Cafe Gollem Raamsteeg 4, 1012 VZ Amsterdam, Netherlands

When one rich guy, Jim Koch, decided to help another rich guy, Sam Calagione, get even richer we yawned. It’s not like Miller came into Louisiana and bought Great Raft.

We just didn’t care.

We haven’t bought a six pack of any Sam Adams beers since the 90s, and would far prefer to have a cold can of Gnarly Barley than a bottle of Dogfish Head.

In our circle, there wasn’t too much hand-wringing over Koch purchasing Calagione. Their respective brands are so big that they may as well be Guinness or Coors. Whatever thematic relationship they had to craft beer evaporated long ago.

Looking at “Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies” on the Brewers Association website, there are only two breweries we give a fuck about: Bell’s and Deschutes. The others are so big and bloated as to be grotesqueries.

On to the news:

“Last year in the U.S., 1,049 breweries opened and 219 closed.”

We were reading an excellent article by Andre Meunier when we stumbled upon that line. It seems like Oregon is experiencing an embarrassment of riches when it comes to cold, handmade beer. And weed. In another article it was related that the state now has a six year backlog of cannabis. There’s something about the Pacific Northwest and profundity.

Back to Meunier’s piece. There’s a lot of pearls being clutched in Oregon regarding how many beers and breweries are competing for space these days. We don’t have that problem in New Orleans. But in Portland there are old industry stalwarts that are shuttering under pressure from all the young bucks out there hawking new, exciting brews. more

The Texas Craft Brewers Fest is coming up in September. We went for the first few years and it’s a well-run beer party with plenty lovable drunks stumbling about the grounds. VIP is crucial to the experience. For real. If you can’t get the package with the gentry don’t even bother going. more

There were 25 breweries in France in 1985. Today there are 1600. On our yearly sabbatical to Holland we always try to drink a little French beer from tiny makers like Brasserie Rouget de l’Isle. It’ll give you the ooh la las. Sara Pepitone breaks down the scene

I had my first beer brewed with kveik in the late 90s at Gollem on Raamsteeg in Amsterdam. It was served out of a glass that looked like a chemistry experiment. When Lars Marius Garshol started blogging about farmhouse ales in 2013 a tiny part of the beer community suddenly became hip to this bit of exotica. more

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