A Good Beer Blog

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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."


Comments

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Alan -

Craig posted an 1817 analysis of the Congress Spring over at the Facebook environment for the AAP.

Craig -

I think there is a drinking fountain fed by the spring, across from Congress park.

Saratoga water of water of that mineral content is just that, minerally. The brewers would have had numerous other water sources to pick from, most notably the Hudson river. Why drill for water? Stinky, sulphury water? Beaver creek and the Normanskill also were easily accessed.

Craig -

Oh, by the way the water is carbonated.

Craig -

Here's a history of the springs in Saratoga Springs

http://geoheat.oit.edu/pdf/bulletin/bi035.pdf

I have a few geologist buddies at the Museum. I'll pick there brains about mineral springs below Albany, in the morning. Congress Spring made Saratoga, internationally renowned. If Albany had similar springs why did it not receive the same attention?

Craig -

Here's the final say on all things mineral water in Albany.

Craig -

Looks like somebosy is trying to establish a new hierarchy in Albany Ale.

Alan -

Interesting to see the health claims on that one, too.

Craig -

Do you think it may have been a way to combat the temperance movement? Or something similar to "Guinness is Good For You"

Alan -

I wonder if it pre-dates termperance. You have northern NY roots in methodism and healthy living through a number of groups. The identification of the mineral springs as a source of healthy living goes at least into the 1700s.

Craig -

You'll get a kick out of this, it's referencing what seems to be a float based on the "little Holland" Ganesvoort Family brewery.

Alan -

I thnought I had seen a reference that suggested there was a second Ganesvoort brewery at, of all places, Ganesvoort NY.

Craig -

There are a few modern breweries near Ganesvoort. 10 miles away, or so. Davidson Brothers and Coopers Cave, in Glens Falls,

Oh wait... 16 Km, or so.

Alan -

Looks like it was the fifth brewing Gansevoort, Peter the Revolutionary war hero, who settled the town under his name - though settlers had been coming in to this traditional Mohawk area since 1760.

Craig -

A research fellow named Tricia Barbagallo steered me toward this guy... Evert Wendell who owned a number of mills and a small brewhouse on the Beaverkill, in the 1730's. The location of the brewhouse is near what is now Lincoln park swimming pool!

http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/albany/loc/wendellmills.html#map1802

Craig -

I think I have a good water source. Tricia's email, struck a note. I compared our modern google map against the 1857 map. Five known brewery locations were on the banks of the Beaverkill. by 1857, the creek had been piped below Arch St, heading east, and emptied into the Hudson

The breweries on the creek were (west to east): D.S. Wood & Co. (Dobler-later), Hinckel, the Wendell brewhouse, Boyd and all it's iterations and Taylor & Sons.

Here's another bit of news. When they were building Washington Park in 1873, they damned the creek, creating Washington Park Lake. The Lake is still there and I assume that it is still feed by the now subterranean Beaverkill.

Alan -

Is there a water quality analysis for that lake? If it is Beaverkill, it is pretty good indication of what water was used.

I wonder if you have Albany City Council records from 1857 that might indicate that project to bury the piping was to service the breweries.

Craig -

I was just reading an article in Cook's Illustrated about salt. As a side note they mentioned that salt has de-bittering qualities. Sort of unusual that albany brewers were using massive amounts of hops, with that much salt. It seems like the salt would work against their bitterness.

Alan -

Definitely. If you shake a little salt on your coffee grounds before starting up the perculator it makes a much smoother java.

The 1835 salting levels would have been well over the top. I need to make me up a braking pint of salty water at that ratio to see what it would be like.

Tricia Barbagallo -

Craig and Alan - I came across your blog today - my compliments. The Visshers owned the mill site in the 1680s. The Wendells inherited the mill through marriage. You need to look at account books for both families to find out what they were buying and using.
Go to Albany County Hall of Records. You need the water maps and any sewer or storm sewer maps - part of the city engineers maps. See the city records which are bound - on the shelf - main branch of Albany Public Library - they were once in the Albany Room. They buried the Beaverkill creek in 1832 - after the cholera epidemic. It was seen as unsafe, but the water was still used. Health officials called the area a Shanty Town, as it was settled by Irish immigrants - there was a massive slaughter house in the area - and it was considered unsanitary. Try the papers of Joseph Hall - a geologist who lived in the area - his house is the Sunshine School, today. He studied the area.
Tricia

Alan -

Fabulous! Thanks Tricia.

Craig -

Hiya Tricia,

Good to hear from you again! I think the slaughterhouse was brought up in in the Delavan libel case, as well as a number of other nasty possible contaminates!

Craig -

By the way Tricia, the really good stuff is on Facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=137746912938180

dave -

The Zythophile had an article up about Yarmouth Ale being quite salty: http://zythophile.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/yarmouth-ale-sweet-and-salty/ I read the post and thought of this one. Interesting to know that there were numerous "salty beers".

Alan -

Somewhere I thought I had a link to a German smalltown festival that brewed a salzbier that had their traditional style. But I can't lay my hands on the link.