Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bad Beer: Wild Blue Blueberry Lager

You may recall that I previously debated whether or not to blog about bad beer. Debate is over. I'm ready to do it. All questions vacated my mind after I tasted this baddie.

Warning: Contains bad beer.
I had a "Wild Blue" blueberry lager a couple weeks ago, and it was definitively the worst beer I've ever had. Hands down. No joke. I despised it. It tasted like bubbly cough syrup. The only good thing about it was the 8% ABV, but even that didn't matter because I dumped it after I finished about 1/4 of the pint. I was tempted to dump it after only a few sips, but I wanted to give it a fair shake. I thought maybe it just didn't leave a good first impression but would be better after you got to know it. Nope. The first blueberry beer I've ever tried is a bust.

This drain-fodder was brought to us by the ubiquitous (and some would say, evil) Anheuser-Busch (ABInBev). While I don't partake of macro-brewery offerings very often, I do not discriminate and choose beer on that basis. I am always willing to try any beer and judge it based on the at-least-somewhat-objective characteristics of appearance, smell, taste, and mouthfeel. As a matter of fact, I had fairly decent remarks for ABInBev's Shock Top in my May 10, 2011 review.

Via Google+, someone observed that the label appears to show a dog...um, excreting the blueberry and that explains the taste. I think the graphic is supposed to be a depiction of a dog kicking a blueberry, but I prefer the former explanation because it does make sense.

  • BeerAdvocate.com users didn't like it. They rated it 52/100, and the Brothers gave it a dismal 42/100.
  • RateBeer.com users didn't like it even more. An overall rating of 9/100 is...pretty shabby.
  • Untappd.com users rated it 3.5/5.0 bottle caps [1]. I gave it 0.5 because Untappd wouldn't let me give it a 0.

I'm hoping that this is an isolated incidence of bad beer and that it's not because it was blueberry. In fact, I have a follow-up to try in the near future: Blue Point Blueberry Ale. It's in the fridge now, so we'll see!

On one hand, I hope that I am never able to create a series of posts around the topic of bad beer. There are too many great-tasting beers in this world to waste time one the bad beers. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind as much because I would be able to warn you all not to waste your time! We'll see how the cookie crumbles. Prost!

[1] I think this shows a demographic difference between Untappd users and BA / RB users. Perhaps BA / RB users, on the whole, are more into craft beer than Untappd users.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

New Brewery Planned in York, PA

There's a new brewery and tasting room planned to open in York, PA this summer. In July 2013, East York can expect to become the home of Baldy Beard Brewing Company.

These guys are well on their way to starting up the new nanobrewery, but as I'm sure you an imagine, there are probably a million things to consider. With a brewery, of course, you've got to get federal and state licensing. And if that's anything like waiting in the DMV [1] just to update your driver's license photo, well, I'm sure they've got a lot of waiting to do. Even so, their brewing system has already been completed and is ready to be shipped, so please hurry up, PA officials!

I haven't had any of their beer yet, of course, but I can assure you that if it is as good as their creativity, it is going to be rockin'. If you want to see what I'm talking about, check out some of their updates over at their Kickstarter campaign. Speaking of their beer, check out this nice graphic they've put together:

Baldy Beard has also put together an interesting-sounding series called "The Peculiars". These are unique, special-release beers that we can expect to be surprised with on occasion. Some examples include:

  • RumpelSTOUTskin - a mixed berry Belgian imperial stout
  • Hoppenheimer - a Belgian dubbel IPA
  • Missiletoe - holiday Belgian strong ale coming in around 15% ABV(!) and with notes of cherry and vanilla (yum!); limited release in November

I love the creative names they've come up with. I also love their slogan, "Unconventionally brewed, unconditionally loved", as well as their Twitter hashtag, #DrinkWithFriends. All around, I'm pretty excited for this new brewery and tasting room!

Though they haven't received all of the final approvals, Baldy Beard has a good location picked out, and they're working on raising the funds for renovating the place. That's the purpose of their Kickstarter campaign [2]. You can donate as little as $1, but if you pledge at least $10, there are some pretty sweet rewards for you as a backer. The more you pledge, the more cool things you get! Backers need to pledge at least $17,000 in this campaign, or Baldy Beard gets nothing [3]. At the time of this post and after adding my own pledge, 113 backers have pledged $11,350 toward Baldy Beard's goal of $17,000. With only 6 days left, Baldy Beard needs your help! I suggest that if you live in the Greater York, PA area and/or love craft beer, you should definitely consider pledging some money to Baldy Beard's cause. Please also consider "friending" them on Facebook, following them on Twitter, and helping them to promote their cause. We can always use more craft beer in York! Prost!

3/5/2013 Update: Baldy Beard's website has launched! Check it out at www.baldybeard.com.

[1] Actually, my wife and I just updated our driver's licenses this weekend and were pleasantly surprised at how quickly the process went. Yorkers, I highly suggest hitting up the Runkle's location on Roosevelt Avenue. Of course, if everyone starts going there...
[2] If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, it's a crowdfunding website that allows new businesses to solicit funding from the market in order to get started. Assuming word gets around quickly enough, what a good way to see how much the people want your business!
[3] The way Kickstarter works is that if you pledge money toward their campaign but they don't reach their stated threshold, you do not owe them the money that you pledged. Of course, I'd much rather see them reach that threshold so that we can have some more craft beer in York!