It’s Happening Again »: Mega-Brewery Pre-invades Another Sports Arena

I’m an inaugural season ticket holder of our new team. It’s exciting and has started with the greatest momentum of any sports franchise – let alone hockey franchise – in the past twenty years and maybe ever. So, I’m asking – as someone with skin in the game – and SUGGESTING that the Kraken do BETTER than all those teams and facilities that don’t have their support base or their cultural setting.

FACT: Washington is one of the four largest beer producing states in the US. California is #1 and 2, 3, and 4 rotate between Oregon, Colorado, and WA state. We have one of the most robust beer economies in the nation, based almost solely upon many hundreds of small breweries. We don’t have a mega-brewery here, churning out pallid domestic lagers in vast quantities brewed in 20,000 gallon tanks. We are a state which, for the first twenty years of our brewing community, didn’t even package 98% of all our native beers because we drank them all. We were VERY late to bottling and canning beer and even when we did, it wasn’t distributed to much more than this corner of America.

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The Admiration Society: Garrett Marrero

I’ve had this belief, for a long time, that it is just as possible to “know” a person from their social media posts, their work ethic, their stances on social and environmental and human rights issues, and their SENSE OF HUMOR and humility and decency, as it is to know someone we’ve met face-to-face. What we respond to, unless we’re hopelessly shallow, in those we choose to call friends, is their character, their intelligence, their humor, and their values. Maybe social media friendship is even more possible, since the first way involves a distilled version of their character, minus all the self-conscious glad-handing of most in-person interaction. In writing this, I’m testing that theory…but also saying something I really believe.

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Steve Body/The Pour Fool

A Cautionary Tale from Old Tacoma, for ALL Breweries

In the comments to section of a Facebook page for my friend, Sue Kidd, former food reviewer for our local Tacoma News Tribune, she covered the closure of a Seattle brewery which opened a pub in a ritzy (well, ritzy for Tacoma, anyway) new shopping and retail center on the Commencement Bay waterfront. The center is called Point Ruston and at least aspires to be an upscale location with more in common with our neighboring Seattle than sweet ol’ blue-collar Tacoma. The brewery occupied a large retail space there which had previously been the pub for another out-of-town brewery. The new closure was significant. People noticed…and came to a Conclusion.

Hundreds of Tacomans started to call this space “cursed”.

There is nothing at all “cursed” about the location. As someone who has been actively involved in the beverage trade for 37 years, I saw what was happening with those breweries going into Point Ruston and told my wife I gave them both less than six months…and that is because of ambition exceeding their realities.

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Holiday Smack-Up: Cedar Springs Brewing: Bringing Back the Gut

Okay, when I called this “Brining Back the Gut”, I was not talking about my waistline after the Holiday carb orgy…although I’ma TRY not to do that, this year, though self-deception gets harder every day.

No, this “gut” is the German form, pronounced “Goot”, which translates as “good”, as in the official slogan – Schmecht Gut (“Make it Good”) – of the brilliant Cedar Springs Brewing, of…you guessed it, Cedar Springs. Which is in Kentucky, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Texas, not to mention the Cedar Springs Historic District, in South Carolina, composed of three buildings: the Stagecoach Inn, The Frazier-Pressley House, and The Cedar Springs ARP Church. God Bless Wikipedia.

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Holiday Smack-Up: Crux “Tough Love”: The Dark Side of the Holidays

Written by Steve Body

I’m going to tell you about what is certainly one of my two or three favorite bottles of beer I’ve tasted in my insanely long career as a wine and beer buyer and the literal thousand or so beers I sample, every year. (not “drink”, “sample”; a sip or two and mostly spit. Nobody can drink that much beer and not have a liver the size of a Kia Sportage) All you folks who are headed out to the grocery store or booze shop to pick up your usual knee-jerk Chardonnay (God Save Us) or six pack o’ precocious Pilsner – even a craft one – or that one-size-fits-all Pinot Noir, just listen the hell up for a moment, okay? I’ma do you a solid, here.

I grant you we are really only one, one and a half generations away from being an entire nation of Bud-swillin’ dunderheads, so no one needs to feel too terrible about opting for their comfort zone in holiday imbibing. BUT we CAN, mercifully be past all that, if we choose. And that is what this post is all about…


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Anheuser-Busch Faces Lawsuit Over Veza Sur Craft Positioning

The Professor hopes for the best here, The big brewers have done this kind of thing for a long time. But he has his doubts. GOOD LUCK!

