30 September 2013

Grapevine Craft Brewery News

On Tuesday, September 25, Grapevine Craft Brewery posted on its Facebook page: "Just filed a trademark infringement on the D-bag who has been squatting on www.grapevinecraftbrewery.com for over a year. I'm comin' for ya sucka!"

Earlier in the week, the brewery announced that, due to construction delays, their brewery will not be finished until March of 2014, which is past their distribution deadline of November 2013. So they will open a temporary brewery in Farmers Branch to get the beer on the market. CEO Gary humble hopes to continue using the Farmers Branch space after March as a distribution hub, and barrel aging storage.

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28 September 2013

New Braunfels Brewing Company Changes License

New Braunfels Brewing Company has joined Hops and Grain and Jester King breweries in changing their license to Brew Pub license.  That allows them to sell six packs, growlers and by the cup. They are also doing more limited releases. New Braunfels Brewing Company is at 180 West Mill Street in New Braunfels.


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26 September 2013

Buffalo Bayou "Sick in the Head" to Benefit Cancer Research

Joey Williams, former Houston Flying Saucer bartender and a beer manager at a Houston Spec's Liquor store was diagnosed with brain cancer, and has now been clear by his oncologist. He's joined forces with Bufallo Bayou Brewing Company to raise money for cancer research.

Each 22 oz bottle of "Sick in the Head" will sell for $10 and $3 will go to Christus Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research.


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24 September 2013

Big Bend Hefeweizen - Review

I got a sampler sample six pack of Big Bend Brewing Company beers from Tom, one of Satan's friends.

Appearance (0-3): It pours up and hazy yellow, with a dense creamy head. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Smells peppery and yeasty. There's a little sweet banana, but it's very subtle. 4 points

Taste (0-10): Slightly sweet malt flavor. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Finish with subtle banana and clove notes. 10 points

Overall Impression (0-3): I keep threatening to move to places with great beer. Alpine just made the list! This is drinkable and refreshing. At 5.5% alcohol, I could have a few of these. 3 points

Total: 20 points

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22 September 2013

The Importance of Beer in Ireland

I started reading The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World, and ran across this quote about why Guinness is so popular in Ireland: It is there at births, weddings and funerals, all of the hallmarks of life.

"Beer is not simply a means of drunkenness nor is it merely a lubricant to grease the skids to sin. Beer, well respected and rightfully consumed, can be a gift of god. It is one of His mysteries, which it was His delight to conceal and the glory of kings to search out.  And men enjoy it to mark their days and celebrate their moments and stand with their brothers in the face of what life brings."

--Stephen Mansfield


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20 September 2013

The Newest Brewery in Texas - Your Stomach?

NPR recently published a story about a 61 year old man who stumbled into an ER and complained of dizziness. The nurses suspected the man was drunk and gave him a breathalyzer test, which the man failed, clocking in at 0.37. The man was adamant that he hadn't had a beer all day! It happened before, he said. He said it would happen at church and other odd times of the day.

Sure, the nurses said, nudging and winking at each other, figuring he was secretly drinking. But Dr. Justin McCarthy, a gastroenterologist in Lubbock decided to look into the matter, and learned that the man, a homebrewer, had brewers yeast in his intestinal track and when he ate sugary foods, it would ferment and create ethanol. It's called auto-brewery syndrome. It usually occurs after someone takes anti-biotics which wipe out the natural bugs in the gut. The brewers yeast then can grow to create a mini brewery.

Still no word if the man has received TABC label approval.


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18 September 2013

Firestone Walker Beer Dinner at Otto's - September 24

A collaboration with Firestone Walker Brewing Company from Paso Robles, California, to showcase selections from their English style portfolio paired with the culinary creations of Otto’s German Bistro at 6:30 pm. For more information or to make reservations, please call (830) 307-3336 or email otto@ottosfbg.com. Seating for this dinner is limited. Reservations are required and will be taken on a first come, first served basis. Otto's is at 316 E. Austin Street.


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16 September 2013

Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout - Review

Appearance (0-3): Pours up jet black with a thick head that long lasting head. 3 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Roasty coffee aroma with hints of brown sugar 4 points

Taste (0-10): Starts with brown sugar and vanilla flavors, with peppery accents. Frankly, the label promised pecans and I don't get it. There are subtle hop bitterness in the finish. Full bodied and medium high carbonation. 8 points

Overall Impression (0-3): I like the alcohol, and I like the flavor. I had a problem picking up the pecans.  I like this beer, but that jealous that Wil Wheaton, who's been homebrewing a couple of years, gets this kind of gig. But that's the wrong kind of bitterness. 3 points

Total: 18 points


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14 September 2013

Heretic Evil Twin Brew Day

Well, the day started out well. I hit my pre-boil gravity, 1.059.

Then it went pear-shaped. After an hour boil, my gravity was still the same. I didn't do a really vigorous boil, and maybe that was the culprit. There wasn't a lot of evaporation.  And the humidity was at 98%, too. I managed to snag a cooled sample, and came up with 1.064 instead of 1.069.  Close enough.

After cleaning up, I sat down for a bit to drink water. I was quite dehydrated.  When I stood up to refill my glass, there was a twinge in my lower back.  An hour later, that twinge was a needle sharp pain. I was still and sore, and couldn't figure out when I hurt my back.

I had planned to keg Belgian Bombshell, but I decided to let my back heal first. This was a few days ago, so right now, I plan to keg it tomorrow.

Now, excuse me. I have to go sit on a heating pad.


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12 September 2013

The Craft Beer Wars Continue: Blue Moon Fires Back

MillerCoors is telling beer snobs to chill out and accept Blue Moon as a craft beer.

