A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Travis -

I just just saw the article in Great Lakes. good stuff! I think there is a future in beer online that is beyond the forums and the message boards. There are a lot of blogs out there with reviews of beer, information on the beer life and just general conversation about beer.

I know that when I am looking for a homebrew recipe, the first place I look is on the net. When I am looking for homebrew hardware, I check prices on the net (if EJ has what I am looking for, I go there)...point is, there are a lot of things that homebrewers and beer aficionados go to the web for and I think that a lot of the popular websites out there are not quites scratching the itch...

That's just my thoughts.


Alan -

Excellent blog, Travis - and if you ever want to whip up some of that homebrewing equipment for me that would be great. I am working on the principle that I am doing some 1920 era brewing - very basic. I even (by accident) did a recent all-grain without a thermometre. I found reference to "the shimmering water" stage and went with that.

Travis -


Thanks! I made my stuff once and made notes so 1) you can do it your self and 2) I never have to do it again!

All-grain with out a thermometer...that's bold. At my brew club a few nights ago, there were some people telling me about ways of checking my runoff without a hydrometer. I am not there yet, but what they said makes sense...I suppose the same is true with the no thermometer...stick your hand in there and see how much it hurts!

I wish I had a poem for you, but drinking the metal shards from my brew kettle has rendered the creative side of my brain useless...but I saved a tun of money!


Jonathan -

If I didn't live in Atlanta, I would totally be all over that poem like sparge water on a mash.

Alan -

I think the reference was from Greg Noonan's <i>Scotch Ale</i> in which he quotes a pre-thermometre reference to brewing in Edinburgh to that moment that the water gets a little mirror-like shimmery and has light whisps of steam. That apparently happens right around 150 F which is that point you want for mash-in. I recalled the description and threw in the malt in a bout four seconds so I am happy it worked out. The brew (a 4% or so porter) was much better than I thought it would be. Whoever said that all-grain brewing was tough was likely the manufacturer of malt extract.

Captain Hops -

Hi Alan,
Here's my poem. I can't make the festival, so consider this a "for fun" entry. It's bit of a departure from my haiku. I hope you like it. Cheers!

Beer Run - An Epic Tale<blockquote class="smalltext">

<i>While drinking at home late last night<br>
I had me a terrible fright<br>
To the fridge I did go<br>
And I suffered a blow<br>
The only thing there was called Lite<p>

My head quickly started to spin<br>
What a pickle I found I was in<br>
I suppose I could find<br>
Something else for my mind<br>
Perhaps vodka or what about gin?<p>

I ran to my home bar so fast<br>
And what I found left me aghast<br>
If only I'd known<br>
That my whole stock was blown<br>
Oh, the size of my problem was vast<p>

I zipped to my den in a flash<br>
To check out my personal stash<br>
Felt around in the dark<br>
And I found Maker's Mark<br>
Now wait… mustn't do something rash<p>

I don't think that whisky will do<br>
Well maybe a sip, maybe two!<br>
It was perfectly clear<br>
What I wanted was beer<br>
I would have to go out and get brew<p>

I fumbled around for my keys<br>
And stumbled out into the breeze<br>
I walked like a gypsy<br>
(I guess I was tipsy)<br>
Could something go right for me please?<p>

A D.U.I. wouldn't be neat<br>
So I bravely walked off down the street<br>
I set off for the store<br>
It was twelve blocks or more<br>
Beer or Bust! I would not take defeat!<p>

With a determined look on my face<br>
I set out at a briskly good pace<br>
I am no sprightly elf<br>
If I say so myself<br>
But thoughts of beer made my feet race<p>

I started to dream of dark stout<br>
Of course, pale ale I couldn't rule out<br>
Perhaps smooth summer wheat<br>
Abbey ale would be sweet<br>
Or barley wine - something with clout!<p>

The visions were coming so strong<br>
I knew that it wouldn't be long<br>
I'd arrive at the store<br>
And I surely would score<br>
The beer that would right all this wrong<p>

My moment of triumph at hand<br>
The sight of my beer store so grand!<br>
But my plans were then hosed<br>
Cuz the beer store was closed<br>
Why me?! I just don't understand.<p>

I felt like a ruined old man<br>
Like tissue I'd throw in the can<br>
Though my beer dreams seemed lost<br>
And my stars seemed all crossed<br>
My brain was devising a plan<p>

"Hey self!" it did suddenly say<br>
"To get beer there is one other way<br>
The walk is not far<br>
We will go to the bar!<br>
So get up, there will be no delay"<p>

