Water, Water Everywhere

While Drew is getting his ducks in a row for the next series of shows – It’s Replay time! And since we’ve been getting a lot of water questions, what better place to revist, than Martin’s episode all about Bru’n water!

The Brew is Out There! TECHNIQUE SHOW

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Beer Nut: Enough with New England IPAs

If you’ve been reading this column regularly over the past 17 years, you’ll probably have noticed that one thing I rarely do is write negatively about anything.

I don’t really review beers, and if I do in any way, I only do so if I enjoy them. This is because tastes are subjective and what I may find displeasing might be really tasty to someone else. It’s like any creative endeavor: I may love a certain book or film or song, and you may hate it. It’s just the way it is with anything that isn’t based on empirical data. (A certified beer, for example, can tell you if a beer is well-made according to the style it’s in, but their opinions mean nothing when it comes you whether you should like it or not.)

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Comparison: 2016, 2019 and 2020 Dogfish 120

By Ken Carman
 I thought of doing this as a beer profile, but I think the nuances would be lost. Comparing years on any beer is a special form of analysis. I used to think of 120 as an overly hoppy, somewhat barley wine-ish brew. I was skeptical when they claimed it ages well. I decided to test that. I am VERY happy to report I was wrong… sort of.
 Before I even tasted them, smelled them, savored them, I added this caveat: I find hops tend not to age well when they become the focus. A little cardboard is one thing among the sweet, flavor-filled, well aged Bigfoot or Foghorn. I find it adds texture, a pleasantness. But when hops are THE balance factor, unless you’re brewing one of those Belgian brews that use specific type of hops that age well, uh, no. I have done assessments of up to 10 different years of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. Thomas Hardy too. I have an almost 20 year bottle of Hardy Big Bob gave me from Big Bob’s Barleywine Bash just before he died. Some day we’ll savor it. Almost hate to: once it’s gone that’s it. Like Big Bob dying all over again.
 So let’s see how aged 120’s stack up. BARELY aged. Not sure I’d want a 20 year 120 due to hops, but I’d be open to the experience. My original plan was to have 3, but Midtown in Nashville stocked them wrong. They had them labeled as 17, 18 and 20. I ended up with 2 2020’s and one 2016. But 2 days later found a 2019. So 16 v. 19 v. 20.
 The comparison was, well, educational. We’ll start with mutual characteristics, then move on to 2020, and from there go back in time.
 No fermentation characteristics in any of them. Two of them have a dry, yet slightly sweet, sense to them. Makes for an interesting balance, enticing. One? Well, we’ll get to that. I do have a question: does Dogfish vary they recipe for 120? That might explain the 2019.
 Let’s see what 1 year, then 4 years, does to 120. Continue reading “Comparison: 2016, 2019 and 2020 Dogfish 120”

Beer Profile- All the Things by Southern Grist

Milk Stout with banana, pistachio, cardamom, chocolate, vanilla, and cream

Profiled by Ken Carman

PGAprofile-150x150-1Nose- banana and slight banana peel-like, brown sugary sweet with cream sense, chocolate behind all that, no cardamon, slight vanilla. No yeast sense.

Appearance- obsidian black: no light shines through. Very creamy head that doesn’t last except around the edges of the meniscus. Head coats glass thickly with tan to light brown. The side of glass head lingers.

Flavor- firm alcohol right up front, slight higher alcohol sense. Also high in the balance. Slight roasted barley-like sense in the aftertaste. Again: banana but a slight sense of the peel. This may be hop related. Slight bitter, if so, no flavor. But I think, more likely, it’s the pepper sense from cardamom. I get no pistachio, but pistachio is a very gentle flavor. Not sure how anyone brewing would make that pop out. And I think it would be disguised by many of these additions. Just a hint dry. Balance is to the banana. Reminds me of a banana boat. No yeast sense.

Mouthfeel- the body is actually low side of medium. The pepper sense clings to the roof of the mouth. Banana coats the whole mouth. This quaff lingers FOREVER with banana and pepper/cardamom. Low carbonation tingles the palate. Slightly creamy. Slight warmth. As it warms the higher alcohol (slight) sense vanishes: odd. Slightest astringency due to pepper sense.

Overall- This is an incredible beer. If I were to brew this I’d do it just a little less dry, but worthy either way. The warmer it gets the sweeter it seems to be. IfI were in a competition I might pull a point or two off for lack of pistachio; but how do you get that into a beer? Mild flavor that mixes so magically with the other flavors it seems to disappear like some thing place in a mirror box.

A must try beer.

Untappd: 3.8 out of 5
BA 89% 5 stars
No Rate Beer rating found



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

The forgotten love of rural Jamaicans for draught porter

The history of beer is largely working-class history, which means, given the status of working-class history, much of it is forgotten. When it’s black working-class history … Thus the long love of rural (and urban) working-class Jamaicans – and probably other West Indians as well – for draught porter is a subject you will struggle to find recorded anywhere.

