Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pic(k) of the Week: Brewster Fashion

A brewery is a high moisture work zone. Boots are de rigeur as protective wear for brewsters and brewers. Likewise at beer festivals, such as here, at the World Beer Festival, in Raleigh, North Carolina, on 28 April 2007.

Brewster Fashion

The terms brewster and brewer may have been, for a time, at least in northern England and Scotland, interchangeable terms, feminine or masculine, for one who makes beer.

From the Oxford English Dictionary (as quoted by Martyn Cornell at his beer history blog, Zythophile):

In northern M(iddle) E(nglish), perh. owing to the frequent adoption by men of trades like weaving, baking, tailoring, etc., the suffix [-ster] came very early to be used, indiscriminately with -ER, as an agential ending irrespective of gender.

It is probable that “-ster” was often preferred to “-er” as more unambiguously referring to the holder of a professional function, as distinguished from the doer of an occasional act [emphasis mine]. In Scotland, baxter and webster survived as masculines down to the 19th c.

  • All About Beer Magazine organizes three World Beer Festivals: in Raleigh and Durham, in North Carolina, and in Columbia, South Carolina. The Columbia festival occurs today, 28 January 2012. The Raleigh festival is scheduled for 4 April 2012; the Durham event has no 2012 date listed as of today's post. A fourth festival, in Richmond, Virginia, is no longer held.
  • The Pink Boots Society is an association of and for women brewers and beer professionals:
  • 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.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

VeggieDag Thursday: Quick Links

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

  • Some thoughts on whether or not to promote veganism as a weight loss diet. Via The Vegan RD.
    The latest research on weight management —some of which was highlighted in a recent article in the New York Times— raises questions about the pursuit of a slender body. ¶ The evidence suggest that the majority of people who lose weight regain as much as 95 percent of it within five years. <...> People who diet may have to exercise more and cut back more stringently on calories to maintain their weight loss compared to same-weight people who haven’t dieted. <...> For many people, however—especially those who have dieted unsuccessfully numerous times—resolutions that focus on healthy lifestyle rather than on dropping pounds could be the best and smartest option. <...> Go vegan, or at least get started on the transition. Eating more plant foods can improve your health no matter what your body size.

  • A new 'crop' of farmers in the Washington, D.C. area. Via Flavor Magazine.
    There’s a crisis in farming: The average age of a farmer in the United States is between 57 and 59. Thirty percent of our farmers are beyond retirement age. And the USDA says we need 100,000 new farmers a year – that’s right, every year – to continue American food production at current levels. ¶ Meet the new generation of farmers in the Capital Foodshed. The 29 local farmers under 40 on these pages combine a love for good food and hard work with scientific inquiry, bountiful philosophy, and, in most cases, a finely honed aversion to cubicles.

  • Bugs are developing resistance to GMO corn (up to 60% of US crop). Via Yahoo News.
    One of the nation's most widely planted crops — a genetically engineered corn plant [Bt corn introduced in 2003] that makes its own insecticide — may be losing its effectiveness because a major pest appears to be developing resistance more quickly than scientists expected. ¶ The U.S. food supply is not in any immediate danger because the problem remains isolated. But scientists fear potentially risky farming practices could be blunting the hybrid's sophisticated weaponry.

  • One of the features of Atlanta, Georgia's Botanical Garden is a year-round 'Edible Garden.'
    The garden boasts colorful vegetables to eat 365 days a year, from orange cauliflower in spring to purple beans and burgundy okra in the summer to a kaleidoscope of apples, pears, persimmons, figs, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and muscadines in fall [to cabbages in the winter].

    Braised cabbage, under the lights

    The garden includes an Outdoor Kitchen where Atlanta's top chefs present Cooking Classes, and, every weekend May through October, the Garden Chef showcases seasonal recipes using ingredients harvested from the Edible Garden. Any harvested food not used in educational programs is donated to local charities.

  • From the New York Times' Recipes for Health: Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger, Leeks, Apples.

  • A beer blogger has an edible New Years' tradition of Black Eyed Pea & Jicama Salad. The recipe, via Musings Over A Pint.

