Monday, January 08, 2018

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 49/50, 2017.

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

Weeks 49/50
3 December - 16 December 2017

  • 16 December 2017
    We've lost another songstress: "smokey balladeer" Keely Smith, who came to prominence singing with bandleader Louis Prima.
    — Via Washington Post.

  • 15 December 2017
    Trump forbids the Centers for Disease Control from using seven words/phrases: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based.”
    — Via Washington Post.

  • 15 December 2017
    Mundell Lowe, a jazz guitarist whose versatility and understated elegance led to assignments accompanying such performers as Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Frank Sinatra and even Marilyn Monroe, died Dec. 2 at his home in San Diego. He was 95.
    — Via Washington Post.

  • 13 December 2017
    The [U.S.] Brewers Association releases its review of 'Craft' Beer in 2017; omits data for sales and production.
    • There were 6,000 breweries in operation during 2017—with 98 percent of them small and independent 'craft' brewers.
    • At present, 83 percent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a local brewery.
    • 'Craft' breweries contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016, a 21.7 percent increase from 2014. [2017?]
    • In 2016, 'craft' breweries were responsible for more than 456,373 full-time equivalent jobs, a 7.5 percent increase from 2014, with 128,768 of those jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs. [2017?]
    • More than 2,700 small and independent 'craft' brewing companies, representing more than 75 percent of domestic volume, have signed on to use the "Independent Craft Brewer Seal," informing beer lovers they are choosing a beer from a brewery that is independently owned. [But how many breweries?]
    • There are currently an estimated 1.1 million homebrewers in the U.S. In 2017, they produced more than 1.4 million barrels of beer—equaling one percent of total U.S. beer production. The National Homebrew Competition, hosted by the American Homebrewers Association, continues to be the world’s largest beer competition with 8,618 entries from 3,530 homebrewers worldwide.
    • The average 'craft' beer drinker visits 3.5 breweries near their homes and 2.5 breweries within two hours’ driving distance.
    • American 'craft' breweries donated an estimated $73.4 million to charitable causes in 2016, up from $71 million in 2014. [2017?]
    — Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 13 December 2017
    The Federal Communications Commission votes 3 to 2 to repeal net neutrality protections.
    The decision is a blow for consumers and a win for internet service companies like Verizon and Comcast, which gain the power to dramatically reshape—and limit—the way Americans access the internet. Net neutrality, a series of Obama-era protections, require internet service providers to treat all data equally, preventing ISPs from charging more for certain services, or restricting access to certain content.
    — Via Daily Beast.

  • Anchor Christmas 2017
  • 13 December 2017
    Forty-three years of Anchor Brewing's Our Special Ale.
    — Via Tom Bedell.

  • 13 December 2017
    "No barley, no beer." Climate change is threatening the barley crop in Montana, especially barley grown for malting, and, thus, for beer. Extended drought and higher than previously normal summer temperatures are desiccating the crop, while extreme storms are physically harming and rotting it. Many Montana farmers are being forced to sell the resultant inferior malting barley as feed grain, at a much lower price. In 2017, Montana farmers planted 770,000 acres of malt barley for the beer market, down from nearly a million acres in 2016.
    — Via Food & Environment Reporting Network.

  • 12 December 2017
    Contemporary brewers use the term IPA rather loosely to describe virtually any hoppy beer. But hey, if you brewed it, you can call it whatever the hell you want.
    — Via George Rivers, at Beer Strength Matters.

  • 11 December 2017
    Boston Beer to become only the nation's second 'craft' brewery to enter into a partnership with a Major League Baseball team. In 2018, Samuel Adams will be the official beer of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. In 2017, the Kansas City Royals selected Boulevard Beer as its official 'craft' beer (if not its official beer, per se).
    — Via The Full Pint.

  • 11 December 2017
    Celebrity chef Mario Batali to step away from his restaurants and businesses amid allegations of sexual misconduct raised against him.
    — Via New York Times.

  • 11 December 2017
    After Trump slashes U.S. government science budgets, French President Emmanuel Macron to pay U.S. climate scientists to work in France, to "make our planet great again."
    — Via Washington Post.

  • 11 December 2017
    Is the popularity of the so-called 'New England'-style IPA (NEIPA) here to stay? Yes, says Bryan D. Roth. “The hop war is over, and the bitter side lost.”
    Within industry context, NE IPA’s nascent presence makes it fair to wonder what kind of staying power the style may have, but unlike other creations that have seasonal or specialty lifespans (Pastry Stout, anyone?), New England IPA has found a footing on many levels, from an exciting, new process in which brewers can play, to providing preferred experiences for drinkers and, for better or worse, creating new business models for companies. Indeed, there’s more to NE IPA’s success than a bunch of beer geeks posting photos on Instagram.
    — Via Roth, at Good Beer Hunting.

  • 10 December 2017
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by United Nations, on this date, 10 December, in 1948.

  • 10 December 2017
    Simeon Booker —the dean of Washington D.C.'s black press corps, the first African-American reporter hired at the Washington Post, who took the 1955 story of Emmit Till's torture and murder to a national audience, white and black— has died at 99.
    — Via National Public Radio.

  • 7 December 2017
    What constitutes a 'good' draft beer list?
    • While pub customers come to retail establishments for various occasions, 69% of them prefer roughly the same number of rotating and standard taps. That means, that for many accounts, balance will be key.
    • Quality is more important than price in driving the decision to drink 'craft' (44% versus 33%).
    • Once a consumer has decided on a 'craft' beer, quality of product (59%), style (48%), and brand reputation (31%) are the three most important influencers in brand choice for craft beer drinkers.
    • For those without a drink category preference, the price is the No. 1 purchase driver, with 43% of those who don’t know which category they will drink saying price is their decider.
    • Trial declines with age. Too many choices and a lack of consistent offerings can discourage older consumers.
    — Via Nielsen and CGA Strategy, at the [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • Big Blue Marble
  • 7 December 2017
    On this date, 45 years ago, on 7 December 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 took its soon-to-become-famous "Blue Marble" photograph of Earth ... from 18,000 miles away in space.
    — Via Charles Bergquist (Director, Science Friday radio program).

  • 5 December 2017
    • The Congressional Tax Cut and Jobs Act contains the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act —lowering the beer excise tax— in both the House and Senate versions
      — Statement from the [U.S.] Brewers Association.
    • Comment from Bob Pease, President of [U.S.] Brewers Association:
      Will the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act result in less expensive beer for the consumer. The answer is no.
      — Via DC Beer.

  • 4 December 2017
    Trump shrinks Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah by 1.1 million acres and 800,000 acres, respectively, the largest reduction of public lands protection in U.S. history.
    — Via Washington Post.

  • Clamps and Gaskets is a bi-weekly wrap-up of stories about beer (or wine, or whisky) and other things.
  • Today's Clamps & Gaskets is overdue. Despite my pleading holiday revelry, my editor is not pleased.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created for YFGF by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

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