Beer isn’t a widget. Beer isn’t a sprocket or any other industrial product made by factories. Big beer companies, one, in particular, doesn’t get the distinction. They have until this point failed to understand craft beer because at the upper reaches of the company they think of beer as a product and may as well be making widgets for cars. That is why they are buying craft brewers: to take advantage of the loyalty and creativity of craft drinkers and craft brewers. If ABInbev was smart they would buy these regional breweries and leave them alone, but provide them with greater distribution. However, that isn’t what is going to happen. They are going to try to “fix” these brewers and make them more efficient and make their product more accessible to the everyday beer drinker. That is why this strategy will “fail” eventually. I may not think these acquisitions are some kind of death knell, however, I do not like them. I do not like them because they are assimilation that will eat at what makes craft beer special which is the individuality and creativity of each brewer. The culture of craft beer is as important as the beer. Primary in that is that it treats beer with respect and as the end unto itself letting the beer be what sells itself. That is why we in craft beer must be vigilant and must keep supporting our local brewers as much as we can.
Here is an article about some of the better rye beers on the market. Craft brewers are experimenting with rye more and more these days. They started doing that because rye provides and interesting taste as well as being an interesting brewing experiment. You don’t get that creativity in a company that looks for least common denominator beer tastes.
This will be quick and dirty. I woke up late and have beer things to write and Cicerone stuff to study.
As Colorado continues to debate grocery beer and wine sales and as Ontario enacts beer and wine sales, Alberta is beginning its debate. Alberta’s case is more similar to Colorado then Ontario because Ontario is transitioning from a state sponsored (and big beer owned) beer stores. Alberta is just thinking about allowing grocery stores to sell beer. As I have written about the Colorado debate, I have almost always lived in a state where you can buy beer in the grocery store, as well as craft focused bottle shops so I don’t really care one way or the other. I actually buy most of my beer from bottle shops and not from grocery stores.
What I disagree with in this article is the end. Just because you use a distributor doesn’t mean you can’t innovate. That is a false argument. There are many arguments you can make as to why you don’t want to go to a distributor. I agree with many of them. This is akin to distributors using the argument that they are there to protect the health of consumers. While somewhat true, it is like having someone urinate on your shoes and telling you it’s raining. If you don’t want to use a distributor that’s fine. Just don’t B.S. people in order to falsely strengthen your argument.
There is a lot of Denver and a lot of food in this version of the Five Articles. Also, some of me being annoyed that my fall plans were disrupted this year, by my friend’s falling in love and deciding to get married.
The Great American Beer Festival is expanding. This is great news for those who will be attending this year. Unfortunately, I won’t be one of those people. I have two friends who have selfishly decided to get married in October. So, I have two weddings to go to this year instead of a week in Denver (one of my favorite places) drinking beer (my favorite past time).
This is why people love Louisiana. Everything comes down to food and having a good time. Thinking of beer as part of food and as part of your meal is something more people should do. Beer and food pairings are fun to do. The primary way to do it is to find complimentary flavors. In this case the Maillard reaction is the basis of pairing. The Maillard reaction is what makes food brown when it is cooked. Darker beers usually work well with seared and pan fried meat.
Beer brunches are a growing thing. I love beer as much as the next guy, but drinking at 9 am even if it is a breakfast beer cocktail is a bit much for me. I drink enough from noon until I go to sleep that it never occurs to me to have a beer in the morning. I have enough trouble waking up that I don’t need alcohol to make it any harder. However, people love to drink during Saturday and Sunday brunch and drinking something like a breakfast stout makes as much sense as anything.