Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sing Joy Spring

hosta 11 April (01)

Spring arrives today, Tuesday, 20 March 2018, at 12:15 p.m., east coast daylight time. The vernal equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere.

We sing a spring
Sing joy spring.
A rare and most mysterious spring,
This most occult thing
Is buried deep in the soul.
Its story never has been told.

The joy spring, the fountain of pleasure,
Is deep inside you whether you're diggin' it or not.
Once you're aware of this spring,
You'll know that it's the greatest
Treasure you've got.

And furthermore:
The joy spring, the bounteous treasure,
Cannot be bartered away and never can be sold.
Nothing can take it from you.
It's yours and yours alone to have and to hold.

And something more:
It never is lost to fire or theft.
It's always around. When trouble is gone,
The pleasure is left.
I've always found
It's burglar-proof same as the treasure
Man lays up in heaven, worth a
Price no one can measure.
That says a lot.

So joy spring,
this fountain of pleasure,
That's deep inside you, let me inform you in all truth,
Ponce de Leon sought this
When he was searchin'
For the fountain of youth.
I say in truth, he
Sought a magical thing,
For he was searchin'
For the joy spring.

Music: Clifford Brown
Lyrics: Jon Hendricks
Performance: Manhattan Transfer


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Proper topper on St. Patrick's Day

Proper topper on St. Patrick's Day

He sports a proper topper for the day.

As seen at Friday Jazz at the High Museum of Art, in Atlanta, Georgia, on 17 March 2017.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

#VeggieDag Thursday: Pan-Fried Tofu Strips

VeggieDag Thursday
VeggieDag Thursday is an occasional Thursday post
on an animal-free diet and on environmental and ecological issues.

Because there hasn't been a recipe posted here for a while ...

... here, from the entertaining Chris Cooney of Cooking with the Vegan Zombie (with a few minor adaptations from YFGF), it's ...

Pan-Fried Tofu Strips

Tofu strips (03)

Yield: 12-16 strips
Time: 20 minutes (or overnight)
1) Slice a 14 ounce slab of extra-firm tofu horizontally into four thinner cutlets. (No need to press the tofu first.)

2) Grease a skillet with refined coconut oil (not unrefined: the smoking point is too low and the taste is, well, coconuty).

3) Turn stove to medium heat.

4) Place tofu cutlets on the skillet (one at a time, if small pan). Top with a pinch each of Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and smoked paprika.

5) Fry for 8-10 minutes. Don't burn!

6) Gently flip the tofu. Now, gently press down on the cutlets several times with a metal spatula to squeeze out excess water.
7) Top with a pinch each of cumin, chili powder, and dried basil. Optional: Add a doodle of red chile sauce, (e.g. Sriracha).

8) Reduce heat to just below medium heat. Fry for an additional 3-5 minutes. Don't burn!

9) Gently flip the cutlets over again and turn off the skillet. Allow the cutlets to sit several minutes until cool to the touch.

10) To firm the texture, cover and refrigerate the tofu cutets for several hours or overnight. Slice into into 4-5 strips per cutlet. Tasty as is, for snacking. Tasty as the 'meat' filling for a vegetarian Bánh mì.


Quick links

  • 14 March 2018:
    Scientists studying a remote and icy stretch of the North Atlantic have found new evidence that fresh water, likely melted from Greenland or Arctic sea ice, has weakened the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation —a key process that helps drives the global circulation of the oceans— by 15% since 2008.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 13 March 2018:
    The State Department represents the United States at international climate talks. Mike Pompeo, nominated by Trump to head the State Department, is a skeptic of data showing human-caused climate change.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 26 February 2018:
    Researchers at the University of California at Irvine reported that during February, the average temperature in the Arctic was greater than 36 °F above normal, the highest level ever recorded during the month of February. At the North Pole itself, the temperature reached 35 °F, more than 50 °F above normal.
    —Via Capital Weather Gang.

  • 16 February 2018:
    Trump signed legislation that repealed an Obama-era rule that had blocked coal operations from dumping mining waste into nearby waterways.
    —Via Snopes.

  • 12 February 2018:
    The Trump budget slashes funding for the bipartisan cleanup program of the Great Lakes region —source of 84% of North America's surface fresh water— by 90% from $300 million to $30 million.
    —Via Detroit News.

  • 15 June 2017:
    In 2015, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) —a division of the UN’s World Health Organization— declared glyphosate —the active ingredient in Monsanto's popular herbicide RoundUp— a probable carcinogen, Aaron Blair —the scientist who led the IARC’s review panel on glyphosate— had access to data from a large study in which he had participated that strongly suggested that Roundup did not, in fact, cause cancer. Yet, Blair withheld that data from the RoundUp review panel.
    —Via Mother Jones.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What (and where) is a Beer Garden? Announcement for The Session: Beer Blogging Friday #134.

Beer Blogging Friday: The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community, begun in March of 2007 by Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer and Jay Brooks of the Brookston Beer Bulletin.

On the first Friday of every month, a pre-determined beer blogger hosts The Session, choosing a specific, beer-related topic, inviting all bloggers to write on it, and posting a roundup of all the responses received.

For The Session: Beer Blogging Friday #134, on 6 April 2018, I am that pre-determined host. And I've determined that my topic is ...

Beer Gardens

"A Beer Garden" (Jean Pagès, 1933)

What is a beer garden? Or what isn't a beer garden? Or what should a beer garden be? Or where is a beer garden?

Is a beer garden a place of foliage and shrubberies? Or is it a plot of concrete with umbrellas? Is a beer garden an outdoor bar? Or an outdoor Biergarten pavilion with Gemütlichkeit und Bier? Or is a beer garden to be found at a brewery with a hop trellis de rigueur?

Hop-pickers' lunch

Is a beer garden to be found outdoors, or can it be, alternatively, an interior third place, an arboretum with beer? Is a beer garden a real thing or is it a Platonic ideal, an imagined gueuzic nostalgia? Or is it a place indeed, once or often visited, not Bill Bryson in the woods, but Lew Bryson in a beer garden? If so, where is it? Tell us (with or without Lew).

According to the Beer Bloggers Conference, there are over 1,000 active "Citizen Beer Blogs" in North America, over 500 "Citizen Beer Blogs" throughout the rest of the world, and another couple hundred industry beer blogs. So, jump in folk. Please contribute!

