love a big bold statement of a beer too but I think I am going through a little palate fatigue right now. Lately I’ve been craving lighter beers, looking for great pilsners and reassuring pale ales to quench my beery thirst. I think it was spurred by looking in our fridge one night looking for a beer and realising I had half a dozen different types of smoked beers. I like them, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not about to enjoy three different smoked beers on a Wednesday night.

“It got to the point in the U.S. where if you went to a beer bar you’d be hard-pressed to find anything under 6 per cent,”

Bring on the lower alcohol beers, more berliner weisse beers and session ales because as much as I love extreme beers that smack you in the face, sometimes you would prefer a loving cuddle.