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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Craig -

I think determining that mid 17th-century New Netherlands beer was wheat, rather than barley based, is a good start.

Alan -

Damen had piles of barley malt.

Brian -

First of all, your wife or mother would probably be doing the brewing. See the top right corner of the Dictionarium Domesticum from 1736:

The best book out there about small scale domestic brewing is Pamela Sambrook's "Country House Brewing in England 1500-1900". Ton's of great info on process and equipment.


Alan -

"First of all"? Really??

I suppose it'll explain what "black beer" was in a Dutch culture, too. What a dope I am.

Brian -

Another book that has way more info on early Dutch brewing is Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Richard W. Unger.

And of course Ron Pattinson can probably tell you all about black beer:
http://www.europeanbeerguide.net/hollintr.htm#dutch ¹

¹ [Ed.: note there is no reference to "black beer" under the offered link to justify either the link or the gratuitous "of course". So, readers, you can take the attitude and the comment for what they are worth, seeing especially as Ron is well aware of the Albany research and has never mentioned this suggested treasure trove of withheld Hudson Valley 1600s wisdom.]

Craig -

Actually, Brian, the beer Alan is referencing would not have been made by women. While it's true that many women did brew beer in the 17th and 18th enturies, most of what they made was for home or personal consumption. The true breweries of New Netherlands were commercial endeavors, making beer to sell to the local tappers, export to other colonial settlements and trade with the native populations. Brewers like Rutger Jacobsz, Goosen Gerritsz van Schaick were businessmenn who would have employed a master brewer and a brewers apprentice, or two. Their wives or mothers would not have been making that beer, at least not at the brewery.

Alan -

Yes, as a commercial colony with dreams of expansion organic English village life would not have many points in common. The descriptions of the English coming across Dutch culture is pretty funny.

Alan -

Brian wrote an email.

I now like Brian a lot. My snark powers led to a very nice email. Never underestimate snark's power to bring things together, to make pals.

Craig -

I've always loved Brian.

Alan -

Frankly, Brian is now appearing to be a person of quite remarkable powers and abilities.

Chris Van Woert -


Thanks for posting a picture of my family crest for all to see. I am a descendant of Rutger Jacobsen, and yes the family was known for brewing. They actually had a small brewery and distillery on Van Schoick Island near Cohoes. And to answer your question, Rutger Jacobsen moved to New Jersey, and his descendants founded Rutger's University in his honor. It was his brother Teunis who stayed in the area and continued to brew and who actually commissioned the stained glass that you show here.

If you ever come up with a good recipe for an original Albany Ale, I would be interested in trying it!

Chris Van Woert