• Halloween, Beer, and Candy

    The candy

    The candy

    As with last year, and the year before that, Halloween this year was another great night of fun with kids and candy, and as always, the adults loved the beer.  Candy, I give away a lot of it, I mean A LOT, but it’s for the kids and they love it!!!

     

    Pizza

    Pizza

    My family comes over and we have pizza before the evening of kids comes trick-or-treating to our door.  I forgot to get a picture of the pizza before everyone started eating.

     

    The setup

    The setup

    I had about 120 kids stop by and went through all of the candy as well as about two and a half cases of beers.  It’s fun watching the adults decide which beer they’re going to try.  This year’s Sam Adams sampler pack had Har­vest Pump­kin Ale, Ruby Mild, Hazel Brown, Octo­ber­fest (which I also had a case of), Lat­i­tude 48 IPA, and Boston Lager. The Harpoon sampler had Octoberfest, Rich and Dan’s Rye IPA, IPA, and UFO Pumpkin.  I also had four packs and six packs of Shipyard Pumpkinhead, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, and a growler of Ellicott Mills Brewing Company Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Ale.

    Me getting a beer!!!

    Me getting a beer!!!

    This year, for the first time ever (I have been doing this for about 10 years), someone brought me a beer.  I had a woodchuck pumpkin.  It tasted a lot like the inside of a pumpkin, not really my kinda beer, but I was happy to get one I haven’t tried!!

    Charlie Brown was once again shown on my garage.

    Charlie Brown was once again shown on my garage.

    I bring up my projector and put It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on my garage door.  A lot of the kids end up hanging around for 10-15 minutes watching while their parents have a beer.

    Too many choices.

    Too many choices.

    I give away lots of candy every year with a slight twist.  There is a game I have all the kids play where they reach into a bag and pull out a poker chip.  Most of the chips are white (and I change the odds as needed), but if they pull out the black chip they win an entire sleeve of candy.  This year I had a bunch of halloween themed toys, too, and they were a big hit.

    Showing the young ones how to grab a handful of candy.

    Showing the young ones how to grab a handful of candy.

    What was your setup like this year?  Does anyone else give out beer or do prizes?

     

  • My Gaming Donation to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center

    This is not a beer post, and for that I apologize in advance, but I had nowhere else to share this story.

    The mess from my basement that I began to sort through.

    The mess from my basement that I began to sort through.

    My basement needed a good cleaning and I needed to free up some shelf space, so I decided it was time to purge some old stuff.  I had a ton of old game consoles and video games, but I didn’t really want to go through the hassle of selling them online.  My brother had a great idea, donate them to a children’s hospital.  I made a few phone calls and found that Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, MD would be happy to take my donation.  I took a Saturday afternoon and brought everything up from the basement and started going through what I had.

    The games after I had tested all the consoles and separated them by gaming system.

    The games after I had tested all the consoles and separated them by gaming system.

    It took about 2 hours total to get everything out, test the systems, and box them up by console.  I did not test all the games, but I have good faith that most will work without issue.  After seeing what I had I really began to waver on going through with my decision, but in the end I decided it was best for the children, and these games were doing nothing but collecting dust in my basement.  I made the call to Elizabeth at the hospital and setup a time to make the drop-off.

    Arriving at the hospital.

    Arriving at the hospital.

    The whole ride into the city I kept wondering if I was doing the right thing.  There is a hoarder mentally that goes along with collecting anything, and I was having trouble letting go, but I just kept thinking that this will hopefully make a lot of children happy.

    The entrance to Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

    The entrance to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

    When I arrived I called Elizabeth, and she came down with a cart to get the games.  She was really surprised at the amount of stuff I had to donate.  She kept stating how happy this was going to make the children, and that reassured me I was making the right decision.

    Saying goodbye to my old friends.  Hopefully a child in need will find them as much fun as I did.

    Saying goodbye to my old friends. Hopefully a child in need will find them as much fun as I did.

