Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some of the Best Pub Names...

You’ll have to excuse the less-than-serious content of this post. Being that it is Saturday, I’m in no mood for anything but the lighthearted. So while blowing off an hour or two this afternoon, I came across this topic.

The English and Irish Isles are a pub-based society. The local watering holes are just another accepted part of their day-to-day culture.  Angelo-Irish Pubs conjures up such archetypical names like the “Rose and Crown Pub” or the “White Horse Tavern”, but there are others out there that are … well, out there. Here’s just a sampling of some great, real pub names that I couldn’t help but get a chuckle from.

Dublin, Ireland

London, England

Stourton, Wiltshire, England

Mayfair, London, England

Bishopsgate, London, England

Swindon, England

Cumbria, England

Cornwall, England

There are plenty more out there, both abroad as well as in the US. Drop us a comment if you’ve got any good ones to share.



“A good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub.”
-James Joyce

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Brewing Websites:

God bless wireless internet service. I know its been around since the late 90’s, but there is such a convenience factor of having a laptop that can go just about anywhere and still be able to catch up on your blog lists, snoop for deals on Craigslist, and read previews of this summer’s World Cup. Even sitting out on the porch in the 34° night air (I’m brewing at the moment – yes, I’m a night owl brewer), the breadth of the digital information on the internet is at my fingertips.

Cutting to the relevance of this little rant, while watching the mercury fall out here as I’m waiting between hop additions, I was able to peruse through various beer-related sites. One in particular stood out, which is worth sharing. This very interesting and information-packed brewing website is (which was recommended on The Brewing Network’s forum). It’s a Wiki format website with content teaching on brewing techniques and the science behind it - with a particular slant toward German brewing.

The tone of the website is reminiscent Palmer’s book How to Brew - fairly technical in nature with a drive to understand how things work. What I like about BrauKaiser is that its format is stripped down and it’s written with a ‘get-to-the-point’ tone.

If you decide to do a quick flyby of the site, take a walk through the following topics, which jumped out at my particular interests:

The site is worth a mouse click and a few minutes exploring around – I certainly picked up one or two pearls from the site. Let us know your thoughts on it. Additionally, if there are other useful/informative brewing websites on your mind, don’t be shy in sharing.



“Beer is an improvement on water itself”
-Grant Johnson

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beer-Related Ideas That Make You Say “WTF?!?”

Anyone that has ever gone through the process of patenting an idea knows that applying for, fighting for, and finally being awarded a patent can be a drawn out process and expensive process (ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars). Therefore it always amuses me that with all the effort and expense, there are still people out there that try (and succeed) at patenting very strange and bizarre concepts.  I've come to nickname them as "WTF" patents.

So while doing some patent work for my dayjob, I came across a few beer-related patents that got me shaking my head.  I could almost envision a couple of college buddies sitting around a half-empty case of beer, thinking "this could work...its going make us rich!".  I gave me such befuddled amusement that, before I knew it, I had ditched my regular work to scratch around for more amusing beer patents.  The list below, presented in no particular order, holds some of the beauties that I was able to uncover.

*  *  *

"Alcoholic beverages derived from animal extract, and methods for the production thereof"
United States Patent No.: 7,037,541 (issued: May 2, 2006)
Inventor: Kineo Okada

For those who don’t want to be restricted to just brewing with barley and other grains, the Ariake Japan Co. has patented the process for you – why not throw a little meat in there. Just add in some yeast and lactic bacteria and you’ve got a beverage that “has a distinctive flavor, is storage stable, and is nutritious.” And don’t feel your beverage has to be single-dimensional with just a single meat source.  The alcoholic beverage “may be made from various extracts of meat and/or bone, for example from beef, pork, mutton, chickens, ducks, turkey, etc.” So if you have a blender and a random animal, you’re in business (here kitty kitty…).

Ariake Japan Company - “The Fine Flavor of Nature(that's seriously their slogan)

"Timed drinking vessel"
United States Patent No.: 6,747,918 (issued: June 8, 2004)
Inventors: Hight et al

I’m trying to image the eureka moment that conceptualized this one. “A conventional drinking vessel holds a beverage, but gives no information to (the drinker’s) rate of consumption.” Never mind the clock on the wall, what a drinker really needs is an on-board timer to determine how fast they can empty their glass.  Whether to pace the enjoyment or to record the fastest chugging time, the Timed Drinking Mug is “a drinking vessel which automatically monitors the rate at which an individual consumes a beverage.  (It) would be welcomed by consumers of beverages.”  I'm not sure if "welcomed" is the right word.

