Down To Dunedin

A trip to Tampa, Florida commands a visit to Cigar City Brewing; perhaps one of the best brewery’s of the southern united states – if not the entire country. Now CCB is fairly new and with all the hype surrounding them it’s easy to overlook the lesser known, yet longer established breweries of Florida’s gulf coast.

Fortunately for you, I’m here for you and I’m willing to hold your hand across the street. In this case the street is a causeway, and were driving, so never fear, no cooties.

Over from Tampa towards Clearwater and just a few miles north lies the town of Dunedin. Quaint streets, local businesses, and local beer – Dunedin is definitely a far cry from the metropolis of Tampa and the hectic clusterfuck that is Clearwater.

It’s a snug pub, bub!

Okay, the beer. Dunedin brewery located on Douglas St has been cranking out local brew and hosting an eclectic array of musical acts for as long as craft beer has been brewed in the state. In fact Dunedin Brewery is Florida’s oldest microbrewery.

The Sith & The Jedi of Dunedin’s Beers
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Beer Tax Rates and Morality

The Atlantic reported today that Chuck Weed (great name), a Democratic New Hampshire state representative, is proposing raising the tax on beer in his state. Supposedly the tax hike would garner $4 million in revenue a year if it were to go into effect. The map below, provided by The Tax Foundation, shows current tax rates on a gallon of beer per state.

How much does it cost to drink?
How much does it cost to drink?

New Hampshire’s democratic Governor Maggie Hassan said however, she’ll veto such a bill if it crosses her desk. Cheers to you Governor. Keep beer cheap for the working man! The article itself is a great study in beer consumption and tax rates and shows how the two relate to a states moral reputation. Have a look, then a drink.

 

3 Rolling Rocks and The 10 Commandments

Budgets crunch as easily as aluminum. (photo credit dedleg.com)
Budgets crunch as easily as aluminum. (photo credit dedleg.com)

You know, not every beer night can be the same. Not every one can be a blast. And sometimes not every one can be spent sipping away on craft beer. It’s expensive; relatively speaking when you’ve got Rolling Rock at 8 bucks for a dozen. At this rate cheap beer nights are destined to happen much more often than craft beer nights.

Last nights savior... The 10 Commandments (photo credit: The Lost Abbey)
Last nights savior… The 10 Commandments (photo credit: The Lost Abbey)

Last night was a hybrid of the two situations however. On Friday’s, like most of America, I like to unwind. I decided what better way than with beer. It’s just delicious. We all know that. I ended up purchasing that 12 pack I mentioned earlier, but I counterbalanced it by grabbing one of Port Brewing’s Lost Abbey label beers; The Ten Commandments. It’s an ale brewed with spices, raisins, rosemary and it stands for all that is holy in the craft beer world, right? At 10% it makes up for choosing the Rolling Rock(which is not bad, truly!), but still came out to around $12 for just one bottle. Damn!

Having good taste can be expensive. But by the same token having such an experienced palette also means I am shopping and purchasing from independent breweries everywhere. This is a good thing, in spite of the price tag. As a person living in poverty craft beer probably shouldn’t be in my budget, however craft beer stands for so much more than just a good time. You figure it out. Cheers!

Crafty Charlatans Would Have You Believe Their Beer is Better

CraftBeer.com and the Brewers Association offer this neat list of those American brewers, who would have you believe their beer is independently owned, well crafted and/or small in size. Well the word’s out, again. You should probably avoid these brands at all costs, despite the sale on the 36 pack. Click the image for a larger view.

Brewers
CraftBeer.com asks:
Who brewed that beer you’re drinking? Is it craft…or crafty?
In other words, is it a product of a small and independent brewer, or is it from a crafty large, multinational brewer, seeking to capitalize on the mounting success of today’s small and independent craft brewers?

Beautiful Beer: Brewery Ommegang Finds Continuity

Brewery Ommegang’s old look left much to be desired. On the shelf they didn’t really stand out and at first glance the consumer could be hard pressed to tell if their offerings were in fact from the same brewer. Fortunately, it is 2012 and beer brands seem to be getting new looks a lot more often.

Poor Old Ommegang. At lest they had taste covered!

Continuity and cohesion. I’ll drink to that!

Designed by Duffy & Partners Ommegang’s new look has a lot going for it. First off, while the old labels were very Belgian, they lacked a certain cohesion. There was nothing signifying them as products from the same company. The new look certainly captures Belgian elements and can probably be described as modern Belgian. The look of the Ommegang name has been updated as well, and features a more robust and commanding appeal. Moving from a sans-serif, to a sans-serif blackletter hybrid the design just feels more appropriate.

RAWR! In a sophisticated way.

The Ommegang lion has been given a facelift as well. Previously, the lion had a more illustrative feel, while the new feels more contemporary and symbolic. With the addition of the plaid coloring within the lion, the packaging is complete.

A philosphy in branding.
My favorite part of the Ommegang re-branding has to be the silhouettes that adorn each of the individual beer labels. They lend movement and character, and again provide cohesion and continuity. Both important marketing weapons in an ever-growing craft beer market where brands must stand out both in taste and in style.

“Craft Beer” officially in the dictionary!

LA Weekly reports today that craft beer has officially been added to Merriam-Webster’s 2012 dictionary. Also making the cut is gastropub. The recognition is great, and is enough convincing to get this blogger back on track. Cheers! Let this be the rebirth(again) of this blog.

How to Brew Beer by Brooklyn Brew Shop

Great video. Encouraging tunes. Making Beer. Thanks Brooklyn Brew Shop.

How to Brew Beer from Brooklyn Brew Shop on Vimeo.