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 CaƱon 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:

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