So, what prompted me to dedicate a blog just to beer? A few things actually.
First, there's the fact that I love to write, and I love to write about beer. Goes without saying. Secondly, I turned 40 back on April 7. Which by the way was the 74th anniversary of the legalization of beer for those not paying attention. Next year's 75th anniversary - PARTY! But I digress...
At 40, things change. In this case me and my immediate family have been talking about a great many things (more on that later). Frankly, as the old saying goes: "It's time to shit or get off the pot." In Januray of this year that feeling hit me regarding my "never endingly-finished" (trademarked, pay me to use it!) novel. I've been working on this thing for 5+ years. It was time to write it - or don't. I had 20 pages 6 months ago. I have almost 100 now. I've stalled over the last two months (meaning I haven't written a damn thing), but I've gotten back on the horse recently.
The same can be said for all the crap we've talked about doing for the last 5 or so years (more on that latter; I'm just not ready to divulge my plans for world beer domination... or something like that). Anywho, I'm tired of just talking about it. It's time to do something about it, or stop talking about it and just keep on living life like most people in today's world - too afraid (or brainwashed by their own fears) to get off the couch and make their dreams come true.
Third, a new wave of marketing is sweeping the craft brew industry. Actually, you're taking part in it by reading this blog. That's right - blogs. I heard rumors of this before now, but the latest issue of Beeradvocate confirms it. According to Jason Feifer's "Beer News" article: "as brewers look for ways to announce their latest beers, bloggers are increasingly part of their plans."
I don't surf, but by God I want in on this wave!
According to Paula Johnston, Bridgeport Brewing's (Oregon's oldest craft brewery) marketing manager, "When we launch a new product, we want everybody and their brother to know about it."
Jason Feifer goes on to explain that "beer bloggers may not have the same clout as professional reviewers (which I just so happen to be, just not of beer; not yet anyway!) nor the same reach as newspapers or magazines, but they have devoted followings and can help spread the word about good new brews."
Amen brother... amen!
Case in point: I recently bought my dad a membership to the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club for his birthday. The first package arrived last week and we got to sample (OK, fully enjoy) all 4 of the fine brews included in this months' package. Two were from Two Brothers Brewing in Warrenville, Illinois, and two were from Clipper City Brewing in Baltimore, Maryland. They were all spectacular! My pops and I would never have discovered these wonderful brews if not for this club. They are well worth the price of admission folks.
From Two Brothers we sampled The Bitter End Pale Ale. For me to say any pale ale is good is a feat unto itself because I am not big on bold hoppiness. Then we had had - a daring direction for an American craft brewery I have to admit - Domaine DuPage French Country Ale. I'm about as fond of anything French (damn frogs) as I am of pale ales. The Domaine was - dare I say - exquisite. I'd keep this in my fridge on a regular basis.
From Clipper City we had the Clipper City Gold Ale and the Peg Leg Imperial Stout (at a hefty 8% A/V), one of their "Heavy Seas" line of beers. In this the "Year of the Pirate" I would pimp this till the treasure was found. I love the marketing direction Clipper City uses. The Gold Ale was good (it should be since it won some awards a few years back), but I could use a never ending supply of the Peg Leg during the winter months. It's one damn fine (chocolaty) stout that would go perfect with snow on the ground and a fire roaring.
By the way, take a look at Hugh Sisson's (Clipper City's head brewer) "Diary of a Brewer" blog which I added to the list off to the left. It's a very cool look into things from a brewer's (of renown) perspective.
Damn I can ramble. OK, so I've sucked down a few today. SUE ME! So with that...
Until next time, keep the taps full. Ya never know when I might be dropping by!