Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: Thanksgiving beer from the wood

The Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving just happens to be one of the busier evenings of the year for many bars in the US. Where else to go after travel, airport pat-downs, and cooking?

05_enjoying the pint

Four years ago in 2007, on that November Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, the Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria, Virginia, tapped and served its first-ever firkin of cask-conditioned ale. Bar manager Evan Labb didn't know what to expect, but he needn't have worried: the cask of Loose Cannon ―a hoppy, fruity, IPA (India Pale Ale) brewed by Clipper City Brewing, of Baltimore, Maryland― was drained well before evening's end.

The restaurant has made it a tradition ever since, and always with casks of the Loose Cannon. Then, this year, a special treat: Loose Cannon tapped from a wooden cask.

At the brewery, Clipper City (now re-named Heavy Seas Brewing), the beer was conditioned in a stainless steel firkin (10.8-gallon cask). The brewery cellarman then racked the beer into a medium-toast, white-oak barrel, where it matured for an additional week, infused with five varieties of hops, including Maryland-grown Cascades.

This was the fifth time that the brewery had filled that particular oak cask with a beer. As a result, bourbon-like flavors, which one might expect to be leached from the oak during a first fill, were NOT present. Rather, one tasted the softer flavors of vanilla and coconut. Accompanying those were American hop-derived grapefruit aromas, and, even more so, a good slug of melon-fruit flavor.

Spiled, the cask waits

It was a festive atmosphere at the Evening Star on Wednesday. The lounge and the restaurant were filled with patrons, maybe not all there for the cask but many indeed enjoying a pint (or two). Evan, wearing a turkey headdress, encouraged everyone to draw 'hand-turkeys,' supplying paper, crayons, glue, beads, feathers, and baubles. The walls would become festooned with the art, and the cask's special ale would be drunk within hours.

  • More photos: here.
  • Thanks should be offered to Jon McIntire, the local Territory Manager for Heavy Seas, who personally arranged for and delivered the oak barrel.
  • Caveat lector: As an employee of beer & wine wholesaler Select Wines, Inc., I sell the beers of Heavy Seas in northern Virginia.
  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, usually posted on Saturdays, and often of a 'good fermentable' as subject.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

No NaBloPoMo here

November is National Blog Posting Month, during which bloggers attempt to publish at least one post per day.

It didn't happen here. Yours For Good Fermentables succeeded for fifteen days, then crashed. Ah, well. There's beer yet to be drunk, stories to be told.

UPDATE: I try again in 2011.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: Ballston Crepuscule

As I snapped this photo, a security guard walked toward me, eying me suspiciously. Why was I taking a picture of the early evening sky?

Ballston crepuscule

Taken 11 November 2010 at 5pm, as the sun set and the crescent moon rose, in the Ballston district of Arlington, Virginia, on Randolph Street looking toward Wilson Boulevard.

Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often of —but not necessarily— good fermentables, and usually posted on Saturdays.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Clamps & Gaskets: Roundup for 2010 Week 45

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A non-comprehensive roundup of the week's news
of beer and other things.

Week 45
7 November 2010 - 13 November 2010

  • 2010.11.13
    Alcohol wars, session beer, and beer glassware. Beer writer Andy Crouch is interviewed about his book "Great American Craft Beer," on NPR's The Splendid Table:

  • Cizauskas & Russell
  • 2010.11.13
    Beer Birthday: Don Russell, aka Joe Sixpack (Philadelphia Daily News).
  • 2010.11.13
    Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: since 1983, it's the same beer, the same recipe, the same hop varieties.
  • 2010.11.13
    Small breweries sell 5% of US beer but employ 50% of the brewery workforce.
  • 2010.11.13
    World beer volumes for 2009. From Yours For Good
  • 2010.11.12
    Rest in peace, Wild Goose Brewery: 1989-2010, Maryland. From Yours for Good
  • 2010.11.11
    New Zealand beer writer says: 'Craft' beer is defined by flavor, not by production size.
  • 2010.11.11
    "The debate over cask breathers makes medieval theologians look like broad-brush generalists." One British beer historian's take on CAMRA's relevence:
  • 2010.11.11
    Honor Veterans Day today.
  • 2010.11.11
    Birthday in Beer: Alex Hall, USA cask ale maven.
  • 2010.11.11
    "Corks are cool, but they don't really add anything to beer," and may cause off-flavors, says beer writer.
  • 2010.11.10
    Robust beer growth globally, but not in the US or Europe. From Yours For Good
  • 2010.11.10
    European Beer Bloggers Conference 2011: the UK announcement, but no real dates yet.

