30 January 2011

Jester King Grand Opening

I finally decided to actually get out of my top secret beer bunker and mingle more with people. Since Jester King was having their grand opening on Saturday, I asked Satan to come down and go with me. Naturally, after agreeing to go, work interfered and Satan wimped out, I mean, had to cancel. Damn oil field!

I next asked my nephew if he wanted to go, but his was helping his sister move into her new apartment.

I sighed loudly, and pouted for a few hours until I thought about Katherine.  Katherine and I like to have an occasional beer, and she sometimes lets me drag her to the odd brewery tour or brew pub.  We work together on the beer list for Oktoberfest, and we will be spending some time in the next few months lining up the Texas craft beers for the festival.  (Stay tuned for more Oktoberfest deatils.)  Fortunately, Katherine was free, so we headed off to Jester King.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may know that I tend to go overboard on planning, and when Jester King's blog put a Google Map on the page, I got directions from that.  Shortest route from my house to Mr. Stuffings' dream come true was through Pedernales Falls State Park.  Ranch Roads, baby!

A left turn from US Highway 290 onto Ranch Road 2766, and we left the four lane madness behind us.  Of course, we also left straight roads and a 70 mph speed limit behind as well.  But it was a scenic drive.  As we neared Pedernales Falls park, the two lane Ranch Road became a County Road and collapsed to a one lane paved road.  Holy crap!  I was afraid the one lane road would turn into a gravel goat path, as county roads can sometimes do.  Fortunately, however, after a few miles, someone painted a line down the center of the one lane road. Viola!  Two lane road.

We finally arrived  at Jester King.  We parked and walked downhill to the big covered pavilion where several dozen people were milling around, including one of Satan's friends.  I purchased a nice looking tulip shaped taster glass, and was told I would get three free refills.  In retrospect, I should have purchased the pint glass, but the snifter glass will look better on my shelf.

I started with Boxer's Revenge, an orange farmhouse ale, full of spice and citrus.  Absolutely wonderful.

We stood around and watch as car after car pulled into the property.  I went back for another farmhouse ale, and made my way through fairly easily.  Back out to the conversation as still more cars pulled into the field-now-parking lot.  My third trip through the line (although officially my second since one of the servers failed to mark my wristband--Oopsie!), I was tenth in line and it took almost 15 minutes.  The place was filling up rapidly.

Finally at the table, I had a Barrel Aged Commercial Suicide, and weaved my way through the crowd who had taken three steps away from the bar and started forming a knot of friends, intent on impeding the traffic flow; out from under the shed, through the circles of folding canvas chairs that look all the world like circled wagon trains awaiting an Indian attack.  There was a circle of chairs in each space between pillars of the shed roof, forcing us to brush by the pillar and brush the backs of two chairs on each side.  Directly in front of me now was another circle of chairs.  People had unconsciously arranged their circles in a bowling pin arrangement.

I scanned the crown as the first band started to play.  There had to be 500 to 600 people here.  And only 5 porta-potties.  It was going to get ugly later, I feared.  I looked back up the hill past the brewery and still more cars were coming in, one after the other.  I glanced back at the shed, and noticed that the beer line was about to become longer than the width of the roof!  I would never get my third beer!

When we finished our beers, we decided to abandon the Grand Opening, even though we were having a good time, and repair to The Barber Shop, a new craft beer bar in Dripping Springs.   But first we had to get out.  We walked up the hill and saw that the line to get a wristband was halfway up the hill to the parking lot!

It took fifteen minutes for us to reach Fitzhugh Road, as the inbound string of cars let the outbound few snake around obstacles, and through narrow gates, past them.  I guess they figured there would get our parking places when they got there.  Finally on the road, we began estimating the crowd size.  Katherine said  700.  I said closer to a thousand and guessed that the final head count might be 2000 people, not all there at one time.

It is gratifying to see that many people show up at a craft brewery just for three free beers.  Maybe there is hope for Texas' beer culture after all!  If only we could have harnessed the voting power of all the people there, sent a message to the Legislature to streamline the antiquated and Byzantine liquor laws, we might not have a $27 Billion dollar deficit while sending all our beer tax money to Colorado breweries and brew pubs.  But that, as they say, is another story.

