(The following post is published on who/what/why we carry and who/what/why we don't carry certain beer from certain brewers. This process matters to us and it should matter to you)
There comes a certain moment in you’re beer journey/life. A moment when there is so much good beer at reach, within your finger tips.
You start to think about beer differently.
Ok, so I have always thought about beer differently.
Differently as in, do I like the way this brewery portrays themselves? Do like what beer they make? Philosophically, what are they trying to say about the beer they make? Do they have bad beards and worse tattoos?
What I am trying to get across here, (and this sounds terrible and cringe worthy beyond all belief) that once you have had some of the best
(And I mean … THE. BEST.)
beers in the world, you think about everything differently.
Once you have had fresh-just been bottled/canned one-week-old Heady Topper, Dreadnaught or Abrasive,
Trying to get the next “it” IPA seems futile and irrelevant.
You weigh and take every beer as it comes on its merits, assessing how you feel about the “feel” of the brewery behind it.
So it’s with this sense of relevance that I approach the beers from the boys at Garage Project.
I want to love Garage Project.
I really do.
Their concepts are cool, their artwork is always on point, and they seem to scratch every “trend” itch before it even becomes a “thing”.
However they have yet to win me over.
I once asked them (admittedly it was on twitter. Nothing near to a coronial inquiry, I might add) about how they seem to get the very latest and best equipment every short period of time you turn a page in the long list of chapters in their brewing book.
I asked if they had financial backing from anybody. Say, Lex Luthor?
They said it was just two guys and a garage.
Now, anyone can take them at their word, but somehow I just don’t believe them.
Well, it’s either that they have financial backing from someone they don’t want us to know about, have the nicest and most lenient bank manager in the western civilised world – or they grew up with the richest parents this side of Alan Bond.
Never the less, maybe I’m just jealous. It’s always been one of my Achilles Heel’s.
The next unfortunate point about the beers is that they are all very well made beers, tightly, brightly put together. Sounds great right?
Yet, why is it that I always feel when I am drinking a Garage Project brew, that there is a total absence and lacking of any soul?
Just another style they have had a crack at (every modern brewery now files this under “PUSHING THE BOUNDRIES MAAAAAAAAAAN” mantra).
And for someone like me, that is one of the first things I look for in a beer after assessing its quality.
Another notch against them for the boys at GP is that almost everyone that tells me how much they love their beer. Is unfortunately, usually someone that has been drinking good beer for the best part of twelve and half minutes. Typically vain, design orientated (ugh) and before the boys from “Welli”, their favourite brewer was Mikkeler (says it all).
Which equates to a lot of people that I cannot stand the sight of, let alone hear the garbage that comes out of their mouth about beer.
Unfortunately, I have yet to reach my true sticking point with the brewery.
On certain occasions, the price of Garage Project beers can somewhat make me look twice at the calculator.
And this is coming from someone who has been around since the ‘Innispre’ days.
Obviously I would never expect their beer to be cheap, they have a lot of margin to recuperate, all those shiny things, great design, and attending to those immaculately kept rugged beards must take the better part of the day.
However, do I think that their beers are sometimes to often 25%-30% worth more than other breweries putting out either similar brews or that of better quality and value (regardless they being local, Europe or Stateside)?
No, no I don’t.
Sometimes I get so angry and I want to send them an email or a letter, possibly written in my own blood. That would go something like this…
“DEAR GARAGE PROJECT,
PLEASE STOP MAKING TAWDRY, SHITE, IMPRESSIONABLE, BREAKING BAD-ESQUE SILLY MARKETING VIDEOS ABOUT SOME RIDICULOUSLY MADE IPA OR SOME POITNLESS GIMMICKY ARMY BARRICKS AT BEERVANA THAT IS AIMED AT IMPRESSIONABLE PEOPLE WHO’S LIFE GOALS AMOUNT IN ASPIRING TO HAVE A TATTOO LIKE ON OF YOUR BEER LABELS.
CONCENTRATE ON MAKING YOUR BEER READILY AVAILABLE WITH MORE PANACHE, SOUL, CHARETER AND LESS EXPENSIVE.
FOR FUCK SAKE, IMMA LOOSE MA SHITZ…”
Yeah, like I was saying. Something like that…
Having said all this, Far from what you are thinking, this isn't personal.
As the late great Tupac Shakur said “Strictly business, baby, strictly business”.
Alas, I have heard from several people, not to mention my favourite ‘Smash Bro’ Stu from Yeastie Boys that all the boys from GP are great. He has said we would get along like a pair of seagulls out the back of a fish and chip shop.
And maybe that’s it, maybe we just need to spend a night together getting drunk, talking shit (I am an expert – obvs – ) listening to music and eating hot dogs. And, maybe then I'll just "get it".
However, for the time being, that’s is why you rarely see Garage Project beers on our shelves in both our stores.