Ermergerd Yuengling!! A #YuenglingLaunch Will Bring Very Little Change To Craft Beer In Massachusetts!

There has been a lot of talk about Yuengling coming into Boston since December. A few nights ago was the release party for Yuengling in the Boston area at the Boston Seaport:

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And just about all of Boston went crazy:

I’ve also seen people get concerned that this will really hurt craft beer but I think we need to go into the past to really see if that is the case.

Back in 2004 I was introduced to Yuengling.  I remember friends had bought it from across the border in North Carolina.  It was interesting at the time because Imported beers were the king that everyone looked to as being a higher class.  This being said it did seem like Yuengling had just a bit more flavor than Heineken or Becks.

I had moved from South Carolina to Massachusetts in 2005. In 2007 there was Yuengling everything all over every bar in Spartanburg. At the time you would have thought that RJ Rockers (the hometown brewery in Spartanburg) didn’t exist because of all of this.  Fast-forward seven years later RJ Rockers is doing stronger than ever.  I even drank a RJ Rockers “First Snow” at Rattle N’ Hum in New York City a few weeks back!

The fact it was brought in from North Carolina as my introduction to it, well let’s just talk about all the breweries that are popping up in Charlotte, Asheville, and the Triangle Area. In the past few years after Yuengling was released the following breweries opened up and have been successful:

NoDa

Big Boss

Wicked Weed

Wedge

Lonerider

Birdsong

Foothills

Natty Greens

and many many more are opening every day in North Carolina!

The excitement might already be  gone by the time it is available in bars and stores:

But here we are Massachusetts, a lot of us are worried just a bit by the tap handles being taken over but actually we need to know what Yuengling actually is:

It was America’s first brewery in 1829.  This being said the Lager is a bit like Bud Light but with a Caramel flavor to it.  The fact that it is at the same price point will obviously bring more popularity and clout to being a popular choice at your local bar. To see the effects of this you have to look at the different types of beer drinkers there are out there.

Beer Drinker A: This beer drinker drinks nothing but Craft Beer.  They would rather not drink at all than to touch a Coors, PBR, Bud Light, and ETC. Yuengling will have zero effect on this type of drinker and when you look at it they might have been the best thing to have happened to Craft Beer in Massachusetts.  They are the gateway or one of a few gateways that will lead to becoming a craft beer drinker.  Yuengling Lager is like Sam Adams but without as many hops and a crisp finish with the mouthfeel to go with it at then end.  To quote what it is I will say this “Flavorable but Flat”. Beer Drinker A doesn’t go with flat! 10% of beer drinkers are Beer Drinker A and this number is rising!

Beer Drinker B: This beer drinker loves Craft Beer but will have a Miller High Life to not kill the budget on occasion. This person is someone who is adept to keep something cheap on standby but always appreciates a good craft beer more-so than not.  Will this hurt Craft Beer? No.  This person will drink it and replace some of those High Life’s with Yuenglings.  This will replace Beer Drinker B’s craft beer consumption by 0%. I’m going to say without analytic evidence this is roughly 50-60% of beer drinkers in the market.

Beer Drinker C: This is a person who lives on Bud Light, Miller Light, etc… Not only this though but they also drink adjunct filled local options as well Like Narragansett (who is actually creating some new tasty beers), Old Style (Chicago) or Olympia (Pacific Northwest). The problem is that these beers is that they are falling out of favor with the modern-day consumer. Yuengling coming into an area like Boston cuts into the Bud Lights and the Narragansetts of the world.  It does so because of its flavor and price point.  That being said it doesn’t compare when it comes to a true craft beer.  However this is the untapped market.  Sometimes though people don’t want a heavy flavor.  I can’t hold that against them. This is also %30 and declining fast!

Besides people went to the Yuengling launch for the party and not for the beer:

And how much fun was @BostonTweet having at the #YuenglingLaunch:

That’s right, he was enjoying a Guinness at Solas in Boston!

It’s going to be OK Boston Craft Beer.  In the long run you are about to get busier!

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Boston Still Remains Strong!

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It is amazing how life can turn around. Looking at the Red Sox over a year ago were a team in disarray. They had traded half of the superstars on their team and they were one of the worst teams in MLB.  One year later the Duck Boats, confetti, and team paraded through Boston. It was a wonderful and wild day here.  This city has begged for this since the tragedy of what happened in April!

Today I watched the parade from in front of the Kinsale because I knew it wouldn’t be over-packed as much as Copley Square (where the Boston Marathon finish line is) or at Fenway Park where the crowds were packed.  From there I walked over to the Esplanade where the Duck Boats were paraded in the water.  After seeing the aftermath of a drunk guy in a Tuxedo jump in to the Charles River it was time to head over to the other side of the Charles (Cambridge to the non-locals)!

On my way over the Mass Ave bridge one runner after another passed me.  Some runners were in pain, some made it look easy, and some had to stop temporarily because of too much foot traffic on the Mass Ave Bridge.  It’s inspiring because there were friends who went for runs and races instead of the parade.  There are friends who are running in New York tomorrow.

We’ve picked ourselves up and started running again. It is inspiring to see everyone stay strong and the reward that has come with it!

Why I run with…The Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners!

Almost two years ago I had my first pleasure of running with the Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners.  I had seen them while running several different races in the Boston area during the previous summers. They would be very easy to spot because of the words “Follow Me To The Beer” inscribed on the back of their running shirts.  A silhouette of Keir Byrnes is on the front of the running shirts.

Kierandbaby

Kier does exist but you may not see him every week since he has this little howler to tend to!

