Wednesday, November 28, 2007


From the BJCP Style Guidelines:

Overall Impression: A dark, strong, malty lager beer.

ABV: 6.3 - 7.2%

Now compare that to this keg label:

A 3.2% ABW "Bock"

You read that right: this so-called "Bock" contains "no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight". Granted, that's 4% by volume, but it's still less than ⅔ of the minimum spec.

I ran across another Amber Bock keg that was not so labelled, and I've learned that the standard-strength brew is 5.2% ABV; not quite as laughable, but still significantly light.

So much for truth-in-labelling.

(And while I'm at it, it's not really "amber", either.)

Final week of November

Back to the grind. (At least I'm allowed — hell, I'm required — to have a beer while I work.)

Monday: Cleaned the draft lines. Had an hour of physical therapy on my back. Filled some root beer kegs and deliver them to Lincoln and Council Bluffs, stopping along in Omaha to pick up some wine for the restaurant. (Plus a quick pint of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale at the Crescent Moon.

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Tuesday: Brewed seven barrels of Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen. I did some repair work on my brother's computer this weekend, so I drove to Grand Island to drop it off at his house, stopping by the Chicken Coop for a couple of pints afterwards.

Today: PT this morning. Cleaned about five dozen kegs, one of which is pictured here. Filled a few five-gallon cans of root beer, and rolled one of them down the street to Crackers & Caviar.

Tomorrow: PT at 9:00. Brew seven barrels of Impromptu Pale Ale. I have a box of Simcoe hops that I've been itching to use in this beer. But I'm irrationally kind of hoping that it won't taste as good as it could, since there won't be any more Simcoe hops to be had until next fall.

Friday: (Note: virtually no beer content here.) Pick up Paris in Omaha. She's got three more weeks on this New Jersey project, then a couple of weeks off before she starts working in England or Germany or both. She told me today to "get the tanks full". Also, I'm planning to lace up my skates and play some hockey in the afternoon. I haven't skated in something like three years, and I'll need to tune up my game for my Shark For A Day adventure next March.

Saturday: Pour beer at Crescent Moon Holiday Beer Fest in Omaha. I'm taking five gallons of my Novemberfest beer.

Last week's journey

I've been away: a six-day trip to see Paris' family in Wyoming for the recent holiday. Before we left on Sunday the 18th, I...

  • brewed seven barrels of All-American Gold

  • received (finally!) three pallets of malt that I ordered in September

  • filled kegs

  • poured beer at the Downtown Stroll

  • did the early November excise tax report

  • and visited the new Nebraska Brewing Company in Papillion on their Opening Day.

Papillion's new brewpub is in a new shopping complex called Towne Center. The beers are tasty and the food smelled good and the place was pretty well packed for the three hours we were there. They're a bit out of the way if you're in downtown Omaha, but they're worth the trip.

There's supposed to be a picture of Nebraska Brewing here, but my camera ate it.

Our flight from Omaha to Billings left early Sunday morning, and we arrived around lunchtime. Lunch was served at the Montana Brewing Company right downtown. They've been open since 1994, but for some reason, we've never managed to stop there until now. We enjoyed their award-winning beers along with a couple of smoked salmon entrees.

There's supposed to be a picture of Montana Brewing here, but my camera ate it too.

Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company is just a few blocks away, but they don't open until 4:00pm. Ditto for Angry Hank's Micro Brewery, also on First Avenue North.

Yellowstone Valley Brewing

Yellowstone Valley Brewing

Angry Hank's Microbrewery

Angry Hank's Microbrewery

Angry Hank's three-pint limit

Angry Hank's three-pint limit

The week in Cody and Powell was uneventful, beerwise, although we did pick up a couple different Red Lodge Ales and some bottles of Alaskan Smoked Porter at a local liquor store.

We returned home via the same route — including lunch at Montana Brewing — on Friday the 23rd. I went into Gottberg on Saturday to fill a couple of keg orders, and I moved 14 barrels of root beer into the cellar.

Two Popular Craft Breweries Agree to Merge

Business Wire reports that Redhook and Widmer, both craft-brewing pioneers, are combining their businesses.

SEATTLE & PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Two of the country’s leading and pioneering craft breweries announced today that they have agreed to combine their businesses and become one company. Redhook Ale Brewery, Incorporated of Woodinville, Wash., and Widmer Brothers Brewing Company of Portland, Ore., will merge to create a combined company called Craft Brewers Alliance.

Kurt Widmer will serve as the company’s chairman of the board and Paul Shipman will serve as chairman emeritus. Dave Mickelson, Redhook’s current president and chief operating officer, and Terry Michaelson, president of Craft Brands Alliance, Redhook and Widmer’s sales and marketing joint venture, will serve as co-CEOs of the company. The combined company will continue to be publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol HOOK and will have management offices in both Portland and Woodinville.

The all stock transaction will result in Widmer shareholders and existing Redhook shareholders each holding approximately 50% of the outstanding shares in the combined company. Anheuser-Busch is expected to remain a strategic distribution partner for Widmer and Redhook products and will continue to hold a minority equity stake in the company following the merger.

Read the entire article at Business Wire, and another article at Forbes.

Man Suing After Allegedly Being Injured By Beer At Store

America: Land of the Professional Victim.

OCALA, Fla. -- A man has filed a lawsuit because he claims he was injured while trying to buy beer at an Ocala Albertson's store.

Olester Duncan said he was trying to take a pack of Schlitz from a shelf when a falling beer hit him on the head.

Olester claims the store and the beer companies should have made sure the display was safe.

Read the entire story (well, actually, that was the entire story) at There's also a story at First Coast News that has more details, including Duncan's wife's claims of "[having] in the past and will in the future suffer the loss of the value of her husband's services, society, companionship and consortium by reason of his injuries".

