28 July 2014

Bieree: A Smart Phone RIMS Kickstarter

Leonardo Estevez has been brewing for 20 years, creating brewing machines for himself during that time. Recently, in response to friends who want more control of the system, he launched a Kickstarter project to bring his latest version, called Bieree, to market. With a target price of $99, they hope to sell you a kit that lets you use your own pots.

I am not an engineer, and I have never seen anyone use a system to make beer, so their description of the process seems a lot like magic to me. I would like to make beer automatically, so this might be something to look at.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 12:13 0 comments links to this post

26 July 2014

Beer Geeks Season Two Indiegogo Fundraiser

The folks at Beer Geeks tried to raise money on Kickstarter for a second season, but didn't meet their goal. They've launched a new campaign on Indiegogo.

C'mon, people. If a guy can get thousands of dollars for making potato salad, surely we can get a second season of Beer Geeks!

posted by Jeff Holt at 15:03 0 comments links to this post

Genetically Modified Yeast on the Way

Kevin Verstrepen, a leading yeast geneticist at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology and the University of Leuven, Belgium, was interviewed recently in Popular Mechanics about genetically engineered yeast. Apparently, the university has several modified yeast strains in their freezers that eliminate undesirable yeast produced factors. However, public sentiment against GMOs is keeping those yeasts out of breweries.

Verstrepen said that since yeast aren't normally consumed by humans, the argument that the modification could be dangerous is a non-issue. However, some beers, hefeweizen springs to mind, does have yeast in it. And many beers are bottle conditioned, so I think the risk is higher than Verstrepen lets on.

It's the effect of the yeast on the wild population should it get out of the brewery that is the biggest concern. Verstrepen said that was the modified yeast out competing wild yeast in that even is unlikely, but something to watch out for.

I have visions of rabbits and cane toads in Australia in my head right now.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:50 0 comments links to this post

24 July 2014

Where to Get Free Beer in Austin

Thrillist put out a list of where you can get free beer in Austin.  I'm not going to tell you where. You get to play the clicking game!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:02 0 comments links to this post

22 July 2014

Chillpod Wine Bottle Quickchiller

Over at ThinkGeek.com, they have a Chillpod Wine Bottle Quickchiller. While they lament that beer geeks get all the cool toys and this one is for wine, I can see a bomber of Pliney the Elder slipping into one of these.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 13:02 0 comments links to this post

20 July 2014

Another Cease and Desist in the Brewing Industry

It's common for breweries to get cease and desist letters for logos and beer names. Freetail Brewing received one a few years ago for using Velocohopter, or something like that. Namaste Brewing company had to change their name because Dog Fish Head thought people would confuse a line of Indian inspired beers for their Belgian Wit Beer. Namaste is now called Kamala Brewing. Most of the time, the conflicts are honest mistakes that could be soothed over if brewers would talk to each other. Then there are the blatant copyright infringements.

Sessions Law Firm specializes in DUI cases, and they thought it would super cool to put their logo on brown beer can bags. Unfortunately, they used this logo:
Yeah, that's not good, and even to me (I am not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV) this is a fairly blatant rip off that also suggests people who drink Session Lager are people with DUIs. So Session Brewing Company has filed a Cease and Desist and Sessions Law has removed the logo from their website.

All this bring up a question: Who thought the logo was a good idea and think that Session Brewing would be flattered?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:16 0 comments links to this post

18 July 2014

Good News For My Massachusetts Friends!

Shiner Beer will start selling in Massachusetts this month. Gary Dzen wrote a story about it that includes a review of Shiner Bock. He was not impressed.

Dzen wrote: "One of the drawbacks of pouring this beer into a glass is having to look at it five minutes later. After a while it begins to look like flat Coke."

It made me laugh, because it reminded me of a joke.

At the Great American Beer Festival, the head of Budweiser, the head of Coors, and the head of Shiner stopped at a bar. The Budweiser guy ordered a bud Light, "The biggest selling beer in the world!" The Coors guy order a Coors Light, "The Silver Bullet!" The Shiner guy ordered a Coke.  "Why didn't you order a Shiner?" one of the others asked.

"If you aren't going to order beer, I won't either."

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posted by Jeff Holt at 14:25 0 comments links to this post

16 July 2014

903 Brewers to Expand and Add Ten Jobs

Despite the efforts of the Quockerwodgers in the Texas Legislature, Texas craft breweries continue to grow.

In Sherman, 903 Brewers will expand the size of their brewery and add 10 new jobs. This expansion will let them brew in one day what now takes them a week. And as soon as their canning line arrives, they will be able to get their beer, now keg only, out into the market.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:58 0 comments links to this post