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.