Free Bud!

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 09.22.10 under Free Beer, News

Not the green stuff, but the bland beer variety.

Time to throw my opinion into the ring. I’ve read others already opine in this manner, but can’t help but add a “+1″ to the sentiment.

It has always baffled me why anyone would buy Bud for a take-home beverage. For a lot less money, you can get Busch, which has always seemed an adequate approximation of Bud to me. I mean, it’s not like we’re doing tasting events with the stuff.

At a bar is one thing. Everything costs the same there. If you don’t like actual beer, then you might as well grab a pint of Bud Light. But if you’re dead set on drinking something best served cold as can be in the comfort of your own home, the only reason to pick Bud is image.

Now I am not immune to this. The can does look somehow incredibly cool, even to my modern styling preferences. And Bud Light does bring to mind the notion of refreshment. But once again, Busch and other discount products approximate the final result, and Bush is pretty cool itself. I mean, they used to have the Busch Series in NASCAR (second tier cars, now Nationwide).

Fortunately, these days, I can make just about any beer I like for less than Busch Light, so it has been some time since Busch graced my fridge.

Nonetheless, I’m thinking, wondering if I can get out to a participating on-premise operation to partake of my free sample of Bud. I mean, it’s free. Why not? Maybe we can get a holiday “Plain Old Beer Day” to be celebrated September 29th every year, where they give away stuff that I wouldn’t buy otherwise.

Good Dog

[ 1 Comment ] Posted on 07.23.10 under Alcohol, News

So many people are hating on Brew Dog for their latest stunt. Packaging 55% ABV beer in dead rodents.

That’s right, I called it a stunt, but I’m not about to lash out at them.

On the surface this latest move is wrong on several levels:

  1. At 55% ABV, I think it’s a stretch to call it a “beer”
  2. This is clearly just an attempt to gain attention. In a way, Brew Dog is like the middle child in the birth order of today’s breweries.
  3. The beer comes packaged in a dead rodent that’s been preserved and stuffed.
  4. You have to pay 500 pounds (the English currency, not the SI unit for weight) just to get one bottle. And the bottle is only 12 ounces large. Apparently taxidermy is rather expensive.
  5. There were only 12 bottles made of this. Total. Twelve bottles. Talk about a limited production run!

But you know what, I just can’t get enough of the insanity that seems to drive their crazy ideas for huge beers. As if 110 proof isn’t enough (that’s stronger than almost all distilled spirits on the market) it’s packaged in dead animals and costs a fortune and is impossibly rare. I love it!!!

I wonder if they have an equivalent to PETA* over there? And don’t they have a TTB*?

At any rate, this sort of thing still hasn’t gotten old to me. Even if most of the commentators out there are not happy about it. But in the end, for every person spilling their guts on the web about the move contributes a drop in the bucket of Brew Dog’s marketing machine, which is the whole point.

* PETA=People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In other words a bunch of American hippies that refuse to eat animals.

* TTB=Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. I wonder how they decided on TTB. Why not ATTTB? Or even ATB? Anyway they’re the folks that regulate labeling, taxes, permits, etc. in the US for beer.

Ice Ice Baby

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 02.17.10 under Alcohol, Fun, News

Once again Brew Dog has done it. They’ve gone and raised the ire of all wings of the beer and political communities. Not complacent to be second best, it’s time to make the world’s strongest beer… again!

First off, Sam Adams Utopias is the strongest beer, when it comes down to it. By American legal definition, a beer can not be fortified by any method, including “ice distillation”. Sam Adams is cooked as normal wort and fermented as such by yeast all the way to its nearly unnatural 27% ABV. All others higher than that, to my knowledge, are done by ice distilling.

Read the rest of this entry…

Beer Peace

[ 1 Comment ] Posted on 12.04.09 under News

peace-doveHow many brands? How few owners? Who knows? Who cares?

