Wednesday, December 09, 2009

2009, In Their Words--Part 2

Yesterday, you saw thoughts and opinions from Maureen Ogle, Carolyn Smagalski, Mike Scotese (Scoats), Jim Wiggins, and Nick Johnson. Next up are (chosen in random order) Lew Bryson, Brian Yaeger, and Jennie Hatton. Please be sure to click the links and visit their sites. It shows that you came from The Brew Lounge and that you care about their work :)

Lew Bryson (Writer of many things beer and whiskey and taker-upper of causes like Banishing the PLCB) "I’m looking back over my blog to remind me what happened this year. We’re finally seeing some backlash on extreme beers; Yards and Philly Brewing have both settled in (and seem to be getting along); some great new beer bars opened in the area; Penn Brewing closed but then miraculously revived; collaboration among brewers exploded; the economy brought cries to raise booze taxes; Philly Beer Week also exploded and the “Beer Week” phenomenon spread across the country; we lost Gary Bredbenner; craft beer rocked right along (as did bourbon and Irish whiskey, not that any of you care); Iron Hill broke open south Jersey; the General Lafayette didn't go under; Victory expanded (again); Flying Fish developed an Exit strategy; the beer festival business changed; and this damned beer writing gig finally got profitable. Next year? Assuming the economy continues the recovery that seems to be happening, craft beer should continue to expand and local brewers will be part of that. We’ll see more German joints building on the success of Brauhaus Schmitz and the beerhalls of NYC; I hope Philly also continues to build its cocktail culture. Philly Beer Week faces a tougher job of adjusting to a new month and a raised bar of expectations (that I’m confident will be met). Please please please…more brewpubs in Philadelphia proper?"
Brian Yaeger (Writer of many things as well...most recently Red White and Brew) "I had a great 2009 and hope y'all did, too. Each year seems to be increasingly monumental in the world of beer, and 2009 was no exception. I'm continually amazed and thrilled at the new, jaw-dropping beers that come out, the depth of passion and innovation that brewers keep bringing to the table, the interest and education with which ale enthusiasts enrich the community, and how fun it continues to be. So in the end, I will remember 2009 as the year of celebrating and 2010 will be the year for celebration. For you see, 2009 was also the year of acceptance. I found Half Pint, my girlfriend, in 2008. This year, she accepted that I periodically turned our kitchen into our home brewery as I joined the ranks of homebrewers back in January. She accepted that I ignored her for a stretch during the inaugural, annual SF Beer Week back in February. And when she wasn't lucky enough to be ignored, it was because I dragged her to the Toronado Barleywine Festival. On Valentine's Day. And she hates barleywines. She accepted that I went from low-earning to lower-earning as I focused on being a full-time beer scribe after my book came out in late '08 and landed my first All About Beer cover story in early '09. In this vein, she accepted that going off to San Diego for a week is now a "business trip." Hell, she even accepted that I'd be gone for an entire month to go on another solo x-country road trip as another "fact-finding mission" for the follow-up manuscript. All in all, she's a very understanding, tolerant, and accepting person. Anyone who lets me turn our romantic vacation to the island of Vieques be capped by a trek to Puerto Rico's only brewpub (Old Harbor Brewery) is my kinda gal. Anyone who goes to Wisconsin for work and checks a bag explicitly to bring me back some New Glarus is the gal for me. So it was in this frame of mind, as we drove out to GABF together, that I accepted I don't need or want to be a bachelor my whole life. I proposed and she--after initially telling me to shut up, insisting I was joking--accepted. I now need to come up with a few good recipes for our wedding. We literally scratched off the list any venues that wouldn't allow homebrew to be served at the reception. Hence, 2010 will see the even more phenomenal and exhausting 2nd Annual SF Beer Week, more brewery openings, more big barrel-aged beers, more beer stories to work on, and, in early May, one awesome celebration. Happy, hoppy holidays and may your 2010 be even better than your 2009, Brian"
Jennie Hatton (providing PR to the stars of eats and drinks at Profile PR) "A few things - 2009 was the year of the collaboration brew. Prediction - 2010 will be the year of the collaboration brews between the "bigger" and "smaller" breweries (does that make sense?) 2009 - Wine vs. Beer Dinners were hot. Prediction - 2010 - Dinners featuring both wine and craft beer pairings will be hot 2009 - "Beer Weeks" sprouted up all over the country. Prediction - 2010 - More Beer Weeks - Beer Weekends - heck, I bet someplace tries to create a Beer Month - but none will compare to Philly's because they just don't have what we've got - a community of beer people - from sales reps to brewers to bar and restaurant owners - that all work together to promote how great the local beers and craft/import beer selection is in this town. 2009 Philly Beer Week brought over 600 amazing beer events to our region and brewers from around the US. Prediction - 2010 Philly Beer Week will have over 1,000 events, brewers from around the world. Things I'd like to see in 2010 - A "Brewers of Philadelphia" calendar that helps raise $ for PBW; Someone to PLEASE bring back the "Big Mouth" packaging and put some great beer in there; more of our local beers available in the Midwest and West Coast; and Bryan Kolesar at more events in Philly."

Stop back tomorrow to read yet more sage tidbits from (chosen once again in random order) Suzanne Woods and Howard Weintraub.


Lew Bryson said...

Bravo Jennie on why PBW works:

a community of beer people - from sales reps to brewers to bar and restaurant owners - that all work together to promote how great the local beers and craft/import beer selection is in this town.

I'm all for local beer. I drink it, I support it, I love it (and I'd love it even more if more brewpubs opened in Philly). But Philly Beer Week is not Philly Local Beer Week. I've heard local brewers carp about how they get ignored during PBW: hey, me too! Out of town beer writers come to town and they're celebrated; me, I'm chopped liver. Hey, no sweat, that's the deal. You and me, we're here 24/7/365.

For PBW, you just have to go with the flow and be so damned happy that local people are getting fired up about beer (because they'll still be fired up the following month, when you're there to talk to them and the out-of-staters aren't) and the out-of-towners are getting fired up about Philly beer...cuz that's you, and they'll want you when they go home. It's all good. It works for me, too. Support Philly Beer Week! It's good for all of us!

Brian Yaeger said...

Lew, don't knock the pate. As for PBW and drinking local, I think the ultimate road trip would be to all the various BWs that have and will pop up. Not sure how PBW varies from my SFBW, but everyone here is encouraged to organize their own events--brewers, sales reps, writers, etc. Looking forward to seeing what your Drink Philly Beer event for PBW2 shapes up to be.

Lew Bryson said...

Okay, I'm old: what's "the pate"? I thought that was the top of someone's head.

It's PBW3 -- we're the original! -- and we're organized: we inherited organization from a long-running event, The Book and The Cook festival, and it's worked very well for PBW. It generates money for publicity, works to get city organizations (like transit and the tourism board) to take us seriously and work with us. Not saying it's the way it has to be, just that it's worked for us. There's a steering committee that encourages participation, helps get beers, brewers, speakers, and venues together, but it's not "you must go here and you must not go here": I mean, it's beer, right?

Hadn't planned a Drink Philly Beer event; I have done "Upstate PA Beer" events the past two PBWs.

Brian Yaeger said...

Ooh, PBW3. Yep, yer rockin' in. I knew Philly beat SF out of the gate, but didn't realize by a whole year.

As for not knocking the top of your head, I meant Pâté (re: your comment about being chopped liver) but was too lazy to include snooty, elitist, freedom-hating French accent marks the first time.