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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Winter Warmer Recap & bonus review!

It is the end of winter warmer month here on Jolly Good Fellows. Something new we wanted to do was recap the winter warmers we reviewed, discussed, and drank over the last 31 days.

The last bottle, read the review below.
Beer we reviewed on the blog

Winter warmers we discussed on the JGF beercast
Full Sail Wassail (Recommended)

Winter Warmers we didn’t write or talk about but enjoyed on Untappd
Magic Hat Howl – 3 stars
Schlafly Winter ESB – 3 stars

Top of the charts

Pleasant surprises

Mild disappointments

One final bonus winter warmer review, while I’m writing this I am drinking my last bottle of New Glarus Snowshoe Ale. I don’t believe New Glarus brewed any of this during the last year and I am not sure when or if they will again. (Somebody correct me if I am mistaken.) The Snowshoe Ale is a well crafted quality beer.

This particular bottle was originally purchased back in May 2011. It poured a clear coppery, amber color, with a small head. On the drink it has a very malty presence with minimal carbonation. The malt stays with you into the aftertaste but clears pretty quickly.

While labeled as an Irish amber ale it shares a lot of similarities to the winter warmers that have been covered over the last month. The alcohol comes in at 5.7% ABV, not as heavy as you would expect but that is in no way a detriment. While it has some hop to it, if you come to this beer expecting a more hopped American red ale you may leave disappointed.

Here is the "party line" on this beer. 

Settle in with Wisconsin’s Snowshoe Ale. This beer is brewed with a blend of American and German malts. A complicated decoction mash process ensures a rich malty flavor. We also infuse generous amounts of Yakima Golding and Bavarian Hallertau Hops to add a special note of warmth for your winter evening’s enjoyment.

Expect this beer to be a beautiful copper-red, with a fruity ale body and a spiced hop finish. Then sit back and rejoice in the season because it’s these Wisconsin winters that keep the whiners out. 

So there you go, we end winter warmer month with a bit of regret, but remember beer is meant to be drank and enjoyed and on that front I am pretty satisfied.

Let us know what winter warmers were your standouts, surprises, and mild disappointments down in the comments!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The end of January beer links!

In the news!

I think we will actually review this come Macro month. I do find their method for battling craft brewing rather humorous. “Well, let’s just put more alcohol in the beer, that’ll get those kids to buy it.”

What is missing from the headline was he used a municipal vehicle, was a municipal employee, was wearing his official jacket, and he did it more than once…oh, and he has priors. With that summary you don’t even need to read the article. Yay beer crime!

I can't believe somebody
didn't think of this sooner. (Original here)

Open beer with your phone (London Evening Standard)
Yes please.  If you want to know more go here

DC everyday travel plan: Be impatient, have an aneurysm

I would love to send my brother Cody on a boondoggle to pick up some of this but know my luck he would get the last bottle and drink it when he got back and then tell me about how awesome it was.

No bottles, no problem, I’ll need to ask Becki, my resident New Orleans friend how this goes. Abita is a good Louisiana move so this is a smart play by them.

We missed this one but we are starting to put together our festival schedule, look for it next week. Or if you want to make your own, go check out, they know a thing or two about festivals.

Sud Savant has a great write up of this over on his site. I must admit I didn’t put too much effort into the search for it. I’ll be better prepared next year.

I've lambasted Mississippi before and I will again until they get with the times. For a state that could use the revenue they sure don’t recognize opportunity very well. The key take away is that the lawmaker who is in favor of repealing the law can't even get the bill to committee and he has tried 5 times before!

A new truck and a lot of money $70,782.56 Canadian, for those keeping score at home that is 70,528.66 US…holy shit I did not realize how strong the Canadian dollar was.

Brewing up big dreams (Times Colonist)
I like strong traditional styles, the recognition of history is important to me. This pilsner is going to be a must try the next time I head northwest.

