March 2006 Archives

Plumbing Problems

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The other day a woman in Norway experienced something that is generally limited to over-the-top Budweiser commercials. She turned on the tap to wash her dishes and beer came out. She did what any sane citizen would do and tried the beer. Apparently it was lacking in carbonation and mouthfeel.


It turns out that two floors down there is a pub. They accidentally hooked up the new keg to the water pipes and not the beer tap. Why do these sort of 'accidents' never happen to me? I can just imagine the poor guy in the pub drinking water. He was probably a little less thrilled about the whole thing.

Bare Knuckle Stout

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Bare KnuckleTonight we stopped in for pizza at Bostons. I asked what they had on tap, I was about to choose a local micro, but the waitress said they had Bare Knuckle. In typical style she said 'it's a very dark beer'. To me this generally indicates that it's something worth drinking. But then again I have had non beer types state this before only to get bud by a different name. The name rang a bell but I did not recall who brewed it.


To be honest I think a lot of peoples opinions of this brew are tainted before they even try it because they know it's an A-B product. Myself I think I had a pretty open mind. To begin with it looked an awful lot like Guinness but the head was finer and thicker, if that is even possible. It had very little aroma, again a lot like Guinness. It had a slight roasted malt taste, a little more roasty than Guinness has. It has very good head retention. Aside from the slightly more roasted malt flavor it was pretty much Guinness as far as I am concerned. To be fair I guess I should try them side by side sometime. It didn't take me too many sips to conclude this might be an A-B product, why you ask? Well for all the evil that A-B has done to the taste buds of Americans they do have a lot of science and money behind them. It takes a lot of science and money to turn out a brew of this quality. It's not your average micro brew. Any Dry Irish Stout I have had from a micro was a lot hoppier than this. This is obviously an attempt by A-B to replicate and compete with Guinness.


Now I must admit that I am an Imperial Stout and Porter type. Dry Irish Stouts are not my favorite. But I respect them, I respect Guinness, Murphy's, and Beamish too. I think they are all in their own right good ales. I find it hard to believe that Murphy's makes a better brew than A-B. If you want to argue the point on Guinness or Beamish fine, but if you ask me it's a close one. So I encourage you to be open minded on this one. Granted on a blind taste test I am sure you could define it, but if you're honest I don't think you can totally disregard it as some flavor lacking waste of keg space as many have.


Try it, let me know what you think.

Anchor Liberty Ale

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I was excited to find out that this month's selection of the beer club I belong to was Anchor Liberty Ale. I am a huge Anchor Brewing fan. It is my opinion that it is the best domestic brewery. My favorite beer is Anchor Porter, I also enjoy their Steam Beer. It had been a while since I'd drank a Liberty Ale.


You may recall the following post that I submitted shortly after visiting the brewery.

"Don't let the humble advertising mislead you, Anchor is the best domestic brewery. They do not use unitanks for their brewing. Instead they use open fermentation. But first let me back up a little with my story. I spoke with Mark Carpenter who arranged for Phil Rogers to give us a tour. Mr. Rogers is in charge of training and overseeing the regular tour guides during tour season. Due to my poor navigating skills Jeremy and I arrived about an hour late. Mr. Rogers needed to head out to another appointment in ten minutes. He however was extremely kind to us and gave us over an hour of his valuable time.


He gave us a brew or two while we waited. I was able to experience Anchor Porter on tap at the Anchor Tap Room! What an awesome experience. Then he took us out onto the brewfloor while they were brewing. One of their top brewers opened the brewpot for us, allowed to stick our heads into the Mash Tun and the Lauter Tun. Then after leaving the copper kettle brewroom we proceeded into the cleanroom. In the cleanroom there were thousands of gallons of beer in open fermentation right before our eyes. Stainless tanks not more than a few inches deep held fermenting Anchor Steambeer. Then we proceeded to the hop storage area. There Mr. Phil Rodgers allowed us to see, feel and smell the differences between various hop varieties. From there we went to other fermentation areas, the basement with the conditioning tanks, and then the bottling line.


Afterward we were able to visit and share a pint with a half dozen brewery employees most of whom were brewers. I was able to ask technical questions about the beer and they graciously provided satisfying answers.


I am leaving out so much of the story. I could probably write a book about the experience and still not be giving the full picture of why of Anchor Brewing is the best brewery in the U.S.


Much of their process reminded me of how I brew my own beer. They use natural conditioning to carbonate their beer. They then keep it under pressure while they process and bottle the beer. Their method of homogenization is superior in that is it very quick and not done in the bottle therefore preserving the true character of the brew.

Liberty Ale

If you ever find yourself in San Francisco be sure to visit Anchor Brewing! "


Liberty Ale was first introduced on April 18th, 1975 to commemorate the bicentennial of the famous ride by Paul Revere. If it had been five months later it could also have marked 6,000 years of mans existence on earth. But that is another discussion.


According to Anchor's site "Before it became a permanent year-round product, variations of our Liberty Ale formula enjoyed brief tenures as Our Special Ale."


Liberty Ale's appearance is golden honey, with a lacy fine head that quickly dissipates. Its hop bouquet like its taste was amazing. It's very clear that this brew is dry hopped with very fresh whole hops. Extremely crisp and refreshing the Cascade hops pretty much jump out at you. This is just one of Anchor's amazing brews. I highly recommend it. A nice one to try at home if you homebrew.


The Brewmaster


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This page is an archive of entries from March 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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