How’s Yours?

Once of my pet peeves are label designs that use unreadable fonts but I like this beer name, How’s Your Day. The collaboration between Modern Times and Highland Park Brewery is another West Coast-style IPA, this one “loaded with Strata & Mosaic for a wildly successful intermingling of passion fruit, mango, citrus, and piney notes.”

Like, Yesterday

If the failing to provide for sick people was any more starkly shown than now, then it never will be. I do not care if you are a good person or bad but you, and all of us, deserve a way better system of healthcare. The beer above from Modern Times ain’t gonna solve it but if enough people post photos of the sub-title of this special beer, maybe, just maybe we can continue a discussion that this virus has started.

Wizard Meet Gargoyle

This label design goes a little Oregon settler but any time a coffee IPA hits town, I will mosey to a bar stool to try it. Especially since Modern Times does have a bit of bean roasting experience. And Stone has brewed a few hoppy beers. The only issue that exists is that this sub-style can drift too far to coffee or too far away when a happy medium needs to be found.

2Dank

The Modern Times Dankness Dojo drops a lot of cans and bottles. They are busy people in this brewery chain. But of special note is a Double Dry-Hopped version of their opening beer, Finally Open in LA!

It has Cryo Citra and Strata during the ferment and then more Citra, Strat and some Centennial later.

Inside the Tent

Sometimes when you look at a Modern Times label design or even just the name, you don’t really know what might be inside. Pretty, yes but not greatly informative.

All you really need to know about Tentbier is the name of Heater-Allen from McMinnville, Oregon. You know this is going to be a traditional beer. A 16oz can of Festbier that collaborates the Portland Arm of the Modern Times empire with a well-loved Oregon brewery.

Re-Visit – Modern Times Dankness Dojo

Say what you will about the naming conventions used by Modern Times or the large expansion they have undertaken but in the end it comes down to the beer and the experience in your spaces. And I felt it was time to re-visit the Dankness Dojo in DTLA to answer those two essential questions.

I finally got a day when it was not super packed. The small amount of bar stools means that unless you get there at the stroke of 11am, you probably won’t find a seat there is similar to finding parking in the DTLA central core.

There has never been a shortage of beers on offer here which I truly like. If you want to go IPA, well you will be busy but sours and stouts and even a dopplebock were also on offer. There is also a goodly number of collaborations from Wayfinder in Portland and Automatic in San Diego. Of all the beers, my absolute favorite was the Old Economy Oak Aged Dopplebock. Straightforward with a lovely burnished brown color. This is a big ABV beer that toed the line of sweetness and also was one you had to watch how fast you drank. The IPA’s all differentiated themselves though I was underwhelmed by the Max Single Hop IPA. This version was with Strata which I have been really digging lately. But this one fell flat for me. Wasn’t as bad as the Pastry Stout, Shadow Temple which was just a coconut conveyor belt.

I like the art, the ambience and though I wish the space was a touch larger, they have put in as much seating as possible and the beers were uniformly well made (if not to my taste).

Money, money

Money.  You need it to grow and to pay off how big you have grown.  Two California beer brands have taken different paths in many different ways and have done so again when it comes to raising cash in 2019.

Cerveceria Calidad who I have interviewed in the past have one beer, they contract brew and they are in the starting phase of getting their beer out into distribution.  They have gone the investor route.  Bringing in 20+ new people from former Dodgers to restaurant founders to an internet underwear CEO to bring in money to increase production and fund more sales and marketing.

On the other side is San Diego’s (Anaheim, Portland and LA’s) Modern Times which has turned to crowdfunding to raise more than $1 million.  Expansion to multiple locations probably being one reason for looking to the internet and fans for funding.  The money received would be earmarked for operations, “minor efficiency projects” and equipment purchases.

I am on record as saying that crowdfunding has lust the luster.  It was fun in the beginning to get a shirt or pint glass for a small donation but then I heard that some of the funding was done as a form of advertising (as well as operational money).  And as a growing niche, craft beer needed to get moving by all sorts of financial means.  But craft beer is grown up now, it is not easy but raising the cash for your brewery can be done via the traditional route of banks, or financial partners (silent or loud). 

Finding an equity partner for a secondary, tertiary round of funding may not have the ESOP cache for Modern Times but it would have brought much less scrutiny from the internet for sure.

Calidad has always been a puzzle to me.  It seems to be a piece of a beverage company profile but it seems built for the Fyre / Coachella influencer set as opposed to beer geeks.  Personally, I think the beer is good enough to be set in front of beer geeks but now more marketing seems to be where the money is going even though for a well branded beer, a tap room or bar would seem the play to make.  Putting them next to the Alfred coffee shops might be one idea.

How this money gathering plays out is part of the fascinating economic portrait being drawn.