From the Bottle Collection

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.

Wellington Black Knight Strong Ale E.S.B. Ale
950 Woodlawn Road West
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
N1K 1B8950

This was a bit tough to track down, at first. Apparently there is a Wellington Brewery in England and Google loves that one. I bought this screw top, plastic, bottle: much like cheap American brewers used for years, in Ontario, Canada while on tour in the early to mid-90s.

More body than most ales and a bit more abv, so “strong” was modestly applicable. E.S.B.? Well, perhaps in the more Brit sense, but since there were few of the more aggressive American ESBs at the time… probably accurate.

I remember it being quite pleasant. fairly dark for an ESB. It may have even been “black,” but I’m not sure.

On this same trip I noticed a small place with many mash tuns, so I stopped by. One of the first BOPs I’ve ever seen. But Canada was always way ahead of us back then. I had my first Guinness Export in Montreal about 1974. Guinness pretty much didn’t exist in the east coast stores or bars in the states at the time.
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Beer With Kick Is Caught in F.D.A.’s Net

Written by Katie Zezima for The New York Times

Both photos Katherine Taylor for NYT

COHASSET, Mass. — When Rhonda Kallman set out to create a beer that would draw a crowd, she never expected the attention her Moonshot ’69 brew received this month.

The creator of Moonshot ’69, a light beer that contains caffeine, has stopped brewing it for the time being.

The problem is that the light beer, made by Ms. Kallman’s company, New Century Brewing, contains caffeine. Earlier this month, she and three other manufacturers were told by the federal Food and Drug Administration that they must remove the stimulant from their beverages or stop selling them.

While most of the focus has been on two fruit-flavored, high-alcohol malt energy drinks, Four Loko and Joose, Ms. Kallman said her small company, which has suffered years of setbacks, is reeling from the news.

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Thankful for Craft Beer

Florida before good beer, as far as we know: 1591- PGA

Written by Alan Shaw for Florida

From his column: “Beer Geek: Covering the brewing scene of Southwest Florida”

On a day where we count our blessings, I’d like to give thanks for a relatively small one: the growing craft beer scene in Florida.

It was only a few years ago that Florida deserved the label of Beer Wasteland. The state was dominated by the big guys and about the only craft beer you could hope to find was Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
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The Craft Beer Cronicles- Hipsters May be Strong Armed by Double Bastard

Written by Steven Armstrong for

“How many hipsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?”

That’s the question Jason Bernstein posed earlier this week when we sat down at the Golden State, the eatery-cum-craft-beer-bar he co-owns on Fairfax. I sipped my Stone Double Bastard Ale as he delivered the punchline:

“It’s a really esoteric number; you’ve probably never heard of it.”
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Ye Olde Scribe’s “Wha Da Hell’s So Special Bout Dis Beer” Report’

“Because ‘special’ should mean ‘more.'”

Profiled by Ye Olde Scribe

Yellow, Plenty of head. A bit unclear. But “Whatsospecialhere?”

Scribe doesn’t see the point here. Brewed with ancient grains and Sorachi: Japanese hop. Hitachino Nest Ancient Nipponia is supposed to be an historical experience. Hell, if Scribe wanted special bland he wouldn’t have to go back that far The 60s would do.


About 180 years ago, beer was brought into Japan from Holland and USA. At that time, Japan closed the country to foreigners.

Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu tasted beer and was surprised at the taste. And some men started to brew beer in Japan.

But at that time there was no barley for beer in Japan so they used barley for noodle. After opening the country, William Copland started beer brewing as business in Yokohoma, which is the origin of Kirin beer. Soon he noticed that they need to cultivate the original barley for beer which matches with Japanese weather.Mr. Kaneko who was a big farmer started to make a new seed of barley by mixing Japanese ancient barley for noodle and imported barley for beer. He found mixing Shikoku, good barley for noodle, and Golden Melon, American barley, was good and he named this new barley as Kaneko Golden.

Fascinating. The story better than the beer. Lemony. Alcohol presence. Grain subtle.

Newsflash: if the hops and the grain are what makes it so special, ya might wanna make the beer reflect that?

The Pilgrims’ Real First Thanksgiving

Written by Pete Skirbunt for the American Forces Press Service

Harvest festivals are as old as civilization itself, but our Thanksgiving is much more than an annual festival. It is a national day of expressing thanks, according to every individual’s personal beliefs.

There were many “thanksgivings” in the early days of American colonization, when life and travel were so difficult that people were always giving thanks for safe journeys, favorable weather and good crops. Spanish colonists held such feasts in Texas in the 1500s, as did English colonists in Virginia from the 1600s.

The thanksgiving we commemorate every November, however, was the one held by the Pilgrims of Plymouth, Mass., in 1621. Although it definitely wasn’t the “first” thanksgiving in the New World, it holds a special place in American tradition because of its association with the ideals of religious freedom, self-reliance and the mutual friendship of settlers and natives.

