Four Brewers | Craft Beer and Homebrew Podcast
Episode Eighteen - Oktoberfest!

Season 1, Episode 18 This week, we’re going to Germany and celebrating Oktoberfest!

It’s Oktoberfest! This week on the show, we’re drinking four different German brews, three of which are Oktoberfest beers from PaulanerWeihenstephaner, and Hofbräu, and the last, another beer from Weihenstephaner, their Korbinian doppelbock.

Greg is studying for his Certified Cicerone® exam, and it just so happens that he’s researching Germany and its breweries and beers. Not only did he provide all of the beer for the show this week, he steps up and drops knowledge on the history of Oktoberfest and its beer.

Oktoberfest Beers from Weihenstephaner, Hofbräu, and Paulaner. Also, Weihenstephaner Korbinian Doppelbock for good measure.
Oktoberfest Beers from Weihenstephaner, Hofbräu, and Paulaner. Also, Weihenstephaner Korbinian Doppelbock for good measure.

Oktoberfest began as a festival in 1810 that lasted 16 days, from late September to early October, and celebrated the wedding of Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The beer made for the festival, called Märzen (which means “March”), was traditionally brewed in March, and lagered for four to five months. The 16-day beer-drinking extravaganza was closed with horse races, and then probably a good week or so of recovery.

One really cool thing about these German imports is that they are very high quality brews that are fairly inexpensive. So, get together with your buddies, buy a couple cases of German brews, and learn about the roots and history of beer.

Until next week, brew the shit out of it! Prost!

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Direct download: Episode_Eighteen_-_Oktoberfest.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 12:30am PDT
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Episode Seventeen - Barrelworks and Thumbprints

Season 1, Episode 17 This week we’re trying out some of the awesome beers coming out of Firestone Walker Barrelworks, as well as some midwest flavor from New Glarus.

Firestone Walker is regarded as one of the best breweries in America. From their awarding winning IPA, to their barrel-aged blends, Matt Brynildson and crew definitely know how to bring the radness. So, when a brewery of this caliber decides to start producing sour beer, the outcome is obviously going to be nothing short of incredible, right? Yep!

We start off with the Bretta Weisse, their Berliner style wheat beer. This beer clocks in at 4.9% ABV, and a total acidity of 7. We’re unclear on what exactly an acidity of 7 actually is, but this beer definitely has a nice balance of tartness and and malty-wheat goodness.

Firestone Walker Barrelworks Beers
Firestone Walker Barrelworks Beers

Next on deck from Bottleworks is the Feral One. From Firestone Walker:

“We humbly offer you our inaugural Barrelworks bottling on the occasion of our first anniversary—Feral One. A blend of our best efforts, from hand-selected barrels chosen by the Masterblender and Barrelmeister. Feral One is a blend of Sour Opal (American Sour Ale – 30%), SLOambic (Fruited Sour – 14%), Agrestic (American Wild Red Ale – 16%), and Lil’ Mikkel (Bretted Saison – 40%). Savor now, or age longer for a special occasion. A Santé!”

Needless to say, this beer is quite delicious.

Getting away from the Firestone brews and wrapping up the sour beer part of the show, our friend John Ryti, hooked us up with a New Glarus brew from their Thumbprint series named, Wild Sour Ale. We may have held on to this beer a little longer than we should have, which is kind of a bummer, but high-fives still go out to Ryti for the hookup.

New Glarus Brewing Co. - Wild Sour Ale
New Glarus Brewing Co. – Wild Sour Ale

Feature: “Going In Blind.”

Yvonne joins us for another edition of what is probably our favorite game on the show, Going In Blind. The beers this week were purchased by Matt’s wife, Alicia, and she went out of her way to throw us a curve ball with her selections.

Until next week, brew the shit out of it!

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Direct download: Episode_Seventeen_-_Barrelworks_and_Thumbprints.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 12:30am PDT
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Episode Sixteen - None More Black

Season 1, Episode 16 This week, we go to the dark side and are baptized in the blackest of beers.

 

Roasted in fire, veiled in wax where it stood
Born in the darkness of dark malts and wood
Devoured by organisms, freed spirits drew near
Coating the tongue with the darkest of beers

 

This week, we travel to the deepest parts of our cellar to sacrifice the darkest of beers upon the alter of the internet, to the Beast, called by his disciples, “Palate.”

The ritual begins with a roasted porter implanted with the darkest of coffee beans. Bred for darkness at Smog City Brewing Co.Groundwork Coffee Porter is reminiscent to that of coffee beans drenched in the eternal darkness and evil of chocolate.

Smog City Brewing Co. - Groundwork Coffee Porter
Smog City Brewing Co. – Groundwork Coffee Porter

Born in twilight of a darkening sky in the year 2012, the next victim is an elusive beer that manifests only in the coldest of winters in the northernmost part of the land, from a place known as Hill-Farmstead.

Hill Farmstead – Twilight of the Idols

Twilight of the Idols taps into the deepest of wells for its lifeblood, and is then showered in the wrath of vanilla and coffee. Delivered to us by our brethren in beer, Beer Geek Radio, we toast their generosity and chant their name in the darkest cave in the city of Moreno Valley, California, known to disciples as the den of the Beast.

