Monday, December 31, 2007

Last chance to brew!

For those who are brewing today good luck to you!

Have a safe and Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pliny's Bellow

Humulus Lupulus
(from Hopunion)


Aroma: Mild, pleasant and hoppy
Flavor: Mild, pleasant and hoppy
Alpha Acids: 4-5.5%
Storageability: 70-80% alpha acids remaining after 6 months storage at 20C
Trade Perception: A hop long associated with English alebrewing. Imparts good hoppy late-hop flavor
Substitutions: US Fuggle, Willamette, Styrian Golding
Typical beer styles: All English styles, ESB, Bitter, Lager, and Lambic

Friday, December 28, 2007


(from BJCP)

The intermingling aromas of Munich-type malt, alcohol and fruity esters are typical, along with spicy phenols which may be contributed by warm yeast fermentation and/or actual spice additions. Hop aroma may vary from moderate to none. Typically theres is no strong dark (roast) malt aroma. No diacetyl.
Apperance: Deep burgundy to dark brown on color. Clarity may be fair to good. Head retention may be quite good or may be adversely affected by high alcohol content.
Ripe fruit flavors, including raisin and plum, are common. Malt usually dominates, but some examples are balanced slightly toward bitterness. Some spicy phenols, from ferment or actual spices, may be present. Hop flavor can range from moderate to none. Some sweetness is contributed by alcohol. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, creamy and warming.
Overall Impression:
A dark, very rich, complex, very strong ale.
History: Most versions are unique in character relfecting the characteristics of individual breweries.
Comments: Some beers of this type are brewed at or in association with monasteries, and some are not. In comparison Dubbel, these are typically significantly stronger beers of a wider variety.
Dark candi sugar is a frequently-used additive and may contribute as much or more color and flavor as dark Munich or caramel malts. Spices are sometimes added for complexity. Yeasts prone to production of higher alcohols, esters and spicy phenols are commonly employed.
Vital Stats: OG: 1.065-1.098+
IBU's: 25-40+ FG: 1.014-1.024+
SRM: 7-20 ABV: 7-12+%
Commercial Examples: Pawel Kwak, Gouden CArolus, Scaldis (aka Bush), Rochefort 10, Chimay Grand Reserve

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone of you blogsters,

With the end of the year right around the corner, I have been thinking about what I would like to accomplish with this site. There are many things, but here is what I have. I will continue with posting just about everyday and trying to make it as informative as possible.

What I have now:
  • Series on "Fever for the Flavor Friday" - style highlight
  • Series on "The Mash" - brewery spotlight
  • Series on "Hop is King" - hop description and substitute
Next year I would like to:
  • Series on "Beer & Food Pairing"
  • Clean up ths site, improved navigation
  • Post more pics & videos of what I am talking about
  • Compare/contrast Beer & Wine

I'm excited about working on this site and making it a user friendly/informative educational blog that will inspire others to brew thier own.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry X-mas and Beer History

I wish you a Merry Christmas


Happy Holidays




a Happy New Year!

In the meantime read this about beer history:

Friday, December 21, 2007


(from BJCP)
5C. Doppelbock

Aroma: Intense maltiness. Virtually no hop aroma. While diacetyl or esters should be low to none, a fruity aspect to the aroma often described as prune, plum or grape may be present due to reactions between malt, the boil, and aginig. A very slight roasty aroma may be present in darker versions
Appearance: Gold to dark brown in color. Lagering should provide good clarity. Head retention may be impaired by higher-then-average alcohol conten
Flavor: Very rich and malty, infrequently a touch of roastiness. Invariably there will be an impression of alcoholic strength, but this should be smooth and warming rather than harsh and burning. Presence of higher alcohols (fusel oils) should be very low to none. Little to no hop flavor. Hop bitterness varies from moderate to low but always allows malt to dominate the flavor
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Low carbonation.
Overall Impression: A very strong, rich, lager beer
History: A Bavarian specialty invented in Munich by the brothers of St. Francis of Paula. historical versions were less well attenuated than modern interpretations, with consequently higher sweetness and lower alcohol levels
Most versions are dark colored and may display the caramalizing and melanoidin effect of decoction mashing, but pale versions have also been made.
Pale lager malt for pale versions, Munich and vienna malts for darker ones and occasionally a small fraction of dark-roasted (burnt) malt in those. Continental European hops. Water hardness will vary. Lager yeast.
Vital Stats:
O.G. 1.073-1.120
IBUs: 20-40 F.G. 1.018-1.030
SRM: 12-30 ABV: 7.5-12%
Commercial Examples: Paulaner Salvator, Ayinger Celebrator, Spaten Optimator, Tucher Bajuvator, Augustiner Maximator, EKU Kulminator "28", Loewenbraeu Triumphator, Hacker-Pschorr Animator, Old Dominion Dominator

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pliny's Bellow

Humulus Lupulus
(from Hopunion)


Aroma: Medium, Strong
Flavor: Medium strong with some wild tones
Alpha Acids: 8-10%
Storageability: 70-85% alpha acids remaining after 6 months at 20C
Trade Perception: A true-dual purpose hop containing moderate amounts of aa's combined with a good aroma profile
Possible Substitutions: German Northern Brewer, Chinook
Typical Beer Styles: All english styles, especially porter, American Ales, Kolsh, American Ales

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Lost Style?

