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Messages - phunhog

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Questions about competitions...
« on: January 15, 2016, 09:34:33 AM »
1)  Have any of you guys ever caught someone entering a commercial beer into a Home Brew competition?

2)  How do you think some of the commercial beers (say Fuller's ESB, Pliny the Elder, Young's Chocolate Stout...) would fare in a large competition?

I have always wanted to do something like that. Not to win a comp but rather to "prove" how subjective comps and scoring really are.  With a label on the bottle it is world class.....without a label it is "ok".   Just shows our unconscious bias....

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Trading is legal?
« on: September 11, 2015, 10:16:54 PM »
Probably isn't legal but any reasonable person wouldn't think twice.  A buddy gives me backyard eggs and I fill his growler.  Don't think anyone really cares. Or at least the government doesn't.
Not I am not one for conspiracy theories this years NHC there was a panel on Homebrew Law and Legislation.  The head of the CA brewers guild and someone from the BA were panelists.  One of the topics touched upon was homebrewers trying to sell, barter, trade their beers and all the reasons why it is illegal.  Now I listened to the podcast so maybe something was lost in translation vs. being there.  They mentioned that they are very much "stakeholders" in the commercial brewing industry. Remember the AHA is just a small part of the much larger BA.  And the BA is really nothing more than a industry group for craft commercial beers.  My take on the podcast is when homebrewers trade/barter their beers it potentially hurts their industry and members. It makes sense. If I trade a growler fill for eggs that means that is one less growler fill for a local commercial brewery (potentially).

I think it is wrong to say Duvel Moortgat bought FW. I think Duvel invested in FW to allow expansion.

This article says they combined US operations but says both sides would not call it a merger or acquisition.

I think FW gets an in flow of cash to expand their brewing operations and a new or improved distribution channel and sales force. It's not clear the FW founders are receiving any cash themselves. It seems more likely the new monies are going into the business.

Getting bigger does tend to make a brewery less local focused. I also wonder if bigger breweries can stay nimble. Overtime, can they still lead with new an innovative beers or do they migrate to business model that maintains old popular brands and copies innovative beers but doesn't really innovate themselves?
Good point! If that is the case then I would be a little less worried.  However I still wonder why FW "needs" to keep expanding.  Maybe this is a sign of the times since I am convinced we are going to be having a "craft beer war"  soon.  As an example I can walk into any supermarket here in CA and find IPA's by Stone, FW, Lagunitas, New Belgium, and Sierra Nevada. All great beers. You know which one I pick every time....the cheapest one!!  I know my friends who drink craft beer feel the same....the craft beer they drink is the beer that is on sale!

I am a little bummed.  FW was for years my "local" brewery even though they were two hours up the coast. Their logo was "Fresh. Local. Firestone"  Their top selling beer,805, is named after our area code.  The owners lived local and one would think that the majority of the profits would stay somewhat local. 
I always thought craft beer drinkers put a big premium on drinking local and supporting their local brewery. Maybe I am wrong. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of home-brewing
« on: May 25, 2015, 09:53:22 AM »
Also, I know of multiple "generation X" and "millennial" is more common than you would think

As I said before, the facebook brewing "forums" are much more popular with this age group

I am a member of some of those FB forums.  I don't find them nearly as useful as this or other brewing forums. Mainly because they are broken down in various sub forums (fermentation, DIY, etc...).  If anything I find the FB groups to be a bit tedious....the same questions being asked by different people.  Plus you can't really do a search and find the answer yourself like you can in a traditional forum. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: State of home-brewing
« on: May 24, 2015, 09:33:08 PM »
I have been wondering for a while if maybe the popularity of homebrewing is beginning to fade a bit.  I only say this because it seems like many of the popular homebrewing forums are not nearly as busy as they were 3-4 years ago.  It would seem that if there are more homebrewers the forums would be busier than ever with various questions/issues. Not really seeing it.....

