30 September 2014

Hops and Grain PorterCulture Debut


posted by hiikeeba at 08:12 0 comments

29 September 2014

The End of Bottles?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Glass Is Life for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Before I was of legal age to drink, I worked in a grocery store that sold beer. We sold a lot of beer in long neck cases with lids. The cases were made from a thick, waxed cardboard with the brewery logo on the side. When a customer came into the store, he or she would put their case of empties in a large basket before buying their next case. Part of my job was to cart those empty cases into an storage area at the side of the store, and sort the cases by brand name for the distributors to pick up. We did the same thing for soda companies (although their cases were wooden).

When craft breweries began popping up in the late 1990s, one of the selling points was that it was packaged in glass bottles which, the upstart brewers assured us, protected the precious liquid within from light. The big brewers weren't using bottles, and sometimes that affected the flavor of the beer.

I agreed. I only bought beer packaged in bottles because it tasted better. I still think beer tastes better out of a bottle.

Today, most craft breweries are slowly moving away from glass.

After being told that glass was better for beer for twenty-something years, I'm a little confused by this move. Glass is a natural product that we've been using for millenia, and we're replacing it with less degradable things. It just doesn't make sense to me.  I can't imagine what Pliny the Elder, my favorite beer, would taste like out of a can. I certainly wouldn't be able to see what it looks like!

Glass Is Life is a community of similarly minded people that believes glass should play a more important role in our lives. They believe, as I do, that glass is a more natural packaging for our food. It is better for us and the planet.

Glass is Life is a sponsor at this year's . If you're going, stop by and visit with them. 

Follow Glass is Life on Facebook

Follow Glass is Life on Twitter.


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Visit Sponsor's Site

posted by hiikeeba at 11:23 0 comments

28 September 2014

FDA Backs Down on Spent Grain Rule Change

Most breweries sell their spent grain to farmers for feed and compost. Earlier this year, the FDA announced that the spent grains should be packaged to make it safe for the animals to eat, and therefor safe for humans to eat the animals.

There was a tumultuous uproar from brewers--From giant ABInbev all the way down to tiny Eola, Texas, home of Eola School and Bright Brewing.  It was an unprecedented display of industry cooperation.

The FDA has revised the rules to exclude spent grain. Since the breweries are already compliant with human food standards, the spent grain well be considered compliant with the animal food standards. This change means that breweries of any size do not have to spend thousands of dollars complying with the rules.


posted by hiikeeba at 14:42 0 comments

26 September 2014

Remember the Hop Crisis? Guess What...

There will be a Malt Crisis next year!

Due to a wet year, Canada has had the smallest crop since the 1960s.  The US, as well as Europe and Australia are expecting lower yields this year, too.

This means that craft beer prices are probably going to go up.

Oh, joy!


posted by hiikeeba at 13:48 0 comments

24 September 2014

Robert Earl Keen Brand Announces 2nd Offering

I was reading Food Flashes blog on mySA.com, and noticed that Pedernales Brewing Company would be releasing a second Robert Earl Keen beer in February.

Initially, the Honey Pils will be the only beer distributed under the Robert Earl Keen label. But [Lee] Hereford [CEO and president] said the brewery is looking at other styles such as a Raspberry Hefeweizen to release as its second beer. That brew is expected to hit shelves and bars by spring 2015.
I have known about this for a couple of weeks, but didn't want to let any cats out of any bags.

In other PBC news, look for a shake up in the year round beers and some special, one-time only releases next year. I won't tell exactly will be happening until I know it's okay to do so.

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posted by hiikeeba at 11:12 0 comments

22 September 2014

1 Brewery Job Supports 45 More in Other Industries


posted by hiikeeba at 09:44 0 comments

20 September 2014

TABC Fines Four Corners Brewing

Back in May, I mentioned that Four Corners Brewing was making a beer for Pecan Lodge BBQ, and wondered how they were able to get away with it. Apparently, I wasn't the only one. Shortly after the the article was published, a "citizen" lodged a complaint with the TABC.

The TABC investigated, and fined Four Corners $2000 for not getting label approval of the Boss Lady Rustic Red. They had sold the beer to a few select accounts, so they had not violated the provision that prohibits private label beer. But that darned label...!

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posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

18 September 2014

Pedernales Brewing Company Wins International Medals

Speaking of Pedernales Brewing Company.....

Pedernales Brewing Company (PBC) of Fredericksburg, Texas, brought home three top medals from a professional international brewing contest held in Mexico on Sept 3-7, 2014.

The brewery won Gold for Lobo Texas Lager and Lobo Negro, plus a Silver Medal for Lobo Lito. PBC was also named the overall Best New Brewery for 2014, and was the only US brewery to receive recognition at this year’s Cerveza Mexico.
“We were delighted to learn that our beers were not only accepted, but excelled at this international competition,” said Lee Hereford, Founder and President/CEO. “Mexican beers are respected around the world, and we are proud that our Lobo line stands with the best.”

Cerveza Mexico is the largest and most formalized beer competition in Latin America. Held in Mexico City, the contest judged more than 500 labels from 85 breweries. More than 15,000 people attend the annual event.

-via press release


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

16 September 2014

Pedernales Brewing Company's Robert Earl Keen Honey Pilsner

If you don't follow Pedernales Brewing Company on Facebook, you may have missed this:
It will be released on October 15, and should be available everywhere Pedernales Beers are sold by November 15.

Another Robert Earl Keen beer will be released in May.

In other news, the Classic Porter returns in November.

