Tuesday, December 18, 2007
What the hell does all that mean? No clue.
But it goes with the mentality of a new beer magazine called, well... Beer Magazine. By looking at their website (which has been only slightly updated since the last time I perused it, meaning it's about as interactive as a slab of frozen ice), a second issue is out on the newsstands now.
At first glance through its shinny pages (the mag looks gorgeous) you'll find somewhat juvenile humor laced throughout (comparing toilet papers?). You'll also notice the gorgeous babes and their boobs. Nothing sells beer like babes and boobs. And toilet paper. I know sex sells, and it goes hand in hand with all the beer ads we've seen for years on television, so its par for the course.
But don't let all that fool you. It did me at first. Beneath the glossy babes is a helluva good magazine. Unlike many of the staid, ultra-conservative beer oriented rags... Beer Magazine is different. In a good way. The last thing we needed is another "thinking man's" beer mag. I give huge props to Derek and Mike for seemingly combining frat boy beer mentality that will sell millions of issues to the Beer Bongers of the world, with beer knowledge that will sell to millions of beer enthusiasts. Sounds like a winning combo to me!
I give Beer Magazine two solid beer thumbs up, and look forward to this becoming a 12-times-a-year mag!
Friday, December 14, 2007
So without further adieu...
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our users. You won’t find editors at Digg — we’re here to provide a place where people can collectively determine the value of content and we’re changing the way people consume information online.The "Digg It" button next to each post allows you the reader to make the call. Was it such a well written piece (HA!) that it should be nominated for a Pulitzer? Is it about something you think everyone in the Blogbeerosphere should know about? Then... DIGG IT!
How do we do this? Everything on Digg — from news to videos to images to Podcasts — is submitted by our community (that would be you). Once something is submitted, other people see it and Digg what they like best. If your submission rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of our visitors to see.
to do so roll the cursor over the "Digg It" button. You can still left click on the button like you normally would any other link, but currently there's a glitch in the system that instead of opening up a new tab or window, it takes you directly to Digg. If you want to avoid that and remain on the Beer Geek page, scroll over the button and RIGHT click instead of left click. A menu window will open. From there "Open in a new Tab (or Window)" and you're set.
You have to be a member to actually Digg stuff, so for those of you who aren't... it's a simple process. I'd greatly appreciate the help. This way the site gets a lot more traffic and everyone wins!
Friday, December 7, 2007
"Confession is good for the soul. Along with a good beer or two."
I likey. So much so that I'm toasting it with a Young's Double Chocolate Stout at this very moment. This sucker is so smooth, with just the right hint of chocolate, that you'd swear this wasn't a pint of beer. Damn that's good! And it goes perfect with the funk weather that has moved into Southern Colorado. Winter is making it's presence known with sub 30 degree temps and a bit o' snow. This after hitting 70 degrees earlier this week. SEVENTY!
I'm off. Have a great weekend and be sure to drink at least one good beer in the next 48!
Seriously though I stumbled across this: 5 ways to use skunked beer. Instead of tossing it down the chute, "go green" and do something beneficial (sorta) with that nasty beer. Check it out!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
*Thanks to Larry for sending this along to me. I back tracked the photo to the website listed in the bottom right corner of the photo under "Unusual Christmas Trees." And how!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Seriously though... these archaic ice boxes have a significant impact on household greenhouse gas emissions and increased energy consumption.
Sadly, that means I too am a gobal terrorist. See I also have one of these stone age coolers down in my basement where I keep all my liquid gold. I inherited it from the folks who we bought the house from - a fellow beer lover who also happened to be a home brewer. I have no clue how old it is, but every month or so I have to don the gloves and safety goggles, grab a hammer and ice pick, and trudge down to "defrost" the sucker. Alas, the wife and I have talked about getting one of those fancy, new fangled "frost free" fridges. This report gives us impetus to "go green."
Monday, December 3, 2007
Duncan Clauss, Rory Douthit and Brad Veltman signed a three-year lease on a 2,000 square-foot space with plans to offer up to eight original brews. They've hired Jason Courtney, a 38-year-old master brewer, recognized as one of the best micro-brew makers in the country.
For all the details check out this Summit Daily News article.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
The latest newsletter from one of my favorite craft breweries, Left Hand Brewing (makers of the scrumptious Milk Stout and seasonal Snowbound Ale), just landed in my Email. Within is an interesting, well-written article from Joe Schiraldi, VP of Brewing Operations. It's so good, and the subject matter so important, that I'm reprinting it (without permission at the moment, but I am sending an Email to them asking for it) right here and now. Be sure to visit their site and sign up for the newsletter if you haven't done so yet!
So start saving those pennies fellow Beer Confessional Goers because the price of beer is about to skyrocket. Without further ado...
Many of you have probably heard by now of the sudden upheaval in the price and supply of hops and malting barley. This is certainly going to have an enormous effect on our industry and the beers we have all come to enjoy. I would like to take some time to write about a couple of things, in particular why we find ourselves in this predicament and what Left Hand is doing to mitigate the problem. First, how did this all come about?Gee, what a nice Christmas present for all of us on this first Day of December, huh?
Regarding hops, it is important to understand that this problem has been developing over the course of the last twenty years. In the most basic analysis, it can be understood as lack of acreage.
