Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No more "Beer in TX"!

This is great news for Texas brewers and beer lovers!

As of result of yesterday’s ruling, beer in Texas may now be labeled as “beer” and ale may now be labeled as “ale”, regardless of alcohol content. Breweries and distributors are also no longer prohibited from independently telling consumers where their products may be purchased, or from communicating truthful and accurate information about their alcohol content.

Congratulations to Jester King and their co-plaintiffs for standing up to TABC.

An excerpt from the ruling:

TABC’s argument, combined with artful legislative drafting, could be used to justify any restrictions on commercial speech. For instance, Texas would likely face no (legal) obstacle if it wished to pass a law defining the word ‘milk’ to mean ‘a nocturnal flying mammal that eats insects and employs echolocation.’ Under TABC’s logic, Texas would then be authorized to prohibit use of the word ‘milk’ by producers of a certain liquid dairy product, but also to require Austin promoters to advertise the famous annual ‘Milk Festival’ on the Congress Avenue Bridge.

Great stuff. Read the whole article at Jester King's site.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bud Light Platinum -- and I thought Miller Clear was dopey

Bud Light Platinum, a 6%-abv-137-calorie monstrosity, is one of the dumbest, most insulting things to come out of any marketing department anywhere.

Lew Bryson rants about this stupidity at Seen Through a Glass. Read it, and despair for the mainstream beer drinker.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Labeley: Beer Label Design App

This looks kinda cool:

Hi there,
I got interesting news for all the beer brewers and lovers, and off course, the beerme.com. We have just released free web app for designing beer labels online. Check it out at labeley.com, and feel free to contact me for the more info.
Kindest regards,
Roger Brady

Give it a try at Labeley.com.

Friday, October 14, 2011

5 Biggest Home-Brew Blunders

Stone Brewing Company co-founder Steve Wagner talks about the five biggest mistakes homebrewers can make. He should know — one of his mistakes evolved into the beer we know as Arrogant Bastard.

  1. Forget to take notes.
  2. Try all your ideas at once.
  3. Underestimate the importance of yeast.
  4. Pull the plug on mistakes.
  5. Add too much sugar and blow up your beer.

I agree with all of these.

Read the details at Food & Wine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SaveOnBrew

Just ran across a handy site: SaveOnBrew. They describe it succinctly thus:

We run SaveOnBrew -- like Google, for beer. Put in your zip, find the all the advertised beer sales within a X miles radius. Easy!

Check it out and find the beer deals in your area.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Raise Your Glass to the Five Best Beer Cities in the World

MyCityWay sends us their opinion on the world's five best beer cities:

  • Amsterdam
  • Dublin
  • Mexico City
  • Munich
  • San Francisco

Read their reasoning at MyCityWay. List your favorites in the comments.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Utah further tightens liquor laws

Zealotry is alive and well in 21st-Century Utah:

Among the proof of the growing restriction on liquor sale and consumption in the state, which is home to Mormons, are:
  • A ban on mini beer kegs beginning Oct. 1,
  • Requirement by 2012 that taps and bartenders must be out of customers’ sight
  • A freeze for 12 months on the issuance of new types of alcohol licenses for dining establishments that serve liquor, wine and full-strength beer in full view of customer.
All new restaurants are also mandated to place a 4-foot high barrier nicknamed the "Zion Curtain" so Mormons will not see liquor being served to and consumed by non-Mormons.

Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups, a Mormon, said the return to strictness was to discourage young residents from drinking because they could be encouraged by the sound of the mixing of alcoholic beverages and the sight of attractive drinks.

Read the whole story at All Headline News.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SABMiller to buy Foster’s for $10.2 billion

The consoiidations continue:

Foster’s announced today that it would accept SABMiller’s bid of $10.2 billion. SABMiller had been courting the company for quite some time.

Foster's had rejected a £7.3 billion offer from SABMiller in June. That offer amounted to A$4.90 per share; the new offer is 13% higher, at A$5.5325 per share.

Read the whole story, with a link to Foster's press release, at Beernews.org.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beer hopping rates: 1911-2011

Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer: Beer From a Good Home shares some interesting data from the Barth Haas Group on the use of hops in beer brewed around the world during the past 100 years. His article is short and to the point, so go read it.

The very very short version: the bitterness* of the average beer has declined from 38 IBU in 1911 to 12 IBU in 2011. This is no surprise, but it does call into question claims by some breweries that their beer is still brewed to the same recipe as in days gone by.

*Assuming a 30% extraction efficiency.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Local's guide to Oktoberfest

This year's guide from The Local - Germany's news in English:

Welcome to Oktoberfest!

But be warned this isn’t just a bunch of party tents with lots of decent beer. No, by deciding to travel to this famous Volksfest, you’ve agreed to have the entire concept called Germany crunched into your skull by a sadomasochistic Bavarian mistress. She’s a pagan goddess with a lion at her heel, and in your hazy drunkenness she’ll indoctrinate you with all the wrong stereotypes about this country.

She’ll strap you down, peel back your eyelids and show you a heady mix of beer, breasts, leather, meat, and Bavarian bourgeois superiority. If you’re lucky, maybe she’ll even slap a dark green felt hat on you and take you on a whirlwind tour of the region’s prized “laptops and Lederhosen” economy as you belt down another Maß. And then she will release you to stagger home, hung-over, sweaty, full of misinformation, but most likely happy and content.

Read the rest at The Local.

Prost!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

8 beers Americans no longer drink

OK, "no longer drink" is an exaggeration. But it's surprising how much these eight brands have declined in five short years:


  • Budweiser, down 30% to 18,000,000 barrels

  • Milwaukee's Best Light, down 34% to 1,300,000 barrels

  • Miller Genuine Draft, down 51% to 1,800,000 barrels

  • Old Milwaukee, down 52% to 525,000 barrels

  • Milwakee's Best, down 53% to 925,000 barrels

  • Bud Select, down 60% to 925,000 barrels

  • Michelob Light, down 64% to 525,000 barrels

  • Michelob, down 72% to 175,000 barrels



Budweiser was the best-selling brand in America for some 30 years, until Bud Light supplanted it in 2001. Milwaukee's Best Light, believe it or not, sold 2,100,000 barrels about 12 years ago. Twenty years ago, more than 7,000,000 barrels of MGD was sold, along with 6,000,000 barrels of Old Milwaukee, and 7,000,000 barrels of Milwaukee's Best.

Americans are slowly but increasingly turning to local brews and imports over the old brands. Unfortunately, they're upping their intake of light beers at the same time.

Read the whole article at MSN.

Monday, August 22, 2011

'Missing' Lager Brewing Yeast Discovered in Patagonia

Hail Saccharomyces eubayanus!

