The blog I recently wrote regarding the pros of canning beer has been entered into a contest for a trip to CANFEST in Reno, NV. Please click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/W3TY5R9 and vote for your dear friend BeerbyGarth to help my cause for a trip to the biggest little city in the world. Also, if so inclined, share with friends and family members to vote, as well. Thanks so much!!!
The fine folks over at http://www.CANFEST.com (https://www.facebook.com/CANFEST?ref=br_tf) are having their annual Beer Blogger Contest, and the subject matter is why cans are awesome. This works out perfectly, because the debate over cans vs bottles continues to go on for every new member entering the craft beer community. The age-old argument of better taste, more “draft-like” qualities, possible off flavors due to packaging, safety, and what have you continue to permeate not just the fans of craft beer, but find their way all the way up the ladder to brewers and owners, as well. I love a good debate as much as the next guy, so it’s time to throw my two cents in on the subject of CANS!
NOT THOSE CANS…that’s a different blog altogether.
There, that’s a little better. Slightly outdated, but you get the point.
Anytime you find yourself discussing the craft beer culture with other folks, it is very common for the debate of cans vs bottles to come into the conversation. Many times I have heard the aspiring beer snob declare “how much better beer tastes coming out of a bottle” or “how much closer a bottle is to draft over a can as far as flavor and body.” No matter what the defense of their newly found anti-can rant, all I hear is:
Let’s tackle some of the jabs the canned craft beer segment is regularly subjected to.
1. Bottles give you a closer experience to draft than cans
I’m pretty sure your tap lines are coming directly from a keg, which really shares an insanely huge amount of characteristics with the cans you are degrading. I rest my case.
2. Cans give the beer an aluminum/tinny taste
Most, if not all, beer cans contain an inner coating to eliminate any alteration of taste. I don’t know hard numbers, but I’d be shocked if there wasn’t a study out there involving some sort of blind taste test of beers in cans and bottles and how little people could actually discern a difference.
3. I’m trying to avoid the BPA that the can lining gives off
Studies have shown that the low levels of BPA contained in the can liners is safe, per the FDA. Besides, that BPA from the can lining is also on the bottle cap you just pried off with your judgmental self. Boom!
Now, to stray away from the jabs, and look more to the positive. Canned beer brings a plethora of pros to the debate.
Cans save more energy all around. They are easy to recycle. They do not break, lending themselves more to being able to recycle, as well as being easier to ship for distributors. In regards to distribution, cans are lighter and smaller, allowing increased volume/decreased weight per truck, which leads to less trucks/better mileage. No matter which way you slice it, Mother Earth wants you to use cans.
-SAVE THE BEER!!!
The biggest enemy of beer is sunlight/UV light, and we’ve all seen the pictures of how much light is deflected by the different colored glass bottles, clear<green<brown and so on and so forth. Guess what? Cans block it all. (imagine a dropped microphone here)
-PACK IN, PACK OUT
Cans are universally accepted. Most beaches are prohibiting bottles…cans are welcome and accounted for! A lot of outdoor entertainment venues are doing away with glass (and don’t you dare bring me a plastic bottle!), so bring on those cans! You can load a hiking backpack full of beer cans and not worry the slightest about them breaking during your trip, as well as them being lighter to carry in general.
I’ve already listed how cans help decrease shipping, well this in turn costs the breweries less money, and well all know that means less out of our pockets for these wonderful brews.
You can’t successfully cook a chicken with a bottle of beer shoved in it, but a can is just about damn perfect. Do I really need to keep going here????
It’s ironic, really, that people have turned against cans, which were truly the mainstream form of transit for all beer for decades. I’ve always wondered if the original craft beer supporters tried to distance themselves from canned beer to try to further distance themselves from the Big 3 beer makers, in some way thinking that bottles gave them an immediate step-up from the lowly swill-swiggers?