Here is one for the Android users. Somebody download this and review it! I’m trying to wrap my head around 52,000 beers and I am having some difficulty. If you drank a different beer a night that would take you over 142 years, so get your act together Science, I need anti-aging so I can drink more beer.

I suppose I should expect nothing less from Texas and I think this is cool. Here's to hoping they are not only big but also smooth. Check them out at Texas Big Beer Brewery.

In site news

Expect the long awaited beer can article up tomorrow, just a week after National Beer Can Appreciation day.  Tomorrow we recap winter warmer month and on Wednesday we dive headfirst into one of my favorite styles of beer, the ebony world of stouts. I can’t wait.
Also be sure to look for episode four of the JGF beercast this week. 

As always, you can find us on a variety of forums; facebook, untappd, twitter, and google+; the widget in the top right corner of the page will take you where you want to go. We really appreciate it when you take the time to leave comments and suggestions. 
You can also subscribe to the Jolly Good Fellows beercast on iTunes

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our deepest apologies for no post yesterday....

We were overcome by events, but Dan and I did get episode 4 of the JGF Beercast recorded. Welcome to Your Weekend will be up later this afternoon and you all get to look forward to riveting writing about beer cans in the early part of next week.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cheese Paired with Winter Warmers

Written By Guest Blogger from Beer Meets Cheese, Sarah James.

Hi Ho! Sarah the blogger here, with a beer and cheese pairing news flash! Since Skye has been writing about Winter Warmer Ales all month, he thought it would be a great idea if I stepped in and suggested a cheese that pairs with Winter Warmer beer. Since I love a challenge, and this is sort of what "I do" for my blog, I was happy to take this match up on in full force.

When I think Winter Warmers, I think back to when brewer’s finished a good harvest season and decided to brew some ales with higher alcohol content in order to warm the belly during the cold winter months. While many of the Winter Warmer beers have spices added, I find that the true ones stick to darker roasted malts and little hops.

In order to pair a good cheese with this style beer, I kept in mind the cellar where many of the root vegetables and bottles of beer sit during the cold months of winter. What else sits in these cellars? Some good cheese, of course!

Sticking to this logic, I picked out a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese called Zamorano. The sheep from this region, called Churras, are used to colder and more humid climates. The cheese itself is aged in cellars in these climates – most likely sitting right alongside homemade beer, canned preserves, and root vegetables.

This hunch proved successful, for the pairing was delightful and highly recommended by Beer Meets Cheese.

So let’s discuss the details before we get too ahead of ourselves!

Beer Selection:

Pyramid Snow Cap Winter Warmer Ale

Purchased at $2.49 for a 22 ounce bottle.

Beer Highlights:

Dark mahogany color, poured a good head, but it quickly disappeared. Good lacing. Full mouth taste – bit of tangy hops, but overall a malty, caramel flavor, with hints of citrus. Good carbonation.

{ can you tell I’m a bit simple when it comes to reviews }

Cheese Highlights:

Zamorano Mitica

Purchased for $4.50 for a quarter pound (it was $18.99/pound)

Unpasteurized Sheep’s milk cheese, and made with animal rennet. Smells like a good parmesan cheese, different than a Manchego, it is a bit dryer in texture and harder. Mild flavor with grassy and nutty notes.


The nutty flavors of both the beer and cheese are enhanced with this pairing. The beer cuts through the saltiness of the cheese, leaving a lovely after taste and feel in the mouth. I wouldn’t quite place it as a “love at first bite,” but this combination will do well on a cheese plate during a winter get together. I mean, what’s better than having some friends over, drinking some Winter Warmer beers, and eating some great cheese to pair with it? I would add some dried fruit to enhance the mild citrus flavors often found in a Winter Warmer Ale, but don’t take my word for it!

{ prost! }

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter warmer doubleheader!

We are closing out winter warmer month, next week we dive into February and the inky darkness that is the wonderful world of stouts. So on that note, unless Brian has something up his sleeve, let’s finish out strong with two solid winter warmers.

