Monday, August 31, 2009

Sierra Fish Collaborate

August 14, 2009 - ( - This fall independent craft brewers Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head, will release two collaborative beers. Limb & Life-a draft-only beer-will debut in October; with Life & Limb 24oz bottles and limited draft to follow in November.

The beers-Life & Limb, and Limb & Life-are dedicated to the family of beer drinkers and enthusiasts worldwide who continue to support the little guys, iconoclasts, entrepreneurs, and pioneers who risk life and limb to shape the vibrant craft-brewing community. Over the years, the two brewers-Ken Grossman and Sam Calagione-have become friends in the industry. They quickly realized how many similarities they share. Grossman's history as a craft-brewing pioneer and his radical approach to brewing are echoed some fifteen years later by Calagione-through his boundary-pushing innovation and tireless promotion for the cause of craft beer.

Both men started out as home brewers obsessed with beer-making. Both share deep values of sustainability and responsibility. Both share the desire to pass their breweries on to the next generation, and both started out small-from humble beginnings-and built vibrant, creative, beer-centered and fiercely independent breweries, despite the long odds

Their mutual respect, admiration, and none-too-few shared glasses of beer led to the collaborative idea.

"I have gotten to know Ken through our years on The Brewers Association Board and at numerous beer events throughout the country. As a brewer myself, it is inspiring to see a person like Ken drive a beer-centric (as opposed to a biz-centric) brewery so far and so wide while sticking to his original ideals and integrating his family into the company. I have enjoyed talking (and drinking) beer with his children, especially Sierra and Brian who currently work alongside Ken at Sierra Nevada. The iterative process of conceptualizing and brewing this beer with Ken and all the folks at Sierra has been a joy. We have designed this beer to intertwine signature aspects of both of our breweries' creative approaches-from sustainability to exotic sugars, from bottle conditioning to cellarability. I hope Mariah, our amazing co-workers, and I can keep Dogfish on track with our beer-centric ideals for many years to come. I will know how successful we've been at this task if my children, Sammy and Grier, are able to share a bottle of 2009 Life & Limb with Sierra and Brian at a beer dinner or festival 15 years or so from now. I am hopeful that, as they toast each other, they can hold their heads up high knowing our two breweries were among many fine breweries that breathed LIFE into the colorful, diverse, and beautiful LIMBS of the American craft-brewing family tree." - Sam Calagione, President and Founder, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

"Sam and I have spent many evenings laughing, arguing, and toasting glasses, talking about where we are in the business and where we're going. As Sierra Nevada approaches our 30th anniversary, it's inspiring to step back and see how far American craft beer has come. People like Sam and Dogfish help to push the boundaries of beer, and it has been fun working with him and the Dogfish crew. This is our first time working with maple syrup in beer on this kind of scale, and the first time we know of anyone using birch syrup. It has been an interesting and inspiring experience and will hopefully lead to big things. As a beer, Life & Limb has so much meaning for me personally, and for the brewery. As our first collaborative release, we couldn't have had a better partner. Our families are coming together in this beer, both literally and figuratively by using ingredients from our family "farms"-estate hops and barley from us; maple and birch syrup and exotic sugars from Sam-and by having the Dogfish family come to Chico to brew. As the bottled beer ages and changes over time, it will be great to see our families share this beer over anniversaries of their own." - Ken Grossman, Founder, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Life & Limb is a 10% ABV strong beer that defies style characteristics-brewed with pure maple syrup from the Calagione family farm in Massachusetts and estate barley grown on the Grossman "farm" at the brewery in Chico. The beer is alive with yeast-a blend of both breweries' house strains-bottle conditioned for added complexity and shelf life, and naturally carbonated with birch syrup fresh from Alaska; it is the first beer we know of ever to use birch syrup in the brew. If stored under good conditions, this rich, full-bodied beer should age well for years. Life & Limb will be available in 24-oz. bottles and limited draft starting this November.

Limb & Life is a companion to the big beer-an acorn off the larger tree. It is a 5% ABV small beer-a low-gravity beer made using the residual sugar as "second runnings" from the first larger brew, fortified with American hops. This is a session beer. Its big brother is a sipper. Limb & Life will be a limited draft-only product, a prelude to the bigger beer, available in select bars and restaurants this October.

