Archive for February, 2013

The Beer Brand Identity

Posted in Beer, Brew Against the Machine, Brewing, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 20, 2013 by themadhopper

Hopefully ” buy local” which is generally applied to produce and food will extend to the beer market as well. There is a time and place for cheap beer like Budweiser but I think that once you get use to it buying locally from a microbrewery is much more satisfying. Not only is there a sense of pride in having bought a great beer that is made locally but its fun to meet the faces behind that beer, and some times if your lucky those local brewers will pass you a pint or two.


Beer Review: Avatar Jasmine IPA

Posted in Beer, Beer Review:, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by themadhopper

And last but certainly not least, my favorite Elysian Brewing Company’s Avatar Jasmine IPA


India Pale Ale


Pours golden copper with a lively head. Avatar has a very floral nose while the taste is an elegant balance allowing the subtle flavor of jasmine to prevail while still delivering the I.P.A.’s essential hoppiness.

Pale, 45° Crystal, Munich and Cara-hell

Bittered with German Northern Brewer, finished with Glacier and Amarillo hops

Dried jasmine flowers added in the boil and hopback

ABV: 6.3%

IBU: 45

Elysian Brewing

Elysian Brewing is hands down one of my favorite beers so when my co-worker brought back the Avatar I was ecstatic. Avatar has been one of my favorite ever since I tried it years ago. I am a self proclaimed Hop Head and my favorite style of beer is probably an IPA that being said, the Avatar is a very different style of IPA.

As you might be able to guess from its name its brewed with a flavor of Jasmine. When drinking an Avatar the first flavor I tasted was the hops. At 40 IBU the hops are subtle and light so that they don’t overpower the Jasmine. The Jasmine flavor comes towards the end and lingers on your tongue for a while after you’ve finished.

After I take a sip of Avatar I feel like I am walking through a field of Jasmine  my fingers outstretched brushing against their soft white flower petals, with the sun beating down upon on my back. In essences drinking a pint of Avatar makes me feel like I am in Elysian, the fabled realm ofthe  Greek after life( akin to heaven) where only the brave and worth go to spend eternity.

For an IPA Avatar is light on hops but it makes up for it in other ways as “East meets the NorthWest”  in this stunning combination.  Avatar is one of my favorite beers and I highly recommend trying it. It may not turn out to be your favorite but I think any one can enjoy the complexity of a beer crafted to the level of Elysian’s Avatar.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15, 2013 by themadhopper

La Fin Du Monde. This is simply one of my favorite beers out there. I had my first one when I was probably around 17 and have loved them ever since. Its a fairly complex beer packed full of flavor. I highly suggest it.

Beer Review: 10 Barrel Apocalypse IPA

Posted in Beer, Beer Review: with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by themadhopper

I live in South America so it’s a real treat when I get to drink a decent beer, let alone an IPA. So when my co-worker brought down three beers for us to drink I was stoked. I mean really stoked, depriving a North Westerner of their beer is like depriving a monkey of …well his bananas.

So the first up that we tried was the Apocalypse IPA from 10 Barrel. I have never had any beer from 10 Barrel before that I can recall but my co-worker loves their entire line so I was more than happy to try it.


First a little information about the Apocalypse IPA:

Malts: 2-row Pale, Victory, Crystal
Hops: Horizon, Centennial, Amarillo, Cascade
ABV: 6.5%
IBU’s:  65

I love hoppy beer but I haven’t had much beer lately above about 30 IBU’s so getting drink a 65 IBU beer was a little intense, in a good way of course. 10 Barrel has bigger IPAs like their HOP Junkie which is 95 IBUs but for the time being I was perfectly content with the hops and flavor profile of the Apocalypse IPA. Apocalypse wasn’t the best IPA I have ever had but it holds true to its style and although it didn’t give me the “wow whats this” reaction, it brought a smile to my face as the familiar flavor of my favorite beer style danced upon my pallet. It was a little bit like home…

With that being said I also really enjoyed reading the description on the back of bottle. It was short, but quirky and rang home with a description as a “Northwest Style IPA”.

Which brings up another point… there are American IPAs which differ them selves from English IPAs. Is there a chance that NWIPAs might become a new style upon its self?

Next Up, the 10 Barrel Sinister Black Ale

Brewers Associa…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 9, 2013 by themadhopper

Brewers Association formally announces reintroduction of Small BREW Act

Press Release:

(Boulder, CO) – With the 113th Congress underway, the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies—announced the reintroduction of H.R. 494, the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act) in the House of Representatives. The bipartisan legislation, which was reintroduced by Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), seeks to recalibrate the federal beer excise tax that small brewers pay on every barrel of beer they produce.

