30 March 2006

Heaven on Earth in the Czech Republic

The Chodovar Family brewery in Chodova Plana, Czech Republic, has opened a beer spa in a celler under their brewery, complete with 7 tubs full of beer to lounge in, beer massages and beer cosmetics. Sign me up!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:22 0 comments links to this post

28 March 2006

AHS Belgian Wit

I transferred the Belgian Wheat to secondary on Monday. The gravity was 1.019, which makes the alchol about 2.55% ABW and 3.27% ABV.

Now, two weeks in the carboy, and then into the keg.


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:30 1 comments links to this post

26 March 2006

How to find a good beer shop

Donovan Hall posted a great article at The Spirit World on finding a food beer shop. His best tip? Check for dust on the bottle! Just as you should buy your fish from a busy fish monger, you should buy your beer from a busy beer shop. You can depend on the freshness.

My cousin, who lives in Midland, has a great beer shop in town, called The Wine Rack, they sell a large selection of wines and beers. We went in there one afternoon, and like a couple of kids in a candy store, dropped $100 bucks on beer! If you're in the Midland area, and you have not been there, here's a map. I'll be visiting Midland at the end of next month. I'll try to snap a couple of pics.

Another great place to visit for beer in Midland is The Bar. Great food and Guinness on tap. Heaven in West Texas!

Post the name address and link of your favorite beer shop in the comments. Hey! I'll give everyone who posts a shop an invite to Gmail.


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:44 1 comments links to this post

24 March 2006

More - Is There Anything That Beer Isn't Good For?

At this rate, I'm going to have to create some sort of category in the sidebar to chronicle all the joyful news.

1. Research at Oregon State University shows that beer contains a micronutrient that inhibits cancer-causing enzymes, according to a UPI article in November of 2005.

2. Beer offers a resultant anti-inflammatory effect which may have a "beneficial impact on coronary heart diseases", according to The Register.

3. Swedish researchers discovered that mice fed with moderate amounts of alcohol grew new nerve cells in the brain.

4. A recent CNN article recapped the impact of hops on heart disease, but went on to report "Over in the Czech Republic, doctors have found that moderate beer consumption slows aging. . ."

5. The same CNN article said "Beer not only increased levels of HDL or so-called 'good cholesterol,' but also thwarted dangerous free radicals in the body that are believed to accelerate the progression of cardiovascular and age-related diseases." This particular study was paid for by Czech brewers.

6. And the article concluded by adding that Czech doctors, in an earlier, separate study, reported that a couple of beers a day could prevent impotence. (Oddly, it doesn't say what a 12-pack could fight. To paraphrase Homer Simpson: "Mmmmm. Liquid Viagra.")

So drink up and enjoy the health benefits!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:13 1 comments links to this post

22 March 2006

Guinness cake

Head on over here for a recipe for Irish Stout cake with Whiskey Sour icing. Serve with Guinness Ice cream! Follow that up with a Guinness and Irish cream cheese cake!


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:56 1 comments links to this post

20 March 2006

AHS Belgian Wit

Well, I brewed the Belgian Witt today. The orginal gravity was 1.044. The kit instructions said 1.048 was the goal, but this is close enough. Now I have to wait 6 weeks!.


posted by Jeff Holt at 16:49 1 comments links to this post

18 March 2006

Homebrewing and Blogging

Without formal training and using cheap equipment, almost anyone can do it. The quality may be variable, but the best home-brews are tastier than the stuff you see advertised during the Super Bowl. This is because big brewers, particularly in America, have long aimed to reach the largest market by pushing bland brands that offend no one. The rise of home-brewing, however, has forced them to create "micro-brews" that actually taste of something. In the same way, argues Mr Reynolds, bloggers--individuals who publish their thoughts on the internet--have shaken up the mainstream media (or MSM, in blogger parlance). --Glenn Reynolds


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:07 1 comments links to this post

16 March 2006

Does anyone remember Celis White?

i know, I know, the Celis beers are being brewed the Michigan Brewing Company. But I can't get it as frequently as I was able to in the past. After blogging about AB's Spring Heat Spice Wheat, I was thirsty for a Belgian Wit, or White Beer.

