28 February 2007

Australian Home Draft Dispenser

Interbrew and Royal Phillips Electronics have joined forces to create a home draft system to sell in Australia. The device is a case that covers a small metal keg. The keg cools the beer and lets you pour draft beer at home.

We'll never get that here. Neither Bud nor Miller would want to package their product in that kind of container.


posted by Jeff Holt at 07:46 0 comments links to this post

26 February 2007

Wahl & Henius Ale - Post 1

Wahl & Henius Ale

6 lbs Williams Brewing American Lager liquid malt extract (70% malt, 30% corn)
1 ounce Cascade hops/60 minutes
1 ounce Cascade hops/15 minutes
1 tsp Irish Moss
Wyeast 1056 Chico
OG = 1043

I brewed this using the "Good Eats method." I put two gallons of water into my kettle, added the extract and began the boil. To the fermenter, I added 7 pounds of ice and 1 and 1/2 gallons of water. At the end of the boil, I strained the wort into the ice water and pitched the yeast. I don't think I stirred my beer well, because my actual original gravity was 1021.

The last couple of beers that I brewed were dark, so I didn't do a secondary fermentation. Since this one is pale, I will rack to secondary on Sunday, where it will sit for two weeks.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:14 0 comments links to this post

22 February 2007

Miller Ends "Man Law" Ad Campaign

I was disappointed to learn that Miller Brewing Company will end their Miller Lite "Man Law" campaign, albeit temporarily. Instead, they will advertise the quality of their beer as their main selling point.

At least I can watch the commercials online. . .

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:31 0 comments links to this post

20 February 2007

Green Jack's Ripper best Winter Ale in England

Green Jack Brewery's Ripper barleywine was named the supreme Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2007 at the Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA's) National Winter Ales Festival in Manchester, England in January, reported RealBeer.com. According to Green Jack's website, Ripper is a well-hopped, 8.5% abv ale.

Also on the website is the interesting history of the brewery: "Originally founded in 1993 at Oulton Broad by real ale enthusiast Tim Dunford, the Green Jack Brewery ceased to trade in 2001 after a split with business partners. However, in 2003 Tim installed a 2000 litre plant behind the Triangle Tavern in Lowestoft to become England’s most Easterly brewery."

Congratulations to Tim!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:24 0 comments links to this post

18 February 2007

Labatt's buys discount brewer?

Over on the Beer Blog, Stephen Beaumont reports that Labatt's Brewing, owned by InBev, is trying to buy Canadian discount brewer Lakeport Brewing Company, whose discount prices have propelled it to the third largest Ontario brewery. InBev generally buys and and then closes breweries to reduce costs, laying off thousands of people worldwide.

Stephen speculates that instead of closing or discontinuing the Lakeport discount line, Labatt's will stop promoting the line, hoping to lure the Lakeport drinkers to the more profitable Labatt's line. This is how Miller handled Celis beers in the 90s.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:13 1 comments links to this post

16 February 2007

Abita Bock Beer Review

The more I review beer, the more I realize I like most beer. Most of the eight or nine reviews I done offline score 15 points or better. Are they all really that good?

Anyway, the other day I bought a six-pack of Abita Brewing Company's annual mardi Gras beer, Abita Bock. And here's what how I evaluated it:

Appearance: Golden amber color with a thick white foamy head. 3 points.

Aroma/Bouquet: Fleeting, slightly sweet, with syrup tones. No hop notes. 3 points

Taste:Hop/Malt balance: Despite the malty smell, malt not too apparent. Slight bitterness on the tongue from hops. 3 points.
Aftertaste: Slightly sweet malt finish, with a tingly hop finish. 3 points.
Mouthfeel: Full mouth feel with lots of carbonation. 2 points.

Overall impression: This is really good. The slight malt finish reminds me of Spaten Oktoberfest. It's not as strong as Spaten, it hints at that flavor. I actually expected something like Shiner Bock when I bought this. It's more European in feel than Shiner. And I got to use my Abita pint glass! 3 points.

Total: 17 points

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:59 0 comments links to this post

14 February 2007

Brother Spud's Oatmeal Stout

My cousin, Satan (As in "Get thee behind me..." He says all his friend's wives are convinced he's Satan, sent to lead their spouses into temptation.), is getting back into brewing. About six or seven years ago, he and a friend (now deceased) brewed an Oatmeal Stout and won second place in regional competitions leading up to the national AHA contest.

