CraftHaus Comrade Release Party

| January 26th, 2015 | No comments

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The last time I had this beer, was I think possibly the first time that I had any of CraftHaus’ beers. This was prior to the brewery opening, when Dave was still a home brewer pouring beers at local festivals while he and Wyndee were putting together their business plan and securing funding for the brewery. The beer was delicious then, and I can only assume that it’ll be even more delicious this upcoming Saturday.

As an added bonus to what is on the flyer below, there will also be samples from the Las Vegas Distillery and O Face Doughnuts to pair with the beer.

Be sure to also visit the brewery so you can see the artwork Kellie Aguilar has been constructing on the tap room chalkboard. Above you can see a small section of it in progress.

See you there!
Comrade Day (3)

Culturing Wild Lactobacillus: Part 2

| January 14th, 2015 | No comments

If you have not, read part 1 first, as this will give you a primer on how I cultured wild lactobacillus. WARNING: another long-winded post on things that you probably don’t care about unless you are a nerd like me!
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After nearly a week of letting my lactobacillus starter sit outside, the pellicle inside was huge and it smelled like lemon yogurt. I finally brewed the beer. The plan was for this to be a sour saison. I added some rye malt as well, to ensure that there’s a more complex malt character and so that this doesn’t turn too thin and weird if the lactobacillus I cultured sucks.

At this point, you have a couple of options on how you can add the lactobacillus: (more…)

Beer Cheese Soup

| January 9th, 2015 | 1 comment

Beer-Cheese-Soup-5A friend of mine, Sarah from Sarah n’ Spice, shared an awesome recipe with me on twitter. Being fan of both beer and cheese, the idea of a beer cheese soup sounds awesome. As an added bonus, it uses Tenaya Creek’s Hop Ride in the recipe!

Check out the recipe here.

 

White Stouts and The Validity of Beer Styles

| January 5th, 2015 | No comments

IMG_5747What is the point of beer styles? Historically, beer styles were just names of the city of origin for the style, like Pilsner, Vienna lager, Dortmunder Export, etc. Or they were the beers eventual destination, like India pale ale, Baltic Porter, or Russian imperial stout. More often than not, the meaning of the name changes over time. India pale ale is better known as IPA; regardless of where it is being shipped to. The stout porter, which was originally known as a stronger porter (in both alcohol and flavor), eventually just started to be called stout. Today, the primary differing factor between stout and porter is simply the addition of roasted barley, giving a stout a more pronounced roast character over the typically sweeter or more chocolatey flavors of porter.

Today in the American craft beer world beer styles have become even more confusing. I once heard someone argue that a particular double IPA tasted more like a double pale ale. The odd thing is, despite the fact that neither the Brewer’s Association or the Beer Judge Certification Program recognizes double pale ale as a style, I still knew what they meant. The often rumored origin of India pale ale was that it was an extra strength pale ale; with the added alcohol and hops used to withstand a voyage to India from England. While I think it’s perfectly fair to argue that an extra strength pale ale is the same as a double pale ale is the same as an IPA; IPA nowadays is predominately recognized by its intense hop aroma and flavor (I’d argue that bitterness doesn’t matter, with Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA being an example of a non-bitter IPA). (more…)

7 Questions with Dan Gordon

| November 17th, 2014 | No comments

Dan Gordon is one of the co-founders of Gordon Biersch brewery in San Jose, California. You’ve likely visited one of their restaurants or brewpubs; there’s even a brewery here in Las Vegas, along with an attached restaurant, and a second standalone restaurant.

GB WinterbockWith winter upon us (well, not quite there yet in Vegas; the high is 70º F today), Gordon Biersch has released their winter seasonal, aptly named Winterbock. Lagers in general are under appreciated in the craft beer market here in the US, and of those, bocks are especially so. Bocks of all varieties are some of my favorite lager beers, with special recognition going to doppelbocks. Gordon Biersch’s Winterbock is no exception. The beer has a strong, toasty malt aroma and has the classic, clean lager fermentation profile. The flavor in this beer all comes from the use of dark malts; imparting flavors of plum and raisins, but finishing with a clean, dry finish. The aftertaste has a bit of a warm, alcohol sensation, making this perfect for a cold winter’s night.

I reached out to Dan Gordon to find more out about Winterbock, and the brewery in general. Thank you Dan for taking the time to speak with us, and thank you for brewing a delicious doppelbock! (more…)

Episode 1: Whalez, Ticks, and Untappd

| November 1st, 2014 | No comments

Welcome to Episode 1! Yes, technically this is the second podcast, however the first one was more of a beta test, or something. The audio quality on this episode is much clearer than before, and we planned out a little bit more of an agenda to discuss.

