Beer Birthday: Alan Moen

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Today is the birthday of Alan Moen, who used to be the editor-in-chief of the Northwest Brewing News, and also did drawings for them and others, before he retired from that gig that a few years ago, although he still writes for American Brewer, Market Watch, The New Brewer, and other beer publications. He also owns and operates the Snowgrass Winery in Entiat, Washington. RealBeer.com still has an amusing biography of Alan from who knows how many years ago. Join me in wishing Alan a very happy birthday.

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Alan at Oktoberfest, in the Paulaner tent.

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Bill Metzger, Alan and John Norton in 2013.

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At dba in NYC.

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Alan in 1995.

[Note: all photos purloined from Facebook.]

Harry Potter’s Historic Butterbeer

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Today, June 26, in 1997, twenty years ago, the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in the United Kingdom. If that title looks wrong to you, that’s because in America it was titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone because the publisher “thought that a child would not want to read a book with the word ‘philosopher’ in the title.” They may have been right, but it’s still a little sad. At any rate, in the seven novels there was something called “Butterbeer,” described as a drink that “can be served either cold with a taste similar to cream soda or frozen as a slush with a butterscotch-like foam on top.” Basically, it’s fake beer for kids. Although it’s also” described as being able to make house elves intoxicated, and having only a slight effect on wizards.” So it actually is alcoholic, although how much is uncertain.

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And apparently J.K. Rowling didn’t completely make it up. A few years ago, Food in Literature writer Brayton Taylor discovered that a recipe for butterbeer, or Buttered Beere, was part of a manuscript from 1594 entitled The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin. And all this time I’d been thinking she’d been inspired by Redhook ESB, the craft beer era’s original butter beer. Here’s the text of the original butterbeer from at least 1594:

To make Buttered Beere.

TAke three pintes of Beere, put fiue yolkes of Egges to it, straine them together, and set it in a pewter pot to the fyre, and put to it halfe a pound of Sugar, one penniworth of Nutmegs beaten, one penniworth of Cloues beaten, and a halfepenniworth of Ginger beaten, and when it is all in, take another pewter pot and brewe them together, and set it to the fire againe, and when it is readie to boyle, take it from the fire, and put a dish of sweet butter into it, and brewe them together out of one pot into an other.

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Here’s Taylor’s modern recipe for Harry Potter Alcoholic Butter Beer:

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of British Ale (we used Old Peculiar originally but Speckled Hen is now my favourite)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅓ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2.5 tbsp of unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Start by pouring the ale into a saucepan. To keep it from ‘exciting’ (foaming up), angle the saucepan and gently pour the ale down the side into the pan.
  2. Stir in the 1 tsp of spices.
  3. Gently heat until it comes to a boil, before lowering the heat and simmering for a few minutes.
  4. In these few minutes, whisk together the yolks and sugar.
  5. Lower the heat even more and add in the yolks and sugar to the ale.
  6. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes and remove from heat.
  7. Stir in the butter until fully mixed in.
  8. With a hand blender, froth the ale until foam forms. Let sit to cool.
  9. Using a spoon, hold back the froth as you pour the butterbeer into the beer stein. Leave about an inch of room on the top, spoon on the froth and serve.

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And here’s another adaptation of the same recipe, from 12 Bottle Bar, although they give the date of the original manuscript as 1588.

  1. 3 pint (16.9 oz) Bottles of real Ale
  2. 0.5 tsp ground Cloves
  3. 0.5 tsp ground Cinnamon
  4. 0.25 tsp ground Ginger
  5. 5 Egg Yolks
  6. 1 Cup Brown Sugar (Demerara)
  7. 12 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  1. Add ale and spices to a saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn to lowest setting
  3. Beat together eggs and sugar until light and creamy
  4. Remove ale from heat, whisk in egg mixture, returning to low heat
  5. Whisk constantly over low until mixture begins to thicken slightly (about 5 minutes)
  6. Remove from heat and whisk in butter quickly until a nice foam forms
  7. Serve warm

Notes: If you’re concerned about the alcohol level, here are some notes: We used Fuller’s London Pride, which is 4.7% ABV. Before adding the egg mixture, letting the beer simmer longer (20 minutes or so) should boil off all the alcohol, if that’s what you’re after. Use your discretion.

Historic Beer Birthday: James Anderton

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Today is the birthday of James Anderton (June 26, 1830-December 28, 1905). Anderton was born in Lancashire, England (some accounts say Streetbridge, Royston, while others say Haslingden), but came to America with his parents when he was 26 and made his way to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He worked as a miner for several years, before shifting to the hotel business. In 1869, he started the Spring Water Brewery. After modest success, he built a larger brewery, renaming it the Anderton Brewery, which continued in business until closed by prohibition.