  • Prince Fielder, a baseball slugger, is a vegetarian (most of the time). How about vegan bodybuilders? Via New York Times.
    There is little official data on competitive bodybuilders who are vegan, though the Web site has more than 5,000 registered users. <...> Nutritionists and bodybuilders have argued that a disciplined vegan diet, consisting of things like hemp-based protein supplements, peanut butter, nuts, vegetables and legumes, can yield similar, if not better, results than a meat- or dairy-filled diet. Carefully monitored, vegans can get the same amount of protein with less fat or toxins, they argue.
  • And ...

  • An exasperated mother admonishing her children, as overheard in a supermarket: "No! Olives are NOT a food group."


  • VeggieDag is an occasional Thursday post on vegetarian issues. Why the name? Here.
  • Prior VeggieDag Thursday posts: here. Follow on Twitter: #VeggieDag.
  • Suggestions and submissions from chefs and homecooks: welcomed!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 2/3, 2012

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

Weeks 2/3
8 January - 21 January 2012

  • 2012.01.21
    Mac McGarry to make his final appearance on "It's Academic", the longest running quiz show on TV. Via NPR.

  • 2012.01.20
    Remembering Etta James, stunning singer. 1938 – 2012. Via NPR Blog Supreme

  • 2012.01.20
    British Parliament challenges brewers to produce 'session' beers, with reduced duty. Via

    Steam from mash tun

  • 2012.01.20
    A gloomy worldwide forecast for barley grown for brewing. Via Brewers Association.

  • 2012.01.19
    LewBryson's "American Beer Blogger" video project reaches its Kickstarter goal to fund a pilot episode.

  • 2012.01.19
    After FIFA insists that the 2014 World Cup soccer events must have beer, Russia and Brazil reconsider their stadium alcohol bans. Via Washington Post Sports.

  • 2012.01.19
    No Mo Poe. The mysterious 'Poe Toaster' fails to appear at Edgar Allan Poe's grave for 3rd year in a row. Vigil of over fifty years to end. Via Yahoo News.

  • 2012.01.18
    Virginia wineries cop 22 medals in San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition; Maryland wineries, 2. Via Dave McIntyre at Washington Post.

  • 2012.01.17
    At 2.5 million barrels produced in 2011, Yuengling is now the largest US-owned brewery, surpassing Boston Beer (Sam Adams) at 2.4 million barrels.

  • 2012.01.17
    Wikipedia to go off-line Wednesday at midnight for 24 hours as protest againat SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act bill in Congress. Via Slate

    Firkin busy
  • 2012.01.16
    Draft Magazine reveals its list of 100 Best US Beer Bars for 2012.

  • 2012.01.16
    Anheuser-Busch InBev has NOT acquired Budvar. It HAS acquired the trademark for the name "Budweiser." The Budvar Brewery remains independent, brewing in Budejovice, Czech Republic. As reported by beer writer Stephen Beaumont at his Twitter feed.

  • 2012.01.16
    On this day in 1919, the 18th Amendment —Prohibition— was ratified. The Amendment would take effect one year and one day later, and continue for nearly 14 years until repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933. More from Wikipedia.

  • 2012.01.13
    "The Beer Hunter" —a film about Michael Jackson the late beer writer— has reached its Kickstarter funding goal. More at the film's website:

  • 2012.01.13
    Turn the damn cellphone OFF. What the conductor of the New York Philharmonic did when, while he was conducting Gustav Mahler's Ninth Symphony, a cell phone began to chirp. Via Yahoo News.

    Sunlit archway
  • 2012.01.10
    Brewery Ommegang says planned fracking —hydraulic fracturing extraction of natural gas— will pollute its well water, forcing the uptate New York brewery to relocate or close.

  • 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
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Drinking, Again: Bitter & Twisted (review)

Beer reviews

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

From Harviestoun Brewery in Scotland: Bitter & Twisted. Here, served, hand-pulled cask-conditioned —across the ocean— at Rustico Restaurant, in Alexandria, Virginia. 20 January 2012.

In a cultural cross-pollination, Rustico served this Scottish cask ale in a Stange, a 0.2 liter German glass (just under 8 fluid ounces), traditionally used to serve kegged Kölsch beer.

Cask glass of Bitter & Twisted

Harviestoun itself has engaged in a bit of cross-pollination. It bittered and flavored Bitter & Twisted with with Styrian Goldings and Hersbrucker, two noble hops from central Europe, more commonly found in lagers. The hops gave a bright lemony character, not the overwrought grapefruit juice 'blunderbuss' of so many U.S. cask ales. The aroma is chased by a fresh yeasty flavor, a hint of biscuity malt, more of that lemony flavor, and a firm finish (again from the hops). At 4.2% alcohol-by-volume, Bitter & Twisted is both 'sessionable' and more-ish.

