30 January 2007

Evaluating Williams Red Ale

A couple of weeks ago, I kegged the Williams Red Ale kit I brewed. I sampled it the other day, and what follows are my notes. I should make it clear that I am evaluating the beer I made, not the kit itself. A better brewer would make a better beer!

Appearance (0-3): Cloudy amber with ruby highlights. Light head, very light, is tan colored and disappears quickly, leaving faint Belgian lace along the glass. 1 point.

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Roasted malts predominate with a caramel smell. Hops are faint, merely an accent. 3 points.

Taste (0-10): Hop/Malt balance (4): The malt is apparent first, with the hops lingering on the back of the tongue, lingering for several moments after drinking. 4 points.
Aftertaste (3): Hops linger, mentioned above. Slowly fades. A slightly metallic off taste (maybe contaminated?) 2 points.
Mouthfeel (3): Not watery. Satisfying. 3 points.

Overall impression (1-3): Goes down easy without an alcohol kick. Exactly what I was hoping for. Slight, slight, slight metallic taste but after three, who cares? 2 points.

Williams Read Ale score: 15 points.


posted by hiikeeba at 17:56 0 comments

28 January 2007

Is there anything beer can't do?

European men are rushing to Sophia, Bulgaria to buy Boza beer because it's reputed to enhance women's breasts. "The Bulgarian Boza beer, which is made from fermented wheat flour and yeast, has become popular among bar owners, shopkeepers and shoppers across Europe. The beverage is popular among men as gifts for their wives and girlfriends to benefit from its reported ability to make women's breast grow bigger."

Oh that would go over big: "Here, honey! Out of my love for you, I bought you some beer to make your hooters bigger."

"They aren't big enough for you, are they?"

"Darling, please, accept the gift in the spirit intended. I love you just the way you are. But I wouldn't mind bigger fun bags."

"Oh, I think I can find someone who likes my breasts the way they are! Jerk!"


posted by hiikeeba at 09:25 0 comments

26 January 2007

Rating 2006's Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale

I had given up hope of finding this in my area until a visit to my local supermarket. There, on a small display was Anheuser-Busch's Winter's Bourbon Cask ale, brewed in October 2006. I bought a six pack of longnecks and headed home.

Appearance (0-3 pts): Amber colored with ruby highlights. The head is off white. Three points.

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4 points): A sweet malty aroma with a slight vanilla finish. The bourbon gave it a slightly off smell, not bad, but not desirable. Three points.

Taste (0-10 points): Nice balance of malt and hops. Sets a nice backdrop for the vanilla bourbon flavors to play out. A very smooth beer, with moderate mouthfeel. Ten points.

Overall Impression (1-3) points: I have to admit that I wanted to like this beer before I opened the first bottle, so my rating may be affected. I found the Vanilla Bourbon finish very nice, but very cloying after a couple of beers. But still very drinkable! Two Points.

Total: 18 points!


posted by hiikeeba at 07:30 0 comments

24 January 2007


On December 11 at the Worthington White Shield brewery in Burton-on-Trent, workers found 250 vintage bottles of beer some almost 140 years old. The oldest found was an 1869 Harry Ratcliff's Ale - to mark the birth of a son into the Ratcliff brewing family that became part of the Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton empire in the late 19th century. A bottle of 1982 Prince's Ale mashed by the late Earl Spencer, Princess Diana's father, to commemorate the birth of Prince William was also among the find.

Then they drank some! According to the RealBeer article: George Philliskirk, Chief Executive of the Beer Academy, agreed. "This discovery is remarkable, especially as the oldest beer of all dates back to 1869 and tastes so fresh, and with such attractive ripe plum and honeyed flavors. This demonstrates the potential for vintage beers to be taken seriously - maybe even being worthy of a special section in wine lists at Britain's top restaurants."


posted by hiikeeba at 07:24 0 comments

22 January 2007

Hookarm's Dark Ale #2

Over the weekend I brewed Hookarm's Dark Ale. Here's the recipe and the brewing notes:

Hookarm's Dark Ale #2

6 pounds liquid dark extract
4 ounces 90° lovibond Crystal malt
2 ounces chocolate malt
1 ounce 3.6% Saaz pellets/60 minutes
1 ounce 3.6% Saaz pellets/30 minutes
1 ounce 3.6% Saaz pellets/5 minutes
1 teaspoon Irish Moss (for clarification)
White labs WLP060 American Ale Blend Yeast

I brought 1.5 gallons of water and the specialty grains to 155° and removed from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Then I added the malt extract and brought to a boil. I added the hops as noted above. After 45 minutes, I added the Irish moss as a clarifier.

Using the Good Eats method, I put a 7lb bag of ice in 1 gallon and 1 pint of water. I strained the wort onto the ice, and topped up to 5 gallons.

ProMash said the Original Gravity would be 1.044. I got 1.042.


posted by hiikeeba at 19:58 0 comments

20 January 2007

The Good Eats Beer Show

Here it is! The Good Eats Beer Show!


posted by hiikeeba at 18:20 0 comments

18 January 2007

Beer Chess

Here's a link to a extra large chess set with pieces that will fit on top of a beer can. Each time you capture an opponent's piece, you must drink the beer. Hell! I might even win a game!


posted by hiikeeba at 19:17 1 comments

16 January 2007

This Just In: Cartoons are just for kids! Santa's Butt in Maine!

