Brew Biz: Werts and All (Our VA Trip)


The Topic: A Brief Mention of 2 Worthy VA Breweries

 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Salt City, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers, who has been writing on beer-related topics and interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast, for over 15 years.

Written by Ken Carman

 This is going to basically be a quick commentary and contrast between two Waynesboro and Charlottesville

Taps at 7 Arrows
breweries. We had to go to a wedding and reviewing breweries wasn’t part of the agenda. But we can’t help ourselves.
 The first one we kind of stumbled into: 7 Arrows in Waynesboro area. When we got off for our exit Millie saw the sign and, after reporting in to the motel, I promised to go back.
 Out in the country, west of Waynesboro, we tried several brews, mostly via sample but also 3 pints between the two of us. The barleywine, to both of us, was way over hopped. We both understand guidelines have been adjusted to increase hopping on barleywines over the years, but we both agree if we wanted that many hops we’d do an IPA our a DIPA. The beer menu said it was Cascade hops, if I remember right, but most of what we got was bitter. In fact, considering the malt profile, maybe Imperial Black IPA might be more like what this was? OK, that doesn’t exist in the guidelines… yet. But it did seem more like a higher abv Black IPA than a barleywine. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All (Our VA Trip)”

Beer Profile: Mission’s Shipwrecked Barleywine

Profiled by Ken Carman

83 BA, 3.7 UnTappd

I must admit: I’m old school. To me this is too much like a double IPA. But it was submitted as a Barleywine, the cans even said that. Oh, I understand: the newer BJCP guidelines over the years have upped the hop level in barleywines, making me miss the maltier, sweet barleywines; like I’ll Have What the Gentleman on the Floor is Having. Making hops a bigger focus in barleywines to me is a mistake. Yes, you have to increase the hops for balance. But if I want “hoppy” I would go DPA. If you want to make a distinction let’s talk East Coast/West. DON’T %$#@ with my beloved barleywines!

Appearance: longstanding big pillow head with a few small bubbles. Great glass coat. A slightly dark yellow with relatively good clarity. Bitter approaches a little too much astringency.

Nose: hint of caramel malt, more pale and hops. A sweet orange-ish and zest-like sense behind that.

The mouthfeel is caramel and slight fresh hop-like sense under the very dominant bitter side to the hops. A tad more bitter than caramel. More caramel malty than most barleywines these days. Hop bitter lingers, fruity orange-ish tangerine mix fades fast, obviously hop driven. More early additions would have helped hop perceptions, less late. The bitter becomes annoyingly astringent after a while. I’d enjoy one glass but not go back for a second. And if I like barleywine I always go back for a second! Higher abv be damned.

Although I prefer the more sweet versions of old, and the astringency is annoying for me; especially in this style, I feel this is well crafted and enjoyable. I would have given it a 4.2 if it had been an Imperial/Double IPA, but even for the newer Guidelines over the years I feel it just a tad overboard. As far as Imperial I understand my comments are a matter of taste. But I stand by my Barleywine concerns. Even if hops should be the focus, this is DIPA focus.

NOTE: Only after I wrote this did I discover the beer sites list it as a DIPA. Not sure what happened here.

3.8

Readers: for now we are using only BA since InBev owns Rate Beer. We may get UnTappd but their site security is done with something that resembles a bad version of Candy Crush!

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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______________________________Beer HERE

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A Beer Judge’s Diary: Can Can II

Peter Kiley from Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta judging entries

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 Once again hosted by the marvelous Nathan Baker, this year’s Can Can was, and is, everything that it was last year, only better. This is a competition offering more professional judging than some I’ve been to: BJCP, Cicerones and pro-brewers judging beer brewed by other pro-brewers who can their beer. It’s a big job.
⁦Nathan opens up his house in the Franklin Westhaven community for us. Westhaven reminds me of cross between Seaside on the Florida panhandle and The Villages near Orlando. Unlike either Westhaven inner streets are a tad convoluted. Ms. GPS decided to put our Green Honda Element through its paces.
 Sure glad Ms.GPS is patient. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Can Can II”

Brew Biz: Werts and All

The Topic: The Pour Fool was Right (In InBev’s name I curse.)

 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Salt City, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers, who has been writing on beer-related topics and interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast, for over 15 years.

