Cheap and Plentiful From The Farmer’s Market

View the article’s original source
Author: ajeanroy

Working with a food budget can be quite a challenge. Every cook knows that eating healthy is the most important thing we can do for our families, while being able to afford that diet can be a little bit harder to do. There are some ways to take advantage of any growing season(yes, even when there is snow on the ground), and find the healthiest foods available. 
Right now, it is high time in the growing season, and there is so much to choose from at the farmer’s market. Bring as many bags as you can and choose some of these foods that not only taste great on their own, they also can be easily used in more than one way. Check out this list! 
Beets and greens– Sweet beets are ready right now. If you garden, it’s also time to replant the newly harvested row for a fall harvest. If you can, buy the beets from the farmer’s market with the greens still attached. You can eat the beets roasted, boiled, grilled, pickled and more; Then eat the greens separately by sauteeing them. I like to make a mixture of rice/cheese/herbs, and placing a layer of beet greens on my cutting board with edges overlapping to make a large enough space. Then place a heaping scoop of the rice mixture in the middle of the greens and wrapping them up and placing seam side down in a baking dish. Bake in a hot oven for a few minutes to wilt the greens and serve hot. 
Kale – Yes, we are going to talk about this popular green. Kale is one of my favorite foods, and was before it was hip so I have many ways to serve it. Small, tender kale makes great salad greens, while still young but a bit larger kale leaves are great for wraps and stir fry. Even the larger kale leaves get used up. I dehydrate them until they are crisp, grind them into a nutritional powder and sprinkle on anything I can get a way with all winter long. 
Green Beans – Who can remember crunching on a fresh green bean from the garden as a child? I love entertaining my kids in the garden by seeing if they can find all the hidden beans in a row. To make it a little more fun, I grow purple beans. They turn green when cooked, but it ‘s not often that I have enough left over to actually make it to the stove. I do like to use my beans for pickling as well as eating fresh. This makes them a great addition to this double duty list of fresh foods. Pickled green beans are easy to make and taste great. 
Heading to the farmer’s market is a great way to see just what foods are available throughout the growing season, and if you shop wisely you can get more mileage out of whatever foods you buy. 


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.


Is it good news or bad news for U.S. hops?

View the article’s original source
Author: THOMAS CIZAUSKAS

Three Five reports on hops; five conclusions.

It was all coming up roses, or hops, on 9 July, when Craft Beer Business reported that the 2015 hops harvest in the U.S. would be

the third highest total harvested acreage on record. Washington, with 32,205 acres for harvest, accounts for 73 percent of the United States total acreage. Oregon hop growers plan to string 6,807 acres, or 16 percent of the United States total, with Idaho hop growers accounting for the remaining 11 percent, or 4,975 acres strung for harvest. Acreage increased in all three States from 2014 and, if realized, both Washington and Idaho acres will be at record high levels.

But then there was this, less rosy, report from NBC News, on 25 July:

The U.S. Drought Monitor showed 98.6 percent of Washington state in a “severe drought.” The state has experienced hot and dry conditions and one of its worst mountain snowpacks on record. The lack of snowpack means there’s not enough water to replenish reservoirs.

Washington state accounts for about 73 percent of the nation’s hops acreage — and virtually all of the production takes place in the fertile Yakima Basin, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We will have some fields that will probably see a little lower yield this year because of the combination of water stress and heat,” said Ann George, executive director of the Washington Hop Commission. “We really won’t know until harvest.”

Most of the current crop is already locked up by contracts, but analysts say the drought will boost prices for anything on the spot market.

Michael Butler, chairman and CEO of Seattle-based Cascadia Capital, predicted that there could be a hops shortage starting in 2016. “Next year you won’t have more land for hops,” he said. “You have a shortage of water. You’re going to have more demand from the craft breweries, and so you kind of pass the inflection point where the demand is greater for hops than the supply.”

On the other hand, the Barth-Haas Group was more sanguine in its Hops Report, the July 2015 version of its annual, international analysis of the hops industry.

The winter of 2014/2015 proved to be one of the warmest and driest in the Pacific Northwest in some time. There was very little snowfall in the Cascade Mountain Range over the course of the winter, resulting in restricted water availability to some growers in the Yakima Valley for the 2015 crop growing season. Curtailment of supply during the cooler spring months will allow them access to water during the warmer late summer months. Hop growers do not anticipate that the hop crop will suffer from lack of water.
Growers in Oregon and Idaho will likely get through the summer with little or no impact from restricted water supply.

