Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Great Guinness Blaze

Do not fret, friends. The fire at the Dublin brewery didn't harm any beer, according the the AP. Apparently it didn't even halt the tourist activties on the same campus, while the fire blazed on, per Business Week. Two Dublin firefighters are in the hospital, but no one was else was harmed. While this is another hit for Diageo, who was planning to make some dramatic shakeups before the bad economy hit, it will not cause any Guinness shortages or anything. No need to panic. But send your positive thoughts over to Ireland - they had a heck of a day.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ahem! Announcement time

If you've been an unfortunate long-time reader of this blog, and I mean LONG TIME, going back to what, 2004? Then you know that I adore Magic Hat #9. I get to have one every once a year or so. Seriously. I hate all fruity beers EXCEPT Magic Hat #9.

Magic Hat #9 is light, English Pale Ale with fruity flavoring, of the peach/apricot variety. It's a total chick beer, but NOT a sickly-sweet chick beer. It finishes dry and crisp, which I really like.

You may or may not find me at any of the bars listed below in the near future:

Record Bar, Westport Flea Market, Harry's Country Club Bar, Charlie Hooper's, Grinders, Swagger, Blue Grotto, The Well and Johnny's Tavern in the Power and Light District

Oh hey! I wonder if this means I could get a keg of it from one of our bar business friends for the office? Hmmmmmmmm....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What Beer Should I Drink?

Just in time for those wonderful Holiday parties, Eating The Road to the rescue. They figured we may need this one a bit more than the others seeing that we may be a little…ahh, under the influence. Due to that, please use this chart with caution and responsibility.
I tried to post it here, but it is simply to huge to post nicely on my poor little blogger template.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Scientific Studies = DUH

I know that every beer drinking male in the US caught this side item in the news recently. A German study (go figure) determined that a chemical in hops actually lowers testorone in men, which in turn may reduce their risk for prostate cancer. A snippet of that can be found here, on Guyism.

A competing study on women turns in a less rosy result - moderate female drinkers, that have recovered from breast cancer, are INCREASING their chances of getting breast cancer again. Here's the story from CNN. Of course, the women's study also noted that the 34% of moderate drinker survivors that had a return of cancer were also overweight or obese.

I didn't note those kind of stats in the male study, but rather than rant about any of that, let's add some common sense, shall we? If you're obese, lazy and drink all of the time, you're probably not going to live all that long. Male or female. Just my thought. And now, I am going to the gym. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

How cute are they?

As the jobless rate climbed toward 10 percent this summer, Erica Shea and Stephen Valand, quit their advertising jobs, took $10,000 in personal savings and started selling their 1-gallon home brew beer kits from a stand at the Brooklyn Flea Market, testing the theory that beer is recession proof...

Personal commentary: they worked in advertising, live in Brooklyn, and in a crappy economy the QUIT their jobs to do THIS?!

...Valand said in September online sales through their website - www. brooklynbrewshop.com - surpassed in-person sales at the market for the first time and the couple would like to drive more traffic there, but know that entails a major revamp of the site. In addition Shea said they are also looking to get the kits into retail stores in time for the Christmas rush. That will likely entail hiring more people to do the packaging to free up their time to devote to marketing the product better.

"Our challenges as we continue to grow the business are time and space. There's only so many hours in a day that you can be doing things and there are so many ideas that come up that we really want to pursue, but ultimately there are two of us and we get tired."

via Reuters.com

Can I order a kit from KC to send to someone in Brooklyn? Heh. Guess what my brother & sister in law are getting for this holiday? They'll be thrilled, I am sure. Especially when they find out that brewing inside makes the kitchen smell like dog food.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Excuse me, your beer is showing

An article in AdAge this week claims, "What Your Taste in Beer Says About You:
How Choice of Brew Relates to Personality, Politics and Purchases."

Being a marketing/advertising/stats nerd as well as a beer nerd means that I read it with a grain of salt and still think they nailed it. This is what marketers are looking at when they craft their messages. Who do they think you are? What are they saying to you? How does that make YOU feel? ;)

My favorite part of the article, of course, is this, because it is the most flattering to me. And because I DO love the Dos Equis campaign:

People who drink a broad portfolio of beers are different than one-brand drinkers as well. Those "indifferent" beer drinkers are more open-minded and emotional people who enjoy a variety of life experiences. Mr. Durant pointed out that they might be the types of people who would identify with a marketing campaign like that of Dos Equis: "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis."

And that is the point of the research, of course -- it's not just all fun and drinking games, but it comes with marketing lessons, Mr. Durant said. For instance, there are a lot of Bud Light drinkers in general, but there is a big difference between the ones who also drink only other domestic beers such as Coors Light and Miller Light, and ones who also prefer craft and import beers.

Extra rice, please

Last night my husband & I finally went for birthday sushi, only 2 days after my birthday. While we were debating what to eat, my husband considered ordering a stout. I wrinkled my nose at him. A stout? With sushi? Ew. There is a time and a place and a combo for everything. I am sure someone will comment about an amazing stout & fish/rice pairing they like. I just can't do it.

Every time I go for sushi, I drink one of three beers: Kirin, Sapporo or Bud Light. Because they are similar to my undistinguished palate. Not exactly the same, just not dramatically different. They are all inoffensive, clean, filtered and best cold. Perfect for washing down some raw fish and rice without mudding up flavors.
Both Kirin and Sapporo are Japanese Rice Lagers, brewed with *ahem* rice. Beer Advocate says a JRL should be pale yellow in color, soft hop nose, and expect a rounded, firm malty character, moderate bitterness, and a trademark dry finish.

Bud Light is a Light Lager style, which means that a high amount of cereal adjuncts like rice or corn are used to help lighten the beer as much as possible. Bud uses more rice, Miller uses more corn. Very low in malt flavor with a light and dry body. The hop character is low and should only balance with no signs of flavor or aroma.
I like non-intrusive beers with my rice & fish. I don't wander over to the wine side often, and sake is a bit much for most of my nights. (Side note, sake always = Jagermeister to me, with the potential to get a little too wild & crazy. I think the only reason I believe this is because they both can be ordered in "bomb" forms.) What do you normally order to drink when eating sushi?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Boulevard Brew News

I am not late on this due to laziness, for once. I attended the Boulevard Brewmaster Luncheon today, featuring food and beer pairings from KC Hop's restaurant Barley's Brewhaus. It was amazing. As the post on BeerAdvocate promised, it was a power lunch for my taste buds. The lunch also included a quick tour of the brewery, which is truly a work of art. I have not been over there since the bottling line was installed where the old basketball court had been. Hours after lunch, I am still full from this outing. And after lunch I went back to work instead of taking a nice long nap, which is what I desperately wanted to do! But seriously, take a look at this menu, and tell me you wouldn't need a nap afterwards?