A fruit fly's journey from Patagonia to Bavaria could be the reason we enjoy nice, cold-brewed lager beers today. The missing parent of the hybrid yeast used for brewing lagers has just been discovered in Patagonia.

Until now, scientists had known lager beers were made from a hybrid yeast, with half of its genes coming from a common ale yeast and the other half coming from an unknown species.

They found the missing yeast growing on southern beech trees in Patagonia. They sequenced the genes and found that this species of yeast was very likely to be a parent of the lager yeast hybrid.

"It’s a 99.5 percent match to the missing half of the lager genome. It's clear that it is this species," Hittinger said.


Read the whole story at LiveScience.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Named for Chicago, but Goose Island's 312 to be brewed in New York

According to the Chicago Tribune:

Three months after being acquired by Anheuser-Busch, Goose Island Beer Co. said today that its massively popular 312 Urban Wheat Ale will soon be brewed in an AB facility in upstate New York.

Brewing a beer named for Chicago in Baldwinsville, N.Y. -- 700 miles from where it was created -- might raise eyebrows among those who criticized AB's $38.8 million takeover of Goose this spring, but Goose founder and Chief Executive Officer John Hall said the move will be a boon for fans of the brewery's higher end beers, like Matilda and Bourbon County Stout.

Accounting for almost half the brewery's sales, 312 has required significant resources at Goose's Fulton Street plant. With the beer's production heading east -- partially at first and likely entirely at some point -- that space can be used for other projects, Hall said.


And here's something I didn't know:

312 is the third Goose beer to leave its hometown; all of the brewery's India pale ale and most of its Honker's Ale are brewed at a Redhook brewing facility in Portsmouth, N.H.


Read the whole story at the Chicago Tribune.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Giving beer a home in the Rhineland

The Local takes on the Düsseldorf-Köln beer rivalry:

Whereas Cologne is all about drinking golden Kölsch in dainty glasses, Düsseldorf prefers the more ale-like favour of darker Alt.

To avoid ridicule while touring the Rhineland, caution is advised. A customer trying to order a glass of Alt beer in a Cologne pub will earn scorn and mockery from waiters and patrons alike. Conversely, asking for some Kölsch in a Düsseldorf locale is a sure-fire way of becoming the butt of many jokes for the rest of the night.

“It's a kind of love-hate relationship,” says Dirk Rouenhoff, master brewer at Schlüssel, a traditional brewery in Düsseldorf's historic centre. “Ultimately, it's something amusing that provides plenty of conversational fodder as well as funny anecdotes. And it can be a useful gimmick in advertising campaigns.”

The best example is a now-infamous billboard that adorned the streets of Düsseldorf last year. Früh, Cologne's third-largest beer brand by sales volume, depicted an empty Kölsch glass alongside the caption, “Before it gets old” – a stinging pun on “alt,” the German word for “old” as well as the beer. Another ad agency quickly pushed back in the name of Düsseldorf's brewers with a campaign claiming “Alt knallt,” which translates loosely as “Alt is the bomb.”


Read the whole story at The Local.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Keep those cards and letters coming, folks!

There are a couple hundred site updates in the queue, just as there have been for about three weeks. As soon as I make some headway, dozens of new ones come in, and I'm not making much progress just now.



I'm more than 200 updates in arrears.



But I'm working on catching up as I find time, so keep sending those updates! And thanks for all your help.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Madison brewpubs stop selling MillerCoors beers in protest of budget provision

Good for them! I hope more brewpubs follow their lead.

Though brewpubs apparently won't be affected by the legislation, Great Dane Pub and Brewing Co. and Vintage Brewing Co. confirmed this week they had ended sales of MillerCoors brands such as Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Lite, Leinenkugel's, Blue Moon and Molson.

Eliot Butler, Great Dane president, said the Dane's four locations have dropped MillerCoors indefinitely "in solidarity with the (Wisconsin) Brewers Guild and with the craft brewers of Wisconsin."


Read the whole (short) article at the Wisconsin State Journal.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Craft Beer & The Restaurant Hypocrisy: An Airing of Grievances

The Beer Wench says what many craft beer drinkers have been thinking: most restaurants and bars don't give a damn about beer. Her major points:


  • The beer lists are uninspired, unoriginal, underwhelming and extremely disappointing.

  • Sales & Marketing 101: If you want to sell a product, you have to know your product.

  • Improper Glassware & Serving Temperature

  • Improper Pouring and Poor Presentation of Craft Beer



Read the whole truth-filled diatribe at Drink With The Wench.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oktoberfest beer prices to crack EUR 9-mark

It's time for the annual "more expensive beer at Oktoberfest" article!

A litre of beer will for the first time top €9 (US$13.20) at this year’s Oktoberfest, continuing a steady march upward in prices at the legendary Munich festival, the city announced on Tuesday.

A Maß of beer will cost up to €9.20 (US$13.50) this year, according to Munich officials. The average price will be €8.97 (US$13.16).


Read the whole story at The Local.

Currency conversion via XE on June 7, 2011 at 11:20am CDT.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Legislation through the budget process burn WI Craft Brewers...AGAIN! Need everyone's help to Rescind!

Here's more on Wisconsin's craft brew distribution battle, from Bo Bélanger of South Shore Brewery.

This is all about Motion #414 as presented to the Joint Committee on Finance at their 5/31/2011 meeting for the 2011-2013 State of Wisconsin budget.

Let's put it this way. The legislation was drafted by the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Assn and Miller/Coors. Their intent, as clearly stated, was to prevent Anheuser-Busch ImBev from buying wholesale beer distributors in Wisconsin. However; ABI, whose executive, Dave Peacock, is quoted in a May 24, 2011 interview in Beer Marketer's Insight Express (Vol. 13 No 48) stating, they currently own only 12 wholesales Nationwide and have zero plans to acquire more. So what gives? This protectionist legislation, inserted into the state's budget, is simply a power grab and competition elimination by these two groups.

Hmmm... which begs, why doesn't Miller/Coors counter that with operating a distributorship themselves? Could it be there brands aren't as strong as AB's? Could it be they are not as financially positioned to do that and are calling for protectionist legislation? Why wouldn't we help out Miller Brewing Company, a Wisconsin icon in the brewing industry... ah, let's see no longer headquartered in WI, no longer WI owned, losing market share to their boogieman AB.

