Each week, Tony Budny pens SCREAMING INTO THE VOID and looks at the best in writing and social media conversation around the biggest issues in beer. If you feel something should be included, have a tip, or just want to sound off, feel free to look him up on Twitter @DrinksTheThings, email DCBeer, or hit him up on snaptube or what else the kids do these days.
Folks, I’m here to tell you that the Founders did not, under any circumstance, declare independence and fight a deadly war to defend the Declaration for THIS to happen at any point in our history:
When I saw this, I considered just leaving this space blank this week and declaring independence from life. Then again, it's not like other forms of alcohol are doing much better. In the opinion of this humble beer writer, I posit that the real Sam Adams would not have approved of this filing.
Yeah. That. Let’s get to the news before before things go further downhill.
BIG, HUGE NEWS OF THE WEEK
Tony Magee is a newsmaker. When he speaks, for better or worse, it is, at the very least, entertaining and often changes the shape of the industry. He is also extremely long-winded. Here he is explaining the entire existential foundations of why Lagunitas, despite being partially acquired by one of the largest breweries and acquiring two other breweries, is still your friendly neighborhood craft brewer. We all know the term craft never really had any meaning beyond its marketing connotations, but I think it's time we officially put this term to bed. We need a new language to describe what was once known as the craft beer industry and to describe some styles of beer brewed within it (this link contains good info if you can get past the poor "throat rape" analogy) [Ed. Note: Yikes, what the fuck?]. And, as the industry will likely continue its march toward a two-level craft makeup, with bigger breweries continuing expansion and small ones focused on other things than expansion, the industry will likely continue splintering as well. Before long, the smaller brewers will have to form their own advocacy organization. We saw this in Colorado with the ugly breakup of the Craft Brewers Guild a few weeks ago.
That was long. Here, ponder this ye olde beer ad:
ENNUI, LOUD NOISES, WHY ARE WE YELLING
- Craft beer is slowing down, the bubble is bursting. It's getting homogenized. The flagship is dead. Or is it? It’s almost as if beer is an industry and has to adjust to prevailing trends but also isn’t a monolith and different brewers in different regions need a different approach because they serve different consumers.
- Oh, and as if that weren’t enough, British brewers are facing an uncertain future thanks to Brexit.
- Finally, let's stop being lazy about language to describe alcohol.
Noted oldest brewery in the country that also fits the definition of craft, Yuengling, just got nailed by the EPA for illegally dumping pollutants into the Greater Pottsville Area Sewer Authority municipal wastewater treatment plant. I didn’t know Mr. Burns bought Yuengling recently.
FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS
- Read about the story behind the Guinness toucan mascot.
- See the dog that's helping promote beer.
- Hear about how to open a brewery. These are great pointers, but I’d also recommend having lots of disposable income. That would also be key. *key emoji*
- Two anticipated spots have applied for liquor licenses in Montgomery County, including our new overlords Neighborhood Restaurant Group who will soon own all of the restaurants in the DMV. I am strangely fine with this and don't know why.
- There was once a beer hall in what is now Chinatown that rivalled the old Brickskeller in terms of its attraction to beer drinkers. It existed before World War One. The spot where libations were once served has not changed much in terms of its purpose.
- We are still #insatiableanimals. And that’s good because the best breweries in the country are still committed to getting us as much of what we desire as possible.
- Here’s a good read on the craft brew scene in Beijing where soon you will be able to buy Warcraft-branded beer that I anticipate will taste vaguely of orc. 2.5 stars on Untappd.
FOURTH OF JULY BEER LIST LIST
- Will Gordon gives you 10 beers to drink while you're blowing up a small part of your backyard.
- Jason Notte gives you five beers that want you to think they're American but they're really not.
- Jesse Farrar gives you beers to drink on a hot summer day.
- Phil Runco lists 10 DC area beers to drink this summer.
All right, soldiers. Our Independence Day is upon us! Go out there and do something crazy to celebrate.
Please don’t actually do this. I want you to be back to read this next week. The content never ends.