Ethan Cox

ethan@communitybeerworks.com

Ethan is one of the founders of CBW, and works as President & chief instigator. He has a long-standing passion for beer and brewing, sparked largely in the mid-1990's Boston of Sam Adams, Pete's Wicked Ale, and Catamount. He has been a homebrewer for over 10 years, and has won a few awards along the way, though he doesn't really compete that much. He is also certified as a homebrewing judge through the BJCP program. In a similar vein, he recently became accredited in the Cicerone(r) program, at the Certified level.

Along with fellow CBWer Dan Conley, Ethan has been writing about beer online at BeerOVision.com for about three years. He believes strongly that Buffalo can rebuild its pre-Prohibiton 'bierkultur,' which, aside from making awesome beer, is CBW's mission: we're here to Embeer Buffalo.

Ethan's posts

Thirsty Thursday In Absentia

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"Limerick" - Bardo Pond (listen )

Frank, the palest of the pale ales and a stand-up guy, too.

Frank, the palest of the pale ales and a stand-up guy, too.

Without question, I began writing this post on a Thursday. Whether I complete it before the midnight hour remains to be seen. Dan is currently trapsing around a lovely Caribbean island with two names (more on which he will undoubtedly fill you in, upon his return), leaving reliably kinda-just-in-time Me to broadcast the news of the week… so, let’s get on down to it:

 Don’t judge a beer by it’s color

Or do; I’m easy. A good time was had by all (all = Greg, Chelsea and for some wee while, the ineffable Mr Chris Groves) down at the FNC for this year’s Buffalo Brewfest. I understand the crowds were not overwhelming this year, which is always a nice feature for a brewfest.  More fun, as with years past, there was a wee competetion- several categories were judged. The People’s Choice Award went to newish to the scene Ringside Lager, while our very own Frank Pale Ale took the honor of first (I am assuming that’s what they really mean, not the actual lack of color) in the pale ale category, a welcome acknowledgement of his affable and pleasant nature. If you see Frank around, shake his hand!

When Life Gives You Cherries Carafa 1

Or at least, when you get offered a deal at the farmers market and bring a flat of sour cherries back to the brewery, what do you get? Well, at first a bit of Rudy scratching his head in thought, but eventually, not one but two projects: The Cherry Whale In A Rye Barrel is still to early to discuss much, so pretend I didn’t mention it: shhhhh! On the other hand, the CherryFord prototype has real merit and will quite possibly be scaled up one day. One Day; don’t calendar it yet. As for beers you can buy, there is the very last of More Information on at the brewery right now, as well as a still-healthy supply of WYHIWYG, our Seinfeldian-Belgian IPA accented with Amarillo and Pacific Jade Hops. It’s got a great balance between the IPA and Belgian yeast (Westmalle, same as in Rutherford) character and you can can take some home today! Er, tomorrow. Well, Friday- and next week as well. Finally, on Line 4 where De Maas can usually be found is it’s malfeasant twin, Dark Maas. Additional highly kilned malt deepens the color to a mahogany brown and adds a deft roasted complexity which supplants the usual caramel notes. Melded with the same light Noble hop additions and characterful Belgian (Ardennes) yeast as usual, Dark Maas is a bit more mysterious and–dare I say–sexy then it’s sibling. We’ll have it… as long as it lasts.

At Bidwell this Saturday, expect our now-standard summer line up of Frank, The Whale, THE IPA and Rutherford B. Haze.

Like Puppets Off Their Strings

We sure will see and be seen at some upcoming events, you betcha. Let’s open up the ol’ CBW diary (British meaning, there, we’d say agenda perhaps) and take a look-see, shall we? August 21st, we’ll be a featured beer at the Food Truck Rodeo to be held in the parking lot of the Historical Society- come on down from 5-9 pm, all your favorite trucks will be there serving up some stellar street food while the CBW (and Flying Bison) flows thanks largely to the efforts of Pat from Fat Bobs- Thanks Patrick! Here is some media on the last one.