So okay, I'll be specific. The last line on page one of motion #414 states bluntly ' a wholesaler's permit may not be issued to a person who holds a brewers permit'. For gosh sakes that's how the South Shore Brewery and the majority of other WI craft breweries were born! We established the value of our brands. We continue to do that in new markets. That license to self distribute is a tangible asset to the value of a brewery. Now that is gone. They just devalued my business in favor of a foreign owned one. Let's put it another way. Breweries need distributors. Good ones. However, since 1994, the number of distributors has dropped from 94 to 41. Just in the past five years consumers in the Milwaukee area now have only two wholesalers. So that same number of folks now is representing nearly 14,000 brands! How would you feel about your chances of being adequately represented in that market would be? Craft brewers are a fraternity of hardworking WI tax payers, whose contribution to our local and state's economy is growing impressively. Too impressively for the WBDA and Miller/Coors people as they look to push the elimination not only of my owning a wholesalers license, but any also the provision that allows a brewery in be invested in a wholesaler. They don't want us hardworking, tax paying, local investing WI craft brewer's getting together and forming our own distributorships! Heck no they say. Here are the brands we offer, and damnit this is what you get. By the way the later provision is page 2, line number 1 of motion #414.

Could there be more? The dirty ooze just keeps coming out of this motion. Any one that knows the South Shore Brewery and how it's been supported by it's founding in the Railyard Pub and how it continues today, coexisting with the Deep Water Grille here in Ashland, WI also understands how that relationship is a pillar of our ability to showcase our beers to new consumers. Gone. No longer could we establish our business the way it started. Page 2, paragraphs 2 & 3 eliminate any chance of that happening by removing any relationships for a class "B" liquor license or retail license. Oh but wait, the motion convieniently has an exception for the wholesalers who now can sell beer to it's employees and have event's where it is consumed on their premises. So the producer can no longer have a theater for that but the wholesaler can? Yet another tangible asset of value my brewery used to have dismissed. I lose more value again!

Should I stop now? Come on one more Bo...please! So all of you thinking of putting a small brewery in your restaurant or tavern, denied! Page 3, 3rd paragraph, 'Specify that no person holding a Class"A" or Class "B" license or permit or a wholesaler's permit may register as a brewer". If the general public isn't aware of how hard it is operating a food & beverage establishment, let me confirm that the challenges are enormous. Finding a unique specialty to drive business is an ongoing enterprise. Well forget about making beer!

Please help the small craft brewers stand against this motion. It is out of committee and hits the legislative bodies where we need to sway several politicians on BOTH sides. The motion can be recinded in this part of the legislative process. One last thing. There are many posts and comments out there trying to ferret out what is the reality. I am the reality. I am a WI beer producer! This legislation has been authored behind closed doors, by groups unrelenting in their efforts to control market access and share. They are anti WI craft beer. They show their collective cowardess by introducing this motion in the budgetary process. Additionally, they finally revealed their plot, literally, five minutes before the motion was to be voted on. I'm pissed off. I'm not here to take political sides. I stand on my assessments of this motion and any politician that can't see it as a severe impedance to our industry isn't worth supporting.

Want to know where to take your concerns? We need every legislator, Democratic, Republican and Independent, the governor to hear the voices of support for WI craft brewers. Please at least send a message to your reps and if you feel the emotion like the rest of us give these folks a piece of your mind as well... http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/jfc.html. This is the list of folks on the Finance Committee.


Take the time to read the comments on Bo's Facebook page.

Beer Me!™ mobile for Android — Version 1.0!

Well, that took long enough. Beer Me!™ mobile for Android is now for sale on the Android Market! Just $2.99 gets you mobile access to the most complete source of brewery information worldwide.

You can download Beer Me!™ mobile from the Android Market, or if you're using the Market App, search for com.beerme.android.

Beer Me!™ mobile screenshotBeer Me!™ mobile screenshotBeer Me!™ mobile screenshotBeer Me!™ mobile screenshotBeer Me!™ mobile screenshot

Thanks to everybody who helped with the testing these past few months. I couldn't have done it without you!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wisconsin Legislature Attacks Craft Brewers

One of the many great things about being a brewer in Wisconsin was the ability to self-distribute our beers, something that is impossible here in Nebraska. Self-distribution gives the small brewer a foot in the door, and without it, Wisconsin wouldn't have nearly the beer diversity that it enjoys today. Lots of people would be out of work, and lots of tax money wouldn't be flowing into Wisconsin's coffers.

New legislation drafted by MillerCoors aims to change that. Under the guise of protecting MillerCoors from Anheuser-Busch InBev, the bill would institute a strict three-tier system. No holder of a brewer, wholesaler, or retailer license could hold a license in another category.

This bill is also supported by the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association, the Tavern League of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Grocers Association, the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores Association, the Wisconsin Wine & Spirits Institute, large organizations that do most of their business with the big brewers.

The Wisconsin Brewers Guild, which represents about one-third of the state's craft brewers, was not consulted on the bill, even though there are provisions that will actively harm them.

Of course this has nothing to do with ABI. This is all about MillerCoors dictating what brewers can and cannot do in Wisconsin. No self-distribution means a lot fewer brewery startups, and very likely a lot of brewers going out of business.

The Tavern League has their grimy mitts in this as well, supporting a provision to ban brewers from operating pubs and restaurants, even on the brewer's own property.

Jay Brooks has posted one of his always-excellent rants on this subject.

Obnoxiously, Horton added that “the fundamental issue is whether small craft brewers want to be brewers or want to be brewers, wholesalers and retailers.” Given the way small brewers have been treated by distributors and retailers over the years, as they struggled against some pretty big, entrenched institutions to change how people thought about beer, that’s an awfully insulting thing to say. Craft brewers have had to find creative ways to gain access to market out of necessity, including doing their own selling and distributing, precisely because of all the roadblocks put in their way by distributors, retailers and big brewers, the very people who are trying once more to harm their business with this new legislation. So to hear MillerCoors suggest that small brewers should behave more like them, after making it impossible for them to do so for decades, is a pretty offensive thing to say.


There's a lot more; read Jay's article at The Brookston Beer Bulletin.

If you're in Wisconsin, find out who your legislators are and bombard them with opposition to this bill. Let them know that you support craft brewers, and that you vote.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Android app is ready for launch

The testers have responded with a unanimous "go"; I'll be packaging and uploading version 1.0 of Beer Me!™ for Android to the Android Market tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Palm App update, Android App status

HP/Palm asked me to upload a full update of the app to try to fix the "Install Failed" problem. I did so this morning, and it will be available for download as soon as they approve it.



The Android app seems to be just about ready to go. I'll ask my testers to give me their final feedback by next Monday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Old Enough To Fight, Old Enough For Beer

Damn right.




The current age limit has created a culture of hidden drinking and disrespect for the law. Regardless of whether a person is in the military or simply an adult civilian, he or she ought to be treated as such. If society believes you are responsible enough to go to war, get married, vote, or sign a contract, then you are responsible enough to buy a bottle of beer and toast to living in a country that respects and protects individual rights. It is long past time the law caught up with that reality.


