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:

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Golden Gate Bridge

The kids had spring break this week.

We'd never been to San Francisco, and heard good things from friends and family who had visited recently. So, we decided to spend some time there for our vacation.

We stayed right in town by Fisherman's Wharf and ended up walking a bunch.

While there, I took a bunch of pictures.

Many of these pictures that I took were from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Here are some of those that I took.

Friday, March 22, 2019

2019 Melting Stream Spring Saison (Batch 230)

Hard to believe ... at least here in Colorado where we just had the "Bomb Cyclone" a week or two ago ... but spring is here.

Wednesday March 20 was already the first day of Spring. Vernal Equinox. Spring has sprung!

Spring means that it is time to brew my Melting Stream Spring Saison.

Obviously, Melting Stream Spring Saison is the Spring version of my Seasonal Saisons. It is very light in color, very dry, and quite hoppy.

It uses WY3711 for that delicious and refreshing saison flavor.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Bridesmaids Gift Boutique: Ice Ice Baby

Remember "Joe" from my post Groovy Guy Gifts: Big Slug Mug?

Well .. after posting my review ... he asked if I'd like to do the same for something on another website that he is involved in. He offered to send me something from Bridesmaids Gift Boutique.

He thought maybe drink ware on the site might fit with my blog:

To be honest, nothing really jumped out at me like a bunch of the stuff from Groovy Guy Gifts did.

However, my wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) took a look and liked the "Ice Ice Baby" insulated tumbler.

So, we had Joe send us one.

Monday, March 18, 2019


It has been awhile since I've shared any wilderness adventure pictures.

As the kids get older, it is harder to get them up in the morning, and so most of my weekend days are wasted waiting for people to get up.

Saturday though, we got the kids up (fairly) early, and drove up to the mountains to do some snowshoeing.

It was nice to get out, and it was a beautiful day.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Update

So ... Remember in SheppyBrew 2018 Year-End Brewing Stats, I mentioned:

" has been having issues. I hope to work on the website this year to correct those problems. I'm not sure what exactly is going on, but the website isn't always rendering the correct page."

The issue that I was referring to was that the server was caching my pages. This would have been fine, but the web server was not treating query strings as different content.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Smoked Pork Steaks and Sausages

I don't know if you can tell from this blog, but I really enjoy Smoking and Grilling meat.

I'm not great at it ... I won't be winning (or entering) barbecue competitions any time soon ...   but I really enjoy doing it and the food tastes great despite my lack of talent.

I'm learning.

I like meat.

I'd make a horrible vegetarian. I'd be a complete failure as a vegan.

So, I try to cook something outside at least once a weekend. For the most part I succeed in that goal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A is for Alternation Brewing Company

As I mentioned in A to Z Denver Breweries, I'm starting over at the beginning of the alphabet. I published my first "A" brewery, A is for Alpine Dog Brewing Company, in March of 2015. At the time, I think it was the only Denver brewery I found that started with A.

4 years later, there is another one. A is for Alternation Brewing Company.

Usually when I do one of these A to Z Denver Breweries on this blog, I spend some time on their website before visiting.

Alternation doesn't have much on their website ( From google maps, however, I found them at

1539 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210

Their hours are
Wednesday and Thursday 4 PM to 10 PM
Friday 1 PM to 10 PM
Saturday 12 PM to 10 PM
Sunday 12 PM to 8 PM

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Groovy Guy Gifts: Big Slug Mug

So ...

A week or two ago ... "Joe" at Groovy Guy Gifts emailed me. He wanted to know if I would be willing to write a product review on the blog in exchange for a free personalized gift.

I like free. Personalized gifts are cool. Sometimes I type things into a blog. Yes, I was willing.

Based on the content of this blog, he suggested that I might like one of the following ...

He was correct. I liked all those items. I was also very interested in several other items on the website.

Pretty much everything in the "Bar & Drinking Gifts" section.

Most of the "All Gifts" section too.

It was difficult to choose, but eventually, I decided to have "Joe" send me a Big Slug Mug (aka Personalized 18oz Giant Beer Mug).

I think it looks cool.

Especially with "SheppyBrew Home Brew" engraved on it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Pandemonium Jambalaya

I do most of the cooking for my family on the weekends. For the most part, this means something on the smoker or grill.

