Tag Archives: beers

Jilted Journo Brews ‘Unemployed Reporter Porter’

Unemployed Reporter Porter bottle label

I’ve worked in the Wonderful World o’ Journalism for nearly a decade. To say these are dark days for print journalism is a gross understatement.

I’ve seen countless friends and even loved ones those their journalism jobs during the past years, as publishing companies dropped employees like amateur drunks drop pint glasses in the wee hours of the night. I’ve watched incredibly talented writers and reporters leave the industry after decades of hard work because they couldn’t make the transition to online or because they could no longer pay their bills with reduced salaries. And to be honest, the situation is not all that much better for Web journalists.

Journalism is a largely thankless craft these days, and it can require a lot of levity to keep on clacking those keys. There’s a lot of self-deprecating, gallows humor in today’s editorial offices, at least in my experience. So I got a real kick out of Jon Campbell’s homebrewed Unemployed Reporter Porter.

Campbell, a reporter a with sense of humor and an apparent chip on his shoulder, reportedly brewed the beer along with San-Diego-Based North Park Beer Co. and crafted a rather amusing label for his Unemployed Reporter Porter.

From the Unemployed Reporter Porter label:

“Porter style beers were first popularized in the nineteenth century by merchant sailors and manual dock laborers. Unemployed Reporter is crafted in the same tradition, honoring a profession likewise doomed to decline and irrelevance….[W]e’ve included chocolate and roasted barley malts that are as dark and bitter as the future of American journalism, and a high alcohol content designed to numb the pain of a slow, inexorable march toward obsolescence. While Unemployed Reporter is especially delicious as a breakfast beer, it’s still smooth enough to be enjoyed all day, every day. And let’s be honest: what else do you have going on?”

Campbell even tweaked the government warning that appears on beer bottles in the United States:

“(1) The Surgeon General says women shouldn’t drink alcohol during pregnancy, but between Gawker and the Huffington Post, hasn’t the act of procreation itself become a moral liability? (2) Drinking alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car, but it’s not like you have to wake up and drive to work tomorrow so fuck it.”

It’s unclear if Campbell or North Park will ever sell this beer or not—or if this whole thing is just a joke—but if they do, and I can find it,  I’ll certainly buy a few bottles.

UBN

Via CT.com

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Dogfish Head ‘A Hop Eclipse Now:’ New IPAs, New Glass and New Randall the Enamel Animal

Dogfish Head A Hop Eclipse Now

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery today announced a new promotion it is calling “A Hop Eclipse Now”—a play on the title of the classic film “Apocalypse Now”—and it will be unveiling two new IPAs, a new beer glass and a “new” Randall the Enamel Animal fresh-hopping device during the next few months.

The idea behind A Hop Eclipse Now is to celebrate the current popularity of IPAs and other hoppy beers in America right now, as well as spotlight Dogfish’s rich history of brewing hoppy ales.

The brewery hasn’t specified which new IPAs will be unveiled, though he did say one of them will be fruit infused, not unlike its Hellhound on My Ale IPA. That beer is expected to be released on March 1, and it could be called A Hop Eclipse Now. And a few months ago Dogfish announced that it is working on another collaboration brew with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., an imperial IPA called Rhizing Bines, so that could be one of the new hoppy brews. Dogfish also didn’t unveil its new glass design yet, but the brewery’s founder Sam Calagione says the glass will be shown off in early February. And the following image, taken from the end of the A Hop Eclipse Now video clip below, gives us an idea of what the new Dogfish glass could look like.

Dogfish Head New Glass Design?

Calagione also says Dogfish will begin selling mini Randall the Enamel Animal fresh-hopping gadgets soon, and the Dogfish website says the $20 Randall Jr.s will begin shipping in February. Dogfish also listed the next-generation, full-size Randall, called Randall 3.0, for sale last month.

Finally, as part of the A Hop Eclipse Now celebration, Dogfish will host a number of related beer dinners across the United States starting on February 7 in Philadelphia and ending March 17 in Cambridge, Maryland. (I’m kind of pissed off that none of them are close to Boston, but I guess that’s my problem. Meh.)

Find more information on Dogfish’s A Hop Eclipse Now and the related new products and beer dinner’s on the brewer’s website or watch the above video.

UBN

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Boost Your Beer IQ with Free Beer Guide

TotalWine.com Total Guide to Beer

True beer nerds pride themselves on their beer and brewing knowledge, or their “beer IQs.” The best way to boost your beer IQ is to drink lots of different kinds of beer and then learn why certain styles taste the way they do and how they’re made. TotalWine.com’s “Total Guide to Beer” is a great place to start, or continue, your quest for true beer understanding. It’s packed with great information on beer styles, the history of beer, beer glassware, cellaring and aging beer, and much more. And the price sure is right: Free.

I’ve read through most of the guide, and I’ve found it to be quite valuable. You can view TotalWine.com’s beer guide online in your browser here; iNerds can download an iBook version from iTunes; and technophobes can find paperback versions using this store locator.

