Maine Brewing Co. - Zoe
Good Morning To All of My Intoxicated Inbreds,
Today is Friday, May 17th of American Craft Beer Week. For those who have willingly read the trends and reviews over the past few days, I hope you thoroughly enjoyed them. Within the next hour, I will be heading to EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) at CitiField, home of the New York Mets. This will be my first rave/electric music concert. I doubt there will be any craft beer; from the sounds of things, the venue will consist of neon colors, loud noises, and half naked hot chicks. I’m in. I’ll post any obscurities that I discover along the way and add my two cents to the equation. No matter the circumstances, I will get my hands on some crafty goodness even if I have to get on stage and scream into the microphone. Have a tremendous ACBW-end and be safe. Until further notice, drink responsibly. Over & Out!
Day 4 of American Craft Beer Week is underway. If it weren’t for Claritin and craft beer, I would be a sloth clinging for dear life. Allergies are cramping my style and there’s nothing I can do about it. Just suck it up, pop pills, and slug some brewskis down the gullet. Keep in mind, I’m writing this outside on my laptop as waves of pollen swarm every orifice in my face like an attack of locusts. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices when the weather is nice. Such a double edged sword; the very second I step foot outside, Mother Nature punches me right in the face. Bring it biotch…
Anyway, back to beer. Thus far, we’ve covered some flourishing market trends that have triggered exponential growth in the industry. Cans, tall boys, bombers, what next? It would be cliche, to state the obvious like seasonal beers, or Sam Adams, or Stone, or Mix-a-six packs. Let’s look into the innovative approach and obscurities in the beer game.
From a macroeconomic standpoint, we all see the InBevs and MillerCoors laying the beer infrastructure left and right. It’s the craft brewers’ jobs to create the detours. Establish the scenic route and “The Road Not Taken.” What sets the InBevs and MillerCoors apart from the craft scene is the 800 pound gorillas are bloodthirsty, and they will find ways to consume competitors, grow revenue, and own the shelves. They’re business men and I respect that. But these cutthroat tactics tend to tarnish the authenticity of consumed brands. Craft brewers on the other hand, complement one another. They’re supplemental elements… building blocks in the myriad of artisanal ales and lagers that help one another out. Having said that, on rare and special occasions, brewers will reach out to one another and arrange collaboration batches. Which in turn, will distribute the collaborated beer into the markets. Show the consumers how passion and teamwork drives the craft beer industry. I wanted to throw a curve ball to the readers with this bottle review…. Batter Up!
BrewDog / Isle Of Arran : Paradox
Curve ball is right, so much for American Craft Beer Week. Brewocracy has to choose a bevvie produced outside the fucking country. Nice work, you patriotic POS. Anyway, I chose this brew for four outspoken reasons. One, it is a collaboration product. Two, it is a product conducted by a brewery AND a distillery, which is genuinely badass. Three, America is the land of the free; therefore, BrewDog has the liberty to distribute in the states hence my purchase of the product. And four, it’s my blog and I do what I want. Ask about me son.
What we have here is an Imperial Stout aged in Arran’s whisky casks. Teamwork between the battle of brews and spirits is an experimental artwork that takes time and patience. Enough with the patience so I’m gonna drink it. I just realized this was bottled on 08/08/08. Nearly five years old with a distinguishable notion of good luck. Maybe I’ll get laid after drinking this…. definitely not. Maybe that’s why it’s called Paradox!
Paradox pours an opaque brown/black with copper tones near the surface. The lacing is more or less like legs with red wine that coats the edge of the glass with a somewhat viscous film. This shit looks serious and I’m getting mesmerized. Aroma is a spiced vanilla, charred oak, and prunes right off the bat… I guess we hit the curve ball after all! The yeast/whisky remnants wins the crown for dominating the nostrils with dark fruits and esters. You pick up on some caramel and mocha as well. Mouthfeel is heavy with a 10% ABV. Carbonation is at a minimum but maintains itself throughout the palate. Maybe this is due to oxygen seeping through the cap crevices. And me not properly sealing it with tinfoil. An astringent yet smooth chocolate and charred malt shine through the beginning of the taste. Caramel and vanilla bridge the gap and the taste finishes with a dry earthiness and minty/herbal Yeastie Boys. Alcohol, mint, and oak linger in the aftermath. The Arran Malt Whisky comes up BIG and nearly lashes out at the imperial stout. I wish the carbonation was a touch heavier but that can be derived from several variables. Overall, a well done collaboration from the Scots! William Wallace from Braveheart and Sean Connery probably slug these back during church. Couple of angels doin the damn thang. Is what it is. Somebody has to pray for my bad habits… might as well be them.
Day 4 has been a successful excursion in ACBW and time is still left in the day. Which means more bad decisions and more praying for William Wallace and Sean Connery. Thanks guys. James Bond crushin brews and slayin females at the altar? Sounds like a paradox and sounds awesome. Happy American Craft Beer Week. Drink Responsibly. Over & Out.