"The Beerbrella"
United States Patent No.: 6,637,447 (issued: Oct 28, 2003)
Inventors: McMullin et al

Right in line with the Timed Drinking Vessel, the Beerbrella is an invention determined to improve your drinking experience. It “provides a small umbrella which may be removably attached to a beverage container in order to shade the beverage container from the direct rays of the sun.”  Not only does it protect your brew from those pesky UV rays, it “may also be used to prevent rain or other precipitation from contaminating a beverage.”  There's an infomercial in there somwhere ... or at least a Miller 'Tailgate Approved" commercial.

"Filled Beer Glass Shaped Condom"
United States Patent No.: D591,580 (issued: May 5, 2009)
Inventor: Brian Osterberg

I don’t have much to say about this one – the name and picture says it all. If your chick is such a beer lover that this turns her on…god bless you!

"Method and apparatus for making a drink hop along a bar or counter"
United States Patent No.: 5,678, 617 (issued: Oct 21, 1997)
Inventors: Kuyendal et al

Of all the above inventions, this one is the one that screams collegiate frat house boredom turned into a “WTF” invention. What does it do? It’s “a novelty device for … a bar whereby when a patron orders a specific drink ... (and the) drink then seems to hop from some remote spot on the bar and takes one or more leaps, ultimately landing in the patron’s glass.” Remember those jumping water fountains you used to see in malls or amusement parts as a kid? Well, this one is for beer.

What I get the biggest kick out of is the amount of detail that the inventors put into the patent. I mean, in the figure shown above, there are 88 independent components called out – someone actually spent considerable time flushing this out.  And there are 10 other figures in the patent, many of them equally as intricate. That's some dedication.  

*  *  *

There are hundreds more of these head-scratchin' ideas floating around there – if you happen to bump into any other “WTF” beer-related ideas/patents, drop me a line.



“He was a wise man who invented beer”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tasting Homebrew at Club Meetings

Conducting homebrew beer tasting events are one of the most central and important things that a club can offer its members. Tastings are important for a variety of reasons:
  • Tastings allow club members to get feedback on their homebrew and collaboratively troubleshoot problems.
  • They provide the opportunity for club members to be exposed to new beer styles.
  • Tastings support internal competitions, such as the American Homebrewing Association's Club Only Competitions
  • They create an enjoyable social forum that club members that I have spoken with consider some of the most important events they attend.
But conducting a homebrew club tasting event at a public or commercial establishment may have legal ramifications. In Virginia, where my club is located, alcohol laws and regulations are governed by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Like many state alcohol regulations, the Virginia laws regarding homebrewed beer and its transportation and usage are vague and subject to interpretation. Specifically, ABC laws indicate that our club should be able to conduct tastings in a private room with two ounce pours, so long as the events occur for the purpose of judging and/or offering feedback on each entry. However, we have had ABC agents state that bringing homebrew to any public venue is strictly illegal because the beer has not gone through Virginia's three tier distribution system. This is in spite of the fact that the regulations state otherwise and that other homebrewing clubs in the state have received permission to conduct tastings in private rooms at bars and restaurants. These inconsistencies make it hard for commercial establishments, such as a brew pub or restaurant where our club might meet, to agree to allow homebrewed beer in the door. This reluctance is understandable, seeing how conducting such tastings improperly could cost the establishment their liquor license.

So, how do you find out if there are legal restrictions on homebrew tasting events in your areas? What is your club to do if it is in search of a commercial location to both hold meetings and homebrew tastings? I can offer some pointers from our experience, though take it with a grain of salt, as we have not received official approval to conduct such tastings yet.
  • Do your research. Most state alcohol governing bodies post their regulations on the internet (for example, Virginia regulations can be found here). The more research you can do up front, the stronger your case.
  • Contact other homebrewing clubs in your state to determine how or if they conduct tastings. In cases where the actual regulations are vague or confusing, showing how the regulations are actually put into practice can be persuasive.
  • Formalize your findings into a written letter that can be sent to an agent of the state's regulating body. It is easier to present arguments in a written form than trying to do so on a telephone call. Additionally, the letter gives you something to fall back to, if needed, at a later date.
  • Work with commercial establishments that are interested in hosting your club meetings and be up front about your club's intentions. Their business would most likely be the one held liable if a formal inquiry regarding the tastings is started by the state's regulatory body. If this is the case, your club's relationship with them might be damaged.
Hopefully, these tips are helpful for clubs looking to hold meetings and tastings in a public place. If you have a moment, please fill out the homebrew tastings survey we have posted on the blog. We are interested to know how our reader's clubs currently conduct tastings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Single Hop Beer Experiment

Hops. They are ubiquitous with beer. Beer geeks rally around these resiny cones - it’s almost a source of pride to those in the craft beer culture. There seems to be a continuous ‘Arms War’ between prototypical American brewers – who can stuff more hops in their beers. Who’s beer can punch you in the face more with hop presence when you crack open a bottle or pull a draft.

