BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #8

The ‘Bad Ass’ Beer Advocates issue, or the BA BAs! And no Baracus was not one of them.


This was a fun issue for me. As I have said in the past, one of my favorite parts of the magazine is the ‘9 Steps to Beerdom’, well this issue featured some of the all-stars of the brewing world, which in some ways is like that article on each of these people (more on all of that in a minute).

The homebrewer’s section “BYOB” was pretty interesting this time around too. This time they interviewed a very well know very accomplished homebrewer by the name of Jamil Zainasheff. This dude is sick, he’s been brewing less than 10 years (part time at home of course) and has won the AHA Ninkasi Award twice, brewed to perfection every beer style in the BJCP style guidelines, “re-invented” the immersion chiller, has a spread sheet which is referenced everywhere in the hombrewing community about proper yeast pitching rates, has a weekly homebrew podcast show, and is just about to publish his first book ‘Brewing Classic Styles‘ – no jokes with this dude! I have been a fan of his for a few years now.

Nice little article about Baltic Porters which will compliment the release of Victory’s (Heavyweights?) Baltic Thunder written by local beer writer Don “Joe Six-Pack” Russell.

“9 Steps to Beerdom” was all about Brian “Spike” Buckowski of the Terrapin Beer Company. They actually have a decent story starting out as a contract brewer beer and eventually opening there own place. Don’t get me wrong, as long as the contract brewery is good, and the brewer being contracted has supplied them with a great recipe, a great beer can be born, but I like the aspect that these guys weren’t just in it to have someone else make their great beer they wanted to make their great beer. After this article was a couple short fluffy articles on things that were ‘mah’.

Next came the cool article about the BA BAs, “Profiles in Beer”. They started with an unusual choice in my opinion but was probably a very logical choice for the bros., I’m sure they visit this place a lot since they live near by, that being Cambridge Brewing Company and head brewer Will Meyers. Interesting article in the sense that he gives his homebrewing experience a major nod and says it is all basically an extension of it. On a side note, while we were in Boston a few months back this is one place I really wanted to go to that we just couldn’t find, bummer. After that dude comes five major heavy hitters: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, Michael Jackson the Beer Hunter, Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery, Charlie Papazian of homebrewing legend, and Jim Koch of Samuel Adams. I mean seriously, these guys are the voice, and backbone, and face of the craft beer movement in a lot of ways, they are all truly committed to the cause and seem like really great people. Sam is referred to as the ‘Rock Star’ in the brewing industry, which isn’t too far fetched with all of the more off-centered things himself and Dogfish Head are involved with. The others all come through in their own way just as colorful as they could have hoped. Also included in their list of BA BAs were The Shelton Brothers who are major importers of small European (Belgian) beers and Chris White of White Labs yeast, the man who has cultured the culture (get it? I know).

After 10 pages of reviews the magazine jumps to some hamburger action with beers. It’s funny, the first they have listed uses beer from all six of the Trappist abbeys that brew beer, including 4 bottles Westvleteren 12 (one of the rarest/most expensive beers in the world). After I read that I just laughed and couldn’t really read too much more, seriously? And to finish off the rag they had their “Last Call” article about brewpubs and coffee houses (in particularly in Seattle) and how they co-exist and are similar but serve completely different purposes, I liked it.

I don’t know if it is possible, but I kept on wanting like scratch-n-sniff pages with all of these hops and beers everywhere. I mean, come on, how bad ass would scratch-n-sniff hop stickers be!? Outrageous. . .

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