Tanczos Beverages in Hanover Township, Northampton County, is among the local beer distributors now peddling beer-making ingredients.
Owner Mark Tanczos calls it a “natural fit,” with the popularity of craft brewers from Samuel Adams to Victory Brewing Co. offering a wide variety of flavors.
“I think it’s a natural extension with the growth of microbrewing and more flavorful beer, people will want to make their own and that has been of interest of distributors across the state,” Tanczos said.
Just days ago, Tanczos installed a home-brewing section in its store on Jacksonville Road. Home-brewing sections have been added at other local distributors like Link Beverages in Coopersburg, and more are planned.
For example, Shangy’s in Emmaus is planning to add a home-brewing section next month, according to manager Nima Hadian.
“We’re already a draw for our large selection and the crowd that we draw are already into the craft,” he said.
Before, home brewers could purchase supplies from specialty stores. Beer distributors getting in on the niche merely illustrates just how popular craft brewing has become in recent years. I guess you don’t have to be one of the Fegley brothers, of Brew Works fame, or a brewmaster at Weyerbacher to make suds anymore.
Moving on to downtown Allentown … a lot retailers are leaving amid development for the much-ballyhooed minor league hockey arena.
Who’s leaving now?
House of Chen has been in downtown Allentown for roughly 35 years, one of the oldest merchants in the district.
The Asian restaurant, largely known for its $4.25 all-you-can-eat buffet and loyal bar crowd, will be closing on July 31, according to assistant manager Jenny Lim. She said the restaurant’s owners have decided to sell the three-story Hamilton Street building, which sits directly across from the hockey arena construction.
This marks merely the latest downtown Allentown merchant to exit. Dozens of merchants, from barber shops to pizzerias and dollar stores were recently forced to uproot for the arena.
House of Chen’s exit comes just months after I reported that fellow longtime merchant Salomon’s Jewelers is moving out of the city in June. Salomon’s owners sold the three-story building at 606 Hamilton St. to real estate developer East Penn Real Estate Inc.
While some moved away from downtown Allentown, Alphagraphics simply shifted two blocks, relocating to The Sovereign Building at 609 W. Hamilton St.
What could possibly be more exciting than sharing my first name with a supermodel, a famous childhood storybook character, and the Hollywood Madame? How about having an authentic German-style beer named after me!
OK, so the Heidi Weiss beer isn’t exactly named after moi. It’s named after a Jack Russell Terrier (Heidi Sorrell) and the “weizen” wheat style beer that authentic German bier is famous for.
I know what you’re wondering, who the hell names a beer after their dog?! That would be Steven Sorrell, owner/brewer of Low Brau, a nano-brewery looking for a good home in D.C.’s craft brewing capital — a.k.a. Ward 5. So when I heard about the Heidi Weiss beer from a coworker, I was compelled to investigate for two simple reasons: I have a Jack Russell and I love, love, love a good craft beer!
I recently talked to Steve about his passion for Heidi (his dog, not me) and for home brewing. Turns out it’s in his genes, having spent quite a bit of his childhood growing up in Germany with a German mother and military father. He is an interior architect by trade, specializing in restaurant and hospitality design. For several years he has dabbled in home brewing, and making his own recipes, but he holds authentic tasting German-style beers near and dear to his heart. Well, not only the beer. His adorable, energetic and faithful companion Heidi, as well.
Turns out, Steve and his wife Linda adopted Heidi about a year ago from Lizzy’s Lodge rescue group in Poolesville, Md. He points out that she is “all Jack,” (that’s dog-speak for a handful!) and still in training. Together, they have been home brewing in their Fort Totten home in northeast D.C. Heidi keeps Steven company in the kitchen and makes sure he stays true to his company motto, “embracing simplicity” while he carefully crafts his wheat beers. How simplistic? Well, the four main ingredients in his beer are: water, yeast, German noble hops and malt.
Steven has been receiving much attention for his efforts, including coverage in The Washington Post and On-Tap Magazine. What’s all the fuss about? His flagship beer the Heidi Weiss is a “session” beer, meant to be refreshing and lower in alcohol (5-6 percent range), and more drinkable — without ending up under the table. It has fruity aromatic characteristics and notes of clove, with a huge head (no similarity to me of course). It is also unfiltered, with a slightly cloudy deep orange hue and tiny effervescent bubbles. Are you getting thirsty yet?!