Not really mentioned above, but there’s one other one-off beer in the tanks as of Monday- a repeat of last year’s Elmwood Festival Of The Arts exclusive beer. FestivAle (the contest-winning name; Rudy wanted to name it Crème Fraîche) is a hybrid cream ale and saison, brewed with flaked maize and fermented with a French yeast strain- it comes out dry and crisp and incredibly drinkable on a hot day. Which we hope we have on Aug 24 & 25th. If you care about such things, I’ll be “celebrity pouring” on Sunday at both booths (not at once, mind you, I’m not yet that clever) between 1 and 3pm. Drop by and say “yo!”

Ich Heisse Superfantische!

Ich Heisse Superfantische!

August 31st: The Beer, Bacon & Boobs Fest. Yeah, I think they’ve kind shifted more to Beer Bacon BoobsFest, to be fair. Regardless, it’s for a good cause and we’ll be there with some beer and merchandise- along with, again, many of our good food truck friends. It’s from 12 to 6pm, at 5565 Main Street,  Island Park in Williamsville, NY 14221; the beer fest itself is 2-5 with a VIP entrance at 1:00. More ifno? Linky.

September 7th from 1-5, you’ll find us getting sleepy from the lupulin with our pals @ McCollum Orchrds for their Second Annual hop-picking party. We’ll give you more details as we get closer, but save the date now and indeed, don’t fail to RSVP vial the Facebook event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/572227589507288/) or directly to either C.B.W. (info@communitybeerworks.com) or McCollum (mccollumorchards@gmail.com). Beers? Surely something pushed through a hop-rocket loaded with fresh hops, donja think? I do!

Finally: Buffalo Beer Week approaches! Start exercising that liver for the span of September 21st through 28th and events such as: the Ball Park Brew Bash; A Beer Geek Fest; loads of craft beer specials and tastings; a number of collaboration beers… and a very special CBW event at The Sterling Place Tavern, where we’ll say goodbye to a dear friend, and put him in the ground, till next year. Have you noticed that Rutherford‘s looking a bit peaked lately?

Your super secret special prize

For reading all the way to the end is… that beer. Over, er, up there? That one. It’s a Berliner Weisse. Rudy made it. it’s delicious. And it’s coming soon, too. Soon!

Squibs 10

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"The Lodge" - Ghost Box Orchestra (listen )

Welcome to Squibs: your highly unpredictable yet oddly compelling look into the mind & reading habits of CBW President Ethan Cox. I was considering bi-weekly…. and then, I reconsidered. I like “whenever,” because scarcity = value. But you can at least count on Sunday night releases- I’ll give you that much.

Maybe.

Can you guess who's Boak?

Can you guess who’s Boak?

1) Boak and Bailey are a pair of English beer bloggers, sort of along the lines of Zythophile or Ron Pattenson… But no, that’s not quite right. I guess I’d say they’re more interested in the social history of beer (in England, natch) than the history of beer itself. As well, though, they talk a bit more about contemporary beer than either of those historical scholars. Yet, I group them together- perhaps because I found my way to all of them through Alan’s blog. Anyhoo, this somewhat recent post is a review of what seems to be a delightfully off (and it seems to me highly British) bit of pseudo-scholarship, the Mass Observation series of experiments and books. Quoth they…

“‘Mass Observation’ was a social research group founded in 1936 founded by an anthropologist called Tom Harrisson, along with filmmaker Humphrey Jennings and poet Charles Madge. It ran, in its first incarnation, until the nineteen-sixties, and the ‘Worktown’ study was its first major piece of work. It saw Harrisson and a team of observers (some locals, others from academia) descend on the Lancashire town and, for three years from 1937, watched and recorded everything, however apparently inconsequential.”

needless to say, “everything” includes the pub, which is the subject of the book under review in this post- it sounds to me like fantastic reading.

2) You can’t get growlers in Florida, didja know? I did. But I did not know that you can get both 32 and 120 oz. “growlers” filled, which I have to say is really strange… What’s up with 64 ounces? What did 64 ounces ever do to you?! Anyway, this article susses out the positions on pending legislation which would address this oddity. Note well why the lobbyist who against it, is against it… Priceless.

3) ‘Cause Alan Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and (especially) Neilchild-of-countless-treesCassidy will always be cooler than you; sorry: linky.

4) Are hops addictive? Not so much. Now, CBW’s THE IPA might be a different story. I know people that won’t buy anything else!

