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    Sip, Taste & Brew… Bone Warmer Imperial Amber Ale

    Sip, Taste & Brew Notes for Grand Teton Bone Warmer Imperial amber Ale

    My Thoughts:

    This is a brew that should be shared. First, it comes in a 750 ml. bottle and second, it is 8.2% alcohol by volume.

    Needless to say, after looking at the technical data below, and noting the hefty alcohol content, the temptation is to “cellar” this brew and let it rest for a year or so. Then comes the anticipation of opening a beer that promises to offer rich flavors and a truly bone-warming experience. Both of these are found with this “One-Off” from Grand Teton Brewing Company.

    The rich flavors are, after a bit less than a year in the bottle, blended so tightly that what at first seems to be a one-note flavor soon develop into subtle nuances that demand slow sipping to fully appreciate. Take your time with this brew and let the flavor and warmth develop. As I mention in the above video, share this with a friend or two and enjoy with a good meal and conversation.

    The Technical Data:

    Style: “Imperial Amber Ale”

    Malt: Idaho 2-row Metcalfe, Harrington barley malt, dark German Munich, Caramel.

    Hops: Idaho Chinook.

    IBU: 22

    SRM: 36

    Abv. : 8.2%

    Original Gravity: 22 Plato


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    Sip, Taste and Brew: Heart of Darkness Stout

    Tasting Notes for Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Stout:

    My Thoughts:

    Here is one of the seasonal beers from Magic Hat Brewing Co. that has been in their portfolio for a few years and there is a good reason for that.

    It is an opaque deep brown colored stout that, when a light is shown through it, almost swallows the light. The head is a light brown closely knit foam that hold up well.

    The first refreshing swallow is instant gratification for those looking for a stout that relies on coffee notes tempered with a hint of chocolate. The finish is smooth and retains the balance of coffee and chocolate that start out in the beginning.

    As a desert brew this would finish a hearty meal on its own but just might accompany roasted chestnuts.

    Should you be able to find a bottle of this in warmer weather it would balance out the sweet char of grilled beef or “low & slow” BBQ pork ribs.

    The Technical Data:

    Style: Stout

    Malt: Pale, Crystal, Roasted Barley, Chocolate Malt, Munich Malt.

    Hops: Apollo, Goldings.

    IBU: 30

    SRM: 80

    Abv. : 5.7%


    Click on the following logos to get their side of the story:




    From The Library

    Beer Brewing for Everyone by Michael Hlatky

    Full Disclosure: For all you legal eagles and such, this book was sent to me a number of months ago by a media person from Schiffer Publishing Ltd., as a review book. Soon after, I inked a contract with the same publisher to write a book that is due in a couple of years. The opinions in the following are as unbiased as can be achieved after over thirty years following the microbrewing and home-brewing culture. End of disclosure statement.

    Now that is done and the book can be discussed.

    First of all the book itself is a nicely designed package. The cover, paper-weight and illustrations are a pleasure to peruse and even more informative when taken in context of the copy. Be advised that this book was published originally in Germany as Bierbrauen fur Jedermann by Leopold Stocker Verlag, Graz – Stuttgart (2011) and translated by Omicron Language Solutions LLC.

    I mention the above because, for the readers in the United States, from the first sentence through the rest of the book, the writing may seem a bit stilted. My reading-ear immediately heard the voice of Erich Von Stroheim or perhaps Hardy Kruger. The Teutonic tone continues into the context that the author places home-brewing. The explanation of German laws and regulations might leave United States readers a bit confused. Our neighbors from the north will at least be able to decipher the weights and measures that are in liters and kilos. U.S. folks will have to drag out calculator applications and work it out that way.

    The history of beer and the chapters on ingredients are also slanted to the European market. However, the chapter on Water is, or should be, important to any home-brewer. The knowledge of the chemical content of the water supply cannot be over-emphasized.

    A brief tour through commercial brewing procedures is informative and nicely terse.

    Most of the rest of the book is dedicated to the process of brewing a basic home-brewed beer. The instructions are precise in a way that is both informative and carefully directed. However, once again some of the techniques are euro-centric and might be confusing to U.S. folks. By the way, half-way through these chapters it was not a distraction though. In fact it was like visiting with a German friend who, although enthusiastic, was trying his best to be entertaining as well as informative. I know I miss half his references but take them in anyway.

