Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Real Men of... Forbidden?!

It's been brought to my attention that the Real Men of Genius links aren't working. And by "brought to my attention" I don't mean by a Cease and Desist Letter. At least not yet. The links work, then they don't. Not sure what's going on so I might have to figure out a new way to get them posted. Which I must do. They are the funniest damn things...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Open for Business

Yes, I'm still here. I just wanted to apologize for not updating the site with anything truly significant in the last week or so. I've been insanely busy with "real life" and a few work related projects. Also been trying to put together a nifty Halloween piece for you all. Things should be calming down in the next few days though... so I'll get us back to our regularly scheduled broadcasts soon.

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

Pretty Beer

* Thanks for sending this my way, Heather!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Holy Rollin' and Hops in Hellfire

Fire it up!

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

Beery Goodness for your Taste Buds and your Brain Pan!

My good buddy Larry sent me these really cool beer related tidbits of knowledge. Who knew?! Thanks Larry! And remember... there's no such thing as "useless" beer info! ;)

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.

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.

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!

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

Beer Ramblings...

Added 5 more "Real Genius" commercials to the list. In keeping with the time of year I tried to slide a few in for relevance's sake. The "Mr. Humongous Pumpkin Grower Guy" goes without saying, especially after many of these giant gourd contests have been going on over the last few weeks. And "Mr. Fantasy Football manager Guy" because I'm a fanatic for fantasy sports. I've never heard many of these oldies, but every single one of them are side splitting funny.

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

And the Winner Is...

Actually there were a lot of them at this years Great American Beer Festival! Here are some quick facts:

  • 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
Here are the really big winners:

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Pabst Brewing Company, Woodridge, IL
Bob Newman

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
Matthew Brynildson

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management
Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA
Tomme Arthur

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group
Redrock Brewing Company, Salt Lake City, UT
Kevin Templin

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.
Montana Brewing Company, Billings, MT
Travis Zeilstra

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 HeavenCOSilver Imperial or Double Red Ale
Blue Moon Brewing Co.Honey Moon Summer AleCOGold Specialty Honey Lager or Ale
Boulder Beer Co.Planet PorterCOBronze Robust Porter
Bristol Brewing Co.Laughing Lab Scottish AleCOSilver Scottish Style Ale
Bristol Brewing Co.Skull & Bones CuveeCOSilver American-Style Sour Ale or German-Style Sour Ale
CB & Pott's Restaurant & Brewery (Highlands Ranch)DunkelstilskenCOGold European Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel
CooperSmith's Pub & Brewing Co.Sigda's Green ChiliCOSilver Herb and Spice Beer
Coors Brewing Co.Coors LightCOBronze American Style Light Lager
Durango Brewing Co.Derail AleCOGold Other Strong Ale or Lager
Flying Dog BreweryOld Scratch Amber LagerCOBronze American Style Amber Lager
Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co.Dos RiosCOSilver Vienna Style Lager
Gunnison BrewerySummertime 69COGold Herb and Spice Beer
New Belgium Brewing Co.Le TerroirCOBronze American-Style Sour Ale or German-Style Sour Ale
New Belgium Brewing Co.Mothership Wit Organic Wheat BeerCOBronze Belgian-Style White (or Wit)/Belgian-Style Wheat
Odell Brewing Co.Easy Street WheatCOSilver American-Style Hefeweizen
Odell Brewing Co.Extra Special RedCOBronze Imperial or Double Red Ale
Odell Brewing Co.IPACOGold American-Style India Pale Ale
Pug Ryan's BreweryPallavicini PilsnerCOSilver Bohemian Style Pilsener
Rock Bottom Brewery - WestminsterRed Rocks RedCOGold Irish Style Red Ale
Rockyard American Grill & Brewing Co.Warning SignCOSilver German Style Strong Bock
SandLot Brewery at Coors FieldGreen Side UpCOSilver Dortmunder/European Style Export or German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesen (Meadow)
SandLot Brewery at Coors FieldMove BackCOGold Dortmunder/European Style Export or German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesen (Meadow)
Steamworks Brewing Co.What in the Helles?COBronze Münchner (Munich) Style Helles
Steamworks Brewing Co.Steam Engine LagerCOGold American Style Amber Lager
Steamworks Brewing Co.Colorado KölschCOSilver German Style Kölsch/Köln Style Kölsch
Tommyknocker BreweryImperial Nut Brown AleCOBronze Old Ale or Strong Ale
Tommyknocker BreweryButthead BockCOBronze Bock
Tommyknocker BreweryProspector PorterCOSilver Brown Porter
Twisted Pine Brewing Co.Oak Whiskey RedCOGold 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

We are the Champions... Hopefully!

While perusing The Independent's website - longing to be up in Denver at the Great American Beer Festival - I stumbled upon a fantastic article written by Pete Freedman (We're gonna do it!) regarding the Colorado Springs craft beer scene.

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

Real Genius

I may not like the mass produced swill they call "beer" that flows endlessly from their massive Super Wal-Mart sized breweries - edifices that dwarf some small towns (it's not their fault that most Americans have absolutely no taste) - but one thing Anheuser-Busch knows how to do is produce great ad campaigns. In particular, the Real Men of Genius radio advertisements that started back in 1999.

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

Hops & History

Those of you who visit here regularly know how much I like history, and separately - how much I like the hoppy beverage this blog is dedicated to. I've done a few historical context pieces (I'm working on a Halloween one that is sure to thrill) and have even showed how the crafting of beer has changed the course of human history. My fellow Beer Bud (The Beer Hermit) wrote a wonderful piece about the history of brewing in Colorado that you really need to check out.

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

Are you the 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year?

Wynkoop Brewing Company is searching high and low for its 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year.

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 .

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 .

Hmm.... I wonder if I have a shot? Is self promotion shameless or what?! ;)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fly the friendly skies... and drink a few good beers!

Back from the Bay Area. Unfortunately we didn't have any free time so we weren't able to scoot by Third Street or Russian River. Looks like we'll be going back there in the not too distant future (for one of the upcoming holidays) so we'll be sure to make some time then.

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!