I’ve been terrible about posting in this spot lately. What can I say? Classes have taken up about 113% of my available time, and I’ve just not had the opportunity to post stuff here.
Anyway, I’m trying to be better. So here’s the most recent podcast episode in which Ryan and I catch up on what’s been going on when we haven’t been podcasting. I didn’t put together show notes for this episode (sorry) but it’s a fun listen. If you’ve missed prior episodes, you can check out our iTunes page here.
PS I think our last episode got a little lost in the mix, so I’m going to post it here as well. We’re joined by Youtube’s own Tantrum777, our fellow Youtube beer reviewer Jamison, and talk about rare beer culture and our personal top five historically-important beers. It was a fun episode, and it’s a bit underseen, so I figured I’d point it out here as well.
Beyond the Pour Podcast Episode 10: The Homebrew Episode (With Special Guest Chad from Chad’z Beer Reviews)
Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve uploaded an episode. Ryan and I recorded an episode a few weeks ago, but I had technical issues in the editing and that one will likely never see the light of day. We make occasional reference to it in this episode (which was recorded before I had discovered the technical issues in the last one) so sorry about that.
Anyway, in this episode Chad from Chad’z Beer Reviews joins us for a conversation about homebrewing and other topic. Chad has recently gotten into homebrewing, so I figured it’d be interesting to ask him what he’d learned in the process.
I’m trying to get on a more regular schedule of posting this podcast, but my class and work schedule has been insane lately. Sorry.
0:00 to 0:40 A quick administrative note.
0:40 to 8:20 Introductions and what we’ve been drinking. Regular co-host Ryan and I are joined by fellow Youtube beer reviewer Chad9976 of Chad’z Beer Reviews, and he’s been drinking a ton of homebrew, having recently gotten into the hobby. He also recently tried Kona’s Coffee Porter. Ryan is drinking on a Coronado Double Dorado, a local Double IPA that has only recently come back into bottles from an approximately two year absence. Me? I’m checking out a Samuel Adams Noble Pils, a beer that I haven’t had in several years and have realized I’ve been completley wrong about. I also have been drinking quite a bit about the Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA, which you should definitely try if it’s in your market and still fresh at the time you listen to this episode.
8:20 to 11:53 Grupo Modelo has been bought by AB Inbev. What does this mean, really?
11:53 to 14:18 Green Flash opening up an east coast brewery. Yet again microbreweries are expanding. A theme for the podcast so far.
14:18 to 20:52 Our feature topic: Homebrewing. Chad mailed us both a bottle of one of his buddy Shaun’s homebrews, which we reviewed with him for his Youtube channel, and I thought it’d be a great thing to be able to talk with Chad about his newfound homebrew hobby and what he’s learned about beer since starting a couple of months ago. Chad talks about the basics of sanitation and hop additions.
20:52 to 28:24 Chad is interested in learning to make wild beers. We go off on a significant tangent here about the theory and practice, despite the fact that none of us have ever made a sour beer. Whoops. I make reference to the Mad Fermentationist in this section. http://www.themadfermentationist.com/
28:24 to 31:58 The fermentation temperature discussion. Ryan calls this the most critical part of homebrewing. Ale brewing in the basement, and the possibility of lager brewing during the winter.
31:58 to 37:15 After a pee break, we come back into some other areas. Chad wanted to talk about a couple of his brewery pet peeves, and talks about lack of ABV listing on the bottle, and bottle dating.
37:15 to 54:35 The retailer’s responsibility for fresh beer? Versus the brewery’s responsibility to only sell beers across the country that can take some age?
54:35 to 1:03:14 Our favorite local breweries. Also our favorite local places to drink, and stuff that’s pretty much always in our fridge.
I’m a couple of days late getting my latest edition of the Session blog carnival posted, but at least I shot it on the right day, right?
This month’s session is all about drinking alone, namely, going out to pubs for a pint by oneself. I’m a bit wishy washy on the subject, as I have been known to do it from time to time but for the most part I do all my drinking from bottles in my house.
Check out the carnival host here.
And a full list of all past Sessions is here.
It’s been about three weeks since the last episode, largely because the beer news world has been pretty slow lately. We came back strong, though, with a long conversation about quality control at breweries and what a brewer’s responsibility to their customers is when bad beer is released.
0:00 to 7:50 Introductions and what we’re drinking. I’m doing a super-fresh Bell’s Pale Ale, and Ryan’s got an even fresher Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale. Was Sublimely Self Righteous the first black IPA?
7:50 to 30:37 Quality Control in Breweries. At a bottle share in San Diego, Ryan had a bottle of an Upland Brewery sour that gushed nearly a foot in the air and left him with only half a bottle left. This got him to thinking about breweries and their quality control, and what they might owe the consumers that get obviously flawed beer. Should a consumer get compensation for a bad bottle? I talk about issues I’ve had with Jolly Pumpkin beers, as well as Keweenaw brewing. Also mentioned: Deschutes, the Lost Abbey, Dark Horse, and more. Lots of breweries have occasional or continuing issues with quality control; what is the proper response to these issues? We’d love to hear your thoughts and if we get enough responses we’ll do a bunch of emails in a future episode, so please listen and respond at email@example.com.
