Tag Archives: featured

The Perfect Pint?

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.comWe’re all familiar with the standard “shaker” pint glass, which derives it’s name from it’s original use as a cocktail shaker when paired with a slightly larger metal cup. They’re cheap, durable, and easy to stack, making it a popular choice for many American bar owners. But despite being the common choice for many beer drinkers, it’s not the best fit for craft beer.

You’ve probably seen other glasses of all shapes and sizes… but do they really affect how the beer tastes? Turns out, they do! Not only that, the geometry of the glass can affect how the beer looks, smells, and even how the beer feels in your mouth.

So how do you know which glass to use? When determining appropriate glassware, an educated drinker will note the beer style, and consider things like alcohol content, and whether the beer is bottle conditioned. Here are a few quick tips to help you choose the right glass for the right beer…

Weissbier “Vase”

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.com
The weissbier vase has a tall, slender shape that beautifully displays the bright colors and swirling haze typical of wheat beers. The glass is tapered at the bottom and wider at the the top to provide ample space for the thick, frothy head, representative of the style. A quick rinse with cold water can help break surface tension and reduce excessive foaming, though a great head is a desirable characteristic of any wheat beer, helping to lock in the aromas of the beer being served.

This is the preferred glass for hefeweizens, weissbiers and other wheat beers.

 

Stemmed Tulip

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.comThe tulip glass, named for it resemblance to the Spring flower, is my favorite glass for craft beer, and will work in most cases if you’re struggling to find the right glass. The flared rim helps support the head and fits well to your lips, while the inward taper helps hold aromas inside, a treat to the senses with every sip. You can also hold this glass by the stem to prevent heat transfer from your hands to the beer, or conversely, cup the glass in your hand if the beer is served too cold.

This is the preferred glass for serving Scottish ales, American double/imperial IPAs, barleywines, Belgian ales and other aromatic beers.

 

Tapered Pilsner Glass

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.comPilsner glasses are tall, slender and tapered to reveal the color, and carbonation of the beer, with a broad top to help maintain head. They are similar in appearance to the Weissbier vase, but a true Pilsner glass has an even taper without any amount of curvature.

This is the preferred glass for Pilsners, Amber Lagers, Maibocks/Helles Bocks, and other American and imported lagers.

 

 

Snifter

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.comTypically used for serving brandy and cognac, the snifter is perfect for capturing the complex aromatics of Belgian ales, IPAs, and stouts. The shape of the glass allows swirling to agitate volatiles, producing an intense aroma. At the same time, the snifters smaller size make it a great choice for beers that are high in alcohol, such as barleywines and Russian imperial stouts. Like the tulip, the round shape allows for the beer to be warmed by the hand, as these styles are generally meant to be enjoyed at 55-60º F or “cellar temperature”.

This is the preferred glass for Belgian Strong Ales, Gueuze, Flanders Red, Russian Imperial Stouts, Barleywines, Wheatwines, and other aromatic or high alcohol content beers.

Fractured Beer Quotes: Almost Famous Words About Beer & Life

Plenty of famous words have been written about beer… with a little research you can find countless references to the beloved suds attributed to founding fathers, ancient proverbs, and great authors of the past. A good quote, just like a good beer, can inspire us to expand our minds and reach for something more. Inspirational quotes can become mantras for our daily lives, encouraging us to follow our dreams and motivating us to keep going when things get tough. Whether you’re looking for some wisdom to inspire a new career, or just the next great beer, here are some almost famous words to keep you going.

"Fractured Beer Quotes", Find more at http://thecraftbeergirl.com

Original Quote:  “Where there is love there is life.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Read More Fractured Beer Quotes…

Meet Josie Holden, Nedloh Brewing Co.

Nedloh_Header

Since March is women’s history month, I thought I would highlight one of the many women helping to grow the craft beer industry here in New York, Josie Holden, of Nedloh Brewing Company. The 3,500 square-foot brewing facility—opening this Summer in East Bloomfield—will feature a tasting room, retail space and a museum dedicated to the history and process of local 19th century hops production.

How did you get into craft beer or brewing? Everyone seems to have an “Intro to craft beer story”… What’s yours?

