05 October 2009

Well, finally............

DuClaw Brewing finally pulls out a beer event during Baltimore Beer Week..........

The annual release of Mad Bishop on Oct. 14th and 15th at Fells Point location, beginning 6 pm each day.

Wait, what?  That's just coincidence?  Not on the BBW schedule?  Oh.............  never mind.

(The rumor mill reports that the brewers of DuClaw were totally for DuClaw's involvement in BBW, but that the company's owners were not.  Maybe next year?)  (UPDATE:  See above--they say they'll be "on board" for 2010.)


The Oriole Way said...

How in the world could they be opposed to Baltimore Beer Week?

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Please note: "Not taking part in" does not equal "Opposed to." I don't go to or watch Orioles or Ravens games; does that mean I'm "opposed to" those teams? I don't drink vodka; does that mean I'm "opposed" to vodka?

Brandon Miller - Milhouse44 said...

Is your next posting going to be naming all the breweries and bars in Maryland/Baltimore that did 'not take part in' BBW or was this a poor atempt at humor? I won’t call it careless reporting, because even that would mean that this printed statement had some legitimacy to it or some research was done at all. Rumors sometimes are just that....rumors.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Okay, I'll rise up to the challenge.

DuClaw's "status" was reported to me by DuClaw brewer Warren "Bo" Lenck a while back. That was the reasoning he gave when I basically said "Come on, guys, what the heck?!?"

The other places that SHOULD be part of Baltimore Beer Week that aren't, at least as an official sponsor in one way or another:

DuClaw Brewing
Clay Pipe Brewing
Dog Brewing/Dog Pub
Ellicott Mills Brewing
Racer's Cafe
Bare Bones Grill
Ropewalk Tavern
Blob's Park

And that's just off the top of my head. And none of the above can possibly make the claim that "we didn't hear/know about it". There are a few other places that are truly borderline--almost "craft beer-y" enough to qualify, but not quite: Mick O'Shea's, the Owl Bar, Clyde's, John Steven Ltd. . . . And there are a few where distance from Baltimore is a deciding factor: Brewers Alley, Johansson's, O'Lordan's, Castlebay. . . . You could even make a half-hearted "distance" excuse for the two in Ellicott City, but consider the other one out there that DID participate, Judge's Bench, and the other "distant" participants--Lures, Frisco Grille, Victoria Gastro Pub, and even State Line Liquors!

I know the specific story behind one of them: Blob's Park had their Oktoberfest schedule planned nearly a YEAR in advance, and didn't have room or time for any extra event, even with brewery reps from Germany approaching them.

I know one place, which I will not name and I specifically left off the above list, said they were behind enough on their bills that they couldn't even scrape together the $50 to become a "participant sponsor," or so they told me privately. I want to give them business, and they had brilliant ideas for events "outside the box" that would have added nicely to the schedule, but it just wasn't in the cards for them. Next year, I'm hoping, if they pull through.

SOME of the above, though? No excuse. No freakin' excuse.

Brandon Miller - Milhouse44 said...

I'm sorry you felt the need to 'rise to the challenge'. I was helping in procuring sponsors for Baltimore Beer Week and the responses some of those would-be sponsors (DuClaw being one) were quite different. It's the first year for BBW and Dom, Rob, and Joe are looking at twice the events they were expecting. Your judgment of these businesses or who you think should be a sponsor will sadly do nothing but have a negative effect on next years sponsorship of BBW for these Maryland Beer establishments.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Brandon, do you REALLY think I have that much influence upon the thought processes of these places? At absolute best, I've buggered the odds of any of these places/proprietors possibly offering me a free sample taste of a beer--which, to be honest, were never any good with any of these places anyway, and I pay for my beer 99.5% of the time.

Baltimore Beer Week will fly or sink based on its merits, participants, and sponsors. As with every other Beer Week that has been held nationwide, there will ALWAYS be "renegades" that either want nothing to do with the concept or will "ride the coattails" of the efforts and try to cash in without actually helping the effort. Look at that DC Beer Week a while back--they couldn't even get half the brewpubs in the city involved.
The City Paper insert out today has EIGHT nice ads for places that contributed not one penny to BBW (one place is hosting a sponsor's tasting one day, if my schedule is right). We knew that some of that would happen; that's the price we pay for getting the City Paper to print the schedule for us. I think we'll just be grateful if Bud/Miller/Coors doesn't throw "Drink B/M/C for Baltimore Beer Week!" on the Jumbotrons at Ravens Stadium.

The best part of this, however, is that for every "no-brainer" place that should be in BBW and isn't, we have at least one or two that came onto our collective "radar screens" strictly because of BBW--Lures in Crownsville, Jack's Bistro, Honeygo, Pickles Pub, Dawson's Liquors. Heck, Joe Squared Pizza on North Avenue signed up, and hasn't even come up with an event or tasting--I'm stopping in for pizza this week if I can spare the time!

Unknown said...

Though it is our customary policy to not to respond to critiques of DuClaw Brewing Company in blogs, I feel it is necessary to explain why we are not participating in Baltimore Beer Week this year. As I am sure all Maryland breweries are, we are very busy trying to brew and sell beer and prepare for the BAM Oktoberfest. When the information was first given to us about the BBW, I was not quite sure what was happening. This is not to say we were not given good or appropriate information; I was just unclear as to what we were supposed to do or how we would ‘participate’. In preparing for & attending several festivals, putting on our Real Ale Fest and launching at least 3 monthly seasonals (and a special project we have been working on) since we were first informed, we just we never able to figure out how we would participate, time passed and we missed the opportunity to be a part of it this year...things simply fell through the cracks. If this sounds ‘iffy’ to you, note that our brewery staff consists of 2 people (Jim & Bo), so when many things are happening for us, it is easy for us to get overwhelmed. I do regret not participating this year, and it is our intention to be a part next year.

With all that being said, I believe your 2nd reply was completely uncalled for. We at DuClaw, as I am sure every one of the places you listed, either sponsor, promote, donate or are involved in dozens, if not hundreds of events every year. If your attempt was to ‘shame’ places into participating next year, it was not well thought out. Also, If your initial post about our Mad Bishop release was to ‘hint’ we were trying to ‘ride off the coat tails of the event’ w/o paying, all of are beer releases are planned over a year in advance.

David Benfield
DuClaw Brewing Company

The Oriole Way said...

"The brewers of DuClaw were totally for DuClaw's involvement in BBW, but the company's owners were not." Sure sounds like opposition to me. They might not be opposed to the event in general, but it seems disingenius to suggest that they weren't opposed to their own involvement, seeing as how one faction of the organization wanted to particate and another part prevented them from doing so.

Brad said...

Noticed you mentioned Racer's. They're hosting a "Meet the Brewer" event on Oct 16th with Flying Dog. Does that count?

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Not in my opinion.

The fact that Racer's is not listed as a Beer Week sponsor means that Flying Dog approached Racer's to do an event for them, not that Racer's expended any effort or outreach.

If you'll look at the list of sponsors, you can find at least three sponsors that don't even have a single event scheduled. Yet they paid--in money or services rendered--to be part of Baltimore Beer Week.

Brad said...

Interesting stuff. Thanks for the reply.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

By the way, Oriole Way? When the guy who ultimately decides whether or not the company for whom you work goes to or gets involved in an event is the guy who signs your paychecks, you'd be smart to listen to him.