Category Archives: Opinion

How we’re killing craft beer classics: The death of Stone Ruination.

In the past 24 hours since seeing the news of Ruination’s demise on Stone’s Facebook page and subsequently their blog post, I’ve experienced all of the five stages of grief:

Denial:  NO. No way they can do this, holy crap no.

Anger:  That’s really messed up. Ruination is an iconic beer with a 100 rating on Ratebeer and a world class rating on Beer Advocate. Idiots!

Bargaining:  Ok Stone, give me another chance. I’m going to my local beer store to buy some right now, ok? Ok?!??

Depression:  Ruination 2.0? Just not going to be the same. Man that really sucks.

And finally, acceptance:  Ok, I get it. Ruination was seeing some decline in numbers and 2.0 is bound to be amazing. Way to stay relevant guys.

Then, after acceptance finally sank in, a final feeling swept over me: guilt. Continue reading How we’re killing craft beer classics: The death of Stone Ruination.

Stop Calling Your Beer ‘Hoppy’

Hoppy has practically become as ubiquitous a word as ‘beer’ in the craft world and I can. not. stand it anymore!

    “Wow, this beer is sooo hoppy.”

           “Ew, I can’t stand hoppy beers.”

  “What?! I LOVE hoppy beers!”

Sound familiar?

Sixpoint 'Beer is Culture' Glass

Before you get all in a huff, pointing out the zillion places I use the word hoppy in my blog posts, let me give you my reasoning. Continue reading Stop Calling Your Beer ‘Hoppy’

Breweries: Do this, NOT this.

As a beer writer, I find it extremely hard to deliver negative criticism. Partly, that’s because there is so much positivity in the craft beer world that it’s really easy to focus on the good stuff. There are times, however, when a little honesty is important, and needed.

In order to illustrate this point, let me share a little about our recent trip to New England. We visited six breweries – some old favorites, and some brand new to us.

We started out at the new Harpoon Beer Hall.

We’ve toured Harpoon many times, but since our last visit, they’ve had a massive expansion, including adding a canning line, increasing the size of the brewhouse, and building a massive, beautiful beer hall. The hotel we were staying at happened to be within walking distance, so we popped into the Beer Hall on a very busy Saturday afternoon to check it out.

The wait was sizable when we arrived. At first we thought it was just people waiting for the tour, but no, it was just folks trying to get in. The line moved quickly though, and before long we were joking with the salty Boston doormen and walking inside.

The vibe at the Hall was vibrant and the staff was pretty friendly, though you could tell they were a little harried from the extreme busy-ness. We ordered some beer right away – the cask conditioned offering, an unfiltered version of the Harpoon IPA, dry hopped with Centennial hops (it seemed a little ‘catty’ for me), and their 100 Barrel Series, a fantastic citra-hop bomb. I love visiting Harpoon because they always have special edition beers you can only find at the brewery.

Continue reading Breweries: Do this, NOT this.

On beer, women, and the continuing need for advocacy

Beer is in the midst of a cultural shift – the craft beer industry is booming and beer tastes are changing for men and women. Despite some growth in the female beer market, it remains that only 25 – 29 percent of American ladies like beer.

Historically, brewing was considered the responsibility of women. Back then, brewing was mainly done in the home. Starting in the 18th century, beer became a major business, and quickly became dominated by men. Despite gains, beer continues to be seen as a man’s drink and business. This fact is perhaps most evident by the way beer is marketed, aka the sexy pin-up or Bud Girl. Most often when beer is marketed to women it is low-calorie, “lite” beer. Even the craft beer industry is guilty of this kind of beer sexism. Take, “Tramp Stamp,” a Belgian IPA brewed by the venerable Clown Shoes out of Massachusetts. If the name and label isn’t telling, the description is even worse: “Like a stamp on a tramp, this beer is about not so subtle seduction. Soft but complex malts, Chambly yeast, sweet orange peel, Columbus, Amarillo, and Centennial hops have merged to create a bodacious Belgian IPA.” Not only is the beer clearly intended for men, this wreaks of “not so subtle” female objectification. This is only one of many examples.

Continue reading On beer, women, and the continuing need for advocacy