I had to ask Steve what constitutes a “nano-brewery,” and he explained it is smaller than a microbrewery, utilizes a two- or three-beer barrell system and produces about 90 gallons per batch. Very small indeed, but he stresses it’s about the quality, not quantity. He hopes to identify a suitable space for the brewery very soon in D.C.’s Ward 5. His plans incude distribution to bars in D.C., holding beer tastings, selling “growlers,” and participating in the popular NOVA Brewfests.
Meanwhile, Heidi, his Jack Russell sidekick, is not sitting idle. She is helping to spread the word through social media, putting the growl in growlers and making sure the beer earns her Paw of Approval. It’s a tough job indeed, but some lucky dog’s gotta do it!
For more information about the Low Brau nano-brewery, contact Steven at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many men does it take to craft 10 bottles of beer with a saucepan, a plastic bucket and a belt?
Having investigated the cult of amateur craft brewing during the final third of a journalism degree, it was inevitable that my curiosity would eventually get the better of me. Letting these curiosities simmer at the back of my mind for a good six months, it was upon returning home from university, with little more than part-time employment to occupy myself that I began to casually browse the internet for home-brew recipes.
With a friend already well-versed in making wine, mead and anything vaguely medieval, he was naturally intrigued by my growing interest in the hobby. It took a little while to convince him that I was interested in brewing a beer you’d find in a good pub rather than something you might see in Robin Hood, but after mentioning the idea I’d had to flavour the beer with the raspberries growing in my back garden, he was soon eager to lend a hand.
Sourcing the goods
Shunning the starter kits that Wilkinson now sell – a knee-jerk reaction to having spent many a miserable evening stacking their shelves as a Christmas temp – we settled on the process known as extract brewing. More sophisticated than kit brewing, the use of concentrated malt skips out the fiddly processes of ‘mashing’ the grain, but allows you to retain control over the hops, yeast, sugar and any additional ingredients.
Malt extract comes in tins weighing in at 1.5kg. Open it up and you’re greeted with a sweet smell – a sticky, golden brown syrup with the instantly familiar taste of malt loaf. It’s not exactly the easiest item to acquire and in this case it meant chugging along the A3 in a spluttering Nissa Micra, frustratingly circling the one way system of Aldershot town centre before having to ask a man named Baldy (he wasn’t even bald) for directions in a pub car park full of Aldershot fans.
Surveying the ragtag ensemble of kitchen equipment lined up along the worktops, the electronic scales and small tubs of chemical sanitiser, it looked like a Breaking Bad episode.
Standing on a trading estate, surrounding by car garages and cash and carry outlets, the Aldershot Home Brew Shop looks strangely like a scout hut. It’s only small inside, but with shelves loaded with demijohns, hops, grain and dusty bottles of organic ale, it’s like a treasure trove for the budding brewer. With only a vague idea of the ingredients needed for the beer – now christened as the Raspberry Ripper – the staff were happy to point us in the direction of a light malt extract, a small sachet of ale yeast and a pouch of citrusy Amarillo hops to compliment the raspberries.
Surveying the ragtag ensemble of kitchen equipment lined up along the worktops, the electronic scales and small tubs of chemical sanitiser, it looked like something out of a Breaking Bad episode. Trying to create a sense of structure amidst the chaos, we set about covering the kitchen cupboards with yellow post-it notes mapping out a plan.
We started by measuring out 1.5 litres of water. After heating in a large saucepan, we poured in half of the malt extract and stirred until dissolved. Topping up the pan with more water, we weighed out three quarters of the hops – 15 grams in this case – whilst the wort (the technical name for unfermented beer) slowly built its way to a boil. After throwing in the hops, we then added half a kilo of raspberries and stirred some more.
Continuing to boil the wort – now a deep red colour – for around 45 minutes, we added the remainder of the hops as a finishing touch. Submerging the pan into a sink full of icy water, we then poured the cooled wort through a rudimentary strainer made by strapping a sheet of muslin to an industrial-sized bucket used for holding cocoa powder with a belt.
We poured the cooled wort through a rudimentary strainer made by strapping a sheet of muslin to an industrial-sized bucket used for holding cocoa powder with a belt.
