Posts Categorized: Beer

Beer Flights for Your Holidays

Posted by & filed under Beer.

Lately I’ve preferred drinking small 4oz pours of 3-5 different beers rather than a larger pour of a single beer. Being able to compare and contrast multiple beers makes it easier to suss out the distinctive character of each individual beer. I’ve also found when I drink less when I drink mindfully. The big box […]


Posted by & filed under Beer, Comic.


You should still try it. It’s refreshing and light. The Four Firkins carries it.

Garrick’s Beer Fault Map

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I pulled this together as part of my BJCP prep course last year. I’ve found it quite handy to have it during tastings thought you might find it handy as well.

Brew Day for the 2012 Hop Clearance

Posted by & filed under Beer, Big Beer Year.

Today was brew day for the 2012 Hop Clearance and it could have gone much better. I forgot to put the false bottom in the brew pot (that’s step 1, even before turning on the burner). So, the weight of 19 pounds of grain and the heat from the bottom of the brew pot burned […]

Big Beer Year: #1 The Hop Clearance American Barleywine

Posted by & filed under Beer, Big Beer Year.

One thing that beer class confirmed for me – I have a strong preference for the rich, full, maltiness of big beers. Hops I’m ambivalent about, but if a beer doesn’t have a prominent malt presence – it won’t make my Ongoing Beer List. With this in mind, I’m planning 8 beers for 2013, each […]

Just Passed the BJCP Entrance Exam.

Posted by & filed under Beer, BJCP.

After mostly correctly answering 200 randomly questions on all aspects of brewing, beer styles, and running BJCP competitions, I’m now a Provisional BJCP Judge. Woot. Now to study for the tasting exam.

Towards a New Beer City

Posted by & filed under Beer, Minneapolis.

“I think it’s very real, it’s here to stay. We’re on the cusp of a movement here and I think we’ll probably replicate what Portland or Denver have in terms of 80 or 90 craft breweries.” – Peter Remes, president First & First. Last week Tom Elko and I went to Stouts Pub for beers. […]

The Road to Beer Judging Certification: Light Hybrid, Amber Hybrid, German Wheat & Rye

Posted by & filed under Beer, BJCP.

This week we worked our way through Light Hybrid (6A. Cream Ale, 6B. Blonde Ale, 6C. Kölsch, 6D. American Wheat or Rye), Amber Hybrid (7A. Norther German Alt, 7B. California Common, 7C. Düsseldorf Alt) and German Wheat and Rye (15A. Weizen, 5B. Dunkelweizen, 5C. Weizenbock, 5D. Roggenbier). The hybrid categories are that blurry line between […]

The Road to Beer Judging Certification: European Amber, Dark Lager, Bock

Posted by & filed under Beer, BJCP.

This week we worked our way through European Amber Lagers (3A. Vienna Lager, 3B. Oktoberfest), Dark Lager (4A. Dark American Lager, 4B. Munich Dunkel, 4C. Schwarzbier) and Bock (5A. Maibock/Helles Bock, 5B. Traditional Bock, 5C. Doppelbock, 5D. Eisbock) The overwhelming attribute of these 3 styles is a prominent toasty, sweet, and complex malt aroma – […]

The Road to BJCP Certification

Posted by & filed under Beer, BJCP.

A year and a half ago when I started formulating my own beer recipes – my friend Chris asked me if I had looked into Since then, Hopville has helped me understand and target the bounds of beer styles. By the numbers. But not by the ingredients. Even in the latest iteration Hopville warns […]

Roggen Brett – Just Bottled

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Tonight, I bottled my Roggen Brett, a 60% rye beer fermented with 100% Brettanomyces. I’ve been savoring it since. Easily the most delicious beer I’ve brewed to date – and it’s not even carbonated yet. The beer is the color of leather. The nose – a mix of dark fruit and horse blanket. On the […]

The Four Firkins – Drinking with the Right Brain Class

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Last night, Jamie and I joined 20 others at Josh Peppers’ Drinking with the Right Brain class at The Four Firkins. It was a super fun night of subjective, emotive, beer appreciation. Josh curated a diverse and interesting selection of beers (Fat Tire, Helios, Wells Bombadier, Tripel Karmaliet, something forgettable, and DeuS) I highly recommend […]