  • 2G Brew (02)
  • 2010.11.09
    Capitol City Brewing Company (Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia) celebrates its 2000th batch of beer with its '2G IPA' at its downtown location at 7pm. From Yours For Good
  • 2010.11.09
    What We Learned From the First Episode of Conan.
  • 2010.11.09
    The Washington Post rips off two media stories over the weekend. Writer says it doesn't matter.
  • 2010.11.09
    End of an era. Baseball announcers Joe Morgan and Jon Miller are done at ESPN baseball:

  • organic cask
  • 2010.11.09
    'Cask breathers' and the possible irrelevance of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). From British beer writer Pete Brown:
  • 2010.11.08
    Video: The Trumer Brauerei Rube Goldberg Machine:
  • 2010.11.08
    For websites: Why Social Media Is a Better Investment than SEO.

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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Austria, the 2010 wine harvest, & Thanksgiving

Austrian wine for American Thanksgiving? Who knew?

But first: a (very) brief look at the 2010 European wine harvest, and, in particular, that of Austria. (Not Australian: there are no kangaroos here.)

Let me just say it in a few words - it was a very challenging year for Austria (and probably all of the European wineries). The 2010 harvest was the smallest in 25 years, coming on the heels of a small harvest in 2009. Top producers, however, will produce outstanding wines, just much less.

Klaus Wittauer

Bauer Gruner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner —the name for both the grape varietal and the finished white wine— combines a subtle tropical fruitiness with a hint of white pepper, and a finishing acidity. That last quality —and the lack of overripe fruitness, and lack of oak or butter— makes Grüner Veltliner, what wine folk refer to as, a 'food wine.' That's a tasty quality needed if one wine is asked to play well with many different foods, such as at an American Thanksgiving dinner.

If the name 'Grüner Veltliner' gives you consternation ... just say, "Gee Vee."

Caveat lector: As a representative for wine and beer wholesaler Select Wines, Inc., I sell the wines of KW Selection in northern Virginia.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: Happy Man

Happy Man

Given several unopened bottles left over from the evening's beer dinner, this gentleman appears, shall we say, quite pleased at dinner's end.

Summits Wayside Tavern East Coast Beer Dinner
Cumming, Georgia.
February 19, 2007.

Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays.

Friday, November 12, 2010

World Beer Volume 2009

According to Daily, total world beer production, circa 2009, was 148 billion liters. That's one billion, two hundred sixty-one million, two hundred and eight thousand, five hundred and two US barrels, give or take. Adjusting for some breakage, that works out to 92,059,014 cases of twenty-four 12-ounce bottles.

click for larger view

By 2015, one in every four beers drunk will be in China. Even so, last year, China, by its sheer size of population (1.3 billion), was only 36th in terms of per capita consumption. The United States, at 81.6 liters per capita (approximately 21 gallons), was 13th.

Daily Infographic culled its data from and Wikipedia. Reference the statistics with a grain of salt, or should I say, a barleycorn.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wild Goose, nevermore

Snow Goose was once one of the highly anticipated winter seasonals of the mid-Atlantic beer scene, brewed by the Wild Goose Brewing Company. Alas, officially, nevermore. Beer In Baltimore reports that Flying Dog, the current owner of the Wild Goose brand, has ceased production of all Wild Goose beers.

Wild Goose was only the second micro-brewery, post-Prohibition, to operate in Maryland. Investor Rich Klein opened the original production facility in 1989, in the small town of Cambridge, on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Beer industry veteran Jim Lutz would soon sign on. The brewery was famous for fermenting its beer in open vats, with a yeast that produced a distinctive, rich malty/buttery flavor.

Wild Goose Brewery 1989-2010

In 1997, Kevin Brannon and Marjorie McGinnis of the Frederick Brewing Company purchased Wild Goose and moved all operations to their brewery's larger, more advanced, facility, in Frederick, Maryland. Since the newer brewery used only closed fermentation vessels (and a different yeast strain), Wild Goose beers, though still good, wouldn't quite taste the same.

