Archive for February, 2010

NEW: Bruisin’ Ales tap at Barley’s!

Posted Feb 26, 2010 in Beer, Beer Places, Breweries, Coming Soon, Coolness, In the news, Limited Release, New this week, People

Jimi Rentz, owner of Barley’s Taproom in Asheville, gave us a really awesome opportunity: Our own tap downstairs! The Bruisin’ Ales Tap will be a regular feature from here on out of rare, limited, cool, and delicious brews outside the local/regional circle. Mixing a little variety into your local brews… first up? Dogfish Head Red & White! We’re hoping it will go on the beginning of next week!

“A big, belgian-style Wit brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice. After fermentation a fraction of the batch is aged in one of our giant oak tanks. This has been one of our most popular Limited Edition beers at both our Rehoboth Beach, DE brewpub and at festivals. It successfully marries the refreshing citrusy qualities of a Belgian-style white beer with the robust complexity of a bold red wine.” [10.0% abv]

Become a fan of Barley’s on Facebook!

And… psssst…. Flying Dog’s 20th Anniversary Ale is finally here! Come and get your Raging Bitch! Belgian-style IPA, 8.3% abv.

Truth in labeling: ABV, calories and the like

Posted Feb 24, 2010 in Beer, Beer and Health, Breweries, Goings on, Limited Release, Not Coolness, Rants

I started the day with a little shout to Twitter this morning regarding North Carolina not getting any Bell’s Batch 9000 in bottles. The reason being that North Carolina requires the ABV (alcohol by volume) to be printed on any beer over 6.0% abv. The brewery’s southeastern rep replied to inquiries stating:

“To wait for the beer to finish fermenting to get the finished abv then have the packaging produced then submit the label to the TTB for approval was really not an option.  It would have taken too much time to wait for the beer to finish fermenting, get the packing produced, and hope there would be no problems with TTB label approval.”

In other words, the brewery didn’t want to wait on the product for a final ABV measurement and had the labeling printed and readied while the beer was in the tanks. Further, it was suggested that NC needs changes to the labeling requirements. That, I agree with, but not in the sense that these folks are talking about. They’re saying ABV should not be a requirement, because it isn’t in some states. The truth is, Batch 9000 finished with a final gravity of 12.5% abv, according to BeerAdvocate. That’s a full 2.5% below the legal limit cap in North Carolina. Clearly, someone had a clue that the beer would make it under—just not the exact ABV, but the law says the beer’s printed alcohol by volume must be within .20% of what it is. (Batches will always vary slightly.)

You can’t fault Bell’s for wanting to streamline the bottling process. Tank time is a precious commodity in the craft beer world and as the old saying goes, time is money. However, as someone who promotes and sells a lot their product, it feels like a slap in the face to know that Bell’s purposely excluded this product from our market. While no one has said as much, the fact that labels were printed with no ABV on them, immediately excludes the product from NC. And before everyone gets riled-up, let me state for the record: 1) I’m not bashing Bell’s, the brewery (other than being a miffed retailer over the sales losses of a beer I could move, and quickly); 2) Bell’s is a well-run machine of consistency; and 3) I love most, if not all, of their beers.

What this whole thing is, is a greater problem with “truth in labeling.” You hear that term a lot these days over MSG, wine, even vitamins. I think there should be uniform labeling requirements for beer across the board. A consistent packaging method for both the producer and consumer. I have never understood the arguments for why beer should be different. I just went into our wine cabinet and pulled out at least nine different bottles of wine from California, Argentina, France and Italy. Every single one of those has an ABV printed on it. Not only does this tell me how strong the beverage is that I’m drinking—it lets me decide whether or not I should have it. Beer has the most varied ABV’s in its craft, from kinderbier (with none or barely detectable ABV) to BrewDog’s newest, Sink the Bismarck at 41.0% abv. To not have this information printed on the label seems irresponsible at best.

I opened up questions to other folks, who mostly agreed with me. And there are other reasons to include health-related information on the labels. Some people need it for diabetes, gluten-free diets, caloric counts, etc. Be advised, there are some breweries, such as Dogfish Head and Rogue that do print this information on their website as well as this handy guide. But none of these really help you in a situation where you’re not immediately hooked into the web. Here are some comments from other beer drinkers:

@mikegeorger: @bruisinales Should be something like this on either the bottle or packaging http://twitpic.com/153jlw

@mygothlaundry: @bruisinales They should have calories on there too as well as ABV. I wanna know when 2 beers should be my entire daily intake.

@beercentric: @bruisinales Excellent point. Myself, being diabetic and managing love of beer and need of insulin, that number is important!

@cutefont: @bruisinales I think the abv should be on the label. Drives me nuts when its not. I like to know it. Makes a difference to me

@hookedonwinter: @bruisinales I like when a brewery lists as much information as possible. OG, FG, hops, grains, everything!

@ruinationpress: @bruisinales @hookedonwinter should be easy to measure FG and THEN print labels…quality first, not sales .#commonsense

Really, there seems to be no excuse as to why truth in labeling is not a big issue for this industry. “Organic” labels have been redone, there are other FDA requirements for certain things. Is there really any reason we can’t get an ABV printed label on every beer? And maybe some of that other stuff above while we’re at it?

New this week at Bruisin’ Ales

Posted Feb 19, 2010 in Beer, Breweries, Limited Release, New this week, Rarerities, Seasonals

ALLAGASH Black
AVERY Collaboration Not Litigation (Batch #4)
BELL’S Consecrator Doppelbock
DOGFISH HEAD Red & White
FOUNDER’S Nemesis Wheatwine
GREAT DIVIDE Whiskey Barrel-aged Old Ruffian
GREAT DIVIDE Whiskey Barrel-aged Yeti
OKOCIM Porter
ROGUE John John Dead Guy Ale
ROMAN Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold
ROMAN Ename Tripel

Goings on in and around Ashevegas

Posted in Beer, Breweries, Goings on, Video

Charleston Brewvival is next weekend
Show of hands, who’s going? We’ll see you all next weekend in Charleston, SC for the first Brewvival, put on by our friends at COAST Brewing and the Charleston Beer Exchange. This looks to be a very impressive event with loads of beerlebrity-ness (Greg Koch/Stone Brewing) and crazy beers (The Bruery Oude Tart). From the mountains to the beach! Let’s do this! Get tickets here.

3rd Annual Highland Cup Homebrew Competition
The 3rd Annual Highland Cup is upon us! For all you homebrewers in Asheville—and there are a lot of you—here’s a chance to let your talents shine. The deadline for entries is next Saturday, February 27. Registration is limited to residents of NC, SC, GA, FL, VA and TN. The winner gets their beer brewed and sold commercially under the Highland label, plus a trip to Denver’s Great American Beer Festival in September.

Asheville’s BeerCity Spring Festival
The date’s been changed to June 5, but the event is moving forward! Still waiting for a location announcement, but we still have a minimal amount of pre-sale tickets at the humble storefront. Get them early before tickets go on sale online. [UPDATE: Pre-sales have been halted. I'm trying to figure out what's going on.

Beer stories on the radio

Posted Feb 18, 2010 in Beer, Beer Humor, Breweries, Coolness, Sports

We love, love, love our new radio spots for 1310 Big Wise! Have a listen!

Bruisin’ Ales – Kilt Lifter Jan 2010
Brusin’ Ales – Chocolate Yeti Jan 2010