Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here's a good way to cope with your own mortality

Illinois man orders custom beer-can coffin

Bill Bramanti will rest in peace surrounded by Pabst Blue Ribbon memories

Image: Bill Bramanti and his casket

Bill Bramanti poses with a coffin he had specially made to look like a can of his favorite beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon, in Chicago Heights, Ill., on Saturday. While he doesn't need the coffin just yet, he's planning to use the casket as a cooler

SOUTH CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. - Bill Bramanti will love Pabst Blue Ribbon eternally, and he's got the custom-made beer-can casket to prove it. "I actually fit, because I got in here," said Bramanti of South Chicago Heights.

The 67-year-old Glenwood village administrator doesn't plan on needing it anytime soon, though.

He threw a party Saturday for friends and filled his silver coffin — designed in Pabst's colors of red, white and blue — with ice and his favorite brew."Why put such a great novelty piece up on a shelf in storage when you could use it only the way Bill Bramanti would use it?" said Bramanti's daughter, Cathy Bramanti, 42.

Bramanti ordered the casket from Panozzo Bros. Funeral Home in Chicago Heights, and Scott Sign Co. of Chicago Heights designed the beer can.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wormy Trip rollout party tomorrow at the BBC!

Wormwood Triple (Belgian Ale) Unveiling and Absinthe Tasting

Saturday, Dec. 27th

“Wormy Trip” is Bluegrass Brewing Company’s latest specialty beer to be released. “Wormy Trip” is a Belgian Trippel bittered with Wormwood (Artemsia absinthium) a bracingly bitter, clean flavored herb. The beer is brewed with 100% Pilsner malt with additions of Belgian candy sugar and honey. “Wormy Trip” is high in alcohol and golden in color with softly melding sweet, dry and bitter flavors and a powerful fruity and complex aroma.

ABV 10.2%

IBU 24

OG 21.5

Absinthe Tasting

BBC will also host an Absinthe tasting on the night of the “Wormy Trip” unveiling because of the similarities in ingredients. Absinthe originated in France in the late 18th century and became popular very quickly with artists and literati. (Degas, Van Gogh, Toulousse-Lautrec, and nowadays Johnny Depp) Absinthe is made from liquor distilled from neutral grain spirits and herbs, most importantly “The Holy Trinity” Wormwood, Anise and Fennel. Absinthe is uniquely served in a tulip glass with ice water dripped over a sugar cube into the absinthe, creating a refreshing drinkable mixture.

The celebration will begin at 5pm and last until closing. The band “Hello Darlins” will be having a CD release party as well with music beginning at 10:30.

Friday, December 12, 2008

NASA Turns to Coors to Solve Drinking Water Problem

For those of you who don't keep up with the latest in technology, it was recently announced that NASA has perfected a new water purification system that collects astronauts' urine and turns it into drinking water. NASA needs this technology because water is one of the most cumbersome and expensive payloads for manned space missions, approaching a cost of $40,000 per gallon. This new water recovery system, which will be located on the international space station, will cut the volume of water hauled into space by two-thirds, freeing up room on the space shuttle for four more astronauts.

This was all interesting when I read it in the newspaper, but I wondered what was the story behind the scenes at NASA, and how they developed this urine purifying devece. For those of you who would also like the inside story, urine luck, because the Sober Brewer's inside sources run deep at NASA.

One of the engineers working on the project agreed to speak to me on the record. Dr. Irwin P. Freely Pee hD informed me that the idea for the purification system was spawned during a night of heavy drinking at the Sugar Shack in Tempe, AZ. Dr. Freely and his other NASA cohorts decided to try and sober up by switching to American light lagers. Dr. Freely got a bottle of Coors light and took a drink. "It tasted as though someone had just peed into my mouth... How can a brewery take clean drinking water and turn it into urine?" And that, Freely said was the genesis of the idea. "What we did at NASA was what you laypeople might call 'hijacking technology' while we call it reverse engineering." Freely continued, "The good folks at Coors have been changing water to urine for decades, we can just follow that pathway backwards."

I thought it was fascinationg how once again the American macrobrew industry is helping advance civilization. The Sober Brewer salutes you Coors light, and your contribution to the space program. After all this I asked Dr. Freely how the recycled urine tastes, he said that it is ninty-nine percent pure but it has a little Tang to it.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Join Us at the BBC for the Prohibition Repeal Party


Bluegrass Brewing Company (Shelbyville Road) will celebrate the repeal of Prohibition on Friday, December 5th, with nickel beers. The festivities will include a free soup kitchen, BBC employees dressed in 1920’s apparel, and 1920’s era music to help set the ambiance.

