30 July 2009

Toast to American Craft Beer

President Barack Obama will be serving Belgian, English and South American beer to Professor Gates and Police Officer Crowley. American brewers are a bit upset that their president will be drinking foreign beer.

To celebrate the depth and diversity of the American craft beer movement, Dogfish Head Breewing is proposing a toast. We have been invited to join them (either at the Rehoboth Beach brewpub or on their live webstream) at 6:00pm Thursday, July 30th for a toast to American craft beer.

I propose we make this an annual event.

posted by hiikeeba at 15:14 0 comments

Coach fired for Parents Drinking Beer

Frederick County Maryland high school softball coach Brad Young has been fired. Young had an End of Season party at his house for his players and their parents. Some parents brought beer and drank it. None of the players drank beer. Young didn't drink any beer. But someone's parent thought it was inappropriate that children saw someone responisbly drink alcohol.

That's part of the problem we have in this country: Any alcohol comsumptions is seen as irresponisble. So our children learn to drink irresponsibly. By putting a negative connotation to alcohol consumption, we make our children feel like they have to sneak around to drink, and have to drink a lot at one time.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:30 0 comments

28 July 2009

Starbucks to sell beer

Just like wineries, pioneer coffee franchise Starbucks is evaluating other product mixes in order to remain profitable, including beer and wine.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:24 1 comments

27 July 2009

(512) Brewing First Anniversary

I haven't had a chance to try any (512) beers. This might be the perfect opportunity.

posted by hiikeeba at 10:42 0 comments

26 July 2009

How to Disappear Competely Brew Day

A couple of weeks ago, the guys over at The Brewing Network interviewed the brewers at BrewDog in the UK. They gave the recipe for a low alcohol beer that supposedly looks and tastes like a Double IPA they called How to Disappear Completely. In my Fear No Beer, I mean, "try anything once" attitude, I ordered the ingredients. Here's the recipe:

How to Disappear Completely
OG 1.036 60% Efficiency
5# Marris Otter Pale Malt
3# Caramalt
9oz white wheat malt
4 oz Amber malt (UK)
4 oz Crystal120L
1 oz Chocolate malt (UK)
20g Centennial MH
30g Centennial FWH
10g Centennial/60 min
40g Columbus/60 min
20g Centennial/30 min
20g Columbus/30 min
30g Centennial/3 min
30g Columbus/3 min
3 oz Columbus/dry hop

Started the fire under the HLT at 7:40 am, after a bit of a sleep in. (Still woke up at the usual 6:15, but I refused to get up. That'll teach me!) Got the water to 170, doughed in and hit 150F. WTF? Drew off some liquor, heated it and got to 157F. Muuuch better.

The brewers said this was supposed to look and taste like a DIPA. But the mash liquor is brown. Next time, I'll use Crystal 60 instead of Crystal 120.

The preboil gravity was 1.033, and an hour later, it was 1.042, .006 higher than I predicted.

I will add the dry hops in about 5 days.


posted by hiikeeba at 16:02 2 comments

De Prouf and Bell Brewing to release Collaboration Beer

Last year, it was announced that Bell’s Brewery had agreed to be the 2009 partner for the latest brew in the De Proef Brewmaster’s Collaboration Series. The beer was brewed in March at De Proef in Lochristi, Belgium. The collaboration between Bell’s Brewery and De Proef got US label approval late last week. Van Twee Belgian Ale is set to be released as part of the Beverage Bistro club this month and will be released to the rest of the public mid-to-late August.

From beernews.org

posted by hiikeeba at 05:12 0 comments

24 July 2009

Southern Star Brewing Company Needs a Softball Team

Southern Star Brewing Company is trying to put one or more teams together for a softball tournament fundraiser for Delaney Starcher, a five year old girl who has Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable brain stem tumor. To offset medical expenses, family and supporters of Delaney are organizing the 'Laney Bug's Super Heroes Softball Tournament' fundraiser on Saturday, August 8, 2009, at PJ's Softball Park in Spring, Texas.

Laney Bug's Super Heroes Softball Tournament will be a men's and co-ed tournament using USSSA rules for slow pitch softball. Registration fees are $20 a person. Each person will receive a special Southern Star shirt commemorating this event. The registration deadline is August 1, 2009.

