Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Mikkeller Distribution Debacle - an official response



As you probably now know, Brewdog have exclusive UK importation and distribution rights for Mikkeller beers. A few of us on Twitter noticed that a fair few online shops are no longer stocking Mikkeller beers as now that Brewdog are importing the price has been hiked up in comparison to when they were able to buy and import direct from Mikkeller.

Now I was a bit hasty on slagging Brewdog off, as I always am because I like ranting. I really should’ve gotten all of the facts first but I’m bloody useless. Rob from Hopzine was also very hasty in blogging about it so the response is targeted at him too. My buddy Luke now runs Brewdog’s online shop and he told me to contact Martin Dempster to get more of an insight so I thought I’d share my email and his response.

What I said:

“Basically, Brewdog now has exclusive rights to import and distribute Mikkeller beers in the UK and we've noticed that since you've taken control, the prices of Mikkeller beers on your online shop are considerably higher than they were priced elsewhere when other retailers were able to buy direct from Mikkeller. Following on from this, since Brewdog has taken control of Mikkeller beers quite a few retailers I buy from have decided to stop stocking Brewdog beers due to the fact that they'd  have to sell Mikkeller beers are a considerable mark up to what they previously sold them for.

So my question to you is...

What exactly does Brewdog hope to gain by taking total control of Mikkeller importation and distribution in the UK? and What are the benefits to consumers?”

Martin’s response was very concise and proved that there are benefits to retailers and consumers (but not to him!). See below (skip to the bottom for key points if you don’t have time to read all of this):

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Same Game, New Rules



You don’t need to be that observant to realise that I’m a miserable bastard but lately it’s been a lot worse due to a combination of real life things and not just this hilariously miserable fucker you see on twitter. I’ve realised I need to make some drastic changes and set some new rules for myself in order to be happier (certain things have been emitted due to obvious reasons). I decided upon this last night when I was unable to sleep.

I’m gonna jot them down here and review them every month to keep track of what I’m doing. You probably don’t care much beyond my beer writing but fuck it, ignore it if you’re that way inclined.

I’ve never been very good at keeping to rules but I’m really gonna try my hardest because I absolutely need to as I’ve not been able to sleep due to various stresses including never having any money and constantly being drunk (may be related).

1)      Don’t go out drinking on weeknights (unless it’s a special occasion)
2)      Don’t buy take home beers (unless it’s the weekend)
3)      Don’t buy shit take home beers (Yes, that includes Carling sadly)
4)      Don’t drink at home (Unless I’ve ordered beer online or have weekend leftovers)
5)      Only go out on either Friday ­OR Saturday night
6)      Only go out two weekends a month (unless it’s a special occasion
7)      Only go out of Norwich one weekend a month (unless it’s a special occasion)
8)      Cut all of my hair off (I’m having a bit of a crisis yes but also long hair is getting annoying)
9)      Use computer/tablet/TV less when I’m at home
10)   Read more (also: learn more about beer)
11)   Review at least one album a week
12)   Don’t lend money or extend credit (unless it’s a life or death situation)
13)   Don’t borrow money (unless it’s a life or death situation)
14)   Make lunch at home and take it to work instead of buying lunch every day
15)   Buy a bicycle instead of paying extortionate bus prices
16)   Don’t moan about meaningless beer related things
17)   Stop being such an arsehole to people
18)   Finally buy a new suit

I’m sure I thought of more than 18 but fuck it. What I hope to achieve is to be able to sleep better and have more money more of the time leading to me being a lot happier.

Why I’m sharing this with you, I do not know but ah well. Hopefully this will work out. It probably won’t as I’m fucking shit at sticking to things.

Have fun.

Nate

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Booze: Dead Crow Bourbon Flavoured Beer review

A while ago whilst browsing on The Publican's Morning Advertiser, I came across an article about this Dead Crow Bourbon Flavoured Beer from SHS Drinks who are famous for the alcopops brand WKD. This sparked a rather long discussion on Twitter (as it always does) with the lovely Melissa Cole and my good friend Jay.

Now as you may have previously seen, I'm all about reviewing this kind of weird monstrosity from evil corporations so I just had to get my hands on this. I heard that it was available in 4 packs from ASDA but I didn't really want it quite enough to warrant the trip to ASDA, nor did I want 4 bottles of it.

