This post was written by admin on October 26, 2012
By Jen Sotolongo
Beer production requires a lot of water. In fact, 90% of beer is water. And this figure doesn’t even include the water required for cleaning, running a brewery or brewpub, or growing hops and barley.
According to the Water Footprint Network, the Netherlands organization that pioneered measuring water footprints, one gallon of beer requires 689 gallons of water to produce. The majority of water used in the production comes from growing and fermenting barley and other grains used during the brewing process. The industry average is 6-10 gallons of water per gallon of beer produced in the brewery, according to Executive Brewmaster at Full Sail, Jamie Emmerson.
Of the top 100 water users in Portland during the FY09-FY10 year, Widmer Brothers ranked #27 and Pyramid Brewing #77. A recent study conducted by consulting firm McKinstry & Co. and the World Bank estimates that by 2030, more than one third of the world’s population will face major water shortages if we continue business as usual. This is a cause for concern in an industry whose product relies heavily on water, especially in states like Colorado and California, with abundant breweries, and severely depleted rivers.
Luckily, many breweries realize the importance of Read More…
This post was written by Jen Sotolongo on May 21, 2012
The Green Dragon pub (928 SE 9th Ave. Portland, OR) welcomes Big Sky Brewing‘s Kyle Sillars for this week’s meet the brewer event on March 1, 2012. Sillars will bring with him an impressive assortment of his Missoula, Montana brewery’s goods including Read More…
This post was written by Angelo on March 1, 2012
If you are a craft beer lover and were fortunate enough to be in the best beer city on Earth between November 30 and December 4, 2011, then you more than likely were in attendance for the 16th Annual Holiday Ale Fest. This magical marvel of merriment tented more than 50 of the most palate wowing one-offs and seasons to be found on earth; beers designed with the Beer Advocate and uber geek in mind. Now, in our fair village of viscosity, more satellite celebrations and salutes are scheduled to round out the holiday season such as the forthcoming Amnesia’s Winter Ale Fest (December 10, 2011) and Plew’s Brews’ Winter Beer Fest (December 16-18, 2011). These undertakings are a testament to our never-ending appreciation for perennial prosting that occurs here on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Here at Brewpublic there is nothing we like more than soaking in the colder, darker, and more aqueous days with some of the year’s finest heartier offerings. 2011 is no exception to the breathtaking bounty of beauteous brews making their way to shelves and taps of some of the region’s best establishments. Here’s a look at 50 wintry warmers that you mustn’t forgo: Read More…
This post was written by Angelo on December 7, 2011
The Brewers Association (BA) shared the news (on June 20, 2011) that the Senate Small Brewers Caucus has been established. The formation of the Caucus was led by Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who support the role of America’s small and independent brewers as an engine of economic growth in the country.
In a Dear Colleague letter, Senators Baucus and Crapo noted, “In recent years, the more than 1,700 craft brewers all across America have met growing consumer demand for their products by brewing flavorful and innovative beers which they encourage Americans to enjoy in a responsible manner. These small and independent brewers…generate more than Read More…
This post was written by Angelo on June 21, 2011
Laurelwood Pizza Company on SE 42nd and Sandy Boulevard closed its doors for good on Monday July 5, 2010. The original brewpub location became a fixture for local craft beer lovers in Portland and will surely be missed. To bid the old pub goodbye, we stopped by with friends to toast a final pint of Workhorse IPA and sampled a new German-style smoked lager called Altenburg. Brewmaster Chad Kennedy was on hand along with Oregon Brewers Guild president Brian Butenschoen.
Bitter Root Brewery is an award winning brewery from Hamilton, Montana. We brewer Jake Talbot at the North American Beer Awards in early June in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Talbot was in town to check out the Waterfront Blues Festival when we caught up with him and tried some of his delicious award winning brews, including beers from the “Brewer’s Whims & Seasonals” lineup like the Rye IPA, a CTZ Single Hop Pale Ale, Huckleberry Honey, and a Belgian-style Witbier.
