Thursday, February 28, 2008

Monday, February 25: Hirsch-Brauerei Honer (Wurmlingen)

Yesterday: Omaha-Atlanta-Zürich

Swiss Alps from 10,000 feet

Swiss Alps from 10,000 feet

So our plane landed in Zürich at 8:00am, and by 9:00 I was on a train (77.00 CHF = US$72.55; the dollar's in the tank this year) from Zürich Flughafen via Tuttlingen to Wurmlingen, home of Hirsch-Brauerei Honer. (Web Site | Tasting Notes)

I wandered around town a bit to get my bearings, but it was a short walk from the train platform (Wurmlingen isn't big enough to have a "station") to the brewery.

Hirsch-Brauerei Honer, Wurmlingen

I arrived shortly after they opened, and there were just three people inside, all at the same table. Turns out one of them was the boss of the place, and the other two were regular customers. The boss got up from his laptop and asked what I'd like, and I gave him a business card and told him what I was up to. He was surprised to hear that I wanted to try all of the beers, and he told me that the smallest glass he has is a half-liter, and I told him that it's OK because I'm traveling by train. His buddies got a kick out of that, and one of them invited me to join them at the Stammtisch: a great honor, especially for a foreigner. Conversation was difficult, though, as my German was not their Schwäbisch. ("Ich verstehe Sie aber nicht," one of them said.) The boss decided that I didn't have to drink a half-liter of each of their five beers after all, but rather set me up a sampler tray of 0.2-liter glasses. I bought them all a round of beers and had a couple more myself.

They're quite proud of their brewery museum ("Bier Welt"), but it appeared to be closed at the time.

My ticket said I had to take a rather roundabout way to Konstanz, but I still got there by 4:30pm. I waited for Paris at the hotel bar, along with a couple Radeberger Pils (very tasty stuff), and I had a couple more Pils there after she arrived.

Hotel Golden Tulip Halm, Konstanz

Hotel Golden Tulip Halm, Konstanz

Tomorrow: Waldhaus Privatbrauerei, Waldhaus-Weilheim

Sunday, February 24: Omaha-Atlanta-Zürich

This trip to the Bodensee starts today, but first, a quick note about last night: The Crescent Moon in Omaha hosted their Extreme Beer Fest. There were some 90 strong (minimum 7% abv) beers available, and the 300-strong sold-out crowd had a great time. Check out the Nebraska Beer Blog for Nate's excellent review of the festivities.

Our flight left Omaha about a half-hour late, but we had several hours to kill in Atlanta, so it wasn't a problem. The bar in the food court in Concourse E had a local beer on tap, Sweetwater Pale Ale, and we had a couple. But only a couple; they were six bucks a pint, and with taxes and the already-included gratuity, it came to $7.32 a pop.

This flying corncob is something I would have expected to see in Nebraska, not here in Atlanta.

This flying corncob is something I would have expected to see in Nebraska, not here in Atlanta.

The flight to Zürich was long and uneventful. I got a few hours' sleep on the plane, after washing down my dinner with a complimentary can of Heineken, and we touched down pretty much on time.

Tomorrow: Hirsch-Brauerei Honer in Wurmlingen.

Rottweiler bulletin

Just a quick note here: I'm in the Hauptbahnhof bar in the train station in Rottweil; it's the first place I've been that has a free wireless Internet connection! I don't have time before my bus leaves for Bösingen to edit and upload the blog entries I've written so far, but maybe I'll be able to on my way back this afternoon.

Lots of pictures and lots of stories to come! In the meantime, I've updated the map for those of you keeping score.

Monday, February 18, 2008


The best-laid plans etc.

My malt hasn't shown up yet, so I (probably) won't have time to brew at all this week. Maybe I can squeeze out a batch of Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen on Friday, but that batch of 1916 Irish Stout I had planned will have to wait: we used all of the Dark Chocolate Malt in the Empress of Darkness.

I cleaned the draft lines and did the mid-month tax report this morning, and I called all (four) of my customers to find out if they need anything before I leave for Germany. Turns out they will, so I'll fill root beer kegs tomorrow and run some out to Council Bluffs and Lincoln.

Wednesday, I'll put the filter back together.

Thursday, I'll filter the Empress of Darkness and the new batch of All American Gold.

Friday, I'll tap the Empress and keg some up to take to the sold-out Extreme Beer Fest in Omaha on Saturday.

That's the plan, anyway.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bodensee, here we come

I'm making plans for my upcoming return to Konstanz, February 24 through March 2. This will be my third trip to the Bodensee, the first being in October 2006, and the second two months later.

I've already visited most of the reasonably-easy-to-reach breweries in the area, but if you've got any "don't-miss" tips for finding beer in southern Baden-Württemberg, northern Switzerland, and extreme western Austria, please pass them along!

[Edit 2008-2-17] I've come up with a tentative brewery tour:

We'll probably visit TurbinenBräu in Zürich on Saturday, March 1. Of course it's all subject to change, as usual.

[Edit 2008-02-18] I've created a Google Earth map for this trip. The red targets mark the breweries I'm planning to visit, the white flags mark breweries I've already visited, and the pushpins mark the breweries that will have to wait for another trip.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Massive site updates

If you've been watching the Beer Me! front page, you've seen hundreds and hundreds of updates scrolling by during the past two weeks. I've been using Google Earth and some other new tools to nail down the locations of some of the breweries on the map, plus I've been reorganizing and standardizing the Japanese addresses. I'm hoping to finish up by early next week. I finished up Wednesday evening.

