Sep 28, 2012

Beer made with "beard yeast"???

Bob Cannon of Sam Adams
OK, anyone that has spent more then 13 minutes at a craft beer festival, will know that facial hair plays a large role in the beer community. From the crazy foot long goatee's to braided side burns, (I even saw a soul patch that was about 8 inches long once)  facial hair and beer go hand in hand it seems. Just think of the guy from the Sam Adams commercials (his name is Bob Cannon by the way, a brewer in the R&D Dept). Beards and brews just seem to fit together. Heck, I even grew my goatee out a little longer then average as a sort of homage to beer.

Rogue Brewmaster John Maier

However, Rogue Ales in Oregon has taken the relationship to a whole new level (high or low remains to be seen). They have harvested yeast from the beard of Brewmaster John Maier, and used it to brew a batch of "beard beer"! A local TV crew did a story on it, click the link below to check out the video.

Brewery uses Yeast from Brewers Beard!!!

Now, while getting passed the fact that this yeast came from someones beard may be tough for some, I for one however, think this is actually pretty cool. They are combining the science of brewing, with the sort "lets have fun with this" attitude so many brewers have. I am not sure if I will seek this beer out, but if I see it on a shelf, I will certainly grab it, drink it, and report back.

Bottoms up my friends
The Beer Czar

Sep 25, 2012

James Bond giving up the Martini??

Bond, James Bond
So, there is a new James Bond movie coming out this winter. This movie however, is just slightly different then Bond movies of the passed for one small, but very noticeable shift in Bonds character, and one that is likely to put the Bond purists panties in a twist. Bond will no longer be asking for his martini, and characteristic "shaken, not stirred" and instead will be reaching for a nice, cold beer! Is this a step in the right direction for the "beer community" or is it just a case of Cooperate big wigs selling out in a greedy effort to milk as much cash out of their movie. Given the fact that its a Heineken that Bond will be drinking, makes me feel its really more the later. Heineken, reportedly paid millions for the chance to put one of their green bottles in the hands of the worlds most popular (and awesome, I might add) super agent. I couldn't find an exact number of how much they paid.

"Shaken, not stirred"
Like a mentioned above, Bond purists and even and ex Bond himself have expressed "outrage", and displeasure with this. BTW, the ex Bond? No, not Pierce, not Rodger, not Sean, and no, not even Dalton, it was George Lazenby, who played Bond I believe for just one movie (in "Her Majesty's Secret Service"). So, I guess its not that big a deal, I mean, pissing off attendees of a Bond convention is probably not that dangerous, but still, this was beer related, so I wanted to mention it.
I at least hope 007 pours it into a glass before he drinks it. I mean, seeing James Bond drinking a beer, right out of a green bottle seems far to unrefined for someone of Bonds reputation.

To sort of commemorate the occasion, Heineken will be releasing a series of "Bond themed" commercials featuring 007 himself, Mr Danial Craig. They just released the first one...check it out.

I really like James Bond movies, so I'll be sure to check it out. "Skyfall", the 23rd Bond movie, Daniel Craigs third go as 007, is due out Nov 9th.

See you at the movies!

Bottoms up my friends
The Beer Czar

Sep 22, 2012

Bad News for Michigan Beer Lovers..

Cherry Trees near Traverse City
As many (or at least some of you know) my wife is from Traverse City, MI. I have been lucky enough to spend a fair amount of time there, however anyone that has spent anymore then 12 minutes in Traverse City will know that the city is synonymous with cherry's. Cherry Capital of the world in fact. Even their airport is called "Cherry Capital Airport". Well, this spring was not very kind to the cherry harvest it seems. A warmer then usual spring, followed by some frost reeked some havoc on the crop. Making for a much lower then normal yield this fall.

