30 March 2009

Bluebonnet Brew-off

Shut out yet again.

And I made one awesome beer, Buddy's Amber.

One of the Basin Brewers, Adam English won first place in the ESB category, and second in Imperial Stout. Satan tells me that Adam is an extract brewer who doesn't even calculate his IBUs, much less know what they are; and that he only entered these two beers.

On reflection, I realized Adam is a perfect Macht's Nicht brewer! "IBUs? Phukem! Macht's nicht, baby! Toss 'em in!" I also realized that I might be worrying much about hitting the numbers

Congrats, Adam! You can find his winning recipe here.

And here is the official list of Bluebonnet Brew Off winners.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:50 0 comments

28 March 2009

I have one of those!

The Lone Star tray, I mean, not the girl. Another picture of Jennifer, holding an item from Ken Knisley's collection. Ken is the Grand Prize Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America (BCCA).

More to come!


posted by hiikeeba at 05:40 1 comments

26 March 2009

Tasty APA (Dirktastic) Tasting Notes

I sampled this beer last week after only a week in the keg. It had a huge hope aroma, almost like smelling the hops in a newly opened bag of hops. The beer was amber/orange and slightly cloudy with a dense white head. It has a nice smooth, but aggressive hop flavor, and tastes like grapefruit.

Thursday night, I sampled it again. What a difference a week makes. The aroma has dropped by half, and the bittering as well. Really drinkable.

This may not make it into the quarterly rotation (more on that later), but this is certainly a keeper.


posted by hiikeeba at 04:16 0 comments

24 March 2009

Bye Bye Rye Bock

Our experiment to make a rye bock is a failure. We had an infection, and I lost three bottles in the fridge. Satan lost six, and ruined an old Lone Star Long Neck carrier I had loaned him. Bastard.

The the Rye Bock went bye bye.


posted by hiikeeba at 10:35 0 comments

22 March 2009

Kölsch I Told You So

Very early in this blog's life, I said that there were no appelations in beer as there are in wine. Turns out, I was wrong. The folks in Köln, Germany, want us to stop using the name Kölsch for our beers. Only beers made in Cologne can be called Kölsch. (If you get fed up with the umlaut, it can also be spelled Koelsch.

Fuck 'em.

Here's my recipe for Kölsch I Said So: 10.5# German Pilsner .5# Cara-Pils .5# Vienna Malt 2 oz Hallertauer 2.7%/60 Min. WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch

I brewed this on March 16. I was expecting an OG of 1.051 and got 1.044. And thereby hangs a tale:

I hit my pre-boil mash numbers, and started boiling. I knew I was running close on propane and ran out with 10 minutes left in the boil. "Macht's Nicht!" I cried, using my brewing mantra. My gravity would be a little low because I didn't get good evaporation but, I can live with that. I even remembered to sanitize the counterflow chiller this time! I was rocking! Then I went to get the hose to attach to the chiller. Since every hose we own must placed near the garden by the house, I had to hunt down the sprinkler, Screwed it to the end of one hose, and took the other ends to the chiller and connected them. Only after filling the fermenter did I notice that I connected the ends of the same fucking hose to the chiller! Excuse me.


Sorry. So, I made room in the fridge, and put the hot wort into the fridge to cool. Excuse me.


Ahem! So, by 5 pm the beer was cool enough to pitch my 1.5 liter starter, and the airlock was kicking by the next morning.

How did your brew day go?

Sorry for the language.


posted by hiikeeba at 05:07 0 comments

20 March 2009

Update on HB 2094 from Saint Arnolds

Texas craft brewers need support from Reps Geren and Hamilton The Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures heard testimony last week on House Bill 2094 Rep. Jessica Farrar's bill that would allow Texas microbrewers to sell their product on the premises of their breweries as part of a tour package. The state's brewers were united in their support of the bill while the distributors were split -- one group testifying in support and one against. No action was taken and the committee has discretion to vote on the bill at a future meeting -- or not. The people who understand the political cogs that make the system work have identified two specific committee members that need a little extra convincing: Representative Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton from Southeast Texas- http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/dist19/hamilton.php Representative Charlie Geren from NW Tarrant County- http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/dist99/geren.php If you live in their district or know anyone who does, please make sure these two legislators know of your support for HB 2094. Cheers!
--  Frank Mancuso Saint Arnold Brewing Company Central Texas Sales 512-916-4565 v/fx frank@saintarnold.com http://www.saintarnold.com Follow me on Twitter @franktex

posted by hiikeeba at 19:45 0 comments

Bugeater's Rye Cream Ale Tasting Notes

I gotta hand it Wayne at Bugeater Brewing, one of my BN Army buddies. He came up with an awesome recipe. The beer pours up a hazy golden yellow with a nice white head that leaves lacing behind as I drink it. It definitely has a corn aroma, perfectly acceptable according to the BJCP guidelines for a Cream Ale. (The haziness isn't, though.) The beer has a nice grain flavor, but is a bit too bitter in the finish. That's because I misunderstood the recipe and used hops in the mash, instead of the wort. Ah, well. Now I know what I need to do next time, which will be soon. I drank it all.


posted by hiikeeba at 04:52 0 comments

18 March 2009

HB 2094 Update

Lee, over at I Love Beer, covered the public hearing for HB 2094.

