Friday, July 25, 2008

Ten Million Visitors!

Just after 1:00pm Central Daylight Time (18:00 GMT) today, Beer Me! welcomed its 10,000,000 visitor!

Screenshot taken at 1:23pm

I'd like to buy you all a beer, but at a pint apiece, it would require all the beer that Sierra Nevada will brew this year, and then some. Or if you're really patient, I should be able to get that much beer into Gottberg's tanks by the year 5233.

Anyway, thanks for your support!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Scientist: You Can't Get Drunk On Beer

A professor at Yale — back in 1955 — scientifically proved that it's physically impossible for a human to get drunk on beer!

THE AVERAGE alcohol content of American beers is 3.7 per cent by weight (4.7% by volume). In order for the alcohol blood level to be at 0.15 per cent, there would have to be two and one-half quarts of 3.7 beer in the stomach. But the capacity of the human stomach is one and one-half to two quarts.

So much for 0.08! Read the whole theory at Gawker.

Getting ready for some brewing

I ordered three pallets of malt a couple of weeks ago. There was some confusion over when it would arrive, so I put out a call to the brewers in the area asking if I could borrow some. Their responses were prompt, enthusiastic, and helpful, but now it looks like my shipment supposed to get here today after all.

Yesterday, I rearranged the bags of malt upstairs to make room for the new stuff.

Today, when the truck gets here, I'll wheel the pallets upstairs and get all the specialty malts sorted out. Then I'll set up tomorrow's brew.

Tomorrow, I'll brew the Princess of Darkness Porter. I don't like brewing it myself, because it never turns out right when Paris isn't here — she's in Boston this week — but it needs to be brewed right away in order to be ready for the Great Taste of the Midwest on August 9. (We're also taking some Abbot Pennings Tripel.)

Thursday, I've been asked to give a short presentation at the local Rotarians 7:00 in the morning. (That's almost an hour before I'm normally awake.) Once that's done, I'll brew a batch of Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen.

Friday, I'll clean kegs and fill orders, then go to Omaha to pick up Paris at the airport.

Next week, I should brew some All American Gold as soon as I can harvest the yeast from the Porter. I've also had a couple of requests for the Toil and Trubbel Dubbel, so I'll brew that with the Tripel yeast.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The rise and fall of an American beer

Don't feel too bad about America losing an icon in the Anheuser-Busch sale. That company has done a whole lot of damage to American beer culture and diversity over the decades.

Imagine the Budweiser Clydesdale team on a cross-country rampage, with a decrepit, tipsy August A. Busch Jr. strapped to the lead horse, wearing a bright red St. Louis Cardinals cowboy hat. Starting on the West Coast, platter-hoofed horses trample a can of Blitz-Weinhard, spewing suds all over the streets of Portland, Ore. Moving south to San Francisco, they stamp on bottles of Lucky Lager. In their hometown of St. Louis, they crash through the wall of a Griesedieck Bros. brewery, rolling hundreds of barrels into the Mississippi. They're seen next in Cincinnati, kicking a Hudepohl taster to death. The Clydesdales' tour of destruction ends in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Busch orders them to urinate in a vat of Piels, cackling that no one will be able to tell the difference.

Edward McClelland tells a great story at

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Man spent $1,000 a week on beer?


An Australian man convicted of his seventh drink-driving charge was spending about A$1,000 ($972) a week on beer — enough to buy more than 2,500 small bottles a month, a newspaper said Tuesday.

"(That is) poor judgment on two counts there — drinking that much and drinking Melbourne Bitter," magistrate Vince Luppino was quoted as saying.

Reuters has the whole story.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Beer: Is There Anything It Can't Do?

George Will explains how beer has strengthened the human gene pool.

The gene pools of human settlements became progressively dominated by the survivors -- by those genetically disposed to, well, drink beer. "Most of the world's population today," [author Steven] Johnson writes, "is made up of descendants of those early beer drinkers, and we have largely inherited their genetic tolerance for alcohol."

Read all about it at RealClearPolitics.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Buy Beer from Liquid Solutions

For several years, I've had a page linking a list of beers to Liquid Solutions, a most excellent beer-by-mail store in Oregon. The page was always fairly ugly, though.

Last week, Matt Maples gave me permission to use the images from his site to make the page more interesting. I took that opportunity to redesign the page, making it easier on the eyes as well as easier to use.

Take a look at, and if you see anything you like, click on the beer to buy it!

A reasonably busy week

There's a fair bit going on this week, at least by Gottberg's standards:

  • Monday: Clean the draft lines. Make 42 barrels (1,302 gallons, 49 hectolitres) of Root Beer, 14 barrels of which went directly to the empty tanks in the cellar. Clean/sanitize/pressurize a bright beer tank, and transfer last week's batch of Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen.

  • Tuesday: Clean/sanitize/pressurize two or three more bright beer tanks in preparation for filtering later this week. Fill a couple of kegs of Hefeweizen for the pub, since they ran out over the weekend.

  • Wednesday: Filter the All-American Gold and Blood Red Beer.

  • Thursday: Fill kegs, including 20 five-gallon cans and two half-barrels for the Norfolk distributor to pick up on Friday.

  • Friday: Do everything that I procrastinated on this week, because there's always something.

  • Saturday: Pour beer at the Sunfest in Omaha.

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July

Here in America, July 4 is celebrated as "Independence Day", when the new country liberated itself from oppressive British rule. Now that the American government has managed to insinuate itself into every aspect of our lives — including our beer — it's worth remembering what 56 courageous people had to say on the subject 232 years ago today:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

(Text from Wikipedia.)