In this episode, we were live at Hop Fusion Aleworks in the ever-growing Southside area of Fort Worth, TX, with co-founders Matt Hill and Macy Moore and a crowd of locals, the Cap and Hare Club happy hour group, and even a few Come and Brew It Radio listeners to try our first night of recording on location live.
Matt and Macy were both homebrewers with the same dream many of us have of opening their own brewery. But unlike most of us, they actually executed a plan and built Hop Fusion Aleworks from the ground up over a period of a year and a half, with a massive amount of their own blood, sweat, and tears. All with the goal of delivering great local experiences in their taproom, while also distributing their unique and tasty craft beer throughout Texas. And in just a few short months after opening, their popularity has soared and they are well on their way to accomplishing their goals.
In this episode, we discuss some recent malt experiments we did for a tasting at the last Cap and Hare meeting and we start a regular discussion about the many types of hops available to brewers, covering American, English, and Noble hop varieties. This time around, we cover Cascade and Northern Brewer for the American variety, East Kent Goldings and Target for the English variety, and Hallertau Mittelfruh and Saaz for the Noble variety.
In this episode, we talk about making the best out of your brew year by planning brews in advance to make sure you get what you want, when you want it. Whether it’s a specific style for a season or because you want to enter competitions or because you need to brew certain styles based on the weather being in your favor. All you have to do is consider your needs, what options you have, and how you can best use them. And with a plan, you can be sure you get those brews scheduled before those best times pass.
In this episode, we have the guys from the Collective Brewing Project back in studio after just over a year since their last visit to update us on what’s been happening at the brewery, tell us about their new barrel program, and help us develop and discuss a recipe that’d be good for putting in your own barrels or perhaps to start your own solera project with beers you already have at home.
In this episode, we discuss a recent hot topic in beer: East Coast IPAs vs West Coast IPAs. The IPA originated in England and was first updated into an American version on the East Coast, when American hops were used with English ale yeasts. Then, brewers on the West Coast grabbed it and took it to another level with hop character and bitterness and that became the generally accepted standard when anyone mentioned “an IPA”. But then the East Coast made a comeback that blended their original version with characteristics of the West Coast to create hazy, golden, malt-driven hop bombs that beer lovers fell in love with. And that’s when the battle began over which type was better. Here, we discuss both styles and brewing methods to get what you want out of them.
In this episode, we keep it style specific and spend the evening talking about one of our all-time favorites, the Imperial Stout. A favorite beverage for winter everywhere, even in Texas where it was 78 degrees the day before we recorded on the 28th of December and 60 on the day of the recording. Mainly because it’s a big, bold heavy hitter of a beer, whether it’s the American or English version. Which makes it the perfect accompaniment to any holiday gatherings with or without the family. So, we try to give it the praise it deserves while we try a variety of samples.
In this episode, we talk about a few ways you might be able to salvage a beer that’s going wrong or just doesn’t live up to what you wanted it to be. We’ve kind of discussed it in the past, but wanted to hit it again because It can happen to the best of us and it probably WILL happen to you at some point. Just because of chance. More of us have problems with a batch that didn’t come out the way we wanted and we’ll focus mostly on that, but there are definitely those times when a batch gets infected or stuck that you might be able to save it if you get to it in time or just want to experiment.
We want to warn you that we had some technical issues during the recording of this episode. Jimmy's mic didn't make it through on the usual recording, but you can also check out our Facebook Live version for what we caught of him there. Plus, we had some memory error stops and the audio version is more concise, since we got a little loose at the end. :)
In this episode, we give our friend Keith Kilker, founder and brewer at Guadalupe Brewing Co., a phone call to talk about what they have going on down in New Braunfels and about what has been going on in the craft beer industry lately with Big Beer buying out breweries. Keith has strong feelings about his independence and has worked hard to fulfill his passion, brewing great beer for a local crowd. (Recorded mid-Dec 2016)
In this episode, we discuss BJCP style 32 Smoked Beers while we sample some commercial examples from Schlenkerla that were bought locally, against those recently brought back from Schlenkerla’s home town, Bamberg, Germany. The category has two subcategories, including 32A Classic Style Smoked Beers and 32B Specialty Smoked Beers. However, both categories have the same basic description to start: A smoke-enhanced beer showing good balance between the smoke and beer character, while remaining pleasant to drink.