Alpha acid is the compound hops contain that lends the bitterness to beer. Over the years, hop varieties that contain a high percentage of alpha acid have been in demand. At the same time, the major brewers have been making less bitter beers. I know it's hard to tell but AB etc. use a tremendous amount of hops. Because of the increased bittering capacity per acre and a reduction in alpha demand in the world hop market there was an over abundance of hop production in the mid 1990's. This resulted in falling prices and excess hops.
To preserve the brewing value of the excess, hop extracts were produced which can be stored for long periods of time. As the prices fell it became difficult for growers to stay in business. As there were less and less growers the extract began to sell off which further reduced hop prices. Over the next several years more and more growers sold their family farms to developers or began to sell other crops that had a more solid financial bounty.
The expected yield for this year's crop did not meet expectations. This was mostly due to damaging weather in the form of flooding and hail in the hop growing regions of
Europe. Unfortunately, in the years preceding this, the excess extract has since been sold off. This brings us to where we are now. Quite simply there are not enough hops to meet the world's demands. The shortage is estimated at 10- 15%. We now see a huge spike in the price of hops. In some instances as much as 400% for certain varieties. Many breweries contract their hops one to two years out. Many small brewpubs and breweries didn't. They relied on a spot market for their hop needs. The spot market no longer exists. It is a very real fact that many businesses will close because you can't make beer without hops and they can't get any hops at any price. So what does this mean to the craft industry?
Quite simply, almost nothing good will come of this. Big brewers in a panic began purchasing vast quantities of hops with cash on the barrel- head for up to five years out. This added more fuel to a frenzied market. In addition, we will see a favoring of high alpha varieties over aroma hops. This in my opinion will make less varieties of hops available to craft brewers. On a more optimistic note, I hope this event causes a maturing of the hop industry. I do believe that increased cooperation and communication between brewers and growers in the form of long term contracts breeds an industry that benefits all and reflects fair pricing to everyone.
It will take several years before this crisis is behind us. It takes that long to reap the benefits of newly planted acres. In addition, growers are planting conservatively to avoid repeating the cycle again.
Things are only slightly better in the world malting barley market. The problem here is also two- fold. Basically, there are all kinds of barley grown in the world. The best that is grown each year on our little planet is malting barley used in making beer. It is grown mostly in North America, Europe and Australia. Europe and Australia have both seen poor harvests two years in a row. Australia has been fighting a terrible drought for years and Europe saw excessive rains. The North American crop is of fair quality and is perceived to be a more stable source for brewers. World interest in North American barley has spurred price increases. World conditions have resulted in a diminished volume as well less than ideal quality. Typically, when the quality goes down you have to use more of it to make beer. It's what I like to call the Malacci crunch or "gettin' ham and egged". The quality sucks, your usage goes up and we get to pay more per pound for the privilege.
Adding further stress to the market is the booming food as fuel thing. Why grow barley when you can get a subsidy check to grow corn for ethanol? This feeds big revenue into the animal feed market since corn is being diverted. The market for alternative feed grains is lucrative right now. These two things put the squeeze on the malting barley supply. The result is higher prices. For us about 72%. So where does this put Left Hand you ask?
I keep saying to myself, "Yeah this sucks but it could be worse." Luckily, we have always contracted our hops. Sure my price has gone up but I am not battling a last minute scramble to secure my hop supply for next year. I guess I am taking comfort in the fact that I actually do have hops. Some are not so fortunate. I am currently working with my suppliers on several levels. First, to secure my supply with a contract for the next three to five years. Secondly, I am working with my suppliers to change my hop needs to reflect the different portfolio of hops that I believe will be available to me in the coming years. As far as malting barley is concerned there is very little I can do to avoid paying prevailing market price or futures prices for barley. We are getting ours from North America and I have enjoyed the quality of grain we have been seeing. I hope that next year's barley is not markedly inferior. The last time we saw really bad barley was back in the late 90's to early 2000's if I remember correctly. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Anyway, the price of beer is going to go up. I try to appease my uneasy spirit with this little quip adapted from the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, " Beer will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through times with no beer." Cheers!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
(swirly dream effect)
There I am cruising down the highway on a hot summer day. The top is off the Jeep Wrangler and the sun is making my forehead feel like a George Foreman grill. Suddenly, off in the distance... I see it. No, it's not a mirage. It's the real deal. An 18-wheeler full of ice cold brew. And I ain't talking about the craptacular swill inside a silver bullet either. Oh no... this is good beer. Instantly clips from all those many action flicks I've watched over the years - one's that involve jumping recklessly from a car onto a moving big rig - flash through my head. Oh ya, daring duo type stuff. Stunt man crap!
(swirly dream effect fades... back to reality)
But dreaming and doing are two vastly different things. Take for instance the gent who drove a truck into the Guinness brewery located on the banks of Dublin, Ireland's, River Liffey. He calmly pulled in to the loading dock area, hitched up a fully loaded trailer containing 180 kegs of Guinness, 180 kegs of Crudweiser and 90 barrels of Carlsberg lager... and simply drove off into the sunset. Or, since it was Ireland - to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Oh wait, the pot of gold was already attached to his rig! Well, minus the Crudwieser that is. Surely the lad did something noble with it, like... tossed 'em into the Liffey.
