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Beer Selfie Posts

Micro Bros Pilot

I went looking for interesting beer related projects on Kickstarter and, it turns out, there isn’t much going on right now. Have you seen that Hand Keg thing? Wow…that doesn’t seem like something the world needs.

There was one project that really piqued my interest though. Jared Michael Cramblet and Jarrod Michael Moxley are planning a pilot episode for a show titled Micro Bros. Jared filled me on what the show is all about and what they have planned for the pilot and beyond.

How did you become interested in craft beer?

I became interested in craft beer around the year 2005 when I got my first bartending job at a place called Mellow Mushroom in Destin, FL. They were the first place in town to have a draft wall with a significant number of taps, which has now become commonplace. Prior to that, I would go the import route (Newcastle, Stella, Smithwicks etc.) because I was never really a fan of big American Beer. The first American craft-brewed beer I had was a SweetWater Blue. I couldn’t get enough of it! Until about six months later, when we got the SweetWater IPA in from our distributors. That’s when I became a super fan of craft beer.

How did Micro Bros get started?

Once again, this can be traced back to Mellow Mushroom in Destin, FL around 2007. I was a bar manager at the time and Jarrod Michael Moxley was the kitchen manager. Anyone who has ever managed a restaurant knows there’s nothing like it. Sixty-hour weeks become the norm, it’s hot, it’s physically and mentally draining, and both Mox and I would find ourselves at the end of the night discussing the job over a few pints. Somewhere in there, we started talking about a show we would like to see, involving craft beer and the culture surrounding it. We came up with the name Micro Bros, as a play on words plus the similar names (Jared Michael Cramblet and Jarrod Michael Moxley) but had zero clue what to do with it. We were restaurant managers with zero experience in the entertainment world. We went and toured a local brewery for about an hour or two, and found ourselves in the parking lot like “now what.”

Since then, I’ve started my own entertainment booking agency and I’ve been booking and managing bands for roughly six years. Over that period of time, I’ve been on several music video shoots and developed a strong relationship with one particular video production company, Lensea Film. I’ve recently taken a role as Producer with Lensea Film and shared my decade-long show concept of Micro Bros with the director, Destyn Patera. He said that perhaps we should explore it in the future and we didn’t make much of it – until he started sharing the idea with some of our peers. The response from everyone we mentioned the concept to was “how the hell does this show not exist yet?” So we started the development process and almost immediately caught the attention of some investors who have big experience in the world of beer, so to speak.

Once we were properly funded, we reached out to SweetWater, almost thinking they wouldn’t even respond to our email, but it was the exact opposite! A week later, we found ourselves in Atlanta at the brewery discussing how we were going to shoot this show. We plan to shoot in mid-November. The amount of support and interest we’ve already experienced has been nothing short of amazing, and we’re ready to make this show!

What strengths do each of you bring to the show?

We both host our own Podcasts, but with totally different concepts. My show (Whatever it Means to You) focuses on spotlighting creative individuals and digging into authentic storytelling. Whereas Mox’s podcast (A Weird Time Recorded) is basically him and his buddy drinking Two Hearted Ale and talking comedic nonsense, it’s out of control, hahah. But that will be similar on the show as well. I will be the more informative and inquisitive host, while Mox will be the comedic element. Although we have similar names, we’re very different people. I was concerned at first since we’ve never really been on camera together, how the chemistry would be, but after a few test shots, it all worked out pretty well, but I contribute that to the talent of Destyn Patera and the rest of our crew. They make us look and sound way better than we should.

What makes Micro Bros different from other shows?

There are literally hundreds of shows centered around food and travel, but almost zero around beer! With 7,000 breweries in the US alone, that’s a disservice to the community of beer lovers. We hope to take elements from the explorative nature of Bourdain, the comedic genius of Attell, and the beauty of the way Chef’s Table both shows and tells their stories. Basically, we want to create our dream show – and job, of course.

What do you have planned for after the pilot? Do you know where your next stops after Sweetwater will be?

We’ve had some conversations and interest from some network and streaming industry people, but there’s really not much we can do on that end until we complete the pilot. After SweetWater, we’d like to hit the west coast and the mid-west, maybe around the Grand Rapids area. A lot of great beer coming out of Michigan! But more importantly, a few episodes in, we’d like to feature some smaller breweries around the panhandle of Florida. It’s crazy how much good beer is just everywhere now, and we want to highlight that.

