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Thread: Let's talk about Beer, man!

  1. #161
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    I wasn't offended by your remarks. The science of brewing beer and studying beer history used to be two of my passions.

    Speaking of American mega beer, that stuff is incredibly difficult to produce. Most amateur brewers prefer to make heavier and hoppier styles of beer because they mask poor brewing technique and poor biological quality control (stout is a favorite amongst beginning amateur brewers because roasted barley covers a host of cardinal brewing sins). The truly amazing thing is that the megas brew and ferment at high gravity (often 20 degrees Plato) and dilute the finish product in order to maximize brewery throughput. Anyone who has ever attempted to ferment a 20-degree-plus Plato (1.080+) lager wort knows how difficult it is to keep esters and diacetyl (and other ketones) low. A 20-degree wort is equivalent to that of a Belgian Tripel. The brewmasters at Bud/Miller/Coors are some of the best in the world. To be able to do what the megas do with the level of consistency that they do it requires an army of highly-trained biochemists, biochemical engineers, and microbiologists.
    And yet, their product sucks! Go figure!
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  2. #162
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    And yet, their product sucks! Go figure!
    The crazy thing is that American Light Lager outsells all other beer styles in America by almost two orders of magnitude. I am not talking about "light beer" (the "light" beers that are produced by the megas are little more than diluted versions of their mainline brews). American Light Lager is the formal beer style name for domestic American lager.

    The megas know what they doing. They produce a lot of brews that are sold as craft beers under phoney brewery names. All of the megas have craft brewing divisions. For example, Blue Moon is brewed by MillerCoors. Inbev/Anhauser-Busch owns 35% of Redhook and Kona. Shock Top Belgian White is produced by Inbev/Anhauser-Busch under a phoney brewery name. Magic Hat and Pyramid are owned by North American Breweries (a.k.a. Genesee). Leinenkugel and Third Shift are MillerCoors products. Have you ever wondered how Pilsner Urquell and Budvar made it into the U.S. distribution network? Until the Inbev merger, Anhauser-Busch had Budvar locked out the U.S. market because Budvar is the the true Budweiser (it's brewed in Budweis, Czech Republic). Anhauser-Busch named their flagship beer Budweiser to differentiate it from Pilsner, a beer style that was also created in the Czech Republic (Pilsner Urqell literally means "Pilsner from the original source").
    Last edited by Em7; 08-02-2013 at 08:57 PM.

  3. #163
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    I agree with John, the Big 3 beer makers generally produce crap. Sliced American cheese outsells Saint Andre and Havarti. White Zinfandel outsells Pinot Noir and Malbec. And don't even get me started on popular music outselling some extremely talented bands. "More" doesn't necessarily equate to "better".

  4. #164
    Senior Member Rider1260's Avatar
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    I like beer in general and love sampling all the different kinds ( Two Brothers has a nice sampler tray at the roundhouse )
    But I am a mainly Pilsner fan and I do like Bud, Coors and Rolling Rock also
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  5. #165
    deus ex machina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    I agree with John, the Big 3 beer makers generally produce crap. Sliced American cheese outsells Saint Andre and Havarti. White Zinfandel outsells Pinot Noir and Malbec. And don't even get me started on popular music outselling some extremely talented bands. "More" doesn't necessarily equate to "better".
    Sadly, the megas produce what the majority of Americans have been conditioned to drink. Inbev/Anheuser-Busch and SAB MillerCoors are ruthless corporations that have the power to shut out anyone who will not play their game. The three-tier beer system that was put into place after prohibition to prevent monopolization of the market has assisted the megas in monopolizing the market. The megas basically own the distributors because they produce the major beer brands that are consumed in the United States. Jim Koch is not stretching the truth when he says that the megas spill more beer on their bottling lines than he brews. If one examines the beer shelves at any given liquor/beer store closely, one will quickly discover that bulk of the shelf space is consumed by brands that are owned and/or controlled by the megas. There's little to no difference between many of theses beers. The megas create new brands solely to deprive smaller brewers of shelf space.

