2008-02-08 News Roundup

Posted on 02.08.08 7:56PM under Canned Beer, News

Here are three stories from the week (and weeks past) that I want to highlight here today. First, Anheuser-Busch might be losing their grip on the distribution network. Then a look at different homebrewing software options. Finally, I won’t let it go, but you can look for yourself.

A-B Distributor Jailbreak
The only thing about this I don’t like is that I couldn’t come up with that name for this scenario if I tried. Great job, Miller! The Brew Blog, often a subject of ridicule by me, comes up with some good stuff again this week. Read the link for the whole story, but the short version is that A-B is losing their tied distribution houses. I can’t see how it should be OK for a brewery to be the only supplier for a distributor – how does that uphold the three-tier system? Or if it is OK for a distributor to carry all Bud, then why can’t small brewers in many states distribute their own beer? In the end, it’s nice to see distributors valuing variety – it is another step in the right direction for those that love a variety of beer options in their life.

Beer Hackers
First of all, The Brew Site likes the software that I use. So that’s cool. But he also does a great evaluation of web-based options out there. He has strict criteria that any of us could live with, and astute analysis of the options. Easily skimmed, but also worth a full read. On top of it all, this guy knows what he’s talking about – he’s a web programmer for a living! I say we should all encourage him to make the perfect software he’s talking about. With the features he’s talking about, I just might ditch BeerSmith for it.

A Can-Do Attitude
Lew Bryson posted this just mere days before I was able to get on record regarding my newfound adoration for canned craft beer. I guess if Lew’s saying it too, I can’t be too far off. Sorry this one is a little late, but better late than never. The point is that canned beer is cool. Another point, which the comment dialogue gets into a bit more, is that advertising is cool, too. You don’t have to have a wet T-shirt “tastes great” vs. “less filling” girl fight for it to be an ad. The fact is that an advertising blitz took Oskar Blues from small brewpub to big micro distributing 90% of their beer off premise in cans. In like five years (or less). It demonstrates the power of effective advertising, and I think a lot of brewers could stand to gain by advertising more heavily.

In other news
I have used “pruney” to describe the smell and taste of some of the winter beers I have tasted in the past. I admit that I used this based on an assumption of what prunes tasted and smelled like. I was wrong. I just sampled a small amount of prune juice, and it was not quite what I was imagining when I used the adjective. I think I felt like prunes were more like big grainy raisins. But this prune juice smelled and tasted spiced – like with cinnamon or something, but not quite cinnamon. It was not the most pleasant taste, and I wouldn’t put prune juice in beer, except perhaps as a cruel joke against some imaginary enemy. So from now on, if I say a beer smells, looks, or tastes pruney, it’s not a compliment.

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