Here's how. On Friday, 6 April, post an essay on beer gardens to your blog. Then let me give you credit. Provide a link to the story by: A blog itself isn't even necessary to contribute.

If you don't have a blog, you could compose a 280-character tweet, or post a photo on Instagram, and link that to me. Or, if so inspired, you could write an essay (300-500 words are ideal and 1,200 would be the most you'd want for a blog post, short-attention-span and all that) and send it to me before the 6th (so that I'll have time to format it for the blog). Use this form.

On a warm summer evening, I love to watch the light filter through the leaves of the dogwood and viburnum, with a beer in hand salad on the table, listening to the conversation of friends. "Why is it," I wonder, "that food and beer taste so much better together when we're in the beer garden.
Dinner in the Beer Garden, by Lucy Saunders.

The topic is beer gardens: whatever they may be, wherever they may be. And even your backyard, Olmsted-esque or humble, might be a Moon Over Beer garden. On Friday, 6 April, tell the world about it.

Thanking you in advance,
Yours for good fermentables,
Thomas 'Tom' Cizauskas


Monday, March 12, 2018

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 6/7/8, 2018.

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

Weeks 6/7/8
4 February - 24 February 2018

    Catching up on overdue Clamps & Gaskets!

  • 24 February 2018
    Garrett Oliver, author and brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewing, in a comment to "Some Important Musings on the Nature of Craft Beer":
    A few years ago, everyone from BeerAdvocate to All About Beer declared craft dead. Which was the ABI [Anheuser-Busch InBev] plan all along – first break your terminology, then break and infiltrate your culture, then subsume you. All with your approval. I have to hand it to them – they’ve done a great job. I’ve heard British craft brewers talking about “Fuller’s isn’t craft” and “Sierra Nevada isn’t craft”. These people are out of their minds. American craft beer culture is BASED on what we went and saw in the UK, Germany and Belgium. Everyone on earth copied everything from Fuller’s ESB to Duvel, and then have the gall to say that these breweries aren’t craft breweries?

    If you want to know what craft beer is, this is your lucky day. I’m going to tell you. Craft beer is beer made according to an individual vision. If almost no one in the company knows who the head brewer is, it’s not a craft brewery. You can be one million barrels and a craft brewery and you can be 5,000 barrels and have sold out on your first day. I’ve seen both. So yeah, actually it did matter, at least in the United States. And it could matter again, under the “craft” name or another. Nomenclature matters. And when you give that up, both your power and your culture go out the window. Ask any French chef.
    — Via Pete Brown.

  • 23 February 2018
    Possibly because craft beer continues to position itself as fighting some kind of moral crusade against corporate interests, the whole issue of affordability touches a raw nerve. But wouldn’t it be better all round if the “craft beer movement” could accept that it was just another somewhat pricey niche middle-class enthusiasm and stop pretending it's trying to change the world?
    — Via The Pub Curmudgeon.

  • 23 February 2018
    Prior to its scheduled move to smaller headquarters in 2020, Radio-Canada (the French-language arm of the Canada’s public broadcasting system) to digitize its collection of more than 200,000 CDs and then destroy it. Not known is what will happen to its library of over 200,000 vinyl LP records, 70,000 78rpm discs, and a multitude of rare, and extremely rare, musical scores and books.
    — Via Radio Canada International.

  • In Manassas, Virginia, American brewing history is for sale.
  • 22 February 2018
    It was the first private home in the United States to have air-conditioning. Annaburg, the Manassas, Virginia, summer estate of Alexandria, Virginia, brewer Robert Portner —owner of the Robert Portner Brewing Company, the southeast's largest brewery before Prohibition— built for his family in 1892 is for sale and is at risk.
    — Via Prince William Times.

  • 22 February 2018
    The Beer Institute decries Trump's proposed "draconian" tariffs on aluminum and steel as endangering the jobs of American brewers and brewery workers.
    Aluminum used to make beer cans is not a national security threat.Aluminum is critical to the well-being of America’s beer industry as more than half of the beer produced annually is packed in aluminum cans or aluminum bottles.
    — Via Beer Pulse.

  • 20 February 2018
    When it comes to living into one's 90s, drinking two glasses of beer or wine daily acts as a better palliative against premature death than exercise, by 18% vs. 11%, a new study at the University of California found. And a bit of overweightedness diminishes the odds of an early death by 3%.
    — Via Baltimore Sun.

  • 21 February 2018
    Although 'craft' breweries, such as North Coast, picked up on the goodness of Centennial hops in the mid-1980s (saving the variety from discontinuation) ...
    As recently as 2005, hop growers still planted little more than 100 acres of Centennial. In 2017, they harvested more than 5,200 acres.
    — Via Jeff Alworth (and Stan Hieronymus), at Beervana.

  • 19 February 2018
    Julie Verratti —co-founder of Denizens Brewing, a 'craft' brewery in Silver Spring, Maryland— has been tapped to run for Maryland lieutenant governor with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alec Ross.
    — Via Naptown Pint.

  • 16 February 2018
    The U.S. Justice Department indicts thirteen Russians and three Russian companies with a long-running scheme to criminally interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
    — Via Washington Post.

  • Laiminga Lietuvos valstybės atkūrimo diena!
  • 16 February 2018
    Lithuania —YFGF's ancestral home— celebrated the centenary observance since the restoration of its independence, on 16 February 1918. Lietuvos valstybės atkūrimo diena.
    — Via Agence France-Presse.

  • 16 February 2018
    African-American involvement in 'craft' beer, both as producers as consumers. is small but growing. In 2016, African Americans made up 12% of weekly 'craft' beer drinkers, up from 10% the year before. Kevin Blodger —brewmaster and co-owner of Union Brewing, in Baltimore, Maryland...
    'hasn't seen any intentional exclusion of minorities.' Rather, with craft beer, 'there’s not much advertising budget. It's a word of mouth thing, and if you look at the people that were originally involved in craft beer, it was white men. And we tend to associate with people that look like us.' That's changing. 'As more black, Hispanic and Asian people get involved in craft beer, they are going to bring more of their friends in,' Blodger said.”
    — Via Mike Snider, at USA Today.

