Monday, October 28, 2013


My boys and I made big soft pretzels Sunday.

They turned out awesome. They are a little different than your typical soft pretzel in that they use a significant amount of whole wheat flour and honey.

They are really really tasty in my humble opinion.

They pair really well with SheppyBrew's Weizened Doonkle.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Brew Dogs in "Denver"

Have you been watching Brew Dogs?

I have, and I really enjoy the show. The fact that I like it means it probably will not last very long, so you should probably watch it now before it gets cancelled.

The show is about James and Martin from BrewDog Brewery. You know ... of the famed End of History 55% ABV beer. James and Martin travel across the United States exploring craft beer towns. In every episode, they meet up with one iconic brewer and work on brewing a beer that uses local ingredients that capture the essence of the area they are in. If you are a craft beer geek ... especially a home-brewer, I don't think you can help but like this show.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brewing up some Boo Berry Wheat

I brewed Sunday.

Before the weekend, I actually had not been planning on brewing. However, as I mentioned,  I killed the keg of She Who Must Be Obeyed Wheat. This left the beer choices for the Beer Model sort of limited in the SheppyBrew Brewery. Apparently, I've been giving away too much beer lately. My keg of Sloth Man English Mild is also getting low.

So, anyway, Saturday I decided to go to my Local Homebrew Shop and buy ingredients to make Boo Berry American Wheat. The Beer Model wanted to go too, so we packed ourselves and the Brewing Assistants (aka our kids) into the mini van and headed over to the shop. This is the shop that is closer to my home. I usually get my grains from the Homebrew Shop that is closer to my place of work, so I am not quite as familiar with the layout of this one.

The kids .... er ... I mean the Brewing Assistants helped me find and scoop grain. They also helped me decide which wheat malt and 2 row malt to use. It was sort of fun for them apparently. They actually had a little argument over who was scooping more of the grain. Sometimes those kids fight over the stupidest things.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

More Doonkle than Weizen

Last night, I killed the keg of She Who Must Be Obeyed Wheat. It sort of surprised me as it didn't seem that it had been around very long. As I look back at the bottling date, though, it was in existence for almost a month and a half.

This was a beer that both the Beer Model and I liked. It was sort of Buckwheat's BPA meets Summer Lovin' Wheat. The flavor profile was really unique. It's ester profile along with the malt bill came across a bit nutty. I actually tasted a nice bit of almond, which to me was really pleasant. When both the Beer Model and I like a beer, it generally doesn't last that long, so it should not surprise me that the keg died last night.

I am absolutely going to have to brew this one again.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Still More @Untappd Badges 12

As you may know if you've been following this blog long enough, I've been reporting on the untappd badges I earn. I can't imagine why you would want to, but you can look at all the posts (including this one) by going to the "untappd" label on this blog.

Since Still More @Untappd Badges 11, I've earned the following:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thoughts on 2013 #GABF Winners

So, you know the SheppyBrew Beer Model and I attended GABF this weekend. See 2013 #GABF Friday Night  and 2013 #GABF Members Session if you want to read about it.

I didn't really get much of a chance Saturday or Sunday to look through the competition winners. Now that I have looked through, I have some thoughts.

Fair warning ... I'm a bit of a "homer" when it comes to my favorite breweries. I actually make an effort to stay away from local breweries at the festival, because I want to try beers that I might not get as much a chance to otherwise. However, I still am a fan of Drinking Locally.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

2013 #GABF Members Session

After Friday night, (see 2013 #GABF Friday Night), we were not done. We got up Saturday morning ready to head over to the Members Only Session of GABF. This is always the best session to attend in my opinion. Part of the reason is that there are not as many people at this one, but this year it did seem crowded ... especially towards the end.

For the first time, my wife spent the time to mark down breweries that she wanted to visit, so I ended up (for the most part) following her from brewery to brewery. Basically she found pumpkin beers with cool names, and we visited those booths. I didn't have all the pumpkin beers, but every booth had at least one of something else I wanted to try.

I did have more beers during this session that I thought were "just ok" or were even "bad" than I ever recall having at GABF. I don't think that was a function of chasing pumpkin beers, but it might be.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

2013 #GABF Friday Night

I survived my first night of GABF. Not only did I survive, but I think I did pretty well in regards to My Friday Night #GABF Plan. Surprisingly, my wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) agreed to go separately to the Convention Center. She dropped off the kids and I got into the festival line before the place opened. Now I owe her one.

I think this is actually the first time I got into line before the doors opened. I got sort of antsy not moving. I think it is better just to get there after the line starts to move. You get in a little later, but you don't have to wait as much.

This was not part of the original plan, but my first stop was AC Golden. I know that being owned by Coors, they are not technically considered a Craft Brewery but I like their beers generally and I keep hearing about how wonderful their sours are. There, I had American Wild Ale, which I thought was a fantastic sour ale; Peche, which was a great peach flavored sour; and their IPL, which was also awesome. I also hit Asher Brewing Company, which was right there.

