From the Bottle Collection: New Amsterdam IPA

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with The Bottle Collection.

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Written by Ken Carman

Remember all I’ve typed about “vending out,” or having someone else brew your beer? Here’s a different take. New Amsterdam was pretty much designed from the start to be a contract brew. They did have their own recipes and they took them to FX Matt, who brewed what they wanted. Bingo.

Such brews do suffer, however, from drowning under the the big bucks breweries use to promote their own product. But then they don’t have to buy equipment, maintain it… etc. The problem here is that usually it is, by definition, a small operation like that still can’t match the buckaroos put out by the majors. This is why we can have pure crud produced by AB under the Mich label that is supposed to be Porter and such and contracts die. Anyone with a bit of knowledge knows they probably don’t care to match anything: or even produce something all that tasty… just muscling out the small guys. Then the crud sticks around, spoiling the public on micro styles before they even get a chance to taste the good stuff. That couldn’t be intentional, could it? Nah, guess not. And if that attempt doesn’t work they just pull it, relabel, and try again.

Kind of producing a car called a Corvette, or a truck, because you don’t want have trucks or sports cars to be part of the market, and making sure it sucks more than a Yugo. Then over sell every market via advertising and product placement.

And we wonder why we have no more independent autos like Stude or American Motors? Well, if this stands we’ll be right back to just AB and Miller/Coors.

In many other industries law suits would follow, but since brewers and styles are naturally separated, it works. Think GM would put up with that? Hell, they sued Avanti for even thinking of making something that kind of/sort of looked like a Hummer.

Anyway, enough rant…

I remember this IPA. New Amsterdam was around for quite a while, and started early in the trend towards different styles. It wasn’t extreme, but it was a nice, mild, version of the style. That was pretty much my take on all New Amsterdam beers, and they weren’t anything like the Saranac products coming forth from the same brew kettles. That means the brewers were being fair to their customers, unlike a certain past tense brewery in Covington, KY area whose brewer told me, “Oh, if they order a Porter, we just give them whatever we have that’s closest.”

“EX?” Praise the beer Gods.

I’ve heard Matt bought the rights. The founder tried to open his own brewery in “the City” and things went downhill fast after that. Remember what I typed about the advantages of not having your own brewery?

I remember it having decent head and close to a perfect mild version of an IPA, but the hopping was a bit unique. Perhaps a tad “spicy?” Yet not “English.” Maybe a mix of the two? It’s so hard to remember when there’s so many bottles to choose: From the Beer Collection.