  • 14 February 2018
    Stung by a reputation as gentrification’s outriders, craft beer breweries [in London] are trying to bring in more women, working-class people, and people with disabilities to both drink beers – and make them.
    — Via Will Hawkes, at The Guardian.

  • 14 February 2018
    Seventeen people were killed and seventeen more were wounded during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, making it one of the world's deadliest school massacres.The suspected perpetrator, 19-year-old Nikolas Jacob Cruz, was identified by witnesses and arrested shortly afterward.
    — Via The Guardian.

  • 12 February 2018
    Long thought extinct, Hill Rice —a rice variety with which enslaved Africans in the American South once cooked and a variety not needed to be planted in watery fields, thus not a vector for malaria— has been 'rediscovered' in Trinidad.
    — Via New York Times.

  • 12 February 2018
    The Trump administration plans to cut funding for the bipartisan cleanup program of the Great Lakes region —source of 84% of North America's surface fresh water— by 90% next year, from $300 million to $30 million.
    — Via Detroit News.

  • Stone Brewing sues Miller Coors.
  • 12 February 2018
    Large 'craft' brewery Stone Brewing to sue conglomerate Miller Coors over its "very blatant use of 'Stone' in its Keystone branding."
    — Via Beervana.

  • 11 February 2018
    American pop crooner Vic Damone, known for his good looks and "creamy" baritone, has died at 89. His heyday were the two decades following World-War II.
    “If I had one wish,” Frank Sinatra was said to have remarked, “it would be for Vic Damone’s tonsils. Vic has the best pipes in the business.”
    — Via Washington Post.

  • 9 February 2018
    The Irish legislature, the Oireachtas, is considering adding a warning label about drinking and cancer to alcoholic beverages. Ireland would be the first country to have such a warning label. America has had labels that warn about drinking while pregnant and driving while intoxicated since 1988. Wine labels also inform the consumer that the bottle contains sulfites.
    — Via Amy Mittelman.

  • 9 February 2018
    Wesla Whitfield, an American opera singer who overcame partial paralysis, became a preeminent vocal stylist, winning acclaim for her interpretations of the Great American Songbook. She has died at 70.
    — Via Washington Post.

  • 8 February 2018
    Jim Koch, owner of Boston Beer (maker of Sam Adams beer, on NEIPA:
    Instead of the piney, resiny, grapefruit part of the hops spectrum, New England IPA leans toward orange, fruit, peach, mango, guava…it’s almost juicy. There will be a lower RDF [real degree of fermentation] which gives you that drop of sweetness that brings the juiciness out. So, in some ways, it’s a kinder, gentler IPA.
    — Via John I. Haas.

  • 7 February 2018
    The “Tuesday Night Test” to tell if a restaurant is a true neighborhood joint:
    My wife and I worked. We don’t feel like cooking or doing dishes. It’s Tuesday night. Can we go out and each get a drink and food and not spend $200?
    — Via Washington City Paper.

  • A porter at the brewhouse
  • 5 February 2018
    "What do I see in a glass of porter?"
    A barista-influenced cream-flow foam, 2-cm high, undulating in its surface, collapsing slowly, like the Roman Empire, a province at a time.

    What else do I see, a dark, dark, dark blackness, a dark night of the soul, a night in which the old moon is dead and the new is waiting to be birthed, a darkness of invisible hands and beasties imagined and conjoined, the lacing of the foam as it subsides coating the glass like a congenial virus, a puzzle of foam, a query, a cantankerous head of foam refusing to vanish.

    So what does it taste like? Burnt toast with a thin layer of butter and marmalade that suggests acridity, fruitiness and sweetness and then within nanoseconds there is a dryness that crackles and cackles like a coven of witches rehearsing for Macbeth; there’s a chewiness, an appeal for mastication, as well as a creaminess suggestive of softness and childhood.

    And what does it taste like? A cover disturbed, aromatics of mocha, chocolate, toast and fruit (cheap marmalade if caught from the other end of the breakfast table).

    Someone, and I cannot recall who, suggested that this beer could be closer to porter’s original outlook on life. I’m not sure, I will leave that to the beer historians and their soaked volumes of statistics from a time that went long ago. Whatever, it’s a damn good beer, unflinching in its approach to acridity, and dense in its character on the palate."
    — Via Adrian Tierney-Jones, at Called to the Bar.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Pratt-Pullman Yard

Pullman Yard (from the Pullman Trail) 02

A view of the over-century-old Pratt-Pullman Yard in the Kirkwood district of Atlanta, Georgia, as seen from the Pullman Trail, on 6 March 2018.

These dilapidated, hulking buildings once housed plants for the production of chemicals, soft drink gases, military munitions, and railroad cars. Grafitti-festooned, they became backdrops for several films and cable productions. Now, they are slated to be redeveloped.



In 1904, the Pratt Engineering Company built a sugar and fertilizer processing plant on twenty-eight acres of farmland in Kirkwood, then an independent city east of the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Among other things, the company produced sulfuric acid (for which it held a patent) and liquid carbon dioxide for soda fountains. During World War I, Pratt temporarily converted the plant to manufacture munitions.

In 1924, the Pullman Passenger Rail Company —a leading manufacturer of railroad cars from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century— purchased the buildings and built a large railcar service and repair depot. At the time, Pullman exercised a near monopoly on rail passenger 'sleeping cars' throughout the United States. After a 1943 antitrust decree, the company began to downsize and, in 1954, closed the facility.

From then through the 1970s, both Georgia Power and Southern Iron and Equipment Company owned the yard at various times. Southern used it to manufacture and repair train locomotives and train parts. Georgia Power used the Yard to house and repair its fleet of 'Trackless Trolleys' —electric buses that drew power from overhead lines— with which it was replacing its fixed rail trolleys. In 1990, the Georgia Building Authority bought the property to house a dinner-train that ran between downtown Atlanta and Stone Mountain but shut it down in 1993. Semi-abandoned, Pratt-Pullman became a popular filming location.

As the buildings became dilapidated, efforts at preservation and environmental remediation by the city and local groups were rebuffed by the state of Georgia. In June 2017, the state sold the property, for $8 million, to Atomic Entertainment, which announced plans to 'renovate' the Pratt-Pullman Yard as an "arts-and-entertainment district."