UBN

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Brewery Ommegang, HBO to Release ‘Game of Thrones’ Inspired Beers

Brewery Ommegang Gang of Thrones Beer

Ah, more lame beer-related marketing stunts.

“Game of Thrones” is an HBO show about medieval nights and dragons and shit. At least I think it is; I’m a beer nerd not a regular fucking nerd and have no time for fantasy TV. Brewery Ommegang is a Cooperstown, New York-based brewer of Belgian-style beers. And HBO and Ommegang are teaming up to create a lineup of Game of Thrones beers that will be released next spring, according to The New York Times Arts Beat blog.

From the NYT:

“HBO is set to announce that it will team up with Brewery Ommegang, a Belgian-style brewery in Cooperstown N.Y., to create beers based on themes and characters in the fantasy series adapted from the novels by George R. R. Martin.

“The first beer, Iron Throne Blonde Ale, will be inaugurated nationwide in late March, to coincide with the Season 3 premiere of “Game of Thrones,” which is scheduled for March 31. Three more beers are planned, with the second to be released next fall. The others will follow in subsequent seasons.”

I don’t have strong feelings, positive or negative, towards Ommegang, but this does seem a little weird. Great beer doesn’t need goofy marketing gimmicks. And goofy marketing gimmicks cheapen great beer. This I know. But I also know that these Game of Thrones beers will probably pair well with this crazy-ass chainmail beer stein.

UBN

via ArtsBeat.Blogs.NYTimes.com

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Dogfish Head Randall the Enamel Animal 3.0 Now Available for $288

Dogfish Head Randall the Enamel Animal 3.0

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery recently listed the latest version of its Randall the Enamel Animal fresh-hopping contraption for sale on its website, and it costs $288, not including shipping.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Randall, it’s a gadget that you fill with fresh hops or other ingredients and then connect to a beer tap, so the beverage can be blasted through the Randall chambers and flavored with the fresh materials.

Dogfish Founder Sam Calagione invented the original Randall in the early 2000s when he was asked to lead a handful of East Coast brewers in an east vs. west IPA competition, dubbed the Lupulin slam. (Lupulin is the oil in hops.)

From Calagione’s book, “Brewing Up a Business:”

“The beer comes out the other side of Randall soaked in hop flavors and aromas not previously available in beers hopped only at the brewery and not at the point where they are served. The “Enamel” in the name comes from the gritty feeling of hop resins on your teeth—when hopping is done right and to the extreme, the first sip almost feels like  the outer layer of enamel is being dissolved from your teeth. To the hop-head this is actually a very pleasant sensation.”

Indeed. I’ve never had a “Randallized” beer, but it’s on my beer bucket list. Randall isn’t really designed for in-home use—unless you own a kegerator—but every beer bar could step up its game by purchasing its very own Dogfish Randall.

Here are a few more details about the 3.0 version, from Dogfish Head:

“Randall 3.0 has two chambers: the first chamber (at the inlet) is the infusing chamber (this chamber is filled with hops, spices, etc.); The second chamber (at the outlet) is the de-foaming chamber. Foam generated by the interaction of beer and hops settles out in the second chamber allowing you to dispense the perfect pint.The second chamber also has an outer tube for holding ice. This keeps the beer cold and carbonated between pours.Randall 3.0 also features an adjustable dispensing faucet. This faucet is needed to balance the draught dispensing system back-pressure, minimizing foaming. This is particularly useful on long-draw (high-pressure) draught systems or when dispensing beers made with significant quantities of wheat in the recipe.”

Visit Dogfish.com to purchase your Randall or to find more information.

UBN

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The Basic Physics of Beer Bubbles

Physics of Beer Bubbles

Ever wondered why the bubbles in your pint of stout appear to fall down instead of rise up? Or why the head of a pitch-black ale is bone white?

The Institute of Physics posted a Web page that answers these questions and more. I’m not sure how “new” the page is, but I found it this morning. And though, it looks like it was designed to be used by kindergartners—or very drunk beer nerds—it contains some interesting, if basic, information on beer.

Pop on over to Physics.org and learn something you didn’t know about the science of beer. Or just keep staring at those bubbles and wondering. I don’t care what you do.

UBN

via Gizmodo

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Why I Support Untappd (And You Should Too)

Untappd Beer App Supporter on Android

If you’re not familiar with the Untappd mobile app and Web service, you’re sleeping on the best smartphone-based beer buddy available today. Untappd lets you “check in” beers and associate them with the venues where you drink them, to keep track of the various brews you consume. Untappd also lets you rate beers; post images of your brews; connect with friends and toast their checkins; earn beer-related badges and prizes; and much more.

Untappd is kind of like a fancy, digital beer journal. I’ve been using it for years now, and though other similar mobile apps exist, Untappd offers the best overall experience. And it’s completely free, with no ads or other annoyances.

Last week, the two beer nerds behind Untappd, Greg Avola and Tim Mather, announced the Untappd Supporter program, which is a completely optional way for loyal Untappd users like me to support the app and service on a monthly or yearly basis.

