Thursday, December 08, 2022

Followup on BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines

When I started writing the post BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines, my intention was to set myself up to brew every style in the 2021 BJCP Guidelines next year.

However, as I went through the exercise, I realized that I don't really want to try to brew every style next year.

First ... there are 3 entire categories that I have not brewed a single beer in. AND ... I am missing enough styles that there is no way this is a one year project.

Second ... there are lots of styles I don't really have a desire to brew. 

The categories I'm missing are 

  • 16. DARK BRITISH BEER 
  • 17. STRONG BRITISH ALE
  • 26. MONASTIC ALE
There are styles in each of those categories that I would like to drink and therefore will brew.

16. DARK BRITISH BEER

As I mentioned,  I have brewed a beer that by name should fit (Gnaughty Gnome English Coffee Stout), but doesn't really go nicely into any of the styles in this category. 

Stouticus has used lactose in some of the versions of its recipes, so it could theoretically be called a "Sweet Stout", but its American Hops, bigger ABV, and overall balance isn't quite right for this style. Plus I use Stouticus as my American Stout.

So, I'll just design a recipe to fit in one of the categories. Of the styles in the category, the one I'm most interested in brewing is 16B. Oatmeal Stout, and so ... that is probably the one I'll brew to satisfy this category.



17. STRONG BRITISH ALE

As the name suggests, these are pretty high ABV beers, and that isn't really "my jam". I didn't realize until just now looking at the guidelines that "17B. Old Ale" can go as low as 5.5% ABV. Actually, some of my X-Mas Ales are "Base Beer Only", and I think maybe they would actually fit in this category.

However, I'll design a new recipe for this. I probably won't let it age as long as it should to be considered "old". We'll have to see if I can remember to bottle some to try later.

I don't think I've ever had a "Old Ale" to calibrate to. Colorado's Avery brews a beer they call Old Jubilation, which is listed as a commercial example in the guidelines. Maybe I can find it to give it a try.

I found a recipe on the AHA website called Clan MacIntosh Old Ale, which I can use as a sample recipe. However, it is much bigger than I want to make, so I'll scale it down.



26. MONASTIC ALE

I actually have a style of beer I'm excited about brewing in the Monastic Ale Category.

When the Beer Model and I visited the Bruz breweries, (see X is for Bruz Off FaX and Z is for BruZ Beers), I thought I'd be able to get one of their "Singles", but I think they were out. Regardless, I've been thinking for quite awhile that a  thought brewing a 26A. Belgian Single is a beer I'd like to brew.

"A blond, bitter, hoppy table beer that is very dry and highly carbonated. The aggressive fruity-spicy Belgian yeast character and high bitterness is forward in the balance, with a soft, supportive grainy-sweet malt palate, and a spicy-floral hop profile."

I found an AHA recipe Chimay DorĂ©e Clone, that I will probably use as a starting off point for my recipe.


After I brew these beers, I'll think about looking through for other styles to brew in 2023.

Keep an eye on Sheppy's Blog: BJCP Goal and you'll see how this whole thing goes.


As always keep watching the regular SheppyBrew Channels to see what is happening with my BBQBeerBikingSheppyBrew's Facebook PageSheppy's Twitter FeedSheppyBrew's Instagram Page; and SheppyBrew's Website.Of course, don't forget to visit this blog often as well!

Go Blackhawks!

Monday, December 05, 2022

2022 X-Mas Ale (Batch 325)

Every year since I started brewing in 2009, I've brewed a special X-Mas Ale.

Every year, the beer is a similar base with some "Christmasy" flavoring added.

2009 was an extract kit with Cherries, Almond Extract, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, and Cloves.

Over the years, I 've done a Hazelnut X-Mas Ale, Peppermint X-Mas Ales, Cherry Pomegranate  ... all kinds of things.

I've even brewed just the base beer a couple of times.

I got started a bit late this year (much like last year). Generally, it is ideal to have this beer ready for Thanksgiving.

However, this year, I didn't even decide on what I would make until a few days ago. I brewed the beer this past Sunday.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines

Back in late 2012 (it blows my mind that it was ten years ago) I started the effort of making sure I had brewed at least one beer in every category of the BJCP Style Guidelines. 

See SheppyBrew Styles. You can also follow the progress on Sheppy's Blog: BJCP Goal 

I made it through all the categories, and shortly after I did, the BJCP made a fairly major update, which meant there were new categories to hit.

