Some noteworthy stories about alcohol have come pouring in over the past few weeks, so I’m putting together a little round-up:
- First off, my feature “The Business of Beer” in Middlebury Magazine traces the history of the craft beer explosion, featuring the tales of Midd alum who’ve chosen beer as a career path: Allagash’s Rob Tod, Sleeping Giant’s Matthew Osterman, and most of all, Flying Lion Brewery’s Evan, Tyler, and Griffin Williams. Gluten-intolerant or not a huge beer fan? Don’t worry! This story mostly steers clear from hoppiness and IBUs and instead centers on the heart behind beer-making and the zany people involved.
- For his latest book, Ted Genoways spent years reporting on one of the dirtiest and most disturbing aspects of our food system: the factory-farmed pork industry and the ignored workers caught in its chains. Thankfully for his own sanity, Ted’s taken a break from this gruesome (but important) topic to delve into the cheerier world of organic tequila-making for his latest Mother Jones story, “Heart of Agave.” From the story:
“Row upon row of blue agaves stretched in all directions, each plant’s needle-tipped leaves rising head high. It was the realization of Murillo’s dream—but he had bigger ambitions. “I can only do so much on my grandfather’s rancho,” Murillo said, “but if I can recruit my neighbors and they recruit others, then we will have a movement.”
Read the rest of the piece as you sip on some Alquimia tequila this afternoon.
- Speaking of tequila, Sasha Swerdloff supplies some great recipes for creative tequila drinks on her resplendent blog, Tending the Table. Try her recipes for a smoky paloma and a mango basil margarita.
- In more enraging booze news, on Saturday an entire book club—consisting of 10 black women and 1 white woman—was kicked off of the Napa Wine Train for being too boisterous while celebrating a birthday. “We thought the purpose of the Wine Train was to have a good time and enjoy being with a group,” one of the women told the Napa Valley Register. “No one told us of a noise ordinance.” The episode triggered accusations of racial bias from people online, who protested with the hashtag #laughingwhileblack. The Wine Train CEO has since apologized for being “acutely insensitive to the group,” but not before the women were paraded in front of the entire train before being forced to disembark. Clutch Magazine responded by promoting “5 Black-owned California Wineries to Visit Instead of the Wine Train“—good idea!