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Featured Microbreweries

Smuttynose Brewing Company

Peter Egelston, the owner and founder of Smuttynose is quite well known in the New England brewing community. Not only did he start one of the original New England brewpubs, but also has succeeded in opening a second brewpub, a brewery, and one of the most well attended beer festivals in the Northeast. You could say…he’s kinda into beer.

His beer career started in 1986 when his sister Janet and her boyfriend Mark convinced Peter to quite his teaching job in Brooklyn, New York and move to Massachusetts to open a brewpub. Why they had to convince him is beyond us! Peter stayed in Massachusetts until 1991, at which point he opened New Hampshire’s first brewpub, the Portsmouth Brewery. With two successful brewpubs under his belt, Peter was ready open his first brewery.

In 1994 Peter opened Smuttynose Brewing, which is also located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The brewery was built on the ruins of the Frank Jones Brewing Company, a brewery that opened in 1992 and went out of business a year later.

Peter chose to name the brewery after Smuttynose Island, one of the isles of Shoals, which lie nine miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. Legend has it that mariners in the 1600s named the island for the dark seaweed-covered rock ledge that juts out from one end of the island. For over three centuries, poets, pirates and fishermen have called the Isles of Shoals home.

Old Brown Dog Ale

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

Original Gravity: 15.0 Plato

Final Gravity: 3.7 Plato

Int’l Bittering Units: 30

Alcohol by Volume: 5.6 %

You’ve gonna love this beer as much as we love its name! Old Brown Dog is brewed with a combination of 2-row domestic Pale, Munich, Caramel, and Chocolate malts. Smuttynose hops it up with three different hops including Galena bittering, Cascade aroma, and Willamette aroma. This particular Brown Ale, first brewed in 1988 at the Northampton Brewery was one of the first "American Style Brown Ales" ever brewed and it took the Silver at the GABF it’s first year out! The dog on the label is Peter’s 9-year-old half Weimaraner half Brittany Spaniel, Olive. Note a malty nose with some fruity undertones in this filtered, medium-to-full-bodied dark amber ale. It’s definitely got more body and a bigger hop character than a traditional English Brown Ale. We found it very well balanced and offering a clean Cascade hoppy finish. Overall, well deserving of its many accolades. We loved it!

Portsmouth Lager

Serving Temperature: 38-43 F

Original Gravity: 11.5 Plato

Final Gravity: 3.2 Plato

Int’l Bittering Units: 17

Alcohol by Volume: 4.5 %

Portsmouth Lager is brewed with a combination of 2-row domestic Pale and Cara-Vienna malts. The brewery uses Cascade, Hallertau, Tettnanger to balance out the malt profile of this Golden Lager. Named after the brewery’s hometown on the occasion of its 375th anniversary, Portsmouth Lager is a full-flavored, medium bodied continental-style beer, deep golden in color, featuring a mouth-pleasing maltiness subtly balanced with spicy Hallertau and Tettnanger hops. Note a biscuity pale maltiness in the nose with a very subtle spicy hop character. One taste of this fine lager tells you this is no ordinary beer: From its mellow, velvety body to its lingering, fresh hop finish, Portsmouth Lager is smooth, complex and satisfying. Overall, an excellent representation of a Munich Helles. Very clean.

St. Stan’s Brewing Company

St. Stan’s Brewing Company traces its origins back to 1973, when Garith Helm and his wife Romy became interested in brewing German-style beers as a hobby after returning from a trip to Germany. After many experimental brews and several visits to Germany, they successfully produced an "Alt" beer, a style that is popular in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Encouraged by the reception given to their beer by friends, Romy and Garith decided to build a modest brewery adjacent to their home in Modesto, California. Construction of the 1,000-barrel brewery commenced in 1981, and was completed in 1984. Their first commercial beer was produced in July1984, but was limited to kegs.

By 1986 they were able to bottle their beer in liter bottles, but this necessitated expansion of the brewery. It wasn’t until 1987 that they could finally bottle in 12 ounce, but once again, they faced a problem.

The original brewery that Romy and Garith had built next to their home was now running at full capacity. They knew that a new brewery would need to be built and so in the fall of 1989 they broke ground on a new facility in downtown Modesto. The new brewery was built with a capacity of 12,000 barrels per year and was completed in September 1990. To ensure the best beers possible, Romy and Garith had an up-to-date microbiological lab built so that they could constantly monitor each batch of beer. In addition, all of their fermentation and storage tanks are constructed of stainless steel.

