The funny business will return, but there’s something else that needs saying first.
Your genteel Void writer has taken some time off in the midst of the onslaught of news in the past few weeks. This space in meant to be a semi-serious look at beer social media with tongue-in-cheek humor sprinkled generously throughout and, frankly, I just didn’t feel it was my place to write this column during the nationwide, and global, protests over the seminal death of George Floyd while in the custody of police in Minneapolis and the previous deaths in the same manner, all in the midst of a global pandemic. Individuals, businesses, and industries posted in support and America as a whole had a reckoning that was far too long coming. Other people needed that space.
The beer industry is no different. The lack of Black membership in craft beer business has long been a discussion topic and, while there were pieces of progress and acknowledgement, there was little in the way of sweeping change. Right Proper took a financial hit to pay their respects to lives previously lost to police violence, The owner of one of DC’s Black-owned brewery Soul Mega posted his thoughts on Instagram. The wounds of the past, poorly healed, were opened again. This time, though, felt different. And change has happened, and conversation has begun for other changes at levels it hasn’t previously. And a reckoning in beer has begun, too slowly for many who have already left. Whether or not this continues, whether or not it just becomes yet another moment forgotten in time like the other names on Right Proper’s #SayTheirNames, is yet to be seen.
Porch Drinking had a list of dozens of Black-owned breweries nationwide and Thrillist had a list of 20, with some overlap. Thrillist also interviewed Union’s Kevin Blodger on how he became a mentor. Imbibe Magazine documented the work of the Black is Beautiful initiative in craft beer.
Meanwhile, the pandemic raged on, with local coronavirus positive test percentages falling, but concerns still abound as the area lurches into Phase 2 reopenings. Brewers and bottle shops adapted, and will have to continue to do so for some time. If you’re inclined to go out and increase your risk and the risk of staff at establishments reopening, here’s a list I guess. Atlas Obscura interviewed beer historian Theresa McCulla on how those changes to beer are documented.
Yeah, this is supposed to be a light-hearted column but, frankly, there is little to be funny about lately.
All beers with Stone in the name eventually turn to stone.
Magic Hat closed their South Burlington, Vermont brewery, where it grew into a national brand. And in other mid-aughts related beer changes, the Craft Brew Alliance announced an update related to their full acquisition by AB. Also, has anyone seen beer served from tanks like this at the latest Brew Dog iteration? I haven’t. Maybe I’m new.
Canned beer correspondent Bryan Roth has some canned beer analysis.
This columnist believes Black Lives Matter, because they need to, in this space, and in all others. Take care of yourselves, until next time.