The Mess That Is Being An Indie Beer Geek: Grocery Store Isle

It is not easy being a craft beer geek. Especially when we are experiencing a down cycle of sorts. It’s extra hard when you only drink Indie Beer.

A trip the store gets more gut-wrenching every time.

At one time we thought craft beer was going to keep getting more and more shelf space as people become aware of what good tasting local and independent beer is all about.

Sadly, Big Beer fought back against this buy buying out a large portion of the formally craft breweries that were big enough to get into the grocery stores (the holy grail for a small brewery).

Nothing exposes the suck of being a beer geek more than going to the grocery store or being in a restaurant that doesn’t have great beer.

Do you buy a ‘situational beer’ (a beer you would not drink or buy normally but are in a tight spot and it needs to happen) or do you not buy anything at all.

I’d like to breakdown why it can be so difficult at the grocery store for us poor souls that stick to their independent beer guns.

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Sierra Nevada’s “The Sampler” Makes For A Nice Peaceful Saturday Night

I have not had a variety pack, with good beer, last so long. I mean that as a compliment. It has legs, in a good way. I’m talking about Sierra Nevada Brewing’s variety pack called “The Sampler”.

The Sampler for Fall 2019 features:

  • Sierra Pale (duh)
  • Coffee Stout
  • 3 Weight (session)
  • Flipside
  • Hop Bullet
  • Torpedo

The website features cans for all but the Coffee Stout and Flipside. That would be cool to find this in cans or mixed, but I only found the ALL bottles version.

The session beer, 3 Weight, as the most interesting to me. But I love sessions, so…

Sierra Nevada's The Sampler variety pack

I got it on sale for $15.99 in my local grocery store, which is a great deal for a craft beer 12-pack. It lasted the better part of a week. I wasn’t exclusively drinking this, mind you, but used it for palet cleansing for bigger Untappd checks.

A lot of people complain that they can’t get the Flipside or the Coffee Stout on its own. I’m not a big fan but appreciate the beer, so for me, having in the Sampler is just fine.

Overall, I would totally pick up this 12 pack again, probably will for Thanksgiving or something. For the variety of it, I would choose it over a 12 pack of Torpedo or a 12 pack of Sierra Pale, 9 of 10 times.

Or just enjoy a nice quiet Saturday night with an old friend, Sierra Nevada.

Summer Of Slush: Beer Slushies Are Good For Indie Craft Beer

Beer Geeks need to let the whole shamming of Beer Slushies subside.

I totally get the shaming, but, slushed beers are delicious. I hate saying that, but dammit, they are.

Three big reasons I like it:

  1. They keep money flowing in craft beer.
  2. Big Beer can do nothing. There is no counter. You think Texas Roadhouse is going to get a Bud Light Slush machine? Actually they might. I should shut up. Shit, I’d be surprised if there ISN’T a beer slush machince the next time I go to Texas Roadhouse or whatever.
  3. Sometimes your significant other might not be all that into beer like you so it’s hard to get them to come down to the taproom with you. But if there is a beer slush available, might be a little easier to convince them.

Aren’t breweries using beer they are having problems selling to blend into slushies?

Yeah, they probably are in many cases. What, are you a Beer Slush Snob now? Cool. Demand better from your slushes. Otherwise, what does it matter? Just drink it or don’t. Hell, it’s more interesting than a simple Lager, that brewers seem to love so much. Yeah I said it.

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Why Do Brewers Love Lagers and Pilsners So Damn Much!?

Because brewers are so fucking bored with flavor and the work, they just want pilsners and lagers.

It’s a good test. A test to see if the brewer knows what the hell he is doing. If he’s got a good lager or pilsner then he probably can brew.

I had always thought that tasting a brewer’s pale is how you judge.

Brewers are annoyed that you like flavors. You dick Beer Geeks, liking all that damn flavor! Screw. You. Guys. I’m going going home with  Zero Hopped Pilsner.

Give us what we want, you brewing bros. Stop trying to shove your Pilsner on is. Homebrew your lagers and drink them all day for all I care.

You’re a damn Pro. And being pro means you have to make some stuff that is interesting and fun. There is nothing fucking interesting and fun about a clean lager.

If you want to be relive your Budweiser drinking days, then go get a Budwieser and leave us be. Where is my Mosaic hopped marshmellow hazy?

Lagers are as boring.
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Sally Citra from Mikkeller SD: HAD IT!

Sally Citra IPA 16oz can

Sally Citra from Mikkeller Brewing San Diego. I had it. Bought a four pack. Here are thoughts about that.

Let me start by saying, I judge beers by how they taste… because that’s how people judge… beer things. But I also judge them by their price. I guess we all do that, either concisely or sub-concisely.

If I’m going to pay $18 for a 4-pack of 16oz beers, I want socks being blown off. My socks stayed on for Mikkeller SD’s, Sally Citra. But, I might have had to pull my socks up ever so slightly.

Definitely not a bad beer. A nice beer, in fact, it’s a very clean beer. I love good clean Citra heavy West Coast IPA. But, the price point really hurt it.

Sally Citra is not worth the price.

UNLESS you have some money in your Beer Budget for exploring. In which case I am very jealous of you because building up a beer budget that has a sub-category for exploring is a big goal of mine.

Here is where my judgment of the beer becomes negative.

The price point. For the 4-pack of 16oz cans, I paid $17.99 at Whole Foods Market in Fresno. Which can be a sorta fair price for a good 4-pack of Indie Beer. I’m not opposed to paying that much. But I have to stretch dollars the best I can so I really take a risk when those 4-packs get up there in price.

Truth is, I would be glowing about this beer if it was $12.99 for the 4-pack. But $17.99, right or wrong, ruins judging the beer in an honest way. Sorry Mikkeller SD and Whole Foods.

Let’s see what others are saying on Untappd:

@RickAus10

and well that is about the extent of the reviews on Untappd, outside of “tasty hazy”, which is sometimes the extent of my reviews on Untappd so I shouldn’t judge.

To give a hazy sum up, it’s a nice beer that is overpriced. If you see it on draft somewhere, give it a try. If you have a nice beer budget and a love for Citra, give it a try. Otherwise, don’t worry yourself about Sally.