See 2015 Style Guidelines.

I know I knocked out most of the categories, but I'm not 100% sure I hit them all. I think I did, but I may have missed one or two. (EDIT ... after going through the list, I see now that there are 3 that I missed. I'm going to have to work on fixing that)

Regardless, we now have another new version of the guidelines. BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines. The 2021 version isn't as much as a total overhaul that 2015 was, so I think I've probably hit as many of the categories as I had before.

But, I thought I'd take some time to take inventory on BJCP Styles that I have and have not brewed ...

Sunday, November 27, 2022

2022 Thanksgiving Turkey

Since 2018, it has been my job to make the Thanksgiving turkeys.

I smoke them outside, which is delicious and also frees up the oven to help the wife planning various sides.

Plus, it's fun for me to do.

Win. Win. Win.

This year, of course, I did it again. My wife got me one of the supermarket frozen turkeys that are always on sale, and I started thawing it out the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, I unwrapped the bird and put it in a beer brine made with salt, pepper, brown sugar, and my some extra Dudoc's Red IPA that I had in a growler.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

The 3 B's

If you follow along on this blog at all, you quickly realize that most of my posts have something to do with BBQ, Beer (brewing), or Biking.

Quite a few mention two out of the three. Many combine all three.

BBQBeer, Biking

Just about every weekend I do at least one activity in each of those categories.

Sometimes when people ask me how my weekend went I just tell them ... "I did the 3 B's".

If it's the first time I've mentioned it to someone, I have to explain, but after that first time, it's never a surprise.

I guess you'd have to say those are my three biggest hobbies. I can also say that during the whole craziness of Covid lockdown, those were big parts of what kept me sane.

Monday, November 21, 2022

L is for Little Dry Creek Brewery

It is amazing to think that the Beer Model and I are already on "L" for this round of our little  A to Z Denver Breweries project.

The wife keeps forcing me out to the breweries.

We posted A is for A Bit Twisted Brewpub in June ... only 5 months ago.


If my quick math is correct, that's over 2 new breweries visited per month. Crazy!

Regardless, the letter L comes after the letter K, so we needed an "L" brewery.

There are actually a ton of breweries that start with the letter "L" in our area.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Merican Lagers head to head

I don't know if I "said it out loud" on this blog, but I've been wanting to compare my Mr. Awesome Merican Lager to my Jethro Bud Nelson Merican Lite Lager.

They were certainly designed to be different, but I was curious to see how much.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

K is for Knuckle Puck Brewery Kombucha & Beer

If you've been following my A to Z Denver Breweries series of posts, you know that I recently posted J is for Jade Mountain Brewery and Teahouse.

That means, of course, that we had to find a "K" brewery next for our 4th round.

In round 1, we visited K is for Kokopelli Beer Company.

In round 2, we visited K is for Kitchen, Lowdown Brewery +.


According to the Colorado Brewery Map & List, we had a couple choices for round 4, but nothing particularly close. So we had to travel a bit for ...


Sunday, November 13, 2022

Riding in the November Cold

I cycled over 110 miles in the cold this weekend. Each day I started early in the morning with the temperatures close to 20F.

Had to rely on my winter "kit" to keep me warm, and even so, my fingers and toes got cold.

But, even so, the rides were fun.

I passed my #5000MilesIn2022 goal early in October, and am now working on completing the #10Everestsin2022 goal.

Sunday I got in another Metric Century to keep my #MetricCenturyEveryMonth goal alive.

According to Strava, I only need about 8000 feet to get to 29,032 for the year. 

Monday, November 07, 2022

2022 Learn to Homebrew Day

This past Saturday was the AHA's Learn to Homebrew day.

You might remember this from previous years, but my homebrewing friends "Doc" and "Du" and I try to get together a few times a year to brew together.

Learn to Homebrew Day and Big Brew Day are always great excuses to get together.

The AHA always posts a recipe for these national brewing days. The one they posted for Saturday was LTHD22 Hoppy Amber Ale.

While I don't ever actually use the AHA's recipes, their Hoppy Amber Ale, inspired me to come up with a recipe for a Hoppy Red Ale (aka Red IPA). 

Back in the day, I was a great fan of this style. Remember such classic beers as Quarter Life Crisis and Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale.

Friday, November 04, 2022

Wien Zerschlagen (Batch 323)

I brewed my 7th lager of the year last Sunday.

