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Archive for the category “Opinion”

Whatever Happened to that Leapbeer Guy?

So December 31st hit us last year, and with it the final leapbeer post. But after that he just disappeared. Honestly how could I guy that passionate about beer just spontaneously shut up.

Well, because I was such a lazy blogger earlier in the year it left me with quite a lot of work to do at the end of the year. I posted information about close to 90 beers in December alone. It was way more writing than I was expecting. I told myself that I’d take a week off to give my brain a breather. That week turned into a month, then 2, then 3 and so on. Now its almost a year later and I’m finally getting back to writing.

I have been busy doing other things though. First and foremost is my family grew by one this year. On April 4th my wife gave birth to a beautiful lil girl.

Little Baby Burrito Sleeping Nicely

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Leapbeer Reports – Cellaring Beer

There have been several blog posts about cellaring beer in the craft beer crew, so what can I hope to add another to the mix. Beeradvocate gave us a very thorough explanation about how to store beer, and which beers are good for it. Vancouver based beer blogger, Barley Mowat, has done something extrememly similar (but he adds pictures). Vancouver Island beer blogger allum (although I grimace as I say that, I’m not even in his league let alone the same court) Ian Lloyd, aka Left4Beer took his kick at this same can too. (Note: To view these posts I’m referring to please click the links embedded in their names)

The reason I chose to toss my hat into this ring was because it was a completely unheard of concept to me one year ago. I, like many out there, thought old beer = bad beer. I mean obviously beer is meant to be drank as soon as humanly possible (unless of course you think I’m encouraging drinking in the store or in your car on the way home. DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE!) I should say, consumed as soon as reasonably possible.

Not quite what I mean by aging your beer (photo from agefotostock.com)

Why do beer geeks the world over choose to shell out top dollar for “fancy-pants brews” (pending TM) just to let them sit in a cellar until they can’t hold out any longer. Quite simply put, because it *can* make them better. I say can, because generally cellaring beer is saved for many styles, but not for others. Something like a fresh hopped beer is best consumed fresh. Even any dry hopped beer should be consumed as soon as possible, as those hop characteristics really diminish with time. Where aging beer really shines (in my limited opinion) is when it comes to high test stouts, bocks and sours. The rule of thumb I’ve heard is ‘If it’s at or over 9% ABV, it will age well”. I’ve spent some of this year collecting different beers and adding them to my cellar. Some of which I’ve tasted during the course of this year, but most of which I haven’t.

Another interesting ‘journey’ beer lovers are known to do is what is called a ‘Vertical Tasting’. As you may have guessed you have the various years of one beer and taste them to examine the nuances, changes and journey the beers have gone through. Recently left4beer and Jeff Kendrew did a three year vertical tasting of the same beer I chose to examine cellaring.

I devised a test to examine what cellaring beers actually does. I took two bottles of Hermannator Ice Bock by Vancouver Island Brewery, one from 2011 (a gift from a co worker Michelle, Thanks!) and one from 2012. The 2011 bottle has been aging in my ‘cellar’ (aka a stack of beer boxes in my downstairs closet) over the course of the hear. Hopefully this 9.5% ABV eisbock (or Ice Bock) style beer will have changed some. I’m going to use similar styled glassware (tulip/snifter) with a similar approximate six ounce pour.  I’ve got three criteria I’m going to be judging these beers on, Appearance, Aroma and Taste. Then I’ll divulge my overall thoughts of these two beers. Bear in mind that the batches may have some differences in the brew, but the recipe is very close from year to year. I served these beers directly from my cellar, meaning they’re between 10-12 degrees Celsius. Here’s the combatants.

2011 (left) & 2012 (right) Hermannator Ice Bock by Vancouver Island Brewery

2011 (left) & 2012 (right) Hermannator Ice Bock by Vancouver Island Brewery

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Leapbeer Reports – A Response from Dead Frog Brewery

img Courtesy Deadfrog.ca

If you read recent review about the Fearless IPA by Dead Frog Brewery you might have noticed concerns I expressed about events surrounding this brewery this year. A person claiming to be an insider at DF made an extremely vague post to the comments section of that review. Their comment is as follows.

mydime on December 3, 2012 at 9:46 PM said: Edit
As an executive insider of the brewery, that is incorrect…. I could tell many stories, Lets just say the public really doesn’t know the truth….its more like the reason the dog was on the projections.

I was somewhat incensed at the way the post came across, so I lashed out a bit. Here’s what I said.

heavycf on December 3, 2012 at 10:29 PM said: Edit
So what you’re saying, and correct me if I’m wrong, is ‘You could make a logical reply to the comments made in the blog post, but you’re not.’

Why not? Are executive insiders not allowed to make public comments? It seems a bit of a tease to say you could tell many stories, but not share any. You’ve effectively stirred the pot without saying anything.

I included my opinions for a reason, because I think they need to be addressed, PUBLICLY. Your crew went on a national show and came across like idiots. After it aired I got comments from other brewery professionals who tore into the same points I did (unprofessional leadership & upset by the “bought out by the big boys” comment) Even now the general opinion of Dead Frog I get from the beer community borders between indifference and not good. Please stand up for yourselves. If you want the public to trust you, earn it.

I realize I may have been a bit harsh with this, but I figured if I had someone who works there’s attention it was my best chance at getting answers to my issues. What followed surprised me. Chris Landsman, Vice President of Dead Frog Brewing, commented on the post, answered all my questions and won me over. Here’s his reply.

Chris Landsman on December 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM said: Edit
Hey Chris, thanks for the good review on the Fearless! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

I put up a blog post today addressing the results of the show, and why we didn’t move forward with The Big Decision offer. There’s other info in the post as well, but the results of The Big Decision are definitely included. You can check it out at http://www.deadfrog.ca/news/49/88/Business-and-Brews-Update-From-Derrick/.

We also put up a blog post after the show answering what we could about what actually happened during the show. http://www.deadfrog.ca/news/23/88/Answers-To-The-Big-Questions-From-The-Big-Decision/.

As far as executive insiders go, they’re definitely free to make public comments. Like Mike mentioned, Dead Frog’s a family run company and the executives are a tight knit group that consists of 4 people including me. If anybody decided to post they would identify themselves.

If you have any more questions just send me an email at chris@deadfrog.ca or call me at 604-856-1055. We’d love to have you out to the brewery for a tour anytime to taste the new brews we have coming off and to answer any other questions you have.

Cheers!

Thank you for this Chris. I am very pleased to see you taking public accountability for yourselves. I’m also excited about the relaunch in 2013 and trying your new brews as they arrive. And thank you to Derrick Smith, President of Dead Frog, who not only puts his name on it but also puts his own cell on the dead frog blog for people who have added questions.

With my comments sated and curiosity piqued I look forward to whats next from Dead Frog Brewery.

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