Beer News (April 2–July 21)

BWJlogoOK, I haven’t posted an installment of Beer News in awhile, although I did comment on two big beer stories — a brewers yeast strain capable of producing morphine and IPA giving you man boobs  individually. So let’s start, as we frequently start, with a listicle — the best craft brewery in every state, according to Thrillist.

Brewing Can Be Dangerous

We all love brewing, so it pays to recognize that brewing can be dangerous. In Idaho, the head brewer for Edge Brewing Company, Kerry Thomas, was scalded when a batch of IPA boiled over, leaving her with burns covering a third of her body.

I’ve burned myself while homebrewing, by accidentally pouring boiling water on my foot. I had a fist-sized burn on my foot and was in terrible pain. I can’t even imagine how anyone could deal with burns to a much larger area. So best wishes for a speedy recovery to Kerry and a reminder to all Beer and Wine Journal readers to keep your wits about you while you’re brewing.

The Roots of a Root Beer

Recently, a brand of alcoholic root beer has been starting conversations among craft beer fans. (Yes, I know I just urged people to stop using that word.) The root beer has many fans, and other breweries are set to jump on the bandwagon. However, some beer fans question the provenance of the brew

One beer that needs no introduction is Duff, Homer Simpson’s favorite tipple. After being available in various countries, legally and otherwise, an officially licensed version of Duff is coming to the US. For homebrewing Simpsons fans, the cans should be cool at least. The British are also coming to the US — or at least one of their gimmicky beers is. Eighties metal band Iron Maiden is releasing a new version of their beer, The Trooper. The new version, 666, sports an ABV of 6.6%. As a fan of 80s metal, I tried The Trooper once. It wasn’t great, but it didn’t make me “Run to the Hills,” either.

Crowler Controversy

In Texas, a coffee shop that also sells beer is in a crowler controversy (a crowltroversy?). This will set a precedent, in Texas at least, so brewpubs selling beer to the public to take home.

Mergers, Moves, and More

Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat and Firestone Walker are joining their US operations, although they both claim they will continue to operate independently. I’m not sure what that means, but as privately held companies, they don’t need to tell anyone. Pabst is returning to Milwaukee after an absence of roughly 20 years. Their flagship beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon — once a giant in the US and now a favorite of hipsters — will not be brewed there, however. Instead, the new brewery will focus on reviving other Pabst brands from the past. Finally, we don’t cover every brewery closing, but we’ll make an exception in this case because we’re suckers for a witty headline. (Let’s hope the brewery reopens soon.)

Post Reinheitsgebot German Brewing

German brewers, inspired by the US microbrewing boom, are starting to experiment with new beer formulations that would have formerly been illegal under the Reinheitsgebot.

Hops Don’t Grow on Trees, You Know. (They Grow on Trellises)

Modern Farmer posted a story about growing hops for it’s readership.

Becks Buyers Bamboozled

If you bought Becks beer recently, you might be able to get some money back, thanks to some litigious people who can’t be bothered to read their beer labels.

The Death of Craft Brewing, Again

Sigh. Yet another article announcing the death of craft brewing. Let me know when it’s time for the toast. 

What’s Wrong With Being Sexy?

There’s a great scene in the movie Spinal Tap, in which the band’s manager tries to explain the difference between “sexy” and “sexist” to the band. The online magazine Slate believes that some craft brewers could use the same lecture. On the one hand, I think some people these days are too quick to be offended by things that are meant to be humorous. On the other hand, some of the labels out today make beer drinkers look like a clueless bunch of college frat bros. If breweries want their product to be taken seriously, they should act seriously when designing their labels. 

I Want to Believe

Beer is good for you? Articles claiming this are posted all the time. (This time around, it’s from Bustle.) As beer lovers, we like to read these articles. However, as (hopefully) skeptics, we should realize that they aren’t always researched as well as they should be.

The best research today shows that a moderate beer consumption has a slight positive effect. Heavier drinking? It still has a suite of negative effects. If you’re reading this, you’re likely an adult. So, use your own judgement — just be smart enough to realize that beer isn’t good for you in all respects at all possible doses. Heck, even water is toxic above a certain level. (Excess water consumption can lower your level of electrolytes, leading to a heart attack. But, you’d have to drink an insane amount of water for that to happen.)

Man Loves Hamms, Ham

It’s great to love beer. It’s great to love pork. Just don’t be this guy — he was found drinking beer naked in a barn full of pigs. The beer brand? You got it — Hamm’s. 

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