Tank 7 is a lovely, citrusy beer to pair with shrimp (prawns, if you want to be particular) and we all know how much I love Bob's with anything. As the chef recommended, I took a sip after every bit of pork and butternut squash gnocchi. OMG. The Seeyoulater pairing with dessert was inspired. One of the many lessons from lunch is that I need to get myself back to Barley's sometime soon. I haven't been in years, and I couldn't even tell you the last thing I ate there. But if this lunch was anything like what I could expect, it's back on my radar. Huge, massive thanks to Jeremy for the invite.

The brewmaster @ Boulevard, Steven Pauwels, is a great personality for these kind of events. If you see these pop up again, I highly recommend taking a friend, and then taking the rest of the afternoon OFF!!
So in other, related news, Boulevard sent out a press release today about a joint effort between the brewmasters of Boulvard and Orval teaming up for one limited release beer in KC. The press release was covered in it's entirety over at the KC Beer Blog. Not everyone is pumped about an Imperial Pilsner, but I think it'll be a great interesting brew. Not something I would drink all the time, no, but still interesting for nerds and award opportunities, right? Boulevard has been pumping out tons of different limited releases this year, and I couldn't keep up with all of them on the old blog. They've been quite busy and innovative over there, and I am in love with almost all of the Smokestack series, and of course the Single Wide IPA.
So just in case you want to know what on earth an Imperial Pilsner is, I looked it up. My general understanding of anything called "Imperial" is that it is stronger than the regular version, in both flavor and alcoholic content. But I figured a more academic explanation would be more helpful to everyone. Now we just have to wait until January for the release of the Boulevard/Orval take!
Beer Advocate says an Imperial Pilsner is: Similar to a Pilsner in appearance, but expect a more pronounced malty backbone and an intense bitterness. Malt flavors tend to be quite sweet in many examples. Alcohol can be quite aggressive and lend some spicy notes to the flavor.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Great Guinness - Win!

Raise your glass for a Guinness Toast! The famous Guinness story began in 1752 when Arthur inherited 100 pounds from his godfather. It wasn't until three years later that 34-year-old Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for his new Dublin brewery 250 years ago on September 24, 1759, and began brewing stout, a very dark beer the world knows and loves today.

Today is Arthur's Day, and a global toast is organized to take place at 17:59 Dublin local time around the world. That is about 7 hours from now, or midnight for us Midwesterners. I won't be up that late tonight, I am afraid, but the kind folks at Guinness have sent me a lovely little care package to celebrate the day. It includes a bar towel, glass, baseball cap and an autographed glossy photo of Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray. I don't have enough readers to try a radio station style contest (250th commenter wins!) but I probably can still up enough of you for 25th commenter, right?
Comment away friends. 25th commenter wins the package. I'll contact you for shipping info.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stay Classy

Some think this "viral" campaign by Bud Light for the Bud Light Lime cans is clever or funny. It's not. Not clever. Not funny. Not entertaining. I like dude-rtising. I think the majority of ads targeted to men are funny. Bud Light ads were always funny on the verge of stupid, but this is just flat out retarded. If you had dropped in a line about getting it in the can ONCE, that could have been funny. Repeated over and over, it's not. I think Jonathan over at the Pitch got it right - it 100% reminds me of the movie Idiocracy.

"The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hopes the genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources were focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections. "

Dreams Smashed

The men at my house this morning from 1-800-Got-Junk were suprisingly strong for their appearances. They carted away my broken retro deep freeze, after 2 Dads, 2 friends and my husband vetoed the idea of hauling the thing up from the basement, lifting it onto a truck, and driving it to the new house, only to have to fix it anyway. The Junk guys had it out of my basement in5 seconds flat, and I considered trying to bribe them to take it to our new place. But I gave up, and let it go. No retro kegerator at our house, then.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Retro Recycling

This old deep freeze has lived in my basement for a very very long time. It came with the house. It does not work. Now that we're emptying the house to move, I find that I've become attached. How do I turn this 1964 Frigidaire freezer into a most awesome retro kegerator? Anyone know a local who's handy with refrigeration?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Tony Toni Tone know all about it

It's our anniversary,
Made for you and me and
I've only made plans
To hold your little hand
It's our anniversary (anniversary)

Happy Four Year Blog-a-versary to us, little blog & me. The official 4th anniversary suggestions are fruit or flowers. The only fruit beers we can stomach here at a beer sort of blog are Magic Hat #9, and Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale. I'm ordering some of each.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How y'all doin?

Sooooo, I just back from Bristol. Tennessee. We rented RVs. It takes about 12-13 hours to drive there from KC. We worked our tails off, saw some NASCAR, debated loving/hating Kyle Busch, made friends in the campground and tried moonshine called "Catdaddy." I picked up a wicked southern drawl that it will take a week of solid Henry Higgins style voice coaching to drop. I now address singular individuals as y'all. No word actually ends in a "g." I can understand Boomhauer from King of the Hill. We drank Busch Light, Miller Lite and Bud Light. Yep. And you know what? I enjoyed the heck out of it. Random post over.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Nada Surf in my head

I got an email a little over a week ago titled, "Wanna be in Ink?" I said, "Well, yeah, why not?" So I had an interview and photo shoot today. It turns out that they are doing a spotlight on local bloggers, and I am the most sporadic blogger on the list. I was a little sheepish.

So in order to make myself feel a little better, I pulled up some stats on this mess:

Blog Age: 4 years old
Published Posts: 303
Kansas City Related Posts: 86
Beer Reviews: 72
Beer-Related Posts: 161
Non-Beer Related Posts: 70
(So I stay on topic about 77% of the time. That's probably higher than in real life, right?)

Monthly traffic averages a little over 2,000 unique visitors, with about 88% of them being NEW visitors. Thank you, Google Search. You are a strange friend.

With all those newbies visiting, one wonders how they get here.
50% find me by name, blog name, or type it in direct (which makes me think they aren't all NEW visitors)
25% found my WW points for beer post (also the most emailed post, by far)
10% come from feed engines, like the beerinator or alltop.

