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Archive | October, 2009

Free beer of the week: BrewDog Atlantic IPA

This post begins, as perhaps all blog posts must from this day on, with disclosure. I did not pay for the bottle of beer that I’m about to write about.

BrewDog in Scotland brewed it. Katrina Taft from the Rose Group arranged for it to be sent to me. A friendly UPS guy delivered it, the truck making its way up a dirt road maintained by the village of Corrales, New Mexico. Our daughter, Sierra, alerted me that UPS had left a box at the door so the beer did not linger in the New Mexico sun.

Thus, to satisfy the FTC, I’m alerting you that if I write anything nice about any of the folks above it could just be the beer talking. Did I mention how clever I think Sierra is?

As you can see I wasn’t the only beer blogger to receive a bottle of this rare and expensive beer (960 330ml bottles for all of the United States, suggested retail price of $25.95). It’s not like I’m special, it’s not like BrewDog needs the publicity, given the attention heaped on Tokyo* and Nanny State, it’s not like I don’t already know I like BrewDog’s beers . . . and it’s not like I wouldn’t have posted this video, which tells the story of the beer better than any words, and mentioned an obvious link to Pete Brown’s Hops & Glory.

Taft really didn’t have to volunteer to send me the beer. But she did, I said yes and so a few words about the beer and then the $26 question.

Atlantic IPA is, or maybe I should type was, an exceptional beer. I’m geeky enough I wish they’d done a “control” batch, that is bottling an equal number of beers that didn’t get on the boat. Then it would be easier to suggest what character the time at sea added.

It’s malt-rich and spicy hoppy, with wonderful depth — a little like Firestone Walker’s Double Barrel, but more intense — and layered flavors. Seems salty/briny, but perhaps that is the power of suggestion. A sipping beer, one bottle easily enough for two. A contemplative beer, so there’s time to think about . . .

Is it worth $26 for a little over 11 ounces?

I couldn’t make the decision on a relative basis. I wouldn’t trade Hops & Glory (about the same price if you have to get it shipped from Canada) for it. A bottle isn’t 24 times “better” than one of Stone IPA, relevant because I can buy a case of Stone at Costco for a little more than $27 or so.

Yada yada yada . . . let’s cut to the chase. I’d have to feel richer than I do most days to spend $26 for a bottle, but $7 for 3 ounces, I could do that.


No more free beer for mommy bloggers either

Catching up on several things, some beer and some more broadly food and drink.

Alan has fun with the news the Federal Trade Commission has ruled bloggers must disclose “conflicts of interest.” Does this mean, as Alan suggests, no more free beer for bloggers? Looks like the FTC may have bigger game in mind, like “mommy bloggers” and hype on Twitter and Facebook.

– Real Ale sales in England are up according to The Cask Report: Britain’s National Drink. Pretty big deal in a down market. Pete Brown wrote the report. Lots to read, but I was struck by a fact he added in his blog: cask still sells at a lower price than most beers on the bar. Curious, given that in the United States a cask beer generally costs more.

– Condé Nast will close Gourmet magazine. Perhaps they should have been writing more about beer.

Inside Beer, from UK beer writer Jeff Evans, is up and running.

The $795 wine tasting. And that was just to get in. People traveled from all over the country to taste wine with Robert Parker. How many did he correctly identify in the blind tasting? Some debate if he was zero for 15 or 1 for 15.


Session #32 wrapped up, #33 announced

The SessionI plead work. Unfortunately I missed round 32 of The Session, but Girl Likes Beer has the roundup.

Meanwhile Andy Couch has announced the topic for No. 33 will be Framing Beer. The explanation is a little complicated, and you might want to read the whole thing, but here are a few of the options:

Relate an amusing or optimistic anecdote about introducing someone to strange beer. Comment on the role a label plays in framing a beer or share a label-approval related story. I have not done much blind tasting, and I would be intrigued to hear about this “frameless” evaluation of beer.

I hope to be there Nov. 6.


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