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Beer, Bars & Brewers #29

News 2.3.2017

Heeello fellow beer lovers! This week we get to pinpoint the day that European beer lost its magic hold on America, Yazan Karadsheh explains how he started his own brewery, against all odds, in his native Jordan, Cathay Pacific made a beer that finally tastes good up in the air (or so they claim), and Craft Beer Italy 2017 is announced. Cheers!

There’s a new cap in town: a cap that allows you to bottle your beer and stay calm, ensuring that your beer has the exact right carbonation you wanted. The K-Cap patent allows the brewer to decide on the beer’s carbonation level and also means that pubs, bars, and restaurants can store both bottles and kegs at root temperature with no need to worry about what happens when the bottles are opened. More information on this new patent here.

The Year European Beer Lost Its Hold on America

Punch magazine waxed nostalgic this past week and looked back at simpler times: namely, a time “a half-decade ago, when European beer reigned supreme on top lists”. Back then, author Aaron Goldfarb explains, beer geeks would ask Europe-bound buddies to bring back beers for them. Something he believes that would never happen today, unless it’s a limited lambic like Cantillon. On August 28th 2010 the BeerAdvocate’s Top Beer included four Belgian brews in its top 11. Today, only four Belgian beers even made it into the top 100. “It’s a perfect example of what happened as we entered the second decade of the new millennium—old-fashioned European beers very quickly became usurped by these sorts of extreme beers”. Goldfarb tries to explain why this happened in 2010 exactly.

“In May of 2010, Hill Farmstead opened in Greensboro Bend, Vermont, creating the model for producing small-batch, world-class beer that could only be acquired by traveling to far-flung lands. Just under a year later, in early 2011, The Alchemist (also located in Vermont) began canning Heady Topper, their state-of-the-art IPA; it soon became the new No. 1 beer in the world, dethroning the indomitable Westy. The most popular American beers went from new-world takes on old-world beers—put in European-style corked-and-caged bottles, no less—to pounder cans of hours-fresh IPA”. And there we have it, how the IPA knocked the king of European beers of its throne.

How to Start a Beer Revolution in a Country that Doesn’t want One

“Yazan Karadsheh learned to brew in the U.S. with the goal of bringing craft beer to his home country of Jordan. In founding his brewery, Carakale, he laid the groundwork for creating a beer culture, from scratch, in a land that was pretty ambivalent toward the whole idea”, via Draft magazine.

By founding a brewery, Carakele, in his home country of Jordan, Karadsheh laid the groundwork to create a beer culture from scratch. Here’s how: after graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder he worked at a oil company shortly before deciding he really wanted to learn how to brew beer. He worked at a homebrew supply shop where the owners taught him how to make beer. Karadsheh soon began the Masters Brewers Program at UC Davis. He then learned at a brewpub and a brewery after which he felt confident enough to start his own brewery. Karadsheh returned to his native Jordan, which held its own challenges, seeing as the country had never been home to a microbrewery before.

Karadsheh had to clear many a hurdle before he was able to open his brewery and even now, he feels like government bureaucrats still oppose his brewery on principle. “Even today, his hop shipments often languish at the Jordanian narcotics department for months because the Arabic phrase for hops, hashish el dinar, contains the word hashish, a term also used to describe cannabis”.  He says that the country’s citizens though, are eagerly helping out wherever they can and are proud to have a Jordanian beer to call their own. Read the whole story over at Draft magazine.

The beer that’s Brewed to Taste Better at 35,000 Feet

The Telegraph reports that Cathay Pacific “claims its Betsy Beer is the first to be hand-crafted to keep its flavour at an altitude where other drinks lose theirs”. Named after the airline’s first aircraft, the beer is the first to stand up to the effects of cabin pressure. The beer’s ingredients hails from both the UK and Hong Kong, those include dragon eye fruit which is said to give the beer its “rich, textural properties”. Airplane’s low humidity dries outs passenger’s nasal passages and the air pressure desensitises our taste buds, that’s why airplane food is often exceptionally salty.

Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Marketing Julian Lyden said: “We know that when you fly, your sense of taste changes. Airlines address this for food in certain ways. But nobody has ever tried to improve the taste of beer at altitude. That seemed like a great opportunity for us to help our beer-loving passengers travel well”. The beer is not only flavoured with dragon fruit, but also enhanced by a small component of New Territories’-sourced honey which lends the beer an agreeable floral notes. Fuggle hop gives it a earthy and full-bodied flavour. The beer will be available in first class, starting March 1st as well as the airline’s lounges and a select number of restaurants in Hong Kong for a limited time.

Craft Beer Italy 2017

“The Italian premiere aims to provide knowledge acquisition and dialogue between the various players in the craft beer supply chain”. The Craft Beer Italy fair will take place on November 22nd – 23rd and is Italy’s only B2B event. Organised by the NürnbergMesse Italia as part of the international network of B2B exhibitions dedicated to the beverage industry, the fair aims to offer Italy’s vast craft beer movement a genuine frame of reference. Members can meet, discuss, and investigate the innovation that’s taking place in this ever-growing sector. Not only an exhibition, it’s said to be “an opportunity for knowledge acquisition and exchange of ideas, a linking platform for the various players within the supply chain”. Find more on the event here. 

Bildquelle: Photo via Tim Klöcker.

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