30 May 2010

What Climate Change Means for Wineries: England Gets its Wine Industry Back?

Remember Global Warming (Praise Gaia and her anointed profit* Al Gore.)? Ever since he admitted that he lied in his movie to emphasize his point, the Church of Global Warming has called it "Climate Change."

Here's an pretty interesting article on what a few degrees temperature change could mean to the wine industry. Some good points scattered throughout, as well.

For the record, I do not believe Global Warming to be anthropogenic. I believe that man's activities accelerate Global Warming, but did not cause it. We came out of a mini ice age in the mid 19th century, so of course global temperatures are rising. They are not quite up to 13th century temperatures yet.

In the 13th Century, according to Brian Fagan's The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850, England had a thriving wine industry. The wines were comparable to French wines, and the French were worried about imports cutting into their business. Then the Little Ice Age hit, and temperatures plummeted 10 degrees. Since England couldn't grow grapes for any longer, they started growing grain for beer.

So what would Global Warming mean to the wine industry? England will make good wine again.

* I meant to spell it that way. He is profiting from the hysteria he produces.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:58 1 comments links to this post

26 May 2010

Liquor Industry buys Wisconsin Legislators for $115,000

Well, at least that's the implication in this news story.

The liquor lobby in Wisconsin spent $115,000 buying votes in the state legislature. According to the story, "the two largest recipients were the Assembly committees that are in charge of getting Republicans and Democrats elected. The Democratic committee got $17,500 while the Republican one received $13,800." This puts the Wisconsin liquor lobby at the 5th largest lobby group.

Notice that the article doesn't mention the four larger ones and how much they spent. Since the general tone of the article is negative, I am forced to conclude that the other lobby groups had halos and wings.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:34 0 comments links to this post

24 May 2010

Historic Breweries in the News

The former William Ulmer Brewery ,at the corner of Belvidere and Beaver streets in Brooklyn, became the first brewery to be landmarked. In the 1850s there were 50 breweries in Brooklyn. Today the brewery building contains housing.

And out in Seattle, Emerald City Brewing Company will be moving into the old Rainier Brewing company building. Once again, the building will be doing the Lord's work.


posted by Jeff Holt at 11:27 0 comments links to this post

22 May 2010

Buddy's Amber NHC Scores

Buddy's Amber has a particularly interesting history. Version 1 of this beer (linked to above) scored 35 at the New England Regional home Brewing Competition in 2008, and a 28 at Dixie cup that year because it didn't have enough malt. Version 2 scaled back the hops from 42 IBUs to 25 IBUs, got a 39 at Bluebonnet and advanced to the second round where the beer had turned bad and scored a 24. At NHC last year that beer scored a 17. Version 3 scored a 29, mainly because I was talked into entering it as Category 23 - Specialty Beer instead of American Amber Ale. Judge One, a certified BJCP judge said it needed more hops. *sigh* He also suggested it go into the Spice beer category instead. Judge Two said the same thing, and noted some plastic aromas.

So it looks like Version 4 will be hoppier and entered in American Amber and the spice beer category.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:15 0 comments links to this post

20 May 2010

Aud's No Scufflin' Ale NHC Scores

In the Dixie cup last year, I entered Aud's No Scufflin Ale as an American Barleywine because, well, the recipe called it an American Barleywine. It scored a 26 and earned a comment that it was a good English Barley wine. So this year, I entered in Category 19B. This time it scored a 33. Judge One, a Certified BJCP judge had a couple of complaints. First it was overcarbonated. He mentioned that in every category of judgement. Second, it appears it was too hoppy. I can't tell for sure. He said the hop flavor lasts into the finish in the flavor category and scored 12 out of 20. There's nothing else to indicate why I got deducted 8 points. Judge Two, another certified judge, said it was a good beer, if one-dimensional. He also agreed the carbonation was too high. He further added that while the beer itself was dry it had a clyoingly sweet mouthfeel. What ever that means, he gave me 2 out of 5.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:56 0 comments links to this post

18 May 2010

Austin or San Antonio Beer chef needed

My friend Debbie creates and manages festivals for several groups here in Paradise. I help out at Oktoberfest--and a couple other festivals--behind the beer bars. (I'm no fool. That's where the beer is!)

One of her newer festivals is the annual Gourmet Chili Pepper and Salsa Festival held at Wildseed Farms in July. Yesterday Debbie asked me if I knew of any Austin- or San Antonio-based chefs who specialize in cooking with beer. The only chef I know that does that is Sean Z. Paxton, The Homebrew Chef.

This is where you come in, dear reader. Do you know of a Texas chef that cooks with beer? If so, please send an email to Debbie at Creative Marketing. And make sure you tell her Jeff sent you.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:58 0 comments links to this post

Saison D'Hiver NHC scores

I got my scores from NHC and while my average scores are rising, I still suck. Saison D'Hiver, if you will recall, scored rather low at Alamo City Cerveza Fest because I entered it in the Christmas beer category. Beers is that category should be based on English strong ales only. This is not specified in the style guidlines, but is enforced on the competition level. At least, if my scores from ranked BJCP judges are any indication.

Saison D'Hiver scored 30 points overall. Judge One, a BJCP recognized judge and a pro brewer, said it had an "adhesive strip" aroma, and concluded by saying the beer wasn't dry enough, but the cinnamon was "well-played." Judge Two, another pro brewer but not a BJCP judge, said the aroma was slightly spicy and the cinnamon was well-balanced, and gave me 10 of 12 for that. Judge One gave me 5 of 12. They flip-flopped on the taste scores. Judge Two did put his finger squarely on the problem with the beer, as I see it: The cinnamon was too overpowering

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:37 0 comments links to this post

16 May 2010

I Want This Hop Fence!

