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Archive for March, 2008

YOU have been cordially invited to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the re-legalization of the manufacture and sales of beer and wine.

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In one of his first addresses to Congress as president, FDR announced his intention to modify the Volstead Act, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within the United States and its territories. Congress passed the Beer and Wine Act, which exempted both beer and wine from the Volstead Act on March 22, 1933 – just two days after FDR’s inauguration. It became effective on April 7, 1933.

The Beer and Wine Revenue act was followed, in December 1933, by the passage of the 21st Amendment, which officially ended Prohibition.

And now for the official announcement:

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You are all invited “Drink With The Wench” and celebrate legal beer drinking!

WHAT: 75th Anniversary of the Beer and Wine Revenue Act

WHO: The Wench & EVERYONE who A. loves beer B. likes beer C. hates beer but wants to come out

WHERE: Josh’s House, Italian Village (email me for the address)

WHEN: MONDAY. April 7th – start 6pm (Stragglers are free to come whenever).

WHY: In celebration of the re-legalization of beer drinking in the United States.

HOW: Bring your favorite domestic beers to share and taste with the group!

“Drink With The Wench” Background
My ultimate goal for this group is to start up a gathering for fellow beer lovers and hopheads in the Columbus area. The invite is open to anyone and everyone interested in learning about and drinking beer. Ideally, I’d love to meet up with people who are more knowledgeable about beer than I am — and are willing to assist me in my voyage to beer connoisseur land.

I intend on this being a great social forum and conversation starter for beer lovers across all levels of expertise. Even if you do not know me, I still encourage you to come out and play. Everyone that has turned out has had much fun thus far.

There have been lots of new faces meeting me out, as well as some lovely regulars. I’m really enjoying meeting new people and sharing great conversation!

As always, I will be bringing along copies of a tasting sheet I found at Ratebeer.com. It helps serve as a great learning tool and conversation facilitator.

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BeerAdvocate to Host the East Coast’s Largest American Craft Beer Fest. At the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA. The Beer Wench has marked the dates on the calendar, with hopes of finding a cheap flight or making a road trip from Columbus to Boston this June. Tickets are available and the prices look reasonable. All interested parties please contact me ASAP.

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The official press release:

(Boston, MA – January 2008) In keeping with their self-elected duty to bring better beer to the masses, BeerAdvocate founders and brothers Jason and Todd Alström are crafting something big.

Held on June 20 & 21 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, the first annual “American Craft Beer Fest” (ACBF) will feature 3-sessions, invite upwards of 75 breweries, and serve at least 300 craft beers with an expected attendance of 15,000 appreciators of beer.

“It’s time,” stated Todd Alström, “It’s time the East Coast had a large-scale, world-class event that not only celebrates the creativity and growth that’s occurring amongst America’s craft brewers, but puts the respect back into beer.” The latter being a reference to their personal motto “Respect Beer,” in which the brothers urge consumers to appreciate the brewer’s art respectfully through support, beer education, and responsible enjoyment.

In addition to tasting a wide-variety of beer, ACBF will offer attendees plenty of beer education, including guest speakers, beer & food pairings, one-on-one opportunities to interact with actual brewers, and networking opportunities for beer industry professionals to help them support and bring more awareness to craft beer.

“We’re excited to be working with our partner Harpoon Brewery, the Seaport team, and craft brewers in bringing the East Coast a destination event that we hope to grow into one of the largest beer fests in America,” added Jason Alström. “Craft beer, its growing number of loyal followers, and the region are ready for an event like this.”

Tickets go on-sale in February.

American Craft Beer Fest is a BeerAdvocate & Harpoon Brewery partnership. For general information, please contact the Alström Bros (mail@beeradvocate.com). For sponsorship and marketing opportunities, contact Jeff Lawrence (jeff@weeklydig.com) at Boston’s Weekly Dig.

http://beeradvocate.com/about

Related Links:

http://harpoon.com
http://weeklydig.com
http://seaportboston.com

###

Todd
Founder & Chief Executive Advocate
BeerAdvocate

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Peak Organic Brewing, a small organic brewing company located in Portland, ME, has collaborated with local farmers and like-minded small businesses to create a delicious Maple Oat Ale. The Maple Oat Ale marks Peak’s first seasonal brew. “Peak Organic beers were created as a toast to life’s peak experiences. Whether it’s a spectacular afternoon in the outdoors, a good time with friends and family, or a great day on the job – Peak Organic Brewing hopes you have the opportunity to celebrate the peak experiences of your life.”

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The Maple Oat Ale is brewed with Maine-grown organic oats from granola company GrandyOats and Vermont-produced organic maple syrup from Butternut Mountain Farms in Morrisville, Vermont. The beer is in support of Chefs Collaborative, the nation’s leading culinary organization that provides its members with tools for running economically healthy, sustainable food service businesses.

