Thursday, May 1, 2008

Moe Redeems Himself

Moe Shows Up For Work and Proves His Worth

In hindsight, I may have been a bit harsh on Moe and his Backroom Lager. No doubt this beer falls into the realm of the so-called “session” beers or a throw away beer as I like to call them.

After tasting and reviewing Backroom Lager I’ve had occasion to sample the remaining members of that particular six pack and, when employing a slightly more aggressive pour, I wind up with a better looking beer and, if you believe some of what you read on the more upscale beer sites, a different tasting beer. Perhaps more important than pouring and sampling was what I’ll refer to as setting and circumstance.

Here's the skinny: Pulling out of the driveway this morning I realized that we had a pipe leak somewhere in our front yard, between the utility meter box and the house. Not good. I spent the better part of the morning – with the assistance of my son-in-law – digging a trench in the yard attempting to locate the pipe and its leak. I’d placed a call to my plumbing company of choice Parker & Sons (Yeah, I like them, they do great work. Here’s a link to their website: ) and when their technician arrived he rather sheepishly explained that they have a system of replacing pipes that doesn’t require trenching. Bottom line: I’d just spent the better part of three hours digging holes that didn’t need to be dug! Whatever.

Good, honest physical labor should earn a fellow a decent lunch. I boiled up a few hot Italian sausages in beer (Miller High Life), with some chopped green pepper and some onion, then transferred the whole lot to the grill for a second bit of cooking. Then, as my son-in-law and I were plating our lunches, I had the difficult task of deciding what beer to have with my sausages. I’ve got little bits of several previously sampled beers stored in the fridge, along with a bottle of Duvel and some Hazed and Infused. In my quest through the fridge, I spied, way in the back, laying on its side, the last bottle of the maligned Moe’s Backroom Lager. Frankly, it looked like forlorn flotsam, washed up at the back of the shelf, dropped in the wake of a double-hulled Depression-era booze running boat. Fine!

Under the circumstances, Moe’s Backroom Lager held up pretty nicely. It was a nice compliment to the sausages and it tasted pretty darned good as a simple thirst quencher. The price is right – still about a buck a bottle on sale. I think I might even be conned into trying Moe’s Amber.

But you’re still not off the hook Moe! I think there’s something of a pretense to you, something unseen and hidden. Your website ( ) touts you as an American craft beer born from the ashes of prohibition. Yet that very same website has but a single page, with little more than a set of links for grocery stores that carry your product. Your label carries the phrase Certified Genuine. Genuine what?!

I’m going to say it, Moe. I don’t think you’re a craft beer. Until I hear otherwise, Moe, you’re a session beer on par with maybe Natural Light or perhaps Miller High Life on a good day. But that’s okay, Moe. Be what you are. Own it. Don’t try to be something you’re not. After all, pour, presentation and mouth feel are only parts of an equation that herein will now also include setting and circumstance.

1 comment:

Virgil G said...

"After all, pour, presentation and mouth feel are only parts of an equation that herein will now also include setting and circumstance."

Setting and circumstance are one of the major contributing factors to enjoyment.

If you are in the mood for a certain beer, it will enhance it's value. (Conversely it could also set you up for a major letdown).

Imagine you got your hands on a bottle of Westy 12. You'll most likely have read all the reviews on BA or RB; you got you a nice glass; you got rid of all the distractions; then you proceeded to drink the bottle one slow sip at a time. You enjoy the hell outta it.

Now (the scary version) you have a bottle of westy 12 sitting in your friend, your buddy comes over, looks through the fridge, grabs the bottle without the label, and chugs it. You find out he drinks it, ask him how it was, he says... "uh... it was ok, i guess, what was it?"

You would have been set up for a great experience; based on the setting and circumstance, whereas your friend probably wouldn't have been.

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