Beer Knowledge

I’m excited to announce a new book that I had a hand in writing: Craft Beer for the Homebrewer

Last spring I was approached to help out with a homebrewing book and leapt at the offer. I joined a great beer team of Michael Agnew, Denny Conn, Matthew Schaefer, and Jordan Wiklund. The book just came out and yes I’m pretty biased, but I’m sure everyone who buys it will agree that it’s fantastic.

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Westvleteren 12On October 24th, at approximately 8:30pm Mountain Time, I tasted the holy grail – Westvleteren 12.

“Westy 12″ as it’s known by most, is continually near the top of beer rankings, occupying the top seat the majority of the time. But how much of that is due to its scarcity?

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IPA blind tasting group
A blind tasting is the great equalizer.

Take away the hype, the label, the expectations, and you’re left with what matters most – the flavor. IPAs are perhaps the most hyped beers due to the popularity of the style and America’s “hop mania”.

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The results are in. I took the BJCP on March 2nd and my score was emailed on June 3rd.

The score: 80

Whew!

That’s a relief. I was really hoping for at least an 80 because that is the score needed to qualify for National ranking.

Now I’ll tell you all about the exam in case I can help some BJCP hopefuls out there prepare. First, here is the exam feedback sheet I received with my score:

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Aecht SchlenkerlaAs I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’m headed to Munich in May.

Part of my brutal training regimen is drinking a ton of German beer. We’re planning on spending one or two days of the trip in Bamberg, which is about 140 miles north of Munich. It’s home to the Rauchbier style of beer, or “smoke beer”. No liquid smoke in these though. This is the reaaaal deal. They produced it via the authentic practice of smoking the malt during the kilning process.

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Beer barrel cellar roomWood aging isn’t new. It’s what was used to ferment, age, and transport beer before there was anything better, like stainless steel.

But that doesn’t mean breweries aren’t innovating with wood.

Not content with simply “wood-aging” beer, craft breweries are experimenting with new creations made with this ancient technique. We’ll look at some of the different methods that are being used in today’s beers, along with examples.

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5 weeks.Sour beers for the bjcp exam.

That’s how far away the BJCP exam is.

For some background, I’ve been wanting to become a certified beer judge for years now. Last January it was one of my New Years Resolutions to pass the exam; a group of us formed to study for it.

There is a huge demand for the BJCP and not enough resources, so the earliest we could schedule it was March 2013. In hindsight, I’m glad we’ve had over a year to study because it’s a ton to learn and a whole lot of fun.

We’ve been fairly consistent about meeting every two weeks. The study sessions generally go like this:

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Book Review: Bitter Brew

by Billy Broas


My experience with Anheuser-Busch goes far back and beyond beer. Growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia I was constantly exposed to AB. Many of my friends’ parents worked at the giant factory. Busch Gardens was an annual summer tradition. It may even surprise (or horror) my readers to know that I was once employed by AB. Not in beer, but as a lifeguard at their Water Country USA theme park.

I remember the time that August Busch came for a visit. The entire place went into panic mode. I cleaned the hell out of the bathrooms that day. You would have thought that God himself was coming down for judgement.

That was my first experience with the Busch men and the power they wield. Or should I say, wielded.

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Beer books make a great gift for the beer drinker in your life. There are hundreds of great ones, but for this post I’ll focus on books that were released in the past couple of years because there’s a good chance the person you’re buying for hasn’t read them yet.

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My Favorite Beer Glass

by Billy Broas

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