A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Stan Hieronymus -

Are the hops in jars pellets or flowers?

Maybe you could try them out on a few test subjects - see if they can tell the difference between Saaz and Fuggles (or whatever is included).

Alan -

They are pellets in jars and very fresh for now, Stan. I could clearly tell the difference of one from another. But that would not necessarily last for very long with repeated use.

Stan Hieronymus -

Do they include storage suggestions for between uses? Like the freezer . . .

BTW, what did you think of the coffee beans? They had those last year (2006) for judging the final rounds of the National Homebrew Contest. They do wake up your nose.

Alan -

There was maybe a quarter to half oz of each of 13 varieties. The trouble with the degradation of the pellets with repeated exposure to air would be one reason I would suggest the non-homebrewer gets to their LHBS to learn.

Alan -

Stan, I don't think I need to buy the seventeen coffee beans in the kit if that is the case.

Brian -

I am glad to hear what you thought. Most of the money spent on the kit is actually going to marketing. Thats what happens when you are a small company. As we grow and our costs go down, so will the price of the kit hopefully, but probably not for a while.

Yes it is gimmicky, in that no one needs a tasting kit, but its the kind of thing any beer lover will want. We still feel are price is a good price when you consider wine tasting kits are much more expensive than our beer tasting kit.

The $62 price is for a kit, a Beer Snob T-Shirt and a Hop Addict T-Shirt, its our Complete Beer Tasting Kit.

The main purpose of the kit is to combine all of this information in one spot for the person who doesn't want to spend the time to find it all and get the hops. So its bringing all this information into one spot for easy consumption. But I agree most, not all this information is available scatter in various books and on the web.

I am glad that you did enjoy it.


Alan -

Now that is great input and thanks for that clarification. I will add a note above the post to make that clear. I think your product is more than gimmicky and what you've just told me moves it even further away. Here is what I would recommend:<ul><li>see if you can add some sort of grain samples in the existing package, which I quite liked. One of the most useful things I did in my beer learning curve was home brew. Chewing on different grades of crystal malt, for example, was really instructive on their contribution.</li><p><li>I don't think you need the quick chart and the larger booklet. I would stick with the booklet. The eager nerd-in-training will jump right in.</li><p><li>Maybe brand the hop kit more as part of the over all teaching tool experience. The t-shirt component adds more value than the difference between 49 and 62 bucks.</li></ul>So not gimmicky but, for me, you may have some low cost or no cost tweeking that could better explain your value proposition. Thanks for adding the comment and let us know how things go. I trust the note I have added above the post now will make this shift in my understanding apparent.

Brian -

Once again, thanks for the input.

The addition of the malts seems to be one of the biggest requests, so you are not alone in your thought.

The quick chart is to help the less beer interested or person not quite sure they want to invest the time, because this could be a gift for people marginally into beer to show them the light. In other words to appeal to the ADD beer fans and serve as a quick reference.

We are probably going to do a Beer Party in a Box first before we do add malt to the kit, or do a seperate malt kit. The perishable ingredients are keeping the kit out of stores, and until we can get into stores the costs stay up and we can't expand. But we will continue to improve and make the product better thanks to input like this. Cheers!