Beer Profile: Smistletoe from Smuttynose


Profiled by Maria Devan

Beer-Profile3Hi everyone today I have Smistletoe from Smuttynose. I am not a big fan of the Christmas beer or what you would call the winter warmer so I was very happy to see that this beer is in a style I don’t see very often. Biere de Garde.

Happy Meet You Under the Smistletoe Sunday

Pours a peachy color pinkish. The color can range form golden blonde to reddish brown so I guess that’s ok. When I see a pink or off color beer I usually don’t find myself attracted to it. slight haze. Head dissipated quickly. The light does not show you the color that I wanted you to see but it’s a little pinkish looking and not as hazy as I had first thought.

Nose has a dry musty scent malty and herbal. Clean nose with no diacetyl. There is what I would call a brisk neutral scent at first and then the fruitiness starts to exhale gently with some spice as the beer warms.

Taste is very spicy. Soft sweet bread for malt. Fully fruity with a tartness in the middle. Crisp herbal and plenty of clean hop bitterness take over toward the finish with sweet herbs. Lingers like honey on a cracker or nectar from flowers. Syrupy sweet finish with lots of pepper that leaves a bit flat with all that spice sinking into the cloying sweetness. As I drank I found the sweetness tolerable but it is extremely sweet and definitely a slow sipper.

The bjcp says that this style of beer should have a cellar like or musty character form lagering which it does. It should lack the spicing and the tartness of the saison. I do not feel that it did. It should be rounder and fuller than the Saison but this is where it went sweeter rather than rounder.

Have a great day everyone and CHEERS!



Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


______________________________Beer HERE


mdMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY. That’s Ithaca: home to Ithaca Brewing and Bandwagon. She writes about beer frequently, so that means she samples a lot of beer. The professor is jealous.

’Tis the Season for a Mug of Mulled Beer

’Tis the season, once again. Chances are you’ve had a chance to warm yourself with a cup of mulled wine, especially if you’ve been to Europe around this time of year. But mulled beer?

Last year I related the story about my first sip of Glühwein (mulled wine) in the western German city of Saarbrücken. Aromas of baking spice, roasted nuts, and pine boughs drifted fragrantly in the bracing winter air, leading me to the Christkindl market in the main square and setting me down the path of annual Glühwein parties and get-togethers.IMG_5371 A few decades on, I did what might well come naturally to a catholic imbiber like myself: I heated up a bunch o’ beer and spiced it. Turns out the whole endeavour isn’t without historical precedent.


Mulled beer, Glühbier, call it what you want: It’s definitely not a tradition of contemporary vintage in any of the beer-consuming countries I’ve visited. The rather incredulous glances I encountered from my Austrian colleagues last week merely confirmed the fact when I brewed up 25 liters of the stuff for the Wien Museum’s annual holiday season party. But warm beer has a history –– and not just as a pejorative reference to twentieth-century British beer.

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Brew Biz Werts and All


           The Topic: Ye Olde Brothers Brewery

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

 We headed down to the Emerald Coast because I had to perform in Mary Ester. Of course I Googled new breweries and came up with Ye Olde Brothers in Navarre. On the sign it was listed as “Santa Rosa’s first brewery,” so I had to ask, “What about Santa Rosa Brewery that used to be in Fort Walton Beach?” Apparently a different county.
1212150914-01 This is one of those long stretches of Florida panhandle road where there’s a whole bunch of nothing. Not Rt.20 long by any means, but long. If you’re coming from Pensacola go out to Gulf Breeze, head towards Fort Walton Beach. Take RT87. It will be on your left. If you’re coming down from I-10, be aware they’re tearing the hell out of 87. Looks like an attempt to make a four lane beyond the brewery. Will be on your left.
 We were both impressed with a rather simple set up, all based around a sample bar. I do not recommend the Buffalo dip if you’re going to actually assess these brews. It’s good, yes, but a bit spicy and palate wearing.
 We got a sample board with Blackwater Stout, Panhandle Porter, East Bay IPA, Session IPA, Speed Brake Stout. All of the brews were light on white pillow head and carbonation. Good clarity. Continue reading “Brew Biz Werts and All”

From Beetroot To Pineapple, Homemade Wines Sweeten Christmas In India

Across India, several Christian communities prepare sweet homemade wines for the festive season from a rich array of local fruit, roots and grain. Above, a glass of golden pineapple wine.In October, Hilda Mascarenhas, who writes a popular food blog in Pune, India, began her Christmas preparations with an unusual request to her fruit seller.

After buying a pineapple, she asked the vendor to separately pack the peel and eyes that he had skillfully removed with his long knife.

