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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Odd Words From the Washington Post

I've been keeping one eye on the Washington Post's Beer Madness competition, which is now down to its final two. The idea was interesting: a bracket system like the NCAA basketball tourney, but with each quadrant representing a broad category of beer. Obviously, the outcome isn't worth debating (run the same beers past any ten panels and you'd get ten different winners), but the experiment is interesting.

What's weird is today's write-up by Greg Kitsock. It includes passages like this:
A wheat wine from DuClaw Brewing in Abingdon, Md. An Americanized version of a Belgian tripel from Flying Fish Brewing in Cherry Hill, N.J. A coffee stout from Evolution Craft Brewing in Delmar, Del. A double IPA from Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, Calif. None of those breweries existed 20 years ago; neither did any of those styles. [emphasis mine]
and this:
Bob Tupper, of Tuppers’ Hop Pocket Ale renown, summed up the dilemma: “How can you choose between this nice [double] IPA, well brewed, with well-blended flavors, or the big coffee jolt?” He picked the Lagunitas “because this beer is so much harder to brew than the coffee.”
One of the main reasons to hold a competition like this is beer education--especially for a newspaper. The final four certainly didn't represent novel styles--even by American breweries. And highlighting a quote saying a coffee stout is easier to brew than a double IPA is also a dubious claim.

Good luck to the competitors, but to the WaPo I say: work a bit on the education part.


  1. In fact, Phil Moeller at Rubicon brewed what everybody agrees was the first wheat wine in 1988, which is 23 years ago. Probably only something the folks at Rubicon and I care about . . .

  2. Small world. I distinctly remember having the wheat wine at Rubicon in 1993. The alcohol percentage was higher than was typical for that time and, in fact, I “obtained a buzz”.

    Whatever happened to the Rubicube? A one-gallon plastic cube with a spigot valve. Kept the beer much fresher and far superior to the stupid glass jug...err… growler. I was never sure why that didn’t catch on. Harder to clean? If you knew how to work the valve right you could get a perfect pour several days after you got it from the brewery. That’s right, you could pour a beer out of it on Monday, another one on Tuesday and another on Wednesday and all of them would be carbonated.

  3. Thanks! This was exacly what I needed. Simple and easy!thanks.