The 6 Pack 9-8-22

6 pack newsletter Sep 08, 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! I'm back in San Francisco for the first time since moving to Portland, OR about 9 months ago. It feels like coming home. I lived in SF for 14 years and suddenly I really miss it. It's a real bummer to be irrevocably priced out of a place you loved, gave so much of yourself to, contributed to. Like so many others have had to do, I've taken my entrepreneurial energy and propensity for community building elsewhere. It's their loss. I'm salty about it...for now. 

Beer of the Week: Since I moved away, my buddy Tom has been picking up my beer club goodies from Sante Adairius Rustic Ales and Private Press Brewing (the only two clubs I'm a member of, both in Santa Cruz, CA...another place I wish was more affordable). I can't bring all these cases of beer home on the plane, so we're poppin' bottles!

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


TBS 6-Pack



How Many Drinks a Week Are Safe? Canada Considers a Much Lower Limit by Ian Austen for the NY Times (free link to similar CTV News piece). Canada is about to greatly change its “low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines.” The current guideline sets a limit of 10 drinks per week for women, ideally no more than two drinks a day, and 15 drinks per week for men, with no more than three drinks a day. The new guidelines suggest that two drinks per week is the safe max. One thing that’s driving these new recommendations — the increased can size and high ABVs of typical craft beer. A pint can of >6.5% ABV hazy IPA is easily 2 drinks worth. “[T]he updated guidelines propose that all alcohol containers carry labels with a health warning, nutritional information and a label that indicates how many standard drinks are within the container.” The World Health Organization is calling for the widespread adoption of these health warnings on beer globally. I'm not sure this matters much, but it feels like a small turn towards neo-prohibitionism.  



Lost in Translation — How Flavor Wheels and Tasting Tools Can Evolve to Speak with Global Beer Drinkers by Mark Dredge for Good Beer Hunting. Ever had a gooseberry? Taken care of animals in a “barnyard?” Sniffed a “horse blanket?” I haven't. The generally-agreed-upon-standard-terms for flavor that sensory analysts learn have long been known to favor particular Western cuisines and cultures. Trying to learn "standard" descriptive terms to pass the BJCP exam if you grew up in China, India, or Brazil would be infuriating! It’s very cool to see these issues being discussed more. I think this is the big pay off: “Appreciating the cultural smell spaces of beer is one key in reaching more drinkers on a local level in emerging beer markets. As for more developed markets, where there’s greater fluency in beer, there’s now the opportunity to speak in new and more evocative ways.” We all win by gaining a richer understanding when we expand our language, cultural references, and overall food knowledge. Describing flavors is all about nostalgia and making emotional memory connections…you can’t do that if you’re describing with words that don’t resonate with your own experiences.  


Wine Enthusiast's Future 40 List, Emerging Tastemakers and Innovators. Big congrats to the beer industry badasses who made this list: Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter  who co-founded Crowns & Hops Brewing in Inglewood CA; Natalie Rose Baldwin at Breakside Brewing in Portland OR; & Advanced Cicerone Jen Blair of the False Bottomed Girls podcast and new Cicerone Exam Manager.



Are you Overpaying for American Hops? by Douglas MacKinnon for the MacKinnon Report. Hop growing in the US is a notoriously concentrated business with only a few major players and about 70 large farms. American hop prices and “farm gate value,” a rough measure of income, went up ~3x between 2009 and 2020. And that’s self reported data from the hop industry. How is this possible? Well, demand increased massively as craft beer blew up during that period and hop acreage doubled. That said, the hop industry self reports that the cost of producing hops increased 249% and that they are losing more than $2,408 per acre! WTF, that's clearly impossible. MacKinnon argues that the biggest difference between today is the prevalence of proprietary hop varieties for which sellers can dictate prices. He predicts further consolidation in the industry and ever higher hop prices going forward. 


The Top Idea in Your Mind by Paul Graham. This is an interesting concept that’s worth a shower. “I suspect a lot of people aren't sure what's the top idea in their mind at any given time. I'm often mistaken about it. I tend to think it's the idea I'd want to be the top one, rather than the one that is. But it's easy to figure this out: just take a shower. What topic do your thoughts keep returning to? If it's not what you want to be thinking about, you may want to change something.”



Verbatim: What Is a Photocopier? NYT OP-Doc on YouTube. “In this dramatization of transcripts from a legal deposition, a lawyer becomes embroiled in an absurd argument about the definition of a photocopier.” This is hilarious and amazing. 


Have a lovely weekend, y'all!


6 pack newsletter