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      Thursday
      Jan292015

      Too Much!

      This piece is a look at the place that beverage alcohol has, or should have, in the healthy, well-adjusted human being.

      The major sources of a great deal of the misinformation are well meaning folks determined to promote a particular lifestyle. North America in particular has had, with the exception of the major urban cities of the United States of America and the Canadian province of Quebec, a less than accepting attitude towards alcohol consumption of any kind… at least officially.

      The causes and effects of the Prohibition movements I will leave to the history writers. However, I would like to report on that elusive “moderation” when it comes to beverage alcohol consumption.

      You might have noticed my use of “beverage alcohol” rather than beer or wine or spirits or booze or hooch or any other euphemism used to describe the sub groups of beverages that have ethyl alcohol as a base. This way I can include all in my search for moderation. To leave one out would be a disservice to that beverage. I will visit, only for context, the argument made that “a drink is a drink is a drink” when amounts of alcohol per drink consumed is brought up.

      I will also not visit the sociologically twisted path of wine at the dinner table but no beer on the beach and binge drinking. However I will be looking at the definition of “binge drinking” which should be interesting.

      What brought on this rant?

      For those of us of a certain age, a visit to the medical doctor should be an annual thing. Of particular interest to the medical professionals are blood pressure and weight maintenance. Survivors of traumatic illness are of special interest. This is where I fit in. I’m a middle aged male cancer survivor. This means visits to health professionals of one sort or another every six months. This visit to the medical team the topic of alcohol consumption came up when my profession was noted. After telling the young doctor that most mornings I start the day with a beer tasting and posting the results of that beer tasting on my site. I went further to infer that my mental health would take a turn for the worse if I missed my walk to lunch at an assortment of watering holes and three pints of beer. Her alarmed reaction was enough for me to fear for her health. She strongly suggested that I seek counseling for my problem. At that point I told her what she wanted to hear and kept my responses to “yes” and “no” until she relented and went away to file her report.

      Not Enough Communication?

      This little event left me pensive. The fact that I hadn’t admitted that I only need to taste two ounces of beer at most to make a full set of tasting notes or that lunch usually takes three hours and is more than what most call a full meal was of course a failure to communicate on both our parts of the interview. I should have prefaced the answer by telling her what I do for a living and that my “lunches” often are spread over three or four hours at one or two eating establishments and most often includes rather substantial servings of well-made good quality food. Perhaps I should have prefaced my response with the mention that not just a few lunches involve the tasting of wines both red and white. The tasting always including the learning of the nature of the vineyard and the techniques used to make that particular wine truly unique. The learning about the cuisine of the area where the vineyard has its roots as well as local cultural traditions expands not only the senses of taste and smell but the expansion of knowledge.

      Perhaps she could have begun the interview by asking me what I had for the last three meals I had consumed. That basic question would reveal more than just my food fetishes. It would have told her my attitude about health, my sense of self and respect of healthful living. It would have also placed my alcohol consumption in context.

      A “Case” of Moderation?

      This is not to say that my blood alcohol content has not exceeded sobriety in some cases. This is not to say that I have not occasionally over-indulged in the particular beverage alcohol that I was imbibing in. When offered the opportunity to celebrate almost anything you will not need to ask for my participation. Tell me what we are celebrating only if you must.

      However, there is, to my way of thinking, a big difference between celebrating life and doing research. Yes, there are times that the two overlap and that must be recognized in the same way a particular professor’s class became more than a class necessary for graduation. It was an experience that changed how you looked at everything. This phenomena happens often if you are employed in a profession that you truly like practicing.

      How much is enough?

      What have I learned from the above experience? First, communication is my profession so it would behoove me to exercise my professional skills when verbally communicating with people, especially people in the medical profession. Second, context is essential in communication. And finally, there can never be too much good communication because good communication does more than just connect you with the person you are communicating with. It also gives them an infusion of good communication and knowing it or not, that exposure will influence the way they will communicate with the next person.

