We’ve had nasty weather this week, but it pales in comparison to conditions atop Mount Washington, New Hampshire, on this day in 1934. The world’s strongest-ever wind gust, 231 miles per hour, was recorded there.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Oregon, where lawmakers may designate Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the official state microbe. It’s also used to make bread, cheese, and craft distilled spirits, all popular Oregon products.
Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, Massachusetts, is honoring Red Auerbach, the legendary Boston Celtics basketball coach, with–what else?–a Rauchbier. Back in the day, Auerbach lit up a cigar to celebrate a Boston victory.
The Sly Fox Brewing Company is the first American brewery to use topless cans. Just pull the tab up, then then peel the lid away, to expose a 1.75-inch-wide opening that allows you to enjoy the beer’s aroma.
Many craft brewers have branched out into spirits, and some familiar names–including Ballast Point, Rogue, and Dogfish Head–have been awarded medals by the American Distilling Institute.
The Four Seasons Resort in Vail, Colorado, has joined forces with Crazy Mountain Brewing, a local micro, to offer “Brew and Renew” treatments. They include foot soaks, body wraps, scalp treatments, and full body scrubs.
Finally, Paste magazine has compiled a list of ten music-inspired beers. It includes “Brother Theloneous” Belgian-Style Abbey Ale; “Smoke on the Water” Porter; and–wait for it–”Dark Side of the Moose,” a dark ale brewed in Wales.
On this day in 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. The wall’s demise led not only to the reunification of Germany but also to the fall of Communism in eastern Europe. Feel free to celebrate with a continental Pilsner.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in New Ulm, Minnesota, where a local theater company is putting on The History of Beer, Part I. It’s heavy on audience participation, including traditional German beer-hall songs.
Many beers are aged in bourbon barrels, but New Holland Artisan Spirits has reversed the process. Its Beer Barrel Bourbon is aged in barrels that once held the brewery’s Dragon’s Milk Stout.
Matt Dredge, at Pencil and Spoon, believes that IBUs are not the best indicator of how bitter your beer will taste. Instead, he recommends BU:GUs (Bitterness Units: Gravity Units), a ratio first introduced by author Ray Daniels.
Brewing’s Busch family continues to fascinate authors. William Knoedelseder’s new book, Bitter Brew, was written with the family’s cooperation. Meanwhile, Terry Ganey and Peter Hernon have written an updated version of their 1991 unauthorized biography.
Another reminder that time flies. Samuel Adams Utopia is celebrating its tenth birthday. Only 15,000 bottles of this year’s extreme (29 percent ABV) beer will be produced.
Circle next Thursday on your calendar. Belgophile bars, restaurants, and stores across America will take part in the Coast to Coast Toast. November 15 is the 30th anniversary of Vanberg & DeWulf, the New York-based importer of Belgian beer.
Finally, you missed the ultimate release party. Last Friday evening, bars across Denmark poured free glasses of Julebryg, Tuborg Brewery’s extra-strength Christmas beer.
The Boston Beer Company has recently gotten considerable media coverage of its planned acquisition of a distillery in Vermont, which will create two whiskies literally made from Sam Adams beer.
However, beer writer Bryan Yaeger puts the story into perspective, pointing out that a number of craft brewers have branched out into distilling. (On our own Michigan brewery travels, we ran into several establishments that were experimenting with spirits.) Yaeger adds that this trend is older than you might think. In 1993, the Anchor Brewery added a distilling operation, making it a pioneer in that field as well as brewing.
Why not? Plenty of craft beer fans, not to mention beer writers, are into whiskey; and a growing number of many craft breweries have expanded into distilling. One of them is Rogue Ales, whose wire service announced the Great American Distillers Festival.
This year’s festival will take place at the Tiffany Center in Portland, Oregon, a city that is home to at least eight distilleries. A total of 38 distilleries, the most in festival history, will pour more than 70 whiskeys, gins, vodkas, and rums. The festivities will also include distillery tours, educational seminars, and a cocktail competition.
This is a beer site, but Maryanne and Paul enjoy other adult beverages, including spirits. And, by happy coincidence, many craft brewers have started micro-distilleries.
One of the best-known is Rogue, whose distillery is located in downtown Portland, Oregon. Today is Monday, which means it’s Rum Day at Rogue Spirits. See how this beverage is made:
Need more inspiration? Here you go. Today is National Rum Day.