• 2 People Injured in Small Explosion at Samuel Adams Brewery in Lehigh County

    First it was Redhook, now it is Sam Adams.  This time, however, no one died.

    Two Sam Adams employees suffered minor injuries in an explosion Thursday at the brewery in the Fogelsville section of Upper Macungie Township, officials said.

     

    Michelle Sullivan, a brewery spokeswoman, said a small explosion in the boiler room just before noon injured the two-man crew working inside. One of the men suffered eye irritation and the other had a bump on his head, but neither required hospitalization, she said.

     

    Sullivan said that after 911 was called, the entire brewery at 7880 Penn Drive, along Interstate 78, was shut down and evacuated.

     

    She said the boiler room is in a separate room and only t two men were there at the time. She said brewery officials are investigating the cause of the explosion.

    It seems these kegs that are being used aren’t exactly safe.  Maybe plastic kegs aren’t the way to go.

    Source: http://articles.mcall.com/

  • [Infographic] How Beer Saved the World

    Beer, the fuel that has kept mankind running for thousands of years, and now you’ll know why.

  • Taste Testing the Beer From the White House

    After a request to release the recipe to the public for a home brew made by White House, the Obama administration published it on Sept. 1, 2012.

    White House Honey Ale, a beer brewed by the chefs at the White House, grabbed the national spotlight over the summer when President Barack Obama was seen drinking the brew, touting that he travels with bottles of it ready to open on his campaign bus.  At one stop, he even gave a bottle to a supporter.

    When its recipe was released, brewers at Brooklyn Brewery started brewing their own batch of the beer. The brew was ready to be tasted on Monday, and New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov was on hand for the tasting.

     

    The president said the beer was good. Was it? The Dining section truth squad leaped into action, enlisting Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, to make a batch to assess.

     

    After steeping, boiling, cooling, fermenting and settling, Mr. Oliver stowed away 38 750-milliliter corked bottles to mature in a conditioning room kept at 77 degrees. One month later, the beer was ready to be tasted. On Monday, Mr. Oliver and I uncorked one chilled bottle.

     

    Mr. Oliver had expressed concern that the beer might not be ready, but our patience had reached its limit. The potential problem? Brewers carbonate most mass-market beers by injecting them with carbon dioxide, but home brewers generally rely on the ancient technique of initiating a small second fermentation in the bottle before capping it. With nowhere to escape, the carbon dioxide produced by this fermentation turns into the bubbles that animate the beer.

     

    If the second fermentation had gone wrong, or simply wasn’t finished, we’d know. The uncorking would be accompanied by a wimpy sigh, or worse, silence. We hoped for the best as Mr. Oliver removed the wire cage imprisoning the cork. He pulled it out, and with it came a stately, resounding pop.

     

    “Ladies and gentlemen, we have beer,” he said.

     

    Methodically, he filled a couple of goblets. The beer poured out a lovely auburn brown with touches of red glinting in the midday sunlight. It was hazy, indicating that dead yeast cells had not completed their journey downward to the bottom of the bottle. A rocky head of foam was textured and held its form nicely. We drank, tentatively at first, then deeply.

    So how was the beer?

    The verdict: It was good. Very good.

     

    The aromas were floral with a touch of orange and a metallic note that I sometimes find in honey. On the palate, it was breezy, fresh, tangy and lightly bitter, not bone dry but not at all sweet. I could sense the honey in the round, rich texture of the beer: thickness without weight, like a chenin blanc wine. The soft carbonation enhanced the texture. It didn’t have the insistent rush of bubbles that you would find in a mass-produced beer, or the snappy twang of a pilsner, but rather the soft fizz of a British hand-cranked cask ale.

     

    “It’s not without complexity,” Mr. Oliver said, “and it’s an interesting, broad sort of bitterness, a British type of bitterness, which fits the sort of hops they used.”

     

    The White House brewers chose classic British hops, Kent Goldings and Fuggles, which yield a gentle, more generalized sort of bitterness than the sharper grapefruit and pine of American hops familiar in American craft beers. They had taken another British-style step, adding mineral salts to the water, a process intended to mimic the famous waters of Burton-on-Trent, a British town renowned for its brewing heritage. Burtonizing is a long American tradition as well. Mr. Oliver has found advertisements in century-old brewing magazines for the American Burtonizing Company in New York.