Nevertheless, this "master plan" succeeded. Somehow. Gotta give him props for being so bold. Brilliant!
* Thanks for the news lead, Larry!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
OK, I've extended the poll question another week. I really need your input folks... so get into that voting booth (which ironically looks like a confessional) and lemme know what you think about the slogans. Would you buy a cool T-shirt or some other nifty nick nack sporting such a sexy saying?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Wait a second... how the hell can the words "too much" ever be associated with any of those things?! ;)
So did anyone "man up" and venture forth to the malls on Black Friday to do some Christmas shopping? Again, if you're like me - you most certainly did not. Sorry, but I do all my shopping online. Dubba dubba dubba dot "buy it online" dot com baby! While "shopping" (from the comfort of my leather office chair, a steaming cup of java nearby) I happened to come across two fantastic beer items. One you can buy right now, the other you can dream about having - if/when it comes out.
Introducing... the roughly $4,000 "Device." Thanks to Popular Science staff photographer John Carnett, even the saddest of Brew Mixologists (that'd be me) would be able to brew and serve their own homemade beer. It took John several weeks to build what he calls "The Device": a stainless-steel two-cart brewing system that starts by boiling extract—concentrated wort, or pre-fermented beer—and ends with a chilled pint.
Oh sweet mother! With this thing even I could make a drinkable home brew. Unlike my fiasco earlier this year with the "Beer Machine." Granted, it's not being mass produced - yet, but you can bet your sweet bippy (what the hell is a "sweet bippy" anyway?) that someone somewhere will pony (keg) up the cash to buy the rights to this grand piece of machinery.
Check out how John assembled this beast:
I have problems tying my shoes some days. If I were to attempt to build this contraption I'd probably blow up my neighborhood. I think I'll stick to buying beer in bottles. Better yet... those new 5 liter mini-kegs. Cuz the fine folks at Hammaker Schlemmer have come up with what has to be the coolest beer related gizmo I've seen so far this year. May I present... The Countertop Beer Cooler and Tap! Wooooohooooo! Hallelujah! Are those angels I hear singing?
At a mere $299.95, this bad boy holds a 5-liter keg and has an integrated tap that lets you pour draft style beer at home! Guys like gizmos and flashing lights, and this thing has an array of LCD lights that display the exact temperature, while allowing true Beer Geeks to adjust the temp from 37 to 53 degrees. A pressure gauge regulates the CO2 content and even lets you alter the carbonation! It comes with an instructional DVD, tapping and cleaning kits, three 16-gram CO2 cartridges, and an overflow tray. To order one, clickety-click on over to Hamm-Schlem and order one here!
If you'll ecuse me... I have to go update my Chrismtas list and inform my better half of this newly found item of joy!
Until next time... keep the beer cold! Ya never know when I might stop by!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
1) I hope all my fellow Beer Geeks and Confessional visitors have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Be sure to pair up a few good brews (maybe some you've never tried) with the turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and green bean casserole!
2) I've changed the Poll Question - it's a bit more specific as to my end goals for the slogan. So those of you who voted, please vote again. Plus, I've extended it until the end of next week.
3) I still have every intention of putting up the (now very much belated) Halloween article. I just need to get around to completing it.
4) Still working on a way to best host the Real Men of Genius radio spots. They're coming!
Until next time... Zivjeli!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I know! Can you believe it?!
I woke up this morning to find that this little beer blog of mine has won an award. Check it out:
Most of the time we bloggers do this (to borrow a phrase from my pal the Beer Philosopher) "for the love of the game." Meaning, we do it because we love the subject of our blogsession, not for awards and money (well, sometimes the money). Receiving kudos from fellow Beer Geeks is always great, but getting accolades from someone completely outside the realm of the subject for which you are blabbing, a site that actually reviews other blogs... well, that's just downright AWESOME!
In this case the blog review site Your Relevant has deemed Confessions of a Beer Geek worthy of your precious free time. Here's what they had to say about the site:
Confessions of a Beer Geek gets the honors this time with their amazing blog dedicated to the world of beer. We find this blog to be of some incredible use to beer enthusiasts and casual beer drinkers alike. We would like to present the Golden Glasses Award to them for their great achievement.
For me this truly legitimizes the site. Not only that, but it makes me want to be better, faster, stronger... oh wait, that sounds like I want to be the Bionic Beer Geek. ;) Seriously though, thanks for the kudos and I hope ya'll stick around on this crazy beerwagon for what's to come.
And remember... "Confession is good for the soul. Along with a good beer or two." (Ya, that's my new motto. How do you like it?)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
New Beer Site: If you haven't stumbled across the Beer Drinkers Guide To Colorado, check it out ASAP! It's a hot new multimedia site dedicated to all things Beer (of course), but specifically Colorado Beers. Plus, they've got a way cool product coming out soon that's long overdue - an actual fold up Beer Map that you can stick in your glove box! HELLO! Based on my expeirence the site is best viewed with Internet Explorer. It seems to have some issues with Firefox (my browser of choice).
