February 2011 Archives

Winter Beer Festival 2011

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The Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival was excellent just as it is every year. Aaron and crew over at Dark Horse just went crazy and had at least 25 beers on tap. While it took at least four trips through the blacklit stout tunnel to finally sample it, the Sour Plead the 5th was very complex and was in the top five brews on tap that I tried. I think the best brew I sampled was the Bourbon Barrel Stout from Hideout. It was on par with the Plead the 5th Barrel aged from Summer's Festival. Frog Island has been around for a while but I think they are relatively new to the Brewers Guild. They had a number of excellent brews on tap. The two brews that stand out for being one of a kind, unique, and just plain excellent brews, were Lily's Woodbutchers Pale Ale, and Right Brain's Naughty Girl. Woodbutches had the taste of salty peanut shells, not hops, not malt, peanut shells. Just amazing. Nice girl was ok, but Naughty Girl was made with fresh organic mint. This is the first time that I have ever had a chocolate mint stout. This is the one brew I definitely want to try again. A few others that stood out were OG's Bourbon Barrel Ginger Ale, the aging really mellowed the sharp ginger bite. Olde Boys Le Belle Apple came in at 9% ABV but with 20% cider it was sweet and very drinkable. Odd Sides did a Peanut Butter Cup Stout that had the definitive peanut butter character you would expect and a Fig Brewton Ale. Fig Brewton reminded me a Magic Hat #9 style brew, but it was far better than anything I have ever had from Magic Hat. Copper Canyon did a Gingerbread Cookie Ale that I was a little disappointed in, not because it wasn't a great brew, but it seemed to lack much Gingerbread Cookie flavor except at the very end. But the Brewmaster is a cool guy and gave me come good suggestions for making a gingerbread brew.

Ladies of Craft Beer

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Check out Ladies of Craft Beer. The love for brewing and good ale is not limited to white guys in Michigan. From my favorite African American Brewmaster Garrett Oliver, to Leslie Henderson or Jonathan Fischer, all kinds of people love to brew.

Tips for enjoying a beer festival

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Hey Folks - here are some of my tips for enjoying a beer festival.
  • Drink lots of water, that may mean bringing your own. Bring at least a gallon, yes a gallon.
  • Wear waterproof shoes if it's outside.
  • Know what you plan on drinking before you get there. Time yourself. If you don't pace yourself and end up drinking several pints an hour, the day may not end well for you.
  • Have some cash to buy food, eat before you arrive as well.
  • Whatever you do DON'T DRIVE HOME. Get a cab or have someone pick you up.

Free the 'Shine!

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This is an excellent video from reason.tv. I am not sure whats worse, that we waste taxpayer money trying to criminalize homedistillers, or that we take away freedom for no reason other than to placate the ignorance of big business. For my views on homedistilling checkout this post.

Tommyknocker Cocoa Porter Winter Warmer

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poo.JPGWell I am impressed that Tommyknocker was able to blend just the perfect combination of complex malts to make an ale with the distinct arouma of poo. Yep there you have it. I have never had a Tommyknocker brew that I could finish. This went down the drain like all the rest. The only reason I even tried it was because it was one of last months beer club beers. Don't waste your money on this one there are plenty of decent craft beers out there. For that matter Anheuser Busch makes better products. Which totally reminds me of something. What ever happened to Bare Knuckle Stout? That was an incredible Irish Stout and it was made by A-B. Perhaps the whole InBev purchasing A-B and InBev owning Guinness shut that one down. Now that I think about it, it does seem like the time line would fit. Oh well. For just a minute we got a glimpse of what could have been. Instead we have Bud Select. Thanks Carlos Brito!

Where did all the beer go?

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I recently read a post at homebrewtalk where a poster says that he's convinced that kegs have some kind of a crazy beer evaporator inside. I did not realize this until today. By the time you are done racking you probably have four gallons of beer in a keg. According to Google four US gallons = 32 US pints. Here is where the math comes in, 32 US pints + one week + magic beer evaporator = no beer. Yes it's all gone. Granted I lost a little foam trying to get the carbonation just right the first time around, but I never thought it would be gone in a week. Oh well I guess I will just have to brew another batch.