There are many different styles of beers to choose from some classics like german hefeweizen and some new like american double IPA's. There is a style that might have arisen in the United States, most likely California, during the craft brewing revolution. The style is Wheatwine.

Wheatwine is very similar to barleywine with one obvious exception: Wheatwine's primary ingredient is wheat. It's a bit like a doppel weizenbock, with different hops and yeast. Wheatwine is smooth, full-bodied and high in alcohol content. This beer packs a wallop and it's a worthwhile style for the homebrewer to master.

A wheatwine grain bill might look like this: 32% pale two-row malt, 64% wheat malt, and 4% crystal (40L). This grain bill will produce a light amber hue and a nice caramel malt flavor. The OG will be around 1.100 and the IBU's should be around 60. The yeast should be a clean fermenting yeast like White Labs WLP005 or a similar yeast that will produce a smooth, balanced flavor. Age the wheatwines for 3 months, minimum, at a the coldest temperature above freezing.

Friday, December 14, 2007


(from BJCP)
19C. American-Style Barleywine

Aroma: Moderate to intense fruitiness; presence of hops (typical American varieties) may range from moderate to dominant. A caramel-like aroma is often present.
Appearance: Color may range from rich gold to very dark amber or even brown. Often had ruby highlights. May have low head retention.
Flavor: Fruity, with a great intensity of malt. Hop bitterness may range from just enough for balance to a firm, resiny dominance; balance therefore ranges from slightly malty to intensely bitter. Some oxidative flavors maybe present, and alcohol should be evident.
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, with a slick, viscous texture. Gentle smooth warmth from alcohol should be present.
Overall Impression: A well-hopped American interpretation of the richest and strongest of the English ales
History/Comments: Usually the strongest ale offered by a brewery, and often vintage dated. Normally aged significantly prior to release. Often associated with the winter or holiday season. The American version of the Barleywine tends to have a greater emphasis on hop bitterness, flavor and aroma than the English Barleywine, featuring American hop varieties.
Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt should form the backbone of the grist, with judicious amounts of caramel malts. Dark malts should be used with great restraint, if at all, as most of the color arises from a lengthy boil. American hops such as Cascades and Centennial.
Vital Stats: OG: 1.080 - 1.120+ FG: 1.020 - 1.030+ IBU: 50 - 100
SRM: 10-22 ABV: 8 - 12+%
Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Rogue Old Crustacean, Victory Old Horizantal.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

BeerSmith or ProMash?

I have been contemplating on which brewing software to use. I have narrowed it down to 2 and not sure which one I would like to order if any. Does anybody have any experience with owning one or the other? Which one do you prefer?

BeerSmith or ProMash?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Food Blog Guide

If you have visited this site at all you may have noticed a food blog section. This is my attempt to show that beer can accompany food just as good as wine if not better. I believe that beer, as many of you know, have a wider array of flavors than wine, but that is my jaded point of view. From time to time there will be a mention of beer/food pairing and pics. Here's one now:

Taco and Enchilada with New Mexico grown Hatch Green Chile good! It pairs well with a pale ale, IPA, IIPA, and bitter ales. My personal favorite is the homemade Honey Kolsh made by No Limits Brewing!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pliny's Bellow

Humulus Lupulus
(from Hopunion)


Aroma: Flowery and citrusy. Can have a grapefruit note.

Flavor: pleasant flowery, spicy and citrusy. Can have a grapefruit flavor.

Alpha Acids: 4.5-7.0%

Storageability: 48-52% AA's remaining after 6 months storage at 20C (68F)

Trade perception: Aroma variety with well-balanced bittering potential. It is the most
popular hop with the craft brewing industry. Good for dry hopping.

Possible Substitutions: Centennial, Amarillo, to a lesser extent, Columbus

Typical beer styles: American style ales, especially pale ales, IPA's, Porter, Barley wine; can also be used in Witbier.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Session #10 - Winter Seasonal Beers

Many years ago when I was introduced to craft brews I was just happy to find one locally and drink it. It was like being 8 years old on christmas morning. Now, luckily, craft brews can be found everywhere...well almost. Now we look forward to seasonal beers, especially the winter warmers!

The winter season is a great time of year for dark hearty malty beers. Winter seasonals, in my opinion, are the best of the year and can be the most creative. Here are two I have had most recent and highly recommend; Sam Smith Winter Seasonal and Odell Brewing Isolation Ale.

The Sam Smith Winter Ale beer always has an interesting artwork on their winter seasonal to go along with the tasty complex brew. I have had this one many times and have not been dissapointed, but then again I'm sure everyone knows that.

