Rules For Brewing Circa 1747

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I recently gave a talk about beer and brewing in the time of Johann Sebastian Bach, at the Mendocino Music Festival‘s Bachfest: Bach and Beer this weekend. Bach’s time was from 1685 to 1750. And while commercial breweries were a big part of the story, brewing at home was still very common, especially in larger households, as evidenced by an interesting historical source I happened upon while researching my talk. The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, by Hannah Glasse, was first published in 1747, originally by subscription, but later the same year in a single edition and it had 20 separate re-printings and remained in print until 1843.

art-of-cookery

In Chapter 17, she sets out to tell her readers “Of Made Wines, Brewing, French Bread, Muffins, &c.” Here’s her instructions, or “rules,” for brewing beer.

R U L E S    f o r    B R E W I N G .

Care must be taken, in the first place, to have the malt clean; and after it is ground, it ought to stand four or five days.

For strong October [ale], five quarters of malt to three hogsheads, and twenty-four pounds of hops. This will afterwards make two hogsheads of good keeping small-beer, allowing five pounds of hops to it.

For middling beer, a quarter of malt makes a hogshead of ale, and one of small-beer. Or it will make three hogsheads of good small-beer, allowing eight pounds of hops. This will keep all the year. Or it will make twenty gallons of strong ale, and two hogsheads of small-beer that will keep all the year.

If you intend your ale to keep a great while, allow a pound of hops to every bushel; if to keep six months, five pounds to a hogshead; if for present drinking, three pounds to a hogshead, and the softest and clearest water you can get.

Observe the day before to have all your vessels very clean, and never use your tubs for any other use except to make wines.

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Let your cask be very clean the day before with boiling water; and if your bung is big enough, scrub them well with a little birch-broom or brush ; but if they be very bad, take out the heads, and let them be scrubbed clean with a hand-brush, sand, and fullers-earth. Put on the head again, and scald them well, throw into the barrel a piece of unslacked lime, and stop the bung close.

The first copper of water, when it boils, pour into your mash-tub, and let it be cool enough to see your face in; then put in your malt, and let it be well mashed; have a copper of water boiling in the mean time, and when vour malt is well mashed, fill your mashing-tub, stir it well again, and cover it over with the sacks. Let it stand three hours, set a broad shallow tub under the cock, let it run very softly, and if it is thick throw it up again till it runs fine, then throw a handful of hops in the under tub, let the mash, run into it, and fill your rubs till all is run off. Have water boiling in the copper, and lay as much more on as you have occasion for, allowing one third for boiling and waste. Let that stand an hour, boiling more water to fill the mash-tub for small-beer; let the fire down a little, and put it into tubs enough to fill your mash. Let the second mash be run off, and fill your copper with the first wort; put in part of your hops, and make it boil quick. About an hour is long enough; when it has half boiled, throw in a handful of salt. Have a clean white wand and dip it into the copper, and if the wort feels clammy it is boiled enough; then slacken your fire, and take off your wort. Have ready a large tub, put two sticks across, and set your, straining basket over the tub on the sticks, and strain your wort through it. Put your other wort on to boil with the rest of the hops; let your mash be covered again with water, and thin your wort that is cooled in as many things as you can, for the thinner it lies, and the quicker it cools, the better. When quite cool, put it into the tunning-tub. Throw a handful of salt into every boil. When the mash has stood an hour draw it off, then fill your mash with cold water, take off the wort in the copper and order it as before. When cool, add to it the first in the tub; so soon as you empty one copper, fill the other, so boil your small-beer well. Let the last mash run off, and when both are boiled with fresh hops, order them as the two first boilings; when cool empty the mash tub, and put the smallbeer to work there. When cool enough work it, set a wooden bowl full of yeast in the beer, and it will work over with a little of the beer in the boil. Stir your tun up every twelve hours, let it stand two days, then tun it, taking off the yeast. Fill your vessels full, and save some to fill your barrels; let it stand till it has done working; then lay on your bung lightly for a fortnight, after that stop it as close as you can. Mind you have a vent-peg at the top of the vessel, in warm weather, open it; and if your drink hisses, as it often will, loosen till it has done, then stop it close again. If you can boil your ale in one boiling it is best, if your copper will allow of it; if not, boil it as conveniency serves.

When you come to draw your beer and find it is not fine, draw off a gallon, and set it on the fire, with two ounces of isinglass cut small and beat. Dissolve it in the beer over the fire: when it is all melted, let it-stand till it is cold, and pour it in at the bung, which must lay loose on till it has done fermenting, then stop it close for a month.

Take great care your casks are not musty, or have any ill taste; if they have, it is a hard thing to sweeten them.

You are to wash your casks with cold water before you scald them, and they should lie a day or two soaking, and clean them well, then scald them.

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World’s Wealthiest Booze Barons

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Forbes recently released their annual list of the wealthiest people in the world. Thirteen people on the Full List Of The World’s 500 Richest People are involved in the alcohol industry, at least in part. Of those 13, ten are involved in beer companies.