I grew up in a family owned winery and I’ve been around wine all my life. Beer was very new to me. Getting into home brewing with my husband really piqued my interest and made me want to learn more about craft beer. It was a big transformation for me switching from wine to beer, since I had to learn about the different styles and tastes of beer and what would work for me. I’ve become very open minded in trying everything. Learning about craft beer has been a great experience for me. I’m looking forward to learning more by taking classes, home brewing, and traveling to different breweries all over. I’m especially excited to start my learning experience with opening a brewery.

What were you doing before opening the brewery?

josie and mash

Josie stirs the mash on a test batch. (Photo Credit: Tom Navarre)

Before thinking about opening a brewery I was helping out with the winery. I helped out with the retail and serving the wine. This is what I will be overseeing at the brewery.

How do you think people perceive women in the beer industry today?

If a woman wants to start her own brewery or become a brew master, it can be a shock to people because they are coming into a male dominant industry. I know this from experience with opening my brewery. It was intimidating at first for me because I didn’t know much about beer coming from the wine industry. However, I encourage myself to learn something new and to try new things – this was one of those moments. Opening a brewery and being a woman was a big step for me. I’ve had good support and I’m happy to be part of this industry. One of my goals at the brewery is to try to make a beer for women who drink wine to like.

Do you think the craft beer “bubble” is coming? Why or why not?

I read recently that the craft beer production was up 9.6 percent in 2013, while overall beer fell 1.4 percent. This is good news for the industry and craft beer enthusiasts too. We’re seeing that growth right here in the Finger Lakes, with craft breweries popping up all over the region. I’m happy to be one of them too. I always encourage people, especially women, to drink craft beer because it’s like finding a good bottle of wine that you know has taken a lot to make. It’s the same thing with craft beer. The brew masters and owners of craft beer are looking all over the country to find the best ingredients for their beer. For example, Dogfish Head Brewery is always looking for that unique ingredient to wow people. This is what makes the craft beer industry so unique.

What words of advice can you share with home brewers who are looking to start their own brewery?

  • Make sure you have a good business plan and good marketing plan.
  • Start off small to help get your feet on the ground and only have two or three beers on tap to start with.
  • Invest in a brew sculpture to help figure out recipes. They are pricey but they are a smaller scale of a microbrewery system. We have one and we love it! So fun to learn on.
  • Try all grain brewing instead of extract.
  • Find a good location for your brewery. Very key to opening a business.
  • Sign up for a membership to the Brewers Association.
  • Check in your area for beer classes.
  • Check in your area for local farmers who grow hops or barley.
  • Go on a beer tour and meet new owners or brew masters. Ask for some advice!

What are three beers you’re really digging right now?

The best answer I always say to people is, “The one in my hand.” It’s hard to answer what your favorite beers are because there’s so many that I’ve enjoyed. My favorite styles of are stouts and porter. While I thought they were too bitter for my taste buds, I’ve recently gotten into IPA’s and really enjoy them now.

Find out more about Nedloh Brewing Co. on their website, and by following them on social media using the links below.

https://www.facebook.com/NedlohBrewing

https://twitter.com/NedlohBrewing/

http://instagram.com/NedlohBrewing/

On “Leaning In” and following my passion

I recently left my job to pursue a career in the craft beer industry.  No job offer, I just left. After 8+ years in marketing, I’m following my passion and making thoughtful decisions about where I want my life to go from here… and do you know what the best part is? I’m not afraid. Not afraid to fail, and perhaps more importantly, not afraid to succeed.

For years (seriously, years!) I thought of changing careers, feeling like I wasn’t reaching my full potential at my current company. Each time I thought of leaving, it just didn’t feel right. I hesitated because I felt like asking for more was asking for too much. After all, I liked my job! I was good at the work I did; I had built friendships with my coworkers; I made a decent salary, had plenty of leeway to  make my own decisions about how my role was structured within the company… to many of my friends, I had it made! With so many people facing company layoffs and unemployment, it felt wrong not to just be satisfied with the career I had.

hesitatedBut finally, through a mix of careful preparation and spontaneous bravery, the timing felt right and I made my move. I left on my terms, with nothing but words of thanks and encouragement from my boss and coworkers… it felt great!

