Archive for July, 2014

Let me for a moment recount my recent trip to the California State Fair’s “Brewfest” 2014. It was a fresh Summer day, the fresh smell of C hops moved through the air, and limitless amounts of award winning ale and lager flowed from jockey boxes of all shapes and sizes – poured by the head brewers themselves. Sounds awesome right?

Ok, the truth… it was a Summer day, but what felt like 150 degrees was anything but fresh. The aroma did have traces of beer in it, but was also combined with a ton of hot (temperature) bodies and the typical State Fair smells of horse racing and 4-H exhibits. There were also jockey boxes, and brewery reps pouring our five ounce tasters. Overall,  I enjoyed the experience. It didn’t hurt that the early birds got a few extra pours before the real crowd arrived.

As fair-goers shuffled in, and lines began to grow, the endless chatter of pub crawls and IPA “differences” increased. The more the alcohol poured, the more I heard complaints of craft brew “getting too big.” I heard “bubble” this, and “commercial” that. I heard people telling each other that this will be the best craft brew will get. I hear that “suddenly” its a bad time to open a brewery because there are too many out there already. And all I can think is, “What the #@$&” is going on here!?!”

Now I have been a beer drinker for quite awhile, but admittedly have only beer-geeked in the past couple years or so. The craft brew industry has been around for many, many years before I (and many others) have noticed it. Still, the last time I checked, craft breweries only made up single digit percentages of market share. I’d highly doubt that this means that breweries are “getting too big.” I mean, didnt Stone just expand to Europe? And that still hardly moved the needle.

If that is too big, why didn’t anyone tell the Buds, Coors, and Heinekens out there that the “commercial lager” market is too big? They should have just stopped  brewing many years ago right?  And this isn’t a big beer bash… Those big beer companies are their size for a reason – people buy their beer. I like to believe that money talks – I don’t like their beers so I don’t buy them.

The point is that I believe that craft beer still has a lot of room to grow. Do I believe it will grow as fast? Who knows? I walked into a Starbucks and a lady called it her “local” Starbucks. If they are that big, why couldn’t we have “local” craft breweries too?

I guess we will see eventually. Maybe if I open my own brewery one day, I’ll have more information for y’all. In the meantime,  I will sit back, relax, and enjoy the amazing quality and variety that is the craft brew market of today. I hope all the naysayers will do the same.

Now that I got the rant off the chest, here’s to future posts with less wine and more beer. Thanks for reading!

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[INTRO: AC/DC – Thunderstruck]

Here you are reading yet another post on a blog that seems to only somewhat talk about craft beer reviews, news, pubs, homebrewing, barley, hops, yeast, water, food, and the list goes on… and on. And you wonder to yourself, why in John Palmer’s name is there yet another person writing about beer and everything relating to the fermented beverage!? My short answer – why not?

I personally do not think you can have too many articles about beer. Think of the greats in the beer world – the Calagiones, the Kochs, the Palmers, the Papazians, and all those who have paved the way for the rest of us – even they do not know 100% of the information that’s available currently. So why not add to the vastness of pages that   concern everyone’s favorite refreshment? Think of it as an open source library of information to feed your soul and your pint glass. The more people learning and understanding, the better beer will get.

So who am I? Let’s start with who I am not. I am not a professional blogger, journalist, or author. I am not the perfect writer (reference the many grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors that are likely in this post, and many more to come). I am not even in the craft beer industry. My name is Conrad. I am just a God-fearing, homebrewing man from California who loves my family, friends, America, and all things BEER.

What can you expect from future posts? My thoughts on beer articles and books I’ve read, thoughts on brewing and beer TV and radio shows I’ve watched or listened to, pubs I’ve visited, beers I’ve tasted, and the occasional brewing notes from my own kettles and carboys. You won’t get a lot of scientific information here – and I can’t even guarantee that much of what I write will be accurate. If I’m wrong, teach me – comment, email, Facebook stalk – just let me know. And if I’m not, then relax and have a home brew.

In the end, I hope at least one of us can learn something. Or one of us can have some beer time at work without showing up drunk to talk to the boss. And if you’re still with me, welcome to the journey that is Beer. Don’t worry, this is probably the longest post that will ever be written. I hope you enjoy.