30 April 2013

Yeast Can Treat Malaria

Malaria kills 655,000 people a year, mostly in Africa. Most antimalarial medicines are made from the sweet wormwood tree, but it's availability fluctuates from year to year.

Researchers funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has come up with a new way to engineer the yeast to make more antimalarial compound artemisinin, than previous methods.

Amyris Inc. (AMRS), an Emeryville, California-based renewable chemicals and fuels company have donated the intellecutal property rights for nonprofit use.

Source

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28 April 2013

The Horror! The Pub Owner Allergic to Beer!

Imagine waking up one day, after months of feeling ill, and learning that you are allergic to the product you sell.

Shudder.

Alistair Scott was the first beer sommelier in the UK two years ago. He travels around the country matching beer and food for pub owners, and he own two pubs himself.

After months of feeling ill, he learned he was allergic to yeast. So now, instead of full pints, he has to sip the beer.

The poor bastige.

"It could have been caused by drinking too much of it. I mainly drink ales and they are very heavily yeasted so I may have just overloaded my body," he said. So he's switching to lagers, though he would prefer to give up bread.

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26 April 2013

Karbach Rodeo Clown Double IPA - Review

This is the last of my Dallas beers.  If any of my readers in Dallas or Houston come to Paradise, bring me some of this, please.

Appearance (0-3): Pours up an almost opaque orange with a thin off-white head that disappears quickly. 1 Point

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Starts with a malt sweetness and finishes with a mild citrus aroma. There are some alcohol notes.  2 points

Taste (0-10): An almost brown sugar start, replaced with a spicy hop flavor that travels from the front to the back of my tongue, finishing bitter at the back of my throat. Medium to thick bodied, good carbonation. There's a nice hit of the alcohol, too. 7 Points

Overall Impression (0-3): Not a bad Double IPA, but not a great one. Besides the clarity issues, it finishes a bit too sweet. It reminds me of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, and that is not a bad thing. I also like the can design.  If it were available here, I'd give it 2 points. However. . . 0 Points

Total: 10 points

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24 April 2013

The Beer Diaries - (512) Brewing Company

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22 April 2013

A Taste of Beer Triggers "Reward" Chemical In Brain

Why doesn't anyone ever ask me to do things like this?

Forty-nine 24 year old men at the University of Indiana were given a tablespoon of beer or Gatorade every 15 minutes and had their brain scanned using positron emission tomography, looking for signs of dopamine release. (The small amount of beer would not have enough alcohol to affect the brain scan.) There were signigicantly higher dopamine levels in the men who received beer versus those who had Gatorade, even though many preferred the taste of Gatorade over beer. The result suggests that this reponse could be a hereditary risk factor for alcoholism. in other words, if there's alcoholism in your family, you will produce more dopamine.

According to one story, "Dopamine has long been associated with substance craving, with anecdotal evidence suggesting it can be triggered by the sound, sight or smell of a pub."

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20 April 2013

The Completely Wrong Thing to Say


Roots Bistro, an organic, vegetarian-friendly restaurant in Houston, put  "Beer should be like violence: domestic" on the marquee under their sign after an employee spotted it on the Internet on another businesses sign.

It only took 10 minutes for the shitstorm to commence. Pictures were put on Facebook and Twitter criticizing the sign. So down it came, replaced by "Seriously, focus your energy on equal rights."

That didn't work out so well either.

People were even angrier because Roots Bistro didn't appear to take the issue seriously.

Finally, on Sunday, the restaurant's new message was "Sorry a million times over Houston."

They last thing you want to do is to connect beer to domestic violence. That's more ammo for the neo-prohibitionists!

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18 April 2013

The Temptress Imperial Milk Stout Reviewed

Another of the beers bought in Dallas weekend before last is The Temptress, an Imperial Milk Stout from Lakewood Brewing Company in Dallas.

