Growlers and the Law

Blackfoot Brewing image courtesy blogspot,com

Reported by Ken Carman for

All who love good craft beer know what a growler is. Sometimes they are simply 64oz apple cider jugs. Not recommended if you wish to wait anymore than a few days to sip, unless you want your beer to be flatter than Twiggy.

It’s a 60s joke, younguns, get over it.

The best, and the most hideously expensive, are what I call “Grolsch style,” with a ceramic top, rubber stopper/washer and metal clamps.

But “the best” thing about growlers is that you can pick up your beer at the pub/micro and take it home: hence lessening DUIs/DWIs. You enjoy your favorite beer, instead of a jail cell and the company of Bubba: who may like you a bit too much.

Who could hate growlers?
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Norwegian Brewing

Written by Bryan Harrell or Celebrator Beer News

Norway was once a country without any craft beer. Perhaps this is the main reason Kjetil Jikiun found craft beers so captivating during layovers in the U.S. while flying as a pilot for a major European airline. It certainly influenced his homebrewing hobby, to the point where he decided to open up his own brewery in 2002 under the theme of “the uncompromising brewery.”
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Club Update: Saratoga Thoroughbrews

Saratoga/Glens Falls/Albany area

Hi All,

First up, of course, is our monthly meeting this Thursday, October 7th at 7pm at the tap room at OSB. We will be judging catagories 20 and 21, but feel free to bring anything you wish to share.

On October 16th, from 1-5, is the Octoberfest at Adirondack Pub and Brewery in Lake George to benefit the Red Cross. We will once again be manning a table, and sharing our homebrew. Anyone interested in assisting with set-up should be there around noon. Bringing homebrew is encouraged; I will have an English Bitter on tap.

At 9 am on Saturday, November 13th will be our 15th annual Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews at the Albany Pump Station. We are still in need of Judges and Stewards, and others to help prior to the competition. Anyone interested in being a judge or steward, please let me know as soon as possible; please include your BJCP # if you have one, as well as which styles you wish to judge/steward, and which you wish to avoid. Anyone interested in volunteering for other duties, please contact Chris Gersey at: . And of course, ENTER!!

Hope to see you all there,


On October 16th at Adirondack Pub and Brewery, from 1-5, will be their Oktoberfest fundraiser for the Red Cross. Anybody interested in manning the club’s table with me, and/or providing some homebrew, please let me know. I will have an English Bitter on tap. See Adam’s email below for more info.

Hope to see you there,



Our Oktoberfest will be held Oct. 16 from 1-5. As always you guys are welcome to have a table to serve some home brews and to educate people on home brewing. If you guys could be there by 12 so you can get set up and to help anyone else who needs help unloading that would be great

Thanks and if you need any other info just send me an email

Adam Schmeichel

At 9:30am on Saturday, November 13th, the Saratoga Thoroughbrews will be holding their 15th annual Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews at the Albany Pump Station/C. H. Evans Brewing Co.  Judges and stewards should arrive no later than 9am for sign-in and coffee and bagels/doughnuts.  Lunch will be catered by Neil Evans/Albany Pump Station.  This is a BJCP/AHA sanctioned competition, and also qualifies for the New York State Homebrewer of the Year.  As always, judges and stewards may bring their entries on the day of competition, but ONLY if they are pre-registered prior to the entry deadline.  More info can be found at the Saratoga Thoroughbrews’ website: .  Medals will be awarded to the top 3 finishers in each flight, as well as BOS top 3.  Please contact me, Greg Mobley, if interested in judging or stewarding, at: .  Please include your BJCP # if you have one, T-Shirt size, and any categories you wish to judge/steward, as well as those categories you wish to avoid.

Hope to see you there,

Greg Mobley
President/Judge Coordinator
Saratoga Thoroughbrews


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

Topic: My Summer Brew Ventures

Since the late 90s I have been interviewing brewers, reviewing brew-based businesses and generally making a nuisance of myself all over the east coast at pubs and such. I’m especially good at the “nuisance” part; being winner of the 2002 Most Annoying Beer Geek Who Haunts My Brewery Award.

I’m kidding, of course.

Sort of.


Many of these reviews are lost. I could blame my various editors: I’ve had a litany of poor ones, really bad ones and a few good ones. But, to be honest, I could have gone out of my way to save the damn things myself, so in that regard I blame, well let’s see… me! And, as a caveat to that admission, I also didn’t have the ability to post pictures like I do now. So every year I will endeavor to take pictures of brew related businesses, at least those who are still in business, featured in past reviews in at least one edition of Brew Biz.

I will start out with one of the main attractions in this edition, David Wollner’s Willimantic Brewing.