Untappd Beer App Supporter on Android

Untappd users can pay $5 a month of $50 a year to support the app’s growth, and Supporters also get a handful of exclusive perks, including the ability to:

  • Export your check-in history
  • View detailed check-in statistics
  • Show off your shiny supporter banner
  • Unlock a special supporter only badge
  • Access more features in the future

Honestly, I would donate $5 a month to Untappd even without the additional features and the badge; like I said, I’ve been using Untappd for years, for free, and I can say without a doubt that the app and service have helped me step up my craft-beer game.

If you’re not currently an Untappd user, I strongly suggest downloading the mobile app from Google Play or the iTunes Store, post haste. (It’s also available as a Web app at m.untappd.com for BlackBerry, Windows Phone and other smartphone users.) If you’re already an Untappd user, you should consider becoming an Untappd Supporter, even if it’s just for a month or two. Avola and Mather deserve all the support they can get, and you’ll only have to part with the price of pint for a month of support. (Don’t be a cheapskate, punk.)

UBN

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Bird Opens Beer Can, Hilarity Ensues

I have no idea what kind of beer can that is, or what language the people in the video are speaking, but I can say without a doubt that this is the first time I’ve ever seen a bird open up a beer. I’d be more impressed if it was a beer bottle, especially if it was a bottle with a cork and a wire cork holder. But I guess that’s too much to ask of a fucking parrot.

UBN

via HuffingtonPost.com

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Another Ridiculous Beer from Rogue: Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Ale

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Ale

Rogue Ales has officially jumped the shark with it latest absurd beer, Rogue Voodoo Donut Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Ale, which was announced today, not even a month after its last gimmicky beer, Rogue White What Ale, which is made with torn up page of Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick.

From Rogue:

“Rogue Ales has again collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Ale! This unique artisan creation contains a baker’s dozen ingredients including chocolate, banana and peanut butter to match Voodoo’s ‘Memphis Mafia’ doughnut- a nod to Elvis’ entourage.”

The ingredient list is as follows: 2-Row, C-150, C-175, Carafoam Special II & Chocolate Malts; Rogue Farms Revolution & Independent Hops; Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana; Pacman Yeast and Free Range Coastal Water.

This new Rogue ale is the brewery’s second collaboration ale with Oregon’s Voodoo Doughnuts; the first was the infamous Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale. Rogue Voodoo Donut Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Ale comes in 22-ounce “bomber” bottles, and it’s available online for $13 a bottle, not counting shipping and handling.  (Rogue does not mail beer to Utah, Massachusetts, Texas or North Dakota due to local laws that restrict the import of alcohol.) It will also presumably hit liquor-store shelves near you in the not too distant future.

I’m a fan of Rogue’s beers, but I kind of wish it would stop releasing odd ales for the sake of releasing odd ales. I’ve never tasted the original Rogue/Voodoo doughnut beer, because it was brewed with real bacon, and I do not dig on swine. But I don’t know anybody who claims to have really enjoyed it, after the initial novelty of drinking a bacon-donut flavored beer wore thin. I’m guessing it will be more of the same with Rogue’s Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Ale. But to each his own, I guess.

UBN

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Narragansett 122nd Anniversary Imperial IPA Now Shipping

Narragansett 122nd Anniversary Imperial IPA

Providence, Rhode Island’s Narragansett Beer Co. is now shipping a brand new beer, its 122nd Anniversary Imperial IPA.

Narragansett, which is known for its mediocre lager beer and silly “Hi Neighbor!” motto, is enjoying a bit of a revival in and around New England these days, due to its PBR-esque hipster appeal. The brewery is apparently trying to capitalize on this, and the current popularity of American IPA throughout the country, with its own double IPA.

From Narragansett:

“Celebrate ‘Gansett’s storied 122 years in business with the limited-edition Imperial IPA. Released in a 22-ounce bomber bottle, the IPA is chock-full of references to Narragansett’s anniversary. The label is styled after an early Private Stock Ale label used by the company when they began brewing ales in the late 1890s, which underscores ‘Gansett’s heritage as one of the original craft brewers in New England.

“Narragansett Imperial IPA was crafted with the best of American and German ingredients, to reflect the great history and legacy behind the brand.  We used American 2-row pale malt as the base for this beer, and German Specialty malts to build the back bone and flavor profile of this beer.

“Summit hops were used for all the kettle hopping, and then we used a mix of Northern Brewers, Hallertau, Tettanager, and Sazz hops at a rate of 2 lb.’s per bbl for our dry hopping.  This Imperial IPA will weigh in at 8.6 percent ABV with a target IBU of 122 to reflect the age of Gansett as a company.

“Narragansett Imperial IPA is brewed under the supervision of award-winning Brewmaster Sean Larkin at Trinity Brew House in Providence, R.I. It will be  available for purchase for a limited time throughout all of New England, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.”

I’m not really a big Narragansett drinker, but I’ll pick up one of these bombers when I see one, if for no other reason than to support local New England brewers. I’m not expecting much, but who knows? I was pleasantly surprised by Narrangansett’s Bock beer.

UBN

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