On the other hand the Odell Brewing Isolation Ale was very very tasty. It was first time tasting this classic. It nicely balanced its american bitterness with a hefty dose of dark malts. I recommend you should try this at least once. I'm saddened that I can only have this beer once a year.

I'm gettin' cold, I need a winter warmer!


(from BJCP)
13F. Russian Imperial Stout

Aroma: Fruity esters, reminiscent of dark fruit, merged with intense roastiness and maltiness. Hop aroma is usually also present.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-black color; opaque.

Flavor: Intensely fruity and malty, backed up by balancing roastiness and prominent hop bitterness and flavor. A "burnt currant" character may be present, along with a suggestion of cocoa or strong coffee. Alcoholic strength should be evident, along with a deep, complex malt flavor. The finish can vary from relatively dry to moderatley sweet, usually with some lingering roastiness and warming character.

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied and rich, with intense flavors and perceptible alcohol presence. Carbonation is relatively low.

Overall Impression: An iintensely flavorful beer. Roasty, fruity, and bittersweet, with a notablealcohol presence. Dark fruit melds with roasty, burnt, almost tar0like sensations.

History: Said to be popular with Russian Imperial Court

Comments: Brewed to high gravity and hopping level in England for export to the Baltic States and Russia

Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt, with generous quantities of roasted grain. Flavor and aroma hops should include English varieties for authenticity. Alkaline water would balance the abundance of acidic raosted grain in the grist.

Vital Stats: O.G. 1.075-1.095+
IBUs: 50-90+ F.G. 1.018-1.030+
SRM: 20-40 ABV: 8-12+%

Commercial Examples: Samuel Smith Imperial Stout, Courage Imperial Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Rogue Imperial Stout, North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, Victory Storm King

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Mash - Il Vicino

Welcome to the second edition of THE MASH! Today we present to you one of the best breweries in the southwest: Il Vicino Brewery

An Italian Trattoria and now having 8 locations in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri this pizzeria/brewery had humble beginnings. They began the brewery as an afterthought to the original Il Vicino pizzeria located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not having much room they turned the basement into a crammed brewery and started to pump out quality beer. As a matter of fact they started to win prestigous medals as soon as they brewed the first batch, well almost. They have been winning medals more many different styles since 1995 a winning tradition that continues today. And oh they also serve GREAT FOOD!

Today they have a small brewery located just off I-25 open mon-fri and is even fit with a tap room. Here is where they make all of the beer that feeds all of its 8 restuarants. You will not find there beers in bottles as they only make the beers for their restuarants and for pick up at their brewery.

Brew Master - Brady Mckeown
who brews on a 7bbl system and brews 1500bbls/year

The tap list is always changing but here are some of there beers:
Wet Mountain IPA - multiple WCP & GABF medal winner **my favorite**
Slow Down Brown - multiple WCP & GABF medal winner **my favorite**
Irish Red - WCP medal winner
Past Due Porter - medal winner
Pig Tail Blone
Joe's Stout
Grandpa's Porter

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Pliny's Bellow

Humulus Lupulus
(from Hopunion)


Aroma: Very mild, spicy and earthy

Flavor: Mild and pleasant, earthy and spicy

Alpha Acids: 3.0 - 4.5%

Storageability: 45-55% AA's remaining after 6 months storage at 20C

Trade perception: available in small quantities

POSSIBLE SUBSTITUTION: Czech Saaz, Polish Lubin, Sterling

Typical Beer Style: Pilsner, Lager, US Wheat, Belgian-Style Ales, Bitter

Part II - Southern New Mexico Breweries

Here is the second edition of the NM southern breweries.

So NM Breweries:

Artesia -
The Wellhead Brewpub

Las Cruces -
High Desert Brewing Co.

Los Lunas -
Tractor Brewing Co.

Socorro -
Socorro Springs Brewing Co.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Malt &Hop Shortage Update

Recently, the Brewing Network interviewed two individuals from the malting industry and the hop industry. Whether you brew beer or just drink it you need to listen to these interviews. There is a lot of valuable information discussed in both industries, hint: global warming, ethanol production, and market place demand.

Check out these two interviews at:

Monday, December 03, 2007

Largest Heist Ever... Ireland. Irish police were hunting for a beer bandit who stole 450 (180 kegs of Guinness, 180 kegs of US budweiser, 90 kegs of Carlsberg) full kegs from the Guinness brewery - the largest heist ever at Irelands largest brewery. National police said a lone man drove into the brewery on wednesday and hitched his truck to a fully loaded trailer awaiting delivery to city pubs. The total thefts involves 39,600 pints with a retail value exceeding $235,000. No description of the subject was issued, suggesting that nobody got a good look at him.

Friday, November 30, 2007


This will be a weekly installment published on friday. Why? Because it sounds good (say it, Fever of the Flavor Friday!) and...I said so! Information taken from the BJCP website.


(from BJCP)

Aroma: Roast malt or grain aroma, often coffee-like or chocolate-like, should be evident. Hop aroma moderate to low. Fruity esters, and diacetyl, are moderate to none.