Please e-mail the brewery(Brewery "AT" SouthernStarBrewing.com) if you are interested; specifying what position you would like to play (or if it doesn't matter). The Tournament is BYOG (bring your own glove). They have bats, but if you've got a favorite, bring it too! Dave at Southern Star will post further details when they become available.


posted by hiikeeba at 05:31 0 comments

22 July 2009

New Beer at Dodging Duck

On July 13, Keith Moore at Dodging Duck Brewhaus in Boerne, tapped his newest creation: Blackhawk Black Ale. Keith describes it as a cross between an Imperial Stout and and IPA: jet black, 8% alcohol and 55 IBUs. Named in honor regular customers, and Army Blackhawk pilots Captains John and Logan Collins, a portion of the proceeds will go to a fund at BAMC that helps our fallen heroes.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:38 0 comments

20 July 2009

Jester King Brewery in Austin?

Jeffrey Stuffings, a homebrewer with dreams of going pro, has started raising funds to make those dreams come true. Operating under the name of Jester King Brewery, Jeff "hopes to help make Texas (especially Austin) a craft beer destination similar to the likes of Colorado and Oregon. With your help and a commitment to top-quality craft beer, it’s possible." Now there's a goal I can get behind!

Jeff already has an impressive array of beers lined up.

So if you're looking for an investment. . .


posted by hiikeeba at 05:35 0 comments

18 July 2009

Belgian Bombshell Kegging Day

The other night I screwed up my courage and got off my butt and kegged the Belgian Bombshell. It was a pale yellow, with some haze. It had a spicy note, mostly the cardemom, and finished a bit too bitter. Probably a result of my OG being 8/1000th of a point too low. The OG was 1048 and the FG was 1004, making this 5.8% abv.

To keep Satan happy, I am naturally carbonating this in a keg, so I added 4.2 ounces of priming sugar. The keg is sitting in our kitchen where the temp is in the low 80s. In a few days, I'll move it back to the fermentation room, where I can only get it down to 76°. I really need a couple of temperature controlled conicals. C'mon, Lotto!


posted by hiikeeba at 01:34 0 comments

16 July 2009

Saison D'Hiver

It was 101° here the other day, and with the humidity the heat index was 105°. I dreaded brewing this weekend, but this is my employer's Christmas beer, and it needs to age a few months before serving. I got an early start, and was able to finish before the temps hit triple digits.

Saison D'Hiver
13.5# Belgian pilsner
2.5# Munich malt
1.5# Vienna malt
.6# Crystal 120L
1 oz Challenger 6.5%/60 minutes
2 oz Styrian Goldings 3.5%/60 minutes
1 oz Saaz 3.1%/20 minutes
.5 oz Saaz 5.8%/20 minutes
.5# Turbinado sugar/10 minutes
1# dark Candi sugar/10 minutes
1 stick cinnamon/secondary
1 vanilla bean, split/secondary
1.5l starter WLP 568 Belgian Style Saison Ale Blend
1 vial White Labs Belgian Abbey Ale WLP530 (if needed)

I mashed at 151° for 75 minutes, and boiled for a little more than an hour and a half. (I collected a bit too much liquor and needed to boil it down.) The original recipe called only for 1.5 ounces of Styrian Goldings and 1 ounce of Saaz, but the alpha acid numbers on my order were about half what the recipe called for. Fortunately, I had some Challenger and half an ounce of a stronger Saaz.

I get 60% efficiency, so my OG was predicted at 1.076. And I hit that number. The predicted color was 30 SRM, which is Stout color. But in the kettle, the color was more of a golden, and after adding the sugar, it was a light brown. Using the brewing calculator on my iPhone, I estimate the color about 14 SRM, the upper end of the range for a Saison. Then I compared my recipe to my shipment and realized that I forgot to add Carafa III to my order. D'oh!


posted by hiikeeba at 04:59 0 comments

14 July 2009

Beer not linked to "Beer Bellies"

An eight-year study of more than 20,000 beer drinkers - 7876 men and 12,749 women - found that while heavy drinkers will put on weight, it won't necessarily be on the waist and that a pot belly is genetic.

