What's a FABTS?

The FABTS is a club of homebrewers, beer aficionados, and anyone with an appreciation for the quality and diversity of great beer! As such, we are dedicated to the responsible enjoyment of beer as a alcohol containing quality food product, made to be shared with other people and other foods. The club was founded in 1996 by Lyle C. Brown, National Beer Judge.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Musings Over a Pint - Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale

Local beer-drinker and FABTS member David Turley maintains a craft beer blog called Musings Over a Pint. I thought his article yesterday regarding a beer for our first snow was great and got me in the mood for a pint or two. The leadoff paragraph is below...


We had our first snow fall of the season today. Nothing substantial, the ground covering didn't last the day, but it looked pretty none-the-less. In addition, the temperature is expected to be in the low 20's tonight. Seemed an apropos time to try out the Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale I picked up last week. ...read more

Typical FABTS Meeting

Here's a typical FABTS meeting, especially when Dave Fredrickson attends.

December FABTS Meeting Beer List (Update 1)

The December FABTS meeting is coming up on December 8, 2007 at Kybecca. We have quite a list of beers going already. If you have anything to add, please let us know.

Lyle Brown
Hook Norton 12 Days (Hook Norton Brewing Co. - Oxon, UK)
Jenlain Noël (Brasserie Duyck - Jenlain, France)
Fantome Speciale Noël (Brasserie Fantôme - Le Village de SOY, Belgium)
Oppigårds Winter Ale (Oppigårds Bryggeri - Hedemora, Sweden)
Nøgne-Ø Winter Ale (Nøgne-Ø Brewing Co. - Grimstad, Norway)
Corsendonk Christmas Beer (Brouwerij Corsendonk - Purnode-Yvoir, Belgium)

Dave Frederickson
Mad Elf Holiday Ale (Troeg's Brewing Co. - Harrisburg, PA)

James Russ
Pursuit of Happiness Winter Warmer (Clay Pipe Brewing Co. - Frederick, MD)
K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale (Flying Dog Brewery - Denver, CO & Frederick, MD)
Bad Elf Winter's Ale (Ridgeway Brewing Co. - Oxfordshire, UK)
Santa's Butt Winter Porter (Ridgeway Brewing Co. - Oxfordshire, UK)
Scaldis Noël (The Dubuisson Brewery - Pipaix, Belgium)
Smuttynose Winter Ale (Smuttynose Brewing Co. - Portsmouth, NH)
Roxy Rolles Winter Amber Seasonale (Magic Hat Brewing Co. - South Burlington, VT)
Odd Notion '07 (Magic Hat Brewing Co. - South Burlington, VT)
Santa's Private Reserve Ale (Rogue Brewing Co. - Newport, OR)
Celebration Ale (Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Chico, CA)
Abita Christmas Ale (Abita Brewing Co. - Abita Springs, LA)
Heavy Seas Winter Storm "Category 5 Ale" (Clipper City Brewing Co. - Baltimore, MD)
Delirium Noël (Brouwerij Huyghe - Melle, Belgium)
'06 Samichlaus Bier (Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg - Vorchdorf, Austria)

Scott Fisher
Stoudt's Winter Ale (Stoudt’s Brewing Co. – Adamstown , PA )
Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout (Ridgeway Brewing – Oxfordshire , UK )

Rob Abbott
1996 Samichlaus Bier (Brauerei Hürlimann AG -- Zurich, Switzerland)

*NOTE* - Hürlimann discontinued production of Samichlaus in 1996 when it was taken over by the Feldschlösschen Brewery. In the following years, many people clamoured for it and finally, in 2000, it returned, this time produced by Schloss Eggenberg.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

October Meeting Notes - by Kevin Brown

1. Wiessen Brau
Or meadow brew as in the meadow in which Oktoberfest is held (supposedly also originally held) after many complaints from locals for a lighter more easily drunk beer some of the brewery’s have started to brew Wiessen Brau instead.

2. Höfbrau München (HB) - Donated by Kybecca
Joe - “Smell the aroma carefully. Sharp and pungent then immediately behind that, something like concord grapes, sweet like taste, Saaz.”
Dave - “Like a Heineken Plus.”
Joe - “That’s what Heineken is take the to the lowest common denominator and you get Heineken.”
Dave - “eh… I'm an ale guy.”

3. Weihenstaphaner Festbier
Hallertauer - more malt sweeter

4. Saranac Oktoberfest
Honey in the nose, toatsy and thin

5. Lancaster Oktoberfest
Diacetyl - Diacetyl is a product of yeast more so in lagers and the way you get rid of it is bring the temperature up to 60°F for two days and the yeast will consume a lot of the diacetyl.

6. Mendocino Oktoberfest
Very dry, like the way it pours, nice crowned head

7. Dominion Oktoberfest
Little old, roasted barley is obviously used to bring up the colour

8. Legend Oktoberfest - Donated by Kybecca
Dave - “I note something about diacytel, its got ass right in the middle of it."
Kevin - “When diacytel is really strong like this it kind of reminds me of strawberries and cream, like the fake flavour used in processed food."