    Anheuser-Busch has two basic beers; namely, Budweiser and Michelob. Believe it or not, these beers are different. Michelob is much closer to a traditional Czech Pilsner than Budweiser. Michelob has a higher malt content than Budweiser, and the hops that are used in Michelob are much higher quality than the hops that are used in Budweiser. Anheuser-Busch created a special hop farm (Elk Mountain Farms) in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho to grow what are known in the brewing community as "noble hops." The hop varieties that are classified as noble hops are Spalter Spalt, Tettnang Tettnanger, Hallertau
    Mittelfrüh, and Saaz (only Tettnanger, Hallertau, and Saaz are grown at Elk Mountain). Of the four varieties, Saaz is the most noble of the noble hops, as it is the traditional Pilsner hop. Bonner's Ferry, Idaho was chosen because of its latitude. The noble hop varieties are photosensitive; therefore, they do not produce well at lower latitudes (the majority of the world's hops are grown in the Yakima Valley, which is too far south for the nobles).

    American craft brewers tend to use hop varieties that are derived from the nobles instead of using noble hops. The American hop varieties Mt. Hood and Liberty were derived from Hallertau via genetic mutation. The hop Hallertau was treated with colchicine, which doubled the number of chromosomes from twenty to forty. The mutated version of the plant was
    bred back with the non-mutated plant, producing a plant with thirty chromosomes. A plant with thirty chromosomes is known as a triploid. Triploids are genetically sterile; however, the fact that the mother plant is genetically sterile is not a problem because hops are propagated via root cuttings. Mt. Hood and Liberty are both triploids. Another hop that is used by craft brewers is Willamette. Willamette is a triploid version of an old English hop known as Fuggle. Fuggle is a classic British ale aroma hop and bittering hop.
    Last edited by Em7; 08-03-2013 at 06:38 AM.

  6. #166
    Recovering Bass Player ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ©'s Avatar
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    Fortunately, Colorado went through a microbrew explosion in the early 90's, despite having Coors in our back yard. We have a wide selection of world class beer at every store.
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  7. #167
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Colorado does certainly have some great brewers. Oskar Blue, New Belgium, Breckenridge, Avery, etc

  8. #168
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    Colorado does certainly have some great brewers. Oskar Blue, New Belgium, Breckenridge, Avery, etc
    I love me a Fat Tire!

  9. #169
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    The Mid-Atlantic States also experienced a microbrewery/brewpub explosion in the nineties. However, like elsewhere in the U.S., the craft brewing industry in Maryland has experienced consolidation. The Wild Goose Brewery in Cambridge, Maryland brewed a unique product. However, they ran into the distribution brick wall that prevents most craft brewers from growing after expanding their brewhouse to 50 barrels and decided to sell the brand to the Frederick Brewing Company, which, in turn, was eventually sold to the Flying Dog Brewery.

    I do not fault the Flying Dog Brewery for taking advantage of the Frederick Brewing Company’s overexpansion. They were competing in a crowded market in Colorado. However, I do fault Flying Dog for discontinuing the Wild Goose beer offerings in favor of the Colorado beers that they originally had contract-brewed by the Frederick Brewing Company. Wild Goose brought craft brewing to Maryland. They produced proper English-style ales, not the West Coast-style ales that dominate the craft beer market west of the Mississippi.

    Wild Goose’s brewhouse was designed by Peter Austin and installed by Alan Pugsley. It was a true English-style brewhouse with a brick-enclosed gas-fired kettle, wood insulated mash tun, and open fermenters. Like all Peter Austin-designed brewhouses, Wild Goose used the notorious Ringwood ale yeast. For those who not are familiar with the ales and brewing techniques of Yorkshire, Ringwood is a yeast strain that was developed in the Yorkshire square system. Yorkshire squares are square fermenting vessels that are traditionally made of Yorkshire sandstone or Welsh slate.

    A Yorkshire Square




    Yorkshire yeast strains are notorious for coming out of suspension before fermentation is complete. Fermentation byproducts are developed during the early stages of fermentation that are reduced at the end of fermentation. These byproducts are known as esters and ketones. Esters are responsible for the fruity aromas and tastes in ales that do not actually contain fruit. The yeast used by Young’s when the brewery was in London is a heavy ester producer. Young beer fermented with this strain has almost a lollipop characteristic to it (I acquired my Young’s culture on agar slant from the person who brought it into the U.S., but it is now available as Wyeast 1318). The most common ketone is diacetyl (a.k.a. 2,3-butanedione). If not reduced at the end of fermentation, diacetyl leads to buttery or butterscotch notes in the finished product. Anyone who has drank Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale has tasted diacetyl. Samuel Smith Old Brewery Pale Ale is the classic Yorkshire square ale.

