Look, I like beer. I drink it, some would say too much of it, and I brew my own every now and then. I’m pretty glad to see that people are trying out new beers and testing the boundaries all the time. But there are some things that just don’t need to happen, like New Belgium and Ben & Jerry’s teaming up for Salted Caramel Brownie brown ale. I like New Belgium, they do some fine beers. And I like Ben & Jerry’s, especially since I’m from Vermont. But that doesn’t mean that we need a beer that tastes like ice cream. If craft beer drinkers can criticize A-B Inbev for their [Fruit Flavor]-A-Rita abominations, they must hit New Belgium just as hard. If you were busy getting reinstated by the NFL after beating your child this week, odds are you missed it.
The mail gets through
This week, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., was shut down when a gyrocopter landed nearby. The pilot was Douglas Hughes, a 61-year-old mailman from Florida, because of course he was. He was arrested immediately. The man told a local newspaper his plans days before he carried them out, but it was still news to Capitol security forces. Remember when crazy mailmen would shoot-up their workplaces? Who says the world’s not getting better?
When Matthew McConaughey cries
Predictably, people collectively lost their minds after another trailer for the new Star Wars movie dropped this week. This one showed the famed Millennium Falcon being chased by Imperial forces, like the last one. However, considering what we now know about Harrison Ford’s flying abilities, we should give Chewbacca more credit than we do for keeping that thing in one piece.
The bus is on fire
Country group Lady Antebellum’s tour bus caught fire in Texas on Thursday. The bus was pretty much gutted, but everyone got out of the bus without being harmed. Don’t worry, God, you’ll get them next time.
It’s not easy being a Chicago Cubs fan. The Cubs are a team that, through and through, manages to just foul up and make “this year” not “their year,” and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t even like baseball. That’s how famously bad they are!
As such, it’s understandable that Cubs fans would drink heavily at their games. Unfortunately, drinking tends to make a bladder less reliable, forcing the drinker to need to pee. Double unfortunately, so many Cubs fans were drinking so many beers due to the Cubs being so bad on Opening Day that the lines to use bathrooms at Wrigley Field were THE WORST.
Long lines at the bathroom and drunken fans needing to pee of course led to some fans using their plastic cups as a makeshift urinal. These would be the same plastic cups used to drink beer in. People, if you’re going to get beers at Wrigley Field, please, oh please, make sure that the beers are cold.
Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing has launched vials of yeast into space, then retrieved them, and come up with an imperial stout. While this brings space beer to new heights, the real accomplishment is that the company refrained from saying that the beer is “out of this world.”
Hey, remember that beer that was probably the oldest ever found? The one from the shipwreck in the Baltic? Scientists now have a better idea of what it tasted like.
Since you probably don’t have the cash to spend on a brewery’s re-creation of the brew, it’s imagination time. Using chemical analysis and other techniques, researchers found that it was an amber ale, and it had an ABV of about 4.5%, which isn’t really the strength you’d think would be imported from a faraway land. Because the bacteria was still alive inside the bottle, scientists were even able to tell what kind of hops were used, but probably knew better than to list it, so they didn’t come off as beer snobs.
Just grab something barrel-aged for this weekend. It will cost you less, and it will still be a trip back in time.
There is no shortage of serious issues to address these days. Not that there was ever a time when there weren’t any problems that we as a society had to address, I just like opening up with a platitude. It gets you all on my side. And I don’t need to tell you that one of the most important issues today is beer.
It’s been a while since we talked about beer and the issues around it. I can tell you there is one non-issue getting a lot of press since the Super Bowl: the AB-InBev attack ad on craft beer. It’s not news that craft beer has long looked down its nose at poor-quality, mass-produced brews, but it was the first time one of the big boys hit back. It’s not an issue, because it didn’t do anything but get people riled up. No one watched the ad and decided to reconsider their taste in beer. No one. It just made beer related social media annoying to follow for a while.
Drinking is good for you. And if you drink, there’s a good chance you’ll remember that fact long into your old age.
According to researchers in China, a chemical in beer helps ward off degenerative diseases. A study found that xanthohumol, a chemical found in hops, might help brain cells from oxidative stress that can lead to dementia. That means that while you may not remember how many beers you had last night, there’s a better chance you’ll remember your grandchildren’s names later in life.
Most people worth knowing like beer. Even better people like craft beer. But the problem with liking craft beer is that you have to keep up with the hottest trends. Now, it’s hot beer.
Beer geeks know that beer doesn’t have to be served ice cold, despite what Coors Light commercials say. Some European brews are even served at room temperature. But the cool kids are heating up their beer now. Turns out it’s actually a tradition that died out during the 19th century, when weary travelers would come in from the cold to sit by a tavern fire with a hot mug of beer.
Just remember to pour the beer out of the can before you microwave it.
I follow craft beer news, so when I see something make headlines in non-beer-geek news outlets, it’s always surprising to me. I’ve been surprised quite a bit lately. As with any industry, there’s the major, and usually inaccurate news that the average person will hear about, and then there’s the day-to-day stuff that’s in the weeds. It’s the news that no one cares about except for people who are in the industry, or fans of it.
This may come as a shock to many of you, but I am a fan of craft beer. My fandom grew from just imbibing new and exciting brews, to making beer myself, to reading up on what the pros are doing to get excited about their new stuff, and get inspiration for my own attempts.
But there’s been a lot of crap out there about craft beer lately. Pull up a stool, pour yourself a pint, and let’s sort it out. Continue reading →
As you head back to work this week, you may find yourself hitting a wall on a project with no solution in sight. Science says you should get a good buzz going.
Research has shown that if your BAC is around 0.8%, your problem-solving skills go up, plus your day goes by faster. Smart people in Europe have released a beer they call “The Problem Solver.” The IPA comes in a bottle that looks to be the size of a bomber, and even has scales on the label to see how much you need to drink to reach that perfect level.