Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Tree in winter's afternoon

Tree in winter's afternoon

High dynamic range on a blustery winter's afternoon. Photo taken in Walker Park, in the Edgewood neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, on 15 February 2018.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: A porter at the brewhouse.

A porter at the brewhouse

This is the glorious, raisiny, chocolatey St. Charles Porter (without either of those ingredients added or needed) of Blackstone Brewing, in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Original Gravity (OG): 1.056
  • International Bittering Units (IBUs): 34
  • Color: 26 Lovibond
  • Alcohol-by-volume (abv): 5.8%
  • Hops: Centennial, Willamette.
  • Malts: 2-row pale, Crystal 60L, Belgian Special B, Chocolate malt, Flaked barley.
  • Yeast: Ballantine Ale (Chico)

If you were learning to brew-at-home in the U.S. back in 1988, you probably were an acolyte of one of two how-to-brew gurus: nuclear engineer Charlie Papazian or English teacher Dave Miller. Although I began with the former, I decamped to the latter, who, that year, had published "The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing."

The Complete Book of Home Brewing (Dave Miller, 1988)

Three years later, Mr. Miller turned pro, the first brewer for Schlafly Brewing in St. Louis. In the mid-1990s, he moved to Nashville, Tennesse to open Blackstone Brewing, that city's first 'craft' brewery.

Mr. Miller continued brewing at Blackstone until only a few years ago. A co-proprietor, he still returns autumnally to brew the brewery's Oktoberfest. Blackstone downsized recently, closing its brewpub, but it has maintained its large production facility, with a public taproom and a permanently visiting food truck.

Three decades ago, it was Mr. Miller's recipe and procedure for brewing Porter that hooked me on the craft. Today, Blackstone brews its award-winning St. Charles Porter, to Miller's recipe.

In early February 2018, I visited Nashville for a few days. I didn't meet Dave Miller while there, but I did meet his beer. It may have taken me thirty years, but, at long last, I was to taste his porter. At his brewery. In his taproom. On draft. Words in a book became real. Glorious.


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Drinking, again! Euphonia Pilsner, from new New Realm Brewing, reviewed.

Not quite four-weeks-old, New Realm Brewing sits along an eastside segment of the BeltLine, the not-yet city-circumnavigating paved park of Atlanta, Georgia. There, on weekends, just beyond this brewery/brewpub's upstairs and downstairs patios, it's a constant people-and-their-dogs parade. Whereas, inside and on the patios, the beers ain't bad, either.

Euphonia Pilsner @ New Realm & Beltline (01)

Pictured is a draft pour of Euphonia Pilsner: "a brewers' beer," the brewery calls it. A local Twitter-er, relying on American-centric beer-styling, asked me if it were a German-style or Bohemian-style pilsner. I replied, "Neither." I called it a stunning first shot for a just-opened brewery.

In appearance and demeanor, Euphonia Pilsner is a bright thing, with a new-age herbal bouquet sprung from a melange of Hersbrucker, Huell Melon, Saphir, and Sterling hops, a cracker-malt backbone, and a finishing slug of those hops as drying balance. The beer contains 5% alcohol-by-volume (that's "ABV," in the accepted, lazy parlance). It contains no fruit or superfluous hoo-ha. "Just the facts, ma'am."

And the beer has a great pedigree. Euphonia Pilsner's creator, Mitch Steele, is the award-winning past brewmaster for Stone Brewing (in California, et al.), renowned there for his hoppy India Pale Ales (IPAs). Now, here, at his own brewery on the East Coast, he's brewing...a lager.

Not to 'worry,' though. Mr. Steele —the man who wrote the book on IPA, literally— is brewing several IPAs at New Realm, as well. And they're spot-on.

A series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits).
No scores; only descriptions.


Saturday, February 03, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Shadows and light, angles and straight lines

Shadows and light, angles and straight lines.

Sometimes, you should look up from your beer.

I did. Once.

As seen above the courtyard at 5 Seasons Brewing Westside, in Atlanta, Georgia. 20 January 2018.