There was wary optimism from a fourth hops report: this from Bart Watson of the (U.S.) Brewers Association, released 16 June.

The topline news is very good, showing a strong increase (16%) in acreage [in the Pacific Northwest] between the 2014 harvest and 2015 plantings, and a further shift toward the most in demand aroma varieties.

Finally, a few words about drought and climate change are in order. Although I would summarize the acreage numbers as exactly what brewers (collectively) wanted to see (though individual brewers may be various levels of pleased), the yield question is huge. A low yielding crop could easily swing a five million pound projected increase (over 2014) to a five million or – in worst case scenarios – ten million pound decrease. You don’t have to be an economist to guess what spot prices and future contracts would look like given that scenario. In addition, long term water issues could have devastating effects on the ability of new plantings to mature.

And, at Appellation Beer, Stan Hieronymus reported this today:

Earlier this week, Otmar Weingarten of the German Hop Growers Association told the those attending International Hop Growers Congress in Bavaria that production in Germany’s main hop growing regions would likely fall 12 to 22 percent short of earlier predictions. And Ann George, executive director of the Hop Growers of America, said that US alpha varieties yield would be down up to 5 percent and aroma varieties off 10 to 15 percent.

What about all the local, small-farm, non-Pacific Northwest hops we’re hearing about? Again, Bart Watson:

Some of these pressures may be mitigated down the line by hop growing regions outside the Pacific NW. Michigan has ~400 acres now and another ~400 being planted and strung. Other regions like the Northeast are also being expanded. Nevertheless, in the grand scheme, a few thousand acres here and there do very little in a hop market if the ~44,000 acres in WA, OR, and ID see serious shocks.

Wait and see, but the bottom-dollar line is that breweries should have secured their hops contracts by now. Or, as Mr. Watson suggests: “If you want to throw in a little rain dance, that would be fine too.”

—–more—–

According to the Barth Haas report, worldwide planting of hops in 2014 was 47,666 hectares, an increase of 3.3% over 2013; world hops production equaled 96,477 metric tons in 2014, an increase of 15.9% over 2013. A hectare is the equivalent of 2.47 acres, and a metric ton is the equivalent of 2,204.6 U.S. pounds.
For more from YFGF:


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.


Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 28/29, 2015.

View the article’s original source
Author: THOMAS CIZAUSKAS

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.

Weeks 26/27
5 July – 18 July 2015

  • 18 July 2015
    “Hops have worked their way to the gustatory core of most craft beer recipes.” That, and the results of an annual look at the world hops business from the Barth-Haas Group.
    —Via Stan Hieronymus, at Appellation Beer.
  • 17 July 2015
    Belgian brewery, Duvel Moortgat, buys its third American ‘craft’ brewery: Firestone-Walker, in Paso Robles, California.
    —Via USA Today.
  • 15 July 2015
    Since 1996, Pabst has been a contract brewery; its beers brewed for it by others. Now, Pabst is to brew beer again, on the grounds of its former headquarters, in Milwaukee. But not its flagship Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR); and the facility will be a small brewpub.
    —Via USA Today.
  • 13 July 2015
    More than 150 beer writers from across the U.S. participated in the 2015 iteration of the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference, in Asheville, North Carolina. The conference included “a lot of beer,” but it’s not just an excuse to drink, said conference organizer, Allan Wright of Zephyr Adventures and Taste Vacations. “This is a a professional conference, not a drinker’s conference. “Everyone who comes is fairly committed” to writing about beer, he said.

