Saturday, December 31, 2011

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 was no exception, although it did take me longer this year to get around to it. New Year's Eve (yes the very last day of the year).

X-Mas Ale left to right 2009, 2010, 2011.
So today, I poured an X-Mas Ale 2009, an X-Mas Ale 2010, and an X-Mas Ale 2011 from the SheppyBrew brewery.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bowen Beer Bottle Band

Here is a little Christmas music for your entertainment.

The Bowen Beer Bottle Band performs using only beer bottles, where each band member is in charge of two notes. They are really good:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Some Christmas Videos

I shamelessly stole these from Blog About Beer.specifically from the article "Christmas Beer Commercials – 12 Days Of Christmas Fun – Day 6".

Please visit the blog and let Logan know I sent you. This will ease my guilt for being a shameless thief.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mayor of SheppyBrew Brewery

So, remember I told you I had joined foursquare and decided I was making it my mission to become the mayor of something? I mentioned that the health club I go to is probably the best bet (see Running for Mayor @BallyFitness). Just so you know, I am totally on track to become mayor of my Bally Total Fitness club. I've checked into Bally 6 times in 8 days, so I'm on pace to overtake the current mayor easily in the next 60 days as he is averaging one check-in every two days (30 check-ins in a 60 day period). If my calculations are correct, and if I maintain this pace, I will get to 30 check-ins in about 32 days from today.

Turns out that I was forgetting someplace I go even more ... SheppyBrew Brewery.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Beer Song

Recently, a guy I know was telling me what a wine-snob he is.

For some reason, this reminded me of the  Beer Song by ElbowSkin. I posted it before on this blog (see Interesting / Amusing "news"). The video made me LOL, and I really enjoy the tune as well. I think the video deserves to be posted again.

Beer Song by ElbowSkin from Alister Robbie on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pale Ale

According to the BJCP, an American Pale Ale can have an SRM anywhere from 5-14.

This beer is a 5 SRM:

and these are almost 13:

My APA is somewhere in between at 10:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wandering through Golden

Connor and I visited Golden, CO on Saturday.We just sort of wandered around through the down-town area. Here are some pictures.

Right in the down-town area of Golden is the Clear Creek History Park. The park consists of a bunch of old-time buildings representing what life would have been like in the old gold-rush days. It is sort of fun to walk around and look at the buildings.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Running for Mayor @BallyFitness

After using Untappd for a month, I shared the badges that I had "earned" (see First Month of Untappd). Since then, I decided to check out foursquare . Mostly because Untappd can share its check-ins with foursquare.

The first place I checked in was my health club Bally Total Fitness. When I checked in, foursquare told me that "the mayor" was currently there. Interestingly enough, I recognized the face, although I don't really know the guy. I might have said "hi" to him once or twice, but maybe not. Of course, I had no idea what being a fourquare mayor meant, but I knew I had to try to become the mayor of something.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Not that it is a competition

I mentioned last year what a loser I am. Last year, I was completely dominated by my sister (Mrs. Bluefield) in our unofficial monthly blog post "competition". In the article, I mentioned that as of December 2010, I had "won" 3 months during the year to her 8 months. We ended up in a tie in December, and I had to work really hard to scrap for the tie. She coasted through the month effortlessly.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stouticus Chili - icus

The former CEO of the company that I formerly worked for announced last Wednesday:
"Because of Beth’s recent chili smack talk, we will have a Chili-icus Cook Off.  The competition will be Monday, December 12th.  All types of chili will be accepted (...even potentially lame white bean and chicken chili from Ariel…)."
I had the former CEO's chili before, and while it is a fine chili, I would not characterize it as spectacular in any way. It is strikingly mundane. Personally, out of all the chili I've had in the past year, I would rank his somewhere around the 45th percentile. (leave a comment if you come across this, Tim)

I had not made chili in awhile, but I knew that I can make better chili than the chili he has given me.

So, this weekend, I made some chili.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another batch of Stone Soup

Last Wednesday, I asked on Facebook and Twitter:
Might #HomeBrew this weekend but don't know what. Irish red? Black IPA? Regular IPA? Belgium black specialty ale? What do you think?
I got a vote for Irish Red (which would have been my new recipe of Eric's Red), and I got two votes for Black IPA. Since I really could have gone either way (and my wife didn't chime in with her typical override power), I found myself at the Brew Hut Thursday grabbing the ingredients for my Stone Soup IDA.

