Weekly Mix Pack: Bread, Brett, and Nascar

By Brett Vanderbrook - Six fresh stories for you to crack open and enjoy!

We're incredibly excited about the news that season two of Beer Geeks is only a little more than a week away. So excited, in fact, that we thought about simply linking to the season two preview video six times, but ultimately decided that was a tad redundant, and a poor use of our time. Thankfully, there were plenty of stories this past week that were (almost) as interesting as our news. So while you patiently await the return of Brewmaster Michael Ferguson, here are some articles to help pass the time.

1. JR Motorsport, Dale's Pale Ale Announce Partnership
When you think of Nascar and beer sponsorship, what comes to mind? Probably images of light macro lagers. JR Motorsports is bucking that trend by emblazoning Regan Smith's Number 7 car with the Dale's Pale Ale logo. Craft beer has made a lot of progress in recent years, but we'd like to think cracking the Nascar market and it's mostly BMC drinking fanbase is an especially noteworthy accomplishment.

2. Brussels Brewer Uses Leftover Bread to Make Beer
While making beer from bread might seem like a novel concept, it's certainly not new. The oldest known recipe for beer dating back 4000 years to ancient Mesopotamia showed brewers mixing bread with honey to make a primitive version. Frenchman Sebastien Morvan devised a more modern way of incorporating leftover bread to brew beer, helping to combat food waste in Brussels, where bread makes up 12% of all food thrown out.

3. Craft Beer is Annihilating the Hop Supply
In news that will likely surprise no one, hop farmers are finding it difficult to keep up with the outrageous demand for the magical little green flowers. New breweries open at a rate of 1.7 per day, and most recipes call for a significantly larger amount of hops than ever before. Considering most hops all come from the same relatively small region of the Northwest US, the system is understandably taxed.

4. Tapping Yeast's Genome
Considering that fermentation is an ancient art, it might surprise you to learn that we've only really understood its basic function for a little over a century. Now, 150 years after Louis Pasteur first discovered alcoholic fermentation, we know more about these single-celled creatures than he could have dreamed, thanks to genome mapping. And brewers are using this incredible knowledge to give them more control over fermentation than ever before!

5. One out of Every Five Beers Sold in Oregon is Brewed in Oregon
The numbers for craft beer released by the BA in 2014 were impressive no matter how you slice it, but at a state level no one holds a candle to Oregon. 20% of all beer purchased in Oregon in 2014 was craft beer produced in Oregon, which doesn't just surpass the national average, it decimates it. Time to play catch up, every other state!

6. A Look at Brettanomyces in Sour Beer
Brettanomyces, or Brett, is a type of yeast used by brewers that imparts a very unique character to beer. Often employed in barrel-aged and sour beers, the flavor of Brett is usually described as funky and wild with notes of "barnyard," or "horse blanket." Stateside, no one understands Brett better than Kim Salazar, the wood-cellar manager for New Belgium Brewing Company, and the mastermind behind their Lips of Faith series.

Is it April 30th yet? Unless you're an especially slow reader, probably not. In the meantime, you could go back and marathon all of season one to get yourself prepped. Also check out our new video series First Draft starring Beer Geeks Host Michael Ferguson!

The Craft Brewers Conference was held last week in Portland, Oregon. It was a huge event and of course Beer Geeks Host Michael Ferguson was there. Michael's back at his home base now in Houston with his "First Draft" take on what went down.

Posted by BeerGeeks TV on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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