Frederick itself had its goose cooked when it was unable to pay its million-dollar water bill, and was purchased in 2006 by Flying Dog Brewing of Denver, Colorado. Shortly thereafter, Flying Dog would move all of its operations to Frederick and shed most of its Colorado identity. Jim Lutz is currently the Vice President of Sales for Flying Dog.

Rest in peace, Wild Goose Brewing Company.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Global beer growth NOT in US, Europe

When asked what he made of the 'craft' beer resurgence in America, Graham Mackay, CEO of SAB/Miller, responded that its demise was inevitable. That was 2007. 'Craft' beer's growth that year was 11%.

During the first six months of this year, volume growth for 'craft' beer was 9% (as reported by the Brewers Association). What of SAB/Miller and its big-brewery-corporate brethren? Through the first six months, overall U.S. beer sales by volume had decreased 2.7%.

A global snapshot shows similar trends in other traditional beer markets. According to the beverage research company Canadean, the compound annual volume growth rate (CAGR) of

the East European market is only expected to grow by 1.5%, whilst beer consumption in North America is forecast to deliver a CAGR of just 0.5% [which implies a turnaround from the losses of the first half of the year] and Western Europe is expected to register a marginal decline.

8 November 2010

Beer sales are up 3% in South America; in Africa, up 5%. But then, there's Asia.
The Asian beer market <...> is forecast to account for 38% of total beer consumption by 2015. <...> In 2015 China alone will account for over a quarter of all beer consumption worldwide. The Chinese beer market is forecast to reach 573 mhls [488.29 million US barrels] by the end of the forecast period, over twice the size of the USA, the second largest beer market in the world.

To rephrase, as does the headline from the MarketWire report: By 2015, 1 in every 4 beers will be consumed in China.

In an interesting Tweet,'s Julia Herz posted this observation from the annual Beer Marketer Insights seminar:
Craft Beer is further advanced now on conscience [minds in the marketplace, i.e., consumers] than large suppliers recognize.

Combining the large brewing corporations' continued ignorance of taste trends and their refocused attention eastward: will the so-called 'craft' brewing industry have a less fettered opportunity to grow here? And, if so, how will that industry behave as it becomes larger?

  • The Brewers Association defines a 'craft' brewery as using 'traditional ingredients', being at least 75% 'independently' owned, and as producing fewer than 2 million barrels of beer per year. A US barrel is the equivalent of 13.7 cases (24 12-ounce bottles) of beer.
  • I was tipped to this story by the Twitter feed of Brunehaut Beer.
  • World beer production and consumption data for 2009: here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Any plans for February 2011?

It's only the beginning of November 2010. Is it too soon to begin talking about ....

Max's 7th Annual Belgian Beer Fest

18-20 February 2011
Baltimore, Maryland

Maxs patio


Here's what Max's Taphouse cellarman Casey Hard wrote in an email:

We will be going all out again this year. we will have 102 Belgian Beers on draft starting Friday morning and plan on adding another 50 or so different Belgian beers throughout the weekend. We will also have over 175 Belgian beers in bottles and a full Belgian-inspired food menu.

So, here are a few of the drafts that we will have on for the Belgian Fest: 40% done.