The fear on my face it was plain<br>
Hearing voices inside of my brain<br>
But I brushed it aside<br>
"To the bar!" 's what I cried<br>
Tonight, I don't need to be sane<p>

I started along down the road<br>
Thinking of that old beer runners' code<br>
"You must get the beer<br>
Be it far or it near<br>
Succeed, you'll have glory bestowed"<p>

I rounded a corner and saw<br>
A sight that just left me in awe<br>
A warm tavern's door<br>
Like the alehouse of yore<br>
And my brain cackled like a macaw<p>

Ignoring the sounds in my head<br>
I quickly redoubled my tread<br>
My heart filled with pride<br>
As I sauntered inside<br>
All right beer, it's full steam ahead!<p>

Now taking my seat at the bar<br>
And knowing I'd come really far<br>
I sat there transfixed<br>
As I stared at the list<br>
Cuz there wasn't a beer that's sub-par<p>

"Hey bartender be a good chap<br>
And bring something good from your tap<br>
Make sure it's the best<br>
This is not a test<br>
I don't wanna drink any crap"<p>

He looked at me funny, it's true<br>
But still handed over the brew<br>
I felt like a king<br>
I heard angels sing<br>
For beer time was long overdue<p>

The hue was a glorious brown<br>
The scent made me spin all around<br>
And oh God the Flavor<br>
It was a life saver<br>
The best goddamn beer ever found<p>

The first beer, you know, didn't last<br>
The second one went pretty fast<br>
"Your tip will be richer<br>
If you bring me a pitcher"<br>
I said to the 'tender at last<p>

The pitcher it came and it went<br>
I felt over one hundred percent<br>
It seemed I could fly<br>
Way up into the sky<br>
Should have known this would be my descent<p>

I'm a very smart guy, you should know<br>
And I had to tell everyone so<br>
"Listen here! Listen there!<br>
For my brilliance is rare!"<br>
When I drink beer my intellect flows<p>

You might say I was in rare form<br>
Stand back when I start to perform<br>
The beer, it kept flowing<br>
And I just kept going<br>
I was taking this bar room by storm<p>

It must be so hard to be dumb<br>
When my genius they can't overcome<br>
They must feel so dejected<br>
Every time they're corrected<br>
To my greatness, they'll have to succumb<p>

But smarts are not all that I've got<br>
It's true, like Adonis, I'm hot!<br>
All the girls want to peek<br>
At my awesome physique<br>
All the stares? Yeah I get that a lot.<p>

Then what did I see at the bar<br>
A beauty, she looked like a star<br>
I threw a smooth line<br>
"Hey babe, what's your sign?"<br>
"You want to get into my car?"<p>

Now here's where things get kind of blurred<br>
And I'm not sure what really occurred<br>
I apparently met<br>
Her mad boyfriend I bet.<br>
His response was not what I preferred<p>

The last thing I saw was his fist<br>
He treated my good looks like grist<br>
He pounded my head<br>
I thought I was dead<br>
I tried to swing back, but just missed<p>

Morning sun shining into my eyes<br>
I stink and I'm covered with flies<br>
How did I get home?<br>
What's this bump on my dome?<br>
The answers I couldn't surmise<p>

I went to the bathroom to peek<br>
At the bruise on the side of my cheek<br>
As I started to leave<br>
Saw a note on my sleeve<br>
"See you again same time next week"</i></blockquote><p>

by Captain Hops of
Beer Haiku Daily

mallace -

I tried my darnedest to finish up a brilliantly witty poem about a group of friends and I descending into indecency at the hands of a mixed case, but I just didn't have the time to finish it. Too many needy students interupting my precious free time today. So I'll have to settle for submitting the following suite of shorts:

Fill me a barrel
With most noble Temptation,
Vinny Cilurzo.

The King of White Beers
Has been assassinated
By greedy InBev

Beauty dies slowly
When the whole world cheerfully
Drowns in pale lager

Rochefort 8 and 10:
In the hands of the right monks,
Heaven can be poured.

-(even though...)-

Dark monastic brews
Raise the mind up to the point
Of all holy Hell.

I really wish I could have gotten that longer one in...it was coming along so swimmingly. There were lampshade hats, tasting notes, the above haiku were embedded in it...the world has lost a bit of beauty.

Alan -

For the record, the server time is set according to Atlantic time and not Eastern time so mallace posted in time.