Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Brewed Awakening

Brewed Awakening: Behind The Beers And Brewers Leading  The World's Craft Beer Revolution
By Joshua M. Bernstein

Fine wine has always had its expert guides to taste and terroir. Why not beer? Funky, young, and smart, this is the ultimate beer geek's companion, covering everything from the homebrew renaissance to nanobreweries to many of America's preeminent beer events and festivals.There's a revolution brewing among craft beer makers: They're reviving long-forgotten recipes, dosing brews with wild yeasts to create new flavors, and using organic grains and hops to forge a delicious new frontier of beer. And no one's better equipped to tell us what's happening than Joshua M. Bernstein, former Gourmet.com writer and one of the world's foremost beer experts.  He covers all of today's top trends, including high-alcohol, bourbon barrel-aged, cask-conditioned, and even gluten-free beers.Designed to look just like Joshua's notebook and featuring labels and photos, this extreme guide is a one-stop shop for cutting-edge beer technology, taste, and information.

Joshua M. Bernstein tells us about his book.. "Why Brewed Awakening? Concerning beer, the last decade has witnessed more seismic changes than any time since Prohibition. There are more than 1,700 craft breweries in America, from community-based nanobreweries to the new breed of national brands such as Dogfish Head and Stone. Untethered from stodgy tradition, and driven by unbridled creativity, American and international brewers are leading a boundary-less charge into the global future of beer. I’ve spent the last six years covering the craft beer industry, traveling from Asheville to Austin, San Francisco to Chicago, Portland to Portland. I’ve hit breweries. Interviewed brewers. And spelunked deep into the people and the trends driving the craft beer revolution. There’s a story in every pint glass. I give voice to them."
“Joshua M. Bernstein’s Brewed Awakening shines a spotlight on the variety, ingenuity, and innovation that is alive and well in the beer community. Over the past decade, the collective renaissance of beer and brewing has proven that this is the best time in history to be a beer drinker. Brewed Awakening is a great look behind the curtain of the beers that are making this revolution so great.”—Ken Grossman, founder, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Brewed Awakening does an excellent job of immersing the reader right into the heart of what craft beer is all about. Hardcore beer geeks and newcomers to the craft beer revolution alike will find a wealth of fascinating, and fascinatingly cool, information on every page.”—Greg Koch, CEO and cofounder, Stone Brewing Co.

Available today in both hardback & kindle versions, in the Beer Book Store

Joshua Bernstein's creative look behind the scenes of "Brewed Awakening"


Friday, November 25, 2011

Terrapin Beer & Left Hand Brewing: Peaotch

Peaotch is the forth in a series of collaborations between Terrapin Beer and Left Hand Brewing. Terrapin's brewmaster and co-founder Spike Buckowski along with Left Hand brewmaster Ro Gunzel, spent some time together on one of Gunzel's trips to Georgia. During the visit their conversations on beer went long into the night. The result was the idea for a collaborative series of single-batch, limited edition beers which would come to be known as the "Midnight Project". Midnight Project dates back to 2008 with the creation of "Terra-Rye’ZD Black Rye Lager".  The breweries went on to produce "Depth Charged Espresso Milk Stout" in '09, Oxymoron in '10, and now "Peaotch". The concept for this beer was to brew a fruit ale using fresh peaches from both Georgia and Colorado. Their selection of malts is 2-Row Pale, Munich, Victory, Wheat, Aromatic, Acidulated & Pilsner. For the hops they chose Willamette & Cascade. As for the numbers, Peaotch is mild at  25 IBU's and  modest at 7.2% ABV. The beer pours a deep orange color with a thin white, quickly dissipating head. The aroma is "peachy" but not overpowering and the hops were almost non-existent to the nose. The mouth feel was light in body with mild carbonation. Very similar to that of a cask or real ale. I'm not normally a fruit beer drinker, but I do enjoy the Samuel Smith's line of organic fruit ales. I moved on to the  flavor and was absolutely surprised at the lack of peach presence in the beer. It was so mild that I almost had to remind myself what peaches actually taste like, in order to gain a point of reference. I guess my expectation was that a beer, which touts it's peach character so prominently, would want to have a dominant peach flavor right up-front. The lack of hop presence is understandable. You would likely have a serious sensory clash if both the hop and peach were battling for control of your pallet. For me, the minimal  peach flavor is what really made this beer less than stellar and nothing more just an average mild ale. Because I always want to be fair and am a huge fan of Terrapin Beer,  I will gladly give it a second chance.   As I noted earlier, Peaotch is a limited single-batch release, in 22oz bottles. If you want to try it, I'd say get it now. It has been on the market for about two and a half months and may be disappearing soon. Cheers!