The first is Great Divide Brewing Company’s Hibernation Ale. This is beer is the definition of an English style winter warmer. 

When you think winter warmer you are
thinking of this beer.
I poured this into one of my new session beer glasses, a nice bronze color, it was clear, set up with little head and but a nice malty smell wafted up from the glass. On the drink it has a good malty mouthful that slightly masks the alcohol and body wise it is lighter than you expect. That is not to say it isn't burly, it has a good deal of weight but it is not knockout heavy. There is some carbonation but it gives way to a smooth swallow and a fairly malty aftertaste that does linger for awhile. You do feel a nice pleasant warmth when it hits the stomach.  

This was a beer that we had drunk and discussed on the podcast (episode 2) several weeks before. Both Dan and I agreed that it was a quality session beer. It will do very well either in the tavern /pub when it is cold outside or if you just want to kick back after a long, cold day. I really like this beer and it is partly because it is what you would expect a classic English winter warmer to be if you just read the description. This is the beer that you are imagining. I miscalculated and drank my last bottle for this review. I would have liked to cellar one to see how it ages because I suspect that it should hold up very well and age gracefully. Next year I will be doing just that. I am looking forward to the 2012 edition of this and will be grabbing several sixers of it. 

Here is the “propaganda line” on the Hibernation Ale

We cellar Hibernation until late October, when it reaches the peak of perfection, This lengthy aging process gives Hibernation its revered malty richness, complex hop profile and hearty warming character, which is perfect right out of the bottle or cellared for longer period of time. Hibernation is a lively treat that really beats the winter chill. This scrumptious, collectible, and imminently cellarable ale is only available for six weeks each year, from November 1 to December 15. Hibernation Ale is the perfect gift or accompaniment to your winter festivities.

It is in the Extra Special Bitter style and
they weren't kidding about the bitter part.
The second beer is Heavy Seas Winter Storm Category Five Ale by Clipper City Brewing Company

This is a bitter beer, and while bitters are normally not very "bitter", this one actually does have some genuine bitterness to it. That is not necessary a bad thing, just something to be cognizant about when you go to drink it.

It poured a very clear deep amber, copperish color with a small head. It has a nice malt smell to it also. On the drink there is a light carbonation element, and it goes down smoothly but a slightly sweet bitterness reemerges quite strongly in the aftertaste. While it comes in at 7.5% ABV, very little alcohol taste is noticeable. Rest assured though, it is definitely there. 

The main thing I will remember from this beer though is the ever present bitterness. It was noticeable on the first drink and it floats around for long time in the aftertaste. You will continue to be reminded of this beer if you don't cleanse the palette afterward. I feel that some people may be turned off by this but I would encourage you to work through it. It is a very drinkable and sessionable winter warmer beer. I will be purchasing it again. 

Here is the "party line" on the Heavy Seas Winter Storm.

Our winter ale brewed with copious helpings of English malts and both U.S. and English hops making it a ruddy hued Imperial ESB in style. Full malty flavors dancing with powerful hop aromas and a lingering yet firm hop bitterness. Pairs well with very sharp cheddar, stews, and grilled ribs. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

“Racing” and Tasting: The Crystal City 1K Beer Walk

Before we launch into our recap of the "race", let’s very quickly talk about beer, particularly beer in a can. It is beer can appreciation day. In 1935 this became a reality. Truth is though we need to spend a little more time on the topic than I am allotting here so I am postponing a more detailed discussion of the beer can and its impact till Thursday.

Best race number I have ever had. 
Instead we are going to recap the Crystal City 1K Beer Walk that I, my friend Brett, and his wife Amy participated in this last Sunday. The Crystal City 1K Beer Walk is the sister event to the Crystal City Wine Walk, both of which are hosted by the Washington Wine Academy. The concept is pretty simple, walk from station to station trying different beers. To add to the “race” atmosphere and to control traffic flow there were heats throughout the day. Ours was the second heat starting at 2:30 PM. Check in went very smoothly and we quickly had our race numbers, tasting glasses, and our 20 drink tickets.