Quite often, though, I take advantage of our crock-pot so I can put everything together in the morning and not worry about it for the rest of the day. Usually that means some sort of chili, but I'll mix it up from time to time.

This a couple Saturdays ago, I decided to make jambalaya.

However, to change things up a little, I thought I'd use my smoker to add flavor to the chicken I was using as meat.

I composed the recipe by looking at various recipes such as Easy Slow-Cooker Jambalaya. Of course, I don't do a great job of following recipes ... but this is basically where the recipe ended up:

Friday, February 15, 2019

1 is for 14er Brewing Company

As I mentioned in A to Z Denver Breweries, I finally finished up my A to Z Denver Breweries Project on this blog, and I thought I'd start over again at "A". Hopefully it doesn't take me 4 years this time.

Well, I started over again, but in my list of breweries, I noted that some of the Denver Area breweries start with numerals rather than letters.

For example, there is a Denver brewery called "14er Brewing Company". Sure, I could bring it in as an F, but I wanted to give it a try sooner... so the SheppyBrew Beer Model and I headed downtown Saturday to check it out.

As it turns out, 14er Brewing Company has two locations fairly close to each other. I planned to hit one of them. The SheppyBrew Beer Model thought we were going to the other one.

She ordered lunch from The Walnut Room for us to eat at our brewery. It is on the same block of one of the locations. It is a bit longer of a walk from the other.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

5th Season Blood Orange Saison

I brewed my 229th batch of beer Sunday.

Last time I kegged a saison (2019 Arctic Vortex Winter Saison), I harvested the yeast from that batch.

Generally, I brew 4 saisons a year Winter / Spring / Summer / and Autumn. I call these my Seasonal Saisons.

I didn't really want to keep the harvested yeast until time to brew the Spring Saison, Plus, I sort of want to experiment with my homebrewed saisons some.

So, I decided that I would brew an off-cycle experimental saison. A "5th Season" as it were.

Nothing too crazy on the experiment. I thought a Blood Orange Saison would be good.

And that is what I made this Sunday.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

A to Z Denver Breweries

Back in February of 2015, I was embarrassed by the huge number of Denver Breweries that I had never visited.

It struck me that if I went down the list, the starting letters of the brewery names represented almost every letter of the alphabet. That was when I started my A to Z Denver Breweries Project on this blog.

I had to cheat a little (aka "take artistic license"), but I was able to visit breweries and write blog posts for every letter in the alphabet. It took me way longer than I expected, but I got through 26 breweries.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Mardi Bock

I brewed my 228th batch of beer on Saturday. It was one of those brew days on which I brought my brewing stuff over to a friend's house and brewed there.

Anyway ... you may remember my homebrew friend "Doc" from Cinco de Bealtaine Irish Stout and Learning to Homebrew.

The weekend before, SheppyBrew Beer Model and I had met Doc and his wife at a new brewery for some beers. He had mentioned that he was brewing Saturday with "Dan", another homebrewer we know.

He invited us over.

The Beer Model couldn't attend, but I decided to go.

I had to decide what to brew. SheppyBrew's PBR was almost done in primary, so I had lots of lager yeast I could harvest. I wanted to do a big lager.

The Beer Model said we should make a "Mardi Gras Beer". It took us a bit, but we came to the conclusion that a Bock would be a good Mardi Gras / Lent Beer.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

SheppyBrew's PBR

Remember in SheppyBrew 2018 Year-End Brewing Stats, I mentioned that I wanted to brew more new recipes in 2019?

Remember in SheppyBrew 2018 Year-End Brewing Stats, I mentioned that I wanted to brew more lagers in 2019?

So ... last weekend I brewed a beer that was both a new recipe and a lager.


At first, I thought I was going to brew a Standard American Lager (BJCP Category 1B). This category call for using corn as an ingredient. I've brewed Popcorn Beers in the past, and I thought it would be fun to add popcorn to this one too.

For some reason, I thought it would be funny to make a beer name for which P.B.R. could be an acronym.

Popcorn was a great start for the "P".

It took me awhile, but eventually, it hit me that "Popcorn. Barley. Rye" would work for "P.B.R".

I already had Popcorn and Barley as part of the recipe. It certainly isn't difficult to add some Rye.

