Random Beer Thoughts: May 2020

I don’t have much of a preamble ahead of my beer thoughts and links article for May, just plugging away through another month in quarantine. Hope everyone is getting by and continuing to enjoy an occasional, or more than occasional, local beer. Here are some interesting links and thoughts on what is going on in the craft beer world right now:

One of the biggest local and regional beer stories this month was the news that Night Shift has cancelled their planned expansion in Pennsylvania. This expansion was going to include a huge increase in capacity for the brewery, but it’s not surprising that many breweries are aiming to slow expansion with so much uncertainty in the industry right now.

Probably my favorite article on the month is Andy Crouch’s argument for legalizing public drinking. While it would be a little disconcerting at first to see people walk down the streets of Boston with beers in hand, I generally agree with this sentiment.

Here is your monthly reminder to continue to support your favorite local breweries as much as possible. I grabbed a mixed case of beer curbside from Jack’s Abby/Springdale last weekend and it couldn’t have been easier. MassLive has a list of central Mass breweries open for take-out or delivery.

Hop Culture has an informative overview of the lambic beer style, including profiles of some American breweries making interesting and delicious beers using this classic technique.

Aeronaut has been putting out a ton of interesting content on their blog, including a recent post looks at the history of lager beers.

Speaking of lagers, John Holl has a rundown of 10 craft lagers you need to try, with plenty of local representation on the list. One interesting follow-up, Maine Beer Company has turned the one-off Black Barn Program lager release mentioned in the article into a regular beer, so it’s clear it was well received!

The Beer Edge Podcast also has an interview with Chris Lohring from Notch, who is always a well-informed voice in the craft beer world.

The Eco-Friendly Beer drinker has a couple of thought-provoking new articles. The first looks at the steps you can take to make to make sure your aluminum cans get recycled. Another looks at how climate change will affect the craft brewing industry.

Not a lot of news about new brewery launches these days, so it’s nice to report a new local brewery opening. Metal-inspired Gilded Skull Brewing is launching as a contract brand to start, making beer at Castle Island. While their passion is saisons, barrel-aged beers and sours, the first release will be a NEIPA.

Lots of breweries are trying to help people affected by the COVID-related shutdowns. The biggest one has been the All Together collaboration started by Other Half, with over 20 Massachusetts breweries making a version of the beer. Harpoon has released For The Frontline, with a portion of proceeds benefiting a number of local charities.

The Craft Beer Cellar blog has started a series of takeout food and beer pairings with this feature on fried chicken with Helles lager followed by Pad Thai with saison.

Sierra Nevada is helping in the COVID-19 testing effort, providing supplies from their labs that are otherwise in short supply.

Trillium has collaborated with Seaport neighbor Row 34 on a new beer, Saison du Row.

This Saturday Kevin York Communications is sponsoring a Massachusetts virtual beer festival, with 25 breweries taking part. It looks like these online fests will become a trend until in person beerfests are possible again, even the Great American Beer Festival is moving online.

Craft’d Company has also switched strategies to account for our current situation, moving their beers-with-the-brewers series online.

Click-Bait Article of the Month: It’s back! I haven’t had a good click-bait article the last couple months, so I didn’t have this feature, but I found a decent example this month. Vinepair asks 10 brewers which IPA should be considered a “modern classic”. While I agree with many of the choices I think the question is kind of ridiculous, and is just another variation of any other “IPAs you need to try” listicle.

That is it for May, thanks again for continuing to follow Hoppy Boston, reading my posts and commenting/liking/sharing here and on social media. Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy while enjoying some delicious local beers!

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