Day 3 of American Craft Beer Week and we’re still alive and well! Hold on the applause, the week ain’t over yet. Now that we’ve explored the Lands of Cans, lets branch out to a broader category that grasps the likes of more beer lovers on all demographics. A market trend that leaves ample room for opportunity. Whether it requires collecting, investing, aging, immediately opening, trading, or collaborating. All of these craft beer transactions take place in a forum of…… BOMBERS.
This happens to be my basement cellar. If it weren’t for that puny-ass perpendicular board in the middle, every last bomber would fall to their death. As the collection grows, the bombers see the floor-boards from below as they get closer and closer to the edge. That is why I must attain a beer to drink every time I add depth to the roster. Although you cannot see from the photo, the smaller format bottles are in the lower shelving. Regardless, bombers are the best ambiguity in the game. They are universal, contingent on the style and ABV. Like we mentioned before, bombers can be stored at cellar temp for months, if not many years. They can also be deemed as valuable investments, a cause for hoarding like myself, potential trades, or as simple as a ready-to-open, consumable product.
When it comes to drinking them, most drinkers need to establish an appropriate setting for consumption. For starters, the majority of drinkers choose to share a bomber with one or more acquaintances. If it were a Friday or Saturday, I would flip everyone off and drink it to myself. But let’s be brutally honest people, sharing is caring. When you share, karma will deliver the goods. Next thing you know, you’ll have people approaching you with highly rated, rare, and obscure bombers to review.
If there are any newcomers to the beer game that are reading this, bombers best suited for aging would be around 9% and higher so the alcohol and complexities can mature over time. I wouldn’t recommend aging IPAs or any other hoppy beer for that matter. Hop characteristics diminish over time so any hop heavy beer should be consumed fresh. And this goes for any beer with added fruit, coffee, among other supplemental additions. The reason being is because these characteristics simply don’t maintain the freshness over time. Unless it’s a wild ale or beer with brettanomyces, I would drink the fruity, coffee, whatever-the-fuck-it-is beers sooner than later. So let’s see what I got in this shit-box looking cellar….
New England Brewing Co. - Imperial Stout Trooper (2011)
Ah yes, it’s about damn time. Now we have an aged Russian Imperial Stout in a bomber with a Star Wars figure on the front. Not to mention, the Groucho Marx sunglasses are the icing on the cake. That trooper could pass through any International TSA squad there is. So incognito. ‘Cept this dude is rockin the stunna shades. Big, serious, highly ranked, dark, swaggish, and rich. Rick Ross style. I wish he was drinking this beer with me. Except I have the opposite. American Italian/French Canadian Frat Star (need I say white?), rockin the half-framed prescription glasses….. my best friend and roommate, John. So let’s crack into this deep lovin trooper.
Trooper pours an opaque, nearly jet black color with a thick, creamy, mocha head. Now, forgive me of my allergies but the aroma is consisted of dark fruit, caramelized malt, dark roasted malt, chocolate biscotti, with a touch of earthiness. Mouthfeel is creamy and heavy with crisp carbonation. Taste starts with a roasted malt and dry chocolate, transitioning to an unsweetened cocoa, earthy, herbal finish. Definitely more dark fruit in the aroma than the taste buds. Overall, fantastic Russian Imperial Stout that is well rounded and maintains exemplary characteristics over time.
Maybe this bro on the label lives in space and he’s heading to a Halloween Party. The Marx Brothers must be a trend up there. Outer Space is mostly black and white after all. And Han Solo dressing up as I Love Lucy. Chewbacca dressing up as Skipper in Gilligan’s Island. Luke Skywalker as Leave it to Beaver. Princess Leia as Ed Norton in American History X. And last but not least, Darth Vader as Lassie, cause that dog definitely has some illegitimate kids. What I’m trying to say is, crack open specialty bombers during special occasions. Or just by yourself, I don’t really care. Happy American Craft Beer Week everyone! Until further notice, drink responsibly! Over & Out.
Okay so now that we’ve covered the tall boy can market trend, it is now time to drink out of a tall boy. Man, I sure am glad I didn’t have to say that out loud. Earlier tonight, my buddy Sebastian and I spotlighted a “Home Brew Demo,” at Gingerman, South Norwalk, CT. The event was a success and I am utterly happy with the outcome and support. Needless to say, it required much interaction with many different people while simultaneously drinking brewskis. My energy is now diminishing but I remembered it was ACBW and found the motivation to follow up with a review! Let’s get it.