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Friday Night #GABF Plan

If you've been following my blog over the past couple days, you know I've started to formulate a Game Plan for the Great American Beer Festival. In case you have not been following along, you can catch up with #GABF Game Plan Beginnings and #GABF Week (I've been slacking).

Do I need a Game Plan? Probably not, but I like to have one. When you walk into the huge hall at the festival, it is a bit overwhelming, and I find that it helps to have at least some sort of direction to follow. So, at least for the first night I always write down a plan. This is the first year I am not going to the Thursday night session, so this year, Friday Night is the first night I have a plan for.

This year, it looks like dropping the kids off where they need to be is going to introduce complications to the time-line, so the plan depends on when we get to the convention center. If things get too terribly screwed up, we might have to move some of the beer drinking to the Saturday session.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

#GABF Game Plan Beginnings

Soon after I posted, "#GABF Week (I've been slacking)", I got an email from GABF telling me that all the beers are available on their website and on their iPhone and Android apps.

Awesome. One thing that drives me crazy every year is that I never know what beers are going to be at the festival until after I get there Thursday night. Of course, it figures that the one year I don't go Thursday they get those announced before the first session, but I'm not going to complain (much). It still would be nice to get the list of beers (or at least most of them) a little earlier, but at least they are moving in the right direction.

So, now that I know what beers are going to be there, it is easier to start to formulate a game plan.

#GABF Week (I've been slacking)

I've been slacking.

It seems like all the beer blogger in the world (or at least those that show up in my rss feed) have been busy blogging about the Great American Beer Fest and/or the tons of events in and around Denver this week.

Take a look at Denver off the Wagon's beer category and see how many GABF related articles you see. Go ahead ... I'll wait.

Check out the Denver Post's First Drafts blog and browse through the amazing collection of "Scouting GABF 2013" articles. Again .. Go ahead ... I'll wait.

Go peruse Brewtally Insane  for Mark's day-by-day GABF Calendar.

It seems like the guys at The Full Pint have been providing useful GABF information for the past couple months, and certainly have not slowed down now that GABF week is here.

Of course, my buddy Dave at Fermentedly Challenged always has Denver area information, which by default means GABF information this week.

I could go on and on, but my slacking attitude prevents me from listing much more in this post.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Weizened Doonkle

Well, you know I've been working on this SheppyBrew Styles project, right? At the beginning of the year, I decided I was going to try to brew beers in all the BJCP Categories that I had not brewed before. If you follow this blog regularly at all, you know I am close to getting this done.

Sunday was time brew something in 15. German Wheat and Rye Beer. The problem with this particular category is that I am generally not a fan of the German Wheat and Rye Beers that I have had. I've had some HefeWeizens that have been good, but usually they have too much of the phenolic clove flavor for me. I've had one or two Roggenbiers, and really didn't like them enough to want to have to drink 5 gallons of that.

I don't think I've even ever had a Dunkelweizen or a Weizenbock. Just bringing myself to brew something I was unfamiliar with was a bit scarey.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Tribute to #GABF Costumes

One of my favorite parts of the Great American Beer Festival is all the crazy costumes that people wear.

Of course you can see a bunch of them on the photos page of the GABF website.

If you scour this blog, you can see some of the crowd photos at

I did a google image search the other day. Some of them were even ones from this blog. Following are some of my favorite pictures that others have shared.

Thank you to the following for the photos:

Friday, October 04, 2013

2013 Q3 SheppyBrew Stats

It is that time again! It is time to post quarterly updates on how much the SheppyBrew Brewery  has brewed. I've been doing this for quite some time because it is fun for me to go back and look at how the brewery has been doing. Plus, believe it or not, readers have mentioned they enjoy looking at the brewing stats. You can see all of these reports (including the one you are reading right now) by following this link: .

I think the most exciting news in Q3 is that SheppyBrew won another award. Helles in a Hand Bock-sket, my Maibock, won a blue ribbon and got 2nd in the Best of Show in the "Battle of the Homebrews" at the Arapahoe Country Fair. A county fair 1st place isn't nearly as prestigious as Sasquatch Hunter's blue ribbon in the Denver Region of the National Homebrew Competition, but it is still an award. Plus, getting 1st Loser in the Best of Show is awesome (if I do say so myself).

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

September 2013 Blogging

Well, until about 3 days ago, I thought September had an excellent chance of beating August for this blog's all-time page view record. The past 4 days have seen pathetically little traffic, though. I'll have to live with the 3rd all-time behind August and March. It is my own fault, of course. I've only published 2 posts in the last two weeks. I have not really been "feeling" motivated to sit down and blog much.

Regardless ... no one really cares. Heck, I don't even care.

But, as I have been doing for quite awhile, it is now time to share what posts were most viewed this month: