Random Beer Thoughts: November 2019

This month was exceptionally crazy for me, mostly real-job work stuff along with the normal insanity that is life with two young children, so I did a relatively poor job compiling articles for my monthly beer thoughts and links column, plus I am posting it late after the holiday week. Regardless, here are a few things I found noteworthy in the beer world this month, hopefully I can do a more thorough job scouring the web for articles of interest in December!

Fuck Founders

One popular post from me this month was my selections of local beers you can enjoy in place of each popular release from Founders Brewing. Overall the response to this was great, most people were all-in on enjoying some awesome local beers without the stink of racism. A few people chimed in that they would still drink Founders regardless, but trolls are going to troll. For readers from the DC area, the Hoppy Tourist wrote a similar article featuring beers from that region!

While I am on the topic of Founders, their diversity director, who was hired in response to the racial discrimination lawsuit, resigned and wrote a scathing letter stating the reasons for her decision. If you can read this and still decide you are OK supporting that brewery please just unfollow Hoppy Boston, no room for the soulless here.

Wormtown Mass Produced Lager Fresh Hop

Wormtown has opened a new taproom at Patriot Place, in the space formerly occupied by the Battle Road pop-up brewery. Great location for a brewery, I am sure it will be very popular. Unfortunately, the brewery got some early negative publicity when an employee claimed she was fired because of a physical disability.  The brewery is reaching out to the woman in question and trying to rectify the situation.

Good Beer Hunting has an interesting piece on the pros and cons of breweries taking outspoken stances on social issues. I am personally more likely to buy beer from breweries that support causes I agree with, but I can understand why this could be a challenge in an increasingly partisan political environment.

Cisco Grey Lady

After initially declining their option to purchase, AB-InBev negotiated a better price and bought full ownership of Craft Brew Alliance. This means that Cisco Brewers has become the first New England brewery to fall under the InBev umbrella. Don’t expect any future Cisco reviews on Hoppy Boston.

If you want to continue drinking local you have plenty of options, Massachusetts now has 200 breweries! I am clearly way, way behind on my brewery visits, something to address in the new year.

Smuttynose Lady Strdust

Brewery openings/in planning: Smuttlabs, the innovative label from Smuttynose, has opened a brewery and kitchen in downtown Dover, NH. Banded Brewing is opening a new tasting room in the emerging West Bayside neighborhood of Portland. Castle Island is planning a new brewpub is South Boston, much closer to the brand’s namesake than Norwood.

Medusa Brewing has signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Beverage Distributors, allowing for expanded distribution of their beers in the state.

Marshall Wharf Can't Dog

The defunct Marshall Wharf Brewery in Belfast Maine is up for auction. It is a really cool location right on the water, but it sounds like the property needs a massive amount of work. This is really close to my parent’s house and I hope someone comes in and builds an awesome brewery at the location.

City Brew Tours has launched a new tour focused on the breweries of MetroWest!

Tree House is working on their new farm brewery at Connecticut, but running into some issues with residents worried about traffic. I am sure anything with the Tree House name will be instantly popular and lead to an increase in car traffic, but the brewery has been proactive in helping with similar issues in Charlton.

I have a tie for my Clickbait Article of the Month Award, with two similar articles from Paste taking the honors. You expect a ton of best-beers-of-the-year listicles this time of year, but Paste upped the ante with their Best Breweries of the Decade and Best Beers of the Decade. I understand the tendency to argue about the entries/omissions on this type of list (and many, many did on social media), but it’s really not worth it. The idea that any writer could try enough beers from the 8000 different breweries in the country to be qualified to make either of these lists is beyond ridiculous.

That is it for November, as always thanks for reading and feel free to pass along any articles that you think should be included in future recaps!

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