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      Friday
      Oct172014

      JON RICHARDS VISITS BEERBASICS.COM

      There are a few things that anyone can attribute to the fall season- the changing colors of leaves on trees, the smell of crisp air, and the comeback of seasonal craft beers.

      Jon Richards, Cicerone Certified Beer Server at The Greenville Growler Station- http://greenvillegrowlerstation.com/ - offers his picks for the 10 Best Fall Seasonal Brews:

      Southern Tier Pumking  This one is an imperial pumpkin ale with all of the flavors of a pumpkin pie: big, rich, sweet pumpkin flavor, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, creamy vanilla, and even graham cracker crust.  Very limited quantities on this guy, so don't waste time.

      Dogfish Head Punkin For those that don't want all that aggressive pumpkin pie flavor, but still want a light hint of the season,  Punkin is your beer.  It's got a smooth, meaty pumpkin flavor with a little spice, and the light body and sweetness of a brown ale.  A delightfully subtle pumpkin beer.

      Terrapin Pumpkinfest Here’s a brilliant idea: Terrapin Brewing makes an Oktoberfest style beer, and then turns it into a pumpkin beer.  It starts with a forward, but delicate pumpkin and spice flavor and then slides smoothly into a firm, clean and sweet malty backbone, with just enough hops to close out with a dry finish. 

      Victory Festbier  A wonderful Oktoberfestbier; light bodied, but firmly malty with sweet, bready, biscuity notes and a clean finish.  Highly quaffable, and a great gap-bridger for moving your palate from summer toward winter. Get the pretzels and mustard ready!

      Avery The Kaiser  Forget subtle, this is an aggressive Oktoberfest for serious aficionados.  This beer has a big hop presence right up front, and an aggressive malt backbone with big biscuity, caramel malt flavors to help balance down those hops.  It's almost to barleywine strength, but impressively smooth and balanced.  Dangerous because you'll want to have more than one.

      Rogue Hazelnut Brown This award winning beer will be available later in the season- around November 1.  It's a smooth, light bodied brown ale with a distinct, but still quite balanced hazelnut flavor.  Many beers try to achieve a nutty flavor, few do it so well as this one.  Try it with braised pork, or a nutty cheese for the less adventurous.

      Bell's Expedition Stout Fall is the time to start accumulating, and consuming, stouts.  Expedition is built for aging, but ready to go right away for those who can't wait.  It's big and heavily roasted, carrying some dark chocolate and a bunch of espresso as well.  It's a great warming sipper for those cool fall nights looking forward to winter.  And it only gets better the longer you wait. 

      Weyerbacher Insanity Have you ever had the pleasure of slowly sipping cognac with chocolate as you're winding down from a long day?  Well, if you want to substitute anything for the cognac, it's this guy. Insanity starts as a huge, fruity, traditional barleywine, and then gets aged in bourbon barrels.  It's lusciously sweet, and full of bourbon notes which wrap up the sweet, fruity flavors of the barleywine.  It's rich, decadent, smooth, and full of flavor.  Perfect in a snifter for a contemplative retreat into the library or the den.  Don't miss out.

      Stone Double Bastard As the warm weather slips from our grasp and we slide inexorably toward winter, some of us take comfort in knowing beers like this are on their way.  Double Bastard is the imperialized version of Stone's well-known Arrogant Bastard ale, and each November brings us a delightful surprise.  A heavy handed hoppiness dries and balances a big and boozy malt sweetness.

      Highland Cold Mountain Highland has a world class winter warmer that does nothing so much as make you want to go on a hayride. It's a little different every year, but always cleanly malty, sweet like cake, spicy, and full of vanilla with a little bit of cherry for good measure.  It's much lighter on the liver too as it usually checks in under 6%.  For best results, enjoy with friends and a crackling fire on a cool fall night. 

      Wednesday
      Oct152014

      Pilsner Urquell… Sip, Taste and Brew 

      Hops: Saaz

      Yeast: Saccharomyces Pastorianus

      Malts: Bohemian and Moravian barley malted at the brewery to 60-75% modification.

      Water: Soft local water.

