You know the drill, hoist a pint of your favorite to celebrate!
You know the drill, hoist a pint of your favorite to celebrate!
In a bonehead move Kure Beach has denied Sunday morning alcohol sales. We knew somewhere in North Carolina a governing body would stand on religious principal and the evils of alcohol, but I wouldn’t have suspected it to be a tourist area. It is their prerogative to decide if Sunday morning sales should be allowed to happen, but it is ridiculous to put it in a religious context. Someone should remind them religious organizations meet all the time, not just on Sunday morning. The mayor, Craig Bloszinsky, cited traffic getting worse in town if alcohol sales were to occur beginning at 10am. I guess Craig has realized what I learned long ago, they only put those fish symbols on the back of cars who cannot drive in the first place. I think they have a meeting at church to decide who gets a fish and who doesn’t and they want the highest possible visibility so it goes on the car who drives the worst and is most likely to draw attention to the symbol. I’m kidding of course, but to say it will add to traffic is quite short sighted. People having a bloody with 10am brunch are not apt to get sloshed by noon when the neighborhood churches typically let out. Anyway, I know where I won’t be visiting when planning my next vacation if that is the attitude of Kure Beach. Sounds like they didn’t want visitors there in the first place.
Finding Ommegang Bend The Knee prior to the first episode of Game of Thrones proved to be a bit of a challenge. Despite numerous Facebook posts by Total Wine announcing the beer, it was MIA at the one closest to my home. Finally I went by one in a different city and they had a large display for the beer so I was able to grab all three labels. The next challenge was deciding which house to consume since I now had a Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister in the fridge. I ultimately went with Lannister and found the 9% ABV to be deceptively smooth and understated. The alcohol was hidden behind a mild flavor of malt and fruitiness which was quite alluring. I’m sure the other two bottles will present the same way, but it will be awhile before I consume them if all goes according to plan. Perhaps another halfway through this season and the third at the end. At any rate, this one is nicely done, keep searching and you should be able to find it.
Tonight begins the new season of Game Of Thrones. To celebrate I cracked open a beer which has been lurking in the fridge since October. It is Ommegang Valar Dohaeris Belgian-style Tripel. It poured with a ridiculous amount of coagulated proteins which made the appearance less than stellar, but luckily the peppery aroma and flavor had a wonderful phenolic which more than made up for the appearance flaw. Valar Doharis means “all men must serve” and they must serve this tripel if they like tripel. This one is quite good and while it may be difficult to find out and about, if one still lurks on the shelf you need to snag it because it is delicious! At 9% ABV it is no slouch so tread lightly and share with a friend. The season begins in a few hours, but this is the perfect beer to enjoy while catching up by binge watching all of season six. Get some if you can.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
You may or may not have heard Senate Bill 155, the Brunch Bill, has been sent to Governor Cooper to be signed. This bill was actually entitled ABC Omnibus Legislation and made several changes to the law including the definition of Homebrew. Assuming he signs it quickly that does not mean you get to run out and have a bloody the following Sunday morning. In fact now you will have to wait for your city or perhaps county to allow those sales. Yep, it may be quite some time before you actually can have a Sunday morning libation in a restaurant or bar depending upon when the governing body for each area meets to allow or disallow those sales. I suspect you will be walking into a small town restaurant next year on a Sunday morning and order that mimosa only to be told the town has still not approved those sales. I’m all for big government allowing small cities and towns to be the master of their fate, but I’m also for uniformity, especially when it comes to alcohol. I should be able to expect the same rules in each and every place where it is sold in NC. Anyway, the bill has passed and soon enough the larger cities will jump on the bandwagon. No more waiting until noon to head out to Sunday brunch. Now I can thrown on a hat and have some hair of the dog first thing in the morning.
There are many other tweaks to the law in the bill. The text is available here.
The Brewers Association has rolled out their Independent Craft Brewer seal and I gotta say that is a great idea. On the other hand the graphic kinda sucks. Who had the bright idea to put an upside down bottle on the seal? If you read about it the thought process is craft beer is turning ideas about beer upside down, but who exactly is the target audience with the seal, those who will read about it, or those who may not understand which beers are craft and which are BudMillerCoors? To me the seal is a negative and I expect more than one person to see it the same way and plenty of others who will applaud the seal without truly putting any thought as to the target audience. Go back to the drawing board boys before your members start putting that seal on marketing materials and labels. It isn’t all that and a bag of chips, it is the chip that fell on the floor and you are trying to decide if the five second rule applies and whether or not you should pick it up or throw it in the trash. I vote for throwing in the trash!
Turns out the only way to effect change to alcohol laws where the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers have a vested interest is by lawsuit. After Tim Kent and his cronies slimily reneged on a deal made with Charlotte brewery owners to increase the cap Craft Freedom has filed a lawsuit against the state. Of course our boy Timmay says no deal was ever in place and his board told him no, but I suspect this is simply more lies from him. So we shall see if the 25,000 barrel cap passes the test when it hits the courtroom or if Tim and his gang can influence the outcome of the case. I suspect with the legal power Craft Freedom brings to the courtroom the cap will be lifted. The question is by how much.
The announcement a few days ago that Wicked Weed was purchased by Anheuser-Busch has brought a dark cloud over what should have been a glorious payout for hard work and investment. Wicked Weed started brewing five years ago at the brewpub in Asheville and has expanded to have four locations and almost 200 employees. Their sour beers have gained notoriety and they had several collaborations in the works which have now been cancelled, drain poured, distanced, or remixed to create new beers. The NC Brewers Guild has revoked their voting privileges and the craft brewing community has begun to distance themselves from the brewery. Wicked Weed had a festival planned for July and tickets were to go on sale this week, but the sale has been pushed back to May 20 and thus far over 20 breweries have backed out of the festival with more to follow.
With every buyout there is backlash, but sooner or later the public forgets or the beer does an end run around the beer geeks and ends up with the general public. I’m not sure in this case if the sour portfolio developed by Wicked Weed will survive the current negativity. Joe Beer Drinker is not going to try, nor buy, a $10 bottle of funky beer. Even if they dumb it down it won’t fly off the shelves. So what will AB ultimately do? I’m not sure, but if the Wicked Weed beers don’t sell I would assume they will ask them to focus on the beers which do sell.
Readers of the blog already know I had given up on the Wicked Weed bottles as I found them all underwhelming. I was a fan of The Funkatorium in Asheville, but have always found the brew pub to be a place to far too many unwritten rules. Not going back to the brew pub will not break my heart and my wallet will thank me for skipping The Funkatorium. Will I never drink another Wicked Weed beer again? I’m sure somewhere along the way the best beer on tap will be a WW and I’ll have a glass, but until that happens I don’t plan to put any of my money into the AB machine.