Friday, February 28, 2014

Drinking, again! Session beer delight at Three Notch'd.

Once in awhile, you take a first drink of beer that just makes you stop and think "wow". Or maybe you accidentally shout it out loud, much to the concerned surprise of other bar-mates, and to your own personal embarrassment. At Three Notch'd Brewing recently, it was the former, I hope.

Three Notch'd Brewing is a start-up production brewery, dead-centered in Virginia, in the town of Charlottesville. The brewer is Dave Warwick, who most recently was brewer at the Rock Bottom in Ballston, Virginia (where he toiled under the hipster misconception that no good beer could be brewed in a mall). Well, look at him, now!

The Three Notch'd taproom was busy on a recent cold Saturday afternoon, and the crowd included some young families and their kids. (That's a bug-a-boo of some 'Yelp-ers- writing on other breweries, but I think it a lovely thing. Moms and Dads can quietly enjoy an adult beverage apiece, without suffering the ruckus of certain child-themed restaurant-thunderdomes.)

The cause of my exultation was the brewery's Session 42 English-style Session Ale.

Session 42 @Three Notch'd

So-called 'session beers' have become the rage these days. Some U.S. 'craft' breweries are producing crazy-unbalanced hop-bombs of less than 6% abv, and slapping the session moniker on them. I don't know what alcohol-level makes a beer a session beer, but 6% ain't it, and neither is 5%. And, a beer, of whatever strength, that's stuffed with a zoo of unbalanced flavors, hops or otherwise? Well, no. That's not a session beer, either.

Think of a session beer as one that's fit for a drinking session of a couple/three pints without inducing an alcoholic haze, and, as a beer that is flavorful, but not obstreperously so. Paraphrasing a Supreme Court justice, I may not be able to precisely define a session beer, but I know one when I taste one.

For another good starting definition, try that of beer/whisk(e)y writer Lew Bryson.

Or, head down (or up, or over) to Charlottesville, and order a Three Notch'd Session 42. It's draft-only; it's only at the brewery; it's dangerously delicious. Here's how the brewery styles it:
Brewed with the former president of our local homebrew association, blogger Alistair Reece (, this Best Bitter is a very sessionable ale and a great example of what you might find in your typical English pub. Made with only three ingredients [other than yeast and water!], the base of this brew comes from 2-row malt; Victory malt provides bready/biscuity flavor and aroma; complimented by the earthy/spicy flavors of U.S. Goldings hops. 4.0% abv [alcohol by volume]; 38 IBUs [International Bitterness Units].

I'll add that the beer has a soft graham-cracker maltiness (with even a touch of toasted S'mores), and a spicy/woodsy hop-derived aroma and finish.

The day I was there, I liked my pint so much, I asked for a growler fill. I paid for it, and headed for the door. I opened the door, and, there, on the other side of the doorway, coming in —in a moment of beer-zen serendipity— was the recipe-creator, Alistair Reece, beer blogger at Fuggled. I turned around, went back to the bar, and had a second pint with him. It was a session beer, after all.

Fuggled and his pint

As we drank our pints, Reece told me that he had helped brew the beer at the brewery, on the invitation of Warwick. A great experience, after only brewing prior on a small home-brew scale. And, then sotto voce, he confided, "I'd love to try this cask-conditioned. Maybe, soon."


Thursday, February 27, 2014

#VeggieDag Thursday: Quick Links for February 2014.

VeggieDag Thursday
VeggieDag Thursday is an occasional Thursday post
on an animal-free diet and ecological issues.

Quick links for February 2014:
  • How the Ethiopian Coffee Bean Commodity Exchange helps small farmers but may hurt bean diversity. Via Kojo Nnamdi Show.

  • It was DC Meat-Free Week, 3-10 February in Washington, D.C., as organized by website, DC Vegan.

    Spent grains (02)
  • The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) of the Department of Agriculture proposes rules to regulate the spent grain from the brewing process sold or traded by breweries to dairy farmers as animal feed. Via Craft Brewing Business.

  • The most influential burger of all time is ... White Castle. (Well, yes, it's meat.) Via Notions Capital.

  • "Phenotypic plasticity": an experiment reveals what corn may have looked like 10,000 years ago. Via Smithsonian Magazine.

  • Why doesn't the national federal Farm Bill subsidize the foods that are "better for us"? Staple crops (corn, wheat, oats, barley) vs. "specialty crops" (fruits and vegetables). Via Washington Post.

  • Milk Processor Education Program drops two-decades-long national "Got Milk?" iconic advertising campaign. Via Ad Age.

    End of the harvest?
  • The bisexual world of bell peppers. Via Show Me Oz.

  • Study published by Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that vegetarian diet promotes lower blood pressure much more so than meat-centered diet. Via The Atlantic.

