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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JayZeis -

I totally agree with the second and third bullets (well the first as well). I have come to really appreciate the basic brews the past few months. There are many ok beers that are masked with exotic ingrediants. I'll take a great, basic pale ale or even a great basic porter (and I am not completely fond of porters) to check on the brewers skill.

Andy Crouch -

Was a bit limited in the piece, not only by word count, but also because I didn't want to call out individual brewers without being able to go into detail. Suffice it to say, I find that my criticisms apply to a greater percentage of nanos than to larger craft operations. I have been impressed with the beers of very, very few nanos. And while I am also underwhelmed by a lot of the beer produced by larger operations (look for that piece in the next BA Mag), I think nanos suffer from these problems to a much greater degree.

Cheers (as always),


Alan -

And always, you are kind to respond with thoughtfulness. I find it stunning, utterly stunning, that anyone would find a new unproven brewery of any size deems itself worthy of asking us to pay that much for a new beer - so maybe we are in agreement in the sense that a track record is required before you should even imagine putting any sort of price sticker shock near your beer. The vast majority of bad overpriced beer I have been stuck with in the last couple of years reeks of that sort of presumption.

One of the things, by comparison, that I am always impressed by the new small brewers of Quebec is the modest price they ask for their brews. Are they "nano"? Probably not but I think if you live and are trying to make a go in a community that is foodie as well as self-sustained, well and frankly, you have to prove yourself. We should all live by that ethic.

Andy Crouch -

Alan we are, of course, once again of a single mind. That perhaps is the heart of my concern and skepticism. I have over the past year and a half had quite a few nano-produced beers and I have been largely unimpressed, both in terms of quality, flavor, art, and price. It does not at all surprise me, however, that American (mainly; meaning US, for our touchy Canadian brothers) consumers (beer nerds) are driving this trend.

With all of this said, there are several nanos making high-quality, well-priced beer. I cannot highly enough recommend Rising Tide Brewing of Portland, which focuses on a single, high quality, and well-priced ale. Whether this is a viable business model remains to be seen but it has my business when I find it.



Jonathan Baker -

Good thoughts on both sides. While it would be nice to have each new beer launched (including those produced by nanos) bump of the average for craft beer in general, I don't know if I would give up the low barriers to entry for this. I believe that capitalism will sort out the good beer from the bad beer over time. It might take a little longer than we like. And as long as we don't go and interfere with something like Prohibition again (speaking from the US perspective), we should be fine.