30 November 2013

Shannon Brewing Company to Open in Keller in March 2014

Shannon Carter is opening his eponymous brewery in Keller, near a source of water called Samantha Springs. He plans to brew English inspired ales, inlcuding a beer based on his Irish great grandfather's recipe.

The brewery is currently under construction, but Carter is already talking about tours: basic brewing tours and a tour to the springs, to see the source of the water.

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28 November 2013

First Cows, Now Turkeys?

I've about had it up to here [holding my hand horizontal in front of my eyes] with this crap.

Remember the story about Houston-area cows getting old Endeavour when I can't get any at all? Remember what kind of language I used?

Well, here we go again.

Joe Morette is a turkey farmer in New Hampshire. One hot July day in 1993, he and some co-workers were kicking back with a cold one after a long day. A turkey "accidentally" knocked on of the cans over and drank the beer.

It is surely one of the weirdest "light bulb moments" in history.

I suppose he ate that turkey and discovered that it made the turkey "fatter, more flavorful and jucier" than the one you can get from the grocery store. Now he pours beer into a watering trough and the turkeys drink it up.

PETA, of course, objects, but they object to everything.

There is no mention of what brand of beer, but if it's Endeavour, I will be seriously upset.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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26 November 2013

Cans! Cans! Cans! Cans! Cans! Cans! Cans! Cans! Cans!

This whole "Cans" thing has now officially out of hand.

Underwood Winery is now putting Pinot Noir in cans. Two cans equals 1 bottle.  They are hoping to make wine more appealing to craft beer lovers.


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24 November 2013

Minnesota's First Co-op Brewery Has Austin Roots

Niko Tonks used to brew at Live Oak Brewing Company, but recently moved back to Minneapolis. In his bags was the idea for a co-op brewery, Fair State Brewing Company. Tonks, Evan Sallee, Matthew Hauck are partners in the brewery and are all old college friends. In addition to $200,000 from investors, 125 co-op members $200 each. They recently signed a lease for a building which will be shared with a German-style bakery.

Co-op members will vote for the board of directors and get discounts as well as dividends from profits of the brewery.

The brewery is expected to open May 1.


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22 November 2013

FBC Pioneer Porter Clone vs. FBC Pioneer Porter

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the face off between Fredericksburg Brewing Company's Pioneer Porter, and the clone I made from an old article from BYO Magazine.

On the left is the current title holder, a pint of FBC porter fresh from my growler.

On the right is the contender, my clone attempt!

Let's get ready to rumblllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllle!

FBC Pioneer Porter
Pioneer Porter Clone
Dark brown with red highlights and a tan head
Darker brown with red highlights and a small off-white head. (It's undercarbonated, but I couldn't wait!)
Winner: FBC Pioneer Porter
Chocolate aroma, hint of roast
Chocolate aroma, hint of roast, but a bit fainter
Medium body, sweet chocolate flavor, roast hardly detectable
Thin body, faint sweet chocolate flavor, roast hardly detectable 
Winner: FBC Pioneer Porter

So in a two to one decision: I lose! At least at the end it's still a drinkable beer.

I could add more black patent to color the head, but I'm not sure how to fix the body and flavor issues.


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20 November 2013

Tasty's Session Pale Ale

Yet another hoppy beer to go into the fridge. This one is supposed to be a sessionable West Coast IPA, and came from Mike "Tasty" McDole. I brewed this on the 17th.

Tasty's Session Pale Ale
American Pale Ale


Type: All Grain Date: 11/17/2013
Batch Size: 6.00 gal Brewer: Jeff Holt
Boil Size: 8.38 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Jeff's Equipment
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 45.08 %
2.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 20.49 %
1.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 12.30 %
1.50 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 12.30 %
0.60 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 4.92 %
0.60 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4.92 %
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (Dry Hop 4 days) Hops -
1.50 oz Nugget [13.00 %] (Dry Hop 4 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (60 min) Hops 21.1 IBU
1.10 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (20 min) Hops 11.9 IBU
0.75 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (10 min) Hops 8.8 IBU
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.044 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.044 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG Measured Final Gravity:  SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.39 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 41.8 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 8.6 SRM Color:
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 12.20 lb
Sparge Water: 6.03 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, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
45 min Mash In Add 15.25 qt of water at 170.5 F 158.0 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
Tasty's notes: The 20 minute hop addition can be moved to flameout with a similar IBU contribution if followed by a 30 minute whirlpool rest. Any other hop regimen can be used that totals 40-50 IBUs.
Created with BeerSmith