And by the way, The Barber Shop is a cool place, too.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:36 2 comments links to this post

Wynkoop Brewing Company Chile Beer - Circa 1992

While browsing through my collection of Chile Pepper magazines looking for recipes using beer, I stumbled across an article in the June 1992 issue by Pam Grout.  Pam profiled Russ Schehrer, then the head brewer of Wynkoop Brewing Company.  Russ came up with the recipe for using mild new Mexican green chiles.  She even provided the bare bones of the 150 gallon recipe (5 gallon quantities are in parenthesis.  You're welcome):

240 pounds English 2-row (8lb)
10 pounds Crystal Malt (5.3 oz)
10 pounds Amber Malt (5.3 oz)
1 pound Bullion hops (.53 oz)
1 pound Tettnang hops (.53 oz)
24 1/2 pound New Mexican green chiles, stems and seeds removed (.82 lbs)
lager yeast

So, there you go!  That's what the beer was like in 1992. I thought it would be fun to see if it is the same recipe today, so I headed over the the Wynkoop site and read this about Patty's Chile Beer:
A light German-style beer made with Anaheim chiles and smoked Ancho peppers. A 2006 Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal Winner in the Fruit and Vegetable Beer category and a Wynkoop specialty.
Apparently not.

Last time I was at Wynkoops, Patty's wasn't on tap.  Later that year, I found myself in Dillon, Colorado, at the Dillon Dam Brewery sipping on their chile beer.  As I recall, the beer was darned good.  The chile wasn't hot, but that chile flavor acted a lot like hops, balancing the malt sweetness of the beer.

I don't know that I would want to brew a chile beer.  The last pint I had was good, but it was also the last pint I had.  I don't think I would be able to drink more than one or two at a time.

However, should I ever get the urge to brew a chile beer, at least I have a the basis of a recipe.  All I have to figure out is the hop schedule and where to put the chiles (though, I'm guessing in secondary).

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posted by Jeff Holt at 06:41 0 comments links to this post

28 January 2011

Farewell Pecan Porter

The Pecan Porter keg just blew. And I weep. I sent Satan a bottle and he said he gets pecan shells in the aroma. I think I get what he's talking about, but I get the sweet meat of the pecan in the aroma. My chocolate malt foul up, where I replaced all the chocolate malt with chocolate wheat malt may have paid off here. It gives it more of a cake like flavor. I still have a few bottles of this beer. Stashed away for Nationals, out of my reach. I hope. On the up side, I know what I'm brewing in the future.

posted by Jeff Holt at 08:13 0 comments links to this post

27 January 2011

THE BARBER SHOP BREWPUB OPENS IN DRIPPING SPRINGS

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX - January 27, 2011 – Don’t be fooled by the name, the only need for sharp scissors at this barber shop is for cutting a grand opening ribbon. With a nod to its location’s history, The Barber Shop, a new brewpub in downtown Dripping Springs, Texas, opens for business this weekend.

Owned and operated by long time Dripping Springs resident and competitive homebrewer John McIntosh III and his business partner Dave Niemeyer, the bar promises a local pub atmosphere with community-style tables, darts, a dedicated dominoes table, and big screen television for sports. The beer tap line-up features a heavy emphasis on the area’s burgeoning community of microbrewers.

“Dripping Springs is just a stone’s skip from brewers gaining national acclaim including Real Ale, Jester King, 512, and Thirsty Planet,” notes McIntosh. “The Barber Shop was created to celebrate and support local and our selection definitely reflects that.”

Wine drinkers will also be able to sip and eat local as The Barber Shop offers wine selections including hometown favorite Bell Springs Winery, and is working closely with The Goodnight Diner, located just a couple of blocks down. Chef Jana Muniz is not only creating a custom nut mix for snacking, but also a convenient takeaway bar menu with easy to order, walkable eats.

The Barber Shop’s building started its life around November 1924 as a wooden and tin garage. In 1938 it was given its rock exterior and served as a garage and gas station until around 1960. After that, it was not used commercially for most of the next 25 years when it was then remodeled and turned into a barber shop. 

“While Dripping Springs old timers may chuckle at calling this building ‘the old barber shop,” that’s what it was for the past quarter century and that’s the sign that was still up when we took over,” said McIntosh. “Plus it had ‘bar’ in the name so we went with it.”