9. Blue and Grey Oktoberfest
It's an old bottle when fresh this years was amazing, but this was a disappointment.

10. Stoudt’s Oktoberfest
It's decocted (take the thickest part of the mash and boil it and throw it back into the kettle, this converts a portion of the sugars to malliard browning reactions.
Dave - "Man that’s good shit."

11. Dogfish Head Dogtoberfest
Very nice, honey

12. Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest
All Hallertauer, identifiable as the Märzen

13. Paulaner
The malty cousin of Hacker-Pschorr with very similar flavours.
Joe - “Very nice.”

14. Spaten Oktoberfest

15. Clipper City Balto MärzHon
Acetalaldehyde (green apple) and a lot of acetone.
Dave - “Asselaldahyde, Assetlyahyde!"

16. Bell ’s Oktoberfest
Lyle “2nd best made in America. I say 2nd because Victory Festbier is first.”

17. Victory Festbier
Toast not roast. It got a gold in Vienna category.
The depth there... that’s the decocotion. It gives such a depth that it shows dramatically the significance of decoction.

** Other discussions **
Schneider und Sohn is the first non-Royal brewery allowed to brew wheat beers as before only royalty could brew with wheat, (Hopfen Weiss by Brooklynn and Schneider, but its for a very specific tongue you either love or hate it, very hoppy and very phenolic.)

Biergarten in Portsmouth has Eisbock on tap (the Aventinus Eisbock is where they take their weizenbock and freeze it removing the ice from the beer thus concentrating the flavor and alc % )

There are three main stays for supplies: B3 or Beer Beer and More Beer (www.morebeer.com), www.Williamsbrewing.com, and Homebrew USA (this one is for those events “oops I brew tomorrow and I need this”). A few others such as Northern Brewer and My Local Homebrew Shop (in DC 7 corners).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

5th Annual Blue & Gray Octoberfest

On Saturday September 29th, Blue and Gray Brewing Company of Fredericksburg, VA held their 5th annual Octoberfest. And while the Bowman Center in Fredericksburg can't match the atmosphere of "die Wiesn" in Munich, it was a great gathering.

The historical background: the first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race.

In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September. By moving the festivities up, it allowed for better weather conditions. Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over “die Wiesen” or the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.
The Blue and Gray Octoberfest started the first year I moved to the region, 2002. Some of the mainstays have been at the festival since the beginning. Beer, Brats and Bavarian music. The beers this year were all of the normal Fredericksburg Brewing Company line of beers, Fred Red, Falmouth American Pale Ale, the Classic Lager and Stonewall Stout. I sampled the American Pale Ale. The hop character hits you right away with this beer. I think it's a little overpowering. The Fred Red has a malty sweetness and little hop flavor. I talked with some of the brewers there and they say that they make a 50/50, Half Falmouth, half Fred Red to balance out the flavor.

They had a little bit of the Hefeweizen left but that was tapped out in the first half hour. The other two specialty beers were a Baron von Steuben Oktoberfest lager and a Temporary Insanity Imperial Stout. The Oktoberfest was brewed back in February and has been lagering since then. It has a dark amber color and caramel malty flavor. As it warmed up I noticed hints of chestnuts. The beer drinks as smooth as milk with the bitterness hitting your tongue at the end. A very good Fest.

The Temporary Insanity Imperial Stout poured an opaque black with a tan head. The beer was medium-bodied and its mouth feel was a little thin for the style. But the beer had a great taste of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Due to its 11% ABV you felt every swallow of beer on its way to the stomach. Very nice.

The entertainment provided was what you expect at Oktoberfest. German band "The Low N Brows" provided enough polka and waltzes for the crowd to get into the groove and played the "Ein Prosit" German drinking song enough to get the author thoroughly buzzed in the few hours we were there. The Spotsylvania Sheriff's K-9 Department also put on a demonstration of their tracking abilities. I knew I had had enough when I started heckling a cop. Cut me off!

The crowd at the festival was very jovial and was still having a good time when I left. Congratulations to the Blue and Gray Brewing Company for putting on a great Oktoberfest.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

BMWs and Craft Brewing

Every labor day BMW hosts a homecoming for the Z3 and Z4 cars that were built in their plant in Greenville / Spartanburg, SC. The 2007 BMW Homecoming was BMW's 11th year of doing this and the first year Angela and I went. There were over 600 Z3's and Z4's at the reunion. On Saturday morning they take a panoramic picture of all of them in from of the very plant where they were created. It was an awesome experience.

During the weekend we had a chance to visit the local brewpub, The Blue Ridge Brewing Company. Prior to 1995, in South Carolina you could not legally open a brew pub. Then, Bob Hiller lobbied the state and won. In 1995, the Blue Ridge Brewing Company officially opened its doors for business. All of their beers are brewed on site by brewmaster Jay Simpson.

