State of the Brewnion Address

Good evening America,

I travel a lot, and I also go shopping a lot. With all this shopping, and all the damn traveling, I find myself having to eat at some less than stellar places. And more often than not, their beer choices are less than stellar. BUT....That is not the point of today's piece. If you want to hear me bitch about InBev or other non-craft beer, than you came to the wrong place (here is why). Instead, I'm going to nit-pick, name call, and be whiny and snarky.

There are a few things I'm starting to notice (that I'm sure have been prevalent for some time) in the restaurant business that I'm beginning to take umbrage with. It doesn't affect me, but I just like to complain.

My first issue is this:

Olive Garden: Specialty? Where? Oh you mean the Blue Moon? YOU DON'T SAY!
And the availability is limited? MUST BE MY LUCKY DAY! And don't even get me
started on their "Premium" selection. 

Applebees:  I took this picture in Connecticut, Manchester to be exact. Literally
zero of those beers are "local." Sure, Boston is only an hour and a half away,
but there are a bunch more local beers in Connecticut that aren't Sam Adams.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Probably the "best" of the bunch.  But still, their
"craft and specialty" includes things like Mike's, Smirnoff, and Shock Top.
I was still able to get a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, and a 90 Minute.

Relatively harmless, right? It's just that I..hate wrong information. With the Olive Garden, I could very well be arguing semantics. Premium? Specialties? Who gives a shit, right? Right. NO! Not right! Budweiser is not a "Premium" beer. It's just not, and I feel trying to market it as such to customers is dishonest. Applebees and their "Local" selection? Again, I feel its just preying on the ignorance of people. And Buffalo Wild Wings? Well, believe it or not, they actually have a semi-decent selection. But marketing the Blue Moon, Shock Top, Bud Light Lime, and Killian's as "Craft and Specialty" is again, misleading and dishonest.

This all makes me think of the whole Yankee Stadium debacle.

Look, I really don't care what beer these places serve. I just do not care one bit. There are plenty of places I can go to if I want some craft beer goodness, that wouldn't sell a InBev product in a million years. I don't expect every restaurant to cater to my wants, but I do expect every restaurant to not be a bunch of lying, manipulating, jerks.

Captivating segue.

Which brings me to my next point. Kind of. Not really. But still...

Look at the frost on that glass. LOOK AT IT!


Seriously, enough. If you're already taking the time to serve beer craft beer, or even something like Sam Adams Oktoberfest, I believe you have a responsibility to serve it correctly. Now, I'm not talking about proper glassware (that's a whole other bag of "what the fuck??" for another day), I mean something as simple as not serving a good beer in a glass that's colder than a witches tit in a brass bra. Call me crazy, but I actually do enjoy the taste of beer. It is not a purely a functional drink. It is not an American Adjunct Lager that I chug down to blot out the memory of a life gone awry. It is a $6 a glass luxury that I afford myself, and enjoy immensely. So when you serve me my bottle of Kona Koko Brown, and I ask for a glass and you give me a hollow cylinder of ice, I'm going to be upset for a couple reason. First, It's just not right. Secondly, now I have to sit there glass in hand, breathing on it like a weirdo, just to get it to a reasonable temperature so I can enjoy my beer that didn't pair well at all with your delicious, spicy, half rack of ribs. That was my own fault.

Being the obnoxious guy that I am, I took the the Internet to find some vocal support in my crusade, because damnit, this has to stop! I asked some of my favorite beer folk on Twitter what their thoughts were, and the responses made me laugh, and nod in agreement. And helped me validate that the tears I shed are not in vain.

And then The Beer Babe said something that I skimmed over a bit in the preceding paragraph:

I may have pumped my fists in victory.

I even asked some local breweries what they would think of their beer being served in frozen glasses, but I've yet to hear back from them.

Facebookers weighed in on it, also:

See, I'm not crazy.

Lastly, America, I'm creeping up on one year of Hipster Brewfus. it has been an incredibly fun and knowledge-filled year. So to thank you heathens for your support, I will be holding another giveaway. It will most likely be more than just a beer or two, I just haven't figured it out yet. So, you know, be on the look out for that.

And there you have it. Take it easy, 'Merica


  1. "It is not an American Adjunct Lager that I chug down to blot out the memory of a life gone awry."

    Awesome. Well said, HB.

    1. I cant lie, I laughed my ass off after typing that.

      Thanks for your input, brother!

  2. Anybody who calls Budweiser, Coors, Miller et al a premium beer should promptly be shot and put out of our misery (this is America after all). And burn that establishment to the ground.