Here then is his recipe:

Brother Spud's Oatmeal Stout (All-Grain)
OG=1060
7 lb Marris Otter Malt
1.13 lb roasted barley
1 lb German wheat malt
1/2 lb Crystal malt 15° L
1/2 lb Crystal malt 80° L
1.13 lb flaked oats
1 lb flaked barley
2 tsp gypsum
0.9 oz English Kent Goldings 6.2%AA/90 minutes
0.8 oz English Kent Goldings 6.2%AA/15 minutes
Irish Ale yeast

Use 10 quarts strike water at 175°F. Mash for one hour. Sparge. Boil mash 2 hours. Cool and pitch yeast.

Forgive me if the recipe is incomplete. Satan did say, "I'm using an infusion mash with a two hour boil time." I don't do all grain recipes.

His OG was 1.060. When he bottled the beer, the FG was 1.030. I think he should have let it ferment a few more days. But he's confident that everything will turn out fine. I can't wait to try it.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:13 0 comments links to this post

12 February 2007

The Beer Diet

The other day, my doctor told me he would like to see me cut back on my beer intake. Then he asked me if I was depressed, or had money problems. I looked quizzically at him for a moment while it sunk in. "Oh! The beer! No, no. I just like beer." It wasn't until I got home that I realized I was wearing a Beer Church t-shirt.

"Bradley Cailor was a yo-yo dieter. He hit bottom when his scale topped out at 266 pounds. Today, he's a trim 152, and he did it drinking beer," says an article at cbs2chicago.com.

"Start by just getting your meals a little smaller. Don't have a gigantic thing of fries. Have some fries,” Cailor said.

The point is to keep from feeling deprived. During the week he eats small meals. Snack-sized ones, five or six times a day. And he works out every day.

But on weekends, he eats all the stuff he loves. And drinks beer.

"You gotta do the right things most of the time, and then we can have fun here a couple times a week, too,” Cailor said. “Remember: Eighty percent good, maybe 20 percent bad. That's the ticket."

The article concludes that he has switched to light beer, and reminds the reader that beer is a slurge, not a binge.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 19:16 0 comments links to this post

10 February 2007

Beer Evaluation - Shiner Bock

As a local brewery supporter, I have been drinking Shiner beers regularly for over a decade. The other day I decided to sit down and evaluate my favorite beer, and was surprised by the outcome.

Appearance (0-3 pts): Orangey brown color with amber highlights. Perfect clarity. It has a thick white head with small bubbles that dissapatesrapidly to a small ring around the edge of the glass. 3 points.

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4 pts.): Cararmelly sweet aroma. No hops detected. Definitely malty. Maybe a little too sweet? 3 points.

Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4 pts.): Low hop bitterness, mainly in the finish. 4 points.
Aftertaste (0-3): Finishes sweet with a little hop bitterness on the back of the tongue. 2 points.
Mouthfeel (0-3): A little thin and watery. 2 points.

Overall Impression (0-3 pts.): Shiner Bock is the quintessential Texas experience. It's so much more flavorful that most other beers, and I like it. 3 points.

Total: 17 points.

I have to admit, I had thought it would rank a bit higher than that. But I am just starting this whole evaluation thing, and I suspect that when I revisit this evaluation, things might change.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 20:47 0 comments links to this post

08 February 2007

Anheuser-Bush rolls out first Nationwide Sorghum Beer

The search for gluten-free beer got easier for drinkers in December when Anheuser-Busch released Redbridge, the first nationally distributed sorghum-based beer. The beer has been in testing for more than a year and many A-B distributors have already lined up placements in stores, such as Whole Foods and Wild Oats, featuring organic and other specialty foods. Sorghum beers serve first the more than 2 million Americans with celiac disease, although those allergic to wheat may also drink them. Celiac disease is a genetic disorder causes stomach cramps and digestive problems and can lead to other serious health risks. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt (which are the grains traditionally used to brew beer).

Here's a link to gluten free homebrew recipes.


posted by Jeff Holt at 20:39 0 comments links to this post

06 February 2007

Thomas Ingenhuett, Pioneer Brewer

Comfort is in western Kendall County on I-10, about 40 miles west of San Antonio. The town was laid out in 1854 on the ruins of an old Indian camp, though there had been settlers in the area since 1852. A cooperative community, Comfort resisted local government and didn’t have a church until 1892. For many years, Comfort Competed with Kerrville to become county seat of Kerr County, but lost out when Kendal county was organized in 1862, and the town was removed from Kerr County.

