An episode with no beer. Well, none were consumed — out of a vague nod to Dry July, but more a result of us both being in losing phases of the age-old battle of Monkey v Microbe. We ponder Dry July, as a charitable enterprise (we’re unconvinced) and (much better) a way for people to test and/or manage their relationship with one of humanity’s favourite drugs. Meanwhile, we drink some worthwhile non-beers,1 and I have a little ramble on the social history of tea and coffee and whatnot. And an episode this time of year wouldn’t be complete without a looking-forward toward the beer awards and Beervana.
Speaking of which — we’re going to be recording two episodes at Beervana itself, and you’re more than welcome to join the audience as we talk beer with some special visiting guests. Attendance is free and there’ll be Beers Of The Week for all. We’re on at 8pm on Friday, 7pm Saturday.
As always, a direct download is available, there’s a podcast-specific RSS feed, and you should be able to get us on iTunes. George and myself can also both be reached on the Twitterthing, or you can leave comments here or on the Bookface. Cheers!
— Show notes:
- (0.10) You can hear the Lingering Winter Lurgy right away.
- (1.20) A fortnight-and-a-bit delay isn’t that bad, in the grand scheme of things.
- (3.20) Twitter’s trending algorithm is apparently really suggestible.
- (4.00) Botswanan of the Week: Mma Rmotswe. The books are formulaic but enjoyable, and I thought the TV series was particularly well done. I’m sure I’m slightly biased because the author is also a big name in bioethics, but still.
- (4.30) Beverage Of The Week #1: Gingerella. Tasty stuff indeed.
- (5.50) Dry July — its official organisation, and its general gist. Pete Brown’s musing on his personal annual abstention ritual was a big influence on me going from Bystander to Somewhat Militant Ally for such things.
- (8.30) Bars really do need to sort out their non-boozy options.
- (13.30) A.U.D.I.T. — the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, an online version of which can be found here (ironically festooned, for me, last I visited, in Beervana ads).
- (16.50) CGP Grey is a pretty good evangelist for caffeine, another favourite drug. Philip J. Fry’s legendary experiment in overconsumption is also worth watching.
- (17.50) Beverage Of The Week #2: T Leaf Tea Blue Flower Earl Grey.
- (19.30) Recommended: A History Of The World In Six Glasses. Plus Quicksilver and its sequels, if you’re in need of a few thousand pages of fiction.
- (21.00) There’s a lot of myth-making in regards water and the historical popularity of beer. In Industrial Revolution era cities, though, the problem was a real one.
- (22.40) CrashCourse World History was great fun. And a second season just started.
- (22.50) The Beer Diary Podcast: Live! Friday at Saturday evening, no cover charge, with guests and beers-of-the-week for all. Should be a lark. Come along, if you’re in town and attending Beervana — and tell your friends.
- (23.40) Beervana exhibitors. Australians aplenty, plus lots of new faces. But absolutely no Boundary Road / Independent / Asahi, for an apparently-hilarious reason. And a reminder about Beer Festival Economics.
- (28.40) RTDs, a sidebar. There’s your Problem Child, right there, if you want one. And don’t believe a damn thing you hear about the popularity of “cider” these days — it’s mostly just RTDs in drag.2
- (32.00) The rich ecosystem of festivals. You do see a few people wondering if Beervana isn’t for them anymore. To which I say 1) it’s possible that your tastes have changed more than the festival has, and 2) that’s not really a problem; there’s still so much for you to go to and go bananas about.
- (33.00) The new ‘beer manufacturer’ award — overdue, and missing the point.
- (38.00) Bouquet & Brickbat / Tip o’ the Hat & Wag o’ the Finger: We really do need a name for this segment; suggestions welcome. I keep getting stuck on ‘Cheers & Jeers’, but there’s probably something better lurking somewhere in the æther. But anyway — Yay Tuatara, for doing Interesting Things. (The new CEO is Richard Shirtcliffe, but he’s formerly of Phil & Ted’s; same industry, broadly, better name.) They’re obviously looking to restore their ‘Wellington’ cred and their ‘cool’, but that’s not a bad goal. And — Boo Dominion Breweries / Heineken global for using the same (bad) joke on two different billboard campaigns, and for the world’s worst mixed pack.
- (48.50) Recommendations: Tuatara ‘Black’ — I’ve still only had the ‘Toasted’ one, but hear good things about the coffee and chocolate incarnations. It is worth noting, though, that they haven’t “re-brewed” Delicious Neck, it turns out; they’ve re-blended it — whether for reasons of deadline and schedule or just lack of inspiration, I hear the What We Do In The Shadows tie-in wasn’t a custom brew, but a blend of existing stock. Tasty, all the same, but still. Also Big Awesome Trappist-y Things, and Hallertau Funkonnay. And: #freshisnotbest; build a cellar.
- (52.00) Friend Of The Show: As noted in the last episode, it seems Wil Wheaton did get his beer from us, which is awesome. For this week: Warren Ellis — creator of a bajillion things, almost too numerous to list, that we’re mutually hugely fond of.
- (56.10) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.
1: It took me forever to find a non-beer photo in my collection. That coffee was me on my way to the Winter Ale Festival, last year, which I photographed on a ‘real’ (i.e., film) camera for the first time in years. Hence the terrible shot. Despite being an avid consumer of tea and coffee, I guess I don’t make an ‘occasion’ of it often enough. I should get out more — and take my camera with me. ↑
2: On a hunch, I did actually contact Roy Morgan Research concerning the above-linked paper wherein ciders allegedly ‘overtook’ RTDs in popularity / consumption. And yes, the data was purely unmoderated self-reported numbers from asking people “Have you bought a cider?” in the relevant time period. The real lesson — since Rekorderlig, Wild Side, etc., etc., are all thought of as ciders by most people when they’re anything but — is that the industrial manufacturers have been successful in their bid to ‘re-brand’ their RTDs. ↑