Drunken Speculation

MR | First Edition, January 2014

Beer-street-1st_state

Happy New Year and a belated Merry Christmas! After a solid month’s hiatus we’re back in the game.

Welcome to 2014. I’m glad we got our retrospective navel gazing out of the way early last year, although we still have a couple of listicles to get through as a hangover from last year.

“Last week on our blog” doesn’t really apply for this first edition of Monday Reading but we haven’t been sitting still over our break.

After getting an early invite out to Bacchus to get the sour dosage right for our Flanders Rosella Ale, Eau Rogue, the tap takeover at Tippler’s went ahead and was a great success. If you missed it, you can read more about the night at Chasingale.com.

Although very happy with the final result, I wish I’d gone a bit softer on our sour. After a few samples, the 750ppm of lactic acid didn’t seem as bold as it was as a standalone sour on the night. My personal favourites were TheWestbender’s 16 Perch Porter (a Brisbane porter with mulberries) and Chasingale’s Chasing the Baron Hopfendunkelweizenbock (a hopped-up dunkelweizen).

In addition to drinking beer, I’ve been reading fewer blog posts but more books about beer. Beer Blast by Philip van Munching is an intriguing and pretty funny look at the American beer market with some prescience about the rise of small-scale beer producers. Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher is a loan from TheWestbender collection and expertly and neatly summarises everything I’ve learnt about beer in the last year and more. Both are highly recommended.

Observant readers will have noticed that the blog has been tidied up (finally) and had a few additions to the menu. There were some other uninteresting but very time-consuming organisational issues attended to.

Lastly, tomorrow will be exactly one year since the first post went up on the blog, which we will celebrate by taking a look at south-east Queensland beers.

Now, to the Tweet of the Week:

I think that Twitter is the worst possible place for a discussion of anything, mostly because you’re limited to 140 characters (half of which are used addressing the people in the conversation) which makes it difficult to make a complicated point, so I’m starting a Tweet of the Week thing as part of Monday Reading to highlight interesting points of view made without the use of a blog.

This discussion related to the relative uselessness of Untappd reviews as a guide to how good a beer is (agreed) when this comment about not reading blogs came up. While we’d like you to read our blog, we appreciate that everyone’s palate is different and so our reviews are not really recommendations: we will always encourage you to find out for yourself. That is, unless, the beer scores 1 or less, in which case we would advise you to save your money.

Finally, to the other highlights from last week: Trademark disputes galore!

KSDK.com – Local brewpub’s sarcastic response to Starbucks letter

Kramer wrote to Exit 6 requesting they no longer call one of their beers “frappicino” because it “is likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception among customers, who may mistakenly believe that Exit 6 or this beer product is affiliated with or licensed by Starbucks Coffee Co., when they are not.” The name was brought to the attention of the company through the beer website Untappd.

Jeff Britton, owner of Exit 6, fired back in a sarcastic letter to Kramer and “Mr. Bucks.” He explains he will no longer use the words “frappucino” or “frappicinio” and will refer to them in the letter as “The F Word.”

Weird Bear Brewing – Camden BearD (and a good suggestion on resolving the issue from The BeerCast)

But Camden Town Brewery took exception to the name, and on 21st Oct wrote an email to James Watt of BrewDog. At this point it’s worth remembering that this beer was a collaboration with the staff from the bar, and had nothing to do with BrewDog themselves. This is 100% a Weird Beard beer that had been sold to many other retailers and not just BrewDog for their festival. If Camden Town had done their research at this point, they may have realised this and contacted us directly, but they didn’t. If they had contacted us in a polite manor, we may have reconsidered the name.

Growler Fills – Big Sky Provides Its Two Cents on Trademark Dispute

Missoula Montana-based Big Sky obtained a federal trademark for the slogan “hold my beer and watch this” in 2009, asserting their first use in commerce was in 2004.  This past November, AB InBev released three humorous Bud Light online videos showing what might happen when someone utters the phrase “hold my beer and watch this.”  Big Sky claims the videos violate its trademark and asked AB InBev to stop using it.  When AB InBev refused, Big Sky filed suit in Montana Federal District Court.

Beersearchparty – Canning on the Move in Southern California

The “company delivers and operates equipment on-site to produce as much as 1,800 gallons of canned beer a day. The canning machine fits on a box truck and can go anywhere a truck can — and the machine is small enough to fit through a standard door.”

This is Why I’m Drunk – Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Bud Light

While Miller Lite sales are down, MillerCoors profits are up thanks to Tenth and Blake, Leinenkugel, Third Shift, Redd’s and more. Bud sales are slumping and Bud Light is no longer America’s favorite beer, but AB InBev is doing just fine with Shock Top, Black Crown and the ever-popular “Rita” line of malt beverages.

We talk a lot about the “crafty” nature of Big Beer companies, but why don’t we talk about the “crafty” nature of beer drinkers? Blue Moon sales are skyrocketing and it’s considered America’s new favorite beer…

The Street – Why 2013 Could Be Last Call for Craft Beer

In that breath, Koch offered a wise, reasoned definition of craft beer that no one could provide until that point. He also, perhaps unwittingly, made it about numbers rather than quality. That argument hasn’t killed “craft beer,” but it left the term mortally wounded.

This article ends up making a fairly clumsy argument for a craft beer bubble (for which you can read my thoughts here) to which Make Mine Potato specifically rebutted.

Back of the Ferry – A Gympie pub crawl

It is the only pub that hints at a variance in taps, announcing that Matilda Bay’s Ruby Tuesday will be coming soon. Otherwise it is the ubiquitous diet of XXXX, XXXX Gold, XXXX Summer Bright, Carlton Mid, Hahn Super Dry, Tooheys Extra Dry and the occasional 150 Lashes.

I had to include this: my parents live in Gympie. Good to see the pubs stack up as expected.

Anything I missed?

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