Why am I bringing this up on a beer blog? Well, Bells Brewery, from Kalamazoo brews their seasonal Cherry Stout using Montmorency Cherry Juice, that comes from the Traverse City area. As a result of the crop, there will be no Cherry Stout brewed by Bells this fall. There is a small number of 2011 batch kegs that find its way into the market on a limit basis.

The next batch of Cherry Stout is planned to be brewed next fall.

You can read the release from Bells here.

I would like to add a little prospective however. while this is really a mere minor inconvenience to us beer lovers, this is truly awful news for the farmers and their family's. Lets hope that this doesn't effect them too greatly, and hope next year is a real banner crop for them, to not only allow us a great beer we enjoy, but more importantly for these hard working folks to be able to maintain their lifestyle.

Sep 20, 2012

Brewing at the White House

I am a huge fan of Government and History. In particular, I find the logistic's of the President to be fascinating. I love watching Nat Geo specials on Air Force One, or the Secret Service. Whenever the POTUS is in town, I love catching a glimpse of the majestic Air Force One taking off, or landing, or even just sitting on the tarmac. However, this is a fun, beer blog site, and I try to keep politics out of it. Well, now that they are brewing beer in the White House, well then, it becomes harder to ignore. I will say this, and I make no apologies for the fact, I am not a big fan of our current President, politically anyway. That being said, I don't dislike him, and he does seem like a decant, good man, and one that is very high on my list of people I would love to sit down, and have a beer with. After all, I sort of have President Obama to thank for the name of my blog site. When he was elected, the right was getting all in a tiff about the Pres. naming "czars" to just about everything, to over see whatever particular aspect of whatever it was they were being tapped to oversee. We have a Drug Czar, Pay Czar,  Border Czar, and even a California Water Czar (really, that's real!) so I figure, I will be his self appointed "Beer Czar". So, I guess, thank you Mr. President!

Its impossible not to be impressed by this plane!

OK, why did I bring all this up? There has been a lot of talk lately about the President, and his "home brewing". They recently released the recipe (find it here) for his beers (there are 3), and I just stumbled upon this little video about them making the Presidential brew, and wanted to share it with you. Check it out....

Pretty cool. I have read a few reviews of the recipe of the beer, and they are mixed. No one has said it seems like an amazing beer (with the exception of the folks at MSNBC, that I am sure will think its the greatest beer in the world). Most people seem to think its a sort of boring, light, maybe a little flavorful beer, that no one will hate, but most won't find particularly exciting either (sounds more like a Mitt Romney sort of beer when you say it like that).

Let me just clear up a few things for people that seem to assume one of two things as a result of this beer.
1. No, I don't love the President now just because he brews beer in the White House (as you can see from the video, he doesn't seem to have a whole lot to do with the brewing of the beer in the first place)
2. No, I don't assume I will hate the beer because I am not a fan of the President. I will say, the Honey Ale, doesn't excite me, because frankly, I've never had one that has yet. I would love to try the Honey Porter however, since Porters are one of my favorite styles, and I have never had one with honey added.

OK, so there, that is about as much politics as you will (hopefully) ever see on this site! If I offended anyone with my opinions about the President, that is your problem, not mine, I suggest you take yourself a little less seriously in the future. For those of you still reading, thanks for hanging in there, hope you enjoyed it.

So lets all hum "Hail to the Chief" as we raise our glasses tonight!
Bottoms Up my friends, and to you, Mr President!
The Beer Czar

Sep 18, 2012

Make a Keg out of a pumpkin!

OK, file this under one of coolest Halloween party ideas ever! Make a keg out of a pumpkin! OK, so its not really a true keg, more of a vessel to serve beer, but still, this is pretty cool! check this out!

I'm thinking of doing this with a good pumpkin ale, or brown ale this year while I sit out front, and eat chili and corn bread and hand out candy! Who wants to going us???? Come on over!

If anyone out there trys this, by all means, let me know, and send me some pictures of it, I would love to hear about (and see) it!