Hemel & Aarde von Brouwerji De Molen

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Tonight, I stopped by The Four Firkins to meet Nick Anderson from Rush River. I quite enjoyed hearing the story of Rush River – and the challenges they’re having keeping up with the demand for their beer (there’s a reason their Unforgiven and ÜberAlt are #1 & #2 on my all-time beers list). On the […]

Sour Cider Mach II & Cranberry-Cyser

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As part of the MN Homebrewers Club 2011 bulk cider buy, I picked up 10 gallons of un-pastuerized apple cider from Pine Tree Orchard (note – it’s not sold on their sales floor). I split it into two 5 gallon batches. 1. Another take on my well received sour cider. Same yeast (dredges of 2 […]

Where's Your Ghost Deer?

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In the daily churn it’s easy to miss truly remarkable projects. Remarkable in origin, in execution, and in presentation. Projects that market themselves. Projects that compel you. That haunt you. That remind you somewhere, deep inside you, there is an extraordinarily meaningful project – that must be birthed. And you’re the only one that can. […]

Fermenting: Broken Gnome – Belgian Dubbel Rye

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My neighbors have a fantastic garden gnome. Turns out, it hit a rough patch a while back and needed significant repair. Immediately I knew this story needed a commemorative beer. This Belgian Dubbel Rye is dedicated to that Broken Gnome 10# Belgian Pilsner Malt 2# Rye Malt 2# Belgian Biscuit Malt 1.0 oz Crystal hops […]

Fermenting: Sour Cider (Mach I)

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I’ve been itching to make a cider. Yet, since it’s off season, I don’t feel like going too crazy. So, I thought I’d make a nice simple recipe. If successful, this should be ready around Thanksgiving. If really successful, it’ll be gone by then. Sour Cider (Mach I) 4 gallons Indian Summer apple cider ~2 […]

Fermenting: Aloysius Amber Rye

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Turns out, I’m addicted to Hopville’s Beer Calculus in much the same way others are addicted to Angry Birds. And the game play (get a group of ingredients to match a beer style) I find just as engaging. The first of many recipes I’ve been working on is this Amber Rye in dedicated to my […]

This Beer Tastes Like Corn

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For the past week all the commercial beer I’ve tasted has this flat, grey, toffee-textured, corn-like taste. Doesn’t matter if I’m drinking at one of many brew pubs in Wisconsin or a sixer of something imported from the 49th state. In all cases, this taste is so strong the beer is undrinkable. Thankfully the first […]

In Praise of Hopville's Beer Calculus

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Tonight, I loaded my beer recipes into Hopville’s Beer Calculus (thanks to Mr. Hadden for the tip). Yes, they’re all off style. Some by a little, and some so off – they’re on (the Maibock passed BJCP guidelines for American Barleywine). In all honesty – this round of brewing wasn’t about hitting a style, it […]

Tasting is Success

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“If you are just starting out making funky beers, making a beer that is palatable will be considered a success.” – Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing. [ppt]

Fermenting: "GnomeMower" – Biére de Garde

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After a three batches of beers with 6+ month fermentation timelines ( “Marley was Dead“, “Out Like a Lion” , “Sour Suburbanite” ) I wanted something with a slightly, faster turnaround. And – less, um, experimental. So, I pulled together this Biére de Garde Golden Strong Ale. Simple and straight-forward ingredient list. “GnomeMower” Bier de […]

Fermenting: "Sour Suburbanite" – A Bitter Lambic

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“Sour Suburbanite” Lambic recipe 6# Northern Brewer Organic Light Malt Extract 1# Maris Otter 2# Special B 1# Belgian Light Candi Sugar @ 15 2oz. Galena @ 60min 2oz. Galena @ 30min 2oz. Norther Brewer @ 5min WYeast’s Lambic Blend Original Gravity: 1050 Update 22 May 20100 Bottled today. Final Gravity 1004. Pre-carbonation tasting notes: […]

Fermenting: "Marley was Dead" Barleywine

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“Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead […]