Ye Olde Scribe and Maiden Millie’s: HOP – ING AROUND

The original article seems to have been lost, much like the Ark in Indiana Jones, in the archives of The Score, where it was first published. This article has been reconstructed from Scribe’s fading memory… as he referred to it, a few readers we contacted and a rough/unfinished draft Scribe still had. This column was published about 1999.

-Professor Good Ales

The Death of a Brewpub

Covington, KY

What kills a brewpub? Certainly the homebrewer should support any business that promotes knowledge, taste, an appreciation for good product and intrigues potential new homebrewers. Anything which kills it is our foe. There is an added incentive. It’s quite possible these very personal horror stories can serve as warning buoys for where the monsters might be; what NOT to do as a homebrewer.
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Sam on Extreme Beer Marketig

Fish live in the water. Sam Calagione; master brewer at Dogfish, can be controversial. Statements of equal value.

I’ve met Sam. I’ve read more than a few of his rants. No matter what anyone thinks of his opinions about beer; and I admit I agree with most of his rants that I’ve read, we need brewers like Sam to keep speaking out… as much as we need those who defend brewing less extreme. Otherwise we might return to that mostly one style brewing hell we had, back when only pterosaurs drank beer; boring beer.

Yes, I am that old. I’ll skip all the drinking with Barney and Fred stories and the secret life their wives didn’t know about. I’ve typed too much already. Shhh!

Sam does a great job defending extreme brewing in this piece published in The Ale Street News. I did notice those who responded mostly used the overblown weapon used by those who unable to rationally defend their own opinions: the personal attack.


Variety is a good thing.

“In 2008 the U.S. beer industry grew 0.4 percent in barrels, the entire craft beer segment of our beer industry grew 5.8 percent. But according to the IRI study, the Ultra Premium segment of the craft category (where almost all imperial beers reside) grew 17.6 percent in 2008. Three times the growth rate of the Craft Economy segment.”


Links to a History of Hops

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Two articles on the history of hops that miss a few important points. For instance: the various versions of ale are “beer.” The basic difference is the strain of yeast and where it ferments: top or bottom. There also was a time when the church also opposed beer without hops because aphrodisiacs and psychotropics were used for gruit. Hops can tend to make some people sleepy, so lessening the chance of sin was considered a favorable outcome; at least as far as the church was concerned.

Here are two articles on hops with excerpts. We’re also going to invite a Nashville “hops-spert” (as in “expert”) to add his comments and suggestions to the mix.

“Pliny (61-113 AD) discusses hops in his study of natural history. To the Romans, it was Lupus Salictartius, from the way they originally grew. As the ancients said, hops grew ‘wild among willows, like a wolf among sheep,’ hence the name Humulus Lupulus.”

“The hop has its place in folklore. Along with the animals who are supposed to receive the gift of speech late on Christmas Eve, the hop is supposed to turn green in the same night.”


“As with all change, there were sufficient English enthusiasts on both sides to keep the debate going for more than a century. Written testimony to the beastly nature of hopped beer and the equal evil of hopped ale is available in quantity. In 1424, hopes were condemned as an adulteration, and as late as 1651, hopped beer was described in John Taylor’s Ale Ale-vated into the Ale-titude as ‘a Dutch boorish liquor… a saucy intruder.'”


Brew Biz: Werts and All

Written by Ken Carman

The topic for this edition of The Brew Biz: Marketing the Majors as Micros

So many homebrewers try to sell others on, “It’s all about the beer.” If only that were true in marketing…

By now you’ve probably seen the packages in the stores. They look like a new Micro is on the market. The first time I saw “Plank Road Brewery” I sensed something amiss. A “new” Micro? No, not really: Miller using a new marketing tool. The past few years I started seeing packaging that seemed a little too, too: an obvious attempt to appear to be a Micro. (As in “a small, independent brewer,” to use an incomplete, but somewhat adequate, definition.) To give the big brewers a little credit first, some have gone where they usually “neglected” to go before: like producing a sorghum-based beer. (AB)

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