HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!!
Well, it’s been way too long since I posted a newsletter. I was kept busy with the Vendome Beer Panel, and couldn’t seem to find the time to compose a newsletter. I don’t know what happened with Vendome, but they haven’t had a beer panel in a couple of months. During that time I’ve kept busy brewing . . .
I provided the beer for Nathan Roberts’ wedding reception on May 13, 2017. I brewed a Pale Ale (I originally called it “Prothalamion Pale Ale”, but eventually settled on “Hoppy Wedding Day”) and a Honey Blonde Ale (“Honeymoon Sweet”). I was honored to brew the Beer for Nathan and Nicole’s wedding, and received nothing but positive feedback. Unfortunately, I ended up with very little beer at Mac’s because it all went to the event. The good news is I brewed two wheat beers a few weeks before the wedding, and I have brewed three batches since then (see below). It’s good to have lots of beer at MBP again.
I recently bought a counterflow wort chiller, hoping to speed up and simplify the wort cooling process. So far it has done just the opposite of what I wanted. It’s more time consuming and complicated, and uses more cooling water than the immersion chiller system I was previously using. So far it’s proving to be a costly mistake, but I’m hoping I can figure out some way to make it more efficient.
I entered three beers in the American Homebrewers Association national competition – Fat Ass in a Glass, Wide Awake Drunk and Paper Ass Pale Ale. This competition is so large (just under 9000 entires this year) that I did not expect any of my beers to progress past the first round, but was hoping to score well and get judges comments to help me improve my brews.
All three scored quite well, but Wide Awake Drunk and FAIG scored extremely well. In fact, Wide Awake Drunk scored higher than any beer I’ve ever entered into competition (including two second place winners at the OC Fair in years past), but it was entered into the most crowded category of the competition. FAIG scored just two points lower than WAD. I received very positive feed back on both entries.
I decided to enter those two beers into the OC Fair Homebrew Competition as well. I haven’t received my score sheets yet, but I was notified that Fat Ass in a Glass won first place in it’s category (same category entered in the national competition, Strong English Ale). So my uncle, Kevin McCaffrey, was apparently right – after consuming a glass of Fat Ass, he commented it could very well be called, “Fine Ass in a Glass.” Thanks for the kind words, and vote of confidence, Kevin! The blue ribbon validates your observations and opinion, and I’ve been gloating for several days now.
So what am I serving at Mac’s Brew Pub these days? I’m glad you asked. It’s summertime, and we have summertime beers available right now
Anchor Steam Beer – When I had only two of four taps dispensing beer (because of the wedding), I had to buy a commercial keg to increase the selections. Anchor Steam Beer is a “no brainer” when it comes to deciding what to put on tap. Although not technically a summertime beer, it’s a light and refreshing lager, the beer that launched the craft beer revolution in the mid 1960’s. It’s been on tap here since June 1st, and is running low. Fortunately I have something to take it’s place when it runs out later this month.
Mak’s Bavarian Hefeweizen – My go-to refreshing “lawn mowing” beer. I never get tired of this one.
Mac’s Cherry Wheat – I alternate cherry wheat and apricot wheat for my fruit beer selection each summer. This year it’s cherry. This beer and the hefeweizen listed above, were brewed in the same batch, but fermented separately with different yeast in order to get drastically different flavors (then cherry was added to the one to get cherry wheat). This is really thirst quenching and refreshing.
Aeronautical Amber Ale – As the name implies, you’ll be soaring with pleasure when you drink this one. I haven’t brewed this recipe in at least two years, but on May 26, I brewed this with Rick Pullen, Reid Pulled and Mike Pierson. I changed the recipe just a little because they don’t like their beer as hoppy as I do. It tastes just a bit more malty, and not as bitter as previous renditions, BUT I think I actually like it better this way. It’s more true to the American Amber Ale style, and is really delicious.
Chocolate Coconut Imperial Oatmeal Stout – I brewed this on June 3; it’s still in the secondary fermenter with cacao. Last time I checked, it was 9.6% ABV. I plan to age this for a few months before kegging and adding the coconut. It should be on tap in September.
Maktoberfest – Ah yes, my annual Oktoberfest lager. I brewed this on June 23. It’s still in the fermenter, where it will stay for another couple of weeks. This will be on tap late August or early September.
Goldihops (and the Free Beers) – To be brewed in a few weeks. Half of the batch (5 gal) will go to our annual neighborhood block party. The other half will be on tap here.
I’m not sure what’s going on with Vendome. There hasn’t been a beer panel since late April. I’m not sure if they plan to resume the beer panel, or if it’s run it’s course and is finished. I enjoyed the opportunity to serve on the panel and assess the many fine beers they provided. A huge THANK YOU to Vikki Dawson at Vendome Wine and Spirits!
Well folks, that’s it for now. Fat Ass in a Glass is nearly gone, so you better get over to Mac’s Brew Pub real soon if you want a bottle.