The 18th amendment to the constitution banned all alcohol sales. This “prohibition” lasted for 13 years, from 1920 – 1933. The 21st amendment was enacted on December 5th 1933 and repealed the 18th amendment. The 21st amendment is the only amendment to the constitution that specifically repeals another amendment. BBC will halt alcohol sales for 13 minutes from 5:47 pm until 6:00 pm to simulate the 13 years of alcohol prohibition. From 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm we will celebrate with 1920s prices of nickel beers. The free soup kitchen will consist of bean soup and corn bread and will run from 6:00 pm until the soup runs out.

This annual celebration is one of Bluegrass Brewing Company’s most popular events so come out and join in the festivities. For more information please contact BBC at 899-7070.

P.S. How did this guy lose the election?

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Future of Bartenders?

Jet cars, hover boards and commercial space travel are not the only things we can look forward to in the future. Mechanized bartenders will provide excellent service without all the errors, long wait times and sass. Hopefully they can make a cyborg Jeff Gesser. (if we can mine for more metal on other planets...because he's a really big guy)

But what happens when the robots become self aware and take over the world making us their slaves. I would imagine they would be ticked off about doing the jobs Americans won't do, and force us to serve them beer. (My rendition of what that might look like)

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seriously, Youth of America, Stop Making Fools Out Of Yourselves

And if that isn't stupid enough for you, check this out: proof of the decline of civilization

Why can't people just put beer in a dang glass and drink it anymore? See post below.

2008 Great American Beer Festival Report

It's time again for the annual Sober Brewer GABF report. I know I'm over a month late, but if you want timely information and commentary, write you own dang blog. This is the time when I basically call into question the character, knowledge, ethics and "preferences" of the pathetic and unclean, yellow-bellied, lily-livered GABF judges. We will also take a look at the dope smoking, maggot infested, plastic banana, good time rock and roll, FM types known as the other brewery workers we came in contact with.

So let's start off with the judges comment cards we got back. As we've said before, this "should" be the most useful part of the competition. Having qualified (ha!) judges critique our beers, helps us get better because our own judgement and palate is clouded by our own prejudices. So what did the score sheet from one of our entries read under drinkability? (term stolen from Budweiser) One judge wrote "good, but lacks drinkability." Whereas the next judge wrote, "smooth-almost too easy drinking." Now I would agree there are degrees of drinkability, (OMG I can't believe I just used the word drinkability) but to be the exact opposite of each other? Somebody is dead wrong and therefore by the transitive property of wrongness, wrong about everything else and in general a crap human being.
GABF judge extraordinaire

Some of you might think that I'm just whining because we didn't win anything and this is all just sour grapes. Sorry, no, we actually won the gold medal for our Baltic Porter, where I'm sure we beat out the other two entries for the top prize. And in contrast to our previous medal-winning entries, I actually agreed that our Baltic Porter was a good example of the style. I guess even a blind squirrel (beer judge) can find a nut (good beer) once in a while. Just because they were right once does not excuse them from my scorn.

Onto the brewers we met while we were there. Most were nice, albeit egotistical and nerdy. But one person in particular who was the epitome of the contemptible brewer came to our booth trying to tell us about himself and his impeccable resume (like we cared). He planted himself in front of our booth, clogging up the queue that had formed behind him, and after many samples of our five beer selection and numerous asinine questions and comments, point blank asked us, "What exactly are you guys trying to do here?" Flummoxed by this, I responded the way any polite person would by saying that I didn't understand the question. Thankfully, our brewery cohort Sam Cruz responded with the right answer. Sam simply replied, "your wife."

Thanks Sam, I sure am looking forward to next year.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Newsflash: The World Has Officially Passed Me By and Landed in the Toilet

Rejoice everyone, it has come to my attention that someone actually reads this crappy blog and has been jonesin' for an update. So I'm going to start it back off with a real kick ass post. Let's talk about the latest and greatest trend brought to us from the always imaginative youth of America...Anal Beer Bongs!

Here is the report from the TV show "The Doctors"

That's right, drinking beer or liquor orally, you know...through your mouth, has apparently become as "old fashioned" as beehive hairdos and wearing you pants up around you waist. From what I can gather the kids are getting drunk faster by these anal colonics, and it's not just prevalent among KU fans, it is a trend sweeping the country.

Now you might think that I would come up with some sort of "new beer" we are going to brew specifically for anal consumption. Perhaps naming it, "Colonale", "Buttweiser" or even "Rectum...damn beer killed um." But I'm not sure this is a laughing matter.