St. Stan’s Amber Alt

Serving Temperature: 38-43 F

Original Gravity: 12.5 Plato

Final Gravity: 4.1 Plato

Int’l Bittering Units: 16

Alcohol by Volume: 5.8 %

St. Stan’s Amber Alt is brewed with a combination of two-row pale and caramel malts. The brewery hops it up more so than a traditional Alt beer with Fuggles, Cascade, and Tettnang hops during the boil. Then they dry hop this bad boy with Cascade making it truly an Americanized style. St. Stan’s Amber Alt is brewed in the Altbier style of Dusseldorf, Germany with a malty, creamy smooth flavor. Note a fruity Cascade hop nose and some maltiness in this medium-bodied, filtered ale. We found the flavor malty and floral. Look for a dry somewhat mildly bitter and pleasantly lingering finish in this bright copper colored ale. St. Stan’s Amber Alt recently received a Silver medal at the World Beer Championships. Overall, very creative and packed with flavor. You’re gonna love it.

St. Stan’s Whistle Stop Ale

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

Original Gravity: 11.8 Plato

Final Gravity: 3.9 Plato

Int’l Bittering Units: 32

Alcohol by Volume: 4.0 %

This brewery makes some unusual ales! Whistle Stop is brewed with a combination of two-row pale, caramel, carapils malts as well as malted wheat and rye! It’s hopped with Chinook and Kent Goldings in the boil and then dry hopped with cascade hops. St. Stans newest product, Whistle Stop Ale is a traditional British Pale Ale. You’ll note a floral dominated nose with some pale maltiness evident in this golden straw colored, medium-bodied ale. Look for a clean, well-balanced malt-hop profile and hint of rye in the body. The hop profile emerges early in the flavor. We found it to finish clean and dry prodding you for more! Whistle Stop Pale Ale's whimsical tag line, "Wet Your Whistle," is so named because St. Stan's Brewery is located between two railroad lines, the Southern Pacific and the Union Pacific Tidewater. On occasions when both trains pass simultaneously, customers are "train locked" and St. Stan's is the only place to "Wet Your Whistle"!

Ask Murl

Dear Murl,

How much beer have you consumed in your life?

Ursula Minkymaus, Laguna Beach, CA

Yo Minky-Mouse!

Is that really your last name? What is that anyway? I’m going with Austrian. Sounds Austrian to me. Is it pronounced Minky Mouse? ‘Cause that’s Great if it is! I wish I had a cool last name like that. Hell, I wish I had a last name. Everyone just calls me Murl. If I could make up my own last name, it would have to be something cool like Bond or Bronson. Yeah, that’s it. Bond…Murl, Bond. Well, until I settle on something, you can just keep callin’ me Murl.

How much beer, eh? Good question, Minky-Mouse. Good question. Gonna hafta get our the abacas and use all my paws to crunch the numbers on this one. I’m now 9 years old and I’ve been drinking beer since I was two. Did about 5-6 pints/week on average until I got to college and that’s a bit of a black out. So, take the College Postulate Factor into consideration, a few minor spikes in the Normal curve like the month my mother moved back in with me and the years I wasn’t dating anyone….Carry the two, divide by 3.174, take the mean average of the hypotenuse and solve for the Cotangent of the Cosecant and I come up with…Well…A lot. Let’s just say a lot, Okay. Fact is, I’ve had a couple tonight as I write the column. Don’t tell the brass. And I left my HP-12C at the office and I can’t read my High School math notes too well. But I feel good with the fact that it’s been a lot. If I can hone in on that number for you a bit in a future column, I’ll be glad to do it there, Mink-Mouse. Whoa! Look at the time! I’ve got a Theorem that needs postulatin’! Woof! Murl.

So Who was St. Stan Anyway?

Stan Shmooda was the eldest of 16 children born to Olga and Zeke Shmooda in the picturesque town of Shnaapstragen in the Bavarian alps. Born on October 10, 1534, young Stan had a normal and happy childhood, playing hutzenclap, heissfoos, and klinkenkopf with the members of his family and with the other children in the town. As he matured, it became clear that he was destined to become someone special. Rather than doing the things that involved and captivated other teenagers - hulahoopfen, krockundrollen, and telewachen, - Stan preferred to study with Brother Alt, spiritual leader of the local monastery.

The Shnaapstragen monks belonged to an obscure and now defunct brewing Order called the Hopfenfressers who produced an adequate but not exceptional beer. The records of the Order, (which by the way are kept under tight security in Bratwurstig near the famous shrine of Saint Kleberbrot), indicate that Stan led a quiet, fulfilling life. Rumor has it, that on one of his forays into the forest, Stan met some elves who communicated to him the formula for a new beer which proved to be superior to all of the beers in the world. (Unfortunately, the records relating to this incident were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1583.)

