Thursday, February 11, 2016

Stokes' Law!

This was Melanie Krautstrunk's Igneous IPA (6.3% alcohol-by-volume), on draught in the taproom at Hutton & Smith Brewing, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on 30 January 2016.

Stoke's Law!

Me: "How did you get this beer so clear?"

Ms. Krautstrunk: "Time and gravity."

Me: "No filtration?

Ms. Krautstrunk: "No; no filtration. I was patient."

Stokes Law

The rate of sedimentation of an idealized spherical particle in a liquid is directly proportional to the difference in the density of the particle and the liquid medium, the acceleration due to gravity, and the square of the radius of the particle, and inversely proportional to the viscosity of the liquid.

In other words, particles in a liquid settle naturally under the influence of gravity. If beer is left alone for a sufficient amount of time, it will clarify itself.

Murky is the recourse of the impatient. Beauty is the craft of the brewster.

Hutton & Smith taproom

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  • More photos of Hutton & Smith Brewery: here.
  • Description of Stokes Law paraphrased from a Wort & Beer Clarificaton Manual provided by BSG Craft Brewing.
  • For poetic license, this post has been redacted since its original upload. The intent remains the same.

  • For more from YFGF:

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Cider Industry Deserves Equal Regulation! Good laws for good apples.

Due to tax legislation that Congress passed in December 2015 (amending Section 5041(b)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code), cider —of modest alcoholic strength and bubbles— will soon be taxed at low rates similar to beer. Previously, cider could be taxed at much higher rates, at or exceeding those of wine.

Mt. Defiance "Farmhouse Style Hard Cider"

These changes were contained in the CIDER Act, which had been originally introduced in the House of Representatives in 2013 by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Chris Collins (as the Cider Industry Deserves Equal Regulation Act) as well as in the Senate by Senators Charles Schumer and Patrick Leahy (as the Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act).
  • Any cider with 7 percent alcohol-by-volume (abv) or up had been taxed at $1.17 per gallon, while any cider at 6.9 percent abv or lower had been taxed at $0.22. Now, with the passage of the CIDER Act, the upper abv limit, for the lower tax rate, will be 8.5%.

  • Any cider containing 6.4 grams per liter of carbon dioxide or fewer (equivalent to 3.25 volumes of CO2, in other words, like a highly carbonated wheat beer or a lightly carbonated champagne) will now NOT be additionally taxed (which had been a nonsensical situation). Above that carbon dioxide level, however, cider will be taxed at $3.30 per gallon. (The prior limit had been much lower, 3.92 grams of CO2 per liter, equivalent to 2.0 volumes, in other words, like a lightly carbonated cask-conditioned ale.)

  • As long as the abv of a pear cider (known as perry), is 8.5% or less, its tax rate will also be decreased, from the wine rate of $1.07 per gallon to the apple cider level of $0.226 per gallon. Above 8.5% abv: $1.17 per gallon. Carbonation will be untaxed, like cider, at or below a level of 6.4 grams CO2 per liter.
The changes take effect in December 2016.

CIDER Act passed.

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Monday, February 08, 2016

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 3/4, 2016.

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.

Weeks 3/4
17 - 30 January 2016


  • 30 January 2016
    Dram disaster. A single malt scotch shortage is looming, the industry a victim of its own success.
    —Via Wall Street Journal.

  • 28 January 2016
    Paul Kantner, founding member and guitarist for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, has died at age 74.
    —Via Rolling Stone.

  • 28 January 2016
    'Session IPA' is NOT 'session' beer.
    • Needed: low-alcohol, layers of flavour, balance, reasonably priced.
      —Via Fuggled.
    • "A simplicity to these beers that belies their depth and balance and makes their drinkability somehow increase as you go from pint to pint during your drinking session."
      —Via Mark Dredge at Pencil and Spoon.

  • 28 January 2016
    Beer production in the United States, 2015 vs. 1980: 94 times as many breweries, producing 7.3% less beer.
    —Via YFGF (on Facebook).

  • NO Beer to Go
  • 27 January 2016
    The Orwellian nature of Georgia beer laws. The state's Department of Revenue agrees to abide by the original intent of legislation, to allow state breweries to sell brewery tours at variable prices based on the kind of beer offered. In return, state breweries agree not to seek redress from the legislature. Georgia and Mississippi remain the only two states in the U.S. that forbid breweries from selling beers to customers in their taprooms
    —Via Georgia Craft Brew Lawyer.

  • 26 January 2016
    Actor Abe Vigoda, known for roles in 'The Godfather' and 'Barney Miller,' has died at 94.
    —Via CNN.

  • 26 January 2016
    A British wine writer interviews a brewer, claims that the ancient Greeks invented barleywine ales.
    —Via Wilson On Wine.

  • 23 January 2016
    Twenty Virginia breweries collaborate in fight against the cancer of a fellow brewery owner, with Kerri's Cure Belgian-style Pale Ale.
    —Via Fritz Hahn at Washington Post.

  • 23 January 2016
    Unseasonably cool weather in California and Arizona causes cauliflower shortage and price spikes.
    —Via Washington Post.


  • NASA map of temperature anomalies in 2015
    compared to the long-term average.
  • 21 January 2016
    2015 is the Earth's hottest year since reporting began in 1850, hotter than 2014, itself a record.
    —Via Guardian.

