Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The return of Pint/CounterPint at LouisvilleBeer.com

Lots of fun doing this one. AtG's Adam Watson is a worthy partner in repartee, eh?



Pint/CounterPint – Should [City] Craft Beer Week be the Same Week as American
Craft Beer Week?

by John Wurth
Pint/CounterPint was created when Adam Watson (Against the Grain Brewery) wrote a loving response to the first Baylor on Beer article, Know your Enemy, written by Roger Baylor (New Albanian Brewing Company). At first we laughed whole-heartedly and admired the conviction and stance of both parties, and then we thought, “Hey, wait a minute… remember that old 60 Minutes segment called Point/Counterpoint?”
For those of you that don’t, Point/Counterpoint was a segment of the CBS Television News Magazine, 60 Minutes. Point/Counterpoint was a debate between spokespeople for the political right and left, respectively. This segment pioneered a format that would later be adapted by CNN for its Crossfire show. LouisvilleBeer.com adopted the format for an online debate between Adam and Roger. Welcome to Round 6. DING!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Be there: Tricentennial Ale at the Garden Party on June 1.


The Culbertson Mansion's event poster has been released, and it combines the throwback workmanship of New Albany's Paul Reising Brewing Company (circa 1900) with Tony Beard's vision of our city's audit-free future. For more, visit the NABC web site:


Tricentennial Ale at the Garden Party on June 1

Thursday, May 23, 2013

BREAKING: The whole scoop on Magic Ass Hat's new logo.


Thanks to Sara for this artwork. Earlier, we examined the hot button:


Magic Ass Hat runs amok as Goose Island drinkers yawn.

Probably no craft beer options for Gwinnett Braves games at Coolray Field, so the Bats finally win one.

The Louisville Bats recently concluded a slate of games in Georgia, where the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves plays its games in the outer suburbs of the city -- a novel arrangement, to be sure.

The Gwinnett Braves also appear to be the initial exception that proves the rule, seeing as there seems to be little in the way of craft beer available at Coolray Field.

Gwinnett Braves: A great experiment or failed endeavor?

I'll leave it at that. The Louisville Bats have two craft beers on tap, albeit well hidden, so we'll give Centerplate the win this time.

Season record: Opponents 6, Bats/Centerplate 1. Previously:

If you can find where the Charlotte Knights play, there's craft beer there.

Craft beer at Lehigh Valley IronPigs baseball games.

Buffalo Bisons, Coca Cola Field, and local craft beer access.

Indianapolis Indians, Victory Field and a merciful end to "don't ask, don't tell" in local craft beer access.


Toledo Mud Hens view locally brewed craft beer as positive enticement. Imagine that.

What’s up with Houndmouth? The Carnival Barker explains all.


We're running short on fermenter space, but we'll find a way to make more Houndmouth. Read more at the NABC web site.
What’s up with Houndmouth? The Carnival Barker explains all

Houndmouth (the band) is somewhere in Europe on an upward trajectory.

But what of Houndmouth, NABC’s hoppy American Wheat Ale?

The good news: Given the success of Houndmouth as an ale, NABC’s brain trust has decided to continue brewing it as a regular daily session-strength draft selection ...

Magic Ass Hat runs amok as Goose Island drinkers yawn.


For those still somehow naively believing that sources and ownership stakes don't matter as long as the beer stokes his or her self-serving narcissism, or that "big beer" is NOT malign by the necessity of its very nature, please check out the West Sixth and Magic Hat sixes and nines lawsuit imbroglio and learn something from it.

‘You’d think we could settle this over a beer’: Multinational sues West Sixth microbrewery over trademark, by Michael Tierney (Insider Louisville)

We have serious David versus Goliath on our hands.

Magic Hat IP and Independent Brewers Corp. have filed a federal lawsuit against West Sixth Brewing Co., based in Lexington.

Better yet, just stick a Magic Hat #9 logo on that fellow's posterior (above), and it's my reaction in a nutshell.

This story's all over the Internetz, and deservedly so. About all I can add is that we probably need to get used to it: A no-longer-craft corporate poseur almost surely prompted by an AB-InBev wholesaler hiding on the grassy knoll gleefully piddles on a genuine local/regional craft producer (West Sixth), confident in the knowledge that the target audience for Magic Hat is utterly oblivious to the concerns of craft beer consciousness as we know them.

I was asked yesterday whether being non-craft means Magic Hat must lose legal protection s enjoyed by all Americans. Of course not. What they inevitably lose of their own accord in the absence of ethical craft consciousness is an equitable sense of grace -- but that's what all corporate chains lack.