Oskar Blues Brewery - Dale’s Pale Ale
God Bless America and God Damn that can is big! And no I’m not double fisting this elegant rockstar of a drink; I’m splitting it with my new roommate TJ. Well, we were college roommates, in which he then moved back in with his family, and now he’s reuniting with me and my other 2 former college roommates. Having said that, this is a two-way celebration for American Craft Beer Week and adding TJ back to the house roster. It’s going to be a shit-show and I’m a little nervous. At least I can split a tall boy with someone!
Dale’s pours a transparent copper with a thin white head. Retention is silky and thorough. Aroma begins with a solid bread maltiness, leading to a clean pine cone and lemon citrus finish. The pine cone leads to a touch of spearmint. Very clean. Mouthfeel is light to medium with just enough carbonation. A sweet, creamy barley-malt kicks off the taste with a slight roast. The taste transitions to a smooth orange, spearmint, pine, and resin hop finish. This ends with a sharp bite, but well rounded. The flavors are well adjusted.
Absolutely fantastic brew. This beer has revolutionized the craft beer can trend. And the mere fact that the classic packaging is red, white, and blue makes it that more special for ACBW. Monumental can for our monumental country. Now I’m going to snore in monumental proportions and wake up with a monumental hangover. So goodnight with a monumental cheers! Drink Responsibly. Over & Out.
The second day of ACBW is upon us and things are getting larger than life. We highlighted the surge of craft cans within the marketplace and how they positively contribute to the “culture” of beer. It only fits accordingly if we choose the following market trend to be a LARGE transition if you will. Don’t forget, this is a world of beer, and us Americans just so happen to live in it. The continuation of this ACBW celebration will cater to a larger format of cans. TALL BOY CANS. It’s a mere manifestation of Pokemon and evolution. Yeah…. the regular cans are great and you can most certainly stick with them if desired… or…. you can go for the larger, monumental format with an appealing prowess. Tall boy cans took advantage of the 12oz can surge and are still riding the tidal wave of craft growth. It’s a matter of personal preference, really. You can go with the flashy Ferrari of cans with the top down… or you can go with the H2 Hummer of cans on Monster Truck wheels. As long as they get you from point A to point B, it’s what makes the world go round.
Look at that gorgeous pyramid of liquid. The ancient Egyptians would be green with envy if they saw my raw ingenuity. Fuck rocks, they could’ve buried King Tut under a pyramid full of beer! The pyramid wouldn’t last that long I suppose. Egyptians 1 - Brewocracy 0. As you can see from above, graphics and packaging are a pivotal movement in the tall boy can trend. The artwork provides a story, we just don’t know if there’s a happy ending after drinking them. And you see that tiny little can to the far left? That’s a can of diet ginger beer. I wanted to display the juxtaposition of big boy cans in contrast to that of a little bitch. Go big or go home. Take your pick. No cans smaller than 12oz (unless it’s high ABV), no diapers, no bibs, well maybe diapers but asides from that, big boys are blue chip at this point.
And please, for the love of God, I don’t wanna hear anyone saying,
“Oh, well my beer gets warm near the end when I drink out of Tall Boys”
I got an idea…. MAN THE EFF UP. DRINK IT FASTER. You think brewers made tall boy cans to torture you? No, they packaged tall boy cans for craft lovers that get shit done. Efficiency at its finest. 16-20oz 4-packs of tall boys instead of 12oz 6-packs also provides more space on the shelves of liquor stores. Don’t bash the tall boys if you sip on beer like Queen Elizabeth sips her Earl Grey. If you’re not competent enough to do so, switch to the regular 12oz cans. It’s as simple as that. Now, let us embrace the tall boys…. kind of like cheer leaders embracing their NBA player counterparts. A tall boy review will arrive a little later. Happy ACBW and stay tuned! Until further notice, drink responsibly. Over & Out.
Earlier in the day, the spotlighted market trend was craft cans. A craft can theme is perfect to start off ACBW. It represents beer from a historical standpoint. Cans have gone through many trials and tribulations, ups and downs, full and empty. And justifiably so, the can stigma plummeted the consumer’s perspectives through thick and thin. With the helping hands of Oskar Blues can revolution, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Craft cans have a new emergence within the craft beer scene and as far as I’m concerned… they run the show. Since there are so many quality brewskis out there, sometimes the purchasing threshold is by judging the book by its cover…. or beer by its label. The label certainly is not the only factor but it plays as a substantial contingency for most consumers. I’m not saying I would buy a shitty beer if it had a cool label; what I am saying is, shouldn’t quality beers represent themselves with deserving artwork? Since liquor stores tend to overwhelm the average craft consumer more often than not, the buyers’ attention goes to the most attractive and flashy. So if you’re a brewer out there that produces world class quality beer but your packaging provides no personality, than you’re doing your brand no justice. The persona should match the contents; that will depict the true crusaders. Shall we continue?