  • Whole Roasted Beets with Dried-Apricot Mole Sauce. Via Washington Post Food.
  • Chestnut Spaetzle, as served at a White House state dinner.
  • White House recipe for Kale Salad, with spiced Marcona almonds.
  • "Perfect" Veggie-Burgers. Via Oh She Glows. And, a tutorial on how to prep and freeze the 'burgers.'
  • How many tablespoons in a cup, and other cooking volume conversions. Via Chasing Delicious.
  • Waffles with chicken seem all the brunch rage. So, here, a recipe for: Vegan Chicken & Waffles, via Post Punk Kitchen.
  • Recipe for vegan Split Pea & Cauliflower Soup. Via Forks Over Knives.
  • Vegetarian 'haggis', made with wonderfully named "pinhead oatmeal." Recipe via Guardian Food.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Virginia breweries go to the farm.

Yes, Virginia. It's in writing: "It is the policy of the Commonwealth to preserve the economic vitality of the Virginia beer industry".

In that spirit, the Virginia legislature has approved the small-scale existence of farm-breweries in the state. Senate Bill 430 amends the Code of Virginia (15.2-2288.3:1) to create a new Farm Brewery license for breweries that

  • manufacture no more than 15,000 barrels of beer per calendar year
  • are located on a farm in Virginia
  • use agricultural products that are grown on the farm in the manufacture of their beer.
The bill was passed by the Virginia Senate, 35-3, on 30 January, and just yesterday, 24 February, by the House, 97-0. The bill goes now to Governor McAuliffe for his signature to become law.

Brewery on a hill: Lickinghole Creek (02)

Here's the exact language.
Limited brewery licenses, to breweries that manufacture no more than 15,000 barrels of beer per calendar year, provided (i) the brewery is located on a farm in the Commonwealth on land zoned agricultural and owned or leased by such brewery or its owner and (ii) agricultural products, including barley, other grains, hops, or fruit, used by such brewery in the manufacture of its beer are grown on the farm. The licensed premises shall be limited to the portion of the farm on which agricultural products, including barley, other grains, hops, or fruit, used by such brewery in the manufacture of its beer are grown and that is contiguous to the premises of such brewery where the beer is manufactured, exclusive of any residence and the curtilage 1 thereof. However, the Board may, with notice to the local governing body in accordance with the provisions of §4.1-230, also approve other portions of the farm to be included as part of the licensed premises.

The law puts farm breweries on similar footing to farm wineries in Virginia. It limits local government regulation of farm-brewery licensees, specifically prohibits the imposition of onerous requirements by local governments on parking, road access, and road upgrades, and states that local governments should allow the "usual and customary activities and events" of farm-breweries. That's a big win. Here's that portion (§15.2-2288.3:1) of the bill:
  • A. It is the policy of the Commonwealth to preserve the economic vitality of the Virginia beer industry while maintaining appropriate land use authority to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth and to permit the reasonable expectation of uses in specific zoning categories. Local restriction upon such activities and public events of breweries licensed pursuant to subdivision 2 of §4.1-208 to market and sell their products shall be reasonable and shall take into account the economic impact on such licensed brewery of such restriction, the agricultural nature of such activities and events, and whether such activities and events are usual and customary for such licensed breweries. Usual and customary activities and events at such licensed breweries shall be permitted unless there is a substantial impact on the health, safety, or welfare of the public. No local ordinance regulating noise, other than outdoor amplified music, arising from activities and events at such licensed breweries shall be more restrictive than that in the general noise ordinance. In authorizing outdoor amplified music at such licensed brewery, the locality shall consider the effect on adjacent property owners and nearby residents.

  • B. No locality shall regulate any of the following activities of a brewery licensed under subdivision 2 of §4.1-208:
    • 1. The production and harvesting of barley, other grains, hops, fruit, or other agricultural products and the manufacturing of beer;
    • 2. The on-premises sale, tasting, or consumption of beer during regular business hours within the normal course of business of such licensed brewery;
    • 3. The direct sale and shipment of beer in accordance with Title 4.1 and regulations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board;
    • 4. The sale and shipment of beer to licensed wholesalers and out-of-state purchasers in accordance with Title 4.1, regulations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, and federal law;
    • 5. The storage and warehousing of beer in accordance with Title 4.1, regulations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, and federal law; or
    • 6. The sale of beer-related items that are incidental to the sale of beer.

  • C. Any locality may exempt any brewery licensed in accordance with subdivision 2 of §4.1-208 on land zoned agricultural from any local regulation of minimum parking, road access, or road upgrade requirements.

Lickinghole Creek, in bottle!

