Author Archive | Real Beer

‘So you want to start a brewery?’

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Gay Talese once said, “The problem is that when you are writing nonfiction you have to place yourself into a category or else Barnes & Noble doesn’t know where to shelves you book.”

Most B&N stores devote only a shelf to beer-related books, so there won’t be much decision making about where to put “So You Want to Start a Brewery.” (At Powell’s in Portland, Oregon, which has a great collection of beer books it gets a little tougher.) But the fact is it fits as comfortably on a shelf with books intended to guide entrepreneurs or with biographies. It is not the only book a person would need to own before starting a brewery, but it is full of useful advice. It makes equally as good a gift for a beer fan, and particularly a Lagunitas beer fan.

Perhaps it is best to simply quote a few of the recommendations from the back cover:

“All brewers think they can write, but Tony brings his unique and entertaining beer story to life in such a funny, breezy, yet thoughtful way that reading it feels like you’re having one of his IPA’s with Hemingway and Gore Vidal in a Key West bar. I read it cover to cover in one sitting and found myself laughing out loud throughout.” — Harry Schuhmacher, publisher, Beer Business Daily

“Unconventional brands come from unconventional people. Drawing from music and literature, Tony Magee sees the world in a way that most completely miss. He has poured his heart and soul into Lagunitas and we are all richer for it.” — Keith Greggor, co-owner & CEO, Anchor Brewing Company

“Tony is one of the most unique characters in all of craftdom, rising fast to become one of the top US craft brewers in recent years. He’s wicked smart and has a way with words; here’s his story told in his own inimitable fashion.” — Benj Steinman, Beer Marketer’s Insights

Genesee builds keg Christmas tree

Genesee keg Christmas treeGenessee Brewing in Rochester, N.Y., has used 300 kegs to build its own version of a Christmas tree outside it brewhouse, trimmed with with 600 feet of LED green rope lights, and topped it with a rotating Genesee sign. The tree is 23 feet tall.

“It’s been great fun,” Michael Gaesser, Genesee’s director of packaging innovation, said at a press briefing. “As soon as you turn it on, people start taking pictures. Everyone thinks it’s cool and the whole company rallied around it.”

The tree was erected on a 16 x 16 wooden base and between the 10 layers of kegs is a plywood platform. The kegs are tied together with a cable system. When disassembled, the parts will go into storage for next year.

And the kegs? “The kegs will go back into the production flow and go right back out with beer in them,” Gaesser said.

An official public lighting ceremony is set for Thursday.

Save on The Rare Beer Club

Advertisement – with special offer for Real Beer readers

The Rare Beer Club’s mission statement is quite simply to bring you the best craft beers that the world has to offer. And certainly no one had more knowledge and experience with artisanal beers than Rare Beer Club founder Michael Jackson, whom The Wall Street Journal referred to as “The World’s leading beer critic.”

It’s an exciting time to be a beer lover. Passionate, creative, artisanal brewers around the world are returning to often-forgotten traditions without compromising on ingredient quality to cut costs. They’re leading the way in creating new styles by experimenting with unusual ingredients, blending aged beers, aging beers in bourbon barrels, and imparting other innovative brewing techniques.

Get $10 off your Rare Beer Club order today!

Malt: A Practical Guide

Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse“Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse” completes the Brewing Elements Series from Brewers Publications. The book “delves into the intricacies of this key ingredient used in virtually all beers. This book provides a comprehensive overview of malt, with primary focus on barley, from the field through the malting process. With primers on history, agricultural development and physiology of the barley kernel, John Mallett (Bell’s Brewery, Inc.) leads us through the enzymatic conversion that takes place during the malting process. A detailed discussion of enzymes, the Maillard reaction, and specialty malts follows. Quality and analysis, malt selection, and storage and handling are explained. This book is of value to all brewers, of all experience levels, who wish to learn more about the role of malt as the backbone of beer.”

Order it here.


BeerBugThis one is for homebrewers. The BeerBug is a cloud connected digital hydrometer — measuring the density and temperature of your fermenting beer, cider, or wine and reporting that to the cloud to be read from your computer or smartphone, anywhere in the world.

The BeerBug gathers specific gravity, temperature, and alcohol data from your fermenting brew and sends that data to the cloud. You are able to read your brew data via your web browser and iOS or Android App. When sending commands to your BeerBug your commands retrace this path, going through the cloud then back down to your BeerBug.

Some other key details:

– It fits most any vessel
– It mounts just like an airlock
– It reroutes C02 via airlock or blowoff
– It has rechargeable 25+ day battery life