Appearance: Dark brown to black color, m ay be garnet-like. Clarity may be difficult to discern in such a dark beer. Head retention should be moderate to good.

Flavor: Malt flavor usually features coffee-like or chocolate-like roasty dryness. Overall flavor may finish from medium sweet to dry, depending ono grist composition, hop bittering level, and attenuation. May have a sharp character from dark roasted grains. Hop flavor varies widely. Diacetyl moderate to none.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full bodied. Low to moderate carbonation

Overall Impression: A substantial dark ale with complex roasty malt, hop and fermentation characteristics.

History: Originating in England, Porter developed as a blend of beers or gyles known as "Entire". A precursor to stout. Said to have been favored by porters and other physical laborers.

Comments: Althouth a rather variable style, it may be distinguished from closely-related Stout as lacking the Stout's roasted barley character.
Ingredients: May contain several malts, prominently dark roasted malts and grains, which often include black malt. Hops are used for bittering, flavor and/or aroma. Water must have significant carbonate hardness. Ale yeast is most common.

Vital Statistics: O.G.: 1.050 - 1.065 IBU's: 25-45 F.G.: 1.012 - 1.016 SRM: 30+ ABV: 4.8 - 6.0%

Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Porter, Anchor Porter, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Mash - Santa Fe Brewing

"The Mash" will be a (bi-) weekly-ish installment of breweries that peak my curiosity from around the world.
The first installment will be the "Santa Fe Brewing Co.".
(from brewery website)

The History:
They are located in nonother than Santa Fe, New Mexico. They opened the brewery in 1988 (NM's 1st microbrewery) and use custom square vats for open fermentation. The brewery now boasts a 30bbl system and a bottling line.

The name has historical beginnings as it was first used in 1877. An early advertisement of the local brew stated " Guaranteed equal to any St. Louis or Milwaukee beer!"

Famed anthropologist Adolph Bandelier noted in his journal:
April 27, 1889. Went to Mass. In the afternoon to the brewery. It was "Bock" day.
April 28, 1889. Unwell, as might be expected; could do nothing at all.

The Brewers:
Brian Lock, Ty Levis and a chap named Nick are the current brewers.

The Beers:
They make 6 beers year round and 3 beers on a seasonal basis. The beers are distictive as the cap bares the NM zia symbol found on its state flag. The beers of distinction are their "Chicken Killer Barleywine" and "State Pen Porter" (my fav.)
Year round:
Santa Fe Pale Ale
State Pen Porter
Santa Fe Nut Brown
Santa Fe Wheat
Chicken Killer Barley Wine
Fiesta I.P.A.
Santa Fe Stout (available feb-may)
Freestyle Pilsner (avail. may-august)
Vizsolay Belgian (august-feb)

Anyway, if you are in the area do stop by the historic brewery and pick up some tasty beer. I recommend the Porter and Barleywine. Visit their website at


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

State Pen Porter saves the day!

After spending some much needed time with the family back home (albuquerque) it was time to head back to SD, which meant dealing with the airport. After hurrying to get their on time, which meant forgoing a trip to the local homebrew shop (Victors grape arbor), I gave the long dreaded good-bye's and made my way to the gate only to discover that it had been delayed 30min...damn it!!!

Me being the optimist I decided to view the cup 1/2 full, or in this case a full pint, and went to the airport bar and parused the beer list. They had a few local beers on tap and ordered the Santa Fe "State Pen Porter". The beer turned what would have been a bad experience at the airport into a memorable one.

State Pen Porter poured black with a brownish head. The aroma was roasty with some citrus hop background. The taste was raosty, smooth, with a hint of chocolate and nicely balanced with hops. It was clearly a Robust Porter and you could easily have a few pints of this delicious beer. This beer is why I love porter's! I tip my hat to the man responsible for the porter, thanks Ty.

More on this brewery as soon as I can get an interview,
PROST to the Porter!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Northern New Mexico Breweries

With the holidays here and being in my hometown I thought I would write about the local breweries. Although the region of Albuquerque, New Mexico may not seem like ale heaven there are some breweries that have won prestigious medals, with some being local legends. In the future I will provide an in depth look of the breweries worth visiting.

Here's the roll call:

Albuquerque -
Chama River Brewing (World Cup, GABF, + other regional medals)

Isotopes Brewing (named after local AAA baseball team)

Il Vicino Brewing (World Cup, GABF, + other regional medals)

Farmington -
Three Rivers Brewpub (regional medals)

Moriarity -
Sierra Blanca Brewery (regional medals)

Rio Rancho -
Turtle Mountain (regional medals)

Santa Fe -
Blue Corn - (GABF, regional medals)

Santa Fe Brewing Co. (regional medals) (regional medals)

Second Street (regional medals)

Eske's Brewpub (regional medals)

Friday, November 23, 2007


I recently learned that The Lost Abbey will be releasing a limited edition of beers for to spread the holiday cheer. As you know The Lost Abbey recently won many awards at the GABF, including small brewery of the year. Every so often they have a special release party. This weekend will be no different as they will be releasing the following:

(from brewery website)

The barrel-aged version of Old Viscosity. A dark strong ale aged over a year in American oak bourbon barrels, it's a deep, silky black brew thick with luscious chocolate, cocoa, vanilla and caramel flavors balanced by notes of burnt wood and ash.

