08 April 2020Beer Blogs
08 April 2020Tuesday’s ad is for Fürst beer, from the 1930s. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to...
[[Click through to the Bulletin for full content]]
08 April 2020
CALGARY, AB – The winners of the 2020 edition of the Alberta Beer Awards were announced last night during an online live stream presentation hosted by Kathe Lemon from Avenue Magazine and Don Tse from The Don of Beer.
Top awards in this year’s competition include the following:
Brewery of the Year
Gold: Cabin Brewing
Silver (tie): Campio Brewing and Canmore Brewing
Bronze: The Establishment Brewing Company
New Brewery of the Year
Gold: Odd Company Brewing
Silver: Spectrum Ale Works
Bronze (tie): Long Hop Brewing and Sheepdog Brewing
Best of Show
Gold: Alley Kat Brewing Olde Deuteronomy Barley Wine 2018
Silver: Blindman Brewing 24-2 Brett Stock Ale
Bronze: Cabin Brewing Sunshine Rain
Awards were also presented in 28 style categories as judged by a panel overseen by BJCP master judges Jason Foster and Owen Kirkaldy.
For the list of winners, see the full announcement on the Avenue Magazine website. Foster has also provided some thoughts and analysis of the results on his blog OnBeer.org.
08 April 2020
Firstly, let me apologize for the fact that its taken me awhile to post this, as well as the lack of posts. I know I said I was going to do a post a day… and despite being in lockdown, its amazing how hard it is to actually write right now. Despite all the free time, I find myself not wanting to write as much, and I also find myself doing a lot more around the house (so thats a plus). Also, there’s a lack of going out to drink, so I’m not trying as much new beer right now, and mostly drinking the regulars and flagship beers by Boneshire Brew Works, Troegs Brewing, Rotunda Brewing, Pizza Boy Brewing, Lord Hobo, and Tattered Flag. (Again, not really a negative.) But it does mean not as much to write about.
Also, I’ve found my energy to write is somewhat dissipated when a) I have all this time to do “REAL” work around the house, b) I almost have ‘too much’ time, and c) my keyboard is still acting up with certain keys. With a) I find myself doing yard work, helping my daughters with their new online schooling, taking the dog for more walks.With b) I think its the issue of “the busier you are the more you get done”. Its a surprising thing to note, that the days I worked, I got more blog stuff done, etc, I think because my time is / was so limited it forced me to work on it right away, instead of saying “I’ll do it later” …. later never comes. I keep pushing it back. With c) … well its just an annoyance factor, when you constantly use H or N or Y or U, it gets really frustrating trying to do work arounds or mashing your hand into the keyboard to get a button to press. Hopefully soon I will be getting a new laptop (not a priority during a pandemic where I got laid off and have a ton of other things on my plate), and when I do, I imagine my writing will ramp up. Also, as for the blog, it seems AJ and Josh aren’t as interested in writing as much anymore, so I’m the sole force and driver of the blog, which means I need to buckle down and write more, just need to find that energy and drive. The other issue with writing, is always the marketing afterwards. Getting the blog post seen, and doing all the work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It seems writing the blog takes 2-3 hours, and then another hour of self-promotion. And if I post it late (8PM or later lets say), the response from the community is far less than ideal (compared to posting at say noon).
Ok, enough rant and crap, lets finally kick off Module Two. Module two is about barley and malting and taking a key look at the first of the four major ingredients in beer (malt, water, hops, and yeast). The intro page talks about the course ramping up, and comes with an intro video by Stijn.
The second page is a discussion board where you can discuss what cereals (or malts) are used in your country. The question asked is: “In your country, what cereals are used?” and my response was:
“In the US craft beer scene there is pretty much an unlimited amount of grains and cereals at use, by all the different breweries. From roasted malt, to barley, to oats, to flaked oats, to ACTUAL cereals or even pastries (whoopie pies I’ve seen used, etc), and breads and things like graham crackers. Pretty much if it has starch or fermentable sugars, a craft brewer / craft brewery has used it in the USA.”
The next page is another video by Stijn – this time about barley. In the 3:16 minute video, he discusses why barley is pretty much the universal “go to” grain for brewing. Listing economical as well as brew-technical reasons for barley (as compared to the myriad of other choices). Economical reasons are: “grows on all continents, good grain yield, and strong disease resistance”, which means its produced the most (and most effectively) and means the cost for it is going to be lower compared to other options. Brew-technical reasons given are: “local availability, high starch content, sufficient yeast nutrients, sufficient enzyme formation, and adhering husks”.
