This Week’s Best Drink Reads

Welcome to The PUNCHbowl, a weekly installment where we share our favorite longreads on all things drinks and nightlife. This week we looked more closely at France’s craft beer scene, got to know Gramercy Tavern’s Juliette Pope and explored the fraught history of lesbian bars. 

Gramercy Tavern’s beverage director Juliette Pope is, arguably, part of the powerhouse that keeps the ever-popular restaurant up to snuff. Starting out as a line cook, Pope worked her way through the ranks, playing the roles of cellar hand, waiter, manager and assistant beverage director until reaching her current position in 2003—always bringing a mix of impeccable wine knowledge and personable presentation to the storied restaurant. Edible Manhattan profiles the woman behind the wine.  [Edible Manhattan]

Amidst recent progress in the fight for gay rights, lesbian bars are actually closing faster than new ones can open—a travesty for many reasons, not least of all the fraught path it took for many of them to exist at all. Broadly talks to a group of women who put themselves at risk of police raids and arrest while frequenting lesbian bars in the early- and mid-20th century and shines a light on the history of now-disappearing lesbian bars across the U.S. [Broadly]

With craft beer’s current boom, it’s no surprise many have opted to cash out and sell to bigger companies. For many small producers, selling equity is simply a means to the finances needed to expand, while others prefer to go the IPO route, feeling it allows them to keep more of their image intact. Reuters spells out the financial landscape for small craft brewers. [Reuters]

While the French craft beer craze has not yet reached Brooklyn-esque levels (due to obstacles such as taxes and the French’s general unfamiliarity with the stuff), it’s undeniably having a revolution in France. Food Republic charts the growth of French craft breweries over the last decade and tracks down the brews available in the U.S. [Food Republic]

UNESCO has granted Burgundy status as a World Heritage site, a big win in the books of many of the region’s wine producers. Some, like Aubert de Villaine, have been working for years on research and lobbying to support the region’s “climats” as candidates for the European Union’s coveted designation. The Times follows the journey one man took to ensure one of wine’s most famous regions gained just a little bit more recognition. [New York Times]

[Photo: Flickr/Roman Boed]