Of course I have thoughts about the now notorious “Beer Summit.” How could I not?
Our president drank Bud Light in front of the whole world, apparently declaring Belgian-owned breweries to be producers of his choice of beer. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing.
If I were to trade places with his (Obama’s) handlers, I would feel very nervous about the perceptions of the world watching his every sip. Why Bud Light then? Because most people don’t know it’s not an American company any more, so they wanted to go with something that seemed All-American and innocuous. They wanted a light beer to make the president seem health conscious as he tries hard to get health care reforms through the minefield of congress.
The other two participants of the “Beer Summit,” one Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard Scholar, and police Sergeant James Crowley did nothing to impress. I’m afraid to say I think America was more fascinated in each man’s choice of beer than the actual reason for the summit.
If you don’t know, it’s all because Obama was upset by Gate’s arrest by Crowley, which has been tossed around as racial profiling, and he called the police action “stupid.”
To quote another great man: “Stupid is as stupid does.”
Anyway, I digress.
Other beers served were as follows: Gates – Blue Moon, Crowley – Sam Adams Light, VP Biden – Buckler NA, what? We’ll get to that another day.
What I really want to get to here is the notion that from blue collar cop types to Harvard scholars to the president of the United States, we do not have one craft beer represented at this “Beer Summit.” What gives?
Now I wasn’t expecting the president to pull out a bottle of Dogfish Head 120-Minute IPA, but the 90-Minute IPA might have been nice, you know, show his solidarity with the middle class and all.
As for Blue Moon and a Harvard scholar. Well, I guess that proves my theory that those Ivy League schools are highly overrated. You’d never catch a University of Oregon professor drinking that bilge water.
I think the best beer represented at the “Beer Summit” was Sam Adams Light. Though I’m fairly certain the president’s handlers suggested the Light because it would play better in the media the next day.
But I think it was the president’s own words that carried the greatest weight after the “Beer Summit.”
“I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart,” Obama said in a statement after the meeting in a garden outside the Oval Office.
So, why don’t you take your own advice and sit down to a pint of something dark, strong, full of hops and without pretension next time. I’ll buy.
I had the first version of the Mexican Lager from Big Sky Brewing Co. I can’t quite remember, but I think it wasn’t brewed with yeast from a real Mexican Lager strain from Mexico City. But I could be wrong. Anyway, as you know, I’m a big fan of videos, so here is head brewer Matt Long talking about this beer. I’ll race you to the brewery!
Yes, this is a lazy post. However, I’m extremely busy getting a new website ready for launch in my other job. That’s the job where I don’t write about beer for a living, in case you didn’t know.
Anyway, this is a bit of a filler post to keep you happy until I can get back to enjoying great beer and writing about it.
In no particular order, these are some funny beer commercials.
1. Carlton Draught: The Big Beer Ad
2. Guinness: The Rhythm of Life
3. One More Tuborg Please!
4. Guinness: Share One With a Friend or Two
5. Hahn: Venice
Yes, these videos are all extremely sexist, and I’d love to see a list of top videos that don’t contain scantily clad women or really crappy beer. What have you seen out there that’s good? Send those suggestions my way.
So we’ve all heard about the rumor that Kettlehouse Brewing Co. would be putting Eddie Out Pale Ale in cans. We’ve waited patiently through a two-year-long process of building the North Side brewery. We’ve waited through snow storms and the heat of a Montana July. Several in fact.
And now, I can say that with my own two eyes, I’ve seen packaging for 8-packs of cans that indicates that soon, Kettlehouse Brewing Co. will have Eddie Out Pale Ale in cans.
Knowing Tim’s proclivity for keeping project details under wraps, I’m guessing we won’t get a time commitment for seeing Eddie on area shelves.
Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that we’ll get a float trip or two in with a tall boy of Eddie in our patient hands.
Plenty beer stuff going around this weekend if you’re looking for stuff to do that relates to the Nectar of the Gods.
First, the big one, the Bitterroot Microbrew Festival is going on in Hamilton. Second, it’s Evel Knievel days in Butte. If you haven’t checked out Quarry Brewing yet, it’s a must-visit brewery in Butte America, and don’t forget to peek at their new website.
This is the latest news and info from Quarry:
Brewery Special for Evel Knievel Sat. July 25 1-8PM
2-WHEEL RIDE @ THE BREWERY
$1 OFF YOUR 1ST PINT OF BEER, WHEN YOU RIDE YOUR 2-WHEEL VEHICLE TO THE QUARRY! (2-wheel can mean a lot so be creative if you Dare!)
Finally Quarry Brewing web site is here, thanks to Jason Parish for putting it all together. We will cont. to add more stuff to it so keep checking. www.wedigbeer.com
Don’t forget the Tarpon Swim Team will have the Papa Murphy Pizza Trailer back @ the brewery tom. Fri. July 24 for Pizza & Rootbeer Fundraiser.So come on down & bring the whole family.
Hope to see you @ the QUARRY!
Chuck & Lyza
And tonight you can grab a brew from just about any area brewery at the 103.3 4th Annual Trail Float to Caras Park, where they’re serving stuff from Big Sky, Bayern, Bitterroot and Kettlehouse.
Have a great weekend beer aficionados, and don’t forget to tell me what you had next week.
This is not the time of year for a ginormous, dry hopped, Imperial stout. Nor is it really the time of year for a huge raspberry porter, a massive barley wine, a soup-thick coffee porter or any of your favorite specialty craft ales. Don’t let me stop you from drinking those if you were planning on it anyway.