A barrel-aged version of the brewery's lauded Lost & Found Abbey Dubbel ale. Aged 6 months in french oak red wine barrels. Amazing grace matches an earth burnt amber color with rich aromas and complex flavors of figs, molasses and dried fruits.

The Lost Abbeys first release of this winter seasonal ale, Gift of the Maji is a deep golden caramel-colored Biere de Garde brewed to a contemplative 9%ABV and bottle conditioned with Brettanomyces. Laden with toasted malt and caramel flavors accented by notes of grape, apple and cherry, its truly magical gift is a complexity that grows and softens as it ages.

Praise the souls who were lucky enough to purchase their lot.
Oh by the way, I am dissapointed because I am out of town for this occasion...not a lucky soul!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Green Beer

With Global Warming on the rise there are some breweries that are doing their part to reduce, reuse, recycle. Here are a few breweries who are doing there part while manufacturing some tasty brews. (long trail brewing)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another Brewery Merge

Two of the country's leading and pioneering craft breweries announced today that they have agreed to merge. Redhook Ale Brewery and Widmer Brothers Brewing co. will merge to create a combined company called Craft Brewers Alliance.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hops update

By know you are probably well aware of the worldwide hop shortage. There has been a lot of information now about why there is a hop shortage its price increase. In Europe there has been a drought in Austrailia, a over abundance of rain in the UK, and a decrease of hop acreage in the US. It takes 3 years once hops are planted to yield a profitable crop, that is assuming that they are not infected.

For more information and possible hop substitutions you can visit Hop Union's website:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oregon Beer Co...hmm sounds familiar

Portland and the Boston Beer Co. have a 'not so good' history. Many years ago when the craft beer market was starting to boom Boston Beer Co. started a co. called the Oregon Beer Co. that sold its beers in and around Oregon. Oregoneons were at first proud of the local beer until they found out that the beer was not made by the Oregon Beer Co., nor was it even based in Oregon. As it turns out the Oregon Beer Co. was owned by the Boston Beer Co. and the 11 beers under its label were contract brewed by a company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Coincedentally, that is where all Sam Adams labels are produced. Although, the Oregon Beer Co. no longer exhist. These days the Boston Beer Co. has their labels produced by other breweries around the U.S., such as in North Carolina by Miller brewing and in Latrobe, PA by owned by city brewing in Lacrosse, WI.

As one oregon native states: "Epicurious does a great disservice to consumers and to Oregon by promoting a company that misrepresents itself to the consumers in such a blatant way"

There is much to learn of what goes on behind the scenes of the beer market.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

More green for same old green

I have heard all about hops and their price increase, but I was still shocked by the price increase at the homebrew store that I shop at, especially since I live in the west coast. The prices increased by 40%-100% depending on availability and popularity. The regular prices used to be $2.50/2-ounces and have skyrocketed to $3.50-$5.00/2-ounces, with some hops unavailable. After a brief conversation with some of the workers they admitted that they will have to change a few recipes and stop producing a couple of their beers. I find this very disappointing and a saddening state of affairs.

Although, I do not see this hop shortage and price spike to be over soon, I hope that over the next year that hop prices and availability will become more reasonable soon.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Trader Jose Dark

A staple "health food store" here in so cal Trader Joe's is now expanding into mexican beers. Recently, they applied and received approval for Trader Jose Dark Premium Lager. For years Trader Joe's has marketed a variety of private label beers, including a hefeweizen, Bohemian, Vienna lagers, bocks and oktoberfests. Beers in the eastern half of the united states are made at Goose Island brewing company; the west handled by Gordon Biersch brewing company in california. the Trader Jose beer are made in Mexico.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Future beer quality in doubt?

I am not sure that the consumer really cares, but I feel that the crunch on hops and grains that brewers are facing could possibly be the beginning of the quality of beer decreasing. Of'course the large brewers will not be affected as most of them use rice and a very small amount of hops to make their beers. It is the small brewers who will be faced with financial crunches. In a few years, I believe that small companies will be forced to use other cheaper materials as a bittering agent, like chemical flavorings. I hope this is not the case and will not happen.