I came to the conclusion the other day that I’m actually really quite bad at identifying one hop variety from another. Sure, the citrus hops are easily discernable from non-citrus hops (i.e. nobles), but if I taste or smell an unknown beer, its like throwing darts at a board to pick out the variety – I know which wall to aim for, but otherwise I should just close my eyes and hope for the best.

This train of thought cumulated in organizing a Single Hop Beer Experiment with my local homebrew club (RIFT). The concept is simple: gather a bunch of volunteer brewers and have everyone brew the same American Pale Ale recipe, but everyone use a different, single hop variety. When complete, go through a flight of all the beers side-by-side. The results will be (at least I hope) a good opportunity for our club members to pick out and identify the different flavor and aroma contributions of the different hops. (To make the tasting even more useful, consider having a hop summary sheet on hand tasters to reference - or if your group is really into it, use full data sheets).

The particular challenge of this project is to make sure each beer is similar, with the only difference being the hop different hop variety used. This means the same malt bill, the same yeast, the same fermentation profile, etc. It also means normalizing each beer to have similar bitterness levels (a challenge given the varying alpha acids in the varieties).

In combating the different alpha values, we devised an APA recipe having four hop additions: at 60 minute, 15 minute, 1 minute, and a Dry Hop. The flavor addition (15m), aroma addition (1m), and dry hop are kept the same across all beers (i.e. 0.5 oz, 0.5 oz, and 1 oz respectively). The only the bittering addition (60m) is adjusted, allowing the bittering level to be controlled without impacting the flavor and aroma contributions. (The flavor and aroma additions do add a few IBU based on the alpha acid, but this is compensated for when computing the bittering addition.)

To make it as simple as possible for our volunteer brewers, all the IBU calculations were computed ahead of time (for a 4-15 alpha acid range) and the recipe/instructions listed below was distributed for our club's event (the RIFT Single Hop Beer Pale Ale Experiment). I should point out that the APA recipe is based on Jamil Zainasheff’s APA recipe from Brewing Classic Styles.

As of this posting, the following hop varieties have been 'volunteered for' and are being used in the different beers: Centennial, Amarillo, Cascade, Williamette, Northern Brewer, Saaz, Summit, and Mt. Hood.

RIFT Single Hop Beer Experiment
American Pale Ale

Targets / Assumptions:
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.013
IBU: ~35
Color 6 SRM
ABV: 5.7%
Boil: 60 minutes

Hopping Schedule [1]:
Note: Only the 60 minute addition should be adjusted based on your varietal’s alpha acid. The 15 minute, 1 minute, and dry hop should remain as stated below.

60 Minute Addition: Varies [2] (see table below)

15 Minute Addition: 0.5 oz
1 Minute Addition: 0.5 oz

Dry Hop: 1.0 oz Dry hop should be added to primary fermenter after fermentation has started to slow (4-7 days). Leave hops in the beer until it's racked out for bottling or kegging.

Yeast: WLP001, Wyeast 1056, or Safale US-05 (use a starter if needed)

Fermentation: Primary Fermentation at 67° F for 10-18 days

Carbonate: 2 – 2.5 volumes

Reference Notes:
[1] - Recipe designed to leave 6 gallons of wort in kettle at end of boil. Adjust pre-boil volume based on your system.
[2] - All-Grain recipe calculated with a 75% brewhouse efficiency. Adjust as needed for your system.
[3] - All hops are assumed to be pellet hops. Adjust accordingly if you use whole cone hops.
[4] - IBUs calculated using the Rager formula (assumes boil volume is 7 gallons).

