We are dedicated  to the art of crafting and quaffing fine beers through
 the sharing of ideas and experiences, the advocacy of brewing as a hobby and the responsible consumption of beverages containing alcohol


12/19/2014 01:46 AM
DuClaw Searches for the Next Homebrew H.E.R.O.
Our Maryland neighbors are giving local homebrewers the chance to see a recipe brewed by the pros.  From a press release:  Calling all homebrewers – the DuClaw Brewing Company’s H.E.R.O Competition is back and looking for its next taste champion. Homebrewers are invited to send in their original creation for a chance for t ...

12/19/2014 01:36 AM
Carlton Draught hits slow mo
Australia’s alcohol advertising regulations are strict, as a result advertisers continually look for new ways to promote the brand – albeit without specifically promoting the product! Check out Cartlon Draught’s latest ad – the slow mo…and a few other old classics.....

12/19/2014 01:36 AM
A thought for the brewers and people of Christchurch
When I was a young lad of 18 years of age I packed my bags and travelled from the North Island of New Zealand to the city of Christchurch in the South to begin my university education. The move to Christchurch was a no brainer for me – I had lots of family who lived in the “Garden City” and I had been there many times before, always leaving with fond memories. Christchurch is a very special city with significant character – it is the New Zealand city that most closely resembles Melbourne with old stone buildings, a tram line and a beautiful river, the Avon. The city also has a number of other great gems including the Port Hills for excellent scenery and mountain biking, as well as the port suburb of Lyttleton, reached after travelling through one of New Zealand’s longest tunnels. If there is one word I would give to Christchurch it would be ‘beautiful’.....

12/19/2014 01:36 AM
Store update 19th May
So Sydney is on a roll with its awesome beer drinking weather this week and this weekend looks good to go. Growlers Currently we have Young Henry’s Hop Ale. This beer harks back to classic English style IPAs. Hefty malt backing meets every type of hop in our cool-room, added to all stages of the process. The all Australian hop flavour is not aggressive in its bitterness, but is evident in flavour and aroma and slowly asserts itself with a lengthy, lingering and thoroughly enjoyable palette. $28 for a Growler fill Once this is gone we’ll be moving onto Dr’s Orders Brewing Plasma. Plasma, a White IPA is yet another emerging trend that we’re happy to embrace and present a Doctor’s Orders Brewing twist on. Judicious hop use dominates Plasma’s aroma, backed up with a balanced mouthfeel defying its alcoholic payload before delivering an extremely long lingering bitterness. A deceivingly addictive prescription. The grist for Plasma is practically identical to our Zephyr (Double White Ale) which explains the appearance. However the lack of botanicals, a different yeast strain and excessive hop use deliver an ale that is Zephyr’s polar opposite. In other news Rich is in the shop today, Geoff is onto his 2nd table for the tasting room, while Will is in training for a 9km soft sand running event. Store hours 11am-3pm today, 8:30am-6pm Mon-Fri. 1300 808 254 Cheers!

12/19/2014 01:36 AM
Beer store update 5th May
So Sydney has had cracker beer drinking weather this week and it’s set to continue this weekend – sweet! Growlers Currently we have Moa Breakfast beer. A cracker of a lager with rich cherries, very easy drinking. Check out the review for it below: “The aroma is stunning with hints of dry wheat and cherry’s. The carbonation is lively, which works for a crisp summer beer. The taste has a serious hit of wheat and yeast, washing through with all those bubbles and a touch of cherry.” Joel Macfarlane – brewnation.co.nz $28 for a Growler fill Once this is gone we’ll be moving onto Mikkeller Citra Single Hop IPA probably early in the week Latest beers Murray’s No 6 2011 Anniversary Ale – the last available anywhere (limit 1 per person) Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale Barley wine Rich is in the shop today, Geoff is onto his 2nd table for the tasting room, while Will is in training for a 9km soft sand running event. Store hours 11am-3pm today, 8:30am-6pm Mon-Fri. 1300 808 254 Cheers!

12/19/2014 01:36 AM
April Beer Club Selection
Our Beer Club selection for April has now been sent out to all online customers. For those living in Sydney you can still pick these up from our store. The April Beer Club selection includes: Samuel Adams, Black Lager Bridge Road Brewers, Australian Ale William Bull, William’s Pale Ale Morland Brewing, Old Speckled Hen

12/19/2014 12:10 AM
Thank You!
Just wanted to say, thanks to everyone who was able to make it out to the Big Ass Holiday Tasting on Saturday. Your generosity and friendship was overwhelming and it's without a doubt the best time of the holidays for Krin and I. I'm sorry I have to cap the number of people who can attend, it's just not possible to accommodate a massive gath ...

12/18/2014 11:01 PM
Jungle Jim's Barrel Aged Beer Bash, 2015
Take great craft beer, in particular the dark ones, place them in various barrels that have been used by other liquids such as bourbon, sherry, wine, or whiskey. Now age them for a few months and then pour the results...

12/18/2014 10:53 PM
Cincy Winter Beer Fest 2015 is coming very soon
In less than two months, the beer fest that started the revival in the Cincinnati area will be held. The 2015 installment for the Cincy Beer Fest will be held on February 13 & 14 in the Duke Energy Center...

12/18/2014 10:42 PM
Best New Beers of 2014…the best of the rest
Last week, as is traditional for the second week of December, the BeerCast was turned over to the newcomers – the six best new British beers of 2014. They were, in my eyes (in order of release):- Brew By Numbers Saison 01|08 Wai-iti and Lemon Harbour Chocolate and Vanilla Imperial Stout Brass Castle Heretic Siren/Cigar ... The post Best N ...

12/18/2014 09:10 PM
X Factor winner Ben Haenow’s real ale tribute from Westerham
sevenoakschronicle.co.uk X Factor winner Ben Haenow's real ale tribute from Westerham sevenoakschronicle.co.uk Before the final, Westerham Brewery paid tribute to the singing star in their own way - creating a real ale especially for Ben from nine different Kent hops. The Haeniacs Ale came about after Ben's favourite local pub - the Sw ...

12/18/2014 08:31 PM
Drunk nation; winter months bring higher average levels of inebriation
Beer, as everyone knows, is an alcoholic beverage and as such, if consumed too heartily, can lead to inebriation. For a serious beer-lover, one who enjoys the flavors of a well-crafted beer along with the company of good...
Sobriety takes a dip during winter months, study says

12/18/2014 07:42 PM
Making dream of brewpub a reality
Making dream of brewpub a reality Huntington Herald Dispatch King, an engineer by trade, has been stirring the wort, so to speak, on the craft brew scene here as he is working on a capital campaign to birth a seven barrel system brew pub in Huntington. He figures it would take between $160,000 and $220,000 to ...

12/18/2014 07:32 PM
No-Li Van Lambert Sour Cherry Ale, sneak peek this Saturday

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog.

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog. I just learned that this Saturday No-Li Brewhouse in Spokane will release a limited number of bottles of its Van Lambert Sour Cherry Ale. Here’s the announcement from the brewery. Santa has come a bit early this year! With the holidays just around the corner, No-Li will...

12/18/2014 07:00 PM
Mahou San Miguel acquires 30% stake in Founders Brewing
Spain-based Mahou San Miguel has acquired 30% stake in US-based Founders Brewing for an undisclosed amount.

12/18/2014 05:08 PM
Manhattan Beer’s Windmill Acquisition has New York Bodegas, Beverage Centers Fearful
Two of the largest beer wholesalers in New York City are working to consolidate, creating one company that will control approximately half of the city’s beer market -- but not everyone is happy about it. In a note to suppliers, Manhattan Beer Distributors announced Tuesday that it has entered into a formal agreement with Windmill Distributing (Phoenix\Beehive Beverage Distributors), to acquire the company’s beer brand distribution rights.

12/18/2014 04:40 PM
Momotaro, Chicago
Momotaro, a multi-level mecca of Japanese food and design, offers myriad dining experiences: The first floor, devoted to izakaya—a cocktail, whiskey, and sake bar with elevated ...

12/18/2014 04:26 PM
Honky Tonk Brewing, bringing great craft beer from Nashville's "island"
Nashville's island? Well, I call it that. It being Metrocenter. A “river” of highway to the south, and the Cumberland on the east and north, there is basically one way in, one way...
Honky Tonk Brewing, bringing great craft beer from Nashville's "island"

12/18/2014 04:24 PM
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man
My face when people argue about bottles or cans in the shower.   [...]

12/18/2014 03:47 PM
Holiday Ale Festival raises $20k for Children’s Cancer Association

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog.

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog. I don’t like to get involved in the “us versus them” thing. Seattle is a great beer town and Portland is a great beer town. I don’t like to waste time pondering which is better. That said, there’s no denying that Portland kicks Seattle’s butt when it...

