Febeery — A Draft Article - theHumm February 2019

Febeery — A Draft Article - theHumm February 2019

By Sebastian Weetabix

In the course of his perambulations around Humm territory, Weetabix has repeatedly encountered the phenomenon and products of “Craft Breweries”. Weetabix is not a serious beer drinker, but beer is one of the essential food groups and fresh beer is certainly easier to come by at this time of year than fresh field-grown vegetables. Blame “Febeery” on the Editor, but it fits, and since beer connoisseurs self-describe as beer lovers, the timing is doubly appropriate.

Beer is one of the oldest artifacts of civilization — evidence of brewing and beer culture date as far back as 10,000 years ago. There is evidence that other species enjoy fermented products too. Some animals (notably elephants) are seen to gorge on ripe and partially fermented fruits. In nature, uncontrolled fermentation is a pervasive phenomenon. Yeasts transform sugars into alcohol; it’s what they do. The transformation of starch into alcohol is a bit more complex, but over years of experimentation, people worked out processes by which grain crops could be transformed into a variety of beverages. Basically, any fermented product with alcohol content ranging between 3% and 12% could be termed a “beer”. There are fermented beverages with too little alcohol to be dignified as beer, and towards the upper end one enters the realm of wines.

Europe and North America have a long and rich tradition of grain-based beers, and beer has patron saints. “From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world,” said St. Arnulf of Metz, who is also credited with helping to end a plague by convincing people to drink beer in lieu of contaminated water. Weetabix will not be drawn into promoting the nutritional merits of beer; however, it is unquestionably better for one’s health than contaminated water. Beer is also nutritious and is the world’s most widely consumed mild intoxicant. It is, by its origin and nature, a social beverage and, when properly made, it is delicious. Recursion reoccurs and we are now, dear readers, back to the start of this article — Craft Breweries.

In 1516 Bavaria instituted a beer “purity law” that permitted beer to be made only with barley, hops and water. Being German, what was not permitted was forbidden, so it took a while before they got around to acknowledging yeast and permitting wheat. Fortunately or not (depending on one’s taste), other regulatory jurisdictions have been more catholic in their approach. With industrialization came mass production and mass marketing. The result was regression to the mean, otherwise known as bland, tasteless, undifferentiated but cheap beer.

Manufacturing beer is straightforward; the hard work is done by yeasts, and if they are properly cared for and fed, the result is reliable. Water quality, process control and good sanitary practices are important. Basic beer lends itself to mass production and marketing. From over four thousand breweries in the USA in the late nineteenth century, fewer than 70 operating breweries survived by the late twentieth century. Many of them existed solely due to shipping economics. The product was (according to Michael Jackson of beerhunter.com) “pale lager beers vaguely of the pilsener style but lighter in body, notably lacking hop character, and generally bland in palate. They do not all taste exactly the same but the differences between them are often of minor consequence.” And then… a miracle occurred. Forget the famous tea party, this was the real American Revolution. By 2018 the number of breweries had climbed past 7,000.

This is an extraordinary example of entrepreneurial activity enabled by high technology. Market hegemony disintegrated. And yes, dear readers, this IS a high-tech story since brewing is both a craft and a process. Microelectronics (sensors integrated into control systems) is the unsung hero of the story of microbrewing, since it has freed beer entrepreneurs from drudgery and uncertainty. Now free to experiment with taste, microbrewing has blossomed, and you, happy readers, can sample the fruits of this efflorescence. You also might think about the role of beer in your local economy since small craft breweries are labour-intensive. According to the Brewers Association, craft brewer sales in 2017 exceeded 12 percent of the US market by volume — certainly more than a drop in the proverbial bucket.

Diligently pursuing the general mission, Weetabix discovered that there are several craft breweries in theHumm’s coverage area. Time and requirements of safe winter motoring combined to limit his investigations so herewith, A Tale of Two Breweries:

Stalwart stalwartbrewing.ca is as Stalwart does: The three founders (Adam, Ed and Nathan) all liked experimenting with flavour and shared experience in the retail/food service sector. What started as a hobby became a lifestyle business and after a 2-year gestation (punctuated by lots of form-filling and working with trades), they opened the brewery in downtown Carleton Place. As described by Adam, it is a friendly fun place to meet, and Stalwart offers a distinctive selection of styles and flavours — including a chocolate double porter made with cocoa nibs from Hummingbird Chocolate!

Crooked Mile is located in Almonte crookedmile.ca . Founded by a husband and wife team, this brewery pays homage to the great local beer tradition of the UK. Nick and Vicki Pruiksma decided that they liked both the beers and the local pub lifestyle, so what could be more logical than… Well, actually it began with a trip in 2006/7 and a lot of learning about how to manage the process in order to make products that are distinctly evocative of their origins. The brewery, located in a mall at the edge of town, has space where one can linger over a glass, and Nick hopes it will develop into a local gathering place as well as his main retail outlet. Their slogan and advice is “Meander, Explore, Discover”. Weetabix recommends you do exactly that to thaw the chill of Febeery.


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By Sally Hansen

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Director Lynda ......


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Fulton’s invites current and forme......


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By Miss Cellaneous

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For the past several years, during this ......


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Local Green Party of Canada Fundraiser - theHumm February 2019

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Febeery — A Draft Article - theHumm February 2019

By Sebastian Weetabix

In the course of his perambulations around Humm territory, Weetabix has repeatedly encountered the phenomenon and products of “Craft Breweries”. Weetabix is not a serious beer drinker, but beer i......


Family, Films, Folk… and a Loppet! - theHumm February 2019

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John has......


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