Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mead Free or Die...

While Mead Free or Die has quite a bit of prizes, such as 660lbs of honey from Black Cat Honey of Winchester NH, to 1.5 gallons of Lahua honey from Big Island, to a 7 year old bottle of raspberry mead from Redstone Meadery, to a case donated from Pissacasic Pond Winery, to a $75 gift cert from Northern B rewer, toss in the prizes from Five Star Chemical, or the great prizes from Got Mead, to the All About Mead gift certificate, to the numerous other prizes... and you have your self one heck of a competition. Additionally, custom laser etched woods (maple), have been made to order for the competition.

Learn more, and enter...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Barleywine of a time


Barleywine is a style of strong ale that originated in England back in the 19th century, the first beer to be marketed as a Barleywine was Bass No. 1, around 1900.

A barley wine often reaches an alcohol strength of 8 to 12% by volume and is brewed from specific gravities as high as 1.120. It's called a barley wine because it can be as strong as wine; but since it's made from malted barley rather than fruit, it is in fact a beer. Here in the United States, barley wines are required for this reason to be called "barley wine-style ales."

The sweetness is most often balanced with a substantial amount of hop bitterness, though the traditional English barley wines often have a far less bitterness than their American counterparts.

These beers are meant to be enjoyed from a snifter glass, allowing for the sipping and savouring of its fruity, high-alcohol and well-aged character. It is often brewed for special occasions/events the high amounts of hops and alcohol allow this beer to be aged for quite a long period of time. The complexity of the aroma and flavor mature and become exceeding more complex over the years.

The Host: Michael Hogan, grand master of barley wine collecting
The Event: 13th annual barleywine sampling
Unique Barleywines: 81 including professional, and homebrewed vintages
Number of vintages: 247

Now I am not positive but I am pretty darn close to thinking this might have been the largest single collection of barley wine to be offered up for sampling in the world! I am a beer hound, I do a fairly good amount of collecting of beer, but to see barley wines spread across 3 tables, taking 2 pages on a menu, and finally counting the number of vintages.... all I can say is that I was stunned. I missed the 12th anniversary last year, but I can tell you I will not be missing any more that I get lucky enough to get invited to.

When I asked Mike what I could bring he recommended a snack. Now I was thinking that seemed like a odd request as he's seen my beer collection. In hind sight yes exactly... he has seen what I had to offer and it was nothing in comparison.

So Mike my hats off to you and your wife for sharing and providing such a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Patriot Hombrew Contest Winner...


Winning Homebrewer Looks Forward to "Chance of a Lifetime" When His Beer is Served at Gillette Stadium

Boston, MA - March 2009 - David Rosenbaum just scored big, trumping nearly 200 opponents as the winner of the Samuel Adams Patriot Homebrew contest. His winning brew, an Oatmeal Stout, will be sold at Gillette Stadium during the upcoming Patriots season. The homebrewer from Andover, Massachusetts beat out entries from all six New England states.

"David's Oatmeal Stout is a delicious beer," said Jim Koch, Founder and Brewer of Samuel Adams. "Its full-bodied, roasty character is complemented with a slight sweetness that will make this beer a perfect choice for the chilly Patriots games that we New Englanders attend during football season." David will brew his winning beer with the brewers at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery. It will be served at the
Samuel Adams Brewhouse(r) in Gillette Stadium during the entire 2009-2010 football season.

Almost 25 years ago, Jim Koch brewed the first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager(r) in his kitchen. At a time when high-quality, flavorful beer was unavailable in the Boston area, Jim dreamed of bringing fresh, flavorful beer to local beer lovers. That first brew, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, went on to help start the craft beer revolution. Now Jim wants to help other aspiring homebrewers realize their brewing dreams.
"I'm looking forward to working with David and brewing his recipe," said Jim. "For many homebrewers, having their beer on tap for thousands of football fans to try is a lifelong dream. For David, it's a new reality." Nationwide, the brewery holds the Samuel Adams(r) American Homebrew Contest(r) and the Samuel Adams(r) Patriot Homebrew Contest gives a nod to the Company's Boston roots.

The Samuel Adams Patriot Homebrew Contest, now in its second year, kicked off in August 2007 encouraging New England football fans to brew their own beers and submit them for judging. The preliminary judging took place at Gillette Stadium, where five finalists advanced to the final round. The final judging was hosted by Jim Koch at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery. The judging included the fine beer palates of notable beer tasters Mike Adams of WEEI-AM, Brian Bell, Wally Brine, and
Loren Owens of WROR-FM, Kerry Byrne of The Boston Herald, Gail Ciampa of The Providence Journal, Ann Cortissoz of The Boston Globe, Carolyn Faye Fox of The Improper Bostonian, Dan Hausle of WHDH-TV, Jeff Howe of Boston Metro, and Norman Miller of the MetroWest Daily News.

David brewed many batches of the Oatmeal Stout before submitting his winning brew to the Samuel Adams Patriot Homebrew Contest. "I started brewing a few years ago after spending a lot of time traveling in the UK and Ireland and trying traditional stouts in the local pubs. It took me a few batches before I was able to brew the beer I was aiming for, but when I did, I decided to give it a shot and submit it to the contest," David said. Luckily for David, he'll have the chance to enjoy his beer
all season long. "I'm a Patriots season ticket holder so I can order my own beer while watching my favorite team play on the field! It is the chance of a lifetime to have two of my passions collide."

The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that founder and brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father's attic. After bringing the recipe to life in his kitchen, Jim brought it to bars in Boston with the belief that drinkers would appreciate a complex, full-flavored beer, brewed fresh in America. That beer was Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and it helped catalyze what became known as the American craft beer revolution.

Today, the Company brews more than 21 styles of beer. The Company uses the traditional four-vessel brewing process and often takes extra steps like dry-hopping and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. It passionately pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of its classic beers by constantly searching for the world's finest ingredients. While resurrecting traditional brewing methods, the Company has earned a reputation as a pioneer in another revolution, the "extreme beer" movement, where it seeks to challenge drinkers' perceptions of
what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company strives to elevate the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions the world over, and in the past five years it has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. The Company remains independent, and brewing quality beer remains its single focus. While Samuel Adams is the country's largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for only about one-half of one percent of the U.S. beer market.
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