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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Craig -

I think Full Sail has a distribution agreement with AB, similar to Goose Island. That whole concept is a bit of a Catch-22, for me. On one hand I like both breweries and I'm happy I can get their beer. On the other it's just another way to feed AB and, just like you said, possibly displace a local or regional craft brewer.

Craig -

Correction, SAB Miller, rather than AB.

Gary Gillman -

Distribution of beer has improved nationally (in the U.S.) enormously and even in Canada we see some Canadian brands from outside Ontario now, I just bought some Propellor Bitter in Toronto which is from Nova Scotia and Unibroue's beers have been available here for some time.

In the States, in some cases it's assisted by big distributors carrying the brands, in others it's not and somehow the beers reach a distant market quickly. Early on I was impressed how you could find Rogue, for example, in many parts of the country, then, Sierra Nevada, and countless other brands.

The same thing is happening with some imports, in New York City you can regularly get English cask beers and other craft imports in great condition. In Rochester, NY, a bar has carried for many years English real ales.

The market can't be said to be completely national or international but I've broken down the old disinclination to trying something from far away due to increasing availability of beer from afar. Often the condition is excellent, which probably reflects too improvements in shipping and handling beers. Plus, many of the beers are bottle-conditioned and well-hopped, which means the trip won't hurt them much and may help.

It's really unimaginable what we have by the standards of the 1980's when Full Sail first started. Rare specialties from far away, which writers wrote about lyrically, are often on the shelf across town or within an hour's drive as you said, Alan. We are very fortunate. That said, there will always be a special place for the local brewery in the heart of the craft beer fan - if it's a good brewery.


Stephanie -

Hi! Stephanie from Full Sail here. We're stoked you've been enjoying our brews-- we started distributing to 5 states in the northeast last fall and thus far have been very warmly received by many of you nor'easters.

We distribute with an array of distributors through 28 states in the nation and focus on great relationships with distributors who truly appreciate the result of all our hard work. We try to sell the brews at prices that allow almost anyone to enjoy righteous craft beer.

I should note too that we're employee-owned, so we work for ourselves and each other in this amazingly gorgeous town of Hood River in the scenic Columbia River Gorge. Having people like you enjoy the fruits of our labor is what it's all about. Quality of life and quality of beer. Cheers and thanks!

Alan -

So wrong, Craig.

Stephanie, that is great news and assuages my guilt to a great degree. I really like your beer so far and happy that I can find it just over the border in at least two outlets in Watertown, NY. See I am not so much a nor'easter as just a "nor" over here in Canada.

Jeff Alworth -

If Stephanie stops back by she can either confirm or shoot down this rumor: Full Sail has some kind of newfangled mash tun that turns beer over super fast. Anyway, that's a story I heard going around. They've long contract brewed other beers, notably the Henry Weinhard line, so they have a lot of experience at putting packaged product out there. It's not surprising to me that Full Sail has made the move East--they're one of the bigger craft breweries--it's that so few Oregon breweries bother to do it, too.

Craig -

Stephanie and everyone else at Full Sail, I apologize profusely. I do however, really dig your IPA.

Please, feel free to ignore eveything I say—everyone else does.

Jamie -

Hey Everybody,
I'm the Brewmaster at Full Sail. Thanks for all the kind comments on our beers. As Stephanie pointed out, although we brew some contract beer for SAB Miller, we are independent and employee-owned and sell beer through a standard distributor network. We replaced our lauter tun last October with a state-of-the-art mash filter called the Meura 2001. The benefits have been really spectacular: half the time for wort separation, very high efficiency, very dry spent grains, very low water use, and excellent wort quality. We will save over 1,000,000 gallons of water this year, and our average gallons of water to beer produced is hovering at 2.9 to 1....very low indeed!

Alan -

OK, now that I have your attention - how about sending me some samples!