When I told Jeff (one of the guys who works at the Brew Hut) the grain bill and he saw the hops I was grabbing, he recognized that I was making a Black IPA. He mentioned that he hadn't brewed a Black IPA in awhile and really needs to make one. I told him that I have been telling myself forever that I need to make this recipe, but just never get around to it. Too many other beers to brew. If you brew beer, you probably know the feeling. He certainly did.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

More #RepealDay Info

I got an email from the Contact Me form from a person who read my Happy #RepealDay post. She referred me to an article on the blog: "28 Facts You Should Toast Post-Repeal Day". It is an interesting list of beer (and other alcohol ... but the beer stuff interests me the most) related factoids and links to more information on each of the facts.

I found it interesting and informative. You should check out the whole list:

---EDIT 05/10/2013 --- I got an email from a guy at telling me that the link would go away and that I should remove it from my blog. That was nice of him. Now that the link is going away I am copying / pasting the post here so you can look at it. Credit goes to


28 Facts You Should Toast Post-Repeal Day

For those who just can't wait until St. Patrick's Day to celebrate the joy and joy-ness that is alcohol, Repeal Day fell earlier this week. Celebrating the passing of the 21st Amendment, which overrode the 18th outlawing the distribution and production of alcoholic beverages, it also stands as a lovely little way for the particularly patriotic to recognize America's freedoms. Most appropriately, with a cocktail or two in hand.

  1. Responsible alcohol intake may help bolster memory:

    When enjoyed in low or moderate amounts, University of Auckland researchers noted that alcohol can actually improve one's memory and cognitive abilities. Low or moderate being the operative words here – depending on weight, gender, genetics and overall health, this means no more than one to three beers daily.
  2. Red wine might help treat cancer:

    Great news for oenophiles! Red wine contains reservatrol, an antioxidant Rochester University scientists discovered helps kills cancer cells when combined with irradiation. Although it can't be considered a definitive cure-all, this might very well make wine an important ally in prevention and treatment alike.
  3. Responsible red wine drinking might improve overall heart health:

    Along with reservatrol, red wine also contains flavanoids, antioxidants which encourage healthier hearts. When combined with a regimen of exercise and nutritious diet, they increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), reduce inflammation and thin the blood to prevent dangerous clots.
  4. Low to moderate drinkers live longer lives:

    More than heavy drinkers to abusers, obviously, but they also fare better than their teetotaler peers! Not only do they enjoy a lessened risk of heart disease and cancer, dementia, Alzheimer's (thanks to the improved memory!), strokes, enlarged prostates and arthritis – among other conditions – occur at a lower rate as well. In fact, researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism discovered that low to moderate drinkers had the lowest death rate of all causes than anyone else on the consumption spectrum.
  5. Despite its high calorie content, alcohol doesn't result in significant weight gain:

    It seems bizarre and obviously counter to what one would assume, but this is a thing. Researchers can't exactly pinpoint the exact reason why the phenomenon of high-carb beverages resulting in minimal (if any) weight gain exists. Some theories think alcohol's increase of metabolism plays a role, while some think it discourages consumers from noshing on sugars. Although this doesn't explain away their compulsion towards beautifully greasy tacos once the bars close…
  6. Intentionally fermented beverages date back to at least the Neolithic Era:

    Assuming brewing, fermenting and distilling aren't even older than researchers already know, intentionally created alcohol has been pleasuring and plaguing mankind since around 10,000 BCE. Stone Age mugs likely housed honey and/or berry-based beverages, which most believe originated as "happy little accidents."
  7. The Ancient Chinese were the first to ferment wine:

    Hardly surprising, considering how they invented a myriad of other useful products still seeing action today, like paper, printing, fireworks, noodles and the like. University of Pennsylvania's Dr. Patrick McGovern and crew noted residue evidence of a wine brewed from honey, rice, and hawthorn fruit and/or grapes sticking to pottery dating back to 7000 to 6000 BCE. If his conjectures are correct, this means the earliest (currently) known, regularly consumed wine hails from Jiahu in the Henan Province.
  8. Nobody's exactly sure how toasting started:

    Some say the ancient Greeks (or were they Romans?) dunked actual toast into their wine. Others think the tradition started as a way to test beverages for poison, making sure to clink glasses in a manner spilling drops into one another's cups. Just share any of the theories on Repeal Day. They're all pretty much equally viable these days.
  9. Ancient Sumerians drank beer from straws:

    Long before the straws known and loved today – about 5,000 to 7,000 years ago, apparently. Using natural products, the ancient innovators enjoyed beers without accidentally ingesting the solids left over after brewing.
  10. In ancient Greece, only men could participate in ritual wine drinking honoring Dionysus:

