Archive for March, 2010

Lil’s From The Bottle

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Picture taken from Seven Brides Website

After defending Lil’s Pils from Seven Brides and recieving some negative comments I figured it was time I man up and retry it.

Appearance

Very cloudy with minimal head. Straw color. Deffinatly not a pilsner in appearance.

Aroma

Some banana and cloves. Lots of herbal and earthy smell. A little skunked, but not off putting.

Flavor

Lots of banana and some cloves. Dirty and muddled, makes it hard to peg any distinct malt flavors.

Overall

I think I once described this beer as not a pilsner. Tasting this I have no choice but to stand by that. I still enjoy this beer, but it’s not what it’s called. It’s a bit muddied and could use a more appropriate name.

The Changing Consumer

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

6 days ago World Class Beverages made an interesting post on their blog about some craft brewers esentially claiming the market is too over saturated. It’s an interesting post and worth a read. In fact, the replies are more interesting then the article. As usual Greg Koch and his fanboys rode in on their high horse blaiming everyone for their problems and pushing their ideoligies. I remember when he did that to my blog. This time though it seems to have backfired on Greg as the majority aren’t taking his side. Have people wised up? This isn’t what I wanted to talk about though. I want to talk about a comment on the post by JJ.

“I find it odd that the new breed of brewers feel the need to establish nationwide distribution. Isn’t that what led us down the path to begin with? The rally cry of the Craft Brewer’s Association used to be “Support Your Local Brewery.” Somewhere along the line, either the message changed, or someone missed the original memo.”

His comment seems to be right along the lines of something that has begun bothering me recently. Breweries are changing, but so are their customers. Doing research on the history of brewing you get a general idea of what customer base drank what beer. Before the early days of craft brewing anyone who thought they knew anything about good beer drank imported beer. Even in the 50’s there were people with low opinions of American beer. Back during the hippie movement there was a big rise in the artisinal movement as well. People, especially on the west coast, began doing things themselves that corporations had done for them in the 40’s. This movement saw home brewing move from a moonshine style business to a more artisinal aproach.

These early artisinal homebrewers were also the early craft beer drinkers. They started a movement that focosed on drinking local beer produced by people you knew. Slowly though artisinal has become craft, and the customers are no longer just the local homebrewers. There has been alot of talk about the wineification of beer, but less attention has been paid to the fact that as craft beer proliferates the customer base has become more diverse. Now your seeing what the Doc calls beer cheerleaders. People who drink craft beer because it’s craft beer. You have the beeradvocate crowd, wandering from release to release. You have beer snobs purchasing only the best. As brewers try to reach all these people at once how will it change the market? We seem to be moving more towards a model of limited releases and large lineups rather then the old model of a flagship and 4 or 5 year to year seasonals. Is this a direction we want to go?

Seven Brides In Bottles

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

I haven’t heard much blog talk about Seven Brides these days, and I’m wondering how often their beers see taps in the Portland area. That’s neither here nor there though. On my way to work today I swung by Roth’s and saw that Seven Brides finally has their main line up in bottles. Roth’s in North Salem had the LPA, Oatmeal Ellie, Lils Pills, Emily’s Ember, and Black Cat Porter. The bottles labels are simple with the same photo used for each bottle with a different color. This though seems to make the bottles more beautiful.

I know in the past I’ve had a love hate relationship with Seven Brides. My first experience involved Lil’s Pills out of a picnic setup at the Cherry City Music Fest. The beer I tried tasted horrible and I swore off Seven Brides forever I thought. Then, somewhere about May, I began training for a group home opening in Salem. The company opening it was located in Mt Angel, and during my trainings there I heard several people rave about Seven Brides beers. Thinking they deserved a second chance I swung by the brewery one day after work. Jeff was friendly and between him and their Ember he won me over as a fan. Over the year I’ve had a few interactions with Jeff DeSantis, and have grown fond of Lil’s Pills, Ellies Ember, and if I’m in the mood the Black Cat Porter. I have however found other beers they make no bueno

Anyway if you can’t find ‘em on tap give a bottle a try.