Monday, August 28, 2017

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 31/32, 2017.

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

Weeks 31/32
30 July - 12 August 2017

  • 12 August 2017
    Man charged after white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, ends in deadly violence. Trump finds fault with both anti-white-nationalist protestors and KKK/neo-Nazi marchers.
    —Via New York Times.

  • 12 August 2017
    Glen Campbell, the sweet-voiced, guitar-picking son of a sharecropper who became a recording, television, and movie star in the 1960s and ’70s, whose hit songs bridged country and pop, and who waged a publicized battle with alcohol and drugs and who gave his last performances while in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, died in Nashville, at 81.
    —Via New York Times.

  • 8 August 2017
    Despite the eschatological presence of "fine English wines" served for the first time at the Great British Beer Festival, Goats Milk, a 3.8% (!) alcohol-by-volume bitter (cask-conditioned, of course) brewed by was produced by the Church End Brewery in Warwickshire, England, has won Champion Beer of Britain at the competition, celebrating its 40th anniversary.
    —More, via Roger Protz on Beer.

  • Beer is Best
  • 10 August 2017
    The demise and rebirth of the ten-sided pint beer mug ("lantern tankard" or "Queen's Choice"): the "iconic symbol of all that is great about British beer."
    —Via Martyn Cornell, at Zythophile.

  • 10 August 2017
    Constellation Brands (producer of wines, spirits, and the beers Corona and past 'craft' brewery Ballast Point) has purchased Funky Buddha Brewery of Florida because, the press release says,
    Constellation [a $7.33 BILLION-dollar company] and Funky Buddha [a small brewery capable of 45,000 barrels-per-year production] share a lot of the same ideals and passion for philanthropy, entrepreneurship and the art of craft beer. At the end of the day, we just really like the people we have met within the organization, each of whom share [sic] our dedication to making outstanding beer.
    Ha, ha! The purchase price was not revealed, but it most probably will not be one billion dollars —the amount that Constellation overpaid for San Diego 'craft' brewery, Ballast Point in November 2015.
    —Via All About Beer.

  • 8 August 2017
    The U.S. Agriculture Department is forbidding its civil servants from using the terms: “climate change” and “reduce greenhouse gases,” substituting for the latter with “increase nutrient use efficiency”.
    —Via The Guardian.

  • 8 August 2017
    New research —published in 2016 in Cell— has determined that nearly all modern beer yeasts are descended from merely two strains in the 1600s. The publication describes the assembly of four hundred fifty yeast strains into one family tree.
    A very large proportion of [modern] brewing yeasts in [Germany, the U.K., and the U.S.] descends from a single strain. Breweries somewhere in Europe must have, somehow, gotten hold of a strain that was then shared throughout four different countries, and that was also taken across the Atlantic to the US. You really have to wonder how and why that happened.
    —Via LarsBlog.

  • 8 August 2017
    A goddess has left this mortal coil. Barbara Cook, luminous singer of Broadway stage, has died at 89. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Cook was an American singer and actress who first came to prominence in the 1950s as the lead in Broadway musicals such as The Music Man (1957) for which she won a Tony Award. Cook was lauded for her excellent lyric coloratura soprano range, vocal agility, wide range, warm sound, and emotive interpretations. She continued performing mostly in theatre until the mid-1970s, when she began a second career as a cabaret and concert singer.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 8 August 2017
    The Beer Institute has come out in favor of the proposed U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) rules on Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments, arguing that
    consumers should be provided with the highest standard of information for alcohol beverages on menus for chain restaurants and other similar dining establishments.
    The Beer Institute, while representing all U.S. breweries, comprises Anheuser-Busch InBev, Constellation Brands, Heineken USA, MillerCoors, and a few others which together produce more than 81% of the volume of beer sold in the United States.
    —Via YFGF.

  • 7 August 2017
    Current climate change is real, potentially dangerous, and man-made, says legally-mandated Climate Science Special Report produced by thirteen Federal agencies. Trump is considering his response.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • Judith Jones with Julia Child (c. 1959)
  • 2 August 2017
    Judith Jones, the legendary editor who rescued Anne Frank’s "The Diary of a Young Girl" from a publisher’s reject pile and later introduced readers to the likes of Julia Child (when books on French cooking for Americans were virtually non-existent) and a host of other influential cookbook authors, has died in Walden, Vermont, at 93, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
    —Via Joe Yonan at Washington Post.

