Monday, December 31, 2012

7C Düsseldorf Altbier

I mentioned not-to-long-ago that my 2013 brewing goal is to expand my resume of beer styles. I want to have at least one beer brewed of each of the 23 BJCP style categories. Up until now, I have brewed at least one all-grain batch in 12 of them. In 2013, my goal is to brew at least one beer in each of the 11 remaining categories.

For the list of what the categories are and what I have and have not brewed, see SheppyBrew Styles.

On New Year's day, I am planning on brewing a Düsseldorf Altbier, which is in Category 7 — Amber Hybrid Beer.

I've already shared on this blog the recipe I'm making .... Sasquatch Hunter Düsseldorf Altbier.

An Altbier is an amber German ale fermented cool. This cool fermentation gives the beer a nice crisp clean finish with low yeast-derived esters. In other words, it is very much lager-like in its character. Thus, it is a hybrid between an ale and a lager.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 X-Mas Ale Verticle Tasting

Every year, (since way back in 2009 when I started home-brewing) SheppyBrew brewery brews an X-Mas Ale. Every year (since way back in 2009 when I started home-brewing) I get out a bottle of all the years' X-Mas ales and try them together. This year's vertical tasting was (appropriately enough) on December 25 (Christmas for those of you who don't know).

Yesterday, I poured an X-Mas Ale 2009, an X-Mas Ale 2010, an X-Mas Ale 2011, and, yes, an X-Mas Ale 2012 from the SheppyBrew brewery.

They are all relatively high in alcohol with a dark brown color and substantial body and head. Visually, it is amazing how close they are. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

SheppyBrew Styles

I think the SheppyBrew Brewery has done a pretty good job of brewing a wide variety of beer styles. Recently, I decided to go through the BJCP categories and see which of those categories I have not brewed. As it turns out, of the 23 categories, I have brewed at least one all-grain batch in 12.

A little over half is pretty good considering I've only been brewing all-grain batches since Saturday, July 24, 2010 (see AG Brew day). I thought an interesting 2013 goal would be to brew up the style categories that I am missing. With 11 categories left, that is totally doable.

So, I have decided to give it a try. Once I have all the categories checked off, I may start looking at making sure I have all the sub-categories covered.

 Following is a list of the BJCP categories to give you an idea what I will brewing over the next year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Truth in Beervertising

Breckenridge Brewery put out another of its Truth in Beervertising videos, and I think it may be the best one yet.


You know how I feel about those absolutely awful mass-produced low-carb beers.

Still More @Untappd Badges 7

I have been sharing the untappd badges that I earn (see First Month of Untappd and Running for Mayor @BallyFitness , and Some more Badges @Untappd , and Still More @Untappd Badges), and Still More @Untappd Badges 2 and Still More @Untappd Badges 3 and Still More @Untappd Badges 4 and Still More @Untappd Badges 5 and Still More @Untappd Badges 6).

Yes, I know this is getting ridiculous. No one really cares what untappd badges I have, and if anyone ever does, it is a simple of matter of going to untappd and looking. In fact, here are all my badges: http://untappd.com/user/esheppy/badges . I do not think you even need an untappd account to see them.

But, it is a tradition. At this point I just have to keep on sharing the badges that I've earned on Untappd. Why? I don't know ... I just have to.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Correction: 2012 Q3 SheppyBrew Stats

I was looking at my brew-stats spreadsheet and realized that I made a significant error on SheppyBrew's last quarterly report (2012 Q3 SheppyBrew Stats).

Rationalité Poison d'Ereeeek
I made that post thinking that the 3rd quarter ended at the end of August instead of the end of September. I prematurely reported.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Whacko Wife Pumpkin Brew Day

Saturday I mentioned that I was going to brew Whacko Wife Pumpkin Witbier Sunday. I didn't lie.

It has been awhile since my wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) killed the keg of Boo Berry Wheat, and we have not really had anything in the keggerator for her since then. We have bottles of stuff she can enjoy, but she likes being able to pour from a tap.

So, I knew I had to make something for the Beer Model.

In September and October, I had been thinking of brewing a pumpkin beer, but just never got around to it. My wife really targeted pumpkin beers at GABF, so I was pretty sure she would like a pumpkin beer. At one point I had a crazy thought about making Whisky Wife Wit with pumpkin. It was just crazy (whacky) enough to be a good idea.

I had to first convert WWW  to all-grain to use as a base beer. Then I just thought I would add pumpkin and appropriate spices to complete this new beer.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

On Whacko Wife and other things SheppyBrew

I am not brewing today, but the SheppyBrew Brewery had a somewhat busy morning.

I made a yeast starter for Whacko Wife Pumpkin Witbier . I am brewing Whacko Wife tomorrow, so I probably should have made the starter sooner. Of course if you have been paying attention to my last few brews that used yeast starters, you realize this has become somewhat typical for me. It does seem to get the main fermentation started quicker.

Whacko Wife is interesting. It uses a base of Whisky Wife Wit, which is a beer that I have brewed before as a partial mash. Very recently, I converted that to an all-grain recipe, but I have not brewed the all-grain version of the base, yet. So, for this pumpkin beer, I am brewing the derivative fruit beer before the main beer has been brewed. Just sort of backwards. It will turn out fine. It is just sort of interesting.

Friday, December 07, 2012

I hit 100 Gallons

According to the spreadsheet on which I track this sort of thing, Sunday, I brewed my 21st batch of beer for the year. More significantly, BlackHawk Black brought my 2012 total to exactly 100 gallons of beer.

You may remember that last year I mentioned that I might hit 100 Gallons. Later, at the end of the year, I reported that I had come short and only reached 98 gallons for 2011.

This year, though, I hit the 100 gallons. I am planning on brewing at least one more batch, so my 2012 total will actually break the 100 gallon mark.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Brewing Blackhawk Black Ale

I miss NHL hockey. It seems like we just had a work stoppage, and here we are again with another. I don't care which side is "right". Just work it out and get back to work.

I like sitting in front of the T.V. watching the Blackhawks and drinking homebrew. The SheppyBrew brewery has brewed a couple of beers named in honor of my favorite hockey team, and it seems a shame to waste them on the NBA.

One such beer that I have not brewed in a long time is Blackhawk Black Ale. Apparently, I won't be able to watch the Blackhawks anytime soon, but I can still brew up and drink this SheppyBrew classic.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

November Blogging

Here it is December already? Times flies when you are having fun.

