Monday, May 28, 2012

Keeping it cool: thinking outside the cellar.

A cool cellar temperature (think 50 - 54 °F) is a wonderful temperature at which to drink a cask ale. It's refreshing, yet no so cold as to mask flavor. Room temperature, on the other hand? That's not so refreshing: inappropriately warm for any beer.

And, then, what of of a summer day? Beer at 80+ °F? That's unpalatable, and a problem. More and more outdoor beer festivals in the U.S. have begun featuring casks as part of their beer lineups. Many of these festivals are held in the summer months. So, what to do?

The classic method is to use a wet towel draped over a cask. It's not so much the temperature of the towel that cools the cask, but a process called latent heat vaporization ... or in simpler terms: evaporative cooling. Water requires significant energy to go through a phase change from from liquid to gas (steam). As the water evaporates off the towel, it (the water) is absorbing a lot of energy (heat) from the cask. That energy transfer is what keeps the beer cool. (The human body sweats on a hot day for a similar reason.) Of course, a dry towel accomplishes little. Any cooling requires regular re-moistening of the towel.

And, a dry, cool day.

Towels cool the cask

At the high heat and humidity of a summer afternoon in the lower 48 states, draping a wet towel over a cask is a futile refrigeration method. Using an ice blanket, or a simple bag of ice, draped over a cask will work but marginally better. The ice will chill only the top layer of beer. As more and more beer is served from the cask, it will be the uppermost layer of AIR in the cask that will be chilled, NOT the beer.

Not ice-cold

So, again, absent cooling coils and refrigerators, how to keep a cask cool on a hot and humid day? Here's a method I've employed to good effect.
Purists, don't fret. The inefficiency of the melting ice will not chill the beer below 50 °F. The result: cool, NOT cold real ale. It's not ideal, but it is an attempt at cellarmanship under duress.

SPBW @NoVa BrewFest

This photo, by the way, shows the use of an ale extractor: a rigid tube that also doubles as a tap and vent. It's a cask tool of older pedigree, and works well, but it is not quite as versatile as a Cask Widge.


In Memory

On this Memorial Day of 2012,
take time to honor all those
who gave the last full measure of devotion to their nation.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

Len Michalowski, a WWII veteran, maintained a memorial to his fellow veterans, year-round, in his front yard, in Falls Church, Virginia. He passed away last year in early May.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pic(k) of the Week: Reno Eclipse

"By the light of the darkened sun."

Reno eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun's light. An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region thousands of kilometres wide. This is also known as Ring of Fire.

The first annular eclipse in almost 20 years occurred on Saturday, 20 May 2012, visible over Asia, the Pacific Ocean, and parts of western North America. According to The Examiner, the next partial eclipse over much of North America will occur on October 23, 2014. The next total eclipse over the U.S. will occur on August 21, 2017, in the Tennessee area.

Above is a photo of a couple watching the eclipse. I like the 'feel,' almost like folk in the 1950s who would wear stereoscopic bi-colored paper glasses to view 3-D movies, often Sci-Fi.

What: Annular Eclipse Watch Party

Where: Fleischmann Planetarium, University of Nevada, Redfield Campus, south of Reno, Nevada, along route to Lake Tahoe.

When: 20 May 2012, 6:30PM PDT.

Who: Carol Cizauskas and Don Prather, both of whom were wearing specially constructed filter viewers provided by the Planetarium.

The Wheels: "Frankie," a 1993 Chrysler LeBaron convertible.

  • WARNING: Never attempt to look directly at any eclipse with the naked eye, telescope, binoculars, sunglasses, etc. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness.

  • 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. This photo courtesy Carol Cizauskas, haiku poet at Six Blocks From The City. Commercial use requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 19/20, 2012

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

Weeks 19/20
6 May - 19 May 2012

  • 2012.05.19
    National brewpub chain Gordon-Biersch to open a location in Inner Harbor East of Baltimore, Maryland. Via Baltimore Magazine.

