Here are some thoughts and links for the month of March. There are a couple of the links I didn’t post here because they deserve more than a quick blurb. I am planning on waiting to post them until I can do a more in depth article (or incorporate them into a beer review).
One of my favorite articles of the month is from Alex Weaver at Hop Culture titled Stop Judging Me for Liking IPAs. I have noticed a backlash against the style by some brewers and beer geeks, it has become so ubiquitous that some people feel the need trash people who call IPA their favorite style. While I am trying to focus more of the blog on other styles for a few months I still love hoppy beers and drink more IPAs than any other style (and it isn’t even close). BTW, you should check out Hop Culture, it’s a relatively new site focused on beer and the beer geekdom. I think you’ll be seeing many articles from that site posted in this links column going forward.
Speaking of Hop Culture, another article from the site discusses breweries that started brewing IPAs to meet customer requests in their taprooms, even if they had resisted brewing the style before. There are some good quotes in the piece that help explain why breweries like Mystic and Idle Hands have started making IPAs. As long as a large segment of beer drinkers focus entirely on hoppy beers it will be really hard for any brewery to ignore the style completely.
The Mass Brew Brothers ask if we are in a craft beer bubble as the state approaches 150 breweries. I don’t think we are there yet, but I do think the lopsided ratio of openings to closings is going to change quickly. I think the state can support 150 breweries (or more), especially if a large number of them focus on being a local hangouts instead of distributing across the state/region. The expanding number of breweries along with the expansions in production by some of the most popular locals is going to put significant pressure on every brewery to make consistently top notch beer and have a great business plan. I hate to say it, but I think this year will start to see some local breweries close for financial reasons.
The Brothers also have their list of everything that is happening in Massachusetts beer over the next three months. Bookmark that link so you don’t miss anything!
A giant pet peeve of mine is when people complain about a “best of” or “top” article without reading the criteria for the list (ask anyone who writes this type of article and they will tell you that it happens all the time). Bryan Roth at Good Beer Hunting uses a strong example of this to make a bigger point about thinking and reading before you get outraged on social media.
Boston Business Journal has an interesting article on how breweries are using a rotating IPAs to appease the large segment of beer geeks who are constantly chasing what is new and different.
Castle Island is expanding due to high demand. Good to see their success, Castle Island has quickly become a regular part of my beer fridge rotation. Castle Island has also released a beer as part of the Black Ale Project.
Night Shift Distributing has added a number of breweries to their portfolio. I’m especially looking forward to trying some beers from Mast Landing in Westbrook, Maine, I’ve heard good things about their beers.
Thrillist’s Best New Breweries list has a lot of local representation.
For the beer nerds and brewers: Beer Advocate has an interesting article on hop powder, a high oil form of hops that some brewers are using with great acclaim.
Barleycorn’s, the brew-on-premises business in Natick, is closing by the start of May. They were a pioneer in the space and operated for 20 years.
Zippia has a 5 step process to become a master brewer. I am good with my day-job career path, but if you are considering brewing beer as a career path this plan seems to make a lot of sense.
CraftRoots Brewery is open in Milford.
Moby Dick Brewing Company is now open in New Bedford.
That’s all for this month, thanks for reading and feel free to pass along anything that you think I should include in next months links article!