The course snaked through the Crystal City Underground, a collection of shops and eateries that exist beneath the “tall” buildings of Crystal City*, starting at the 2200 block street entrance and finishing in the old food court by the 17th street entrance. We were able to enjoy an array of beer, everything from Ommegang and Spaten to Old Milwaukee and Shiner.  

For friends of the grape, interspersed in with the beer were various wines. It was a nice touch, but my attention was wholly focused on the grain. In addition there were also complimentary snacks along the route to include barbeque sandwiches and slaw, pita bread and hummus, and cheeses.

We hit all the tasting stations except for the first where the line was out the door. The set up for each station was rather novel. They used the unoccupied retail space along the route which also brought along with it the advantage of security. Each stop had a person in a security shirt monitoring it to ensure no underage drinking or race bandits. It made sense though I am sure most of them would have rather been imbibing than watching. Everyone affiliated with the event that I encountered was courteous and helpful.

On the beer side there were several standout breweries on display, the first was Port City Brewing, the local on display. (Being the second stop ensured that they received a good deal of traffic, they also benefited from the overwhelmed New Belgium station next door which only had one pourer) They brought their full range of year round beer for folks to taste, a good idea as they continue to grow awareness in the DC metro and Northern Virginia region. Bill Butcher, their founder and head brewer, was there and happily answered questions and spoke about his beer. (As I have stated before, I am biased for them, Port City is my local and I do want to see those folks succeed.) The fine folks from Flying Dog also had a standout selection showcasing their year round selections but unfortunately they didn’t bring their winter seasonal K-9 Kruiser, a favorite of mine.

As I think of it, only a few breweries did have a winter seasonal, Harpoon with their Winter Warmer, Leinenkugel’s with their Fireside Nut Brown, Blue Moon with their Winter Abbey, and the most notorious beer of the event, the brilliant black chocolate stout by Brooklyn Brewery. Brooklyn also brought an IPA, a classic lager, and their excellent brown.

Other highlights were the previously mentioned Ommegang Brewery pouring both their BPA (Belgian Pale Ale) and Witte Ale, and as a bonus, Duvel. I must admit I did do a tasting of Old Milwaukee, after all, it was my grandfather’s favorite beer.

While the Sam Adams beer selection was weak,
Brett (R) and I (L) did have fun hanging
with him (M). Photo by Amy Evenstad.
I can’t comment on how the event went on Saturday, but I can say that certain stands suffered on our day, in particular the New Belgium and the Samuel Adams stations being the most obvious. The New Belgium station, as previously mentioned, simply for the wait to be served; it was a bit of bad planning on the event’s part. Samuel Adams for a different reason, they were originally supposed to be serving Black Lager, Mighty Oak, Alpine Spring, Whitewater IPA, but were down and out of most selections, substituting their Latitude 48, and Coastal Wheat. The Latitude 48 isn’t too shabby as far as a substitute goes, on the other hand I don’t think I will ever care for the Coastal Wheat, it is the poor man’s version of their Summer Ale which frankly is a pretty solid summertime beer. I find the Coastal Wheat to be lacking in taste and body. They weren't alone though, other breweries had also run out of various beers, Sam Adams was just the most noticeable. 

As we crossed the finish line we were treated to music and more beer selections and from my view everyone looked to be having a festive time. This was the first edition of the beer walk, and it was pretty solid. They had a good selection of beer, and while I would have liked to have seen more locals, such as Lost Rhino, Blue and Gray, or Alewerks out of Williamsburg, the selection provided was very decent. For $20 I felt I got my value both with beer diversity and snacks. I would recommend one server per beer to help move the lines along, particularly at the first station where it is almost a given that everyone will stop at. Overall though, for the first year the Washington Wine Academy did a fine job as host, it was a cool event, and I look forward to next year.

