Andy Crouch, who writes the “Unfiltered” column at BeerAdvocate.com, has a warning for craft beer snobs. The insults you hurl at big breweries, and those who drink their beers, are not only wearing thin but also brand you as an elitist.
Crouch accuses snobs of playing right into the hands of the big breweries. Anheuser-Busch’s “Brewed The Hard Way” and “Not Backing Down” ads tout Budweiser as “not small,” “not sipped” and “not a fruit cup”. And those ads are resonating with beer drinkers.
Worse yet, beer snobs have become a recurring punch line on prime-time TV. Crouch says, “Want to signal to the audience that a character is an unbearable jerk? Put a six-pack of fancy beer in his hand as he walks into the party. Worse yet, have him try and offer one of his high priced beauties to another character and then watch him get flatly rejected.”
On this day in 1946, the Basketball Association of America, the ancestor of today’s National Basketball Association, was organized in New York City. Fun fact: the first basket in league history was made by Ossie Schectman of the New York Knickerbockers in a game against the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Asheville, North Carolina. The big craft brewers building plants there are trying to be good neighbors to the home-grown breweries, who have welcomed the newcomers.
Beer will be brewed in the Bronx—New York City’s only mainland borough—after a nearly 50-year absence. The Bronx Brewery, which currently contracts out its production, will bring its operations home sometime next year.
The “Bottle Boys,” who play cover songs on beer bottles, are out with their latest: the 1982 Michael Jackson song, “Billie Jean”. Previous covers include Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”
Jacksonville, Florida, is the latest American city to create an Ale Trail for tourists. The trail includes a number of area micros, along with the Anheuser-Busch plant, which offers tours and a beer school.
The Boston Herald profiled Todd and Jason Alstrom, two guys from western Massachusetts who founded BeerAdvocate.com and organized the American Craft Beer Fest. Their motto is “Respect Beer.”
Dr. Paul Roof, a professor at Charleston Southern University, was fired by the school after his hirsute face appeared on cans of Holy City beer for a fund-raiser. CSU found that inconsistent with a Christian university.
Finally, a New Year’s resolution paid off for Justin “Bugsy” Sailor. Four years ago, Sailor resolved to have a beer with Sir Richard Branson. The two entrepreneurs finally clinked glasses last month.
Fair warning to those who post on online beer forums. The target of your snarky comment could be following the discussion–and might jump into the fray. Earlier this week, on BeerAdvocate.com, “HawksBeerFan” started a discussion of overrated breweries with a swipe at Dogfish Head Artisan Ales, arguing that the brewery’s big beers “aren’t anything special and some are downright bad.” Several other posters agreed that Dogfish Head belonged on the most-overrated list.
It didn’t take long for Dogfish Head’s CEO, Sam Calagione, to fire back with the following defense of all the allegedly overrated breweries: “[S]o many folks that post here still spend their time knocking down breweries that dare to grow. It’s like that old joke: ‘Nobody eats at that restaurant anymore, it’s too crowded. Except the ‘restaurants’ that people shit on here aren’t exactly juggernauts.” Calagione went on to say, “This thread is hilarious. Seriously, Bells, Founders, FFF, Surly, RR, DFH, Bruery, Avery, Cigar City, Mikkeller are all overrated?…Hopefully soon we will have every craft brewery in the US on the list.”
Tomorrow evening, the Great American Beer Festival gets underway. And to get you ready…
The beer blogger at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer chooses the top 25 breweries to visit at the GABF.
FoodManufacturing.com interviewed Julia Herz of the Brewers Association about the festival and craft beer in general.
The Colorado Beer Week blog offers an insider’s tip: five lesser-known Colorado breweries to check out on the festival floor.
Denver-based blogger, Jonathan Shikes of Westworld magazine, points Coloradans in the direction of 12 out-of-state breweries that will be pouring in Denver.
Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery has released a schedule of events before, during, and after the GABF.
Todd and Jason Alstrom of BeerAdvocate.com offer survival tips to festival-goers. One worth paying attention to: mind your altitude. When you’re 5,280 feet above sea level, the alcohol in your beer will hit you sooner than you think.
Finally, The Full Pint asked a variety of brewers about their presence at the festival. As you might expect, there was a variety of responses.
Brooks found the U.S. has more top 100 beers (15) than any other country; and that among U.S. states, California leads the way with eight, with Michigan in second place with four.
The top three breweries were Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (ten beers in the top 100), followed by Stone Brewing Company (eight) and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (seven). Potent beers, led by imperial stouts and imperial IPAs, dominated the top 25 beers. Only two canned beers, both by Oskar Blues, made the list.
“Bobsy”, a member of the BeerAdvocate.com community who hails from Toronto, has put together a spreadsheet with Canada’s 100 highest-rated beers according to reviews posted on BeerAdvocate. Belgians, IPAs, and stouts dominate the leaderboard, and nine of the country’s ten top-rated beers are brewed in Quebec.