Bottoms up my friends!
The Beer Czar

Sep 16, 2012

How Booze Built America.....on Discovery!

Just read some great news! Mike Rowe, star of Discovery Channels "Dirty Jobs" is trading in his poop covered overalls to relax, and sit in a bar, all in the name of education. Discovery will air "How Booze Built America", starting on Sept. 19th, 10pm EST. The show will explore the history of booze in America, from the Pilgrims to Cowboys, mega brewers and distillers, to back yard home brewers, and everything in between. Sounds like it may be a more grown up, serious version of Zane Lamprey's "Drinking Made Easy" (which is a fun show, with good info, but has a more "fratboy-ish" sort of feel to it).
This should be a fun show. After all the "crap" Discovery has put Mike Rowe through, he deserves a job like this one! Check it out!

Bottoms up my Friends!
The Beer Czar

Sep 14, 2012

Drink beer instead of a sports drink?? OK!

File this under "too good to be true"! I found this little gem of an article (view it here...) that states, in some instances, it is actually GOOD to drink a beer after a work out! OK, time to hit the gym!

Now, its not all great news. The article breaks down certain work outs, be it running, yoga, etc, and which natural drinks to have post work out. The bad news, that beer is best if drank after what they called an "ultra-endurance" workout. So, running an Iron Man, or even "just" a marathon, have a beer afterward. Oh, and one more bit of bad news, it says to have non-alcoholic beer! OK, so maybe this isn't such great news, but hey, anytime someone says to have a beer, and its good for you, its a good thing to me!

So, who wants to run a marathon, and then go grab a few Odouls??? OK, that doesn't sound all that great when you put it like that.

Bottoms up my friends!
The Beer Czar

Sep 13, 2012

Drinking in Context...don't be so serious...

You hear me talk a lot in recent posts about “drinking in context”. Meaning, drinking the “right” beer for the current setting or situation. I think a lot of times, beer people tend to take beer a little too serious, or have lost the ability to see the fun in it. They get so caught up with weather they are drinking a “good” beer, or not, they lose sight of whether or not they are drinking the right beer for the current situation. Let me explain…

...but this looks SO much better!

This looks "OK"?

Let’s get away from beer for a minute. Let’s take a standard, run of the mill middle shelf Margarita. Take that margarita, and drink it in an Applebee’s, or Chili’s, in say, Gilbert Arizona, or Detroit Michigan. It would taste OK, like a middle shelf margarita from a corporate chain restaurant. Now, take that very same margarita, the EXACT same one, and now, drinking it on a beach, in Key West, or St Thomas, or Cabo San Lucas. Tell me that very same margarita isn’t going to taste better on a beach than it does in the Motor City. That my friends, is drinking in context.

This seems "right"..
Same with beer. A few posts ago, I made reference to this, while at the “beach bar” at Guedo’s Taco Shop, drinking a Corona, or Negro Modulo actually adds to your experience. While on its own, either of those beers really doesn’t taste like much, and would be considered “bad” beers by beer folks, it seems almost silly to drink anything else while at a place like this.

....this, not so much!
One of my favorite beers in the world in Dogfish Head’s Palo Santo. This is an ass kicker of a beer. It’s almost black, thick and viscous, and packs a 12% ABV. It’s a strong, heavy beer, and I love it. That being sad, I am not about to get one while I am sitting pool side on a hot summer day. I’m going to grab a Red Stripe, or Corona, Landshark, or something like that. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t any good craft beer that goes well pool side, on a hot summer day. Bells Oberon is a great beer for just such an occasion, as is our local Four Peaks Sunbru, or even Sam Adams Summer Ale.

