30 July 2012

The Horror!

Except for a few bottles of Jul Øl, I am out of homebrew!

I know! It worries me too.  Besides having to buy more pro beer, it takes a while to stock back up. So I've been working on things I want to brew. I ordered ingredients for  Seeley Axe White Ale from High Gravity Brewing last week.  I won't get them until later this week, and hopefully will brew that this weekend.  I also have ordered ingredients for an American Pale Ale that I can also brew this weekend. That's right, I'm planning a double header.

Recipes to follow!


posted by hiikeeba at 06:40 0 comments

28 July 2012

A Texas Beer

I don't think about beer all the time. Really!

The other night, I was watching Chopped Grill Masters, and frankly, not really paying attention. I was reading. Sorry, Ted.

In one of the challenges, one of the mystery basket ingredients was mesquite syrup. As the word reverberated through my head, my eyes snapped open. What if someone were to use it in a beer?

Then it collided with another thought that I'd been mulling for a while. And what if prickly pear fruit were added as well?

I've had beer made with prickly pear fruit before, and it was sort of "wit-ish", with some Crunch Berries thrown in. I did some Googling (they hate it when you say that) and learned that syrup has a a subtle caramel, vanilla and cinnamon flavor.

Satan's dad has a ranch near Coleman that is covered with mesquite and cactus. We are planning a prickly pear fruit and mesquite harvesting day sometime in September. In case that doesn't pan out, I did find a source for dried beans online. I found Mesquite Bean Syrup by Cheri's Desert Harvest, 12 oz Bottle on Amazon.com, but it is currently out of stock.

I suppose the first step would be to make a beer with mesquite syrup and see what it brings to the party, then add the prickly pear fruit to another batch.

So does anyone have a line on other sources? I have seen the thread at HomeBrewTalk.com, and the one on the BN Forums.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

26 July 2012

That Time of Year Again

According to the latest study by UTSA (Go, Roadrunners!) Economics Professor Scott Metzger, founder and CEO of San Antonio-based Freetail Brewing Co., Texas' craft breweries accounted for more than half the brewery jobs in Texas while only being 0.7% of all the beer consumed in the state. With some help from our legislators, it could grow from $.5 billion industry, where it stands today, to a $5.6 billion industry.

I just realized that last sentence is an oxymoron. "Help" and "Legislators" never go together! Hell! I can't even get mine to answer a freakin' letter!

So here's what we need to do: ask our legislators why they oppose growing Texas jobs, Texas small business, and in state tax revenues, and would prefer to ship all those jobs to other states and countries. Then, when they don't answer, contribute to Open the Taps and let them be the voice of the fourth tier--the consumer.

Drink Beer. Save Texas.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:30 0 comments

24 July 2012

Jester King Beer Dinner at Southwest Bistro - July 26

Tickets are still on sale for the Jester King Beer Dinner at the Austin Hyatt Regency Downtown's Southwest Bistro (208 Barton Springs) this Thursday, July 26.  It is a five-course dinner paired  (Including bacon wrapped pork belly! Four more perfect words have never been penned,) with Jester King beers. Price is $60 per person. Dinner is at 7 pm. For reservations, call (512) 480-2035 or www.opentable.com.


posted by hiikeeba at 14:54 0 comments

Black Star Co-op

I am going to start off by saying that the food at Black Star Co-op is amazing, the beer is excellent, and the guest taps are impressive. I like the location and the decor. But something was missing.

The ordering process is a little different. You walk up to the counter, pick up a menu and, like "Seinfeld"'s Soup Nazi, take two steps to the left while you decide what to eat so the people behind you can do the same. Once you decide (and it's hard to decide--everything sounds delicious!), you hop back in line and order your beer and your food. The clerk hands you  a small square number on a tall stand.

The sign above the counter tells you to put the flag at the edge of the table so the food runner can see it. Really? The stand is tall enough that I have to look around it to see the chalkboard to decide what beer I'll be drinking next.

