Profile: Southern Grist’s Blueberry Pancake Breakfast Brown

Profiled by Ken Carman

Deep tan head headed towards brown that doesn’t hold long. Quaff brown almost black, so dark clarity very hard to assess. SRM in 30s. Head clings to side of glass in ring. Tipped glass provides just a little clarity. No “floaties.”

The aroma is brown malt mixed with a whiff of blueberries behind that. Maple syrup-like sweetness way behind that: barely tingles the nose. What blueberry sense there is is more blueberry syrup-like. Slightly sweet in aroma: pancakes a definite sense to that. No alcohol in aroma, no hops.
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Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

It’s a gloomy afternoon in late spring made slightly brighter by the cheerful yellow canola in full bloom and the several shades of green fields spread over the hills like a patchwork quilt. The bus from Forchheim has just deposited me at a nondescript crossroads on the highway. Tucked away in a hollow to my right, I spy the iconic steeple presiding over the monastery complex I’ve seen on so many bottles of beer from Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe. I’m in the right place.

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Westmalle Dubbel V. Chimay Dubbel

Written by Maria Devan

Cheers you all and welcome to the second half of my “dubbel feature.” Last time I had the Chimay dubbel. Today I am having the Westmalle dubbel.

The appearance is darker, 17 on the srm chart, a mahogany color that does not have as much golden fire around the edges. Another way to express the color is dark but not burned toast. The head of foam is darker in color. This one is khaki colored and long lasting with some bigger bubbles atop a dimpled rocky head that falls slowly, shimmering in sheets and falls away to spot as you drink. Nose is bready like brown bread and has slight hop grasses on the nose. Rose like qualities on the nose and slightly plummy. Raisins and dried dates in the background and a very light spicy clove. Drinks just like the nose and finishes drier yet malty with a slight bitterness from those grassy hops. Moderate carbonation. The bubbles are hard and plentiful. Slight warming from alcohol.

There are differences in every category from the Chimay Dubbel. In the Chimay beer the color and head were lighter. There was no hops on the nose or in the flavor. The breadiness was biscuit- not brown bread in the Chimay beer. There was no rose like scent and the clove was stronger. There also was no alcohol presence on the Chimay and nothing bitter in the finish. The carbonation was firmer than Chimay. And the Chimay finished sweeter than the Westmalle. Two world class dubbels that have plenty of differences between them.

Beer Profile: Ommegang’s Idyll Days

Profiled by Maria Devan

Maria Devan

Belgian style beer is defined by an approach to style that allows a healthy contribution from the yeast character as well as a traditional appearance concerning the head of foam. Is there such a thing as a Belgian style pilsner? If you are looking for one on the store shelf I daresay you will be challenged to find any or any Belgian style lagers in general. That is why I am happy to have discovered Ommegang’s Idyll Days. Ommegang is a regional Belgian style brewery here in NY and a personal favorite of mine. They have done a wonderful thing with their interpretation on the pilsner. The pilsner is a contemporary style and it’s guidelines speak to it’s hoppy originality with deference to the lager tradition.

Let’s taste Ommegang’s Idyll Days and pair it with chicken wings I will make with a chickpea salad and the leftover thai peanut dressing. Continue reading “Beer Profile: Ommegang’s Idyll Days”

6 Beer Off-Flavors and How To Fix Them

Part of becoming a brewmaster is developing the ability to identify and address flavors and aromas that are not intended to be in your beer. We typically call these “off-flavors.”

From the infamous skunky smell to hints of canned vegetables, Drew Beechum (Simple Brewing, Experimental Brewing) walks us through 6 of the most common beer off-flavors.

And remember! You can always turn a less-than-drinkable beer into malt vinegar or use it as paint.

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I spent my quarantine homebrewing awful beer

I’ve been a beer writer for a half-decade, and only once have I brewed my own beer, and that was at Vine Park. I know the ins and outs of what brewers do on a commercial scale, but the closest I get to that at home is mixing Bud Light and Budweiser to make an elixir I call “Bud Medium.”

Housebound and self-destructively bored, I decide to give it another shot. Besides, a lockdown seems like a good opportunity to hone practical survival skills in the event of a total societal collapse.

I don’t own kettles or a kegerator or even a large slotted spoon, so I’m not ready to go full-bore. Thankfully, Belgian kit maker Brewferm is there to help me bridge the gap. For just under $100, you can buy an all-in-one starter kit and have it delivered to your bunker (Amazon also sells them). I get mine in hasty time (nice work, Belgium!), but it sits unused for months before COVID-19 forces me into intellectual wandering. On the first day of my self-quarantine, I dig into it.

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