    We filled up the cart and she took everything inside.  I’ll make sure to check back in a few months and see how the donation worked out, and which games/consoles are doing the best.  Here is the list of what I donated, for the gamers out there wondering what I gave up.  The Nintendo stuff is not listed as I still need to go through it and decide what I want (if anything) and what I don’t want.  I can always make that donation another day.

    Hardware

    Playstation 4
    Playstation 1&2 Contolers 10
    Playstation Multitap 1
    Playstation Memory Cards 7
    Playstation 2 1
    Playstation 2 Multitap 1
    Playstation 2 Network Adapter 1
    Sega Genesis 4
    Sega Genesis Controlers 7
    Odyssey 2 1
    Segan Saturn 1
    Segan Saturn Controllers 4
    Sega Master System 1
    Sega Master System Controller 1

    Games

    SEGA GENESIS
    Jurassic Park
    La Russa Baseball 95
    John Madden Football ’93
    Sonic & Knuckles
    Ecco the Dolphin
    Streets of Rage
    Taz Mania
    Sports Talk Football ’93
    Pac-Mania
    Robocop vs. Terminator
    Mortal Kombat II
    College ’95 Football
    X-men 2 Clone Wars
    Street Fighter II
    Mortal Kombat
    Batman
    Madden ’95
    John Madden Football ’93
    Ecco the Tides of Time
    Micro Machines
    Prime Time
    Ghouls n Ghosts
    The Lion King
    Jurassic Park Rampage Edition
    Sonic the Hedgehog
    Super Off-road
    Toy Story
    The Lost World: Jurassic Park
    Virtua Racing
    Disney’s Aladdin
    Bill Walsh College Football
    Sports Talk Football ’93
    NFL ’95
    Game Genie
    Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Taz in Escape from Mars
    Lethal Enforcers
    Dr. Robotnick’s Mean Bean Machine
    SEGA MASTER
    Aztec Adventure
    Altered Beast
    Lord of the Sword
    SEGA SATURN
    NHL ’97
    World Series Baseball II
    Madden ’98
    College Slam
    FIFA Soccer ’96
    Croc Legend of the Gobbos
    Virtual Open Tennis
    Ten Pin Alley
    Hyper 3-D Pinball
    PLAYSTATION
    Gran Turismo
    The Dukes of Hazzard
    Nascar ’99
    Cool Boarders 2001
    Ape Escape
    Crash Team Racing
    Tony Hawk’s Proskater 4
    A Bug’s Life
    25 to Life
    Metal Gear Solid
    Resident Evil 2
    Resident Evil 3 Nemesis
    Tomb Raider II
    Medievil
    Final Fantasy VII
    Twisted Metal 4
    PLAY STATION 2
    Starsky and Hutch
    Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy
    Rachet & Clank up your Arsenal
    Rachet & Clank Going Commando
    Rachet & Clank
    Prince of Persia the sands of time
    Maximo Army of Zin
    Maximo Ghosts to Glory
    Tony Hawk’s Underground
    Jak II
    Katamari Damacy
    Crash Nitro-Kart
    Gran Turismo 3
    ATV Offroad Fury 2
    SS X3
    Jak and Daxter
    Kingdom Hearts
    Tony Hawk’s Underground 2
    Madden 2005
    Splashdown Rides Gone Wild
    ODDESSY 2
    Conquest of the World Odyssey 2
    Volleyball!
    K.C. Munchkin!
    UFO!
    Baseball!
    Bowling! Basketball!
    Showdown in 2100 A.D.
    Alien Invaders—Plus!
    Sub Chase!
    Computer Golf!
    Crypto-logic!

     

    For those of you who read this far, thanks.  Here is the celebration beer I had later that night (It is Indy Beers, after all).

    A beer in celebration of bringing happiness to children.

    A beer in celebration of bringing happiness to children.

  • Halloween, Beer, and Candy.

    Beer on ice.
    The candy.