      4.4% abv

      A very thorough study of Pilsner Urquell can be found in an article published by Brewing Techniques called The History and Brewing Methods of Pilsner Urquell.

      The following is Pilsner Urquell as tasted here at BeerBasics.com …

      For their side of the story try visiting these sites… Just click the following logos…

       

      HOMEBREWERS: Try your hand a brewing your own Pilsner Urquell clone…


       

      Tuesday
      Oct142014

      Newman Brewery Redux

      Once upon a time, 14 January, 2013 to be exact, I posted a blog called “Gone but not forgotten… NEWMAN’S”.

      It featured the following bottle-shot…

       

      Not too long ago, 2 September 2014 to be exact, I received the following note via e-mail…

      Hi Peter-

      I stumbled on your 1/14/13 blog post about Bill Newman/Albany Amber today.  I was lucky enough to be a very small part of Newman’s history.  I attended graduate school at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY in 1983-1984 to finish my MBA.  I became acquainted with Newman’s Albany Amber while I was in school.  My housemates and I had a cube of Albany Amber, or Pale Ale, or Winter Ale, in our refrigerator most of the time. I got to know the brewery just a little better when a couple of my classmates did a market research project for Bill Newman in early 1984, about the time he was getting ready to release Newman’s Beer. See attached picture from about 1985 of me in my Newman’s Brewery rugby shirt.

      I had saved a few empty cubes and their cardboard boxes well into the 2000s until a leaky porch roof destroyed them. I still have some some Newman’s Brewery glassware.  

      Did you get many responses to this blog post?  Any idea what ever became of Bill Newman after the brewery closed?

       

      Tedd Snyder

       

      After thanking Mr. Snyder for his contribution it occurred to me that I might offer you, dear reader, the opportunity to share any brewery recollections you might have. Think of it as your contribution to history.

      Don’t be shy. You can either reach me via the forms on the left hand side of this page or at peter.lafrance@beerbasics.com. Requests for anonymity will be honored.

       

      Monday
      Oct132014

      BEER IS FOR BREAKFAST... THE REPORT

      Chicken-fried beefsteak, three eggs, hash-browns, corn muffin and I.P.A.

      Recently, subscribers to BeerBasics.com found the following in their email inbox:

       

      Greetings!

      In the past I have offered my thoughts on the subject… Beer Three Times a
      Day
      , Beer IS For Breakfast, and Brewkfast at The Lamprey River Tavern, Newmarket, NH

      Now I am asking you…

      When was the last time you had a beer for breakfast?

      What is the best breakfast-beer you have ever had?

      This time I will offer not to use names if requested.

      Cheers!

      Peter LaFrance
      --
      Beer Basics.com

       

      THE RESULTS:

      The response to the above was interesting and very informative. My experiences in the recent past have been noted above. However, one of my favorite breakfasts was in St. Gallen, Switzerland on 24September 1988. Along with what I thought was a remarkable number of people on their way to work, I bought a breakfast weiswurst and half pint of beer from a street-vendor. The weather was grey and brisk and the sausage and beer a perfect way to start that day.

      Now for the results… and a “Good Morning!” wherever you are and whatever time it is!

      James Houston

      Hi Peter,

      I had a Proving Ground IPA with a Hangtown Fry (bacon, eggs, fried oysters, grilled bread) for breakfast at the great Magnolia Gastropub in San Francisco this past weekend.

      At nearly 7% it was perhaps a little heavy of a beer for the morning (and I actually had two of them…).

      I think my best breakfast beer memory was a can of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with eggs, sliced frankfurters, baked beans, and charred hamburger buns at daybreak in Yosemite National Park two years ago.

      Cheers,

      James Houston

      Greg Sheridan

      Last time I had beer for breakfast I was 22 and hung over (badly hung over) so the beer in the cooler killed it. It was a bud.

      Greg Sheridan

      Steven Frank

                  We have Munich breakfasts a couple of times a year, weisswurst and weissbier.  Sometimes with a big pretzel and home fries.  Has to be Schneider Weiss.