Read the whole article at Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pierre Celis passes away

By now you've heard that Belgian brewing pioneer Pierre Celis left us this weekend at the age of 86.




Celis was a true brewing legend, he single-handedly revived the style witbier in the 1960s when he was a brewer at Hoegaarden. He later moved to Texas to start a microbrewery with his daughter Christine, which was sold to Miller in 1995. He was still brewing, making three cave-aged beers under the label Grottenbier at St. Bernardus in Belgium. (Brookston Beer Bulletin)


Paris and I went to Nebraska Brewing Company on Sunday to raise a glass of Infinite Wit in Pierre's honor. It's an excellent Witbier: clean, sweet, spicy, and refreshing.



Infinite Wit, from Nebraska Brewing Company, Papillion NE



Not many people can rightly be credited with reviving a dead style or inventing a new one; NBC's Infinite Wit is just one of hundreds of beers that simply would not exist if it weren't for Pierre Celis. Here's a very incomplete list of some others:




't IJ IJwit
(512) Wit
2 Brothers Trickster Wit Bier
3 Horne Horns Wit
3 Horne Kaats Witje
3 Ravens White
Abbaye Des Rocs Blanche des Honnelles
Abbaye Des Rocs Blanche Double
Abita Wit
Aksarben Witbier
Alaskan White
Ale Industries Orange Shush
Alken-Maes Brugs
Allagash White
Almond '22 Blanche de Valerie
Anheuser-Busch Shock Top Belgian White
Archibald La Joufflue
Argus Horse Whip White Belgian Ale
Asheville Christmas Jam White Ale
Atlas Tempest Wheat Beer
Avery White Rascal
Aviator White Bat Belgian Wit Beer
Baird Temple Garden Yuzu Ale
Baladin Isaac
Ballast Point Wahoo Wheat Beer
Barley Friska
Barley Island Sheet Metal Blonde
Barley John's Wit
Barley Station Talking Dog Wit
Barons Lemon Myrtle Witbier
Bastone Witbier
Bavik Witte Ezel
Bavik Wittekerke
Beach Killer whAle
Bellevaux Blanche
Benny Wit
Big Boss Blanco Diablo
Big Dog's Belgian White
Big Hole Mythical White Grand Cru
Big Time Washington Wit
Birdsview Witless in Birdsview
BJ's Nit Wit
Blue Frog Belgium White
Bo's White Lake Wheat
Bold City White Ale
Bones Belgian White
Borsodi Hoegaarden White
Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams White Ale
Boulevard Zōn
Brass Monkey White Flag
Brøckhouse Faste Øl
Breakside Wit
Breckenridge Summer Bright Ale
Breughel Kamour
Breughel Kamour Double
Brewer's Whale Branch Wit
Brewery at Lake Tahoe Belgian-Style White Ale
Brewery Creek Belgian Wheat
Bright Razor Witbier
Brooklyn Blanche de Brooklyn
Bruery Orchard White
Bull & Bones Sun Lit Wit
Bull & Bush 35th Anniversary Ale
Calavera Witbier
Caracole Troublette
Cathedral Square Belgian Style White Ale
Caulier Blanche des Sources
Celis White
Cellar Rats Field Rat Wheat Beer
Central City Wally's Wheat
Chameleon Witty
Chantecler La Blanche
Chapelle Northmaen Blanche
Чернігівське Біле
Cheval Blanc Apocalypse Buckwheat Ale / Coup de Grisou
Cimes L'Aiguille Blanche
Clown Shoes Clementine Witbier
Colonial Witbier
Coors Blue Moon Belgian White
Copper Creek Wit
Copper Kettle Lucky 393 Grand Cru
Craftsman Wit
Crane River Carhenge Wheat
Crazy Mountain Lava Lake Wit Beer
Croix Blanche La Blanche
Crystal Springs Tic Wit
Dada Tzara
Damm Inedit
Dancing Camel Hefe-Wit
Dark Star Landlords Wit
Dark Star Spiced Vice
De Boei Dichte Mist
De Clerck Blanche de Péronne
De Graal Triverius
De Struise Witte
Denver ChopHouse Honey Wheat
Denver ChopHouse Wheat Ale
Deschutes 20th Anniversary Wit
Diamond Knot Wit Bier
Dieu du Ciel! Première Neige
DOG Pub Dog White Dog
Dogfish Head Weedwacker Wit
Driftwood White Bark Ale
Du Bocq Blanche de Namur
Du Bocq Blanche des Moines
Dubuisson Clovis
Dupont Blanche du Hainaut Biologique
Duvel Moortgat Steendonk
Eagle Rock Manifesto
Egan White Fathers Witbier
Elk Grove What's Wit This Beer?
Emmett's Belgian Wit
Empyrean Eccentric Belgian Wheat
Engine House #9 Belgian White
Epic Wit Beer
Erie Sunshine Wit
Fanno Creek Nit Wit
Faultline Belgian White
Fenton Belgian Wheat
Feral White
Feral White Special Reserve
Ferguson Belgian White
Five Seasons Belgian Wit
Five Seasons Venus
Five Star Dim Whit
Florida Key West Southernmost Wheat
Flying Dog Woody Creek White
Freetail Rye Wit
Frog & Rosbif Maison Blanche
Frog XVI Maison Blanche
Front Street Raging River Ale
Gayant Amadeus
Gottberg Belgian Ale
Gouden Boom Blanche de Bruges
Gourmet Blanche
Grand Ridge Natural Blonde
Gray Witbier
Great Basin Whoop Ass Witbier
Great Lakes Holy Moses
Harper's Belgian Whit
Heineken Wieckse Witte
Hilltop Blanche de VaBch
Hoegaarden Original White Ale
Holgate White Ale
Hometown Cellars Belgian White
Honsebrouck Vlaamsch Wit
Horny Goat Belgian Wheat
Humboldt Summer Nectar Wheat Ale
Huyghe Blanche des Nieges
Huyghe Floris Wit
Huyghe Kira
Indian Ocean White
Indigo Imp Devil's Wit
Iron Hill Belgian Witbier
Iron Springs Belgian Whit
Ishikawa Tama no Megumi Belgian Wit
Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca
Jopen Adriaan
Joseph James Alpine Wit
Karma Lemon Ale
Keuka White Cap Wheat
Kiuchi Hitachino Nest White Ale
Knight's Head Belgian Style White Ale
Kodiak Island Belgian Witbier
Kronenbourg Brugs
L'Inox Trouble-Fête
La Barberie Blanche
La Barberie Blanche Classique
La Gastaldia Wit
Ladyface La Blanche
Lakefront White
Lamppost Pizza Katerina Wit
Lariano Lilium
Leelanau Whaleback White
Lefebvre Abbaye de Floreffe Blanche
Lefebvre Blanche de Bruxelles Mannekin Pis
Lefebvre Newton
Legacy Blue Dog White Ale
Legendes Blanche de Saisis
Liefmans All Saints Belgian White Ale
Liefmans Wit Dentergems
Limburg Witbier
Lindeboom Venloosch Wit
Lion Stegmaier Midsummer White
Little Apple Wit's End
Longwood Wit Beer
Lost Coast Great White Beer
Louisiane Witbier
Lungo Sorso Risacca Witbier
Mackinaw Belgian Whitecap
Malmö Vete-öl
Mambo Beer
Matso's Monsoonal Blonde
Maui Belgian Wheat
Michigan Celis White
Milwaukee Belgian Wit
Milwaukee Dark Belgian Wit
Misty's Stonehenge Orange Wheat
Moa Blanc
Moab Sit Down, Shut Up, & Hold On
Montegioco Runa Bianca
Moon River Wild Wacky Wit
Mother Earth Weeping Willow Wit
Moylan's White Christmas
Mudshark Full Moon Belgian White Ale
Multi-Brasse Blanche de Kingsey
Nakhon Lemongrass White
Natty Greene's Wildflower Witbier
Naufrageur Léonne
Nørrebro Stuykman Witt
Nebraska Infinite Wit
New Belgium Mothership Wit
New Belgium Sunshine Wheat
New South White Ale
Ninkasi Blanche
Nynäshamns Yttre Gaarden
O'So Summer Storm
Oaken Barrel Alabaster Wit
Оболон Биале
Old World Wit
Ommegang Witte
Opperbacco Bianca Piperita
Oregon Trail Wit
Otley O-garden
Otter Creek Wolaver's Organic Wit Bier
Otway Wheat Beer
Overland Stage Stop White
Oyster Bar Belgian Style Wit
Pacific Beach Whitewash Wheat
Peg's The Unbearable Lightness of Wit
Phylosophale Blanche Bio
Pietra Colomba
Pike Dry Wit
Platinum Belgian Wit
Port Lost Abbey Judgement Day
Pyramid Thomas Kemper Belgian White
Rapscallion White
Red Eye Bloom
Red Eye Wit
RedRock Belgian Wit
Regenboog Vuuve
Republic of Boulder Belgian White
Rijn Rijntje
Rivertown Wit Beer
Rivertowne White Lightning
RJ Cheval Blanc Blanche
RJ Tourmente
Rockmill Witbier
Rogue Mo Ale
Rogue Mom's Hefeweizen
Roman Mater Witbier
Roots Belgian Wit
Ruckus Midnight Wit
Rurale Seta
Sailor Hägar's Belgian Wit Ale
Saint Germain Page 24 Blanche
Saint John Liquid Sunshine Ale
Saint Louis Schlafly Witbier
Salt Lake Wit Bier
Søgaards Madam Whit
Schoune Blanche Bio
Schoune Blanche de Québec
Scuttlebutt White Wedding Wit
Sequoia Moto Brew Decoster Belgian Wit
Shawnee Biere Blanche
Sierrvoise Blanche
Silly Titje
Silver Creek White
Sint-Jozef Limburgse Witte
Skands Brüssel Wit
Sly Fox White Horse Wit
South Shore Witbier
Southampton Double White Ale
Southern Appalachian Witbier
Spanish Peaks White Ale
Spilker Cortland Autumn
Spring Street Wit
St Arnou Regatta St Cloud
St-Bernardus Bière Blanche
St-Bernardus Wit
St-Feuillien Grisette Blanche
Stadin Witbier
Steamworks Ipanema Summer White
Steenberge Ertvelds Wit
Sterkens White Ale
Stevens Point Belgian White
Stevens Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat
Stewart's Belgian Style Wit
Stonehouse Wheeltappers Wheat Beer
Storm Twister Wheat Ale
Strömsholms Husaren
Streets of New York Belgian White
Strubbe Vlas Kop
Suds Brothers Orange Blossom Belgian Whitbier
Summit Scandia Ale
Sun King Firefly Wheat
Swamp Head Cottonmouth
Sweetwater Wits End
Tallgrass Wheat
Taps Belgian White
ThirstyBear Valencia Wheat
Thomas Kemper White
Three Boys Wheat
Tinkoff Whit Nights
Tinkoff White
Titletown Belgian Summer Ale
Toccalmatto Ambrosia
Toccalmatto Jadis
Troegs Scratch #22 Belgian Style White
Troegs Scratch #36 Bruce Wit
Umpqua White
Unibroue Blanche de Chambly
Utah Brewers Squatters Wit
Val de Sambre Blanche de Charleroi
Val'Aisne Blanche
Valscura Blanche de Sarone
Van Eecke Watou's Wit Beer
Wedge Summertime Wheat Beer
Western Reserve Cloud Nine Witbier
Weyerbacher Blanche
Wig & Pen Belgian Blonde Witbier
Wild Wolf Summer Solstice Witbier
Wimberley Hefe-weissen
Zhujiang White Beer

