Local Brewers Exhibit a “Can Do” Attitude
5 minutes ago
Alan sees how. Here's his comment:
In Belgium, they all used returnable bottles. Everyone. Remarkably, they get over 90% return rates, and the bottles survive many, many refillings. (Look at your next bottle of Orval and see if it isn't worn at the wide spot.)... When I asked them about returnable bottles, Belgians were never convinced it was enormously more green than our system--using a bottle once, grinding it up, melting it back into a bottle, and sending it back out--but I have a hard time seeing how.
First off, Matt is a great guy, makes great beers, and I trust his call on his system. I can’t wait to see the bottling line.
My comment is a bit long, but some readers might be interested to know why most craft brewers aren't working with used bottles. For some perspective: I worked in a smaller Bavarian brewery in 1998 (20,000 bbl/year sold in a radius of about 20 miles) where they did clean their bottles in a massive bottle washer, which sucked down tons of energy and used lots of water and chemicals. The brewery had to store new glass in addition to the used glass due to lost or broken bottles, so they dedicated a lot of space to holding the bottles on site.
When I was there, the Germans were using the NRW bottle almost exclusively. That helped things a bit. The consumer would buy a reusable plastic case holding twenty 0.5 L bottles, schlepp that home, drink the beer, then schlepp the empty case back. If the retailer returned the cases properly, the brewer would have 20 of his own bottles in his own plastic case (I never worked with a female brewer there, so forgive the use of the masculine pronoun). With one bottle type, you could live with having a retailer send you the wrong case, but you still had to pay shipping to return it to the other brewery. Mark H pointed out the problem with branded glass. That was taking hold in Germany in 1998 and has become even more prevalent, which makes it harder for them as well. So I totally understand the lack of enthusiasm from Jeff’s Belgian brewing friends.
Turning to our craft brewers, we are lacking the infrastructure of selling bottles in a reusable case, using a single bottle type (22s are the closest for this, where almost all of the them are the same bottle type) for 12 oz bottles, having space in the retailer’s storage area to hold all of the cases and bottles returning each day (Germany doesn’t have 50 to 100 brands in their equivalent of an Albertson’s, Safeway, or Fred Meyer, let alone the number of offerings from a Belmont Station), holding the distributors accountable for picking up the retailer’s empties, storing them in their warehouses, then returning them to the brewery.
And…we brewers aren’t sitting on tons of real estate where we can store smelly, nasty bottles and cases, nor can most of us afford a bottle washer (either for capital investment, labor, or energy/water/chemical inputs). For a production brewery of Deschutes/Full Sail/Widmer's size, you are looking at a multi-million dollar investment for the machinery alone. Think of your local, very small brewer who has a mobile bottler come in once a month or so. She probably only has enough space for the bottles that are there that day (I have worked with women brewers here in the States!) and is happy to see the pallets leave as soon as possible.
QUESTION: What's the recipe for the White House's beer?
OBAMA: It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.I'm taking bets. Will it be: a) a surprisingly beer geeky recipe, b) probably fine but nothing spectacular, or c) amateur hour? Put me down for B.
who really cares? I can't believe or understand the amount of discussion/buzz/debate this has caused. I mean petitions, endless blog/twitter/facebook posts, and freedom of information act requests? All to find out what is likely a bad to mediocre "honey ale" recipe. wow.Alan, presciently, had pre-answered these objections:
Maybe it will be normal. That your supreme leader, the leader of the western world, advocates for "tasty" beer is a massive victory for me.Being the president gives you a huge spotlight, and one of the virtues of the office is bringing a few causes you like into the light with you. It costs nothing, is not politically costly, unites rather than divides, and generally makes everyone happy. I'm with Alan.
In Belgium, brewing lines have little laser eyes that scan every bottle before it goes into the queue and snatches out damaged or dirty ones, which I mention because, obviously, it's groovy. I assume Double Mountain's new system has the same tech (though they don't wander into those particular weeds in explaining it.)
We encourage you to bring your bottles back to us so that we can put them back into service again. We’ll even pay you an extra five cents on your deposit, just for being good. Our plan is to have retailers in local markets return empties to us to keep them out of the evil glass crushers.
You are spot on regarding the carbon footprint. At smaller shipping distances, returnable/reusable glass is the most green packaging option (less drinking draft beer out of keg... clearly the best), recycled glass as next in line for short hauls, then when you start talking thousands of miles, cans due to the lighter weight of the package.
Hop Harvest for "The Mutt"_______________
August 28, 6 pm
Lucky Labrador Brewpub, 915 SE Hawthorne
Bring your bines!
Women Citing Beer as Preferred Beverage
All__________________21%_____27% ___22% ___23%
Under 49 years old___25%_____35% ___28% ___27%
Over 50 years old____15%_____18% ___17% ___17%
I can't find the report, and after enticing us with that lede, OPB offers no support for the finding at all. With brewery openings happening as fast as they are, it would be hard to nail down this number--and that's if you could agree on what qualifies as a "brewery." (The Lucky Lab has two brewing locations and four pubs--do you count it as one, two, or four?) If some official body did award Oregon the laurel, bully for us. It would be another talking point for Beervana.
Oregon may have surpassed Vermont last year as the state with the most breweries per capita. That's one conclusion of a new report from Oregon's employment department.