They started working on the recipe last fall and bottled the first production batch in the last week of February. The equivalent of 48,000, 12-ounce bottles have been distributed in stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

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The following is an excerpt written by a columnist for the Portland Press Herald – Maine Sunday Telegram:

And on a global level, it’s a case of how even small companies can look at their own practices and attempt to make progress on global problems, according to John Cadoux, Peak’s founder.

Cadoux said while consumers are often passionate about buying local brews, the ingredients in those beverages often have to be sourced globally. When Peak started to look at its supply chain, it realized it was creating a huge carbon footprint as it shipped in organic ingredients from around the world.

So Peak looked at its recipes to find organics ingredients it could get within 150 miles. When the company was first formed in 2006, its represenatives met with some other local companies that were working on environmental sustainability, including GrandyOats.

As the company started thinking more about its footprint, Cadoux said, it decided to go with a seasonal that would use local ingredients. The result was the maple oat.

The brew has used 1,250 pounds of Maine oats to date.

Things The Wench loves:

Beer – particularly ales (check)

100% pure all-natural Vermont Maple Syrup (check)

Oats – especially oatmeal cookies (check)

Organic, green and sustainable products (check)

Conscientious Breweries seeking to reduce carbon footprint (check)

Peak Brewing Company’s Maple Oat Ale sounds like an absolute dream. Unfortunately, it is not yet offered in Ohio. In the spirit of the company’s dedication to sustainability and reducing carbon footprint, it would only be appropriate for me to travel to the Brewery to enjoy this ale. (Although my traveling probably has a greater carbon impact than having it shipped here.) Lucky for me, my best friend from high school currently resides with her new husband in Portland, ME. Whether I visit her or have her ship it here, I will taste this beer!!! And that is a promise!!!

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About Peak Organic Brewing Company

We are a small brewing company dedicated to making delicious beer using the world’s best ingredients. We believe that using barley and hops that are grown without toxic and persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers makes our beer tastier and more enjoyable, both for you and for the planet.

The ingredients in our delicious beers are made without toxic and persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers. These substances can cause soil degradation and chemical runoff that contaminates water sources and, hence, the ecosystems that they support.

We think that healthier soil grows tastier barley and hops. By supporting organic agriculture, we believe that we can make the most delicious beer possible and feel good about the positive environmental contribution we are making.

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About Chefs Collaborative

Founded in 1993, Chefs Collaborative is the leading culinary organization that provides its members with tools for running economically healthy, sustainable food service businesses.

Chefs Collaborative works with chefs and the greater food community to celebrate local foods and foster a more sustainable food supply. The Collaborative inspires action by translating information about our food into tools for making knowledgeable purchasing decisions. Through these actions, our members embrace seasonality, preserve diversity and traditional practices, and support local economies.

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About Grandy Oats

Beneath the foothills of New England’s White Mountains, in a one hundred-year-old restored dairy barn, we make all of our bulk and packaged granolas, roasted nuts, and trail mixes by hand, in small batches, and using only the finest organic ingredients.

GrandyOats has been making granola here in Maine since 1979. While we have grown tremendously since our inception, nothing about the soul of the company has changed. We are still a family of friends committed to quality living and environmentally and socially friendly, sustainable business practices.

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About Butternut Mountain Farms

Butternut Mountain Farm has been producing and packaging pure maple syrup for over 30 years. Our attention to quality and detail, our service and our size, have gained us recognition as one of the leading companies in the maple industry. Maple syrup in all sizes, granulated maple sugar, maple sugar candies, maple mustards, maple barbecue sauce, pancake mixes, maple butter, maple popcorn, maple pepper, liquid and crystallized honey and other related products.

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Last night’s “Beer Tasting & Board Gaming” has been the most successful “Drink With The Wench” event to date! Although there was significantly more beer tasting than board gaming, the whole night could not have been any better. The Beer Wench was in great company and would like to thank everyone who came out for making the event a tremendous success!

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Roughly 20 people turned out for the tasting, bringing a delightfully broad variety of beers. The group had an excellent balance between Beer Wench regulars and brand new faces (just about half and half). We even had a brave soul join us from Canton!

Upon arrival, each guest was handed a glass for tasting purposes. Starting around 7pm, beers were randomly selected (in no specific sequence) and tasted. At least 23 beers were tasted throughout the evening. I compiled a list of the beers that were tasted, to the best of my knowledge. Some beers may be missing from the list. I am more than happy to update it if people are willing to send me additions or corrections.