I received my CD containing 140 of the Bud Light Real Men of Genius ads. With any luck I'll have them posted here (incrementally) in the next few days.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Check this out, taken from the latest Left Hand Brewing (makers of some delish beer, including my fave - Milk Stout) Newsletter:
Anyone can call themselves an expert on beer. But when you, our friends, want great beer, sometimes you'll need help from a server who really knows beer flavors, styles and brands. You'll also want to buy from a place that understands proper storage and serving so the beer they drink will be of the highest quality. Too often great beer is harmed by improper service practices.
That being the case, Ray Daniels, a veteran of the US Beer Industry and current President of the Craft Beer Institute, as well as a friend of ours, has developed a program to ensure that consumers receive the best possible beer and enjoy its flavors to the greatest extent possible. It's called the Cicerone Certification Program. To facilitate this, those who sell and serve beer need to acquire knowledge in five areas:
- Beer Storage, Sales and Service
- Beer Styles and Culture
- Beer Tasting and Flavors
- Brewing Ingredients and Processes
- Pairing Beer with Food
To encourage participation by those with various interests and ambitions, the program offers three levels of certification beginning with the simplest and building to the most complex and demanding:
- Certified Beer Server
- Certified Cicerone
- Master Cicerone
What is a Cicerone?
The word Cicerone (pronounced sis-uh-rohn) has been chosen to designate those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving today's wide range of beers. The titles "Certified Cicerone" and "Master Cicerone" are protected certification trademarks. Only those who have passed the requisite test of knowledge and tasting skill can call themselves a Cicerone.
What is the origin of the word "Cicerone"?
Cicerone is an English word referring to "one who conducts visitors and sightseers to museums and explains matters of archaeological, antiquarian, historic or artistic interest." For beer, a Cicerone will possess the knowledge and skills to guide those interested in beer culture, including its historic and artistic aspects. "Cicerone" now designates a person with demonstrated expertise in beer who can guide consumers to enjoyable and high-quality experiences with great beer.
What is a sommelier?
The word "sommelier" designates an expert wine steward. Twenty or thirty years ago when beer was much simpler, those whose primary expertise was wine could fairly claim to know a great deal about beer. But today the world of beer is just as diverse and complicated as wine. As a result, developing true expertise in beer takes years of focused study and requires constant attention to stay on top of new brands and special beers. While it is certainly possible for someone to be expert in both wine and beer, the only way to prove that is by examination and certification in both fields. Only those with the title "Certified Cicerone" or "Master Cicerone" have demonstrated their expertise in selecting and serving fine beer.
How is a Cicerone different from a Beer Sommelier?
A Cicerone is a tested and proven expert in beer while beer sommelier is a self-designation that can be adopted by anyone. Because there are no criteria for the title of beer sommelier and because those who use the title have not subjected their knowledge and skills to an independent examination, consumers and employers can't be sure just what a non-certified beer server knows or how they treat and serve the beer.
For more info, check out www.cicerone.org. We raise our glasses to Ray and the Cicerone Certification Program!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
From NBC News
It may have seemed like an emergency at the time, but a Connecticut man is now regretting his call to 911.
The man, 35-year-old Brian Poulin of Hebron, was arrested Sunday after police said he called 911 several times and asked them to bring him beer. Hebron was charged with disorderly conduct.
Police said he called 911 numerous times and told the dispatcher he was out of beer and asked them to pick up more for him. Poulin was transported to Windham Community Memorial Hospital after officers arrested him at his home.
Police did not say what he was treated for.
He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Rockville on Nov. 20.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Seriously though, since I'm having issues with Bud's "Real Men of Genius" radio ads here's another Bud commercial to keep you occupied.
Real Men of Genius Update: I've got a CD containing 140 (of the roughly 170) of these bad boys coming my way, which I should have in the next week. From there I'll transfer them to a server and get them online ASAP.
* Thanks for passing this along, Larry! Much obliged.
Friday, November 2, 2007
I knew it!
According to Professor Manuel Garzon of Granada University in Spain, beer can help someone who is dehydrated retain liquid better than water. Furthermore, he claims that the bubbles in beer help quench thirst and beer's carbohydrate content can help replace lost calories.
For the full details, go here.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Just in time for the first All Colorado Beer Festival here in Colorado Springs on Saturday, November 10! Be sure to check out the site and buy your tix early! There are two sessions (12:00 to 4:30pm and 5:30 to 10:00PM). If any one of my three loyal readers (badabing!) are going and want to meet up... I, along with some friends/family (informally referred to as "Professional Drinkers" and/or the Beer Brigade) will be going to the early session. I'm old. Give me a break.
Until then... Zivjeli!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
In case you missed it, hops are in short supply. No, not because of ethanol - that's a myth. So what's the real cause? One hell of a fire in a hop warehouse that destroyed some 2 - 3 percent of the WORLD'S hop supply. Craft beer aficionados will likely pay the ultimate price at the tap. Check out ABC's report for the lowdown.
Miller Mocks Jesus
It's bad enough that SABMiller of London, and Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Co. have merged to fight the "juggernaut" (quotes because there's simply no accounting for taste in this country) that is Anheuser-Busch (check out all the details here), but Miller has decided it was in their best interest to sponsor The Folsom Street Fair, which is the finale to San Francisco's Leather Pride Week. Think of it in these terms: citizens of Sodom and Gamorrah would blush over this crap.
