Posts Tagged ‘beervana’

Honost Pints In Salem

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Yesterday I received an email from both Jack Box and Leslie Venti letting me know that Venti’snow serves bona fide honest pints. Venti’s blog says the following.

From Friday, 27 November 2009, Venti’s are serving beer in 20 ounce glassware with the cartoon rooster’s pointing index finger marking the 16 ounce volume level. A ‘True Pint’ pour line. A documenting image has been sent to the honestpintproject.org administrators so that Venti’s Cafe & Basement Bar will be certified as a Purveyor of an Honest Pint and appear on website’s list and map

Apparently Venti’s has always had 16 oz glassware (who knew?) but a true pint pour depended on your server and left no room for some head. While I don’t really care to much about glassware and all it’s still kinda neat to think Venti’s will make Beervana’s page. Interestingly enough Venti’s was a little slower in getting honest pours then ƒ/stop. From the get go Kirk has been serving up imperial pints for the same price as Venti’spints. Granted ƒ/stop doesn’t have the selection, and I’m pretty sure none of us purveyors of Kirks pub care to get it certified.

Congrats to Dino, Thane, Leslie, JR and the entire Venti’s crew on the new glassware.

ventis-cafe-salem-true-pint

Foreign VS Domestic Festivals

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

from theweeklybrew

For those who read Beervana you may have noticed there’s a little anti Doc Wort thing going on. Jeff posted a positive article about a new festival sponsored by Rogue. The festival will supposedly feature something like 30 “indie” breweries from around Oregon, with the beers being available at the Green Dragon pre festival. Wort weighed in stating (as he usually does) that this festival idea, the beers, and Oregon centric beer festivals in general are overplayed. This sparked an anti Dr Wort tirade on Jeff’s blog.

So the question still remains, does the good Doc have a valid point?

In Oregon there really isn’t much in the way of true “indie” breweries, especially within Portland. Northwest culture is obsessed with liking things that they view as unique. It doesn’t matter if other bigger breweries make better beers, if you are small, unknown, and produce some IPA’s then you have a shot in P-Town, and Oregon in general. Dr Wort also points out that many of these small breweries produce “the standard” set of beers (something dark, light, IPA, something old, new, borrowed, blue). Now as far as I know the list is unknown still, so how would anyone know what’s being served? They don’t. But it fits that if these breweries offer only standard styles then that’s what will be served. A good side effect if this happens is that it will allow better side by side comparison of the beers. The bad part is it lacks appeal to most beer geeks. We can get an IPA at any store around Oregon.

One thing Doc suggested is a “indie” brews from around the world fest. So now we come to the crux of the matter. What benifits are there of a foreign festival compared to a domestic one? Very little in my opinion. Many Oregon breweries experiment with styles from around the world, and manage to do it well. The problem is they tend to just be occasional one off batches that tend to be kegged, and for the most part see limited release. What I suggest is the same thing I always have. Instead of featuring commercial beers have brewers make a one off batch based on a theme. Festivals though are for the most part about featuring brewers products, not skill. This is good for brewers because it generates interest in the beers a brewery offers and creates a potential for a sales boost. The problem for me, and I think the Doc also, is that it doesn’t tell me anything about the brewer. Call me dispassionate again, but for me it isn’t about the beer. When we taste beers at Capitol Brewer meetings I’m not looking for an amazing beer, I’m looking for interesting beer with a unique spin. Something that tells me about the brewer. Not just a great example of a beer I can just pick up at the supermarket.

The problem is that there’s no real great way to bring a truly unique flair to Oregon’s festivals. It just doesn’t pencil out for breweries to put time, money, and effort into making unique one off festival beers aimed at beer geeks. Most people at Oregon festivals wouldn’t “get” a nice sour ale, let alone most Belgians or other less common (in Oregon) styles. After all, our regional beer here is the Northwest IPA. I’m sure it would be a commercial no no to hold a British ale fest in the middle of German wheat country. The Northwest sadly will continue to cater to the IPA fans and offer the “basic lineup” beers because it makes sense to, and that’s how they will succeed. As Carol Stoudt of Stoudt’s brewery supposedly once said, “it’s easier to make beer than to sell beer.”

