Archive for October, 2009
You can now search SevenPack via the Firefox search box. Just click the little drop down arrow next to the Firefox search box, select ‘Add “Sevenpack”‘, and voilà you can search the site from the search box. Hope this makes SevenPack a little more useful to people.
For others who want to add this feature to their site the steps are pretty straightforward. The Mozilla Developer Center has an article about creating OpenSearch plugins for Firefox and are the directions I followed.
The feature should also work in IE7+ but I have not tested it.
As a follow up to my previous post about Monster vs Vermonster, Rockart Brewing can keep the name Vermonster… as long as they do not break into the energy drink market (I’m guessing they did not have plans on doing that anyway). Great news for the brewery! You can read about it on Rockart’s website. While reading about the whole saga I found this point mentioned by Alan McLeod on A Good Beer Blog interesting:
Interestingly, another factor that might affect the outcome is that soda and beer are in the same trademark goods and services category called “light beverages” which is separate from both wine (listed under “alcoholic beverages”) and coffee (listed under “staples”).
Beer is a “light beverage” and not an “alcoholic beverage”? Does anyone else find that strange? I wonder how that designation happened? Has not beer always possessed alcohol? Anyway, congrats to Rockart once again.
The article title of “Learning to drink like a local in Qingdao, China” on CNN.com certainly caught my attention. I learned a few things from reading it. For one I did not know Germany had a colonial past involving China, but the most interesting thing was from this part of the article:
Residents are the first to introduce you to their biggest export. Outside every shop is a barrel or two of Tsingtao, with a ream of clean plastic bags ready to be filled with cheap 3.5 percent beer. Tsingtao beer tastes crisp and sweet (most likely from rice mixed in to cut down on the cost of barley. It is bought by the pound and weighed to prevent gaseous volume manipulation. A pint, when sold in this method, costs around 1.5 renminbi, or 22 U.S. cents.
- Beer bought by the pound.
- Beer from a plastic bag (reminds me of the CarboPouch™).
I wonder if they drink the beer directly from the plastic bag? I think that would be a little awkward. Anyway, interesting to read about how beer is consumed in other parts of the world.
Whenever I travel I try to scope out some possible beer destinations for the trip. Breweries, brew pubs, bars, and even beer stores all can make the itinerary. It was the later that I visited on a recent trip.
For a wedding I was traveling to Poughkeepsie, NY, which happens to be home of Half Time. Half Time’s website proclaims to have “The World’s Largest Selection of Beer, Beer Gift Baskets, & Beer Gift Packs!” Not sure how “official” that claim is, but it certainly made me place Half Time on the itinerary.
The place was pretty easy to find, just needed to look for the big bottle cap along route 9. The place had ample parking, then again we showed up at noon on Sunday (it opens at noon on Sunday), since we were visiting on our way home from the wedding. Upon entering the store there were shopping carts available (I grabbed one), and a beer display of some sort (seemed to be a mix of seasonal beers at the time of my visit). The store aisles were organized by country, and to some degree continent (Belgium, England and Germany aisles are all close, but Italy is with Canada, and a few aisles separated by the rest of Europe), with nice, large signs denoting the countries. The place was also clean (no random boxes clogging the aisles), well lit, and spacious (no issue getting by other people while walking the aisles). The selection was all beer (no wine or spirits in the store), and overwhelming, but, with the aforementioned organization, manageable. The largest selection of beer was for America, but they had ample showings of British, German and Belgian breweries. They also had up and coming areas such as Italy and Japan (if my memory serves me correctly). Along with beers in bottles, they also had a growler filling station with a rotating stock of 12 beers. I had never seen that before in a beer store, so though I did not use it, I found it interesting.
After a few trips down each aisle, here is what I decided on (in no particular order):
- The Bruery Papier Anno 2009 Anniversary
- La Biere des Collines Saison
- Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA
- Elysian Persus Porter
- Ithaca Brewing Excelsior Brute
- Fantome Saison (they had space for Fantome Pissenlit, but it was bare… damn!)
- Fantome Chocolat
- Left Coast McGarvey’s Scottish Ale
- SlyFox Pikeland Pils
- SlyFox Phoenix Pale Ale
- SlyFox Saison Vos
- Stone Vertical Epic 09.09.09
- Trade Route Brewing Mango Weizen
- Troegs Java Head
Even with a large purchase, everything ran smoothly at check-out (sometimes I purchase beer “not in the system” and it gums up the works), and the sales guy threw in two glasses for free (probably due to the amount I was purchasing, and the fact I had taken a look at the glassware aisle while waiting for my purchases to scan in. The glassware aisles is right by the check-out.). Overall, definitely a place to check out if you are in the area, and a place I wish I was a little closer to.
