The Craft Beer Convert http://www.craftbeerconvert.com Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:17:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Serving it up at Starved Rock Family Fun! http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/07/19/serving-it-up-at-starved-rock-family-fun/ Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:17:05 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=75 Read More]]>

Well, welcome back to the Craft Beer Convert on this episode I get to toot my own horn a bit and shamelessly plug my own business! You see I own a driving range and miniature golf course in the town of La Salle, Illinois and while I have had my liquor license for a few years now I finally have my first shipment of a local craft beer and you guessed it, it’s my personal favorite Kit Kupfer from Tangled Roots brewery in nearby Ottawa, Illinois. Now for me the biggest challenge won’t be to promote it to my customers but rather to sell it and not drink it! So, now when you come to the area to visit the brewery you can start out at Starved Rock Family Fun and have a beer or two while taking in a round of mini-golf, smacking around a bucket of balls on the driving range or relaxing while testing your skills at shuffle board or bocce balls. That will allow you to enjoy an ice cold Kit Kupfer while you build an appetite before you head over to Ottawa and the Lone Buffalo for a bite to eat and perhaps a flight so you can sample a few choice blends.

 

I love the thought of how local products can bring an area together; for example (another plug) on July 30th out here at Starved Rock Family Fun will be putting together a lot of different local things to produce a hopefully fun and successful event. We will be having a local musical group, a group of local vendors, and a certain local beer all out at a local business in hopes of helping each other gain a little notoriety and maybe even make a little money. Events like this also are a great time for the public and for us as well; so if you happen to be in the area stop on in! Finally, as always may your next brew be cold and of great quality.

 

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Summer Fun Fests http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/07/19/summer-fun-fests/ Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:14:20 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=72 Read More]]>

This version of the Craft Beer Convert focuses on fun and festivals; it’s that time of year where many communities have city wide festivals and these festivals have a large range of beer products. But recently there has been a trend towards craft beer tastings and craft beer as an option in the beer gardens. I for one have enjoyed this trend and recently enjoyed it first hand at my hometown’s celebration days at The Best Fest in Oglesby Illinois. Yes. You guessed it on tap was my absolute favorite, Kit Kupfer, so while I was there I was also helping out the Tangled Rots crew by converting as many of my friends over to Kupfer from their regular main stream beers. It was a blast and I found that more than half of the people I challenged to try one not only thought it was pretty good but also then ordered one for themselves and I even saw a couple suggest it to their friends! I guess the amazing thing to me was that many of these people who live in the community had never been to Tangled Roots and others had not even heard of it. Now I know Tangled Roots has done a large amount of advertising, but yet people still hadn’t heard about it yet!

 

So, I asked myself why had this group of people not heard? Well, of course there are many attributes to this but the one I am focusing on is tunnel vision; many of us live only in our own little world and don’t deviate from it much. For this reason people have got it in their minds that they don’t like craft beer and have no interest in trying it and thus have no interest in a new business in their area. Now I suppose I am guilty of that type of behavior in some areas; I guess when a new health club opens I don’t rush to check it out, though when I look in the mirror maybe I should (Note: get rid of mirror)! Ok, I will get off my soap box now, but my point is if you drink beer check out some of your local breweries you may find a beer you really like and at a festival try the small guys brew they could use your help and I will guarantee it will be appreciated more by them. Until next time may your brews be cold and of great quality!

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Launch Parties http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/07/05/launch-parties/ Wed, 05 Jul 2017 18:02:16 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=68 Read More]]> One of the great things about craft beers is when you begin to see it develop from a brew house beer to a local beer and with that the launch parties at all the local places. So, being involved with Tangled Roots early on it has been fun to attend these events and see people try the different brews for the first time and gauge their reactions. Recently, I attended one at a local spot, Water Street Pub in Peru Illinois, and it was a wonderful time and as they came around with samples I gave Kit Kupfer a try and for the 450th time I sampled it the beer was incredible again. As you will see from the pictures I posted it was fun hanging out with Keith the boss man at Tangled Roots, Mark the main sales dude and one of the amazing brewers Louie. You will also get a rare look at my commander and chief Debbie (she doesn’t like to be photographed, lol) in her Tangled Roots swag and enjoying a great event.

