On this fantastic solo episode of the Ale Evangelist Show, we read an absolutely awesome review from iTunes, and the Scotsman pontificates angrily about craft brewers who send cease and desist letters, especially after they’ve complained about having it done to them not a decade ago. Is craft beer growing up, or is it just showing that it’s still a spoiled brat? The Scotsman also gets to enjoy a ROCKIN’ IPA from Faction brewing. Scotsman rants and great beer? Just another rockin’ episode of the Ale Evangelist Show.
On this especially tasty episode of the Ale Evangelist Show, Whitey returns…this time with snacks! The Piña Colada Sliders were incredible, and went perfectly with the Drake’s Hopocalypse White and Green Label double IPA’s we were tasting as our show beers.
Whitey’s most excellent recipe for these sliders is given in this show, along with a plug for the Milk Pail shop in Palo Alto (for the coconut gouda necessary for this recipe.
The Scotsman waxes eloquent on hops and how a beer that uses more hops can actually taste less bitter.
So is it the Green or White? What is their verdict? Also the current beer calendar on this episode of the Ale Evangelist Show!
The Scotsman and Drew are joined by Listener James to try the Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA. Folks, this is a rare beer for this area. And an expensive beer. This is neither local, nor reasonably priced, but it is a lovely treat. If you can find yourself a bottle of this, you’re going to pay at least $12/12 oz. bottle, and you’re going to be treated to what is basically a hard liquor of a beer. It’s a great tie in to the topic, however, which is bitterness in beer!
Then they move into a discussion of bitterness in beer and why that involves iso-alpha acids and other scientific chemical terms that are hard to pronounce after having a Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. We’re about to get geeky on The Ale Evangelist Show. Can Listener James bring the Scotsman back from the beer-geek land of unpronounceable terms? Tune in and find out!
The Scotsman and Drew (he’s back!) gather again to talk about hops.
Drew almost attends the Lodi Beer Festival with the future Mrs. Drew. He didn’t have as good a time as he hoped he would, because it was HOT and crowded and smelled of sunscreen and b.o., but he did manage to scalp his tickets, go to BevMo and get some good beer to take home and enjoy.
After a discussion into the world of the beer calendar and peanut butter beers, they finally get on to hops and everything you need to know about the “grapes of beer…”
Listen, I’m not saying I’ve been around since craft beer was in its infancy. I turned 21 in 1998, and didn’t do much beer educating until after the turn of the century. However, I remember the last hop shortage, so when I saw this, I kind of laughed.
As a homebrewer during the last hop shortage (circa 2008), I remember prices going up…and never really coming back down. I remember that in 2008, we had a hard time getting fresh hops for brewing at home. I remember predictions that beer was in trouble, and that we could never survive. And I remember the number of craft breweries growing…and growing…and growing. To the point where doomsday predictors were actually predicting that craft beer’s growth was unsustainable. (In fact, there has been a steady stream of articles since the great hop shortage of 2008 saying that very thing…it can’t last.)
The fact of the matter is that it CAN last, and it probably WILL last, for awhile…
See, what these shortage doomsday predictions forget is that the market adjusts. Will every single craft brewery make it through this hop shortage? Probably not. Your favorite local place MAY just fold. Prices will go up. People will look for alternative goods. As was said by the more temperate craft beer news outlets in 2008/2009, there ARE styles which use few hops. Have a look at some of the traditional British beers, some traditional German styles. Heck, most things prior to the American craft beer revolution were much lighter on the hops than much of what is brewed today. Heck, I brewed a 60-shilling Scottish Ale last year which was consumed by beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike at a 60th birthday party for my in-laws. There are reasons why these styles exist and have survived.
Breweries which refuse to adapt will fold, but I predict that overall, craft beer will continue to rise. What I hope is that drinkers continue to educate themselves and refuse to drink mediocre beer just because it’s local, or just because it has the “craft” label attached. There’s a lot of crappy beer out there which people are drinking by the gallon, for some reason. I’ve tried some of it, and it’s just not good. In this day and age, there is NO reason to settle, people.
So yeah, I don’t doubt there will be years of hop shortage. And I don’t doubt that some brewers will fold. However, craft beer is not in danger. Expect to pay a little more. As supply goes down and demand continues to rise, the intersection of those two lines will mean higher prices, certainly. But in response, become more discriminating. As we say on every show, life is short, so drink GOOD beer, and do it responsibly.
Soli Deo Gloria.