30 May 2007

Peach Wheat Tasting notes

I sampled the Peach Wheat the other day. Note to myself: This brew doesn't need priming sugar! The combination of wheat beer and peach extract produced a super carbonated beer!

AHS Peach Wheat

Appearance (0-4): Orange-gold with amber highlights. Creamy, white head has a reddish cast to it. Is it peach colored? Is it my imagination? Head dissipates rapidly. 2 points.
Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Peach aroma dominates. Sweetish smell reminds me of peach cobbler, or maybe peach ice cream. 3 points.
Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Malts and hops are definitely second fiddle to the peach flavor. There is a bit of hop bitterness that makes it through. A slightly sour taste makes me wonder if I have a contamination issue, or if the peach extract is slightly sour. 3 points.
Aftertaste (0-3):Aforementioned sour taste, followed by slight peach flavor. Hop bitterness on the back of the tongue. 2 points.
Mouthfeel (0-3): I think it's just right. 3 points.
Overall Impression (0-3): Peaches and wheat beer are a sure sign of summer. Too bad it's not clear and it's overcarbonated. 2 points
Total: 15 points

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posted by Jeff Holt at 16:02 0 comments links to this post

28 May 2007

Want adults to wash their clothes? Add beer.

Laundry 101 is a combination bar and laundromat in Madison, WI, where you can sip a microbrew while your undies tumble dry. Unlike most bars, Saturday night is their slowest night. They are busier during the week.

Once more, I ask, I there anything beer can't do?

Note: I know. I know. This is hardly an original idea. When I was attending the University of Texas at Austin back in the days when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, also known as the 80s, there was a similar place on the north end of the drag. This post just fits with the theme of the last post. Sue me.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:20 0 comments links to this post

26 May 2007

Want to teach adults about science? Add beer.

Adam Savage of Mythbusters said it best: "Science plus beer equals fun!"

The organizers of Science on Tap in Seattle host science lectures at a bar. Lately the lectures have been standing room only. "A Science on Tap evening usually starts with a brief lecture by the night's presenter, who then takes questions from the crowd. The topics are wide-ranging across fields. Past speakers have discussed fuel cells, nanotechnology and stem cells."

Getting adults interested in science. Wow. Is there anything beer can't do?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:59 0 comments links to this post

24 May 2007

MLB Banning Beer in the locker room

I subscribe to Google's News Alerts for beer, and for the last few days I've been reading about the aftereffects of Cardinal Pitcher Josh Hancock's DUI car accident. Hancock, who had been drinking at a bar, had a blood alcohol level at twice the legal limit.

Now, Major League teams are banning beer in the clubhouses after games.

If I read the news correctly, Hancock didn't get his alcoholic beverage of choice (no one has said it was beer) at the clubhouse. He got it at a bar. On his own time. MLB is reacting to Hancock's death in true Liberal knee jerk fashion: treating all the players like children instead of 40 year old men. While the spin of the news releases is that the owners really and truly care about their players, the action itself shows they believe just the opposite. They are saying that their players aren't smart enough to know how much they can drink after a game, and that Mommy and Daddy, in this case the club, will make that decision for them.

And what about MLB players who are pilots? Cory Lidle died in a place crash in 2006. Thurmon Munson died in a plane crash in 1979. Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash in 1972. Ken Hubbs was killed in plane crash in 1964. The following players died in car accidents with no mention of alcohol: Jay Dahl, Chico Ruiz, Bob Moose, Danny Frisella, Mike Miley, Cliff Young, Mike Sharperson, and Mike Darr. Did MLB ban flying and driving? (Source)

But, okay, let's pretend the MLB clubs that are banning beer in the clubhouses are truly concerned about the safety of their players. They don't want anyone to get injured in an accident, so the players can't drink. What about the fans in the stands? If the MLB clubs were truly serious about their intentions, they would ban all beer sales in the park, thus protecting the lives of the thousands of people who paid to see the game. Wouldn't they?

Nope. Not when they can sell beer for $8 a cup. We could all die in car accidents on the way home, as far as their concerned.

