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Pabst tall boy

Taken 01.23.10 at Durango Mountain Resort, still known to many of us as Purgatory Ski Area. These guys could have done better (the one on the left had his can of Pabst to the left of his chair). Several Durango beers on tap, including SKA’s Euphoria, an aromatic bomb.

Euphoria’s also available in cans, 12-ouncers. Durango had 36 inches in snow in the four days before we arrived. Euphoria, indeed.



Monday beer reading: ale vs. beer

Nothing like a few words about beer to jump start your brain on a Monday morning, right?

  • Short read, because this news is so 2005. CNN Money/Fortune just discovered Pabst is a hipster beer. If you do want to spend more time with “retro beer” I’d suggest the article Don Russell wrote last year.
  • Longer read, for which Martyn Cornell provides a “Beer geekery warning: if teasing apart the knotted and tangled threads of brewing history is your bag, stick with me for the next 2,500 words as we range over five centuries of malted liquors and watch meanings mutate.”
  • How long did ale and beer remain as separate brews? Most drinkers, I think, know that “ale” was originally the English name for an unhopped fermented malt drink, and beer was the name of the fermented malt drink flavoured with hops, a taste for which was brought to this country from the continental mainland about 1400.

    I’m not sure that most American drinkers do. Feel free to educate yourself.


    The business of beer

    Perhaps it’s because stories about how beer is made and the people who make it are so interesting but if mosey on over to Rate Beer or Beer Advocate you’ll find plenty of enthusiasts discussing the business of beer. Quite often pricing, to the understandable chagrin of brewers since some participants don’t bother with facts.

    In that spirit a couple of links this morning.

    First, from Neal Stewart, ex of Flying Dog Ales and before that central to the revival of the Pabst brand: 10 Key Ingredients for Craft Beer Success.

    Second, from Harry Schumacher of Beer Business Daily: Beer Veterans Speak On Big and Small Brands. (The second link courtesy of Jack Curtin.)

    One quick quote, from JB Shireman, formerly in sales at New Belgium brewing and now a bar owner in Fort Collins, Colorado: “Bud Light Golden Wheat has been on fire. The other day there were six totally different types of customers in the bar, and all were drinking Golden Wheat. I don’t know if mega-brand strategy is a good or a bad thing, but if they’re trading Bud Light drinkers up to Golden Wheat, at least they’re drinking higher priced beers. It’s across the board: The young guys who were drinking Bud Light on tap are drinking it, the ladies who normally drink margaritas are trying it, two guys playing darts, even bikers are drinking it, but they’re the type of bikers who trailer their bikes to Sturgis and wear Rolexes.”

    There’s an image for a Tuesday morning.


    Uncle Tupelo rates beer

    Spotted on a wall in the brewhouse at St. Louis Brewery’s Bottleworks: “Uncle Tupelo rates the beers.”

    Obviously dated since Uncle Tupelo – born just a few miles away, and across the Mississippi River, in Belleville, Ill. – broke up in 1994. But still fun, and it didn’t hurt that The Band was belting out “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” on the brewhouse stereo while I scribbled some notes.

    Budweiser – Statement on how f–ked up the world is. Should not be the most popular beer in the world. Just proves that sexism in advertising gets you anywhere.

    Miller – Good, but we shouldn’t admit drinking it – look what happened to the Long Ryders and The Del Fuegos.

    Black Label – Rare delicacy, hard to find.

    Michelob Dry – Wet, good for breakfast.

    Heineken – All the best things in life smell bad.

    Bass Ale – Good fish. Good beer.

    Red, White & Blue – Role model, cheap date, highest recommendation.

    Old Milwaukee – Only beer that hangs out in the refrigerator for longer than a week, last resort.

    Pabst – Old man beer, check back in 30 years.

    Schlitz – Functional beer.

    Old Style – Probably why all the bands in Chicago suck (just kidding).

    Strohs – Forgettable.

    Corona – Too many requirements. Evil stigma.

    Fosters – Love it on payday, love those sulfites.

    Olympia – Grunts, groans, flashbacks, etc. Never referred to by full name.

    Coors – Mussolini’s choice. Heavy metal beer.

    Stag – Hometown beer, goes good with adolescence, rest in peace.

    EKU 28 – Most potent beer in the world, good ice cream topping.

    Maybe the group should reunite just to put together an updated list.

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