12/18/2014 03:44 PM
Flying Dog Set to Make Farm Brewery Destination in Lucketts, VA
Frederick, MD – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was on hand at Shadow Farm, a 53-acre farm in Lucketts, Va., last month for a histori…

12/18/2014 02:49 PM
Flying Dog Announces Plans for Farmworks Brewery, a Unique Farm Brewery Destination in Virginia

The post, Flying Dog Announces Plans for Farmworks Brewery, a Unique Farm Brewery Destination in Virginia, first appeared on The Barley Blog.

Press Release Frederick, MD – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was on hand at Shadow Farm, a 53-acre farm in Lucketts, Va., last month for a historic announcement on plans for Lucketts Mill Hopworks, the State of Virginia and the mid-Atlantic’s first commercial-scale hops production and processing facility. Building on that announcement, Flying Dog Brewery out […]

The post, Flying Dog Announces Plans for Farmworks Brewery, a Unique Farm Brewery Destination in Virginia, first appeared on The Barley Blog.

12/18/2014 02:41 PM
Winter months bring highest average level of inebriation study says
Beer, as everyone knows, is an alcoholic beverage and as such, if consumed too heartily, can lead to inebriation. For a serious beer-lover, one who enjoys the flavors of a well-crafted beer along with the company of good friends, drunken stupor is not the goal. Nonetheless, during the months of December through March, becoming legal […]

12/18/2014 02:00 PM
Top 12 Spirits Reviews: Winter Round-Up
With winter waving at us with its chilly fingers, it’s the time of year to sit by a fireplace while sipping on a cozy cocktail. ...

12/18/2014 01:34 PM
Gift For the Home Brewer
Saccharomyces cerevisiae from Giant Microbes. Only $9.99!

12/18/2014 01:29 PM
Iron Hill Brewery’s Bottled Reserves/Bedotter Cans Make Terrific Holiday Gifts!
WILMINGTON, DE – This holiday season, smart gift-givers will flock to Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant (11 locations across D…

12/18/2014 01:15 PM
Stone Brewing's Smoked Porter with vanilla bean returns
We've all heard of "aha" moments... Stone Brewing small-batch brewer Laura Ulrich had a "holy s#@$" moment and we're glad for it.It all started in 2006 when a woman offered...
Stone Brewing's Smoked Porter with vanilla bean

12/18/2014 01:00 PM
Brewery Release: WA: Get It Now ... Odin Brewing's Northern Darkness Baltic porter
Press Release
Inspired by the desolation of a Northern European winter, we reached into the depths of our souls to bring forth Northern Darkness Baltic Porter. The rich, roasted malt character of this robust lager makes a perfect companion while stoking your winter fires. Hoist your horn and drink deeply while enjoying the darkness of winter. Skål.

Style: Baltic Porter
ABV: 7.2%
SRM: 32
IBU: 20
Hops: Apollo, Willamette
Malts: Vienna, C120, C60, Pale Chocolate,
Midnight Wheat, Flaked Oats

12/18/2014 12:48 PM
President Obama – now a member of the American Homebrewers Association

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog.

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog. A couple years ago, the world learned that the White House kitchen staff was brewing its own beer at the behest of President Obama. We reported on that story in 2012 (read it). Sam Kass, a chef at the White House and the Senior Policy Adviser for...

12/18/2014 12:46 PM
SweetWater to Expand Distribution Throughout Chicago
SweetWater Brewing has announced plans to expand distribution throughout Chicago in early 2015, the first in a slew of new markets the Atlanta brewery plans to launch in the first quarter of the New Year. The brewery has partnered with Lakeshore Beverage for coverage in the area, which, beginning in the spring, will distribute draft and packaged offerings -- including flagships 420 Extra Pale Ale and SweetWater IPA -- throughout the city.

12/18/2014 12:28 PM
Kannah Creek Brewing Releases Baltallica This Week
(GRAND JUNCTION, CO) — Kannah Creek Brewing Company is releasing Baltallica in 22 ounce bomber bottles this week. This limite…

12/18/2014 11:58 AM
Beer: The New England 1020 (Update)

It's that time! I bottled the New England 1020 IPA last night and it tasted delicious. The FG got down to 1.010 which is better than I expected. Overall it's a solid 5.8% ABV IPA. I had hoped for a lot higher but lack of attention to detail during mashing results in lower efficiency. I'll post tasting notes once it's done bottle conditioning! 

12/18/2014 10:52 AM
Friday Funny - December 12, 2014

frostyI can relate to this...

12/18/2014 09:53 AM
Stealing the Flying Dog Glass
Tuesday evening the Flying Dog RV was spotted outside Capital Ale House. The occasion was a Flying Dog "Steal the Glass" night, featuring four Flying Dog beers served in an attractive etched glass. How could we resist going in?

The four beers featured were Bloodline IPA, Hoppy American Wheat, Kujo Coffee Stout and Gonzo Imperial Porter on Nitro. All excellent beers that we've had before. I opted for the Bloodline Blood Orange IPA and Colleen selected Hoppy American Wheat.

Bloodline IPA seemed to be the most popular selection, based on comments I heard at the bar. It's a bright, citrusy IPA that's quite refreshing. I posted a full review of the beer previously. Equally enjoyable was the Hoppy American Wheat. A blend of a bitter IPA and a wheat beer, this member of the Brewhouse Rarities series is a unique take on the traditional wheat beer. More info can be found in this previous review.

Flying Dog beer peddlers Adam and Pete were there to talk about the beers. I got a chance to chat with them a bit about Flying Dog's plans for the upcoming year. Let's just say I'm looking forward to enjoying some interesting beers from the brewery in 2015.

And those cool etched logo glasses? We decided we really needed a set of four, so we enjoyed another round of our selected beers with Capital Ale's tasty, and huge, Lamb Gyro Burger. It was a fitting finish to a fun day that included a fun visit to the range.

[ This content originated at Musings Over a Pint ]

12/18/2014 09:35 AM
Recipe: Beer-Soaked Grilled Cheese
On a cold winter's day there is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of tomato soup and the traditional grilled cheese accompaniment. But, what if you could amp that grilled cheese up a bit with one of the world's other sublime pleasures: beer?

12/18/2014 09:34 AM
Fieldwork Brewing to Open to the Public in Early 2015
Fieldwork™ Brewing Company today announced it will begin brewing and open its newly constructed taproom to the public in the first quarter of 2015. Located in a 10,212 square foot building at the corner of Sixth Street and Harrison Street, Fieldwork anchors a block in an area of West Berkeley currently undergoing steady urban revitalization.

12/18/2014 09:30 AM
Full Sail Wins 14 Medals at World Beer Championships
Nine gold and five silver medals from the World Beer Championships have just been added to Full Sail Brewing Company’s impressive list of awards and accolades. Every singlebeer entered by Full Sail has earned gold or silver medals at this year’s competition.

12/18/2014 09:19 AM
Press Clips: The South Fights for Legislative Change
Three Texas craft breweries have filed a lawsuit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in hopes of repealing a 2013 law that made it illegal for brewers to sell their own territorial distribution rights. Prior to the law’s passage, brewers “could negotiate payment from distributors for the exclusive rights to deliver their beverages in a certain area.”

12/18/2014 09:18 AM
31 Beers of December – Day 18: SoMe Brewing Cinnamon Toast
@SoMeBrewing @Chaddah To celebrate the Holiday Season, we have teamed up with beer bloggers and craft beer enthusiasts around the country to host the fourth annual beer bloggers advent calendar. This is the season of sharing and we intend to share our love of beer with you. During the 31 days of December, we will […]

12/18/2014 09:16 AM
5 California Wines To Stock Up On This Christmas
Too many people spend far too much time waiting for a perfect occasion to open up a great bottle of wine. As a result, they ...

12/18/2014 09:09 AM
4 Elf – Dark Horse – 25 Days of Beers and Cheers 12/18

Day 18 of our 25 Days of Beers and Cheers is upon us, and today I’m sampling a special beer from a one-of-a-kind brewery; today I’m going to try out … Continue Reading →

The post 4 Elf – Dark Horse – 25 Days of Beers and Cheers 12/18 appeared first on The Brew Review Crew.

12/18/2014 09:00 AM
Throwback Thursday #6 - my favourite pubs, in no order
Every week at 2pm on Thursday I link to a few old posts from this blog's archives from 2007-2009. On May 13th I sent a text to Jack and Eddie - who, together with Derek, have been my principal drinking companions of 2014 - listing "my favourite pubs in no order". I don't remember sending it, let alone what the lads did to deserve this missive. What I do know is, in a sentimental, shitfaced

12/18/2014 08:34 AM
Queens brewery produces high-wattage brews
Big Alice Brewing is one of several small breweries popping up in the rapidly-gentrifying Vernon Street neighborhood

12/18/2014 07:30 AM
Weekly Beer Calendar Update: December 18 - December 24
Not much left to this holiday season except some last-minute beer purchases. Plenty to hold your interest as this year of 2014 quickly runs out. As you review beer events, don't forget PhillyTapFinder.com. They continue to host an impressive listing of beer event draft lists to help better inform your beer event planning. Click through here for a look at the full monthly calendar of beer events

12/18/2014 07:19 AM
Heavy Seas Holy Sheet 2014

The post, Heavy Seas Holy Sheet 2014, first appeared on The Barley Blog.

