Barley Mowat 

Focus on the LDB VI

with 12 comments

Wow. Sometimes you start an unrelenting campaign against a large corporation suspecting that you’ll go to your grave sixty years hence having tweeted at them every day to stop calling their lager an IPA with no effect (seriously, though, keep up the good fight, Lynn).

And sometimes that campaign has an effect and something changes. Or, more likely, something changes for reasons completely unrelated to your blog and its five articles calling out the LDB for never advertising craft beer. Whatever, they have an ad up now and I’m taking credit.

Yup, if you go over to the LDB’s website right this instant and look, you’ll see a big old ad for BC Craft Beer right there in the main rotator, and first in line at that!

Surely, though, this just links through to an 18-pack of Canadian on sale, right? I mean, that’s beer what is crafted in BC, and that’s about as deeply as the LDB considers such things, no? Well, I got news for ya, beer geeks, the linked packs are… well… uh… sorta okay. They’re okay.


M-E-H. Meh.

And that’s something to be happy about, as it represents a huge improvement over previous efforts. Let’s take a look at these puppies:

The “Craft Pack“: Whistler Whiskey Jack Amber, VIB Beachcomber Blonde, Nelson Old Brewery (Pale), Russell Cream and Lighthouse Fisgard 150 Bavarian Lager. Sure, it’s a solid meh on pretty much all accounts, but none of these beers are straight up bad.

UPDATE: See Anthony’s comment for the real contents. Sigh.

What about the “Craft Can Pack“? Tree Thirsty Beaver Amber, Phillips Blue Buck Pale, Fernie Griz Pale, Cannery IPA, Red Racer Pale, and Mt Begbie Kolsh. Whoa. Some good beers in there.

Sure, the LDB put together a description of these beers with such care and attention that they:

  • Omitted three brewery names
  • Omitted four beer styles
  • Misspelt two brewery names
  • Completely forgot one of the bottles

This yields a batting average of 0.333 for overall accuracy (Seriously? “Lighthourse”? “Vanvouver”? Are you paying the web staff in free booze?) but hey, it’s craft beer on the front page, right?

So we’re done here? All is good? Well, no, not even close. Just because the LDB has elected to not completely ignore us, I’m not about to fawn over them, forgetting the months of abuse we’ve endured. Us Craft Beer fans aren’t going to put this one glimmer of semi-respect up on a pedestal and proclaim all is well. Keep it up for six months, though, and we’ll talk.

So where does this put the running total for ad space?

Today:

Wine: 3
Beer: 1
Spirits: 1
Corporate: 1
Mixed: 1 (32% Spirits, 47% Wine, 21% Beer)

Running Total:

Liquor: 10 (+1)
Corporate: 12 (+1)
Wine: 27 (+4)
Beer: 2 (I gave ’em some credit for the mixed ad)

Lastly, I know I like to end these articles with a highlight of good beer at the LDB, but I will give them a hat tip here. They’ve done this job for me this time, so go have a gander while it’s up.

I’ll stop permanently when those ad numbers approach even.

Written by chuck

March 13th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Beer and You

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12 Responses to 'Focus on the LDB VI'

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  1. The actual beers in the BC Craft Pack this year are:

    > Lighthouse Tasman Ale
    > Tree Cutthroat Pale Ale
    > Steamworks Pilsner
    > Dead Frog Pale Ale
    > Hermanns Dark Lager
    > Parallel 49 Hoparazzi

    I think the description on the LDB website is for last year’s pack.

    Anthony

    13 Mar 13 at 16:05

  2. @Anthony — Thanks. I guess it might be a bit much for the LDB to actually tell us what’s in this magic box of beer they’re selling, eh?

    And here I was thinking their endemic apathy about all things beer was turning around. Oh well.

    chuck

    13 Mar 13 at 16:13

  3. Anthony

    13 Mar 13 at 16:15

  4. Don’t even get me started on cider.

    Loxy

    13 Mar 13 at 17:25

  5. By the LDB’s own numbers, their sales by dollars are 35% wine, 33% beer, 28% spirits and about 1.5% each for coolers and ciders. You’ll never see a cider ad, and probably rightly so, but the discrepancy between wine, spirits and beer is crazy.

    Ben Coli

    14 Mar 13 at 11:03

  6. Re: Cider it sure would be nice if the LDB even so much as CARRIED good cider. BC is a hotbed of good cider production, which makes sense when you think about it, but what does the LDB list?

    Of the 34 Canadian cider SKUs listed by the LDB, 18 are for Growers and 10 are for OK (MJG). No Merridale. No Sea Cider.

    Loxy is right; woe be upon the cider drinkers of BC.

    chuck

    14 Mar 13 at 11:10

  7. LDB’s weak response to accusations of not supporting BC craft beer by Chuck and others.

    Knee-jerk, reactive and obviously rushed and put together by someone that has no idea about the BC craft beer scene. I really hope someone from the LDB is reading this post and I am sure they are. Emails to the LDB pointing out these mistakes are in order…I know mine is sent.

    Paddy Treavor

    14 Mar 13 at 12:51

  8. To Paddy’s point, the email address for LDB feedback is:
    communications@bcldb.com

    Be sure to cite the shoddy info on these two products, whose SKUs are: 198036 (can pack) and 198028 (bottle pack). (SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit; it’s the catalogue index for any product the LDB lists)

    While you’re at it, you can ask them why BC breweries are having trouble getting their products listed at the LDB while said same LDB is actively trying to entice US breweries to list. To cite but one example: Driftwood Brewing, BC’s fastest growing and (by many measures) best brewery, only has five SKUs. The LDB simply isn’t interested in listing Driftwood’s incredibly popular seasonal releases, of which there are many.

    Molson, in comparison, has 33 SKUs, including NINE for Canadian alone. Nine.

    chuck

    14 Mar 13 at 13:19

  9. In defence of the LDB in this particular case, I do NOT believe these mistakes were made by them. It was whoever registered the SKU for sale, which makes it our mistake (and by us I mean the Craft Brewers Association). I will try to figure out how to fix it.

    Anthony

    14 Mar 13 at 15:11

  10. What about the possibility that the craft cideries and some of the craft beer seasonals don’t want to be listed? Merridale ciders (and probably Sea Cider and others) don’t have preservatives, so they have to be kept refrigerated and likely can’t be in most gov’t stores. Not that I’m trying to defend the gov’t stores especially because only carrying Grower’s/Okanagan ciders is a poor representation of the great BC ciders that exist, but just looking at a different perspective.

    Rayna

    15 Mar 13 at 10:12

  11. @Rayan — Definitely a consideration, but I have 100% had confirmation from local breweries (off the record due to fear of LDB reprisal) that they would like to have more listings, but can’t get them.

    chuck

    15 Mar 13 at 13:58

  12. I’m totally late to replying to the replies in this thread, but what the hell…

    I realize that good ciders don’t make it into LDBs because of the lack of refrigeration. But there are ones other than Growers and OK.

    And is it a matter of people not drinking cider because there are no cider drinkers or because the availability of decent ciders is utter crap?

    I need to take a trip to Washington State.. soon.

    Loxy

    18 Mar 13 at 17:33

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