Monday, November 18, 2019

K is for Kitchen, Lowdown Brewery +

If you've been following along on my A to Z Denver Breweries series ... you might have caught that finding another "K" brewery was going to be tough.

Other than Kokopelli Beer Company ... I don't know of any breweries in the Denver area that start with the letter "K".

I used Kokopelli Beer Company on my first time through the alphabet, so I can't use that one.

Scanning through the Colorado Brewery List, I spotted Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen. "Kitchen" begins with the letter "K". Maybe not ideal, but that appears to be the closest I can get.

I have established a precedent of allowing myself to look for letters elsewhere in the brewery names other than the first word.

See D is for Draw, Boggy and X is for WestFaX Brewing Company.

As an added bonus ... Lowdown Brewery + Kitchen is close to [The] Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project. The SheppyBrew Beer Model communicated displeasure with me for visiting Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project the without her.

We decided to hit these breweries this past Saturday.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Learning to Brew Dearg Irish Red (batch 243)

So ... Saturday was Learn to Homebrew Day.

We used this as an excuse to get a brew day done together with a couple of my Home-brewer friends.

At the same time, we invited a bunch of non-homebrewers over to watch and hang out. Sort of like Big Brew Day back in May.

This time, the Brew Day was at my friend "Du"'s brewery.

Less people showed up to this brew day than BBD, but the brewers sure had a lot of fun.

During the Big Brew Day back in May, my friend "Doc" brewed an extract batch. And, I decided that I would do the same thing this time.

I figure that if I'm doing an extract batch, there is less pressure to remember equipment (since there is less equipment for extract than for all-grain.

It also makes the brew day take less time and therefore make the chance of forgetting something in the process less likely.

Most importantly, it means I had less clean-up after the brew day.

So ... I created a quick little extract Irish Red Recipe:

Friday, November 01, 2019

J is for Jagged Mountain Brewery

If you read I is for [The] Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, and are at all familiar with the Denver Brewery scene, chances are decent that you probably guessed what my "J" brewery was.

As I mentioned in the blog post, a couple of Saturdays ago, I took a bike ride downtown where I had a couple of beers before hitting The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project taproom on my way back.

In case you're wondering why I hit "J" before stopping by "I" ... I mis-calculated how long it would take me to ride 15 miles.

When I was passing where to turn off the bike path for The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project taproom, I figured out that I would get there before opening time.

So, I kept going.

Even so ... I ended up at "J" just a few minutes after opening time.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Brewing the 2019 X-Mas Ale (Batch 242)

Well ... not too long ago I posted "What will I make .... X-Mas Ale 2019".

I brewed the base beer this past weekend, but I still have not decided what my 2019 X-Mas Ale will be.

The recipe I have on, calls for White Chocolate Flavoring, but I'm not 100% sure that is the direction I want to go.

I don't have to decide until the primary fermentation is done.

We'll see.

This past Sunday was very windy. There was a strong wind warning in area. So, I brewed in the garage.

Monday, October 21, 2019

I is for [The] Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project

As far as I know ... there are not very many "I" breweries in the Denver area. Last time through, I was only able to come up with one, and I've already used that one. (See I is for IronWorks Brewery and Pub)

This time, I was thinking I would have to skip "I" because I couldn't find another one.

However, while going through the list on Denver Brewery Guide, I spotted The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project. The name starting with "The" made it a little harder to spot, but "Intrepid" certainly starts with the letter "I".

That works for me!

Full disclosure, technically, the brewery has changed its name in the last month. They now call themselves "Next Stop Brew Co.".

However, I do see this still referred to as "Next Stop at the Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project", and I decided I can still use this as my "I" brewery.

So ...

Thursday, October 17, 2019

What will I make .... X-Mas Ale 2019

Every year since I started home-brewing (way back in 2009), I've brewed an X-Mas Ale to have around the holidays.

Over the years, they have been very similar base beers. They range in color from a darker amber ale to a dark brown ale. They range in ABV from around 5.5% to over 8.3%.

Most have had non-traditional beer flavoring. A couple have simply been base beers.

The very first one (2009) was an extract Brown Ale at about 5.7% ABV. Along with the extracts, the beer had Cherries, Honey, Almond Extract, Vanilla Extract, and Ground Cloves.