And now for the beers. Drum roll please …

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

Siletz Paddle Me IPA

Stoudt’s Double IPA

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

Samuel Adams Brown Ale

Great Lakes Conway’s Irish Ale

Great Lake’s Blackout Stout

Bells Expedition Stout

North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Rogue Chocolate Stout

Founders Brewing Kentucky Breakfast Stout

Sapporo Reserve

Leinenkugel’s Big Butt Doppelbock

Allagash Tripel Reserve Belgium Ale

Huyghe Brewery Delirium Tremens Belgium Ale

Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

Pinkus-Muller Organic Hefe-weizen

Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier

Green Valley Organic Wild Hop Lager

The selection of beers people brought truly exceeded my expectations! I was extremely impressed by the collection of beers tasted throughout the evening. All the attendees really put some time and thought into the event, and I really appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and effort.

CMH Gourmand surprised us with pints of Denise’s Ice Cream. He brought both her Guiness and Carrot Cake flavors. Both were hugely successful with the group. After receiving a brilliant suggestion from Tim, Jim created an original ice cream float, combining both ice creams with Rogue Chocolate Stout. The result was a rich combination of malt and cream = pure Beer Wench heaven.

Palate and preference varied from person to person. Some preferred the fruitier Belgium style ales, some the super hoppy Double IPA, and others the heavier malty stouts. There was definitely something for every palate. Most people were willing to step outside their comfort zones to sample unique beers brewed in different styles from personal preference.

Across the board, one of the most unique and impressive beers of the night was Founders Brewing Kentucky Breakfast Stout. The house host, Roland, was the provider of the stout – which he bought from Grapes of Mirth in The North Market. This beer is extremely limited and only available through special order. Here is the official description:

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Kentucky Breakfast

A bit of backwoods pleasure without the banjo. This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla then aged in oak bourbon barrels. Our process ensures that strong bourbon undertones come through in the finish in every batch we brew. We recommend decanting at room temperature and best enjoyed in a brandy snifter.

Specs:
10% ABV
25 IBUs

Color: Black Unfiltered
Cellar: 2 years
Availability: Quarterly (limited production, pre-order only)
Serving temperature: 42 f
Glassware: Brandy snifter

The Beer Wench review: Founders Brewing Kentucky Breakfast Stout: bottle, 4 pack, 10% abv. Appearance: spare/light brown head, fair lacing, muddy body, dark ruby black color. Aroma: heavy malt, heavy coffee, heavy bourbon, average doughy yeast, light resin hops, smoke, vanilla, port. Palate: full body, oily/ alcoholic texture, soft carbonation, astringent finish. Flavor: average duration, heavy sweetness, light acidity, heavy bitterness. Overall: Very strong coffee and bourbon aromas. It reminded me of coffee flavored liquors, such as Van Gogh Double Espresso vodka and Patron XO Cafe (coffee tequilla). The flavor reminded me of bourbon infused vanilla extract. Would make an excellent accompaniment to dessert (bread pudding with bourbon – most definitely.)

Special thanks to CMH Gourmand for creating the concept of “beer tasting and board gaming” and to Roland for unselfishly offering up his place of residence. Without the both of you, this would not have been possible. Lastly, thank you to everyone who came out. I’m looking forward to making this a regular “Drink With The Wench” event and hope to see all of your faces out with me again!

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The Volstead Act, also known as the National Prohibition Act, established the legal basis for the federal government to enforce the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within the United States and its territories.

The bill was vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson but overridden by Congress on the same day, October 28, 1919. The Volstead Act defined beer, wine, and other types of liquor as being illegal in the United States if the alcohol content of those beverages exceeded one-half of one percent. (Even cough syrup has to have more than that!!) In conjunction with the Eighteenth Amendment, the Volstead Act ushered in the Prohibition Era in America.

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With the passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, brewers looked for other sources of revenue. By removing most or all of the alcohol from conventional beer, brewers were able to mass market a legal product labeled “cereal beverage,” but almost universally known as “near beer.”

These beverages carried colorful names such as Bevo, Chrismo, Graino, Barlo, Bravo, Becco, Cero, Gozo, Kippo, Lux-O, Milo, and Mulo. (Italian brewers perhaps?) By 1921, production of “near beer” had reached over 300 million gallons a year. Food critic Waverly Root described “near beer” as “such a wishy-washy, thin, ill-tasting, discouraging sort of slop that it might have been dreamed up by a Puritan Machiavelli with the intent of disgusting drinkers with genuine beer forever.”

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On March 4, 1933, at the age of 51, Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated president. In one of his first addresses to Congress as president, FDR announced his intention to modify the Volstead Act with the Beer and Wine Revenue Act. Congress passed the Beer and Wine Act n March 22, 1933 – just two days after FDR’s inauguration. (The man had a mission.)

Essentially, the Beer and Wine Revenue Act was another tax – BUT, it exempted both beer and wine from the Volstead Act, re-legalizing the manufacture and sales of beer and wine. It became effective on April 7, 1933.