    Females, by contrast, held the exclusive privilege of maenadism. Neither ritual servicing the god of wine himself existed as the orgiastic, ecstatic rampages as depicted in the mass media. That would actually be the Romans and their Bacchanalia, which eventually grew so frenetic the government had to heavily restrict worship and laid waste to a goodly chunk of shrinage.
  11. The word "alcohol" has medieval Latin and Arabic roots:

    Interestingly enough, it didn't start out describing intoxicating liquids, but rather cosmetics (Arabic), particularly those containing antimony (Latin). Alcohol (and al-kuhul) first appeared around the 1540s with this definition, eventually broadening to include any pure substance in the 1670s. The first known time "alcohol" as understood in today's English was 1753, referring to wine.
  12. Weihenstephan Abbey is the world's oldest brewery in continuous operation:

    Nestled in the formerly eponymous Bavarian village (now known as Freising), the Weihenstephan Abbey houses Benedictine monks (not all Christians abstain!) keeping their beer brewing tradition alive longer than any other brewery in the world. These days, it touts its actual founding year as 1040, though references to receiving hops as tribute start in 768, and focuses mainly on producing lagers and wheat beers.
  13. The tradition of smashing a bottle of champagne during a ship christening ceremony began in the late nineteenth century:

    Christenings themselves actually date back to ancient times, but the first recorded instances of champagne's use in the proceedings happened on November 18, 1890. Then-Secretary of the Navy Benjamin P. Tracy's granddaughter shattered a bottle of bubbly against the first American steel battleship, Maine.
  14. The world's oldest known alcohol was consumed in 2010:

    And it only took 200 years! South of Aaland in the Baltic Sea, divers stumbled across a shipwreck with 168 champagne bottles and an unknown amount of beer. They handed it over to a sommelier. Then they totally drank it. Apparently the booze, which kept nice and cool at the bottom of the ocean, tasted just as fresh as it would have back in the 1830s when it was originally whipped up.
  15. Henri IV Dudognon Heritage is, for now, the most expensive bottle of booze on the planet:

    A bottle of this cognac, manufactured in France since 1776, will only set buyers back about $2 million. #OccupyLiquorCabinet, anyone?
  16. American homebrewing likely started around 1587:

    Obviously, if not before. 1587 merely marks the first known homebrewed beer in the United States. Whipped up in the Virginia colonies, it was likely made with corn rather than the hops American beer is mostly known for today.
  17. Even at a time when homebrewing could land producers in prison, A Treatise on Lager Beers sold over a hundred thousand copies:

    Despite stern cover warnings about the illegal nature of homebrewing, Fred Eckhert's 1970 manifesto praised the practice, offering up instructions, recipes, and welcome relief from the same old swill. About 110,000 copies of this self-published, now classic, read sold and required seven printings to meet demand.
  18. The Maltose Falcons hold the distinction of being the United States' oldest homebrew club:

    Among others, including California's Homebrew Club of the Year winner in 2010! Since 1974, these passionate Los Angeles-based homebrewers have banded together to spread a love of craft beer and DIY sensibilities, inspiring hundreds (if not thousands) of local groups nationwide.
  19. Homebrewing is not legal in every state:

    It is, however, perfectly legal on a federal level – but only fermented, never distilled, beverages. Be sure to check the latest information before pursuing homebrewing as a hobby or home-based business. Even the states allowing it still regulate how much and how strong one can make.
  20. In 1978, Jimmy Carter legalized homebrewing at the national level:

    Until that point, lovingly crafting beer and wine at home was still illegal, thanks to lingering legislation from the sour old Prohibition days.
  21. May 7 marks National Homebrew Day:

    Yes, Congress officially recognizes a National Homebrew Day as of 1988. Fans celebrate by guzzling down some of their favorite beers or trying something new, while many creators themselves participate in the American Homebrew Associations yearly Big Brew event.
  22. Homebrewing is most popular in Texas and California:

    Definitive statistics on just how widespread homebrewing really is don't exist, but popular site USABeerTrends offers up the best insight so far. Thirty-six percent of its participating readers hailed from Texas, followed at 21% out of California. Whipping up craft brews at home also pique many creative connoisseurs in Florida, Colorado, Washington, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Oregon, Alaska, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.
  23. No one age group is more likely to homebrew than others:

    The very same USABeerTrends survey noted that only the under-21 and over-50 crowd seemed to shy away from homebrewing. Every other demographic more or less enjoy it in equal measure, though 30% between 41 through 50 craft their own beers as opposed to 35% for both 21 through 30 and 31 through 40.
  24. Most home brewers create between five and nine batches, at least in 2009:

