Thursday, April 26, 2007

News: Follow-up to House Bill 119 issue

Looks like the provision in HB 119 that would limit distribution for brewers and brewpubs has been killed (see my previous post). I just received this email from my state rep:

April 26, 2007

Dear Mr. Gray:

I received your e-mail regarding your concerns with a provision in House Bill 119 that may be harmful to small brewers. I appreciate your willingness to share your views with me.

My colleagues and I have and continue to evaluate House Bill 119 – the state operating budget. Please know that the provision you reference in your e-mail is currently not included in this measure.

Again, thank you for sharing your concerns. Be sure that if issues affecting small brewers arise in the future, I will be mindful of your situation and thoughts. If I can be of further assistance, please contact my office.


Jon A. Husted


Ohio House of Representatives

UPDATE (4/27/07): Here's an email I just received from Support Your Local Brewery, the Brewer's Association advocacy group:

Dear Beer Activists:

Victory in Ohio Thanks to Support Your Local Brewery Members!

On April 19, Support Your Local Brewery was alerted to a potentially devastating piece of legislation on the fast track in the Ohio House of Representatives. A bill dealing with issues relating to the direct shipment of wine was amended to include language that would have essentially stripped self distribution and direct to consumer sales by breweries and brewpubs.

With a floor vote scheduled in less than 24 hours, Ohio members of the Support Your Local Brewery network were alerted and generated dozens of grassroots contacts to legislators’ offices.

By April 20, the offending provision had been pulled from the bill. Your efforts, coupled with the outreach carried on by many Ohio small brewers, turned this threat back, one which would have almost certainly hamstrung many breweries and potentially closed many brewpubs.

Thanks to all those who answered the call, acted in the best traditions of Support Your Local Brewery Beer Activists and helped to ensure the continued success of the Buckeye State’s small brewing community.


Thursday, April 19, 2007


UPDATE (4/21/07): Word from the Beer Advocate forum is that the bill has been withdrawn! Thanks to everyone who contacted their Representatives. The Cleveland Plain Dealer also covered the story.

I just received the following email from the
Brewer's Association. Apparently, Ohio HB 119 contains language that would limit the distribution of craft beer so that brewpubs were required to sell through a wholesaler. I had trouble isolating the exact language in the proposed bill, but I sent an email to my Rep, John Husted, (using the link in the email below) to urge him to avoid passing any law that would limit distribution for the growing craft brew industry. I noted that Ohio's economy is in transition, now that there are many fewer manufacturing jobs, and pointed out the ludicrously of legislation that would essentially crush a growing market sector.

736 Pearl Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302 USA

Dear Beer Activists:

Ohio House Bill 119 contains provisions which would take away the rights of brewers to self distribute their beers and sell direct to consumers, mandating that the beer must move through a wholesaler.

This is an extremely serious threat to all Ohio breweries, but particularly to those brewing such small amounts of beer that there is no interest by wholesalers to distribute the brands and for brewpubs.

This legislation may mean that brewpubs would no longer be able to operate in the state of Ohio.

We understand that this bill will be amended into the general budget bill and may be voted on tomorrow, Friday April 20th. Please don’t delay - contact your state legislators and let them know of your concerns.

To find out who your legislators are go to:

Time is extremely tight – call or email immediately!

Thanks for your support in protecting Ohio’s brewers and beer consumers.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Review: Lost Coast Indica India Pale Ale

Indica IPA is the second beer I sampled from my West Coast exchange with Jay at Hedonist Beer Jive.

This beer holds a huge personal interest to me. Last summer, my wife attended her cousin's wedding in Eureka, CA. While in town, my wife, her sisters, and my mother-in-law stopped at the Lost Cost brewpub. G had great things to say about the beer and brought me back an Indica t-shirt. She was planning to bring a growler back, but the bartender made her concerned about not being able to keep it cool the whole time.

I love the t-shirt and was disappointed that I didn't get to try the beer. When Jay mentioned sending some Lost Coast samples, I was anxious--the art on the t-shirt was so cool (it mirrors the label)--would the beer be as good?

Brewery: Lost Coast Brewery
Brewery Location: Healdsburg (northern California)
Indica IPA (sorry, the LC website doesn't actually list Indica anymore. Wonder what's up?)
BJCP Style: 14B. American IPA

Appearance: Orangish body with creamy white head; cloudy--not clear

Smell: Big citrus and floral hops, similar to the Racer 5 and the Bell's HopSlam (which I have yet to formally review), except that there is a subtle spicy undercurrent in this brew that I didn't pick up in the other two.

