What does beer taste like? What does it smell like? What should it look like? These fundamental questions should have some sort of a concrete answer and much of American craft beer’s past few decades has served both to answer this question and to undermine previous answers. So, I should not be surprised that, as we enter another decade of craft beer’s meteoric growth, brewers have answered that question with things like:
Onions in Kolsch. Mac and Cheese in pale ales. Scrapple in beer. (I have had this beer and it was indeed a beer). Whale testicle beer. Bovine testicle beer. (I have also had this beer and can say I would have it again).
Folks, it’s clear I am willing to try a lot of things. But entire festivals dedicated to ruining what is probably a pretty good style that is traditionally appreciated for its cleanliness, sharpness, and refreshing qualities isn’t necessary. This is a don’t do list, not a please do list. In fact, there are ways to change beer flavors without resorting to onions in kolsch.
I would much rather have a ton of donuts than one of these beers for sure.
And, yes, cocktails in plastic bags are not good.
You are indeed screaming into the Void. Embrace darkness.
If you still feel like drinking beer after that, here are some events worth considering this month.
Before we get too deep in the local stuff, we have to talk about a major branding failure on the part of a brewery who thought it’d be cute to use imagery associated with gang activity on their beers.
The reasons this is inappropriate are stated in the tweet. It is, of course, not the first time something like that has happened. Mirage actually put together an appropriate apology, but of course that’s only the beginning. What happens from here on out is how they make the change.
How do you design a beer label well? Let Jeff Alworth show you.
Silver Spring’s first brewery, Denizens Brewing, has opened a second, larger facility and taproom in Riverdale Park. This will enable them to…distribute beer back to their native county. I don’t know that the laws should change, but this is probably a good indication they should.
What is likely the last SAVOR wrapped up, and DC Beer’s contributors had some pointed criticism about organization, particularly as it pertains to how food was handled this year.
Jake also sat down with the founders of Patent Brewing, a brewery-in-planning in DC, but also something more.
Fritz Hahn answered some questions about different jurisdictions competing within DC, and has some suggestions as to why Virginia has seen rapid growth while DC and Maryland haven’t. One brewer posits maybe the rent is too damn high. What else is new? Former blogger Bill DeBaun, you may have heard of him, also points to oversaturation in a tweet thread that definitely couldn’t have been a blog post, no sir.
Speaking of starting a brewery, Bryan Roth and Good Beer Hunting sat down with Maryland brewers Scott Janish and Michael Tonsmeire for a second time about how they’re doing.
You may have heard that President Donald Trump has threatened Mexico with tariffs in his ongoing diatribe against border crossings. Since this is a beer column, in the wake of unspeakable human tragedy dredged up through these policies, I have to make it about beer, and the industry says tens of thousands of jobs have been lost due to the tariffs, mostly with aluminum. And, of course, imported beer and Mexican companies that operate in the U.S. market will be hard hit by the newest round.
New Jersey absolutely hates tap rooms.
AB-Inbev thought transparency was a good idea, but instead, it stepped on its own feet.
A Belgian monastery found a really old beer recipe, so of course it’s time to see what it tastes like.
Learn a little more about the latest bug brewers are using in their beer to make flavors, kvass.
And, finally, an Ohio brewery brought a pre-prohibition beer back to life.
Pride Month begins in earnest. Remember, though, the Void lasts every month. Have a beer while you celebrate.