    —Via Asheville Citizen-Times.
  • 10 July 2015
    The (U.S.) Brewers Association published the results of its annual “Brewery Operations Benchmarking Survey.” This year’s review, based on 2014 operations, featured responses from three hundred ten unique breweries in forty-six states, all of which responded to questions in the areas of human resources, sales and marketing, and brewing and financial operations.
    —Via Brewbound.
  • 14 July 2015
    After a nine and one-half year voyage of three billion miles, NASA’s New Horizons probe passed within seven thousand eight hundred miles of the dwarf planet Pluto’s surface.
    —Via Sydney Morning Herald.
  • 13 July 2015
    European leaders agree to economic ‘rescue’ plan for Greek government and banks, averting default.
    —Via Washington Post.
  • 12 July 2015
    An asset management company, using the price of beer sold at Oktoberfest in Munich over fifty years as a benchmark, creates a gold-to-beer price index, and finds that beer in 2015 is relatively inexpensive.
    —Via YFGF.
  • 10 July 2015
    Doh! Cartoon character Homer Simpson’s beer of choice, Duff Beer, to be brewed in reality, and sold, licensed by Fox TV, in Chile.
    —Via Wall Street Journal.
  • 9 July 2015
    The 2015 hop harvest in the U.S. “will be the third highest total harvested acreage on record. Washington, with 32,205 acres for harvest, accounts for 73 percent of the United States total acreage. Oregon hop growers plan to string 6,807 acres, or 16 percent of the United States total, with Idaho hop growers accounting for the remaining 11 percent, or 4,975 acres strung for harvest. Acreage increased in all three States from 2014 and, if realized, both Washington and Idaho acres will be at record high levels.”
    —Via Craft Brewing Business.
  • 5 July 2015
    The science of beer and food pairing: finding the affinity between flavor compounds in beer and those in food.
    —Via Matt Humbard, at A Ph.D. in Beer.
  • 5 July 2015
    “Don’t waste your piss.” A Danish music festival recycles urine to fertilize barley used to brew beer.
    —ViaDaily Mail.
  • 5 July 2015
    How many calories are in your beer? Use this formula: “cal per 12 oz beer = [(6.9 × ABW) + 4.0 × (RE – 0.1)] × FG × 3.55.” Or, to approximate: multiply the beer’s alcohol content percentage (ABV) by 2.5, and that by the number of ounces of beer.
    —Via Beer of Tomorrow.
  • 5 July 2015
    In May, the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) released its 2015 Beer Guidelines. The first major revision since 2008, the guidelines list thirty-four categories of beer ‘styles,’ and one hundred-nineteen sub-categories. The BJCP was founded in 1985 to “develop standardized tools, methods, and processes for the structured evaluation, ranking and feedback of beer, mead, and cider,” and to “certify and rank beer judges through an examination and monitoring process, sanction competitions, and provide educational resources.”
    —Via BJCP.
  • 5 July 2015
    “Like grammar, beer styles have a functional use. They help us communicate. They are provisional agreements.” Beer writer Jeff Alworth examines the utility and limitations of beer ‘styles.’
    —Via All About Beer.

—–more—–

  • Clamps and Gaskets is a bi-weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Fermentables.com. Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.
  • For more from YFGF:


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.


Call Me Crazy, But…

View the article’s original source
Author: Sandy Sue

smoking-gunNot again.

Another movie theater.  Another slaughter.  Another deranged man with a gun.  Another gun that never should have found its way into that man’s hands.

At the same time, Iowa’s governor is trying to close down the last two mental health hospitals in the state.  Plus, Iowa’s psychiatrists receive the 4th lowest Medicare reimbursement rate in the nation.  In 2011, we ranked 47th in the nation for the number of psychiatrists per capita, and the exodus is ongoing (who could blame them?).

No psych docs.  No hospitals.

And no gun control.

So, why aren’t mass murders happening in my cineplex?

Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, said in a 2014 interview that a history of violent or assaultive behavior is a better indicator of future violence than any mental illness diagnosis.  Substance abuse is also a strong indicator of violent behavior.  Mental illness is a risk factor for suicide, he said, not for homicide.

People with severe mental illness are more likely to be victims, rather than perpetrators, of violent crime.

Do we know yet if drugs or alcohol were involved in the Louisiana case?  No mention one way or the other, but we know he had a history of violence.  And we sure do know he was bipolar.  The media latched onto that buzzword immediately.

It seems clear to me—people who are drunk, high, or beat their wives should never be allowed to buy a gun.  People who have a history of hurting other people or themselves should never be allowed to buy a gun.  Period.  I would be included in that group because I tried to kill myself once.  Call me crazy, but I don’t think I should have a gun either, because I’d hurt myself before I’d open fire at the next Marvel movie.

Still, the debate about rights and mental illness keeps us from actually doing something about the guns.  Diversion tactics.  When will we stop talking around the problem?  When?


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.


Virginia to celebrate Craft Beer Month in August.

View the article’s original source
Author: THOMAS CIZAUSKAS

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe proclaims August to be Virginia Craft Beer Month, and Virginia breweries will celebrate … and compete.