    Thirty-nine percent, as compared to 13% for 1 to 4, 26% for 10 to 14 and 22% devotedly hammering out about 15 batches!
  25. The American Homebrewers Association currently boasts over 27,000 members:

    And they partner up with over 1,300 breweries beneath The Brewers Association (founded 1941!) umbrella. Since 1982, thousands of members and beer aficionados have flocked to Boulder, Colorado to enjoy the Great American Beer Festival the organizations holds as a celebration of these hearty libations.
  26. President Wilson actually vetoed the Volstead Act:

    An alternate name for the National Prohibition Act, Woodrow Wilson rejected the Volstead Act for technical rather than ethical reasons, only to be overridden by both the House of Representatives and the Senate the very same day.
  27. FDR's Cullen-Harrison Act legalized the sale of beer and beer alone:

    Wine and spirits drinkers were left luckless when Franklin Roosevelt passed the Cullen-Harrison act in 1933, addressing Depression demand for something soothing to quell the…well…depression. This amendment to the Volstead Act legalized beer with an alcohol content of 3.2% or below.
  28. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th:

    Shortly after FDR passed the Cullen-Harrison Act, the federal government decided to repeal Prohibition altogether, meeting Americans' demands and intending to curb illegal profiteering. The 21st Amendment overrode the 18th, stoking the ire of the temperance organizations responsible for its initial passing.


Obviously, the beer facts (especially those on home-brewing) are most interesting to me.

Do you find any of these interesting / informative?  (leave a comment).

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

First Month of Untappd

I started using the social media drinking site "Untappd" about a month ago. I've been aware of Untappd for awhile, but never realized that they allowed people to enter their own home-brews to the database. Since most of what I drink is home-brew, it didn't seem like something I would be real interested in.

It does turn out to be an interesting way to track the beers that you drink. If you are a craft beer fan (beer geek), it is somewhat worthwhile to track your beer consumption. It helps remind you what you drank and how you liked it.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Happy #RepealDay

Did you know that December 5th (today) is Repeal Day? I didn't know until I got my December newsletter last Thursday. has an informative article about today's holiday: Celebrate Repeal Day: December 5.

In case you are too lazy to follow the link and can't guess from the context, the 21st amendment was ratified and prohibition was repealed on December 5th, 1933. Seems like as good a reason as any to celebrate. Don't you think? I think I'll have a beer today to toast the occasion.

Strange ... today isn't a work holiday for me. Seems like it should be.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

A couple more beers from my list

We visited my sister in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. My sister was nice enough to go out and get a couple of beers for me to check off my "Best Beers in America List".

On Thanksgiving itself, I had the New Glarus Wisconsin Belgium Red. This beer was tied for #16 on the list, and I've been trying to get some since last year's list. Since New Glarus doesn't distribute to Colorado, and they didn't bring this beer to GABF, I am lucky to have family living in Wisconsin who were willing to help me get this beer. And I really enjoyed it with my Thanksgiving dinner. No one else at the table was much of a fan, which was fine since it meant I could have most of it. Both the aroma and flavor were full of cherry, but it had a nice Belgium malt backbone with nice funky notes from the yeast. This beer was indeed worthy of the list. It isn't something I would want to drink everyday, but it is nice for special occasions.

Friday, December 02, 2011

A little Shopping humor

This would have been a great video to share on Black Friday, but I didn't come across it until yesterday. I think this was very funny. It made me LOL. I was very close to ROFL. I didn't, however, LMAO.

You can view it right on youtube at:

Unrelated (and not-really-humorous) ... a couple articles I came across over the week that I thought were interesting:

NORAD is ready to track Santa's flight
I've shared before on this blog that the boys and I have followed the NORAD Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve. Apparently, the site is live for this year. Check it out at

Example - Hanson To Launch Mmmhop Beer
The band "Hanson" is apparently developing their own IPA. They are going to call it MmmHop. I didn't realize these guys were even around. I'm not sure I care they are making a beer. Someone tell me, did Hanson ever do anything besides their one "hit" MMMBop?

The history of the anthem at Hawks games
An article about how the National Anthem before BlackHawk games became such a phenomenon.

Have a good weekend everyone. Please leave a comment and let me know you read this.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

November Blogging

I am shocked to report that November on this blog broke its "page view" record. This is the seventh month in a row of record breaking "page views" on this blog. After Thanksgiving weekend, I was sure that this month had no chance of getting its page views above October's, but these past few days showed pretty strong.

I am certain that December can't break this record. There is no way it can happen.

What have people been reading? This month, the most viewed posts on this blog have been: