Ben on Beer Show 4

In this episode we continue to discuss the brewery of the month, Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado.  Their farm-to-plate philosophy includes raising cattle and growing hops right there on their farm in Longmont.  We tasted Deviant Dale’s IPA from there and discovered just how diverse one beer can be.

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End of Summer Drawing – Plastic Beer Steins

Hey Folks!  The end of summer is upon us, and I’ve been propositioned by a promotional products company to hold a drawing.  The lucky winner will receive a set of 10 PlastPlastic Beer Steinic Beer Steins absolutely free.  I imagine they’re an assortment of different types/shapes of mugs; I’m not sure.  We all could use something more to drink out of, whether it’s beer, water, kool-aid, or soda (not that I recommend anything other than beer and water).

So if you don’t have enough plastic mugs around the house, enter the drawing to win 10 new vessels.  Again, the actual product may vary from the photo in this post.

To enter, send an e-mail to steins@benonbeer.com with at least the text “2012” in the subject line.  Open to residents of the United States. The drawing will be done by computer on September 28 during the Ben on Beer show.  Duplicate entries won’t count.

The winner will be contacted for shipping information via e-mail after the drawing.  Good luck!

Almost All About Hops

Hop Flower ConeIt has taken me a long time to write an article on hops for many reasons. I’m not going to tell you anything here that you can’t find or read about anywhere else, but there’s so much to this plant and about its use that no single source seems to capture it all. I think it answers most of the questions about hops that I originally had, plus some lesser-known trivia I found along the way.

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Ben on Beer Episode 3

In this episode we introduce the brewery of the month for August, Oskar Blues Brewing of Lyons, Colorado.  I also divulge everything I have learned recently about hops, the wonderful plant that gives craft beer its bitterness.

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Hoppy IPA Day!

I must admit I’d never heard of IPA Day until this year, but in my defense it’s not a national pastime yet.  Today is the 2nd Annual IPA Day according to the official site of the celebration, so get to your local craft beer retailer and pick some up!

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#mycraftbeerepiphany Newcastle Brown Ale

Some might not consider Newcastle Brown Ale to be craft beer, but it’s what did it for me. On my 21st birthday, my mom went to Colorado Springs to celebrate since I was in the Army and couldn’t make it home. I chose to go out to Red Hot & Blue for dinner, and that particular place was a brewpub. I ordered a beer as I explored my newfound legality, but whatever I ordered was simply too much for my palate. Heavy, dark, and hoppy is all I remember. A convert that night I was not.

Years later I found myself in a hole-in-the-wall pub in another area in Colorado Springs with a friend who was brought up in England.  He ordered me a Newcastle Brown Ale (Nukey) and I think I drank it from the bottle.  It wasn’t overbearing, and it didn’t smell like vomit.  It was served at a temperature somewhere in the 60s Fahrenheit, and it was so surprising that it wasn’t rancid.  I was hooked.

I still drink industrial beer every once in a while (on a hot day), but less and less often every year.  I just learned the other day that hop extract is in use more often now at the big breweries than real hops.  A beer made with hop extract, corn, and rice isn’t a beer at all, so I really should find a craft alternative to AB-InBev and MillerCoors, like the no-adjunct Bomb Lager (Helles) from Bomb Beer Company.