  • 2 August 2017
    For the first time ever, scientists have genetically modified a human embryo. The details are reported in a study in the journal Nature.
    In their new paper, a consortium of scientists in California, Oregon and Asia detailed using the genome-editing technique CRISPR to repair DNA that causes a common genetic heart disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is only the fourth published study involving editing human embryos; the other three all took place in China.
    —Via MSN.

  • 2 August 2017
    Ara Parseghian —an American football coach who guided the University of Notre Dame to national championships in 1966 and 1973, noted for bringing Notre Dame's "Fighting Irish" football program from years of futility back into a national contender in 1964 and is widely regarded alongside Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy as a part of the 'Holy Trinity' of Notre Dame head coaches— has died at 94.
    —Via ESPN.

  • 1 August 2017
    The [U.S.] Brewers Association reported, that, as of June 30, there were 5,562 breweries in the U.S. (increased by 906 from a year ago) and 2,739 more breweries in planning. Craft beer sales volume increased 5% during the first half of 2017 [a slowdown from craft beer's double-digit growth rates of the past few years].
    The growth pace for small and independent brewers has stabilized at a rate that still reflects progress but in a more mature market. Although more difficult to realize, growth still exists
    —Via [U.S.] Brewers Association.

  • 1 August 2017
    Another pioneering 'craft' brewery (in fact, the original pioneer) has been purchased by a foreign entity.
    In a statement released today, Japanese beer-maker Sapporo Holdings Limited announced it would acquire San Francisco, California-based Anchor Brewing, revered as a pioneer of American craft beer. The transaction is expected to close on August 31 will cost $85 million, according to a tweet from Bloomberg News’ Tokyo bureau chief Gearoid Reidy.

    Anchor was founded in 1896, though it entered its modern phase in 1965 when Fritz Maytag purchased a majority stake in the struggling brewery. Since then, the brewery’s iconic Anchor Steam and Liberty Ale have become ubiquitous and are credited by many with sparking the American craft revival. Anchor was the 22nd-largest brewery in the U.S. by volume in 2016, according to data compiled by the Brewers Association. It has been owned since 2010 by The Griffin Group, an investment and consulting company focused on alcoholic beverage brands.
    —Via DRAFT.

  • 1 August 2017
    Today, in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln enacted the first-ever American federal excise tax on "beer, lager beer, ale, porter": $1 per barrel. Enacted to fund the military actions of the U.S. Civil War, the tax has never been repealed, but increased. The Civil War ended in 1865.
    —Via Tom Acitelli, at All About Beer.

  • 28 July 2017
    People who drink three to four times a week are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who never drink, according to a new study conducted by the National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark.
    The researchers concluded that drinking moderately three to four times a week reduced a woman's risk of diabetes by 32% while it lowered a man's by 27%, compared with people drinking on less than one day a week.
    • Wine appeared to be particularly beneficial, because polyphenols, particularly in red wine, play a role in helping to manage blood sugar. Red wine is thought to help with the management of blood sugar.
    • When it came to drinking beer, men having one to six beers a week lowered their risk of diabetes by 21%, compared to men who drank less than one beer a week - but there was no impact on women's risk.
    • Meanwhile, a high intake of spirits among women seemed to significantly increase their risk of diabetes - but there was no effect in men.
    —Via BBC.

  • 27 July 2017
    Sam Shepard, film and stage actor, author of forty-four plays, several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs, and Pulitzer Prize winner (in 1979 for his play Buried Child) has died of complications associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Geherig's Disease), at age 73. Shepard's
    hallucinatory plays redefined the landscape of the American West and its inhabitants
    —Via New York Times.

  • Clamps and Gaskets is a bi-weekly wrap-up of stories about beer (or wine, or whisky) and other things.
  • Today's edition of Clamps & Gaskets is one week late. Another edition will be posted next Monday so that the series can return to its regular bi-weekly schedule. Despite my excuse that my time had been occupied by the Great American Eclipse, my editor was not pleased.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created for YFGF by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

  • For more from YFGF:

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