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28 February 2008
Video about Black Star Co-op & Brewery
Here's a video from YouTube with a bit more info on the Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery soon to be in Austin, Texas.

27 February 2008
Fredericksburg, Virginia Getting New Capital Ale House
Capital Ale House logo

The town of Fredericksburg, Virginia, soon will have a new Capital Ale House brewpub on Caroline Street. Expect to see this place open by the end of 2008.

Council approved a pack of incentives valued at $100,000 to lure Capital Ale House into Fredericksburg.  Capital agreed to invest $1.5 million into the building it is leasing, hire at least 35 full-time and 35 part-time employees, generate no less than $100,000 in new local sales and meals taxes and have its certificate of occupancy by November 2008.

Hopes are that Capital will lure more people into the struggling downtown business district.

Fermented Tea Cures What Ills You

GT Daves' Raw Organic Kombucha

What happens when you ferment tea? Well if you are fortunate a nice leathery pancake forms on top and the remaining liquid has a nice carbonated apple cider like taste.

This alcoholic tea is called Kombucha and it contains 0.5 to 1.7% alcohol by volume. 

Kombucha traces its history back to China around 250 B.C. Referred to as the Tea of Immortality it aids the stomach in digestion of food. In Russia they call the tea elixir Tea Kvass.

Kombucha is a pro-biotic (in favor of life), contains enzymes, organic acids and balances pH naturally. 

Lack of clinical studies leaves Kombucha still as an alternative remedy with great claims of success, but that should be carefully considered.

26 February 2008
Have Good Beers? Then Have a Beer List Already!

So you head to this bar or restaurant or other incarnation that allegedly has a good beer selection. You have never been there before and your source of reliable beer information failed to stick anything tempting to drink in your brain.

You get seated and the waitress hands you a food menu and asks what you would like to drink. You say a beer while she slowly rambles off the undrinkables: Bud, Miller, Coors Light, etc. This is while you fumble angrily through the menu and then scour over the table in that area where they heap the condiments and advertisements looking for a complete beverage list.

Maybe if you are brave or tired of this like me you ask "Where the beer list?" or  "Where is a beverage list?"

This large problem seems to happen way too often. It must be one of the biggest problems the craft beer industry has.

Sure if you are at a brewpub, they will most certainly have all the beers on the trendy, but effective and required chalkboard for consideration.  But what I am talking about here are the restaurants and bars who serve food, have a food menu, have beer taps, have a cooler with beer and serve wine and spirits.

My never ending gripe is that these places seem to think patrons are mind readers or that patrons wanting the good beer should be sitting at the bar talking to the bartender.  How is someone going to order something you do not have on a menu?

What exactly does it say when the staff starts the beer list and ends it with only the macro beers? It says that the establishment’s days might be numbered. It says there is a lack of training. It also says there are many missed opportunities to convert customers into more lucrative craft beer drinkers.

So do me a favor if you own or operate any place that serves craft beer – put a beer menu on each table. Or consider putting the craft beer, soft drinks and mixed drinks all on a drink menu to accompany the food menu.

24 February 2008 Launches New Blog

We Have a New Blog!

We finally have launched the blog. We start with 19 new entries. You can find all the posts in the CATEGORIES box to the right.

Some features of the blog include RSS feeds, user comments, spam filtering and RSS subscription to specific blog entries and to each category.

You DO NOT need to setup a new account to post comments. Your email and password will work. You WILL have to log into the blog separately for now.

The blog is still a work in progress. Lots of changes coming. Feel free to recommend anything you would like in our blog.

In Pittsburgh, It Would Be Wise To Remember 1794
Washington leads his troops to western Pennsylvania - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Back in 1791, the new federal government under the pressure of Federalist Alexander Hamilton approved taxes on distilled spirits. The taxes were discriminatory forcing small producers to  pay per gallon taxes while larger producers paid a flat tax.  The taxes
were intended for the federal governement assuming the state debts incurred during the Revolutionary War. (Hamilton also worked on creating a national debt and the means to pay it off, and setting up a national bank).

By 1794 the drink tax tension became an armed conflict at the Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park Township, Pennsylvania.  George Washington and Alexander Hamilton used the conflict to test the powers of the new federal government.  Martial law was declared in Pennsylvania and Virginia and a federal militia of around 15,000
marched into Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

22 February 2008
Black Star Co-op Aims to Be First
Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery pint glass

Happy progressive Austin, Texas the liberal ideas and forward thinking are free flowing.  Introducing Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery.  Nope, not a real place - not yet. But they hope to become real very soon.

They aim to be the world's first cooperatively-owned and worker self-managed brewpub.

Over 450 paying members have this venture on it's way to becoming a reality.

Amazing no one has done this already. Makes the whole beer world seem like a bunch of greedy old oil barons sitting on bags of money.

21 February 2008
Lucky Lab Brews with Solar Heated Water
Lucky Lab solar water panel installation photo

Cloudy, dreary, Portland, Oregon, February.

Up on the roof the sun heats the water to over 100 degrees.  Downstairs the brewer goes to work filling the mash tun with hot water to saturate malted barley.

It's no different at the Lucky Labrador in Portland, Oregon (Hawthorne), except for the solar heated water part.

Brewing beer is hot water intensive. Hot water requires lots of money.

They are using 16 4x10 foot panels to gather heat from the sun. It's low 40's outside and their solar water is up to 145 degrees already.

Lucky Lab is already in the process of working on adding solar power water heating to their other locations.  Way to go guys!

18 February 2008
The Celebrator Beer News Turns 20
Celebrator Beer News Magazine Logo

The always enjoyable Celebrator Beer News Magazine turns 20 today.

Congrats to them and here's to another fine 20 years of beer!

15 February 2008
Olde Peninsula Brewpub Implements New Green
Olde Peninsula Brewpub logo

Olde Peninsula Brewpub reopened after about two weeks of being closed.
The closure was for efficiency upgrades.

A new ice machine, fryes, griddles, refrigerators, hand dryers and compact fluorescent bulbs.

Estimated savings: 18,000 kilowatts of electric per year.

They are also making a once a month run to a local recycling facility for the wine and liquor bottles.

14 February 2008
Only in Utah Part Two
South Salt Lake City Logo

Imagine owning a bar, pub or brewpub and being told you couldn't sell your business.

In South Salt Lake, Utah, that's exactly what owners of such drinking establishments are being told. To add to their pain they are being given a
mere four-months to sell their businesses. Otherwise, the only way they can
sell is if the business moves out of South Salt Lake.

Council Chairman Roy Turner said  "There's irrefutable evidence . . . that there is a very close correlation between crime and the consumption of alcohol."

Only in Utah!

11 February 2008
Broadway Ale Work - The Little Brewery That Might Never Be
Broadway Ale Works Logo

Downtown Fresno, California a plan is brewing between two friends and one of their wives.

A former furniture in the family since the 1920's provides the backdrop.

The plan is to open a micro brewery in downtown Fresno.  A privately owned small business that would provide a center of commerce, night life and social interaction in the transitional neighborhood.

But the City of Fresno along with Cleveland, Ohio based developer Forest City have other ideas for the privately-owned space. Last year Fresno gave Forest City sole rights to redevelop a six-block area in which the slated brewery building is within.

So now the brewery is in limbo while Forest City readies it's plans.

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