The remaining 20% are a hodgepodge of sources. Some click from one of the other bloggers who are kind enough to link here, some are searching for one of the hundred actual beer brands/labels included in this blog, some find pictures I have posted here via image searches, or are lead astray by my BeerAdvocate profile. Very rarely do I get the random searches for "beer girls," but when I do, they don't stay long.

So, new visitors, welcome to the world of a beer sort of girl. It's a bit lazy, a little random, and a lot about beer. Drinking it, enjoying it, contemplating it, marketing it, and sometimes even attempting to brew it. Here are a few posts I would recommend, ever so humbly, if you don't want to wade thru the tags on the left:

ATTN BEER BREWERS! Great comment feedback from brewers on how to start homebrewing.
Irish brew breakdown Recommendations for celebrating St. Pat's day without green beer.
Dark Beer 101 Don't be afraid of the dark side, I'll show you the way.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A beer sort of day

KC Hop Head and OregonAmy were nice enough to let me host July's Brew Day, and despite some ungodly humidity, I think a good time was had by all. I know I learned a lot, just by watching them do their brews. I chickened out, because I still had yet to figure out how to properly carbonate my Questionable Cream Ale in the keg, and am not loving the results I get from extract brewing. KC Hop Head managed to get my beer all set, so it was tested, and deemed drinkable if not delicious. :) The brews brought by Amy and her husband quite awesome, and I am freshly motivated to move on from "kit" beer. It doesn't look quite as scary and difficult, when everyone else can knock it out while hanging out on my back deck. So thanks for the fantastic company and examples to follow. I'm personally interested in the oatmeal raisin stout that was smelling so nice while boiling! Friends showed up all day and evening, and I thank you all.

Everyone brought summertime brews to share, from home brew to special finds. I think my top favorites were the Belgian Cherry that Average Jane brought, the Founder's Scottish Ale brought by Tim, and the IPA brewed by Amy & her husband. Good stuff!

My dog is so exhausted from yesterday that he has only woken up twice so far - both times to eat. Ha!

Edited to add that I inherited both a tan Coleman cooler with one unmarked bottle of homebrew, and a hula hoop after everyone left on Saturday. If you'd like to claim either, let me know!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Brew Day! Deck Party! Super Happy Fun Time!

Everyone is cordially invited to a Brew Day at a beer sort of house! Saturday, July 11th, starting around noon. We're going with a Summer Beer Trade/Brewing/Drinking theme. Think lagers, pilsners, fruit brews, kolsch, etc. We'll fire up the Weber, have a few yard games, and lots of awesome people there, some even brewing up their own concoctions. The forecast says 92 degrees, but it is always cooler in the shade of Prairie Village, so plan to stop by! Bring your favorite brew to share, and possibly a camp chair. :) Email, twitter, IM, etc for directions.

Oh yeah, edited to add that our house is a couple of weeks from going on the market. If you or anyone you know really wants to move into a remodeled ranch on an awesome street in Prairie Village with great neighbors, come check out the house before it goes on the market.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Second batch of homebrew is almost ready for second fermentation, so fingers crossed. Bubbling is mostly stopped, gravity truth to be unveiled tonight. The Cream Ale involved way less STUFF, so maybe it's more idiot-proof? We shall see.

Works busy, economy is crap, and I think I am putting my house on the market to buy another one down the street. Gotta keep it interesting, you know.

I am going to Baltimore & DC for the 4th, any recommendations on where to get a decent beer?

Also, Jessica from Obsidian Public Relations thought I might find this interesting enough to post on my blog, so here you all go:

Flying Saucer will present a beer tasting featuring Schlafly Beer on Monday, July 6 at 7 p.m. The event will be hosted by Stephen Hale, head brewer at St. Louis-based Schlafly. Six of Schlafly’s bottle-conditioned and barrel-aged beers will be paired with selected meats, artisan cheeses and dessert. Featured beers include the Tripel, Grand Cru, Bière de Garde, Quadruple, Oak-Aged Barleywine and Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. Tickets for the event can be purchased at Flying Saucer and are $30 for U.F.O. Club members and $35 for non-members.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fail Whale Pale Ale

The name ended up being more prophetic than I would have liked. It's really bad. Like, I don't even want to try anymore. I tried, I did. It smells awesome, but tastes like behonkey. The super low gravity that never rose told me this would be the result a week or so ago, but I really wanted it to succeed. Hope and want are not enough. Perseverance might be. You can get pretty far in a lot of things just by trying really hard and not giving up. I'm pretty stubborn, I don't like to fail, and I do lots of things I was not born to do, so there will be many more attempts.

Boil of a new brew starts tomorrow. In the meantime, I have a lot of cleaning to do. Sigh.

COMPLETELY related note:
I missed out on Amy's brew day today. I really could have used it. Long story, poor me, boo hoo, has everything to do with not so happy neighbors, a landscaping project, and then having to fill in for an employee on a Saturday afternoon/evening.

That being said, KC brewers, if I can provide an actual venue, a free, private space, a place to gather, consume, discuss and teach/mentor the slower of us (me), would you be interested in an another meet up? The door is wide open. We could even invite home brew stores to come bring us goodies. I work in marketing, people, I will find us free stuff if I need to stoop to that level. Brew club peeps, experts & proven winning brewers (Jeff, I am looking at you) and fans (Bullevard) would you consider it?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Buy a movie ticket, get a free gift

If you're thinking about going to the movies on Friday, why not head out to AMC's Fork & Screen Studio 30 in Olathe? Boulevard Brewery is having release party of their seasonal beer, Zon, from 5 – 8PM. (Yes, I know Zon has been out in stores for a bit already, but they decided to throw the party now.) There will be free beer sampling with Boulevard staff on-site to talk about their beers and the brewery, free food sampling that goes well with the flavors, and movie swag from the movie “The Hangover” that comes out on Friday – t-shirts, shot glasses, etc. Get your free gift with movie ticket purchase this week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I've always had a thing with gravity

Gravity testing on the brew starts now. Then on to moving it from one fermenter to another. Aren't you glad I updated you all on that? I am sure.

I've been kind of busy. Not in a bloggy way. Perhaps a little burnt out at the end of the day, too much time, too little do. Strike that, reverse it, you know. But it is summertime, GORGEOUS, and I have a little positive thing here: I paid a stranger to power wash, strip and restain my deck because I want to enjoy it, and I couldn't face doing it again. Grab a sixer of something interesting & meet me in the backyard, anytime.

