I have occasionally launched sorties of barbed adverbs at the large online bookseller to the north (see here and here), much to everyone's disinterest. And yet, my warnings were prescient! Amazon is so big (41% of the dead tree copies, two-thirds of digital) that it exercises enormous control over what gets published and what price it sells for. And because of this might, they can punish unfavored publishers, as they have done with Hachette, one of the big five. (Backstory here in a quick recap.) Hachette's crime is negotiating with Apple's e-book service. Amazon is essentially saying: "be a damn shame if someone came in here and took away your Kindle titles" while smacking a thin, nerdy fist into an open palm.
The authors, of course, are getting screwed and hate this, but most authors are voiceless bit players in a grand epic. But not all of them:
In case you didn't press "play," the upshot is this: Colbert, a Hachette author, is sending his readers to Powell's. A heartwarming story that might benefit a local retailer--happy Thursday one and all.
How Expensive is Too Expensive?
I, like the next man, enjoy a night on the town with rich food and beer, served to me by the people who made same. Brewers dinners are fun, indulgent, and occasionally revealing. So I was intrigued when this landed in the inbox:
As many of you know we will be launching Beer Camp Across America this Summer. This unprecedented celebration of our collective spirit: 12 different collaboration beers brewed alongside 12 exceptional brewery partners, showcasing the sense of pride and passion shared by craft brewers nationwide. Portland will be lucky enough to get a sneak peak of all these collaborations at a special Beer Dinner at the Woodsman Tavern featuring Ken Grossman owner/founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Jamie Floyd owner/founder of Ninkasi Brewing. The dinner will include six different courses and all 12 Beer Camp America collaboration beers on DRAFT!Interesting! (And, good god, 12 beers--indulgent.) But then came the hammer:
The dinner will run $120 per person.That's a lot of Hallertauer. Possibly it's worth it--entrees at the Woodsman run around thirty bucks, and an evening with Ken and Jamie is bound to be entertaining. But $120? I'm feeling we're edging toward 1% territory here.
Fruit Beer Fest - This Fri-Sun
I have no information except that it's happening and has, the past two years, had exceptional beers. Based on the beer list (cool layout on the website, too), it looks to continue the winning streak.
701 E Burnside
Full details here.
Beers Made By Walking
Eric Steen has been doing a cool thing that I've been negligent in discussing. The notion is this: "Beers Made By Walking is a program that invites brewers to make beer inspired by nature hikes and urban walks. Each walk is different, each beer is a portrait of that landscape. The program happens in multiple cities each year. " This summer and fall, the program explores Portland's Forest Park with six breweries (Sasquatch, Hopwork, Breakside, Coalition, Harvester, and Laurelwood). To quote Eric, "Led by Forest Park Conservancy's Matt Wagoner and local brewers, these hikes will focus on edible and medicinal plants and inspire a series of beers that will serve as drinkable, landscape portraits of Forest Park and the surrounding area."
You can join the walks for free, but you have to register here first. Go to the website for times and dates.