Continuing my streak of monthly record breaking page-views, November's total page views beat October's for the new all-time record. Amazingly, the blog did it with the least number of posts of the year. I can probably thank momentum from GABF to help push me over the top.

Are you curious about which articles have been looked at the most? Sure you are. Here are this blog's top 10 viewed posts this month:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

42 Smash

I brewed today. The beer that I brewed was a Single Malt, Single Hop (my first one) that I am calling 42 SMaSH Pale Ale. Its grain bill is 100% Marris Otter and its hop is Centennial. It is probably hoppy enough to be considered an IPA, but maybe not and it should be low enough in ABV to be more in the APA range. I am officially calling it an APA.

Brew day was far from perfect and I have no idea how this beer will turn out.

Last time I brewed, I broke my floating thermometer, and I forgot to buy a new one when I bought my ingredients. So, early this morning after I realized my mistake, I used a meat thermometer to measure my strike water temperature. It made me miss my floating thermometer that I could just leave in the water and in the mash. I'm not sure I trust the accuracy of the readings either.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bottling the X-Mas Ale

Today I bottled my 2012 X-Mas Ale.

You may or may not remember that I brewed this batch towards the end of October (see Brewing the 2012 X-Mas Ale if you would like to refresh your memory).

It had a very vigorous fermentation with lots of blow-off. After a week, I racked it into a secondary fermentor along with about 1 tbsp of peppermint extract. It has been in the secondary almost 3 weeks.

I thought the sample I had today seemed like about the right amount of peppermint, but I think maybe this beer is going to be another one that has a schizophrenic flavor. Some days I will think it seems awesome and on other days it will seem to have too much peppermint. Last year's X-Mas Ale was that way with its hazelnut flavoring.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Thanksgiving Beer Lineup

If you subscribe to as many beer blog RSS feeds as I do, you have probably seen a bunch of blog posts about pairing beer with Thanksgiving dinner. For example, there is a Denver Post "First Drafts" article called Thanksgiving dinner is a perfect time to try a pairing with Colorado beers. There is a post at BeerChow called Thanksgiving Craft Beer style.

There are tons of other articles out there. It is becoming more and more popular to pair beer with food, and Thanksgiving is the biggest holiday meal of them all. Beer has an advantage over wine in that there is such a wide variety of flavors that make it fun to pick and choose to match up with the food.

To be honest, I am not great at picking and choosing my beer based on what food I am having. I tend to like all kinds of beers with all kinds of foods. Sometimes I think about and choose my beer based on what I am eating, but it is not something I really try too hard at.

I don't really drink wine, so my adult beverage of choice for any meal is beer, and over the past several years, especially, it has always been local craft beer with my Thanksgiving meals. Last year, I was at my sister's house in Wisconsin, so I had some midwest regional beers. This year, I am in Colorado, so I am drinking (mostly) Colorado Beers.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sasquatch Hunting

If the Mayans were correct and the end of the world is December 21st, I am really going to feel stupid.

I spend most of my daylight hours in front of a computer typing in cryptic instructions. To make things worse, sometimes the computer doesn't even obey my cryptic instructions. Sometimes I don't even completely understand what it is that I am typing into the computer.

When I go outside for a few minutes at or around lunch-time, the sky is usually a gorgeous blue, and I see snow-covered mountains in the distance. I would much prefer to be hiking or biking or snowshoeing or just-about-anything-ing outside than sitting inside staring at, typing into, and arguing with a uncooperative computer.

Monday, November 12, 2012

All-Grain Version of the White House Honey Ale

I am disappointed with the results of the recent presidential election. I am not a fan of the president's policies, and I think the country would be better off with a change of leadership.

One thing that I am a fan of, though, is that some of the White House staff home-brews. That is cool.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

#StoutDay 2012

Here it is International #StoutDay again.

I was going to go out and grab a half-growler of some local small brewery's stout today, but things just got too busy at work and I decided to just head home after. I do, after all, have beers at home.

I was able to earn the 2012 untappd Stout Day badge tonight with my world-famous Stouticus American Stout.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Perfect Beer World

You may remember that last month, I participated in "The Session" (aka Beer Blogging Friday) with Novelty Beers ... Oct 2012 "Session". It was fun and I think maybe it drove a few new beer geeks to my blog, so I am doing it again this month.

If you are unfamiliar with "The Session", I'll let you read more about the concept here: http://brookstonbeerbulletin.com/the-sessions/

 November's topic is hosted by Jorge at Brew Beer and Drink It. His topic is "The Perfect Beer World", which is pretty much wide-open. We know the world of beer isn't perfect. What would I do to improve it?

Low Carb Beers

Well, first off, I know for certain that a perfect beer world would not have those absolutely awful mass-produced low-carb beers. If you are worried about carbs and calories, just drink water. It has about as much flavor as these low-carb beers. I have a quote I put on some of my beer bottle labels:
"People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they just like to pee alot."
This pretty much summarizes what I feel about people who drink Michelob Ultra or Miller 64. Generally, I will not ridicule someone for drinking a particular sort of beer, but I will make an exception if I see you drinking one of these.

So, if I had a magic-beer-world-improving-wand, the very first thing I would do is ban Low-Carb beers.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

October Blogging

Well, the October page-views blew away September's on this blog. This of course continues the streak of monthly record breaking page-views that has been going on since May of 2011. This is not too much of a surprise as GABF seems to attract significant traffic to this blog every year.

And what have my readers been looking at? Glad you asked. Here are the top 10 view pages over the past 30 days:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Brewing the 2012 X-Mas Ale

Sunday, I brewed my 2012 version of SheppyBrew's X-Mas Ale.

Every year since I started home-brewing, I have brewed a special X-Mas ale for the holidays. Each year, the recipe is different, but so far it has always been pretty dark, malty, and fairly high in alcohol. Each has had special holiday flavoring.

Friday, October 19, 2012

PBR wins #GABF Gold

Pabst Brewing Company did well at this year's GABF competition.

Old Style won a Silver in the "American-Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager" category.

Pabst Blue Ribbon won a Gold in American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager category.

A gold and a silver in this competition is a fantastic accomplishment.

I have not tasted either of these beers in a long time, but I considered both of them cheap crappy beer back in college when all I drank were cheap crappy beers. Since college, I have made fun of people who drink PBR and Old Style. Now, I feel bad about that. If I have ridiculed you for enjoying PBR and/or Old Style, I sincerely apologize.

