I have to admit it’s neat that they’re using spent grains for cereal. The marketing is a little cheesy but what’re you gonna do?
Fortunately, you can have jam with that.
54-40’s Red Zeppelin is a red ale, and it’s a chilled, toasty, delightful beer to have on a 93 degree day.
But this beverage has a cold chocolate ribbon through it and I am pleased to have it. The finish is a little bitter but it’s a toasted bitter, not a hop bitterness. The finish isn’t very crisp but this drink reminds me, just a little of the drinkable chocolate drinks I’ve had, except it’s cold.
The second round, I slow down enough to see if I can smell anything and I can’t pick anything up. Again, one of the things I seem to noting is how cold this beer is. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s been such a hot day, or because the beer is colder than usual.
The chocolate note is right below the toasted flavor now, and while I cannot say that the Red Zeppelin has changed, I certainly have noticed the toast more than the chocolate. Still, a pretty damn lovable red ale; just about everything you want in the style and light enough that you can have a couple of them.
If you’re paying attention to the craft beer scene like I am, there is a lot of flux going on right now. Partly because of market saturation, partly because some of these startups from over twenty years ago have gotten big enough to pose a problem for the gigantic breweries, and partly because after over twenty years, some of these craft brewers are finding themselves in a place where maybe it’s time for them to retire. Or just try something else.
So, you have problems like the ones outlined here.
And I find this a fascinating insight into the industry for a few reasons. First, you have the “what’s this person going to do?” question, which is always a challenging one.
Second, you have an insight into what happens when a small player gets glommed onto the big machine of industry. It looks a lot like that machine doesn’t care about the gaps that people on the ground floor see.
Third, you have the impact on those people who worked for the small player. How does the culture really change?
The more I think about it, the more I wonder if many breweries would really be happier if they kept their ambitions modest.