Edited to note - This started out around a 1.020, I think. I should have done a better job of reading that specifically. Here's where we are now. Going to 2nd it because it really needs some clarification if my husband is going to drink it at all. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Double double toil and trouble

We have bubbles. One at least every 3 seconds. So I have that going for me. Which is nice.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Got wort?

I FINALLY have the wort in the carboy, and after messing up the seal, potentially sprinkling the dry yeast wrong, and almost forgetting to take a hydrometer reading, I THINK we may be in business. I have no idea. This batch is my warm up batch. No harm if it sucks, right?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Still haven't started

I went out of town to visit my mom in New England for Mother's Day, work's been all consuming, and I haven't had at least 4 hours at home to myself in the past 2 weeks, but I think I may be able to start my brewing experiment tonight or tomorrow night. We shall see.

In the meantime, please read Bull E. Vard's announcement that THERE IS MORE SAISON BRETT AVAILABLE! Oh yeah. Happy.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

And the waiting begins

So I took too much time to get distracted by shiny objects, as is my thing. Trey is WAY ahead of me. But I finally got off my duff, went to Northern Brewer, and ordered myself a kit for pale ale, and the starter kit with TWO plastic carboys. Yes, TWO. I have a soda keg, and I bet I can grab 2 cases worth of bottles in a short time period, so I will be brewing two test batches after receipt of said purchases. Kegerator supplied by my employer (ahem). Heaven help both my coworkers and my husband. Here we GO.

Friday, April 24, 2009


I need some advice. I really want to start brewing. I have been goofing around with *thinking* about it for about a year. A friend of mine said he would do it with me, but my foot dragging pushed his impatience, and he started without me last night. He's doing a Cream Ale, from some sort of starter kit, and brewing straight to a keg. Booo. But it seems to have been the competitive spark I needed to get off my duff and start.

I bought this book, and I ended up getting a little more freaked out after reading, since it suddenly felt a lot more like chemistry class than home ec. I can bake, I should be able to brew, but now I am over thinking it. I am definitely starting from a kit from a local homebrew store, and I am STILL compiling a list of equipment I need. I'm recruiting the husband into the hobby, so I won't be alone.

I would love feedback from all you awesome people out there, you award winners, you serious brewers that I admire so much. Here are my starter questions:

  1. What are the must have, no messing around, don't bother if you don't own this, equipment that you would recommend?
  2. For a first timer, what style of brew would YOU recommend starting?
  3. Should I attempt bottling, or is keg brewing easier? I have access to kegs and a kegerator, so I feasibly could do it, but am afraid of ruining so much beer all at once.
  4. What are the worst mistakes newbies make, and how can I avoid them?
Thanks guys, I really do appreciate it!

Guinness 250

Available starting today!
250 years ago, brewing excellence and innovation were set in motion when Arthur Guinness signed the 9,000 year lease on the famous St. James's Gate brewery in Dublin. To mark this remarkable anniversary, GUINNESS 250 Anniversary Stout is being made available in the United States on a limited edition basis (approximately six months). This marks the first new stout offering in the U.S. from Guinness since 1966 -- more than 40 years ago -- when Guinness draught was first introduced to Americans.

The commemorative stout is carbonated, not nitrogenated like the traditional GUINNESS Draught. As a result, it has a near-white frothy stout beer head of larger bubble size than that of GUINNESS Draught, and is poured on draught in a one-part pour or gently from a bottle (as opposed to the two-part pour unique to GUINNESS draught). This product has a crisp effervescent taste with a balanced malty, roasted, hop flavor that is enhanced when released with a lively, refreshing and smooth carbonated mouthfeel. A triple hop addition regime provides a hint of bitterness.

O'Dowd's in Zona Rosa in one of two bars in KC that will have this on tap. They will be tapping it this evening. Where else can you find it?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Office Beer Update 2

I don't believe the Boulevard Single Wide IPA is very popular at the Global Headquarters of Department Zero. The dry bitterness that I like so much may be to blame, as the less intense Mighty Arrow Pale Ale from New Belgium was already gone by now. Although to be fair, we had several friends help us polish that off during a First Friday's get together. We're at 2 weeks now, with just a 1/6 barrel keg. So in case anyone was worried, we're all back to our mostly non-alcoholic ways.

Update 4/24
We blew the keg last night. Whew.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

KC Craft Beer Week Events

I have been looking for events in the KC area for Craft Beer Week, coming up May 11-17. So far all I have found are the Boulevard events, posted to their FB page. Even BeerAdvocate has let me down. Anyone else have an idea on what else might be going on?

Monday, May 11
Boulevard Smokestack Sampling
O'Dowd's Little Dublin (Plaza location)

Tuesday, May 12
Boulevard Beer Dinner
Grinder's (Crossroads)
7 pm $30 per person
Call 816-472-5454 for reservations.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rainy Days & Mondays Always Get Me Down

I still really want to go on a beer vacation. I think that would be sweet. Colorado, I haven't scheduled it yet, but I will come see you soon.

I just realized that I don't have a tag created for "craft beer." How can this be? I guess I get to start one, and play a re-tagging old posts game tonight.

Today the Brewer's Association released top 50 lists, in terms of sales volume in 2008.

Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies by Beer Sales Volume
(Based on 2008 sales)

Rank Brewing Company City State
1 Boston Beer Co. Boston MA
2 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA
3 New Belgium Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
4 Spoetzl Brewery Shiner TX
5 Pyramid Breweries Inc. Seattle WA
6 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
7 Matt Brewing Co. Utica NY
8 Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City MO
9 Full Sail Brewing Co. Hood River OR
10 Magic Hat Brewing Co. Burlington VT
11 Alaskan Brewing Co. Juneau AK
12 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
13 Bell's Brewery, Inc. Galesburg MI
14 Kona Brewing Co. Kailua-Kona HI
15 Anchor Brewing Co. San Francisco CA
16 Shipyard Brewing Co. Portland ME
17 Summit Brewing Co. Saint Paul MN
18 Stone Brewing Co. Escondido CA
19 Abita Brewing Co. Abita Springs LA
20 The Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
21 New Glarus Brewing Co. New Glarus WI
22 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
23 Long Trail Brewing Co. Bridgewater Corners VT
24 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. San Jose CA
25 Rogue Ales/Oregon Brewing Co. Newport OR
26 Great Lakes Brewing Co. Cleveland OH
27 The Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma CA
28 Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles CA
29 SweetWater Brewing Co. Atlanta GA
30 Flying Dog Brewing Co. Frederick MD
31 BJ's Restaurant & Brewery Huntington Beach CA
32 Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurants Louisville CO
33 BridgePort Brewing Co. Portland OR
34 Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
35 Victory Brewing Co. Downingtown PA
36 Mac and Jack's Brewery Redmond WA
37 Big Sky Brewing Co. Missoula MT
38 Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants Chattanooga TN
39 Karl Strauss Brewing Co. San Diego CA
40 Breckenridge Brewery Denver CO
41 Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe Eureka CA
42 Otter Creek Brewing Co. Middlebury VT
43 Utah Brewers Cooperative Salt Lake City UT
44 North Coast Brewing Co. Fort Bragg CA
45 Blue Point Brewing Co. Patchogue NY
46 Boulder Beer Co. Boulder CO
47 Pete's Brewing Co. San Antonio TX
48 McMenamins Breweries Portland OR
49 Anderson Valley Brewing Co. Boonville CA
50 The Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. St Louis MO

Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies by Beer Sales Volume
(Based on 2008 sales)

Rank Brewing Company City State
1 Anheuser-Busch InBev St. Louis MO
2 MillerCoors Brewing Co. Chicago IL
3 Pabst Brewing Co. Woodridge IL
4 Boston Beer Co. Boston MA
5 D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc. Pottsville PA
6 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA
7 Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc. Woodinville WA
8 New Belgium Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
9 High Falls Brewing Co. Rochester NY
10 Spoetzl Brewery Shiner TX
11 Pyramid Breweries Inc. Seattle WA
12 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
13 Iron City Brewing Co. Pittsburgh PA
14 Minhas Craft Brewery Monroe WI
15 Matt Brewing Co. Utica NY
16 Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City MO
17 Full Sail Brewing Co. Hood River OR
18 Magic Hat Brewing Co. Burlington VT
19 Alaskan Brewing Co. Juneau AK
20 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
21 Bell's Brewery, Inc. Galesburg MI
22 Goose Island Beer Co. Chicago IL
23 Kona Brewery LLC Kailua-Kona HI
24 Anchor Brewing Co. San Francisco CA
25 August Schell Brewing Co. New Ulm MN
26 Shipyard Brewing Portland ME
27 Summit Brewing Co. Saint Paul MN
28 Stone Brewing Co. Escondido CA
29 Mendocino Brewing Co. Ukiah CA
30 Abita Brewing Co., L.L.C. Abita Springs LA
31 The Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
32 New Glarus Brewing Co. New Glarus WI
33 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
34 Long Trail Brewing Co. Bridgewater Corners VT
35 Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. San Jose CA
36 Rogue Ales/Oregon Brewing Co. Newport OR
37 Great Lakes Brewing Co. Cleveland OH
38 The Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma CA
39 Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles CA
40 SweetWater Brewing Co. Atlanta GA
41 Flying Dog Brewing Co. Frederick MD
42 BJ's Restaurant & Brewery Huntington Beach CA
43 Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurants Louisville CO
44 BridgePort Brewing Co. Portland OR
45 Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins CO
46 Victory Brewing Co. Downingtown PA
47 Straub Brewery Saint Marys PA
48 Cold Spring Brewing Co. Cold Spring MN
49 Mac and Jack's Brewery Redmond WA
50 Big Sky Brewing Co. Missoula MT

Monday, April 06, 2009

Now I HAVE to try brewing....

because this is officially the name of my first batch.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Office Beer Update

Last Friday we went on our quest to locate a baby keg of good beer for the office. One week later, during a First Friday impromptu get together, we killed that keg. One week. A 1/6 barrel is about 5 gallons, so that's an average of a gallon a day. Considering there are now 9 of us in our office everyday, that's not really surprising. Just shows you the difference between having good beer around, versus a mega keg of Miller Light! This week brings a new beer quest, and the beginnings of a recommended office beer list. Updates to come on a more regular basis.

1.) New Belgium's Mighty Arrow Pale Ale
2.) Sam Adams White Ale**
3.) Boulevard's Single Wide IPA**

**Yes, we got TWO mini-kegs at the same time. Now this should last us at least 2 weeks. We shall see how the Belgian wheat and hoppy IPA score with the crowd!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Schlitz blows thru town

Bull over at the KCBeerBlog actually caught the Schlitz Gusto teams at Harry's, and Fox News caught up with them at Paddy O'Quigley's. It hit the news that Schlitz was making a comeback last year. Today they are wrapping up their KC tour, and moving on to STL for tomorrow. Bull, you gotta share some pics of the Gusto Girls. They apparently weren't TV friendly?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Office Beer

As previously discussed, our office keg has not been replenished since July. JULY! The last thing in there was a big keg of Miller Lite, leftover from a summer party, and no one wanted to drink it. So it sat, and sat, and sat. Ew. We dumped it all out months ago, and left the keg laying around our office for too long. So on Friday Aaron & I went beer shopping for the office, looking for something that fit the following requirements:

  • is in fact, an actual beer (April wanted cider)
  • is not too dark (don't want to scare 'em)
  • is not a mass produced lager (NO BUD OR MILLER, DAMMIT)
  • is light & seasonal for spring (gotta switch it up now & then)
  • in no way contains fruit of any kind (I hate fruit beer)
So we haul the keg back to Gomer's, and it had been so long they no longer had our paperwork! No worries, they found us in the system, and we traded that big empty keg in for a 1/6 barrel keg of New Belgium's Mighty Arrow Pale Ale. That's about 5 gallons of good beer, which means we shouldn't have a problem getting thru it in a timely manner. I also took pity on April & grabbed her a sixer of Woodchuck's Granny Apple Cider. And after a full hour of 4 dudes messing around with O rings, we got the lines cleaned and the keg hooked up, and proceeded to have a wonderful Friday afternoon brainstorm.

A few notes about the Mighty Arrow Pale Ale. It's good! Almost sweet, for a pale, but that's b/c it's an APA, not an IPA, which is what I've been drinking lately. It's coppery, like April's cider, and via newbie pouring efforts, we got several inches of foamy head on each pint. I credit Aaron with the pick, since it was well received by everyone in our office, the Busch Light drinkers included. *shudder*

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Craft Beer Week is coming

From BeverageWorld
BOULDER, CO: America's small and independent craft brewers are making special plans for the annual American Craft Beer Week (May 11-17), a national celebration highlighting the culture and contributions of craft beer.

These brewers want the week to inspire beer enthusiasts to declare their independence by supporting breweries that produce fewer than 2 million barrels of beer a year and are independently owned.

