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.

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.

Beautiful Beer: American Brewing Co.

The designs here speak for themselves. Crafted by Taphandles out of Seattle, Washington – all they do is beer branding – the design for American Brewing Co. is both streamlined and fun.

Bold streaks of color represent each style of beer brewed by the company and the tie in between bottle art and taphandle design makes for an overall pleasing look and feel; one which will probably beckon you to try American Brewing’s beer next time you’re at your favorite beer bar or bottle shop.

Opened in January 2011, American Brewing Company brews four beers: American Blonde, Breakaway IPA, Ed’s Red, and Caboose Oatmeal Stout. Three of which can be seen in this post. I am excited to see what the label for Ed’s Red will look like. Regardless, I am sure it will fall in line with the other labels and continue to facilitate an image of classic Americana meets slick vector pop art.

Mischief With The Brothers

Getting into trouble never ends favorably for those involved, but causing a little mischief: well, that’s fun! What makes a mischievous event even more memorable is when it’s shared with close friends or relatives.

The parking lot of the La Quinta Inn served as a nice beer drinking backdrop

A few weeks ago I had the unfortunate privilege of attending a ‘celebration of life’ in Stockton, California. While this celebration didn’t last all weekend, the good times with close relatives did. Also in attendance were my brothers – Patrick, 30 and Daniel, 22 – both of whom have been ditching the macro brews and tracking down craft beers as of late. Thanks to Patrick, the three of us were able to drink some of the best beers California breweries have to offer; choices included beers from The Bruery, and Green Flash to name a couple.

Drinking out of the back of a trunk constitutes mischief, right?

Turns out neither offerings from The Bruery (who recently announced a collaboration brew with Dogfish Head) or Green Flash were available in my neck of the woods in Florida, so both were a special treat.

Back to the mischief. Though we didn’t exactly ruffle any feathers or kick up some dirt, we did get into a little mischief – Mischief by the The Bruery that is.

Mischief is a hoppy golden Belgian style strong ale that comes in at 8.5% alcohol by volume, but the flavor and aroma of liquor isn’t the star in this brew. As we drank the brew in the parking lot of the La Quinta Inn off Interstate 5, the straw color hue shone brightly in the early morning sun. Unfortunately we had styrofoam cups which we had commandeered from the continental breakfast in the hotel lobby, so the taste could have been presented a little better. However, both the fruitiness and the hoppy quality of the beer could be felt on everyone’s palate by beer’s end, regardless of our choice of glassware.

La Quinta glassware, now available in the Hoptions store!

Though this brew isn’t exactly new(it was released back in ’09) it was new for us. Sharing a beer, and a ‘new’ one at that, with brothers can be one of the most rewarding ways to experience a beer. The flavors and aroma can arouse memories and have lasting effects on the psyche for years to come. I suspect the three of us will have many more adventures tasting beer together, or at least many more gatherings suitable for causing a little mischief.