I’m just saying, when the thermometer climbs into triple digits, it’s time to pull out something light and refreshing. When I was growing up, in Europe, my dad would make us a Shandy on a hot summer day. This would entail a really high-quality Pilsner or other European lager and some orange juice or lemonade.
When I got older, my dad and I would enjoy a floral hefeweizen on the back porch together after working on his property on a hot summer day.
These days, lightly spiced Belgian wits are all the rage. These super-light beers are more than just a white beer or a wheat beer, they often come with a little coriander or other favorite Belgian spices tossed in. The other thing that makes them exepctional is the type of yeast that is added.
Belgian yeasts are a whole world unto themselves.
Yesterday, I was at Big Sky Brewing Co. when a lady asked Mel about why there was such a floral, citrusy smell to the beer. That’s the yeast, Mel told her. And Mel is right. The yeast gives this beer so much more character than a normal wheat beer might have. That’s one thing the Belgian’s do that the rest of the world is playing catch-up over – cultivating amazing beer yeasts.
Big Sky’s Belgian Wit is a fantastic version of the style, but these light, summery beers are available all over the place right now. New Belgium has a great version and even the Big Boys of beer have their own versions of the Belgian wit for sale right now.
Let me know what you find out there, and tell me why you like it.
Why? Why the Bitterroot Microbrew Fest of course. Finally got there last year, and I plan to go again this year. It’s one of the friendliest, most easy going beer fests I’ve ever been to.
Where: Legion Park in Hamilton
The Bitterroot Microbrew Fest is a tasting event that offers a variety of food, microbrews and non-alcoholic beverages as well as entertainment. A great time will be had by everyone. This is the place to be if you would like to sample the different tastes or just stick to your favorite one and then just sit back and enjoy.
In conjunction with the Microbrew Fest is Daly Days which features downtown merchants having huge sales! There are crafts, children’s games, music. Food vendors along with valley merchants display their merchandise. Mr. Daly makes his presence at this festive event
For more information call 363-2400 or visit http://www.bitterrootvalleychamber.com
See you there,
Just because I gotta know.
Sorry for the no posties last week. I took a week off with very little interaction with my computer, my social network or my blogs. And it felt good. The last thing you want or need is a burned-out beer blogger.
I did, however, enjoy several rounds of great beer while away in Oregon. It is Oregon after all, and beer is something they do well.
Spent Tuesday and Wednesday on the Oregon coast near one of my favorite breweries. The Pelican Pub & Brewery sits right out on the sand at Cape Kiwanda at Pacific City. My sisters and brother and I enjoyed a round of twenty-twos in the sand as the fog played its characteristic peek-a-boo routine. Watch for a review of their unique coastal brews.
Later in the week, after a grueling round of disc golf, I joined a former Missoula buddy and his groomsmen and future father-in-law at Hopworks Urban Brewery. The Evelyn’s Imperial IPA was outstanding, and I’ll have more on that this week as well.
All that to say hello and welcome back readers.
A few things to keep an eye on. I haven’t tried the new Belgian Wit on at Big Sky Brewing Co., but I hear it’s good. They’ll have some of their Mexican Lager on soon too.
And it’s almost time for the Bitterroot Brew Fest again.
All that and more this week.
Vodka is close to my heart. Not only is it the native drink of my homeland, Ukraine, it is a spirit which defines sophistication and delicacy. There is nothing better than good vodka and caviar.
I have had the opportunity to try good vodka both here in the United States and in the former Soviet Union. With the vodka popularity boom in the late 90s, many boutique distilleries opened around the world. Unfortunately, many distilleries opened with the goal of producing fine whiskey and other drinks. They pushed cheaper vodkas and gins out the door to keep customers happy while the real stuff aged in barrels.
A few produce good, drinkable vodka. A fewer still produced world-class boutique vodkas with interesting themes and fun packaging.
There are few rules to good vodka, it should be clear, creamy, smooth and non-funky-smelling.
I was shocked when I first moved to Montana and found that distilling laws were much more lax than those concerning brewing companies. That’s when I first heard of Vigilante Distilling. This Helena-based company, the owners of which were principally responsible for the bill that made distilling so much easier in Montana, is just getting started, but they’re off in a good direction with their first product.
I haven’t met them yet, but I’ve tried their vodka after getting a tip that it’s available at Grizzly Liquor.
Vigilante is good vodka if you’re in the mood for local vodka that can hold its own at a cold temperature. When it warms up, it develops a decidedly medicinal quality that isn’t altogether unpleasant, but it is noticeable.
What I noticed right off the bat is a sweet, smooth and clean taste to the back of the mouth. There is nothing harsh or abrasive on this vodka, but there is a slight herbal nose on it.
Like most vodkas, this on goes well with food. It’s not just the fact that it’s clear and clean, it actually brings out sharp flavors quite well. I tried some crackers with plum tomatoes, goat cheese and anchovies.
The labeling is fun and you definitely know you’re drinking something made in Montana. And the story on the back explaining the vigilante heritage is a nice addition to the overall package.
All in all, this vodka was good considering it’s made with sugercane products. My only complaint comes on the nose, where I’d like to find a little more grain. This is Montana after all. We have enough grain to go around. I’ve always thought this state could produce world-class vodkas, as it shares much in common with the vodka countries of Poland, Russia and Ukraine.