8 Oct 2012

Selected Readings: September


A bit late, but here you have it, the best, worthiest and most interesting of the stuff I read last month.

We start in Spanish, with a double dose of Mexican wisdom. Amigos de la Vid and In Cervesio Felicitas pull no bollocks in their lists of the worst Mexican craft beers. Their opinions are very well argued and valuable in an alternative beer scene that is just getting started. The best of all, though, is what each of them says about "locality". ICF: "Supporting a Mexican product only because it's Mexican and not because of its good quality is lame and absurd". Amigos: "Stop trying to instill a nationalistic sense to Mexican craft beer. We all know that most of the ingredients used are imported". Brilliant.

From Portland, Beervana explains the difference between mass and elitist reviews. I couldn't agree more. Though I acknowledge that rating sites offer some useful information, at least when a quick reference is needed, I get a lot more value from the words of individuals whose tastes I know, regardless of whether they are similar to mine or not, as long as their reviews are well written, I will be able to reach my own conclusions.

Alan speaks about beer in politics and points to the differences between the beer brewed by the cooks at the White House and the beer habits of Angela Merkel, who's always given me the impression that she can drink most world leaders under the table.

For those who know Czech, these thoughts on blind tastings are a must read. These kind of sensory exercise might be useful when it comes to compare similar beers, minimising  prejudice, but their results should not be taken a science because, as the author points out, there are many factors that can affect them, even if you don't know the name of what you are drinking.

Beer snobs give a lot to rant about, and rightfully so. Last month I came across two articles on the topic, the first one is short and very well written and the author makes a very strong point. The second one, on the other hand is long and boring and at times seems to have been written by the kind of "Alelitists" the first article rants against. And by the way, could we all cut it out with all this "war against (certain sort of) beer" kind of shit? Thanks!

The bollocks of the month is courtesy of the scientific community, who warn us that people drink faster from curved glasses. Fortunately, a few days later, this bloke showed up to explain, also in a scientific way, the gross shortcomings in the method employed in this superfluous study and saved me from writing a couple of expletives.

Na Zdraví!

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