Shipyard Little Horror of Hops

shipyardShipyard Horror of Hops

This dark golden hoppy beer seems more like an ESB than an IPA. The hop aromatics are very present as is a hearty bitterness.


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Easy-to-Make Beer Cocktails (I Promise!)

548332f77bed1_-_mc-cheladaBeer cocktails:  You either love them or hate them.



A lot of recipes and bartenders use a fistful of fancy ingredients that you’ll likely use just once.  When I came upon this article from Marie Claire, it took the complication and mystery out of the whole thing.  Don’t be surprised if you see us doing a tasting with some of these flavorful beverages as warm weather approaches!

1. Black Velvet
Also done with champagne, the cider version is much more delicious (and at a slim two ingredients, it’s blissfully easy to make). Combine half Guinness and half cider, starting with the latter and then pouring the beer in over the back of a large rounded spoon.

2. Chelada
The simpler version of the Bloody Mary’esque Michelada, you won’t find a single excuse not to whip this one up. Moisten the rim of a glass and coat with salt, add ice, a quarter cup of lime juice, and Mexican beer.

3. Michelada
For a little spicier (and more complicated) take on the above, try this concoction. Mix a quarter cup of lime juice with a teaspoon of soy sauce and two teaspoons each of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Then add in 1 1/2 cups of Mexican beer like Corona and pour into glasses rimmed with salt and black pepper.

4. Lemon Shandy
Think of it as hard lemonade, but a touch softer. Start with a quarter cup of lemonade and add a cup of beer, adding more of whichever for your preferred flavor. Get fancy by adding a few fresh mint leaves.

5. Beerita
To be a very popular girl at your next party, whip this mixture up in the blender. Pour in four bottles or cans of beer, one cup of tequila, and one can of frozen limeade concentrate (or whatever similar is available in your local grocery store freezer). Add more ice depending how frosty you want it to be.

6. Brew’gria
A different take on Sangria, this recipe subs in beer for wine and brandy. Combine ice, 2 bottles of a summery beer like Hoegaarden, a large bottle of framboise lambic (Lindemans is a common brand), and whatever fruits you prefer, including a little bit of sliced orange.

7. Bull’s Eye
This Cuban drink is a mix worth checking out. Pour 1/3 cup of lime juice (about 3 limes) into a pitcher and add a can of light beer and ginger ale. Add one or two tablespoons of sugar, stir until it dissolves, and drink over ice.

8. Redneck Mother
The strongly flavored ingredients of this summery sip means it’ll appeal to those who typically don’t like the taste of straight beer. For a single drink, put an ounce of grapefruit juice and just under an ounce of sloe gin into your cup. Fill the remaining portion of your cup with a blonde beer and top with ginger beer.

9. Beer Punch
What if you could have a refreshing fruit punch…but buzzier? For this perfect-for-the-outdoors combo, start with a large pitcher or bowl and mix 12 ounces of Sprite, 2 1/2 cups of pineapple juice, and six bottles or cans of your preferred beer (throw in sliced lemons, limes, and oranges for a pretty touch). Ladle out into individual cups and start the party.

10. Coupe de Ville
This cheekily named drink references the Grand Marnier-spiked Cadillac margarita and it’s perfect for citrus lovers (do you sense a new favorite breakfast cocktail?). Combine 6 ounces each of tequila, orange juice, and lime juice, plus 3 ounces of orange liqueur if you want. After it’s mixed, pour in 6 cans of a Mexican beer and you’re done.

11. Spicy Chili Beer
Consider this mostly beer recipe if your eyes are always drawn to the jalapeño marg. Pour a bottle of light-bodied wheat beer over ice and then add a 1/3 cup of lime juice, 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder. Mix and garnish with a lime wedge, adding a touch more chili if you want to turn up the heat.

12. Sidewalker
Sweeten up your beer with a dose of one of America’s oldest beverages. This mix calls for adding sweet — 3/4 cup maple syrup, 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 1/4 cups lemon juice, and 1 1/4 cups applejack — with 4 cups of hefeweizen beer and 3/4 cup of club soda. Finished with lemon wedges and enjoy.


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Annie Get Yer Gunn

photoEdinburgh’s Innis & Gunn Brewery has released their Porter with molasses.  Talk about dark, rich, toasty flavors in a glass!  This beer is aged in oak barrels for 39 days which really rounds out the flavor.  The sweetness from molasses is noticeable, as is the alcohol (7.3 % ABV).  If you’ve never tried a barrel-aged beer, Innis and Gunn has a full line-up from oak-aged to rum-cask to Irish whiskey barrel-aged brews.  Give them a try!

