#beerclub Beer of the Week: Sprecher Winter Brew

To keep on the theme of seasonal beers, this week the #beerclub is drinking Milwaukee’s own Sprecher Brewery Winter Brew. A Bavarian Style Dunkle, Winter Brew is a beer to warm you up during the cold winter months in Wisconsin.

This #beerclub is special because we’re going to be doing it in person. Genevieve and Craig have opened their house up to the beerclub for a nacho dinner and #beerclub in person meeting. This is an event you surely don’t want to miss. Make sure to RSVP and find out more information on the official Twitvite. It’s fitting that we’re drinking the Winter Brew at the scene of this horrendous event. Come out and celebrate the season, drink along with good friends and remember the fallen Winter Brew next Monday.

Sprecher Winter Brew

Sprecher Winter Brew

A flavorful blend of dark roasted and sweet caramel malts defines this smooth and robust lager. The rich, nourishing flavors of a full-bodied Munich bock make this Bavarian-style brew perfect for those long winter nights.

Randy’s Notes: “Winter brew is a Munich style dunkel bock of much repute among those who know us best. It has won the World Beer Cup, Gold and Bronze medals.”

Winter Brew Facts

Available Dec. through Feb.
Alcohol by Volume: 5.75%
Degrees Plato (Initial Gravity): 14.5P
Weeks Aged: 8
Bitterness Units: 0 IBU
Year First Brewed: 1986
Serving Temperature: 50°
Malts: Black Patent, Caramel, Chocolate, Pale
Hops: Cascade, Chinook, Mt. Hood, Tettnanger
Sizes: 1/4 and 1/2 Barrels, 16oz Bottles

Craft Beer-or Just Beer-and Women

At a recent beer bloggers conference one panel (rightfully) focused on Marketing Craft Beer to Women, which intrigued me because it’s something I’ve been concerned with for the past few years.  In some respects it’s a similar issue to marketing sex videos to women. Say what? Take a sip of craft beer and think about it. Porn/sex videos were originally made by men for mens’ pleasure. It took awhile to realize that many women did not enjoy the scenarios as much as guys not because they don’t like sex or sex videos but because they appreciate a different perspective.

Until recently, beer has pretty much been marketed exclusively to guys. So it’s been about men drinking and being served by luscious babes and/or guy humor, bonding over sports, grilling, etc.  Suffice it to say, a majority of beer advertising lacked many seductive notes or nuances. Now we have an increasing number of seductive beer ads, e.g., the sweaty bottle, and also ads showing brewers and people with a passion for the industry as well as the product. And that is largely due, I believe, to the influence of craft beer whose motto is best stated by Beer Advocate’s founders, Jason and Todd Alstrom: “Respect Beer.” Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, not only was a leader in bringing craft beer to the “masses,” but he is one of the most creative marketers of craft beer. So I give props to Jim who came up with the “Don’t be afraid of flavor” craft beer campaign.

Perhaps you’re wondering where I’m going with this, what’s the tie-in with women and sex videos? Body image.  Beer commercials aimed at women almost exclusively focus on the lowest calorie beers. Too many calories = fat = unattractive. And now the beer calorie terror has spread to men. Is it MGD 64 that has a frequently played ad with neurotic thin men exercising so they can drink another Mich Ultra while the savvy guy drinking MGD 64 just stands around calm and collected? So not only are women worried about becoming fat if they drink beer, men are concerned too.  Funny, because vodka cocktails have more calories per ounce than beer and yet, you won’t see a vodka ad that plays to calorie anxiety.  Instead, you see signifiers of good taste such as people relaxing and enjoying themselves among friends in pleasant surroundings.

As far as beer is concerned it gets back to “Respect Beer,” and “Don’t Be Afraid of Flavor,” whether you’re a man or a woman.  Try some craft beers with friends, in a special beer glass or wine glass, and talk about the flavors you taste.  Enjoy what you’re drinking; savor the experience. And as far as marketing beer to women, good taste always sells.

