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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scott Simon Loves the Beer

The first story that caught my attention this morning on the radio involved "gyspy brewers."

On the road we discussed how new things are afoot, literally, in beer land. "Gypsy brewing," although by no means a trend, has been added to the lexicon. In oversimplified terms, it's brewing on the go, a supersubculture of the craft beer industry. Strumke is one of about three people in the world who do it, Denmark's Mikkeller brewers being another example.

Like an old-world itinerant preacher, Strumke travels from brewery to brewery — from Belgium to Baltimore — spreading the craft beer gospel. He finds breweries that jibe with his thinking; rents out their excess capacity; and uses his own recipes to create limited edition batches and a brand.

Far out. You should listen to the report--or read it. As a bonus, the story sort of merges into a piece about pairing food and beer. A fascinating report, and proof that NPR is way ahead of the rest of the MSM.

The second story wasn't really about beer, but it sat me up more easily than my morning coffee. A ten-minute story (very long by NPR standards) on Oakridge, Oregon. It was one of those biographic sketches that details the life and times of a small town, showing how it has evolved. For Oregonians, a familiar tale of the decline of logging and devastating aftermath--and possibly hopeful denouement.

For Oregon beer fans, it was a moment to hope that our favorite cask brewery would get a shout-out. And it did! Not a big one--Ted Sobel doesn't even get interviewed, though you can hear him in the background--but it gets a positive mention as part of the hopeful denouement. You actually have to listen to the story--the text is shortened and they clipped Ted's bit. They also got the name wrong ("Brewer's Union Local 18"--so close!), but still. I have no doubt that it was the growing light of Ted's fame that drew NPR, lighthouse style, into Oakridge's orbit. Kudos!

1 comment:

  1. The full clip is at, which includes more about the pub and what's happening in Uptown.

    I haven't listened to the truncated version yet.