Vanity Searches and The Twelve Hopostles

So, I was checking out the search terms that bring viewers to this blog.   There are a lot of people looking for good beer bars, Kentucky Breakfast Stout and good mobile beer apps–which can only mean that there aren’t enough of those things out there–I smell a business opportunity.  Anyone?

"goodbeerintheword"? How is that even a search term for anything?

Among the odd one-off nonsensical search terms (“goodbeerintheword”, “breakfast czy breakfasts”, “leave a comment”–I mean who actually searches for these things?) was the number one search term that brings viewers: “hopostle”.  Now, this was kind of weird because I thought I made this term up.  In fact, I thought it was pretty clever.  I found it surprising that not only was I not the only one to coin this term, but also that other people actually have searched for it (well…only seven people ever have, but I think my point still stands).

Why is St. Andrew throwing up the shocker?

So, I thought I would take a look at what pops up when you search for “hopostle” and see if I could tell if people were actually trying to get to my site or somewhere else.  The most interesting thing I found was this thread on from 2007.  26 year old  homebrewer, Boerderij_Kabouter, from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin (Don’t worry.  I can’t pronounce any of it either) posted his idea for a series of 12 IPAs brewed with  exactly the same ingredients, save the type of hops.  Each IPA is dedicated to showing off a specific hop varietal (similar to and pre-dating Mikeller’s Single Hop Series and the upcoming variety packof Latitude 48 IPA from Sam Adams) and each beer would be named after an Apostle.  He calls his idea “The Twelve Hopostles”.  There are ingredients lists, recipes and label art for each beer, all of which are free for anyone to use.  It was

What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-happening...

really cool to see the level of professional work he put into his concept and made me really want to get back into brewing more.

If I had an extra 12 fermenters laying around (hell…even if I had more than one) I would definitely tackle this project.  It’s a very cool idea and I think really underscores the untapped creativity and passion that lies within the homebrewing community.  How awesome would it be if a major brewer picked up this idea?  A couple of other forum members have made some of the “Twelve Hopostles”, but there hasn’t been any activity since 2009.  Hit the thread link and and check it out.  While you’re there, leave a comment and see if we can spark some interest in this worthy idea.


Is Craft Beer Getting Too Expensive?

HopBombs Away!

My buddy over at The Logo-Mat recently read my post on Kentucky Breakfast Stout and decided to get some for himself.  He seemed to like the beer, but he commented about the fact that it was 19 bucks a four pack (I believe his exact words were that he was worried his “wife would disown” him because of the price).

This is a completely rational reaction.  I have often commented on how expensive craft beer is.  I talked about it with Hopslam.  I talked about it with this recent batch of KBS (I didn’t even buy any KBS last year because I thought it was outrageous).  Even before I started this blog, I wrote a guest post on the Show-Me Beer Blog talking about the high price of Schlafly’s Extra Stout.  I am sympathetic to the wallet, but I also love beer.  And good beer comes at a price–that’s just the way it is.  Here’s how I learned to “Stop Worrying and Love the HopBomb”.

My feeling is that the only reason craft beer seems too expensive is because we are conditioned to the 6 dollar six pack.  When you triple the expected price and lower the quantity (as in the case of KBS’s $19/4 pk.), you get Matt’s reaction (that “ludicrous”) and mine last year (“outrageous”).  But when you forget about your conditioning, the price breakdown is really very simple.  Here’s how I rationalize it:

  • Wine is generally packaged in 750 mL bottles.
  • 750 mL is equal to 25.3 fluid ounces.
  • A four pack of KBS is equal to 48 fl. oz.,
  • This is equal to about 1.8 bottles of wine.
  • If you were to compare the retail price of KBS (18.99/4 pack) to a wine, you’d basically be talking about a $9 bottle of wine (give or take).
  • Sam’s Club sells wine for this much.

If you don’t balk at a $9 bottle of Kendall Jackson Merlot, why would you for KBS?  The comparisons continue:

  • Bud Select is generally about $6 a six pack
  • The ABV of Bud Select is 4.3%
  • The ABV of Kentucky Breakfast Stout  is 11.2%
  • 11.2/4.3= 2.6
  • So, essentially in every bottle KBS you are getting (at least in terms of ABV) 2.6 Bud Selects

When you compare it in the above manner, however, you HAVE to account for taste…otherwise it doesn’t work.

  • When something is more expensive, we generally consider it to be of higher quality (Mercedes-Benz, Apple Computers, organic foods, etc.) –you get what you pay for
  • Bud Select is $1 a bottle and KBS is $4.75

So the question is…Does KBS taste 4.75 times better than Bud Select?  I think if Imperial Stouts are your style (and really even if they aren’t), the answer is unequivocally…yes.  If you ask me, probably way more than 4.75 times better.

    What does this mean?  Probably nothing.  If you are a fan of light lagers and would prefer to spend you hard earned money on other things than beer, you certainly have the ability to do so.  This is simply the rambling rationalization of a self professed beer lover.  This is how I sleep at night.  If you would like to feel more comfortable with your “outrageous” and “ludicrous” beer purchases, I would urge you to adopt the above philosophy and remember, “Good things cost more.  Period.”