Next we move onto the ‘barley structure’. Barley is primarily divided into two major types – winter barley and spring barley. From here, there can be many more sub-divisions and varieties like: two-row or six-row barley. Two-row barley is the preferred barley for most brewing. Kernels are more homogeneous, it has a more favorable endosperm over husk ratio, and it has lower protein levels.
Scrolling down on this page, you will find a chart and diagram where you can click different topics and names to read more about barley and the husks and other features of barley. The key parts are: the husk, pericarp and testa, aleurone layer, endosperm, embryo, and the scutellum and epithelium.
The next page is the chemical composition of barley. Here they break down the chemical and molecular levels of a barley kernel, detailing moisture content, carbohydrates, proteins, inorganic matters, lipids, and other smaller matters.
Moving onto the next page we start with the carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are roughly 70% of the dry matter of a kernel and can be broken into two categories: storage and structural. Storage – mainly starch. Structural – cellulose and hemicellulose. There is a drop down menu which breaks these all down for further reading and the molecular composition of each piece. After this is a 7 minute video by Professor Christophe Courtin, one of the experts for the program.
The next page is nitrogen compounds of barley kernels. The page breaks down the nitrogen percentages for the barley used for brewing versus animal feed, and then discusses the proteins in the kernels. After this we move on to polyphenols. Polyphenols contribute greatly to the stability and shelf life of beer. It contributes to the beer color, mouthfeel, and act as natural anti-oxidants.
The next page is a quick quiz to make sure we’re actually retaining all of this knowledge. After the two question quiz, there is a page about barley pests for verified track learners only (if you are paying for your certificate). The net two pages are video and discussion going back to the malting experiment.
This is followed by an expert video by Sofie Malfliet. She has a PHD in Malting Technologies. This is a 7 minute video, discussing her work at Albert Maltings. Following the video we get an overview of the malting process. There is five main steps: 1) cereal cleaning, sorting, and storage, 2) steeping, 3) germination, 4) drying and kilning, and 5) deculming.
From here, this five step process gets broken down. Starting with the cleaning and sorting of the barley. The second page is steeping. (Which is the process of periodically submerging graded barley to initiate germination.) The third page is germination. The fourth page is drying and kilning, and is loaded with charts and information. After this, the fifth and final page is about deculming. After kilning the malt is cooled and the culms are removed. These pages are followed up by a quiz, so hopefully you didn’t skim over it.
Following the quiz is a discussion page on green malt. The question posed is: “What are the advantages you think of using green malt in the brewing process? Are there any disadvantages you can think of? Please share your thoughts with us!” My answer:
“There is definitely advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, for disadvantages its primarily economical and logistical. So for smaller end malting plants this won’t be ideal (thinking of Deer Creek Malt in PA). As far as advantages go, its mainly environmental. Which is always a benefit on the long haul if we are able to do it. Problem is the ‘being able to do it’ part.”
Moving on, we come to the overview of different malts page (next page). It breaks down the barley malts by pilsner, pale ale, munich, aromatic, roasted, and caramel. The next page is another page for verified track learners only (different malt types).
The next page is adjuncts. Their definition of an adjunct is: “Adjuncts are defined as non-malted (mostly carbohydrate) materials used as complements or supplements to (barley) malt. These supplements are used in brewing for the following reasons – cost saving, enhancing brewhouse capacity, and influence on beer.” Different regions have rules, laws, and regulations about adjuncts. Germany still holds true to the purity laws. Some examples of adjuncts are: unmalted barley, corn (flakes), rice (flakes), sugar and sugar syrup.
And that pretty much wraps up Module Two. There is a feedback page, a small quiz page (one question), a larger assessment page (if you are a verified track learner), a discussion page, and an overview page. The final page is a “End of Module Two” page and if you click NEXT after that it brings you to the intro video for module three. So, join me next when we get to tackling module three!
Hopefully it’ll be sooner than later, possibly even tonight, or tomorrow. (Most likely tomorrow at the earliest.) I am going to try and really double-down and get these goings, with some possible beer reviews and other things to round out my articles. I have been working hard on my hops these last few days (beautiful weather), and taking lots of pictures, so there will probably be an article about that for all of you hop growers (or wanna-be hop growers).
Cheers, and stay safe and healthy everyone, looking forward to getting back out to breweries and having a pint with ya’ll! Cheers!
