30 March 2010

The Only Universal Remote You Will Ever Need

From Gizmodo.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:51 0 comments links to this post

29 March 2010

What Do Brewers Do When They Can't Brew? Part 3

A February 12 snowstorm collapsed the Rahr and Sons brewery roof. They have turned this calamity into a great marketing campaign. I think it's giving Rahr a great new image.

Check the Rahr Brewery blog every Friday for the latest installment.


posted by Jeff Holt at 04:53 0 comments links to this post

28 March 2010

A Good Quote

"I like reading in a pub rather than a library or study, as it's generally easier to get a drink."
-Pete McCarthy McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland

posted by Jeff Holt at 09:25 0 comments links to this post

26 March 2010

Uncle Billy's Keep Austin Beered Pro-Am

From the Bexar Brewers Digest, Volume 28, Issue 18:

Announcing the 2010 Uncle Billy's Keep Austin Beered Pro-Am! Brew a beer in BJCP Category 8 (Bitter, Special Bitter, or ESB) and enter it in this contest and Brian Peters at UBBQ will brew the winning beer and enter it in the GABF Pro-Am Competition. (The GABF Pro-Am is limited to 96 entries and although they have never received this many entries, please understand that if for some reason 96 other breweries enter first, there might be an issue. Regardless, you would win the contest and Brian will brew your beer.) The GABF Pro-Am started about 4 years ago and homebrewers can win a GABF medal. YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE AHA at the time you enter your beer on through the GABF (Sept. 18). NO EXCEPTIONS!

It is $5 to enter and you just need to take your 2 bottles to Austin Homebrew Supply, 9129 Metric, or to a Austin Zealots Happy Hour or the club meeting at the Gingerman in June. The window to enter is from June 10-21. Entries will be judged later in June. More details and bottle labels here.

Uncle Billy's Brew & Que is at 1530 Barton Springs in Austin (NOW WITH FREE PARKING!) Questions about the contest can be sent to dandew3@att.net.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 13:27 0 comments links to this post

BeerFans.com

You all know how I feel about Texas Law that prohibits a brewer from telling you where you may purchase his beer. But imagine if there was a site that coordinated distributors and retailers to find out what is available where.

From the release: "BreweryFans.com was created to make it extremely easy for beer fans to find where individual beer brands are available from their favorite breweries. We work with distributors and our client breweries to put their distribution data online while also allowing any fan or retailer to post beer lists for others to interact with on a Google map or filterable list. Here is a good example of the complete beer list at Swingbridge Beer & Wine in North Carolina. Each brewery has their own fan page (example: SweetWater Brewery) that brings in content about their beers, the latest Twitter talk, YouTube videos, and a unique Flickr slideshow. When fans join a brewery fan page, they are asked what beers that person has tried and this data is then sent to the brewer so they can see what their females vs. males are liking or the tastes of certain demographic. Finally, one revolutionary and exciting feature is the email alerts capability which lets a user receive an email when a specific beer brand (example: Dogfish Head 90 Minute) is distributed in their city. Breweries can then use this email alert data to better see where demand is for their various brands of beer, which can help convince a retailer to carry their beer." And an iPhone app is coming in a few months.

It's still early in the development of the site, but this has a lot of potential, especially if the distributors get involved.


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

24 March 2010

Shiner 101 Czech Style Pilsner

Finally, our Shiner distributor sold all they could in the areas around Fredericksburg, so they had no where else to go but here.

Appearance (0-4): Pours up a pale straw colored with gold highlights, with a thin white head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer of foam. I'd like a longer lasting head. 2 points

Aroma (0-3): Honey like malt notes with faint noble hops in the aroma. Grainy, and is that corn I smell? 2 points

Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Slighty sweet, corny, grainy malt flavor with a hint of hops in the finish. 3 points
Mouthfeel (0-3): A little thin 2 Points
Aftertaste (0-3): Clean finish and quite refreshing. 3 points

Overall Impression (0-3): Smooth. Although it reminds me of the Frost and of the Kosch-style. Nothing spectacularly new here. 2 points

Total: 14 Points

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:39 0 comments links to this post

22 March 2010

Kitchen Sink Mild

Over the last year, I have collected a small pile of assorted grains. That's the problem ordering from some shops, you have to buy a pound of grain to get 2 ounces to add to your beer. So I decided to come with a recipe, and, since I failed to take inventory last time I brewed H2DC, I had over a pound of Crisp Amber Malt, and 3 ounces of Simpsons Chocolate Malt. So whatever I brewed would be English. Since I wanted it to be inexpensive, I decided on a mild.

