Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

 This one just sounds way too crazy good to get the stats wrong. So in an effort to pass on the correct 13 ingredients in this bakers dozen concoction, I've had to go straight to the source....
"Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, Weyermann Beechwood Smoked Malt, House-smoked Hickory Malt, Great Western 2 Row, Munich, C15, C75 Malts; Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Pure Maple Flavoring, Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution & Independent Hops, Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast"
  Now I've heard of collaborations before but this one has to, (pardon the pun) take the cake. Rogue, being the outside the box thinkers that they are have partnered with one of the Portland's most popular confectioners, Voodoo Doughnut. The outrageous doughnuts served up here will cast a horrid hex on those trendy cupcake factories that seem to be popping up all over the place. If you don't believe me have a look at their VooDoo Video..

 Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale is currently only available at the Rogue Bars at a cost of $13 for the 22oz. pounder, or via mail order. This the direct link: Store
For more information on Voodoo Doughnuts check 'em out here: Voodoo Doughnuts 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Bruery 4 Calling Birds

 Black Tuesday has only just begun on the west coast and The Bruery is already in the holiday spirit releasing  "4 Calling Birds" at their Provisions store. Merry Christmas? Check with The Bruery. Cheers!

2011 Treasure Coast Beer Fest Recap

The 4th Annual Treasure Coast Beer Fest came to Ft. Pierce FL this past weekend, showcasing some of the best craft beers from around the country. In addition many of our local Florida brews made appearances. Breweries such as Dunedin, Holy Mackerel, Swamp Head, Ybor, Cigar City, Orange Blossom Pilsner, Funky Buddha, Tequesta Brewing, Florida Brewing, Due South, Saint Somewhere, and a brand new nano brewery called Pirate Pig. In all there were over 40 different breweries represented, as well as the Treasure Brewmasters Home Brew Club. The event is held in the Ft. Pierce City Hall parking garage. Parking was free on the upper level. Given Florida's propensity for bad weather this time of year this sounded like a rather smart location, but upon arrival it turned out to be a beautifully sunny clear day with temps in the high 70's which left me wishing we were outside. There was a good ratio of draft to bottled beer to sample, and as is the case at most beer festivals the limited edition beers went fast. I'm not much for taking sampling notes, it's all I can do just juggling the camera, my sample mug, chatting with brewery reps and networking the blog. I will say that the one beer did stand out was Hop Gun IPA from Funky Buddha Brewery out of Boca Raton Florida. This was an incredibly well balanced IPA. The fresh hop aroma and taste led me to be leave it may have been dry hopped. The beer is made with a blend  Marris Otter and Caramel malts and comes in at a sessionable 6.5%ABV. I did some checking and fans on RateBeer gave it a well deserved 96 rating. The Funky Buddha is located at  2621 N. Federal Hwy Boca Raton FL. Check them out at: The Funky Buddha for more info. If you have a chance to get to this event next year, do so. Well I guess I'll leave you with my pics from the event.  Cheers!



Stone Vertical Epic 11

 Stone Brewing set to release the next edition in their 'Vertical Epic" series. 11/11/11 is scheduled for release on 11/7/11. Why you may ask are they releasing Vertical on the 7th and not the 11th? Well I'll let the folks from Stone explain that... "As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics and twists & turns as the adventure unfolds. These bottle-conditioned ales are specifically designed to be aged until sometime after December 12th, 2012. Provided you can wait that long. At that time, enjoy them in a "vertical" tasting. Each one unique to it's year of release. Each with its own "twist & turn" in the plotline. Each one released one year, one month and one day from the previous year's edition". Cheers!

