Thursday, July 31, 2008

Undead Sour Red

I just bottled up my first Flanders Red and I am very excited about the way it is tasting thus far. It has a very nice acetic acid flavor, similar to Rodenbach, but it isn't as sour as the Rodenbach Grand Cru. There is a giant cherry pie flavor to it and this isn't even the batch that I add cherry juice to. I have another carboy of the exact same beer but I added just under 50 oz of Door County cherry juice to it and it enhanced that cherry pie flavor a little bit. Hopefully my La Folie clone will start to sour up sometime soon here. It's been a year and a half but it has a long way to go still.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Want to Make Some Beer!

The mission of the Bay de Noc Brewers homebrew club is to facilitate the sharing of information about brewing beer at home amongst all club members in order to promote the brewing of high quality beer in our members homes. The distribution of this knowledge will facilitate all club members in becoming more knowledgeable abotu beer and the brewing process assisting them in creating higher quality beer at home. The club itself is therefore founded as a means to facilitate this transfer of knowledge between members and to make this knowledge readily available to anyone interested in learning about our craft.

Our local homebrew club, The Bay de Noc Brewers, is on the web now. So if you are located in the U.P. and are interested in getting involved in the homebrew community go to our website and sign up for our mailing list. You will then be kept in the loop as to the happenings of our club. We get together on a regular basis and we have a lot of fun trying each others beers and usually some very good craft beer as well.

Americans are Thirsty for Craft Beer

Dollar Sales Up 11 Percent for First Half of 2008

Boulder, CO • July 28, 2008 – The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, reports beer sales from American craft brewers¹ (see 2007 Craft Beer Industry Statistics) continue to grow despite a softening economy and challenges with raw materials supply and pricing. Craft beer dollar sales during the first half of 2008 increased 11% compared to this same period in 2007. The Brewers Association attributes this growth to a grassroots movement toward fuller flavored, small batch beers made by independent craft brewers.

According to The Nielsen Company, beer sales are affected the least by the economic downturn, with wine sales showing the most impact. Additionally, craft beer is gaining customers from across all segments of beverage alcohol.

Crowd eagerly awaits the Great American Beer Festival.

Photo Caption: Thirsty attendees await their fill at the annual
Great American Beer Festival held each year in the Fall.
Download a high resolution version of the image.

"Newer brands by the larger brewers, like Belgian style wheat beers, have huge distribution advantages over beers by independent craft brewers," said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association. "These brands can grow when the large brewers decide they want them to grow with the ability to impact what brands get shelf space and tap handles. At the same time, beer from craft brewers is being requested by the customer, which encourages distributors and retailers to make the beer available." According to the Brewers Association, 1,420 of the 1,463 U.S. breweries are independent craft brewers.

The Brewers Association reports that in the first half of 2008 volume of beer sold by craft brewers grew by 6.5% totaling an estimated 4 million barrels of beer compared to 3.768 million barrels sold in the first half of 2007. Harry Schuhmacher of Beer Business Daily stated, "Crafts have really taken pricing this year given high input costs, and yet it is still driving volume gains faster than the beer category."

¹ The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.


Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association for American craft brewers and community of beer enthusiasts. Visit the Web site,, to learn more. The association’s activities include events and publishing: World Beer Cup®; Great American Beer Festivalsm; Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; American Craft Beer Week; Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 15,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.

Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival

Well, if it isn't obvious, the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, MI is a hell of a lot of fun. Riverside Park was full of beer loving, charismatic, fun seeking Michiganders and I even met some folks from surrounding states and even Hawaii. Michigan has one of the best Beer Festivals in the states and if you haven't been there yet, you need to. Those who have been there have more than likely made it an annual trip like myself. 8 hours in a car seems like a short trip when I think back to how much fun I've had there in the past.

My favorite beer that I tried was Jolly Pumpkin's Perseguidor 3. I also like what the Livery had to offer. Their Triple Weizenbock was pretty amazing. Big Rock Chop House had a whole line up of beers that could have kept me happy all day without going to any other tents. They had a Saison and a Fruit Beer called "Cherry Poppin' Danny's Cherry Ale". T'was Awesome!

Summer of Saisons

I just got done brewing my third Saison for the summer. I'm going to keep it up until the temp starts dropping--or else until my 4 strain saison yeast blend mutates into a monster and eats me. I just brewed a darker than usual saison just to try something different. It came out more of a brown, similar to Jolly Pumpkin's Bam Noire. I'll post the recipe if I feel it is worthy of replicating. I haven't even sampled it yet. I let it start fermenting for a few days and then I through the brew belt on it. A brew belt is just a rubber coated belt that you can plug in and the current warms up the belt thus warming up your fermentation. I can get my wort up to about 85-90F if the ambient temps are around 70F or so. I Just kegged up my second saison and it turned out great. I used the recipe out of Jamil Zanisheff/John Palmer's book -- "Brewing Classic Styles". The only thing I changed was my Saison blend instead of the WLP565 which is probably the most "pain in the ass" strain of yeast to work with ever. I'll post later about how this dark saison turned out.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Miracle Fruit Tricks Taste Buds.

If I have to explain to you why this article would be of interest to homebrewers then go away.

The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the reaction is a protein called miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, according to a scientist who has studied the fruit, Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida’s Center for Smell and Taste. Dr. Bartoshuk said she did not know of any dangers associated with eating miracle fruit.

Read More Here

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July 18th...has been proposed to be known as International Brewers Day--
a worldwide effort to create a holiday celebrating the contributions to society of the men and women who brew beer. The holiday is set to take place on July 18. On that day, there are several ways that you can participate. But to learn the idea behind this new holiday, why July 18 was chosen, along with the plan to observe it, tips on how to spread the word and even a number of banners, badges and buttons to use in promoting it on the web and/or for your brewer’s post, use the menu either at the left or above here on the buttons directly below the header.

I hope you’ll be convinced to join us in honoring brewers, the men and women who make the beer you love, with a holiday of their own, this and hopefully every July 18th.

Learn More

2008 MSF Homebrew Competition....Do It!

2008 MICHIGAN STATE FAIR Home Brew Competition
The Michigan State Fair Home Brewing Competition has become one of the
largest and fastest growing competitions anywhere. From 324 entries in fifteen
beer-only categories in 2004, the Michigan State Fair Home Brewing Competition
has grown to 720 entries in all 28 beer, cider and mead categories in 2007,
making it one of the largest competitions anywhere and definitely the largest
single state competition anywhere.
The size and growth of this competition is an indication of the vitality and strength
of the home brewing and craft brewing community here in Michigan. This
competition is an enormous undertaking and would be impossible without the
support of our sponsors, judges, stewards, and volunteers, whose enthusiasm
and hard work are responsible for its success.

Entries accepted: July 21 through August 2
First Round Judging: August 16-17 at Dragonmead Microbrewery in Warren.
BOS and Awards Ceremony: August 30 at 3 pm at the Mi State Fair Community
Arts Building

Want to enter?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Great New Website from the Brew Bubbas

Craft Beer Locator is a great new website from the Brew Bubbas. They have spent a lot of time and effort in putting this together and it shows. Check it out.