Kitchen Sink Mild Ale
6 gal | 60% eff. | OG 1.035 | IBUs 18.8 | SRM 17.8
7# Marris Otter
1.5# Amber Malt
.5# Crystal 40L
.25# Crystal 120L
.25# Simpsons Chocolate Malt
.25# wheat malt
1 ounce cascade 5.5%/60 minutes
WLP 007 British Ale

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:23 0 comments links to this post

20 March 2010

Chef Rick Bayless and Goose Island to Collaborate

Goose island Brewery and chef Rick Bayless have announced a partnership to create a beer that will pair with Bayless' high end Mexican cuisine. (I must confess to my admiration for Rick Bayless. On his cooking shows, he's such an approachable and passionate person.)

Goose Island brew master Greg Hall described the beer, which will have a Belgian-style base, as “fruity, and spicy up front.” The goal is to make something that pairs with guacamole, ceviche and other starters at Bayless’ three restaurants: Xoco, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo.

“It will have a lot of citrus -- an unusual citrus -- and be very bright with a forward spice character, but not heat spice,” Hall said.

A Bayless spokesperson said by e-mail that the beer will have “a light, refreshing, crisp vibe to match the lime zing that is in a lot of our food.” In addition to the strong citrus, it could “possibly (have an) herbal component or floral component.”

"The unnamed beer will be available in 650 milliliter bottles at Bayless’ restaurants and at Goose Island brew pubs. It is expected to be available this summer."

I may have to add Chicago to my NHC itinerary.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:00 0 comments links to this post

18 March 2010

Mosquitoes Love Beer Drinkers

An African study took 50 adult males aged between 20 and 43 years in good health and not using any medication. One group drank the local beer and one drank water. While the mosquitoes couldn't actually bite the participants, beer drinkers attracted forty-seven to sixty-five percent more mosquitoes than the water drinkers.

That explains a lot about what happens in my backyard.

Actually, the study is about malaria mosquitoes. If you are traveling to a country where malaria is prevalent, let someone else drink beer and you stick to water.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:38 0 comments links to this post

17 March 2010

Circle Brewing Company Signs a Lease

Lee, over at I Love Beer, has posted a letter from Circle Brewing Company of Austin, announcing that they will move into their space at 2340 W Braker Ln, Suite B, on April 1. They expect building and setting up their brewery to take 6 months, so we might see beer from Circle Brewing around Thanksgiving!

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

16 March 2010

Legal to brew in Oklahoma!

Despite fears that legalizing home brewing would lead to the legalization of marijuana (I shit you not!), a bill that allows people to homebrew in Oklahoma has passed. Conservatives, you know, the people who don't want the government to control what you do, argued against the bill, saying it will lead to more alcohol problems, marijuana use, and dogs and cats living together. (Conservatives are doing everything they can to make me liberal!) Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed, even with a stern "If you go to church Sunday, remember how you voted today."

So, Congratulations Okies!

And to you faux-conservatives who claim to be against government interference: Shame on you!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:47 0 comments links to this post

14 March 2010

BCS Old McQuaker's Oatmeal Stout

Since Satan has been extremely busy at work and hasn't had the chance to brew, I need a fix of Oatmeal Stout. So I dug out Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew by Jon Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff. It's always a good place to start when brewing a style for the first time. Except for a few adjustments for my crappy efficiency, I brewed that recipe. Buy the book. You need it in your library.

I was shooting for 1.056 Original Gravity and got 1.057.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:36 0 comments links to this post

12 March 2010

Freetail Brewing Buffalo Hump 1840 IPA Review

I had to go to San Antonio the other day. And since Freetail Brewing is almost on the way home, I stopped by for a late lunch and a couple of beers. What caught my eye on the chalkboard was Dry Hopped Buffalo Hump 1840 IPA. Always on the lookout for something to cure my Pliny the Elder cravings, I gave this beer a shot. And I am glad I did! Buffalo Hump 1840 IPA is an amazing beer with a huge hop nose and flavor that is certainly heading towards the West Coast.