Terrapin Beer & Left Hand Brewing's "Midnight Project"


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Never Summer Ale


 Winter is upon us, and the fine beers that go along with it are popping up on shelves everywhere. This change of seasons also brings the migration from those Thanksgiving Day-in-a-bottle, "pumpkinie-spiced" beers we feel so obligated to drink. With the release of these winter ales we are presented with a variety of roasty, toasty, nutty & malty libations which are perfect for snuggling-up with next to a roaring fire. One such offering is Never Summer Ale from Boulder Brewing. Although Boulder classifies this beer as an American Strong Ale, it hits the lower end of the scale at around 6% ABV. Deep ruby red in color, assertively hopped, and brewed with dark caramel malt, Never Summer gets its unique character from the use of British Dark Caramel Malt, U.S. 2-row barley, Nugget, Willamette and Cascade hops. Some additional spices are added which Boulder cares not to disclose. The hop presence is not overwhelming, but is much more evident than in most winter beers you'll find. Never Summer pours reddish-brown in color with an off-white head. The nose is of hop and roasted malt, with a touch of candy sweetness. The mouth feel is bold and malty, mildly carbonated and crisp, with a traditional hop-like bitterness. So as you begin your winter drinking list be sure to include Boulder's Never Summer Ale. Cheers!

Form more info on Never Summer visit: Boulder Beer Co


Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Naked Pint

The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer  
By Christina Perozzi & Hallie Beaune

 An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer, Perozzi and Beaune offer a down-to-earth guide to craft and artisanal brews that celebrates beer for what it truly is: sophisticated, complex and flavorful. Covering everything from beer basics to the science of behind beer, food and beer pairings, home brewing, and tips for perfecting one’s palate. This edgy no-nonsense guide exposes hidden truths, debunks misconceptions, and reveals the power that comes from knowing your ales from a hole in the ground!

"The Naked Pint is a great read for anyone interested in all things beer-from beer style descriptions to cooking with beer to brewing your own beer at home. Like a Beer 101 textbook to amp up your brew IQ, if only textbooks occasionally made you laugh out loud. The authors know their stuff; they understand and convey the notion that beer can be complex without being overly complicated, and they take beer seriously but don't take themselves too seriously. The Naked Pint is, um, revealing."
-Sam Calagione, president and founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

"Whether you want to brew at home, belly up to the bar with confidence, or make magical pairings at the dinnertable, The Naked Pint makes learning about craft beers as fun as drinking them. You'll be a savvy sipper after reading this educational and engaging book."
-Leslie Sbrocco, PBS television host and author of Wine for Women

Available today in both hardback & kindle versions, in the Beer Book Store.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Breckenridge Christmas Ale

 Tis' the season... well almost.  Breckenridge Brewery's Christmas Ale is an American Strong Ale at just over 7% ABV.  This full-bodied beer is constructed of Two-row Pale, Chocolate, Black and Caramel malts. A unique blend Mt. Hood and Chinook hops bring this Christmas offering in a modest 22 IBU's. It pours a deep brown color with a beige head. The Aroma is as expected, roasted malt and mild hop. It drinks with the rich robust character of  the Chocolate and Caramel malts, with hints of Coffee. Be sure to put this one on your Christmas "wish" list. Cheers!

For more information visit: Breckenridge Brewery

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New York City, What Are You Listening To?

 This is where music meets mayhem. It may not meet beer, but this is one of the most creative concepts for a Spontaneous Short Video I've seen in ages. Tyler Cullen went out on the streets of NYC and asked random passers-by what song they were listening to on their headphones. It's just that simple..