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Here’s a summary of James and his Anderton Brewery from Lawrence County Memoirs:

James Anderton (1830-1905), born in England, came to the United States in 1856 and eventually made his way to Beaver Falls. Along with his brother Jonathan Anderton he founded the Spring Water Brewery Company in 1869. The company, located next to the railroad station at 24th Street (and Ninth Avenue), was reorganized and modernized in about 1891 as the Anderton Brewery Company. James Anderton’s son William H. Anderton later took over management of the firm and it was merged in 1905 to become part of the Pittsburgh-based Independent Brewery Company (1905-1933). The local facility was closed in 1920 (like many other breweries) with the enactment of nationwide prohibition.

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While I could find only a couple of photographs of the brewery, and only one of Anderton himself, there are a number of biographies detailing his life. For example, here’s another one from “Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Beaver County, Pennsylvania,” published in 1899.

James Anderton, the father of William Henry, was born in Streetbridge, Royston, Lancastershire, England, June 26, 1830. He worked for eighteen years in the mines in his native place, beginning at the early age of eight years. In his youth he had no educational advantages whatever, his only mental training being a night school organized by himself and his fellow miners, known as the “Youth’s Seminary.” There the boys taught each other, being too poor to afford an experienced teacher. The school organized by these lads has grown into a famous institution of learning, and is now known as the Literary Institute of Oldham, England.

James Anderton accompanied his parents to America when twenty-six years of age, worked in the mines at Fallston, until 1866, and then removed to New Brighton, Pennsylvania. He continued to follow this occupation at the latter place until March, 1868, when he removed to Beaver Falls, purchased his present residence, and engaged in the hotel business. The following year (1869), he went into the brewing business in a small frame building, situated quite near the elegant structure in which he at present officiates. The first brewing was made November 30, of the same year, and consisted of only nine barrels. In 1875, Mr. Anderton built the old part of the present structure, and with a much increased capacity, he continued to brew ale and porter until 1895, when he built a large brick addition, with all the modern improvements, and began brewing beer. The Anderton Brewery is now one of the most complete up-to-date breweries in Pennsylvania, and has a capacity of 30,000 barrels per year. There are many larger breweries in the Keystone State, but none more complete.
While, still in his native land, James Anderton was united in marriage with Betty Green-wood, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Greenwood. This event took place in 1852, and their union is blessed with five children, viz.: Jonathan; Mary G.; William H.; William H., second ; and Sarah A. Jonathan was born June 2, 1853; he is vice president of the Anderton Brewing Company. He wedded Margaret Hart, a daughter of Hilton and Ann Hart, and their home is made happy by the presence of four sons: James, Hilton, Jonathan, Jr., and William H. Mary G. was born February 1, 1858. She became the wife of C. W. Rohrkaste, who is now superintendent of the Anderton Brewery. They have three children: James A.; Mary A.; and Florence E. William H., the third child, died at the tender age of five years, and the same name was given to the next child. William H., the fourth child, is the subject of this brief sketch. Sarah A., the fifth child, was born October 14, 1869, and died in early childhood, aged three years.

James Anderton is a fine illustration of a self-made man, which in a great measure is due to his progressiveness, reliability and integrity. He ranks among the most esteemed citizens of Beaver Falls, and takes an active interest in fraternal organizations, being a member of Lone Rock Lodge, K. of P.; Valley Echo Lodge, I. O. O. F.; Mechanics Lodge, A. O. U. W.; and Beaver Valley Lodge, F. & A. M., of which he has been treasurer for the past nineteen years. He was one of the organizers and original stockholders of the Union Drawn Steel Co., and is one of the stockholders of the People’s Water Co., of Beaver Falls. In his religious convictions, the elder Mr. Anderton is an Episcopalian, of which denomination he and his family are members. Politically, he is a stanch Democrat, but could never be persuaded to seek or accept public office.

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The Anderton Brewing Co. was located in Beaver Falls, between 23rd and 24th streets near the railroad tracks. The local owners would sell their company in 1905, but the brewery remained in Beaver Falls producing beer until 1922.

Here’s another biography from the “Book of Biographies.”

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The year Anderton died, the brewery merged into the Pittsburgh entity known as Independent Brewing Co., a conglomerate of breweries formed by the merger of fifteen Pittsburgh and the surrounding area breweries in 1905. But James’ son William continued in a management role with the brewery until it was closed by prohibition.

