Monday, June 27, 2016

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 23/24, 2016.

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.

Weeks 23/24
5 June - 18 June 2016

  • 17 June 2016
    For 8th year in row, members of the American Homebrewers Association have voted Russian River's Pliny the Elder (a 'double' IPA) as the best beer in the U.S. Of their top ten choices, all but 3 were IPAs.
    —Via American Homebrewers Association.

  • 15 June 2016
    Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the [U.S.] Brewers Association, examines data for on-the-premises 'craft' beer draught sales:
    The data suggest that states where on-premise sales are more important to the beer market, craft does better in the off-the-premises.
    —Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 15 June 2016
    What the U.S. Department of Justice should do before granting approval to Anheuser-Busch Inbev for its proposed purchase of SABMiller.
    • Require ABI to divest wholly or partially owned distribution assets;
    • Impose a cap on ABI’s and Molson Coors’ ability to acquire distributors;
    • Prohibit ABI and Molson Coors from implementing distributor incentive programs that prevent smaller brewers from obtaining access to distributors;
    • Prohibit ABI and Molson Coors from terminating existing beer distributors and a freeze on contract term changes;
    • Require ABI to notify the DOJ in advance of executing contracts to purchase distributors or craft brewers that would not otherwise be HSR reportable; and
    • Require Molson Coors to divest the Miller Brewery in Eden, North Carolina.
    —Via The Hill.

  • 15 June 2016
    Discount retail behemoth Walmart says it wants to “bring craft beer to the masses.” It will do so with beers brewed by Trouble Brewery and sold only at Walmart stores. What Walmart doesn't say (and why not?) is that Trouble Brewery does not brew its beer. Wholly owned by Walmart, it contracts with Genessee Brewery in New York state, not exactly what one might call a 'craft' brewery.
    —Via Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer.

  • 14 June 2016
    Archaeologists digging in London have found potential evidence of brewing in Roman England of the 1st century, a Roman tablet, written circa 80 AD, addressed to "Tertio braceario,", that is, “to Tertius the bracearius.” Translating further, that would be to Tertius the brewer (or maltster, or both).
    —Via Martyn Cornell, at Zythophile.

  • 14 June 2016
    As Stone Brewing —the nation's 10th largest 'craft' brewery— opens new brewing facilities in Richmond, Virginia, and Berlin, Germany, Mitch Steele —its ten-year brewmaster, and a past brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch— announces his intention to leave the company to run his own project. Details remain scarce.
    —Via The Full Pint.

  • 13 June 2016
    The U.S. Supreme Court rejects a challenge to Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxic Standards regulating air pollution at coal-burning power plants.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 13 June 2016
    Sierra Nevada Brewing's second brewing plant —in Mills River, North Carolina— uses only 3.5 barrels of water per barrel of beer brewed. The industry standard is five or more barrels of water per barrel of beer. Sierra Nevada Brewing's second brewing plant —in Mills River, North Carolina— uses only 3.5 barrels of water per barrel of beer brewed. The industry standard is five or more barrels of water per barrel of beer. For that and other achievements, the brewery has been awarded Platinum LEED certification.
    —Via BeerPulse.

  • Two flags
  • 12 June 2016
    Forty-nine killed at LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by shooter pledging allegiance to ISIS.
    —Via CNN.

  • 11 June 2016
    Civil war erupts in the heartland of American 'craft' brewing as several Colorado 'craft' breweries resign from their twenty-year old advocacy group, the Colorado Brewers Guild, to form a splinter group called Craft Beer Colorado. The 'rebel' breweries —which include major players such as New Belgium, Odell, Great Divide, Oskar Blues, Left Hand— cite lack of proactive lobbying and non-'craft' membership (such as Breckenridge, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev) as primary causes of the rift.
    —Via Westword.

  • 11 June 2016
    It was bound to happen. Thorn Street Brewery, a 'craft' brewery in San Diego, California, has created a truly dank beer: that is, one infused with marijuana aroma extract. Sorry: no THC. Potato chips not included.
    —Via Brewbound.

  • 9 June 2016
    'Craft' brewery owner builds vacation home in grain silo.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 9 June 2016
    The city of Baltimore, Maryland, hosts HomeBrewCon, only the third time the city has hosted the national conference of the American Homebrewers Association.
    —Via YFGF.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pic(k) of the Week: Stout-Marinated Grilled Veggies

Stout-marinaded Grilled Veggies (01)

Recent research has found that soaking meat in beer, before grilling, reduces the formation of cancer-causing HCAs (heterocyclic amines) during the high heat of grilling, a reaction between amino acids and creatine.

There's no mention of vegetables, but the former and latter will both be 'tastified' if marinated first. So, here's a cancer-warding Saturday edition of #VeggieDag Thursday:

Grilling vegetables, marinated in Stout ale

  • Zucchini: washed, skin, on, chopped in large rounds.
  • Summer squash: washed, skin, on, chopped in large rounds.
  • Shitake mushrooms: brushed and washed, stems chopped.
  • Vidalia onions: sliced into large wedges.
  • Bell peppers: de-seeded, chopped into thick strips.
  • Asparagus: stalk ends removed. (Peeled, if thick stalks.)
  • Whatever is in season!
  • 1 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded, chopped (optional)
  • 4 oz. 'craft' brewery stout
  • 2 TBSP Tamari
  • 1 TBSP freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Spike seasoning (or your favorite non-salted, dried herb mixture).
  • And/or 1 tsp. minced marjoram and/or fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Chop the vegetables large enough so that the vegetables will not fall through the grates of the grill.
  • Marinate for 3 hours (or overnight in refrigerator, covered).
  • Place the vegetables on a skewer and then directly on the grill, or loose on chicken wire over the grate or on aluminum foil punched with numerous small holes (or, if you must, a manufactured vegetable grill-basket).
  • When grilling, avoid direct flame. Turn the vegetables frequently and mop with the remaining marinade to prevent them from drying out (and to add more flavor). The vegetables are done when the skin begins to blister and/or the middle becomes soft, anywhere from five to thirty minutes.
  • Reserve the remaining 8 ounces of beer for the grillmaster.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

3 x 10^6 and counting.