Pratt-Pullman window fan (02)


Saturday, March 03, 2018

Pic(k) of the week: Krog Street swatch

Krog Street swatch

Festooned with street art and graffiti, the Krog Street Tunnel passes under Hulsey Yard —a major urban railyard for CSX in Atlanta, Georgia. Connecting the city's Cabbagetown neighborhood, on the south, and the Inman Park district, on the north, the tunnel was added to Atlanta's circumscribing park-trail, the BeltLine, in 2017.

In Atlanta, everybody and her sister seem to take photos and videos with the tunnel as backdrop: wannabe music videographers and models, promsters, and maybe even Donald Glover.

Who is YFGF to demur? So, today, here is my requisite photo of the Krog Street Tunnel —that I took in the tunnel— created with a time-lapse shot, on 27 February 2018.

  • The BeltLine is a former railway corridor around the core of Atlanta, Georgia, under development in stages as a multi-use trail. The plan for the BeltLine was developed in 1999 as a masters thesis by Ryan Gravel, a Georgia Tech student. In 2016, he resigned from the board of the project's developer, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, concerned by the dearth of equitable development and affordable housing around the trail, two of the original goals of the project.

  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of photos taken (or noted) by me, posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always (as is the case today), with a good fermentable as the subject.
  • See the photo on Flickr: here.
  • Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL1.
  • Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

  • For more from YFGF:

Monday, February 26, 2018

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 3/4/5, 2018.

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

Weeks 3/4/5
14 January - 3 February 2018

    Catching up on (waaay) overdue Clamps & Gaskets!

  • 1 February 2018
    In a longterm severe drought, Capetown —South Africa's second most populous city, at 3.7 million people— to literally run out of water by the middle of April, a day dubbed Zero Day. The government has limited citizens to fifty liters of water per day (a bit more than 13 gallons).
    — Via MSN.

  • 1 February 2018
    Happy Brewsters' Day! The Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Brigid of Kildare (c. 451 – 525 AD) —one of three patron saints of Ireland (with Patrick and Columba)— on 1 February. A patron saint of brewers, Brigid herself was a brewer; one miracle attributed to her was turning water into beer.
    — Via Wikipedia.

  • 1 February 2018
    U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam has rejected a request by North Coast —a northern California 'craft' brewery— to dismiss a lawsuit by the son of late jazz great Thelonious Monk, who claimed that the brewery ha exploited his father's name and image without permission to sell beer-themed merchandise, such as cups, hoodies, mouse pads, soap and other items, that might appear associated with the musician. Without ruling on the merits, the judge found that it was "more than plausible" that Thelonious Monk, Jr. had a right to control the commercial value of his father's persona.
    — Via Reuters.

  • 29 January 2018
    When 'selling out' isn't necessarily selling out. To meet demand, the seven-year-old ,craft' brewery Reaver Beach Brewing, husband-and-wife-owned in Virginia Beach, sells a majority stake to a private Texas investor ... who is a fan of the brewery's Hoptopus 'double' IPA.
    — Via The Virginia-Pilot.

  • 29 January 2018
    U.S. brewers shipped 3.8 million fewer barrels of beer in 2017 versus 2016, a 2.2 percent drop, the largest percentage decrease in sixty-three years, according to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB) unofficial estimate of domestic tax paid shipments.
    — Via Brewbound.

  • Georgia Brewery Growth 2015-2017

  • 29 January 2018
    2017 was a great year for Georgia beer, and 2018 looks to continue on that trend.

    • 75 breweries and brewpubs active in Georgia, as of 31 December 2017 (38.9% growth over 2016).
    • 54 breweries and brewpubs active in Georgia as of 31 December 2016 (22.7% growth over 2015).
    • 44 breweries and brewpubs active in 2015.
    • That works out to 70% growth since 2015.
    • On 1 September 2017, Georgia became the 51st (that is, the last) of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. to permit its breweries to sell their own beers in their own taprooms to their own customers. (The penultimate laggard, Mississippi, enabled its permission on 1 July 2017.
    — More, via Beer Guys Radio.

  • 26 January 2018
    Between 2012 and 2017, U.S. hop acreage grew 95.8% to a record 53,200 acres. Now, there's a glut and (as some 'craft' breweries fail to honor their orders), some hop farmers and brokers are facing a crunch.
    — Via Tara Nurin, at Forbes.

  • 24 January 2018
    Willamette, Mt. Hood, Liberty, Sterling, Cluster, Cascades, and other hops, integral to U.S. 'craft' beer business: all of those are, to no small extent, the handiwork of one U.S. government hop breeder, Dr. Al Haunold.
    — His story, via Gary Gillman, at Beer et seq.

  • 24 January 2018
    The New Yorker laments the slow death of blogs. Beer writer Jeff Alworth disagrees, about blogs in general and beer blogs in particular:
    Years ago, when social media became ascendant, blogs did seem doomed. But then the limitations of social media presented themselves: conversations were siloed, information was lost after a few days, and longer, nuanced points were all but impossible. Blogs are faster and more interactive than magazines, but more thoughtful and permanent than social media. Beer blogs are far from dead; in fact, one could argue they’re more indispensable than ever.
    — Via Beervana.

  • Charlie Papazian meets fans
  • 23 January 2018
    The 'godfather' of American homebrewing and 'craft' beer, Charlie Papazian, announces his pending retirement from the [U.S.] Brewers Association, the organization he founded (along with American Homebrewers Association and Great American Beer Festival), effective January 2019.
    — Via American Homebrewers Association.

  • 23 January 2018
    Grazing with the greats. South African trumpeter, singer, and activist, Hugh Masekela, whose music became symbolic of that country’s anti-apartheid movement, has died at 78. http://bit.ly/2DxBUJz
    — Via The Guardian.

  • Euphonia Pilsner @ New Realm & Beltline (01)
  • 21 January 2018
    A stunning opening shot: a lager from the man who wrote the book on IPA: Euphonia Pilsner, from Mitch Steele, at his not-yet-three-weeks-old New Realm Brewing.
    — Via YFGF.

