Monday, April 30, 2012

There Can Be Only One

I bet you guys thought I forgot about this, huh?

The #Sessionbeerday Haiku Contest yielded a response dwarfed the #International Stout Day Haiku Contest, and simply blew away the drinkdrank Facebook Fan Page Photo Contest. The number of entries was simply staggering this go round. Okay, that last bit may have been a little over the top, but anyway, check out what came in:

From Derrick Peterman of Ramblings of a Beer Runner:

Some Huge IPA?
Not today. Make mine the great
Polygamy Porter

And, who could forget Paul Arnold from Blood, Stout and Tears:

another payday
hours become friendship over beer
another bitter

They've both got a few extra syllables here and there—but who's counting? That being said, one entrant stands out—and I wrestled with this one because he also happens to be one of my best friends. David Kennedy, also known as Gravey, entered not on, not two but four poems!

The happy lil' goat
On the green and yellow can
Springtime Genny-style

Instructions for life
Enjoy friends, good food, good beer
Repeat as needed

My favorite beer?
The answer is all too clear
The one drank with friends.

Arsenal is losing
Wigan from out of nowhere
Sweet beer ease my pain

My personal favorite is number three. All of the poems entered really exemplify what session drinking is all about. Sessions aren't just a low-alcohol beer thing, they're really about the time spent with good friends over a pint. I think Gravey embraced that with his entries. So, Gravey, being local, you get your choice of a sixer from Oliver's and (wait for it...) the opportunity to drink it with me! Seeing as he was the Best Man in my wedding, I think he'll be cool with that.

Congrats to Gravey, and thanks to everybody else for contributing!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Canundrum-Part 2: Jack Attack

I had to write a post about this.

Jack Box has been one of my most devoted readers for almost as long as drinkdrank has been kicking. He regularly comments on posts and I can honestly say: Jack loves beer. Jack loves beer so much, he took my idea to compare canned versus bottled beer, and ran with it. In fact, I'd say he ran with it like Forrest freakin' Gump. Jack took the initiative and selected a number of canned and bottled beers; employed his own "interactive sippy tests"; and then reported back the results! I think we've found drinkdrank's first contributing editor. Although I use the term "editor" loosely, because—as I'm sure you've come to realize—there is very little editing being done here.

Life is like a bottle of beer—you
never now what your going to get.
In any case, I wanted to highlight Jack's efforts, so I've complied all of his comments and experiments on bottle versus canned beer into one post—so here goes:

Jack R., April 4, 2012

I have long held a untested belief that the keg [draught] version of a beer is better than the same beer bottled. With growler fills, this would not be too hard to test. Someday I will. To your conclusion that: the bottled version of a beer is better than the same beer canned. To ascertain if everyone could test this, I used the Brewers association list of the Top 50 Craft Brewers [by volume produced, 2011] and the online database. Excluding the all canned Oskar Blues, I found 14 of the top 50 Craft breweries produce 46 beers; albeit, I am not yet sure all 46 have bottled version. I will answer that question later.

Regardless of the answer, it should not be hard to find test cases. I will undertake to do so. However, my test method differs from your stated test; i.e., I like to compare beers in an repetitive side by side, sippy test. I open two [or more] beer; pour about 7 ozs of each beer in a glasses; then sample back and forth between the beers, moving the preferred beer to the left. My son and I tested five Oregon pilsner once; it was good fun and established the tops slots in my Pilsner leader board.

On a related note, in a recent
Beervana post, Thursday, 29 Mar 2012, Retro Gone Too Far, Jeff Alworth opined that craft breweries can because canning is cheaper than bottling and then argue to merits of cans v. bottles—i.e, the choice to can [v. bottle] is cost driven. In future, as the opportunity arises, I will ask brewery employees. It will be interesting to see if the new, East Coast, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium plants bottle.

April 7, 2012

I performed my interactive sippy test with New Belgium Brewing Co., Ranger IPA; one bottle and one can. The can was marked for use by June 2012. The marking on the bottle was illegible; but, the brewery is only 55 miles from the liquor store and the liquor store does a big volume; ergo, I take both to be fresh.

Initially, I perceived a slight difference between the mouth feel of the canned and bottled beer; the canned beer seemed smoother, ya' know, slightly maltier. I let the beers sit for ~half an hour and retested, at which time, I perceived less of a difference.