30:37 to 35:15 Taking a bit of a tangent off of that, as beer reviewers we tend to try to make sure we’re getting the freshest and best beer possible for review on the show, but that’s not always a fair representation for what’s on the shelf and available in the market. Do we bend over backwards a bit too much to make sure we’re “fair” to the products we review?
35:15 to 55:53 What we’ve been drinking lately and our wrap-up. Ryan had an out-of-town guest in his house last week, none other than fellow Beertuber Master of Hoppets, so we talk a bit about that. I also talk about being back in school and the way that that has effected my beer drinking. We talk a lot about how great the people in the craft beer community are, and end another episode imploring people to engage in bottle shares.
I’m about a week late on this episode, and I apologize. I started back to complete my undergraduate degree last week, and that’s definitely affected the amount of time I have to natter on about beer on the internet. This podcast is a priority for me, but doing well in the classes I’m paying a small fortune for is a higher priority, so the schedule may suffer a bit going forward until I can get things back in order.
Anyway, we’ve decided to switch up the format a little bit. Previously we’ve done what we’ve been drinking first, and sometimes it felt like we had to squeeze a bunch of topics in at the end of the episode. So we’ve decided to try putting the more informal chat into a separate podcast so that those people who want to hear that stuff can still hear it, but those looking for the news and commentary can get it without having to wade through the rest.
For this episode, it’ll be two separate files, but we may end up adjusting that as time goes on. You can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, and suggestions.
Check us out on iTunes!
0:00 to 1:42 Introductions and general comments. We’ve changed up our format a bit here so fans of the show should definitely listen to this bit.
1:42 to 8:45What we’re drinking right now. Ryan’s drinking the Firestone Walker Wookie Jack Black IPA, and I’m doing a Bell’s Consecrator Dopplebock. Ryan also makes passing mention of the Lost Abbey Track #5 release, and I talk about Bell’s lagers in general.
8:45 to 18:17 Revisiting prior topics covered on the podcast. First, responding to our friend Jamison’s (http://www.youtube.com/Tantrum777) criticism of the way we handled terroir.
18:17 to 29:00 Session Beer! Firestone Walker believes that session beer should be local beer, and we agree. I also take back some stuff I’ve said about session beer in the past and discuss some comments from other beer writers on the concept.
29:00 to 32:17 Michigan Brewing Company has had its brewery locked by their landlord — apparently they weren’t paying their rent on time. Is Celis White a cursed beer recipe?
32:17 to 36:43 Bell’s possibly being sold? What’s up with Larry Bell wanting to get rid of the brewery? I think it’s really just a restructuring, although Budweiser’s been wanting to buy the brewery for a number of years now.
36:43 to 40:20 Grand Rapids ties in the Beer City USA poll with Asheville, NC. Does this mean anything?
40:20 to Sam Tierny, brewer at Firestone Walker, wrote a piece about beer competitions. Do these kinds of beer competitions mean anything? How about homebrew competitions? What’s the value of awarding medals to beers?
No time codes here, but we talk about Imperial Pilsners and Imperial Witbiers, how many hops really go into Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA, twelve ounce versus twenty-two ounce bottles, and Ryan makes an impassioned plea for more people to do bottle shares. And more, of course — it’s a fun time.
Pete Brown’s topic for this month’s Session is “The Beer Moment.” Here’s how Pete describes it:
So in that spirit, my choice of topic – with 62 topics already covered – is this: simply, the Beer Moment.
What is it?
Well, what is it to you? What does that phrase evoke for you?
That’s the most important thing here. Switch off and float downstream, what comes to mind? Don’t analyse it – what are the feelings, the emotions?
I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently, because I’ve been talking about it to various people who are working hard to try to improve the image of beer in the UK. Because whether we articulate it or not, whether we drink vile, sunstruck Corona or barrel aged imperial stout brewed with weasel shit, it’s about the moment far more than the liquid itself. The only people who disagree with me on this are people I wouldn’t want to share a beer with.
The moment – for me – is relaxation, reward, release, relief and refreshment. It’s a moment to savour, a moment of mateship, potential, fulfilment, anticipation, satisfaction, and sheer bliss.
It’s different from the moment you drink wine or spirits – it’s more egalitarian, more sociable. It’s not just about the flavour, nor the alcohol. It’s about the centuries of tradition and ritual, the counterpoint to an increasingly stressful life, and the commonality, the fact that it means the same thing to so many.
At least – I think it does. What does it mean to you?
