Friday, May 17, 2019

So You Pollute How Much…?


Fermentation is an amazing natural process, whereby microscopic single-cell organisms consume carbohydrates, and in the process the filth they emit as waste products is ethanol. Humans consume this filth - at least as far as we are looking at it - in beer.

Now breweries may not realize this, but they are actually chemical production plants, with ethanol emissions as a pollutant. Ethanol is an organic compound, in the category of VOC (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are regulated as pollutants because they contribute to the formation of ozone at ground level.

There’s not a lot of VOCs emitted from brewing, measured in pounds per gallon, and of course many nano- or micro-breweries will hardly have any emissions. If we look at AB-INBEV, their global (2017) production was reportedly 357 million barrels of beer! If we assume (which is not correct, but just for the sake of argument) they can and bottle 50%, with average ABV of 4.5%, they emit 2,766 tons of ethanol per year!

We set up a spreadsheet that calculates your emissions based on gallons of beers canned or bottled. A future version will have kegging as well.

So anyway, keep a copy of the spreadsheet, fill in your numbers if you want (“wow, we released 0.016 tons!”). It’s a good bit of data to have handy for an audit by a government agency (EPA or state), or in case there’s a complaint of potential “air pollution” from your business. If you need help, just contact us.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Tale of Six Barleywines


First of all, I have to try and keep blog posts brief. I do admire those who do a lot of blogging, but I do work for a living and have other interests. So this and many future postings will be briefer, as I would rather get multiple articles out there each month, as opposed to one opus magnum biannually. Or is that semi-annually?

Barleywine. My favorite style. BJCP Style Guidelines say:
17D. English Barleywine. Overall Impression: A showcase of malty richness and complex, intense flavors. Chewy and rich in body, with warming alcohol and a pleasant fruity or hoppy interest. When aged, it can take on port-like flavors. A wintertime sipper.
22C. American Barleywine. Overall Impression: A well-hopped American interpretation of the richest and strongest of the English ales. The hop character should be evident throughout, but does not have to be unbalanced. The alcohol strength and hop bitterness often combine to leave a very long finish.

But as we shall read, a Barleywine is a difficult style to brew...

Treehouse  - Tree of Life – 2019 - American Barleywine [6.5 / 10.0; beer 10,639]
Couldn’t wait, but reminds me more of a Belgian strong dark ale; weak flavor; thin mouthfeel; no hops; nice raisin aroma but way off stylistically.



Sierra Nevada - Bigfoot – 2019 - American Barleywine [6.5/10.0; beer 10,640]
Hops were too strong, and rich original flavor and mouthfeel is gone. Slightly harsh which may mellow with age. Is this the same Barleywine I’ve had for a decade or more?

Untitled Art & Horus – Barleywine  - 2018 - English Barleywine with coconut and coffee [7.5/10.0; beer 10,641]
Light roasty coffee aroma with a sweetish rough coffee taste; notes of coconut. Full, smooth mouthfeel with a coarse head. Granted it’s a Barleywine variant, but a good sipper.

Weyerbacher - Blithering Idiot - 2012  - English Barleywine [7.5/10.0; beer 10,643]
Caramel and barley aroma, faint sour snap (last aging year to be drinkable?). Boozy and full bodied, foamy head.



Black Pond – Now that I’ve stood up... – 2019 - American Barleywine [8.8/10.0, beer 10,662]
Good body nice and full, slightly harsh as it’s a new barleywine, boozy hint in the finish, creamy head.

Perennial Artisan Ales – Vermillion – 2017 - American Barleywine [9.7/10.0, beer 10,791]
Raisin plum aroma with a full barley taste, faint sugary finish with a syrupy mouthfeel.



Friday, August 17, 2018

You Know Urine Portland…

Packed well for the flight - a suitcase within a suitcase.


Started the flight on American Airlines - Philly to Portland OR – and at 30,000 ft enjoyed
New Belgium  |  Voodoo Ranger  |  Ale, Pale, Spiced  |  7.0  |  7.0
                            [brewer]             [brand]                      [style]          [ABV]  [score on 0-10]

Also set next to Micky (Melchiondo) Ween, of the eponymous band.


We were going to the Portland OR area, on a somber note, to pay respects to my wife’s aunt. That being said, we all enjoyed the family, food and beer in Portland.