Looking at the entire endeavor, a few pitfalls can be identified in the project’s concept. These ‘watch-outs’ are listed below in the chance anyone reading this post takes any guidance or inspiration for their own event.
  • Hops used by homebrewers can vary in alpha acid content from what is labeled on the package (whether from age, crop variations, poor handling, etc). All the beer recipe programs have functions to model alpha acid degradation, but it mostly just a guess and a crap-shoot.
  • Everyone’s system results in different hop utilization efficiencies. Put faith in your brewers that they have a feel for their systems and let them compensate where they think they may need to.
  • Malt character in the beers may vary based on the individual’s mashing and fermentation equipment and/or process. The above recipe is hop-forward and tries to keep the malt characteristics in the background – the hope is the hop varieties’ character will overshadow malt character variations, allowing tasters focus on the contributions from the specific hop.
Lastly, if anyone is interested in it, I’ve linked below an image of the instruction/recipe hand-out as a single page (click to get the larger version). If you would like a MS Word version of this document, please just shoot me an email.

The results from the first Single Hop Beer Experiment done by the Rhode Island Fermentation Technicians can be found here.  Additionally, the results from second round of Single Hop Beer Experiments can be found here

If you have any suggestions on how to make this project better, or have other ideas on exploring different hop varieties, please let us know!


"Brewers enjoy working to make beer as much as drinking beer instead of working."
-Harold Rudolph

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Importance of Rotating Leadership

For many of us that have become involved in this wonderful hobby, local homebrewing clubs provide inspiration and collaboration with other homebrewers in your area. I find that attending monthly club meetings helps give me ideas for future brew sessions, provides me with useful feedback on my beer, allows me to interact with others through club events, and gives me a chance to reconnect with friends. Over the years, I have come to value the friendships I have established with fellow brewers in our club almost as much as the art of brewing itself. The values of clubs are many and if you have not become a part of one, I strongly encourage you to look into it (see the AHA club directory for more information).

A homebrewing club is only as good as its members. The members that drive and organize the club make up the club's leadership. Instituting revolving leadership roles withing the club helps refresh the club and shares the burden of organizing events. The topic of rotating leadership within the club is currently under discussion in my club, the Charlottesville Area Masters of Real Ale (CAMRA). Two friends and I founded CAMRA three years ago because there had not been a functioning club in our area for more than 10 years. Since its inception, we have worked to build CAMRA into a self-sufficient organization, being very careful to allow it to grow organically. We intentionally did not establish a strict structure for the club, or lock in its goals or intentions. We were looking for the club to define itself, rather than have us define it. This guiding principal has made things difficult at times, given the club's flexible nature, but I think the effort has been worth it.

Our intentions are to push for club leadership elections in the near future, if we can manage it. We believe this is important for several reasons, including:
  • Getting new energy and insight into the club,
  • Fostering shared accountability amongst club members,
  • Allowing leadership to become independent of the founders, and
  • The simple fact that we need a break from work associated with leading the organization
When we put the issue before the club membership last week, it was met with a general lack of interest. It generated some discussion, but I am not sure there is much interest in running for the positions. We are certainly not going to make this an issue that the club will disband over, but I feel that it is very important for the club's growth.

What are your club's leadership rotation policies and how important do you feel they are to overall club health? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

A few ideas that you could take to encourage rotating club leadership, include:
  • Ensuring that your club's bylaws include set periods for new officer elections,
  • Setting term limits for specific officer roles, such as limiting the president to only serving two terms,
  • Establishing a steering committee to guide the club rather than relying on one or two individuals.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Brewing Websites:

BrewAdvice website first came across my desk from the guys over at Brew Dudes when it was featured in a blog post. The website,, is a streamlined site for posting and received answers to homebrewing related questions. Think Yahoo! Answers for the homebrew community.

Users of the site can post questions they may have and other users will offer up answers. What makes it different than a traditional forum is that answers get voted on by other users. Using the theory of collective intelligence, those answers that are the most correct or most fitting will bubble to the top. Questions have tags, so it’s easy to search for similar or related to questions if you have one.

Overall, the biggest limitation of the site would be if it can’t create a sizable community to support it. Most online homebrewers participate in other large brewing forums (HomeBrew Talk
, Northern Brewer, the Brewing Network, More Beer, etc) that can provide the same function: get questions answered. If BrewAdvice doesn’t grow a significant following, its unique feature of self-selecting answers may end up either not be beneficial, or just take too long for the feature to take effect (i.e. too few users).

Check it out and let us know what you think.