I will select a pair of non-IPA and retest.

April 9, 2012

Today I met with a nano-brew brewer, Tom Horst, Crystal Springs Brewing Co., 100 barrels in 2011. I asked "Why can? Is it merely because it is cheaper?"

Tom said: It is cheaper; but, it is really about preserving the beer.

I told him about my NBBC Ranger IPA test. He said, buy two similar age beers, put the on the shelf for a month, and then conduct your sippy test. Tom believes, after 04-06 weeks, a bottled beer will exhibit degradation; a canned beer, not.

I will give it a go.

April 11, 2012

Another can v. bottle test; New Belgium Sunshine Wheat Ale. Both reported 'Best before 01 July 2012'. Not much taste to work with. A Colorado Front Range Americanized witbier. Regardless, as before: I preferred the canned beer. My wife did too. I like the mouth feel better; I take it to be more malty; perhaps not, I do not claim to be a qualified beer judge. The NBBC website reports tastes/aromas: coriander and orange peel tartness wit apple and honey tones. My strongest impression was peppery. A Google search associates peppery more with NBBC Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Ale.

I have two more can/bottle pairs to test. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Boulder Beer Co. Hazed and Confused Dry-Hopped Pale Ale.

April 16, 2012

I performed my interactive sippy test with Boulder Beer-Hazed and Confused, unfiltered, dry-hopped [Crystal and Centennial] amber ale; one bottle and one can.

The bottle was marked for use by 07 June 2012. There was not marking on the can; but, the brewery is only 2.5 miles from the liquor store and the liquor store does a big volume; ergo, I take both to be fresh.

Again, third time, I perceived a slight difference between the mouth feel of the canned and bottled beer; the canned beer seemed smoother, ya' know, slightly maltier.

Bottom line: 3 for 3, I prefer the canned beer over the bottled beer.

April 18, 2012

I performed my interactive sippy test with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; one bottle and one can. The bottle was packaged 53 days ago; the can, 58 days. Both nominal 08 weeks plus/minus epsilon before consumed. Again, after about half an hour the difference seemed diminished.

For the fourth time, I perceived a difference between the mouth feel of the canned and bottled beer; the canned beer seemed smoother, richer, maltier. Interestingly, to me, 08 weeks age produced no noticeable degradation in the bottled v. canned beer, to me.

Bottom line: 4 for 4, I prefer the canned beer over the bottled beer.

As much as I'm impressed with Jack's analysis (not to mention the fact that he's like a machine when it comes to this stuff)what really is special to me is that he not only took the time to go through all of the rigamaroll to do the tests, but he then wrote to me about it. Me—dumb old me. I'm honestly flattered by his efforts.

So, to Jack I say: Thank you for reading; thank you for commenting; and thank you for loving beer.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Albany Ale—It Was A Family Affair

When Akum was writing her post about Albany Ale she asked a simple question.

What was Albany Ale like?

Albany's South End circa 1850 – Taylor's Brewery is the large
 building to the extreme left. Click here for the whole image 
Alan and I have been researching this thing for nearly two years now, so we should have a pretty solid answer, right? Granted the devil is in the details, but we have somewhat of an idea of what went into the brew. No big deal, it should be pretty easy to say what Albany  Ale was "like." I must have gone over its specs in my head a thousand times. Something was gnawing at me, something wasn't right, and before I gave Akum the low-down—just to be on the safe side—I though I'd run my idea of what Albany Ale was by Alan, to make sure we were both on the same page. So, off went an email to my Canadian partner-in-crime. Here's how it went:
I've been asked a number of times what Albany Ale was like (pertaining to its 1830s–1850s incarnation, that is). Akum, the women who is writing the blog piece for the Albany Times Union, asked me the same question. Below is how I described it to her, but I thought you and I ought to be on the same page:
• 7-8% ABV.
• Most likely it was a single malt pale beer.
• The well water used was probably harder than Albany water of today, hence the trifling of salt, perhaps used to soften the water.
• Heavily hopped with Cluster hops, but not necessarily bitter—the use of older, un-refrigerated hops would have resulted in a diminished Alpha Acid potency—therefore more hops would have had to have been used, but without the stronger effects of fresh hops. If the beer was stored for a good amount of time, the bitterness/hoppiness would also be affected, negatively.
What do you think?
Here's Alan's response:
I'd be higher in the alcohol. 9 to 10 % according to that medical chart I have somewhere in the comments to the blog posts. 
Wait, what? Alan surely you jest.

