Monday, December 27, 2010

Converting SS Vats to Boil/Mash/HLTs (#homebrew)

Sittin' here sippin' another Espresso Stout (Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious!) and considerin' whether or not the 40 gallon SS vats D and I obtained for a song (99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall) need thicker bottoms. (These are destined for our 1 BBL brew system.)

These vats are being re-purposed from who-knows-what to Boil/Mash/HLTs. Bottoms seem a might thin to me. Definitely not as thick as say, the steel used in constructing a half beer barrel (keg).

Consider: TIG welding another plate of SS to the bottom lip and optionally sandwiching a couple sheets of copper in between. Or, cut out the bottom and TIG weld in a new replacement bottom. Will need to talk to a welder to get their input on this--maybe this week.

Sides seem to be heavier gauge than the bottom. (!)

Also, need to install nipples for well thermometers and drain valves.

Don't have lids but they are available commercially and need not be fabricated.

These vats are dandy (very minimal investment so far) and even with some fabrication cost, would still be less than buying new.


Best part of every day.™

Rainwater Wort Cooling (#homebrew)

Sittin' here nursin' an Espresso Stout and considering the viability of collecting rainwater into underground storage tanks for the purpose of cooling wort.

Imagine the brew-house structure's rain downspouts directing rainwater into a large storage tank or tanks, with overflow optionally to a second tank or tanks. Another or other tanks are always empty, but need not be.

On brew day, to cool the wort, pump rain water from a source tank containing cold water, through the heat exchanger (chilling the wort) and into a destination tank which is initially empty or nearly so and slowly fills with the now warm water.

After a suitable time when the warm water has had a chance to cool, use that tank as the source for the cold cooling water for the next batch, pumping it through the heat exchanger to a destination empty tank. Repeat, swapping tanks.

Switching source and destination tanks could be a manual operation using valves.

There is no harm in filling all available tanks with rainwater and simply directing the downstream warm water into a pond or using it to irrigate, say, the hop yard. It could also be used for animal drinking water.

Of course, tank sizing is important and depends on the temperature of the stored cold water and the batch sizes.

Underground tanks should be buried based on the local climate, to ensure cool water for summertime brewing, although storing the water higher than the brew-house and using gravity to feed the heat exchanger should be investigated.

Underground tanks in freezing climates must be buried under the frost line to ensure liquidity.

Fiberglass or plastic tanks would be preferable so that they last a long time. The tanks don't store potable water but simply cooling water--hence clean-outs would be nice but not absolutely necessary.

There is a brewery in Georgia, 5 Seasons Brewing Company, that has a rainwater catchment system.

It would be beneficial to investigate their system for other ideas.

Best part of every day.™

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oh, was I ever a good boy this year...#homebrew

L thoughtfully considered my passion and gifted me a copy of the Homebrewer's Companion by Charlie Papazian--this completes my set of the trilogy.

But that's not all.

L also presented me a gift certificate to Simply Homebrew. With which I will endeavour to produce a Winter seasonal, superb in all ways and heretofore unseen, to brew, age and have ready for next year. Thank you!

But wait, there's more.

S, got me a set of beer-themed tee shirts--pithy and surely to spur guffaws. I'll cherish them, and wearing one, think of her every time I brew. For at least two minutes.

Boy am I lucky.

Here's to everyone having a very Merry Christmas and hoping you all realize your wishes too.

Best part of every day™

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Five Pale Ales Do Not a Beer Menu Make (or: Hey Tazio, What's in the Beer Meister?)

We've been lookin' at comin' up with a beer menu that isn't overwhelmed with pale ales. (This ain't balmy `ol England: This is America and we're Americans seared in the fires of Exceptionalism! We think we can do a bit better than that.)

So we're searchin' for a beer menu that even the wimpiest women (no offense meant) and stoutest men (again, no offense) could enjoy. With the parameters that there be a maximum of five beers and that all the beers be homebrewed. A menu of beers that a real beer drinker could take with them to a deserted island to live out their days with.

So to those ends we've spent many hours contemplating the problem of constructing this perfect beer menu.

And what a problem to have.

Brewing. Tasting. Tinkering.




Brewing. Tasting.

Let there be no mistake: Considerable thought, energy, and effort has and continues to be expended on this task.

So, as we open the door into the nether reaches of the Beer Meister today (aka the malt vault), we find, a little beauty with nary a fancy name but Espresso Stout.

She is as smooth as 16 shots of 100% Columbian brewed espresso can be--with a middling coffee flavor, hardly any hop aroma and just a wee bit of hop flavor. Slightly creamy, but she's young yet. Even S declared upon sipping (and sipping): “Smooth!”

Pssst: “Wit's up next, Tazio?” In good time all will be revealed.

Best part of every day.™

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pennsylvania Breweries 4th Edition by Lew Bryson

Chances are if you like good beer you've heard of Lew Bryson.

But what you may not have heard, especially if you're not a beer buff, is that he has a new book entitled Pennsylvania Breweries, 4th Edition.

Lew is a Pennsylvanian hailing from the southeast (Newtown) who really knows his beer. His blog Seen Through a Glass is widely read in beer and spirit circles around the world.

He has brought his knowledge of beer along with a love for travel and takes the reader on a tour of the 73 regional breweries, microbreweries, nanobreweries, and brewpubs that call Pennsylvania home.

One chapter in the book describes the history of old established breweries spread around the state--breweries like D. G. Yuengling and Son, Straub, and the Lion Brewery. Philly and Pittsburgh, rightfully so, get their own sections. Breweries no longer with us since the last edition about five years ago, also get their own thankfully short chapter.

The remainder of the book is arranged by geographic region--a few pages or four describing each brewery.

Between chapters is a brief page or two that serve to define and explain aspects of the beer surround. Like what's the difference between an ale and a lager. Or what's all the fuss about beer festivals. Or a description of the brewing process. These short essays as well as the helpful glossary at the back, make the world of beer a bit easier to quaff for the newbie.

There are up-to-date historical descriptions of the breweries and their beers and there's always an interesting story or two that aren't very well known. (I didn't know that the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre brews tanks and tanks of the Malta soft drink!) The author clearly presents beer geek factoids like who owns the brewery, who's the brewmaster, what type of brewhouse is employed, its maximum annual capacity, and recent production numbers. Any student of the current state of brewing in the Commonwealth will surely find a treasure trove of good information here.

