Tasting: December 13, 2014
Style: Imperial Stout (Coffee)
Beer #: 667
Tweak by Avery Brewing Company
I asked my sister and brother-in-law to stop by the Carton Brewery to pick up a four pack of their Epitome Black Ale. Even though I told them I would reimburse their outlay, they were a little taken back that a four-pack of beer would cost $16. I guess if you are used to buying macro brewed beer the price tag on some craft beer just might provide a little sticker shock.
Even though there are other expenses that drive up costs, like labor and distribution, the difference is easily understood when looking at the amount and quality of materials used. In a nutshell, craft brewers tend to use more (and better) malt and hops than a macro brewer. For example, a mega-brewer might use a pound of cheap hops in each barrel and might spend a total of about $3 for the amount of hops needed for a barrel, while a craft brewer could easily use four pounds of hops and could spend about $80 for the same volume of beer.
It’s not just the hops either, a mega brewer might use about forty pounds of malt. At twenty cents a pound, that might mean about $8 in expense. On the other hand, a craft brewer might use two to two-and-a-half times in higher quality malt and spend $50 for that same barrel of beer.
In just these two ingredients – that’s $11 for the big boys and $130 for those high-priced craft beers. Sorry, but I’m willing to pay more for quality and based on the state of beer in the United States – it seems I’m not alone.
I guess I shouldn’t send anyone in my family out to buy this bottle of Tweak (especially my wife). It runs about $15 for a single twelve ounce bottle. Even that gets an ouch from me but I can appreciate the that Avery must have used an obscene amount of malt used to amplify the alcohol content up to the staggering 17.81% level.
Avery’s Tweak is simply massive and complex. I was totally expecting to be overrun by a wave of boozy heat but it was definitely held in check by a creamy espresso pop. Tweak was also surprising sweet like sugar with chocolate, black cherry and wisp of vanilla and oak. I’ll put this again Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout anyway. 96 points.