Now it's our brave new world, and Magic Ass Hat is just an unwelcome part of it.

And my solution?

That's easy: Polemics. Read and repeat. And drink some West Sixth to show some solidarity against the vandals.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Laugh riot: Louisville Bats and "craft beer."


In an essay about the correct use of quotation marks:

Quotation marks can also be used to highlight a word or phrase that's being discussed. Sometimes this is just something like a new term, but it can also show that the reader is being facetious or doesn't really believe what he's quoting. In that case it's called a "scare quote," and the quotation marks indicate disbelief or even snarkiness.


Judging from the placement of quotation marks, it looks as though the Bats (Centerplate?) don't really believe what the PR department and AB-InBev are churning out. Perhaps it is a veiled cry for help, or the knowing wink of a craft-loving intern.

Thanks to Ben for pointing me to this.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Chef Matt Weirich preps for Bacon Ball at the Farm.


Bank Street Brewhouse's Chef Matt Weirich and his handpicked staffers will be competing in the Bacon Ball at Oxmoor Farms in Louisville on Saturday, May 18. Matt went on television earlier in the week to preview his bacon styling:

Chef Matt Weirich preps for Bacon Ball at the Farm

Take the Winterfest survey and help BIG plan future shindigs.

For those readers who have attended Winterfests (annually in January, and in Indianapolis), the Brewers of Indiana Guild would like some feedback. We've been considering various ideas pertaining to improving the fest. Here's the link:

Winterfest Survey....The Brewers Of Indiana want to know what you think


Thursday, May 16, 2013

If you can find where the Charlotte Knights play, there's craft beer there.


I might stop here, with a brewer featured at a ballpark, throwing out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game.

Trying to imagine such a scene taking place at Louisville Slugger Philistine Field?

You'll just hurt your brain, because it's well night inconceivable.

The Louisville Bats are finishing a series against the Charlotte Knights down South. Charlotte is the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Bizarrely, the team does not play in Charlotte. It doesn't even play in North Carolina. For the full story, I recommend the essay at Ballpark and Brews: "Charlotte, NC (Knights Stadium and NoDa Brewing Co.)"

So, what are the craft beer options at Charlotte's home park in South Carolina? How do they compare with the perennially disappointing macro-mania fixation in Louisville? My verdict after cursory Internetz research: Thumbs partially up.*

According to the article at Ballpark and Brews, there are several local and regional craft beers available at the ballpark. The piece also mentions the availability of Redhook and Widmer ... er, craft or crafty? I'd opt for the genuine, undoubted craft brewers. At least they're there.

Importantly, yet again we see a locale comfortable with the proposition that mega and micro are not mutually exclusive, happily grasping the existence of demand for craft beer among the customer base -- a statistical certainty that neither the mercenary Bats nor others in Louisville's own craft brewing community seem able to bring themselves to concede.

Entertaining all the fans who come to a game by offering genuine choice?

It may or may not be ideal, but Fort Mill/Charlotte/Asheville/Whatever appears to have gotten it. Have you attended Charlotte Knights games? Let me know how it works there as we continue to build a case for proper, genuine, locally-brewed craft beer at Louisville Slugger Field.

* The standard disclaimer, to be considered any time one cannot actually be there to see things up close and personal, pertains to the bastardization of the "craft" concept by multinational, industrial brewers. Absent qualification, it remains likely that "craft" in many PR-speak contexts probably includes beers that are "crafty" (i.e., mockrobrews like Shock Top and zombie crafts such as Goose Island), and not locally-brewed craft beer.

---

Previously: 

Craft beer at Lehigh Valley IronPigs baseball games.

Buffalo Bisons, Coca Cola Field, and local craft beer access.

Indianapolis Indians, Victory Field and a merciful end to "don't ask, don't tell" in local craft beer access.


Toledo Mud Hens view locally brewed craft beer as positive enticement. Imagine that.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NABC's lineup at RiverRoots 2013.


Once again, NABC will be vending at Madison's RiverRoots music and folk arts festival. Details and the beer list are at NABC's web site.

NABC's lineup at RiverRoots 2013

It’s almost time for RiverRoots, the annual music and folk arts festival on the banks of the Ohio in historic Madison, Indiana.