A lot of the pre-legislative legwork for the bill was done by Sean-Thomas and Lisa Pumphrey, the husband and wife owners of Lickinghole Creek Brewery, located in Goochland, Virginia (just outside of Richmond). According to their website, the brewery produces its beers using hops and barley grown on its farm's 221 acres, and with water drawn from a well on the property. Congratulations, and well-done.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 6/7, 2014.

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

Weeks 6/7
2 February 2014 - 15 February 2014

  • 2014.02.14
    The dramatically dropping price of French Champagne in the U.K., and its effects on production and image. Via Off Licence News.

  • 2014.02.08
    A recap of recent studies on health benefits of beer and of the risks of overindulgence. Via Craft Beer.

  • 2014.02.07
    Birthday in beer. John Hickenlooper, the Governor of Colorado, and a craft beer pioneer. Before he was Governor, before he was mayor of Denver, Hickenlooper opened the city's first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing. Via Wikipedia.

  • 2014.02.07
    The good, the bad, and the reality of Anheuser-Busch Inbev's purchase of Long Island, New York, 'craft' brewery, Blue Point. Via Brew York. More about the purchase, via Brewbound.

  • Cask pour? You must be joking.
  • 2014.02.07
    How the perception of quality of cloudy vs. 'clear' beer has evolved over the last century. Via Boak and Bailey.

  • 2014.02.06
    Fred Bueltmann, owner of New Holland Brewing, takes umbrage with Bob Dylan's advertisement for Chrysler that can be thought to insult American craft beer. Via MLive.

  • 2014.02.06
    Virginia's new governor Terry McAuliffe improves the alcoholic beverage selection at the Governor's mansion, including craft beer, at his own expense. Via Washington Post.

  • Jupiter's Legacy Cider Flute & Bottle (01)
  • 2014.02.05
    The United States Association of Cider Makers elects a new Board of Directors, including Charlotte Shelton of Virginia's Albemarle Cider Works. Via Brewbound.

  • 2014.02.05
    Malt dust is a potential explosion hazard in breweries and malthouses. Bairds Malt in U.K. suffers a malt-dust explosion; employee injured. Via Essex Chronicle.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

20 on the 20th at Legend Brewing

On 20 February 1994, Legend Brewing —newly opened, in Richmond, Virginia— delivered the first keg of the first beer it had ever produced. To the day, twenty years later, I was invited by the fine folk at Legend to celebrate their 20th anniversary with them, by tapping a cask of beer I had helped design and fill.

Cizauskas and Legend-ers

So, this past Thursday night, there I was in Legend's upstairs taproom —in the photo with brewmaster John Wampler (r) and cellarman Aaron Sanders (c)— to tap and drink 'my' cask-conditioned Golding hops-infused Legend Brown Ale. It was a fun evening, with many friends and fans of Legend present. I was honored to have been invited.

Several other friends of Legend have participated as guest cask-tappers. The program continues through the year. Next up, on 20 March, will be Todd "Parney" Parnell, vice president and chief operating officer of the Richmond Flying Squirrels (the Double-A minor-league affiliate of the San Francisco Giants major league baseball team).

20 on the 20th

The brewery's official 20th anniversary celebration will take place Saturday, 19 April 2014. Details to be announced.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pic(k) of the Week: Naked Mountains in the afternoon

Naked Mountain(s) in the afternoon

On a cold winter's afternoon, it was warm in the wood-fire heated tasting room at Naked Mountain Winery, and the wine was good. (And, yes, Naked Mountain is indeed the name of the 1,470-foot high mountain, err, hill.)

Two wines back-lit by the afternoon sun.
  • In the foreground: 2012 Naked Mountain Chardonnay/Riesling
    —With 2% residual sugar (RS), the wine had aromas and flavors of pear, tropical fruit, and honey.
  • In the background: 2011 Naked Mountain Catamount Run Red
    —Strong raspberry and cranberry flavors. Long finish. (83% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot.)
Markham (Fauquier County), Virginia.
13 January 2013.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pic(k) of the Week: High Prime

High Prime (02)

As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, Legend Brewing Company (of Richmond, Virginia) invited 'celebrities' from the Virginia beer world to prepare and tap casks of beer. I've been honored by the brewery to be one of those guest 'caskateers.'

To fill 'my' cask, I chose a beer that is more about the flavor of malt than the spice of hop: Legend Brown Ale.
Our most popular beer, Legend's is a full bodied version of a British Brown Ale. Expect a rich, malt-forward brew with a beautiful mahogany tone. Generous amounts of specialty malts bring flavors of sweet caramel, toasted nuts, coffee, and molasses, all perfectly balanced by a steady but cautious hop dryness. Fruity undertones provided by our house yeast strain bring the final flavor element to round out this world class ale. 5.8% Alc. By Vol.

