Sunday, August 20, 2017

Nothing to be Embeerrassed About

Craft Breweries and Modern Technology


Recognizing that beer is something people associate with a social environment, craft beer companies have hand tailored their digital and social media marketing strategies, and employed them in a way that connects with local communities and regions.

In using these modern strategies, the difficulty that continues to arise is garnering the following and support of influential and credible people. These people in turn become figureheads for those interested in your brewery and product, and inadvertently become ambassadors for your brand. The potential that these ambassadors hold as a benefit to your company could have a positive or negative impact. Especially when a craft brewery is new and has yet to establish a strong following, even a single negative review can be detrimental.  It only takes a few bad reviews for that to become a company’s entire online presence, and in turn, could irrecusably be damaging their brand.

The key of every campaign and social platform communication should be to involve yourself in conversation with your local community. As a society, our support is typically swayed towards our own community bases, therefore as Taylor McQuiston said in his highly influential blog, it is understandable that “Craft Brewers with a strong presence in their home market are both more profitable and more easily able to expand into adjoining markets.”

So without further adieu, I give you this week's ratings.



WEEK 3 - NOTHING TO BE EMBEERRASSED ABOUT



Kyle's Pick - Brewery & Beer #1 - This beer is called the Angry Scotch Ale from Russell Brewing in Surrey, B.C. In 2010, Angry Scotch won a bronze at the World Beer Cup awards and later in 2014, it took the gold medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards. Russell describes this beer as a "19th Century Shilling Scotch Ale". And yes, it does taste exactly like a scotch ale! They go on to say, "We use an extended boil time that intensifies the roasted malt flavours of dark fruit and toffee." I'm afraid this is where there's a minor miscommunication, as there's nothing overly intense about the flavour at all. It is smooth and delicious with a hint of toffee in its aftertaste, which makes the brew something that you could handle drinking more than one, unlike other scotch ales.

Russell Brewing Company had a very promising start for the Council and we look forward to expanding our Tasting Map so close to home. Perhaps our first brewing tour?

The Council gave Angry Scotch Ale an average score of 3.5/5.

Kyle's opinion on this beer, "Smooth, drinkable, enjoyable, but only gets the silver medal from me."




Tyrone's Pick - Brewery & Beer #2  -This beer is called the Big Bock from Hoyne Brewing in Victoria, BC. This is the Council's second attempt from Hoyne Brewing and we were blown away. Hoyne describes this beer with some humour by saying, "The Majestic Rooster, unafraid to strut his colours. Proud. His voice clear and strong (maybe a bit annoying if you were hoping to sleep in). When he boldly proclaims his dominion, his entire flock listens, or pretends not to listen. Here is to standing proud, admiring your flock, and proclaiming "cock-a-doodle-do!"

It's a gorgeous red amber ale with aroma of sweet malt and floral hops. These floral hints are incredible from beginning-to-end and as you taste it, you notice this light fruit and smooth earthy combination. We do not believe it to be what you'd expect from a traditional bock, but it is incredible either way. It was given an average score of 4/5, which is our highest score yet.

Tyrone's Opinion of this beer, "It's like a 5 x 4 buck and a good wife, more than effort is needed to find it. You don't find it unless you put in the effort."





Brewery & Beer #3 - Tim's Picks - This beer is called The One That Got Away made by Longwood Brewpub out of Nanaimo, BC. Definitely a unique flavour to it, but not overpowering; it has a slight red hue, a subtle sour and bitter aftertaste. I sensed a hint of banana in the palette, which makes the bitter flavour not so aggressive in the end.

Longwood describes this beer as, "A red wheat ale inspired by the BC Tough's annual West Coast Tuna Shootout, a fishing derby that takes place in the wild waters of Bamfield, BC. This ease drinking, unfiltered ale is made with 50% wheat, barley and a health dose of crystal malt to create a slight sweet, burnt copper coloured beer. Ideal for pairing with any west coast seafood... Don't let this be the one that got away!" 

Overall, we quite enjoyed this brew and all agreed to we could handle a night of drinking it. It received an above average score of 3.7.

Tim's opinion on this beer, "Everyone has "the one that got away" and this is a bit of a heffer. This one is full of colour, doesn't give too much head, is a little yeasty, but just ever so sweet. Tasty, but I'm not too phased it got away in the first place."




Brewery & Beer #4 - Our Bonus Beer this week is a homebrew named Jack-o-Heed and it was made by Greg Clark of Langley, B.C. He was aiming for a chocolate pumpkin porter and hit the nail on the head. We were honoured to try his homebrew after hearing from friends how seriously he takes his personal craft. The body looked as thick as Guinness, but certainly didn't taste like it and we were all pleasantly surprised by how smooth it was. 

We would describe it as, "Thick, dark and robust with a foam that never settles. Brewed with care and the taste to prove it. It has subtle pumpkin flavour throughout and a wonderful roasted chocolate aftertaste. Superb!"

Greg is entering Barley's Homebrewing Supplies contest for the best homebrew; if he doesn't take home the win, we'll be surprised.






   


Council's Verdict

Beer NameKyleTimTyrone
Average Rating
Angry Scotch Ale
3.9
3.5
3.2

3.5
Big Buck
4.0
3.9
4.0

4.0
The One That Got Away
3.6
3.7
3.8

3.7






Bonus Beer: Jack-o-Heed Porter
-
-
-

-


Sources:

Canadian Brewing Awards - http://www.canadianbrewingawards.com/winners/years/2014/
Russell Brewing - http://www.russellbeer.com/
Hoyne Brewing - http://hoynebrewing.ca/#beers
Longwood Brewpup - http://www.longwoodbrewpub.com/
Barley's Homebrewing Supplies - http://www.barleyshomebrewing.com/



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Beerin' Ain't Easy


Web 2.0 in the Beer Industry


The exponential evolution of the social media landscape has been directly linked to the beer industry since the introduction of Web 2.0. All major beer manufacturers, whether located in North America or worldwide, have developed and expanded the practices they utilize to engage their clientele with greater reason. It is the explosion of the craft beer industry in recent years that has not only cemented the necessity of this level of communication, but has completely revolutionized how it is executed.