I doubt that my father-in-law reads this blog, so that apology probably doesn't mean much. Next time I see him, I'll be sure to say I'm sorry.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Minor SheppyBrew updates

I didn't brew this past weekend. Last week I thought I would like to, but as you may have heard, there was something going on in Denver that kept me pretty busy.

There were some SheppyBrew related activities, though.  

Last week, I decided that my Boo Berry American Wheat did not taste enough like blueberry, so I purchased some blueberry flavoring from my local home brew shop. Sunday, I popped open the keg and added in a small amount of the flavoring. The beer is now tasting like blueberry. I think it is the right amount of blueberry.

Now, I still have most of the little bottle of blueberry flavoring I need to figure out what to do with. I still have some apricot I need to do something with also.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

2012 #GABF Members Only Session

Of course the best GABF session is the Saturday afternoon members-only session. At least that is my opinion. There are less people so it is less crowded and the lines are not as long. Plus there are less drunk idiots wandering around.

The line to get in was much longer Saturday, though. Friday night I told you we had our taster glasses by 5:45 (15 minutes to get in). Saturday afternoon it was more like 12:22 (22 minutes to get in). This was the farthest back I have ever had to start in line to get into this event. 22 minutes still is amazing considering the line went all the way around the convention center and then some.



The first thing we did was have lunch inside the hall. Old Chicago pizzas were ok.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

2012 #GABF Friday Night

Session 2 is now done too, and again, the plan went well.

You may recall that yesterday I said we might wait until half an hour after the doors open as Dave of Fermentedly Challenged suggested. This didn't happen. We got there a bit before 5:30. We actually had time to get dinner from a food truck before getting into line.

I am always amazed how quickly everyone gets into the convention center once the line starts moving, and to be honest, I believe last night was even faster than usual. I'm not sure what they did differently, but there was a noticeable improvement to a a process that has always been wonderful. The members-only line is still the preferred way to go, but waiting with the general public is not at all bad. Not bad at all.

We had our tasting cups a little after 5:45.

Friday, October 12, 2012

2012 #GABF Thursday Night

Well, I survived night one of the GABF. I sort of followed my plan.

I got to the convention center right as they were opening the doors at 5:30. I had my glass by 5:35. That members' only line is so wonderful. Unfortunately, the rest of the weekend I have to go through the long line. Dave of Fermentedly Challenged suggested arriving half an hour late so that there is no line. My wife and I might try that tonight.

Cigar City line.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Don't read this pre- #GABF post

One of the pleasant things about this time of year is all the photos of Oktoberfest women circulating the internet. Lots of these pictures really accentuate the chest-area of the photograph subjects. Based on the number of these pictures circulating, an overwhelmingly large percentage of German-beer-drinking-women are young, attractive, and have ample bosoms. Don't believe me? Check out the photos of the Oktoberfest facebook page. I did not look at every picture, but I sure didn't see any old, overweight, or small-chested women. I'm sure the Oktoberfest style of dress helps, but still.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thursday Night #GABF Plan

If you follow this blog, you may remember that I am lucky enough to have tickets to 3 out of the 4 Great American Beer Festival sessions. Last year, I posted my Thursday night #GABF plan. I found that pretty much Thursday was the only night I actually was able to follow any sort of plan, and so I am doing it again this year.

This is obviously more for my benefit than for yours. I figure it is ok since I am probably the biggest fan that this blog has.

Monday, October 08, 2012

#GABF Week is here

Thursday is the first session of the 2012 Great American Beer Festival

Does anyone out there know why the GABF waits until Thursday to publish the actual beers at the festival?

I saw that the Colorado Beer Girl asked the same question on GABF: Why do you make us wait until the day OF for the beer list?!
One of the comments on the blog mention that there is a partial list at http://thefullpint.com/tag/gabf-2012-roundup/ This is nice, but I still don't know why the GABF makes us wait.

For some reason, the past few Mondays, someone has asked me how the Great American Beer Fest went. It is much later this year than it has been the past couple years, but still it seems odd that Denver area people are that confused as to when the GABF is.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Eric the Awful

You may remember that a couple weeks ago I asked my blog readers "What should I #HomeBrew Next?" Boo Berry Wheat won the vote, and Eric the Awful came in 2nd. I kegged and bottled the Boo Berry yesterday and today I brewed  Eric the Awful. Interestingly enough, I didn't actually close down the poll, and since that time, there have been quite a few votes for Ale to the Chief: Honey Porter.

 
Not really on topic, but my boys made cookies this weekend.

My kids and I have a game we play called "Eric the Awful" named after Ray Steven's song (see the video at the end of this post if you are unfamiliar with the song). The kids ride around on their bikes and I chase them. It is even more fun when friends of the boys join in. The game is hard work, but at least everyone gets pretty good exercise.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Novelty Beers ... Oct 2012 "Session"

Until last month, I had not heard of  "The Session" (aka Beer Blogging Friday). I only discovered it because I was mentioned on the blog "This is Why I'm Drunk" in the article When this baby hits 88 miles per hour … Aug. 2012 “Session” , which was part of the whole session thing. I'll let you read more about the concept here: http://brookstonbeerbulletin.com/the-sessions/

I looked at the October 2012 topic, Novelty Beers: A shout-out for October’s The Session, and decided I would participate. Why not?

With the onslaught of even weirder beers than before, I can’t help but wonder if novelty beers are going too far. Or maybe not far enough? LOL! As a merchant of beer, I can see the place for novelty beers, as I am choosing for some customers who say, “I want the strangest beer you have”. We’ve even seen some novelty beers in our top-sellers. But beer traditionalists sometimes frown on these new and bizarre concoctions.

 My initial response when reading the topic was, "Sheppy, we don't drink or brew novelty beers. What will we write about?"

But "Novelty" is a matter of perspective, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

#GABF and Bull Testicles

Yesterday, I talked about starting the formulation of my 2012 GABF game-plan. Well, after I posted the article, I saw something else I have to try at GABF.

Eric Gorski, who writes the Denver Post's "First Drafts" posted an article: "No joke: Wynkoop actually brews Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout". Yes, apparently Wynkoop is brewing up a Stout that uses bull testicles as an ingredient. They will be serving it at GABF.

Sure enough, Wynkoop's blog also talks about it.

