Perhaps a trifle late to be trying to stimulate the subject, but I'm bringing a keg of Steve and Reenie's OHO! Orange Honey Red Ale. You can find the recipe right here on the Falcons website in the recipe section, from 2011. It's a good'n.
And I'll dig up a couple of old/weird things for the Dead Palates Society meeting (beer re-animation projects?).
The Joy of Mead
By Bruce L. Brode
I decided that it makes sense to cache these articles here on the website. 2013 up next!
Chasing Winter with Mead
By Bruce L. Brode
The occasion of our annual mead tasting came up on Sunday, March 19, just two days before the beginning of Spring. Yet it seems Winter was not quite done with us, due to a cold and wet storm moving through on Saturday which left us with cold blustery winds for Sunday. Some 48 of us managed to warm up with a plethora of interesting meads. Note that 2012 marks the 20th year of this tasting, which began in 1992.
The Beer Hotel Rolls On
By Bruce L. Brode
On February 8, 2013, the Sheraton Four Points Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport demonstrated once again why it acquired the reputation of the “beer hotel” a number of years ago, and it has again risen to the occasion to burnish its image in the beer department.
Whoever came up with the idea of holding the beer festival that caps the now four-year-old L. A. Beer Week at the city’s main train station really had the old thinking cap on. As a major transit hub, festgoers can travel to and from the fest by a variety of public transit means, and forego driving. As a longtime resident of the city’s West side, I used the occasion of the festival on Sunday, September 30, 2012 to check out the recently-opened Expo light rail line.
L.A. Beer Week has been moved up this year from October to Sept. 20 through 30, to avoid conflicts with the Great American Beer Festival for those breweries who wish to participate in the GABF. Makes sense, and besides, it's even hotter in Sept. than in Oct. which means we'll need plenty of good beer to get us through the late summer-early fall heat!
I just started a batch of Kosher-style brine-cured dill pickles. When the weather warms up enough that I can find pickling cucumbers for as little as 99 cents a pound, I like to do that.
I spent some time the last couple of days weeding my hop yard. Mind you, this is a 5-foot by 25-foot parcel of land on one side of my home that mostly serves as access to the gas meters. Over the years, I have managed to create plots for hop vines that get trellised both up against the house and, on the opposing side, up against a fence along the property line that is sadly leaning and needs some support.
In the aftermath of the annual mead tasting, I thought I would post my traditional mead recipe in the blog list (it is still available elsewhere under the recipes section). This recipe produces a still, residually sweet mead that showcases all that a particular honey source has to offer, from aromatics clear through to residual sweetness. The recipe will ferment out to a stable 11 to 12% ABV, while still capturing 6 to 10% residual sugar. I have used it in many iterations and adaptations, and it never fails me. Here it is, for 5 gallons yield:
Bock, one of the most traditional of German beer styles, is now officially in season. The season starts with the release of the Doppelbocks (the strongest ones are released first while the weather is coldest) on St. Joseph's Day, March 19. By the time we get to May, the Maibocks are released, which are considerably more pale, with less alcohol, and possibly more aromatic hop character, as befits the warming weather.
Here's a link to the Doppelbock page at the German Beer Institute's American web portal:
December 10, 2011 was a beautiful late fall day, clear enough for me to see the outline of the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains, and rendering the San Gabriel range close enough to seemingly reach out and touch, as I drove to San Gabriel for the Maltose Falcons Annual Holiday Beer Tasting.
Your intrepid beer scribe made it to the third annual LA Beer Week microfest. Read about what I tasted in the attached (Microsoft Word) article, Micro Managing in Downtown LA.! You shoulda been there, or maybe you were.
For me, probably Maibock, and maybe some aged Best Bitter and Foreign Extra Stout if they are still drinkable. And possibly a bottled mead or two. Not to mention assorted unmentionables for Dead Palates if I last that long.
Here are my notes from the mead tasting, another great get-together of meadmakers and mead enthusiasts that featured some really great creations and some nice commercial meads as well.
Attached are my notes about the "Anchor Weekend" in San Francisco and Sonoma County last Febrewary (yes, please get the spelling of that great brewing month correct!).
Enjoy. I certainly did.
Consensus is that the SCHF on April 30 and May 1 was one of the best ever. My article summarizing the course of events there is attached.
Here is an interesting website that covers news from a variety of worldwide sources on honey and bees, for those of you meadmakers interested in this important subject.
The website is based in Argentina, and the translations aren't always perfect, but there is an impressive degree of coverage. And, you can sign up for emails with links to the various articles currently posted there if you like--I managed to do that but in looking at the website I am not sure how to go about it now. Try inquiring at newsletter [at] apinews [dot] com.
Our annual mead tasting attracted nearly 40 people and more than 40 meads, of which we managed to taste 33, including a scattering of commercial meads contributed. It was noisy, animated, and clearly a good time for everyone with very good questions posed to the meadmakers presenting their creations. You can read all about it in the attached article which will also appear in Brews and News (subject to the editor's discretion).
In Mazers of Mead!
It's time for a Falcon's website blog on meadmaking recipes, techniques, experiences, and issues. Let's kick this off with an interesting recent perspective from honey and beekeeping observer Kim Flottom on what he feels is the coming rise in honey prices. Check out his Daily Green report here: