30 December 2011

Top Six Beer Myths

The Times of India posted the top six beer myths just in time for you New Year celebrations.

Myth 1: You can beat the beer belly by drinking light beer.
Turns out, when you're drinking light beer, you're only save 30-50 calories per bottle when you drink light beer.  Those fried pickles that you ordered to eat while you drink don't come in a "light" version, though.

Myth 2: The darker the beer, the more alcohol it contains.
I see this every year in Oktoberfest when someone wanders into the German beer tent and avoids the dunkle to drink the Hellesbock, thinking they are having a "light beer".

Myth 3: Warming and recooling beer is bad.
Only if you do it several times. Once, maybe twice is okay, in my experience. I bottle my barleywines cold and store them in a closet for several months before putting them back into the fridge.

Myth 4: Beer shouldn't be sour or bitter.
If you're looking for something sweet, have a soda.

Myth 5:  Green bottled beers are the best beers.
Just because imported beers come in green bottles doesn't mean they are better than those in brown bottles. It's a market ploy to get you to remember their brands.

Myth 6: Women don't like beer.

Happy New Year, everyone!


posted by hiikeeba at 10:25 0 comments

28 December 2011

Adelbert's Brewery Now Open

Adelbert's Brewery, based in North Austin, officially sold some of their Belgian-style, bottle conditioned beers a few days before Christmas to become the latest Texas craft brewery.  There is no word on when or if they will keg their product.


posted by hiikeeba at 10:08 5 comments

26 December 2011

Thoughts About the Jester King Victory

Ever since the news went about the "victory" in the Authentic Beverages, Jester King and Zax Restaurant suit against TABC, the craft beer community has been doing virtual cartwheels around the Internet.  I've seen news articles from all over the country.  Out of state breweries have posted items on their blogs about it.  Everyone is happy (probably even TABC, now they can get a few label approvers onto other, more vital tasks--like keeping beer out of the hands of minors).

Even I'm happy. Now I don't have to explain why a dopplebock is an ale in Texas instead of a lager, as it is in the rest of the world.

Brock Wagner, owner of Saint Arnold Brewing, happiness was muted. He pointed out that now all the breweries that distribute in Texas have to spend money on new labels.  It won't be a lot, but it's still an added expense.

You would think all of this buzz would have been picked up on by the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas.  You would think they would be scratching their heads and saying "Maybe we could sell a lot more beer!"

Unfortunately, their members are busy trying to comply with the latest AB-InBev demands to focus on their core brands, and trying to keep their shelf space as Texas craft brewers self distribute along the Interstates. Fortunately, the distributors in the Great Texas Craft Beer Desert, don't have that concern, of course. They don't have to worry about that competition, thank God. So they can send more money to WBDT to prevent brewery sales and keep brewpub beer inside the brew pub.

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posted by hiikeeba at 09:26 3 comments

24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

I'm busy cooking for Christmas today.  I'll be back with more with and wisdom soon.

posted by hiikeeba at 09:00 0 comments

22 December 2011

Red Solo Cup Video


posted by hiikeeba at 07:00 0 comments

20 December 2011

Judgement Day

Scott Metzger, owner of Freetail Brewing Company, wrote on his blog about the recent ruling Authentic Beverage v. TABC case:

Judge [Sparks] has ruled Sec. 108.01(a)(4) of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment. . Additionally, he has ruled Texas Administrative Code Title 16, Sec 45.77, 45.79(f), 45.90, & 45.110(c)(3) unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment.
What does this mean in layman’s terms? 3 things:
  1. TABC cannot prohibit you from telling customers or advertising where they can buy your products
  2. TABC cannot require you to label your products by their definition of “beer” and “ale”
  3. TABC cannot prohibit you from advertising the strength of your products by prohibiting words like “strong”, “prewar strength”, “full strength”, etc
Head on over the Brewed and Never Battered.  Scott has added a couple of other posts on the topic.


posted by hiikeeba at 15:19 0 comments

Donn's Famous Horse Cram It In - Tasting Notes

I've told the story behind the name of this beer before.  You can read it here. It's a nice mild brown ale that I can't quite seem to master.

On a chilly, dreary day last week, I decided to tap the latest batch and see how it turned out.

