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The Importance of Beer Labels

The label tells us what we’re drinking, who made it, the ABV and all the other legal requirements, but when I’m scanning our fridges, shelves, or online shop to select my next brew it’s rare that I am focusing on words. Instead, as though wandering through a gallery, I am taking in the images.Even when I am hunting for a specific brewery it’s the logo, an image, that I am trying to pick out from the crowd. And in a world of over 19,000 breweries, at Carwyn alone we have hundreds of breweries and nearly 1000 beers in our shop at any given time, its important to stand out in the crowd. And what stands out to one person may...

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An interview with DJ McCready, co-founder and head brewer at Mountain Culture

This interview was sent out in the April 2021 edition of Club Hops Which of your beers are you most proud of?The Hazy IPAs have been a huge success for us, but I would be lying if I said they were in our initial plans when opening the brewery. In fact, I had never brewed a hazy beer before starting Mountain Culture. We’re proud of them and of how they have developed over the time we’ve been opened - especially the Status Quo because it was the beer we put the most amount of work into perfecting. But on a personal note, I’m proud of our Decoction Lagers. A style that is not often made these days and one that meant we...

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Hop Harvest

Last week we touched upon the flurried season that is wine harvest, but another harvest takes place at a similar time in Australia. Let's raise our glasses to hop harvest.    Hops are the flowers (or cones) of the plant Humulus Lupulus which, fun fact, is part of the Cannabaceae family – the same family that cannabis belongs to. Humulus Lupulus grows as a bine (hop bine) and farmers string trellises to encourage the plant to grow vertically. It feels quite magical to stroll between the bines, quite nymph-like as if you are surrounded by drapery made of hops and foliage.     The hop flowers contain all the essential oils, alpha, and beta acids that benefit the brewing world. A single plant will produce roughly 350g –...

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Vintage and the Winemaking Process

You can think of vintage/ harvest as the AFL Finals Series of the wine world; with teams at every winery around the world labouring with the utmost care to ensure the greatest expression of the year’s haul. Or, if you're like Team Schmooze, you could think of it as anything other than a sports analogy. The RuPaul's All Stars of the wine world.  Anyway, back to it.  In the Northern Hemisphere vintage normally takes place between August and October, while here in the Southern Hemisphere it's generally between February to April – this year’s (2021 vintage) is winding down as we write this. Timing is everything during these months. Winemakers and viticulturists carefully follow the weather and taste grapes daily throughout their plots, paying attention to acid, sugar, flavour concentration, and tannin. They then send grapes to the lab for further analysis....

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Gin: A drink I hated

By Allison Caldicott-Levitt; A girl who hated gin, to a woman whose house feels empty without it   Early in my drinking years, my mother adored Victoria Gin by Victoria Spirits out of BC, Canada. It is a classic West Coast distillery whose flagship gin included classic botanicals alongside orris root, cinnamon bark and rose petals. Growing up, I was never allowed to say I did not like a food or drink if I had not had it, and yet I had an avid disdain for gin despite never trying it, thwarting my mother’s best efforts to get me to give her drink of choice a chance. My intolerance for gin got to an almost phobia-like extreme when I couldn’t have the liquid touch...

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