Monday, August 6, 2012

Disney's Food and Wine Fest

There are two things in this world I enjoy thoroughly. Beer is one, the other is Disney. So when we go to Disney during their Food and Wine fest I am a happy man, mostly because I love food too.

My gripe is although Disney does a solid job with Wine and a great job with the food, the beer just isn't good. The local beers are better, but nothing from Cigar City or Swamp Head Brewing. How can you even have a Florida booth and not have Cigar City, they are clearly the most prominent brewery in the state.

Another issue is where are the brewers dinners. These, in my opinion, would be a great way for Disney to showcase some smallish breweries who don't have the production to distribute everywhere. They could also just have Sam Adams do it again, and that would even be great. Jim Koch is a great guy to listen to talk about beer.

I also don't get how we can't have more American Craft Beer. I look at the list, and I do love that Sam Adams is fully represented, and the scant few other decent craft beers are nice. But there are some pretty glaring omissions. I get there are some breweries that just don't have the production to serve at a fest like this, but there are some that could, at least for a few weeks. Stone, New Belgium, Dogfish Head, and the list goes on from there. But Disney sticks with whatever beer AB/InBev tells them to, which brings me my next point. WHERE THE FUCK IS GOOSE ISLAND?! Why aren't they full integrated in the beer fest?! They are an InBev brewery and it seems like Disney is carrying lot's of InBev beers, but WHERE IS GOOSE ISLAND!

That will do for my rant for now. I will end this on one finally point. Disney, please stop pretending the beers you carry in the Belgium pavilion all. They make the best beer in the world, and you pick some of the worst beer made there.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Seasonal Beers, what?!

Dear Breweries of America, I have a modest proposal to make, let's get rid of the Seasonal Beer. Seasonal beers were once brewed for a reason, and these reasons no longer exist. Most of these "seasons" were set in Germany many many years ago. Well guess what, we don't live in Germany, and it's not many many years ago.

Two styles, that traditionally are brewed in season are Maibocks and Oktoberfests. First let's stop kidding ourselves, Oktoberfest isn't a style, Marzen is the style. The only reason we think of it as an Oktoberfest is because in 1553 Bavarian ruler Duke Albrect V forbid anyone from brewing in the Summer. The reason, because in the warm season ambient bacteria would infect the beers. See not an issue anymore, we can brew when ever we want, because we understand more about bacteria than they did in 1553 Germany. Of course none of this even mentions that in Germany now, only six breweries can brew Oktoberfestbiers. So when local breweries brew an Ale and slap an Octoberfest sticker on it, I can tell they really care about tradition and not money.

The second style that mentions a month is Maibock, yet another German beer. This one was brewed for those short German springs, which I am sure everyone in the world has. Really all this is, is a pale Bock. Since we have different springs everywhere there really is no reason to brew this just in May, but if you want make sure you take the more laborious way of making it, and don't half ass it for profits.

The third type of beer, not really a type of beer but more of a tradition, is brewing for seasons. Wheat or lighter beers for the summer, Heavy Stouts or Spiced beers for the winter, and so on. I also call for you to end this practice. Now I don't want you to just say hey, Russian Imperial Stouts for the summer, and Lighter beers in Winter, but let's stop with the rules. You can brew, and I ask you to, anything you want whenever. Something I always wonder, in Florida or Arizona, do they care about winter fashion at all. Why should it be if you live in warm weather year round, should you have to drink what people in the Northeast drink. Don't give me growing seasons either, we can grow any crop, basically year round. Why does 1/4 of the US determine what beers everyone in the country should drink? You don't see to much snow fall in San Francisco and LA, but no here you go, here is this delicious Winter Warmer with Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

This all being said, there is still tradition to be upheld, so if you want to brew a Maibock, or Marzen go ahead, but stop pretending you are the same as German brewers who brewed/brew these for a reason. Also brew it traditional, I know of several brewers that brew an Ale and call it an Octoberfest. You brew and package these beers this way to make money, and that's why I want you to end the marketing of seasonal beers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Best Craft Beers in New England?!

So Boston Magazine has a list of the Best Craft Beer in New England (See list here). The list as a whole isn't that bad, definitely some of my favorites on there, but there are a few issues I have with it.

1. They only sampled 33, and chose 15. 33, that's it? The sample size wouldn't even cover Massachusetts, does the writers at Boston Magazine even like to drink!? To add a bit to this, with each "style" having a runner up, all but three beers made the list.

2. They seem to have forgotten about Connecticut and Vermont (almost!) completely. No worries though, one of the Best Double IPAs in the area comes out of Connecticut (and Vermont will get it's own number trust me). I have to wonder if they even sampled anything from Connecticut.

3. Somehow #9 made the list, but nothing from Hill Farmstead or the Alchemist. I know, again, the excuse is going to be, well it's not easy to get. Of course the article doesn't mention anything about the beers being available, easily. So I have to assume they just didn't like Edward or Heady Topper

4. Why in the hell is number six on their list a Tripel/Quad category. Why not just put IPA and Stout together? The differences between the two beers are...well it's not close. Although they did pick the right brewery for this category as I think Pretty Things makes the best Quad and Tripel in this list.

5. Session Ale, I am sorry but this should have been Notch Session's category instead they win best Pilsner (they make a great Pilsner btw). Did they just go oh well Notch makes a good Pilsner, can't win Session too.