As consumer trends shift to this rapidly evolving new world of small-batch breweries, the pride consumers have adopted for their local creations become ever more apparent. Increasingly, beer enthusiasts are frequenting the craft breweries themselves, sharing pride filled pictures at local pubs and are becoming very vocal on their opinions and tastes.

As this craft beer trend continues to flourish and social media advances, the need of brewers to develop a synergy between customers and technology becomes far more potent. Without that paramount relationship present, Economic Darwinism will be the deciding factor for who survives.


Meeting #4


Kyle's Pick - Brewery & Beer #1 - This beer is called the Randonneur Saison from Dageraad Brewing out of Burnaby, B.C. This is the second release in their Single Batch Series and it is unfiltered, as well as fermented in the bottle. According to Dageraad, the recommended pairing for this Saison is seafood or salad, which we're in agreement on for the former. Dageraard describes this beer as, "Peppery and hoppy, effervescent and bone-dry, Randonneur Saison refreshes after cycling through the autumnal countryside or harvesting produce in your own garden. It is fermented with a French Saison yeast and bottle conditioned for natural carbonation, and an extra layer of complexity."


A gorgeous saison, with a bitter bite and a smooth full-bodied flavour describes this beer best. Much like the Gose (pronounced: Gose-Uh) style of belgian farmhouse ales with a heavy carbonation that Tim and I love, this was another split-decision for votes amongst the Council.

The Council gave Dageraad's Randonneur Saison an average score of 3.9/5, much to my chagrin.

Kyle's opinion on this beer, "Punchy, smooth, carbonated, and delicious. It may not be the season for saison, but it's incredible."




Matt's Pick - Brewery & Beer #2  -This beer is called Snap, Crackle, Hop from Parallel 49 in Vancouver, BC. This is the Council's second attempt from Parallel 49 and it definitely had some mixed reviews from the Council, but ultimately all positive. Parallel describes this beer as, "An Imperial IPA brewed with flaked rice in order to keep the body light and showcase the New Zealand motueka hops. Big tropical fruit flavours and aromas hide the big 9.3% ABV."


A few of these will leave you crawling home at 9.3%, so as delicious as they are, we recommend drinking them in moderation - we'll try to take our own advice. 


Your first taste will be a combination of peach and mango hints, followed by a caramel and a lingering hoppy bite. The use of rice adds a unique dryness, but only a subtle change from your regular IPA, and admittedly, this just made it extra enjoyable. It was given an average score of 3.8/5, and although it was Matt's highest scored beer to-date, some other council members couldn't get on the same page.


Matt's opinion of this beer, "Super smooth, strong beer - do not limit this release Parallel 49 Brewing Company!"



Brewery & Beer #3 - Mike's Pick - This beer is simply called Wheat Ale made by Steamworks Brewing out of Vancouver, BC. Mike knew exactly what he was getting into when he purchased this, since he had frequented their brewery on a few occasions, but it was new for the rest of us. It seemed bizarre at first that they were calling it a Wheat Ale when it is clearly a hefeweizen, and because of this, the Council had some varied opinions on the ratings. Steamworks website describes this beer in the following way, "This Summertime South German Style Hefeweizen pours hazy, golden in colour with a thick white head. Beautiful flavours of banana, cloves and hints of bubblegum coat your palate as you enjoy this refreshing ale."

Definitely a unique flavour to it, but not overpowering; it has a light blond look to it, a hint of banana, some spice and it is a bit yeasty. Since there's that subtle hint of banana in the palette, it helps combat the sour yeast flavour that is an often found to be an acquired taste.

Overall, we enjoyed this hefe and all agreed it's a decent beer. It received an average score of 3.3/5.


Mike's opinion of this beer, "Steamworks turns my crank."

Tim's Pick - Brewery & Beer #4  -This beer is called Pray for Snow Winter Ale from 10 Barrel Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon. This is the Council's first attempt from 10 Barrel Brewing Co. and we couldn't believe how disappointing this was. We expect some of the best to come out of Oregon, so perhaps that is why we had such high expectations for this beer, but this was either a barrel gone bad, or we are seriously wrong in our opinions. 10 Barrel Brewing describes this beer as... nothing, their website literally has no information on it for this product. For shame, 10 Barrel!


It's a strong beer at 7%, especially out of America, and looks to be a full-bodied beer from its dark amber and brown colouring. It has a caramel-like flavour to it, but it's more of a syrupy sweetness and would leave you in agony the next day after consuming a few. The average rating given by the Council was a generous 2.7/5.

Tim's opinion of this beer, "They say winter is coming, but I am not. If this is what winter has to offer then I won't be praying for snow."









Council's Verdict

Beer NameKyleTimMikeMattAverage Rating
Saison
4.3
4.2
3.6
3.4
3.9
Snap, Crackle, Hop
3.6
3.8
3.4
4.4
3.8
Wheat Ale
4.0
2.8
3.3
2.9
3.3
Pray for Snow
2.7
2.3
2.1
3.0
2.7
Bonus Beer: Liquid Sunshine Pilsner
4.1
3.6
4.2
3.2
3.8


Sources:

10 Barrel Brewing - http://www.10barrel.com/
Steamworks Brewing - http://steamworks.com/brewery
Parallel 49 Brewing - http://parallel49brewing.com/beers/
Dageraad Brewing - http://dageraadbrewing.com/