My apologies to all for the sudden pause on posts. It was pointed out to me that I seemed to be getting increasingly negative towards breweries when I shouldn’t be. I decided it’s time I rethought what this blog was to stand for and where it needs to go. But to get where we are going we should take a look back at where we started.
The blog was originally started as a way to get the good word out about craft beer in Kansas. As we both grew up the beer everybody seemed to gravitate towards was Bud, But Light, Coors, Coors Light, Miller, etc. As I began to drift away from that I found newer and more exciting beers out there to try. I found that those lighter beers could not quench my thirst when it came to beer. I needed flavor, hops, and all the amazing things that can be put into beer. For me, this blog was a way of writing down what I’ve had and letting you all know what was available. In my mind it is a stepping stone for people who are trying out new beers but are still timid about trying some of those beers.
This blog was also started as a way for the two of us to learn more about beer. The terminology, the flavors, and all the little things that are involved in the beer industry. I feel that we have both come a long way in our ability to taste the little nuances in beer flavor. I’ve also learned way more about the industry through various friends that are directly involved in the beer industry.
The most important aspect of the blog though is to educate. There are not a lot of people talking about beer in Kansas and I felt that should change. Not only do I want to inform people of the different offerings available to them but I want to spark a change. It’s probably naive of me to think this but I wanted to spark a change in laws, distribution, and drinking habits of all Kansans. I felt the laws hold back something that gained a lot of momentum and provided many jobs in several surrounding states. I also feel the laws limit the breweries that are active in this state. The distribution and drinking habits I’ve noticed are changing. Slowly. But the times they are a changin’. It will take a while for those to fully embrace the change but it will come. At least this infographic gave Kansas to Free State Brewing so that’s something.
This blog was and is a way to show that at least some of us here in Kansas want better tasting beer. Some of us want the same access to that beer that other places have. We lived in Atlanta for 4 years and we could get beer there that came from neighboring states to Kansas but once back in Kansas we couldn’t get it. I know you’ve all heard this rant before so I apologize for the redundancy, but I feel it’s a valid point that needs to be repeated over and over again.
If you haven’t noticed by now I am very passionate about beer. This is probably the one thing I have been most excited and passionate about ever. Sometimes this passion leads to frustration, jealousy, and anger (oh no, the Darkside). I read other beer blogs and I become jealous of the beers that they can access. Some are beers that we can’t get in this state (Dogfish Head, Nebraska Brewing, Oskar Blues, etc) and some seemingly are, but not really. For example, Lagunitas. They show up in the states ABC list and they can be found in Kansas City KS but that’s it. At least for now. I hope that they make it statewide, but it’ll take work to get them there. Others such as Dogfish Head will just be a brewery that I will have to drive to a neighboring state to purchase. Maybe someday they’ll get here (and hopefully not just KC) but that won’t be for a long while most likely.
Other frustrations I’ve had lately have been finding bad beer stocked on the shelves of liquor stores, liquor stores being told things that are not true (I wish I could explain better on here but I can’t), and other things that involve my real job as an archaeologist (those too I cannot discuss). All of these frustrations lead to some anger that is lashed out at the wrong people and yet sometimes the right people. As a consumer of beer if I find a problem with the beer who do I tell? Odds are if I tell a brewery about the problem they will tell me that they are sorry and that will be the end of it. This leads me to my biggest frustration and that is the Kansas Wasteland. I get frustrated because of this due to breweries avoiding Kansas. This is either by not bringing their beer to the state or offering special deals/tastings/get-togethers in cities that are several hours away. I realize that KC and Wichita have a large portion of the population in this state but there are other large cities or large towns that could and probably would support such a thing.
I apologize for that rant. As you can clearly see it is the one major irritation I have come across with beer in this state.
It was pointed out that I unfairly put blame on the breweries for some of these flaws. So I would like to take this time to apologize to those breweries. I know that you can’t be everywhere all the time to check on your products. I also know that many times even a single beer is so miniscule in the grand scheme it’s not worth doing anything about. I also know that each liquor store can make the mistake of putting out a beer they find buried deep in the back somewhere without checking on the dates on the bottle. I also realize that even the distributors are partially at fault for some of these slip ups. Instead of rushing into a conclusion I should step back and look at the larger picture. From here on out I will complain about these problems without putting blame on anyone. Instead it will be my way of politely informing you that there is a problem with one of your products purchased from a local establishment.
I would also like to apologize for any other negativity that I have said about breweries. If I have questioned whether you are a real craft brewery or not I apologize. You see sometimes beers show up on liquor store shelves with little to no warning and when there is more than one six pack with fantastic artwork that I’ve never heard of before, I take a second look at it. I’ve bought some beer in the past only to learn of conections to much larger institutions. So I am sometimes very skeptical about what I am picking up. I also apologize to breweries if I have been overbearing on bringing your product to the state of Kansas. Again that is a jealousy issue and all I really want is to experience it myself in my house without having to drive any further than my local liquor store.
One thing I won’t apologize for though are my reviews of the beers themselves. I know that my taste buds are going to be different and what I like may not be what everybody else likes. As I’ve said before taste is subjective. I try to be fair but at times I have found some beers to be no where near what I enjoy. If I don’t enjoy a beer then it is very difficult for me to write a positive review. Just remember that some of the best criticisms are the negative ones. Things cannot improve if you surround yourself with yes men. Besides many beers that I’ve enjoyed other bloggers or beer enthusiasts have disliked.
The first thing about the future of this blog is that it is an uncertain future. The reason is that at this time I am actively trying to get a job in the beer industry. If and when that happens it is likely this blog will have to go due to conflict of interest. Perhaps though I can just turn in it into a simple photo gallery of the beers that I have. For now though I will continue to do reviews. Although it should be noted that all reviews and anything I say is my personal opinion and in no way are these opinions associated with any breweries, brewpubs, distributors, or personnel from any of the previous mentioned establishments.
The things that will change about this blog is the blatent negativity toward breweries. It is not appropriate and uncalled for. I will focus more on the beer and my opinion of that beer. Remember though if I don’t like it that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. Perhaps you will find it to be quite good. Afterall it is a free country and we are allowed to think what we want. We just have to speak through a filter. Therefore I will also stop posting without having an editor at least read through and make sure things are rephrased properly. Sometimes my filter is as good as hula hoop.
These things are the only problems I could come up that will be changed. If there is anything that any of you (my wonderful readers) have noticed please comment below and I’ll take them into consideration.
Now back to the posts.