November 2012 Archives

Lazy Magnolia - Timber Beast

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Timber_Beast.jpgLazy Magnolia - Self proclaimed as Mississippi's Brewery, is one of only two breweries that I know of in the state of Mississippi. Timber Beast is the first offering I have been able to sample thanks to Brad - Self proclaimed as Mississippi's homebrewer, and also one of only two homebrewers that I know of in the state of Mississippi. That is unless the Mississippi Alcohol Beverage Control asks, in which I don't know any.

It's notable that the state of Mississippi was the first to get their head up their ass and that the state of  Michigan was the first to pull theirs out. That might explain why we make millions of dollars in the state of Michigan due to beer tourism, have three of the top ten breweries of 2012 (, two of the all time top breweries on earth (BeerAdvocate) and at least three of the top ten beers in the world no matter which beer list you consult. At least seven of our breweries are listed so many times on  ratebeers Best By Style 2012 page that I can't count them all.

It sounds like I just went on a bragging rant about my state - without the use of commas - but trust me if that was the case it would have included me ranting about the more than one dozen breweries in Grand Rapids. But alas this post is about Mississippi beer. Mississippi clearly has huge beer potential and if they want to realize that potential, and the millions of dollars that come with it, then the state needs to start by legalizing homebrewing. But just because Michigan's unemployment rate has dropped 7% in the last three years, Grand Rapids has been able to redefine itself as Beer City USA, and created a burgeoning tourist business is probably no reason to follow our example. I mean who would want people pouring into your city spending money so they can stand in line for hours camped out to get some of most popular beer on the planet. That would probably be stupid.

So on to Timber Beast. It pours a deep orange and has a beautiful hop aroma. This medium bodied ale presents a malty sweetness and an earthy, slightly piney hop character, imparted by the Zythos hops. Somewhat reminiscent of Brooklyn's IPA (East Kent Golding, Willamette, Northdown, Centennial) it imparts a balanced bitterness missing from many fruity and floral IPA's. Unique from any other Rye IPA I have had, I really enjoyed it. The rye is present but subtle. It was slightly hazy and had a bit of sediment in the bottle. It was not cloudy, and did not have floaties so while I am a big clarity nut, I give it a pass. Overall I think it was a great ale and I look forward to trying more offerings from Lazy Magnolia including Jefferson Stout and Southern Pecan.

Maybe once Mississippi releases their inner ale they can work on getting an IMBA ride center. Yeah we have one of those too.

Grand Rapids Public Museum - Thank You Beer Exhibit

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The Grand Rapids Public museum exhibit "Thank You BEER!" gives a quick history of brewing (including brewing in Grand Rapids on the second floor), shows the basics of making beer, and displays an impressive collection of beer cans and beer bottles. Presented in the Meijer Theater is the Discovery presentation "How Beer Saved the World", an hour long beer documentary that is both entertaining and informative. In just a few minutes I learned that acorns were used to brew beer in Colonial American, and that the national anthem is an old beer drinking song with new words.

Additionally beer tastings are provided on Thursday Bolt_Cutters.jpgevenings and Saturdays, as well as a series of five Thursday evening classes about beer. While the overall display was small, it was nice to see the public museum taking an interest in beer. The exhibit featured a ghetto homebrewing setup from Brain Dews of Rockford Brewing. The museum display referred to it as an 'advanced' homebrew setup, this is not exactly the word I would have used to describe it. There was a small glass case with the original Founders Bolt cutters, along with assorted local swag. Many of the local breweries were well represented. Nostalgic TV and print ads for beer over the years were displayed along with food pairing and beer '101' facts.

Founders Furniture City Stock Ale was featured as well as sold at the gift shop along with beer glasses, shirts, bottle openers, beer cozies, and a book. It is cool that the city of Grand Rapids allows the tastings and alcohol sales at the museum. I have to give the museum, and the city of Grand Rapids, a lot of credit for the exhibit. While overall pretty small and spartan, the vast can collection, and Grand Rapids brewery bottle collection made it well worth the visit.

It will be interesting to see how the craft beer world plays out over the next few years. I think Grand Rapids well represents the craft movement. From accomplished brewers and world class breweries to bad hombrewers who want to start a brewery and serve their cloudy beer, we have it all. I predict that all the crappy and so-so breweries will go under (yeah we have some) and the stellar ones with world-class beer are here to stay. In the end weathering the storm that is soon to hit craft breweries will come down to the quality of their product. Here is to good beer!


Michigan Winter Brewfest Tickets for 2013

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Winter Brewfest tickets go on sale Dec 1. - Update as of Dec 6 they are sold out. Wow that was quick.


Founders - Furniture City Stock Ale

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Furniture_City.jpgGrand Rapids history is a long one, people-wise starting a couple thousand years ago. In the 1850's it started to become 'furniture city' due to it's production of furniture, something that it still does to one extent or another today. The Grand Rapids Museum has a Thank You Beer, exhibit this month and next. In honor of this, and Grand Rapids rich history, Founders produced furniture city ale. The profits are going toward the museum.