Repurposing the bar’s name and sign is in line with much of the building’s revitalization, which includes walls made from leftover tin from a friend’s barn and a bar built from wood salvaged from a family member’s home remodel. Décor includes garage memorabilia and dozens of decades old beer cans that revealed themselves during the remodel.

“We feel fortunate to be in such a unique location and we’re keen to maintain a sense of history and community,” says McIntosh, a University of Texas graduate who also studied at Oxford where he acquired his appreciation for the local pub. “The Barber Shop warmly welcomes all, but if your family was around when the building was first built, you get dibs on the dominoes table.”

The Barber Shop is located at 207 Mercer Street, Dripping Springs. Hours: Wednesday and Thursday: 3pm-10pm Friday: 3pm-12am Saturday: 11am - 12am Sunday: 12pm - 7pm For more information visit the brewpub’s website at www.barbershopbar.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barbershopbar.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:49 0 comments links to this post

How to Make Celtic Beer

Archeologists excavating the 2550-year-old Celtic settlement of Eberdingen-Hochdorf in southwestern Germany have discovered a brewery. The ancient Celts would dig a ditch, put in water and barley, and let it start to sprout. They would light fires at both ends of the ditch to dry out the now malted barley, giving it a smoky taste, and causing the production of lactic acid, souring the malt. The grains were boiled by adding hot stones. (The articles I have found on this are unclear. Apparently, the fires dried the grains, but didn't evaporate the water. More likely, they added more water to the dried grains. I will keep investigating.) Since there were no hops, herbs like yarrow, carrot seeds, mugwort, and henbane were added to flavor the beer, technically called gruit.  The beer was fermented with wild yeast, probably from the skin of fruit, and was served at room temperature, obviously, and unfiltered.  Celtic beer was described, according to one source, by the Roman Emperor Julian as tasting like a billy goat.

Sources:
http://www.popfi.com/2011/01/19/iron-age-beer-from-ancient-distilleries/
http://io9.com/5734276/the-recipe-for-2500+year+old-celtic-beer


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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:43 0 comments links to this post

26 January 2011

Ways to Prevent and Cure Hangovers

College Crunch published a list of ways to prevent and cure hangovers.  The first thing to prevent hangovers, of course, is "Don't Drink."  Well, duh.  And number 4 was debunked on MythBusters as was number 7.  (Yes, I take the bulk of my scientific knowledge from TV.  Sue me.)  Otherwise, the rest of the list is pretty interesting.

Here's the list.  Read the article for the reasons:



Prevention:

   1. Don't Drink, or Drink Less.
   2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.
   3. Eat Before, During and After You Drink.
   4. Don't Mix It Up.
   5. Choose Light Alcohol Over Dark.
   6. Avoid Sugary and Carbonated Drinks.

Cure:

   7. Have Some Caffeine.
   8. Take an Aspirin. DO NOT take Tylenol or any pill with acetaminophen.
   9. Sleep It Off.
  10. Take a B-complex vitamin, vitamin C or multivitamin.
  11. Exercise.
  12. Take a Shower.



Oddly, I first heard the term "congeners" on Modern Marvels distilling shows.  Suddenly, every thing I've read in the last few days has used it.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:14 0 comments links to this post

25 January 2011

Jester King Boxer's Revenge Farmhouse Provision Ale

AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Jester King Craft Brewery is very pleased to announce the debut of Boxer's Revenge Farmhouse Provision Ale this Saturday, January 29th at the brewery's Grand Opening Celebration. Boxer's Revenge is the first of three authentic farmhouse ales brewed as part of Jester King's year-round lineup. The others are Das Wunderkind!, a farmhouse "table beer", and Cocksure, a hoppy, amber farmhouse ale inspired by the French tradition of bière de garde. Das Wunderkind! and Cocksure will be available in the coming months.

All three of Jester King's year-round farmhouse ales are aged in oak wine barrels with wild yeast after undergoing an initial fermentation with French farmhouse yeast. After aging, the individual barrels are blended to taste.