For more information on Stone Vertical Epic visit : Stone Brewing Co.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Single-Hopped Beers

 There was a recent discussion on one of my network blog sites regarding single-hopped beers... "How many of you out there are actively searching for single-hop beers when you visit your favorite beer store?"
 Well that got me to thinking about the concept of single-hopped beers and how they could possible establish themselves as viable category of the craft beer market. As I read on, the pro's and con's of names like Harmon and Mikkeller were debated and it prompted me to pen this response...."I believe that single-hop beers are necessity in the craft world. There are many hop varieties which alone can provide all the wonderful aromatic, taste and bittering character of great multi-hopped beer. But what sets them apart is that they define their beer as "individual". When Jim Koch conceived "Latitude 48 Deconstructed" it was more of a teaching tool rather than a marketing ploy for his product. Simply, single-hop beers allow drinkers to identify the merits and short comings of each hop. But more than that it allows them to identify what each hop contributes to a multi-hopped beer. I only wish I had more single-hop beers available in my area."  Here are just few single hop beers I discovered. Cheers!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Full Sail IPA

 This Euro style IPA comes to us courtesy of our friends at Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, OR. The beer pours a filtered golden color, with a modest 1/2" head which quickly dissipated down to about 1/8". I had read that the beer was very aromatic, so I guess my expectations were rather high. I actually found the aroma to be on the mild side. The hop character seemed muted to the nose. Citrus was much more prevalent, leaning more toward orange rather than grapefruit. Full Sail says their IPA checks in at 60 IBU's but this beer was bitter on the front all the way through the long lingering aftertaste. There's a good malt character there, but that was also overpowered by bitterness. I will say this, the beer drank and finished crisp. As it warmed the grapefruit aspect became more prevalent. Full Sail IPA is 6% ABV and brewed with 2-row pale malt, hopped with East Kent Goldings and Challenger hops. The beer really did not jump out at me. I'm left questioning who it will really appeal to. I found it far too bitter to be a "gateway" IPA. With it's lack of dimensional hop aroma and mouth feel I don't really see it appealing to hop heads either. None-the-less give it a try. If you like crisp drinking, bitter beers this just may be the one for you. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Is Your Beer Safe To Drink?

 Fortunately for me Florida is a state which allows distributors to provide line cleaning services to it's customers. This service is usually free of charge as well. But there are many other states which prohibit this service. In those states it becomes the responsibility of the bar owner to assure that the lines are cleaned on a regular basis. Proprietors who's knowledge of  beer extends no further than profit and popularity, will likely lump beer service in with the rest of the knives they're already juggling. "Beer Clean" lines and glassware are all fundamental principals of proper beer service. Lines should be professionally cleaned every two weeks. Glassware should be rinsed prior to serving, as seen in the video. And please, please stop using those horrible glass chillers. They only serve to freeze a myriad of potential airborne infections to the inside of the glass, which in turn will end up in your beer. So what is the moral of the story? $500 Bucks a month keeps you on the right side of this Investigative Report.
For more information on Draft Sytems & Cleaning visit: Micro Matic U.S.A.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Taxation on Beer

 If the government has it's way you may be paying more for that pint of beer in some states. In other states you may now be able to buy beer, wine and liquor on Sunday. Will the increase in your states ABV standard come with an additional tax as well? Reaching into the pockets of retailers as a source for State and Local revenue only means that consumers will have the increase passed on to them. Regardless of how any new taxation is levied, it appears that the hardest hit could be American Craft Brewers and their supporters.

 The biggest concern to small brewers in the "excise tax". This is the per barrel tax which breweries pay to the federal government based on the annual volume of beer produced. Now the MSNBC  report you have seen relates more to State and Local taxes and new legislation, but it's the excise tax you should understand. The Brewers Association has a different position on new legislation, taxation and the positive effect it would have on how craft brewers would be able do business. The concept is best describe this way on their website....

