Sunday, August 20, 2017

Drink beer. Win acclaim!

Beer ye, beer ye! Do you write, blog, or podcast about beer?

If yes, you have until this Friday, 25 August, to enter the 2017 North American Guild of Beer Writers competition. The NAGBW has announced its 5th annual Beer Writer Awards. Or more accurately, its 5th annual awards for beer writers and bloggers and broadcasters, and, yes, authors.

North American Guild of Beer Writers
Through this annual writing competition, the Guild aims to broaden the conversation about beer and brewing, raise the standards of writing, and provide leadership and continuing education for practitioners of our profession, while also encouraging and supporting more participation throughout all media channels.

To be eligible for consideration, entries must have been published between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. But to be judged, entries must be submitted by this Friday, 25 August 2017. There are eleven categories in which to enter:
  • Best Beer Book
  • Best Beer Podcast
  • Best Beer Blog
  • Best Beer and Food Writing
  • Best Beer and Travel Writing
  • Best Local Reporting
  • Best National/ International Reporting
  • Best Short Form Writing (fewer than 600 words)
  • Best History Writing
  • Best Technical Writing
  • Best Beer Criticism or Commentary
It'll cost you $30 per entry. If you're a member of the NAGBW, however, that's only $15. Furthermore, there's only one article or item allowed per entry per category and only two entries are permitted per person.

Submissions will be judged by these criteria and to these weights:
  • Readability: 25%
  • Voice and style: 25%
  • Knowledge of subject/accuracy/factual content: 20%
  • Creativity/originality: 15%
  • Interest/newsworthiness: 15%
Finally, whether or not you submit, why not join the Guild? Membership is open to all writers and content producers who cover beer and brewing.
We are professional beer writers.

We make our living, or at least a substantial portion of it, writing about beer and brewing. We are authors, writers, publicists, bloggers, columnists, critics, cheerleaders and more. We tirelessly cover the brewing industry undefined and those who appreciate beer undefined across North America.

Many of us are self-employed or do this as a side "gig" in addition to our "real jobs." Some of us are employed by breweries, beer distributors, beer bars, stores and restaurants. Still others are publishers and event organizers, while some work for newspapers, websites, magazines and other media outlets.

We are an all-volunteer group dedicated to elevating the level of our craft as we cover the art of brewing. We are serious in our purpose, but strive to enjoy ourselves in doing our jobs.

Please consider joining with us to help shape our efforts to support and nurture better beer writing in North America.

Indeed and good luck.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pic(k) of the Week: When the dew point tops 24 °C.

Draft Pilsner in Sam Adams glass

When the dew point tops 24 °C...

A beer not murky; not ugly; not fowled with chicken parts.

No.

A draught of pilsner-style lager.

Yes.

Dewdrops condensed. Such a lovely thing.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"And beer is all there is."



I don't know how many bottles of beer
I have consumed while waiting for things 
to get better
I dont know how much wine and whisky
and beer
mostly beer
I have consumed after 
splits with women-
waiting for the phone to ring
waiting for the sound of footsteps,
and the phone to ring
waiting for the sounds of footsteps,
and the phone never rings
until much later
and the footsteps never arrive
until much later
when my stomach is coming up
out of my mouth
they arrive as fresh as spring flowers:
"what the hell have you done to yourself?
it will be 3 days before you can fuck me!"

the female is durable
she lives seven and one half years longer
than the male, and she drinks very little beer
because she knows its bad for the figure.

while we are going mad
they are out
dancing and laughing
with horney cowboys.

well, there's beer
sacks and sacks of empty beer bottles
and when you pick one up
the bottle fall through the wet bottom
of the paper sack 
rolling
clanking
spilling gray wet ash
and stale beer,
or the sacks fall over at 4 a.m.
in the morning
making the only sound in your life.

beer
rivers and seas of beer
the radio singing love songs
as the phone remains silent
and the walls stand
straight up and down
and beer is all there is.

***************
Beer
Love is A Dog From Hell (published, 1977)

Charles Bukowski (16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
German-American poet and novelist

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Pic(k) of the Week: Street scene al fresco

Street scene al fresco

A 'street photography' shot of the patio of a restaurant and the street beyond. No humans, but a high-contrast early-evening sky, bright primary colors, and phone-camera faux high-dynamic-range imaging.

And redundantly entitled.

In the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, on 4 August 2017.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

In the real ale world, regular order is restored.

GBBF 2017

The Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) is Britain’s largest beer festival, with over 50,000 attendees. On the festival tasting floor, there are over 900 (cask-conditioned) real ales ranging from
microbreweries to the most well known British brands, and hundreds of bottled and foreign beers, and a selection of real ciders and perries.

It's also a competition among British brewers for national bragging-rights. Last year, Binghams Brewery's Vanilla Stout won the judging with a cask-ale pickled American-style with vanilla beans, cocoa, chocolate 'essence,' and 'natural' plum flavoring.

Upon hearing that, I bemoaned, "Oh the humanity." The beer reporter for the Washington Post took me to task for that, accusing me of demeaning the skills of the brewers and judges.


Stuff and nonsense, as if holding an opinion would be prima facie wrong, and expressing one, insulting. I don't much like extraneous nonsense tossed in a beer I drink. I do much enjoy the uber-freshness of an unadulterated cask ale. And I freely stipulate to that.

This year —despite the eschatological presence of "fine English wines," for the first time in the London beer festival's forty years— regular order has been restored. A 3.8% (!) alcohol-by-volume bitter (cask-conditioned, of course) has been crowned Champion Beer of Britain.
A bitter beer first brewed as a one-off for a pub in Lincolnshire has walked away with the prestigious Champion Beer of Britain award at the Great British Beer Festival at London Olympia. Goats Milk was produced by the Church End Brewery in Warwickshire for the Goat Pub in Market Deeping in Lincolnshire but proved so popular that it’s become a regular beer in the brewery’s range.

Head brewer Carl Graves says the 3.8% beer has a simple recipe of Maris Otter pale malt with a touch of crystal malt and malted wheat and is hopped with American Cascade and Chinook hops.

The judges on the final panel said the beer was the stand-out one among the six finalists and praised its fine balance of malt and hops and refreshing palate.

This year, like last, I was not fortunate to be there to taste the winner. But (risking re-opprobrium from the 'mainstream media') I'll still exult that an unpolluted bitter —a moreish session beer— has bested stronger zymur-sisters and brothers, resting victorious atop its stillage.

All is right with the world, at least for a moment.

Queue for American casks at Great BRITISH Beer Festival
Even so, a long line stood for a stand of
AMERICAN cask ales (exhibited but not judged).

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