The Blue Ridge Brewing company is located in Downtown Greenville. We found downtown Greenville to be very nice, very clean, and appealing. Tree-lined streets and a river running through downtown with a waterfall. The Blue Ridge Brewing Company fits in very well; a nice atmosphere inside with outside sidewalk seating in summer.

Angela and I enjoyed the outside weather and settled in to sample a few beers. I started with their Colonel Paris Pale Ale and Angela had their Kurli Blonde Ale. You got to love a Pale Ale with a great Cascade nose. As this was a warm day, the Pale Ale went down too fast. The Kurli Blonde was an American-style wheat beer. Another one that was easily drinkable on a warm day.
For a snack Angela and I had the Southwestern Quesadilla. It was loaded with Smoked Chicken, Black Beans, Roasted Peppers, Cilantro, Onions, Artichoke Hearts, and Cheese. To wash it down I had their Double Ball and Chain High Gravity IPA. From their menu it states that this beer is overflowing with Chinook, Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial hops. At 110 IBU and 10% abv, it was a perfect match to the spicy quesadilla.
After we finished the quesadilla I had room for one more. I decided to try their Rye Patch Pale Ale. There was definite rye character in the nose, but a different mixture of hops were used as compared to the Colonel Paris Pale Ale. This beer finished a little more dry than that 0ne as well. This was their new seasonal that they had just tapped less than a week earlier. We just missed out on their Hurricane Hefe Weizen.
The other beers they had on tap were the Rainbow Trout ESB and their Total Eclipse Stout. I wasn't expecting much but was pleaseantly surprised with the quality of the beers at Blue Ridge Brewing Company. They also offer us these rules to live by.

- James

Rules to Live By:

  • In all things, practice moderation. Except with regard to beer, ale, and whiskey.
  • Be kind to animals, children, the elderly, and anyone or anything else that can fetch you a pint.
  • If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Better yet, trade the damn lemons for some barley and yeast and brew yourself some ale.
  • Silence is golden, but ale is goldener.
  • Patience is a virtue. Remember this when letting the pint settle.
  • The truth shall set you free. This does not apply when the question is "How many pints have you had?"
  • Never use profanity. Except when the^%$#@&! damn pub has closed.
  • Never leave a pint undrained; It gives the glass low self-esteem.
  • Always choose your words carefully, especially if you're slurring.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

3rd Annual Shockoe Craft Beer Festival

Angela and I went to the 3rd annual Shockoe Craft Beer Festival on Friday night. After a stressful week for both of us, going and having beers with hundreds of strangers seemed like something that would help our moods. It did!

We decided against driving back from the festival and got a room at the Marriott in Richmond. It’s located about 5 blocks away from the festival location – walking / stumbling distance. The beer fest was held in Kanawha Plaza in downtown Richmond. Admission to the event was $15 for one day/$25 for two. We opted for one day’s worth of fun. Along with the admission you received a 6 ounce plastic pilsner tasting glass as well as 5 tasting tickets. Additional tickets were $1 apiece. The location of the event was great for the size of the crowd on Friday night. It was fairly intimate and not long lines to wait for beer. I kept telling Angela that come Saturday, I assumed the place would be a madhouse.

I’ve been to numerous beer festivals in California when I lived out there and I’ve been to a couple of the Old Dominion festivals. So, I knew what to expect. Angela had never been to beer fest before and was surprised that it was outdoors. The beer selection didn’t disappoint. There were 25 -30 brewery tents each pouring 2 or more of their offerings. A lot of the brewers were also pouring kegs from other breweries as well. The best thing about going to beer fest with someone is that you can taste two separate beers at each tent. That way you get half as hammered as you would be if you tried to taste all of the different beers. Angela and I went through about $40 worth of drink tickets.

We started the day with Troegs Hopback Amber and Dreamweaver Wheat as we perused the park. The Hopback Amber was malty and has a flowery nose. The Dreamweaver Wheat was spicy with clove notes. It’s funny how each tent nearly had the same types of beers. Most had a Pale Ale and either a Wheat or IPA. So, For Pale Ales, by far my favorite was Bluegrass American Pale Ale by Bluegrass Brewing Company in Louisville, Kentucky. There were a ton of wheats and I thought the best one was Richmond’s own Legend Brewing’s Hefeweisen. It had an intense aroma of bananas, cloves, and pepper. The initial flavor is sharp and tart, yielding to a little malty sweetness in the middle. It was very refreshing on a hot afternoon.

For the IPAs it was a tie between my favorite regional brewer out here Delaware’s Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and the Double Simcoe IPA from Weyerbacher Brewing Co. in Pennsylvania. I was disappointed in Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche. This was supposed to be a peach-flavored Berliner-Weisse. To me the peach flavor was totally overcome by the tartness and sourness of the beer. Maybe it’s just not my style. The other notable beers from the day were Clipper City’s Uber Pils. Angela and I went back for this one 3 times.