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From the Black Forest With Love

photoRothaus Pils is a brew from Germany’s Black Forest.  This Pilsner is exactly what my taste buds recall from when I visited Germany in 2004.  Light straw in color, easy drinking, effervescent and super-clear, Rothaus Pils is a crowd-pleaser.  Sweet malt notes are up-front and finishes with a light bitter finish.  Real light.  It’s old school label is a nod back in time and is eye-catching.  If you are looking to stray from the micro-brew world, give this beer a try.

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The Difference Between Porter And Stout Beer

The Difference Between Porter And Stout Beer: It’s Complicated

From’s Adam Teeter, January 30, 2015

Porter And Stout Duke It OutLet’s just say this right off the bat: trying to understand the difference between a porter and a stout in today’s craft beer world can be a pretty dizzying experience. That’s because over the past ten years or so, in many craft circles, the names have been used pretty interchangeably when categorizing darker beers. It’s this occurrence that caused us to want to understand the different nuances between these two types of beer, because more often than not, someone will tell us they prefer one to the other or a recipe will call for one specifically, and yet it’s pretty hard to find a person who actually knows the difference.To truly understand the difference between these two dark beers, we have to go back to where it all started in the first place: England. Out of the rowdy pubs of London in the eighteenth century emerged the porter, a dark, medium-bodied beer which had lots of malty goodness that was balanced by quite a bit of hops. Earliest reports of the beer’s creation claim it was initially invented by a barman in the pub, made by blending lighter, hoppier beers, with older aged ales – sort of like the Suicides you made at the soda fountain when you were a kid. The result was a drink that took off, and eventually brewers reverse-engineered the mix and started brewing porters, no mixing at the bar needed.As more brewers across England made porters, experimentation naturally followed. Brewmasters would tweak recipes, add different ingredients and boost the alcohol content, and thus the stout was born. That’s right, all a stout technically is, is a stronger – or stouter – version of a porter. In fact, its original name was “stout porter.”

The stout really took off when a brand named Guinness became a household name and many people fell in love with the creamy, luscious libation they started assuming came with drinking a stout.

An Ad For O'Keefe's Stout From 1919

Fast-forward to present day and brewers are pretty mixed on what the main difference actually is between these two beers. That’s because a lot of craft brewers now brew porters that are stronger than most stouts, yet continue to call them porters, and stouts that are weaker than some porters, yet keep calling them stouts. Basically it’s become the wild wild west. When the magazine Craft Brewing Business actually asked some of the country’s most famous craft brewers this simple question, they basically said as much. “You can ask any number of brewers this question and get just as many different answers. The simple answer is that there really is no difference between the two,” said Luke Purcell of Great Lakes Brewing.

The only main difference many brewers still agree on is the kind of malt that should be used to brew each type of beer. Porters use malted barley and stouts are primarily made from unmalted roasted barley, which is where the coffee flavor most people associate with stout comes from. But even these rules seem to be somewhat blurry according to brewers. “My approach to a stout would be to use a larger percentage of roasted barley,” Wayne Wambles of the celebrated Cigar City Brewing tells CBB. “I subscribe to the never say never camp, though, so I can’t say that I would never put roasted barley in a porter. Under certain circumstances, I would consider it.”

Yep, as long as there are craft brewers who will continue to experiment, it seems there will never truly be a hard and fast difference between the two. So go with what the label on the bottle says and enjoy whatever you’re drinking, porter or stout, because they’re basically the same thing.

A page from the Canadian Grocer in 1907 showcasing Molsons' range of beers, including their Porter


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Bitter vs. Hoppy

IMG_3636Looking for an explanation of hops versus bitterness in a beer?  Sierra Nevada’s website is full of interesting nuggets… Check it out here:

“There is a general misconception regarding the bitterness of beer versus how hoppy a beer tastes. A beer’s IBU number is based on a measurement of how much bitter hop acid is in the packaged beer. Hoppiness on the other hand, is a relative thing and can’t be put into numbers. If both bitterness and hoppiness come from adding hops to beer, how can bitterness and hoppiness be disconnected?

