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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Atis -

Oh, my favorite topic! What happened is that two Latvian breweries significantly increased the volume they contract brew for Estonia. Possibly for Lithuania as well. Both are neighbouring countries. It is not even contract brewing, as Carlsberg plant in Latvia (Aldaris) now produces more beer for Carslberg plant in Estonia (Saku). The same for two sister breweries owned by Finnish Olvi. They like to call that thing "export". The ridiculous thing is that these amounts were small before, not more than 10-15 million liters per year. So 70% increase was not that difficult to achieve.

With regards to exporting beers under their own brands (10% of the total "export"), Latvians breweries are not successful at all. And they won't be as long as the most of it will be bland and fizzy lager.

The only notable exception is porter for which export markets are growing indeed. But again, I am not sure if it is even millions of liters in this case, as the porter production is extremely tiny.

Atis -

And that per capita beer consumption rise, it is even better story. There was a population census last year and it turns out roughly 10% of the Latvian population has been lost during the last decade (mostly due to migration to other EU countries). So some masterminds adjusted per capita consumption accordingly, as if population changes had taken place not gradually, but during one year. No wonder they increased by 10% at once.

Lars Marius Garshol -

A number of the bigger brewers in Latvia are owned by Danish and Finnish breweries (among them Carlsberg), and Carlsberg has recently started producing some Carlsberg brands in the Baltic countries, then selling them in Scandinavia. One example is 56N Copen Hagen, which is made in Lithuania.

I imagine that a couple of beers of that type would be enough to increase exports substantially.

Alan -

I had no idea people would actually know something about this. You write a post grasping at a tiny straw and, whammo, it's Atis's favorite topic. Who knew?

Atis -

Because I live in Latvia and currently am the only beer blogger writing in Latvian. :)

Alan -

Happy to have you reading this little corner of the internets!

Ethan -

Such is your reach, Alan: worldwide!

Grisha -

Atis, whats your take on Latgales beer from Daugavpils? Why did you it go bankrupt and are there any more beer from Latgales region?

frank lewallen -

i want tobuy 2 cases of great latvian beer for my friend's 75th birthday in may. he lives in darnstown,maryland. i live in california. how can i buy and have delivered such cases?

Martyn Cornell -

I love that in the middle of all this cracking info is an ad (which you probably can't see, Alan) which says "Latvian Women Dating AnastasiaDate.com Nubile & Mysterious. Date Latvian Girls. Enter an Exciting New World."


Alan -

OK, you made me look at the source code...

Alan -

Oh, the Google ad! Yes, now it reads "Single Baltic Lady... Pretty women from Baltic countries are looking for True Love..."