  • 20 January 2018
    CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) is a U.K.-based consumer organization, with over 190,000 members, that promotes 'real ale,' 'real cider,' and 'traditional' British pubs. It has released its long-awaited "revitalisation" proposals:
    • CAMRA’s representation widens to include all pub goers and drinkers of quality beer
    • CAMRA’s scope widens to include quality beer of all types
    • CAMRA will campaign for and promote all on-trade venues where quality beer, cider and perry is sold, not just traditional pubs and clubs
    • CAMRA will not extend its current support of the off-trade.
    Quality beer is vaguely synonymous with craft beer and as good a term as any for this conversation. These proposals will now need to be accepted at the annual general meeting in April.
    — Via Boak & Bailey.

  • 18 January 2018
    Smuttynose Brewing Company, founded in New Hampshire in 1994, is seeking an immediate buyer prior to a planned March 9th auction of all of its assets. Smuttynose employs 68 people and generates $10 million dollars in annual revenue. Over the past year, the brewery has been operating at 50% of its 75,000 barrel a year capacity. Smuttynose owner Peter Egelston said:
    The company’s financial models were based on 20 years of consistent growth but the explosion of microbreweries has led to changing dynamics in the marketplace. This dramatic shift occurred just as Smuttynose committed to a major infrastructure investment with the construction of the new production facility. As the turmoil in the marketplace stabilizes, Smuttynose, a trusted brand with strong consumer loyalty, can regain its footing with a major infusion of capital.
    — Via Beer Street Journal.

  • 18 January 2018
    Incroyable! For the first time in 950 years, the Bayeux Tapestry —the 70 yard-long tapestry that tells in pictures the story of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, a pivotal historical event for Britain —returns to Britain, on temporary loan from France.
    — Via Washington Post.

  • 18 January 2018
    Beer rating social-media app UnTappd has released its list of the top ten 'checked-in' beers during 2017. Seven were IPAs, including the most 'checked-in,' All Day IPA, a so-called 'session IPA,' from Founders Brewing of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In second was Bells Two-Hearted Ale, also an IPA.
    — Via Beer Street Journal.

  • 18 January 2018
    NASA data show that the years 2015, 2016, and 2017 were the three hottest years ever recorded. Furthermore, 17 of the 18 hottest years recorded since 1850 have occurred since 2000.
    — Via The Guardian.

  • 17 January 2018
    Nearly all the members of the National Park System Advisory Board —which designates national historic and natural landmarks— resign after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke refuses to convene the board's meetings.
    — Via Washington Post.

  • 16 January 2018
    When a nuclear engineer's avocation becomes part of American history. The "charismatic" wooden spoon that Charlie Papazian —founder of the American Homebrewers Association (among many other 'craft' firsts)— has used to brew homebrew for more than forty years— is being displayed by the Smithsonian's American History Museum in its American Brewing History Initiative.
    — Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 15 January 2018
    Green Flash Brewing (of San Diego and Virginia Beach) suddenly cuts its workforce by 15%; pulls distributon from thirty-three states (comprising 18% of its total sales). Is this yet another 'canary in a coal mine' warning for 'craft' beer? Is it a 1990s redux? Or is it merely solid business readjustment?
    — Via Craft Brewing Business.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Blues through the balustrade

Blues through the balustrade

As seen through the balcony balustrade, concert-goers (and beer drinkers) gather round Cincinnati, Ohio-born blues guitarist/vocalist Stacy Mitchhart during his performance at Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar, in the Printer's Alley district of Nashville, Tennessee, on 2 February 2018.

In 2003, Mitchhart received the 'Albert King Most Promising Guitarist Award' at the Blues Foundation's International Challenge, in Memphis, Tennessee and has won a Grammy and been nominated for two more, according to Wikipedia.

Don't forget the blues!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Tree in winter's afternoon

Tree in winter's afternoon

High dynamic range on a blustery winter's afternoon. Photo taken in Walker Park, in the Edgewood neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, on 15 February 2018.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: A porter at the brewhouse.

A porter at the brewhouse

This is the glorious, raisiny, chocolatey St. Charles Porter (without either of those ingredients added or needed) of Blackstone Brewing, in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Original Gravity (OG): 1.056
  • International Bittering Units (IBUs): 34
  • Color: 26 Lovibond
  • Alcohol-by-volume (abv): 5.8%
  • Hops: Centennial, Willamette.
  • Malts: 2-row pale, Crystal 60L, Belgian Special B, Chocolate malt, Flaked barley.
  • Yeast: Ballantine Ale (Chico)

If you were learning to brew-at-home in the U.S. back in 1988, you probably were an acolyte of one of two how-to-brew gurus: nuclear engineer Charlie Papazian or English teacher Dave Miller. Although I began with the former, I decamped to the latter, who, that year, had published "The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing."

The Complete Book of Home Brewing (Dave Miller, 1988)

Three years later, Mr. Miller turned pro, the first brewer for Schlafly Brewing in St. Louis. In the mid-1990s, he moved to Nashville, Tennesse to open Blackstone Brewing, that city's first 'craft' brewery.

Mr. Miller continued brewing at Blackstone until only a few years ago. A co-proprietor, he still returns autumnally to brew the brewery's Oktoberfest. Blackstone downsized recently, closing its brewpub, but it has maintained its large production facility, with a public taproom and a permanently visiting food truck.

Three decades ago, it was Mr. Miller's recipe and procedure for brewing Porter that hooked me on the craft. Today, Blackstone brews its award-winning St. Charles Porter, to Miller's recipe.

In early February 2018, I visited Nashville for a few days. I didn't meet Dave Miller while there, but I did meet his beer. It may have taken me thirty years, but, at long last, I was to taste his porter. At his brewery. In his taproom. On draft. Words in a book became real. Glorious.


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Drinking, again! Euphonia Pilsner, from new New Realm Brewing, reviewed.

Not quite four-weeks-old, New Realm Brewing sits along an eastside segment of the BeltLine, the not-yet city-circumnavigating paved park of Atlanta, Georgia. There, on weekends, just beyond this brewery/brewpub's upstairs and downstairs patios, it's a constant people-and-their-dogs parade. Whereas, inside and on the patios, the beers ain't bad, either.

Euphonia Pilsner @ New Realm & Beltline (01)

Pictured is a draft pour of Euphonia Pilsner: "a brewers' beer," the brewery calls it. A local Twitter-er, relying on American-centric beer-styling, asked me if it were a German-style or Bohemian-style pilsner. I replied, "Neither." I called it a stunning first shot for a just-opened brewery.

