Monthly Archives: September 2012

Beer’d: Rogue to Release Ale Made with Yeast from Brewmaster’s Beard

Rogue Brewmaster John Maier

Rogue Brewmaster John Maier

The funkier the yeast in a beer, the better, I usually say. But Rogue Ales is working on a new brew that may be a little too funky.

The Newport-Oregon-based brewer is currently working on a beer that’s made with yeast taken from the beard of its brewmaster, John Maier, who has a college degree in brewing from the Siebel Institute of Technology.

From KPTV:

“Rogue is developing an ale made from wild yeast harvested from the whiskered beard of the its award-winning brewmaster, John Maier. Maier’s beard hasn’t been cut since a six-pack of beer cost less than two dollars.

“Nine beard follicles were carefully cut from the Maier’s beard. The follicles were placed in a Petri dish and sent in for testing. Amazingly, the lab found a yeast cell, did some fermentation tests and the unorthodox ‘beard beer’ was born.”

That shit is nasty. Dude hasn’t chopped his beard since 1978; the beard is older than I am. But I’m a big Rogue fan, and I’ll still probably try the beard beer when it’s released, if I can find it.

Rogue’s beard beer doesn’t have an official name yet, but the brewery says it will become available in 2013. Here’s my simple suggestion for a name: Rogue Beer’d.



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Meat-Head Infants Love Keg Stands Too

ASU Baby Keg Stand Image

I’m pretty sure this is the first baby-keg-stand picture I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely the best baby-keg-stand picture I’ve seen. It was apparently posted to the site by some Arizona State University tailgater.

I don’t condone infant drinking. In fact, whenever I see a baby with a beer in its pudgy mitt, I give that little bastard the Stink Eye. Baby drunks are the worst. They can’t even speak, but suddenly they know everything. They try to start fights with everybody, and they cry randomly.

Joking aside—and I’m pretty sure that’s all this picture is, a joke—the people getting all up in arms about this ridiculous pic need to chill the fuck out. (I’m looking at you, Anna-Megan Raley of’s FanZone blog.) In general, I’m not a fan of jock douche-bags who do kegs stands, but I don’t think anyone is hurting the kid by making him pose for some silly picture.

Cat with a Red Sox hat

This baby keg-stand photo is the equivalent of me putting a Red Sox hat on my cat and snapping a shot of him, which I’m sure would really piss off some cat-loving Yankee-fan nutcase.


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Bullshit ‘Study’ Says Democrats Drink Better Beer Than Republicans

Beer Graphic Based on Scarborough Research Data

U.S. Democrats are significantly more likely to drink a micro-brewed beer than their Republican counterparts, according to some data from Scarborough Research that was crunched by

This Urban Beer Nerd is calling bullshit. Common sense tells me that your taste buds have absolutely nothing to do with your political persuasion. (Brand loyalty might, and one political party may be more drawn to a specific beer brand than another party, but that’s a different story than the one presented in National Journal post.)

The “study” is reportedly based on interviews with 200,000 adult Americans, but I couldn’t find any more information on the survey base on Scarborough’s website, which, by the way, looks like it was designed by a seventh grader in 1996.

From the National Journal:

“Americans who most often drink Dos Equis are in the middle-of-the-road while drinkers of Heineken’s flagship brand are strongly Democratic. Samuel Adams drinkers are strongly Republican, and more likely to vote.”

Yeeeeeaaaaah, right. Visit for more misleading conclusions. Or check out a few more data points I pulled myself from the data graphic you see above—but, please, take them with a grain of salt.

  • Bud Light (blech) was the single most popular beer among those surveyed, which tells you something about the demographic of the survey base—respondents probably don’t read this blog.
  • Democrats are more likely to drink good beer, or “micro brew” beer, than Republicans. And those Democrats who do drink craft beer are likely to vote in the Presidential election.
  • The vast majority of Sierra Nevada drinkers surveyed say they plan to vote in the election, while most of the Lone Star beer drinkers (double blech) say they will not vote.

Ah, “studies.” I’m still amused by the one that suggests curved beer glasses make you drink faster. Shit, studies like these make me drink faster—and more often.


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Barfly’s View: Original Gravity Public House in San Jose, CA

Shortly after I arrived in San Jose this week, I wandered over to the Original Gravity Public House—or the O.G. Pub, as I’ve come to call it. I found the Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose via a Google search for “best beer bars in San Diego.” And I’m glad I did; the O.G. Pub is a great beer-nerd hangout.

