Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DMV breweries: Sandy, you're no derecho.

The District of Columbia, and the states of Maryland and Virginia, were largely spared the brunt of the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Sandy. And, so were the breweries of the area.

During the day, today, I used Twitter to inquire how these breweries had fared. Those that responded, to a brewery, wrote that they were hale and now with power. No beer had been lost.

Tree down on Lincoln Ave (02)

  • We are doing fine. We battened down the hatches and took steps to ensure that all of our full fermenters would be fine through the storm.
    3 Stars Brewing (Washington, D.C.)

  • Up and running. No power failure here.
    Chocolate City (Washington, D.C.)

  • We are fine! No power loss.
    DC Brau (Washington, D.C.)

    ***************

  • We are fine! Opening at 4 as usual!
    The Brewers Art (Baltimore, Maryland)

  • We made it through with no problems, our taproom even stayed open the entire time!
    Burley Oak (Berlin, Maryland)

  • All is well. We stopped operations at 3:30pm Mon, but will be back up & running tomorrow AM.
    Flying Dog (Frederick, Maryland)

  • Growlers (Gaithersburg, Maryland) made it through the storm and is open for business. If it is safe for you to go out, we will be here for you.

  • Doing alright. The brewery is closed for the day!
    Heavy Seas (Halethorpe, Maryland)

  • Lost power yesterday. But we're up and brewing today!
    Monocacy Brewing (Frederick, Maryland)

  • No problems at the brewery, just at home!
    Oliver Ales (Baltimore, Maryland)

  • We are good besides a little water on the floor from a leaky window.
    Union Craft (Baltimore, Maryland)

    ***************

  • All good here! We lost power for only a short bit.
    Corcoran Brewing (Waterford, Virginia.)

  • All's well here. We really dodged the bullet. No flooding or power interruptions.
    Legend Brewing (Richmond, Virginia.)

  • No problems. We just ended taking a few hours off! It was kinda nice.
    Lost Rhino (Ashburn, Virginia)

  • Brewery fared well, no loss of power, but getting staff in has challenges under the circumstances.
    Mad Fox (Falls Church, Virginia)

  • From Port City Brewing, in Alexandria, Virginia (which suffered beer loss during a summer storm, but made the most of it):
    Power is on. No damage to building or equipment. Back to normal operations Wednesday.

To those persons and businesses of the U.S. northeast who did not fare so well, many suffering terribly: our thoughts and support go out to you. Here's one way to offer assistance. I have not yet read of any brewery damages in the northeast.

***************
  • Many breweries were contacted but not all responded. We hope that all are well.
  • More coverage from The Original Beer in Baltimore: here.
  • I'm typing this post by candlelight, and with blankets. Power has not yet been restored to YFGF HQ.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 42/43, 2012

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

Weeks 42/43
14 October - 27 October 2012

  • 2012.10.26
    Washington D.C.'s first distillery in over 100 years opens. New Columbia Distillers releases Green Hat Gin. Via DCist.


  • 2012.10.25
    Newest strongest beer in world: "Armageddon" from Scottish brewery Brewmeister. A mere 65% abv. Via Huffington Post.


  • 2012.10.24
    National brewpub chain Gordon-Biersch opens a new location in Baltimore, Maryland, in Harbor East. Via "The Original" Beer in Baltimore.


  • 2012.10.24
    Production brewery CasaNova planned for Arlington, Virginia, first since 1916. Via Arl Now.


  • 2012.10.23
    Virginia's newest production brewery to open in Ashland, Virginia, 16 November 2012. Via YFGF.


  • 2012.10.22
    Lance Armstrong stripped of all Tour de France titles; banned from all pro cycling. Via Business Journal.


  • 2012.10.21
    George S. McGovern, Democratic nominee who lost to Nixon in ’72, dies at 90. Worked to alleviate hunger. Via Washington Post.



  • 2012.10.19
    In the greater Baltimore, Maryland, metropolitan area, Baltimore Beer Week runs Saturday 19 October through Sunday 28 October, 2012.


  • 2012.10.17
    Maryland's top 20 beers, as ranked by the Baltimore Sun.


  • 2012.10.17
    British wine writer, Steve Spurrier -of 1976 Judgement of Paris fame- says: "Virginia makes the kind of wines I like to drink." Via Dave McIntyre of Washington Post.


  • 2012.10.17
    On Earth today: 7 billion people, 6 billion cell phone-contracts. Via Notions Capital.



    Clipper City Gold Ale on tap
  • 2012.10.17
    The two major league professional sports teams in Maryland —the baseball Orioles and football Ravens— support locally-made beer. Via Flying Dog.


  • 2012.10.15
    Top 5 states at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival, by medals: California (49), Colorado (35), Oregon (24), Pennsylvania (17) ... and Virginia (12). Via YFGF.


  • 2012.10.14
    "The World Atlas of Beer," written by Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont. Review by Alan McLeod at A Good Beer Blog.

***************************
  • Clamps and Gaskets is a weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Fermentables.com. Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not. But all are brief, and many are re-posts from twitter.com/cizauskas.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pic(k) of the Week: Lost Discussion

Lost discussion

Favio Garcia —brewmaster for Lost Rhino Brewing (of Ashburn, Virginia)— appears lost in deep thought, during discussion with a fan of his beer.

Over forty breweries were represented at the Northern Virginia Fall BrewFest at Bull Run Regional Park, in Centreville, Virginia, on Sunday, 21 October 2012.

On a gorgeous autumn afternoon, I had two beefs with the festival.

The first —and this is endemic to many beer festivals— was that many breweries were represented by their beers only: no brewery deputies present. The volunteers did their best (although there are always a few bad apples), but there's no substitute for a person from the brewery itself to answer festival go-ers questions about the beer, about the brewery, and about where to find the beer. It puts a human face to the beer.

The second beef was with the 4-ounce sample glass, new to the festival this year. The tall, narrow dimensions made it very difficult for volunteers to pour draft beer into the glass. In fact, a lot of foaming beer ended up on the ground, dumping a significant amount festival profits with it. See the glass here.

The festival ran two days: Saturday and Sunday. Two beefs out of forty plus breweries ain't bad.

