Summer Beer Glasses           

Craft Beer Blast

August, 2013

From Larry...

Celebrate IPA Day on August 1st. IPA Day started out as an underground grassroots effort to celebrate craft beer and give a collective toast to one of the great styles of beer: the IPA (India Pale Ale). This iconic style represents everything good about craft beer. It has regional variations and subcategories, a great place in the history of beer and most breweries make one. It is the most popular craft beer style by far; IPA was the most entered style at last year's Great American Beer Festival in Denver. The Double IPA came in second for the number of entries. There are many events planned around IPA Day; it has become a conduit for the social voice of craft beer. If you attend an event or know of one, spread the word via Twitter using the hashtag #IPADay. For more on what IPA Day is all about go to IPA Day is always on the first Thursday in August - Happy IPA Day.


Wynwood Brewing is getting close to opening. I have been told that the opening will be sometime in September. MIA Brewing will open in Doral this Fall. Florida Keys Brewing Company is in the planning stages, opening in 2014.


In this month's Florida Brewery Corner, I visited Barley Mow Brewing Company in Largo, FL earlier this summer.It is a nano brewery with 12+ beers on tap.  


The "Style of the Month" for August is Belgian Tripel, a Belgian style that is relatively new in the beer world, having been created in the 1930s.


The Brewery of the Month for August is Anderson Valley Brewing Company of Boonville, CA. AVBC is in the middle of Anderson Valley, a farming and wine producing area in Mendocino County, in northern California. I have enjoyed their beer since the 1990's and visited the taproom last summer.















        .Style of the Month

         Belgian Tripel

Belgian Tripel was first brewed in 1932 at the De Drie Linden Brewery in Braaschat, Belgium. This was in response to consumer demands for higher alcohol lighter crisp beers. Westmalle was the first Trappist abbey to brew it, in 1934. The style is made all around the world today. Tripel refers to beers brewed with roughly three times the quantity of malt used for a regular brew. Candi sugar is also added during brewing. These beers are gold to light amber; they are unfiltered and submitted to additional fermentation in the bottle. Pilsner malts are used and the head is big, dense and creamy. Flavors are complex and spicy with fruity esters, moderate spicy hop character with a sweet, dry finish. The sweetness comes from all the malts used in brewing. Alcohol level is from 7.5% to 9.5% ABV and is deceptively hidden in the better examples.


Beer History 
Sumerian Beer
Sumerian Beer Vessels 
The oldest proven references to brewing are from 6000 years ago and refer to the Sumerians. Ancient Egyptians brewed beer; soon it became the most popular beverage in Mesopotamia. By 3000 BC the Sumerians had established the art of brewing beer. How were these brews brewed before there was any knowledge of brewing? And what processes and methods were used? Several modern day brewers have tried to replicate the ancient brews. Dogfish Midas Touch uses a 2700 year old recipe found in King Midas' tomb. They found old drinking vessels and were able to test what had been in them.For the past year, Great Lakes Brewing Company's brewers and archaeologists at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute have been attempting to create an authentic version of an ancient Sumerian ale. Using only rudimentary tools like ceramic pottery and wooden sticks, GLBC developed a version of the liquid referenced in the earliest known beer "recipe": the Hymn to Ninkasi, which was carved into clay tablets by the Sumerians in 1800 BC. Later this month GLBC is throwing a "Sumerian Feast" that will include two versions of the Sumerian beer: the "authentic" version, served from the custom ceramic vessels it was brewed in, and one "modern" version, the same recipe brewed in the Brewpub's stainless steel Brewhouse.

 Anderson Valley Brewing Logo

   Brewery of the Month
    Anderson Valley Brewing Co. 

Anderson Valley Brewing Company was formed in 1987 by Kenneth Allen. His goal was to brew the smoothest tasting ales anywhere. His beers were popular from the begiming and soon began to win awards. The original 10 barrel brewhouse was replaced by a 30 barrel one in 1996. This brewery was a part of AVBC's growth in the mid 1990s. Production doubled and 12 oz. bottling was introduced. In 1998 construction began on a three story state of the art Bavarian style brewhouse. This new facility includes two copper brew kettles: 100 and 85 barrel respectively. The growth has continued and this is the brewhouse they still use today. The beers have expanded to barrel aging and wider distribution. When I first found AVBC's beer, they were only in 22 oz. and hard to find. Now they can be found everywhere with both 12 oz. bottles and some in cans. The Anderson Valley area has lots to offer and is a great place to visit. As it says on their website: The Anderson Valley is a cornucopia of sensory delights, sights, smells, and tastes like no other place. I visited the brewery last summer and there is more on my 2012 review page See the AVBC webpage for more about the beers and visiting. There is a page with links to other area activities. Anderson Valley even has it's own language - Boontling.

This Month
Dubbel Trouble Ale, a Belgian Dubbel style ale and Brewer Steve's Big Ol' Belgian IPA are currently on. Several different guest beers are now available. Stop by to see what's pouring.
Sports Grill SoMi 1559 Sunset Drive is having a Funky Buddha tap takeover Wednesday August 7th from 7 to 10 PM. Sample South Florida's newest craft brewery without the drive to Oakland Park. Sports Grill SoMi has one of the largest craft beer selections in South Miami. Call 305-668-0396 for more details.
World of Beer Dadeland : Celebrate IPA Day August 1st with new and different IPAs just for the occasion. On August 15th, Shipyard presents the Great Pumpkin; with the first keg of Shipyard Pumpkinhead in South Florida. Order a Pumpkinhead and keep the glass. More events all month long; see the WOB events website.
New Breweries

Wynwood Brewery 

The brewing equipment is installed and being tested. A distributor has been signed so the beer can be sold all around South Florida. The latest opening date now will be in September.


MIA Brewing Co.

The brewery will open this fall in Doral and they hope to have their beer in local outlets later this year.


Florida Keys Brewing Co. is currently in the planning stages. Homebrewer Craig McBay has been out at local festivals introducing his brews to local patrons. He says "The Keys are behind the rest of South Florida as far as craft beer goes." He is looking to open in 2014 in Key Largo.

Florida Brewery Corner
Barley Mow Brewing Co. in Largo FL has been brewing for almost 2 years. They are classified as a nano brewery (2 BBL), which is the fastest growing area of craft beer. The small size enables a brewer to start up his business without the huge investment a full brewery requires. At Barley Mow they are craft beer people who want to introduce new drinkers and veterans to their brews. I visited earlier this summer and enjoyed several of the brews. For more and links to photos see my 2013 review page.

© Larry Goeser
Miami, Florida
Good Beer Larry