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Top 3 Worlds Most Expensive Beers

Courtesy of, the three Most Expensive Beers in the World are:

  1. Brasserie Caulier La Vielle Bon-Secours ($4.88 per ounce)

  2. Tutankhamen Brew ($3.08 per ounce)

  3. Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams Utopias ($4.17 per ounce)

Read the entire article at

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gottberg Brew Pub Brewer's Schedule

As of this morning, there are 162 subscribers to this blog. I know for sure that at least 0.6173% of these subscribers (I'm looking at you, Tom) are interested in not only what I've done around here, but also what I'm planning to do around here. To that end, I've created a Google Calendar that contains my "to-do list" for the brewery. You can always access the calendar via the Google Calendar button on the right-hand side of the page.

A reminder: if you see something interesting on the schedule, and you'd like to see it in person, feel free to swing by the brewery. I'll always be glad to let you watchput you to work. Be sure to contact me first, because my schedule can be very dynamic.

Beers for Bro

Last Thursday night, I poured beer at the "Beers for Bro" fundraiser in Omaha. More than 100 very enthusiastic beer drinkers turned out for the occasion, as did fellow Nebraska breweries Upstream, Empyrean, and Spilker. They drank a sixth-barrel of my Novemberfest, and came damn close to killing of the sixters of Bugeater Brown and Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen too! The show officially ended at 9:00pm, but a few of us stayed until they kicked us out at 11:00.

The venue

The revellers

The hardcore

Russian draught beer dispenser goes international

This appears to be a device that allows beer bottles to be filled right in the store. I'm not sure how useful it would actually be, but it's kinda nifty.

A Russian company has made a device which it says allows retailers to sell draught beer easily from stores.

Pegas, made by Novosibirskprodmash, has been available in Russia for the past four years and is now being launched internationally.

The device can be installed into a beer column with or without a standard beer tap and can also be connected to a beer chiller or a beer line.

It is designed to be used with plastic bottles, which the company says are lighter, stronger and cheaper than glass.

Read the entire article at Drinks International.

Expert Nose

Live Science reports that "nearly everyone can train their brain for olfactory expertise" — great news for beer judges!

You can watch the video at

Beer after sport 'is good for the body'

This is something that hockey players have known for a long time: beer always makes you feel better after a game.

A beer after playing a game of football, a long run, or a strenuous round of golf can be good for the body, scientists say.

In a rare piece of good news for those who like a pint, Spanish researchers say beer can help someone who is dehydrated retain liquid better than water.

Prof Manuel Garzon, of Granada University, also claimed the bubbles in beer help to quench the thirst and that its carbohydrate content can help to replace lost calories.

Read the entire article at The Telegraph.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Miller to Expand Test of 64-Calorie Brew

"As light as it gets"...this is a good thing?!?

Chicago—Less than three months after introducing MGDL-64 in Madison, Wisconsin, Miller Brewing executives are strongly considering expanding the test throughout the Midwest as well as other territories, per a source.

The 64-calorie brew, also dubbed Miller Genuine Draft Light, debuted in August. Its tagline “As light as it gets” has appeared on retail displays as well as on out-of-home signage.

Read the entire article at BrandWeek. In the meantime, you want light? Drink bottled water.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

$600 for Breast Cancer Research

Back at the beginning of October, I announced our pledge to donate my monthly sales bonus to cancer research. Thanks to our loyal customers, that donation totalled $60217! I passed the money along to the Gateway for Cancer Research this evening.

Thanks to everyone who lent their support! We'll do it again next year.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Quiet in here

I see I haven't posted much since the middle of October. I could say that's because not much has been happening around here since the middle of October, and I wouldn't be lying much. I could also say that I've been pathologically lazy lately, and I wouldn't be lying at all.

So here's the quick-and-dirty on the activities at Gottberg lately:

  • Filtered the All-American Gold.

  • Brewed Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen.

  • Brewed Bugeater Brown.

  • Did the mid-October taxes. Cleaned and filled kegs. Kegged off the old batch of Brown.

  • More shots in the back. Physical therapy every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

  • Poured beer at the Oktoberfest in Leigh.

  • Cleaned the draft lines. Calculated new wholesale beer and soda prices.

  • Cleaned a bright tank and filtered Johnny the Jet's Red Beer into it. (It's not as red as I wanted it to be.) Tried to figure out how much hops we'll go through next year.

  • Cleaned a fermenter.

  • Cleaned and filled kegs.

  • Kegged off the Princess of Darkness Porter and the Moll Dubh Irish Ale, and cleaned both tanks.

  • Moved seven barrels of Root Beer downstairs. Filtered our Novemberfest beer. (I brewed it way too late and way too strong to be an Oktoberfest beer.) Spent the evening at the Pint Night at the Crescent Moon, featuring our Princess of Darkness Porter.

  • Cleaned a fermenter.

  • Filled kegs. Tapped the Novemberfest.

  • Did October's monthly tax reports. Filtered the Bugeater Brown. Transferred the Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen.

  • Cleaned the draft lines. Filled root beer kegs for Norfolk. Cleaned a couple dozen picnic taps. Sent letters to our customers outlining our price increases, to take effect January 1.

  • Delivered the kegs to Norfolk. Cleaned two fermenters.

Same shit, different month.

Here's what's coming up:

  1. Clean and fill kegs. Clean the tap faucets. Give a tour to 45 people.

  2. Deliver kegs to Lincoln. Pour beer at the Gesu Housing fundraiser in Omaha.

  3. Clean the draft lines.

  4. Brew some Gold, Pale Ale, and maybe something else.