Archive for the ‘Magazines’ Category

BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #12

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

The Beer In Review edition, one year of BeerAdvocate Magazine.


Per usual the BA Mag was a good read. This time they had a bunch of top 25 beer things listed inside along with their typical article format. The 9 Steps to Beerdom article was on Dan Weirback of Weyerbacher Brewing Company. Weyerbacher is one of my favorite local beer companies, I think some of their barrel aged stuff and their Double Simcoe IPA are just excellent beers. Robert and I drove up there one time (about two hours) just to take the tour. The tour was kind of weak in comparisons to some others I’ve been on, but the tasting afterward was excellent. Basically they had like 10 beers on tap and were willing to open anything they had in bottles that they didn’t have on tap. I think we tried like 15 beers that day, very cool.

In their Advocate This article the BA Bros. talk about Westvleteren beers, the monks, and the monastery. Basically they are saying us beer enthusiasts should respect the monk’s wishes and stop buying, selling, and re-selling there beers. Because of us we have created the hype and lore that surrounds this beer. They suggest a few other beers that are equally good and not an issue to get, and if you really want to drink it then to go to Belgium and drink it the appropriate way. For me, I basically agree. We beer geeks act like idiots sometimes and things get out of control with hype, prices, and availability (Westvleteren, Dark Lord, Darkness). A good beer is a good beer, but hype isn’t always worth it. I have never had a Westvleteren and I’m OK with that, but I know I will have one one day in Belgium and I’m even more OK with that.

I’m going through the different top 25 lists in the magazine and immediately I’m struck with a “what is this?” kind of moment. According to the magazine, the number one beer on the planet is a beer named Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers in Belgium. OK, there are only two beers on the top 25 that I have never heard of and one of them is the number one choice? Beats me. Then if you look at the BA website at the top 100 beers on the planet Black Albert is currently number 18 and Westvleteren 12 is number one. Very unusual and kind of odd if you ask me, I would have assumed the magazine and the website should have corresponded. Other than that initial bit of confusion, they had some nice other top 25’s including Top 25 American Brewers, American Beer Bars, and the Alstrom Bros’ Top 25 Beers (no Black Albert here either, odd indeed).

Then there was the ever present Reviews section. I’m still not a big fan of reading the reviews all the way, quite boring to me, but I have learned that if I read the first and last paragraph of each review it actually isn’t too bad, those two paragraphs are more entertaining I suppose. The Cuisine a La Biere article this time was a good one, desserts for the holidays. One of the recipes was for Beeramisu – nice! Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, and beer is one of my favorite drinks, so you put these two together (they suggest a double chocolate, espresso, or imperial stout) and you could have magic on your hands.

BYO Magazine January-February Issue

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

So, I probably got this magazine like over a month ago now and have slowly been reading it. This is what I have remembered.

BYO Magazine January-February Issue

This was their beer & oak issue, OK BYO you have my attention. There was a cool piece on barrel aging with professionals. Basically they asked the same questions to several different professional breweries about barrel aging. Some of the breweries were Stone, Avery, Russian River, and Jolly Pumpkin. All of the answers may not have been that interesting, but I always find it intersting to hear what the pros have to say, especially Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River. They also had a pretty informative article on preparing, maintaining, and filling new and used barrels. Something I’m sure I would have read up on if I ever pursued a barrel but not to much that I already knew. In their replicator section they then included five different recipes for “barrel aged” beers. I don’t know how much I trust these recipes some time, but they could be good to use as a launch-pad.

Later in the issue was an all to familiar account of the 2008 hop scenario labeled “The Bitter End”. I think the article was fine, though it is starting to sound like beating a dead horse at this point, but CC actually did a decent job stringing it all together. In a nutshell hop supplies are horrible this year and demand is ever rising, be prepared to make substitutions and pay about 4X what you were paying before for hops. There was another decent article by John Palmer in the Advanced Brewing section about lautering efficiency. I remember it being good and I also remember it being very similar to what is published in his book. It is one of those articles I will probably go back and read sometime soon. Over all not a bad issue of BYo from what I can remember.

BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #11

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Just finished the November Issue of BeerAdvocate Magazine, check out the ‘The Device’ on the cover, pretty cool.

BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #11

BOOM! Page one there’s a picture of Ron Jeremy and the BA Bros, I love their sense of humor, ahhh. Per usual the articles in this issue are pretty tight and pretty short and don’t necessarily follow a full on theme, but at the same time they are informative and entertaining, just about what a magazine should be. First thing that is really worth note for me is the 9 Steps to Beerdom again, this time with Adam Avery from Avery Brewing Company in Colorado. Avery reminds me of DFH in some ways in that they started with one line-up of beers as there foundation, have progressed to a newer line-up of beers, plus have really pushed the boundary of high alcohol “extreme” beers. His story is very similar to a lot of the brewers stories that I’ve read: started as a homebrewer, became a broke-ass pro-brewer running there own deal, go big or go home, find your nitch and evoke the passion there, and always keep progressing.

Next was the cover story, or at least the story about the picture on the cover, ‘The Device’. ‘The Device’ is the brain-child of John Carnett a photographer and DIYer for Popular Science. Basically the idea came about to build a small-scale device that could showcase beer from conception to consumption.  So you can brew beer, ferment beer, and serve beer all from this one device, sweet! He says that he tells his wife that it cost $4500 to make, so I’m sure it was a nice bit more than that. Fortunately it seems for him that this thing has been a huge success for him and he is now in the design phase to help develop similar devices both on the homebrewing level and the professional level, very cool. Ironically when asked how the first batch turned out he never got to try it! He accidentally left a hose clamp loose and went away on a trip only to return to the beer no longer in the device but everywhere else. The only thing I would want to change immediately to this device that could be easily remedied is the fact that it can only brew extract batches, no all grain. Neat idea!

There was later another long article on homebrewing (not really normal for this magazine) that was like seven pages long and was very broad. The time-line at the bottom of the pages was neat, it covered the modern history of homebrewing from the mid 1500s to present day. After that the article was very general to me, like a showcase to bring in new homebrewers. Some of the topics included: online resources, required reading, basics, “advanced tips”, award-winning tips, and a piece about brew-on-premise places. Kind of weak overall, but glad to see homebrewing get such a big showcase in BA Magazine.

And of course there were like some reviews, or something.

BYO Magazine December Issue

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

The Big Lagers! issue, huh? Well, we’ll have to see about that one . . .

 BYO Magazine December

Looks like BYO couldn’t hold up the good quality they were carrying last issue, they totally dropped the ball. I didn’t hit an article that held my attention until page 30, an article on chocolate malt. Don’t get me wrong, I read every page up until page 30, it was just either about topics I didn’t care for or non-informational. Anyway, the chocolate malt article was OK talking about the characteristics, how it is made, how to use it in a recipe and then how it is used in commercial examples. It was then followed by four clone recipes that included chocolate malt with two of them actually being about beers that are good: Alaskan Smoked Porter and Rogue Shakespeare Stout.  In the middle of the article was a great (and cheesy) ad for the Sabco Brew-Magic System with Sam Calagione from DFH. I still think it is amazing that DFH started on a ten gallon homebrew system, amazing!

Next was the main article about “reiterated mashing, multiple mashing for massive brews” by Chris Colby (my favorite 🙄 ). It’s funny, it is an interesting article to listen to what he does, but at the same time he writes as if it is a break through technique. It’s true, I may not have heard of anyone writing an article about it, but I have definitely thought about doing and have heard of others doing it on-line. The worst part is the timing of the article. He talks about using two or three+ mashes to make one massive beer, cool, but with the prices of beer ingredients about to go through the roof this is just ridiculous at this point, pure gluttony. A neat idea that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to “afford” to experiment with.

