From an Illinois brewery's "panty dropper" label to Bud Light's #UpForWhatever campaign, many beer labels have caused controversy and lawsuits over the years. In 2009 a woman in the Wiccan community was upset about the California label, "Witch's Wit," that depicted a witch being burned at the stake. The brewery discontinued the label.
In the same year, George Lucas sent a cease and desist order to a New England brewery that produced a stout with the label "Imperial Stout Trooper."
For Esquire's full list of 8 beer label controversies, click here. Read the rest
Presented for your entertainment: a complete zombie comic story, told on beer bottle labels. By Jason Aaron and Walking Dead co-creator Tony Moore.
Lidia Zuradzka, 52, of Wheeling, Illinois, was charged with burglary after entering a stranger's home and taking a can of beer. Subsequently challenged by a resident, she reportedly responded "I want beer." Read the rest
These 2.5 gallon ball lock kegs have reinvigorated my homebrewing hobby. I now have 6 of them in rotation and bottling is no longer a giant, messy pain.
The upsides to kegging, for me, are myriad. No more clumsy bottle filler. No more sanitizing cases of empty glass bottles. No more stinky, sticky bug filled bottle collection waiting to be cleaned. At its simplest, you siphon your beer from your fermenter into the keg and seal it up.
The only nuance is carbonation. You can bottle/cask condition in the keg, but you need less sugar (about 1/2-1/3 of what you'd normally use.) If you'd rather, it is also very easy to force carbonate your beer with CO2 and skip the entire bottling sugar step.
I use this handy CO2 charger and this tap, force carbonation is harder with them but it can be done. If you buy a more complex CO2 filling system, it gets quite easy.
Refrigerate a keg for 24-36 hrs before serving. It takes a while to cool them down!
Kegging was a major step in simplifying my homebrew process. Without the mess of bottling this hobby became fun again.
2.5 Gallon Keg New w/ Ball Lock Connections Read the rest
I could (and probably will) write an essay about all the ways in which the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo is amazing and totally different from the usual museum (shortlist: limited capacity managed through waiting lists instead of price-hikes; exhibits that are intended to be handled, even the fragile ones; no cult of personality for founders; emphasis on both wonder and production; modest and beautifully stocked shop; overall non-commercial emphasis; quirkiness that is commensurate with the actual films), but for now, I'll leave you with this: the beautiful Miyazaki-esque beer-labels from the hot-dog and ice-cream stand.
Miyazaki beer label, Ghibli Museum, Tokyo, Japan
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Joe sez, "There's a new FDA rule that will make it nearly make it financially impossible for small craft brewers to give their grain away to farmers for animal feed. I work for a small brewery and all of us there are very upset about this and the general disregard for sustainability. At the end if the article linked there's direct FDA links that cover their proposal."
Leftover brewing grains have been fed to livestock since the dawn of agriculture, so this is a pretty radical shift. The proposed new requirements for animal feed handling stipulate that the feed has to be dried, analyzed and packaged before being donated to farmers (the spent grains are generally given away at the end of the brewing process), at substantial expense.
It's clear that food safety is important, but I'm not convinced that the stringency of this rule is commensurate with the risk.
Read the rest
Miami, Florida resident Fernando Caignet Aguilera, 64, was cited after he attempted to trade an alligator he found in a nearby park for a 12-pack of beer at a convenience store. According to CNN, he faces six months in jail and a $500 fine for "taking possession and selling an alligator, which is a second-degree misdemeanor." Read the rest
The Pumpkin Tap turns hollowed-out pumpkins and watermelons into drink dispensers! I think most any beer faucet and shank would work, but this is a fun idea. Read the rest
Advertised as "the most complete charting of beer ever," Pop Chart Lab's 60" x 40" wall chart
is printed on 100lb archival stock and is available for pre-order at $80. [via FastCo
] Read the rest
Jonny sez, "I'm Jonny, from Belfast in Ireland. I was just at XOXO and I've spent over a year working on a project to make brewing simple, accessible, and beautiful. The appliance can be monitored and controlled with your smartphone; it's called Brewbot."
Read the rest
Sponsor message: This post is brought to you by Fat Tire. Pairs Well With People.
In two weeks, our own Rob Beschizza will be headed to the Fort Collins leg of the 14th annual Tour de Fat, the all-ages festival series put on by our sponsor New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale.
It begins on Saturday, August 31, with a bicycle parade through the streets of Fort Collins, Colorado—a ride that traditionally features all sorts of colorful costumes. Then everyone heads to Civic Center Park, where Reggie Watts, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Fierce Bad Rabbit, Dragondeer and others will put on a show for 20,000 attendees.
The brewery's flagship Fat Tire will be at the show, along with summer seasonal Rolle Bolle and other selections. This doesn't just make the locals happy: the Tour raised $79,000 last year for local non-profits.
Admission to the park is free of charge, parade attendees can donate $5, if they please, and the beer is $5 a pint.
For more on the full 12-city tour, the Tour de Fat credo, and the chance to swap your car for a "fancy new bicycle," visit facebook.com/TourDeFat
TL;DR: Rob is paid to drink beer. Read the rest
Yesterday, guest blogger Madeleine Johnson had a story here about a piece of ancient Peruvian pottery — in the shape of a very grumpy little cat. If you haven't read her story, you really should. It's all about the great cat memes of ancient history and how archaeologists can use clues from an artwork to track down who made it, where, and when.
My friend Andrew was kind enough to adapt Ancient Grumpy Cat into the form of a modern cat meme. That's his picture above. Madeleine and I also put together another one, based on Ancient Grumpy Cat's probable history as a ceremonial mug for drinking a corn beer called chicha:
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(Click to embiggen)
Feòrag NicBhrìde has provided us with a vital cartographic reference: a map of Europe showing the word for "beer" in each country.
The Essential Map of Europe and Environs.
(Thanks, Charlie!) Read the rest
Over in the /r/homebrewing subreddit, user hatchetthrower has recreated one of my favorite fictional brews: Bendërbrāu, a homebrewed beer from Futurama made entirely inside Bender the robot's chassis. The recipe for the clone is pretty dead on: it's a steam beer as suggested by the label in the show, uses space-aged sounding Zythos hops (Galaxy was out of stock), and Rush 2112 yeast because Rush is one of Fry's favorite bands.
Check out the rest of the discussion on Reddit, as well as this Bender fermenter build for ultrafans. Read the rest
"How Beer Saved The World," "Why I Tease Those Wine Guys," and "How Bird Poop Makes A More Aromatic Belgian Beer" are but a few tidbits.
The science of skunked beer
— or why clear glass bottles are the bane of brew. Read the rest
I'm trying to decide which is more awesome: That a Danish beer company once had a laboratory that did research in protein chemistry and funded independent scientists ... or that said beer company gave Niels Bohr an unlimited, in-home beer supply
as a gift in honor of Bohr winning the Nobel Prize. (Via Charlie Papazian) Read the rest