Hope to see you there!

(*Before you think that Crystal City is some fairy tale, Wizard of Oz type place let me break it to you gently and tell that it is not. The first building developed here was The Crystal House and it had a big chandelier in its entrance, the rest of the buildings followed suit with that naming convention, hence Crystal City.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Beer links for the week of January 23rd.

In the news!

Politics aside, at least with Clinton, Bush, and Obama, (the Presidents since I could legally drink) I think I could sit down and slug back a beer with them and hold a decent bar conversation. Romney, on the other hand, probably doesn't even know what a tavern is. 
(I know he is Mormon)

Rate Beer says this is
the best cider in the world
(Original here)
I like cider and we will be having a dedicated cider month (actual month yet to be determined) but better than beer...not sold yet. 

Politics I can get behind, New York is going to establish itself as a craft beer powerhouse...unless the knock out one of their best breweries because of hydrofracking 

Not just in America, but our cousins in the UK are seeing the benefits of craft brewing. For a country with a rich brewing tradition like Great Britain this is sort of a return to the pre-industrial revolution days. 

While I appreciate that beer must be sold, if you look closer you find out that it isn't so much about the fans, but about who is sponsoring the event.  

Beer: A new aroma in Hershey (Lebanon Daily News)
Beer and chocolate. Two great tastes, now in one location. Road trip to Troegs' new digs!

The sad part was this was not a problem until last year…and it was a tax issue. 

The title is a reference to this old song (Video)
Don't worry though, they'll save money and you'll pay the same price. 

I love this because of the weird schizophrenia Russia has with alcohol, they are trying to curb rampant alcoholism, and there has been some blame on brewers, but here is Putin slugging back some liters to show he is a good ‘ol boy. Politics, practicality, and double standards. 

Here is a pro tip. If you say that it probably isn't going to go well. If you insist on saying that, don't be driving drunk, have an open container, and a bag a weed in the car with you.

Yes please. Hamilton! Are you out there? You need to pick some of this up and hold it for me. 

I would buy this if I could. No joke, just once to check it off the list. 

Oh Florida, where would we be without your special kind of stupid. 

I figured as story about the Romanian beer market
needed a picture of their beer. Photo by Steven Hales.
(Original here)
The scramble continues, SAB Miller will continue to find new markets to make up for the shortfalls at home. (And cut your alcohol content too!)

United States of beer (Chicago Tribune)
I think the Great American Ale Trail: The Craft Beer Lover's Guide to the Best Watering Holes in the Nation is going to become required reading for the blog staff. 

Site News!
This week we recap the Crystal City 1k Beer Walk from this last weekend, review a couple of big winter warmers, and look at what happens when you mix beer & beer (Hint: awesomeness.)

As always we appreciate you coming by to visit. You can also find us on facebook, twitter, and Google+. The icons in the top right corner will take you where you want to go.

See what we are drinking on Untappd

You can also listen and subscribe to the Jolly Good Fellows Beercast on iTunes. We are up to 3 whole episodes now! Remember to subscribe and it will automatically update your device when a new podcast is uploaded. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Episode 3 of the Jolly Good Fellows Podcast

Here's a special treat, we are bringing you episode 3 of the Jolly Good Fellows Beercast. We know its early, but we love you. Remember to subscribe on iTunes and it will automatically update on your devices. Continue spreading the word and if you like what you are listening to then please rate us and leave some comments.

You can listen to the podcast from this link:

Or find us on iTunes here.
Remember you can subscribe on iTunes and it will automatically update when a new podcast is uploaded.

Part 2 of the Broadcast Brewery interview

Yesterday we posted part 1 of our interview with Mike Causey, owner and head brewer of Broadcast Brewing Company, a new brewery that will be setting up shop in east Nashville. If you didn't read part 1 you can find it here. Now let's dive into part 2!

