Monday, May 25, 2009

What Would Disney Do?

We are t-minus four days and counting until our family excursion to Walt Disney World begins, and it got me to thinking that the last time I was there (just under a decade ago) the craft beer options were few and far between (I particularly remember Dixie Blackened Voodoo being offered at a few establishments, but that's about it), and understandably so to an extent. It is after all a family vacation destination first and foremost and there are many more important things for the Disney folks to focus on ahead of craft beer.

As I understand it, craft beer availability on Disney property has not changed much in the past ten years, so it got me to thinking: if each Disney-owned resort on site (the Hilton, Swan, Dolphin, for instance, don't count) had one American brewery paired with it by offering their beers as a compliment to that resort's theme, which brewery might match up well with each resort? I came up with what I think is a pretty decent list, but was completely lacking in ideas for a few of the resorts as you'll see below.

Contemporary Resort - Something California based: Sierra Nevada, North Coast, Stone, Anchor, Bear Republic, etc.

Polynesian Resort - The obvious choice here (although the mainland beer is brewed in either Oregon or New Hampshire) would be Kona Brewing Company.

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa - Keep it local with Saint Somewhere or Cigar City Brewing.

Wilderness Lodge - Offerings from a brewery like Alaskan Brewing or Big Sky Brewing Company out of Montana would be spot on here.

Animal Kingdom Lodge - Sprecher Brewing Company. Why a Wisconsin based brewery for an African Safari themed hotel, you ask? Because they brew two African style beers: Mbege and Shakparo.

Yacht Club Resort - Keep the New England vibe rolling with Cisco Brewers.

Beach Club Resort - New England is represented here as well, but it's a bit more laid back at the Beach Club. I'd go with something like the Harpoon Brewery or Buzzards Bay Brewing.

BoardWalk Inn - The early 20th century mid-Atlantic resort theme calls for something like Flying Fish Brewing out of New Jersey or Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales from Delaware.

All-Star Sports Resort - The only all sports themed brewery I could come up with (and it's a pretty good one, at that) was Cooperstown Brewing Company.

Coronado Springs Resort - Santa Fe Brewing Company: A nice little Southwestern brewery to compliment the southwestern theme.

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa - Let the Saranac beers from the Matt Brewing Company take you back to upstate New York.

Old Key West Resort - Dunedin Brewing Company could work well here, along with the two previously mentioned Florida breweries I tabbed for the Grand Floridian above.

Port Orleans Resort French Quarter - If it's the French Quarter, then it's gotta be Dixie Brewing or the new-ish New Orleans Lager and Ale (NOLA) Brewing Company.

Port Orleans Resort Riverside - Louisiana's biggest brewery, Abita Brewing Company, belongs here for sure.

That leaves these resorts as the last ones standing, as I've got virtually nothing for them so far:

All-Star Music Resort
All-Star Movies Resort
Pop Century Resort
Caribbean Beach Resort

Caribbean Beach is tough because, well, it's theme reaches beyond the United States...although beers from St. John Brewers could work here, as they are brewed under agreement by Maine's Shipyard Brewing Company.

I'm truly lost on the other three, and can't even think of a starting point for them.

I think just about any business, particularly a small craft brewery, would jump at the chance for some exposure from Walt Disney World. Hopefully it is something that they might consider down the road as they run through their lists of minor detail improvements on property.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rain Dogs

New Jersey has really been on a tear the past twelve months or so bringing new craft breweries into the state for distribution. As mentioned here a month or so ago, one of the new breweries to descend upon the Garden State is the Laughing Dog Brewing Company from Ponderay, Idaho. I picked up their Alpha Dog Imperial IPA on a recent beer run and gave it a whirl the other night:

It pours into my favorite Dogfish pint glass (Hey, what can I say, glassware from Idaho is a bit hard to come by here in NJ...glassware from much closer Delaware, however, is not!) with a very nice looking glowing orange color and a big soapy, semi-creamy head that leaves a nice amount of residue on the glass.

Aroma is a nice balance of pine, biscuit/bread, some fruit and caramel. It's actually very nice, just perhaps a touch faint for the style. I was expecting something bigger and bolder, but at the same to have no real complaints about the relative tameness here.

The flavour expands upon the aroma in the sense that it has some of the boldness I anticipated there, but it still maintains a very nice balance. There's some wood in the mix here as well and maybe even a hint of smoke at the finish of each sip, which is where the hops really kick in after a few seconds. Caramel cuts through nicely to blend with any sweetness from the citrus notes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some slickness and chewiness as expected, and just the right amount of carbonation.