    Firkin Fest at Stillpoint Farm

  • 2012.05.19
    Firkin Fest —at Stillpoint Farm in Mt. Airy, Maryland— closes out Frederick Beer Week. Via YFGF.

  • 2012.05.18
    "The Voice That Made You Fall in Love With Lieder:" the great 20th century baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau has died at age 86. Via New York Times.

  • 2012.05.18
    Casella -maker of Yellowtail, inexpensive wine from Australia- to brew 'iPhone hipster-designed' Perfect Lager. Via The Telegraph.

  • 2012.05.18
    Nasdaq glitch mars Facebook IPA; banks prop up stock price. Via Yahoo.

  • 2012.05.18
    National Bike to Work Day. Information and continuing resources for Washington, D.C., area via Bike To Work Metro DC.

    "Crack One Open, D.C."

  • 2012.05.18
    "Crack One Open" a promotion by Maryland brewery Flying Dog Brewery using an image of Washington, D.C. Councilman (and former mayor) Marion Barry is pulled after legal action. Via NBC4. Coverage of advertisement itself via DCist.

  • 2012.05.17
    RIP Donna Summer, gone from us at age 63. Via TMZ. Video of "Last Dance", via YouTube.

  • 2012.05.17
    Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signs several craft beer-related bills into law. Via All About Beer.

  • 2012.05.16
    Chuck Brown, the "Godfather of Go-Go," has died at age 75. Via Washington Post.

  • 2012.05.16
    The cult of 100-point Cabernet Sauvignons. Via The Drinks Business.

  • 2012.05.15
    An essay on why "Modern 'craft' keg can be very good indeed, and certainly much better than badly kept cask." In Britain, a rift appears between older traditionalists and younger good beer drinkers. Via Zythophile.

  • 2012.05.13
    God is groovin' now. R&B bassist Duck Dunn has died at age 70. Via BBC.

  • 2012.05.11
    JP Morgan’s whopping $2 billion loss sends bank stocks down. Via Toronto Star.

  • 2012.05.11
    American Craft Beer Week, Frederick Beer Week, D.C Beer Week. Via Washington Post.

  • 2012.05.10
    Maybe the world won't end on 21 December 2012. An excavation revealed, with new insights into Mayan astrology and calendar. Via Washington Post.

  • 2012.05.09
    Drinks giant conglomerate (Guinness, etc.) acts like a thug, and then is forced to offer public apology to small Scottish brewery BrewDog. Via Pete Brown Beer.

  • 2012.05.08
    Maurice Sendak, author of "Where the Wild Things Are," and many other children's books, dies at age 83. Via CBS News. ["There must be more to life than having everything."]

    well-stocked refrigerator

  • 2012.05.07
    Can craft beer save America? The redemption of the economy may start with type of brew in your fridge. Via Salon.

  • 2012.05.07
    The Washington Post's take on the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference, on the state of craft beer, and on those breweries in Virginia and Maryland that won medals at the World Beer Cup.

  • 2012.05.07
    The Washington Post's take on the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference, on the state of craft beer, and on those breweries in Virginia and Maryland that won medals at the World Beer Cup.

  • 2012.05.06
    At the 2012 World Beer Cup, eight medals went to breweries in Virginia and Maryland. Recap via DC
  • 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.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pic(k) of the Week: Cask Feng Shui

Casks Feng Shui

Four firkins (10.8 gallon casks) lie ready to be sanitized, filled, and primed ...

at Mad Fox Brewing Company
Falls Church, Virginia.
13 May 2012.

Sometimes, you get lucky with composition and lighting. Here, both seemed just right.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

DC Brewers Kick the Keg!

Brewers from the greater Washington, D.C. area gathered last evening at Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church, Virginia, to celebrate American Craft Beer Week.

Each brewer brought one kegged beer from their brewery. The challenge was whose beer would be drained first by the pub's patrons. The winning brewery would receive the Dominion Cup, a large trophy fashioned from a keg, originally used for a similar competition when Dominion Brewery was still based in northern Virginia.