The World’s Richest Booze Barons

  1. Bernard Arnault & family, LVMH (France)
    Founded 2008; The French luxury brands conglomerate LVMH owns a bewildering array of high-ends brands such as Bulgari, Dior, Louis Vuitton, TAGHeuer, but their wine and spirits division includes such brands as Belvedere Vodka, Dom Perignon, Glenmorangie, Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, Veuve Clicquot, and several others
    Forbes Richest List: #15; $33.5 billion
  2. Jorge Paulo Lemann, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and also co-founded the Brazilian investment banking firm Banco Garantia, which today is known as Banco de Investimentos Credit Suisse (Brazil)
    Founded 2008; Along with Carlos Alberto Sicupira and Marcel Herrmann Telles, formed ABI, which was created out of a merger of Anheuser-Busch and InBev (which itself was a merger of InterBrew and AmBev from 2004, and each of those companies were the results of previous mergers, as well). Just a few of their numerous beer brands include, Beck’s, Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois
    Forbes Richest List: #34; $19.7 billion
  3. Alejandro Santo Domingo Davila & family, SABMiller (Colombia)
    Founded 1864; Alejandro Santo Domingo, a Colombian-American financier, owns a 15% stake in SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer responsible for brands such as Fosters, Grolsch, Miller, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell
    Forbes Richest List: #102; $11.1 billion
  4. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, Heineken International (The Netherlands)
    Founded 1864; Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is the daughter of Freddy Heineken, the Dutch industrialist, and Lucille Cummins, an American from a Kentucky family of Bourbon whiskey distillers, and is the controlling owner of the world’s third-largest brewer, Heineken International, which owns a worldwide portfolio of over 170 beer brands in addition to Heineken
    Forbes Richest List: #116; $10.4 billion
  5. Marcel Herrmann Telles, Anheuser-Busch InBev, along with retailer Lojas Americanas and real estate investment firm São Carlos Empreendimentos e Participações SA (Brazil)
    Founded 2008; Along with Carlos Alberto Sicupira and Jorge Paulo Lemann, formed ABI, which was created out of a merger of Anheuser-Busch and InBev (which itself was a merger of InterBrew and AmBev from 2004, and each of those companies were the results of previous mergers, as well). Just a few of their numerous beer brands include, Beck’s, Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois
    Forbes Richest List: #119; $10.2 billion
  6. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, Real Estate Tycoon and owner of ThaiBev, (Thailand)
    Founded 1991; Sirivadhanabhakdi is a drinks entrepreneur who created Chang Beer, teaming up with Carlsberg in 1991 as part of a joint venture to tap into Thailand’s growing beer market, which at the time was dominated by the Boon Rawd Brewery, which brewed Singha beer. Three years later he launched his own beer Chang (Thai for ‘elephant’), which went on to take 60% of the local market share.
    Forbes Richest List: #141; $9 billion
  7. Carlos Alberto Sicupira, Anheuser-Busch InBev (Brazil)
    Founded 2008; Along with Marcel Herrmann Telles and Jorge Paulo Lemann, formed ABI, which was created out of a merger of Anheuser-Busch and InBev (which itself was a merger of InterBrew and AmBev from 2004, and each of those companies were the results of previous mergers, as well). Just a few of their numerous beer brands include, Beck’s, Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois
    Forbes Richest List: #146; $8.9 billion
  8. Pierre Castel & family, Groupe Castel (France)
    Founded 1949; The French drinks company which Pierre founded with his his eight siblings owns or co-owns 22 French vineyards, plus 1,600 acres of vineyards in Africa, primarily in Morocco, Tunisia and Ethiopia. In 1990, they bought the African Brasseries et Glacières Internationales and has since built 45 breweries in Africa, where they now have 25% of the market there, with their two biggest beer brands, Flag and Castel
    Forbes Richest List: #166; $8 billion
  9. Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala & family, Tresalia Capital / Grupo Modelo (Mexico)
    Founded 1925; Grupo Modelo is the largest brewery in Mexico, with 63% of the Mexican beer market, and brews Corona, Modelo, Negra Modelo, Pacífico, Victoria, and others
    Forbes Richest List: #270; $5.2 billion
  10. Walter Faria, Grupo Petropolis (Brazil)
    Founded 1994; Beer and Soft drinks company whose beer brands include Itaipava, Crystal, Lokal, Black Princess, Petra and others
    Forbes Richest List: #396; $3.8 billion
  11. Rosa Anna Magno Garavoglia & family, Gruppo Campari (Italy)
    Founded 1860; Brands include Campari, Cinzano, SKYY vodka, Wild Turkey and two dozen more liquors
    Forbes Richest List: Tie #446; $3.5 billion
  12. Lorenzo Mendoza & family, Empresas Polar (Venezuela)
    Founded 1941; Conglomerate of 40 different companies with a vast portfolio of food and drinks, including Polar Beer
    Forbes Richest List: Tie #446; $3.5 billion
  13. Jean Pierre Cayard, La Martiniquaise (France)
    Founded 1936; La Martinique Rum, Porto Cruz and Poliakov Vodka
    Forbes Richest List: #483; $3.3 billion

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In addition, Forbes also created a list of America’s Richest Families, of which eight of the 179 listed are engaged in the alcohol trade, or at least made their fortunes in alcohol.