I tend to be hesitant of a lot of IIPA's just on the sheer non-balanced factor alone, but I liked this one and it really hits the mark as possibly the most drinkable IIPA I've ever tried. It's by no means a huge hop bomb but is certainly bigger than your run of the mill, standard IPA. Idaho should be proud.

Alpha Dog, Idaho, beer, Imperial IPA, Laughing Dog, New Jersey, Hopback

American Land

Anheuser-Busch has actually been doing some decent things lately with the newly refurbished Michelob Craft line (their Porter and DunkelWeisse are both very nice and the Irish Red and Pale Ale aren't half bad either), and although the Budweiser American Ale is not a part of the Michelob family, I figured I'd give it a second shot in hopes that it was more in line with the Michelob offerings and I just had an off bottle the first and only other time I've sampled it.

The pour looks decent enough with a lighter, slightly watery amber colored liquid topped by a quick to dissolve bubbly off-white head that leaves tiny spots of residue on the glass.

The aroma is very sweet. To the point that it's somewhat intrusive. Strike that, it's definitely intrusive and overpowers any other faint charateristics, which in this case are a hint touch of grassy hops and maybe a bit of earthy malt. Flavor gets a little better by building on the aromatic traits, but not by much. There's more of a toasted malt flavor here which is nice enough, and the sweetness is tames a bit and is balanced better, but it is still too overpowering.

By toning down the sweetness, jacking up the hop presence even just a touch, and taking the mouthfeel from watery to something with just a bit more heft, this could be a much nicer beer that still plays to the masses (which is the obvious attempt here) but can also appeal to the more hard core beer lover. Anheuser-Busch really crapped the bed here. This isn't awful but they just miss the mark in so many places. If it were me, I'd have modeled this one after beers like Fat Tire from New Belgium or Red Tail Ale from Mendocino. Neither one of those hits you with a ton of flavor, but they work nonetheless and a brand like the Fat Tire has achieved a ridiculous cult following by working simple flavor into a balanced beer. Sorry, A-B, but you need to go back to the drawing board with this one.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nine Dollar Schlitz

Nine Dollars. That's not the cost for a case, or a twelve pack, or even a really pricey six pack. Nope. That is what I paid for a single tallboy of Schlitz at the new Yankee Stadium this past weekend. The saddest part is that initial reports were that the tallboys being sold at the Stadium's Retro Beer stand (other available brands included Pabst Blue Ribbon, Ballantine, Schaefer and maybe one or two additional offerings) were of the 24 ounce variety. Well, they're not. These cans are only 16 ounces, so what you're getting here is a nine dollar pint. Of course I'm probably the biggest fool of all for actually paying the money for the beer (because if people are buying it then it's not overpriced), but the other options were just as ridiculous. Coors Light for ten dollars. Heineken for eleven dollars. Ouch.

And where are the craft beers? No where to be found, at least not in the "public" parts of the stadium. I did see a fan one section over from mine with what appeared to be a draft pour of Samuel Adams Boston Lager or a Brooklyn Lager or something similar, but he was in one of the fancy club/suite sections that are quarantined from the rest of us and require fans to sign away the rights to their first born child for access to said seats and amenities. If you've got a Retro Beer stand and a Beers of the World stand (although the worldly offerings that are Beck's, Stella Artois, Heineken, etc. are hardly enticing), than why not at least one craft stand with local offerings like Six Point Craft Ales, Brooklyn Brewery, Chelsea Brewing Company?

Although, at nine bucks a pop for a pint of Schlitz, we'd probably be looking at twelve to thirteen dollar (or more) pints of craft beer...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Kind of Blue

An 80th birthday party for my wife's grandfather recently brought me out to Long Island for the day, and I was hopeful yet not optimistic that there would be some sort of craft beer offering at the establishment that was being used for the party.

Once we finally arrived (Saturday afternoon traffic through Staten Island and Brooklyn = an awful drive), we settled into the back room of Johnny Malone's, a fairly unassuming bar/restaurant in Wantagh, NY. A quick scan of our room noted that we had our own private supply of wine and beer. Excellent. A more detailed scan noted that said beer being poured appeared to be of the watery, light yellow colored variety. Damn.