"In 2010, Oregon was ranked second by the Brewers Association for states' brewery per capita with 31,660 people for each brew pub. At that time, they counted 110 breweries. Using the 184 brewery and brew pub units from this analysis (units with or without employment) and the Population Research Center's 2011 Oregon population estimate, in 2011 there were just 20,965 Oregonians per brewery. That puts Oregon well above Vermont, the 2010 number one ranked state. In 2010, Vermont had 27,800 people per brewery. The Brewers Association has not published a 2011 ranking."It's bad enough that they compare Oregon's 2011 numbers with Vermont's from the year previous, but egregious over a period when the number of brewery openings exploded by 20-30%. Not only that, but they have used a statistic ("brewery and brew pub units") that is inconsistent with the way everyone else counts breweries. The Oregon Brewers Guild--the gold standard in these matters--says, "There are currently 120 brewing companies, operating 153 brewing facilities in 59 cities in Oregon."
No doubt you see where this is headed. "So strong and sweet and very alcoholic." I didn't build a fire in order to heat up a poker, but I did heat up the beer, thinking at the time--"this is going to be genius." I imagined sparking a minor fad in mulled Kill Devil. I foresaw our annual holiday party, me presiding over a bubbling cauldron of Kill Devil as the clamoring hordes thrust mugs toward my ladle. And then I tasted it.
I heard that in my family, there were homebrewers at the time—100 years ago. The women were the brewers because the men were at sea to catch herrings. The women made beer in the wintertime on the stove. [Carlo comes from the village of De Panne, and from the village they fish in flat-bottomed boats called pannepots] The label is actually my great-granddad’s boat, the B-50.
Photo credit: Drew
Anyway, the women made beer on the stove and they didn’t like cold beer at the time. It was so strong and sweet and very alcoholic so they kept in a little cask in the cellar. If they wanted some beer, they went down with the jug and tapped off some beer—it was flat. But they didn’t like cold beer. So they had to heat it up. So they put the metal poker in the fire and it was glowing red, and when they put it in the thick beer (it didn’t have a name, it was called “thick beer”) with lots of sugars in it and the sugars instantly caramelized. It gave it a roasted, caramelized flavor.
But I’ve no doubt that all these ladies and gentlemen could belly up to a bar and be instant compatriots, unified by their common belief that beer is good, liberating and the American way.We have a consensus.
When it comes down to drinking it, and the beer's good, beer isn't partisan. If you can tell if a beer's liberal or conservative just by tasting it, you're -- well, I was about to say you're better than I am, but to be honest? You're crazy.
Let's keep politics out of beer, because as I've learned in 30 years of drinking non-mainstream beer, you can't tell anything about a brewer's politics from their hopping rates. Let's leave that to the pundity types, and keep politics out of beer. Just a suggestion.
In perhaps the most startling revelation so far in Obama’s three-day bus tour across Iowa, it was revealed this morning that the White House brews its own beer, and that the presidential bus is stocked with bottles of that beer.Also, note that in comments proud Iowan Maureen Ogle (one of two people I thought of when writing this--the other's Matt Van Wyk) takes hearty exception to my characterization of the quality of beer in Iowa. Apparently the Iowa State Fair ghettoizes the crap into its own tent--the one Obama happened along. (I'd hit him up for a homebrewed honey wheat instead.)
The revelation came incidentally, when a man at the Knoxville coffee shop where Obama stopped today somehow got the president onto the subject of beer, and Obama noted that a sample of the White House’s home brew was just outside.
|The pints are honest (.5 L) and the bar is covered with caps|
Note the section I've bolded. I didn't reply, so I'm not totally sure what he had in mind. Still, when partners are in the review business, something's not quite kosher. Word to the wise--Hi,
My name is Ryan and I am writing from Beerocity.com. I just came across your website, which I enjoyed very much, and wanted to reach out to you to see if you might be a good fit to partner with us in some form.We run several high traffic beer sites with different focuses. Some sell personalized beer & bar products, from Das Boot to beer pong tables to licensed sports team glassware. We also have some sites with links to great resources for people to find beer related businesses like bars, breweries, homebrewing groups, the best beer bloggers, etc.We are interested in finding partners for the following
- Beer experts & bloggers to review our products and give us write ups
- Link & banner partners
- Partners we can run promotions & contests with
- ....and any other ideas we can conjure up togetherCheers!
German winter barley and rapeseed yields should be about 10 percent higher than last year, based on harvest results, farm lobby Deutscher Bauernverband said.In the past couple days, BeerPulse alerted me to these stories:
The U.S. now boasts 2,126 breweries—an increase of 350 additional breweries since June 2011. The BA also tracks breweries in planning as an indicator of potential new entrants into the craft category, and lists 1,252 breweries in planning today compared to 725 a year ago. Additionally, the count of craft brewers was at 2,075 as of June 30, 2012 showing that 97 percent of U.S. brewers are craft brewers.They include this graph, and the near-vertical line on the right-hand side looks a whole lot like the beginnings of a bubble. (For an unsettling comparison, have a look here.)
Additionally, isn't it most likely that your region is heavily taken by IPAs because it is near the major hops growing region? It may be one of the few examples of a local ingredient influencing a regional palate and maybe even culture.I suspect there's something to this. I want there to be something to this. And yet, how's that old saw go?--correlation is not causation. Historically, that is, before humans developed the tech to ship ingredients cheaply around the world, the relationship between ingredients and tastes was a mutually-enforcing cycle. People brewed with what they had access to, and that seems to have inclined them to like what they had brewed. So they liked beer made with local ingredients. The pattern is so strong that Alan's thesis has the aroma of truth.
I dunno, seems like false advertising - have you answered your question, 'how'? I get it that they have [conquered America] but I was expecting your usual bloviating - er - erudite analysis of why IPA is especially right for American palates. What is it about the IPA and the American Experience that makes them so simpatico? (My bold)
|The purpose of this image will become evident in due course.|
|Photo credit: Scottwwwwwww|