Last week I posted the results of March Brewness. It was a giant success in my eyes and thank you all again for voting. I have received a few emails about what went down and how our winner came to be the winner. Apparently there are some out there who feel like there are better breweries, and those breweries should of won. I want to get a few things straight about everything.
This contest was in no way scientific and was purely a “popularity contest.” Whoever got the most votes in their round moved forward. The polls were open for 24 hours in the early rounds and 48 for the last two rounds. Saint Arnold became the winner because they received the most votes. It’s that simple.
In addition to posting the match-ups on this site, I also took the contest to Twitter and Facebook. Call it shameless promotion, I call it running a website in 2011. Brewery Reviewery’s Facebook and Twitter featured links to each round and also attempted to reach the breweries competing on both Facebook and Twitter.
Now here’s where the title of this post really comes into play. Some of the breweries did not have a Twitter or Facebook to alert to the voting. So “fans” or “likers?” of the brewery would only be able to vote for their brewery if they stumbled upon this site. Sad to say, Brewery Reviewery is a growing site, but doesn’t have mass appeal to the craft beer drinking public. Some breweries did allow me to post links on their Facebook pages and @Twitter mentions. For the most part, these breweries moved on while the ones who do not have a social media presence staid back.
Our winner was very proactive in promoting the contest on Facebook and Twitter, and saw massive votes in their favor because of it. Other breweries who have a social media presence choose not to post the links to the contest and eventually fell by the wayside. I’m not saying that to spite them, it is just the facts of what happened and I hold nothing against any of them.
I recently read a study that found that only 9% of social media attempts by major companies proved successful. I think in a craft beer world where items are hand-made and deeply loved this number would see a sharp increase. So what’s my point here? Well I think that breweries need to have an established social media presence. I don’t care if they promote my contest or not, their job is to make great beer. We have so many choices of great beer here in America that just making great beer might not be enough. Connecting with an audience and fostering a community or culture around your product will help people make the choice to buy your product over the dozens of competitors.
While I was running March Brewness I also found a lot of great content for the site. I decided to let the tournament run its course and then post all of the content I found later. Harpoon Brewery (who’s Winter Ale I reviewed this year) put out a nice video on the history of Oyster Stouts. It’s a different kind of beer if you have ever had the chance to try one and I thought this video did a good job of telling the story of them.
If you have never seen The Hopry you might want consider checking out the site. Mark Starr is an excellent beer video blog reviewer who’s taste buds I trust. He posted a great video a few weeks ago on how to cellar beer. Check out the video below, it says everything that needs to be said about cellaring a beer:
I figured with my 100th beer review that I should get something special. Well I did just that and grabbed a bottle of Boston Beer’s Infinium Ale. This beer received a lot of press when it came out and the reaction from the craft beer drinking public was a slightly mixed. Before I go into the review, let’s hear what Boston Beer has to say about their beer.
Our brewers worked for two years with the world’s oldest brewery, Germany’s Weihenstephan, to create this unique new beer style. A groundbreaking brew, made with only the four traditional ingredients: malted barley, hops, water and yeast, Infinium™ is a crisp champagne-like beer with fine bubbles and a fruity, spicy aroma. The crisp clean malt character and delicate fruit notes in this beer are complemented by a slight citrus flavor from dry hopping with Bavarian Noble hops. Bottle conditioning adds another layer of complexity and light spice notes.
Before reviewing this beer I also want to note how cool the bottle and overall packaging for this beer is. It has a great shaped bottle, beautiful screen printing, and a nice cork cover. One I removed aforementioned cork cover I popped the top and pour up a glass (or 4). I choose the only champagne-like glass I had and poured away. This ale came out a nice golden, orange color with a fluffy white head. It was perfectly clear and had tons of bubbles.
The nose was very sweet and reaked of champagne. Overall I thought this beer smelled like it was advertised. There wasn’t a lot of complexity to my nose, but I’m not schooled in the champagne world so the subtle notes were hard to come by. The taste was a good mix of beer and champagne. It was decidedly more on the champagne side of the scale, but it had beer qualities. It had a slight tang to it, but there was a solid bready flavor that represented the beer world well.
I found this beer very drinkable. The 10.3% ABV that it comes in at is very well hidden as well. Almost dangerously so. This is not a typical beer, but I think drinkers of champagne and beer could both appreciate what was done here. The average cost for a bottle of this is around $20, so it hits the wallet hard. It also gives new meaning to the phrase “champagne taste on a beer budget.” If you have some disposable income that you don’t want to give to me, give it to this beer and try it out. Continue reading
All of the votes have been tallied and the winner of March Brewness 2011 is… Saint Arnold Brewing Company of Houston, Texas. Congratulations to Saint Arnold and thank you to all of the voters who participated. All tolled, over 10,000 votes were cast during March Brewness, not bad for this tiny beer blog. I am humbled by the response to this tournament. Thank you again to all of the breweries and voters for taking part in March Brewness. It will be back next year for more fun.