You can try to blame the waitress, the bartender, the bar owner, the alcohol wholesaler, and the manufacturer, but alcohol didn't kill Josh Hancock. Josh Hancock killed himself the moment he slipped behind the wheel of his car. And treating 40 year old millionaires like children won't bring him back or prevent future tragedies.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 20:01 0 comments links to this post

22 May 2007

Time to Eat Crow

About this time last year, I wondered if Boston Beer had begun to overextend itself, and, despite strong sales, would begin to slowly fade away a la Celis, back in 2000.

I shouldn't have worried. Boston Beer Company reported net income of $72.4 million last year, and 27% increase in sales.

Hmm. Crow tastes a lot like chicken.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 16:21 0 comments links to this post

20 May 2007

I Love Beer Blog

My Texas Breweries site was discovered by a new friend in Austin, and in return I have discovered his beer blog. Lee works for the Austin Chronicle, a fine weekly paper, and writes about his favorite thing: Beer. Check him out!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:32 0 comments links to this post

18 May 2007

Extreme Beers

Last week I purchased a six-pack of Hop Wallop beer from my local liquor store. I should explain that I'm not a hophead, but I don't mind an occasional hoppy beer. And while I enjoyed the beer, I got to wondering, "Why would anyone want to cram that much hop flavor into a beer?"

Perhaps I shouldn't have had three in a row, leaving the back of my throat with a intense hop bitterness, but by the end of my session, I wasn't looking forward to another bottle. The flavor while drinking it was great! The aftertaste wasn't.

I also picked up Dogfish Head Brewing's Raison D'Etre. I figured it would be a little higher in alcohol than I typically enjoyed, but, I thought, "What the heck?" My first sip confirmed it was outside my alcohol comfort zone, but it was good. It was malty, hints of fruitiness, and a bit of sourness from the Belgian ale yeast. Because of it's alcohol content, it is, for me, a sipping beer. But as the beer warmed in the glass, I began to pick up flavors that I didn't enjoy. I picked up a hint of metallic flavor that put me off. I should point out that I sometimes find that same flavor in Shiner Bock. I'm not sure what causes it, but I know I dislike it.

Will I drink Hop Wallop again? Maybe. Raison D'Etre? Doubt it. I guess I just not cut out for extreme beer.


posted by Jeff Holt at 09:48 1 comments links to this post

16 May 2007

Beer Belly and Beer facts

Like most men who enjoy beer, I have a moderately sized belly. It's part genetic and part homebrew. I have been trying to lose some of it while still enjoying my favorite beverage. I recently came across an article about beer and beer bellies that I found interesting.

"Beer has no fat or cholesterol, and is low in sugar, but inconveniently does contain calories," writes columnist Dan Oliver. If Joe Sixpack were to drink a single beer a day, he would be consuming an extra 1050 calories a week, and would pack on 15 pounds over the course of a year. Since some studies suggest beer in moderation is good for you, Joe might even be in better health.

I often substitute a few beers for the evening meal, and now I find that is the exact wrong thing to do, because beer can lower blood sugar and increase appetite, which may be causing me to drink even more beer to fill my empty stomach. And to make matters worse, alcohol of any kind decreases the body's ability to burn fat by about 30%.

And, when you add to all the above that my father's side of the family has always sported large bellies, my belly may never go away.

Mental note to self: Never substitute beer for a meal again!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:27 0 comments links to this post

14 May 2007

Electricity from Beer

The brewing process produces millions of gallons of waste water. Australian scientists have developed a microbial fuel cell that contains sugar-consuming bacteria that “clean” the water and produce energy in the process. A pilot power plant is being built at Fosters Brisbane brewery. Using only a small portion of Fosters waste water, the plant hopes to be able to produce enough power to power a small home. If successful, these power generating plants could be built at other wineries and breweries. The best part is, that the process of microbes eating the starch, sugar and alcohol uses far less electricity than traditional water treatment methods. That alone would be great benefit, but these plants would instead generate electrity, and the water coming out at the end of the process would be good enough to drink.

