Weekend Reading #43

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.


Brew Studs | Up Your Glass Game: An Expert Guide to Proper Craft Beer Glassware

The author, like me, is not 100% convinced about the whole beer and glassware thing. Our house is small so we keep things to a minimum on the glassware front – beer goes into either a pint glass, seamless wine or tulip. However I still enjoy reading these sort of articles, I am very open to being convinced of keeping proper glassware in the house. I just need a bigger kitchen first.

Ars Technica | Lager-brewing yeast was probably born twice

A lot of love and attention is given to the hops and malt in a beer but the yeast provides plenty of the magic though not often given as much love. It’s crazy to think we are still learning about yeast and discovering new strains even now.

Brewers Association | What’s the next IPA?

The impact that Pale Ales and IPAs have had on craft beer is unmistakable but will there be another style that has as much impact and if so, what is that style?

I think Session Ales are on the rise and will be for a bit and sours seem to be growing too, whether either would reach IPA levels, it doesn’t seem likely but you never know.

Beer Is Your Friend | Drink It You Idiot

As someone who says they don’t buy beer to cellar it and yet has still managed to build a small stash of beer that is currently tucked away in the bottom shelf of the a cupboard, I liked this short series of posts very much. Five beers in five days of those “I’ll drink them one day” beers. Enjoy the ride!

 

Weekend Reading #42

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.


Australian Brews News | ABCo turns contract brewer as Asahi scales back

Until a few months ago my day job was working for Coca-Cola Amatil and during my time I was lucky enough to get to visit the ABCo brewery. It’s easily the biggest brewery I have ever visited and the only one with bright tanks I could stand under so given the size of the brewery I wasn’t surprised reading this article. My visit was late November last year and I did note a couple of brands that were being brewed under contract already. It would be interesting to know what percentage of production is contract and what is their brands and compare in twelve months time.

Beer Advocate | Fuck eBay

Sometimes people suck. This is one of those times when you have people buying rare beer with the sole intent to sell on eBay for a profit. The salt in the wound is their lack of respect and knowledge for what’s in the bottle. Check out this open letter from a brewer in the US on the matter.

Beer is Your Friend | A Beer Rant

Staying in “rant” mode here is a great short post from Australian blogger Beer is Your Friend on macro beer at social functions. Sure, your mates wedding or the sundowner your boss puts on might all be serving Heineken or Crown Lager but you’re not paying for the drinks so don’t be an obnoxious beer snob, you’re making all of us look bad.

Crafty Pint | Brooklyn Down Under

Having never been to the US I don’t know what super fresh Brooklyn beers taste like but I have enjoyed every bottle I have ever had. Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace first introduced me to Sorachi hops and I have loved the lemony goodness of that hop ever since. I am looking forward to seeing what Miro, Brooklyn’s newly appointed Australian Brooklyn Ambassador, brings around the country and hope he makes it to Perth!

Draft Magazine | Desperately Seeking Clarity

An interesting read, it’s always good to consider why a beer is cloudy, whether it’s supposed to be and, as always, give it and go and see what your taste buds think!

 

Weekend Reading #41

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.


Beer Pulse | Brewers Association enacts Sam Adams provisions as brewery nears threshold

Another interesting element in the ongoing debate on the definition of craft beer with the American Brewers Association raising the production level for brewers to call themselves “craft”. It’s a change that appears to impact just one brewer right now so what, if anything, does this mean?

Beeroness | Tiramisu Made with Beer

This sounds like another cracking recipe and Jackie introduces it with some great words on how wonderfully different the beer community is. As I’ve said many times over, beer people are the best people.

Crafty Pint | Pirates Plunder the West

The Perth Royal Beer Show awards were held last week and amongst the winners were South Australian brewery Pirate Life and Mash went back to back in taking out Best WA Brewery.

Draft Magazine | One Nation Under Lager

From pale ales to IPAs and now session ales and sour beers, as beer geeks we enthusiastically throw ourselves into the current beer style of the moment. At the same time though we are also on the look out to see what other styles are coming up. Is lager the next big thing? I’d certainly welcome it. Our beer fridge at home is often stocked with big hoppy beers, boozy malt monsters and bottles that often have the word “imperial” or “smoked” on them. The fridge could certainly do with more lagers and pilsners.

Weekend Reading #40

Here’s a few articles I’ve read recently and enjoyed and hope you will too!

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!