***************
  • More photos from the festival: here.
  • High Road Festival and Events Management is the organizer of the festival.
  • I captured the photos with the new 'official' camera of Yours For Good Fermentables: an Olympus Pen E-PL1. Read more about the camera from Digital Photography Review: here.
  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as a subject. Commercial use requires explicit permission,as per Creative Commons.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Center of the (Brewing) Universe comes to Virginia on November 16th.

Virginia's newest brewery is showing off its facility. The public grand opening for Center of the Universe Brewing Company (COTUB) —located in the former Herald-Progress newspaper building in Ashland, Virginia— is scheduled for Friday, November 16th, at 5pm, and Saturday, November 17th, at 12 noon.


Who are the principals of COTUB? Here, from the Hanover Herald-Progress:
Chris Ray, 31, developed his passion for home brewing while pitching in baseball’s big leagues for seven seasons. This summer he labored in AAA ball for two different teams while brother Phil, 34, helped set up the brewery.

Four years ago a former college roommate at William & Mary introduced Chris to home brewing. After tasting the first batch, Ray ordered a home brewing kit himself and shipped another to his brother.

They both developed a passion for making their own beer.

Two years ago, while Chris Ray was pitching for the Seattle Mariners, he collaborated with Washington’s Fremont Brewing Company to put out a special label beer, Homefront IPA. The sales benefited Operation Homefront, which assists our military and their families.

The Ray brothers will continue that association in Ashland and also embrace other charities.

The grand opening will feature local food and music. And, oh, yes, the beers. The brewing is under the stewardship of Mike Killelea, the chairman of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. Before signing on as lead brewer for COTUB, Killelea (pronounced Kill uh LAY) had brewed for several years for Legend Brewing, of propinquant Richmond, Virginia.

Brewer Killelea

The grand opening will feature four flavors:
  • IPA
    West Coast style IPA with lots of flavor and hop aroma.
  • PALE ALE
    Classic Pale Ale brewed with a little honey malt and 'continuously hopped' with Cascade hops.
  • KÖLSCH
    Light, easy drinking session beer modeled after the beers of Cologne, Germany.
  • ALT
    A malty yet well-hopped copper-colored ale, modeled after the beers of Dusseldorf, Germany.

I asked Killelea about the brewery layout.

He's using a 15-barrel steam-fired Premier Stainless brewhouse and four 30-barrel fermenters *. He'll double-brew into each fermenter, and, once a brew's fermentation concludes, he'll transfer the beer into a similarly-sized tank called a bright tank. Anticipating demand, COTUB has already ordered four additional 30-barrel fermenters and one additional bright tank.

Although initial packaging will be in kegs, the brewery has purchased a Criveller four-head filler for limited runs of 22-ounce bottles. The beers will remain totally unfiltered, although Killelea reports that he will use fining agents such as Biofine —a natural, vegetarian product— to assist clarification.

There will be cask ale in the future, Killelea promises. And, he has a fifth, 'one-off' beer already planned.

At the outset, COTUB will limit its sales to Hanover County. As the brewery ramps up production, it will add deliveries to Richmond shops and restaurants. The idea is to build the brand with steady growth.

Center of the Universe Brewing: Why the, err, humble name? It seems that Ashland, Virginia, located in the heart of Central Virginia, is affectionately known by locals as “The Center of the Universe.” The Ray brothers elucidate:
With so much emphasis today on globalization and the lack of corporate stewardship, COTU wanted to be a company that truly embraces the local community. “Center of the Universe,” to COTU, is taking pride in where you live and respecting the people with whom you interact. We believe it is our responsibility to understand and appreciate how our actions affect the community that supports us.

COTUB is building a tasting room to be open to the public, with growlers —refillable take-home beer containers— for sale. Hours are yet to be determined. In the meantime, see all the progress —and taste the beers— in person, at the grand opening, November 16th and 17th in Ashland.

***************

Monday, October 22, 2012

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 39/40/41, 2012

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

Weeks 39/40/41
22 September - 13 October 2012

  • 2012.10.13
    The results of the 31st Great American Beer Festival. Via YFGF.



    Bardo Rodeo
  • 2012.10.10
    Bardo Rodeo, long-departed Arlington, Virginia, brewpub has plans re-open in northeast Washington, D.C. Via YFGF.


  • 2012.10.10
    Brewery Vivant is the first LEED-certified production brewery in the United States. V


  • 2012.10.09
    The OCBeer Wiki currently lists more than 200 corrections to The Oxford Companion to Beer, to almost 20% of the book's total entries. Via Zythophile.


  • 2012.10.09
    Tours of two soon-to-open Virginia breweries: Center of the Universe Brewing (via Richmond Beermeister) and Beer Hound Brewery (via Fuggled).


  • 2012.10.09
    The "avant-garde ales" of planned Washington, D.C. brewpub, Right Proper Brewing Company. Via Washington City Paper.



    Nationals win Game 1
  • 2012.10.07
    After 79 years: Washington, D.C., no longer last. The historic baseball season of the Washington Nationals. Via YFGF.


  • 2012.10.07
    Is national brewpub chain, Gordon-Biersch, opening a 2nd Washington, D.C. location, this one near to Nationals Park in southeast DC? Via JDLand.


  • 2012.10.03
    The re-resurgence of lager ... at 'craft' breweries. Via Washington Post.


  • 2012.10.03
    The growth of the Virginia cider business. Via Washington Post wine writer Dave Mcintyre.



    Parisi & Madden
  • 2012.10.03
    Three 'craft' brewsters to watch, as selected by Serious Eats.


  • 2012.10.03
    According to the 2012 Cask Ale Report for the UK, cask ale sales in Britain have surpassed draft beer sales. Via Pete Brown.



    Naked Mtn @Screwtop (02)
  • 2012.10.01
    October 2012 is Virginia Wine Month. Via YFGF.


  • 2012.09.30
    A Maryland brewery has plans to open in Ocean City, along the boardwalk: Shorebilly. Via "The Original" Beer in Baltimore.


  • 2012.09.30
    Two books on beer by respected authors slated for 4th quarter 2012 release. "Shakespeare's Local" by Pete Brown. "For the Love of Hops" by Stan Hieronymus.


  • 2012.09.29
    Useful, small list of northwest 'fresh-hop' hop descriptions. Via Beervana.