Please, youth of America, if as the great sage Whitney Houston said, "The children are our future," don't stick beer up your butt. Someday you will be old and probably regret having to wear diapers or empty your colostomy bags. Meanwhile, we'll continue to brew beer specifically for drinking...orally.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

News of the Weird: Wierd Science

In July, microbiologists writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that the Malaysian pen-tailed tree shrew subsists on a diet of fermented palm nectar that is roughly the equivalent of 100 percent beer. "They seem to have developed some type of mechanism to deal with that high level of alcohol and not get drunk," according to one researcher, who hoped further study could help with human cases of alcohol poisoning (and other rare instances in which people ingest alcohol for purposed other than getting drunk)

I was under the impression that just such a drunkenness neutralizing drug already exists. When I was going to school at Adams college, our fraternity Lamda Lamda Lamda participated in the Greek Games. During which my good friend Poindexter gave my other good buddy Takashi a pill that counteracted all effects of alcohol in his system during the big tricycle/beer chugging race. That was intregal in helping us beat the Alpha Betas thus giving us a seat on the Greek Council. At least that's the way I remember it.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Local Hops at the BBC Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival this Saturday at Bluegrass Brewing Co. Shelbyville Rd. from 3:30 to 7 pm. Showcasing beer from BBC, Browning's Brewery, Cumberland Brews and New Albanian Brewing Co. using some of these locally grown hops. Three canned goods for Kentucky Harvest is the price of admission. See you there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What's the Matter Colonel Sanders? Chicken?

By The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The secret's out at KFC.

Colonel Harland Sanders' handwritten recipe of 11 herbs and spices was to be removed Tuesday from safekeeping at KFC's corporate offices for the first time in decades.

The temporary relocation is allowing KFC to revamp security around a yellowing sheet of paper that contains one of the country's most famous corporate secrets.

KFC hired off-duty police officers and private security guards to whisk the document away to an undisclosed location in an armored car.

The recipe will be slid into a briefcase and handcuffed to a security expert.

For more than 20 years, the recipe has been tucked away in a filing cabinet equipped with two combination locks in company headquarters.

So important is the 68-year-old concoction that coats the chain's Original Recipe chicken that only two company executives at any time have access to it. The company refuses to release their names or titles, and it uses multiple suppliers who produce and blend the ingredients but know only a part of the entire contents.

Sanders developed the formula in 1940 at his tiny restaurant in southeastern Kentucky and used it to launch the KFC chain in the early 1950s.

Sanders died in 1980, but his likeness is still central to KFC's marketing.

"The recipe to him, in later years, was everything he stood for," said Shirley Topmiller, his personal secretary for about 12 years.

This news story ran on Sept. 9 2008. I thought it was interesting how tight fisted old Harland Sanders was about his precious 11 herbs and spices. But what's really in a recipe? I would say it is just a list of ingredients and quantities and methods? Recipes are good in a way, they breed consistency in the end product and continuity that carries over from one cook to the next. But recipes can also hamstring you somewhat. If you are a slave to a recipe you never adjust to changing raw materials or different equipment or new technologies, thereby actually being less consistent. This holds true for beer brewing as well. The actual ingredients and quantities in beer recipes are just part of what effects beer flavor. The four main ingredients in beer fluctuate all the time.

We'll start with the most prevelent ingredient: Water. Mineral content in water can flucuate year to year and season to season. When I was brewing in Michigan we got water analysis done once a quarter because the mineral content changes every winter. We theorized that snow took longer than rain to seep through the ground to the water supply, thus picking up more minerals. I don't really know if we were right but it made sense to us. When I was in Lawrence, KS they would switch periodically their mix of well water and water took from the local resivoir, thus the mineral content changed all the time. Here in Louisville we get our water from the river and it seems to always be consistent, but the temperatures sure do vary out of the tap. In the dead of winter we can get water at about 40 degrees, whereas the end of summer we are at about 85, which can sure make it hard to cool our wort down. All these changes require us to pay attention and adjust the mineral content in the water and schedule brews appropriately soas to maintain consistency.

Next two ingredients are Malt and hops: These being agricultural products, their quality is effected by growing conditions. Unusually hot, cold, dry, wet conditions affect the barley malt and hops that we recieve. Also pests and disease factor into the type and quality of malt and hops available to us small brewers. We recieve a malt analysis for each shipment of grain we recieve and alpha-acid ratings on our hops. We use this information to adjust the recipe in order to maintain the beer's quality and flavor profile.

