29 January 2008

"This is stupid"

Thanks to reader Rodney who saves us from the eduction going on in the De Struise Brouwers 6 Pack interview with a bit of news.

Carlsberg to sell the Louis Vuitton handbag of beers - "We can feel that there's an increasing market for this type of product, as some of our customers order extremely expensive wines without blinking an eye," Lau Richter, restaurant chief at the Noma restaurant, said today by phone. "Ten years ago, it was a rare event selling a 1,000 kroner bottle of wine at a Danish restaurant, now we do it every day."

The brewery claims the the high price is reflective of the amount of work that went into the beer - "We're trying to raise the bar for what a beer can be," Jens Eiken, the brew master at Jacobsen who developed the product, said today by phone. The beverage is "cheap" considering the amount of time the brewery spent developing it," he said.

As Rodney pointed out: "I can't imagine what they did to that beer that make them charge $260,000 for a barrel."

They left out the fact that you can't crush a bottle on your forehead - "It just makes sense. The can is a superior package to the bottle. Cans are lighter and take up less space, making them cheaper to transport and store. They’re more durable once filled. Cans are completely lightproof, meaning the beer won’t get “skunked,” acquiring the nasty odor that comes from hops compounds breaking down in sunlight."

As we noted in our visit to Ft. Wayne, Warbird started out canning their products, but public perception - the idea that craft beer doesn't belong in cans - caused them to make the switch to bottles. This article contends that people are coming around to cans. That may be the case; It's certainly working for Surly (the 11th ranked brewer in the RateBeer Best 2008).

Next up - Three Floyds Alpha Kroger - Ok, that might be a stretch. Brew Blog is reporting that Costco will soon be selling beer brewed by Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, a brewery/restaurant chain based in California.

Of course Costco isn't the first private label to rebadge a beer brewed by outside sources: Trader Joe's has been at it for quite some time.

I'm going to get Mormon Tabernacle trashed
- The Salt Lake Tribune, home paper of my personal friend, reporter, and former Real Salt Lake GM Steve Pastorino (sorry, soccer geekout), is reporting that Utah's Wasatch Beers is now brewing an 8% ABV Double Bock Amber that goes by the name of "The Devastator".

"The beer breaks the mold in Utah, where only beers with 4 percent alcohol by volume can be sold in grocery stores or on draft at bars and microbreweries. "

The article states that the beer is almost flying off liquor store shelves - perhaps the $1.39 per bottle price has something to do with that.


  1. Oskar Blues just reported a pre-tax profit of 51% year over year sales from 2006 to 2007. They make everything in cans and are expanding. I hope Indiana will be lucky enough to start getting it here after the expansion.

    I just reviewed the Surly a few weeks ago and it was a fantastic brew, and just bolstered my opinion that can brew will be a good thing.

  2. Speaking of Trader Joe's branded beers, I just picked up a couple of their "Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale." It's a dubbel made by Unibroue for them.

    I'd say it's pretty tasty, but certainly not my favorite Unibroue (that'd be La Fin Du Monde). The nice thing is that it's only $4.99 for a 750ml bottle. I actually haven't bought any of their stuff in a little while, but I'm pretty sure that's a steal for Unibroue beer.

  3. I wandered the "Brew" blog referenced in a few of these links and found this:


    It made me think two things...
    1. Miller is about a decade too late to ride the Nintendo 64's wave of glory.
    2. Apparently you can now replace hops and barley with flavored syrup. I can't wait for Miller Zero.

    Also I didn't realize I had to wrap my link in tags so blogger chopped it off in my previous post.

  4. CorrND - I attempted to find that Unibroue product at TJ's a while back and had no luck, which was disappointing since it was a half hour drive there with that particular PRODUCT in mind. Do you have any idea if that's a regular product or something they have all the time? I suppose I could ask them...

    Rodney - I think the links work either way - although the column cuts it off, I seem to remember it working anyway. Could be wrong, of course.

  5. Saw the TJ's 2007 Vintage Ale at the Castleton TJ's a few weeks ago. I almost bought it, but I opted for the Goose Island Pere Jacques instead.

    Don't know if the TJ's Vintage Ale is still at the Castleton store.

  6. I was also at the Castleton TJ, I think it was last Saturday, the 19th. There were several cases stacked up, so they may still have some.

    I'm not in TJ all that often, but I've never seen it before -- I don't think it's a regular product. I was just there to grab some cheese and "Chuck" and saw the end-cap display for the Vintage Ale. I took one look at the bottle with "Ale on Lees" and said, "this has to be Unibroue" and grabbed 2.

  7. I bought some of the vintage ale at TJ's last year. I think they offer it seasonally only.

  8. When we were out in CO this past October we spoke with the Oskar Blues guys, they are planning on distributing to Indiana within the year hopefully.

    Their canned beer is SO good!