Monday, April 5, 2010

Brilliant! Celebrate New Beer's Eve with 3.2 beer!

The Brotherhood of Appreciating Repeal Day, an absolutely fantastic group in Sharon, PA that celebrates the anniversaries of Repeal -- God bless 'em -- has had a brilliant idea that ties right into session beer enjoyment. On April 7, they're having a New Beer's Eve party (in Sharon) to celebrate the first step of Repeal: the 1933 amendment of the Volstead Act that allowed "3.2 beer" -- beer at 4.0% ABV and below -- to be sold (on the grounds that it was 'non-intoxicating'). They are serving 4.0% -- and less -- beer at the event, which is a membership drive for the group.

This is genius! If there is a natural day to serve session beer to Americans, this is it!

Friday, April 2, 2010

More beers: Fratellos in Oshkosh has an English Mild

Just heard from Joe Walts at the Fratellos brewpub in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; he's brewed an English Mild that's selling well.It's even innovative:
I rejected the conventional wisdom of U.S. craft brewers in a couple of ways:
-I mashed at a low temperature to avoid the syrupy viscosity that kills sessionability.
-I used Belgian dark candi syrup to prevent the beer from being too thin (Shut up about Barclay Perkins deserves credit for highlighting sugar usage in British breweries).
The beer selling well and customers are enjoying it!
And that's more than being innovative by just throwing in more malt and hops. Nice job, Joe. Keep 'em coming, folks!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Foggy Noggin: Bit o' Beaver Bitter

Got an e-mail from Jim Jamison, the brewmaster at the new Foggy Noggin Brewing, located north of Seattle in a little town called Bothell. It's tiny -- 1/2 bbl. brewery! -- and it's new -- opened March 20! -- and their flagship is Bit O'Beaver Bitter, which weighs in at a non-hefty 3.4% ABV. Welcome aboard, Jim!

NOTCH: an all-session beer brewing project

I've been talking to Chris Lohring -- some of you may remember him as the guy behind Tremont Ale, the all-too-short lived brewery in Boston in the 1990s -- about a session beer brewery project he's been working on, and it's time to mention it here. It's called Notch, Chris is having two ales brewed at Shipyard in Portland as trial batches, and will be debuting them at the Slowfest in Boston later this month -- which is a session beer and slow food festival! If I weren't already committed to WhiskyFest Chicago that weekend, I'd be there, that's for sure. All brewers at the fest will be bringing at least one beer under 5% (they had originally called for beers using our definition, but too many brewers didn't offer anything under 4.5%...which kind of proves my point that there aren't enough of these beers out there), which is GREAT.And this is NOT any kind of April Fool's joke!

Check out the Notch blog/site here.  Welcome back Chris!