    Most yeast strains only require aeration of the wort at the beginning of the fermentation process in order to promote exponential yeast cell growth. However, due to their tendency to come out of suspension early, Yorkshire yeast strains require additional agitation/aeration after fermentation has started or the finished product will have a high terminal gravity and an overpowering level of diacetyl. The Peter Austin-designed brewing process re-aerates the wort during the second day of fermentation.

    Man, all of this beer geek talk is making me want to start brewing again. It has been almost eleven years since I brewed my last batch of beer. It’s amazing to see the amount of ready-made equipment that is available to amateur brewers today (I sold my brewhouse and lab equipment years ago). Back when I started brewing almost twenty-one years ago, one had to be good friends with a welder who could cut and weld stainless steel because one had to build one's own kettle out of a large stock pot or a sanke keg. Rubbermaid sold a ton of 10-gallon Gott drink coolers to all-grain amateur brewers that were pressed into service as mash tuns and hot liquor tanks. If one wanted a counterflow wort chiller, one had to build it out of copper tubing, pipe fittings, and a garden hose. Now, one can purchase beautifully made counterflow wort chillers and plate chillers that are specifically designed for amateur-scale brewing.

    The variety of grains and hops that are available to all-grain brewers today is also mind boggling. Back when I first stated brewing, one could have any base 2-row malted barley that one wanted as long as it was Briess Harrington 2-row malt or Munton & Fison Pale Ale Malt. Most hop varieties were only available in pelletized form, usually what the megas and the craft breweries did not want.

    The biggest improvement in amateur brewing has to be yeast. Back when I started brewing, there were no decent dried yeasts and Wyeast offered a limited number of yeast strains in liquid form. If one was serious about brewing true to style beer, one had learn how to plate and store yeast on agar slants, which required learning how to produce autoclaved media and perform sterile propagation techniques in a home setting. Hardcore amateur brewers collected yeast samples from all over the world. These yeast strains were passed from amateur brewer to amateur brewer on agar slants until they wound up in a liquid yeast producer’s yeast bank. I am almost positive that one of the Ringwood slants that I traded with other brewers is the source of what is being sold in the amateur brewing trade today.



    Last edited by Em7; 08-03-2013 at 10:32 AM.

  10. #170
    Angry Southern Gentleman Hopeful Sinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardJ View Post
    Ooh, now good porters are a thing to behold (can you get anything from the London brewers, Fullers or Youngs?) if you really want to go hardcore look up 'Winter Warmers'.
    Thanks for the heads up, I'll keep an eye peeled for those!

    I normally just buy Guinness Draught in the cans with the little ball that releases nitrogen or whatever but I'm trying to expand my beer horizon...

  11. #171
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vchizzle View Post
    I love me a Fat Tire!
    Yup!

  12. #172
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardJ View Post
    Ooh, now good porters are a thing to behold (can you get anything from the London brewers, Fullers or Youngs?) if you really want to go hardcore look up 'Winter Warmers'.
    I'm a big fan of Fuller's London Pride, especially in it's a "real ale" form. I wanted to tour their brewery while in London, but didn't have time. Maybe next time?

  13. #173
    Member RichardJ's Avatar
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    'Unfortunately' when I worked in London there was a Fullers pub 5 minutes walk away from my office (The Euston Flyer, on Euston Road opposite the British Library, near Kings Cross Station). Many happy lunchtimes and after work drinks in there. My Fullers beer of choice is ESB, If you like London Pride you'll love it!

