Friday, May 30, 2008

ABs pride and Coors fried

Every year Fortune magazine comes out with a list of America's most admired companies. Interestingly enough 'ole Anheuser-Busch was ranked number one this year. This list purports to be based upon eight metrics: Innovation, People Management, Use of Corporate Assets, Social Responsibility, Quality of Management, Financial Soundness, Long Term Investment, and Quality of Products and Services.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I've never been a big fan of ABs beers. That is why I was somewhat surprised that they ranked at the tops of the "innovation" list. I suppose it depends on what you consider innovation. If Bud Light Lime is innovation then I guess you've got a winner. But I can tell you what you won't see coming out this year from AB is a Belgian inspired beer, or a beer aged on South American aromatic wood (i.e. Dogfish's Palo Santo Marron). That being said I am not surprised by many of the other metrics. Financially speaking AB I think has always been an attractive investment. I think Warren Buffet would consider them a Wide-Moat investment. As far as quality, I think it depends on how you define quality. But one thing is for sure AB does make a tremendous effort to make sure their beer is consistently the same. I mean if you were able to safely store a canned Budweiser from five years ago, you would probably find that it tastes almost exactly the same as a Budweiser you bought yesterday. That says something about their quality control.

Interesting to note is that Coors listed as the least admired company in the US. Considering that I classify most of their products in the same class as ABs products, I don't know if I could even begin to explain this disparity. I have heard that Pete Coors is an ardent right wing politically inclined individual and I'd have to wonder if that plays into their least admired status. I mean being an outspoken republican isn't exactly "popular" currently. Also the fact that Coors allowed themselves to be bought by a Canadian company (Molson), probably factored into this as well.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Savor the Flavor

Due to the availability of some last minute tickets from a friend at work (Thanks Kevin!), M and I attended the Savor craft beer event this past Saturday at the Mellon Auditorium in DC. First, the Mellon Auditorium is a beautiful venue for an event like this. It is also conveniently close to the Federal Triangle metro stop, which a great option for a beer fest (read: designated driver).

Each session was limited to 700 people and apparently every session sold out. It was nice to attend an event like this that was limited in size. Usually brew fests get rather crowded, but I think this one wasn’t too bad. A nice thing about an event of this size is that you actually had some access to the brewers and reps.

The idea behind this brew fest was that each brewer was to bring two beers and pair them with an appropriate food selection. The food was prepared in appetizer style. The selection of breweries who attended this event was great. I’d list them, but instead I’ll link them here. Some memorable pairings were Four Peaks 8th Street Ale and rosemary chocolates, and Full Sail Session Lager and bite-sized stout burgers. In addition to the pairings some very memorable beers were: St. Louis Brewery’s barleywine, ’06 and ’07 Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, and Russian River’s Pliny the Elder. I really wish Four Peaks and St. Louis Brewery distributed in the DC area, hopefully, one day they will.

M and I were having so much fun walking and talking the booths that we did not even attend any of the speeches that were made. I think the crowd as this event was perfect, almost everyone was nicely dressed and polite. Generally, people went out of their way to move aside after they had been served their sample and continue their conversations without being to obstructive of the booth. Probably the only complaint that I had was the bathroom scene. There was only one men’s bathroom with two urinals and two stalls. This resulted in a rather lengthy bathroom break.

In conclusion, I think this was a great event for craft beer. It showed the pairing versatility of craft beer and food. It also was a classy event, yet the crowd wasn’t too snooty. At the end of the day we have to remember that we are talking about beer here and its something that is fun and yet it is to be respected.

Respect Beer,


Monday, May 12, 2008


I poured up a Guerrilla Stout after dinner and I couldn't resist snapping a photo for the site.

Through darkness you'll find enlightenment.


Polo Loco

So this past weekend M and I found ourselves at the Americas Cup of Polo in Leesburg. This particular match was between the Italians and Americans. Now hanging out at Polo matches is not our usual scene, but my buddy Chris (actually his new lady friend, Katie) came through with some free VIP tickets and it sounded kind of cool. Next week I think I'll check out a fox hunt or maybe a cricket match.

Before the match began we were all thirsty and looking for some beverages. There was no beer in sight, but a couple of different Virginia wineries had tents with multiple offerings. Our foursome pulled up to the Vino Curioso tent to check out their vinos. After a brief discussion with the guys working the tent Chris and I picked out a Cabernet. The Cab was OK, but lord knows I was jonesing for a brew. After seeing a few people walk by with Yuengling, I realized that the VIP tent was handing out FREE BEER! Glory Hallelujah!

Meg and Katie made a beer run for us and Meg picked us up a Bierra Morretti and a Morretti LaRossa. Now the Morretti was a fairly average Euro Pale Lager, but the LaRossa was a really nice malty Dobblebock. I was just pumped to be drinking a beer at a hoighty polo match. The best thing about it was that probably twenty people came up to our foursome to ask us where we found the beer. That crowd was thirsty and the only thirst quencher for them was beer.

All in all it was a great Saturday afternoon. I learned a little about the sport of Polo and I learned a lot about the power of beer.



Thursday, May 8, 2008

Whats Happening

Hey, I haven't posted in awhile due to a company retreat in the Dominican Republic. While the vacation was awesome, the Caribbean is not the place to go for good beer. Most of the Caribbean is dominated by tasteless macro lagers, each island has its own brands. The DR has Presidente, Brahma, and Bohemia Especial. The only saving grace if you can find it (which I could not this time) is the Guinness Foreign Export Stout. That stuff beats the tar out of the Americanized Guinness.

Not much to much to post about, but I wanted to let everyone know about the Happenings in the area. Some of which I hope to attend.

1) Larry Bell will be visting Rustico in Alexandria on May 13th. Larry Bell is the owner of Bell's Brewing Company. Larry will speak to a 6 course menu created by Rustico Executive Chef Frank Morales and paired Bell's beers. Tickets are a little steep on this at $80 per ticket.

2) Sam Calagione founder of Dogfish Head, will be signing copies of his new book, "He Said Beer, She Said Wine," on Wednesday, May 14, at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Falls Church, VA.

3) May 13 and 14 Brickskeller welcomes the Lupulin heroes!

featuring five of the countries best of the best craft brewmasters!

Tomme Arthur of San Diego 's Pizza Port and Lost Abbey Breweries

Vinnie Cilurzo of Santa Rosa 's Russian River Brewing Company

Adam Avery of Colorado 's Avery Brewing Company

Rob Tob from Maine 's great Belgian style brewery Allagash

and Sam Calagione of Delaware 's Dogfish Head Brewery

Sample what may well be the finest lineup of beers presented at one sitting in the entire country this year. Tickets for this event are $35.00 each!

Thats it for now,