Saturday, September 26, 2015

#GABF Friday Night

The SheppyBrew Beer Model and I attended the Great American Beer Festival last night.

We have attended every year for the past several. Since 2010 I think. It is always fun.

This year, they added another pretty big hall, making it almost a totally new experience. Of course, they added more people so it was just as crowded, but we of course survived.

They also added a second entrance this year. I am always amazed how fast they are able to get people into the festival despite just a huge line. This year the second entrance made it even faster. I was even more amazed.

The new entrance brought us into the "meet the brewer" hall. The idea behind this area was that every brewery needed to have brewers on staff pouring beers at all times. There were a bunch of breweries here.

Friday, September 25, 2015

#GABF Begins Today

Actually, the 2015 Great American Beer Festival began last night for the public and earlier in the week for Breweries.

But tonight is when the 2015  Great American Beer Festival begins for me.

Usually, I have a pretty detailed "game plan" going into every GABF session. This time, I'm not sure I will. I may just follow my wife (whom I think has something of a plan) around and see what happens.

Maybe I'll get more organized for the Saturday Session.

This year, the physical area of the the event has increased quite a bit. This is nice, but of course they fill it with more breweries and more people, so I expect it will be just as crowded.

I will probably want to attend at least one session in the Beer & Food Pavilion. All of them look interesting for tonight:

6:30 pm - 7:00 pm  Old Beer and Stinky Cheese
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm  Sam Adams and Red Robin Burger Pairing
8:30 pm - 9:30 pm  Beer and Cheese Pairings: Ingredients and the American Way

I am less interested in the Brewers Studio Pavilion Schedule, but we may stop by one of these:

6:30 pm - 7:00 pm  Rogue Ales: The Grow-Your-Own Revolution
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm  Employee-Owned Breweries
8:30 pm - 9:30 pm  The Evolution of In-Process versus Finished Versions of Barrel-Aged Brews

Anyway, I guess I'll treat tonight as a reconnaissance mission and see what is up for Saturday's session.

I'm Excited.

If you want to look at any of my GABF beer posts (including this one), check out Sheppy's Blog: GABF


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Brewing the 2015 Will-o'-Wisp Pumpkin Ale

As you know if you follow this blog or the SheppyBrew Facebook Page, Sunday was a brew day for me.

Specifically, I brewed Will-o'-Wisp Pumpkin Ale.

We actually grew pumpkins in our garden this year, but we didn't use those in the pumpkin beer. They are not pie pumpkins. They are jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Plus, my wife tells me that they are not ready to pick yet. Something about a finger nail test?

Who knows?

Anyway, instead of real live garden pumpkins, I used 58 ounces (a couple cans) of Libby Canned Pumpkins.

The mash is the same as a usual beer mash except I added mashed up pumpkin to the tun about 45 minutes into it. Before adding pumpkin, I heated it to 350 degrees. The idea of cooking the pumpkin was to get maybe a bit of caramelization, but that didn't really happen in the amount of time I cooked it. Not a huge deal.

Monday, September 21, 2015


A couple weekends ago, I discovered that a couple of our geocaches had gone missing.

If you are wondering what a geocache is ... feel free to dig through this blog at Sheppy's Blog: Geocache. If you are still having trouble with the concept, check out Geocaching 101.

Anyway, I was checking up on my geocaches (as I do from time to time) in the Pence Park area. The first one I checked on was Sheppy McShepardSons (take II). It was not where it is supposed to be. To be honest, of all the geocaches that I've hidden, this is the one that I thought would be the least likely to go missing. I guess I was wrong. This did not make me happy.

Friday, September 18, 2015

I'm brewing a pumpkin beer

I'm brewing a pumpkin ale this weekend.


Don't be stupid, you know why I'm brewing a pumpkin ale this weekend.

I'm brewing a pumpkin ale this weekend because of this chick --->

aka, The SheppyBrew Beer Model --->

aka, My wife. --->

This chick, aka The SheppyBrew Beer Model aka My wife really likes pumpkin spice beers.

Really. She really likes them.


I don't think she's actually ever met a pumpkin beer that she has not liked, and she has tried a lot of them.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Double Brew Day

I brewed two batches of beer yesterday.

Why two?

Well ... one of my brewing friends has recently decided to give up on the hobby (or at least take a break), and gave me a 5 gallon Better Bottle carboy. I wanted to justify to myself having two.

My bottle collection of homebrew is pretty sparse, and I wanted to brew something I could bottle.

I wanted to use up some apricot extract.

Upon initially tasting my recently brewed Apricot Lovin' American Wheat, I thought I had added too much Apricot flavor. I wanted a beer with which to blend that beer if I wanted less apricot flavor.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bad Lands 2015

This post is yet another example of how far behind I am writing on this blog.

Do you remember that earlier this year, we visited South Dakota? Well, we did. As you may remember from our trip back in 2013, my favorite part of South Dakota is the Bad Lands (see Badlands National Park Pictures).

This year, it was my favorite as well, although, it felt like I was the only one of the group who felt this way.

But anyway ... here are some pictures of us (and my sister's family) at Bad Lands National Park...

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

F is for Factotum Brewhouse

You may remember that as I was composing the list of Denver breweries that I had not visited, it struck me that most of the letters of the alphabet were covered by the beginning letters of the brewery names.

I started with A ... A is for Alpine Dog Brewing Company

Next up was B ... B is for Baere Brewing Company

After B comes C ... C is for Comrade Brewing Company

Are you recognizing a pattern here? ... D is for Draw, Boggy (I took a little artistic licence to change Boggy Draw into Draw, Boggy)

And then, of course, E ... E is for Epic Brewing Company

Care to guess what is next? You don't have to; I'll tell you.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Some summer photos

Just some interesting photos I have sitting around. No particular theme. No real order to them.


When the mighty Blackhawks played the evil Minnesota Wild, my nephew thought it would be a good idea to bet me an ice cream cone on the winner of the series. The wager went better for me than for him. I collected when we saw each other in South Dakota.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Happy Feet Best Bitter

So, I've become a little obsessed with fitbit.

My employer started a "pilot" program "Walking Challenge". As part of this program, employees of the company were given discounts on fitbit trackers. The company also paid $50 for each fitbit bought through the program.

Then, each person who wanted to join the program was divided into a team. There were something like 550 people divided into 22 teams across 3 locations (I work for a big company).

When I got my team assignment, I started talking trash with a couple of my co-workers and told them my team was awesome and theirs sucked. We made a wager between our two teams. I was putting up homebrew. I don't really remember what the other team wagered.

Unfortunately, after starting off fairly well, my team (Team 7 ... Take a Hike) has really sucked. The other team (Team 8 ... Happy Feet) isn't doing a whole lot better, but they are doing better enough that it does not look like we will catch them.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Beer Bike Ride

I like to bike.

I like to drink beer.

Fairly often, I combine the two activities. For example ... remember BOB .... Brew on Broadway and Biking the Beermuda Triangle?

Well, recently, some exciting things happened in the South West Denver Metro Area.

First, Locavore Beer Works opened, becoming my most local brewery ... right along my route home from work.

Not too much after that, Saint Patrick's Brewing Company opened in its new location a couple blocks East of Locavore. The new location was right on the South Platte River's bike path.

Then, Breckenridge Brewery opened its new "Farm House" brewery South of St. Patrick's, also right along the bike path.

Most recently, as I reported in D is for Draw, Boggy, opened basically on the corners of the Bear Creek Bike Path and the Platte River Bike Path.