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Showing posts from February, 2012

More Monday Morning Musings

Today's rant is something like the second part of what I posted last Monday. There I told you about how the Facebook person Argentine Beers complained that brewers didn't mention styles on their labels and failed to educate the consumer. A day later, AB posted the following question:
Who should be responsible for educating about the world of beer? Brewers or consumers? A couple of years ago I would have answered this question with a loud and full of will "Ours!" (standing up and banging my chest, of course). I had taken this Beerevangelism thing a bit too seriously and believed I was in some kind of divine mission. What a fool! I still like spreading the word of (what I consider) Good Beer, mind you, but I do it in a different way, using the "Take, drink this, you'll like it" method, leaving the beer speak for itself and then, if the person is interested, tell them a bit more about it. What I do in my blog is basically thinking out loud and share things …

Modernity with a concept

Nota Bene, a new restaurant near I.P. Pavlova, is a very modern and hip non-smoking place. It's evident that a lot of work has been put on designing the interiors, but the style, which I unilaterally call "Scandinavian", gives it a bit of a human touch. The music they play is of the inoffensive kind, though if you pay a bit of attention you'll be able to listen to gems like Sly & The Family Stone or a lesser known song by James Brown. Even when it is empty you can imagine the young, modern, hip crowd that could fill it in the evenings. You know, the kind where the boys wear their jeans halfway down their asses (really, is there a more stupid fashion that that?) and the girls, well, I never pay too much attention to what the girls wear, I look at other things.

This is the kind of place that only a couple of years ago would have served fajitas, hamburgers, Ceasar Salad, Tzatziki (even in winter, of course) and something Italian or Fusion, which you could have washe…

Some Monday Musings

Among all the (not only someone else's) silliness that you can see on your Facebook wall, every now and again you can find something interesting, something that makes you think longer than it takes to click "Like it" or write a comment. The FB person called Argentine Beers a couple of days ago made a couple of questions that fit into that category. The fist one (double) goes like this:
"Doesn't it bother you that craft microbreweries call their beers pale, red o black without mentioning the true styles? Why don't they educate the consumers? What really interests me about this rather tricky double question isn't the answers but what it implies, that brewers are somehow required to brew "styles".

A while ago I was complaining that there were brewers whose focus seemed to be satisfying competition judges rather than the consumer. It turns out the problem goes beyond that, there is a loud minority who believe they are international beer judges ever…

Craft Marketing

Like, I believe, many of my fellow bloggers I get a substantial number of press releases from (not only) brewers and other people related to the brewing industry. Most of them are summarily ignored as I find them as interesting and useful as reading the latest gossip of the football.

Occasionally, some of these electronic leaflets do catch my attention, and not in a good way. An example of this is the new San Miguel beer exclusive for the British Market, really, can there be anything sadder beer-wise than a Corona rip-off? Another example is the e-mail I got last Monday that goes like this:
"Dear sirs: We are sending you information about the new craft beer we have launched in case you see fit to include it in your webpages. If you need more information, we are at your disposal." The attached information was actually two image bank photos from, I guess, the 1920's with the product crudely inserted with Photoshop, one of them had the slogan “Cerveza Artesanal Senador Vol…

Visitors

I had a great time last Friday with Gazza and his mate Dave Dean. We started at Zlý Časy (when we were about to leave they tapped the new IPA from Vyškov, pretty good, but I liked the 1.0 better), from there we went to Zubatý Pes (you can see that the new owners are trying to do things the right way, but the place was lacking atmosphere, though it was still quite early when we arrived) to finish the evening at U Vodoucha (we went there walking, nothing like -20ºC to burn the alcohol in the blood).

We talked about a ton of beery things and I took the chance to ask Gazza to confirm me something I was suspecting, if the problem with keg beers in the UK isn't so much with the beers themselves but with the with the pubs that don't know how to deal with them properly. Gazza is a fan of cask ales, but he loves good beer above all things, and he said that yes, that pubs often treat good keg beers the same way they do with macrolagers and that is why they tend to be too cold and too fi…

Is Joe right?

Martyn Cornell left history aside for a bit to give his two pennies on this "craft beer" thing, a debate that seems will never get exhausted. As expected, the post has generated a sizable number of comments but there was one that caught my attention well above the rest. There, Joe, a.k.a. Thirsty Pilgrim, says:
"I hear beery types say a lot that they don’t care who makes the beer, they only care about the quality of what’s in the glass. Bullshit, I say. We all have values and they affect how much we enjoy something. (...) I can enjoy a beer more if I know where it came from, if I know its story, if I know who made it, and yes — even if it came from a small place instead of a big one. Naturally, it helps if it doesn't taste like piss."I confess to being one of those beery types that says that bullshit. I don't say it as pose, but as a belief. However, believing is not the same as knowing and when presented with a reasonable argument I don't have a problem…

Sod labels

It's likely that here, in a village near Prague, CZ, I'm not getting the significance of all this very British "cask vs. keg" thing, so I hope my insular friends and readers will forgive me if what I'm about to say turns out to be utter bollocks. I find this so heated debate quite amusing, really, mostly because the solution to it is very simple.

Get people from each side of the fence and give them, respectively, a pint of top of the range, dog's bollocks cask ale and a pint of top of the range, dog's bollocks keg beer. Anyone who refuses to drink it solely based on the way it was dispensed is a moron and we all know there is no point in arguing with morons. The rest will sure find common ground and will agree that both beers are good and that is only thing that really matters.

After all, cask, keg, craft, industrial, innovative, traditional do not guarantee good beer any more than a pretty label, funny ad, witty slogan do. We all know that, I assume, and…

Selected readings: January

Bugger me! This month flew by. Enough with the bollocks already, here's what I liked best in January.

Pivní Ozbor puts together a very good inventory of what happened in 2011. Among other things, it makes very clear what I've been thinking for quite some time, quantity isn't the same as quality. Last year about two dozen micro breweries opened and the stuff some of them make leaves a lot to be desired, Žatec and that světlý ležák I had from Rokycany, one of the worst beers of 2011 for me, are clear example of that. Fortunately, people like Slaný and Únětice compensate for the shortcomings of some.

From England, Zak makes a very good question, how much of the drinking experience is actually an intellectual exercise. Hard to answer, really. I think it all depends on each person and situation, but it is true that there are many people who don't put much thought on what they consume.

Another who made me think was Alan with this deep and wonderful musing. Read it, think abou…

A new channel for beer philosophy

Sin Evan Rail left, The Prague Post had kind of neglected the topic of beer, so I was really thrilled when they offered me to take care of that and start a beer blog in their website.

Needless to say, this doesn't mean that I will stop writing here, no way, I'll only post some exclusive content there, which, of course, I will link here (dodgy writing, I know, blame it on the mild hangover I had from yesterday's bash, and by the way, Strahov IPA and Weizenbock are bloody awesome!).

Anyway, the first post is up already, you can read it here. Feel free to leave a comment if you can so be arsed.

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