In 2003, the beer was crowned Champion Beer of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival.

harviestoun bitter & twisted

Full-flavored, but elegant. Hops part of the flavor, rather than the only flavor. Alcohol at a level which invites another. Now, that's what I wish more U.S. cask ales would aspire to be.


  • A past official of the Ford Motor Company founded Harviestoun in 1985, in Clackmannanshire, Scotland. In 2006, the brewery was purchased by Caledonian Brewery. It became independent again, two years later, when Caledonian was purchased by Scottish & Newcastle, itself owned jointly by by Heineken and Carlsberg. The international conglomerates wanted nothing to do with small Harviestoun and its cask ales. Our gain!
  • Read more on the practise of cask ale in the U.S. at CaskAleUSA.
  • Drinking Again is a series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits). The graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pic(k) of the Week: Fountain, Glass Sculpture, & Lights

In December, the Nepenthes Chandelier —by glass sculptor Dave Chihuly— sat atop a fountain at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Fountain & Lights

During an annual December tradition —Garden Lights, Holiday Nights— the Atlanta, Georgia, garden was illuminated by over one million energy-efficient LED lights strung throughout the flora of its 30-acres.

30 December 2011.


  • A slideshow of photos from the exhibit: 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 subject. Commercial use requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Birthday in Beer: Steve Jones

In 2011, there were 1,927 breweries operating in the United States. Relatively few of those emphasized the production of cask-conditioned 'real ale.' And, of those, even fewer fermented their beers in open fermenters.

One member of that exclusive double subset is Oliver Ales at the Pratt Street Alehouse, in Baltimore, Maryland. The brewer there, for over a decade, has been Stephen 'Steve' Jones.

Jones & Cizauskas
Jones is on the left.

Jones is a degreed British brewer, a tireless proselytizer for cask ale, a vegetarian (!), and a charming fellow. In a melieu of hard-working 'craft' brewers, he is harder working. Today is his birthday. Here is his story, in his own words.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jones!

  • Follow Jones on Twitter at @oliverale.
  • More Birthdays in Beer: here. The Brookston Beer Bulletin maintains a much more inclusive beer birthday list: here.
  • The statistics on breweries were compiled by the Brewers Association, an advocacy and lobbying group for U.S. breweries producing fewer than six million barrels of beer per year. The Association does NOT track cask ale production of its member breweries.
  • Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virgina— I sell the beers of Oliver Ales.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"American Beer Blogger" needs your support

He's the man with the best laugh —an infectious from-the-belly guffaw— in the craft beer business. And, now, seriously, Lew Bryson needs your help.

Bryson and Cizauskas
That's Lew on the left..

Bryson is managing editor of Whisky Advocate magazine; a regular writer on beer for Ale Street News and Massachusetts Beverage Business magazine; the witty, sometimes hilarious, and always insightful writer of beer blog Seen Through a Glass; and the author of four regional brewery and good beer guidebooks: Pennsylvania Breweries, Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Breweries, New York Breweries, and New Jersey Breweries. And, that's not to mention his campaign for session beer and his campaign against arcane alcohol laws.

As if that weren't enough, Bryson has a new project. American Beer Blogger, a television/internet/DVD series on the American 'craft beer' scene. He's the host and writer; a company called Green Leaf is the producer.

AMERICAN BEER BLOGGER is a half hour television series dedicated to all facets of the ever growing craft beer market. From home brewing, to micro beer; viewers will experience the very best of the craft beer culture. In each episode, Lew will visit a different brewer, each of which has their own sets of quirks and ways of doing things. Lew will talk to these brewers, get to know them, will show us first hand the various methods and techniques used in creating a craft beer. From the tiniest bottler to the largest manufacturer, Lew will get his hands dirty. Topics such as bottling, food pairing, manufacturing, distribution, history, technique (and so much more) will all be touched upon as Lew spends a day with these brewers. <...> Through humor and a charming, hands-on host, our show will not only be entertaining for the microbeer enthusiast, but also enjoyable for the average viewer as well.

The funding for American Beer Blogger is enabled by Kickstarter, a so-called 'crowdfunding' micro-funding medium. Investors —really contributors— are given a limited amount of time in which to pledge. If the chosen amount is not gathered by that deadline, no funds are collected. If it is met, Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised; Amazon, facilitating the actual on-line payments, takes an additional 3-5%.