The Beer Education Series:
* Beer Education: Series
* Beer Education: Syllabus
* Beer Education: Introduction
* Beer Education: Module One: The History of Beer Brewing
* Beer Education: Module Two: Barley and Malting
08 April 2020The New Jersey Brewer’s Association Executive Director Alexis Degan joined us live to talk about the state of New Jersey Craft Beer during this unprecedented time of social distancing. Alexis travels the state helping New Jersey Craft Beer breweries with business practices, ongoing legislation, and promotion of Craft Beer in the state.
08 April 2020
Homebrewing is a fantastic hobby for anyone with an interest in craft beer. Not only do you get a better sense of what goes into your beer, but you get to experiment with different styles and techniques, developing a new appreciation for beer overall.
While getting started with homebrewing may seem daunting, it really isn’t; with a basic understanding of cooking and a little bit of care, anyone can get started. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to developing a really great homebrew:Don’t waste time on homebrew ‘kits’
There are a number of pre-packaged kits out there that seem like the right way to dip your toe into homebrewing, but the reality is, these are vastly different than true homebrewing and really aren’t all that exciting. Most kits come with a wart (more on that later) and require you to just add yeast and wait. This is the equivalent of packaged Mac and Cheese versus making your own, it’s not that much harder to start from scratch and the end result is so much better.
Don’t waste your money on kits, if you already have an interest in homebrew, just start with buying some basic equipment.Basic equipment needs
When it comes to basic equipment, there’s less than you actually need. Overall to get started here’s a fairly simple list:
- Fermenter: Generally this is a large bucket
- Airlock & Bung: This sits in the top of the fermenter to let the gasses escape
- Kettle: Approximately 20 litre sized pot for cooking
- Siphon: A tube for moving the liquid from one container to another. An auto syphon is a nice upgrade
- Hydrometer: Measures the gravity of the beer
- Thermometer: Critical for getting the right temperature of boil, wort, etc.
- Cleaner: SO, SO important to keep your equipment clean
- Copper coil: This is optional but so worth the investment. To chill the wort, without this you’re using an ice bath; a coil makes it way more efficient.
Yeast is the backbone of all homebrewing, and having your own active yeast started will make a significant difference over store bought yeast.
It takes only about 20 minutes to start, and will dramatically improve your chances of getting a strong, active primary fermentation phase. It also reduces your chances for contamination, since the conversion of sugars to alcohol happens more rapidly when the yeast are healthy and plentiful.
Here’s a great resource on starting your own yeast culture.To clone or not to clone
Cloning is essentially taking an already publicly available beer (like a Heady Topper) and trying to imitate the recipe at home. There are plenty of excellent clones, and a number of near indistinguishable ones, so if there is a beer that you love to drink and want to duplicate, chances are you’ll be able to find the recipe on a number of different homebrew forums.
Cloning is a great place to start, and once you’ve got your footing, you can start thinking about your own recipes. What flavours do you like in a beer, what hops? Start taking some risks and develop a beer that is entirely your own. Is there a chance that you’ll make a dud, yes, but failure is part of the experience and you’ll only learn from the process.
Here’s 51 different clones you can start with.Keep a journal
Regardless of whether you choose to clone a recipe or make one on your own, keeping a log of each brew will help you in the long run. Making a record of the temperatures you experienced, the brew time, the gravity measurements, time in fermentation, etc. will help you fine tune those recipes as you continue to brew. Don’t forget to add in tasting notes, so you know the end result.
I’ve kept a journal for years and one particular recipe, a Christmas ale, is different every year thanks to the measurement adjustments made with various ingredients like molasses and vanilla. It’s vital for me to be able to look back on past years and know what the specific measurements were and how the end result turned out; this has improved this particular recipe over time.Have fun with it
I mean this is pretty obvious, but the whole point of homebrewing (besides having a ton of beer) is to enjoy it. No matter how technical you can get with it, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re doing this because you enjoy beer and want to have fun making it. Turn this into a social activity, brewing can be a whole day affair so why not crack a few with some buddies and hang out during brew day? Brewing solo is boring anyway.
Check out this other article for more tips on starting to homebrew.
08 April 2020
Keyframe: Sabro, a DDH hazy IPA, was one of five beers on tap
during Vector's opening weekend (© Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).
The newest North Texas brewing operation is a prime example of how things don't always go according to plan. Sure, every business overcomes obstacles, but who could have predicted the need to navigate a government shutdown followed by the nearly complete lockdown of the entire U.S. economy.
