Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hoppy Brew Year!

Let me apologize for not having regular, timely columns over the last few weeks. While I'd like to say I was taking a break, being lazy, or too busy playing with my new PS3 that my loving wife (be sure to heck out her food blog For the Love of Fran's Food) gave me for Christmas (it's killer, friend me on the PlayStation Network @ Eli_the_Mad_Man)... it's none of those things.

Fact is I've been beery busy elsewhere in the Beer-o-sphere. Aside from writing 3 - 4 articles every week as the Southern Colorado Beer Examiner, I was also recently made VP of Content & Programming at Beer Tap TV , which means I have even less time to write here. On top of all that I'm still a freelance writer scribbling about other things. I have several pens in the inkwell, including the possibility of writing for one of the coolest beer mags (sorry, can't say which one at the moment), and I'm still writing the occasional video game article (a big write up about DC Universe Online will be published in the next issue of Beckett's Massive Online Gamer Magazine).

But back to Beer Tap TV... we're growing exponentially every week and 2009 is gonna be off the tap crazy. So if you've missed what's been going on now's a good time to catch up. Since the week of December 7 we've been banging out 4 episodes a week - three Taste Buds and a Beer Buzz. Within the next few weeks we'll be adding another new show (so we'll have a new show 5 days a week). As you may recall I was writing The Beer Bucket List column for MOJO135. Well, MOJO officially closed it's doors on December 1st. We're converting that written column into what should be a very cool televised show.

So there ya have it. I want to wish all those who have have been reading this little slice of beery goodness a very Hoppy Brew Year! Be sure to drink in 2009 with a great craft beer... it's the new champagne you know. ;)

Until next year... Zivjeli!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Beery Christmas to all... and to all a good beer!

Wishing all my friends and family out in the blog-o-sphere a very Merry Christmas! Be sure to have a good brew or two today.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saint Arnold Brewing Company invites you to have fun

I love Saint Arnold's Brewing Company (the oldest brewery in Texas). The funny thing is... I've never actually had any of their beer. So what is it that I love about them?

Aside from having a super cool mascot (in Saint Arnold, Patron Saint of Brewers) and a kick ass logo (see it on the right), they always have something crazy going on.

If you live in the Houston area and have a penchant for growing facial hair - Grow A Donegal & Win A Blu-Ray Player! And what the hell is a "donegal" exactly? According to the website: "A beard that goes from one sideburn along the jawline to the other sideburn without a mustache, leprechaun and Abe Lincoln style."


To compete you must check in with the brewery (clean-shaven) sometime between Saturday, December 27 and Saturday, January 3. If you're lazy, you can send them a picture of yourself with the day's newspaper. So what does "clean-shaven" mean exactly? Zero facial hair and those Elvis sideburns must be cut at least halfway up the ear. Judging will occur at their St. Patrick's Day Party.

Too much work? How does hopping onto a ship full of Saint Arnold brew and cruising around the Caribbean sound to you? Ya, that's what I thought. In November 2009 they'll be loading up a cruise ship full of brew and hitting Jamaica (where Fran and I have been a few times now), Grand Cayman and Cozumel. They dont' have a lot of info up for the '09 cruise, but click here to check out the 411 from last year's cruise.

Is cooking more your thang? Saint Arnold invites all you chefs out there to face off at their second annual One Pot Showdown. This big Texas throwdown is slated for Sunday, January 25. Thirty teams will have up to four hours to knockout on some knockout food. Judges will award prizes to the top three recipes based on creativity, use and distinction of the Saint Arnold beer in the recipe and overall taste. A portion of each ticket sold will benefit the Houston Food Bank, which feeds 80,000 different people each week and nearly a half million people each year. Last year's event raised $1,800 for charity. Tickets will be available through the brewery. Be sure to check the website for all the rules. Last years winners whipped up a finger food that the brewery renamed "Saint Arnold Fried Beer," using Saint Arnold Winter Stout as an ingredient. Feel free to download the recipe from the Saint Arnold Brewhouse Blog.

