Weekend Reading #54

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.


Munchies | Why it’s so hard to start a craft brewery in Mexico

This article is written by a guy who started a craft brewery in Mexico more than five years ago, it’s pretty interesting to read and a good reminder that there is a craft beer world outside of home, the US and the UK – something I tend to forget when I’m reading my usual sites and blogs.

Australian Financial Review | Big Beer’s curious plan to sell to consumers who mistrust them

Though the buying of small brewers by big brewers isn’t really news these days, this article interested me from a marketing point of view. Perception and cut through are pretty hard tasks in the beer world these days – new breweries are opening constantly, the multinationals are branching out and introducing new brands and the true craft breweries are trying to shout out to a market that’s saturated by status updates, tweets and hashtags 24/7.

The Guardian | Has Camden Town Brewery ruined craft beer for everyone?

Once you get past the overly dramatic headline it is actually a good read. Sparked by the purchase of London’s Camden Town Brewery by mega corporation AB InBev, the article proposes the idea of international growth and how much we, as consumers, would actually really want that. Growth and availability are the two biggest flags waved when it comes to big buying small but perhaps it’s not a great thing.

ABC News | Crafty change for Australia’s beer tastes as small brewers grow lager by the day

For one, I’m not sure if the title is or is not a typo. All opinions on this welcome.

Two, though this article isn’t really surprising – craft beer is growing, it’s not just a fad etc – the statistics are interesting.

Ale of a Time | Matilda Bay – A Branding Mess (update)

Whilst I don’t count myself as a loyal James Squire drinker, you have to admire their branding and execution, they have done a pretty good job in my opinion. Then you look at Matilda Bay and you have to wonder what’s going on. Good thing Luke at Ale of a Time has put words to paper because it’s a great summary of that moment where you shake your head and don’t understand how a once strong beer brand got so lost.

Australian Brews News | Court to hear ‘Pacific Ale’ dispute

So it looks like the battle for ‘pacific ale’ between Stone & Wood and Thunder Road will head to court.

Weekend Reading #53

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.

Illawarra Mercury | Making a beer with a “rock star” American brewer

Sam Calagione of well known US brewery Dogfish Head was recently in Australia. I have mentioned Calagione recently as I’ve been watching his YouTube series “That’s odd, let’s drink it” so I was pretty envious of being in the wrong part of the country when he visited.

Martyn Cornell’s Zythophile | AB InBev acquires Camden Town: Least surprising news in the history of beer

This caught my attention because I had read a few things, a couple of comments, that were along the same lines, that the sale of Camden Town to AB InBev wasn’t difficult to predict.

Maybe it is because I’m not that close to the UK beer scene, I read a little but certainly not lots. I have met Jasper, founder of Camden Town, on a couple of occasions and also interviewed him the last time he was in Perth. Based on that alone, I actually was surprised to read about the sale.

BrewDog Blog | Nailing our colours to the mother fucking mast

A blog post from the guys at BrewDog following the whole Camden Town Brewery sale, unsurprisingly they are against it and any other craft brewery selling part or whole to a big corporate. What is really interesting is their breakdown of what’s happened to breweries like Lagunitas, Nøgne Ø, Goose Island and Ballast Point who have been bought out part or whole.

Crafty Pint | The Big Issue: Quality

Maybe it’s time for us to stop wondering if the word “craft” is relevant in our industry and make “quality” the more important word, the defining feature that sets the good beer from the bad. Here Crafty interviews a range of beer professionals and asks questions around what is quality, why it’s important and what can be done to make it better.

Weekend Reading #52

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.


Craft Beer | Cascade Reigns: Top Hops 2007 vs 2015

I’ve often thought that craft beer has more in common food than wine, from the careful balance of flavours to the variety of those flavours and the boundaries that seem to be constantly being pushed. Ingredients in cooking seem to come in and out of fashion and so it seems do hop varieties, there are some classics of course but also bright new stars.

I wonder whether a hop usage report for Australian brewers would look much different? Galaxy would surely make the list I’d guess.

Business Insider Australia | Here’s why Pabst Brewing isn’t afraid of the craft beer movement

The language and jargon in this article is interesting to me and certainly it’s not limited to just this one article. Terms like “SKU count”, “consumer” and “lifestyle brands” are corporate speak that, to me, feels out of place in the craft beer community. Maybe this is one of the differences between corporate beer and craft beer, one side analyses it whilst the other is part of it, is genuine and helps drive it.

New York Post | Craft brewers say new FDA mandate will limit beer selection

Nutritional information on beers seems to be coming up more and more though I think the jury is still very much out on whether that’s what we really want.

Weekend Reading #51

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly (ahem, usually) post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days.


Forbes | NBA Star Chris Bosh Crafts Beer with Dogfish Head Brewery

Whilst not a huge NBA fan, that’s more my partners department, I am, of course, a fan of beer so that’s how this article came across my screen.  Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head created and hosted a web series called ‘That’s odd, let’s drink it’ where he brews unique one-off brews with special guests and it’s fabulous! This article covers the episode with Chris Bosh.