Bitterness comes from adding hops to the kettle. There, the boiling process causes a chemical change in the hops (isomerization) which allows the resinous acids to mix with the liquid without separating out. Adding hops to the kettle after the boiling has stopped or adding hops into the fermenter (such as in dry hopping or our hop torpedo process) allows hop oils to mix with the beer—the source of most of the hop flavor and aroma—without adding bitterness. A beer can be hoppy but not bitter, and vice versa, but looking only at IBU doesn’t give a good measure of the hop flavor in a finished beer.”


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How IPA Conquered the World

The Economist explains How India pale ale conquered the world

May 13th 2014, 23:50 by S.W.

INDIA pale ale (IPA) had a good claim to be the first global beer, before lager took a grip on Anchor-IPA-bottle-150pxthe world’s tipplers. Now IPA, an amber, hop-laden brew, high in alcohol, is dogfish-head-90-minute-iparegaining its global footprint. Arguments rage about the origins and history of IPA. Britain’s territories on the Indian subcontinent were generally too hot for brewing. So a couple of hundred years ago, to keep army officers and officials of the East India Company away from the fearsome local firewater, beer was exported from Britain to take its place. Whether a beer already existed that had the characteristics of IPA or whether it was developed for the purpose is a matter of heated debate among beer historians. What is clear is that hops, which act as a preservative as well as a flavouring, combined with a hefty dose of alcohol for added robustness, ensured that the beer survived the long sea journey to India. Indeed, the months jiggling in a barrel onboard seemed only to improve the flavour. The style caught on at home, as the brew seeped onto the domestic market.

IPA’s popularity waned as the brewing industry changed. After the second world war, big brewers in Britain and America bought smaller competitors and flooded the market with bland, mass-market beers as old styles were abandoned in favour of a pint that would not offend anyone. In the 1980s brewing began to change again. The craft beer revolution, which started in America, was a reaction to the domination of the market by these dull and flavourless brews. Small beermakers, encouraged by tax breaks and an urge to drink a beer with some character, set up to produce small batches of more adventurous ales. The taste for these beers caught on. The result is that America is now home to some 2,500 breweries, compared with about 50 in the 1970s. Beer drinking is in overall decline as wealthy boozers switch to wine and spirits, but craft beer is growing fast, as consumers turn against the mass market to savour more expensive and exclusive brews.

The beer that craft brewers like making the most is IPA. Artisan beermakers in America adopted old recipes from Britain for their IPAs but gradually began to adapt the brews to their own tastes. The heavy use of hops allows them to show off their skills in blending different flavours. Some parts of America, like Britain, have an excellent climate for growing top-quality hops. The bold flavours and high alcohol content create a beer that has a distinct style and bold taste, yet can come in many shades. The passion for hops in American craft beers has taken on the characteristics of an arms race, as brewers try to outdo each other in hoppiness.

If no brewer in America can pass up the opportunity to make an IPA, the same is true elsewhere. As the craft beer revolution has spread beyond America, so has the taste for IPA. Britain is undergoing a brewing revival alongside a foodie revolution, based on local produce and artisanal methods. Much the same is happening in other rich countries around the world, where breweries are springing up to serve up craft beers. Indeed, IPA has come full circle. Many British craft brewers are using new IPA recipes imported from America for their brews but again adapting them for local palates. IPA may not yet have displaced lager as the global tipple, but it is at least battling for bar space with mainstream beers.




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Blue Moon Catches the Hop Craze!

Hot off the presses from Blue Moon Brewing Company, January 22, 2015:

After searching through 150 varieties to find the perfect hop for its latest brew, Blue Moon Brewing Company is excited to unveil its own twist on an IPA: Blue Moon White IPA. Ringing in 20 years as a brewery, they’re unveiling Blue Moon White IPA by challenging consumers to go on a search of their own to find the new beer.

Blue Moon White IPA

Blue Moon White IPA

The beer will debut nationally April 1, but beginning this week, Blue Moon will disclose clues―such as GPS coordinates―on its social sites to secret locations in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin and Nashville where beer lovers can enjoy an early taste of Blue Moon White IPA. But for a few lucky fans the search doesn’t stop there. The first 20* fans to arrive at the undisclosed locations will receive a map to an intimate future beer dinner with one of Blue Moon’s brewmasters.”When we decided to brew an IPA we wanted to do something different,” said Keith Villa, founder and head brewmaster of Blue Moon Brewing Company. “We started with wheat, orange peel, and coriander; ingredients that originally inspired Blue Moon Belgian White. Then, we searched hop-after-hop through a lot of varieties until we discovered a rare German hop called Huell Melon, which complements the citrus flavors in the beer. We ultimately wanted to brew a beer that captures the best of both styles: part American IPA and part Belgian-Style White. And since we had so much fun finding ingredients, we thought it would be fun to get our fans in on the search as well.”