It takes place on Friday and Saturday nights, May 17 and 18, and for the eighth year running (actually, since the fest’s inception), NABC will be on hand to share beer vending duties with craft-brewing Hoosier friends: Upland Brewing Company (Bloomington IN), who’ve been there with us from the beginning; Great Crescent Brewing from Aurora; Indianapolis stalwart Sun King; and (or so I hear) Power House out of Columbus.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Louisville Loves Mountains, with local craft beer: Friday, May 17.


This has become one of the NABC brew crew's favorite annual events, because very rarely is there so direct a visceral connection between social activism and what actually matters about craft beer. Both urge us to act locally even as we think globally. Read the whole story at the NABC web site.

Louisville Loves Mountains, with local craft beer: Friday, May 17

NABC is teaming with our friends at Against the Grain and BBC to provide the beer concession for Louisville Loves Mountains on Friday, May 17. Here’s the official press release.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Craft beer at Lehigh Valley IronPigs baseball games.



Did you know that the Pennsylvania metropolitan area known as Lehigh Valley is the 64th largest metro area in the nation? I didn't. More than 800,000 people live there.

The Triple-A baseball team known as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (pig iron production, get it?) plays its games in Allentown at Coca-Cola Park, which opened in 2008. The Louisville Bats are in Allentown for four games starting tonight. What are the craft beer options at Lehigh Valley's home park, and how do they compare with the perennially disappointing macro-mania fixation in Louisville?

My verdict after cursory Internetz research: Thumbs way up.*

Those readers suffering through another year of the gaping craft beer drought at Louisville Slugger Field will find the following article quite interesting. As a whole it surveys craft beer at ballparks nationwide, with this relevant excerpt focusing on Lehigh Valley:

Minor tastes

The lure of craft beers isn't limited to just the major leagues.

Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, home to the Phillies' Triple A baseball squad, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, offers four craft beers created by Allentown-based Fegley's Brew Works: Always Sunny pale ale, Fegley's Amber Lager, Knuckleball blonde ale and Hop Explosion IPA.

"It forges a bond between the fan, the experience they have at the ballpark, and the beer," company spokesman Mike Fegley says.

Fegley says the benefits of partnering with the stadium and having their beer on tap are multifaceted. He says "Always Sunny" -- a reference to the FX comedy series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" -- is their No. 1 seller at the stadium.

Fegley says Coca-Cola Park sells about 100 barrels of beer during the season. The stadium will host the second annual PBS39 MicroBrew Festival on June 23.

"If they are a fan of the IronPigs, we hope they are a fan of our beer," Fegley says.

Fegley says there has been a trend in tastes among beer consumers — "the hoppier the better," Fegley says — which has also played into the popularity of craft beers.

"Those tastes are changing and part of the reason is stadiums are realizing that's middle America," he says. "Baseball fans are beer drinkers. They're not beer snobs, they're just guys who drink beer."

Yet again, we see a locale illustrating the proposition that mega and micro are not mutually exclusive, grasping the existence of demand for craft beer among the customer base -- a statistical certainty that neither the mercenary Bats nor others in Louisville own craft brewing community seem able to bring themselves to concede.

Entertaining all the fans who come to a game by offering genuine choice? It may or may not be ideal, but Lehigh Valley appears to have gotten it. Have you attended games in Allentown? Let me know how it works there as we continue to build a case for proper, genuine, locally-brewed craft beer at Louisville Slugger Field.

* The standard disclaimer, to be considered any time one cannot actually be there to see things up close and personal, pertains to the bastardization of the "craft" concept by multinational, industrial brewers. Absent qualification, it remains likely that "craft" in many PR-speak contexts probably includes beers that are "crafty" (i.e., mockrobrews like Shock Top and zombie crafts such as Goose Island), and not locally-brewed craft beer.

---

Previously: 

Buffalo Bisons, Coca Cola Field, and local craft beer access.

Indianapolis Indians, Victory Field and a merciful end to "don't ask, don't tell" in local craft beer access.


Toledo Mud Hens view locally brewed craft beer as positive enticement. Imagine that.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Buffalo Bisons, Coca Cola Field, and local craft beer access.


The Louisville Bats skipped town for Kentucky Derby weekend (who wouldn't?) and flew to Buffalo, New York for a series against the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Field, which dates to 1988 and a period when the city of Buffalo was considered a contender for a major league baseball club. The stadium was an early design prototype for later ballparks like Camden Yards in Baltimore, and was built to be expandable, from circa 19,000 seats to as many as 40,000.

But architecture isn't our concern. Beer is, and the questions are obvious: Are there craft beer options at Buffalo's home park, and if so, how do they compare with the perennially disappointing macro-mania fixation in Louisville?