Further, I wished to eschew the 'American-style' of cask ale: to avoid the twigs, berries, fruity pebbles, cocoa-puffs, and dingleberries so often added to American casks. Those encumbrances, as a fellow blogger wrote, make American casks, in effect, large stainless steel Randalls. 1 No, I wanted 'my' cask to taste of its ur-essence: a brown ale of brilliant from-the-fermenter freshness, unsullied by all that galling frou-frou. After all, I like the taste of beer; I don't need kiddy flavors in mine. Legend beers taste good as they are.

Above, at Legend Brewing, I'm filling a beaker with Brown Ale that is at the stage of high-krausen [pronounced CROY —like the 'oy' in boy— zin]. In other words, I'm filling the flask with some Brown Ale that has just begun its active fermentation stage, abundant with happily reproducing yeast, and containing almost as much malt sugar per fluid ounce as the wort had begun with. (You can see how active the fermentation is: just look at the 'overflow' in the foreground.)

I added that solution to a cask into which I had racked (filled) 5.4 gallons from a different batch of Brown Ale that was its opposite: quiescent, fully fermented. I stuffed in two ounces of whole leaf Golding hops (traditional English hops, appropriate to the style) in cheese-cloth bags, and then I sealed the cask by hammering in a shive bung. (Well, actually, it was Aaron Sanders, Legend's cellarman, who did the honors for me. My Keystone Kops story: here.)

The cask will sit for 10 days at about 65 °F, during which time it will come 'into condition,' that is, the frothy solution, that I had added, will fully ferment, infusing the entire cask with approximately 1.2 volumes of carbon dioxide bubbles. (Typical bottled beer contains around 2.6 volumes of CO2.)

Mr. Sanders and the cellar staff will then crash-cool the cask to 38 °F. At that cold temperature, most of the yeast, haze-proteins, and any loose hop matter will eventually fall to the bottom of the cask, below the level of the keystone bung, which is where the tap will be inserted. In other words, gravity and cold will have clarified the beer.

Legend February Anniversary Pin 2014

Before service, the cask will be allowed to warm back to proper 'cellar temperature,' about 54 °F. 2 All that will remain will be to tap it and to drink it. That, I'll be doing this Thursday evening, 20 February 2014, at 6 pm, in Legend Brewing's upstairs pub.

I should thank all the folk at Legend who made this happen. I'll mention four: Tom Martin, owner (for having the courage to start the whole thing 20 years ago); John Wampler, brewmaster (for brewing the beer); Dave Gott, vice-president of operations (for inviting me); and, Aaron Sanders, cellarman (for doing the 'heavy lifting' during the racking session).

I'm a 'celebrity'! Who knew?

Photo taken:
Legend Brewing Company
Richmond (Manchester), Virginia.
8 February 2014.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

10 years old! Max's Belgian Beer Fest this weekend.

It's hard to believe, but Max's Belgian Beer Fest is 10 years old this year: an annual three-day bacchanalia of Belgian beers on draft, in bottles, and in cask.

Max isn't a person. It's Max's Taphouse, a long-time resident of Fells Point, in Baltimore, Maryland, often selected as one of the best beer bars in the U.S.

Here're some details:

FEB 14-17, 2014
11am-2am each day

Yes, it our 10th Anniversary of the Belgian this year. So, we will be pulling out all the stops for this one. We will have over 160 Belgian beers on draft, over 200 Belgian beers in bottles, and a full Belgian inspired food menu.


Feb 14-16 will be our traditional Belgian Beer Fest, and Feb 17 will be our 2nd Annual Sour/Wild Ale Day.

In honor of the 10th anniversary, Baltimore's Stillwater Artisanal Ales has created Decade, a "Crimson Farmhouse Ale", at 7.4% alcohol-by-volume. Only a small amount was brewed and bottled; it'll be available at the festival.

This is a drinking event; pours of different sizes, but no effete stick-your-hipster-pinkie-in-the-air-2-ounce tasting soiree. As it should be: good beer deserves to be tasted, not hinted at. And, since Belgian beer tends to be of relatively high alcohol, the festival will quickly become a don't-drive-home affair. Max's website lists a couple of local hotel options.

So, now, without further adieu, here's the draft line-up, as it stands today.

