Saturday, March 30, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Bridge over calm waters

Bridge over Calm Waters (02)

Dredged by folk, 
It's really a pond. 
But still, 
It's chill. 
Avondale Lake.

Wooden trestles span this bridge over calm waters, located in the city of Avondale Estates, Georgia. Photo taken 27 March 2019.

And, by the way ...
The land that makes up present-day Georgia had few natural lakes before European settlement, and most impoundments, formed by beavers and debris dams from high flows, were relatively small. The lack of glacial retreat, land slope, and local geology provided conditions for large and small rivers and streams but not for lakes. The natural water bodies that occur in Georgia are primarily located in the southern part of the state in the Coastal Plain, where sinkhole lakes and isolated wetlands in natural shallow depressions largely fed by rain and shallow groundwater, called Carolina bays, form. Hence, the majority of lakes in Georgia that are now enjoyed for recreational, industrial, municipal, and federal government uses are made by people.
New Georgia Encyclopedia


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Pink Spring!

Sycamore Pink (02)

On 17 March 2019, these magnificent dogwoods —in the Sycamore Street neighborhood of Decatur, Georgia— were in the pink, seemingly celebrating the start of spring. They were three days early.


Vernal Equinox

The actual Vernal Equinox —when winter became spring, astronomically— occurred Wednesday at 5:58 pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time. (That's Atlanta, Georgia time. Your time may vary.) At that moment, the Sun crossed, from south to north, directly above the equator. In other words, at that moment there was no tilt of the Earth's axis in regard to the Sun. For our friends south of the equator, the March Equinox marks the end of summer and start of autumn.

Super Worm Full Moon

The moon also rose that evening of the Equinox, full (aka the Worm Moon) and 'super' (its closest approach to the Earth). That's a phenomenon that last occurred in spring 1905 and won’t occur again until 2144.

Not half and half

Year to year, due to the inexactness of the modern calendar and because Earth's elliptical orbit is continually changing its orientation relative to the Sun, the date varies from 19 through 21 March. And, it isn't true that on that day, there are equal amounts of daylight and dark. It's close, but not quite.

Vernal Equinox and Easter

In A.D. 325, the Roman Catholic Council of Nicaea set the date of Easter as the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls after the Vernal Equinox. (A full moon —the Worm Moon— did occur Wednesday night, but since it occurred on the same date, it's not technically the first full moon after the Equinox.)

In practice, that means that Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls after March 21. Thus, Easter can occur as early as 22 March or as late as 25 April, depending on when the paschal full moon falls.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Malt for U.S. beer in 2019.

The Craft Maltsters' Handbook (front)

Hops are an herb, but without a fermentable starch, you ain't got beer.
Each year, the American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) releases its list of recommended malting barley varieties to US growers. AMBA is a nonprofit trade association of 76 brewing, distilling and malting companies that are end users of US malting barley. The list is meant to inform US producers which malting barley varieties the industry intends to use in the upcoming year. Some varieties will be used in large quantities and others are only utilized in niche markets, so producers are encouraged to contact their local elevator, grain handler or processor to gauge market demand for any variety grown in their region prior to seeding.

There are several changes from the 2018 list. The two-row varieties Harrington and Propino are being dropped from the list and four two-row varieties are being added. These additions include ABI Growler, Bill Coors 100, Moravian 165, and Thunder. ABI Growler is a two-rowed, midseason, spring barley developed by Busch Agricultural Resources, Ft. Collins, Colorado. Bill Coors 100 and Moravian 165 are two-rowed, spring varieties bred by Molson Coors in Burley, ID. Bill Coors 100 was released in 2016 in celebration of Mr. Bill Coors 100th birthday. Thunder is a two-rowed, winter variety released by Oregon State University and has performed very well in the Pacific Northwest.
Craft Malting Guild

Related pondering:
With the midwest, especially Nebraska, devastated by the flooding caused by the recent so-called 'cyclone bomb,' will barley farmers in other areas convert their fields to produce feed barley or other feed grains to fill the void, driving up the cost of malt?


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Tree at night in fog

Tree at night in fog

Long exposure: a froggy, froggy night in Avondale Estates, Georgia, on 17 February 2019.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The 50 biggest breweries and craft breweries in the U.S.

On 12 March 2019, the [U.S.] Brewers Association released its annual lists of the top fifty biggest U.S. 'craft' beer companies and the top fifty biggest overall brewing companies in the U.S. ... both ranked based upon sales volumes.

The rankings do not mention the actual sales volume numbers. The BA will publish those in May 2019.

2018 Top 50 U.S Craft Brewing Companies (map)

Taking a quick look ...
  • The Nos. 1 through 4 'craft breweries are Yuengling, Sam Adams (Boston Beer), Sierra Nevada, and New Belgium.
  • Nos. 1 through 4 overall largest are Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (When did the conglomerate drop the full Anheuser-Busch InBev name?), MillerCoors, Constellation (Corona, etc.), and Heineken (Lagunitas, etc.). On that list, the highest position for a [U.S.] Brewers Association-approved 'craft' brewery is 6th, for Yuengling.
  • One Georgia 'craft' brewery is on the lists. SweetWater Brewing, of Atlanta, is at no. 14 on the 'craft' list and no. 23 overall. (YFGF is based in Georgia.)
  • Keep in mind that the BA does not define 'craft' beer.It does, however, define its membership as 'craft' breweries.
    An American craft brewer is a small and independent brewer.
    • Small Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to rules of alternating proprietorships.
    • Independent Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
    • Brewer Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.

    It's interesting to note that, in this iteration of its definition, the BA's decades-old requirement of "traditional" is no longer in the triad, instead replaced by the anodyne, "makes beer."
2018 Top 50 U.S Overall Brewing Companies


Saturday, March 09, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: 'Lion's tooth' parachute

'Lion's tooth' parachute

Of yellow rosettes and white blowballs,
It's Taraxacum officinale-y.
You say weed; I say wildflower.
But it's dandelion, naturally.

Avondale Estates, Georgia.
2 March 2019.

Dandelions function as early-spring nectar sources for pollinators and as ruderal re-colonizers of compromised land. Taxonomically 'Taraxacum officianale, the dandelion's common name comes from the French, 'dent-de-lion,' meaning 'lion's tooth. Spare the RoundUp.


Saturday, March 02, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Upcoming brewery

Upcoming brewery?

A construction banner heralds a planned 'craft' brewery in Avondale Estates, Georgia. 17 February 2019.

Photo 9 of 52.