My 19th batch of beer this year (20th if you count the double bath of McShepardSons Irish Ale as two batches).

Officially, it was the 323rd batch of beer I brewed since I started way back in 2009.

If you've been following along on this blog for the last year or so ... you might have noticed my infatuation with the Vienna Malt from Root Shoot Malting.

Root Shoot is a Colorado malting company, so I've tried to use it quite a bit for the various Colorado Strong beers I've brewed.

The Root Shoot Vienna Malt is darker in color and (in my humble opinion) more rich in flavor than other Vienna Malts.

I feel like it is pretty unique and I use it quite a bit in beers whenever I get my malts from the Brew Hut.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

No Pumpkins were harmed in the brewing of this beer

I brewed an Autumn Ale last Sunday.

No pumpkin or pumpkin spice was harmed in the brewing of this beer.

My wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) told me earlier that she didn't want to brew a pumpkin ale this year.

I'm not sure if it was because she didn't like the last one I made or if she got sick of me bitching that the pumpkin spice ale lasted from September to March last time I brewed it.

Regardless, I don't have a problem not brewing a pumpkin spice beer. In fact, I prefer it.

I do really like the name, though. And, I actually have always thought the base beer of my pumpkin beer is really good.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

J is for Jade Mountain Brewery and Teahouse

Well ... if you read I is for {"Immersion Brewing","Immigrant Son Brewery","Independence Brewing","Independent Brewing Company","Insight Brewing Company","Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company"} ... you know we cheated a little on the "I" brewery of our A to Z Denver Breweries series of posts.

Shameless.

We need to get our "J" brewery posted so we can get the taste of that unfortunate post out of our figurative mouths.

I'm glad to say that we actually had a couple of good local brewery choices for our "J" brewery.

Last weekend the SheppyBrew Beer Model (aka my wife) and I played Pickle Ball, and then we headed out to lunch at a brewery ...


Friday, October 21, 2022

I is for {"Immersion Brewing","Immigrant Son Brewery","Independence Brewing","Independent Brewing Company","Insight Brewing Company","Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company"}

If you're following along on this round of the A to Z Denver Breweries series of posts, you know that we recently checked "H" off the list.


If you're familiar with the English alphabet, you realize that next up is "I".

In previous rounds ... "I" has an interesting history to the posts.

The first time through the list, we did I is for IronWorks Brewery and Pub. At the time, it was the only "I" brewery I could find in the Denver area.

By the time we got to round 2, Iron Works had closed, but another "I" brewery had popped up, and we did I is for [The] Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project.


When we got to round 3, Intrepid Sojourner had closed and we headed down to Castle Rock for I is for Iron Mule Brewery.

Thankfully, Iron Mule hasn't closed, but we don't have any more local "I" breweries.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

#5000MilesIn2022

On Wednesday October 5th, I passed my Strava goal of cycling 5000 miles in 2022 on a bike ride home from work.

Since then, I've increased my Strava goal to 6000 miles for the year.

The weather is starting to get colder, so I probably won't ride quite as much over the last few months of they year, but an extra 1000 miles shouldn't be too difficult.

As I type this, I still need 753 miles, and I'm 496 ahead of plan to reach it.

I need 26,388 to reach my #10EverestsIn2022 goal. With 2 and a half months left in the year, that should be even more of a sure thing than the mileage goal.

Friday, October 14, 2022

2022 #GABF Pictures

As you saw if you follow SheppyBrew on Instagram or Facebook, the Beer Model and I attended the Great American Beer Festival last weekend.

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you know that we attend the GABF just about every year.

It is always in Denver and as a member of the American Homebrewers Association, I'm allowed to buy tickets before the general public. 

And it is fun, so the Beer Model and I make the effort to get there.

See Sheppy's Blog: GABF to see all the blog posts I've done.

Of course, we have not been since 2019, because it was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

We attended the Friday night session and the Saturday "brewers only" session again this year.

Monday, October 10, 2022

H is for Holidaily Brewing Company (DTC)

Fairly recently, I posted G is for Golden City Brewery, and if you're familiar with the A to Z Series of posts on this blog, you know I now have to find and type up something on an "H" brewery.

In the G post ... I wrote:

According to the Colorado Brewery Map & List, there are a bunch of "H' breweries in Colorado. However of the ones close to us, we've covered them already. I'm not sure where we'll end up ... but we'll come up with something.

Last time through the alphabet, I used H is for Holidaily Brewing Company.

