The difference between a ripe piece of fruit and fruit-flavored candy approximates the difference between a good New England IPA and a poor one.
Thirty-two years ago, three psychologists published a paper "On the Misperception of Random Sequences"--also known as the "hot-hand fallacy." They looked at several data sets and concluded that the previous performance of the player had no effect on the likelihood he'd make any given shot.
The banks closed in early May, staying closed through mid-November. Things had actually been grinding down from March, and it would take until early 1971 for them to come fully back on line, so "banking in Ireland was disrupted for nearly a full year."
Back in the glorious 1980s amid what was surely the most hideous moment of fashion*, there was a certain hairstyle that was "all business up front, but a party in the back." And yes, I will eventually connect this to a fascinating trend in beer.
Here in the awkward moment between seasons, when most of the world has nothing better to do than brace for pumpkin season, there exists a fine moment for think pieces. Into the breach step Boak and Bailey, with one of their typically thought-provoking posts, "Seven Stages of Beer Geek."
On the first commercial break, MillerCoors ran an add touting the way Coors Light is made: "Cold lagered," "cold filtered," and "cold packaged," read the animation. This is part of a long tradition of beer companies touting bog-standard brewing practices in order to impress people who don't know the first thing about brewing.
In the Pacific Northwest, there is a spectacular harvest product made with hops plucked straight from the bine and placed thereafter in boiling wort, a whirlpool, and/or a tank of conditioning beer. These are known as fresh hop beers.
There will be two cask engines pouring proper ales, a barrel of kellerbier or altbier on the bar, and taps with rauchbier, gueuze, old ale--or whatever I can find from the island of misfit styles.
The brewer at Kout na Šumavě spoke not a word of English--that I heard. Back in 2014, we visited the brewery and Evan Rail translated what Mr. Hlavsa said. What started to emerge was one of the oddest processes I've encountered for making světlé pivo (what we call pilsner).
There are a lot of ways a beer can go sideways, and the most difficult to discuss is when it happens as a function of poor recipe design. The perfect test case for this presented itself to me on Monday, when I sat down behind a Pelican Sun Flare pale ale.
Over the weekend, teenagers sparked one of the most shocking wildfires in memory in the Columbia River Gorge. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this region, that's the large waterway separating Oregon and Washington State, just east of Portland. It is one of of the state's great natural wonders, and a playground for the city's residents.
Brewing is having its moment as a high-status job, but the work itself is blue-collar, lift-and-sweat labor. Even at small breweries, where new-recipe creation happens each week (the glamorous part), for the people who must put water to malt and make those beers, the days are long and hard.
That left The Commons in a no-man's land. They made unusual beers that never catered to mass tastes, which necessarily limited their audience. But they didn't send the simultaneous message that the beer was a rare and special treat that drinkers might have to stretch to appreciate.
Ever since he released his memoir, Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two, Boston Beer's Jim Koch has been on a mission to shape his legacy. He'd love to be seen as not just a man who conquered the business, but one who founded and nurtured an industry.
Remnants of the town of Albina still exist. Call to mind the intersection of Russell and Interstate and envision the three-story brick building there. If you look up at top corner right at the intersection, you'll see the name "Smithson Block." Here's a possibly fascinating story about that building.
Summer visited the Pacific Northwest weeks early this year, and that has meant an early hop harvest in Oregon. And that means--joy!--an early start to fresh hop season. Here in the upper left-hand part of the country, this is the most anticipated month of the year.
The Goschies planted their first crop of hops in the Willamette Valley in 1905. Today, grandaughter Gayle Goschie is one of the state's most visible and eloquent hop growers. Since we have just entered the hop harvest this is a perfect moment to listen to Gayle's words.
In relatively short order cans have gone from a package customers will grudgingly accept to something entirely unexpected. Now, for certain breweries and certain types of beer, they signal freshness and trendiness.
Today at around nine in the morning, I will be sipping my coffee under what I hope are clear skies in the Path of Totality (TM) just south of Portland, Oregon.
Yesterday Patrick and I sat down for a marathon of tasting, assessing, and discussing this phenomenon. We walked through their history, mentioned all the different ways breweries are making them, trotted through a list of characteristic features, and then, importantly, tasted them.
Each era is characterized by certain indelible images. Circa 1967, hippies in flower-pattern dresses, cut-off shorts, dancing in mud. Circa 1992, skinny kids slouching around in flannel shirts. And circa 2017, people in Red Sox t-shirts standing in line to buy cans of New England IPA.
Van Havig first learned about Alfas when he was a teenager and read a story in Road and Track about the ten best cars under $5,000. “We are known as ‘Alfisti,’” he would later explain of the underground tribe devoted to Alfas.
Last week, I carved out time to visit the old city brewery down on the harborside where, as founder Dan Kenary joked, "Whitey Bulger used to dump bodies." And by city brewery I mean, of course, Harpoon--not that other one that has "Boston" in the title but which has never been brewed in Red Sox nation.
There are a few public spaces out there where this might happen, but honestly, there aren't many where you're going to come into meaningful contact with people with whom you disagree. In most bars in America, you'll find liberals and conservatives drinking amicably next to each other.
Yesterday two large concerns announced two very different acquisitions. The first was routine: Constellation Brands, who stunned the beer world by paying a cool billion dollars for Ballast Point two years ago, announced the purchase of Florida's Funky Buddha.
I will not bore you with the details except to say that an incredibly ambitious employee of East Coast Towing managed to spy our Virginia-plated rental and remove it within the 15 minutes we were in the store.
Don't buy the hype. In an increasingly confused marketplace with thousands of breweries and tens of thousands of beers, groupthink has identified certain winners. They're almost certainly good, but there are so many more out there that are also good--and possibly even better, or at least more suited to your preferences.
We have this very specific number, international bitterness unit, that is invaluable to brewers. It expresses the amount of bittering compounds in a beer. A brewer understands its utility and limitations. All hopped beers have a certain amount of bitterness, and brewers want to be able to measure it. But it has several notable limits.
Wayfinder Brewing, the intriguing lager-focused project from ex-Double Mountain founder Charlie Devereux, opened its doors on October 1, 2016. Thereafter followed a gaping chasm of time before the brewery produced a batch of beer made on the house system. Finally, their first beer appeared on June 27.
First up is a brewery, and one I have long adored: the Lucky Lab. Launched twenty-three years ago in a vast hall that, from 1922 to the Lab's opening in '94 served as a roofing and sheet metal warehouse, it pulled together several threads of Portland culture and instantly became an icon.