At NLBC , we will stick to and always be brewing beer with real ingredients and never use chemicals. Real ingredients for real beer! Stay tuned for what is on tap at the brewhouse.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Canadian heist suitable for Al Capone!
On monday night a trailer carrying beer worth $100,000 (in canadian dollars) was stollen from a dropyard. The thieves stole a truck the night before from a nieboring lot. Authorities suspect that the merchandise will be sold in the black market to a strip club or a similar shady venture.
Company officials say this was a first for them and that they will be most likely not be making truck deliveries anymore.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ban on beach boozing in San Diego

That is a 1 year ban on beach boozing on any San Diego beaches. Until now there has been a few beaches in san diego that allowed respectfull drinking. On November 5, 2007 the San Diego city council voted on Monday for a 1 year ban on drinking on its beaches. The ban was passed after the Labor Day fiasco where lifequards and police in riot were called in to restore order. There have been many attempts in the past to eliminate drinking on these beaches, but the bans have always been rescinded.

I blame this on the few people who ruin it for the rest of us and because of them we can no longer drink our homebrews on the least for a year.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sam Adams Black Lager

Sam Adams Black Lager
style: schwarzbier
Pours black with white lacing that sticks to the glass

Subtle roastiness over caramel malts

Complex malt backbone. Hints of chocolate and coffee, followed by hop presence.

Solid cold weather lager, light body with high carbonation.

Very drinkable, can drink a few of these, very good example of this style.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Best Beer Bicycle

Burn calories as you drink them for a 0 calorie intake...ingenious!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Best Beer Radio on Earth

Tired of your beer not turning out so well? Well, here is a fun and informative podcast that you can listen to as you brew. They carry three shows: The session, the Jamil show, and Lunch meat. The session usually has microbrewers on hand to talk to, the Jamil show covers a different BJCP style each show (the best of the three), and lunch meat I'll let you decide. If you want to brew better beer take a gander at the Brewing Network.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pumpkin Beer

Homebrewers innovate once again. Mashing and Fermenting in a pumpkin...glorious!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Big Bullies - Part I

Sam Adams the beer co. (Boston Beer Co.) has issued a cease and desist statement and is bullying Sam Adams (the Mayoral candidate for Portland, Oregon) on using their registered trademark name, Sam Adams. Apparently, he can not use his name in any similar fashion that bears the name Sam Adams during his campaign. But, as the letter states they may consider letting him use his name after the campaign. "They say they've been using this trademark since 1984," Adams said "I've been using it since 1963."

Boston Beer Co.'s Helen Bornemann she didn't know there was a real Sam Adams running for mayor when she sent the letter. The brewery has previously run "Sam Adams for President" marketing campaigns, albeit 200 years to late, and she said she feared someone was ripping them off. Bornemann said she is willing to discuss Adams' use of his name on his websites "probably for the length of the time the election is being held."

The colonial Sam Adams, a second cousin to former president John Adams, inherited the brewery and flew it into the ground a few years later.

You can view Sam Adams (the mayoral candidate) website at:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wet Hop Ale Festival - CXD

The wet hop ale festival that was scheduled to occur this weekend at callahans is cancelled. The festival will move to next weekend (Nov. 2,3,4), although there will be some wet hop beers being tapped this weekend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fire Fire Fire!!!

San Diego is on Fire! No, not the football team but, the city folks! Literally, there on so many fires in san diego that it is ridiculously hard to keep track of all of them. The fires are all around the city both north and south county san diego.

To date, there as been more than 50, 000 evacuations and most likely there will be more by the end of today, much less tomorrow. I am not sure how these fires began, most likely a spark from a transistor, a discarded lit cigarette, or something similar. It seems as though there were many causes, but one thing is for sure the fires are here to stay at least for the next couple of days...

mmm gotta go...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hooray for Beer!!!

Once again there are many beer festivals to attend in the near future. Here is the list:

Quaff - Oct. 23 - homebrew meeting @ Callahans 7pm

Alesmith - Oct. 26 Fri 3-6:30 (free)

Stone Brewing Oct. 27 Sat. @ 8:30 Double Movie Feature (Creepshow III & Cabin Fever!)

Port Brewing - Oct. 30 tues @ 5pm (free food, beer regular price in san marcos)

San Diego Brewers Guild Festival Nov. 2 fri 7-11 ($25/10 tasters)

Green Flash - Nov 18 Sun 12-4 ($20/10 tasters)

Stone Brewing Nov 27 tues @ 7pm stong ale lecture ($20)

Pizza Port - 11/30 - 12/1 Fri. 4-11 Sat. 11-11 ($25/8 tasters of strong ale $1/each after)

Stone Brewing - Dec 28th Double Bastard Ale night 4-8pm

Stone Brewing - Jan 27 - Feb 2nd - Winter Storm = 32 stone beers on tap

So many to choose from so little time...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SDBG Festival!

San Diego Brewers Guild Festival just announced they will be having a festival Nov. 2 in downtown san diego. $25 for 10 tasters.

I can't wait...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

3 winter beers

Recently, I had the opportunity to taste three seasonal winter beers. Interestingly, upon further investigation these winter beers are other styles of beers that have been slightly modified. Nonetheless, they all are great tasty versions in their own right.