  • 2012.09.29
    Amazon may once again be trying its hand at the wine direct-to-consumer business. Via Mashable.


  • 2012.09.28
    September 28th is the feast day of the Roman Catholic saint of brewers. Via Musings Over A Pint.



    Flying firkin tapping (01)
  • 2012.09.28
    Camden Yards, home ballpark to Major League Baseball team Baltimore Orioles, one of only two ballparks in nation to offer cask-conditioned ale on a regular basis. Via YFGF.


  • 2012.09.27
    Large earthquake's unusual patterns puzzle scientists; may signal upcoming significant changes to Earth's crust. Via NPR News.


  • 2012.09.24
    The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission conducted tests in the 1950s to determine if canned and bottled beer, near to a nuclear explosion, would remain safe to drink. Via Robert Krulwich of NPR News.


  • 2012.09.23
    Newborn giant panda dies at National Zoo, in Washington, D.C. Via Huffington Post.



    Willkommen Oktoberfest!
  • 2012.09.22
    Oktoberfest 2012 begins at noon, Saturday 22 September, in Munich, Germany, and continues through Sunday, 7 October. Via Wikipedia.


  • 2012.09.22
    The Autumnal Equinox occurred at 10:49 am on the US east coast. Via National Geographic.

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  • * YFGF is several weeks behind in its updates for Clamps & Gaskets. While the column becomes 'current', readers can expect several consecutive Mondays of 3-week summaries.
  • Clamps and Gaskets is a weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Fermentables.com. Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not. But all are brief, and many are re-posts from twitter.com/cizauskas.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bon Air Autumnal

Bon Air Autumn


Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden
Arlington, Virginia.
11 October 2012.

Photo courtesy Albert Cizauskas, using a Canon EOS 40D.

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Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as a subject. Commercial use requires explicit permission,as per Creative Commons.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The 9th annual Chesapeake Real Ale Festival

It's the 9th Annual Chesapeake Real Ale Festival, Saturday 20 October 2012, at the Pratt Street Ale House, in downtown Baltimore, Maryland ... and I'll be there.

Co-sponsored by the Chesapeake branch of the SPBW and host Pratt Street Ale House, the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival will feature more than 40 local, regional, and international cask beers from over 20 breweries.

Pratt Street Ale House

So, what exactly is meant by the term Real Ale? Otherwise referred to as 'cask ale' or 'cask-conditioned ale,' real ale is defined by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale in the U.K.) as:
a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask (container) from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.

Pouring from the firkin (02)

Here's the posted register of Saturday's real ales (subject to change):
  • Brewers Art- Dry Hopped Resurrection
  • Brewers Art- Le Canard
  • Blue Mountain Brewing- 2 casks tbd
  • Burley Oak Brewing- 2 casks tbd
  • Flying Fish Brewing- 2 Casks tbd
  • Dog Brewing- Chocolate Sour Cherry Porter (plus 1 tbd)
  • Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA
  • DuClaw- Coconut EuForia vDuClaw- Hellrazer w/ Apricots & Guajillo Pepper
  • Evolution- Lucky Dog brown ale & Menagerie #8 pin for VIP
  • Firestone Walker- 2 Casks tbd
  • Flying Dog- The Fear Imperial Pumpkin
  • Flying Dog- Single Hop Chinook IPA
  • JW Lees- Harvest Ale /Calvados cask
  • Lagunitas- Maximus
  • Lagunitas- Imperial Stout
  • Heavy Seas- 2 casks tbd
  • New Belgium- Trippel dry hopped with Zeus
  • New Belgium- Ranger IPA double dry hopped with Cascade & Raven
  • Old Dominion- Baltic Porter dry hopped with Saaz
  • Oskar Blues - The Legend Bobby Brown
  • Oskar Blues- Dales pale ale dry hopped with Simcoe
  • Stillwater- Why Cant IBU
  • Stillwater- 2nd cask tbd
  • Stone- Russian Imperial Stout oaked
  • Stoudts- Dry Hopped Scarlett Lady ESB
  • Union Brewing- 2 casks tbd
  • Weyebacher- 2 Casks tbd
  • Yards- ESA (**Gold Medal Winner at the 2012 GABF)
  • Yards- IPA Simcoe Hops
Host brewer Steve Jones of Oliver Ales will be pouring:
  • Freddie's Revenge
  • Bishop's Indulgence
  • My Monkey's Got Wood (Hot Monkey Barleywine, aged and served in oak with grains of paradise)
  • A Tonic For The Troops (collaboration with DuClaw Brewing)
IMG_5712


The festival begins at 1pm and continues until 6, but, for the hour beforehand, from 12 to 1, there is a VIP session, that entitles attendees to pours from casks exclusive to the session, passed appetizers, meet and greet with the brewers, and ...

This will be the second year that the VIP session features an hour-long Panel Discussion on Cask Ale. This year's speakers: I'm the moderator. We'll be discussing the brewing of cask ales, how to serve cask ales (at non-brewing pubs and at festivals), and whether there is an evolving 'American-style' of cask ale.

Cask taps & trestle

The beer will be cool and the weather spot-on: the weatherman says mid 60s and sunny. As the festival website proclaims:
This is the region's premier Real Ale event and it rocks every year. If you only go to one event this year...this is the one to hit!

***************

Details:
  • UPDATE: Photos from the fest: here.
  • October 20, 2012
    12pm - VIP Admittance: $60
    1pm - General Public Admittance: $40
    Admittance entitles a festival go-er to sample as much as she cares to, within reason!
    Food is available at the pub's restaurant. Musical acts Black Falls and Rob Fahey will perform.
  • Read more at Facebook. Follow on Twitter @prattstalefest.
  • The Real Ale Festival is part of Baltimore Beer Week 2012, which runs Friday 19 October through Sunday 28 October.
  • Read more about cask-conditioned 'Real Ale' at: Cask Ale USA.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hail the DC, Maryland, and Virginia 2012 GABF victors. And, one in particular.

The awards for the 2012 Great American Beer Festival have been announced.

This was the 31st iteration of the GABF, organized annually in Denver, Colorado, by the Brewers Association —a trade association for American breweries producing fewer than six million barrels of beer a year. All American breweries, regardless of size, are invited to participate, and, in fact, there are light beer-ish categories which are natural fits for Budweiser, Pabst, and their ilk. But for the most part, it's all about the littler guys, the 'craft' breweries. Think of the competition as the Oscars of American beer, and the winners —the breweries, brewpubs, and brewers— as among the best in their profession.

