Give this man a round of applause.

From an interview reported in today’s edition of Craft Business Daily. The interviewee is John Laffler, late of Goose Island Brewing and the co-founder of Off Color Brewing, both in Chicago:

ON MAKING “IMPORTANT” BEER, NOT IPA. These days, John’s litmus test for making a beer is not whether it tastes good or will make money, but whether it’s “important” and “viable.” That opener led to an anti-IPA rant. “Everybody else makes IPA, so why would we?” said John. “We have Lagunitas opening up, so the price of hoppy beer is plummeting. You see their handles all over Chicago–they make a very nice beer, they make a lot more of it than we possibly can, at a price point we could not possibly match. Nor can we get access to the ingredients like they can.” It’s neither a style he likes nor a business model he desires.

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Remember when some jackass wrote this a little over two weeks back?

Paragraphs which… will be a recurring feature at Liquid Diet from now on, as is Push Pin Wisdom. A major difference will be that the posts under that rubric will, more often  than not, be supplemented by commentary by Your Humble Host

I can hear some of you moaning “why the hell aren’t you just talking about beer, dammit?,” and I understand. I will address that soon. You may or may not be pleased. Then again, this blog is all about me, innit, as is every blog and its author?

Yeah, that was me.

Ignore.

Peek over there to the right and you will see an RSS feed for These Things Happened. TTH is my new personal website (in the tradition of the late lamented Mermaids Singing and who can count how many other such ventures) and that’s where Push Pin Wisdom and other non-beer-related posts, including political rants, most music videos, Buddy news and all the other fun stuff will happen. The RSS feed will keep you apprised or you can just make TTH a regular browsing stop. Comes to that you can ignore it entirely, although that would be wrong in the extreme.

I am sure I will occasionally do a post or two here which will link to TTH, and visa versa. You know I can’t help myself.

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Here comes a horde of crazed brewers, ready or not.

BCAA2014_Victory-AltbiertSierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America tour promoting the official opening of their East Coast brewery in Mills River, NC, will hit our region on August 2. The celebration scheduled for Penn Treaty Park at 1341 North Delaware Ave. will be the penultimate one; the journey will end in Mills River the following day. Pretty much every craft brewery in the Mid-Atlantic region will be pouring at Penn Treaty Park, but the beer locals will probably be most anxious to try is the one pictured here, Alt Route, Victory Brewing’s collaboration with Sierra Nevada and which is part of the Beer Camp Variety Case which has one beer from each of the 12 breweries involved in the tour ( Allagash, the Asheville Brewers Alliance, Ballast Point, Bell’s Brewery, Cigar City, Firestone Walker, New Glarus, Ninkasi, Oskar Blues, Russian River, 3 Floyds, Sierra Nevada). The case itself, which is probably going to be hard to come by, is a collector’s item of sorts, mixing  bottled beers with  canned ones for the first time (10 bottles, two cans). They’re calling the tour the largest celebration of craft beer in history. More than 700 breweries and at least 1,300 craft beers will have been on tap from nearly every state in the union when it concludes.

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About that goat race relocation… [UPDATED]

 UPDATE: It’s now official that the move will be made and that East Pikeland asked Sly Fox to find a new home for the Bock Fest per a news release just received.

Original Post, July 10:
It was always pretty evident that Sly Fox would eventually have to move its Bock Festival to the brewery grounds, given the ever-increasing crowds, but it didn’t seem in the cards this soon. As you know, I am no longer an insider there (and even when I was, nobody told me nothin’ unless I dug it out), but multiple voices from the grapevine are telling me today that they really had no choice in the matter. East Pikeland Twp. officials asked or told them they had to move because the event brought in too many people. It appears that having thousands of visitors come and spend money for food and drink and lodging and have a good time with family and friends, thus creating a very positive image for the area, is the worst possible thing that could ever happen. Who knew?