Such is the story of Vector Brewing, a Dallas-based project started by Craig and Veronica Bradley in early 2018. From the shutdown, which stalled small business loans in early 2019, to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic altering its opening date, Vector Brewing's path to pouring beer for Lake Highlands locals has been anything but straight and narrow.
Nevertheless, the Bradleys have chosen to "trust the journey" from the beginning, seeing setbacks as mere stepping stones on the road to making Vector Brewing a reality. So, naturally, they decided to push through the pandemic and open the only way possible in the current environment - that is, on a limited basis with curbside service to-go.
Along those lines, Vector Brewing debuted a pared-down menu to perspective patrons Friday evening. And, judging from early returns, Lake Highlands residents were ready. By Sunday night, the brewpub had run through 700 pounds of pizza dough, while filling nearly 1500 crowlers. In other words, Vector's beer and scratch pizzas were a hit.
"Opening amidst a pandemic certainly wasn’t the way we expected or wanted to open our doors," says Bradley, "but it was still amazing to see the amount of fans, friends, and family from all over who came out in support. We definitely didn’t expect that amount of love and generosity from so many, and we can’t thank everyone enough. It exceeded every expectation and then some."
Of course, this is just the start for Vector Brewing. Once things settle down in the world, an expanded menu will be in the offing, and there's still the matter of getting a chance to experience the ambiance of the brewpub's indoor and outdoor space (encompassing ~8000 total square feet, with 2300 square feet set aside for the patio).
Beer will flow continuously, though, with new recipes from head brewer and blender Tommy Gutierrez rolling out on the regular. His first run of fermentations included an American light lager, a German pilsner, a West Coast-style pale ale and two IPAs. As for what's in the queue, stouts, sour beers and more are also in the works. Of particular interest, Duotone, a smoothie fruit sour popular among fans (and myself) during preview tastings, is set to return as well.
"We're brewing a hoppy lager this week, followed by a DDH DIPA," reveals Bradley. "Vernal, our maibock is chugging away in the tank, and our imperial stout is getting close to finishing up, where a good portion will go into bourbon barrels and the rest will go on tap."
Beyond that, Bradley says, there's "more to come soon."
Vector Brewing will maintain to-go hours Friday-Sunday from 4-9 p.m. for the time being. Check the brewpub's social media channels (Facebook, Instagram) for updates going forward.
08 April 2020
KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Out-of-office message on, cold drink in hand, a vision of swaying palms and turquoise water—Boulevard’s latest Fling cocktail release will transport you to a South Beach state of mind, where the music is hot, the cars are cool, and the mint is muddled.
Consider it “Fling Break,” an escape into the vacation vibes we can all use right now.
Introducing Fling Mojito, a crisp combination of island rum, tangy lime and refreshing mint. The all-natural, ready-to-drink cocktail is the seventh flavor to join the Fling family.
Clocking in at 5% ABV, with 100 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates, the packaging of this guilt-free Mojito showcases “South Beach style,” celebrating the colorful Cuban and Floridian roots of this iconic, thirst-quenching cocktail.
To celebrate the release, Boulevard invites Fling drinkers to enjoy #FlingBreak, wherever and whatever that may look like now. While people across the country are social distancing, #FlingBreak is the virtual happy hour everyone can get in on.
Boulevard welcomes beer and cocktail fans alike to join the party by hosting a virtual happy hour with Fling Mojito. On Instagram, Fling offers tips and tricks for hosting your own #FlingBreak party at home, joining virtually with friends and family. By tagging @flingcocktails and using #FlingBreak, Fling fans can share their own #FlingBreak with Mojito, or any of the six other Fling flavors.
“Each Fling cocktail propels drinkers to a new place, even if they’re just enjoying them at home,” said Ali Bush, Fling brand manager. “Fling Break is a fun way to help us bring the beach to our backyards, and to connect with others while continuing to protect our communities.”
Fling Mojito will be available year-round in four-packs of 12-ounce cans, joining six other cocktails in the Fling family: Blood Orange Vodka Soda, Cucumber Lime Gin and Tonic, Margarita, Mai Tai, Rye Whiskey Mule and Bourbon Smash. Mojito will debut on April 6, and will be available in most of Fling’s 32-state territory.
