Before I get into the review proper, let’s get one thing out of the way. Yes, I’m aware that my last post was over six years ago. I’m going to try to remedy such dry spells. A lot has changed in my life since then. Maybe I’ll write (!) about some of that stuff, or maybe I’ll just move on from here. We’ll see what happens.
BrewPublik: Your Personal Beer Shopper
A little while ago I was approached by the fine folks of BrewPublik to review what they do. On first blush, one might think they are merely a beer delivery service. While that is a big part of BrewPublik – they deliver tasty fermented beverages right to your door – what really sets them apart is what they call their “Beergorithm”. Tell them what your favorite beer is, and they plug it into the Beergorithm, which kicks out a list of beers similar to your favorite.
They offer three month-to-month “subscription” levels:
- Mini – $35/month for 12 bottles of 4 different beers
- Standard – $65/month for 24 bottles of 4 different beers
- Premium – $90/month for 24 bottles selected from 100 limited-release craft beers and imports
“We feel that the value in our product is the recommendation; in helping you discover new beers”, said Charlie Mulligan of BrewPublik. “Sort of like creating a beer tour of your last great beer that you can enjoy in your home. The beers we give you are going to share characteristics, but will also branch out in a few different flavor directions.”
Box of Happy
Once you plug your beer into the Beergorithm, the folks at BrewPublik get to work putting together your box of beer, which they hand-deliver to your door. The presentation is pretty cool. When I say “box”, I don’t mean a boring cardboard box. Your beer comes in a really cool branded wooden box.
I haven’t asked if they want the box back yet. I assume they do, kinda like a brewery wants its keg back. But damn, it’s a nice box.
Would be great to put…things in.
Anyway, an envelope is attached to the box that contains a write-up on each beer within. For someone who’s new to craft beer, this is great information. Each info sheet includes:
- Beer type
- ABV (Alcohol by Volume) and IBU (International Bittering Units)
- A description of the beer
- “What You Should Know” about the beer. Kind of a Fun facts tidbit
- A short review of the beer by the owners of BrewPublik
- Other info like food pairings, notes on similar beers, etc
Also included a nice leather coaster. Nice touch!
Does It Work?
In a word, yes. It’s hard for me to select a favorite beer. A lot of it depends on my mood, what I’m doing, what I’m eating, etc. When BrewPublik asked for my favorite beer, I told them the last great beer I’d had, Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing, an Imperial Stout with cocoa nibs and coffee beans. The beers they selected?
- Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
- Victory Storm King Stout
- Anchor Porter
- Great Lakes Brewing Company Edmund Fitzgerald
True, the latter two aren’t Imperial Stouts; they’re Porters. Perhaps this is what David meant by “branching out into different flavor directions”. I might have chosen other stouts (maybe a chili or oyster stout), but no big deal. While these beers might not be on-point in regards to style, make no mistake that they are world-class beers (as are the Imperial Stouts in the list).
To be honest, I had already had the beers that were delivered to me, and I enjoyed them all. Had I not had them, however, I think I would’ve been happy with the selections the Beergorithm made. Perhaps it’s easier to simply say I was happy with the selections the Beergorithm made and leave it at that.
Bottom line: I told BrewPublik a beer I liked, and they matched me up with four beers that I also like. And they brought these beers to me. In a box. Simply put: Brewpublik works.
Who is this service for? It might not be for the uber-beer geek who’s tied in with the craft beer scene, who goes to all the beer festivals, who knows all the bottle shop owners by name. No, probably not for them. This is, however, a perfect service for someone who’s new to craft beer and who wants to discover more options based on what they know they already like. It’s a perfect gift for that father-in-law or loved one who had a beer somewhere, really liked it, but is unsure how to find out more.
Casual craft beer fans could probably learn a thing or two as well. The owners are knowledgeable about beer, and love to share what they know. As they say on their website, “It’s time to bring crafty, quality, flavorful, delicious beers to the forefront of your mind. It’s time to free beer. It’s time to re-discover beer.”
Discovering new beer without leaving the comfort of your home. Not a bad deal.
It’s been a little over a month since the election, and all the yard signs are gone. I think it’s a law. Vote, get your sticker, and throw both it and your yard sign away on Wednesday morning. Unless you leave the sticker on the front of your Bruce Springsteen t-shirt; then you peel it off the dryer wall on laundry day.
You still see bumper stickers though. Obama08. McCain/Palin. Maybe a Ron Paul. People don’t remove stickers from their cars, I’ve noticed. It’s pretty obvious why campaign supporters keep the stickers on their cars. They’d probably keep the yard signs, too, if the boys downtown would let them. One side is proclaiming that they voted for the victor, and the others are praying that things go to pot so they can say “I told you so” without actually saying “I told you so”.
These signs and stickers are a little like tattoos. People get so hepped up on a candidate that they want to hang it out there for all to see, just like the biker who professes that Mama didn’t love him. In a strange melding of worlds, a couple people got Obama tattoos, giving up epidermal real estate for ink they could believe in.
