Monday, January 21, 2008

The Mash - Tommyknocker Brewery

The Mash
Tommyknocker Brewery Co.

Tommykocker is located high in the Rocky Mountains in Idaho Springs, CO, located just 25 miles west of Denver. Idaho Springs is a historic mining town and somewhat still has the presence of miners and how the town looked back in the mining days in 1890's. the Tommyknocker name comes from the knocking on the mine walls that happens just before cave-ins - actually the creaking of earth and timbers before giving way. To some of the miners, the knockers were malevolent spirits and the knocking was the sound of them hammerings at walls and supports to cause the cave-in. To others, who saw them as essentially well-meaning practical jokers, the knocking was their way of warning the miners that a life-threatning collapse was imminent.

They offer a wide variety of food and many vegetarian plates. They also make their own sodas and many excellent award winning ales and lagers. The head brewer is Steve Indrehus and assistant brewer is Eric Rode.

The five sodas they make are: classic Root Beer, Almond Creme, Strawberry Creme, Orange Creme, Key Lime Creme.

The beer list is plentiful and unique. They make a very complex and multiple award winning Maple Nut Brown ale, and an Imperial Nut Brown ale. Cocoa Porter Winter Warmer, Ornery Amber lager, Jack Wacker Wheat ale, Butt Head bock, Alpine Glacier Lager, Pick Axe Pale Ale, Tundrabeary Ale, Rye Porter, and Black Powder Stout

Find them at:

Friday, January 18, 2008


Fever For The Flavor Friday
(from BJCP)
9E Strong Scotch Ale (Wee Heavy)

Aroma: deeply malty, with caramel apparent. Roasty or even smoky secondary aromas may also be present, adding complexity. Moderate diacetyl character is also acceptable.
Appearance: Dark amber to dark brown color, often with ruby highlights.

Flavor: Intensely malty with kettle caramelization apparent. Hint of roaste malt or smoky flavor may be present, as may some buttery diacetyl or nutty character. Hop flavors are low, so malt impression should be dominant.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, with a thick, chewy viscosity. Alcoholic warmth should also be present.

History/Comments: Fermented at cooler temperatures than most ales, and with lower hopping rates, resulting in clean, intense malt flavors. Well suited to the region of origin, with abundant malt and cool fermentation and aging temperature. Hops, which are not native to Scotland and formerly expensive to import, were kept to minimum.

Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt, with some crystal and perhaps a dash of darker malt or even roasted barley. A small proportion of smoked malt may add depth, though smoky character may also originate from the yeast. Hop presence is minimal, although English varieties are most authentic. Low-to-medium sulfate and medium carbonate/bicarbonate water is most appropriate.

Vital Stats: OG: 1.072-1.088+
IBU's: 20-40 FG: 1.019-1.025+
SRM: 10-47 ABV: 6.9-8.5+

Commercial Examples: Traquair House, MacAndrew's Scotch Ale, McEwan's Scotch Ale, bBelhaven Wee Heavy, Scotch du Silly, Vermont Pub and Brewery Wee Heavy

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Mash - Worth Brewing Co.

Opened in March 17, 2007, Worth Brewing Co. who are located in a small town known as Northwood, IA. They system they use is a 10 gallon Sabco system, which includes a sparge kettle, mash tun and boiling kettle, and is rounded out with a 27 gallon cylindro-conical fermenter. Then are sent to serving kegs and conditioned until tapped.

The head brewer Peter Ausenhus - BJCP judge- holds many events at the local pub, like special how-to-brew classes. They keep a staple of beers on tap and have a rotating schedule of specialty beers that are tapped on Friday's. They keep a beer schedule online so mark your calender.