    Once you learn the “Why” as well as the “How” of brewing-at-home it is time to try some of the various recipes. The recipes offered represent the major styles and well-known European brews. There are a few “clone” recipes included. The charts and ingredient lists are informative and also precise.

    Next to last there is a section explaining the United States Federal regulations in a brief but informative context and finally, the obligatory Glossary and interesting bibliography.

    This book is something that will interest United States readers. It would be a very good resource book for beginning and experienced home-brewers to have as a “second opinion” reference along with Charlie Papazian’s book and perhaps, if you can find it, Fred Eckhardt’s book.

    Hlatky, Michael. Beer Brewing for Everyone. Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA (2013)

    ISBN: 978-0-7643-4499-2



    Tasting notes: Soul Shine Belgian-Style Pale Ale

    Tasting Notes for Soul Shine Belgian-Style Pale Ale:

    My Thoughts:

    This is one of many “summer-cooler” beers that are on the market. The addition of citric flavored beverages to beer has a long tradition. Summers past would not have beer as tolerable without a Shandy or two or three. The plethora of citric flavored beer on the market this summer rivals the explosion of pumpkin-pie beers in the last of the twentieth century.

    Why use fruit-flavored beverages when the lemon-hinting Citra hop is available to help out the infamous Cascade Grapefruit tang so loved by hop heads?

    Nevertheless, these kinds of brews are most welcome when the temperature is in the three digits, the humidity is close to the temperature and you are lounging under an umbrella seated outside a favorite watering-hole. Toss in a bucket of steamed clams and it will do you no harm at all.

    The Technical Data:

    Malt: Europils, Wheat, Caramel.

    Hops: Falconer’s Flight, Cascade, Simco and Columbus.

    IBU: 25

    Abv. : 5.2%

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    This is the first of a continuing series of beer-tastings that will feature a way to home-brew a clone of the beer featured. Just click on the following link for more information:



    Brews and News 2 July 2014

    Sixth Annual July Good Beer Month™ Features Craft Beer Jam,

    Film Festival, Best of Boroughs

    Beer Sessions Radio™ and The Good Beer Seal are gearing up for the Sixth Annual July Good Beer Month™! We will be celebrating good beer all month long at the Good Beer Seal bars, as well as at WNYC’s The Greene Space, with our annual live Craft Beer Jam broadcasts. As we prepare to receive the official proclamation from Mayor de Blasio’s office, we are featuring several key events for the month, including the following:

    • Three sessions of the renowned Craft Beer Jam at WNYC's The Greene Space: Join Beer Sessions Radio™ host Jimmy Carbone for panels on July 9th, 16th and 23rd as beer luminaries such as Tommy Keegan (Keegan Ales), Kelly Taylor (KelSo Brewing), Mark Buford (Blue Point), and Augie Carton (Carton Brewing), among others, gather to discuss (and drink) with a live audience. 
    • A Beer Film Festival at Anthology Film Archives on July 29th with short films and videos curated by the Happy Hour Guys and Beer Nation TV, with beer from 508 Gastrobrewery brewmaster Chris Cuzme.
    • Kegs & Kluckers on July 14th: Just Food's annual fundraiser for The Chicken Project.
    • The return of Edible's Good Beer at 82 Mercer on July 31st where we will announce the 2014 Good Beer Seal Awards.

    In addition, this year’s July Good Beer Month™ will focus on the growth of new breweries coming online, particularly those in Queens and Brooklyn. Several bars and breweries will be doing simultaneous events on July 22nd featuring the best brews from the two boroughs. The Good Beer Seal will also be working with the NYC Brewers Guild to highlight events featuring locally-made brews.

    A full list of events and participating bars can be found at

    21st Amendment Brewery Rebels Again


    San Francisco, CA (July 2014) – Crisis. What Crisis? This July, 21st Amendment Brewery co-founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan are breaking out of Alcatraz – again – for the newest release of their Hop Crisis Imperial IPA. A few years ago, when hop prices shot through the roof and many brewers were forced to skimp on hops, the folks at 21st Amendment decided there was only one thing to do. They made the biggest, hoppiest IPA they could imagine and then aged it in oak for good measure. And this year’s special release includes a double dry hopping regimen with new, experimental hops added to old favorites.

    “We love to experiment with the hops in this beer each year and it’s especially fun to see how they interact with the oak,” says brewmaster O’Sullivan. “This year we are using a new, yet to be named, experimental hop as well as a new Australian variety and some classics like Saaz, Amarillo and Citra.  Coming in at 9.7% alcohol, it’s really balanced with subtle layers of flavor.”

