BEER AND PANDEMICS 101: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BREWERY

Here at PGA we have had regular links to A Tempest in a Tankard, a website we highly recommend. Because of the crisis we have permission to post the whole article. Please visit A Tempest in a Tankard, where Franz will have more articles during this crisis.

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Never in recent memory has the phrase “support your local brewery” meant more than it does now.

I published an article in the local newspaper a week ago about the inaugural Oklahoma Craft Beer Awards. It began like this:

“Oklahoma may have been a craft beer desert a decade ago, but the beer scene has exploded in the past seven years. The Sooner State is now home to over sixty breweries, and just about every city has a brewpub or three.”

In retrospect, it seems I had begun to take craft beer for granted. I can find literally dozens more brands and styles now than when we moved to Oklahoma. Our town, Stillwater, has a brewery. When we go to OKC or Tulsa, we can easily spend an afternoon visiting new breweries and old favourites. And I’m set whenever I visit family and friends in Vancouver.

What a difference a week makes.

Continue reading “BEER AND PANDEMICS 101: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BREWERY”

A Beer-y Good Story: How Studebaker Might Help Craft Beer in the Days of COVID-19

“Really, Ken, a failed company?” Actually Studebaker survived, now part of Worthington Industries. They simply don’t make cars anymore, which hooks right back into my main point here…

 Yes, Brew-ginia, there IS Studebaker Beer! And it’s in Tippecanoe Mansion, former home to the Studebaker family!

 I know Studebaker no longer makes cars, a fact I have never been happy with. However, I may never have met my first love on 4 wheels: a 61 Studebaker car I bought for $25 and took me 100,000 miles before rust and burning oil issues took Harvey away, if they had stayed in the car business. A 7 year old car for $25? Eventually Harvey went to automotive heaven where oil changes happen every day and no rust dare enter those chrome hubcap gates.
 I didn’t name the car. My ex-girlfriend’s friend did.
 Studebaker as a car and truck builder survived, often barely, though tough times, like craft brewing will be going through now. Yes, there are Studebaker-related lessons for tough times, like during Corona, for the small professional brewer to heed. I will bring it back around to just beer.

Studebaker Mansion and Studebaker beer.
Continue reading “A Beer-y Good Story: How Studebaker Might Help Craft Beer in the Days of COVID-19”

Beer Profile: DS9 Wild Things, Superstitious Pigeons

Profiled by Ken Carman

Hazy golden yellow with almost no head. This head fades quickly probably due to sour, peanut butter, raspberries. Very tiny bubbles. Yellow in color. Clarity low due to haze.
Aroma:lactobacillus dominant, no peanut, hint of raspberries at best. Slightest sour. No malt or hop aroma. No hops.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, slightly carbonic. Medium body. Tingles and tangles up the tongue with the sour combined with carbonic carbonation.
Flavor: lacto first, lacto dominant. Almost no peanut butter, almost no raspberries, lacto aftertaste. Everything takes the most backseat in the theater to the lacto. As it warms I got a hint of peanut: like it sltightly touches the tongue then goes away.
The mouthfeel is solid with a medium body, but any sense of that body otherwise vanished with lacto. Carbonation a very light tingle and quite low.
The balance here is off. If one seeks a solid lacto dominant beer this might be it, but the rest is lost. Please back off on lacto, find the fruit, find the peanut butter. The malt is there, but even that is severely subservient to the lacto. No hops.

3.9 BA
3.74 Untappd
3.83 Rate Beer

3.5

3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white

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.”

1-2-3-4-5-fingers-on-hand1

_____________________Beer HERE

Profile: Saranac Bee Catcher

Profiled by Maria Devan

Golden amber color with an eggshell white head of foam that fell clinging leaving some bubbles and a light film.

Nose is grassy hops with a touch of mint and a sweet breeze from honey. Light lemon backing to these hops give a delightful nose. Clean, no diacetyl. No acetaldehyde, no fruity esters from yeast.

Malt is a sweetened cracker without any fruity scents of its own to offer. Drinks with moderate carbonation and surprisingly bready flavor. The taste of honey permeates but doesn’t dominate. Moderately strong carbonation and a balanced bitterness to leave some of that sweet honey flavor behind. Delightful beer. This beer will pair with my Mexican style lamb chops and cumin rice.

4

3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white

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.”