     

    For me, the biggest surprise was how powerfully the honey influenced the beer in almost every aspect — texture, aroma, flavor — except sweetness. It was a reminder of how extraordinary honey can be both as an ingredient and as a reflection of its particular origins.

    The secret ingredient in the beer, of course, is the the honey made on the grounds of the white house.  This ensures that no matter how close a brewer comes to duplicating the recipe it could never be exact without that key ingredient.

    Mr. Oliver said a request to the White House for a jar of its own honey went unanswered, so he used local wildflower honey, thinking that White House bees would have little motivation to rove beyond the flowers on the grounds.

     

    In analyzing the beer as it was brewed, Mr. Oliver was surprised by how much sugar went unfermented and feared it might be a tad sweet. He pondered whether, on a second try, he would take steps to make the beer drier.

     

    “Now that I’ve tasted it, I don’t think I would,” he said. “It’s perfectly balanced.”

    This beer, while good at a young age, is predicted to age well, but should most likely be enjoyed fresh.

    The beer is still young. With time, the yeast particles should settle, clarifying the brew, and Mr. Oliver suggested it might carbonate a little more. Six months from now, it might develop some nutty, sherry-like characteristics as the beer begins to oxidize. Aside from curiosity, I’d prefer to drink it fresh.

     

    In the end, the White House beer is easy drinking at 4.89 percent alcohol. It is rich, round and not terribly bitter. It’s a people’s beer that ought to please a wide spectrum of drinkers, from novices to aficionados.

     

    “It has character, but it’s also crowd-pleasing,” Mr. Oliver said. “It’s a politically friendly beer in that regard, and isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

     

  • Americans Get Fatter, Drunker

    Around the globe American’s sometimes have an image of being gluttonous and overweight.  It seems a new study may indicate that beer is partially to blame for this image.

    Lost in the U.S. health care debate is whether the country’s citizens are hurting themselves with bad habits. The bottom line is mixed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Americans are imbibing alcohol and overeating more yet are smoking less (black lines in center graphs).

     

    Some of the behaviors have patterns; others do not. Obesity is heaviest in the Southeast (2010 maps). Smoking is concentrated there as well. Excess drinking is high in the Northeast.

     

    Comparing 2010 and 1995 figures provides the greatest insight into trends (maps, far right). Heavy drinking has worsened in 47 states, and obesity has expanded in every state. Tobacco use has declined in all states except Oklahoma and West Virginia. The “good” habit, exercise, is up in many places—even in the Southeast, where it has lagged.

     

    Curious about health trends in your state? Try the interactive graphics on this page.

    Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=americans-get-fatter-drunker

  • Beerporn: Editor’s Choice

    Tuesday is Editor’s Choice award day on http://hashtagbeerporn.com.  We are giving out an Editor’s Choice Award each week to the picture we think best represents beerporn during that week.  As an ongoing feature on Indy Beers each week I’ll be posting the Editor’s Choice winner from #Beerporn.  Remember, anyone can join and post pictures of beer to http://hashtagbeerporn.com.

    This week’s winner is Husar.  He has been doing a thing with bottle caps recently, and I really like this one.

    http://hashtagbeerporn.com/2012/10/13/fixed-gear-american-red-ale-2/

  • Beer Commemorating 150th Anniversary of American Civil War

    We’ve talked about digging up old beer recipes on this site before, and it seems it is being done again, this time to brew nine beers to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

    The first of nine beers to commemorate the 150th Civil War anniversary — Antietam Ale — is now on tap.

     

    The concoction was derived from a number of beer recipes from the 1800s and researched by National Museum of Civil War Medicine researcher Terry Reimer.

     

    Monocacy Brewing Co. in Frederick bottled the first batch Sept. 28 for distribution.

     

    Antietam Ale is based on a recipe for an English-style ale once brewed by Brewer’s Alley — a style commonly referred to as an ordinary bitter, Brewer’s Alley marketing manager Jim Bauckman said.

     

    The National Museum of Civil War Medicine provided brewmaster Tom Flores with a variety of historic recipes that likely resemble the flavor profile of Antietam Ale, Bauckman said.

