From the Bottle Collection

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with… The Bottle Collection.

Written by Ken Carman

Scanning the web, I was glad to see that Shipyard seems to be still brewing Chamberlain. It’s been many years but I remember it being a pale ale with a nice hop undercurrent and balanced a bit more towards the malt: for an American version of the style. Nice copper tone, plenty of rocky head and a nose of malt and hops spells out taste before a single sip. Clarity is nice and I’m guessing there’s enough cara-malt in here to provide a bit “chew” to the texture.

The sites I’ve scanned as I wrote this seem to find more of a hop focus. Though I admit I am doing this from memory, after that caveat I still think I would disagree. But I have been more heavy hop focused than some for quite a while. After falling in love with IBUs well over 100 at a brewpub south of Cinci in the early 90s, and then enjoying my taste buds being whacked by The Hop Tyrant’s beer in my Nashville hombrew club, maybe it just takes more to impress me enough to suggest a beer is “hop focused.”

I haven’t seen it in the stores… of course Yankee Spirits is my main New England source, but that may change by next year. Stay tuned.

If the picture remains on site, the bottle below isn’t as nice as mine. I have a green labeled 22oz brown bottle, also pictured below. Named after a famous Civil War hero: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, who famously defended Little Round Top at Gettysburg.

The Science of Smell

Written by Jay Brooks for

NPR’s Science Friday had a show last week devoted to The Science of Smell. If you’ve ever taken tasting beer seriously, you know how important smell is to the flavor of beer (and everything else). Host Ira Flatow discussed Olfaction with research scientists Stuart Firestein and Donald Wilson. The show’s only a little under 18 minutes but is pretty interesting.

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Beer Bath Works Wonders for Chicken Sandwich

Written by J.M. HIRSCH for

My search for a tender, juicy and flavorful breaded chicken sandwich took me to the place where so much great thinking begins – the beer aisle.

After playing with various ways and ingredients for imparting flavor and moisture to this most ubiquitous of bird meats, I discovered that a beer bath had the biggest payoff in terms of big flavor with almost no effort.

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Fried Beer?

From staff reports @

If Big Tex looks a little glassy-eyed this fall, blame it on the Fried Beer. Fried beer is one of the eight finalists for the Sixth Annual Big Tex Choice Awards competition. The contest is a big deal for concessionaires at the State Fair of Texas.

Booze is generating a buzz for the State Fair of Texas, as fried-alcohol dishes made the list of top new fair foods announced Wednesday.

Eight imaginative contenders are vying for the Sixth Annual Big Tex Choice Awards, with the winners getting plenty of publicity – and long lines of eager fairgoers willing to gobble up the fried goodness.

But have your ID handy for the Fried Beer and Deep Fried Frozen Margarita – you must be 21 or older to partake.
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Beer as Plant Food

Written by Lisa Larsen for


The idea of using beer as plant food has been around for decades. For many it is believed to be the perfect pick-me-up for their garden. However, there are those who consider this just another old wives’ tale. There are ingredients in beer that seem useful to plants, such as yeast and carbohydrates. However, upon closer examination, these two items aren’t of much benefit to plants.


There are only four ingredients used in the beer making process. They are water, malted barley, hops and yeast. Ninety percent of beer is water.


Beer doesn’t contain any ingredient, other than water, that is truly helpful for nurturing plants. There are some who believe the carbohydrates in beer act as food for plants. However, plants need complex carbohydrates in order to thrive, not simple sugars such as those found in soda or beer.


Because beer contains yeast, many gardeners consider it a benefit to their plants. However, yeast is a fungus, and not only produces an unpleasant odor, but will also begin to grow around your plants. The fungus will eventually die, contributing nothing to the plants.

Uses for Beer in the Garden

Although beer is not useful as a food for plants, it can serve a purpose in the garden.

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