This episode focuses on Untappd, bottle shares, and the “ticking” culture that has exploded in the craft beer community. We’ll probably offend/upset some of you with some of our thoughts (by “we,” I mostly mean “me”), but do keep in mind that our intent wasn’t to bash Untappd or anyone who uses it. We instead just wanted to bring to light how easy it is to forget the reason why any of us drinks beer: to enjoy drinking beer and having fun with friends.

This episode features the beer Monk’s Indiscretion from Sound Brewery in Poulsbo Washington. Read my previous interview with co-founder Mark Hood here.

Please send any and all feedback to us @hookedonhops on twitter, on Facebook.com/hookedonhops, or feel free to email me or Armando at luis@hookedonhops.com or armando@hookedonhops.com. We’d love to continue recording these and if we can make it more enjoyable or interesting, then we’d love to know how.

What The Hell Is An Oktoberfest/ Vienna/ Märzen/ Festbier/ Dortmund Beer?

| October 6th, 2014 | No comments

Ninkasi Oktoberfest CloseAside from the pumpkin beers, fall is typically characterized by Oktoberfest style beers. But does anyone really know what an Oktoberfest beer is? How is this style of beer any different from festbier, Märzen, or the classic Vienna lager? Here in America, we do not have the rich history of lager style beers that Europe, and in particular Germany, has. Oftentimes, we Americans tend to lump most lager styles together, so I thought that in honor of Oktoberfest, I would explore the history of this style.

Prior to the mid 1800’s, beer in Germany primarily consisted of dark styles, like dunkels and bocks. This changed in the early 1800’s when Gabriel Sedlmayr, whose family owned the Spaten brewery, took a trip around Europe to learn other styles of beer production. When Sedlmayr saw that England was using coke to dry malt, allowing the malted barley to be a paler color, he brought this technique back to Germany and shared the idea of using these types of malt to make German style beers.

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Sour Beer: Culturing Wild Lactobacillus

| September 14th, 2014 | 3 comments

Lacto Pellicle

If you’re anything like me, then when you do something for the first time, you like to make it as complicated as possible. Case in point: making a sour beer.

Sour beers get sour by adding bacteria that converts sugars into various acids. Lactic acid is most common in sour beers, providing a clean, lemony taste. However other acids that could be found include malic acid; which tastes like sour apples, acetic acid; which is basically vinegar, and butyric acid; which is similar in aroma to bile. The bacterias and wild yeasts that create these acids (namely lactobacillus, pediococcus, sherry flor, and brettanomyces) can very easily be purchased by a number of yeast labs. But I thought it would be more fun to culture my own lactobacillus.
WARNING: long-winded, microbiology filled post!

Lactobacillus (henceforth known by it’s more common street name: lacto) can be found virtually everywhere, including inside the human body. Lacto is also what’s used to sour milk into yogurt. In fact, I’ve read that you can even use yogurt as a lacto starter to add directly to beer. I decided instead to use a more practical source: malted barley. (more…)

A Sneak Peek at CraftHaus

| September 9th, 2014 | No comments

2014-09-08 16.34.26I had the wonderful pleasure last night of being invited to a sneak peek of Las Vegas’ newest local brewery, CraftHaus. The grand opening is slated for this weekend, and you can find more info on the special event here.

CraftHaus is located in Henderson in The Booze District. For the past year and a half, I’ve been communicating back and forth with owners Dave and Wyndee Forrest, regarding CraftHaus, and its so exciting to finally see it open and brewing beer!

First things first: The beer is fantastic. You’ve likely had some of Dave’s home-brewed batches if you have attended some of the local beer festivals the past couple of years. Now the recipes have been scaled up to 10 barrel batches by head brewer Steph Cope. Steph, the first and only female head brewer in Nevada, did a great job keeping the beers true to Dave’s original recipes, while also fine tuning them to perfection. Evocation Saison in particular was what stood out to me. With only 4.7% alcohol, the beer is very light bodied and dry, but still manages to fit in a lot of Belgian yeast characteristics. I think this beer will be perfect for not only the hot Vegas summers, but the fruity esters, clove phenolics, and dry body would make this perfect to pair with food.

I should also state though that what makes this brewery so exciting isn’t just the beer. Nor is it the clean, modern taproom, filled with board games, a chalkboard, and several cuckoo clocks. It’s the people behind the brewery.

“We don’t want you to think of this as our brewery. We want you to think of this as your brewery.”
-Dave and Wyndee Forrest

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