  • De Struise Red Haired Jeanne
  • De Struise Black Albert
  • De Struise Black Damnation Mocha Bomb 2
  • De Struise Pannepot Reserva
  • Het Alternatief Ambetantrik
  • Het Alternatief Bitter Truth
  • Hof Ten Dormaal Blonde
  • Hof Ten Dormaal Amber
  • Alvinne Kerasus
  • Alvinne Morpheus Wild
  • Alvinne Bathazaar
  • Alvinne Melchior
  • Alvinne Gaspar
  • Alvinne Undressed
  • Alvinne Bolleville
  • Alvinne Caper Fumatis
  • Alvinne Extra
  • Jandrian V
  • Jandrian V Cense
  • De La Senne Taras Boulba
  • De La Senne Stouterik
  • De La Senne Zinnebir
  • De La Senne Equinox
  • De La Senne Zinnebir
  • De Proef /Terrapin Monstre Rouge
  • Smisje Catherine The Great
  • Smisje Guido
  • Smisje Blonde
  • Smisje BBBourgondier
  • De Dochter Noblesse
  • De Dochter Embrasse
  • De Dochter Noblesse XO
  • De Dochter Courage
  • De Dochter Bravoure
  • De Hoevebrouwers Toria
  • De Hoevebrouwers Toria Triple
  • De Glazen Toren Jan De Lichte
  • De Glazen Toren Ondineke
  • De Glazen Toren Saison De Epre Mere
  • Brouwkot Vlaskappele
  • Brouwkot Netebuk
  • Brouwkot Kalle
  • Cezeau Saison
  • Cazeau Tournay De Noel
  • Contreras Valeir Blonde
  • Contreras Valeir Extra
  • Scaldis Cuvee Des Trolls
  • Gulden Draak Vintage
  • De Ranke Noir
  • De Ranke Saison
  • Palm
  • Duvel Green
  • Troubadour Magma
  • Petrus Aged Pale
  • Stillwater Saison Darkly

Monday, November 08, 2010

Clamps & Gaskets: Roundup for 2010 Week 44

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A non-comprehensive roundup of the week's news
of beer and other things.

Weeks 42/43
31 October 2010 - 6 November 2010

  • 2010.11.06
    There are 595 'citizen' beer logs (unaffiliated with a brewery or other business) in North America, according to the Beer Bloggers Conference.
  • 2010.11.06
    Warren Buffett and Berkshire-Hathaway are in the beer and wine distribution business:
  • 2010.11.06
    Magazine plagiarizes a blogger’s article; refuses to recognize copyright or give compensation.
  • 2010.11.05
    Keith Olbermann suspended from MSNBC for making political contributions. Twitter reacts.
  • 2010.11.05
    The Session: On the first Friday of each month, beer bloggers write on one topic.
  • 2010.11.05
    (Happy) Guy Fawkes Day!
  • 2010.11.05
    Richmond (Virginia) Beer Week.
  • 2010.11.05
    The 1st ever Beer Bloggers Conference, in Boulder, Colorado.
  • 2010.11.04
    Questioning the legitimacy of 'craft' beer bloggers.
  • 2010.11.04
    Birthday in Beer: Alex Hall, USA cask ale maven.
  • 2010.11.04
    For chestnut lovers, now's the season. But why are most US chestnuts imported?
  • 2010.11.03
    John Hickenlooper -past owner of Wynkoop, Denver's original brewpub- is elected governor of Colorado.

  • Barboursville at Shockoe Bottom
  • 2010.11.03
    Simply because a wine is locally produced is not grounds to assume it is inferior.
  • 2010.11.03
    (Possible) plans for northern Virginia real ale festival in April 2011.

  • Savor decor 2008
  • 2010.11.03
    The Brewers Association announces expansion of Savor in 2011 to two nights, June 3 & 4 at National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Tickets on sale early March.
  • 2010.11.02
    California's measure to legalize marijuana, Prop 19, defeated.
  • 2010.11.02
    Washington, D.C. voter uses a hand-stamp in an attempt to write in a candidate ... on a touch screen.
  • 2010.11.02
    Washington Post's Thomas Boswell on the San Francisco treat: Giants win first World Series since moving from New York in 1958.

  • Alexandria VA brewery Portner's closed 31 Oct 1916
  • 2010.11.01
    Virginia went 'dry' on 1 November, 1916, enforcing statewide alcohol prohibition, nearly 4 years before National Prohibition.
  • 2010.11.01
    Happy World Vegan Day ... and the first day of VeganMoFo: Vegan Month of Food blogging:
  • 2010.10.31
    November is National Blog Posting Month
  • 2010.10.31
    I Am A Craft Brewer: A Parody:

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

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Beer bloggers blog about beer bloggers

Why blog about beer?

Andy Crouch, a beer writer with a blog on the side —Beer Scribe— asked this question and received several thoughtful and several heated responses (not mutually exclusive). Ron Pattinson —a beer historian in the UK— answered that he enjoys writing and that doing so keeps memories alive.