 

That is a very important part of the growth of a brewery and a beer brand; as many of us know, advertising is very expensive and difficult to manage. This is something that most small businesses and breweries do not have and rely on word of mouth and loyalty of customers to survive; that is why I am such a proponent of buying local and supporting the little guy. Though sometimes a product maybe a little more expensive it has such a larger effect on the owner and even the area we live in. Ok, enough with the economics lesson and back to the beer; we all know that craft beer will never replace the big beer companies and in reality are not trying to but by supporting the craft beer industry we can guarantee ourselves a choice in the matter.

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A little craft beer history http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/06/16/a-little-craft-beer-history/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:29:16 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=62 Read More]]> My personal craft beer history as you know is only a few years long as I just came upon it as I toured Europe a decade ago and then my curiosity and passion grew as my home brewery Tangled Roots began to take shape and I was able to watch it grow. But  I thought to myself when did this whole craft beer revolution take place and how long have I been missing out. Well, an obvious answer is it has been going on for ever; after all even Budweiser and Miller brewing were a craft beer at one time. I mean know one starts out at a million barrels a week.  But what I am talking about is the more recent vintage of craft brewers.

The more recent variety began in the late 1970s when it appeared as though the beer industry was going to dwindle down to 5 major breweries. But a revolution of sorts began and the hobby of home brewing began to gain popularity; this was the movement that became the craft beer industry.  The 80s saw the birth of the micro breweries which began to take the home brews out to market and many became regional favorites. But these small brew pubs and micro breweries struggled to gain traction because of the marketing of the large breweries.  But in the 90s things began to change as the brew pubs started to become more and more popular and by 2004 had captured 35% of the market.   As the years have gone by many beer drinkers have become more educated and more curious about what is now known as the craft beer industry; thus growing the industry to what it is today. I am not sure how long you have been involved with craft beer, but after learning how long it has been around I feel like a novice that needs to catch up, one beer at a time! Until next time may all your brews be cold and of good quality!!

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Tangled Roots Hitting the Market http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/06/09/tangled-roots-hitting-the-market/ Fri, 09 Jun 2017 17:14:34 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=52 Read More]]> In this addition allow me the opportunity to brag a bit about my home brewery; Tangled Roots has entered into a new phase of its long journey and I am very excited to tell you about it. Earlier this year the brand has been introduced and launched in many of our local pubs and restaurants and was available out of the tap. This was an exciting step towards the dream of becoming a main stream quality beer. I attended a couple of the launch parties; one of which was at the lounge of Starved Rock State Park (a large tourist attraction in central Illinois) and it went over great, This gives the people of our area and those visiting the chance to have a variety of settings to try and enjoy the great beverages Tangled Roots has to offer.

However, now Tangled Roots has taken another new and enormous step in marketing the brand and in entering the market with the addition of a bottling line.  That’s right now my favorite brews; Kit Kupher and The Devil’s Paint Box IPA are available in bottle and six pack form! You can new head to many of our local liquor stores and pick up a six pack to enjoy at home; this also opens the door for you to contact Tangled Roots and have some shipped your way.  I will be finding out more information on this very soon and share it with you in my next blog. I am also working on posting some photos of my recent trip and of my other craft beer exploits; so as we travel through this journey together you can not only read but see what I am talking about. Until next time may your next brew be cold and of fine quality!

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Trip to Indianapolis http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/06/02/trip-to-indianapolis/ Fri, 02 Jun 2017 18:17:35 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=50 Read More]]> Well I am happy to report that I had an amazing trip to Indianapolis; took in carburetor day on Friday, then took a quick trip to Churchill downs on Saturday and finished the trip by viewing the Indy 500 on Sunday! How can you beat that for an incredible weekend trip? Easy, you hit a few craft beer joints and I found some great ones! I am lucky enough to have a friend who works for Andretti Auto Racing and she lives in Carmel, Indiana; knowing our group liked our craft beer she took us on a craft beer tour of this great town.