The two beers will be bottled at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., in Chico, CA and released through the Sierra Nevada distribution network.

Story provided by

The Beer Prayer

The Beer Prayer

Our lager,

Who art in barrels,

Hallowed by thy drunk,

Thy will be drunk

(I will be drunk)

At home as I am in the tavern.

Give us this day our foamy head,

And forgive us our spillages,

As we forgive those who spill against us,

And lead us not to incarceration,

But deliver us from hangovers,

For thine is beer,

The bitter and the lager,

Forever and ever,


Well I guess that's it. We have run out of beer things for the blog. Thank you, Good night, Drive safe. Pull up your socks and smoke if you gott'em.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Woman wants public caning for drinking beer

SUNGAI SIPUT, Malaysia (Reuters) - A Malaysian Muslim woman who will be caned next week for drinking beer has defiantly asked that the punishment be carried out in public in a case that is fueling debate about tolerance in this multi-racial country.

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno will be the first Malaysian woman to be caned under Islamic laws applicable to Malaysia's Muslims, who account for 60 percent of the 27-million population.

She said the 20-month ordeal added to her distress, but she respected the law banning alcohol for Muslims and was determined to go through with the punishment -- six strokes of the cane.

The mother of two, who also paid a 5,000 ringgit ($1,420) fine, asked for the punishment, usually carried out in a closed prison, to be done in public.

"I never cried when I was sentenced by the judge. I told myself, alright then, let's get on with it," Kartika, 32, told Reuters in an interview at her father's house in a rural Malay village, about 300 km (186 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur.

Islam is the official religion in this country that has a dual-track legal system, with Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims alongside civil legislation.

Opinions are divided about the punishment Kartika faces under Islamic laws some say are too severe and selectively enforced.

Amnesty International criticized on Friday the punishment as "degrading" and said the caning comes at a time when the role of Islam in Malaysia is assuming greater importance.

One of the main opposition parties wants Malaysia, which has ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities who are not Muslim, to become an Islamic state with sharia laws on punishment.


Despite the prohibition, Muslims can be found consuming alcohol in bars and nightclubs openly in cities such as the capital, Kuala Lumpur, where attitudes are more relaxed.

Kartika, a Malaysian citizen married to a Singaporean, is a Singapore resident. Religious authorities caught her drinking at a hotel in Kuantan, the state capital of the central Malaysian state of Pahang, on December 11, 2007.

Kartika said she had three glasses of beer before the hotel was raided in what she said was her second time drinking alcohol. She and the other patrons were asked to provide urine samples.

Kartika, who said she has yet to receive any response to her request for a public caning, is due to be taken to prison in central Selangor state beginning on Monday for one week, during which her sentence will be carried out.

She will be fully clothed and kneeling and struck on the backside with a small thin cane using moderate force.

Four court appearances over the offence forced her to quit her full time hospital job and she has since had to rely on part-time modeling jobs.

"I only declared that I was a model to protect my full time job... I felt very humiliated because people used my status as a part-time model to publicize my case," she said.

Yo Tim

Gluten-Free beer at Wolff’s.

Starting today, we will be offering Green’s Gluten-Free Amber from Belgium in bottles at Wolff’s Biergarten. Melanie is stoked. The bottle of beer is gigantic, too, at 17 ounces. They are a little bit on the pricey side, at $12, but it’s a special order item, and again, it’s a big beer. I actually haven’t tried it yet, but as far as Gluten-Free beer goes, it’s supposed to be delicious.

So if gluten ain’t your thang, stop down at Wolff’s and give one of these big boys a try.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Battle of the Brews returning to Saratoga

Beer fanciers probably are as opinionated about their quaffs as anyone in any field. If you’re among that group, the “Battle of the Brews” at the Saratoga Race Course is for you.

The 12th annual event will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday, August 28, as a fundraiser for the American Red Cross Adirondack-Saratoga Chapter. Event visitors will be able to vote for their favorites from among a large field of brews.