Main Character Named Frank, No Kiddin'

Main Character Named Frank, No Kiddin’

5) If you haven’t read Iain Banks or Iain M. Banks, you still can: books live forever, even if people don’t. I am beyond sad that there will be no more fiction, science or otherwise, from this brilliantly inventive writer. I remember reading his first book—ten years after it was published—in a dingy flat in Belfast in 1994. I still have that Abacus imprint paperback of The Wasp Factory, signed by the punkers I was hanging with at the time. (Kierin, Andy, wherever you are: you owe me some teeth, you bastards!) Andrew Leonard writes a touching pre-eulogy, for lack of a better term. And one day, CBW will absolutely name a beer after one of Banks’ most amazingly awesome and compelling characters: a sentient spaceship named Very Little Gravitas Indeed.

6) Did you know I also have another vehicle for beery ramblings, one I share with two swell guys named Nick and Chris? If you never have, you might check out Craft Beer Talk. Once, we were a radio show on WECK (I will not link to them; long story), and for awhile we were part of the Buffalo.com and Audio Buffalo group (maybe we still are, I’m not even sure) but for the last two years anyway, we’ve been rocking it as a podcast. We talk, y’know, about beer… ofttimes, the longer you listen, the more loose we get- but we try to blend the entertaining and the informative. And sometimes, we even have guests! Check out the last episode, in which we share a few rounds with Paul from Flying Bison. Tomorrow, we’ll be drinking some Southern Tier with one of their brewers and good times are sure to ensue.

7) From the “I read Beerpulse.com so you don’t have to” files, this article on Ken Grossman who founded Sierra Nevada is highly insightful, and especially entertaining and well-written for business journalism. The good news? Sierra Nevada is really, truly, a good comapny to work for. It seems as well that they are great stewards of their products and the world itself. Equivocal news? They’re nearing the 1,000,000 barrels/year mark, and the new brewery isn’t even on-line yet. What makes craft craft? How do we quantify quality? Why is Boston Beer Company in and August Schell out? How to assess value? With Sierra crossing that million-barrel line, all these questions that won’t quite go away will… not go away some more, be assured. New Belgium will be next-and they make highly respected sours and are employee-owned!!! This industry is charting new territory: in terms of growth; in terms of sales figures; in terms of stress on pipeline industries from glass to hops to equipment manufacturers; even in terms of business models and founding sources. Many fear a retraction, at best and a bubble-bursting at worst. But for ourselves, CBW remains remarkably sanguine about the potential here in Buffalo. You guys are great, and you want great beer, badly. I see it every day, especially on the social media fora. I think, whatever happens in San Diego or Asheville, Buffalo’s Embeering is just beginning: And many miles to go before we sleep.

 

Squibs 9

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"Tiny Desk Concert / NPR" - Wilco (listen )

Welcome to CBW Squibs: Your periodic journey into the ridiculous musings of CBW President, Ethan Cox. I’m considering bi-weekly; it’s a comfortable pace for me. But we’ll see- Dan’s so good at this blog-thing, and I have plenty of other hats to wear, after all. What I am most certainly doing is taking the format a bit more broadly than only beer news and musings. I don’t mean I’ll be getting very political or personal, but I do want to introduce you to some of the offbeat corners of my mind and the output of voracious reading and information consumption I have- oh, and beer.

1.) The Most Influential Beers Of All Time! Have you given it a lot of thought? The beery blogosphere seems to have recently. Not long ago, a food & drink website by name of First We Feast published their list of the 20 most influential beers, as compiled by a panel of largely NYC-based brewers and beer writers. It’s not super simple to qualify or quantify the term influential, nor is it easy to distill many thousands of years of history—most of which no contemporary panel could have sampled—into 20 beers. But all the same, I don’t think it’s such a bad list. It’s on the American-centric and modern side, I’ll allow. But none of the beers on there, so far as have had, are clunkers in the beer quality department. For whatever that’s worth.

fully demotivated

fully demotivated

I’d have never known about this list, however, were it not for the lengthy criticism afforded the compilation by one Mr. Martyn Cornell AKA Zythophile, who  saw fit to offer up not only the aforementioned rebuke and rebuttal but also his own opus of same- and an epic comment thread to boot! Considerably better, in my opinion, but you may well still pick nits; of course. Indeed, even the local beer geekery got into it, at least the Niagara Association Of Homebrewers e-distribution list. So, what do you think? I’ll offer up first the three lists themselves in one spot for ease, below.

