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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Velky Al -

Does this mean that Sam Calagione will come across, like the guy in Cake Boss, as a tyrannical arsehole? Of the two cake shows, Ace of Cakes is by far the more fun to watch.

Alan -

Worse - he may come off as a charming manic globe hopping eccentric wizard. Meaning that craft beer will become defined as the haunt of charming manic globe hopping eccentric wizards rather than hard working trades people serving local needs with a quality reliable food product.

dave -

Pete Brown's video is something akin to Anthony Bourdain No Reservations. Granted Pete would have to talk with other people (customers, brewers, publicans, etc) but it would definitely hold promise as a TV show too. Then again I enjoy watching Ace of Cakes (never seen Cake Boss, the guy seemed like a dick from the commercials) so I think the Brew Masters show holds promise (also it was what I was expecting).

dave -

So Sam is not hard working? Wow.

Alan -

Dave, that's a weird conclusion you have there with your "wow". You want to follow up with that to introduce a little meaning rather than the drive by? My point is that this sounds like a show about Sam's business rather than the promised land of a show about beer. Admittedly, I watch Ace of Cakes and not Cake Boss myself but a drive by "wow"? I get that from my ten year old.

dave -

It was based off of your comment that Sam was "charming manic globe hopping eccentric wizards rather than hard working trades people...". You don't see him as hard working, and I was stunned by that, hence the "Wow". Didn't realize it was such a complicated comment. Have to remember I need to explain everything to the older folk.

I never realized the show was supposed to be "the promised land of a show about beer", I missed that press release.

Alan -

Well, it's good to know I am dealing with a dork.

Try to keep up. In addition to being rude, you are being utterly illogical. Your assumption is that all adjectives included in the second list are implicitly negatives in the first. That is where your knee-jerked. That being the case you are no doubt equally outraged that I believe people working in trades can't be charming. Wow.

Don't bother with further comment.

dave -

Your correct in that my assumption, by specifically including hard working, I took it as a negative to the first list. If "hard working" was left out and just "trades people serving local needs with a quality, reliable food product" I would have understood the statement initially. Thanks for pointing out the error to my initial reasoning. Next pint is on me (and yes I can legally buy alcohol).

Craig -

I reiterate, that I have never been to the Tim Horton's on Cedar Street.

Alan -

Peace! Peace At Last!!! Pints will be shared and reciprocity of malt will replace accusation and hurt!!! Huzzah!!!

OK - I am fine with that. I agree they work their arses off at Dogfish Head. As all good brewers do. But what I understood this show was to be about was the world of craft beer.

I don't think this show will be anything but a huge boost to Dogfish Head short term but I expect that it is a missed opportunity for public education on craft beer if it is too much "bocce in the parking lot" and not enough about the world of beer.

This is why. I am sure Sam Calagione is a great guy but I don't really care. I am sure that I could find a lot of people would be great if I knew them but I don't seek them out. I don't think that is very important to my experience of craft beer. I find the whole celebrity beer thing a sideshow that distracts and one which I also think ultimately undermines good beer. Great for the brewer as against the craft brewing competition maybe but bad for the advancement of craft beer as a whole.

Here is how I am wrong - he may be able to balance the general with the specific, able to make his brewery compelling as a general invitation to get into all beer and he may be able to leverage his status to attract potential consumers into their local breweries. But when I think of this, I think Ace of Cakes and how it in no way compels me to go spend $300 or $3,000 on a cake.

What I want is the beery version of Jancis Robinson. Pete could do that.

Velky Al -

"it in no way compels me to go spend $300 or $3,000 on a cake."

Blimey, I'd struggle to justify $30!

Alan -

Presentation cake, like beer in some quarters, can suffer from celebrity inflationary pressures.

Craig -

Here's my take on the whole thing, it's summed up succinctly in the first line of the show's descriptor:

"From chocolate to oysters to tomatoes, Sam is constantly pushing his team and himself to innovate and celebrate the amazing world of beer and beer making."

Tomato... well, okay, but chocolate and oysters are far from new or innovative in brewing. The whole show is going to be a big commercial for Dogfish head, and that's okay, if that is how it is presented. This isn't going to be about beer, it's going to be about Sam Calagione and his business.