Wynkoop did an April Fool's joke where they announced that they were planning on brewing this Stout. Now, apparently, the brew-pub decided that this was actually a good idea to brew for real.

Yuck.

Monday, October 01, 2012

#GABF Month

I cannot believe GABF month is already here.

I am excited.

Last week, I shared on the SheppyBrew Facebook Page the article The Greenhorn’s Survival Guide to GABF. If you are going to GABF, there is some great advice in there. Read it. I think especially the ones that help you from getting to out-of-control drunk are important.
  • Do eat before arriving
  • Do pace yourself
  • Do drink a lot of water
Over indulging is a bad thing. Don't do it.

So, now that the festival is less than 2 weeks away, I need to start making my game plan.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Blogging

September broke this blog's page view record, previously set in August which was previously set in July which was previously set in June which was previously set in May. In fact it has been since May of 2011 that I've been on a record breaking streak.

Do you want to know what posts have been most viewed over the last 30 days? Sure you do. Here we go ....

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bicycle Built for 7

This past Saturday, the Colorado Shepards drove up to Fort Collins Colorado.

We decided to check out "Swetsville Zoo". Bill Swets is a retired farmer who has a talent for welding and metal fabrication. Over the years, he was created hundreds of sculptures out of scrap metal. It is really amazing.

The most amazing thing to me is that admission is free. There is a little donation box, in which we made a deposit, but this is completely voluntary.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brewing Boo Berry Wheat

Recently, I asked my blog readers "What should I #HomeBrew Next?". I did an online poll allowing anyone to vote as many times as they wanted.

Here are the results:
The Beer Model was pretty happy about the winner. To be honest, I was sort of rooting for Eric The Awful , but I can always brew that next. Actually, I am just glad I got so many votes on the poll.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shrek and beer

I was looking through this blog's stats the other day. In the "Search Keywords" section for the day. One of the search entries was "шрек и пиво".

According to Google Translate, "шрек и пиво" is Russian for "Shrek and beer". Personally, when I google "Shrek and beer" or "шрек и пиво", I don't come across my blog. Apparently some Russian did, though. Of course, I don't know what search engine was used.

It is interesting to me, though, that someone out there came across my blog while looking for Shrek and beer. I wonder if he or she found what they wanted on my blog or if they just looked real quick, decided they were really looking for something else and then went on the the next search result. I'll never know.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What should I #HomeBrew Next?

I can't decide what to brew next. From time to time, when I have come across such dilemmas, I've called for votes on facebook and twitter to help me decide. Usually I get pretty good feedback, and am able to decide from the votes what to brew. This time I thought I would post an "official" on-line poll like I did in Help Me pick my #IPADay Beer.

So, here we go ... vote as early and often as you would like. If you don't like what I put in the poll, tell me what style you think I should brew in the "Other" choice.

Friday, September 14, 2012

All-Grain Version of the White House Honey Porter

In White House #HomeBrew Recipes, I told you that the White House had emailed me two beer recipes. Of course, they were extract recipes, and if I am going to brew one or both, I need all-grain versions.



I have not seen any all-grain versions of the recipes posted on the inter-webs, yet. So, I decided to go ahead and convert them. Of the two, I am more likely to brew the Honey Porter, so I started with that one. Chances are, I'll convert the other one soon.

You can look at the details of the recipe at Ale to the Chief: Honey Porter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My #SourBeerDay

I would say that there are 3 kinds of people when it comes to sour beers. You love them or you hate them or you have not tried them.

Most people are in that "have not tried them" category. My wife is in the "hate them" category.

I am in the "love them" category.

As I mentioned last week, Saturday was #SourBeerDay. I really thought I was going to use the "holiday" as an excuse to stop by Crooked Stave's taproom and try a couple of Chad's beers. I never got around to it. Actually, I didn't even drink a sour beer and #SourBeerDay.

But what did I do?

Monday, September 10, 2012

What is #CraftBeer?

We have certainly established that I am a Beer Geek ... Beer Snob ... Craft Beer Fan ... Beer Whatever-you-want-to-call-me.

I like beer. Specifically, I enjoy Craft Beer.

I use the term "Craft Beer" all the time. For the most part, I have a clear picture what I mean when I use the term, but in some cases there is a little bit of technical gray area that bothers me a bit.

What exactly is "Craft Beer".

Thursday, September 06, 2012

2012 Q3 SheppyBrew Stats

Can you believe we are into September already? I don't know about you, but for me, the summer has just flown by.

Since another quarter has ended here at the SheppyBrew Brewery, it is time again for me to share some more of my brewing stats (see SheppyBrew 2009 Stats, 1st Quarter Stats, 2nd Quarter Stats, 3rd Quarter Stats, SheppyBrew 2010 Stats, 1st Quarter Brewing Stats, 2nd Quarter Brew Stats, SheppyBrew Stats Q3 2011, 2011 SheppyBrew Stats, 2012 Q1 SheppyBrew Stats, 2012 Q2 SheppyBrew Stats).

Q3 started out a bit slow. In fact, after my last beer in Q2 (Summer Lovin' American Wheat), I did not brew again until the first weekend in August with Ello Poppet Czech Pilsner. As I mentioned in Ello Poppet and Root Beer, I really had to squeeze that brew day in.

So, all my 3rd Quarter brewing was done in August. I got 3 batches done (Ello Poppet, Rocktoberfest Lager, and Laser Salt Sandy Blonde Ale). This brings my 2012 total to 15 so far. Last year, I did 23 batches. There is no way I am going to do 8 batches this quarter to match last year.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

#SourBeerDay is September 8th

I love sour beers. One of my #GABF goals every year is to try every sour I come across. As I've mentioned before, I plan on making a sour beer sometime in the "near" future.

I have just learned that September 8th is #SourBeerDay.

It is, obviously, like #IPADay and #StoutDay, only instead of celebrating IPAs and Stouts, this twitter holiday celebrates sour beers of all sorts.

The first sour beer I ever had was a happy accident. My first GABF, I came to the New Belgium booth very early in the night. In fact, I had only had one sample up until that point. I walked up, pointed to a random keg labeled "Eric's Ale", and asked for "some of that". Had I asked what "Eric's Ale" was, I don't know if I would have tried it, since I had never experienced a sour ale before.

But, I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I am bummed out that I have never found it since then. Since then, I have made it my mission at every GABF I have been to (this year will be my third) to try as many sours as possible.