Boxer's Revenge is inspired by the hearty "stock ales" or "provision ales" produced by some of iconic farmhouse breweries located along the Franco-Belgian border and named in honor of the stalwart workhorse in George Orwell's Animal Farm. It combines delicate notes of tropical fruit, citrus and spice from the primary French farmhouse yeast with tart, rustic, earthy notes from the Brettanomyces. A final dry-hopping with fresh Cascade and Centennial hops adds yet another layer of depth and complexity.

Following Jester King’s Grand Opening Celebration, Boxer’s Revenge will be available on draught at a small number of accounts throughout Texas. In the months that follow, it will be released as a regular, year-round offering in both kegs and 750mL, amber, champagne-style bottles. Please see the attached information sheet about Boxer's Revenge.

Jester King Craft brewery is an authentic farmhouse brewery in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, on the outskirts of Austin. For more information, please visit www.jesterkingbrewery.com.

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

24 January 2011

Don't Buy Beer at Seattle's Qwest Field

A 16 oz beer at Qwest Field in Seattle costs $7.25.  A 20 oz beer costs $8.50.  The "20 oz" cups and the "16 oz" cups both hold only 16 ounces.  For proof:




The fine, upstanding folks at Qwest Field said that the difference in cup size was an optical illusion and the folks paying for a 16 ounce beer got a bargain.  I haven't been able to find out if the "16 oz cup" is really a "20 ounce cup" or vice versa, but they have promised to only sell the "20 oz cup" from now on.  Here's hoping it's really a 20 oz cup!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:04 0 comments links to this post

22 January 2011

KegPuter

This machine lives in a world where beer geeks and computer geeks intersect.

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

20 January 2011

Circle Brewing Sells Its First Keg

Blur Texas Hefe, a twist on German wheat beer with a hint of caramel and a hint of citrus with a light, creamy body that sounds perfect for Texas summers, is Circle Brewing Company's first commercial release. According to Emma Janzen's Austin 360 Liquid Blog, it will be on tap at Draught House.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 12:21 0 comments links to this post

The Basics of Evaluating Beer

Andy Ingram wrote an article about how to determine the right beer for you, and in it, he outlined the basics of beer evaluation.  They were good points so it bears repeating here.

1. Look at the beer. Is it clear and bright or is it hazy and murky? This can tell you if the beer has been filtered or not. Filtration is entirely up to the brewer's discretion. . .Unfiltered beers are fine, as long as the haze is primarily yeast.
2. Notice the head. A dense head of foam that coats the glass can indicate quality ingredients. But, more important, it can tell whether your glassware is clean. . .
3. Take a sniff. Up to 90 percent of what we taste is determined by smell. If you're skeptical, think about how things taste when you have a cold. . .
In a lot of ways it's easier to talk about what you shouldn't smell.
One common off aroma smells like burnt butter or butterscotch. It's called diacetyl, and it's derived as a by-product of fermentation. In some beers diacetyl at low levels is not considered a flaw, like English Olde Ale, but for the vast majority of beer this is a sign of yeast stress.
4. Taste your beer. Our tongues can really only taste four flavors, so a lot of what you taste is coming from what your nose has told you. . .Try to notice the body, or mouthfeel. Is it carbonated properly? Is it too bitter or too sweet, or maybe even sour? Is it too cold or too warm? Can you notice the alcohol, is it high or low?

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

18 January 2011

Master of Malt - Buy Whisky Online

I'm a beer guy.  Having said that, there is always at least one bottle of whiskey around the house, usually three, depending on how things are going at work.  Back in November, I was contacted by of Master of Malt, who asked if they could send me a sample (The answer is always yes) in exchange for a review of the service (ditto, as long as you know I will be honest).  Naturally, I said "Hell, yes!"

I checked out the Master of Malt site, and realized they are in England!  I figured the whisky would get caught up in customs, and I would never see it.  Imagine my surprise when just a couple of days after Christmas, a box from England appeared on my front door step.

I opened the box to find an air-filled bottle carrier with five individually bubble-wrapped dram samples of whisky.  If this is any indication of the care with which they package their product, I am already hooked.


I carefully unwrapped the drams, and sorted them out.  Each sample bottle was wax dipped, and labeled with the brand and the proof.  Most were names I was unfamiliar with.  I am not a whisky guy, after all.  But there was one name I recognized: Johnny Walker Blue Label.  And it brought back a memory.