Following each brewery entry, the author presents a list of local area attractions that would be a boon for any visitor who wanted to set out an a beer adventure. These include places to stay, things to do, places to eat (with dishes that can't be missed), good local beer bars, and other attractions that could be dovetailed with a brewery visit. Contact information is presented for each place along with a sentence or two of description about what's here that would entice and/or make the visit special for the reader. (As an example, if you visit The Memphis Taproom in Philly, the author suggests to try the King Rarebit [Note to self: Try the King Rarebit the next time in Philly!]). Bold italic font is used for the place names, which is great for quickly finding what you're looking for.

This is not a book that intends to rate breweries or beers and the author says as much in the opening pages.

The author's language is colorful and the stories are informative, entertaining, and make reading this book fun. The partitioning of the book makes this a splendid travel companion when one is exploring afield for wider Pennsylvania beer experiences--you WILL be referring to it again and again as you wander the Pennsylvania road in search of a cool one. The in-between chapters and glossary are educational, especially for the newbie.

This book would be a super Christmas present for a beer drinking friend or loved one. Or a beer drinking love. You get the idea.

Certainly this book will be used a hundred years from now as a reference on the current renaissance period of brewing in Pennsylvania.

Highly recommended.

Title: Pennsylvania Breweries, 4th Edition
Author: Lew Bryson
Copyright 2010 by Stackpole Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304 pages
Trim Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-8117-3641-1
Photos: 42 logos
Maps: 50 maps
Available: September-10
Publisher: Stackpole Books

N.B. Amazon claims that this book IS available in the Kindle Edition (unverified or tested) and Barnes and Noble claims it's not available in NOOKBook format.

Credit for the photo of the book's cover design at the top of this article is due to Tessa J. Sweigert. The brewery labels and logos were used by permission of breweries.

The author of this book and its publisher (and the author of this article) encourage readers to visit the breweries and sample their beers and recommend that those who consume alcoholic beverages travel with a nondrinking driver.

Downtown Bloomsburg Becoming Beer Oasis

D and I were the proverbial curious kids peeping into a construction site recently at what will soon be Marley's Brewery and Grille in Bloomsburg.

It's right next to the old Hotel Magee in a narrow storefront that was formerly Harry's.

(Do I have a story about the Hotel Magee! Involving a six year old, a grandmother, and a Greyhound bus. But that's for another time.)

From what we could see from the sidewalk, the bar is straight away running down the left wall, long, cool, and perhaps 40 feet long! An open seating area/dining room looks to fill the right-side of the place. I don't know what they'll have on draught but the photo of their fermenters on their Facebook has me dreaming that there will be some wonderful amber nectar flowing soon in the only town in Pennsylvania!

Cool logo too.

And that's not all. There's another bar across the street that just opened in the old movie theater. Sadly, don't remember the name, but they had some nice beers on draught (perhaps 12) and in bottles (about a hundred). The Mad Elf from the tap had me thinkin', but I was drivin' and opted for a lager instead. `Keep said they would be adding a few more taps so stay tuned.

Will the college kids frequent these places or will they have a more diverse clientele?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Boston Beer Company Looking Good

This just in:

Brewery stocks are in focus today after Boston Beer (SAM 95.60, +10.85) raised its forecast for its 2010 profit to $3.30 to $3.60 per share after forecasting a profit of $2.85 to $3.15 per share on November 4th. Shares of Molson Coors (TAP 50.64, +0.90) are seeing a nice bounce on the news, while Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD 57.36, -0.53) is trading lower.

Must be all those $20 bottles of Infinium they're sellin'!

But 95 a share, SAM looks awful pricey...

I'm just wonderin': how long is it gonna be before some other craft breweries go public?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Party Interrupted? No More!

Now here's an idea that should be more widespread: YoBeerGuys keg delivery service.

For those times when you can't be bothered (or able) to run out mid-party for more beer.

Or, if you're worried about gettin' beerjacked on the way home with your $508.00 keg of Samichlaus.

Number of Beers: 273
Most expensive: 50L Nest White Ale ($559.00)

Downside: Keg delivery is only available in the Miami area.
Upside: Offering gift baskets and tasting crates which can be delivered anywhere in the US.

You lucky Miamian, you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

American Beauty

The beer faucet.

Oh how I love thee, let me count the pints.

You are intuitively easy to use. A gentle pull is all it takes to turn you on--and a light push staunches your pouring elixir. And anyone can learn your ways in under 10 seconds. Oh! If all the complexities of life were as easy.

You are simple but not crude. One-dimensional but not simple minded! Unassuming by nature, rarely drawing attention, and your viscera hidden, only a certainty of performance is ever bared. While what flows from you receives all the glory, it is a lack of awareness that would deny your rightful import to this world.

You display elegance in every ounce of your slender form--your curves arousing the animal spirits from within like few things can. Dimensionally graceful, perfectly proportioned, clean in design. Extraneous decoration long since cast away.

You epitomize the height of achievement in Man's evolutionary thirst for beer.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

Congratulations to the son and father team of Gus Vildosola Jr. and Gus Vildosola Sr., from Mexicali Mexico, for taking first overall in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race that concluded Saturday.

The team took first overall in the SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks) category in their Ford F-150.

Go on boys. Have a Tecate. Or diez. You deserve it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Single Malt Exercise

Next in line is an experiment with single malt.

As in brewing, not distilling.

(Although distilling a single malt whisky like Glenmorangie is a beguiling idea.)

Specifically we're going brew a clone of Blackfoot River Brewing Company's Singlemalt IPA.

Teeming with Simcoe® and Cascade hops, stiffened by Maris Otter, using our own mountain water straight out of Glen Summit Springs, this baby looks so dang good on paper, we just had to do it.

Do or do not. There is no try. --Yoda

Best part of every day.™

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hey Tazio, What's in the Beer Meister?

D came over last night and we kegged the Racer 5 IPA® clone we brewed on Learn to Homebrew Day.

Whilst sipping the CDA that's currently in the meister.

Final gravity for the Racer 5 was right on at 1.011.

As we write this (whilst sipping the CDA that's currently in the meister), it's chilling out at 38 degrees F and being forced carbonated at 10 psi.

Stay tuned.

Retrofitting New Faucets

You know the old metric versus standard conundrum?

Liters and quarts, millimeters and sixteenths, kilograms and pounds?

We thought we had pretty much settled that one back in the `70s, but that old beast of an irritation reared its ugly head again in of all places a retrofit of Perlick® faucets to our vintage German draft tower.

As it turns out the German tower shanks are close but no cigar to mating with the Perlick 425SSTF (model 425 stainless steel tarnish free) brass faucets.

