Bitter Cousins - Coffee

True bedfellows, one tucks you in and the other picks you up.

AM Ale Coffee and beer have several dozen similarities worth appreciating and they work as natural complements to one another, opposite sides of the coin that we insert to alter our perception, cognitive abilities, and mood. There is no need to pretend as if either are not mind altering beverages. Let us get that out first, front and center, when it comes to reciting commonalities. One upper, one downer, both over the counter, bar and barista, that in moderation make life tremendously more enjoyable but taken to extreme devalue... [Read More]

What is it like to taste?

just a flutter of a, like a, nutty Edam cheese...

Reflections of Hops Past The glass rests on the table in front of me. The contents are restless, making puny movements. I can see the bubbles releasing themselves from the bottom and sides, taking flight toward the top. Occasionally the bubbles make it just a fraction of the way, catching on again to the glass, having been impeded by another bubble or slowed down no doubt by the weight of the surrounding liquid which is far more languid by comparison with the carbonated activity. On top of the liquid... [Read More]

Better Bayes to Drink - Lowered Expectations

You've Gotta Make me Change my Mind

How many chances can you give a brewery before you give up on one of its beers? Certainly some level of leniency is advisable. The quality of the beer you drink is a factor of many influences, all along a supply chain that the brewery is not directly responsible for. The beer may have been poorly stored, kept too long, transported negligently, or had issues with sealing. Perhaps it was a bad batch. We move up the supply chain and closer to the source with each step. Gradually the level... [Read More]

Books v. Internets

What's Your Time Worth?

… and how’re you spending your mind? The ladies will have to enlighten or mislead us further regarding the things they talk about when amongst themselves, I can at least speak to topics covered in the company of men. Naturally, camaraderie and enthusiasm will influence which subject is picked out at any one moment among sports, money, politics, women (and what the heck they are talking about in the bathroom together), tech and consumer goods, other friends and acquaintances, work, and entertainment. Under the final category fall... [Read More]

Byrd on a Wire

A Ridiculous Scorecard, Just Another Day in the Life of a Boxing Fan

Ah boxing, the gift that keeps on giving Aside from the fantastic feats of athleticism and inspiring displays of will, not to overlook the lunatic level of coverage required to enter a ring, we have the sideshow to appreciate. The sideshow frequently makes an in-ring cameo (“Fan Man”; Bowe/Golota riot; Mayweather/Judah brawl) but for the most part takes place on either end of the official bout. Any long time fan of the sport can speak to the unease felt when a tight fight comes to a... [Read More]

Data Guide for the Beer Perplexed V

Part V - PageRank

No Beer Style is an Island onto Itself Capturing the link relationships of beer styles offers an opportunity to discover connections and patterns not immediately apparent from simply reading the information or following the recommendations on an one off basis. Leveraging the insight that informed the PageRank algorithm and unleashed a little company called Google upon the world, we can traverse the directional links, the recommendations from one beer to another, to identify the highest scoring beer style as a function of references. The PageRank algo is inspired... [Read More]

RoboHop - Brewing the Perfect Pint

Seven Questions Regarding AI & Beer

It was only a matter of time. London-based IntelligentX Brewing Company announced plans in 2016 to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to brew beer. Presumably better beer, but we will have to wait and see.1 Starting with four base beer stlyes (Amber, Golden, Pale, and Black [stout?]), targeted consumer preference questions and Artificial Brewing Intelligence (ABI, read abbey, like the beer making monks; get it?) the company aims to leverage technology to more quickly and fully match beer batches with people’s tastes. Feedback questions are descriptive, explain... [Read More]

Tippling with Randomness

Flip ya, flip ya for real.

Whether currently in a rut or not one can imagine being bored by having the same thing over and over. Variety is one of the things that makes drinking craft beer great, but even with plenty of options it is common to fall into a predictable pattern, if not with a specific beer then at least a style (I am looking at you IPA). It is worthwhile giving yourself an opportunity, even a chance (“so you’re telling me there’s a chance”), of trying something new. Glomming on too quickly... [Read More]

On the Hume-ility of Beer Taste

The Amiable Scottish Skeptic says 'Choose better beer'

Every person wishes to know and to know more. We are creatures that came to dominate and step outside of the food chain not as a result of our strength but our intelligence and social coordination. We cannot outrun most animals, have pitiful claws, short teeth, and weak muscles. We can strategize and work in groups. Our knowledge, its accumulation, is the greatest advantage over the rest of the animal kingdom. People too often take for granted that we stand outside and apart from other animals but taking the time... [Read More]

Causal Impact, Not so Much

GABF Medals Bolster Reputations NOT Search Interest

Intro The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is the premier beer festival and awards competition in the United States, possibly the world. Breweries and brewers display their wins proudly and for good reason, especially with the explosion in the number of breweries, entrants, and the subsequent competition in recent years. The GABF is no fringe occasion as it may have been from 1983-86, when just three places were awarded in a sole category, compared to the 288 award winners across 90+ categories in 2016.1 Despite the... [Read More]

Data Guide for the Beer Perplexed IV

Part IV - Graphs and Paths

Motivation If handed a pale ale and in the other hand you hold a stout it should be simple enough to identify differences.1 These observations would be fairly common and not overly informative. Being introduced to beers in this ham handed manner would not be productive to identifying similarities instead of differences or trying to get from one beer style to another in an instructive way. It would be more helpful to home in on a style you enjoy and branch off steadily from there. There will... [Read More]

Drought, Draughts, and Decency

Bar Stool Pontifications on Singer's FAM

Data Source: danielgaudard Neither Ignore nor Deny the Suffering in the World Can we justify drinking beer, even quality fantastic beer, in a world of suffering or does this mark us out as negligent and indulgent people?1 I’ve had thematically similar questions come to mind from time to time but only recently has the idea of suffering coupled with drinking good beer come to a head. The reason being threefold, my enjoyment of good beer, a... [Read More]