Brewer Profile: Steve Wright, Jackalope Brewing

Brewer Profile by Ken Carman for

We read of success stories: brewers who strike out on their own and build their own breweries. Locally, here in Nashville, Linus Hall and Bailey Spaulding come to mind, or David Wollner at Willimantic Brewing in Connecticut, Andrew Mankin at Barrington Brewery in the Berkshires.

Then, of course, we have the regular fare’: not so “regular” brewers who brew grand, “crafty,” brews for owners of pubs, micros, nanos. They brew incredible beer, for sure.

But what about those brewers who may have never brewed before, but they are awakened by tasting the brews of a professional brewer to the grand world of craft beer? Then it becomes an almost holy mission to be part of Craftbeerworld when, at that moment, they tell that brewer, “I’m going to work for you…” and wind up riding a brew coaster: having an adventure of a lifetime?
Continue reading “Brewer Profile: Steve Wright, Jackalope Brewing”

Beer Profile: Fire Rock Pale Ale, Kona Brewing, Hawaii

Profiled by Ken Carman for

Pinpoint bubble head that lasts. Great clarity. SRM about 3, gold-ish. Bubbles rise through the liquid searching for the surface: probably why head holds so long.

The nose is nice citrus with a hint of grapefruit, caramelized malt with hop more upfront “by a nose.”

Mouthfeel nice caramelized malt with hops lingering. Carbonation light in mouthfeel but not in appearance.

However, once you get to the taste the sense of this beer changes. This is not just your typical citrus/American/grapefruity pale. There’s some hop spice back there and a slightly more specific sense of caramelization, almost like hot granite was used in the wort.

In a market where American Pale Ales have saturated the shelves, this is a bit unique. Give it a try!

The Beer Highway in Northern California, Part III

Note: This is an archive edition, chosen by The Professor to highlight some of the best from PGA. Also… Lost Coast pictures courtesy Beer and first logo courtesy Jennifer Moline and See article posted after this.

Written by Tom Becham for Professor Goodales

The last leg of the trip my wife and I took to NorCal brings us to Humboldt County.  Now, many beer afficionados who read this may be critical that we did not stop at some of the places along our route.  After all, well within our reach were brewers like Marin, Lagunitas, Russian River, Mendocino, North Coast and even Mad River. Those are all fine brewers to be sure, but this trip was about family so we had to forego all those stops.

When we finally reached our destination of Eureka, we made good our family obligations.  We even managed to squeeze in a quick lunch and beer sampling at Lost Coast Brewing.
  Continue reading “The Beer Highway in Northern California, Part III”

The Beer Highway in Northern California, Part II

Picture courtesy

Written by Tom Becham for

Note: this is an archive edition from The Professor, featuring some of the best articles that have appeared here at PGA.

Image courtesy
On the next leg of our journey to Northern California, my wife and I stopped in San Francisco for a few days. Besides some of the more obviously touristy stuff, we also did some beer tourism.

Our first beer-related stop was at the Magnolia Pub and Brewery. Located in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco, the neighborhood around the Magnolia still retains a bit of the old funky, hippie-ish vibe it was known for in the 60’s and 70’s, but with a more tourist-centric aspect now. The interesting people watching on the streets could fill a volume on its own. Continue reading “The Beer Highway in Northern California, Part II”

The Beer Highway in Northern California, Part 1 of 3

Written by Tom Becham for

This is an archive edition from The Professor, featuring some of the best featured here at PGA.

Due to some family considerations, January saw me and my wife traveling to Northern California by car. While I did not, and could not make this entire trip about beer, we did manage to visit a couple prominent breweries and/or their taprooms while on the road.

The first of these places was Firestone-Walker. Their actual brewery is in Paso Robles, but their taproom – with nice attached restaurant – is just off the highway in Buellton, California. As Firestone is located smack in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country (and since the Firestone family is also involved in wineries), the brewery’s fondness for barrel-aging beers seems natural. Combined with Firestone’s fondness for barrel-fermenting and aging beers, is their effort to make beers that are as English in character as possible. The results tend to be ales that one could easily find in a pub in Yorkshire or Kent, but with a unique twist.
Continue reading “The Beer Highway in Northern California, Part 1 of 3”

Beer Profile: ta henket

Profiled by Ken Carman for

Another interesting Dogfish creation. Ingredients culled from hieroglyphics, this is a brew Rah would rah, rah.