In the works are special brewery tours, beer and food pairing events, special release craft beers and festivals all across the U.S.

A Declaration of Beer Independence is available on the program web site and the American Craft Beer Week fan page on Facebook, which participating breweries are encouraging beer enthusiasts to sign.

Local breweries and restaurants will also post a copy of the Declaration of Beer Independence so that patrons can show their support.

"The U.S. has become known as the best beer nation in the world. This reputation is in thanks to the innovation and passion of America's craft brewers who have taken beer styles to the next level. During American Craft Beer Week our goal is to get 10,000 Facebook users to become supporters of the American Craft Beer Week fan page, and thus declare their beer independence," stated Julia Herz, a spokesperson for the Brewers Association.

Small and independent craft brewers provide nearly 100,000 jobs, and in 2008 the total taxable barrels of beer produced by craft brewers was 8,596,971. Additionally, many craft brewers go to incredible lengths and great costs to lessen their impact on their surrounding environment and community. Representing 4.0 percent by volume and 6.3 percent in dollars of the overall beer market, consumer interest in the craft sector continues to grow, but not without challenges. According to the Brewers Association, the cost of operating a small brewery has increased over 39% November 2007 to November 2008.

Today's craft brewers face many challenges including the following:

* Access to ingredients and raw materials
* Increased pricing for materials and supplies
* Access to market (competition for shelf space at the retail level)

In 2006, the inaugural American Craft Beer Week was recognized by the U.S. Congress with House Resolution 753. Since then, the week has continued to attract interest and support from beer enthusiasts and media with more than 180 breweries formally participating in 2008.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sin City Brewing Co.

Just sharing an article I dug from the Las Vegas Journal Review. I had a Sin City Amber, I think, last time I was in Vegas, and I wondered where it all came from.

Microbrewer Creates Beers with Distinctly Las Vegas Flavor

A hobby that began in college turned into a 20-year career for Richard Johnson.

And all he was trying to do was get free beer.

Now, Johnson hopes his beverages will become synonymous with a trip to Las Vegas.

Johnson, 46, created the Sin City Brewing Co. in 2003, inventing his own special beer brands and selling them on tap at Las Vegas bars and taverns.

Three years later, he opened a small bar inside what is now the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort where he sells his four custom brands of beer by the pint and offers a line of Sin City Brewing Co. logo apparel and other merchandise.

The 400-square-foot location has done well enough to warrant a second site, which is opening at the end of March at the Flamingo. The 900-square-foot bar will overlook the Flamingo's 15-acre pool area and wildlife complex and also offer an outdoor patio.

Johnson hopes the Flamingo outlet will lead to other Sin City Brewing Co. locations on the Strip.

"We needed a microbrewery that identified with Las Vegas," Johnson said. "People go into cities and the easiest way to get to know the town is to buy some of their products. Beer is definitely one of those ways to get to know the city. It makes you feel like you get a taste of the place."

Microbreweries have exploded across the nation in the past decade, many of which began like Johnson's, as someone's hobby. For three straight years, microbrewery beers have outpaced the sales of imported beers, the American Brewers Association reports.

Johnson creates four beers—Sin City Amber, Sin City Light, Sin City Stout and Sin City Weisse. He brews the beers in small batches (100 kegs at a time) at the Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. on Paradise Road. He helped build the brewery in the late 1990s when he worked for the company.

Johnson said he brews his beer using traditional methods, premium raw materials and a strict adherence to the Rheinheitsgebot, the 1516 German beer purity law.

Johnson employs five people at Sin City Brewing and he oversees production of the beer.

Popularity at the Miracle Mile Shops bar and the new location at the Flamingo means more of Sin City's beer needs to be directed toward the company-owned locations. Johnson has scaled back the bars and taverns to about 15 locations from a high of 50.

He has no plans to turn the microbrew bars into microbrew pubs that offer food service.

"For us, it's all about the beer," Johnson said.

Copyright (c) 2009, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Monday, March 16, 2009

Kennedy's is back!

So here another reason you should most def hit Waldo for St. Pat's tomorrow. Kennedy's is open again, in their shiny new awesome space! (Thanks to BullEVard)

Check out their Facebook page, with pics.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So, it is almost St. Patrick's Day...

I wanted to say again that I love this day. I do. But not how others love this day. I don't get crazy, start fights, participate in drunken drama, puke, scream, or otherwise become an asshat on St. Patrick's Day. I don't drink or eat anything dyed green. I take cabs everywhere because I am afraid to risk my car getting hit by a moron. I am not, as you should know, some ridiculous amateur. And it is almost amateur hour again.

But I WILL be eating an Irish breakfast, perhaps cooking up some boxty options for lunch @work, maybe with Guinness floats, and enjoying the little authentic Irish music to be found here & there.

Need info on the parade route? Go here.
Here is the website for Lew's Irish Hooley, where I will be in the afternoon.
Here's my little lecture on being safe.
Here are my favorite Irish brews.

Have fun!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Flo's Cabaret

I loved the Bar Natasha location, but didn't honestly frequent it all that often. A beer sort of girl rarely finds herself in a martini and piano bar without a group setting. However, I can admit that I am excited that the cool spot will be reopening soon, as a larger variety of non-P&L watering holes in the Crossroads area just improves my quality of life. Work-life. Whatever.

Anyway, I eavesdropped that it might be opening in about a month. As a venue for Flo's cabaret show. Flo will appear Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while still making Sunday gigs at Tootsie’s, 1818 Main St. They plan other shows Tuesdays and Thursdays, along with Happy Hour offerings.

**Edited 4/8/09**
Opening this Friday, 4/10, with shows Friday and Saturday night. Mark your calendars!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boulevard/Flying Saucer PSA

Pausing for a commercial break:

The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
will present a beer tasting featuring Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing Company on Monday, March 9 at 7 p.m. at its location in the Kansas City Power & Light District at 101 East 13th St.

The event will be hosted by Steven Pauwels, brewmaster at Boulevard. Five beers from Boulevard’s Smokestack Series will be paired with specially selected artisan cheeses and a dessert. Featured pairings include the Long Strange Tripel with a St. André Tripel Crème; the Smokestack Saison with a Great Pyrenees Goat with green peppercorns; the Double-Wide I.P.A. with Blue Stilton; the Smokestack Imperial Stout as a stand-alone feature; the Sixth Glass Quadrupel with chocolate truffles; and one special “mystery” beer from Boulevard.