************
By the numbers

Per the festival website —www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com, 673 breweries from 48 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam (out of approximately 2,100 breweries nationwide) entered 4,338 beers (a record amount), to be judged in 84 categories representing 134 beer styles and sub-styles.

The judges —185 industry professionals, from 11 countries, invited by the GABF organizing committee— judged the beers in a 'blind' fashion, being only told the category (and sub-category, when relevant). They awarded a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal to the top three beers in each category, except for Robust Porter, for which they selected no Gold winner. In total, 254 medals were awarded.

Best-of show honors were awarded to six breweries based on some sort of algorithm combining brewery size, whether a brewpub or brewery, total number of medals won, number of competitors, and the strength of the medals (gold, of course, being the best). Three prizes were also awarded in a Pro-Am Competition (in which a homebrewer collaborated with a professional brewery) for which there were 94 entries this year, again, a record.

The category most entered was American-style IPA, with 203 beers. Next was Imperial IPA with 126, followed by Herb and Spice Beer with 114 entries. The second-to-least subscribed category was a surprise: Classic Irish-style Dry Stout, with only 16 entries. The category with the fewest beers entered was American-style Dark Lager, with 12. (Hint to breweries: It's smart to enter by the numbers.)

************
Mid-Atlantic Round-up

As this blog —YFGF— is based in the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, here is the list of the 7 winning breweries in that tri-state area. Together, they garnered 15 medals.
  • Two Maryland breweries received a total of 2 medals: one gold, one silver (down from 3 medals last year, including 1 gold).
  • Four Virginia breweries received a total of 12 medals: 3 gold, 3 silver, 6 bronze (up from 8 last year, including an identical 3 gold).
  • One D.C. brewery received one medal: a silver (up from ... zero last year).
Further comparing to 2011, that's a total increase of 4 medals overall for the area. The gold medal count stayed even at 4. The silver count increased by 1 to 5. The bronze count doubled from 3 to 6.

What did change —big-time— was that only one brewery in the area took multiple medals, winning 8 of the area's 15, 53% of the total bling. It won 2 of the 4 golds, 2 of the 5 silvers, and 4 of the 6 bronzes. From Virginia, it won 8 of that state's 12 medals. Who was that brewery? Here:

***************
  • GOLD
    • Category 17: Gluten-free Beer
      Rock Bottom (Arlington, Virginia): Nikki’s Gluten Free Honey Pale Ale
      brewmaster: Dave Warwick
      There were 20 entries in this category.

    • Category 35: Vienna-style Lager
      Devils Backbone (Lexington, Virginia): Vienna Lager
      brewmaster: Jason Oliver
      Devils Backbone has both a brewpub —its original location, which opened in 2008, in Roseland— and a production-only facility, which opened this year, in Lexington. There were 36 entries in this category

    • Category 64: German-style Altbier
      Union Craft Brewing Company (Baltimore, Maryland): Balt Altbier
      brewmaster: Kevin Blodger
      There were 35 entries in this category.

    • Category 65: German-style Sour Ale
      Devils Backbone (Roseland, Virginia): Berliner Metro Weiss
      brewmaster: Jason Oliver
      There were 29 beers in this category.


  • SILVER
    • Category 7: Chocolate Beer
      DuClaw Brewing (Bel Air, Maryland): X-1
      brewmaster: Jim Wagner
      There were 39 entries in this category. The gold medal was won by Chicago Brewing of Nevada for its Cocoa for Coconuts.

    • Category 39: American-style Dark Lager
      Devils Backbone (Roseland, Virginia): Old Virginia Dark
      brewmaster: Jason Oliver
      There were 12 entries in this category. The gold medal was won by Spoetzl of Texas for its Shiner Bock.

    • Category 41: Bock
      Mad Fox Brewing Company (Falls Church, Virginia): Elixir Maibock
      brewmaster: Bill Madden
      There were 33 entries in this category. Fellow Virginia brewery, Devils Backbone, took the silver. The gold medal was won by Tommyknocker Brewery of Colorado, for its Butt Head Bock.

    • Category 43: Baltic-Style Porter
      Devils Backbone (Roseland, Virginia): Danzig
      brewmaster: Jason Oliver
      There were 31 entries in this category. The gold medal was won by Rock Bottom of Pennsylvania for The Hammer.

    • Category 70: Belgian- and French-style Ale
      DC Brau (Washington, D.C.): Your Favorite Foreign Movie
      brewmaster: Jeff Hancock
      In a manner, this was a Pro-Am winner. The recipe was designed by a Washington, D.C. homebrewer Brian Barrows for a competition, whose prize was to brew the recipe at DC Brau. The name is a line from the Steely Dan song, Peg. There were 68 entries in this category. The gold medal was won by The Lost Abbey of California, for Saint’s Devotion.

  • BRONZE
    • Category 28: American-Style or International-Style Pilsener
      Devils Backbone (Lexington, Virginia): Gold Leaf Lager
      brewmaster: Jason Oliver
      There were 26 entries in this category. The gold medal was won by Auburn Alehouse of California, for its Gold Country Pilsner.

    • Category 21: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer
      Blue Mountain Barrel House (Arrington, Virginia): Local Species
      brewmaster: Taylor Smack
      Blue Mountain has both a brewery and tasting room —its original location, which opened in 2007, in Afton— and a barrel-aging facility, which opened in 2011, in Arrington, both in Nelson County. There were fifty-one entries in this category. The gold medal was won by BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery of Arizona, for its Jerry Maker.

    • Category 41: Bock
      Devils Backbone (Roseland, Virginia): Turbo Cougar
      brewmaster: Jason Oliver
      There were 33 entries in this category. Fellow Virginia brewery, Mad Fox, took the silver. The gold medal was won by Tommyknocker Brewery of California, for its Butt Head Bock.

    • Category 48: English-style India Pale Ale
      Port City Brewing Company (Alexandria, Virginia): Monumental IPA
      brewmaster: Jonathan Reeves
      There were 54 entries in this category. The gold medal was won by Goose Island Beer Company of Illinois, for its India Pale Ale.