Great new Mexican place???
It’s not to say that you can’t have one of these heavy strong beers while sitting on the beach if you want(again, there are no rules, no right or wrong), I’m just simply pointing out, there is a time and a place. Beer that in a normal situation, wouldn’t taste good, or have no taste at all, given the right situation, can actually ad to the fun and authenticity of your experience. Like the old expression, “when in Rome”. It’s so true. Reminds me of a trip back to Maine I took some years ago. After landing, my friends asked where I wanted to go for dinner. I asked what was around, and they responded "well, this great new Mexican place just opened up" My response was "I just came from Arizona, to Maine, and you ask if I want to get Mexican food? That would be like me taking you to Red Lobster if you visited Arizona". You don't go to Belgium, and get an Irish Stout, or to Germany and get an American Light Lager! When you are traveling, or out to someplace you've never been before, don’t go for something familiar, try something local or new (to you at least). You may end up not liking it, or even hating it, but you will have experienced a bit of local culture, or something new, and grown just a little because of it.

Beer tasting, while structured, should still be fun
Also remember, beer should be fun, beer IS fun, and we need to remember that. Don't let it get to serious, I know it sounds odd, but it happens. I have seen friends that are “beer people” like myself, but they have seemed to lose their focus on why they started enjoying craft beer to begin with. I’ve been to tastings, where people have gotten into “discussions”, almost arguments as to whether the color of a beer was amber, or ruby, or weather this was a "true IPA" and not say, and a hybrid American Pale Ale. Instead of simply stating their opinion, listen to what others thought, and moving on, they felt the need to defend their opinion, as if someone was accusing them of being wrong, or Oh god forbid, not knowing as much about beer as the other person (a true insult in the beer community!). I mean, what difference does it make? I can think the color of the beer is amber, and you could think it’s purple. I can think it tastes like an IPA, you can think it tastes like a milk shake, so what? When it comes down to it, it’s all subjective anyway to anyone but true professionals anyway. No one is right, no one is wrong. What is a good beer? A good beer is one you like; a bad beer is one you don’t. It doesn’t make a difference who brewed it, how long you stood in line for to get it, or how big a batch it was made in. A good beer comes down to one thing, taste. Does it taste good, does it taste bad; does this beer “fit” the situation in which I am drinking it? Next time you are out, at a bar, or restaurant you’ve never been too, again, don’t order something you’ve had, ask the bar tender what is local, or seasonal. Trust me, it can only add to your experience. Even if you don’t like the beer, don’t look at it as buying a bad beer, think of it as learning what beer not to buy in the future.
So, try something new, try something local, you may just find a new favorite. If you do find a new favorite, I would love to hear about, so please, drop a line!
Bottoms up my friends
The Beer Czar


Sep 11, 2012

A beer milk shake!

It certianly looks good!
I was on a website that I frequent this morning, called The Beer in Me when I saw this little gem of a story about the restaurant chain Red Robin, and their new beer milk shake! Check out article here...

This sounds interesting. I've had "beer floats" before, so I know beer and ice cream go surprisingly well together. However, normally they are made with stouts, like Guinness or Young's Double Chocolate Stout. So I will be interested to see how this one tastes, as it uses Sam Adams Octoberfest.

I do love the line in the article "now our customers don't have to choose between a beer or a shake to go with their burger" Is there anyone out there that struggles with this decision???

If anyone out there has a chance to try this, please let me know what you think of it.

Bottoms up my friends
The Beer Czar

Sep 4, 2012

Send me your beer photos!

OK, I wanted to get a post together, a sort of "Beer Czar Fan Photo" post. So I want to ask you all a favor. Please send me a picture of you, with your favorite beer, or your favorite picture of you drinking a beer. There are no rules, whatever you would like, please send, I just ask that you, and a beer are in the picture. It can be funny, silly sexy, artsy, group, portrait, black and white, color, even those annoying, vintage looking pic's from instragram!

I am working on getting some stuff together to send you as a thank you for sending me your pictures!

Send your pictures to me, via

Here are a couple of my favorite pic's of me and beer

Me, drinking a Green Flash Barelywine
You've all seen this before....
Thank you for all your support!

The Beer Czar