Dry Hopped Buffalo Hump 1840 IPA

Appearance (0-4): Pours up a golden amber, with bright gold highlights. Crystal clear with a dense , creamy head that leaves a nice lacing along the side of the glass. 4 points

Aroma (0-3): Citrus and tropical fruit aroma from the hops. Very appetizing. 3 points

Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Nice malt backbone for an excellent blend of hops. 4 points

Aftertaste (0-3): Clean hop flavor up front, but a harsh bitterness is left on the back of the throat after two of these. 1 points

Mouthfeel (0-3): Medium bodied with good carbonation. 3 points

Overall Impression (0-3): An easy drinking IPA that reminds me West Coast IPAs. So good, I had to buy a growler of it! 3 points

Total: 18 points

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:24 0 comments links to this post

10 March 2010

More Wineism (New Word!)

A new law took effect in September 2009 that will allow Texas wineries to pour and sell their wines at farmers markets and festivals in wet or dry areas, and without the festivals having a liquor license, as long as the wine is bottled in Texas and contains a certain percentage of Texas grapes or juice. The wineries have to get a two-year certificate for each event or market that limits their participation to no more than five days at one location within a 30-day period and no more than three consecutive days at a single location.

This is a disturbing law on a couple of levels. First, this could set Texas' Local Option laws on their collective ears. The Local Option allows each city, country or even precinct in a county to determine whether or not to allow alcohol sales. For example, Mesquite, Texas is dry while the neighboring towns are wet. I know this because Ricky D. Sawyer is both a proponent of the Local Option, and a liquor retailer in the wet community of Balch Springs. He opposes alcohol sales in Mesquite to protect his children. I wonder if he knows that a Farmers Market in Mesquite could sell wine? In full view of his children? This law puts the decision to sell alcohol into the hand of the manufacturer instead of the voter.

Second, what about Mr. Sawyer's business? Doesn't he sell wine? How much more is his license than the wineries' permit? Will Wineries selling wine at a Farmers Market take food off his family's table and money out of his Local Option war chest?

Third, what about wine distributors? Won't they lose money as they would if breweries sold beer? Won't they be unable to encourage Texas winery growth (as the beer distributors testified they do when the brewery sales bill came up last year) they do for Texas Brewery growth?

More wineism (the preferential treatment of wine over other alcoholic beverages). We can go to a winery, pay for samples and buy cases and cases of wine. They will tell us what stores in our hometowns sell their product. But go on the Real Ale Brewing brewery tour, and they can give you samples but you can't buy anything except T-shirts, and they can't tell you who sells their beer. Texas could have a brewing industry as vibrant as our wine industry if only the law would treat vinters and brewers the same. Don't believe me? Check this out!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 14:25 0 comments links to this post

Thinking Out Loud

Thanks to a New York Times article about beer travel I have an idea! Open a brewery east of Fredericksburg, somewhere along Highway 290, where all of the wineries are. There would be grain fields where barley is grown (It wouldn't be malted there. It's an education thing.), there would be a hop yard (Those would be used in a harvest ale, but again, it's more an educational thing.), a nice little picnic area with a covered stage for live music and maybe a big pit barbecue, and a few B&Bs rented to people who want to be free labor picking hops, cleaning mash tuns, bottling the beer.

The whole idea would get people to stop thinking of beer as something that comes out of a factory, but as something that comes out of a farm.

Please note, if you want to use this idea, I would be happy to sell it to you. But I won't clean your mash tuns.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:32 0 comments links to this post

08 March 2010

All Citra West Texas Wheat - Tasting Notes

I brewed the All Citra West Texas Wheat to learn what Citra hops taste like. I brewed it on in the middle of January, and tapped it about a month later.

So what does Citra taste like? Pineapple, mango, and some citrus. Very tropical. So I thought I would score it.

All-Citra West Texas Wheat

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a slightly hazy, yellow gold with a dense white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. 3 points
Aroma (0-4): Pineapple and pine hop aroma. Hard to describe. Maybe some citrus. Smells like mango, maybe? I'm not too familiar with mangos, but the aroma is kind of "fleshy," if you know what I mean. Not a bad aroma. I would give it a two, but they dry hopping did exactly as I planned so an extra point. 3 points
Taste: Hop/Malt Balance (0-4): Very hard to score this. There is a slightly sweet malt background, but the flavor is all fruity hops. It's very hop forward, in a Pliny the Elder sort of way. 3 Points
Aftertaste (0-3): Besides the fruity hops on the front of my tongue. Finishes with a nice bitterness on the back of the throat. Not too powerful, but noticeable. 2 points
Mouthfeel (0-3): Low to medium body. 2 points
Overall Impression (0-3): I really like this beer. It's addictingly drinkable. But the Citra has a round profile that could be accentuated with a more citrusy hop, like Simcoe or Amarillo to punch through the fruit flavor. 2 points

Total: 15 Points

I want to rebrew the same base recipe but with Simcoe or Amarillo so I can see what would go best with the Citra hops. These hops are nice, and I can't wait to use them again.

