Random Beer Thoughts: July 2021

A quick bit of Hoppy Boston news: I am now contributing to the NewsBreak creator platform, posting new Hoppy Boston articles on NewsBreak in addition to the blog. For new followers you can find out a bit more about what to expect in this post. Anyone who uses the NewsBreak app to get their local news should give HoppyBoston a follow to make sure you don’t miss any of my content!

Probably the biggest news of the month was that Beerworks is shutting down all of their locations. The pandemic was clearly brutal on these big restaurants that relied on inside, in-person dining and drinking. The lack of normal Red Sox/Bruins/Celtics seasons was probably particularly hard for the Boston locations. This news deserves it’s own article, I will try to get my thoughts down in the next week or so.

Congratulations to Jack’s Abby who celebrated their 10th anniversary this month. It is hard to overestimate how revolutionary an all-lager craft brewery was 10 years ago, especially with their unique mix of classic European styles and inventive beers crafted for American drinkers. We are spoiled by all of the amazing lagers that are brewed in this area, and the success of Jack’s Abby is a big reason!

Speaking of lager, Beervana has an analysis of regional preferences in beer styles, basically styles that are much more popular in a particular area than in the rest of the country. The style that stood out in the northeast: pilsner, which is probably due to beers like Jack’s Abby Post Shift (along with Notch Session Pils, Troegs Sunshine, Victory Prima and many others).

Notch Brewing has launched Brave Noise Pale Ale, a collaboration to work towards a safe and discrimination-free beer industry. This beer is a direct result of the awareness of widespread issues of sexism, discrimination and assault in the industry that were brought to light as the result of work by Notch brewer Brienne Allan. For a brewery to participate in the collaboration they need to publicly share their code of conduct, donate proceeds to an approved organization and pledge to continue to work towards a more inclusive beer industry. I hope that many breweries sign on and help make some positive change in the industry.

The Worcester Business Journal has an excellent article on the local fallout from the deluge of reports about bad behavior by members of the industry. I appreciated that in addition to detailing the allegations against Wormtown that caused a major shakeup in leadership, they also spoke to local experts about concrete steps that breweries can take to improve their culture and detailed the steps taken by Redemption Rock to work towards a more inclusive workplace.

A new non-alcoholic craft brewery is launching in Maine, with many industry veterans on board. Non-alcoholic craft beer is a rapidly growing segment, and there is clearly demand, as shown by the success of Athletic Brewing and the launch of non-alcoholic beers by many of the big names in the industry. It is good to see, there are plenty of situations where beer fans would like to enjoy a tasty beverage without worrying about intoxication, and these breweries are stepping up to fill in this gap.

A scientist is Maine is partnering with over 80 local breweries to analyze their beer, checking ABV, doing quality control tests and looking for infection by unwanted microbes. As a chemist and beer fan I love when my two passions collide!

That is it for July, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and thanks for following, reading and sharing/liking/commenting on social media!

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