America’s Richest Booze Families

  1. Busch Family, Anheuser-Busch
    Founded: 1876; Although they recently lost control of their beer empire, the 30 or so members of the Busch family are still worth a cool 13 billion, enough to even buy some more expensive beer with flavor.
    Forbes Families List: #17; $13 billion
  2. Brown Family, Brown-Forman
    Founded 1870; The 25 members of the Brown family of Kentucky control a wine and spirits giant that includes such brands as Early Times, Finlandia vodka, Jack Daniels, Korbel, Southern Comfort and many others.
    Forbes Families List: #20; $13 billion
  3. Gallo Family, E&J Gallo Winery
    Founded 1933; Brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo started their wine business in a shed in Modesto, California. Today there are around 14 family members still running the show, which is the largest U.S. wine company, accounting for one-quarter of all American wine. They also produce brandy, cider, gin, vodka, and wine coolers, along with numerous wine labels.
    Forbes Families List: #25; $9.7 billion
  4. Reyes Family, Reyes Holdings, including beer distributors Reyes Beverage Group
    Founded 1976; Christopher and M. Jude Reyes are co-chairs of the company. David “Duke” Reyes is the CEO of Reyes Beverage Group, the largest beer distributor in the U.S., while brothers James and Tom are executives at Reyes Beverage Group and brother William is a director of Reyes Holdings.
    Forbes Families List: #29; $8 billion
  5. Wirtz Family, Wirtz Beverage Group
    Founded 1926; Although they started out in real estate, they made their fortune selling alcohol beginning in 1945, and they’ve also owned the Chicago Blackhawks since 1954
    Forbes Families List: #64; $4.2 billion
  6. Coors Family, Coors Brewing
    Founded 1873; Adolph Coors founded the brewery in Golden, Colorado, and today the Coors family owns over 15% of MolsonCoors. Until 2002, Adolph’s great-grandson Peter Coors was CEO of Coors, but today is the chairman of MillerCoors.
    Forbes Families List: Tie #81; $2.9 billion
  7. John Anderson Family, Topa Equities, Ltd, which includes L.A. Bud distributor Ace Beverage Co.
    Founded 1956; The son of a barber who attended UCLA on a hockey scholarship, Anderson launched Ace Beverage in 1956 with exclusive rights to deliver Budweiser in Los Angeles. Topa Equities still has interests in beer distribution, plus real estate, insurance, and car dealerships.
    Forbes Families List: Tie #94; $2.5 billion
  8. Jackson Family, Jackson Family Wines
    Founded 1956; Jess Stonestreet Jackson and wife Barbara Banke, both lawyers, co-founded Jackson Family Wines in California in the 1980s, perhaps best know for their Kendall Jackson wines. After Jackson died of cancer at age 81 in 2011, Banke became chairman and proprietor. All five of Jackson’s children also hold interests in the company and are active in running it. Don Hartford, husband of daughter Jenny Jackson-Hartford, is CEO. The family owns 35 vineyards, including nearly 30,000 acres in California, that sell more than 6 million cases of wine a year. The flagship winery is Kendall Jackson in Sonoma County.
    Forbes Families List: Tie #100; $2.3 billion

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And finally, on the list of the Forbes 400, the Richest People in America, a couple of family members from the previous family list also made it onto this list with their personal wealth.

America’s Richest Booze Barons

  • 134. J. Christopher Reyes, Reyes Holdings; $3.7 billion; World Rank: 450
  • 134. Jude Reyes, Reyes Holdings; $3.7 billion; World Rank: 450
  • 371. Richard Yuengling, Jr., Yuengling Brewery; $1.4 billion; World Rank: 1156

The cut-off this year for the Forbes 400 was around $1.3 billion. If you’re worth less than that, you don’t quite make the list, but Forbes also created a small list of people they think are the Ones to Watch.

  • 401. Jim Koch, Boston Beer Co.; $1 billion; World Rank: Unknown

Koch was the richest person on the “Ones to Watch” list, so with a little luck he’ll join Dick Yuengling in the Billionaire Beer Boys Club next year.