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a nice, clear brown with ruby highlights. Small tan head that disappears quickly. 2 points.

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Very faint aroma at first, but as I grew used to it, I could smell something that smelled of chocolate, some dark fruit and . . .something odd.  I've been trying to place the aroma, but can't. I don't think it's supposed to smell that way, though. 2 points

Taste (0-10): Starts off with subtly as the flavor hits the sides of the tongue, leaving a slight chocolate; some sharp bitterness on the back of the tongue, and some fruity flavors that I can't identify. Low carbonation, and slightly thin.  5 points

Overall Impression (0-3): Again, the beer eludes me.  It's okay, but not great.  It hovers just below good. Maybe with more carbonation it will get better. 1 point.

Total: 10 points


posted by hiikeeba at 06:52 0 comments

18 December 2011

BCS Hop Flavor Wheel

Here's the Brewing Classic Styles Hop Flavor wheel I mentioned a couple of days ago. I wish Jon Palmer would update this and sell it as a poster.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:56 0 comments

16 December 2011

JZ's BYO APA -Tasting Notes

I've mentioned that I am not a fan of cloudy beers.  Something about them doesn't appeal to me, unless they are black. So I let this sit a couple of weeks and thought I would sample it and see how I did

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a milky, cloudy with a thin white head.  1 Point

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Faint notes of citrus and pine. The aroma has faded quite a bit since I kegged it. 2 points

Taste (0-10):  Starts of with a bit of malt sweetness on the front of the tongue, then the piney hops come through on the back of my tongue on the finish. Not bad, but a bit too piney for me. The piny flavor lingers quite a while after the pint.  (I like the grapefruit flavors more.  I couldn't get Simcoe, so I substituted Northern Brewer.  Not a traditional hop, but according to the hop flavor wheel in Brewing Classic Styles, Northern Brewer was the closest I could get to that flavor. If you have any suggestions for a different substitution, please post them in comments.) Medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Not bad. 8 points.

Overall Impression (0-3): I confess that I am of two minds about this beer.  I like the flavor, but I hate looking at it.   2 points

Total: 13 points

While the score I gave this is a bit low, it's still a decent beer. I mentioned my cloudiness issue in the BN Forums, and someone suggested it may be the result of all the hops, instead of an infection of some sort, as I surmised. I noticed that Donn's Famous Horse Cram It In Brown Ale was pretty clear when I kegged it.  I will keep you updated.


posted by hiikeeba at 09:16 0 comments

14 December 2011

Portable Canning Line to Service San Francisco Breweries

The Can Van is a new business that hopes to spread craft beer further by providing a mobile canning line to San Francisco's craft breweries. Remember, cans are allowed where glass isn't: like at the beach or on an airplane.


posted by hiikeeba at 11:43 0 comments

12 December 2011

Photo Blocking Beer Holder

South American beer brand Cerveza Norte is promoting a massive beer holder that is supposed to reflect the flash of a camera back into the camera's lens, creating a white out effect and prevent people from taking embarrassing Facebook pictures. Here's the Fast Company article with a video demonstration.


posted by hiikeeba at 11:29 0 comments

10 December 2011

More TABC Silliness

Currently, it is illegal for out of state wineries to sell their products online to Texas Consumers. They have to buy the wine from an instate distributor, who ships the beer to, say, California, where the California winery can then ship to a Texas address. (Of course, not everyone follows the law.) Texas wineries can ship from the winery to the consumer without having to go through a distributor.

Wine.com has set up shop in Houston, and surprisingly, has a winery permit, but does not produce wine. This will allow them to sell wine online directly to consumers in Texas.

So let me get this straight: Wine.com has a winery license, but does not make wine. And it will sell wine from other vineyards and ship directly to Texas vinophiles. Wouldn't that be a distributor?


posted by hiikeeba at 08:56 0 comments

08 December 2011

What Next?

I have five kegs in the fridge now, so I have a little time before I need to brew again. Once again I am wondering what to brew next.

Shadow Warrior?  This Imperial Oatmeal Stout is one of my favorite beers. I have to bottle it and hide it from myself for a year.

Old MILFwaukee? I haven't brewed a plain old beer in a while. I'd better start collecting double entendres  to use as descriptors.