The female knurls on the shank don't align quite right with those on the faucet and the screw thread pitch on the faucet is different from that of the faucet coupling nut.

So, what we were hoping to get away with: simply replacing the coupling nut and the polished brass outside flange, has now morphed into replacing the whole shank.

Times three.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hey Tazio, What's in the Beer Meister?

It was a two-fer yesterday for D and D-prime during Learn to Homebrew Day: 1) brewing the Racer 5 IPA clone and 2) participating in a fermenter-to keg-transfer of the Cascadian Dark Ale.

The CDA beauty gently and successfully made the 3 foot journey from fermenter to keg and is now safe and sound, and resting comfortably in a 40 degree beer meister, atop a pillow of Amarillo and fresh Cascade flowers from D's garden, whilst absorbing 2.25 volumes of CO2 delivered at 11 psi.

More or less.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Final gravity predicted to be 1.010 measured out at 1.011.

Tasting to ensue tomorrow after work.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cascadian Dark Ale it is

After pondering the various facets of this beer style and the varied naming conventions in popular usage, I've come to the conclusion that calling this beer a Black I.P.A. isn't quite right. Nor is India Black Ale a fitting moniker.

Consider: this beer's origins were in the Northwestern US (debatable, I know), and not related geographically in any way with India. Hence having India in it's name is only tangentially correct. (Both styles relying on fairly heavy use of hops in their makeup.)

Further isn't there an illogic of a beer being both black (or nearly so--let's call it very Dark) and having pale (as in India Pale Ale) in it's name?

So shouldn't we just call this Cascadian Dark Ale? I'm going to.

Now that that's settled, can't we all just sit down and enjoy a CDA?

Friday, November 5, 2010

And to further the Learn to Homebrew Day experience...

Tomorrow, we'll be kegging separately, a batch of Black I.P.A.

(Or India Black Ale [IBA], or Cascadian Dark Ale [CDA]--take your pick of names. No one seems to know what to call this beer.)

Tomorrow is Learn to Homebrew Day

Here's more information.

A bomber of Bear Republic Brewing Company's mighty fine Racer 5 IPA® decimated us last year and was the piquet sauce that aroused our interest in trying to brew a clone of this wonderful beer, which we will be attempting tomorrow.

Et tu Tazio, D, J, et al will be assisting in the brewery.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Magnolia Pub & Brewery, Haight-Ashbury

Ringing that bluebell
Caught up in sunlight
Come on out singing and I'll walk you in the sunshine
Come on honey, come along with me

Lyrics from Sugar Magnolia; Robert C. Hunter, Robert Hall Weir


You know, it's pretty easy feelin' the vibe evoked by those lyrics--you might've felt `em yourself: mayhap feelin' the sweep of a warm October day passing over you...

Standing on your baby's porch, sunlight filtering down through the trees, moving across you, catching and warming your arm, releasing and moving across your cheek...

Then, ringing your honey's bell, there she is smilin'! You happy to be asking her to go out for a walk in the fabulously brilliant sunshine. Arm in arm.

Remember those days...

Well those lyrics were going through the `ed, and it was just like that when we got off the bus in the Haight and walked back a block or so to the Magnolia Pub & Brewery for a bite `n pint.

(When you see this on a wall, you'll know you're getin' close.)

Like the dream, there it was situated on the corner of Haight and Masonic, the structure of a certain age, this superlative day the door wide-open, pleasantly beckoning to come in and have a look around.

Passing through the corner doorway crowned by a stained glass transom declarative of the building's address at 1398 Haight Street, the pub's bright and ethereal, with plenty of windows for late afternoon sunlight to beam in from two sides. Tables and chairs arranged in front and to the right and booths and semi-banquettes down the left side. A linear bar standing along the back wall with the kitchen behind that. Another lustrous wide pine bar top similar to the one over at the Monk's Kettle. We sure don't see `em like this in NEPA!

Almost all of the beers on the menu are their own, brewed below Haight Street. Look closely and you'll see a smattering of guest beers--as it should be, natch. Major styles give good account of themselves but overall there seems to be a definite English ale bent to the menu with a Stout, a Porter, a couple of Bitters, a Pale Ale and a couple of IPAs on the menu. This menu was from last week--hit their site to see what's on today!
There was only a pico-second hesitation before selecting and ordering up a flight of six of their beers: five from the casks--one depreciating sawbuck was all it took.

Don't wait: you might only get five a few minutes from now!

They arrived in approximately a pool rack, and a half hour later, after talking the ears off a fellow beer aficionado visiting from Boston, we had cleared the table of all six and could reflect on the experience. Overall, we favored the High Time Harvest Ale hopped with Simcoe®. (We assumed the hops were fresh but didn't ask. Duh.) A beautiful light amber color welcomes, glinting through the tall cylindrical glass topped by a thin head. Subtly nice aroma and hop flavor, by no means overwhelming, with a clean finish and decent lacing--very nice overall. We'd characterize this as a pretty darn good harvest ale.

Next favorite was the the Long Break. The others in the rack were more English standards, of which we're not a super-huge fan. Still, good drinkable session beers all around. Bright, fresh, crisp and clean. Very British (sans the bad teeth,) and the perfect complement to fine conversation. The ten-spot turned out to be a good investment for a chance to sample six of the brewer's best work. The flight card's a great idea as a reminder to what you're drinking--any place offering flights should have something like this.


`Bout this time we were feelin' it and decided to have the aforementioned bite. As it was to be, we discovered the food menu here, creative and unique. Both the food and the design of the physical menu on which it's presented.

The menu's pages are bound within a mid to heavyweight dark front and back cover. The front cover is cleanly embellished with the establishment's name and printed on the inside of the back cover is a brew house worksheet--just the sort of thing that we were pondering as the waiter returned for the third time to ask if we were ready to order!

We didn't wish to spoil our appetites too much so we chose an order of house-cut fries and chicken andouille from the bar menu.


After we finished, the press of places to go and things to do propelled us (as they often do) up and out, and we left and reentered the brilliant sunshine.

Overall, we'd have to say that the Magnolia Pub and Brewery was impressive all-around. The beers were top-quality and the savory munchies we tried were satisfying and top-notch--the likes of which you won't find just everywhere. The bar-tenders were attentive. The pub was popular, busy, and buzzing with vibrant flavors. Ladies room clean and accommodating according to S--this would most assuredly be an excellent place to meet for a first date. Not insignificant is the convenience of reaching this gastropub: several Bus and MUNI routes pass nearby: 6, 7, 37, 43, and 71.

