Tags: news

overmyhead
  • thaen

How PBR Came Back

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/22/magazine/the-marketing-of-no-marketing.html

I love it: Beer company is dying because its product isn’t any different from the major brands and they’re too poor to spend anything on marketing. Because they’re too poor to spend anything on marketing, hipsters that don’t like marketing jump on the brand. Brand recognizes the demand, starts subvertising to this market segment. It works, and the people who didn’t like marketing start to like it because it fits their groove.

I think I’ll keep drinking beer because I like it, not because it’s part of my social network.

overmyhead
  • thaen

How PBR Came Back

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/22/magazine/the-marketing-of-no-marketing.html

I love it: Beer company is dying because its product isn’t any different from the major brands and they’re too poor to spend anything on marketing. Because they’re too poor to spend anything on marketing, hipsters that don’t like marketing jump on the brand. Brand recognizes the demand, starts subvertising to this market segment. It works, and the people who didn’t like marketing start to like it because it fits their groove.

I think I’ll keep drinking beer because I like it, not because it’s part of my social network.

overmyhead
  • thaen

I am a liar

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

No podcast yersterday, and probably not today either. Life, as they say, has intervened.

I will however pass along this striking bit of news: Thanks, in part, to the current recession, Bud Lite is suffering through their first annual sales decline in their 27 year history. This is interesting for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that, up until this point, sales of commercial beers have been remaining steady, if not actually growing thanks to the slump in the craft beer market (beer geeks don’t stop drinking beer, they just stop drinking good beer as the wallet gets lighter).

Bud is of course attempting a counter attack with a new line of advertising, touting Bud Lites “Drinkability”, which seems to be about as mindless as Coors pitching itself on the fact that it’s “Cold” or Miller pointing out that they triple hop their beers, all of which, from a consumers point of view are about as informative as a steak being labeled “Carb Free”.

If you want to talk about a beer company that’s doing something right in its advertising, I suggest you take a look over at Heineken USA’s ads for Dos Equis. There series of ads for “The Most Interesting Man in the World” are actually responsible for a 17% gain in sales during a period of time where imported beer sales actually dropped around 11%. Here is ad ad campaign that has 58,000 facebook fans. Which makes it obvious that people don’t want beer that is cold or refreshing, they want beer that is cool enough to be occasionally imbibed by a crazy old man who wrestles sharks.

overmyhead
  • thaen

Go WAHA! WA homebrewers can transport beer now!

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

For those that don’t know, until recently, it was technically illegal to take homebrewed beer out of the residence where it was made. The only exception was if you were taking the beer to a competition, and then you could only take 1 gallon at a time and the only people that could taste the beer were the judges. Yeah. Go go civil liberties?

Thanks to the Washington Homebrewers’ Association, this has been changed. The new bill (along with strikeout text so you can see how idiotic the first bill was) went into effect 4 days ago.

WA homebrewers can now transport up to 20 gallons of beer outside their home for a variety of purposes. Thanks, WAHA!

overmyhead
  • thaen

Crushing news

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

For the second week in a row, there will be no podcast. Sadly, due to a technical malfunction, the podcast we recorded was lost to the great hard drive in the sky.

I guess a quick recap: We drank some beers, they were all pretty good, and Ethan can brew something at home that doesn’t make you want to pour it down the sink.

Stay strong, little soldiers, we’ll be back soon with more of the delicious podcasty goodness that you all crave oh so very much.

overmyhead
  • thaen

Seattle Beer Week: Sour Beer Night Recap

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

I suppose the newbies (ha! as if there are newbies!) might wonder why we call ourselves “geekbeer”. I would hesitantly say that it’s because we’re geeks that like beer. I basically code for a living, and Tom is a video game/comic book/computer hardware geek. But this is the real thing that makes us geekbeer:

this is geekbeer 4

Yeah, that’s Tom setting up a new, high-quality boom mic to see if we can get a good sound for the podcast over the literal roar of the propane burner. (Answer: No. Not really.)

In any case…

I can’t possibly relive Sour Beer Night in reality, since I lack a time machine, but I can provide my notes on the experience.

Sour Beer Night

That’s four beers. The front one is… um… And the next one is… Hansen’s? And… Fuck. Well. Those are four of the beers we had at Sour Beer Night. I don’t promise that I was altogether sober the whole time, but I did take notes! You ready? Why would you be?

We arrived at 2pm, before they were pouring the sours. So I did the only sane thing: I bought another beer. The Pike Place Brewery Double IPA. It was decent. A malty tartness faded into a heavy, lingering hop bitterness, but the nose was light and the hop flavor was less than some standard IPAs. It was reminiscent of some IPAs I’ve brewed, and I’m not a great homebrewer! Overall, a B-level beer.