Virginia Craft Beer Month 2015
8/1/2015

WHEREAS, brewing homegrown, locally sourced beer in Virginia is a tradition that began in 1587, when Virginia colonists brewed their first ale using corn; and

WHEREAS, the production of craft beer stimulates economic growth in Virginia by supporting local farmers of grains, barley, and hops; and

WHEREAS, the craft beer industry also supports a growing $623 million economic impact in Virginia, along with more than 8,000 jobs; and

WHEREAS, Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, established in 2010 as a coalition of independent, small, commercial breweries dedicated to growing the craft beer industry in Virginia, will host the 4th annual Virginia Craft Brewers Fest on August 22, 2015, at Devils Backbone Basecamp in Nelson County, Virginia; and

WHEREAS, there are more than 115 licensed craft breweries in the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, Virginia Craft Brewers Month is an opportunity to celebrate the Commonwealth’s craft beer and the business and community leaders working to grow the industry;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize August 2015 as VIRGINIA CRAFT BEER MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA,and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

‘Craft’ beer1 is a booming business in Virginia. In just one year, the state has seen a 47% increase in the number of its breweries. Excluding Anheuser-Busch in Williamsburg, and MillerCoors in Elkton, Virginia, there are now one-hundred twenty-one licensed ‘craft’ breweries in Virginia, six more than the Governor proclaimed. In 2014, there were eighty-two ‘craft’ breweries in the state; in 2013, just over fifty.2

The greater portion of this growth can be tracked back to 2012, to the passage of Virginia Senate Bill 604 and House Bill 359, that allowed production breweries —that is, breweries without a restaurant attached (aka brewpubs)— to sell beer for on-site consumption in their public taprooms. That same year, the Virginia legislature first proclaimed August to be Virginia Craft Beer Month.

The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild —a subset of the Virginia Manufacturers Association— “is a coalition of independent, small, commercial breweries dedicated to growing the craft beer industry in the Commonwealth.” Every year, since 2012, the Guild has celebrated Virginia Craft Beer Month by organizing the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest at the fairgrounds of Devils Backbone Brewing, in Roseland, Virginia. This year, that will be on Saturday, 22 August.

A highlight of the festival is the awarding of the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup to the state’s best beer(s) and brewery. Nationally accredited judges (BJCP, the Beer Budge Certification Program) judge entries independently, earlier in the month. Last year they judged over two-hundred beers entered in fourteen categories.

Host brewery Devils Backbone has won the Cup —and bragging rights as Virginia’s best— three years running. This August, one-hundred twenty other breweries may have plans to wrest that away.

—–more—–

As of today, the Guild has announced only the Fest as an event for Virginia Craft Beer Month. Another good calendar resource is the Virginia Beer Trail (not affiliated with the Guild), created by blogger Kory Mohr. Look for events with the tag, Virginia Craft Beer Month. Or, if you’re a brewery or pub or venue celebrating Virginia Craft Beer Month with an event(s), post an announcement at the site.
More on the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, on 22 August, and how to get tickets: here.
The results of the 2014 competition: here.
1 There is no legal or governmental definition of ‘craft’ brewery. However, the (U.S.) Brewers Association does define it, for purposes of membership, as “small, independent, and traditional”: here.
2 The list of breweries operating in Virginia can be obtained at the website of the Virginia ABC (Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control). More on the 2014 number (83): here. On the 2013 count (50): here.

For more from YFGF:


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.


De-Lamination

View the article’s original source
Author: Sandy Sue

Unexplored CreviceThe word is out—sitting all the time will kill you.  Well, everything eventually kills you, but sitting is the new smoking in terms of health. It all makes sense to me.  I was a nurse once.  I know about circulation and oxygen flow.  But it was lamination that really sold me.

Lamination is what happens to the fat, fascia and muscles of your butt under the heat and pressure of sitting (think glued together and steam pressed).  I wish I could find the You Tube piece that explained it so well, but all I could find was this joker talking about Gibbon-Butt.  He makes a point, though.  Our backsides are not meant to be weight-baring.

I started researching standing desks.  With a desktop computer and a teeny apartment, I needed one adjustable desk, and those suckers cost big bucks.  Units that sit on the desk are cheaper, but I have a teeny desk, so all that scaffolding leaves no work space.  I was stumped. So Get Adjustable Desk became part of my IPR wish list for making my living space better and healthier.

