Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rogue Ale Makes International History

I think it's kind of ironic that the linked news article is in the Newport News Times, especially since Rogue Ale is made in the sleepy, little town of Newport, Oregon (where this moody minstrel guy was produced, as well). All I can say is that I am very proud that my favorite beer just made history by winning an unprecedented four gold medals in an international beer competition.

The article mentions that Rogue is imported by the U.K., and that it is hoped shipments will be increased. I only hope that fame and increased demand won't end up doing to Rogue what it did to Blitz-Weinhard. Then again, the guys that run Rogue don't seem like the sort to allow that.

Let's all celebrate with a Dead Guy Ale...or a St. Rogue's Red...or a Shakespeare Stout....or a Mocha Porter...or a Soba Ale...or a Yellow Snow Ale...or...

Now if only I could find where they sell it here in Japan...


Homer Simpson said...

Mmmmm, mocha porter.

rob said...

Ha! Rogue is surely a great brew maker. Unfortunately, they're a tad greedy methinks.

Don Snabulus said...

I followed along to this link on your page, Rob. Did you ever hear back from DeFazio?

rob said...

That was good fun, writing my congressman about the rising price of ale. Still, there was some serious intent there. Here's DeFazio cutting the ribbon at the new pub in Eugene. I'm guessing they cut him a pretty nice check now and again. Still, I'd hoped my buying Pete a couple of beers at the Eugene Brewfest would have earned me a response at least, but no, I never heard back.

The Moody Minstrel said...

In the country where I live the major beer-makers started putting out "hop liquor" (i.e. low-malt beer) a number of years ago as a means of circumventing the liquor tax laws. This allowed them to flood the market with low-priced (and crappy-tasting) beer which caught on really huge with the recession-hit working population.

What they didn't tell people was that the price reduction wasn't as large as the tax cut they were getting, i.e. greater profits. The lower prices also meant workers could afford to splurge more, so beer consumption went up, i.e. greater profits.

Meanwhile, the price of real, honest-to-goodness beer was increased, probably to discourage people from buying it. Now many supermarkets here sell mainly "hop liquor" and stock very little if any beer.

The farmers, truck drivers, and construction workers that populate my neighborhood are happy, because they can get lots of cheap brew (and they aren't particularly picky). The brewers are happy because they're making a killing.

Me? I'm having to drive to the next town and pay about $3 for an ordinary 12-oz. can of halfway decent stuff (even more for imports). Frankly, paying $2.50 for a tall bottle of Rogue wouldn't bother me at all right now.

Harry Cox said...

Bearwhiz Beer! It's in the water!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Speaking of the trickle-down theory being used as an excuse for a price hike, what about this?

rob said...

If I could find a tall bottle of Rogue for $2.50 around here I'd be shocked.

Why isn't the ale at the Newport brewery itself cheaper, what with lower distribution costs? More evidence of profit stroking.

I'm still trying to sort out how Rogue managed to benefit from Eugene's "Downtown Revitalization Loan Program". Basically, it appears that a brew pub business at the location of the present Rogue brewery downtown acquired one of these (presumably) favorable (subsidized?) loans. They go under a few months later.. Then, Rogue acquires the property location as well as the original loan. Is this normal? So then another few months after Rogue moves in they jack up prices at same pub claiming the minimum wage raise justifies this.

Aren't they already benefitting from a tax payer subsidized loan for that location? Now they want to justify raising their prices because of a voter approved ballot initiative? Something ain't right. If anyone can sauce this one out and correct me if I'm wrong, I'd be glad to know. Like I've said, I've enjoyedd their product for years and would like to again in good conscience.

Some Girl said...

I'd like to go on a price hike. That would be nice.

Seymour said...

Well, being the King, #1 beer-drinker on this post, or any post you'd like to name, I'd like to put my 2 cents in. Oregon has been trying to increase the beer tax for many years, but luckily, due to increasing consumption, and therefore decreasing reasoning on the part of the Oregon Legislature, we've be free of this foul machination of our DIVINE Hop consuming nature.

House Bill 2533 would put a 2 tiered tax rate on any brewery that produces more than 200,00 barrels/year. Now to put that in context here's a list of Oregon's beer comsumption.

Total barrels sold from January through November 2004. A barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons. The state collects 8 cents per gallon in excise taxes, for a total of roughly $7 million annually.

1. Anheuser-Busch Co. (Mo.), 799,066.

2. Coors Brewing Co. (Col.), 427,844.

3. Miller Brewing (Wis.), 359,558.

4. Pabst Brewing Co. (Wash.), 136,619.

5. Barton Beers, LTD (Ill.), 99,327.

6. Deschutes Brewery (Ore.), 63,609.

7. Widmer Brewing (Ore.), 57,258.

8. McKenzie River Brewing (Wis.), 50,547.

9. Fosters Breweries (Va.), 38,114.

10. Labatt Brewery (Conn.), 27,552.

32. Cascade Lakes Brewing Co. (Ore.), 2,432.

54. Bend Brewing Co. (Ore.), 876.

Source: Oregon Liquor Control Commission

So I say, TAX them! Christ, the big 3 can afford it, and Pabst, geeze, what a joke. They'll just put up more advertising to offset the price change. And we'll just keep drinking the good stuff. I figure I'm good for at least 3 barrels of Widmer a year, at least! I don't even see Portland Brewing up there, so that means I need to drink even more!!! Yeah, I got woei 8939a9wf'


What? You got a towel?

Pa've said...

I like beer, but liquor is quicker. My favorite beer despite years of sampling microbrews is still Henry's. I don't know why, perhaps because when I was in the army all we drank was bud and a local beer called Schaefers. Not to light, not to strong. And if you drink it, you can ride a pony.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Henry's started not being Henry's when Stroh's bought it out and then broke their promise and secretly changed the ingredients.

It ceased to be Henry's altogether when Miller bought out Stroh's, trashed the 100-year-old Blitz-Weinhard Brewery in Portland in the face of widespread protests and despite a concerted effort by various groups to buy the thing for the sake of historical preservation, and then moved all production to Wisconsin, Washington, and California.

Now that was insulting. Talk about hijacking a local favorite and carting it off to purgatory.

But does still taste good.

DewKid said...

Are you saying California is Purgatory?!?!?

Gack! might not say Ack!, but you are way off Wack! Zak.


The Moody Minstrel said...

That would depend on what part of California you were talking about. Some parts might actually be called heaven. Others are most definitely HELL. Still more should probably go to...


Some Romanian Gymnast said...

You Amedikans make me maaaaad!!!
Beef you veddy haad!


Seymour said...

Oh Ute, you make me sooooo hot. Now bend and flex, bend and flex! Again! Again! "We represent, the Lollypop Guild," *SMACK* "the Lollypop Guild," *SMACK* "the Lollypop Guild." *SMACK*

Okay, enough training. Go shave your mustache!