All but a couple dozen breweries are now located to "city-level" accuracy or better, which gets rid of virtually all of the red pins on the Worldwide Brewery Map.

If you happen to have your handy GPS device with you when you're visiting breweries, please send me the data so I can keep improving the map. Thanks!

The past couple of weeks

I see it's been a while since I posted anything of substance. (As if I ever post anything of substance.) So here's a quick look at what's been going on:

  • Wednesday, January 30: Filled kegs. Cleaned a bright beer tank. Drove to Omaha and got four Botox shots in my back.

  • Thursday, January 31: Cleaned kegs. Filtered the Bugeater Brown Ale.

  • Friday, February 1: Did the state and federal monthly excise taxes.

  • Monday, February 4: Cleaned the draft lines. Took the filter apart and ordered new seals for it.

  • Tuesday, February 5: Drove out to North Platte (with a lunch stop at Thunderhead in Kearney) for the Governor's Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop.

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    Met a farmer from Linwood who found some wild hops growing on his property; he's interested in cultivating hops for sale to Nebraska breweries. Drank entirely too much beer with Zac and Trevor.

  • Wednesday, February 6: Drove home from North Platte (with a lunch stop at Thunderhead in Kearney).

  • Thursday, February 7: Filled kegs. Continued recovering from the North Platte trip.

  • Friday, February 8: Picked up Paris at the Omaha airport. Since her flight didn't arrive until 8:45pm, there was time for stops at Upstream Legacy, Nebraska Brewing, Jaipur, Huber Haus, and Max & Joe's before heading to the airport. Then Paris decided she was thirsty, so we stopped by Max & Joe's again on the way home.

  • Sunday, February 10: Took Paris back to Omaha, with a dinner stop at Nebraska Brewing.

  • Monday, February 11: Cleaned the draft lines. Transferred eight barrels of Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen to the cellar.

  • Tuesday, February 12: Cleaned a fermenter. Made 14 barrels of root beer.

  • Wednesday, February 13: Worked out a schedule for the next couple of weeks. Cleaned the picnic taps. Cleaned some growlers.

So that's that. Here are some upcoming events:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Incompetent beer hijackers spill precious, precious beer

To be filed under Stupid Criminal Tricks:

Two men attempting to hijack a beer truck in London on Saturday ended up crashing the vehicle only a few hundred yards away, spilling beer canisters into the street and flooding the road with booze.

Read the whole sad story at the Metro.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

108-year-old who swore by Coors Light dies

Hmmm...I guess it is good for something after all.

[Alberta] Krieg was 108 when she passed away Thursday morning at Heritage House, Wilkes-Barre.

Krieg had frequently credited drinking Coors Light as the key to her longevity.

“Coors Light keeps me young,” she said in a previous interview with The Citizens’ Voice.

Coors Light was first brewed in 1978, when Krieg was 79. The Coors brewery opened in 1873, just 26 years before Krieg was born.

Read the entire obituary at The Citizens Voice.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Liquor store makes biggest splash

The Guinness Book of World Records has certified that Daveco Liquors in Thornton, Colorado is the world's largest liquor store.

"I kept saying this is the world's largest liquor store, and people kept saying 'You can never prove that,'" said [store owner Henry] Sawaged. "But now people know I am a man of my word."

The 102,000-square-foot Daveco is the size of most supermarkets in the metro area. It includes a customer-service area, 66 beer cooler doors, a walk-in beer cooler, a humidity-and-temperature-controlled 7,500-bottle wine cellar, a wine testing room and a cigar humidor.

There is also a sprawling kitchen and a 5,000-square-foot basement. In all, Daveco features $3 million in inventory including 9,000 types of wine, 2,400 brands of liquor and 800 different beers at the store, located at 16434 Washington St., east of Interstate 25, north of E-470.

Read all about it at the Denver Post.

Expert Tips To Pour The Perfect Beer

I guess for people like us, serving a beer properly has become second nature. But these types of articles still remind me of the annoying television ad:

Voice-Over: How to order a Cuervo Black and cola.

Man (approaches bar): Cuervo Black and cola.

Still, there are some good tips in this article for the currently-uninformed.

"You never want to put a really good beer in a frozen glass. It's a waste of money," [Randy Mosher] says. "The aromas just can't get out. They get locked into the liquid. So at slightly warmer temperatures, they have the ability to jump out of the glass and get into your nose."

Educate yourself at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Mmmm, beer: Help solve one of life's great mysteries

Ice beer!

A local brewing company says the time has come to find an answer to one of life's most perplexing questions: How long can beer sit outside in winter before freezing?

The Great Western Brewing Co. is calling for public submissions into the negative effects of cold weather on their suds. With refrigerator space at a premium, many Canadians leave their beer in the snow when attending parties, said company president Ron Waldman.

Chill out with the entire article at The StarPhoenix.

Monday, February 4, 2008

My filter resumes hating me

Almost a year to the day since the last time, the beer filter started spewing beer all over the floor as I was filtering the Bugeater Brown Ale last Thursday.

I took it apart this morning, and sure enough, the seal is all busted up. So I called Scott Laboratories to order a new one. Maybe I'll have better luck putting it in this time.

Rest of today: Clean the draft lines, do the monthly taxes, make up a schedule for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow: I'll be at the Governor’s Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop in North Platte.

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