Who’s the target audience for the show?

I’m glad you asked this question. Although the show is centered around beer and breweries, we want to focus on the way culture is influenced by it. We’re going to these breweries to learn about beer, of course, but more so, we want to hear stories outside of that. We have some really great stories coming into this pilot centered around Atlanta! Hopefully, the show will resonate with craft beer lovers, but we’d like to tell enough of a compelling story that even people who aren’t into beer, enjoy the show as well.

How’s the Kickstarter going?

I’m glad you asked this as well. Speaking honestly, the Kickstarter is a disaster. We created several really fun events centered around beer, but Kickstarter doesn’t like beer! They wouldn’t let us offer half of our rewards and it was super confusing to our audience. So I had to improvise. We had some rewards like a multi-course multi-beer dinner and a brew tour that didn’t move at all on Kickstarter – because I wasn’t allowed to tell people we were including beer, so I teamed up with a local ticket broker and we sold the tickets ourselves and sold out very quickly. So, yeah, although Kickstarter appears to be a gigantic failure, we still raised our goal by selling tickets ourselves to our own events. Which is fucking wonderful because Kickstarter doesn’t get to take 8-10% from us. Definitely won’t be working with them again.

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CA Beer Summit

The California Craft Beer Summit was two days in Long Beach, packed with informative and entertaining sessions, and a constant flow of craft beer.

photo credit: CCBA

The summit opened with a panel of California craft beer A-listers: Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman, Karl Strauss’s Chris Cramer, Drake’s John Martin, and CCBA Executive Director Tom McCormick. The panel was moderated by Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo. Each of these craft beer pioneers talked about getting their start in the 80s and how much the craft beer world has changed over the decades. The varied approaches to funding and equipment sourcing at a time when craft beer didn’t really exist were fascinating.

photo credit: CCBA

The huge audience was rapt as Grossman handed out bottles of Pale Ale to the panel and Martin recalled opening up Triple Rock Brewing without enough money left for a change drawer, and nearly blowing the brewery up with an overly exuberant fermentation.

Garrett Oliver

Another craft beer luminary, Garret Oliver, made his way from Brooklyn to talk about the industrialization of food production and what it means to be a craft brewer. At one point he pulled a Kraft Single out of his back pocket declaring “This is not cheese. This is not food.” He pointed out that brewers adding wacky adjuncts like donuts should consider what they’re actually putting in their beer.

Moksa Brewing’s Derek Gallanosa session was titled “Small Brewery Marketing: Making a Large Impacet with a Tiny Staff.” Dude has a degree in marketing and sold out their “Moksa Memberhood” before they even opened their doors or served a beer, so he knows what he’s talking about.

Derek stepped through Moksa’s processes of label design, social media management, and event promotion. The marketing plan he laid out was so thoughtful and well done it left people wondering how he also has time to brew beer.

Dr. Janel Jackson-Beckham is the Diversity Ambassador for the Brewer’s Association and a professor of Communication Studies at Randolph College. She laid out a plan for auditing the cultural climate of an organization. This included interviews and anonymous surveys, and how to analyze the collected data. Dr. J pointed out the business need for an inclusive culture as craft beer continues to expand and look for new markets.

Sierra Nevada is currently undergoing possibly the biggest transition of its nearly forty years of existence. Founder Ken Grossman has begun to step back from the day-to-day operations. Meanwhile he and his family maintain ownership and two of his three children work at the brewery. Ken’s daughter Sierra and newly appointed CEO Jeff White chatted about the interactions among the brewery’s changing leadership.

Russian River’s Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo discussed the planning, design, and construction of their new Windsor brewery. They went through considerable effort to build the brewery to their high standards and ensure that it could be expanded in the future. They faced challenges including fluctuating currency affecting the cost of German-made brewing equipment, personnel and material shortages due to the Tubbs fire, and many more unexpected issues.

It’s clear that the Cilurzo’s drive to brew increasingly high quality beer and provide a great experience for visitors has created something special in Windsor.

