Friday, November 06, 2009

Update and Sierra Nevada

Well, I brewed my Robust Brown Ale a couple of months ago, and it is tasty. I've taken it to several events (where it was well-received), so I'm almost out of homebrew, for now.

On the commercial front, there are some interesting beers out for Autumn from Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Nevada has another edition of Torpedo out, now.

It's always tasty, but at 7.2% ABV, it's definitely not a session beer.

Then, there is Anniversary Ale.

I've enjoyed all of Sierra's anniversary offerings since 2007, and this one is really nice. Complex, yet extremely drinkable, and not overly powerful. It's on the high side of a session beer. 2 to 3 bottles per session.

Every year, I also await the arrival of their Celebration Ale...especially the on-tap version. In the Kansas City area, look for it to be on tap (in mid-December) at possibly: Barley's, Grinders, or Flying Saucer.

And, I can't wait for this:

Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head to release “Life & Limb” Collaboration
Chico, CA (08/12/09)—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.

I would also like to try their new year-round release, Kellerweis Hefeweizen. The Sierra Nevada PR group says about it, "Several years ago, the brewers began working with a unique Bavarian hefeweizen yeast strain unknown in this country. This amazingly flavorful yeast was so exciting that they began working on a recipe for a traditional German hefeweizen with the Sierra Nevada twist."

It will be interesting to see how SN interprets a Bavarian hefeweizen style. I haven't seen this product locally, yet. I'm sure it will show up, somewhere.

By the way, I don't work for Sierra Nevada, and I have no financial interest. I've always thought that they've produced a quality product, though.


Friday, June 26, 2009

What's New on the Bad Ben Beer Front?

My love (Sophia) and I enjoy a beer at Flying Saucer.
Photo credit: S.O. Cindy Busjaeger.

Well, I have 3 beers on tap, right now: Ersatz Schneider Weisse, Summer IPA, and my Belgian Uber Saison. Everybody seems to love the Weisse...(but I'm really not a huge fan of the style). I at least know that I did a decent job on it. The IPA and Saison round-things out nicely, but it would be nice to have my Brown on tap, as well (sigh).

The KC Beer Bloggers got together when Lee was last in town a little over a week ago. It was a nice, easy-going night. Good times.

There are some things happening around town on the professional brewing scene....more, later.

You'd better not over-imbibe!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Two Brew Weekends in a Row

One week ago, me and my wonderful assistant brewed a 2nd batch of the brown that was so well received. I've already transferred it to secondary fermentation.

This past Saturday, we brewed a nice Belgian style ale.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Portage and Future Brown-out

I'm transferring my latest Porter from secondary fermentation to kegs, today. I'll force-carbonate one of them when it's chilled enough. I may have a glass of Porter to drink by tomorrow evening!

The Belgian Brown is still in primary fermentation, and will probably stay there until Thursday or so.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Different Shade of Brown

On a suggestion by my son, I brewed a Belgian version of my American Brown Ale.

All went as planned, and we'll see what comes of it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Pisces Scales Up

Eight days ago I brewed a Robust Porter. It's the latest version of my Sherpa Porter. Not to brag too much, but my Porter seems to be enjoyed by a lot of folks that know their beer. And it doesn't just rest on it's gets consumed.

I'll be transferring it to secondary carbonation this afternoon. I should have performed this yesterday, but was a little tired from working (on a Sunday), damnit!

In other news on the homebrewing front: I'm going to be collaborating with a local/regional "commercial enterprise" to scale up one or more of my homebrew recipes at a craft brewery for submission into the 2009 GABF Pro-Am competition. Hey, entering the competition will be Beeriffic enough, but having a commercial beer made from my recipe(s) will be the true honor. The acclaimed veteran head brewer of this establishment likes my stuff! (That's the real honor).

Other news: My experimental I.B.I.P.A. (Imperial Brett India Pale Ale) has a very pleasing flavor profile. It turned-out better than I thought it would; it's quite refreshing. I had it with some Maytag Blue Cheese last night, and they paired well together. This project took a while, though...waiting for 2 years worth of fermentation and conditioning was a test of my discipline, all right. And so was stopping at just one glass of IBIPA, even though I was really stoked about it.

I've got a couple more vessels of experimental stuff much more on the fringe than this latest beer, though. But I've got to wait. Discipline, discipline!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

100 Miles for a Beer!!!

Some of you know that my passion for good beer compliments my passion for running long distances in the woods.

The recent article in the Pitch described me thusly:
"Ben isn't the kind of guy most athletes would peg for the cover of Runner's World. Far from the sinewy Kenyans who dominate distance running, Holmes has boyishly cut blond hair and a smile that makes his round face scrunch. He's an accomplished athlete, but he moves with the casual swagger of a bar buddy. A slight bulge around his middle betrays a love of beer almost as deep as his affection for running. "

Some of the runs that I do might sound a little crazy. The 100-milers are a case in point. Running 100 miles within 20 to 30 hours might seem like a delusional dirge-like death march of a run...but actually it's more of a spiritual journey for me. It is my church. It's how I stay centered in this nutty existence.


I have decided to dedicate my next Rocky Raccoon 100-mile trail race (in February 2009) to the American Cancer Society. I've finished RR100 six out of the past six years' worth of attempts. I'm dedicating Lucky Number Seven as a fundraiser for cancer.

Just days prior to running my first Rocky Raccoon 100, I found out that my dad had inoperable systemic cancer throughout his entire body. They gave him 3 months to live, and he lasted 10 months, and had a horrible, "lingering death" that my family and I witnessed.

So, I always have him on my mind when I run this race, and I also think of all of the friends, family, and coworkers who have battled this horrible disease; many of whom are no longer with us. If you can find it in your heart to donate something...anything, it would be appreciated. I don't think there are any of us who haven't been touched by this killer, either physically or emotionally.

You can read about my last Rocky Raccoon 100 here.

Happy trails,
Bad Ben

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Taste Rant

I've noticed over the years something about taste and the people who have "discerning" taste.

For instance, the person that orders and enjoys the varying flavors of differently roasted coffees (without sweetener, milk, or cream), can taste and appreciate a subtle beer or wine flavor. Or how a red wine person can easily appreciate a Belgian-style beer. Taste over effect. These folks tend not to drink to excess, and tend not to be smokers. They savor their food and beverages.

On the flip side of that coin, there are the people who don't seem to have discerning taste at all. They order their coffee as "fluffy-sweet" drinks, only. They order Rum and Coke and other sickenly-sweet drinks. Effect over taste. Folks that think "Turning Leaf" makes a great wine. And drink green-bottle Heineken and think the skunky flavor is something that they should enjoy or "get used to." Or think that Beck's or Corona are "premium beers" because of their premium price. And follow-up a bar session by slamming-down Jaegers.

On the homebrewing side, I'm always amazed by the would-be brewers that want to "clone-brew" a version of Corona or even the insanely-overrated Fat Tire Ale. WTF? I just don't get it. Why get into homebrewing in the first place, if you're just going to try to copy the Shit Beers of the World? Find another, maybe. You could attempt to "clone-cook" the perfect copy of a McDonalds Quarter-Pounder, or clone-bake the perfect version of a f*cking Twinkie. And then wash it all down with a Rum and Coke.