Tuesday, April 28, 2009

History Lesson: The Story of Beer

Manolith.com has posted a graphical timeline of the History of Beer. While there may be some historical errors or omissions, the chart is a novel, and humorous, look at some of the milestones in the history of beer. Some interesting points in time include the "Dark Age of Beer" (it's not what you may think), the first canned beer, beer pong, along with mention of some, umm, memorable beer advertising.

See the entire History of Beer.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Local Mead Brewing Team Shines Again

The 2009 Mazer Cup International Mead Contest was held in April 17-19 in Boulder, CO. The local brewing team of Aaron (Zacc) and Barbra Zaccagnino were awarded a silver medal in category 25C – Other Fruit Melomel for their Berry Berry Quite Contrary mead. The Mazer Cup is a mead-only competition. Readers will recall that Zacc and Barbra garnered a Gold medal last year at the American Homebrewers Association National Homebrew Competition for one of their meads.

Congratulations Zacc and Barbra!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Many Faces of Craft Brewing

This video, "I Am A Craft Brewer" was presented as part of Greg Koch’s keynote speech at the Craft Brewers Conference this week. It has made its way onto numerous beer blogs, but it's worth repeating here. Many well-recognized faces from the craft beer industry make an appearance. Enjoy!

I Am A Craft Brewer from I Am A Craft Brewer on Vimeo.

So, how many of the 35 craft brewers did you recognize?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Great Divide Returns to Virginia

Regular readers know that the Great Divide Taproom is on my "must stop" list whenever I visit Denver. Last June I lamented on this blog that Great Divide beers were no longer being distributed in Virginia. Recently I saw a post on Beer Advocate stating that the beers were back in Virginia. Not wanting to get my hopes up over a rumor, I immediately emailed Great Divide for confirmation. I received positive news from Patrick at the brewery today:
Thanks for getting in touch and for the support. You are correct, we are once again distributing to VA. We have two distributors there, Hop & Wine Beverage in Sterling and Specialty Beverage in Richmond. Let me know if you need anything else.

Patrick Langlois
Great Divide Brewing Co.

Well, there you have it. I'm excited and look forward to seeing these beers on the shelves. (And there's a hint for my local retailers.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chip Off the Ol' Brewer

They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I don't know about apples, but it must hold true for brewing talent. Local home brewer and "Proud Poppa" Lyle Brown announced to the FABTS mailing list today that his son Kevin has accepted a position as a 3rd shift brewer at Starr Hill Brewery. Readers will recall that Lyle teamed up with Starr Hill to take a Silver medal at the 2008 GABF Pro-Am competition. Kevin was previously a part-time brewer at Blue & Gray Brewing. He starts at Starr Hill in two weeks.

Congratulations Kevin!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Two Upcoming Local Beer Events

Here are a couple of beer events happening soon in Fredericksburg that sound like they will be a lot of fun.

Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner at Kenmore Inn
The Fredericksburg Brewing Insiders web page carried the announcement of a beer dinner on Friday April 24 at Kenmore Inn to be presented by Scott Hite of Sierra Nevada brewing. The four-course dinner will include Sierra Nevada's Torpedo, Summerfest, Brown Saison, and Stout beers. The cost of the dinner is $40 per person. Get details at www.kenmoreinn.com. I'll be on a Boy Scout camporee that evening so I will unfortunately will miss this. If you go, let us know how it turned out.

Beer Class at Capital Ale House
Mid-Atlantic Brewing News writer Jeff Wells will present a beer class entitled "Emergence of East Coast Breweries" at Capital Ale House on Thursday April 30. Jeff says "I will be discussing the American Craft Beer revolution and how it swept East in the 80's and early 90's and beyond. My list is not completely finished but we will probably be tasting beers from Allagash, Brooklyn, Clipper City, Dogfish Head, Legend, Troeg's, Victory and perhaps a few more." This sounds very interesting. The class starts runs 6:00 - 7:30 PM and costs a mere $8.00. This happens to be the day before I head to Raleigh for World Beer Festival, so I will be attending. I hope to see you there!

Two great events right here in Fredericksburg. Very exciting!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Capital Ale House Project Virginia

Capital Ale House President Matthew Simmons recently announced a new commitment to support Virginia products. Simmons says Project Virginia is the Ale House's "plan of company goals and commitments to our guests, communities and State." The project's goals include an emphasis on Virginia beer and other alcoholic beverages.
Capital Ale House will make an increased commitment to the State of Virginia by setting a goal, July 2009 through June 2010, to purchase a minimum of $1,500,000 of services by Virginians and products grown, raised, caught, distilled, brewed and fermented in the State of Virginia.

Virginia Beer: We will stock and sell every available micro-brewed beer produced in the State of Virginia. We will strive to add more Virginia beer related events and greatly expand the upcoming 2nd Annual Virginia Beer Festival later this summer.

Virginia Wine: We will commit a minimum 30% of our wine list to Virginia wines and offer these wines by the glass as house pours.

Virginia Spirits: We have recently changed from the Russian made Stolichnaya Vodka as our house pour to the Gold Medal winning Cirrus Vodka. Not only is this vodka better, it’s made here in Richmond. We hope more premium spirits made in Virginia will be presented to us in the future.

