Monday, March 28, 2011

I find this... Disturbing...

Have you seen this article in the Southern?  Anheuser-Busch is buying Goose Island.  You can also read about it from the Anheuser-Busch webiste.  I thought this was an eventual outcome when AB started helping out with distribution back in 2006.  Is this a good thing or bad thing?

AB has said that the craft beer industry is just a fad.  They have helped out with some, in my opinion, bad craft beer.  Then from a different branch of the company, Michelob, they produce craft beer that has received average to slightly above average ratings.  Kind of hypocritical in my opinion.  But it's business.  So back in 2006 they start assisting in distribution for Goose Island.  It drives the sales up.  This might be a good thing.  However, they cannot keep up with production.  Instead of going the way of New Glarus or, apparently, Dogfish Head and just reduce distribution, the folks up at Fulton Street Brewery decide to further the partnership with AB.  Is this a good thing?  I'm not 100% sure.  This is one of those things we just have to wait and see.

     -Rev. Bobby Beerman

PS - I haven't forgotten about the class.  I'll bring that up soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

That's the stuff...

Brother Charles brought some bottles to sample this morning to the Fellowship.  After a couple of sips I decided I had to try more than just a sip.  I had already planed on trying them today - one week after the bottling - and had a couple of bottles in the fridge.  The samples this morning cinched it!!  I'm surprised that I waited that long.  Both beers taste delightful.  We have a Robust Porter and an Irish Stout.  Both weigh in at roughly 4% ABV.  Some people would cry, "What a weak beer!!"  However, I feel that a good stout should be a social beer that you can drink all night long and not get totally drunk off your butt.  When I poured I got slightly better head retention off of the stout.  Both are good roasty beers that are flavorful.  Both are easy on the mouth and drinkable.  Given one of the beers I made (the first try at the Chocolate Chai Cream Stout), noting that a beer is drinkable is a major thing!! 

Now some of you fellow Monks or even some visitors might ask, "How can I try some of these beers?"  Well, for this batch you have to rely on the generosity of Brother Charles and myself - I think I'd be generous as I appreciate the feedback to make improvements on the next batch.  The better way is to show up to the sessions.  We believe in the little red hen principle - you get out what you put in.  If you help brew or bottle, you get some of the batch.  Simple as that.  Where I like sharing beer with my friends, I find the fellowship of the brewhaus to be deep and meaningful.  Brother Charles and Brother Chris I think would agree that it is fun to hang out with friends and drink some beer while making beer.  If you haven't already, try making it to a session and find out what it's all about.

Now, for the teaser...  More information about the pending class next time.  Until then...

Blessed be our brew!!!!
     Rev. Bobby Beerman

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Road Trip

Today the family and I went to Paducah to watch the Alice in Wonderland Follies at the Carson Center.  On the way back, I stopped by Roof Brothers to pick up some things I know I can't get here in downtown southern Illinois.  I, of course, tried to get some Dogfish Head Theobroma.  They didn't have any in stock.  They normally get six cases and a person will buy up four of them.  The other two get bought up quickly in general sales.  My quest to try this ancient recipe replica lingers on...  Maybe if I give them a heads up of when I'm passing through they might help the good Reverend out. 

I did, however, pickup some good beverages.  I picked up Dogfish Head's Namaste (Beer brewed with coriander, orange, and lemongrass) and Sah'tea (Ale brewed with Black Chai tea and juniper berries).  The Sah'tea really interested me as another chai tea inspired beer like my Marsala Nirvana (Chocolate Chai Cream Stout).  I also nabbed a bottle of Brewery Ommegang's Cup O' Kyndnes (Traditional Belgian-style Scotch ale - brewed with heather).  Ommegang doesn't have it referenced on their website so I had to pull information from other sources.  Now, I'm not totally ignorant of what day it is (I am half Irish) and so I picked up a four-pack of Murphy's Irish Stout.  I can hear my friends now, "What??  No Guinness??"  I had some Guinness at Hugh and Judy's St. Patrick's day party this past weekend. 

Another interesting bit of beer gossip...  Some of us are aware that Dogfish Head is currently not in our area.  When I asked the local stores about Dogfish Head, they tell me that it's being worked on but not to expect it any time this calendar year.  According to the gentleman at Roof Brothers, Dogfish Head has pulled out of Indiana and Ohio.  With this disturbing news I'm beginning to wonder if we will see the Extreme Brewery's beer back in Illinois.  I can hope and pray but I will not hold my breath.  Thankfully Kentucky still has them for the time being.  With some really good programs at the Carson Center coming up, I have opportunities to pinch some Dogfish Head while I can. 

  Blessed be the brew!!
      -Rev. Bobby Beerman

P.S.  I'll provide an update on the latest batches from the Monks.  It's getting late and I need to wake up at 4am.  Ugh!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Presidential Beer!!!

In February of 1979, Jimmy Carter signed into law the repeal of federal restrictions on homebrewing.  However, there has never been a homebrewer in the White House.  Until now...

Even in this NPR article they note that George Washington, a noted homebrewer, never lived in the White House.  But now, President Obama is not only serving craft beer in the White House, he's making it (well kinda)!!  From the NPR article:

During this year's Super Bowl, President Obama created a stir by offering guests at the White House beer that he'd brewed himself. And now the president reportedly plans to have another batch of his homebrew on hand March 17 — that's right, for St. Patrick's Day
There is a lot more information about the homebrewing efforts at Obama Foodorama. Now I never thought that President Obama was steeping the grains and such.  But I wonder to what extent he's involved. 

How cool is this??   I remember when President Obama had a Bud Lite and how some people said that Bud Lite sales were up because of the Presidential bump.  I wonder what this will for the craft beer industry (and yes that is a Goose Island 312 in his hand in the pic) and the homebrew movement.  I think it would be cool to see his recipe on the American Homebrewers Association web site.

The numbers are in (part 2)...

I did a post like this last month detailing January.  Here's what it looked like for February.

I did keep with one of the craft beer New Year's resolutions and try a new beer each month.  I wasn't 100% sure if I had tried Arcadia Ales London Porter before or not but I know I had not tried their Sky High Rye Ale before.

Eight beers in the month left me with the average of one beer every 3.5 days.  I did have repeats this month because I bought a six-pack of Arcadia's London Porter.  Still leaning to the darker side of beers but that is normal for me.  None of them were on tap this month.  One (Negra Modelo) was at a restaurant.  Normally I drink more at home but this month the place I had the most was at Brother Charles' house (three different beers) during our brewing session. 

So far in March I'm averaging 1 beer every three days.  But it's only the 6th...