HomeBrewTalk.com member chaissja posted a thread about his new hop fence. It is an amazing project, and I wanted to share some photos. In case someone wanted to stop buy and build one in my backyard. . .


posted by Jeff Holt at 03:32 0 comments links to this post

14 May 2010

Old Archaic almost a year later

I found a bottle of Old Archaic, a dark Belgian style beer brewed on 5/30. Poured it up just to see what it tastes like a year on. Has very little carbonation, but is quite clear and almost red. I smell dried fruit. Raisins? Prunes? A hit of alcohol. I pitched the dregs of some Chimay into the fermenter, and I can pick up some of those notes, too. Very nice, smooth beer with caramel, with hints of dried fruit in the finish. A bit thin, no doubt from the flaked rice, and almost certainly from the lack of carbonation. Fuck the judges who hated this! I think it's time to rebrew this bad boy.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:17 0 comments links to this post

12 May 2010

Strange TABC Laws

While checking my Twitter feed, I ran across an article entitled What the Hell Does "For Sale in Texas Only" Mean Anyway?.

In order for a winery to be able to slap the word "Texas" on the front of the label, the wine has to have at least 75% Texas juice. For those wines that don't meet the requirements, the state of Texas (really a federal statute) has allowed the wineries to not list an appellation on the front of the bottle, and instead tag the wine as "For sale in Texas only" on the back.

Okay, maybe it's not a TABC law, but it is still strange.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:44 0 comments links to this post

10 May 2010

The Dancing Bear Pub’s Texas Craft Beer Festival - 5/22

The Dancing Bear Pub is presenting their First Annual Texas Craft Beer Festival to celebrate American Craft Beer Week Saturday, May 22nd. Join the festivities from 5 pm to 1 am at 1117 Speight Ave. Waco, Texas.

American Craft Beer Week is celebrated throughout the country from May 17-23. The "Mother of All Beer Weeks" recognizes small and independent craft brewers. It’s a fantastic opportunity to emphasize craft beer, which Texans love.

The Dancing Bear Pub will highlight seven Texas Craft Breweries with the tasting event on our beer garden. (512) Brewing Company, Live Oak Brewing Company, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Shiner, Southern Star Brewing Company, Rahr & Sons Brewing Company and Real Ale Brewing Company. There will be live music and food will be available from Terry and Jo’s Food for Thought. This event will take the place of the monthly Beer Tasting.

Tickets will be $30 per person. This includes the tasting and a chance to win swag. The Dancing Bear Pub will donate half of the proceeds to Fuzzy Friends Rescue.

The Dancing Bear Pub will also donate 300 Free Beer coupons to be used for the Stroll Patrol. The Stroll Patrol is for volunteers who help walk and play with the animals at Fuzzy Friends. Call 254.754.9444 and say, “I want to go for a walk”.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:35 0 comments links to this post

09 May 2010

In Honor of Mothers Day - The Pink Boots Society

The Washington Post has discovered that women like beer, and they have discovered the Pink Boots Society. Happy Mothers Day!

Bonus pick of a gal getting filthy in the mash tun!

In order to get more women in the industry, the Pink Boots Society is urging all brewpubs and packaging breweries to offer tours and beer samplings today, Mother’s Day, between 1 and 4 p.m.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:33 0 comments links to this post

08 May 2010

I Hate Unitaskers

I admit it, I'm a fan of Alton Brown. I use The Perfect Beaker and even own one of those Salt Servers with a lid. I only cook baby back ribs to his recipe. So when I stumbled across this page, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. You can convert your beer cooler--or, in my case, mash tun--to a sous-vide cooker. Read the article. You'll see what I mean.

And now for the obligatory ad.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:35 0 comments links to this post

06 May 2010

Cool TABC Regulations

Over of the BeerAdvocate Forums, someone mentioned something I kind of knew, but didn't apply to this particular situation: You do not need a membership card to buy beer from Costco or Sam's. It is against State law to restrict access to beer and alcohol sales. So I am able to go to a Costco or Sam's Club and buy their discounted beer without a membership card.

Now, I knew this because several years ago, my Honey Creek brewing partner wanted to advertise that he would put his home brew in his B&B. Being a legal minded fellow, and despite my warning not to advertise any free alcohol, he called TABC. He was told that he could advertise the free home brew. That surprised me; I figured that since he didn't have a license he couldn't advertise. However, the TABC agent said that if he offered free beer to his guests, he must have a way for the non-paying public to access that homebrew 24/7. My friend quickly dropped the matter, while complaining that was a stupid law.

Not so stupid now, though.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:16 0 comments links to this post

05 May 2010

Cinco de Mayo - From the Battlefied to the Bottle

We Americans are pretty good at taking sacred national holidays and turning them into beer blow outs. Take July 4th, or St. Patrick's Day, for example. And even as we try to drive all the brown people out of our country, we will all still go down to the local and drink Coronas and pretend we're Mexican, at least for today. (Sorry. Went off on a tangent, there. But will anyone be playing Mexican music in Arizona today? Hmmm.)

Anyway, here is a good article on the rise of Grupo Modelo and Corona and how they claimed Cinco de Mayo as their own.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:49 0 comments links to this post

04 May 2010

Active Fermentation

Holy cow!

I pitched 4 vials of Cal Ale yeast and the fermentation really took off.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 14:29 0 comments links to this post

02 May 2010

Another Email conversation

Me: I can tell you that extract brewing is a hell of a lot simpler. I hit my numbers square on the nose: OG=1.105!

Satan: Where would be the challenge it that, though???

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posted by Jeff Holt at 13:17 2 comments links to this post