Monthly Archives: January 2010

Beer Profile: Mendocino Bock Beer

Mendocino Brewing
Saratoga Springs, NY

Profiled by Ken Carman

I’ve been by this brewery more than a few times, but never stopped. It’s in a factory like facility just slightly north of downtown Saratoga. It was a local brewery by another name before Mendocino bought it out. I would assume they still have a brewery out west as well, though their site seems a little vague under contact information.

Greeted by a nice, somewhat, deep gold when poured. Small but nice head. Caramel aroma with plenty of melanoidin sense: no hop in aroma or taste.

Taste? That’s where it falls apart. OK, it’s mild… in the background… but it’s there: phenolics. That “zip:” a bit like a water through a green rubber hose; plastic… some call it “band aid.”

Disregarding the obvious defect, and the fact I didn’t have a second bottle to make sure it wasn’t just the sample I had, this slightly hazy pale bock, just wasn’t complex enough. Some caramel and caramelized sense to it and a bit of “deep malt” aroma, But it fell apart upon first taste. Not all that impressive or memorable, except that slight, but annoying, phenolic zing.

How unfortunate. Try again guys. Add more malt and get a more complex grain bill. Double check your yeast, sanitation, shipping problems/storage conditions and all the other possible sources for phenolics, just to be sure.

Now, Just for the Fun of It

One of my favorite CDs is a concert album by a gay group called, The Flirtations. I just put them into Google and, I’m sad to report, they stopped touring in 97. I know one had AIDS; the founder of the group I believe, and I suppose that may have influenced the decision.

They were really good at taking lyrics and shifting them in ways that made some straights squirm. And they did some wonderful covers on folk artists who might never have been heard from because the music industry decided for a while that folk music was a curse word.

Anyway: enjoy…

Hollywood Eager to Finally %$#@! Up Catcher in the Rye

Written by Andy Borowitz

Title edited by LT Saloon for general consumption. Apologies to Andy Borowitz, who as far as we know does not have “consumption.”

HOLLYWOOD (The Borowitz Report) – Just hours after author J.D. Salinger passed away at his New Hampshire home on Wednesday, Hollywood studios were salivating at the chance to finally ruin his masterpiece, Catcher in the Rye.

“If we are fortunate enough to acquire the rights to Mr. Salinger’s book, we pledge to stay faithful to the spirit of Catcher in the Rye,” said Dougy Binstock, a producer at Columbia Pictures. “And the best way to do that is by producing it as a rock opera.”

But even as Mr. Binstock was bidding for the rights to produce a film he hopes to call Phantom of the Rye, Mindy Hammerfur, an executive at Paramount Pictures, said that she thought Salinger’s book was “seriously in need of a reboot.”

Imprisoned beer – Brazilian Craft Brewers Fight Almost Insurmountable Odds

Written by Charlie Papazian for

There is a special beer awaiting beer enthusiasts, but for now it languishes in the cellars of a small Brazilian microbrewery because the government regulatory agencies cant figure out how to approve such an astounding example of the brewers art. On New Years Eve I savored a sample. It was one of the best imperial stouts Ive enjoyed in my life. It was a good way to end my year and start another. But the beer remains imprisoned.

Founder and brewmaster of the Colorado Brewery, Marcelo Carneiro da Rocha.opened the unlabeled bottle just before midnight. It is 10.5% alcohol by volume, made with English malts, Styrian Golding hops among others and black rapadura sugar. Brewed in early 2009 he reveals that a sampling of the beer in June met with polite not quite ready, a bit astringent remarks. But I can assure you due to the governments slow not-yet approval process the beer has aged exquisitely.

With gentle licorice notes and a perfect balance between roast malt bite and hop bitterness the yet to be named Colorado Imperial Stout is smooth as velvet and has developed into a world class beer.

One of the key ingredients is black rapadura. Rapadura is a unique sugar produced with unrefined sugar cane juice. The juice is evaporated until natural sugars form a hard sugary cake. There are amber and dark versions. It is one of the cheapest forms of sugar in Brazil and is looked down upon by most Brazilians as not worthy of consideration for much of anything. Its taste is complex and delicious. In beer it contributes a wonderful complexity for dark beers and a background foundation for light ales or lagers. Hints of caramel and authentic molasses are but a couple of characters attributed to rapadura. Granulated rapadura found in some specialty stores and supermarkets in the USA are rather bland and refined compared to the cake blocks sold in Brazil.

The Colorado Brewery is one if not the first pioneering micro/craft breweries in Brazil, it began brewing in 1995. Called the Colorado Brewery because the brewing equipment was purchased from a Fort Collins, Colorado, USA based manufacturing company at the time.

Photo left: Marcelo Carneiro da Rocha listens to his beer.

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