Monday, October 14, 2019

2019 #GABF Pictures

Well, as you saw if you follow SheppyBrew on Instagram or Facebook, the Beer Model and I attended the Great American Beer Festival again this year.

As always, it was fun.

I didn't do a great job of documenting the beers that I really liked this year. The GABF app changed, making it more difficult to use. I didn't bring paper and pen as I did in past years.

However ... I did note a couple beers / breweries that stood out for me.

I really liked everything I tried at Drake's Brewing Company.  1500 Pale Ale and Smoked Brette Davis Eyes were both fantastic.

There was a Neapolitan Milk Stout at Saugatuck Brewing Company. This isn't the kind of  beer that I would drink a bunch of, but I was really impressed with the way the brewers nailed a beer whose flavors reminded me of the name.

My favorite beer of the first night was "Barrel Aged Edison" from Chapman's Brewing Company.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

2019 Q3 SheppyBrew Stats

This year is really flying by. Here is it October and the 3rd Quarter is done.

As you may know, the Brewery likes to post quarterly updates on how much we have brewed. You can see all these updates (including the one you are reading right now) by following this link: Sheppy's Blog: Brew Stats.

As you may remember, I didn't brew very many times last quarter, although I did some bigger batches so my volume was still pretty high.

I brewed a whole lot more often in Q3. I brewed 6 batches which yielded a 34 gallons of beer.

Hail Storm Brew Day

Thursday, October 03, 2019

2019 Falling Leaves Autumn Saison (Batch 241)

Until the last couple days ... it really has not felt very Autumn-like in Colorado.

But, it is Autumn ... and you know what that means .... right?

Time to brew my Falling Leaves Autumn Saison.

Last Sunday, I did. I brewed it. I brewed the SheppyBrew Autumn Saison.

Falling Leaves is, of course, the Autumn version of my Seasonal Saisons series of beers. It is darker in color than the Spring and Summer Saisons, but not as dark as the black Winter Saison.

I was just looking at my brew day blog post for the 2018 Autumn Saison . Apparently last year I thought I had pumpkin. Didn't have it. Went to the store to buy some.

This year, I thought I had some. Didn't have it. And decided I didn't need it.

I might be getting lazy in my old age.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Anvil Stainless Bucket Fermenter with Cooling System (Part 1)

As I mentioned in the Schreck Gartenzwerg Pilsner post, I treated myself to a new Anvil Stainless Bucket Fermenter.

It's nice. I like it. Not sure it will brew beer any better, but it looks cool. It should be easy to clean. I like having a valve to take samples. It is sturdier than my plastic fermentors. It's an upgrade to what I have now.

Actually, the reason I got this particular fermentor is that I was thinking about ways of temperature control (especially for lagers) without taking up space in a refrigerator or freezer.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

H is for Halfpenny Brewing Company

I modified the rules a little bit for my "H" brewery.

I made the rules, so I can modify them. If you don't like it, go visit your own set of breweries A to Z.

As I mentioned in "G is for Goldspot Brewing Company", I only knew of one "H" brewery in the Denver area that I have not visited.

But ... I didn't want to go to that one.

The "H" brewery I'm thinking of is a Gluten Free brewery, and I don't really like any of the Gluten Free beers I've had.

I just like my Glutens too much.

At some point, I should give this place a chance ... maybe my third time through the alphabet.

But, rather than pick a brewery I wasn't excited about this time around, I picked another brewery. It is a brewery that I've been to one time. That one time, I had one beer. I never mentioned it on this blog.

Until now ...

Saturday, September 21, 2019

2019 Will-o'-Wisp Pumpkin Ale (batch 240)

Pumpkin. Spice. Ale.

If you follow this blog at all ... you probably know that the SheppyBrew Beer Model (aka my wife) enjoys drinking Pumpkin Spice Ales.

Mid September, 2014, I brewed my first Pumpkin Spice Ale. Mostly, I did it to make my wife happy.

Happy wife. Happy life.

I'm not proud of it, but I am pretty good at brewing Pumpkin Spice Ales.

I'll even drink some of mine without complaining too much.

It being close to mid-September, now is the time to brew a Pumpkin Spice Ale for it to be ready by Pumpkin Spice season.

So, last weekend, I made the SheppyBrew Beer Model (aka my wife) help me brew. (I actually can't make my wife do anything she doesn't already want to do).

Since it has been such a hit in the past, we left the recipe pretty much the same as it has been since 2014 ...