This post was written by Angelo on July 7, 2010
In case you missed it, you can read part 1 here
After a week of serving as a beer judge at the North American Beer Awards (NABA), a week in which my palate and liver had been tested, I was excited yet reluctant about my final two days in Idaho Falls, Idaho. First off, I was excited to be a part of a personally modifying, didactic, and challenging experience that had, to this point, afforded me the opportunity to confabulate with a variety of craft beer loving minds, the bulk of which were from a region I had spent little time in. You see, Idaho Falls falls at the confluence of the Pacific Northwest and the gateway to the mighty Rocky Mountains. Many of the people who I tussled with were from places like Salt Lake City, Utah (a three miles drive to the south), Boise (a four hours drive to the west), Jackson Hole, Wyoming (a two hour drive to the east), and a smattering of small to medium sized settlements in Montana to the north. Portland, Oregon, by comparison was a world away, nearly 12 hours by car and a timezone away. The thing about living in a remote region such as Eastern Idaho is long commutes are an acceptable part of life. In the bubble of Portland where the world is at your fingertips, public transportation is not only available, it’s reliable. In Idaho Falls, the only city of any considerable population for hours (around 51,000 people in the city and 123,000 in the “metro” area; it is the third largest in the state and the largest in Eastern Idaho), life is at a much slower pace. Speaking with a fellow beer judge named John, who had moved to the region from California two decades prior, I asseverated what I had already suspected. “This is no place for young people” said the middle-aged man with a chipper smile. “It’s boring. There’s nothing to do.” But he admitted his contentment in being in such a locale at this particular stage in his life. Fortunate for John, he loved craft beer and homebrewing, and the annual NABA it appeared to serve him great deal of enjoyment.
Folks not in the know, as I’ve said before, often are unable to wrap their minds around the fact that beer judging is more than a festival of samples. My brother who is a teacher and guidance counselor likes to razz me when I speak of beer judging by delineating it as such. With great sarcasm, he says throws out the phrase “sensory work,” a tag line used to explain the cognizant evaluatory processes employed by serious beer judges along with their adeptness to articulate and valuate a plethora of sub-styles while disregarding any prejudice toward personal preference. My brother says he doesn’t like dark beers or sour beers. And, not to slight him in the least, as his life is filled with the purpose of his own constructed reality (this could be taken to say that he is not as much of a “beer geek” as his younger brethren). He confers his approval, like most folks, with a beer based on personal preference with terms such as “good” and “bad.” With adequate beer adjudicating, more questions are raised like how, what, and why. Why is it good? Is it appropriate for the style? What is the style? Is the beer technically flawed? Also, the oft taxing process of palating flight after flight of samples necessitates a workable vocabulary and an ability to modify, elucidate, and expound upon thought. My brother undoubted is articulate, creative, and able to perform such functions, but, like many people perhaps doesn’t view beer as a worthy polestar for such cognition. Perhaps his stance holds some validity. Afterall, loving the beer the way many people found at a judging panel love it probably doesn’t always lead to instituting and toward moderation. Still, there is the argument that a lot of people who say they love beer really have no clue what they are drinking or why they like it other than an acquired taste, brand loyalty, or in some extremes, blind alcohol dependency.
When I said I approached the “sensory work ” with reluctance, it was for the the health concerns. Putting in full days of drinking, even with small samples and a healthy dose of H2O has its effects. This likely wasn’t aided by the post-judging nights that often included a more informal and relaxed environment with fellow judges and, you guessed it, more beer. Beer by the pint no less. Despite the darkly humored saying “the liver is evil and must be punished (I admit to owning a Scuttlebutt Brewing t-shirt bearing this slogan)”, it is often easy to take for granted our liver’s highly important role in our health. Our liver’s specialized tissues regulate a wide variety of high-volume biochemical reactions, including the synthesis and breakdown of small and complex molecules, many of which are necessary for normal vital functions. Basically the liver is a tremendous and seemingly miraculous filter that takes out the bad stuff our body doesn’t really need like alcohol and other toxins. Without our liver, life would suck and drinking craft beer would not be an option.
So, with a nod to my zoetic filter organ and a steady regiment of water to combat the potations, I pushed forth alongside my more than 60 fellow judges to wade through my assigned flights. Many of the judges were brewers with beers entered into the competition. So, to be fair, the rules for judging a particular category of beer meant brewers and brewery employees could only judge in categories they did not have entrees in. For me, this meant I would be judging beers from tiers with popular submissions. However, this wasn’t true of the first evening when I arrived hitching a ride in with my friend, Shawn Kelso, the brewer of Barley Brown’s Brewpub in Baker City, Oregon.
