A lot's been going on for the past few weeks; hardly time to read my favorite blogs, let alone post on mine. I'm now full swing into another Fall semester, and it's time to start working evenings and weekends in order to keep from being snowed under with work and research.
Depressing news on the agricultural front for the near future of crops which go into beer. Many sites have visited this issue, so I'll just post a link to an informative discourse by Mr. Hieronymous. Go here. The folks at RateBeer.com had a discussion of same, and many of us who homebrew (even infrequently) don't like the sounds of paying a lot more for our ingredients. Just say no to corn subsidies!
I'm still sitting on my ingredients for a second batch of coffee porter, which is worrisome because I'm almost out of the first batch. I believe that my Hennepin clone is kicked, and the number of Chimay Bleu clones is dwindling, too. Luckily, I have a whole batch of Fantôme clones that will be ready in a few weeks.
A friend of mine (Tom) who jumped head first into brewing last fall (all-grain, no less), got his hands on some soda kegs. He graciously gave me five of them with some gaskets, so I'm going to have to start playing with kegging as my new storage method. We'll most likely get together with a few others and make a large batch of his Christmas beer, which was a huge hit of his last year.
Plans are underway to start an "official" homebrew club here in Indiana. There are at least ten homebrewers I know of right now (and I'm sure more who I don't), and some people who just need a push in the right direction.
The biggest excitement of the last few weeks was how I spent last weekend. I hope to make an actual standalone post on it, but to avoid the suspense .. I was fortunate enough to be able to go to a beer festival (nothing new there), but see it from "the other side of the tap", so to speak.
Friend and Marzoni's brewmaster, Bill Kroft, graciously allowed me to accompany him to Harrisburg to the 10th Annual Capitol City beer festival, which was held at Appalachian Brewing Co I had a blast, but don't know if I could do a whole lot of those - makes for a very long day when you set up, do three 3-hour sessions, then tear down. But it was quite an eye opener to see what goes on behind the scenes and find out what it's like to serve the gamut of beer drinking personalities. I hope to write up something more insightful soon, but probably not until the weekend. Oh, if you're in Harrisburg ... McGrath's Pub is not to be missed.
As I finish up, I'll say that I'm enjoying a bottle of Clipper City Heavy Seas Red Sky At Night, a saison from Clipper City Brewing out of Baltimore. Very nice little ale, and really has some characteristics that take me back to Europe.