When I was 24, I was an exchange student in Japan.  Stop me if you've heard this before.  A few weeks into the year, the school transported all the exchanged students from Isahaya (near Nagasaki), across the penisula to Unzen, a hot spring town at the foot of volcanic Mount Unzen.  We stayed at a resort for the weekend.  The bar was sponsored by Johnny Walker and it is all they served.  I got druuuuuuunk!  I remember trying to sleep and the room spinning.  I had to put my foot on the floor.  And I was sleeping in a futon!

I had planned to sample the drams over the Christmas weekend, but a head cold thwarted me.  It's only within the last week that I've been able to taste properly.  So I will be tasting the drams soon.

Now, again, I'm not a whisky guy.  I like whisky, and I drink the occasionaly whisky, but I'm a beer guy.  After perusing the Master of Malt website, if I ever find myself looking for a particular bottle of whisky, this is the place I would go.  The packaging was incredible.  My only complaint with the service is that it would have been nice to have a little flyer with notes about each of the samples.  But that's a minor complaint.  So if you're looking for some hard to find whiskys, check out Master of Malt.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 13:43 0 comments links to this post

17 January 2011

Jester King Grand Opening Music Line-up and Food List


Friends of Jester King Craft Brewery,
 
We are proud to present the entertainment and food line-up for our grand opening celebration!
 
If you haven’t done so already, RSVP to our Facebook event page and invite all of your craft-beer-loving friends!
 
FEATURING ENTERTAINMENT FROM:
 
BLIND BOY CHOCOLATE AND THE MILK SHEIKS
Musical saw, washtub bass, mandolin, dobro. Nuff said.
 
THE AUSTIN FACIAL HAIR CLUB
Hosting a beard competition and kissing booth!
 
RATTLETREE ELECTRIC
Get ready for an exciting, high-energy Zimbabwean style Marimba group!
 
CLYDE & CLEM'S WHISKEY BUSINESS
"a travesty to everything that bluegrass has ever stood for and an affront to the sensibilities of decent people worldwide"
 
MELOGRAND
Poignant, unique-yet-accessible art-pop rock
 
CLASSIC CARS
Featuring the amazing vehicles from classic/custom car clubs:
Kreatures, The Meatheads & The Strugglers
 
PIROMANA
Live fire-dancing!
 
ENJOY DELICIOUS FOOD FROM:
 
THE HAPPY HOBO
Homemade soups & fresh bread from Austin’s Best Soup
 
OLD SCHOOL BBQ
Pit bbq, burgers & steak sandwiches
 
VASQUEZ TACOS
Authentic home-style tacos


--
Jeffrey Stuffings
Jester King Craft Brewery

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:10 0 comments links to this post

16 January 2011

It Has Begun. . .

While checking out the homebrewing forums on BeerAdvocate.com, I ran across someone asking for advice on how to sanitize wood chips.  These comments caught my eye:

chefr0b: . . .From what I've read, the alcohol content will help to stave off infection. But I would boil them first in water, drain and then add the sanitized chips. Dogfish Head just did something similar with Cedar wood for their Grain 2 Glass beer. . . [and in response to another comment] . . .are you saying Dogfish Head is wrong? They clearly showed the process of preboiling the cedar in that episode to ward off infection.


We are seeing the first steps in the creation of the Gospel According to Sam.  I knew that damn show would do this. . .



Friar:  ...And Saint Sam raised the beer up on high, saying, "O LORD, bless this Thy beer that with it Thou mayest make Thine enemies very drunk, in Thy mercy." And the LORD did grin and the people did put into their fermenters the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats and large chu...

Brother Maynard: Skip a bit, brother.

Friar: ... And the LORD spoke, saying, "First shalt thou take the Holy Wood, then shalt thou boil it for three minutes, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt boil, and the number of the boiling shall be three. Four shalt thou not boil, neither boil thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then strain thou thy Holy Wood into thine fermenter." Amen.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:14 5 comments links to this post

15 January 2011

It's Time!

Pretend the Windmill is the Wholesale
Beer Distributors of Texas, and Sir
Quixote is all the Texas brewers
Every two years, I ask my readers to contact the Texas Legislators and express support for a bill that would allow Breweries to sell a small amount of their product at their brewery, just like Texas Wineries can do.

