Zymurgy July/August

Zymurgy magazine ‘The Journal of the American Homebrewers Association’ is probably the best beer rag publication there is. It is written and edited by professionals, ex-professionals, and degree holding highly involved individuals. Overall it makes you feel that what they have to say matters.


This issue was the readers choice awards, for lack of a better idea for what to call it. It was the issue in which the homebrewing society at large are given the opportunity to vote on what they think is the number one beer, brewery, and other such topics commercially available in the US. First I’d like to mention the cool little article on some gentlemen who got to try a 138 year old beer(strong ale), lucky bastards! The results were good to fair (I did vote) on the readers choice awards. Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA was voted the top ranked beer as was Dogfish Head Craft Brewery voted the top ranked brewery – WOW! Double your pleasure, now that was something! Best portfolio, ranked by number of beer brands named in the poll, went to Rogue Ales with 14 and Dogfish Head pulling in a second this time with 13. Top import, not overly surprising, went to everyone’s favorite Guinness Draught. And the final award was the spirit of homebrew award, this ranking is based on total number of votes divided by annual production in barrels, went to AleSmith Brewing, probably the least know out of the five (this is where Dogfish Head used to score big a few years ago). Also in this section were several choice clone recipes, not submitted by the breweries, but of high quality choices all the same. Following that were too mostly interesting and a little bit long articles on ‘other brown malts beyond crystal’ and oat malts. Both were fine reads but neither made me drop my mash paddle and slap myself in the forehead thinking “what have I been doing all this time!” The rest was, you know, the rest.

Now I will take the opportunity to both highlight a small section and embarrass myself. There is a small section in the front of the magazine called ‘You Gotta Drink This’. Well, when the AHA asked for our votes for the above awards they also mentioned we could submit a beer review that may get posted in this section. Guess who’s review made this issue? Yup, mine! Anyway, I don’t know if this is exactly how the original was written, but here’s what they printed:

You Gotta Drink This: Iron Hill Anvil Ale (Served cask conditioned)

This is the kind of beer you find yourself curled up next to for the entire night. After the generous 20-ounce hand-pumped English-pub style glass arrives with the final steps of the cascade still flowing, one is captured. The beer is served “warm”, maybe 55’F. This difference in temperature skyrockets the smell of this beer into a new dimension, really bringing out the hops. The taste is dangerous in the sense that you find you find yourself diving in for more to try and identify the caramel and cereal-like flavors along with the presence of more hops. The taste is like walking on the beach, or hiking in the woods. It is relaxing and rewarding, and could easily replace most daily drinks. The texture is light and smooth without interruption. Creamy smooth goodness runs all the way from lips down one’s throat, very refreshing. This beer would be a daily driver if it were a Volkswagen.

Nuff said.

2 Responses to “Zymurgy July/August”

  1. David Says:

    Nice that you made the magazine. Now you’ll have to wait and see if Iron Hill places that in some sorta marketing thing for them. You gotta take credit then and demand all the free beer you can drink for the promo. 🙂

    Nice to see all the mag stuff. I think you represent a certain demographic , and one that most of these mags are shooting for. They should be listening.

  2. Brian Says:

    Iron Hill Wilmington recently had a Mug Club thing. We went and ran into Brian Finn (head brewer) and Mark Edelson (one of the owners) and they both had read it and were given me props and teasing me about how lavishly it is written. I told them it was their fault considering I had probably written it after a night of drinking Cask Anvil Ale. It was fun.

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