Somehow I missed it, but my wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) pointed out that Holidaily Brewing Company opened a second location. 

I didn't have a better idea for our H brewery ... so ...

Friday, October 07, 2022

Mr. Awesome Merican Lager (Batch 321)

Recently, I brewed Jethro Bud Nelson Merican Lite Lager for the second time (see Jethro Bud Nelson (Batch 319)).

For whatever reason ... I've been into Craft American Lagers recently. It seems to be a trend ... and I am following along.

Last time I brewed Jethro Bud Nelson, I didn't get to drink much of it. I took the beer to a family vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks and the family there finished off the keg in a couple of days.

So ... I knew I was going to brew it again sooner rather than later.

As I was Drinking my Merican Lite Lager, I noted that it would be great to have it on tap at the same time as my "Merican Premium Lager" ....


Last Saturday, I kegged the Jethro Bud Nelson, and last Sunday I brewed Mr. Awesome, so I should get the chance to try these two beers side-by-side.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

2022 Q3 (and 2) SheppyBrew Stats

Well ... crap ... here it is the end of Q3 ... and I just realized I never reported on SheppyBrew's 2nd Quarter.

Oh well.

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.

You just will not see one for 2022 Q2. I think this is the first quarter I missed since I started doing these updates.

Must be getting old.

So ... just a quick update on the 2nd quarter ... I brewed 5 batches of beer for 26 gallons. There were 2 new recipes during that time, and I brewed 2 lagers.

Colorado Vienna Lager
 

Monday, October 03, 2022

Falling Leaves Autumn Saison (Batch 320)

As you know if you've been following along,  I've been pretty busy cycling over September.

But, of course live goes on. Here it already is ... Autumn.

And at the SheppyBrew Brewery ... Autumn means it is time to brew up one of my Seasonal Saisons ... Falling Leaves Autumn Saison.

2022 is the 9th year I've brewed this beer. 

That last sentence sort of blows my mind away ... where did the time go? I still sort of consider my idea of Seasonal Saisons a newish thing ... but 9 Autumn Saisons says otherwise.

Anyway, last Sunday (not yesterday, the one before that), I brewed up 


As with most of my saisons, I got started the night before and did an overnight mash. I figure saisons are supposed to be dry, so the long mash with temperatures on the lower side of the beta amylase range make the overnight mash perfect.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

#1000MileSeptember

If you follow me at all on this blog or facebook or instagram .. you know that I've been participating in the Great Cycle Challenge all last month.

I've pledged to ride September to raise money and awareness for the Children's Cancer Research Fund.

https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/EricShepard

 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

G is for Golden City Brewery

Well ... you probably know that I've been doing a ton of riding for the Great Cycle Challenge this month.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that last Saturday, I passed up my 1000 mile September.

If you paid attention to Saturday's Instagram post, you also noticed which "G" brewery we picked.

I started off the morning with a 57 mile ride (see #GCCUSA2022 Ride #32), which actually got me over the 1000 mile September.

When I returned, my wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) wanted to go on a bike ride too.

So ... we headed out on a ride together (see #GCCUSA2022 Ride #33), and headed out to our "G" brewery.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Jethro Bud Nelson (Batch 319)

I took a little "break" Sunday from all my GCC Riding (sort of).

I had a blood donation in the morning, and so I decided that I would not be doing anything long.

Since I had not brewed in awhile ... last time was August 28th (see Brian Phelps Pale Ale (Batch 318)) ... I thought it would be a good idea to brew beer on a weekend day on which I was not riding a bunch.

So ... I brewed Sunday.

The beer I brewed was one that I brewed earlier in the year ...

I really enjoyed this light refreshing lager ... and my wife's family drank most of it 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Halfway through #GCCUSA2022

It is the 15th of September. We're about halfway through The Great Cycle Challenge.

I've pledged to ride 1000 miles over the course of September to raise money and awareness for the Children's Cancer Research Fund.

https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/EricShepard

Halfway through the month, to be "on track", I need to have completed 500 miles.

I'm a little over that, so I'm doing well.

 

Monday, September 12, 2022

Wednesday Smoked Mac & Cheese

It is time for my oldest son to go back to college, and my wife asked him if he had any requests for meals before he left us.

As always, one of the meals he requested was Smoked Mac and Cheese.

Can't really blame him. My Smoked Mac and Cheese is delicious.