You can watch the testimony here starting about the 54 minute mark. Thanks to Dan Keeney for the link.

Don't forget to contact your state rep!


posted by hiikeeba at 20:04 0 comments

Grand Prize Chapter of BCCA in Houston

Ken Knisely is the president of the Grand Prize Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America (BCCA), an international group of nearly 4000 collectors. Located in Houston, they are a group of people that have an interest in the hobby of beer can and breweriana collecting and are named after the primary brand of beer brewed by the Gulf Brewery of Houston from 1933-1963.

The group publishes a newsletter called The Guzzler, which "contains not only info on beer can and breweriana collecting, but also industry news, and stories about the hilarious and/or tragic things that drunks occasionally do, all written from my sick, twisted, humerous point of view," ken wrote. A recent issue Ken sent me, includes a story about finding a previously unknown Grand Prize beer can.

Ken very kindly sent some pictures of his collection, and while the rare can is not included in the photos, his friend Jessica is.

I have more pictures of Jessica with Ken's Collection, and I will post them periodically.

Thanks, Ken!


posted by hiikeeba at 05:24 0 comments

16 March 2009

Eola Visit

Last weekend, I met Satan at Bright Brewery in Eola. Ostensibly, we were going to meet for lunch and swap beers. When we arrived, we found that there was going to be a brewing demonstration and a meal afterwards. So our quick lunch turned into a day long visit with other area brewers and folks who want to learn to brew.

It was another windy day in Eola, and the brew session was interrupted by a lot of talking and visiting. Satan and I wound up sharing our beers with everyone. I poured the recently kegged Dirktastic, which I was proud of. It was well received, as was a bottle of the rye cream ale.

We had so much fun that our lunch meeting lasted until after sunset. I checked my watch, and saw it was almost 7 pm. I paid my bill and headed home.

We're definitely going to have to go back.

posted by hiikeeba at 06:00 0 comments

14 March 2009

The Rotation - Part One

I'm not a planner. I don't pick a goal and daily track my progress. Similarly, I don't have a plan when I brew. A couple of weeks before I brew I decide what I want, and order the ingredients. Then I instantly regret not ordering ingredients for a different brew.

Oh, I might brew something for a competition, but that's about as far ahead as I plan.

Satan and I were discussing rebrewing beer for Nationals via email, and I wrote: "I want to brew the Abbey Wiezen, rebrew Buddy's Amber for the summer competitions, rebrew the Rye cream ale with a little change (no mash hops); brew a kick ass summer saison, and maybe a California Red Ale." A little later, while sampling Donn's Famous Horse Cram It In Brown Ale, Satan wrote back: "Verrrrryyyyy good! Definitely one for the rotation/flagship brews!"

So that brings up the question: Does anyone have a set rotation, and how often do you brew a particular beer in a year? I am curious.

Labels: ,

posted by hiikeeba at 04:28 2 comments

13 March 2009

On-Premise sales Update

I just learned that a compromise bill, HB 2094, was submitted today by Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston. The bill allows a microbrewery (under 250,000 barrels annually) to sell from a six pack to two cases as part of the charge for the tour rather than explicitly state that a microbrewer can sell beer direct to the public. According to Daniel Keeney of DPK Public Relations, some distributors have agreed to support it, and Brock Wagner, of Saint Arnold Brewing Company, thinks this is a huge step forward.

There will be a hearing this coming Wednesday in Austin by the Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures, E2.016. Since this if government time, there is no set time when the hearing will take place, it will float as other things are considered.

Write your state representative and your state senator today!


posted by hiikeeba at 18:26 0 comments

12 March 2009

Brewers Association Announces 2008 Craft Brewer Sales Numbers

Boulder, CO - Monday, February 23, 2009 - The Brewers Association, which tabulates industry growth data for U.S. breweries, announced that today's small independent craft brewers are gaining alcohol market share due to a shift toward full flavor beer and increased support for local breweries. From 2007 to 2008, estimated sales by craft brewers were up 5.8 percent by volume and 10.5 percent in dollars¹. Overall share of the beer category from craft brewers was 4.0 percent of production and 6.3 percent of retail sales. More than 1 million new barrels of beer were sold in 2008, and close to half of those barrels were beer from craft brewers.