Beerattitude Beer Book Store

 NOW OPEN! The Beerattitude Book Store

  We're so excited about partnering with Amazon.com, to bring you a great selection of wonderful beer related books.  Do you want to become more knowledgeable about the history of  great beer? Maybe you want to try your hand at the tasty new world of  Beer & Food Parings? Are you  finally going to take up Home Brewing?  If so,  I'm sure we've got just what you're looking for. We took the time to sort through thousands and thousands of titles to bring you the best books from some of the most respected and influential authors & brewers in the business. These are the teachers and visionaries who are responsible for the overwhelming  success of  today's Craft Beer movement. Our categories include: Education, Cooking, Home Brewing, Travel and more. One click on the "Beer Book Store" menu tab and you'll be shopping safe & secure from the comfort of your home, or while on the go.  Shop with confidence knowing that your order is being processed, shipped & guaranteed by Amazon.com. The leader in on-line retail. Books are a great gift for that someone special or a person that's just impossible to shop for.  So have a look through our selection, we're sure you'll find just the right book for you. Remember the Holidays are just around the corner, so shop early by visiting the Beerattitude Book Store Today! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Black Sheep Brewery Masham North Yorkshire, UK

Black Sheep Brewery hosts a beer dinner for women..



For more information visit: Black Sheep Brewery.com

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Harpoon Brewery Launches Pilot Brewhouse

 This week Harpoon Brewery set into motion another part of their R&D plan. This is what Harpoon had to say on facebook this past Tuesday "Today, we are breaking in our new 10 barrel pilot brewhouse in Boston by brewing a batch of Harpoon Ale! This new system is going to give us a chance to experiment with new styles and brewing techniques. We are all very excited about it!". 
 Small batch "Pilot" systems are a critical tool in the development of new beers. They're like the "test track" of the brewing world. These small brewing systems allow a brewer to create more cost effective test batches of new beers. Cheers to them! I'm sure we will be seeing some great new Harpoon Beers as a result of their new pilot system.

    For more information Harpoon information visit : Harpoon Brewery.com

Sixpoint Brewery

Sixpoint Brewery out of  Brooklyn NY made a rather lofty commitment to brew 40 new beers over the next six months. Here's how the announcement went down via their Facebook feed...."We're going to be releasing 40 *new* beers over the next 6 months - that's Sixpoint style. The process is already underway. Let's just say most of them are going to a certain event in support of furry animals. ;-) Many of these beers we hope to be collaborative - so if you want to brew a batch of beer with us at Sixpoint, send an email to shane@sixpoint.com and tell us your story....cheers". Sixpoint is currently renovating their facility. Whether that's to make room for the new production goals or, like most craft breweries these days, to just keep up with supply and demand, we really don't know. What we do know is that's Sixpoint's recent rise in popularity is a direct  result of their ability to produce high quality beers across a large number of styles. The brewery opened in 2004 in the Red Hook district of Brooklyn, in a renovated 800 square garage building. Shane Welch the visionary behind Sixpoint, left college to pursue his passion for brewing beer. On visit to Brooklyn in 2002, Shane decided Brooklyn was a perfect setting for the types of beers he wanted to produce. Since that time the growth of Sixpoint has been remarkable. Sixpoint currently has distribution in high profile markets like New York City, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Rumor has it that Sixpoint is also looking at Baltimore as their next market to conquer. The Brewery announced Tuesday that they will be releasing Diesel, their popular seasonal Stout, in 16oz. cans. Diesel is a full bodied American Stout with a robust roasted malt character, light grassy hop with a touch of citrus, and a toffee-like sweet finish. Sixpoint calls their Stout "Snooty Black and Near Opaque" Diesel comes in at 6.6% ABV and 60 IBU's. This beer is perfect match for the chilly holiday season.   Cheers!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cigar City in Cans

 Cigar City Brewing might be tossing their hat into the craft can arena in 2012 with the release of some of their most popular flavors in cans. In an article/interview published today by CraftCans.com  Geiger Powell, graphics designer for the new line of Cigar City cans commented.. "For Floridians, canned beer means they can take their beer to the beach, to some parks that allow cans, boats, tailgating, and other activities where bottles are a hassle, or outright not allowed." George also went on to say.. "We feel that cans are a better container for beer than bottles for numerous reasons. The infinite recyclability, the lighter weight, the impenetrability to light...the list goes on. Cans truly are the superior container for beer." 
 This would add to the growing number of craft brewers that have already discovered the merits of canning. Boulder Beer introduced 12pk cans to the packaging list for their popular Hazed & Infused. Shiner Bock from Spoetzl Brewery in Texas released their flagship brand in a 6 pack can packaged in a box configuration, this year as well. Sierra Nevada announced they will release their Torpedo Extra IPA in a 16oz. can in 2012. Breweries decision to add canning to their production is not something to be taken lightly. The cost to can your beer could be as much as double what it costs to bottle your beer. But the biggest hurdle to over come is the public's perception that canned beer tastes different than from a bottle. Truth be told the technology and innovations in the production of coated metal materials used to make cans has all but dispelled that myth. Oskar Blues Brewery out of Lyons Colorado, based their entire business model on cans. And at a time when the Craft Beer industry was just gaining speed, they took a risk by producing all their beers in cans, and still do today. 
 Say what you will about cans, like them or not, they still protect the beer inside from public enemy #1, "sunlight". The effects of sunlight on beer can cause the beer to skunk in as little as 30 seconds. This why you find almost all craft beers in brown bottles and not green or even worse clear. From and "eco-friendly" stand point cans are much easier on the environment than bottles. For one they're lighter to transport through the shipping chain, thus reducing the fuel and emission impact. So the next time you're in a craft drinking mood, give the cans a try. I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised. Cheers! 

