Tag Archives: Beer News

Tasting Lineup Change and a Surprise…

Heads up,

Redhook Sunrye is out of stock, so we’ll be tasting out the Redhook Autumn Ale instead.

The surprise is that I’m getting a case of Southern Tier Pumpking for the weekend. I’ll likely be featuring it next Friday, so if you can’t make it out this weekend no worries.

Beermonger

News: Green Flash Price Jump Aug. 1st/Saturday Tasting/Manny to the Dodgers?

Currently drinking: Since I’m on the job, I’m enjoying a Dominion Root Beer. Not as mind-shatteringly good as the Abita, but it’ll do for the moment.

So, Just got word the other day that Green Flash prices are jumping as of August 1st. Currently, my stock of West Coast IPA is priced at $10.99/6pack and $42.99/case. My next shipment will go up to $11.99/6pack and $46.99/case. I have about 7 cases of West Coast in stock, so if you want to stock up do it now.

Also, the bombers are going up as well, but that shouldn’t be as severe. I’m expecting a jump of $.50 to a dollar per bottle. I’ve stocked up on everything.

The beer tasting for Saturday, August 2nd will include:

-Flying Dog Dogtoberfest

-Castelain St. Amand Biere de Garde

-Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

-Sam Smith’s The Famous Taddy Porter

The Taddy Porter makes me especially happy. Back when I was working in McLean I used to sell a ton of this stuff, and I often kept it in my fridge. One day, I went to place an order and was told that the distributor wasn’t carrying it anymore. So just having it available again makes my week.

I don’t have anything to add to the Manny trade except–really? Just put up with the guy. I’m not even a baseball fan and I know if you have a clutch Hall of Fame bat in your lineup just let him be an annoying pain in the ass and let him keep winning for you. I haven’t seen any signs of him breaking down, so I really don’t get it. Then again, football is right around the corner, F1 is in full swing and the next UFC card is never far away, so I should be fine until the WWE *cough* I mean NBA comes back.

Ok, enough wasting time at work. Late.

Beermonger

Savor, NoVA Summer Brewfest thoughts

Yeah, so that whole ‘I’m going to catch up on writing’ thing? Not so much, I know.

Anyhoo, I wanted to lay down some thoughts on the Savor event now that any and all relevance they might have had is gone and give a brief report on this past weekend’s Summer Brewfest.

Overall, I was very impressed by Savor. The setting was great and the collection of brewers and breweries was outstanding. I’m not sure how I feel about the layout though. The semi-circles of tables that lined the outside of the room caused a lot of traffic jams and made the food impossible to get to at times. Not good for an event that is supposedly about the pairing of craft beer and food. I was at the Friday night session, and I’ve heard some things said about the crowd that night. Yes, there did seem to be an inordinate amount of Hill staffers there as well as beer industry folks (myself included). But I can’t tell you how many customers of mine I ran into, and I think there were a fair amount of true Beer Geeks. The only problems I had with the crowd was:

1. The Hill people seemed to sweep in a poach all the food, and

2. The whole “Dress to Impress” idea kinda got blown up when I saw my first fanny pack of the evening. I sweated it out in my sport coat and Jo said she felt a little silly and overdressed (even though she looked fantastic). Fucking tourists. Sorry, that’s the native DC/Metro in me, but still…

Really, in the end I thought Savor was a success in showing off the creativity of craft brewers. The tickets were pricey, but I think the collection of that many great brewers in one room made it all worth it.  Highlights:

Russan River, especially Supplication. Easily the beer of the show for me.

Avery15 and Maharaja. Great beers, and meeting Adam Avery during the week leading up to Savor was very cool. He couldn’t have been cooler to me.

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron. Every time I have this beer it stuns me, and not just because of the ABV. I read an interview in Draft this month with Jim Koch from Boston Brewing where he said that Palo is an example of “fearless brewing” and I couldn’t put it any better.

Clipper City Loose Cannon. The only beer they brought and they paired it with three different foods. Ballsy. Worked. This is a beer that I just can’t seem to order enough of for stock and every time I try it I see why.

Flying Dog Kerberos. The new Tripel. These guys seem to get better and better all the time.

-Meeting Garrett Oliver, Charlie Papazian, the guys from Draft, All About Beer, etc. Really, that was friggin’ cool. I’m still relatively new to the beer business, so there’s a lot of folks I haven’t met yet. It was nice to meet some of these guys that I’ve heard and read about.

This past Sunday I went to the NoVA Summer Brewfest. I’ve heard a lot about the Old Dominion Fests, and how this may be the event to replace it. I never made it to the Dominion Fest but I really had a good time at Brewfest. There were some excellent beers out for tasting, the one cover band I heard was awesome (they had a female singer that Jo and I were both really impressed with, and that’s saying something) and plenty of volunteers. I didn’t see one unmanned booth. Admittedly, there weren’t a ton of new beers out, and many brewery reps that folks might have been expecting weren’t there, but to be fair there were about 3 or 4 other fests happening up and down the coast this weekend, so guys were kinda spread out. Devon from Dogfish had a great selection of beers, though, as did Tomfrom Clipper City with the new Oxford Organic Raspberry Wheat as well as the Oxford Organic Amber out of a firkin (which was all kinds of kickass). Worth the drive, worth the ticket price; can’t really ask for more.

And with that, I’m out. I’ll try to catch up some more later. ‘Til then.

