Got those mid-week blues? Not to worry - Max is here to get you out of that funk and looking forward to the weekend.
Hello, hello again my beer buds and babes, let’s talk shop shall we? If I were to ask you what the two fastest growing and most profitable industries in the United States are would you ever guess craft beer was one of them? Of course you would, you’re so smart! That’s right, its craft beer and electronics (smart phones, TVs, IPads, etc. etc.) and as far as I’m concerned beer is quickly becoming the new wine, and I looooooove it… kinda. More like a love-hate relationship.
So I’m sitting at Toronado San Diego, drinking a Stone Double Dry-Hopped IPA at 2 o’clock on a Tuesday and this place is pretty freakin’ busy. It got me thinkin’ about the new Beer-Explosion or BEERPLOSION that I’ve noticed throughout San Diego and certain cities throughout the good ole U.S. of A. I know it didn’t happen overnight but it sure seems like it happened pretty damn quickly, doesn’t it? I mean, 10 years ago there were maybe 3 or 4 “beer bars” in San Diego; now there are dozens, as well as a new brewery popping up like zits on a 13 year old boy. Am I wrong?
Here’s why I love it: More great beers are available than ever before. With the influx of breweries brings with it several new beers to try seemingly every other day! Iron Fist out of Vista, CA is a brand new brewery with SEVERAL great beers to check out, like their Imperial Oatmeal Stout the Velvet Glove, or their Gauntlet Triple Dry-Hopped Imperial IPA Gauntlet. Oh, and their head brewer just happens to be 21! Unreal!
It also means that pretty much anywhere you go around the city you’re bound to find a good beer bar. Even if you are at some random seedy dive-bar you’re bound to have at least a Stone IPA or Racer 5 available on draft. I’ve been talking with one of the Stone reps in San Diego who tells me that every day he has at least a few new bars calling him for one of his beers, more so than ever before which means great things for the craft beer industry.
Here’s why I hate it: Everybody knows everything about beer! Or at least they think they do. In case you’ve forgotten I’m a bartender at a pretty cool little beer bar called Hoffer’s. At least once a week I have some snot-nosed 21 year old kid that sits at my bar and refutes just about everything that I tell a customer about a beer.
Me to a customer: “Yeah with the Speedway Stout you’re gonna get a strong chocolate/coffee flavor with a nice toasted malt note.”I really couldn’t be happier that the skinny-jeaners and the dock workers can finally agree on something and that thing happens to be one of my favorite things on this planet, but with that there is always bound to be those know-it-alls that think, just because they read it somewhere or heard it second-hand somewhere that what they say is gospel. Don’t be that guy, kids. Don’t be that guy that sits at the bar and tells people what beer they should have. I don’t even do that and I DO know it all.
Zit-face: “Actually they use ______ malts, so you should be getting a more vanilla undertone than chocolate.”
Me to Zit face: “Oh really? That’s funny, I’ve been serving this beer for almost two years and that is what NO ONE has said about this beer. How old are you? How long have you been drinking craft beer?”
Zit face: “I’m 22 but I’ve been drinking craft beer since I was 20, and I’ve been home-brewing for over a year.”
I feel much better know. I needed to get that off of my chest, thanks guys. Seriously though, thanks as always for checkin’ out this week’s edition of MAXED OUT, and as always I really do appreciate any comments or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook, or in the comment section below.
Oh, almost forgot...Last week Big Brother Brian asked my opinion of Stone’s collaboration with Green Flash and Pizza Port Carlsbad, Highway 78, a big boozy Scotch Ale. I think it’s one of the best collaborations that Stone has had in awhile. Big, boozy, sweet, but very well balanced and not too over the top… ok maybe a little over the top, but it is a Stone beer. Would you expect anything less? Please feel free to submit questions and if you have an idea for next week’s topic I’d love to hear them. So HIT ME UP, kids.
Until next time my beer loving brethren, have a beer for me.
(ed. note: We would like to add Spice of Life to the list of Iron Fist's beers. The first time we had it, we said to ourselves, "Doggone... wish we had some sushi to go along with this darn fine beer". Also, we can't emphasize enough the double-edged sword that Max touches on regarding San Diego as a major league beer town. We see the pretension and snobbery in some un-named quarters of the scene here in town. Let's not do that. Let's not go all Napa Valley and recognize that beer is the most egalitarian of beverages and should be enjoyed by everybody in the spirit of fellowship, friendship and brotherly love.)