After arriving, the next day – 8/17 - Took a trolley tour – in true tourist fashion.







The first family get together was late afternoon at the Yards Ale House in Portland. Cameron was a great host, and made some good suggestions (not that much I’ve ever had at Yards was bad).


Tried these:
Great Divide  |  Strawberry Rhubarb Sour  |  Ale, Sour, Fruit  |  6.2  |  9 
Double Mountain  |  Kölsch  |  Kölsch  |  5.1  |  8  
Gigantic  |  Kölschtastic  |  Kölsch  |  5  |  7.5  
10 Barrel  |  Cucumber Crush  |  Ale, Sour, Fruit  |  5  |  7.5
Culmination  |  Sour Power Flower Hour  |  Ale, Sour, Fruit  |  5.5 
Melvin   |  2x4  |  Ale, IPA, Imperial  |  10  |  8.5  
North Coast Brewing  |  Old Rasputin |  Ale, Stout, Russian Imperial  |  9  |  9.1  
Stone Brewing  |  Double Bastard Ale 2015  |  Ale, Brown, American  |  11  |  9  
Steenberge, Brouwerij van  |  Tripel Van De Garre  |  Ale, Belgian Tripel  |  11  |  8.5

Then stopped at Annex & Al's Den, for a


McMenamins  |  Blackberry Rhubarb pie  |  Ale, Sour, Fruit  |  4.11  |  8.0

While walking passed a store with a sale on the GrowlerWerks pressurized growler. This must be purchased if you are serious about beer!!


Then lastly at a place I haven’t been to since 2011 - Bridgeport Brewing. Hello old friend.


Bridgeport  |  Old Knucklehead  |  Ale, Barleywine  |  9.2  |  9

Started the morning of 8/18 with a nice walk, to check out the area. What had changed so much in Portland is the aroma. Or smell. OR stench is more like it. A bit east of the area where we were staying (Canopy by Hilton, which is a different Euro-themed departure for the otherwise stalwart chain) was awash in the odor of urine.




I don’t mean the faint whiff of cat piss, I mean like – if you closed your eyes – you’d think you were kneeling in front of a urinal in a condemned mens’ room in Grand Central Station, before the 1998 restoration. Portland – you need to do something about the homeless population. And not “more affordable housing” – these people have no money, many appear to be  mentally ill, as well as drug-addicted. Intervene, get them off the streets, get them jobs. Plenty of people hiring.

But I digress; like any true beer fan, I soldiered on.




Once done mapping the urine odor density...


...stopped in at Pints, for a taster, not pints. Except for the Steel Bridge Stout.
That was a pint.
At Pints.
American pints.
Not Imperial pints, at Pints.
I wonder if there's a brewpub in the EU called "472 Centiliters"
Although Pints is now Ascendant brewing.


Pints  |  Steel Bridge  |  Ale, Stout, American   |  5.2  |  7.5  
Pints  |  Pink Peppercorn pepper Saison  |  Ale, Saison  |  6.2  |  6.8  
Pints  |  Even Bretter than IPA  |  Ale, IPA, Sour   |  6.4  |  7.5  
Pints  |  Awesome Sauce  |  Ale, IPA, New England   |  5.2  |  8  
Pints  |  Strawberries are my Jam  |  Ale, Sour  |  5.1  |  8.5  
Pints  |  Spruce Tip Trip  |  Ale, IPA, Tripel, Spiced  |  5.2  |  9  

Lunchtime was at the Rogue taphouse



Rogue   |  Hop Trippin  |  Ale, Pale, American  |  5.8  |  8    (Free as tap kicked!)
Rogue   |  Rolling Thunder   |  Ale, Stout, Imperial  |  14.4  |  9.5  

At the end of the day - after the service – had a
Pelican Brewpub  |  Kiwanda Cream Ale  |  Ale, Cream  |    |  7.5

The next day was another family day with lunch at the “new” (to me) Double Mountain Brewery location in Portland.