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The Most Consumed Alcoholic Beverages by Country

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Here’s an interesting chart showing the alcoholic beverage that has the highest consumption in each country of the world, based on data from 2011, as far as I can tell. The data is based on liters of pure alcohol.


via chartsbin.com

Key findings from the report:

  • More than 45% of total recorded alcohol is consumed in the form of spirits, predominantly in the South-East Asia and Western Pacific.
  • Approximately 36% of total recorded alcohol is consumed in the form of beer. Beer consumption is highest in the Region of the Americas.
  • Commonly, high overall consumption levels are found in countries such as the Russian Federation, which display both high beer and high spirits consumption.
  • Consumption of wine as a percentage of total recorded alcohol is globally quite low (8.6%), with significant levels of alcohol consumed in the form of wine in the European Region (26.4%).
  • Beverages other than beer, spirits and wine (e.g. fortified wines, rice wine or other fermented beverages made of sorghum, millet, maize) have the highest share in total recorded consumption in the African Region (48.2%), and in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (31.3%).

Most consumed alcoholic beverages in terms of liters of pure alcohol, which do not necessarily reflect that the overall level of consumption of this alcoholic beverage is high.For example in India, spirits are the most consumed alcoholic beverages, but this does not mean that the consumption level of spirits is high, but that the proportion of total alcohol consumed in the form of spirits is high.

Note:

Beer: includes malt beers.
Wine: includes wine made from grapes.
Spirits: include all distilled beverages.
Other Alcohol: includes one or several other alcoholic beverages, such as fermented beverages made from sorghum, maize, millet, rice, or cider, fruit wine, fortified wine, etc.

Another Milestone: 3,000 Breweries In America

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I know that many people seem tired of celebrating numerical achievements, preferring to concentrate on the beer itself, or the quality of beers, etc., but I think there is something to be said for the continuing rise of the sheer number of breweries in America. It is, I believe, indicative of greater consumer acceptance and a desire for beer drinkers to want to support local producers. It’s true that the growth of the regional, larger breweries are fueling a lot of the marketshare, but with many of the new small breweries catering to a very local customer base, this growth phase we’re in shouldn’t slow down for a least a little while longer.

Yesterday, the Brewers Association announced that the number of breweries in the United States eclipsed 3,000, as of June 2014 stood at 3,040. Here’s more from the BA’s press release:

The American brewing industry reached another milestone at the end of June, with more than 3,000 breweries operating for all or part of the month (3,040 to be precise). Although precise numbers from the 19th century are difficult to confirm, this is likely the first time the United States has crossed the 3,000 brewery barrier since the 1870s. Wieren (1995) notes that the Internal Revenue Department counted 2,830 “ale and lager breweries in operation” in 1880, down from a high point of 4,131 in 1873.

What does 3,000 breweries mean? For one, it represents a return to the localization of beer production, with almost 99% of the 3,040 breweries being small and independent. The majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a local brewery, and with almost 2,000 planning breweries in the BA database, that percentage is only going to climb in the coming years.

Secondly, it means that competition continues to increase, and that brewers will need to further differentiate and focus on quality if they are going to succeed in a crowded marketplace. While a national brewery number is fairly irrelevant without understanding local marketplaces, 3,040 breweries could not happen without increased competition in many localities.

What it does not mean is that we’ve reached a saturation point. Most of the new entrants continue to be small and local, operating in neighborhoods or towns. What it means to be a brewery is shifting, back toward an era when breweries were largely local, and operated as a neighborhood bar or restaurant. How many neighborhoods in the country could still stand to gain from a high-quality brewpub or micro taproom? While a return to the per capita ratio of 1873 seems unlikely (that would mean more than 30,000 breweries), the resurgence of American brewing is far from over.

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Good Hop Grand Opening This Saturday

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I’m thrilled to announce that Melissa Myers’ new beer bar in Oakland, The Good Hop, will have its grand opening this Saturday, July 12, with the doors opening at the mercifully not-to-early time of 3:00 PM. The Good Hop is located at 2421 Telegraph Avenue in West Oakland, near the intersection of 24th Street, just around the corner from the New Parkway Theater. I won’t even try to be impartial here, Melissa Myers is a longtime friend of mine, and I’m excited for her to finally realize a dream of opening her own place. She’s been a brewer for many years, from Denver to Philadelphia and in the Bay Area brewed at Magnolia, Pyramid and the old Ross Brewery (which is now Iron Springs) but now turns her attention to choosing and serving great beer. Eventually, The Good Hop may serve Melissa’s own beer (fingers crossed), but for now they’ll be featuring a nicely curated tap list of 16 taps, with 2 dedicated sour beer lines, plus 450+ bottled beers. At the grand opening, they plan to have a number of rare and hard-to-find beers available, as well as some special surprises.

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Here’s more information, from the press release:

The Good Hop Bottle Shop and Tasting Room (TGH) is pleased to announce it is opening its doors to the public on July 12, 2014. The 1,900-square-foot shop, at 2421 Telegraph Avenue Suite 102, is a specialty beer bottle shop and tasting room offering 450+ bottled and canned beers that can be purchased for take-away or can be opened and consumed on site in the spacious and comfortable bar. Their ever-rotating 16 taps will serve up California and West Coast craft beers with 2 designated sour beer lines at all times.