The bar had more than 20 quality craft beers on tap, a good percentage of which were local, and a small-but-interesting bottle list. I visited two days in a row, and on the second day they had three different beers on tap. Original Gravity Public House opened relatively recently, and the atmosphere could use a little work. But it does have the cool, bar-top glass rinsers I wrote about recently. The bartenders are friendly. It serves delicious sausage from local Bay-Area butchers and gourmet grilled cheese. (I can’t vouch for the cheese sandwiches, but the spicy chicken sausage sandwich I had was fucking awesome.) And it’s the only bar I’ve ever been to that has a beer list in HD on a big-ass flat screen TV.


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Stone Brewing Co. to Open ‘Specialty Hotel’ in Escondido, CA

Stone Brewing Company Hotel Plan

I’m headed to San Diego in a couple of weeks, and Stone Brewing Co., one of my favorite breweries, has a renowned restaurant, called the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, in nearby Escondido, Calif. I want to visit the brewhouse when I’m in the area, so I checked Stone’s website for some directions from the city.

After digging around on the site a bit, I found some interesting information: Stone plans to open a new “40-50 room specialty hotel” in early 2014, across the street from Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido.

That’s some crazy shit; a hotel from a craft brewer. I’ve definitely never heard of anything like that before…but I’m intrigued. Here’s all the information that’s available on Stone’s website:

  • Across the street from Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido
  • 40-50 room specialty hotel
  • Event space/barrel aging room
  • 2 acres of outdoor event space
  • $24 million initial investment
  • Construction anticipated to commence early 2013
  • Opening in early 2014

I hope the construction goes as planned, and I hope I get to do a Barfly’s View from the hotel lobby bar, assuming they build one.


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Today is National Drink Beer Day…But What the Hell is National Drink Beer Day?

Beer Bottles on a shelf

Today is supposedly National Drink Beer Day—NATIONAL DRINK BEER DAY!

Sounds great, right? But do beer nerds and brew aficionados really need another excuse to drink good beer on a Friday? No, we don’t.

So what the hell is National Drink Beer Day, anyway?

I can’t seem to find any sort of “official” reference to National Drink Beer Day, and therefore, I have no idea who decided that September 28 should get the honor of being a beer holiday. Nor can I tell if this is the first year we’re celebrating National Drink Beer Day. For all I know, Anheuser-Busch or one of the other Wal-Marts of the beer world came up with the idea.

It’s worth noting that International Drink Beer Day has its own website, and it was held last month on August 5. It was organized by “two guys, dedicated to uniting the world in celebration of beer.” And the website even has a nice little breakdown of the “holiday:”

The purpose of IBD is threefold:

  1. To gather with friends and enjoy the deliciousness that is beer.
  2. To celebrate the dedicated men and women who brew and serve our beer.
  3. To bring the world together under the united banner of beer, by celebrating the beers of all nations and cultures together on this one remarkable day.

I can find no such information on National Drink Beer Day, so I’m calling bullshit on the whole shebang. But you know what? I’ll still be drinking a beer today. And you should too. Cheers.


(Image via

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UBN PSA: Recycle Your Damn Empties

Empty Beer Bottles for recycling in a box

This Urban Beer Nerd public service announcement should be a no-brainer: Responsible drinkers always recycle their empty beer bottles and cans.

Beer nerds accumulate lots of empties, and we all need to do our part to make sure they don’t end up in a river or something, even if it’s a pain in the ass sometimes to haul loads of empties back to liquor stores and line them up in boxes based on color or jam them into an automatic bottle-return machine. Just do it.

My asshole neighbor continues to throw bottles and cans away instead of recycling, and it pissed me off to no end when I see a bag filled with empties in our trashcan. Don’t be that guy. If you live in a city or densely populated area in a state that requires bottle deposits and you don’t want to recycle them yourself, leave your bottles and cans on the sidewalk; somebody will take them.


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I Haz Pliny, Motherfuckers

Russian River Pliny the Elder bottles

If you’re a true beer nerd, you know Pliny the Elder. You may not have actually tried it, but you know Pliny.

The double IPA from Sonoma County, California’s Russian River Brewing Company is easily one of the best and most complex IPAs ever made. And it’s extremely difficult to find, especially outside of northern California.

Whenever I’m in the Bay Area, I make it a point to track down Pliny. And I usually find it in the strangest places; it’s never in the beer bars I visit, and in the bars that do normally have it, the keg was just kicked or something. I found today’s bottles in a weird little wing joint that was featured on The Travel Channel’s Man v Food, called SmokeEaters. (My Plinys—yes, I had two, I had to—were bottled less than a month ago, and they were super fresh.) When I was in San Francisco earlier this summer I found Pliny on draft at a sports bar near Union Square, the 4th Street Bar & Grill.

But it really doesn’t matter where you drink it, Pliny the Elder never disappoints.

From Russian River:

“Pliny the Elder, born in 23 AD, was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer and writer. Pliny and his contemporaries created the original botanical name for hops, ‘Lupus Salictarius,’ meaning ‘wolf among scrubs.’ Hop vines at that time grew wild among willows, likened to wolves roaming wild in the forest. Pliny the Elder died in 79 AD while saving people during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who continued his uncle’s legacy by documenting much of what his uncle experienced during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. This beer is an homage to the man who discovered hops and perished while being a humanitarian. “


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Barfly’s View: Good Karma Vegan Cafe in San Jose, CA

Good Karma Vegan Cafe in San Jose, CA

I’m working in San Jose this week, and one of the first things any self-respecting urban beer nerd does when he/she is out of town is find a reputable beer bar, post haste.

My (wonderful, beautiful and tolerant) girlfriend, who stayed at home in Mass. this week, is always trying to get me to eat at vegan joints in Boston. For the most part, her efforts are for naught; I’m not really a full-on meat eater—I do not dig on swine, nor the bovine—but I love chicken, and I’m definitely not a vegetarian or, gasp, VEGAN, either. My girlfriend definitely is a vegan, which makes for some interesting situations, as you can imagine, especially after we’ve hit a few beer bars.

Anyway, my point: No sooner did I leave Boston today than I ended up in a vegan/vegetarian spot: Downtown San Jose’s Good Karma Vegan Cafe. Good Karma was recommended to me by the bartender at the Original Gravity Public House, which is right across the street from Good Karma in San Jose. (Barfly’s View of the OG Pub House coming soon.)

I’ve only been to Good Karma once, but it was love at first sight—and I’ll be returning before I head home later this week. It’s not really a bar; it’s a café. But its craft beer selection shames many other legitimate beer bars. Whoever is stocking Good Karma’s shelves knows what they’re doing. The café has between 15 and 20 drafts at any given time (Russian River’s Pliny the Elder is frequently on draft) and a packed refrigerator of great, rare brews. If you’re ever in San Jose, and you’re seeking a unique local draft or a hard-to-find bottle, you won’t be disappointed with Good Karma—especially if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan.


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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Mustard is a Perfect Pretzels-and-Beer Companion

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale & Honey Spice mustard with pretzels

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of an increasing number of craft breweries trying to capitalize on the popularity of craft beer by releasing culinary products made with beer. (Last week I reviewed Stone Brewing Co.’s Double Bastard Ale: Double Burn Habanero hot sauce, and earlier this month I spotlighted Brooklyn Brine’s Hop Pickles, which are made with Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA.)

Sierra Nevada makes three different kinds of mustard: Pale Ale & Honey Spice; Porter & Spicy Brown; and Stout & Stoneground mustard. I found a bottle of the Pale Ale and honey mustard at my local craft beer shop, and today I used it as a dipping sauce for my favorite Uncle Henry handmade pretzels.

The Sierra Nevada pale ale mustard is very mild; in fact, it’s more sweet than spicy, thanks to the honey. It would be a great sandwich topping, since it’s not overpowering. Like most of the “beer-flavored” products I’ve had, the mustard doesn’t really taste like beer. But it is quite good, and I definitely recommend it.

Sierra Nevada trio of mustards

I paid $4 for my 9-ounce squeeze-bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale & Honey Spice, but it, along with the other two styles of Sierra mustard, is available directly from the company for $3.75 a bottle, plus shipping. Eight-ounce glass jars of each mustard style are also available from Sierra Nevada for $3.50. And you can buy a “gift pack” of all three mustards for $14.00, plus shipping.


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