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posted by hiikeeba at 10:40 0 comments

14 September 2014

Guide to Austin Area Breweries

Austin Eater Just published a guide to Austin area breweries. It shows the breweries o n a map and also lists their tour and tasting information.

posted by hiikeeba at 09:56 0 comments

12 September 2014

Heretic Evil Twin Clone 2

This recipe requires hop extract, and the only place I've been able to find it is Northern Brewer. Two HopShot vials give you 100 IBUs, so you can focus on the aroma hops. So I went to Northern Brewer to order the ingredients. Turns out, if I add grains, hops and yeast to the order, I can only have it shipped second day UPS for $76! But, if I only get the hop shot, I can get $7.99 flat rate shipping.

So I checked the hop selection at Austin Homebrew Supply, but they didn't have Apollo hops. Thank goodness for Beer, Beer and More Beer! They had Apollo hops, and even though the total was few dollars higher, the shipping is free!

I had good luck the last time I brewed this, but I didn't adjust the water. I can't wait to see how this will turn out!

Heretic Evil Twin 2
Imperial IPA


Type: All Grain Date: 9/19/2014
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 -
0.95 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
1.27 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
1.63 oz Apollo [18.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.63 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
2.17 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.11 oz Hop Extract (Boil 5.0 hours) Misc
0.50 lb Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 2.78 %
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [Starter 1000 ml] 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

dilute my water 90% with distilled, and add 2g CaCO3, 6g gypsum, 1g CaCl2, and 1g epsom salt to the mash
Created with BeerSmith


posted by hiikeeba at 09:37 0 comments

10 September 2014

Fredericksburg Brewing Company's 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago yesterday, the Fredericksburg Brewing Company opened its doors. Last night they threw a birthday party, and invited the whole town. While you had to pay for your beer, the BBQ was free.

When I went into the restaurant, I was handed a green pint glass koozie and a raffle ticket.

There were 9 beers on tap for the event, Not So Dumb Blonde Ale, Enchanted Rock Red Ale, Peace Pipe Pale Ale, Pioneer Porter, Oktoberfest, Peach ale, Anniversary Ale, and . . .

I forget the other two.

I had the Oktoberfest (very good) and the Aniversary Ale, a DIPA (wonderful).

I met a couple of young ladies from Australia. One blond and the other a brunette. They were working their way across the states, and Fredericksburg was a stop between Austin and San Antonio. They had heard about the Wineries around here were taking a tour the next day. After a couple of days in San Antonio, they were headed for Fort Worth to see a Texas Rodeo.  Their next stop was Memphis and Nashville before heading to New York. The brunette asked me if it would be better to drive, and I told them it was only an 8 or 9 hour drive from Fort Worth.

There was live music at the party, The Sauerkrauts performed. They are a local Oompah band and
they always put on a great show.

I didn't stay the whole night, just a couple of hours. I gave my raffle ticket to the Aussies.  I hope they won something.


posted by hiikeeba at 10:05 0 comments

08 September 2014

America's First 99 Pack

Austin Beer Works had a problem. Their Peace Maker Extra Pale Ale wasn't selling. People associated it with hoppier IPAs, but instead, it was and ale that was extra pale. Most people, unlike me, are not beer geeks, and we knew that.

The brewery consulted their ad agency, Helms Workshop, who came up with an awesome idea: the 99 pack. Filmed at Austin's Library of Beers, Whip In, the ad shows two customers hoisting the 99 pack over their heads as they walk down two aisles.

The corny little ad went global. My news clipper is full of

The original 20 packs sold out. The brewery will do another run, eventually totaling 99 cases.

FYI, their Fire Eagle IPA is damned good!


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 0 comments

06 September 2014

Fredericksburg Brewing Company’s 20th Anniversary Celebration - September 9

The oldest operating brewpub in Texas is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary!  Join us for a Brews & BBQ Bash and enjoy live music by The Sauerkrauts. 245 E. Main Street

5 to 9 pm.


posted by hiikeeba at 11:14 0 comments

04 September 2014

Horny Toad Brewery Open House - September 6

"We just wanted to let everybody know that our next Open House at Horny Toad Brewery is scheduled for Saturday the 6th of September from 2-8 pm. There will be five delicious hand-crafted ales on-tap to include the Msquite Bean Brown Ale. There will be pulled pork BBQ, sausage, and Diane’s award-winning beans so come hungry.

"Clint Halfmann will also be playing live music on the front patio beginning around 4pm, so take a break from the heat, come by and relax with a brew!

"Hope to see you there!

Horny Toad Brewing Company is at 313 Edwards Street in Rowena.


posted by hiikeeba at 09:36 0 comments

02 September 2014

Drink Craft Beer's 5 Rules to Rare Beer

Drink Craft Beer posted an editorial about how people should act around rare beer. I tend to obey all those rules, especially #s 1 and 2. When I see the latest Divine Reserve at the local honey hole, I automatically assume someone will be in after me, so I only buy 1 six pack. If it's there next week, though, it's fair game. And I never put it up on eBay.

Beer of Tomorrow posted an article further exploring #3, and the chase card mentality that is too often on display around these beers:

"Ironically our consumer culture has wired us to amass and hoard instead of simply consuming, and I would urge you to think about what you are more interested in having: a closet full of expensive and rare beers, or memories of drinking and sharing a wide variety of beers with your buddies. Every bottle in your cellar is a bottle of beer that you didn’t enjoy. Certainly don’t cellar a beer that you’ve never tried!"

I have a friend who travels a lot, and is always bringing great beer home to share with us, and if we can't be there to share, she'll wait until we can all get together. For her, the sharing of the beer is the most important part.

What do you think?


posted by hiikeeba at 08:00 1 comments