First We Feast:

| 1. Gablinger’s Diet Beer | 2. Russian River Blind Pig IPA | 3. Westmalle Tripel | 4. New Albion Ale | 5. Fullers London Pride | 6. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | 7. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout | 8. Pilsner Urquel | 9. Anchor Steam | 10. Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye | 11. Ayenger Celebrator | 12. ‘Generic Lager’ | 13. Cantillion Classic Gueuze | 14. Anchor Old Foghorn | 15. Reissdorf Kölsch | 16. Guinness | 17. Allagash White | 18. Samuel Adams Utopias | 19. Saison Dupont | 20. Schneider Aventinus |

Say what you will of this, their compilation of “IT” hops, however, is absolutely spot-on from what I know of the topic… I wish CBW could get our hands on most or any of those!

Martyn Cornell aka Zythophile:

| 1. Spaten Dunkel | 2. Pilsner Urquell | 3. Hodgson’s East India Pale Ale | 4. Parsons’ porter | 5. Barclay Perkins Russian Imperial Stout | 6. Schwechater Lagerbier | 7. Einbecker Ur-Bock | 8. Paulaner Salvator | 9. Anheuser-Busch Budweiser | 10. Bass No 1 | 11. Schneider Weisse | 12. Hoegaarden | 13. Duvel | 14. Fuller’s ESB | 15. Newcastle Brown Ale | 16. Tennent’s Gold Label | 17. Fowler’s Wee Heavy | 18. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | 19. Blind Pig IPA | 20. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout |

“Tim,” local homebrewer

| 1. Reissdorf Kolsch | 2. Duvel | 3. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout | 4. Kulmbacher EKU 28 | 5. Westmalle Tripel | 6. Hoegaarden Wit | 7. Schneider Weisse | 8. Parson’s Porter | 9. Cantillion Classic Gueuze | 10.Russian River Blind Pig IPA | 11. Barclay Perkins Russian Imperial Stout | 12. Gablinger’s diet beer | 13. New Albion Ale | 14. Fuller’s ESB | 15. Sam Adams Boston Lager | 16. Budweiser | 17.Paulaner Salvator | 18. Hodgson’s East India pale ale | 19. Spaten Dunkel | 20.Pilsner Urquell

The twenty most influential beers to me, personally (though one is indirect/historical/i ain’t never had it.)

| 1. Pilsner Urquell | 2. Guinness | 3. Pete’s Wicked Ale | 4. Berliner Kindel Weisse | 5. Duchesse de Bourgogne/Rodenbach (tie) | 6. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | 7. Samuel Adams Honey Porter | 8. La Chouffe | 9. De Koneninck | 10. Bellhaven | 11. Labatt Blue | 12. Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye | 13. Saison DuPont | 14. Ithaca Brute | 15. Orval | 16. Anchor Libery Ale | 17. New Albion Ale(s) | 18. Ipswitch Ale | 19. Molson Brador | 20. Old Brown Pig

What’s your list? I’ll take mine in a future Squibs and expand on it a bit, but I thought it’d be nice to lay it out as a broad topic first.

Home Of Cash-Only Delights

Home Of Cash-Only Delights

2.) Ode To Lafayette Avenue: Our brewery sits on the first block of Lafayette Avenue, one of my favorite streets in Buffalo. And indeed, I have the good fortune of traveling most of its length frequently, which has afforded me the opportunity to consider all of my favorite buildings from Niagara on the west end to Main on the east. So moving forward, each Squib will feature one (sometimes two) of these structures, be they businesses, residences, or other public buildings. I think Lafayette Avenue can be roughtly divided into three secions: Niagara to Colonial Circle; Colonial Circle (or one could say Richmond) to Delaware/Gates Circle and then the stretch between Gates Circle and Main Street.

