Monday, February 20, 2017

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 5/6, 2017.

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

Weeks 5/6
29 January - 11 February 2017

    Liquor at 36% alcohol market share; beer, 47%.
  • 7 February 2017
    No, Bloomberg. Americans did NOT ditch beer for cocktails in 2016.

    Yes, it's true that the percentage of Americans, in 2016, choosing beer over liquor fell by ONE percent while the reverse —Americans choosing liquor over beer— rose by ONE percent. But no, Americans did NOT switch “pints for shots.” If anything, in 2016, beer remained the preferred alcoholic beverage for most Americans, at 44%, while those who preferred spirits sat lower, at 36%. That's hardly a ditching of beer. It IS an obfuscating framing of insights and analysis by the Distilled Spirts Council, a trade organization for —surprise, surprise— liquor. To be honest, its graph does show a troubling trend —a seven-year downward percentage trend for beer — but nowhere near a rejection of beer as Americans' primary alcoholic beverage choice.

    Gallup, by the way, with less of a dog in the fight, had different data for 2016: 43% of Americans preferred beer, 32% said wine, while only 20% said liquor. And its data showed a rising percentage for beer preference over recent years.

    Data are in the eyes graphs of the manipulators.
    • —Commentary by YFGF.
    • —Original story via Bloomberg.

  • 6 February 2017
    Small U.S. cheese producers are developing their own microbiological starters, in order to end dependence on agra-conglomerates DuPont and Cargill.
    —Via New York Times.

  • 6 February 2017
    The world's foremost authority (full stop) has died. Professor Irwin Corey was 102.
    Why do I wear tennis shoes? That's two questions. Do I wear tennis shoes? The answer to that question is, 'Yes.' 'Why?' That's a question philosophers have been pondering for centuries.
    However ...
    —Via National Public Radio .

  • 6 February 2017
    RateBeer's best of 2016 "emphasizes growing disconnect between beer lovers who use RateBeer and everyone else."
    —Via Bryan D. Roth, at This Is Why I'm Drunk.

  • 6 February 2017
    Good Beer Hunting —an influential 'craft' beer website/blog— creates a new beer website venture in partnership with ZX Ventures —an investment company owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. In its annnouncement of the new project, Good Beer Hunting calls itself the "Grantland" of beer websites, and the new venture —to be called "October— the "ESPN" of beer websites.
    —Via Appellation Beer.

  • Naked Mountain(s) in the afternoon
  • 5 February 2017
    American wine is growing, but not only in California and Oregon/Washington.

    Virginia’s wine industry now contributes more than $1.37 billion annually to the state’s economy, an increase of 82 percent from 2010. Sales of Virginia wine reached a record high in fiscal year 2016 with more than 556,700 cases, or more than 6.6 million bottles sold. This volume marks a sales increase of more than 6 percent over the previous fiscal year. [Virginia's fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.]

    Between 2010 and 2015, the number of Virginia wineries increased 35 percent, from 193 to 261. The number of full-time equivalent jobs at wineries and vineyards saw a 73 percent increase, from 4,753 to 8,218. Wages from jobs at wineries and vineyards increased 87 percent during the same time period as well, from $156 million to $291 million. [But, how many temporary workers and temporary immigrant workers were employed?] The number of people visiting Virginia wineries grew by 39 percent, from 1.6 million visitors in 2010 to 2.25 million visitors in 2015. At the same time, wine-related tourism expenditures grew from $131 million to $188 million, a 43 percent increase.
    —Via Rappahannock News.

  • 4 February 2017
    In praise of "session beers with ABVs under 5%":
    I’d rather drink beer longer, not get drunk faster.
    —Via Fritz Hahn, at Washington Post.

  • 3 February 2017
    Anheuser-Busch InBev creates an ad for the Super Bowl: “This is the story of our founder’s ambitious journey to America in pursuit of his dream: to brew the King of Beers.
    • Historian Maureen Ogle reacts:
      Yes, Busch was an immigrant, but the rest — Eberhard meets Adolphus, traveling steerage and on foot, staggering, finally, into St. Louis, etc.? Fiction. [...] Even farting Clydesdales would have been an improvement. At least we could have laughed as one.
    • Steve Body at The Pour Fool reacts:
      The entire story of how AB started was nothing like this and it’s not a secret how it did come about. [...] This ad is pure, unadulterated bullshit. And if you fall for it, you are a Tool.

  • 2 February 2017
    Beer might be delicious, but "sorry, it isn't health food." Health claims debunked.
    —Via Outside.

  • 30 January 2017
    The brewing science and taxonomy of "the British fungus," aka Brettanomyces yeast.
    —Via Ed Wray, at Ed's Beer Site.

  • 31 January 2017
    International drinks conglomerate Diageo to build a Guinness brewery in Baltimore County, Maryland, USA. Will not brew Guinness Stout there, however.
    —Via My Beer Buzz.

  • 31 January 2017
    Don't order [beer] tasters. Your initial sip of almost any beer is a very, very poor predictor of what you'll ultimately think of that beer.
    [Me: I am a miserable beer judge. I need at least a pint to come to a conclusion.]
    —Via Beer Simple.

  • 31 January 2017
    • “Brewers and beer lovers are getting drunk for the ACLU.”
      —Via DRAFT Magazine.
    • “Dump Trump. #DrinkForGood.”
      —Via YFGF

  • 30 January 2017
    “55% of craft drinkers say not enough variety in container types.”
    [Me: Really? Not the liquid inside? Maybe Mickey's Wide Mouth IPA?]
    —Via Bart Watson, chief economist for [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 30 January 2017
    Using 2016 data as guides, viewers of the 2017 Super Bowl will purchase $1.2 billion worth of beer, $594 million of wine, and $503 million of spirits.
    —Via Nielsen.

  • Theresa McCulla: first Smithsonian Brewing History Initiative  historian
  • 30 January 2017
    With grant from the [U.S.] Brewers Association, the Smithsonian Institution selects Harvard scholar Theresa McCulla to be its first Brewing History Initiative historian at the National Museum of Natural History.
    —Via Smithsonian Magazine.

  • 29 January 2017
    Since Trump's inauguration, reports on climate change have disappeared from the State Department's website.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 29 January 2017
    “The 10 Best Places in Europe to Drink a Beer,” per beer writers, Bob and Ellie Tupper. #1 in the world? Augustiner BräuKloster Mülln in Salzburg, Austria.
    —Via Culture CheatSheet.

  • 29 January 2017
    In a report issued on the last full day of President Obama's term of office, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a 25-fold increase in the frequency of damaging floods to many coastal American cities.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • Clamps and Gaskets is a bi-weekly wrap-up of stories about beer (or wine, or whisky) and other things.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created for YFGF by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

  • For more from YFGF:

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