Beer Flights: The Smart Way to Drink

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

5300-plus breweries in the United States and counting. Another 775 in Canada as of 2016 (and counting). A veritable explosion of new and innovative breweries in Europe’s strongholds of brewing tradition: Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.

Judges at the 2016 edition of the Great American Beer Festival evaluated 96 general categories of beer covering 161 beer styles.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

For God’s Sake, Stop Opening Breweries – The Normals Are Noticing

This isn’t for all of you. Some of you should be opening breweries. But it’s for most of you (and me, for that matter). For God’s sake, stop opening breweries. You might be OK to ignore this if you live somewhere where there isn’t a decent brewery within, say, 25 miles. And you’ve worked in an industrial setting (do you even weld, bro?). And you have extensive brewing experience. And you have a working knowledge of chemistry and biology. And you have some experience in marketing and sales. And/or you’re rich or have access to a lot of slack credit. If you don’t check these boxes and you’re contemplating a brewery business plan right now, I’m talking to you.

Because lately I keep reading about and/or visiting breweries that fail on these basic, obvious things, and it’s starting to piss me off because I’m now having to hear my macro-drinking neighbors tell me that they picked up some local brewery’s beers, but didn’t like them…and they’re 100% right. This isn’t, “oh, they usually drink Coors Lite and can’t handle real beer.” It’s “oh, that beer legitimately doesn’t taste good for a variety of reasons.” You’re always going to have differences in taste, but this is actually just poorly-made beer, and believe it or not (my palate-trained friends) while it might be hard to pick out the great from the good in terms of beer, picking out the terrible is pretty easy, and lots of people can do it.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

Lager Method

I’m a lover of all things lager- Márzen, Schwarzbier, Helles, and Pilsner are some of favorite styles. As a homebrewer, I initially avoided making lager beer due to my inability to precisely control fermentation temperature. Once I finally got my chamber setup and made a couple lagers using more traditional fermentation schedules, I found myself avoiding them due to how long they took to finish. I also began wondering how I might be able to hasten the process. I had learned that with precise control of my temperature, I could turn most ales around in 2 weeks and wondered why I couldn’t use this control to do the same with lager beers. I made a couple batches that came out surprisingly well, played with the method for a few months, and was gradually convincing myself the days of 2 month lagers were behind me. After numerous successful batches, I happen to catch an episode of The Session on The Brewing Network where Mike “Tasty” McDole mentioned how he takes lager grain-to-glass in 2 weeks using precise control of fermentation temperature. This was validating, particularly since I was aiming for a much less anxiety provoking 3-4 week turnaround.I’m a lover of all things lager- Márzen, Schwarzbier, Helles, and Pilsner are some of favorite styles. As a homebrewer, I initially avoided making lager beer due to my inability to precisely control fermentation temperature. Once I finally got my chamber setup and made a couple lagers using more traditional fermentation schedules, I found myself avoiding them due to how long they took to finish. I also began wondering how I might be able to hasten the process. I had learned that with precise control of my temperature, I could turn most ales around in 2 weeks and wondered why I couldn’t use this control to do the same with lager beers. I made a couple batches that came out surprisingly well, played with the method for a few months, and was gradually convincing myself the days of 2 month lagers were behind me. After numerous successful batches, I happen to catch an episode of The Session on The Brewing Network where Mike “Tasty” McDole mentioned how he takes lager grain-to-glass in 2 weeks using precise control of fermentation temperature. This was validating, particularly since I was aiming for a much less anxiety provoking 3-4 week turnaround.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE