Category Archives: news

Mixed Blessing

Today I read that The Commons brewery is going to be leasing their space to Modern Times and operations will shut down at the end of the year.

Now, I’m a fan of Modern Times and I am super pleased to see them in Portland.

However, I’m disheartened by the news about the Commons. They were-still are, I suppose- a champion of different styles at a time when IPAs dominate the market.

I can’t tell you, though, how many times I have had friends who just didn’t want an IPA and I was always happy to go to the Commons’ space and get a beer or introduce a visitor to the beer or brewery. They certainly exposed me to a lot of different beer styles and was always a good place for me to take someone.

I suppose I still have 2017 to take advantage of this, so I definitely will. And I hope that whatever the future holds for the Commons, they are able to find a way to continue: Portland’s beer scene will definitely feel their absence.



I haven’t had the unfortunate circumstance of being told that “You can’t do this anymore, because of your health.”

But one guy was told he couldn’t have beer anymore for health reasons. So he decided he wasn’t having that and has made his own non-alcoholic ales. Pretty cool!

It calls to mind how ingrained drinking is to the social culture. It isn’t everything, I know, but people who don’t want to or can’t drink should always we welcome to be social with us and the more options that are available for everyone, the better.

Everything Relates

As we move further into a techo-centric life, Big Data is having a greater impact of everything…including drinking habits.

Here’s what I want to emphasize: when I talk about things like corporate takeovers, or racism, or other social issues on what is supposed to be a beer and homebrewing blog, I’m doing it because it all ties together. We do not drink beer or otherwise move across the time and space of Earth in a vacuum. (The Earth itself is another story).

I feel we should do our best to understand some of those very complicated forces that impact our lives, doing our best to choose the wisest path we can. Knowledge about what Big Data accrues from our habits is important, because I know that they will use that knowledge to manipulate people and only an informed citizen can truly make choices.



The complete genome for barley has been sequenced! This could have some very cool impacts on “cereal grains” at large which, of course, means some more interesting beer.

The article has more; check it out.

Also, I just want to let readers know that I’ll be out of town for the next few days, so there won’t be a Friday or Monday post. Everything should resume Wednesday and, if all goes well, I should have some cool beers from California to talk about soon after!

On Monopolies

While I have a backlog of stuff to post, this is coming to the forefront because of the timely nature of things. Beer things, not the scary other things happening.

When craft brewery Wicked Weed sold to ABInbev it set off a wave of criticism in the industry.

Haven’t heard of WW? Me neither-but they were apparently beloved in their community and made some pretty good beer.

This article really digs into the meat of what’s going on and why ABInbev is buying these brands and I thought that it would be pretty informative to bring to my readers, too.

Then Lagunitas sold out to Heineken not even a week later. Heineken is the second largest brewing conglomerate in the world.

I’m reading that between Heineken and ABInbev, that’s 40% of the market. Globally. 4 of every 10 beers sold in the world goes to them.

As a result, the more craft breweries that sell out-and that is what it is-the graver my concerns about being able to get good beer at a fair price become. Especially in light of stories like this, about an illegal inducement campaign.