30 October 2006

Beer and Food Pairings

The latest issue of Zymurgy, published by the American Homebrew Association, has a great article about pairing beer with food, and, in particular, the Holiday table. For salads and appetizers, they recommmend all-malt-Pilsener, Belgian-style saison, Hefeweizen, or Witbier.

With the main course, sayroasted chicken or turkey, try a malty amber lager, brown ale, or oktoberfest. For Barbecue, maibock or a abbey-style dubbel. With grilled or roast beef, try porter or stout. And spicy dishes go well with hoppy beers, like an IPA.

With sweet deserts try a tripelor old ale. With cheescake or carrot cake have a strong, highly hopped beers like adouble IPA. With choclate serve imperial stout or Belgian dark ale. Fruit beers also go well with chocolate.

I am already looking forward to Thanksgiving.

posted by hiikeeba at 08:15 0 comments

28 October 2006

Beer by the Numbers

According to an AP story, there are 1409 breweries in the United States, which sold $82 billion last year. And the Big Boys control 96.5% of the market (Large US brewers and imports combined. And finally Americans drank 21.3 gallons of beer per capita last year.

posted by hiikeeba at 09:32 0 comments

26 October 2006

Frederick Miller Chocolate Lager

Miller Brewing Company is producing a chocolate lager for the holiday season. Named after the founder of the company, Frederick Miller Classic Chocolate Lager is the latest in the trend of the Big Boys competing with the micro brewers. And I, for one, am glad to see Miller and Bud trying to brew other things than American Lagers.

Back before Prohibition, every town with a German community had a brewery. Most of those breweries used local ingredients and made unique beers. Then the railroads came. Bud, Miller and Pabst arrived in refrigerated cars and the allure of Big City beers quickly killed the local competition. That and the cut-throat competition and price collusion.

Now, the Big Boys are trying new things! I think it's exciting. It's proof that their mindset is changing. For years they've tried to produce the same old bland beer. Consumers started leaving beer and going to wine and spirits where marketers have, by talking about the subtle flavors of the drink, have raised consumer awareness about the drinks. Now, it's beer's turn.

posted by hiikeeba at 16:04 1 comments

24 October 2006

Forgive the interruption, please

This is supposed to be a blog about beer and brewing, I know. But every once in a while, I must post something important that it off topic.

My aunt, Ann Holt, is a breast cancer survivor. She is participating in a five mile walk to raise money for breast cancer research. My other Aunt Ann is also a breast cancer survivor. My late Aunt Sue survived breast cancer to die of bone cancer earlier this year. My late Aunt Johnnie passed away from cancer last year. That's why I have made a donation to support Aunt Ann in her five-mile walk. If you aren't contributing to someone you love, please consider supporting Ann P Holt. Thanks.

posted by hiikeeba at 09:38 0 comments

22 October 2006

Great Grains Brewery in Dallas Closed

Living in the Texas Hill Country, I don't get to visit Dallas too often. It was with some surprise, then, when I learned the Great Grains Brewing Company in Dallas has closed. Great Grains had purchased the Yellow Rose line of beers from the Yellow Rose Brewing company in San Antonio.

I should have visited sooner.

posted by hiikeeba at 15:15 0 comments

20 October 2006

Kentucky Common Batch #1 - 2nd tasting notes

It took me long enough!

I had been trying to get together with my brewing partner for a couple of months and sample this. He's been busy, so I finally decided to try Kentucky Common Batch One myself.

This poured up dark brown with red highlights, and a nice tan head that dissapated rapidly.

The aroma was kinda mediciney, which I attribute to the anise seed. Speaking of anise seed, I am not a licorice guy.

The taste is dominated by licorace from the anise seed, with a bit of the sourness from the Belgian Ale yeast. A small bit.

I have to admit that this isn't bad. I don't think it's great, but it's not bad. Now that I know what the anise does to the beer, I won't do it again. Ever.

I used small herb balls to hold my hops, and there is little detectable hop flavor. Next time, I'll let the hops float loose.

I'd give this a 5 out of 10.

posted by hiikeeba at 18:31 0 comments

18 October 2006

Beer flavored potato chips - Finally!

Kettle chips in the UK is making a potato chip flavored with cheddar cheese and Adnams Broadside.

posted by hiikeeba at 20:30 1 comments

16 October 2006

Jack's Pumpkin Ale Tasting Notes

A month ago or so, the local Budweiser distributor presented us with Pumpkin Ale to sell at Oktoberfest. I have had other pumpkin beer, and was excited to see that the distributor was finally branching out beyond Bud and Bud Light. At the bar supervisors' meeting, a few people asked, "What the hell is that doing here?" One supervisor even said that if he were in charge he wouldn't have allowed it.

Well, here's a big "Nyah!" to them. We sold 8 1/16 bbl kegs (about 5 gallons each) over Oktoberfest weekend. There's more to our Oktoberfest than Budweiser and Miller.

