Archive for August, 2010

UPDATED: Beer for Boobs Brunch Attendee List

Beer for Boobs Brunch

Join the Ladies of Craft Beer for this mix and mingle event open to all people who support the growing population of amazing women that love craft beer.  This group is about creating a comfortable forum where people are encouraged to bring women into the craft beer world.

Freshcraft is a brand new restaurant in Denver focusing on amazing craft beer and thoughtfully prepared food.  They have graciously agreed to host our event and we are so excited!
Price includes food and several selections of discounted pints.  Over 50% of the proceeds will benefit a major breast cancer awarness charity in Denver.
This event is being held four blocks away from the Great American Beer Festival, as well as four blocks away from the Pints for Prostates Rare Beer Tasting.

Tickets for this event can be purchased here.

Current list of attendees:

Stevie Caldarola, founder of Ladies of Craft Beer

Taylor Shaw

Suzanne Schalow & Kate Baker

Maureen Basenburg & Hunter Basenburg

Sebbie Buhler of Rogue Ales

Laurie Delk

Angela ArpKim Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company

Elizabeth Dougherty

Carol Farrar

Meredith Klinger

Rochelle Mills

Jennifer O’Connell

Micki Sievwright

Melanie Strachan

Lee Norman Williams

Stephen Johnson, John Holzer & Brad Kohlenberg of New Brew Thursday

Dr. Bill Sysak of Master Pairings

Tyson Arp & Paul Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company

Ed Cox

John Chetbundit

Eric Farrar

Robert French

John Gideon

Update: New Attendees!  We’re 70% sold, don’t miss your chance to get a ticket!

Jennie Chen

Ashley Johnston

Jeremy Banas

Jen Buck

Craig Hendry

Sara Ivey

Devon King & Todd Neece

Carla & Ray Knott

Robert Kosman

Jeff Kupko

Randi Mauro

Joey McDaniel

Amie Mizell

Craige Moore

John Romero

Ken Roland

Rick Gideon

Renee Rounds & Jordan Rounds

Geoff Sawtell

Chris Spradley of Breweries, Bars, Beer & Food

Richard Stoner

Billy Broas

Brian Venus

Steven Barragan

Emily Wilson

Donna Yandle

Mel Ward & Ray Merkler

And…

You?

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Homebrew Adventure Day #40 – Krausen Krausen Krausen

Krausen Krausen Krausen

Well- this is one active beer!  The farts got so bad on Sunday that I had to install a blow off tube.  It worked perfectly and the beer has been happily bubbling ever since.  Tonight I switched back to the airlock and this is how we’re looking now.

Can’t wait to try this puppy!  Cheers!

Homebrew Adventure Day #37 – Brew Day!

Saturday, August 14, 2010 – a day that will live in infamy…

Ok, well, that  may be sort of blasphemous, but it certainly will live in infamy to me.

.

On Saturday, August 14, 2010, I brewed my first beer.

.

It was fun and exciting and hard and frustrating and hilarious and super and I’m in love…

Armed with the knowledge I’d gained from reading The Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian, the equipment I’d purchased, and the support of my home brewing Twitfriends, I set out to brew a Belgian Black IPA.  Here is the story of my journey…

Stuck

Great way to start of the Brew Day- the carboy melded into the plastic bucket. How did I solve it? Heat them both in a hot water bath.

burner

Water

Good ol' fashioned Brooklyn water

Malts!

16oz of Special B, 16 oz of Crystal 20L

Steeping

The malts steeped for 30 minutes at 155°F, and yes- that is 10lbs of Liquid Dark Malt extract loosening up next to it

Recipe

The magical recipe

Ingredients

3 oz Warrior Hop Pellets, 4 oz Cascade Hop Pellets, WLP 530 Abbey Ale Yeast

Excited

Can you tell that I'm excited?

Brewer's World

This was my brewer's world...

Hops!

Hops!

Wort

Wort

Muppet feet

Pay no attention to the Muppet feet...

Pain in the BIPA

Introducing... Pain in the BIPA

So this is love

So this is love...

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Beer for Boobs Brunch

Beer for Boobs Brunch

Join the Ladies of Craft Beer for this mix and mingle event open to all people who support the growing population of amazing women that love craft beer.  This group is about creating a comfortable forum where people are encouraged to bring women into the craft beer world.

