If you’ve read these pages often, you’ll have heard the constant drum-beat of our contributors telling our local legislators to support pro-craft beer laws. I’ve prattled on incessantly about the need for Alabama to keep breaking down the obstacles to craft beer growth in the state (not to beat a dead horse, but if you haven’t written to your local rep about the Gourmet Bottle Bill, it will be on the House calendar tomorrow! Get on it!).
One of the key points in these screeds has always been the idea that freeing up the market for craft beer will create economic growth. Naysayers could argue that even the “freest” beer market simply wouldn’t have much of an impact on a local economy. Well, to those who say “nay”, I simply say this: Asheville, North Carolina.Read the rest of this entry »
*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 »
Man am I addicted to these collaboration brews. Whether they’re a mix of styles, mix of cultures, or just a friendly meeting of brewers to create something special, anytime I see a collaboration beer on the shelves it’s going right into my basket. I recently reviewed a beer from De Proef and Port Brewing that took all the great flavors of a West Coast IPA and mixed them in with a distinctly Belgian flare. Beerford and Slouch recently reviewed a White IPA collaboration from domestic brewers Deschutes and Boulevard that more or less created a style out of thin air, combining the contrasting flavors of a Witbier and an IPA. Sometimes odd, sometimes complementary, collaborations are a fantastic exercise in brewing that isn’t going away anytime soon. So, now that I’ve bored even myself with that introduction it’s time to check out another collaboration brew, this time around from Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head. Yes, I realize the only collaboration I’ve seen recently from Dogfish is mixing disappointment with regret, but I figure the good folks at Sierra can smack some sense into them. Time to dig into the Life and Limb Read the rest of this entry »
Happy Craft Beer Week! Last night, Herr Direktor and I hit up the 2nd Annual Columbus (Ohio) Beer Fest. At 210 beers, it’s a microcosm of its bigger cousins. And there were plenty of breweries notably missing, some because they don’t distribute to Ohio, others for no apparent reason (DFH WTF?).
The atmosphere was… very Ohio. It was in a small ballroom at the convention center. The music was terrible. It was a 4-1/2 hour long beer festival, yet the band took at least an hour long break in the middle–giving way to a crappy radio station. Also, the band sucked. It was like Smashing Pumpkins but with no talent. The food was overpriced and downright bad. And why was the ceiling covered in red and blue neon lights? I don’t know.
Anheuser Busch buys Goose Island. The nation’s ale factories post another year of record double-digit growth. With craft beer booming and no end in sight, Brother Barley noted its inexorable creep into the advertising medium. As art imitates life imitates drunk, our favorite beers are making their way into the national Zeitgeist.
So take a trip with me to a magical world of blurry beers clipped from unauthorized movie and TV stills, won’t you? See if your favorite brew makes a cameo appearance. Read the rest of this entry »
In mid-August, Doc, Magnus and I got on the horn for a Maltercation about beer news and the utility of BeerAdvocate, the biggest beer forum/rating website on the intertubes. We ran into a host of technical issues and the vast majority of our rambling, shambling discussion was lost to the ages. But while sifting through a backlog of audio files on the ol’ desktop, I found a surprise treat…roughly 30 minutes of audio from this “lost” Maltercation.
It’s nothing special…the discussion was fairly tame and we lost whatever narrative thread we had roughly 10 seconds after starting. The plan was to talk through BeerAdvocate’s Top 100 beers…which we quickly edited down to 20 once we realized how slowly we were progressing. The audio I salvaged is very truncated…it doesn’t even get us to the #5 beer. Normally, I would just chalk it up to bad luck and not bother posting the piece. But since this recording gives our readers one last chance to listen to Magnus’s melodious voice, I decided I had no choice but to post it. Read the rest of this entry »
Friends, Aleheads, countrymen, lend me your beers. I come to bury Sierra Nevada, not to praise them…
Founded in 1979, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is one of the most venerable and popular ale factories in America. Their highly respected flagship (the Pale Ale) practically defines the American Pale Ale style and is currently the second best selling craft beer in the US behind the ubiquitous Sam Adams Boston Lager. Churning out close to 700,000 barrels a year, Sierra Nevada is one of the biggest names in American craft brewing and their wares can be found in almost every bar and restaurant in the country. They’re a true success story in the industry and they have been praised widely by nearly every Alehead on Earth.
Warning - Do not consume when outside temp falls below 95 degrees
Woh there skippy, don’t let that picture of Coronas on the rocks deter you from reading on. I know, I know – Aleheads and Mexican piss-water generally don’t mix. To be honest though, what better typifies the dog days of Summer better than a bucket of suds? Maybe we’d all prefer a pail of pale ales, but when the sun’s beating down on your back and sweat’s dripping down your neck, sometimes even the stoutest of Aleheads will reach for something less than craft. Be it Corona, maybe something with a lemon in it, maybe even something – gasp – straight from the bottle. Whatever the case may be, it’s Summer time and the livin’s easy. Read the rest of this entry »
I like Sierra Nevada quite a bit. They’ve never really let me down before. The Aleheads have talked openly about their ubiquitous Pale Ale and how it’s one of the best, easy-to-find flagships on the market. It’s a great gateway to becoming a Hophead and you can find it in fast-casual restaurants, gas station coolers, and eternally in Doc’s fridge (seriously…his fridge produces Sierra Nevada Pale Ale instead of ice cubes). Their Bigfoot, Torpedo, Porter, Celebration, and Stout are also all excellent beers. Doc considers them his favorite California brewery, and he’s a man that knows a thing or two about suds.
So I was understandably excited when I saw a new Sierra offering sitting on the shelf of my local package store. I bought a sixer, chilled it appropriately for a Golden Bock style, poured it into a shaker glass, and then proceeded to drink in the disappointment. Read the rest of this entry »
1. Southwest: Ripped would like to challenge North Coast’s victory in the Southeastern bracket by pushing for the master brewers at Sierra Nevada. I think his case is compelling. Sierra is a “no question” brewery…as in “there’s no question I’m trying any new beer they produce.” Their barleywine (Bigfoot) is one of the best on the market and I think everyone at Aleheadesl thinks their Pale Ale is the best mass-produced, flagship beer of any brewery in the country. It’s the one beer you’ll probably find in all of our fridges any day of the week. North Coast got the edge (from me) because they’re just as consistent as Sierra but produce more exciting offerings. The big two are the Brother Thelonius and the Old Rasputin, but I would say their Old Stock, Old #38, and Pranqster are equally compelling. Sierra tends to do more traditional offerings…albeit very well. I don’t think I’m ready to knock North Coast out of the top spot just yet, but let’s just say I could be convinced. Read the rest of this entry »