A Grab Bag of Interesting

Let's skip the usual preamble and launch straight into the many interesting tidbits I have collected for you.

1.  I have both a new post at All About Beer and one I think I forgot to tease.  The new one concerns how London's beer scene looks a lot like ... Portland's (or any American city).  They love them some American-style IPAs--but it leaves me wondering who will champion cask.  It has already provoked one rebuttal--or call it an addendum--from Boak and Bailey.

The earlier post I forgot to mention emerged from Gigantic's Massive! barley wine, a beer that endures a nine-hour boil.  It gave me an opportunity to haul out my old Lacambre and throw around words like "maillard reaction."  Read it here.

2.  While we're on All About Beer, you might consider checking out this post about the proposed new Mikkeller brewery slated to go into San Diego later this year.  Interesting experiment.

3.  A beer fest in Reykjavik features two Oregon breweries (of 13 total)--Hopworks and Breakside.  From the press release:
“Our focus has been on breweries from Oregon simply because we like the way people from Oregon think and how the craft beer movement has been developing in that particular state,” said Ólafur Ágústsson, restaurant manager at KEX. “We feel that we can connect to people from Portland and all of Oregon. Reykjavik has a lot in common.”
The next question is: how do I swing a junket to Iceland?

4.  The rare brewers dinner that features multiple breweries.  It's at Higgins and it ain't cheap, but you get the Commons, Crux, Boneyard, Barley Brown, and pFriem in one meal.  And Higgins is never cheap, anyway.  I do wish more restaurants would do this kind of thing.  Italian beer dinners, German beer dinners, sour beer dinners--there are many organizing principles one can deploy that don't involve one brewery.

5.  We drink less beer.  Ron Pattinson has a fascinating group of charts showing how much less we drink now than we used to.  In the past fifty years, per-capita beer consumption has fallen markedly:
  • Belgium, -38%
  • (West) Germany, -6%
  • UK, -25%
The US is slightly weird because of prohibition, but another chart, in which he looks at the last six years, is equally interesting:
  • Belgium, -12%
  • Czech Republic, -9%
  • Germany, -4%
  • Ireland, -20%
  • Netherlands, -11%
  • UK, -21%
So the period corresponding to the biggest worldwide brewery boom in--well, forever--is also the period in which per capita consumption is tanking.  (True in the US, too, though numbers are lagging.  Consumption fell 7% from '08 to '11.)

6.  According to my Facebook alerts, February 18th is the birthday of Crux's Larry Sidor, Pink Boots' Teri Fahrendorf, and Double Mountain's Matt Swihart.  That seems like a damned impressive coincidence.