Michael Lewis

Point of Brew: Brewing a better future in Africa?

I saw a headline the other day that proclaimed “blood beer.” Although craft brewers are adding all sorts of materials to beers, these days, including fruits, vegetables, herbs and bits of trees and odd minerals among other things, I have not heard of any brewers adding blood to beers. The headline therefore intrigued me. Turns […]

December 05, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: There and back again, a brewer’s tale

Modern travel is a marvel: On Monday this week, we had breakfast in Sydney and dinner in Davis. Some 7,500 miles or 12,000 kilometers separate these two cities, yet that distance can be spanned in a single leap by modern aircraft carrying more than 400 passengers in relative comfort at nearly 600 mph or 1,000 […]

November 21, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: On the road in a most green and pleasant land

This place reminds me a lot of Wales. The mountains are numerous and green; not that slightly dusty green we see in California but a luminous emerald green we normally see only on paint chips at the hardware store. The roads are narrow and in many places winding, and narrow bridges cross over bounding streams […]

November 07, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: Redux: perfidy, sedition, treason and traitor

I have a question for you: What is the difference between: a) Mohamed Morsi in Cairo and the far-right agenda of his Muslim Brotherhood and b) John Boehner in Washington and the far-right agenda of his tea party? And the answer is: Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood won a national election. It was with this […]

October 24, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: Beer sales rebounding in tough economy

Let’s not kid ourselves: Beer sales have not exactly sparkled in the past few years. There have been several reasons for this, including the general economic conditions of the country. Oddly enough, brewers have long considered beer sales to be recession-proof; the idea is that although some drinkers drop out of the beverage market in […]

October 10, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: Dr. Kulka’s cardboard box

About 30 years ago, a fond mom bought a box full of old postcards for her son who collected them (and other things). It turned out that the box was a personal archive of one Dr. Dora Kulka that contained, in addition to perhaps 1,000 postcards, many family photographs and letters dating from 1910 to […]

September 26, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: ‘Writing Buddies’ comes to town

I have a good deal of experience reading the writings of mature students who have graduated from universities around this country. That is because every week, for up to 18 weeks, 20 to 40 young people write answers to brewing questions and submit them to me for assessment. Each of these answers requires an essay […]

September 12, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of brew: You want ice with that?

Had a reader of this column not drawn it to my attention I would have missed the article in the Wall Street Journal of Thursday, Aug. 15. I borrowed a copy of the paper and found the piece by Hiroyuki Kachi. The headline was intriguing: “Is that ice cream on your beer? Japan’s wacky summer […]

August 29, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: Casa Sebastiani and the Sonoma wine country

Even the most avid brewer, when he wanders into the wonderful world of wine once in a while, takes great delight in it. I had that experience in the past few days because a special birthday pulled our entire family of 15 members together in one place in the wine country of the Sonoma Valley: […]

August 15, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: Breweries also ignore the Fourth Amendment

Over the years, I have visited many breweries in many places. In all cases, I was subject to some level of scrutiny: I signed in by time and date; I was issued a visitor’s name tag, safety glasses and a hard hat. Several breweries required that I wear special shoes, remove my wedding ring and […]

August 01, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: The Good Samaritan probably was a brewer

In church last Sunday, the New Testament reading was from the Gospel of St. Luke, 10:29-37. In all of the Bible, there is no passage that is more familiar to churchgoers, non-churchgoing Christians, non-Christians, atheists and pagans alike. It is the central piece of Jesus’ philosophy and, without question, my favorite Bible story. Oddly, it […]

July 18, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: Home brew rules the roost

Zymurgy, the magazine “for the home brewer and beer lover,” conducts a poll of its members and subscribers every year to determine the best beer and the best brewery in the USA. I’m not sure the election is run in a particularly rigorous way and perhaps it’s possible to vote early and vote often; nevertheless, […]

July 03, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: Brewers’ Nostalgia, Captain Ruhstaller and Jack McAuliffe

Technology is not always a straightforward advance into a more efficient future towards new and better processes and new and better products; sometimes an industry must go backwards to re-create itself. That is happening in brewing. The steadily growing craft brewing industry enjoys nostalgia for older, sometimes even ancient times; these days I am never […]

June 20, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

Point of Brew: Building yachts, brewing beer and bettering America

The great 12-meter yachts made famous by the America’s Cup races were not similar boats: They were the result of any compromise design that met the rules for the 12-meter class. That is, they were built to a formula based on such things as length of waterline, sail area and draft. Designers could vary the […]

June 06, 2013 | Posted in Arts | Tagged ,

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