Yeast is the final ingredient that has several variables. First of all maintaining superior yeast health and viability is one of the most important jobs in a brewery for consistency and quality. But as yeast is used over and over there is a condition called "strain drift" which is when the yeast become accustomed to the conditions you are placing it in during fermentation. Strain drift is not neccasarily a bad thing, but there is slight differences between the same yeast strain used at one brewery and another, and also slight differences between a new pure yeast culture and one a brewery has been using for a number of generations.

And finally there is variabiliy in brewing systems. The design and shape of different fermentation vessels and the caramelization and malliard reactions differ between direct-fire and steam systems,these are just a few things that can effect beer flavor and color. Also the accuracy of process measurement can vary tank to tank and brewery to brewery. There are countless other differences between what we do here, what other breweries do and what you do at home, they all effect beer flavor, aroma, color and consistency.

What I'm saying is, recipes matter and they matter a great deal, but they are not the only factor in what comes out in the final product. So what is KFC holding onto, a marketing gimmick I guess. But the Sober Brewer doesn't have any secrets, so I will take the lead and give you a recipes to three of our award winning beers. Brew them if you like and share them with whomever, because if you only use the same ingredients, you might get close, but it will never be exactly the same.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Smoked Porter (Gold medal 2003 GABF)
47% Pale Ale Malt OG 15.3 77% IBUs 90 min Nugget
29% Wyermann Smoked Malt IBU 38 15% IBUs 30 min Fuggle
6% Munich Malt Boil length 90 min 8% IBUs 15 min Kent Goldings
6% Caramelmunich 80 Attenuation 75%
6% Caramelmunich 120 American ale yeast
6% Chocolate Malt

Dortmunder (Bronze medal 2003 GABF)
80% Pilsner Malt OG 14.5 59% IBUs 90 min Northern Brewer
8% Best Caramel Malt Light IBU 28.4 20% IBUs 30 min Spalt Select
6% Carapils Boil length 90 min 21% IBUs 15 min Hallertau Tradition
6% White Wheat Attenuation 80% Whirpool hops Spalt Select
Munich Lager yeast

Oktoberfest (Bronze medal 2006 GABF)
48% Pilsner Malt OG 14.5 39% IBUs 90 min Hallertau Tradition
30% Munich Malt IBU 18.6 41% IBUs 30 min Czech Saaz
9% Carahell Boil length 90 min 20% IBUs 5 min Hallertau Tradition
6% Carapils Attenuation 72%
7% Caramelmunich 60 Bavarian Lager yeast

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Mittelfruh Code: Hop Varieties and How They Are Named

With the subject of hop shortages on many brewers' minds, a result of the "Great Global Hop Crisis of 2008." There have been more than a few farmers in the area looking into the feasibility of growing hops here in Kentucky. Whether that will work out or not is irrelevant to me, what does interest me is what these new Kentucky grown hops be named. To properly name our new hop, we must first examine how other hops got their names. For that I turned to Mark Garetz's book Using Hops which talks about where different varieties of hops came from and the names associated with them.

Although there is only one hop species ( Humulus Lupulus) that is useful for brewing, there are many varieties, or cultivars, in that species. Each of these varieties has different brewing, growing and storage characteristics. Almost all of the hop varieties in use today are the result of hop breeding by hop researchers and not mother nature. In the early days, this consisted of selecting those plants that were desirable, but now more sophisticated techniques are used to create new varieties.

Garetz's book states that in order to keep track of all these hop varieties, common names are associated with specific varieties. Some of these names are traditional, while newer US hop varieties have their names chosen and sanctioned by a group consisting of the USDA and hop research centers. The newer names are usually chosen by the person responsible for breeding the original cultivar and sometimes by the hop brokers that have invested in growing the first commercial scale plots. The choice of names is fairly arbitrary, sometimes they are named after a place (Cascade, Mt. Hood or Willamette) and sometimes just a nifty sounding word (Tomahawk, Bravo or Warrior). Traditional European hop names often were named after the person or institution that bred or selected them, and also often have the place where they are grown included in the name, which is different than in the US where hops named after places generally have little to with where they are actually grown.

European hops names usually reveal something about the variety and in what region they are grown. The reason for this is that most of the important European varieties only produce the desired brewing qualities when grown in a specific region. Through many years of natural selection, varieties that are indigenous to the growing area have emerged, and these are called land races. These indigenous varieties are typically named for the place where they emerged, mainly because only one variety was grown there, so there was no need to be more specific. Some of these varieties are still grown in their place of origin and some are not.