That's bad, but it gets a WHOLE LOT worse. The promotional poster (go here to see it, I won't stoop so low as to show it on my site) for this "festival" - and I use that term loosely (although not nearly as loose as the morals of the attendees) - is nothing short of mind boggling. In what amounts to a sexually twisted version of the painting The Last Supper (create by Leonardo Da Vinci) "are a set of men and women in various stages of leather dress/undress, including a man wearing a black dog mask. Sex toys, including a big red fist, are strewn across the table... Prominently on display in the left-hand corner of the ad — the Miller Lite sponsorship logo."
Wow. Just... WOW. As if I needed another reason to, dare I say, piss on mass produced swill. To read the whole article, written by Brent Bozell III, go here.
On that happy note... ya'll have a great beer drinkin' weekend. I know I will! Let me know if there's something out there you've tried recently that you think I'd like. I LOVE trying new brews!
Until then... Zivjeli!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month we know today as the honeymoon.I love this kind of "useless" knowledge! The next time you pull up a stool at your favorite watering hole you can drop these "useless" bits of trivia on your drinking pals and blow them away!
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "mind their own pints and quarts and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.
German Done Right!
As I've mentioned, the wife and I couldn't make it the Munich Oktoberfest this year, however, the other night we found a magnificent fill in!
Edelweiss has been a Colorado Springs institution of sorts for 40 years now. This superb German restaurant serves the most authentic (and great tasting) fare I've ever had. My wife is 100% German, and was supremely impressed. So much so that she actually dreamed about being in Germany after visiting. Now that's saying something!
But it's got more going for it then just great Weinerschnitzel and Bratwurst... the owners of Edelweiss know their German beers! What, you thought I was only going to talk about food in a beer blog?
Here's what I tried that I've never had before:
Kristall Weissbeir from Wiehenstaphan - The World's Oldest Brewery was established way back in the year of our Lord, 1040 AD. They make one helluva fantastic weissbeir (wheat beer)! According to the website "the source of its pearling, effervescent taste is the secret fermentation process" developed specifically for their crystal wheat beer. At 5.4% ABV, that secret process does the job very well. By the way, check out their website for a very cool, high-tech virtual tour of this very old school brewery.
Dunkel Weizen Steingadener from Aktienbrauerei Kaufbeuren, which is a youngin' of a brewery having been established in 1307. This dark wheat weighs in a 5.1% ABV, and while tasty, wasn't one of my favorites.
What was my favorite? While the first two beers on my list came in 17 ounce bottles, the Erdinger Weissbier ("With Fine Yeast") was on tap. It was far and away the best of the bunch, and also one of - if not THE finest - weissbiers I've ever tasted. Ya... it's THAT good.
So if you're in the Colorado Springs area you owe it to yourself to stop by the Edelweiss and try their sumptuous plates of fantastic Bavarian cuisine. They currently don't have a rathskellar, but according to the folks who work there (most of which are German and have accents) - one is being built in the basement (where an authentic beer hall SHOULD be). If all goes according to plan it will be open just after the first of the year.
I think I see a huge frequent drinker beer stein with my name on it in the not too distant future!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Here's some knowledge about the creative team behind this hilarity. Bob Winter is the genius copywriter, Pete Stacker is the somber-but-sarcastic announcer, and... you'll never believe who the singer is - David Bickler, the lead singer for the rock band Survivor (Eye Of The Tiger from the movie Rocky III).
I've been thinking about getting a new bike. What do you think about this one?
Ya, I like it too. Exercising and drinking at the same time! As the Guinness guys say... BRILLIANT!
Speaking of Guinness... someone sent me this picture (UPDATE: Steven sent it to me - THANKS!). It's pretty cool.
All this beer talk is making me thirsty. Well look at that... lunch time! WOOOHOOO!
Anyone out there going to a costume party this Halloween? The wife and I are, but we're keeping our costumes top secret. I'll post some pics after the reveal. Trust me, they're relevant.
Monday, October 15, 2007
- 25,000 gallons of beer flowed at the festival
- 408 Breweries were on the festival floor (24 more than last year)
- 1884 Different beers (230 more than last year!)
- 473 Breweries in the competition proper (24 more than last year)
- 2793 Beers were entered in the competition
- 39,000 bottles and cans will be recycled
- 84% of the total beer on the festival floor arrived in kegs
- 75 Style Categories were judged
- 107 judges from 7 different countries (4 more than last year)
- 37 - average number of beers in each category (2 more than last year)
- 120 entries for American Style IPA - the category with most entries
Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Pabst Brewing Company, Woodridge, IL
Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Crosby & Baker Ltd.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, CA
Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management
Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA
Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group
Redrock Brewing Company, Salt Lake City, UT
Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.
Montana Brewing Company, Billings, MT
Beer Journalism Award
During the GABF awards ceremony, journalists and distributors were also recognized for their important role in the craft beer industry. I was not one of those winners.