There are currently 595 "citizen beer blogs" —unaffiliated with a brewery or other business— active in North America. Nearly one hundred of their authors attended the inaugural Beer Bloggers Conference this past weekend in Boulder, Colorado. The event was organised by Zephyr Adventures, the same folk who host a Wine Bloggers Conference. The guest host blogger was Ashley Routson, better known as the Beer Wench.

In addition to brewery tours, beer tastings, etc., the agenda included presentations on

  • Beer journalism: beer bloggers & the print media
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Blogging & technology
  • 'Craft' beer and women
  • Why beer bloggers are important to the 'craft' beer movement
Held in the US as it was, the conference seems to have been very US-centric. (However, I did notice attendance by Mark Dredge of the UK beer blog Pencil and Spoon.) The wine bloggers' conference has been bifurcated into European and American sessions for 2011; I'd expect the same eventually for this beer version.

Allan Wright of Zephyr Adventures responded: We will have two conferences in 2011, one in Portland, Oregon and one in London. See the blog for the overview of this announcement with more details coming soon.
[To be hosted by Mark Dredge of Pencil and Spoon.]

Beer Bloggers Conference 2010

Andy Crouch wondered about the meta-vanity aspect of beer blogging (or blogging in general).

Why should one tell the world what he or she has done or thinks? Would it be to hear one's voice echoing back, readers congratulating the blogger's perspicacity? Or would it be to cheer-lead for the 'craft' beer industry? Or to repeat stories without analysis or fact-checking? Those could indeed be the basis for blogs, if ultimately boring and self-serving.

Blogs worth reading are diametrically different than that. They stitch together intellectual honesty, clear writing style, unique points-of-view, and well-researched narratives. Being about or written for a certain company or product is not an ipso facto demerit. Many 'citizen' bloggers are promoting themselves as brands. The key here is for the blogger to be transparent, that is, clear and honest, as to his or her affiliation and intent.

As Ron Pattinson elaborated:

This is my blog. I can, and do, write whatever the flip I want. That's why blogging is so much better than proper journalism. Where some twat tells you what to write, then changes it anyway. No-one, neither editor, nor proprietor nor advertiser stands between me and thee.

Once these conference bloggers recover from their jet flights back home (and their beer flights at the conference), here's what I, as a reader and blogger, would like to see:
  • Usable analyses of the sessions. Transcripts?
  • Technical assistance; the nuts and bolts of hosting, formatting, html, web-tech, etc.
  • How to make money with a blog, that is, become 'affiliated,' if one would wish to.
  • Smaller, localized groups of beer bloggers.
    A couple of years back, I, and a couple others, organized a loose consortium of beer bloggers in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia area. We haven't done much with it. Ideas?
  • Work to improve the quality of beer reviewing.
    There are many beer reviews posted online. Some are so fanciful, poorly written, or ignorant of beer-making or beer flavor, that they are useless to anyone wanting an informed opinion on a beer. Writing "This beer is awesome, dude," just doesn't make the grade.
  • More links to useful beer information —for readers, consumers, bloggers themselves, and for brewers.
But why do I blog about beer? My two decade career in beer has given me a panoramic point-of-view, and, as with Ron Pattinson, the memories fade — or are fogged by beer. My blog is my 21st-century version of 'Dear Diary.'

I blog because I love a good beer. That some people read what I post is not the entire point but it is the foam on the pint. Here, try this one!

Caveat lector: Even though the opinions expressed in this blog are my own and not necessarily those of my employer, I am employed by a beer (and wine) wholesaler: Select Wines, Inc., in northern Virginia.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: Bad prospect

Autumn Leaves 003

Dog ponders the prospect of raking of leaves. Does not appear to relish the idea. Neither does her human companion.

Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays.

Friday, November 05, 2010

What the ruck?

Here's an excerpt from a review of a Dortmunder-style lager I noticed on a beer blog:

The body is smooth, a little thin up front before getting bigger. <...> It has a really nice balance, and more then [sic] enough body. The body was a bit thick in the middle

Smooth, a little thin, more than enough, and a bit thick? I pay little attention to the ruck of beer reviews. I can't understand them.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

VeggieDag Thursday: Vegan MoFo IV

I'm not a vegan. I don't like that word. It has an ugly sound: refering perhaps to a denizen of the Vegan solar system? Vegetarian is a fine word, but it has been modified beyond useful meaning.

