Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Brewing the 2012 X-Mas Ale

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

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

Friday, October 19, 2012

PBR wins #GABF Gold

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Minor SheppyBrew updates

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

There were some SheppyBrew related activities, though.  

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

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

Sunday, October 14, 2012

2012 #GABF Members Only Session

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

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

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

Saturday, October 13, 2012

2012 #GABF Friday Night

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 12, 2012

2012 #GABF Thursday Night

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

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

Cigar City line.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Don't read this pre- #GABF post

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thursday Night #GABF Plan

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

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

Monday, October 08, 2012

#GABF Week is here

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Eric the Awful

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

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

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

Friday, October 05, 2012

Novelty Beers ... Oct 2012 "Session"

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

#GABF and Bull Testicles

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

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

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

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


Monday, October 01, 2012

#GABF Month

I cannot believe GABF month is already here.

I am excited.

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

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