Highly recommended.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

As Cold as Witch's Wit

We think it's mighty wit of Lost Abbey to even consider changing their label for Witch's Wit based on the feelings of fringe loonies.

Not that there's anything wrong with being looney. Or a witch for that matter.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

12th Annual Learn to Homebrew Day

The 12th annual Learn to Homebrew Day is coming up soon on Saturday November, 6th.

We feel that homebrewing is as rewarding a hobby as gardening and quite similar in many ways.

For example: you get to carefully select your ingredients, mix them with nutrients and water, and nurture and monitor growth. Finally you get to harvest and ingest the fruits of your labor. And no weeds to pull!

It just don't get any better than that, folks.

Here's more information.

We may be brewing that day, so if you're interested in learning a little, let me know.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Chorus Line

Yesterday afternoon we delighted in the matinee performance of A Chorus Line at the Scranton Cultural Center, with S, J, and S-prime.

I had seen the show on Broadway probably 20 years ago when it was still on it's first run. It went on to set the all-time record for first-run performances which stood for quite a while only to be surpassed by Cats. Yikes!

(At least I think it was Cats... And speaking of Cats, unfortunately I had the dubious distinction of being herded there multiple times while it went on to its own record run. Alas, there is no real story to Cats: First act's great and the second act sucks--until the very last number were it's ultimately redeemed.)

A Chorus Line is a moving and heartfelt story that while told in the milieu of a theater audition, just as well applies to all of us as we try to find our way in this world. It covers the trials and tribulations, the triumphs and heartbreaks, that we all encounter as we sometimes strive for what we love, never settling, and at other times strive and are forced to compromise due to need. This performance was not as breathtaking as the first time I saw it, but the story carries the show.

Afterwords, it was off to Cooper's. Not for the food, but the beer.

(Ok, the food is none too shabby either.)

Alas, S still hasn't had her Fall pumpkin ale fix!

Stymied again!

No fear: it's just not yet--it's still early. Still, it's highly doubtful she'll turn to a pumpkin if she doesn't find some, but my esteem is dropping for not delivering post haste.

She settled (if you can ever call choosing any Dogfish Head beer settling), for Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. She wasn't impressed: the pumpkin flavor just wasn't as punchy compared to others she's had.

S-prime and J asked moi to pick a beer for them and there really wasn't anything that really caught my eye on the draught list--everything seemed to be Oktoberfest/Marzen styles or higher ABVs--I wanted them to get home safe and sound after all! Finally, on the back page, my eye fell to Victory Hop Devil on the hand pump.

We have a winner!

J likes a hoppy beer and the Hop Devil was the first time he and S-prime had tried this particular beer. Both J and S-prime enjoyed it immensely. As did I.

(You know: Victory Hop Devil may just be the perfect hoppy ale to whet the burgeoning beer drinker's tongues as a step up from the relatively tame Saison's, Witte's, Pilsners, Hefeweizen's and such....)

Best part of every day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Which four beers to have at a party?

If wehad to choose four styles of beer from this list to have on tap for a party, what would they be?

1) Double IPA
2) English Pale Ale
3) Cascadian Dark Ale
4) Porter
5) Stout
6) Amber Lager
7) American Pale Ale

Note: A party may be in the planning so choose carefully if you care about what you drink!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Monk's Kettle


The wonders of the brew kettle pouring at Monk's Kettle in San Francisco!

We visited Monk's Kettle the weekend last and while it's undergoing some outside work, it's open and definitely worth the longish bus ride (for us) and scaffold navigation to scoot inside for a chance to try some really great beers.

It's located in the friendly-peopled Mission section on 16th between Guerrero and Valencia and a very few short skips from the 49 bus route.

(If you're in town visiting for a few days, pony up for the MUNI Visitor Passport transportation pass. Available in 1, 3 and 7 day variants for $13, $20, and $26 respectively. Since cable car fares are $5.00 per and buses $2.00 per, it's easy to see their worth getting around the city.)

The bar is spotless and the ladies restroom is exceptional according to S: clean, candle-lit, and perfumed.

Draught and bottle lists: also exceptional. Not too many run of the mill beers on here. Beer menu organized by style which is always nice.

The Food menu looks awesome but we can't vouch for taste as we only stopped for a quick one, while out and about doing the tourist thing.

The bartender D, is a cicerone and really knew his beer and was able to please an always finicky S who's usual request is for something not too hoppy and light.

Seeing how it was a mid-70s day again, D suggested and S agreed on a real winner which neither of us had every tried before: Blanche de Bruxelles Brasserie Lefebvre SA, Rebecq Quenast, coming in at a fruity 4.5% ABV. And served in the Brasserie's recommended glassware.

Light, crisp, refreshing and had we more time, we'd surely have had another. And another.

I opted for a change of pace beer and asked for what turned out to be a super-creamy Fuller's London Porter whose taste reminded me of my childhood when I was precociously quaffing my go-to beverage of that period: Nestle's chocolate milk!


Bar-top constructed of what I believe is a single Ponderosa or Sugar Pine plank, perhaps 20 inches wide. Beautiful! Shallow back-bar framed by a mansion-sized fireplace surround. Nice.

This is a casually upscale bar, read: not your everyday dive bar, and as such is the perfect place to take your lady friends to turn them on.

To some great beers, too.

N.B. There is no wine or hard liquor served here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Simply Homebrew to Host Intro to Brewing Class

We received this email today from Pete over at Simply Homebrew in Drums.

If you're at all interested in learning more about this fascinating hobby, give him a call and reserve a spot. His email is and his telephone number is 570-991-5567.

The seminars are to be held on 10/23/2010.

Please read below for some upcoming seminars to be held at the store:

Intro to Brewing 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Don Abraczinskas, Brew Master from The Inn at Turkey Hill Brew Pub (Opening Spring 2011) will be making an Indian Pale Ale Brewers Best Kit. Don is also an "all grain brewer" and will save time to answer any questions that you may have.

This class, for the first-time brewer, will explain the basic equipment needed to homebrew and how it works. Participants will get hands-on experience brewing, bottling, and tasting homebrew (Pale Ale, Cherry Porter, and Belgian Strong Ale).

Intro to Winemaking 2:00pm - 4:00pm

The class will cover a wide range of topics such as making wine from kits and fresh juice, and will also include live, hands on demonstrations. Class topics include: equipment, sanitization, testing, procedures, and troubleshooting.

Bonus "Making Cello Classes" 4:00pm - 5:00pm

This class will cover how to easy it is to make Lemon Cello, Orange Cello and even Chocolate Cello!

