I’m not opening with my usual graf this week. In fact, I debated whether or not it was even appropriate to turn in a roundup. I came home from work and paced my kitchen for an hour after the events of the police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana unfolded.. More black lives taken from this world in an incident even Minnesota's governor admitted would not have happened had he been white. And then, before this post could even be published, more unspeakable tragedy in Dallas, Texas, more people that won’t be going home to families today, from a protest that by all accounts had been going well beforehand. This is a beer blog, and we don’t get too political too often, save for the mention of the unbearable whiteness of brewing. And yes, sometimes we need to turn our brains off for a short period of time in the midst of chaos to maintain our composure and energy toward whatever cause we choose. If I provide you this today for a few minutes, thank you for reading. I mean that.
We all have our outlets, whether it be sports, writing, dance, reading, outlets that are as necessary for our continued surviving and thriving as food and water. But there will always be a part of me, in the midst of providing entertainment, that thinks the time I’ve taken to write something like this could be better spent doing something of significance outside of chronicling the exploits of the global purveyors of a luxury item.
But then I remember that part of the reason I write about and consume these products is the time I spend with good people at fun places having fun times. I want everyone to have the ability to experience that. I want people to have time to be carefree and to experience the community that a well curated beer scene can offer. This isn’t escapism or ignorance; it's living your life. This is why diversity in beer is important to me. And it's why it should be important to you. So I write this today with a pang of guilt but with the knowledge that maybe my words can impact someone to take a look at why the communities they’re a part of deserve to look like America. And maybe someone will come to a brewery or a bar, as they’re apt to do. Someone who has either been there before,once or a hundred times, or someone who is stepping in for the first time. And maybe they'll do so in a time of need, in a time like now, to spend a few hours with people they trust, who they can get some comfort from. Strangers and friends alike.
SAFETY FIRST, ALWAYS
The Idaho Statesman has the horrific story of Kerry Thomas, brewer at Edge Brewing Co, who sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns on 30% of her body, injuries doctors said could very well have killed her. She currently lives through PTSD symptoms on the job and her co-workers are supportive. As Bryan Roth pointed out in January, this raises the question about on the job safety in the growing number of breweries nationwide. Be safe out there.
WOULD YOU RATHER DRINK 1 HORSE SIZED BEER OR 100 DUCK SIZED BEERS
Will Gordon asked what everyone's ideal tap list would be, with some criteria. Here is my best attempt at what The Diogenes Club would have on tap today:
- House IPA: Heavy Seas Loose Cannon
- House Pale Ale: Mad Fox Defender
- House Saison: 3 Stars Citra and Lemon Peel Saison
- House cheapie: Yuengling Lager
- House Pilsner: Pilsner Urquell
- House Porter: Right Proper Haxan
- House Blue Moon Alt: Port City Optimal Wit
- House Session Beer: Mad Fox Mason's Dark Mild
- Rotating IPAs: DC Brau OTWOA, Union Double Duckpin
- Rotating local: Here I would try to showcase newer and smaller breweries to the scene, along with flagships less seen. Right now, I'd have 7 Locks Surrender Dorthy RyePA.
- Rotating lager: Denizens Born Bohemian
- Rotating Wild Cards: Schneider Weisse Tap 5 Meine Hopfen-Weiss
- Rotating Legend: North Coast Old Rasputin
- Rotating Craft Superstar: Boulevard Saison Brett
- And I'm going to add one because any bar I'd own would have one:
- Rotating Cask: Oliver 3 Lions
I lamented over many beers on this list. For the rest of the crew’s, including mine, check out the site on Monday.
But then: what would these beers cost?
Bobby Bump of Right Proper Brewing asks
Well, isn’t that a toughy. First off, you have to know what kind of hops are in what you like, I guess. Everyone says Citra tastes like cat piss, but I for one don’t taste it. Don't really know why I considered this one, but decided to avoid. Falconer's Flight has always done well by me. I think that has to be there because I could just brew SMaSH beers with it for years. I’d also probably pick a German Hersbrucker variety so I could spend years perfecting my zoiglbier recipe. Unless my brewing equipment broke. But I’d have to be less than 5 liters deep next time I’m at a Stube so I can ask a brewer precisely what hops they use.
BEER WARS: ROGUE TWO
Jeff Alworth talks about Rogue Brewery getting into the barrel-making business. With smaller, newer distillers feeling the heat from rising barrel costs in recent years, teaching someone cooperage, even if he does end up moving on, seems like a smart strategy. But Alworth laments the secretive approach Rogue takes to its news, never releasing any info beyond the press release. Maybe their past dust-up about labor practices has something to do with their approach. But without their word, we’ll never know for sure.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TANK 7
Jeremy Danner explains that this beer was simply the base for their great Saison-Brett. Then one day, they drank it.
See, brewing is easy.
I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO PUT THIS
So uhhhhhh here you go! *tosses and runs away*
See, brewers have been making extremely questionable branding choices for decades and centuries.
- Stouts and Stilettos has veteran-owned breweries for you to try.
- The Brewers Association blog has five questions to ask the next time you visit a brewery.
- Stone has their first batch from their Richmond facility.
- *side eye emoji* No whalez, eh? Can't imagine a time like that. After all, there won't be anymore flagships left soon, right?
That’s all for this week. ALL ABOARD THE BEER TRAIN.