Here are my findings and observations:

Samuel Adams Winter Lager:
Style: WeizenBock
ABV: 5.8%
Visiual: Dark copper/amber
Aroma: Nose is malty w/hints of spicy hops. Head is white, weak, and brief.
Body: Malty and hints of spicy hops and orange peel
Flavor: Finishes w/nice balance of sweetness and good spicness from hops
Appraisal: Good beer, and good variation on an old style. This beer has excellent bold flavors and colors.

Pyramid Snow Cap
Style: British Strong ale
ABV: 5%
Visiual: Nice deep mohagny w/light brown foam
Aroma: Fruity w/malt accents and a deep floral pacific northwest hopiness
Body: Medium but smooth texture. Can easily drink a few of these
Flavor: Complex fruit flavors w/some spicy hopiness and balanced with some winter malty sweetness
Appraisal: Great strong complex flavors with a noticable hopiness. An excellent example of a traditional winter brew, may try to make this as my next homebrew clone

New Belgium 2-below
Style: Extra Special/Strong ESB
ABV: 6.6%, IBU: 30
Visiual: Dark copper, very clear, with white head that dissapates quickly
Aroma: floral nose w/hint of pepper and some ester notes, with strong floral hop notes (from dry hopping)
Body: light very drinkable
Flavor: spicy, hop finish w/malty balance, slightly dry aftertaste
Appraisal: Great balance of flavors, not to strong, easy to drink with lots of flavors and yummy hops!

You really can't go wrong with any of these three choices. They are all great representations of what an american winter beer is supossed to be. It all depends on what your in the mood for.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

GABF results

The GABF results are in and san diego shines once again. As always there were many excellent beers to be had, but Tomme Arthur at Port/The Lost Abbey brewing came away with the small brewing company/brewer of the year!!!

Port Brewing won 3 medals:
Cuvee de Tomme - GOLD - Wood-and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
Judgment Day - GOLD - Specialty Beer
Veritas 002 - Silver - Experimental Beer

Pizza Port, sister co. to Port/The Lost Abbey, brewing also won:
Sticky Stout - GOLD - American style-stout
Beech Street Bitter - Bronze - english style IPA

Solana Beach
Commando Scottish - Bronze - scottish style ale

Green Flash Brewing Company:
Hop Head Red - Silver - American Amber/Red Ale
Green Flash Trippel - Silver - Belgian Abbey Ale
Extra Pale Ale - Bronze - English Style Summer Ale

Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Sculpin IPA - Bronze - Pro AmBeer

Good Job Guys!!!
I can't wait to head to Pizza Port and Port Brewing soon!

Also, Ironman Hawaiian championships were yesterday congratulations to those winners:

Chris McCormack & Chrissie Wellington

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Recap: Karlfest

On a scale of 1 to 10 Karlfest was a 7. The fest was better than average, but not great.

souvenier glass, special firkins, the price, and the lack of big crowds, homebrew contest.

the order of firkins, loudness of music, and lack of quality of food

Homebrew contest apparently was not much to speak of. According to a BJCP judge there was only one clear winner in the beers entered. We at NLBC did not enter only because we did not have brews ready. We are now formulating recipes to enter for next year's event.

The best beers of the day were:
Wiskey Porter - great beer somewhat balanced, but I feel needs more aging
Brown Coffee - brown ale brewed with coffee (not enough coffee)
Blacks Beach Extra Black - black roasty lager
San Diego Uncommon (the best) - a california common that was highly hopped w/cascade
Barleywine - a highly hopped beer that was only 6 months old. Needs another 6 months before it can be judged.

At the end of the day it was fun to hang out with friends and Amanda. I can't wait for the next festival!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Karl Strauss, the Godfather, is having their version of oktoberfest, aka. Karlfest. It will include live local music, a homebrew contest (only german beers can be entered), and of'course their beer. The event will be kicked off with a ceremonious firkin tapping of an oktoberfest beer, followed by the announcement of the winners of the homebrew contest, that of which will be brewed next year, and lots of fun.

To find out more about this event visit


Monday, October 01, 2007

Update Alesmith Party

The Alesmith party that we everything I wanted it to be and more. Beer, beer, and more beer! The event was low key so there were no long lines and no annoying drunk people. Although you had to purchase tickets ($1/ticket) it was odd that all beers were 3 tickets. Would it not be better if the tickets were $3 each and 1 ticket/beer?

There was the opportunity to try many different styles of beer at the brewery and to purchase bottles to take home. Having already tried some of their beers I decided to go for a seasonal brew named "Decadence". The beer was delicious and have found a new favorite. The version of Decadence that we tried was an Old Ale style, a very rich malty and smooth taste, with chocolate and barrel-aged notes. There was also a very mild bitterness. The beer was very complex and can only get better with age. My second ale was the Grand Cru, a belgian strong ale, it uses trappist yeast and dark belgian candi sugar it too has a pronounced malty aroma and is nicely balanced with the hops. This complex beer had tasting notes of sweet, tangy, and some bitterness. Nicely done.

To take home I purchased their Wee Heavy to age (~1yr), and the Yulesmith winter seasonal. Tasting notes soon to come.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

NLBC is born!