It will be interesting to see how this all works out. Given the popular annual Can Jam event and the food truck event this year (which I assume will be repeated), not to mention the appeal of the brewery Tastin’ Room and the familial presence of Manatawny Still Works across the street, the Sly Fox presence has helped make an industrial park a destination venue of sorts. There is plenty of room on site to handle the festival and the goats and, presumably, this is an event at the “if you hold it, they will come” level and a new location will not be an issue. But part of it’s ambiance over the past 16 years has been the semi-claustrophobic nature of the venue, a whole lotta people in not much space. Will that be lost in the move? Will it matter? Can they find a way to bring the race itself back to the center of attention, making it visible for a lot more people as it happens? Then again, I do love the big TV screen and its role in correcting this year’s photo finish just added to the mystique (nothing will likely ever top the tale of those two three-legged champions).

We’ll all find out next May 3.

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Breaking News: Sly Fox Bock Fest/Goat Races Moving to Pottstown

The Pottstown Mercury‘s Frank Otto broke the news last night that the annual festival held on the first Sunday of May, arguably the most popular beer event in the region, will be moved from the Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville to the grounds of the Sly Fox Brewery in Pottstown in 2015 if the borough council agrees.

Go here for a link to the complete story.

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Posted in Beer Events, Breweries, Brewpubs, Goat Races, News | Leave a comment

Pizza Magazine loves itself some EB+B.

If you don’t get the weekly email newsletter from Earth Bread + Brewery, you are likely to have missed this. That would a shame, so don’t miss it.

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Paragraphs that Make Me Think — 02 July 2014

From here

“According to a report from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), building on previous studies that suggested plant growth can be influenced by sound and that plants respond to wind and touch, researchers used a collaboration of audio and chemical analysis to determine that plants respond to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating plants and that the plants respond with additional defenses.

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Count me among those who thought this comic would NEVER be adapted for movies, much less TV.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have begun breaking down the story for the pilot episode of  Preacher, their AMC TV show adaptation of the comic series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.

preacher_comic_art1Why did I think that one of my favorite Vertigo Comics series ever (right behind Sandman and fighting for second with Y the Last Man, Sandman Mystery Theater and Swamp Thing (Alan Moore issues), would ever be broadcast to a (relatively, this is AMC after all) mass audience?

Preacher follows Reverend Jesse Custer, a tough Texas preacher who has lost his faith, has learned that God has left Heaven and abandoned His responsibilities. He finds himself the only person capable of tracking God down, demanding answers, and making Him answer for His dereliction of duty. Accompanying Jesse on his journey is his former girlfriend and a friendly vampire who seems to prefer a pint in the pub to the blood of the innocent. On his tail is one of the most iconic bad guys in print – an immortal, unstoppable killing machine named the Saint of Killers – a western lone gunman archetype whose sole purpose is to hunt and kill Jesse.

I can already hear the Christianist wingnuts going wing-nutty.

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Posted in Comics & Graphic Novels, Passing on the Word, Personal | Leave a comment

Paragraphs That Make Me Think. — 30 June 2014

I posted the below on the Book of Face a day or two ago. After deep consideration and a couple of beers, I decided it should have been posted here first and then gone off to that vast wasteland of Facebook and Twitter as do all the posts here. In short,  it’s not like my horde of followers* there will be deprived.

*That’s a joke, son.

This comes from an article by Elizabeth Kolbert in the June 30 issue of The New Yorker entitled “Old Bugs” and it fascinated me.

“Cockroaches are survivors. They, or their roachlike ancestors, have been around since the Carboniferous period, which means that they’ve crawled through not just one or two but three major mass extinctions. For the past two hundred million years, the cockroach body has remained essentially unchanged. This means that the roaches that scurried under the dinosaurs of Mongolia looked pretty much the same as the ones now scurrying under the dumpsters of Manhattan.”

Paragraphs which… will be a recurring feature at Liquid Diet from now on, as is Push Pin Wisdom. A major difference will be that the posts under that rubric will, more often  than not, be supplemented by commentary by Your Humble Host

I can hear some of you moaning “why the hell aren’t you just talking about beer, dammit?,” and I understand. I will address that soon. You may or may not be pleased. Then again, this blog is all about me, innit, as is every blog and its author?

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Posted in Paragraphs That Make Me Think, Personal | 1 Comment

Push Pin Wisdom — 30 June 2014

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

–Lyndon B. Johnson

[This is an occasional series of snippets of wisdom, humor or dismay about the state of the world in which we live, the sorts of things we used to stick on our desk-side bulletin boards with push pins in ancient times.]

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