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bad Mix: Heavy Beer Drinking and a Gene Variant Increases Gastric Cancer Risk

Try to keep it under five beers a day...




Heavy beer drinkers who have a specific genetic variant in the cluster of three genes that metabolize alcohol are at significantly higher risk of developing non-cardia gastric cancer, according to research presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011.



Study results also showed that the same risk is also elevated (but not as significantly) for heavy beer drinkers who do not have the variant, known as rs1230025, and for non-drinkers who have rs1230025 or rs283411.



Duell and colleagues conducted a comprehensive analysis of alcohol consumption and gastric cancer risk in the more than 521,000 people aged 35 to 70 years old who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study from 1992 through 1998.



The researchers evaluated the type of alcohol consumed (i.e. wine, beer or liquor) and the location and grade of cancer. Total consumption of 60 grams of pure ethanol/alcohol from all beverage types combined carried a 65 percent increased risk. (One 12 ounce beer contains about 13 grams of pure alcohol/ethanol.)



However, this association was confined to beer. Results showed that drinking 30 grams of pure ethanol/alcohol or more a day from beer was linked to a 75 percent increased risk of developing gastric cancer. Wine and liquor was not associated with gastric cancer risk, Duell said.



The exact mechanism for how alcohol may cause gastric cancer is not known. However, Duell said there are compelling hypotheses involving the metabolite of alcohol (acetaldehyde, a toxic and carcinogenic compound), and nitrosamines such as N-nitrosodemethylamine (a known animal carcinogen that has been found in beer).


Read the whole article at Science Daily.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The dawn of beer remains elusive in archaeological record

This line got my attention:




The various lines of evidence indicate that beer may well be as old as cooking itself, which began at least 250,000 years ago. "When people started harnessing fire and cooking, they probably started making beer," Hastorf said.