      Too much to drink?

      As soon as you don’t need convincing that you are smartest person in the room.

       

      Wednesday
      Jan282015

      LAGERED BELOW FREEZING... REVEALED 

      “Ask and ye shall receive.”

      The following responses were received by BeerBasics.com regarding the posting of the above illustration, and a semi-understanding of physics.

      Thanks to the brewers who answered and to those with a working knowledge of the laws of thermodynamics.

      Lemcke Keith           

      Jan 21 (2 days ago)                

      Its common. Beer can be stored below 32F because of its alcohol content.

      K

       

      Randy Lee

      Jan 21 (2 days ago)

      Simple really.  30F is a great temperature for lagering.  Beer doesn't freeze till somewhere below that (even coors light).  As close as you can get it to that, you're better off with a lager (at least with the good yeasts).

      Cold aging smooths out the flavors. We get ours down towards 32F in the winter but not that cold.  If we had more industrial ammonia systems, we could go that far down.

      Cheers,

      Randy Lee

      Viking Brewing Company

      Dallas, WI

       

      Aaron Brodniak

      Jan 20 (3 days ago)

      You certainly can lager below freezing. Although, with such a beer as Coors that would result in ice particles. Higher gravity beers would still freeze, just not as readily.

      Beers,

      Aaron

       

      Kenneth Zuckerman

      Jan 20 (3 days ago)

      I ain;t no chemist, but a liquid with 4.5% alcohol in it would have a freezing point a bit below 32 . They could be lagering it at 31.9 degrees which would by the smallest of margins make their statement factual.Nor do they say how long they do it for.

      Read on - the math part is on you!

      Scientific AmeriKen: Alcohol and Freezing - determining the freezing ability of water as a function of impurity!

      Scientific AmeriKen: Alcohol and Freezing - determining ...

        Water is found almost everywhere and despite its vital importance to every living creature on the planet - many aspects of this substance are poorly under...

      View on www.scientificamerik...

      Ken Zuckerman

       

      Villa, Keith

      Jan 20 (3 days ago)

      Peter,

      Not sure if anyone has gotten back to you on this, but the freezing point of many beers is around 26 to 29 degrees, due to the alcohol.   The typical freezing point that everyone popularly refers to is 32 degrees, which is the freeIng point of water.  Lagering below 32 degrees is very possible and usually leads to a more refined taste. 

      Cheers,

      Keith

       

      Eric Sørensen

      Jan 20 (3 days ago)

      Basic cellar technique for cold conditioning is to keep the beer below serving temperature before clarification. Beer doesn't freeze at the same temperature as water due to the alcohol content. Beers that are high gravity brewed, as most large brewers do, would have an even lower freeze point as they have a higher alcohol content prior to being debrewed with deaerated carbonated water prior to packaging.

      I'll bet they also "triple hop" their beers...

      Cheers,

      Eric

       

      Matt Reich

      Jan 20 (3 days ago)

      Hey Peter,

      Depending on the style, some beers can be as cold as -2C before they form ice crystals.

      Best,

      Matt Reich

       

      Troy Paski

      Jan 20 (3 days ago)                

      I've seen that a number of times...

      Marketing, just like Miller Lite is "Cold Filtered"....  ;-)

       

      Mick Deering

      Jan 20 (3 days ago)

      Could be since fermentation is exothermic, the ambient or lager temp might be below frezzring without the wort itself ever dropping below freezing.  and a water alcohol solution has a lower freezing point than water alone.  tho the water may start to form crystals.  these are removed to make eisbier

      Michael 'Mick' Deering

       

       

      Tuesday
      Jan272015

      BREWS & NEWS 27 January ‘15

      Arizona Craft Brewers Guild Giving Away Wedding to Lucky Couple

       

      PHOENIX, Ariz.- Do you like spontaneity? Are you a craft beer lover? Do you want to get married by a Brewer at Strong Beer Festival? Would you like a free wedding? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild’s “Hop Down the Aisle” Impromptu Wedding is for you.