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BEER GARDEN: A look back at Emerald Coast Beer Festival

Tim Dohms, right, of Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Taproom poses with the crew behind his personal “Best of Show” at the 2010 Emerald Coast Beer Festival, L.A. Lagers from Mobile. (Phil Bailey/

Written by Tim Dohms for

Time to show my respect and admiration for the only people around more enthusiastic about beer than I am: the brewers. We’re fortunate to have at least ten local and regional brewclubs who do great justice to the classics and experiment with what could and should be the next big thing.
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Beer Profile: Pantius Droppus

Profiled by Ken Carman

What a great name!

What an erratic beer!

Brewed by Ellicottville Brewing at Ellicottville Brewing in… hope your pacemaker is ready for a shock… Ellicottville, NY and, marginally, at Fredonia. The latter; formerly Barker Brewing, is mostly just a store front for the Ellicottville facility. I have been to all three and even as mostly just a front for Ellicottville, the Fredonia location is better: has better beer and food than Barker did..

Pantius is, unfortunately, not one of them: despite the great name. That’s a long haul conclusion: comparing an aged sample, what I tasted of this year’s Pantius. I had it for the first time last year and it was excellent… at first. Nice Cascade hop punch. 11.5%. Enough body to support this deep copper-ish wonder: I bought a bottle. On the way back though New York this year from Ohio I eagerly stopped to buy more. They changed the hopping, it seems. Not pleasant: kind of grassy in a “I really don’t want to eat off the bottom of a clogged lawnmower, please.” Then at Big Bob’s Barleywine Bash last weekend I opened the 09 bottle. The pleasant hop punch had turned slightly sour citrus. Also a bit unpleasant; though not as bad as the fresh sample this year.

At 11.5%, that just ain’t right. The high alc should have kept the beer “pleasant,” and the hops just fade a bit.

I have had plenty of Ellicottville beer going back to sometime in the 90s. They can do better than this: and they do. The name alone is worth keeping. Work on it folks.

Finally, Musical Beer — Meet the Pale Ale That You Can Play a Tune On

Written by Simon Crisp for

Ever thought that drinking beer, in and of itself, is pretty pointless?

Well, Tuned Pale Ale has come out with a beer that gives you a chance to do something constructive while boozing: whistle a tune. It’s carefully calibrated so you know just what note you’re going to hear when you blow over the top.

It’s a gimmick, sure, but it’s a good one — and it also comes in a wooden case that you can play like the drums. And if there’s one thing we know about being a little bit drunk, it’s that the idea of hitting drum-like things with sticks is very, very exciting.
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Beer Profiles: War Horse

Picture of War Horse silo before the name of the brewery changed.

Profiles by Ken Carman

Expect a more current picture and further information about this hard to find brewery in an upcoming Brew Biz column.

Riesling Ale
War Horse India Pale Ale
War Horse Black Lager

I had these beers at the brewery and bought them for the second, Labor Day weekend, beer tasting I do every year at Beaver River Station.

I’ll start with the only disappointment: the Riesling. After being impressed with the other two, I found the Riesling too mild with only slight hints of the Riesling juice Custom Crafters puts in this as they brew it for War Horse. Slight. I have been rarely been impressed with anything CC does, and the other two are so much better. That fruit sense could just as well be the fruity nature of the ale itself. Should be better. But that caveat aside it is a light ale; sans hop sense. The fruity nature replaces the hops sense quite well. Somewhere between pale to mid-copper-ish. If I had some now I’d do a better job but my tasters greedily devoured all three. All three were well loved.

The IPA? Perfect. The BJCP needs to consider this as a classic of an American version of the style.
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British beer: Booming or Boring?

One American beer that no serious bar in the capital appears able to do without is Brooklyn Lager.

Written by Will Hawkes for

British beer is enjoying a remarkable renaissance. There are now 767 breweries in the UK, more than at any time since the Second World War. According to Camra, 78 new breweries have opened in the past 12 months (and although a fair few have closed, too, there are still 56 more now than this time last year). Last month’s Great British Beer Festival was bursting at the seams with interesting ales and happy drinkers. Beer lovers in this country have never had it so good.

Maybe, maybe not. The growing popularity of American beers in the UK suggests that things are not quite so rosy. The innovative, hop-heavy character of Yank beers is clearly filling a gap in the market, a gap that British brewers have failed to fill.

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Cell Phones More Dangerous Than Beer Behind the Wheel?

Written by Bob McClay for

PHOENIX — A study by AEI-Brookings Joint Center shows 1 in 10 drivers on the freeway are talking on their cell phones and actually are more impaired than if they had been on a drinking binge.

The study used a driving simulator to test the effects of cell phone use vs. the effects of driving while intoxicated.

When taking into account driving conditions and other factors, drivers on cell phones were more impaired than those who had been drinking. Using a hands-free device did not make a difference.
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