Brew Biz: Werts and All

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

Fine examples of Beaker culture beer bearing vessels

Written by Ken Carman

Topic this edition: The Beakers, the Carmans and BEER!!!

Every time one of the homebrew clubs I am a member of comes bearing beer to a public event I think of my super great Grandpa, whoever the hell he was. We do know that a lot of the Carman heritage dates back to England and, specifically: Wales. Apparently one relative went to Wales and found we had all escaped religious persecution (Perhaps not all, but maybe most?) and there was “no one home.”
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Ye Olde Scribe’s It Grows on Ya Beer Report’

“Kind of like, ya know, mold grows on an OLDE Scribe”

Written with a TOAST by da OLDE Scribe wid da MOST!

At first Scribe hated Oxymoron. A mild IPA, where the hops slowly assert themselves to full IPA. Three German malts, six German hop varieties, and a lager yeast strain.

Great name. Weird lager/pilsner malt mix. A project brew feature brewers from Left Hand and Terrapin. But this one grows on you. Nice head. Fades fast. Deep burnt gold. Vague hop aroma: no hop specific, Oxymoron has a full body and makes an Olde Scribe take notice. About as complex as a union between Einstein and Britney Spears.

A bit confusing.


Confuse yourself today. Give it a try. Make up your own %$#@! mind.

Beer Profile: Original Orange Blossom Ale

Picture courtesy

Buckbean Brewing Company
Reno, NV

Profiled by Ken Carman

Wow. Not my style. But balance, taste, mouthfeel, pour, everything is exactly “as advertised.” Orange-ish copper pour with a head that fades fast. Moderate to light body. Orange blossom honey up front to the taste.

This is a very, very simple beer. But it is what it claims to be. Nice bright orange pint can. Perfect packaging.

Try it.

Beer Profile: Caldera’s IPA

Can and glass image courtesy

Profiled by Ken Carman

With a burnished copper color, great clarity, and long lasting satin pillow head, Caldera’s IPA starts out strong. A nice strong Cascade-like whiff (Centennial, perhaps? Simcoe? Perhaps Amarillo, but most likely the Centennial, or all three combines to do a super Cascade sense.) …meets the nose when you pop the… can. Yes, one of these new craft canners: a great trend. Hey, works in kegs and cornies as long as the lining keeps the beer away from the metallic taste.

Foam and bubble fill the mouth with just the right amount of hop astringency. This is a bit high, bitter-wise, for a tradition IPA; even American, but I like it. Not a Imperial or Double. Malt is a bit thin but adequate: background. Not getting anything but that super Cascade sense one might get when three citrusy hops only add similarities: not the differences. Might be nice to back off a bit and add a bit of complexity with another, perhaps more spicy hop. After taste a bit too astringent.

A strong entry; one of the better examples, except the astringency which might be solved in the hop mix, and perhaps some latter additions hop rather than earlier. That might help with the one note citrus/bitter this three hop beer toots.

The packaging helps too: nice colorful, interesting, cauldron midst somewhat hippie like colors. “IPA” forms from the steam out of the kettle and the hippie colors inside the oval are surrounded by hops. I usually don’t comment about such but, sometimes, creativity with creative packaging does count.

Brew Biz: Werts and All

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

The Topic: Worst Beer in the World?

There has been a lot of noise on the net about Olde English 800 3.2 being the worst beer in the world. Why am I suspicious? The full 800 is merely a mediocre’ malt liquor: a style that was marketed at first in an attempt to encourage young Blacks to show their manhood by becoming alcoholics in the 70s. For some odd reason this pissed off the African American community. Go figure. Some smaller brewers got burnt by that campaign despite the fact they offered sans the racist marketing, simply because major brewers, who weren’t sensitive enough to promo without racist assumptions, screwed it up for the other brewers. Go figure again.

The term “malt beverage,” just so you know, is not the same. It’s all gotten very legal where malt beverage is a term brewers must use for various reasons that go far beyond the focus of this edition of Brew Biz. Malt liquors from those days, and those still around like 800, tend to use cheap ways to pump up the abv. Corn. Rice. Squeezed kidneys from diabetics that just ate a whole box of donuts.


They tend to be a bit harsh and not a lot of complexity. Kind of like very weak Ice Bocks without quality ingredients: essentially instead of brewing quality, freezing, removing water, you just put it up with sugary crap.

A 3.2 Malt Liquor is an oxymoron.
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Cascadian Dark Ale?

Written by Matt Van Wyk, Oakshire Brewing, for

Lately there has been much fuss over a new—or is it old—beer style and what it should be called.  The style I’m referring to is known by three different names; Black IPA, India Black Ale (IBA), or Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA). In short, it is a dark hoppy beer. But in truth, it is so much more. So the questions remain; what do we name it, who made it first, and what defines the style? And, do any of these details even matter?

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8th Circuit Stifles Beer Drinkers’ Last Gasp

ST. LOUIS (CN) – Calling a complaint by 10 Missouri beer drinkers “speculative and localized,” the 8th Circuit ended their quest to block InBev’s $52 billion takeover of Anheuser-Busch. The beer drinkers claimed the merger would diminish competition and raise prices. But the 8th Circuit found that allowing the case to proceed would have the same effect.

A three-judge panel on the 8th Circuit upheld a federal judge’s August 2009 decision to throw out the case.
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This Bud’s for Sale

How the Busch clan lost control of an iconic American beer company.

Written By Patrick Cooke for The Wall Street Journal

If ever an American company represented the land of milk and honey for corporate executives it was Anheuser-Busch, though perhaps the land of hops, rice and barley would be more apt. For decades a palace of well-paid vice presidents in cushy offices presided over the manufacture of Budweiser, America’s beer, in that most American of cities, St. Louis. They also oversaw the Busch Gardens theme parks in Virginia and in Florida, where Shamu the killer whale was on the payroll, along with a stable of 250 Clydesdale horses. It was a first-class operation all the way. There were $1,000 dinners, hunting lodges, sky suites at Busch Stadium and a fleet of Dassault Falcon corporate jets with a staff of 20 waiting pilots. Every kitchenette refrigerator at corporate headquarters was well stocked with Bud, Bud Lite and Michelob.
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