There's another note on the sign above the counter: When you want a refill, you are to rejoin the line. It warns that lines can get long, so plan ahead. Another note tells you to bus your own table. I've eaten in McDonald's. I'm used to that.

There's another note informing you that there is no tipping allowed. The employees are paid a living wage. Okay, I'm down with that. I won't tip. After all, I had to bring the drinks to the table, handle the order, and clean up after myself.  

But here's the thing, everyone behind the counter seemed indifferent. No one smiled. No one welcomed me to the restaurant. I did get a thank you when I paid, but the clerk's face stayed in frown mode. Maybe that living wage isn't so great, after all. 

The next day, I stopped at the local brew pub and I was greeted by almost every employee that works there. And the server smiled at me, made me feel welcome, and got a nice tip. It's true that I'm a regular at the brew pub here, and am not one at Black Star, so maybe that's why no one cared that I was there.

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posted by hiikeeba at 09:10 0 comments

22 July 2012

Darn It!

The other night, I had this text exchange with Satan:
After the "You Drinking?" comment, he called to tell me that's the brewery name I should use for Shadow Warrior. That made me thirsty where I made the horrifying discovery chronicled after that.

The idea fascinated me so I created this label:
After I wasted all that time, I learned there will soon be a Ronin Brewing Company in South Jersey. Satan has failed me.

(Can't wait to she how many hits I get from Google with that last sentence!)


posted by hiikeeba at 09:00 0 comments

20 July 2012

Pedernales Brewing Company IPA - Review

Woot! My local brewery just started bottling this beer, so I grabbed a 6-pack.

Appearance (0-4): Pours up a crystal clear orange/ amber with a minimal white head. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-3): A subtle peppery, spicy hop nose. I was hoping for more hop aroma, and, after a nice visit to Seattle, more citrus in the nose. 2 points

Taste (0-10): Starts off with a flavor that reminds me of a Pilsner. A "brushy" flavor that I find in Pilsners and a lot of ambers. Other IPAs have a nice crystal-y mouth feel. It's hard to explain, but I had a Brew Free or Die IPA after one of these I could taste the malt that I didn't taste here.  Maybe after being quoted in Zymurgy about Pliny the Elder I am too far down the West Coast IPA road. Anyway, the hops kick in with a massively bitter, and not in a good way, flavor at the back and sides of my tongue and back of my throat. Maybe there are too many hops at the front of the boil, and not enough at the finish.  It needs more malt to cut through the hops. It leaves a very bitter finish. It's medium bodied, which is good, but the head falls way too quickly for me.  5 points

Overall Impression (0-3):  Dammit! I wanted to like this beer! But it's just too darned bitter at the finish. But, it is a local beer, and I can buy it here, so I give it full points. 3 points

Total: 13 points

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posted by hiikeeba at 09:00 0 comments

18 July 2012

I'm Famous!

While I was at NHC the latest issue of Zymurgy shipped.  My BN Army friend Andrew Ignatz sent me this photo.

Mr. Cilurzo, will you start sending Pliny my way? Please?


posted by hiikeeba at 08:30 0 comments

16 July 2012

Can Ban Hitting New Braunfels Tourism

Floating down the Texas Hill Country Rivers in innertubes and sipping beer is a long standing Texas summer tradition. Unfortunately so is the massive trash clean up. The city of New Braunfels got tired of it and banned single use containers--cans and bottles.  They didn't ban alcohol on the river, just the can or bottle it comes in. You can now buy insulated mugs that hold three beers.

Of course, that means that once that runs out, the only thing you have left to drink is the river water. And I don't know about you, but I've seen people who float all day long and never once pee. Wink wink.

So do these tubers now each carry two or three of the tree beer mugs? Can I take a corny keg and ice and dispense with a cobra tap?

Anyway, the can ban (along with the raging floods of 2010 and the 2011 drought) has taken its toll on tourism in the city. Now people are staying away because they think they can't drink beer in their inner tube.