Beermonger

Weekend Tastings and the Joy of Gov’t. Regulation

So I was trying to get this stuff posted last night, but I had some issues with our internet…

I’ll be doing a rare Friday Night Tasting May 9th from 5-8 PM. I’ll be pouring the Gouden Carolus Grand Cru Van De Kaiser from 2000, 2004 and 2007.

This is going to be something of a ‘make-up’ tasting since I was trying to do this one a couple of weeks ago, but that got nixed when the ’00 and ’04 didn’t show from my distributor. This led to me getting far more worked up than the situation deserved and got me in a little hot water with the distributor that I get the beer from. You see, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we have what’s known in the business as a “three-tier system”. That means in order for you, the consumer, to purchase a sixer of beer there has to be an entity that imports the beer into the state, buying it directly from the producer. After that they distribute the beer, meaning they sell it to retailers and restaurants. After these middle-men and the government get their cut of money and taxes they deign to allow the average citizen to purchase the product they wish to buy.

As I understand it, this system came to be after the repeal of Prohibition. Essentially, it is an alcohol tax without actually having an alcohol tax. On its own I don’t necessarily have much of an issue with the system except for it seeming awful Puritanical and greedy. But then again, this is America and the Commonwealth of Virginia to boot, so…

My real issue is that distributors purchase “rights” to sell certain beers within certain areas of the state, or for the entire state itself. As a business practice, this is done to ensure that, say, two distributors who handle Sam Adams don’t undercut each other in the same marketplace. Although where the damn problem with that is is beyond me. You see, in practice these Rights create little monopolies, wherein the restaurant or retailer (such as yours truly) is forced to buy a product from a certain company regardless of their pricing or regard for their customers. If you guessed this is a snapshot of the situation I ran into a couple weeks ago, you are correct.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to spend the vast majority of my (not nearly as big as it could be) budget on product from one company, only to have the beer I need, that I’ve promised my customers that I would have, sent to some other shop hours away because (are you ready?) they took their delivery sooner. No one gave me the heads up that “Hey, other guys want this stuff, maybe you should take the delivery early”. No. Just sent it out and scolded me like I’m supposed to know.

But that’s what comes along with “Rights” in the three-tier system. You get the right to sell a certain breweries products and with that you get the right to do pretty much whatever you feel like with it. It’s great for them: they can go ahead and not worry about people skills or customer service when hiring, because it doesn’t matter! The customer has no choice but to give their money to the distributor! I could call in an order and they could go ahead and say “Go fuck yourself” and I’d still have to pay them if I wanted to have the stuff in stock that I need to compete with every goddamn chain and big-box store trying to put guys like me out of work!

I’m using this situation as an example: The distributor and I have both said what we wanted to say to each other, and I’m ordering as usual. Really, what choice do I have? It’s not like they have competition. My rep from them and I are cool; I’ve known the guy for a while and it wasn’t all his fault. Bygones and all that stuff you need to say so that people don’t think you’re an uppity retail guy who thinks he’s more important than he is. Trust me, dealing with distributors on a daily basis lets you know exactly how important you are. All I want to say is that there is a word that my mom uses way too often: asinine. It’s not that she uses it too often because it doesn’t apply; she uses it too often because there’s so much in this world that is against all common sense that it seems a shame to throw around such a great descriptor.

The three-tier system and the distributor “Rights” monopolies are asinine. I wish I had a widget that you could click and hear my mom say the word just so you get an idea of how it feels. Asinine.


Anyway, Saturday I’ll be pouring from 12-5 PM as usual. I’ve got Weyerbacher Muse (a cool Belgian-style Saison), Rogue Mom Hefeweizen, the new Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale and Dogfish Head Immort Ale.

Come by if you’re in the hood. Until next time.

Cheers,

Beermonger

News about Saturday Tasting

Hey everyone,

Not all of the order showed up in the store today, so I have to alter the tasting lineup a bit. Out are the Gouden Carolus Grand Cru 2000 and 2004. In are Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA and Victory Hop Devil. Not sure if the Grand Cru will be around next week. If they are I’ll certainly try to get them.

The Beermonger

Dogfish Arrival Situation

For my customers who have been waiting for the 120 Minute and Immort Ale to arrive:

When these limited beers arrive, the distributor generally doles them out in very small quantities for the first week or so that they’re available. After that, most stuff becomes fair game. In another week and a half or so, I should have some decent amounts of these beers in and will contact you to let you know what I have.

As the quantities are so small right now, I won’t be pre-selling anything. If you want something this week, come by and get it. Anything else is plain unfair. Ironically, this is the argument my distributor gives me when I yell and scream about only getting two cases of 120. Then again, in a couple weeks I’ll end up buying everything they have anyway, so I’m just trying to get it all done now.

Like I said, when more gets freed up I’ll make some calls and emails and let you all know what’s up. Until then, come by this weekend for what I have now and hopefully I’ll have some better news very soon.

Cheers,

The Beermonger

Stone Anniversary and Vertical Epic News

Not too long ago the label leaked out for Stone’s 12th Anniversary beer. It will be a Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout and we’ll be seeing it in the area sometime in June.

Now today I see the info for Vertical Epic 08.08.08. For those not in the know, Stone started this back in 2002, releasing a different style beer every year on a different date (02.02.02, 03.03.03, etc.). The series is scheduled to continue until 12.12.12., when Stone encourages you to line ’em up and drink ’em down. Sounds like ’08 is going to be a take on the hoppy Belgian Ales that are becoming more popular all the time. I can’t wait to see how this comes out.