  14. #174
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Em7 View Post
    [FONT=arial] The megas basically own the distributors because they produce the major beer brands that are consumed in the United States. Jim Koch is not stretching the truth when he says that the megas spill more beer on their bottling lines than he brews. If one examines the beer shelves at any given liquor/beer store closely, one will quickly discover that bulk of the shelf space is consumed by brands that are owned and/or controlled by the megas. There's little to no difference between many of theses beers. The megas create new brands solely to deprive smaller brewers of shelf space.
    This is a sad reality I've had to come to terms with in the last few years. Being from West Michigan originally, we have quite a microbrew Mecca going in the Grand Rapids area, and the greater Chicagoland area in general. Sadly, some of the great breweries that are locally famous don't get distributed to New England. You mentioned Shock Top as being an A-B brew, which is true. Interestingly, from what I've heard, Shock Top is the black sheep brother of a beer called Oberon, made by Bell's Brewery in W. Michigan (Bell's Oberon is a summer favorite in Michigan and other areas of the Midwest that have access to it). To get distribution, Bell's made a deal with A-B for access to their distribution network. Part of that deal was giving A-B a portion of their Oberon recipe, thus Shock Top was born. Sadly, New England doesn't see any Oberon, because the founder of Bell's loathes Jim Koch, and refuses to do business with anyone in business with him, ie the East coast distributor of Sam Adams.

    My more available summer fsvorite this season has been Brooklyn Summer Ale. Has a nice drinkable character without the bittery lemon taste of Sam Summer and the like. Sam Summer is a bit heavy on the lemon flavor this summer IMO. Seems to fluctuate by year. I'be also been brewing a little with a friend lately, which is fun. I'm contemplating brewing something with tea leaves for our next batch - had a great brew with tea leaves used in it last summer at Cape Ann Brewery in Gloucester, MA, and it was unique and excellent, but sadly hard to find.
    Last edited by andy474x; 08-03-2013 at 03:43 PM.
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  15. #175
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardJ View Post
    'Unfortunately' when I worked in London there was a Fullers pub 5 minutes walk away from my office (The Euston Flyer, on Euston Road opposite the British Library, near Kings Cross Station). Many happy lunchtimes and after work drinks in there. My Fullers beer of choice is ESB, If you like London Pride you'll love it!
    I'll have to stop in The Euston Flyer next time around. I did hit up The Ships Tavern in Holburn, O'Neils near St. Pancras station and the Red Lion near Westminster station. The Ships Tavern being my favorite.

  16. #176
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    Got another vote for the Brooklyn range for the summer...also been drinking Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA and Whale's Tale Pale Ale out of Nantucket.
    -Bob

  17. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Duncan View Post
    Grolsch has been my latest interest. I don't always drink beer, but when I do...

    Not a huge beer drinker, but I do enjoy some of the European offerings.
    Grolsch, the large(r) bottles for the included guitar strap fastening washer/grommet!

    Otherwise, if I don't need the free strap grommets, less of an issue with PRS's relatively enormous strap buttons than tiny-button brands, I've been enjoying Heineken and domestically, the original Coors Banquet in bottles, which is plenty wonderful after hours in Texas high 90s and 100s, Fahrenheit.
    Last edited by Soul.com; 08-04-2013 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Corrected YouTube Link

  18. #178
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I had one of these in San Diego a couple weeks ago. The "bottled on" date was three days before we opened it. It was pretty incredible!





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  19. #179
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Saw this today and thought it was pretty cool. Two pages of animated beer labels!

    http://beerlabelsinmotion.tumblr.com/

  20. #180
    oh, man, where to start?

    Shawn, Shiner Bock is available on draft around MD... and goes stunningly well well BBQ

    Mu current summer beer is Augustiner Brau Munchen... or Reissdorf Kolsch.

    Looking forward to this year's Oktoberfests - last year's weihenstephaner was disappointing, although to 2011 was excellent. (Last year's best Oktoberfest? Sam Adams. Go figure)

    Also looking forward to Abita Satsuma - my fave football watching beer.

    I also love a good Guinness - but good Guinness is hard to find. I spent my sophomore year of college in Dublin. Ruined for life

    I do like to make a black and tan with Guinness and a good Oktoberfest...

    and come Christmas time I love DuPont's Avec Les Bon Voeux, especially with a good parmesan, maybe some soppressata...

    I'm also a big fan of Cain's MIld Dark and also their bitter, if you like classic English beers.

    If you're still homebrewing, I know a few people in the MD homebrewing community... let me know!

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