Trailer for First We Feast Presents – That’s Odd, Let’s Drink it!

Australian Brews News | Get better at marketing, craft brewers told

I think I pretty much agreed with everything said here. As much as we would like to think that making great beer is enough, it isn’t. Marketing isn’t optional, it’s critical. There is a lot marketing efforts in the industry that feel like the brewery is “going through the motions”, doing things perhaps purely on the basis of “well, that’s what beer companies have always done”. Craft breweries should be making noise about the one thing that the mega companies can’t replicate – honest, genuine and passionate stories. It’s web content like what Dogfish Head are doing (reference to first link) that is unique and engaging and really speaks to craft beer.

Here’s the link to the full article.

The Wall Street Journal | Constellation Brands to Buy Craft Beer Maker for $1 Billion

Another buy out, there’s not a great deal to add really. The articles linked to this news tend to be the same – bigger company A is set to buy out craft brewery B, company A says they recognise the growth in craft beer and are excited to take company B to the next level, company B are also excited to take their beers to more people and thank their drinkers for supporting them. Article fleshes out the rest with craft beer definitions and statistics and comments on the growing trend of bigger companies buying craft breweries.

 

 

Weekend Reading #49

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days and hope that you will too.


Crafty Pint | The Big Issue: Ownership

A three parter exploring the issue of ownership when it comes to craft beer, a nicely presented infographic on what brands are owned by who in Australia and a blind tasting. A fantastic look at this very big issue with a measured view and a great panel of industry people to comment.

Craft Brewing Business | Colorado’s Big Choice Brewing Announces Use of Reclosable Cans

A can you can close? Isn’t that just a bottle? Well, no, not at all. This is interesting!

Draft Magazine | Who is this ‘Brett’?

I used to get confused about Brettanomyces. Now I think of comedian’s Steve Martin’s act – a wild and crazy guy – which helps me remember that Brettanomyces, aka Brett, is a wild yeast – oh that Brett, what a wild and crazy yeast. This is a great short introduction to brett.

Draft Magazine | Why the DOJ is investigating AB InBev

With the news that AB InBev has made a bid to buy fellow mega beer company SABMiller, the general consensus is that nothing good will come from this. Even though the U.S works on a different model to us, this is still very interesting in how they can use their power and influence to have a major impact on the industry and restrict their competition.

Weekend Reading #48

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days and hope that you will too.


Perth Now | Little Creatures’ founders make crafty return to beer hall

I find it hard to believe that a building in the centre of Perth CBD has been unused for 20 years, it just seems crazy. This week The Petition Beer Corner and their related venues opened their doors for the first time. Seb, ex-beer dude at Print Hall, has moved up the road to be the venue manager and look after the 18 taps of awesome that will be in constant rotation. Between Petition, Bob’s Bar and D.T.C it makes for a fairly incredible beery landscape.

Australian Brews News | Gage Roads defends executive payrises

I have never worked as a brewer so I am probably not well placed to comment on this article except to say that it seems an interesting one. I have read several comments on a couple of social media platforms which are less than positive. It is also intriguing to read what categories are on the rise, and which aren’t, for Gage.

Sydney Morning Herald | How not to kill craft beer as big breweries scoop up smaller rivals

Again, interesting. A former Foster’s chief executive says that craft breweries steering clear of the big supermarkets. It’s the same sentiment that I heard from American craft brewery Deschutes’s vice president of sales, Andrew Tysler, when I met him a few years ago. There’s probably a lot of merit in this advice, it could be argued that with every deal done, exclusivity agreed to or even just ranging agreement the power that the “big guys” have in the market grows and solidifies.

“Stone and Wood has been selling on allocation all its life,” – you have to ask yourself if this was a result of business direction or simply the position they found themselves in having blown the market away with their great beer and being unable to keep up. A great position to be in but I am not sure whether this the certified business decision this article makes it out to be. I obviously have no insight into Stone & Wood so I’m happy to be corrected if my assumptions are incorrect.

Weekend Reading #47

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days and hope that you will too.


Ale of a Time | A naive snob’s perspective: Big business and selling out

Recently there has been a couple of movements in the US craft beer world – Heineken purchased a 50% stake in Lagunitas, MillerCoors bought out Saint Archer and AB InBev purchased Golden Road Brewing. As expected there has been a lot of comments and in fact I have a blog post on this topic still in my ever growing “drafts” folder.

In the mean time here is an interesting post from Luke at Ale of a Time looking at the Heineken & Lagunitas deal.

Beer Syndicate Blog | Gose and Gueuze: A Tale of Two Sours – Act 1

Following seven or so hours of indulging in sours at last weekends Zwanze Day, I went in search of more information on sours. I came across these two great blog posts on the difference between Gose and Gueuze. Entertaining and educational – I love it!

ArtVoice | Is the craft beer explosion creating a market bubble?

There are a few reoccurring topics in the world of craft beer; like ‘what is the definition of craft?’, craft beer can only be independent and how many litres defines a craft brewer. The idea of a craft beer bubble is another one; whether we will reach a point where new breweries are no longer sustainable. Everyone is looking at the U.S. to see if the bubble will burst.