There were a few food vendors there that had BBQ, brats, and Mediterranean fare. Angela and I had the BBQ from ExtraBilly’s Smokehouse and Brewery. It was very good. Haley Scion of Richmond was one of the sponsors and gave out the most schwag. We got tshirts, sweatshirts and coffee mugs. They also had free pizza. Angel specifically enjoyed one token received from Flying Dog Brewery. She thought she was picking up some matches and it turned out to hide a condom. The other good schwag was from Oskar Blues Brewery. Free coozies, stickers, and mug holder necklaces.

As the night wore on Angela and I settled down to listen to the live music. It was mostly Bluegrass which neither of us like. The first act was the Shockoe Bottom Boys, then Billy Ray Hatley and the Showdogs finishing with Jackass Flatts who were the most talented of the bunch.

We decided to walk back to the Marriott after the festival completed at 10pm. While the walk to the site was no problem, we didn’t realize that the walk back was all up hill. Sweat was pouring off our backs by the time we made it back to the room. We were never so appreciative of air conditioning. We had a great time and are looking forward to next year’s. Let’s plan now for a FABTS trip.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Beer Radio

I am a big Howard Stern fan. So when he moved his show to Sirius satellite radio, I had to make the decision to either pay or not for the show. I've been a subscriber since December 2005 and while I still listen to Howard, what I found is the rest of Sirius is great. No commercial music channels are great!

I heard there's a show on Saturday afternoon dedicated to beer. It's supposed to be on Sirius Channel 147 from 4-6pm. Here's the description of the show from their website. I will try and check it out today and report here with a review of the show.

NOTE: The podcast for the show is available in iTunes, but the last show they have on there is from April 28th. Hopefully, the show is still on. I'll let you know.


Welcome to Beer Radio!

Cheers! Raise your glass high for Beer Radio, the official radio program of the United States Beer Drinking Team! As the only internationally broadcast radio program dedicated to the "sister and brotherhood of beer" we bring a frothy episode of Beer Radio to you live every Saturday in the USA and Canada as well as streaming and podcast around the world over the Internet.

Each week we bring brew to you. As the first "all beer; all the time" show dedicated to your best beer on your best day with your best buddies, we talk about all everything you want to hear including Beer Radio host talk with Ray "Redstar" Hoffman and Tim "Beerman" Gallagher talking about their great beer week, Beer Radio news and lifestyle report with "Chicago Bill" Krejci, Beer and fitness report with former U.S. Navy Seal, Stew Smith, "America's Beer Authority", Gary Monterosso with the Beer Radio Draft Report, "Beer Adventurer" Alex Wolf reporting from the land of sky blue water, "Beer Evangelist" and former "Beer Drinker of the Year", John Marioni reporting from Beer Land in America's great northwest ...... and a lot more.

You can call into Beer Radio live each Saturday from 4-6PM eastern time @ 866-USBDT-Beer (866-872-3823) and let's talk beer!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Drinking Appreciation TV Shows

At the August FABTS meeting we briefly discussed a few TV shows that focus on the appreciation of drinking adult beverages. The shows are Three Sheets, Beer Nutz and Uncorked with Billy Merritt. The shows are on the HDTV MOJO network. MOJO is available on Comcast Spotsylvania/Stafford channel 774 and Cox Communications channel 710.

Three Sheets is an international drinking tour with comedian Zane Lamprey who takes you around the world to master the local drinking customs. The show is funny while being informative. I have seen shows about Tequilas, Rums, Champagne and Irish beer. There was a great show recently about Sake'.

Beer Nutz limits itself to US beer travel. While this show should appeal to our group, it's the most uninteresting of the three. The best thing about this show is that they go to various different places in the US and highlight the brewpubs and microbreweries of the area. The worst part of the show is that they give the various brewers/drinkers/places a rating. The rating system which they use to give people and places from 1 to 5 "kegs". For some reason, MOJO does not have a home page for the show but doing a search on their site brings up an episode list. I've linked to it above.

Uncorked with Billy Merritt is about a beer guy trying to make the leap to wine snob. The good thing about this show is that he's willing to ask the dumb question so you don't have to. Sometimes the hosts acts a little stupid, which gets a little annoying, but you end up learning from his feigned ignorance.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

August FABTS Meeting

August is non-barley month at the FABTS meeting. We will also have the owner of Blacksnake Meadery here as guest speaker, plus may have an additional, surprise guest. Here's the list of the different beverages.

  • 5 different sakes
  • Sparkling Dessert Sake

  • Piore Granit - A Perry made from pears grown on 300 year old legacy trees, in Normandy, France by Eric Bordelet.
  • Sydre Argelette - Another Eric Bordelet Perry made by the same company from 100 year old trees.
  • Cidre Doux - An apple cider from Eric Bordelet from legacy apple trees.
  • Aspall Dry English "draft" cider
  • Normandy Cider

  • 2 different Hilltop Berryfarm Rockfish River Cyser (one sweet, one dry) (VA)
  • Redstone Juniper Mead (CO)
  • Redstone Blackraspberry mead (CO)
  • Redstone Cinnamon Vanilla Mead (CO)
  • Iqhilika South African Bird's Eye Chile Mead (SA)
  • Misty Mtn Wildfower and Ginger mead (VA)
  • Misty Mtn traditional mead (VA)
  • White Winter Cyser (WI)
  • Chouchen Oak Aged mead (Brittany, France)
  • Polish Mead
  • Carrolls Mead (Washingtonville. NY)

Summer = Less Content

I have not been in the mood to update the website since the weather's been nice. I missed the last FABTS meeting and it was one I was looking forward to (Pale Ales). Alas, as summer is also wedding season, Angela and I were at a friends wedding. I couldn't say I hated it, everyone knows I like to get my groove on. Not to mention my two favorite words in the English language - Open Bar!

