30 March 2012

Innovation in Action

Alex Nunes, a journalist with theday.com, was working up a thirst in his garden the other day.  He popped the top on a beer, but realized it would get warm pretty fast. His wife leaped into action and made him a temporary cooler:
What a great idea! I get ice packs when I order from Austin Homebrew Supply. Here's another way to use 'em.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:23 0 comments links to this post

26 March 2012

Drink (Moderately) and Live Longer

A recent study found that people who drink moderately tend to live longer that teetotalers.
The tightly controlled study, which looked at individuals between ages 55 and 65, spanned a 20-year period and accounted for variables ranging from socioeconomic status to level of physical activity. Led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin, it found that mortality rates were highest for those who had never had a sip, lower for heavy drinkers, and lowest for moderate drinkers who enjoyed one to three drinks per day. 

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:28 0 comments links to this post

24 March 2012

Joe's Brewhouse in San Angelo

Cool brew pub in downtown San Angelo.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 15:44 0 comments links to this post

The Beer Diet

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22 March 2012

The Latest Trend: Craft Session Beers

According to a Washington Post story, several craft brewers are producing milder, lighter beers, including Boston Beer Company's 4.3% Samuel Adams Belgian Session, New Belgium Brewing Company's under 5% Shift, and Founders Brewing Company's All Day IPA.

I too get tired of big bold beers, and I appreciate the move to session beers.  Unfortunately, I don't get tired enough of big beers to be able to enjoy the lower alcohol session beers.

Maybe I am an alcoholic. Hm.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:37 0 comments links to this post

20 March 2012

Untappd is so 2011. Buy Your Friend a Beer with Tweet-a-Beer!

I am not sure how well this will work for me, but Portland's tenfour announced Tweet-a-Beer at SXSW recently. Basically, it ties your Twitter account to your PayPal account and lets you send $5 to your friend so they can buy a beer. (I'm @hiikeeba if you're feeling generous.)

When I signed up, and accidentally sent myself $5 (or more accurately gave Chirpify, a Twitter payment app, ten cents for the transaction), I looked for the mobile app, but couldn't find it in the app store. Chirpify will DM me with receipts, but I don't know how to accept payments on the go, without opening Safari on my iPhone.

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

18 March 2012

The I-Love-My-Beer Diet - First in a series

I am on a diet. And just so you don't think it hasn't been effective, at my heaviest I weighed 289 pounds. I am down to 258. I'm shooting for 180, but don't hold your breath. One of the things I did was cut down on beer.

Anyway, a friend loaned me a copy of The I-Love-My-Beer Diet by Martin R. Lipp, M.D. (If you want to buy a copy of it and other books like it on Amazon, click the ads below.) , and I've been taking notes as I read it, just trying to see whether or not it's workable.

I won't try to reproduce the whole book here. Every so often, though, I may post my notes.

Here's the first batch of notes, comprising the first few chapters:


The I-love-My- Beer diet is a fad diet, like so many before it. . .Fad diets have their usefulness.

Why Beer?

Why not?

A 12 ounce bottle of beer has 150 calories, less that the same amount of apple juice (174) or milk (240) or half a cup of cottage cheese (172) or three slices of bologna (184).

“The simple fact is that one gets fat on beer only by drinking it in huge quantities, or—even better—by consuming copious amounts of beer and platters of full food as well.” p. 13

Advantages of beer as a diet component:

Beer is filling. Most diet foods aren't filling.

Beer feeds the mind as well as the body. Beer provides a relief from tension

Beer is a social beverage. Other social beverages aren't as low calorie

Beer is nutritious. In addition to large amounts of water and a small amount of alcohol, beer contains substantial numbers of B vitamins and modest amounts of carbohydrates and proteins. The calories in whisky, for example are empty calories in that they derive from alcohol and are useful solely for energy if they aren't used up quickly.

Beer is healthful. Chronic ill effects from alcohol commonly occur with an average intake of 80 grams a day. Beer is about 1 gram an ounce. With two beers a day, alcohol may help with heart disease. (Moderation.)

Beer makes a wonderful evening snack. Both hops and alcohol help you sleep.

Next: The principles behind the I-Like-My-Beer Diet.