Years ago I had their Tahoma Kriek, which uses Rainier cherries, hence the yellow color instead of red.
Double Mountain Brewery Portland   |  Tahoma Kriek  |  Ale, Belgian Kriek  |  9.9  |  10  
Double Mountain Brewery Portland   |  Devil's Kriek  |  Ale, Belgian Kriek  |  9.2  |  8.5  
Double Mountain Brewery Portland   |  Citraf#ck  |  Ale, IPA, American  |  6.7  |  8.2  
Double Mountain Brewery Portland   |  Pêche Cuvée   |  Ale, Belgian Lambic Style  |  8.7  |  9  
Was able to get some to take home.

Went to a favorite - Bailey's Taproom for oddly enough beer 10,100, having had beer #1,900 there in 2011. Cameron was there this evening; he also told us about the new place called the Upper Lip, above them. They have a similar setup, with an insane bottle list.


Hair of the Dog  |  Doggie Claws  |  Ale, Barleywine, American  |  11  |  8  [beer 10.100]
Jester King  |  RU55  |  Ale, Belgian Flanders Red style   |  7.3  |  8.
Half Acre  |  Deep Space  |  Ale, IPA, Imperial  |  10  |  7.8  


Boulevard  |  Bourbon Barrel Quad  |  Ale, Belgian Quadrupel Style  |  11.2  |  9  
Beaching Beaver  |  PB&J Blonde  |  Ale, Fruit  |    |  9  
Deschutes  |  Mirror Mirror  |  Ale, Barleywine  |  11.2  |  10  |  50% aged in barrels

Went out for a midnight snack after this at the Little Bird Bistro. Delicious.


Also had
Wolves and People   |  Coneflower   |  Ale, IPA, Session  |  7  |  7.8  

But on a sad note, as we were walking out, noted the Tugboat Brewing sign. They are now apparently closed.


Next day 8/20 went shopping in Portland. Went to Powell's Bookstore of course. Stopped at von Ebert for lunch. Love the hog.




Von Ebert  |  Pilsner  |  Lager, Pilsner, German Pils  |  4.9  |  8.5 
Von Ebert  |  Das Dom   |  Kölsch Style  |  4.7  |  6  
Von Ebert  |  Table Biere   |  Ale, Belgian Table Beer Style  |  3.6  |  9  
Von Ebert  |  Entirely Porter  |  Ale, Porter, English  |    |  9.5  
Von Ebert  |  Stratum  |  Ale, Sour, Kettle  |  5.3  |  8  
Von Ebert  |  O.P.M.  |  Ale, Stout, Imperial aged in bourbon Barrels   |  12  |  9.5  |  Aged with Ancho Chiles

Later in the day got a ride to Great Notion.


I had heard a lot about the place and decided to try all the beers; after all, UBER was doing the driving. Steve the bartender was a really good host.




Great Notion  |  Blueberry Muffin  |  Ale, Sour, Fruit  |  5.5  |  9.5
Great Notion  |  Chocolate Covered Strawberry   |  Ale, Stout, Imperial, Fruit  |  10.5  |  9
Great Notion  |  Old Barn oak aged  |  Ale, Saison  |  7  |  8
Great Notion  |  Luminous 03  |  Ale, IPA, Sour   |  5.5  |  10
Great Notion & Block 15  |  Peach Punch you in the eye  |  Ale, IPA, American, fruit  |  7  |  9.5





Great Notion  |  Guava Mochi   |  Ale, IPA, New England, fruit  |  7.2  |  7 
Great Notion  |  Guava Flow  |  Ale, IPA, Double, Fruit  |  8  |  9 
Great Notion  |  Oblivion 02  |  Ale, IPA, Double New England  |  8.2  |  8.8  
Great Notion  |  Full Grown  |  Ale, IPA, Imperial  |  10  |  9 
Great Notion  |  Peanut Brother   |  Ale, Stout, Milk, Imperial  |  9  |  8.5 
Great Notion  |  Blueberry Pancakes   |  Ale, Stout, Imperial  |  10.5  |  10.1 [yes 10.1 on open-ended 0-10 scale]
Great Notion  |  Double Stack  |  Ale, Stout, Imperial  |  11  |  9.5 

Had dinner at a nice little Italian place.


Then back to the Upper Lip
Boon  |  Oude Geuze Boon à l’Ancienne - vat 91 mono  |  Ale, Belgian Lambic  |  8  |  9  

And Baily’s to end the trip
Hair of the Dog  |  Cherry Adam from the wood  |  Ale, Old, English  |  10  |  9 

And what a trip it was.