A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Craig -

In 1632 Van Rennselaer stated in a letter to Johannes de Laet, “As soon as there is a supply of grain on, I intend to erect a brewery to provide all New Netherland with beer…”

So, why not hops?

Alan -

They would have been brewing before his fully fitted out brewery. Need to find that flotilla's manifests. That'll tell us.

Craig -

Maybe, but the patroonship—the major economic engine behind Rensselaerswijck—isn't established until 1629. The first true settlers—those brought over by Van Rennselaer upon his agreement with WIC —don't arrive until 1630. The twenty-five or so men living at Fort Orange are basically just trading beaver pelts with the locals. In the 1620s, there was just the fort and a few dwellings out side it. I'm sure they brewed on a subsistence level, but I don't know how much beer could have realistically brewed for exportation.

Alan -

I think there is an earlier 1620s wave that fails. People are found [in late spring 1626 by the next Governor] starving in half built shacks with dead animals after a bad winter. [The crop in 1626 was good but the HOTH book speaks of most colonists returning in 1627-28.] The whole WIC is only saved because in 1628 or 29 a big haul is made in South America after a Portuguese [err... Spanish] gold shipment is nabbed and brought back to Amsterdam. Then the scheme gets rejigged and the Amsterdam aspect of the WIC votes in the patroonship structure. My point in this post is not the idea of continuous agriculture but that, unlike a cow, once a Dutch hops rhizome gets into the ground it isn't going to die from lack of care.

Alan -

And the vines are, in fact, grapes for booze. This is in the Instructions to Verhulst:

"He shall also pay special attention to see whether the grapes which are there in abundance are of good flavor and suitable for making wine or being dried as raisins. In such case, he shall have some planted and cultivated in the most suitable place where they receive the most sunshine; and if they are not suitable for such purposes, he shall try by experiments whether by transplanting or other means they may not be improved or at least be used for making brandywine, vinegar, or verjuice, and if not, he shall advise us accordingly in order that we may send all kinds of vines thither. He is also to see whether he can procure some vines from Spain, the Canary Islands, or other places."