“At The Flying Saucer, we want to be the beer destination for the Kansas City area, and hosting tastings with local favorites like Boulevard is a part of that,” said Matt Gardner, general manager at The Flying Saucer. “Boulevard celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2009, and in those 20 years, it has become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest, producing great yearlong and seasonal brews. Beer enthusiasts will not want to miss the opportunity to try six Boulevard beers in one sitting. Plus, we don’t even know what the mystery beer will be!”

Tickets for the event can be purchased at The Flying Saucer and are $30 for U.F.O. Club members and $35 for non-members. Reservations are recommended as space is limited.

For more information about the event, please call (816) 221-1900 or visit www.beerknurd.com/stores/kansascity.

I would totally be here on this day, except it's kind of a big day at work, so I prolly won't make it. sniffle Poor me. So, who is going?

Monday, February 23, 2009

A continued love affair

Me + Winter = Stout Love Forever

I was wandering the shelves of my friendly neighborhood liquor store, looking for something, anything different, really, and not finding much that piqued my interest. At the bottom of a display, I saw a sixer of this. Check out Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, brewed by the Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Booneville, CA. According to the brewery’s site:

With its deep, dark brown-black color, thick, full-bodied, velvety-smooth mouth feel, mocha character, and, strong yet subtle hop bite, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout is one of the thickest, richest, and most complex stouts on the market today. In 1990, it became our first gold medal winner, at the Great American Beer Festival. Barney Flats was judged so superior to the other stouts that no other medals were even awarded in its category. Try it and see why Stewart Kallen described it as, "Slippery, creamy, dark, and sweet as a Pacific May morning," in his book, The 50 Greatest Beers in the World.

Jason, of the Almstrom Bros of Beer Advocate, noted the following:
Presentation: 12 oz brown long-neck bottle with no freshness date. Blurb about the beer on the back label.
Appearance: Stout black with a wispy light brown lace.
Smell: Sweet and tangy with a mild coffee and chicory aroma.
Taste: Rich, smooth and textured. A fight between the roasted flavour and hop oil … hop oil finally gives up. Hops give a good fight with a flowery bitterness and leave a short trail of flavour. Roasted flavour keeps on pushing on, full bodied and a bit of sweetness come through. The finish is of a faded tangy roasted ending.
Notes: Seriously hearty stout, very full bodied and pretty much no holds bared on your taste buds. This is what you call a beefed up stout … where is my cigar?

My pathetic reviews can’t top Jason’s insightful notes, so I am not going to try, except to let you all know that this is hands down, absolutely, my favorite stout right this second. Go find some!

Oh, and I ripped this picture off of the Google. I didn't go on a glass buying spree. Mine was consumed from a regular old pint glass. Of course.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Beer at Work

I need some help from all of my KC brew buddies. Recommendations, anyone?

We have a kegerator at work, and it is currently empty. It is empty because we can't seem to find a decent source of small/pony kegs. When we have giant parties, we go thru standard sized kegs, no problem. But our office staff of 9 can't seem to kill a keg in a timely manner, and the lines get gross, and by then, well, it's just too late. We all like interesting beer, and variety. We have good beer in the fridge, but it just seems like a waste to have a kegerator and not use it.

So, where can we pick up pony kegs of GOOD beer? (Don't tell me to brew my own. I know. I'm just starting to get my head wrapped around that, and you really wouldn't want to subject my coworkers to a first batch.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One of these things is not like the other

OK, so this isn't beer related. But I have been living in a bit of a hole, apparently, and I just learned that Phillips Chop House closed. WHAT?! DAMMIT. I haven't been that in love with a restaurant in a while, and now I can't drag my husband there for Valentines Day. Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Snowboarding in 70 degree weather!

This weekend my company will be dumping 68 TONS OF SNOW on the KC! LIVE Block. Why? Well, because we're having a snowboard tournament in the middle of the Power & Light, of course. Saturday, February 7th. And of course it'll be 70 degrees that day. So you should DEFINITELY come down to see the craziness. It'll be as family friendly as possible, with most of the bars closed during the day. Once the booze-mall picks up steam, the kidlets should have gone home anyway. The later crowd will enjoy the pro-am teams doing crazy tricks on the rails in the later evening.

Over the course of the next three days, a ski hill will emerge in the Live! Block descending from the skywalk to the Live! Stage standing over a story and half tall, 50 feet wide and 107 feet long. A total of 150 pre-registered local and national riders will compete in the event and 16 will be named to the “Scion 16” for an opportunity to team up with one of 16 professional riders for the finals competition. A large crowd is anticipated for the finale as it is the biggest snowboarding event to take place in the Midwest.

Thursday, February 5, 2009 (Ski hill construction & snow dump)
Saturday, February 7, 2009 (Competition)

Thursday, February 5, 2009
7:00 a.m. – Ski hill set-up begins (continues all day, until finished)

Friday, February 6, 2009
1:00 p.m. – Snow trucked in from Snow Creek in Weston, Mo.

Saturday February, 7, 2009
7:00 a.m. – Snow trucked in from Snow Creek in Weston, Mo.
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Registration)
Noon – 6:30 p.m. (Snowboarding Competition)
9 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. (Finals)

The KC Live! Block in The Kansas City Power & Light District

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Foundry

Have I mentioned how much I love Westport now? Well, I do. Because I am not single OR 23 years old, and I cannot hang in the P&L too often. Westport grew up a little, and I like it better. Especially on slow weeknights.

Yesterday was our 7th anniversary, and we did the fancy expensive dinner thing over the weekend. So we decided to catch happy hour beers and pizza at the Foundry in Westport. Between McCoy's, Blanc, The Foundry, and Harry's, there are quite a few options in Westport, and it makes me happy.

We both had a couple of stouts (Kalamazoo for me, Left Hand for him), some tasty pizza, and good conversation. Even if 75% of it was about work.

Know what else makes me happy? Servers who are so friendly that they draw you happy little pictures on your leftover pizza box.

RIP Rivermarket Brewery

I got a heads up from a rivermarket resident that the Rivermarket Brewery finally closed. He said, "It disproves my theory that the only reason that place was open was to launder money. It's a good loss because the microbrewery beer was simply god awful, and the food was mediocre at best. It's regrettable that despite the drink, it was close by and I considered it my local. A lot of good friends have lost work."

He makes good points. I haven't been to the Brewery in years. Honestly. I didn't enjoy their beer, and the whole experience of just being there was vaguely uncomfortable. So I am not surprised, unless you think about how long it was open, past when it SHOULD have closed. It's a loss for the Rivermarket community, but it also means that Harry's should be a bit busier on a regular basis. Did anyone else even notice they closed?