The Beer Profile:

Appearance – Rich golden color from caramel malts.
Aroma – Tropical hop character with a hint of citrus.
Taste – Hop citrus and orange peel citrus complement the wheat and malts for a uniquely balanced IPA bitterness.
Mouthfeel – Medium bodied.
Finish – Crisp and surprisingly balanced.
ABV – 5.9%        IBUs – 45-47
Four Hop Varieties – Citra®, Cascade, Simcoe, Huell Melon. Huell Melon is a rare hop from Germany with delightful fruity notes, which help complement the citrus notes in the beer.
Food Pairings – Pairs well with bold, flavorful seafood dishes, spicy Mexican food, and strong cheeses such as sharp cheddar and blue.

Blue Moon White IPA will receive full marketing support including digital media via online video across desktop and mobile, display banners on high-profile properties, targeted paid search and social media via owned channels and a partnership with Eater, the dining and nightlife site published by Vox Media, special events and sampling, print via cross-platform programs and public relations. Fans can join in on the fun and share where their beer hunts take them by posting to the Blue Moon Brewing Company Facebook page or by tweeting photos with mention of @BlueMoonBrewCo and #WhiteIPAHunt.

For more information on Blue Moon White IPA, follow @BlueMoonBrewCo on Twitter or go to For terms and conditions of Blue Moon Brewing Company’s White IPA Hunt, please visit

Click here for the complete article.


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Sierra Nevada Starts 2015 off Strong… and Hoppy!











Sierra Nevada Brewing releases three new beers to start off 2015

We adore Sierra Nevada brews.  Established in 1980 in Chico, CA, Sierra Nevada was instrumental in creating what is now known as the craft beer revolution.  Sam Adams (Boston Beer Co.) soon followed… and look at the category now!  We’re excited about Sierra Nevada’s upcoming brews.  Keep the hops coming!, 

(Chico, CA) — Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is debuting two year-round beers in early 2015: the intensely hop-heavy Hop Hunter IPA and the sessionable Nooner Pilsner. The brewery will also unveil its newest spring seasonal selection, Beer Camp Hoppy Lager, for a total of three brand-new beers for craft drinkers to explore.

Hop Hunter IPA features oil from wet hops steam distilled in the hop field, minutes after harvest—for the first time, drinkers can taste wet-hop character year-round. This pure, powerful hop essence is used alongside traditional hops to create the ultimate IPA experience. Hop Hunter IPA will be available year-round in 12-ounce bottles and on draught.

Alongside Hop Hunter IPA, Sierra Nevada will introduce its first year-round lager with Nooner Pilsner. Nooner is a refreshing and aromatic German-style pilsner that’s easy-drinking yet full of spicy and floral hop flavor from the use of whole-cone European hop varietals. Available on draught, in six-pack bottles, and in twelve-pack cans, Nooner is the perfect way to kick off an afternoon of adventure.

Beer Camp Hoppy Lager rounds out Sierra Nevada’s new releases for early 2015. Beer Camp is the ultimate brewing experience. Sierra Nevada invites beer fans to the brewery nearly every week to create a collaborative beer, and each spring, they will release one of the highlights from the past year. This year’s hoppy lager is a reimagined encore of the hop-forward collaboration with San Diego’s Ballast Point that was a part of the incredibly popular Beer Camp Across America mixed pack.

“We’ve been incredibly busy designing and tweaking all of these new beers” said Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder. “Our brewhouses have been going round-the-clock perfecting the recipes and it has been really fun to explore the limits of hops. I’m really excited about the work we’ve done on Hop Hunter. We’re no stranger to experimental hops and hopping techniques, but developing distilled wet hop oil is unlike anything we’ve tried. The results are amazing.”

All of these new releases will be widely available throughout the Sierra Nevada distribution footprint and can be found using the brewery’s Beer Locator.

About Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America’s premier craft breweries, highly regarded for using only the finest quality ingredients. The pioneering spirit that launched Sierra Nevada now spans both coasts with breweries in Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina. Sierra Nevada has set the standard for craft brewers worldwide with innovations in the brewhouse as well as advances in sustainability. It is famous for its extensive line of beers including Pale Ale, Torpedo®, Porter, Stout, Kellerweis® and a host of seasonal, specialty and limited release beers. Learn more at

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