Weekend Reading #46

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days and hope that you will too.


Draft Magazine | Garage Project is the hottest brewery you’ve never heard of (till now)

Oh America, you’re in for a treat! Of course here is Australia we have known about Garage Project for a while and know they are beautifully crafted. This is a nice piece about Garage Project hitting the states.

Crafty Pint | Brew & A: Will from Feral Brewing

I always find interviews with brewers interesting but rarely do you find interviews with brewers that also include pubic hair, short shorts, cheese making and dry retching. If you have met Will this will probably make a lot of sense, if not, well click the link and met Will. Trust me, he’s delightful!

Crafty Pint | Five Years of Endeavour

Another great read from Crafty Pint. It has been a while since I have tried the beers from Endeavour but I did always like their approach to beer – beers that would change from year to year because the malts and hops used are only those from that year. This article is interesting in a couple of days – the impact a single word can have on a brand, in this case it’s “vintage” and the evolution of how contract brewing is viewed.

Beer Pulse | Heineken acquires 50% stake in Lagunitas Brewing, founder to continue leading company

This is probably not news but I thought I’d throw it in here anyway. As with every single transaction like this every craft beer drinker has their opinion, some stronger than others, but this is a topic for another blog post that I would like to post soon.

Thrillist | Want to Work in a Brewery? Here’s Advice from People Who Do

I have always figured that being a brewer was mostly emails, numbers and spreadsheets and a lot of cleaning. This confirms a lot of this.

 

 

 

Weekend Reading #45

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days and hope that you will too.


The Beeroness | Slow Cooker Honey Chili Pulled Beer Chicken Sliders

As much as it saddens me to see television commercials for Hungry Jack’s doing pulled pork sliders, I still love a slider; after all what’s better than having one burger? Having two or three, sliders speak to my inner glutton. This recipe sounds like another cracker from one of my favourite beer and food people so I think I’ll be trying this one really soon.

The Crafty Pint | Beer Food with Beersine: Steak with Beernaise Sauce

Staying on all things beer and food related, this is the second article in a continuing series with Mitch aka Beersine aka head chef at the Monk Brewery in Fremantle. If you are anything like me then you’re the type of person who would have béarnaise with almost any meal if given the chance, well now you can cause you can make it at home and you can make it even better with beer! All thanks to Mitch – check it out.

Craft Beer | Sierra Nevada Creates Game to Celebrate Oktoberfest Release

I haven’t tried this out for myself yet but what a great idea! It’s hard to get and hold peoples attention so this strikes me as a really interesting way to go about it.

Australian Brews News | Pale Ale trademark showdown looms

A number of trademark dispute stories in craft beer have come from the US. For instance Sierra Nevada have faced two in recent months – one with Fort George Brewery and another with Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Read more: Sierra Nevada Facing Another ‘IPA’ Trademark Dispute

Here in Australia it doesn’t seem to happen as much, or we don’t hear too much about it, or perhaps we will start see this more and more. Melbourne’s Thunder Road Brewery has been involved in one or two and their name is also in this story around the term ‘original pale ale’.

 

Weekend Reading #44

For those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to stay in bed and catch up on a little reading – Weekend Reading is a weekly post with the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past seven days and hope that you will too.


Crafty Pint | Respect

Get to know one of the men responsible for craft beer in Australia – Phil Sexton. Stone & Wood have released a new beer which is a collaboration with Phil – Forefathers Phil Sexton English Brown Ale. S&W intend on making this an annual release, collaborating and paying tribute to a different person each year, someone who has been instrumental in beer in Australia.

Stone & Wood’s Forefathers Phil Sexton English Brown Ale will only be available in a limited number of bars and retailers. Here is a list of bars who will be pouring it –

Royal on the Waterfront, East Perth

Bob’s Bar / Print Hall, Perth CBD

Swings Taphouse & Kitchen, Margaret River

The Firestation, Busselton

The Pourhouse Bar + Kitchen, Dunsborough

The Dominion League, Northbridge

Lalla Rookh, Perth CBD

The Village Bar, Subiaco

The Hop Tripper | The real quality issue: Oxidation

If you’re looking to understand oxidation, how it can happen and the variety of ways it can affect beer then this is a great read.

Good Beer Hunting | Episode 53 – Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery live at the GBH Studio

Ok so this isn’t reading but if you are driving somewhere and you have some time then you must listen to this interview. I listened to it in two parts, going into work and then coming home. I’ll be listening to this again soon I am sure. Garrett Oliver speaks with genuine passion, unapologetic but not douchey perspective on various craft beer issues and this whole interview is just a delight to listen to.

All About Beer | Shell Game: The Storied Past and Bountiful Resurgence of Oyster Stouts

I have not had a lot of oyster stouts, even though I enjoy them there just aren’t that many around when compared to hop driven beers so I normally don’t end up with an oyster stout in my hand. This was a great article to learn a little more about the style, where it came from, why it works and some brewers producing them in the US.