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.
I have finally dragged myself out of bed post-New Year's, dusted off the lingering, weeks-long hangover, and sat down to write The Void. There can be no more Void ennui-inducing number than 2017. 2016, though, was a great year for beer. You’ve seen the year-end wrap-ups extolling the virtues of beers old and new that came and went last year, and we were all better for having had a sip of them, if we were able. But this humble beer writer prefers to look forward, not backward. As Bryan Roth says, there is an increasing chance you won't get to have the best beers available on the market, so take whatever opportunities you can to quench your thirst with JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCE or whatever barrel-aged, adjunct-filled black hole stout fills your glass.
And while you’re at it, clear out your cellar and drink that beer already. It may get a little better, it may get worse, but no sense in waiting around. I am no stranger to holding on to beer for absurd amounts of time, but I ordinarily have an occasion in mind to look ahead to when I see that beer aging. If you don’t, find a reason a drink it today or tomorrow.
While we’re still thinking of JOOOCE, Phil Runco had a must-read profile of Leesburg's own purveyor of double-dry hopped citrus bombs, Aslin Beer Company, whose popularity has forced the owners into difficult situations they couldn’t have foreseen but have taken in stride. 18 hour brew days sound like my idea of hell, but they’ve not only survived but thrived.
Since you just can’t get enough citrus, here's Beer Advocate on the haze craze.
But, as we should all be careful to remember, despite the three-hour long lines for turbid tangerine IPAs, there is one beer that still rules them all:
And no matter what you drink, please make sure the glass is clean. It’s the least you could do.
Also, as a consumer, the least you could do is give the glass back at the end of your session.
In some surprising news, Belgium’s legendary Delirium Cafe is opening its first US location in Leesburg. Leesburg, the capital of beer apparently. We should change our URL to Leesburgbeer.com.
A traditional German brewery is in the works for a Baltimore neighborhood.
But why would we ever want to go to a bar when apparently AB-InBev wants to make it as easy as brewing coffee to make your own beer at home? This… depresses me. I can’t think of anything I’d like to do less than brew a steaming pot of beer in five minutes. How can that possibly make a palatable beer? I guess we’ll find out.
Chinatown is getting a Yard House if you’re interested in that sort of thing.
Slate’s Money podcast took on the economics of beer.
England’s Cloudwater Brewing announced what is akin to blasphemy in UK beer, that they are ceasing cask beer production, citing business concerns. The post is long and full of charts and real talk, so give it a read. It touched off the expected firestorm of takes. Here are some good ones:
- Pete Brissenden says this is part of a larger industry trend.
- Mark Johnson further analyses the situation in a two part series: Part 1 Part 2
- Finally, here is a brief history of London brewing, to get you up to speed on what English ale has to offer.
And remember, if you’re thinking of having that beer, don’t feel too much shame. There’s a brewer out there smiling because of it.