“It’s very hard to get pretentious about beer. You can become knowledgeable and start to talk with a highfalutin’ vocabulary. But you can only go so far with beer, and I’ve always liked that.”
-Fritz Maytag

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Niche Beer Styles: Oyster Stout

The craft brewing movement has really perfected the practice of finding niche beer styles, brewing them with passion, and starting a grass-roots movement that hoist these products up to the interest of ‘enlightened’ beer drinkers. Think Anchor Brewing Co. in the 1970’s when it revived to the Steam Beer / California Common niche by launching Anchor Steam Beer. Or the explosion of the Double IPA niche in the late 1990’s after Vinnie Cilurzo (then of Blind Pig Brewing Co.) accidentally created the style. As a gauge of breath of beer styles (niche and mainstream), take a look at this year’s Great American Beer Festival Competition. The event hosted over 70 different beer categories with 3,000+ beers entered amongst them. Only the sharpest of beer geeks could name at least half of the 78 categories, let alone all of them.

In contemplating this, it set off the gears in my head – every niche style out there has a story of how it came to be. The gears kept spinning. Those styles need to be explored. Hey, that would make a good blogging topic. And then, poof... this blog entry wrote itself.

I’ve had stouts on my mind ever since one of the guys from our
homebrew club did stout and ice cream floats at the last club meeting. My original thought was to would delve into American Stouts to find out how we Americans bastardized the European standard, but I kept coming back another stout over and over again: the enigmatic Oyster Stout. I’ve only personally run into the style once before (at the now defunct Baltimore Beer and Oyster Festival) and I remember thinking “Who the hell would think to put these meaty morsels into beer?” But you know what, it works. Something about the briny flavor of the oysters mixes with the earthy tones of a stout when its done in balance. Go figure.

While tracking down the style’s history, I came across an informative and relatively short article the beer writer Michael Jackson wrote on the
origin and revival of Oyster Stouts. Oysters, being easily farmed from the sea during the 1700’s, was considered common pub grub being “as commonplace as peanuts today”. Porters and stouts were the common drink at the time, which began the bond of dark beers and oysters. Guinness even ran advertisements stating “Makes oysters come out of their shells”. The association of oysters and beer, specifically dark beers, continued until the decline of dark beers at the end of the 19th centery at the hands of the emerging pale ales. At that point, the combination of bivalve and beer stayed with society as a niche style.

Outside being an accompaniment to beer, it is theorized that oyster shells were originally used as a natural fining agent to filter the beer (similar to making a consomme broth). The first use of oysters as a brewing ingredient was credited to an unnamed New Zealand brewery in 1929. Several English brewers followed suit post WWI, where the oysters were added to the beer with the thought that it would provide additional nourishment to the malnourished populace (similar to the origin of the cream or milk stout). The trend continued until the 1960’s when the popularity of Oyster Stout again tapered off.

The contemporary revival of the Oyster Stout beer, according to Mr. Jackson, came from
Bushy’s Pub on the Isle of Man in the mid 1980’s. Following the steps of earlier Isle of Man breweries from the 60's, Bushy’s Oyster Stout was developed and brewed using 5 or 6 whole oysters per barrel thrown into the brew kettle. The pattern continued with many other English breweries picked up the style and it slowly got some legs under it once more. Many so-called 'Oyster Stouts' emerged on the scene which contained no oyster in the beer at all. These brews were meant to be paired with oysters during a meal as opposed to using them as an ingredient. Marston's Oyster Stout became one of the stand out, sans-oyster Oyster Stouts in the English market.

On this side of the Atlantic, several small breweries and brewpubs carry the style as an on-and-off ‘specialty’ beer.
Dogfish Head marketed a real Oyster Stout with oysters added to the kettle at flameout, although the beer has since been retired. The 21st Amendment in San Francisco continues to brew its Oyster Point Oyster Stout with real oysters added to the kettle. Rogue Ales, as part of their JLS limited series, brewed the Oyster Cloister Stout using Oregon harvested oysters, although getting your hands on any remaining bottles may be near impossible. Even Sam Adams has been rumored to have brewed an Oyster Stout for draft accounts sometime in 2009.

For those in the home brewing community, getting a good oyster stout will take you only as long as it takes to find a good recipe and brew it. While there are several recipes floating around the web, my choice would be to stick with one that comes from a reputable source. Otherwise, the endevor might be doomed from the start. A wise place to start might be the oyster stout recipe printed BYO Magazine's Mar/Apr 2005 issue (listed below for convenience).