Achouffe La Chouffe
Alvinne Cuvee Freddy Zymatore
Alvinne Wild West
Alvinne Wild Undressed
Blaugies Darbyste
Bockor Cuvee Jacobins Rouge
Bockor Vanderghinste Oud Bruin
BOM Heaven
BOM Hell
Boon Kriek
Bosteel Pauwel Kwak
Bosteel Triple Karmeliet
Brugse Zot Unfiltered
Cantillon Iris
Cantillon Fou Foune
Cazeau Tournay Triple
De Dolle Dulle Teve
De Dolle Arabier
De Dolle Stille Nacht
De Glazen Toren Saison De Epre Mere
De La Senne Brussels Calling
De La Senne Taras Boulba
De La Senne Jambe De Bois
De La Senne Zinnebir
De Ranke XX Bitter
De Ranke XXX Bitter
De Ranke Saison De Dottiginies
Huyghe DeliriumTremens
Huyghe la Gullontine
Dupont Sasion Dry Hopped
Dupont Redor Pils
Dupont Biere De Boliel
Dupont Posca Rustica
Duvel Single
Ellezelloise Quintine Blonde
Geants Goliath
Gouden Carolus Cuvee De keizer Baluw
Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor
Gouden Carolus Noel
Het Nest Dead Man Bourbon
Het Nest Dead Man Red Wine
Het Nest Oak Klevertien
Het Nest Klevertien
Het Nest Schuppenboer
Het Nest Turnhouste Patriot
Het Anker Lucifer
Hof Ten Dormaal BA Blonde Bruichladdich
Hof Ten Dormaal BA Blonde Mustcal
Hof Ten Dormaal BA Port
Hof Ten Dormaal BA Sauternes
Hof Ten Dormaal BA Sherry
Jandrian 1V
Jandrian V Cense
Jandrian V1
Kerkom Bink Blonde
Kerkom Hopverdomme
La Rulles Cuvee Meilleurs Vouex
La Rulles Triple
La Rulles Esvitale
Leifmans Goudenband
Leifmans Cuvee Brut
Lefebvre Blanche De Brussels
Lefebvre Barbar
Lefebvre Barbar Bok
Lefebvre Manneken Pils
Lefebvre Hopus
Lupus Wolf 7
Malhuer 10
Malhuer 12
Palm Estimate
Palm Royale
Primus Haacht
Prearis Quadrupel
Prearis Saison
Rodenbach Grand Cru
Rodenbach Classic
Silly Sour
Silly Double Enghien Blonde
Smisje Kerst
Smisje Catherine the Great
St Bernardus Wit
St Bernardus Abt 12
Steenbrugge Triple
Straffe Hendrick Quad
Straffe Hendrick Triple
Struise AA Blonde
Struise Black Berry Albert
Struise Black Albert
Struise Black Damnation Black Mes
Struise Black Damnation Mocha Bomb
Struise Cuvee Delphine
Struise O.N.E
Struise Pannepot Reserva 2009
Struise Rio Reserva 2007
Struise Rokporter
Struise Roste Jeanne
Struise Rye Triple Reserva
Struise Shark pants
Struise SMONK
Struise T.H.R.E.E
Struise Tjeeses Reserva 2012
Struise Verdomme
Struise Weltmerz
Struise Yario
Struise Yreps
T Gaverhopke Koerseklakske
Ter Dolen Kriek
Tilquin Gueuze
Timmermans Pumpkin lambicus
Timmermans Bourgogne De Flanders
Timmermans Blanche Lambicus
Timmermans Strawberry
Timmermans Framboise
Troubadour Magma Galaxy 2013
Troubadour Westkust
Van Honsebrouck Gueuze Fond Tradtion
Van Honsebrouck Gueuze Fond Tradtion kriek
Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Donker
Van Honsebrouck Kasteel triple
Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Winter
Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Cuvee Chateau
Vapeur Saison De Pipaix

ON CASK (via beer engine):
Freys Backwwoods Brigade
Freys Pussy Pilot Prade
Milkhouse Petite Farmhouse
Milkhouse Farmhouse Stout
Brewers Art Resurrection

De Dolle Stille nacht
Strubbe Ichtegems Grand Cru
De Glazen Toren Ondinke aged in JW Lees Harvest Ale lagavulin barrels
Smisje Catherine the Great aged in JW Lees Harvest Ale, aged in Lagavulin barrels

The Belgian Beer Fest logo in 2009


This years marks the second time that Max's has extended the fun into Monday with Sour Day, 16 February, beginning at 11 am. Here's that lineup.