N.B. I hope to review all the beers purchased but if anyone wants something reviewed (to compare notes, “is the beer worth a purchase?”, etc), I can do certain beers first. Just leave a comment.
This beer won a bronze in the rye beer category at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival (GABF), and when I was compiling the post of reviewed winners, I was surprised to learn this beer had not been reviewed. I could have sworn Ben had drunk this. Knowing that the beer was still on tap at a local bar, I decided to check it out. Also, the beer is based on the Marzen style, so it kind of / sort of fits in with the Oktoberfest 2009 reviews.
Poured into a pint glass the beer provided a thick, off-white head and an amber hued body. Attacking my nose were unmistakable scents of rye. Joining the aroma melee were cereal grains and dark fruit. Unsurprisingly rye was a very predominant taste. Big, hearty, rye. Surprisingly the beer went less cereal grain and more bready when it ran through my mouth. Clean through the mouth the beer ended with a large rye bread taste that went a bit spicey and smokey, like the crust of the bread got slightly burnt.
Certainly a beer that sticks out in the taste department, and one I found quite drinkable. Not sure how it stands up to other rye beers because I am not a big rye beer drinker (I do not remember the last rye beer I had). The bronze at GABF is a pretty good sign of the beer’s quality though. If you could not ascertain from the review, if you do not like rye, you are best to let this beer lie. (Wow that was a pretty awful ending.)
After a slight deviation to the mild style, back to Oktoberfest 2009 reviews. This time it is the Würzburger Festbier. This beer was not had with the two Oktoberfest/Marzen beers previously reviewed.
A frothy white head topped the rich golden elixir. Aromas of bread and malt pleasantly waifed towards my nose. In the mouth the beer ran light and clean, with the aforementioned bread and malt taste. Some sparse hop spice in the finish of the beer made for a slightly coarse ending. I wish the hop had been better integrated making the beer clean all the way through the mouth, at least that is how I felt during the session.
Nothing overly crazy with this beer. I think it hits all the Oktoberfest/Marzen key points. Very much reminded me of the Stoudt’s Fest beer.
It is not often a Three Floyds beer crosses my path but when it does I take full advantage of it.
The Pride and Joy poured a slightly hazy orange-amber in my pint glass. The beer’s white head provided good striation as the beer receded from my glass, though it was thin. An enjoyable citrus hop note mixed with a light malty sweetness hit my nose. In the mouth the beer was exceptional. Lemon-citrus notes mixed well with a light malt profile and as the beer warmed the beer took on a bit more of a fruit profile in its taste. The finish was a crisp bitterness that was slightly earthy. This whole mix of tastes provided an aftertaste that stayed around for just long enough.
Overall very sessionable and though not complex, interesting enough to keep the drinker involved. A beer I wish I crossed paths with more often. Quiet frankly I would not mind seeing breweries take on the “mild” style of beer more often. I recently learned of a mild style variant called “Victorian Mild” that tops the abv at 13%. The mild style definitely provides enough room for brewer experimentation.
of the 1814 London Beer Flood. From wikipedia:
The London Beer Flood occurred on October 16, 1814 in the London parish of St. Giles in the United Kingdom. At the Meux and Company Brewery on Tottenham Court Road, a huge vat containing over 135,000 imperial gallons (610,000 l) of beer ruptured, causing other vats in the same building to succumb in a domino effect. As a result, more than 323,000 imperial gallons (1,470,000 l) of beer burst out and gushed into the streets. The wave of beer destroyed two homes and crumbled the wall of the Tavistock Arms Pub, trapping the barmaid under the rubble.
The brewery was located among the poor houses and tenements of the St Giles Rookery, where whole families lived in basement rooms that quickly filled with beer. The wave left nine people dead: eight due to drowning and one from alcohol poisoning.
Using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine there is a page with slightly more detail on the tragedy, though no mention of anyone dieing of alcohol poisoning, sourced from “Camden Archives. London, England”.
Next up for Oktoberfest 2009 reviews, Weihenstephaner Festbier. In the glass stein mug the beer was a clear golden, topped with a tight “cappachino foam” looking, white head. Columns of fast and slow moving bubbles were interspersed through the beer’s body. The nose was a strong noble hop spice, mixed with some light pale malt. The mouthfeel was light and possessed some carbonation play on the tongue. The beer played spicey all along the tongue with a crisp and lightly bitter finish. As the beer warmed a light bread character broke through the hop spice.
Having the Stoudt’s and Weihenstephaner in the same session was interesting. It really gave a good sense on how different the style can be, when having two beers of the same style right after each other. I would go with the Weihenstephaner for one or two beers, to really get a good hit of noble hops, but for a full day Oktoberfest event I would stick with the Stoudts, due to its very mellow flavor characteristics.