We began on Thursday night hitting what can only be called a beer joint as this small building located in a strip mall called the Union Brew Company and it had a nice variety of  on cask and on tap choices; I selected a blonde named  Center Point Gold and it was a very light and refreshing ale which I   would recommend to someone that is just dipping their toe into craft beer. On Friday evening we took in supper at  the Brockway Pub and I couldn’t resist a nice flight after a long day at the track; I was able to select three brews out of their local beer brand, Danny Boy Brew Works, collection. I began with a Pineapple IPA; which had an interesting fruity after taste, it was ok but not my favorite. Next I moved to an Irish Red that packed a full bodied taste, then I finished with the brew I would stick to the rest of the night. That selection the Ginger Witte a withier and a very smooth drinking brew I would highly recommend trying.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have room to add a couple of the other pubs we tried or the several more I will be trying on my next trip to a true craft beer town. I will defiantly be returning to Carmel, Indiana. In the next blog I will be sharing some exciting news about my home brewery, Tangled Roots launching there bottle line and where it is becoming available.

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Heading to Indianapolis! http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/05/23/heading-to-indianapolis/ Tue, 23 May 2017 13:13:43 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=46 Read More]]> Just wanted to touch base with everyone before I head out on an adventure this weekend. I am going to have an amazing weekend in Indianapolis and Louisville; I will be at the speedway on Friday for the activities and Sunday for the big race, then on Saturday I will be taking in some horse racing at the famous Churchill Downs. So as you can see it is a bucket list weekend. Here is where you guys come in; I will be staying in Carmel, Indiana and need some good craft beer recommendations in the three cities I listed above.  That way I can share my adventure and a few thoughts on your recommendations and maybe a couple establishments I stumble upon on my own. I know this article is a bit short but next week’s will be a big one and then we are going to get into the actual art of brewing as we move along! Have a great week!!

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More on Phoenix http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/05/02/30/ Tue, 02 May 2017 15:44:26 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=30 Read More]]> The Craft Beer Convert

 

Hello again it’s the Craft Beer Convert here; today I would like to expand a bit and talk a little about my recent trip to Phoenix, Arizona. While at my Mother-in-law’s vacation complex’s club house bar I discovered a local craft brew which I found to be very tasty. The name of the beverage was Kilt Lifter, made by Four Peaks Brewery out of Tempe, Arizona. Four peaks started as many do as a small brewery and has grown into a substantial brewery, restaurant and tasting room.  The restaurant we stopped at was located near the Arizona State University campus and it is really a popular place, especially on the weekends. When we were there in March they were continuing their twentieth year celebration as well as the exciting news that the Kilt Lifter brand had just been sold to Budweiser Corporation; every craft brewers dream. So as you can see, even the big boys like Budweiser appreciate a quality craft beer. If your travels ever take you that way I highly recommend that you stop in and say hello to their friendly and knowledgeable staff. They have a large variety of beers, t-shirts and are always willing to show you around and give you a sample.

 

That brings me to something else that I strongly feel can make a brewery; a knowledgeable and friendly staff. I think that this is something that is very unique to the craft beer industry, the breweries usually start off small and are extremely passionate about what they do and love to share it with their customers. But really, in the craft beer industry the customers are more like followers and hook onto their home brewery and tasting room and love to follow what is the latest development and share it like it is their own; which I guess in a way it is. That brings me back to my experience with my home brewery, (Tangled Roots in Ottawa, Illinois). One of the big reasons that I am such a huge follower is because I was lucky enough to get in on the process literally from the ground up. I actually tasted my favorite beer Kit Kupfer before there really was a brewery; I have a good friend who was very instrumental in the startup of Tangled Roots Tand the sister restaurant, the Lone Buffalo. I actually got my first tour of the place right after the big brew kettles arrived from Germany and believe me not much else was there. But quickly the place developed into the amazing facility it has become with a large elegant restaurant and a simply amazing tasting room. If you want a unique experience stop on into the tasting room; I am there most Fridays and we can share one and talk a little craft beer. The other part of the adventure so far I have enjoyed is watching how far and how quickly the staff has grown in knowledge of the products they serve. They are fully capable of pointing you to the right beer for your particular taste; they will also be more than happy to pour you a flight with a variety of flavors for you to sample. Obviously, I am a little bias towards my home brewery as you will be towards you but I have found the experience at nearly all the tasting rooms and small breweries I have visited to be very enjoyable.