Obviously this brewery has a zest for life (who else sponsors a PGA golfer?). They also care about their patrons, community, and their beer. 2009 will be big for the Saint. A move to a "new" (for them, the building was first built in 1914) and massive (I do mean massive) building is planned. Check out this link for info and a slew of pictures on the undertaking.

Oh, and according to the list of awards ole Arney has collected, this Saint makes some damn fine beer. Now all I need to do is have some! Can someone help me out with that? Please? ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How Stuff Works - Beer!

How Stuff Works on Discovery Channel (home of Dirty Jobs, MythBusters, Man vs. Wild, etc.) is a program that shows folks how a vast number of ordinary things - work.

Well, this Thursday (that would be tomorrow) HSW will focus on the essentials of beer making. Throughout the hour long program numerous experts, brew masters and beer connoisseurs talk about how they are innovating new ways to make beer.

One of those experts is local (to Coloradans) Beer Rockstar, Charlie Papazian. According to an article he wrote on his National Beer Examiner column the producers of the show spent the day with Charlie at his home over the summer. During their visit they filmed his hop garden, homebrew “garage,” beer stash and sampled several brews while he told them “how beer works.”

Another expert on the show will be brewunderkind Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewing Company in Delaware. If you're looking for a totally different kind of beer... Dogfish is the brewery that makes it.

Be sure to check out the HSW website because there are several links to some really interesting beer articles, such as: "Find out how the first beer can was introduced by the American Can Co. and Krueger Brewing Co. of New Jersey."

What: "How Stuff (Beer) Works"
Airs: Thursday, December 18 @ 8:00 PM
Re-Airs: Friday, December 19 @ Midnight
Friday, January 2 @ 6:00 PM

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

American craft beer sweeps Chinese taste buds

I just received this press release from the Brewer's Association and found it very interesting. Apparently the Chinese want more of our craft beer! After reading this press release (which I did not write)... let me know what you think.

Export Development Program Showcases Flavorful Craft Beer in China

Boulder, Colorado- December 16, 2008 - With the success of the American craft beer movement in the United States and ever-growing interest in Europe, the Brewers Association again turned its attention to the burgeoning Chinese market. During the week of December 8, 2008, the BA's Export Development Program (EDP) showcased American craft beer in Shanghai and Beijing. The trip promoted craft beer for the first time in China's capital city, while expanding on the previous activity conducted in the country's financial center. The BA's efforts were highlighted by an unexpected visit with, and support from, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Schafer.

Photo Caption: Bob Pease (Brewers Association)(Right) and Eric Rosenburg (Bryant Christie Inc.)(Left) receive assistance from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer (Center) promoting American craft beer in China.

"We are excited about the possibility of exposing more people in China to the flavor and diversity of American craft beer," said Brewers Association Vice President Bob Pease. Through craft beer seminars held in Shanghai and Beijing, the Chinese beer trade and media were introduced to different styles of American craft beer. Pease added, "American craft beer is gaining traction in this market, but much of the trade and media are still unaware of the unique characteristics, numerous styles and superior quality of American craft beer compared to beers that are more readily available."

The seminars, with content provided by the Siebel Institute, offered information on beer styles, ingredients, storage and handling, and food and beer pairing. Six beers were sampled during each seminar with the final three beers paired with Western and Asian foods. Five American craft breweries currently export to China, supplying 20 brands to the marketplace.

To date, the Export Development Program has been able to promote its members' beer in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Japan, Australia and Germany. Today, exported beer from American craft brewers is in demand with over 50% more sales in 2007 than in 2006. This was the Brewers Association's second visit to China. American craft beer sales grew four times from 2007 to 2008 in China with more than 80 on-premise establishments and 50 retailers carrying products today.

Export Development Program Web site:

Friday, December 12, 2008

A holiday beer with a malt ball center?

This (literally) just in from the fine folks at the Karl Strauss Brewing Company in beautiful San Diego, California.

I'll name this PR sheet... Karl Strauss and the Malt Ball.