**edited to add that this observation was sent to me yesterday, and my late posting due to workload means bullevard and fatcity totally pwned me on this one :)**

Friday, January 30, 2009


Reports are out that Coors Light has surpassed Miller Light to be the number 3 bestselling beer in the US, behind Bug Light & Budweiser. One of those stories can be found here. Coors latest marketing messaging sticks to one point, only that it should be VERY COLD. (I agree. Kills the taste.) What is funny is that Miller and Coors are supposed to be helping each other, being owned by the same company nowadays. Looks more like sibling rivalry. Clip of the info below:

Miller Lite's sales last year totaled 17.7 million barrels, down from 18.35 million barrels in 2007, according to trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights. Meanwhile, Coors Light's sales increased 2.6%, to 17.75 million barrels compared to 17.3 million barrels.

Coors Light and Miller Lite are the nation's No. 3 and No. 4 brands. The top selling brands are Bud Light, at 42 million barrels, up 0.1%, and Budweiser, at 23.1 million barrels, down 6.1%. Rounding out the top 10 are Natural Light, Corona Extra, Busch Light, Busch, High Life and Heineken.

Overall U.S. beer sales increased 0.5% in 2008.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One Second Superbowl

Have you heard about this yet? Please don't say no. Anyway, I think it's clever, and if they end up running 30 of these things, I'll be disappointed. Stick with one. See here for the "rejected" ads, and be sure to click on the part that tells you what $30 million could buy you, besides a SuperBowl spot. What do you think? If this is post-game Sunday, what DID you think?

Monday, January 12, 2009

This is the most awesome thing I've heard all day

I'm buried in work. Up to my eyeballs. Truly. But I spied this on Dan's Gone Mild blog, & I had to post about it quickly. To the Dead Canary Brew crew, just tell me what I can do to help support, beyond becoming a dedicated customer in the future.

Totally ripped off, from Dan's blog:
In 2009, Kansas City will have another brewery opening up, this time in the West Bottoms. Dead Canary Brewing is a woman-owned and run new brewery, setting up in the West Bottoms down off 12th Street, among the haunted houses and great old brick buildings.

Folks, this could be amazing.

They are setting up Beer Pong and Dodgeball Leagues. They are creating a taproom. They are committed to brewing practices that are green and sustainable. They got started on this journey by brewing naked.

Most importantly, they are creating "high content, high flavor, knock you on yo ass beers." Beers like Cat House Stout - (Dry hopped mint chocolate imperial stout), Local No. 12 - (lemongrass maple strong ale), Speakeasy IPA - (honeysuckle grapefruit IPA), Bathtub Barleywine - (copiously hopped barleywine), and Chickory Rhubarb Imperial Porter.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Chocolate for Friday

Received the below message from 75th Street Brewery today. Still not clear what the brew could be classified as, but sounds good.

Even Darth Vader can't resist the force of the brew we've got on tap now at 75th Street...

Chocolate Assent

75th Street's master brewers are releasing this rich brew to you TODAY!!
Chocolate Assent's dark brown color pours to match the six pounds of Colombian dark chocolate within the brew. The assent's aroma is full-on malty caramel with hints of the chocolate cacophony to come. Your palate will be challenged at first sip with a smooth bitterness start [reminiscent of your first chocolate chip cookie] before the lingering bittersweet chocolate taste tags along. This brew is a go-getter [as in GO GET A GROWLER] that suits a cozy night by the fireside.

But don't plan on us providing the fire. Spark it yourself.

Stop in for a pint TODAY for FIRKIN FRIDAY, January 9th at the 75th Street Brewery in Waldo.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Good, Fast or Cheap - you can only pick 2

I've read roughly one million articles on how people are changing their consumer behaviors based on the crappy economy, but this one takes the cake. According to The Australian, BEER drinkers feeling the pinch of the economic downturn are engaging in their own form of supply-chain simplification and saving money by brewing at home.

Really? My assumption was that brewing would probably be more expensive, and at least in my case, of debatable quality. Or inconsistent at the very least, in the beginning.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Black Ops

Remember my little hey-let's-break-the-law-and-send-booze-thru-the-USPS episode? My sister-in-law returned the favor by sending me some Brooklyn brew. I received a bottle of Brooklyn Brewery's Black Ops Imperial Stout last week. I waited for the right moment to break it open, which turned out to be Sunday, the night before my husband and I had to return to work after 10 consecutive days of vacation. Aaaannnnnd, thud. But I slept very well.

Regardless, a strong imperial stout was perfect for the winter evening, and this is definitely a STRONG one. According to Beer Advocate info, Brooklyn Black Ops was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented in the bottle with Champagne yeast. There were 940 cases produced. The label looks much prettier in RL than here in the picture I ripped off of someone else's Flickr.

I kept the 750 ml bottle on my kitchen counter top for more than a day, so it was definitely room temperature by the time I poured the dark, motor oil colored stout into 2 pint glasses, and waited for the abundant dark tan head to settle down before we tried it. The first whiff seemed to contain some of the bourbon barrel character, but to be honest, mostly all I smelled was raw alcohol. Well, it is an 11% ABV beer. It kind of intimidated me, but only because it was a school night. The taste starts with dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee flavors, maybe a little vanilla, a little bourbon burn, and ALCOHOL. A mostly direct quote from my husband went something like this, "This might be a great evening after all." I refrain from conjecturing what he meant by that.

All I know is that he polished off his glass long before I did. This was a sipper for me. Good, smooth, with the alcohol burn becoming less apparent with each gulp, but still a sipper. I couldn't really imagine having too much of this, but one pint was perfect. I had to get up early in the morning for the first time in almost 2 weeks. Blerg.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Years Resolutions

I like to keep things simple, so I don't have a long list. I am putting them here to keep myself honest, to check in on from time to time. Resolutions are very easy to make and very difficult for me to keep.

  1. Be healthier, meaning just to eat less crap and get to the gym an average of 3 times a week.
  2. Drink less beer, in terms of volume, and better beer when I do.
  3. Make sure my house is CLEAN, not just picked up, on a weekly basis. (Monkey hate clean.)
  4. Start homebrewing this year. (This is more of a process, meaning I have a lot to learn and purchase, and a full dance card otherwise, but it is something I always wished I knew how to do.)
What resolutions did you make?