So Neanderthals, and even possibly Homo erectus, may have been the first brewers! Works for me. Read the whole article at Scientific American.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Anheuser-Busch InBev Buys Goose Island | Brookston Beer Bulletin

According to the Brookston Beer Bulletin, Anheuser-Busch InBev is buying Goose Island Brewing:




ABI will pay $22.5 million for a 58% share of the Chicago brewery and the remaining 42% currently owned by the Craft Brewers Alliance will be sold to ABI for an additional $16.3 million in cash, bringing the total price of the sale to $38.8 million. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that “[a]n additional $1.3 million will be invested to increase production at Goose Island’s Fulton Street brewery” and that the “transaction is expected to close by the end of June.”


You can read the entire press release at the Goose Island website.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Most Idiotic Beer Inventions And Innovations Of All Time

As per Jesse Hughey, here are the most idiotic beer inventions and innovations of all time:




  1. Beer Hour (Biru Awa) Beer Can Dispenser

  2. The Koozie

  3. The keychain bottle opener

  4. The Vortex bottle

  5. Cold activated cans and bottles

  6. The vented wide-mouth can

  7. Shoot A Brew cooler

  8. Beer helmet



I can't personally imagine not having my opener on my keyring, but the rest of them mostly deserve to be on the list. Read the rationale for each at the Dallas Observer.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Re: Does Guinness Beer Taste Better in Ireland?

My recent post on the flavor of Guinness in the USA has spawned some controversy over where the beer is actually brewed. I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.




Guinness Draught: Brewed in Ireland by Guinness & Co. St. James's Gate, Dublin, Ireland.




Guinness Extra Stout: Brewed and bottled by Guinness Brewing Company, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Product of Canada




Guinness Foreign Extra: Brewed in Ireland by Guinness & Co. St. James's Gate, Dublin 8. Product of Ireland



So the by-far-most-popular version is brewed in Dublin, as is the newly-reintroduced-to-America version. Only the USA's Extra Stout version is brewed in Canada, by Moosehead.



(See also Your favorite "import".)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Secret to a Frothy Stout

Here's your annual "how does draft Guinness work?" article, courtesy of LiveScience. This one describes a new twist on the old widget:




Applied mathematicians in Ireland recently discovered a possible replacement for the widget that is not only eco-friendly, but could be cost-effective for brewers. They published their findings in the Mar. 8, 2011, issue of the journal Nature.



Graduate student Michael Devereux, supervised by William Lee of at the University of Limerick in Ireland, discovered that microscopic plant fibers can froth stout as well as a widget.



"Our proposed alternative to the widget would consist of an array of cellulose fibers of approximately three square centimeters," said Devereux. "Our research suggests that stout could be made to foam using an array of fibers in 30 seconds, which is the time it typically takes to pour a glass of stout."



Inside of a nitrogen-enriched stout, pockets of air trapped inside cellulose fibers become seed bubbles that trigger nucleation (the formation of additional bubbles). As nitrogen and carbon dioxide diffuse through the walls of the fibers, the seed bubbles grow. When each bubble reaches a certain length, it detaches and breaks off of the gas pocket and floats to the top of the liquid. This process is repeated until the gas dissolves completely into the stout.


Read the whole story at LiveScience and at Nature, where one of the researchers says, ""We've spoken to brewers, but we're not sure if they're interested yet."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Favorite styles

I am often asked what my favorite style of beer is. Of course, this question is just as difficult to answer as the "favorite beer" question. But I thought I'd ask my database what it thinks my favorites are, and here's what it came up with:




