30 December 2009

Bloody Bastard Kegging Day

Faced with a shortage of beer for Christmas, I kegged the Bloody Bastard Ale, and it came in at 1.008. I was wondering what it would taste like with the rauchmalt. Turns out it takes like a brown ale when it is uncarbonated.

So I forced carbonated it.

After a week on CO2, the beer poured a nice dark brown with ruby highlights and a tan head. It smells like a brown ale, chocolatey and malty. It tastes a little like a brown ale. There's some chocolate there, but it finishes with a nice smoke flavor that takes it out of the brown ale style. I would never enter it in a competition, but I will certainly make it again.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:21 0 comments links to this post

28 December 2009

Don't Drink Coffee with a Hangover!

After a long New Year's Eve, don't drink coffee to sober up, or drink it the morning after. It will just make you drunk, according to a new study.

The combination of alcohol and caffeine produces a potentially lethal mix that just makes it harder to realize you are actually drunk.

posted by Jeff Holt at 10:17 1 comments links to this post

26 December 2009

Shiner 100 Bottle Rocket Salute


posted by Jeff Holt at 08:38 0 comments links to this post

24 December 2009

Jester King Das WUNDERKIND!

Jeffrey Stuffings, owner of Jester King Brewery, sent me a couple of bottles of beer as samples, and he allowed me to post my reviews. The second review will be posted in January.

I opened the Das WUNDERKIND! first. I'm a sucker for American wheat ales. Here's the info from the website:

Das WUNDERKIND! is an American wheat ale heavily hopped with a blend of Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe and fermented with a clean, crisp California ale yeast strain. It's a session beer with a fairly low ABV and simple grain bill, but flavorful as all hell with copious amounts of hops late in the boil and dry hops after fermentation. It's delicious with foods such as salads, sushi or vegetable dishes.

Das WUNDERKIND!
Appearance (0-4): Typical foamy wheat when poured into a glass. Huge, creamy off-white head that dissipates slowly. A little too slowy, it turns out. I have to nurse the beer into the glass. It's a hazy golden/amber. 3 points.
Aroma/Bouquet (0-3): Citrus hop aroma dominate the aroma. Very West Coast. Who knew an American Wheat could be so fragrant. 3 points
Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Some wheat graininess with slightly fruity/citrusy hops. 4 points
Aftertaste (0-3): mild itrus hop finish with some iced tea like astringency. Kind of like a lemon ice tea. 3 points
Mouthfeel (0-3): Slightly creamy mouthfeel, not too carbonated. 2 points
Overall Impression (0-3): American wheats are often bland and lifeless. The Amarillo and Simcoe hops are a nice compliment, and remind me of Pliny the Elder. I ned to experiment with those in my wheat beers. 3 points
Total: 18 Points

I emailed Jeff and told him he would have to make sure that this beer would be for sale here in Paradise, because it is my new favorite beer!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:22 0 comments links to this post

23 December 2009

Underage use of Alcohol down

All those anti-alcohol and "Truth" ads seem to be doing the trick. A Federal survey has found that fewer teens are using alcohol or cigarettes. They have moved on to marijuana.

I'm sure "Truth" will find a way to blame cigarette and beer companies.

Of course, my source seems to be a prohibitionist site. Here's the last sentence of the next to last paragraph: "Alcohol and marijuana are regarded as 'gateway substances' that pave the way for more dangerous abuse."

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:04 1 comments links to this post

22 December 2009

Beer-Brewing Women, Soused Workers Built Pyramids

Bare-breasted women engaged in sudsy brewing work adorn tomb paintings and clay models from the dynastic period. To slake his thirst, each laborer on the pyramids got a daily beer allotment of 1 1/3 gallons. Everyone partied at the annual celebration of the Drunkenness of Hathor, goddess of fertility, motherhood and the Milky Way.

From this annoyingly brief web article about Iain Gately's book, Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:31 1 comments links to this post

20 December 2009

Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a hazy yellow with a white head that dissipates rather quickly. 2 points
Aroma/Bouquet (0-4):Ctirusy sweetness dominates the aroma, with some spice and chamomile notes. 3 points
Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Mild beer with a citrusy finish. 3 points
Aftertaste (0-3): Bitter citrus and spice flavors linger nicely on the back of the tongue. 3 points
Mouthfeel (0-3): Strong carbonation with a sharp carbonic bite on the tongue. 3 points
Overall Impression (0-3): Satsuma is the English name for 蜜柑, or mikan, in Japanese. It is a mandarin orange. This is a nice wit, though the orange flavor is a bit strong. 2 points
16 points

Satan's comments: "Interesting! Nice citrus and chamomile aroma! Nice haziness, but poor head retention! There is a perculiar bitterness about it though! Like a pithy flavor after you bite through the skin of a grapefruit! Overall I like it, but that dry bitter finish isn't something I would go for."

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:52 0 comments links to this post

18 December 2009

I May Have to Re-Think the Whole "Monster" Thing

Netherlands brewing company De Molen is importing their Rasputin Stout to America. The folks at North Coast Brewing, who brew Old Rasputin, objected, so de Molen named their beer Disputin.

De Molen put on their new label, "This stout used to be called Rasputin, but the people who make Old Rasputin in California thought you were too dumb to tell the two products apart, and threatened to sue us for trademark infringement." That's the nature of trademarks I suppose. I had an idea for a beer called "Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale." Turns out three other breweries had the same idea. "Hop Juice?" Yep. "Steam Beer?" Yep. "Monster?" Hey! Wait a minnit!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:17 2 comments links to this post

16 December 2009

Freetail Brewing Company


posted by Jeff Holt at 04:40 0 comments links to this post

14 December 2009

Meet the Man who Draws Anchor Brewery's Labels

The San Francisco Chronicle recently profiled Jim Stitt, who for 40 years has hand-drawn the labels for Anchor Brewery's beer, wine and liquor labels.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:45 0 comments links to this post

12 December 2009

Senator Hutchion's Fund Raiser is Houston Area Beer Distributor

In her bid to become the next Governor of Texas, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has enlisted Houston beer wholesaler John Nau as "a chief fundraiser." Well, I guess that indicates where she stands on Brewery On Premise sales. . .