European hops may have the same variety name as the place where they originated. But because these hops may no longer be grown in the place after which they are named, the place where they are now being grown is attached to the hop name as an adjective. For example, a common hop from Germany is the variety called Hersbrucker. It originated in the Hersbruck region. It is called a Hersburcker because it came from Hersbruck. Think of it this way, if you come from New York, you could be called a New Yorker. The "er" is always part of the variety name. If this hop was grown in the Hersbruck region, this hop would be called a Hersbruck Hersbrucker. But most of the Hersbrucker grown today is actually grown in the Hallertau region. Hersbrucker grown in the Hallertau region would be call Hallertau Herbrucker.

This gets confusing because there is also a Hallertauer variety. When it is grown in the Hallertau, it is called Hallertau Hallertauer. Now I'm going to throw one more curve at you: One of the most prized hops in the world is the noble hop Hallertauer Mittelfruh. This doesn't seem correct because there is an "er" on the first word. That is because the real name for this hop is Hallertau Hallertauer Mittelfruh. Mittelfruh means "middle-early" and has to do with the fact that this hop matured "middle-early" in the growing season. Hallertauers that matured at different times just weren't the same. So Hallertauer Mittelfruh is a sub-variety of Hallertauer. To shorten the name up, most people leave off the first Hallertau since all Halletauer Mittelfruh is assumed to be grown in the Hallertau region.

Now let's move on to British hops. In Britain, hops are not named after the place where they were grown, but sometimes are named after the person who selected the hop. Goldings is named after Mr. Golding and Fuggle is named after Mr. Fuggle. A lot of the newer English varieties start with the word Wye because they were developed at Wye university's hop research department. Examples are Wye Target, Wye Northdown and Wye Challenger. Sometimes they add the place as an adjective on the front of the hop name just like the Germans. Those Goldings grown in the east part of Kent are sold as East Kent Goldings. And sometimes there are British hop names that are arbitrary like the US Hop names, such as Northern Brewer and Brewer's Gold.

Other European hops don't follow any rules concerning their names. Saaz is named for the town near which it grows in Czechoslovakia (the town is now called Zatec in the Czech Republic). When marketed outside of Czechoslovakia, it is usually called Czech Saaz to distinguish it from the Saazer variety grown elsewhere. Slovenia grows hops and they add "Styrian" on the front of the hop name. Styria is actually not is Slovenia, but Austria, they probably added the "Styrian" because it sounded better and appealed to the old Austro-Hungarian Empire where these hops were marketed. Which brings up an interesting point about the marketing of Slovenian hops. Styrian Goldings is indeed grown in Slovenia, but it is not a Goldings variety. It is really Fuggle, but the hop merchants there called it Goldings because they thought they could get more money for them (since Goldings was more highly thought of than Fuggle). To this day, the strategy still works, Styrian Goldings are more expensive than Fuggle, yet you would be better off just getting the real English Fuggle, cheaper.

So what to call the new Louisville grown hop? The traditional German way, Louisviller Louisville. Or if the Louisville variety is grown in Frankfort we could call it a Frankforter Louisviller. I guess we should use the arbitrary US naming system, which is pretty much whatever we want. Cardinal hop? Derby hop? Barbaro hop? How about Thoroughbred? Let me know if you have any better suggestions.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Newest Member of the League of Extraordinary Brewers for Super Justice Friends

Riley James Gnagy AKA Captain Adorable
Super Power: Adorability
Weaknesses: Bowel and bladder control

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Miracle Beer Diet

Funny video here, but I warn you if you are easily offended, incapable of recognizing sarcasm or humor, disgusted by women in bikinis, or are generally a killjoy, do not click play. In fact exit this blog, now before you upset yourself, otherwise enjoy.

Miracle Beer Diet by Liv Films (featuring Bikini and Underwear M - The most popular videos are a click away

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Destination Kenya? No Way

They didn't mention this on Globe trekker.

Beer bottle stuck in man's colon
Nairobi - Doctors in central Kenya have successfully removed an empty half-litre (one-pint) beer bottle from a man's colon, say reports, but how it got there remains a mystery.

The 26-centimetre bottle was removed on Monday from the colon of the 33-year-old man after two operations in Kiambu District Hospital, about 20km from the capital, the Daily Metro newspaper reported.

The hospital's administrator Patrick Okoth said: "The first operation was not successful, forcing us to perform a second one, which went fine."

Although the man, whose identity was not disclosed, said he had pushed the bottle through his rectum, Okoth said it was nearly impossible for the man to have done that by himself.