San Diego, CA - December 12, 2008 - It is tradition at Karl Strauss that each winter a different Karl Strauss brewer gets to try their hand at the Holiday Beer. This year the opportunity fell to our very own Ian Young. Ian knew he wanted to brew a Stout, but he had visions of malt balls dancing in his head. Our friends at Briess Malting had kicked off the holiday season for us with a sack of Briess malt balls and that's when inspiration hit - Ian wanted to use the malt balls in his holiday beer. Some thought he was crazy, others were intrigued, but no one expected the end result to taste so good.

This beer is rich and full-bodied and based off of a recipe for a classic Russian Imperial Stout. But we used large amounts of chocolate malt and dark caramel malt for a less roasty version of the classic style. Rolled oats introduced during the four-step mash helped create a smooth and full mouthfeel. A blend of Willamette and Chinook hops were added solely for balance, and then came the fun part. The equivalent of 5,000 malt ball centers was tossed directly into the boil. "I wanted the four-step mash to create a dryer taste from the barley and then have a lingering sweetness from the non-fermentable malt ball sugars added during the boil. I love malt balls, but now I think they taste even better in beer!" said Ian.

Karl Strauss Imperial Malt Ball Stout is a rich, full-bodied stout with
loads of chocolate flavor and a subtle sweetness imparted from the malt balls. This is the perfect winter warmer on a cold night, and at 8.5% ABV, you won't need a fire to warm you up. The hint of chocolaty sweetness makes it an excellent match with heartier fare such as holiday roasts and of course chocolate desserts.

You can enjoy the Imperial Malt Ball Stout at all six Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurant locations and select bars across Southern California during the month of December.

Karl Strauss Imperial Malt Ball Stout
8.5% ABV
85 SRM
30 IBU

I don't know about you, but I'm drooling! I want some of this beer!!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Save Three Sheets: The Rally

MOJO HD went off the air on December 1st. Aside from ending my run of weekly Beer Bucket List entries (more on that at the end of this article) that means no new Three Sheets. No more Zane Lamprey or his faithful sidekick, Pleepleus.

As of this moment no network has picked up this amazing global pub crawl with the funniest host on television. Why? No clue other then to say that television execs are obviously stupid. Just look at all the moronic programming (i.e., "reality" programs like dancing with the hasbeens and other "talent" shows) that saturates the airwaves.

Well, Zane is holding a rally... and a party.

On Tuesday, December 16th Zane will personally lead a protest march to SAVE THREE SHEETS! As is typical with Zane this is far more than just a protest march. It's a pub crawl as well! Here's the deal:

  • It will take place in Century City, California, and march to and from Beverly Hills... because that's where all the decision makers are. As poor as these maker's of decisions seem to be, they are still the one's who must see the march and hear the wails and laments of 3S fans.
  • Zane will also be doing the same thing in New York City on Thursday, December 18th! You can see all the details, locations, etc, on Zane's website.
  • These rallies are free. It'll only cost you as much as you want to spend on drinks during the pub crawl.
  • "Save Three Sheets" t-shirts will be available on Zane's website. He's going to make them as inexpensive as possible. They will also be available at the rallies until supplies run out.
  • Everyone who attends will receive a THREE SHEETS shot glass signed by Zane.
  • Feel free to make signs and banners. Let your voices be heard!

Below is the official press release that went out today:


Popular Travel and Drinking Show Host Calls All Fans to Send a Message

(December 9, 2008) LOS ANGELES- Zane Lamprey, host of the fan-favorite television series Three Sheets, is hosting a rally on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 in Los Angeles and in New York on Thursday, December 18, 2008 to save his beloved show. The show, which previously aired on the MOJO HD channel, needs to find a new network to air its next season. Rallies being held in Los Angeles and New York City are an effort to draw attention to the show's popularity and convince television executives to place the program on their network.

To help save their favorite show from extinction, hundreds of Three Sheets fans will join Lamprey in Los Angeles as he leads the march from Century City to Beverly Hills, passing the buildings that house the executives with the power to put the show into their television line-up. The rally, which will also be a three-stop pub crawl, will begin at 3pm at Rock Sugar in the Westfield Century City Mall (10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Century City, CA 90067). The group will march east towards Beverly Hills for a second stop at Siniqual (9595 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210) around 4:30pm. The final stretch will lead them back to Century City at Pink Taco (10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Century City, CA 90067) for a post-rally party around 6pm.