Yeah, yeah, sure we've seen reference to Albany Ale being stronger in bottles (10.87%) than in barrels (7.38%) and yes there is something to be said for the weakest of 19th-century beer being on the stronger side of what is available today. But a nearly four percentage difference in ABV? That can't possibly be right. No, no—Albany Ale had to be on the lower end of the scale. There has to be an error in the evidence—a misplaced decimal point, misguided 19th-century science, even faulty brewing mumbo jumbo translation. I will fight this tooth and nail—two beers that are just over 7% and one just under 11% can't possibly be the same beer!

But they were—and here's how.

At first, one might assume that Albany Ale was simply all ale made in Albany—like the notable Porter made in and around Philadelphia during the end of the 17th century and beginning of the 18th century. Or, you might think it was an ale brewed with a uniquely Albanian ingredient, which caught on and juggernauted its way through the 19th century. However, what seems to be more appropriate than either of those, comes from a broader stance of what Albany Ale could have been. In fact you have to look at Albany Ale as not a thing, but as things—a euphamism for a family of ales, of different strengths, made in and around Albany, New York—not unlike Burton or Edinbugh Ales of Great Britian. Could John Taylor & Son's Albany Imperial XX Ale have been akin to the numbered ales of England's Bass & Co. and Scotland's William Younger & Co.

We have reason to believe that Albany Ale was parti-gyled. For those of you uninitiated in the ways of historic brewing, parti-gyling is a blending of worts to achieve a certain gravity. Basically, a single batch of grain is mashed, sparged and its running are collected, usually two to three times. Each subsequent running has a lower gravity than the previous one. The runnings are then boiled and hopped, separately, the worts are then brought back together in different ratios allowing the brewer to adjust the gravity of the now combined wort. Adding a little of the weakest wort to the strongest will mellow it out, while adding a little of the strongest to the weakest will strengthen that beer. It's all about brewing efficency. Brewers could make at least two, sometimes three or four strong beers (plus a little small beer) without having to actually brew that many times. There are a variety of ways to do this, but this is the general idea. I also need to mention that it was neither Alan or I who picked up on this—it was of course the indubitable Mr. Pattinson.

Now it makes sense why we've seen reports of Albany Ale ranging in ABV—the 7.38% brew was made at the same time as the 10.87% brew—which means that Albany Ale could be made and most importantly sold as different strengths—different strengths of literally the same beer, mind you. Ron noted in an email to me that at the same time Albany Ale was entering its heyday, 3,000 miles away in England, Whitbread was brewing its own parti-gyled, ale with a variety of gravities:

1841 Whitbread X Ale 1077º
1841 Whitbread XX Ale 1091º
1841 Whitbread XXX Ale 1103º

Those numbers look right in-line with the high and low end of Albany Ale. Albany's 19th-century ale brewers came from the Anglo brewing tradition, so it makes sense that they would emulate British brewing practices. Just as Whitbread & Co, was brewing its own version of varied-strength family ale, at its brewery on Chiswell Street in London, so was every brewer in the city of Albany—from Amsdell to McKnight, Dunlop and Boyd and Kirk—all with their own "families" of and unique twists on what they called "Albany Ale." 

So, where does that leave us? Leaps and bound from where we were, but still far from cracking the mystery of Albany Ale—but now we know we have more than one beer to brew—a whole family in fact. As for me, I need to start trusting the evidence and stop wishing Albany Ale is something (or somethings) it was not.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Please Pardon Our Appearance... And Absence

My non-beery life is interfering with my beery one. Home renovations, work and opening day of Little League have culminated into a cacophony of reasons for why I won't be able to be as attentive to my bloggly duties this week. At least not as attentive as I normally am. Such is the burden of the husband, a owner of an old house, and presumptive champion tee-ball coach. Something has to give and it's usually the beer. Not the drinking of the beer, mind you, just the writing about it.

Yes, yes, I know I'm not holding up my end of the bargin—but fear not I will return next week with Albany Ale updates, the winner (or perhaps winners) of the #Sessionbeerday Haiku Contest, more about canned versus bottle beer —and much, much more (well, at least more). I will, during this little break, be checking the blog for comments and my email so feel free to drop me a line.