"It would have been too painful. He would have had to use a whole length of his arm," Okoth said, adding that the bottle inflicted "no damage at all" in the man's internal organs.

Instead, Okoth said the man could have been assaulted by other people, but that it was too embarrassing for him accept that, the Metro said in its story which was accompanied by an X-ray image of the bottle in the stomach.

Hospital authorities refused to allow the patient to be interviewed, citing patient-doctor confidentiality.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bluegrass Brewing Co. Focuses On Neglected Market

Recent news about Miller High Life and Busch beers found on Brandweek, states that Miller Brewing Co. and Anheuser-Busch intend to target the 65 million outdoor sportsmen and women in the U.S. with new camouflage cans and related promotions. Nick Lake vice president of client services at Nielsen Beverage Alcohol Group lauded the new campaign of linking the two brands to hunting and other outdoor activities. "The brands index high with blue collar consumers 45-65 years old. Their drinkers also skew higher, compared with the general population, for such activities as target shooting, hunting, fishing, watching the Outdoor Channel or Country Music TV, and subscribing to publications like Field and Steam" says Lake.

The Sober Brewer Marketing Team also heralds this innovative new packaging tie in. Not only because we love the natural synergy of alcohol and weaponry, but the inevitable increase in sales volume from people losing their beer after setting it down.

Not to be outdone Bluegrass Brewing Co. has started focus grouping new packaging, designed to target a specific market which we believe has been ignored for too long. That is why we are unveiling BBC's new Argyle bottle. We hope to appeal to college professors, librarians and fans of Kansas University. We feel that this market skews higher than the general public for such activities as artisanal cheese tasting, role playing strategy games, online beer rating, anti-capitalism protests, studying Hopi Indian culture, wearing those round wire framed colored spectacles, watching public television and subscribing to The Economist.

To all those beatniks, we want to say, "you are not forgotton." We have a beer for you!

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

One more for you chickenhawker!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Meet The League of Extraordinary Brewers For Super Justice Friends

We've been doing this blog for quite some time now and I got to thinking, you probably don't know anything about us here are Bluegrass Brewing Co. So I decided to write up short biographies of the brewers here. So I will start with our newest member Cody Mingus.

Cody was born on the dying planet Glutron where at the last moment his parents put him in a space pod and jettisoned him towards Earth. After arriving and being raised in the small town of Salem, OH, strange powers, presumably from our yellow sun, started to develop. Among these powers are the ability to clean and fill kegs and clean beer lines and taps. Unfortunately for Cody, remnants of his home planet made their way to Earth, causing his intolerance of gluten. You can find mild-mannered Cody working during the day managing BBC, but when work needs done in the brewery he heads to the employee restroom stall and transforms into Cody the brewer. Usually just by changing his clothes...there's not a cocoon or anything in there.

Mild-mannered Cody

The Transformation Process

Cody The Brewer

We now move onto Sam Cruz. Sam was a college student at IU and an avid homebrewr. One day, so the story goes, he was bitten by a radioactive sawtoothed grain beetle that crawled out of a bag of organic malt. Unbeknownst to him, the venom for the beetle changed his DNA giving him his own strange and special powers. The bite gave him the ability to scale brew tanks to clean the tops (the ladder is just there for OSHA compliance) and the uncanny knack for turning butterfly valves the wrong way. But he also filters beer like Superman...who he is not. Here are a few shots of this amazing spectacle.

Onto yours truly. After witnessing as a child the rise of the large brewers and the watering down of domestic light lagers. Jerry whose secret identity, Jerald Gnagy (don't steal my identity, jerkstore!) decided to fight back by becoming a brewer, and by training himself to physical and intellectual perfection. He planned on using the skills of intellect, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess and intimidation to combat the macrobrewer conglomeration. After that didn't work out so well he just decided to make a wide range of unique and flavorful beers for you enjoyment. You can recognize Jerry from his gadget laden brew belt, or riding in the "Brewmoblie" which looks a lot like a Tarc bus. Jerry came to BBC as a wealthy industrialist, playboy and philanthropist, after five years at BBC his is none of those things.

Finally, I thought we would "out" former BBC brewer Cameron Finnis, now with Cumberland Brews. Cameron also claimed to have the alias "Dr. Doom." I checked it out, and while he did in fact enroll at Brown Mackie college with a major in doom and a minor in women's studies, he never completed the required course work and residency requirements to obtain a doctorate in doom. So to be fair to all those that spent seven years in intense doom study, I cannot address Cameron as "Doctor" Doom. But I did find that he received an Associates Degree which makes him eligible to obtain a license in Kentucky as a registered doom practitioner.