Originally, Bryson was asking for $60,000, just enough to finance 6 episodes. That goal was not reached. Now, he's re-tooled the project, looking to fund only one pilot episode, for $6,000. He has two weeks, until Sunday 29 January, to reach his goal.

UPDATE: The funding goal was reached later in the day 19 January. But, Bryson adds, more funds are always welcome: for travel expenses, etc. The pilot episode will premiere on March 8th, at 10 PM, on WLVT, the Bethlehem/Lehigh Valley PBS affiliate station.

So, I throw down a challenge for the beer blogging community. Let's demonstrate support for one of own. Lew Bryson has done more than many of us, and for longer than many of us —for over two decades— to support good beer. Now, he wishes to take his efforts further. American Beer Blogger would be a series I would be eager to watch, and, knowing Bryson and his body of work, I believe you —and anyone interested in good beer— would be, as well.

The website for the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference counts 853 blogs as "Citizen Beer Blogs" in North America. Let's do the math. Of the $6,000 dollars needed to be pledged, fifty-three backers, as of this morning, have already donated $4,157. That leaves $1,843 to be raised. Just for this conceit, if we were to assume the 53 donors to be beer bloggers, 800 bloggers have yet to be heard from. If each of those were to contribute only $2.31 —that's TWO DOLLARS AND THIRTY-ONE CENTS, less than the cost of one draft craft beer at your local bar— Bryson would meet his goal. To sweeten the deal: for contributions of slightly to much higher, there is schwag, DVDs, and public acknowledgment.

Fellow beer bloggers, craft brewers, importers, wholesalers, beer bar owners, beer store owners, and beer drinkers, let's pay Bryson's efforts forward. Contribute to American Beer Blogger: here.


  • Another Kickstarter project —Michael Jackson: The Beer Hunter— has already achieved its goal, but still needs additional funds for post-production work. It's "a documentary film about the British journalist and author Michael Jackson, whose books and television series about beer inspired the global phenomenon that is the craft brewing renaissance. An intimate portrait based on over 60 hours of rare, recent video footage." part of the project will be the endowment of the "Michael Jackson Memorial Foundation, with the "goal of organizing annual fund-raising events in Michael's memory, with proceeds to benefit Parkinson's Research."
  • The Beer Blogger Conference site defines a Citizen Beer Blog as one not designed to promote a brewery or other business, but allowing "media-based" blogs.
  • The 2012 U.S. Beer Bloggers Conference is scheduled for 13-15 July in Indianapolis; in the U.K., for 18-20 May, in Leeds.
  • Caveat Lector: I am mentioned in Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Breweries.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Protest FOR Internet Freedom

Rather than going 'black' today in protest against SOPA and PIPA, Yours For Good Fermentables joins the chorus against these bills: respectively, the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House of Representatives and Protect IP Act in the Senate.

Read more at the Electronic Freedom Foundation, including ways and means to contact your Congressman —Democrat or Republican— to protest against these bills.

And, once you've done that, read this chilling piece by Jonathan Turley: 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free. The danger goes much further than the internet.


  • The above embedded video was prepared by a non-profit organization called Fight For The Future. Like many such advocacy groups, its financial backers are not listed. Considering its goals, I wouldn't be surprised if Google, Ebay, Facebook, etc. were among them. Its webpage does mention EFF as one of its friends. That organization being a force for e-freedom, and the simple yet fairly honest depiction of the dangers of SOPA/PIPA in the video, were powerful enough reasons for me to re-post it here.
  • Although Wikipedia is preventing searches of its database throughout the day today as a protest against the bills (and as a foretaste of what a severely controlled internet could look like in the future), its mobile site remains functioning.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pic(k) of the Week: Victoria by candlelight

Candlelight illuminates a glass of Allagash Brewing's Victoria Ale.

Victoria by candlelight

The occasion was a 7-course beer dinner at RedRocks Pizza Napoletana —in Alexandria, Virginia— featuring the beers of Allagash Brewing Company —of Portland, Maine. Seven different beers were paired with seven different courses. The brewery's National Sales Manager —Naomi Neville— and its area representative —Suzanne Woods— presented the beers.

