Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ask the Beer Guy: Seasonal brews, Three-tier system, CBS and more...

Brant Schweinsberg (yep, the guy with the mallet!), is our resident beer guy and bar manager here at the Monkey, and a great source of knowledge about everything craft beer. We’ve been getting a lot of beer questions from our Facebook and Twitter friends, and wanted to share:

Any recommendations for a seasonal session beer? Something off the beaten path? – Robert
Robert, I know it is late in the season for them, but any of the Oktoberfest beers we still have on are great. Ramstein Oktoberfest is one of the most highly rated in the country, and they are a NJ brewery! I also have a cask of Wells Bombardier, which is an ESB, that I will be tapping soon. Real Ale from England…does it get any better? Stay turned to Facebook and Twitter for details.

What do you think of the Three-tier system of beer we have here in the US? Does it make it more difficult to get the beers you want to sell, or are the distributors able to provide you with what you want most of the time? Or is it a wash due to the variety a distributor can provide you with one stop shopping? – Jonathan M.
Jonathan, that is a great question. The Three-tier system has its pros and cons. For those of you unfamiliar with the system, this is how it works: Brewers and Importers (tier 1) sell to wholesalers (tier 2), who sell to retailers (tier 3). As a retailer, I don't mind the Three-tier system. When I think of the number of breweries I deal with, ordering from each one would be challenging to say the least. Plus, it would probably put a lot of strain on the breweries having to deal with retailers and consumers requesting beer. It is difficult to estimate how that additional strain would factor into additional cost. So, as a consumer, it is a system that I'm not a fan of because of the added cost. But as a retailer, I really don't mind that much.

We’re stopping in soon, and would love it if you could recommend something to try apart from our favorite Great Divide Yeti. Any suggestions? - Jonathan
Jonathan, if you wanted to stick with the Imperial Russian Stout style, you are actually going to have to dip into our bottle selection. For the first time since I've been here, I don't have an Imperial Russian Stout on draft. Don't worry, that will change soon.

As far as bottles go, you can never go wrong with Stones Imperial Russian Stout. To me, it is the benchmark for all Imperial Russian Stouts. I absolutely love that beer. We also have Stone's Cherry Chocolate Stout. It is a wonderful dessert beer.

If you want to stick with Great Divide, we have the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and the Belgian Yeti. You may also want to try Schlafly Imperial Stout.

Will the Iron Monkey be getting Founders CBS? - @TheKegTap
We will definitely be putting on Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout, though we just don’t know when. Everyone will be updated via Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to follow us at Facebook.com/IronMonkeyBar and @TheIronMonkey.

If you have a question you’d like Brant to answer, email us at ironmonkeybeerguy@gmail.com, or post on our Facebook wall at http://www.facebook.com/ironmonkeybar. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we’ll get answers up on a future blog post. Cheers!

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