Thursday, April 4, 2013

Other places Big Beer is Hiding in Plain Sight

Amanda Rykov took and tweeted a picture that the Beer Street Journal as well as most beer and a lot of non-beer sites (including Deadspin) picked up on like the only pretty girl at a party.  Here is the New York Yankee's "Craft Beer Destination":

Uh, yeah. 

I like wood.  Do you like wood?  It's very woody.  And chalkboardy.

There's also an irony of NBC Sports talking about this not being craft beer, when they are, very much like the MillerSAB of the Brewery wars compared to ESPN who hates hockey is Anheuser-Busch of the sports media world.

As many people have noted: Cider is not beer.  Well, both are fermented  says the person defiantly sipping on a cider.  However if that's the rationale that makes cider the same thing as beer.  Poi and soy sauce are also fermented.  And if you think I want a nice cold glass of poi while watching hockey (or baseball), you're mistaken.  Poi is awful cold.  Then again, it's really not much better at room temperature. 

Also, to be noted, a Shandy is half a beer, at best.  And a third of a beer at typical.  And at a baseball game?  What red blooded American is knocking back British summer drinks during the American pastime?  While we're at it, why not bail the hot dogs and just put down some crepes with a nice Bordeaux.  I'm not knocking French food and wine, but a ballgame is more beer and a dog than cream sauce reductions.

While many craft beer lovers have known that Shock Top, Blue Moon, Killian's, Green Valley, among others are really Big Beer in Micro-Beer Clothing.  I'm not sure if anyone else has ever used the term, but I like to call them mini-macro breweries.

These aren't bad beers (although I have to admit, I'm not much of a white ale or hefeweizen fan).

Where else is Big Beer hiding?  Thanks to in depth research (wikipedia) here are some other places that Big Beer is hiding in the bushes wearing a Groucho Marx glasses and a fake mustache just waiting to surprise us.

Imported Beers: Bass, Stella, Beck's, Hoegaarden, Fosters, Grolsch, and Labatt's are all owned by Big Beer companies like MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch.
How can you tell: These include some of the largest presence import beers but being popular isn't a sin (Hello Guinness, Newcastle, and Justin Beiber).  Wait.  Yes it is.  Being really popular can be terrible if the popularity isn't matched with quality. However, if something is really, really good (think the Beatles, if they were beer) then there's nothing wrong with them being popular.  As long as they don't sell out, do drugs, or get married to a crazy person that causes their breakup.

Another way you can tell is what the locals in these countries drink.  Better than average chance, it's less common in the US.

Malt Liquors: King Cobra, Olde English, and Mickey's
Why do you care: If you're reading this as a craft beer fan; you probably don't.  If those brand name's brought you here through the magic of the internet.  Enjoy your beverage of choice and thank you for not using too many hops.

Domestic "Craft" Beers: Redhook, Blue Moon, Widmer Brothers, and Shocktop
How can you tell: Listen to the scoffing beer snob
No really, how can you tell: You can't except with your taste buds.

Co-Distributed Craft Beers: Goose Island, Kona Brewing, Fordham, and Old Dominion
How Can you tell: If the false crafts were Klingons attacking the Enterprise's craft beer virtue, these are Romulans popping out from under their cloaking device.  These are craft breweries that have joined with the Empire for better distribution.

When specifically looking at (picking on) Kona, it's inferred on their bottles that they're from Hawaii but may actually be bottled in Oregon, Washington, or New Hampshire.  I enjoy some of their beers but it was a bit of a kill joy to find out that it could've been from the land of Hendrix and emo.  In their defense, they do send some of each batch back for quality control, so this isn't totally hands off.

At the end of the day, if you find you prefer Blue Moon to Allagash, that's your right.  I may politely disagree.  But if we can enter a friendly debate over beer and expand each other's minds, we all win.  Although, chances are; I'll just call you a stupid poopie-head if you disagree.


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