Thursday, September 19, 2019

My First Brisket

This past weekend, I smoked a brisket.

Honestly, the fact that it took me so long to smoke one is somewhat embarrassing. There really is no excuse.

If I'm honest ... I was a little scared of briskets.

I can't always find brisket at my Sam's club, and often when I see one it is really more expensive than I want to pay.

Part of the reason it took me so long to do one is that I'm nervous about screwing it up. A brisket is not nearly as "forgiving" as "pork butt" ... or at least that is what I've heard / read / seen.

And it takes a long time to smoke a brisket. It sort of sucks to spend all day making something that turns out less than awesome.

But a few weeks ago, briskets were on sale and I grabbed a 10 pound packer. I had intended to smoke it sooner, but my plans changed and I ended up freezing that brisket.

This past weekend is when I finally got around to doing it. Turns out I didn't really have to be afraid.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Schreck Gartenzwerg Pilsner (Batch 239)

I brewed a couple weekends ago. As you may remember, I wanted to brew more lagers and more new recipes this year.

The last lager I brewed was "Bridge Fog California Common" back at the end of March, and I thought it was past time to brew another.

I recently won some money and I had decided to treat myself to an Anvil Stainless Bucket Fermenter with part of those winnings.

And ... part of the reason I decided to go with Anvil was because it has a cooling system that goes with the "bucket".

I hope to write more about the Anvil Stainless Bucket Fermenter and its cooling system in later blog posts ... stay tuned for that.

Those two things arrived the Friday before, and it was a no-brainer to brew a lager over the weekend.

The recipe I came up with was a German Pilsner:

Friday, September 13, 2019

Another Overnight Pork Butt

Soooooo ... Remember back in May, I did an Overnight Cook on my Weber Kettle using the snake method.

Set up charcoal around the perimeter of the kettle in a "snake", light up one end, and let it burn. The burning coals will light unlit coals slowly until they are all burned out.

I was able to get over 12 hours of fairly consistent heat this way. Perfect for allowing myself to get sleep while performing a long smoke.

Last weekend, I used this technique again. This time, I wasn't shooting for lunch time, but wanted to be done early afternoon so I could let it sit until dinner while actually doing things on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Chicken and Hatch Chile Stew

In Smoked Green Chili Hashbrown Egg Bake, I mentioned that at my work, we have this "Friday Breakfast Club". People on one of my teams take turns bringing in breakfast for the rest of the group every Friday.

Recently, one of my people brought in what he called "Chicken and Hatch Chile Stew".

I really liked it and thought it would be a good thing to make to help me use up left over smoked meat.

This past Saturday, my family wanted to go to Saturday night church (I was out-voted as I usually am).

When we go to church on Saturday night, I try to make something I can throw in the Crock-pot. And it seemed like a good opportunity to try this "Chicken and Hatch Chile Stew".

Monday, September 02, 2019

G is for Goldspot Brewing Company

If you were following along during the D, E, F posts, you might have thought I was going to knock of a "G" Brewery at the same time.

A short block away from De Steeg is The Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shoppe and Brewery.

And ... if you look closely at the collage on each of the D, E, F posts, you can make out a flight that shows the logo of Golden City Brewery.

While both are great "G" breweries, we've been to both, so I could not use them for my A to Z Denver Breweries Project. It just isn't allowed.

Unless I changed the rules.

So ... you know two breweries that I didn't use.

Unless I changed the rules

If you remembered my first time through the alphabet or wanted to look it up, you would have known that I wouldn't pick Great Frontier Brewing Company, because I've already done that one.

Unless I changed the rules

Big G little g. What begins with G? (Goat and Googoo Googles?)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Alabama Pelican Brown Porter (Batch 238)

A couple months ago, my family visited Gulf Coast Alabama to meet my wife's family for a Family Reunion Type thing.

I am not the sort of person who can lie on the beach or by the pool for vacation. I have to be moving around at least a little.

Most of the rest of the group doesn't have the same problem with just sitting around.

So ... I spent quite a few hours walking the beach by myself.

Quite often while walking around, my mind starting wandering to thoughts about brewing.

I was also quite fascinated with watching all the brown pelicans.

I thought it was cool how they fly in formation. And, when they dive into the water, it was downright awesome.

