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.