The Pilgrims — a name not actually applied to them until 170 years later — were 102 people who sailed from England on the ship Mayflower in September 1620. Of these, only 35 were actually seeking religious freedom. They were “Separatists” from the Church of England. The others, called “Strangers,” simply wanted to leave England for a variety of reasons and start life over in America.

For 12 years, the Separatists had lived in Holland, where the Dutch tolerated religious differences. But these Englishmen didn’t want to desert their heritage, customs or language. They decided to go to America — to Virginia, specifically. Establishing a colony there would allow them to remain English. If they went elsewhere, to Dutch colonies, for instance, they would have had to renounce their English citizenship.

King James I, eager to be rid of them, gave them permission to establish a colony, so long as they remained loyal and didn’t cause him trouble. The Virginia Company of London agreed to let them settle in “Virginia,” which at that time extended north to modern New Jersey. Merchants calling themselves “Adventurers” agreed to finance the expedition in return for seven years of shared profits from whatever the colonists were able to produce and send back.

In August 1620, the first Separatists sailed with 67 “Strangers” on the Mayflower and a second ship, the Speedwell. After the Speedwell twice sprang leaks and forced returns to port, everyone crammed aboard the 90-foot-long Mayflower and left the Speedwell behind.

Aboard ship, the voyagers ate bread, biscuits, pudding, cheese, crackers, and dried meats and fruits. Instead of water, they brought barrels of beer — a standard practice in the days before refrigeration, because beer remained potable longer than water.
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Try Beer, Not Wine, for Thanksgiving

Written by Fred Tasker for McClatchy Newspapers

Beer for Thanksgiving? Don’t reject it out of hand. One can make a very persuasive case for holiday brews.

Some historians say the Pilgrims drank beer on that first Thanksgiving, just as they did every day, because the water available to them was polluted. Others say this is poppycock.

Doesn’t matter. On Thanksgiving 2010, the reason to drink beer is that brewing has become so sophisticated that a thoughtful host can match beers with each course just as she or he would with wine.

As aperitifs, you can serve light brews – pale lagers or wheat beers – to get the conversation flowing. Such brews can be light as clouds, highly carbonated, full of festive, tiny bubbles just like champagne.

The hors d’oeuvres course at Thanksgiving is usually pretty light, given the fulsome nature of the coming meal. Crisp crudites, maybe, or smoked salmon on water crackers, just to keep your guests alive until dinner. For this, amber and dark lagers provide similar lightness but a bit more malty and hoppy flavor.

For the main course, with its sheer bulk and multitude of flavors, anything goes. This is the ale course – pale ales, dark ales of all hues and flavors. The smoky, caramelized flavors of these sturdier brews are great matches for the crackly, deep-brown skin of a well-roasted turkey, and their underlying herbal flavors go well with stuffing.

As for the side dishes, one can only say that hearty goes well with hearty.

When dessert comes, surprise your guests: Serve that pumpkin pie with a sweet and spicy pumpkin ale or that sugar-laden pecan pie with the wonderful accompaniment of a chocolate stout.
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Seasonal Beer Profiles

Profiled by Tom Becham

Republished for the season.

Pumpkin pie is appreciated for Thanksgiving and the Christmas Holiday as well, so these beers are passably seasonal for the rest of the year.
Pumpkin has a long history in ale making in the United States. The colonists used pumpkin as an adjunct, using the sugars as an aid to fermentation. And truly, since most Brits regard pumpkin as an item to be fed to cattle, it could really only have started in the New World.
The first of the three I tried was Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale. Dogfish Head describes this as a spiced pumpkin beer with a brown ale base.
My impressions? It poured a nice rosy orange. On the nose, it smells like they dumped the whole friggin’ spice rack in this one. The usual pumpkin pie spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice – are very strong on the nose. Only when the beer warms does the brown ale’s toffee-like malt aroma come forward. The head is small and short-lived, but a lovely tan color. Taste-wise, the spice again overwhelms the pumpkin at first. The pumpkin comes out to play only upon warming, and is never more than faint, and almost overwhelmed by the slight minty hop. On the plus-side, the 7% ABV is never obvious. I’d recommend this only if you like spice – and a lot of it – in your pumpkin ale. I love Dogfish Head for their intrepid spirit of experimentation. But sometimes – as with this beer – they swing and miss.
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Beer Lubricated the Rise of Civilization, Study Suggests

Written by Charles Choi for

Could beer have helped lead to the rise of civilization? It’s a possibility, some archaeologists say.

Their argument is that Stone Age farmers were domesticating cereals not so much to fill their stomachs but to lighten their heads, by turning the grains into beer. That has been their take for more than 50 years, and now one archaeologist says the evidence is getting stronger.

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