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!