Crux: Tough Love, Mountain Traffic, and Raising the Bar


By Stephen Body
The two beers that I received from Crux Fermentation Project, earlier this week, can be reviewed in just one word:

WOW.

That’s it. Thanks for reading and remember to tip your server!

Just kidding…

I’ll try to make this brief because it’s really very simple: Crux, as we have all come to know them, (because “Crux Fermentation Project” is a mouthful…literally and figuratively) is one of the most purely accomplished breweries in the US. No brewer is going to argue with that and very few beer fans would. They operate on a plane with Deschutes and Dogfish and Stone and Jolly Pumpkin and Cigar City and maybe a dozen other breweries whose brewmasters have established that the name on the label guarantees something exceptional in your glass. There is no such thing as a “Meh” Crux beer. The only real question is to what degree will these beers push our pleasure buttons. And Crux, like those other breweries mentioned, never rests on their laurels. In fact, as with Deschutes – both before, during and after Larry Sidor, Crux brewmaster and co-owner, was there – Crux keeps tweaking and evaluating and improving even their greatest successes.

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Experimental Brewing

The Maltose Falcons needed a lot of beer for our 45th Anniversary Party and we got some of our favorite breweries in LA involved in the mayhem. In this episode, Drew sits done with the wild and wacky crew at Transplants Brewing Company to discuss making a Pumpkin Beer that’s not a Pumpkin Beer in more than just one way. And then Drew shares his thoughts on the final beer along with the recipe that inspired it.

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Craft Malt Is About To Change Craft Beer. Are You Ready?

“Malt is the soul of beer.”

Those are the words of Bay Area brewing legend Ron Silberstein, founder of ThirstyBear Brewpub in San Francisco and Admiral Maltings across the Bay in Alameda. Over two decades after it was founded, ThirstyBear remains innovative in a competitive market, while Admiral Maltings is making waves in an entrenched industry.

“Some of the bigger malting companies can make a thousand tons in a batch,” said Silberstein. “We can’t do that in a year.” And yet, he adds, “Malt freshly out of the kiln has aroma and flavor that can’t be duplicated by malt that’s generally at least a year old by the time you get it.”

In the country’s nascent quest for new expressions within beer, Silberstein provides a compelling path toward new scents, flavors, and ways of doing business.

Kenny Gould: How’d you get into beer?

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Where There’s Smoke, There’s Beer: Bamberg and Its Breweries

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

It was my last day in Bamberg, and the sun had finally dispersed all the clouds, gloriously illuminating the fall foliage. I had just spent the late morning hours at Greifenklau and still had a few hours before my train. The gravitational pull of Aecht Schlenkerla was too hard to resist. Not that I tried very hard: after all, rumour had it that Aecht Schlenkerla was going to tap its seasonal Urbock that day.

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Deschutes “Jubelale”: A Simple Ongoing Miracle

Deschutes “Jubelale” was first brewed in 1988. 2019 makes the 31st edition of this ale and every single year, without fail, I have tasted this stuff, gotten all gooshy, and bought a minimum of three cases, to get me by until July or so. No, I do NOT care that the hops recede after a while. No, I do not care if it was supposed to be consumed in a couple of weeks. No, I do not, as one reader suggested, back in 2011, think it’s “icky” when the hops fade. And, NO, let’s stipulate that it is not designed to be an age-worthy, lay-down beer. But it IS a seasonal beer and I have done everything short of bribery to try to get Deschutes to make it year-round.

No dice. “Seasonal, dude,” they have gently repeated, about, ooooh, twenty-two times, now.

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ABJD: On the 24th Music City Brew Off and Judge Decision Making


 As per my decision to change the nature of this column I am taking an angle that may interest ALL judges, brewers who enter competitions and stewards. Hence “Judge Decision Making.”
 It’s long, so I split it into 3 parts, one covering the process of judging, one the competition, and the last one offers a few conclusions. This way it’s easier to pick and choose what you want to read.
 You can find many of the winners mentioned and other information in Tara Mitchell’s video blogs. Just click on the part you want to watch: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5
If you are reading the Music City Brewer-Score a more comprehensive list is provide as well.

Part One: Judge decision making

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 I spent most of MCBO judging with Joseph Nance, known throughout the club as a quiet introvert who rarely speaks. He is like the shadow in the corner rarely seen or heard, a subtle demeanor, judging in utter silence…
 OK, I can’t continue typing. The laughter is making me miss keys on the keyboard. He’s fun to judge with, but when it comes to beer “introvert?” Not so much. Continue reading “ABJD: On the 24th Music City Brew Off and Judge Decision Making”

This Man Turned a Fire Engine Into a Rolling Taproom. Here’s How He Did It


Kevin Mullan is a non-profit-CEO-turned-marketing-executive who for years harbored a very specific dream: to retrofit a fire truck into a rolling tap house that would serve specialty brews to adventurous beer connoisseurs.

This year, he finally cranked the engine on the project, literally. For his own birthday, he debuted his 20,000-pound craft-beer-spewing side gig in a party with his family and friends.

Some guests were skeptical at first. But the party — and 10 taps worth of Ohio’s finest microbrews — extinguished their doubts. Maybe even some of his own. Since then, the fire truck has frequented corporate events, birthdays, kids parties, festivals and more around Mullan’s home of Toledo.

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Episode 74 – Can Denny Brew?


The Brew is Out There!

A few episodes back – Denny got to taste Drew’s beer and now the tables are turned! Drew tastes and discusses with Denny two of his beers – A Belgian Golden Strong and a Veterans’ Blend IPA. Are they any good? What could be changed and what the heck is that bottle Denny used to ship his beers?!?

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