Posts in Meditation
Aging Beer: A Coda

One should never age most beers, and the beers one ages should never be aged very long. Leave a bottle in your cellar that dates to the Clinton administration and it’s going to suck. Unless something very rare and special happens instead.

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FOMO'ed Out in Beerland

As markets become more fragmented, it becomes harder and harder to keep abreast of everything going on. The number of breweries has more than doubled in the past five years, producing a sense of FOMO among drinkers. But what happens if they just give up?

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The Sources of My Gratitude

For a writer--well, for me, anyway--the worst outcome is not that people will hate a book (though that's certainly not a good result), but that they won't read it at all. The death of a writer comes not at the hands of an angry public, but an indifferent one.

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MeditationJeff Alworth
Alworth's 9.5 Theses

Yesterday marked the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses, the Catholic theologian's assault on the church's several abuses of the day. In homage to that event, I turn my own attention to beer and the elements about it requiring their own reform and/or settlement.

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The Wonder of First Contact

If you've just recently returned from Botswana, there's a small chance you missed the news that Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band turned fifty last week. I wouldn't be listening seriously to music until the late 1970s. By that time Sgt Pepper's was an oldie, and all the polyphonics the Beatles deployed were familiar and considered normal. 

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The Trouble With Beer Numbers

What do all these details tell us? At the best, they provide accurate information to the small minority of people who know what they mean. At the worst, they provide misinformation. Mostly, though, I think people just tune them out. You really have to know a lot about beer to interpret them and, even then, they are for the most part not that revealing.

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Remember When Stone Was Cool?

In the mid-1990s a new generation of brewers introduced a kind of verve and edginess to beer. This new generation were also tiny, but they were brash and had big ambitions. Some, like Dogfish Head, aspired to transform beer. Sam Calagione was miles ahead of his contemporaries in anticipating that experimentation would one day drive sales. Some, like Stone's Greg Koch, promised to crush big beer. Even when Stone was tiny, he brought the attitude: "you're not worthy," he told drinkers of that old, fizzy yellow lager.

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How Beer Became a Moral Issue

The age of consolidation has surfaced one of the more unusual quirks of the American craft beer segment: the strange morality that has come to pervade it. There's really no other word, either. Morality is that agreement among groups about what is acceptable. It is a self-protective urge, a code to minimize harm either through social norms or ones of purity. It enforces loyalty, which further strengthens the group. Although our friends the 18th-century philosophers tried to argue for a natural or universal morality, it's clear that morality is a purely a social construct that varies place to place. And there is a moral code both craft breweries and craft beer drinkers recognize, as this latest blowback demonstrates.

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