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 Pokemon Go to his DMs.
Welcome back to the Void, EXTRA LOUD and short this week for your satisfaction. Greg Koch is here to further anthropomorphize a beer where he explicitly says ,“it's not about being an asshole.” I have fully given in to my new Arrogant Bastard overlords. Is it speaking in Cleveland? Since Tebow isn’t coming, there’s an open slot. What I’m trying to say is, Arrogant Bastard for VP.
Massachusetts is considering changing its distribution laws, which was met with skepticism on social media, as we all know laws that have the support of large industries that rake in money aren’t apt to change. As a Montgomery County, Maryland resident, I have to laugh at these other jurisdictions thinking they have it really bad. But it’s clear the craft beer boom will have far-reaching legal ramifications in the next decade or so. You know your industry has fully matured when you’re talking about lobbyists and laws daily.
One more law that has ramifications on craft is the addition of calorie counts on beer labels. You can imagine that smaller brewers that generally brew more caloric beer may have a problem with this. As a person who both loves craft beer and has spent the last nine months in the throes of weight loss, I welcome this. I already know that the stout I’m drinking likely has many, many more calories than your macro beer o’ the day. I want to at least keep track of how many calories I’ve consumed so that I know how many miles I have to run on the treadmill to make up for it (spoiler: I will collapse before I complete the number). The article does say that craft brewers will not be in any hurry to do the same as the bigger brewers, but let’s not forget which brands of beer, popular amongst aficionados, are owned by Constellation and AB, for example. Can’t wait to see exactly how many calories are in those ten Grapefruit Sculpins I shotgunned for $50.
And Colorado, once again, asks why we all can't just get along?
Is draft beer on planes the beginning of a trend? Does this mean we could be seeing noted Heineken-backed brewer Lagunitas on draft above 30,000 feet eventually?
I’m not going to talk much about this story that claims the "most Belgian" beer outside of Belgium is brewed in Ohio (does this mean it’s, like, is draped in the flag? Does it speak fluent Flemmish? Is there a pipeline with this beer direct to my house?) because I want you to take a look at this tasting room. If there is every a place where I would feel the need to fall asleep while drinking beer, it's a place that looks as idyllic as this.
Jason Notte started a conversation about bottle sharing events where I chimed in about the dearth of happy hours and other things that incorporate large-format bottles to encourage sharing. I know, I know, interacting with… *shudders*… other people, but if a bar is looking to stand out in a crowded market place, new ideas to get people to come through the door are essential. I don’t feel like a bar can just stick 40 taps in and expect to survive a year any longer in saturated markets without extra effort and unless the business owner has a massive cash flow where marketing can fill the vacuum. Creativity is a must. Send me some ideas for things that bars could do to get you to come in more often outside of the normal dollar off drafts and expanded selection. We’re talking fresh ideas here.
The Wall Street Journal thinks we're running out of hop puns. Sounds more like a hopportunity for enterprising brewers to hop to it and Pokemon Go make some more puns. Hop pun not included.
Finally, some sad news from Washington as Lester Roy, the founder of the largest hop grower in the world, has died at 88.
Thanks for reading this week. Again, send me your creative ideas for how bars can attract your business. And don’t forget, beer has more uses than just drinking. It can keep pests away from your plants!
That’s right, folks. Save your plants, get rid of that 91 day old Enjoy By you have sitting around that is surely not any good anymore. You heard it here first.