As previously mentioned, the road from Boise to Idaho Falls is a rangy one traversing betwixt pastel hills and open boundless skies. Time seemed to stand still. No billboards or commercial properties, just a quiet expanse of the rock and sand speckled with short shrubs and looming formations of clouds to contrast a royal blue sky. With our water supply getting ill-preparedly short and our bladders reaching maximum capacity, the need to find a place to break became apparent. After several miles within a void of beauteous repetitiveness, we spotted a sign that pointed us to an approaching rest area. Shawn and I commented on how immaculate this quaint little spot was. Seemingly fit for surgery, the only downside was that there was no water fountain, and the three soda machines, no matter how we persisted, would not accept our currency. So we pushed forth eastbound until we finally made it to the I-84/I-86 interchange, nearly three hours drive since leaving Boise. We were still had nearly two more hours to go.
In Fort Hall we found a gas station and convenience market attached to a somewhat dilapidated casino. Here we re-upped on petrol as well as two quintessential components of road travel: corn nuts and Gatorade. For curiosity’s sake, I quickly scanned the beer cooler to discover what was to be sadly expected out here: light lagers, malternatives, and not the one craft beer to be found.
Less than an hour to go and we’d be in Idaho Falls. Shawn’s GPS told us we’d be rolling in about ten minutes late to our destination at the Red Lion conference center. As we passed the considerable city of Pocatello, we passed acres of farm land surrounded by high-reaching snow-capped peaks. In this stretch is where some of the best malt in the West grew. It is also the home of two prominent malting plants, that of Anheuser-Busch and Grupo Modelo. Not far from one another and in the foreground of the Rockies, were seemingly as altitudinous.
As sun began more prominently lowering toward the horizon to our left and we approached our destination (county seat of Bonneville County at 4,700 feet above sea level) the clock reached the top of the hour. Turns out the GPS was right.
Arriving a tad late, I was introduced to Bob Beckwith. Bob is the judge coordinator of the NABA who proved to be a good humored portly man with a goatee that surrounds a vibrant smile. Bob’s long running involvement with NABA has proven to be a vital component of its perennial success. He exhibited great appreciation for the participants, and the feeling appeared to be unanimously reciprocated. Since we were late to the conference center, we were awarded the left overs of the judging panels. This included the last two categories on the sheet: Category #26, non-alcoholic malt-based beverages and carbonated soft drinks. Turns out we’d get our sodas after all.
Posted under beer reviews
This post was written by Angelo on June 29, 2010
The first annual International Beer Bloggers & Online Media Conference has been announced to take place in sunny Boulder, Colorado, November 5-7, 2010.
Montana-based Zephyr Adventures is the organizing force behind the blogger rally. Zephyr owner Allan Wright and company have been running active tours around the world for the last 14 years. With roots in guided adventures related to hiking and trekking, biking, skating, and more recently wine adventuring, Zephyr now expands their scope to include the world of beer. According to their website, there are already a dozen “early adopters” registered for the three day event. The Beer Bloggers Conference (BBC) lists three main reasons why this event is a must attend for any beer blogger: 1) There is limited availability of room. For the inaugural Wine Blogger’s Conference (WBC), tickets were swooped up surprisingly fast and BBC organizers expect even more momentum with this one. 2) It will be an outstanding experience. The WBC was a huge hit with a great review by attendees, and Zephyr says this will likely be even better. 3) Zephyr and BBC promise excellent content. Says the organizers “We have received many inquires about the content and already about 10 suggestions for good speakers and subjects.” Some topics covered will be: how to monetize your blog, using WordPress more efficiently, how beer blogging differs in Europe versus North America, how to increase your blog’s readership, how social media ties in to search engine optimization, using video in your blog, and how to interview a beer industry subject. BBC also promises great keynote speakers for the event.
All of this sounded great to us and we were just about to sign up and make plans for the event, but we wanted to learn a little bit more. So, we spoke with Zephyr Adventures and BBC founder Allan Wright to get further insight into what might sway any blogger, reporter, or beer lover on the fence about this unique experience.
Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind starting the International Beer Bloggers & Online Media Conference. How did the concept come about and what was your role in developing it?
Allan Wright: My company, Zephyr Adventures, started the first-ever Wine Bloggers Conference back in 2008. The conference has been extremely successful and is now in its third year. We have been planning to duplicate this by creating a Beer Bloggers Conference for over a year and finally got it off the ground.
Who else was involved with the conceptualization and development of the conference?
AW: Zephyr Adventures is the main organizer of the conference. However, we initially approached the Boulder community to see if they would be interested to host and got some excellent initial support from the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau. Two local breweries (Oskar Blues and Boulder Beer Company) also signed on to provide meals (and beer) to conference participants and these folks have been very helpful in getting the conference off the ground.
