I recently came across an article by Garry Silverman (US Editor of the FT) under the heading:
"A grateful nation gives thanks for better beer"
Knowing the proclivities of some Insiders, and finding the piece both interesting and witty, I thought I'd leave your with a "doctored" version. Herewith:
"This week, Americans give thanks for the good things in our lives. I would like to express my gratitude.......for delivering us from bad beer.....unlike the music, movies, baseball, journalism, politics and transport, our beer just keeps getting better......the millennial generation have made it clear they want more flavour from their libations - and thousands of independent breweries have come into bring to meet that demand.....(according to the WSJ) " craft beers are now outselling Budweiser....44 per cent of US drinkers aged 21 to 27 have never even tried Budweiser....American beer today offers far more, sometimes too much more. So many potent potables are advertised....that it's a challenge to finish reading the list before last call...I find myself encouraged by the pluck and persistence of our new breed of brewers. These beverage Davids are taking on the Goliaths of their industry - and they are winning. The lesson is that there is more to business than size and economies of scale. Creativity counts too.....beer revolution is responding to a thirst for something more than the products and services offered by the corporate apparatchiks of our sprawling business bureaucracies....similar uprisings are taking place across the world of American food and drink.......there are undoubtedly things to do in this world than to formulate recipes for people with enough money to frequent bars and restaurants....it nonetheless occurs to me that a country capable of improving its beer might one day be able to do something about its music etc etc. "
So there you go. I'll not risk commenting on the author's restatement of the US's " progressive" creed; instead offer a few rather mundane thoughts:
1. A boost to tourism. If true and continued, this trend will at a stroke remove a fundamental objection articulated by UK (beer) alcoholics to the idea of holidaying in the States;
2. A challenge to Marriott bars to diversify/ update the products on offer;
3. A prompt to Marriott's senior executives to ask to what extent, if at all, they fall into the category of "corporate apparatchiks of our sprawling business bureaucracies?
Here's to the next round!
Well, Insiders knew that yours truly would have to jump on this one.
Mr. Silverman as editor of US FT knows better than to think the beer behemoths (InBev, SABMiller, MolsonCoors et al.) are sitting idly by licking their wounds. One only need look at their brands to realize that they get it and are pretty deep into 'craft' brewing (ShockTop, Blue Moon and a whole slew of 'regionals') themselves. The big brouhaha last week (so much so that the Wall St. Journal pulled their article) was over whether or not Anheuser was dropping their Clydesdale ads for the SuperBowl (our football version of the world cup - smaller, but less corrupt ) in their pursuit of the much beloved millennial.
Also, a freshly brewed (from the brewery) Bud, Miller, or Coors is as tasty as they come, so Garry, let's not go all beer snobby on us. Like jakeal just wrote about this week, craft brewers are dumping everything now a days into their drafts, scrapple, bananas, hemp, a brewer's beard, pizza crusts, oysters, and for Christmas, frankincense and myrrh, etc. etc, so sometimes an excellent barley and hops combo is just what the doctor ordered.
I'm all in favor of the variety, because great discoveries are made weekly, but I'm not knocking the original 'training wheels' lagers; like a Fairfield Inn lodger working his/her way up to the Ritz, it was a great place to start and created wonderful memories (some of which, I've no doubt forgotten ). Just don't get me started on the Russians buying PBR .
Rumor has it that Marriott is into "Travel Brilliantly" so no doubt, they will adjust to the changing trend and the 'experience' driven likes of the millennial and that's all to the good, more options for the rest of us. I have no problem riding the wave when it comes to beer selection, just don't remove the desk in my room!. And as for Brits having a better 'holiday' over in the states due to more tasty options; here, here and I'll gladly serve as their/your ambassador. Top of the morning to you.
Bravo! I thought I could depend on you to deliver a forthright response!
To be fair to Silverman, I omitted parts of his article in which he referred to the major brewers' response to the challenge of the craft brewers, and his dislike of the over-elaboration of some of their new products....
" some IPAa today seem to have reached a level of hoppiness more appropriate to kangaroos. I could also do without porters infused with bacon or ales made with graham crackers, marshmallow fluff and other ingredients of key lime pie."
And, in fairness to Marriott, my implied criticism of its bar products was of course a generalisation based on mainly UK and European establishments. The move towards greater hotel autonomy carries with it both an opportunity and a danger. In the short term, I fear that many franchisees will opt to minimise risk and rely on the conventional labels.
As for acting as an ambassador, it will be both a pleasure and an honour.
As if to highlight the point of what they'll put into 'craft' beers, nowadays;
they've got some crazy brewers out there in The specified item was not found. and lindseyh land (although they do grow terrific hops)
Note the $13 price (that's what I'm talking about trends driving prices ).
