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Memphis’ own York Avenue Tavern now with custom pint glasses

February 10, 2011 By: grant Category: Beer Gear

York Avenue Tavern pint glass

Woot! York Avenue Tavern now has official pint glasses! Our friend Bridget, who lives up in the Great White North, used some kinda crafty magic to etch onto pint glasses the nom de plume of our 100-year-old residence in Midtown, where the homebrew flows daily.

Pictured is Jeff’s clone of Stone‘s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, which never did completely bottle condition. It’s a big beer and I guess the yeast just gave up. Next time we brew a high-gravity beer we’re going to experiment with adding some yeast back in prior to bottling. Anyone have any suggestions or advice about that?

FuzzyBrew’s Favorites for 2010

January 10, 2011 By: jeff Category: Craft beer, Opinion

After checking out all the end-of-year beer lists for 2010, we thought it would be cool to share each of our top five favorite beers of the year. We drank a lot of good beer in 2010, so this was a fun trip down memory lane.

organic ale

Jeff’s picks

1.  Estate Homegrown Ale – Sierra Nevada.  This beer explodes with resiny, grapefruity, wet-hopped goodness.  The well-balanced, smooth malt backbone makes this a beer I could drink all night.

2.  Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale – Stone Brewing.  Whatever you want to call it – Black IPA, Cascadian  Dark ale – it doesn’t matter.  Roasted, chocolatey grains that you would expect in a stout or porter combined with the pine forest, citrus hop flavor of an IPA, resulting in a beer that is bad ass and unique.

3.  Sorachi Ace – Brooklyn Brewery.  The  Sorachi hops are front and center for a lemony take on a Siason,  a style known for bracing bitterness, spicy notes and a crisp dry finish.  This beer was killer.

4.  30th Anniversary Brewers Reserve: Oak-Aged Ale – Sierra Nevada.  Weirdly enough, of the four anniversary beers released this year, I was least excited to try this one. That’s why I’m learning not to trust my instincts.  This beer is a blend of their Oak-aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale and Pale Ale.  They combine to make a tasty blend of oak, malt and hoppy goodness.

5.  Sue – Yazoo Brewing.  An imperial porter that has an incredible blend of chocolate and smoke.  I was blown away the first time I had this at the Cooper Young Regional Beerfest.

Honorable mention: Odell IPA – Odell Brewing.  Thank you for saving me my own bottle, Mr. Erskine.

Mike’s picks

1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale – Bell’s Brewery.   A really well-balanced AIPA that would be my everyday ale if I could buy it in Memphis.

2. Sweet Water IPA – Sweetwater Brewing. An explosion of grapefruit taste and floral aroma packed in a beer that goes down easy.

3. Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter – Flying Dog Brewery.  The late Hunter S. Thompson graces the bottle’s label and proclaims, “Good people drink good beer.” And this is a really good Baltic porter: rich, roasted malt flavors with hints of molasses and a hell of a kick from the 9.2 ABV.

4. Odell IPA – Odell Brewing.  A mix of citrus and piny hop flavor and aroma with a decent dose of malts. It does not disappoint.

5. Schafly Coffee Stout – The Saint Louis Brewery. First coffee stout I’ve ever tried and loved the smoky, rich coffee flavor with notes of sweetness from the oatmeal stout base.

Grant’s picks

Modus Hoperandi1. Modus Hoperandi – Ska Brewing. Fantastic IPA I found on a trip to Colorado this past summer. The closest it’s available to Memphis is St. Louis. I made a decent clone, which started me on my quest to brew the perfect IPA. This is where the bar is set.

2. #9 – Magic Hat. I don’t actually remember when I had my first one of these, but it quickly became one of my favorites during this past summer’s ridiculous heat wave. It’s a tasty and crisp craft brew you can drink no matter how high the mercury rises. I made a pretty good clone a few months ago and have another in secondary fermentation right now.

3. Old Glory American Pale Ale – Great Dane Pub. Malty, hoppy totally drinkable brew from Madison, Wisconsin. It’s a British-style pale ale with American hops, whatever that means. Wish I could get it around here.

4. St. Vincent’s Dubbel – Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Jeff gave Mike and I each one of these. Loved the crisp and sour taste. Luckily Mike cracked his open first to share so I still have one.

5. Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale – Lazy Magnolia. Really tasty brew from Mississippi (where homebrewing and over-5% ABV is illegal. WTF?) Also, fun to give people with nut allergies. This is why there is now an Epipen in the kitchen cabinet.

Honorable mention: Dry-hopped APA – Schlafly Beer. The first couple I had were fantastically hoppy but not too overwhelming. Unfortunately, sixers I’ve bought since indicate it doesn’t have a great shelf life, as the hop taste is muted. This is something we’ve noticed with our homebrewed IPAs, too.

What were the best beers you tried in 2010? Leave a comment below.

Sublimely Self-Righteous brew day

September 12, 2010 By: jeff Category: Craft beer, Homebrew

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

It is amazing how smooth brew day goes when you don’t drink.  Less fun for sure, but smooth.

Sickness, family duties and a neighbor’s birthday party at 3 p.m. demanded that this didn’t turn into a 9-hour day in the garage brewing and drinking.  So the hot liquor tank was stoked at 6:10 am.  Check-list in hand, I promised myself I wouldn’t forget anything important and that I would take notes.

We have been going nuts about how amazing Stone Brewing Co.’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is for a few months, and we finally got around to cloning her.  I say we, but for the record the ‘amazing twins’ didn’t show until 9 a.m.  One wouldn’t think you could commit a bigger sin on brew day than being 3 hours late, but showing up without any of the ingredients to brew a brown ale might top it.  Look for them to explain themselves in a future post.  Moving on.

Recipe for 6 gallons    70% efficiency

first wort hopping

First wort hopping

17.8 lb 2-row

1 lb Crystal 60

1 lb Carafa Special III

2.5 oz Chinook  at 60 min

1 oz Amarillo  O min

1 oz Simcoe  O min

1 oz Amarillo FWH

2 oz Amarillo dry hop

2 oz Simcoe dry hop

2 L starter of Wyeast 1056

We tried two new tricks today that we talk about in a video below.From there we sparged until be got 7.5 gallons.  Brought it all up to a boil and added hops per the recipe.  The ground water is still pretty warm and we have yet to devise a better chilling system, so we cooled the hot wort to about 85 degrees then put it in the chest freezer for a few hours until it got to 68ish.

Our OG was 1.080.  If we had brewed to exactly 70% efficiency which was what the recipe was for it should have been 1.082.  For us it was a win.  Especially since this is the first time we have actually ended with the correct amount of wort in the primary fermenter.  Little tip.  If you are .5 gallons short, 4 brew days in a row, chances are you are burning off more during your boil than you think.  We finally figured that out Saturday and adjusted for it accordingly.