Lamprey will then head to NYC to host a similar rally/pub crawl with the score of loyal east coast "Three Sheets" fans. Steve McKenna and Jim-the-Cop, two of the show's regular guest stars, will join the cause. The rally will begin with a pre-march drink at 3pm at Houndstooth Pub (820 8th Avenue at 37th) and then march up Broadway through Times Square making their second stop at Aspen Social Club (157 W. 47th St between 6th and 7th) around 4:30pm. They will continue east through Rockefeller Center and end their march at Sutton Place (1015 2nd Ave between 53rd and 54th) for a post-rally party around 6pm. New York-based mobile social network, will be providing exclusive bar specials and a free drink ticket to each person who registers and tags their location by "broadcasting" from each bar (

"The networks need to stop looking at Three Sheets at face value. It's not just a show about a guy who travels around the world and drinks," Says Zane Lamprey, host of Three Sheets. "It's more than that... I also eat. We're going to show the TV execs that this tried and proven show has a bevy of the world's most loyal, dedicated and endearing fans."

As the most recognized world drinking ambassador, Lamprey has imbibed his way through over 50 countries while shooting Three Sheets. He has acquired not only a full passport, but a wealth of knowledge about world drinking customs. He's enjoyed the finest Champagnes, oldest Scotches, and most expensive Sakes. He has downed booze strong enough to degrease an engine, danced with the green fairy (Absinthe), and bathed in a tub of beer. Lamprey not only knows how to drink, he also knows a lot about what he's drinking.

Three Sheets has aired for three seasons on MOJO HD and is wrapping up filming on season four, which includes exotic locations like Tahiti, Tanzania, Tuscany, New Zealand, Newcastle, Iceland, Poland, Lithuania and Namibia.

For more information on Zane Lamprey, Three Sheets and the Los Angeles or New York pub crawl/rally, please visit

Media Contact:
Karen Marines

So... what about "The Beer Bucket List"? Well, it's being moved from MOJO135 to Beer Tap TV where it will undergo a glorious transformation -- printed word to vunderbar video! Look for this to kick off right after the New Year!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Are you the Beerdrinker of the Year?

Pssst. I hear you're a Beer Geek. Think so do ya?

Let me ask: do you keep track of every single beer you've ever tasted, and what it tasted like? Do you write down every place you've ever been to taste that beer? Do you live, breath, think, talk and drink beer? Is your beeresume (beer resume) so hefty that when you drop the sucker on a table it wobbles and strains under the weight?

If so... you may be the next Beerdrinker of the Year!

Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado, is seeking the most passionate, edu-ma-kated beer geek from around the globe to become their 13th annual BDotY! But it's not just a matter of being able to throw back kegs o' beer... you gotta know stuff. Lot's o' stuff. Here are the details:

Beeresumes for the 2009 Beerdrinker search must include each entrant’s beer drinking philosophy, details on their passion for beer, and their 2008 beer experiences. Beeresumes should detail the entrant’s understanding of beer and its history and importance to civilization, as well as the entrant’s efforts to educate others to the joys of great beer.

It must be emailed to Wynkoop as an email Word document attachment to, and it must be received by Wynkoop no later than December 31, 2008 (so you better hurry, time is running out!). Resumes sent via any other means will not be accepted. Be sure to check Wynkoop's website for all the details and requirements.

All submitted beeresumes will be reviewed by the nation’s best beer experts, beer journalists and previous Beerdrinker winners. The top three entrants are flown to Wynkoop (at their expense, not yours) for the BDotY finals to be held on February 21, 2009. At the finals, a panel of wigged & robed judges (literally) comprised of the nation’s best beer minds and previous winners will grill the crap out of the finalists and pick the winner. The event is open to the public and starts at 2:00 PM.

