Virginia Names August Craft Beer Month


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If you are planning on being in Virginia in the month of August (like I plan on) then you are in luck. Virginia has dedicated the whole month of August to craft beers. There are a tonne of events happening at brew pubs and breweries located across Virginia.

There is a website at virginia.org/CraftBeer/ that shows all of these events, all of the breweries and brewpubs available.

The month long festivities will culminate in Virginia’s first ever craft beer festival, all day on the 25th of August. It is being held at Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company (200 Mosbys Run Roseland, VA 22967)

I may not be able to attend many of these events the week that I am in Virginia, but there is a Dogfish Head brewpub literally MINUTES away from where I’ll be staying. So I may just enjoy my own craft brew week there.


Bacon Beer, Words To My Ear.

While eating breakfast on one of my homebrew days, eating bacon no less, I got to thiking: “Could I brew a beer using bacon?”. Why not. It could be a bit of a challenge getting the right flavours in the beer and balancing it out right. I envisioned a darker, smoky, fried bacon taste. Could be possible…

Going through some of the beer blogs today, I noticed that a group of homebrewers are doing a sort-of “ironman” brew challenge. The ingredient… BACON!

Excellent!

For this brew I actually decided to use bacon grease in the brown ale lending to it’s name, the Greasy Pig Brown Ale. The smell of the beer while in the boil was friggin’ amazing. My garage was overtaken by the ludicrous smell of fresh cooked bacon. I still haven’t decided if I’m got to “Dry Pork” the beer. (Stealing Jamey’s phrase). Going to try the beer again in two weeks to see if it needs more bacon before I carb it. We are all going to be tasting the beer in feb; so I have a couple more weeks for it to settle in the corney before I decide what to do.

The “grease” doesn’t sound very appealing in a beer since it will kill the head and give it a really awkward mouth-feel but it sounds like the brewer lagered the beer and removed the oil from the top.

Very interesting. One of my ideas were to create bacon salt and use that for flavour… Somehow… I’ll keep an eye on the progress and report back in here to see how they end up accomplishing this.


Do “Sessionable” Craft Beers Exist?

By Canadian standards, session beer is not normally equated with lower alcohol by volume. Molson Dry which is a mainstay is about 5.5%.

Does session beer need to have low alcohol content? While it would be difficult to session high alcohol content something in the range of 6% to 8% should be acceptable.

My definition of session beer has always been about flavour and consistency. Does it go down crisp without too much after taste? Is it well balanced? Is it thick and filling?

Also how many in a session? Being able to sit around and have a 6-pack throughout a hockey game would be a good measure to test the “session-ability” of a beer. If you are going to chug something down your throat through a bong then you don’t really need to worry about drinking craft beer.

Session craft beers are simply much rarer than they ought to be, and I can’t help but feel that it’s a part of the market that craft brewers aren’t targeting enough. Craft brewers have mid-range pale ales, higher ABV IPAs and specialty beers of all kinds on lockdown, but a true “session” beer is still missing from many of their lineups. I hope that with the creation of beers such as “All Day IPA,” craft brewers are starting to notice this, and hopefully realize that this is a segment of the market that they should be competing in, while maintaining their standards for making good, flavorful beer.

I think it begs the question, does craft beer need to be session beer?


Sam Calagione Unimpressed With Negative Beer Geeks


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Adding fanaticism and snobbery with the internet usually results in lots of negativity. Typical of the internet to be a breeding ground for those ‘over-rated’ type discussions.

Sam Calagione steps in to put some of the haters in check over at Beer Advocate.

One of these beers is on the sweeter side and one is more sour. Knowing each of your palettes is unique you will probably prefer one over the other. That doesn’t mean the one you didn’t prefer sucked. And the breweries you don’t prefer but are growing don’t suck either. Respect Beer. The below was my favorite post thus far

Honestly, any discussion (or more precisely, rant) about something being over-rated is pointless. It all comes down to taste and personal preference. Especially with beer. It is one thing to discuss and review beer but everyone’s palate is going to be different.


Here’s an easier resolution to keep this year.


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While we are on the topic of new years resolutions I will share one of mine. I want to drink more craft brews and less mass produced beers (or none at all). Commercial beers just do not stand up against delicious craft beers. There is no comparison for quality.

So while we are trying to limit our beer intake and watch our calories, make an effort to drink only quality beer this year.

Besides, it will probably help you achieve other goals by making the switch. Drinking craft beer will slow down your intake because you want to enjoy your pint instead of throwing back pint after pint of something with less flavour. Easier to lose weight when you sit down and enjoy two beers then when you chug 5 Molson Drys.

The one thing I enjoy the most about drinking craft beer is the social aspect behind it. Maybe I’m an old man now but I prefer to drink beer for beer and not just a means to get drunk. So go out and enjoy something new with friends and talk about the different flavours and styles.

GREAT BEER MAKES FOR GREAT TIMES! While drinking craft beer you will have some great times with your friends and family who are drinking craft beer with you. Try it out! I dare you! Go out for with friends and family and make it a point that everyone has to try a new craft beer. Have everyone talk about their beer. Smells, tastes, likes, dislikes, etc. Pay attention to the discussions that arise due to the different beers that you taste. It’s amazing! In most cases, everyone will pass their beer around for others to try, so you can decide which beer to order next. Imagine doing this with your friends and/or family on a regular basis at different breweries and/or pubs in your area. It could turn into a bonding event that you and your beer drinking buddies look forward to every weekend!

If you want more reasons to switch over to craft brews this year, check out