From the Bottle Collection: Saranac

Saranac/Matt Brewing. Picture courtesy Wikipedia.

 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

 The reason I am writing this is the plan this year, or at least by next, is for both of us to retire and move back to the Adirondacks where I am from, and closer to Millie’s sister. We have two places waiting for us. I am NOT moving the bottle collection, so if you know anyone who wants a vast beer bottle collection going back to the 60’s you could contact me via Facebook. I am in the process of dumping bottles, so sooner is better.
 I thought it a great idea to place what Saranac bottles I have; not even close to all the styles they have done, on a classic vehicle. The truck is this story is our 63 Studebaker Champ named Harvey Robin Churchill. Harvey was my first car: a 61 Lark I bought for $25 and went well over 300,000 miles. Robin: color of a Robin’s egg, according to Millie, my wife, and we both loved Robin Williams. Harold Churchill: without Harold there would have been no Lark.
 Another reason I am doing this is to celebrate one simple fact: Saranac, also known in Matt Brewing and F.X Matt Brewing, has done something incredible. Among the smaller major brewers in this country they have brewed more different styles than pretty much anyone. I am referring to old school brewers that go back to the 1800’s. In fact Matt Brewing would be the OLDEST surviving brewery in the country, instead of the second, if they hadn’t changed names and owners in the 1800’s. The original owners didn’t own it for long. This is kind of a technicality, IMO.
 Most of the surviving small traditional breweries have done a craft-like style here, style there. The gigantic breweries simply bought out craft brewers. Their independence safe… for NOW Continue reading “From the Bottle Collection: Saranac”

Yoked Farmhouse & Brewery: Riding the Second Wave

Written by Stephen Body

This is a story happening right down the road from where I live…and that is not a figure of speech. The road is Washington Route 16, connecting the South Puget Sound with the Kitsap Peninsula, and the drive is 21.7 miles, door to door. The destination takes some searching or a good GPS, because the name of the destination is not in a lot of less comprehensive GPS databases…yet. That, I predict, is about to change.

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Anderson Valley Brewing poised for brand revival, beer park

A sculpture of the Alexander Valley Brewing Company mascot greets visitors at the entrance of the production facility in Boonville on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

BOONVILLE — By the late fall of 2019, Fal Allen had about enough as the brewmaster at Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in Mendocino County since 2000.

He was no longer working full-time there since the Boonville brewery had fallen on hard times, under management that could not chart a new course after nine years of ownership.

Founded in 1987, the craft beer pioneer had become an afterthought in the marketplace with a massive drop in production. Plus, its beers were not a topic of conversation among beer geeks who craved the latest hoppy versions of the India pale ale style. Its bucolic taproom situated on the sunny west end of Anderson Valley off Highway 128 became less and less of a destination.

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Edinburgh’s classic pubs are legion, and most have a lyrical quality about them — hardly surprising given that Edinburgh was once an eminently literary city, home to the likes of Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and the bard of the barleycorn himself, Robert Burns. Burns is widely known for his Auld Lang Syne. He’s also known to a narrower circle of beer enthusiasts as the composer of a variation of a popular ballad about the suffering, death, and resurrection of the famous cereal crop that provides the lifeblood for ale and whisky.*

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Sierra Nevada discontinues ‘Summerfest’ lager in favor of new ‘Summer Break Hazy IPA’

Good news and bad news, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is releasing a new lower alcohol seasonal with Summer Break Hazy IPA, but the classic beer ‘Summerfest’ lager has been discontinued. Hitting store shelves in mid-April, the national roll-out of the new session hazy IPA is targeted to deliver hoppy mango and passionfruit flavors, over a smooth malt note and very low 4.6% ABV. It will debut in draft, and 12oz cans in six-packs, 12-packs, and 24-packs.

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Ballast Point Officially Closes Chicago Brewpub After Three Years

San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing tried to make a statement three years ago when it opened its brewpub in the West Loop. The venue — with a rooftop deck offering scenic views of the skyline — was meant as a declaration that Ballast Point was ready to court Chicago beer drinkers on their competitive home turf, to give the California company more credence as a national brand. Now, three years later, the brewery — under new ownership— has announced that brewpub’s closure.

The shutter of the officially named Ballast Point Tasting Room and Kitchen.

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Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Grab your favourite beer steins, folks! We’re heading to the source for a pilsener.

To many a beer drinker, the city of Plzeň (Pilsen) is virtually synonymous with its storied brewery and famous beer style. But beer in this western Bohemian town wasn’t always the kind of liquid sustenance that inspired pilgrimages.

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Mead Profile: The Queens, Royal Meadery, Delmar, NY

Profiled by Ken Carman

 To me, even more than beer, mead is about balance. This is not bad, compared with some, but the alcohol creates a bitter that is unacceptable. Understand: drinkable, I enjoyed, but not a mead that is a delight to the tongue. Perhaps the bitter is tannins, but don’t think so.
 I think the buckwheat honey was supposed to balance it out. It didn’t.
 Medium mouthfeel, not carbonated. Moderate sweet to the nose. High; not distinguishable as far as type, honey sense to the nose, or taste.. Flavor sweet (medium) honey, firm but not over bearing acidity,

 So moderately sweet, body seems medium due to buckwheat. But the alcohol just seems to pierce through it all. The acidity is fine: great in the balance. Once again it’s the alcohol that ruins the balance. The buckwheat honey is fine, just more body, more sweet (just a hint at best) and a yeast like KIV that provides complexity. This should balance out alcohol.
 Otheriwse an excellent quaff. The acidity, the tannins, everything is balanced well.

Score 3.5 on a scale of 1-5.

Brewing NEIPA – Tips from the Pros

The current darling of the craft beer (and homebrew) world, New England IPA (NEIPA) requires copious amounts of late hop additions, but there is a lot more to making a world class example. The right brewing water, unmalted grains, the exclusion of oxygen, and other finer points are what makes some examples stand out. Don’t take it from us — these three brewers are churning out some of the finest examples available.

Neil Fisher, Co-Founder & Head Brewer of WeldWerks in Greeley, Colorado

For most of our New England-style IPAs our water profile targets are around 175–200 ppm chloride, 75–100 ppm sulfate, and less than 150 ppm calcium. Depending on your base ion profile, strictly using calcium chloride and calcium sulfate to achieve those targets can result in too high a concentration of calcium, which may affect yeast behavior, specifically flocculation, so consider magnesium sulfate as an alternative for your sulfate additions.

We use a fair amount of flaked wheat and flaked oats in a lot of our IPAs, mainly for their contributions to the mouthfeel and body of the beer. But we’ve found that more than 15% of flaked wheat or flaked oats can lend a bit more sharp “starchiness” to the beer, and if the grist exceeds more than 20% high-protein grains, it can be difficult to maintain colloidal stability.

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