General Homebrew Discussion / NHC San Diego- Can't decide.......
« on: May 05, 2015, 07:54:08 AM »
Hey guys,
Can't believe I am even writing this but I am having a hard time convincing myself to go to the NHC in San Diego. I have never been to a NHC and I only live 3.5 hours from San Diego so it would seem like a slam dunk. Between the cost of the conference, hotel room, meals, and time away from the family.... The biggest draw for me is the presentations....but the AHA puts those online. I am sure the beers are great.....but I will spending several hundred dollars to drink homebrew? So past attendees....PLEASE convince me to go!! What am I missing here?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Membership tax deductible?
« on: March 24, 2015, 09:27:02 AM »
Awww man.....thought I might be able to squeeze another deduction in there. ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: step infusion mash for german pils
« on: March 23, 2015, 04:26:35 PM »
I have done a step mash 130-146-158 for my last two german lagers after reading Gordon Strong's book.  It is still early but I am happy with how both beers (Kellerbier and a Helles) have turned out.

General Homebrew Discussion / AHA Membership tax deductible?
« on: March 23, 2015, 04:01:22 PM »
Had my dreaded tax appt. this morning.  My CPA always ask about non profit donations and memberships.  It wasn't until the ride home that it dawned on me that a. the AHA is a non profit and b. I am a member.  So I think it would be a legitimate tax deduction for next year right?  It then got me thinking about the upcoming NHC in San Diego.  If I donate beer (Club Night) to a non profit (AHA) for their meeting (NHC) and I get nothing in return( still have to pay my own way in) wouldn't that also be a tax deduction for brewing supplies?  I am sure someone here is a CPA.....

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Not for profit, ein, or nothing?
« on: March 18, 2015, 09:13:10 PM »
In CA the homebrewing law was changed so you could run a non profit members only brewery/brew club.  I am actually surprised the law is as liberal as it is .  Basically 2x a year your non profit brew club can host an event where you can legally sell your beer.  Now the caveat is that only "bona fide members" can attend but as long someone pays their seperate membership dues.....they are a "bona fide member".  There are some other minor stipulations as well.  It would be a great way to raise money for your non profit brewery/ brew club.

Ingredients / Hallertauer Mittelfrüh = Spicy?
« on: March 15, 2015, 02:38:57 PM »
So I made a Kellerbier using Hallertauer Mittelfrüh. The recipe came from a Zymurgy article a few issues back, basically it is a hoppy, amber german style lager.  Maybe I have never experienced that much Hallertauer Mittelfrüh late hopping but the spicy note is off the chart....I would say it is almost a " chile pepper" type of spicy. Not hot obviously but spicy if that makes any sense.  Has anyone ever encountered that before? I will try to dig up the recipe..

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Session Saison?
« on: March 08, 2015, 10:11:42 AM »
I have made a Grissette which is sort of like a Session Saison.....damn tasty beer!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Looking for feedback
« on: March 08, 2015, 10:10:33 AM »
As everyone has already said you have to check out your local laws...they always seem to be the most restrictive.  My city won't let me use my detached garage for a business without a zoning variance (expensive).  In the mean time work within the laws to see what you can do!!  In California we have a great, newer law that allows homebrewers to donate beer to charity events.  It allows you to brew more often and your beer gets some exposure to people other than just your friends.  We sell brewery schwag at these events to absorb some of our costs.  It HAS opened my eyes to the amount of work it takes to operate a commercial brewery.  Just not sure it's worth it. My plan B is to just make my garage into an awesome underground tap room for family and friends.  The general public can continue to drink my beers at charity events. 

Absolutely take the high road. What I am saying is make the responsible agency cancel the homebrew comp via some sort of specific written documentation.  That plays much better in the media than a bunch of homebrewers deciding not to have it.  Besides do they "really" respect the law when it clearly says only "native grown products" can be used.   That seems pretty cut and dry...only Idaho hops, barley, yeast and water can be used. Pretty ridiculous

I just don't see the point in going that far until he tries a more conventional route.  You catch more flies with honey, ya know...
I wouldn't be combative about it, but as a regulatory agency it's their job to tell people if what they want to do complies with law. It basically IS the conventional route.
I am sure if varies by state but here in CA the ABC is strictly a regulatory agency.  They don't make laws...they enforce the laws.  However the CA ABC has quite a reputation for trying to "make laws" based on how they choose to interpret the law.   So it is not so cut and dry as far as needing to change a law.  Really many, many times all we need is a more favorable ruling not a full blown law change. Of course it is doubtful the ABC will do that just because some homebrewers want a change. That is where the political pressure and media exposure help.  But that DOES mean that someone has to challenge the ABC and not just roll over.

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