So this brings me to today. I was rather looking forward to the catastrophe that is tonight's episode of The Apprentice where the candidates have the task of creating a new and unique flavoured beer, so much that I went for a pint after work (actually, those things may not be connected). After my delicious pint of Golden Triangle Red Square I swung by Get A Round, arguably the best beer shop in Norwich to pick up a few takeouts and that's where I saw this for the lowly sum of £1.69. I just had to have it because it ties in nicely with The Apprentice tonight.

Anyway, enough rambling. How is the beer?

Brewery: SHS Drinks
Beer: Dead Crow Bourbon Flavoured Beer
Style: Flavoured Lager
ABV: 5.5%

Look:

Kind of amber in colour so darker than your average mainstream lager fizzy head that dies down quickly.

Aroma:

Smells like very sweet marzipan and a tiny hint of your average mainstream lager. I have no issue with mainstream macro lager but marzipan can fuck right off.

Taste:

It tastes like cheap... like VERY cheap 19p for 2 litres Tesco cola mixed with Foster's and sweeteners.

Mouthfeel:

Very fucking gassy. I almost burped upon first gulp.

Verdict:

Yeah, you guessed it. It's fucking vile. WHY THE FUCK DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?

Enjoy tonight's episode of The Apprentice. Who knows, they may brew better beer than this! I'd like to think so anyway...

Nate

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

London's Brewing Up a Shitstorm

6am. That's the time I got up on Saturday to get the 7:30am train with Ben, Jay & Lee to go to Free Comic Book Day & London's Brewing Beer Festival. 6am. I don't even get up that early when I have work during the week. Thankfully the train journey was made bearable throughout my tiredness with awesome company and Stone Vertical Epic 12.12.12. A bit special for train beer and very delicious.

As soon as we got to London, we headed to Forbidden Planet comic book shop - and got lost in the process - as it was free comic book day. We queued up and claimed our free comic book goodie bag and spent about an hour looking at the various books and memorobilia before heading to the Convent Garden area for cupcakes.

After spending about a fucking hour trapped on the central line sweating our tits off we finally got to Bethnal Green tube and walked down to the London Fields Brewery taproom. We saw that the queue of London's Brewing was massive and not moving so we decided to pop in there for a drink. We were quite disappointed that there was no draught beer available, just bottles but we went for it anyway as Sid and Glyn had alerted us that London's Brewing wasn't even open yet, despite it being half an hour after it was meant to open. I had their Unfiltered Lager which is awesome with the lemony flavours with yeasty notes and the grainy yet refreshing mouthfeel.

We finished out beers and decided to queue up where we were alerted by my mate Ian on the other side of the crash barriers that it's really not worth our time as it's taking forever to get served. Apparently they were handing out refunds which we considered but by the time we got to the front of the line they'd apparently run out of money.

We finally got inside and were handed a 2/3 pint glass, a programme and a stamp card worth 9 x 1/3 pints and headed into the first room where we were shocked by the almighty and unorganised queue. Because of the depth of it, we couldn't actually see what beers were on so we had to grab a spot and hope for the best. After 40 minutes I finally got served an EXTREMELY short pour of Weird Beard 5 O'Clock Shadow which was the best beer of the festival for me. It's an IPA with big peachy flavours and a nice bitterness but is also very smooth at the same time.

I then wanted to try Weird Beard's Mariana Trench but was informed that the keg tap was fucking labelled wrong and it was actually Windsor & Eton Republika. How the fuck do you do that?

We wandered through to the cask room to find that it was queued to fuckery and impossible to get in. Looking at both rooms it appeared that they had sold way too many tickets.

We got to have a few more beers, not as many as we had liked though as every time it took about 30-40 minutes to get to the fucking bar.

I mentioned earlier about short pours and well, every time I went to get 2/3rds of a pint I was given just over 1/3rd but they stamped my card for 2, the robbing fuckers. I didn't pay £20 to go to a beer festival and just drink foam. The keg taps were fucking stupid, they were like the taps you probably have in your kitchen or bathroom and way too pressurised meaning all they could do was pour head and to actually even get a third it took about 10 minutes.

It was the most stressful beer festival or event of any kind that I've ever been to and if I wasn't in such awesome company, I would've fucked off as soon as I got there.

I feel cheated and ripped off.

What a fucking mess.

Nate