I won't lie. When I tubed, I flooded my cans and let them sink. (And I peed while in the inner tube, but that's just between you and me.)  I should have put my empties in my cooler. I saw others through empty bottles into the trees along the shore. So I understand the city's complaint. 

So to all beer drinkers: Don't be a dick. Pack it in, pack it out. Okay?

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posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

14 July 2012

Black Star Co-op

I am guilty of a dreadful selfish crime. I have robbed myself of precious time at Black Star Co-op. (With apologies to Robert Earl Keen.

posted by hiikeeba at 12:47 0 comments

Budnitz Bicycles Beer Wrench

Don't you hate it when your bike breaks down, and you want to drink a cold beer while working on it, but you don't have an opener?

Me, too!

Well if you have a Budnitz bicycle (It'll work on others if the water bottle holder holes line up.), they have a neat accessory: a titanium beer wrench.  That's "wrench" not "wench". There's a 15 mm hex wrench on one end and an opener on the other.

Trust me, you can never have enough beer bottle openers!


posted by hiikeeba at 09:00 0 comments

13 July 2012

Franconia Wheat

Sadly, found near the Interstate, not in the Great Texas Craft Beer Desert.

Good, though.

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posted by hiikeeba at 15:29 0 comments

12 July 2012

Single Beer Ban in D.C. to Be Expanded to Multipacks

A bill aimed at curbing public drunkenness isn't working.  Washington, D.C. officials passed a law banning the sale of single packages of beer, malt liquor, and small bottles of booze to "ward off troublemaking drunks, people who buy one beer and then hang around drinking it on the sidewalk." In other areas of the city the ban has reduced the number of arrests made, but not in this particular ward. However, crafty beer distributors and/or retailers (the article is unclear whether it is the distributors or the retails doing it) in the area are making two-packs of the offending beers. So city fathers want to extend the ban to two-packs and three-packs. Four and six-packs would still be legal.  For now. Until the troublemaking drunks start buying six packs.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

10 July 2012

Who Tweets More About Beer or Church?

Click here to see the larger image and read the article.


posted by hiikeeba at 09:00 0 comments

08 July 2012

ABI to Purchase Grupo Modelo and Become a Monopoly

Currently, ABInBev holds 47.7% of the US market. Grupo Modelo, makers of Corona, Pacifico, Negra Modelo and nine other brands, has 6% of the market. Now that ABI is buying the part of Grupo Modelo it doesn't own, add the two together and ABI would control 53.7% of the US beer market, and draw the attention of US regulators who don't like it when a company gets more than 50% market share.  That's why Grupo Modelo is selling its 50% share of Crown Imports, which makes and sells Corona to the US, and hopefully get below that magic 50%.

Some are concerned that once ABI gets control of the beer market, prices will go up.  I don't see why they should worry. According to the Tea Party and Mitt Romney, if it's good for a corporation, it's good for us.


posted by hiikeeba at 09:32 5 comments

06 July 2012

Galveston Brewing Company Relics on Display

The Galveston Daily News has reported that the Rosenburg Library is display relics of the Galveston Brewing Company as the Treasure of the Month for July. The display is located on the library’s historic second floor near the east entrance during regular library hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information, call the Museum Office at 409-763-8854 Ext. 125.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:59 0 comments

05 July 2012

Beer Lovers More Likely to Have Sex on the First Date

According to a story published at MedicalDaily.com, beer drinkers of either sex or orientation are 60% more likely to have sex on a first date.

Two quotes caught my eye:

Women who describe themselves as "curvy" are significantly more interested in sex and have more confidence than women who describe themselves as "skinny", a trend that is consistent in every age group.

People who were frequent tweeters also have shorter real-life relationships compared to everyone else and people living in more affluent neighborhoods were more interested in having casual sex compared to those who live in poorer neighborhoods. 


posted by hiikeeba at 08:45 0 comments