Brew Biz: Werts and All

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

Written by Ken Carman

The Terminal Brewhouse
6 E 14th St
Chattanooga, TN 37408
(423) 752-8090

I was on tour, in the Atlanta area. Now, I could have spent 29.99 plus, and been 15 miles, at best, from all but one of my gigs. Or, stay 70 miles away and be closer to Chattanooga so I could do a review on Terminal. Never guess what “stupid for beer” did?

Chattanooga, Tennessee sits between mountains, or “hills” if you Rocky Mountain snobs prefer, and from the top of one you can see seven states. A river flows busily by if you arrive from the northwest. Chattanooga is barely north of Georgia if you come up from the south and barely beyond the Smoky Mountains if you come down from Knoxville. Negotiate your way through downtown Chattanooga just right and you’ll find The Terminal Brewhouse. You’ll be immediately impressed by one oddity: not your average brewpub visually. Terminal Brewhouse is like a big, tall, wedge, sitting in downtown Chattanooga. Once upon a time it was The Terminal Hotel; one hopes not during the 1929 crash or maybe the name might have been a bit too accurate? Of course “Terminal” was used here in the sense of serving a railroad.

After all, this is the city made famous by trains and a song. Now you can go to a historical building that served railroad passengers and “chew, chew.”

Sorry. Some puns are just so hard to resist.

The former Terminal hotel was also known as a speak easy for a while during the Great Depression, a greasy spoon and even a courthouse. Then it sat for a while, falling apart: vacant.

But now it’s filled with thirsty quaffers, hungry families and steps leading up to its three floors. So the Terminal building receives no more vacant… stairs.

Let’s go inside, shall we?

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Brewers Association Releases 2009 Top 50 Breweries Lists

Boulder, CO • April 14, 2010—The Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group that tabulates production statistics for U.S. breweries, released its annual lists reporting the top 50 brewing companies in the country, based on 2009 beer sales volume. The two lists are the Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies, comprising small and independent craft brewers,¹ and the Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies.  The Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies list contains 76 percent craft brewing companies.

“Beer lovers continue to find great value and enjoyment in fuller flavored craft beers,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “Americans have an increasing appreciation of craft beers, and the growing number of brewers behind them.”

Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies
(Based on 2009 beer sales volume)

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Germany’s Beer Gardens: Hours, Etiquette, and Ordering your Drinks

Image courtesy

Written by Andrea Kirkby for Suite

One of the great pleasures of traveling in Germany is drinking the local beer, particularly in summer when the beer gardens are open. But to make the most of your experience you do need to know the ropes; beer halls don’t work quite like pubs.

First of all, drinking hours are different. Many beer gardens and beer halls, particularly brewpubs, don’t open until the late afternoon during the week, though they may stay open till one in the morning or even later.

Secondly, the regulars are very protective of their space. If you see a brass plaque over a table, don’t sit there. The brass plaque isn’t there to say ‘Karl Marx drank here’ or commemorate past glories. It marks the table as a Stammtisch, the meeting place of a regular club or group of drinkers.

However, the public tables are there to be shared. Don’t feel awkward about heading for free spaces on a table that’s otherwise occupied – just ask if the seats are free (‘frei’) or occupied (‘besetzt’).

How to order your beer depends on the venue. In a beer hall, don’t head for the bar – you will be served at the table. In a large beer garden, on the other hand, you may need to head for the central beer pouring point. Pay the cashier first, find a mug, and take the ticket and the mug together to the pourer. Get ready to catch your mug as it slides along the bar – this is speedy pouring, not elegant service!

In beer gardens or at street festivals, you may be asked for a deposit (‘Pfand’) for the mug. Don’t forget to take the mug back and reclaim your money.

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Carlsberg Workers Strike Over Beer Limits

Courtesy the BBC

Carlsberg workers in Copenhagen have gone on strike against new rules that restrict the amount of free beer they can consume during their working day. Regulations brought in at the start of the month stipulate that workers are no longer allowed beer throughout the day, and can now only drink at lunchtime. Workers claim they were not consulted on the changes, which is why more than 250 have decided to strike in protest.