Za’atar is a blend of spices, salt and sesame. Dried sumac is one of the poisons…. ah, “spices.” (Most likely a non-poison version of sumac?) Doum seems to be a palm fruit or derivative and chamomile. Wheat-based beer.

Pillow head with tad rock that fades fast. Just a tad hazy with rising bubbles. SRM 2-3 at best.

Sweet, caramelized fruity malt nose. Not much else.”Free range Egyptian yeast” was used. In other words they probably found a back porch or two (or more) and collected yeast. Light, plum-like, taste with caramelized malt sense clinging to roof of mouth.

Ta Henket is brewed with an ancient form of wheat and loaves of hearth-baked bread, and it’s flavored with chamomile, doum-palm fruit and Middle Eastern herbs. To ferment this earthy ancient ale, Sam and friends traveled to Cairo, set out baited petri dishes and captured a native Egyptian saccharomyces yeast strain.

Malt mouthfeel is light and a bit sweet, with perhaps some pilsner malt. This is a light beer, body and abv-wise. There’s almost a sweet wine like sense without the grapes or the higher abv.

The native sacc. yeast is probably one of the lightest treatment of that yeast of a beer I’ve had.

This is a unique, light and very satisfying beverage. One hopes they bring it back and back. I would drink this before any supposed “lawnmower” beer I’ve ever had. 4.5 abv. No hops sensed except slight bitter.

Dave Logsdon of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Q&A

Written by Brandon Jones for

When I started brewing I remember looking over all the yeasts at my local home brew shop and being amazed at the sheer number of types.  As a young brewer I bought Wyeast more than any other yeast brand mostly because of the smack pack type packing. When I was starting out in home brewing I was concerned about every little thing so I can still remember the first time once of my packs swelled before I smacked it. Nervous my yeast was messed up somehow I contacted Wyeast and Dave Logsdon quickly put my fears to rest.

I’ve come along a bit in my brewing since then and Dave has since moved into another role. So it’s very cool for me to have gotten the chance to talk with Dave about his new adventure: Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales.
Continue reading “Dave Logsdon of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Q&A”

To Grow A Craft Beer Business, The Secret’s In The Water

Photo by Bill Chappell/NPR

Craft brewers are reaching markets far from their home breweries. In a Washington, D.C., store, beers from California, Colorado, Louisiana, Vermont, and elsewhere are for sale.

Written by Bill Chappell for

It’s a good time to be a craft brewer, as Americans are thirsty for full-flavored and local beers. But when small breweries grow, they can also risk losing some of the “craftiness” their fans love. And when they expand, many brewers have to rewrite their recipes — starting with the water.
Continue reading “To Grow A Craft Beer Business, The Secret’s In The Water”

Homebrewing Reaches for the Extremes

If you want to know where beer is headed tomorrow, find a homebrewer today and drink his or her beer.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. It was homebrewers, after all, who launched the microbrewing revolution by turning pro. And it was homebrewers who originated many of the recipes that were refined for commercial products.

Judging by the homebrews I sampled throughout Philly Beer Week, I’d say we’re in for a round of big, unusual flavors that taste a lot better than they sound.

For example, Salted Caramel Chocolate Stout.

Yeah, it sounds like a treat you’d munch on the Wildwood Boardwalk. But this rich, dark ale was superb; I’d gladly drink another glass.

It was crafted by Sean and Andy Arsenault, a pair of 30-year-old South Philly twins who have been brewing together for about five years. The beer was the “People’s Choice” at Home Sweet Homebrew’s Extreme Home Brew Challenge at Jose Pistola’s in Center City.
Continue reading “Homebrewing Reaches for the Extremes”