October 31, 2015

The Story of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Chapter 6

Here's the latest in Goose Island's outstanding Grit & Grain Series of videos on their Bourbon County Stout.  

A Standard In The Industry - Chapter 6: 

"Bourbon County Stout is a torch that has been lit for many years, the brewers of Goose Island are tasked with keeping the torch they been passed, aflame. The Russian imperial stout is a daunting beer to brew and asks a lot of both brewers and their equipment. From the brewhouse to the cellar, the beer can be a volatile and unpredictable. Two to three days a week are now spent brewing Bourbon County Stout. The massive malt bill is entirely hand loaded, bag by bag into the hopper. From there, the mash mixer gets entirely filled two times to equal one kettle-full volume. After four hours of boiling, The wort is transferred to the cellar tanks. Filling one tank takes six turns, All of which is fermenting rapidly the entire time. The beer is then tinkered off to the Goose Island Barrel House on Chicago’s west side where the Imperial Stout will be aged in Bourbon Barrels to take on a whole new life. "

Happy Halloween!

October 25, 2015

New Belgium Brewing + Ben & Jerry's = Business as a force for good

"Ben & Jerry's and New Belgium Brewing Co. have been climate activists for many years. After all, ice cream is best served frozen, and nothing compares to an ice-cold beer.

We know that we're stronger together than we are apart. That's why we've joined forces to create two new products: a beer, Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, and an ice-cream flavor, Salted Caramel Brownie Ale.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of both will go to Protect Our Winters (POW), an organization founded in 2007 by snowboarder Jeremy Jones to spur the snow sports community to action."

The Story of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Chapter 5

Here's the latest in Goose Island's outstanding Grit & Grain Series of videos on their Bourbon County Stout.

The Barrel Never Dies - Chapter 5

"Bourbon making has two distinct stages. Distillation and aging. The beginning stages of making the mash for whiskey are similar to making the mash for beer. So much so, that the whiskey industry term for the fermented mash is beer. The distillation of grains to make whiskey is a practice that traces back to America’s European roots. The act of placing whiskey into charred barrels however, is uniquely American. The whiskey ages in the barrel anywhere from three to twenty-five years depending on the brand of Bourbon. By law, the Bourbon industry can only use new American white oak barrels. The byproduct of this mandate is a surplus of used Bourbon barrels with plenty of flavor still within the staves. Unlike most beer that you can enjoy in a few short weeks Distillers won’t see the labor of their work for 2-23 years."

October 22, 2015

Ask John: Inspiration, Homebrewing & Brewing Tips

Fun stuff here as Rogue's John Maier tells us what inspired him to start brewing, his relationship with homebrewers, how to brew a peanut butter banana porter and how to brew with mango.

October 20, 2015

I'm Running McNellie's Pub Run

I signed up for my first "beer run" of any type this week. I'm going to do the McNellie's Pub Run in Tulsa on Nov. 7th.

So it's pretty simple: run a mile, chug a Guinness, run a mile, chug a Guinness, run a mile, chug a Guinness, run a mile to the finish. Which is actually at McNellie's Pub and you get a free beer! So yeah, this should rock. Also I may puke. 4 miles, 3 beers. While wearing a kilt. Hey that's not in the rules I just sort of want to wear a kilt I guess.

Beer run!

Victory Hop Wallop To Return in November!

Over the past 20 years, we've certainly brewed a lot of beers. Some come and go, and some are only brewed for a short time, never to be seen again...until now!

October 19, 2015

Behind the Brew - Summit Unchained 20: Sticke Alt

My wife and I are both huge fans of the last beer in Summit's Unchained Series, #19 Make It So. It's an Earl Grey Tea ESB and we're rolling through cans of it regularly and I even still have some #18 around, the Hop Silo Imperial IPA. In short, I love this f'n series. They've announced #20 in this awesome series now as well. See below:

Brewer (and lederhosen fan) Mike Lundell introduces his new Sticke Alt, the twentieth release in Summit's Unchained Series.


The Story of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Chapter 4

Part 4 of this awesome Grit & Grain Series from Goose Island posted below. Catch up with the first 3 by clicking here.

You just don't teach that overnight - Chapter 4

Considered a dying industry 50 years ago, barrel coopering is once again a booming business. Though technology has improved the industry, barrel making still very much relies on the highly skilled and very human profession of barrel coopering. And like a human fingerprint, no barrel is the same. Each stave is unique and each one fits together like a puzzle. The fact that a cooper can assemble a consistent product demonstrates the craftsmanship that goes into building a watertight barrel that can withstand the flux of the seasons. This isn’t a process you can teach overnight and after watching how many steps go into making the perfect barrel you can see why.

