The 6 Pack 8-04-22

6 pack newsletter Aug 04, 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.


Sup beer geek! This week started out well -- I drove down to Bend, OR to pick up a fancy new-to-me banjo (FYI Craigslist is still better than Fb Marketplace) and to visit my friend and beer writer, Brian Yaeger. He's the person responsible for getting me involved in this whole craft beer thing back in 2008 (!) in San Francisco. It was a really nice reunion to spend some time with him and the Yaeger fam. 

Beer of the Week: While in downtown Bend, I hit up Porter Brewing's cask-ale-only bar, The Cellar. The Pale Mild, ESB, and English IPA were all fantastic. F**k Untappd ratings btw, they'll remain useless trash until they start statistically adjusting them by style like ABI owned RateBeer does. The Cellar's space is also fantastic, it feels like a cozy little basement pub in Oxford, UK. Here are some pics. Next time I'm in Bend I'll be back there for sure. Brian Yaeger & I also popped an excellent mixed ferm sour with peaches called Peach Fierce Turtle from Ale Apothecary, another gem in Bend you should keep an eye out for if you dig the funk.  

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


TBS 6-Pack



Phantasm, an “Unreal” New Ingredient Making Hazy Beers Even Juicier by Grace Weitz for HopCulture. “Thiols” has been a buzzword for the last few years thanks to the haze craze. These are the tropical fruit-like aromatic compounds found in small amounts in trendy hops & which are increased in beer via “biotransformation” that occurs when certain yeast strains (like Vermont, London III, or Hornindal) are actively fermenting during dry hopping. Being the best at unlocking enormous amounts of thiols in Hazy IPAs, among other things, is what makes brewers like Tree House, Monkish, and Garage Project so hype. It’s known that Sauvignon Blanc wine has loads of passionfruit-y tropical thiols and so, in the never ending bid for max thiol action, Jos Ruffell, the owner of NZ-based Garage Project has produced a new product produced from leftover NZ Sauvignon Blanc grape skins. The used skins have already been fermented, so their thiols are available…why not dehydrate them, grind them into a powder, and use them in beer making! Boom, Ruffell has new product on the market called Phantasm. It’s powdered thiol-rich grape skins. It’s pretty new to the craft beer scene, I haven’t gotten my hands on a beer made with Phantasm yet, but I’m excited to try it. What a brilliant, yet simple, thiol hack! For now, I’d guess that getting your hands on some Phantasm powder is about as likely as seeing Garage Project at your corner store (zero), but this is another one of those potential game changer ingredients you’ll be seeing and hearing more about soon. I’m sure big companies like BarthHaas & Yakima Chief are already working on similar products to snatch the market 🤷🏼‍♂️ so I expect Phantasm-like products will be widely available within a year or so.    



World Beer Index 2021: The Cost and Consumption of Beer Around the World by James Arney for Expensivity. This is a meme-y bit by a company that does some kind of financial advice app stuff, but whatever, it’s fun and the numbers look legit enough. Some highlights: Qatar has the most expensive beer in the world, with an average price of US$11.26 per 33cl / 12oz bottle. The cheapest beer is in South Africa, where the average price is $1.68 per bottle. The Czech Republic has the highest consumption rate, with 468 beers per person per year (in part thanks to loads of tourism, but it’s also the 10th cheapest place for beer). Germans spend an average $1,907.78 per year on beer (this is incredible!). 



Understanding Fermentation Temperature Control by Kara Taylor of White Labs. This quick read is a basic review of how fermentation temps effect the final beer. We all know that at higher ferm temps you’ll get more esters and phenols in the final beer — but why is that really? It’s all basic chemistry, more heat (energy) causes faster and less controlled chemical reactions, regardless of the ale or lager yeast strain. This is written for homebrewers, but it’s also a nice little review for Cert Beer Servers who are eyeing a move to CC level knowledge. 



Craft Brewers are Using Stinky Yeast to Make Tasty Beer by Jason P. Dinh for Discover Magazine. Sometimes a journo who isn’t one of the few top beer writers really does their research and nails a piece that involves some technical beer info. This is a basic intro-to-Brett read that pairs nicely with the piece linked above about fermentation temp control. If you’re thinking about going for the CC, check it out.



The Cicerone Cert Program is hosting a “Cicerone Presents: Beer and Cheese Pairing Panel Discussion” with some heavy hitter beer and cheese geeks. It doesn’t happen until Wednesday, August 24 at 5:00 pm ET. Go sign up for it now so you’re notified when the time comes.



My link a few weeks ago about Bela Fleck’s documentary about the banjo, an instrument of African origin, was surprisingly popular, so here’s another folksy banjo-ish link. Bruce Springsteen made an album in 2006 called We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions that was a big departure from his typical material. It’s Springsteen doing folk songs made popular by social activist & folk musician Pete Seeger, who famously played a long neck banjo with the words “This Machine Surrounds Hate and Forces It to Surrender" on its head. Here’s Springsteen & his band playing Old Dan Tucker at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2006 on YouTube to give you a feel for it. Definitely a love or hate sort of genre, but no one can say they aren’t hella talented. 


Have a lovely weekend, y'all!


6 pack newsletter