The Temptress

Appearance (0-3): Pours up jet black, opaque. A thin, off-white head dissipates quickly to a thin layer of bubbles. (Since the bubbles aren't tan to dark brown, there aren't a lot of roasted malts in this beer.) 2 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Sweet aroma with a hint of the alcohol. Some chocolate and roast, but no hops detected. 4 points

Taste (0-10): Starts starts slightly sweet, but is replaced with a roasted malts with a nice hop bitterness in the finish. Medium-full to full bodied with nice carbonation. I'd like a bit less hops, but they do help cut through what could be a sickly sweet beer. 8 points

Overall Impression (0-3): A very nice beer that clocks in around 9%. The label has a red tag that says this beer pairs well with robust bleu cheese, chocolate, and sin.  I can see the sin. In a perfect world this would get a 3. But, I can't get it in Paradise, so: 0 points

Total: 14 points

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15 April 2013

TV Interview

A Mexican TV crew stopped by to film. They're in the area for a boxing match.


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14 April 2013

Deep Ellum IPA - Reviewed

At the Big Texas Beer Fest last weekend, one of the longest lines was a the Deep Ellum booth, and I can see why: great beers and great variety. Before we hit the festival, we stopped at the Spec's up the street from the hotel. I didn't have enough money to buy everything brewed in Dallas, so I picked up some Karbach, Firewheel, and Deep Ellum beers. (And yes, I did pick up some Firestone Walker.) More reviews to come.

Deep Ellum IPA

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a slightly hazy orange with along lasting white head. 2 points

Aroma/Bouquet (0-4): Nice citrus aroma, some malt sweetness. I put some behind each ear, it smells so good. 4 points

Taste (0-10):  Good medium body mouthfeel, with good carbonation. The hops tend to dominate, but the malt  is right there to support it. The citrus is there in the taste, but subdued. Finishes with a bitterness at the back of my tongue, but not too bad. In fact, it tastes an awful lot like I should have bought a case of this stuff! 9 points

Overal Impression (0-3): O! M! G! A nice West Coast-style IPA brewed here in Texas! This is one of my favorite beers. I would bathe in this stuff! There aren't enough exclamation points on the Internet! But, according to my rule, it is not distributed in Paradise. If it were I would give it three points. 0 points

Total: 15 points

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12 April 2013

Big Texas Beer Fest



Last weekend, by brother and I went to Dallas for the Big Texas Beer Festival at the State Fairgrounds. We arrived a couple of hours early, remembering the chaos that occurred last year.

The organizers had made an addition, barriers that created three lanes for people, but all three lanes were open at the entry vestibule.

As more and more people arrived, the first words out of anyone's mouths were, "Is this the VIP line?" Someone told us that no, this was the General Admission line and pointed to the middle door of the Automotive Building.  So, lemminglike, two dozen people traipsed down to the middle door and found someone who said the VIP entrance was at the door on the other side of the barriers.  So the pack of VIPs walked back the other way, only to be told by a very angry organizer that get back in the chutes, leave us alone because we're having a meeting.

As our pack of lemmings waddled back to the chutes, I said out loud, "They make these things called signs. . ."

Eventually all was explained and soon we were inside.

The fest had some nice changes: Live music was outside, six food trucks, and a great selection of beer!  I'd made a point to hit all the Dallas area breweries, and was impressed with all of them. Once while waiting in the long line for Deep Ellum beers, I noticed that the organizers did indeed have signs!

Too bad they didn't put them up.

Unfortunately, by the time the riff raff (GA, as the organizers affectionately referred to them) got in, the lines got ridiculously huge, and the noise of so many people talking in a barn was deafening!  The organizers should have hung baffles along the ceiling.

Over all, we had a very good time, and are looking forward to next year.


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10 April 2013

Another New Beer Social Network - Beer Thirty

Someone sent me a link to beerthirty.com and asked me what I thought.

I tried to sign up for an account, but the login process would not accept any username or email address, so the registration process failed every freaking time I tried.  There is a sentence that says "Login with Facebook," but there's no link do that. About the only thing you can click on are the ads.

