All month long, Sixpoint Brewery is accepting submissions for their annual “Beer is Culture” design competition. The brewery is inviting consumers to submit an original design or illustration that successfully taps ...
Craft Beer Stories
All month long, Sixpoint Brewery is accepting submissions for their annual “Beer is Culture” design competition. The brewery is inviting consumers to submit an original design or illustration that successfully taps into the theme, “Beer is Culture”. (taps into the theme, ha!) So what does that mean? Here’s a little explanation from the Sixpoint website:
We believe Beer is Culture. Is this a bold statement? Perhaps, but let us illustrate a historical connection. Before human civilizations… before cities… we were merely cave people and hunter-gatherers. No one was certain of where the next meal was; life was hard.
Then, roughly 10,000 years ago an amazing innovation occurred: agriculture. The earliest civilizations cultivated cereal grains and made crude fermented beverages. A constant food supply was cleverly maintained. Occupations became specialized, and culture sprang forth like a fountainhead. This was the dawn of civilization — the proliferation of architecture, artisans, culinary arts, theater, and a million extensions of creativity. This was the dawn of culture!
If you’d like to participate, you can submit a design on their website using the OFFICIAL 2013 BEER IS CULTURE EXPO ENTRY FORM. All submissions are posted on the Sixpoint Facebook page for voting and the work(s) with the most “likes” will be awarded a series of glamorous prizes. The top six finalists will receive a special care package from the brewery, including customized apparel and treats from Sixpoint and other local artisans. The six finalists will also receive an annual membership to a local art museum of their choice. The top three finalists will receive coasters featuring their artwork. (These coasters will also be distributed to bars where Sixpoint is sold!) Finally, the top winning artwork will become the profile picture for Sixpoint’s Facebook page for an entire year, and the artist will receive a featured interview on the Sixpoint website.
If you’re not interested in submitting work of your own, please head over to the gallery and vote for your favorite artwork. Below is the design that I submitted… I would be honored if you’d click-through and give it some love!
Last week I traveled out to Utica, NY to visit the Matt Brewing Company, home to Saranac beer. As the second oldest family-owned brewery in the country, and the oldest in New York State, the Matt Brewery is rich with history. As soon as you enter the tour center at 830 Varick Street, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a museum. Originally the bottling works of the brewery, the tour center was designed and decorated back in the 60′s, by Walter Pfeiffer – a leading Victorian architect at the time. The room, featuring high-ceilings and Italian tile floors, is filled with Victorian-era antiques… Certainly not the type of decor that I’m used to seeing at a brewery!
The tour begins with a history lesson as our guide points out a display case full of old bottles and cans representing the numerous products and brands produced at the brewery over the years. From the first 1888 Lager made by The West End Brewing Company, founded by F.X. Matt the same year, to the current line-up including Saranac Beer & Soft Drinks, Utica Club, and a number of other specialty products for smaller breweries. Recently ranked the 12th largest* brewery in the United States, and 6th* out of the top 50 US Craft Breweries, the Matt Brewing Company has a lot to be proud of.
One of my favorite beer quotes is one attributed to Edgar Allan Poe that reads, “Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies come to life and fade away. What care I how time advances; I am drinking ale today.” Now you can download a FREE facebook cover photo or iPhone 5 wallpaper designed around this quote to show your love for craft beer!
Just click the images below to open the graphics and save them to your computer or iPhone.
So what do you think? I had such a good time making these. I’d love to hear feedback on them and whether or not you would like to see more stuff like this on the blog in the future!
The following is a guest post, written by a good friend of mine, Ryan Conaughty. I met Ryan while he was studying for his Masters in Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport. He’s taught me a lot about craft beer and has been a huge supporter of this site since it’s inception. If you enjoy his writing, I recommend checking out his bike journal titled,TransAm Blues, wherein he tells the story of the time he rode his bicycle across the whole freaking country, by himself. He’s a great writer, a great friend, and he knows a whole lot more about beer than I do. Enjoy!
In a small room just big enough to fit a stack of menus, a touchscreen cash register, and a pop machine; I try to conduct an interview with Scott Donnelly, owner of Donnelly’s Public House in Fairport, NY. It’s not easy. I have a list of questions that I want to ask him about beer, food, and Rochester, among other things, but we’re having a hard time communicating. People keep interrupting us. They’re shaking Scott’s hand, smiling, and telling him how much they enjoyed the dinner he and his team just presented. Words like “fantastic”, “excellent”, “unbelievable”, and “amazing” are all words they use. My favorite quote came from my girlfriend, as I pointed to her almost-full glass of Dogfish Head’s My Antonia, she smiled, putting her fork down from her Bourbon County Marinated Pork Loin stuffed with weaved bacon, horseradish, and aged 4-year Maple leaf cheddar cheese and said, “Sorry. The food is so good, I forgot I was drinking beer!”
“That’s our goal,” Scott says, “to ‘WOW’ people.”, when I ask him if he considers this reaction an indication of success for the two-night, sold-out event. “Tonight and every other Beer and Bites, I think, represents my business model: to, in a way, under promise and over deliver. I mean, Tom Willis, our head chef and I talked about the soup for literally two hours just to get it right. My opinion? I think this was the best 5 course beer dinner we’ve ever done.” The smiles on everyone’s faces serve as a testament to the kitchen and wait staff: the meal was prepared, delivered, and paired perfectly.