While the meeting with the elves cannot be substantiated, the formula is indeed a reality, as verified by the records in Bratwurstig. The famous St. Stan beers are brewed strictly in accordance with the formula as written by Brother Stan on September 21, 1600. Frederic Fensteraugen immortalized the fictional meeting between Brother Stan and the elves in the famous sculpture "St. Stan in the Forest" in 1910. In this sculpture, Fensteraugen incorporated moving figures for the first time. A replica of this sculpture can be seen in the pub of this establishment. Stan Shmooda died in October 1605 and was elevated to Sainthood on June 15, 1905.

Food For Thought...

Whistle Stop Pale Ale Cheese Spread

This zesty spread blends four cheeses and several spices with your favorite ale. Try it on your favorite cracker or chip. We recommend using the hoppier of the two beers featured this month, St. Stan’s Whistle Stop Pale Ale, both in the recipe as well as to complement the spread when served.

2 oz. Blue Cheese

1 oz. fresh American chevre or other fresh goat cheese

6 oz. aged New York State white cheddar or other sharp cheddar, diced

1 oz. Philadelphia-type cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 cup Whistle Stop Ale

Process all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. If spread is too thick, give up a little more of the brew. Pack into a crock or small bowl, and let sit several hours or overnight in the refrigerator before using. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 2 cups. Serves 4-6 adults, 2 stoned college students, or one Green Bay Packer fan.

True Brew Facts

CELEBRATOR BEER NEWS - Kirin Brewery, Japan's largest brewery, has indicated it will stop using genetically modified corn to produce beer. Beer is exempt from a Japanese law requiring labeling of genetically altered food by April 2001. Kirin, which uses 200,000 tons of corn a year, previously has not distinguished between genetically modified and non-modified corn in making purchases. It intends to sign contracts with U.S. farmer and distributors to supply non-genetically modified corn. (Ever consider…Gee Beave, I dunno…Barley?? Corn is for Chickens baby! And anyone that can choke down a Bud Light.)

REAL BEER PAGE: realbeer. com - A study conducted in Finland indicated that drinking a beer a day reduced the risk of kidney stone formation in men by 40%. The trial of 30,000 male smokers was conducted with beer, wine, distilled spirits, milk, coffee and tea. Beer was the only drink that significantly reduced the risk of kidney stones. The hops in beer may be the reason. Hops may inhibit the release of calcium from bone. Kidney stones are primarily composed of calcium. ( As if I needed still yet ANOTHER reason to drink beer!)

MIDWEST BEER NOTES - How big does a bottle of beer have to be before you'd spend $1,000 for it? Bierodrome, a division of London's popular Belgo restaurant chain, offers a bottle of Bon-Secours that takes two from the bar staff to pour, a 15-liter serving that goes for £635 (about $1,000). That works out to nearly $40 per pint. The Bon-Secours at the Bierodrome is made at the Caulier Frères Brewery in Péruwelz in the Walloon region and bottled to order. The large bottles, called Nebuchadnezzars, hold the equivalent of 20 standard wine bottles and come with a wax seal. (It better come with a foot massage, the evening newspaper and a remote control for $40 bucks a pint!)

REAL BEER PAGE realbeer. com - Bud takes Budvar to court in Hong Kong! Film at Eleven. In the latest round of the ongoing battle between Budweiser and Budvar, American-based Anheuser Busch has taken Czech-owned Budejovicky Budvar to court in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Sunday Morning Post reported that A-B said in court papers that Budejovicky Budvar beer had infringed on the Budweiser trademark since Budejovicky is the Czech word for Budweiser. The U.S. brewer is seeking a court order to have the Czech company's products taken off the shelves in Hong Kong, the report said. Anheuser-Busch has launched similar lawsuits in Europe and the United

States. More on the story at: http://realbeer. com/news/articles/news-000197.html. (And A-B rep Stan Ribinowitz was overhear to say that the brewing giant plans to file still yet another lawsuit on Budvar, claiming that their 18 yr. Old Siamese Cat and Company mascot, Claude, strongly resembles a Clydesdale and is also therefore another case of trademark infringement.)

Norm’s Corner ...

As spoken by Cheer’s Norm

Woody: What’s the story, Mr. Peterson?

Norm: The Bobbsey twins go to the brewery. So let’s cut to the happy ending, eh Wood.

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