    “The Alcatraz reference on our package is about our alter egos and their quest to ‘Free the Hops’,” noted Freccia. “And it’s a great opportunity to have fun with this beer on every level. A daring escape through the sewer pipe, surfing monster waves while being chased by a great white shark and a high speed getaway on the San Francisco cable car are all part of the adventure,” he adds. “Somehow I end up wearing a dress at the end of all of it, though, which I’m still not sure about.”

    Hop Crisis is part of 21st Amendment’s Insurrection Series of special, limited release beers. It is available starting July 1 at retail locations in four-pack, 12 oz. cans and on draft in all 17 of 21st Amendment’s current distribution territories, including CA, OR, WA, AK, ID, MN, OH, MA, NY, NJ, DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, GA and NC. For up-to-date availability, events and promotions, visit


    Victory Launches Beer Ice Cream Line, Just In Time For National Ice Cream Month CBS Philadelphia  - 59 minutes
    Call it a victory for ice cream and beer lovers everywhere.





    DOWNINGTOWN, PA, June 27, 2014 –Victory Brewing Company® (Victory), the popular Philadelphia-area craft brewer has a new take on the pint with the launch of Victory Ice Cream.
    Victory ice cream is made with wort, the flavorful, non-alcoholic liquid that results from the brewing of malted barley and fresh Brandywine water, the base of some of Victory’s most popular beverages. Because of this, the ice cream provides a combination of flavors reminiscent of Victory HopDevil, Storm King and Golden Monkey beer within a rich and creamy gourmet ice cream base.
    •       Hopped Up Devil, based on HopDevil IPA wort, marries cinnamon, cayenne, organic coffee and luscious chocolate flakes to create a cold, sweet, velvety treat with a kick.
    •       Storm Drop, featuring Storm King Imperial Stout wort, blends deep chocolate drops against a creamy chocolatey-stout base.
    •       Triple Monkey, which uses Victory’s popular Golden Monkey wort, combines full-flavored banana and a delicious pecan swirl to satisfy all your taste buds.
     “We’ve been making ice cream with beer wort in our brewpub for years and have had such great feedback from our fans that we wanted to introduce the Victory experience to a larger audience,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “The fans who are familiar with Victory beer will recognize the subtle tastes of some of their favorite brews in these delicious desserts.” 


    More Ice-cream news…

    Ben & Jerry’s Arrives on the PDX Scene with Free Scoops Business Wire
    BURLINGTON, Vt.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Calling all Ben & Jerry’s ice cream fans! It is officially the sweetest time of year. Today, Ben & Jerry’s ...

    Lobsters and beer go together like…

    Lobster Pound Brewpub, why didn’t I think of that? Bangor Daily News
    Back in January when the news came out that The Lobster Pound in Lincolnville was going to partner with Andrews Brewing Company also of ...

    Mixed news from Colorado…

    Hickenlooper's popular quirky image now under fire Boulder Daily Camera
    Four years ago, Democrat John Hickenlooper was the affable and engaging mayor of Denver, someone so widely popular that the chairman of the ...

    Yak and Yeti in Arvada celebrates 150th birthday of historic building Denver Post
    It's rumored to be haunted, it caught fire in 1929 and it was saved from a wrecking ball in 1997. It's the oldest Victorian house in Arvada, ...

    News from North of the border…

    City extends support for microbrew license applications Ottawa Business Journal
    The application would allow the city’s microbreweries to serve and sell their products where they make them. In a release, the city said it ...

    Keeping it honest… I wrote the cover blurb for this one…

    Beer Buzz: A Guide to the Heartland Nuvo
    A new book wonders if there's a a quintessential Heartland beer (Minnesotans love their bitter brews; other states like malt-centric ...

    From the food service folks…

    Diners opt for "cool" cocktails, craft beer over wine
    The outlook for wine sales is relatively rosy, but restaurant customers are opting for cocktails and craft brews when dining out for the "cool" factor, according to a survey conducted by Legal Sea Foods Beverage Director and Master of Wine Sandy Block. Several consumers surveyed at Legal Sea Foods restaurants said that because they can drink wine at home, they opt for cocktails while dining out, and many employees said they feel that wine is difficult and expensive to learn about. The Drinks Business online (U.K.) (6/30)


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