The 6 Pack 7-22-22

6 pack newsletter Jul 22, 2022


What’s up, beer geek! This is The Beer Scholar 6-Pack weekly newsletter, a short clean email featuring 6 bulleted links with brief descriptions for each.


Howdy beer geek! Yesterday, I took a day off and went with some friends from out of town to a beach on the Columbia River near Portland, OR. I figure I may only have like three months of nice weather here before it starts raining again, so I better make the most of it.

Beer of the Week: I paired a bottle of Alesong's 2022 Gose Anejo, a tart margarita-like ale 🍹 made with lime, salt, and agave that's aged in tequila barrels, with an elevated homemade version of gas station bean and cheese burritos 🌯 this week. I added mango 🥭 salsa to my bean mix this time and it was fab. The pairing felt food-genre-appropriate and the acidity of the gose really cut the rich burritos. Few meals are more fun than elevated junk food. I had friends over for dinner and all agreed it was a hit.

As always, here are 6 dope links for your Friday 6 Pack. Enjoy.


TBS 6-Pack



New Jersey Continues To Be The Armpit of America; Strips Breweries Down To Bare Bones by Breweries in PA dot com. The New Jersey ABC issued new rules restraining some legal gimmes breweries in that state enjoyed. A lot of them look like things breweries all over the US do, like coordinating with food trucks and offering cocktails onsite. The author of the piece is incredulous, but to NJ bar and restaurant owners this is surely welcome. In the 2000s states desperate to cash in on the growing craft beer economy rushed to pass new rules granting breweries all kinds of legal loopholes to the 3 tier system — the ability to open multiple taproom locations based on a single production license and the right to offer cocktails and booze from other makers being some of the biggest deviations from the past. It allowed breweries to have lots of free liquor licenses to open full bars with, many of which look nothing like what we think of as a traditional brewery taproom (i.e. a taproom at the site of the production brewery that sells their own beer). This won’t be a popular statement with all readers here, but breweries taking advantage of those new rules have put beer bars, many of which helped build the original fan base for their craft beer, out of business. 



150-Year-Old Beer Cave Uncovered By Iowa Utility Workers by Jelisa Castrodale for Food & Wine. Utility workers in Winterset, Iowa stumbled upon a long buried beer storage cave from a brewery in operation in the 1860s! There’s not a lot of info, as it’s a new find, but historians are going down there soon to assess the space with LIDAR. This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. A land owner in Easton, Pennsylvania is excavating a beer cave once used by the Kuebler Brewery he found (check out the very cool photos). 



Hard Seltzer Has Gone Flat, Americans are realizing the truth about White Claw: It’s bad! by Amanda Mull for The Atlantic. In last week’s 6 Pack I asked if anyone had found a good RTD/ready-to-drink cocktail (I’ve tried many, none good). This week, thanks to flatlining sales data, the media is catching on that maybe hard seltzers are also not very good (I’ve tried many, none good). Seems like the low calorie element of seltzers only got them so far. Here’s the thing, I’m no snob about booze, I firmly believe there’s a time and place for everything, but that said…can’t we all admit that White Claw is gross?



Mixed Signs at Midyear for Craft Beer by Bart Watson for the Brewer’s Association. The answer according to packaged beer sales at chains is “yes.” Anyone who’s been doing beer stuff for more than ~5 years is well aware that compared to the craft beer heydays the industry is kinda sh1tting the bed now. What’s to blame? Certainly seltzer & FMB/RTD have taken a bite. Covid made things pretty weird. Also, this data doesn’t say much about on premise draft sales at breweries or bars. To me, the grand trend is clear — in the 1970-90's a base was laid by microbreweries, in the 2000s beer was an immature market ripe for disruption and a punk rock version of craft beer was born, in the 2010s craft beer trended in a huge way, and now in the 2020s the industry is mature and having a growth hangover as sales level out and the industry settles into a groove. Also, there’s no way innovation in beer styles could continue at the pace it did in the early craft beer days when nothing much new had been done for decades. To me, bringing good beer to the masses was always the point, and that’s what happened, so in the grand scheme we’re doing pretty damn well (even if it doesn’t feel that way to many beer entrepreneurs). Unlike with seltzers and canned cocktails, at least we know most craft beer is pretty good these days - that bodes well for the future!



Korean beer company searches for 'real heroes' who cleaned up massive bottle spill by Hyerim Lee for ABCNews. Worth clicking just to see all the beer come crashing out of the truck across the intersection. Also, it’s a mild-feel-good-story in a world lacking much of that in the news. 



The Bittersweet Story of the Real-Life Peaceful Bull Who Inspired Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s Ferdinand by Maria Popover for The Marginalian. I wasn’t aware there was more to the Ferdinand the Bull story than the Disney cartoon until reading this piece. The story of the peaceful bull is based on the true story of a Spanish bull named Civilón. The book, written and illustrated by two Spanish men, was banned by the dictator of Spain, Franco, and other authoritarian governments at the time as pro-peace (!) propaganda. The real life story doesn’t end quite as kindly for Civilón as the book and Disney film. Ferdinand the Bull is a classic work of philosophy hidden in a kid’s book, much like The Little Prince or Winnie the Pooh


Have a lovely weekend, y'all!


6 pack newsletter