Local brewers ' kick' the keg at Mad Fox

    Left to right:

  • Brian Murphy: assistant brewer, Mad Fox.
    Orange Whip IPA.
    This brew is dry hopped with Citra hops from our friends in Yakima at Hop Union. The kettle additions of Citra hops, brings this brew in at a whopping 75 IBU’s and the hops flavors are much more pronounced with citrusy hints of pineapple, orange etc. This version is also loaded with malt flavors with plenty of crystal malt, medium to full bodied and deep copper colored. 7.5% ABV.

  • Brian Quann (partially obscured): brewer, Sweetwater Tavern (Merrifield, Virginia)

  • Rick Garvin: owner, Mad Fox.

  • Jonathan Reeves: brewer, Port City Brewing Company (Alexandria, Virginia).
    Monumental IPA.
    "A rich copper color, and is intensely hoppy. We add a special blend of American hops throughout the brewing and fermentation process to create a complex combination of aroma and flavor. This ale exhibits floral notes, flavors of citrus and resin, combined with delicious caramel background notes. The balanced style will keep the palate fresh and invite the drinker back into the glass."

  • Bill Madden (with mallet): brewmaster/owner, Mad Fox.

  • Charlie Buettner: brewer, Mad Fox.

  • Danielle: assistant brewer, Chocolate City Brewing (Washington, D.C.)
    The Ugly Sticke
    This is a bumped up and dryhopped version of our flagship Cornerstone Copper Ale. Caramelly and biscuity with lasting citrusy bitterness from generous american hop additions. 8.3% ABV, 80 IBU.

  • Ben Matz: head brewer, Chocolate City.

  • Nick Funnel: brewmaster, Sweetwater Tavern (Centreville, Virginia).

  • Jacob Jay from DC Brau (Washington, D.C.) visited earlier earlier in the evening. He brought:
    Ground Wolf™.
    A Tribute to Humulus Lupulus (Hops!). Meridian Pint is has been a partner of ours for a long time. We celebrated our launch together. We celebrated our first anniversary together. So, it's only fitting that we finally put our heads together and come up with a brew! 'Ground Wolf' was brewed to celebrate the bittering and aromatic wonders of the hop plant, also known as Ground Wolf (so named for its tenacious ability to overrun most any neighboring plant), while keeping the booze restrained to a quaffable 4.5%. Columbus hops added at the beginning of the boil give Ground Wolf a strong bitter backbone. Multiple additions of Centennial hops throughout the brew, as well as a heaping dry addition afterwards, give it a bright citrus nose and flavor that is sure to please IPA fans.

  • Devils Backbone (Roseland, Virginia) couldn't attend but sent a keg of:
    8 Points IPA.
    A cornucopia of hop varities imparts a citrusy floral aroma and a crisp bitterness. Concocted from Pilsen and a dash of Caramel Malts. This burnished-gold ale has a touch of malty sweetness for balance, which makes it easy to enjoy all night long. 60 IBU 5.9% ABV.

  • Likewise, Lost Rhino Brewing Company (Ashburn, Virgina) was unable to send a representative, but sent a keg of:
    Zlatý Rhino
    Zlatý Rhino is an American interpretation of a classic Bohemian-style Pilsner, which takes its name from the Czech word for "Golden". Brewed with imported floor-malted Bohemian spring barley (the Tolar and Bojos varieties) and 100% Czech Saaz hops, this beer brings a balance of malty sweetness and delicate bitterness, thanks to the use of a painstaking decoction mash schedule and long kettle boil. Modeled after the beer that won first prize by Aaron Hermes in the inaugural Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer competition in Washington, DC in 2011, this is an easy-drinking beer for the warmer days ahead. As the Czechs say, 'Na zdraví!'"

And the winner was ...

Orange Whip from Mad Fox!

And the winner is ...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's ACBW. Where are the events in DC?

