30 March 2013

An Apology to Ben E. Keith - For the Moment

About 3 pm yesterday, I got a text from Kevin at Ben E Keith, telling me they had delivered Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 13 to the local Honey Hole, enough that I snagged two six-packs. (They had a couple of cases, but since I despise the Chase Card Mentality, I decided to let other people have some.  But if they aren't fast enough, those beers are mine! )

So I will amend my previous rant about Ben E. Keith. Instead of "Motherfucker!" I will use "Sonuvabitch". But, they do have an employee who cares about the Great Texas Craft Beer Desert.

Mea Culpa.

For now. Founders is still on the horizon.

Thanks, Kevin!

posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

28 March 2013

Finish Brewery to Replicate 200 Year Old Beer

Stallhagen Brewery in Aaland, Finland, will replicate a beer brewed in the early 19th century found in a Baltic Sea ship wreck in 2010. According to the folks who analyzed the beer, it is a pale ale similar to the types of beer available now. But analysis does not tell what types of grain were used. So I guess they're not replicating it after all.

The beer was found to be still drinkable, that's to the constant 41°F temperature, low currents and darkness in the wreck. They also found some champagne, which has since been sold at auction. The ship sank sometime between 1825 and 1830.


posted by hiikeeba at 11:14 0 comments

26 March 2013

The Growler War Has Escalated

All Hail the Drink Tank!

This stainless steel growler will come with two cap: one  regular cap that would allow you to pour a pint of your beer, and another that would allow you to use it as a keg (for those days when pouring is a chore).

For two and half years they have been working on this vacuum sealed body that will keep your beer cold for 24 hours. They have a Kickstarter page where they have already surpassed their goal. For a $65 pledge, you can get a growler with the standard lid. If you want the tap option, add $30.


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24 March 2013

New York Times Article on Beer and Civilization

Apparently, the New York Times has just watched the Discovery Channel show, How Beer Saved The World, because they've just published an article "How Beer Gave Us Civilization".


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

22 March 2013

Quockerwodger Carona's Biggest Contributors

Wonder why Quockerwodger John Carona, Q-Dallas, sponsored such a pro-Distributor bill?

Carona, as head of the Senate committee through which most alcohol-related bills travel, received $44,500 in the last decade from the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas political action committee. His second largest contributor and largest individual funder at $69,500, is Barry G. Andrews of Andrews Distributing in Dallas, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of filings with the Texas Ethics Commission. Small brewery interests have given just $18,000 and only in the most recent election cycle.

The article the quote came from also indicated that Quockerwodger Carona was surprised that Open The Taps didn't represent a moneyed interest in the debate, and that the committee received more input on the craft beer legislation than any other issue.


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20 March 2013

Red Ristra Chile Beer Tasting notes

Let me tell you, getting this beer to pour was a huge PITA. First, all the CO2 leaked out the lid, emptying my tank. Then I had to replace all the o-rings and replace the CO2 tank.  Finally! I was able to get the keg to hold CO2. Now a couple of weeks later, I got beer!

Red Ristra Chile Beer

Appearance (0-4): Pours up a slightly hazy red with a thin off-white head that dissipates rapidly. It leaves a nice Belgian lace as you drink. I'd like the head a bit thicker, but at this point, I'll take any carbonation at all! 2 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-3): Some malt aroma, but with a roasted pepper aroma.  Not bad.  2 points

Taste (0-10): The pepper acts like hops, cutting through the malt sweetness. So it might be a little more bitter, but it does have a nice flavor. It is medium-bodied with a nice carbonation mouth feel. It's not until the end of the pint that you notice a subtle tingle on the sides of your tongue. 6 points

Overall Impression (0-3); After a half dozen pints, I am honestly not sure how I feel about this beer.  It's good and I like it. But part of me thinks it would be better as a porter. 2 points

Total: 12 points


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18 March 2013

Chillsner Beer Chiller

Almost six years ago, I posted the Mythbusters Beer Cooling results. While this won't beat the fire extinguisher, it might be cheaper.

The Chillsner is an aluminum rod filled with a thermal gel that you stick in the freezer, and then insert into your warm beer bottle.  A pour through spout let's you have access to the golden elixir while it cools.