Freshcraft is a brand new restaurant in Denver focusing on amazing craft beer and thoughtfully prepared food.  They have graciously agreed to host our event and we are so excited!
Price includes food and several selections of discounted pints.  Over 50% of the proceeds will benefit a major breast cancer awarness charity in Denver.
This event is being held four blocks away from the Great American Beer Festival, as well as four blocks away from the Pints for Prostates Rare Beer Tasting.

Tickets for this event can be purchased here.

Current list of attendees:

Stevie Caldarola, founder of Ladies of Craft Beer

Taylor Shaw

Suzanne Schalow & Kate Baker

Maureen Basenburg

Sebbie Buhler of Rogue Ales

Laurie Delk

Angela ArpKim Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company

Elizabeth Dougherty

Carol Farrar

Meredith Klinger

Rochelle Mills

Jennifer O’Connell

Michelle Sievwright

Melanie Strachan

And the boys…

Lee Norman Williams

Stephen Johnson & John Holzer of New Brew Thursday

Dr. Bill Sysak of Master Pairings

Tyson Arp & Paul Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company

Ed Cox

John Chetbundit

Eric Farrar

Robert French

John Gideon

And…

You?

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Homebrew Adventure, Day #17 – Mikkeller’s Yeast Series Study

Ok- so, this is actually getting posted a bit out of sequence, but I did sample and review these 5 samples from Mikkeller Yeast Series on Day #17 of my homebrew adventure.

I think what Mikkel Borg Bjergsø is doing for the beer community is unparalleled right now in educational value.  Having these “Single Hop“, “Yeast” and even the Black Hole “Barrel” series have been essential to my education as a beer drinker and will give me a leg up for home brewing.

Here are my reviews of five of the yeast series beers, brewed with the same base single malt, single hop beer.

Yeasties!

Yeasties!

1. American-Style:

Nose: Slight pepper

Taste: Dirty grapefruity citrus and a bitter after taste show that this yeast compliments the hop and definitely allows more of the hop flavor through.

2. Lager

Nose:

Blogger’s Note: Honestly- I had nothing here on the nose.  It was a void to me.

Taste: More of a lean towards a malty flavor than the American-Style, this beer has a sweet start and a roasted finish.  It is refreshing and not overpowering.

3. Hefeweizen

Nose: Sweet corn, slight mesquite

Taste: In one word, it is Summer- light just like a witbier with the tang of natural orange cleaner.

4. Brettanomyces

Nose: Cherry Twizzlers, Red licorice shoe-strings

Taste: “FUNK-AY”  This beer is a very drinkable sour with fruity tones.  I called it fermented cranberry apple goodness, as well as my favorite of the bunch.

5. Belgian-Ale

Nose: Banana undertones, spice

Taste: Sweet and spicy deliciously ride on a wave of thick banana funk, proving that yeast really can make a all the difference.

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Honestly, the difference between all of these brews was astonishing to me.  I assumed there would be slight differences, as I know that each style has different characteristics.  But the blatant, screaming differences created a shock and awe campaign upon my tongue- rendering my palate sated but tired.

If you are new to the brewing (or even tasting) scene, I strongly suggest that you invest in this journey as I did.  The rewards are well worth it (as are the bragging rights!)

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Hopolates

Hopolates

Hopolates

Phillip Green is a man who loves his hops.  Phillip Green is also a man who loves his chocolate…

Phillip Green is a man with a plan.

Hop Candy, Inc. is Phillip’s brainchild- a mixture of his many passions.  Phillip infuses hops into the chocolate he makes, utilizing beer mug shaped molds to make the adorable little chocolates.  The detail in the chocolates is amazing- he even uses white chocolate to make the overflowing, carbonated head on the beer!

I think that Phillip has a great idea brewing with his Hopolate chocolates, and I told him as such when he offered to send me his wares.  However, the hop taste was a little strong for me.  I’m really excited to see what Phil comes up with in the future and maybe something with more of a hop essence than a full on hop taste would be better for someone like me- a person who is not a hardcore hop head, but definitely appreciates the taste of a good hop.  The chocolate wasn’t bad by any sense, but the taste was just a bit overpowering for me.

At the time Phil sent me his Hopolates, he already had two different styles he made, including a set that amber beer flavor mixed in.  I think that with some more refining, Phil has a really killer product on his hands and something that could help expand the growing craft beer industry.  Big props to Phil for his experimentation and exciting new prospect!