Now, there may be many pubs, restaurants, stores, and breweries in Washington, D.C., that are celebrating American Craft Beer Week this week. And, there may be some posting their calendars to Facebook, Twitter, and their own websites: things such as Happy Hour pricing on draft American craft' beers. But, not one has listed an event for today to the national American Craft Beer Week website. - Beer Week Events
Click on the graphic to expand.

Brewpub Gordon-Biersch —maligned by some in the D.C. 'craft' beer scene (not me) as not really a D.C. brewpub— did post a general invitation yesterday to "Bring Your Friends and Celebrate American Craft Beer Week." But that's it, that's all. For the rest of the week, there's not one single posting by anyone else in Washington, D.C. (except for a misplaced Dogfish Head event in Delaware.)

American Craft Beer Week is a nationwide celebration of 'craft' breweries, of the pubs and stores that serve their beers, and of and for the drinkers and consumers nationwide that enjoy and purchase their beers. A beer tourist looking at the national website would be unfortunately underwhelmed by the beer culture in the Nations's Capital. Since that is not so, that would be a shame.

The Washington Post's Going Out Gurus yesterday published a short list of events, and so has website DC Beer, with a larger list, but the question still stands: why not, with the click of a mouse, alert the world to your event at the ACBW website?

Neighboring Maryland and Virginia fare better, where several pubs, breweries, and other locations took the time to post their events.

All this week, I'll be posting on topics of American 'craft' beer and/or searching out local beer. Local to me is the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and the states of Virginia and Maryland. Yesterday, it was Batch 100 at Mad Fox Brewing Company, a brewpub in Falls Church, Virginia.

American Craft Beer Week: Beer 1

Batch 100 is a strong dark ale, the 100th batch (naturally!) of beer brewed at the brewpub, fermented from a starting gravity of 100 brewers points (get it?), with Centennial hops (get it?), calculated at 100 IBUs (get it?), and then aged 6 months in an Evan Williams bourbon barrel. The beer is indeed dark with a strong bourbon nose, flavor, and alcohol presence, and with a dark fruit flavor like plums. The beer is indeed strong: the brewers estimate the alcohol by volume to be in excess of 12%. The brewery will tap two kegs for American Craft Beer Week, and reserve the remainder for aging.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lost Rhino, Port City, & American Craft Beer Week

It was a Hobson's Choice for me on Saturday. Should I celebrate a friend's 30th birthday or a brewery's 1st? I chose the former ...

So, to the latter:

Congratulations to Matt Hagerman and Favio Garcia, owner/brewers of Lost Rhino Brewing Company, which they opened one year ago in 2011. In their own words, Lost Rhino
was born out of the fierce desire to keep the tradition of craft brewing alive in Northern Virginia. We were longtime brewers from Old Dominion and bought back the brewhouse and moved it to its new location in Ashburn, VA. It is here that we're brewing some of the most outstanding pilsners and ales in the Washington, DC area.

Here's to many more anniversaries to come.

My friend's 30th birthday festivities were held at another local brewery, Port City Brewing Company, in Alexandria, Virginia, which itself celebrated its first birthday earlier this past February.

Owner Bill Butcher shared much good news about his brewery. He has recently purchased new 90-barrel fermenters. He expects to ship 5,000 barrels of beer this year (a barrel is the equivalent of 13.7 cases of beer), more than he expected, and enough to allow the brewery 'break even', well ahead of what he had projected. He is expanding the tasting room and the hours and days it's open, adding a second tasting bar for a total of 16 taps in the room. Additionally, he's adding a dedicated growler (refillable 2-liter bottle) filling station, and a 50-inch flat television screen. Come July, when several law changes take effect, visitors to Port City will be able to purchase and enjoy 16-ounce pints in the tasting room, while listening to live music on the weekends.