Look for more updates as the days get shorter and colder.


Friday, June 22, 2007

June FABTS Beer List

Here's the list of beers that we are going to taste tomorrow at the June FABTS meeting. I'm sure we won't tasted all of them as the list is quite long.
  • Bell's Oberon Ale (Summer Wheat) (Rob)
  • Julius Echter Hefe-Weizen (Rob)
  • Widmer Hefe-Weizen (Rob)
  • Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat (Scott)
  • Lancaster's Strawberry Wheat (Scott)
  • Abita Strawberry Lager (Scott)
  • Paulaner Hefe-Weizen (Joe)
  • Mahrs Der Weisse Bock (Joe)
  • Franziskaner Weissbier (Joe)
  • Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier (Joe)
  • Half Moon Hefeweizen (Joe)
  • Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat (Joe)
  • Leinenkugel's Berry Weissbier (Joe)
  • Pyramid Apricot Weizen (Joe)
  • Pyramid Hefeweizen (Joe)
  • Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner-style Weisse (Joe)
  • Brauerei Weihenstephan 1809 (Joe)
  • B&G Virginia Hefeweizen (Joe)
  • Jan De Lichte Dubbel Wit (Lyle)
  • Floris Wit Blanche (Lyle)
  • Ayinger Ur-Weisse (Lyle)
  • Ayinger Brau Weisse (Lyle)
  • Wurzburger Julius Echter Dunkel Heffe-weizen (Lyle)
  • Hoegarden (Lyle)
  • Allagash White (Lyle)
  • Widmer Wheat (Lyle)
  • Penn Weizen (Lyle)
  • Redhook Sun Rye (Lyle)
  • Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat (Lyle)
  • Jan De Lichte Dubbel Wit (Lyle)
  • Floris Wit Blanche (Lyle)
  • Ayinger Ur-Weisse (Lyle)
  • Ayinger Brau Weisse (Lyle)
  • Wurzburger Julius Echter Dunkel Heffe-weizen (Lyle)
  • Dogfish Head Zwaanend'ale (Kevin)
  • Rob IPA
  • Scott Scotch Ale and another variety

Sunday, May 27, 2007

3rd Bowie Baysocks Beer Dinner

Are you ready for Thursday, June 14th!! It is time for the "Red, White, & Brew Beer Dinner”, our 3rd installment of our famous Beer Dinners for the 2007 Season!

Beers for the evening include:
  • Penn Pilsner
  • Penn Dark Lager
  • Penn Gold Lager
  • Penn Weizen
  • Draft To Be Determined
Menu Selections for the evening include:
  • Caesar Salad Station
  • Jalapeno Poppers
  • Beer Steamed Peel & Eat Shrimp
  • Roasted Pork Loin with Beer Sauce
  • Philly Cheese Steaks (with real bread from Philly!!)
  • Penn Pilsner Beer Braised Bratwurst and Onions
  • Fresh Garden Vegetables & Wild Rice Blend
  • Root Beer Floats with Ice Cream
You must contact Matt McLaughlin directly to sign up. The deadline for this event is Tuesday, June 12th at 5:00 PM. All tickets are held at will call the night of the event.

Thursday, June 14th at 7:05 pm, the Baysox take on the Harrisburg Senators, “AA” Affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Gates will open at 6:00 pm and the event runs until 9:00 pm with unlimited beer and food!

Please share this flier with your family, friends, and colleagues. I look forward to seeing you on Friday!


Matt McLaughlin
Group Events Manager
Bowie Baysox Baseball Club
301-464-4890 - direct
301-464-4911 - fax

Meeting Schedule for Jun-Oct 2007

June 23rd: Wheat and Rye beers; Joe will lead

July 14th: Pale Ales and IPAs, but NO Imperials. Lyle will lead

August 11th: Non-barley month, we will have the owner of BlacksnakeMeadery as special guest; Lyle will lead (Blacksnake makes a dry,carbonated, hopped mead, and I have at least one special, dry mead tobring, so don't be afraid it will all be too sweet)

Sept 8th: Imperials, all kinds; Joe will lead

Oct 20th: Oktoberfest (what else)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Pairing Beer with Food

What tastes best with a pilsner or a stout? For winies, matching food with wine has become second nature. Have no fear, the article provides some great examples of how to match beer with your meals.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

April FABTS Meeting

For April 14th FABTS sessiong we will be sampling Trappist ales. The meeting is changing venues this month. We will be at BANGKOK BOULEVARD. Address: 1300 Central Park Blvd. (Map). Phone: 540/785-7370. We will start at 1:30pm. Please remember to thank Chad for offering us a place to meet.