Anyway ... a couple years ago, I brewed a beer honoring my fascination with the Colorado White Pelicans (my name for them) called Colorado Pelican Australian Sparkling Ale.

I got to thinking that taking the Sparkling Ale recipe and darkening it up a bit would be a way to extend the theme of the "Alabama" brown pelicans from the "Colorado" white pelicans.

Friday, August 23, 2019

F is for FlyteCo Craft Brewing

As you know if you've been following this blog for the past week, my wife and I visited breweries last Saturday.

We were on Tennyson street between 38th and 44th.

I'm not sure if this is considered the Berkley neighborhood of Denver or West Highlands. Or maybe it is considered something else entirely.

I think it is right in the middle of Berkley ... But it doesn't really matter.

So far, I've shared

D is for De Steeg Brewing

E is for Empourium Brewing Company

... and I've hinted that there are more to come ...

And, if you're familiar with the area both those breweries are in, you probably already know what "F" brewery I picked.

The walk from De Steeg to FlyteCo is only half a mile. Pretty decent concentration of breweries over a few blocks.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

E is for Empourium Brewing Company

So .... I hinted in D is for De Steeg Brewing that I would follow up with "E" fairly quickly.

As a reminder, Saturday, my wife and I biked around the area of Mile High Stadium in Denver.

She tested out an eBike. There might be more about that later. Stay tuned on this blog.

After biking, we were close to a number of breweries.

De Steeg Brewing was our first stop.

It just so happens that there is an "E" brewery within a short walking distance of De Steeg.

If you are familiar with this area around Tennyson, you probably were able to figure this out, but my "E" brewery is ....

Foreshadowing ... There is another brewery in this area that starts with the letter F. Another starts with the letter G.

Monday, August 19, 2019

D is for De Steeg Brewing

Well ... as I mentioned in C is for Colorado Plus Brew Pub, my A to Z Denver Breweries Project has been on a bit of a pause.

Saturday, my wife and I biked around the area of Mile High Stadium in Denver.

She tested out an eBike. There might be more about that later. Stay tuned on this blog.

But I digress.

After biking, we were close to a number of breweries.

I was interested in one in particular.

One that I had never been to.

One that starts with the letter "D".

Fun fact: De Steeg means "An Alley" in dutch. And even more fun, the entrance to De Steeg Brewing in an alley.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Muggled Pale Ale (Batch 237)

So ... I was talking to my homebrew friend "Du" and both of us thought it had been too long since we've brewed.

We contacted our other homebrewing friend, "Doc" and made a brewing date for August 11th.

"Doc" was kind enough to host the brew day. You may remember "Doc" from such hits as

Cinco de Bealtaine Irish Stout

Learning to Homebrew

Mardi Bock

and ...

Big Brew Day 2019

It is now becoming "a thing" when I go to other houses (usually "Doc's") to brew. It is fun, but I always feel like I'm forgetting something I'll need. It is also a pain to clean up afterwards.

But ... anyhoo ....

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Smoked Green Chili Hashbrown Egg Bake

So .... at my work, we have this "Friday Breakfast Club". People on one of my teams take turns bringing in breakfast for the rest of the group every Friday.

It is a good deal. Everyone's turn comes up once every two and a half months. And, we get homemade breakfasts every Friday.

Fun stuff.

When it is my turn ... the house tends to smell pretty amazing in the morning and The SheppyBrew Beer Model gets a little jealous. I try to make it again for her over the next few days.

Last Friday was my turn to bring in food. And so Saturday I made some more for my wife.

Of course ... I never actually make the same thing twice ... so I had to change it up a little bit the second time around.

Here is (basically) the recipe I used to bring in to my co-workers. Note ... I doubled the recipe below so that I wouldn't have to worry about running out.

Friday, August 02, 2019

C is for Colorado Plus Brew Pub

Well ... July got away from me. The whole summer is going way too fast.

Between the Great Cycle Challenge, and family activities, and trying to lose weight, I have not done much with my A to Z Denver Breweries Project.

My last brewery was B is for Briar Common Brewery + Eatery back in early April.

On July 11th, the SheppyBrew Beer Model and I decided to do a date night, and I knew I had a brew pub on my list of "C" breweries. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to try one.

C is for Colorado Plus Brew Pub.

Friday, July 12, 2019

2019 Hail Storm Summer Saison (batch 236)

Summer Saison Time. Last Sunday, I brewed SheppyBrew's  Hail Storm Summer Saison.