Admission to the event is $25 and limited to patrons 21 and older. Tickets are available by e-mail or by calling 792-6545.

Breweries, in alphabetical order, lined up for the event:

Anchor Brewing
Black Dog
Blue Moon
Boulder Beer
Brewery Ommegang
Brooklyn Brewery
Harpoon Brewery
High Falls Brewing Co.
Ithaca Beer
Long Trail Brewing Co.
Magic Hat Brewing Co.
Olde Saratoga Brewing Co.
Otter Creek Brewing Co.
Pete’s Brewing Co.
Samuel Adams
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Switchback Brewing
Woodchuck Cider

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Abbey Road Trip

Those long slogs across the Mass Pike can now be eased with a stop at Armsby Abbey in Worchester. Yes, its true there is something worth stopping for in Worchester; in fact it is worth going out of your way to check it out. An awesome draught list, pages of bottles, great food with local ingredients and pairings with recommended beers, fair prices – what more could you ask for? Well how about a brand new 2,600 square foot beer garden with 50 draughts! To be honest we couldn’t go to the beer garden, which is a separate location, because it’s 21 and over, but if it is anything like the Abbey search it out (the Abbey is 21 and over after 6:00).

And speaking of searching, the Abbey is easy to get to off 290. Take the downtown exit go straight toward the downtown to the first “T” intersection, take a right and it’s a block or two on the left. I am told the beer garden is even closer to the highway for your drinking and driving convenience (hey remember that’s illegal!)

While the beer speaks for itself, the food also deserves a word. We were there for brunch and had an eggs Benedict calzone – fresh local eggs, farm smoked ham wrapped in a tasty dough with a side of hollandaise – may be not heart healthy but with a Lost Abbey Devotion – probably worth dying for. Not heart healthy enough for you, how about a homemade mac n cheese made with three artisanal cheeses and covered with toasted homemade ale bread crumbs – that’ll slow the old pump down. Wash it down with a Stone Vanilla Smoked Porter and your ready to roll. On the non alcoholic side the homemade lemonade was a big hit, but the bigger score was the homemade lemonade with muddled fresh raspberries.

So next time your on the road looking for a stop don’t think fast food, slow down and find the Abbey. Check out the website and you may find yourself looking for reasons to go to Worchester soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Craft Brewers See Sales Up in First Half of Year

Published: August 18, 2009

Filed at 10:43 a.m. ET

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- The nation's craft brewers continued to sell more beer in the first half of the year, despite the tough economy, although their rate of growth has slowed.

The Brewers Association, the trade group representing the bulk of craft brewers, said that craft brewers sold 4.2 million barrels in the U.S. in the first half of the year, a 5 percent increase from last year's 4 million barrels. But the growth rate represents a slowdown from the 6.5 percent volume boost posted in the same period last year.

Dollar growth from craft brewers rose 9 percent in the first half of 2009, also a slowdown from 11 percent growth in last year's first half.

The industry considers craft brewers ones who annually produce fewer than 2 million barrels.

The group said there were 1,525 total U.S. breweries, as of July 31. That includes 962 brewpubs, 456 microbreweries and 64 regional craft breweries.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Shields and Beers of New York

Following up a lead on this blog, we headed last week to the Bowery for a visit to DBGB Kitchen and Bar. This latest restaurant in the Daniel Boulud empire is VERY strong in the beer, burger and sausage areas and made for a great evening of tasting. Along with dining companion, we started off with a round that included Einbecker Mai Ur Bock from Germany, Victory Golden Monkey from Pennsylvania and Six Point Otis Oatmeal Stout from New York City. All went particularly well with the excellent burgers from the kitchen which included the Frenchie, topped with smoked pork belly, tomato confit and arugula, and the Piggie, which was slathered with pulled pork and a dollop of chipotle mayo. Our second samplings were Harriestown Best Bitter “Bitter and Twisted” (just like us!!) from England, Avery Sixteenth Anniversary Saison from Colorado, and a Maredsous 8 Belgian Dubbel on the recommendation of the very knowledgeable “beer girl.” The latter went particularly well with the “Omelet Norvegianne” (aka Baked Alaska) that was doused in chartreuse and set aflame tableside. High marks for the attentive service and samplings of beer to help us make up our minds as to what to drink.

