A few weeks ago Houston Press food blogger extraordinaire Katharine Shilcutt wittingly dropped a proverbial deuce on the American beer drinker. In her post titled The United States of Beer, Katharine rather subjectively assigned each state an official beer. Her intentions were relatively innocuous, but her uneven attempt to rush the post's publication by peppering the U.S. map with whimsical selections energized the nation's beer drinking pantywadders (200+ comments!).
This was not the first time the food blog published a half-hearted post and then hid behind guise of just "having a laugh." I wonder if their editor would be as supportive of a post that jacked around with where to find good Mongolian hot pot? If the Houston Texans decided to play without cleats for a quarter, how do you think that would go over with their fans? If Nicholas Cage stopped caring about the movies he agreed to make, then what? I'm just saying, our big stick, Mr. Smokeypants, doesn't let us get away with weak journalism our site, and I've never seen a dime from the blog.
We at The Ferm are not asserting that blogs, and more specifically The Houston Press' food blog Eating Our Words, must be serious all the time. We are only suggesting that if you are getting paid to publish your work, that it be well thought out, researched, and written as if you even care that your name is on the piece. (I hope EOW blogger Kevin Shalin doesn't mind me stealing his words in that previous sentence, but there is a pretty good chance all Houston Press people stopped reading in the second paragraph anyway.)
Speaking of serious, if you are aware of someone who takes drinking more seriously than we do, I would sincerely like to know. We also tend to look at the world through practical glasses, so we understand an accurate beer map of the United States probably looks more like an election map.
|"That looks about right. Print it!" - Mr. Smokeypants|
|"Yes, that one looks right. Print it!" - Mr. Smokeypants|
That is where we can contribute. What Katharine's map project needed was some rules. Some formulae. Some science. That kind of concept is right in our wheelhouse.
- Pronouncement: Katharine's list muddled beers and breweries. We will assign breweries to a state. It is reasonable to assume that a brewery's flagship beer would be the de facto beer representative for the state.
- Rule #1: For any state, the brewery representative must be brewed in said state. Rule #1b: If a brewery makes beer in more than one state, the brewery can only be named representative of one state.
- Example Formula: y = 29.936ln(x) How do you like them apples? (I don't trust the Internets enough to give out all our brewery ranking secrets.)
- Science: Wikipedia says science is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world. Yeah, we got that.
|Click map to jump to post with the states' selections|