      Steve

      Gerry Khermouch

                  Peter - I became a convert to morning beer when I adopted a late interest in soccer in middle age (when my kids took it up) and learned of the vast network of NYC bars that open as early as 7 AM on weekends to broadcast live games from Europe, often to boisterous, packed rooms (or in the case of soccer epicenter Nevada Smith's in the East Village, three floors of packed rooms). Many are British-themed pubs with the likes of Guinness or Newcastle Brown available, both fine breakfast choices, and at some you can choose among craft beers including such sessionable choices as Founder's All Day IPA.

      But my favorite ritual, every year in San Francisco for the Fancy Food Show in January, is to hit the venerable Mad Dog in the Fog on Lower Haight Street en route to the Moscone Center, for a delectable Anderson Valley Boont Amber (or two) as accompaniment to the Spurs or Arsenal game at 8 AM on Sunday. The height of sophistication!

      Btw: If any of this is usable you're welcome to use my name. My wife and my boss both know all about it!

      Gerry Khermouch

      Beverage Business Insights/

      Craft Brew News

      Charles Finkel

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for asking.  Please see my answer below. This morning I got an early start with fruit, toast and espresso. No beer!

      When was the last time you had a beer for breakfast?

      Yesterday morning.

      What is the best breakfast-beer you have ever had?

      Porters with hangtown fry, oatmeal stout with smoked kippers, scotch ale with a steak, cottage fries and cooked heirloom tomatoes, pale ale with a bacon omelet, brown ale with  home baked bread and raw milk cheese, tripel with Belgian waffles! 

      Cheers,

      Charles Finkel

      The Pike Brewing Company

      Chuck Nowicki,

      Sales and Marketing Director

                  My last breakfast beer was Saturday after a long elk hunt in the backcountry.

      My favorite Breakfast beer ever was the Wake Up Call Imperial Coffee Porter.

      ~Chuck

      Dale DeGroff

      Peter... a cleansing ale at breakfast after a night of hard drinking has been on the menu for most of my adult life ... and I believe most other BTs who worked the 4am closing shift!

      Cheers,

      Dale DeGroff

      President, Museum of the American Cocktail

       

      And that’s the way it is, as exclusively reported on BeerBasics.com.

       

      Wednesday
      Oct082014

      BREWS & NEWS & EVENTS - 8 October ‘14

      Visiting New York City this weekend?

      Saturday there is…

      For more information click on: BURGER CRAWL

       ###


      Stay for the full week and you won’t miss Duvel’s event,

      Designed to make a good impression…

       

       

      Duvel Golden Ale STEAM-rolls out first-ever US campaign in Brooklyn

      A full-size steamroller will be used to create limited-edition art prints by rolling over jumbo wood-cut blocks.  The larger-than-life process mimics the wood-cut artistry now featured on the back labels of all Duvel single-serve bottles as part of its "celebrate masterfulness" campaign.  Drive By Press hand cut four 4'x4' blocks over a period of 80 hours in their studio for use in the demonstration.

      The event at the Crown Vic Pub (60 2nd Street, Brooklyn) on Tuesday, October 14 runs from 5-8 PM and is open to the public as well as invited guests and media.  Duvel will be featured and sampled throughout the night and a miniature version of the steam-roller exercise will create custom-print wood-cut T-shirts for guests as guests get a first-hand view of the technique large and small.

        ###


      234 Breweries Celebrate Medals at

      2014 Great American Beer Festival®

      268 Professional Medals Awarded,

      461 First-Time Participants Compete

      Boulder, CO • October 4, 2014—The 2014 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 268 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence. In its 28th year, the 2014 competition surpassed all previous participation records.

      View the 2014 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.

      To accommodate growth, this year's GABF competition saw its biggest panel of judges ever, with 222 beer experts from 10 countries evaluating 5,507 commercial entries, plus 89 Pro-Am entries, with assistance from some 150 competition volunteers.

      Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 90 beer categories covering 145 different beer styles (encompassing subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S. Winners were chosen from 5,507 competition entries (16 percent more than in 2013) from 1,309 breweries, hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

       ###

      The next posting will I will take a critical look at the present day focus of

       the Great American Beer Festival.

       ###

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