+-----------+-----+--------------------------------------------------------------+
| score | n | style |
+-----------+-----+--------------------------------------------------------------+
| 18.785714 | 7 | Other Belgian-Style Sour Ale |
| 18.750000 | 2 | Black IPA |
| 18.000000 | 1 | American-Style "Light" Amber Lager |
| 18.000000 | 1 | Dark American Wheat Ale or Lager without Yeast |
| 17.938776 | 49 | Wood- and Barrel-aged Strong Beer |
| 17.666667 | 24 | Belgian-Style Gueuze Lambic |
| 17.607143 | 14 | Imperial or Double Red Ale |
| 17.562500 | 16 | Wood- and Barrel-aged Dark Beer |
| 17.506849 | 73 | Imperial or Double India Pale Ale |
| 17.348485 | 33 | Coffee Flavored Beer |
| 17.323529 | 17 | Wood- and Barrel-aged Beer |
| 17.218750 | 16 | German-Style Eisbock |
| 17.200000 | 5 | Strong Ale |
| 17.166667 | 3 | European-Style Low-Alcohol Lager / German-Style Leicht(bier) |
| 17.100000 | 10 | Other Belgian- and French-Style Ale |
| 17.060000 | 25 | Baltic-Style Porter |
| 17.059524 | 42 | Belgian-Style Flanders/Oud Bruin Ale |
| 16.894309 | 124 | Imperial Stout |
| 16.864341 | 129 | Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale |
| 16.834783 | 115 | Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale |
| 16.833333 | 30 | Bamberg-Style Rauchbier |
| 16.833333 | 15 | Experimental Beer |
| 16.833333 | 6 | American-Style Strong Pale Ale |
| 16.684874 | 243 | Barley Wine-Style Ale |
| 16.654762 | 128 | Old Ale |
| 16.615385 | 13 | South German-Style Bernsteinfarbenes Weizen/Weissbier |
| 16.595833 | 122 | German-Style Strong Doppelbock |
| 16.586957 | 23 | Chocolate/Cocoa Flavored Beer |
| 16.578125 | 32 | Belgian-Style Pale Ale |
| 16.541667 | 36 | South German-Style Weizenbock/Weissbock |
| 16.516667 | 60 | Other Belgian-Style Ale |
| 16.500000 | 10 | Modern Strong Scotch Ale |
| 16.470588 | 17 | Standard Cider / Perry |
| 16.350000 | 10 | American-Style Stout |
| 16.333333 | 27 | Other Strong Ale or Lager |
| 16.322430 | 107 | Belgian-Style Tripel |
| 16.316176 | 68 | French-Belgian Style Saison |
| 16.285714 | 21 | French-Style Bière de Garde |
| 16.281250 | 48 | Smoke-Flavored Beer (Lager or Ale) |
| 16.268657 | 67 | Belgian-Style Dubbel |
| 16.245614 | 58 | South German-Style Dunkel Weizen/Weissbier |
| 16.195205 | 146 | Specialty Beer |
| 16.184000 | 381 | American-Style India Pale Ale |
| 16.166667 | 6 | Belgian-Style Lambic |
| 16.162879 | 136 | Herb and Spice Beer |
| 16.133333 | 15 | NULL |
| 16.106061 | 33 | Foreign (Export)-Style Stout |
| 16.078358 | 134 | Münchner-Style Helles |
| 16.000000 | 2 | Specialty Cider / Perry |
| 16.000000 | 6 | Non-Alcoholic (Beer) Malt Beverage |
| 16.000000 | 2 | American-Style Malt Liquor |
| 16.000000 | 9 | Berliner-Style Weisse (Wheat) |
| 15.926471 | 69 | Traditional Strong Scotch Ale |
| 15.858491 | 108 | Oatmeal Stout |
| 15.833333 | 3 | Leichtes Weizen/Weissbier |
| 15.833333 | 3 | Braggot |
| 15.815789 | 19 | Garden (Vegetable) Beer |
| 15.792857 | 70 | German-Style Schwarzbier |
| 15.791667 | 12 | American-Style Premium Lager |
| 15.776316 | 38 | Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic |
| 15.760870 | 47 | Dortmunder/European-Style Export |
| 15.750000 | 10 | Scottish-Style Light Ale |
| 15.746183 | 262 | South German-Style Hefeweizen/Hefeweissbier |
| 15.740838 | 191 | German-Style Pilsener |
| 15.695455 | 111 | Sweet Stout |
| 15.649123 | 57 | Classic English-Style Pale Ale |
| 15.617021 | 96 | German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock |
| 15.602273 | 44 | Irish-Style Red Ale |
| 15.556000 | 125 | Belgian Style White (or Wit) / Belgian-Style Wheat |
| 15.553435 | 131 | European-Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel |
| 15.544444 | 57 | American-Style Brown Ale |
| 15.530612 | 49 | English-Style India Pale Ale |
| 15.500000 | 1 | Other Fruit Melomel |
| 15.500000 | 2 | Bohemian-Style Pilsner |
| 15.500000 | 1 | South German-Style Hefeweizen-Hefeweissbier |
| 15.472222 | 18 | Ordinary Bitter |
| 15.454545 | 33 | American-Style Rye Ale or Lager |
| 15.397059 | 69 | Scottish-Style Export Ale |
| 15.383065 | 125 | Traditional German-Style Bock |
| 15.375000 | 29 | California Common Beer |
| 15.375000 | 4 | American-Style (Extra Special) Strong Bitter |
| 15.346154 | 13 | English-Style Dark Mild Ale |
| 15.282328 | 239 | Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout |
| 15.280822 | 146 | Bohemian-Style Pilsener |
| 15.263959 | 201 | English-Style (Extra Special) Strong Bitter |
| 15.166667 | 3 | American-Style Märzen/Oktoberfest |
| 15.132000 | 127 | (Special) Best Bitter |
| 15.127907 | 43 | English-Style Pale Mild Ale |
| 15.090686 | 207 | German-Style Märzen/Oktoberfest |
| 15.062500 | 16 | American-Style Pilsener |
| 15.023220 | 331 | Robust Porter |
| 15.000000 | 12 | South German-Style Kristal Weizen/Kristal Weissbier |
| 15.000000 | 1 | Traditional Mead |
| 14.933333 | 16 | Light American Wheat Ale or Lager without Yeast |
| 14.928571 | 7 | English-Style Summer Ale |
| 14.915739 | 649 | American-Style Pale Ale |
| 14.839286 | 28 | Scottish-Style Heavy Ale |
| 14.791139 | 80 | German-Style Kölsch/Köln-Style Kölsch |
| 14.772727 | 44 | American Lager/Ale or Cream Ale |
| 14.720264 | 229 | English-Style Brown Ale |
| 14.712871 | 102 | German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf-Style Altbier |
| 14.642857 | 7 | Dark American Wheat Ale or Lager with Yeast |
| 14.642857 | 56 | European-Style Pilsener |
| 14.637441 | 432 | American-Style Amber/Red Ale |
| 14.610759 | 161 | Golden or Blonde Ale |
| 14.606742 | 89 | Vienna-Style Lager |
| 14.571429 | 7 | American-Style Light Lager |
| 14.486111 | 36 | Specialty Honey Lager or Ale |
| 14.383333 | 30 | Garden (Fruit) Beer |
| 14.271186 | 60 | Brown Porter |
| 14.083333 | 30 | Australasian, Latin American, or Tropical-Style Light Lager |
| 14.031250 | 196 | Light American Wheat Ale or Lager with Yeast |
| 13.721429 | 210 | American-Style Lager |
| 13.500000 | 22 | American-Style Amber Lager |
| 13.325000 | 20 | American-Style Dark Lager |
| 13.146825 | 127 | Garden (Fruit Wheat) Beer |
+-----------+-----+--------------------------------------------------------------+


Granted, the sample sizes are pretty small for many styles at the top, but I had no idea that I rated barrel-aged beers so highly, nor Imperial IPAs. I thought Bamberg-Style Rauchbier would be much higher on the list. I'm guessing that Altbier is near the bottom because it's so difficult to find fresh, authentic examples in this country.



For the most part, the styles at the bottom of the list are no surprise. I despise fruit beers, with grudging exceptions for well-made fruit lambics.



There are probably more sophisticated statistical techniques for analyzing this, but it's interesting as it is. Think I'll have a beer now.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Does Guinness Beer Taste Better in Ireland?

My own experience is that Guinness does, in fact, taste better in Ireland than it does in the U.S. It's pretty easy to ascribe that to freshness, though. Any beer will taste better closer to its source.




Over a period of one year, four researchers of different nationalities traveled to 14 countries and visited 71 Guinness serving establishments in 33 cities to collect data for 103 tastings.



Tasting scores for pints of Guinness were generally high all around the world, yet tastings in pubs in Ireland scored significantly higher.


Read the whole story at Science Daily.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Beer Me!" for Android: last call for testers

I just sent version 0.11.0 of the "Beer Me!" for Android app to the testers. It's getting very close to publishing-quality, so this is the last call: if you want to help test the app and be eligible for get it for free when it's available, contact me now.



You want screenshots? We got screenshots!




Main screen




Brewery list




Brewery details




Beer list




Beer notes

Sunday, February 27, 2011

…with just a hint of Naive Bayes in the nose

This interesting bit showed up at Language Log this week. I'd like to see it applied to beer reviews as well; I believe the results would be similar.




Using descriptions of 3,000 bottles, ranging from $5 to $200 in price from an online aggregator of reviews, I first derived a weight for every word, based on the frequency with which it appeared on cheap versus expensive bottles. I then looked at the combination of words used for each bottle, and calculated the probability that the wine would fall into a given price range. The result was, essentially, a Bayesian classifier for wine. In the same way that a spam filter considers the combination of words in an e-mail to predict the legitimacy of the message, the classifier estimates the price of a bottle using its descriptors.