Beers we have for this month:

  • Konigshoffen Dubbel, Tripel and Quadrupel (Lyle Brown)
  • Rochefort 6, 8 and 10 (Lyle Brown)
  • Achel Blonde and Achel Bruin (Lyle Brown)
  • 2005 Orval (James Russ)
  • Westmalle Tripel (Rob Abbott)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bowie Baysox Beer Dinner

Get ready for Friday, April 13th!! The Baysox are proud to offer "Spring Fling”, our 1st of Five Beer Dinners for the 2007 Season!

Beers for the evening include:

  • Blue Moon Draft with an orange slice
  • HOP-OCALYPSE India Pale Ale
  • Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat
  • Red Hook’s spring seasonal Copper Hook
  • Widmer Hefeweizen
  • "NEW” ZIMA Tangerine

Menu Selections for the evening include:

  • Fresh Spring Mix Salad
  • Mixture of Assorted Appetizers’
  • Spring Mussels in Blue Moon
  • Beer BBQ Pork Ribs
  • Fish Taco Bar
  • Spring Sliders
  • Beer Baked Beans
  • Assorted Dessert

You must contact Matt McLaughlin, Group Events Manager, Bowie Baysox Baseball Club directly to sign up. The deadline for this event is Tuesday, April 10th at 5:00 PM. Matt's contact information is (301)464-4890 or mmclaughlin(at)baysox.com. All tickets are held at will call the night of the event.

Friday, April 13th at 7:05 pm, the Baysox take on the Akron Aeros, “AA” Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Gates will open at 6:00 pm and the event runs until 9:00 pm with unlimited beer and food!

Also please save that date of May 10th for the second installment of the famous Baysox Beer Dinners.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Session #2 - Dubbels

Alan from A Good Beer Blog is hosting the 2nd edition of The Session. The Session is a virtual beer review where a style is chosen and writers will post their review of the beer. The style for April is Dubbels. The date everyone will post their review is April 6th.

Some classic Belgian examples are Westmalle, St. Paul, Affligem, Bornem, Grimbergen and Ename.

Friday, March 23, 2007

32 Things You Can Do with Beer

Now I can finally get rid of that Coors Light that someone brought over about a year ago. I have a few wild eyebrow hairs that need taming.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

MADD Uses Bogus Stats to Chip Away Our Rights

MADD is using bogus statistics to push its agenda of prohibition. It first tried to make people register beer kegs like guns. Now it wants all first-time DUI offenders to be required to have ignition interlock devices.

read more | digg story

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Session - Blue Fin Stout

For the first Beer Blogging Friday the style of the month is Irish Stouts. I chose to profile Shipyard Brewing's Blue Fin Stout. Shipyard Brewing has been brewing beers out of Portland Maine since 1992 and according to their website, Blue Fin Stout was first produced in August, 1993 and is a classic Irish stout. As such, my review will compare this beer to the classic example Guinness and be broken down into four parts: appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel and memorableness.


As the picture shows, the color of the beer is black, with a tan head, not the white head that you get with Guinness. The head diminished fast to a thin line. During the pour I commented that the beer appeared oily as it filled the glass. (2 out of 3 points)


Great chocolate malt and coffee aromas. Almost imperceptible hop aroma and no off odors were detected. I was worried about how this beer was handled as it was a selection from my subscription to the Beer of the Month club. As a side note, I have had my subscription for 3 months now and am satisfied with the selections and the quality and care of the beers I received. (3 out of 4 points)

Taste and Mouthfeel

As I took my first taste, based on the oily appearance, I was expecting heavy mouthfeel. I was shocked when I sloshed it around. The mouth feel was thinner than most stouts, Guinness included. I would say that it was too thin. I didn't get the creamy mouthfeel you'd expect. The flavor made up for the mouthfeel. I tasted bitter chocolate and roasted coffee. I also get a little sour notes, which is what you can expect in a stout. The beer finished dry and less bitter than Guinness, which I don't count as a negative. (6 out of 10 points)


The beer was good, not great. The kind of beer you would be happy to get in a brewpub, but not one that would be sought out as a crowning achievement. (2 out of 3 points)

Overall Impression

Stouts are not my favorite, so I'm trying to be objective with my evaluation. Blue Fin has a taste that meets the style with a mouthfeel that doesn't. The beer was very drinkable although probably not a great example of the style. While I liked it, I only evaluated it as good. Total: 13 out of 20 points.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

March Meeting Beer List

The style of the month for March is Belgian Beers. Kevin Brown started the beer list for the meeting this month. Here's the list currently of the beers that are being brought to the 17 March FABTS meeting.