I might have gone slightly off topic here, but the whole point of the Session is to get a kind of shaggy dog feel for the beer community at large, so I think it’s okay. And as a way of fostering connection between the beer blogging community and the Youtube beer community, I have done my answer on video:
I hope those of you who are visiting from the blog world will check out the wonderful beer community on Youtube. You can find my channel here, and there’s plenty more out there if you look. And those of you who are fans of mine on Youtube, I hope you check out Pete Brown’s blog linked above and read some of the other bloggers covering this month’s topic.
The Session is a beer blogging group roundup that I’ve done from time to time in the past, but seem to always miss posting for because I’m continually a week or two behind. So it goes.
This month’s topic is “What Drives Beer Bloggers?” I encourage you to read their explication in full as it’s difficult to excerpt and I don’t want to quote the whole thing.
I don’t have any particular handle on other beer bloggers, so here I’m going to have to talk about my own reasons for blogging. Besides the far-off dream of one day amassing enough of a following and establishing enough of a “name” in the field to do this for a living, it basically comes down to two reasons: communication and education. The first is easy: for most of my beer-geek life I’ve had few if any persons who were also interested in the intricacies of beer in my immediate area, and so sharing what I’m drinking online is a go-to substitute. I’d hazard to guess that through websites like BeerAdvocate and RateBeer that most budding beer geeks have some kind of hybrid of online and personal interaction about beer, especially when first starting out, and starting up a beer blog (or, at least, posting beer-related content on a personal blog, as I’ve been doing since August of 2005) is the logical next step.
Sure, as Brewpublic notes, there’s plenty of narcissism in the “let me show you what I’m drinking,” concept, and the very conceit of a blog in general tends to be self-focused and navel-gazing, but I think it’s ultimately about communicating a love for something amazing. Or not so amazing, for plenty of beers out there. It’s about reaching out and sharing with like-minded individuals.
The second reason I listed above is education. When I started getting into beer, it was in one of the most restrictive alcohol states in the country, with a six percent ABV cap on beer and a sixteen-ounce container size limit. (The former, thanks to Free the Hops has since been lifted; the latter has not.) There were maybe two hundred beers available in the entire state when I lived there, and about the most exotic were beers like Old Speckled Hen and Spaten. There was very little understanding in the culture around me that there even existed such a thing as “good” beer, what different styles were, et cetera. A common understanding of beer in that area (and among many people everywhere today) was that “better beer” just meant something like Michelob Amber Bock or Negra Modelo, i.e. that all beer is pretty much the same, but some beer is made of higher quality ingredients and more expensive. Many major beer producers Corona rely on this kind of marketing for their very existence.
So why blog? I spent so much time trying to navigate the world of craft beer with its dizzying array of styles that I decided to try to give a little back, to provide my hard-won knowledge to anyone with an internet connection who could find it. Which is why even to this day on my Youtube channel I take all the beer review requests I can from viewers, and have even read aloud viewer emails on my podcast. It’s about sharing, sure, but it’s about paying it forward, trying to share the knowledge that makes this stuff easier for those who come after me than I had it, and knowing that there’s a perfect pint out there for pretty much everyone.
Highfalutin’ words, I know, but that’s why I blog about beer.
That’s right, time for my video of the Michigan Winter Beer Fest 2012. I considered editing this into several videos, but decided to just throw it all up at once and let you guys enjoy it.
My fiancee Shana shot a lot of this video, and I’ve included quite a bit of her crowd footage to show the extent and scale of the event. A dry recounting of beers consumed this isn’t.
Thanks to Founders for getting me into the event. Sorry I didn’t shoot more video at your tent.
Yes, I know it’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve updated here. Life has been… hectic. Work has been crazy, I’m doing a tiny bit of effort to help my fiancee plan our wedding, and I just haven’t had a lot of time to post here. Oh, sure, I’ve still been posting videos on my Youtube channel, but I just haven’t been bothering to post stuff here.
Well, that’s about to change, because a project I’ve been trying to get off the ground for months now has finally found fruition, and if you read the title of this post, I think you already have a good idea what it is: The Beyond the Pour Podcast.
My buddy Ryan is joining me in this project. We’re going to be talking craft beer, but not doing reviews, but rather commentary on beer news, chat about events, and every episode will have some special topic near and dear to the hearts of beer nerds like us. This episode, we’re talking about the ethics of beer reviewing. Next week? Who knows! If you’ve got ideas for discussion, we’re definitely all ears.
Plans are to post these approximately biweekly, although that may change based on interest and availability.
I’m excited about getting to do this, and I hope my readers are as well.
0:00 to 5:46 What’s we’re drinking now and what we’ve been drinking lately.
5:46 to 16:36 A recent BeerAdvocate thread blows up over beer news websites: which breweries are overrated? In particular, Dogfish Head and Sam Adams.
16:36 to 29:00 Sierra Nevada to open up a second location near Asheville, North Carolina in 2014.
29:00 to 46:46 The Ethics of Reviewing Beer
Thanks a lot for the support, guys, and if you like what I do here on the website and what I do on the Youtube channel, I hope you’ll give us a listen. Cheers!