Malt Barley Woes are Bad News for Beer

Ron Kalvig


That rain on the plain that saturated Montana’s malt barley crop in late August could be tears in the beer of American brewers in 2015.

Heavy late-August rains have damaged crops in the nation’s largest malt-barley producing states, Montana and Idaho. The rains caused much of the states’ barley to sprout in the field, rendering much of it useless for beer making.

Maltsters are warning brewers that barley will be available but pricey in 2015 when this year’s crop becomes next year’s beer ingredient.

“We’ve been told to expect major price increases for malt,” said Tim Mohr of Angry Hank’s Brewery in Billings. “There is no panic yet. Everybody has been telling us not to panic. There is carry-over from last year’s malt supply. Our prices are stable until January, but beer prices are going up.”

Want to read more? Please click…


NOTE: page may ask you to answer survey question before reading full content.

Punk that pumpkin beer – Octoberfestbier is the brew for fall

DON’T ASK for a pint of pumpkin beer at South Street’s Brauhaus Schmitz. One of Philly’s few bastions of Bavarian beer purity doesn’t serve the spice stuff because the Germans already have a perfectly fine autumn beer, thank you.

It’s Oktoberfestbier, also known as Marzen, that copper-colored beauty, rich in malt with a smooth body for endless guzzling.

“Personally, I’m OK with pumpkin beer,” Brauhaus Schmitz owner Doug Hager said. “But as a card-carrying German beer snob, we kind of laugh at it.”

Want to read more? Please click…



Octoberfest beer from Brauhaus Schmidtz.


7 Questions for the Man Brewing the IPA of Coffees


It doesn’t take more than a cursory glance at the IPA section of your local grocery store to know that ratcheting up hop levels has helped fuel America’s craft beer movement. But could the flavorful flowers also be the next big thing in coffee? Quite possibly, and a Colorado roaster is leading the charge.

For many, coffee and beer comprise the yin and yang of an average day. Coffee for the morning pick-me-up; beer for the evening come down. Even if they bookend your day, they do have a lot of similarities. Both are brewed, both tend to emphasize bitter flavors and both command their own houses (coffee- or brew-). So the marriage makes some sense. That’s why we’ve seen coffee-infused stouts in America’s craft beer lineup for years.

Want to read more? Please click…


Beer Reviews by Tom Becham

Written by Tom Becham for PGA

TomBgreen's endeavorPlease be aware that my upcoming reviews of gluten-free beers are at the request of a friend. Since that request, I have also discovered more people than I knew of also wanted such reviews.

After my most recent experience with the gluten-free NGB Lager from Minhas Craft Brewing, I never thought I’d be writing a decent review of a GF beer. Certainly never imagined I would write a review of two of them from the same brewer, and find positive things to say about them both.

First, let me say that my experience with NGB Lager was instructive. It taught me that gluten-free beers tend to have a certain flavor profile, as they lack the familiar beery flavors that barley give us.

As well, it would seem that sorghum produces tastes that are sour almost to the point of being astringent. However, skillful use of rice, millet and/or buckwheat can moderate the odd sorghum flavor palette. Clearly, a reviewer should suspend his normal expectations of beer when reviewing gluten-free brews.

It seems that Green’s Brewery, the maker of these two beers, is a subsidiary of Belgian brewer De Proef. De Proef has an excellent reputation amongst beer geeks, and produces a number of unusual brews, many of them either experimental, or of very obscure styles. So, I had hope for the Green’s beers.

It seems that hope was not misplaced.
Continue reading “Beer Reviews by Tom Becham”

The Industry Series: Gavin Sacks, Flavour Chemist


Written for Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Close your eyes for a moment and think about what the ideal job might entail. If it involves tasting wine or beer while working, read on.

Meet Gavin Sacks, Associate Professor in Food Science in Cornell University’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), a person who spends plenty of time with a glass in one hand and a pen in the other. Sacks teaches courses that comprise part of Cornell’s interdisciplinary major in enology and viticulture, including Wine and Grapes: Analysis and Composition, and Wine and Grape Flavor Chemistry. With the teaching day done, Sacks gets down to the business of analyzing the flavour and aroma components of grapes and wine.

Want to read more? Please click…




Here’s How A Six-Pack Of Craft Beer Ends Up Costing $12

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker in America. The skillful innovation of American craft brewers over the past decade has pushed beer in delicious new directions. It wouldn’t be hard to argue that the craft beer renaissance is the most exciting development in the country’s culinary world right now.

But this explosion in quality comes at a price. Literally. With few exceptions, prices for good craft beer are far higher than for mainstream macrobrews from brewing conglomerates such as MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch. A six-pack of beer from breweries like Dogfish Head, Ballast Point or Cigar City almost always costs more than $10 — and routinely exceeds the $15 mark. You could easily get a 12-pack of Bud Light for that much.

Want to read more? Please click…


Beer Profile: Four Peaks Peach Ale

peach alepgaprofileThis is a great little beer. It pours faint yellow , slight haze and a few bubbles wafting up to the top to meet a creamy head of white foam that fell quickly then lasted in a layer on top.

Nose is peach. Delightful peach. The earthy skin, the juicy fruit and a bit of cracker for malt. A light sweetness and a lovely floral.

Drinks wonderfully and lightly with plenty of flavor and a good carbonation. It is crisp, dry and drying. Has a light peach flavor and a crisp cracker for malt. A bit of malt sweetness comes forward as it warms . A faint touch of hops and a bit of tartness finish this one off and it just plain tastes great!



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

meMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is frequent reviewer of beer and a beer lover deluxe.