Colorado represented itself well.
|Avery Brewing Co.||Hog Heaven||CO||Silver||Imperial or Double Red Ale|
|Blue Moon Brewing Co.||Honey Moon Summer Ale||CO||Gold||Specialty Honey Lager or Ale|
|Boulder Beer Co.||Planet Porter||CO||Bronze||Robust Porter|
|Bristol Brewing Co.||Laughing Lab Scottish Ale||CO||Silver||Scottish Style Ale|
|Bristol Brewing Co.||Skull & Bones Cuvee||CO||Silver||American-Style Sour Ale or German-Style Sour Ale|
|CB & Pott's Restaurant & Brewery (Highlands Ranch)||Dunkelstilsken||CO||Gold||European Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel|
|CooperSmith's Pub & Brewing Co.||Sigda's Green Chili||CO||Silver||Herb and Spice Beer|
|Coors Brewing Co.||Coors Light||CO||Bronze||American Style Light Lager|
|Durango Brewing Co.||Derail Ale||CO||Gold||Other Strong Ale or Lager|
|Flying Dog Brewery||Old Scratch Amber Lager||CO||Bronze||American Style Amber Lager|
|Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co.||Dos Rios||CO||Silver||Vienna Style Lager|
|Gunnison Brewery||Summertime 69||CO||Gold||Herb and Spice Beer|
|New Belgium Brewing Co.||Le Terroir||CO||Bronze||American-Style Sour Ale or German-Style Sour Ale|
|New Belgium Brewing Co.||Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer||CO||Bronze||Belgian-Style White (or Wit)/Belgian-Style Wheat|
|Odell Brewing Co.||Easy Street Wheat||CO||Silver||American-Style Hefeweizen|
|Odell Brewing Co.||Extra Special Red||CO||Bronze||Imperial or Double Red Ale|
|Odell Brewing Co.||IPA||CO||Gold||American-Style India Pale Ale|
|Pug Ryan's Brewery||Pallavicini Pilsner||CO||Silver||Bohemian Style Pilsener|
|Rock Bottom Brewery - Westminster||Red Rocks Red||CO||Gold||Irish Style Red Ale|
|Rockyard American Grill & Brewing Co.||Warning Sign||CO||Silver||German Style Strong Bock|
|SandLot Brewery at Coors Field||Green Side Up||CO||Silver||Dortmunder/European Style Export or German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesen (Meadow)|
|SandLot Brewery at Coors Field||Move Back||CO||Gold||Dortmunder/European Style Export or German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesen (Meadow)|
|Steamworks Brewing Co.||What in the Helles?||CO||Bronze||Münchner (Munich) Style Helles|
|Steamworks Brewing Co.||Steam Engine Lager||CO||Gold||American Style Amber Lager|
|Steamworks Brewing Co.||Colorado Kölsch||CO||Silver||German Style Kölsch/Köln Style Kölsch|
|Tommyknocker Brewery||Imperial Nut Brown Ale||CO||Bronze||Old Ale or Strong Ale|
|Tommyknocker Brewery||Butthead Bock||CO||Bronze||Bock|
|Tommyknocker Brewery||Prospector Porter||CO||Silver||Brown Porter|
|Twisted Pine Brewing Co.||Oak Whiskey Red||CO||Gold||Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer|
To see how your favorite craft brewery did, or to find out how your state did as a whole, go here and check out the GABF's great, sortable medal listing feature.
Congrats to all the winners. I 'm making it my duty as an Honorary Beer Geek (and card carrying Church Beer Minister) to try each and every one of the medal winnings brews over the next year so I can spread the glorious word! Hey, a man has to have a dream ya know?!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
It spotlights four local breweries - Arctic, Bristol, Phantom Canyon and Rock Bottom (each of them produce GREAT beers by the way!) - as they prepare for the all important GABF judging.
If you're into beers it's worth your time to give it a read... so check it out!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I give huge props to A-B for changing the name from Real American Heroes to RMoG after 9/11 because they no longer wanted to use the term "hero" in such a manner.
Like I've done with the "Funny Beer Commercial of the Week" and other beer related hilarities and parodies, I'm going to start compiling a Real Men of Genius list over on the sidebar that will let you click on and listen to (but not download, this ain't a P2P network!) as many of the ads as I can find - right from this website. At last count there were about 170 of them (give or take), with more being made all the time. This will likely take a while. That, or I'll get a cease and desist letter from A-B telling me to yank them.
Whichever... I suggest you keep coming back here - OFTEN! Ain't I sly?
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Apparently others are coming to the understanding that beer brewing and a town's past are joined at the hip, and in many cases is something to trumpet and extol. The latest is the "Hops and History Tour" being offered in Madison, Wisconsin. Take a gander here. The event takes place on Saturday, October 13th. If you're in the area, check it out! And if you do, and you're a reader of my "confessions" - please send me some pics and a write up! I'd love to know how this pans out. It gives me an idea. ;)
Sunday, October 7, 2007
For all the info, check out their website. If you're too lazy, here are all the details:
The annual contest seeks and honors the most passionate, knowledgeable beer lover in the United States. Wynkoop is now seeking “beer resumes” from the nation’s most beer-minded men and women.
Resumes must include each entrant’s beerdrinking philosophy and details highlighting their passion for beer. Resumes should provide evidence of the entrant’s understanding of beer, its history, and its importance to civilization.
Resumes must be received by Wynkoop by no later than December 31, 2007.
The 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year wins free beer for life at Wynkoop Brewing Company and $250 of beer at their local brewpub or beer bar. They also win apparel proclaiming them The 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year, and they have their name engraved on the Beerdrinker of the Year trophy at Wynkoop.