The Brewers Association won't listen because they, of course, exclude any beer made by ABInBev and MillerCoors from being craft.

But I have to say that I agree with them. Keith Villa, the Blue Moon Brewing Company brewmaster is Belgian trained, and if he came up with that recipe at another brew pub, it would be a craft beer, and score 96 on RateBeer. But, because it's MillerCoors. . .


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08 September 2013

My Brewing Schedule

Now that it's getting close to fall, it's time to start thinking about brewing. I need to mix up my brews a bit. In may I had five dark beers on tap, and nothing with hoppy.  So it's time to plan for the rest of the year.

September: I need to brew a Christmas beer, and thanks to a BN Secret Santa exchange, I have a Cranberry Christmas beer. I also want to brew Drew Beechum's Pliney the Toddler, a session IPA.

October: Dirk's Elixir will return in October (probably with coffee in it), and I will try Tasty's Session APA.

November: I will go back to my 2010 Shadow Warrior recipe in the first part of the month. On Thanksgiving Day I will try an experiment: I will make Dirktastic, what my dad calls grapefruit beer, but I will add the zest from a grapefruit. This is inspired by the Mad Fermenntationist's grapefruit infused IPA.

December: While going through some back issues of BYO, I came across their recipe for Fredericksburg Brewing Company's Pioneer Porter. I'll also try CYBI Unita Wyld XPA. And with any luck, on New Years Day brew Saison du Permienne.

That's the plan, anyway.  I'll probably screw it all up.


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06 September 2013

Ordered and On the Way!

Neckbeardbeer on the Brewing Network forums got Jamil Zanisheff's recipe for Evil Cousin, Heretic Brewing Company's highly addicting DIPA. Since I have become a total hop head, this is next for me to brew.

The recipe calls for hop extract and Jamil recommended HopShot from Northern Brewer. I'll be brewing this next weekend.  I may even wear my Heretic shirt.

Heretic Evil Twin
Imperial IPA


Type: All Grain Date: 8/14/2013
Batch Size: 6.00 gal Brewer: Jeff Holt
Boil Size: 7.97 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Jeff's Equipment
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
17.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 94.44 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 2.78 %
1.27 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
1.70 oz Apollo [18.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
1.27 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
0.95 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
1.63 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.63 oz Apollo [18.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
2.17 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.11 oz Hop Extract (Boil 1.0 hours) Misc
0.50 lb Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 2.78 %
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.067 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.83 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 0.0 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 5.9 SRM Color:
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 17.50 lb
Sparge Water: 4.60 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 21.88 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: Corn Sugar Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 4.5 oz Carbonation Used: -
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 60.0 F Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F
Use 10 mL of Hop shot from Northern Brewer (two syringes) to acheive 100 IBUs.
Created with BeerSmith

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04 September 2013

Pedernales Brewing Company Tasting Room Schedule

I've known for a while that Pedernales Brewing Company opens their tasting room and offers tours. I hadn't had the chance to catch one in a while, but last Saturday I got the opportunity to work in the tasting room. It's not as much fun to work in the tasting room, because the employees aren't allowed to drink on duty, but that's not a big deal.  Normally, I don't start drinking until 5 pm anyway. (It's Hell getting old.)

It was hot outside, and the brewery isn't air conditioned. But the fans inside kept it mild enough. On tap there were the flagship beers: Lobo Texas Lager, Lobo Negro, Classic Hefewiezen and Classic IPA. Also on tap was Lobo Lito (a summer pilsner), and their first seasonal, Oktoberfest, which I've already written about.

I was asked if I wanted to do the first tour. While I have taken the tour a couple of times and I know the brewing process, I didn't have enough details to feel comfortable about it. So I tagged along on a couple of the tours. Sure enough, someone wanted to know what the production was. I'm sure "Shit Ton" wouldn't not have been a good answer.

I met a couple of home brewers who had stopped by and we had a nice chat. One group had finished up a wine tour "for the ladies" and now it was the men's "reward".

We guestimated about 50 people had stopped by over the four hours, so it was never too crowded.

Next time you're in Fredericksburg, take the tour. Beer always tastes better at the brewery. And it will be the easiest way to find their quarterly seasonals on tap. (Shh! Don't tell anyone, but I hear a spiced porter is next.)

The tasting room is open on Friday from 3-5 pm, and on Saturday from 1-5 pm. Pedernales Brewing Company is at 97 Hitchin' Post Trail just south of Fredericksburg on US Highway 87 South. Look for the flags on your left. Call 830-998-7486 for details.

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02 September 2013

Pedernales Brewing Company Oktoberfest

Now into their second year, Pedernales Brewing Company released its first seasonal beer last week: Oktoberfest. They only made a few dozen barrels, so it will be a limited release this year. Plans are in the works for a larger brewery, so I would expect a bigger release next year.

If you're planning to visit Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, it will be on tap in the Main Pavilion and Kinderhalle. If you don't have rooms booked, you better hurry. The weekend is almost sold out!

Robert, one of the investors at PBC tried valiantly to get me out to the brewery to taste it, but I couldn't get away from work.  I guess he felt sorry for me, because he brought me a growler of the Oktoberfest. So I sat down with Star Trek: The Original Series: From History's Shadow (a great read that ties into Voyager's "Future's End", Deep Space Nine's "Little Green Men", Enterprise's Temporal Cold War, and the TOS episode "Assignment:Earth."), and sampled it.

It was smooth and medium bodied. Malty with some slightly assertive hops. It reminded of an Amber Ale, but since Oktoberfest is an Amber Lager. . . Nice and drinkable. I can't want for Oktoberfest to see how it ages!

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