On to the beer. It's a brown, and it has that poopy malt that some folks insist on putting in browns. I am not a fan of poopy malt (for those amharets of beer, poopy malt is a highly technical term only used by highly snobby and distinguished beer geeks to refer to a very particular malt that you probably are unable to understand).

This beer is dominated by the roasted tobacco flavor of the 'poopy malt'. Overall it is a very good brown, if you like the 'poopy malt' style of brown. Personally I prefer something like Lagunitas WTF which is in my opinion the finest brown on the face of the planet.

Ok so all the 'poopy malt' bashing aside. This ale pours a rich brown with minimal head, rich slightly roasted malt tones dominate the aroma. It possesses a medium body, the same malt aspects that are in the aroma manifest in the flavor with just a tiny bit of tannin bite (very minimal just the perfect amount) coming through. Hops are present but barley detectable - as they should be in a brown ale.

Overall an excellent brown, but there are certain malts that I am not a fan of. I like porters that are rich and sweet, not the roasted smokey malt kind. The same with browns. I am just not a big roasted malt fan, in moderation it's ok, but any beer dominated by roasted malt is just not my thing. I am sure that for anyone who likes browns and roasted malt, this ale would be in your top five. But alas I will go back to my syrupy sweet brews that taste of ketchup (another very technical beer flavor terminology).

-The Brewmaster

Wish List

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So this Christmas if you want to surprise your favorite stout lover what do you get them? We'll the list could be long and varied I suppose. In my case it's rather succinct.

I hear rumors that Shipwreck Porter is going to be available only every other year, I guess we'll see. I learned a valuable lesson drinking my year old Abyss, don't. It was way too hot and needed a couple more years. Three or four years and I can imagine Abyss would be amazing. Dark Lord is awesome, I want another bottle, or two, or three. I have yet to sample anything from Firestone Walker, but their reputation proceeds them and their Brewmaster seems to be a very cool guy. So Parabola is a must try, wouldn't mind a bottle to cellar as well. Finally Avery - Mephistopheles, the Czar is amazing, so I can only imagine this must be a very awesome Imperial Stout.

So there it is, my list. Perusing the cellars of beer geeks online, these seem to be the brews that I am missing in the Russian Imperial Stout category (shipwreck is not technically a RIS, but it's close enough). Abyss was recently released, so we'll see if we can't trade up a bottle before too long.

So you ask what other beers might my stout (or barleywine) loving friend want, that I can actually purchase? Well here is an extended list, some are easier to find than others, some are not too difficult to obtain. In no particular order...

  • Brooklyn - Black Chocolate Stout
  • Brooklyn - Monster (Barleywine)
  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (Barleywine)
  • North Coast - Old Rasputin
  • Founders - Breakfast Stout
  • Dark Horse - Plead the 5th
  • Founders - KBS
  • Founders - CBS
  • Great Lakes - Blackout
  • Founders - Imperial Stout
  • Brooklyn - Black Ops
  • Goose Island - Bourbon County Stout
  • Bell's - Expedition
  • Jester King - Black Metal
  • Founders -  Nemesis  (Barleywine)
  • Bear Republic - Big Bear
  • Stone - Russian Imperial Stout
  • Lagunitas - Imperial Stout
  • Great Divide - Yeti 
  • The list goes on... but I have homework to do.

Happy 60th Birthday - Philco F915

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Here's the refrigerator to see ...for a completely new idea of values. Up to 2 cu. ft. of extra space, plus today's newest design and features-yet priced no higher than other smaller refrigerators. It's today's biggest value in quality refrigeration at moderate cost...the new Philco Model 915. Look-

  • Newest Full-Length Design
  • Full-Width Zero Zone Freezer
  • Modern Quick-Chiller
  • Fully Adjustable Shelves
  • Giant Double Crispers
  • Full Size Power Unit
  • Five Year Warranty

So reads Munn's Gas & Electric Co. advertisement in the Wednesday, February 13th, 1952 issue of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, from Saranac Lake NY.

So that means that the Philco Kegerator is sixty years old this year. For the past couple of years I have searched high and low for any Philco ads in old magazines with a Model F915. I was unable to find even one. I determined the fridge was a 1952 model through an educated guess. It seemed that only the fancy models made it into magazines, and the F915 was just too much of a base model to appear in glossy advertisements. I found ads for other models and this seemed to be the logical year it was built.
Today I found and did a quick search for my model. Not only did I find another one over in Detroit but it was listed along with a 1952 newspaper ad with a model F915 in it. I e-mailed the owner Benjamin and he sent me the ads below and the one above. Evidently he's a bit more proficient with Google than I am. I did find that there are tons of searchable newspapers online going all the way back to the 1800's. I will have to see if I can come up with anything for my F111, and GE's refrigerators.

So here is to another 60 years!



The Brewmaster


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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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