 

The final slaying is the from the depths of hell itself, Oregon. These final brews, which were laid to rest in barrels of bourbon, one with nibs of Theo, and the other with lurid coffee beans, are bound by time and pure darkness. Known as Black Butte XX and Black Butte XXVI, from the brewery of Deschutes, they are more than six years departed from one another, and yet their bond runs deep. Melting the wax from their fragile, dark, crowns frees them from their grim isolation, only to then be ravaged by the Beast itself. A worthy sacrifice indeed, but the Beast will never find true satisfaction.

Deschutes Brewery Anniversary Beers
Deschutes Brewery Anniversary Beers

 

A black beer brood with the Beast this night
Reigning in malt, damned by his sight
Lick clean the corpses of these casualties, its prey
Now warm and rotting; the fetor of decay

 

May the Beast forever reign.

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Direct download: Episode_Sixteen_-_None_More_Black.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 12:30am PDT
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Episode Fifteen - Straight Outta Massachusetts

Season 1, Episode 15 This week, We ‘mule’ some beer from Massachusetts and up our game with live Google Hangout + IRC Chatroom! 

This week on the show, Greg brings in two beers brought by houseguests @2BeerGuys and@aljpeace from coastal Massachusetts. They were in town for Disneyland and the 2014 Beer Bloggers Conference and left some fun session beers from Notch Brewing Co in the fridge–  Hootenanny Berliner Weisse and Cerne Pivo. Jason hand-muled his beers. Mystic Brewing’s Day of Doom, and Spencer Brewery’s Trappist Ale.

Notch Brewing Beers
Notch Brewing Beers

With Notch’s Hootenanny, we discuss common off flavors in some Berliner Weiss’ like butyric acid, present from oxygen getting in a sour mash. Notch’s is clean and lacto-tart! We also discuss clarity in the style.

We loosen the belt one notch for Notch Brewing’s Černé Pivo, and are shocked at something that is commonly present in most dark lagers, but not this beer. Is it weird? Good? Bad? Listen and find out!

Spencer Trappist Ale is up next…you know, America’s first and only Trappist brewery? Opinions of this newest Trappist brewery have varied widely among beer geeks…but their beer? It caused a chant. Is it Monkenweizer? Freedom Trappists!

Mystic Brewing and Spencer Trappist
Mystic Brewing and Spencer Trappist

Does Jason have right-place-right-time antics? It sure does appear that way, because he scored an exclusive bottle of a pretty awesome brew. Redstone Liquors delivered a bouncing baby Masterson Rye Whiskey Bourbon Barrel aged Day of Doom quad from Mystic that’s very “mystic.” Regardless, it’s a fricken bourbon barrel quad, and the flavors parfait very nicely.

Overall, our trip to Massachusetts was a complete success.

 

 

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Direct download: Episode_Fifteen_-_Straight_Outta_Massachusetts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am PDT
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Episode Fourteen - Matt's Blending Bonanza

Season 1, Episode 14 This week, a show four years in the making. Matt shares four different sours that he brewed in 2010, along with a final blend of the four beers.

This week on the show, we’re going “back in time”, so to speak. We recorded this episode back in June with Denise Ratfield, but it never made it to the interwebs. Well, it’s finally here, and it’s pretty great.

We kick the show off with two stellar beers from Jester King Brewery out Austin, Texas. The first beer on deck is a farmhouse ale called El Cedro, made with Citra hops, aged on Spanish cedar spirals, and bottle conditioned with brettanomyces.

Jester King Beers
Jester King Beers

The next beer on deck was brought to us by Andrew Bell, Matt’s co-worker at The Bruery, who purchased it at Jester King during one of his recent trips to Texas. Nocturn Chrysalis is an oak-aged sour ale made with Marion blackberries from the state of Oregon. This is a rather remarkable beer—almost akin to eating fresh pie. Even though it’s made with blackberries, dark cherry notes are present in the beer, and they blend nicely with the tart and sweet characteristics.

Feature: Homebrew – Matt’s Sours

The last half of the show was very exciting for us. Back in 2010, Matt made 10 gallons of wort and split it up into 2.5 gallon carboys, all of which were destined to become different sour ales that were to be blended to make one final sour. Doing something like this is quite ambitious, and takes time and patience. These beer are evidence that time and patience really do payoff when it comes to homebrewing.

Matt Becker
Matt Becker

Three of the four ales were soured with different strains and blends of bacteria from different yeast providers, White Labs, Wyeast, and East Coast Yeast. The fourth (and best of the bunch) ale was inoculated with dregs from different bottles of commercial sour ales that were all pitched into a yeast starter.

Matt talks about the entire process from brewing to blending while we discuss the different qualities in each of the beers, and then share our thoughts on the final blend.

See you next week! Make some sours! …and be patient.

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Direct download: Episode_Fourteen_-_Matts_Blending_Bonanza.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 12:30am PDT
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