Posts Tagged ‘hops’

BrewingTV episode 32 …and never knowing when that shot will hit.

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Brewing TV with Nathan Smith

I love beer and I love photography and it is always great when I can do both at one time. I shot hundreds of photos over the two days I was with Brewing TV and unfortunately I was rusty. My settings were off and I had to do way too much work in post. I was happy to get a few good shots but I’m always surprised by what the best shot ends up being.
The shot above popped out right away when I reviewed photos the following Monday. The weird thing is I never would have believed it at the time I shot it. A hasty lighting setup after BTV shoots their episode, a few shots with a portrait lens, and then “aw hell I’ll try a couple with the wide angle”. I fire off a couple akward shots since the lens was, er, right in Chip’s crotch….and he did remind me of that a couple times. Good lesson here is always try things, you never know. Also, if you are interested in portaits then please consider the wide angle lens. I would say half of my favorite portraits are with a wide angle.
So Brewing TV episode 32 goes live on Friday and Chip Inc. did a great job. Lots of good homebrewing by Nathan Smith and lost of beer drinking and interviewing around the bay (well, Marin, Berkeley, and Oakland anyways…..hey we took our time!). Can’t thank Chip, Michael, and Jake enough for letting me weasel my way in and help out with their trip out here. Most definitely look forward to seeing them at NHC San Diego this year and sharing pints again….and this time I won’t have to DD so look out boys. Some more shots from Nate’s below. Don’t forget to click on any photo for a bigger view.

Time to brew with Nathan SmithThe beginning of the Time to Brew segment for BTV episode 32.Cheese spread ala Nicole ErnyOf course we had Cicerone Nicole Erny there and she did not dissappoint. Thank you Nicole.

Chip Walton in productionThe one problem with content aquisition and beer drinking is you may not always be sober. Chip is a professional through and through.

Jason PetrosGood to see Jason Petros of the Brewing Network. JP solved a major logistics issue for the crew prior to the shoot. Thank you JP.Michael Dawson suited upMichael Dawson suited up for hop additions while Chip cleans his lens with wort steam.

Brewing TV and Nathan SmithHere’s what the portrait lens got me. Brew for all!

pic of the week: Lagunitas Imperial Red

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

lagunitas imperial red

Dark red to brown colored beer with a cream colored head.
Big malty nose and taste with a big hop bite to blend and balance. There is nothing small when it comes to this beer. A nice lingering hop bitternes to calm you down after the malt goodness. We’re not talking about a session beer here. Imperial Red is 7.5% a.b.v.
Highly Recommended.

pic of the week: Port Brewing High Tide (fresh hop) IPA

Friday, November 20th, 2009

port brewing fresh hop ipa

Probably my favorite fresh hop beer of the season. I don’t have any notes with me but after I tried a bomber of this, I went back and bought a case. This is what remains. Hell of a review huh? Well at least you can deteremine the color from the photo (it was white balanced). I will tell you that there is plenty of beautiful hop aromas and flavors. Citrusy and beyond. But ohhhh the freshness of that fresh hop. Very apparent in the aroma and prevalent throughout the taste.
Highly recommended.

Hop Soup: wow…Rodger Davis’s latest creation

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

The name Hop Soup made sense after drinking this beer. You think of soup and you know that there is a base broth that makes up the majority. Well, Hop Soup is definitely based around a hop broth.
As Rodger Davis says in the Triple Rock description below: “it is the hoppiest beer he has ever brewed”. It is worth a try if you are a hop head visiting the North Berkeley area.

hop soup from Triple Rock

from Triple Rock’s description:
Hop Soup – (9.0% a.b.v)
By Head Brewers Rodger Davis’s accounts, this is the hoppiest beer he has ever brewed. A medley of the biggest Pacific Northwest hops are packed in with a distinct emphasis on additions for aroma. Backed by a sturdy malt base, it runs wild with hop flavor. As we head into the holiday season, we will be inroducing a new, strong ale every other week as part of our ‘Feats of Strength’ holiday series, all leading up to the celebration of Festivus on December 23rd, and the release of the 2009 Festivus “MiracALE”