I originally had Heavy Seas (Clipper City) Holy Sheet back in the Spring of 2007. I’m not sure if the brewing/aging process for the beer has changed or if this particular bottle for 2014 is a one-off, but this is not the same beer I first encountered those many years ago. It appears as though, […]

The post, Heavy Seas Holy Sheet 2014, first appeared on The Barley Blog.

12/18/2014 06:15 AM
“Taking a Break from the IPA”
Featured Contributor – EdWhoLikesBears @TheOnlyFeed “Taking a Break from the IPA” If you’re anything like me (and let’s all hope you’re not) there’s nothing better in this world than when you find a new beer you like. Food tastes better. The sun shines brighter. That thing that you hate about yourself doesn’t seem like such a big deal. But the problem is that somewhere along the line I stopped trying new and different beers and only started trying new and different IPAs. In my defense, it’s because…

12/18/2014 05:36 AM
Coaster Critique: SoMe Brewing Cinnamon Toast
On the sixth day of Beermas: Name: Cinnamon Toast Brewed by: SoMe Brewing Company Style: American Pale Ale ABV: 6% Pours a red-copper color with bright golden highlights when held to the light. The beer is crystal clear in the glass, carbonation is visible sliding to the top to support a thick, khaki colored head. […]

12/18/2014 05:00 AM
Bottles Celebrates “Nightmare Before Beermas”
Bottles, located on NE Fremont and 51st, will be celebrating their 4th holiday party with a new twist this year. On Saturday, December 20th, from 7:00 to 9:00pm, Bottles will be hosting their inaugural Nightmare Before Beermas Party. This will be an evening full of great beer, food and prizes along with being a fundraiser […]

12/18/2014 04:30 AM
Full Sail Beers Sweep the World Beer Championships
Hood River, Oregon – Nine gold and five silver medals from the World Beer Championships have just been added to Full Sail Brewing’s impressive list of awards and accolades. Every single beer entered by Full Sail has earned gold or silver medals at this year’s competition. “To take home a silver or gold for every […]

12/18/2014 04:28 AM
Why J D Wetherspoon's is fast becoming my favourite craft beer bar
In eight years of blogging and writing articles and columns about beer, I think everything I've written about JD Wetherspoon splits pretty evenly between "This is amazing" and "This is absolutely appalling."

Wetherspoons is a mixed bag. Remarkably, nothing about it is simply OK - that mixed bag contains both the best and worst of British pubs. But recently, the balance for me is shifting. I'm becoming a 'Spoons denizen.

Now is the time to make your jokes about being pissed by 10am and shouting randomly at strangers. Done that? Good, let's carry on.

It started in the summer, when 'Spoons started selling cans of craft beer imported from the US at the ridiculous price of £1.99 each.

Sixpoint is a good brewery, and Bengali Tiger in particular hit the spot over a long, hot summer. But 'Spoons remained a distress purchase, a bedraggled, sad pub chain without soul that just happened to sell a few good beers.

But the chink in my anti-'Spoons armour had been opened. 'Spoons was now a place I would consider going. And the more I've been, the more I've liked it. 

There was a day back in October when I needed to get out of the house with a manuscript and a red pen to try to sort out a sample chunk of a new book I'm writing. I like doing this kind of work in pubs - it focuses me and, perhaps counter-intuitively, gets rid of distractions. I went to a local craft beer pub - the kind of place I still remain overjoyed about, in theory, counting myself lucky that I live within walking distance of several such places. 

I ordered a pint of cask beer and it wasn't good. I hate these situations. It wasn't that the beer was off; it wasn't displaying any recognisable faults, it just hadn't been kept with love and care and simply wasn't pleasant. So I thought that for my next pint, I'd move on to keg. BrewDog Dead Pony Club - perfect at 3.8%, an increasingly mainstream beer that wasn't strong enough to make me lose focus on my work - £5.20 a pint. They also had Beavertown Gamma Ray IPA, one of my beers of the year, brewed just a couple of miles from where I was standing - £6.50 a pint. And I just thought, that's too much for those beers. I don't like the quality of the cask, and I'm not prepared to pay that for a keg beer, and so I left.

Stuck for where to go next, I ended up in my local Wetherspoon's, the Rochester Castle on Stoke Newington High Street. And there, I found Devil's Backbone - an American IPA from a celebrated brewer - brewed under license in the UK, admittedly - for less than three quid a pint.

And so I asked myself, why should I pay £6.50 a pint for something I can get yards away for less than £3?

The arguments in answer to this came pretty quickly. But I found myself knocking each one of them back.

Yes, but it's a one off, this isn't a 'proper' craft beer bar.
Oh no? I'll admit the range will always consist of what is becoming known as 'mainstream craft', but those are the kinds of beers I prefer to drink anyway. As well as Devil's Backbone, there's a range of bottled craft beers including BrewDog, Goose Island and Lagunitas. They'll keep me happy for a session, at half the price of the nearby craft beer bar.

But Wetherspoons outlets are so soulless. There's no atmosphere there.
Yes, Wetherspoons are often big, echoey hangars, and the lack of music gives the air an odd hue. But most craft beer bars are sparse and spartan and echoey too, and the music they play is often shit, chosen by the staff to show how hip they are rather than to create the appropriate atmosphere for the space. Some of the buildings Wetherspoons have taken over and preserved are beautiful, and there's always a nod to its history in the decorations on the walls.

Wetherspoons aren't 'proper' pubs. They're managed outlets just like a McDonald's.
So are most craft beer pubs I know, whether they're part of a small branded chain or not.

The staff don't know what they're doing. They're disinterested.
I beg to differ. Wetherspoons staff may be trained to be just like their counterparts in chain restaurants, but in the Roch at least, I find the service to be polite and professional, with none of the sneering attitude I sometimes (to be fair, rarely) encounter in hip bars. I'm used to having to argue with the bar staff if I have to take a pint of beer back because it's off. In Spoons, I've had the best service I've ever encountered in this situation.

The quality of the beer is shit/they buy short-dated stock.
Wrong. Most Spoons pubs have Cask Marque. Their cellar standards are excellent. And I have it on very good authority that the short-dated thing is an urban myth.

Fine, but look at the kinds of people you have to drink with. They're awful!
My local Spoons has some dodgy characters, it's true. Especially the guys who sit by the window. They're casualties of life, the people who do turn up and start drinking at breakfast time, the people who have been forced out of the pubs they used to drink in by gentrification and £6.50 a pint. Some of them are shouty. Some of them smell a little ripe. There's no getting away from that. But inside, my local Spoons is a true community pub. It's where all the local posties gather when they've finished their shifts. There are always big tables of council workers and teachers, and a smattering of students. And no hipsters. None. I'm not having a go at hipsters, but I live in a multicultural, multifaceted community, and Spoons is one of the only pubs that reflects that. Some of the negative attitude about 'Spoons drinkers is snobbery, pure and simple.

Add to this the free wifi, cheap meals (with calorific content of each dish clearly displayed - where else does that?) the bi-annual real ale and cider festivals that include unique collaborations with craft brewers from around the world flying to the UK to brew here, and you have a proposition that would be celebrated by every beer writer and craft beer geek in the country if it wasn't 'Spoons doing it.

I'm not going to defend everything about the place, and I'll accept that standards vary across the estate an I just might have a good one on my manor, but increasingly, in many areas, J D Wetherspoon is setting standards for more 'serious' bars to live up to.

I never thought I'd see the day.

*Amended at 10am - I previously said that Devil's Backbone was imported. It isn't, and JDW don't make that clear. Thanks to Boak and Bailey for the clarification. Read their take on the crafting of 'Spoons here.

12/18/2014 04:15 AM
Jack's Abby Brewing to ramp up production with new brewery in Massachusetts
US-based establishment Jack's Abby Brewing is planning to build a new brewery in downtown Framingham, Massachusetts.

12/18/2014 04:00 AM
Eye Candy Beer Blogs

Words are great, but sometimes, pictures are better. As part of what is turning into a series, here’s a collection of show-not-tell beer- and pub-related blogs you might want to add to your reader (we use Feedly these days) or just bookmark for a slow Friday afternoon in the office. 1. Oh Beautiful Beer White Labs […]

Eye Candy Beer Blogs from Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog - Over-thinking beer, pubs and the meaning of craft since 2007

12/18/2014 03:24 AM
Hitting the ground running
Two late-2014 additions to the Irish brewing scene in today's post, both coming out of the traps with a prodigious range of first-run bottled beers.