Kevin Brown
  • Hoegaarden (Whitbier)
  • Leffe Blond (Belgian Blond)
  • Duvel (Belgian Strong Golden)
  • Angelique (Belgian Dark Strong Ale)

  • James Russ
  • 2005 Orval
  • de Boomgaard Peche Lambic (Peach)
  • de Boomgaard Tropicale Lambic (Mango / Spice)
  • Biere Du Boucanier Golden Ale
  • Joseph Spelt Ale

    Let me know what you're bringing to the meeting. Also, what's your opinion of good snacks for the Belgian's? Angela and I were contemplating this over a bottle of Cantillion at Bangcock Blvd. We thought that sweet snacks would complement the sour nature of the Gueze and Lambics. Your thoughts?
  • Saturday, February 24, 2007

    March Meeting - Belgian Beers

    The style of the month for March is Belgian Beers. If last year's tasting is any indication your pallet will be throughly entertained. There are a wide range of styles within the Belgian beer family. We'll be sampling examples from the following styles:

  • Lambics
  • Wheat Beers
  • Brown Ales
  • Red Beers
  • Saisons
  • Trappist & Abbey Beers
  • Belgian Ales
  • Golden Ales
  • Speciality Ales

  • To learn more about Belgian beers, here are some resources to check out.

    A Beginner's Guide to Belgian Beer
    BJCP Belgian and French Ale
    BJCP Sour Ale
    BJCP Belgian Strong Ale
    The Multimedia Guide to Belgian Beer

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    1st Beer Blogging Friday - Stouts

    Food bloggers have their own cooking day once a month. Wine bloggers have Wine Blogging Wednesday. Beer bloggers take a turn March 2, and the theme is "Not your father's Irish stout." The beer blog Appellation Beer is hosting the first mass beer tasting.

    According to Appellation Beer, the rules are simple. Simply pour yourself a stout (or stouts) and post on the topic March 2, looking ahead to St. Patrick’s Day or not and writing about any stout that isn’t Guinness, Murphy’s or Beamish (the Irish old guard - good beers but we’re writing about others).

    If you want to participate, I can post your review on this site.

    - James

    Monday, February 19, 2007

    Club Discussion Spotlight - Sanitizing Brewing Equipment

    There was a great discussion on sanitizing brewing equipment and bottles at the club meeting on February 17th. One of our members brought in a couple bottle of homebrew where one of the bottle foamed excessively. He said that this happened on "a number of bottles" in a five gallon batch.

    The main theory over the cause of this was a wild yeast somewhere in the fermenting equipment, the transfer tubing or the bottles. The recommended treatment was to throw out all the old tubing and do a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of all the bottles and carboys.

    A number of sanitizing products and procedures were discussed. I went out to scour the web for homebrew cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

    John Palmer's How to Brew
    Steve Bader - Simplifying Cleaning and Sanitizing for Home Brewers
    Brew Your Own Mr. Wizard - Hose Longevity Discussion

    - James

    Saturday, February 17, 2007

    Old Dominion Coming to Celebrate Virginia

    Partially deciphering some PR-speak, it appears that there are plans for an Old Dominion Brew House at the "WorldStreet retail complex" at "Celebrate Virginia," a "retail resort" in Fredericksburg, Virginia, scheduled to open in 2008.

    In case anyone else missed them (as I did), I'll throw in links to a Post article and blog mention of the Old Dominion Brew House at the convention center.

    Brewery's Dominion Extends Downtown
    By Fritz Hahn
    Special to The Washington Post
    Friday, February 9, 2007

    A Bit of the Old Dominion in DC
    Washington Post
    Jan 17, 2007

    Beer Guzzlers rejoice! The Ultimate Beer Glass.

    "We wanted to create a glass that offers beer lovers a full sensory drinking experience by fully showcasing Samuel Adams Boston Lager's complex balance of malt and hop flavors. This glass achieves that mission." -Jim Koch --- Set contains 4 glasses (beer not included!) - $30.

    Is it me or does this look like an upside down Coke bottle?

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Spirit of Free Beer Homebrew Contest

    If anyone is interested in jumping into the competition world, Joe is organizing the Spirit of Free Beer (SOFB) homebrew competition this year. Details below.

    Spirit of Free Beer XV
    Ashburn, VA
    Contact: Joe Gherlone
    Phone: (202)767-1464
    Entry Fee: $6.00
    Entry Deadline: 05/04/2007

    Competition Schedule

    Monday, February 12, 2007

    Beer List for February

    Reminder! Our February FABTS meeting is this Saturday, February 17th. The meeting starts at 1:30pm at Kybecca. February's Style of the Month is Barleywine and Old Ale. Here's the list of beers that are going to be served.