In the next addition of the blog I think we may start to look at getting a bit more in depth about the different categories of craft beers and why they are categorized that way.

 

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Recent Phoenix Trip http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/05/02/recent-phoenix-trip/ Tue, 02 May 2017 15:43:13 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=28 Read More]]>  

Hello again it’s the Craft Beer Convert here; today I would like to expand a bit and talk a little about my recent trip to Phoenix, Arizona. While at my Mother-in-law’s vacation complex’s club house bar I discovered a local craft brew which I found to be very tasty. The name of the beverage was Kilt Lifter, made by Four Peaks Brewery out of Tempe, Arizona. Four peaks started as many do as a small brewery and has grown into a substantial brewery, restaurant and tasting room.  The restaurant we stopped at was located near the Arizona State University campus and it is really a popular place, especially on the weekends. When we were there in March they were continuing their twentieth year celebration as well as the exciting news that the Kilt Lifter brand had just been sold to Budweiser Corporation; every craft brewers dream. So as you can see, even the big boys like Budweiser appreciate a quality craft beer. If your travels ever take you that way I highly recommend that you stop in and say hello to their friendly and knowledgeable staff. They have a large variety of beers, t-shirts and are always willing to show you around and give you a sample.
That brings me to something else that I strongly feel can make a brewery; a knowledgeable and friendly staff. I think that this is something that is very unique to the craft beer industry, the breweries usually start off small and are extremely passionate about what they do and love to share it with their customers. But really, in the craft beer industry the customers are more like followers and hook onto their home brewery and tasting room and love to follow what is the latest development and share it like it is their own; which I guess in a way it is.

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The Craft Beer Convert http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/2017/05/02/the-craft-beer-convert/ Tue, 02 May 2017 15:41:30 +0000 http://www.craftbeerconvert.com/?p=26 Read More]]> The Craft Beer Convert

 

To begin this blog I should begin by introducing myself and why I have decided to start this adventure. First off, I am a 48 year old man who has recently (about 3 years) discovered the joy and vastness the craft beer industry offers. I like many of you have always enjoyed beer but for the vast majority of my life I was the sit at the bar or pub and pound the big name brand light beers and was more interested in quantity than quality. But that all changed when a few years ago my brother in law told me I needed to start expanding my pallet and try as he calls them “some real beers”. Well begrudgingly, I did and low and behold I discovered there was a new and exciting world of beer I never n

Knew existed. Now I don’t claim to be an authority on all the craft beer in the world and I’m not sure I will ever be but I have friends at my home brewery that are; by the way I recommend finding a local brewer to learn from, My home base is Tangled Roots Brewery in Ottawa Illinois; where I proudly boast the title of member number one!

 

So now if you’re like me you are thinking why should I follow your blog? What’s in it for me? Simply put I was once a main stream beer guy like many of you and am now a novice craft beer guy like some of others and I am working to be more of an expert like others of you. In this blog I will have something for all levels in a fun and informative style; as I have experiences, learn from the experts and monitor trends in the industry I will pass it on to you. As we move along we will all become more familiar with the types of craft beer, what goes into making them and of course recommendations on where to try them and the best way to sample. Now understand that all recommendations I make may not work for you and not all you make will be ones I like, but that is why there are so many types of craft beer and so many different breweries around the world. I hope that you will join me in my new adventure and can be a part of it as well. Look for my next blog when the true adventure begins and we begin to uncover this somewhat hidden world of craft beer. Until then may all your beer be fresh and ice cold!

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