Thanks to my hard-hitting journalism, ahem, and a lawsuit by the MCLU, the residents of Maine will be able to enjoy Santa's Butt Christmas Porter next year. Maine had declared the label, duplicated here, a violation of the "undignified or improper" standard. A similar rule in New York initially prevented a beer label with Eugene Delacroix's painting "Liberty Leading the People," which hangs in the Louvre, because Liberty is topless in the painting. This being a family blog, and since I reside in the Medieval United States, I cannot link to public nudity or to wardrobe malfunctions. But if you want to see the Wikipedia entry, click here.

For those of you unfamiliar with brewing terms, a "butt" is a 126-gallon barrel.


posted by hiikeeba at 18:59 0 comments

14 January 2007

Guinness Commercial

Hmmm. What happened to my Guinness Commercial? oh well! I like this one, too.


posted by hiikeeba at 19:27 0 comments

12 January 2007

New Feature - Grading Beers: #1 Chocolate Coconut Stout

The other day, I sampled Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale, and I used the 20-point evaluation scale I wrote about last year. I intend to sample a lot of beers in a lot of different places and record my evaluations. I will share these evaluations in the future at irregular intervals.

What I'd like to do today is evaluate my Chocolate Coconut stout using the scale.

Appearance (0-3 pts.): For some reason, this beer is overcarbonated. I have poured almost a quarter of it without CO2 attached. As a result, each glass starts off 3/4 foam. The foam is tan and the beer is brownish-black. The first pours leave coco residue along the sides. The more you drink, though, the more that clears up and the beer becomes black. I give this a 1.

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4 pts.): This smells of malt, chocolate, which is a good thing, and of a little coconut. I notice just a hint of hops. Somehow, the aroma isn't as nice as I'd hoped, so I give it a 2.

Taste (0-10 pts.):
Hop/Malt balance (4 points): I give it a 4. It's very malty without much hop taste.
Aftertaste (3 pts.): There is some hop bitterness, but it is masked by the cocunut extract. It's a bit strong, like many stouts, so I give this a 3.
Mouthfeel (3 pts.): I have to admit, this one was tough. At first, the beer was a little gritty from the coco powder. Now that most of that has been dispensed, the beer is silky and smooth. But it is over carbonated. I give it 2 points.

Overall Impression (1-3 pts.): I'm giving it a 2, because I am not happy with the coco powder. I was hoping for a more subtle chocolate flavor.

That makes this beer a 14 on our 20-point scale.

I will brew this again and see how it fares without the cocoa powder.

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posted by hiikeeba at 20:49 0 comments

10 January 2007

Craft brewers Conference - Austin, TX 4/18-21

Austin, Texas is known for its live music and world class BBQ; and April 18-21, 2007 Austin will host the Brewers Association Craft Brewers Conference (CBC). Craft brewers from across the country and the world will converge on Austin to attend the brewing industry’s largest conference in North America. Attendance is expected to exceed 1,600.

On the 18th, conference attendees will be able to choose one of 4 brewery tours:

Austin City Limits Independence Brewing Live Oak Brewing Co. North By Northwest Restaurant and Brewery (lunch) Draught House Pub and Brewery Lovejoys Tap Room and Brewery Hill Country Fredericksburg Brewing Co. (lunch) Real Ale Brewing Co. Shiner Spoetzl Brewery Lunch stop in Lockhart, TX (BBQ capital of Texas!) San Antonio Blue Star Brewing Co. (lunch) San Antonio sites (the Riverwalk, Alamo)


posted by hiikeeba at 09:05 0 comments

08 January 2007

William's Brewing's Red Ale Kit

I have decided to brew more kits just to have more beer on hand. So I bought William's Red Ale. I was looking for a low alcohol beer that I could brew and keg quickly. I brewed it last weekend, and kegged it today. I didn't even take a gravity reading. I don't care. I just want beer in the keg.


posted by hiikeeba at 19:22 0 comments

06 January 2007

Brewery Employee Interview

Here are some great tips if you apply to work for a brewery.


posted by hiikeeba at 18:56 0 comments

04 January 2007

A-B Ends Busch Series sponsorship

As Budweiser sales fall, Anheuser-Busch has decided to stop sponsoring NASCAR's Busch series. Saying that they are diluting their marketing efforts, moving consumers from Bud to Busch.

The big breweries need to take a lesson from Big Tobacco. Back in the 90s, as Tobacco Companies increased prices on their major brands, cigarettes sold at two price points: Premium and generic. By the mid 90s, B&W had driven the sub-generic market, and PM and RJR were producing private label brands for large chains as sub-sub-generic prices. Marlboro noticed that their profits were being impacted, and cut prices on their premium line causing pandemonium in the marketplace as their competitors scrambled to match them. To prevent slippage of all-important market share, A-B had to sell premium and generic beers.

Competing in both markets is a bad idea, and it will eventually impact your premium line.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:34 0 comments

02 January 2007

Corona stops Sponsoring Jimmy Buffet Tour

Jimmy Buffet and Corona go together like "a big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer". I saw a concert in Dallas a few years ago. During the song "Cheeseburger in Paradise," a sign illustrating the song included bottles of Corona Light and a lime wedge in the neck. But with Margaritaville and Anheuser-Busch signing an agreement to produce Land Shark Lager, Crown feels sponsoring Buffet's concerts would be inappropriate.

From a Crown memo to distributors quoted in Beer Business Daily:

“This decision by Buffett's management creates an obvious conflict for us and Corona, which had been the exclusive malt beverage sponsor of the tour. We believe it would not be appropriate to sponsor the 2007 Buffett tour (even in select markets) when Jimmy and A-B will be actively promoting their new beer at a number of concerts, via the internet and other mediums.”


posted by hiikeeba at 21:19 1 comments