The full Cigar City story and interview can be found at: CraftCans.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boulder Beer Co. Killer Penguin

 The good folks at Boulder brewing are putting the finishing touches on the first of their winter beers, Killer Penguin. Today Boulder announced that the first of their 2011 batch will go on sale at their brewpub in Boulder Co. Only brewed once a year in a single 50 barrel batch, Killer Penguin is an English-style barley wine that is remarkably smooth for the high alcohol content. Coming in at around 10% ABV. Killer Penguin uses over twice the malt as other winter beers, and is aged for over 6 months to perfect the condition and flavor. Cheers!

Dogfish Head News

Dogfish Head begins shipping their 2011 versions of  Chicory Stout and Immort Ale this week. This from the Dogfish Facebook page... "We begin shipping Immort Ale and Chicory Stout to wholesalers this week. (Immort is approved for sale in all states where we ship, Chicory is approved in all those states except for Texas). Both should begin appearing on shelves, taps and the Fish Finder over the next few weeks!". Last week Dogfish announced, with much less fanfare that they will no longer produce their Squall IPA. Squall IPA was an unfiltered, bottle-conditioned version of 90 Minute IPA. This 750ml annual release was very popular with Dogfish fans who voiced their displeasure on the Dogfish Facebook page. And last but no least, last week Dogfish head received lable approval for their bottle release of  75 minute IPA. Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA is a blend of 60 and 90 Minute IPA's with a special whole leaf cascade dry-hopping session and the addition of local maple syrup. The Dogfish faithful might remember this as '"Johnny Cask",  a cask condition version originally released in 2009 as a limited edition, available only at the Dogfish brew pubs. Cheers!


Breckenridge Brewery Gets the Christmas Spirit

Breckenridge Brewery - Christmas Ale from Wright Brothers Films on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Southern Tier Oaked Aged Unearthly

Southern Tier: Oak Aged Unearthly
Oak Aged Imperial India Pale Ale
Bottle Label Approved: 11/4/2011

The Bruery Smoking Wood

The Bruery: Smoking Wood
Smoked Porter Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels
Draft Label Approved: 11/5/2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dale's Pale Ale: As Fresh As It Gets!

Dale's Pale Ale  Lyons Co. GABF Week 2010

Friday, November 4, 2011

Beer Festivals 101

 With beer festivals being held all over the country and new ones being added every year, you’re going to want to make the most of your experience. For the both the novice “beer geek” and the seasoned festival pro, it’s always good to prepare yourself before going to an event.
 I recommend that you bring a note pad to jot down information on the beers that you're sampling. With 2-4 beers being sampled at each booth, by say 35 to 40 different breweries, that could be a lot of information to retain after a 4 hour event. Bring a small backpack or tote. It will keep all those free information sheets and stickers which breweries provide, safe. Be sure to eat before or during the event. Most of the beer you will be sampling will be a minimum of 5% ABV and those 2oz. samples will add up quick. If you eat during an event be sure to have water not soda.You want your palette to be neutral. Some festivals allow you to bring "Pretzel Strings", string necklaces made of mini-twist pretzels. Check first though. These are also great for cleansing your palette in-between samples, and to keep something in your tummy. I suggest the unsalted variety. Salt can affect the taste of the beer. Always rinse your sampling cup between beers as any residual beer can adversely affect the taste of the next beer. Rinse water is usually provided; if not then invest in bottled water from the concessions stand. You won't need much to rinse your cup. Don't be afraid to sample the same beer profile i.e.; IPA, Pale Ale, Hefeweizen at each booth. You may find Dogfish Head 60 min IPA a bit too aggressive for your palette, but Harpoon IPA fits just right.