Monday, September 03, 2012

2012 Duck Race Pictures

The Colorado Shepards attended the Breckenridge Duck Races again this year.

We are now officially on a winning streak. Connor's duck came in 28th in the Kids' Duck Dash and came away with a gift certificate to one of Breckenridge's fine establishments (in your face, Tweedle Beetles).

Here are some pictures:

Sunday, September 02, 2012

White House #HomeBrew Recipes

I got an email from the White House yesterday. Yes, I am that big of a deal.

The reason I got this email, actually, is that I signed on online petition asking that the White House release its home-brew recipes to the public. You can see it at whitehouse.gov: "Release the recipe for the Honey Ale home brewed at the White House".

The petition was started on August 18th and as I type this, it has 12,240 signatures. Originally, the petition said it would need more than that (24,000?) signatures to "pass", but I guess the white house didn't see any reason not to share the recipes. They are not huge government secrets, and there was certainly interest out there.

I don't know if I will make either of the 2 recipes. Generally speaking, I don't use recipes from other people. Part of the fun of home-brewing is creating my own recipes. I may or may not make an exception here. The White House did make a special effort to email me.

If I do make them, at the very least, I will convert them to all-grain. Of course, I'll have to substitute some Colorado honey for the White House Honey.

Anyway, I think it is cool that the White House is home-brewing, and I think they made the right decision to share the recipes.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

August 2012 Blogging

Around 10AM on the 30th, August broke this blog's page view record, previously set in July which was previously set in June which was previously set in May. In fact it has been since May of 2011 that I've been on a record breaking streak.

I suppose if you read this blog regularly enough to remember month to month, you're probably sick of hearing about it. At this point, I feel I have to report on this every month at least until the streak stops. I am sure it will eventually, but this month, you'll have to either ignore this post or suffer through it.

Bonus ... for the first time this year, I beat Mrs. Bluefield in our unofficial number-of-posts contest (not that it is a competition)..

Do you want to know what posts have been most viewed over the last 30 days? If so ....

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Brewing Laser Salt Again

"So, Sheppy, what's with the Laser Salt?", asked one of my more loyal readers in a comment of Killing the Glutens. I didn't answer at that time. But, here you go:

The question has to do with SheppyBrew's Laser Salt Sandy Blonde Ale. "Laser Salt" refers to the  Great Sand Dunes National Park. The term "Laser Salt" is an inside joke between the SheppyBrew Beer Model, myself, and a couple of old friends.

The summer that we first moved to Colorado, we decided to head down to the Sand Dunes to camp. Just before we went, a couple of friends came to visit us from Illinois. While talking, my wife told the couple that we were "going blazer camping in the sand". Of course, what this meant was that we were taking the Chevy Blazer that we owned at the time and camping by the Great Sand Dunes. At the time, most of the camping we did was backpacking. Blazer camping just meant we were camping close the car as opposed to backpacking.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Firestone Double Jack

Last Sunday (a week from yesterday), after I got done brewing my Rocktoberfest Lager, I decided to have a beer. For quite some time, there has been a bottle of Double Jack in my beer fridge and it called out to me. I decided it was finally time to pop it open.

You may remember that back in late June, I blogged about Union Jack. Double Jack tastes a bunch like Union Jack. It is 9.5% ABV, but does not taste like it at all. It is a bit dangerous that way. I am amazed how well this captures all the hop and malt flavors and aroma as Union Jack with much more alcohol.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

A few days after I closed out my quest to try the beers on Zymurgy's 2011 Best Beers in America list, I found Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale in my local liquor store. Indian Brown Ale was tied for 34th on the list. Even though I had already moved on to the 2012 list (which did not include Indian Brown), I decided to grab the six pack and blog about it.

It is my blog. I can do this if I want.

Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale is a year-round beer. The Dogfish Head website calls it "a cross between a Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale and an American Brown". It is meant to be a magic blend of hoppy and malty. Its IBU are listed at 50 and its ABV is 7.2%.

If you are familiar with my beer preferences, you can probably imagine that I was really excited to try this beer. I love well hopped beers with more complex malt characters than the typical American IPA. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hoppy Press: #HomeBrew meets #Art

About two months ago I got an email from the Contact Me form on this blog.

It was from Greg who was (is) starting a new website called Hoppy Press. Hoppy Press is dedicated to Homebrewing Art. Apparently they have amazing artists/printers lined up to showcase on the website and sell their work.

Greg told me:
"We're dedicated to making quality stuff just like homebrewers. We were tired of thin cheap glossy prints and want to make something that was frame-worthy but still captured the spirit of homebrewing."

I thought this is a cool idea and I told him I would be willing to post his website on this blog. He was not quite ready, yet, since they had not gotten their first print.

A few days ago, I got another email letting me know that their official launch would be today. They have one print for sale. It looks nice. Check it out. I'll let you decide if you want to spend the money, but even if you don't purchase this print, sign up for their newsletter and keep an eye with whatever else they put out.

They also have a twitter feed @HoppyPress if you would like to follow them that way.

Here is their link again:


Monday, August 20, 2012

Brewing Rocktoberfest 2012

This weekend, I brewed my Rocktoberfest Lager. It is hard to believe that this is my 4th time brewing it as a lager. Time sure does fly. This is actually the closest that I've brewed it to the right time for it to be ready for an Oktoberfest-style celebration.

The beer was meant to be a pleasant malty fall beer to drink during the baseball playoffs, preferably watching the Rockies. Unfortunately, like last year, the Rockies are no where close to making the playoffs. It is ok, though, I can also drink it watching football or just sitting on my patio on a cool autumn day. Heck, I can drink it on a hot summer day if need be.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Another CYBI Arrogant Bastard

If you read this blog, you probably know that I am a fan of Stone's Arrogant Bastard. My admiration of this beer is not just about it being a fantastic beer. I love the attitude behind the beer. I absolutely love that Stone keeps everything secret about how they make this beer.

I am really fascinated by the Brewing Network's attempts to clone this beer despite Stone's refusal to give any information on this beer.

Well, the BN guys tried again at this year's NHC. I am running behind (again) in my podcasts, so those of you who listen to CYBI probably are already up to speed on this. If you have not already, though, download the episode (Can You Brew It: Arrogant Bastard 4).

Mitch Steele came on again. He (true to form) was not very helpful, but he was extremely nice about it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

#CraftBeer Snobs

I have been accused of being a Beer Snob, and it is not a point which I argue. If I have a choice between an inexpensive or even free mass-produced American Light Lager and a more expensive flavorful craft beer, I will almost always choose to spend the money.