Kinky for Governor!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:40 2 comments links to this post

10 December 2009

Real Ale Phoenixx Coming Soon in Bottles

As soon as the Real Ale Coffee Porter runs out, look for Phoenixx Double ESB. And, according to the story, Devil's Backbone Tripel might be next!

I am so glad to see Real Ale expanding their bottle line up. Mainly because I can't get many of their keg-only offerings here in Paradise.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:00 0 comments links to this post

08 December 2009

Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Appearance (0-3): Pours up and amber/gold with a dense off-white head that lingers and lingers. A bit cloudy, though. 2 points
Aroma/Bouquet (o-4): Malty, bready aroma, but no hops detected. I know it's dry hopped. Shouldn't the hops come through more? 3 points
Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Starts off with a nice citrus hop bitterness at the front, and finishes with the biscuity malt flavors. Very nice. 4 points
Aftertaste (0-3): Finishes with an astringent bitterness at the back of the throat, tea-like. 2 points
Mouthfeel (0-3): Medium bodied with light carbonation. Perfect. 3 points
Overall Impression (0-3): Very Bristish pale ale. I was expecting something more west coast--a bit more hop flavor and aroma. Still extremely drinkable and a fine beer. 2 points
16 points

Don't get me wrong. I like this beer a lot. The day I reviewed this I was looking for a DIPA. When I decided to brew an IPA, I chose the clone recipe of this beer.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:43 0 comments links to this post

06 December 2009

Bloody Bastard Ale

I'm a fan of Graham Sanders' podcast "Craft Brewer Radio." A few weeks ago, he gave a recipe for a beer he liked. He wound up injuring himself during the course of the brew day, hence the name of the beer. His was a lager, but mine will be an ale, using some clean fermenting ale yeast.

Bloody Bastard Ale
OG 1054 | 6 gal | 30 IBUs | 60% eff.

9# 8 oz German pilsner
2# Munich Malt
2# rauch malt
1# CaraMunich
8 oz Chocolate
1 oz Hallertauer/ 60 min
1 oz Hallertauer/30 min
1 oz Hallertauer/10 min
Irish Moss/10 min
WLP 001

Mash at 154°F for 60 minutes. Boil 90 minutes.

I collected about a gallon and a half less than expected. The pump never would empty the kettle. It pumped for a good two minutes getting nothing. Don't know if the pump head was clogged. The pressure of the pump is a bit higher than gravity, so I developed a wort leak on the input side of the counterflow chiller. I expect most of my gallon was lost there, plus what was in the chiller and tubing when I quit pumping. And I did notice slightly higher evaporation rate today. Most days a 1.5 hour boil only loses me a gallon. Today it lost me almost a gallon and a half.

So this is a steep learning curve.

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

05 December 2009

Shiner Fröst Coming soon

Tip of the hat to BeerNews.org, we know what will replace Holiday Cheer when it sells out: Shiner Fröst: “Frost is the first offering in Shiner’s 2010 seasonal portfolio and our first Dortmunder-style brew. It has an appealing profile with a pale golden color and notes of honey and subtle floral hops. And like our Texas winter, it’s crisp and refreshing – like a frosty morning.”

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:39 0 comments links to this post

04 December 2009

Drinking Beer Helps Your Heart

A recent study reported that light drinkers (a bottle of beer every other day) have a 35% less chance of a heart attack than neo-prohibitionists. Moderate drinkers (a couple of pints of ordinary bitter a day) had a 54% lower risk. Heavy drinkers (those drank up to six pints a day) had similar results. And even people like me who might consume more every day have a similar result.

Well. As on of my friends put it: "It is comforting to know that my heart will keep beating until the cirrhosis kicks in."

Thanks to the Brookston Bulletin for the heads up about this article, and check out the comments for a very interesting discussion about binge drinking. If you are concerned about Neo-Prohibitionist's attacks on alcohol consumption, you need to be reading the Brookston Bulliten.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:36 0 comments links to this post

03 December 2009

More Texas Breweries?

As Jester King Brewery and Circle Brewing start up, there is word that there soon may be other breweries, including: Pedernales Brewing Company in either Spicewood or Fredericksburg (depending on where you look) is restarting their fundraising, though their website is a bit sparse, there's a few more details floating around on the web; No Label Brewing Company in Katy (Thanks to Texas Beer for the heads up) has found a location for their brewery; Barbed Wire Brewing in Austin is in their fundraising stage; and new entrant Hops and Grain in Austin has just appeared on the landscape.

A friend of mine has some details about Pedernales Brewing and promises to share it with me shortly. Anyone have any details to share?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:23 2 comments links to this post

02 December 2009

Louisiana Eyes Beer tax Increase

I've written about it before. Raising excise taxes is a self-defeating exercise. The evidence is all around us, and yet politicians still see these regressive taxes a a magic bullet that will fund all their largesses and end the offensive behavior being taxed.

In Louisiana, more politicians are jumping on the excise tax bandwagon to make up for budgetary shortfalls brought about by the recession. Here's a nice article that explains the perils of excise taxes.

As craft beer drinkers, we need to inform our elected criminals, uh, I mean, elected officials that these taxes will only hurt the brewing industry, and remove a source of tax revenue from the rolls.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:38 1 comments links to this post