In 2002, Oskar Blues became the first microbrewery to exclusively can their products. At the time, this was unheard of. According to a recent article on Beerpulse.com, the number of canning craft brewers has doubled in the last 18 months, raising the total count past 500. The largest of craft brewers resembles this statistic, as the Boston Beer Co (Sam Adam’s) has recently begun canning, Sierra Nevada has been canning for some time, and more continue to follow suit. Canning has even reached new heights, with breweries like Cigar City and Oskar Blues introducing the Crowler, which is a 32 ounce growler (basically) in the shape of a giant can, and said can is seem sealed right there behind the bar, containing your preference of wonderful liquid awesome.
I mean, c’mon people, this is the renaissance of canned beer, and we should not leave anyone behind in this adventure!
Cans are the future. They make more sense, both in terms of logic and logistics. Ultimately, they impart no ill effects on the beer they contain, and impart less of an impact on this great ol’ planet of ours. Regardless, everyone is entitled to their opinions. What I ask of you, my loyal readers, is that you take each beer unbiased, and ultimately, enjoy it. And as always, drink educated my friends!
I recently officially reviewed my 2000th beer. This list is a bit skewed, as I didn’t “officially” begin reviewing until after living in Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, and Anchorage, AK. Seriously, all those “meccas” of craft beer, and I waited until moving to Ridgecrest, CA to begin officially logging my craft beer adventures. What a dumbass. Most people have these great, deep, philosophical answers to “What would you change if you could go back in time?” and my answer is to create a Beeradvocate.com account before moving to Portland. Oh well, on to the fantastic number 2k!
I made sure to make it a worthwhile brew, sitting on this wonderful beer for a while after moving from New Hampshire. Now, I bring to you, Firestone Walker Parabola, vintage 2013.
The beer is jet black, with a light halo of off-white head. Pours very thick and smooth. Aromas are spilling out of this snifter from a good distance; this is a beast. Very rich molasses, vanilla, bourbon, woody notes, chocolate, and toffee notes provide huge layers on your sense of smell. Throughout the layers, you pick up hints of licorice, cream, cherry, tobacco, smoke and char. This smells great. Flavors are very rich, with a blast of char, bitter and roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, and heavy booze notes. This is a blast on your palate. The more you drink, more flavor profiles reveal themselves, including tobacco, peat, earthy notes, and smoke. This is heavy. The body is robust, smooth, and full, like old motor oil, which is the perfect body to support this cavalcade of flavors. Rich, thickly sweet aftertaste of coffee, chocolate, and molasses, this remains heavy from start to finish. The finish is thick, smooth, and lingering. This beer keeps you on the ropes from the moment you open the bottle, and I personally loved every second of it. This beer is an annual release…FIND IT! Once in your possession, feel free to delve into the rapture that is this brew immediately, or, for those of stronger ilk, cellar it, because I can only imagine this beast grows more smooth and lethal as it ages!
Milestones are fun, as long as you can make them fun. It’s all about perspective. Big beers like this, which some people refer to as “whales”, are actually fairly attainable, in comparison to other limited releases that require traveling to a specific brewery, going to a festival, etc. That being said, it doesn’t always have to be rare to be a good beer, but sometimes, especially in this case, a rare beer is the absolute tits it’s been built up to be. Regardless, the best beer out there is the one in your hands. With that said, remember to drink educated, my friends!
Well, this day was bound to happen. My favorite pastime while in my car is listening to talk radio, specifically Opie and Anthony (I do love Ron & Fez, too). I’ve been a loyal listener to the show for at least 9 years, and many days of driving to and from people’s homes during the work day that show has been what’s gotten me through. I knew, in my heart of hearts, that eventually craft beer would come within the crosshairs of their attention. There have been mentions from time to time, but the topic rarely warrants more than passing conversation. Erock dropping some fruity beers at Opie’s beach house, local NYC brewpubs providing food during the show, etc. Today, somehow the show transitioned from Nancy Grace and the legalization of weed to craft beer, and I cringed as I listened to every comedic blow dealt.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this show. I will continue to love this show. If this particular post does nothing more than open a few more sets of ears to the show then I would be ecstatic. That being said, I wanted to jump into the ring to defend craft beer. Ultimately, nobody even remotely associated with the show is likely to ever set eyes upon this blog, and that’s fine. Even if they did, at this point Opie would be doing a Sudoku puzzle, Jimmy and Anthony would be gawking at some young intern walking down the hallway, and Sam would be trying to figure out which host would be easiest to knock off and replace. Without further ado, here is the clip from the broadcast this morning. I’ll punch out timed bullet points for all the egregious errors and stereotypes thrown about. Start around 16:50, and if you’re at work wear some headphones because the language gets a little fucking salty at times.
