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Messages - joelambic

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People in Chicago have no excuse.  The discount at brew & grow and the Goose brewpub pay for the membership REAL quick.

The Chicago area has quite a few pubs that are part of the Pub Discount Program: Goose Island, Rock Bottom, Gordon Biersch, Flossmoor Station, Haymarket, Luck Monk, Mickey Finn's, and even Granite City.  Just bear in mind that Illinois' anti-Happy Hour law does not permit discounts on alcohol unless they are for everyone and for the entire day.  That being said, I do know a few places on the above list that some how manage to apply the discount to the entire order.

Many of the Chicago area clubs have AHA Evangaleists that can offer slight discounts on memberships.  If you attend one of the club meetings just ask one of the club officers.  FYI, I am one for the Chicago Beer Society but have also signed people up who are members of other area clubs.  PM me if you can't locate someone.


Next meeting has been moved to November 4th at Limestone.  Also participating in the Learn to Homebrew Day on November 6th between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Limestone.  Stop by and say hey.

Thanks for that update. I would like to add that all of our future monthly meetings will be held on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM - Limestone Brewing Company, 12337 Rt 59, Plainfield, IL.
Bummer! That conflicts with the Chicago Beer Society's monthly meetings.  I understand not many of the far suburban folks would go to both but it would be a conflict for some of us.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pouring a Pint, Brit-style
« on: September 06, 2010, 06:36:56 PM »
My understanding is that draft (draught) beer in the UK must be served in one of three measures; 1/3 pint, 1/2 pint, 1 pint.  Glasses must be certified either to the brim (no line) or have a line denoting the proper measure.  Other than the Great British Beer Fest (GBBF), I have never seen a 1/3 pint glass and CAMRA only introduced that glass a couple of years ago.  Some pint glasses may have a line at 1/2 pint and then either a line at a full pint or be brim measure.

CAMRA has made a push for oversize, lined glasses but the industry - at least around London where I've frequented - has shied away from them.  As it was once explained to me, some pubs - Wetherspoons were one chain IIRC - tested the oversize glasses but many patrons asked for "top-ups" (a fair request for a brim measure glass but not for oversize glasses if there's beer to the line).  The staff were often unwilling to make a scene so would accommodate which resulted in lost revenue.  Unscrupulous patrons learned they could get an extra few ounces by making such a request.  The pubs switched back to brim measure pints.

Another reason for lackluster adoption of the lined glasses has been that the pubs (and suppliers) have a large stock of brim measure glassware which could be costly to swap out.  Sure, new lined pints could be brought in to replace breakage but that could take a while for a full swap out and then there's the issue with use of two glass types (see above) in the interim.

I personally like the line glass.  A lined glass at shows a given volume with room for head (or not).  A consumer know whether or not they've gotten a full pour and what that amount is/should be.  Some US pubs (Gordon Biersch, Rock Bottom Mug Club mugs are two off the top of my head) use these.  The standard US "pint" sleeve/mixer glass comes in too many variations, not all of which actually hold 16oz to the brim.  Some pubs are using imperial pint glasses but there still is no indication to the consumer whether they're getting a proper measure.  I'd guess if the US had more enforcement with regards to ensuring a serving called a "pint" actually held a pint, menus would just change to calling it a "glass" of beer.

Other Fermentables / Re: Favorite Commercial Meads
« on: August 15, 2010, 04:09:49 PM »
I recently had a chance to try some cysers from AEppelTreow in Wisconsin.  I'm partial to dry over sweet and they had one that was very enjoyable.

I didn't check if they had any straight meads at the tasting though.

The Pub / Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« on: August 14, 2010, 06:23:26 AM »
I'll finally weigh in.  I like TT for a couple of reasons.  First, it is only open to AHA members and has been marketed as a perk of membership.  There has been talk of a members'-only section of the website but I don't think there is a plan to have one on the forum.  If the forum replaces TT and is open to all, how is this a perk for members?  Those AHA members who prefer the forum and see little value in TT don't have to subscribe to it.  Second, I like having something in my mailbox rather than having to go out to search the forum.  Official AHA communications could easily be posted to both.

I have been on the forum pretty much since it started.  I, however, have not always made an effort to check in regularly so when I do stop in after a long period have a huge amount of threads to sift through to catch up.  I do make use of the unread link rather than sifting through all sub-forums so this helps but a hiatus of even a couple of days results in several pages of topics to go through.  Top this off with the several other forums I like to check and this can take the better part of a day to process.

I think both the forum and TT have a place within the AHA.  Comments on both sides that more or less make fun of the other are not productive.  Also, I see on the forum, several people trying to make "jokes".  These rarely come across as intended in an online format so tend to get misinterpreted.  Can't we all just accept this and stop the comments lauding or denigrating one or the other?  Let the individual choose what they want.

