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Hi again beer fans! Happy Friday! Come have a cold one.

This week's beer (and spirits) news came to my attention from a couple of real paper magazines. Shocking I know. Come past the orange gnocchi to see what I'm talking about.

last week Grainpaw mentioned the difficulty of working with some of his homebrew store customers who seem to know less than most about beer making but be reticent about their intentions. My response was: "tough issue since neither of you is legally supposed to be talking about making corn whisky."

Silly me. What did I see on the cover of the latest Mother Earth News? Artisan Home Distilling. It doesn't seem to bother the writer or the editor that it's completely illegal. [The story mentions that it's very rarely prosecuted unless you try to sell your hooch.] Unfortunately for Grainpaws's customers, the article isn't about corn squeezins, it's about turning his plum crop into eau de vie (or what in Eastern Europe they call slivovitz).

In local spirits news, I've reached peak lemon and will be making a batch of limoncello this weekend. This is an unquestionably legal product, not distilled but infused into purchased grain alcohol.

Beer-wise, I wanted to mention a new beer I heard about.

Usually, new craft beers come to my attention from Celebrator or Northwest Brewing News. Or maybe from word of mouth at the homebrew club, or maybe when I see them on the tap list at Harry's Hofbrau. Or from FNBB commenters.

When they try to grab my attention with an expensive ad in a national publication, such as the back cover of the most recent Rolling Stone, I know they aren't your ordinary craft beer. Actually I know they're no kind of craft beer; they are a new appendage of one of the huge corporate brewers.

The brew I'm referring to is called Third Shift Amber Lager, from an outfit labeled "Band of Brewers Company". You wouldn't know it from that site, but a quick google told me this is the newest "quality" beer offshoot of Coors.

Their slogan is "When Beer is your calling, you never clock out™". The concept seems to be the sort of faux blue collar feeling that's so popular for pickup truck ads. Color me unimpressed.

I splurged on some Duchesse de Bourgogne, after one of those I'll switch to Mission Street IPA. What are you drinking? Is anyone brewing?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war" - John Adams

    by esquimaux on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 06:45:09 PM PDT

  •  Good evening (7+ / 0-)

    Took the kids to the beach earlier, stopped at Pizza Port Solana Beach afterwards for some grub and drinks. I had a "The Burning of Rome" IPA. I'm pretty sure this one is actually brewed at Pizza Port Ocean Beach. My first time trying it, pretty tasty.

    No beer for me tonight.

    Here's the IPA I had earlier:

  •  In the Fridge.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bsegel, high uintas, greengemini

    I have a bottle of Petrus Aged Pale ale that I've been saving for a rare weekend off....crack it maybe tomorrow.  Tonight I'l have some Firestone Double Barrel Ale with my fried chicken!

  •  haven't brewed since grad school but also (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grainpaw, bsegel, high uintas, greengemini

    recall from the same period a colleague's pretty good dandelion wine

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 Acedia is essentially a flight from the world that leads to not caring even that one does not care

    by annieli on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 07:25:26 PM PDT

    •  One of the best things I ever made (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bsegel, high uintas, greengemini

      was a dandelion braggot. A honey ale with lots of dandelion blossoms to accompany the hops. April is Dandelion season. We only get one chance a year to brew this nectar of the poets (including Ray Bradbury).
      Here bygynneth the Book of the Tales of Caunterbury
      When in April the sweet showers fall
          That pierce March's drought to the root and all
          And bathed every vein in liquor that has power
          To generate therein and sire the flower;
          When Zephyr also has with his sweet breath,
          Filled again, in every holt and heath,
          The tender shoots and leaves, and the young sun
          His half-course in the sign of the Ram has run,
          And many little birds make melody
          That sleep through all the night with open eye
          (So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)
          Then folk do long to go on pilgrimage,
          And palmers to go seeking out strange strands,
          To distant shrines well known in distant lands

