Tag Archives: PakTech

Friday Linkage 8/23/2019

I came back from a week of being totally disconnected from the news media to find that Trump wanted to buy Greenland, Denmark said no, Trump huffed off like a fat little baby, and now he is claiming to be the “chosen one.”  Are we sure that we are not living in some kind of simulation where the programmers messed up the code in some way?

On to the links…

A Republican Firm Is Targeting EPA Staff Who Have Donated to Democrats—This is our world now.  Donald Trump and members of his corrupt administration can break laws with impunity while Republican thugs target career staffers of agencies they dislike.

One of the World’s Largest Banks Thinks the Writing is on the Wall for the Oil Industry—We can all hope that this is the case, but my fear is that even if the decline is irreversible it may take too long for the dinosaur business to roll over and die.  Hell, we live in a country where K-Mart and Sears are still holding on for some reason.

All the World’s Coal Power Plants in One Map—This is the map of opportunity for the energy transition.  Every circle on this map must be eliminated in the coming decade.

The Energy Transition is Underway: 10 Charts Tell the Story—The pathway is clear.  We need to figure out the methodology by which we accelerate the transition so that it is no too late for human civilization.

It’s Official: Wind Power Is Catching Up To Natural Gas—So, you can get clean power with no fuel cost variability for the same price as a power source that emits greenhouse gasses, requires drilling, and has price variability.  No wonder the smart money is betting on wind.

Old Wind Farm Has A Secret Weapon Up Its Turbine Towers—Repowering is a great opportunity.  The infrastructure is already in place.  As it details in the article you can get more total power from a fewer number of turbines while maintaining peak output capacity.  Where is the downside?

Onshore Wind In Europe Could Meet 100% Of Global Energy Needs—We are not at a point where people are trying to figure out how much of a buildout would be required to power the world 100% on renewable energy.  These are exciting times indeed.

Planting Trees Is Good. Eliminating Deforestation Is Better.—I have a radical idea: Why don’t we do both?

Is Grass-Fed Beef Really Better For The Planet? Here’s The Science—The moral of the story is that the issue is complicated and you need to know your farmer.  Buying grass fed beef from a multi-national meatpacking company is just perpetuating a system that got us into this mess in the first place.

Why did Coffee Cups and Soda Cups Get so Big?—I do not go the gas station very much anymore—thank you Nissan Leaf—but on trips I am always shocked by the size of the soda cups that people walk out of the store with.  And the kids!  I see small children carrying a 32 ounce soda of their own.  Who thinks that is a good idea?

Breckenridge gets Electric Buses, Encourages Visitors not to Rent Cars—My family usually skis in Breckenridge once or twice a year and I am really excited to see electric buses on the free city network.  It is amazing that people even bother driving around town in the winter when the bus is super easy to use.

Want to Go Plastic-Free? Start with One Thing.—Everyone should just try to do one thing different today.  The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, right?

Amazon Under Fire for New Packaging that Cannot be Recycled—This is why we just need to buy less stuff and buying less from Amazon is a great place to start.

What the Heck is PakTech?—Those little plastic snap rings for your craft beer are apparently hell in the recycling system.  A group of Minneapolis area breweries have banded together to become recycling sites for these things and are offering money off of beer for people who bring them in.  This is just excellent.


Rocky Mountain Goodness in a Can

Some places just do not like glass bottles.  So, in order to bring some beer to my holiday weekend festivities I needed to stock up on canned beer.  The upside was that I “needed” to make a trip to the liquor store to peruse the aisles for something contained within aluminum that could whet my whistle.

Sure, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy was calling to my from 16 ounce cans in the cooler but I wanted something different.  With the heat approaching 90 degrees and the sun feeling like it was trying to melt my face off, an IPA or stout or other heavy beer style was off the table.

Breckenridge Brewery came to my rescue with two options in cans: Avalanche Ale and Summer Bright Ale.

Avalanche Ale is described as being an amber style:

Avalanche Ale

This style, along with different varieties of pale ale, is one of the hallmarks of the American craft beer movement.  A relatively light (4.4% ABV) and mild (19 IBU) Avalanche Ale drinks easily on a warm day without tasting like straw colored water.  One thing that I really appreciated about Avalanche Ale was the inclusion of Chinook hops which are quickly becoming my favorite variety in homebrews.

The great thing about the amber ale style is that it can accommodate so many variations across the beer spectrum.  There is lighter fare, like Avalanche Ale, and much more heavy fare, like some of the homebrews that my friends have shared where the alcohol is north of 7.0% ABV and the bitterness is approaching 70 IBU.  The key is that the malt really provides a structure for the brewmaster to make an imprint.

Summerbright Ale is another story:

Summerbright Ale

Reading the can after pulling one out of a slushy cooler with temps above 90 degrees I was ready for summertime perfection.  Instead, I was left with a totally lifeless beer.

I cannot really pinpoint what went wrong with Summerbright Ale because I think many things are off.  There is very little malt structure whatsoever.  Therefore, you are left with a beer that just flies off your palate in no time like a drink of cold water.  It’s really on par with the malt structure of your typical canned American light lagers you see guzzled by the caseload over the Fourth of July.

There is also no hop profile to speak of either.  I am not a “hop head” seeking out the most bitterness all the time, but beer needs to have a balance between malt and hops to provide flavor.  Summerbright Ale did not have any of this interplay and came across somewhat tasteless.

I would purchase Avalanche Ale again and avoid Summerbright Ale.

Speaking of the six-pack, I was really curious about the packaging:

Six Pack Rings

Made by PakTech these rings are made from #2 HDPE plastic, which is one of the two types of plastic that are readily recyclable.  However, comparing these rings with the traditional plastic “tape” style it seems like the newer rings are made from much more material.  Considering that a lot of plastic does not get recycled would it not be better to use the packaging with less material?

One nice feature, as pointed out by the makers of the handles, is that the fully enclosed top protects the drinking area of the can from dust and debris.  It seems like a pretty minor advantage considering that I can wipe off the top of the can pretty easily.

Apparently, I was not the only one wondering about this new version of the venerable six-pack.