So what do you get for going to all this trouble?
  • Free beer for life at the Wynkoop brewery in Denver
  • $250 worth of beer at your local brewpub or beer bar
  • Apparel proclaiming you are the '09 BDotY
  • Name engraved on the BDotY trophy located at Wynkoop
I attended last year's ceremony and I'll be at the '09 coronation as well. Not as a participant mind you. These devoted beer geeks must endure two hours of questioning and cross examination about a hoary host of beer facts, theory, brewing concepts, etc. Frankly, I ain't that SMRT, but my beer buddy Matt Venzke (who I met via the social networking site, The Aleuminati) is, and won last year's competition through a combination of knowledge and a lot of humor.

It's so tough to get to the finals that last year Wynkoop decided to pay tribute to some of the entrants by adding a Rookie of the Year award to the best first-time BDotY entrant. Last year, Virgil Grider (also a member of The Aleuminati) was the first recipient of the award and got himself a special "Rookie of the Year Beerdrinker" shirt. To give you just a little idea of how hard it is to win -- Virgil tasted over 1,100 different beers in 2007 and didn't even make it into the final round. DOH!

Here's what Matt Venzke had to say about winning BDotY:

The whole ex-beer-ience has been a blast. Joining the prestigious ranks of Beerdrinker winners has led to private brewery tours, much free beer and a greatly expanded circle of beery friends. I’ve also had the pleasure of representing Beer Nation in various newspaper, TV and radio appearances. My parents are very proud.

Sooooo... still think you got the hops to go toe-to-toe with these seriously hardcore Beer Geeks? If you do, throw your mug into the ring and find out. Good luck. You're gonna need it!

*And if you can't make it... don't worry. It looks like Beer Tap TV will be on hand to film and air the entire thing LIVE to the Interwebs for those of you who can't make it out to the Napa Valley of the Beer World!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Full Sail Brewing & Big Daddy J

Nope, that's not a new rock band... but it is a collaboration of sorts.

As part of Full Sail's continuing "Brewer's Share" line up of small batch draft beers they are proud to introduce... Big Daddy J's Malt Liquor!

Every new and interesting beer in the "Brewer's Share" line is made by each individual brewer at Full Sail and gets featured in the Full Sail pubs in both Hood River and Portland.

Big Daddy J's Malt Liquor was created by soon-to-be-daddy, Jason Munoz. Thus the name Big Daddy J. According to Jason, BDJ is golden in color, hopped up with Hallertau Hersbrucker hops, and perfectly balanced. It's clean and smooth, and at a hefty 8% ABV has a drinkable smoothness that goes down easy. Oh, I bet it does!

Full Sail invites you to come and meet Jason (and his beer) at the Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub on Monday December 15, from 5:00 to7:00PM and at their Riverplace Brewery in Portland, on Tuesday December16th from 5:00 to 7:00PM. In addition, Full Sail is also celebrating 21 years of doing what they love to do... and that's brew beer. So there's plenty to celebrate!

The "Brewer's Share" beers will only be available on tap at Full Sail's Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River, Oregon, and at Full Sail's Brewery at Riverplace, in Portland, Oregon. (Growlers to go are welcome.)

For a complete list of Full Sail's birthday festivities visit

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Avery releases the devil!

Hey, even the devil likes him a lil Christmas!

On Wednesday, December 3, Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado, is letting the devil run free as they host a Mephistopheles' Stout release party!

Beer Style: Stout
Hop Variety: Magnum, Styrian Goldings
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, black malt,roasted barley,Belgian special B, aromatic
OG: 1.135
ABV: An ungodly 16.1%
IBU's: 107
Color: Black as night

Mephistopheles is the crafty shape shifter, the second fallen angel. Amazingly complex, coal black, velvety and liqueurish, this demon has a bouquet of vine-ripened grapes, anise and chocolate covered cherries with flavors of rum-soaked caramelized dark fruits and a double espresso finish. IBU's 107.

Mephistopheles is the final installment of "The Demons of Ale" series.

So are you cold, tired, and need something to knock your socks off? Who the hell says "no" to that kinda question... even if you don't?!

Whatever the true answer may be, get yourself up to Boulder and kick it with Mephistopheles’ at Avery's taproom (5763 Arapahoe Ave.) between 4 and 7 PM.