My verdict after cursory Internetz research: Thumbs up.

First, the standard disclaimer, to be considered any time one cannot actually be there to see things up close and personal. It pertains to the bastardization of the "craft" concept by multinational, industrial brewers. Absent qualification, it remains likely that "craft" in many PR-speak contexts probably includes beers that are "crafty" (i.e., mockrobrews like Shock Top and zombie crafts such as Goose Island), and not locally-brewed craft beer.

That said, the scene at Coca-Cola Field looks good, even if corporate naming rights suggest otherwise (my guess is no Pepsi at this joint).

It is apparent that the management of the Bisons is trumpeting local choices wherever possible. There is a concessions area called the Consumer's Craft Beer Corner, and Flying Bison Brewing Company beers are accessible at more than one  tiny peanut stand within the turnstiles.

In fact, as with Indianapolis, there's something approximating palpable local pride, not merely heaping stacks of money, which is a refreshing change of pace from the dry, bloodless, bean counter's countenance of the Louisville Bats, which if entirely honest would feature a suited, actuarial Buddy BOT as official mascot.

Amazingly, Buffalo's approach appears to be dedicated to the proposition that mega and micro are not mutually exclusive, surely because Bisons management grasps the existence of demand for craft beer among the customer base -- a statistical certainty that neither the mercenary Bats nor others in Louisville own craft brewing community seem able to bring themselves to do.

Entertaining all the fans who come to a game by offering genuine choice? It may or may not be ideal, but Buffalo appears to be getting it. Have you attended games in Buffalo? Let me know how it works there as we continue to build a case for proper, genuine, locally-brewed craft beer at Louisville Slugger Field.

---

Coca-Cola Field Food Line-Up Receives All-Star Local Additions

 ... The Bisons have a strong commitment to the great local foods and beverages that can be found throughout Western New York. Bringing in the flavors that so many fans grew up on was a top priority for the team to further enhance the Bisons Baseball Experience at Coca-Cola Field.

---

Ballpark changes suit everyone’s tastes

... And speaking of Pettibones Grille, it has added the Pub at the Park, which will be open the entire game. The Pub will include nine flat screen televisions, a craft beer cooler and six new draft lines serving Flying Bison.

---

It’s That Time of the Year Again!

 ... We also know that'll change soon and we'll be enjoying another great spring and summer out here in Western NY! And with that change comes the return of our summer beer, 716 Kolsch and the return of Buffalo Bison's baseball! FBBC is teaming up with the Bisons to bring you an early summer. (You're very welcome...)

We'll roll out the first barrels of Buffalo Kolsch 716 at Coca Cola Field on Thursday, April 4th for the Bison's home opener and the first of many toasts to summer with Buffalo Kolsch 716.

---

Previously: 

Toledo Mud Hens view locally brewed craft beer as positive enticement. Imagine that.

Columbus Clippers: Locally brewed craft beer is a positive enticement. Imagine that.

Indianapolis Indians, Victory Field and a merciful end to "don't ask, don't tell" in local craft beer access.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

My column at LouisvilleBeer.com is about priorities in Indiana craft brewing.

A quick note: Those tracking progress of this year's "artisan distilling" legislation in Indiana will be pleased to know that it passed and has been signed by the governor. I'm told there are a few stray wording clean-ups to occur in 2014, but the main hurdle has been cleared. Rep. Ed Clere was the prime mover of this legislation, and deserves credit accordingly.

Yesterday I attended a meeting in West Lafayette aimed at coordinating the Brewers of Indiana Guild, Purdue University and state government toward the aim of establishing agricultural research in areas pertaining to beer and brewing (it's been done for a long time with grapes and winemaking). Maybe some hops and barley growing, and a micro-malting business in Indiana? It might happen if we can manage row in the same direction.

BIG Logo 2013
What was that?
How many breweries are located in the state of Indiana?
Only your friendly statewide trade organization knows for sure, although with the situation changing so quickly from week to week, the Brewers of Indiana Guild (BIG) probably isn’t capable of a completely accurate count, either.
The best guesstimate bandied about during BIG’s annual meeting in April was about 63 operating breweries, with as many as a dozen more in the planning stages.

Friday, May 03, 2013

It's Mild Month. Has been since 2002, actually.


In the UK, it's Mild Month.

In New Albany, that can mean only one thing: NABC Community Dark. We've been brewing Mild since the brewery began in 2002, and Hoptimus aside, Community Dark may be our classic signature style. It's always been the biggest seller in our two establishments.