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Homebrew Adventure Day#29 – An Interview with Shane Welch of Sixpoint Craft Ales

Shane of Sixpoint Craft Ales

Shane of Sixpoint Craft Ales

Photo Courtesy of The Full Pint

New York (specifically Red Hook, Brooklyn) is lucky enough to house Sixpoint Craft Ales, a brewery with a full line of interesting and tasty craft beer output.

Shane Welch is brewmaster, founder, president, and owner of Sixpoint and was nice enough to answer some questions that I have come up with in order to gather information to hopefully help me in my homebrew journey.  Check out this amazing glimpse into the mind of a master brewer:

1. What was your first beer experience?

Oh man…I think I may have had the earliest start of any craft brewer….you see, I have been drinking beer ever since I was 2 years old. Back in the early 80s my father used to drink Meister Brau. Here’s a little walk down memory lane.

Anyway, my father would sometimes leave a little bit of beer left in his ceramic stein, and after he had fallen asleep, I would grab the oversized stein with my two little hands and hoist that thing up over my head and chug the rest. Crazy thing is I remember enjoying the taste of beer ever since I was a kid. Something magical about the sweetness of the malt and spiciness and bitterness of the hops. My parents were shocked – and amused – by the entire ordeal so they took a photo of me. I’ll try to track it down and send it to you.

2. What/who inspired you to start brewing?

Its literature, language, art and poetry that is my weakness. Therefore, it was the indelible and captivating “The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing” by Charlie Papazian and its zany humor, hand-drawn images, and do-it-yourself vibe that had me hooked. Keep in mind that in college, I was a hippie nerd, so the combination of science, chemistry, and making your own beer was right up my alley. Combine that with a fun, informative style and approach, and I was hooked.

3. What is your favorite beer to brew and why? What is your favorite beer to drink (both your own creations and from other breweries as well) and why?

My favorite beer to brew is homebrew. The reason why is because the scale is so much smaller (5-10 gallons versus the typical 500 gallons in Red Hook, Brooklyn) you’re that much more up-close-and-personal with the beer. Everything is smaller – the amount of grain, water, and hops – the size of the kettles, fermenters, etc. And your yield is lower too – so every bottle is precious. I like that feeling of cranking out a small, custom batch…nothing tops it!

Favorite beer from our brewery to drink? That’s really hard because it literally changes every week or month. But recently the Bengali Tiger has been tasting the best it has ever tasted. But, if you would have asked me two months ago, I would have said the Righteous Ale.

As far as beer from other breweries go….oh man, there are SO MANY to drink, and so many good beers. What a great industry. We’re surrounded by all of these amazing colleagues (who in theory, are our competitors too) but they make such great products you just can’t refuse them. For some reason lately I have been obsessed with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. There has been anywhere from one to twelve bottles of it in my refrigerator at all times in the past 3 months. It hits the spot every time!

4. What is your favorite beer event to attend, and why?

Best feel-good event that represents what the craft brewing industry is all about? Without a doubt, the Great Taste of the Midwest.

Best up-and-coming beer event to showcase the creative and renegade side of craft beer? Without a doubt – the Extreme Beer Fest put on by Beer Advocate.

Best global revelry and largest beer party in the world? Hands down – Oktoberfest in Munich. No one even comes close.

5. Have you taken any courses for brewing or beer tasting? What are your thoughts on courses for brewing and tasting- are they helpful or unneccessary?

Although I have no formal courses taken in beer brewing, I am BJCP certified and have extensive chemistry and physics background at UW-Madison, and I was also a math major. Without this solid foundation of knowledge and education, some of the brewing processes would be hard to grasp. However, I do want to emphasize my core competencies rest in the more theoretic fields – and that is why I loved chemistry so much – but people like David Liatti (our Operations Manager) is the more practical engineer.

As far as beer courses for brewing and tasting – they are not necessary, but a knowledge of science and the components of beer are necessary. In other words, you don’t need to go the academic route, but you must have a basic understanding of the causal relationships that take place during the brewing process, for that is how you troubleshoot and problem solve when issues arise. The more advanced your knowledge base is, the better your troubleshooting skills will be.

Sixpoint Craft Ales

6. What advice do you have for homebrewers looking to get into the professional field of brewing?

Homebrew your ass off, pound the pavement, press the flesh, and keep the faith.

