Marijuana and the Beer Industry


There have been some reports in recent weeks which suggest that marijuana legalization is creating some drag on beer sales in states like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon (and there have also been reports arguing the opposite). Although I don’t purport to know what the long-term effects of marijuana legalization will be, I can say that I see no evidence that legalization has had an effect on beer sales in the short term.

Let’s delve into the (scant) existing evidence and why I differ on this issue from some other analysts.

Dissecting the Data
First, I think there are data issues with some of the analyses. For example, a recent analysis by Cowen and Company used Nielsen data to note that in Denver, “total beer volumes in that market have fallen 6.4 percent year-to-date and craft beer volumes have dipped five percent.” Now, I think Nielsen data is great, and I don’t doubt that in the channels they measure those numbers have some validity, but the problem is that Denver is probably one of the markets where scan/POS misses the most volume given the incredibly strong craft on-premise scene.

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Beer Profile: Tailgate’s Grapefruit IPA

Profiled by Ken Carman

No score BA, 3.5 UnTappd


Exactly what qualifies this as an IPA? Now a grapefruit Pale a tad low on the hops? I’d buy that. There are hops in this with the slightest bitter and some spicy. But, unless they used grapefruit-like hops, the level is more Pale than IPA. And why would you use grapefruit-like hops in a grapefruit IPA? Seems pointless.

I suspect, if they did, lost in the recipe.

The nose is just like the taste: juicy and a lesser zest sense. The balance there is excellent. Seems to be a very simple pale malt recipe, and a good carbonation level in the mouthfeel. Moderately low body, urine yellow with good clarity, white head that fades fast: tiny bubble.

It’s simple, a little boring, but enjoyable. Only less than a 4 because it’s not what the label claims it to be.

3.9

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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______________________________Beer HERE

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Beer Flights: The Smart Way to Drink

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

5300-plus breweries in the United States and counting. Another 775 in Canada as of 2016 (and counting). A veritable explosion of new and innovative breweries in Europe’s strongholds of brewing tradition: Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.

Judges at the 2016 edition of the Great American Beer Festival evaluated 96 general categories of beer covering 161 beer styles.

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For God’s Sake, Stop Opening Breweries – The Normals Are Noticing

This isn’t for all of you. Some of you should be opening breweries. But it’s for most of you (and me, for that matter). For God’s sake, stop opening breweries. You might be OK to ignore this if you live somewhere where there isn’t a decent brewery within, say, 25 miles. And you’ve worked in an industrial setting (do you even weld, bro?). And you have extensive brewing experience. And you have a working knowledge of chemistry and biology. And you have some experience in marketing and sales. And/or you’re rich or have access to a lot of slack credit. If you don’t check these boxes and you’re contemplating a brewery business plan right now, I’m talking to you.

Because lately I keep reading about and/or visiting breweries that fail on these basic, obvious things, and it’s starting to piss me off because I’m now having to hear my macro-drinking neighbors tell me that they picked up some local brewery’s beers, but didn’t like them…and they’re 100% right. This isn’t, “oh, they usually drink Coors Lite and can’t handle real beer.” It’s “oh, that beer legitimately doesn’t taste good for a variety of reasons.” You’re always going to have differences in taste, but this is actually just poorly-made beer, and believe it or not (my palate-trained friends) while it might be hard to pick out the great from the good in terms of beer, picking out the terrible is pretty easy, and lots of people can do it.

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Lager Method

I’m a lover of all things lager- Márzen, Schwarzbier, Helles, and Pilsner are some of favorite styles. As a homebrewer, I initially avoided making lager beer due to my inability to precisely control fermentation temperature. Once I finally got my chamber setup and made a couple lagers using more traditional fermentation schedules, I found myself avoiding them due to how long they took to finish. I also began wondering how I might be able to hasten the process. I had learned that with precise control of my temperature, I could turn most ales around in 2 weeks and wondered why I couldn’t use this control to do the same with lager beers. I made a couple batches that came out surprisingly well, played with the method for a few months, and was gradually convincing myself the days of 2 month lagers were behind me. After numerous successful batches, I happen to catch an episode of The Session on The Brewing Network where Mike “Tasty” McDole mentioned how he takes lager grain-to-glass in 2 weeks using precise control of fermentation temperature. This was validating, particularly since I was aiming for a much less anxiety provoking 3-4 week turnaround.I’m a lover of all things lager- Márzen, Schwarzbier, Helles, and Pilsner are some of favorite styles. As a homebrewer, I initially avoided making lager beer due to my inability to precisely control fermentation temperature. Once I finally got my chamber setup and made a couple lagers using more traditional fermentation schedules, I found myself avoiding them due to how long they took to finish. I also began wondering how I might be able to hasten the process. I had learned that with precise control of my temperature, I could turn most ales around in 2 weeks and wondered why I couldn’t use this control to do the same with lager beers. I made a couple batches that came out surprisingly well, played with the method for a few months, and was gradually convincing myself the days of 2 month lagers were behind me. After numerous successful batches, I happen to catch an episode of The Session on The Brewing Network where Mike “Tasty” McDole mentioned how he takes lager grain-to-glass in 2 weeks using precise control of fermentation temperature. This was validating, particularly since I was aiming for a much less anxiety provoking 3-4 week turnaround.

