Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1300 gallons of root beer

Today, I turned 1450 pounds (658 kg) of sugar into 1300 gallons (4900 liters) of root beer. That should be enough pop to get us through the middle of December.

I need to brew something with the Wyeast 3068 that's in the cooler. Maybe a new batch of Uncle Ivan's Dunkelweizen, either tomorrow or Thursday.

I'll be filling and cleaning kegs on Friday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Texas law stifles state's craft brewers

More liquor-law stupidity, this time from Texas, America's bastion of liquor-law stupidity.

[Debbie] Farquhar-Garner, who runs the [Fredericksburg Oktoberfest] on behalf of the Pedernales Artists' Cooperative, wants to mimic the ritual opening of the original Oktoberfest, in which the mayor of Munich taps the ceremonial first keg. In 2000, Farquhar-Garner did a television interview and mentioned the fact that Shiner's master brewer would be on hand to meet the public. That landed her in trouble with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

"Every year I sit down with the TABC, and they tell me what we can and can't do," the Oktoberfest director says. "I found out that talking about a specific beer company is a big no-no." At Munich's Oktoberfest, the big beer companies put on the party. In Texas, it's illegal for a festival to even mention beer, and it's strictly forbidden for a beer company to donate alcohol.

This bears repeating: "In Texas, it's illegal for a festival to even mention beer".

Read the whole story at the Dallas Observer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A vote for beer over politics

...[Terry] Heckler, who knows something about selling beer and something more about selling an idea, never plied his hand in political advertising. The man responsible for some of Seattle's most famous ads -- the run of delightfully offbeat Rainier Beer television commercials of the 1970s and 1980s -- says he never even was tempted.

"We stay away from politics and we stay away from religion," said the man who co-founded Seattle's Heckler and Associates in 1968. Political ads tear down, he said. Political ads demonize, deconstruct. And, as these ads become increasingly constant before the November election, they do the worst thing of all: They bore.

Read the whole story at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Thanks to FARK.com for the link!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Back from California

I just got back last night from a week in California. The stated purpose of the trip was to attend my cousin Kelly's wedding to XM Radio personality Matt the Cat near Big Sur. While a tasty keg of Newcastle Brown was consumed at the wedding, there was also time for some coastal brewery visitations:

Monterey Coast Brewing, Salinas

English Ales Brewery, Marina

Peter B's Brewpub, Monterey

El Toro Brewpub, Morgan Hill

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Santa Cruz

Boulder Creek Brewery & Cafe, Boulder Creek

Gordon Biersch Brewing, San Jose

The trip map is already posted. Notes and pictures will magically appear when as I get my typing caught up.

Today's tasks at the brewery simply involved filling kegs. They ran the Oktoberfest kegs dry while I was gone, and nobody here knows how to fill them.

Tomorrow: clean fermenters.