Co. Monaghan's first brewery (for a while, anyway) opened recently, calling itself Brehon Brewhouse. I was pleasantly surprised to find an early release, their straight-up Irish red, in my local supermarket. Killanny Red Ale is 4.5% ABV and pours a lot darker than one might expect -- almost brown, depending on the light. I'm guessing a generous amount of roasted barley has gone in here as it smells very crisp and grainy, tasting dry to the point of being burnt. Yes there's a little summer berry, but it's a tartness which, combined with the ashen dryness, makes me wonder if something is happening fermentationwise that is not as the brewer intended. I'm not normally the sort to go out of my way to drink Irish red but I'd prefer a bit more fruit and toffee than I'm getting in this.

Keeping to the more timid styles, Brehon Blonde is next, a modest 4.3% ABV. There's an attractive reddish cast to its blondness and the bottle conditioning produces lots of fizz but I poured carefully and a clear glass was my reward. Lots of raisin-rich garibaldi on the nose, though a distinct musty oxidised staleness too. And all of that is there in the flavour too: dry, mouldy sackcloth to begin, a flash of citrus and then more dust and dry rot on the end. A clean, light blonde seems to be a bit beyond the brewing skills of Brehon at this stage.

The range starts to liven up with Stony Grey India Pale Ale. Surprisingly, this is the first beer I can think of named in honour of one of Ireland's many many piss artist poets and is a fitting 6% ABV. A ring of orange rust around the bottleneck was an initial cause for concern but the aroma put me at ease: zesty satsuma and pungent spicy liquorice. There's less punch in the flavour and more of a caramel sweetness, plus a weird savoury meat-like edge. The lightly citric hops arrive late creating an overall sensation of... of... well, of duck à l'orange. This beer tastes of duck à l'orange. That's a first.

Last and darkest and strongest from Brehon is Shanco Dubh, a bruiser of a porter at 7.7% ABV. I came across this at a pre-Christmas tasting hosted by Bord Bia where it was poured by James of the Vanguard Beer Collective. That musty thing is back, but here it works more as a feature than a bug. There's a huge amount of coffee, caramel and dark chocolate behind it and it helps dry them out, while accentuating the roast elements. The end result is highly complex, but balances out on the enjoyable side of odd.

Mullahinsha, Drummeril, Black Shanco-
Wherever I turn I see
In the stony grey soil of Monaghan
Dead loves that were born for me.

Cheery stuff. Let's move on, shall we?

Wicklow Wolf is based in Bray and very soon after opening the doors had five different beers on the market.

Possibly the most intriguing of the range is Locavore Blonde, a 4.8% ABV ale made using only fresh hops from the brewery's own farm. It's at the dark end of the colour scale and while its hop aroma reflects the amount of sunlight and warmth the plants probably got (not much), it's not all golden syrup and cereal: there's a hint of lemons and herbs in there. The lemon element is very pronounced on tasting, even to a puckering extent, with a more serious waxy bitterness behind it and a smattering of spices. Overall this is a pretty decent blonde ale -- it could stand to be smoother, but there's not a thing wrong with it. That it's all done with Irish-grown hops is pretty impressive. Comparisons with the other Irish hop beer, White Gypsy's Emerald, are inevitable but they're very different creatures. Though stronger, Emerald is lighter and zestier, with lots of bittersweet apple in with the lemons. It's refreshing quenching and easy drinking while Locavore is a thinking drinker's blonde. Importantly for the local ingredients movement, both stand on their own as beers, not mere novelties.

In place of a red there's Wicklow Wolf American Amber, discovered on draught at The Norseman last month. Once again I'm out with my colour charts and declaring this more brown than red while also noting a worrying lack of aroma. It's 5% ABV and very thin with it, failing to deliver the rich fruity candy thing that I expect from the style. The hops are all hiding in the flavour, but they present as more of a herbal element, with a powerful bitterness, followed quickly by traditional Irish red notes of crystal malt toffee and dry roast. It's all a bit severe for my taste, especially for a style that should be fun and accessible. I'm not doubting the quality of the hops used, nor their quantity, but this beer just isn't put together the way I like.

On to 57 The Headline to find the next draught one: Wicklow Wolf Kentucky Common. No kvetching about style here as it's the first and only Kentucky Common I've ever met. It's 4.8% ABV and a dark murky brown with red highlights. After a sip I'd place it somewhere on the schwarzbier to brown ale spectrum: it has the gassy dryness and clean lagery finish of the former with the sweeter coffee of the latter. Elements of Bavarian dunkel creep in as it warms: a growing liquorice aroma and a sweet-sour liquorice taste in the finish. It's certainly interesting, but again I found it a little stark and uncompromising for my taste.

The final two I bought in bottled form from DrinkStore. Wicklow Wolf IPA is a hefty beast at 6.3% ABV. Injudicious pouring put an overly large head on my glass, and underneath it a red-amber coloured beer, awash with quite large floaty bits. There's no messing about with the aroma: a big, fresh, lemon-and-lime juice burst, almost enough to make your eyes water. The Simcoe and Cascade combine nicely with the lightly caramelised malt on tasting to create a citric and grassy finish to the flavour profile, but before that reward it's necessary to stand still and let the acrid bitterness slap your palate around a bit. There are some earthy, clangy ferric notes in here as well, but at least the yeast is kept out of the picture. It's intense stuff, the napalm hopping made extra effective by a thick unctuous mouthfeel. Not one for hop lightweights, or those who demand girly tropical fruit flavours or American-style toffee sweetness. Instead, it's a classically no-nonsense grown-up IPA, and I quite enjoyed it for that.

We finish on Black Perle Porter, this one a more modest 4.8% ABV. It looks wholesome as it pours: thick, dark and forming a dense tan head. The nose is full-on espresso, shading towards moccha but the flavour is all cocoa to begin: the bitterness of very dark chocolate and even that faintly powdery feel. The roast comes into play later, turned up to a somewhat charred, black-toast-like degree, but not unpleasantly so. There's no indication on the bottle of where the name comes from, but I'm guessing that Perle hops were involved somewhere along the way, not that there's much of a hop taste in this one. Overall another very good effort, balancing complexity with drinkability rather well.

I guess the lesson from this lot is that dark beers and IPAs are the way to go. Maybe breweries will stop making substandard reds and blondes when people stop buying them. Always drink responsibly.

12/18/2014 03:05 AM
German and English Beer Types Compared in the 1930’s
In case you hadn’t guessed, this is more from the Wahls. Where they compare British top-fermenting beer with German bottom-fermenting beer.

I love this sort of stuff. These were the two main families of beer at the time. Still are today, really. And the USA was one of the few places in the world where they were both brewed in large quantities.

But first a quick overview of each group:

“The continental lager beers are termed bottom fermentation beers because the yeast settles to the bottom of the fermenting vat while the English beers are termed top fermentation beers because the yeast works to the top where it is removed by skimming. This skimming is generally done with the aid of what is called a parachute, a funnel that can be rotated, raised or lowered with a pipe connection extending through bottom of open vat through which the yeast passes into the yeast vat. Another method is by cleansing, that is, the yeast is allowed to work out of the bung hole at the top of the cask. In the case of unions holding usually about four American barrels they are provided with a curved tube, a so-called swan neck. Through these the yeast works from the bung hole into a common trough running along the upper side of the casks.”
"Beer from the Expert's Viewpoint" by Arnold Spencer Wahl and Robert Wahl, 1937, pages 155 - 156.

It’s one of the few times I’ve ever seen cleansing mentioned in an American document. It seems to have been dropped very early in US Ale-brewing. Having seen how much of a head bottom-fermenting yeast throws, cleansing probably wouldn’t be out of order in Lager-brewing, too. Though I suppose lagering and filtering took care of yeast removal.

Now some more detail:

German and English Beer Types Compared
German beers are all of the so-called lager beer type undergoing cold storage in artificially cooled cellars whereas the English beers, like ale, porter, stout, are produced without any refrigeration of cellars whatever. They are either put out directly after fermentation as are the mild "1 day ales and porters" of London or are stored for a considerable period in casks as are the stock ales and stouts which are heavily brewed for high sugar content in the wort and are consequently highly alcoholic and heavily hopped. Two pounds of hops are brewed in per barrel for stock ale; besides, these stock ales are further dry-hopped in the storage tanks. The stouts are heavily hopped in brewing but are not dry-hopped.”
"Beer from the Expert's Viewpoint" by Arnold Spencer Wahl and Robert Wahl, 1937, pages 154 - 155.

Again, I think the Wahls were discussing British beer from before WW I. Not many British beers were being brewed in Stock form in the 1930’s. Just a few very special Strong Ales and Stouts. Everyday Stouts were not aged before sale and weren’t particularly high in alcohol.