    Joe Gherlone
  • Homebrew Wheatwine (Sep. 05)
  • Homebrew Barleywine (Sep. 05)
  • Victory Old Horizontal (Dec. 04)
  • Victory Old Horizontal (Dec. 06)
  • Flying Dog Horn Dog (05)
  • Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot (06)
  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (06)
  • Brooklyn Monster Ale (04)
  • Brooklyn Monster Ale (05)
  • Clipper City Below Decks (05)
  • Clipper City Below Decks (06)
  • Old Dominion Brewing Company Oak-Aged Millennium (Nov. 06)
  • North Coast Old Stock Ale (04)

  • Kevin Brown
  • Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn Ale

  • Lyle Brown
  • Legend Brewing Company Barleywine
  • 2 Specials from Japan (possibly Yoho Vintage Barleywine?)(courtesy of Michael Jackson's Rare Beer Club)

  • Please leave a comment on the beer(s) you will be bringing.

    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Google Maps + Beer = Greatest Site Ever!

    If you are like me and the originator of beermapping.com and you like beer and maps, then you may have found the internet version of Beer-vana. beermapping.com is a project by someone who likes knowing exactly where he is and how far he needs to go for good beer.

    The site lets you search by location for breweries and brewpubs. Fredericksburg's own brewery, Blue & Gray Brewing Company is represented. (Map)

    It also has a great list of city specific maps that include Brewpubs, Breweries, Beer Bars, Beer Stores and Homebrew Stores. The map for Washington DC is great. (Map)

    One of the coolest things about the site is if you want to plan a trip centered around a brewery/brewpub visit, it allows you to do a local search around the brewpub/brewery. Find the brewery that you would like to visit, center on it and zoom in fairly close. Now that you have the location centered, you can click the small “Google” icon on the bottom left of the map and it will transport you to a Google Local search page. Through this search feature, you can search for “hotels”, or “pizza” or pretty much anything in the area that you are looking at. Want to do an overnight brewery visit? This is how you can find somewhere to stay.

    Check it out. travel to beermapping.com

    Thousands of vintage beer cans in the garbage - Pics

    I'm sure these pics will make the hearts of the Blue Gray show participants break. Somewhere in Minneapolis two garbage dumpsters full of vintage beer cans were thrown out. Wow!

    Friday, February 9, 2007

    Beer of the Month Club: February Selections

    This months shipment from the Beer of the Month Club included selections from Clipper City Brewing Company of Baltimore, MD (Map), and Two Brothers Brewing Company of Chicago, IL(Map).

    The beers from Clipper City Brewing included:
  • Peg Leg Imperial Stout
  • Gold Ale

    The beers from Two Brothers Brewing included:
  • The Bitter End Pale Ale
  • Domaine DuPage French Country Ale

    The Beer of the Month Club ships you twelve, 12-oz. bottles of beer each month in a great container for shipping beer. These containers will be given away at each FABTS meeting.

  • Sunday, February 4, 2007

    The Blue Gray Breweriana Show

    The annual Blue Gray Beer Can and Breweriana Show is held in Fredericksburg, on President's Day weekend every year. It's one of the biggest shows of its kind in the country and one of the best! This year the show runs from Feb. 14 - Feb. 18. Click on the title above to go to the show's official site.

    Some die-hard FABTS members are planning on attending all the days. I believe there was talk of most of the group heading to the show on Friday night. Discuss your plans in the comments below.

    Thursday, February 1, 2007

    Style of the Month: Barleywine and Old Ale

    This month we will be tasting and discuss two styles of ales: Barleywine and Old Ale. Below are some links that describe the different styles and provides a few examples.

    Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guide
    All About Beer
    Beer Advocate

    Old Ale:
    BJCP Style Guide
    All About Beer
    Beer Advocate

    Please comment on your favorite example of each style or a quick story about the first time you tried them.

    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    Message from Joe


    After the discussion yesterday re: our schedule, I thought I'd send out an update covering the next two meetings. If there is anything that you didn't think we agreed to, please shout - there were about a dozen conversations occurring simultaneously at one point, so there are probably plenty of points I missed.

    February 17th: Style of the Month - Barleywine and Old Ale. Yes, I know this is the last day of the Blue & Gray Breweriana Show, and most of us plan to attend. However, a quick poll of February dates indicated that no one was available except this date. So we'll go with it. So far, I've got:

    March 17th: Style of the Month - Belgian beer. Belgian beer is a good St.Patrick's Day brew -- it is not green, but it is beer!! If Sam Calagione releases the spirulina beer again, we'll have to make sure we have that, but otherwise, we'll try for a Belgian tour de force.

    Later months were discussed, but we also discussed another offline meeting to work up a longer range sked to include some field trips and group efforts, so we'll wait for that for anything after March.

    btb, I'll be brewing next Saturday, so if you want to drop by, shout.

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Beer of the Month Club: January Selections

    This months shipment from the Beer of the Month Club included selections from Shipyard Brewing Company of Portland, ME (Map), and Brooklyn Brewery of Brooklyn, NY (Map).

    The beers from Shipyard Brewing included:
  • Prelude Special Ale
  • Bluefin Stout

  • The beers from Brooklyn Brewery included:
  • Brooklyn Brown Ale
  • Brooklyn Lager

  • The Beer of the Month Club ships you twelve, 12-oz. bottles of beer each month in a great container for shipping beer. These containers will be given away at each FABTS meeting.