We’ll start with one of the anchors, and a cultural treasure as well: Santasieros. Whether you pronounce it “santa-si-er-ohs” or “santa-sair-ohs,” this family-owned business is nearly one hundred years old now and still cranks out inexpensive but delicious (and generously-proportioned) food which fueled much of CBW’s construction and continues to energize our brewing. Rudy is partial to the meatball bomber; I like that quite a bit myself and the pasta fasool as well. I also highly recommend their eggplant parm. The west side used to have a dozen small Italian eateries—when I was growing up, the Italian Festival was still on Connecticut Street, in fact—but as the neighborhood transformed, most of the them have moved or gone out of business. Really, only Marcos and Santasieros have persisted.

Cheerful!

Cheerful!

3.) It’s that Genny bock time of the year here, with all the snow mud and whatnot. I think the retro stubbies exceed even the cans in all their cheery green splendor for go-to packaging this year: I suggest the $4.99 sixer you’ll find at any local Consumers. What you’ll find when you crack one open and pour it on down into a nice glass (really, you think i’d suggest drinking from the stubbie? hell no!) is a remarkably polished, deep-copper beer with great foam throwing something ok, a bit corn-y… but then, isn’t that also a biscuity, toasted goodness you know… Munich malt? Is that… noble hop aroma, though faint? The flavor yields some caramel… ok, this isn’t as complex and geek-tastic as yr Ur-Bock, I can’t deny that. But when it comes to inexpensive, easy-drinking quaffability—a snowblower beer, if you will—this one nails it. I suggest you get it while it lasts! Runners up include Yeungling’s bock and as well, Anchor Steam’s Bock (which hews a bit closer to the Teutonic ideal, to be fair.)

4.) Beer Myths debunked: I am not a Men’s Health reader, and my guess is that their key demographic isn’t largely comprised of craft beer drinkers, but they certainly do feature articles on beer from time to time and this one crossed my path today via a Facebook friend. Normally, the debunking of beer myths I read are more of the historical nature provided by Zythophile, above, or my acquaintance Ron at Shut Up About Barclay Perkins, but I thought this set deserved some further commentary and/or snark. Anyway, check the link and then here’s my pithy commentary on same:

  1. Actually, the kind of beers that leverage “coldness” as a selling point are best served as tongue-numbingly cold as possible, lest you taste their nasty, preservative- and adjunct-laden “flavor”
  2. Cans are definitely hip these days, and offer at least two advantages over glass that were not mentioned: they are cheaper to ship and cheaper to recycle (though producing aluminum in the first place is far less green than glass-making, to be fair)
  3. The coolness of seeing Dave Glor’s name in print (he used to brew for Flying Bison here in Buffalo) is one thing- but also, he’s quite right. There are bars where your best bet is a bottle, no matter what they have on tap. Far more beer is ruined by the line than comes out of the brewery or distribution house flawed, I can assure you that.
  4. This is one of my personal missions: to teach people that light v. dark is independent of ale v. lager. And more, the idea that all dark beers taste like Guinness: they most certainly don’t! Aside from the fact that there are a number of different types of Guinness itself, there are also dark lagers that really don’t have much roast bitterness to them at all. Try a Session Black Ale from Full Sail if you wanna see what I mean.
  5. I’ve never heard this one, but no question that alcohol content and color have no necessary relationship and in fact, some of the traditionally stronger styles are very pale indeed (tripels, or belgian golden strong ales, for example).
  6. Again, a myth I am unfamiliar with but I can’t see any reason to believe it. If anything, beer provides more nutrients than wine, though I don’t think either of them makes a great substitute for actual food. Still, I’d rather fast on bock for lent than cabernet.
  7. Of course if you drink a ton of beer, you’ll get bigger- but that’s also because chances are, you’re drinking a ton of beer while also eating a ton of food. And I bet mostly not salads, either. Moderation in all things, y’know?
  8. Where did they get these myths, or do I just hang out with far too many beer-knowledgeable people? If you buy warm beer, chill it asap; if you have a choice, buy it from the cooler. Heat is absolutely the enemy of beer (along with light and oxygen.)
  9. Eh? I mean, sure- one one hand, the Craft Beer Revolution and innovations resulting therefrom in the US have now influenced beer-making in England, Belgium and Germany (not to mention Italy, Japan and Denmark), but on the other, we as a country still consume a lot of pretty bland beer. But not as much as China does!