7. Do you still homebrew? If so, what are you currently brewing or what was your latest creation?

I do homebrew. But I’ve become a bit of a recluse with it sometimes because I like a clean, sterile, and quiet environment without distractions when I homebrew. Its really meditative for me. I can’t stand a soiled or dirty environment, or one where someone is interrupting me every few minutes. I like to immerse myself in the beer. Figuratively, of course. 🙂

I’ve also been teaching people how to homebrew lately. A few weeks back, I taught my good friend and executive chef at Prime Meats/Frankies Spuntino Willy Prunty how to make some beer. His knowledge base was already super solid, but we took it to another level. Its a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
8. What has been your hardest challenge with the creation and continued success of Sixpoint? What has been your greatest success/ defining moment with the creation and continued success of Sixpoint?

The creation side has been rather easy…as the creative juices and spirit has always flowed freely with me. Regarding “continued success” I would say that is a subjective critique! But thanks for thinking so. But we have a long way to go…and that is where the struggle comes in. I’d like to see us making better beer, with stronger ties to our community and customers, and better customer service. I also would like better communication within the company…tighter controls…more efficiency. So many things to do! That is the key…to never get lazy or content. Stay fit! 🙂

Greatest success or defining moment? I’d like to thing the chapter on that has not yet been written! But I’d have to say – above all else – is the innumerable amazing relationship I’ve been able to forge as a result of starting Sixpoint. I’ve met so many helpful, thoughtful, kind, talented, fun, and appreciative people through this business…I’m eternally grateful. I feel blessed.

Sixpoint Brews

Sixpoint Brews

9. Tell us your most fun beer story.

Before I started the brewery, I was living on my friend Aaron’s couch for a few months while I homebrewed every single day. I had turned his kitchen into a bona fide mini brewery. He lived on the second floor of a two-unit flat. On the ground floor was a dude named Pat, who was a 40 year-old “retired poet” who was very idiosyncratic. Anyways, he apparently had moved in several months before but still had his stuff packed in boxes.

I started brewing and one day there was a knock at the door. It’s Pat. He said, “what are you doing up here? Its smells like you’re making candy.” I said, “Don’t worry. Just making beer. That’s the malt – it smells sweet.” Pat then replies, “Uh……ok. It sounds dangerous…..” I said, “Nah…I’ve done it hundreds of times. Its easy.”

Flash forward a few days, and I’m making a batch of American Amber on the stovetop. Then, I get a phone call. The reception is poor, so I go out onto the balcony. I’m talking to my friend, and then I hear a knocking at the door – its Pat! Uh-oh. Apparently there is a RIVER OF BEER coming through the ceiling and dripping onto his book in the living room.

I rush to the kitchen to find out I had a boil over. Shit! Yep, it ran down the side of the kettle, and all over the stove, and then down the gas line through the linoleum floor. It goes through the floor and comes out the ceiling below and is streaming all over Pat’s books, still freshly packed in cardboard boxes. What a sight….a river of hot brown beer coming through the ceiling!

Just like Poltergeist. Haha.

10. What is your take on the craft beer community? What is your favorite thing about it? What could stand for some improvement?

The craft beer community is awesome, and it is probably my single favorite thing about the entire industry. Interestingly, its not just the community of brewers….not even close. Its the community of craft beer drinkers, craft beer bar owners, craft beer writers, craft beer bloggers, craft beer distributors, and craft beer website owners. Its a gigantic and ever expanding craft beer universe! 🙂

My favorite thing about it is it is so different from other industries….like take, for example, Wall Street. There is less of a “every man for himself” and “dog eat dog” mentality and more of a mentality of “a rising tide lifts all boats” and cooperation.

As far as improving the industry…I would say there could possibly be some regional centers within the Brewer’s Association…since the country is so large. I think every major city should have a craft beer week…and it would be nice to get some sponsorship and support from an organized source. If the Brewer’s Association really threw their weight behind a coordinated effort to get all 50 states rocking craft beer, the sky is the limit! 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shane has that refreshing a relate-able style that we see with a lot of brewmasters, and that is what I love so much about this industry.  There is competition, for sure, but brewers are constantly encouraging others to join in the game and get to brewing- the passion is everywhere, and it certainly is contagious.

With that, I say to you, go out there and talk to your local brewers.  Hopefully, (and I have a hunch they will be,) they’ll be as insightful, smart, experienced and willing to chat as Shane was.

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