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18 November 2013

Smokin' Hops BBQ - Dripping Springs

Satan and I went to the AHA rally at Jester King Brewery last weekend. It ran from 1-4 pm, and as we left we were feeling a bit peckish. On the way to the rally, I'd spotted a sign that said "Smokin' Hops". I suggested we stop there and check it out.

There was an impressive assortment of taps. I picked Liberation IPA from Independence Brewing, Satan had a Sprite. We ordered their jalapeno poppers. They were huge, about three inches long, filled with cheese and their smoked brisket, breaded and deep fried. Delicious and hot.

For the main course I order chopped brisket sliders, and Satan chose pulled pork sliders. Each plate had three sliders, so Satan and I exchanged one. The brisket sliders were good, but the brisket was hard to keep between the buns.  That's all right though. I had a fork! The brisket was good all by itself.

On our way out, I noticed a barrel with an airlock. I hadn't realized they were a brew pub! Now I have to go back.

Smoke'n Hops is located at 3799 East U.S. 290, just a couple of miles east of Dripping Springs.


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16 November 2013

Beating a Dead Horse

The last time I worked at the tasting room at Pedernales Brewing Company, an employee of Saint Arnold Brewing Company came in. She was showing her family the Hill Country and stopped in to visit the brewery. She was boisterous and funny, and I liked her instantly.

During the course of our conversation, she brought up the latest Bishop's Barrel release. I stopped her half way through and told her, "Don't tease me like that.  We'll never see it here."

Her eyes got wide as saucers. "What?"

"All that stuff stops at I-35.  It doesn't come out into the Great Texas Craft Beer Desert™." Then I told her the story about the farmer near Houston who fed his Kobe-style beef several hundred cases of out of date Endeavour, and how I hadn't been able to get any for months. She asked how I liked Pumpkinator. I said that I liked it, but the whole county only received one keg. I added that last year, the county got one case of Divine Reserve. She said that she would "have to talk to Brock about this."

I have no way of knowing whether she did or not, but the Ben E. Keith sales guy knows I like beer like that, and texted me that the local honey hole got a case of Endeavour this week.

I would like to think that it was the hand of Brock Wagner at work, but I'm pretty sure it is the result of me complaining to the Ben E. Keith rep.


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12 November 2013

FBC Pioneer Porter Clone Kegging Day

I kegged the Pioneer Porter yesterday. Good thing too! Over the weekend, I finished off the Heretic Evil Twin, the barleywine, and the Citra Double IPA. (Don't panic! There were only a couple of pints in each keg.

I've mentioned that one of my favorite beers is Fredericksburg Brewing Company's Pioneer Porter. Unless Hoppy Holidays or The Giant are on tap.  I like the porter because it leans a bit more to the chocolate side of the flavor spectrum, rather than to the roasty side.

As the fermenter was draining, I measured the beer, and it came in at 1.006. Since the OG was 1.057 yielding 6.8% abv. A bit higher than I wanted, but what are you going to do?

Satisfied that I'd recorded everything correctly, I glanced over at the keg. It was overflowing! Shit!

So I grabbed a large bowl and siphoned out a couple of quarts so I could get a lid on it.

How did it taste? Very close to the FBC version. I thought I noticed a bit of roast flavor, but overall I'm saying I cloned it. I followed up with a trip to the brew pub to see how well I did.


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10 November 2013

Food and Beer Pairing Chart - Update

I've tried a dozen times to add a beer and food pairing chart on this blog and on my other blog, but kept running into issues. Either the page won't display (here), or the page won't take the html for the table (there).

I fumed for a few months before remembering I have another site.  D'oh!

So here's a link to the food pairing chart I put together on that other site.


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08 November 2013

Using a Cool Brewing Fermentation Cooler

I bought a Cool Brewing fermentation cooler from HopTech when I ordered my porter ingredients. But I put Pliney the Toddler in it.