    The candy.

    As with last year, Halloween this year was another great night of fun with kids and candy, and as always, the adults loved the beer.  Candy, I give away a lot of it, I mean A LOT, but it’s for the kids and they love it!!!

    Pizza

    Pizza

    My family comes over and we have pizza before the evening of kids comes trick-or-treating to our door.

    The setup.

    The setup.

    I had about 140 kids stop by and went through all of the candy as well as about 25 beers.  It’s funny that there are some adults who go out of their way to come to my house just to get a beer.  I had three mothers that asked if they could have their beers unopened as they wanted to have them after they put the kids to bed and two more ask for beer to take to their husbands.  I was happy to help them out.

    Beer on ice.

    Beer on ice.

    It’s fun watching the adults decide which beer they’re going to try.  This year’s Sam Adams sampler pack had Dunkel­weizen, Har­vest Pump­kin Ale, Hazel Brown, Octo­ber­fest (which I also had a case of), Lat­i­tude 48 IPA, and Boston Lager.  I also had a case of Dogfish Head Punkin ales.  60 beers in all to give away.

    The line to play the game for big candy.

    The line to play the game for big candy.

    I give away lots of candy every year with a slight twist.  There is a game I have all the kids play where they reach into a bag and pull out a poker chip.  Most of the chips are white (and I change the odds as needed), but if they pull out the black chip they win an entire sleeve of candy.  For those that are older, they know the game (I think I have done it for over 10 years now), and for those that are younger, they are just learning, but they all love it!!!

    Everyone likes Charlie Brown!

    Everyone likes Charlie Brown!

    I also bring up my projector and put It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on my garage door.  I love to watch the younger kids get sucked in watching the show, and the parents who enjoy the beer don’t mind standing around with a pumpkin ale.

    What was your setup like this year?  Does anyone else give out beer or do prizes?

  • Clustering: Neighbor Breweries Helping Each Other

    Ever borrow a cup of sugar or milk from a neighbor?  How about a fork lift?  That is the comradery happening between a few breweries in Maine.

    Tom Bull’s got a bunch of hops in his company’s refrigerator – which makes sense, as the company is Bull Jagger Brewing Co.

     

    The thing is, the hops aren’t his.

     

    They belong to Maine Beer Co., a neighbor in the same building that needed some extra space. But when Bull needs a forklift to load something heavy, he just helps himself to Maine Beer’s. And New England Distilling, a relatively new neighborhood denizen, has got Bull’s grain mill — at least on loan.

    I think this is a great method for business trying to get off the ground, especially in the same business sector, to help each other out.  While they may be in competition with each other, big beer is their real competition, so it makes sense for them to form a partnership.  And it’s not just a matter of physical resources, there is the human resource, as well.

    “I think it’s been crucial,” said Bull. “It’s been extremely helpful to have them around, and to be able to pick each other’s brains. If we’re up against a problem, they’re right here.”

    This kinship has been a long time in the making, and proximity to one another has been a driving force.

    First there was the D.L. Geary Brewing Co., incorporated in 1983 by David and Karen Geary as one of the first microbreweries not only in the neighborhood but in Maine and even New England.

     

    “We were it — we were it in New England,” said David Geary. “We didn’t get to borrow from anybody.”

     

    Geary’s, which specializes in English-style beers, started brewing in the neighborhood in 1986 in 5,000 square feet of space. The business has expanded several times and Geary now jokes it’s a 22,000-square-foot brewer in 18,000 square feet of space.

     

    In 1995, Allagash Brewing Co.‘s Rob Tod started making his Belgian ales in the same industrial park.

     

    Maine Beer Co. has been in at 1 Industrial Way for about three years, said co-owner David Kleban, across the street from Allagash and in the same building as Bull Jagger, which moved in about a year ago.

     

    Rising Tide Brewing Co. had been in the same building but moved recently to the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland, an industrial area tucked between the base of Munjoy Hill, Interstate 295 and the Franklin Arterial.