The waiting game
Having added yeast and sugar, we left the concoction to ferment in the sanitised plastic bucket for two weeks. Its appearance – like tomato juice with a chocolaty scum on top – was a little worrying. We strained the beer again to get rid of the sludgy yeast sediment and siphoned it off to ten bottles, adding a teaspoon of sugar to each one before hammering on (literally) the bottle caps. We then waited another two weeks to allow for secondary fermentation to take place. This timeframe wasn’t necessarily planned, but walking back from the pub one Saturday night, already five or six beers deep, it felt like a perfect time to crack a couple of bottles open.
The initial hiss heard when beheading the first bottle of its cap was an indicator that fermentation had actually worked. Even better was the glorious sight of white froth which foamed up when the ruby coloured beer hit the bottom of a pint glass.
Nervously raising the glass to my lips, I had no idea how it would taste. Instantly, I got the raspberries – fruity and pungent. Then came the bitterness of the hops that lingered at the back of the mouth. In all honesty, it was as good as any beer I’d ever tasted and a hundred times more satisfying. Admittedly, it was a little cloudy for an ale, but in terms of flavour and strength, it couldn’t be faulted.
Now able to speak about home-brewing from experience, I can testify that it’s a craft that can only be learnt from actually doing it. You hear about the science behind making beer but in this case, we didn’t even bother with a thermometer. Like making a chilli, a soup or a good pasta sauce, you start off with the essentials, you bring the liquid to a boil and gradually add ingredients to create flavour. Of course, you have to take sterilisation and fermentation into consideration, but if you appreciate beer and have the patience, then home-brewing is something which I can’t recommend enough.
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LTC offering home brewing seminars
CLEVELAND — Learn how to brew beer at home during a pair of upcoming seminars at Lakeshore Technical College. The “Beer Science Seminars” will be offered Jan. 28 and March 3 and will teach participants everything they need to know to brew great beer at home. Students must be age 21 or older to attend.
The first seminar, “Beer Science Intro,” covers the process of home craft brewing from start to finish, including the fermentation cycle and bottle conditioning, and will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 28.
For those who want to take their home brewing skills to the next level, “Beer Science Advanced” will be offered from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 3. Participants will have the opportunity to brew ambers, porters, stouts, pale ales and more.
The seminars will be led by Trevor LaRene, LTC nursing instructor, BJCP certified beer judge and home brewer; and Paul Hoffman, LTC IT instructor and home brewer.
To register by phone, call 1-888-468-6582, Ext. 1366. Register online at www.gotoltc.edu/seminars.
For more information, call Ruth Semph at (920) 693-1167, or email email@example.com.
Aurora Health Foundation offers scholarships
MANITOWOC — As part of its 2011-12 scholarship program, the Aurora Health Foundation is making merit-based academic scholarships available to students in the Manitowoc County area.
Applications and brochures are available at all area high schools, technical schools, colleges and universities. They also are available through the Aurora Health Foundation office, 2636 Eastern Ave., Plymouth) and the Aurora human resource department at the Aurora Medical Center in Manitowoc County. In addition, they also are available online at www.aurora.org/scholarship.
The foundation awards a number of scholarships to students pursuing a degree in a health care-related field.
The deadline for all applications and supporting documentation is March 9. For additional informational, contact the Aurora Health Foundation at (920) 449-7731.
GRAND RAPIDS — Dallas McCulloch doesn’t want to make a million dollars. He just wants to make beer with fellow craft brewing enthusiasts.
His dream of opening a brewing co-operative where like-minded beer lovers could buy a $150 ownership stake and collectively experiment on different brews is $5,000 closer to reality after winning startup funding at Rick DeVos’ 5×5 Night on Tuesday.
“I want to be the anti-Budweiser,” said McCulloch, a 25-year-old Battle Creek native and bartender at Stella’s Lounge in Grand Rapids. He also has spent the past several years touring with punk rock bands.
“They are a multinational, billion-dollar industry with intelligence-insulting ads based out of Belgium or wherever,” he said. “I want to be the exact opposite of that in every way — make the best beer and have it be as community-oriented as possible.”
McCulloch, who’s ancestry is Scottish, won the whole kit-n’-caboodle for the second month of presentations following the new format, where ideas are posted online for the crowd to vote and chose who presents to the judges.