In appearance and demeanor, Euphonia Pilsner is a bright thing, with a new-age herbal bouquet sprung from a melange of Hersbrucker, Huell Melon, Saphir, and Sterling hops, a cracker-malt backbone, and a finishing slug of those hops as drying balance. The beer contains 5% alcohol-by-volume (that's "ABV," in the accepted, lazy parlance). It contains no fruit or superfluous hoo-ha. "Just the facts, ma'am."

And the beer has a great pedigree. Euphonia Pilsner's creator, Mitch Steele, is the award-winning past brewmaster for Stone Brewing (in California, et al.), renowned there for his hoppy India Pale Ales (IPAs). Now, here, at his own brewery on the East Coast, he's brewing...a lager.

Not to 'worry,' though. Mr. Steele —the man who wrote the book on IPA, literally— is brewing several IPAs at New Realm, as well. And they're spot-on.

A series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits).
No scores; only descriptions.


Saturday, February 03, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Shadows and light, angles and straight lines

Shadows and light, angles and straight lines.

Sometimes, you should look up from your beer.

I did. Once.

As seen above the courtyard at 5 Seasons Brewing Westside, in Atlanta, Georgia. 20 January 2018.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 1/2, 2018.

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

Weeks 1/2
1 January- 13 January 2018

  • 11 January 2018
    Overt or covert, unintended or disregarded. Misogyny and racism: the fetid under-beer-belly of craftbeer. http://bit.ly/2mh0C5D
    “Everybody has a diversity committee. That's the trendy thing to do,” said the big bearded white guy, one of four members of "The Brewsroom," a live Twitch-cast originating in the St. Louis, Missouri-area.
    — Via YFGF.

  • Reuben Brown, jazz pianist & composer (1939-2018)
  • 10 January 2018
    Reuben Brown (1939-2018) —one of America's great jazz pianist/composers, relatively unknown to the general public, but renowned and highly regarded among musicians— has died. He lived and performed for most his life in the Washington, D.C.-area.
    — Via YFGF.

  • 9 January 2018
    "Cans and bottles: craft beer packaging trends in 2017," from Bart Watson, chief economist for the [U.S.] Brewers Association.
    • Although bottles remain the majority of craft beer packaging, craft continued to see share shift toward cans.
    • This shift has been driven partially by shifting package mix from brewers, but has been equally driven by growth dynamics wherein (smaller) brewers that use cans more are growing faster.
    • In fact, most brewers didn’t change their packaging at all.”
    • Based on the 2016 Brewery Operations and Benchmarking Survey, craft brewer production volumes are roughly 41.4% draught (either kegged or via brite tank) versus 58.6% packaged. Cans rose to 16.7% of total craft production, against 41.9% for bottles, meaning that cans are 28.5% of packaged production.
    — Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 9 January 2018
    In an otherwise shrill piece on the detrimental health aspects of the 'craft' beer tax cut (e.g., 'it will cause many alcohol-related deaths'), a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution offers an economic non-trickle-down analysis of the (temporary) excise tax cut:
    For every $20 in excise tax cuts, $1 will actually accrue to a craft brewer or distiller. The rest goes to importers or large domestic producers. The biggest changes in the bill are low excise tax rates on small production amounts," Looney says. "On the face, it looks like it will only benefit small producers. ... But there are new technical changes to how beer can be distributed and sold, which allow large producers to essentially pass off their products as craft, and get the low rate.The overwhelming benefit actually goes to large producers. In some ways, it increases the competition that true craft brewers will face.
    — Via National Public Radio.

  • 9 January 2018
    The [U.S.] Brewers Association awards seventeen grants totaling $432,658 for U.S. research into barley and hops.
    — Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 8 January 2018
    Mitch Steele —past brewmaster for Stone Brewing in California (and Richmond, Virginia and Berlin, Germany)— opens New Realm Brewing, his own production brewery/restaurant, in partnership, in Atlanta, Georgia.
    I want to brew a lot of IPAs and do a lot of fun things with hops, but I looked at this also as a chance to get back into brewing some classic styles.
    — Via Bob Townsend, at Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

  • 8 January 2018
    What is 'craft' beer? From a piece on the relative perniciousness of ownership by conglomerate or venture capitalist, one writer's definition:
    Profit maximization be damned. To me, that’s craft.
    — Via Jacob Berg, at DC Beer.

  • 7 January 2018
    By the maths, Bryan D. Roth identifies the 'best' beers of 2017. [Spoiler alert: the 'best' were very hoppy and very alcoholic ales, aka DIPAs. And very rare and limited-release beers, too.]
    Since 2014, I’ve been pulling together a compilation of 'best beer' lists from writers and publications across the U.S., taking subjective choices of what is 'best' and trying to add some layers of objectivity on top. The goal of compiling these lists into one conglomeration allows for some consensus – or at least clearer focus – of what pleased the palate of 'taste makers' from around the country.
    — Via [U.S.] This is Why I'm Drunk.

  • Graham Wheeler, homebrew guru, R.I.P.
  • 6 January 2018
    Graham Wheeler, co-author of home brewing books for the Campaign for Real Ale, died in late November 2017. His several books instructed generations of budding homebrewers, British and over here.
    — An appreciation, via Ed's Beer Site.

  • 6 January 2018
    Trump to permit drilling in ALL U.S. waters, including protected areas of the Arctic and Atlantic, even though the action is opposed by governors, attorneys general, U.S. lawmakers, and the Defense Department.(UPDATE: Interior Zinke grants exemption to Florida.]
    — Via Washington Post.

  • 6 January 2018
    Congratulations to Ray Daniels. His Cicerone Certification Program, an international program to improve beer service, administered its first exams, ten years ago, today, on 3 January 2008.
    The question that most people ask me about the founding of the program is, “Why?” Specifically: why did I decide to start a beer sommelier program? I always say that the answer is simple: Bad beer.
    — Via Cicerone Certification Program.

  • 5 January 2018
    "Brown ales may be unfashionable, but the style is timeless."
    Current American beer culture seems to revolve around a couple of styles: sour beers, which can be altogether wonderful and fascinating, and American India pale ales, which have dominated the craft beer market for so long that it’s a wonder they have not yet fallen out of fashion. ¶ Brown ales and like-minded styles — including straightforward lagers, pilsners and porters — to name a few, are very different sorts of beers. They occupy subtler realms, quenching thirst with pure flavors and perhaps a snappy zestiness in the case of pilsner and a rich depth in the case of porter. They are not flamboyant styles that wow with complexity or make themselves the centers of attention. They simply satisfy.
    — Via Eric Asimov, at New York Times.