All About Beer | Creating a “Beer From Here”

Beer has always been strongly linked to a sense of place. Beer styles can be unique to regions, embedded in a country or towns history and story, such as Pilsner arising from the Czech town of Plzen or Kolsch from Cologne in Germany. Often beer styles are determined by the history of their local ingredients, like farmhouse ales – a category that covers Saison and Biere de Garde – which were brewed on local farms during winter to sustain farm workers during summer. They spiced beers with whatever was nearby and the water would have been different from farm to farm, all in all adding up to a beer that was different at each farm.

Read More: Craft Beer – Farmhouse Beer: Rustic Meets Exquisite

Today brewers can get their hops from the United States, speciality malts from Germany and all sorts of other ingredients from all over the world. This article features breweries who are trying to source their ingredients locally, it’s important to them and their beers but once upon a time it wasn’t even a choice. Interesting how things come full circle!

Pencil and Spoon | A New Beer Flavour Wheel

I have always liked the beer flavour wheel and, if you haven’t seen the original then don’t worry as it’s in the link too. Beer is a minefield of flavours and aromas and the words to describe them are, pardon the pun, on the tip of your tongue and you just can’t find the right word. This wheel is a good step in the right direction to helping you find those words. By no means it is the only way to describe beer, hell I thought a beer had some aromas of skittles whilst at the Perth Royal Beer Show judging earlier this week, but it’s a good place to help understand what’s going on in your beer.

The Brewing Network | Craft Malting

This one isn’t so much beer reading as it’s beer listening- a podcast! It’s an American podcast and during this episode they chat with New Zealand craft maltsters Gladfield Malt. A really interesting interview with owners Doug and Gabi Michael and well worth listening to. I will be chatting with Doug and Gabi in the near future so hope to bring you a post on Gladfield Malt soon. They were also the on Australian Brews News podcast if you want to hear more.

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 #37

Some beer reading I’ve enjoyed this week and hope you will too!

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!


Chicago Tribune | Why Samuel Adams Supports it’s Competitors

A nice read on brewers helping brewers, it’s one of those things I love about the beer industry. It’s craft breweries working together and collaborating that I think will grow the craft beer love.

Good Beer Hunting | Podcast Episode 45: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head

I really enjoy this podcast from the United States, this episode with Sam from Dogfish Head in Chicago was excellent listening. The interview covers a lot of topics including Dogfish Head’s new gluten free beer and how it came about, his love of food and how restaurants approach to beer has changed.

Crafty Pint | Going Dutch

Fellow beer writer Guy Southern of Good Times Craft Beverages blog has written his first piece for Crafty Pint and what a way to kick it off with Perth’s newest venue and it’s a craft beer venue. There are twelve taps of beer geek goodness that will rotate on a regular basis. Opening night was Thursday and included such beers as Pirate Life Throwback IPA, Nail Clout Stout, Founders Blushing Monk, Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter and Garage Project China White.

Draft Magazine | A Beer Postcard from Prague

Beer, Prague and castles. What more could you want from a holiday? Well, besides nice sandy beaches of course.

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!

 

 

 

 

Weekend Reading #35

This week features articles on tea bags for beer, transparency (in two different ways) and another big-guy buying a not-so-big-guy

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, local beer news and anything else that tickles my beery fancy. There is a lot of excellent reading material out there so every week I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.


Washington Post | Can a simple tea bag turn Coors Light into something worth drinking?

[Published May 10]

I remember being at last years GABS (Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular) in Melbourne at The Local Taphouse tent they had a variety of single hop tea bags so you could infuse your beer with a few more hops. I loved the idea and promptly sniffed my way around the selection, grabbed a few and proceeded to happily dunk them in my beer. How much difference it made, I can’t honestly say, one year on and my memory is a touch fuzzy. That’s Good Beer Week for you!

Fast forward to present day and this is the second article I have read around the same idea. The first was a crowd funded program called Hop Theory in which the bags were filled with hops and spices, the other which I refer to now, is literally a blend of tea to enhance the beer. I’m not sure whether I love these ideas or not. In my mind I can’t help but think that there wouldn’t be many/any brewers who’d let their beer out of the brewery unless it was exactly how they wanted it to be enjoyed (certain styles withstanding).


Australian Brews News | Brewers change beer labels to appease ACCC

[Published May 15]

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. I think transparency is great for both the industry and consumers. I am curious to see who does it voluntarily, who resists the changes and what impact, if any, it has on consumers decision making process.


