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January’s Best Reads on Drinks and Drinking

Welcome to The PUNCHbowl, a monthly installment where we share our favorite long reads on all things drinks and nightlife. This month: The Great Beer Conspiracy, Canadian whisky's comeback, an interview with Kermit Lynch and more.

At the start of the First World War, in a political climate not dissimilar to today’s, a group of German-American brewers were suspected of undermining American interests. In The Daily Beast, Wayne Curtis chronicles the so-called Great Beer Conspiracy of the twentieth century. [The Daily Beast]

Chapter 24 Vineyards, a “future-focused” Oregon winery, has hired bioengineers from MIT to protect their prized pinot noir from rising temperatures. Elin McCoy considers what it will take to ensure the future of the world’s many grape varietals amidst climate change. [Bloomberg]

In Kentucky, the individual responsible for organizing and stacking the quarter-ton barrels of bourbon in any given warehouse is known as a ricker rider. Sam Slaughter offers a day in the life of Four Roses’ ricker rider, Keith Downs. [The Bitter Southerner]

Months after the California wildfires tore through the state’s winemaking regions, vintners are still assessing the damage, and making plans for rehabilitation. Esther Mobley on the uncertain next chapter for the region’s wineries. [San Francisco Chronicle]

As taprooms continue to become focal points of communities across the U.S, a growing number of architects are evaluating the tenets of well-designed drinking spaces. Alison Sinkewicz on how breweries across the country are interpreting functional design. [October]

For much of the past century, Canadian whisky has been dismissed by American drinkers as bland or inferior. Now, riding the coattails of a surge in whiskey’s global popularity, it’s experiencing a comeback. [New York Times]

Kermit Lynch has long been a key player in the Bay Area’s wine scene, operating one of the region’s most beloved shops and importing businesses. In Food & Wine, Stephanie Sy-Quia interviews Lynch on the 45th anniversary of his eponymous store. [Food & Wine]

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Tagged: long reads