Category Archives: Wish List

Queer Beers: On LGBT Representation in Craft Beer

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Alright, so at the time of writing this I just finished up a kinda-sorta twitter conversation that I want to elaborate on in this site. LGBT representation. I do know that there are a handful of LGBT folks in the craft beer community, but as a bisexual fan of beer I’d like to see something a little more open within the industry itself.

The first question most folks ask is…why? Why should someone’s non-beer preferences be anywhere near the beer world? And I get that, it’s just that the craft beer community is a very large group of people. We talk about beer, but on other subjects as well. Most commonly the topic of relationships will pop up in conversation, and if someone in a same sex relationship is talking with a group of strangers who are all talking about their heterosexual relationships, it would be understandable if that person decided to omit out of the fear of getting an odd reaction. To me it’s not about whether or not someone would act poorly in response (in my experience they definitely wouldn’t), it’s more that a hesitation like that shouldn’t even be considered before talking about a loved one. The beer community is a very comfortable and welcoming community, but without a visible LGBT figurehead it risks unintentionally closing the door in some people’s face. Just saying “there’s no problem” isn’t cutting it for a group of people who have historically learned that no visible representation = not welcome. Not just for someone attending an event but even someone looking to get in to the industry. Make sense? I hope so.

But what to do? Well, there are two ways to deal with things.

The first is the grand gestures that breweries can do to show they acknowledge LGBT folks as a valid demographic and support them. Sam Adams boycotted the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade when the parade announced the exclusion of LGBT marchers. BrewDog made a Double IPA called Hello My Name Is Vladimir to protest Russia’s anti-gay legislation with 50% of sales going to pro-LGBT organizations. Half Pints Brewing in Manitoba made a beer exclusively for Winnipeg Pride…these are all bold, loud gestures that most likely have swayed over a lot of customers based on the inclusion and rabid defense of that demographic. It feels good to be stood up for on such a grand scale in that way.

The second one is something that is more direct to the culture and requires a bit more thought and a lot of personal risk, but I would like to see someone within the industry openly out as LGBT and comfortable enough to talk about it. Now, I’m not talking about breaking out the pink shirts and rainbow capes (unless they want to), but more of pulling an Ellen Page. Coming out, talking about it, and then going back to work doing what they do best. I think a move like that from someone (and hey, it only takes one or two people) would be wonderful for LGBT people looking to enter the craft beer world, as it would give them someone to look to as a more overt example of representation, which I feel is needed. Something that will have them say “hey, I guess people like me are less alienated than I thought”.

Many know how vocal I am for my love of the craft beer community. It is a welcoming, supportive, smart, funny, awesome group of people who are from all walks of life. All I’m suggesting is that maybe, just maybe, making the welcome sign a little bigger would go a long way for people who aren’t sure just how well they’d fit in to our group. If we could make such a move that will just let people know more clearly how welcoming we are, well…that’d be something to take pride in.

 

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Ben & Ben Paint With Guinness at SDCC

Love this. at 11am-1pm at San Diego Comic Con Artist Ben Templesmith and writer Ben McCool will be doing a signing/selling of their amazing trade for CHOKER as well as selling the above print for $30, limited to 25 copies and available only at SDCC. There’s a nice twist though. As McCool says:

“What’s more, we’ll both be hand-painting each one with GUINNESS. Each single print unique!”

 Prints painted with Guinness? Yes please. Anyone going to SDCC this year and can maybe snag me a copy?

But then again, if there’s any way to get Ben Templesmith to do a Wormwood Gentleman Corpse  commission painted in beer….I think I may like that a bit more. 🙂

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Birthday Wish: GRANTED

So remember when I put the Brooklyn Box Set from the Brooklyn Brewery on my Wish List?

Welp, for my Birthday I got it.

HUGE thanks to my parents for purchasing it, Melissa “Glukkake” Dowell for picking it up at the Brooklyn Brewery’s store and to the wonderful fella Alan Tyson for picking it up and driving all the way to Toronto to hand it off and celebrate the day I emerged from another human screaming, naked and covered in blood 27 years ago.

While I’m going to TRY and save the Companion Ale for a special occasion, I can say that the book is quite amazing and very detailed.  I love that so many experts put their experience in to this and can’t wait to actually learn more about this stuff so I can gain a deeper understanding in to the world that I love and…okay, so I can repeat it at parties.  YOU CAUGHT ME.

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Wish List: The Brooklyn Box Set

Today the Brooklyn Brewery just announced the release of the Brooklyn Box Set, which, at $80 includes a copy of the large and detailed book The Oxford Companion to Beer and a 750ml bottle of the Brewmaster’s Reserve “wheat wine” called “The Companion” (Take a moment to make a few Doctor Who jokes now if you wish).

The book alone is a must-have, but I’m really eager to try The Companion.  Especially while reading the book.  Description below:

“With 160 experts covering more than 1,100 subjects, The Oxford Companion to Beer is the most comprehensive book to yet be published on the subject. To accompany the book, Garrett Oliver (Editor-in-Chief), Horst Dornbusch (Associate Editor) and Thomas Kraus-Weyermann (writer and master maltster) brewed our current Brewmaster’s Reserve beer, called The Companion Ale. Made with 55% new floor malts from Weyermann Maltings, The Companion is brewed in an old style called “wheat wine”, a wheat-based equivalent to barley wine. The floor malts give this beer a juicy malt character of considerable depth, 55% malted wheat gives it a surprising lightness on the palate, while our house ale yeast lends a gentle fruitiness.”

But there’s some sadness to it, folks. Currently the Brooklyn Box Set is ONLY available at the retail store in their brewery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  So you folks in other states/countries (like me) are out of luck.

But still, that is one beauty of a product.  If any of you are in the area it’d be wise to pick that up.

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Wish List: The Very Very Many Varieties of Beer

The people at Pop Chart Lab came up with this little beauty..

The world’s most comprehensive beer taxonomy is now bigger and better. This new design features 89 varieties of beer with over 200 representative quaffs, including glassware recommendations for each variety, and covers six square feet with beer-soaked goodness.

Thanks to my friend Roo for finding it for me!

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Wish List: Abstrakt Beer

My friend and fellow beer/metal enthusiast Alastair messaged me to tell me his brew plans for Friday night and linked me to this little beauty:

That’s right.  It’s a Belgian Imperial Stout aged on toasted coconut and cacao.  Created by the bloody GENIUSES at BrewDog as part of a concept series they are putting out in which they say:

  • Abstrakt is a new type of beer brand, we will only ever brew and release a beer once
  • Abstrakt will release a very small number of limited edition batches per year
  • More art than beer, Abstrakt will brew directional, boundary pushing beers: blurring distinctions and transcending categories
  • All Abstrakt beers are bottle-conditioned, individually numbered and known only by their release code, e.g. AB:01
Isn’t that wonderful? The bottles are expensive, but apparently well worth the price.  Hopefully I’ll be able to gather enough cash to get one before the series is out.  Their current release is a Triple Dry Hopped Imperial Black IPA which sounds like EXACTLY my sort of beer, but alas, money.  And I’m not sure if the beers ship internationally or not, so there’s also a problem.  If they do I might need to enlist the help of some of my fellow beer-lovers…

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