Monday, August 10, 2015

Words of Wisdom from Fred Eckhardt

Fred's nametag reads: "FRED.  I am not an old drunk!"
At the 2011 Beer Bloggers Conference in Portland, Fred Eckhardt's brief talk was so chock full of humorous quotes that I jotted a bunch of them down, thinking I would make a blog post of them.

I never got around to it, and I probably hoped I would collect up some more and make a bigger post.  But since we won't have any new witticisms from the great man after his passing this morning, I will release them to the world.


I would be a blogger, but I'm just so damn lazy.

I used to think to myself "If it's the water, why don't they do something about it?" (re: Olympia).

This is the third beer revolution, really it's a counter-revolution.  First was when someone figured out to throw hops into beer; second was when the Germans figured out how to make a clear beer that you would drink from a glass instead of an opaque mug, the cold-fermented lager revolution.  Third is when people decided they wanted more than just those clean lagers.

Lager is good, but after you've been drinking it for 50 years you start to want something else.

If you have to quit after the first beer, what's the point?

I wouldn't want to blame Belgium for that beer.

There I was, minding my own business...

It's great beer if it's in 2-liter mugs, I figure.

Just about everyone that knew which end of the bottle to pour beer from liked that beer.

There I was and there they were and there we were.

Once you start workin' they expect you to keep doing that for the rest of your life.


Rest in peace, Fred.  Your work is done.


[Update 2015/08/13]: Found some more Fred quotes in the writeup of Fred Fest 2009:

Technical doesn't taste good.

I don't care so much about style, but about what I like.

My palate isn't what it was last week.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fa La La La La Vertical

Executive Summary:  Don't.

This past summer, I noticed a lonely bottle of Double Mountain's winter seasonal sitting unrefrigerated at a place where sometimes the stock doesn't rotate as quickly as you'd like.  I bought it on a lark, partly to say I did, partly to complain about how seasonals are creeping earlier and earlier in the year (Deschutes actually released this year's Jubleale less than two months after I bought the Fa La La La La), and partly to set up this brilliant blog post about a vertical.

So Friday night at a neighborhood gathering, we did an informal vertical tasting of the 2013 Fa La La La La versus the 2014 Fa La La La La (I think the 2013 one is the fuzzier bottle in the picture).

First impressions of the 2013 Fa La La La La were good:  oh yeah, that's the piney bruiser we were looking for.  But then we tasted the fresh article from 2014, and there was simply no comparison -- the fresh bottle was approximately 100 times better than the old one.  It had the same piney bitterness, but far more floral hop aroma and a much more pleasing flavor.  Highly recommended this year.

Now, perhaps the old bottle would have held up better if it had been stored properly for the past year (it did spend 5 months in my refrigerator).  But why risk it?  Drink it fresh.

Hey, did Double Mountain stop re-filling their bottles?  It was a noble idea, but I notice the deposit on them is only 5 cents these days, and the newer labels don't mention re-filling.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Portland Beer Price Index: Autumn 2014

Are you surprised to hear the price of beer is going up?  The Portland Beer Price Index isn't.  Here are the numbers I gathered around Portland on the equinox:

  • 6-packs: $9.69, up 3 cents
  • 22-ounce bombers: $5.58, down 4 cents
  • 6-packs (sale price): $8.97, up 6 cents
  • 22-ounce bombers (sale price): $5.21, down 2 cents
  • 16 oz. draft: $4.64 up 3 cents
  • 16 oz. draft (happy hour): $3.85, up 6 cents
It looks weird that the average bomber prices went down.  It has to do with the strange gyrations of Hopworks IPA bomber prices, which have seemed almost random the last few months.  The shelf price of that beer fell $2.50 at one place I survey.  So that's the price drop.

Everything else is going up in price.  $9 seems like a lot for a six-pack.  I feel like I'm usually finding something I can stand under $8 (and a couple lucky $6 finds recently).  But these are just the averages of a fixed set of Oregon beers.

Speaking of which, since Laurelwood Red is now a six-pack beer and no longer in bombers (hooray!), I replaced that bomber with Base Camp In-Tents IPL.  (That change would also have changed last quarter's numbers, so the up/down numbers above are apples-to-apples as if Base Camp was in last time.)  The only hiccup there is that QFC doesn't carry Base Camp right now, but it's a pretty popular supermarket beer these days so I hope they will figure it out pretty soon.  Consult the PBPI configuration page for more information on the makeup of the index.  See you in three months.