From the Bottle Collection: Underground Blueberry Ale

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

I bought this some time in the late 90’s to early 2000’s. I remember it being a very mild Blueberry, pale malt, decent head, great clarity and obviously the rest pale malt. Mouthfeel was light, from what I remember. I do believe it was blueberry extract, or mostly extract. But at low levels it can be tough to tell.

The label claims medium body, but memory tells me pretty light. Probably the malt they used that made me feel that way. There are malts that give more of a sense of fullness. I’m guessing mostly pale. So the gravity may have been higher than the mouthfeel indicated.

The brewery had to have been in Marlborough, Massachusetts for only a brief while. I go through there every year and somehow missed it. There have been at least two breweries in the area, one before, one since. I keep missing Sherwood, which started brewing in the mid-2000s, and have had their beer. Tasty. And Pilgrim Brewing that used to be in Hudson in the 1990s. Hops growing outside. Warehouse environment. If I remember right I was attracted to Pilgrim because they were, at the time, brewing Dog’s Breath beer for Eagle Brook Saloon… now brewed by Ipswich.

According to legend they brewed it on a lark and served it under the name Underground Brewery at Northampton Brewfest. I attended the first one so it’s likely I conned the server into giving me an empty bottle because from what I have read the brewery never quite off the ground.

Brooks on Beer: Learning to Homebrew

Written by Jay R. Brooks for The Contra Costa Times and

The new year is a perfect time to start something new — like homebrewing. (David Perry/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)
The new year is a perfect time to start something new — like homebrewing. (David Perry/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)

The new year is a perfect time to start something new — like homebrewing. There’s no better way to appreciate the beer you drink, and unlike most hobbies, at the end of the day, you’ve got beer. How’s that for a reward?

There has been a huge surge of interest in homebrewing in recent years. The American Homebrewers Association saw its membership jump to 35,000, a 20 percent increase from 2011 to 2012. According to their estimates, 1 million people — including 130,000 Californians — made beer or wine at home last year. With more than a thousand clubs and 300-plus homebrewing competitions nationwide, it’s clear that the DIY beer bandwagon has arrived.
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Even Anheuser-Busch hates Bud Light

William Knoedelseder’s “Bitter Brew” offers a sometimes fascinating history of America’s most famous beer-makers

Even Anheuser-Busch hates Bud Light

Written by Tom Dibblee for LA Review of Books and

I decided to review William Knoedelseder’s Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s Kings of Beer because of my loyalty to Bud Light Lime. I love Bud Light Lime, and I wanted to know where it came from. But because Bud Light Lime probably isn’t a natural beer of choice for the LARB crowd, I thought I’d take a second to explain its excellence.

Bud Light Lime does two things: it allows me to shed the burden of sophistication, and it restores beer to what it once was, when I was young — a tart nectar that makes me happy. Continue reading “Even Anheuser-Busch hates Bud Light”

Against the Grain: Sugar Puff Beer

John Wright's Sugar Puff beer. Photograph: John Wright
John Wright’s Sugar Puff beer. Photograph: John Wright

Written by John Wright for Guardian UK

Forager-John-Wright-for-w-003I hate waste, and spend a lot of time devising interesting ways of using kitchen scraps. No chicken carcass or leek top escapes my kitchen without being used in a stock, and all pastry off-cuts are turned into (largely inedible) jam tarts rather than being consigned directly to the bin.

A neglected box of Sugar Puffs whose contents have set into a solid, intractable lump is a fairly regular sight in our kitchen and it is only recently that I hit upon the (though I say so myself) rather brilliant idea of turning them into beer.
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Sanctuary Centre for the Arts Hopes to Add Nano-brewery

PGA: For our western NY readers…
brimstone brewing

Written by Kris Dubé,  for The Fort Erie Times and The Niagara Falls Review

Fort Erie is one step closer to having its very own local beer.

Local politicians addressed an official plan and zoning by-law amendment for informational purposes at Monday’s council-in-committee meeting, to allow the Sanctuary Centre for the Arts in Ridgeway to include a ‘nano-brewery’ on site.
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Craft Beer vs. Crafty

Statement by The Brewers Association Defining Craft Beer

beer-news10An American craft brewer is defined as small and independent. Their annual production is 6 million barrels of beer or less and no more than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.

The community of small and independent craft brewers has grown as beer enthusiasts embrace new, diverse beers brewed by their neighbors and friends who are invested in their local communities. Beer drinkers are voting with their palates and dollars to support these entrepreneurs and their small and independent businesses.

In 2011, small and independent craft brewers saw their industry grow 13 percent by volume; in the first half of 2012, volume grew by an additional 12 percent. Meanwhile, the overall beer industry was down 1.3 percent by volume and domestic non-craft was down 5 million barrels in 2011.

Witnessing both the tremendous success and growth of craft brewers and the fact that many beer lovers are turning away from mass-produced light lagers, the large brewers have been seeking entry into the craft beer marketplace. Many started producing their own craft-imitating beers, while some purchased (or are attempting to purchase) large or full stakes in small and independent breweries.
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