For anyone not familiar with the show, there are a ton of ongoing bits and inside jokes that are really frigging funny throughout any given episode, and it really is worth checking out. A week or so into it and you can pretty much be up to speed on most running threads.
17:06 Jim Norton: “Blue Moon’s a beer?”
As happy as I am that there are people out there that have no knowledge of this shit product existing, that simple statement takes any validity away from Jim in a beer conversation. This fact is fine given Jim’s ongoing sobriety, which is a monumental feat, and something anyone should be proud of. Pride and accomplishment aside, your opinions on beer now mean as much as the shit you pay trannies to leave on your chest.
17:25 Opie talks about Club Soda Kenny stopping drinking because “kid’s don’t understand hangovers.”
This is a very true statement, but what’s great is the fact that adults do have the ability to understand restraint and responsibility. The average craft beer drinker consumes 2-4 beers in a sitting at max. Your shit swillers may be a different story, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before I try to defend any of those sheep.
There is a topic here of hangovers and binge drinking for a few minutes which I think we can all relate to in some form or another. Almost every fan of craft beer got their starts with the big 3, or one of their off-shoot brands, and likely have many similar stories. The misguided keeping of a streak by The Opster is pretty goddamned funny. They also go off the highway a bit with some college nostalgia here. The “off the highway” phenomenon is pretty common on O&A, and leads to some great radio. Don’t worry, it comes back to beer very shortly.
22:25 A listener calls in to rant about the shit that is Blue Moon. Listener’s who call in are three types of people: 1)Brave, because if they have listened to the show more than once they should know that no matter how well spoken and eloquent their point they are probably going to be shit all over for some minute detail; 2) oblivious and crazy, thinking that the hosts are constantly talking directly to them through their receivers; or 3) assholes.
Anthony says “Any beer you mention that you like, someone will say what a shitty piss it is, and then recommend a beer they like. Fuck you!”
He’s not wrong, and I wouldn’t argue that statement a bit. One of the biggest detriments to the craft beer community is verbal and behavioral cannibalism. Go on any beer community website and it won’t take more than two clicks and a couple scroll scroll scrolls to find some fucking troll ripping someone apart because of the beer they happen to like.
23:00 Caller begins singing the praises of Sixpoint brewery.
As he should, because Sixpoint continues to make fantastic beers! Also, Sixpoint is one of the many breweries and beer related organizations that make it a point to give back to communities and charities through events and fundraisers, such as the annual Beer for Beasts event.
23:06 “…oldest frat boy in the world Opie…”
Great line, sir. Seriously…great line.
23:55 This is where the caller loses some steam. Resin by Sixpoint is a fantastic beer. It’s one of my favorite DIPAs. That being said, when you are talking to people who mainly consume watered down raccoon jizz, you need to offer more “bridge” friendly options, not a beast of flavor weighing in at 9.2% ABV. Sixpoint makes some great tasting, light, sessionable beers like Apollo, Incredibly Mild Ale, Little Buzz, and so on. You can’t throw these stalwart motherfuckers into the deep end right off the bat; you have to lure them into the waters slowly and gently. These children of the 80s are fragile.
27:55 Anthony: “This guy’s a bore at a party, criticizing everyone’s beer…”
Again, I can’t argue. As bad as the infighting in the craft beer community is on message boards and forums, there are way too many that love to jump down someone’s throat at social gatherings, completely unsolicited or initiated.
29:00 Jim makes a joke about “steering wheel” flavored beer in regards to wrecking a car when drunk.
Funny, but eerily similar to the stereotyping and gross generalization one cow-whore Nancy Grace was getting ripped apart for making a mere 20 minutes prior on this same broadcast. I get it’s a comedy show and I get you need to make jokes and keep it moving, but right now I’m just being a nit-picking bitch, and that was definitely a noticeable parallel, so there. Pbbbtt! Just because you drink beer doesn’t automatically mean you drive drunk. I would love to see the stats on DUI and motor vehicle accidents where alcohol was involved and get a breakdown of how many were related to craft beer. I’d be willing to bet it’s minimal.