Find them at:

Friday, January 11, 2008


(from BJCP)
16C Saison

Aroma: Fruity esters dominate the aroma. Complexity is often contributed by hop aroma, comlex higher alcohols, herbs and spices, and phenols. Generally, the malt aroma is low. No diacetyl.
Apperance: Destinctive pale orange color with a dense, rocky head. Clarity is generally good.
Flavor: Bitter but not assertively so, providing a refreshing character. The hoppy, fruity flavors typical of this style may include citric notes, and often the addition of several spices and herbs. Hop bitterness is moderate, and hop flavor may be moderate to high but should not overwhelm fruity esters, spices, and malt. Malt character is light but provides sufficient structure for the other complex flavors which may include a quenching tartness. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Very high and carbonation with an effervescent quality. Alchohol level can be medium to high.
Overall Impression: A fruity, hoppy, highly carbonated, moderatley strong, refreshing ale.
History: The style has origins in the traditions of the "March beer" brewed at the end of the cool season to last through the warmer months. It is now brewed year round.
Comments: A seasonal summer style produced in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium.
Ingredients: Pale malt dominates the grist, and a very small fraction of Vienna or Munich malt contributes a touch of color. Hop bitterness and flavor may be more noticable than in many other Belgian styles, and Saison is often dry-hopped. A number of different spices and herbs may be used to add complexity, interest, and uniqueness to each brewery's products.
Vital Stats: OG: 1.055-1.080
IBU's: 20-45 FG: 1.010-1.015
SRM: 6-12 ABV: 4.5-8.1%
Commerical Examples: Saison Dupont, Moinette, Laforet, Saison silly, Sezoens

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

10 gallon commercial brewery?

Recently, I came across an interesting business model where the a couple started their brewery inside an existing restaurant and eventually opened their own brewery. They are called the Worth Brewing Co..

The brewery is not massive by any means, in fact breweries usually measure their output in barrels, this brewery currently measures in gallons. They brew in 10 gallon batches, which can be very labor intensive and also very good. With the brewery being so small they can whip up new recipes in a whim and rotate their tap selection very quickly.

Although they do not seem to be taking over any of the big breweries anytime soon, they are well on thier way to establishing themselves in the local area and have expansion dreams in thier near future. Good luck guys!

You can check them out at:


Monday, January 07, 2008


(from BJCP)
10C American Brown Ale

Aroma: Hop aroma, often citrusy, is mild to strong. Esters and dark malt aspects are mild to moderate.

Appearance: Dark ambet to dark brown color.

Flavor: Hop bitterness and flavor dominate the malty richness that ia a characteristic of brown ales. Slightly drier than English versions, with assertive hop presence (bitterness, flaovr, and aroma). Although malt flavor plays a supprting role, some toasty malt character (or even restrained roastiness) should be evident.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with a dry, resiny impression contributed by the high hop bitterness.

Overall Impression: A bigger, hoppier, dryer version of brown ale, typically including the citrus-accented hop presence that is characteristic of American varieties.

History/Comments: A strongly flavored, hoppy brown beer, orignated by American home brewers.

Ingrendients: Well-modified pale malt, either American or Continental, plus crystal and darker malts should complement the malt bill. American hops should be used in generous quantity. Moderate to high carbonate water would appropriately balance the dark malt acidity.

Viatl Stats: OG: 1.040-1.060
IBU's: 25-60 FG: 1.010-1.017
SRM: 15-22 ABV: 4-6.0%

Commercial Examples: Pete's Wicked Ale, Brooklyn Brown Ale, Hart's Pacific Crest Ale, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, Il vicino Tenderfoot Brown, Shipyard Moose Brown

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pliny's Bellow

Humulus Lupulus
(from Hopunion)


Aroma: Excellent, pleasant hoppiness

Alpha Acids: 5.5%

Storeageability: Good

Possible Substitutions: Willamette, US Fuggle, US Tettnang, Styrian Golding

Typical Beer Styles: Pale Ale, ESB, Bitter, English-Style Pale Ale, Porter, Stout

Trade Perception: An excellent new variety with balanced bittering properties
combined with a good aroma profile.