Your Views On Imported Beer

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For our 122th Session, our host will be Christopher Barnes, who writes I Think About Beer. For his topic, he’s chosen to elicit everyone’s Views on Imported Beer, which he explains more fully:

I love imported beer, specifically Belgian and German beer. They’re what I drink. My cellar is made up of Belgian beers, my fridge is full of them, and there a few stashed around in a closet or two as well. Imported beer is my life. I drink them. I write about them. I travel to experience them. In fact, my career involves working with Imported Beer. I manage several prominent import portfolios for a Oregon craft focused wholesaler. And while I have a vested interest in the success of Imported Beer, it doesn’t lessen my passion for the traditional beers of Europe. As craft beer sales have surged across America, sales of imported beers have suffered. I’m going to ask a couple of questions.

For American and Canadians: What place do imported beers (traditional European) have in a craft beer market?

For Non North Americans: How are American beers (imported into YOUR country) viewed? What is their place in your market?

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So what’s your take on imports, or as some people say disparagingly, foreign beer? How do they fit into the craft movement, or the beer landscape in its entirety? Are they useful, out-dated, a necessary evil, a valid category, what? I need to know, dammit. SO please let us know your “Vues sur la bière importée,” or your “Ansichten über importiertes Bier,” or even your “Bekeken op geïmporteerd bier.” Personally I’d like to know your “Opinie na temat piwa importowanego” and your “Synspunkter om importeret øl.” But don’t forget your 輸入ビールの眺め or your Просмотры на импортированном пиве.

To participate in the April Session, on or before Friday, April 7, 2017 — which is this Friday, just a few days away — write a post about your views on imported beer. “Leave a comment with a link to your post in the comment section” of the original announcement, and “have fun and please do participate.”

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C2CT2: Second Annual Coast To Coast Toast November 15

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Last year, Vanberg & DeWulf, the beer import company founded by Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield, celebrated their 30th anniversary with a Coast to Coast Toast. It was such a great success, that they’re doing it again this year. C2CT2 — Coast to Coast Toast 2 — will take place this year on November 15, which in Belgium is “King’s Day,” a national holiday celebrating their monarchy. So it’s a great date to celebrate Belgian beer and Belgian culture.

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Last year, about 350 establishments across the country participated in the Coast to Coast Toast to Belgian beer. This year, Wendy tells me it should be at least 400. If you want to see if there’s a C2CT2 event taking place near you, there’s a list you can download at their website. If you want to consider hosting a toast, you can sign up at Eventbrite.

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Even if you can’t make it out — I’m staying in again and toasting with the missus, for example — toast them in the comfort of your home. It should be easy enough to find one of the great beers they import. Any beer from the following Belgian and European breweries will fit the bill.

  • Amiata
  • Castelain (also St. Amand)
  • De Cam
  • Dilewyns
  • Dubuisson (Scaldis and Cuvee de Trolls)
  • Dupont (also Moinette, Foret, Les Bons Voeux and others)
  • Ölvisholt BrugghÚs, Iceland
  • Slaghmuylder (Witkap Stimulo Singel Abbey Ale)
  • V&D exclusive collaborations with De Troch (Lambrucha)
  • V&D exclusive collaborations with Et Famille (Lambickx)
  • V&D exclusive collaborations with Scheldebrouwerij (Hop Ruiter)

You can also find a list of all of their beers in their portfolio at their C2CT2 website.

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Politics & Big Beer Brands

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Here’s a curious piece of data, showing how which big beer brand you prefer may determine how likely you are to vote in the upcoming election and whether you lean more to the Democratic side of the aisle, or the Republican. The poll was conducted by Scarborough Research and the results written up in the National Journal as What Your Beer Says About Your Politics.

But it’s only the big brands that were tallied, the domestics and the most popular imports. The only one close to craft is Samuel Adams, who in most people’s mind, I think, is straddling both worlds right now. Even so, there are a few surprising results, at least to my mind. I would not have thought, for example, Samuel Adams drinkers would skew so heavily Republican. Maybe it’s the naked jingoism, the patriotic perception of the brand, I don’t know.

The other one that surprised me was that Heineken skewed so far on the Democratic side. I tend to think of Heineken as a brand that people who don’t know any better think is a high end, premium brand, in the same way bald, middle-aged men drive Corvettes to recapture their youth, not realizing it’s no longer the hip car it once was. But maybe that’s just my own bias. In any sort of polling, I rarely fall under the “typical” findings.

Take a look at the chart below and see what you think. Does it make sense to you?

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The chart is tough to see this small, but you can see it full size, or look at on the original National Journal post.