In this episode, Stubby had just returned from a trip to Germany where he had a few beer related adventures with Fritz Rahr of Rahr and Sons Brewing, including a trip to the Weyerman anniversary party, Rahr winning a bronze medal at the Euro Beer Star Awards for their Oktoberfest bronze medal, plenty of Krombacher pils, and of course, a few potato pancakes. We also continue discussing Big Beer buyouts in the craft beer industry and now the homebrew industry.
Plus, in the second half we try a series of weizenbocks where we split out a single 5 gallon Brewing Classic Styles recipe with Mangrove Jack Bavarian Wheat, Lallemande Munich, Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen, Wyeast 3056 Bavarian Wheat, and Safbrew WB-06. Which we also compare against some German examples.
In this episode, we have Austin Schumacher and Chase Leftwich from Texmalt in studio to talk about their work and products. Texmalt is a new and local maltster located here in Fort Worth, TX that believes in demanding the highest quality locally sourced barley and other grains for malt production that ends up in the mash tuns of local and regional craft breweries. All while maintaining full transparency throughout all levels of production from grain source, to finished malt quality.
In this episode, we have Shannon Carter, the brewmaster and founder, of Shannon Brewing Company in studio with us to tell us about his brewery, his brewing processes, and the styles of beer he brews. Shannon Brewing is located on the northern end of Keller, TX in the same area as Samantha Springs water company--which is also the source of the exceptional natural spring water Shannon uses for brewing his beers. Their brewery leans toward Irish and English styles, but their lineup also includes IPAs and lagers, all brewed with a direct fire process using the most wholesome and natural ingredients.
In this episode, we took a moment to try the two versions of our Palo Pinto Pale Ale recipe using regular pellet hops and the fresh wet hops we were lucky enough to get from a local brewery. Then, we go on to sample and discuss five different lager yeasts used in the Brewing Classic Styles Helles Bock recipe.
In this episode, we discuss the process of setting up and judging the Best of Show round of a homebrew competition. It takes more effort than you would think because you have a variety of styles competing for the best beer.
In the BOS round, you really need to give your full consideration to each of the beers that won their category because you aren’t comparing a style against itself like a normal round of judging. Instead, you have multiple styles that need to be appropriately placed in the sample order to give each beer its chance--without the character of the previous beer affecting your perception. And what better way to discuss the topic, than to actually have a Best of Show judging with our local BJCP Grandmaster Judge, James Lallande! For this episode, we have the category winners of the 2016 O’Zapt Is homebrew competition ready and waiting for us to pick the best of the bunch. So, congrats to all of you who won 1st place in your categories!
In this episode, we discuss brewing your best beers with a limited amount of space and gear. Maybe you live in an apartment and can’t use a burner on your deck. Or maybe you have no space for a temp controlled space, but want to make better beers. Maybe you have a full house and garage with no place for beer or gear, but you really want to brew more often. Maybe you just want a variety of beer styles AND the ability to store them. We hear about problems like that all the time from folks coming in the shop. And there’s almost always a way to get what you want.
In this episode, we have a conversation with Casey Binkley, one of the co-founders of the FastBrewing company out of Toronto, Ontario. They are the makers of the very popular FastRack, FastFerment, and FastLabel products. All of which are actually made in Michigan! The FastBrewing products are a straightforward series of homebrewing tools that are aimed at giving you the most use, while taking up the least amount of space---all at an affordable cost. They tend to grab interest when people see them and often move quickly off our shelves because they actually live up to their name. Not to mention the company continues to listen to their audience and improve and expand upon their offerings. Plus, after meeting the FastBrewing crew, we can easily say that they’re a great bunch of people to grab a drink with, as long as you aren’t in Tijuana.
In this episode, we discuss our favorite new shop toy, The Grainfather, an electric all-in-one all-grain system. It allows you to mash, recirculate, mash-out, sparge, boil, and chill your wort, all in one 5 to 6 gallon system. Several of us have had a chance to try out the Grainfather at home and we’ve been using it regularly at the shop to brew test batches and kit samples. Plus, it’s also being used for experimental batches at local breweries AND we have a growing number of customers who have bought one for themselves after seeing it in action. For this episode, we invited one of those customers--Eric Tomme--into the studio to lend a hand in discussing the details and the pros and cons of the system.