Not to fear. There's still the front bar that is open to the public. Time for another scan of the bottles and tap handles: Miller Lite? No thanks. Blue Moon? Pass. Samuel Adams Summer Ale? Maybe, but I can get that just about anywhere for the next four months...and then they caught my eye: two tap handles from Blue Point Brewing Company. Score. All is not lost. The bar was pouring both the Toasted Lager and Blueberry Ale, so let's see what each brought to the table:

The Toasted Lager poured a crisp copper color with a minimal sized head to it, and had a nice balanced aroma that had notes of caramel sweetness, toasted bread and some floral hops here and there as well. The flavor was pretty much in line with what I picked up in the aroma, although I'd say there was a bigger than expected toasted bread presence toward the end of each sip.

The Lager is Blue Point's flagship beer and they do a nice job with it. I hadn't sampled it in quite some time and have to say that I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. It's a no frills beer that actually reminds me a lot of the Samuel Adams Boston Lager, but with more of the previously mentioned toasted bread flavor to it that gives this one it's name.

Up next was the Blueberry Ale: it poured a watery copper color with a frothy white head and had a sweet blueberry smell to it that just pushed over the top enough into somewhat distracting territory. It's not ultra-offensive, but does get in the way a bit and certainly cuts into the general maltiness that is the only other aroma that is really present here. The flavor is similar, with blueberry dominating and taking just a bit too much away from the rest of the beer. There's a touch of caramel here, and like the Toasted Lager (but far more subtle) there are some bread notes at the end of each sip. Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery.

I can't say that I was terribly impressed with the Blueberry Ale. It was kind of like a watered down version of the Toasted Lager with too many blueberries added during the brewing process. It's not awful but not recommended. I'd like to see a bit more heft to the body and have the blueberry notes toned down a bit in both the aroma and flavor. The key to a solid fruit beer for me is keeping the fruit involvement simple and balanced, and that just didn't happen here. One pint of the Blueberry Ale was enough and then it was back to the Toasted Lager for the rest of the party for me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Help Free the Hops in Alabama

The campaign to Free the Hops in Alabama scored a major win yesterday afternoon when the state Senate passed the Gourmet Beer Bill, which would lift Alabama's current 6.0% ABV restriction on beer. Read more about it here, but currently in Alabama wine has an ABV cap of 24% and no container size restrictions and liquor can be up to 100% ABV and also has no container size restrictions, while beer ABV is capped at the aforementioned 6.0% and can be sold in containers no larger than 16 ounces. Absurd.

The final step to having the bill become official is to have the Governor sign it into law, and that is where you come into play. If you live in Alabama or have friends or family in Alabama, please send a brief message to the Governor's office via phone/fax/email letting him know that you support the bill with a quick explanation as to why. Here's the contact info for Governor Riley:

Switchboard: (334) 242-7100
Fax: (334) 353-0004
Email form:

Let's help to make all of the efforts of the Free the Hops campaign pay off!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

TTB Find of the Week: Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Choice 2009 - Pils vs. Ale

The TTB site comes through again this week, showing off the likely labels for the two beers fighting to be victorious in the 2009 version of the Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Choice competition, in which the winner goes into regular production for the company.

It looks like the Boston Beer Company is getting back to the basics this year with two simple beers: Sample A is a 5.2% ABV Pilsner "brewed with only Noble hops," and Sample B is a 5.8% ABV Ale "brewed with hops from three traditional growing regions."

Should be interesting to find out more about these beers as the year goes on, but here are the labels (extremely basic, as always for this competition) as they stand now:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Goodbye Portsmouth, Hello Star Island

It's about a month and a half old now, but do yourself a favor and check out the link here (and below) for a great post by Peter Egelston of the Smuttynose Brewing Company that goes into tremendous detail about the story behind the creation and ultimate demise of the Portsmouth Lager. Yes, it's a bit of a lengthy post, but is well worth the read, particularly if are from or have ever spent any time living in New England, as I did.

While for me the Portsmouth Lager typically got lost in the sea of lagers out there, I still picked it up on occasion and it will always hold a special place in my heart as it was introduced right around the time that I started becoming interested in craft beer while living in Boston. I'm sad to see it go, but ultimately respect and completely understand and agree with the reasons for it's departure as noted in Egelston's post.

Star Island Single, the beer that has been tapped to replace the Portsmouth Lager, has been on the market for a brief while now and I think it's quite tasty and a hell of a session beer, and in the end was a smart choice for replacing the Lager.