All that good news brings me to this:

American Craft Beer Week 2012 (poster)

Today through Sunday, the Brewers Assocaition —the advocacy group for American breweries producing fewer than six million barrels of beer per year— celebrates those breweries, the pubs and stores that serve their beers, and the drinkers and consumers nationwide that enjoy and purchase their beers.
  • Read more about American Craft Beer Week at the BA's website:
  • Find American Craft Beer Week events near to you at: If there aren't any, ask your local brewery, pub, and beer shop: why not?
  • Find a brewery close to you: here.
  • Follow on Twitter at @beerweek1. (Search for Tweets about the week with hashtag #ACBW.
  • 'Like' on Facebook at AmericanCraftBeerWeek.
  • Share comments about beers tasted this week and American Craft Beer Week events via the Untappd phone app. More details: here.
Support American beer this week, but please begin your search with a thank you and purchase of a local beer. If it's good, you'll enjoy it as you support the local economy. If it's bad, tell the brewery. The owner, and the brewers are your neighbors. You can't do that with a large international beverage conglomerate.

  • For a list of breweries local to the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, see my list of the area's breweries on Twitter: here.
  • For a schedule of Washington, D.C. area events for the week, see the Washington Post's Going Out Gurus and the website DC Beer.
  • YFGF's ACBW posts:
  • Whose 30th birthday was it? Here.
  • Finally, here's a hint for enjoying the truly 'American' democratic spirit of American Craft Beer Week:. If an event costs more than $99, avoid it. There's too much good beer, too much good local beer, to be elitist.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day ... singular.

The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in America. She then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States. She was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world. This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson [in 1914] in the law making official the holiday in the United States.

Baby Mantis on flower

So ...

Have a happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Thanks to the Grammar Girl for her tip on the proper spelling for the day today.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pic(k) of the Week: Barrett's Bourbon (Stout)

Barrett's Bourbon

Barrett Lauer —brewmaster for Washington D.C.'s District Chophouse since 2002— pulls a pint of his cask-conditioned Bourbon Stout -an Oatmeal Stout, aged first in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. The beer goes into the barrels at 6.5% alcohol-by-volume (abv). It finishes, Lauer, estimates, at 8%.

District Chophouse's Bourbon Stout is, indeed, the original bourbon-aged beer in all of Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. It's been brewed at the pub since the late 1990s, predating even Lauer's tenure. He has, however, refined the recipe, including switching from A. Smith Bowman to Woodford Reserve barrels.

Washington, D.C.
10 May 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 subject. Commercial use requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Casks at the Maryland Craft Beer Festival!

Saturday, it's the Maryland Craft Beer Festival, at the Frederick Fairgounds. As well, it's the onset of Frederick Beer Week. Then, Monday, nationwide, it's American Craft Beer Week, 14 May through the 20th.

But, let's return to the Maryland Craft Beer Festival, which in years past was known as the Maryland Brewers Spring Beer Festival. It's a festival organized by the Brewer's Association of Maryland (BAM) for Maryland brewers ... and the folk who support and enjoy local beer. The key here is that it's not organized by a third party outside organizer (even though a company has been hired to help with the logistics). After expenses, it's Maryland breweries that will benefit.

Maryland Craft Beer Festival

Being a cask ale hound, I was interested in what real ales would be served, and how they would be handled. Serving cask ales properly at a festival is quite a bit more difficult than at a pub which is set up to accomdoate them. Here's what JT Smith, Executive Director of BAM, had to say:
The casks will be [and thus have been!] stillaged Friday morning in a dual-zone refrigerated truck, onsite at the festival grounds. The casks will be kept at cellar temperature [50-55 °F] They will be spiled the morning of the festival to the brewer's discretion in the hours leading up to the opening of the gates. While a majority of the casks will be tapped [for the] early entrance VIP time, I envision a majority, if not all of those casks making it to the early hours of General Admission, due to the limited numbers of VIP admitted, as well as the volume of casks being poured by Maryland brewers. It is worth noting that a few VIP tickets will be available at the gate, and are still currently available in limited supply via the official website. A few additional casks have been selected by our brewers to be tapped during the General Admission time as well

In addition, there will be firkins of There's much more than cask ale at the fest, and many more beers: draft beer, food, music. You can read more about the festival —including, purchasing tickets, and directions— at the festival website: The weather will be gorgeous!