Draught porter was sold from draught porter shops, in existence in Kingston, Jamaica from at least the Edwardian era; from casks in refreshment parlors that also sold fried fish and bread; and also by travelling salesmen, who would call out “draaf porter!” as they travelled on foot around rural villages in the Jamaican interior, carrying a large tin container with a spout, and cans in quart, pint, half-pint and gill (quarter-pint, pronounced “jill”) sizes, for serving. Jamaica also had itinerant ice-cream salesmen, who would sell a blend of “frisco”—ice-cream and “snow ball”, shaved ice flavored with fruit syrup, mixed together—and “a measure of draught porter for the older folks.” A report in the Kingston Gleaner in August 1936 described a treat for the “deserved poor” of Linstead, in the Jamaican countryside 20 miles from Kingston, where an “appreciable sum” was collected by the local Salvation Army to buy and distribute rations of beef, rice, bread, cake, soap and iced draught porter to more than 300 people.

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Brew Biz: Werts and All… Giving Hersheys Holy Hell


Written by Ken Carman
This kind of nonsense infuriates me. Apparently a small brewery made a beer with Milk Duds, and one with Jolly Ranchers. Hershey’s made them dump the brews and now wants money for how little they sold of the product.
 OK, I understand “proprietary.” So have the brewery change the name of the brews, change how they’re promoted; but otherwise wise men and women would look upon this as a business opportunity for both companies. One they should eagerly welcome that with open arms. Mid-level management’s blindness to opportunity is legendary. So common in large companies. So this column won’t be about just beer. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All… Giving Hersheys Holy Hell”

A Brief History of Women and Beer, From Sumerian Goddesses to the Pink Boots Society

Beer played a vital role in early civilization’s diet, religion and daily life, and it continues to be enjoyed around the world. None of that would have been possible without women brewers.

“Women absolutely have, in all societies, throughout world history, been primarily responsible for brewing beer,” says Theresa McCulla, curator of the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Women in ancient brewing

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Report: There Will Be Beer In Hell But Only IPAs

Satire, folks, satire- PGA

HELL—A shocking new report has been released which reveals that Hell does, in fact, serve beer, but unfortunately they only serve super-hoppy IPAs that taste like soap.

Longtime sinner and atheist Erick Bowser, who authored the report, died last week wearing an “I hope they serve beer in Hell” T-shirt. Bowser remained hopeful after his death, but he soon came to realize the only beer they had on draught in Hell was of the IPA variety.

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Last night, Congress passed a $900 billion Covid relief bill in which Senators had a tucked in few extraneous goodies, including making permanent a beer tax cut passed three years ago:

Securing permanent federal excise tax recalibration for small brewers has been a top priority for the Brewers Association since 2009. The temporary lower rates were due to expire on December 31 unless Congress extended them or made them permanent. “Inclusion of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) in the year-end legislation is the direct result of the hard work and efforts of the Brewers Association, state guilds, and our member breweries,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “Thank you to everyone for a true community grassroots effort, and to our legislative champions in Congress.”

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Brew Biz: Werts and All- Marrowbone Creek Brewing


                Part 1: The adventure begins
 The first edition is merely an introduction to a new brewery. Since they’re busy putting it all together I felt part one should be all about the promise of a new arrival to the Middle Tennessee brew scene. Expect part two to get more into the character and characters at the newly opened Marrowbone.

Written by Ken Carman
 No more than 10 miles west of the city, on Route 12, you would never realize you were so close to Nashville. As you head northwest the hills rise and surround you, the woods get closer, denser.
 In 1980 we bought 32 acres (now 28 due to a redirected, rebuilt highway) about half way to Ashland City for this very reason: reminded me of my Adirondack home. Plus we got to live in our own little valley. The Cumberland River to your left, high bluffs to your right, and then you slowly start to roll into Ashland City: classic small town Tennessee. Dead center is the traditional rural Tennessee brick building that usually starts as home to police, courts, DMV, public offices of all kinds.
Ashland City, TN
 But just before you reach dead center Ashland City, on your left, you’ll find the beginnings of Marrowbone Creek Brewing. It wasn’t that long ago finding beer at all was mostly an out of county experience. I have been hoping for a brewery in downtown Ashland City, Tennessee, for a long time. So one day when Millie Carman and I were coming back from a Clarksville Carboys beer club meeting and I saw a banner proclaiming that in an old past tense car dealership would be the home to Marrowbone Creek Brewing, I knew what my next Brew Biz would be about.
 Very wise choice for a name, great local flair, perfect location.
 The brewery; still in the works, is just a little past McD’s and the old Strattons’ location; a passing of a business that Millie and I have both mourned. Steve Stratton’s 50’s restaurant and soda/malt shop was an Ashland City icon, providing great local character. Soon more character will be added back in: Marrowbone. That alone is enough to cheer. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All- Marrowbone Creek Brewing”