Friday, August 7, 2015

dontdrinkbeer executes a Trinity-Wendy's coup

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 4:14 PM

I can't speak from personal experience as to how magical Trinity Brewing's Magical Brettanomyces Tour is, but I can conclusively say that the lampoon job by dontdrinkbeer via Craft Beer & Brewing is nothing short of a magical journey. 

click to enlarge Just one taste of the Wendy's/Trinity combo. - COURTESY CB&B AND DDB
  • Courtesy CB&B and DDB
  • Just one taste of the Wendy's/Trinity combo.

Here's the setup, via CB&B: 
Ah! Trinity Brewing Company, ever the center of some gaff, mix-up, legal dispute, or ill-advised social media maneuver. Despite how you may feel about the various antics of the past from this brewery, they turn out pretty tasty farmhouse ales and have an articulated style to their offerings. Many would note that this penumbra is a shade too close for comfort to what Chad Yakobsen is doing just miles away at Crooked Stave, but that is a fireside chat for another day.

Recently Jason Yester at Trinity decided to showcase their various strains of Brett in a stripped down, Whites Stripes sort of fashion. They decided to brew a series of seven different beers, made with the exact same malt and mashing, each fermented with a single different strain of Brett. Here’s how the commercial tug job sells it:

“Curious about Brettanomyces? With our 7th Anniversary Project we've developed a series of 7 unique beers with the same base Saison recipe built with amaranth, lemon grass, grains of paradise, and rose hips. Each individual beer within this series is fermented from start to finish with 100% Brettanomyces and aged on French oak Chardonnay barrels. Each beer within this project is fermented with a single unique Brett, showcasing the dramatic diversity of the organism.”

This, from the outset seems interesting, but it also kind of sounds like the value menu items at Wendy’s in that you will be showcasing the simplicity and diversity, but at the core, it’s basically the same musty, funky offering over and over. To that end, dontdrinkbeer (DDB) reviewed the entire horizontal, and paired each beer with an offering off of the Wendy’s Right Price Right Size Menu—a natural union that transcends gourmand apprehension.

I reached out to Fort Collins-based CB&B editorial director Jamie Bogner, to hear how his publication put the feature together. 

Bogner says that Trinity's Yester mailed CB&B two complete sets of the MBT — one remains in the staff fridge, he says, and there's been talk of heading to Wendy's to re-create the tasting — and "another beer magazine had already run a straightforward article, so we were looking for a creative way to do something different."

He says that CB&B reached out to DDB — with whom they haven't worked before and whose real identity they don't actually know — and asked him to do a review. Obviously, he agreed. 

But what Bogner didn't stipulate was the Wendy's pairing, which DDB did on his (her?) own. 

"He's very polarizing," says Bogner, "but he has some very interesting insight around tastes and flavors that people do pay attention to ... he has a significant following among the small niche of beer nerds — that tends to be the same niche that Trinity's beer is aimed at. The writing isn't for everybody. The beer isn't for everybody." 

Bogner goes on to call DDB an "influencer," saying that DDB operates inside the online culture of tradable beers, the ones that are hard to get, and that people like DDB can drive up or down the value of beers.

From his perspective, Bogner says DDB's Trinity review was still largely respectful of the beer, despite the playful forum. "It was a bit risky for us, we didn't know if it was going to be a complete train wreck." 

But "it was done in the spirit of fun," he says. "When I read our tasting notes from our blind reviews, for 10 beers straight here I'll see the same words and adjectives used. It grows tiresome for our audience. The challenge from the editorial standpoint is making it fun and interesting."  

While writing this post, Yester, under his Saison Man Facebook persona, commented on a link to CB&B's piece that I posted on my Facebook page. He wrote: 
Heh ... that guy is straight comedy [tongue emoticon]. Love his reviews
I then asked if it was more of an honor to be covered by DDB or if it stings? He replied: 

More of a Steve Colbert situation, he gets all the good brewers eventually. Supposedly he's an attorney, nobody really knows exactly who this guy is
Guess that makes it all the more magical in the end. Cheers all round. 

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