TGH will have an enormous beer selection in bottles, cans, and on tap that would please any aficionado; though, Melissa Myers, The Good Hop’s owner and proprietor, wants to draw in the less familiar to beer client as well. “I love beer and I love making people fall in love with beer. Part of my mission in opening this shop is to serve the customer who walks in and says ‘Well, I don’t know that much about beer, so I’m not sure what I should order…’ That’s where it gets fun for us. I love asking them questions and, based on their answers, figuring what they’ll fall in love with!”

TGH will host a number of events for both beginners and experts alike. The shop will host beer style tastings, vertical brewery tastings, meet-the-brewer nights, cheese-and-beer pairing events, chocolate-and-beer pairing events, and a number of other activities that feature beer as the centerpiece. The TGH website, www.thegoodhop.com, will have a calendar of events posted. Its twitter feed will have daily listings of what 16 beers are on tap for the day. TGH’s Facebook page contains additional information.

Myers is excited about the neighborhood: “We chose this spot because it’s right in the heart of what’s happening in Oakland right now,” says Myers. “We love the KONO [Koreatown-Northgate] neighborhood and we’re thrilled to be part of Art Murmur, First Fridays, and the vibrancy of this area. So much is happening here right now, and we’re really excited to be in the middle of it.”

The regular hours of the Good Hop will be from 3-10 PM Wednesday through Monday of each week, closed only on Tuesdays. Bar snacks are currently available while the local menu is being finalized, and then they’ll be serving heartier fare along with the snacks. They’ll be working with “Off the Grid and other pop-up food vendors to offer a variety of beer-friendly food. Food trucks are also being lined up to serve up beer-friendly bites.”

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We Totally Let You Win! Newcastle Brown Ale’s Hilarious Independence Eve Campaign

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Happy “Independence Eve” everybody. If you’ve never heard of “Independence Eve,” that’s because Newcastle Brown Ale made it up. But it’s so brilliant, I’m going to start observing it, and maybe even will start a tradition of drinking a British ale every July 3. Perhaps even a Newcastle Brown Ale just to say thanks for this hilarious series of ads.

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There’s maybe fifteen ads on YouTube or at the dedicated website Newcastle set up for the promotion: If We Won. The latest is below, though I’d encourage you to go back and watch them all. Here’s the most recent one, and they keep adding news ones every few hours.

And here’s another favorite one, with Britsh comedian and writer Stephen Merchant. There’s also ones with Elizabeth Hurley and Zachary Quinto. You can check out all fifteen (at last count) at Newcastle’s YouTube channel.

AdWeek has a story about the advertising campaign, Newcastle Ambushes July 4 by Inventing ‘Independence Eve,’ Celebrating British Rule The Redcoats Get Revenge. From the article:

British brands, understandably, don’t have much to say around the Fourth of July—until now. Newcastle Brown Ale, among the cheekiest of U.K. marketers, has turned America’s most patriotic holiday to its advantage by inventing a new, completely made-up holiday: Independence Eve on July 3. The idea of the tongue-in-cheek campaign, created by Droga5, is to “honor all things British that Americans gave up when they signed the Declaration of Independence,” Newcastle says.

“Newcastle is a very British beer, and needless to say, it doesn’t sell that well on July 4. So why not establish it as the beer you drink on July 3?” says Charles van Es, senior director of marketing for Heineken USA portfolio brands. “Unlike the Redcoats in the 18th century, we’re picking our battles a little more wisely. By celebrating Independence Eve, we’re taking liberties with America’s liberty to create a new drinking occasion and ensuring freedom on July 4 tastes sweeter than ever.”

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But not to worry, they’re returning to American beer promptly at the stroke of midnight, when it’s no longer Independence Eve, but officially the Fourth of July, and Independence Day.

Beer In Space: Ninkasi’s Space Program

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Space … the Final Frontier … for Beer. These are the voyages of the Starship Ninkasi. Its 8-year old mission: to brew strange new beers, to seek out new life and new civilizations to drink beer, to boldly brew where no man has brewed before.
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Alright, it’s possible I’ve exaggerated a little, but Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, Oregon announced their new Ninkasi Space Program, a collaboration with CSXT (Civilian Space eXploration Team), “a team of around 30 civilians interested in private spaceflight.” As a longtime space geek, it’s a pretty cool idea.

Mission One

NSP’s first task is to test the viability of yeast in space. This volatile organism, the living ingredient from which beer is born, requires precise conditions to thrive. Will 16 strains of brewer’s yeast survive Mission One, in which they are jettisoned outside Earth’s atmosphere on a rocket? Once we know, NSP will be one step closer to the ultimate brewery…in space.

Mission one will be launched later this month, around thirteen days from today, according to the countdown clock on the NSP website.