He plans to use the money to pay for licensing, zoning fees and start-up equipment.
McCulloch got enough votes to pitch, but came in 6th place in views online with 900, furthering the notion that page views doesn’t necessarily translate into votes, although he has submitted the idea before.
The crowd of largely first-night attendees found some cosmetic adjustments to the setup in the auditorium at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, where the reception and announcement took place rather than at the usual spot on the balcony at Reserve Wine Bar downtown.
A new, larger screen was placed front-and-center and the judge’s table was moved off the stage.
Pomegranate Studios marketing director Paul Moore engaged in some pre-holiday shtick by somewhat successfully playing “Jingle Bells” on the recorder before leading the room in a slightly-altered version of the Christmas carol.
The reception venue move was an attempt to address the crowding at Reserve, where DeVos said the winner announcement was barely audible at times. The reception may remain at the museum for future 5×5 Nights, he said.
He said McCulloch’s idea caught the judge’s attention because they like “creating places where people can be creative, and platforms where people can engage in their own artistry.”
“It’s really a mix of faith in the ability of the person presenting the idea to really execute on it, and viability of the idea to get some traction and attention,” he said.
Other presenters included:
- Wade Gugino, owner of a cartooning company in Holland, who pitched “Space Boobies!,” a graphic novel extolling the virtues of breast-feeding.
- Shari Grant, who pitched The Village, a mothers-helping-mothers initiative aimed at connecting older women with inner city teen moms.
- Brian Glowe, who pitched Loqal REfill, a spin on the drinking fountain that would help reduce plastic water bottle consumption.
- Joel Minock, who pitched DealSavant, an online engine to help small brick-and-mortar businesses compete in the online marketplace.
The next 5×5 Night takes place at the art museum on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The deadline to submit ideas online is the week prior to the event date.
The contest always begins at 5:30 p.m. and admission is $5.
E-mail the author of this story: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brewing beer is a complete sensory experience. I can feel the heat on the stove top as the grains and water are boiled to make the wort, the smell of hops fills the kitchen. Later, I can hear yeast feasting on the freshly brewed wort and see the release of the gaseous bubbles that result.
Making beer is like learning a fine art – one that’s been nourished here in the Bay Area for more than 200 years. And as a San Francisco-based homebrewer, I wanted to find out more about our fermenting forebears.
San Francisco’s brewing history
Dave McLean, owner of Magnolia Pub and Brewery on Haight Street, says that San Francisco has been a great brewing city for its entire history. “Some of the early history shows breweries popping up within the first year after the Gold Rush. Within several years after that there were dozens of breweries. By end of 1800s San Francisco was the epicenter of brewing on the west coast,” McLean explains.
But Prohibition soon forced companies to change what they were offering. Even after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, many companies decided to stick with non-alcoholic offerings.
McLean says it took time and the major purchase of Anchor by millionaire Fritz Maytag in 1965 to get the city’s beer-making back on track. “That really kicked off the craft brewing revolution,” says McLean.
Maytag was a Stanford graduate who bought a controlling stake in the company for a couple of thousand bucks. It wasn’t long before Anchor churned out America’s first post-Prohibition IPA and porter-style beers. The American Craftbeer movement was underway and has been expanding our palates ever since.
Today, Anchor is part of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, along with 21st Amendment, Beach Chalet, Gordon Biersch, Magnolia, Social Kitchen, Speakeasy, and Thirsty Bear. Many more non-guild local brewers are working to gain that level of success.
The rise of craft beer
According to the Beer Institute, the brewing industry’s lobbying arm, Californians buy nearly 713 million gallons of beer every year. That’s 27.5 gallons per of-age adult – a little less than a pint per day (of course, some beer lovers enjoy slightly more than that).
“Beer at least for me, personally, is a perfect combination of my science background and then being able to be really creative with the flavors of the beer,” says Regan Long co-founder of Local Brewing Company, a fledgling San Francisco brewery trying to expand. Long started home brewing seven years ago in his garage. About a year ago, the Local Brewing Company started bringing its beer to Dolores Park and the San Francisco Underground Market for feedback.
Still, the craft brew market makes up just 5% of a $224 billion industry. Which is to say, not everyone who starts brewing on their kitchen stove wants a market share.