Sixpoint Brewing Co. - Resin
This my friends, is a classic case of Can Swagger. Flashy packaging, great design, format, color scheme, and dimension. Sixpoint dwells in the conglomerate we like to call, Brooklyn, NY. And Brooklyn, NY is also hipster central. And that is why I decided to have my friend Jess pose in the background with her absurdly thick wool socks. She is hipster and not normal. At any rate, it makes the picture better, more attractive, and flashy. A manifestation of the very premise we’re talking about. The persona matches the contents and that is why Sixpoint has built its brand equity from the ground up. Let’s drink this sexy looking son of a bitch.
Resin is an American Double IPA clocking out at 9.1% with an IBU of 103. A BIG beer in a Red Bull type can. Who knows? Maybe this beer will give me wings. Wings that will elegantly launch my sloppy ass into bed, fully clothed. Resin pours a hazy amber with a well established head. You must forgive me, Mother Nature gave birth to a bastard child called Pollen and it’s currently raping and pillaging my entire respiratory system. So bare with me as I attempt to smell and taste. Grapefruit and orange come up big in the aroma. A touch if caramel shines through as well. Carbonation is plentiful. A sweet, medium bodied malt base kicks off the flavor. Cantaloupe, honey, grapefruit, tangerine, and a sharp citrus rind take care of the rest. The hops take over the end of the taste and loom in the aftermath for quite some time. The malt manages to last throughout the taste to balance out. Medium to heavy body with an impressively smooth texture. And last but not least, Resin in the finish of the taste, aroma, and aftertaste.
For those who read my previous post on the market trends of cans, I emphasized on beer being a culture. “Beer Is Culture” is printed on every single Sixpoint can. I rest my case. I’m also going to rest my eye lids because we have much more to read, write, and drink during American Craft Beer Week. Thank you Sixpoint, thank you Resin, and thank you Pollen for making my health feeling at the pinnacle of its prime. Until further notice, Drink Responsibly. Over & Out.
Despite everyone having a case of the Mondays, it is now time to celebrate an epic week…. American Craft Beer Week. Now is the time to appreciate the luxury of available craft beer within our markets. The time to embrace the assets we have in life and realize how beer is the stitching of our social quilt. Beer brings people together, point blank. And if it doesn’t, I’ll crush a beer by myself. The sheer amount of energy and passion that drives the beer community is beyond measurement. It is an authentic staple in American History aging back from our founding fathers that would ultimately evolve into an ever-flourishing culture. And if you consider ANYTHING as a culture in itself, it’s truly special. So let’s raise our beers high and give a toast of gratitude for beer and our country. Enough with the sentimental shit, let’s move on.
Each day this week, Brewocracy will cover highlighted market trends in the industry. After a brief touch up on the topic, we will then review a beer within that trend/category. The first day of ACBW will start with cans.
Canned beers set a pivotal impact on the beer game. Their shelf real estate in liquor stores and menu real estate in bars/restaurants is ever expanding. For starters, they’re easy to hold, open, and crush continually. Secondly, they are far more reliable in contrary to glass. If they fall to the floor, they don’t shatter. They’re far more suitable on the beach, during daytime activities like golf, landscaping, fishing, I guess what I’m trying to say is cans are good for manly things. They emphasize cheaper operational costs for breweries given the bulk quantity measures. Bottles are susceptible to UV and oxygen exposure…. cans are not. Cans also chill faster on ice or in the fridge faster than bottles. From a business and attractiveness standpoint, cans allow the brewer to be more creative with branding and labeling because you have the entire can to cover in art. Bottle labels only cover a portion of the bottle so the artwork design can be inhibited. There is always a misconception of a metallic-like flavor from cans. For the people that follow that stigma, get your head out of your ass. Unless if you’re drinking a can from the 90s, chances are, that’s not happening. Cans these days have lining on the inside that does not interfere with the beer’s characteristics. The sweet irony in all of this is people that don’t like canned beers, prefer beer on draft. Um hello!?!? Draft beer comes out of a keg! And a keg is made of METAL! I mean seriously, it’s common sense. Let’s be honest, everyone nowadays LOVES it in the can. That was not sexual.
This surge of canned brilliance in the beer game is paying substantial dividends. Now you see the Miller Coors and AB products not only consume potential threats, but also try to own the store coolers with different packages to take away from opportunistic space for craft cans. When I walk in the liquor store now and see Bud Light or Budweiser, there must be more than a dozen god damned options for packaging. Individual cans, 4 pack cans, 6 pack cans, 12, 18, 24, 30. Same thing for bottles. Their next defense for real estate will probably be stuffing the entire fucking clydesdale horse in there. At any rate, this goes to show how the popularity of the small market craft beer is forcing the 800 pound gorillas to change their ways. Let’s drink a canned beer to kick off the ACBW! Review coming soon. Drink Responsibly. Over & Out.
White Birch Berliner Weisse…. Happy Mothers Day! #craftbeer #mothersday