Beer Profile: Saranac’s Varick Street Breakfast Stout

Profiled by Ken Carman

For a slightly wood aged-like, imperial sweet stout I can’t imagine better. I got a 4 pack for judging Old Forge BIG Beer and Odd Ale Competition. It took me a few weeks before I could open one, but this is the kind of brew that can wait. By the way fellow Certified BJCP judge and my marital superior: Millie Carman, agrees.

The nose is lactose-like, milk and dark chocolate-like, mix. Just a hint of roasted barley sense way in the background. No hops sensed in aroma. Sweet sense tingles my nostrils; demanding I drink.

Black as hell, no light shines through. The head is dark tan, closing in on light brown. Pillow and Guinness-like in nature it goes from real big to small, but lingers. It coats the glass like it loves being there and hates to leave.

But the taste is where it’s at: intense malt profile. It finishes sweet, as expected. Slightest bitter, even though 50 IBUs. With this malt bill and sweet: not surprising. The sweet just doesn’t want to leave and dark caramel candy sense follows behind that. What hop sense there is is bitter, maybe with a whisper of herbal. Too little to assess what herb. Pale, caramel, hint black malts and hint roasted barley sense provides a BIG malt kick.

Carbonation light, but just right. Malt dominates in mouth feel too. This is so enticing to the palate as well: reminds me of a dark, brown sugar-ish sticky bun. That’s in mouthfeel too.

If they don’t brew this again may the spirit of craft beer haunt Saranac brewers and Fred Matt, their boss. INCREDIBLE. Highest rating I’ve ever given in my reviews.

untappd 4.02
BA 4.3
RB 3 (What’s WRONG with you, Ratebeer? OH, THAT’S RIGHT! No wonder. Bud driven ratings.



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

Brew Files – Episode 47 – The Bays of Portland

The Brew is Out There!

One of our favorite yeast people is back and he’s got big news! Nick Impelitteri is going full time and moving to Beervana – aka Portland – aka the new “Bay” City? In addition we talk about new toys he’s bringing to bear including a nectar loving critter that might change how you experience hops.
Want to hear more? Please click… HERE!

‘World’s oldest brewery’ found in cave in Israel, say researchers

Researchers say they have found the world’s oldest brewery, with residue of 13,000-year-old beer, in a prehistoric cave near Haifa in Israel. The discovery was made while they were studying a burial site for semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers. Brewing beer was thought to go back 5,000 years, but the latest discovery may turn beer history on its head.

Want to read more? Please click…HERE!

Cask Ale, No Frills, and Plenty of Conversation: Reinventing the English Pub for the 21st Century

The pub, or public house, is a revered institution in the United Kingdom, outweighing and outlasting even the church as an everyday part of British life. Pubs are romanticized, sentimentalized, and politicized, a nexus for conversations about gentrification and culture, and a proxy for the very state of the nation.

The ideal English pub might be an ancient rural coaching inn out of a painting by Constable, or an urban gin palace dancing with warm light reflected in mirrors and polished wood. Either way, it will probably be at least a hundred years old. New pubs were built in the 20th century—some 5,000 so-called “improved public houses” between the world wars, and around 4,000 austere modernist structures in the era of post-war reconstruction—but they tend to be less well-loved than their predecessors, lacking their dark corners and coziness.

Want to read more? Please click…HERE!

Failure to Launch a Brewery

So you’ve been brewing beer for a few years and love sharing your brews with your family, friends, neighbors, and plumber? You figure, why not share my hard work with the rest of the world, and make money while working my dream job? Many others have had the same idea. A lot of the craft breweries that you know and love today, started with a passion for home brewing. You may be familiar with some of the larger success stories (Sam Adams or Dogfish Head) but you never hear about the breweries that failed to succeed. This is my (much shortened) story of failing to launch a brewery in Toledo, OH in 2014.

Scratching the Itch to Start a Pro Brewery

Marriage is a beautiful thing isn’t it? Not when it takes you 16 hours to reach a small island off the coast of Belize. That’s where the planning of my brewery began. I had a jet lagged wife, and a lot of spare time. Besides the 2 planes, 2 taxis, and 2 ferries it took to get to this island, the wedding was pretty exhausting too. Did I mention this was my honeymoon? While my wife napped, I was curiously looking at the prices of commercial brewing systems to see it was feasible to build a brewery. They ranged from 1-7 bbl’s (barrels) and cost $10k-$90k depending on the design, aesthetics, and degree of automation. If you’re unfamiliar, 1bbl is 31 gallons. It only took a couple days for me to convince myself that I needed to open a small brewery. Besides worrying about the cost, I was also wondering where I would put all of this equipment.

Want to read more? PLEASE click HERE!

Beer for Dogs?

When Megan and Steve Long’s Rottweiler mix, Rocky, started having digestion problems, the couple needed a way to help him keep his food down.

Megan scoured the internet looking for remedies, but none seemed to do the trick.

“I’m not a crazy dog lady. I just really wanted to prolong my boy’s life,” she said.

Then she stumbled up a solution she could brew: “Beer” for dogs – a nonalcoholic beverage packed with healthy ingredients for pooches. Fast forward almost a year, and Good Boy Dog Beer company sells three different beers throughout Houston in more than 20 dog-friendly restaurants and bars.

Want to read more? Please click… HERE!

Brut Squad: The Dry Side of Emerging Craft Beer

By Stephen Body
Unless you’ve been asleep for the past year or so brutally bummed by the whole Trump Atrocity, as I have been, you’re read/heard/consumed some aspect of this brand new, non-accidental, totally premeditated style of American beer. If you haven’t tasted it, a few facts:

1. It was invented – and not at all by happy accident, as MOST brewing styles have traditionally been – by a hugely crafty guy named Kim Sturdavant, brewmaster at San Francisco’s The Social Kitchen & Brewery, who was seeking some means of removing what he regarded as an excess of sweetness in the traditional IPA.

Want to read more? Please click… HERE!

Prague: a Jewel in the Crown of Beer Culture

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Prague is justly famous for its Old Town Square, its Castle District dominated by St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Charles Bridge, majestic despite the throngs of tourists. Beyond that, Prague is famous for the Defenestration of Prague. (Defenestration: now there’s a fine word for you.) Legend has it that the ignominiously defenestrated Catholic Lords Regent survived the 21-meter fall by landing in a dung heap.

Prague is also famous for its beer.

Want to read more? Please click… HERE!