Enjoy: Why we've Retired Porstmouth Lager


Monday, May 11, 2009

Light My Fire

Tonight's selection is Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Company. The brewery's mainland bottles and kegs used to be brewed exclusively in Portland, Oregon by Widmer Brothers, but now through the Craft Brewers Alliance they are able to brew the Kona beers for the East Coast on the East Coast, via Redhook's Portsmouth, New Hampshire facility. I'm always a bit hesitant when it comes to contract or special agreement brews, at least until I find out a bit more about the setup. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised with what Kona has to say about the agreement, or at the very least the spinners in their marketing department did their job. From the Kona website:

Recipes and beer specifications are dictated by Kona Brewing Company's brewmaster, who oversees each of Kona Brewing Company's partner breweries as the beer is brewed and packaged. The beer brewed at Kona Brewing Company's partner breweries utilizes Kona's hops, malt and proprietary yeast. The water mineral levels at each brewery are adjusted to replicate the water used in Hawaii. A sample of each batch of beer is sent to the Kailua-Kona brewery for sensory evaluation. The brewmaster and quality assurance employees are in daily contact with mainland partner breweries.

Kona Brewing Company recognizes the importance of crafting its tasty ales and lagers close to their markets. By brewing the beer close to distribution markets, Kona Brewing Company ensures beer drinkers are receiving the freshest beer. This also enables Kona Brewing Company to minimize its carbon footprint, expending limited resources to deliver quality beer.

Now, onto the beer: it's got a copper color to it that's a bit light overall but nothing out of the ordinary for a Pale Ale. The aroma is a basic but somewhat beefy blend of caramel and bread, with slight hints of grassy hops mixed in.

The flavor takes it a step further by amping up the bread notes a bit, along with the grassy hops, but also incorporating some floral notes as well that bring a different dimension of sweetness and flavor by giving this one some perfume characteristics. Caramel is still here but dulled a bit in favor of the previously mentioned qualities. The finish is smooth with a nice biscuit vibe that still has that touch of sweetness to it.

I've sampled a few of the other Kona styles in the past and this one is far and away my favorite of the group that I have tried. Again, it is fairly simple but still packs a nice flavorful punch while being easy to drink at the same time. I can't say that the Fire Rock will wow you, but it's a solid beer all around.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cold Irons Bound

Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant has just announced that after five years at their West Chester, PA location, Head Brewer Chris LaPierre is heading to New Jersey to open the company's first Garden State location in Maple Shade, with Larry Horwitz taking over in West Chester. This will be the eighth Iron Hill location overall, with the others spread out over Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania.

Look for the Maple Shade location to open it's doors in mid-July. If you've never been to an Iron Hill, do yourself a favor and find time in your schedule to visit one. I've been to the Wilmington, DE and Media, PA locations on several occasions and cannot say enough good things about them. The beers are always spot on and the food is quite good as well. The staff is also well versed in the styles and selections on hand, which is a pleasant change of pace from the many bars and brewpubs that simply throw their bartenders into the fire without proper beer education. While I would certainly like to see a location open even closer to me still (I think a location in a place like Red Bank, NJ would do a ton of business), I am happy that my journey to pick up some growlers of Pig Iron Porter just got a little shorter.

Speaking of both Iron Hill and beer-to-go, it just recently dawned on me that New Jersey has some very outdated liquor laws that may throw a wrench into the Maple Shade location being able to sell their bottled products to go. I initially did not think they'd be able to even sell the bottles for consumption on site, but after an email exchange with Iron Hill Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edelson, he confirmed that they do not foresee an issue filling and selling 750mL bottles for sale on site (and I would have to agree as after I received his reply I did recall that the Tun Tavern in Atlantic City has sold their anniversary beer in 750mL bottles on site in the past), but the laws only allow for beer-to-go to be sold in refillable containers and they are still trying to understand if the 750mL bottles would classify as such. Personally (and unfortunately) I have a feeling that is going to be a battle that they will not likely win, at least in the short term.

Friday, May 8, 2009

No Sleep till Brooklyn

Garrett Oliver's Local 2 for the Brooklyn Brewery has been a long time coming, as I thoroughly enjoyed the Local 1 upon it's release a couple of years back. So, let's pop the cork and see what we've got:

It pours a deep brown color with a puffy off-white head that has a bit of creaminess to it. As it dissolves an almost soap-like residue is left on the glass.