AC Golden Colorado Lambic
Allagash Confluence
Allagash Interlude
Boulevard Foeder Projekt 1
Burley Oak Tart Attack
Burley Oak Sour Trip
Devils Backbone Berliner Metro Weiss
Devils Backbone Vulkaan
Elysian Dark Sour
Evil Twin Justin Blaeber
Evolution Spring Migration
Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere
Jolly Pumpkin Noel Calabaza
Jolly Pumpkin Fuego Del otono
Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela
Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo
Jolly Pumpkin Noel De Calabaza
Local Option Bourbon Kentucky Common
Laughing Dog De Achtse hond
Millstone CherryKriek Cider
Millstone Sour Cider w/ Wild Yeast (cask)
New Belgium La Folie
New Belgium Le Terrior
New Belgium Apple Love
Nebraska Barrel Aged Hop God
Off Color Troublesome
The Bruery Oude Tart
The Bruert Tart of Darkness
The Bruery Rueuze
Perennial Savant Beersel
Perennial La Bohme
Stillwater Debauched
Goose Island Matilda Lambicus
Goose Island Lolita

Freigeist Sauer Porter Cherry
Freigeist Sauer Porter raspberry
Freigeist Geisterug Rhubard Gose
Freigeist Geisterug Quince Gose
Mikkeller Spontan Cassis
Mikkeller Spontan Elderflower
Mikkeller Spontan Peche
Mikkeller Spontan Seabuckthorn
Mikkeller Spontan Gooseberry
Mikkeller Spontan Rosehip

Against The Grain/Struise Scorched Monk
Against The Grain Christ Framboise
Allagash Merviellieux
Allagash Mignight Brett
Anchorage Bitter Monk
Anchorage Love Buzz
Anchorage White Out
Blue Mountain Sour Devil
Boulevard Love Child #1
Boulevard Love Child #2
Boulevard Love Child #3
Bouelvard Saison brett
Cisco Lady of the Woods
Cisco Pesche Woods
Evil Twin Femme Fatale Brett
Evil Twin Femme Fatale Noir
Evil Twin Femme Fatale Yuzu
Evolution Noueau Rouge
Goose Island Gillian
Goose Island Halia
Goose Island Juliet
Goose Island Lolita
Mikkeler/Ancharge AK Alive
Mikkeller/Prairie American Style
New Belgium Transatlantic Kriek
Ommegang Aphrodite
Ommegang Wild West
Sierra Nevada Brux
Uinta Birthday Suit
Upright Four
White Birch Berliner Weisse
White Birch CAHB Oud Bruin
White Birch Oak Senex Torva Saison
Plus Many More to come...

LoverBeer Renna Glueh 2012
LoverBeer Renna Glueh 2013
LoverBeer BeerBera 2011
LoverBeer BeerBera 2012
LoverBeer BeerBera 2010
LoverBeer BeerBrugna 2010
LoverBeer BeerBrugna 2011
LoverBeer BeerBrugna 2012
LoverBeer D'UvaBeer 2013
LoverBeer D'UvaBeer 2012
LoverBeer D'UvaBeer 2011
LoverBeer Dama Bruna-A 2010
LoverBeer Dama Bruna-A 2011
LoverBeer Dama Bruna-A 2009
LoverBeer Madamin 2012
LoverBeer Madamin 2011
LoverBeer Madamin 2013
LoverBeer Marche Le Re 2009

Max's cellarmaster and General Manager Casey Hard posted the above beer register with two provisos: he's 90% done with it, and things may (and some probably will) change. Many beers will arrive at the pub; some won't. Many will be in fine shape; some won't. Some will be substituted for. Some may make unexepected appearances. But, with such a range of choices, surely only a surly curmudgeon would grumble.

Or someone who can't be there.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 4/5, 2014.

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

Weeks 4/5
19 January 2014 - 1 February 2014

  • 2014.02.01
    Virginia small brewery changes its name to avoid copyright infringement. Ocean City brewery, Shorebilly Brewing, now Backshore Brewing. Via DelMarVaNow.

  • Beer Drinker's Companion

  • 2014.02.01
    Frank Baillie, U.K. beer pioneer of the 1970s, author of The Beer Drinker's Companion, has died. Via YFGF (Roger Protz).

  • 2014.01.31
    Alexandria, Virginia brewery, Port City Brewing, celebrates its 3rd anniversary. When it opened in 2011, Port City was only the first production brewery to operate in the Washington, D.C.-suburb city since 1916. Via YFGF.

  • 2014.01.28
    TIME on-line reports that SABMiller is brewing a beer that "rests somewhere between a craft beer and a light lager." "Miller Fortune is brewed with Cascade hops to give it its bourbon-like flavor." [An obvious error, as hops are an herb, and impart grassy, herbal, citrusy aromas. Any bourbon-like flavor would come from the use of the distilled spirit itself, or from the use of formerly-filled bourbon barrels. The reporter did not respond to attempts to correct the error.]

  • 2014.01.28
    SAVOR returns to Washington, D.C. Via YFGF.

  • 2014.01.28
    Pete Seeger has died at age 94: troubadour, folk musician, and populist activist. Via NPR.