    What do you think?  How do you sleep at night?

    Hopshot!: Birthday Lunch


    Hitting both sides of the state today. Kickin it with the best sandwich in STL (Legend Club from Legrand’s Market) and the best brewery in KC (Boulevard…duh). Great birthday lunch!

    Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat: Dark “Horse” From the West

    Cans really are better

    Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat
    ABV: 5%
    75% on RateBeer (haters gonna hate)

    For some reason, I always look past the Manhattan, Kansas brewery, Tallgrass Brewing (even though I have liked everything I have had by them: Tallgrass IPA, this one).  They are a relative newcomer to the Missouri craft beer scene and all of their beers come in cans (which, despite my knowledge of the superiority of cans over bottles, is difficult to get past when I was raised on Busch cans).  However, I was in a special situation on Friday night as my wife and were heading out to celebrate my birthday.  We left straight after work and I was tasked with picking up the pre-party drinks for judicious consumption at the Moonrise Hotel before we went out for the night.  So I needed something that a.) would taste okay if it warmed up (had to drive to The Loop from North County) and b.) could be opened without a bottle opener.

    I thought I was pretty much out of luck because, with the exception of Ferguson Brewing Company, NoCo is pretty much a no-go for good beer.  Lo and behold, on my way to pick up my wife, I spied a small liquor store named Gabi’s .  I didn’t expect much from their signage (Four Loko, Corona,  Budweiser), but I did see a Fat Tire sign, which ultimately prompted me to stop.  Inside was a surprise.  They didn’t have anything too special, but they did have the craft beer standards (Anchor Steam, Schlafly) some higher-than-standards (Two Hearted, Rogue Mocha Porter) and 4 packs of Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat.

    Buffalo Sweat is a pretty standard stout–unless of course your standard tops out with Guinness–in which cased this Stout is anything but.  Chocolatey.  Roasted Malty. And a thickness that doesn’t seem like it should be in a regular ole stout.  Seriously the mouthfeel is great with this beer.  All of these come together in a beer that is awesomely easy to drink.  My wife and I downed a couple on Friday night with no problem whatsoever.  I had one again today and remembered how much I liked it.

    At around 8 bucks a four pack, you can find cheaper beers, but not by much.  I would recommend this one to your friend who thinks that Guinness is the “sweat of the Gods” (actual quote from one of my friends).

    I usually try to include a music track to play while your drinking this beer, but Tallgrass already did it for me 🙂  Check out their “Beer Drinkin’ Music” playlist HERE.

    Hopshot! Yard Work Redemption


    22 lawn bags later our yard is (mostly) gumball free. Time for a break!

    E=mcbeer Motherf*ckers!

    Gotta love the annual Schlafly April Fool’s Day jokes:

    check out their other videos HERE.

    Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS): Only the 10th best beer in the world?

    I need to get my hands on the other nine....

    Kentucky Breakfast Stout
    Founders Brewing
    Imperial Stout
    ABV: 11.2%
    100% on RateBeer
    10th Best in the World (Beer Advocate) (when I published this it was actually ranked 8th)

    Like Girl Scout cookies, this beer comes once a year and the fervor and fanaticism with which it is met, far surpasses the Tag-Along and Thin Mint hardcores that adorn Walgreens entrances this time of year.  (STL was pretty much tapped the day it arrived.  Myself, I drove an hour roundtrip to get it)  In both cases, some of the frenzy is due to the product being a special release (a fact the Girl Scouts use to their advantage).  In the case of KBS, it truly is that good.

    Kentucky Breakfast Stout is a stout brewed with coffee and chocolate and aged in a cave in bourbon barrels (hence the “Kentucky” of KBS) for a year.  One full year for all of the maltiness to develop and all of the competing flavors of chocolate and bourbon and hops to mellow.  One full year for the magic to work and the motor oil to fully mature.  One year to create a taste you won’t soon forget.

    KBS comes in a four pack.  It is $18.99 and I spent the entire drive to Friar Tuck’s in Fenton deciding how to ration the (presumably) only four bottles I would be getting this season.  I decided that my wife and I would share one bottle when I got home.  We would then each get one bottle to drink at our own discretion (mine was consumed with my buddy Patrick while writing this review–yes I am that good of a friend).  And the last one I am “cellaring” for a year.  I never cellar my beers (I also played with ALL of my action figures), but I am curious to see what this beer will taste like in a year.

    I love this beer, but it’s only true downfall (and it’s a biggie)  is that it does not, as the label points out offer relief “from rheumatism, neuralgia, sciatica, lame back, lumbago, contracted muscles, toothache, sprains, swellings, and all manner of distress.” If you’ve got anything else, though, I highly recommend it!

    When we tasted the beer, Patrick and I jotted down a couple tasting notes.  Here’s what we came up with:

    Tasting Notes:
    It’s so good.
    You can find the bourbon if you’re looking for it, but it’s not ultra present.
    Coffee, vanilla, malt, dark chocolate as it warms.
    Melted chocolate milkshake (in a good way)
    70 IBU’s, but extremely balanced