Aromas come through as fruity with a bit of tartness. There's a bit of alcohol here, along with some honey and maybe a touch of floral notes, but darker fruit dominates.

The honey squeaks through much more in the flavor but still doesn't overcome the darker fruit notes. That said, the two provide a nice counter for each other and are also balanced by more of a general malt flavor than expected. It's earthy, with a bit of a toasted bread taste as well. The finish has a touch of what seemed to be brown sugar and left a bit of an alcohol taste lingering at the same time.

Not bad. I think my expectations were a bit high after the Local 1, and while I wouldn't put the Local 2 on that level, it is still a nice beer. I would absolutely drink this one again, but if you put it and the Local 1 in front of me and told me to pick, then I'd end up grabbing the Local 1 just about every time.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Torpedo Shortage?

Thanks to a demand that is approximately 400% higher than Sierra Nevada projected, there is a bit of a short supply of their Torpedo Extra IPA at the retail level right now.

Brewery Communications Coordinator Bill Manley took to the BeerAdvocate message boards on multiple occasions in the past few months to share the above information. He has also noted that the Citra hops that are used in production of the beer are in very limited supply right now, with under seven acres in total worldwide production in 2008. He continued that until the new hop harvest hits in October they have asked both distributors and retailers to order only what is necessary as they will only be able to accommodate about half of the Torpedo orders through then, meaning there may be times when the beer is simply out of stock at your local store.

While I can say that I haven't seen the Torpedo on the shelves as much around here as the other Sierra Nevada year round offerings, I have still seen it in pretty good supply. It seems that if one store does not have it then the one five minutes down the road likely will. To me that five minutes is well worth it if you're craving the Torpedo, because it really is a well crafted, tasty beer that has a juicy hop bite to it that is never over the top and makes for a nice middle ground between a standard and a double IPA.

In other Sierra news, look for their other new year round offering, the Kellerweis Hefeweizen, to hit the shelves starting early this summer. The brewery describes it as being brewed via open fermentation, a technique that adds "uncommon depth and flavor complexity" such as banana and clove. I've obviously not had the chance to sample this one yet, but my gut says that Sierra Nevada will knock it out of the park, as is the case with just about everything they brew.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

White Ladder

Beer selection of the night was made by my wife this evening and it was a pretty good one: Long Trail Belgian White.

The brewery introduced this one as their new summer seasonal in 2008 and I've had the opportunity to sample it on several occasions, as our local Long Trail distributor does a pretty good job getting their lineup both on the shelves and on tap here at the Jersey Shore.

The main focus with this beer is the sweetness. It's very sweet, but at the same time not too sweet. There's a fair amount of citrus (mostly lemon, with a touch of orange) pushing through both the flavor and aroma, and it mixes with a healthy dose of coriander. Wheat cuts through nicely to provide some balance in the flavour, but the aroma can be a touch perfume-y at times, and even bring out notes reminiscent of Trix cereal here and there. Don't get me wrong, it works, but I'd have toned the overall presence of the aroma down just a slight touch.

I enjoyed this one overall but it never turned the corner from good to great. At the same time, I think that Long Trail was aiming for a fairly simple but flavorful summer session beer, and that's pretty much what the Belgian White is.

It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery recently revealed that the new beer they have been touting as "Brand X" is actually a Finnish Sahti that will be known as, well, Sah'tea. This style is traditionally brewed using juniper berries in addition to or in place of hops, and often includes a healthy dose of rye as well. Dogfish Head's founder Sam Calagione incorporated both of these elements into the mostly traditional recipe, and took that tradition one step further by utilizing hot rocks to boil the wort. This excerpt from a New Yorker article on Dogfish Head written late last year explains Calagione's thought process in a bit more detail:

When sahti was first brewed, in the Middle Ages, Calagione told me, Finnish farmers used wooden kettles. The wood couldn’t be set directly on a fire, so the brewers heated up rocks and threw them into the mash, caramelizing the barley and giving it a smoky flavor. Calagione wanted to use the same method, but he wasn’t sure that he had the right material. “I told my maintenance guy to get rocks without a lot of quartz in them,” he said. “Otherwise, when they get hot, they’ll explode in your face.”

With tradition thrown into (or in this case, on top of) the fire, the brewery decided to incorporate their own twist to the style, as they typically do. This time their stamp on the beer was adding a bit of black chai tea at the end of the boil.

