Craft Malt Is About To Change Craft Beer. Are You Ready?

“Malt is the soul of beer.”

Those are the words of Bay Area brewing legend Ron Silberstein, founder of ThirstyBear Brewpub in San Francisco and Admiral Maltings across the Bay in Alameda. Over two decades after it was founded, ThirstyBear remains innovative in a competitive market, while Admiral Maltings is making waves in an entrenched industry.

“Some of the bigger malting companies can make a thousand tons in a batch,” said Silberstein. “We can’t do that in a year.” And yet, he adds, “Malt freshly out of the kiln has aroma and flavor that can’t be duplicated by malt that’s generally at least a year old by the time you get it.”

In the country’s nascent quest for new expressions within beer, Silberstein provides a compelling path toward new scents, flavors, and ways of doing business.

Kenny Gould: How’d you get into beer?

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Where There’s Smoke, There’s Beer: Bamberg and Its Breweries

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

It was my last day in Bamberg, and the sun had finally dispersed all the clouds, gloriously illuminating the fall foliage. I had just spent the late morning hours at Greifenklau and still had a few hours before my train. The gravitational pull of Aecht Schlenkerla was too hard to resist. Not that I tried very hard: after all, rumour had it that Aecht Schlenkerla was going to tap its seasonal Urbock that day.

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Deschutes “Jubelale”: A Simple Ongoing Miracle

Deschutes “Jubelale” was first brewed in 1988. 2019 makes the 31st edition of this ale and every single year, without fail, I have tasted this stuff, gotten all gooshy, and bought a minimum of three cases, to get me by until July or so. No, I do NOT care that the hops recede after a while. No, I do not care if it was supposed to be consumed in a couple of weeks. No, I do not, as one reader suggested, back in 2011, think it’s “icky” when the hops fade. And, NO, let’s stipulate that it is not designed to be an age-worthy, lay-down beer. But it IS a seasonal beer and I have done everything short of bribery to try to get Deschutes to make it year-round.

No dice. “Seasonal, dude,” they have gently repeated, about, ooooh, twenty-two times, now.

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ABJD: On the 24th Music City Brew Off and Judge Decision Making

 As per my decision to change the nature of this column I am taking an angle that may interest ALL judges, brewers who enter competitions and stewards. Hence “Judge Decision Making.”
 It’s long, so I split it into 3 parts, one covering the process of judging, one the competition, and the last one offers a few conclusions. This way it’s easier to pick and choose what you want to read.
 You can find many of the winners mentioned and other information in Tara Mitchell’s video blogs. Just click on the part you want to watch: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5
If you are reading the Music City Brewer-Score a more comprehensive list is provide as well.

Part One: Judge decision making

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 I spent most of MCBO judging with Joseph Nance, known throughout the club as a quiet introvert who rarely speaks. He is like the shadow in the corner rarely seen or heard, a subtle demeanor, judging in utter silence…
 OK, I can’t continue typing. The laughter is making me miss keys on the keyboard. He’s fun to judge with, but when it comes to beer “introvert?” Not so much. Continue reading “ABJD: On the 24th Music City Brew Off and Judge Decision Making”

This Man Turned a Fire Engine Into a Rolling Taproom. Here’s How He Did It

Kevin Mullan is a non-profit-CEO-turned-marketing-executive who for years harbored a very specific dream: to retrofit a fire truck into a rolling tap house that would serve specialty brews to adventurous beer connoisseurs.

This year, he finally cranked the engine on the project, literally. For his own birthday, he debuted his 20,000-pound craft-beer-spewing side gig in a party with his family and friends.

Some guests were skeptical at first. But the party — and 10 taps worth of Ohio’s finest microbrews — extinguished their doubts. Maybe even some of his own. Since then, the fire truck has frequented corporate events, birthdays, kids parties, festivals and more around Mullan’s home of Toledo.

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Episode 74 – Can Denny Brew?

The Brew is Out There!

A few episodes back – Denny got to taste Drew’s beer and now the tables are turned! Drew tastes and discusses with Denny two of his beers – A Belgian Golden Strong and a Veterans’ Blend IPA. Are they any good? What could be changed and what the heck is that bottle Denny used to ship his beers?!?

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Founders Brewing: An Ugly Episode. A Paradigm Shift. And Hearing The Same Old Shit.

OKAY…The Pour Fool is changing a basic paradigm and doing it…right now.

I’ve stated before, on Facebook and Twitter, that a major brewery from the Midwest had become a part of the Seattle market and the more I tasted their beers, the more I was bummed that the lofty rep was built on beers that I found uniformly “Meh“. I did, of course, not name names, because I have NEVER used names in complaining about ANY brewery, in the almost 11 year history of The Pour Fool. I never even wrote anything mildly critical about any specific brewery, winery, or distillery. And I could have.

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A Lexicon of German Beer Culture

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Writing about the history and culture of beer in Central Europe invariably involves acts of translation — not only translation of the German-language sources that I read, but also translation in a broad sense. The Russian linguist Roman Jakobson identified three modes of translation, including intersemiotic translation. Unlike “translation proper,” intersemiotic translation allows us to translate cultural phenomena such as customs or even the organization of space from one cultural sign system or linguistic code into another. In plain terms, intersemiotic translation helps us translate affective terms like Gemütlichkeit, or terms that refer to spaces imbued with cultural significance, such as a Stube or a Wirtshaus.

Such words, though, cannot be exchanged as one-to-one tokens. We cannot simply render Gemütlichkeit as coziness, or Stube as parlour. Indeed, as the Weimar-era cultural theorist Walter Benjamin observes in his essay, “The Task of the Translator,” there remains something of all languages that cannot be conveyed or communicated. But Benjamin sounds a reassuring note regarding the transmission of experience from one language to the next. The task of the translator involves incorporating “the original’s mode of signification, thus making both the original and the translation recognizable as fragments of a greater language, just as fragments are part of the vessel” (Benjamin, 78). Like words themselves, cultural phenomena are akin to fragments of a vessel that the translator pieces together in the “spirit” of the original.

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