Boont Branding

This year Anchor Brewing unveiled a re-branding that didn’t pass muster in many people’s opinion and now another heritage NorCal brewery has done it, but I think that most people will be absolutely fine with the Anderson Valley design changes….

I think the antlered bear is playful and Pixar-ish and I like the forested landscape at the bottom of the label. Having chunks of educational material on either side works for me too. The only mid-step (and it is slight) is the font of the brewery name on the blue banner. I think it is a little plain to my eyes.

This refresh along with plans for a destination taproom shows, to me, that this brewery is giving a good effort to change with the times.

Diverse Resource

Support for minority owned businesses is crucial but figuring where to spend your beer money does require time, thankfully the Beervana Blog has a super handy spreadsheet.

Check it out HERE and if you know of a brewery missed, then add it in the comments section to make this even more helpful of a list.

The Firkin for May 2021

I ever so wrongly predicted that hard seltzers would be a “Here today, gone tomorrow” fad. They are now part of the beverage landscape and being added to brewery tap lists practically daily.

But I am going to double down – die on this hill proclaim that I do not think FMB’s (flavored malt beverages) are long for this world.

Oh, they will still be around but you won’t see the land rush from every brewery to make them. And when they lose interest or too much market share, then the pullback will begin. The major problem will be that the little breweries will be fighting over a pie that the big players can easily add themselves into and dominate.

Right now, your SABInBev’s, your Coors and Miller do not want to spend money on ingredients and time to make beer that competes with craft breweries. They steadfastly refuse entry into the world of IPAs, dopplebocks and Saisons, so craft has the run of that playground. Not so with hard seltzer where they can brand extend and create hundreds of flavors that are not far off from artisanal products.

I have tried many hard seltzers. Sone way too candy like for me and others that are subtle but none yet have struck me as un-replicable.

No Assembly Required

Once shots x 2 have been acquired, I can begin thinking about going out and doing even mundane things like buying a bedside table that I can unleash a volley of curses at while constructing. That experience would be made better if I could have some Omnipollo beer first. Doubt that the Burbank megastore will be on the distribution list but a beer fan can dream.

28 of 250

I haven’t taken a peek at the highly rated beers for quite some time. So long in fact, that I felt a little out of touch with what the wider world was thinking and drinking.

Part of the reason why I had lost track was that I do my rating on Untappd (when I do tick) and that site is less into whale culture and is more on the wider net.

So it is of interest that Toppling Goliath is so highly thought of with three beers in the top 10. That is crazy. I was glad to see that both Pliny’s from Russian River were on the list and that Heady Topper seemed to be staying afloat despite a wider footprint than in the past. This especially since West 12 has dropped all the way out of the top 25. The other clear winner is Tree House with six hits in twenty-eight. I had expected to see Monkish or Other Half or maybe Jester King but all might have to dispersed of a line-up.

The full list is 250 beers long but I quickly realized that my mode I should not to follow but rather dabble here and there. I bet these beers are great and I do want that Bottle Logic Fundamental Observation (perhaps a sampler tray of the variants), but I do not feel driven to hunt these down.

Barrel Seltzer

I should have seen this seltzer coming from a long way off. Just look at the bottom of the cans of New Holland’s Dragon’s Share hard seltzer and you will see that it is aged in bourbon barrels. So you will get orange with bourbon, cherry without bourbon, blackberry with bourbon and original too. I don’t be think it is a great use of a barrel but I guess it is a true differentiation point compared to all the other hard seltzers.

A Bigger Lab

A lot of space on this blog is devoted to grand openings and second (third) locations for local breweries but equally important are images like the one above. Long Beach Beer Lab recently unloaded a new Brewhouse into their growing space on Willow Street.

According to the brewery this upgrade means they can brew “at a capacity we’ll beyond what we have been. This will allow for more beer, more variety of beers and an even higher quality product for our drinkers.”

They also explained via social media that, “This expansion project is coupled with further beautification of our 500 block of Willow Street with plans for additional retail and creative social space.”

Congratulations on the growth and for your community support over the last year plus.

Going Once, Going Twice

Who doesn’t like the activity and drama around an auction? And add beer to the mix as well as charity and health, well, that is a win/win/win. Check HERE for more info on how to bid as well as other fun stuff.

Beer is Made of Water

Readers of this blog understand that I do not shy away from the political. I spent four years decrying the toxicity of a certain Worst President in American history. Now Georgia, long a bastion of let’s cater to white males, has reacted to voters saying they don’t like (some) politicians with anti-voting laws. Garnering the most headlines being a ban on handing by out water to those in line.

These “laws” are so egregious that Seriously All-American products as Major League Baseball and Coca-Cola have backed away from the obvious racist voting restrictions. And I would like to see Georgia breweries do the same, and more.

The brazen and in your face option of handing out beer at polling locations is not the best solution, though funny in an obvious way. But breweries are creative, out of the box people. What could they do with social media? What beers could they make and name that counters this racism?

It may be easy to steal IP for a Count Chocula beer but what if you worked harder and created a voting or equal representation under the law beer? Hold debates or have silly which beer wins a vote to go next into production. Perhaps a Governor Kemp is bitter beer? Craft beer can be a force for change. Time to get on the field and play.

The Firkin for March 2021

In a hopeful sign, I have started to think about how I would feel going back to a brewery and imbibing actually on premise. Obviously after I get my two shots (hopefully in April)

For me, it is going to be in stages. Like a cautious child dipping their toe into a cold lake. I will probably get a half pint outside and drink fast and be super watchful. Then it might be a full pint but still on guard. Then an outdoor taster tray.

Then and only then will I venture inside and take a stool at the bar where that same three step process will happen again.

I do not know how long it will take to feel secure. When I was younger, I was in a car accident where a driver left turned into my car and slammed into me. The passenger door behind me was crumpled. For a long while, when I saw someone turning near my lane, my heart would beat a little faster and my hands would grip the wheel tighter.

Now, that feeling is long gone. I am looking forward to this Covid crash feeling being a memory too.