Here are Barclay Perkins beers as proof:

Barclay Perkins Ales 1928 - 1931
Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl dry hops (oz / barrel) colour
1928 Ale 4d Mild 1028.8 1006.5 2.95 77.43% 7.43 0.90 34
1928 X Mild 1042.9 1011.0 4.22 74.35% 5.50 0.94 42
1929 DB Brown Ale 1040.6 1009.0 4.18 77.82% 7.50 1.20
1928 IPA bottling IPA 1045.8 1012.0 4.47 73.80% 8.00 1.44 3.00 15
1928 PA Pale Ale 1052.7 1013.0 5.25 75.32% 6.49 1.36 3.00 20
1931 PA (trade) Pale Ale 1052.6 1014.5 5.04 72.43% 7.50 1.57 3.00 23
1929 PA export Pale Ale 1058.9 1017.0 5.55 71.15% 8.89 2.00 4.00 21
1931 XLK Pale Ale 1044.6 1008.5 4.78 80.95% 8.00 1.47 3.00 22
1931 KK Strong Ale 1055.7 1014.0 5.52 74.86% 9.00 1.98 3.00 88
1928 KK bottling Strong Ale 1069.4 1021.5 6.34 69.04% 11.00 2.99 8.00 96
1928 KKKK Strong Ale 1079.0 1024.0 7.27 69.61% 11.00 3.44 4.00 120
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/614.

Barclay Perkins Porters 1928 - 1929
Year Beer Style OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl dry hops (oz / barrel) colour
1929 TT Porter 1033.0 1012.0 2.77 63.58% 6.00 0.81 240
1929 IBS Stout 1060.7 1022.5 5.05 62.93% 8.00 1.95 290
1928 OMS Stout 1050.9 1017.0 4.48 66.57% 6.50 1.36 220
1928 RNS Stout 1054.5 1017.5 4.90 67.91% 8.00 1.80 320
1929 SBS Stout 1054.7 1019.0 4.72 65.24% 7.50 1.68 260
1928 IBS Ex Stout 1102.8 1042.0 8.05 59.16% 14.19 6.75 10.66 680
1928 BBS Ex Stout 1080.0 1027.5 6.94 65.62% 15.00 5.15 8.00 320
1928 BS Exp Stout 1071.6 1022.0 6.56 69.27% 14.00 4.29 8.00 240
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/614.

I’ve used Barclay Perkins and not Whitbread for a reason: the former includes dry-hopping details and the latter doesn’t. I believe only these six were aged: IBS Ex, BBS Ex, BS Exp, KK bottling, KKKK and PA export. Unsurprisingly, they also have the highest level of dry-hopping.

You can see that Stock Stouts were both very heavily hopped in the kettle and dry-hopped, despite the claim of the Wahls. Though running Stouts were, indeed, without dry hops. Most of Barclay Perkins Stock Beers had considerably more than two pounds of hops per barrel. As the Wahls are probably talking in US barrels, which are smaller than imperial ones, you need to knock about 25% off the value in the tables. Which still leaves most of the examples way over 2 lbs per barrel.

Next time we’ll be looking at storage of British and German beers. Where I think there’s a huge howler in the Wahls’ text.

12/18/2014 03:02 AM
Day 18 – Beers of Auckland – Citra Jnr

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014 DAY 18 – Citra Jnr by Liberty Brewing Company TAP: Citra Jnr BREWED: The Beer Fountain ABV: 4.5% This was my opportunity to try a beer at Vultures Lane, as I was having a lunch meeting there. Again it was a little hard choosing an Auckland brewed beer. I’m still to decide […]

The post Day 18 – Beers of Auckland – Citra Jnr appeared first on Luke's Beer.

12/18/2014 02:49 AM
Beer In Ads #1407: Hammering The Rheingold Wreath
Wednesday’s ad is for Rheingold Beer, from 1943, and features Miss Rheingold from that year, Sonia Gover. Holding a hammer in her hand, she’s presumably just hung the wreath. Nice job. Was “The Season’s Greetings” already painted on the wall? The post Beer In Ads...

[[Click through to the Bulletin for full content]]

12/18/2014 01:47 AM
Big Rock Brewery announces quarterly dividend
Big Rock Brewery has announced that a dividend of $0.20 per common share will be paid on January 15, 2015 to shareholders of record as at December 31, 2014.

12/18/2014 12:30 AM
New Belgium Brewing Adds 50% More Onsite Solar Capacity
Ft. Collins, Colo. – December 17, 2014 – New Belgium Brewing is once again partnering with Boulder-based Namasté Solar to add an additional 96.525kW of photovoltaic solar paneling at its Fort Collins facility. The new system will be in addition to 870 panels New Belgium installed in 2009 and will bring total onsite solar production […]

12/17/2014 10:16 PM
Northern Brewer Oatmeal Stout Kit

This week Johns quest for brewing a good stout takes us to the Northern Brewer Oatmeal Stout Kit. Brewing kits is becoming an easier way to explore styles with a proven recipe and John knocks it out of the park with this one. Smooth rich dark chocolatey goodness sums up this kit. This kit starts […]

Read the original article Northern Brewer Oatmeal Stout Kit and other Brew Dudes posts.

12/17/2014 08:53 PM
31 Beers of December – Day 17: Anchor Brewing Our Special Ale
@AnchorBrewing @pairbeer To celebrate the Holiday Season, we have teamed up with beer bloggers and craft beer enthusiasts around the country to host the fourth annual beer bloggers advent calendar. This is the season of sharing and we intend to share our love of beer with you. During the 31 days of December, we will […]

12/17/2014 07:11 PM
Try-It ThursdayS
With summer apparently in full swing around the country, Pete Mitcham's Beer of the Week is a classic award-winning thirst quencher which offers more than a lager ever could.

12/17/2014 07:00 PM
Brewery News: OR: Portland's Burnside Brewing Co. celebrates their 4th year, December 28th
Press Release

image courtesy Burnside Brewing Co.

Portland, OR - Burnside Brewing Co. celebrates an amazing 4 years on Sunday, December 28, from 6-11pm with the release of two new beers and a party at the brewpub featuring ree food, live music ,and $4 beers all day.

A staple of Oregon's thriving brewpub culture, Burnside Brewing Co. has become known as one of the top places to grab a bite as well as a brew. Focused on easy-drinking brews that can be simple or complex but always meant to be paired with food, the brewery takes the same approach to the pub menu with indigenous and handcrafted ingredients. Popular items continue to be the “Cohiba” duck confit cigar, housemade sausages, and pub burger. The Burnside beer list ranges from the easy drinking Oatmeal Pale Ale to the GABF gold medal winning Sweet Heat, which features an amalgamation of apricots and scotch bonnet peppers. Recently the brewery has turned out a new take on "Hot Chocolate," a stout with chocolate and habanero peppers that is paired perfectly with Chef Jimmy's grilled tuna featuring stout braised leek coulis, fresh herbs, lemon preserve, pickled fresno pepper, and cocoa nibs.

"The last four years have flown by and the brewing industry continues to change at a torrid pace, especially here in Portland. We expect to stick to our philosophies of food-friendly beers while being unafraid to take chances in the brewhouse," remarked co-founder/owner Jay Gilbert. Burnside Brewing launched its first canned beer in 2014; the best-selling Couch Select Lager has been a tremendous success in stores and will be followed up by a new beer in cans in 2015, as well as more new one-off and seasonal beers in 22oz bottles. Looking forward to the anniversary and the impending 5th year, Jay Gilbert exclaimed, "we feel like we're hitting our stride as a brewery. Here's to many more years brewing and selling beers with my best buddies. Cheers!"

click on image to enlarge

On Sunday, December 28, from 6-11pm Burnside Brewing Co. will host live music from Big Wet County and Oleana at the pub, as well as a special tapping of the brewery's 500th batch, "NW Red Cedar IPA," and a firkin of a new release, "Highbury Bitter." In honor of the four year anniversary there will be free hor d'oeuvres, prizes, and $4 beers!

Batch 500 is a Cedar IPA based on the popular one-off brewed for Beers Made By Walking. To celebrate making it halfway to 1,000 brews, Burnside has brewed a Northwest-style IPA aged on Western Red Cedar. Fermentation with a Northwest ale yeast provides a gentle, fruity aroma to complement the generous use of Amarillo and Meridian hops. The cedar lends a dry, piney, and resinous finish to this NW inspired nectar.

