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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Stan Hieronymus -

Hi Alan,

It is corn sugar. The New Glarus brewery is not designed to mash with corn (like big breweries or like homebrewers can do on a small scale - also made with two row rather than six row).

I <i>do</i> drive half way across the country to drink Wisconsin beers in Wisconsin, something everybody should do once in a while because it is good for the spirit. That includes New Glarus in the village of New Glarus. Spotted Cow is an essential part of that experience.

As brewer Dan Carey put it, the beer is "a little bit fruity, a little sweet." A lot for a beer geek to pick at, but a beer people enjoy drinking.

Alan -

You saw my face, Stan. Maybe you didn't see all the joy but there is a lot there to like and others shouldn't be persnickity about corn.

I drive for beer, too. There needs to be a club about that as well.

McChowder -

Corn is, folks, and corn should be more than the flakes in your breakfast bowl

It already *is* way more than just brekfast cereal. Corn is in practically everything. There was a report recently of how increased corn prices were driving up feed for catfish. Our catfish eat corn!

In the US, corn isn't usually seen as the enemy of all that is local and sustainable.

Frank -

I had kukuřičné pivo (corn beer) at the Pivovarský Dvůr Chýně (don't ask me to pronounce any of that) just outside of Prague on my recent trip there . It is a very nice beer!
My Czech is limited to saying hello and ordering a beer, so I couldn't ask how much corn is used in the making of it, or how it was made, but the resulting beer is excellent.

Alan -

Here's a blog post by the Pivni Filosof himself about Pivovarský Dvůr Chýně. Evan's book does not mention the kukuřičné pivo but the post describes it as one of their speciality brews - either meaning a seasonal or one they make that few others do.

Boak -

Flaked maize is a key ingredient in a fair few famous British ales. Why should some grains be cool (wheat, rye, spelt) and others not (corn, rice)? Sure, if you're using it to cut costs, chances are you're not brewing anything nice. But all of these adjuncts add interesting elements to the beer, if done right.

Pivní Filosof -

I had kukuřičné pivo last year at Chýně, I liked it a lot. It was a very nice summer drink. They don't brew it regularly, it is one of their many specialities like zazvorové (ginger) or kouřované (smoked). All of them pretty good.
BTW, agree 100% with the post. Recently I had a couple of Spanish beers from Alhambra, their R1925 and their Mezquita. Both very good, specially the latter, and both with a corn adjunct. Though, it must be mentioned that the original recipe of R1925 didn't include maize.
Speaking to a brew master some time ago I mentioned rice and he said, "what's the problem with that?".
I think that good beer can be brewed using pretty much anything, as long as it is the intention of the brewer to make something different and not to cut corners (as many big ones do). I've had buckwheat beer, potatoe beer and pumpkin beer and they were all really interesting.

Alan -

Potato beer! I have had good potato moonshine in Canada's eastern province of PEI, a real cultural touchstone out there. But never beer.

Pivní Filosof -

Pivovarský Klub brewed a small batch last year. According to them, based on a recipe from 1625. It had 12Kg of potatoes and 4kg of barley malt. Very interesting and nice beer. I hope they brew it again some day.

Ethan -

Corn and rice are derided principally due to their association with The Big however-many-it is-now Breweries. But both can and should be used in craft brewing, and in home brewing, too. I bought a pound of some weird black specialty rice from my local co-op about 2 weeks ago, and I intend to use it in a homebrew. I know I need to do a separate cereal mash on it, it'll be fun. I'd like to try using some interesting corn varieties, too.

Because corn, and rice, most certainly are.

Paul of Kingston -

But what does the Bavarian Purety Law say on the subject of rice?

Not that I am a follower of rules but it would be interesting to know.

If only there was someone with legal training and a penchant for beer out there!

Pivní Filosof -

Is there a Peruvian purity law? As far as I know, some Peruvian beers are brewed with corn, etc.

Ivan Downes -

Can anyone help me I was recently in Lehsoto and was given some local beer. I am not sure whether it was maize or sorghum beer but any information on brewing the stuff would be most gratefully reeived.I found the appearance of it offputting but the taste was excellent and I would like to try brewing it myself so far I have drawn a blank looking for instructions. I have never brewed anything before other than tea so am a complete novice. Ivan Downes
Nottingham .U.K