The analysis revealed, first off, that "cheap" and "expensive" words are used differently. Cheap words are more likely to be recycled, while words correlated with expensive wines tend to be in the tail of the distribution. That is, reviewers are more likely to create new vocabulary for top-end wines. The classifier also showed that it's possible to guess the price range of a wine based on the words in the review.


Bonus points for the Monty Python reference in the comments.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Disaster! ...almost.

Fired up Eclipse this morning, meaning to make some more progress on my Android app.



Shocked to see all my code, settings, everything...gone.



Scrambled to find my USB drive containing the backup. The twelve-days-and-two-versions-old backup.



# find / -name 'Android*' -print



Relieved to find that my ever-so-helpful cats had moved my code folder to another location.



All is now well. And I'm creating a new backup.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Beer Batter Is Better

Why beer batter makes scientifically superior fish and chips.



Beer is saturated with CO2. Unlike most solids, like salt and sugar, which dissolve better in hot liquids than they do in cold, gases dissolve more readily at low temperatures. Put beer into a batter mix, and when the batter hits the hot oil, the solubility of the CO2 plummets, and bubbles froth up, expanding the batter mix and lending it a lacy, crisp texture.


Read the whole tasty article at Scientific American.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Don Younger, 1941-2011

I've never had the opportunity to visit the Horse Brass Pub, but I did get to bend elbows with Don Younger during the CBC in Philadelphia a few years back. A real good guy who liked real good beer.

Öchslebräu Tripel followup

After greatly overshooting the OE for our first four Öchslebräu brews, I adjusted my recipe calculations for this one. I either overcompensated the BME parameter, or I got lousy extraction due to temperature losses; at 16.4°P, I was about 2°P short of my target. More research is clearly necessary.



Two squirrels eating the spent grain from yesterday's brew


Spent-grain scavengers



Yeast spews from the airlock, thanks to some very happy yeast


And I was worried about underpitching

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Öchslebräu Tripel

Öchslebräu Tripel wird heute gebraut!



Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Straight Dope: Are brown bottles better for beer?

Cecil Adams explores the issue of lightstruck beer. I disagree with some of his methodology — he sampled his beers at 35°F for starters — but his conclusions are on the mark:



(1) In this world of mendacity and fraud, at least one ad claim has a basis in fact — brown bottles do protect beer better than green or clear.



(2) Notwithstanding (1), in the war of beer versus sun, don’t bet against the sun.


Read the whole article at The Straight Dope.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Android App Ready For Testing

OK, there are still some touch-ups I need to do, but I'm ready to ask for volunteers to field-test the Beer Me!™ mobile App for Android.



If you're interested in helping with the testing, please contact me via the Contact link at beerme.com. Doing so will send me your email addresses automatically, so don't volunteer via Facebook, the forum, or this blog.



Before you contact me, please read "Installing Applications With Android SDK" at http://www.talkandroid.com/guides/install-apk-files-on-android/. If you're not comfortable with following those instructions, please don't volunteer.*



Once I've signed you up, I'll send you a file that you'll need to install on your Android device using the instructions referenced above.



Inside the app, hit your Menu button and tap About, then tap Contact to send feedback to me.



Volunteers who send useful feedback during the testing period will receive the final release version for free, along with free updates. Volunteers who don't send useful** feedback will have to pay five bucks for the app like everybody else.



Thanks in advance!



*If you live in the Omaha area, we can meet up and I can install the file for you, if you prefer.



**I'll decide what's useful and what's not.

Monday, January 24, 2011

20,000 beers under their look-see

Although my notebooks contain more than 8,400 notes, I just recently logged my 7,000th unique beer after 18 years* of keeping track. Clearly, I am an amateur.



I don’t know for certain if it’s a world record, and there was nobody on hand from the Guinness book to record the momentous event. But on Monday, Jan. 17, Bob and Ellie Tupper sampled their 20,000th beer at a special tasting held in their honor at R.F.D. Washington.



To those scoring at home, that averages to nearly two beers a day (different ones, too; there are no repeats in the Tuppers’ log) spread out over more than three decades.


I raise my glass to them!



Read Greg Kitsock's article about the Tuppers at the Washington Post.



17 years, 9 months, 24 days, to be exact.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Czechs: A Nation of Beer Drinkers

The Czechs do like their beer, as demonstrated on this page I found via The Straight Dope this morning.



The uniqueness of the Czech Republic you probably do not need reminding. Not only do we have the best hockey players, but we also have one quality in which they stick into the pockets of everyone. As the name suggests, it is about our beer and beer drinkers. About our steroids, which have beautifully shaped our abdominal muscles. Awesome "document", nice background sound and great filmmaking.


(Translation via Google.)



Watch the very entertaining video at VideaČesky.cz.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

21 Years of Beer



Tomorrow, 19 January 2011, marks the 21st anniversary of my first batch of homebrew. It was an extract kit that my mother gave me, a barely drinkable, barely carbonated soup of syrup, hops, and yeast, brewed on an electric stove in the tiny kitchen of my San Leandro apartment.



I got better at the process, and by October I was ready for my first all-grain batch: gak & gerry's #23: Anteater Porter. I used the classic two-bucket mash tun; failing to own a drill, I used an awl to punch 1,200 holes in the bottom of the inner bucket. The awl had no handle; my hands still have the scars.



I eventually told Mom that she had created a monster, and I left my high-tech career in search of a brewing job. With stops in Hawaii, several Wisconsin cities, and back home to Nebraska, and after working in six small breweries, I find myself almost back where I started: in search of a brewing job.



But the upgraded Öchslebräu is operational, and I'm celebrating 21 years of brewing with a ten-gallon batch of Princess of Darkness Porter. This beer will be contributed to the South Omaha Brewers barrel project at the end of the month.



So here's to 21 years of beer!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reviving the taste of an Iron Age beer

Evidence of ancient brewing near Stuttgart:

Six specially constructed ditches previously excavated at Eberdingen-Hochdorf a 2,550-year-old Celtic settlement, were used to make high-quality barley malt, a key beer ingredient. Thousands of charred barley grains unearthed in the ditches about a decade ago came from a large malt-making enterprise.

The researchers also note that heated stones may have been used there, much like the modern(ish) Steinbier style.

Read the whole article at Science News.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Android app progress

Major progress this week on the "Beer Me!™ mobile" app for Android! There are still a couple of bugs that need debugging, and a few cosmetic user interfaces changes I want to make, but it's getting very close. I anticipate being able to ask for field testers by the end of next week.



(Note: Field testers are required to have sufficient technical know-how to follow the instructions under "Installing Applications With Android SDK" at http://www.talkandroid.com/guides/install-apk-files-on-android/)