Bad Form

There are times when a shot across the bow requires a response and other times you should continue gliding through the water without even acknowledging what has happened.

I so wanted to do the latter but the more that I thought about Budweiser’s commercial during the Super Bowl, the more I needed to add my two cents to the affair that really only craft beer people seem to be up in arms about. (Check out the Best-Worst articles on the internet, hardly a mention of this commerical in a year of mediocre ones.)

First, I think the New Yorker cover that skewered the snobbery of craft beer did more without a script or music then the Bud ad could hope to accomplish, months ago. Kudos though to Bud for choosing a venerable publication to borrow ideas from.
What failed in the dimly lit Bud spot was telling. Belittling taste then tacking backwards and extolling beechwood chips. All that was your typical ad fluffery just more scattershot than usual.

But it was the words do the “hard work” which raised the most ire and which apparently doesn’t include the work of checking to see if any of their newly purchased craft breweries might be the target of their “pumpkin-peach humor”. If I was the VP of the craft division, I would be more than a little pissed that Belgium was dissing the Elysian purchase. And I certainly hope, that VP didn’t see the spot before it aired. Because he will need plausible deniability when trying to explain this to Seattle, who is already in a pissy mood from the game itself. But where they really shot themselves in the foot was future acquisitions. That target list is now a lot shorter. Good luck creating a craft portfolio when you diss your own people and purchases.
My second cent is: Who was the ad aimed at? My wife (who doesn’t drink) hit the nail on the head when she noticed that only people with knowledge of craft beer would really get it. In the end, all Bud did was rile an easily riled opponent.  There are few things in life as easy as riling the craft beer community. Maybe making toaster waffles but that’s about it. My wife’s final point was that Bud may have inadvertently confused its customers into thinking that Shock Top would be soon making a pumpkin-peach beer.

But I don’t think their customers were the target. My guess was it was a highly costly bully tactic. More befitting a schoolyard than business. And it proves, once again, that ABInBev is still pretty clueless about the craft movement. They paid a gazillion dollars to ridicule a beer drinking demographic that was already inclined against them when they should be attempting to rally the troops. Compare that to McDonald’s ad grabbing at the heartstrings and gaining goodwill by the ton with their pay with love spot and you see how misguided Budweiser’s marketing was. McDonalds is as maligned as Budweiser by a vocal minority but they found a way to attract people to visit and at the very least grudgingly accept that it was a well played stunt.

Bud can easily claim that fans of craft are wicked condescending to them and that this was comeuppance.  But I have to say that a company that has all the tools to brew better beer with better ingredients with the best QC has been condescending to customers for years by choosing the bottom line over taste every time.

They are also not good at caring for their dogs or building barns that can hold horses if their other commercial is to be believed.

P.S. If you want to vent your Bud frustration, you can head to Beer Belly for their Craft for Crap….

“We want as many people as possible to grab any variant of Budweiser that may be in their fridge, attic, car trunk and bring it to Beer Belly on Saturday from 12-4pm. We will go ahead and trade you for a craft beer for $.01. We can fuss over our beer, drink it, talk about it, whatever the hell you want.

Here are the details:

  • Saturday, 2/7 from 12-4pm
  • Bring in any Budweiser and we will exchange you a craft beer (draft only) for $.01.
  • Bring as many crap (Budweiser) beers as you want, but maximum one $.01 craft beer per person.
  • Bring your non-craft drinking friends. Show them what’s up.”

Who Said?


Another wacky collaboration from 21st Amendment and this time they have teamed with the Pumpkin King, Dick Cantwell of Elysian Brewing for a unique 2-pack of seasonal treats.

“He Said let’s brew a dark beer with pumpkin and spices and put it in a light colored can. He Said let’s brew a light beer with pumpkin and spices and put it in a dark colored can. So they did both and produced a pumpkin beer collaboration like no other: two black pumpkin beers and two white pumpkin beers, together in one box.

He Said is a white Belgian-Style Tripel ale brewed with pumpkin, tarragon and galangal.  He Said is also a black Baltic-Style Porter lager brewed with pumpkin, Vietnamese cinnamon and ground caraway. Both beers have an ABV of 8.2%.”


Christmas Beer of the Day – Bifrost

The BreweryElysian

The BeerBifrost

The Details
“Pours golden with orange highlights. Smells alluringly sweet like caramel apples with a little spice and orange zest. Taste is bold and balanced with a good amount of citrus and earthy hop bitters to offset the malt character. Finishes dry with a bit of fruit.”

Review – La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado

La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado from Stone Brewing is first up for review of the three Escondidian ales that I will tackle this month.

Here is the full spiel from Stone….
“All of us are kind of known for big, imperial beers, and the fact that we came together to make this mellower pumpkin beer… I think it was very restrained and dignified of us,” jokes Rue. “And I think we brought some really interesting spice additions to the table.”

The eclectic mix of ingredients was selected to introduce a decidedly different spin on traditional pumpkin beers. “The taste starts with citrus and herbal notes, but then a very smooth roasted malt character comes into play,” Steele explains. “The yam and pumpkin make their appearance on the finish, with some Eastern-influenced spiciness and trace maple notes from the toasted fenugreek, combining with hints of birch. This is no pumpkin pie beer. No cloves. No nutmeg. No cinnamon.”

Stone Brewing Co. President Steve Wagner had been tossing the idea around for a pumpkin beer with Elysian Brewing Company for over a year. Elysian, well known for conjuring up an impressive variety of pumpkin beers as well as hosting the annual Elysian Great Pumpkin Beer Fest, was quick to come on-board and loved the idea of working with The Bruery, which is highly respected for its innovative beers including Autumn Maple (made with “a lot of yams”).

“That’s the great thing about collaboration beers,” explains Cantwell. “Everyone brings their own strengths and awareness to the project.”

“This is one of the more unique beers I have ever been involved with,” says Steele. “A very cool beer, and I toast the creative minds of Patrick Rue and Dick Cantwell for their willingness to put this recipe together with us.”


Elysian is really branching out pumpkin wise. First collaborating with Stone and The Bruery and now this…..

Here is what New Belgium has to say about it, “Harvesting the creativity of Kim Jordan of New Belgium and Dick Cantwell of Elysian produced this ruby-hued, slightly sour, pumpkin, cranberry ale. It’s a treat that does the trick.”

I have started to see Kick in bottles (Portland) and on tap (Los Angeles)

The Men’s Room

Elysian Brewing of Seattle had a beer named Loser that was Sub-Pop related now they have another special named after a local radio show. And it is one of the best beer names around. A little gross too but clever.

Here is what the brewery says:
TASTING NOTESAmber in color with a light hop aroma and toasty malt finish.

Pale, Munich, Cara-Red, C-60 and small amounts of Special B and chocolate malts

Bittered with Chinook and finished with Cascade and an abv of 5.6%

“A portion of the net proceeds from every Mens Room Original Red sold goes to helping support the families of our military vets through the VA Puget Sound Fisher House and Ft. Lewis Fisher House.”

25 Pumpkin Beers!

I just received this invite on Facebook. If only I could be in Seattle that day..

“The 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival”
Saturday, October 10 at 12:00pm.

Event: “2 days – Over 25 pumpkin brews!!”
Where: Elysian Brewing – Capitol Hill

Loser Pale


I love the special beers, the anniversary beers, the once and done beers. And now, a pale from Elysian. A pale as a tribute? Counter to trend, but I like it. A Pale Ale made in honor of 20 years of records from Sub Pop. Sounds like a winner to me.