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Showing posts from 2016

The Session #115 - The Role of Beer Books

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Today is Beer Blogging Friday, so it is time to post my contribution for The Session, an initiative by Stan Hieronymus from Appellation Beer. The current round is the 115th, and the second time I host it. The topic at hand is ‘The Role of Beer Books’, so I am going to make a review of those books that have been essential in my experience with beer and my local scene.

“Books, and people, do make a difference”

The Session #115 - Announcement

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The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry. (more on Brookston Beer Bulletin).

"I believe the importance of books for the beer culture makes them worthy of another Session"


The turning point...

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I find myself sitting in front of a middle-aged skinny guy wearing a bob and a thick beard. He is repeatedly combing backward, almost unconsciously, as he talks. He also has a pair of stylish, vintage glasses that he seldom uses, but that provide him with a certain aura. Like a star. And the fact is that despite of his humbleness and nice manner, he actually is a star. Something that he will show in a few moments, pulling out a well worked and learned discourse, accompanied by an indifferent and casual posture: the one of a great lecturer, the kind that wins the sympathy of an entire auditorium with the first sentence.

"I'm still waiting for the turning point"

A brief commentary...

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Even before having the chance to try out the new batch of Nómada beers, we get some first developments in relation to its already known and discussed partial acquisition by Grupo Mahou-San Miguel. In a similar way to the decision by Cantillon to exclude Birra del Borgo of their Quintessence 2016 programme some weeks ago, the organisers of the Mostra de la Cervesa Artesana de Mediona -Ales Agullons- have decided not to include Nómada Brewing Co. within the list of breweries in its eleventh edition. After having participated uninterruptedly since 2012, this can be read as the result of their partnership with the big Spanish brewing group.div>

"By partisanship, interests or just for the sake of controversy, let us not turn disagreements into conflict"

Zythos Bierfestival

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Today's post is from my friend and colleague Mikel Rius, to whom I hand over the blog for a day to enable him to post a reflection on his visit to the mythical Zythos Bierfestival of Belgium. The translation from Spanish is mine. Salut i birra!


On 23 and 24 April Belgians celebrated the twelfth edition of a beer event that many regard as unmissable: Zythos Bierfestival, in Leuven. The meeting gathered 88 breweries, who had more than 500 beers to choose from, making it a true paradise for enthusiasts.

“The casualness in coexistence is reflected in the stands: all identical, for very different sized breweries”

The Shelf #1 - Tasting Beer

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You drink beer for the first time. Still young, you do not like it. But as time passes you get used to it, becoming a regular drinker without even realising it. Then one day you discover that there is a greater variety of beer than what you thought, and begin to try different brands; some of which you get you excited. In those moments, you feel that beer is a defining feature of your person. But suddenly you visit a site, sample a beer or talk to a person. And one, or more, of these factors lead you to a sudden turning point in your path as a beer aficionado. Suddenly you realise that you actually do not know anything about your favorite drink, discovering its unattainable gastronomic and social magnitude.

"Fortunate enough, my first beer book was this great reference"

Little by little...

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Tomorrow, Friday 22 April 2016, a new issue of Cuina magazine hits newsstands with a completely new look, as well as a new approach to content to suit the gastronomic reality of the moment. This is certainly a cause for joy for its broad base of readers and subscribers, among whom I count myself since 2009, and for the entire team of professionals who make possible, every month, the existence of this great example of gastronomic dissemination in Catalonia.

“In this new sub-project, I want to write about beer from a more accessible perspective”

It is about the beer...

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BBF has long gone by. And it is a month later that I am about to return to the normal state of things here on the blog. Year after year, depletion and accumulation of other tasks prevents this return to the regular publication of content to be fluid. Plus this year there have also been countless small and not-so-small parallel initiatives that have kept me quite busy, some of which I hope to announce soon. But beyond that, one of the most decisive factors each year is the emotional supersaturation.

"It fascinates me to meet passionate people whose motivation, above all, is their love for beer and its various expressions"


Settlement...

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There have been lots of written comments and discussions about mergers and acquisitions of microbreweries by the industry giants lately. It is still too early to assess whether, in the long term, this recent phenomenon will favour or go against the interests of each one of us. There is one thing we can declare, though: the trend has not reversed. At all.

"Two years ago, Nómada regarded their not having own premises as a hallmark of freedom"

Some locals consider the industry matters that happen in other countries and beer scenes as a distant debate: be it for magnitude, technical development or geography. However, the fact is that the interconnections with other areas and cultures are many today. For instance, we have already seen our first local Fruit IPAs, one of the current beer trends in the United States. And there are more to come. Another example?
A freshly-baked one for you. Just yesterday, an open secret was officially confirmed: Nómada Brewing Co joins Mahou-San Mig…

Barcelona Beer Festival 2016 - Activities

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19 days left! The fifth edition Barcelona Beer Festival is very close, and the whole organising team is very busy. We are less than three weeks away from hearing the bells tirelessly ringing whenever a new keg is tapped in the Maritime Museum of Barcelona, so now ​​it feels like a good time to present the 2016 Activities Grid of the Barcelona Beer Festival. With a selection of 300 plus different beers during the whole weekend, one has to find key moments to pause on the road. Our offer of parallel activities can help this break to also be educational. And delicious!


"We want every Activities' attendee to leave each lecture having learned something new"


Barcelona Beer - Locals' Choice 2016

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All right, so here we are again. Today I bring you the second post on this yearly series I started just last year, in order to make good recommendations to people living / coming to Barcelona with beer thirst. Since I have never liked to give my personal tastes too much importance when writing (i.e. no rating, no ranking) I came up with the idea to make a selection of good local beer, according to people I trust. Hence, the Barcelona Beer Locals' Choice -you can read more about how I organise the whole thing in the tab 'What to drink in Barcelona', from the menu above-.


"BBLC 2016 comprises a list of 21 local beers, carefully selected by trusted local drinkers".


American...

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Had I been asked about American beer 9 years ago, a few months before knowing that my first job would take me to live in Brussels, I would have likely said that beer in the United States had no interest at all, with as much audacity as ignorance allows. But just half a year later, I found out at Delirium Café that there were far more American beers than the ones I knew, after spechlessly skimming their 2,500 plus beer menu.

The first ones I drank were Anchor Steam Beer and its sister Liberty on tap, during my Honeymoon, in a fantastic seafood restaurant in the piers area of San Francisco. I was greatly impressed, and thought I had tried such local, unusual beer and that I would seldom have the opportunity to try it again. Time gives one perspective, indeed.

Barcelona Beer Challenge 2016 - Stats

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Two months ago I wrote about the 2016 edition of the Barcelona Beer Festival. Today we are exactly eight weeks before its celebration on the weekend of March 4th to 6th. Hence, you can expect that I will do some promoting here in the blog. I promise to make it interesting, though.

It was in that same introductory entry in November that I talked about one of the main innovations for this year: Barcelona Beer Challenge (BBC), a beer contest. Today there's just a week left before closing the registration period, and we are very pleased with a participation level that complies with our more optimistic expectations. There is a good representation of beers from different geographic points, as well as a wide range of brewing styles according to the Beer Judge Certification Program standards.