In the weeks since, I’ve been pursuing a number of career opportunities in the craft beer industry and my decision to change careers is continually reaffirmed by people around me. However, I find myself unexpectedly struck by how insightful this experience has been for me as a woman.

This morning, I came across part of a story on NPR about Disruptive Leadership, in which they speak with Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In, about cultivating women leaders. They reference a TED Talk Sandberg gave in 2010, about stagnation for women achieving leadership roles, and a follow-up interview with Pat Mitchell from 2013. As I listen to her speak, light bulbs go off and I find myself nodding… Not because what she’s saying is anything that I haven’t thought about before, but because it hits home, especially now. I am reminded that it’s OK to acknowledge my talents and accomplishments, and own them without feeling guilty, or that I’m being arrogant, too aggressive, etc.

The reason I post this here, on a blog about craft beer, is two fold. First, this blog has always been about my personal beer journey and the decision to work in the industry is a huge part of that. But I also want to connect Sanberg’s point to women in the beer industry, and how, even though progress is being made and we’re seeing more women enjoying and working in beer, we remain an underrepresented demographic. Krystal Baugher helps illustrate the problem in a recent article for theAtlantic.com:

In Colorado, one of the most brewery-rich states in the country with 154 individual facilities, there are only 10 women total who are known to be a part of the main brewing process.  The main obstacles that women continue to face in this industry include perceptions of taste, media influence, and preconceived notions about their skill and ability.

So, I’m sitting at the table and raising my hand, and I’m not afraid to be called on, and I’m not sorry. I won’t go on and on, because you need to follow the links above and listen to Sheryl Sandberg speak. Thank you, Sheryl, for saying that the status quo is not enough.

Crushing the Myths: Craft Cans

craft beer cansFor years, glass bottles were the package of choice for craft brewers. But recently, you may have noticed a growing number of canned beer on the shelves at your local beer store. Canning seems to have become a hot trend in the craft beer market, with more and more brands adding the alternative packaging to their lineup. So what’s with the cans? Read on as we debunk some common myths about canned beer.

Only cheap beer comes in cans.

No longer a sign of “cheap beer”, craft breweries all over the country are embracing cans. In fact, from a list of the countries top 50 craft breweries*, nearly half are canning in some capacity. Even Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, who had previously sworn never to put their beer in cans, has changed his mind. “The debate over bottles vs. cans has been a sticking point for brewers in the craft beer community for years,” Koch said in a recent interview with Forbes. “In the past, I had my doubts about putting Sam Adams in a can because I wasn’t convinced that Boston Lager would taste as good as it does from a bottle. But cans have changed. And I believe we’ve designed a can that provides a slight but noticeably better drinking experience than the standard beer can.”

Read More About Craft Cans…

Brooklyn Beer School

brooklyn brewery

One of the perks of being “The Craft Beer Girl” is making friends in the beer industry. One of the perks of making friends in the beer industry is having the opportunity to attend special craft beer events. Brooklyn Beer School is one such event. Periodically, Brooklyn Brewery invites industry members (distributor reps, bar owners, etc.) to come down to Brooklyn and learn more about the history and culture of the brewery and a little about beer in general.

Located at 79 North 11th Street in Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Brewery has been at the center of a cultural and gastronomical renaissance, taking place in Brooklyn over the last 20 years. We arrived on a Thursday afternoon, greeted by Steve Hindy, president and co-founder. The tasting room is simple, a large warehouse with concrete floors. We grabbed a beer and sat at picnic tables while Steve told us the story of how he, a foreign correspondent, and his neighbor Tom Potter, a banker at the time, came to start the brewery 25 years ago. To hear stories of Steve’s time in Beirut, and of his other experiences as a journalist, I am inspired. Enchanted by his sense of adventure and nostalgia, like falling in love.