So, stay tuned—same beery time, same beery channel.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another Apostle of Albany Ale

Do yourself a favor and check out Akum Norder's brilliant write-up about Albany Ale on her Albany Times Union blog, "A History of Here".

Click the image below for the link to her story!

And thanks again, Akum! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gratuitous Self-Promotion

I'm going to toot my own horn here a bit. On a blog that is 99.9% about me, my interest in beer and most importantly my opinion about beer, it's nice to branch out a bit and talk a little about me every once in a while, right?

When I'm not clickity-clacking away on my keyboard, writing about beer, I'm click-clicking away on my mouse, designing graphics and exhibitions for the New York State Museum (You can see some of that here). I've been a designer for 16 years, but I haven't always been in the museum biz, in fact, I've had a number of run-ins with some beery projects over that time— I even worked for a now defunct brewpub in town, the Big House Brewing Co., doing their advertising and design. More recently, one of those run-ins was the logo development for the western Pennsylvania craft brewery Helltown Brewing. The brewery seems to be doing well for itself, (although I haven't had any of their beer—hint, hint) so, I thought I'd pat myself on the back, give a little unsolicited publicity to Helltown and tell you what goes into designing a brewery logo.

A year-and-a-half ago I received and email from brewery owner Shawn Gentry asking for some help designing a logo for his new place. Shawn explained that they named their brewery was a nod to the history of their town, Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania—where, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries the area had become a "wild west" of the east. Men from that area participated in the post-American Revolution, tax protest—and good old insurrection—dubbed the Whiskey Rebellion of the early 1790s. Booze and social unrest go hand in hand in western PA and the area continued to thumb its nose at authority well in the the next century—earning pleasant little Mount Pleasant the nickname Helltown. There's nothing like a cool back story to fuel the fires (pun intended) of logo design. Plus the ZIP code for Mount Pleasant ends in 666, so that's a little bonus, too.

Keep in mind, there's a difference between designing a beer label and a brewery logo. A good beer label should draw you into buying a beer you've never had—it's the hook. Yes, I've heard that "real" craft beer enthusiasts could never be duped into buying a beer just by the label or packaging, to which I say—horseshit. Package design in the beer industry is just as effective as any other industry. If is wasn't, then all beer would have white labels. Packaging design can be expensive, so why would a brewery spend the money if a great label design didn't work? Does great label design support a great beer or brewery?Absolutely. Will great label design help to re-sell a shitty beer. Nope. The product will dictate its own success, the packaging should simply support that achievement—but remember, the opposite is true as well—a shitty label will only hinder a great beer. Want to see effective label deign? Colorado's Left Hand Brewery is producing, what I think is, some of the best beer labels out there—and they make great brew, as well.

A detail of the pin-up concept.
In any case, a brewery logo is a bit different than a beer label design. The main logo for a brewery is an over-arching identity for that brewery (or any other business, for that matter). The logo is all about identification and recognition—or to use an industry buzz word "branding." If everything goes according to plan, the consumer should recognize that breweries logo and associate it with a quality they appreciate. Think about the Nike Swoosh, it's not selling a particular shoe, it's representing—and therefore selling—the company of Nike. The Swoosh stands for what Nike stands for. It has appearance of sharpness, speed and boldness—like a razor blade. Attributes that an athlete—or someone who wants to be an athlete—might want to emulate.

Okay, enough self-indulgent deign theory—back to Shawn in western Pennsylvania. After a few phone discussions we decided that the Helltown logo, which could easily skew spooky, should evoke, instead, an edgy mischievousness—something a bit ominous but not Halloween-ish. Shawn initially liked the idea of a she-devil and I riffed on that, developing a George Petty–esque pin-up girl, with a devilish edge. She was the girl next door gone bad—complete with red skin, horns and a tail. It had a very graphic comic-book style to it, and I have to say it was cool, but it wasn't right for Helltown—at least not for its full identity. Back to the drawing board—so goes the logo development process.