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First Draft - Philco Kegerator

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Sold Out

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2011WinterBeerFestPosterSmallRounded188x235.gifDon't forget the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival. You can still buy tickets at these places.(Update as of Feb 19th everyone is sold out) They are sold out online.

Mock Winter - Celebrate Beer
Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 1-6PM
Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, MI
(just north of Grand Rapids)

An outdoor celebration of Michigan beer, featuring more than 250 different beers from over 45 breweries. Hot food and live music. Snow, rain or shine. Dress for winter weather and let the hearty winter brews warm your soul. Must be 21 or older. Admission: $35 in advance, $40 at the door if not sold out (includes 15 drink tokens). Additional tokens available inside the festival.

Beer Run 2011

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From Schmohz:

Time once again for the Achilles 5k run at Schmohz.  Join us for this fun run on April 16th. Yes, there will be beer for runners and walkers.  We will be limiting the registrations to 350 again this year so sign up soon.

Flyer http://www.Schmohz.com/5k.pdf

Registration http://www.Schmohz.com/race

If you have questions that are not answered by the flyer, stop in for a beer, Al will make up an answer for you.

Mississippi: Beer Hell, Confirmed

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Ok this is really old news now I just keep forgetting to post it. My good buddy in Mississippi alerted me to the continuing plight of Mississippians. From Elizabeth Crisp at the Clarion Ledger:

The much talked about beer bills died yesterday.

That's right, despite the fact that Mississippi allows the sale of much harder liquor, lawmakers just couldn't muster the courage to tackle bills that would have allowed the alcohol content in beer to be up to 8 percent, as opposed to the current 5 percent limit. More...

Nobodies the Weisser

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weizen.JPGWell my Weisse still has a good week to go and my Co2 cylinder is not here yet. But that hasn't stopped me from stealing a pint or two. It's still a little flat and sweet but very drinkable. When I racked it out of the primary it still had a pretty good spiciness to it. It has mellowed a little bit over the last week or so. I need to move it to another keg so that it doesn't dispense with sediment. I see even my cider is cloudy because I was pulling it from a keg full of sediment. Just another reason to buy more cornies. 

Mad Fermentationist

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fermentationist.jpgFor a great homebrew blog check out The Mad Fermentationist I have been a fan for a while and I was recently reminded of it by a reddit post. 


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Vivant_2.jpgI once again stopped in at Brewery Vivant, this time for lunch. I had "The Burger", it came with a bacon onion and raisin marmalade which was excellent along with tomato, lettuce, onion, mayo, and fries. I sampled their Belgian Wit. While I am not a fan of Witbier I enjoyed its mild character, it did not overwhelm the senses with spiciness like some Witbiers. I also sampled their Kludde Strong Ale, a dark beer with a pronounced black olive and root beer aroma, and a deep roasted malt taste. I would recommend it for a selection. Their Triomphe Belgian IPA is interesting in that it's a divergence from the traditional Belgian and French styles. It is a great IPA, however it's pretty hoppy for an ale with the word Belgian in it. They also have an Abbey Ale that seemed a bit more like a down to earth brown ale to me. The one thing that is very impressive about all their brews is their clarity, everyone of them is crystal clear. The service was excellent, the food was served hot, and the ale was fresh. Pretty hard to beat. If you are new to the brewery it's helpful to know that there is parking in the back so in most cases you probably don't need to find a spot on the street.

Pete's Wicked Ale

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Back in the 90's I was a big fan of Pete Slosberg's Pete's Wicked Ale, it was a great full bodied ale that came in short stout bottles, and was one of a handful of popular craft ales. I had not enjoyed Pete's in years, when in 2009 I picked up a six pack. The first thing I noticed is that the bottles had changed, still I excepted to spend the evening enjoying Pete's, like spending time with an old friend I had not seen in sometime. But this was not my old friend, this was some so-so beer masquerading as my old friend. Only then did I come to realize that Pete had sold the Brewery back in 1998 and it all went down hill from there.

So I was not surprised to read that this was the end of the line for Pete's Wicked Ale. Well I suppose it was about time. Too bad that big breweries buy a brand like Pete's to cash in on the name and then cut corners and run it into the ground, shame on them.


The Brewmaster


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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