At 4pm, Matt got on the horn and released the Sour Brews to the crowd. Our waitress was a tad behind, but we got our order in. I asked for the Avery Voltron, a ridiculous blend of 5 different sours (get it? voltron?) and truly a one-of-a-kind beverage. The flavor was out of this world. There was a vinegar/champagne sourness, but there was also enough red wine that it couldn’t go unnoticed. A background of sweet malts, dark fruits, and black pepper/pine made this beer a sipping experience. Later in the evening, after my palette had been adequately soured and the Voltron had warmed on the table, this beer was sweet and figgy. This was a fantastic drink. I’d easily give it an A. Says the guy from Monk’s Cafe about this brew, “Adam’s blend of 5 barrel aged beers. One of which held Opus One - sort of a very pricey cult wine. He used two different stains of brettanomyces yeast strains. This is one great funky, sour ale. This dude is brewing the dream.” Damn straight.

Another one-of-a-kind brew that we managed to try was the Russian River Empirical 7. This is a beer that RR made for at the behest (or possibly request) of the Publican National Committee, a group made up of the owners of some of the finest beer establishments in the world. This was a mild sour that was very reminiscent of a Belgian Witbier (indeed, according to folks online at RateBeer, this was a brettified Saison). After my palette had soured on other offerings, this beer lost all of its sour character and became a rather bland witbier. I’m not sure I can adequately judge it because it was so delicate compared to the other beers we were trying that night.

At this point, our waitress came by and simply gave us three beers. She said they were mis-pours, and we were the benefactors.

Let’s set the stage for a moment: Sour beers have been available for about 20 minutes. We’ve already got 3 on the table and are sharing them. We’ve also already put in our second order because our fantastic waitress has told us that there is a 35 beer backlog at the bar. Many of the beers on tap are extremely limited editions — the Voltron and the Empirical 7 were only made in 5 barrel batches, and there are two firkins (quarter kegs!) that we want to try. Additionally, each glass cost between $5 and $9.

And our waitress walks up and hands us three more beers, just out of the blue. The flabbergastery was strong.

In any case the New Belgium Fodre 3 was one of the freebees, and it was the sourest beer on the table the whole night. Up front it was intensely vinegary with lots of citrus. Even after my palette was completely screwed up, this beer maintained its mouth-puckering qualities. I didn’t like it, but I also realize it wasn’t really brewed for me. There were others at the table who enjoyed it, like Tom!

Drake’s Cherry Imperial Stout was next on the list. I didn’t care for this too much — it was like a sour cherry ale that had been blended with a toasty, bitter stout. It was more like a passable combination of two beers than a great sour stout. As you can see from the BeerAdvocate link, though, reviews of this are extremely polarized.

At this point, I think my palette and my mind were well on their way to being gone even though we were only taking shared sips from small glasses. As a result, I’ll go through the rest of the beers that I had in a much more foreshortened fashion, since I’m not sure how well I can really give you a taste of how they tasted.

We had a brew from Cantillon that I, unfortunately, wrote down in a such a way that I cannot read the type that we had. My notes say that it was probably some kind of cherry brett or cherry lambic, since it smelled like cherries in a barnyard. It was cloudy red, and not altogether drinkable even in my then-inebriated state.

The Kriek from Hansen’s, which was one of the firkin-lodged beers, was a cherry sour. It was flat, mouth-puckering, and basically vinegar. Again a beer that Tom enjoyed that I did not. Russian River’s Deviation was a fascinating beer for me — it started with a standard Pale Ale flavor not unlike an IPA, but instead of finishing with hops, it finished sour, and clean like a pale. (It was also the beer brewed for the Bottleworks 9th Anniversary.) Russian River’s Temptation tasted basically like a belgian ale that had been soured. The other firkin housed the Allagash Confluence, which was almost exactly like Allagash’s White with a hint of sour.

I also have 6 beers for which I didn’t even bother to write down notes. They are listed on my pad under a heading that says “Palette: FUCKED.” These beers include the Gameworks 8 Year Cherry Lambic from Elysian (right here in Seattle), the Cascade Nightfall Blackberry, the New Belgium New Terrior, the Lost Abbery Cuvee de Tomme, and Cask 17 and Cask 52 from Boon.

Overall, it was a fairly incredible night, and I look forward to drinking Matt’s selections for what will hopefully be a regular Seattle Beer Week event.

overmyhead
  • thaen

Seattle Beer Week: Stout Night

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

Stop #1 for Seattle Beer Week was Stout Night at Brouwer’s.

Stout Night at its finest

(Disclaimer: This was just the best looking table with the best light in the place for photos. I don’t know any of these guys. ;-)

They were pouring two dozen of the darkest, thickest, tastiest stouts in the world, and every one was $5 and served in 12 oz glasses. I’m sure we have a copy of the full list somewhere, but I’ll share with you my favorites. Maybe Tom will chime in with his as well.

We showed up at 2pm and they started pouring stouts at 4. We didn’t leave until around 9, so we had time for a lot of beer.