     

    “What I like about this museum is we not only educate about and interpret the Civil War, the story we tell is really about the lives of the individuals during that period, and a great part of that experience was camp life,” Price said.

     

    Actual fighting consisted of 45 days out of 1,500 days over four years, Price said. And as the saying goes, “war is an organized bore,” so there was a lot of idle time.

     

    A picture of soldiers and Gen. George Custer and empty beer bottles and pipes was used for the beer bottle emblem.

     

    Beer bottle collectors may have something special to add to their collection. For the second time in American history, the federal government has allowed the American flag to be on a beer bottle, Price said.

     

    Federal regulators initially balked at the idea, Price said, but he made the case that the flag is part of the museum’s logo and the project is about educating the public about an important part of American history, and they yielded.

     

    Brewer’s Alley co-owner Phil Bowers said he is excited about the idea.

     

    “It’s a great way to celebrate the Civil War anniversary, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and downtown Frederick,” Bowers said, “and it’s a great opportunity to keep pushing the great things we’re doing in Frederick.

     

    “Phil understood that if visitors come to the museum, they would go try a Civil War beer afterward,” Price said. “And we knew that a Civil War beer would get our brand and our logo into people’s hands who wouldn’t ordinarily come to the museum, plus it gives us huge exposure.”

     

    Bowers will donate $1 to the museum for every case of beer sold.

     

    The beer is on tap at Brewer’s Alley and Price has already received orders from as far away as California for cases of beer.

     

    The plan is to brew nine beers over two years — one every three or four months, Price said.

     

    The next beer, “Proclamation Porter,” will be released in January to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    Source: http://www.daytondailynews.com/

  • 10 States that Sell the Most Beer

    Beer consumption is falling, according to the Beer Institute, a lobbying group, but which states consume the most beer?  My home state of Maryland doesn’t rank in the top 10, but does your make the grade?

    10. Delaware
    > Per capita consumption: 34.3 gallons
    > Total consumption: 22,592,366 gallons (7th lowest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: -2.3% (8th highest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 20.3% (12th highest)
    > Population density: 465.5/sq. mile (6th highest)

    9. Nebraska
    > Per capita consumption: 34.6 gallons (tied-8th)
    > Total consumption: 44,711,021 gallons (15th lowest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: -5.7% (20th highest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 22.7% (5th highest)
    > Population density: 24.0/sq. mile (8th lowest)

    8. Texas
    > Per capita consumption: 34.6 gallons (tied-8th)
    > Total consumption: 604,956,568 gallons (2nd highest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: -9.4% (15th lowest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 18.9% (19th highest)
    > Population density: 98.3/sq. mile (25th lowest)

    7. Vermont
    > Per capita consumption: 34.7 gallons
    > Total consumption: 16,206,397 gallons (3rd lowest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: 7.1% (the highest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 18.5% (24th highest)
    > Population density: 68.0/sq. mile (21st lowest)

    6. Wisconsin
    > Per capita consumption: 36.2 gallons
    > Total consumption: 149,651,260 gallons (12th highest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: -6.9% (24th lowest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 24.3% (the highest)
    > Population density: 105.5/sq. mile (24th highest)

    5. Nevada
    > Per capita consumption: 36.5 gallons
    > Total consumption: 70,951,684 gallons (21st lowest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: -17.2% (the lowest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 18.6% (22nd highest)
    > Population density: 24.8/sq. mile (9th lowest)

    4. South Dakota
    > Per capita consumption: 38.0 gallons
    > Total consumption: 22,032,413 gallons (6th lowest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: -1.8% (5th highest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 22.1% (6th highest)
    > Population density: 10.9/sq. mile (5th lowest)

    3. Montana
    > Per capita consumption: 40.6 gallons
    > Total consumption: 29,640,123 gallons (8th lowest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: -5.1% (18th highest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 20.8% (9th highest)
    > Population density: 6.9/sq. mile (3rd lowest)

    2. North Dakota
    > Per capita consumption: 42.2 gallons
    > Total consumption: 20,711,472 gallons (5th lowest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: -4.5% (15th highest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 23.8% (2nd highest)
    > Population density: 9.9/sq. mile (4th lowest)