Mr. Doom himself

So if you see us around don't hesitate to say hi. And you can be confident that all these bios are spot on accurate, without the least bit of embellishment.

Remember, never trust The Sober Brewer

Jerry Gnagy

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bluegrass Brewing Co. ranked 5th largest brewpub in region; 51st nationally

The production numbers are in and Bluegrass Brewing Co. is the fifth largest brewpub in the south region, according to the Brewers Association. The south region includes brewpubs in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Out of nearly 1,000 brewpubs nationally we came in at fifty-one. Who was the largest in the south region? It was our fellow Kentuckians at Hofbrauhaus in Newport, with a whopping 3,240 beer barrels, placing them at number fifteen in the nation.

We produced 1,852 barrels of beer in 2007. To give you an idea of how much that is, one barrel equals thirty-one gallons or two full size kegs, or roughly 470,000 twenty ounce pints. It's amazing how much you people drink!

A few other relevant number for you:
-Craft beer as a whole grew 12% this year. Macrobrew's increased by 1.2%.
-Our production increased 10%, up from 1690 barrels in 2006
-Other area brewpubs:
Browning's 478 barrels, 550rd nationally; New Albanian 475 barrels, 558rd nationally; Cumberland Brews 365 barrels, 642th nationally.

Paul Gatza of the Brewer Ass. sums it up pretty well in The New Brewer, "Americans enjoyed 215 million more pints of craft brewed beer in 2007 than 2006. That means every American adult averaged one more pint of craft brewed beer than the year before. Cheers to another round for American."

Cheers indeed, thanks to everyone who came in and drank our brews and we're gunning for top 50 next year, and only you can make that happen...or I guess I could just lie. Either way is okay.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Welcome To Our Brewub: Notice There Is No Pee In It

What happens when you mix Trappist high alcohol beers, Europeans and technology: "The most incredible peeing in my life"

Coming soon: BBC's new bathroom game "Ass-troids*"

*by coming soon, I mean never

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Back From the Craft Brewer's Conference 2008

We're back from San Diego and the Craft Brewer's Conference. I thought I would share with you some of the pictures we took.

Here we see the excitement and anticipation for the conference. I kind of feel bad, because this guy had to pay for the whole seat, but he only used the edge.

A welcome reception was held at Stone Brewing Co. which was pretty fun. We got to see how good breweries run and then lament how crappy our breweries are, so we drink a bunch of free beer to forget. Here are some of the pictures:

We probably won't be invited back next year.

Another great part of the conference is the Brewing Expo. This is where you get to see the latest advances in technology and equipment for the brewery. Some breweries come back from the conference with shiny new equipment in tow, like this cable-vey grain moving system, or this kick ass stainless bottling line.

We also came back with a new piece of equipment. Something we have needed for a while, so we finally pulled the trigger now that we could afford it.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Top Ten Australian Beer Commercials

With derby week upon us and the loss of Cameron to Cumberland Brews (Tribute video coming soon), I have been too busy to update the blog with any original content. So I scoured the youtube library and found a montage of some great Australian beer commercials. Eat your heart out Anheuser-Busch these are much better than the frogs, lizards and Turd Ferguson. I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Sober Brewer Tips His Glass to Sam Adams

It was recently announced that some Sam Adams bottles from its Cincinnati brewery may contain small bits of glass. In light of this development we have learned that Sam Adams has kicked off a new ad campaign featuring former Philadelphia Eagles all-pro linebacker and current actor, Tim Rossovich to be their spokesman. Rossovich was not only known for his fearless play on the football field and his cameos in Knight Rider and the A-Team, but he is also infamous for pulling crazy stunts. Rossovich liked to show the public how tough he was by eating beer mugs and and light bulbs. When asked for comment by the Sober Brewer, Sam Adams replied, "It was a perfect fit for our new product line, if we can show through Tim that ingesting glass is cool and hip, then possibly we can turn our gross incompetence into a net positive. It worked for Anna Nicole Smith...well, before she died." The Sober Brewer was not able to contact Rossovich directly and his agent declined to comment on the Sam Adams partnership, but did say, "Did you know that Mr. Rossovich was Tom Selleck's roommate, and they're still really close, I mean they talk like, every other day...isn't that cool?" He also added that Tim Rossovich was the most noteworthy celebrity attending derby this year.

