zymotux

beer

Time to kick-off a series I've been thinking about for awhile now, exploring the broad concept of sustainability through the lens of alcohol production and consumption. This will span the whole system, including brewing itself, upstream and downstream supply chains, marketing and public perception etc. To begin with, I'm going to look at the example of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

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Yesterday, at the request of a nearly six year old girl, we brought together seven households from Cardiff, Didcot, London, Reading, Sheffield and Winchester for a ten hour long virtual beer festival. The girl in question was missing the fun and excitement of the Reading Beer Festival and who could blame her – all the adults were too!

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As much as I love drinking Thornbridge's wonderful <0.5% Zero Five Pale Ale, sometimes a little variety is in order. So as a treat to myself I used a little birthday money to go crazy at drydrinker.com and buy the beers in the photo above. When combined with a few I picked up from the local Roath Bottle Shop, this means I now have twenty different “spacer beers” in stock. Twenty!

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I just read Scott Nesbitt's latest Weekly Musing, and it definitely struck a chord with me. He was writing about embracing your inner geek but in a way that feels right for you. My career in academia has given me the opportunity to research specialist subjects to the edge of current knowledge and beyond, which in many ways is making the inner geek an outer geek. However, what is really fun is indulging my inner geek in an amateur rather than professional fashion. There is a heady freedom in this, as it allows me to pursue an interest flexibly, or drop it when my focus changes.

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Finally defeated the cardboard boxes again! After licking their wounds for a bit following the pre-baby box-clearance back in May, the boxes have been steadily re-infiltrating the household but enough was enough! I made time today in my leave to fight back and filled ten (yes TEN!) big green recycling bags with broken-down boxes from beer and baby purchases. Phew! That feels better! Must try to be more vigilant to prevent their next attempt to take over the apartment...

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Lately I've been drinking plenty of low abv beers, fulfilling my prediction from just over 2 months ago – they're a sensible option in my current era of fractured sleep when I need to be a responsible handler of the wee one! So, time to give a verdict on which are my faves so far and some thoughts on which ones I might try next.

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It's hot in the UK right now. Not hot on the global scale but certainly hot for a relatively northern island used to a temperate climate with an old, old infrastructure that isn't set up with AC in houses etc. I'm sticky and a little grouchy but I've not blogged in awhile so this will help lift my mood a little!

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While I have plunged head-first into exploring <0.5% abv “spacer beers”, I haven't spent as much time in the territory between them and the low 3% realm of Milds, Light Ales, Ordinary Bitters and Berliner Weisses. Wikipedia tells me that 0.5-2.8% beers are “Small” or “Table” beers. The excellent beer historian Ron Pattinson reveals in Beer Advocate and in his Shut Up About Barclay Perkins blog that these were in fact two different tax categories in 18th Century Britain. The terms are starting to pop up again, used a little interchangeably by modern craft brewers but if you see them on a beer give it a try!

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I read a blog post elsewhere on Write.as mentioning podcasts the other day and realised I had got out of the habit of listening to them. I started while I lived in the US. My commute to work was one and a quarter hours each way, a mix of walking, train (the BART – Bay Area Rapid Transit) and shuttle bus. This left me plenty of time to delve headlong into an immersive world of podcasts spanning serious to comedy, daily to weekly to bingeing on serials. It was a great way to transition to and from the working day.

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I've been thinking about doing this for awhile and today seemed like the right time. Cutting through the noise of the world, which can sometimes seem overwhelming, to the heart of what matters to me now. Check out https://nownownow.com for more on the concept and a whole range of examples. It might work for you, it might not! It does for me – well for now anyway!

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