 Beer festival fans should also do some research into the festival itself. In recent years opportunists have latched on to promoting beer festivals as a money making venture. Your average festival ticket price will run $25 to $50 dollars. Multiply that by 3,000 to 5,000 festival goers and you can see how lucrative the business is. Often time’s festival promoters will reach out to local distributors and their breweries for donated beer, under the guise of "brand exposure". This only further reduces their cost of putting on an event. The reason I mention this is that more and more craft breweries are taking a hard look at the ROI (return on investment) for doing an event. I spoke with one popular brewery which said they get 10-15 inquiries a day to participate in events. Not to mention the requests that come to each of their Field Reps. Breweries are selective these days on which festivals they participate in. They want more than just exposure for their brands. They’re looking for an increase in sales and new distribution, in the form of draft and bottle placements, within the market of the festival. Breweries and distributors have begun to label non-productive events as “drunk fest’s”, where the only goal of festival gores is to see how many 2oz. beer shots they can put away in a 4 hour period. So be cautious, there may not be an actual brewery rep for every beer at the event. If so, you run the risk that the person pouring the beer has limited knowledge on what they are pouring.  Before you shell out $25+ dollars for ticket you may want to place a call to the local distributors. Ask for their “Specialty Brand Manager” to see if they’re participating in the festival. If not, it’s likely that a brewery rep will not be there either.

 When you do find a Beer Festival that interest’s you, get your tickets early. They are usually cheaper and you avoid a potential sell out at the gate. Most good festivals will have a website or Facebook page. The site will provide a list of participating breweries. Although the exact products being poured may not be provided, there are usually links to the brewery websites for you to gather information on all the beers they produce.  Get to the festival early. Most breweries will bring limited edition products which go fast and you don’t want to miss these. And above all, please be responsible. Just as you would for a night on the town, have a designated driver. Beer Festivals often have ‘Designated Driver” tickets available at a greatly reduced rate, which allows them access to soft drinks, water and food only. I have even been to some events where soda and water were provided free of charge with their ticket. Don’t be cheap either, you and your friends all pitch in for the cost of the designated driver’s ticket.

 So, go forth my friends into the wonderful world of beer festivals. Have fun in gaining new knowledge and understanding of craft beer. Interact with other festival goers; make new friends, network with like minded adventurers. Ask questions, but most importantly become a part of the “better beer revolution!”  Cheers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Arena's & Stadium's Beer Scam!

I know we are all aware that when we go to a sporting event or concert the concession stand is likely to put a Hulk Hogan size hurt'n on our wallets. Making a profit is one thing, but flat out ripping us off is just not right. Check out this video report I found on YouTube.....

Okay, so I thought I'd take this one step further by looking into the profit being made in this scenario. Lets take the 20oz beer as our example beer size. Then we will use a standard American 15.5 gallon keg of Miller Lite or Bud Light as a reference point. Now the cost of the keg may very by state and county, but you'll get the idea. In my area the wholesale cost of the keg is $86.00. The 20 ounce beer in the video was priced at $8.00. So this is how the profit on the sale of just one keg stacks up...

Servings Per Keg 99.20

Revenue Per Keg $793.60

Profit Per Keg $707.60

Profit Per Month $707.60

Profit Per Year $8,491.20

Well, I guess team owners have to pay for those high priced athletes some how. So the next time you're buying a beer at the ball game go for the "Small". Cheers!

Abita Celebrates 25 with Vanilla DoubleDog

 Abita Beer Celebrates 25 years of brewing excellence with the release of  Vanilla DoubleDog. This limited edition anniversary beer is based on their highly successful brown ale, Turbo Dog. As with Turbo Dog, Vanilla DoubleDog uses pale and chocolate malts, with the inclusion of choice caramel malts. Willamette hops are once again the variety of choice. What makes this beer unique is the use of natural whole vanilla beans, introduced during the aging process. Vanilla DoubleDog pours deep dark brown to black in color with a light tan head. The aroma includes vanilla, chocolate and hints of licorice. It drinks with a rich mouth-feel. The vanilla bean, caramel and chocolate malts all blend together and finish with a subtle toffee sweetness. The beer is very sessionable, checking in at a 7%ABV. With Vanilla DoubleDog's limited availability I would suggest stock piling as much as you can. This is a perfect choice for the change of seasons and one to get you through those chilly winter months. It's just a shame that your 25th only comes around once. Cheers to Abita!
For more information visit: Abita Beer