Resumes for the Beerdrinker of the Year award are reviewed by a collection of the nation’s beer experts, beer journalists and previous Beerdrinker winners. The top three entrants will be flown to Wynkoop Brewing Company (at Wynkoop’s expense) for the Beerdrinker of the Year finals on February 23, 2008.
At the finals, a panel of wigged & robed judges (comprised of the nation’s best beer minds and previous Beerdrinker winners) will grill the finalists and pick the 2008 winner. The event is open to the public and starts at 2 PM. Much Wynkoop beer will be served at the finals.
The 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year also wins the unmatched fame and glory that comes with winning the coveted honor.
Diane Catanzaro, a Norfolk, Virginia homebrewer, beer judge and college professor, is the 2007 Beerdrinker of the Year.
Catanzaro won the title in the hotly contested Beerdrinker of the Year National Finals on Saturday, February 24, at Wynkoop Brewing Company.
A professor of industrial/organizational psychology at Christopher Newport University (in Newport News, VA), Catanzaro is the second woman to win the competition. (Cornelia Corey of Clemmons, NC won the title in 2001.) Her home beer bar is The Biergarden in Portsmouth, Virginia.
“This is a dream come true for me,” Catanzaro said after winning the title. “I can use the title to carry the flag for Beer Nation and spread the news about craft beer. And it gives me an opportunity to promote a better understanding of beer to women in America.”
A six-pack of rules and details:
- Resumes must include the entrant’s personal philosophy of beerdrinking.
- Do not enter if you are currently employed by a brewery.
- Resumes with both rich beeriness and humor are welcomed.
- Beer resumes cannot exceed three 8 1⁄2" x 11" pages and must be written in 12-point or larger font.
- Resumes must include the name of the entrant’s home brewpub or beer bar, and their T-shirt size.
- Resumes created in Word can be emailed to Wynkoop Brewing Company (sent as an email attachment) to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Beerdrinker of the Year resumes can be sent by mail to:
The Beerdrinker of the Year
Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 Eighteenth Street
Denver, Colorado 80202
The 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year will be the 12th person to win the title.
Members of the media seeking more information, photos, and interviews with previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners can contact Marty Jones at email@example.com .
Hmm.... I wonder if I have a shot? Is self promotion shameless or what?! ;)
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
However, that doesn't mean I didn't get a chance to try out a few new brews during the trip! In fact, I may have found a new favorite (until it turns full blown winter and I'm sucking down vats of my winter fave - Widmere's Snow Plow) in Lost Coast Brewery's Great White Beer. This unfiltered ale has a citrusy smooth taste and is made with two-row unmalted barley, unmalted wheat, ale yeast and a secret blend of Humboldt herbs (Humboldt + secret herbs = Cannabis?). Whatever! It is damn tasty!
If you haven't see 'em yet, microbreweries are starting to set up shop inside airports now. The Colorado Springs airport recently got a Gordon Biersch restaurant to compliment the handfull of other breweries in the city. Being the Barnstorming Beer Hounds that we are, we of course partook of a few brews before catching our Express Jet flight (beers for a buck - granted, it's Foster's, Miller and Miller light, but - BEERS FOR A BUCK!) to Cali. I sampled the auburn hued Marzen (which one most have during the Septembeer/Oktobeer time frame) as well as their black Scwarzbier - both were absolutely delicious. The Marzen - a slightly sweet, smooth lager sitting at 5.7% - is GB's most popular brew. the style originates from Bavaria where it was brewed in the month of March ("Marzen" in German) and stored until the end of September where it was consumed during Oktoberfest.
At the Sacramento airport we mistakenly stumbled upon a Pyramid Alehouse. I knew about the GB in CS, but a Pyramid in Sac?! WOOOHOOO!! Needless to say we went in and grabbed a few cold ones. I'm a long time fan of Pyramid's Hefe and Apricot Weizen, but up until yesterday had never guzzled their Amber Weizen. It is delish! There has yet to be a Pyramid beer that I haven't liked.
Since we're talking about locations to have a good beer... AOL recently compiled a list of America's Top Beer Gardens. Check 'em out while the weather's still good enough to sit outside and suck down a brew!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Although I wasn't able to get out to Germany for this year's Oktoberfest, I will be spending the final weekend of this grand ole beer guzzling hoedown with a few of my favorite (100%) Germans! So in a way, I am there... without being there! Ya know?!
Down at the bottom of the right sidebar you'll notice a thumbnail ClustrMap. What this little bad boy does is keep track of where in the world the visitors to this little slice of the Internet are coming from. Don't worry, I can't see your IP address or any other computer details, just where you're popping in from geographically speaking. Every time it loads, it increments a counter and shows the locations of all the visitors to the page, cumulatively. Clicking on it zooms in to a big world map, and (optionally) lets you zoom in to the continents. The totals will be updated daily. I just put it up so it will take a day before any blips appear on the map. Thanks to John The Beer Hermit for giving me this idea! Oh, and the best thing? You don't have to do anything at all. Just viewing the page is sufficient. Enjoy!
By the way, if you want to test your beer knowledge, clickety click here! Once you're done, come on back and post your score in the comments section. I wanna see how well you scored!
