Welcome to the new digs…
It’s been an exciting few weeks in the world of craft beer, and I feel like I am caught up in a whirlwind of awesome. Starting with brewing up my American Pale Ale (which is now in the bottle and carbonating as we speak), then attending an awesome Stogies & Stout event at Dunedin Brewery, and then attending the Brewer’s Ball this past weekend, life has been one epic beer thing after another.
In the in-betweens, I have been reading Ray Daniels‘ Designing Great Beers and learning SO much in a short amount of time. My good friend Josh commented on how the book saved his latest homebrew batch and I can see how invaluable this book is going to be in taking my homebrewing to the next level. I have always just loosely followed a recipe and played it by ear, and for the most part had good results, but like anything, knowing more about the hows and whys can bring me into another category of homebrewer. By knowing more about these ingredients and how they work with one another in the process of creating the flavors I want, I can get very creative.
Haggis Wee Heavy, anyone?
I spent most of my commute to and from work yesterday and today listening to the Brewing Network’s podcast of The Home Brewed Chef with Sean Paxton. I was drooling listening to him describe how he goes about planning and designing a beer pairing dinner. From the use of beer in the recipes to the actual pairing with different foods, everything just sounded incredible. It is a longer podcast, running about 2 hours or so, but worth it for any beer geek or foodie who appreciates what craft beer brings to the table. Great stuff and worth a listen for sure.
One thing that listening to beer podcasts and reading blogs and articles from around the country reminds me, however, is that there are some REALLY great breweries that I do not have access to in the Tampa Bay area. Sure, I could arrange a beer trade (as many do), but it is a costly endeavor. I know I will get to try them eventually since I do travel quite a bit, but there are a few that come to mind right away that I wish i could get my hands on:
- Russian River Brewing in my old stomping grounds of Santa Rosa, California
- Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, Oregon
- 21st Amendment in the Other Bay Area, San Francisco, California
- Surly Brewing in Minnesota
- Wolverine State Brewing in Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, California
That is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more that i have head greeat things about… I want to try them ALL…
I have decided to revive my writing for Examiner.com after a several month hiatus. I think that by offering short, informative articles I can offer info that people want without having to wax poetic every time (and maybe avoid the “hipster and douchey” labels).
This coming weekend is a big deal, too. As mentioned in another article, Cigar City is releasing it’s highly touted and deeply coveted Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout. And this year’s release party will be incredible. So many beers available to try, live music, great food, amazing people… and now for the pièce de résistance: I will be there pouring beers for Cigar City. That’s right, starting around 11:00, I will be manning one of the many taps and providing the sweet, sweet goodness that is craft beer to the thirsty masses. So come join me and the legions of good Florida beer people!