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3 tips for brewing better Christmas beers

Submitted by tresero on Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:16

It is getting to be the time of year when the seasons are changing (at least for those of you not in Las Vegas where it is 95° F here today). That means it is time to think of brewing your Christmas beer. You can call it holiday beer if you like. I am using the traditional English name since people recognize that.

I have brewed many a Christmas style beer and some have been unbeleiveable and others not quite so stellar.  When I owned my homebrew store, I also tasted many beers and most had the same issues.

Who has the cheapest beer prices in the world?

Submitted by tresero on Wed, 09/26/2012 - 10:19

An interesting article in The Economist, in honor of Oktoberfest, used data from UBS (the Swiss bank) to compare the cost of a beer around the world.

Before you get all excited and think this is a direct comparison, it isn't. It is a comparison of how many hours a worker earning the median income has to work to buy a half liter of beer.

Beer helps you sleep

Submitted by tresero on Thu, 09/20/2012 - 10:23

If you are like me, life is hectic and sometimes it is hard to sleep. Well, drink a beer. There is more evidence that beer is healthy. I know that is a relief for many of you!

A study  in PLoS ONE (2012) did a study on the effects of non-alcoholic beer in female nurses. They wanted to know how it affected  their sleep. Specifically, they wanted to see if hops helped to regulate sleep better.

It ends up that hops help regulate sleep patterns, especially when taken with valerian (Valeriana officinalis). That is one case where drinking beer with your medicine is a good thing.

Illinois hopes to change draconian home brew beer laws

Submitted by tresero on Wed, 09/19/2012 - 10:26

President Obama, who was also a Senator from Illinois, likes beer. He also likes homebrewing.

Why then does Illinois have some of the most backward home brew laws in the country. Not the worst, but among the worst.

It is legal to make your own beer in Illinois, unlike a few other states, but that is where the sanity ends.

Braveheart brews

Submitted by tresero on Tue, 09/04/2012 - 10:27

Are they just a bunch of punks playing around who got lucky or are they marketing geniuses who are really onto something?

At 24 years old in 2007, Martin Dickie and James Watt, of Aberdeen, Scotland, decided mainstream beers were boring and tired, uninteresting and flat. They had no money, no property, and no means, but what they did have was a lot of attitude! And it appears with that, everything else followed suit.

White House releases home brew beer recipe

Submitted by tresero on Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:29

After President Obama announced that he has been drinking beer made from home beer brewing kit, beer geeks have been asking for the recipe.

Jay Carney, President Obama's White House spokesperson, announced on Twitter that the secret White House beer recipe would be released if 25,000 people would sign an online petition requesting the recipe. Beer fans started to sign the petition immediately and it didn't take long for the requisite number of signatures were gathered.

The White House released the recipes for the two home brews on Saturday and here is my analysis of them.

French craft beers in the U.S.

Submitted by tresero on Wed, 08/22/2012 - 10:35

It can certainly be argued the French know their stuff when it comes to wines; it seems now beer is the next frontier for them in the U.S.

In a press release issued in 2011, The French Craft Brewers said, "the association wishes to promote the know-how of the French craft breweries and to conquer new markets abroad."

Nine French craft breweries united in 2009 with 3 common goals:

Organic beer soon to have organic hops

Submitted by tresero on Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:33

Organic beer lovers: did you know your organic beer is probably not made with organic hops? That will change as of January 2013, when new legislation filed with the USDA will require any beer using the USDA Organic Logo must use 100 percent organic hops.

“Any remaining product ingredients must consist of non-agricultural substances approved on the National List, including specific non-organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form,” according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) website.

Tips for enjoying a craft beer festival

Submitted by tresero on Wed, 08/15/2012 - 10:35

So you're going to a craft beer festival for the first time! Well, don't go wearing your two-beer-can hat and stretchy pants, expecting to wander around eating peanuts or jerky and siphoning off first one beer then the other by bendy straws.

There are many craft beer festivals popping up all around the country, and once you've chosen the one you want to attend, there are some procedures you can follow which will give you the best experience possible - so you'll return year after year - and not just for the beer.

New trend: beer sommeliers

Submitted by tresero on Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:38

For many people, beer is the beverage of choice for backyard barbeques and sporting events, and is synonymous with casual,  even unsophisticated entertainment. But today, the paradigm has changed, and beer is becoming more and more chic, as beer making becomes more refined.

As in the past a Sommelier was consulted in fine dining establishments to pair wines and food appropriately, now, with beer recipes evolving, a “Cicerone” is becoming more popular to pair beer and food in the same way.