“Craft Beer” officially in the dictionary!

LA Weekly reports today that craft beer has officially been added to Merriam-Webster’s 2012 dictionary. Also making the cut is gastropub. The recognition is great, and is enough convincing to get this blogger back on track. Cheers! Let this be the rebirth(again) of this blog.

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What An Anniversary Ale Should Be All About

30 Years Of Greatness

My local beer cave has been selling bottles of Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary brews for half price. Now by anybody’s standards less than five dollars for 24 ounces of beer is a damn bargain, but less than five for Sierra’s special 30th Anniversary brews, well that’s a steal.

For their 30th (that’s 1980-2010) Sierra Nevada reached out to pioneers of the craft beer world including Mr. Anchor Brewing himself Fritz Maytag, and beer advocate, author and judge: Charlie Papazian. With the world-renowned help and Ken Grossman at the helm four separate brews were concocted and released at different times throughout 2010.

Only the finest crystal for this beer

I have had the pleasure of sampling two of the anniversary brews: Charlie, Fred & Ken’s Bock – an Imperial Helles Bock – and Jack & Ken’s Ale: A Black Barleywine. This post is mostly about the latter.

To be honest Jack & Ken’s Ale really reminded me of a bigger more complex version of Sierra’s Bigfoot Ale – also a barleywine. Regardless of the resemblance I am a huge fan of barleywine style beers. I love the sweetness and the higher alcohol content. I can have just one BW and be good to go for a while, if not all night.

And there in lies the essence of a barleywine – you’re supposed to take it slow. Let the ale warm in your hands and discover new aromas and flavors as you do so. It’s a slow beer. There should be no ‘slamming’ one of these puppies. They’re just too elegant to be taken advantage of; hence the use of the crystal snifter – classy!

Meet Carrie Nation, The Hatchet-Wielding Temperance Advocate

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Carrie A. Nation’s death. Who, you ask.

Trusty hatchet and bible in hand

Carrie Nation was a temperance advocate in pre-prohibition America. In the early part of the twentieth century, Carrie was so much against alcohol she could be found destroying entire bars with her coveted hatchet. Later, she marketed mini replicas of her hatchet as souvenirs for her fans and even wrote a newspaper titled The Hatchet. Gary Paulsen eat your heart out.

Her vandalism became widely known and bar patrons began to use the slogan “All Nations Welcome But Carrie.” Clever! In the course of ten years she was arrested close to 30 times for her “hatchetations” as she came to call them. This bitch is crazy! Anyway, she’s gone and we have beer. SO, cheers?!

Tonight raise a pint to Carrie, if for the very least, to honor her perseverance.

Near Beer

I always opt to be on beer rather than near it, still others prefer only getting close. Doesn’t surprise me AB makes it to the top spot in this category either.

Via Wikipedia

Originally, “near beer” was a term for malt beverages containing little or no alcohol (less than 0.5% ABV), which were mass-marketed during Prohibition in the United States. Near beer could not legally be labeled as “beer” and was officially classified as a “cereal beverage”.[13] The public, however, almost universally called it “near beer”.

Today, the term “near beer” has been revived to refer to modern non-alcoholic beer.[citation needed]

The most popular “near beer” was Bevo, brewed by the Anheuser-Busch company. The Pabst company brewed “Pablo”, Miller brewed “Vivo”, and Schlitz brewed “Famo”. Many local and regional breweries stayed in business by marketing their own near-beers. By 1921 production of near beer had reached over 300 million US gallons (1 billion L) a year (36 L/s).