Yesterday the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas handed down its ruling on the joint lawsuit filed back in October of this year against the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC) by Austin brewery Jester King, Zax Restaurant and Bar and Authentic Beverage.
Essentially the Federal court states that breweries in Texas can now: label a beer a ‘beer’ and an ale, an ‘ale’, regardless of the ABV; advertise where their beers are sold; as well as describe the alcohol content of their beers with words like ‘strong’. “In a remarkable (though logically dubious) demonstration of circular reasoning” Judge Sparks states in his ruling filed yesterday, the “TABC attempts to defend the constitutional legitimacy of the Code through an appeal to the statutory authority of the Code itself.” Referring to the required use of the terms “beer”, “ale”, and “malt liquor”, he writes “TABC’s argument, combined with artful legislative drafting, could be used to justify any restrictions on commercial speech. For instance, Texas would likely face no (legal) obstacle if it wished to pass a law defining the word ‘milk’ to mean ‘a nocturnal flying mammal that eats insects and employs echolocation.’ Under TABC’s logic, Texas would then be authorized to prohibit use of the word ‘milk’ by producers of a certain liquid dairy product, but also to require Austin promoters to advertise the famous annual ‘Milk Festival’ on the Congress Avenue Bridge.’”
Continue reading ‘It’s Only Just Begun…..’
One of the best aspects of attending the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) each year is the education and updates on the craft beer industry that are available. This year, I had the opportunity to attend a luncheon put on by the Brewers Association (BA) on day 2 of the festival, which was held at the Denver Marriott City Center in Denver. All beers at the luncheon were from brewpubs, with the majority of the beers having been GABF medal winners the year before. Brewers Association Program Director, Julia Herz mc’d the luncheon, which discussed various industry topics. However the focus was on the influence of brewpubs within the industry.
While Herz kicked off the luncheon, attendees were treated to a wonderful Belgian white from Taps Fish House and Brewery in Brea, California. Soon after the first course arrived, Roasted Beet Salad with fennel, green apples, goat cheese and bacon with vinaigrette. Paired with this was a Vienna style lager from Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen in Bellingham, Washington, as well as a Belgian Saison from Mckenzie Brewhouse in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Continue reading ‘Brewpubs and the Craft Beer Industry’
The Great American Beer Festival. The name alone conjures up visions of yummy malted goodness, but the festival is much more. It is a celebration of American craftsmanship, pride and ingenuity. The festival, known to most as GABF, began way back in 1982 and although it may seem not that long ago, with all that has transpired in craft beer in the last 30 years, it feels like a lifetime.
30 years ago the American Home Brewers Association (AHA), the precursor to the Brewers Association, was in its 4th year of existence, having formed in 1978 when the federal government officially legalized home brewing. Coming up on(Approaching) its fourth annual conference, AHA decided to hold a festival celebrating American craft breweries. This was a momentous occasion, as the beer scene in the United States was virtually non-existent since prohibition ended and the U.S. was only recently seeing a resurgence of breweries opening up, with Jack McAuliffe’s New Albion Brewing having kick started the revolution in the mid 70′s. Although New Albion lasted only a few years, Jack inspired many to start their own breweries, most notably the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Continue reading ‘The Great American Beer Fesival’
Formulating your own recipe to create what you hope is an unbelievable Homebrew is probably the most difficult part of brewing your own beer. However, it can be the most rewarding as well. Maybe you’ve gathered the equipment needed, books and even talked to veteran brewers. You might even have many partial mash or all-grain batches under your belt. Something is missing though. While you are enjoying the brewing process, getting to know your equipment and honing your techniques, however you want more control over the process, more of a challenge.
I confess, I probably brewed at least 4-5 all-grain batches before I finally felt ready to try my hand at creating my own recipes. I was scared to death. Trying someone else’s proven recipe is safe and if you make a mistake or two, it’s likely to be close enough. Working on your own recipe puts the added stress of not getting the recipe right. That can make or break your beer, even if your brew day is perfect.
There are dozens of books out there that will assist with recipe formulation and getting to know everything that needs to be considered, however there are a few in particular that I keep close at hand: Ray Daniel’s ‘Designing Great Beers’; Randy Mosher’s ‘Radical Brewing’; and the recently published ‘Brewing better Beer’ from Gordon Strong. I suggest looking at these and any others as your resources.
Continue reading ‘Recipe Formulation’
These days, you wouldn’t have enough fingers to count up all the production breweries in Texas. Although Texas is still very far from being what it has the potential to be, this is still a great problem to have. Even the smaller towns like New Braunfels, are getting in on the action. However, one city in Texas seems to be rising above all others in its numbers of brewpubs and production breweries to the point that comparisions to Denver, Colorado and San Diego, California have been mentioned. Austin, Texas has become a hot spot for craft beer these days, but is there too much?
Continue reading ‘When is it too much?’
The Craft Brewers Conference blew into San Francisco this year and took the town by storm. The Craft Brewers Conference (CBC), is the preeminent conference for packaging breweries, as well as brewpubs and is sponsored by the Brewers Association, which is made up of more than 1,000 US brewery members. This years CBC saw more than 3,900 industry attendees and 53 seminars, and shaped up to be quite a week for members of the craft brewing industry. The conference also featured BrewExpo America, a trade show that features vendors from all over the world showcasing the latest products and services available to the brewing industry.
Day one of the conference really began the night before with the welcoming ceremonies which were held at the California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park. Sponsored by Briess Malt and Hopunion, it featured beers poured by Moylans, Beach Chalet, Russian River. It was an amazing night and a great way to ease everyone into the task at hand: establish life long business relationships that would allow growth with America’s beer culture and expose brewers big and small to industry best practices.
Fritz and Ken Reminiscing - Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association
Keynote Speakers for this years conference were Sierra Nevada founder and pioneer Ken Grossman and Fritz Maytag, former owner of Anchor Brewing and often thought of as the father of craft brewing in the United States. Grossman and Maytag sat in lounge chairs sharing a beer together, while regaling the audience with tales of their beginnings. Rather than just giving the usual stand at the podium speech, they engaged in a conversation with each other that was as educational as anything you could ever watch.
Continue reading ‘Craft Brewers Conference 2011′
I recently paid a visit to a known, and yet little known, brewpub in Boerne, Texas. Here’s a link my review of them orignally posted on UpTake.com.
Let’s face it. When you think of craft beer, your first thought is not South America. Think South America and your mind is filled with images of the Amazon River, Rio De Janeiro and Carnival. But beer? Never! I confess, craft beer and South America were not my first thoughts when I walked into the offices of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado last summer. I was there to meet homebrewing legend, founder of the American Homebrewers Association, and current Brewers Association President, Charlie Papazian.
A few minutes after my arrival, Charlie came out to the lobby with yes, a beer in his hand and two glasses. We sat down and began what was a great conversation. Ok, so what beer were we sharing? A coffee porter called Demoiselle from the Colorado Brewery in Riberaõ Preto Brazil. Yes, Brazil. Charlie had gone down to Brazil in early 2010 and the porter we were enjoying was one of the fruits of that trip.
Continue reading ‘Estilo Suramericano De La Cerveza Del Arte’