29:30 Anthony: “You’re a wannabe kind of rich guy, but you’re a snob, hipster snob…”
All over the map here, but again, a gross generalization. Most craft beer drinkers are not trying to look the part of well to do; instead, most craft beer drinkers are trying to conserve money, while at the same time getting more quality for the dollars they are spending. Buying local has become a huge movement, and you truly cannot get more local than the beers being brewed in your city, or even your state, by companies that are owned by locals and make jobs for locals. The snob comment is a tough defense, as I’ve previously admitted. They are out there, but they aren’t all of us. And hipster, absolutely not. Hipsters drink PBR…just ask Pepper Hicks, that alcoholic centaur fuck.
30:20 listener “DoggyDaddy” from Rome, NY joins the conversation, and brings an underwhelming mass of garbage and mess with him.
Of course, as most follow-up callers are wont to do, he starts by saying the initial caller is full of shit. Great gag. Then, he states Sixpoint is made in Utica, NY and not Brooklyn. Sorry dipshit, Sixpoint is in Brooklyn. Saranac is made in Utica by the Matt Brewing Company. Saranac was the beer you were looking for, you should-have-been-abortion. If you are going to come in with a full head of steam talking shit, at least do a little fact-checking first.
Now you have two listeners talking to each other without listening, which leads to answering questions that aren’t being asked and both of them sounding like drunk-ass dipshits. #nothelping
32:40 Anthony: “…every fucking time I take a picture during the summer…someone catches the Bud Light…”
Again, the snobs and trolls coming out of the woodwork to attack the uninitiated or uncaring is not helping anybody. Some people just don’t care, and that’s always going to be there. It’s unfortunate, but it’s reality. It is ironic that these guys don’t care, though. These guys, who worked their way through terrestrial radio to get to satellite radio, a service that people have to pay for rather than free FM. I mean, by their logic of drinking what’s cheap, light, and mass consumable, shouldn’t we all, then, be listening to what’s free, light, and mass consumable? Saving that SiriusXM subscription money for other worthwhile ventures. Ultimately, it doesn’t affect them…they signed their contracts, so no matter who tunes in and who doesn’t they are getting paid, but it does make for an interesting analogy.
37:37 They bring in Erock, one of the producers, who admits to being a fan of craft beer.
Hooray, a man on the inside! This is the best bet for turning anyone on the show. Sam is a waste, because that overgrown child is emulating CM Punk in the straight-edge category, all while blasting his eardrums with pop-music horse shit and snacking on chicken fingers and other toddler foods. I don’t hear Travis weighing in on any of this, but the man has good taste in music and sports, so there’s always a chance there, too.
38:08 Anthony laments about wanting to drink all day, which obviously limits him to the Bud Light realm, right?
Not true, sir! The craft beer movement is ever-changing, and one of the more popular styles, or genres if you will, coming out now is Session beers. Session beers are generally 4-5% ABV (depending on who you ask) or below, so you can drink a shit ton of them and still pass the day pool side, beside your velociraptor statue and pre-teen co-eds.
I can’t say enough how much I love this show. Ask my wife, because I am constantly talking about it. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t have gone to this much trouble to comb the hell out of a single episode. When you really boil it down, Jimmy is a non-factor because he is dry and I can only hope he remains that way. His comic genius needs to stay sharp and firing on all cylinders. Anthony just doesn’t give a shit, whether it be due to laziness, cheapness, or that ingrained whiskey-tango gene that drives him towards quantity over quality. Get on the topic of guns and that quantity over quality mantra would change quickly for our follicle-transplanted friend, but in all fairness a craft beer is not going to stop most home invasions, so that argument is fairly weak. Although, Anthony does like Guinness, which is a gateway beer for many a people, so all hope may not be lost. Opie is the best chance in this bunch. He already has been dabbling in the shallow end of craft beer, and with a little push from Erock and a lot of hooks in the water, we might be able to lure that motherhucker over to our side.