    • Category 76: Classic Irish-style Dry Stout
      Devils Backbone (Rosemont, Virginia): Ramsey's Draft Stout
      brewmaster: Jason Oliver
      There were 16 entries in this category. The gold medal was won by Pizza Port Solana of California, for its Starry Night Stout.

    • Category 77: Foreign-style Stout
      Devils Backbone (Rosemont, Virginia): Ramsey's Export Stout
      brewmaster: Jason Oliver
      There were 25 entries in this category. The gold medal was won by Island Brewing Company of California, for its Seaside Stout.

The 8 medals, including 2 golds, for Devils Backbone did not go unnoticed. The 4-year old brewpub —and its entire brewing team, led by Jason Oliver— was recognized as the Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year for 2012. That's a lot of hard work, a lot of brewing acumen (especially in brewing lagers), and smiles from Nikassi. Congratulations!

Fine cigars, growlers, brewer


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National Round-up

The other overall winners, nationwide, were:
  • Large Brewpub / Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
    The Church Brew Works (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) / Steve Sloan
  • Brewpub Group / Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year
    Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Madison, Wisconsin) / Rob LoBreglio
  • Small Brewing Company / Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
    Funkwerks (Fort Colins, Colorado) / Funkwerks Brewing Team
  • Mid-Size Brewing Company / Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
    Tröegs Brewing Company (Hershey, Pennsylvania) / John Trogner
  • Large Brewing Company / Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
    Pabst Brewing Company (Los Angeles, California) / Gregory Duehs
California breweries left Denver with the most overall medals and the most gold medals: 49 and 20, respectively. The number two spot was captured by host state Colorado, with 35 and 15, respectively. In third was Oregon, with 24 medals, of which 6 were gold. Pennsylvania took fourth, with 17 medals and 5 gold.

And, rounding out the top 5? That was Virginia, with its 12 medals including 4 gold.

A downloadable list of all the winners is available via the Great American Beer Festival website: here. A searchable database of winners from all 31 years of the festival is available, as well: here.

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  • The dates for the 2013 Great American Beer Festival have been set: 7-13 October ... in Denver, of course!
  • Are 134 beer styles a (bit) too much? Are they really beer 'styles?' What is a beer 'style?' I muse/rant on that: here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

They lost.

At about 12:19 this morning, the Washington Nationals were eliminated from the 2012 playoffs of Major League baseball. They lost Game 5 of their National League Division Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-7, imploding by 4 runs in the ninth inning. In front of 45,966 fans —a record for Washington, D.C. baseball, a season's magical ride had crashed.

Waving the red rally towel

Although winning 100 games, more than any other team this year, the Nationals seemed 'streaky' at times: the pitching was hot, the hitting not, and, then, vice-versa. The team would always snap back and win with a vengeance. But, in the playoffs, it's sudden-death: you need all vengeance. Notwithstanding, this season was indeed a magical ride. Great playing, great managing. If I were to blame anyone, it was the gentleman who, as the ninth inning began, dared to taunt the baseball gods. "Bring on San Francisco," he shouted. The gods heard, and laughed.

The beer was cold.


The last time a Washington, D.C. Major League team had been in the playoffs, the year was 1933. The only time a Washington, D.C. Major League team had won the World Series, the year was 1924. This year, this morning, in the wee hours, the beer was cold, and the air, bitter. Eighty-eight years will have to wait till next year.

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POSTSCRIPTS
  • For next year, one also hopes that the Nationals management will better support local beer. More about that: here.
  • The Baltimore Orioles —our baseball neighbors 45 miles to the north— were eliminated by the New York Yankees in Game 5 of the American League Division Series, 3-1. There will be no Beltway Series this year.
  • When there was still hope: here.

Pic(k) of the Week: Pumping the cask

Pumping the cask

At Public House No. 7, bartender Emily pumps a pint of cask-conditioned Oliver's ESB (of Baltimore, Maryland) from a firkin (10.8-gallon cask), beneath the bar counter.

Falls Church, Virginia.
5 October 2012.

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  • More about the photo: here.
  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as a subject.
  • Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons. For non-commercial purposes, no permission is required (but kindly link back).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Since 1982, it's the Great American Beer Festival!



Today through Saturday, it's the 31st Great American Beer Festival, held, as it has since the first in 1982, in Denver, Colorado, organized by the Brewers Association, the advocacy group for small breweries in the U.S.(that is, producing fewer than 6 million barrels * of beer a year). 50,000 attendees, assisted by 2,800 volunteers, will have the opportunity to taste from among 2,700 beers from 578 breweries.

There are four sessions, tonight through Saturday night, but if you don't already have your ticket, you're out-of-luck. The festival is sold out. You can follow along vicariously (as I am), here:

  • On Twitter @GABF and by following the hashtag #GABF
  • On Facebook: here.
  • Via RSS: here.
  • Live streaming, live audio, and videos at the Brewing Network: here.
The Festival is also the largest commercial beer competition in the world, the premier competition among American breweries. This year, 673 breweries from 48 states, and Washington, D.C. and Guam, have entered 4,338 beers to be judged in 84 categories representing 134 beer styles, as defined by the Association. (North Dakota and Mississippi sent no beers this year.)

The GABF invites industry professionals to sit together in small groups and, without knowing the brand or brewery name, evaluate beers in defined style categories. The ultimate goal of the GABF Judge Panel is to identify up to three world class beers that best represent each beer-style category as described and adopted by the GABF.


Awards will be announced Saturday beginning at 10:30am MT (12:30pm ET). Gold, silver, and bronze will be awarded for each of the 84 categories. Awards for breweries-of-the-Year will be announced, based upon production size, brewery or brewpub, and number of medals garnered.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bardo Rodeo Rope-a-Dope?

Bardo Rodeo

The story broke, yesterday —suddenly, surprisingly, hopefully— initially at the Prince of Petworth blog, and then at the Going Out Gurus at the Washington Post.

Bardo Rodeo —northern Virginia's first-ever brewpub, long-closed— may be returning to the area, not to Arlington, but to the Trinidad neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Here's how the Post's Fritz Hahn put it, giving the story local-beer-history context:
If you lived in the D.C. area in the 1990s, you remember the pioneering Arlington brewpub, which filled a former Oldsmobile dealership on Wilson Boulevard near Court House. It was hard to ignore: The car crashing through the front window, the indoor sandbox, the totem pole out front.