Feel free to bring samples from your own home brew or wine making to share.

Please send an email to let us know you are coming and we will reserve a spot for you!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

A visit to to the Toronado

Binky asked once: “What would a visit to San Francisco be without a visit to the Toronado?”

Spam elucidated without hesitation: ”a day without great beer”.

Today we wanted the proverbial happy ending so we visited the Toronado with the Navy Blue Angels' F/A-18 Hornets roaring overhead flying practice for this weekend's air show over San Francisco bay.

It's fleet week here in San Francisco and car alarms city-wide will never be quite the same.

We wanted to do a micro pub crawl so we took the 6/71 bus route along Haight St. to this place. When we arrived, a Dutch door with upper half open, like a friend, welcoming, beckoned us inside to a cool beer bar. The way beer bars oughta be in the early Fall, imho.

Large Duvel bottles ring the table area on a high shelf and are privy to conversations for the ages: preachers preaching the gospel of the economic downtrodden; office workers unwinding with friends; lovers languishing over each other and a cool brew on a warm October day.

Take a close look at the draught beer board (50 beers on draft) and you'll see some great beers here: locals from Anderson Valley and Russian River Brewing Company, as well as a nice selection of Belgian and German beers to appease European beer-liking palates.

And further, some great progressive music: someone had the audacity to put on Bytor and the Snow Dog.

Amazing, huh?

(And when is Rush going to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Sheesh!)

S chose the Alagash White while we kept it local with Russian River Brewing Co.'s Consecratation `09. The Consecration has what we think is an ecumenical appeal, almost wine-like in nature--one that would be enjoyed by anyone and everyone as it is one for sipping. The Allagash White was what we remembered--cool, spicy, and refreshing.


The Toronado lives up to the legend we kept in our mind's eye: gruff `tenders, a scintillating draught menu, a cozy space: a beer drinker's paradise.

Highly recommended.

A chance to try Pliny the Elder. For real.

Well that sometime soon morphed to yesterday as we continued our west coast trek to parts known and unknown.

Santa Rosa streets were deserted and our gas tanks (car and belly,) empty as we made our last-gasp push to the finish line to make it to the Russian River Brewing Company brewpub yesterday to sample Pliny the Elder and compare it against the clone we brewed, the one we like to call Slimey the Imposter.

(No disrespect intended.)

Inside the bar it became clear where everyone was: transported to the loooooooong bar--every bar stool occupied and every beer drinker worshiping at the alter of hops and barley.

As it turns out, Slimey the Imposter truly has as it parent, Pliny the Elder and shares almost all the traits of that celebrity. The color, head-color and retention characteristics, superb lacing, and aroma of both are very close--what I would call the perfect beer in these aspects. The one difference between the two I could detect, was a touch more sweetness in the real thing. And the imposter tastes a bit dirtier in the finish, with a few more rough edges--maybe not quite as dry. I'd have to chalk these differences to Slimey's brewer mishandling the recipe. Still, the real thing is fantastic and everything about Pliny the Elder is excellent in every way.

Finished up with the Blind Pig IPA which, in it's own right, is also a good hop-forward beer at a sessionable--ok, barely sessionable, 6% ABV.


Convenient metered off-street parking in the back, drinking alfresco outside in the front, a nice collection of dishes on the menu (the meatball sub is heavenly as is the Tuna Melt,) and a quieter dining area to the side. Everything you might want in a brewpub.

A little out of the way (about 50 miles north of San Francisco,) but worth every darn minute of 101 traffic--highly recommended!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stephen J. Cannell, Dead at 69

“He was a cop, and good at his job. But he committed the ultimate sin, and testified against other cops gone bad. Cops that tried to kill him, but got the woman he loved instead. Framed for murder, now he prowls the badlands. An outlaw hunting outlaws, a bounty hunter, a Renegade.”

Man! What a show and what a storyteller.

Brings back memories.

Every week J would come over, have supper and we'd watch Renegade.

Wishing we had a Wide-Glide® cruising the Badlands. Looking for trouble.

J'd ride home afterwards. On his Sporty.

I could hear it echo in the night all the way into Middletown.

Thanks for the memories Stephen.


Hey Tazio, What's in the Beer Meister?

Weeeeeeeeeeeeelllll, let's see....

Only the best beer we've ever brewed.

Not to be disrespectful to `ol Gaius Plinius Secundus but we're calling this beer Slimey the Imposter--a Pliny the Elder clone from Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, California.

The recipe is by none other than Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Co's brewer and co-owner. It was recently published in Volume 33 No. 4 of Zymurgy.

We pretty much followed his recipe except for a few hop substitutions--but we tried to keep the same bitterness by adjusting quantities for the different hops.

This beer is off the charts taste-wise. Beersmith was telling me a calculated 237.3 IBU! Wow!

This is a great beer and I can't wait to try the real thing sometime soon at the brewpub to see how it compares.

Deeeeeeeelicious and the best party of every day!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Town Adopts Beerwick as Name for Oktoberfest 2010

Realizing the value of promoting their burgeoning brewing and tourism industries, town elders (from the west side of town of course) today voted by bare majority to rename the town of Berwick to Beerwick for this year's Oktoberfest 2010 at the Berwick Brewing Company.

Well, not really. But they should've.

M passed this on from Saturday's Press-Enterprise.

We've been to each and every one and can attest that The Berwick Brewing Company (formerly One Guy Brewing) Oktoberfest gets better each year. So lot's of fun, good food, good friends, good music, and good beer are assured for everyone.


Friday, September 17, 2010

What's next?

S brought home a huge jar of McCormick garlic powder yesterday.

Product of China.

I have half a mind (I know) to take it back.

What's next: American craft beer contract brewed in China?


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Aah. Fall is in the air. Can you dig it? We know we can.

Last Sunday we were paging through a back issue of the Beer Advocate magazine and happened upon an article describing some scintillating food recipes perfectly in fitting with the Fall season.

We were intrigued and wanted to try one of the recipes, so we chose Chef Sean Z. Paxton's ( Hasenpfeffer recipe.

Hasenpfeffer, is a traditional German fricassee or stew made from rabbit or hare (hase) with pepper (you guessed it: pfeffer), usually thickened with the animal's, um, well, we won't go there--suffice to say this ingredient is not in this very appealing recipe.

We pretty much followed the same recipe as Chef Sean's, but were unable to pull a rabbit out of our hats on such short notice, so we used fresh venison tenderloin instead. Substituting venison in the recipe technically makes this dish Hirschpfeffer--hirsch being German for deer.