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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:00 0 comments links to this post

17 March 2012

Oooo-Kay…

It's starting to grow on me…

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16 March 2012

Taxes and Consumption - I Was Right

When President Obama first took office, he raised cigarette taxes to fund children's insurance.  I pointed out that this was nothing but political posturing, since the new tax will make people stop smoking, and would only raise enough money for children's insurance if everyone in the country were required to buy a pack of smokes a day.

Here's how taxes affect alcohol consumption in the US.

Check out Georgia and Alaska.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:14 0 comments links to this post

14 March 2012

The Village at Fairview Beer Walk - Tomorrow!


Join The Village at Fairview for the 1st Beer Walk of 2012 featuring local hand crafted beers from Franconia Brewing Co. tomorrow from 5 to 8 pm.

You can sample a variety of beers at tasting stations inside select stores.

Check-ins will be set up near the Guest Service kiosk where you will receive a free beer stein and 3 drink
vouchers.

Select stores/restaurants will have special promotions for Beer Walk participants.

Like The Village at Allen and Fairview on Facebook and follow on Twitter @villageshopping to be "in the know" of giveaways and secret stops during the night.

Make sure to use the #tvfBeerWalk

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:30 0 comments links to this post

13 March 2012

Shadow Warrior 3

For the last six or so months, I've been whining that all of my Shadow Warrior was gone.  I also kept telling myself that the next time I brew, it will be Shadow Warrior. Today was the day.

It was a muggy, cloudy day. Although I had planned to start at 8 am, the sky looked too foreboding, so I waited until 9 am.

I've been playing with the recipe for a few years now.  The first time, I used 10 pounds of light DME to bump this bad boy up. The second time, I used seven pounds. This time, after a successful all-grain Brown Shugga, I thought I would try to get more grain in the mash tun.

I brewed Dirk's Elixir as a starter, and added a vial of WLP 001 just for good luck.

It was a long day. I finally finished brewing, well, cleaning, about 4 pm.  I was tired and sticky and, even though I was not going to have beer tonight (I'm on a diet), I succumbed to some Lagunitas IPA.  Next brew day? Dirktastic!


Shadow Warrior 3
Imperial Stout

Type: All Grain Date: 3/13/2012
Batch Size: 6.00 gal Brewer: Jeff Holt
Boil Size: 8.38 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Jeff's Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 58.00
Taste Notes:
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
3.00 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 11.54 %
16.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 61.54 %
1.00 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
1.00 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
1.00 lb Carafa III (525.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
1.00 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
0.75 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 2.88 %
0.25 lb Wheat Malt, Dark (9.0 SRM) Grain 0.96 %
2.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (90 min) Hops 36.3 IBU
1.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (90 min) Hops 27.7 IBU
0.25 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 4.7 IBU
0.50 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (30 min) Hops 4.6 IBU
0.75 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (30 min) Hops 9.8 IBU
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (5 min) Hops 3.4 IBU
1.50 oz Mt. Hood [6.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.00 lb Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 3.85 %
1.00 lb Turbinado (10.0 SRM) Sugar 3.85 %
5 Pkgs English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.108 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.093 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.034 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 9.79 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 11.55 %
Bitterness: 86.5 IBU Calories: 423 cal/pint
Est Color: 61.5 SRM Color:
Color
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 21.00 lb
Sparge Water: 5.14 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
75 min Mash In Add 26.25 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2) Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 21.6 PSI Carbonation Used: -
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 60.0 F Age for: 364.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F
Notes
Created with BeerSmith

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posted by Jeff Holt at 17:43 0 comments links to this post

10 March 2012

Pliney the Younger for $45 a Pour

Picture from My Beer Pix
Last week, Kupros Bistro in Sacramento (I won't link to them for reasons soon to be obvious) got a keg of Pliney the Younger, the limited release from Russian River Brewing Company. Knowing that Beer Geeks go mad for this beer, Kupros decided to have a special event. For a $45 ticket, a beer lover would get one 12 oz pour of Pliny the Younger, one of their $14 burgers, and a buck off any other tap beer for the rest of the event. A lot of people complained that Russian River was price gouging.

However, Russian River is required by law to sell their beer at the price they submitted to the California Alcoholic Commission. Their distributor in Sacremento (DBI) also has to notify ABC about the price they sell the keg for. And that price is nowhere near the price that would price Pliny the Younger that Kupros advertised.

