Friday, September 04, 2015

Cows, magic beans, etc.

A cash cow on a hill of beans, earlier.
"Dad! Dad! Tell us about the brewpooch shares and the Asset Matcher, please?"
"I'm sorry kids," said the nice Woodsman, "that's far too complicated a story for your young heads,  but I'll tell you the story of the cows and the beans. And then you must go to sleep, you rascals."
"Once upon a time, a group of feeble-minded sons of poor widows agreed to meet up.  It so happens that they'd all swapped cows for magic beans. Now, some of those widow's sons had many more magic beans than they knew what to do with, while others felt that more beans would be a good thing and so brought additional cows with them to the meeting, in the hope of making more swaps.  So the meeting hall filled up with sons, cows and beans. And the doors were barred.

"Inside the hall (we're told) many swaps were made, many cows and beans changed owners, and everybody had a lovely time.  Some, who on that far-off day when they'd first heard of the magic beans, had only one cow, now had two cows!  Everybody felt they'd done well, and everyone expected to live happily ever after.

"The End."

The nice Woodsman stood up and snuffed the candle, "Now, you two, snuggle down and off to sleep"

"But Dad! What about the beans? Were they really magic?"

The woodsman shook his head, "We'll never know, for the widow's sons and all their cows and beans are all locked in the meeting hall, to this day".

"Good night!"

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

making beer is easy

"Thing is, making beer is easy." He knocked his glass emphatically against the looming t-bar. Ignoring the gaffer's raised eyebrow he slurred on, "This stuff, all this lit-up bollocks, all this marketing shite, dressing it up. There's nothing to making beer. Piece of piss. Easiest job I ever had. I mean, what do we do? It's just cooking isn't it? Not f-ing haute cuisine. Big pan of veggie soup is all. My gran used to make yoghurt in her airing cupboard. Same thing really. Rubbish at cakes. Lovely pastry. Shortcrust. Makes you wonder how so many people fuck it up. Other hand, some of it is on another fecking level."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lest we forget (another one)

As it was.

As it is now.

Now OK, it's only because the new one defaults to "newest comments first". Perhaps there was no intention to hide some comments below the fold. You decide.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Key brewery staff.

You're all rabbits to us.
A misdirected press release marked "for the attention of lazy churnalists" came to our attention recently. 

"We plan to market our beers as great tasting craft beers" said PR hack Billy Bigarms, "I've been doing this kind of shit for years, talking up useless dreck, and kissing the arses of absolutely anyone who might get me ahead"

"Friends?" He laughed, "I have no friends, but I've made loads of contacts over the years. I suppose you could call me a psychopath - Don't get me wrong, I'll do a favour for anyone, anyone who can scratch my back in return!"

Billy's partner, 198-year-old virgin's blood bather and corporate vampire Trisha Alucard nodded, "There are many people who owe us favours. It's time for us to call some of those favours in. For instance, we have people who will make the beer for us, but frankly, that's a detail." 

"Brewers and consultants are ten a penny. We may buy them, or, if it amuses me, I'll turn them." 

She laughed, "No, but seriously, I have access to capital sources that most start-up businesses couldn't even dream of." She paused and the point of her tongue touched her perfect teeth for a heartbeat. 

"We will, of course, be crowdfunding, not so much for the money, but more to give the cattle an opportunity to invite us in, as it were."

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Have a pop at Jon here.

Go on, you know you want to. Comments are open. Referring to this of course. But if there's anything you'd like to get off your chest, to my face (well, virtually) go for it. It'll be good for you. "Better out than in", my Grandma always said.
new heights of passive-aggression

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What is (not "was") the difference between a stout and a porter?

Roast barley, earlier.
A while ago the mighty zythophile was able to clarify: "historically, to say roast barley is a differentiator between porter and stout is wrong".

Of course, "historically" there's a great deal of truth in that.  Naturally, it depends what you mean by "historically", but we'll let that stand. But what about non-historically? Or, as we might say, "now".
It occurred to me that I had an interesting reference staring at me from a bookshelf in the office. To wit; CAMRA's "Good Bottled Beer Guide" (Update: Jeff Evans's, I should say).  This doesn't list every stout and porter currently brewed (or even at the time of publication), and of course it's only British beers, but I feel it's an interesting selection.  What's particularly valuable is that it lists ingredients for most of the beers it covers.

How many beers are there that we can be sure the brewers are calling stouts and list their ingredients?
Let's have a quick look...
29 stouts, 21 with roast barley.
15 imperial stouts, 13 with roast barley.

And the "porters"?
23, 5 with roast barley.

There's a handful where it's hard to tell if they're being thought of as a stout or a porter. And a couple explicitly referred to as sort of hybrids (both contain roast barley, FWIW).

So let's consider the incidence of roast barley in stouts v. porters.

Imperial Stouts: 87%
Other Stouts: 72%

All stouts: 77%

Porters: 22%

So, you pick up a bottle conditioned stout, it's more than three times as likely to have been made with roast barley than a random porter.  That's to say, the majority of stouts are made with it (based on this selection), while the majority of porters exclude roast barley.

Now you might argue, as does Mr Cornell, that this distinction has no "historic validity", and you'd have a good point. You might even choose to stress that here we have "beers being called porter" rather than the true descendants of historical porters.  But you know, history tells us mostly about change. And clearly, now isn't entirely like then was.

diachronic approach to the "porter" / roast barley question?  Or a synchronic one? As someone who brews beer nowadays, it's quite clear:

What's the difference between most modern, British stouts and porters? Well for one thing, and much more often than not, the use of roast barley.