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Your Beermonger: American vs. Foreign Beer Buyers

by ARLnow.com | September 28, 2012 at 11:40 am | 916 views | 5 Comments

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

Well, it’s finally happened — I’ve hit a writer’s block. I have no idea what I’m going to be writing about this week. We’ve covered most of the seasonal stuff, and gone through style after style of beer. I’ve read over and over how when confronted with a writer’s block, one should simply put their head down and write through it. So that’s what I’m going to do. Here are some thoughts I’ve had while on the job lately:

* Foreign visitors and transplants to the area are always shocked at how few imports I carry. American buyers are more excited about American craft brew than other countries. The exceptions seem to be individual brewers/breweries that carry a following, or certain styles (like Sour Ales) which are very popular right now. I think on some level the spectrum of great beers and divergent styles available to us here in the States has given the American craft beer geek a broader and more open palate that our friends around the world.

* That said, the great microbreweries scattered all over Europe are putting out some of the most exciting stuff out there. It’s too bad most European drinkers seem to be either tied to their macrobrewery of choice, or are too busy arguing pedantically to see that craft beer is passing them by.

* Yes, I can help you with wine. I love my customers and appreciate the recognition I’m known as a beer guy, but I’ve also worked as a wine buyer and for multiple wine importers/distributors in my day. I don’t drink as much wine at home as beer, but I love wine and am passionate about it and do, in fact, possess some knowledge on the subject. Asking only either:

  1. Implies that there’s something wrong with “only” knowing about beer, and…
  2. Completely negates the nearly 10 years I’ve spent working with wine as well as beer.

Are we not, as human beings, allowed multiple interests?

* I’m really excited for holiday season beer releases. More than the fall stuff, even. There are always cool little oddball releases around the holidays and I love seeing what comes in around that time.

* After all these years and all the different styles of beer I’ve gotten into, there’s still a part of me that is a hardcore hophead. When something like Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA comes out, it reminds me all over again what got me into craft beer in the first place: outstanding, earthy, piney, citrusy hoppy goodness.

Okay, well I had some stuff to talk about after all. Until next time.

Cheers!

Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Community discussion guidelines: Our sponsored columns are written by members of the local business community. While we encourage a robust and open discussion, we ask that all reviews of the businesses — good or bad — be directed to another venue, like Yelp. The comments section is intended for a conversation about the topic of the article.

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  • malaka

    Do you / Could you get some Fantome beers? (Saisons from Belgium) I don’t seem to be able to find them anywhere these days.

    • TheBeermonger

      Not so much these days for VA, which sucks because I think they’re great. Always got an eye out, though.

  • Chris

    @malaka – I had a Fantome Noel from the back of the fridge last night; completely agree.,

    Let us not forget one of the best things about Autumn, though – wet-hop harvest ales!!

    hops hops hops hops

    • TheBeermonger

      Hops hops hops hops a ton of good ones should be right around the corner. Sierra Nevada’s are both due; Terrapin’s So Fresh And So Green, Green; maybe Founder’s (not sure about this one this year for VA); Left Hand Warrior…love some fresh hop.

      For a year-round fix, check out Sixpoint’s stuff–for most of their beers they actually dry-hop with fresh hops; a really nice touch.

  • Beer king

    I have a guy out west that will ship any Russian River (Pliny + Blind Pig) and Alpine brews (Nelson + Duet) the price after shipping is expensive but can anyone else get an entire case of Pliny sent out here? Seasonal/Holiday beers are great…but how about some true West Coast bombers?

    Any interests?

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