Rather than attempt to shout over the clamor of a busy restaurant, the two walked table-to-table, talking one-on-one with the customers, as the beers and food were served. This made a 'big' event seem much more intimate.

This was only the first 'full-bore' beer dinner at the restaurant. (RedRocks has hosted prior beer 'tastings,' at which small-plate pizzas were served, but not with specific pairings.) General Manager James O'Brien, pleased at evening's conclusion, promised there would be more.

Alexandria (Old Town), Virginia.
11 January 2012.

    Allagash White
    Belgian-style Wheat Ale (ABV: 5.0%)
    Served with:
    Charcuterie plate: an assortment of house-made cured meats and vegetables.

    Allagash Tripel
    Belgian-style Strong Golden Ale (ABV: 9%)
    Served with:
    Wood-roasted sea scallop salad.

    Allagash Odyssey
    Oak Aged Dark Wheat (ABV: 10.4%)
    Served with:
    Wood-fired eggplant parmesan, basil, grana cheese, house-baked bread.

    Allagash Victoria
    Belgian-style ale fermented with Vidal Blanc white wine grapes. (ABV 9%)
    Served with:
    Gulf shrimp wrapped with prosciutto in a black truffle sauce.

    Allagash Dubbel
    Belgian Style Dubbel (ABV: 7%)
    Served with:
    Lamb meatballs al forno served over soft polenta.

    Allagash Black
    Belgian Style Stout (ABV: 7.5%)
    Served with:
    Gorgonzola with honey drizzle.

    Allagash Curieux
    Bourbon barrel aged Belgian-style Strong Golden Ale (ABV: 11%). The brewery pronounces it "CURE ee oh."
    Served with:
    Panna Cotta with fresh berries.
  • More photos from the beer dinner: 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 use requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.
  • Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virgina— I sell the beers of Allagash.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Week 1, 2012.

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

Weeks 48/49
1 January - 7 January 2012
[and some from Weeks 50, 51, 52 of 2011.]

  • 2012.01.06
    Feb. 15 to be official opening for the Heavy Seas Alehouse in Baltimore, Maryland. Via The Original Beer in Baltimore blog.

  • 2012.01.06
    Announced: the jazz nominations, in four categories, for the 54th annual Grammy Awards. Via Elements of Jazz.

  • 2012.01.05
    On the heels of the bankruptcy of Washington, D.C.-based Penn Camera, comes word that Kodak itself may declare the same. Via Reuters.

  • 2012.01.05
    OnTap Magazine highlights nine new breweries to open or already open in the Washington D.C. / northern Virginia area.

  • 2012.01.05
    Bugs developing resistance to GMO corn (up to 60% of US crop). Via Yahoo News.

  • 2012.01.05
    Long-time St. Louis craft brewery Schlafly Beer is sold; stays local. Via Pro Brewer.

  • 2012.01.05
    Celebrator Beer News has 'gone' digital, beginning with the Dec '11/Jan '12 issue. Back issues to follow. Via Brookston Beer Bulletin.

  • 2012.01.04
    New multi-tap beer bar coming to Arlington (Ballston), Virginia. World of Beer to feature 50 drafts, 500 bottles. To open in July 2012. Via ARL now

  • 2012.01.03
    A 1913 NY Times article on portmanteaus includes the word "alcoholiday": defined as leisure time spent drinking. Via @mental_floss.

  • 2012.01.03
    A 'craft' beer pioneer, Fal Allen celebrates his birthday today. More about Allen, via Brookston Beer Bulletin. 2 Jan

  • 2012.01.02
    Google has created an elections synopsis page: here.

  • 2012.01.02
    The Year in Beer: 30 stories that shaped 2011. Via

    Pulling a Pint (01)

  • 2011.12.28
    A British beer blogger on what's wrong with the cask real ale scene in the U.S. Read Myth #1 from Dings Beer Blog.

  • 2011.12.24
    Alan McLeod of A Good Beer Blog announces the Grand Champion Beer Photo of 2011: a photo of Cantillon Brewery by Jeff Alworth of Beervana beer blog.

  • 2011.12.19
    Scientists set Internet speed record. Via NPR News.

  • 2011.12.17
    "It matters not what you think, but how you think." Essayist Christopher Hitchens dies at age 62. 1949-2011. Via Washington Post.

  • 2011.12.15
    Without public fanfare, Sierra Nevada Brewing begins to can its Pale Ale. Via Beer

  • 2011.12.15
    Actor Will Ferrell does TV ad for Old Milwaukee Beer. Via Huffington Post.