With Oktoberfest over, let’s get some Oktoberfest reviews posted. Though not in Germany, I was fortunate enough to have a few Oktoberfest beers here in Boston over the festival’s 16 days. The highlight of the beers I had during that time was a gravity poured Schneider Wiesen Edel-Weisse from a faux-wooden barrel (‘faux’ because the barrel’s wooden exterior actually contained a metal keg) into a ceramic mug. Though it was not a traditional Oktoberfest beer, it definitely was a fun little beer experience. Enough rambling, lets start the beer reviews.
I’ll start American with Stoudt’s Fest. The beer, poured into a glass mug, had a large off-white head . The head, which sat atop a clear copper body, was kept alive by steady streams of tiny bubbles found throughout the beer’s body. After a few minutes the head receded to a thin, yet full, covering. The nose seemed pretty straight forward with bread, grains and fading hints of noble hop spice. Much expected, due to the predominant bread and grain aromas, the taste of cereal grains and white bread crust engulfed my mouth. Nothing strong or overpowering in either. The finish had a light bitterness, which gave the beer a slight harshness. Overtime hints of lemon joined this bitterness.
A good beer with nothing major to complain about or to make it stick out for that matter. At 4.5 abv, a good sessionable beer choice.
There is really not much to say about the 400 pound (when fully stocked) Hopworksfiets. Two kegs, a bar top, a pizza rack and some tunes. BikePortland.org has the full details on the bike.
Kind of reminds me of Amsterdam’s BeerBike.
Now if you do actually confuse Monster with Vermonster, you probably have had too many Vermonsters, and instead of reaching for another Vermonster (or Monster Energy drink in your confused state) you should reach for a tall glass of water and go to bed.
Is this just the start of Hansen Beverage Company and Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP’s (Hansen Beverage Company’s legal council) crusade to stop mass confusion of drinks with monster in the name? As Alan McLeod points out in his post: “The Bee-to-the-Ay lists 34 monstrous craft beers on the market already.” Are those breweries next? When searching for “Monster soda” on google (I was trying to verify Hansen Beverage Company actually made Monster, because, as stated before, they do not list it on their “official web site”, so I was confused, ironically enough, with who actually made it), I actually came across Flathead Lake Monster Soda. Not sure if they are still around, but they better watch out!
You can join the Facebook page “Vermonters and Craft Beer Drinkers Against Monster” and follow Rock Art on Twitter @RockArtBrewery .
[ First read about on: A Good Beer Blog , further reading done at: Burlington Free Press (with cease and desist letter! Ya!) and A Blog About Beer ]
This past Sunday Greg Noonan past away after a brief battle with cancer. I never met Greg, nor would I be able to pick him out in a crowd, but on the few times I have passed through Burlington, VT I have always stopped in for a few pints at the brewpub he founded, The Vermont Pub and Brewery. His reach in the craftbeer world expanded further then just a brewpub he founded however. Before he could open The Vermont Pub and Brewery, he had to spend three years lobbying for the legalization of brewpubs in Vermont. This not only allowed his brewpub to open, but also allowed Zero Gravity Brewery at American Flatbread, Three Needs, and The Alchemist (along with others, those are the three I have visited however) to open and flourish. John Kimmich, brewer and co-proprietor of The Alchemist, started off waiting tables at The Vermont Pub & Brewery, before becoming its head brewer and then going off to start The Alchemist. Greg’s reach went further then Vermont however, influencing homebrewers and professional brewers alike with his books: Brewing Lager Beer: The Most Comprehensive Book for Home- and Microbreweries, Scotch Ale, and Seven Barrel Brewery Brewers’ Handbook: A Pragmatic Guide to Home Brewing.
I raise my glass.
[sources: A Good Beer Blog and Realbeer]
In my recent Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA review, I stated, “I would be interested in actually seeing the hop torpedo, but I can not seem to find a picture of it.” Well I went right to the source and emailed Sierra Nevada about it. I heard back from one Bill Manley, Communications Coordinator at Sierra Nevada, who, along with attaching a few photos of the hop torpedo, wrote:
We ferment our beer in large cylindroconical fermenters (400 BBL tanks in the ceiling).
There is a hose attached from the bottom of those large tanks to a port on the bottom of the torpedo. The fermenting beer is then pushed through about 80 lbs of whole cone hops in the actual torpedo device and forced out the top of the torpedo and then back into the fermeting tank. The beer cycles through the hop filter for about 5 days at cold temperatures picking up all of the resinous hoppiness from the whole cones inside.
That is how that thick hop oil gets into the beer, with a minimal amount of residual bitterness.
The torpedo essentially works like a giant coffee maker, except instead of coffee grounds they are hops, and instead of hot water, it is cold beer.
Top of Hop Torpedo
A single Hop Torpedo
A bunch of Hop Torpedos
Thanks for the info Bill, much appreciated!