I never got into either the bumper sticker or the yard sign thing. Some might say it’s due to my lack of commitment, and perhaps they’re right. I don’t have a tattoo because an artist in Wisconsin refused to lay needle to my skin because I couldn’t give him a really good reason for why I wanted a particular design. I guess “’cause it’s kick ass” didn’t quite cut it. Anyway, he tied spirituality to every one of his tattoos; every drop of ink meant something to him. His words took hold, and to this day, I’ve never set foot in a tattoo parlor. I’m not saying I’ll never get one. Rather, I’ve never been able to find anything that defines me within enough to put markings without.
The same goes for political festoonery. I just can’t get behind a political party enough to make any kind of public commitment. Sure, I’ll vote one way or the other on Super Tuesday (and even the not-so-super ones), but so far, I have found no candidate to be “kick ass” enough to warrant a tattoo on my lawn and/or car (although the pre-freakout Ross Perot had potential; I kinda liked the little guy).
As it turns out, lack of commitment has its upside: Zero to little embarrassment when your candidate either loses the race or mucks up after winning. It’s also handy when tattoos of Chinese symbols go out of fashion. No ink means not having to make up some lame story about how drunk you were that time you got a tattoo.
Makes me wonder: are people with McCain/Palin stickers on their Expeditions now standing around the water cooler, spinning their yarns? “Dude, we were so wasted. OK, check it: Spring break, Ft. Lauderdale, and this hot chick from Alaska was handing out bumper stickers…”
I see Kurt Cobain’s name pop up a lot. He’s named as anything from one of the top 10 most influential artists to the Second Coming of Christ and everything beneath, between, and behind. I always wondered why. Aside from speaking to a generation of “those crazy kids”, what specifically about his style made him so damned Messianic? I mean, I liked Nirvana enough, good band, catchy tunes, etc…but joining the ranks of Elvis, Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen and the Eddie Van Halen Band, Zeppellin, or the Beatles? No sir, I just don’t get it.
Then I ran across this from a CNN article:
Time magazine chimed in and praised [Smells Like Teen Spirit’s] “four-chord power sequence that never, ever changes” which, although unique, mixes the rhythm from Boston’s “More Than a Feeling.”
“If you’d asked one hundred Sex Pistols/Ramones wannabes how F-B-flat-A-flat resolves, one hundred of them would’ve told you it goes to C, duh. Kurt [Cobain] knocked the world on its ass by choosing D-flat instead,” wrote Time’s Claire Suddath.
So the answer, my friends, is not blowing in the wind. It’s D-flat al a Tom Scholz. Ebay prices for chord charts and Rockmans should skyrocket with the release of this article.
Ammendment: A friend of mine quickly pointed out that Ms. Suddath was wrong about how a punk-rocker would answer her theoretical question of the musical variety.
Says he, “If you’d asked one hundred Sex Pistols/Ramones wannabes how F-B-flat-A-flat resolves, one hundred of them would’ve told you ‘If you are not going to blow me, shut your c@#t mouth you fucking cow’…..”
Outside the grand ballroom at the newish Westin in Charlotte. How weird is this picture? Thought these critters were all but extinct, but here’s a whole herd, milling about.
Of course, they need human contact to survive, and these are quite lonely.
Perhaps death awaits. Who will place coins on THEIR eyes?
Yes, I did vote early, but only because I got there before someone else did. Let me explain:
We have early voting here, so the wife and I headed down to the polls on Saturday morning. It didn’t take too long; we got there about 8:45, the polls opened at 9:00, and we were out by 9:30 or so.
As we were waiting in line, a woman came by announcing that this was the last opportunity to register before voting. My initial reaction was positive; it’s pretty cool that people can come out, register, and vote all in one shot. It seems that it provides good incentive for those who are not registered to actually get out and vote. The guy in front of us, however, felt otherwise. He began talking about how it makes voter fraud that much easier, citing ACORN and a wild hypothetical situation involving his mother-in-law voting in three states.
He has a point, to a point. While voter fraud may be a bit easier with early voting and on-site registration, as long as they have an ironclad system in place, we should be able to quell those kind of shenanigans, right?
Well, I think the kind registration lady should be my ACORN-hating line-buddy’s least worry.
After patiently waiting in line, I walked in to the polling room and up to the check-in desk, drivers license and voter registration card in hand. There was a sign taped to the front of the desk that said, “Please have your name, address, and political affiliation ready”.
A kind man looked up at me from his laptop, then down to my credentials, and said, “We don’t need any of that. What’s your name?”
Confused, I mumbled something that ended in my name.
“Address?”, he followed up.
I answered his question. His printer whirred and produced a single sheet of paper with my name, address, a barcode, and some other information on it. He instructed me to get in line “over there” and wait for the next available polling machine. He smiled and thanked me for coming out to vote.
There was a long line behind me, and I thought that stopping to ask a lot of seemingly combative questions might not be prudent. Stunned, I walked to and waited in the line, voted, collected the wife when she was done, got in my car, and went home.
I’m still shocked that I didn’t have to prove my identity. Hypothetically speaking, if I knew my neighbor was registered to vote and excited about “going out to the polls on Tuesday”, what would stop me from getting back in line and giving his name and address and voting again?
Can you imagine if you showed up to vote and they told you that you had already voted?
Honestly, if we’re letting people vote without proving their identity, then maybe voter fraud is something we do need to worry about.