Figuring out the font.
From that point we decided that a word mark—or text only treatment for the logo—might work best. Shawn had mentioned that he liked the simplicity of the logo for Rochefort Brewery in Belgium. Having your client give you an idea of what they like, helps the process along. The Gothic nature of Rochefort's type worked well for a brewery named Helltown, so finding the right font, for Shawn's logo was key. Unfortunately, I couldn't—so I made one up. The fonts that I liked that were in the same vein as Rochefort all had something that didn't work—from strange looking Ts to excessive embellishemts—I took the elements that I liked and tossed the ones I didn't.  I knew I wanted a few hard angles and parts of the letters to extend down and curve sharply at the end—like the edge of a dagger or knife—sort of a modernized Blackletter font, where the letters fit nicely into themselves. I wanted the text to be implicitly Gothic but easy to read and I knew I was only going to use two colors black and red. It came together quickly, but I wasn't done, not by a long shot. I still had the hardest part ahead of me.

Once the text treatment was in the can and Shawn had given the thumbs up, we agreed that there needed to be something to lighten up the mood in the logo. The Gothic text, while executed well, still seemed a little to Interview with a Vampire and not enough Little Nicky. Developing a playful icon—something that could be used with the text or alone—that could be instantly recognized, on a t-shirt or pint glass, as "Helltown." This was not an easy task. I did a number of little bugs—that's designer lingo for stand alone icons that can work with or without the main text—everything from a laughing devil head to a halo with horns to a fire ball. It took weeks. Of course, the one that worked best was the one I did first—a simple circle, from which essed upwards, a forked devil's tail. This little graphic, worked well, above or beside the text, by itself or grouped with the words. I set the secondary information in a sans serif font (that is, a font without the little platforms on the top and bottom of each letter) to set it apart from the Gothic word mark. The simplicity of the san serif font looked good with the graphic nature of the devil's tail icon. When all the parts were together—the Helltown Brewing logo was done.

Eight months ago the picture to the left came across my Facebook feed. Helltown Brewing was operational and their Mischevious Brown Ale was on tap at a local Mount. Pleasant watering hole. I've seen my work on TV, billboards, in magazines and online—but this was really a thrill to see. There sat my logo—okay, now it's Shawn's logo—between a Southern Tier and Victory tap handle. You've come a long way baby.

Best of luck to Shawn and the crew at Helltown. If your in western PA, try them out. let me know if the beer is a s good as the logo!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

#Sessionbeerday Haiku Contest

That's right boys and girls, it's haiku-contest time again, and thanks to Lew Bryson, we all have a reason to write session beer-related poetry this time.

So, lay a little a 5–7–5 on me in the comments area, and whoever nails those sweet seventeen syllables the best, gets some swag sent their way. In the meantime, let me blow your minds with these:

one and two and three
laugh and debate with friends
another pint sir

in the pub at five
maybe time for one more still
leave the pub at nine

Oh yeah, that's the stuff.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Session #62: What Drives Beer Bloggers?

I spent last night at Mahar's amid a pile of maps, beer adverts, photos and pints of Wandering Star Dark Mild and Saratoga IPA—both cask-conditioned and tasty, I might add. The reason for this pile of beer and paper? I was meeting, the talented writer and Times Union blogger, Akum Norder, for a crash course in Albany Ale over a few beers. Akum is in the midst of deciphering the history of her home, built 100 years ago this year, in the Pine Hills neighborhood of Albany. She's chronicling that history on her blog A History of Here, and it is well worth stopping by her site for a peek—whether you live in town or not.

A week or so ago I left a note about Albany's beery past in the the comments section of her blog and asked if she'd be interested in hearing more. I'm fairly sure if she was able to, she'd have pulled me through my computer screen, along it's binary pathways and out through her laptop, right then and there, if she could have. Unfortunately, we both had to wait until Thursday evening—but it was well worth the wait, for me, at least. We spent three hours talking about Alan McLeod and John Taylor, wheat in Dutch brewing in New Netherlands, Legislative hearings, The Albany Water Commission and a number of other beer and Albany related points. I prattled on and she listened intently, while she ticked away at the miniaturized keyboard of her laptop—taking notes and interjecting questions throughout the evening. It was fun—really fun actually.