In this episode, we have John Bergher the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Store It Cold, LLC in the studio with us to discuss the innovative temperature controller they created. It’s called the CoolBot and it uses a simple window unit type of air conditioner to help you create your own walk-in cooler out of just about any insulated room. We recently received the CoolBot in store and wanted John to come and tell us about the device, its inspiration, and some of the many uses people have found for it.
In this episode, we start coverage on a topic that we are asked about all the time. Making mead. Honey wine. The stuff vikings guzzled. And though there were no vikings present during recording, we did have the next best thing. Our BJCP Grand Master James Lallande, Who just won first place gold for his Traditional Mead at the 2016 National Homebrew Competition.
Mead sounds like it might be the easiest thing you can ferment, but mead is well known for being difficult to get right without running into flaws. As in the kind of flaws that often ruin people's first experience. Also, they can take forever to be ready. But it can be done! And in a shorter amount of time than you might read about. Luckily, James is here to help discuss his process. Plus, he brought 10 meads made with different honey varietals for us to try and discuss. So, be prepared!
n this episode, we have our conversation with Drew Beechum and Denny Conn about their new book Homebrew All Stars, their experience at NHC 2016 (aka HomebrewCon), and the success of their Experimental Homebrewing book, website, and podcast. We’ve sat down in previous Come and Brew It video and radio segments to talk with Drew and Denny during NHC, so check those out on our blog and youtube page and be sure to visit experimentalbrewing.com to sign up for the IGOR program. At Texas Brewing Inc we strongly support experimenting with your brewing and these guys have created a helluva program for it. Plus, we always enjoy talking with them, so we're glad we could finally find a time to fit everyone's schedules. Plus, after we leave off with Denny and Drew, we discuss an experiment of our own where we made two batches of a recipe for Timothy Taylor’s Landlord (a British Pale Ale) so we could test out Accumash water treatment formulations.
In this episode, we have the good fortune to have Jeff Dietzman and Ned Steel from LUCK in studio with us to talk about beer and food pairing and cooking with beer—a topic near and dear to every homebrewer and craft beer lover’s heart. LUCK stands for Local Urban Craft Kitchen and is the end result “dream restaurant” of co-owners, Dietzman, Steel, and Chef Daniel Pittman. It is located in the Trinity Groves area of West Dallas and offers a variety of craft beer inspired dishes, along with a 40 tap craft beer selection that focuses specifically on local breweries. Their food is also locally sourced when possible and can be described as American comfort food with a Texas twist, which includes dishes that range from the delicious Signature Pastrami (unlike any you’ve had before) to beer ice cream made with beer from their tap wall. We hope they can help educate you on the great potential of combining good beer with good food, whether it’s preparing, serving, or simply enjoying with good folk.
In this episode, we have the folks behind the Best Little Brew Fest in Texas back in studio just a week after the 2016 festival to update us on how this year went and tell us about the future of the festival. If you have been listening regularly, we last spoke to them in episode 12 when they introduced us to what the festival is all about. Then, later in the show, we hope they can stick around to sample and discuss German wheat beers. The dominant characteristics and some approaches to brewing them. We’ve had a recent set of awards for our Sam Houston Hefeweizen recipe and felt like it was time to pay some tribute.
In this episode, we bring you another installment about the craft retail perspective by having Cristall Heisch in studio with us to tell us about her place, The Sleepy Panther Bottle Shop. She opened her small corner store earlier in 2016 with a complete focus on craft beer, mead, and cider, allowing her to share her passion for both beverages AND stay open on Sundays! Cristall has been involved in the distribution side and has been a long time supporter of both craft beer and homebrew, so we thought she’d be a great new perspective for our craft retail series. We hope y’all enjoy and be sure to visit her shop at 1208 Mangolia Ave in Fort Worth to check it out!
In this episode, we talk to the guys from Pedernales Brewing Co out of Fredericksburg, TX, including a phone conversation with Pedernales CEO, Lee Hereford. Together they can fill us in on the history and future direction of Pedernales Brewing and its increasing line of beers. And while we’re at it, we'll try and discuss some samples of their special and regular offerings.
In this episode, with the oppressive Texas heat already pushing summer in hard on all of us, we decided to return to our thoughts on brewing for the summer with a specific focus on chilling. Plus, we talk about brewing one of the best summer styles, the Belgian Saison.