Sunday, November 11, 2018

100 years later: peace on Earth, goodwill toward mankind?

Armistice Day, Paris, 11 November 1918.

Ten million soldiers dead.

One-hundred years ago, today, at the 11th hour (Paris, France time) of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice went into effect and World War I —the "War to End All Wars"— ended. War, not.

One year later, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson commemorated the first observance of Armistice Day (which, in years to come, in the U.S. would be honored as Veterans Day).
A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half.

With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought.

Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men.

To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.

The photo, from the British Imperial War Museum depicts an American sailor, an American Red Cross Nurse, and two British soldiers, standing near the Paris Gate at Vincennes, Paris, all celebrating the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918. It may not be a beer photo, but —in memory of those who fought and died, and in the ever hope of real peace on Earth, goodwill toward mankind— it marks an occasion that is, at the very least, more than worthy of a toast with a good beer.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Fallen allée

Fallen allée

It was only an afterthought.

Mucked from rains the day before, the unfinished Peavine Creek trail was a side-creek of mud. I climbed from the narrow forest in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, to a neighborhood street. I turned around and saw the scene: an allée of trees and fallen aureate leaves waiting to be framed.

Druid Hills, Atlanta, Georgia, 7 November 2018.

What I snapped then was, by far, my best shot of that hike. Sometimes, I think I get a bit closer to 'getting' it — the photography thing, that is. I have my brother —a real photographer— to thank for that.

Slow down for the trees.


Friday, November 09, 2018

The first autobiography in English was written by a brewster.

14th century brewer Margery Kempe: the English language's first autobiographer

On this day (9 November) the Anglican Community honors Margery Kempe (c. 1373 – 1438): a brewster *, grain-miller, Christian mystic, and the English language's first autobiographer.

Kempe wrote the "The Book of Margery Kempe," chronicling her domestic tribulations, her extensive pilgrimages to holy sites in Europe and the Holy Land, and her mystical conversations with God. The book is generally considered to be the first autobiography written in the English language.

Although the Church of England honors Margery Kempe today, the U.S. Episcopal Church does so earlier in the year, on 28 September. And the Catholic Church has never designated her a saint.


Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Beer! Reason enough for all craft beer brewsters, brewers, and drinkers to vote, today.

Today, November 6, 2018, for one short minute
— you, 'craft' beer brewster, brewer, or drinker —
you can be the most powerful person in the nation.


Think issues don’t impact you? You’d be shocked to know the number of people I encounter who think beer and politics don’t intersect. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, alcohol and beer are overwhelmingly political. How many other industries have not just one, but two amendments to the U.S. Constitution? The 18th and 21st amendments are specifically about alcohol. From the taverns of the 1700s to the tasting rooms of today, our country has a long and complicated history with booze, and it is very much intertwined with politics.

Need a Reason to Vote?

Below are some of the issues that your state and federal legislators and regulators have a say in that could impact small and independent breweries.
  • 1. Tasting Room Laws:
    • Not being able to sell beer to go.
    • Restrictive growler sales laws.
    • Limiting how much beer you can sell from your tasting room.
    • Not being able to host trivia, show football games, or have food trucks.
    • Not being allowed to have children in your brewery.

  • 2. When and Where Beer Can Be Sold:
    There are still states that impose restrictions on retail sales. *

  • 3. Blue Laws:
    There are many counties across the country where it is still illegal to sell alcohol.

  • 4. Federal and State Excise Taxes:
    • Federal excise taxes for breweries are currently lower, but only for a period from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019. Congress will decide whether to extend or make this legislation permanent.
    • State excise taxes fluctuate more often than federal excise taxes. Most recently, Delaware’s excise tax on beer increased by 2¢ per 12-ounce can.

  • 5. FDA, USDA, and TTB Regulations:
    From farm to table, everything about your beer is regulated. The administration and Congress have a say in a broad amount of regulations. Remember the spent grain debacle? Your legislators helped solve that.

  • 6. Tariffs and Trade:
    Tariffs on steel and aluminum, tariffs against products from China, and the new NAFTA all have the potential to impact breweries. Your elected officials are influential in some of these issues. Both the Farm Bill and the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreement still need to be voted on.

  • 7. Shipping Laws:
    While wineries are able to ship direct to consumers in most states, breweries are not. Homebrewers also face severe restrictions when shipping beer to competitions. These issues have both state and federal implications.

  • 8. New Members of Congress:
    In the 115th Congress, the House Small Brewers Caucus has 234 members, and the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act has 303 co-sponsors in the House and 55 in the Senate (more than half the U.S. Congress). Eighty members of this Congress are either retiring, have retired, are running for a different office, or have passed away. That doesn’t account for the members who will lose their re-elections. With 535 members, there is a chance that one-fifth of the U.S. Congress will be new members. We want to work with people who understand and support the needs of breweries.

    Voting Isn’t Just a Right, It’s a Responsibility

    People rely on our businesses to survive. There are close to 7,000 breweries in the United States, employing more than 135,000 people. Small and independent breweries in the U.S. are valued at $26 billion. We also support a multitude of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, and retail.

    Many breweries have already started to take responsibility. Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine; New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo.; and IMBIB Custom Brews in Reno, Nev. have joined with Patagonia, Walmart, and other companies on the non-partisan “Time to Vote” campaign, which aims to increase awareness about the steps employers can take to give their employees time to vote. They understand that an active and engaged electorate is good for the brewing industry. You can follow in their footsteps by voting and by giving your staff time to vote, too.

    Activism is just as important to the longevity of the brewing community as quality, safety, and authenticity. Please make sure to vote!
Katie Marisic
Federal affairs manager at the [U.S.] Brewers Association. Based in Washington, D.C. she plans and executes legislative, regulatory, and political strategies to drive the Association's federal affairs presence on Capitol Hill.


Saturday, November 03, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Bridge over Hardee Creek

Bridge over Hardee Creek

It's only a small pedestrian bridge over Hardee Creek in the Kirkwood Urban Forest Preserve, in Atlanta, Georgia, but walking over it, the (intrepid) explorer could (almost) forget she is within the city limits.

Perspective. It's how you look at it (excluding the quantum level, of course).

1 November 2018.