I had known a couple of members of the group for the onset of a couple of years and they had always been extremely friendly.  So on a crisp November night I went on the invite of Tim Briggs to Atwood’s in Cambridge.  I can vividly remember Meeting with Tim, Kier, Kier’s wife Mandy, and a couple of other people.  It was a very small group but a fun group with a run around the Charles River.  I kept running with them even after my other club would do track workouts. We also talked about how much we enjoyed Baxter Stowaway IPA.

followmetothebeer

I watched as the club slowly grew in the winter and by the spring became original advertised part of Atwood’s.  Each of the runners got their own run and even The Beer Runner stopped in one time as well.  Heather Vandenengel’s article for the Dig in Boston brought a whole new light to the club and beer running as well.  Afterwards the club grew. However in January of this year we moved over to Courtside because we had outgrown Atwood’s!

kiergroup

 

The new relationship with Courtside has been a wonderful one.  They have even improved their beer line up to include Baxter IPA, Troegs Hopback Amber, Allagash White, and Left Hand Milk Stout.  As more people come it will be interesting to see what will be coming next.

 

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The club even stepped up and collaborated with the Race Director of Cambridge 5k the day after the Boston marathon bombing to raise over $4000 for the One Fund.

 

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Every run starts with a Braveheartesqe shout of “Freedom”. The club is still doing a lot of interesting runs for members of the club who have run with us for a while.  They have also incorporated new runs such as a running of the bulls, beach run, and short shorts run (new runners still find us from Vandy’s article on beer and running I mentioned earlier).  Also if you are new then you will receive a cheers from the club.  Jeremy will bring snacks and there is also pizza complimentary of Courtside as well.

 

courtside

 

Lindsay from Baxter loves cake, Baxter Stowaway IPA, and Photobombing!

Speaking of Baxter they are officially the beer sponsor of the club.  So what are you waiting for?  If you live in the Boston Area you should come and do a run out to the Charles River, Bunker Hill Monument, or create your own.  You either have to run, drink beer, or drink beer and run.

 

tuesday nights

 

The Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners run out of Courtside in Cambridge, MA at 7:15pm.  They can be found on the web at Kbfreedomrunners.com, on twitter at @kbfreedomrunner, and on face book by searching Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners. 

If you have a run club that has an appreciation of craft beer and running you can be a guest blogger too!  Feel free to email me at Craftbeerandrunning@gmail.com.

Race Offender: Luv Run

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There is nothing wrong with love.  I think it is something that we are all looking for and if you have it then you are very fortunate.  However, when it is spelt wrong love becomes less desirable.  How undesirable on the short hand misspellings undesirability list:

3. You = U

2. Love = luv

1. OK = k

That brings us to the Luv Run.  This run is partnershiped with the Boston Triathlon which brings in a ton of corporate sponsorship to Boston.  Not completely a bad thing but why are you trying to throw out two events in one day? The Boston Triathlon seems to be something that would be more than fine on its own.  That being said not every aspect of this run is bad.  I’m sure if you are into running or craft beer you get pretty excited (in my case ecstatic) when you are looking at someones profile on dating sites such as OKcupid and Match and see that they like the same things. This is a good opportunity to You’ll be able to know if a runner is single, taken, or if they are into their own sex.  It isn’t a race so I can’t totally say it is a race offender but you are paying $35 to do it so….

Also, why are both of these events sponsored by Michelob Ultra? Wouldn’t in struggling times Inbev look to dissolve brands that no one talks about or drinks like Michelob Ultra?  Is it the ultimate last call for this brand to follow the success that Microbreweries like Dogfishhead, Harpoon, and Smuttynose have had with races to generate more buzz?

On third thought, does anyone even drink Michelob Ultra? Does regular Michelob even exist anymore?  What make Michelob Ultra so ultra?  Does it have a 12% ABV (I know it is the exact opposite but still)? Couldn’t the Luv Run asked Harpoon or Sam Adams to be the beer sponsor of the event?

Maybe when it comes to love it is something we desire need to have in our lives.  As for Luv, it is just an annoyance!

Michelob ULTRA in a supermarket.

Michelob ULTRA in a supermarket. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Boston to Chicago

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Almost a year ago I ran my first official Marathon in Chicago (I say official because I did bandit Boston in 90 degree weather).

Looking at my marathon training there has been a month full month heat, humidity, and foot pain.  The heat and humidity will go but I am not for sure how to get rid of the foot pain.  Even a couple of days ago I felt a little overwhelmed and ran my slowest half marathon ever in Easton. I’ve also noted that I ran my second slowest with 8 weeks go when I realize this will be 12 Sundays from this Sunday and there is still time.  If I were to peak at this moment it wouldn’t be good.  If I peak in October then that is what I want and it would be the best possible result.

ChicagoMarathon09

There were a lot of good memories and stories from last years race.  A lot that I will share in the next few weeks. How a local brewery in Milwaukee has more interesting history than the massive Macro brewery.  How one baseball park was night and day better than  the other in regards to craft beer selection. How sharing new beers and reconnecting with friends is awesome. And most importantly the race itself.

Chicago was something that I did for myself last year.  It was proof that I could break 4:00:00 in a marathon and I ran 3:56:03.  That being said the world is a different place.  The events and tragedies of the Boston Marathon makes this race much more meaningful. There are many stories that I could personally about how this years marathon but I will wait tell. It is time to let this one heal. This one I will run for the city I have called home for the past 8 years. I have a large list of friends and new friends that I have made who are also running.  Hopefully we can all run for our city (at different speeds and abilities of course).  Hopefully at the end of this race we can eat Chicago style hot dogs, eat Giordano’s Deep Dish Pizza (and hopefully not bbq chicken this time), and drink beer at Revolution Brew Pub.

If I hear Arcade Fire again at mile 25 of the way to the finish I’ll break down into tears that will have more meaning. I will run the last and only memorable hill of the race at mile 26 going to 26.1, then going downhill to the finish line at 26.2.

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