It's big. And soft. And floppy. It was difficult for me to put my Williams Brewing plastic fermenter (like the one in the background). The cooler is about 30 inches tall, and I had to hold the side while I lifted the fermenter into it.  If the side was a bit more rigid, it would make solo brewing much easier

I started off with a frozen gallon milk jug (I only put a half gallon of water in it.), which took the air temp down to 34°. I replaced it with 7 ice packs. (I have quite the collection. Austin Homebrew Supply always sends some with their yeast.). The lid is also floppy, so I had to roll the thing up and shove it behind the cooler to access the ice packs. That caused the wall behind the fermenter to sag a little.

I was fairly diligent the first week, changing the ice packs first thing in the morning and in the evening. It worked well keeping the air temperatures constant., between 67-70°. (That's about 8-9° below ambient room temperature.) By the second week, I began to tire of "feeding the beast" and was replacing the ice packs once a day. Even then, it kept things cool.

I recommend it enthusiastically, especially if you life here in the South.


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06 November 2013

Brewers Code

A couple of Saurdays a month, I work at Pedernales Brewing Company's room. This Saturday, a group of homebrewers came in.

I used to think home brewers were cool. Now I realize we're dicks.

The brewer at PBC calls Lobo Negro a Dunkel. A home brewer explained at great length that dunkels shouldn't have any roast flavor. The implication is that I am misinforming people about the beer. Schwartzbiers can have a roast flavor, he explained. Then he shrugged his shoulders and asked for another.

A bit later, the same dude came back for Lobo Texas Lager. The brewer calls in a Pre-Prohibition pilsner. Dude spends several minutes lecturing me on Classic American Pilsner, and about how there's corn in it, and PBC shouldn't say this is a Pre-Pro Pilsner because there's no corn in it.

There's no reason to lecture the servers at a brewery tour about beer styles.  They aren't brewers. The brewer has gone home for the day. You wanna bitch about how they describe their beers? Email the brewer and let HIM/HER know why the descriptions are wrong. Don't lecture me.

Don't be a dick.

If you have to spend ten minutes explaining to the server how the beer is misnamed and not to style, perhaps you should OPEN YOUR OWN FUCKING BREWERY!

The Brewing Network formulated a Brewers Code in 2006. Essentially it boiled down to "Don't Be A Dick." Wil Wheaton popularized that message a year later in regards to gaming. Now it's known as Wheaton's Law.

If you are taking a brewery tour, please don't be a dick. The other people on the tour don't give a fuck about beer styles, what the mash temperatures are, why the brewer choose those hops, and why didn't he mash at another temperature, based on the BJCP guidelines. You are only making yourself look like a douche. and pissing off everyone around you.

Don't be a dick.


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04 November 2013

Jester King Apologizes for Long Lines at Funk n' Sour Event

I didn't get to go to the last month's Funk n’ Sour Fest at Jester King Brewery because I had to work. Sounds like that was a good thing, because Jester King issued an apology for the long line of people waiting to get a bottle to go of the sour beers.

That's the problem, however, when you have limited release, artificially scarce beers. People want a bottle for themselves (or eBay, don't get me started). There was an interesting sentence in the apology, that clearly illustrates the problem: "We’re sorry that our attendees had to spend too much of their time at our brewery waiting in line, as opposed to enjoying a beer list we are very proud of."

It was an amazing list of beers, and I guess no one bothered to drink much of it because they wanted a bottle for themselves. At least that's how it read to me. And that's why I no longer go to any bottle releases.

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02 November 2013

Celis "Gypsy Beer" Collaboration Released in Austin

Daughter of brewer Pierre Celis, Christine Celis, recently released the first "Gypsy Collaboration" beer, brewed with Adelbert's Brewery in Austin.

Apparently a Belgian IPA, the beer is "copper-colored brew [that] has the yeasty flavors of a Belgian ale with a characteristic, yet restrained, bitterness associated with American IPAs." Christine worked with the brewers at Adelbert's for four months.

Look for it on draught now, and bottles on the way soon.

Note to self: Go to Austin soon!


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