  • 5 January 2018
    It’s baffling to me that people are trying to make sessionable versions of other beers, when there are already milds out there. Even more mystifying is that American brewers have found that if they call their beer a 'mild,' no one will buy it. If they give it a name without mild in it, people will order it. But I love milds, if only more people made them.
    — Via Jay Brooks, for Beer Blogging Friday: The Session, at Brookston Beer Bulletin.

  • 2 January 2018
    "A grassroots industry struggles to find leadership on social issues.
    "[Craft] breweries, almost exclusively run by white people, who serve beer to a predominantly white audience, don’t exactly align with what would feel like an 'authentic' sell should they show up with a case of IPA in a majority black neighborhood."
    — Via Bryan D. Roth, at Good Beer Hunting.

  • 7 January 2018
    Since 2015, the number of breweries in just the state of Georgia alone [HQ to YFGF] has increased by 70%.
    — Via Beer Guys Radio.

  • 2 January 2018
    A customer at Dystopian State, a 'craft' brewery in Tacoma, Washington, did not like a beer he had tasted there. He really didn't. He posted a negative, graphic review on the brewery's Facebook page: the “only place I have spit beer back into a glass.” In response, the head brewer and co-owner sent him several homophobic and violence-threatening messages (pictured below). There was immediate opprobrium. Soon thereafter, the head brewer was suspended. The brewery apologized on its Facebook page and removed its Twitter account.
    — Via Seattle Magazine.

  • Supermoon rising (+1)
  • 1 January 2018
    It's the Wolf Moon on the evening of 1 January, which will not only be the second full moon of a two-month trilogy of supermoons (when the full moon occurs at the moon's closest approach to earth) but the first of two supermoons in January. And that supermoon will be full during a lunar eclipse and, thus, be a 'blood' moon. Astronomical!
    — Via Space.com.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Cask ale pourer

Cask ale pourer

On 20 January 2018, the East Coast cold snap snapped; it was a glorious winter's day for real ales.

Fifty-three cask beers would be poured for a full house of festival go-ers during the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting, held at 5 Seasons Brewpub in the westside Midtown district of Atlanta, Georgia. Above, a volunteer pours one of those beers from a firkin (a 10.8 U.S.-gallon cask).

Of the scheduled fifty-six beers:
  • Thirty-four were adulterated with some manner of gallimaufry, including, but not limited to Tang, bacon, and eggnog, all of which demean the very raison d'etre of cask-conditioning.
  • Six were sour or saison-ish beers, which misses the point.
  • One cask had gone completely off, which was unfortunate.
  • Another was a lager, which, of course, is not cask-conditioned ALE at all. Ditto a mead and a cider, neither beer.
  • Three British cask ales, unadulterated, failed to appear because of inclement weather over the importer's warehouse, which was aggravating.
  • But ten were, indeed, *just* cask-conditioned real ales, showcasing themselves in fresh form, which is the point.
Of those, some were delights; and one delightfully so.

In my estimation, Fourteen Twenty Dark Mild was the star of the show, a balanced beauty of a beer at 4.5% alcohol-by-volume (abv) and 20 International Bittering Units (IBU), brewed and conditioned by Mitch Steele, brewmaster and co-owner of New Realm Brewing, his recently-opened Atlanta production brewery and restaurant. There could be a touch of irony in that. After all, it was Steele —who wrote the book, literally, on IPA when he was brewmaster for Stone Brewing —who brought that gently hopped 'session' beer to the festival. The judges —whoever they were— agreed, awarding his Dark Mild first place.

Dark Mild wins! (02)

In addition to the hospitality of 5 Seasons, kudos and thanks should be given to Owen Ogletree, the festival's organizer, who arranged things ably, as he has done for fourteen years.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ninkasi-speed, Charlie Papazian!

Charlie Papazian meets fans


Yesterday, on his 70th birthday, Charlie Papazian —the 'godfather' of American 'craft' brewing and American homebrewing— announced that, after his more than forty-year career, he is retiring from the [U.S.] Brewers Association —the advocacy group for small and independent American breweries— that he founded in 1979 (or more properly, its predecessor, the Association of Brewers).

Educated as a nuclear engineer, a homebrewer by hobby, Mr. Papazian, has an extensive curriculum cerevisiae.
  • He founded the American Homebrewers Association in 1978, when homebrewing in the U.S. was still technically illegal. Today, the hobby is legal in all 50 states. Papazian's efforts were a crucial part of that evolution.
  • In 1982, he organized (with Daniel Bradford) the first-ever Great American Beer Festival —since held annually, and considered the premier annual national competition for American breweries.
  • In 1996, he organized the first, now bi-annual, World Beer Cup.
  • In 1976, he self-published his seminal how-to, The Joy of Homebrew, formally published in 1984 as The Complete Joy of Home Brewing. He is the author of several more influential books on homebrewing, beer, and mead.
The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing (1991)

In December, Mr. Papazian donated his "charismatic" wooden spoon —the 'high-tech' instrument with which he has brewed and taught homebrewing to several generations of hobbyists and professionals— to the Smithsonian's American History Museum for its American Brewing History Initiative.

Mr. Papazian's advocacy was in no small measure instrumental in shepherding the successful revival of good beer in America. His books inspired and educated successive generations of homebrewers, many of whom would later convert their avocations into 'craft' beer professions (including the author of this blog).

Ninkasi-speed, Charlie! Thank you for all you've done —and continue to do. And, now, as you have long admonished us in your books and in person:

"Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew."

...or two!


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Good to the last drip!

Good to the last drip

A thirsty bartender found the cask ale to be ... good to the last drop. But, hey, dude! That's ... the drip pan.

It's a blast from the past, a throwback Pic(k) of the Week. On 29 June 2007, Clipper City Brewing tapped a firkin of Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA, at Barleys Taproom & Pizzeria, in Greenville, South Carolina. It was, in fact, the first cask the pub had ever served.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 51/52, 2017.

