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Jul 29, 2014

Beer Break

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Beer Break Vol. 2, No. 38
American Beer Month III

July 11, 2002

You didn't receive Beer Break last week because it was the 4th of July and we were out drinking American beer. For the record: On the fourth, we had a brewpub IPA from a growler, Ommegang and a homebrewed smoked porter. Our first beer of American Beer Month was Anchor Liberty Ale.

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With Coors and Anheuser-Busch's Michelob Amber Bock providing advertising support, ABM III has higher national visibility than the first two versions -- though its presence in local markets will vary. Sadly, ABM in 2000 and 2001 was met with so little enthusiasm some places that those who tried to promote it there have backed off.

It's working in Tennessee, where the Boscos family of brewpubs (three, with a fourth to begin selling Boscos beer in Little Rock, Ark., later this year) has been solidly behind American Beer Month since the beginning. Two of the pubs are participating in Realbeer.com's ABM Challenge Cup next week.

Drinkers and employees at the two pubs are already bantering back and forth, and reading their exchanges is a treat. We've been squarely behind American Beer Month since the idea was hatched, but sometimes it is hard to explain to beer drinkers -- whether they favor mainstream products or specialty beers -- why ABM matters. These comments help.

Chuck Skypeck -- a partner who was the first brewer at all three Boscos and now is in Memphis -- provides particularly thoughtful insight:

"All kidding aside, just for a moment, I would like to make a more serious post to the 'Boscos vs Boscos' web page. One post stated that Nashville 'has a German Brewmaster' I believe that it is always easy to misinterpret comments on the Internet, (and I hope I am not misunderstanding this comment) but I did take this comment to mean that somehow Nashville was superior to Memphis because they had a 'German brewmaster.'

"If this is the case, it brings up why we celebrate American Beer Month in the first place, which is to try and get the general public to understand that the world's most diverse and exciting beer culture is found in the United States of American. We have the world's largest number of breweries producing the world's largest variety of styles. We have both tradition and innovation in our breweries. Ask Michael Jackson where he finds, across the board, the most interesting beers in the world. His reply is the United States.

"This is not to disparage or discredit Germans or German beer culture, just simply to point out that in the United States we have a beer culture with both established and developing traditions that are as vibrant as anywhere in the world.

"That being said, I will say, proudly and chauvinistically, that Boscos Squared has an American brewmaster.

"For those of you that do not know, Fred is a naturalized American citizen who just so happens to be born in, well, Fred, where were you born? (I have heard several stories) and trained in Germany as both a brewmaster and maltmaster. I would love to hear Fred's comments on this matter. My guess is he considers himself an American brewmaster educated in Germany. Another example of our diverse beer culture in the United States, another reason to celebrate American Beer Month."

Tasting notes

WID MER HEFWEIZEN
Brewed by Widmer Brothers Brewing in Oregon
Celebrator Tasting Panel notes:
The original American-style wheat beer still tastes great today. It starts with a rich, spicy floral nose and rich, herbal flavors. A pleasant hop bite up front opens up with a full, citrus mid-taste and a clean finish. A wow!

SIERRA NEVADA WHEAT BEER
Brewed Sierra Nevada Brewing in California
Celebrator Tasting Panel notes:
Floral, citrusy sweet nose with a great, pillowy head and nice lace. Lemony-cream taste with slight tart hop bite and a nice, lingering finish.

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