How do feel that Broadcast Brewery can differentiate itself from other breweries in the region?
Well you know, I look at it in the sense of restaurants, I use that as an analogy. You have a lot of great restaurants in town that have their special little niches. I think the palettes are a little bit different for the breweries in the area, you have Blackstone’s St. Charles Porter which wins awards year in and year out, they just built that fabulous new brewery in town as well so they got a great beer and following there, and Yazoo of course has been more of the frontrunner of the craft beer movement here in town and has opened a lot more doors and has gotten a lot more people attuned to the idea of craft beer which we are definitely thankful of. In addition to that how many different flavors are out there, Yazoo can only produce so much beer, so that is why I think there is a tremendous amount of room in this region. The beer drinkers in town are evolving their tastes, and the market is getting bigger. You see a lot more bars opening up with, instead of two or three taps, they have ten taps. When your pubs are opening up with numerous taps with only micro brewed beers and no macros you know the demand is getting a lot larger for the true craft artisan type beer.
Broadcast Brewery poured two ales in 2011 at the 
Nashville Beer Fest. (Photo courtesy of Broadcast Brewery)

Let’s talk about your beer for a minute, I know that you have introduced two at local Nashville festivals, the Marconi ale and the Tesla ale. Tell us a bit about them?
The honey pale [ed. Marconi ale]  is going to be our main beer that you’ll see. We will have two lines that we will serve year round. The other will be a porter that will also run year round. After that we are going to rotate taps at the tap room, being a small brewery we will have that flexibility.

What is on the tap for the future styles?
We will have a lot more high gravity beers and beers that will have different adjuncts and ingredients that give it a special touch. We are inspired by the southern food movement going on right now, using southern ingredients and elevate that to see if we can make something work with the beer and make it exciting. I say that with a little reservation in the sense that I don’t want to make a wacky beer with a southern ingredients. I’m not a big fan when someone goes out and says, ‘we’re going to put this in it and make it work.’ I want to bring the southern elements in to the process. A brewery I think that does it well is Full Steam Brewery up in Durham, NC. I like what they are doing there and want to follow a similar vibe as them.

What do you see as your projected output?
Initially 2000 barrels in the first year.

Will you be distributing throughout the region? How large of a region are you looking at?
Yes, absolutely. We would like to expand in Alabama and Kentucky, but of course that is dependent on market demand. I don’t see us going in there initially the first year, but targeted growth, two, three, four years in, definitely pushing out into those regions.

What can folks expect from Broadcast Brewery in 2012? 
People can expect some exciting beer, we will have our main line honey ale that we were talking about, made with local honey and it will be a good session beer, something that has a craft beer flavor and taste but you are not going to feel like going to sleep or explode after three of them, a beer that you can have a few of them, really enjoy the flavor and ingredients, but not like some pale ales where you have two of them and your saying to yourself, ‘I’m done.’ That will be our main one. With the rest of the beers I think you will find us working with exciting new flavors and making good beer.

When do you plan to have your grand opening?
It’s a bit dangerous on that, so many breweries have fallen on meeting their opening day so I am kind of shooting long on that and saying fall of 2012. Maybe sooner, people will know as soon as we tell people, but until I have the beer made, in kegs, ready to pour, that type of thing we are not going to be opening up. We will open up when the beer is ready. 

Want to know more about Broadcast Brewery?
Follow them on facebook or twitter or sign up on their website

We here at Jolly Good Fellows want to thank Mike for taking the time to talk to us. Got questions for him, or suggestions for who we should interview in the future, then let us know in the comments. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We interview Mike Causey of Broadcast Brewery (Part 1)

On Monday, January 16, 2012, I interviewed Mike Causey, head brewer and owner of Broadcast Brewery, a new brewery that will be emerging on the Nashville craft beer scene this year. Due to the length of the interview we are posting part 1 today and part 2 tomorrow morning. This part looks at how Mike got started brewing and the launching of Broadcast Brewery. 

