I just went Pro...kinda...

Today marks a significant event in my brewing life; I started an internship at a local brewery here in Colorado. I'm really excited because it's one of my favorite breweries in the area. It was by far my first choice and after waiting weeks with no reply I finally got a response last week and the interview process was basically "When do you want to work?"

We brewed a real basic beer today, one that many beer snobs might even turn their nose up at, but it was a great learning experience. I got to perform every step in the brewing process at least once and some of them twice. I think half of brewing is being able to wrap your head around plumping; you can't imagine the number of pipes/hoses/valves involved in the brewing process, even on a small scale!
Foreign Style Stout in a can, Upslope Brewing Company
Upslope Foreign Style Stout
What I'm Drinking:
Upslope (HINT) Foreign Style Stout

A limited release from Upslope. A wonderfully mild burnt taste; medium bitterness in the finish and smooth taste throughout. Really a great example of the style and one of my new favorites...period.


A brew for every occasion

When someone tells me that they don't like beer my first thought is that they just haven't found the right beer to love them. They've probably been seeing the wrong beer, the beer that doesn't appreciate them for who they truly are, the beer that won't hold their hair back when they get sick (see, I'm purposefully referencing women because usually its my lady pals that claim to not like da beers). 

There are so many styles of beer that I posit one surely suits your palette. Crisp, clean, and malty? We got that. Big, roasted, chocolaty? Mmmhmm. Pumpkin pie spices with a beautiful amber hue. Check. So much hop flavor your pores secret hop resins? Double-IPA-check. Want your beer to taste like a wine? Get out

Sike...we can even do that one too. 

My point is that saying  you don't like beer in a sweeping declaration (#SWMBO) is foolishness. There, I said it. Fools! I implore you to step outside of your box! There exists a world of wonderful flavors that put the varietals of wines to shame in my not-so-humble opinion. 

So the next time you're sipping your Merlot or your Riesling or your Cabernet and thinking to yourself how they haven't told you they loved you lately, I encourage you to visit your local specialty/craft brew store and take a chance on that geeky looking beer waiting to give its love to you. Let it in to your heart; it has so much to give.
Dogfish Head Midas Touch in a wine glass
Dogfish Head Midas Touch
What I'm Drinking:
Dogfish Head Midas Touch

This couldn't be more on topic if I tried. It's almost like I based this post on what I was drinking. 

The ingredients of this fine brew include barley, honey, white muscat grapes, and saffron. Now tell me that isn't intriguing?! The wine character of this beer really can't be understated. The white grapes lend a very white wine feel to the beer with the barley adding a considerable body. The honey and saffron nicely spice the beer up and the combination of flavors is really thought-provoking. The flavors are dense but balanced. Big grape flavors in the middle give way to a saffron spice and finish with a dry white wine burn. 

You'll notice that I'm drinking this beer out of what appears to be a red wine glass. Well...it is. You heard me. I'm drinking my beer out of a wine glass. Why you ask? For the same reasons you drink wine out of a wine glass of course. The large bowl traps aromas and provides great surface area for the warmth of my hands to warm the beer. Yep, warm beer is desirable. You see, the mainstream lagers like Bud Light are meant to be served as cold as possible to mask any off flavors in the beer. As a beer warms certain flavor components become more pronounced and this is precisely what we want from our beautifully brewed craft beers. Frosted pint glass? Take a hike.

I know this is getting lengthy, but I have to add some sweet trivia about this beer. Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, based this beer on an ancient recipe discovered in King Midas' tome. Evidence suggested a brew was made with grapes, thyme, barley, and honey for the King's funeral. Designed for an event celebrating King Midas at the University of Pennsylvania, Sam and his crew recreated this incredible 'beer-wine-mead' based on that recipe. You can read more about this in Sam's book "Brewing Up A Business."



1 Comment

I've decided to blog about beer. This decision is largely borne of my need to talk to someone other than myself about brewing; I'm starting to get weird looks from strangers. 

While living in Kuwait I was introduced to the joys of homebrewing. I consider this ironic given the illegality of alcohol there. Amplifying the irony is that we had diplomatic privileges and could very well buy professionally crafted beer yet still decided to drink the swill we were making on our stove tops. 

Sometime before serving in Kuwait I knew that I wanted more out of my beer drinking than the 'lights' had to offer me. Don't get me wrong, I won't kick a Bud Light out of bed for eating crackers if it's the only thing available to me, but I far prefer some more flavor to my beer. My first love affair would probably be Sam Adams' Boston Lager. It's still a go-to beer selection when nothing else is appealing to me.

Since being introduced to brewing I've fallen deeper and deeper into it. I've built a kegerator, purchased a 20 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker pot, and have plans in the works to build an all-electric brewing setup. Yea, it's an obsession. I've also developed an appreciation for the commercial brewing industry and enjoy following the goings-on within it. 

I haven't 100% settled on the design of this blog so expect tumult for the next few weeks/years while I figure it out (read: wait for my very talented wife to tell me what looks best).
What I'm Drinking: 
Homebrewed American Amber Ale

Sweet aroma, clear copper coloring, medium-bodied with caramel notes and a slight bitterness. Flavors linger on the tongue beckoning you to take another sip.