Workplace Transformation

So while the website this article is hosted on has a design of hot garbage, the content is interesting. Craft brewers are in a unique position to transform their workspaces in ways that we haven’t seen in a long time, or at all, because the industry is still an emerging space and full of younger people who have a better understanding of how older economic systems have damaged their futures.

I have no idea if any of this will come to pass, but that the ideas are being circulated is really exciting.

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On Gatekeeping

As someone who is into some pretty nerdy things, I have had a short trip but long journey when it comes to things that I like.

Essentially it went: I like this and I don’t get why nobody cares about it.

Then it was: I like this and I don’t get why everyone else is into all this stupid stuff.

Then, I like this and I want people to get into the thing I like.

Finally, I’ve come around to: I like this, and it’s totally ok if you want to join me but if you have something you like and want to share, let’s hear it!

Which is why stories like this are a little disheartening. There are going to be people who are new, or who want to get into something, every day. Why make it difficult for them by making jokes they don’t or can’t understand, or make them unwelcome?

Round Two #4\Second Pint WHOO

Upright's Adult IPAUpright’s Adult IPA, is, as you might suspect, an IPA. There’s a bit of melon in the nose, which made me wary because this is usually the sign of a fruity and altogether too sweet IPA.

But no; there’s a solid flag planted in bitterness on the finish, and there’s also a dry quality too. The beer feels a lot like IPAs circa the early 00s and my initial impression is; cool!

But then, three sips in, and the dryness is so potent that I’m licking my teeth. I can’t place it but something feels a little off.

I get some water before trying it again.

Nope. There’s something weird about this beer. More malt starts to appear in the nose as I let it warm up a little, and the faint sweetness makes me think of Fruit Stripe gum.

For the first time, I am starting to regret this theme. Do I really want another one of this? Can I get a mulligan?

Because it’s weird to feel like I have to moisten my teeth.

The second glass doesn’t seem to have any scent that I can pick up. This is getting weirder, right? The beer had a perfectly acceptable head on it, I should be able to get some of that tropical fruit qualities, right? Some honeydew melonish thing? Instead, nothing.

Without any nose, the bitter qualities become too prominent. There’s a pinch of melon in the flavor,  but I’m not going to call this ale balanced by any measure. For some reason, the front end has gone completely absent and the back end is not what I want in my mouth.

Still, I’m glad I gave this another go.

Today’s second pint goes to Women Have Options Ohio.

Wari Beer

This is an article on brewing an ancient style of beer.

Worth reading just for the sentence:

Inside the mass spectrometer, the sample is heated to about 9,000⁰C, which is hot enough to break down the bonds that hold molecules together. This leaves charged atoms, which get sorted by mass.

I didn’t even know that was possible. I love this.

False Equivalencies

I hate to say it, but this human sounds like an old man ranting at a cloud.

The whole tone is set off by being upset that ‘these kids just don’t know their history’ and my first question is: What does history have to do with whether or not a beer is good? It makes the author seem as if they are more concerned with the history than the quality of the beverage in their hands.

And I’m sorry but with beer, it’s always, always, going to be about what’s in your hands right now. So instead of asking why these people don’t appreciate where the roots of the craft beer they’re drinking comes from, why not ask, ‘why aren’t brewers doing a better job promoting what they’re about’ or, just as relevantly, ‘why aren’t other craft beer drinkers doing a better job of putting things in context’?

Because of course a new craft beer drinker, given the chance to drink the Abyss or Pliny the Elder for the first time, is going to be underwhelmed. They’ve spent how many days or weeks or maybe even years, hearing about HOW GREAT this beer is. Nothing can live up to the hype that you build up yourself.

But where they really lose me is where they compare comic book geek knowledge, or film director knowledge, to the knowledge that an average beer drinker has.

Comic book geeks and film directors have specialized. They know more about the art form because that’s what they’ve spent their time investing in.

The better comparison is to brewers, but that comparison never gets made. And I promise you that the younger generation of brewers knows who Sam Koch is (founder of Sam Adams brewing), why Fritz Maytag is important (he rescued Anchor Steam beer from bankruptcy), and why Garrett Oliver matters (chef as brewer bringing new perspective to beer and food, elevating the status of beer).

It isn’t on the person drinking the beer to know this though: the only questions they need to answer are: do I like this? Why?

Round Two #3\Second Pint Yellowhammer

Block 15 Flanders Red AleI picked the Block 15 Flanders Red ale because I know Block 15 mostly for IPAs. They do some awesome IPAs, but I love this style and am hoping to see some skill on display!

I can feel the tartness in my nose when I breathe it in. Unripe strawberries or really tart raspberries come to mind. The first sip resembles this, too; the inside of my mouth puckers at the first couple sips of ale.

So I let it sit a little. Very slowly, I start to get a ghost of chocolate in the middle, and that goes a long way for giving this beer some dimension.

By my second glass, I’ve gotten used to this and the scents are not nearly as intense in the nose, anymore. I can even pick up some sweeter qualities in the scent. But the first sips are still muting the sweater elements so I hold off on drinking this quickly.

With the familiarity under my belt, I start to pick up something unusual in the scent, too; almost phenolic, medical in it’s sharpness. I clear my palate and smell again; it’s incredibly faint now, but it is there. It’s not enough to throw me off the beer, but it’s an unwelcome discovery.

Still, while the tartness is within tolerance ranges for me, I just prefer my Flanders red ales to be a little sweeter than this.

Today’s second pint goes to the Yellowhammer fund.

Common Ales: Pyramid Lemondrop Pale

Pyramid Lemondrop pale aleLet’s just dive right in!

It’s grassy in the nose, maybe lemongrass? But definitely evoking that cut lawn scent, and I dig it.

The lemon flavor sneaks up on me. I’m not sure what the tart or bitterness is, but I don’t pick it out as lemony until a few sips in. About a third of the way down, the beer starts to make sense. It’s doesn’t have enough sweetness to really be a lemondrop, but there is just enough to reign in the beer and keep me drinking.

This has a ‘hot day’ quality to it, as it finishes somewhere between dry and crisp. The Lemondrop doesn’t commit to one feeling or another and I think that’s an pretty apt ruling on the beer overall. It wants to hint at lemon but not demonstrate it, hint at bitterness but not flaunt it, tease a quenching feeling but not provide it.
It’s ok, but I can’t recommend it, because it doesn’t want to be something, it wants to be anything.