This spring when I visited my nurse practitioner, I noticed her work space.  She had a big, simple adjustable desk with a chair on one end and a treadmill on the other.  She didn’t just stand at her desk, she walked or jogged, which seemed a bit excessive, but good on her, right?  I was more interested in the desk anyway.

Clean lines, simple, moderately priced and from IKEA (I’m partial to Swedish furniture—I used to be married to a Swede.  Some things stick, though are not necessarily laminated in place).  Minneapolis has a big IKEA store.  I often go to Minneapolis to visit friends.  I felt a plan forming.

Desk LowLast week I traveled to said Minneapolis to visit said friends.  I also brought home a desk in three boxes.  Yesterday I put it together (ridiculously simple) and started rearranging the jigsaw puzzle that is my apartment.  I’m shocked that I only have to get rid of two pieces of furniture:  my desk—a sweet little thing that was my first craft work table, and a night stand from an old bedroom set—repainted and pretty, but not very functional.  Everything else got redistributed and refiled (or will be).

I have to be careful with this kind of project.  I tend to purge while manic, and I’m hovering at hypomanic right now.  It would be so easy to get rid of all my crappy, second-hand furniture and just start over.  But, that’s crazy talk, so I will sit (or stand) with this one, new purchase until the fever passes.

Desk HighAlso, my cats are traumatized.  Henry won’t leave my side, and Emmett stays hidden under the bed.  First came the bathroom remodel, then I was gone for five days, and when I came home I brought in Big Things that Made Noise.  We all need a nice run of quiet days to let our nerves settle.

I’m standing at my desk now.  Henry’s taking in the afternoon sun.  Emmett’s still under the bed.  We’ll get de-laminated eventually.


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.


Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 26/27, 2015.

View the article’s original source
Author: THOMAS CIZAUSKAS

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.

Weeks 26/27
21 June – 4 July 2015

  • 2015.07.04
    Why John Adams believed that July 2nd, not July 4th would be American Independence Day.
    —Via The Independent.
  • 2015.07.02
    “The feel is of a welcoming insider showing a newbie the ropes.” A review of the new book by Ashley Routson, “The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer.”
    —Via Jeff Alworth, at Beervana.
  • 2015.07.01
    Nicholas Winton, English rescuer of 669 Czech children during the Holocaust, dies in England at 106.
    —Via New York Times.
  • 2015.07.01
    Eric Wallace, owner of Left Hand Brewing Company —a Longmont, Colorado, brewery he co-founded in 1993: “No way I am going to sell out for a bunch of money.” Wallace sells majority of brewery shares back to employees.
    —Via Brewbound.
  • 2015.07.01
    The (U.S.) Brewers Association has created an on-line database of laws concerning beer sales and sampling laws in breweries and brewpubs, for all fifty U.S. states.
    —Via Brewers Association.
  • 2015.06.30
    An appreciation of Dan Bosserman (1949-2015), long-time ‘craft’ beer distributor in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
    —Via YFGF.
  • 2015.06.29
    The tourism office of Howard County —a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C.— creates a county beer-trail mobile app.
    —Via Baltimore Sun.
  • 2015.06.30
    Clocks read 11:59:60 as extra “leap” second is officially added to world time, allowing the Earth’s slowing rotation to catch up with atomic time.
    —Via The Telegraph.
  • 2015.06.30
    Influential, fast-growing Scottish ‘craft’ brewery, BrewDog to open a new brewery near Columbus, Ohio, in the United States, in 2016, its only brewing facility outside of the United Kingdom.
    —Via BeerPulse.
  • 2015.06.29
    The state of South Carolina is offering tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure away ‘craft’ brewery, Terrapin Beer Company, from its home in Athens, Georgia.
    —Via Augusta Chronicle.
  • 2015.06.25
    Since 2012, Beck’s sold in the United States has been brewed by Anheuser-Busch InBev in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, not in Germany. The brewery settled a class-action lawsuit, and will change wording on the packaging to clearly indicate American provenance.
    —Via Big Class Action.
  • 2015.06.29
    The Beer Price Index: how much a beer costs in various cities across the world. Geneva, Switzerland, is the most expensive city for a beer: $6.32 per 11.2 ounce beer.
    —Via Wall Street Journal.
  • 2015.06.25
    “You could be reading a lot soon about soaring hop prices.” The 2015 Barth-Haas Hop Report.
    —Via Stan Hieronymus, at Appellation Beer.
  • 2015.06.25
    Quotable quote. Larry Bell of Bell’s Brewery: “We are in the middle of the end of the beginning of #craftbeer.” Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ‘craft’ brewery acquisitions are unsettling the craft movement. A profile of Andy Goeler, CEO of craft beer for AB InBev’s Anheuser-Busch division.
    —Via Bloomberg.
  • 2015.06.26
    In 5-4 vote, U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges makes same-sex marriage a right nationwide. Majority decision from Justice Anthony Kennedy:
    No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people be-come something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they dorespect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
    —Via New York Times.
  • 2015.06.26
    The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, with bipartisan support. The bill would:
    Reduce the federal excise tax to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers producing fewer than 2 million barrels annually.
  • Reduce the federal excise tax to $16 per barrel on the first 6 million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers.
  • Keep the excise tax at the current $18 per barrel rate for barrelage over 6 million.

