Homebrewers started an industry!


So many new beers!

It’s not every day a bunch of home enthusiasts create an industry. But that is what happened. In 1978, when Congress passed a bill repealing Federal restrictions and excise taxes, and President Jimmy Carter signed the bill, H.R. 1337, into law, the legions of homebrewers stepped out of the shadows and into the garages and backyards of America. What began as the right to brew your own beer, turned into the world’s largest business expansion. From a few initial craft breweries in the early 1980s to over 7000 today. Wow!

What needs to happen now is a contraction. Breweries should keep opening but I have been to some god-awful breweries that need to disappear, and soon. For the past few years, you could open up a brewery and you’d do business, regardless of how good you were. With 7000+ breweries, people will eventually try more than one local brewery and discover that some of them make better beer than others. Those with inferior skills will fail to prosper and close. It’s starting to happen here as several brewpubs have shut down in the past couple years. And it needs to continue, lest people start to associate terrible beer with the term craft beer.

Evolution is a fact of life, even in the beer industry. Those breweries that fill the need, and do it better than others will survive while others perish. Don’t worry, there will still be a market for memorabilia from those defunct breweries.

More Money For Your Craft Beer in PA


Tax on Beer

Taxes on Craft Beer Rise in PA June 2019.

In the never-ending story of how to raise money without raising taxes, the PA general assembly figured it would be a good idea to apply sales tax to your craft beer. Originally slated to start January 1st, it was pushed back to June at the request of the brewers. Look to more push-back from the brewing industry…

12 Best Beers

The 12 Best Beers

Charlie Blitzstein, Brewer

According to the website Paste, these are the 12 best beers;

Great Notion Brewing Ripe IPA
Offshoot Beer Co. Relax [It’s Just a Hazy IPA]
Sweetwater 420 Strain: G13
Burial Beer Co. Shadowclock Pilsner
Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. Industry Pils
Drake’s Hopocalypse Triple IPA
Fieldwork Brewing Co. Painted Gold
Monday Night Brewing Han Brolo
Fremont Brewing Co. Stone Squirrel
Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter
Brew Gentlemen III
Fremont Brewing Co Batch 1,000

Forget that some of these probably have limited distribution so that the only way you’ll get to taste one is to go on a road trip. But don’t forget that “the Best” is a highly subjective standard. Telling me that Drake’s Hopocalypse Triple IPA is the best IPA when I gag from to hoppy a beer makes me wonder. Tell me that it’s a great example of a Triple IPA and let me decide for myself. It wouldn’t make my top 500 list, not a super hoppy beer fan.

But, articles like these are useful in bringing to the forefront beers I might otherwise never notice. So, given that, what are your must-have brews?

It’s that time of the year

Grabbing the glass

By Brewmaster Charles Blitzstein

Fall is here. Leaves are starting to turn. And pumpkin everything is making it’s appearance.

Now I’m a guy that loves pumpkin pie, and I mean love. By pumpkin tea, cookies, donuts, coffee, ice cream, and more? Yuch! While I agree that chocolate makes everything better, the same does not go for pumpkin spice.

Please people. Let us purists have our pumpkin pie with whipped cream in peace and let us decry everything pumpkin in the other realms.

That being said, even I must brew a seasonal beer. So, no, not another pumpkin ale. This year it’s an homage to Ginger snap cookies. Hey, they are seasonal! So it’s gonna be Charlie’s Gingersnap Ale. Yes, it has pumpkin spice, but it has a full half pound of fresh ginger in the boil. It’s gonna be a big beer, with and ABV around 12.2. If that doesn’t put a little blush on those cheeks, I don’t know what will. (I’m sure we all could guess but hey, this is PG-13)

Like all things that come to pass, it will take a while. 10-14 days in the fermenter, 1-2 weeks in a secondary, then bottling conditioning and bottle aging.

So, November. Maybe I’ll open one or two by Thanksgiving. More on the flavor profile then. But if the wort flavor is any indication….wow!

David v Goliath

Once again, the fight for craft beer takes another turn as Distributers fight to keep craft breweries down. Don’t the Pols realize that the jobs craft beer produces are right there in their home state? Big beer might produce more jobs at a single plant, but the money produced goes out of state, and often out of the country. Craft beer profits stay here!


On the Burner

Brew Kettle boiling away

It doesn’t get fresher than this!

Right now, I’m brewing and American Amber known as Kentucky Common. It’s a great beer. I’m doing a double batch, 12 gallons, which I intend to Parti-gyle. Parti-gyle is where the brewer develops two beers from one mash. This beer is going to be split into two beers, 5 gallons of  Cherry Derby and 5 gallons of Kentucky Blood Orange. It should be great.

The Kentucky Blood Orange is going to be served up for free on October 7th, 2016 at Cheese Dawgs during their First Friday sale. Riverside Homebrew Society is the guest brewer and I’m a member.  So come on out and eat a dawg, and have a homebrew. For those who have not had a homebrew, you are in for a special treat. This is beer, brewed by people who love beer. It’s not that mass produced stuff you may be used to. It has body, flavor and is a higher quality that that other stuff. Why do you think they call it Craft Beer?

Feds lack a sense of humor.

indeed_lsd_600Recently, the Feds forced Indeed brewing to rename their brew from Lavender Sunflower Date, or LSD, Honey Ale to something more benign. Like anybody in this day and age would really think you could get beer with real LSD in it (from the brewery). Thankfully, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the agency acting as the Thought Police, don’t have dominion over everything. What would we do if they had the ability to reject names for Grateful Dead songs?

Come on, guys. Let the Big Dog eat. Let’s not get so uptight about tongue in cheek references.

More on this at http://www.citypages.com/restaurants/feds-force-indeed-to-change-their-lsd-inspired-beer-name-8191962