Archive for May, 2008


United States Beer Tasting Championships

   Posted by: BeerMkr    in AleWerks, Driving

So I get a call yesterday (May 22nd) and find out that someone entered
our Porter in the USBT championships. Lo and behold we were judged as
the best porter in the Mid-Atlantic region and apparently cam in a
close second to the grand champion. The grand champion was Rogue’s
Mocha Porter. All right! Our first award!

I am pretty happy with a second place to Rogue. They make great beers
and have paved the way for may of us.

Gas mileage update: 400 miles – 57 mpg average!

I tell you 60 mph and over pressurized tires are the key to economy.
It still amazes me how fast people drive on the roads. I was driving
home yesterday and saw a blazer and a trailer flipped in the middle of
the highway. A family (2 adults and 3 kids) are already out and only
had bumps and scrapes. Seat belts are an awesome thing. The
interesting part is that the wreck covered both southbound lanes and I
watched people drive around the accident on the median. The car is
upside down and gas is coming out. How much of a hurry can you be in
to chance driving by a potential explosion? Amazing!



Festivals and Commuting

   Posted by: BeerMkr    in AleWerks, Driving

Well the season has officially started! We attended the Virginia Beer
Festival in Norfolk last weekend and it was a big hit. We served 8
beers including the Springhouse ale and promptly blew that keg. There
were a lot of people and the lines were like 100 deep most of the day.

SAVOR was held in D.C. and Geoff represented the brewery at that
event. He said our beers (Rapadou and Chesapeake Pale Ale) were very
well received. The food pairings hit the mark perfectly and the event
in general got great reviews from all that attended.

Commuting…. why is everyone in a hurry?

I am commuting this week and again I realize why I stay up here each
week normally. I fail to understand why everyone is in a hurry to get
places in the morning. If you think about it the only bad thing about
a good drive to work is that you are at work when it is over. In my
case that is fine, there is beer there!

But anyway, I digress. I was reading a post on a forum that I read
about gas mileage so since I am driving my wifes Toyota Prius this week
I decided to try something. Now the Prius gets great gas mileage
normally (around 50mpg on the highway) so you wouldn’t figure that you
could improve it much. I filled up this morning and set all the tire
pressures to 50psi. The tire says 44 so they are a little over
pressurized. This is an at your own risk thing to try. My commute is
55 miles in the morning and I set the cruise control at 60 mph. So how
was the mileage this morning?

Hold on to you hat…… 60.9mpg. Average.

Now admittedly that is one 60 mile trip but we will see what it does
the rest of the week.

Well back to brewing!



Reserve Week

   Posted by: BeerMkr    in AleWerks

Well last week saw the brewing of the second batch of Springhouse Ale. Things when well and I transitioned some of the lessons I learned to the brewing of the 2008 Ironbound Ale.

It went well but I still came in a little under the efficiency that I was looking for. We will still be looking at 8.5% and over 130 IBU’s! This years incarnation is a blend of Millennium, Columbus and Amarillo hops. The Millennium clocks in at 15% AA followed by the Columbus at 12% and finished off with Amarillo at 8%. This is like a hop oil slick going on with 33 pounds in the batch so far and more for dry-hopping.

We have a busy week coming up! We will be well represented at the Virginia Beer fest at Towne Point Park next Saturday with 6-8 beers being poured. At the same time we will be at SAVOR in Washington DC where our Rapadou Porter and Chesapeake Pale Ale will be paired with what I can only imagine will be great food pairings. I will be at Towne Point Park and Geoff will be representing AleWerks in DC. Stop by and see us!

We did a little scrubbing during the week. The tops of the fermentors get a little dusty and need to be washed down. It is an interesting process as you can see…

Mike cleaning the fermentor tops

What fun!!! You have to make sure you have good boots for this job!

Well that is it for this week.



Six Degrees and other useless stuff..

   Posted by: BeerMkr    in AleWerks, Random Thoughts

A smooth week at AleWerks this week. We brewed a new batch of Chesapeake Pale Ale, packaged up a batch and filtered some more Red Marker (what a great beer!).

So we were working in the brewery and having an interesting discussion. Not even remotely brewing related but it had to do with that old Will Smith movie “Six Degrees of Separation”. For those readers who are unfamiliar with this movie and the concept please allow me to explain…

The thought is that you are only separated from any other person on the planet by six people. The key question was did this link have to be a personal friendship or just having met that person? We decided that it was just the meeting that counted. This seems to be hard to believe but the conversation entailed us figureing out who we could link ourselves too…

Me – My Wife – Her Friend – Billy Lucas(stuntman for Arnold) – Arnold Schwartzenagger

Me – My Mom – Dolly Parton

Me – Robert (the BrewJack) – Roberts Father – George Logan (our sales guys brother) – Geoff Logan (our sales guy) – Me. Look a circle and really only 5 degrees.

It is an interesting concept and I am not sure if I could connect myself to everyone but I guess it really depends on how far you look into the circles of people around your. I mean honestly I could keep the first one goig all the way to John F. Kennedy since Arnold’s wife is the niece of Kennedy… and Arnold would connect to an untold number of rich and powerful people… I wonder if I can get them to invest in a brewery on that connection 🙂

But seriously…

We will be brewing the second half of the Springhouse Ale next week and also putting in the newest IronBound Ale. We have some new hops called Millennium that are like 15% alpha acids so they should provide a great bite and bitterness to the 2008 version.

More Later,