At its peak, Bardo Rodeo was one of the largest brewpubs in the country, and one of Arlington’s most popular bars. (Eventually, Bardo evolved into the sushi-centric Ningaloo and Dr. Dremo’s Tap Room before closing in 2008 to make way for a condo building.) <...>

Bardo founder and brewer Bill Stewart Jr. filed an application for a liquor license for Bardo, a brewpub slated for 1200 Bladensburg Rd. NE, a few blocks north of H Street.

Stewart, who left the D.C. area for Australia in 2007, will be running the place with his younger brother Andrew, and he’s game to resurrect the offbeat Bardo experience.


Garrett Oliver at Dr. Dremo's
In 2007, Andrew Stewart (l) at Dr. Dremo's,
with the visiting Garrett Oliver (r),
beer author and brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewing.


The scene at Bardo Rodeo was always funky, and the beer, when good, could be great. James Brown Ale, a wickedly powerful strong brown ale, was a favorite of many. Dr. Dremo's continued with tradition number one, and often with the good beer as well, although it seemed to somewhat lose its way near the end in 2007/8, serving a donut-flavored beer.

Dremo's totem


The Stewarts' off-beat tradition continues. Bardo Rodeo is slated to be built, not in a closed car dealership as it once was, but, appropriately enough, in a former used tire shop and a former barbershop.

The good-beer scene in Washington, D.C. is very different now than it was 20 years ago, during Bardo Rodeo's heyday. When re-opened, the brewpub will be be but one part of a quickly growing beer business in the city: production breweries DC Brau, Chocolate City, and 3 Stars, and brewpubs District Chophouse, Gordon-Biersch, and, planned for 2013, Right Proper and Bluejacket, not to mention any of the new-wave good-beer bars and restaurants. I'm confident that many who fondly remember the Arlington, Virginia, Bardo Rodeo, wish the new D.C. location good luck, and a new generation of thirsty patrons.

UPDATE: Bardo re-opens in early August 2013; brewing to follow later in year.

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Monday, October 08, 2012

A Brief History of Merlot

Beer has its anti-lager louts: you know, those 'craft' beer drinkers who refuse to recognize finesse or elegance unless packaged with 100 bittering units. Wine has its ABC-ers: anything but chardonnay they say, mistakenly equating a winemaker's oaky-sin with a wine-grower's grape. Red wine's analogue might be merlot,whose reputation has suffered recently, in some quarters.

So, here from the Wine Spectator Magazine:

'A Brief History of Merlot' Wins 2012 Wine Spectator Video Contest

It’s a familiar tale of failure and redemption. This time, though, the hero isn’t a politician or a movie star. It’s a grape. “A Brief History of Merlot” combined storytelling, education and humor, and won the popular vote as best wine video in Wine Spectator’s sixth annual contest.

Submitted by Gundlach Bundschu Winery of California’s Sonoma Valley, the video slyly uses a movie to earn back the credibility destroyed by an earlier movie, drawing a sympathetic portrait of the varietal that received a sound drubbing in the film Sideways.

In 2004, wine snob Miles had whined to his Sideways sidekick, "If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am not drinking any f***ing Merlot." Movie-goers reacted, demand fell and Merlot acreage in Sonoma County dropped by nearly 50 percent. But now the finicky grape is back home in vineyards where it belongs, and the overall quality of Merlot has improved.

Reflecting this real-world drama, the video’s story arc follows the journey of a classical hero. Starting off on top of the world, he loses everything, then goes on a quest, overcoming challenges to find his way home and ultimately "getting his mojo back."

“We wanted to tell a story and have a lot of fun with it,” said Jeff Bundschu, president of Gundlach Bundschu. Marketing director Susan Sueiro wrote and directed the entry, which has a music video feel. It wasn’t hard finding “some willing friends who weren’t afraid to put on disco clothes,” continued Jeff, “because it’s not hard to throw a party around here. You just open some wine and it all works.”


This year’s contest drew entries from all over the world and broke the record for the largest number of voters. Among the finalists, "Winemaking in Thailand" finished second, and "Finger Lakes = Riesling" took third.

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  • Say it: "GOOND-lock BUN-shoo."
  • Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virginia— I sell the wines of Gundlach-Bundschu.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

After 79 years: Washington, D.C., no longer last.

Today in 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in his first term as President. Today in 1933, beer had been legal in the United States for only seven months, to the day, following an eighteen year interruption called Prohibition.

October 1933 was also was the last year a Washington, D.C. Major League Baseball team would be in the playoffs. That year, the Washington Senators would go on to lose to the, then, New York Giants in the World Series. A a 79 year baseball playoff drought would follow. In fact, the city would be completely bereft of a Major League baseball team for nearly half of that interregnum, from 1970 though 2004. The city's only World Series championship occurred in 1924. "First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League," it was said of Washington, D.C.

Today, it all changes. The Washington Nationals, of the National League, mind you—exported to Washington, D.C. in 2005, from Montreal, Canada, where they had been the Expos— have the best record in all of baseball, with 98 wins. They are the National League Eastern Division champions. Today, they play the opening game of their first-ever postseason, against the Cardinals of Saint Louis.

Mom at RFK
In September 2005, my mother was at RFK Stadium to see the Nats,
where the team first played when it came to town.
The last time Washington had been in the playoffs, she was 7 years old.


Here's how Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post put it, wonderfully:
The coming days, starting Sunday afternoon, should provide an agonizing, thrilling, exhausting level of uncertainty and tension that many fans don’t even know exists in sports, certainly not in baseball, a game that, in D.C., has been a sleepy endeavor for 79 years. For relentless sensory bombardment, for hair-yanking twists of fortune, for sudden utterly unexpected explosions of joy, there’s nothing like playoff baseball.

What are we in store for? If the Nats lose in seven games in the National League Championship Series — a middle-of-the-road chalk prediction — Washington would probably have 11 or 12 postseason games in the next 15 or 16 days. Yes, it could be only three games in the next four days at worst. Or it could be 19 in the next 26, though the World Series.

But here’s the highest probability outcome: You’re going to spend the next two weeks going out of your mind on a continuous basis.

