Beer History & Writing

I kinda prefer to-do vs resolution. I think the latter though stronger is more often lost by the second week of January. That is prelude to the fact that one of my to-do’s this year is to listen to more of the programming from the Beer Writers Guild (NAGBW). Last week writers/ historians Maureen Ogle and Liz Garibay spoke about writing about alcohol through the lens of history.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom that I picked up….

  • Ogle is working on a book about August Schell and his brewery
  • keep historians in mind when writing about beer but not the usual suspects
  • you can tie current events to the past because what may seem new probably happened before
  • I will be interested in the 2021 Beer Culture Summit from all the praise heaped on the 2020 version
  • there is a book about Hawaii beer history coming from Paul Kan and another writer Isco working on something about Oklahoma brewing history

End of Year Reading Material

Not gonna say too much because this LINK is filled with interesting reading material. Yes, it is Britain-centric but there are craft beer nuggets of info to store away as well as just some fine writing even if it is for Good Beer Hunting whose viewpoint often is a little too anti-craft for my taste.

A Podcast & A Beer – You’re Wrong About

Since this month has been filled with divisiveness, I thought the title of this podcast was quite appropriate. You’re Wrong About hosted by Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes reconsiders the public perception of a person.

Be I think Princess Diana, O..J., or Jessica Simpson. The duo dives into the story and look at it in new ways.

This leads me to the beer. Personally, I think the name would be perfect for a beer podcast. Two hosts that disagree about beer (respectfully of course) and who combined make us all think differently about beer and pushes us from the opinion hills we have all set up camp on.

For me, this means thinking about sweetness in beer. Not a fan. But maybe in the realm of the milkshake and pastry is a beer that I would really like. Challenge yourself to find a beer style that you have pushed away and find a better version of it.

SD Beer News

When this Covid Pause is over, beer fans will need to make up lost ground and visit taprooms again, and to best prepare for that glorious day, you will need information. SD Beer News should be your choice for that news. Brandon Hernandez has been covering the scene and worked in it as well so he is uniquely plugged into what is happening. Head HERE to sign-up.

Ranked LA

Another great site for beer content in Los Angeles, Hopped LA, has re-started their Ranked series of podcasts starting with a show about the West Coast IPA. And while it is easy to quibble about which brewery landed where, I find it useful because it is not the normal, run-of-the-mill clickbait.

It is more a discussion and the inherent silliness of these rankings is acknowledged to get to the Why and Which beers are the rationale for who is at #4.

Another point that was brought up that I found a good tool, is to group breweries into tiers. I have seen it done effectively for sports and it is a good method to use when creating your own internal or loudly spoken opinion.

Give the show a listen. No spoilers here but the 1 and 2 are pretty unassailable.

A Podcast & A Beer – Heaven Bent

Heaven Bent is a strange short little podcast. Comprising of only a handful of episodes, our narrator, Tara Jean Stevens charts a course that touches on a strange evangelical revival that turned into a worldwide phenomenon while also bringing her personal story into play that details her involvement through her church. I would have preferred to hear more about how a church near an airport in Toronto was ground zero for this “blessing” but I can see how others may prefer her journey more.

Since L.A. doesn’t get a lot of Toronto beer (or Canadian Prime Ministers visiting) you can always go for the Belgian beers that they get from Unibroue that coincidentally have religious sounding names like Providential or Audaciter. You could also get a crowler or other to-go option from SoCal’s Congregation Ale House.

Brew Club Podcast

There is a lot of good podcast content out there. I should know, I highlight one each month. Relatively sparse are the beer podcasts that are not dominated by dudes. But I saw mention of one that should be of special interest to us in SoCal…

I listened to the first two podcasts and they sound new to podcasting but they have a genuine rapport and when they start to talk about what they are passionate about, you can see where this could head. Plus, it is just good to hear different voices talking about beer. There are times when I feel stuck in my own bubble. Partially due to keeping my bubble restricted. So it is good to use a podcast to think about beer from a way different point of view.

A Podcast & A Beer – Forgotten Stories of Football

With the Bundesliga playing in front of empty stadiums and the Premier League and La Liga warming up on the horizon it is time to delve into sports history, and the Forgotten Stories of Football from the Guardian leans into some hidden until now niches of football.

These are some deep cuts too. Backstory from a match between Man United and Galatasary. A two parter on a famous referee and how polio fears were overcome with the death of a fullback.

Very interesting and well read and paced.

Two pair with the tales, order up some Yorkshire Square or MacLeod ale and have yourself a proper pint of bitter or ESB.

Break It Down

Hopped LA is posting a cool series of podcasts where host Gary Magnone dials up brewers and talks about one specific beer from their range and then proceed to drink said beer for immediate tasting notes. Ten Mile has been on to speak about their Kentucky Common, Hidden Hollow and before that Common Space Brewing was the guest. Check it out and then the website also has a handy to-go page as well to give you ordering info.

Zooming Beer

I have been lurking around beer related Zoom parties since they started popping up as a way to keep people engaged with brands and as a replacement for taproom or bar visits.

Some, like the Bruery discussion about spontaneous fermentation are quite professional except of course for that darn mute button which forces the moderator to remind the speaker to unmute.

Others are fine with discussions between two or three people over a certain beer or beers. But much like a great podcast versus a mediocre one, pace and questions that lead to conversations branching off are vital.

Last Thursday, I back-to-backed a pair of Zooms. One featuring a beer icon group of Cilurzo’s of Russian River, Rob Tod and Jason Perkins from Allagash and Jean Van Roy of Cantillon. There was business talk and tasting notes and thoughts on blending but what was most fascinating to me was the talk about the Cantillon cellar.

Their gueuze stash is 25K bottles strong. Crazy. I so want to visit. Real bad. And this is the best type of golden nugget that you want from a Zoom. You want to be sparked to excitement.

Then I tuned in for a Beer Paper LA chat with David Walker from Firestone Walker. Here the interesting tidbits related to their cancellation of the 2020 Invitational and having a brewmaster in Belgium.

Overall, tune in to those brewers you like but don’t be afraid to stop if it isn’t tickling your fancy.