Apparently, I've been doing this Seasonal Saison thing for more than 6 years, because this is the 6th time I've brewed the Hail Storm Summer Saison.

Has it really been that long? I must really like saisons. I must really like the WY3711 yeast.

Yes. Yes I do.

I don't know if you've noticed, but my last few batches of beer, I've made extra. This batch was similar in that I made an 8 gallon batch rather than my regular 5.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

2019 Q2 SheppyBrew Stats

It is July already.


The summer is flying by. The year is flying by. I'm not sure where the time has gone.

But since the 2nd quarter is done ... it is time to share SheppyBrew's 2nd quarter brewing stats.

If you are curious to check out past posts like this one ... see Sheppy's Blog: Brew Stats.

The SheppyBrew Brewery didn't have very many brew days this quarter, but I brewed bigger batches so I still ended up with a decent volume.

This quarter, we brewed 3 "batches" ...

Blackberry in Bed American Wheat (Bam-a-Lam)

Monday, July 08, 2019

Wrapping up #GCCUSA2019

Well, I finished up my 2019 Great Cycle Challenge.

The GCC is continuing to track miles and let us fund-raise well into July, so this number might change, but as I write this post, I've raised $2,046.79 this year. My best year so far.

As you know if you've followed me on this blog or on facebook or on instagram or on twitter). I pledged to ride 1000 miles this year.

This is more than I've ever ridden in a month, and as I've mentioned multiple times, I wasn't sure I'd be able to get it done.

But, as it turns out, I'm proud to say not only was I able to ride 1000 miles by the end of June, but it really was not as difficult as I thought it would be.

Most of my miles were done on my new "gravel bike". However, I did count some miles on an indoor stationary bike.

If my math is correct, I did 144 of the 1012 miles inside. Since the GCC continued to track miles, I made it my goal to do at least 144 miles outside during the first week of July.

I did it. As of this morning, my total is 1,185. The number continues to go up. If you want to see my current total check out

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Weber Rib Rack

As you probably know ... Father's Day Weekend recently came and went.

One of the things my kids got me for Fathers' Day was a Weber Rib Rack.

It had been awhile since I'd smoked ribs at all, and I had to try this new toy out, so the weekend after Father's Day, I fired up the Weber Kettle and used the new gift.

I bought a couple of Spare Ribs from Sam's.

I prepared the ribs as usual, except I cut each of the racks in half and put them in the Weber Rib Rack on the indirect side of the kettle. I used a combination of Hickory and Apple wood for the smoke.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Father's Day Weekend 2019 Part 3

Remember from Father's Day Weekend 2019 Part 1, and Father's Day Weekend 2019 Part 2 that we went camping on Fathers' Day Weekend.

We were by Twin Lakes, Colorado at White Star Campground.

Part 1 was mostly about a day on the lake in Kayaks and Canoes.

Part 2 was a hike up the Colorado Trail from our campground to the South Mount Elbert Trail.

We are now up to Sunday ... which was mostly packing up and heading home. However, we stopped by a mountain lake on the way home.

Of course, my pictures don't do it justice ... but here are some anyway ...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Father's Day Weekend 2019 Part 2

Remember from Father's Day Weekend 2019 Part 1, that we went camping on Fathers' Day Weekend.

We were by Twin Lakes, Colorado at White Star Campground, and you've seen pictures from the first day.

Part 1 was mostly about a day on the lake in Kayaks and Canoes.

Day 2 was a hike up the Colorado Trail from our campground to the South Mount Elbert Trail.

It was a great hike with awesome views.

Of course, my pictures don't do it justice ... but here are some anyway ...

Friday, June 21, 2019

Father's Day Weekend 2019 Part 1

Quite often, we go camping on Fathers' Day weekend.

I think that is because the father in the household really likes camping and gets sad that we don't do it as much as he would like.

This past weekend was Fathers' Day. And, we went camping.

This year, we went to Twin Lakes, Colorado to a campground very close to the "upper" of the Twin Lakes that the village is named after.

White Star Campground.

It was very nice.

I took a couple days off work so we could make it a 4-day weekend and camp three nights.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Smoked Chicken on Infusion Roaster

You might remember that I smoked my Thanksgiving Turkey last year.

I purchased a "Turkey Cannon Infusion roaster" from Amazon to help out.