From my understanding, Zephyr Adventures is the creator of the conference and behind the concept. Your website until now appeared heavily centered around biking, skating, and wine. On Zephyr’s site it says “we don’t try to be all things to all people. Instead, we only run tours we think are outstanding vacations where we are the experts.” Do you consider yourself a beer expert? What is your background with beer?
AW: This is a great question. No, we are not beer experts. To be honest, we were not wine experts either three years ago when we started the Wine Bloggers Conference, although we are pretty versed in the wine industry now. We are, however, experts in organizing and creating events. This is what will allow us to put on a fantastic Beer Bloggers Conference. We will reach out to the beer and beer blogger communities to make sure the event is also excellent in terms of beer and the beer industry. Give us a couple years and we will not only be experts in the beer industry but we’ll also probably be running active beer tours.
Seeing that Zephyr is based out of Montana, why was Colorado chosen as the location for this event?
AW: Seven years ago we at Zephyr Adventures gave up our physical office and have had a virtual office ever since. We find it is more efficient and creates a better lifestyle. While the company is based in Montana, where I used to live, I now live in Boulder. Since Boulder is a beautiful town with a strong tech community and 10 local breweries within the city limits, it is also an excellent place to host a beer bloggers conference. The conference will likely move to new locations in future years.
As stated on the Beer Bloggers Conference website: “The cost of the conference is $95 for citizen beer bloggers (those unaffiliated with a business or organization), $195 for industry beer bloggers (those whose blog is affiliated with a brewery, retail store, or other business or organization), and $295 for non-blogger participants (industry, media relations professionals, friends and family, etc). ” As reporters on craft beer, why should someone who is able to get free entry to most beer events, like GABF, be willing to pay for this event?
AW: This conference is more than a beer event. For one thing, two fantastic dinners are included in addition to a lot of beer. More importantly, the conference is educational by nature and will include keynote speakers, educational sessions, and breakout topics all tailored to beer bloggers and those involved with online and social media. This is not just a beer tasting event but a chance for bloggers and others interested in beer blogging to learn about their trade.
What can a success blogger/beer reporter expect to take away from this conference?
AW: Attendees can expect to take away three things: 1) A fantastic weekend full of fun, food, and beer. 2) An excellent opportunity to meet other beer bloggers, whom they might know only via the internet. 3) Knowledge to improve their trade and become better bloggers.
What do you see as the highlights of this three day conference?
AW: The highlight of the conference itself will likely be the Live Beer Blogging. This is an incredible event at which attendees will be seated at round tables in a grand ballroom. Each table will have one brewer who will have five minutes to pour and talk about his or her beer while the participants blog, Tweet, or Facebook about the beer they are tasting. After five minutes, the brewers rotate to the next table in a sort of “speed dating” format. The atmosphere of the event is amazing, the instant online exposure for the breweries is excellent, and everyone leaves having had a great time.
Tell us about some of the speakers at this year’s event? Are they only those from Colorado? Any Portland bloggers/speakers to be involved?
AW: We do not yet have a list of speakers for one very good reason: we let participants themselves decide what topics they want to hear. This is a conference for bloggers and they should have a say in the content. I am even now collecting suggestions for keynote speakers and content topics. We will ultimately put these to a vote of participants. Speakers will come from the Boulder tech community, from the beer industry, and from among the ranks of bloggers themselves. Sample topics could include using video in a blog, using social media to improve Search Engine Optimization, making a website accessible to mobile browsers, how to use WordPress more efficiently, how to monetize a blog, how to conduct an interview with someone in the beer industry, how to write a beer review, etc.
Please add anything else I may have missed. Thank you for your time!
AW: I left what I think is the most important idea for last. The beer industry is gigantic and yet most consumers get their information about beer via paid advertisements from the big players. There is an opportunity out there for beer bloggers individually and as a group to become a powerful force in educating and shaping the buying habits of beer drinkers. However, for this to happen individual beer bloggers need to produce a quality product that consumers will trust and beer bloggers as a community need to have a strong, coherent image so people actually seek out their opinions. This is not just about individual bloggers but about gaining credibility and influence as a group. The Beer Bloggers Conference can help make this happen and simply having a conference is one step in the right direction.
Thanks, Allan. You’ve convinced us. We’ve just booked our trip!
This post was written by Angelo on June 7, 2010