"Consumer demand for the bold and innovative beers brewed by America's small brewers has grown significantly in recent years.  But beer produced by small, independent brewers still represents only 6% of the beer sold nationwide.  As small businesses, small brewers face many economic challenges. Because of differences in economies of scale, small brewers have higher costs for production, raw materials, packaging and market entry than larger, well-established multi-national competitors.  Furthermore, efforts to increase state taxes for all brewers continue to threaten jobs and their economic stability.
To help strengthen American small businesses and preserve Main Street jobs, the Brewers Association supports legislation to recalibrate the federal beer excise tax rate for America's small brewers.  H.R. 1236 and S. 534 seek a recalibration of the federal excise tax rate for small brewers. Identical bi-partisan legislation introduced in the 111th Congress (2009-2010) gained the support of 133 U.S. Representatives and 28 U.S. Senators.
  • Currently, a small brewer that produces less than 2 million barrels of beer per year is eligible to pay $7.00 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels produced each year.  Adjusting this rate to $3.50 per barrel would provide approximately $19.9 million per year to help strengthen our nation's smallest brewers and support their efforts to maintain and generate jobs.
  • Once production exceeds 60,000 barrels, a small brewer must pay the same $18 per barrel excise tax rate that the largest brewer pays at over 100 million barrels.  Adjusting the tax rate to $16 per barrel on beer production above 60,000 barrels up to 2 million barrels would provide small brewers with an additional $27.1 million per year that would be used to support significant long-term investments and create jobs by growing their businesses on a regional or national scale.
  • The small brewer tax rate was established in 1976 and has never been updated.  Since then the annual production of America's largest brewery increased from about 45 million to 105 million barrels.  The ceiling defining small breweries is 2 million barrels.  We support raising this ceiling to 6 million barrels to more accurately reflect the intent of the original differentiation between large and small brewers in the U.S.
The Brewers Association urges you to support legislation to create a graduated beer excise tax rate of $3.50 and $16 for America's small brewers.  An economic impact study by Dr. John Friedman of Harvard University on H.R. 1236 and S. 534 found that the bills would generate approximately $153 million in economic activity in the first year and almost $865 million over five years. Federal tax revenue would fall by $14.5 million in the first year and only $81.9 million over five years. The study concludes that over five years such a recalibration would generate nearly 4,400 jobs in the first year and an average of 300 jobs in each of the subsequent years."

I know my position on this issue, so lets hear yours. Cheers!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Central Florida Home Brewers 2011 Sunshine Challange

 The Central Florida Home Brewers will once again be hosting their annual Sunshine Challenge. The Sunshine Challenge is a 2-day event combining a wide variety of activities in the Central Florida Home Brewers club homebrew competition. The location is the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel at 600 North Lake Destiny Drive, Maitland FL. This is the premier event for Home Brewers in and around Central Florida. Deadline for all entry's is Wed. Oct 26th and must be delivered to Hearts Homebrew  our local home brew supply store. For more information on the 2011 Sunshine Challenge  visit  the Central Florida Home Brewers site. Cheers!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dogfish Head & Pearl Jam Celebrate PJ20

 2011 Marks the twentieth anniversary of  one of the most influential rock bands to rise out of the 90's grunge rock scene, Pearl Jam. Based in Seattle Washington Pearl Jam has remained somewhat intact led by the charismatic and often opinionated Eddie Vetter (lead vocal),  Jeff Ament (bass guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), and Mike McCready (lead guitar). The band's current drummer is Matt Cameron who joined the band in 1998. Former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons was also with the band for a period of time and was instrumental in bringing Eddie on board at the inception of the band. Oddly enough early comments from Australian fans, who have already seen the film, say that Jack is mysteriously absent. PJ20 is a film documentary which chronicles the bands sudden rise to fame and the turbulent yet tumultuous success they would find in the years which followed. Filmed under the guide of Oscar winning Director Cameron Crowe, PJ20 was conceived from over 1,200 hours of rarely and never-before seen footage compiled over the course of Pearl Jam's 20 year history. Set for limited theatrical release in the U.S., Europe and Australia, the film is also scheduled for a PBS premier on Oct. 21st at 9:00pm (ET/PT). This will all culminate with the DVD release of PJ20 on Oct 25th.