More from the press release:

“NSP is a very serendipitous project,” explains Nikos Ridge, CEO and co-founder of Ninkasi. “I don’t think you could have planned a more perfect pairing of beer and space geekery.”

Introduced through a mutual friend, Ridge met with Bruce Lee, of CSXT, at an amateur rocket launch competition in 2013 where the idea first came about.

“As a result of meeting Nikos, CSXT is pleased to include Ninkasi as a team member for the launch,” says Bruce Lee, principle and range safety officer for CSXT. “Launching brewer’s yeast into space will be an interesting experiment – something we’ve never done before.”

With almost a year of planning, NSP will finally get off the ground this month. Ninkasi’s lab technician, Dana Garves, and RapidMade, a Portland, Ore. company specializing in 3D printing, worked hand-in-hand to design and create a payload container built specifically to safely carry the 16 yeast strains into space and back to Earth for brewing—the first to do so.

“I couldn’t contain my excitement when I first heard of NSP,” says Garves. “We spent hours researching, developing and testing what we think will ensure that the yeast travels safely and returns to us healthy enough to brew with.”

After the launch, CSXT will retrieve the payload and immediately hand off the yeast samples to Garves who will analyze the yeast on-site with a microscope used in conjunction with her smartphone.

“Since we’ll be off-the-grid for the launch, I had to figure out a way to examine the samples remotely,” explains Garves. On-site, Garves will be testing for the viability of the yeast, analyzing the number of dead and live yeast cells.

If successful, the NSP team will return to the brewery with healthy yeast, ready to make its way into a very special beer for craft beer and space aficionados alike.

“Obviously, the fact that we’ve never launched yeast into space presents many challenges in itself even with months of planning,” says Ridge. “While we have confidence in our partners and the process, this is uncharted territory on several fronts and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds on launch day.”

Film History: Old Man Drinking A Beer

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Here’s a curious piece of film (and beer) history. I don’t know if it’s the first time someone was filmed drinking a beer, but I imagine it has to be one of the first. The film is from 1898 (or 1897), and is known as Old Man Drinking a Glass of Beer, though it’s also sometimes known as Comic Face. Frankly, he doesn’t look that old to me.

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It was made by legendary British filmmaker George Albert Smith and features a close-up of comedian Tom Green drinking a beer and making faces. Green was a local Brighton comedian and was known for his “pantomime harlequinades at the Brighton Aquarium.” He went on to appear in many subsequent films made by Smith.

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This was apparently a groundbreaking development in film, showing the actor close up making changing facial expressions and this type of film became known as a “facial,” defined as “a work showing a variety of facial expressions to the audience.” According to one source, “the ability to get close up to the star was a great advantage that film had over the stage and early filmmakers were keen to exploit it,” and in this one Green is shown in a single shot “drinking a glass of beer whose face and hands become increasingly lively as a result.”

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Here you watch the entire 38-second silent film:

The Best Beers In California: 2014 California State Fair Winners

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Last week, the judging took place for the 19th annual California State Fair Craft Beer Competition in West Sacramento. This year, there were 859 beers entered in 25 categories of beer plus one for hard cider were entered. I judged two of the four days for this year’s competition, but family obligations kept me from being there for the final two days of judging.

This year’s California State Fair will also include a Brewer’s Festival, which will take place on July 19 from 3-6 PM at the Miller Lite Grandstands at Cal Expo in Sacramento, where you’ll have an opportunity to try many of the winning beers. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 the day of the event. Check out the Cal State Expo website for details.

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Below are all of the award winners. 1 is a Gold medal, 2 is Silver, 3 is Bronze, and 4 is an Honorable Mention.

Category 1: Light Lager (16 entries)

  1. Blue Eyed Blonde, Solvang Brewing (1D: Munich Helles)
  2. Helles Lager, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery (1D: Munich Helles)
  3. Buxom Blonde Pilsner, Loomis Basin Brewing (1C: Premium American Lager)

Category 2: Pilsner (22 entries)

  1. Czech Pilsner, Rubicon Brewing (2B: Bohemian Pilsener)
  2. Northern Pilsner, Sudwerk Brewing (2A: German Pilsner (Pils))
  3. Elemental Pilsner, Lightning Brewery (2A: German Pilsner (Pils))

Category 3: European Amber Lager (5 entries)

  1. Zen Amber Lager, Sudwerk Brewing (3B: Oktoberfest/Marzen)
  2. Ballast Point Oktoberfest, Ballast Point Brewing (3B: Oktoberfest/Marzen)
  3. Una Mas, Left Coast Brewing (3A: Vienna Lager)

Category 4: Dark Lager (5 entries)

  1. Terminal Island Black Lager, San Pedro Brewing (4C: Schwarzbier)
  2. Black Lager, Ol’ Republic Brewery (4C: Schwarzbier)
  3. Dunkel Bock, Ol’ Republic Brewery (4B: Munich Dunkel)

Category 5: Bock (13 entries)