I try not to be condescending about it, but I don't always succeed in that attempt.

I cannot help it. I prefer to drink beers with more flavor, and if that makes me a snob ... I am a snob. As a craft beer drinker, being a "beer snob" is somewhat a badge of honor.

But one thing about me as a craft beer drinker ... compared to your typical BMC beer fan ... If you offer me a beer I have not had before, telling me it is good / unique / wonderful / interesting, I will always try it. ALWAYS. I won't care what color it is. I won't care what style you tell me it is. I won't care what character you tell me you find in it ... I will try that beer. I will try it and thank you. If I don't like it, I will tell you specifically what I don't like about it along with what I do like about it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

#GABF Needs Something to Change

Some of you are going to hate me. I got all the GABF tickets I wanted.

I got a ticket to Thursday night. I got two tickets for Friday night. I got two tickets to the Saturday afternoon Members Only session. I made the decision not to buy Saturday night tickets, because that is my least favorite session.

My only complaint is that my Friday night tickets do not let me go to the Members Only line. I would have preferred being able to go through the short line, but it is not that big of a deal to have to go through the public line.

Obviously, many many many people did not get the GABF tickets they wanted (see #GABF #TicketMasterFail and #GABF Beer Geeks are PISSED). Had I known how the general public sale would have gone, I never would have complained about the #TicketMasterFail during the members-only sale. As it turns out, the only way to have guaranteed yourself a ticket was to be an AHA (American Homebrewers Association) or BA (Brewers Association) member.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Drinking Royal Gorge Brew Pub (@RGBrewPub)

My sister and her family were recently visiting Colorado and one of the things they wanted to do was check out the Royal Gorge. We headed down to Cañon City with them for a couple of days.

The first night we were there, I mentioned to my wife that I wanted to go to the Royal Gorge Brewing Co. As far as I know, this is the only local brew-pub. I actually did not intend for this to be a suggestion for dinner, but no one else had an idea on where to go, and my wife brought it up to the other adults.

So we ended up going. My sister has a weird psychotic hatred of beer. My brother-in-law is a BMC ... fizzy yellow beer sort of guy. He tries to be open to flavorful craft beer, but is just not quite there yet. Obviously, the 5 boys don't drink beer. I am not sure this is the right group with which to eat at a local brew-pub.

The service left much to be desired. They were clearly understaffed that night. We were seated right away, but even though we clearly had lots of children were not given any children menus. When we asked for some it took a long time for us to get any. It took a long time to get our drink order in. It took even longer to get our food order in.

But I sure thought they had a good line-up of beers.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Ello Poppet and Root Beer

On Friday I got a "Contact Us" email from a new fan of the blog inviting me over for his second ever home brew-day. Well, he did not ACTUALLY say he was a fan of the blog, I made that assumption because he did not say anything negative. That, and I am a complete legend in my own mind. Everyone who read the blog must be a fan. Right?

I will try not to let it go to my head when he asks me for my autograph. (That was a joke ... I will TOTALLY let it go to my head)

Getting that email reminded me that I have not brewed in a long time. It happens some times. Things get busy and you just don't get a chance to brew.

I knew that I would have a challenge getting time this weekend as well, but I came up with a scheme (sounded good at the time) that I could wake up at 4 and get a whole all-grain brew day before 10.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Still More @Untappd Badges 5

It has been awhile since I've done one of these, but after #IPADay ...

I've been sharing the badges that I've earned on Untappd (see First Month of Untappd and Running for Mayor @BallyFitness , and Some more Badges @Untappd , and Still More @Untappd Badges), and Still More @Untappd Badges 2 and Still More @Untappd Badges 3 Still More @Untappd Badges 4.

I don't know why I do this. It is just a tradition at this point.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Twisted Pine Hoppy Boy

Hoppy #IPADay everyone!

As you may or may not know that I conducted an online poll to determine what my official #IPADay would be.

This is not an overly popular beer blog, so I didn't get as many votes as say The Beer Wench would have gotten, but I got enough to determine a "winner".

And the winner was ... Twisted Pine Hoppy Boy IPA.

I've never had a Hoppy Boy before. Actually, I do not think I've had any of Twisted Pine's beers before today.

#IPADay ... liking it #InTheCan

I have to admit .... I like it in the can.

They told Dale Katechis that he was crazy years ago for packaging Dales Pale Ale in a can. He didn't listen.

I am glad he didn't. I like to get craft beers in cans.

Why? Well, I like to go hiking and camping, and it is much more convenient for me to bring aluminum cans than glass bottles.

And there is just something about drinking a fine crafted IPA in the wilderness of Colorado that just speaks to me. For some reason, I just REALLY like hoppy American IPAs while camping. I mean, I like them all the time, but for some reason they are even more suited for the wilderness.


An #IPADay sampling of my beer fridge

Here is the IPA's and IPA-like beer that I have in my commercial beer fridge right now:

You can click on the photo for a closer-up view

From left to right:

#GABF Beer Geeks are PISSED

Happy #IPADay. Wow. I mentioned a couple days ago what a #TicketMasterFail the Pre-sale of the Great American Beer Fest was.

If you want to refresh your memory or if you didn't see it, you can look at #GABF #TicketMasterFail.

Today, there are even more pissed off beer geeks.

If you don't believe me, check out some of the nasty comments at the GABF facebook page or do a twitter search on #GABF.

The 2012 Great American Beer Festival sold out so fast that lots of people missed out. Officially, the announcement was that all sessions had been sold out in 45 minutes.

#IPADay on Belgium IPAs

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of Belgium IPAs. OR maybe I should say in the past I have not been a fan.


I have told myself and others ... even written on this blog that for the most part, if I want a hoppy IPA, I am not really in the mood for the Belgium funk. If I feel like the Belgium funk, I'm not really looking for the citrusy hops of an American IPA.

#IPADay: Eric's IPA

Last time I was in Breckenridge (see Breckenridge Pictures), we had dinner at Downstairs at Eric's (because everywhere else just sucks).

The beer on the menu that caught my attention was Eric's IPA by Great Divide Brewing Company.

My real first name is "Eric" and Great Divide Brewing Company is local to me, so the fact that I had not heard of this beer sort of surprised me. I looked it up on untappd and did not find it (it is there now because I added it). I did a Google search on my phone and did not find it. I looked at the website of Great Divide Brewing Company, and still did not find it.