(Unfortunately, we can't reveal specifically where we obtained fresh venison tenderloin this time of year, but their initials begin with D and K.)

Now, tenderloin is easily the best cut of venison and we're not saying you should use all your tenderloin for this dish: by all means save some for steaks. But with the long cooking time in the Dutch oven, even more ornery cuts should come out fork-tender and work just as well.

A quick trip to the The Beer Stop to score a called-for Dunkelweizen (Würzburger Hofbräu AG's Julius Echter Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel), and we were off and running.

A German Rabbit Fricassee
1/2lbapplewood-smoked bacon, chopped
4-5lbrabbit/hare, cut into 8 pieces
sea salt and black pepper
1/2cupall-purpose flour, placed into a pie plate or dish
1cupshallots, peeled and diced
2tbspthyme leaves
1tbsprosemary leaves, chopped
1tbspsavory leaves
10eachblack peppercorns, cracked
2eachbay leaves, crushed
2eachgarlic cloves, minced
2eachcloves, whole
22ozDunkel Weisse
2cupchicken stock
2tsplemon juice
2tbspItalian leaf parsley, chopped
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon. Stir somewhat frequently to help the bacon cook evenly and to help render out the fat. Once the bacon is lightly crisp, but not burnt, remove it from the pot. Leave behind as much grease in the pot as possible.

While the bacon is rendering, cut up the rabbit and season with salt and pepper to coat. Next, dredge each piece of meat in the flour, coating evenly on all sides, and place into the pan with the drippings. Add enough pieces to cover the bottom not letting the pieces touch. Cook for 6-7 minutes on each side to form a nice golden brown crust and set aside on a clean plate. Repeat process until all the meat is cooked. If the bottom of the pan starts to have lots of burnt flour bits, the heat is too high. Clean the pan before continuing with the dish.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Add the shallots, stirring to coat evenly in the remaining drippings, cooking for 7 minutes to caramelize them. Add the thyme, rosemary, savory, peppercorns, garlic and cloves, stirring to incorporate, and cook for 2 minutes to soften the garlic a touch. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pot with the beer, scraping the bottom of any browned bits. Add the stock, cooked bacon and browned rabbit into the pot, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Cover the Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid and place in the center of the heated oven. Cook for about 2 hours, depending on how accurate the oven temp is. The rabbit should be fork tender, but not completely falling off the bone. Remove from the oven and place onto a burner, over medium heat. Carefully remove the rabbit pieces to a plate. If there is not very much braising liquid left, add more beer or stock to the pot. Add lemon juice (to add a touch of acidity to the sauce) and sprinkle in the flour and parsley. Using a whisk, stir as the liquid comes to a boil. The sauce will thicken as it cooks for 1-2 minutes, cooking out the starchy taste of the flour. The sauce should be the consistency of gravy. Add more beer/stock if too thick or flour if too thin, to adjust the consistency. Taste and season if needed.

To serve, place a piece of rabbit atop either Hefeweizen Spätzle or mashed potatoes infused with bock. Sauce the meat, garnishing with more chopped parsley and serve with raised red cabbage.

During preparation, we cut the venison into about one inch cubes. You can cut the pieces to your liking though. We served or hirschpfeffer over mashed potatoes, but Spätzle (the Hefeweizen Spätzle recipe is in the article cited above) or other noodles could be used just as well we think. We rounded out the meal by adding steamed, fresh young carrots from D--for eyesight prowess. (Beer drinking is a sport requiring visual acuity as we all well know.) Had we thought ahead, we could have picked up some red cabbage which is in keeping with the season and would have been an excellent vegetable accompaniment.

The end result was a delightful presentation of glistening Hirschpfeffer running down a mountain range of mashed potatoes, with a colorful bunch of young carrots on the side. The rosemary, thyme and clove were subtle and there was just a touch of sweetness from the beer.


Many thanks to Chef Sean for inspiring us to try his recipe and allowing us to reproduce it here. By all means check out his website for other interesting recipes.

The mentioned article and this recipe were originally published in Volume II Issue IX of the Beer Advocate magazine.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ah, the PR2 Beerbot

Excellent use of software development talent, dontcha think?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sam Adams Beer Dinner at the Arena Bar and Grill

Go on boys. Drink your swill and scarf your Mac-n-Cheese!

I was extremely fortunate this year to have S treat me to a surprise birthmonth present at the Arena Bar and Grill last Sunday at their Sam Adams Beer Dinner.

(I typically don't celebration my birth day--I celebrate my birth month. S is nice enough to humor me.)

And Liquid gold surprises make for the best birthmonth celebrations. Don't you think?

We started out at the bar enjoying the home-made mixed beer nuts as we waited for the thirty-some other like-minded beer aficionados to straggle in. The nuts were a combination of almonds, peanuts, cashews and brazil nuts laced with a baked spicy-sweet glaze. The Boston Lager provided just the right fire-quenching you need for something like this. The nuts and beer would go well watching the Steelers win another Super Bowl.

From there, the revved-up crowd (fully assembled) raced to tables in the left-rear of the dining room, for dinner (and beer) and boy did the fun really get going over there!

(And drinking was just the half of it!) We met a nice couple from somewhere I don't remember. (Could've been from outer space for all I know but pardon me, I was under the influence of Sam Adams.)

I do remember the finer half of the couple: epicurean L! We'll definitely meet you at the Cork sometime!

Also J from Buttonwood who sat across from me and enjoyed the beer just as much as I did! And of course our keen conversations about Buttonwood, Hanover, and times and places of the near past were delightful.

Here you can see the pairings. (Now I'm not that much of a Sam Adams man although I do admire his cousin John in some ways, but there were some impressive brews here nonetheless that aren't available widely in PA, or so we were told.)

The real standout here, to me, was the Stoney Brook Red paired with marinated Skirt Steak. This dish had sweet summer vegetables on the side. The skirt was perfect and raised just enough to entice (a bit of thigh showed) and tasted faintly of the beer. The beer was hardy enough to hold it's own with the steak.


And the American Kriek beer was nice paired with the superior Black Forest Cake, too. Although I'm not a big desert fan, the beer more than made up for it.

There was a brewer from the Boston Beer Company present to discuss and describe each beer as they were served, as someone from the Arena's kitchen introduced each dinner pairing. Also, there was a Sam Adams rep from the Allentown area who also knew a thing or two about the beers, like where they were available or could be purchased. We did yearn though for a bit more interaction with the brewer as the dinner moved along.