Paying homage to the Sierra Nevada brewpub….and enjoying it

Monday, April 27th, 2009

sierra nevada brewing coSo during our last brewer interview tour, we went up to Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and visited their brewpub. I had never been there and it was time to find out all of the great things I have been hearing about it. It was worth it. Here we go:
The brewpub itself is occupies a corner of what looks to be their main building. I don’t mean to make the pub sound small, the building is their “main” building that houses the brew systems and fermentation tanks located on the frontage of their property. Funny, if you look at google maps and survey the area while you are up there, you realize the Sierra bought their property at a time when it was probably the edge or outside of the town of Chico. Today, it is surrounded by the standard outlying and freeway access fare…there are a couple hotels and the typical chain type foods joints (applebees, etc) and all the big stores (home depot, target, etc). It looks like if Sierra want to expand further, they are either getting a different property or they are going up. Fortunately, it looks like they had great vision and everything they have today fits well on their large property, including some fairly large acreage of hops.
We checked into the Oxford Inn which is about a 10 minute walk from the brewpub, perfect location right on the other side of highway 99. After dropping off our stuff and downing a growler of an excellent rye beer from Blue Frog, we headed over to the pub. At 5:30 on a Friday (a beautiful night weather-wise, by the way…about 70 degrees) the pub was hopping and we had about a 20 minute wait for a table. We proceed to the bar and were overwhelmed to see about 16 of their beers on tap (wait….they don’t have that many bottled beers). The brewpub itself, I would call “large brewpub” in size. It is not huge, which Sierra Nevada could have easily done but they kept it as a pub atmosphere and size does have something to do with that. sierra nevada sampler trayOK back to those beers. Where to start? I love brown ales and they happened to have one so I ordered that. They also had a Brown Saison which Mike ordered. The brown was excellent and I stuck with it most of the night. Malty, balanced, and luscious…exactly what I expect from a brewery of Sierra’s caliber. The brown saison was very basically the brown but with a Belgian yeast. I’m sure there is more to it than that but it worked. Generally, I am not a fan of “throw Belgian yeast into a non-belgian beer” but this one is a winner and does what others don’t: it gelled, melded, coalesced well. While were enjoying this first round, our little coaster/buzzer thing start going off and we were led to our seats on the patio. Another round was ordered and I either got another brown or their bock which I loved as well. I’m pretty new to the bock style so one of the great things that can happen is finding an example of said style that really does the trick for you. I love this beer, very drinkable. Pilsner malt aroma, great body, and a nice hint of toast. Fortunately, they had six packs of this beer in their gift shop so we grabbed a couple the next morning. What other beers did they have? I suggest looking at the photo gallery since there is a great shot of the sampler tray with names and also a shot of the beer list. There was a kellerbier that I would have invested more time in if we were there for another night. Couple of weizen beers, a blonde, and more.
I was happy to finally understand and dispel one myth while I was up there. The going phrase I knew was “you gotta go to the brewpub because the Pale Ale is different up there”. The real story is that Sierra Nevada has different recipes for their draft pale ale and the bottled version. The nice thing about their pub is not only do they have the draft version (of course) but they had the bottled version on draft as well so you can do them side by side. Unfortunately I didn’t do a comparison since I was so enamored with their other beers that are not available anywhere else. Our server said , I believe, that the draft version is higher ABV but I could have it backwards. Anyway, if I was dying to try it, I could set up that side by side back at home.
sierra nevada fermentationThe food? Standard pub fare plus. I went for the plus and got the fillet mignon tips in fettuccini. The sauce was a light white sauce. Oh baby was it good. Ended up splattering a bunch of it on my new, white brewers association t-shirt. There were other shirts in my travel duffel so good to go.

So Sierra Nevada brewpub? Do it. Pay homage to America’s original craft brewery. I would recommend that if you are a beer lover, that you do two nights up there. You could take the 2pm tour the next day and hit the pub again the next night to finish out what you couldn’t the night before.
Oh and don’t forget to check out the photo gallery.

Auburn Alehouse:
We wanted to interview Brewmaster, Brian Ford but he had surgery earlier in the week and couldn’t make it. We managed to stop at his brewpub (he is also the founder) on the way to an interview later that day. The Alehouse is easy access from the freeway and would actually make a great place to stay as it looks to be in the “old town” area right south of interstate 80. We sampled a few of the beers and the nitro stout and his porter were our favorites. The porter was on the side of coffee, chocolate with good fullness (as opposed to clean, roasty porter). Food was good and we had a couple appetizers while we were there.
Would definitely like to spend more time at this pub in the future so we’ll get back to it one day but wanted to note that it looks like a good stop for a pint. I have a couple shots of the pub at the end of the photo gallery for this entry.

West Coast Nut Brown

Monday, June 30th, 2008

So funny enough, I’m up in the mountains this last weekend and on the way, I had a chance to stop at a store to check out the beer selection. It was pretty good one and I grabbed a six pack of Double Nut Brown Ale from Mammoth Brewing Company out of Mammoth California. Not only a new beer for me but it’s from a California brewery that I have never tried. So we get to our desintation and I pour one into a glass and wow, it has many similarities to the Full Sail Nut Brown that I tried below.

So this is interesting. While some folks online knocked the Full Sail nut brown for not being to style, turns out someone else is swaying from guidelines in a similar fashion. I agree that it is not to style but I also enjoyed it. It had the particular Nut Brown grain bill…..but turned up a notch and then throw in some roast. OK worked for me. Call it a west coast Nut Brown?

So back to the Double Nut brown, I didn’t right down any notes but it certainly had the amplified grain bill and the roast. One brewery does it, call it peculiar (or a miss if you are stuck on style), but when two do it and you might have something. I will have to keep it in my head to try and find yet another example of “west coast nut brown”.


Hits and Misses for the weekend.


So as I mentioned, I was up in the mountains this last weekend where we were staying at a friend’s cabin. The temperature was in the low 90s, so crisp, clean lager was the way to go for me. I don’t really care for adjuncts or standouts when I am drinking in hot weather. It seems to upset the already over boiling body. I need something I can put down quickly!



Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager. Fits the bill. Crisp and clean pilsner taste with some saaz hop character. Just the way I like it. Easy drinking, clean, fresh beer that you can throw back quickly.



Full Sail LTD series (bottling 01 and 02). I bought these Lagers which had some copy on the label about its malt (including a “malt-o-meter”). OK, sounded like a nice lager with some good malt presence. Didn’t work for me. There was malt, but too much in an amber/caramel sort of way. It seemed to muddy up the taste. Again, after a hike in hot weather, I want to throw down a couple beers that are cold, clean, and crisp. Not there. It seemed to marketed as a warm weather beer but I guess next time I should try the full sail “session”.