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Showing posts from October, 2014

It was all a well crafted lie

By now you must've heard about the shitstorm raised by Dan Paquette. If you haven't yet, go here , here or here to get a good picture. Of all the people who've so far commented on the issue (or at least, of the ones I follow), I think it is Zak Avery the one who's seen it most clearly when speaks about the “sexy” and the “dull” bits of the beer business, and how the latter has been largely ignored. All this often unconditional praise for a branch of the brewing industry, which in some cases reaches almost religious fervour, seems to have many people believe that setting up their own micro-breweries is only a few bits short of guaranteed success. It is not much more than a matter of slapping those two words on the label, having the right attitude, speaking—perhaps preaching—about your passion, and your awesome masterpieces will sell by themselves. Everybody loves craft beer, right? It's so huge that the evil, monolithic, multinational macro breweries are afra

Coming soon: Česká Pivní Válka

Below is the the trailer of an upcoming documentary co-produced by Evolution Films , Česká Televize , and FAMU called Česká pivní válka (Czech Beer Wars). It follows three people: Pepa Krýsl , a very well figure of the Czech beer world, a Brew Masater and someone who makes a living out of, basically, selling breweries; Martin Jarošek , a composer so angry at Plzeňský Prazdroj that he goes all the way to South Africa to, well I don't know what for, really; and Ladislav Bureš a home-brewer (or should I say a farmhouse brewer?) from Moravia. I'm fully aware that criticising a film it's an pointless intellectual endeavour, and an unfair one at that. But the internet has been built on unfairness and pointless intellectual endeavour (and porn), so here you go. From the trailer and the film's blurb (in CZ), I get the impression that there's something loudly absent in this story, the regional breweries. We have a microbrewing boom in the Czech Republic not bec

On beer and the flies that love it

This article on fruit flies and beer is really worth a read—in a nutshell, according to the research referred to in the article, the reason why those little flying bastards are so attracted to your pint is symbiosis; and it's a relationship that goes way, way back— and arrives right when Ron Pattinson has been posting a very interesting series on the history of Lambic . It's a shame, however, that the author, Annie Sneed, isn't someone more knowledgeable about beer, or at least, with a broader view on the topic. If she was, I doubt that after speaking about a research carried out by the University of Leuven and the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology in Belgium, she would've said that ”there’s a new trend among beer-makers called ‘wild fermentation’” . And she might have also been prompted to the ask those questions that are screaming to be asked, especially after learning that: Because yeast can’t move around on their own, (…) they probably developed this strate

Kostelec, Kounice, Community, Tradition

The gentleman in the picture is Kárel Klusáček , owner of the Maltings and Microbrewery in Kounice. Far from an absentee owner, he looks after pretty much every aspect of the running of the company, and he's 83 years old. I had the pleasure, and honour to meet him last Wednesday during a trip I had put together for a good friend of mine and two of his mates. The trip started with lunch at Černokostelecký Pivovar , or rather, at Háje, where we took the 10AM bus there. A few days before, I had talked to Milan Starec, a.k.a. Květák, to let him know we were going, and to ask him if they could help me with the visit to Kounice. It was no problem, he said, they could arrange everything, even a taxi, or something like that, to that town. I called him when we arrived. He said that Vodoch, the owner, would meet me at the pub after lunch, and he would take care of everything. Food was good, very good. Beers were even better, a 10° from Frýdlant and Černá Svině, the 13º black la

Local vs Good vs Outstanding

A couple of days ago, Stan whether Quality trumps Local . To me, the answer is very easy, a big YES. I've said it many times, I believe it is important that we support local businesses, but, as I've put in my comment there: as far as I’m concerned, everything is subordinated to quality, or rather, my perception thereof; and that includes local. If a local brewery doesn’t make a beer I will want to drink, I will not buy it, I will not support that business. Why should I? Fortunately, that’s not the case where I live, and I’m happy to support my “local” brewery, which makes great beer, with business and more. But the thing that caught my attention the most in that post is a quote from an article by one Greg Engert, that says: Now, the desire to drink local brews has reached a fever pitch, often blinding publicans and craft beer drinkers alike from what should ultimately guide our choices: Is the beer of the highest quality? Is it bereft of off-flavors? Is it delicious? In