There was another article by Chris Colby ( 😕 ) a little bit later called Practical Porter. Didn’t I read this article in the November/December issue of Zymurgy? Whatever . . . anyway, he goes on to talk about more than the history which is what Zymurgy was really talking about. He talks about the differences of dark grains chocolate malt, black patent, roasted barley, and brown and what kind of attributes one can look for from each malt and how to use them while formulating a recipe. Then he goes on to talk way too long about water chemistry. I know it is important to brewing, but he could have wrapped it up in a paragraph not a page. One good thing that I think he stressed more than once is that the beer known as Porter covers a vast spectrum with a large “sweet spot” and it is really a beer that should be brewed to your liking and not so much to style guidelines, my style.

Later there was one of the few “Projects” articles that I thought was helpful. It was how to turn your immersion chiller (what I have) into a recirculating immersion chiller on the cheap, nice. I actually had this idea a long time ago and posted it on one of the beer boards I go on and it was well received, but I never followed through because of the price of the pump more than anything. Also, this is how Garrett chills his wort, but he uses the “more expensive” route with the hard-core march pumps. This is a similar set-up as I have discussed before, but with a cheap effective pump, he suggests a pond pump or sump pump. I think a pond pump could be the way to go, but I have never priced one out.

The mag ends on a fun little article that a guy sent in about making homemade root-beer.  I have always wanted to make homemade root-beer, I even have the ingredients down stairs, but I have always been hesitant because of the problem this guy ran into: bottle-bombs! Yikes! I had that problem once, with my fifth batch back in 2000 and it is something that still scares me. One day, one day . . .

Zymurgy November/December

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Just wrapped up the Zymurgy “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” issue the other day and now it’s time for me to ramble.

Zymurgy November/December

Wow, I was just flipping through to see what I wanted to write about and didn’t hit anything worth mentioning until page 19, yikes! Seems like BYO and Zymurgy may have switched roles for content quality this release. The article that grabbed my attention is an article about recreating historical Porter at Colonial Williamsburg. The writer, Frank Clark, is a food historian at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia and it is his job to research and make food without modern conveniences the same way others did in the past. Of course beer is a beverage and beverages are lumped in with food so naturally it would be his responsibility to research and make Colonial-style beers. The beer he chooses to focus on and talk about its slippery history is Porter. Clark states; “Most historians agree that the first porter was brewed by Ralph Harwood, a brewer at the Bell Brewhouse in the Shoreditch section of London in 1722. Harwood created this “new” beer…” It appears to be a decent well informed article, but is later contradicted in the same issue by another writer who talks of some of the Porter myths whom this historian is stating as fact, like name, place, and date. Seems like some editor wasn’t paying full attention to which truth they were going to publish.

The next article, the main article, “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”  was written by one of the homebrewers I recognize from the internet and seems always on point, Drew Beechum. He is very good at writing from the homebrewers perspective and really for the homebrewer. I this article he explores the different styles of stout and supplies tried homebrew recipes for each, including the infamous Jonny Lieberman’s Blackwine IV recipe for the “new” American Mega Stout category (think WWS from DFH).

Later there is a second article on Porter by Randy Mosher where he also tries to explore the mystery / history behind the beer Porter. This is the article that contradicts the historian in the first article. Mosher even adds his main contradiction in an aside by placing it in parenthesis that could easily have been omitted; “Far from being invented (despite the tales about Ralph Harwood and the Bell Brewhouse in Shoreditch), porter emerged over a generation or more… [saying] There never was a single thing called porter.” Ummm, OK? Anyway, both articles read well but were amusing to read hard contradictions 20 pages from each other, whatever.

Next was an article that was an excerpt from Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer’s up coming new book “Brewing Classic Styles” that I have talked about on FC before. This, I believe, was what a ‘section’ in the book was supposed to be like and this was for wheat beers. I was mildly disappointed. I had been anticipating this book to be really sweet, and instead the article (excerpt) read very dry and a little repeatative.  The best part is when they relate a story about how dad would carry a Weizenbock with him in the wagon at Halloween when he pulled the kids around the neighborhood as his treat. I’ll probably still get the book anyway.

BYO Magazine November Issue

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Thank goodness! BYO really stepped it up this month, not only was the lead article really cool but the rest of the magazine flushed out nicely.

