Saturday, June 23, 2012

News roundup

Here are some beer-related articles I've been reading recently:

Malters Bring Terroir to the Beer Bottle - NYTimes
I know what this looks like, another NYTimes "trend" article about yuppies going back-to-the land in hopes of living more "authentic" lifestyle. Other cliche keywords that come to mind: sustainable, small-scale, homesteading, natural, craft, etc. This characterization is somewhat true, but what this guy is doing is also really cool. He buys grains from Mass. farmers, malts them and sells them to brewers. He also still has a day job. The advantage of a smaller-scale operation like this is that beers can have regional variation instead of many brewers all using the same industrially-grown grains, making their beers taste the same. It also mentions that "small malt houses largely disappeared during Prohibition," and has since been dominated by commercial-scale companies, making it difficult for small malters to break into the business. It amazes me that brewing is still recovering from Prohibition.

Beer Glasses - NY Times
Clearly the main attraction here is the jaunty suit and hat worn by the guy in the picture. You might argue that he's taken East Coast style too seriously, but I would dress like that if I could afford it. You know his shoes have tassels on them. What is this article about again? Oh, beer glasses; good thing the headline doesn't beat around the bush with any snooty language like "terroir." I like this guy's attitude. He acknowledges that although certain beers should be sampled in certain glasses, sometimes you just want drink a pint and enjoy yourself, and you don't want to mess around with crazy glasses. Best quote: “I could see a pilsner or a saison with a nice cap of foam over the top, sitting on an outdoor summer table looking like little ice cream cones of happiness.”

New 'Beer' Has Dogs Barking for Brews - ABC News
You just can't make this stuff up. I don't even want to talk about the crazy things people do for their pets and how much money they spend to do those things. This is "beer" sans alcohol and hops, which is apparently toxic to dogs. Turner & Hooch had led me to believe neither of those things was a problem, but I guess animal food science has come a long way since 1989. Alcohol is toxic to humans, but ironically is a major reason people drink it. This dog "beer" is really just an uncarbonated mix of meat broth and malt barley, so the "beer" thing is just a marketing gimmick (but that wouldn't stop me from buying it). Best quote: "People have an incredible emotional bond with their dogs, so it's just natural for people to want to include them and say, 'My dog can have a beer too.'" I'm not gonna hold back on you: Bowser Beer.

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