Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Randumb Thoughts on the Beer World Today

I've been doing a lot of sitting back and watching the whole local/national craft beer phenomenon unfold lately. Here's a few thoughts:

Alcoholic sodas are a bigger threat to shelf space than 18-packs of Bud Light. The Coney Island and Not Your Father's line of sugar beers have a place, but I wish it could be at the supermarket only. And now you have Henry Weinhard getting on board, with national prime time commercials, so you can be sure that you'll have plenty of hard sodas in your face for some time. They may eventually take up more useful space than ciders currently do.

And those adult sodas have started to bleed into craft beers as well. Maybe the popularity of Grapefruit Sculpin is partially to blame, I don't know. But the way that beer exploded certainly influenced other brewers (Sam Adams Rebel Grapefruit, Ska Modus Mandarina), and now the Ballast Point lineup has more fruit than an Edible Arrangement: Mango Even Keel, Pineapple Scuplin, Coconut Victory at Sea, Watermelon Dorado...
And Green Flash just released a Tangerine version of Soul Style IPA, which to me tastes like someone added an Emergen-C to an IPA. How about we let the modern day fruity hops do their job and leave the additives to Monsanto?

"Have you checked out Starr Brothers yet???" NO. NO. Right now, in my mind, it's not a brewery. It's a restaurant. I don't rush out to try the latest green chile cheeseburger washed down with a beer from another local brewery. Wait, are we talking about Starr Brothers or Stumbling Steer? At least Starr Brothers actually has the equipment to brew with, so they aren't likely to meet the same demise that the Steer did. And their menu looks interesting, but I'll hold off until I can drink something they make. I look forward to it.

Let me ask you all a question: What new breweries are making beers that excite you/make you want to return? I'm withholding judgement on the new crop until they get a grasp on their systems and get things where they can say, "This is the beer I wanted to make." I love that there are breweries that took a chance on locating near or on Central Ave, "Where business go to die". Sidetrack feels like it could be nugded into a space in Greenwich Village in NYC. Until you walk out and realize that this area needs some love. But it's a start. I love the large windows in Boese Brothers and even the flashing countdown on the walk/don't walk signal. I feel like I'm in a live Edward Hopper painting. I like that they've added the option of ordering a beer flight to their menu. I don't like that they have 4 oz. glasses (for the flights), but don't allow you to order an individual 4 oz. beer. Why would you not?

Lastly, thumbs up to Canteen, who have brought back Zach Guilmette as Head Brewer. Canteen was going through a stagnant period, and Zach already has made some changes for the positive, such as brewing a DIPA as his first beer, with Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, and Topaz. Canteen had been without a DIPA for how long? And Zach knows better then to throw a ton of Cascade in and call it a DIPA. Also: he eliminated the Bloody Beer from the Canteen. Yes! Get that shit outta here and focus on making great beer again!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Like Canteen beers not the bloody though.
They have a new brewing neighbor down the street on Columbia, Firkin. Their Capo Java Stout is to die for, sorry could resist that old line.