It is produced by the same folks who make the Corkcicle, which does the same thing to a class of wine.

According to the CNet article, this Chillsner should be available sometime in April.

Gifts to the author are gratefully accepted.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

16 March 2013

Beer Goggles Don't Exist

Almost a year after UK Scientists decided that beer goggles do exist, another study says they don't.

The new study by Dr. Amanda Ellison says that alcohol does not cause an imagined improvement in looks. Instead, it turns off the rational, decision-making part of the brain long before it turns the lust switch off. Basically, alcohol makes your horny self less selective.

Dr. Ellision is the author of Getting Your Head Around the Brain.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

14 March 2013

Real Ale Brewing to Add Water Treatment Facility

To help extend the life of Blanco, Texas' sewage system, Real Ale Brewing Company has hired the engineering firm of Pape-Dawson to build two ponds, each 150 feet by 50 feet by 10 feet deep, will hold 510,000 gallons of effluent and a full-treatment plant that will cost around $700,000. The ponds should be finished by May 10, assuming the city permits are granted quickly, and the treatment plant should go online on June 1.

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12 March 2013

Horny Toad Brewing Company, Rowena, Texas

On a somber day in 1911, the citizens of Rowena, Texas, commemorated the arrival of Prohibition by burying a bottle of whiskey on city property. They erected a headstone that reads "Here Lies our Liberty - April 28, 1911."  On March 2, one hundred and 2 years later, they might have shot off fireworks because there's a brewery across the street!

Rowena is about twenty miles east of San Angelo on US Highway 67. Originally settled by Czechs and Germans in the late 1890s, the towns earlier claim to fame has been the birthplace of Bonnie Parker, former partner of Clyde Barrow. Now, on a more pleasant note, it is the home of Horny Toad Brewing Company.

Satan and I, and a couple of friends decided to attend their Spring Open House.

We met up in Eola, where we surprised Mark Cannon before he'd even had a cup of coffee.  We sampled the current line up and chatted a bit before heading up the road to Rowena.

Horny Toad Brewing opened in October of 2012 under owner/brewmaster Mike McNeill.

We joined a brewery tour in progress, and Mike described how he brews on his seven barrel system made from converted dairy equipment. Parched from the short drive from Eola to Rowena, we slipped out of the tour and into the old gas station, which houses a well decorated tap room.

There were three beers on tap: Concho Ale (a crisp, refreshing cream ale that should do well when the murcury hits triple digits), Angelo Amber (a surprisingly drinkable amber with notes of chocolate and roast), and an unnamed IPA (my favorite on tap, made with Csacade Centennial and Chinook hops). There were BBQ sandwiches and  Horny Toad t-shirts for sale.

There was a good crowd around. Some locals attended, including a gent in a bright blue cowboy hat who was walking down the road when we arrived. There were a group of vets on their motorcycles, and some beer geeks milling together in the warm sunshine.

You can find Horny Toad Beer at: Joe’s Brewhouse at 113 East Concho 210 Suite L in San Angelo; Sealy Flats at 204 South Oakes Street in San Angelo; and The Turnrow Bar & Grill 12143 US Hwy 67 in Rowena.

We left around three, heading back to my car at Eola, stopping at Lowake Inn for an amazing Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich and fries, before heading back home.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

10 March 2013

Herr Niedermeier Dunkelweiss Brew Day

Last week, I was finally able to brew Herr Niedermeier Dunkelweiss (I have renamed it since I first published the recipe). I hit my numbers, getting an OG of 1.047. We'll see how this turns out in a few weeks!


posted by hiikeeba at 13:43 0 comments

Contact Your Senator

I contacted my State Senator last week asking him to oppose SB 639, which would completely undo all the positive changes in Texas' beer laws and create a government price control on transactions between brewer and distributor (leaving retailers and consumers to twist in the distributor's wind). Sponsored by Senator John Carona, R-Dallas, henceforth known on this blog as Quockerwodger John Carona, Q-Dallas, the bill is almost universally opposed by everyone, from ABInBev, Texas craft brewers, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Beer Alliance of Texas, to an alliance of Texas Retailers. The only supporter of Quockerwodger Carona's bill was-Surprise!-The Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas.