Hilda’s husband, Merwyn, though accustomed to his wife’s culinary experiments, was as mystified as the fruit seller. What did the thick, thorny peel and tongue-lacerating eyes, normally discarded as waste, have to do with Christmas?

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Brew Biz: Werts and All

 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Clarksville Carboys and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

The Topic: InShaft Acquires Itself… (satire)

A gift to my readers for the season…

“Come the buyout brew-volution EVERYONE will have free InShaft beer.”
“But comrade, I like the choice of having many small breweries…”
“Come the revolution you WILL ONLY like InShaft beer.”

2836459Reporting from Mega Brew International, the ONLY brewery in the world, two days before Christmas– InShaft acquired itself today and immediately told its distributors that it will give them an extra percentage of their profits if they distribute 99% InBev beer, but will drop that to 2% if they distribute InShaft beer. A bit confused, distributors immediately interpreted that to mean they should drop all formerly craft brew brands now part of the InShaft beer empire.
  Attempts to reach InShaft for comment were met with a phone tree featuring a Phyllis Diller sound alike that led callers nowhere except through a plethora of bad jokes via an ultra gravely voice, which STILL was more appealing than Mich Ultra. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”

Queen City Q to boycott Anheuser-Busch InBev

BBQ joint Queen City Q says it will no longer sell any beers associated with Anheuser-Busch InBev. That boycott includes its four Charlotte locations — as well as any future restaurants it owns or operates.

“We’re all for a company to win market share due to their product and service, but we are not in favor of nor do we want to associate ourselves with a company that bullies its competition in the way that AB has chosen to,” says Bryan Meredith, Queen City Q’s managing partner.

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Anheuser-Busch InBev Acquiring Breckenridge Brewery

AB InBev Purchases Breckenridge

It’s been a busy 2015 for Belgian owned, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewery conglomerate, and it seems as if they’re not done quite yet. While most believed AB InBev’s flurry of recent acquisitions would conclude with their monster deal to buy SAB Miller, as well as, last Friday’s addition of Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, AZ, and yesterday’s purchase of London’s Camden Town Brewery, it seems as if another blockbuster deal is near completion.

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Beer Profile: Ithaca’s 18


Profiled by Maria Devan

Beer-Profile3Cheers you all! I have done a few chores today but whoop dee doo it’s Saturday; The Day of the Dark and I have Ithaca Beers Anniversary 18 to celebrate. This beer is a Baltic Porter and the now old bjcp said that this style represents the idea of the imperial porter. To many that means that there is a difference between stout and porter when the abv gets above a certain point. 8%. It uses a variety of malts and is very complex. This style is “influenced by the russian imperial stout” and is “full bodied smooth and has a well aged alcohol warmth.”

Ithaca Beer Anniversary 18

This beer pours like liquid velvet. In fact when I first saw it I thought of red velvet. The colors are stunning and rich. Browns, chestnut with it’s red highlight. A moment of red velvet color can be observed in this beer. It also appears to be black, pitch black. Outstanding.

The nose is roasty but also has lots of earth. The vienna malt seems to give it a silken sweetness. Coffee and vanilla. Light cocoa and a smoky quality that is so earthy it smells almost sweet. You might miss it if you don’t give the nose a chance to open up. Cherry fruit in the background. That is from the special B and the kiln smoked cherry wood malt.

Robust flavor on a silken carpet. Roasty earthy malt. Sharp well defined flavors but not harshness and nothing burnt or astringent. Cherry and dark fruit. Wood does not overtake the nose or the palate but it does provide a lighter bearing. As though this dark portrait is being painted with a lightness deep inside. It has a delicate crispness overall that I find expert and outstanding. The smoke adds depth and fullness without adding the flavor of meat. I am amazed at the soft enveloping fullness. Hops show up at the very end to finish with a light herbal sweetness and a perfect bitterness. They come just a little bit forward at the very end but not so much that you would call it hoppy. This is impeccably balanced. There is no roughness it lingers long and dries out lovely.

Congratulations Ithaca on your Anniversary 18! Stunning!



Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


__________________________________________Beer HERE


mdMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. That’s Maria in the middle. The other two are not, but they are lucky to have her as a friend.

Craft Beer Gift Ideas for the Last-Minute Holiday Shopper

Written by Franz Hofer

With the popularity of craft beer at an all-time high this holiday season, it’s no surprise that all manner of purveyors have stepped up to offer you an array of beer-related wares. Need yet another item to add to your wish list? Still wondering what to buy for the craft beer imbiber in your life? Tempest’s annual holiday wish list has you covered with more holiday gift ideas than you can shake a tankard at. No beer-scented soap, though. (Just the thing you need when you wake up with a holiday hangover: a shower with beer-scented soap.)Drinktanks-Beer-Growler-with-Keg-Cap-Teal

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