Our next stop on the following day was the Blind Tiger Ale House in the West Village. This is truly a beer lover’s dream! While the bar itself was not much to look at (and get there early to get one of the few seats), the blackboard was chock full of unusual offerings including the Sixpoint Brownstone. Based on one of brew master Shane Welch’s favorite homebrew recipes, the brown ale has the aroma of fresh-baked bread, accomplished by using generous portions of Belgian specialty malt and a pinch of the same malt you would find in a stout. The result is a blend of caramel, toffee, and chocolate with a slight nuttiness and roasted tang. We followed up with the Avery Maharajah, a spicy IPA, and the Ridgeway Stout, which had a deep flavor with citrus notes. Make this a stop on your next trip to the city!

Our final day returned us to the Defiant Brewery in Pearl River, NY where we snagged a bottle of Defiant Trippel to split while we waited to be picked up from the train station across the tracks. This classic Abbey style ale is filled with fruity notes followed by a spicy finish. Best of all, it’s now available for take out along with growlers of their other beers.

Beer Hero App.

Jason Greco, a local software developer, has built an iPhone app that's sort of like Yelp for beer. Beer Hero can tell you what microbrews are available near you -- and the locations of the closest pubs. [via TU]

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Back to England with the Coba & Wiz

We spent our final week back in England in the South Downs of East Sussex, where we stayed in the old market town of Lewes. A pub lover’s paradise, the town dates back to before the Norman Conquest (along with many of the pubs!). With our B&B conveniently bracketed by the Swan on one end of the street and The King’s Head on the other, we got down to work almost immediately. Lewes is dominated by two things: Lewes Castle, on a hill high above the town and visible from many of the pubs, and Harvey’s Brewery. Virtually all of the bars we visited featured one or more Harvey’s brews on tap. We tried Harvey’s Best Bitter and Hadlow Ale, which we were lukewarm on, and their Jubilee, a rich golden ale more to our liking. Our very favorite pub was the Lewes Arms, built right into the ramparts of the castle and the only place we deviated from Harvey’s to drink Fuller’s ESB. One hot day, we boarded a train for the 15-minute journey to the city of Brighton and hit the beach. There we discovered that, just sometimes, the warmish British beers just couldn’t cut it! Forgive our lapse! Lewes’ most (in)famous son is Common Sense scribe Tom Paine. We drank in one of his favorite pubs – The Brewer’s Arms - and were pleased to drink in his name as well. To celebrate the bicentenary of Paine’s death, Harvey’s has crafted a special edition Tom Paine ale which we were fortunate enough to catch on our last night in the U.K. Though we’ve been to England six times, as we sipped our ales in the beer garden of the Cricketer’s Arms in the tiny village of Berwick, we were already planning our next trip.

The Coba & Wiz go back to the roots.

Next we headed off to Sweden where we did the majority of our drinking with at home with the family (primarily the Danish Harbo Dark and, of course, aquavit) with a few notable exceptions. In Stockholm, located on a few of the 25,000 islands in the Swedish archipelago, we caught the finish of the Volvo Around the World Boat Race. At one of the many bars set up temporarily along the harbor, we were treated to a view of the National Museum and some of the boats while we drank our Pripps. “The best selling beer in Sweden,” the light lager was low in alcohol but refreshing after a long day of sightseeing. In the Sodermalm section of the city, we visited Tiffany’s where we switched it up and chose a the Czech beer, Staropramen, a light-bodied dark pilsner in the Bavarian style. We also stopped in at Akkurat (, on the advice of beer consultant Tomas Holmquist, in search of his favorite cask-conditioned Swedish beer. Though Stor Makt (Great Power) was no longer available, we did find many of our own faves on tap, including Leffe Brown and Brooklyn Ale. On our last day, we took a boat to the island of Fjaderholmarna where Cobra enjoyed a Swedish Mariestad Porter (yum!!) while the Wiz reverted to type and ordered up a Whitbread Organic Kent Ale.