The whole point of this spiel was to show how much nonsense was being spread about craft beer, despite the craft beer community’s best efforts to mass-educate in any way, shape, or form. As I said before, I highly doubt anyone from this show or network will ever even catch the slightest wind of this blog. If they do, I apologize to everyone I actually know who reads this blog, because I’m sure the pests of the O&A show will descend upon this blog, my facebook account, and every other online aspect of me out there, with a barrage of pictures of big dicks, Denny, and Scott & Todd references. If it does get ignored, as I expect, just take this as a token that no mountain is too big to attempt to tackle. As always, drink educated my friends!
Time to dust off the ol’ keyboard and jump back into these things. To my devoted readers (basically, my wife) I apologize for being dormant for so long. If you didn’t notice the absence, then feel free to disregard said apology…I give them out so infrequently that they do become quite valuable.
I was recently out at a “Taphouse” that shall remain nameless, because I am not in the business of forcing my judgment on others, but something at this establishment really annoyed me. Actually, there were a lot of things that really annoyed me (“The empty kegs aren’t changed out frequently at night because our bartenders are mostly female and they don’t want to lug them around out back.” Honestly, this was an explanation I got), but only one is the focus here. The ever popular “Beer Club.”
Now, don’t get your favorite, maladjusted quaffer wrong. I am a huge fan of beer clubs. I mean, I have a hard time staying away most times. The wife and I completed the “Pub Club” requirements at The Pike Brewing Company in Seattle, WA in what we were told was a record 2 months, earning ourselves some really great swag, which included 2 English style growlers with our choice of etchings to personalize, a free first fill on said growlers with the beer of our choice, 2 t-shirts, and a discount card to the brewpub, good for a year. I also completed the “Around the Block” club at the Grill Next Door in Lowell, MA. Here, you earn a burn-etched wooden plaque, a t-shirt, a mug, and your name on a plaque at the bar. Both of these were a lot of fun to complete. You got to know a lot of great people at each establishment, all of whom were truly excited about beer and the improvement in the general public’s knowledge of GOOD beer. They both had something else in common, as well…sign-up for both was FREE.
So, at said “Taphouse,” I see a sign for their beer club, and being the inquisitive little future cirrhosis patient that I am, I inquire. I was informed that you have your name placed on a plaque when you drink all 80 unique taps (she thinks, because they don’t have the plaque yet, nor do they have any members of this club I suspect), a t-shirt and a mug, and maybe a discount? I don’t know why she asked me the last part, I was unaware of any details at this point. She was certain that you get the t-shirt and mug immediately when you sign up, though. Other than a general lack of knowledge regarding a promotion being completed at her place of employment, I thought her description sounded about right. Then, she informed me, it was easy to sign up, they just needed my name, address, phone number, and $10. Go fuck yourselves. Seriously, go right ahead.
I know, I know, it seems WAY over reactive, but before you defend this clueless waif or her place of employment, let me break this down for you. The “Taphouse” serves craft beer, but not exclusively because it is in such a beer-shithole that it has to keep the big boys on tap in order to pay the bills. Regardless, of the 80 craft taps required to complete said club, the cheapest ones are $5 a pint. Some range up to as high as $9-10 a serving, with higher ABV beers being served in 10-12 ounce chalices, tulips, etc. (They don’t even determine that properly, either…I could rip the shit out of this place on a dozen different things without breaking a sweat, really). So, for argument’s sake, let’s make the math easy and say all 80 beers are $5 a piece, putting completion of the challenge at a nice and easy $400 (not including taxes and tips). Are you telling me that the $400+ you make off of the completion of a single member of this club isn’t enough to swing a t-shirt and a mug, which maybe set you back a couple of bucks when ordered in bulk? And I understand fully that nobody ever orders food when tipping back some heavy brews, so there is bound to be no food income from any of these members, either, right? Yeah, charge that $10 up front…keep that revenue cranking! Dick.