This was disappointing news to us here at Bluegrass Brewing Co. We were in the process of developing a mug of fiberglass insulation soaked with beer. The purpose of which was to keep the beer cold for longer periods of time. But now that Sam Adams has beaten us to the punch, we are abandoning the program so as not to appear as copycats.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Louisville Determines National Championship

Greetings again from the Sober Brewer's prediction department. Trust me, we will return to beer related topics, but this is too important a time in collegiate athletics to not make our final picks for the NCAA National Championship basketball game. And we know that you have been waiting with bated breath for the omnipotent authority which is the Sober Brewer, so that you can with confidence spout off at the water cooler, the check out line or the county drunk tank about who will win it all.

Our picks will be based on the winning teams proximity to the center of the known beer universe. The place that spawned such iconic personalities as Larry Birkhead and Roscoe P. Coltrane. The epicenter of fried chicken and brine trucks, and the final resting place of that great American hero, Barbaro, you know... the horse... whom I'm sure read all the get well cards we sent to him. Yes, the cultural mecca of the Appalachians... Louisville, KY.

Hey, you got a better method? Put it on you own damn blog. Jerk!

Let's take the UNC vs. Kansas first:

The University of North Carolina Hansblowers = 511 miles from Louisville
The University of Kansas Toucans = 553 miles from Louisville
The winner is North Carolina squeaking in at the buzzer by only 42 miles.

As for UCLA vs. Memphis:

The University of California Los Angeles Bruins = 2107 miles from Louisville

Memphis University Tigers = 404 miles from Louisville
The winner is Memphis in a rout by like, a million miles (do your own math).

And the national championship goes to the Memphis Tigers who received the heart of a champion from David Pagett, (Jewish Hospital doing the procedure) making Roy "deputy dog" Williams lament his decision to abandon him at that drafty old barn which is Allen Fieldhouse.

Hey Roy the jerkstore called, they're running out of you!

When did this blog stop making sense?
the Sober Brewer.
Jerry Gnagy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Sober Brewer's Indubitable Bracket

It's that time of year again, spring is in the air, potholes are abundant and brine trucks are parked all snug in their spots for another season. Oh, and we have the hoops, the roundball, the hardwood, irrational hope and the indigestion of defeat, yes it's March madness and we here at the Sober Brewer Institute of Oddsmaking are here, ready to put the "biscuit in the basket" so to speak, for you. So get your cold, hard cash dollars, rubles, rupees, loonies or krugerrand ready to lay down on our "locks of the eternity." Are you ready? Are you excited/pumped/aroused? Well, lets do it anyway!

Our first upset pick in the first round is the 2 seed Tennessee to be upset by the 15 seed American. You might be asking, How? Why? Are you a lunatic? Do these pants go with this shirt? Well let me ask you a question. Who do you think YOU are? Jeremiah Wright? Barak O'bama? What have you got against America huh? Love it or leave it man! USA! USA! USA! nuff said.

Our second first round pick is the 4 seed Pittsburgh to knock off the 13 seed Oral Roberts. I had a vision last night that if Oral Roberts did not win, God would "call him home." Unfortunately for Mr. Roberts, I'm still going with Pitt on this one. Come on, the dude is like 90 years old, win or lose he could be "called home" at anytime.

Now let's focus our attention on the Wildcats, but which Wildcats are we picking/jinxing? I pick the Wildcats from a Southern conference, who have had an undefeated conference record in their past, whose coach's first name starts with a B and whose arena is named in honor of a famous faculty member... that's right, I'm picking the Davidson Wildcats. Psych, Kentucky fans, Ha Ha. Seriously now, I am picking the Wildcats who squeaked into the tournament with an 11 seed, whose first year coach had some rough patches early on but finished third in their conference during the regular season, then was upset in their first conference tournament game. The name of this team starts with the letter K (OMG the anticipation must be unbearable). The Sober Brewer is fully invested in the Kansas State Wildcats!!

We also pick the Arizona Wildcats to destroy the evil Boob Hugginses, who I'm sure will be sweating out all his moonshine and ramp jelly (ewww stinky).

Oh and by the way, sorry Kentucky, you lose.

Now here's our picks for who will be in the Sweet Sixteen:

In the East: UNC, Louisville, American (USA! USA!) and Washington St.

In the Midwest: Kansas, Vanderbilt, Kansas St. and Davidson

In the South: Memphis, Pitt, Stanford and Texas

In the West: UCLA, Western KY, Xavier, and Arizona

There it is folks, The Sober Brewer's "Locks of the Eternity" lay down your life savings with complete confidence. Cameron will reimburse any losses you might incur (he is making out like a bandit as a mystery shopper).

And as always, never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy