This article on the new use of plastic kegs brings up complicated things for me.
On the upside, the beer lasts longer. That’s not something that I feel should be easily dismissed, alongside the benefits of reduced weight for easier shipping, and less fuel being used to get product to market.
The downside is that plastics just aren’t as renewable as metal is. While the company claims that these new kegs are recyclable, I can’t help but feel dubious.
Still, it’s a pretty interesting innovation and if the net benefit is positive, then that’s pretty cool.
Just another reason to love science: They’ve discovered that adding hops to the beer after fermentation is apparently complete, can lead to some further fermentation process!
This news is more interesting, admittedly, for brewers and homebrewers (like myself) than it might be for the lay person but as a homebrewer, I might be able to use this information to plan how my beer might turn out or what might result because I’ve added hops to the beer in secondary.
They’ve found new ways to uncover evidence of brewing in Mesopotamia.
Longtime readers of the blog know that I have a thing for science and the use of this science to see how people made beer so long ago is absolutely fascinating to me.
I know that, as part of the craft brewing wave, exalting the works of craft breweries on all the levels that they do work to make a better product is important.
But. When the big corporations do something right, let’s give them credit. And this? This is something they did right. (It’s also super interesting to me and a little sciencey so it hits all those notes for me).
While the article’s tone is a little too clever with pop-culture references for me, and it definitely veers off the subject near the end, the underlying information is pretty interesting: how do you produce food on a planet that isn’t Earth? How do we use science to produce better beer?
I’ve always been of the opinion that anyone who really loves a thing would understand that they need to do things to protect it and ensure that it survives. Hunters should be conservationists, for example. If there aren’t protected wild spaces, nobody wins.
As such, drinkers should also be environmentalists. Because we need water. Without it, there are a LOT of problems but for the sake of staying on track let’s get to the most relevant one: we don’t have more beer.
And that’s one reason, amongst many, that we should pay attention to climate change.
Some people, however, are only motivated by the cold hard realities of cash. Well, I got an article for you, too.
This is extremely cool. If hop flavor can be imbued into beer without or with significantly less hops then that is a huge boon for everyone. Less water for hops means more water for other necessary things, like more beer.
However, my friend at the Traveling Yeti has a wiser and more nuanced take on things that keeps my enthusiasm in check.