There has been a lot going around about how two “breweries” own over 200 beer brands, comprising a vast majority of the American beer market. As a result, there are a lot of “Bud sucks” kind of remarks out there, as well as abundant boycott sentiment against the big two, three, or four from the craft beer defenders of the world wide web.

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Monster Energy vs. Vermonster

[ 1 Comment ] Posted on 10.07.09 under Barley Wine, News

vermonsterI have somehow been subscribed to the Rock Art Brewery email list. Probably from when I emailed to ask what their tour hours were for the time I was going to their town to visit my Great Grandmother In Law for the weekend. Turns out they didn’t do Saturday tours and so basically the answer was “too bad.” But I still like their beer. And it was a tremendous bargain at the gas station in Morrisville to pick up a few bombers of one of their IPAs.

Today Renee Nadeau told the group news that boils down to the following:

Hansen Beverage Owners of Monster Energy drinks have told us to “cease and desist” the use of our The Vermonster label.

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GABF

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 09.24.09 under News

What else is there to talk about right now? It is GABF time! In Denver, hordes of beer enthusiasts are about to embark on a tasting session of biblical proportions. All I can say is that one day I may plan ahead enough to actually go there.

Mystic Bridge IPA

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 09.08.09 under Cottrell, IPA, News, Tasting

At long last, Charlie Buffum has come out with a companion beer for the great Cottrell Old Yankee Ale!

I thought the idea had been kicking around a while over there across town in Pawcatuck. And then the other day I happened past Chris Keppel (the sales guy) on the street in downtown Mystic. He was wearing a shirt with something about Mystic Drawbridge beer. I was curious, but he was with someone and I didn’t bother him.

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Brew Your Own

[ 1 Comment ] Posted on 07.16.09 under Brewing, BYO, News

Anyone who finds their way to this blog must at least have a passing interest in making their own beer.

If you find yourself among the ones that dream of days spent over the brew kettle, then you might find a good resource available to you here. Look to the left, and you’ll see a big red graphic for Brew Your Own magazine.

This is a great publication that I read faithfully, and it provides useful information to home brewers of all levels each time. Click on the link to the left to get a free trial issue, sign up for a year of additional issues, and help me out… all at the same time!

Big DIPA

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 07.08.09 under IPA, News

Big DIPA LabelClipper City Brewing makes a lot of beers that really jump out at you at the beer store. Of particular note is the Heavy Seas line. These are a bunch of high gravity beers in extreme styles like Imperial Pilsner.

Although navigating the incredible art on the sixpack holder can occasionally present a challenge to finding out the nature of the beer represented to be within, I’m often quite happy with the selection I’ve made when I end up with some of this stuff in my cart. Read the rest of this entry…

Honey + Basil + Beer

[ 3 Comments ] Posted on 06.27.09 under News

Bison Brewing is an organic brewery out of Berkley CA.

In this modern world of extreme beer, the very definition of extreme tends to move around a bit. At first, it was generally meant as high alcohol or high IBU or both. Think “Triple IPA”. It evolved to refer to style combinations. I’m thinking of “Black IPA” – the strange combo of stout and IPA, probably hyped up in the ABV and IBU depts.

It continues to evolve and mature, as any great beer could do. Today when we think about extreme beer, it could be extreme in a different direction. Like a 3% ABV IPA-ish beer, or culinary-inspired brews.

Bison has released a very intriguing summer seasonal brew. It’s a Honey Basil Ale. My favorite part of the press release:

“Like my other specialty brews, this year’s Honey Basil Ale uses specialty ingredients judiciously – we don’t hit you over the head with the ingredients, but rather hint at it,” says Brewmaster Daniel Del Grande. “All our beers focus on drinkability and balance, so after finishing the bottle I leave you wanting another!  Some beers out there fatigue my palate; I like to enjoy a couple beers with food and friends.”

Sounds nice. I, too, enjoy a couple of beers from time to time. If I can get my hands on this one, I’ll have to let you all know how it fares against this enticing testimonial from the Brewmaster.

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