Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Blog Location

Hi guys,

I know its been a while since I posted on this blog but I have been spending time creating and posting to my new blog "A World of Brews". I am going to keep this job active to discuss non beer related things such as travel, food, and events. So please come over to a world of brews and sign up for the Feed or daily EMail.

Talk to you all soon!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Session 17 - Going Against the Grain Bill: Solstice Edition

Hi all,

First I would like to thank Rob at Pfiff!! for hosting this months session. I never really thought about this topic before this year. Do I have a seasonal preferences in beer? I first had a discussion with a few people in my running club and they all said they loved IPA's in the summer and Imperial Stouts in the winter. I said I didn't really care I was more interested in trying different styles and brands of craft brews. So far this summer. I have had everything from Barleywines to Imperial Stouts. When I get done with the lawn or coming back from the store I look whats in my fridge and I think about what sounds good or looks interesting. I will say that most of the time summer or winter it is a hoppy IPA or DIPA. That is my favorite style and every season is IPA time. I also do enjoy other "summer time" beers all year around. This includes Kolsch, Hefeweizen, and Pilzners.

I guess I am a rebel doing my own thing. Kind of like a chunky James Dean. ;-) I guess after really thinking about it I do lean towards lighter beers in the summer but I am not sure its because of the heat but it may be who knows. I say don't think seasons think good beer and drink what sounds good to you.

Peace out until next month!!! Thanks again Rob!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

June - Fermentation Friday

Hi all,

Welcome to Fermentation Friday!! I would like to start off by saying thanks to Travis at CNYBrew for hosting this month. This months topic "What is the craziest concoction you ever came up with, on the fly or prepped, to brew with" was a rather difficult one for me as I don’t have much to say on this topic but I wanted to stay involved and participate. I haven’t been brewing that long so I haven’t been that wild in my brewing. I have been rather conservative. So far the 2 wildest brews out of 6 total have been a Blood Orange Hefeweizen and a Honey Amber Ale. The Hefe recipe I got from Extreme Brewing (the book) and the Honey Amber was a kit from Midwest Supplies. I know wild an already created recipe and a kit. What can I say I am still learning!!

Over the last few days I have been thinking about what would be cool to brew with and I came up with ginger. I think a ginger IPA or a ginger wheat would be awesome. After my next two planned beers I think I am going to try and use ginger in my beer. For those that are wondering my next 2 planned beers will be and ESB and Winter Warmer. The warmer will be a little wild as I will be brewing with cinnamon, clove, and coriander. I am looking forward to playing with these spices.

I am really looking forward to reading all the wild brewing posts. Hopefully it will give me some ideas on what I can do next or use it as a springboard to other wild ingredients. Thanks again to Travis at CNYBrew.com for hosting this month’s Fermentation Friday. There should be some good reading. Talk to you next month.

Matt

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Session 16 Beer Festivals

Hi All,

Thanks to Thomas at Geistbear Brewing Blog for host this much session. I happen to love beer festivals. I have already been to one this year in Bakersfield, CA called beerfest and it was a blast. I do have to say that it is very difficult for me not to get slightly (or alot) inebriated at these things. So many good beers so little time. I just love going with friends and sampling all the great microbrews and beers that I usually don't have access too. What I do find funny is there is always a line at the Macrobrew tables. Don't people realize that they should experience the unfamiliar. You can get Bud, Coors and Miller any time but I am not sure why you would want to. My goal at these events is to try as many different beers as I can. So I always try and avoid trying things I have had before unless of coarse it is a great beer.

I am not really sure where to go with this topic. I guess I will start of by listing the beer fests I have attend.

1. Universal Studios Orlando Beer Fest - This beer festival is awesome. There must be 50 breweries and a few hundred different kinds of beer.
2. The Downtown Orlando Beer Fest - This was a smaller beer fest but the music was awesome and the had some breweries I hadn't tried before.
3. Active 20-30 Beerfest (Bakersfield,CA) - This beerfest was rather small also but it was really cool as alot of west coast micros were available for tasting.
4. Disney World Food and Wine Fest - I know it says food and wine fest but my favorite part of this fest are the international beers. Most of the countries at the Epcot World Showcase had there county's beers available.

I have not had a bad time at a beer fest and I don't know how you can with great beers and people. I am going to finish up with a funny little store from my first beerfest experience at Universal Orlando. Picture walking up to a table to get your ticket, fest info, and glass and getting this tiny little 3 oz plastic glass to taste with. Me and my wife were pissed we had paid like $25 and we get this tiny little glass. We thought it was going to suck. So we start going from table to table trying little 2oz samples. Within about an hour I can see my wife getting a little buzzed and we both looked at each other an said "Now I see why we get little glasses" and laughed. So we keep going from table to table and the next thing we know it is like 9 at night and we had been sampling since like 3. We were both pretty hammered and were wondering how we were going to get home. I suggested we go see a movie. We ended up going to see 2.5 (on an all evening pass) ;-) before were were able to get home. I learned after that first time to arrange for a ride or bring a DD.

****TIP****
Always bring a DD or arrange for a ride. If you do the fest properly you shouldn't be driving.
************

Thanks again to Thomas for hosting this months session. Talk to you all next month!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Homebrew Blogging Day #1 (I remember when I started homebrewing)

Hi All,

First off I would like to thank Adam for starting the Homebrew Blogging day. I think that this is a great idea. I would like to see be a great learning tool to grow in the awesome hobby of home brewing.

This months topic "I remember when I started homebrewing" is a good way to start HB blogging day. I am really interested in reading about how and why everyone started home brewing. For me it was actually a 2 part process. About 5 years ago I found a Mr. Beer kit at a garage sale and I was so excited to try and brew beer. Lets just say it didn't turn out very well and I gave up on it before I really got started. Over the next few years I sort of got away from beer and wine had become my drink of choice. I never really thought I would homebrew again. I was in a wine tasting phase where I just want to try as many wines as I could and beer just fell to the wayside.

Fast forward to Oct. 05 and our trip to Europe (Italy,Germany, and France). I was figuring on tasting some of awesome wines and maybe a few beers in Germany but that is not how it happened. I had re found beer with the first beer I tried in Munich through the last beer I had in Paris. I now wanted to try any and all beers I could get my hands on. So over the next few years I probably have tried a few hundred different beers in many different styles and beer had become my passion. So what could I do to expand and learn more about my passion. Make it myself.

On Jan. 19th 2008, using a really beer kit that I got for Christmas, I made my first beer an all extract Amber Ale. I was so worried when I started that I was going to fail again but it turned out awesome. I had done it I had made my own beer. I was so psyched that I went out and got an IPA kit (this time with specialty grains) and again it turned out great. I was turning in to a home brewer. Since Jan. I have brewed 5 batches and have 2 more in the works. Home brewing has allowed me to learn so much more about beer then I could every really know then by just drinking it. I am learning how different hops taste, how yeast affects beer character, and how to be really meticulous at cleaning and sanitizing. It has opened up a whole new world for me in my passion for beer. Everytime I try a new style of beer I try and think about what is in it and if I can make something like it. I know I will be brewing for a very long time and I can't wait to brew many more batches and learn many more techniques.

See you all next month!!