Too Cool

We interrupt the other thing I was going to post today for an article about a beer that can be used to develop film.

Whatever I was going to talk about isn’t nearly as cool as that.

Credit Where Due (Part X)

I frequently like to point to what the macro breweries are doing and say: Don’t DO that stuff!

However, I’ve also noted that there are some problems that macro breweries are uniquely suited to handle, because they can just throw a ton of resources at a problem smaller breweries just don’t have.

This story on AB InBev’s sustainability models is one of them.

Whatever You Say 58/Second Pint SotR

Ruse/Culmination hazy ipaThe bartender wishes me a happy birthday when I come in and it’s always nice when someone remembers my birthday. He asks me if anyone is going to join me tonight and I reply: I don’t know. I put the word out. If people come, they come, if they don’t, I’ll be OK. I have been really lucky today already; lots of people have reminded me they love me and I got to have lunch with my Mom.

‘The world will keep on spinning,’ he says, impressed by my attitude.

Yup. Everything will work out, and nobody will get hurt. At least as far as I can make it so, I tell him.

‘That’s all you can do.’

All I can ask for. Well, that and this beer, which I purchase on the bartender’s recommendation. It’s a hazy IPA collaboration from Ruse/Culmination titled Creative Conundrum. Not too heavy on the grapefruit, certainly not on the finish, but a genuinely pleasant, drinkable beer. For a hazy, it is restrained in a good way and I’m thankful for that. Makes for a far better experience than the juicebox/grapefruit pith combinations I’ve had way, way too many of.

Today’s second pint goes to the Sisters of the Road.

Whatever You Say 57/Second Pint EFF

I ask a man with a perfect wave in his hair and a blue suitcoat what he’s got in his glass: “The Helles,” he replies. I look at the board. “The number 16,” he helpfully adds.

54 40 Helles aleGot it: 54 40’s Hellish Helles.
But he and his friend-who also has a perfect hair wave and blue suitcoat (they have also adopted skinny leg jeans, too, and at this point I’m starting to think pod people) are having a conversation so I leave them be. Maybe something creepy is doing on there, maybe it’s a work uniform.

I don’t know that I want to know that badly, for once.

The Helles is solid; there’s the barest frisk of malt in the nose to give the beer some body and the finish is properly crisp. I wish it was drinking it in July, or at least with a hot dog, but for the first honest to god day in Portland where oneĀ couldĀ consider drinking outside, it feels appropriate enough.

Today’s second pint is for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

State of the Homebrew

Here’s an interesting take on homebrewing in America: namely, less people are doing it than before.

What I am reminded of is that anecdotes are not data, and that the fact that less people have to Google “homebrewing” as a term isn’t necessarily an indicator that the hobby is “dying”. I know that in the homebrew club I belong to, membership has been slowly on the rise-but again, that isn’t proof.

In a rare instance, the comments of the essay are worth reading: bringing up other reasonable concerns such as ‘we don’t have as much money as we used to’ (provably true), ‘you seem to need a LOT of specialized equipment now’ (false, but with qualifiers), or ‘homebrew shop websites are kinda trash’ (well…YMMV) as reasonable barriers to entry.

The one argument that I think holds water is that commercial breweries are prolific enough, both in volume and scope, that the needs of most of the audience is being served. Gluten free ales? You got it. Belgian browns made with chocolate and peanut butter? Someone’s doing it.

Part of the drive to homebrew does come from wanting to make the beer that the market doesn’t provide…but if the market is providing then what you have is a nice hobby. A hobby that maybe you don’t have to put as much time into as you did before.

For the time being though, I see new people getting into it and at least as far as my homebrew club is concerned, a drive to educate and help new people learn and connect. Connections with people are what keep anything lively and thriving: community matters.

Still, I have to wonder if homebrewing will become-if it isn’t already-the kind of thing that people who knit, or rebuild old cars do.