Long’s partner, Sarah Fenson, says there’s a lot of help available for curious home brewers who want to take their craft to the next level, “There really is, I’ll say a personhood, a brotherhood, a sisterhood among people in the beer industry. You already have a commonality in terms of what kind of beer do you like … And it is a real knowledge sharing community,” says Fenson.
But home brewing wasn’t actually legal until 1978, so certain renegades had turned their kitchens into recreational brewing laboratories long before that.
“I learned how to brew out of the back of a Field and Stream magazine,” says Gregory William Miller the Thirdstein, also known as Griz. Miller is a brewmaster at San Francisco Brewcraft in the Richmond District, with over 42 years of experience under his belt. After answering an ad for brewing classes, Miller made his first batch. “It tasted like someone had boiled all the jock straps from the San Francisco 49ers,” remembers Miller. “But that just made me want to do it more.”
Miller says brewing at home has grown in popularity since he first started since it’s become easier to learn. Mission-based author William Bostwick’s instruction manual Beer Craft explains how to brew single gallon batches – small enough to allow for experimentation. And Bostwick’s partner Jessi Rymill says that it’s not hard to give beer that unique San Francisco twist by using fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.
But for homebrewers like myself, beer-making is an experience to share, with friends, family, or a friendly passerby. I like to think of brewing in cooking terms: There’s no sense in making a delicious feast if you’re going to eat it alone. Sharing ideas, food, and drink is an act that makes us human.
The special taste of an amazing homebrew is something that can be savored everywhere – from my house, to your house, to the White House. Yes, recently President Obama became the first sitting American President to brew at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The White House Honey Ale used honey from bee hives on the property. And it sent an important message to home brewers everywhere: Yes, we can, and keg, and bottle.
John McDonald, founder and president of Boulevard Brewing Company, walks through the doors of the largest American-owned brewery in Missouri every morning and is greeted by the smells and sounds of brewing beer. What started out as innocent homebrewing quickly trumped his construction day job and morphed into Boulevard Brewing Company, a brewery that boasts full distribution in 13 Midwestern states.
The standard brown bottle is now anything but standard to him, and the amber-colored liquid inside didn’t get that beautiful color by being brewed in gargantuan tanks. McDonald created a Midwest powerhouse brewery, and the best part about it is that he started out at home.
The American Homebrewers Association estimates that there are one million Americans homebrewing beer at least once a year. This trend is becoming more appealing every year. According to a Google search snapshot, the words “home brewing supplies” have quadrupled in search volume since 2008.
This mentality created the Lawrence Brewers Guild, the largest brewing guild in Kansas. The guild meets once a month to educate others on homebrewing as well as sample beers that Guild members have brewed. You don’t have to be a homebrewing expert to join. Lawrencebrewers.org allows anyone to join online, and after paying a small fee, you’re in the guild.
The guild has made beer quite prevalent in Lawrence, and Lake Lero and his father found a way to make it a business. Jake Lero, an alumnus, homebrewer and member of the Lawrence Brewers Guild, opened JWL Craft Brewing at Bob Billings and Kasold with his father, after a playful exchange over why no one had opened up a brewing supply store in town where home brewing thrived. Lero wrote it off as talk, but his dad was more serious. “I was sitting in a lecture, and I got a text from my dad asking if I wanted to open up a homebrew store with him,” he says.
JWL Craft Brewing provide you with everything you need for specialty brewing. They have all the brewing ingredients—extracts, hops, grains—to get you started on your first batch. Lero is willing to take you step-by-step through the brewing process, and though they can’t legally teach classes at the store, he’s willing to show you how to brew in the comfort of your own home.
Obviously, opening up a homebrew store is a bit more of an investment than simply buying the equipment. The minimum start-up cost is about $150, and if you want to get fancy, it can go as high as $250. Start-up supplies include a boiling pot, fermenting and bottling bucket, capping and siphoning equipment, Lero says. The base ingredients for the beer include water, malt, yeast and hops.
But homebrewing can also prevent expensive trips to bars. Amanda Kong, a senior from Lawrence, prefers to drink at home before spending her money at the bars on low-quality beer. “Most bars charge $4 a pint for anything decent, so I usually get a 6-pack of something enjoyable like Boulevard IPA. That way by the time I go out, I haven’t compromised on taste or my bank account,” Kong says.