Highbury Bitter is inspired by our love of all things pub culture, and our favorite squad, this strong bitter reminds us of a rainy day at the old grounds.  English Maris Otter and caramel malts provide a biscuit, bread, and caramel base to balance the fruity London ESB yeast. UK Challenger and East Kent Golding hops round out this traditional English recipe. One-Nil to the Arsenal! 5.814% ABV and 37 I.B.U.’s

12/17/2014 05:28 PM
Dr. Burbanks No Good..Actually Very Good New Years Party at Story Tavern
If you haven’t made plans for New Year’s eve yet, and you are in the Greater Los Angeles area, we’d like to recomm…

12/17/2014 04:59 PM
Wicked Weed Brewing Second Anniversary
Asheville, NC – We can hardly believe it, but Wicked Weed Brewing is turning two on December 28th. To say that time has flown an…

12/17/2014 04:28 PM
Homebrewers Association gives Obama lifetime membership
The American Homebrewers Association has given special lifetime gift memberships to President Obama and outgoing White House chef Sam Kass. The president made history when he purchased a homebrewing kit and — along with Kass — headed the effort to brew White House Honey Ale, the first beer known to have been brewed in the […]

12/17/2014 03:42 PM
Abita Christmas Ale – 25 Days of Beers and Cheers 12/17

Welcome to the December 17th edition of our 25 Days of Beers & Cheers Series! Today’s Christmas/Holiday themed brew comes from the Abita Brewing Company out of the great state … Continue Reading →

The post Abita Christmas Ale – 25 Days of Beers and Cheers 12/17 appeared first on The Brew Review Crew.

12/17/2014 03:30 PM
The Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin honors the dark stuff with a massive museum housed inside a giant Guinness pint glass. The ...

12/17/2014 03:00 PM
Brewery News: OR: Eugene: Oakshire Brewing announces return of Hellshire Day and release date of Hellshire V
Press Release

image courtesy the Oakshire Brewing

EUGENE, OR ... – Oakshire Brewing will release Hellshire V, the brewery’s fifth barrel-aged beer under the Hellshire label, on Saturday, March 14, 2015.  To celebrate this release and the craft of barrel-aging, Oakshire will host a Second Annual Hellshire Day & Barrel-Aged Beer Fest at its Public House, on Madison Street in Eugene.  The beer festival will include offerings from Oakshire’s barrel-aging cellar, as well as dozens of barrel-aged beers from breweries around the country.  Sales of 22 oz. wax-dipped Hellshire V bottles will be available at the festival at Oakshire’s Public House, beginning at 11 a.m.

Regarding the Hellshire V release, Brewmaster Matt Van Wyk said, "We received some very nice Knob Creek Bourbon barrels at the beginning of the year and formulated a Strong Stout that will marry perfectly with the bourbon and vanilla notes from the barrels. This year's blend tastes great."
The Hellshire Day & Barrel-Aged Beer Fest will include live music by local bands and food served up by local food carts.  Entry fee to the festival will include a commemorative Hellshire V tasting glass and sampling tokens, with more available for purchase.  

Last year’s breweries at the festival included:
Oregon: Ninkasi, Block 15, Breakside, Flat Tail, Boneyard, Hopworks, Double Mountain, Logsdon, Cascade, The Commons, De Garde. 

National: Crooked Stave, Anchorage Brewing, Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey, Pizza Port Carlsbad, 5050, Beachwood BBQ, Firestone Walker, Elliot Bay, Two Brothers Brewing, Haymarket Brewing, Half-Acre, Off Color Brewing, Pipeworks Brewing, Trinity Brewing, Perennial Artisan Ales, Cigar City Brewing, Three Floyd’s and Surly. 

For the latest festival updates, follow us on Twitter {https://twitter.com/Oakshire}, visit us on Facebook {https://www.facebook.com/oakbrew} or stop by http://oakbrew.com.

About Oakshire Brewing: Craftsmanship Defined
Oakshire Brewing of Eugene, OR, is small batch community inspired brewery founded in October 2006 with the goals of brewing the highest quality craft beer while providing exceptional customer service. Oakshire has become regionally and nationally recognized for consistently brewing fresh, unique and delicious beers in Oregon's lower Willamette Valley. The name Oakshire represents our core values: Strength, like the enduring oak; Independence, which fuels our innovation; and Community, remembering our place within the whole. Oakshire’s Brewing’s Public House and tasting room is located at 207 Madison Street and the brewery and barrel-aging facility are located nearby at 1055 Madera Street, both in Eugene, OR.

12/17/2014 02:51 PM
#TryJanuary, not dry January
These people would have a shit month in January, if it weren't for the fact they're just models on an assignment and will probably be drinking alcohol responsibly like the rest of us. No-one I'm friends with gives up alcohol in January, but then I avoid getting chummy with melts. However I am aware that "dry January" is a thing. So it's a resounding cheers to the Morning Advertiser who have

12/17/2014 02:43 PM
Spaceballs, oh shit, there goes the office.
from Instagram http://ift.tt/1z4QXRV via IFTTT

12/17/2014 01:38 PM
More Christmas Ale
Some stuff I found in the newspaper archive.

First a heartwarming story of philanthropy:

"Terling —Colonel Strutt's Benevolence.— Although Col. has been living at Bath upwards two years in consequence of ill health, he is continually doing good amongst the poor of this parish. the November in every year (being Col. Strutt's birthday) a number of blankets are delivered out on loan to the poor children during the winter months; and bread has been distributed to fifteen families every Sunday morning regularly for the last two years, taking the families alphabetically. Lately the Colonel ordered two shillings and sixpence to be given to each aged person on the first of every month, which has been continued, and besides this several infirm persons receive weekly allowances, &c.- —On Christmas eve there was distributed Col. Strutt's annual gift to the poor: two bullocks, five sacks of flour baked into half peck loaves, and flannel to the widows; in addition to which this year a large sum of money was also distributed amongst them in silver, many reiceiving as much five shillings each family. Besides this Col. Strutt ordered breakfast on Christmas day at the White Hart Inn, Terling. which was provided by Mr. Smith, the landlord, for the ringers, and also a good hot dinner at five o'clock of roast beef, plum pudding, &c. and a plentiful supply of old Christmas ale, for the tradesmen and of this this parish."
Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 29 December 1843, page 3.

Now a typical tale of drunkenness:

"William Francis, a labourer, of Purleigh, was on Monday last charged before Joseph Pattisson, Esq. by police constable (41) Smith, with being drunk and disorderly, on Saturday night, about twelve o'clock, in Purleigh street. It appeared that a party had been making free with Mr. Harris's old Christmas ale, at the Bell public-house, and a quarrel arising in the house they were put into the street. A pugilistic combat followed, on which the police interfered, but Francis refused to leave, abused the police, and was eventually lodged in the cage. Dr. Baker, however, spoke highly of his previous character, in consideration of which he was discharged, on paving 8s. dd. expenses.
Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 06 January 1843, page 3."

Finally something much mastier:

"AFFRAY WITH POACHERS. At a late hour on Monday night last, two gamekeepers in the employ of Mr. Wilton Harlingscone, of Fell wood Hall, near Strunfield, were returning to their homes from the hall, where they had been partaking of their worthy master's hospitality. On arriving at a secluded lot of plantations called the "Dells" they came suddenly upon a party of four men- three ef whom had guns, whilst the fourth carried a large and apparently well-filled sack. On perceiving the game, keepers the three men presented their guns, and warned the others to keep off, at the same time calling to the man who carried the sack to lun, upon which he immediately made off with his burden. One of the keepers then called out, as though they had assistance at hand, " Here they are, come on my lads," when the poachers, thinking, doubtless, that a strong party was upon them, turned and retreated with all possible expedition, closely followed by the keepers, who being strong, active fellows, and moreover somewhat elevated by the liberal quantity of old Christmas ale they had been imbibing, dashed after the poachers, shouting at the top of their voices, and haviug no other weapons save a couple of stout cudgels. After a chase of several hundred yards the keepers succeeded in overtaking the man who carried the sack, whom they seized, upon which the man shouted to his companions for assistance, calling out that there were but two of them, meaning the keepers, and one of the poachers returned to the spot, and presenting his gun swore that he would blow the keepers' brains out if they did not instantly quit their hold of tbe captured man ; but tbe keepers, thrusting the fellow they held before them so as to cover themselves from the effects of the poacher's fire, told him to fire away and shoot his confederate. The man then dropped the muzzle of his piece, and, clubbing the firearm, dealt the keeper nearest him a heavy blow with tbe but-end, which, lighting on the back of the other's neck, brought him to the ground. Upon this the other keeper quitted the grasp on the man he held, and springing on the poacher with the gun, seized him round the waist whilst in the act of aiming a blow at him (the keeper), and threw him down. The gun exploded in the fall, and part of the contents lodged in the poacher's back, upon which the wounded man calling out that he was shot, his companion immediately took to flight. The keeper who had been struck down recovered, and as no further attempt at attack or rescue was made, the two keepers carried the wounded man between them to the nearest habitation, and sent off for medical advice, the man complained of great pain from his wound. It was nearly two hours before a surgeon could be procured, and it was then ascertained that the spine was severely shattered by the shot. He remains in a very precarious state. The poachers were probably aware of the " merry-making" at the hall, and calculated on the absence of the keepers. Upwards of 30 head of game were found in the sack."
London Standard - Thursday 30 December 1841, page 4.

I really should get on with mylife rather than spending my evening looking for refeerences to Christmas Ale.

12/17/2014 01:27 PM
The Bergschrund set to open in Ballard this Friday

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog.