I've said before that had I not stumbled upon Alan's blog and his question of What the Heck was Albany Ale? , I would have never realized that not only do I have an interest in Albany's brewing history, but that I also love writing about all aspects of beer. Although beer blogging, to me, is more than that. I do love writing and I obviously love beer, but above everything else, I think what's most important about beer blogging is the people you meet—be that physically or electronically. Had I never started blogging, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to sit down with Akum and evangelize about Albany Ale over mug fulls of dark, sweet Mild. I would have never spent time chatting with Alan about Doctor Who or pre-civil war Cluster hops. I'd have never had the opportunity to discuss Keeping Porter with Ron Pattinson, have Martyn Cornell tell me that baseball was a little girls game and exchange recipes with Mark Dredge. Even the disagreements are fun.

It's pretty simple when you think about it, I blog about beer because I like to talk and write about about beer—with you.

There's not much more to it than that.

When Akum's post about Albany Ale comes out. I'll be sure to post a link, but in the meantime, go check out A History of Here and see how an amazing writer tells the story of Albany through the history of her own house, and the people who have lived in it, in one of Albany's iconic neighborhoods!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's Not You, It's Me—or Maybe Not

I've failed you.

The drinkdrank Facebook fan page photo contest was a flop.

However, always one to look on the bright side—perhaps you all feel that the drinkdrank facebook fan page is awesome as it is, so why mess with greatness?

Or, on the other hand, maybe you're all bastards.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Canundrum - Part 1: Domestic Dispute

Oskar Greens?
I've been on a can kick, lately—Oskar Blues' Dale's Pale Ale, Bomb Lager, Butternutts Beer & Ale's Snapperhead IPA, and Sixpoint Craft Ale's Bengali Tiger—all canned, and all tasty. But, this aluminum infusion got me thinking.  How much of a noticeable difference is there between bottled and canned beer? Sure, we've all heard the arguments that canning is cheaper and keeps out both light and oxygen better than bottles, and I'm not arguing that, but I want to know if I can actually tell that by tasting it. I've had canned beers and I've had bottled beers, I've even had the same beer, both bottled and canned. What I haven't had is a bottle and a can of the same beer at the same time.

I feel an experiment, brewing (brewing, get it?)

The beers I mentioned earlier are all canned only brews—no bottling from those guys—so as great as they are, they're off the table. What I need is four separate breweries that both bottle and can their beer—a domestic ale maker, an overseas ale producer, a domestic lager producer and and an import lager brewery—a beery tale told in four parts, if you will. Each beery scenario produces a variety of possible or shall I say, road bumps to each producer—time, temperature fluctuations and light exposure, so I' should be able to cover all the bases.

For part one, let's start with the American made ale—and thanks to Sierra Nevada adding cans to their packaging capabilities, the choice was easy—Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. As a side note, I do have to say I think it's notable that SN has gotten into the can biz. They are by far the largest craft brewery to do so as of yet, so all of those naysayers who have written off the can to this point, watch-out, because the canned die has been cast.

The test is simple. Drink the bottled version, then drink the canned version, and compare the two. In order to keep things on the up-and-up, both beers were poured into and drank from the same pint glass, after a quick wash between samplings. This wasn't going to be your generic tasting, either—no deep examinations of flavor profiles or body or any of those other pretentious things we beer geeks like to do. For this exercise I didn't care what the beer tasted like, just if there was a difference between the two.

Obviously both beers looked exactly the same—bright, golden-copper with a thin, yet creamy, head. Both were crisp and cold with a pronounced American hoppiness and a powerful but not overpowering bitterness. By all accounts I was drinking the same beer—but I wasn't. Even with all those factors being the same, something was off. I knew exactly what it was when I popped the tab on the canned version—the aroma. The canned version somehow lacked the smelly oomph of the bottle. Even after pouring it into the pint glass, it still lacked that pungent wallop in the sniffer. The canned SN seemed subtler and more mellow than the bottled version. Was the canned version more subdued because I didn't get that hoppy smell? Does the head space in the bottle help to somehow capture the hoppy aroma?  I don't know, but I do know the canned version was missing it—for sure.

So, for those of you keeping score, I'm going with yes there is a noticeable difference between Sierra Nevada Pale Ale canned and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale bottled. I'm not going to draw any conclusions at this point—the whole point of this is to see how a variety of beer perform against each other, So, for now I'll just keep it as a yes and we'll see how everything goes in a few weeks. Next go round we'll see how an imported ale fares, under the same circumstances.