Thursday, March 31, 2011

Colorado Beer Code is up for debate again...Vote NO on HB1284 & SB 194

I hate to use this blog as a political soap box, but I feel very passionate about anything that would hurt our Colorado craft brewers.

HB1284 (Sale of Full Strength Beer in Grocery Stores) 
SB194 (Sale of Full Strength Beer in C-Stores Stores)

While this seems like a no-brainer vote at first, it really could be detrimental to our Colorado craft brewers. Why wouldn't we want the convenience of picking up our favorite craft brewed six-pack at the grocery store  when we are already there getting our food for the week? Well,  here's the thing. Do you think the big box (Kroger, Safeway, etc.) grocery stores or convenience stores will carry that favorite six pack of yours? Most of the shelf space in the stores will be reserved for the big beer guys and the smaller guys will most likely get squeezed out. How many hoops do you think the craft brewers will have to jump through to get their beer on these shelves, as opposed to just walking into the local liquor store and talking turkey with the owner? It becomes a cascading effect from here. The local, privately-owned liquor stores will begin to go out of business because their beer sales will decrease and therefore the only other outlet for the small craft brewers will be the grocery and convenience stores, where they may or may not be able to display their beer. If the small craft brewers cannot sell their beer, they too will soon be forced to shutter. I know this sounds like an extreme result, but it is more possible than you might think. Therefore, it all goes on down the line and affects more segments of the industry than you think. Now, is all this worth the five minutes you might save picking up beer on aisle 7 as opposed to walking next door to the liquor store?

I suggest all of you that feel passionate about Colorado craft beer, its reputation, and its longevity in our state to write your representatives and senators. Go to this website and enter your Colorado zip code to find your reps information:

Compose an email or letter similar to this:

Dear Representative or Senator, 

Please vote NO on HB1284 & SB194. I love Colorado craft beer and what it stands for in our state.These bills are putting my beer at risk because my favorite Colorado craft brewery is less likely to get vital shelf space if corporate non-local, chain stores control the Colorado beer market. If I can't find my favorite craft beer on the shelf, I can't buy it. Access to market is critical in the beer industry and these bills move in the wrong direction. They will kill jobs, not grow them. Colorado is the envy of the nation when it comes to craft beer and these bills will change that. Please vote NO on HB1284 & SB194 and preserve brewery jobs in Colorado and our reputation as the leader of the craft beer industry. Help Colorado Brewers grow, and grow the state economy. These bills mean less selection and higher prices for Colorado craft beer lovers like me and I am upset. Please vote NO on HB1284 and SB194. 

Thank you

My letters have already been sent and I urge you to do the same.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A little street credit!

This is just downright cool. The brewery was recently featured on the American Homebrewers Association website. I'm getting an agent right now... Seriously though, it is nice for your hard work to be recognized in some form or shape.

Pimp my system: Andrew's Computer Controlled Homebrewery

Pimp my system: Andrew's Computer Controlled HomebreweryThis weeks pimped system is brought to us by Andrew from Boulder, His system includes a full control board as well as a computerized control and monitoring system! more >

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's get it in the barrel!

After 3 weeks of fermenting, I finally put Townie Brown into the oak barrel and keg! I fermented in two 5 gallon batches and it ended up around 1.022 gravity at about 11.8% ABV! He's a big boy. One of the 5 gallon batches was slightly more dilute because of the water chase we did coming out of the brewery into the fermentor. That batch finished up around 1.022 and went into the keg. The other batch which was full strength went into the barrel and was still around 1.026. I think the 6-9 months at 55-60F in the barrel will let it ferment out a bit more though and it will finish around 1.022 as well. Enough throwing numbers around...this stuff was tasty. It has a nice, sweet malt and brown sugar backbone to it that I think balances out the high alcohol really well. There is a slight British hop aroma, but not much bitterness. The one in the keg will be carbonated in about 10 days, so we'll see how it tastes poured into a glass...a very small glass though. I have a feeling this one will be on tap for some time.

Get into the barrel, Townie Brown! You can see what's on tap as well
The other beers are pouring and they are quite least to me. Some might find them a little hoppy for there liking, but I think they're great. I might have to stop pouring some of them so I can bottle them up for the NHC competition. I'm entering an Imperial IPA, English Old Ale, American Barleywine, and two Specialty Beers (Imperial Red and Imperial Brown). I'm excited in only the way a beer geek can be, to bottle these guys up with my new Blichmann BeerGun. It will make it a lot easier to bottle.

The Lowell.Brewing strong ale festival will have to be planned soon so I can clear the taps and make room for some new brews. There will be some more sessionable beers in this next phase, maybe try to keep them under 7%! Now why would I want to do that?....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Count me in to see this one...

I never get tired of these movies and can't wait to see this...whenever it comes out. The craft beer culture in America told by Colorado's craft brewers. Should be great!