I clicked on the community tab and, after noticing the photos of topless ladies holding beer and learning I can't view them because I'm not logged in, realized why I can't log in.  The last post was twenty-two weeks ago! They aren't letting anyone sign up.

The question remains, though, with BeerAdvocate, Rate Beer, More Beer Buzz, Aleuminati, and Untapped, do we really need another brewing social network?

The answer, of course, is Yes, if they show boobies!

So I switched from Chrome to Internet Explorer and got a completely different registration page! So I entered all my info and tried to register, but not a single Captcha code was valid! Twenty-two attempts!

Why oh why do you make it so difficult to register, BeerThiry?!

In IE, there is a button that says "Login in with Facebook." This will do it, I thought!

Nope. I get an error message telling me, "Someone recently tried to log in to your account from an unrecognized computer or mobile browser. Because you enabled login notifications, your account is temporarily locked. Please complete the following steps to regain access to your account."

But I am still able to use Facebook in Chrome. WTF?

I guess we'll never get to see the treasures withing BeerThirty.com.



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06 April 2013

Old Ruffian Clone Tasting Notes

So the Old Ruffian clone has been in the fridge for a couple of weeks, so I decided to sample it.

Old Ruffian Clone

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a hazy dark brown with reddish highlights. There's a thick, dense head that takes a few minutes to fall to a thin cap of bubbles. 3 points

Aroma (0-3): Sweet malt aroma, maybe bready with hints of alcohol, but very low hop aroma. 2 points

Taste (0-10): Starts off with a malt sweetness that is soon replaced with a hop bitterness on the sides and back of the tongue--not entirely pleasant. A little thin bodied, with good carbonation. 7 points

Overall Impression (0-4): First, it is not a Old Ruffian clone.  It's a good barley wine, but not as hoppy as Old Ruffian.  I hope I can get into bottles before I drain the keg. 2 points

Total: 14 points

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04 April 2013

Coffee is Good for Your Liver

If you are a regular consumer of alcohol, you should probably start drinking coffee.  Especially if you are a man.


Finnish researchers measured the liver enzyme gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) of 19,000 Finnish men and women between ages 25 and 74. Drinking alcohol raises the level of GGT. Men who drink 3.5 drinks daily had the highest levels, which can lead to alcoholic liver disease. But among those heavy drinkers who consumed more than five cups of coffee a day showed a 50% reduction in GGT versus men who didn't drink coffee. But don't get cocky! The researchers aren't sure if this decrease in the enzyme leands to health improvement or a decreased risk of liver disease.

Oh, and smoking, older age and being overweight can also raise GGT levels.

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02 April 2013

Herr Niedermeier's Dunkleweiss Tasting Notes

I've been drinking a lot of IPAs lately. I love hops! But I'd been hankering for a pint of dunkelweiss. Generally, I only drink when I work at Oktoberfest here in Paradise, even though I can get it a Judy's Liquor, my local honey hole, and HEB on a regular basis. And I am a big fan of Shiner Holiday Cheer, a dunkleweiss with pieces and pecans (And no, I will not try to replicate it.  Maybe. I have an old family recipe for peach cobbler that I once made with Holiday Cheer. I might rebrew this and add some peach extract at bottling.)

Anyway, Herr Niedermeier has been sitting in my fridge under CO2 for a couple of weeks. So I thought I'd give it a try.

Herr Niedermeier's Dunkleweiss

Appearance (0-3): Pours up a slightly hazy brown with a thin and quickly fading off white head. I know there should be some yeast in suspension, but I'm not a big fan of a lot of suspended yeast. 2 points

Aroma (0-3): There is some faint clove, some spice, and a hint of banana and chocolate in the nose. No noticeable hop aroma.  3 points

Taste (0-10): Slightly sweet malt flavor, with notes of chocolate, banana and (of all things!) coconut. It finishes dry. No noticeable hop flavor. It finishes sweet on the back of the tongues. Slightly under carbonated.  8 points

Overall Impression (0-4): I like it, but after a couple of pints, it's a little too sweet. I know I will be brewing it again. 3 points

Total: 16 points

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