Ah, Sunday. The first in February which means... baseball is not far off. I am not a huge NFL fan but will watch the game with some interest. Not a fan of either team, though. Not much into the Gruit Day thing either. Gruit was a form of feudal taxation in only certain parts of northern Europe during the medieval period where the gruitrecht was a means to control the herbs used in brewing before hops became common. The system of law was not used to make better beer, consistent beer or even ensure access to beer. It wasn't really even a taste except it did rely on sweet gale as a component. No sweet gale? Not a chance it's gruit. It was really a means to control and mandate use of the herbs so as to ensure a taxation event occurs mainly to take money from the many to give it to the few so that the few could impose authority over the many. Yippee. Reminds me of that joke about beer creating civilization. No need of that. So, I have to look around elsewhere for interesting tidbits of news. Like these:
⇒ Jordan wrote about much more than the latest example of big craft selling itself to big beer when he wrote this blog post.
⇒ You know why I really like Tandleman? I can't think of a more honest set opinions on good beer. While we largely live in non-overlapping circles on the venn diagram, I do love his lack of patience for the boring know-it-all... even if once in a while he aims his displeasure at me.
⇒ Jeff tweeted a very concise but precise summary of the essence of Stan's post on the next few years for US craft beer and hops. First things I wondered was, given the 150% expansion in hops needed to achieve the BA's plan for marketshare in 2020, where the heck is the financing for all that new infrastructure going to come from, what is the annual tax depreciation for new hop investments and is there even the capacity in the manufacturers to provide that equipment given the greater marginal risk the farther we go into that additional 150% expansion. Point: isn't the 20% by 2020 plan already known to be impossible?
⇒ Ron has posted about the most exciting project he has ever taken on - assisting with the revival of heritage barley strains. Is this the way back to mass production of diastatic brown, the malt the Lord loves?
⇒ I moved the content of the 2011-12 era corrections wiki for the Oxford Companion to Beer over to this blog's articles section from the third party wiki site. I am too cheap to pay another fifty bucks for a year. Consider the data now from its own distinct era but don't rely on the OCB without checking in with the wiki, too. The process was undertaken with respect and the response from OCB editor Garrett Oliver was one of the more gracious things I have witness with good beer, especially as I was pointing out errors in a job that took a couple of years of his life.