      On Valentine’s Day, February 14h, 2015 at 12:30 p.m., one lucky couple will walk down the aisle at the 15th annual Strong Beer Festival.  The Catch? They will only have 24-hours’ notice until beer glasses start clinking and wedding bells are ringing.

      Couples from across the state are encouraged to submit their love story to the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild Judges. Whether the story is heartwarming, hilarious, peculiar or all of the above, the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild wants to hear how you fell in love.

      Here’s how it works:

      To enter, couples must submit and commit to the following:

      • Send a one page, 500 words or less, email to wedding@azbeerweek.com on why you want to get hitched at Arizona Strong Beer Festival™ 2015.
      • The name of both parties, phone number and email address
      • Must be able to appear for an interview on Wednesday, February 12th.
      • Must be able to obtain an Arizona Marriage License prior to February 14, 2015.
      • All submissions must be received by February 1, 2015 at midnight.  
      • No purchase required to participate.

      After the judges deliberate between contenders, selected applicants will be invited to come down to Scottsdale Beer Company on February 9th from 10-12 p.m. A panel will then select the lucky couple, who will be notified on February 13th.

      With only 24 hours’ notice, the bride and groom won’t have much time to wrap their head around the excitement. However, the only thing they need to worry about is which craft beer they will drink first as a married couple.

       

      FROM THE WEB…

      Google…


      Microbrewers get behind industry review

      Globalnews.ca

      “The only place in the province we can do that right now is next door in our offsale brewpub area,” Heise said. “Nowhere else can you get that type of a ...

      Saskatchewan craft beer lovers welcome review of industry - News Talk 980 CJME

      Full Coverage

       


      Friends to open microbrewery

      TheChronicleHerald.ca (registration)

      The first time the founding partners of Wrought Iron Brewery Co. in Halifax tried making home brew together as engineering students, the carboy ..

       

      Yahoo…

      'Artisan marketplace' with brewery, restaurant proposed for SLO The San Luis Obispo Tribune  - 15 hours
      Plans for an artisan marketplace in downtown San Luis Obispo were approved this week, paving the way for a brewery, restaurant and brewpub, ...

      Brothers-in-law to open Pleasant Ridge micropub WCPO Cincinnati  - 1 hour
      The Cincinnati brewery boom has another name to add to the mounting list of projects that aim to open in 2015.

      Future Santee brewery set to brew inside existing Santee brewery San Diego Reader  - 37 minutes
      John Marshall , Kevin Lewis , and Steve Garcia have lived and breathed brewing and punk rock for years. They look back to the emergence and ...

       

      FROM THE BREWERIES…

      Saint Arnold Brewing Company Plans for Cans

      HOUSTON, January 16, 2015 – Saint Arnold Brewing Co., the oldest craft brewery in Texas, today reported record shipments of more than 66,000 barrels of beer in 2014 while also unveiling plans to start packaging two of its year-round beers in cans next month.

      Saint Arnold is currently installing a new canning line manufactured by CFT Packaging USA. The new system, which is expected to be online by mid-to-late February, features a 20-head filler that can package up to 160 cans per minute, and a depalletizer from Ska Fabricating. The brewery plans to introduce Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer and Santo in cans before the end of February with Saint Arnold Summer Pils to follow in April.

      Dale’s Pale Ale Leads Oskar Blues in Growth in 2014

      Oskar Blues Brewery posted another year of growth in 2014, which included the release of new beer PINNER Throwback IPA in the brewery's home states of Colorado and North Carolina. PINNER will be available year-round in all 41 states to which the brewery distributes soon.

      ###

      Tuesday
      Jan202015

      LAGERED BELOW FREEZING?

      The following is the accepted definition of “Lagering”(see footnotes and sitations).

