Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why is Malcolm like a pen-tailed tree-shrew?

Could the answer lie in his recent prodigious intake of
  • Brooklyn Lager ("wonderfully flavorful ... smooth, refreshing and very versatile")?
Either brew, fortunately, is substantially stronger than the noctural diet of Ptilocercus lowii (pictured, right) or the norm of US beers, both of which seems suspiciously like making love in a canoe (oh! the old ones are the best ones!):
Nectar from the flower buds of the bertam palm is fermented to a maximum alcohol content of up to 3.8%.

Each bud is a miniature brewery, containing a yeast community that turns the nectar into a frothy beer-like beverage.
And why the Brooklyn Brewery matters:

All true believers should be rooting for Steve Hindy, the Brooklyn Brewery's president. Hindy, a former AP reporter in Beirut correspondent for AP in the early 1980s, and his partner, Tom Potter, a senior executive with Chemical Bank, wrote a book, Beer School, on their success in developing the Brooklyn brand from scratch. It's a good read.

As the New York Times article of 20th July identified, all Hindy's attempts to relocate and expand have been frustrated. The firm has outgrown (and been gentrified out of) its present location at North 11th Street in Williamsburg. There are implications which go beyond the world of brewing, and apply far beyond of New York:
The number of manufacturing jobs in the city, which once exceeded 850,000, fell below 100,000 in recent months, according to statistics compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manufacturing now accounts for about one of every 40 jobs in the city, down from almost a quarter of all jobs in the mid-1960s.

“These manufacturing jobs are worth preserving because they’re excellent, high-wage jobs that don’t require English as a first language or a high level of education,” Ms. Archibald ["executive director of the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation, a Brooklyn business coalition"] said. “They pay way better than retail.”
This same story has now been picked up by other New York publications, as well as the alternative press and, inevitably, the blogosphere.

Hindy knows his beer. His brewery has created an iconic product line. He also has hot links to Mayor Bloomberg (who wrote a foreword to Beer School).

Hindy, a knowing old journo, cooked the perfect punchline for that Times piece.The credited writer, Patrick McGeehan, could not have asked for a better:
“Once you name your company Brooklyn Brewery, you kind of take away the threat of moving to New Jersey,” Mr. Hindy said.
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