    1.New Hampshire
    > Per capita consumption: 43.0 gallons
    > Total consumption: 41,994,894 gallons (13th lowest)
    > Pct. change in consumption ’03-’11: -1.8% (6th highest)
    > Pct. binge drinkers: 18.7% (21st highest)
    > Population density: 147.2/sq. mile (21st highest)

     

    Source:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/10/11/beer-consumption-top-states/1627621/

  • Pint Craft – The Craft Beer Game on KickStarter

    Playing Pint Craft

    Playing Pint Craft


    We all love games based on drinking, and it looks like Nick Helmholdt of Ann Arbor, MI is trying to make a craft beer game.  The game is card based (check the the official rules in this PDF file) with pints (points) being awarded for various brewing tasks.  The first person to a set amount of points wins the game.   Essentially, you will brew craft beer and expand your brewery to earn victory pints!

    Brewery Cards

    Brewery Cards

    The description from the website for the game is as follows:

    Picture yourself as beer brewer challenged to create distinct and appealing recipes. Pint Craft incorporates elements of resource management and seasonality to generate variety. Creativity on the player’s part ensures that no two games are the same.  No knowledge of brewing is needed to play Pint Craft.

     

    Your friends loved your latest original home brew recipe and encouraged you to quit your job to brew beer full time. At first you hesitated – how can anyone make a living brewing small batches? Then the right combination of frustration and fortune made this craft beer idea seem like the perfect way to escape your dead end job and ferment some passion into your work! But you’re not alone. Other aspiring brewers want to make their mark, too. In this fast-moving industry you’ll need to expand your operations, brew unique styles, and attract thirsty beer enthusiasts to stay ahead of your competition.

     

    Beer Style Cards

    Beer Style Cards

    The game looks like a lot of fun, and I’m considering donating to get myself a copy.  You can pre-order Pint Craft starting at the $25 level. The game will be made in the good ole USA, no need to involve China.  If you pledge, you get a copy you can download and start playing right away (printing at Kinkos is suggested).

    The Pint Craft Box

    The Pint Craft Box

    Check out this video demonstration of how the game works:

     

    Source: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nickhelmholdt/pint-craft?ref=live

  • Yuengling Considers New Brewery Outside Pennsylvania

     

    Like a lot of independent craft beer companies in America, Yuengling is growing.  Yuengling, now the largest American-owned brewer, says it likely won’t build its next brewery in Pennsylvania for business reasons.  In an interview with company owner and President Dick Yuengling Jr. he stated Yuengling wants to keep growing. Sales could approach 3 million barrels by year’s end.  Like any business contemplating such a move, motivations for leaving Pennsylvania are monetarily based.

    The decision comes down to taxes, incentives and the state’s business climate, Yuengling said.

     

    In the interview, Yuengling hinted that there are far more business-friendly states.

     

    And while he didn’t directly criticize any Pennsylvania administration, past or present, he said he can never be certain which way the state is leaning in terms of its tax and business policies.

     

    By contrast, he said enticing incentives offered by other states might be too good to pass up. However, he declined to cite any states he might be considering for the brewery.

     

    “Some states are very economically friendly,” Yuengling said. “We don’t necessarily base business decisions on incentives like that. But if they are going to give them to somebody, we would stand there and take them.”

     

    As for the Keystone State, which remains home to Yuengling’s original, historic Pottsville brewery as well as a second, much larger facility opened nearby in 2002, he said:

     

    “Pennsylvania is a great location. But it’s not very business-friendly. You look for fair tax breaks, fair taxation. And the bottom line is more jobs. That’s what it’s all about.”

     

    A new brewery would solve a familiar and recurring problem for the company. Namely, too much demand and too little beer.

    I’m happy to see a good, independent, American owned brewery doing well.  I hope to see more Yuengling in the future!!

    Source: http://www.pennlive.com/

  • Beerporn: Editor’s Choice

    Tuesday is Editor’s Choice award day on http://hashtagbeerporn.com.  We are giving out an Editor’s Choice Award each week to the picture we think best represents beerporn during that week.  As an ongoing feature on Indy Beers each week I’ll be posting the Editor’s Choice winner from #Beerporn.  Remember, anyone can join and post pictures of beer to http://hashtagbeerporn.com.

    This week’s winner is Husar.  I love the bottle caps in this photo.

    http://hashtagbeerporn.com/2012/10/06/the-shipyard-est-1994/

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