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Session #122: The a, b and c of imported beers

The SessionWhat timing, given that it’s National Beer Day, one of those holidays that certainly snuck up on me but I think is designed to celebrate American brewed beer. Yet the topic for The Session this month is “Views on imported beer” and host Christopher Barnes puts forth this question: “What place do imported beers (traditional European) have in a craft beer market?” (Drop by his blog for other answers.)

Barnes has eliminated the best selling imports by process of parenthesis, which simplifies the question of why consumers might choose traditional Europeans beers. The three best reasons that come to mind are: a) cachet, b) quality, and c) education. They are not exclusive.

Otherwise, I recommend reading a very long feature on Shelton Brothers beer importers in the April issue of Beer Advocate magazine. The beers they’ve brought to the United States certainly tick a, b and c.


Just for fun, a quick quiz. What company first imported Duvel and when?

Session #121 (Bock) roundup posted

The SessionJon Abernathy did not mess around getting the roundup for The Session #121 posted.

As he notes, turnout was a little light. That’s too bad — bock is a great topic. Of course, I was one of those who did not manage to post. My excuse is I was in Minnesota to talk to the state’s hop growers. As I wrote in a tweet, with credit toward Lou Grant, they have “spunk.” Unlike Grant, I like spunk.

I wish the timing would have been a little different, because Schell’s hosted its annual Bock Fest on Saturday. I had a great time with the hop growers, but I sure wish I could have made it down to New Ulm. My consolation prize was finding Schell’s Bock on tap at the airport before I flew home.

Session #122 announced: Imported beer

The SessionChristopher Barnes has announced the topic for The Session #122 will be “Views on imported beer.”

He has seen that as craft beer sales have surged across America sales of imported beers have suffered. So he has a question (really alternative questions):

For American and Canadians: What place do imported beers (traditional European) have in a craft beer market?

For Non North Americans: How are American beers (imported into YOUR country) viewed? What is their place in your market?

The next Session will be April 7, and information about how the participate is at I Think About Beer.

Session #121 topic announced: Bock!

The SessionHost Jon Abernathy has announced the topic for The Session #121 is “Bock!”

You know, that “beer” that is really the stuff left at the bottom of the tank after a beer ferments. Not really.
Michael Jackson once explained how that myth may have come about:

A high gravity brew was made in March and laid down as a provision to be drawn upon during the summer months. When the warm weather was over, in September and October, the last of the stock was ceremonially consumed. This may explain the resilient folklore that bock beer is made from the sediment taken from vessels during spring cleaning. A laughable story, but perhaps based on a misunderstanding of the truth.

There’s plenty beyond that myth to write about and Abernathy has lots of suggestions. The Session is March 3. I’ll be in Minnesota that weekend for a meeting of hop growers, and I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to find a bock and three.

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