The Vegan Society defines veganism as living free from animal products. I don't eat animal flesh (my reasons involve issues of health, sustainability, use of resources, and animal sentience), but since I do eat cheese (and my dress shoes are leather), I fail at their definition of the category. So, this month I'll only be an observer of the cheekily named Vegan MoFo, that is, the Vegan Month of Food.

The idea is to write as much as you can all month, about vegan food. The blog entries can be about anything food related – your love of tongs, your top secret tofu pressing techniques, the first time your mom cooked vegan for you, vegan options in Timbuktu – you get the idea, right? If not, browse around on some of our round-ups and you’ll catch on fast! There aren’t strict guidelines for how often to write, but the idea is to shoot for every weekday, or about 20 times in the month.
Chopped salad 011
Chopped Salad

... and the Number 1 reason why I only eat plant-based foods: In season, and fresh, they taste so darn good!

  • Vegan MoFo has an accompanying Flickr group at which to post photos: here.
  • I blogged about three prior years of VeganMoFo: here.
  • VeggieDag is an occasional Thursday post on vegetarian issues. Why the name? Here.
  • Suggestions and submissions from chefs and homecooks welcomed! Here.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

That couldn't possibly happen again.

Ninety-four years and two days ago, 1 November 1916, the Commonwealth of Virginia went 'dry', enforcing statewide prohibition against the sale and importation of intoxicating beverages. The enabling legislation, the Mapp Act, prohibited all malt production, even of non-alcoholic beer, for sale in-state. Prohibition went national, nearly four years later, in January, 1920.

That couldn't possibly happen again, could it?

Keg boneyard


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

2010 BAM Governor's Cup (Brewers' Association of Maryland)

The Brewers Association of Maryland (BAM) is

a non-profit trade association founded in 1996, comprised of active Maryland breweries and brewpubs. The mission of BAM is to foster and promote the Maryland world-renowned brewing industry.

Fourteen breweries and/or brewpubs out of the twenty-one currently operating in the state are dues-paying members. Since 2005, the association has organized a contest to judge the best beers brewed by its members. It announces the results at its annual BAM Oktoberfest. The best of the best is awarded the Governor's Cup, an actual cup, which that brewery keeps for a year.

Maryland Governors Cup_2005
Clipper City —now known as Heavy Seas Brewing
won the Cup in 2005, the first year of the competition.

There is no mention of this year's competition or its results posted on BAM's website, so I reached out for Phil Bowers —the association's current treasurer and the owner of Brewer's Alley in Frederick, Maryland— to find out more.

YFGF: Who participated in this year's Maryland Governor's Cup?
BAM: Fourteen Maryland breweries entered a record 110 entries in 12 categories with a whopping 68 entries receiving medals. Another testament to the quality of the beers we are brewing in MD.

YFGF: What categories were judged?
BAM: Gold/Blonde Ale, Gold Lager, Belgian, Porter, Stout, Pale Ale, Oktoberfest/Märzen, Amber/Red Ale, Wheat, India Pale Ale (IPA), Experimental/Specialty/Fruit, Strong/Barleywine.

YFGF: How were these categories determined?
BAM: BAM picked them based on BJCP [Beer Judge Certification Program] guidelines. Breweries submitted both category and BJCP sub-categories.
[YFGF:The BJCP is a volunteer organization which has created guidelines and specifications for perceived beer styles.]

YFGF: What scoring method was used?
BAM: The BJCP 50 point system.

YFGF: Who were the judges? What were their qualifications?
BAM: All were BJCP qualified. We employed a local organizer of homebrew competitions [Les White of the Free State Homebrew Club Guild] and he sent out notices to all BJCP certified judges to participate.

YFGF: Where was the judging held?
BAM: The headquarters of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, in Columbia, Maryland.

YFGF: Is the winner in each category that which scores the highest average or the highest total?
BAM: Winner in each category had the highest score.

YFGF: Are there gold/silver bronze awarded in each category?
BAM: All entries that scored high enough were awarded medals.
[YFGF: Based upon the BJCP's 50-point guidelines, Gold was awarded to those beers scoring "Outstanding (45 - 50): World-class example of style." Silver was given to beers scoring "Excellent (38 - 44): Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning." Bronze was awarded to beer scoring "Very Good (30 - 37): Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws."]

