Jon Campbell, who briefly made Hartford a more interesting place with his presence and reporting for the Advocate, has entered the homebrew game with his signature Unemployed Reporter Porter (pictured).
"Porter style beers were first popularized in the nineteenth century by merchant sailors and manual dock laborers," the label reads. "Unemployed Reporter is crafted in the same tradition, honoring a profession likewise doomed to decline and irrelevance."
For this new class of “expendables,” the label goes on, “we’ve included chocolate and roasted barley malts that are as dark and bitter as the future of American journalism, and a high alcohol content designed to numb the pain of a slow, inexorable march toward obsolescence. While Unemployed Reporter is especially delicious as a breakfast beer, it’s still smooth enough to be enjoyed all day, every day. And let’s be honest: what else do you have going on?”
Both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were in their 20s at the time, and neither was a drinking novice. Marx first demonstrated talent in the beerhounding field during his first and only year at the University of Bonn. It was, in the understated phrase of his father, a period of “wild rampaging.” As a co-president of his “tavern club,” the lad often tangled with the rival Borussia Korps, which would force him and his bourgeois brethren to kneel in allegiance to the Prussian aristocracy. In hopes of repelling their attacks, Marx started packing a pistol, and a bullet grazed his brow in the duel that inevitably resulted; boys will be boys. He transferred schools, got serious about philosophy, and fell in with the Young Hegelians for a while. To blow off steam while working on his Ph.D., he would knock back pints with Bruno Bauer; they would now and then get smashed and ride donkeys down the main streets of villages.
Engels, meanwhile, had been educating his palate, preparing to become first great champagne socialist. One month-long vacation in the French countryside found young Engels “more or less squiffy all the time,” and his most recent biographer likens his diary of the trip to “an upmarket wine-tour brochure.” (Sample text: “Within a few bottles one can experience every intermediate state from the exultation of the cancan to the tempestuous fever heat of revolution, and then finally with a bottle of champagne one can again drift into the merriest carnival mood in the world!”) An industrialist and a revolutionary, Engels spent two years learning the family business at Ermen and Engels’ Victoria Mill outside of Manchester, England, witnessing the horrors of child labor and gathering material for his first book, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844.
Late that summer, Engels passed through Paris and arranged a get together with Marx, who had recently hatched his theory of alienated labor—of the worker as the “plaything of alien forces.” On Aug. 28, 1844, they got faded at Café de la Régence and kept going for “10 beer-soaked days,” as one historian puts it—two dudes joined in a buzzing discussion where they broke it all down, as dudes will. This was bitching about work on the highest level, Marx and Engels in Paris and going gorillas.
I love info graphics of the week from NowSourcing! All the pics this time have very inspirational color palettes. I especially love the one about the history of beer. I love history-related infographics! If you have some favorite ones, leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!
In 1959 the 10th largest brewery in the country (Pabst) acquired the 18th largest brewery (Blatz), resulting in a combined national market share of 4.5%. Seven years later the US Supreme Court reversed the merger, noting that:
If not stopped, this decline in the number of separate competitors and this rise in the share of the market controlled by the larger beer manufacturers are bound to lead to greater and greater concentration of the beer industry into fewer and fewer hands.
Today, just two firms control more than three-quarters of all sales.
Globally, the top four firms (AB InBev, MillerCoors, Heineken and Carlsberg) control 50 percent of the market and almost two-thirds of the industry’s profits.