Beat The Heat

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

heat20exhaustion202

from theweeklybrew

Well it’s still triple digits here, and I really wanted to do a post on styles of beer for beating the heat. Turns out though I’m not the only one who thought of it. Alworth over at Beervana has a good post on summer styles with some links to other posts on summer beers.

Beating the heat with beer though can be difficult. When your sitting outside in 100° weather it can be hard to find a beer that hits the spot. In fact over the last few days I’ve been experimenting with the beers in my fridge in order to figure out the most quaffable summer ale. One of the big problems is that alcohol decreases your bodies ability to thermoregulate itself. So the more beer you drink the less it helps. Not only that, but it’s common knowledge that alcohol dehydrates you. This is because alcohol is a diuretic. This means that while those imperials still sound tasty they probably won’t be the beer of choice for most people. In fact as this years Fourth of July sales showed lite beers can be favored more in warmer weather. How many of us want to quaff Busch Lite though? Well my grandparents, but not to many other people I know. So after some experimentation I’ve decided on my two favorite hot weather beers.

Small Beers –I love low alcohol summer beers. They get some flack for lack of strong malt flavors, and for being a little watered down, but to me this is their saving grace. When I’m out doing yard work, or taking a break on a bike ride I generally don’t want something over 3% abv. One of my favorite beers of summer is Anchor Small Beer. Small beers aren’t difficult to brew either. With modern brewing it’s just a matter of cutting the wort with boiled water until you get the proper OG. Although it may not be wise I’d group O’Douls in this category. I know many people don’t like the near beers, but I really don’t think they taste that bad.

Sour Beers –I’m not the biggest fruit fan, and for the most part not a lambic fan either, but not all sour beers are lambics, and not all lambics are bad. The truth is though sour beers are some of the most refreshing beers out there. Part of the reason for this is that sour beers cause you to salivate. I cracked open a bottle of my Witches Brew Sour Ale which is an Irish Red flavored with herbs instead of hops, and soured. Honestly this beer takes first for most refreshing beer in my fridge.

Worthwile Reads

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

This is not only a late update, but also one that doesn’t require much work since I’m behind today. I was up late and slept through my alarm so I didn’t even roll out of bed till 11:15. So all that to say I’m now at work and haven’t had time to finish my post. Not wanting to leave today blank I decided to point you guys towards some great posts by other bloggers.

Beer and Nosh has a great post on the educational sessions from the National Homebrewers Conference. The Maltose Falcons and their riddling techniques were apparently there. I find it funny that their techniques are just now coming to the forefront since they’ve been on the web for a bit.
http://beerandnosh.com/2009/06/nhc-sessions/

Jeff Alworth at Beervana has a great write up on the Brewers Games. Jeff MC’ed the event.
http://beervana.blogspot.com/2009/06/2009-summer-brewers-games.html

I’ve held off on linking to Bill’s random beer review generator because I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon of people linking to it. But now that that has slowed I am free to jump on.
http://www.its-pub-night.com/2009/03/beer-review-generator.html

For those interested in more info on riddling and the Maltose Falcons here is the link to their site.
http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/methode_champenoise/

Falling In Love With A Comment

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Back on the 6th my blog, and some other blogs I read were twitted in part because of our responses to the I Am A Craft Brewer vid on Vimeo. This led to an avalanche of comments on all these blogs, and some were more interesting then others. One in particular had an effect on me, and it takes alot for someones words to stir me into a Passion. It was submitted by David Berg of August Schell brewing. Strangely it was meant for the blog of a lady named Maureen who happened to be on the Beer Wars panel (she was the infamous El Guapo who said “see me in ten years”). It couldn’t have fallen in better hands though as he accidentally posted it at Jeff Alworths blog Beervana. Jeff has written a bit on this quandary facing the brewers association (here and here, oh yeah, and he talks about Widmer getting kicked from “craft beer” here) to see Jeff’s post on David’s comment click here.

