Buying Beer Online

I have a nasty addiction to EPIC’s Big Bad Baptist. I absolutely love the stuff and it is easily one of my top 5 beers, you can read my review of it from earlier this year over here. It’s a fantastic bourbon barrel aged imperial stout that is usually widely available and reasonably priced. One of the cool things about Big Bad Baptist is that each batch is slightly different varying malts, hops, coffee, barrels, and length of time in barrels. This introduces some great variety but has caused me major grief in the past month.

It’s not so much the beer that’s caused me grief as much as Ohio’s archaic and idiotic laws. Ohio has a ban on all beer over 12% ABV and Big Bad Baptist batch #13 was 12.2%. Some bottles were released from the distributor to stores before this was discovered but then distribution was cut off and stores could sell out of what they had. I was lucky enough to score 1 bottle at Cappy’s over in Loveland but my desire to cellar demanded more. With all other local stores sold out I turned, for the first time, to the internet to buy my beer.

After checking out a few sites I decided to go with Craft Shack offers a variety of beers from across the country at all levels of ABV. This does come with a slightly increased cost and a significant shipping charge. You also have to buy a minimum of 3 bottles.

Shipping only took 7 business days but at $16 I feel like it should’ve come faster. A big concern of mine was the quality of the packaging. Having traded many beers I’ve seen some great and some horrendous packaging. CraftShack’s was slightly above average but left much to be desired. They used molded cardboard(?) and then wrapped the bottles in newspaper.

The molded cardboard is great. However, I’d have preferred to see some bubble wrap around these bottles and would really love to see a bag around them. If one breaks somehow and the box gets wet then the package gets pulled and your beer never gets delivered. This is why when I trade beer all bottles go in their own Ziploc. That was a concern for me here but obviously not a problem as I still got my beer!

All said it was pricier than I would’ve liked but I feel it was a fair premium to get beers I can’t get here.


Beer Review: Clown Shoes Galactica & Hoppy Feet

Ohio is receiving lots of distribution from new (to us) breweries at the end of 2013.  New Belgium, Deschutes, and others will be here before the end of the year but it’s getting kicked off with Clown Shoes. Clown Shoes is a contract brewing operation out of Massachusetts that’s known for somewhat insensitive beer names like Tramp Stamp, Lubrication, and Brown Angel. Controversial names haven’t stopped them from making big and interesting beers for a few years distributing them to a variety of states before finally coming here.

Clown Shoes is initially gracing Ohio with 6 different brews: Galactica and Hoppy Feet are here in 4-packs of 12 oz bottles, Chocolate Sombrero, Genghis Pecan, and Muffin Top are all in 22 oz bombers, finally Tramp Stamp is draft only, at least for now. I did a review of a bottle of Tramp Stamp that I brought back from Georgia last year, you can read that here. I also had a bottle of their Chocolate Sombrero which, in short, is a spicy chocolate imperial stout starting out with some heat that slowly builds and adds in rich chocolate as the glass warms.  I have yet to have Genghis Pecan or Muffin Top and my thoughts on Galactica and Hoppy Feet are just below!

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Beer Review: Clown Shoe’s Tramp Stamp

Ahh the Tramp Stamp, that famous female upper-ass tattoo of the late 90’s and early 00’s, the female counterpart to men’s tribal tattoo. Both were a hot fad until people realized they had these tattoos forever and these tattoos made them look a bit like a douche. Luckily this beer won’t make you look like a douche, unfortunately it doesn’t last forever. While in Atlanta for Christmas my dad took my brother and I to The Beer Growler. While they had over 50 some beers this one immediately stood out to me. First for the brewery name then the beer name. I knew I’d heard good things about Clown Shoe’s beer but couldn’t remember where I heard it or what beer I’d heard about. As soon as I took a taste of the sample they gave me I knew this was going in my growler. I ended up buying a bottle of it and filling my growler with it again before leaving town. That growler is getting drunk tonight for New Years Eve, but before all that gets going read my thoughts after the jump.

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Beercation: Atlanta

While we try to focus on Cincinnati in this blog I want to take a few minutes of your time to talk about beer in Atlanta. Part of my family and a friend have moved to Atlanta over the past few years and the city hosts a decent beer scene. While they don’t have nearly as many breweries as us they do have one that is noticeable more massive. There are also many good bars and beer stores that provide a nice variety of stuff we can’t get here.

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