  • The Eventplex at the Frederick Fairgrounds
  • 797 East Patrick Street, Frederick MD 21701
  • 1-6pm: $17 online; $25 at gate. (VIP admission at 12 noon: $32 online; $42 at gate)
  • On Facebook: MarylandCraftBeerFestival
  • BAM on Twitter: BrewersAssocMD
Despite the non-plural name of the organization, the Brewer's Association of Maryland represents sixteen state breweries.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 17/18, 2012

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

Weeks 17/18
22 April - 5 May 2012

  • 2012.05.05
    'El Día de la Batalla de Puebla, ' otherwise known as Cinco de Mayo. More about this date in Mexican history, via Wikipedia.

  • 2012.05.05
    The 'Super Moon' appears the 5th and 6th of May in 2012. Also known as the Perigee Full Moon, because the full moon coincides with the moon's closest approach to the Earth during the year. NASA says the moon will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than during any other full Moon of 2012.

  • 2012.05.05
    The Craft Brewers Conference —annual trade and business show for small breweries— in San Diego, California, 2-5 May. From Paul Gatza —Director of the Brewers Association: "If your number one concern as a craft brewer isn't quality, get out right now." —and— "Only 1 of 84 regional craft breweries did not increase production in 2011."

  • 2012.05.04
    Fight for your right. RIP Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, dead at age 47. Via ABC.

  • 2012.05.02
    The state of gluten-free beer in the Untied States. Via Washington Post.

    Wine Spectator acclaimed winelist

  • 2012.05.02
    Mega Purple? Egg whites? Dimethyl pyrocarbonate? Truth in labeling: what goes into your wine. Via Dsve McIntyre of the Washington Post.

  • 2012.05.02
    Oskar Blues Brewing of Longmont, Colorado, to open 2nd brewery in ... Brevard, North Carolina. Via Boulder Daily Camera.

  • 2012.05.02
    Wine buyer for chain-store COSTCO sees little difference between purchasing wine or toilet paper. Via

    Outlaw Ale
  • 2012.05.01
    In the U.K., May is Mild Ale Month. Why not, in the U.S.?

  • 2012.05.01
    Thirty-one cities were nominated to be on the ballot for the 2012 Beer City USA poll. Voting is 'live' from 1 May through 13 May. Via Charlie Papazian at Beer Examiner.

  • 2012.04.30
    Wine buyer for chain-store COSTCO sees little difference between purchasing wine or toilet paper. Via

  • 2012.04.30
    A Pre-Prohibition-era law may fall, if Congress allows U.S. Postal Service to ship beer and wine. Via TIME.

  • 2012.04.30
    Comprehensive look at status of current, new, and future Washington D.C., breweries and brewpubs. Via Lagerheads of the Washington City Paper.

  • 2012.04.30
    A look at Richmond, Virginia, brewery-in-planning Ardent Craft Ales. Via Greater Richmond Grid.


  • 2012.04.30
    Baltimore Beer: A Satisfying History of Charm City Brewing: new book written by long-time beer writer and Baltimore Sun. Via The History Press.

  • 2012.04.30
    Pianist/bandleader/composer Herbie Hancock launches International Jazz Day. Via CBS and Jazz Times.

  • 2012.04.28
    Some of the top names in U.S. wine writing to attend the fourth annual DrinkLocalWine Conference on April 28 in Denver, Colorado. Via DrinkLocalWine.

    American Craft Beer Week 2012 (poster)

  • 2012.04.26
    American Craft Beer Week runs May 14th through 20th. Read more via the Brewers Association.

  • 2012.04.26
    New York bill to allow breweries to opt out of distribution contracts, but provide wholesalers protection agaisnt loss of business. Via Syracuse Your News Now.


  • 2012.04.26
    Ten women in 'craft' beer you should follow. Via The Beer Wench.