     

    Another brewing/distilling cluster is growing there. Bunker Brewing and Urban Farm Fermentory both are close by and a new distilling company has just signed a lease, said Nathan Sanborn, owner/brewer at Rising Tide.

    Of course, there are reasons why this happened in their location.  Zoning is key and the locations of the breweries is zoned industrial.  The other is the space is fairly cheap.

    “It’s a great incubator space. The rent is cheap, relatively speaking; the community is here, with all of the brewers,” said Bull, “and then our distributor is also right here — Mariner Beverages.”

    But the largest driving factor is a community of like minded business owners who share a common goal.

    Kleban said when he and his brother first started Maine Beer, they were walking across the street to seek advice from Allagash regularly. Kleban and his brother were experienced brewers but were able to learn a lot about selling to the public, production-scale work and other areas of knowledge necessary for a successful business. Kleban said the folks at Allagash would open up their equipment, showing him how a solenoid valve was wired or how other equipment worked.

     

    “If you’re starting a small brewery and you haven’t been in the commercial brewing world for a lot of years, you have a lot to learn,” said Kleban.

     

    Bull tells a story about how he was in the middle of brewing a batch of beer when his pump died. He started asking around about where to buy a new one, and Allagash sent over one of its engineers to fix the pump.

     

    Sanborn, from Rising Tide, said he had brewed a special barrel-aged beer one time and he needed to do a cell count to figure out how much yeast was still in the beer and how much he should add for fermentation. Allagash used its lab to help him out, said Sanborn.

     

    “I would have had to buy a microscope and a hemocytometer and do it myself. That’s something we’re building toward, but this was fairly early on, and it was helpful,” said Sanborn.

    So if you find yourself in Portland, Maine, check out some of the local breweries.  Their great people with great beers, and really what else can you ask for from a brewing company.

    If you go:
    Brewer’s Row, off Riverside Street
    D.L. Geary Brewing Co., 38 Evergreen Drive
    Allagash Brewing Co., 50 Industrial Way
    Maine Beer Co., 1 Industrial Way, No. 3
    Bull Jagger Brewing Co., 1 Industrial Way, No. 8
    New England Distillery, 26 Evergreen Drive

    East Bayside Brewers
    Rising Tide Brewing Co., 103 Fox St.
    Bunker Brewing, 122 Anderson St.
    Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St.

     

    Source: http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/08/business/beer-makers-helping-their-neighbors-in-two-portland-brewery-clusters/

  • What the Ladies Had to Say About Chick Beer

    I’m blown away by the polarizing response Chick Beer has created.  While it seems a vast majority of those leaving comments feel negatively against the beer, there are a few who don’t mind, and even a few who praise it.

    Ultimately it is the choice of the woman, not the man, that matters in this case, as the product is marketed solely, and unquestionably, to women.  Men’s voices have no consequence in these matters.

    Knowing it’s the woman’s choice, what did the women have to say?  While there may be more women who commented, here are the 4 comments that I could find on the aritcle from those who identified themselves as a woman.  For the record, as of this writing, there were 6 comments on this site, 107 comments on reddit.com, and 6 comments on beernews.org.

    “qotsa73” from reddit.com says:

    I’m a woman. I don’t drink macro brews, so i never feel like the beers i’m drinking are being marketed to me or not. They don’t really do any advertising (that I’ve seen) and their labeling is neutral. I’ve never had anything deter me from drinking a Cascade or Russian River or Jolly Pumpkin beer. I seek these beers out because I like good beer. Not because of the way they are marketed.

     

    Women who love beer are not deterred or attracted to the beers they choose due to marketing. Thus, I’m not offended by this beer as a woman.

    “Eesa” from reddit.com says:

    In my opinion this is not “empowerment” for women, but a step back. I like my craft beer, thank-you. No Chick beer for this lady.