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HERE

Beer Profile: Nelson’s After Dark Organic Brown Ale

Profiled by Ken Carman

83 BA, 3.5 out of 5 Untappd

Obviously “organic” is a selling point, not a flavor, aroma or mouthfeel concern.

This was sent to me by my brother Ted in Seattle. Nelson is a Canadian brewer in Nelson, British Columbia.

Right up front: this is pretty much a perfect Northern Brit Brown, though the BJCP doesn’t call it that anymore. Personally I think that a mistake. Brit Browns are more diverse than what the 2015 Guidelines have to say about them, and I thought Northern a very distinct style. But… whatever.

This has all the classic sense, well attenuated to the point of being fairly dry, a mostly malt nose that’s brown malt-ish and hint caramel-like sense. Yes, there’s a bitter to it, but subtle, supporting, well balanced. I would say they’re close to even. Reminds me a tad of Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown, only maybe better. I’d have to have them side by side to ascertain that.

The body low medium, the carbonation high side of low but firm.

I could drink this all day. Whereas even a great IPA is wonderful, but after a while it might fry the tongue. This slips down so easy it’s like a comfy tongue blanket, pajamas or extra long night shirt. No coating involved, just comfortable on the palate. But if you’re looking for more of a desert beer you might try to find the ever elusive, sweeter, London Brown, like Mann’s Brown. They’re hard to find: so hard I’m planning on brewing one.

This Nelson brew is an excellent choice any time of year.

4.3

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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________________________________________Beer HERE

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Modern Times Becomes an Employee-Owned Brewery

modern times employee owned brewery

 

In a move that Modern Times Beer founder Jacob McKean calls “the coolest thing I’ve ever announced,” Modern Times is now an employee-owned brewery.

The brewery explains in a news release it repurchased shares from outside investors. Now, 30 percent of the company is being held in an employee stock ownership program.

 

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Beer Profile: Nebraska Brewing’s Little Betty Imperial Stout

Profiled by Ken Carman

4.2 on BA, 3.8 UnTapp’d

I don’t CARE if the can says “Americanized.” When the almost fresh hop sense covers the Russian Imperial sense to the point of not being able to be sure it’s RIP that’s problematic. In fact it’s annoying.

The nose is hops, the mouthfeel is hops, the body is high side medium and the carbonation light: though plenty of brown-ish pillow foam. There is an obvious sense of complex malts but so far back to the nose, the palate, the taste it’s tough to be sure.

Odd note: the can was so cheesy the whole top pulled off with great ease.

The hops are bitter and green grassy. Little to no flavor. So little hard to tell what kind.

My guess is the base is good. Just please, please, please, back the hell off from the hops.

3.6

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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___________________________Beer HERE

The IBU is a LIE! Kind of…..

An IBU by any other name would taste just as bitter… or would it?

That’s the question that we set out to discover recently with the help of our volunteer IGORs.

For this experiment, the goal was to determine how closely IBU estimates in a recipe match the actual finished beer. Whether homebrewers use a spreadsheet they put together themselves, a pencil and paper, or brewing software, everyone sets an IBU target and then tries to figure out how to hit it. But variations in hops and brewing processes can mess with the actual figures, making them diverge from the predictions. We set out to see how close the finished beer was to the prediction of bitterness.

What’s an IBU

What is an International Bittering Unit? Colloquially we think of it as a measure of how bitter a beer is.

That’s kinda wrong.

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HERE