They treated the rest of that day as though it was a Sunday, that is to say what you should expect of a Sunday. You need time for big and complicated new concepts to shake themselves down in your brain slowly, without damaging what is already there.
— Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth
I’ve got a few longer-form and more-detailed ponderings on the go at the moment — a catch-up on All Things Moa in the year-and-some since their infamous IPO, and an attempt to build a bulwark against some of the more-annoying and more-absurd bits of the recent Moral Panic around beer (too-often standing in for “booze in general”) and the reflex to restrict its availability. But it’s a Sunday, and they never feel like the occasion for such heavy-lifting — except perhaps in the garden — so I’ve instead happily been going through my pile of Interesting Miscellaneous Things To Read.
Back when I was a paperboy, we relished January as a month of lighter-than-usual deliveries thanks to the end of holiday advertising a the general Slow News Month. In the beer world, at least, it seems there’s no such effect:
- Beer & Biodiversity: A wonderful little explanation of the parallels between not-usually-related complex fields. If you’re vaguely interested in one, it’ll help with the other; if, like me, you’re a big geek about both, it’s just gorgeous. Bonus marks for anyone who has noticed me banging on about “rich ecosystems” — of beers, of bars, and of festivals — of late. You are hereby forewarned that I intend to do it even more.
- Bellamy’s and Parliament’s parties: It turns out that the very first thing the New Zealand Parliament legislated on was its own access to alcohol.
- Brewers who blog: Welcome back Greig Mcgill (of Brewaucracy) and Luke Nicholas (of Epic), both evidently resolved to return to the semi-regular-beer-writing fold for 2014. It’s possible that Contract Brewing is necessary for anyone have time for Consistent Blogging.
- An overly-honest beer ad: In the fine tradition of slightly-unnerving satire.
- Stone & Wood’s blog: I’ve mentioned my newfound gardening hobby / habit a few times before, and I must say that’s it’s been making me seriously crave their Garden Ale for extra beer-and-occasion matching. Their blog is a consistently enjoyable read, whether they’re rambling about the aforementioned deliciousness, making an excellent case for more-civilised drinking,1 or apologising for being too damn popular.2
- The extra value in “local”: (If any.) I’ve always enjoyed the inevitable slip into hypocrisy of anyone who, in their early days, heavily relies on geography in their “pitch” only to later realise they’d like to export and, you know, make some real money. Tuatara have swapped the “Brewed Locally” which once topped their labels for “Hand Crafted”, and Hamilton’s Good George is currently in an amusing Billboard Spat with Lion over ownership of the L word which makes you wonder if they’ll never make liars of themselves (if regularly sending beer to Wellington doesn’t already count).
- New American Trappists: With the opening of the surprisingly-mundanely-named Spencer brewery, it seems my Dance Card is no longer complete — although, actually, I also haven’t had any Mont des Cats or Engelszell. (And somewhat fittingly, they had help in setting up from the above-mentioned Pretty Things brewery.)
- Mandatory Pete Brown: 1) On “craft beer”, an excellent musical analogy,3 and how honesty and quality are important. 2) Conclusions from his previously-here-referenced Dry January. And 3) on the excellent value-for-money-ness of beer. (But generally, just read Pete Brown.)
- The Beer Pilgrim: This seems to be Lion-in-Australia’s version of whatever it was that moved them to that ‘Made To Match’ horribleness (albeit way better executed); an insufficiently-openly-branded parade of naff that will probably make you dumber by the minute. Another tragically wasted opportunity and failure of corporate courage.
- And finally, an irrelevancy: Because the space program is fucking amazing. We are particularly strange monkeys, sitting on the shoreline sharpening sticks and bashing rocks in very specific ways so we can build rockets to wander the universe in and robots to go out ahead of us. (See also: an informative geek-out about orbits, and Kerbal Space Program — which taught me that lesson the hard way.)
1: Speaking of which, as I mentioned the other day when writing up my own (at the time accidental) manifesto on the same, I also hugely recommend Matt Kirkegaard’s recent radio ramble on that point (while pimping a Brisbane beer festival). His recent ‘Tao Of Beer’ musing is also absolutely worth a look — and interestingly also clipped the same Hipsters Love Beer video that The Wireless illustrated my piece with; it seems that satire also struck a chord, or even a nerve (as it should). ↑
2: Something that my day job also just succumbed to. ↑
3: Which reminds me: welcome to the fold, Buzz and Hum — a very promising new blog on one man’s love of good beer and good music. Exactly what I was in the mood for after the Jono Galuszka podcast. ↑