Big Beer and Little Breweries

Big Beer and Little Breweries

This month AB Inbev (Anheiser Busch) purchased one of my favorite breweries, Wicked Weed. This purchase brought out a flood of emotion from craft brewery fans who accused Wicked Weed of “selling out”. Believe me, I get it. But at the same time, I have a certain empathy for a business owner who cashes in when their business reaches that next level. Here’s the problem…AB Inbev is the enemy of small craft breweries like Big Ugly. They want to drive us out of business and capture our customers. Whenever they can, they want to make it difficult for the little guys. Small craft breweries have a certain brotherhood. We help each other out, and we generally like each other (except for Adam the Brewer from Gordon Biersch, no one likes him) with the philosophy that a rising tide lifts all boats (no idea what this means but it sounds good). AB Inbev has no such feelings, They are a big business who sees every other brewery as competition. Would Big Ugly ever sell to Big Beer? I never see that happening, but if it ever does, we promise to throw our loyal customers an epic party! The Big Ugly family is consumed with all things beer. I like to spend my free time searching the internet for hops, while head brewer Evan spends hours looking for new and innovative ways to improve our beers. We didn’t start Big Ugly in order to simply strike it rich, then go home. We did it because we absolutely love craft beer and everything about it. We love drinking beers, talking about beer, and brewing beer. I am not exaggerating when I say that I dream of beer recipes at night. And since opening the brewery, I have come to love the beer lovers of Chesapeake. They are like family to me, and I feel a certain responsibility to them as the local brewer, to brew the best possible beer for my friends. Rest assured, we plan on being your hometown brewery for many years to come.

 

Now, onto our latest beer… Remember last years Daytripper, our wheat IPA? We’ve brewed it again, but this time with a New England twist. The beer clocks in at a very sessionable 5.6%ABV, but is loaded with the hops we all love, Citra and Amarillo. It’s a juice bomb that lacks bitterness and is totally crushable. Get it while you can, because it won’t last long. Next up will be another Big Ugly favorite, Hot Pursuit. With over 100 lbs of pineapple, and over a hundred habanero peppers, this sweet/hot beer is perfectly balanced and a Big Ugly favorite.

 

Cheers!

 

Bim

When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Sh*t Gold!

When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Sh*t Gold…I immediately thought of this quote from my favorite rap group, Atmosphere, when we had a near catastrophic disaster while brewing last week. The Ape Hanger Russian Imperial Stout had just been transferred into the boil kettle, when a severe storm knocked out the power. Head Brewer Evan called me to discuss the situation, and the decision was made to lower the Ph, cool the wort as soon as the power came back, and sour the beer up with yogurt to create a whole new beer. The alternative was to waste nearly 2000 lb of grain that we used, and dump the beer. Hence, a new beer was born. The beer will next be aged on tart sour cherries and cocoa nibs (1 lb per gallon of fruit) and when the flavor is just right, we will keg it up and see how it tastes. It still may end up as a drain pour, but it also may be the greatest beer we’ve ever made! Either way, it’s gonna be unique. And that, friends, is one of the things that makes a small brewery like Big Ugly, unique. When you’re cranking out 200,000 barrels a year, there isn’t much room to deviate outside the box. When you’re Big Ugly, there is no box! Stay tuned. And if you know of any great names for this lightning inspired creation, feel free to share it with us.

Cheers!
Bim

Who Feels Like a Nut?

COCONUT!!!!! I hate coconut! If I get a piece of chocolate candy and it has coconut in it, I pitch it. However, put some coconut in a dark beer and I can’t get enough. Such is the case with our next new release, No Joy. No Joy uses our award winning Ghost Rider porter as the base. Then we add coconut…lots and lots of coconut. This beer has almost a pound for every gallon of beer, in addition to mesh bags stuffed with cocoa nibs, and a touch of almond extract. It’s been a slow process brewing this beer, adding the various adjuncts and waiting for the flavors to meld together, but we think the wait will be worth it. No Joy is an Almond Joy bar in a glass. So if you feel like a nut, come grab a snifter, sit back, and prepare for your senses to blown away! At the time of this post, No Joy is still in the tanks, but we hope to have it kegged and on tap within a week, so stay tuned. We also just brewed a new version of what’s quickly becoming a Big Ugly favorite, Leaf Peepers. This time we made an imperial version, that will be double dry hopped for tons of juicy hop aroma and flavor. The beer went into the fermenter today, so expect to see it pouring in about two weeks.
Cheers!
Bim