Early yesterday morning, I went onto the Austin Homebrew Supply website and ordered their kit. Why would I go to all the trouble to formulate a recipe when a perfectly serviceable kit sits right there? So, hopefully this weekend, I'll be brewing and will have something new to report!


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:02 5 comments links to this post

14 March 2006

This is How I imagine Heaven

A woman in Kristiansund, Norway, recently tried to wash dishes in her third story apartment. To her surprise, what came out of the tap was not water! "I turned on the tap to clean some knives and forks and beer came out," Haldis Gundersen said. She add that she tried the beer but that it tasted a odd and was not fizzy.

Norway taxes the bejeesus out of their beer, which makes half a pint cost about $7.50 in a bar.

Turns out, a bar was the source of her beer as well. According to the story, a worker in the bar two floors down "had mixed up the pipes on Saturday evening, wrongly connecting a new barrel to a water pipe leading to Gundersen's flat. The bar got water in its beer taps." (Which, by the way, is how I imagine Hell.)


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:03 1 comments links to this post

12 March 2006

Something frivolous!

You Are Guinness
You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world. Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them. When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well. But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:03 2 comments links to this post

10 March 2006

Is there anything beer can't do?

Hops prevent cancer and beer fights heart disease. Beer is magic!

Here's a link to the abstract.

And nutritionists have discovered that beer is better for you than milk!

Here' a link to that story!

All hail the power of BEER!


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:26 1 comments links to this post

08 March 2006

A-B's Spring Heat Spiced Wheat

The latest specialty beer from Anheuser-Busch is a Belgian wheat beer.

Spring Heat Spiced Wheat is an unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ale, which is naturally cloudy. Brewed with orange, lemon and lime peels; the spice of coriander; two-row barley and wheat malts; as well as a blend of domestic Cascade and Willamette hops and imported Hallertau hops, this beer is memorably aromatic and has a smooth, complex taste.

"“With its light golden color and citrus flavor, Spring Heat Spiced Wheat embodies whatÂ's best about spring--an exciting time for something new. WeÂ're pleased to add a wheat ale to our seasonal draught program because it's really the ideal complement to the season,"” said Florian Kuplent, brewmaster, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

I think I want to brew a Wit Beer now.


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:30 1 comments links to this post

06 March 2006

The Beer Hacker

Over at the Brew Site, they've posted 5 Tips for Extract brewers. These are all pretty good tips. Turns out I was already using them.

Now I have to figure out what I want to brew next.


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:23 0 comments links to this post

04 March 2006

Cask Ale

I have to admit, I didn't hold out much hope for this beer.

Everytime I have used vanilla or bourbon to flavor beer, I have foudn the flavors to be so ephemeral that I would have been better off not using them. With this beer, however, I got some vanilla flavor. There is a hint of bourbon, but the vanilla predominates.

It's a pretty good beer. But would I brew it again?

No. I like the beer, but not enough to do it again. It was a good experiment and I am satisfied with the results.

That leaves one question: What to brew next!


posted by Jeff Holt at 09:52 0 comments links to this post

02 March 2006

150-year-old George Gale Brewery to close

The third rule of of the study of breweries is that breweries always consolidate. (I'll talk about the other two rules at another time.)

Fuller, Smith & Turner recently took over the historic brewery. Production of the Gale's beers - including HSB (Horndean Special Bitter), Buster, Festival Mild and Prize Old Ale - would move to Chiswick.

Back in the day, before modern transportation, every city had their own style of beer. This beer was made with local ingredients by local people. Today, as more and more breweries consolidate, this local variation will disappear. This local variation is the closest the beer world gets to appellations in the wine world.

The closing of a local brewery is a sad day, because beer is more than a commodity, it is an art.

links: Ananova
Edinburg Evening news


posted by Jeff Holt at 06:57 1 comments links to this post