Usually I cook during the weekends and my wife cooks during the week. 

I work at home, so there isn't really a reason I shouldn't cook during the week. My wife just doesn't usually want to let me. 

But for various reasons I wasn't able to get it in the weekend between when it was requested and the weekend he has to return.

So ... I made this batch of Mac and Cheese this past Wednesday. 

Friday, September 09, 2022

N.T.S. Faux vs Actual Pilsner

At the end of July, I brewed a double batch of N.T.S. Faux Pilsner. See Double Batch of N.T.S.

N.T.S. Faux Pilsner was created a Faux Pilsner fermented with Kveik yeast at high temperatures as an experiment to see if I could brew a lager-like beer fermented with crazy-high Kveik fermentation temperatures.

The original NTS batch was a nice beer, but I didn't consider it "lager-like".

One of the reasons I brewed the Double Batch of N.T.S was that I could brew half with Kveik yeast and half with lager yeast and see if I could tell the difference.

Last week, I did a "blind" triangle test to see if I could tell the two beers apart.


Wednesday, September 07, 2022

F is for FlyteCo Tower

I don't know if you caught it, but in Back to Back Century Rides, I told you to "Stay tuned for F is for ... "
Well ... no need to wait any further ... today is the day you get to see that F is for post I promised.

In case you are wondering what the hell I'm talking about ...

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 got through round 2 by November of 2020. I finished round 3 in May of 2022. Now I'm working through round 4.


On Saturday, during my break of the second of two Century Rides, my wife (aka The SheppyBrew Beer Model) wanted to go out to lunch at the "F Brewery" we had picked out.

F is for FlyteCo Tower

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Back to Back Century Rides

If you follow me at all on this blog or facebook or instagram .. you know that the Great Cycle Challenge has begun.

https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/EricShepard



I've pledged to ride 1000 miles over the course of September to raise money and awareness for the Children's Cancer Research Fund.

1000 miles is a lot of miles. To accomplish it, I have to average 33.3 miles a day, which isn't too bad physically, but takes quite a bit of time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Brian Phelps Pale Ale (Batch 318)

I'm getting ready to start riding for my Great Cycle Challenge. My 1000 miles starts September 1st, and I'll ride over the course of September to reach that 1000 mile milestone. 

Over the 7 years I've ridden for the challenge, I've "met" several people on the facebook group and on Strava and who I consider friends.

On of my favorites is a dude named Brian Phelps.

Over the years, we've established a friendly competition. We keep an eye on each others' rides and yearly totals. 

I hope that I inspire him almost as much as he inspires me.

When it comes right down to it, it isn't much of a competition. I am always ahead of him early in the year, but it doesn't take long for him to catch me and pass me up.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

#GCCUSA Tribute Day Pictures

We're getting close!! In September, I'll be cycling 1000 miles in September to help raise awareness and money to fight childhood cancer.

It is called the Great Cycle Challenge.

If you'd like to help out, head to my "Rider Page" at 

https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/EricShepard

Friday, August 26, 2022

Buena Vista Photos

As I mentioned in E is for Eddyline Brewery, my wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) and I spent the weekend in Buena Vista, Colorado this past weekend.

Our wedding anniversary is coming up, and this was a weekend get-away as a sort of pre-celebration of our 27th.

Yes, for some reason, she's put up with me for almost 27 years.

In addition to visiting a brewery, we also spent time biking and hiking.

We also brought a kayak and her paddle 

The weather wasn't the best, but a weekend in the mountains is always great even when the weather isn't perfect.

Here are some pictures from the weekend ....

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

E is for Eddyline Brewery

As you know if you've been following the A to Z Denver Breweries series of posts, the SheppyBrew Beer Model and I decided to push on with the 4th round of the project.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted D is for Denver Beer Company - Downing, so obviously we needed an "E" brewery.

As I mentioned in that post, According to the Colorado Brewery Map & List, we had a bit of a challenge coming up with a brewery to use for "E".

One thing I didn't share in that post, though, was that the Beer Model (aka my wife) and I had a weekend get-away planned to Buena Vista, which is a couple hour drive from Denver.

This past weekend, we took that trip and located in Buena Vista ... is a brewery whose name starts with the letter "E" ...

Sunday, August 14, 2022

August Chatfield Kayak / SUP Photos

Saturday morning, I got up early and rode my bike up to Evergreen and back down to my house.

I call this my Evergreen Loop.