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The Beer and Wine Revenue act was followed, in December 1933, by the passage of the 21st Amendment, which officially ended Prohibition.

2008 marks the 75th year since the official end of Prohibition. The following is a list of important landmarks in the overturning of the Eighteenth Amendment.

March 22nd - Congress signs the Beer and Wine Revenue Act

April 7th – Beer and Wine Revenue Act officially goes into effect

December 5 – Twenty-first Amendment is ratified

On each of these dates, I suggest toasting a beer (or five) to good old President Frankie DR.

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“This one’s for you Frankie DR. You’re my hero. Cheers!”

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It is no secret that The Beer Wench loves Stone Brewing Company. (Stone’s Ruination is one of my go-to IPAs.)

In June 2008, Stone will release its 12th Anniversary beer entitled “Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout,” a 9.2% ale brewed with bitter chocolate. Little is known about the beer other than that it will presumably be similar to Hoppin Frog’s B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher and Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Choklat. Stone is in partnership with Chuao Chocolatier for this project.

The ingredients are Barley, Oatmeal, Chocolate, Hops, Water and Yeast.

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Quite possibly a result of the recent hops shortage, this beer appears to be a strategic move away from the big hoppy ales that Stone brewed for its 10th and 11th anniversaries. Although the anniversary release dates tend to change every year, the last few took place in August. This summer, however, Stone is planning on releasing its Vertical Epic Ale (which deserves an entirely different post at a later date) on 08.08.08 – and thus will be releasing the anniversary stout early this summer.

Eventually, Stone will reveal the details around its 12th Anniversary Ale at the website: http://www.stonebrew.com/12th. As of yet, this link does not work. Most of what is really known about this beer can be found on the (future) label below – click on the image for better readability:

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And so … I shall wait until June – anxiously. Until then, we have Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout – which hit the shelves on March 17th 2008 and is ready to drink now … as well as Stone’s Old Guardian Barley Wine – which hit the shelves this January and can be drank now or cellared to enjoy in the future.

I know for a fact that Grapes of Mirth in the North Market has the latest 2008 release of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine. I was there when he was putting the first round on the shelf – and made sure to grab a bottle, which I have chosen to “cellar”. I recommend picking up a bottle as soon as possible, since it is a limited release.

And … when in doubt, Stone Ruination IPA will satisfy your hop cravings any day!

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A little known fact about the Beer Wench: she is a gamer.

Now, I’m not talking about X-Box, Nintendo or Wii. Oh, no. I’m an avid BOARD-gamer. And while I do love the classics – I’m not talking about Monopoly or Scrabble or Clue.

The Beer Wench loves to play obscure, hard core strategy, super complicated – VERY geeky board games.

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Upon discovering this fact, my friend and local food critic Jim (aka CMH Gourmand) suggested that my next “Drink With The Wench” be a beer tasting and board gaming event. Of course, I thought the idea was brilliant. (After all, it does combine two of my favorite things.)

My friend and loyal “Drinking With The Beer Wench” buddy (he has been to every event) – Roland – has offered to host my event at his house in Victorian Village. As always, the invite is open to all Columbus residents and I encourage new faces to join us. Email me for location information.

So not to discourage “normal” people from attending, the night will be divided into two different groups – the hardcore gamers & the not so hardcore gamers. The games will be provided by us (everything from Settlers of Catan to Movie Trivia). There will be something for everybody. All we ask is that – all who wish to participate in the beer tasting portion of the evening – bring a unique beer to taste, drink, rate, and talk about.

If this is successful, we hope to make the beer tasting and board gaming event a regular occurrence.

And now for the official announcement:

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You are all invited to the next “Drink With The Wench”

WHAT: “Drink With The Wench” – Beer Tasting & Board Gaming

WHO: The Wench & EVERYONE who A. loves beer B. likes beer C. hates beer but wants to come out

WHERE: Roland’s House, Victorian Village (email me for the address)

WHEN: FRIDAY. March 21st – tasting @ 7pm, gaming @ 8pm. (Stragglers are free to come whenever).

WHY: In the name of research, I’ve decided to try at least one new beer every week.

My ultimate goal for this group is to start up a gathering for fellow beer lovers and hopheads in the Columbus area. The invite is open to anyone and everyone interested in learning about and drinking beer. Ideally, I’d love to meet up with people who are more knowledgeable about beer than I am — and are willing to assist me in my voyage to beer connoisseur land.

I intend on this being a great social forum and conversation starter for beer lovers across all levels of expertise. Even if you do not know me, I still encourage you to come out and play. Everyone that has turned out has had much fun thus far.

There have been lots of new faces meeting me out, as well as some lovely regulars. I’m really enjoying meeting new people and sharing great conversation!

As always, I will be bringing along copies of a tasting sheet I found at Ratebeer.com. It helps serve as a great learning tool and conversation facilitator.

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