  • 2014.01.27
    Mark Thompson —owner of Starr Hill Brewery —elected to succeed Mike Killelea —brewer at Center of the Universe Brewing— as chair of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. Killelea had been the organization's original chairperson. More, via Richmond Beermeister.

  • 2014.01.27
    Full list of 2014 Grammy Awards (56th annual) winners. Via New York Times.

  • 2014.01.27
    Lost and stolen kegs cost U.S. 'craft' breweries nearly $15.8 million annually. Via Craft Beer.

  • 2014.01.27
    "In the USA, casks are now being treated routinely as pseudo randalls." A British expat, in Atlanta, Georgia, bemoans the state of cask ale in the U.S.

  • 2014.01.26
    According to the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), U.S. beer distributors, last year, created 323,493 jobs, added $50 billion to the economy, and paid $9.8 billion in taxes. PDF.

  • 2014.01.24
    Today in beer history. The first-ever beer-in-a-can was released 24 January 1935 in Richmond, Virginia. Via YFGF.

  • 2014.01.24
    Why the Brewers Association 'discriminates' against certain U.S. breweries. And why it shouldn't. Via The Street.

  • Papazian addresses Craft Brewers Conference 2013
  • 2014.01.23
    "Relax; don't worry; have a homebrew." Charlie Papazian —homebrew guru, craft beer pioneer, president of the Brewers Association— turns 65. Via YFGF.

  • 2014.01.22
    Apple's "1984" Super Bowl advertisement for the Mac, aired thirty years ago, 22 January 1983, only once during the Super Bowl, and became iconic. Via American History Museum.

  • 2014.01.21
    After only a few months since brewery opened, Megan Parisi resigns as brewmaster for Washington, D.C.'s Bluejacket. Via Washington Post (Going Out Guide).

  • 2014.01.21
    Arlington, Virginia, cheesemonger wins "America’s Best Cheesemonger", in San Francisco, California, competition. Via Cheese & Champagne.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Pic(k) of the Week: Full Tilt first sip

Full Tilt first sip

She's about to take a first sip of beer after work, while he appears to be contemplating higher things (or the television set above). The anticipation of that first sip of beer of the day is always a lovely thing. I think it shows on her face (even in profile).

William Jeffrey's Tavern
Arlington, Virginia.
30 January 2014.


Friday, February 07, 2014

Beer Blogging Friday. The Session #84: Cask Ale! Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life!

The Session #84: 'Alternative' Reviews The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community begun in March of 2007 by Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer and Jay Brooks of the Brookston Beer Bulletin.

On the first Friday of every month, one beer blogger hosts The Session: Beer Blogging Friday. He or she chooses a specific, beer-related topic, invites all bloggers to write on it, and posts a roundup of all the responses received.

For more information, view the archive page.

Oliver Gray —at the blog Literature & Libation— is hosting the 84th iteration of The Session for February 2014. His topic is 'Alternative' Reviews.
We, as beer bloggers, tend to get caught up in this beer appreciation thing, forever chasing an invisible dragon of taste, doing our best to catalog our experiences on the page or in a database. We get obsessed with the idea of quantifying our experience – either so we can remember specifics ad infinitum or use the data as a point of comparison for other beers – and often forget that beer is just as much art and entertainment as it is critic-worthy foodstuff.

So for my turn hosting The Session, I ask all of you to review a beer. Any beer. Of your choosing even! There’s a catch though, just one eentsy, tiny rule that you have to adhere to: you cannot review the beer.

I know it sounds like the yeast finally got to my brain, but hear me out: I mean that you can’t write about SRM color, or mouthfeel, or head retention. Absolutely no discussion of malt backbones or hop profiles allowed. Lacing and aroma descriptions are right out. Don’t even think about rating the beer out of ten possible points.

So, with apologies to Victor Herbert ...


Ah! Sweet mystery of life,
At last I've found thee.
Ah! I know at last the secret of it all;
All the longing, seeking, striving, waiting, yearning.
The burning hopes, the joy, and idle tears that fall!

For 'tis cask, and cask alone, the world is seeking,
And 'tis cask, and cask alone, that can repay!
'Tis the answer, 'tis the end all of living.
For it is cask alone that rules for aye!


Monday, February 03, 2014

It's DC Meat-Free Week!

Meat Free Week 2014

"Meat, meet your match", say organizers of DC Meat-Free Week, 3-10 February 2014.

There may not be too much meat on its bones, but today through next Monday, you could stay busy (and full) following the Meat-Free schedule, as posted on the DC Vegan website. All events but one are in Washington, D.C. proper (well, it is DC Meat-Free week, after all). That particular event is a 'veganizing' comfort-food cooking class at a private location in Fairfax Station, Virginia, Sunday 9 February. (See below.)