I started out with the Avery Czar. This stout had a lot going on. Notes of espresso, toast, dark sugars, figs, and raisins all permeated the brew. But more than these small notes on individual flavors, this stout stood out as a combination of toasty espresso and dark sugar that I’d never had before. The carbonation and mouthfeel were perfect for the beer, and it finished cleaner than I expected. It was almost more like a strong, thick barley wine than a traditional, more bitter stout.

We all sampled the Southern Tier Choklat and Jah-va, which have apparently been making their way around the Northwest recently. These were beers that barely deserve the title “beer,” because each one tastes so much like its namesake. The Choklat tasted like drinking thin, cold, carbonated dark chocolate cocoa, and the Jah-va was the same for sweet coffee flavors. These were one-hit wonders, but their songs were pitch perfect.

I had the Deschutes Abyss next. By this time my palette was getting a little messed so it’s possible that I wasn’t able to appreciate this fully, but it didn’t stand up to the standard that the Czar and Southern Tier’s offerings had set. It was lightly smokey with heavy toasted flavors — too much for my taste. A moderately sweet backbone and a slight hop character didn’t make up for the burnt flavor. I don’t know what year this one was.

Brouwer’s was pouring two Stone brews as well. First I tried the Stone Bourbon Barrel Aged 12th Anniversary Stout. This was very like a barley wine and scotch, somehow mixed together. It was rich in sweet (sugary and alcoholic) and smokey flavors, with a bit of toast and some bourbon character. The bourbon aging added a spice to this that was great; this was a fantastic brew.

I then tried the Stone Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Russian Stout, which was even better. It hit similar notes as the 12th Anniversary and added a mild chocolate flavor that really rounded out this incredibly complex beer. This and the Czar are definitely tied for the best beers I had on Friday.

We had said hi to this guy at the Barley Wine Festival:
Thom the Barley Wine Freak at Stout Night
He was on the right in this photo, so you can assume he’s hardcore. He said to try the Founder’s, but by the time we got there, the keg was gone. Oh well — I woke up last Sunday, the night after stouts, and brewed a batch:
in go the grains
Hopefully it turns out well — I’ll let you know.

I finished off the night with the Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Espresso Stout. I’m not a huge fan of the normal Great Divide Yeti (to one friend, it tastes a bit like motor oil, and I don’t entirely disagree), but the addition of a healthy chunk of espresso — combined with my complete inebriation at this point — helped me appreciate this brew.

Somewhere between the Stone brews, I wandered over to thank Matt, the owner and operator of Brouwer’s and Bottleworks. One of the Friends Of Matt, who we’ve seen several times working at Bottleworks but whom I have not yet asked his name, knows Tom and I from — get this — this website. When we refer to “the listener” in our podcast, he’s the guy we’re talking about (because he is the only non-friend listener of the podcast that we’ve actually met). He’s exceptionally nice (and now I feel bad that I don’t know his name), but he and Matt had obviously already enjoyed everything they wanted out of Stout Night, and they were drinking this:
Insanely rare geuze
I managed to get a taste of it, and while my palette for sour beers wasn’t excellent at the time, it was a smooth, balanced, moderately sour beer (a blend, perhaps?) that cut through all the stout immediately. It was deep, complex, and satisfying, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to taste it.

This most recent week was equally fantastic — Uber for some rare brews, Bottleworks for even rarer brews, Brouwer’s for Avery Night and the Sour Beer Festival — and I’ve got notes from everything. Should be just as fun to relive!

overmyhead
  • thaen

Holy shit, a Seattle Beer Week!

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

http://www.seattlebeerweek.com/

I’m in heaven. This is fantastic. Coming right up, too! Looks like it’s starting out small, but I’ve offered my volunteered assistance in case they need anything (I haven’t heard back yet).

I also offered my assistance to Alan over at the Good Beer Blog.

I’m always looking for an excuse to meet beer folk and take pictures, so I figure volunteering in that world is a good start.

overmyhead
  • thaen

Beervana

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

Here’s a great little beer blog that I was linked  to by my mom, of all people. Beervana, run by Jeff Alworth out of Portland, is both interesting and well written (something I’d like to think we manage to do around here, though I’m doubtful that we manage to pull off both at the same time on a regular basis).

He has a fantastic write up on the new Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, which explains how the beer got it’s name and gives a bit of background on the new, ultra rare hop strain that’s being used to make this beer. Very much worth the read.

overmyhead
  • thaen

facebook

Originally published at GeekBeer. Please leave any comments there.

Just thought I’d give you all a heads up that in addition to the website, the podcast, the twitter feed and the flickr stream, we now also have a facebook group.

As if there wasn’t already enough redundancy of information around here.

Anyway, feel free to join us here, there, where ever. I know our podcast audience is growing every week, which is great, so feel to drop us a line if you want any questions answered, you want to tell us how awesome we are, or if you just want to call us a bunch of cocks… I mean wangs… I mean Sam Adams.

What was I talking about?