  • 2012.04.26
    A brewery is a factory. Caution is imperative for safety. A worker at Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is killed by an exploding plastic keg. worker injured by exploding keg has died. Via Brewbound.

  • 2012.04.25
    Why a less-than-7-barrel system is undersized for commercial success at a brewery or brewpub. Via

  • 2012.04.25
    California winemakers found organization called "In Pursuit of Balance" to promote "elegance, balance, non-manipulation, and site specificity" in California Pinot Noirs. of Via Dave McIntyre of Washington Post.

  • 2012.04.25
    Happy birthday, Hubble Space telescope: 22 years of "stunning space images." Via Brain Pickings.

  • 2012.04.24
    "On April 24, 1800, President John Adams approved the appropriation of $5,000 for the purchase of 'such books as may be necessary for the use of congress.'" Happy 212th birthday Library of Congress.

  • 2012.04.23
    SAB/Miller CEO Graham Mackay -who in 2007 predicted that it was inevitable that craft beer would fade- rewarded with promotion to Chairman of the Board. Via

  • 2012.04.23
    The state of Alabama bans Founders Brewing's Dirty Bastard beer, while allowing Fat Bastard wine. Via HuffPostFood.

  • 2012.04.23
    Happy 496th birthday! Today, in 1516, the Bavarian Beer Purity Law was promulgated. "In the original text, the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer were water, barley and hops." Known as the Reinheitsgebot, it would eventually be extended throughout a united Germany. Via Wikipedia.

    Virginia state line

  • 2012.04.22
    Happy 42nd birthday, Earth Day!

  • 2012.04.22
    Sailor Matt Rutherford welcomed home in Annapolis, Maryland, after first-ever solo non-stop sail around the Americas. After 309 days, he asks for hot shower and cold beer. Via Washington Post.
  • 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 this blog's accompanying Twitter feed: @cizauskas.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Pic(k) of the Week: Brewer love

It was the 3rd annual Spring Real Ale Festival, 28 April 2012, at the Pratt Street Ale House, in downtown Baltimore, Maryland, when and where 5 brewers expressed their mutual admiration for each other's work.

Brewer love

Left to right, they are:

The 'real ales' had been good, and they had been plenty.


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Trust a beer blogger?

I received this email today. It's an illustrative example of why you should never, at face value, trust a posting from a [beer] blogger. But you knew that already, didn't you?

[Click on the graphic to read the email.]

P.S. I won't be entering; I won't be going. Trust me.

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 14/15/16, 2012

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

Weeks 14/15/16
1 April - 21 April 2012

  • 2012.04.21
    Flying Dog Brewing to sell cask ale during Friday home games at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland. Via Lew Bryson.

    Parkes and Cizauskae
  • 2012.04.21
    Birthday in Beer: Steve Parkes: founder/owner of American Brewers Guild, award-winning brewer. More Birthdays in Beer via YFGF.

  • 2012.04.19
    Levon Helm, drummer and singer with The Band, has died at age 71. Via Washington Post.

  • 2012.04.19
    Maryland Gov. O'Malley and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell jointly announce highest Chesapeake blue crab population since 1993. Via NBC4 Washington.

  • 2012.04.19
    An 8th Trappist brewery to open, in Austria? More about Engelszell Stift. Via Brookston Beer Bulletin.

  • 2012.04.18
    TV host Dick Clark, best known for long-running "American Bandstand" and "New Year's Rockin' Eve," has died at age 82. Via USA Today.

  • 2012.04.18
    Colorado Rockies baseball pitcher Jamie Moyer pitches his 268th win, tying Jim Palmer for wins, but at age 49, the oldest-ever pitcher to win a game. Via Yahoo.

  • 2012.04.17
    Oh, dang(ling) adverb! The AP Stylebook announces support of modern usage of 'hopefully:' it's hoped, we hope. Via Washington Post.

    Discovery nears Dulles Airport (02)
  • 2012.04.17
    The final flight of Space Shuttle Discovery, piggy-backed on a Boeing 747, from Florida to Fairfax County, Virginia. Via YFGF.