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

06 March 2010

Alamo City Cerveza Fest 2010 in April

Frankly, this caught me by surprise. The Alamo City Cerveza Fest has moved from June to April this year. Entries open March 6 and the entry deadline is March 22. See the Bexar Brewers homepage for details.

Frankly, I liked the later date of the competitions. Now, EVERYTHING I enter has deadlines in March.

Oh, wait! I quit competing!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:45 2 comments links to this post

04 March 2010

Brewers Association Announces New Website

The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has just launched CraftBeer.com to celebrate the ever-growing interest in craft brewers and their liquid libations. The new site is a consumer portal providing information and community interaction for craft beer enthusiasts everywhere.

I haven't had a chance to dig too deeply into the site, yet, but what I have seen I have liked.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:50 1 comments links to this post

03 March 2010

Pedernales Brewing Company

I got an interesting email today. You'll recall that I've been blogging about Pedernales Brewing Company, and whether or not it will be in Spicewood or Fredericksburg.

My name is Lee Hereford. I am a principal in the Pedernales Brewing Company, LLC, to be based in Fredericksburg. We are the only valid company bearing the name of Pedernales Brewing Company. We are nearing completion of our initial funding phase, and will be located in Fredericksburg. We are chartered with the Texas Secretary of State, as an LLC, in that name. We also have a Federal EIN in that name. I have no idea who the people are in Spicewood, or why they are trying to use our name, but our legal counsel is investigating it and we will take whatever actions are necessary to protect our name.

Best Regards,
Lee Hereford
President/CEO
Pedernales Brewing Company, LLC
Fredericksburg, TX

I have Lee's permission to reprint this. Lee has also invited me to meet with him, but, due to a family illness, my time is occupied elsewhere for a bit. As soon as I can find time to sit down and talk to him, I will pass along anything he will allow.

Hmm. I wonder if he has a quality control/taste tester position open?

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:30 0 comments links to this post

02 March 2010

Sam, Vinnie and Mario - In Business Together in NYC

Teo Musso, Brewmaster of Birrificio Le Baladan and Leonardo Di Vincenzo of Birra del Borgo in Italy, and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Vinnie Cilurzo of the Russian River Brewing are joining forces with Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Italian food emporium Eataly to open a brewery-pub on a New York City rooftop with breathtaking views of the Flatiron and Empire State Buildings at 200 5th Avenue above Eataly, an Italian specialty foods market with several restaurants which pair gourmet foods with artisanal beers and wines.

The four brewers are working together on recipes for the house beers, whicc will feature Italian and American ingredients. The beers will be unpasteurized, unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and hand-pulled through traditional beer engines for the most authentic and pure presentation. The four individual brewers will also occasionally brew beers under their own names on site. The rooftop restaurant project will pair artisanal rustic beers with the artisanal cooking of Chef Mario Batali.

Source: BeerNews.org

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:02 1 comments links to this post

01 March 2010

OMG! Canadians drink beer! Who woulda thought?

Photos of the women's Canadian Hockey Team celebrating their Olympic victory with beer and cigars on the ice has stirred up a lot of controversy. People are complaining that they should have celebrated in the locker room, not in public. Here's how to prevent that: Make the Olympics private! Don't sell tickets. Don't sell beer at the venue. Don't allow alcohol in Olympic Village, and don't sell beer in the host city. That should take care of it!

Why are people so intent on taking away all of life's joys? Celebrate a gold medal? Not where people can see you.

Yes, one of the chicks was underage. Less than a month underage.

Where's the outrage over Jon Montgomery celebrating his gold medal walking the streets of Whistler with a pitcher of beer? He was in full view of the public. The hockey players were in full view of, well, no public, just the media. No children were exposed to the scourge of canned beer in their case. How many children will require years of counseling, how many children will drive drunk after seeing Montgomery with a pitcher of the frothy gold liquid in clear view?

Effin' Prohibitionists.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 13:04 0 comments links to this post