Taste: Starts with a big, sweet citrus burst--all hops upfront! I pick up hints of bourbon and vanilla, and the caramel malts complement the hops. Finishes with a lingering spicy hoppy note.

Mouthfeel: huge and full-bodied, with carbonation that, with the hops, pricks the tongue.

Drinkability: Another great big, delicious West Coast IPA. I was not disappointed, except that now I'll clearly have to take a trip to Eureka, too. I have a hard time deciding whether I prefer this or the Racer 5 better. I like the caramel malts and lingering spiciness in this brew, but I think the opening salvo of the Racer 5 might be slightly more assertive. I paired this with spicy Indian food--Aloo Choley.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Events: Kentucky Breakfast Stout on tap

Looking for the ultra rare Founders seasonal on tap? Look no farther than the Founders tap room this weekend, as the brewers throw their 6th annual Black Party.

On tap, all beers black, including Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Breakfast Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Black Rye, Frangelic Stout, Porter, and Imperial Stout. Just in time to warm us up during this brutal winter revival!
The party starts at 5:00 and $7 gets you in and a commerative pint glass full of Oatmeal Stout. For complete details and direx to the Grand Rapids brewery, check Founders site.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Review: Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

5/4/07 UPDATE: I stopped in my local brew store and was greeted with good news--they are now carrying the Bear Republic line! And I was surprised to see that a 22 oz was only $6.00--that's a steal, compared to comparable beers from this area (like Dreadnaught, which is nearly $10.00 for a 22 oz).

Racer 5 is the first beer I sampled from my West Coast exchange with Jay at Hedonist Beer Jive. I was excited to try this brew, since I've seen it compared to Bell's Hop Slam--a personal favorite from this part of the country.

Bear Republic is a family-owned brewpub located in Sonoma County, CA. Racer 5 is the most famous beer, although many of their beers have garnered multiple awards--including Gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival.

Brewery: Bear Republic Brewery
Brewery Location: Healdsburg (northern California)
Racer 5 IPA
BJCP Style: 14B. American IPA

Appearance: Somewhere between a straw-gold and tangerine with crisp, white head and clean, tight carbonation. The photo above doesn't do the beer justice (so much for trying out the camera phone!).

Smell: Huge citrus hops, reminiscent of Bell's Hop Slam. Pineapple and grapefruit, with the slightest earthy hints deep below and whiffs of caramel as it warms.

Taste: Huge hop explosion--pineapple and mango citrus flavors that demolish the taste buds; well-supported by a solid but unobtrusive moderate malt flavor. The sweet citrus upfront transforms into a dry, earthy hop flavor in the finish--reminds me of the taste of raw hop pellets.

Mouthfeel: moderate--carbonation supports hop flavor

Drinkability: Easy to drink, despite high alpha acids; well-balanced and hides the alcohol well. The finish is a tad much for me towards the end of the glass. That being said, I could still drink a couple of these, although it would have to be toward the end of the evening, so that I don't suffer palate fatigue.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Notes: West Coast Beer Trade

Readers of Hedonist Beer Jive may have noted that I successfully negotiated my second beer swap--this time with Jay in San Fran (my first beer swap was with Ben and Matt over at Several weeks ago, Jay posted a plea for Midwest beers. I was happy to oblige, especially because there were several West Coast ales I was hankering for.

I sent Jay an assorted of Three Floyd's, Bell's, Founders, Great Lakes, and a Dogfish Head (not exactly Midwest, but I guess he can't get DFH out there). In return, I got a gift bag of the beers in the pic below:

Firestone Walker "10"
Lost Coast Great White
Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Deschutes Inversion IPA
Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws (barleywine)
I'm very excited about all of these beers--especially the "10." FW once shipped to Ohio--long enough for me to develop a taste for their brews (I'm partial to their porter), but they stopped distributing right around the time "10" was announced. I was crestfallen. Not so anymore.

Look for reviews of the above beers to follow, although the "10" and the Doggie Claws may take some time (the DC might take a long time--all reports on BeerAdvocate note that it takes a while to reach its prime). And don't forget to check out Jay's blog to see his impressions of the Midwest favorites.