Written by Ken Carman

 Early morning in my Eagle Bay cabin, another beautiful Adirondack day, now cursed by my mental state. Really? InBev feels the need to have its claws sunk into a site that rates beer; for some odd reason called RateBeer?
 In the last Fool column on this topic I felt Fool might be being a tad, well, foolish. InBev, unlike A/B, is a conglomerate of many distinct breweries and, unlike the Busch family, they might not feel so inclined as to ruin all those distinct brands just to bring back the mega beer crime families gory days of barely more than one style of cheap adjunct beer.
 Not the slightest bit “foolish” this time.
 InBev shouldn’t have any control over websites that rate beer. This is not a new topic to me, and a firm principle. When the brewer for a brewpub in Nashville wanted to become head of communications for Music City Brewers: a homebrew club, I objected in strong terms to the president. I made an enemy of the brewer, I’m sure, but I don’t care. It’s the principle: the head brewer at one brewery in town shouldn’t be given any control over whom we communicate with, or not. There were, and are, many other breweries in town. If people wanted to say something in print that did not reflect well on his brews they should be able to say that without worrying that the Communications person might stifle them. If the club wants to have meeting at another brewery instead of his there shouldn’t even be the slightest possibility that communications regarding this would be limited in any way; or the perception it had been limited. And I was writing a column for the newsletter, and one local magazine, that, in part, critiqued breweries and what was on tap, or bottle, or can. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”

Brew Biz: Werts and All

Considering the InBev buyout and all the noise created, doesn’t this label seem a tad mega brew ironic? Courtesy Carolina Brew Review.

The Topic: How Much Wicked in Wicked Weed?

 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Salt City, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers, who has been writing on beer-related topics and interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast, for over 15 years.

Written by Ken Carman

 Millie and I stopped by Wicked

NOT an InBev, or Wicked Weed, product… yet?
Weed maybe 5 years ago. Enjoyable, a little nuts, crazy busy. I even brought some to Beaver River Station, NY for my annual beer tasting, and some for relatives at a reunion in Rehoboth, Delaware.
 A lot of the craft community is also going nuts, but not in a good way, about Weed being bought by InBev. You would think they had traded their soul to Satan, and I don’t disregard the possibility that in the future that may prove to be the case. But maybe not as of right now.
 I’m here to provide a little perspective, some of it more positive than naysayers would ever consider, some worse than those who shrug this off would admit too.
 There’s already been an internet war of sorts where brewers/employees published a rant about how things would just get better and InBev would not interfere and only help them. This was countered by a former employee saying he quit because things had already headed into cost cutting/care less about the staff-land. (Possibly in preparation for mega purchasing them?) To be clear he said he was still proud to have worked there, it wasn’t sour grapes, but just that he need things they were cutting; like health benefits. He also felt the employee friendly atmosphere was disappearing due, in part, to bean counter counting. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”

A Beer Judge’s Diary: Jackalope’s Let’s Get WEIRD

Jackalope Brewing’s Let’s Get WEIRD, 2017

By Ken Carman

Our Judges
         Bailey Spaulding
         Steve Wright
          Katherine Schermerhorn
         Millie Carman
         Grant Ferris
         Stephanie Moore
         Phillip Biggerstaff
         Noah Denney
         Miranda Chandler
         Amanda Crisp
         Ken Carman (and Judge Coordinator)






Just a few of our judges Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Jackalope’s Let’s Get WEIRD”

A Beer Judge’s Diary: 2015 Guidelines v. 2008


Music City Brewers club president Justin, and I, have been having fun arguing as of late. The latest topic was the 2015 v. 2008 BJCP Guidelines.

  Let’s start with an apology…

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
   As a beer judge I had never done a complete A/B comparison between 2015 and 2008, even though A/B comparisons aren’t exactly a concept I’m unfamiliar with. As quality control in the record industry I knew this was a standard practice: take two records of the same album and compare lead ins, cuts, bands. Is that odd sound non-fill or a plating problem? The same is true, with different parameters, in beer world, like when comparing a 1997 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot to a 1998. How well have they aged?
   However, as a beer judge I’ve only done a little comparing: 2015 v. 2008 Guidelines. Most of that was between competitions, where one would use 15, the other 08.
 There’s no need when assessing entries during competition.
 There’s no need when studying to learn the craft of judging.
 There’s no need when attempting to raise your score on a BJCP test: toss 2008 away. 2015 is the standard now.
   After our discussion I went home and started comparing. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: 2015 Guidelines v. 2008”

Beer Profile: Roc’s Lagerithm Lager

Profiled by Maria Devan

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Happy Easter!