Monday, February 3BBQ Kick-Off at Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
370 Park Rd NW (Columbia Heights Metro)
One of Meat-Free Week’s most popular events is back for a 3rd year!  $15 will score you a savory entree of BBQ seitan, slaw, corn bread, and string bean casserole.  Pair your meal with a special half-priced beer or wine!
(Can’t join in the the fun tonight?  Sticky Finger’s BBQ special is available for lunch & dinner until Sunday!  And half-price beer and wine specials continue through the weekend too!)

Tuesday, February 4
Compassion Over Killing Benefit Day at Soupergirl
314 Carroll St., NW (Takoma Metro)
8:15am to 8:00pm
Beginning today, on the first Tuesday of each month, you can now help animals simply by enjoying a delicious, all-vegan meal at Soupergirl! The menu changes daily, but you’ll always find freshly made soups, salads, and more. Dine in or grab-n-go and a portion of your bill will automatically be donated to Compassion Over Killing.

Wednesday, February 5
Wine-Down Wednesday at Whole Foods Market Foggy Bottom
2201 I Street, NW
5pm to 7pm
Whole Foods’ weekly Wine-Down Wednesday goes vegan!   For only $5 enjoy five different samples of wine and gourmet vegan dishes.  The glass is yours to keep!
Wine-Down Wednesday at Whole Foods Market P Street
1440 P Street NW
6pm to 7:30pm
You’re not seeing double…that’s two Wine-Downs!  Time it right and you can hit both, but you might want to take a taxi home! P Street’s event features FREE wine and meatless treats for your enjoyment.  (Please note that while all items will be vegetarian, they will NOT all be vegan.)

Thursday, February 6
Happy Hour at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw
1341 L St NW (McPherson Square Metro)
5:30pm to 9:00pm
We’re just as excited as Elizabeth’s that this beautiful spot is bringing back its Raw Happy Hour for a 2nd year of Meat-Free Week.  Their hugely popular happy hour will feature  organic wine, beer and drink specials, as well as a small plates menu.   Please RSVP here.

Friday, February 7 Meat-Free Week Gives Back: A Vegan Meal at  Miriam’s Kitchen
Today, Meat-Free Week does something a little different.  Instead of bringing you a restaurant special, we invite you to help provide a vegan meal to some of your neighbors in need.

As of two years ago, there were 1,870 chronically homeless individuals in Washington, DC on any given night.  Miriam’s Kitchen advocates for permanent housing, while meeting short-term needs like providing healthy meals.  Last year, they provided approximately 3,500 meals, many featuring healthful vegetarian and vegan options.  Tonight, Miriam’s will offer an entirely vegan dinner, featuring soup donated by the amazing Soupergirl and other items made possible only by your generosity.  Please donate here.

Saturday, February 8
Vegan Pizza by the Slice at bread & brew
1247 20th St NW (Dupont Circle Metro)
3pm to 11pm
Just $5 will score you 2 slices of vegan pizza.  Choose from Daiya cheese and “pepperoni”…yum!  We recommend enjoying your pizza at b&b’s bar.  It’s a warm and friendly neighborhood place with a real “Cheers” like feel to it.
Before or after your slices, you should definitely plan to swing by Sticky Fingers (again) for more of their half-off beer and wine deal.  They’re open til 10 on Saturdays!

Sunday, February 9
Vegan Comfort Foods Cooking Class with Mimi Clark
Fairfax Station
10am to 1pm
Learning how to cook vegan versions of kid-friendly recipes that satisfy and de-stress.  Meat-Free Week’ers get $5 off the regular price of $55/person.  Email or call 703-643-2713 for space availability.

Meat-Free Week Brunch at Todd Gray’s Muse
500 17th St NW (Farragut West or Farragut North)
12:30pm to 2pm
Celebrate Meat-Free Week with an all-you-can-eat vegan brunch in the Corcoran Gallery of Art!  Stop by Compassion Over Killing’s table when you arrive and, if you make a donation of $10 or more, they’ll thank you for your gift with a voucher for $5 off your meal PLUS a free mimosa!  This all-vegan, gourmet brunch is extremely popular, so reservations are strongly recommended!  Call 202-639-1786 to reserve your spot now!

Monday, February 10It may be the last official day of Meat-Free Week, but these Meatless Monday specials are continuing indefinitely!
Whole Foods Market Foggy Bottom
2201 I Street, NW
4pm to 7pm
Fill up a vegetarian plate from the hot bar and salad bars and, no matter how much your plate weighs, it’s only $8!
(Not near Foggy Bottom?  Check out other DC-area Whole Foods Markets for similar deals!)
The Wonderland Ballroom
1101 Kenyon St NW
5pm to 2am
Order a Meatless menu item and your first beer is on Wonderland!