Weekly Mix Pack: Trophies, Morphine, and Sexist Ads

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

May has been a big month for beer. It was proclaimed American Mild Month. Last week was American Craft Beer Week. And of course Beer Geeks season two is in full swing. We hope you got your hoppy fix with our most recent episode at 47Hops. This week in beer news, we learn that scientists have figured out how to use yeast to make painkillers, which could revolutionize that industry. Read on, dear beer geeks!

1. The New Age of Lagers
There's no denying that when it comes to craft beer, ales rule. IPAs are still the most popular style for the sector, and the most sought-after craft beers in America are usually double IPAs and imperial stouts. However, there has quietly been a bit of a lager renessaince recently, led not by consumer demand, but by the brewers themselves who yearned for something subtler, and more refined.

2. The "Everybody Gets a Trophy" Craft Beer Community
One of the craft beer scene's greatest attributes is its sense of community. Although it is a business, brewers often come together to collaborate, and there's more "playing nice" than is other industries. However, the downside is that there is very little constructive criticism of craft beer. Praise is lathered on thick while nary a negative word is spoken.

3. Sexist Beer Ads: Why It's Time for a Cold, Hard Rethink
Beer companies have a sordid history of using sex to sell their product. While the blame lies mostly with the big brewers, craft breweries have been guilty as well. But the times, they are a changin', and SABMiller head Alan Clark says it's time to put that brand of sexism behind us. Sexist marketing is insulting to men and women, and women are the fastest growing segment of craft beer drinkers.

4. SABMiller Taking a Page out of AB InBev's Playbook in London
Last week England got a taste of what has been occurring in the US for the past few years: a large, corporate brewing conglomerate (SABMiller) purchased a small, independent craft brewery (Meantime Brewing.) The blogging universe exploded with many of the same pro and con arguments we've read ad nauseum here in the States, but it seems the practice has gone global.

5. Jimmy Carbone: Craft Beer Hype-Man
If you've never met the eponymous owner of Jimmy's No. 43 in New York City (and host of the long-running "Beer Sessions Radio,") you're missing out on one of craft beer's biggest, most charismatic personalities. On March 26th, a nearby gasline explosion nearly claimed his bar (and possibly his life.) But it's back to business as usual for Jimmy Carbone, the craft beer hype-man.

6. Modified Brewer's Yeast Could Soon Make Morphine
Since the discovery of yeast's role in fermentation, brewers have been tweaking and modifying it for centuries. A recent scientific breakthrough will find brewer's yeast in a new role, one that might help create more effective and less addictive pain killers. The yeast is used to turn glucose into a precursor for morphine, which has both positive and negative connotations.

Coming up on Beer Geeks we'll be headed to Central Waters Brewing Company in Amherst, Wisconsin, where Michael will help make a bourbon barrel stout with cherries! You won't want to miss it, so make sure to check back this Thursday, May 21st when the new episode drops!

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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