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Messages - surfin.mikeg

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Going Pro / Re: Interview questions
« on: December 09, 2016, 09:05:22 AM »
Had the interview last night and it went well. No surprise questions. I am not very good at telling "the story" of the brewery, but I don't think I ever put my foot in my mouth. Thanks for the suggestions.
The biggest question and hurdle I have faced is when asked about other local competitors. Be sure to be kind and gracious even if you don't like the other brewery/breweries or their beer.

They will usually ask you about your brewing experience or what inspired you to brew.

Outside of that pretty straightforward.

She didn't ask about local competitors, but I am always careful to speak well of them. There is no point badmouthing another local brewer - you can come off as catty and disrespectful.

Something I hear locally, and I don't know if it is true or a myth: there needs to be a critical mass of local breweries in a given area to attract tourism.  You could highlight differences and the value of visiting all, including things for foodies and non-beer visitors.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Online Home Brew Stores
« on: December 04, 2016, 07:28:08 PM »
I've tried many over the last decade and try to give them all the benefit of the doubt.  I have to go out of my way by 2 hours or so to visit the LHBS, and the single reason I don't is that all hops are listed for around $2.80/ounce. 

1.  When ordering yeast, be sure to order an icepack or two.  Wish they had organic base malt.
2.  Consistently great.
3.  Also consistent.  In particular, don't overlook the silicone gaskets.

Based on this thread I'll take a look at Rebel Brewer, thank you.  The one thing I'm missing is water filtration to reduce TDS, and I'm not sure if that means simply getting setup with RO.  Would love to know if there's recommendations of a supplier for such things.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Card benefits
« on: November 15, 2016, 09:27:08 PM »
The discount is too nuanced for most to know about, and I find the whole percent discount thing is sometimes confused and applied to the entire bill.  It's more of a talking point for me.  A good bartender knows that the occasional generosity of the tap is returned in generosity of tips & returned business, and at that point a discount really doesn't matter.  Finding a good bartender, +1.

My favorite benefit of the AHA card is to check the gap setting on my grain mill.  It should be a semi-loose fit but not fall through.  Works great.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Low oxygen Brewing Now Has a Site
« on: November 10, 2016, 08:25:40 PM »
This is super helpful for me, thank you.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is there a monthly bottle swap here?
« on: November 09, 2016, 07:47:05 PM »
I'm brand new here, and have a full time job, but I'd be willing to help if people want to bring it back

I don't know the full history of homebrewer bottle swaps, but the threads are here and you can get a feel by reading through them.  It's essentially to pick a theme, work through the agreements (# of bottles), have a sign-up-by date, generate a list of who swaps with whom (and to try to pair with people who have not shared directly before).  People can share shipping addresses directly.

When I've participated it's been a great experience.  The feedback is more than helpful and I end up trying beers that are a bit outside my normal style.

Thanks for giving it a thought.  If interested, maybe start by doing a draft of the theme & agreements and see what homebrewers have input?   Cheers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is there a monthly bottle swap here?
« on: November 09, 2016, 06:55:36 PM »
I hope Jim is well too, I miss his posts, he added a lot of energy.
The swaps we had are great but it seemed a bit of work for those who needed to organize it. I liked reading the reviews and it was fun gather up local offerings too.

Does anyone know him personally?  It would be nice to know how he is doing.

Pimp My System / Re: New basement bar
« on: November 06, 2016, 08:14:05 PM »
I like how you are doing a lot with a small space, and within that, getting the tap-wall figured out.  Really nice work.  IMO, it's a very classy look.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Anchor Steam - Dry Hopped
« on: October 25, 2016, 01:12:37 PM »
Is it true that this is a limited release? If so, I need to find it before it is gone!