  1. Doppel Down Doppelbock, Feather Falls Casino Brewing (5C: Doppelbock)
  2. Wild Bill Winter Bock, Feather Falls Casino Brewing (5B: Traditional Bock)
  3. Ultimator Dopplebock, Sudwerk Brewing (5C: Doppelbock)

Category 6: Light Hybrid Beer (69 entries)

  1. Bruin Blonde, San Pedro Brewing (6B: Blonde Ale)
  2. Castle Beach Kolsch, Santa Cruz Ale Works (6C: Kolsch)
  3. American, Schooner’s Grille & Brewery (6A: Cream Ale)

Category 7: Amber Hybrid Beer (10 entries)

  1. California Common, Ol’ Republic Brewery (7B: California Common Beer)
  2. Anaheim 1888, Anaheim Brewery (7B: California Common Beer)
  3. Sticke Alt, Dust Bowl Brewing (7C: Dusseldorf Altbier)

Category 8: English Pale Ale (19 entries)

  1. DBA, Firestone Walker Brewing (8A: Standard/Ordinary Bitter)
  2. E.S.B., Ol’ Republic Brewery (8C: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale))
  3. What The Fuggle ESB, Anacapa Brewing (8C: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale))

Category 9: Scottish/Irish Ale (22 entries)

  1. Marauder, Schooner’s Grille & Brewery (9E: Strong Scotch Ale)
  2. Maltopia, Hermitage Brewing (9B: Scottish Heavy 70/-)
  3. Clan Ross Scotch Ale, Legacy Brewing (9E: Strong Scotch Ale)

Category 10: American Ale (101 entries)

  1. Woodenhead Amber Ale, River City Brewing (10B: American Amber Ale)
  2. Hoppy Palm Pale Ale, Track 7 Brewing (10A: American Pale Ale)
  3. 1500, Drake’s Brewery (10A: American Pale Ale)

Category 11: English Brown Ale (14 entries)

  1. Ironwood Dark, Tied House Brewing (11C: Northern English Brown Ale)
  2. Barrel Harbor Brown Ale, Barrel Harbor Brewing (11C: Northern English Brown Ale)
  3. Downtown Brown, Lost Coast Brewery (11C: Northern English Brown Ale)

Category 12: Porter (32 entries)

  1. Brown Bear Porter, Feather Falls Casino Brewing (12A: Brown Porter)
  2. Black Robusto Porter, Drake’s Brewery (12B: Robust Porter)
  3. Party Foul Porter, Lazy Daze Brewery at Mary’s Pizza Shack (12B: Robust Porter)

Category 13: Stout (58 entries)

  1. Ale Of The 2 Tun, Hermitage Brewing (13D: Foreign Extra Stout)
  2. Imperial Stout, Mendocino Brewing (13F: Imperial Stout)
  3. Big Bear Black Stout, Bear Republic Brewing (13E: American Stout)

Category 14: India Pale Ale (178 entries)

  1. Panic IPA, Track 7 Brewing (14B: American IPA)
  2. Evil Twin, Heretic Brewing (14D: Other IPA)
  3. Kermit The Hop, Bison Organic Beer (14B: American IPA)
  4. Honorable Mention: Hop Rod Rye, Bear Republic Brewing (14D: Other IPA)

Category 15: German Wheat/Rye Beer (27 entries)

  1. Hefeweizen, Faultline Brewing (15A: Weizen/Weissbier)
  2. Riverbend Hefeweizen, American River Brewing (15A: Weizen/Weissbier)
  3. Windansea Wheat, Karl Strauss Brewing (15A: Weizen/Weissbier)

Category 16: Belgian and French Ale (46 entries)

  1. Rhinoceros, Telegraph Brewing (16E: Belgian Specialty Ale)
  2. Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale, Karl Strauss Brewing (16E: Belgian Specialty Ale)
  3. Silent Partner Saison, Telegraph Brewing (16C: Saison)

Category 17: Sour Ale (9 entries)

  1. Flander Red, Mraz Brewing (17B: Flanders Red Ale)
  2. Sour Farmhouse, Woodfour Brewing (17E: Gueuze)
  3. Cuvee, Boulder Creek Brewery (17B: Flanders Red Ale)

Category 18: Belgian Strong Ale (30 entries)

  1. Window Of Opportunity, Mraz Brewing (18C: Belgian Tripel)
  2. Axiom, Valiant Brewing (18E: Belgian Dark Strong Ale)
  3. Brother Thelonious, North Coast Brewing (18B: Belgian Dubbel)

Category 19: Strong Ale (30 entries)

  1. Old Diablo, Schooner’s Grille & Brewery (19B: English Barleywine)
  2. Stentorian, Valiant Brewing (19B: English Barleywine)
  3. Old Stock, North Coast Brewing (19A: Old Ale)

Category 20: Fruit Beer (22 entries)

