GABF regulars

Yesterday we asked which eight breweries have been present at every Great American Beer Festival since the first in 1982.

They are:

Anchor Brewing Co.
August Schell Brewing Co.
Boulder Beer
Coors Brewing Co.
F.X. Matt Brewing Co.
Joseph Huber Brewing Co.
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

If you are going to be in Denver this weekend be sure to have a beer from each of them (realizing they’ll be 375 more breweries represented on the festival floor).

archives archives

Making the BJCP test look easy

Many have equated taking the Beer Judge Certification Program exam to tackling the law boards. That might be a stretch, but it’s tough enough that a presidential candidate could gain a few more votes by suggesting a “No brewer left behind” program.

But the BJCP test looks a lot easier when you look at what it takes to earn the title of Master of Wine.

Of course, the wine title also costs more.

The first hurdle for a prospective candidate is just to get in the program. Successful applicants typically have worked several years in the wine industry or hold a diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, an educational body affiliated with the IMT. They must write an essay (sample question: Discuss the role of wood in fermenting wine), and if accepted, they must part with $2,200 for a three-day seminar to introduce them to the program.

Almost makes you think wine experts have earned the right to sound pretentious.

archives archives

Remembering John Young

The Independent in London has Michael Jackson write their obituary for John Young, long te venerable leader of London’s historic brewery. It should be read in its entirety but in case you need a nudge, here’s an excerpt.

He has been described, inadequately, as an eccentric. People thus identified are usually bores. Young was never boring. Barking, perhaps. If the rest of the world were sane, he would indeed have to be judged mad.

He was also a giant, which Jackson’s tribute makes clear.


No, the answer isn’t beer

Today’s Denver Post previews next week’s Great American Beer Festival. The focus is in the fact that it is the GABF’s 25th anniversary, and the story concludes with a quote from founder Charlie Papazian:

“It feels great. How many things can we say we’ve done 25 times and enjoyed it?”

Here at Beer Therapy Central we’re having toruble getting past the rather obvious answer.


In print: Newspapers do beer

What newspapers are writing about local breweries:

“‘Wet”‘ hops come to Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on East End Brewing’s Big Hop Harvest ale. West Coast breweries aren’t the only one serving fresh hop ales.

Getting ready for GABF. This story from the Idaho Statesman is being repeated hundreds of times across the nation this week (though not often in print). Two Idaho brewers send their beers off to be judged during the Great American Beer Festival, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next week in Denver.

More GABF. Kevin DeLange and Kevin Kellogg, owners of Dry Dock Brewing, offer readers of the Aurora (Colorado) Sentinel & Daily Sun tips for enjoying the festival. Their best advice? “Don’t be fooled. If there for the party, don’t let anyone trick you into tasting the contents of the dump buckets.”


Berries, acorns and beer

It’s only Wednesday morning, but this has to be the quote of the week. From Boston Beer founder Jim Koch, speaking at the National Beer Wholesalers Assocation conference about watching the largest brewing companies in America duke it out:

“I feel like I’m a medieval peasant watching these armies marching across the landscape. I’m just hiding out in the forest still living on berries and acorns.”

And beer we would hope.

[Via On the House]


Beer wholesalers honor A-B’s Lachky

The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) this week honored Bob Lachky of Anheuser-Busch for his efforts to promote beer and the role distributors play in the marketplace, with its Industry Service Award presented at NBWA’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. The award recognizes individuals who have made a contribution that enhances the malt beverage industry.

Lachky has spearheaded the “Here’s To Beer” campaign, which is ongoing.


John Young dies

John Young, long the chairman of the family run Young’s Ram Brewery in London, died Sunday. He was 85. The obituary from the British Guild of Beer Writers points out:

. . . his most successful brainwave was a decision, against all contemporary trends and advice, to promote traditional draught beer instead of the keg beers that most brewers were heavily supporting in the 1960s. The ploy paid off and Young’s sales rocketed well before the foundation of the Campaign for Real Ale in 1971.

His death comes in the week when Young’s beers are being brewed for the last time at Wandsworth. In May Young’s announced it would merge brewing operations with Bedford-based Charles Wells.

archives archives

Bracketing beer

Maureen Ogle, author of the new book Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer, is “bracketing beer” for a book due out next March titled “The Englightened Brackologist: The Final Four of Everything.”

She offers a full explanation of what this means, including why after two days she had to take a break.

She’s down to a Final Two and about to make her decision, but it will be March before it goes public.

Meanwhile, if you need an immediate “Beer Bracket” fix we refer you to’s Battle of the Beers (four tournaments, 2003-2005, the last three won by Dogfish head 90-Minute IPA).


Oktoberfest beers and other choices

Don Russell (Joe Sixpack) picks six American fall beers to take you from “the thin-bodied thirst-quenchers of summer to the strapping headbangers of winter.”

On first swallow, yes, these fall beers go down with the same sweetly smooth flavor you’d find in a typical Oktoberfest. But take a second, and you discover a distinctly American twist on a standard German beer.

Munich’s Oktoberfest begins tomorrow, so you may also want to lay in a more traditional Oktoberfest beer as well. Your call. Meanwhile, some other tasty choices posted in blogs this week:

Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek.

Russian River Blind Pig IPA.

Lost Abbey Avant Garde.

Ithaca Beer Double IPA.


Brewers who blog: Update

– The Saint Arnold Brewhouse, one of the first blogs from brewers that we found but unfortunately off line for some time, is back.

Post fromt he brewhouse certainly capture the spirit of the brewhouse, like this one:

If you are at all disturbed by shocking images of elaborate machinery being assembled by unorthodox means, then don’t look here! (I think that one image probably voids our warranty, so look quick before Brock makes me remove it!)

– Added to FeedDemon (our reader of choice) today: Lost Abbey’s Brewer’s Blog. Tomme Arthur promises to be properly dangerous when posting here.

It’s at least a little amusing that they feature the drawing of a monk writing in his journal, beer at his side, that adorns the bottle of Lost and Found Abbey. Shouldn’t he be at the keyboard, banging out a blog post?

– You can count on a post at the Flossmoor Beer Blog about every two weeks. Ones like this are worth the wait.


Inside the brewers’ heads

25th Great American Beer Festival, 14 days and counting . . .

The GABF has announced a new feature – Inside the Brewers Studio, patterned after the television show “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” The shows will be presented in the Brewers Studio Pavilion at the center of the festival floor. Tom Dalldorf of Celebrator Beer News moderates each of them.

Thursday, September 28, 7-7:30 p.m.
Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co. and Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker Brewing Co. discuss their brewing adventures in Northern and Central California.

Thursday, September 28, 8-8:30 p.m.
Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing Co., Adam Avery of Avery Brewing Co., Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing Co. and Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co. all traveled to Belgium together in March, even taking along their own beer for Belgians to sample. They’ll share stories about the trip.

Friday, September 29, 7–7:30 p.m.
Garrett Oliver and Mitch Steele are both veterans of American brewing. Oliver is the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster’s Table. Steele recently became brewmaster of Stone Brewing Co. after brewing more than 10 years for Anheuser-Busch. They’ll interview each other about their careers, “talk some East/West smack”, and answer questions.

Friday, September 29, 8–8:30 p.m.
Charlie Papazian, founder of the GABF and president of the Brewers Association, and Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch will share stories about the last 25 years of craft beer.