The Dogfish crew recorded the process of heating and moving the rocks and the resulting videos are linked below. The first clip shows Bryan Selders explaining the brewing process and the second shows the transportation of the rocks into the wort.

Gotta say that I'm really looking forward to trying this one out when it is released this summer. I've really enjoyed the few Sahti's I've been able to sample in the past and Sam and the Dogfish team always find a way to put their unique mark on traditional beer styles.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Get Local with Schlafly

While browsing through various brewery websites recently, I stumbled upon a documentary on the Schlafly Beer home page. The cool thing about the doc (which is embedded below) is that in it's brief eight minutes it talks about a lot of things, but not the beer. I liked the twist of finding out about the other side of the brewery, so to speak. Most would assume that although this was a graduate student project, it would still be an eight minute fluff piece used to market their beer. That simply isn't the case here, and after watching it you'll realize that's just not what the folks at Schlafly are about. Yes, as a business they are looking to brew (and sell) the best beer possible, but beyond the beer the essence of the business is in it's history, it's pride in being local, the fact that they are green, etc. and that is something that to me is quite admirable.

That said, something did catch my attention while viewing the doc, and it ties back into my note about their pride in being a local brewery. Said local roots and ties were noted a few times and brewery Vice President Dan Kopman even commented that "this should be a local brand and a local brewery, without aspirations for anything more." I found this to be a bit perplexing as we've been able to purchase a couple of Schlafly offerings (the Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and the Oak Aged Barleywine) here in New Jersey since late last year. So, was he blowing smoke or was there actual substance to Kopman's words? I emailed the brewery direct for some clarification and received a quick but detailed response back from Schlafly Design and Multimedia guru Troika Brodsky.

He reiterated that Schlafly is still very much a local brewery with distribution mostly in Missouri (90% of their ≈30,000 barrel capacity is promised to the roughly 300 mile radius outisde of Saint Louis, and most of that beer stays within 50 or so miles of Saint Louis), but limited distribution in other Midwest states. Plus, it was also emphasized that keeping it local means keeping it fresh. It's the approach they have decided to take and one in which they are not looking to stray from. I certainly can't argue with that.

So what about Schlafly showing up here in New Jersey, which is well beyond a 300 mile radius of Saint Louis?

"We are sending 56 cases of each of the two reserve beers each year to: MA, NY, NJ, MD/DC, VA, OR and WA to "friends." We have no intention to expand this program," Brodsky said.

Very cool, and I have to say that I was impressed with the response from the brewery, as when I visited Saint Louis about a year ago and had the chance to sample four or five different Schlafly offerings, not only did I enjoy the beer and note how fresh it seemed, but I got the impression from the locals that the brewery was indeed very much a part of the community and had strong ties to it. I'm glad to see that nothing has changed since then and doesn't seem like it will change anytime soon. Their outreach of supplying some of their special beers to friends in further reaching states ties right into that community-based direction, because while New England, the Pacific Northwest, etc. aren't exactly local to Saint Louis in the geographic sense, the sharing of small batches of beer within the craft world makes it very much local in the community sense.

I'm sad that I won't be able to pick up any Dry Hopped APA at my local store anytime soon, but am very happy with the reasons behind it.

Schlafly Beer - Documentary from Adrian B on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

TTB Find of the Week: Pollenator Returns!

For those who don't know, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's TTB Online site is a great resource to get a sneak peek at what American breweries have in the pipeline for both limited and wide release, as said site posts all submissions for both bottle and keg label review/approval.

Popping up recently was a label for the relaunch of Long Trail Brewing Co.'s long gone, oft-missed Pollenator. This time around the beer will be tagged as as their 20th Anniversary Brew and will be available in 22 oz bottles.

The Pollenator had it's last wide release about six or so years ago and, while it was always a fairly basic, non-revolutionary beer, it was easy as hell to drink and in it's heyday definitely had a grasp on the overall vibe of New England beer scene in the late '90's/early '00's. I'll certainly be picking some up for nostalgia's sake once it hits the shelves as it reminds me a lot of my time spent living in Boston.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I Am a Craft Brewer

Saw this video pop up on numerous craft beer websites and thought I'd throw it out there as well for anyone who hasn't yet seen it. It was put together by Stone Brewing Co. CEO Greg Koch for his keynote address at the Craft Brewers Conference that took place in Boston last week. It is, in a word, awesome.

Check it out:

I Am A Craft Brewer from I Am A Craft Brewer on Vimeo.