Happy Friday again! Sorry I wasn't here last week.
Thanks a lot Bob for hosting in my absence. I was just starting to think "damn, I haven't posted FNBB yet" when the site went down, and by the time it came up again I was off drinking beer at the homebrew club.
I have two subjects for tonight: barrel-aged beers, and the business of selling beer.
Anyone familiar with high-end craft beers has certainly noticed the popularity of certain barrel-aged styles, now even mainstream writers have noticed. This week sfgate has a nice article on bourbon-barrel aged ales. You may not be able to find the NorCal beers she talks about, but you may have drunk something similar.
It's sure the new big thing at my homebrew club. One of the other local clubs found a craft distiller (in Texas I think) that ages their small-batch whiskeys in 5-gallon barrels -- the size most desirable for homebrewers. The people who bought barrels from the first shipment have been running barleywine or imperial stout through them and liking the result, and more barrels are being ordered. This is going to be a year of barrel-aged beers at our meetings I think. '
I'm not really a fan of the heavy styles that are suited to whiskey barrels and have not bought a barrel.
My other topic was a follow-up to something azazello said in a comment last week:
BevMo on Broadway is in my neighborhood. They just opened up so their prices are good right now. I'm not going to go there much though, they're a category killer like Home Depot. If they can, they'll run the little guy out of business and then ramp their prices back up.This is the business model we've seen in other sectors, but in CA I haven't seen BevMo put any local liquor stores out of business. Supermarkets selling booze didn't put small stores out of business. In fact specialty beer-only stores have been opening (City Beer Store in SF and Beer Revolution in Oakland to name just the first two), and local liquor stores have been upgrading their beer selections (for this I probably should thank the distributor more than the store managers but it's still good to see). The only thing I've ever seen put a liquor store out of business is getting busted for selling underage. Repeatedly.
The best reason not to go to BevMo often is that their selection of exotic stuff drives me to buy more, and more expensive, items that I can't find anywhere else. [Which reminds me, I want some Calvados.] I never leave without dropping $60 or more.
pet peeve: all liquor stores and supermarkets these days have a couple dozen flavored vodkas. Blueberry, Vanilla, Lemon, Orange, Cheesecake... it's like an ice cream parlor. But none of them carry the hot pepper flavor I like for Bloody Marys; I have to go to BevMo for that. They'll have all the other flavors of Absolut or Stoli though.
I have to make the Bloody Mary mix tonight for tomorrow's tailgate so I'll probably have one of those for quality control purposes. Made with Absolut Peppar. For beer purposes the SN Celebration Ale is here, always my favorite winter seasonal! What are you drinking?