YFGF: How is the overall winner —the winner of the Governor's Cup— determined?
BAM: Each category winner came out to an overall judging and the Cup winner was determined from that group.

YFGF: Does the Maryland Governor award the cup?
BAM: The current Governor has not participated. We announced and handed out at the BAM Oktoberfest a couple weeks ago.
[YFGF: Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, is the current governor. His predecesor, Bob Ehrlich, a Republican, did participate, handing out the Cup from 2005 through 2007.]

YFGF: Since the competition began in 2005, who have been the winners of the Maryland Governor's Cup?
  • 2005 Clipper City Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA
  • 2006 Clipper City Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA
  • 2007 White Marsh/Red Brick Station Something Red Amber Ale
  • 2008 Clipper City Hang Ten Weizen Dopplebock
  • 2009 Clipper City Hang Ten Weizen Dopplebock

And, the winner of this year's Governor's Cup winner is ...
Ruddy Duck Brewery for its Munich Helles. Congratulations!

The Complete List of 2010 Winners (in descending order within each category)
  • Gold/Blonde Ale
    GOLD : Brewers Alley Kölsch; DuClaw Brewing Blonde, White Marsh Avenue Ale (tie).
    SILVER: Heavy Seas Gold Ale.
    BRONZE: Eastern Shore Brewing Lighthouse Ale.
  • Gold Lager
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER : Ruddy Duck Helles; Brewer's Alley Pilsner.
    BRONZE: Heavy Seas Classic Lager.

  • Belgian
    GOLD: The Brewer's Art La Petroleuse.
    SILVER : Flying Dog Brewery Raging Bitch; Franklin's Brewery Tripel; Ruddy Duck Tripel.
    BRONZE : Heavy Seas Yuletide Tripel, Ruddy Duck Dubbel (tie); The Brewer's Art Resurrection Ale; Heavy Seas Red Sky at Night Saison.

  • Porter
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER : Oliver Breweries Pagan Porter; Oliver Breweries Dark Horse Mild.
    BRONZE: Pub Dog Brewing Brown Dog; Ruddy Duck Porter; DuClaw Bad Moon; Barley & Hops Big Ben.

  • Stout
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER: none awarded.
    BRONZE: Heavy Seas Peg Leg Imperial Stout.

  • Pale Ale
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER: Heavy Seas Pale Ale; White Marsh Big Gun Pale Ale; Pub Dog Pale Ale.
    BRONZE: Barley and Hops Annapolis Rocks, Ruddy Duck Pale Ale (tie); Barley and Hops Hoptopsy ESB; DuClaw Venom; Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale.

  • Oktoberfest/Märzen
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER: DuClaw Mad Bishop, Ellicott Mills Brewing Firecracker Bock (tie).
    BRONZE: Brewers Alley Oktoberfest; Heavy Seas Märzen; Ruddy Duck Oktoberfest.

  • Amber/Red Ale
    GOLD: Brewers Alley Wedding Alt, Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager (tie).
    SILVER: Eastern Shore Brewing St. Michaels Ale.
    BRONZE: Pub Dog Amber Dog; DuClaw Misfit Red.

  • Wheat
    GOLD: Heavy Seas Hang Ten Weizen Dopplebock
    SILVER: Ellicott Mills Weizen Bock; Brewers Alley Hefeweizen.
    BRONZE: Ruddy Duck Rudd Light.

  • IPA
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER: Barley and Hops Double D, Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA (tie); White Marsh Daily Crisis; Brewer's Alley IPA.
    BRONZE: Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, Heavy Seas Winter Storm, Ruddy Duck IPA (tie); DuClaw Serum; Pub Dog Imperial IPA; Oliver Breweries Strongman Pale Ale.

  • Experimental/Specialty/Fruit
    GOLD: Pub Dog 10th Anniversary, Flying Dog Barrel Aged Gonzo.
    SILVER: DuClaw Exile #1, Pub Dog Very Cherry (tie); Pub Dog Raspberry Dog.
    BRONZE: DuClaw 31, Oliver Breweries Bishops Indulgence (tie).