Thomas Ingenhuett arrived in Comfort, along with his parents, and brother Martin, in 1854. Peter, an older brother who had come to Texas two years earlier, joined the family, and they began farming. Peter later sold his farm to his brothers and moved into town where he opened several businesses, including a hotel, a saloon, and a livery stable. The Ingenhuett men were also charter members of the Comforter Liedertafel, a male singing group, or mannerchor.

During the Civil War, Comfort was the center of pro Union sentiment, and lost many young men at the Nueces Massacre. A monument to these dead, the Treue Der Union Monument, is the only monument dedicated to Union dead in the South. It one of only four places that are authorized to perpetually fly the flag at half staff.

In 1878, Thomas and Martin established a lager beer brewery on the banks of Cypress Creek. Martin died in 1881, leaving Thomas as the sole owner of the brewery. Ingenhuett beer was considered as good as Menger Hotel Beer.

The brewery disappears from the tax records in 1884, but A Hundred Years of Comfort in Texas says that the brewery survived until 1887, when the railroad arrived in Comfort. Beer from the Menger Hotel, the Pearl brewery and the Lone Star brewery was being shipped ice-cold into town. Thomas could not afford to refrigerate his beer and the brewery closed and went back to farming.

Thomas and Anna, his wife, had four sons, Otto, Martin, Oscar and Charles. Anna died in 1885, and Thomas married the widow of his brother Martin, Marie. Peter’s store was run by Gregory Krauter, his great-grandson, until it burned in a heartbreaking fire in 2005.

Much of the Comfort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

There is a fun beer related story that needs repeating. Some July 3rd after Thomas closed the brewery, the Goldbeck Brothers were going through town, and passed the train depot. They spotted a car carrying Menger beer for the July Fourth celebration sitting in the sun. Realizing that the beer would spoil, the Goldbecks rushed to the cannon used to call the citizens for an Indian attack, and fired a shot. The citizens of Comfort responded to the shot and were a bit upset when they learned there was no Indian attack. They quickly realized that the Goldbeck’s were right to be concerned about the fate of the beer, however. The town quickly decided to celebrate July 4th a day early to prevent spoiled beer.

Germans do have their priorities.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 18:58 0 comments links to this post

04 February 2007

Healthy Brew Brewery in Fort Worth

Ken March has been involved in the beer industry for some time: his first brew was a hard apple cider fermented in his closet in 1991. Ken started large-batch homebrewing in the spring of 2000. Some time later, Ken and a close friend were sitting at the Flying Saucer in Ft Worth, Texas, when the topic of breweries came up. One thing led to another and an idea hit: Why not create a natural beer? And so was born Healthy Brew Brewery!

After some research, a line of beers was born. The beers are organic, made without any additional chemicals or additives are made in small batches for the utmost quality.

Healthy Brew Tours and Tastings are held on the Second and Fourth Saturdays of each month, from 12:00 P.M. until 3:00 P.M. and include free beer tastings and food. Tours are at 1:30 P.M. and 3:00 P.M. Healthy Brew Brewery (817-238-1334) is at 6435 Nine Mile Bridge Rd, in Fort Worth, between Round Rock Trail and Rolling Meadow Trail.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:25 3 comments links to this post

02 February 2007

Nation Homebrewers Conference - Denver, CO June 21-23

I am planning to attend this year's National Homebrewers Conference in Denver, Colorado. Part of the plan is to visit as many brew pubs along the way as I can and enhance my pint glass collection. I hope to visit Hub City Brewery in Lubbock and Phantom Canyon Brewing Company in Colorado Springs on the way up. I hope to visit as many brewpubs as possible in Denver. On the way back, I'm thinking of spending the night in Santa Fe to sample their brewpubs, Second Street Brewery and Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery. With any luck, I'll get Satan, otherwise known as my Cousin Gary, to go along with me to see how much we can drink and how many growlers we can get home. I'll be traveling from Midland to Denver and back to Midland. Anyone have any other suggestions for nearby brewpubs?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:14 2 comments links to this post