Saison du Permienne? I really like the last batch of this, and I haven't made a  Belgian style ale in a while.

Paint Rock Bock?

Bloody Bastard Ale?

posted by hiikeeba at 07:38 0 comments

07 December 2011

CraftBeer.com Jester King Brewery Interview

CarftBeer.com has just published an interview with Ron Extract of Jester King Brewery about their TABC lawsuit. Check it out here.

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posted by hiikeeba at 11:56 0 comments

06 December 2011

CYBY Brown Shugga Clone - Kegging Day

Last night, I kegged my CYBI Brown Shugga Clone. It is a nice brown color, clear, but I didn't get much hop aroma.  The OG was 1.088 and the gravity last night was 1.018, which gives me 9.4% abv. Now the hard part: waiting for a couple of weeks as this ages!

posted by hiikeeba at 07:33 0 comments

04 December 2011

Randy's Christmas Ale Tasting Notes

So, Randy's Christmas Ale has been in the cooler for three weeks,and I poured some the other night.

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a hazy, dark brown with a thin tan head.  2 Points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Notes of orange, chocolate. 3 points

Taste (0-10): Hard to describe. Starts off slightly sweet , with chocolate in the middle and spice in the finish.  Generally, there is an overall sweetness.   No hops detected.  Medium mouthfeel.  This will kick your ass. 7 points.

Overall Impression (0-3): I wasn't sure what to expect from this recipe, but it does taste like Christmas!. Having never tried chocolate liqueur or triple sec, I was afraid this would be super sweet.  I should be more concerned about the alcohol content, but didn't have clue how to calculate it.  3 points

Total: 16 points


posted by hiikeeba at 06:59 0 comments

02 December 2011

How Many Sips In A Beer Glass

Rhett Allain, an Associate Professor of Physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, noticed Belgian Lacing on the side of his beer glass, then used physics to calculate how many sips in his beer glass.

I don't know why he didn't count the rings. . .


posted by hiikeeba at 08:30 0 comments

01 December 2011

About Time!

Franconia Brewery Appoints Ben E. Keith Beverage Distributors For The State Of Texas

DALLAS, December 1, 2011 – Franconia Brewery has appointed Ben E. Keith Beverage Distributors distribution rights for the state of Texas. The McKinney, Texas brewery will continue to self distribute in its home town. Franconia Brewery was established in McKinney, Texas in March of 2008 fulfilling the life-long dream of owner and head brewer, Dennis Wehrmann.

Dennis comes from a family with real brewing history. He grew up in an area surrounded by several historic breweries and his great grandfather owned the brewery Franken Braeu in Tanna Germany. A majority of his family members work in the brewing industry so you can really say it is in the blood. After graduating from Brew master School in Munich, Dennis quickly set his sights on moving to the U.S. and starting his own brewery true to his heritage, and in 2008 he did just that.

“We are very proud to become partners with Franconia and appreciate Dennis’ confidence in Ben E. Keith Beverages,” said Kevin Bartholomew, president of Ben E. Keith Beverage Distributors. “Dennis brews fantastic beers and we are privileged to have them in our portfolio.”

“We look forward to working with the Ben E. Keith team,” said Dennis Wehrmann, owner and brew master of Franconia Brewery. “Over the past 4 years, we have witnessed their professionalism, and we believe this partnership will allow us to move forward in our endeavors as well as help us keep our promise to our customers.”

Ben E. Keith will begin distributing Franconia Wheat, Franconia Lager, and Franconia Dunkel kegs this month throughout the state of Texas. Limited amounts of seasonal beers will be available throughout the year. For more information about Franconia visit www.franconiabrewing.com.

About Ben E. Keith Beverage Distributors
Ben E. Keith Company, established in 1906, began selling Anheuser-Busch products in 1933. Today, Ben E. Keith Company’s Beverage Division is the fourth largest independent beer wholesaler in the country. The company also distributes import beers, craft beers, wine products and nonalcoholic beverages. With 14 regional distribution centers in Texas including Abilene, Austin, Brownwood, Commerce, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Kerrville, Llano, Palestine, San Antonio and Waco, the company operates throughout the state of Texas. For more information, please visit  http://www.benekeith.com/beverage. 

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posted by hiikeeba at 11:19 0 comments