 Joining in the Celebration of  Pearl Jam's 20 year anniversary, Dogfish Head brewery is set to release the
single-batch limited edition brew called Faithfull Ale. On the heel's of Dogfish Head's two previous commemorative beers one marking the re-release of  Miles Davis's acclaimed album Bitches Brew and the other, Hellhound, which celebrated the 100 birthday of legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson, Faithfull Ale will likely follow in their tracks of anticipation and success. Faithful Ale is a 7% ABV, Belgian-style golden ale delicately hopped to 20 IBUs and fruit-forward from 10 incremental additions of black currants over a one-hour boil. In keeping with Pearl Jam's long standing ethic for charitable contributions, Dogfish Head will donate $20,000 to the The Nature Conservancy. Dogfish Head has also assured us that Faithfull Ale will be available in all of their current markets. But I suggest that you get it early to avoid any last minute Jam.  Cheers!

For more information on PJ20 or Faithfull Ale visit: PJ20 & Faithfull Ale

Sierra Nevada News

 Sierra Nevada Brewing has announced that they will make a change to their seasonal line of beers. In January their Glissade Golden Bock will be replaced Sierra's new Ruthless Rye IPA. This comes as the result of the flat market share performance of Glissade over the past two years.

 Change is also coming for one of Sierra's most successful limited edition releases. Hoptimum, a Whole-Cone Imperial IPA with a massive 100 IBU's and 10.4%ABV, will move to a 12oz. four-pack configuration from its original 24oz bottle. The 2011 400 barrel release of Hoptimum sold out in just three weeks. The brewery is planning on increasing 2012 production to 1,000 barrels.

 The craft beer rumor mill has been a buzz all year long with the announcement that Sierra Nevada was in search of a location for their second brewing facility. Tennessee is the state that has come up most frequently, but a number of other East Coast locations are being tossed around as well. A final decision on the location is expected before the end of the year.   

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brew Dog Brews on Sea Floor!

 Well those crazy boys from Scotland are at it again. Known for being the most successful craft brewery in the UK, Brew Dog has made recent headlines for creating outrageously high octane beers such as the 32% Tactical Nuclear Penguin and the 41% Sink the Bismark. Martin and James, the brain-trust behind Brew Dog, have now sunk to the bottom of the North Sea for the latest creation "Sunk Punk"

Sunk Punk from BrewDog on Vimeo.

  Sunk Punk is a 7.1% IPA actually fermented at the bottom of the North Sea, containing buckweed distilled sea salt and rum. Brew Dog lets us in on where the idea for Sunk Punk came from.....
"Scottish folklore states that to calm a storm, you should throw a bottle of beer into the ocean. According to legend, a fisherman with a witch for wife would go fishing every day and catch nothing. The witch would go to the shore and cast spells of luck to turn her husband’s fortunes. She then discovered that this was because he was actually drinking ale rather than fishing, so she decided to put a curse on the coastline that meant if he ever tried to come to shore, a storm would start and the boat would sink. Brewing a beer under the waves is intended to halt the storms and reverse the curse and teach the witch bitch a lesson."

 As is the case with most of the single batch limited releases from Brew Dog we can't really be sure that any bottles will reach our shores. But we'll keep our skull and bones crossed. Cheers!
For more information on Sunk Punk or Brew Dog visit: Sunk Punk

The Bruery's Black Tuesday 2011

 The annual October ritual is once again upon us. From a small town in Orange County California the Famille Rue brewery commonly known as "The Bruery" will, on Tuesday October 25, 2011, release one of the most highly sought-after, limited edition brews produced by an American Craft Brewery. Yes my friends, "Black Tuesday" is here!

The Bruery // Black Tuesday from Redtail Media on Vimeo.

 As always the release of Black Tuesday is as complex as the beer itself. Those who would call themselves "lucky" would likely welcome the challenge to attempt a chance at procuring but one of these vessels of  "Black Holiness". Tickets are made available through The Bruery website about a month prior to the release. Your ticket price includes entry to the release party at The Bruery and your 3 bottles of Black Tuesday. Yes I said " The Bruery".  That's the only place to receive Black Tuesday. They do not ship. If you believe you are able to conquer these challenges, I regret to inform you that tickets for the 2011 release party are sold out. Should there be any bottles left available, those will be sold through The Bruery website and also must be picked up at The Bruery. Once again I must, with deep regret, concede that I will not be partaking in the Black Tuesday festivities. I will though, forge ahead knowing that there is always next year.  Cheers!
If you would like further information on Black Tuesday and The Bruery please visit: The Bruery