About Boulevard Beverage Company
Side hustle, passion project, creative playground – it’s all these, and more. For 30 years, Boulevard has brewed an array of appealing, adventurous, highly acclaimed beers. As experts in the fine art of flavor, we’ve stepped out of our sandbox, pushing boundaries and exploring new territory in a drive to deliver the best and most interesting adult beverages. First up is Fling, a line of all-natural, ready-to-drink canned cocktails. For more information visit Boulevard.com/Fling or follow us on facebook.com/FlingCocktailsand instagram.com/FlingCocktails.
About Boulevard Brewing Company
Boulevard Brewing Company is the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest, dedicated to producing fresh, flavorful beers using traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques. Boulevard beers are now available in 41 states and 11 countries. For more information, visit boulevard.com or follow us on facebook.com/Boulevard, twitter.com/Boulevard_Beer and instagram.com/boulevard_beer.
08 April 2020
With isolation and limited ability to go outside the home, I find myself in a position (along with the rest of you) of nervousness and boredom. One can only watch so much Netflix before you develop bedsores and a stiff neck! So, I’ve set myself a challenge to play at least one board game a day during this time and if possible pair it with a good beer, wine, or cocktail. Why not! Feel free to play along. Just so my readers know, I’m not actually in quarantine yet–I’m a pediatrician and am still going into work on my regular work days. So while I’m not technically stuck at home, I am in a high-stress work environment these days and really need game playing as an outlet when I get home.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
This is a game I’ve been itching to play for over a year. I picked up the game plus a ton of expansions from a local MN Facebook game trading/selling page. After doing a shady looking game deal with a stranger in a parking lot, I discovered I had even more than expected in my grubby hands. This was around the time I had started painting my miniatures for Imperial Assault, so started in on painting the multitude of minis included in the base Descent game. As of today I have completed every base game mini except 2 of the heroes. Getting closer!
Descent is a miniature and tile based board game published by Fantasy Flight Games in Roseville, MN. This is the second edition of the game, but has still been out for a long time (2012 I think). There has been minimal new physical content for the game over the past few years, but it continues to be popular and reprinted frequently. The game is set up as an Overlord style game: this means one player is in charge of all the bad guys and creatures, and from 1-4 players are the heroes, cooperating to beat the overloard. My wife does not like this style of game much, so we went with the newer app driven cooperative campaign for our first foray into Descent. With this free app, the monsters actions are controlled via the computer/tablet and you can focus your attention purely on combatting the forces of darkness together. Much better for quarantine gaming with a spouse!
With the app, your map tiles are placed as you play and open up doors, making it more exploration based. Each hero has their own character card with special skills and a heroic feat that can be used only once per game. You also have some starting equipment to beef up your character. I chose the cleric Avric Albright as my hero, starting with a hammer, shield, and a healing spell ability. In order to make each game different, each hero also has the choice of a few different class decks (more if you have expansions) which give different skills and equipment. As you advance in the campaign, you can purchase upgraded weapons and skills with money and experience points. Basically this is dungeons and dragons but with less roleplaying and more tactical combat.Lemon: mighty die hunter
We played through the intro tutorial called Rise of the Goblins which still took about 2 hours with set-up and going through all the rules. The tutorial does a good job of explaining how the game and the app functions, while still being able to make some choices about how things go. I had hoped to move into the first larger quest, but we ran out of time. I hope to get back to this before we forget the rules!
To pair with this game we opened Unmapped Brewing‘s The Worst Day Since Yesterday. This is a pretty classic dry Irish stout (Guinness being the gold standard) brewed up for the St. Paddy’s day that didn’t happen. The name was based on amazing Irish/Punk band Flogging Molly‘s song of the same name. And the name became quite appropriate. The beer is dark, roasty, and perfect for a bit of spelunking! I’ve seen Flogging Molly live twice and you should check them out! And keep buying growlers from Unmapped (and other local breweries) to keep them afloat during this time of financial crisis for small local business.Bliss is laying atop Eric’s map tiles.
I really liked our first play of Descent, but based on the intro game taking this long, a full adventure could take a while to play.
08 April 2020
Η Μαρία Ηρωίδη μακρά και επιτυχημένη πορεία στον χώρο του marketing τόσο στην Ελλάδα όσο και στο εξωτερικό.
08 April 2020
COLLINGWOOD, ON – The Collingwood Brewery has announced the release of the latest in its Freestyle Series of limited edition beers.
Good As Helles (4.8% abv) is described as an “unfiltered Bavarian style Lager [that is] light, golden and fresh.”
Good As Helles is available now at the Collingwood Brewery retail store and online shop.
Source & Photo: The Collingwood Brewery mailing list
Latest Public Events - Beer / Pubs