Black Pearl Oyster Stout
(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain with bivalve mollusks)

OG = 1.052 FG = 1.013 IBU = 37 SRM = 60 ABV = 5.0%

9.0 lbs. (4.1 kg) 2-row pale malt
0.5 lb. (0.22 kg) flaked oats
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) roasted barley
0.5 lb. (0.22 kg) chocolate malt
0.25 lb. (0.11 kg) black patent malt
10 oz. can raw oysters (and brine)
1 tsp. Irish moss
8.6 AAU Fuggles hops (60 mins)
(1.5 oz./43 g of 5.7% alpha acids)
4.3 AAU Fuggles hops (20 mins)
(0.75 oz./21 g of 5.7% alpha acids)
Wyeast 1084 (Irish Ale) or White Labs
WLP004 (Irish Ale) yeast
0.75 cups corn sugar (for priming)

Mash grains for 45 minutes at 152 °F (67 °C). Boil wort for 120 minutes. Add hops at times indicated. Add oysters and Irish moss with 15 minutes left. Cool wort. Transfer to fermenter, leaving oyster bits behind. (Don’t eat the oysters - they taste terrible.) Aerate, pitch yeast and ferment at 68 °F (20 °C).

Extract with grains Option
Replace 2-row pale malt with 14 oz. (0.40 kg) Briess Light dried malt extract, 3 lbs. 14 oz. (1.8 kg) Muntons Light liquid malt extract and 2.0 lbs. (0.91 kg) 2-row pale malt. In a 3 gallon (11 L) or larger stock pot, heat 1.6 gallons (6 L) of water to 163 °F (73 °C). Placed crushed grains and flaked oats in a large steeping bag and submerge bag in this hot water. Maintain temperature at 148–153 °F (64–67 °C) for 45 minutes. While grains mash, heat one gallon (3.8 L) of water to 170 °F (77 °C). Remove grain bag from steeping pot and place in colander over stock pot. Rinse grains with 0.75 gallons (2.8 L) of water from brewpot. Combine “grain tea” and dried malt extract with remaining hot water in brewpot and heat to a boil. Boil 60 minutes, adding hops at times remaining indicated in recipe. With 15 minutes left in the boil, add liquid malt extract, oysters and Irish moss. Stir thoroughly to dissolve extract. (Keep the clock running even though it will take a few minutes for the wort to resume boiling.) Cool wort and transfer to fermenter, leaving oyster bits behind. Add water to make 5 gallons (19 L). Aerate, pitch yeast and ferment at 68 °F (20 °C).

If you’ve had a decent oyster stout (either homebrew or commercial), let us know about your experience. What did you like or dislike? How would you change it?



“Light beer is the invention of the Prince of Darkness”
-Inspector Morse (BBC)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ab Initio: From the beginning ...

Why the hell does the world need another blog? Every soul feels entitled to post their thoughts somewhere on the web with the impression that every other soul should read about it. So why another one to add to the pile? What’s the point, other than to take up more space on the infinitely sized web? Why even bother?

Well, to me, this blog is more than just another collection of words put out there to be read by any ‘surfer who happens points their browser in this direction. These ramblings and those that will (hopefully) follow are the inspiration of a simple concept: a fraternal bond over beer. Using beer and brewing as a forum, its intended to share experiences, thoughts, and ideas to those that find their interests in the same proximity as ours. If what’s printed here ends up being entertaining, or even more importantly helpful, well then maybe there is room for just one more blog out there in the blog-o-sphere.

So what is Lug Wrench Brewing Co.? It’s a virtual brewery – a brewery with operations in both New England and Virginia. The ‘company’s’ genesis and meaning will probably be discussed in future posts, but the core beliefs are in hand-crafted brewing, beer exploration, and most importantly, camaraderie. Lug Wrench is a brewery that doesn’t have to worry about profit margins, distribution arrangements, or market share. It gets to focus on the important things: beer and the culture that surrounds it. Lug Wrench Brewing Co. could just be the best brewery you have yet to hear of.

These pages will document and share the experiences of Lug Wrench from both its Old Dominion State and Ocean State facilities. The ongoing conversation presented on theses pages is meant to stimulate dialogue, spark inspiration, and be just one more reason why we should be talking about beer. Comments and feedback on all topics (direct or tangential) are always welcome – these pages should be a two-way discussion between both the bloggers and the readers.

In spite of all the aforementioned, if nothing else, Lug Wrench is a medium to promote collaboration between two brothers who have found just one more hobby that connects them. While the physical distance between our homes never seems to diminish, the bond we share could give two shits about geography.



"The beginning is the most important part of the work."

"They who drink beer will think beer."
-Washington Irving

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