Whew! Had me worried there.


posted by hiikeeba at 03:49 0 comments

12 July 2009

The Brewing News Online Event Calendar

The Brewing News has launched a new online event calendar. It is much easier to use than their previous calendar. Their goal is to make this the most comprehensive resource for beer events on the web.

posted by hiikeeba at 04:43 0 comments

10 July 2009

Avery Brewers Colorado Bike Tour - 7/20-24

Thirteen Avery Brewers and cyclists will begin a 5 day, 426 Mile, 42,000 Vertical Feet bike tour across 9 passes between Boulder and Durango, stopping at brew pubs and microbreweries to strengthen ties in Colorado's craft brewing industry. According to Avery Brewing President/Brewmaster Adam Avery, “The passion we put into our beer is the passion we have for life. We’ve always brewed big, challenging beers and so we’re choosing to challenge ourselves in the same manner.”

"What we’ve come to realize over the years is that despite supposedly being competitors in the marketplace, most all breweries in Colorado are fighting the same battle for good beer, preaching the same message of ‘quality over quantity,’ and living the same Colorado lifestyle. The Tour of Colorado is our effort to focus on those common threads and support the industry.”

Each stop along the tour will hold fundraisers for the Avery team. Those funds will be donated to local charities. The tour will conclude with the tapping of Wheelsucker Wheat Ale at the Ska Brewing Company in Durango, Colorado on Sunday, July 25th. Wheelsucker Wheat Ale is a collaborative beer between Avery Brewing Company and Ska Brewing Company.


posted by hiikeeba at 04:31 1 comments

08 July 2009

"Craft" Like Bud Light

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa station KCRG is breathlessly reporting that a winery in Iowa have helped "Kick Prohibition Era Law to Curb." The law prohibits wineries from selling beer. The best part is this quote: "We are going to try and keep it like the micro brew type. Like Amberbock and Blue Moon. We've got Millstream I think from Amana and we do have the basic Bud Light." So they are going to sell craft beers like Bud Light, Blue Moon and Michelob Amberbock. Finally, the real reason for the move: ". . .they expect having beer available will really help their sales." So wine ain't paying the bills, they have to sell beer too.

Doesn't that make the winery more of a bar than a winery?

Texans, our Legislators want to do the same thing here: prop up winery revenues by allowing them to sell beer.


posted by hiikeeba at 06:38 0 comments

06 July 2009

NHC Photo Slide Show

posted by hiikeeba at 06:02 0 comments

04 July 2009

Shiner Smokehaus Review

For the record, earlier in the year the Texas alcohol distributors lobby appeared before the state licensing committee to oppose microbreweries selling beer on the brewery property. Their testimony strongly implied that the distributors were responsible for the growth of Texas breweries. This beer came out June 1 and is still not in Fredericksburg. I bought this six pack in Albuquerque on June 13. I also spotted it California, Nevada and Colorado. It showed up in my local supermarket on June 24. Good work, Texas beer distributors.

On to the review:
Appearance (0-3): Pours up crystal clear gold with a with head that dissipates rapidly leaving a few wispy clumps of bubbles floating on top of the beer. 2 points.
Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Not much aroma. Some malt and something else. I assume it's smoke, but if I didn't know this was as smoked beer, I certainly wouldn't call it smoke. 2 points Taste (0-10): Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Slightly sweet malt flavor with a hint of smoke in the finish. Not very noticeable. A little plastic/Band-Aid like flavor, which, I know from brewing a mesquite smoked beer, is the flavor of mesquite. No hops detected. 3 points
Aftertaste (0-3): Mild and smooth aftertaste. The smoke lingers a short while. 3 points
Mouthfeel (0-3): Mouthfeel is a bit thin with good carbonation. 2 points
Overall Impression (0-3): It's okay, once you get used to the odd smoke flavor. But it's a little hard to drink a third one. 2 points
Total: 14 points


posted by hiikeeba at 07:16 0 comments

02 July 2009

Bugeaters Rye Cream Ale 2 RIP

This stuff is nasty.

It is phenolic and tastes of plastic. I don't know what went wrong. The first batch went through an unsanitized wort chiller and was awesome. This time, everything was sanitized and it tastes like crap.

I hate to pour a whole keg of beer out, but I think I would hate to drink it even more.

posted by hiikeeba at 05:58 0 comments