This year, that is HB 602.

Scott Metzger, of Freetail Brewing in San Antonio, has been proposing a bill that would allow your local brewpub to sell their beer to distributors for sale in retail outlets.  That is HB 660.

Now it's time for you to write your Legislator, and tell them you would like them to support these bills. These folks have to take the Wholesalers Lobby seriously--if they offend them, they will support someone else in the next election, and no politician wants to be voted out of office.  So we have to make it clear that this is what We, The People, want.

Currently, the State of Texas is looking at a $27 billion dollar budget deficit.  Here are some points to mention about the bills:

HB 602 will

  • allow breweries to create more jobs by helping fund brewery expansion
  • create more tax revenue for the State of Texas
HB 606 
  • Brewpubs in other states are allowed to sell their beer to distributors and then into retail outlets
  • Texas consumer dollars are paying taxes and creating jobs in other states
  • The bill will create more jobs
  • The bill will create more tax revenue for the State of Texas
If history is any indication, the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas (WBDT) will oppose HB 602, claiming that only they can prevent sales of  of alcohol to minors! They will lose jobs! They will have less taxes to pay! Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!  Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

They might oppose HB 606 on the grounds that they will lose sales, which will cost jobs and taxes.  I expect, that since most distributors are tied to one of the Big Three, they will be forced by A-B InBev and MillerCoors to oppose it to protect the big boys' share of market.  Yes, you read that right.  While WBDT controls the legislature, A-B InBev and SABMiller control WBDT.

Texas Beer Distributors won't lose money.  And remember, it was a Texas beer distributors house that was used in Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning movie Traffic.  It was a drug dealers house.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:09 1 comments links to this post

14 January 2011

A dream or an Omen?

Satan has been thinking about opening a brewery in a couple of years, when we both turn 50.  I showed him the article in Forbes about Brock Wagner and Saint Arnold, and he whined something about needing money.  I suppose I was thinking about that the other night when I had a dream that he was brewing his first commercial batch of Wit Willie.  It was in some auto garage, and there were about 30 people there watching and helping.  I don't know why he was making a roux, but Satan was stirring the flour and oil together something fierce.  I was explaining the process to some n00b and called it a decoction.  Then I went off looking for corny kegs to put the beer in.

See?  Satan will have a brewery!  He'll just make gumbo beer.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:24 1 comments links to this post

13 January 2011

Real Ale Makes Imbibe Magazine

Thanks to Paul at Texas Beer, for letting us know that Real Ale Brewery was mentioned in a Imbibe Magazine article about rye beer. The article didn't mention the Rye Pale Ale, surprisingly, but said that Real Ale uses rye in their Sisyphus barley wine.

Hmmm.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:33 0 comments links to this post

12 January 2011

My last visit to the local

The Fredericksburg Brewing Company is my local brewpub.  Yeah they only have five beers on tap, and no guest taps, but they make good beer, and it's a fun place to hang out. When I arrived the Monday after New Years Day, I was informed that there were only 800 gallons of Hoppy Holidaze left. (I'm on Untapped.com, by the way. Look for Hiikeeba.) I promised to do as much as I could to help them free up a serving tank. Unfortunately I am only one man.

As I was finishing my last beer on the gloomy Monday afternoon, to very--let me repeat--very attractive women sat at the bar to my left.  One was a smoking hot blonde with long curly hair, long fingernails, and gorgeous clothes.  The other was a hot brunette with a short hair cut, long thing fingers, and wearing, well, man clothes: jeans, a t-shirt and a blue button down shirt that was unbuttoned.  The hot blonde was a very tactile person, constantly touching the brunette, sliding her hand between her legs, caressing her back, kissing her. . .  Thank God I have good peripheral vision.

As I paid my bill, I pondered the injustice of it all.  Here I was, a fat, but still handsome man (My mom told me so, if you must know.), and here are two gals I would be happy to squire about town, but who were, for all intents and purposes, off the market.

A dozen and a half years ago, I thought I could write songs.  One of them was inspired by the Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley albums that I loved.  It was about two guys who pick up a couple of girls at a honky tonk, and the girls climb in the back seat and start making out.  One line (Frankly, the only line I can remember) was, "What a waste of a good back seat."

