Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The "lost" year, ep. 2 - the frowny face files

Following up from the other day's highlight reel of items that sat on the Pfiff! backburner last year while we attended to more pressing distractions, here's a quick hitlist of things so unfortunate they made me reach for a nice, comforting beer:

The death of Michael Jackson
This is a little bit of a cop out because I did, in fact, find the time to give a quick memorial to one of food journalism's most inimitable contributors. And there's not much to add to the eulogizing that Jackson has received: Simply an irreplaceable voice in beer (and whiskey) commentary, I was tempted to take up some of all y'alls time about how it was his humor and wit that was the reason a lot of us to decided to sit down and publish our thoughts on something as commonplace as beer, what with us all obviously having other interests or passions that we could easily voice our opinions on. But the ideas never really gelled, never became anything worth writing down, and by now there are plenty of folks who have taken the time to talk about how much of an inspiration Michael was for them.

Prices on malt and hops at an all-time high
The email from Griz opened "What hop'ned?" Flooding three years straight in Europe, farmland conversion to ethanol-producing corn in the US, 5-year hop contracts being written up by the major breweries, and replacement of flavor and aroma hops in the fields by "super alpha" varieties in the Yakima valley pretty much erased the cost benefit of homebrewing over, say, hitting the corner store for a six-pack. That and the fact that you had to scour all the online homebrew shops to find any hops that weren't five years old...

Not much to say about this, really, but the day will come when I'll get bored enough to combine Anheuser-Busch's newest "I double-dog-dare you to try it" beverage with some of this with a dash of this other monstrosity to create Cioppino beer under the project codename Cloverfield.

Arr. My beloved, ye broke.
I'll miss you, oversized Piraat tulip glass. You're irreplaceable (kinda). And yes, I recognize the irony of the situation.

When we next meet: I'll be summing up the little newsie bits that were worthy enough of getting me to copy the url into a blank new post, but failed to inspire the least bit of interesting commentary from yours truly...

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