DBI sent their representative to Kupros where, presumably, there was an "attitude adjustment."  Kupros deleted the promo for the event from their Facebook page, and announced they would be selling Pliny the younger for $3 for an 8 ounce pour, limit one per customer. Later they revised it to $1 for a 6 ounce pour, limit one per customer.

But why did DBI and Russian have to get involved with the free market like that? Kupros is a legally licensed seller of beer. They determine their profit margin, not Russian River or DBI.  Granted Kupros was gouging, and some people complained, and it made DBI and Russian River look like the bad guys. Oil companies can get us to pay $4 a gallon for gas and generate profits in the billions. HP sells printer ink for $8000 a gallon, and we gladly pony up. So if some overenthusiastic Beer Geek buys a ticket for a $45 dollar pour, more power to 'em!

The problem is, of course, that Beer Geeks would pay $45 for Pliny the Younger. And some would take the ticket, and try to sell it on eBay for $500. The Chase Mentality at work. Shame on any beer lover for even considering paying that much.

Just for giggles, let's do some math. There are 1920 ounces of beer in a standard half barrel keg. (I know the half barrel keg is 15.5 gallons. I am assuming some loss from service. I may be overestimating.) There are 320 6 ounce pours in the keg. Going for a buck a pop, that means Kupros Bistro will sell that keg for $320. At $3 for 8 ounces, they would sell the keg for $720. And at $29 ($45-$14(for the burger) - $3(assuming the average customer will have three beers after their meal) for 12 ounces they would have made $4640. I don't know what the cost of a keg of Pliny the Younger costs, but I guesstimate about $200 from the distributor, and around $150 from the brewery. So that first event would have netted them $4440 in profit from Pliny alone!

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:00 0 comments links to this post

08 March 2012

Tactical Beer Mug

How often have you been out drinking beer when you need to put down your mug and use your night vision scope?  Not anymore! OpticsPlanet’s OPMOD Battle Mug lets you use the same object for up to four different things.

The mug, made in the USA, is machined out of 6061 billet aluminum and has three military-specification 1913 scope rails attached at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock and 6 oclock, with the removable AR-15 carry handle at 9 o'clock. What can it carry? Glad you asked:

  • a holographic sight
  • laser sight and scopes
  • night vision unit
  • a laser
  • CAA light
  • bipod 
  • bottle opener
Perfect for the survivalist on your Christmas list.


Read the comments at the bottom of the page: someone said it's heavy enough to deter robbers, and someone else suggested a lid for another $100.

Here's the FoxNews story that lead me to the website.


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posted by Jeff Holt at 17:40 0 comments links to this post

06 March 2012

eBay Sale Ends Growler Sales at California Pub

Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, California, posted on their blog that they would no longer sell growlers of Exponential Hoppiness after finding one for sale on eBay.

Since I previously stated if I ever saw a growler of “Exponential Hoppiness” for sale on ebay there would never be another growler sold again. Don’t blame me, but you can see who to blame on the above link. As for bottles of “Expo” on ebay, I’m seriously considering never bottling it again. This is not just a personal issue, it’s illegal.
Part of the problem, of course, is the owner's brewing these limited release beers in the first place. But there is a special place in Hell that has to be reserved for those who feel like that they can exploit craft brewers like this.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:30 0 comments links to this post

04 March 2012

Beer Pouches

Thanks to mybeerbuzz.com, I now know the next way of packaging beer. Remember juice boxes when you were a kid?  That's right.  Coming to a store near you: Beer Pouches!


Well, as you can see, it's already on some store shelves. Now, you and your child can share a cold pouch together.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:00 0 comments links to this post

03 March 2012

Lazy Afternoon at Grape Juice

Spring has sprung in Paradise. And the GDTs (Gosh Darn Tourists) have too. So I came to Kerrville.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 15:14 0 comments links to this post

02 March 2012

"SABMiller's Cassava Beer Aims to Win Over Home Brewers"

Relax. It's just in Africa. For now.

Cassava is a starchy vegetable that withstand African heat. Home brewers have been making a beer out of it for years. "Sold at around 75 percent of the price of other lagers, SABMiller hopes that it will prove to be a popular and safer alternative to beer made in the home," says an African Business Review article.

SABMiller Chief Executive Graham Mackay, said: "Very often illicit alcohol is positively dangerous. What we're doing is offering a legal alternative to that large percentage of alcohol that is homemade and from which governments get no taxes."
Let's hope this idea doesn't come here.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 09:00 0 comments links to this post