Beer Quotes & Wisdom

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline-it

helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear

weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -- Frank Zappa

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why does the Indiana Statehouse hate beer?

For every step forward Indiana takes when it comes to developing craft brewing, it seems like we end up taking two steps backward. The past couple years have seen an explosion in craft brewing operations in the state.

I just saw this article at The Full Pint about two of the most popular breweries in Indiana, Three Floyds and Sun King.

There is state law that says brewer cannot operate a tasting room, brew pub, or self-distribute its product if it produces more than 20,000 barrels (approximately 40,000 kegs) a year.

Three Floyds is on pace to hit that number this year. Sun King is on pace to hit that number in 2013. To inform the public about the issue, the breweries are collaborating on a a pale ale to be debuted in April.

The complete article at The Full Pint.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Water conservation is good for beer

Saw this interesting TED conference talk on Rob Harmon explains the importance of conserving water, and how it can be connected to brewing beer. He talks about brewing on a bigger commercial scale, but still something that relates to us. Not really something I imagine a lot of us think about, but very important.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bye Bye Dogfish

Just saw this online tonite. Dogfish Head is pulling distribution of all their beers from Tennessee, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and wait for it..... Indiana. Becoming one of if not the most popular micro brewery in the country has proven problematic for supplying said beer. 

Any beer currently on the shelves around Indiana probably won't be there much longer, and I would imagine any you find a few months from now will be a serious special order.

You can read Sam Calagione's blog post over at the website. 

I guess maybe being on cable has a ripple effect. Couldn't have been a result of the South American "Chicha" episode tho. Yeach!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ignorance IS Bliss

Over a long, boring winter with a lot of time on my hands, and boldly leaping into the advancements of 20th century technology, I have begun to listen to some homebrewing podcasts on i-Tunes.  Specifically the podcasts from Beer Smith, the Brewing Network and Jamil Zainasheff.  I've discovered a wealth of information that I am now beginning to regret.
Up until this year, brewing has been a pleasureable experience.  I would create my brewsheets with Beer Smith and follow the instructions. 
So far I think I can safely say, I've made some pretty good beers.  I've won a ribbon in every competition I have entered. 
A 3rd in my first Indiana Brewer's Cup for a porter that I had never brewed before. The next year I not only got a blue ribbon for my sweet stout that I had never brewed before, it won Best of Show!  The following year I got another blue ribbon for my Oktoberfest Marzen, another first time beer, as well as a blue ribbon in the first round of the National Homebrew Competition for a doppelbock that too was a first time attempt.
Figuring I can't always rely on "beginner's luck" (although its worked so far), I began to listen to these podcasts.  The detail & attention to the fine points of brewing are very up front in these shows.  What's the mash temp, not just approximate temp, but exactly the temperature.  How much yeast do you pitch, how much oxygen do you aereate with, at what temperature do you pitch the yeast at & ferment at?
Well, I don't know!  I heat up the water my brewsheet says to heat it up to and throw it into the mash & let it rest.  I cool it down & throw in a package of yeast, or put the wort right onto the yeast cake af the previous beer and let it sit on the counter or in the garage.
So this past weekend, I tried to pay closer attention to the fine points of my brewing technique.  What was once a pleasurable, carefree event has become a tense, "why can't I get the mash temp to stay at 154 degrees?" and a "is this a thick yeast slurry & how do I find out what percentage is non-yeast?" kind of day.
I've always kind of joked in telling people that if you want to see how primatively you can brew award winning beer, come & watch me.  Now I'm afraid that I'm going to have to invest a small fortune in some high tech system to ease my nerves. 
Or maybe I should just stop listening to these podcasts.  After all, as the old saying goes, It's better to be lucky than good.

Warm Beer, Cold Women

Beer Is Good