Monday, April 27, 2009

One of my favorites

New Belgium 1554

By far one of my favorite beers, even though when I go to the store I don't necessarily go straight for it. In fact, this last weekend was the first time I bought a six pack of it, I usually get it in the Folly Pack. When I do get it in the Folly Pack, though, I always save the 1554's for last.

I really like this beer because of the taste (duh), which for me is mainly composed of a roasted coffee flavor with a very subtle chocolate after taste. The beer itself is also pretty easy to drink, when it first hits your tongue you notice the smooth, thin feel and then the taste settles in very nicely, and almost surprisingly. I'm still really trying to grasp the smells of beer, but I would say there was a slight caramel scent to it with the bulk of the smell falling to the roasted nut side. I would probably highly recommend this beer to someone who may just be getting into beer, because of the "drinkability" and taste.

Doing this review got me to thinking, what's your favorite beer? Leave a short review, or even just what you like about the beer, as a comment.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Brewing Process: Part I

Intro -

Depending on who you talk to or where you look there are 7 - 9 steps to the brewing process (those two extra steps in the 9 step process are considered sub-steps by the 7 step brewers). The brewing process can take anywhere from a few weeks to over a year depending on the beer being brewed. Although the process is pretty straightforward, there is a log of equipment used in brewing. This first brewing post will cover the first three steps of the brewing process: Mashing, Lautering and Brewing(Boiling).


Mashing ultimately converts the starches in the grains into sugars that will later be turned into alcohol. The mashing step calls for the grains, which have been soaked in water, heat dried and crushed, to be added to warm water in a container called a mash tun. During the soak, 1-2 hours, the water absorbs the sugar from the grains. When mashing is finished the next step is to strain the water, now called "wort", from the grains ...

Wort Removal/Lautering:

The wort is removed from the mash tun, which usually has some sort of bottom section that can double as a strainer. From here the wort is poured into a brew kettle to await the addition of the beers most famous ingredient; hops ...


Once in a brew kettle the wort is brought to a boil, which will last from roughly 1-2 hours. It is during this step that the wort is purified, removing unwanted and harmful byproducts of the first two steps from the wort. The character(flavor, smell, color) of the beer also takes shape during this step, as hops are added to the wort during the boiling. Now that the wort is beginning to take on a personality the sugars need to be turned into alcohol in the fermenting step, and the wort becomes the beer.

Monday, April 6, 2009

No Password Needed!

"Getting into a bar in Utah is about to become a lot easier" - Brock Vergakis - AP

About a month ago Utah lawmakers voted to eliminate one of the more odd and controversial bar laws in the United States. For most of us who havn't been to a bar in Utah this law is unheard of and, frankly, not all that important. But to many who travel through Utah and stop at a bar the law may have come as a complete shock. I'm sure many people thought it was a joke. The 40-year old law required anyone entering a bar to be a member of that specific bar. Membership fees weren't outrageous, and quite affordable if you lived in Utah at $12 for an annual membership, but that's $12 for every bar that you like to go to, just to get in. But to passersby an average of $4 was charged for a temporary membership - at every bar. Think about that! How many bars do you go into on a typical night out? Probably three or more. So as a visitor, you would be paying at least $12 just for the right to walk into three bars. That would be pretty annoying. Utah lawmakers are hoping this will boost tourism a bit and "make Utah seem a little less odd to outsiders". Not a bad place to start, IMO!