Without anything further on my part here is what David wrote.

Hey Maureen-

“I was a craft brewer.” That’s the movie I want to make. Because, I was at one time, according to the BA and the video. But alas, I work for August Schell now, and we are not craft brewers (just ask the BA). Never mind the fact that we will celebrate our 150th year in 2010 as the second-oldest family owned brewery in the US. We survived prohibition, a Native American uprising that burned New Ulm to the ground, and the vanishing of regional breweries in the 70’s and 80’s. Forget the fact that we sold a tree on our grounds in the 80’s to pay the bills. Discount that we brewed a German Pilsner and Weizen in 1986.

Because, the fact is, the bulk of our production uses corn as an adjunct. And even if you discount that beer, we would still produce a larger volume of non-adjunct beers than most of the top craft breweries. But hey, what does that matter?

No, I am not a craft brewer, and I’ll happily be that for another 150 years.

Cheers!

David Berg
August Schell Brewing

 

Cheers David

The Numbers Game

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Beervana is definitely up there on my list of favorite blogs to read. Even if I don’t always agree with Jeff he has amazing insight from his years of writing about the beer industry in Oregon. Not only that, but he’s just a darn good writer. So much so it’s hard not to want this blog to be like his sometimes.

Jeff’s been doing some awesome posts about the numbers that The Brewers Association has released. He covers everything from who was booted from their lists, to even graphing out the numbers for breweries by region. This guy definitely deserves props for his passion about the industry. Heck he’s so passionate that he even started the Honest Pint Project. If you got time today give his blog a look. It’s definitely worth it.

Being Honest About An Honest Pint

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

large_honestpintI hadn’t weighed in on this issue despite the news coverage it’s gotten simply because it’s been covered fairly well already. The problem is most of the coverage has been positive.

Back when I found Jeff Alworth  had started an “Honest Pint Project” at beervana I was strongly in favor of it. Jeff had an idea whereby bars would be encouraged to serve an honest 16oz pint thanks to a locally supported project. As I understood it bars, teverns, pubs, and breweries could sign up, show they were honest, and receive a sticker and some promotion by joining. Then all the local beer drinkers would know that these places with a sticker supported the locals by giving them what they paid for. Somewhere along the line though this was turned into a political issue and now I hate it.

Jules Bailey from Portland apparently awoke one day and realized this could help his political career. After all, why else would a lawmaker take a local cause, turn it into a law, and not even add penalties for people violating the law? Lawmaker after lawmaker gave touching comments about protecting the consumer. So what does this law entail that makes it better then Jeff’s community project? Well first it passes a law saying people can voluntarily serve you a full 16oz pint, but they don’t have to. If you want to obey the new law then the (overburdened as the Oregonian put it) OLCC will come out and check your glasses and, if you pass muster, give you a neat sticker to put on your door or window. So how is this bill any different from the initial “Honest Pint Project”? Well it’s different because instead of it being supported by the beer drinkers and bars themselves it will be funded by you the taxpayer, weather you drink or not.

Is this really something Oregon should be discussing in any economic climate, let alone one where everyone is claiming they don’t have enough funding? Is missing 2oz out of your glass really worth passing a law over? For crying out loud people the law is voluntary. If the bar you’re currently going too wants to use cheater pints they will. Will anyone out there honestly stop patronizing a bar without a sticker? While we’re at it why not ask ourselves when the stupidity will end? When bars are certified, but still use cheater pints will we blackball them? Or will we pass a law about that? What about when some smart bar owner makes his own copy of an honest pint sticker and throws it on his window? Will we make a law about that? Will we eventually end up like Europe where they tell you what size of glasses you have to buy?

I hereby ask Jeff Alworth, and everyone who supports their local pubs, to start another community initiative on top of the OLCC’s. Give bar owners an incentive to join with a website or something that will give them publicity and allow them to buy into it. Create a movement that shows Oregonians can get things done without passing a law!