People trust us. They trust that we’ll do a good job and treat them right. I want them to say ‘Donnelly’s knows their shit’. I mean, this whole beer dinner idea is, from a business standpoint, a failure by design. We don’t make money from this at all. But that’s not the point of hosting them and bringing all these great people together. It’s about the experience that good beer and great food offers. People know that we’re gonna take care of them when they come here, be it a Tuesday for lunch, a Sunday watching the game, or a five course pairing dinner. We’ve got pretty good beer, too.
I’d say that 30 taps of constantly rotating craft beer is better than “pretty good.” I ask him about our city and its rise as a prominent beer scene.
January 24 is National Beer Can Appreciation Day. For a little background info on this historic day in beer, check out this article from History.com:
Canned beer makes its debut on this day in 1935. In partnership with the American Can Company, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company delivered 2,000 cans of Krueger’s Finest Beer and Krueger’s Cream Ale to faithful Krueger drinkers in Richmond, Virginia. Ninety-one percent of the drinkers approved of the canned beer, driving Krueger to give the green light to further production.
Last year, we brought you the beer lovers gift guide to help you find the perfect gift for your beer-loving Valentine. This year, I decided to get crafty in a different way with these vintage-inspired valentines for beer lovers. Let that special someone know you think they’re intoxicating! Send one to your sweetie, or hang one on your fridge as an ode to your true love, craft beer. So what do ya say, Internet… Will you be my Valentine?
As we close the book on 2012, and crack the binding on 2013, I thought I’d take a few minutes to look back over the past year and highlight some of my favorite moments. For me, 2012 was a year of good beer and even better friends. The year started with homebrew days… Spending Sunday afternoons nursing hangovers and brewing up the latest recipe, swapping ideas and making plans for how we would conquer the beer world. Getting “re-drunk” in Oz’s garage, standing around the brew kettle to keep warm. Grilling venison sausage on a fire started with Conaughty’s “shitty poems”, and convincing Trish to try new beers, determined to find some she would like, slowly converting her into a craft beer drinker.
In February, we made our second trip to Southern Tier Brewing Co. in Lakewood, NY with friends, Heidi and Andy. The four of us enjoyed some of our favorite beer as we huddled under the propane heaters on the patio. Later on, Jared led us on a tour of the brewery and let us try 2X Milk Stout straight from the bright tank. It was a great trip despite a little “incident” with Andy and the cab driver, Zero, on the way to dinner in Jamestown, and driving home the next day with hangovers…
I turned 30 in March, and became a Certified Beer Server. Still being somewhat new to craft beer, I was happy to have passed the test and, who knows, maybe it’s just the first step on my way to becoming a Certified Cicerone one day! In April, we traveled to Hunter Mountain for TAP-NY, where we drank unbelievable amounts of delicious NY craft beer and met some amazing new friends, like the Dupas, Lindsey Styborski from Brooklyn Brewery, and Adam Lang & Jan Matysiak, brew master at Sixpoint. (…and we ate SPAM fries!) We met Garrett Oliver in May, during a meet and greet at MacGregors Tap Room. It was really cool to meet the man that creates some of the best beer on the east coast, and literally wrote the book on beer. If you’ve met Garrett, I’m sure you will agree… the man has endless amounts of swag.
The summer of 2012 brought our first experience with Rochester Real Beer Week. This amazing week of beer events in Rochester allowed us to interact with so many great people in the beer industry, not only the locals, but players from all over the country who came in to celebrate Rochester’s expanding craft beer scene. This is when we first met Luke Purcell, brew master at Great Lakes, and Charlie Carson from Anderson Valley Brewing Co. And I ran my first 5k (!!!), the Rochester Real 5k, presented by Sam Adams and Saranac, hosted at Lovin’ Cup.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy new year! I can hardly believe that this site is almost one year old. As I look back on 2012, I am so grateful for what a wonderful experience starting this blog has been. Craft Beer is about people and community. It’s about growth and creativity and enjoying life. Thank you to all of you that have chosen to join me on this journey. This past year has been amazing and I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store. Cheers!
I wanted to put together a post about holiday gifts for craft beer lovers… but in my search for the goods, I stumbled upon the Craft Beer Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide, and wouldn’t you know it, Brian and Maria over at The Roaming Pint already did all the work for me!
So if you’ve got a craft beer lover on your list, shop the craft beer lover’s holiday gift guide and help support The Roaming Pint’s website and in turn, small businesses and breweries across the nation. They’ve got you covered with gifts for everyone on your list, from the novice beer lover to certified beer geeks and connoiseaurs!
See the Craft Beer Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide…
Last week I received an email from Amy over at Rochester A-List about a Victory Beer Pairing at Johnny’s Irish Pub on Culver Rd in Rochester. She asked if I had heard anything about their monthly beer pairing events, that they seemed to be pretty popular. I hadn’t, but my interest was piqued, so I called some friends and we made plans to attend.
When we stopped in, a little before 7pm, the place was full but not crowded. My first time at Johnny’s, I took a minute to survey the area… A quick assessment of the beer selection told me I was among friends. The bar was inviting, softly lit and surrounded by the smiling faces of patrons out enjoying their Thursday night. A handful of tables surrounding the bar, and more in an adjoining room, sat small groups of people already enjoying the featured menu. Dinner started at 5, and we hadn’t made reservations, so I was a little nervous that we’d miss out on the beer pairing… luckily there was a table free and we were able to sit right down.