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog. Because liquor laws are so frequently governed by bizarre pretzel logic, we can’t actually declare this new Ballard drinking establishment to be what it actually is. Instead of saying exactly what it really is, I must tell you it is something else. So here it goes. The...

12/17/2014 12:34 PM
How old are Christmas beers?
I've been prompted by Boak and Bailey's post about Christmas beers. Not being all that old.

You know me by now. I've ridiculous piles of information. If you'd been around mine you'd realise just how literal the piles are. I was sure I had older examples of beers specifically labelled "Christmas".

Being labels, it makes more sense to do this visually:

My guess is that they are all from the 1950's.

These I have from the Whitbread Gravity Book:

1956 Well's & Winch Christmas Ale 4.97%
1950 Younger, Geo. Gordon Xmas Ale (bottled in Antwerp) 7.58%

These from brewing records:

1902 Fuller, Smith & Turner XK for Xmas 5.83%

This is a Lovibond record from 1864:

The beer, coincidentally, will feature in our special Christmas Eve Let's Brew.

12/17/2014 12:15 PM
Baron Tequila, Blanco
Baron Tequila –Blanco – 80 proof 95 Pts. The Benedict Cumberbatch of tequilas, this heartthrob demonstrates charisma with a matchless precision that is simply irresistible. Handcrafted ...

12/17/2014 11:56 AM
Flying Bike Cooperative gets closer to takeoff

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog.

Story by Kendall Jones, via Washington Beer Blog. Today is an exciting day for the 900 member-owners of Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery. It was in April of 2011 that I first told you about Flying Bike and its unusual approach to funding, building, and operating a brewery (see all of our stories about Flying Bike)....

12/17/2014 11:00 AM
Brewery News: WA: Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery acquires lease for future brewery and taproom.
Press Release

image sourced from Flying Bike Cooperative's website
image sourced from Flying Bike Cooperative's website

SEATTLE, WA, 12/17/2014 ­ Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery (FBCB), Washington’s first planned cooperative brewery, is excited to announce the signing of a lease for a 3,000+ sq ft brewery and tasting room space in the vibrant Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle, at 8570 Greenwood Ave N. This is an extremely important milestone for the cooperative, with construction to commence this month.

Throughout 2014 the cooperative searched exhaustively for a suitable space, executed a successful Member Investment Campaign, negotiated lease terms, and grew to over 900 member­owners. Proceeds from the Member Investment Campaign have enabled the cooperative to execute the lease and commence construction. With strong support from its membership, the cooperative is making the Flying Bike dream a reality.

“It’s really amazing to see all the hard work we’ve put in over the last year start to pay off,” stated Ryan Vanderpol, President of the Board of Directors. “Signing this lease and starting construction on the brewery and tasting room represents a huge milestone for the co­op. It has taken thousands of hours of volunteer work to get here. We have a great group of people working on this project and the support we’ve had from the membership has been truly humbling for all of us. I’m very proud to be a part of this remarkable project and am looking forward to having a pint of Member Driven Beer in Flying Bike’s tasting room on opening day!”

As a cooperative, FBCB member­owners choose board members, what beer will be brewed and what beers will be on tap, along with the general direction of the brewery. Member­owners will also receive a tasting room patronage dividend, access to educational events, and other benefits. FBCB has supported many Seattle beer events including the signature Tour de Pints bike ride during Seattle Beer Week each May. The co­op has supported the launch of other new breweries and pubs in the Puget Sound area as well through member events.

To learn more about Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery, or to become a member­owner, please visit http://flyingbike.coop. Construction progress will be communicated via blog posts as well as social media outlets (Facebook, twitter @flyingbikecoop)

About Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery:

Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery (FBCB) is a member­owned cooperative developing a brewery in the Seattle area. FBCB will feature beers from member­sourced recipes and fosters cooperative principles built around community, collaboration, and education. FBCB has over 900 members.

12/17/2014 09:32 AM
Flying Dog Brewhouse Rarities Doppelbock

The post, Flying Dog Brewhouse Rarities Doppelbock, first appeared on The Barley Blog.

Flying Dog’s Doppelbock is the lastest from the company’s Brewhouse Rarities limited run of beers for 2014 — it also marks the last release in the series for the year. The 8.3% ABV doppelbock may be under the Rarities moniker, but it’s probably one of the more faithful-to-style products they’ve let loose upon the wild […]

The post, Flying Dog Brewhouse Rarities Doppelbock, first appeared on The Barley Blog.

12/17/2014 09:30 AM
Prospect Bottleshop & Bar Opens in Northeast Portland
Northeast Portland has added another new bottleshop and bar to the gentrifying area. Now open is Prospect Bottleshop & Bar, located in the newly renovated One-Stop Building next door to the popular Podnah’s Pit Barbecue. Adam Hobbs is bringing his background from 1856, another bottleshop in NE Portland, to the corner of NE 16th and […]

12/17/2014 09:18 AM
Founders Brewing sells 30% share to Spanish brewery
Founders Brewing Co. in Michigan, one of the fastest growing breweries in the country, has announced a partnership with Mahou San Miguel. The Spanish brewery will take a 30 percent stake in Founders. A press release state that the partnership “will help Founders grow through Mahou’s international distribution network to access the emerging craft beer […]

12/17/2014 09:16 AM
Founders Brewing sells 30% minority stake to Mahou San Miguel
Press Release:  Spain’s Leading Brewer Invests in Founders with Shared Commitment To Build Long-Term Growth in Craft Beer Industry (Grand Rapids, MI) – Founders Brewing Co. has announced a partnership with Mahou San Miguel, who is coming on as a […]

12/17/2014 09:00 AM
Limited Edition 2014 Noggin Floggin Released at Hopworks Urban Brewery
Yesterday, Hopworks Urban Brewery releases 2014 Noggin Floggin Barleywine. The beer was produced in a very-limited run of bottles. Hopworks has a small number of bomber bottles available for $9 per bottle at their Powell location. Bottles will also be available in limited distribution at Whole Foods Market in Oregon and Washington beginning December 26th. […]

12/17/2014 08:44 AM
Lunchtime Smoke & Noise
Astute readers would rightly assume by the dearth of posts recently that my time for "fun stuff" has been painfully limited. Being unable to enjoy any trigger time since my range trip on Thanksgiving Day has been especially frustrating. In search of relief, Tuesday afternoon I decided to head up to the Indoor Range in Stafford during my lunch hour. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get in; I had the same idea last Friday, but when I arrived I saw 16 cars in the parking lot, at a 14 lane range, and gave it a pass! On this day, I was in luck as there were only a few other folks there.

I spent about 30 minutes shooting at various distances and speeds. Even with the light turned on above the bench, the shooting booths are still dark. Seeing my black sights against the black target was difficult at times, but it was fun and I was pretty pleased with the holes in the paper.

Given the lack of range availability at the local outdoor club, I'll probably start making the indoor range a regular stop. I am not a fan of being unable to see what's going on in the other bays, but it beats not shooting at all. The range is close enough to my office that I can get there, shoot, and be back at my desk in an hour. (Well okay, a padded hour.)

Smoke, noise, muzzle flash. It all makes for a fun lunch break.

And brass at my feet.

[ This content originated at Musings Over a Pint ]

12/17/2014 07:05 AM
Yule Logs!! competition!! still on

There's still a chance to win one of my wordless books in my super-duper christmas competition. 

You've a pretty good chance of nabbing the prize as I have exactly been swamped with entries.

I've noticed a certain reluctance to join in the fun with comments such as "Isn't interp[reting these things your job?" and "How the hell am I supposed to make sense of that scribble?" 

And I thought you were a game bunch.

You don't have to do anything very complicated. Just pluck the relevant details from the Whitbread brewing record below. The entry with the most details wins a copy of the book. But, you have to have a minimum of these details:

ingredients, type and quantity
racking gravity
volume of TS in barrels

Extra points for yield per quarter and gyle volumes and gravities.

Send in your entries via the "get in touch" form at the top left hand corner of this page. Or via the email link you'll find on my website:


It's hard. But that's the point.

Almost forgot the prize: my strange book.

Buy my strange book! Think up your own reason. Do you expect me to do everything for you?

12/17/2014 07:00 AM
Brewery Dinner: WA: Seattle: Maritime Pacific Brewing hosts their "Special Holiday Brewmaster Dinner" December 21st
Sunday, December 21st, Maritime Pacific Brewing holds their first ever "Special Holiday Brewmaster Dinner", at their Jolly Roger Taproom.

Included with your $40 reservation is a menu of 5 beers, paired against 5 different menu items. Some of the highlighted beers include; Jolly Roger Christmas Ale and Bosun's Black Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter. Dinner starts at 6pm and guests are required to make their reservation by December 19th.

For reservations visit Maritime Pacific Brewing's Jolly Roger Taproom, at 1111 Northwest Ballard Way, or call (206) 782-6181.

