Posts Tagged ‘Dr Wort’

Scary Thought

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

from theweeklybrew


I’m posting late today because I spent my whole morning preparing stuff for my summer harvest wine. 18 lbs of squash, 10 oranges, 4 lemons, 1 ginger root, some tid bits, and 15 lbs of sugar later I was finished. I also was using super glue to reatach some skin to my thumb. That was all over an hour ago though. More then enough time to blog right? Well I got distracted catching up on blog reading. In particular here’s what distracted me.

Jared had commented in the last posting, making it clear that he “gets it.” It’s not about good beer vs bad beer. It’s about personal interest in what’s being served and the glut of Beer Fests that are available.

full post

That’s from Dr Worts blog. Apparently I get something, what an interesting feeling.

This is all part of the continuing saga about yet another beer fest in Oregon. It started with Jeff at Beervana getting somewhat excited. Then Dr Wort tried to crash the party. A backlash the ensued. After all this the crew at Dr Wort did a couple posts on it over at their blog, here and here. I left the following comment on the second one, and apparently hit the nail on the head.

There’s good breweries on the list, but even looking at it I can get an idea of some of the beers they’ll be serving up. There will probably be Chili Beer, We know Fred will be there, and I’d put money on Lil’s Pills and that blonde Three Creeks serves up. For people who are knew to craft beer or haven’t tried these breweries before it’ll be enjoyable. For the rest of us…. Meh
Maybe I’m just reading your blog to much. For some reason my urge to attend alot of these festivals dried up after the Oregon Gardens Beer Fest.
Dont get me wrong, I enjoy these beers. I just see no reason to go out of my way to attend more then a couple of these festivals a year.

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.”