  1. Rosie”s Strawberry Wheat, Six Rivers Brewery (20A: Fruit Beer)
  2. Flatbed Blueberry Cream, Garage Brewing (20A: Fruit Beer)
  3. Tangerine Wheat, Lost Coast Brewery (20A: Fruit Beer)

Category 21: Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer (16 entries)

  1. Gourdgeous, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery (21A: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer)
  2. Wreck Alley Imperial Stout, Karl Strauss Brewing (21A: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer)
  3. Mo’ Tcho Risin’, 21st Amendment Brewery (21A: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer)

Category 22: Smoke-Flavored/Wood-Aged Beer (30 entries)

  1. Barrel Aged Great Impression, Dust Bowl Brewing (22C: Wood-Aged Beer)
  2. Barrel-Aged Good Faith, Discretion Brewing (22C: Wood-Aged Beer)
  3. Jacked Again, Loomis Basin Brewing (22C: Wood-Aged Beer)
  4. Honorable Mention: Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Wreck Alley Imperial Stout, Karl Strauss Brewing (22C: Wood-Aged Beer)

Category 23: Specialty Beer (30 entries)

  1. Campfire Stout, High Water Brewing (23A: Specialty Beer)
  2. NightTime Ale, Lagunitas Brewing (23A: Specialty Beer)
  3. 3 Best Friends, Sudwerk Brewing (23A: Specialty Beer)
  4. Honorable Mention: Great Ape Nectar, Monkey Paw Brewing (23A: Specialty Beer)

Category 27: Standard Cider and Perry (8 entries)

  1. None awarded
  2. Pacific Coast Ciders, Hard Apple Cider, Cider Brothers (27A: Common Cider)
  3. None awarded

Category 28: Specialty Cider and Perry (4 entries)

  1. Blood Orange Tangerine, Common Cider Co. (28B: Fruit Cider)
  2. None awarded
  3. Hibiscus Saison, Common Cider Co. (28D: Other Specialty Cider or Perry)

Category 32: Chili Beer (12 entries)

  1. French Mexican War, Highway 1 Brewing (32A: Chili Beer)
  2. Imperial Dragon Kiss, Stumblefoot Brewing (32A: Chili Beer)
  3. Where There’s Smoke, Twisted Manzanita Ales (32A: Chili Beer)

Category 33: Session Beer (31 entries)

  1. Mosaic Session Ale, Karl Strauss Brewing (33A: Session Beer)
  2. MCA Stout, 21st Amendment Brewery (33A: Session Beer)
  3. Easy Jack, Firestone Walker Brewing (33A: Session Beer)

CraftBeerComp

A few statistics: Karl Strauss, Ol’ Republic Brewery and Sudwerk Brewing won the most medals, four apiece. Feather Falls Casino Brewing won three, and 21st Amendment, Drake’s Brewery, Dust Bowl Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing, Hangar 24 Brewing, Loomis Basin Brewing, Lost Coast Brewery, Mraz Brewing, San Pedro Brewing, Schooner’s Grille & Brewery, Telegraph Brewing and Track 7 Brewing all won two medals apiece.

BEST OF SHOW

  1. Panic IPA, Track 7 Brewing (14B: American IPA)
  2. California Common, Ol’ Republic Brewery (7B: California Common Beer)
  3. Bruin Blonde, San Pedro Brewing (6B: Blonde Ale)

Each brewery chose 6 of their entered beers which they felt were their best. After all judging was completed, the brewery whose six beers scored best was awarded the title “Brewery of the Year.” This year, that honor went to the Antioch brewpub Schooner’s Grille & Brewery, and their brewmaster Craig Cauwels. In addition, a panel of media chose their favorite from among the “best of show” beers to receive the “Best of Show — Media Choice,” which was awarded to Ol’ Republic Brewery’s E.S.B.

Congratulations to all the winners.

CAstatefairribbons

Golden Road’s Area Codes

golden-road
Ah, the numerical beers. First there was Goose Island’s 312. After being acquired by ABI, they proceeded to file trademark applications for many other metropolitan area codes, leaving many to speculate that they’d start doing locally themed area code beers. When the overlooked the San Luis Obispo / Paso Robles area code, Firestone Walker snapped up, almost as a joke, and started producing 805. It may have started out as a humorous idea, but it’s become one of their best-selling beers in their home market. Golden Road, who’s down the road in Los Angeles, named one of their beers 329, not for an area code, but for the average number of days that L.A. gets sunshine each year.

So they threw down about the area code beers in a musical parody entitled (Beers with) Area Codes, a spoof of Ludacris’ Area Codes (feat. Nate Dogg). The video features co-founder Meg Gill, and some of her brewery team, as they call out Matt Brynildson by name, and humorously dis his 805. Golden Road’s brewer Jesse Houck (who used to brew at Drake’s and 21st Amendment) can also seen briefly in a cameo. At the end, they give a shout out to other area codes, which at first sound made up, but they do mention my 707, so maybe not. All in all, a pretty funny music video.