No doubt on the creative ingredient lists in craft beer. I stopped at the Costco in Leesburg driving back from Thanksgiving in Richmond and they had some Rogue available at a good price point.
It's true! Seems like there's a new brewery popping up every week here in Portlandia! I however, unlike most Oregonians, I am not a huge beer drinker. I prefer cider and lucky for me, most breweries also offer that as well. So I can still hang out with all my beer fanatic friends.
Siracha hot stout....now that sounds dangerous...
Dang, so much beer, so little time.
I would hope Marriott will diversify its beer offerings, although I do like Becks, which is its usual Lager offering in the UK. It would be great if Marriott could move into Cask Ales, but to be honest I'm not sure most Marriott's would have the turnover from thirsty real-ale fans necessary to maintain a fresh pint.
Make no mistake, some Marriott's could do so, those with a city-street entrance to the bar, such as Brussels, Leeds, London St Pancras and Philadelphia meaning their bars do local trade as well as guests, but they are relatively rare, and I therefore suspect cask-conditioned ale will remain a rare sight not only at Marriott's but across all hotel chains, whatever their brand.
Now where was I? Oh, yes... Mmmmmm, Beeeeerrrrrr...
Brightly...Articulate and perceptive.
An example of the " cask conditioned" problem occurred very recently in Manchester (UK) when the Hobgoblin tap was withdrawn because of lack of demand.
What followed illustrates, I think, the primacy of margin over choice: the price of (draught) Peroni, introduced recently at£4.80 per pint, was increased to £5.50 pp, the justification being that this was an appropriate price for a 5 star hotel - perhaps plausible were that true, but it isn't.
A trend I've noticed recently is the introduction by local micro breweries of "US stylestyle" IPAs. Consumption, even in my absence, seems reasonable, but probably still represents too great a risk for the likes of a Marriott franchisee.
Peroni brings up a fascinating issue with me. I have consumed Peroni for over a decade at my local Italian restaurant and awhile back noticed the price creeping up. I asked my buddy, the owner, and he told me, "we're selling more and more to the younger drinkers!" (demand oriented pricing).
You can buy a six pack of Peroni (which is an excellent lager, even those stupid European bottles that are only 11.2 ounces ) in the states for $7.50 (and less when on sale or larger volumes), not much more than America's oldest brewery's product Yuengling (which has undergone a resurgence - doggone kids!). I'm pretty sure I read an article a year or so ago where one of your UK areas (I think it was something like Skegness - forgive me, I wasn't that interested in the locale ) was complaining that Peroni was not allowing them to have any beer because the area was too blue collar (i.e. wouldn't pay a premium).
I'm at an age where I know what I like and don't care what others think. As a matter of fact, I don't want others to like my beers, bourbons, or cigars, it just jacks up the price and I have to pay more for being "trendy". I'd prefer to be square and have more money .
Aaaaah, sunny Skeggy!
As a born-and-bred "Lincolnshire Yellowbelly" I spent the first 20 years of my life living in Boston... No, not that colonial imitation in Massachusetts, but the REAL THING. In Lincolnshire. Population (inc surrounding villages such as Frampton Marsh, Kirton, Wainfleet, Langrick, etc, etc) 30,000.
Now Boston holds the record for the largest Parish church in England, St Botolphs, fondly known as "The Stump". And it's also only 22 miles to Skegness, where my parents took me (and my sister) every summer for a week away in a caravan... Gosh, I so loved the bright lights of Skegness!
In my later years, I like many Bostonian teenagers, would drive my way over to Skeggy every weekend for the nightlife, such was its paucity in Boston.
So, you're right, erc, it is indeed Skegness that has been banned by Peroni, and it's a tribute to the internet that this information has made its way into the consciousness of DC residents, over 3,500 miles away, in the most politically powerful city in the world! There is indeed no Peroni in Skeggy. Do you know any lobbyists who have the ear of the President who could resolve this dreadful injustice against my local seaside resort? I'm sure a quick word from Obama into Renzi's ear about Skeggys Peroni-plight would do the trick. So how about it? Bring Peroni to Skeggy... It's only right!
The consciousness of DC? Heck, I'm amazed it was pulled out of the dark recesses of yours truly's brain (I was struggling so much to call your native town Segway).
Here's a tip - like our own beloved, Coney Island, put on a hot dog eating contest
(original champion Takeru Kobayashi and current title holder Joey Chestnut)
Several establishments in this cozy zone of Americana serve Peroni (to include, but not limited to Totonno's)
Thanks for sharing arkwright.
As a follow-up to your article, here is a post about Delta's recent announcement of craft beer on certain flights: