Sunday, June 29, 2014

Time for a rant

First of all I'm very sorry I haven't posted in a LONG while. Suffice it to say life has taken over and I've been very busy. In fact I'm getting ready to move across the country to sunny Los Angeles (still looking for a house BTW).

Every month or so I see a post shared from "The Food Babe" on the dangers of the hidden ingredients in our beer. This uneducated piece of pseudo-science bunk is ridiculous. It gets play because it's playing on the inherent fear of what's in our food.

Look, I'm just as concerned as the next person about what is in my food. My wife and tend to buy more organic and locally sourced foods because they simply taste better. I brew my own beer, as the title of this blog suggests, and tend to buy more craft beer or locally brewed products.

That said, as a homebrewer and a beer lover, I am appalled that this article continues to make it's rounds. I'm appalled that she has her "army" spamming brewer's websites and facebook pages with demands for ingredient lists.

Should you know what's in your food and drink? Absolutely. Are brewers trying to hind something? No.

Oh and by the way, that wine you're drinking may hide a lot more than the beer you don't drink Ms. Food Babe. Do some research.

First things first, if you care to read what I'm talking about go find it. I refuse to give this woman any direct links from this site. Go ahead, I'll wait for you to come back.

Are you back? Good.

Now let's talk.

What goes into your beer? Take a look here, here, and here.

All beer is made from four basic ingredients; water, malt, yeast and hops. The combinations of varieties of these four basic building materials give us the lightest lagers, the bitterest India pale ales, the darkest stouts and everything in between.

Can you use additional ingredients? Yes, they are called adjuncts and are used to impart flavors and body to a beer. In some cases adjuncts are added to reduce the cost of mass produced beer. These adjuncts tend to be rice and corn. They can also range from additional sugars like honey or fruit and spices. It all depends on what you're brewing.

The point I'm trying to make is do some basic research for yourself. Don't just willingly believe what someone on the internet tells you to believe.

I recommend starting with some basic brewing books. I also suggest you read Maureen Ogel's great response article to the original Food Babe article and her follow-up Thomas 'Tom' Cizauskas also has a good article on this.

Be your own informed consumer.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's time to change the face of distribution

This is a great article that lays out the issues craft brewers face on the marketplace. I cry a little every time I go to Farm Fresh here in Elizabeth City and see what has become of their beer cooler. What once was a wall of craft choices has been removed to make way for more Bud and Coors and other big beers and their psudeo-craft beers.

Read more here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This is why we can't do anything nice...

A new rule under consideration by the Food and Drug Administration would virtually shut down a practice that has been in place since man started brewing beer and raising animals. Under the new rule brewers would be unable to provide spent grains to farmers as feed to their animals unless they made large investments in equipment that can dry, package and analyze the spent grains without it being touched by human hands.

While I am aware of the issue of contaminated animal feed and I completely agree that there have been too many recalls and issues related to animal feed; I would really like to see a study on how many times an animal has been contaminated from spent grains.

The brewer farmer relationship is one that goes back many ages. It is a win/win scenario as the farmer grows the grain, the brewer uses it and gives the spent grain back to the farmer for his animals.

What is your take on the issue?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Never thought I'd see the day

I never thought I'd see the day craft brewers would edge out mainstream commercial breweries. Today is that day. With more breweries open since the 1880's the U.S. craft beer industry is alive, well and growing more. Read more here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Will drought threaten your favorite beer?

Is there going to be a point where you can't get your favorite beer because of climate change? We aren't there yet but with changes in temperatures and seasons there is going to be some impact.

Right now the severe drought that has plagued the state of California for the last few years is beginning to worry some producers.

Read more here and here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

As Brewing Giants Push Craft Beer, Bud and Miller Suffer

AS the big brewers continue to fight craft beer and create more crafty beer they begin to see their numbers fall. Read more 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Archaeology of Beer

Where was this on career day?

Read more about how they recreate ancient beer recipes at The Atlantic.