It was only a 43 mile, 3 mile ride, but it was almost 3,700 feet of climbing.

When I returned from the bike ride, my wife (aka The SheppyBrew Beer Model) informed me that we would be going to Chatfield Reservoir to Kayak and Paddle Board.

The kids were not going. So, just me and the Beer Model.

It was a hot August day, which meant that lots of people were out at Chatfield Reservoir, but we were early enough that our normal spot to park wasn't very full at all.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Double Batch of N.T.S.

So, last year, I came up with a recipe for N.T.S. Faux Pilsner, which was an experiment to see if I could ferment a lager-like beer at a hot fermentation temperature with LalBrew Voss - Kveik Ale Yeast.

In my various brewing forums, lots of people say they make "pseudo-lagers" with various Kveik yeasts at higher temperatures.

The N.T.S. Faux Pilsner was a nice beer, but it was not very lager-like in my opinion.

The Voss - Kveik Ale Yeast imparts a very ale-like character. It is great for Pale Ales and IPA's. I even tried it out in my McShepardSons "Irish" Ale.

I just wouldn't consider it for "lager" beers.

Regardless, I liked the N.T.S. Faux Pilsner, and wanted to brew it again. I brewed it last Sunday.

I've gotten to a point where I'm low-ish on beer, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to brew a double batch to help get my beer supply back to normal levels.

Friday, August 05, 2022

D is for Denver Beer Company - Downing

As you know if you've been following the A to Z Denver Breweries series of posts, the SheppyBrew Beer Model and I decided to push on with the 4th round of the project.

Towards the end of July, I posted C is for Comet Brews, and I'm sure you know if you are familiar with the concept and the English alphabet, next up we needed a "D" brewery.

According to the Colorado Brewery Map & List, we had a ton of "D" breweries that we could choose from.

You may also know that on Saturday I completed my First Century Ride of 2022.

If you were paying attention to that post, you probably already know which brewery we chose.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

First Century Ride of 2022

This past Saturday, I did my first Century Bike Ride of 2002.

Yep, 100 miles.
That's right ... On my bicycle.
Yep, in one day.
No, my butt is fine.
Nope, I'm not crazy.
Yes, I know you don't like to drive that far.

If you've been following me, on this blog, you know I'm "training" for September. 

In September, I'm riding 1,000 miles to help raise awareness and money for the Children's Cancer Research Fund with the Great Cycle Challenge.

If you can afford it and are against childhood cancer, you should donate some money to help with the cause. If you want to help my fundraising effort ... you can donate at

Monday, August 01, 2022

Drinking my Merican Lite Lager

I brewed Jethro Bud Nelson Merican Lite Lager (Batch 312) on June 12th. It was kegged on June 28th. 

We had a trip scheduled to Lake of the Ozarks with the Beer Model's sisters and brother and their families, and as the adults in that group are mostly BMC beer drinkers I thought they might like to try the Merican Lite Lager.

So, I tried to refrain from drinking until we went on the trip. But, the weekend before, I spent some time comparing the Jethro Bud Nelson to some other American Light Lagers.

Tivoli Brewing Company makes an American Light Lager called Outlaw that I've really started to enjoy over the past few months, and I thought it would be the most logical comparison.

Friday, July 29, 2022

On Track for #10Everestsin2022

It is only about a month before I start riding for the 2022 Great Cycle Challenge to help fight kid's cancer.

I'm pledging to ride 1000 miles in September and asking sponsors to donate money to the Children's Cancer Research Fund, which is a national nonprofit dedicated to ending childhood cancer.

I've been doing this since 2016, and in total I've raised over $15,000 thanks to generous friends and family.

I'm hoping to raise $2500 this year. Right now I'm at $931.50. Most of most my most generous past donors have not donated yet, so $2500 is certainly likely.

If you'd like to help out, head to my "Rider Page" at 

https://greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/EricShepard

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Last Minute Brew Day

My parents were visiting this past weekend, and because of that, I had no plans to brew.

When we were talking about things we might do on Sunday, my dad asked me what I would usually do on a Sunday if they were not here.

As most of my Brew Days are on Sunday, brewing beer came up as something I might do on a Sunday.

He thought it might interest them to watch me brew.

Since I didn't have any grains my initial reaction was that brewing wasn't really a realistic option.

But ... one of the wonderful things about living where I do is that I have access to multiple Homebrew Shops within reasonable driving distance.

