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 or email DCBeer. Our patronus is beer, but you already knew that.

Where do I even begin this week? I feel like the DC Beer Week hangover started early, so early I haven’t even started drinking yet. It’s a new record. I guess this is what it's like to get old: your body just gets hungover at the sight of beer WRITING.

The Washington City Paper, in anticipation of Beer Week, published its annual beer issue. And boy, is it an issue. The highlights include some good profiles of area brewers and industry workers and this from DCBeer’s own Aaron Morrissey. His piece is about area food critics ignoring beer programs and pairings, which is nothing new but now needs to change. DC’s beer scene has grown to the point where it can no longer be ignored.

Clearly it can’t be ignored because the issue also has this, which was written by someone who does not like the taste of beer and complains that his friends needle him when he drinks wine. I had white wine with dinner last night, by the way. My wife even drank some, too. It was good. It also says craft beer snobs remind him a little of Donald Trump. This column reminds me of Trump in that it is aggressively wrong. (Feel free to take that out, Bill, if you wish). [Ed. Note: I do not]. Maybe the writer would like these beers instead.

Why wouldn’t we be snobbish? Just look at the benefits of drinking beer!


Here, cleanse your palate with Eno Sarris talking about hops. Follow that with Bryan Roth talking about hops. Then read Stan Hieronymus on hops  If the Beatles were still a band today, they’d write a song about hops.

Before we go, we would be remiss if we would not admit there are many legitimate criticisms of craft beer. One popular theme is the incessant need for brewers to market their beer to men only, often with sexist labels and advertising. Here's Just Drinks chronicling the exploits of noted big beer and craft brewery owner Heineken doing just that. Instead of being depressed about this, though, just listen to the Beervana pod highlighting women in beer and read this about Jane Austen brewing beer.

Another criticism of the industry is: beer is poison. And this week, we highlight the truly poisonous aspect of drinking for a living: alcoholism in the industry. Bar veterans talk about their struggles.

Finally, beer is a business, and businesses have corruption issues. The ongoing debate surrounding kickbacks continues in Boston.

Though beer is indeed poison, sometimes it can partially fuel some pretty amazing accomplishments.

Last week, Stouts and Stilettos defended the honor of pumpkin beer and its drinkers against its many detractors. This week, the American Homebrewers Association takes up the defense, essentially saying you should drink what you like. You should drink as many of them as you can if you like them, because many of your favorite pumpkin brands may not be around much longer. The trend is deflating, likely back to pre-trend levels. Maybe I can finally drink a pumpkin beer in the fall again.

I imagine pumpkin beers are probably better than this:

Maybe people are just drinking some sour offerings instead.Though I can’t imagine this is a “reaction against” anything, but simply an evolution of who’s drinking what, especially considering IPAs are still growing as a style. Besides, weed beer is the next big thing anyway, right?

"Craft beer ruined day drinking, I wrote while day drinking." That would be the headline of any article I would write if I were a full-time writer.

De Halve Maan finished its beer pipeline in Bruges, Belgium. Not sure that needs anymore commentary.

Don’t have a basement but want to age some beer? No problem says DRAFT Magazine. Though I may age some beer myself, the official stance of the Void is to drink it. Drink it now. Don’t wait. Given the state of the world, you deserve a break. Drink these especially.

We end with some beer history for your FACE HOLE. All About Beer talks underground brewing with Yuengling.

DC Beer Week starts tomorrow. Come see DCBeer at Blind & Bitter. Then do other things.