Under current federal law, brewers making less than 2 million barrels annually pay $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels they brew, and $18 per barrel on every barrel thereafter. The Small BREW Act would create a new rate structure that reflects the evolution of the craft brewing industry. The rate for the smallest brewers and brewpubs would be $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels. For production between 60,001 and 2 million barrels the rate would be $16.00 per barrel. Any brewer that exceeds 2 million barrels (about 1 percent of the U.S. beer market) would begin paying the full $18 rate. Breweries with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for these tax rates.
“Small brewers are small business owners and this bipartisan legislation would allow them to remain competitive, protect existing jobs and create new employment opportunities in communities throughout Pennsylvania and the country,” said Congressman Jim Gerlach, co-chairman of the House Small Brewers Caucus. “More than 100 small and craft brewers in Pennsylvania provide jobs, produce world-class products and are active community partners. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House on passing this legislation and providing a boost to all small brewers.”

“I have been a consistent and enthusiastic supporter of America’s craft brewers for many years. These innovative small businesses employ thousands of people across the country. They are independent entrepreneurs who are passionate about the product they make. In western Massachusetts alone, there are scores of proprietors creating great brews with locally produced ingredients,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “As a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will help the growing small brewing industry.”

“There are few industries with more size disparity than the American beer business. There are 2,500 small breweries who together account for only six percent of the U.S. beer business,” said Rob Martin, president, Ipswich Ale Brewery and Massachusetts Brewers Guild. “Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal understands the struggles craft brewers face because of this, and he has championed our effort to help level the playing field a little by supporting an equitable federal excise tax bill. He is keenly aware that craft brewers are looking to grow their small businesses and will create thousands of good jobs across the country if this legislation passes. As president of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, I know I speak for all small brewers when I applaud Congressman Neal’s effort.”

Nationally, small and independent brewers employ over 100,000 full- and part-time employees and generate more than $3 billion in wages and benefits and pay more than $2.3 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes.

“Craft brewing has revitalized a once proud American industry with compelling products and, more importantly, stable, fulfilling jobs,” said Bill Covaleski, brewmaster and president, Victory Brewing Company and president, Brewers of Pennsylvania. “This legislative initiative recognizes the investments already made by America’s new brewing entrepreneurs, and promises to help further innovation and product diversity.”

Consumer demand for the bold and innovative beers brewed by America’s small brewers has grown significantly in recent years. However, because of differences in economies of scale, small brewers have higher costs for production, raw materials, packaging and market entry compared to larger, well-established multi-national competitors. Furthermore, efforts to increase state taxes for all brewers continue to threaten jobs and their economic stability.

Adjusting the tax rate would provide small brewers with an additional $60 million per year that would be used to support significant long-term investments in tanks and other equipment and create jobs by growing their businesses on a regional or national scale. Congress has not recalibrated the excise tax on small brewers since 1976. At that time, there were about 30 small brewers. Today, there are over 2,000.

“America’s small brewers are part of a vibrant, growing industry, and really are Main Street manufacturers,” added Bob Pease, chief operating officer, Brewers Association. “The Small BREW Act will help America’s small brewers invest in and grow their businesses—an important part of economic reinvigoration. We look forward to working with the new Congress on the passage of this legislation, which will have a positive impact on agricultural, manufacturing, hospitality and distribution jobs for the future.”

About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter

If the Small BREW Act were to be passed it would be an incredible step forward for small craft brewers. For too long has beer law catered towards large macro breweries. It might not seem like much but the reduction from $6 a bbl to $3 a bbl for under 60,000 bbls a year will be a great help to smaller micro-breweries. Now most micro-breweries are not making 60,000 bbl a year but lets say they were; this new act would allow them to save $180,000 a year. Thats a lot of money that can go back to jobs, advertisement, research and the general development of the brewery. In a time when we are hard-pressed on Jobs in America this would allow current employees to receive a raise ( and lets be real, no one working on the brew floor is making as much as they should be ) and for new employees to be hired.

Sadly, I am not very confident that this act will actually pass through legislation. First, is the fact that congress is a slow moving cog and that has to deal with literally hundreds of thousands of bills and acts, most of which never even make it to a voting phase. The second is that congressmen are pulled in so many different directions that their focus is rarely on small businesses nor on breweries. And finally larger breweries are not likely to be too fond of this act. True, it would in no way affect the  tax rate at which they pay for a bbl (well not really in the long run) but they might see it as a chance for smaller breweries to expand and infringe on their existing market dominance. Which I of course think would be fucking awesome. Beer should be diverse, and the consumer should be allowed to pick and choose what they want to drink with out having to pay a ton for it..

So in the end, I hope the Small Brew Act passes, lets all keep our fingers crossed.

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