I called Tom's Brew Shop to make sure they were open on Sundays. They are. I was actually surprised to learn that they open at 9AM on Sundays. I sort of assumed 10AM.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

C is for Comet Brews

As you know if you've been following the A to Z Denver Breweries series of posts, the SheppyBrew Beer Model and I decided to push on with the 4th round of the project.

Not too long ago I started with A is for A Bit Twisted Brewpub.

Then, I continued on with B is for Bull and Bush Brewery.

As I mentioned last time, according to the Colorado Brewery Map & List, we had a ton of "C" breweries that we could choose from.

A couple of weekends ago, my wife (aka, the SheppyBrew Beer Model) wanted to get out on her bike. It was really hot and so neither of us really wanted to go real far.

It just so happens that we have a "C" brewery right in downtown Littleton, which is a nice little bike ride from our house.

C is for Comet Brews

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Smoked Mac and Cheese with Ham

I've mentioned before on this blog many times that my family really loves Smoked Mac and Cheese.

I never follow the recipe exactly, but it is based on what I have in my original Smoked Mac and Cheese blog post.

I made some Smoked Mac and Cheese a couple weeks ago.

Usually, I add bacon, but this time, part of the reason I made it was to use up the ham that I had vacuum sealed and frozen from last Easter Ham I made.

Other than replacing the bacon with ham, I didn't really make any major modifications.

It turned out awesome. I really liked the ham in the dish, although it really is difficult to beat bacon.

Here are some pictures:

Saturday, July 09, 2022

Summer Lovin' American Wheat (Batch 314)

I wasn't able to brew Sunday, but luckily Monday was a holiday.

I brewed Summer Lovin' American Wheat on the 4th.

This is the 6th time I've brewed this recipe. Already the 2nd time I've brewed it in the Anvil Foundry.

It was my 11th batch of the year. I'm already at 61 gallons for the year.

If I'm keeping track accurately, this is the 314th batch of beer I've brewed in my homebrewing "career".

I actually started later in the evening on the 3rd by getting the water ready and then starting the mash right before I went to bed.

Then, I was up early in the morning to drain the basket and get the boil started.

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Chatfield SUP Photos

This past weekend was Independence Day weekend, which also happens to be the Beer Model's Birthday Weekend.

On Saturday, we decided to pack up the kayaks and paddle board and head over to Chatfield Reservoir for a day of water activities and lunch brats on the portable grill.

We have 3 portal water crafts to share amongst 4 family members, so there is always someone sitting on the beach when we go.

I had the grill to manage and some beer to drink while I was sitting on the beach. This time, I also remembered to bring a bluetooth speaker to listen to music.

Monday, July 04, 2022

Eric's Pale Ale vs Dale's Pale Ale

On June 5th, I brewed the last of my Homebrew 6 Pack ProjectEric's Pale Ale

Check out Eric's Pale Ale (batch 311), if you're interested in reading about that brew day. 

Eric's Pale Ale was inspired by the Oskar Blues classic beer ... Dale's Pale Ale. Last Sunday, while smoking some ribs, I decided to compare Eric's Pale Ale with Dale's Pale Ale

Since I happened to have on in the fridge, I also pulled out a can of Double Dale's to drink as well.


Friday, July 01, 2022

2022 Hail Storm Summer Saison (batch 313)

The first day of summer was last Tuesday, which means it is an acceptable time to brew my Summer Saison.

This summer is the 9th time I've brewed this recipe. According to my records, it is the 313th batch of beer I've brewed since I started way back in 2009.

It is my 38th batch of beer that I've brewed on the Anvil Foundry.

I picked up ingredients from Tom's Brew Shop on Wednesday.

I started an "overnight mash" on Saturday.

I brewed early Sunday morning.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

B is for Bull and Bush Brewery

It was only a couple short weeks ago that I posted A is for A Bit Twisted Brewpub.

As you know if you've been following the A to Z Denver Breweries series of posts, the SheppyBrew Beer Model and I decided to push on with the 4th round of the project.

It is somewhat mind blowing that we've visited over 78 breweries in the Denver area and still believe we can get through another round of 26 A to Z Breweries.

The Denver area has a ton of local breweries.

Obviously, since we just completed "A", we needed a "B" Brewery.

I mentioned last post that we had lots of choices of breweries that started with the letter B.

So what did we choose? The Beer Model had a brewery picked out.... Big B Little B. What begins with B?



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