  • 2012.04.16
    Blue Mountain Barrel House & Organic Brewery begins operations in Nelson County, Virginia, to supplement Blue Mountain Brewing. Via Daily Progress.

  • 2012.04.15
    Prayers and silence mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Via Huffington Post.

  • 2012.04.15
    Since 1997, on 15 April, every Major League Baseball player has worn No. 42 on his jersey to honor Jackie Robinson, the only player given this honor. Via Tom Bedell.

  • 2012.04.14
    The damaging impact of aluminum (beer) can production on the environment. Via Triple Pundit.

    Kevin Blodger with Brandon Skall
  • 2012.04.14
    Another Maryland brewery to open. Kevin Blodger and Union Craft Brewing, in Baltimore. Via Beer in Baltimore.

  • 2012.04.12
    The home opener for the Washington Nationals - and scant good beer for sale in their ballpark. Via YFGF.

  • 2012.04.11
    What beer styles are, and what they aren't. Why they do/don't matter. Via beer writer Stephen Beaumont.

  • 2012.04.11
    The Washington Post crowns Maui Brewing Coconut Porter as the champion of its annual March Beer Madness competition.

  • 2012.04.10
    The 'original Steve Jobs'? Jack Tramiel, Holocaust survivor, and man behind Commodore 64 home computer, has died. Via NPR.

  • 2012.04.10
    Brewers Association reports record export numbers for American craft beer in 2011: 110,000 barrels, valued at $23.4 million— an increase of 86% by volume and 97% by dollars over 2010 exports. Via All About Beer.

  • 2012.04.09
    Facebook buys Instagram —photo-editing and photo sharing app for 'smart phones'— for ... one billion dollars. Via Slate.

  • 2012.04.09
    Another Washington, D.C., brewpub: Right Proper Brewpub to open in 2013 in Shaw neighborhood. Via Washington Post.

  • 2012.04.09
    There's a brewpub inside Camden Yards ballpark, home to Orioles Major League Baseball team, in Baltimore, Maryland: Dempsey's Brewpub and Restaurant. Via Beer In Baltimore.

  • 2012.04.09
    Peabody Heights Brewery to be Baltimore, Maryland's first large production brewery in 30 years. Via Baltimore Sun.

  • 2012.04.09
    In July, Virginia, to require all 1st-time DUI offenders to install blood-alcohol car ignition locks. Via Washington Post.

  • 2012.04.08
    Groundbreaking investigative television journalist Mike Wallace has died at age 93. Via Washington Post.

  • 2012.04.07
    AT&T Park, home to San Francisco Giants, to offer cask-conditioned ale. Via Market Watch.

  • 2012.04.07
    April 7th: Session Beer Day (beers of beer of less than 4.5% alcohol by volume). Via beer author Lew Bryson.

  • 2012.04.07
    Beer was 'freed' 1933. Via YFGF.

  • 2012.04.06
    Beer for Passover? Tref or Kosher? Via YFGF.

  • 2012.04.06
    What Drives Beer Bloggers? Via The Session: Beer Blogging Friday.

  • 2012.04.05
    Asheville, North Carolina, is poised to become BeerTown USA. Colorado's New Belgium building east coast brewery there, joining California's Sierra Nevada Brewing, already announced. Via Mountain Express.

  • 2012.04.04
    Don't know Gruner from Zweigelt? Read: Austrian Vintage 2011 – good wine, good quantities. Via Austrian Wine USA.

  • 2012.04.04
    A teachable moment? How the Scottish brewing industry virtually disappeared in one decade. Via beer historian Ron Pattinson.

  • 2012.04.01
    4-ethylphenol & 4-ethylguaiacol in beer and wine. Sequencing the 'brett' Brettanomyces genome. Abstract of study via PloS ONE.

  • 2012.04.01
    The Monastery of Christ in the Desert. The brewing Benedictine monks of New Mexico. Via YFGF.
  • 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 this blog's accompanying Twitter feed: @cizauskas.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.