October 10, 2015

The Story Of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Chapter 3

Here's the 3rd chapter in Goose Island's "Grit & Grain" series, this time talking about logging the White Oak trees in the Ozarks of Missouri.

All They've Ever Known Is Logging - Chapter 3

"The Bourbon industry requires a massive supply of new barrels. That requires an equally massive supply of timber. The type of wood used for bourbon barrels is important to the quality and flavor of the spirit. Mandated by law, the spirit must be aged in new American White Oak to be legally clarified bourbon. The majority of white oak forested for use in bourbon barrels is grown in the hills of the Ozarks. On average, it takes around 80-100 years for a white oak tree to grow to the size it needs to be logged. Many communities throughout the region rely on the logging of white oak as a vital part of the local economy. To ensure the sustained growth of the forests, loggers take great care in responsibly foresting. By doing so, another generation can continue the tradition of logging."

October 9, 2015

Plenty Of Family Fun, Food and Beer At Inaugural Arktoberfest

In the South, a lot of people associate football with the cooler temperatures and leaves falling, but my thoughts lately turn to a new fall classic. I'm talking about the beer festival. You can find one around the South pretty much every weekend in September and October and in Arkansas there are several new ones to choose from lately. One of the new kids on the block is coming up this Saturday in Arkadelphia, the inaugural Arktoberfest Craft Beer Festival and Catfish Cookout.

But this festival is shaping up to be about a whole lot more than just catfish and beer, even though I'd be fine if it were just those two things. Attendees of this family friendly festival will get to eat a catfish dinner and enjoy plenty of fun activities like a 5K race, trampoline bungees, climbing walls, human foosball, Nerf wars, laser skeet, pumpkin catapults, live music, trike races, a beard competition and even the state's largest ever cupcake mosaic. Yes, Lauren Byrd of Sugar Belle Sweets is preparing a mosaic of 3,200 vanilla and chocolate cupcakes for the festival, which she and a team of volunteers will be assembling throughout the day to be eaten that evening.

But lets get back to the beer for a moment. Homebrewers from across the state will compete for $1,000 in cash prizes (and the satisfaction of a job well done) in the AHA/BJCP-sanctioned Arktoberfest Challenge Homebrew Competition, using the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. But, if you're more into drinking the beer than making it yourself, here's your solid line-up of Arkansas breweries 21-and-over attendees can sample:

Apple Blossom Brewing Company
Asana Alehouse
Blood Eagle Brewing Company
Bubba Brew’s Brewing Company
Core Brewing Company
Damgood Pies River Market
Diamond Bear Brewing Company
Fossil Cove Brewing Co.
Lost Forty Brewing
Moody Brews
Ozark Beer Company
Saddlebock Brewery
Slate Rock Brewing
Stone’s Throw Brewing

Your Beer and Catfish ticket or a Beer Only ticket and receives 15 tokens in a souvenir pouch, each of which is redeemable for a 3-oz sample of beer, 1.5-oz sample of wine, or 1/4-oz samples of spirits (Rock Town Distillery will be there).

Gates open at 9:45 am. Beer sampling begins at 10 am. Last call is at 9 pm. The festival site closes at 10 pm.

Check out their website for plenty more information: http://arktoberfest.org/


October 3, 2015

The Story of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Chapter 2

I'm loving this series on one of my all-time favorite beers, Bourbon County Stout, from Goose Island. I posted Part 1 last week and here's chapter 2 for you to enjoy:
"Chicago Bar Manager Phil Olson has a deep affinity for bourbon, and the knowledge to back it up. Phil clarifies what distinguishes bourbon from whiskey and clears any other common myths. Bourbon is America’s only native spirit, the history of which is intertwined with the history of the country as it expanded westward. In addition to a layered and complex spirit, the Bourbon industry has another byproduct that’s in high demand, charred American White Oak barrels. Today the bourbon and beer industries have crossed paths. Needless to say, Bourbon County Stout owes everything to the men and women of the Bourbon industry."
Music by The Black Oil Brothers: https://theblackoilbrothers.bandcamp.com

October 2, 2015

Interview on KARN Today

Did a little chatting about Rebel Kettle, fall beers and the Arkansas beer scene in general this morning on KARN Newsradio. I didn't get much time to work in all the things I wanted to say, as usual (you know how I like to talk), but I got in a bit. 
I did screw up by not coming up with any central Arkansas pumpkin beers off the top of my head other than RedRumPum from Rebel Kettle as Stone's Throw has a Pumpkin Pie Porter coming out. I actually had it a few times last year even. Hey, live radio, no script.