Thursday, January 04, 2018

Headlines from December 2017 on THE BEER BEAT.

Previously, I've explained why this blog has gone on hiatus, adding that my thoughts about beer will be posted alongside my utterances about everything else, over yonder at NA Confidential. You'll find them there via the helpful all-purpose tag, The Beer Beat.

However, whenever the urge strikes -- I seem to have settled on monthly -- I'll collect a few of these links right here. Following are December's ruminations, with the oldest listed first.

Some of these posts are more topical than others. On occasion, there'll be references to beer in posts using "The Beer Beat" as a label, though not a title. I hope this isn't overly confusing.

Thanks for reading, if belatedly.


THE BEER BEAT: The pervasive fog of Hoosier regulatory wars.

The overarching topic of conversation was the ever-expanding intersection of beverage alcohol production, agriculture and tourism. Examples of places where these pursuits come together are farmers markets, special events and fests, and the floor plan of Huber's.

What is the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission's stance on regulating these activities -- and what will it be tomorrow? Those are the questions.


THE BEER BEAT: What a beer guy like me can learn from Master Sommeliers like Brett Davis and Scott Harper.

The world of wine generally remains mysterious to me, and I aim to keep it that way. Hit or miss, wine remains fun; I know too much about beer to revert to amateur status, so grasping the basics about wine suits me just fine.

The educational opportunities are welcomed whenever they materialize, but I don't always seek them out.

For the past decade and a half, Brett Davis and Scott Harper have represented the other side of this wine appreciation spectrum. They're the Louisville area's Master Sommeliers, which is a very big deal, indeed.


THE BEER BEAT: Praljak, Yugoslavia's civil war, the brewery in Sarajevo and the bridge in Mostar.

Let's begin with the brewery in Sarajevo, which dates from 1864 and remains in operation today. I drank the typical golden lager beer back in '87, although remembering exactly what it tasted like is another matter entirely.

Significantly, it would be difficult for any brewery anywhere to continue brewing without predictable supplies of barley and hops, but since old-school breweries were built in proximity to their water sources, the wells kept functioning -- and helped keep people alive.


THE BEER BEAT: This iconic (and ironic) photo of Dan Canon and Rosa L. Stumblebus.

In spite of the many reasons that seeing this photo might annoy me, only one of which pertains to the candidate himself, I can't convey my pleasure in seeing it continually pop up during coverage of Dan Canon's congressional campaign.

The photo dates to Canon's campaign kickoff party in July at the downtown NABC location, whatever it's being referred to these days.


THE BEER BEAT: The La Chasse-Dauntless beer dinner menu is released, Porter versus Stout, and other beery odds and ends.

We haven't had many chilly days this fall and early winter, but about a month ago stouts and porters started tasting good.


MATCHing ensembles of cigars, bourbon, beer and cigars at Match Cigar Bar in New Albany.

Perhaps an introduction is in order, because I have the distinct impression many of my readers aren't aware of Match Cigar Bar's second location at 147 East Main in New Albany.

(Sad note -- Match New Albany closed at the end of December. The Jeffersonville location remains open)


THE BEER BEAT: Sunday sermonizing about the arduous path to pints, and union.

During my time as a beer revolutionary, I often asked myself what would happen when the revolution began devouring itself -- and if this isn't a perfect analogy, the question might better be stated this way: What's to be done when the beer world gets crazy, and I can't make sense of it any longer?

Obviously, this is the juncture when one goes back to the mattresses and the basics ... the simple pleasures, the timeless virtues, and the bedrock foundations.


THE BEER BEAT: The Bechdel Test, and what 1980s lesbians can teach us about beer.

It's best just to read what Emma Inch has to say about what 1980s lesbians can teach us about beer, with a minimum of commentary on my part, but a brief diversion to signpost the Bechdel Test.


THE BEER BEAT: Beer and the Christmas Truce, France, 1914.

"The two barrels of beer were drunk, and the German officer was right: if it was possible for a man to have drunk the two barrels himself he would have bursted before he had got drunk. French beer was rotten stuff."


THE BEER BEAT: Of seminars, books and beer: Louisville brewing history with Kevin Gibson.

Another friend, Bob, phoned last night. During the conversation he mentioned his membership in Rotary; bizarrely, I awakened this morning to a confusing mishmash of Kevin Gibson, Rotary and Louisville Beer (those eight ales yesterday may have been a contributing factor) until it dawned on me that I'd previously combined these elements in a blog post -- last year, maybe?

Um, nope. It was July 16, 2015, when I connected dots to a review of Kevin's beer book which I'd contributed to Food & Dining the preceding year.


THE BEER BEAT: Saying goodbye to 2017 with an assortment of links.

Looking ahead, the fifth anniversary presentation of Tailspin Ale Fest 2018 on February 17 draws ever nearer. We'll be in Portugal, crawling from one port lodge to the next in Vila Nova de Gaia (be still, my throbbing heart), but if you'll be around for Tailspin and want to attend, it's time to start planning.

I'm guessing that NABC's Gravity Head will follow on Friday, February 23, but as Liam Gallagher once sang, it's nothing to do with me.