  • 2011.12.13
    James River Brewing to open in early 2012 in Scottsville, Virginia. Via Beer Advocate.

    Chris O'Brien
  • 2011.12.12
    The 'Beer Activist' Chris O'Brien speaks on breweries and sustainability.


  • 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
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Blessings for Heavy Seas

Heavy Seas Brewing may have crossed a 'craft' brewery Rubicon in 2011.

Clipper sign

The brewery was known as Clipper City when it opened in 1995 in an industrial park just south of Baltimore, Maryland. Fifteen years later, in 2010, Heavy Seas sold just north of 20,000 barrels of beer. That's the equivalent of 6.6 million 12-ounce bottles of beer on the wall.

To put things in perspective, however, the brewery failed to even crack the top 50 U.S. 'craft' breweries list that year, as compiled by the Brewers Association —an advocacy group for most U.S. breweries of less than 6 million barrels annual production.

It was another Maryland brewery that did, and which has for several years prior. Flying Dog Brewery (in Fredrick, Maryland, but originally from Denver, Colorado) produced 60,827 barrels in 2010, placing it at the 28th position.

Grist case
Now, 2011.

To facilitate its growth in production, Heavy Seas increased its physical plant size by 50%, expanding into the adjoining building, adding an additional 10,000 square feet. Prior to that, the brewery packaging staff would daily move hundreds of cases of beer from the brewery outside to a separate warehouse down the street.

Lagering tanks

In the expanded space, Heavy Seas has 17 fermenters (twelve 100-bbl., five 150-bbl. tanks), 5 bright beer tanks (four 100-bbl, one 200-bbl tank), and four 150-bbl. horizontal 'lagering' tanks (in which Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA —the brewery's flagship beer— is dry-hopped and matured), and, of course, a bottling line and brewhouse. Additional space is utilized for packaged beer, offices, tap room, laboratory, casks, and oak barrel-aging.

Bottling line @Clipper City

To further handle the surge, the brewery is selling the space-hogging lagering tanks, and installing three new 200-bbl fermenters and another 200-bbl bright tank in their place. Future plans include expanding into yet another adjoining building and replacing the original 50-barrel kettle and brewing vessels with a new 100-barrel system.

Greater Pumpkin 2011 (03)

When the 2011 numbers are officially released, Heavy Seas' volume will be seen to have increased by 50% —a hefty rate of growth in a dismal economy— to approximately 30,000 barrels of beer for the year. With that, there is indeed the possibility that Heavy Seas will crack the Top 50.

Here's Hugh Sisson —the founder and Managing Partner of the brewery— delivering his hilarious blessing of the beer. After watching, you'll believe that Sisson's degree in college was theater ... which it was.


  • Heavy Seas has licensed its name to a restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland. The Heavy Seas Alehouse will open on 15 February 2012. More from the blog, The Original Beer in Baltimore here and here, and from CityBiz, which has news of the restaurant's award-winning chef (but no menu, yet).
  • According to the Brewers Association, the largest U.S. 'craft' breweries, at Nos. 1,2,3, respectively, were Boston Beer Company with 1,868,471 barrels, Sierra Nevada at 786,288 bbls., and New Belgium at 661,169 bbls., The Association doesn't consider American-owned Yeungling a 'craft' brewery (because the brewery uses a lot of corn in its beer). If it did, however, Yuengling would rank first. At #50 was Ninkasi Brewing Co. with 30,310 bbls.
  • A barrel is not a keg; it's not even a physical container. Rather it's a unit of measurement used by breweries, oil companies, etc. In beer's case, a barrel equals 31 gallons, or 13.78 cases (at 24 bottles of 12 fluid ounces per case). More volume equivalents: here.
  • A bright beer tank, from the Oxford Companion to Beer, is a "dish-bottomed pressure-rated temperature-controlled tank used to hold beer in preparation for packaging. The term "bright" refers to "bright beer," beer that has been rendered bright (clear) by filtration, centrifugation, fining, and/or maturation."
  • Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virgina— I sell the beers of Heavy Seas.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Pic(k) of the Week: Wake up and smell the coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee

An abandoned kitten, rescued, and happy in his new home: George Bailey sniffs the coffee.

Decatur, Georgia.
2 January 2012.

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 use requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.