How did you get started in brewing beer?
Pretty common story I imagine, my wife about ten years ago, looking for a gift to give for my birthday. She ended up giving me a beer making kit. I was a big fan of beer but never really thought about trying to make it, I was just enjoying the different craft beers at the time and a lot of imports as well. So I started there and it became a passion and to see the least pretty much has taken over my life.

Do you remember the first beer you home brewed?
I think it was a wheat, it was straight out of a kit, doing extract and all that kind of stuff, it was a hefeweizen, now that I think about it. I lived in Germany for awhile and was a big fan of those. It surprised me how well it tasted, just like bread, the fresher it is the better it tastes. It’s like home-cooking; it’s going to be great.

It’s very satisfying too.
Yes, and that kind of led me into wanting to open up a brewery. I come from media production, doing a lot of digital work as far videos, documentaries, websites, that kind of thing, which is satisfying but it wasn’t as tangible as brewing beer. That is what I really enjoyed about making beer was the tangible, hands on, you’re milling the grains, it’s physical. I found that a lot more satisfying and of course it results into a great beer.

Is there any particular style a favorite of yours now?
Now, I enjoy the full range of sours, I have really been getting into that. I don’t think we will brew those just yet; initial startup makes it very difficult to do a sour because of the time involved.

Making the jump to a fully realized craft brewery is a big deal, why now?
We have been in the process for about three years, so it is not an easy jump. One you want to make sure you are financed properly, so you can maintain the growth, because it is a huge capital investment up front, with returns coming in over time. That took a while, just like finding the right location took us a while within the city that had the right mix and feel with what we are doing. We looked at many warehouses, we came close on a few locations but it didn’t work out for a myriad of reasons, and we finally found this one. [ed. 906 Main Street, Nashville] I would have liked to been open sooner, but you need to find the right place at the right time, and that is what we were trying to do. We didn’t want to rush it or sacrifice some things; we wanted the best situation to make the best beer that we could make.

What made you decide on the Nashville region?
I have been here twenty years, I am originally from Alabama, but I moved up here about twenty years ago, so in Nashville terms you are a local at that point. This is my home now, been here longer than I have been anywhere else and there is a tremendous growth opportunity here. There are three or four breweries operating right now, so much room for growth and creativity, just so much room in the market unlike other areas like Colorado or Portland where they are pretty saturated.

What has been the most challenging part of launching Broadcast Brewery?
The most challenging was finding the location. That was really one of my most challenging things, to find a place that fit right. We wanted to make sure that we had the right people involved at that location so we can make something happen. There were some that were great for one aspect, or had a lot of walkup traffic, which we are somewhat interested in, but not as important because we are primarily going to be a packaging brewery or different things like that. That was really the hardest part of it, getting people on board and excited about the idea has not been a problem. It has been more of getting the right location, and then you have to look at the zoning here in Nashville, there are legal issues and laws in the zoning that makes it a little challenging in this area.

Look for part 2 tomorrow morning, where Mike talks about their plans for 2012 and most importantly the beer they will be brewing!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Moose is Loose!

I have never really considered myself a “dark beer guy,” but with the coming of Winter and the onslaught of my wife’s awesome Swedish Christmas foods, it felt right to move my tastes to the right on the “beer-o-meter” and go more noir.  Rather than just pick a single beer, I decided to go for a threesome of “winter warmers” and then took the middle beer in the group to write up.  Sierra Nevada “Celebration” and Brooklyn Brewery’s “Black Chocolate Stout” bracketed Saranac Big Moose Ale.

Before we get to the beer, though, a couple of thoughts on Saranac.  Brewed by the Matt Brewery in Utica, New York, which has been in business since 1885, Saranac is what I think of as a mid-major of brewers. 

Now, in the pantheon of brewers, you have the majors on one end (Miller, Coors, InBev) and then you have the small craft brewers and large home brew operations on the other end.  As the market for craft and microbrews has grown, the market is diversifying across that spectrum of styles and variety. 

