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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pssst, Hey Eric, There's a Place Called Oregon, Pass it On

Yet another installment about beer from Eric Asimov, the NY Times' beer guy (or wine-guy-who-writes-about-beer) and yet another column in which no Oregon beers are mentioned. I mean, I don't ask for much. But in a review of extreme beers, a nod to Beervana wouldn't be out of the question, right? Right?

Hair of the Dog has been brewing extreme beers for 15 years. Sasquatch became a fave over a decade ago. For years and years and years, Oregon beers were castigated for their heft by brewers and writers on the East Coast and the beer mafia (sorry!) in Boulder. Yet Asimov selects five East Coast beers and two Colorado beers. Pshaw!

(Hoisting a pint of Hair of the Dog Fred) "Hey Eric, say hello to my leetle friend."


  1. Jeff:
    Are we reading the same article? Granted there are no Oregon beers, but the West Coast definitely represents. 3 Californian beers: Lagunitas Maximus, Mad River Steelhead, and (the featured) Moylan's...
    I thought it was a pretty good and regionally balanced article, especially from NYT...


  2. No, I think it's terrible. The West Coast has been absolutely excoriated for a decade for their use of too much (hops, alcohol, whatever), and so when the NYT covers it, only 30% of the beers come from here?

    This is a wine guy, so here's an analogy. If he reviewed pinots and failed to mention a single NW wine, it wouldn't be credible. So why is it credible in beer. If this were the Philly Inquirer, that would be one thing, but the the love of Pete, it's the NYT! Shouldn't we expect Asimov to, you know, research the subject for ten minutes?

  3. I think that the NY Times usually only chooses to rank and rate that which is widely available, and available in NYC.

  4. SS is right. Eric can only review what he has local (NY) access too. He's writing about beers that locals can find and drink.Maybe someone should send him some Oregon beer if distribution doesn't deliver that far...

  5. SS and Dr. Wort--I'm going to play hardball on this one. This is the NY Times--one of the two or three most influential newspapers in the world. While it's true that there isn't great Oregon distribution in NY, that's really beside the point. This isn't a beer blogger--he has the vast resources of the Gray Lady at his disposal. All he has to do is give Alan Sprints a call, and Alan will happily send out a bottle of Fred. These articles have HUGE lead times (what do they come out, once a month?), so this is no excuse. Even more pointedly, the NYT do articles about Oregon all the time. If they have the resources to send reporters to Oregon, or hire freelancers to cover Oregon, they can swing the fee to have beer shipped.

    The only explanation is writer ignorance, and that's what I take exception to.

  6. I had Hair of the Dog Fred at the Horse Brass, that was an incredible beer! I have never seen 10% alcohol so well masked.

  7. Do you read the NY Times regularly? If so then you will know that simply don't include Oregon beers/wines/spirits unless they are widely available (and available in NY.)

    Look through past Asimov articles. Only those beers/wines/spirits that have wide distribution get mentioned.