Curated reads #2

It was one week ago that we ended May, a month that will be especially remembered for the news -made public through a message in Beer Advocate- of the merger between two pioneering companies, symbols of American independent craft brewing: Boston Beer Company and Dogfish Head. With the large brewing multinationals unleashed, it is undoubtedly a defensive movement that, without knowing any details of the operation, seems to be beneficial for both parties: image for some, channeling for the others.

In praise of regular offerings

Sometimes it scares me to see how fast time goes by. It was at the end of 2017, that is a year and a half ago, when I published a tweet that for some reason I thought was far more recent. The fact is that after a year in which, as usual, I tried a lot of different beers, I found an unfortunate common pattern in many of them that made me want to virtually vent my frustration on a quiet winter night.
Brewers should refrain from throwing 'things' into beer without any previous testing. Too many times this year I've had rough-carbonated /geyser beers with 'things' down the drain. — Joan Birraire (@birraire) December 17, 2017

Curated reads #1

I have wanted to start a series like this for years, but had never found the formula that pleased my expectations. After chewing on it for a long time, one finally realises that making things simple is often more effective, and that in any case nothing has to be rigid or immutable.
Hence today I launch this section, in which I intend to share a small selection of articles related to beer that, in one way or another, have caught my attention during the last weeks. Being aware that I will not always comply, the frequency of publication will -hopefully- be monthly.

Barcelona Beer Festival 2019 - A quick guide

After close to a whole year of work, we are in the final stretch to start the Eighth Edition of the Barcelona Beer Festival. With great enthusiasm, I set out to summarise those key points to take into account to enjoy the Festival in its fullness, whether this is the first or the eighth time you join this great celebration of beer as a drink and cultural element.

If you can't beat them...

Europa Press published yesterday the piece of news that had been rumoured for the last weeks among people in the scene: Heineken acquires 51% of Madrid-based La Cibeles brewery. Founded by David Castro in 2010, the year in which the microbrewing scene in Madrid was almost identical to that of the late 90s in Barcelona, with little more than imported beer as an alternative to the major national brands, La Cibeles soon achieved notoriety and was a source of excitement for the few beer enthusiasts with concerns beyond the eternal cañita de Mahou.

"The ownership and independence of a company are secondary to a fundamental value such as consistency"

Little more than noise

Five months ago, a piece of news caused a stir: Damm launches an IPA. A similar move, albeit much more daring, than the one by San Miguel with their Manila in December 2017, or Moritz's move when launching Red IPA at the beginning of 2016. In the same line, after a period during which they have been launching several limited edition beers under the series 'Ambiciosas', Ámbar hopped on the bandwagon with their IPA, announcing it just two days later than Damm. April was certainly full of excitement.

"And now what? Let's keep on working, innovating and growing"

Retrospection and new experiences

One of the nice things about getting involved with the beer industry over the last ten years is being able to observe the past with the perspective of time.
I still can remember the mystery surrounding the brewing process and the sensory profile of certain beers, the creators of which I know personally today. I can even say that some of them are my friends. I also recall the admiration I felt for certain authors, whose publications gave me knowledge and inspired me to write. During these years, I have had beers with several of them, getting to collaborate with them in various matters, in some cases. Festivals? From the initial uncertainty of getting there by yourself the first time, without knowing exactly what to expect, to feel more than comfortable attending them. And, finally, to have gotten involved in the organisation of some.

"After this new experience, I will have a more solid opinion on the basis of the scepticism that surrounds major beer contests"