... or not. Saturday afternoon is the Dark Ages of the internet, after all. But here are some stories about things beery that could colour how you look at the world this weekend. How could I not share?
Brian Stechschulte of San Fran has confirmed on Twitter that DRAFT magazine has agreed to pay for the photo of his which they poached and published. You will recall that BeerAdvocate nicked on of my shots but discussions that followed never included the weird wacko assertions from DRAFT that they had a right to lift and pocket the copyrighted works of others.
• Boston Beer has decided to use the hammer of the law against another brewer 1/20th of its size. Next time you hear their TV ads squeek on and on about the magical craft of brewing ask yourself why he also does not know about the corresponding code. Handle this in the locker room, Jim. It's not like you are actually going to have a trial, are you?
• In happier news, I am drinking my first Fuller's Past Masters XX Strong Ale as I type. While 49 weeks from release to the shelves of the world's biggest booze buyer is a great example of my LCBO love / hate. Most importantly, a big +1 to Ron who helped recreate this 1891 brew. It's got a gorgeous aroma of malt marmalade that explodes in the mouth on the first sip. Fabulous value at $3.75 for a 7.9% classic. And it does make you wonder what the hell a "XXXX" would have meant to the drinker of over 100 years ago.
• And even more interesting than that is what I am reading about in Fish into Wine: The Newfoundland Plantation in the Seventeenth Century. It is clear from the book that there was brewing in the early Newfoundland plantations of the early 1600s but also that there was a thriving drinks trade to the workers on this shore. These first "masterless men" lived without direct oversight in a massively lucrative trade that needed their existence. But before the plantations, there were generations of West Country English fishermen back into the mid-1500s who arrived in May and left in September, ships arriving throughout their annual stay to pick up salt cod to deliver to southern Europe. These men must have brewed ale as part of their daily routine. Just a guess so far but they must have packed a barrel or two of malt to get them through the summer.
There. The good, the bad and the ugly of today's news in beer. You decide which is which.