  • 21 January 2016
    Total U.S. beer production fell by 1.4% in 2015 to 174,721,000 barrels (from (from 177,131,992 barrels in 2014).
    —Via Beer Institute.

  • 20 January 2016
    How many calories in your beer? Four pints of a 6.5% beer would be 1,040 calories, by the way.
    —Via Joe Stange at DRAFT Magazine.

  • 20 January 2016
    In national surveys conducted by the Brewers Association, 67 percent of craft beer drinkers said it was important to them that their beer be locally made, while 61 percent said it was important that the brewery was independent. Meanwhile, the craft category is growing faster than the total beer market, and in 2014 reached a double-digit (11 percent) share of the marketplace by volume.
    —Via [U.S.] Brewers Association at Washington Post.

  • 20 January 2016
    Are 'craft' brewers co-opting 'crafty' methods? Or is it just good business?
    Brew Hub’s founders saw a hole in the craft brewing world five years ago and quickly moved to fill it, building a production facility to help popular small brewers increase their capacity without having to make the capital investment in equipment.
    —Via Fortune Magazine.

  • 18 January 2016
    Oskar Blues (brewer of Dales Pale Ale) packaged and shipped 50,000 cans of filtered, fresh water to residents of Flint, Michigan, who were unable to drink the city's lead-contaminated tap water. The water came from the brewery's new Brevard, North Carolina, location (its original brewery is in Colorado); the cans themselves were donated by the Ball Corporation.
    —Via Denver Post.

  • 18 January 2016
    On Martin Luther King Day, five myths about Martin Luther King, Jr.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • Sunnyside Farm & Orchard
  • 17 January 2016
    Congress passes the CIDER Act, decreasing excise tax rates on cider and perry, from levels similar to wine to rates closer to beer.
    —Via YFGF.

  • 17 January 2016
    Is it possible to have too many breweries in a given market? Yes, of course, it is possible but I don’t think we have reached that point in even the most mature markets like San Diego and Portland. The main reason for this is the fact that it is not just the supply of craft beer that is growing, the demand itself that is growing dramatically and this growth shows no sign of slowing down.

    —Via Beeronomics.

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Don't be a pillock!

Who would've thunk it? Budweiser and the incomparable Dame Helen Mirren collaborating on a brilliant anti-drunk-driving spot aired during Super Bowl 50.

Don't be a pillock!

The commercial opens with Mirren sitting at a table in a restaurant, a burger and fries in front of her. (That's chips for you non-Yanks.) A waiter brings her a bottle of Budweiser, the label turned somewhat from the camera. "Oh, my beer. Lovely," she thanks him. Mirren looks directly toward the camera and says:

Hello. I'm Helen Mirren, a notoriously frank and uncensored British lady.

The collective we are dumbfounded that people still drive drunk. So, I'll sum it up like this.

If you drive drunk, you — simply put — are a shortsighted, utterly useless, oxygen-wasting, human form of pollution, a Darwin award-deserving, selfish coward. If your brain was donated to science, science would return it.

So, stop it.

Now, the chances are you are a fun, solid, respectable human being. Don't be a pillock. Your friends and family thank you; the friends and families of other drivers thank you; your future self thanks you.

This is supposed to be fun. Cheers!

Mirren finishes by holding up a bottle of Budweiser, and slyly whispering: "Nice and cold."

Witty, powerfully direct, and succinct. Mirren did a public service announcement; she did a product placement; she got paid.

But, ah, Dame Mirren! What of Britain's culinary gift to the world? What of 'real ale'? Making fun of 'warm,' 'flat' beer? You know it isn't! And Anheuser-Busch? I saw what you did there. Making fun of less-than-ice-cold 'craft' beer? Clever bastards!


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Saturday, February 06, 2016

Pic(k) of the Week: She makes Budweiser here. Maybe.

Anheuser-Busch InBev in Cartersville (01)

There is an Anheuser-Busch InBev beer plant in Cartersville, Georgia, one of twelve Budweiser breweries that the international conglomerate operates in the United States.

Opened in 1993, the site comprises 1,700 acres, with a total plant floor area of 900,000 square feet. Its annual capacity is eight million barrels per year.

A barrel is not a keg. It's a unit of volume measurement equal to exactly 31 gallons or approximately 13.78 cases of beer. In one year, therefore, the Cartersville plant puts out the equivalent of one hundred ten million, two hundred twenty-two thousand, two hundred twenty-two cases of beer (110,222,222).

To take pictures, I only made it as close as Busch Drive in front of the brewery. Anheuser-Busch InBev says that it does not offer public tours here (but does so at five other of its plants). Or maybe it does.

According to The Chattanoogan, A-B did indeed offer limited public tours at Cartersville in 2015, the first time ever at that plant. And, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated in a February 2016 story that tours will again be offered this year, although its reporter only offered a link to a story from 2015 about a series of tours which apparently were conducted at different days than the Chattanoogan had reported. Byzantine Budweiser!

Who makes the beer there? Depending on which link you access, the plant's current brewmaster is either Dan Kahn, Travis Moore, or Sarah Schilling.

I'll go with Sarah.

Budweiser Cartersville plant (panoramic view)

As seen on 31 January 2016, near exit 296 (Cassville-White Road) off Interstate 75, outside of Cartersville, Georgia.

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