I was reading our threads bright and early this New Beer Sunday! Cheers to BA =)

In the old guidelines amber was used for the oktoberfest and the Vienna lager. I think I am not the only one who is comparing the new and old guidelines. The idea is that darker malt changes things.

@marquis from the thread –

https://www.beeradvocate.com/commun…s-a-hoppy-amber-red-…/

“That’s what comes of having too many styles by far and as a consequence trying to divide the beer spectrum into neat compartments which are wholly contrived.A modest variation in the speciality malts and the hopping rate doesn’t create a new style. Why not have just a handful of loose categories and judge them in strength bands?”

Let’s make it at least a Two Beer Sunday. Happy New Caramel Changes Everything Sunday

The new guidelines allow for some caramel where the old do not. That is a “significant” style change. The new guidelines say that “significant” caramel is inappropriate so that implies that some is ok. The old guidelines say no caramel no roasted scents or flavors. Basically I think the idea is that the color of the beer is where things can change.

The pour is hazy not clear. Off white head that is perfect and uniform . Lasts well. It is neither soapy nor creamy. Never fades completely to a thin layer on top. Slightly toasty. The brewer says ” unique hop.” It is . It is cool and melon like. Delectable and even a bit fruity but not so prominent that I would say it over shadows the malt. No freshness date, 5.9%.

First taste is caramel. Enough so that it is the first thing you taste. Enough hoppy mouthfeel to know they are there. Warms a bit. Earthy, breaddy and complexity from the malt. Carbonation is perfect. Soft generous bubbles. Not to sweet in the finish & the hops offer a generous bitterness. Not quite to style but enjoyable. Balanced but a bit bigger if you know what I mean. I am talking about how the caramel affects the mouthfeel and the finish. I wonder what the hop is? IMO they should put it in an IPA or a saison too. It’s enticing but not too exotic. It smells like new grass and a succulent coolness.

The caramel makes the mouthfeel heavier. Caramel can be so light as to smell yellow and bright or pale in color. This caramel smells a bit toastier and nutty. It also can be a bit sweet and get sweeter the more prominent it is. It keeps the mouthfeel from finishing dry but the hop bitter dries it enough so that it drinks well. I have even seen Vienna lagers that finished sweeter than this and were much paler like El Sully. Negra Modelo is no longer the model in the new style guidelines because it is too dark. The brewers notes for this beer were spot on and frankly I would have six more of these. 14 on the srm and finishes just sweet. I find the moniker amber to be a catch all word but I think this beer just crosses a line. It does fit the new style guidelines but not the old.

3.9

(Style questions)

3.9

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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____________________Beer HERE

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Brew Biz: Werts and All

The Topic: Planes, Trains, Automobiles… and BEER?

 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Salt City, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers, who has been writing on beer-related topics and interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast, for over 15 years.

Written by Ken Carman

  Having been in Nashville since 1978 both Millie and I wondered about Linus Hall locating his brewery: Yazoo Brewing, in the Marathon building. Now we can’t imagine a more historically appropriate location for innovative new businesses in Nashville…
  I have been a fan of what they call orphan automobiles since I bought my first car when I was about 14: a 61 Studebaker Lark. Last year we acquired a 63 Studebaker Champ: one of the last trucks they made. I’ve also been a fan of what became craft beer since the early 70s. We started homebrewing when Jimmy Carter made it legal in 1979.
  So when I found out the old Marathon Motor Works complex had a Corsair/Black Abbey collaboration event and Music City Brewers was having their Thirsty Thursday event there that night too, of course we had to go. My mind, always seeing connections between seemingly unrelated subjects, was intrigued.
  Corsair’s and Black Abbey’s master brewers there: Karen Lassiter and Carl Meier. There were 7 very creative, innovative, one off brews on tap from both breweries. A grand night.
  You may ask…
“Connections?”
  Oh, and…
  “What ties it all this together?” Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”