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you likely know that I have been experimenting for some time with slightly different ways to prepare grilled / smoked chicken.

See Sheppy's Blog: Chicken if you'd like to review various methods that I've experimented with.

I was making chicken a couple of weekends ago.

I thought ... maybe I'll try the "Turkey Cannon Infusion roaster" on a chicken.

So I did.

Monday, June 10, 2019

#GCCUSA 10 Day Update

As I've mentioned a few times recently on this blog (and on facebook and on instagram and on twitter), I am riding again in the Great Cycle Challenge.

I've done this every year since 2016. The Great Cycle Challenge is one of those ride-to-raise-money-for-charity events that pop up from time to time.

The charity I'm riding to raise money for is the Children's Cancer Research Fund.

The difference between this "event" and others (sort of) like it is that this one lasts the entire month of June. The riders pledge a number of miles to ride over the month. Other people donate money in support.
This year, I decided to make my goal 1000 miles. 1000 miles is more than I've ever ridden in a month, and I considered it a very aggressive goal. In fact, I have had my doubts that I could even do it.

It isn't so much that 33 miles a day is a huge physical effort. I was fairly certain that my legs would be very tired by the end of the month (through out the month actually), but that I could physically do it.

Being able to commit a couple hours a day to the effort was the question.

Friday, June 07, 2019

1000 Mile Mild

As I shared in #GCCUSA 2019 Great Cycle Challenge, I'm doing the Great Cycle Challenge again this year.

Since the blog post, I raised my riding goal to 1000 miles.

I wanted to brew this weekend, and I thought it would be fun to make a beer commemorating this challenge.

I thought it should be low alcohol, and came up with a recipe for a English Mild.

1000 miles is a lot of bike riding for me to accomplish in a month, and in order to have a chance to complete the goal, I'm going to have to be pretty aggressive.

Of course, I wanted to get started out strong. The month started off on this past weekend, and I made it my goal to hit 100 miles by Sunday night.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Memorial Weekend in Estes Park Part 3

If you follow this blog, you realize that I was in Estes Park over Memorial Day Weekend.


Memorial Weekend in Estes Park Part 1


Memorial Weekend in Estes Park Part 2

It was awesome to get away to the wilderness for a few days.

On Monday, before anyone else was up, I went for a quick morning hike.

Here are some pictures:

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Memorial Weekend in Estes Park Part 2

Rocky Mountain National Park is always fun.

We decided to stay in Estes Park over Memorial Day Weekend, and obviously ... when in Estes Park, we had to spend some time in RMNP.

May has been particularly snowy in Colorado, and Trail Ridge Road was closed, but we could spend time on the East side of the park.

On Sunday, we found a RMNP trail accessable from Estes Park (as opposed to going through any of the drive-through entrances).

Gem Lake was the name of the trail. We started late morning, had lunch by the lake, and then hiked back down.

Here are some pictures from this hike (Part 2) ...

Friday, May 31, 2019

Memorial Weekend in Estes Park Part 1

Rocky Mountain National Park is always fun.

We decided to stay in Estes Park over Memorial Day Weekend, and obviously ... when in Estes Park, we had to spend some time in RMNP.

May has been particularly snowy in Colorado, and Trail Ridge Road was closed, but we could spend time on the East side of the park.

On Saturday, we drove up to Estes Park and then took a shuttle bus into the park.

We ate lunch at the Park and Ride that the bus brought us to and decided to start our hike up the Bierstadt Lake Trail .. which starts at the Park and Ride.

Here are some pictures from this hike ...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

More on the Weber Kettle

So ... you know that recently I got a Weber Kettle and have been smoking a few things on it.

I did shared that I had done chicken and deep dish pizza in I bought a Weber Kettle.

And ... of course I made pork butt for Big Brew Day in an Overnight Cook.

I really like my Weber Kettle. So far, it has really worked well for me. Probably even better than my offset smoker. Ideally it would have a little more cooking space, but it works out great for things I've made so far for my family.

A couple weekends ago, I had a Chuck Roast sitting in my fridge that I needed to cook up.

My kids had also been asking for Smoked Mac and Cheese . Since my youngest had just gone through his Confirmation at church, I thought it would be appropriate to have a celebration dinner of his choosing.

So ... I thought it would be fun to try these out on the new Weber Kettle.