Everyday should be #IPADay

It seems every American craft brewery and brew-pub brews an IPA. Actually, the vast majority of them do several. You would think with all the IPA's out there we would all get bored with them, but we don't.

If I don't know what to get in a restaurant or at the liquor store, an American IPA is my fail safe. I almost always know I will like it. It is not necessarily my favorite style of beer, but quite often it will be my favorite in whatever tasting room I am in.

Again, everyone has one.

Here are some pictures of IPA's I have thoroughly enjoyed recently:

#IPADay My favorite IPA

I'm just going to say it ... my favorite IPA is one that I #HomeBrew.

SheppyBrew's TommyHawk APA has evolved over time from what I called an APA to what is now an American IPA. I guess part of the reason I call it my favorite is that I crafted it myself, but it isn't just a case of me liking this beer just because I am the one who brewed it.

It is #IPADay Are you ready?

Well, it is here. I am scheduling this blog post to publish itself at 12:01 AM MDT which means it is officially the start of the made-up twitter holiday where I live.

I figure, what the heck. I'm a blogger. I'm a beer geek. I like to drink the IPA style of beer. I should add to the madness.


Merry #IPADay to you.

What is #IPADay?

Well, I sure cannot explain it better than the good folks at the official #IPADay website. Check-out their About Page.

If you are a twitter-geek, checkout the #IPADay hash-tag search on twitter to really get a sense of the craziness.

I have actually scheduled blog posts to publish throughout the day. You can see all I have written or will write about #IPADay at: http://blog.ericshepard.com/search/label/%23IPADay

Hurray for IPA.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

July 2012 Blogging

Well, this blog broke its previous "page view" record again. This month, there really wasn't ever any doubt that it could be done. The month started out with strong numbers and the page views kept coming in strong. This was the first month in awhile that didn't just barely beat the previous month.

It is also the first month in a LONG time that Women and Beer was not in the top 10 of most viewed pages for the month. And this helps explain the reason that we have a new #1 all-time viewed page on the blog. Aren't you excited?

The top all-time viewed post on this blog is now Female vs. Male Brain, which was first posted on Oct 28, 2011. It also came in with the most page-views this month BY A BUNCH.

Here are the rest of the top 10 most viewed posts this month:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#GABF #TicketMasterFail

Epic failure by TicketMaster.

I got my 2012 Great American Beer Fest tickets today, and boy was it painful.

Last year, I signed in at 10:00 for the AHA members pre-sale and had my tickets by 10:05. I remember it being very straight-forward and easy.

This year, it appears there is no way to order all your tickets at once. For each session I wanted to attend I had to do a separate search, pick my tickets, and fill out the check-out information. I paid a "convenience" fee for each of the transactions.

That was bad enough, but when I went to actually place my order, there was a bug on the site that kept telling me to check the terms and conditions checkbox before I could place the order. I kept checking it and getting the same order. Eventually, I tried calling TicketMaster. Busy signal.

First Family Backpacking Trip

If you follow this blog relatively regularly, you probably know that I like to go camping. I especially love backpacking. There is something just sublimely wonderful about packing what I need on my back and heading out into the wilderness. My wife and I backpacked a bunch before we had kids, and I continued to try to do it at least once and awhile because I enjoyed it so much (see my SheppyQuest label on this blog).

I shared earlier this year how excited I was that my kids (especially, my youngest son) were expressing interest in backpacking (see SheppyQuest Lite), and shortly afterward, I posted Father and Son Backpacking trip Part 1 and Father and Son Backpacking trip Part 2 in which my younger boy and I actually went on his first backpacking trip together.

We had a blast together.

Monday, July 30, 2012

#GABF Tickets on sale #IPADay

General public tickets for the Great American Beer Festival go on sale on August 2.

I didn't make the connection before, but August 2 is also this year's official #IPADay. I don't know if this is a simple coincidence or if The Beer Wench purposely planned it this way.

Of course, as one of the select few (AHA or BA members), I get to buy my GABF tickets tomorrow at 10AM Denver time. I have 10 - 10:30 blocked off on my work calendar so that no one makes the mistake of scheduling a meeting with me during that critical time.

Interestingly enough, one of my co-workers bought an AHA membership for herself and her fiancee so that they could by GABF tickets early and get into the Members' Only session. Not sure I would do this if I was not a home-brewer, but part of the reason that I decided to become a member of the AHA is all the GABF-related benefits that go with the membership.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Grilled Chicken

There has been a fair amount written about grilled chicken over the past couple of months on this blog.

It all started with the first time (at the moment the only time) I grilled beer can chicken (see Sheppy's Beer Can Chicken). That chicken turned out awesome.

In Blogging in June 2012 and Sorry. I lied, I wrote about a couple of anti-beer-can-chicken articles that I had come across. First, I saw Charlie Papazian's article Beer can chicken NOT a good idea at all! . Next, I came across  Debunking Beer Can Chicken: A Waste Of Good Beer (And It Is Dangerous) by a guy who referred to himself as "MeatHead".

MeatHead's main point is that Beer Can chicken just is not really a better way to grill a whole bird than other ways. He seems to think you can get better results using other methods.

In Sheppy's Rotisserie Chicken, I tried one of the other methods that MeatHead said would be better. This also gave me a chance to use the rotisserie motor that had come with my "new" grill. I didn't think the rotisserie bird turned out better, but it did turn out close enough to how I remembered the beer can chicken to support the claim that the beer can chicken pretty much serves to waste a can of beer.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Drinking the Wetta Berry

SheppyBrew's Raspberry Wetta Berry has finished carbonating and I have now had a few.

In case you need a refresher, I blogged about making Wetta Berry in Wetta Berry Mr. Beer Batch.

I blogged about adding raspberry puree to it in Raspberry Wetta Berry.

I blogged about Kegging and Bottling Wetta Berry in Kegging and Bottling Wetta Berry.

It is ... well ... it tastes like it has a lot of raspberry in it. In my opinion, it has too much raspberry in it. Even the Beer Model said "Maybe" when I asked her if it had too much raspberry in it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Help Me pick my #IPADay Beer

Downloaded (with permission) from http://ipaday.org/logo/
So, as you may or may not know (you probably have not read my blog over the past few days if you are in the "not know" category), #IPADay is coming up.