Money aside, some students prefer homebrewed beers to commercialized beers because of the quality. Kurt Lehner, a senior from Cheny, is one of them. “Commercialized beers pretty much have the same texture. There’s no room for uniqueness in a huge brewing process,” Lehner says. Others students prefer it because of the flavor. “If I’m going to drink a beer, I want it to taste like beer, not water,” says Mark Ross, a senior from Horton.
When it comes down to it, the only way to be certain your beer will be just what you wanted is to brew it yourself. Jack Gobbo is a homebrewer in Santa Cruz, Calif. Gobbo started brewing in 1998 and became so fond of the hobby that he created his own label to stick on the bottles. He calls his beer “Cruz Brew.” He says that the steps to all-grain brewing are straightforward and simple.
Mashing or steeping is when you mix milled or cracked malted barley grains in 170 degree water for up to an hour in a seven gallon stainless steel pot. During this hour-long steep, the starch in the grains is converted into fermented sugar by enzymes naturally present in the malted barley, Gobbo says. Once the sugar has been converted, place the grain in a strainer and run hot water over it. This rinses the sugars out of the grains in a process called sparging. The runoff, called wort, is then collected in another seven gallon stainless steel pot. From there you boil the wort and add your choice of hops. Boil for around one hour for complete flavor incorporation. “Adding hops provides the beer with aroma, bitterness and flavor,” Gobbo says.
You’ve mashed and boiled, and the next step is to add yeast. After the wort has cooled to 70 degrees, transfer it to a six gallon container and add the specialized beer yeast. The yeast then “eats” the fermented sugars from the wort. The by-product of this process is CO2 and alcohol. This process can take up to a week. If you add yeast to wort that is above 70 degrees, you can kill the yeast, ruining your brew.
After a week,the product will actually taste like beer, but will be flat and a bit murky, which is why the next step, carbonation, is necessary. Gobbo says to transfer the flat beer to another six gallon container. This removes the finished beer from the dead yeast cells that remained in the initial six gallon container, as well as allowing the beer to settle and become more clarified. Adding a small amount of corn sugar to the container allows the corn sugar to eat the final traces of live yeast. Fill and cap 12-ounce bottles, and let them sit for two weeks in order for the beer to carbonate itself.
Thankfully, there is a reward to all your homebrewing hard work. The health benefits of beer have recently been something to take note of. The American Heart Association now posts the benefits of drinking beer in moderation on its website in association to potential heart health. Robert A. Wascher, doctor and author of A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race in Phoenix, refers to studies that have shown upsides to drinking one beer per day. “Alcohol itself, polyphenolic compounds [antioxidants from plant foods that work in the body to enhance health], and hops have all been linked to improvements in cardiovascular health,” Wascher says.
As far as light and dark beer benefits go, when it comes to your health, the darker the better. “In general, research suggests that lighter beers may be less effective in reducing cardiovascular disease when compared to heavier styles of beer,” Wascher says.
But those health benefits aren’t obtained if you’re brewing beer the wrong way. The first step is sanitation. This is key because germs love fermenting beer and will destroy the entire batch if not sanitized correctly, says Lero. Jeremy Denner, brewer for Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, Mo., also emphasizes the point on sanitation. “You could make the most complex beer with 12 different malts and eight hop varieties, but if you can’t clean and sanitize your fermenter properly, you’re going to end up with infected, undrinkable beer,” Denner.
Another common mistake new brewers make is being too complex. Denner suggests brewers begin with a beer they drink frequently so they know if they’re making it correctly. Denner also recommends a pale ale. “With a clean, balanced pale ale, there’s nowhere for the off flavors to hide. Keep it simple,” Denner says.
Crafting beer can be as creative or as generic as you want to make it. Lero has brewed recipes of coconut lime and sunflower wheat beers as well as mint chocolate and peanut butter chocolate stouts. One member from the Guild makes a lemon honey ginger pale ale, which Lero said was an “excellent” brew.
When it comes to specialty beers, Denner says it’s all about balance. Many places brew raspberry, blueberry and pumpkin beers according to the season. “If you’re going to make a raspberry beer, I would suggest using whole raspberries or a very high quality raspberry extract. For pumpkin beers, the flavor is really about the spices, not so much the pumpkin flavor,” Denner says. “With fruit beers, I think it’s important to think outside the box and combine flavors that aren’t always obvious.
