24 Oct 2011

Open letter

To the Chief Editors of the Spanish speaking, non specialised media

Dear sirs,

I am an enemy of censorship of any kind, I strongly believe that everyone should have the right say anything that crosses their mind regardless of how moronic, nonsensical or wrong it might be and as long as they are willing to bear the consequences should the said thing turns out to be slanderous or offensive. However, after reading this piece of rubbish (SP) published last Sunday in the Murcia edition of La Verdad, I am left with no choice but to plead from the bottom of my heart and with a tear rolling down my cheek that you refrain from publishing any more articles that deal, at least superficially or tangentially, with technical aspects of beer or brewing. Not only because they disrespect the noble trade of beer making, but also because they disrespect all of your readers, regardless of how little or much interest or knowledge they have in or about the topic.

The above linked article is just another example of the poor quality of what your media publish about beer. In this particular case, it is evident that the author, whose name is unknown, knows as much about the topic as I know about Kabuki theatre, and that all his or her research was limited at most to the first two or three results offered by an internet search engine, because there is no other way to explain that he or she opens his or her opus with the following paragraph (translated from the Spanish original)
"1: Ingredients: Malted Barley: Pale Ale malt and Cristal Malt, they are used in the mashing to extract sugars that will later be converted to alcohol. Water: It is essential for brewing, since up to 90% of the beer is water. It is treated by osmosis to take out or add the salts and minerals needed to make a good beer. Hops: They provide the characteristic citrus aromas and flavours. It is a wild, climbing plant that gives beer its aroma and bitterness. It also protects and preserves it, preventing the growth of harmful microorganisms. Yeasts: They provide the fruity esters that are added to the wort during the fermentation process. They transform the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Because of this ingredient there are two kinds of beer, the Pale Ales, from top fermentation and the Lager, from bottom or reduced fermentation."
This shows a lack of professionalism that almost borders the criminal. On the other hand, and to be fair, it is not hard to understand you, Editors in Chief, that you publish the bollocks you publish in your media when there are professionals in the industry, be it from macro brewers or from micro brewers, who seem to enjoy spreading disinformation, the quality of which is not much better than what you publish.

Sincerely yours,

Pivní Filosof

Na Zdraví!


  1. I personally enjoy a nice, reduced fermented lager, now and again. Especially those thick, 90% water ones.

  2. Actually, after fermentation, 90% water is about right for many beers. The description is a bit flakey, but not totally bogus. I don't understand the little break down for Barley. That should have been kept at a high level. Very typical to treat water for a certain mineral content. Description of hops seems more like theory than experiance. Same with yeast. Many people say the two big categories of beer are Lager and Top Fermented.

  3. I agree with you on much of what you say, but the categorisation of beer into PALE Ales and Lagers, and saying that the latter has "reduced" fermentation, shows that the author had no clue about what he/she was writing about, didn't bother to do any decent research and thus, discredits the whole thing (and frankly, the rest isn't much better)

  4. I assumed "reduced" fermentation was just slow fermentation which is typical with most (good)lagers. I also thought Pale Ale was the only recognized variety of Top Fermented beers. :-) As you say, the author didn't do much research. He probably has only drunk one type of beer in his life.

  5. I don't blame the author of this so much. As someone commented in the Spanish version, it must have been an intern, who was probably given a shit deadline and hardly any pay, if any at all. The editors are responsible here...