I don't care about someone's sexual orientation.  I only care about how their sexual orientation affects me.  Yes, I am that selfish.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 17:56 1 comments links to this post

11 January 2011

I Will Work for Whiskey

You've seen those folks on street corners who hold signs, "Will Work 4 Food", right?  Well, Garrison Brothers will take you up on that and go one better: Give you a bottle of whiskey for your labor.

They will be bottling their largest batch yet the weeks of February 7, 14, and 28.  And they need some help.


We’ll be bottling from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday thru Friday, the weeks of February 7, February 14 and February 28. We need 8 people each day and already have about 40 sensational volunteers. We provide meals, beverages and plenty of bourbon throughout the day. (In fact, tradition holds that we celebrate with a little “quality control” sample every time we finish 200 bottles.)

If you’d like to take part, it will take us a couple of hours to train you, so we ask those who participate to commit to work two full days. At the end of your shift, we’ll reward you with your own bottle to take home with you.
Sounds interesting.  Let me check my calendar. . .

UPDATE:  On January 12, Garrison Brothers sent this email:
If this doesn’t prove we live in the greatest country in America, I don’t know what could: Within 24 hours of the call for bottling volunteers, we filled every open slot we had available for February. Since this seems to be kind of popular, we’ll do it again later this year and will let you know dates soon. God bless ...
Thank goodness I got my date!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:21 0 comments links to this post

10 January 2011

CYBI Dead Guy Clone - Tasting Notes

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know I never, ever let a beer come to full maturity before I finish the keg.  Fortunately, thanks to a cold over the holidays, I have quite the stockpile of brews to drink: a little Pecan Porter, a quarter of a keg of Oatmeal Stout, full kegs of Janet's Brown, Saison du Permienne, and CYBI Dead Guy Clone.

Just before the cold hit, I purchased a six pack of Rogue Dead Guy from my local beer store, and thought, "What the heck?"  I tapped the uncarbonated beer for a quick taste test.

In the photo, the commercial example is on the right.  As you can see, my version is cloudy and a tad darker.  It has more alcohol in the nose, and tastes muddled.  The commercial product has a nice, crisp grainy flavor with a hop flavor that snaps right out at you.  There is a bit of alcohol in the beer as well, but not too much.

If I were a guessing man, and I had a clue what I was talking about, I would say that the differences are water based.  My water is very hard, and Rogue's is softer. I will rebrew it, and next time, cut my city water with some distilled water--say about 5 gallons.

Or it could be because I suck at brewing.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:32 2 comments links to this post

09 January 2011

The Bruery's 300th Batch Home Brew Competition - Deadline January 31!

Deadline is January 31, 2011.

This is an AHA/BJCP Sanctioned Event. Here's the lowdown on what you will need to enter this brewing competition:
Current AHA Membership
Entry Fee of $10 per entry - Checks made payable to "The Bruery" (all entry fees will go to support the Lestonnac Free Clinic)
Three (3) bottles of 12 ounces or larger (but no larger than 750ml) per entry (beer must be brewed at home) 

Please Note: This is a style-restricted competiton! Only the following BJCP categories will be accepted: 13F, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23. You may submit as many entries as you like. Bottle ID tags, entry forms, recipe sheets and other official information can be found at the official website: http://www.thebruery.com/batch300/.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:26 0 comments links to this post

08 January 2011

Hangover Myths

As usual, I am a day late and a dollar short.  I should have seen this a week ago:


Myth: Beer before liquor, never sicker. Liquor before beer, never fear.

    * Bottom line is it isn't which order you consume your drinks in that matters, it's the total amount of alcohol that you consume.

    * With any alcohol, your inhibition decreases, which often leads to drinking more — so if you start with a beverage that has a higher alcohol content, your inhibition goes down more quickly and you tend to drink more.

Myth: I can match my husband drink for drink.

    * No way! Women will always get more intoxicated on a smaller dose than men even if you weigh the same.

    * That's because men have a higher percentage of water in their bodies, which dilutes the alcohol.

    * Men also have higher levels of the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol, so they break it down better than women.

Myth: Eating before bed will absorb the alcohol in your stomach and ease a hangover.

    * Not true. Food has to be in your stomach BEFORE you drink to help a hangover.