No other sport is an exact analogy, but trust me, people in towns with baseball traditions understand: October baseball bears no resemblance to the “pastoral” sport of April through September. The playoffs are more like the Myocardial Infarction Games.

Any of the eight teams that are left, and certainly any team that is good enough to win 98 or 94 games, like the Nats and Orioles, are more than good enough to win the World Series. They may not. But there is no veteran player who doubts that it’s a reasonable outcome.

Walter Johnson statue (01)
Sitting outside of the new Nationals Park,
a statue of the great Walter Johnson,
Hall-of-Fame pitcher for the former Washington Senators.


The NFL takes two weeks off before the Super Bowl. The Nats (and you) might have only one day off between the division series and the league championship series. There could be five postseason games at Nats Park in six days starting Wednesday. Sleep deprivation is the least of your worries. Hearts (and small pieces of furniture) get broken.


That's writing! That's baseball! Eighty-eight years since Washington, D.C.'s only World Series championship. Seventy-nine years since its last playoff game. Go Nats!

I think it's time for a beer.

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  • And, I'll toast my father, who took me, as a pre-teen, to games at R.F.K. Stadium to see the 2nd incarnation of the Washington Senators through 1969 (now the Texas Rangers), managed by Ted Williams, where the great Frank "Hondo" Howard would whack mighty home runs.
  • But ... they lost. Wait till next year!

In October, make it a Virginia wine.

October is Virginia Wine Month

The State of Virginia spends tax-payer money to promote business within the state. Smart business; smart government. One way it does this is through the Virginia Tourism Corporation, a cooperative venture between it and private state business.
Visitors to Virginia generated $20.4 billion in revenue from tourism in 2011, an 8 percent increase over 2010. In 2011, tourism in Virginia supported 207,000 jobs, an increase of nearly 2 percent in employment, and provided more than $1.32 billion in state and local taxes. The Virginia Tourism Corporation receives its annual economic impact data from the U.S. Travel Association. The information is based on domestic visitor spending (travelers from within the United States) from per-person trips taken 50 miles or more away from home.


As part of that venture, Virginia declared this past August to be the inaugural Virginia Craft Beer Month, and, now, October is Virginia Wine Month, a several year repeat.

Naked Mtn @Screwtop (02)

462,112 cases of wine were sold in fiscal 2011. That's up 11.4 percent from the 414,785 cases sold in fiscal 2010 [which was 13% over 2009]. The state collected almost $1.8 million in wine liter tax revenue, up from about $1.6 million in fiscal 2010. [The Virginia wine liter tax is applied at a rate of $3.60 per case of wine.] McDonnell says the increases in sales and tax revenue show that more consumers domestically and internationally are choosing Virginia wines. Virginia has nearly 200 wineries, the fifth largest number in the nation.

For more information, follow on Twitter at @VAwine, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vawine, on the web at www.virginiawine.org. The Tourism board has an on-line map at: www.virginia.org/wine.

23
Technology among the vines, at Tarara Winery, Leesburg, Virginia.

To paraphrase: Virginia has 210 wineries. October has 31 days. Find a Virginia winery close to you. Then, go!

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  • A look at the 2012 Wine Summit —in which Virginia wines, tasted blind,' did well against wines of other regions— written by Jean Case, owner of Early Mountain Vineyards (married to Steve Case, founder of AOL): here.
  • Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virginia— I sell the wines of Naked Mountain, a winery in Virginia.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Oktoberfest in Shirlington, Va.

Today is the second-to-last day of Munich Oktoberfest.

Don't think that you'll be making it to Munich, Germany, by tomorrow? But you reside in northern Virginia? Try the Capitol City Brewing Company Oktoberfest, with beers from over 50 breweries (including the Festbiers of the six Munich breweries), held outdoors in the four blocks fronting the brewpub and the numerous shops of Shirlington, in Arlington County.

Oktoberfest lass

First organized in 2000 by Bill Madden —long time doyen of Washington, D.C.-area brewers— it's been run now for several years by Mike McCarthy, executive brewer for Capitol City.

The Details
  • More than 50 breweries.
  • Local food vendors, and "authentic Oktoberfest food."
  • "Authentic German" band.
  • Cost: $25 to sample the beer (includes: wristband, tasting glass, and 10 beer tickets. Additional tickets will be sold for $1 each with a 5 ticket minimum)
  • Free to attend without beer.
  • Where: Shirlington Village
    4001 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, Virginia.
  • When: Saturday, October 6, 2012
    Noon to 7pm (taps close at 6pm)
  • www.capcitybrew.com/oktoberfest12.php

Today's weather forecast is 80% favorable.
Clouds should be streaming in by mid-morning if not prior, and they’ll continue to do so as a front nears the area. That front should pass through as soon as midday out west, and probably closer to early afternoon for D.C. and then points east. Along the front, we might see a few scattered showers (20% chance), though they’ll be quick moving and won’t amount to much if they happen. Skies may even clear out a bit late. Temperatures shoot for the mid-70s.
Capital Weather Gang (Washington Post)

Capitol City Oktoberfest: 6 October 2012

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POSTSCRIPTS
  • The Fraulein above (at the 2011 Shirlington Oktoberfest) is wearing a dirndl, a type of traditional dress worn in Germany – especially Bavaria – Liechtenstein, Austria, and South Tyrol, based on the historical costume of Alpine peasants.
  • Northern Virginia native —and good beer fan— Lee Hausman will not be in Shirlington, Virginia today. He's over there, in Munich, Bavaria, at Oktoberfest, and blogging on his adventures at The Occasionally-Examined Life.

Pic(k) of the Week: Purcellville Crepuscucle

Purcellville Crepuscule

Sunset at Silverbrook Farm, in Purcellville, Virginia.
15 September 2012.

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Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as subject. Commercial use requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Cosmic! A Cask Convergence in Falls Church, Va.

Since July 2010, Falls Church, a small town in northern Virginia, has become known for its cask ale.

That's when brewpub Mad Fox Brewing Company first opened its doors to the public. Brewmaster/owner Bill Madden has long been a practioner of 'real ale' —as it's often referred to— there and at other brewpubs earlier in his career.

