Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Letters to the Blog…

By William Brand
Wednesday, May 25th, 2005 at 11:32 am in Uncategorized.

My column in the Oakland Tribune and the other ANG Newspapers (Wednesday, May 11) about problems with distribution of good beer made a few waves.

Basically, I lamented that despite the best efforts of Unibroue, the Chambly, Quebec craft brewer, their superlative Edition 2005, still hadn’t reached stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially the East Bay. In fact, I found Edition 2004 at one store – still sitting where it had been placed back in early fall, 2004, on an unrefrigerated shelf, in 70 degree heat under fluorescent lights. What a way to store fine beer.

Here are a couple e-mails on the subject of Edition 2005:

Bill- Ledgers (Ledger’s Liquors, 1399 University Ave, Berkeley, CA) called us a couple of days ago, when he finally got the Unibroue 2005 in stock. We picked up half a dozen bottles right away and Michael tried it the next day. He was impressed. It’s very good, just as you said, and as we expected.
I’m sure the fuss you made on behalf of the beer fans had something to do with breaking it loose. Thank you. My theory is that the distributors had it all along and were just sitting on it until they sold out of the 2004. Sound thinking economically, but not good customer service. – Janet.

Bill, My sentiments exactly! Consumers need to ask the retailer to “get it” and stock a fair selection of good, alternatives beers to mass produced lagers, not just brand and package extensions from the big boys. Cheers, Ed

More Mail…

Bill: I was reading your column today to find that you gave low ratings to the Hefs I so love. Do you have one you’d like to recommend ? I want to make sure I’m not missing out on something. I also like the Gordon Biersch Hef- what do you think? A Hef is the first beer I had after I gave birth to my son in December. It tasted soooo good with lemon. I also had a Pilsner Urquell- superiffic yummy stuff. Jane.

Hi Jane… In my humble opinion, most American hefeweizens tend to be too dry and kind of sour. Widmer, especially. I guess of the American ones at hand, I prefer Pyramid. But my favorite is Paulaner Hefe-Weizen from Munich., Another is Erdinger. Both are refreshing, thirst quenching with pleasant clove notes — clove is something many American brewers dislike, because technically, it’s an off flavor.

About a preference for hefeweizens: The neat thing about beer is there’s no one great beer; the best beer is the one you like the best (as long as it isn’t Bud). bill

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