Lance Shaner is the co-founder of Omega Yeast Labs and has a Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics. Omega Labs has three versions of the increasingly popular Kveik yeast, traditionally used in Norwegian farmhouse brewing. Their experimentation with these yeasts has found that under typical fermentation conditions Kveik behaves similarly to typical ale yeasts, although more resistant to high alcohol. Where things get really interesting is at high temperatures, around 100° F. Kveik ferments very quickly at this temperature with no change in the resulting flavor profile. The potential for these yeasts are enormous as brewers look to maximize their brewing schedule.

photo credit: @letshavesomebeershow

The California Craft Beer Summit had an abundance of great information, resources, and beer. The sessions described above were only a fraction of those available. It was also full of great people. It was exciting to meet the brewers, vendors, media, and other staff that make up California craft beer. Everyone was super friendly and engaged. The whole thing was exceptionally well organized by the CCBA and I hope to make it to future events!

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South Lake Brewing’s Nicole Smith at CCBA Summit

Calirornia Craft Beer Summit

It’s a long drive from Tahoe to Long Beach, but South Lake Tahoe Brewing hasn’t missed a California Craft Beer Summit since their inception in 2017. With the Summit kicking off this week they’ll be making the trek again soon! Co-owner Nicole Smith chatted with us before she hits the road.

Have you been to the CA Craft Beer Summit/Festival before? What were some highlights?

Yes I’ve been to the summit and festival since it first started I believe in 2015! A highlight for me was pouring our beer for the first time at the festival in 2017!!

What summit speaker are you excited about?

I’m most excited to listen to Virginia Morrison of Second Chance and Lynn Weaver of Three Weavers during the Pink Boots/CCBA inspiring women leaders session on Friday afternoon! I’ve personally met both women and have been so encouraged by them to keep crushing it in the beer industry!

Which summit educational sessions are you looking forward to?

The educational session on Thursday morning about setting the scene and Leveling Up your tasting room through design and customer experience sounds fantastic and super useful for my role at our brewery. I also think this is a new seminar for the summit or any CCBA conference so I’m excited to learn something new!

What do you hope to learn at the summit?

How to do my job better. How to be a better leader of my business and bring new ideas, tips and tricks of the industry back to my brewery to improve it!

What do you have planned for the fest?

I was pregnant during the last festival and both my husband and I are excited to enjoy ourselves and try super yummy beer during the festival this year. Especially since it’s in so-cal for the first time, we are looking forward to trying breweries that we do not normally get to experience.

What brewery are you excited to check out at the fest?

Beachwood Blendery! We have a friend that works there 🙂

How does this event compare to other beer events you’ve been to?

Besides CBC… the summit I think is the best networking, educational, and uniquely craft beer event to attend!! It’s not as crazy as GABF and it’s a 100% california craft beer festival. I think it’s the best festival in the nation for craft beer enthusiasts to attend.

What’s unique about the California craft beer scene?

The demographics and variety that’s offered. Over 700 craft breweries in the state – we have to differentiate ourselves. There are so many different styles and great beers being brewed by CA Brewers, it’s truly a scene that steers the industry as a whole.

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Russian River Intinction

Russian River Intinction

The base beer is a Pilsner aged in Sauvignon Blanc barrels with the addition of Sauvignon Blanc grape juice from the 2018 harvest for a secondary fermentation.  The juice and barrels are from Dutton Vineyards in the Russian River wine appellation here in Sonoma County.  There is no lactobacillus or pediococcus added to the beer, only brettanomyces.  The tart acidity comes from the wine grapes.  This beer is delicate and beautifully balanced, a perfect refresher on a warm summer day!

russianriverbrewing.com

Russian River makes world class sours and Intinction is a good example of their expertise. I can’t imagine a better blend of Pilsner malt, white wine grape influence, and sour acidity. Reading the label I imagined something muddy, not understanding how Pilsner malt and white wine would work together. I wisely gave Russian River the benefit of the doubt and was rewarded with a complex and refreshing beer, that manages to delightfully highlight each of its ingredients. The Pilsner malt takes the stage at first, but the beer has a lovely oaky white wine finish.

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CA Beer Fest Preview with Smog City’s Laurie Porter

The California Craft Beer Summit and Festival is quickly approaching! Before heading south I checked in with Smog City‘s Laurie Porter to get her take on this exciting event.

Have you been to the CA Craft Beer Summit/Festival before? What were some highlights?

I have been attending the Summit since its inception. I was actually on the original CCBA Summit Steering Committee to decide if the inaugural event was a success (it was!) and if we should continue to grow the Summit (wholeheartedly said YES) and now here we are, in Long Beach celebrating CA craft beer!