What makes real ale real (other than the implication that non-cask-conditioned ale is not real)? Without going into all the clamps and gaskets, suffice it to say that cask ale is unfiltered, very fresh ale, with yeast still active within the cask.

Mad Fox usually has three cask ales available at any time, with three more waiting beneath the bar to be tapped. Today, there are five: Wee Heavy —a strong 'Scotch Ale,' The Funk —a Saison, offered in 3 different hopped versions (Galaxy hops, Citra hops, and 'wet' Citra hops, so-called because the hops were shipped directly to the brewpub without any kiln-curing, immediately upon being harvested), and Renegade Double IRA —that is, an 'Imperial' Red India Pale Ale.

Tilting at firkins


But, today and tomorrow, Mad Fox won't be the only spot in Falls Church with casks. Two other non-brewing pubs are going 'real' for the weekend.

Today at 3 pm, Public House No. 7, on the southeastern edge of town, is pouring Olivers ESB, a decidedly British-style ale, brewed by ex-pat Englishman Steve Jones, in a traditional British-style brewhouse with open fermentation tanks, at Oliver Ales in the Pratt Street Alehouse, in Baltimore, Maryland. To paraphrase the brewery's description:
Oliver's ESB is a British-style strong red ale, that balances a firm British malt backbone with a generous use of English Fuggles hops for a splendidly earthy hop profile and finish. 6% alcohol-by-volume.

For the occasion, Public House's publican/proprietor Mark English —and yes, in the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction department, he is English-born— has built his own 'beer engine,' a contraption to hand-pump the ale out from the cask. (Mad Fox spent hundreds of dollars to import beautiful beer engines from England; Public House No. 7 spent much less to 'McGyver' its own. *) Following today's event, the pub will commence a regular schedule of tappings. Follow its Facebook page for more information.

DIY beer engine: front view


Finally, on Saturday at 5 pm, good-beer bar spacebar, nearer to the northwestern edge of town, is tapping a cask of Great Pumpkin Imperial Pumpkin Ale, from Heavy Seas Brewing, a production brewery found just south of Baltimore, Maryland.

Here's the brewery's description:
Great Pumpkin draws much of its flavor from a mixture of spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Dark brown sugar adds color and some dryness to the spicy, malt-forward ale. The addition of the spices and pumpkin in the kettle makes this brew opaque. A warming pumpkin aroma and a slightly sweet taste characterize our special fall seasonal. The bourbon barrel-aged version of this beer, Great’ER Pumpkin, spends three weeks in barrels from Virginia’s A. Smith Bowman Distillery.

ABV: 8.5%
IBUs: 35
Hops: Mount Hood
Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, Crystal, Dark Brown Sugar.


But, wait! There's more.

A few weeks earlier, proprietors Lary and Erica Hoffman drove to the brewery. There, with the assistance of the brewery's cellarmaster, Stephen Marsh, the duo racked fresh beer into the firkin (a 10.8 gallon cask), added a small measure of freshly fermenting gyle for carbonation, and infused the ale with spices of their choosing: white oak chips, toasted-bourbon-barrel shavings, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla beans, and ginger root.

spacebar fermentationists

The City of Falls Church is not large; it subsumes only 2.2 square miles. Nevertheless, none of these three pubs knew what the others had been planning. There was no coordination of this weekend's serendipitous happenings.

It could be a ... Cask Convergence. Ah, alliteration.

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Monday, October 01, 2012

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 33/34/35, 2012

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

Weeks 33/34/35
12 August - 1 September 2012


  • 2012.09.01
    The White House releases the recipes for its Honey Ale and Honey Porter (both partial extract homebrews). Via Huffington Post.



    At summer's end: Gin Rickey
  • 2012.09.01
    A farewell to summer: The Gin Rickey. Via Washington Post Food.


  • 2012.08.31
    Beer Connoisseur Magazine finds farmhouse brewing in Lithuania. Via Tikrus Alus.


  • 2012.08.30
    On the 5th anniversary of the death of beer writer Michael Jackson, a story about an upcoming movie on his life: Beer Hunter: The Movie. Via YFGF.


  • 2012.08.29
    Norton: "The Real American Grape/" A changing opinion on its merits. Via Washington Post.



    Cleaning the tap
  • 2012.08.28
    NU.S. Brewers Association creates Draught Beer Quality website.


  • 2012.08.28
    Republicans officially nominate Mitt Romney for president at their national convention. Via Yahoo News.



    IMG_5616
  • 2012.08.28
    New Richmond, Virginia, brewery, Hardywood Craft, already successful enough to add 19,000 foot expansion. Via Richmond BizSense.


  • 2012.08.27
    Influential U.S. hop producer and vendor, Henry von Eichel, chief executive of John I. Haas Inc., dies at 64. Via Washington Post.


  • 2012.08.26
    200th anniversary commemoration of Second Battle of Manassas of U.S.Civil War. Via WTOP.


  • 2012.08.26
    Was nations' largest beer wholesaler paying bounties to remove a competitor's draft lines? Via DCBeer.com.



    Union Craft Brewing_est. 2012
  • 2012.08.25
    A tour of Union Craft Brewing, Baltimore, Maryland's newest brewery (and the city's only production brewery). Via YFGF.


  • 2012.08.25
    The inaugural Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, and the winner of the 2012 Virginia Craft Beer Cup. Via YFGF.


  • 2012.08.22
    The vodka so dangerous you should never drink it straight. Naga Chilli Vodka: 250,000 Scoville units. Via Gizmodo.


  • 2012.08.14
    Merriam-Webster has added the phrase "craft beer" to its dictionary. Via Associated Press.


  • 2012.08.14
    A review of a day trip along the Virginia Brew Ridge Trail. Via Roaming the Planet.


  • 2012.08.14
    "Koelschip, the engine of sour-beer production. Basically a shallow steel bathtub." Sour beer, via Wall Street Journal.


  • 2012.08.13
    3 cheers for 3 Stars Brewing: Washington, D.C.'s newest brewery. Via YFGF.

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  • * YFGF is several weeks behind in its updates for Clamps & Gaskets. While the column becomes 'current', readers can expect several consecutive Mondays of 3-week summaries.
  • Clamps and Gaskets is a weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Fermentables.com. Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not. But all are brief, and many are re-posts from twitter.com/cizauskas.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.