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tröegs & Fat Head's Brewing Team up

Fresh off the Troegs FB page....  "Troegs and Fat Head's Brewing Companies are hooking up for a collaboration brew on October 11th to give Fathead's Brewer Matt Cole a chance to kick the tires and take our 25 barrel brewhouse for a spin around the block before decommissioning it and moving it to its new home in Cleveland, Ohio. Fatheads has made quite a name for themselves with their award-winning Headhunter IPA, so Matt asked if we could collaborate on a hoppy ale (no, it’s not Headhunter!) to christen his new brewhouse. Part of the Scratch Series, Fat Scratch Fever will debut in early November at the new Troegs Brewery in Hershey and at both Fatheads locations." Cheers!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ipswich Brewery's Latest Release

 On October 29th Ipswich Brewery will celebrate their newest project release. Known as "5 Mile" this new line of limited-edition, single batch beers will be available in stores in late Oct. The 5 Mile concept is based on the "brew local" concept where some if not all the ingrediants come from local area agriculture. In a recent Ipswich news letter they explain the idea behind 5 Mile, "We created 5 Mile with the sole purpose of crafting exceptional beers using local ingredients. 5 Mile's mission is to use at least 50% MA ingredients while always having at least one ingredient from within 5 Miles of Ipswich. We believe there is nothing better than supporting local agriculture to make a product that is unique to Massachusetts and the North Shore.". This pioneering spirit has proved successful with such lines as Sierra Nevada's Estate series and Rogue's G.Y.O. Chatoe series.
  The first offering in the series will be the "5 Mile Stock Ale". A dry-hopped ale using Cascade hops direct from the brewery's own  hop field. The barley was grown and malted locally and acquired through Massachusetts Brewers Supported Agriculture. Ipswich describes the ale as such, "5 Mile is a big, malty, stock ale brewed to be enjoyed by Locavores and Omnivores alike.". Seeing as how I don't live within 5 Miles of the Ipswich Brewery I better get on my bike and start peddling, if I hope to make it there in time for the Oct 29th release party. Cheers!
For more information please visit : Ipswich Brewery 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Well the votes are in and if you happen to have been vacationing on planet Mars for the past two weeks here is the short list of winners from the top 5 categories at this years GABF courtesy of the Brewers Association.

  • American-Style India Pale Ale, 176 entries
Gold: Elevated IPA, La Cumbre Brewing Co, Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Deviant Dale's, Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, CO
Bronze: Head Hunter IPA, Fat Heads Brewery, North Olmsted, OH
  • Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, 118 entries
Gold: Melange a Trois, Nebraska Brewing Co, Papillion, NE
Silver: BBJ (Bourbon Barrel Johan), Sun King Brewing Co, Indianapolis, IN
Bronze: Barrel Aged Naked Evil BBW, Hoppin' Frog Brewing Co, Akron, OH
  • American-Style Pale Ale, 105 entries
Gold: Pale 31, Firestone Walker Brewing Co, Paso Robles, CA
Silver: Mission St. Pale, Firestone Walker Brewing Co Bronze:Ute Trail Pale Ale, Amicas, Salida, CO
  • American-Style Strong Pale Ale, 103 entries
Gold: Pako's Eye P.A., Snake River Brewing, Jackson, WY
Silver: AleSmith IPA, AleSmith Brewing Co, San Diego, CA
Bronze: Hop Knot, Four Peaks Brewing Co, Tempe, AZ
  • Imperial India Pale Ale, 102 entries
Gold: Citra Double IPA, Kern River Brewing, Kernville, CA
Silver: Double Jack, Firestone Walker Brewing Co, Paso Robles, Bronze: Imperial IPA, Epic Brewing Co, Salt Lake City, UT

 Now if you want  the complete list of all the winners you can download it here: Brewers Association