Planet Beer

This is a blog about making beer, primarily ME making beer. However, it will also teach you how to homebrew---either all grain or with little cans of goo. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Open House

We had a very short notice Open House Saturday, and the place was jammed to the gills with Free Staters, Brew Free or Die members, and Concord homebrewers. We sold a few cases of beer and folks got to sample the Koncord Kombat Ale as well as the Censored Imperial Blonde. We will be going round to stores Monday with samples, expect a list online at!

It was a fun day but a grueling one that lasted from 6 am to about 10:30 pm when we cleaned up.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our first beer! Yay!

The first beer on our menu is the Koncord Kombat Ale. We received our label approvals Friday morning and ordered the labels for the Kombat ale as well as the Censored Imperial Blonde, which is in the tank.

Slumming at the Barley House

"That'll be $5.25" said the bartender after he poured my bottle of hefeweisen into a large glass. A bit more than the Black and Tan I'd started with, but it's a 20 ounce beer so....he turned around: "at least, it was $5.25 two weeks ago, now it's $8.25". I'm not sure what Miss Manners would say about spitting a full glass of partially digested beer on bar staff, but fortunately good breeding and a keen dislike of arrest caused me to re-think my first impulse.

Needless to say, that was my last beer. I was sitting next to Paul Davis, a real parliamentary workhorse who's got lots of painful experience dealing with the brutal infighting common to fraternal organizations; Paul is starting a new micro somewhere in New Hampshire. I'll say where when I remember or Paul tells me.

So, Paul held forth like a champion, a veritable William Jennings Bryan of the beer table, for many hours. Finally, just before losing conciousness, blood burst from my ears and I fell to the floor, crawling away to the restroom to bandage my appendages. I only hope somebody recorded the performance for posterity because, Praise Jesus, I have no clue or memory of what was said.

After that, some of us went over to the office and sampled what we had on tap until we had to go forth in search of burritos. It was a great time, let's do that again!

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Smacked Down by The Man!

The TTB rejected all of our labels! One had a flag over the capitol; it was an American flag but that's not allowed---so we put a Hammer and Sickle where the stars go, and that's ok. Also, we used OMFG! on another label, and the government decided that was obscene, even though we protested that it meant Oh My Fairy Godmother and told them we were sticking to that story. So now it says "Censored" over the OMFG, and people tell me they find that funnier. We'll have the original versions of both labels on the t-shirts, of course. The third label was just a font size issue, but they were ok with the art.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Hope you had a happy Halloween. So far my favorite bumper sticker in the election is:
"Vote Cthulu! Why Choose the Lesser of Two Evils?"

We brewed our first batch last week, gave away samples early today from five gallons I pulled out of the conditioning tank and carbonated ahead of time. Nothing like extremely fresh beer! I liked the taste, it was clean with a dry aftertaste. Comments were extremely positive, except for John Maltz who kept yammering on and on about how Hobgoblin was better. Which, if you like sweet "bitter" with low flavor he's right) It was the Combat Ale, incidentally, I figured that was the most tolerant brew for the first run. Mostly, the equipment ran as it should have. I learned that you can never have too many clamps and gaskets. Or pumps. The gasket on the mash tun was my biggest worry, but it held fast. The horses got the spent grain after.

I'm hoping for label approval Monday on the first three brews, and we got a shipment of 1/6 bbl kegs in. Oddly, the state requires federal approval of keg caps along with labels, so I can't sell anything until the labels pass. I'll post the labels online when the approvals come in, the artwork is pretty neat. The Combat ale has some neat t-shirts that will, of course, be way cooler than anything Liberty Street comes up with, I'll bet!

In fact, the artists that worked on the labels kicked ass. It would be hard to beat their design, but I'll keep trying. I supplied the concept for the second and third labels, but Dan designed the Soviet motif all on his own. Rather apropos for the times, eh comrade?