Brewed for an indian summer’s afternoon, Bonkers is an easy drinking pale ale with a handful of Northwest hops added late in the boil that gives plenty of hop character without the bitterness. Smooth and drinkable, it’s a pale ale that can be enjoyed by everyone. The label features our 3 month old kitten Bonkers who joined our family while the beer was fermenting and is thusly immortalized as a homebrew mascot.
My 4th homebrew turned out to be pretty decent. Outdoor Amber is a pretty sweet but still complex ale that has a distinct but subtle hop character to balance it (if I do say so myself). I gave away several bottles of it and nearly everyone said they loved it which is an improvement over previous homebrew attempts. The yeast didn’t fully convert all the sugar to alcohol so the residual sugar gives a rich caramel flavor. Being my first beer with new equipment in a new location, I can’t complain, and I’m really excited for the next one.
We’re in the heart of SF Beer Week 2013 which runs from February 8 – 17, so if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the bay area and thirsty for a beer, head to one (or two) of the plethora of outstanding craft beer events dotting Northern California from Monterrey to Santa Rosa including, of course, San Francisco and the East Bay. Head over to the official website to check out their super easy-to-use Google Maps overlay with info about every event and links to buying admission online. We’re especially excited to see Hangar 24 hosting two events in honor of their recent expansion into Northern California. With everything from 4-course fine dining with beer pairing to live music and food trucks, SF Beer Week is the best way to experience the craft beer revolution of today.
Here’s a much more definitive top-10 list of the best books about beer and brewing.
A quintessential book that should be in the library of any homebrewer from novice to expert. How to Brew is as easy to read as it is informative and will no doubt leave you with everything you need to know to brew any style of beer in any way.
May your 2013 be filled to the brim with golden, delicious, refreshing proof that God wants us to be
Here’s my personal top 10 craft beers of 2012:
- Hangar 24 Helles Lager – now in cans!
- Stone 16th Anniversary IPA
- Fort George Sunrise OPA
- Firestone Walker Wookey Jack
- Lagunitas Brown Shugga’
- Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
- Anchor Steam Holiday Porter
- Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar
- Hangar 24 Double IPA
- Maui Brewing Coconut Porter
There are few places in the United States that offer a concentration of as many quality craft beer choices as New England. So if you’re planning a beer vacation or live in the area and want to explore your corner of the craft beer revolution, pick up Beer Lover’s New England, a guide to every brewery, brewpub, and craft beer bar in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island. Written by “The Beer Nut”, a Daily News columnist who has been writing about craft beer for 6 years, the book profiles every location in detail including his top picks at each place as well as food pairings, homebrew recipes, and more. Beer Lover’s New England is the complete guide to everything craft beer in the upper Northeast.
Unite craft beer drinkers! For Thursday August 2 is the second annual IPA Day. Not that any of us need an excuse to drink an India Pale Ale, but this young national holiday is gaining popularity and is a great time to look for special events at your local brewery or bottle shop. To see what’s going on near you, head over to the Craft Beer Calendar. You can also add an event that you’re hosting to their site for extra exposure. Here’s the official word from the IPADay website:
IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is [an] opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer. It is an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness.
Getting involved is easy; the only requirements are an appreciation for great beer and the will to spread the word. Anyone can participate by enjoying IPA with friends, making some noise online with the #IPADay hashtag, and showing the world that craft beer is more than a trend.
With the Olympic games grabbing attention around the world, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of our shared interest in sports by marketing products related to the iconic event. Craft beer would be no exception, but the Olympic committee has recently cracked down against the use of its logo by non-approved companies leaving all Olympic beer advertising to the mega-breweries. Fortunately, several companies are opposing the sanction with a sort of anti-Olympic marketing campaign. A perfect example is expressed by Scotland-based brewery BrewDog, which has created a craft brew that Olympic athletes are not allowed to drink. Never Mind the Anabolics IPA is a craft brew that is full of supplements that would disqualify someone from participating in the Olympics: creatine, guarana, lycii berries, kola nut, Gingko, matcha tea and maca powder can be found in the ale and supposedly the first batch was even brewed with steroids but is not available for sale. The off the wall brew fits with the unusual nature of the company which is self-described as “a post-Punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery”. For more information, follow the link to their website.
There’s a new type of craft beer retailer popping up on the heels of the craft beer industry’s rapid growth: the growler store. And some early adopters are seeing promising success. The Beer Growler, based in Atlanta, offers 32 and 64 ounce growlers for sale at $4.99 which can be filled, and refilled, with any of the 40 craft beers, ciders, and root beers on tap. Prices for a 64-oz fill up range from about $10 – $17+. Also, if you happen to already own a growler, say from your local brewery, they’ll fill that too. The Beer Growler currently has one store in operation and there are five more opening soon throughout the Atlanta, GA area. If you’re interested in buying a franchise, the company is looking to expand to the south and west of Atlanta.