"2008 was a historic year for beer with the large brewers consolidating and imports losing share, while the top ten selling beer brands dropped in sales. At the same time, small independent craft brewers continued to gain share and attention," said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association. 

 With total U.S. beer being more than a $100 billion industry, the Brewers Association estimates the actual dollar sales from craft brewers in 2008 were $6.34 billion, up from $5.74 billion in 2007. Taxable barrels of the total beer category was 1,210,018 more in 2008 with craft brewers producing 473,364 of those barrels. Total craft brewer barrels for 2008 was 8,596,971, up from 8,123,607 barrels in 2007.

Beer's popularity as America's favorite fermented beverage continued in 2008 with Gallup stating "beer is back to a double-digit lead over wine." Taking into account the challenges in today's economy, BevincoNielsen released a survey showing beer was faring better than spirits, with wine lagging. The Brewers Association emphasized trading across from wine and spirits to beer continues, with some of today's wine drinkers discovering the affordable enjoyment and rewards of craft beer.

These increases in share and barrels for craft brewers come at a time when, according to the Brewers Association, the cost of operating a small brewery increased over 39 percent in the period of November 2007 to November 2008. The Brewers Association states that today's craft brewers face many challenges including:

  • Access to ingredients and raw materials
  • Increased pricing for materials and supplies
  • Access to market (competition for shelf space at the retail level)

For more statistics visit 2008 Craft Beer Industry Statistics. A more extensive analysis will be released April 22 during the Craft Brewers Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The Association's full 2008 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual brewery, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer.

¹Sales by craft brewers represent total taxable production. Dollars reported by Information Resources Inc. for total U.S. supermarkets.

The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:46 0 comments

10 March 2009

Saint Arnold Brewing Expands Distribution throughout Texas

HOUSTON, March 5, 2009 – To the delight of craft beer lovers throughout Texas, beers brewed by Saint Arnold Brewing Company (www.saintarnold.com) have started showing up in more stores, restaurants and bars in recent weeks. The expanded distribution throughout Texas is the result of Saint Arnold changing distributors after its longtime distributor Glazer’s decided to sell its beer distribution business in the many markets in Texas.

“We were excited about the opportunities our new distributors would provide in the major markets, but where we have seen the greatest gains has been in the smaller markets where we are now with the dominant local distributor,” said Brock Wagner, founder of Saint Arnold Brewing. Visiting these small towns and seeing our beers on draft at the local bars is a great feeling.  It turns out that we have many fans in these communities but our beer just wasn’t available .”

He has fielded a number of calls since the change in distributors from passersby who saw trucks emblazoned with “The King of Beer’s” logo in his loading dock. “Our new distributors also happen to work with a certain large brewery in St. Louis, so there aren’t many cities or towns in Texas they don’t reach,” Wagner said.  “We have had to explain to a few people that Saint Arnold remains a completely independent company with no ties to any breweries in St. Louis.  Our distributors are independent companies as well.  They just happen to sell Bud too.”

While Saint Arnold has new distributors in Houston (Silver Eagle Distributors, Del Papa Distributing and Wismer Distributing Co.) and Dallas/Fort Worth (Ben E. Keith Company), it is in the previously underserved communities below where craft beer fans won’t have to work so hard to find beers brewed by the oldest craft brewery in Texas:

-                      Beaumont (Del Papa Distributing)

-                      Brenham (Mike Hopkins Distributing Company)

-                      Corpus Christie (L&F Distributors)

-                      Fredericksburg-Kerrville (Ben E. Keith Company)

-                      Laredo (L&F Distributors)

-                      San Antonio (Silver Eagle Distributors)

Saint Arnold brews five year round beers, including Saint Arnold Amber, Saint Arnold Brown Ale, Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Ale, Saint Arnold Elissa IPA and Saint Arnold Texas Wheat. The brewery’s five seasonal beers include Saint Arnold Spring Bock (now available in stores, restaurants and bars throughout Texas), Saint Arnold Summer Pils (coming in April), Saint Arnold Oktoberfest, Saint Arnold Christmas Ale and Saint Arnold Winter Stout. Additionally, the brewery periodically creates a highly regarded limited edition series of big beer styles under the Saint Arnold Divine Reserve brand.

About Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold Brewing's ten brews are made and sold by the company’s staff of 22 dedicated employees. The brewery was listed by USA Today as one of the “10 great places to see what’s brewing in beer.” It is located at 2522 Fairway Park Drive and its brewery tour and tasting is offered every Saturday at 1:00 P.M. For more information on Saint Arnold's five year-round and five seasonal beers as well as root beer, log on to www.saintarnold.com.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:31 0 comments

08 March 2009

Tasty APA - Kegging Day

Since I used this beer as the starter for the Aud's No Scufflin' Ale 2, I had to keg Tasty APA to get the yeast. Here's what I did: First, as I was heating my brewing water, I sanitized my keg and tubing, saving the sanitizing solution for later. Then I transferred the APA into the keg and pressurized it. I purged the air in the fermenter with CO2,and covered, saving the yeast until after the boil.

My FG was 1.026, instead of the hoped for 1.016. Oh well.


posted by hiikeeba at 06:08 0 comments

06 March 2009

Aud's So Scufflin' Barley Wine 2

Normally, I would never use rice in a beer I make. But I heard an interview with Patrick Rue of the Bruery and he mentioned that he uses flaked rice instead of sugar in his saison.

Well, I was intrigued!

Aud's No Scufflin' Ale 2
7.5# LME (boiled 15 minutes)
6.5# 2-row malt
1# Crystal 10L
1# Crystal 80L
1# flaked rice
4oz pale chocolate
4oz flaked wheat
2 0z Sorachi Ace 14%/60 minutes*
3/4 oz Warrior 16%/10 minutes
3/4 oz Chinook 12%/0
.8 oz Saaz 6%/0
OG - 1.096 - 114 IBUs

*Yes, I know I said I would never use these again, but I have 4 ounces I need to use. The bitterness should help cut the malt sweetness of the beer. The remainder of the hops are leftover from Dirktastic.

Actual OG was 1.086. And I used the yeast from Dirktastic to pitch.


posted by hiikeeba at 09:15 0 comments

04 March 2009

Wheat Brown Porter Update

After brewing Randy Mosher's Wheat Porter Recipe a few times, I thought I had things down pat. The last time I brewed it, though, I forgot to order the Carafa III, and wound up with a tan beer.

Never one to waste good copy, I posted my trials and tribulations on the Brewing Network forums, and Rhino777 suggested I add Sinimar.

Sinimar is a coloring extract, used in the German brewing industry for the last 100 years. They use this extract to gain color without balancing the potential off flavors of roasted malts, and, since it is made from barley, keeps them within the Reinheitsgebot.

I ordered a bottle and added it to the already kegged beer, and I must say I am almost happy with the results. The beer has a roasty/metallic tang to it that I attribute to the unfermented extract added after kegging. As a result, this is not my favorite batch of Wheat Porter.


posted by hiikeeba at 09:05 0 comments

03 March 2009

HB 1062 Update

The Parity Bill has moved to committee in the house. It's in the Liscensing and Administrative Procedures Committee. If any of your reps are on the committee, please contact them and let them know you support the bill.


posted by hiikeeba at 18:26 0 comments

02 March 2009

Real Ale Brewery Tour

I hate to go places by myself. And since all my beer buddies are in other cities and have more predictable work schedules, I couldn't manage to drive forty miles to take the Real Ale tour. Until a couple weeks ago. I sweet talked/cajoled/conned a friend to close her office and go with me to take the tour. Since the tour started at 4 pm, she suggested we leave here at 3 pm. "But the tasting room opens at two," I whined to no avail.

We got to the brewery a little before four, thanks to my somewhat less than perfect navigation skills. There was a small crowd already enjoying free samples.

Why is it that people go to a bar, order their drink, turn around and form a knot of people at the serving line? I see it at Oktoberfest every year, and at every bar I have ever been in. The crown of people at the sample bar was four deep, all with their back to the bar talking to their friends. We had to fight our through the crowd and get to the bar. I ordered a Shade Grown Organic Coffee Porter. It is my new favorite beer. We drank, and waited for the tour to start. Eric, his work shirt said "Tyrant", was our tour guide, and by the time he was ready to begin there were 40 people there. Eric let us refill out glasses and started the tour.

Eric pointed out the mash tun and explained the process. Moved us ten feet forward and showed us the kettle and explained the process. Then he moved us ten feet forward among the fermentation tanks and explained the process. Then, twenty feet further he explained the packaging process. To say that the brewery is small is an understatement.

In the picture above, taken from the kegging station, you can see past the fermentation tanks to the kettle.

After the tour we had another beer, and went off to find BBQ. It was a great tour. I told Satan we had to go, but he moaned that he had to work. I tried to explain the concept of sick days to him, but I think he was just being stubborn.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:46 0 comments