As for what Im looking for, I’m a huge fan of the Tap Talk- industry people sharing their experiences and knowledge always gets me excited. I also love the Saturday beer festival. An entire beer festival dedicated to California craft beer is like a dream come true.

What summit speaker are you excited about?

I have not had a lot of opportunities to hear Garret Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery speak plus craft beer icons David Walker(Firestone Walker) and Kim Jordan(New Belgium) always have words of wisdom to walk away with!

What do you have planned for the fest? What will you be pouring?

We have a beer and food pairing that is really exciting. We’ve partnered with Chef Minh of Porridge and Puffs to showcase our love of fruit, smoke, and alternative approaches to beer and food reuse. We’re bringing Echo Echo Echo, a foudre aged sour blended with second use peaches and culinary lavender. Chef Minh created an Echo of our Echoes beer using the peach pits from our beer, smoked lardon, black eyed pea miso with ginger and negi, cinnamon-basil pickled peaches with a lemongrass porridge and seasonal flora…now that’s a mouthful! 

For the Summit beer festival, we’re bringing California Love, an Imperial Red brewed with ingredients showcasing the best of NorCal and SoCal, From LA Wit Love, Better Weather Sweater South Bay IPA and Night Howler, a blend of dark saison aged in puncheon barrels with Brettanomyces blended with a yearling sour brown and a late black cardamom addition- it’s an exquisite beer from our Wood Cellar and I’m confident festival goers are gonna be super excited to try it!

What brewery/beer are you excited to check out at the fest?

I’m sure there will be a ton of lagers, so I’m going to work my way through all of them! We’ve been brewing Little Bo Pils for nearly 8 years now but this year we’ve seen a huge increase in “lager love”. We brewed 5 unique lagers over the summer and they have been very popular! Can’t wait to see what lagers CA breweries are brewing up too.

How does this event compare to other beer events you’ve been to?

The CA-centric approach to the Summit makes this a truly unique event. I love the focus on our industry and especially love highlighting CA beer. We’ve have such diversity of beers across the state and the Summit really showcases that!

What’s unique about the California craft beer scene?

The shear size of California lends itself to diversity of tastes plus we’re the nation’s agricultural center so many breweries in California love playing around with fresh fruits, herbs and food friendly beers. I’ve always enjoyed how wide ranging the craft beer palates are across the state and our breweries are a direct reflection of that range.

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Q&A: Do you Cook with Beer?

Jessica @themostprost

Yes! I have used Modern Times’ Black House Coffee Oatmeal Stout to make a delicious stout ice cream! I have a huge sweet tooth, so the chance to combine two of my favorite things, beer and ice cream? Uhm, yes please!! The beauty of an ice cream recipe is that you can get mega-creative with what beer you use in the mix… it’s fun to experiment with different stouts to see what you end up with. No matter what stout you use, it will almost ALWAYS end up delicious, so don’t be afraid to go wild with it!

Other than ice cream, I haven’t cooked too much with beer, but I am excited to! Beer-battered fish, beer cheese, and beer-marinated steak, are just a few on my list of beer-centric recipes to make! Cheers!

Brad @thatlastdrop

thatlastdrop

Yes, I do cook with beer. Mostly with curries however my favorite recipe is simply cooking a traditional South African dish we call “Potjiekos” which directly translates to “Pot Food” so like a stew and we cook using these big iron cauldrons on an open fire adding oxtail or beef with various vegetables and potatoes for a few hours.

I like to then add a strong flavorful IPA (my favorite is Devils Peak, King’s Blockhouse IPA) to the last half an hour or even marinade the meat in it over night. Absolutely delish! Cheers!

Taylor @mylovelyladyhops

I love cooking with beer! My favorite recipe is a Texas Chili with roast chuck (large chunks), lots of fragrant spices, onions, peppers, tomatoes and an imperial stout. I like to use an oatmeal stout. It’s rich, hearty and delicious!

Laura @southernbrewreviews

southernbrewreviews

Yes!

I love cooking with beer! Not only is it a great excuse to pop open a cold one, use a little in your dish and drink the rest, it’s a great flavor enhancer to most dishes!

Beer is so diverse these days, you can pretty much find any style or flavor profile you’re looking for to add to your favorite dish or sauce.