Beer has a lot more depth despite its usual pale-colored appearance. The homebrew start-up may seem steep, but the paybacks eventually add up, whether it’s cash saved from going to the bars, high-fives from your friends or just crafting a beer that is specifically tailored to your taste buds. The ingredient list is short and sweet. Get to brewing and even your heart may thank you.
Amateur brewers compete for top tipple title
3:37pm Sunday 13th November 2011
Bedroom brewers served up their finest efforts in the hunt for glory this weekend.
Amateurs put forward their best bitters, lagers and stouts at the London and South East Craft Brewing Competition in Wimbledon.
The event has been running for more than 10 years, but this weekend’s competition was the first to be organised by brewing club the London Amateur Brewers.
Organiser Paul Henderson said: “There were some really, really cracking beers – and some that are more interesting than what you can buy commercially.”
He said ever-rising taxes on beer had encouraged more drinkers to explore home brewing, which had moved on from the basic brewing kits popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
But he said Britain’s scene was still much smaller than its counterpart in America – where competitions across the country regularly attract thousands of entries.
Prizes on offer this weekend included the chance for the winner of the ‘best in show’ category to create a new beer in collaboration with professionals at The Kernel Brewery in Bermondsey – which
began life as an amateur brewing operation.
The competition took place at Holy Trinity Church of England school in Effra Road on Saturday. It featured 80 categories – ranging from top fruit beer to best Bohemian Pilsener, Imperial Stout and
American Pale Ale.
Tom Greasley won the best in shpw award for his sacastro stout.
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A new craft brewery called Blue Blood Brewing Company is under
development in Lincoln.
A guy named Brian Podwinski decided to turn his home-brewing
hobby into a business and is setting up a brewery in an industrial
park at Southwest Fifth and South streets.
According to the business’s Facebook page, it hopes to be open
by the end of the year.
Blue Blood plans to start off with two beers, a golden-colored
pale ale and an extra special bitter. No info yet on where the beer
will be sold.
Craft brewing is on the rise, according to the Brewers
Association. The Colorado-based trade group’s data show that in the
past five years, sales of craft beer have climbed an average of 11
percent a year.
Empyrean Brewing Co., Lincoln’s largest and most well-known
craft brewery, increased production 70 percent between 2005 and
2010 and is in the process of moving to the old Meadow Gold dairy
processing facility so it can expand further.
Published on Sun Sep 11 16:14:23 BST 2011
A Bakewell brewery has launched a competition to find the nation’s best home brewed beer.
Thornbridge brewery, based in Bakewell, has teamed up with Nicholson’s pubs to launch the Great British Home Brew Challenge 2011.
The winner will see their brew recipe transformed into a production brew by Thornbridge Brewery and made available through Nicholson’s 100 pubs across the UK.
Simon Webster from Thornbridge said: “The Home Brew Challenge 2011 will provide home brewers with an opportunity to match their beers against those of other enthusiasts, and have them tasted by a panel of expert beer judges.”
Full details and entry forms are now available from http://www.gbhomebrew.co.uk/
Thornbridge’s Simon Webster says “the Challenge will be a celebration of the British tradition of brewing with the aim of creating a great new beer and for people to try and embrace many of the new flavours in beers from across the world. As we do in our brewers at Thornbridge we will look for Passion, Innovation and Knowledge as key factors in the judging”.
Craft brewing has had a resurgence across the world during the past few years and is having a fantastic influence on the brewing industry in the UK. With over 750 breweries now operating, the range of beers styles available has never been greater. Many of the beers brewed in today’s new wave of breweries are brewed by professionally qualified brewers, others brewed by those that have developed skills through brewing at home. This reflects the tradition of brewing beer in the UK which until the advent of commercial breweries was in the main done at home and often by the woman of the house.
Recognising this great tradition of home brewing See www.gbhomebrew.co.uk (from 1/9/2011) for entry details.
Ben Lockwood of Nicholson’s says “the UK has a great tradition of home brewing. In many countries home brewers work closely with fulltime brewers and new approaches and recipes for beers are often discovered. With this Challenge we can offer the home brewer a chance to have their beer professionally produced and then served in over 80 traditional British pubs. This should be a very interesting competition and whilst serious hopefully great fun for all involved”.
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