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Showing posts from December, 2012

Some loose (and recicled) thoughts for the end of the year

If you are a homebrewer who's planning to go commercial in 2013, before you brew your first batch, leave the homebrewer at home. Making beer won't be your hobby anymore, it'll be your job.

When I see brewers saying that they make the beers they would like to drink I ask myself, shouldn't they make the beers I would like to drink?

If expermimental refers to a product that is still being developed, shouldn't experimental beers be cheaper than finished ones?

Brewers need to have more trust in their products. Instead of inviting us to taste their beers, they should invite us to drink them.

Someone who prefers to spend 10€ on a bottle of a beer they don't know instead of spending the same money on three bottles of a beer they already know and like, has a very serious problem.

You should always doubt the judgment of someone who praises (and reviews) a beer they drank in a shot size as part of a session that included another ten.

It'd be nice to see more beer rev…

And it's gone

For all practical purposes, 2012 is finished and therefore, it is time to put together the almost mandatory balance.

This has been the most successful year of my still infant career as a beer writer. I've collaborated with The Beer Connoisseur, my reviews continued to be published in Pivo, Bier & Ale. The other day, after more than a year, I sent an article to the Spanish mag. Bar&Beer and at the beginning of the year, The Prague Post asked me to write a regular beer blog for them, which I really enjoyed doing. As if that wasn't enough, I was also offered to take part in a pretty important project that will see the light some time next year; it was a true honour to have been even considered for it and I want to thank all those who helped me put together my assignment. All of this has been (or will eventually be) paid, it's really gratifying to be able to make some money out of a hobby.

I wasn't able to travel abroad (in fact, I had to refuse a couple of invitat…

In Praise of Science

The other day, when I finished writing the phrase "...anyone with a basic knowledge in brewing science..", I had to stop for a second. Suddenly I started to wonder why I had used the word science and was reminded of what I had written elsewhere, when discussing bits of brewing history, about the adoption of a more scientific approach to beer making. I also recalled much of what I read in "Brew Like a Monk", but mostly about this excellent interview Kristen England gave to Fuggled. To Al's first question, how did you get into brewing as a career? Kristen answers, "...It’s another form of science which got me hooked…science begets science...".

Before getting to write this, I asked my followers in Facebook what they thought about it, and after a pretty interesting discussion, and let my mind mind chew on it a bit, I reached the conclusion that beer making isn't an art, is an industry and there's nothing really artistic in it.

Before spewing your …

Friday Morning Musings

I'm don't want to get too deep into the shitstorm unleashed by the statement of the US Brewers Association, only that I subscribe to pretty much everything Alan says here.

Anyway, though the debate is of little concern to me, a beer drinker living in the Czech Republic, it could be said that it is part of a wider issue. We often hear calls (often by interested parties, it should be said) to support local/small/independent breweries because their being local/small/independent makes them almost automatically better than those that are global/big/corporate and I'm frankly tired of that nonsense.

There are a number of reasons why I like (and believe is important) to support small businesses, whatever they produce. They are pretty obvious, so I'm not going to specify, but all of them, without exception are subordinated to the value they can give me in exchange for my money.

When it comes to beer, "value" to me means the balance between price-quality-availability.…

Why I go back

I walk in, I greet, I seat. I get my fix, I drink. I listen to the music, to the talk. I walk into the talk. I talk, and I drink and I laugh, loud. And I drink, and I talk.

Štamgast M says and gives something to the owner. Something I don't catch because I'm drinking my drink and talking my talk.

The music changes. Štamgast M looks at me with a half smile. Do I know the tune? Of course I do! Don't Fucking Cry For Me Argentina! How could I not!

I laugh. That tear that wanted to roll down thinks it better. It'd look silly.

Štamgast F now takes the piss. Again. He knows well how much piss he can take. He knows well how much piss he'll get back.

And I drink. And I listen. And I talk. And I laugh. And, by the way, I'm Štamgast P. And I'm Max. Ahoj.

And fuck the world! One more it is! Reality calls. Reality can wait a bit longer. It always has.

It was the beer that first brought me here. It's not the beer that keeps me coming back.

Na Zdraví!

Evolucionary explanation

I will try to shed light on a semantic conflict that has arisen from the other day's topic.

There are people who claim that "evolution" is the same as "chage", period. A comment in the Spanish version, for example, said that "to evolve is to change, but not necessarily for the better, it can also be for the worse".


I believe that, at least in this context, this interpretation is wrong. The filtrophobe discourse implies that only unfiltered and unpasteurised beers will "evolve" because they are "alive" and that beers that have been filtered and pasteurised can not evolve because they are "dead".

However, the quality of "dead" beers is also affected by (among other things) time. A Pilsner Urquell, a Guinness, a Paulaner, a Corona, a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale consumed in Prague, Madrid, London, Moscow or Toronto will not be the same beer that left the factory God knows how long ago. It will have changed, but filtroph…

Evolutionary bollocks

The other day, after a great post by 2D2dspuma about the need to speak publicly about the bad stuff, Alex Padró came up, once again, with the usual bollocks that unfiltered beer will evolve because it's alive. Later, and in response to my comment on the matter one Guillem Laporta said the following:
Unfiltered beers will CERTAINLY EVOLVE (just like wines) and anyone with a notion about life forms will know that. The beer we are talking about is alive because it has yeast that keeps on working, and the caps and corks will allow the redox process that obviously make them evolve. The best by date means that after a date the evolution of this beer will be such that it will not be like the beer you wanted to drink when you bought it... Well, it seems rather obvious to go on, but someone should say which lapidary phrases aren't correct." (Before continuing, I should make a couple of things clear. First, the most commonly accepted meaning of "evolution" is "improv…