Since the cups were opaque, I can't comment too much on the color. It appeared to be an amber colored beer. It had a tan colored head. It smelled of ginger. It was a sweet beer with not as much evidence of the ginger in the flavor. The pumpkin spices made the beer really shine. I have to admit, though, that I couldn't drink more than a bottle or two at a time. It's not a session beer, but would be very nice to sip after Thanksgiving dinner while watching football.

posted by hiikeeba at 17:35 2 comments

14 October 2006

Winter Ale

October is rapidly getting away from me, and if I don't get something into the fermenter by the end of the month, I won't have any beer for Christmas. I've decided to redo the Winter Ale I brewed last year.

2006 Winter Bourbon Cask Ale
OG = 1047 FG=1015 ABW ~3.25% ABV ~4%

1/2 lb Crystal 90 malt

6 1/4 lb light malt extract 1/4 lb chocolate malt 2 oz Cascade Hops (~6% AAU) 60 minutes 1 oz Cascade Hops 5 minutes 1/4 tsp Irish Moss (last 15 minutes for clarification) Wyeast 1056 American Ale/Chico yeast 8 oz oak chips 4 oz Jack Black 1 vanilla bean chopped

While the beer is fermenting, I will soak the oak chips and vanilla in the whiskey. When I transfer the beer to secondary I will drain the oak chips, and add them to the carboy. I will let the beer age for three weeks. Keg and/or bottle the beer and let it sit for a week at room temp, then three weeks in the fridge.

What are you brewing for the Holidays?


posted by hiikeeba at 13:33 0 comments

12 October 2006

Spoetzl Brewmaster Jimmy Mauric

Jimmy Mauric, brewmaster of Spoetzl Brewery, signed cups at the opening of Oktoberfest, in Fredericksburg this past Friday evening to unveil Shiner 97. Everyone of legal drinking age got an autographed cup of Shiner 97 Bohemian Black. The keg, I have been told, lasted ten minutes.

posted by hiikeeba at 08:28 0 comments

10 October 2006

Shiner 97 at Oktoberfest

I sampled a 6 pack of Shiner 97 Bohemian Black Lager a week or so ago. I thought it was a pretty beer, pouring up black with some ruby highlights, with a nice thick tan head. The smell was dominated by the roasted malt. It had a smooth taste with a coffee finish. It's a good beer. Nothing to get too excited about, but a good beer.

Over the past weekend, I attended Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, and drank a few cups on tap. To me, all beer tastes better on tap, and so it was with Shiner 97. The appearance hadn't changed, but the flavor was a bit smoother, with less of a coffee finish than in the bottle. Again, I like it, but it's not my favorite Shine product. Instead I drank Summer Stock all weekend.

posted by hiikeeba at 17:27 0 comments

08 October 2006

How to Pour and Present a Beer

I have volunteered at Fredericksburg, Texas' Oktoberfest as a bar supervisor for the last ten years or so. One thing that is a constant is that some people can't pour beer. They will fill a cup full of foam, then keep running foamy beer into the cup as they pour the foam from the cup. Not matter how many times you show them, they do it wrong.

Here's a link to the History Channel Video gallery that shows how you should pour and serve a beer. A little foam is a good thing!

posted by hiikeeba at 08:11 0 comments

06 October 2006

Toohey's Beer Ad

I want to meet a woman like this!

posted by hiikeeba at 09:01 0 comments

04 October 2006

Fredericksburg Oktoberfest

It's that time of year again! This year's Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, Texas starts Friday, and will kick off with the debut of Shiner 97, on tap, in these parts. Shiner 97 is a Bohemian Black Lager, and is the second beer in the countdown to Shiner's 100th anniversary. And the Brewmaster from Spoetzl Brewery will be on hand to open the event.

Also on tap will be Jack's Pumpkin Ale from mega brewer Anheuser-Busch.

Plus, there will be all the wurst and sauerkraut you can eat between polkas on two dance floors.

See you there!

posted by hiikeeba at 14:55 0 comments

03 October 2006

The Horror! The Horror!

Four percent of the US hop crop (that rhymes!) went up in flames at a Yakima, Washington fire yesterday.

If beer companies take a page from the oil companies' pricing guidebook, expect increases in beer prices in the hundreds of percent!

Seriously, though, hops prices will increase as a result of the fire. I doubt there will be shortages to the major brewers. Homebrewers, on the other hand, might experience shortages of their favorite Washington hops, and certainly higher prices in the homebrew shops.

posted by hiikeeba at 10:16 0 comments

02 October 2006

More Beer Goggle Video

posted by hiikeeba at 14:52 1 comments

01 October 2006

Texas GABF Winners!

Shiner Brewing Company won a bronze medal in the Great American Beer Festival's American Wheat category with their Hefeweizen. Humperdink's Restaurant and brewery in Dallas won a gold medal for their Smokin' Mesquite Ale in the specialty beer category and a silver in the American-style Dark lager category with their Freidafest. St. Arnolds Brewing Company won a bronze for their Lawnmower Beer. And Lone Star from Pabst Brewing Company garnered a silver in the American Cream Ale/Lager category

Congratulations to everyone!

posted by hiikeeba at 19:11 0 comments