Is there nothing that beer can't do?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:07 0 comments links to this post

12 May 2007

Beer Shortages in South Africa

Amstel and Heineken are in short supply in South Africa as a result of a dispute between Heineken Brewery and a local distributor. The brewery ended a contract with the South African company who made Amstel Lager for over 40 years. When that product disappeared from the shelves, South Africans switched to Heineken Lager, depleting the supply. The future looks grim for South African Amstel lovers. It will be five months before Heineken can build a brewery in the country and get the beer back into stores.

This could potentially be devastating for Heineken. With Amstel off the market that long, consumers may not be willing to switch back.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:59 0 comments links to this post

10 May 2007

Hoegaarden white beer in short supply

Belgium's famous Wit Beer is in short supply in that country. Not that sales have increased. According to an Expatica.com story, labor unions are claiming that InBev moved production of the popular beer to Jupille. They claim the beer coming out of the brewery is unfit for consumption and is being sold as pig food. InBev spokesman said that the shortage is the result of a packaging problem, and not related with the move to Jupille.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:53 0 comments links to this post

08 May 2007

Pizza Beer?

Chicago area homebrewer Tom Seefurth won a brewing contest at Walter Payton's Roundhouse and will have his creation served at the Aurora eatery. Mamma Mia's Pizza Beer is the result of adding garlic to his beer. Roundhouse brewmaster Mike Rybinski also used 30 gallons of canned tomatoes, tons of spices (garlic and oregano) and beets for color. They also added slices of 5 real pizzas without cheese into the kettle. Early reviews are positive. And if the beer is a big seller, Seefurth hopes to sell it to other pizzerias.

Any Chicagoans out there, I would appreciate a review. Who knows? I might try to brew it myself.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:46 4 comments links to this post

06 May 2007

Real Ale Brewhouse Brown Ale Clone - Review

I managed to wait until last weekend to taste the Brewhouse Brown Ale Clone I brewed on Easter Sunday.

It's a great recipe! Here's how I scored the first pint.

Brewhouse Brown Ale Clone
Appearance (0-3): Dark brown with ruby highlights. Tan head with small bubbles that dissipate slowly. A few "floaties" in the brew, but it is unfiltered. 2 pts.
Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Malty/chocolately aroma with a hint of alcohol. No hop aroma detected. 3 pts.
Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Malt sweetness accented by chocolate notes and a hint of alcohol. Hops on the finish. 4 pts.
Aftertaste (0-3): Leaves a ring of sugar on the lips. Hop bitterness on the back of the tongue is a little harsh. 2 pts.
Mouthfeel (0-3): Feels just right. Not too thin, not too thick. 3 pts.
Overall Impression (0-3): This is a very drinkable beer. Despite the hint of alcohol, not too strong. It's sweet and smooth. This is a recipe I will brew again and again. A point off for the floaties. 2 pts. Total: 16 points

I did sample a Real Ale original Brown Ale. It had more roasted grain flavor than I remember. The sad part, the clone recipe was given by Real Ale Brewery. They must be protecting their real recipe.

Anyway, I want to encourage everyone to brew this recipe. I had forgotten how easy a brown ale is to brew, and how good it is.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:22 0 comments links to this post

04 May 2007

Biofuels cause beer price hikes

In Germany, Beer prices are set to climb in May as farmers switch from barley to corn to satisfy the huge demand for ethanol. In the past year, the price of barley has doubled on the German market, from €200 to €400 per ton. Barley production in the United States has fallen to the lowest level since 1936, and global stockpiles of barley are shrinking. Hop shortages have already caused a price hike, and when you add the push in most states to raise beer taxes, beer could be going the way of tobacco.

These price increases will also affect the homebrewer as the cost of his or her supplies go up.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:27 0 comments links to this post

02 May 2007

Beer Supports American Economy

The Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association recently released a study That shows the beer industry adds $90 billion to the US economy and supports 2.5 million jobs, most in the retail area. In addition to the $36 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments, the brewing industry fuels American agriculture for ingredients.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:21 0 comments links to this post