*For our tens of fans that find it entertaining to hear Slouch drunk on the podcast, this episode is basically your “Sergeant Pepper’s”. He starts out half in the bag and it doesn’t get better as he consumes a growler of Founder’s Double Trouble. For those that don’t find it entertaining… well… sorry. I’d just go ahead and skip this one. Read the rest of this entry »
I run into some craft brewers who say, ‘We don’t get respect from the local press.’ And, well, could that be because you’re dressed like a small child? And you’ve been trying to disabuse people of the idea that you’re little kids playing with fun toys?
-Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery
The Aleheads have been discussing Garrett Oliver a bit since his recent publicity tour in support of the Oxford Companion to Beer. First of all, kudos to Oliver for completing this comprehensive tome that will likely serve as THE de facto reference guide for those interested in the fermented arts. For those that don’t know the man, besides being the brewmaster at the widely-respected Brooklyn Brewery, he has also become one of the faces of the craft beer revolution in the US. The nattily dressed, eloquent, and outspoken Oliver is a wonderful spokesman for beer and has often been called (by himself and others) one of the “world’s foremost beer experts”. Read the rest of this entry »
With the explosion of the craft beer movement in recent years, brewers have gone to increasingly greater lengths to differentiate their offerings. This has resulted in some great, or at least interesting, innovations (e.g. new styles such as the CDA), and some that have perhaps not been as successful (Cave Creek Chili Beer?). Ramping up styles to Imperial levels has become a common practice, and of course has seemed to work better for some styles (IPAs, Stouts) than for others (Pilsners, Cream Ales). Adding non-traditional ingredients (i.e. other than water, barley, hops, yeast) has become another fairly common way to create unique beers. The problem, from my perspective, is that tossing random stuff into the fermenter may make a beer unique, but it often doesn’t make it good. You may sell a pint to a customer because they want to see if there’s any possible way you could have made Beaver Tail Ale (with real beaver tails!) remotely drinkable, but you’re probably not going to sell two. Read the rest of this entry »
Mocking overly pretentious beer websites, reviewers, and personalities.
Blogging and/ or conducting interviews whilst possibly ever-so-slightly intoxicated.
Boston’s North Shore, Essex County more specifically, and Salem Beer Works yet still more specifically.
A nice MLT. A mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky. We love that.
So imagine our delight stumbling across this frank interview with Salem Beer Works brewer Nate Heck, which seems to combine everything we love in life, except perhaps the MLT: Read the rest of this entry »
Since the Aleheads began LiveChatting episodes of Brew Masters, the Discovery Channel’s ill-conceived reality series “starring” Sam Calagione, we’ve been thoroughly and unabashedly slamming the Dogfish Head brewery. There are plenty of reasons for this. First, we’re assholes. That just goes without saying. Second, when you sign up for a reality series, you’re basically signing away your dignity and any hope of obtaining or maintaining the public’s respect. Third, Brew Masters is the first show about the craft brewing industry in the US…and frankly, it makes that industry look bad.
But there’s another, more specific reason we’ve been skewering Sam and his troops at Dogfish Head…at least as they’ve been represented in the show. They seem to brew every pipe dream that comes into Sam’s head with no testing or quality control…and that strategy just strikes all of us as being, well…pretty fucked up. Read the rest of this entry »
For reasons beyond my feeble intellectual capacity to understand, we seem to only be successfully posting LiveChats for everyother episode of BrewMasters. While we did conduct a LiveChat for Episode 2, Magnus was slated to be the editor for that one and with his departure, we simply haven’t tackled it yet. As for Episode 4…it premiered while most of us were in New York for Magnus’s memorial service. So essentially we missed a show about one of the worst people on Earth while we were celebrating the life of one of the best.
We decided it would dishonor our friend’s memory not to continue traditions that he loved so dearly. And there were few things he enjoyed more in the past few months than mocking that douchiest of douchebags…Mr. Sam Calagione.* Read the rest of this entry »
If we here at the Aleheads have said it once, we’ve said it a million times. We are, of course, champions of the craft brewing movement. And anything that shines the spotlight on the industry is OK by us. But can a television show about a small brewery really maintain dramatic tension and interest for an entire hour? Last week, after the pilot episode of the Discovery Channel’s Brew Masters, we had our answer. No. It really, really can’t.
Did that stop the Discovery Channel from making a full season of fake drama and the travels of Sam Calagione to faraway places? Of course not. After the success of last week’s Episode 1 liveblog, some of the Aleheads decided to run it back with Episode 3 of Brew Masters.* Brother Barley, Dr. Ripped, the Commander and the Professor joined me, Sir Magnus Skullsplitter, as we finally had a chance to see if Sam could win a beer competition. In New Zealand. With a beer brewed from, as near as we could tell, Tomacco. We’ve posted our transcript after the jump for your viewing pleasure.
*Due to scheduling conflicts, Episode 2 will be recapped and posted later in the week. Got a problem with that? It’s a free blog written by a bunch of jackasses about beer. Get over it. It’s not like Brew Masters has any sort of continuity issues. In fact, that’s one of the few types of issues it DOESN’T have.
Reality TV has tackled Dog Grooming, Ice Road Trucking, and Real Housewifing. If a profession can be video-taped, it’s fair game these days. So it was only a matter of time before some dimwitted TV exec said “Hey! You know what would be endlessly fascinating?!?! A show about craft brewing!!!”
Now, we here at Aleheads are, of course, champions of the craft brewing movement. And anything that shines the spotlight on the industry is OK by me. But can a television show about a small brewery really maintain dramatic tension and interest for an entire hour? After the pilot episode of the Discovery Channel’s Brew Masters, we have our answer.*