Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy Brew Year

It's been a pretty tough week or so down here in Florida. Fishing, drinking beer, eating, drinking beer, lounging, drinking beer. I've had some time to think over the past year as far as brewing goes and I have to admit, as incredibly awesome as it was, I can't wait until what happens in 2008.I learned so much in the past year and met so many incredible people, and that will only carry over to the next chapter.Here's a few things I'm really looking forward to in the next year, in no particular order.

1.A series of crisp clean German lagers
2.A 3 part Bock brewing series via triple decoction (are you ready Timmy and Rodney??)--especially an Eisbock (Ice Bock)
3. Playing around with Brettanomyces and other bugs and microbiota
4. Continuing to hone BJCP judging skills
5.Yeast propogation and storage (slants etc)
6. The formation of WAHA and getting to meet other awesome beer people from around the state.
7. Making an awesome flavorful Berliner Weisse (recipe in the works!)
8.Using and understanding water chemistry and calculations.
10. More Belgian styles of course!

The list could go on and on, but that's the stuff that has been on my mind lately anyways. Last but not least, thanks to all of my awesome friends, brewing and non, for the continued support over the past year on our little operation. There will always be a pint waiting for you! Hope everyone has had a great holiday and has an awesome New Year's! I'll be at Uber on Monday checking out the new "Aurora Veranda". I'll be the guy sitting at the table with a cigar and Maharaja, trying to re-climate from this awesome Florida weather. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


That's me, but been pretty busy lately. Thanks to all who came out last Friday night and helped drain some kegs crammed into the basement like a can of festive Xmas sardines. I hope everyone enjoyed the beers we made. A shout out to Mark Emily for sharing his bottles and getting more people hooked on New Glarus Belgian Red and Rasberry Tart.Wisconssin rules! Thanks to James and Mike for sharing their recent batch of Belgian Golden Strong, keep it up, you guys are making some tasty stuff.Last but not least thanks Chad for bringing the tasty coconut rice balls over and keeping the "balls" jokes going the entire evening. I know everyone has been dreaming of your balls and can't wait for the next time they get to put them in their mouth. More to come later. Cheers!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Free Beer!

We decided to pull the beer from the company Xmas party. It's a long story, but it will give us a chance to bottle and condition some stuff we wouldn't have been able to before. So we're going to have a little shin dig. Here's the invitation I sent out earlier today via MySpace...

Due to circumstances out of our control, the beer that was made for our company Xmas party will not be served there. INSTEAD: Will will be having a holiday keg draining bash at Beacon Hill Brewery next Friday the 14th. We will be providing five delicious hand crafted ales on tap and a mix of music that will guarantee to make you ass shake. We need people to bring food, so bring some stuff to soak up all that beer.

The first three were originally named for the company party but now remain nameless. Try them and give us some suggestions!

1. Belgian Blonde--light , fruity,citrusy and refreshing!
2.German Weizenbock--candy for grown ups! Cloves, dark fruit, rich and so smooth!
3.India Pale Ale-- a slap in your mouth of huge hop flavor!
4. Stairway to Heaven Belgian Golden Strong---yup, the last keg from The Ram!
5. The Farmer's Daughter--Belgian Farmhouse ale

RSVP to me if you're interested so we can figure out the logistics of getting everything set up, or if you need directions. Or just show up if you already know about it. Please be responsible about driving and plan accordingly. Cheers all!

The results are in and...

It's a tie! Tim Hayner and yours truly decided to share the title. After some very precise measuring, we all agreed on the decision. Tim and I were both pretty even, but after pulling actual hairs to compare, we decided that even though Tim's whiskers were a little bit longer, mine were thicker. And yes, we're still talking about beards.Next year there will be a better structure of rules and judging, and hopefully some more participants! We decided that instead of exchanging cash, the losers will just have to buy Tim and I a round. Here's some pictures of the judging process.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Beerded Ones

The final decision will be made tongight at Casa Brown for the 1st Anuual Beard Growing Contest. I woke up early this morning and gave my precious whiskers a soak in a special concoction of special Zimbabwe cucumber juice and Himalayan honey harvested from a Sherpa who died from being stung 1000 times after harvesting it.It's very rare stuff...Anyways thanks to all of the wives and girlfriends who stood behind their men during this trying time.Pictures will be posted this weekend of the contestants, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Winter Beer Fest

Rodney and I headed down to Hale's Paladium for the Washington Winter Beer Festival last Saturday night. We met up with Tim and had a couple tastes before heading over to Brouwer's to grab a bite and to check out what was still on tap from the Big Wood Festival (all wood aged beers). A nice chilly walk back to Hales on the Burke Gillman trail and we met up with the Kevin, Shannah, Adrian and Laura. A good time was had by all. A nice intimate little beer festival all in all with some great people. Nothing spectacular was being poured, but the fact that after a while the tokens weren't being collected made it all the more fun. The newly acquired Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg won the peoples choice award with a Black Saison. It was pretty good, definitely one of the most interesting beers there. I talked with Jim Quilter for a while who was the previous owner of Iron Horse and said he sold it to some pretty young guys, so it should be interesting to see what new things they come up with. After the fest, we headed across the street to Ballard Bar and Grill for a couple pitchers and I schooled Shannah in the finer points of Big Buck Hunter. Chad soon showed up and as usual, had a party for us to go and crash in Wallingford. It was only a couple of blocks from Adrian's house so we went. Super nice people at the gathering, not really enough for a party, but the host went all out making traditional English deserts and wine punches, all extremely top notch! He is also an amateur distiller and beginning homebrewer and we shared some tips on brewing while taking sips of his home made shine from a mason jar. Very random end to a good night, but those are always the most fun.

Beacon Hill Brewery/Swimming Pool

I'm really glad I decided to go down to the basement on Monday morning to check on the Stout we brewed the night before. As soon as I set my foot down on the floor I knew we were in for a long day. It ends up the foundation below the door has a crack in it and was letting water in.It had been raining for 24 hours straight and it wasn't looking good. Half of the basement had a couple of inches of standing water. Luckily most of our stuff is put away up out of the way and nothing was damaged. Unfortunatley, my landlords have three other properties with similar problems and they can't get anyone out here until Wednesday. Rodney and I played bucket brigade all day, filling up our 16 gallon shop vac and emptying it countless times, digging drain reliefs in the yard, going down to Lowe's to get sandbags, and finnaly some quick-krete. Rodney slowly built up a layer of the concrete and was able to stop the leak temporarily.Beers were in order ofter that and man did I have a couple. Let's hop it holds until tomorrow. Let the cleaning begin.