Large brewers have the volume and distribution, but don’t seem to have a lot of diversity within their product because their market share and branding is based in large part on price and a well-established product.  Small brewers may have one or two strong products brewed on a profitable, but not large scale and then a variety of styles that are added to the mix on a seasonal or other periodical basis. 

Within that middle ground you get brewers who have the volume and the consistency of product, but who also invite some experimentation Hence, the label of the mid-major, which is where we find Saranac.  Saranac has moved from the ranks of the micro and craft brewers to brewing on a larger scale while maintaining quality and diversity over a number of years. 

Saranac Big Moose Ale is a smooth very drinkable ale that tends towards the lighter side in terms of its body and taste.  It poured with a nice head, about 3/8” to ½” of fragrant foam with a dark amber color and low turbidity.  It starts out a little bit hoppy and then holds that flavor.  This is the kind of beer that you can drink throughout a holiday party as it matches with a number of different foods. It nicely complimented standard Christmas fair (ham, meatballs, ribs), but wasn’t really up for the stronger tasting fish dishes (pickled herring, gravad lax, and Jansson’s Temptation). The taste stays consistent through the entire glass.  I was a bit disappointed in the lightness of the body, expecting something more robust based on the color and aroma. It definitely worth a return visit, expectations appropriately set and thirsty in tow.

“Saranac Big Moose Ale is an American Pale Ale with a kick.  The medium-bodied malt sweetness is balanced by a nice crisp bitterness from hand selected centennial and cascade hops.  Look for a vibrant citrusy hop aroma that will leave you craving another swig!”


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The day after MLK Jr. Day beer links!

Congratulations Yuengling, it only took over 180 years!
(Original here)
Beer links for the day after the MLK Day Jr. holiday
Sorry folks that I didn’t get these up yesterday, but let’s kick off the week with another edition of beer links.

In the News!

Yay for Yuengling! This is one of Brian’s favorite beers, for me it is always the right choice if it comes down to this or a macro.

It’s biased of course, all lists are but I think many of these would be worth going to and tipping a pint. See where yours stack up.

This one is for Sarah of Beer Meets Cheese. Seriously though there are times I really miss living in Madison.

It’s the macros that are continuing to loss ground, craft brews are ascendant but not picking up the slack fast enough.

It’s your weekly dose of beer crime. This time though it’s the keg itself that is valuable. For those of you keeping track at home that is $153,350.70 worth of beer kegs.

Beer Bills: What’s ahead? (Clarion Ledger)
Oh Mississippi, you need to get with the times. You would think a state that poor would be open to the possibilities of increased income by developing a welcome attitude to craft beer and breweries.

The line that made me laugh was “an alcohol friendly culture.” Seriously?! That is 90% of most colleges in this country. 

Welcome to the Cambodian beer scene people, because that’s what we are about on this blog, world wide beer!

I’m plugging this because I interviewed Mike Causey, owner and brewer for Broadcast Brewery, one of the two that will be making that factory their home. Look for it on Thursday and Friday.
I won't miss the opportunity to
share early Sumerian beer drinking
(Originally found here)
Was it beer, no, not how we would define it, but it certainly was a major foundation of what we drink today 5000 years later. I don't think this in any way undermines the impact of Sumerian beer culture on the world. 

Do you know how much beer is in your pint? Bet you don’t (Vancouver Sun)
 Pint is one of those words in beer drinking culture that we toss around probably too casually. I know I’m guilty of it. Will the truth come out? We’ll just have to wait and see. It is good to see Canadians getting fired up about their beer.

Site news

A bit of a late start this week, but we will make it up to you with Brian’s first review of a Saranac winter warmer. It’ll be on the site tomorrow. On Thursday and Friday check out our conversation with Mike Causey, owner and brewer for Broadcast Brewery, a new brewing venture getting established in Nashville. We skipped Welcome to Your Weekend this last weekend but it will be back this Saturday. 

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