My Beer of the Week column Wednesday, Dec. 6, about Thomas Hardy’s Ale brought some comments. Shaun O’Sullivan, co-owner, head brewer at 21st Amendment in San Francisco took exception to this quote in the column:
“Here’s the bad news: BevMo’s Amy Gutierrez says the entire chain has about 25 bottles in stock. That’s it. It’s the old American beer desert dilemma: We’ve got cheap, tasteless beer in cans out our ears, but a world-class beer like Thomas Hardy’s Ale is unattainable.”
Cheap. tasteless beer in cans? Well that might true, but it’s changing!! Maybe it should of read:
“…It’s the old American beer desert dilemma: We’ve got cheap, tasteless beer made by big breweries, but a world-class beer like Thomas Hardy’s Ale is unattainable.”
Just my two cents. Thanks for being a supporter.
The Cans are here!
Now selling Watermelon Wheat and 21A IPA in Cans.
Join the Revolution and Take Back the Cans!
Shaun, I thought about you when I wrote that, but the image of crappy beer in cans was irresistible. How goes the can wars? b
It’s not a war….it’s a REVOLUTION and it’s going great. Through our efforts and journalists such as yourself who understand that crappy beer is crappy beer and beer in cans is a container, we can change that “image.”
We’re had a couple of bumps in the road, which is a story unto it self. You can read about our wows at: http://thebeerguys.blogspot.com/
But we are lawyering and everything will work out.
Love Firestone 10 and Ledger’s in Berkeley
I have been reading your beer column in the Wednesday edition of the Contra Costa Times and wanted to thank you for the review of the Firestone 10. I was able to track this beer down and ended up buying a six pack of the 22 oz bottles. Excellent and definitely different than anything I have tried in recent memory. I have been drinking microbrews since the early 1990′s and have seen a lot of brewpubs and beers come and go.
Your recent article on the Thomas Hardy barleywine is right on the money. These types of beers are very difficult to find these days and chains like bevmo that used to carry it in large quantities are becoming homogenized and tend to carry the same stuff year after year.
I have started going to Beverages and More less and have been finding great beers at Ledger’s Liquors , 1399 University Avenue in Berkeley. Quite possibly has the most unique collection of belgian and hard to find microbrews for sale in the Bay Area. I highly recommend it and the owner is well versed in beer and very friendly. Apparently he uses upwards of 10-15 different distributors to obtain the beers he sells.
Also if you are looking for hard to find awarding winning domestic microbrews and international beers that can be purchased via the net I suggest going to ratebeer.com and hitting on one of their numerous links to on line sale companies. Here you can find and purchase beers from all over the country that have won awards at the great american beer festival and that are simply not available in California. Anyway, just some things you might want to let your readers know when trying to track down popular and limited quantity beers.
I look forward to your next column. Thanks again.
Hi Jeffrey. Yeah. The Firestone Walker 10 was amazing wasn’t it. And yes, I agree with you about Ledger’s. Great store and Ed really cares about beer. By the way I also write a general beer column that runs every other week in the Oakland Tribune and other papers, but not, so far, the CCT. If you like, I’ll add you to my e-mail list. best. b.
Thomas Hardy in Abundance in BC
Great piece on TH, even I learned a few things about an old favorite. Did you know TH might be considered the world’s biggest steam beer? At least in the old days they fermented it with a Bavarian lager yeast, but at ale temps.
Fortunately we get loads of it up in WA. And BC Liquor stores carry it for almost half the price of down here in the States. I load up on it and Rodenbach Grand Cru whenever I hit the Great White North. RGC is also about half price, or less.
It’s nice to see you’ll have help from now on in covering
the vast spaces and mass of great breweries in NoCal.
Is the special Firestone Walker brew widely available? I
may have to try to find it in the Sacramento area as I
speed through. Their beer stores leave much to be desired.
Hi Alan. Chances of finding 10 in Sacramento are slim to nil. And I drank the only bottle I got. It’s the beer that went away. b.
Searching for Noche Buena…
William, Enjoyed your article on He’Brew.
I used to buy a Christmas beer called Noche Buena. I think it was made by Dos XX. Do you know if it is still available? Thanks!
Hi Luanne… ahh Noche Buena. I lived in Mexico for a time and it was by far my favorite. Distribution here has gotten spotty. I just searched the BevMo website and it isn’t listed. Haven’t seen it anywhere in a while. However, it may well be available in Mexican markets in the (San Francisco) East Bay. Mi Rancho, in Oakland, and Concord, for instance.
It’s made by Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma owned by a conglomerate called FEMSA. They make Tecate, Carta Blanca (both insipid and tasteless),. Superior, which — if you can get it fresh, which you can’t in the Bay Area — is a clean, all malt pilsner, very decent beer. They also make the horrible Sol, a light beer, and Dos Equis, which has improved in recent years and one of my all-time, beach-drinking favorites Indio (which you can’t get in the U.S. They also make Bohemia, which I used to like, but find pretty pallid these days.
And Noche Buena. I’m going to look for it, but I don’t have great hopes.