HOMEBREW Digest #5307 Thu 06 March 2008

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  Bottle Sizes (Scott Birdwell)
  Re: Brew Pub (Michael Stumpf)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 14:17:12 -0600 From: Scott Birdwell <defalcos at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Bottle Sizes Our Fearless Leader, Pat Babcock noted: "The carbon dioxide in beer is an overlooked source of bitterness, though the larger bottles being more carbonated than the smaller would be counter-intuitive. I vaguely recall discussions regarding more highly carbonated beers interfering with the perception of hop bitterness. Maybe this is at play here?" I heard a few years ago that AB had reduced Budweiser's IBU level to around 10 and to compensate had upped the CO2 level. Apparently, they gave up on this after a while, and went back to the current 12 IBU level. This might be hogwash, but I seem to recall it coming from a reliable source. You have to ask yourself whether this was done as an economizing measure or whether they just thought that this is what their customers wanted. Anyway, CO2 levels definitely can influence your perception of hop levels. Just think about how different a whisky and water tastes than a whisky and soda. At most bars, the "soda" is just the water with CO2 injected. It may not be hop bite, but the soda version definitely has a tang to it. Scott Birdwell DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies Houston TX Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2008 22:25:28 -0600 From: Michael Stumpf <mjstumpf at pobox.com> Subject: Re: Brew Pub Regarding whether or not it makes sense to start your own beer production: I considered doing this in a different context, attacking a market I see as emerging. As yet I've not done it, but I did collect a lot of recon. Chatting up a seasoned brewmaster in NYC, he shared some thoughts. He told me not to bother trying to fabricate new stuff; there's plenty out there. Just get good at copying. (Honestly, I tend to agree with this); if you're brewing for fun, brew for fun, but most people don't appreciate the stuff you do. Make sure there's a miller-lite clone on tap. He said the perceived "cost savings" evaporate when you factor in that you have to have someone doing the brewing, and they tend to be prima donnas. The minute they start getting good and having options, they shake you down for more money and threaten to leave.. at the very least you risk a disruption of service because that guy was the one who had your beer production fine-tuned. On the positive side, as a corollary to the above, most customers won't notice. He said if it were him, he'd open a beer bar but buy a wide variety of products on the market. If customers don't like something, punt it. It is a simpler business model and it's far more flexible. Now, my opinions: I see where he's coming from, and maybe usurious taxes from New York are contributing to his dour world view. But it sounds like you're looking at providing beer to a venue where typical customers drink swill. As long as you brew the right products, you can use this as a massive cost savings; I think he's overestimating some things but one should definitely consider the sunk cost of equipment, the effect on your bottom line of bad batches, etc. Another example to consider is in Las Vegas. 1 or two blocks off strip, near the Hooters casino, is an older casino most young people would never step foot in. If memory serves, it's Ellis Island Brewery and Casino. Google it. People call it a dive, a casino with the theme of motel 8, etc. True! But What struck me, and why I ended up there daily, is they offered $2.00 16-oz homemade beer (infact it's all they sold--their own). It was a little on the bland side, but I still valued it. And, that guy was no doubt leveraging that cost savings into making the place more profitable. Hope that helps. I'd be curious to hear what you learn, as you learn it. Return to table of contents
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