Virginia Foods: Each of our restaurants will feature a daily 100 Mile Special. The main ingredient in these specials will have been produced, raised or caught by Virginians. We will, whenever possible, choose Virginia products first.

The focus on Virginia-produced beers is a great way to introduce more people to the many fine Virginia breweries. Capital Ale House will also be contributing to local charities with both monetary donations and by supporting Ale House employees who wish to devote time to community service projects. Kudos to Capital Ale House for their efforts to support the local economy.

You can read the complete announcement details on the Capital Ale House website.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fredericksburg Group Participates in Guinness Record Attempt

Members of the Fredericksburg Area Brewing & Tasting Society took part in a Guinness Book of Records attempt for the largest simultaneous toast in the world. The event was organized as part of the UK's National Cask Ale Week. During their regular monthly meeting, the local group raised a toast Saturday at 2:00 PM. The Free Lance-Star was on hand to provide coverage:
Glancing down at his watch, Lyle Brown poured the members of the Fredericksburg Area Brewing & Tasting Society glasses of his own brew, Trafalgar Premium Bitter.

Around a table laden with cheese, olives and a unique assortment of pilsners, lagers and stouts, the founder of the group dedicated to making and tasting interesting beer readied his peers to take part in history.

Instructing the dozen or so assembled in the back room of Kybecca Wine & Gourmet in Spotsylvania County to raise their glasses, Brown counted off the seconds until his Naval Observatory-synched watch hit 2 p.m Saturday.

At that second, they joined folks at more than 6,000 locations around the world in an effort to break the record for the World's Largest Toast.

It will take some time for the world-wide participants to be tallied, but it was a great chance for the group to participate. Unfortunately the day also happened to be Holy Saturday, which for me was a "quiet" day, so I was unable to attend.

See the entire Free Lance-Star article here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Flying Dog's Jim Caruso Talks About Beer Season, and More

Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso is featured in a video piece on the Frederick News Post website. In the two minute video he talks about the beer "season" and the brewery's increased production. Jim also emphasizes that Frederick is home for Flying Dog. There are good shots of the production line as well.

Check out the video here.

Hat tip to @brophybrewer for posting the link via Twitter.

Happy Easter

Today we celebrate the Feast of Easter. The Resurrection of Our Lord gives hope of better days ahead. The joy of salvation that Easter brings is sorely needed in these troubled times. While it may seem as if the U.S., and indeed the world, is failing into chaos, as we reflect on the events of Easter we are reminded that the biggest battle has already been fought and won. Faith and hope will see us through any difficulties.

So today enjoy some good craft beer with family and friends. Celebrate a new beginning.

May the blessings of Easter bring you joy and peace.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blue & Gray Brewery Move Update

The long-awaited expansion of Blue & Gray Brewing, complete with brewpub, is taking shape. Jeff Fitzpatrick sent this update today:
We look forward to serving you at the new brewery/brewpub location. In the next 2 months we hope to be in full brewery production next door in the building where the St. Patrick's Day and Oktoberfest celebrations are held. Pub opening will be somewhat later.

If all goes according to plan (Ha!) we will be out of beer production for 10 days or less. This will mean we may be out-of-stock of one or two flavors of beer for a week or two until we can catch up.

This is our "Before" photo of our new home. Please stay up-to-date on our move by our "brewery move" link
www.blueandgraybrewingco.com or on FACEBOOK

Happy Easter,

Jeffery Fitzpatrick
Blue & Gray Brewing Co.

Exciting news on the ever-expanding local craft beer scene. Be sure to show your support by becoming a fan of the brewery's Facebook page. And don't forget, April 15th is tax-free beer day at Blue & Gray.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Virginia Breweries Featured in International Restaurant Magazine

Food & Beverage Business is a new magazine from Leonardo Publishing that focuses on "market analysis, interviews with industry leaders and reviews of the most innovative restaurants around the world. There are also interviews with world famous chefs, restaurant owners and sommeliers." The premier issue features an article on Devils Backbone Brewing in Nelson County. The six-page article includes color photography of the brewery and restaurant. A sidebar article also talks about Blue Mountain and Starr Hill breweries.

Restaurateurs around the world will soon be reading about these fine Virginia breweries. That's good for Virginia and craft beer in general.

Read the entire "The Devil is in the Brew" article here.

Hat tip to Nelson County Life for this news.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Beer Fest at Virginia Wine Experience

I received a notice from Edwin at The Virginia Wine Experience that he's hosting a multi-brewery tasting event this Saturday. The tasting will feature 29 brews, from 7 breweries, on five tables: Flying Dog, Brooklyn, Blue & Gray, Ayinger, Pinkus, Magic Hat, and Sierra Nevada. That's an impressive list for a free tasting. That's right, it's free!

The Virginia Wine Experience is located in downtown Fredericksburg at 826 Caroline Street.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beer Tap TV Taps Musings Over A Pint

Shameless Self-Promotion: Beer Buzz is a weekly show produced by the guys at Beer Tap TV. Erik Boles and Eli Shayotovich provide an informative and humorous look at the week in beer news. The show is a lot of fun to watch and it's obvious that these guys have a blast putting it together each week. This week they selected Musings Over A Pint as their "Beer Blog of the Week" and gave this blog a shout-out on Beer Buzz #24.

Thanks guys!

View Beer Buzz #24