I make unique condiments based on brews. I love subbing vinegars out with tart sours in BBQ sauces, or stouts when I’m want something richer. Other than sauces, I have been known to add beers to the typical beer-friendly dishes: chili’s, appetizer dips, soups & chocolate cakes.

This year my goal is to make a cranberry sauce at thanksgiving with craft beer. (last year there were so many great cranberry sours available, it’d be silly not to try it!)

Drew @average_blokes_critique

Drew

I’m experimental. My Wife doesn’t think I’m an amazingly versatile cook because I generally cook the same things for us for meals but when I’m on my own and she’s away travelling I’ll get fancy and throw out the recipe books (that I can barely follow anyway). Beer wise I look at the style – Recently it was “Sticky Hand Shake” by Nomad Brewing which was a date paste infused imperial brown ale. I instantly knew I could reduce it into a sauce and whilst I was doing that decided to throw in some bananas for good measure. As it was reducing I fried up some french toast, pan fried some more bananas and the result was a delicious breakfast (which I ate in the afternoon). It paired quite well with the rest of the beer. I was only missing walnuts.

With so many different types of beers on the market these days and so many strange and wonderful flavours, how can you not think about trying some in a recipe or two!

Jackie @thatonebeergirl

thatonebeergirl

Yes but only as a novice. I’ve been only cooked beer cheese but would love more recipes. @beeroness is goals for cooking with beer!

@BeerDrankShawty

I use Imperial IPAs, with sriracha butter base, and a beef bouillon cream sauce , drizzled with egg whites as well as a balsamic vinaigrette spread over lettuce for my burger base.. LITERALLY!! The best burger dressing in the world. And It’s documented #duH

Monica The Italian Craft Beer

I’m a polysaccharides-girl (a girl that had cold pizza for breakfast), and I love to bake bread. It is so relaxing to work the dough and to observe it slowly rising. I also adore the scent of the fresh-baked bread in my house and to eat a warm slice of bread fresh out of the oven, with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. So, here you are my favourite beer-bread recipe: HONEY & BOCK BEER BREAD. It is simple and quick to make, although delicious. It has a soft texture, caramel/honey aroma and rustic touch of the Bock beer.

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Q&A: What Beer are You Saving for a Special Occasion?

Jen @pumpedtopour

The Holy Hermit from Moonraker Brewing!

I am saving it to share with my beer friends who have yet experienced any craftbeers from Moonraker. I am excited for them to try one of the best breweries in California. Sharing is Caring!

@_laura_brittany from @craftedandcuffed

I thought it couldn’t be more perfect than to save our birthday gift for a late night concert date coming up with my husband!!! Do you all know how great date nights end? Hopefully with dessert, am I right??? Well I’m not much for desserts but my husband on the other hand has enough of a sweet tooth for us both! So albeit despite my traditional taste choices like IPA’S, Sours or a Berliner Weiss, I recently have been allowing my pallet to try, savor, and appreciate the various different dessert style stouts out there. Now more often than not when we walk into a brewery, I find myself starting off with an imperial or pastry stout. Best part of it all is since we both enjoy great craft beer, this has turned into a dessert we both can enjoy. With that being said I’m saving this delicious mouth watering, pallet warming Imperial Stout with coconut, cocoa nibs and vanilla called “After Hours” by Arrow Lodge Brewing.

Haley & Jamie from @wanderbrewbc

We are terrible at saving beer! Every time we head out into the mountains or out on the road to live our vanlife we consider it a special occasion! Next beer we plan to drink on top of a mountain or lakeside is a Dunder Beist – Norwegian Farmhouse IPA by Another Beer Co., from British Columbia, Canada.

Eddie G. @Papi.Chulo.Of.Craft

Hard to say I have one beer I’m saving for a special occasion. I’d consider any occasion I get to share a beer with friends a special moment or occasion. However, with that said I am notorious for buying multiple bottles at once. Usually in groups of three. One to drink, one to save, & one to trade. At this point I have over 48 bottles waiting for their special occasion. They sit in a box awaiting the day they get put in my beer fridge for cooling along with the others in queue. But if I had to narrow the most special bottles I’ll continue to hold on to it would be non adjunct bourbon barreled aged stouts or Lambics.

Adam & Katie of Ale Adventures

TALKING WATERS BERZERKER IMPERIAL STOUT – BARREL AGED. We are saving this beer for Christmas 2019!

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