Do me a favor and tell me what your favorite IPA is by voting in the poll below. I pre-filled the choices with Colorado IPAs that I have not had (at least according to untappd I have not had them), but feel free to use the "other" choice. If you do, try to remember to include the brewery name and the name of the beer. And leave a comment letting me know why you like the beer you chose to vote for.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

5280 pre- #IPADay ... Odell's IPA

Recently, while in the liquor store searching for ideas for #IPADay I came across the 5280 Summer Seasonal 6 Pack. Of course I had to buy it. 

I have blogged before about beers in these 5280 6 packs (see such classics as Drinking Ellie's Brown Ale, 471 Double IPA, Flashback India Brown Ale, and of course The Beer Clinic). 5280 Magazine, in collaboration with the Denver Zoo (of all places) puts out these 6 packs every season. The editors of the magazine pick the 6 Colorado beers that they think best represent the season and package them together.

When I remember and see them, I try to get them. When I think about it while drinking the beers, I blog about them. It appears that I missed the winter and spring six packs. Oh well.

It is just how I roll.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#IPADay Returns

It is coming back. Yep, even CraftBeer.com says so (see IPA Day Returns on August 2, 2012). My Daily #IPADay and #StoutDay News is starting to get activity again, so at least some people are preparing for it.

I suppose you could say if there is anything worse than a made-up Hallmark holiday, it has to be a fake Twitter #MadeUpHoliday.

You could say that, but I won't. I would much rather celebrate American hops than St. Valentine. Plus, I certainly don't want to risk subjecting myself to the wrath of The Beer Wench.

Monday, July 09, 2012

2012 Q2 SheppyBrew Stats

2012 continues to fly by and wouldn't you know it, but the 2nd quarter of the calendar year is over. Here at the SheppyBrew home-brewery this means that it is time again for me to share some more of my brewing stats (see SheppyBrew 2009 Stats, 1st Quarter Stats, 2nd Quarter Stats, 3rd Quarter Stats, SheppyBrew 2010 Stats, 1st Quarter Brewing Stats, 2nd Quarter Brew Stats, SheppyBrew Stats Q3 2011, 2011 SheppyBrew Stats, 2012 Q1 SheppyBrew Stats).

I've written this before, but (believe it or not), I have had people say they like to read these brewing stats posts.

So here we go:

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Breckenridge Pictures

As the 4th was in the middle of the week this year, we decided to delay my wife's birthday get-away until the following weekend.

As usual, we went up to Breckenridge for this. As usual, we had lots of fun.

Here are some pictures ...

We headed up the gondolas to the Peak 8 Fun Park. We didn't really do much up there except walk around. The free gondola ride was fun, though.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Kegging Summer Lovin' #HomeBrew

I kegged up my Summer Lovin' American Wheat last night. I also had enough to fill a two liter growler in addition to the keg.

As you can see from the pictures below, it came out a pale gold color. The sample glass was slightly hazy.

The flavor was a delicate, clean wheat cracker taste with a touch of orange and a very slight amount of coriander (probably slight enough that I would not say it had any if I didn't know what I had put in it).

The beer finished with a gravity of 1.007, which makes it just over a 5% ABV beer. I think this is a perfect amount of alcohol for this beer.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

July 4 Pictures

Usually, we are up in the mountains for the 4th of July. We try to make a long weekend of it with the Beer Model's birthday being on the 3rd. With the 4th being a Wednesday this year, and all the vacation I have to use up to see my wife's family, we stayed at home this year.

We did head out to Golden to wander around for their community celebration. Here are some pictures.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Sheppy's Rotisserie Chicken

Last October, Connor and I picked out and purchased a new grill. You may have seen part of the grill on a couple of beer pictures on this blog (like here and here and here). It is bigger and much nicer than my old grill, and I am glad we got it. One cool thing about this grill is that it has a rotisserie attachment and motor.

I didn't use the rotisserie for quite awhile. It was April when Connor finally got me to try it.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Sorry. I lied

Early yesterday, I prematurely announced that this blog's "page view" streak was over.

I was wrong. Yesterday turned out to be a very active Saturday and before the end of the day, June had 23 more "page views" than May.

I should have waited. I apologize.

I also listed Sheppy's Beer Can Chicken as the #7 most viewed page of the month. By the end of the day, it was up to #2 for the month.

A big part of the reason I got the extra Saturday traffic is that I posted a question on the Mr. Beer forum:

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blogging in June 2012

Speaking of Beer Can Chicken .... well, ok we weren't, but I thought maybe we should.


But first ... since May of last year, every month blog has had more "page views" than any other month in the history of this blog.

As I write this, it looks like this blog's streak of record-breaking months is going to stop with June. The number of page views don't look like they will get over May's total. Today is the last day of the month and weekends never get a whole lot of traffic here. It is close enough that had this been a weekday, I would feel more confident. But I think the streak will be over.

It was a good run. It looks like June will still be #2 all-time and had this been a 31 day month, it would easily get to the top spot even with this last couple days being weekend days.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Firestone Walker Union Jack

As I shared just a few days ago, I have moved on to Zymurgy's 2012 Best Beers in America list from the 2011 version of the list.

There were only 7 beers on the list that I have not tried, and amazingly enough, all except one are theoretically available here in Colorado.

A week ago Wednesday after working out, I stopped by my liquor store and found #11-Firestone Walker Union Jack and #16-Firestone Walker Double Jack.

I am pretty sure that Firestone Walker has been distributing to Colorado for less than a year, so it is nice for me that they appeared on the list this year (as opposed to last year or the year before when I would have had more trouble getting some).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Echo Lake Summer Pictures

This past weekend, we went up to Echo Lake to escape the Denver heat and wander around a bit.

I've posted pictures of my family around Echo Lake a few times on this blog. As far as I remember, the only other pictures have been during the winter (like this and this)

Here are some summer pictures for your enjoyment:

The kids in front of the lake

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brewing up some Summer Lovin'

I brewed one of my wife's favorite beers today.

SheppyBrew's Summer Lovin' Wheat was first made last year because my Beer Model (aka my wife), wanted to brew a crisp and refreshing summer wheat beer (see Beer Model Brew Day). It turned out as designed, and my wife really liked having it on tap until her family came to visit and wiped it out (see Helpful #HomeBrew Thieves).

It really was a nice summer beer to have around, and the Beer Model has mentioned a few times that she would like me to brew it again.

And, so I did.

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