At this point, you may no longer think I was over reacting with the initial “fuck yourselves,” but now might be saying “Well, it makes sense to charge $10 up front since you are getting the mug and t-shirt right away. I mean, what’s to keep someone from signing up to get this wonderful swag and then never complete the list?” A valid point, I would say. A very valid point, and, bear with me now, because the solution to this is a little tough to follow: give the t-shirt and mug at the halfway point. HOLY SHIT! I know, I know, mind-blowing. No, I never got a degree in business OR marketing…came up with that one el solo. From experience, all the Pike swag came at the end, and the Grill Next Door worked on a 3 tier system, where the first “trip around the block” was 36 beers, and after the first round you get a t-shirt; second trip is the mug; third trip is the plaque and a presentation evening at the bar. See, very easy ways to lure the wonderful beer drinking crowd into your establishment and your club, all while promoting your business with the rewards of “free” swag and nurturing your customers to want to complete this epic quest.
Beer clubs are great, and they do help develop camaraderie amongst your customers, as well as spread the good word that is beer. However, asking for upfront money on an endeavor that is going to ultimately cost your customers upwards of $400 is just a dick move. This particular place definitely has bigger issues to iron out, but this one just happened to rub me the wrong way during that particular visit. It’s an easy fix; and, hopefully I was able to paint a picture of how much fun it was to participate in the other two clubs. I don’t ever want to force ideas on to people, but if you are looking into a beer club at your local watering hole and there is an upfront fee, don’t feel obligated. Just because you have a date to the prom doesn’t mean you’re getting laid. Drink educated my friends!
In all honesty, I’m glad the driver is alright. Past that fact, push that shit hauler over the edge. It’s Darwinism…that beer was meant to perish. Also, oddly enough, the waterways around the Boston-metro are dirty as hell, so it wouldn’t really do any noticeable damage!
The full story can be found below:
Yeah, this is happening…
I’m not going to bombard you with a litany of Chuck Norris jokes, no matter how hilarious. Just assume automatically that they are all implied, in their entirety, and this allows you the freedom to insert your own favorites here and there. Look, now we’re interactive. How progressive!
I love spicy anything…to the point of self-harm. When we lived in Portland (West Coast) we made a trip to a restaurant named Salvador Molly’s for the sole purpose of eating their Habanero Fritters because we saw them on Man Vs Food. Two bites and my goddamn eyebrows were sweating, but they were delicious! Point being, any kind of spice intrigues me greatly. That being said, as I have gotten older, I have also come to appreciate the ability to balance said heat, rather than having ball melting inferno-ness completely on its own. I see spicy beer, I am very interested.
Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer pours a beautiful, rich, dark brown to black coloring that is just about opaque. A tall, frothy, dense, creamy, chocolate-brown colored head sits atop at about an inch and a half, and slowly settles into a firm, filmy surface coating that clings to everything it touches. Aromas of rich, creamy chocolate in the backbone, with a subtle, overlaying highlight of smoky and slightly spicy chipotle peppers. Smells pretty damn good, and well-balanced, too. Something many spiced beers fall short of accomplishing, especially when heat-centric spices are involved. Flavors of coffee and cream first, with a charred and spicy pepper profile following immediately. The pepper characteristics build rapidly as you drink, with a slowly cumulative heat. Oaky and earthy undertones throughout, which help give some layering to the brew. Spiced and peppery aftertaste, with a bittersweet chocolate backbone to it. Mid-bodied and fairly dry throughout, with a spicy, semisweet, thin finish that has a spicy linger to it. More so the more you drink. This brew is definitely geared towards those heat inclined in regards to their palates, but is not so overbearing that it can’t be enjoyed by just about anyone. Also, it was made for pairing with the spicy Mexican fare, in particular dishes made with the beauty that is the chipotle pepper.
So, maybe next Cinco de Mayo you quit being the typical gringo douche that loads up on Corona and picks up something with a little more substance and bite. I mean, technically, it’s not from Mexico, but let’s not get too picky, eh? If spice isn’t your thing, maybe don’t try this one, but hopefully this helps some folks realize that other interests and tastes (literally) can be found in the world of beer. Fruit, hot peppers, wood, wine, etc…all characteristics that can be found in the craft beer world. So get out there and fly your taste flag proudly…and as always, drink educated my friends!