      --Geoffrey Chaucer, late 14th Century

      The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in learning to love the dandelions. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1910

      by Grainpaw on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 07:50:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Faux craft brews (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bsegel, high uintas, greengemini

    i saw the Third Shift TV ad last night. My first thought was, if it's on national satellite TV it's not a small craft brewery or I'd have been hearing about it for years as it grew to that level. Only Sam Adams fits that crfiteria that I know of. My second thought was, the art and graphics is a lot like the Blue Moon commercials. When they got to the name I knew it was some kind of fake. There are a couple beers like that at Krogers in the same vein. I can't think of the names. When you read the fine print on the bottle, there is no clue about the actual brewery or any allusion to location.
    It is probably better than Coors, but I ain't buying it. Unless I am traveling (rarely, these days) and have an opportunity to buy something I can't get at home, I may buy 2 or 3 six-packs a year of some reputable craft beer when I am feeling flush or want to try something new. But there will be plenty of people to buy the fakes who have more money than knowledge.
    Due to beer production lags, I am drinking a gift of a 2 year old Fredonia, and a 5 year old Niagara which I made. Plans are afoot with a friend to re-do my old 10 gallon all-grain system with valves, connectors, thermometers and a pump, on propane burners, with an outdoor lean-to to work in. It was a lot of hand work and transfers before, but I made about 200 pretty good all-grain brews with that setup. It can only get better.

    The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in learning to love the dandelions. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1910

    by Grainpaw on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 07:26:22 PM PDT

  •  Couple of links (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ruleoflaw, high uintas, greengemini

    A very productive beer-fueled conversation:

    About halfway down on the blog page, a video on the actual brewing of the White House honey ales:

    The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in learning to love the dandelions. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1910

    by Grainpaw on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 07:54:56 PM PDT

  •  Long Trail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grainpaw, high uintas

    I just got the sampler pack from Long Trail Brewery in Vermont, and my verdict is: "not impressed".  I love Vermont, so it pains me to say that.  It features Long Trail Ale (OK), IPA (OK), Pollenator (meh), and Blackbeary Wheat (meh).  A far better sampler pack comes from Troegs (of Pennsylvania).

  •  I didn't realize it was illegal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, greengemini, PeterHug

    to discuss applied biochemistry. That's a stretch for most folks in these parts, and should be encouraged. Usually, beyond high school, the only science discussion is about what a crock o' B.S. that global warming scam of Al Gore's is.
    The Moonshiners program (totally staged by authentic characters) and the Mother Earth News article are least cracks in the dam and a start for the conversation about legalizing a practice which many regard as their God-given birthright, along with guns and loud machines, never mind that God doesn't mention any of that in the Bible. At least there is only minor quibbling about snake handling. After all, if a man wants to risk his life for something he believes in, what business is it of the the government's to stop him from being a damn fool? The cost of enforcement is higher than the tax revenue from the lost legal purchases. Let them edit themselves out of the gene pool, preferably before procreation. Anybody see the movie Idiocracy? It's not just a comedy, it's also prophecy. Well, it's late, and I may have digressed somewhere. Good night, and good beer tomorrow.

    The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in learning to love the dandelions. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1910

    by Grainpaw on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 08:48:45 PM PDT

  •  mr.uintas has been brewing his own beer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Grainpaw, PeterHug

    for over 7 years now. He favors Belgium styles and is a very popular guy at parties and family get-togethers. His biggest beer peeve is people who are so into hops that that's all they judge the beer by.

    It's like Americans discovered the flavor of hops in an IPA and were so gobsmacked that they didn't bother to appreciate malts, yeasts, and grains anymore.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:23:50 PM PDT

  •  Will be brewing up a 10-gallon batch of oatmeal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, greengemini, Grainpaw

    stout this weekend.
    The the neighbor hood quality control committee will be in session once again.

  •  Big news in my world (0+ / 0-)

    Yesterday, Four Elements Brewing, LLC filed papers in MN. We met with a developer and had a very promising meeting. I'll keep folks here filled in as things progress.

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