I have been posting photographs to Flickr since May 2007. Most have been photographs of beer, but many not, with subjects such as wine, spirits, food, flowers, baseball, and other things. Most of the uploads are mine; a few are re-posts. In fact, I have uploaded in excess of thirty-three thousand two hundred forty-four (33,247), and yet counting.

As of today, 22 June 2016, those images have been viewed more than three million (3,000,000) times. That works out to about twenty-seven thousand five hundred (27,500) hits per month.

3 x 10^6 and counting

That "Pro" designation is not an indicator of skill; it simply means I pay for the file storage. I use the word "photographs," but, to be precise, these really are "digital images," although saying the latter lacks a certain sense of romance.

I've used five different cameras (excluding cell phone — and Palm Pilot— cameras) during this near-decade span. In order, they have been:
  • Canon PowerShot A520
  • Canon PowerShot SD400 Digital ELPH
  • Canon PowerShot SD980 IS Digital ELPH
  • Canon PowerShot SX130 IS
Here I am in 2009, displaying the then 'official' camera of YFGF: Canon PowerShot SD400. The point-and-shoot took a lot of abuse that year; I appear proud of the band-aid retaining its innards.

Cizauskas of YFGF

My camera today (and since October 2012) is the Pen E-PL1 from Olympus. In format, it's a mirrorless, four thirds micro system camera. Sort of a point-and-shoot DSLR: lesser than the latter, better than the former. No band-aids ... yet.

YFGF goes to Olympus (01)

Please feel free to copy and redistribute any of my Flickr photos, in any medium or format (after all the point is to promote good beer where and when we find it) as long as, and only so long as, you follow these Creative Commons 4.0 license terms:
  • Attribution
    You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. Contact me for any links and/or with any questions.
  • Non Commercial
    You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • No Derivatives
    If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
  • You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
Three million views might be 'small beer' to more serious photographers. But, to me, it's a big thing. Some pics ain't bad: go see. And thank you for your support.

Now, enough vainglory. Back to the beer.

Pouring Fidelis (03)


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pic(k) of the Week: Weizen al fresco

A patron enjoys his hefeweizen, while sitting outside on the patio at Gordon Biersch Restaurant Brewery.

Weizen al fresco

A 'blast from the past,' this photo was taken on 30 March 2013, during a 'friends and family' pre-opening open house at the brewpub, located in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington, D.C.


Friday, June 17, 2016

"Buy local, buy good, and buy on draft." [a borrowed maxim]

Bart Watson is the Chief Economist for the [U.S.] Brewers Association. In a recent post, he examined data concerning on-the-premises 'craft' beer draught sales and their correlation to 'craft' brewery success, especially that of smaller breweries.

  • Most of the data reported in the beer media comes from off-premise[s].
    • Off-premise[s] is more than 80 percent of overall beer volume.
    • Data are easier to obtain [for off-the-premises], thanks to the magic of the barcode and sophisticated scanner systems.

  • 35 percent of craft’s volume coming via on-premise[s] channels
    • Brewpubs less than 1,000 barrels have production that is 95 percent draught
    • Production brewers less than 1,000 barrels are on average 89 percent draught
    • Median 'craft' brewery survyed] has 78 percent draught production.

  • Size of the on-premise[s] beer market varies wildly by state, due to a variety of factors.
    • Beer’s share of beverage alcohol
    • Overall beer consumption levels
    • Number of on-premise[s] outlets
    • On-premise[s] culture
    • Consumer preferences
    • Socioeconomic factors.
    • [Surprisingly not mentioned because ii is such an important factor: laws and regulations which permit or prohibit on-premises sales at breweries and brewpubs.]

  • When you know both the size of the draught market in a state and the size of the total beer market, the size of the draught market is a much better predictor of the number of small and independent breweries.

  • The on-premise[s] market has shifted over the past few years, with the continued spread of “rotation nation” and an increasingly fractured and competitive market for tap handles. This has likely created some challenges for regional craft brewers, the companies that are typically doing the heavy lifting in off-premise[s] channels. Given the greater dominance of chains in off-premise[s], those channels will likely never reach the diversity we are seeing in on-premise[s] markets.

The takeaway is, as Mr. Watson writes:
The data suggest that states where on-premise[s] is more important to the beer market, craft does better in the off-premise[s] [emphasis mine].

The logic is fairly simple: in places where more beer lovers are in bars and restaurants drinking beer and thus encountering craft, off-premise locations have better sales for craft brewers as well.

Pints of beer per adult per U.S. state (2013)
Pints of beer per adult per U.S. state (2013).
Where does your state rank?

Beer author Jeff Alworth succinctly summarized all this at his blog, Beervana (doing his best beer reference of author Michael Pollan's food maxim):
Buy local, buy good, and buy on draft. [...] Drink on draft and you will create a virtuous cycle that buoys local breweries.