Carlsberg said it would not be reversing the new policy.

“Carlsberg has pulled something over the heads of the workers. They won’t have a dialogue with us,” said Michael Christiansen, representing the striking employees. “We have never had a problem with accidents or anything with alcohol involved.”

The strike has affected beer deliveries into the Danish capital as delivery drivers have gone on strike in sympathy with their co-workers. The strike began on Wednesday.

Ye Olde Scribe’s Almost As Intentionally Sour As Scribe Beer Report’

“For those who are big suckers for da Gueuze pucker.”

Written by Ye Olde Scribe

Egads! Scribe is in love. Did someone brew a beer as a portrait of YOS? As any of his beloved readers might say, Scribe’s writings are humorously sour and satirically pungent and use tongue tangy parody to grow more than a hair a day on your chest.

Such is Oude Gueuze, brewed by Hanssens Artisanaal in Dworp, Belgium, to the palette.

For those not in the know a Gueuze is a carefully blended ale using various Lambics of various ages: usually 1-3. This beer is describes in various terms that seem unpalatable by such as the BJCP, AHA and MBBSS: The Mythical Belgian Beer Sucking Society. No, that last one wasn’t real. Twere a JOKE!

Here’s Scribe’s take: sour nose with slight malt and no hops. Hops would distract. A slight haze. Light gold. The head hangs on like the taste: a bulldog bite to the tongue. Very balanced. A bit “horsey” to taste: and Scribe knows that sounds horrible. After all: who wants to lick a horse’s ^%$# except horse-o-holics? (Yeah, tis a sick perversion that involves much unmentionable oral acts: hence the age old disease “hoof in mouth.”)

If that fabled old horse gets sent to that factory, instead of crying: going “Boohoo” does he “Gluehoo?” Now THERE’S a joke that sticks to your… horse’s… ribs!

The only criticism here is Scribe wishes even this classic brewer of Gueuze could make up their minds how to spell it. Scribe’s bottle says “Gueuze.” The picture: Geuze. Scribe has gander-ed upon many various variations on spelling whatever the hell the real spelling is. If a classic brewer of the style can’t decide, who can?

Scribe could swear there’s rhubarb in here. It’s almost as if the rhubarb sour is STALKING him. Decent carbonation. Light yellow.

If you want unique and sour, tis da beer for you.

Chugger Beer?

Written by Ken Carman with plenty of assistance from Pat Johnson

No, this is not a story of some college frat party and chugging pitchers. This is the story of a man who loves beer, loves boats and how he has been able to use both of these to help his homebrew club and his home town.

Pensacola Beach. Blue green water. Crystal white sand. Just a few days ago on the boardwalk the Bamboo Willie’s Anything that Floats race was about to start. Being president of Escambia Bay Homebrewers, and owner of Pensacola Boatworks, Pat Johnson is standing proudly near his magnificent flotation creation: the world famous “Chuggerboat…” watching over his beloved Chuggerboat.

Well, maybe he’s watching more than his boat.

Here’s the Chuggerboat with a banner promoting one of the best: most fun, homebrew clubs in the country: Escambia Bay Homebrewers: Pensacola, Florida…. and this event also allowed them to sell more tickets to another famous Pensacola event: Escambia Bay Brewers famous beerfest they have every year.

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From the Bottle Collection: Watneys Stingo!

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.

Image courtesy

Written by Ken Carman

When I saw the Professor posted an article on Stingo I was obviously on the net. I looked up at the part of The Bottle Collection that dangles above my Mac. Stingo! Only by Watneys. I suspect this current incarnation is a re-release: Samuel Smith’s version of the Watneys product.

