Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time Looks at Homebrewing

A nice video from Time that looks at our little hobby and its rising popularity.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Breweries Report

Good to see some entrepreneurism – and beer-related, at that – in this "economic climate" we keep hearing so much about. New Orleans' NOLA Brewing Co. is up and running on Tchoupitoulas St. in the Big Easy and plans are afoot for a new outfit called Three Rivers Brewing Co. here in Columbia, S.C.

NOLA earns the distinction of being the only packaging microbrewery operating within the city of New Orleans. (Abita and Heiner Brau are north of Lake Ponchartrain, out of town, and Big Easy, which was originally brewed in Marrero anyway, is brewed under contract by Heiner Brau.) It was founded by Kirk Coco and right now features two products: a Blonde Ale and a Brown Ale, brewed by the inimitable Peter Cadoo, longtime member of the Crescent City Homebrewers and former brewer at the venerable Dixie, still shuttered since Katrina and currently being brewed by the Minhas Craft Brewery in Wisconsin.

Here's a fine read on NOLA Brewing Co., its clever twist on the familiar "Nola" name, and the greater Crescent City brewing scene in general, courtesy of The New York Times.

Meanwhile, some 675 miles to the northeast, entrepreneur Doug Aylard hopes to open Columbia's only microbrewery in August, in a mixed-use zone off North Main St. Planned brews include Turkey Hunter Ale, Half-Wit Hefe Weisse, Spiderbite, Broken Down and something about a "lizard man" (I'm not making this stuff up), according to this report from The State. Here's more from the Free Times.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Wisdom of Jean-Pierre Van Roy

If you love Cantillon, or lambic, or Beligum, or beer in general (You do love all those things, don't you??) then you must check out this great read from Evan Rail's Beer Culture blog.

Take special note of Van Roy's little nugget about industrial vs. artisan beers. Amen, monsieur.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Spatenbräu Bock Mug

We know the Germans tend to take their beer seriously. Well, if this ornately decorated mug from Munich's Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu is any indication, they take their glassware art pretty seriously, too.

Talk about an intricate design – well more than your average Joe starting at (or into) a mug of beer would probably care to occupy himself with.

But he should – there's lots of interesting stuff going on here (click the image for a closer look). Beer folk won't puzzle over the billy goat featured so prominently here; rather, they'll likely take it as a strong clue as to what beer the Spaten bräumeisters have in mind for this glass. "Bock," it so happens, is the German word for the horned creature we see here, and although it's been suggested that Bockbier derives its name from the city of Einbeck, where the style is said to have originated, the billy goat has become firmly established as official spokesanimal for these rich, malty brews.

And indeed, close inspection of the design reveals this glass belongs to "Spatenbräu Bock," a fairly rare Maibock that makes most of its appearances (or its recent ones, the evidence suggests) on draft only. I've not had this beer in a few years, but I recall it being good – typical of Spaten offerings.

Above the familiar spade logo, the billy rears magnificently in front of what are either rays of light or stalks of barley (Both nourish and sustain life, don't they?) while what looks like a hop bine curls overhead.

Drink enough powerful Bock from this ample (half-liter) mug, and you might end up feeling as mighty as its strapping, confident mascot. Best to stay away from the tin cans, however. Your teeth will thank you.
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