Johnny Appleseed, Apple Genetics, and Burnt Orchards

One of the podcasts I listen to quite a bit is Stuff You Missed in History Class. They recently ran a “classic” episode demystifying the life of Johnny Appleseed, as John Chapman has become known.  Now, all I really knew about him was from the Disney cartoon and one volume about the man in the […]

Strange Brews

Some beer news, since I haven’t posted anything in ages. It’s now been four years since I’ve made any beer myself, though I am hoping to get a Saison brewed before the end of summer. (It’s hot enough for it, after all!)  But this is a news news post, since there’s been some odd and […]

S. eubayanus found in Tibet! (Er, in 2014?!?!)

So, back in 2011 I mentioned the discovery of S. eubayanus in the wild in Patagonia. That’s exciting because S. pastorianus (often called “lager yeast” in English: it’s the yeast used to make a lot what the world recognizes as “beer” today, for better or worse) is actually a hybrid of two other kinds of yeast: that is, it was formed when […]

Scumbags & Con Men of Georgian English Brewing, #1: Humphrey Jackson

The other day, I posted about folk magic in modern England, but aside from that, I’m also plowing through the piteous biography of Georgian London’s most hapless brewer. The biography, Dr. Johnson’s “Own Dear Master”: The Life of Henry Thrale by Lee Morgan was one I would probably have passed on, had it not been remaindered and on sale […]

Imaginable Beers: A Primer for Writers of Speculative Fiction

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series For Writers

Recently, a writer friend was asking around on Facebook for some information about the history of brewing and distilling. Since I’ve been studying up on these subjects (and blogging on the subject: see here for brewing, and there’s some stuff about distilling mixed into this tag), it was suggested I might be of some help. I started […]