BYO Magazine November Issue

I just renewed my subscription to BYO so I guess I really couldn’t have been that disappointed with it, but they were really lacking any meat recently, so to read this issue was a nice sigh of relief. The cover story grabbed my attention right away, how to build the Brutus Ten, sweet! In short, the Brutus Ten is a semi-automated single-tier ten gallon homebrew sculpture designed and built from scratch that has gained a huge internet following and many copy-cat systems. The gentleman that built it actually sells the blueprints and advice on the system on his website for like $25, so to see that they were going to cover how to build and use this system in this issue was huge. I’m assuming the information he sells on his website is much more thorough, but this gives anyone a very good starting point to try to duplicate a similar system.

OK, so that’s what I knew before I read the article, then I got to reading. The article was good, it was written by the guy that designed and built the system, Lonnie McAllister. This is Lonnie’s tenth Brutus design and system, thus the Brutus Ten, and was designed in 3D CAD so you know this shit was drawn out properly. He says this system is able to be built for approximately $2300 and a lot of quality hard work, obviously you could tweak things on his system to make it more and less expensive or more and less extravagant, but this would definitely be a good launchpad. The system I say is semi-automated in the sense of it will do all of the temperature control for you with the mash tun and the hot liquor tank (HLT) but pretty much everything else is manual; the whole kettle side, the pumps, and the cooling. He does have things set up so that it would be super easy and probably more fun to use than the tradition (back-breaking) methods. I like his cooling set-up with a double-recirculation-whirlpool-counter-flow-chiller (CFC). Basically he pumps the hot wort through the CFC and pumps it back into the kettle in a whirlpool while simultaneously pumping iced-down chill water stored in the HLT through the CFC the other way and back into the HLT. By doing this he cools the wort down very fast, saves water that can be used in other applications, and has a much larger percentage of not getting cold break in his fermenters. I think if he was using whole hops and a false bottom with this system he could probably just recirculate the wort minus the whirlpool and have crystal clear wort.

If I were to use this design (which is awesome) for my own system I would look into making at least a few changes. I would be interested in incorporating electronic ignition for the burners instead of using pilot lights. I think it would look cleaner and be easier over all, but of course more expensive. I would want to keep the system as basically a ten gallon system, but I would look into how much larger the stand would have to be to accommodate the footprint for kettles to make twenty gallon batches too. Of course a twenty gallon batch is never necessary, it would just be nice to be able to do it if you wanted to. And finally I think a Tippy Dump mash tun would be nice, which is essentially where your mash tun is cradled in a locking pivot so that you can just swing the mash tun forward and dump the spent grains. I think he has one awesome system there and and I give him mad props for sharing it with the homebrew community through BYO Magazine. Another sweet and similar system I’ve been eying up for years is over here at MoreBeer, I’m pretty sure these two are the kind of style I’ll be focusing on in the future.

Another article in this issue was called Ancient Brews Two where they explored the modern versions of thousands of year old alcoholic beverages, quite possibly beer.  The two they really talked about and explored there history some were the two Dogfish Head (DFH) recreations Midas Touch and Chateau Jiahu. Both “recipes” were micro-biologically taken from pottery shards found in tombs. The Midas Touch information came supposedly from the tomb of King Midas in modern day Turkey and was over 2700 years old! The Chateau Jiahu information came from a providence in Northern China over 9000 years old! Crazy! BYO talked to Bryan Selders (head brewer at DFH) to get the skinny on these recipes and then broke them down to a homebrew level in case any of us would want to try our hand at an ancient brew. I’d consider the Midas Touch, but the Chateau Jiahu is a little out-there for me to want five gallons of it.

Not that the rest of the magazine was fluff, it was actually quite good, but I’ve already rambled a lot here, so just go get a copy yourself. But there was also a good article on Black Patent malt (the malt that makes stout what it is), and a good article on choosing the right metal for different pieces of equipment, and how these metals react with that is going on in each process of brewing. There was also a weak article on building your own hopback, which is a devise that you can fill will hops and pass the hot wort through after boil but before chilling to extract the most (in the sense of an aroma addition) from your late addition hops. I thought it was weak because I thought it was a stupid design, period. Followed by a pretty weak article on using conical fermenters in the Advanced Brewing section. This was supposed to be the Advanced Brewing section, not the please tell me something I don’t already know section, thanks Chris Colby. Nuff said.

BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #10

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #10, is the first of the BA mags (I think) that doesn’t have a title, and if it didn’t have any beer reviews I couldn’t think of another way to improve it (joking, . . . mostly).

BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #10 - Michael Jackson

Honestly, one of the best magazine covers I have ever seen.

First, lets talk about this cover – WOW! – comes close to summing it up. This is a drawing (touched up on a computer) of a famous black & white photo of Michael Jackson the Beer Hunter. Not only did the artist do a great job rendering the photo into a piece of art, I feel as though he captured the color that did not exist before. Plus, to have a guy who died just over a month ago (August 30th) already on the cover of a magazine (released first week of October) is very fresh, and very current. Most magazines don’t work in that close of a time-frame to reality. I bet most of the other beer magazines (BYO, All About Beer, Zymurgy) won’t have large cover articles on Michael Jackson until next month. OK, so the article inside the mag wasn’t that large, the cover says it all. If BeerAdvocate or the artist ever decided to make prints of this cover I’d buy one, maybe with the proceeds going to Parkinson’s Disease, even better. Below is a copy of what I believe is the original B&W photo this drawing is based on with a doctored B&W version of this cover next to it for comparison.

Michael Jackson Beer Hunter

In the Beer News section there was neat little article on a new program the Brewer’s Association is putting together, the Cicerone Certification Program. Essentially it wants to be the equivalent of the Sommelier Certification Program for wine, but for beer. It sounds like there will be different levels of certification from Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone and Master Cicerone. To me this is exciting news, especially if it is widely excepted throughout the industry. For the first time since the magazine came out I wasn’t overly impressed with the 9 Steps to Beerdom section. I think it probably had to do with the fact that I didn’t previously know this brewer, Tod Mott from Portsmouth Brewery, but the article on him was still interesting.

There was an interesting article in the Innovation section about how some breweries are trying to find ways to turn waste product into usable product, specifically waste water to electricity and usable water again. This article focused on Foster’s in Australia and how they have received  some grants and help to install equipment to convert used brewing water into electricity and “fresh” usable water again. They called them microbial fuel cells and explained how they have filters and bacteria in them and that is the super condensed way on how they work. Sounds expensive, but sounds way cool.

The feature article was one I was looking forward to reading, it was titled “Beer a Beacon of Light in the Dark Ages” by Horst Dornbusch. This dude is a serious beer historian/writer and I have always loved reading his beer history articles on BeerAdvocate’s website and have always wondered when they were going to bring that type of dynamic to the magazine. It’s a neat article that talks about things in the Dark Ages from a different perspective, from the perspective of how beer got better and why.  A lot of it has to do with the European monks (and nuns) and the fact that they made their own beer, were educated men, and welcomed outsiders onto their estates for drink, food, and rest. With the spread of the monks to different missionaries so spread the education of good beer. And as the missionaries grew from small pit-stops, to full “hotel/tavern” environments, to even larger establishments that could be described as campuses so did the need for beer, and the monks had the good shit.

For me that was the bread and butter of this issue, the cover, the Cicerone Certification Program, the beer to electricity article, and the beer history lesson about the Dark Ages. Sure there were plenty of articles I didn’t even touch on this time, but that’s OK, they were mostly better than fluff but not as good as what has already been mentioned. I say keep up the articles from Horst Dornbusch, one of my favorites so far.

BYO Magazine October Issue

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Just finished the BYO Magazine October issue today on lunch. It was a quick and fun read, but nothing that shook the homebrewing community to its knees.



In the “Tips from the Pros” section Andy Tveekrem from Dogfish Head speaks about dry hopping with a Randall. It really wasn’t anything new, but towards the end he mentions they are working on a Randall version 2.0 which started as a senior engineering project with a group of Bucknell University students – whoa! I believe I saw said prototype at the DFH Bocce Tournament, not in use or on display, but sitting next to a pile of tools and hoses. It looks more pneumatic, like the beer will be more forced through the Randall versus pushed. They also had it all doctored up to look like a green dogfish with a clear body so you could see the hops, pretty neat.