#beerclub Beer of the Week: Sierra Nevada Celebration

Sierra Nevada Celebration

Sierra Nevada Celebration

We’re heading into the holiday season and that means it’s time for holiday beers. We’ve also had a few fresh/wet hop beers. This week for #beerclub we’re combining these two and drinking Sierra Nevada Brewing Celebration Ale. This is a “fresh hop” ale

“The long, cold nights of winter are a little brighter with Celebration Ale. Wonderfully robust and rich, Celebration Ale is dry-hopped for a lively, intense aroma. Brewed especially for the holidays, it is perfect for a festive gathering or for a quiet evening at home.”

Join us on Monday Night December 13th for Sierra Nevada Celebration.




This blog presents a perfect opportunity to explore topics relating to beer outside of just which beer we’re drinking each week. It’s in this spirit that I’ve invited Genevieve (@Einley) to become a contributor to the site.

Genevieve is one of the core members of the #beerclub. She’s attended every single virtual meeting and even though she hasn’t liked every beer we’ve tried, she keeps coming back to experiment. As a craft beer loving mother and wife, who’s not afraid to tell it like it is, she adds a fresh perspective to the club and I look forward to reading her thoughts on beer and beer culture in future posts.

– Mitch

The other day on twitter, @AnneSprecher posted a general question to all of her followers, “What was your first beerpiphany?”   I answered back that I would have to think on that. And I did.  And what I came up with was way more than the 140 characters that Twitter allows, so here is the best place to put my beerpiphany right?

In 1996, I was a student at Michigan State University. About a half an hour outside of East Lansing, in Webberville, Michigan Brewing Company opened and I made sure to visit this craft brewery. And visit often.

This new, small brewery was my beerpiphany.  When it opened, it had only a few tables, a long bar, and a few beers on tap. There was a glass door that led to the brewery containing the vats of brewing beer and picnic tables with freezing temperatures where smoking was allowed. The parking lot was gravel and you had to drive through a gas station to get to the brewery.

Of course, I made quick best friends with a bartender there and would pay for one pint of

Michigan Brewing Co.

Michigan Brewing Co.

beer and drink limitless amounts of beer (and leave a nice tip).  This craft beer was my beerpiphany because prior to that, I was a beer snob who only drank Labatts.  This was a big deal because all of the college kids drank Busch light so Labatts was high brow.  Compared to LaBatts, this new craft beer (from the only craft brewery remotely local to me) was pure heaven.  I was introduced to my favorite kind of beer- IPAs and many other kinds as well.

Now Michigan Brewing Company has expanded big time. They have a pub in Lansing in addition to moving to a larger brewing facility. They paired up with Kid Rock to make BadAss Lager and have expanded their distribution.

I am grateful to them for giving me my first beerpiphany and to Anne Sprecher who made me remember such a great time in my life.

#beerclub BOTW: O’So Lupulin Maximus

So last week we cut it kind of short. Between the holiday and late arrival of the Lupulin Maximus, I wanted to make sure everyone had the chance to get the #beerclubBOTW. As you know, we changed the brew to Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard as a send off to Stone’s distribution here in Wisconsin.

Lupulin Maximus

O'so Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPA

Now that the Lupulin Maximus has been in stores for almost a week, I feel safe making it the #beerclub beer of the week. As I posted here originally, the O’so Lupulin Maximus is one of the more highly anticipated brews in the Wisconsin Craft Beer market. It’s an imperial IPA that comes with a hop cone in every bottle.

“The second you open this bottle there is no mistaking that this is not your average IPA. Massive hop additions of the most obnoxious breeds put this taste bud burner in a league all it’s own. Our bet is that you will think it is O’so Freakishly good! Caution! This brew is 9% and may contain a hop cone in every bottle!!!”

Join us Monday December 6th at 8:00 PM for a very interesting brew. If you’re not in the O’So distribution area, find a double/imperial IPA and drink up!

#beerclub BOTW CHANGE!! Stone Arrogant Bastard

Due to the timing issues with the holiday, and the freshness of the Lupulin Maximus, we’re going to mix it up a little and delay the Lupulin Maximus for a week. This should give it a little more time to make it to store shelves for your drinking pleasure.

