Category Archives: other blogs

Why It’s Never Just Beer

My friend Miranda sent me this article saying “this seems to be in your wheelhouse”.

Yes, yes it is.

Because beer is a personal connection to the world that a lot of people have. (One of many, I hope). It’s not just a consumable product, it’s one that people have together; people talk about the first time they had a beer with their dad, or they bring out beer to celebrate or mourn and they do it with each other.

I do not live in a vacuum; nobody does. We live in a world that we have to interact with and have an impact on. This means that decisions are made, all the time, that can have a greater impact on us and sometimes we don’t even care about those decisions until they hit home.

So the ability to sit down with a beer that you can afford, that isn’t contaminated by bad water, malt, hops or yeast, that isn’t owned by a monopoly that forces its choice on you instead of your choice for yourself, is the kind of thing that can hit people where they live. It should matter to everyone what the monopolies do-not just in beer, but tech, food, media; the list goes on. But beer-like most food-helps connect people.

I think it’s important to be aware of the forces that mega corporations bring to bear on our lives and if the consumption of beer is the way people get there, then I’m all for it. Because it isn’t-and can’t ever be-solely about the beer.

Although there are days when I wish it could be.




The Steel Connection

As the world gets further connected, materials start to arrive from everywhere to produce goods.

I realize that this sounds like “Econ Duh 101” but every so often I read something that just reminds me of this interconnectivity and how it can impact things I never really think about. In this case, steel made in China for beer kegs. When I think beer, I think about the base ingredients, I think about getting something from the brewery to market but I don’t put as much effort into the vessels that contain said product.

The article is a little long but it gave me something to chew on, not just in regards to getting what you paid for, but also about why it’s worth paying people well for quality work.

This is the last post until Oct 13. I’m on the road again!

Re-Evaluating the NEIPA

I’m not the biggest fan of the NE IPA style, which I had wrongly thought of as just being a hazy version of the grapefruit IPAs I used to get. Thinking of it that way made it easy to dismiss a style that was, I felt, both boring in its mining of flavors I was burnt out on, and visually unappealing due to ‘laziness’.

Turns out, there’s a lot more to it, and this story on Old Nation Brewing demonstrates. They were opposed to the style too and now they’re making it (and money) hand over fist. All in all, pretty cool and a good reminder for myself that professionals make it look easy and only a fool thinks it’s as simple as they make it look.

And sometimes, I’m the fool.

Recreating History

I like this article, especially for this quote:

“It can be dull in a lot of ways, but then you have those moments of insight and discovery that make it all worthwhile. ”

I like that statement because it both reminds me that doing the work can often feel like drudgery, but if I can keep a lively mind during it, there will be opportunities to discover and make things better.

The Beer ATM

A friend sent me this article and I had three immediate reactions to it, and then a fourth a bit later.

  1. They made a self-serve! That’s pretty cool.
  2. Wait. That’s a little dangerous.
  3. Oh. They have figured out how to charge you for a taste. The greedy bastards.

It’s that third point that stuck in my throat. And then it hit me:

4. This process has been casino’d.

That is to say; you hand over your “unlimited card of money” and press a pretty button over and over again to have “fun” dispensed to you.

And the more I think about that, the more I hate it.