This week, Shawn and Tony talk craft beer culture, try some new releases and talk about homebrewing techniques. In the news, we talk about how good beer is a real thing, not just an advertising construct.

Hey, look! Another think piece on the decline of craftbeer

This is a long and interesting thing piece considering what will happen when we get exhausted of beer snobs. Apparently, it’s by someone who hadn’t noticed that we already are. In case you don’t subscribe to the Beer with Strangers podcast (and shame on you if you don’t), our motto is “Drink what you like and be happy.”
So while it is true that anti-snobbery is on the rise it doesn’t follow that pro-Coors Light is on the rise. There’s a difference between defending music on aesthetics and defending beer. No one seriously argues that, say, “O Town” are misunderstood artists. Some culture is garbage, some is misunderstood. I think the appropriate analogy here doesn’t put craft beer against cheap beer, but rather snobs against enthusiasts. No one is going to argue for Miller Lite on flavor points, unless it is 110 degrees in the shade. Similarly, no one is going to argue that the Big Mac, because it is globally consistent, is superior to a hamburger made with meat.

What Comes After the Beer Snob

It was once a given in music criticism that pop music, the ear candy of the masses, was not worthy of the same intellectual consideration as rock music, especially that of the auteur or cerebral indie darling. But then, about a decade ago, a new critical paradigm took hold: poptimism.

It feels inevitable, but not too precious

I often refer to beer, especially low alcohol beer, as liquid aspirin. I’ve done experiments, trust me. This sounds like a fun idea even if it is a little gimmicky. I’ve tried yoga and already don’t mind it, this would be a tipping point for me, though.

Spiritual boozing

Suffering from a mild existential crisis after a few Cuba Libres? Want to approach an ancient cultural practice the same way you do a night out on the tiles? Well, of course you do. Combining the current “mindfulness” craze with everyone’s favourite hoppy beverage, Bier Yoga comes to Berlin courtesy of Jhula, a professional yoga instructor who first saw the concept at Burning Man.

Super Bowl Predictions

I predict ABInBev will spend more on its Busch ad than it will make on Busch in the next 12 months. I was going to make an argument about their advertising acumen, but then I remembered the Bud Bowl.

Anheuser-Busch Says Super Bowl Beer Ads Will Get Back to Basics

Anheuser-Busch will get rid of the slapstick antics and celebrity endorsements that have long been the hallmarks of its Super Bowl commercials in favor of a back-to-basics approach for some of its best known beer brands. “Do not expect celebrities.

Love on Tap

Everything is confirmed for the upcoming “Shore Craft Beer Fest: Love on Tap” noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at Seacrets. There are still a couple of surprises in the works but they expect to have more breweries than ever and several love-themed seasonal beers.

Love on Tap at Seacrets

Right now VIP tickets are only $40 and include a commemorative tee shirt, pint glass and more than 30 beers to taste responsibly.

Gear

I know a lot of people dig these, but unless I’m driving an awfully long way and there’s a beer that I really feel I need to share with someone, I’m just as happy with a bottle or can. I guess for road trippers it is nice to bring them out empty and come back with them full, but I really don’t have that kind of willpower.

New uKeg Growler Could Keep Your Beer Fresher, Longer | CraftBeer.com

If you’ve ever had a craft beer go flat in a glass growler (or if you’re as clumsy as I am), you may have grown weary of the sometimes fragile vessels. Heck, I once drank an entire 64 oz.

Tastes and Recipes

What beer would you use to steam sliders and why?

A little beer is a lot of flavor in these Super Bowl sliders

Big provisions are required to watch the big game, and nothing’s more substantial than a burger, even in its mini-form – the slider. Indeed, if you plan to serve a variety of dishes for the Super Bowl, sliders are more sensible than the full-sized guys.

Girl Scout Cookies. Same question:

Beer Pairings for Girl Scout Cookies (2017 Update)

It’s our favorite time of year once again-Girl Scout Cookies are here! We’ve added new editors’ picks of great beers to celebrate the season with and a collection of cookie-and-beer pairings we compiled from around the web. Let’s hear your favorite pairings!

Recipe of the Week

Beer Banana Pudding Recipe

Although commonly associated with the South, this sweet layered dessert is really ubiquitous in the United States. Here, we make the custard with Belgian golden strong ale for complementary warmth and banana notes.

Homebrew tips and tricks

On the homebrew section of this week’s podcast:

Try First Wort Hopping

I recently discussed no-chill brewing, a post-boil technique that turns conventional homebrewing wisdom on its head. Another counterintuitive practice that nonetheless turns out great beer is first wort hopping. First wort hops are added to the kettle during runoff, immediately after Vorlauf, and allowed to steep in the hot wort as the mash is sparged.

Is it worth it?

The Catalyst Fermentation System

Free Shipping. U.S. Orders Only.The Catalyst Fermentation System (6.5 Gallons) is an innovative piece of homebrewing equipment that simplifies the fermentation process, making it easier t…

Like and Subscribe

In case you didn’t know, these are the show notes for the Beer with Strangers podcast. If you’re interested in the show it’s at BeerWithStrangers.com, or you can follow along on our Facebook page. Of course, you always can subscribe on iTunes as well. If you’re looking for Doug and Homebrewing stuff, you can find their Facebook page here.

Tony Russo
Author: Tony Russo

Tony Russo has worked as a print and digital journalist for the better part of the 21st century, writing for and editing regional weeklies and dailies before joining the team that produces OceanCity.com and ShoreCraftBeer.com among other destination websites. In addition to having documented everything from zoning changes to art movements on the Delmarva Peninsula, Tony has written two books on beer for the History Press. Eastern Shore Beer was published in 2014 and Delaware Beer in 2016. He lives in Delmar, Md. with his wife Kelly and the only of his four daughters who hasn't moved out. Together they keep their two dogs comfortable.

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