This column is more or less a collection of random thoughts. Oh…and the title actually has nothing to do with the content of the column. Take it for what you will…
For example, I’ve finally decided that when I grow up, I want to be the Anthony Bourdain of craft beer. Sounds like a cool job to me – travel different places, look at how regionality and cultural issues impact how and what beer is made/consumed. Sounds like a good job to me.
So, in recent news, the folks at Negra Modello are releasing Corona on tap. The VP or some other officer there believes that Corona will be in direct competition with craft beers because the market demands more mass-produced light lager, and that craft beer drinkers are only familiar with their local craft brewery.
The officers at Negra Modello make my head hurt.
Bold prediction: Best guess, this year’s Frederick Beer Week will have between 45 and 50 events. That would be in line with the growth we have had year over year (Year 1: 17 events, Year 2: 27 events, Year 3: 36 events).
I still want to see SimBrewery. I know that there are games kind of like it, but I don’t think it’s truly accurate unless there’s a point where a macro can come in and attempt to buy you out.
Some good local stuff happening – if you follow the Facebook feed, then you already know about the bottle conditioned Snowmageddon that’s currently available down at Barley and Hops. The special edition is available in cobalt-blue liter bottles only at the restaurant. Go now. It’s a limited release.
Don’t worry. I’ll wait for you.
Next Tuesday the crew at Brewer’s Alley is releasing a Scottish 80 Shilling. More specifically, they’re releasing local homebrewer Ed Moss’s Scotch ale, winner of the Best in Show of the Great Frederick Fair’s annual homebrew competition. Tom Flores and company have historically brewed the winning beer from that competition, and that beer has historically been pretty damn tasty. Let’s just say that the homebrewers in the area really know what they’re doing.
So, I believe that last week I promised to tell you a little bit about my visit to BJ’s down by the FSK Mall….or up by it if you live in Urbana or Adamstown, I suppose.
After a busy holiday season, I finally had the opportunity to get there on a rainy Sunday. To be perfectly honest with you, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had heard mixed things – many of my West Coast contacts told me that the place wasn’t very good, a place in which they were always disappointed.
While I wasn’t disappointed (maybe it’s because I went in with no real expectations), but I also wasn’t impressed.
The beers were, for the most part, at the very least average or a little above average entrants into their respective style categories, but almost nothing that was spectacular (I sampled nine of their beers – and the grand cru, I will admit, was fantastic). I was once asked by a cadre of Maryland brewers what beers in the state would I travel an hour or more to drink. In the case of BJ’s, the grand cru, a seasonal, is the only one of their beers I would go out of my way to sample.
So, as the beer drinking public, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this little yarn – is BJ’s worth a visit? Most certainly, yes. Are the beers there spectacular? No, but they’re still good. And the food is certainly a step above Friday’s, maybe a step and a half.
My biggest complaint is that the guest taps – and there are 20 or 30 of these – look like the AB/InBev Distributorship’s greatest hits. There’s little special or unusual on the remaining taps, and there’s little that local management can do to change that.
And speaking of management, this location is the proverbial shot across the bow. The Frederick BJ’s is the toe-hold, the first location in aggressive expansion in the greater DC region. Look for other BJ’s to open in the next 12 months in the DC, NoVa, and Baltimore areas.
Tapped and Uncapped
This week, I’m going with Zombie Killer – the cherry-infused mead from B. Nektar Meadery. I popped the top on this one expecting the golden liquid contained within to be sweet…like, cloyingly sweet. I was pleasantly surprised by a sweet, but well balanced mead that was extraordinarily drinkable. It was a mellow, complex mead with a subtle combination of flavors.
If you’re a fan of mead, go out and find this one. Refreshing and drinkable, this is one to put on the “must try” list.
Until next week, be well and drink good beer.