      “Lagering is a form of beer maturation on the yeast that usually lasts for several weeks, if not months, at or near-freezing temperatures…” (1)

      “The process of aging a beer at cool temperatures (35F-50F or 2C-10C) for several weeks or months… During the slow cold-aging process, many of the yeast by-products that contribute to off-flavors are reduced, and the proteins and polyphenols that create chill haze can settle out of the beer.” (2)

      “All shades of opinion govern what happens next. The traditional Brewer of lager beers will insist that beer must be stored on a decreasing temperature regimen from 5°C to 0°C over a period of months. Others are convinced however, that no useful change in beer quality occurs in this time and that this period can be substantially curtailed. All are agreed, however about the merits of chilling beer to introduce stability to it. For most Brewers this involves taking the beer to as low a temperature as possible, short of freezing it. In practice this means -1°C for a few perhaps three days.… The colder the beer: -1°C for three days is far better than 1°C for two weeks.” (3)

       

      If the above is true… explain the following to me please!

       

       

      Monday
      Jan052015

      Brews & News 5 January 2015

      HEADLINES…

      The Boston Herald claims that 2015 May Be A Big Year For Beer

      News from our northern neighbor… Saskatchewan microbreweries call for revised liquor laws

      FROM THE WEB…

      Handmade in India The Hindu  
      The microbreweries are not only brewing handcrafted beers but also advise customers on pairing food with them at the Biere Club ...

      Fifteen beers for 2015 from Madison and Wisconsin breweries - Isthmus  
      The upcoming year will be another great one for craft beer enthusiasts. As breweries open and expand, trends in sours and barrel-aging take ...

      Good news or bad news…

      Kentucky's craft beer scene exploding

      Kentucky's craft beer and microbrewery scene has erupted in recent years, especially in Louisville and Lexington, and 2015 is shaping up as another banner year for brewing and drinking fine beers. Four breweries have opened in Louisville in the last two years, with at least two more expected next year, and four have debuted in Lexington. Complete Story

      NOTES FROM THE BUSINESS…

      I found out about Pike Brewing Co. celebrating their 25th year when Charles Finkel sent the following note…

      Hello Peter,

      I found this email in my draft folder this afternoon. Thought you still might be interested:

      The Pike Brewing Company celebrated 25 years on Friday. We hosted the 2nd World’s Shortest, non - motorized uphill parade from Copperworks Distillery on Seattle’s Waterfront, to Pike.

      All the best for a great new year.

      Charles           

      NOTES FROM THE BREWERIES…

      SIERRA NEVADA LAUNCHES THREE NEW BEERS

      Two year-rounds (Hop Hunter IPA, Nooner Pilsner) and a Beer Camp seasonal.

       Early 2015 sees Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. rolling out a hop-heavy Hop Hunter IPA and the sessionable Nooner Pilsner. Also on tap… Beer Camp Hoppy Lager.

      Hop Hunter IPA features oil from wet hops steam distilled in the hop field, minutes after harvest. This hop essence, alongside traditional hops, create a particular IPA experience. Hop Hunter IPA will be available year-round in 12-ounce bottles and on draught.

      Sierra Nevada will also introduce its first year-round lager with Nooner Pilsner. Nooner is a refreshing and aromatic German-style pilsner, hopped with whole-cone European hop varietals, available on draught, in six-pack bottles, and in twelve-pack cans. 

      This year’s Beer Camp Hoppy Lager is a reimagined encore of the hop-forward collaboration with San Diego’s Ballast Point.

      All of these new releases will be widely available throughout the Sierra Nevada distribution footprint and can be found using the brewery’s Beer Locator.

      # # #

      Full Sail Brewing Introduces Session Export Premium Golden Lager

      Session Export, brewed in the Dortmunder Export lager style. Export pours a deep golden color and imported hop varieties impart noble hop aromas with subtle herbal and hop spice notes. Hop bitterness and malt sweetness are balanced with a firm, smooth, mineral/malt character and clean finish. So rich, so elegant, so well-traveled - Imported all the way from Hood River, Oregon, Session Export is available in 12-packs and on draft from winter to spring. ABV 5.8% IBU 28