5.) I love Raymond Scott. I love Jim Henson. And I love older, white-haired gentlemen smoking pipes. So, I give you The IBM MT/ST ad sensation that swept the nation: “The Paperwork Explosion.” Remember: Machines Should Work; People Should Think!

 

Gotta Wear Shades

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Just in the nick of time, it’s Bob and David¹ Thirsty Thursday! Dan was nervous that his long strong of timely posting might get a black mark, and indeed, my day was such that I couldn’t find a moment until after my own kids were in bed (ok, and a game of Pokemon with the elder one) to get this post underway. So, let’s just jump on in to…

We (Rudy and Ethan) had a good time at The Eagle House on Tuesday, and thanks for coming, all y’all!  It was great to see some new and old faces, and what a remarkable atmosphere as well- we heard a lot about the various hauntings and ate some lovely, well-matched apps. Too bad about the hockey game, of course, but the beers seemed to go down well, and we had to take the empty keg of The Soft Bulletin with us when we left, so folks: thanks so much!

Immediately prior to that event, Rudy and I barnstormed through the Gordon Biersch rauch-schwarzbier release party where we ran into the entire Flying Bison Crew and had GB Brewer Matt Redpath’s excellent, delicately smokey brew. In truth, my only complaint is that I like the schwarzbier as it is so much… so, that’s hardly a complaint. The smoke is deftly layered in the roast and the clean lager fermetaton further modifies its expression so as to make it a lilt more than an even an accent. For me, full-on rauchbiers seem really geared towards pairing with food; the smokey intensity begs some kind of partner. I find Matt’s hybrid utterly sessionable on it’s own, in contrast. I recommend you check it out!

 

may be subject to copyright.

may be subject to copyright.

But certainly the most intense news of the last week since we met, dear reader, was this: We’re, um… Number One!!!! Yeah, I know, what? Oh, I mean… Well, here’s the deal:  There is a website called RateBeer.com where users can log-in and, well… right; I think that’s pretty obvious. Also, meet one another in forums, trade beers and tips, &c. It has competitors—BeerAdvocate, for example, and also social-media apps such as Pintley and Untappd—but nontheless, what they all share is: a tremendous amount of user-generated data. So, we came to find out on Friday afternoon that, having crunched the numbers, we were the top-rated brewery that opened in NYS in 2012. We did not see this coming! I mean, have I ever checked in to see how people rate our beers? Sure, of course. But I have certainly not compiled a DB covering the rest of the field, so I had no idea how we might stand in such a ranking- I am not even entirely sure what the number of competitors were, though they do give a great explanation of the Baysian equation they use to weight the averages. Needless to say, Rudy was more-than-jazzed and I believe may have floated home that night- I only saw him walk out the door. We certainly want to thank those that rated our beer and encourage others to as well. Sure, when taste-makers opine and it comes your way, that’s great, but we’re more geeky than that and we love the data-driven nature of the award. Congrats are also due to Southern Tier for winning both the best brewery in NYS overall and as well the best beer in the state with Choklat, their awesome chocolate and imperial stout.

I am re-using this image because I am lazy. Dan would not fail you so.

I am re-using this image because I am lazy. Dan would not fail you so.

So, hey, enough about the past, right? looking ahead… Well, a few small things first. Please remember again that we have modified our Saturday hours and are now opening an hour later at 11:00 and closing an hour earlier at 7:00. As well, this is a great weekend to come on down because we’re offering our “Big Game” special, $1.00-off growler fills tomorrow and Saturday for the event on Sunday. C’mon by and run us dry! We don’t have any events coming quite round the corner, but towards the end of the month, mind the back-to-back onslaught that will be Jack Astor’s tap-takeover (be sure something fun will show up with us) on February 21st and then the next night, The Art of Beer at the Niagara Arts Center- the furthest north CBW will have ventured yet.

Even more exciting- when last we met, we knew our brite tanks would, well: chill water. That is certainly worth knowing, but not so amazing to brag about. Since that time, numerous tests have been applied, several chemicals have been run through the clean-in-place sprayball (we love CIP, as it’s known in the brewer’s argot) and finally, beer has been pumped over to them: 3bbls each of our beloved The Whale and some aromatic THE IPA. And as of this evening, at least one of them was carbonated, too! So, another learning hurdle down and the last to go, namely: transfer into kegs. This should not require anything like the profound headscratching of carbonating calculations and such, so the road to greater production now lies essentially open before us. Or hey: more beer real soon! Which means, since other details have been fully been sorted, we’ll be picking up a perhaps surprising and certainly high-profile new account in very short order… But it’s best to leave a reader in suspense, is it not? So more on that next week!