12/17/2014 06:49 AM
Public drinking, in context
Among the photos on page 105 of “Terminal Bar: A Photographic Record of New York’s Most Notorious Watering Hole” is one of a man with his chin resting ever so lightly on his closed right hand, looking like he could have been a silent screen star in the 1920s although the picture was taken in […]

12/17/2014 05:35 AM
Coaster Critique: The Traveler Beer Co. Jolly Traveler
On the fifth day of Beermas: Name: Jolly Traveler Brewed By: The Traveler Beer Co. Style: Winter Shandy ABV: 4.4% Pours a bright copper color with red highlights, crystal clear in the glass with a bone white head that faded slowly leaving lacing down the glass. The nose is pleasant, fruit, spices and a hint […]

12/17/2014 04:32 AM
Where Did Christmas Ales Come From?
What's Brewing, December 1986, on old ales and winter beer.

For a long time, Britain had beers associated with Christmas that weren’t explicitly billed as Christmas beers. If Frank Baillie’s 1973 Beer Drinker’s Companion is anything to go by, there were certainly winter ales released in November or December in time for Christmas, but they didn’t feature Father Christmas on the pump clips or labels; they weren’t called things like […]

Where Did Christmas Ales Come From? from Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog - Over-thinking beer, pubs and the meaning of craft since 2007

12/17/2014 03:28 AM
Day 17 – Beers of Auckland – Kingtide IPA

Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014 DAY 17 – Kingtide IPA by Bach Brewing Company BOTTLE: Kingtide IPA BREWED: Steam Brewing Company ABV: 7.0% This afternoon Craig Cooper from Bach Brewing stopped by for a catch up and a beer. The beer we drank was Beachstone Pilsner (very nice) but I had already Advented that. It was getting […]

The post Day 17 – Beers of Auckland – Kingtide IPA appeared first on Luke's Beer.

12/17/2014 03:05 AM
Let's Brew Wednesday - 1938 Starkey, Knight and Ford FA
Starkey, Knight and Ford - dontcha just love them? Er was that hate? I can't quite remember. I'm becoming a bit of a goldfish in the memory department.

I am quite pleased that they occasionally brewed one of their Milds straight. Unlike their Pale Ales, where they magic several from one brew. The asme trick was pulled with their Mild, conjuring up different strength ones, but this, at least, is a straight brew.

The first thing that strikes me about this beer is its strength. It looks very much like a pre-1931 X Ale, with its gravity in the low 1040's. But after Snowden's disastrous 1931 emergency Budget, most breweries knocked their X Ales down to around 1036º. Though some did continue with a Mild at the old strngth, usually giving it a different name. For example, Barclay Perkins, whose XX Ale was really their pre-1931 X Ale.

A gravity of 1043º implies to me a retail price of 6d per pint in 1938. However, in the log it says that it was all racked as FA 5d, implying a gravity of 1036º. The record is tricky to interpret because it doesn't give the gravity of the combined worts. And it's not so simple to see the volumes of each of the two constituent worts because they're given as 54+11 and 71+11. If you assume they were all wort, then the combined gravity is 1043º. However, if the figure after the plus sign is water, then the gravity is 1037º, which fits in better with a 5d beer.

Feel free to brew to whichever of those gravities you fancy. I've no way of knowing which is correct. Starkey, Knight and Ford - dontcha just hate them? They really are driving me nuts. Their records have so much information, yet are still virtually unusable.

Turning to the recipe, it's a very typical Mild Ale of the 1930's. The grist is a combination of pale and crystal malt, plumped up with flaked maize and No. 3 invert sugar. As was usual, the colour comes primcipally from sugar and no malt darker than crystal is involved.

If you'd like to brew the Brown Ale whose label I've reproduced, knock the gravity down to 1037º and bottle.

Can't think of anything more to say, which means that it's Kristen time . . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

Notes: This is a really great recipe for you lot to mess around. It gets nearly all its color from caramel and the Invert No3. Allows you to even add it to the fermenter if you want. Or split it into 4 and do one with No1-No3 sugars in each. Basically it gives a great platform to see what dark invert can do. Make some proper homemade stuff. Make some by dilution with blackstrap. See what you like best. Not a lot to really say about this beer other than use this for something fun. It’s brown. It’s wet. Make it more interesting.

Malt: As I said, there is no dark malts at all in this beer. Not to mention that but there is nearly 30% adjunct! As previously, choose a nice pale malt. I’m going to choose Mild malt because I can and I want as much character as I can get as its such a little amount. Could even use a Vienna or Munich if you were lazy and only had that on hand!

Hops: Hops are pretty straightforward. Goldings, US, Styrain. All that really matters is you hit your numbers regardless of what you use. A good place to use some old hops you’ve been meaning too!

Yeast: Any yeast really will work. We’ve been using London III and Southwold. Either will work really well.

Cask: Standard procedure:
1) let the beer ferment until finished and then give it another day or so. For me right around 5-7 days.
2) Rack the beer to your vessel of choice (firkin, polypin, cornie, whatever).
3) Add primings at ~3.5g/L
4) Add prepared isinglass at 1ml/L
5) ONLY add dry hops at 0.25g/l – 1g/L.
6) Bung it up and roll it around to mix. Condition at 55F or so for 4-5 days and its ready to go. Spile/vent. Tap. Settle. Serve at 55F.

12/17/2014 01:06 AM
Beer In Ads #1406: 62 Individual Reasons To Drink
Tuesday’s ad is for the Coopers 62, from 2011. Although it’s a newer ad, given that I post my own reasons to drink for any given day, this ad certainly spoke to me, despite most of the reasons being fairly pedestrian. But in a sense, that was the point, that any reason was good enough...

[[Click through to the Bulletin for full content]]

12/17/2014 12:36 AM
Yeastie Boys seek love and money for European expansion
In this episode of Radio Brews News Matt catches up with Stu McKinlay from Yeastie Boys to discuss the brewery's plans to crowd-fund their expansion into the UK by selling equity through PledgeMe...

12/16/2014 11:42 PM
Oscar time?! Deputies Fake Buzz to Test Liquor Store Clerks
Deputies pretending to be obviously drunk visited eight liquor stores in East County, and were successful in buying additional alcohol at three of them, sheriff’s deputies reported Sunday. Selling alcohol to obvious drunks is a misdemeanor crime, but the decoy program was for educational purposes and no stores were cited. The eight outlets were in […]

12/16/2014 11:17 PM
31 Beers of December – Day 16: Beanz Coffee Stout
@sodakbeer @woodenlegsbrew To celebrate the Holiday Season, we have teamed up with beer bloggers and craft beer enthusiasts around the country to host the fourth annual beer bloggers advent calendar. This is the season of sharing and we intend to share our love of beer with you. During the 31 days of December, we will […]

12/16/2014 10:57 PM
Good Beer Week Turns 5
Good Beer Week will return to Melbourne in May 2015 for the fifth year running, with an out-and-out celebration of the local and international craft beer scene...

12/16/2014 07:00 PM
Oskar Blues Brewery extends MicroStar partnership for keg management
US-based establishment Oskar Blues Brewery has extended its on-going partnership with MicroStar Logistics.

12/16/2014 05:24 PM
Big Brands Continue To Slide
For the last several years, sales of some of the major beer brands have been slipping, and not just the sub-premiums or secondary packages but even once mighty flagships. 24/7 Wall Street has a new list of some of these brands, characterized as Beers Americans No Longer Drink. Using data from Beer...

[[Click through to the Bulletin for full content]]

12/16/2014 05:01 PM
Five Quick BeerSmith 2 Home Brewing Software Tips
Logo200I often get questions about BeerSmith and how to get the most out of it when brewing. BeerSmith 2.2 with its cloud features and tight integration with BeerSmith mobile has been very popular with home and professional brewers. So this week, I thought I would share a few tips for users of BeerSmith 2.2. Create […]

12/16/2014 04:55 PM
New Belgium Asheville’s brewhouse system slated to arrive in early January
Press Release:  (Asheville, NC) – New Belgium Brewing’s Brewhouse vessels start rolling into their new home on Craven Street in Asheville, NC, the second week in January. New Belgium’s 200 hectoliter Brewhouse system departed from GEA Brewery Systems (GEA) in […]

12/16/2014 04:34 PM
The Beer Guy on the Road: Birreria in Manhattan
New York City, as everyone knows, is a non-stop thrill ride of a city. From white-knuckled rides in the omnipresent New York taxi cabs to the noisy crush of humanity known as the subway, New York is a never-ending onslaught of sounds, sights, sensations and even smells. So, where do world-weary New Yorkers go when they […]

12/16/2014 04:30 PM
Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA coming to year-round can and draft lineup
Press Release:  (Longmont, CO, & Brevard, NC) – Oskar Blues is adding PINNER Throwback IPA to the brewery’s year-round lineup of beers in 12-ounce CANs and on draft. PINNER will be released first in Oskar Blues’ home states of ColoRADo […]

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