All in all, we spent a wonderful three hours or so learning about pairing beers with different foods and sampling same. The food was awesome and really no missteps in any of the courses. The service was impeccable. The company was great. The beers impressive. I would definitely go again if offered.

Thanks S: You are the best part of every day.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Quaffing from this at the bar tonight are we?


L gave me Quadrophenia for my birthday to replace the copy I gave to Chris.

Listening to it now.

Love, Reign O'er Me.

Crying. Miss you Bro.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Flying Saucers over Memphis

We missed this back in 2008 but sweltering 100 degree afternoon heat does wonders for ones motivation to seek out a cold beer.

I can attest that I was minding my own business just walking along enjoying the after-taste of some Beale Street `cue and PBR (Charles Vergos' Rendezvous was closed) when a ray came down from somewhere and transported me to a place with flying saucers hovering overhead.

Large bar. Many handles. Metal bar-top. Interesting back bar with dominoes and chess piece pediments/ A first.

Smoking is encouraged. Not the `cue kind.

The cute barmaid was as cute as seven of nine.

And not just cute but beer-cute. That is, knowledgeable and likes beer.

And not beer-goggles cute either.

Efficient and quick to probe me for what I wanted.

Wonder of wonder!

Monday! Pint Nite!

$2.75 drafts. Not everthing on the Fly Paper down below, but a goodly number. Yippee!

Tried a couple of beers that I hadn't had before from Yazoo and Schlafly. Mighty tasty.

Struck up a conversation with a fellow abductee D. D had been abducted before and we spent the better part of the afternoon reminiscing of beers drank and yet to drink. More friendly Southern Hospitality here.

Turns out the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium is a chain of beer bars in the southeast and Texas.

Check out the Fly Paper, Memphis edition.

Best part of every day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

FYI: Fermented NY - Craft Beer Crawl

S sent me this link--sounds interesting

No word if the tour includes 10 pints or 10 tastings.

Here's to 10 pints.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Visit to Elmer Sudds

S and I shared a delightful few beers, pizza, and good company late afternoon yesterday at Elmer Sudds before ramblin' on to the R/C 14 to see the mind-bendin' Inception.

Vacation `a-dwindlin'. :O( Gotta make the most of it, eh?

I sweltered out of the no-AC Ford into full 91 stagger.


Sat down in the cool bar and the first handle I saw was for Southampton Publick House. So naturally, first instincts usually being correct--I picked the the truly quenching Southampton Publick House Double White Belgian-style.

Citrusy, refreshing, easy, fast down. I have found a new summer favorite. You know, I have come to really like beers of this ilk--spring and summer beers for sure. This one reminds of and stands up well to my current fave Victory Whirlwind. N.B. Get this Double White in a bottle--put it in the freezer--mow lawn. 20 minutes later: Enjoy.

Still no S in sight, I perused the draught list and the Breaker Brewing Company Black Diamond IPA leaped out at me. Described as a Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) or Black IPA. This style was recently covered somewhere--Zymurgy perhaps? Never had it before so I tried a taster: Dark--almost black--nice piney hop aroma and flavah.

Ahhhh. :O)

Pint please!

Decent head that faded pretty quick. A unique malt flavor pushes through in the finish--could it be the rye malt? This is an interesting variation. I sure would like to know in what proportions the three malts were used--and there must have been some base malt too. Heavy? Nah. For being so dark this is easy drinking. Is this is available in a bottle? Don't know but it oughta be. I would get a six or two if it were.


Random thought: Breaker Brewing should get with the Black Diamond bar in Frackville to carry this beer. It could be their signature beer and if I dare say it would be a match made in a Black Diamond mine. N.B. Black Diamond in Frackville is beginning to carry some craft beer--the last time I was in they had some Troegs on. Oh and they have probably the best wings in NEPA--at least to this lad. Their Old Bay® wings are unbelievably good.

About that time S came in and ordered a Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat witbier which kicked mid-pour. Backup for S was Breaker Brewing Company Goldies Blonde Ale.

Wise choice.

Mine and hers.

N.B. J gave us the half-pint of Sunset Wheat. Blueberry aroma and taste were unmistakable. I don't remember this being there the last time from a bottle in Jersey a couple years ago. Hmmmm.

We each ordered a pizza--me Pepe and her the broccoli and shells. Hot and tasty. Sauce tomatoey and not overwhelmed by everything else--crust medium but still crispy--cheese just right.


About that time J had replaced the expired Sunset Wheat with Hofbräuhaus Münchner Weisse. I think that was it, but I could be wrong...

Thought of my trip to Germany, summer of `05, so I tipped my glass to my friends in Frankfurt. Prost!

N.B. I know, Frankfurt's not a big brewing town--more an Apfelwein town it being in the apple belt and all, but still. Great beer knows no boundaries, eh?

Elmer Sudds is a very fine place to kick back with some great local beers (Breaker continues to impress this fellow), try some haute gastronomy that is a cut-above standard pub fare, and meet with old and make new friends. Highly recommended.

PS: They have a nice list of bottled beers too. See Mr. MyBeerBuzz for full details as well as the current tap list.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Glass Beer Drinking Vessels of the Middle Ages through the Early Modern Era

A good place to learn about beer drinking vessels is the permanent exhibits at the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) and the special exhibition Medieval Glass for Popes, Princes, and Peasants that is currently running.

A wide variety of glass beer drinking vessels were produced and used through the ages. Studying these vessels give one a finer appreciation for the way beer was consumed as well as the crucial role it played in social settings.

To the left is a tavern scene with men drinking; a cellarer below serving the beer. Obviously this is a gravity-fed cask beer as all beer was at that time. The beer is being served from a beaker popular in Italy during that time.

I would not mind being a cellarer.

The photo is from “Treatise on the Vices,” Cocharelli (Italy, late 14th century) Ms. Add. 27695, f.14. Copyright The British Library Board. All rights reserved.
The Humpen
Perish those thoughts. Right now!

The Humpen, a large vessel with a lid, was made between 1570 and 1740. Before the 17th centry, it was called a Willcomm (welcome). Tall glasses such as the Humpen were meant for communal use. They often held more than a gallon of beer! Guilds, hunting societies, fraternaties, and important families placed their own enameled decorations on these glasses. The elaborate Reichsadlerhumpen was painted with the imperial eagle and coat of arms of the electors of the Holy Roman Empire.

Medieval Ale Glasses
These two tall glasses were made in Medieval times in different parts of Europe and used for drinking wine or ale. The one on the left was made in the Czech Republic or Germany and the shape of the one on the right was popular in the Low Countries (what is today Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany), and northern France.