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

Weeks 51/52
17 December - 31 December 2017

  • 31 December 2017
    The Wine Spectator's 2017's wine of the year:
    Of the nearly 17,000 wines under review this year, more than 5,600 rated 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale. From that starting point, we looked for wines that excelled in four criteria: quality (based on score), value (based on price), availability (based on cases either made or imported into the U.S. and, most importantly, a compelling story behind the wine. This year's Top 100 features a strong showing of wines from the United States: nearly 25 percent are from California. Overall, domestic wines account for one-third of our class of 2017, including the Wine of the Year: [...] Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley Three Palms Vineyard 2014, representing a comeback story starring a grape much maligned over the last decade.
    — Via Wine Spectator.

  • 30 December 2017
    The dumbest beer-exec statement of 2017?
    From the guy responsible for marketing [Bud Light] the largest beer brand in the country, a brand that continues to post sales declines of 5-6%--a staggering (!) 1.9 million barrels of beer volume lost in the current year alone--comes this: “...(the) Bud Light veep... said Dilly Dilly is 'creating such a fun buzz' and the 'creative team is having a blast.' ”

    Ad-agency creative people are paid handsome salaries to create advertising that sells beer. "Having a blast" is what they do after work, over alcohol beverages (although rarely beer) and banned substances. But maybe, in this case, they should be giddy. They have a client so clueless as to spend millions and, rather than hold them accountable for sales results, he celebrates their... celebrating.
    — Via past Coors advertising executive Dan Fox.

  • Bombogenesis, January 2018
  • 28 December 2017
    A near historic cold-snap, that some meteorologists have called "bombogenesis" or "bomb cyclone" hits the U.S. midwest and east coast.
    — Via Earther.

  • 27 December 2017
    Mike Hastings, past head brewer for national 'craft brewing company Oskar Blues at its plant in North Carolina, assumes the same position for Lost Rhino Brewery in Ashburn, Virginia.
    — Via Lost Rhino Brewery. [Instagram]

  • 23 December 2017
    "Carole" was an Old French word referring to a round of dancers, singing and holding hands. It came to mean a song or hymn related to Christmas.
    — The etymology of "carole," via British Library.

  • 21 December 2017
    With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, craft breweries will receive a tax cut. Beer writer Jeff Alworth asks: "Is it good policy?"
    • Small brewery making 2,000 barrels of beer: $7,000 tax cut.
    • Large regional brewery making a million barrels: $2,090,000 tax cut
    • Large regional brewery making 2 m barrels: $4,090,000 tax cut
    • Large industrial brewery making six million barrels: $12,000,000 tax cut.
    These tax cuts are still the best deal, per barrel, to the small brewery. But as with the Trump tax cut in general, the serious cash accrues to the already-successful. The vast majority of beer excise taxes cut by Congress will go to the largest breweries. They pay the most in taxes, so you may feel like this is only fair. On balance, given the short window and puny benefit small breweries will actually realize, the whole thing looks a lot like another way to transfer federal dollars to giant corporations. Your mileage may vary, but I see no public policy good served by this wealth transfer.
    — Via Beervana.

  • Session double
  • 22 December 2017
    A brewer in Virginia posts a dark lament to Facebook.
    IPA, IPA, IPA! I think it's time that 'real beer' drinkers and brewers (not the Instagrammers and Untappd abusers) take beer back. When was the last time anyone saw a brown ale or a porter or stout that wasn't flavored or imperial? There is nothing quite like a nice, unflavored porter. DARK BEERS MATTER!
    — That and porter's demise in Ireland in 1973, via YFGF.

  • 21 December 2017
    DRAFT Magazine online chooses its top 25 "the most interesting, innovative and well-executed" beers of 2017. [Beers from brewpubs and non-packaging breweries are MIA.]
    — Via DRAFT.

  • 20 December 2017
    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act contains a non-tax provision to permit drilling for oil in the until-now environmentally protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
    — Via The Hill.

  • 20 December 2017
    The 115th United States Congress has passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Included in the legislation is the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) that lowers the federal excise tax for breweries, wineries and distilled spirits producers. The provisions become effective 1 January 2018.
    — Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 20 December 2017
    Parti-gyling is NOT the production of several beers from different runnings of the same mash, as is often stated in beer writing. Beer historian Ron Pattinson set the record straight...in 2010.
    • Real party-gyling is where you blend 3 or 4 worts of different strengths in differing proportion in different fermenting vessels to make worts of different gravities in order to create several beers. The important point is that even the weakest beer will get some of the strongest wort.
    • Despite what many homebrewers believe, parti-gyling is not using each separate running to make a different beer. That method of brewing disappeared about 1762.
    • And, despite what many beer writers have claimed, party-gyling didn't pretty much die out by 1800. It's a common feature of all the brewing records I've looked at from 1805 to 1965.
    — Via Shut Up about Barclay Perkins.

  • 19 December 2017
    The U.S. government has publicly acknowledged that North Korea was behind the WannaCry computer worm that affected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries earlier this year.
    — Via MSN News.

  • Christmas sprites (01)
  • 19 December 2017
    Not quite the Twelve Beers of Christmas but nine beers of winter: "Classic craft, "International flavor," and Georgia-brewed "Local cheer."
    — Via Bob Townsend, Beer Town writer for Atlanta Journal Constitution.

  • 19 December 2017
    British beer writers Jessica Boak and Ray Bailey select their favorite web-scribblings on beer from around the world-wide-web in 2017.
    — Via Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog.

  • 18 December 2017
    The TTB —the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau— is the primary federal regulatory agency responsible for the brewing industry.
    • In 2017, through August, the TTB had received 31,396 applications for beer label approval, a 15.4% over 2016. The vast majority of those applications (97.5 percent) are now electronically submitted.
    • In mid-2016, label approval processing times were averaging 24 days for malt beverages. With additional resources and staffing, the goal for label approval turnaround was 10 days by the end of FY 2017. As of September 11, processing time had dropped to two days.
    • Advocacy efforts led to success when an additional $5 million was added to TTB’s FY 2016 appropriations to accelerate processing of formula and label applications [and] allowing [TTB] to hire 13 additional labeling and formulation specialists. Ten were working as of June 28.
    • Although the 53-day average processing time in August 2017 was a sharp improvement from the average processing time of 178 days in August 2016, the TTB recognizes the need for additional improvements.
    — Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.