  • Strong Beer/Barleywine
    GOLD: Oliver Breweries 3 Lions Ale.
    SILVER: DuClaw Devils Milk; Flying Dog Horn Dog Barleywine; Oliver Breweries Hot Monkey Love Strong Ale.
    BRONZE: none awarded.

  • Best of Show: Governor's Cup
    Ruddy Duck Munich Helles.
A few more observations.
  • Despite judging criteria, such things still have a strongly random subjectivity. A bock beer —Ellicott Mills Firecracker— tied for top honors as an Oktoberfest, clearly out of category.
  • Ruddy Ducks' Helles was awarded a silver medal in its category —no gold awarded. Even so, it beat out gold medal choices in other categories to be awarded the Governor's Cup.
  • Port City's Jonathan Reeves
  • Ruddy Duck's brewer Jonathan Reeves —winner of 8 medals and the Governor's Cup— is now the head brewer for soon-to-open Port City Brewing of Alexandria, Virginia.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Clamps & Gaskets: Roundup for 2010 Weeks 42/43

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A non-comprehensive roundup of the week's news of beer
and other things.

Weeks 42/43
17 October 2010 - 30 October 2010

  • 2010.10.30
    Merits a chuckle: "I Am A Craft Brewer: A Parody"
  • 2010.10.30
    Jon Stewart's closing speech at Rally to Restore Sanity.
  • 2010.10.30
    The Texas Rangers beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 in Game 3 of Major League's World Series, now trail 2 games to 1. It's the first World Series win in the franchise's (formerly Washington Senators) history.
  • 2010.10.30
    Slideshow of Flying Dog Brewing of Frederick, Maryland, racking Gonzo Imperial Porter into Stranahan whiskey wooden barrels, for aging:
  • 2010.10.29
    Political trivia: Dizzy Gillespie was a write-in 1964 presidential candidate. His proposed cabinet included Louis Armstrong as Secretary of Agriculture.
  • Sparkler 02
  • 2010.10.29
    The Great (?) Real Ale Sparkler Debate. British beer blogger offers photographic evidence in favor.
  • 2010.10.29
    Informative piece on buying beer online.
  • 2010.10.29
    Breckenridge Brewery (CO) to expand distribution to Maryland in January 2011.
  • Obama limo (02)
  • 2010.10.28
    "Yes, we can ... but." Obama's new slogan for 2010?
  • 2010.10.28
    Cooking with spices for flavor & health. [Irony: coughing near end of podcast!]
  • 2010.10.27
    Washington City Paper interview with DC Brau, Washington DC production brewery to open in 2011.
  • 2010.10.26
    To counter proposal to raise excise taxes, European Brewers say beer promotes "conviviality." And offer analysis on beer's economic contribution.
  • 2010.10.26
    "Why Cask Ale Rocks" - a collaborative piece from 5 British beer bloggers.
  • 2010.10.26
    More than 700 beer blogs indexed at HopTalk's Beer Blog Search Engine.
  • Samuel Adams Brewery in Cincinnati
  • 2010.10.26
    The Motley Fool suggests Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams) as next great stock growth story.
  • 2010.10.24
    Michael Jackson and the invention of the term "beer style":
  • 2010.10.23
    More wonderful jazz photos from the Gottlieb Collection posted at Flickr:
  • 2010.10.21
    After none since Heurich closed in 1956, a 5th(!) brewery is announced for Washington, D.C.: Logan Shaw Brewery
  • 2010.10.21
    Full Sail Brewing (Portland, OR) announces distribution to Maryland.
  • Homegrown hops
  • 2010.10.21
    Growers near winning long battle to mandate organic hops in, uh, yes, organic beer.
  • 2010.10.20
    Yuengling plans to purchase former Coors brewery in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 2010.10.20
    Washington, D.C. area restaurants go local with food, but NOT so much with wine. The struggle for a 'Locapour' movement:
  • 2010.10.20
    Farm-to-glass drinking: some breweries are growing their own barley and hops. Can drinkers taste the terroir?
  • 2010.10.20
    Tasting the difference between fine wine (reasonably priced) and Two Buck Chuck. A master sommelier guides a novice:
  • 2010.10.18
    Finnish news anchor fired for drinking beer on air.

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