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Beer Birthday: Jamil Zainasheff

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Today is the 56th birthday of former homebrewer extraordinaire Jamil Zainasheff, who over the last ten plus years had become something of a rock star in the homebrewing community, and especially the Bay Area. He’s also the co-author two books on beer and homebrewing: “Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew” (with John Palmer) and “Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation” (with Chris White). In addition, he hosts the Jamil Show on The Brewing Network and has a website online entitled Mr. Malty. Jamil also turned pro several years ago, starting his own commercial brewery, Heretic Brewing, which is now located in Fairfield, California. Join me in wishing Jamil a very happy birthday.

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Jamil and me judging the finals at the Toronado Barleywine festival in 2007.

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Jamil and me at Anchor Brewery a couple of years ago.

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Jamil with Rodger Davis at Faction Brewing in May of last year. (Photo by Nathan Smith, purloined from Facebook.)

Beer In Ads #2318: Think


Sunday’s ad is for Carling’s Red Cap Ale, from 1952. In this ad, showing a hat rack hanging a single red cap and sign reading “Think,” the tagline finishes below. I guess it requires you to think a little bit to put the ad’s text together. “Think … and you’ll drink Red Cap.”

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Two years later, in 1954, they were still running essentially the same ad, slightly modified to fit a narrower space in a publication.

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Beer Birthday: Andy French

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Today is the 49th birthday of Andy French, former brewmaster at Southern Pacific Brewing in San Francisco, one of the new wave of breweries that opened in the city a few years ago. I first met Andy when he brewed at Speakeasy, and after that would see him from time to time at Zeitgeist, though he first started brewing back East in the DC area. When his roommate Chris Lawrence, who also worked for Speakeasy once upon a time, decided to open his own brewery, he tapped Andy to work the mash paddles, and things have been going great since they opened a few years ago, though I hear Andy is now back doing shifts at Zeitgeist. Join me in wishing Andy a very happy birthday.

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Andy at his brewhouse in 2012.

Historic Beer Birthday: Peter Ganser

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Today is the birthday of Peter Ganser (June 24, 1836-August 5, 1915). He was born in Germany, but settled in Steele County, Minnesota, buying the Knobloch & Mannheim brewery and founding the Peter Ganser brewery in Owatonna, along with his brother Adam. It was generally known as the Peter Ganser, City Brewery, off and on from 1865, before it finally closed a few years into prohibition.

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Here’s his obituary, from the American Brewers Review:

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Local brewer Peter Ganser sits on an ornate chair, holding two of his daughters. On the left is Adeline, who later became Mrs. William Zamboni; on the right is his daughter, Catherine, who later married Harry Brown (from the Steele County Historical Society).

And here’s another account from the “History of Rice & Steele Counties, Minnesota, Illustrated, Vol. II,” and published in 1910:

Peter Ganser, proprietor of the Owatonna City Brewery, is one of those substantial citizens, who, in building the foundations for their own fortunes, find the time to take an interest in all worthy causes that tend toward the development of the community. He combines liberality with shrewd common sense and business ability and from his first settlement here he has had an unbounded faith in Owatonna’s future. Mr. Ganser was born in Prussia, Germany, June 24, 1836. He received his early education in the public schools and remained in his native country until 1854, when he came to America and located in Dane county, Wisconsin, where he lived for a time and then went to California. In 1863 he returned to Wisconsin and there remained until 1865 when he came to Owatonna and, together with his brother, Adam, purchased the city brewery, which they continued together until 1872, at which time the brother died. The subject of this sketch then became the sole owner and proprietor. In 1878 the brewery was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of about $12,000. Undaunted by this loss, Mr. Ganser rebuilt, but in 1884 again suffered a similar disaster. The present building, to which additions and improvements have been made from time to time, was erected in 1884. In 1879, Mr. Ganser, in company with Jacob Glaeser, erected the building then known as the Germania Hall. Mr. Glaeser has carried on a large and increasing business from year to year. In 1894 he sold out his business for six years lived a retired life. In 1900 he again came into possession of the brewery, which he has since conducted. Mr. Ganser was married in 1867 to Mary Knight, who was born in Indiana. The fruit of this union was three children, viz: Margaret, now the wife of William Fleckenstein of the Fleckenstein Brewery at Faribault; Adeline, now Mrs. W. C. Zamboni; Kate, now Mrs. H. D. Brown, of Owatonna. Mr. Ganser is a Democrat in political faith. He takes an active interest in public affairs, and served as a mayor of Owatonna one term, and alderman of the fourth ward for two years. Mr. Ganser is a self-made man, enterprising in business, and has won his position by persevering efforts. He lives in a very find residence at 508 South Oak street.

