Happy National Beer Day

In the United States, today is National Beer Day! Today in 1933, beer became legal again during the tail end of 18th Amendment prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

What’s interesting is that the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th, was not effective until December 1933, so why is today a day?

On this date, the Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect. The 18th Amendment was functionally enacted by the Volstead Act in 1919, which defined “intoxicating” anything with 0.5% alcohol. Which is just about anything that ever thought about a beer.

The Cullen-Harrison Act, under the authority of the 18th Amendment, changed the definition of “intoxicating” to anything higher than 3.2% alcohol-by-weight so it could be legally sold and consumed under the Federal law, presuming states allowed it. Almost nothing we see in stores today would qualify, but in 1933, 1.5 million barrels were consumed on April 7, 1933 to celebrate.

If you’re one to have a beer every now or then, today isn’t a bad day to raise a glass.

Live Beer Blogging 2017

Derek Springer of WordPress.com and Five Blades Brewing fame and I are at the 2017 Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference in Milwaukee, WI. A tradition of this conference is a live beer blogging session that is speed dating with bloggers writing in real time about trying a different brewery’s best with only five minutes per beer. It sounds like a lot of time, but it is chaos. We’ll start started here about an hour at Saturday, August 5th, 2017 15:00 CDT.

Mole Beer

I’m stoked to pour this one, but going to wait until I can share it with some folks. I’ve yet to have anything from The Bruery that wasn’t great.

Racking Wit

I racked tonight my Cranberry Dark Wit for Airport. Looking good and hitting the estimated gravity. Only need to place odds on if I’ll get lucky enough for a cold spell in February when it’ll be ready for drinking.

In brewing, racking is the process of moving the beer from a primary to a secondary fermenter. The additional time during the conditioning phase will clarify the beer and provide an overall better product. It’s known as secondary fermentation in homebrewing circles, but the fermentation has pretty much happened—the final gravity has been taken—but the yeast will still reabsorb a bit to clean the beer up a bit. After a couple of weeks, we’ll add a little priming sugar, which will start a smaller fermentation process to carbonate the beer, and get it in the bottle.

Beer Blogging 2016

Another year is here! We’re at the 2016 Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference in lovely Tampa, Florida. As in past years, there is a liveblogging sessions where a number of breweries each get five minutes to tell us why their beer is the best thing since sliced bread.

We’ll get started this afternoon at about Saturday, July 9, 2016 5:00 pm EDT. Join Derek Springer and I try to keep up with 10 breweries pouring 10 beers for us to write about live within one hour.