In order to better serve the citizens of the State of Texas, I re-propose that all quockerwodgers (read "politicians") wear the logo of the organization pulling their strings on their clothing.  Like this:
Quockerwodger John Carona, Q-Dallas

Contact your quockerwodger today!

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posted by hiikeeba at 09:02 0 comments

08 March 2013

Franconia Brewing Going Sustainable

I still haven't made the trip to McKinney to visit Franconia Brewing Company. (Nor have I visited their redesigned web site.)  I hope to do it someday, but until then I have to live vicariously through people like Ben Lane, who recently visited the brewery.

In the article, Dennis Wehrman, owner and brewmaster of Franconia, is quoted as saying he only wants to distribute in Texas, and only wants to grow to a certain size. Once he gets to that size, he will focus on the quality of his beer.

He also said that this regional brewer will also be off the grid, getting its power from solar panels, thermal panels, recycling vegetable oil from restaurants, natural gas, and their own spent grain converted into methane gas. Wehrman is already sending his spent grain to a farmer, and doesn't have a dumpster on premises. (Alaskan Brewing Company recently made the news when they announced they be burning their spent grains to create the steam that powers much of their brewery.)

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06 March 2013

Founders Beers Coming to Texas (But I Bet Not Here)

Founders Brewing Company recently announced they would be coming to Texas.


They will distribute through Ben E. Keith.

Motherfucker. Sonuvabitch. [They recently delivered some some Divine Reserve 13 to Paradise, so I softened the language.]

From the press release (I added the stuff in brackets because it must have been left out of the original article.):
We’ve partnered with Ben E. Keith Beverage Distributors to offer our beers across the Lone Star State [except Fredericksburg] beginning April 2013. Texans [who don't live in Fredericksburg] will now have the opportunity to enjoy Founders ales without having to leave the state. [If you live in Fredericksburg, you WILL have to drive 24 miles to Kerrville.]"
“Texas is an up-and-coming market, and we’re impressed with what we’re seeing there [except in Fredericksburg],” said Co-Founder and CEO Mike Stevens. “We’ve been getting more and more inquiries from Founders fans in Texas over the past couple of years. The Ben E. Keith team is dedicated to the craft beer market [in towns other than Fredericksburg] and is helping introduce complex brands like ours to eager consumers [outside of Fredericksburg] who are hungry for them. Besides, we’ve always wanted to get Founders beer to Willie Nelson’s home state. Now the time is right. [Unless you live in Fredericksburg. Then you're fucked.]
If Founders beers were made by Maui Brewing, they would have full distribution here in Paradise.

We can't even get all the Saint Arnold beers here, but cows in Houston get Endeavor for fucking free! And I'm expected to believe that Ben E. Keith will let me have a chance of buying a Founders Breakfast Stout in Fredericksburg?

Not bloody likely. Very Bloody likely!

Ben E. Keith HATES  isn't fond of the Great Texas Craft Beer Desert and the folks who live therein, especially us in Fredericksburg. Since I want Founders beers, it won't be here. But I bet they sell it in Kerrville, on the Interstate.

Why, Founders, why couldn't you have chosen Brown Distributing in Austin? At least they have a rep here who cares. . .

I'll keep letting my friend in Illinois send me Founders beer.  At least he'll distribute Founders here.


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

04 March 2013

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Hires Chef

Ryan Savoie, former chef at Houston's The Grove, and earlier, Pizzareia Alto, has gone to work for Saint Arnold Brewing Company in their new kitchen. They will offer seasonally themed meals that will change daily. You can keep up with the menu using Twitter. The food will be beer-centric in the Belgian, French, Alsatian style. Saint Arnold owner Brock Wagner grew up in that region of Europe. It should open in mid-March.

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02 March 2013

Horny Toad Brewing Spring Open House

posted by hiikeeba at 13:45 0 comments

Brewery Employee Arrested for Stealing Rare Beer

Adam Dickenson was arrested in Boulder, Colorado, when he tried to sell rare beer from his former employer, Avery Brewing Company, on eBay. Police found 500 bottles of beer worth about $15,000.



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