Yeah thats right you heard it here first! No Limits Brewing Co. brews its first beer today! We are a modest brewery with a 3 -5 gallon capacity. We plan to brew many beers ranging from authentic styles using authentic methods to out of the ordinary beers using unordinary ingredients.

For our first brew we decided to make a honey kolsh. A light beer made with a german malt, 3 different hops, and a german strain of yeast. This beer will be ready to drink in about 7 weeks.

To learn more about NLBC go to:

Raise a pint to NLBC!

A Cicerone?

In the wine world, the word "sommelier" designates those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving fine wine. Now, in the beer world there is a similar name given to the beer "know it all"...Cicerone. These days anyone can call themselves a beer sommelier it is now that the Cicerone Certification Program offers an independent assessment and certification so that industry professionals can be sure of the knowledge and skills possessed by current and prospective beer servers.

Origin of cicerone?
Cicerone is an English word referring to “one who conducts visitors and sightseers to museums and explains matters of archaeological, antiquarian, historic or artistic interest.” For beer, a Cicerone will possess the knowledge and skills to guide those interested in beer culture, including its historic and artistic aspects. “Cicerone” now designates a person with demonstrated expertise in beer who can guide consumers to enjoyable and high-quality experiences with great beer.

Ray Daniels, a veteren in the beer industry, is the creator and will run this program, write the syllabus, and exam questions. His recent book is Designing Great Beers.

For more information contact ray daniels @

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm getting FORGED @ a beer party!

After recently coming back from vacation I have been invited to go to a BEER PARTY @ Alesmith!

Alesmith ( is one of the only brewing companies still left that bottle conditions all of their beers, they are also all natural and non-pasturized. This brewing company, like most, is located in a warehouse district and has only 4 employees. Found in 1995 by Peter Zien, a decorated homebrewer and BJCP Grand Master beer judge, he specializes in a variety of styles and offers multiple seasonal beers. All of its employees are homebrewers. Tonight they will offer Evil Dead Red (a fall seasonal), with some barrel-aged beer releases of 2005 Old Numbskull, 2005 Wee Heavy, and 2005 Decadence! Pure deliciousness... Also, a cask of 2006 Decadence will be much to choose from so little time.

There will be a full report of the events highlights afterwards...well not right after...

Get Forged at

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beer Festivals

Upcoming beer festivals in San Diego:




I hope to make at least one of them...

Thursday, September 06, 2007


In 1765, the sign on the door is reported to have to have read:

  • No Thieves, Fakirs, Rogues, or Tinkers
  • No Skulking Loafers or Flea-Bitten Tramps
  • No Patting the Wenches
  • No Banging Tankards on the Table
  • No Dogs Allowed in the Kitchen
  • No Cockfighting
  • Flintlocks, Cudgels, Daggers and Swords to be handed to the Innkeeper for safe keeping
  • Bed for the night, 1 shilling
  • Stabling for horse, 1 pence
mmm...I'm not sure that times have changed...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Experimental Ales

I still have not brewed anything as of yet, although Amanda and I are wanting to brew and conduct an experiment. We have a few hurdles to pass, but it will be. More to come on what and when it will actually be. Possibly a 2 fruit wit beers.

Quote of the day...

Beer is like sex, even if it's bad, it's still pretty good . . . unless there's a yeast infection involved (in the beer, of course, or . . . take it how you want) Anonymous

Friday, July 20, 2007

WCP 2008

Not knowing what to expect I am still excited to learn that in 2008 the World Beer Cup is coming to San Diego!!! I hope I can get in to taste some delicious beers from around the world...


Friday, July 13, 2007

New Tastings

I think every year that passes I become more of a beer snob! I hate to say that I am a snob about anything, but due to the bigger beer companies taking advantage of their deep pockets and the laziness of the public to educate themselves properly on what they were drinking.

Anyhow, off the soap box!

New things this year that I have done is start a cellar. It really began last year but I now own a dedicated beer fridge where only certain beers will be aged for quite sometime. I'm thinking that some beers will be cellared for at least a year, maybe even 3-4 years. I can't wait to taste them.

Also, I will be making a fermentation chiller to make some beer in summer to drink in the winter.

New beer tastings have been o'plenty. My favorite thus far has to be the Lagunitas shut down brown. It has a very delicious assertive aroma, slightly dry on the palate, and a beautiful brown color. Very delicious well rounded beer I can't wait to drink it again.

I recently had a weiss beer that was very good, even though I am not a wheat beer man this beer was very good.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Fermentations


After reading my last entry I have realized that I have been away for quite awhile. I have not brewed since last november. I guess training and holidays were the culprits of my time. Although, I have been getting the urge to brew again as Amanda is very excited and familiar about it since her dad used to do it. She may well understand the chemistry much better than I. Mmmm...maybe the between the two of us we can make a tasty beer.

Fermenting = Maple brown (i think)

On deck = Fruit, IPA, pale ale, or holiday beer

Happy fermentations!