6. Where in the F is the Lager category?! Oh never mind, Light Lager and Amber Lager are the only types of Lager, don't mention the fact that Jack's Abby is making some great Lagers and get not even a mention.

I have a few issues with what they chose (The Stout category especially), but I am going to leave it at that. I know these list are personal preference, but I want to see some thought go into these.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Favorite Fenway Moment

This is clearly the greatest moment in Fenway History. It make people that aren't fans, give a glimpse that Sox fans aren't all doom and gloom. We kept watching because, although we got our hearts broken we kept believing. We are down 3 game to 0, against a team that broke our heart just a year ago, and against the greatest closer to ever play. The rest...well is history

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Life Sucks

Life is bullshit. No really, there is really only about .1% of the population that don't really believe that. You spent 18 years (or more) doing nothing at school, and learn nothing about real life. You learned how to write (not me), or add, or do some division, but that has nothing to do with real life. You know what they didn't teach you about, taxes. You know what else, bills. Or really any of the bullshit of life.

You go to school and think oh life is going to be great, look at this teacher they are happy, or look at this adult they are normal. First if an adult looks normal chances are they will kill you in your sleep and take your eyes as a prize. The only normal adults are the ones that look like they are nuts, because they are, and they know it. Stay far away from normal looking adults.

You go to school and learn Algebra, guess what they don't teach you. That the Government is going to blast your ass with taxes. They tell you in school about Federal Taxes...maybe, you know what they don't tell you about. Medicare or Social Security that right now you will pay into, but probably not see anything from either program. Where is this money going? Oh it's going to your parents because their parents did a ton of banging after World War II. Then you will go to work, and pay these taxes and for what, roads with potholes and more lies from politicians. Politicians aren't happy people either; their only pleasure is screwing everyone. Republican, Democrat, Independent, it doesn't matter they all hate you too.

You know what else they don't teach you in school, work sucks. I hated school, it was bullshit, and I was like I need a job. I got a job and let me tell you, I want school back. You interview about this job, and they tell you how great it is. You know what's great about 98% of jobs, the paycheck, and even they are usually depressing. Your boss is usually going to be either a prick or an idiot. Your coworkers will annoy the shit out of beyond anything you can imagine. Don't even get a job working with the public; these people are the worst ever.

So my advice to anyone who hasn't left school yet, don't, stay in school forever. Find a ton of money and never work a job. It's just a huge ass blast.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Craft Beer Mini-Rant

Goose Island and Red Hook, are they craft beer?

Most people will say no, because they are partly/wholly owned by InBev, but I say to those people, just stop. Being a craft beer fan isn't about fighting some holy war, it's about drinking well made, hand CRAFTED beer.

People have picked a nemisis in this fight, and it's Belgian conglomerete that dominates beer in the US and the World. Do I like Bud Light, Coors, or Miller, not really. Will I drink it if it's offered by someone, sure why not. Do I think that the people at these companies can make good or even great beer, of course! It is naive to believe that they can't, and as much as people may hate to hear it's also snobbish.

So why support subsidiaries of these huge companies but not their flagship products? One word, quality. Everyone (at least I hope), got into Craft beer not to fight a war, but to drink good beer. It seems as though some have lost their way, as people do when things get popular. Sam Adams has seen it from Beer snobs, they are to big to make good beer. Well folks be prepared because most of the brewers making great beer want to get bigger (this is not always the case, and it's not a bad thing if they don't want to get bigger). What's next, Dogfish is to big, Stone is to big, my favorite "local" beer is to big.

Why can't people just sit down and enjoy beer? Sure we should be teaching our friends and family that this beer, although more expesnive, is a much better product. Explain to them why we would travel 3-4 hours (sometimes longer) for beer, let them try why, actually. I wish we would see people getting back to why we all started drinking craft beer, the beer. Drop the attitude and just enjoy beer.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Beer Works

In Massachusetts we have a brewpub chain called Beer Works. The first was in Boston, where there's now two, and a few more scattered about the state. Beer snobs in this area seem to look their noses down at what Beer Works does, and this bothers me. They consistently have good craft beers on tap, most of which are made at the Brewery they are sold at (there are some rare exceptions). IPA's don't get much fresher than the taste of their Dye House IPA Cask I had tonight, and with IPA's we know freshness is important. Yet still, beer snobs have a problem with Beer Works. Why, my guess is because they don't take a ton of chances, not many of their beers are risky, which to me is fine. Sometimes I don't need 100 IBU's or Barrel Aged on Whiskey barrels salvaged from a fire in Kentucky. Sometime a good IPA or Porter is better than those, and just what I want. There are exceptions to them not taking risks though.

Tonight I got a chance to taste what happens when Beer Works brewers take a chance, and it was with their Grand Cru Rouge, an American Wild/Sour. This is a great sour beer, probably one of the best American made ones I have had (Sorry Beer Works, Belgium still wins here). Perfectly tart, with just the right amount of funk, also as most of their beers are, very drinkable. They made enough for 500 bottles (still not on sale) and 5 kegs, sent to each Beer Works. If you have time this weekend and enjoy Sours head to Beer Works, and see what happens when a "safe" brew pub takes chances.