 

July 20th, 1969

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It’s Thursday: huzzah! I’ll do my best to sound like Dan, but let’s face it: Dan’s the pro on that; I’m a rank amateur. Please bear with me… I just don’t have as much to say about halflings these days besides “Weren’t they just a way for Gary Gygax to get around the Tolkien estate and include hobbits as a PC race?” That’s what I always assumed.

As long as we’re on the topic, though, let’s start with the obvious- I am writing this week’s T.T. because Dan et familie have just +1′d. Congratulations, then, are on order for Dan, Elizabeth, Neil and Nora- the last of whom entered the world happy and healthy on Monday. Nora will be raised entirely on spent grain and beer, as are the children of brewers everywhere.

Has Landed

Has Landed

On to more beer-oriented announcements. First, as Dan mentioned last week: our new winter seasonal brew is out. The Soft Bulletin, a dark saison made with orange & tangerine peel, is available now at retail, and for Batch #1, only at retail. We wanted to give our growler-buying fans first dibs because we understand how quickly our debut beers can disappear and wanted to thank everyone who comes on down to 15 Lafayette Ave. Rest assured, we’re not done making this beer, and further brews of it will absolutely be hitting all your favorite on-premise locations. It has a wonderful nose–floral and a little citrusy–backed up by a wheaten base which includes a mere trace of roast, some chocolate notes, and a touch of biscuit. It’s an excellent choice for a dessert beer, would work great with a nutty, soft cheese, and no doubt would absolutely shine alongside a hearty stew or thick soup.

Speaking of retail, having been open Thu-Fri-Sat for a few months now we looked at the distribution of sales at different times–facilitated greatly by the Square register app’s awesome data-generating prowess–and determined that some of our retail hours aren’t really producing the returns we need to continue staffing them. For example, over 12 Saturdays, we have sold exactly 2 growlers between 10:00 and 11:00 am. So, maybe we can all sleep in just a bit! Similarly, Saturday between 7:00 and 8:00 hasn’t really been obviously worth staffing, either, based on sales. So! After this weekend, starting January 31st, our revised retail hours will be:

Thursday: 3:00-7:00

Friday: 3:00-8:00

Saturday: 11:00-7:00

We’ll keep on reminding you of this via all the usual channels, of course.

Did I say we had events on the horizon? No? Oh, well: We do! We’ve been selling De Maas to the Eagle House Tavern in Williamsville since late October, but we’ve only just now gotten around to planing an event there. If you’ve never been, you should know that this is one historic joint- they were established in 1827, so they know a few things about food and drink, clearly. We’re pretty stoked, therefore, to be on tap there. Please feel very much invited to join Rudy and Ethan there on Tuesday, January 29th (there = 5578 Main Street, parking in the rear). There’ll be specially prepared appetizers meant to pair with the beer, pint specials and of course we’ll bring some swag to give away as well. Oh, and remember how I said there’s not going to be any Soft Bulletin outside of retail until the next batch? Well, a rule is only as good as there are exceptions to it in our eyes: we’ll also be bringing a keg of the dark saison with us. Hope to see you there!

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A final note for this Thursday… Rudy’s brewing The Whale today, but all the while he’s also been playing with our awesome brite tanks, which are completely ready-to-go now and simply need to be fully understood. Yesterday, Rudy filled them with water and switched on the glycol so we could figure out about how long it will take for them to get 3bbls of beer down to a good carbonating temperature, like 32 degrees. Turns out the answer is about 6 hours! Today’s lesson is carbonating: drop in for retail today and we’ll treat you to some fizzy water, perhaps. As soon as we feel like we won’t waste a precious batch of beer in them, we’ll add their capacity into the production schedule and not long thereafter… more beer! Who doesn’t want more beer? I know we do, and I bet you do, too. We aim to please!

Till next week, then: cheers!