A proposed class-action lawsuit alleges that Anheuser-Busch InBev is deceiving consumers by positioning its Veza Sur brewery in Miami as a craft brewery.

Consumers Byron Jackson and Mario Mena Jr. filed lawsuit last week against A-B and its subsidiary, Miami Beer Ventures LLC (MBV), in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida Miami Division.

Jackson and Mena, who both live in Miami-Dade County, claim they were misled into purchasing what they believed to be craft beer made by a small brewery with Latin roots in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District.

“In reality, it is simply another one of the dozens of brands made by the largest brewer in the world, Anheuser-Busch,” the complaint reads. “It has no authentic Latin roots, and is not even made in Miami.”

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Bend, The Rules: America’s Stylistically Liberated Beer City

Written by Stephen Body

Bend, Oregon…no matter what anyone says, my vote for the mythical (and mostly bogus) title of “Beer City USA” – besides the presumptive winner, San Diego – would have to go to this explosive brewing mecca, out there in the arid middle of Oregon’s High Desert. It is certainly, even including SD, the most per capita great brewery nexus in the country and the only real challenger is the far more tiny Hood River, Oregon, about 150 miles up Oregon Route 97. One quick scan of the breweries located in Bend makes the case eloquently…

Deschutes Brewery

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A few years back, the beer world came together to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot (Beer Purity Law) promulgated in 1516. The atmosphere across Bavaria was festive. Breweries touted the Reinheitsgebot during their tours, museums staged exhibitions about the edict’s history, and beer enthusiasts began a fresh round of debate about the relevance of this centuries-old writ.

Four hours east of Munich as the RailJet flies, the Viennese were marking a milestone anniversary of their own, albeit with much less fanfare: 175 years of Vienna Lager. Even if no museums commemorated the fact, and even if the media resonance was akin to the sound of one hand clapping, Vienna had good reason to celebrate its contribution to the culture of brewing. Bottom-fermented beer had been produced for centuries in Europe’s Alpine regions, but it wasn’t until Anton Dreher, owner of the Brauhaus zu Klein-Schwechat, brought together technological advances he learned in Britain and Bavaria that he was able to produce the first lager beer that could be brewed year-round. That happened in 1841. Up until then, Vienna’s top-fermented beers had a poor reputation: a dark brown, turbid, and frothy concoction that contemporaries dubbed “recht miserabel.” (I probably don’t need to translate that.)

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New Belgium and Kirin/Lion: All Too Predictable, All Too Crass

Written by Stephen Body
I’m already getting a ton of emails, asking if I’m going to go ballistic – as I did with 10 Barrel and Ely**an – about New Belgium selling out to Kirin/Lion. Yeah, I do pretty splashy snark and they’re fun to read. Fun to write, too…

“…When twin brothers Chris and Jeremy Cox (10 Barrel Brewing) decided to brew their own beer, they were co-owners of a successful bar and grill in downtown Bend, Oregon. They didn’t have any direct experience brewing, but told anybody who’d listen about their deep passion for craft beers and their determination to break into the industry. That, as we see graphically now, was all bullshit. What the Brothers Cox were after was a Big Payday; a rosy dream of building a disposable enterprise that would eventually catch the eye of some huge mega-corp who would back a truck up to their loading dock and shovel dollar bills out the back until they buried Jeremy and Chris Cox in a sweet dream of Caribbean beaches and cold drinks with little umbrellas in them and hot and cold running babes.”

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Deschutes “Jubelale”: A Simple Ongoing Miracle

Deschutes “Jubelale” was first brewed in 1988. 2019 makes the 31st edition of this ale and every single year, without fail, I have tasted this stuff, gotten all gooshy, and bought a minimum of three cases, to get me by until July or so. No, I do NOT care that the hops recede after a while. No, I do not care if it was supposed to be consumed in a couple of weeks. No, I do not, as one reader suggested, back in 2011, think it’s “icky” when the hops fade. And, NO, let’s stipulate that it is not designed to be an age-worthy, lay-down beer. But it IS a seasonal beer and I have done everything short of bribery to try to get Deschutes to make it year-round.

No dice. “Seasonal, dude,” they have gently repeated, about, ooooh, twenty-two times, now.

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