Rethinking The Institution Of Beer

posted on April 29, 2010 at 11:28 am by Ken Valley in Craft Beer

I just read an excellent article on how, in America, our beer (and drinking) culture as a whole need to have a shift in perception.  From the article, the author, Max Feldhake,  proposes that “rather than drinking for the sake of becoming heavily inebriated, let us drink for the beer’s sake”.

I couldn’t agree more.  Even though the craft beer revolution in America has began changing this skewed perception, we have a long way to go, judging from the less than 5% market share craft brewing has.  We should “drink for the beer’s sake”!

Sierra Nevada Summerfest

posted on April 28, 2010 at 11:32 pm by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Sierra Nevada Summerfest

Sierra Nevada Summerfest

I just had a chance to taste the new seasonal from Sierra Nevada, Summerfest.

Although I don’t normally like pilsners, it was a nice version of one. It was very crisp and had a nice malt flavor with a bit of spicy and floral hops tat finished nice and clean.  The label states it is for “enjoyment on warm summer days”.

It was a good pilsner, and I look forward to enjoying more this summer.

Have you tried Summerfest?  What did you think?

New Belgium Ranger IPA

posted on April 27, 2010 at 10:58 pm by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Ranger IPA

Ranger IPA

I just had the chance to try New Belgium’s Ranger IPA.

At first, there was an aroma of citrus.  Upon tasting, there was a bit of citrus, pine, and mango.  It is balanced, and not too bitter.  With the finish, here is enough hops to make it an IPA.  I can taste the three hops used, Cascade (adds a citrus flavor), Simcoe (adds a bit of mango), and Chinook (gives it a nice bitterness).

It was a good IPA and would try it again.  Have you tried Ranger IPA?  What did you think?

Anchor Brewery Sold Today

posted on April 26, 2010 at 11:45 pm by Ken Valley in Craft Beer

I found out today from Brookston Beer Bulletin that the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco, the main brewery that started the craft brewing growth in the US, was sold to The Griffin Group, and the conglomerate has been renamed to the Anchor Brewers & Distillers.  From the press release:

“Anchor Brewing Company has a long history in San Francisco and The Griffin Group is ushering in an exciting era while maintaining our proud, time-honored history,” said Fritz Maytag. “Combining Keith and Tony’s passion for the Anchor Brewing Company, their industry experience and expertise only means that Anchor will be enjoyed in San Francisco for generations to come.”

“Since 1896, Anchor Brewing Company has been an icon of San Francisco’s history and culture,” stated Griffin’s Founding Partner, Keith Greggor, “I am honored to bring Anchor Brewing Company into our family of craft beers and artisanal spirits through establishing Anchor Brewers & Distillers, LLC.”

It’s interesting nothing was said before the sale.  What do you think about the sale of Anchor Brewers?

Bell’s Brewing Oberon

posted on April 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Bell's Brewing Oberon

Bell's Brewing Oberon

The great thing about summer is the beer!  I was able to pick up a 6-pack of Oberon, the summer seasonal from Bell’s Brewing.

At first, there is a strong orange/citrus aroma.  The taste is a sweet wheat and orange, balanced by a nice hop note.  It is very mild, and has generous carbonation.  It is nice, and light, and finishes clean.  Although Oberon has a slightly higher ABV (6.8%) than most wheat beers, it doesn’t seem like it.

Have you had Oberon?  What did you think?

Breweries Going Green

posted on April 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm by Ken Valley in Craft Beer

You Live Here

You Live Here

Today, for Earth Day, let’s talk about some of the breweries that are green and are using renewable energy.

One of the more well-known green powered breweries is New Belgium in Fort Collins Colorado, who has been wind-powering their brewery since 1998.  Since then, they have expanded their green profile by recycling bottles, and even allows a nearby company to use their waste water for creating fish food.  Quite the small footprint for the brewery known for loving bikes.

Sierra Nevada in Chico California uses fuel cells for its brewery power and heat.  They also recycle glass and aluminum, along with the majority of its carbon dioxide from fermentation.  Each year, they continue to become more green.

The Kona Brewing Company in Hawaii powers their brewery with solar panels.  They stated that by installing the panels, they reduced their carbon output by over 7,000 tons.

Going green isn’t just for the craft brewers.  Anheuser-Busch has even started going green by installing alternative energy sources over the past few years.  By installing the sources, they reduced their energy independence by 15%.

What are you doing to be green?

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