    Erin from IndyBeers.com says:

    I’m a chick. I make beer. I drink beer. The reason women don’t drink beer is because they’ve been handed some pisswater light lager and told it’s beer. Every female friend I’ve introduced to real, craft beer in the last 5 years has gone from “I hate beer” to “I hate beers that taste like bud, miller, etc.” Also, this beer compares itself to mass-produced american light lagers but it’s twice the price. The $9-10 range, even in NYC where I live, puts you in craft territory, and for that money you could buy a sixer of Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, etc.

     

    The beer I make is for people with tastebuds. I could give a crap what’s in your pants.

    Melissa from IndyBeers.com says:

    “I invite anyone out there who wants to make an Imperial IPA for women to give that business model a try.”

     

    Why would anyone make an Imperial IPA, or any beer for that matter, for women? We don’t have a different set of taste buds – when I make dinner of an evening, I don’t make two meals because I need to eat something different from the bloke opposite me, so why on earth do I need a different beer?

     

    This ‘silver bullet’ approach to beer marketing is what’s got the whole category into a mess in the first place, because the focus was solely on getting the majority male market, whilst wilfully excluding 51% of potential consumers.

     

    Macho-marketing, sexist ad campaigns and a steady dumbing-down of flavours within the mass-market is exactly why the craft beer market is seeing such a meteoric rise, because it is the total antithesis, it places an emphasis on flavour and quality, not on how pretty things look.

     

    Sadly, all this product is doing is taking that approach and flipping it to exclude 49% of its potential market instead.

     

    I completely agree with Erin about her experiences, when I do tastings with women who have previously been beer rejectors, I sit and ask them what they normally like to drink, what they eat, what the like and dislike about beers they’ve tried and then match a brew accordingly.

     

    And whilst I’ll certainly agree that a lot of the time I hear issues around presentation, it’s more about ugly glassware and large volume measures than it ever is about not having enough pink on the bottles.

     

    Also in concert with Erin, I have found the major problem to be that people expect women to go from a high-alcohol, complex product – like wine or spirits – to ‘something easy drinking’ or ‘fruity’.

     

    You wouldn’t tell an artisan cheese lover that they should be eating a Kraft slice, so why on earth would you apply that logic to beer? It’s kind of the beer equivalent of the boss patting you on the arse in the office and telling you not to worry your pretty little head about things.

     

    I’m sure the creators of Chick Beer don’t have some sort of anti-feminist agenda, I think they’re just very misguided. And whilst I applaud that they are looking to support a charitable cause, that doesn’t make it all better I’m afraid

    I’m also curious what reddit.com user “retrospects” wife had to say.

    Lastly, we picked up a new like over at Facebook from Jeri Leigh Siss.  Can someone tell me what an “On Premise Specialist” does?

    Source: Original interview with Chick Beer

  • Halloween, Beer, and Candy.



    Halloween this year was another great night of fun with kids and candy, and as always, the adults loved the beer.  I give away lots of candy every year with a slight twist.  There is a game I have all the kids play where they reach into a bag and pull out a poker chip.  Most of the chips are white (and I change the odds as needed), but if they pull out the black chip they win an entire sleeve of candy.  For those that are older, they know the game (I think I have done it for 10 years now), and for those that are younger, they are just learning, but they all love it!!!

     

    I had about 110 kids stop buy and went through most of the candy as well as about 30 beers.  This year I had the Samuel Adams variety pack, a case of Buffalo Bill’s pumpkin ale, and a few left over Dogfish Head Punkin ales.  It’s funny that there are some adults who go out of their way to come to my house just to get a beer.  I had two mothers that asked if they could have their pumpkin beers unopened as they wanted to have them after they put the kids to bed.  I was happy to help them out.  I also bring up my projector and put It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on my garage door.  I love to watch the younger kids get sucked in watching the show, and the parents who enjoy the beer don’t mind standing around with a pumpkin ale.

    What was your setup like this year?  Does anyone else give out beer or do prizes?