Per usual I was delighted by Jamil Z.’s “Style Profile” on Scottish Ales. This article did two main things for me. One, I wish I had ordered ingredients to brew my MacRae Scottish Ale for this fall, and two it basically confirmed that I will buy Jamil’s book, Brewing Classic Styles, when it come out. After Jamil’s article there were two big articles on partial mashes and extract batches. I read both of them and they were interesting, possibly pretty useful for some brewers, but to me I was waiting to see what was next. Plus Chris Colby, the aurthor for the partial mashes, writes as if he gets paid by the word, boring.

After that was a funny little article called “BSI: Brew Scene Investigation” by John Palmer, a good beer author. The article itself I thought was kind of lame in it’s explanation and follow through, but the way it was written, very Dragnetish, was hilarious. It was basically a spoof off of most cop-buddy scenarios thrown into a homebrew situation and what came of it all. Toward the end of the magazine was an article that I enjoyed but felt was lacking any meat called “The Spirit of Belgium”. This article asked only four questions to seven of the American industries craft Belgian style beer makers. Good idea, but often there was too much overlap in the answers, even throughout different questions, which made the article feel a little fluffy. Some of the people interviewed were: Tomme Arthur from Lost Abbey, Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River, and Rob Tod from Allagash. The rest of the magazine which included articles on specialty grains and hop utilization left me wanting more. They did a great job reiterating what I already know but I wanted to learn something new, oh well, not this time.

BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #9

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

The September 2007 issue of BeerAdvocate Magazine, or the “Beer Education Spectacular” was a decent issue of the magazine that keeps me boasting that this is the best beer rag out right now.


This magazine has been in and read for quite some time now so I am just going to go with the flow and hit the points I want to talk about. My favorite, ‘9 Steps to Beerdom’, featured one of my favorites Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing. The few bits of information I know about Vinnie makes me totally dig this dude, plus he makes way cool adventurous beers that are hard to get a hold of but totally bring the hop wallop and rock the funk. There was a neat article on “Open Source Beer” where breweries are posting there recipes on their websites and making them available for others to use, and tweaking them based on the consumers demands. It’s like open source software stuff where the main goal is really to just have a superior product for all in the long run. One of the breweries that is experimenting with this idea with one of their beers is Flying Dog which I think is totally cool.

The “main” article in the issue titled ‘Get Schooled’ which talked about all the different beer schools, the best beer bars on well known college campuses, the best beer books, and how not to be an idiot drunk fell kind of flat in my opinion. I really could have done without the sections on the pubs and the not being drunk, to me they were too localized and too obvious. The information on the schools were good but brief, I’ve read more on the school’s opening pages of their website for some of the schools, I wanted to learn something new. I won’t bitch about the beer reviews section this time, but I will say “hey look!” because one of Iron Hill’s beers got reviewed, the FE 10th Anniversary Ale. The Bros. gave it a B, I think that is fair. I remember the first time I tried the FE10 I wasn’t really into it and thought it was kind of hot and young, but it has gotten better in subsequent tastings. I should pick up a bottle of that stuff soon.

And finally towards the end of the magazine was a good piece on food and beer, their ‘Cuisine a la Biere’ article. This one was particularly good because it included variations on a base recipe for three different recipes: chili, sausages braised in onions and beer, and a beer float or beershake. They did a quite good job describing what additions or subtractions should be made with different pairings. So if you were interested in using a Wit, Tripe,l or Kriek for example in your chili they suggest pairing with duck, turkey, or chicken and go on to talk about different spice additions that would work. But lets look at it the other way and you knew you wanted to make a buffalo chili but didn’t know what kind of beer to use to cook with it they’d suggest a Brown Ale, Old Ale, or Flanders Red Ale. I dug this article a lot. I’m sure I’ll use it at least once to help me make something (boy that was a descriptive sentence).

BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #8

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

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. . .