Voila ... I had the malt bill for my new lager.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Z is for Zuni Street Brewing Company

Z. I'm finally to Z. Hooray for me.

Yes, I am finally down to the last letter in my A to Z Denver Breweries series.

I bet for awhile there you probably never thought I'd get here.

Well, way back in February of 2015, I composed a list of Denver Breweries that I had never visited. I was embarrassed by the large number of breweries I had never been to, and decided to try to make an effort to get to more.

It struck me that most of the letters of the alphabet were covered by the beginning letters of the brewery names. I thought a fun way to get through a bunch of un-visited breweries was to start with A and work my way through Z.

If you follow this blog, you likely caught that I hit "Y" just a little while ago.

Now I'm at Z.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

X-Mas Ale Vertical Tasting

You may have gathered from Sheppy's Blog: X-Mas Ales that I brew a different X-Mas Ale every year.

I started this back in 2009, and have continued every year up to and including 2018.

I'm certain I'll brew a new X-Mas Ale recipe in 2019 as well.

Back when I first started and for several years thereafter, I bottled extra bottles that I let sit in the beer fridge for several years. The idea was to be able to perform vertical tastings of the various years.

Now that I keg everything, I have not been great at putting aside beers, but I still have quite a few left from 2011 through 2015.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Y is for Yak and Yeti Restaurant and Brewpub

Big Y little y. What begins with Y? Yak and Yeti Restaurant and Brewpub. Y. Y. Y.

Yes. I am finally down to the second to last letter in my A to Z Denver Breweries series.

What the hell am I talking about?

Well, way back in February of 2015, I composed a list of Denver Breweries that I had never visited. I was embarrassed by the large number of breweries I had never been to, and decided to try to make an effort to get to more.

It struck me that most of the letters of the alphabet were covered by the beginning letters of the brewery names. I thought a fun way to get through a bunch of un-visited breweries was to start with A and work my way through Z.

I started with A is for Alpine Dog Brewing Company

By the end of 2015, I had worked my way through G is for Great Frontier Brewing

I made great progress in 2016, getting to T is for TRVE Brewing Company before 2017 began.

2017 brought U is for Ursula Brewery, V is for Vine Street Pub and Brewery, and W is for Wits End Brewing Company.

Then I got lazy for over a year.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

SheppyBrew 2018 Year-End Brewing Stats

The 2018 is over.

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 forth quarter was light. We only brewed 3 beers.

Those 3 batches totaled 16 gallons of beer, bringing my 2018 total to 18 batches and 93 gallons brewed. Hooray ... I'm a legal homebrewer this year!

Friday, January 11, 2019

2019 Arctic Vortex Winter Saison

Here it is. Winter again.

Among other things, winter means that it is time to brew Arctic Vortex Winter Saison.


As you probably know if you follow SheppyBrew Brewery, we brew at least 4 saisons every year.

Winter Spring Summer Autumn.

I call them my Seasonal Saison series of beers.

The Arctic Vortex Winter Saison happens to be a black saison, because winter is generally dark ... and it would be boring to make all my saisons look the same.

This weekend, I brewed this year's Arctic Vortex Winter Saison.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Christmas Ribeye Roast

As I mentioned in Double Smoked Ham, I had a couple of Christmas dinners to make this year. The first was the Sunday before Christmas with some family. I cooked that ham on my smoker.

The second was our family Christmas dinner. This one was a 6 lb Ribeye Roast that our local super market had on sale for Christmas.

I had never made a Ribeye Roast before this year. It really isn't difficult at all.

Pretty simple, really.

The night before, I trimmed a bit of the hard fat on the roast and applied Montreal Steak Seasoning over the whole thing. I let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Around 10 the next morning, I started up the smoker with charcoal and hickory chunks. I put the roast on the smoker in a roasting pan around 10:40.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Double Smoked Ham

Happy New Year!

Recently, we had a couple of Christmas Dinners that had to be prepared.

We had some family over to the house on the 23rd, and decided to do a Christmas dinner for them.

The kids wanted a ham.

We decided to cook it on the smoker. I had never done a ham before, and it provided extra oven space for other things.

To make things easier, we decided that I might as well just do a pre-cooked spiral cut ham.

As luck would have it, I had come across a recipe ... How To Smoke A Honeybaked Ham.

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