On a side note, my club has had a long-standing list server (not moderated or only in digest form).  We have started discussing whether or not to implement a forum and/or wiki to supplement the email list.  We however will likely not replace the email list.  Unlike TT, our list is hosted for free by a local entity and we don't have people spending time compiling and editing emails into a concise digest.  Regardless, the club organizers see each having their place rather than one having to replace the other.

The Pub / Re: "The Denny Level"
« on: August 14, 2010, 06:08:50 AM »
"Respect my authoritay!", sayeth Cartman

As the others have said, it depends on how it tastes.  If the oats are not evident, enter as an APA and do not mention the oats.  If they are evident, enter as Specialty and note the special ingredient.

Beer Travel / Re: One Week in Belgium
« on: August 10, 2010, 08:12:25 PM »
I've "been" to several of the Trappist breweries: Westmalle, Rochefort, Orval, Westvleteren, and Achel.  I, however, didn't get a tour at all of them so had to make do with a visit to the cafe and perhaps (in the case of Westmalle) a video tour.  Of the ones I had an actual tour of, I think Orval may be the most interesting.  In addition to the brewery one can tour the ruins of the monastery.  Achel, by contrast, is closer to a brewpub with the small, modern brewery behind glass and the cafe service similar to cafeteria style.  Achel does/did have a great shop adjacent though where most/all of the other Trappist beers, glasses, etc. could be purchased.

I'll second the recommendation for 3 Fonteinen.  Not only do they serve one of my favorite beers, they also have an excellent menu with several authentic regional dishes.  They are open for lunch & dinner (closed in between) and  I believe they are closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays.

The Centrum Hotel across the street from 3 Fonteinen has a cafe that served quite a few of the other (Boon & Girardin are what I remember) lambics.  I wouldn't recommend staying at the hotel during a honeymoon though; it's good but very bare-bones.

If you like saison, I would recommend a visit to the Dupont brewery tap.  No matter how good the Saison Dupont I've had anywhere else, it pales in comparison when consumed across the street from where it's made.  They usually have the full product line available given enough time to bring something up from the cellar and chill in the cooler.  A modest knowledge of French will come in handy as I don't recall how well the lady that runs the place speaks English.

Beer Travel / Re: Chicago beer spots
« on: August 09, 2010, 02:53:24 PM »
My experience is that Piece can get even more crowded than the Map Room other than perhaps on International Night (Tuesdays) and certain Beer School nights.

Chris, the new brewer at Rock Bottom - Chicago, is making some excellent beers.  I was in last week and he had a smoked helles and a dark lager that were fantastic.

If visiting 3 Floyds, be sure to also visit Flossmoor Station.  It's about 20 minutes away by car.  It's also across the tracks from the Flossmoor Metra (regional rail) station so always an easy trip from the City.  Other Metra-friendly pubs are: Emmett's (both Downers Grove & Palatine), America's Brewing (Aurora; same line as Downers Grove), and Mickey Finn's (Libertyville),

Other places worth checking out are: Fountainhead and Bad Apple which are both very close to the Half Acre brewery (they have a shop/tasting room).  They're bars rather than brewpubs but have good selections.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Location ideas for homebrew club meetings
« on: June 23, 2010, 08:58:02 PM »
Of the three Chicago area clubs I'm familiar with, two meet at a bar/restaurant that permits them to bring in outside beers; one permits some commercial beer along with the homebrew but the other only allows homebrew.  The third club rotates meetings at members' houses.

Most (all?) competitions I've organized or judged at only had a rule about the same brewer entering multiple beers in the same sub-category.  There was no problem entering the same beer in multiple categories/sub-categories.  The best thing is to check each competition's rules and/or contact the organizer if there's a question.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Are all Corny Kegs the same size?
« on: June 18, 2010, 08:29:49 PM »
Should be able to.  The trick is to make sure the threads on the posts match the fitting.  Some places have kits with new posts.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Are all Corny Kegs the same size?
« on: June 18, 2010, 05:33:45 PM »
As far as I know, each keg type (pin & ball lock) has its own uniform size.  This would, of course, be for unmodified kegs.  If someone took a ball lock keg and swapped the fittings to pin lock, you'd have a slightly shorter/squatter pin lock keg.

I think many people prefer ball lock but I have seen a few online stores selling a full line of parts for pin lock kegs.

If the oak character isn't that pronounced, I'd say to enter it as a barley wine rather than as wood-aged.

All Things Food / Re: BBQ Sauces
« on: June 17, 2010, 06:52:36 AM »
On brisket, generally plain or possibly just a touch of sauce.

I usually go plain too, but I'm making a brisket in two weeks and I'd like to have some sort of sauce on the side for those who want it.  Anyone have a good recipe for sauce that goes well with brisket?  I'm also gonna make a meatloaf this weekend, so I'd like to make the sauce this weekend as a test run.
I don't have the recipe for my last batch of sauce handy but would recommend checking out some of the sauce recipes at the Virtual Weber Bulletin Board site.

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