Choice Cuts for the Holiday

I will have posted somewhere in the neighborhood of 175 times on this blog by the time the year is done. That’s a fair amount of blogging. On the very small chance you didn’t happen to catch every single post, here’s a collection of the best. Settle down in front of a warm fire and enjoy.

The Hidden Element: Beer Distribution“But here's the key fact about this relationship: it's inherently compromised. Distributors are responsible for selling a brewery's product to retailers, but they also sell competing brands.”

Sexism in Beer
“Harassment is only one dimension of the difficulties presented to women trying to flourish in a heavily male-dominated world. They are often marginalized, ignored, and belittled in ways intended and not. The whole cloth of their experience is valuable in understanding what it’s like to be a woman working in this masculine world of beer.”

Two Hats and the Play for Gen Z
“I question the logic of this over-determined product in the long run. The whole campaign is so obviously tailored to young people, I wonder if this generation, so much more savvy about social media and advertising, will even try it.” [Note: They did not. The product tanked immediately, was pulled, and MillerCoors even pulled the stupid ads from YouTube.]


One of the World’s Most Unusual Beers: Sake
“There are no enzymes in rice, so in order for the starches to be converted to fermentable sugars, brewers do something unusual. Rather than mashing, they apply the spores of Aspergillus oryzae--known in Japan as koji.”

Glitter Beer: The Full Report
“What you can't appreciate from still photos is that glitter exposes how dynamic a beer is. The tiny flecks ride the currents in bands and whorls, following the convection of released carbon dioxide or the motion of the drinker's hand.”

Constructive Criticism: Has Full Sail Lost its Soul?
In Encore's case, it may blind them both to the value of Full Sail's historical approach--that anti-blandness zeal that inspired the founders--and also what attracts beer drinkers.”

Budweiser’s New Beer Has Nothing to do With George Washington
This, however, is a fraud; literally nothing about a red lager has anything to do with the weird recipe a 25-year-old Washington scribbled out in 1757.”

Writers, Brewers, and Booze
Beer is a wonderful, wholesome beverage—until it’s not. We probably romanticize the dangerous parts too much, or at the very least examine them too little.”

When You’re on the Record, You’re on the Record
A good writer is beholden to her reader, not the interview subject. Providing good press is not the reporter’s job—telling the reader something new and informative and interesting is.”

A Perfect Moment in Baltimore
“The decision was posed most acutely by my empty glass, and I was waffling because the remaining recommended beers were giants. As I was trying to decide, the two regulars and the bartender went on an extended history of Beazly, the beer they wanted me to drink. It involved Ozzy Osbourne, a lawsuit, and a former bartender and by the end of the odyssey there was no way I could leave.”

Oregon Introduces Refillable Bottles
After WWII, when the United States went into industrialization hyperdrive, everything became disposable--including bottles and cans. Midcentury Americans couldn't be bothered to return bottles; they had places to go and litter to distribute.”

What Craeft Can Teach Us About Craft Beer
But every time a brewery automates a part of the process, it takes the wisdom out of the brewer's hand and places it in a machine.”

The sense of life, when the sky literally seems like it's on fire, is deeply unnerving.”

What if We Just Stop Drinking?
What if we just keep drinking less and less until we’re consuming it like our old auntie, who only pulls out the sherry for special occasions?”

Brewer Compensation Survey Results
”Most brewers earn a living wage or better, and brewers get paid more with experience. A degree in brewing also increases wages.” [Full pdf of the report here.]

Looking for a Speed Metal IPA When Everything is Teen Pop
The juicy trend has nudged ever closer to treacly, candy-sweet beers that resemble children’s drinks. This is explicit, too, with references to juice boxes and Creamsicles and so on. I fear the moment some brewery introduces “Sippy Cup IPA.” [Note: readers point out it has already happened.]

Is There a Reason Some Beers Take Off?
Success is also not random. It comes to breweries that have put the time in beforehand. We can’t predict which beers are going to become hits, but we can see that in most cases, that success came to breweries that were very deliberate about their approach.”

After 39 Years, All About Beer is Dead
“As an institution spanning the entirety of the American craft beer era, it functioned as a reflection of the American beer industry. the late Michael Jackson and Fred Eckhardt, writers who helped launch beer journalism, were stalwarts in its pages.”

The Life and Times of Bill Coors
“Bill Coors built a big, impressive company. But he was also a malignant force in the lives of many Americans. The latter legacy is the far more important.”

“Craft Beer” Means ... Anything Boston Beer Wants It To?
“Not to put too fine a point on it, but this means that the erstwhile beat cop that has spent decades policing the meaning of “craft beer” is about to redefine craft brewer to mean ‘a company making alcoholic seltzer.’”

Maine Beer Co: New England Before New England Was Cool
“Trial and error, the slow refinement of the flavors—this isn’t the way every American thinks about making beer. But it’s the Maine Beer Company way, a way that seems even more unusual in a market defined by novelty and churn.”

Case Study: How Trillium (Temporarily?) Lost the Plot
“All of this leaves a giant question at the center of the recent events: how could a brewery this successful be cutting salaries of its lowest-paid employees?”

Jeff Alworth1 Comment