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

Instead, this week we’re going to say “fare-thee-well” to #beerclub friend Stone Brewing by drinking their Arrogant Bastard Ale. Stone is exiting the Wisconsin Market due to slow sales. It seems only fitting to take a retrospective look back at what we will soon be unable to attain.

“This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you will have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory — maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.”

First released in 1997, it’s 7.2% ABV and available in bombers and on tap. Join us Monday night 11/29 and prove that you’re up to the challenge.

#beerclub BOTW: O’so Brewing Lupulin Maximus

O'so Lupulin Maximus

O'so Lupulin Maximus

One of the more anticipated releases of the Wisconsin craft beer scene, Lupulin Maximus is a double/imperial IPA that focuses heavily on the hops. So much so that the bottle comes with a hop cone inserted. This brew packs a punch, at 9% ABV it’s not for the faint of heart.

Join the #beerclub as we tackle this monster of an imperial IPA. Monday 11/29/10 at 8:00 PM Central.

BOTW: 11/22/10 Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

The #beerclub beer of the week for 11/22/10 is Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co. The anniversary of the sinking of the namesake ship was November 10th and we’re a little slow to drink this as the featured beer.

Also I’d like to extend an official happy birthday to #beerclub member @apetersonpt. He chose the beer of the week since Monday night will be his birthday.

Be sure to join us Monday night at 8:00 PM with an Edmund Fitz Porter, or any other Porter you can get your hands on.

I’m Just Here for the #beerclub

Welcome to the new home of #beerclub. Since some concepts are bigger than 140 characters, I’ve created this page as a place to promote #beerclub and the things we’re doing in the club.

For those of you who have never heard of #beerclub, or don’t quite understand it, this first post is for you.

What is #beerclub?

Much like it sounds, we are an informal club of beer lovers who virtually meet once a week on Twitter to discuss a pre-selected Beer of the Week. Meetings are Monday Nights at 8PM Central time.

Where do I find out what the Beer of the Week is?

New Glarus Staghorn Oktoberfest

New Glarus Staghorn

If you’re not already, you should follow me on Twitter. My name over there is @mitch_j. That is the most surefire way to find the Beer of the Week info. I try to tweet reminders periodically throughout the week as to what the beer is. If you can’t find one of the tweets, feel free to ask.

I also plan on posting information about the Beer of the Week on this site. Check back here and you should be able to find the listing.

How do I join in?

Monday nights are #beerclub nights. The festivities begin at 8:00 PM Central time. Follow the hashtag #beerclub to see what’s going on. Send a tweet using the #beerclub hashtag to join the conversation.

One of the easiest ways to keep up with #beerclub during a meeting is to log into tweetchat and follow the hashtag #beerclub.

How is the Beer of the Week selected?

I’m no beer genius so I rely on suggestions from you, the members of #beerclub, to help figure out the beers we’re drinking. I also have worked with a few local liquor stores for Beer of the Week Selections. Follow @blatzliquor, @blatzliquorjr, and @winecellarofwi for their insights on beer selections. I’ve got some ideas to keep the club interesting, so please keep an eye on this site for more details.

What if I can’t get the Beer of the Week?

Because very few craft breweries have nationwide distribution, unfortunately it’s hard for us to pick beers that are available to everyone who might be interested in participating in #beerclub. We’ve worked around this issue by offering up a Beer of the Week alternative. Usually the alternative is a beer in the same style as the “official” beer of the week selection.

If you have trouble finding the alternate beer, feel free to join us anyways. #beerclub is more about the conversation than it is about the beers. We welcome anyone to the conversation.

Does #beerclub ever meet in person?

We have had a few #beerclubfieldtrip drinkups where we have met in person. We’ve been on the Lakefront Brewery Tour, the Sprecher Brewery Tour and attended the Oktoberfest in Glendale WI. Check back here for more information about future outings.

Who Else is in #beerclub?

We’ve had quite a few people partake in at least one #beerclub meeting. I’ve created a list of members to make it easier to keep up with who’s joined in. I also maintain a list of breweries that have been featured in previous #beerclub meetings.