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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Kelly Ryan -

Regardless, both collaborations we've done with Epic have been great fun and we learnt loads from each other. Anything that potentially helps market great craft beer IS a good thing.

Alan -

What's the difference between marketing and selling? And what is the good thing about a 19 dollar beer that leaves one less than thrilled?

Kelly Ryan -

Generally, we market to sell beer. If only we could afford to just give it all away. But at £3 a pint for our Thornbridge Epic Halcyon, it's no $19 a bottle.

Alan -

That is fair enough and I am all for a full pint for a fair price - in relation to both ends of the transaction, the vendor and the buyer. And, given I pay a standardish $6.75 CAN a pint for my oatmeat stout at the KBP (or 4.35 pounds at the current exchange) I like to live in your market. I've never understood why UK good beer costs less than mass macro beer.

But the opposite is true in the case of the beer I discuss as the example above. My point is what is the consumer's interest in over paying for someone's experimental beers and their holidays? Why are the R+D / training and vacation costs not factored in across the board or, in the case of the later, a draw from wage? It has a tinge of training the consumer to me - and training them to act like a fan as opposed to an informed buyer.

Kelly Ryan -

Quite interesting. In both cases we paid our own way. I was heading back to NZ anyway for a wedding so went up and did the planned brew then (covering all of my own expenses) and when Luke from Epic was over in the UK, he was already here doing a brew of his Epic Pale Ale for the Wetherspoons International Real Ale Festival (under £2 a pint for that brew). He just headed along to us afterwards and spent a day brewing. We didn't factor in any holiday or travel costs into either beer because they were solely personal costs. I wasn't lying to Stan when I said why we collaborate. We do it to learn and have fun and do what we love to do. Brew great beer.

I guess that's why I initially replied to this post. I understand that generalisations are inevitable in blogs, but this isn't the case here.

I don't really think we are trying to train the consumer by collaboration alone. I think as a whole, good breweries should be promoting good beer. If that means sharing your knowledge about good beer with customers, then I guess I'm guilty. It's not just about my beer though, in my opinion it's a movement and most brewers I know are aware of this and help support each others brews. Does this not aid and abet the buyers becoming informed?

If people want to buy collaboration beers because they are fans of either of the breweries, and the beer is rubbish or overpriced, then I guess they find out the hard way. I've bought beers before that weren't collaborations brews and were expensive and they've also been rubbish. The joys of the marketplace I guess.

I do agree with you though. Collaboration brews shouldn't be overpriced!

Alan -

Thanks Kelly. that is why I use question marks and ask the questions in my posts. They aren't "gotchas". I really don't know so you thoughtful responses are most welcome.

But the joys of the marketplace are on my back. Like a lit of beer nerds, I spend a hell of a lot on beer. Yet I am lucky as this beer blog pays for itself though it's hardly a steady income or anything to plan a future on. Look at the sort of stuff we are presented with in addition to a 19 dollar beer - a 40 dollar entry fee thank you party. I don't mind being taught about great beer. I don't particularly care for being taught to pay more for beer that might be great. Where is the payback for the consumer having toi "learning the hard way"? Starting a blog and saying I didn't like your 19 dollar beer I suppose.