250 Beers | To watermark or not to watermark?

[Published May 6]

250 Beers is a Brisbane beer blog run by a very nice guy named Darren, we got to meet briefly over lunch during last years Good Beer Week. I say “briefly” because as few of us beer blogging types got together for lunch but Darren’s flight was unexpectedly delayed on landing. The result of which was him sitting on a plane that was grounded in Melbourne whilst the rest of us chowed into burgers. Anyway, I have gotten side tracked.

The title of this article gives it away but it’s interesting for me to read because I have also had my photos used but, of the ones I am aware of, I have always been asked first. About a year into my blog I started to watermark, even though I had yet to see any of my photos anywhere else but my own blog and social media. After a few weeks of this I stopped because frankly I got too lazy and it annoyed me to edit every single image.


Food Magazine | SABMiller acquires Meantime Brewing Company

Another purchase of a brewery considered craft by a bigger one not considered craft – makes you wonder how many more of these sorts of acquisitions we will see merely in the next twelve months.

Weekend Reading #34

Mostly Australian articles this week including a blogger interview, a trade mark dispute and big barrel room news for a Melbourne brewery

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, local beer news and anything else that tickles my beery fancy. There is a lot of excellent reading material out there so every week I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

Crafty Pint | Barrel Boys

I think it is safe to say that when this news was released there would have been mass pants wetting across the country. Melbourne’s Boatrocker Brewery are set to open their own dedicated barrel room and bar with help from their new minority shareholders ‘Made by HAND’, ex-Little Creatures folk. Read on for all the details and try not to lose your mind with excitement!

Thrillist | 6 Dirty Lies Men Spread about Women and Beer

Click bait title, I know but the words are worth the click. Most articles that try to look at why women don’t drink beer, a preposition I am not even going to get started on, take the path of saying women like sweet flavours so you end up with this suggestion list of super sweet beers only. Anyway, check out these six and I think you’ll agree. I particularly like Lie #5.

Beer is Your Friend | Meet the Beer Media – 250 Beers

Part of a series by fellow Australian beer blogger Glen aka Beer is Your Friend, he interviews various beer media folk. This edition is with Darren Magin from 250 Beers, a beer blog from QLD.

Australian Brews News | Trade M ark Stoush Looms Over ‘Pacific Ale’

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. As the article opens with, we have seen this happen a number of times in the United States (there’s a great link in the article if you want to read more about this) and also given Thunder Road’s previous attempts at trade mark disputes with CUB last year. Let’s see what happens I guess.

Weekend Reading #33

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, local beer news and anything else that tickles my beery fancy. There is a lot of excellent reading material out there so every week 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, local beer news and anything else that tickles my beery fancy. There is a lot of excellent reading material out there so every week I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

Boston Magazine | The Wit and Wisdom of Shaun Hill

Shaun Hill is the co-founder of Hill Farmstead which is, according to Rate Beer, the top brewery in the world (link to this in the article intro or here) and after reading this article I thought that Shaun sounded very genuine and interesting and it would be fantastic to sit down over a beer with him and just talk about whatever comes up. His thoughts on pressure, quality of his beers and the growth of the craft beer scene in the US are thoughtful and well said.

“Whatever happened to idealist principles like integrity and respect, thoughtfulness, and maybe not trying to destroy ourselves as a civilization? Where did those ideals go?”

Shaun Hill on capitalism and limited release beers

Vox | How a Redefinition Made Yuengling the Biggest Craft Brewery in America

An interesting look at how the Brewers Association updated their definition of craft beer and what this could mean for the power for craft brewers.

“So by bringing Yuengling on board as a “craft brewery,” the Brewers Association isn’t just expanding the definition of craft beer. It’s also expanding its own power, by getting the fourth-biggest brewery in the US on its side.”

Mint Press News | Craft Beer Industry Boldly Brews with Sustainability in Mind

It’s great hearing about breweries striving to be more sustainable and whilst it’s certainly not a new concept, many breweries here in WA have long been conscious of the impact they have on the environment, I think this Brewery Climate Declaration is a great call to action and also spread the word on great things the industry is doing.

Wired | My Quest to Reengineer a Legendary Beer in a Dirty Kitchen

A witty and informative look at sour beers, a little history and a little home brewing too (as the article title suggests)

“The more masochistic the tasting notes, the higher the price tag.”