I don’t have a picture of my bottle: so the Professor provided one from that’s obviously an older version. Mine is a bit more elaborate: border red, tan circle and a big black dot with the Watneys logo and description of the beer, but still from the defunct Watneys. Says “Watney’s Mortlake Brewery.” Also says “Dark Ale.” The Samuel Smith description of Stingo seems more accurate. More of an Old Ale. Various web pages claim this was a barley wine. No way: not from what I remember: carmelization, few if any hops even for the Brit barley wine. I know barley wine and this wasn’t it. Much of the flavor driven by sweet malt, carmelization and some darker malts. Another site claims it was a Cream Stout. Perhaps, though the Old Ale nature sticks in my memory. And, yet, it was so sweet it was a bit sticky. But I really think the sweet was more malt driven, not any lactose that may, or may not, have been used. Admittedly vague memory says, “Not.” In other words: probably a dark, sweeter, version of Old Ale.

I didn’t put it on my best shelf, though who knows for sure… now that I know more about styles I might have. I’d have to try it again to be sure. Give me a break: I think I had this in the late 80s, or early 90s.


Written by Beersage for

North Yorkshire, England) – Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo, a beer of historic proportions, will ship to the U.S. through Merchant du Vin later this year. According to the back label pictured below, the beer is billed to have a rather interesting flavor profile: “fruit, raisin, treacle toffee, Christmas pudding and slight oaky flavours.” In part due to the extensive aging in oak casks for over a year, the beer has an ABV level of 8%. This would appear to make Yorkshire Stingo the second biggest (ABV-wise) commercial beer ever produced for the old brewery. It is brewed with a traditional method once popular in England using Yorkshire Squares. There is a full write-up for brewing history buffs at the Merchant du Vin site.

Label approvals also came through for Samuel Smith Organic Raspberry, Cherry, and Strawberry Fruit beers this week.

Brew Biz: Werts and All

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

The Topic: Beer and Politics SUCK

Written by Ken Carman

I was immediately suspicious. Half awake; yet unable to sleep, I sat down at my Mac and checked out a link a friend sent me to Beervana. Here I found this headline…

“Legislature Proposes 200% Beer Tax Hike in Washington”

Of course putting Washington “State” in the headline might have been helpful for idiots whose reading skills go no further than headlines. But I’m willing to give the writer a break: writers can never solve all moron situations. Writers of all kinds of fiction and nonfiction know this to be true. More likely than a Bud, and “only Bud,” drinker will automatically sneer at good beer, some clown out there will claim that guy in Green Eggs and Ham always said he loved green eggs and ham. And if you contradict him he just might Sue… ss you. Another absurd example: someone out there will claim Green Eggs and Ham is a “clever” diatribe displaying hatred of the Irish (green beer) and Jews who don’t eat pork. And “only an ignorant moron doesn’t see that.”

I had at least one college professor as an English major who would test you on his own absurd interpretations of classic lit, and then flunk everyone in class for not automatically regurgitating and accepting as gospel his weird interpretations as fact. It was like arguing with those who have no doubt about the most absurd political conspiracy theories in human history.

I will start this rant by declaring I have come to loath beer mixed with politics. A few weeks ago I saw an otherwise pleasant pub crawl almost spoiled by someone who had one too few… I know, unusual, right? (Chuckle) …by getting in a Obama is a Socialist, Nazi, non-citizen argument with another reveler. The reveler, of course, has every right to any opinion he holds: no matter how nuts. But, due in large part to beer, he couldn’t even make his points quietly. He had to make sure the whole damn room knew.

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No Caning Sentence for Beer-drinking Malaysia Woman

Picture blow up/simulated caning and beer courtesy Wiki. Malaysian flag: flags

(Sometimes it really is great to live in a more civilized country- Prof. GA)

KUALA LUMPUR, Apr. 1, 2010 (Reuters) — Malaysia has dropped a caning sentence imposed on a woman for drinking beer, a case that has raised concerns of intolerance in the mainly Muslim country. Shukarno Mutalib, the father of the 32-year-old woman, told Reuters he had received a letter from Islamic authorities indicating the caning has been replaced by another penalty, but few details had been given.

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