The Boot
Ah, the boot. Here is the earliest example I could find from Italy or the Southern Netherlands, late 1500s.
The Unbreakable Beaker
Now here's an advancement in drinking: the unbreakable glass! This one is from Germany, dated 1663. It is inscribed “Trinckh mich auff und wurff mich Nider/heb mich auff so vill mich wider 1663” (Pick me up and throw me down/lift me up and fill me again 1663.)

The inscribed hop flowers are realistic and the finger-holes are a functional touch. Don't you agree?

Can someone tell me why these ever went out of style?
The Roemer
The Roemer was a glass widely used in Germany and in the Low Countries during the late 16th and early 17th centuries for drinking both beer and wine. A roemer was decorated with a blob of glass called a prunt. Prunts made it easier to grip the glass and were also decorative. Flemish painters often depicted the roemer in their still-life paintings. The popular green glass became fashionable among those who could afford Venetian ware.
The image to the left may be a stangenglas but uncertain. This glass predates the passglas back to the late 1500s and can have elaborate enameled decoration. There were no drinking game lines around the glass like the passglas.
Now we're talkin' social drinkin'! This is a Tall Beaker or Passglas from Germany or the Low Countries, 17th century.

The Passglas is usually clear or translucent and decorated with trailed or enameled horizontal marks around the glass, down the sides at regular intervals. They had a base and were tall and thin. The rings are sometimes simple lines in the glass and sometimes more elaborate.

The idea was to gulp the beer only down to the next line and then pass the glass to the next person.

Variations of this design had the intervals become wider as they reached the bottom of the glass--the better to inebriate you my friend.

A further improvement to the Passglas was the groundbreaking and patented Inebriator Deluxe model. This glass had rings spaced at wide, regular, intervals. Between a set of rings was a another ring spaced perhaps 1/4 the distance between the rings. The purpose of this design was so that a different stronger liquor like Schnapps could be poured in a smaller amount on top of a layer of beer--and so on and so forth as the Passglas was filled.
Posset Cup
Here's a posset cup from England, 1730-1750. Posset was a popular drink in the 18th century. It consisted of hot milk that was curdled with wine or ale, spiced or sweetened, and thickened with oatmeal or bread.


To each according to their ability to taste!
Trick Goblet
From England 1690 to 1730. This vessel has an elegant shape, but it is difficult to drink from because of the vacuum effects created by the lower bulbs!
English Ale Glasses and Decanters
Here is an example of an ale glass (1730-1750) and decanter (1760-1770) from England. The small size of the glass is a clue to the increased potency of ale as a result of improvements in the brewing process.

The decanter's impressive etching is indicative of the level of esteem that a fine ale was held. The hops are especially attractive.

There was a refinement in beer drinking vessels over this time period that is clearly evident in their design. From the bulkier sustenance vessels to smaller and more refined glasses used more for entertaining.

It would be beneficial to study modern beer drinking vessels in the future.

The author wishes to thank the staff of CMOG for their assistance in the preparation of this story.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria

Turns out Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria in Asheville NC is the one place to stop in Asheville if you're gonna stop at all. Just like Jamie said.

It will be extremely easy to find yourself staying way too long and enjoying yourself way too much.

An extensive selection of tasty local beers. Friendly people (and barmaid). Very good pizza.

Best part of every day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beers Over Birmingham

Rumbled into Birmingham, with a spent rear wheel bearin', lookin' for some lubrication.

The Good People Brewing Company (GPBC) kind.

Fixin' to try their beer. Fer sure.

Fixin' the wheel bearin': secondary.

Headed into the Five Points South area of the city where beer lore has it Good People Brewing Company is told to exist.

Turns out Five Points South is where they send all the good chilin' lookin' to have a good time--the area has a lot of bars, restaurants, live music venues and such.

The area boasts some real cultural treasures too: the 24x7x52 bar being the most important.

Come to find out, the city elders have had the forethought to grandfather bar licensing laws to grant a few bars this honor. Was told that if the doors lock for even for one minute, the license go bye-bye. Well they have to catch you first. The Quest is one of these bars but sadly we did not inhabit it.

No garages here but who cares? Beer was our quest and beer we would find.

Found a parking garage. It was about 100 inside. In the basement. We parked the car and stumbled outside towards 1035 20th Street South. Where the brewery was told to exist.

Mr. GPS lied.

This is not the first time.

The brewery was not there but there was a bar.


We once again were able make the best of a bad sitchiation and turn a bad happenin' to a good happenin' when we wandered into the Mill to cool off with a beer. Nice taproom with an old-school bar--maybe 15 beers on tap with about 10 craft beers--a few from Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta but none from GPBC. The Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale caught my attention and turned out to be a quenching delight.

Unable to score a GPBC beer, I became disenchanted.


I held a hopvine torn from the earth, to my ear and learned that there was a beer bar nearby named J. Clyde that carried ALL the GPBC beers--not just the two mainstream dark and light carried by most.

Torn between locating the legendary GPBC beer and a 2nd beer in the Mill, I opted for the GPBC and left on a quest.

Into the heat.

Now, I can usually find my way around a horseshoe pit even after splitt'n my shin on the post with sweat in my eyes and blood in my sneakers. But find'n J. Clyde took all my sleuthin' capabilty. Was it the heat? Was it the humidty? Cant tell fer sure but once I found my way out back I was faced with a series of doors eventually pickin' the right one. By smell.

Doesn't it just crack you up when you hear ``Cool Air Conditioning''? Well I'm here to tell you J. Clyde's was mighty cool inside as was the beer.

“Give me something great from GPBC I barked” at D the competent bar keep. “Try this one, I love it.” he offered. “What is it?” “Snake Handler”.

Well this 9.3% ABV Double IPA is one of the best I've tasted on this trip: five hop varieties with a 103 IBU. Yeee Haww!


I asked for a beer menu--look close at the draught list--they have an impressive selection and a whole book detailing their bottle collection--perhaps 300 bottles. They even have the beers indexed by style which is a nice touch. This has got to be one of THE beer destinations for beer aficionados. Certainly one of the best I've visited.

The bar was an unusual ess-shaped layout with diagonally laminated bar top. The back bar behind the taps was stone laminate as were the walls on the side. Nice looking and clean place. The tap room extended to the left into a dining room with tables.

I had heard their food is good but I did not try it.

“Good people drink good beer.” HST

Add to that great one: “At J. Clyde”.

Highly recommended.