Beer Trading Shutdown

A new update to reddit policy has spelled the death of one of the web’s biggest, most popular
and most active hubs for craft beer fans to trade their favorite brews—r/beertrade- is no more.  
Some of the rationale behind the update makes perfect sense, as it represents a crackdown
on certain items and services being sold on the site, including firearms, ammunition, explosives,
stolen goods, currency and even sexual favors. But then there’s poor old craft beer, which is
lumped into the category of “drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or any controlled substances.”
That’s what resulted in the shuttering of r/beertrade, despite the fact that as the name
suggests, beers were being traded rather than sold.

At the same time, sites such as BeerAdvocate and Instagram are probably pretty happy about
the decision, given that the trading community will likely be forced to now use their services to carry
out trades. Still, traders are likely to miss both the community and simplicity of r/beer’s UI.
If there’s a third party site out there that wants to step in and take the role of major beer-trading
hub, now would be the time.  We at BeerNexus decline the opportunity.

Hemp Beer On Hold

Long Trail Brewing can’t sell its latest batch of beer infused with the hemp extract cannabidiol
because of a hold-up with the feds. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax
and Trade Bureau is in the midst of reviewing the brewery’s label for its Medicator beer because
of the “special ingredient” noted on the packaging, Long Trail spokesman Drew Vetere said
Thursday. The CBD suds can’t be sold until the feds give the green light, known as a
"certificate of label approval." Tom Hogue, an Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
spokesman, said products containing hemp can pass inspection as long as the product doesn't
contain a controlled substance. The bureau frequently is in touch with the Drug Enforcement
Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.

The beer, Medicato, is a hybrid IPA/Pale Ale dry-hopped with Citra and Mosaic.  The brewery
described the beer as "smooth yet sticky, this beer boasts one of the most unique flavor profiles
we've ever developed — with notes of citrus, spice and cannabis,"
Feature News  
Edited by Jim Attacap
the crossroads of the beer world
Artificial Intelligence Beer

Automated Brewing Intelligence (ABI), is a new
program that develops recipes based on
algorithms cranked out with the help of
consumer feedback. ABI continually rewrites
the brewing process by altering variables like
bitterness, alcoholic content and level of
carbonation. The algorithm can also change the
percentage of grain, malt, hops and encoded
wild-card ingredients like lime and grapefruit.
“ABI acquires information about beer-making in
much the same way as humans,” says its creator
John McInerney, a PhD in machine learning. “It
starts by observing the recipes that human
brewers devise, then, through experience,
comes up with its own ideas.”

McInerney plans to open-source every unique
recipe created by its algorithm so that home
brewers can recreate their favorites. “Then it's,
anculmination of people,” he says, “not just some
sort of machine creating stuff.”

If the destiny of beer is ABI, Sam Calagione, the
founder of Dogfish Head, a U.S. craft brewery,
says the concept makes him uneasy. “If you’re
just going off algorithms,” he says, “you’re not
going to be able to innovate ahead of what’s
currently available. The context of what people
say they want has to be relevant to what
they’ve already tried.”
Yeast Instead of Hops

Beer wouldn’t be possible without the fabulous
fungus that is yeast, which converts sugars into
alcohol through fermentation. Scientists from the
University of California-Berkeley have figured out
how to make the microbe do double duty and
add hoppy flavors to a lab-made pale ale that
didn’t include any actual hops in the recipe.
Two scientists first isolated the various oils
naturally produced by hops, the flowers of the
Humulus lupulus plant, which gives hoppy beer
its bitter flavor. Then, they sought out other
plants that naturally produce these same oils,
and isolated the genes responsible. Once those
genes were isolated, the scientists used them to
genetically modify the DNA of brewer’s yeast so
that the fungi would produce the same bitter oils.
After a number of trial brews, they found that
genes from a mint and basil worked best when
spliced into a strain of brewer’s yeast.

In a double-blind taste test of two batches of the
final hop-free pale ale compared favorably to a
regularly brewed one. The researchers also
asked Lagunitas Brewing Co. in California to
help them convene a double-blind taste test
involving 40 participants. When asked to
compare the brew’s hoppiness relative to
traditionally brewed beers, the participants
placed it above most of the competition. Tasters
found the hop-free beer to have more of the
style’s characteristically bitter flavors.