Friday, May 17, 2019

#GCCUSA 2019 Great Cycle Challenge

I'm doing the Great Cycle Challenge again this year.

Yes I am.

I've done this every year since 2016. The Great Cycle Challenge is one of those ride-to-raise-money-for-charity events that pop up from time to time.

The charity I'm riding to raise money for is the Children's Cancer Research Fund.

The difference between this "event" and others (sort of) like it is that this one lasts the entire month of June. The riders pledge a number of miles to ride over the month. Other people donate money in support.

I am blessed to have extremely generous friends and family and co-workers, and I've helped raise a pretty significant amount of money over the past few years.

$960 so far this year. Almost $5,450 over the time I've done the Great Cycle Challenge.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Big Brew Day 2019

You may remember from "Overnight Cook" that the 2019 AHA Big Brew Day was last Saturday (May the 4th be with You).

You might also remember that we were hosting this year.

We invited our homebrewing friends "Doc" and "Du" and each of them brought along their wives to "assist".

The Beer Model and I also invited quite a few non-homebrewers who were interested in learning about the brewing process.

Or at least were interested in drinking and eating while we homebrewed.

We had no idea how many people would end up showing up, but we were prepared to feed a small army. Between the pulled pork and some smoked mac & cheese, and other various snacks, we had food covered.

Luckily, Saturday's weather was perfect.

Our friend "Doc" decided to brew a partial-mash Yuengling Amber Lager clone. Our friend "Du" decided to brew a Mexican Lager.

I decided to have my first 10 gallon brew day, and split the batch into 2 fermentors. The first fermentor would be a Blood Orange Saison. The second would be a Mango Pale Ale.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Overnight Cook

So, this year, the AHA Big Brew Day was Saturday May 4th.

We actually hosted this year. (more on that later ... see Sheppy's Blog: Big Brew Day).

Because we were hosting, I thought it would be nice to have something smoked for our guests to eat. A pork butt seemed like a great candidate.

The only problem with pork butt is that it always takes me right around 12 hours to cook and at least an hour to rest. To be ready by noon, I'd have to start the cook before midnight.

On my older smoker, I would not be able to get much sleep.

But ... as I mentioned in I bought a Weber Kettle, one of the things I wanted to try was an overnight cook with the "snake method". This was a perfect opportunity to see how it worked for me.

Sooo ... I set up my "snake" Friday afternoon.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

I bought a Weber Kettle

A few weeks ago, I bought a Weber Kettle. One of the "original" 22 inch kettles with the "one-touch cleaning system". One very much like this ...  Weber 14407001 Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Green.

When it arrived, my wife asked me ... "what can you do on this that you can't do on your other smoker?".


She gave me a weird look and might have said something like "then why the hell did you buy this?"...

It might have just been her eyes that said it.

Well ... of course I didn't need another grill / smoker. I still don't NEED it. I like having it, though.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Easter Ham

You may remember that I (double) smoked a ham around Christmas.

The ham turned out good. Not great.

My wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) really liked that the ham didn't take up oven space, which helped with the cooking logistics.... one less thing to have to coordinate in the oven.

So for Easter, she told me that I was making the meat for the holiday meal.

I was leaning towards Rib Roast ... as it was on sale at my local grocery store, but the kids both really wanted ham.

Silly kids.

So, I ended up making another Double Smoked Ham.

One of the things I thought last time was that I didn't give the ham enough time on the smoker. Because it was a pre-cooked ham, getting to a "safe" internal temperature wasn't as big of an issue. But, the smoked flavor just didn't seem as developed as I thought it should.

So, this time, I gave myself significantly more time for the smoking.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

232 ... Blackberry in Bed (Bam-ba-Lam)

I brewed my 232nd batch of beer on Good Friday.

232nd all-time. 7th of the year. 1st of the quarter.

Sadly, my closest home-brew shop is closing. While I was in there looking for going-out-of-business deals, I saw they had some Blackberry puree and flavoring.

The Beer Model had mentioned that she thought a Blackberry Beer would be good, so I decided to snag the puree and flavoring.

I also picked up a new 15 gallon brew kettle pretty cheap from the closing shop. Friday was the first brew day for my new bigger pot.

Because I had a much bigger pot, I decided to do a 7 gallon batch this time to take advantage of the extra capacity.

I considered a few names. Most had to do with song lyrics.