    1. Tell us how you really feel!

      I think its unfair to the customers. Not everyone is stupid, you know?

  3. Iced glasses are meant to demonstrate that the establishment goes the extra mile. "Anyone could have served you beer in an ordinary glass, but we care enough to frost your glass." Uneducated palates are impressed. Give yourself a pat on the back that you know better.

    1. Thanks!

      I do wonder if they really think they are doing us a favor. Poor, misguided souls.

  4. Even more infuriating is going to a bar that's good enough to have some *American* craft beer on the menu, but calling it IMPORTED!

    1. I'm not sure I've seen that yet, but good god, man.

      It makes me upset that people still don't think "good" beer is in America.

  5. Sadly, "US Premium Beer" is a category so technically the listing on the menu is correct. The "category" has been around a lot longer than the craft brew movement. This is how the Buds, Millers' and Coors' let you know that you are drinking their top tier carbonated water and not a lesser carbonated water like Keystone.

    I don't think the "Local Beer Favorites" is out of place either. It doesn't say "Favorite Local Beers". It's probably just a place on the menu for the restaurant to add beers that aren't on the mandatory list from corporate. I'm sure all of these corporate restaurants sign contracts with the mega brewers just like the chain stores do. That's why even their "craft" section is filled with one offs from the megga brewers like Shock Top and Blue Moon.

    Agree about the frosty glasses. Totally loose butt hole.

    1. Ryan, thanks for reading and weighing in on it. I agree agree with you on several points. I'm aware of the "premium" label those beers get. It's mostly a semantics/vernacular problem on my end. Keep in mind though, that while these things "bother" me, this was totally written tongue in cheek.

      The local thing...I know that the menu is a template (I worked for Applebees for some time), I also think they are doing a disservice of sorts by having the beers listen on local that are anything but. I feel they could benefit more, by showing a bit more care in something of that nature. Alcohol brings in a good amount of money for places like that, It's just surprising they would neglect something like that. BUT...Craft is also such a tiny piece of the market, that they can afford to not give a shit. So it makes sense.

      And could you tell me what wine pairs best with Oreo Cheesecake?

    2. Haha. I would do a Champagne or a Dry Reisling to cut the richness. For beer I would probably do an Irish Dry Stout or American Stout. How did I do?

  6. I agree Mr. Angreepants, other than one caveat. When you go to applebees or redlobster, their "premium" beers are in line with their "premium" food. You should expect shart flavored beer when you dine in those establishments. As for the frozen glasses, it drives me nuts. There's a local nano here that makes his beer in a shed in his backyard. All kinds of good beer, but he puts his goddamnned glasses in the freezer. He's the one writing the recipes, yet he masks all of his hard work by keeping the finished product too cold.

    Brandy with cheesecake!

    1. That's not 100% true. There are places like Applebees that have been known to serve maybe one or two local or otherwise Craft Beers. but for the most part, you're certainly right about what to expect, food quality and so on.

      But what the hell is that brewer thinking? THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!

  7. You're definitely not crazy! And I begrudgingly have to admit they *are* trying. But I've had the same experience with their servers not making with the whole list. I had to practically beg to find out they had 60 Minute and Vanilla Porter. But BWW also kind of shoots them selves in the foot with their tongue in cheek commercials that kind of make fun of craft beer and homebrewers

  8. Maybe when they wrote Local Beer Favorites they meant "the beers most frequently purchased by local people". In which case that makes sense.

    1. You could be right, but everything tin my body, and experiences, leads to believe that's not really the case

  9. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I hate it when restaurants act all proud: "look at our craft beer" and it's Blue Moon (just for one example). Now Blue Moon isn't terrible, but it's definitely not craft beer.

    That actually brings up another huge annoyance that I discovered recently. I picked up a single of 'Third Shift Amber Lager' because I do like a good craft lager every once in awhile. I studied the beer for a good few minutes at the store, trying to identify the brewery. The beer clearly stated that it was made by "Band of Brewers", which I'd never heard of. Decided to give it a try, and found it terrible. Checked it out online, and saw it was a MillerCoors product, which they claim is a "Gold Medal Winning Beer". Basically they are trying to insert themselves into the craft beer niche with straight up false advertising. Nowhere on the bottle does it say MillerCoors. Also, what Gold Medal could this swill possibly win? It was terrible.

    Rant over.


    1. I couldn't agree more, really, on all points. The misleading of consumers really irks me.