    * That's because the alcohol is delivered to your bloodstream more slowly, giving it less of a chance to reach high levels.

    * All food slows digestion but fatty meals work best, so eat a steak or pizza, for example.

    * Instead of eating before bed, you should drink a full glass of water before bedtime.

Myth: Take acetaminophen before bedtime to relieve your hangover in the morning.

    * Taking acetaminophen is actually potentially very dangerous.

    * Normally when you take it your liver metabolizes it by converting it into harmless compounds, but when you've been drinking the liver is busy metabolizing the alcohol so it shunts the acetaminophen to a separate pathway that metabolizes it into toxic compounds that can cause liver inflammation and possibly liver failure.

    * Instead, you should stick to ibuprofen: It not only helps with the headache but treats inflammation. You should take two before bed and two in the morning.

Myth: Alcohol helps you sleep well

    * Many people have a glass of wine to help them sleep, but actually alcohol disrupts sleep.

    * While a nightcap may help you fall asleep more quickly, it interferes with the quality of your sleep. You don't spend enough time in the deepest cycle of sleep call the REM cycle, and since you sleep more lightly you wake up earlier.

Myth: Drinking coffee is a good cure the next morning

    * Alcohol dehydrates you by stopping the production of a hormone that allows you to retain water.

    * Coffee is a diuretic, which causes you to lose more fluids and could make your hangover worse.

    * After a night of drinking you should avoid all caffeine and instead drink water and sports drinks with electrolytes to counter dehydration and replace lost electrolytes.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:19 0 comments links to this post

06 January 2011

Jester King Brewery Grand Opening January 29

Jester King Craft Brewery's grand opening party is scheduled for Saturday, January 29th from 1pm to 9pm.  I think I can make that. . .



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posted by Jeff Holt at 14:17 0 comments links to this post

East Midlands Brewery brew Stilton Beer

An East Midlands Brewery, the Belvoir Brewery in Leicestershire, has teamed with the Stilton Cheesemakers Association to produce a beer using the whey from the cheese making process.

Whey is added to the wort and fermented, resulting in a chestnut colored beer that has a smooth, rounded flavor and a creamy mouthfeel. The beer is called Blue Brew.

Stilton cheese is only made in Leicestershire, Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire, and is something of a Christmas tradition in England.  The Cheesemakers association has also promoted the Stilton whey for use in perfumes and in a milk shake.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:07 0 comments links to this post

04 January 2011

I, For One, Welcome our New Home Brewing Overlords

What a way to greet the new year: a story about home brewing in the newspaper.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:01 0 comments links to this post

02 January 2011

Aud's Pinwheel Peach Cobbler with Shiner Holiday Cheer

My Great-Aunt Audrey (who raised my dad and Satan's mom's mother after she passed from breast cancer in the 40s, and is the inspiration for the name "Aud's No Scufflin' Ale") made a great peach cobbler.   I doubt she would have ever thought about adding Shiner Holiday Cheer to the recipe, though.  I thought the peach and pecan flavors in the this dunkelweiss might add something to the dish.  Aunt Aud was one of those cooks who didn't necessarily follow a recipe, so, the recipe I got from my mother, that she got from Aunt Audrey, is a little unusual:

"Approximately 6 cups of peeled and sliced peaches, or use frozen.  Mix with a cup of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon.

"Roll out pie crust [See?  Any modern cookbook would have made me start with a pie crust.  When Aunt Aud wrote the recipe down, she assumed you would know how to make a pie crust.] or use two prepared crusts.  place peaches on crust in a thin layer.  Roll up pie crust, keeping the peaches in place.  With a sharp knife, carefully cut into 1 - 1 1/2 inch slices and lay down in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with additional sugar, dot with butter.  Place any remaining peaches between the pinwheels.  Add water [I used Shiner Holiday Cheer.] to baking dish about half to three quarters up the side of the pan.  Bake at 350° F until golden brown and bubbly.  Serves approximately eight."

I wound up using a bottle of Holiday Cheer and about a half cup of water.  Here's the before and after:
And after:

It turned out good.  My father said it could use a little nutmeg, maybe a quarter teaspoon.  I think the baking directions should change to 375 for 45 minutes to and hour.



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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:14 1 comments links to this post