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Ganser Brau Near Beer.

And this is from Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota:

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Historic Beer Birthday: Steve Harrison

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Today would have been longtime Sierra Nevada employee Steve Harrison’s 66th birthday. Unfortunately, Steve passed away in August of 2007. He was Sierra Nevada employee number one, and was responsible for a lot of their early success. I first got to know Steve in the mid-1990s when I was the chain beer buyer at BevMo. He was a terrific person and universally respected and beloved in the industry. Sierra Nevada had to hire two or three people to take over his responsibilities. Join me in raising a glass of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to Steve’s memory today. Here’s to you, Steve.

The last time I saw Steve was at a CSBA meeting in San Diego in 2007, though we talked on the phone a few more times after that because he’d asked me to do some freelance work for him shortly after that CSBA meeting. You can almost make him out in the photo below. He’s in the middle, toward the back, in a blue shirt. He’s in between Tom McCormick (in a green shirt) and a man in a black shirt raising his glass below the giant boulder in the background.

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A very young Steve, at right, with Michael Jackson and Lou. (Photo by Tom Dalldorf, from the Celebrator Beer News.)

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The Steve Harrison Memorial Arch, which is at the northern entrance to the Steve Harrison Bike Path, which is located not very far from the brewery in Chico. (The photo was taken in 2010 by Jack Peters, and sent to me by Miles Jordan. Thank you, gentlemen.)

Historic Beer Birthday: Christian Schmidt

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Today is the birthday of Christian Schmidt (June 24, 1833-September 6, 1894). Schmidt was born in Magstadt, Wurtemberg, Germany but moved to Philadelphia as a young man. In 1859, he became a partner with the Robert Coutrennay Brewery but bought him out the following year, renaming the brewery the Christian Schmidt Brewing Company until his sons joined the brewery in 1892, when it became known as C. Schmidt & Sons.

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Here’s a biography of both Schmidt and his brewery from Workshop of the World — Philadelphia:

Christian Schmidt, an immigrant from Wurtemberg, Germany, purchased the Robert Courtenay brewery which primarily produced ale at this site in 1860. The acquisition of other breweries, such as Peter Schemm, in addition to the production of lager beer, boosted output to 100,000 barrels by 1892. A marked expansion of the physical plant kept pace with the brewery’s growth.

The last quarter of the nineteenth century was Philadelphia’s shining era for large and small breweries. Bergner and Engel (120,000 barrels), and William Massey and Company (75,000 barrels), were the third largest and eleventh largest breweries respectively in the U. S. in 1877. By 1895, Bergner and Engel with 250,000-300,000 barrels had fallen to 15th place; the largest local brewery. Other major companies were Engels and Wolf, Betz and Bergdoll. Christian Schmidt was succeeded by his son Edward who headed the company from 1895 until 1944. There were 421 employees at Schmidt’s in 1943. It had survived and thrived through new technologies—refrigeration, and political impediments, even Prohibition, which decimated other breweries both locally and nationally. Only 26 breweries operated in Pennsylvania in 1960. Philadelphia lost brands such as Esslinger, Poth, Gretz and Class and Nachod.

Schmidt family ownership ceased in 1976 with the sale of the brewery to William H. Pflaumer. By the late 1970s Schmidt’s was the tenth-largest American brewery. It operated a plant in Cleveland, Ohio which facilitated mid-west regional sales. Valley Forge Brewing Company was acquired in the 1960s, Duquesne Brewing Company (Pittsburgh) in 1972, and label and brewing rights to Reading and Bergheim were purchased in 1976, Rheingold in 1977, Erie Brewing Company, with its Koehler brands in 1978. In 1981, Ortlieb, the only other Philadelphia brewery, was purchased by Pflaumer. Schmidt’s, unable to cope with the marketing muscle of the giant national brewers even though it employed 1,400 and produced three million barrels of beer as recently as 1984, sold its brands to G. Heileman Brewing Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin, in April 1987. Production of the Schmidt’s labels slumped to about $1.6 million barrels in 1986, less than one percent of the total U. S. Market. The demise of Schmidt’s marked the end of the large brewery in Philadelphia.

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In Rich Wagner’s Philadelphia Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty, he has this to say about Christian Schmidt:

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The Schmidt’s brewery in the 1930s.

And in One Hundred Years of Brewing, published in 1903, this was the entry for C. Schmidt & Sons.

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