‘Diary of a Part-Time Monk’ available

Diary of a Part-Time Monk, the book about J. Wilson’s beer-and-water fast last spring, has been released.

Iowan Wilson gained national exposure during his fast, after explaining his goal:

“Working to nourish their bodies through during the lengthy 46-day fast during Lent, the Paulaner monks of Neudeck ob der Au in Munich are credited with developing the doppelbock style of beer in the 17th century. Packed with carbohydrates, calories and vitamins, this unfiltered ‘liquid bread’ sustained the monks from Ash Wednesday to Easter, and over 300 years later, the rich history and quality of this beer is well-known throughout the world.With this in mind, blogger J. Wilson is embarking on a historical study, fasting on doppelbock for the same 46-day stretch that the storied German monks once endured — and live to tell the tale.”

Diary of a Part-Time Monk was published by Old Line Publishing of Hampstead, Maryland, as is available in retail outlets and online bookstores.


Search for Beer Drinker of the Year begins

Once again, Wynkoop Brewing Company is seeking beer resumes for its 2012 Beerdrinker of the Year contest. The 16th annual contest “seeks and honors America’s most passionate, knowledgeable beer lovers and ambassadors.”

The Beerdrinker of the Year wins free beer for life at Wynkoop Brewing Company, a $250 tab at their local brewpub or beer bar, and has their name engraved on the Beerdrinker of the Year trophy at Wynkoop.

They also design and brew a special batch of beer at Wynkoop Brewing (with head brewer Andy Brown) as part of their winnings.

The three Beerdrinker of the Year finalists are flown to Denver at Wynkoop’s expense for an action-packed weekend that culminates with the Beerdrinker of the Year National Finals on Feb. 25 at Wynkoop Brewing.

The event is open to the public and draws a standing-room-only crowd each year. At the event a panel of wigged & robed beer experts and previous Beerdrinker winners will grill the finalists with tough beery questions. They then pick the 2012 winner.

To enter the contest applicants must submit beer resumes that include the entrant’s beer philosophy and details on their passion for beer and 2011 beer experiences. Resumes should also detail the entrant’s understanding of beer and its history and importance to civilization, along with the entrant’s efforts to educate others to the joys of great beer.

Resumes for the Beerdrinker of the Year are reviewed by the nation’s beer experts and previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners.

Resumes must be sent by email to and be received by Wynkoop by no later than Dec. 31.


Nobody hurt in explosion at Otter Creek

A fermentation tank at Otter Creek Brewing in Vermont exploded Monday, but nobody was hurt.

The Addison County Independent reported that emergency personnel rushed to the scene to make sure that a second explosion did not occur.

Middlebury fire chief Rick Cole said the explosion damaged piping and knocked over two or three other tanks, but that there was no fire and the beer that spilled was mostly contained within the building. The explosion also blew a wall panel off of the side of the building between two outdoor tanks.

The company indicated it would resume full operations later this week.


Pelican Pub leads strong US showing at Beer Star

Pelican Pub & Brewery in Pelican City, Oregon, captured five medals at the European Beer Star awards. Judging was held last month and winners were announced today at Brau Beviale in Nuremberg, Germany.

“Europe is the home for much of the world’s beer culture, so it is truly an honor for Pelican beers to be recognized at the European Beer Star,” said Pelican brewmaster Darron Welch. “The many rich brewing traditions of Europe have always inspired the brews of the Pelican Pub & Brewery.”

Pelican won gold with Kiwandi Cream Ale and Tsunami Stout, silver with Surfer’s Summer Ale and India Pelican Ale, and bronze for Stormwatcher’s Winterfest.

Breweries from the United States captured 33 medals overall. American entries made up 11% of the 1,113 beers judged and won 22% of the medals awarded.

Deschutes Brewery from Oregon won two gold medals and a silver; while Boston Beer captured two golds and a bronze for Samuel Adams beers; and the Spoetzl Brewery from Texas won three medals with Shiner beers.

Brewery Ommegang, Firestone Walker Brewing and Alaskan Brewing were all double winners.

Complete list of winners.


Belgian Coast to Coast Toast in one week

Beer importer Vanberg & DeWulf has organized a national Coast to Coast Toast celebration to mark its 30th anniversary. Thirty years in, the founders note, “Ever and always our mission has been to support independent, family-run breweries and indigenous beer styles that express the spirit of a place.”

The importer is best known for the Belgian beers it brings to the United States, although its portfolio also includes “Honorary Belgian Beers.” The full lineup will be on display across the country Nov. 15, next Tuesday, as 350 or so bars, restaurants and retail outlets throw special events.

– The list of participants continues to grow and is available at Eventbrite. These include everything from fundraisers to beer dinners, tutored tastings to new beer releases,

– Mobile web app will unveil a Belgian beer badge on Nov. 15. To earn the Belgian badge Untappers need to try at least one “related” beer and share it on Untappd. Starting Nov. 15 and for a month, the Belgian badge can only be earned by checking in with Vanberg & DeWulf’s beers. Aspiring badge-earners have the option to be entered into a drawing to win a trip for two to Belgium sponsored by The Belgian Tourist Office and Delta Airlines.

– The company has designated #C2CT at the Twitter hash tag for the event.

A story at Great Brewers includes both Vanberg & Dewulf’s history and why the importer remains relevant today.


Fire interrupts brewing at New Belgium

A fire at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo., interrupted production Monday but nobody was hurt and little damage was done. New Belgium is the third largest craft brewery in the United States.

The Fort Collins Coloradan reported the fire was apparently sparked by a worker cutting or welding on a spent grain silo. Brewing was shut down to ensure smoky air stayed outside the brewery.

The silo housed grain used to make beer. The spent grains are normally trucked to a nearby farm to be used as cattle feed. Simpson said the silo itself was being removed so it could be recycled and replaced.


Press release: Clips of Faith tour raises nearly $59,000

The press release:

Clips of Faith, New Belgium Brewing’s traveling philanthropic beer and film festival, recently wrapped up a record-shattering 18-city tour. The second-year festival outperformed last year, bringing out 11,000 people in cities across the U.S. for amateur short films, New Belgium’s esoteric Lips of Faith beers and food from local vendors. In total, Clips of Faith raised almost $59,000 for local non-profits. Over its two-year run, Clips of Faith has raised approximately $91,000.

At each Clips of Faith stop, all proceeds from beer sales benefitted local, sustainably focused nonprofit partners. Attendees help support local organizations while sampling hard-to-find New Belgium beers beneath the stars. Eighteen of the best Clips of Faith short film entries screen at every show. In addition, each event had a zero waste component, diverting, on average, 91 percent of the waste from landfills and encouraging alternative transportation.

“There is something extraordinary about bringing out a community to support the arts and their local nonprofit organizations,” said Christie Catania, Clips of Faith Manager-at-Large. “Watching inspired short films and sipping beer under the stars is a great way to spend a summer evening. This tour grew exponentially from last year, showing that people enjoy the concept as much as we do.”

The creative team at New Belgium Brewing reviewed and selected the films that went on tour and picked three filmmakers to visit New Belgium for the Ft. Collins screening. Those honorees were “Bottles” by Colorado resident Geoff Maddaford; “Tiny Day in Jackson Hole Backcountry” by Wyoming’s Tristan Greszko; and “Assisted Migration” by Dusan Harminc of Wisconsin. Honorable Mentions were: “BLOB,” Trevor Hawkins, Missouri; “The Millionaires Club,” Sam Nuttmann, Washington; and “Ski and Chalk,” Chris Dickey, Wyoming.