Hey, guess what? We're #1! ! That's right... Colorado just became the biggest producing beer State in all the US of A! California finally slipped to the #2 position. The last time CO held the top spot was way back in '90. In 2006 Colorado produced more then 23.3 MEEEELLION barrels of beer, which equates to 724.5 million gallons. Now that's a lot of beer!
Here's the whole article from today's Colorado Springs Gazette, written by Bill Bradford:
Beer here. Beer here more than anywhere, to be exact.
Colorado has reclaimed the title of No. 1 beer-producing state in the country, according to the Beer Institute.
California, which held that title for several years, slipped to No. 2 in the 2006 rankings. The last time Colorado was the top beer producer was in 1990, said Mark Destito, a spokesman for the Beer Institute.
The Colorado brewing industry produced more than 23.3 million barrels of beer last year, according to the Beer Institute. Colorado is home to Golden-based Coors Brewing Co., the third-largest brewing company in the United States, and an Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fort Collins along with dozens of smaller brewers such as Flying Dog Brewery in Denver and Bristol Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs.
“It’s true that most of that volume is from Coors and Anheuser-Busch, a very high percentage of it,” said Doug Odell, president of the board of directors of the Colorado Brewers Guild. “But I think the real story is that there are a hundred other breweries in the state of Colorado contributing a great variety of beer styles and beer flavors.”
Odell is an owner and brewmaster of Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, which has seen steady growth since it opened in 1989.
“Our first full year we sold about 900 barrels,” Odell said. “This year we are going to sell about 39,000.”
Arctic Craft Brewery is experiencing 100 percent growth this year over last, said John Dunfee, president of the Colorado Springs-based brewery. But, he noted, “a 100 percent increase on a small amount is still not a whole lot. I’m only up to about 215 barrels this year so far.”
The brewery is a one-man operation. “I’m the janitor all the way to the brewer,” Dunfee said.
There are many factors, Odell said, that make Colorado a great state for beer. For one, he said, “the love of outdoors, for some reason that translates into liking good things to eat and drink.”
Dunfee points to something in the water.
“The water quality here is ideal for making many different styles of beer,” he said. “That’s a big plus.”
Beer is big business in the state. A study commissioned by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association found the beer industry, made up of brewers, beer importers, beer distributors, brewer suppliers and retailers, contributes $12.4 billion annually to Colorado’s economy. That economic impact includes 67,918 jobs — paying $3 billion in wages — as well as $1.6 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
Despite its top ranking for making beer, Colorado isn’t at the top when it comes to drinking it. The state ranks 22nd in consumption per capita, according to the Beer Institute.
“Colorado is tremendously important to the beer industry and produces a number of high quality brews enjoyed by adults around the country,” Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute, said in a statement. “With a strong beer culture and a rich brewing history, it’s no surprise the state has become number one.”
CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0272 or firstname.lastname@example.org
One final thing... do NOT forget the national toast to the memory of the late Michael "The Beer Hunter" Jackson on Sunday, September 30th, 9:00 PM EST. DO NOT FORGET!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
You've all heard the term. You know that it's associated with drinking massive amounts of beer in a magical land far, far away. Your own local tavern or city might even do something kitschy and cute in honor of the worlds largest fair.
But do you really know what this grand ole festival is all about?
The very first "Oktoberfest" took place almost 200 years ago - way back on October 12, 1810. However, it wasn't called "Oktoberfest" back then. See, this two week long celebration first started as a commemoration party to honor the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig (later to become King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities started on the 12th and ended with a horse race on the 17th. Over the years the start date has been moved up to the end of September because of better weather. It's also been lengthened by a week or so. Longer if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival runs until October 3rd (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the 1st Sunday is October 2nd and 18 days when it's October 1st. And why not?! Boy those Germans know how to party!
Today, some six million visitors each year stroll about the Theresienwiese (which means "Field [or meadow] of Therese, in honor of Princess Therese), often called "d’ Wiesn" for short. Obviously, beer plays a huge part in the fair. At the beginning of every festival a special keg of beer is tapped by the Mayor of Munich who shouts: "O'zapft is!" (Bavarian: "It’s tapped!").
Festival goers to the Largest People's Fair in the World usually set up camp at one of the 14 "tents" that are sponsored by the six official Oktoberfest breweries, (Spaten, Augustiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu). What may have started out as "tents" many years ago have since been turned into full scale buildings that can seat as many as 10,000 people at a time. A bit of advice: get there early, and don't EVER leave - otherwise you'll be S.O.L. when you try to get your seat back!
Some random Oktoberfest factoids:
- 6.1 million 1-liter mugs of beer were sold in 2006 (up from the 5.5 million in 2005).
- In 2006, 220,000 stolen mugs were retrieved by security forces.
- The expected cost of a Maß (the 1-litter mugs of beer) will be between €7.70 and €8.00. That equates to about $11 a pop. Bring money to Oktoberfest. Lots and lots of money.
- 12,000 people are employed at the Oktoberfest. Of these... 1,600 are Barmaids.
- In 2006 the festival went through 102 roasted oxen, 219,443 pairs of sausages and 459,279 roast chickens. That's some gooooood eatin'!
- Nearly 1,000 tons of garbage result annually from the Oktoberfest.
So, see you in Munich in '10!!!