Read More About Brooklyn Beer School…

Visiting Saranac Brewery

Last week I traveled out to Utica, NY to visit the Matt Brewing Company, home to Saranac beer. As the second oldest family-owned brewery in the country, and the oldest in New York State, the Matt Brewery is rich with history. As soon as you enter the tour center at 830 Varick Street, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a museum. Originally the bottling works of the brewery, the tour center was designed and decorated back in the 60’s, by Walter Pfeiffer – a leading Victorian architect at the time. The room, featuring high-ceilings and Italian tile floors, is filled with Victorian-era antiques… Certainly not the type of decor that I’m used to seeing at a brewery!

The tour begins with a history lesson as our guide points out a display case full of old bottles and cans representing the numerous products and brands produced at the brewery over the years. From the first 1888 Lager made by The West End Brewing Company, founded by F.X. Matt the same year, to the current line-up including Saranac Beer & Soft Drinks, Utica Club, and a number of other specialty products for smaller breweries. Recently ranked the 12th largest* brewery in the United States, and 6th* out of the top 50 US Craft Breweries, the Matt Brewing Company has a lot to be proud of.

saranac brewery tour

More About Visiting Saranac Brewery…

A Year of Craft Beer: 2012 in Review

As we close the book on 2012, and crack the binding on 2013, I thought I’d take a few minutes to look back over the past year and highlight some of my favorite moments. For me, 2012 was a year of good beer and even better friends. The year started with homebrew days… Spending Sunday afternoons nursing hangovers and brewing up the latest recipe, swapping ideas and making plans for how we would conquer the beer world. Getting “re-drunk” in Oz’s garage, standing around the brew kettle to keep warm. Grilling venison sausage on a fire started with Conaughty’s “shitty poems”, and convincing Trish to try new beers, determined to find some she would like, slowly converting her into a craft beer drinker.

In February, we made our second trip to Southern Tier Brewing Co. in Lakewood, NY with friends, Heidi and Andy. The four of us enjoyed some of our favorite beer as we huddled under the propane heaters on the patio. Later on, Jared led us on a tour of the brewery and let us try 2X Milk Stout straight from the bright tank. It was a great trip despite a little “incident” with Andy and the cab driver, Zero, on the way to dinner in Jamestown, and driving home the next day with hangovers…

I turned 30 in March, and became a Certified Beer Server. Still being somewhat new to craft beer, I was happy to have passed the test and, who knows, maybe it’s just the first step on my way to becoming a Certified Cicerone one day! In April, we traveled to Hunter Mountain for TAP-NY, where we drank unbelievable amounts of delicious NY craft beer and met some amazing new friends, like the Dupas, Lindsey Styborski from Brooklyn Brewery, and Adam Lang & Jan Matysiak, brew master at Sixpoint. (…and we ate SPAM fries!) We met Garrett Oliver in May, during a meet and greet at MacGregors Tap Room. It was really cool to meet the man that creates some of the best beer on the east coast, and literally wrote the book on beer. If you’ve met Garrett, I’m sure you will agree… the man has endless amounts of swag.

The summer of 2012 brought our first experience with Rochester Real Beer Week. This amazing week of beer events in Rochester allowed us to interact with so many great people in the beer industry, not only the locals, but players from all over the country who came in to celebrate Rochester’s expanding craft beer scene. This is when we first met Luke Purcell, brew master at Great Lakes, and Charlie Carson from Anderson Valley Brewing Co. And I ran my first 5k (!!!), the Rochester Real 5k, presented by Sam Adams and Saranac, hosted at Lovin’ Cup.

Snapshot of a Brewday

The day begins around 10 or 11 in the morning as the six of us gather, as we often do, bleary-eyed and ready to share tales of the previous nights events.  A big silver pot sits in the middle of the garage, atop a blazing flame, ready to heat gallons of water for the mash.  It’s the usual scenario, Oz busy checking temperatures and equipment with Eric close by, eager to learn as much as he can.  Meanwhile, JD and I joke and trade jabs with Ryan as we crack open the first beers of the day.  This week we’re joined by Trish, normally a light beer drinker; we’re determined to get her drinking craft beer (and liking it) before the day is done.  When the water is hot enough, it’s transferred to the mash tun, in our case a converted cooler whose insulated walls will help keep the proper temperature.  Grain is added, creating the mash that will produce our wort.  Steam rises from the mixture as the rich aroma, like warm oatmeal, fills the air.

More About Our Day of Homebrewing…