In watching how they released their "Go West!" IPA this Spring and now have it replacing their year-round Anchor IPA, my guess is that they are monitoring/tracking and will do something to make it more available.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Anchor Steam - Dry Hopped
« on: October 22, 2016, 05:18:32 PM »
When Fritz Maytag sold Anchor Steam in 2010, it was not clear what direction the brewery would go.  In hindsight, the there's been a substantial creative effort to keep the brand and beers relevant (distilling as well; their Junipero gin is a wonderful go-to), and this has included a seasonal update of the classic Anchor Steam Beer:

Anchor Steam has always been a classic local beer with a distinctive malty flavor and unique use of Northern Brewer Hops.  I have run into a few people who like this beer just the way it is and have no interest in trying the new recipe.  I like the traditional malty flavor as well and am I'm always looking for it on tap when dining out.  Although it dates to the the 1800's, I think the current recipe has been in place since 1971.  It's the most unique and most traditional beer as I can find in the SF Bay area.

The Dry-Hopped update is well thought-out, first by moving the ABV from 4.9% to 5.4% and then making it slightly more bitter.  It clear that Anchor Brewing is exploring how to keep relevant in a changing market, and that their Liberty Ale, which is a great dry-hopped beer, has really not taken off and is sometimes hard to find.  This update still has the familiar flavor of an Anchor Steam, but with the dry-hop addition of Cascade and "American Dwarf Hop Association No. 484", it is really a new beer.  The familiar flavor is there but more subdued as the hop additions stand out. No idea what that last hop is.

I like it quite a bit and find it well balanced. It's now more appropriate to serve in a glass than the bottle.  In looking for comparisons, it makes me think of some of the various seasonal pale ales put out by Green Flash.  If I could find this fresh and on tap somewhere, I'd not pass it up.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Did NB sell out?
« on: October 18, 2016, 09:05:24 PM »
This is an interesting thread, lots of theories going on and so I figure I'll add another. 

What if they want to expand interest in craft beer more globally?  Homebrewers who expand into professional brewing seems like a natural progression, and NB could be a blueprint for growing business in other continents.  In some areas of the world craft beer is hard to come by, especially good-if-not-great craft beer.  If there are more brewers getting started world-wide, there will eventually be a shift market-by-market in craft beer consumption.  Seems like controlling/managing ingredient supply is an important component of their business, and they need to connect to the next generation of brewers as well.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How long is your brew day?
« on: September 26, 2016, 07:30:52 PM »
I don't exactly know, but I, by god, make sure I'm done in time for my afternoon nap.  ::)

I love siesta as well.  I'll do my brewing setup the night before, mash-in in the morning, compost and clean-up, then leave the boil for the late afternoon.  When it's 2-3 hours here or there, the whole process is easier.

Classifieds / Job: American Craft Brewing Historian/Scholar
« on: July 25, 2016, 08:23:36 PM »
It reads like a dream job:  a historical and field research position of American brewing for the Smithsonian, with a focus towards craft beer.  Aug 10th deadline.

Ingredients / Re: Pekko Hops
« on: June 18, 2016, 09:29:57 PM »
I take offense at the Pekko-brand marketing material (re:  There's a subset of craft beer attitude that is entirely adolescent; meaning, I personally need to be done with it.  It has no place for those who have any kind of respect for women, and their marketing style doesn't appear to have anything to do with good hops.  Passing it up and staying clear of whomever is
The packages we got from HomebrewCon have a sticker that says Artwork Banned, over the artwork linked above.

Good on the AHA for being proactive. My wife pointed this out to me.

Good to know, thank you. 

Ingredients / Re: Pekko Hops
« on: June 18, 2016, 06:52:27 PM »
I take offense at the Pekko-brand marketing material (re:  There's a subset of craft beer attitude that is entirely adolescent; meaning, I personally need to be done with it.  It has no place for those who have any kind of respect for women, and their marketing style doesn't appear to have anything to do with good hops.  Passing it up and staying clear of whomever is

All Grain Brewing / Re: Going all grain
« on: June 18, 2016, 03:15:05 PM »
well-water homebrewer here - coastal locals on wells that I interact with (including one pro) split 50/50 with RO water and add gypsum & a tiny bit of lactic acid. Having done the water chemistry it is close enough for Pale Ales and so on (thank you Martin).  I'm curious if someone could recommend an affordable, efficient RO filter?  Additionally, are there large scale brewers work with RO exclusively?

Outside of RO, I'd think a water report is required for just about everyone. Work with what you've got.


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