1-2-3-4-5-fingers-on-hand1

___________________________Beer HERE

Beer Profile: Oscar Blues’ Death by King Cake

Profiled by Ken Carman


Perfect clarity, golden quaff. Head is slightly off white and fades very fast into sides of the glass. Tiniest of bubbles. Yellow highlights in pure gold.
Mouthfeel is off dry with light carbonation. There’s the slightest harshness that clings to the roof of the mouth, like a bittering hop that popped through.
Aroma is vanilla and a slight sour. I do get slight cocoa nibs, orange peel, no cinnamon in the nose, no pecans. Balance in aroma differs from flavor.
To be honest the flavor is this is somewhat annoying. Unlike aroma orange peel is dominant: so much so, combined with vanilla, I get no malt, almost nothing else. Carbonation is medium and carbonic. It has a hint of a bite. Aftertaste is slight sour with orange peel, as well as in the finish. Very slightly dry, unlike King Cake. I have had King Cake. I have had the BEST King Cake: sour dough, not the coffee cake version. I think this was an attempt at the sour dough version of King Cake. An attempt. Not all that successful.
If I ordered this I’d probably give it to someone else after half a glass then order something I’d like better. It simply doesn’t quite work. The ale is indistinct, not that much of a base for what’s supposed to be King Cake. That would be OK if the King Cake were really King-ish. Missed that mark. A King Cake would be sweeter and the flavors more balanced. Same for aroma, except that balance is different.
The secret here would be in having it finish a little more sweet, balance out the spices, the nuts, and maybe just a hint more of the ale. Otherwise the only “death” here is the concept this is King Cake-ish at all.

untappd 3.5
BA 84%
RB 3.74

3.2

3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white3361242-simple-drawing-of-a-pint-of-beer-isolated-on-white

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.”

1-2-3-4-5-fingers-on-hand1

__________________Beer HERE

A Beer Judge’s Diary: Savannah

Picture judging glasses courtesy Sandy Cockerham
By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 I have headed a few mead tables. The fact I have headed every mead table I’ve been at up until now says something important: we need more actual mead judges in the BJCP. In fact at the first few I headed, well over ten years ago; closer to twenty, I got the sense mead was, like Harry Potter, the poor stepchild of BJCP world: living under the stairs; only because the favored son (beer) was the star of the family. Not cruel, as in Harry Potter, more an anomaly in an organization started around beer.
 There were reasons for so few mead judges. Back in the legacy days you had to find a sit down write test for beer that included tasting. I drove to Knoxville for my second legacy test out of Nashville, beer-wise. Tests local enough to drive to were tough to find, sometimes. Mead was worse. Has that improved? Yes. But even now finding a mead tasting test in the southeast is tough. Thankfully, like beer, they went online with the questions. Tasting, so far, has been long drive to out of Nashville, and there are so few… in comparison.
 I certainly would love to give mead tests, but first I need endorsement, obviously.
 As I started to study again for an upcoming test, I decided judging a mead only competition might be helpful. I chose Domras because I entered a Dunkelwiezen Braggot a while back and the comments I got back were quite interesting and helpful. The fact it did well was secondary, at best. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Savannah”

Brew Biz: Werts and All- Trends


Zima. According to Wiki it was brought back in 2017 and 2018 but, “It did not return in 2019.”

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, 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 20 years.

           The TopicTrends: The Good, the Bad, the Yucky

 Remember Zima? Don’t you wish you could forget? Some dare called it a MALT beverage.
 There have been all kinds of trends over the years. I suppose Billy Beer might have been called “a trend.” When they vended out the brewing for Billy Beer the name became a curse. But it really depended on who brewed it. For the time the one brewed by FX Matt out of Utica, NY, was actually sort of an IPA for its time. Not bad. Not incredible, but better than a lot of the Bud clones that dominated the market in the mid 70s. Who knows, if some of the others had been better maybe the hop trend might have had an earlier start.
 But I’m really writing about trends that have homebrewer and pro-brewers going hop crazy, hazy hop crazy, sour crazy, brett crazy (While calling it all sour: really?) and lactobacillus crazy. (The short list.)
 Lacto is a good example of one of the negative sides to trends. Many I have had aren’t really definable by any style, except a non-existent one called “lacto soup.” Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All- Trends”

Producing a Good Mead Scoresheet


By Andrew Luberto

As anyone who has ever done so can tell you, entering a home mead into a competition takes some serious time and a fair amount of money.  So it can be pretty disappointing when you get a scoresheet back that doesn’t provide a good evaluation of your product. The components of any scoresheet, whether its beer, mead, or cider generally all follow the same basic structure of descriptive evaluation of the product, non-biased judging, and helpful feedback. However, where a scoresheet may fall short can land in a few broad categories that could include: misevaluating the mead because of an unfamiliarity with ingredients or process; not understanding the product and what should be perceived; sparsely filling out or an incomplete sheet or; not having a good grasp on evaluating mead in general.  For more on properly evaluating mead check out this previous newsletter article. Luckily mead evaluation has vastly improved from the days when some just expected to taste a dominant raw honey sweet character. That being said, there’s always room for improvement! So with that in mind, here are some thoughts from both experienced judges and entrants on what makes up a quality scoresheet.

What are entrants looking for?

Continue reading “Producing a Good Mead Scoresheet”

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.

Want to read more? Please click… HERE!!!