"Back in Blackberry" was a strong possibility ... derived by AC/DC's "Back in Black".

I almost named it "Never Go Back".

I went with "Blackberry in Bed" after listening to the Squeeze song "Black Coffee in Bed". I have fond memories of college days drinking and listening to that song with friends.

For the recipe, I went with my standard "Summer Lovin" base. I'll add the puree in secondary and the flavoring at kegging time. The formula works for me. I don't really have any reason to change it up.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

3 Saisons

If you follow this blog, you've probably picked up that generally, I brew 4 saisons a year Winter / Spring / Summer / and Autumn. I call these my Seasonal Saisons.

It is rare that I have more than one saison on tap at the same time. I usually finish drinking the previous season's saison before brewing the next one.

However, this year I decided to add a 5th Season

At the beginning of April, my 2019 Melting Stream Spring Saison was ready to drink. 

I still had a little of my Arctic Vortex Winter Saison left, and I had plenty of the 5th Season Blood Orange Saison too. 

3 Saisons at once!

Monday, April 15, 2019


As you may remember from recent posts, The family visited San Francisco for Spring Break this year.

You know we took many many pictures of The Golden Gate Bridge.

You've also seen pictures of us hiking in Muir Woods.

Another of our activities was to visit Alcatraz.

Both kids told us that their favorite part of the trip was this Alcatraz visit.

The day was beautiful and the boat ride if pretty fun. Plus, when it comes right down to it,  Alcatraz is pretty awesome.

Really a must-see when you visit San Francisco. Here are some photos:

Saturday, April 13, 2019

C is for ????

I have lots of choices for my "C" Brewery.
I don't really know what to pick.

I would love to visit Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, but they specialize on sour beers and if The SheppyBrew Beer Model goes with me ... she would probably rather stay away from that one.

I've had quite a few Crazy Mountain beers, and I have visited that location when it was Breckenridge, so I think I can mark Crazy Mountain Tap Room + BBQ off the list.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

2019 Q1 SheppyBrew Stats

It blows my mind, but the first quarter of 2019 is over. But, it is. It really really is.

As you may know, the Brewery likes to post quarterly updates on how much we have brewed. You can see all these updates (including the one you are reading right now) by following this link: Sheppy's Blog: Brew Stats.

The SheppyBrew Brewery had a big Q1, brewing 6 batches of beer and 30.5 gallons:

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Muir Woods

Remember from Golden Gate Bridge that we visited San Francisco for Spring Break this year?

Well, on Monday of the week, we headed across the bridge up to Muir Woods National Monument for some hiking.

I think this was my favorite part of the visit.

I loved walking in the redwood forest.

The size of the trees was just awe inspiring. Truly awesome.

We could have spent a lot more time here.
Luckily my wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) is a thorough planner and made the proper reservations. She also was clever enough to identify that there isn't cell service there so taking an uber wasn't a great option.

Here are some of the pictures we took:

Thursday, April 04, 2019

B is for Briar Common Brewery + Eatery

As I mentioned in A to Z Denver Breweries, I'm starting over at the beginning of the alphabet.

My "A" brewery this time around was ... A is for Alternation Brewing Company. After "A" comes "B", so I needed a Denver Brewery that started with the letter B.

Last time, I chose B is for Baere Brewing Company, so obviously I couldn't pick that one. 

Turns out that there are a bunch of choices for "B" breweries in Denver.

After my brew day last Friday, for no particular reason, The SheppyBrew Beer Model and I drove to Briar Common Brewery + Eatery in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Denver.

2298 Clay St. Denver CO 80211. Right on the corner of 23rd and Clay street. A few blocks from Mile High Stadium.

The "Eatery" part meant we could have lunch there without bringing our own food. That was nice.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Bridge Fog California Common (Batch 231)

As I mentioned in Golden Gate Bridge, we spent a few days in San Francisco last week.

I took the whole week off work, but we returned Wednesday. This meant I had Thursday and Friday to do with as I pleased.

So, I decided to buy beer ingredients on Thursday and brew on Friday.

Fun, right?

As we had just returned from San Francisco, Anchor Steam was on my mind. I decided to brew a California Common.

Between a clone recipe in a Zymurgy issue, and Jamil's recipe in Brewing Classic Styles, I developed my own recipe.

Feel free to check it out on the website:

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