Both the Beer Institute and the (U.S.) Brewers Association support the bill; in the past, both had supported competing bills.
—Via Brewers Association.
2015.06.25
The Affordable Care act (aka Obamacare) survives a second challenge at the U.S. Supreme Court. In King versus Burwell, by a vote of 6-3, the Court decided that subsidies should be available across the entire U.S.
—Via The Telegraph.

2015.06.25
Quotable quote. Larry Bell of Bell’s Brewery: “We are in the middle of the end of the beginning of craft beer.” Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ‘craft’ brewery acquisitions are unsettling the craft movement. A profile of Andy Goeler, CEO of craft beer for AB InBev’s Anheuser-Busch division.
—Via Bloomberg.

2015.06.24
Symposium held during SAVOR week near Washington, D.C., asks: What defines a ‘craft’ beer? Participants answer, “It all comes down to motive with quality.”
—Via Capital Gazette.

2015.06.22
Bob and Ellie Tupper, long-time observers and chroniclers of good beer in the Washington, D.C. area, release their first book: “Drinking in the Culture: Tuppers’ Guide to Exploring Great Beers in Europe.”
—Via YFGF.

2015.06.21
Forty U.S. ‘craft’ breweries have signed the Brewery Climate Declaration since March 2015.
Finding innovative ways to integrate sustainability into their business practices and finding economic opportunity through investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste recapture, and sustainable sourcing.
—Via Ceres.

2015.06.21
“There’s no sense trying to start a revolution if nobody wants to follow.” Jim Koch of Boston Beer is profiled on his role at the beginnings of ‘craft’ beer over thirty years ago.
—Via Business Insider.

2015.06.21
Twenty-one of the world’s thirty-seven largest aquifers have passed their sustainability tipping points, meaning more water was removed than replaced during the decade-long study period, a NASA report states.
—Via Washington Post.

—–more—–

  • Clamps and Gaskets is a bi-weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Fermentables.com. Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not.
  • YFGF has been remiss: Clamps and Gaskets has fallen several weeks behind the calendar. Until things are set right, there will be a weekly —not bi-weekly— update.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.
  • For more from YFGF:


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.


Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 24/25, 2015.

View the article’s original source
Author: THOMAS CIZAUSKAS

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.

Weeks 24/25
7 June – 20 June 2015

  • 2015.06.20
    Patagonia (Chile/Argentina), Bavaria (Germany), Frohberg (Germany), and Saaz (Czech Republic). The history of lager yeast, and the creation of a new hybrid lager yeast.
    —Via Beer Strength Matters.
  • 2015.06.18
    U.S. homebrewers vote for their favorite U.S. beers and breweries, and imports. This is the seventh year in a row American Homebrew Association members chose Russian River’s Pliny the Elder as the top beer, and the sixth consecutive year that Bell’s Two Hearted Ale came in second.
    —Via Brookston Beer Bulletin.
  • 2015.06.18
    Roman Catholic Pope Francis I releases Laudato Si, an encyclical stating that the “bulk of global warming is caused by human activity.”
    The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.
    —Via Washington Post.
  • 2015.06.17
    On the evening of June 17, 2015, a mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people were killed, including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney; a tenth victim survived. The congregation is one of the United States’ oldest black churches and has long been a site for community organization around civil rights. Police arrested 21-year-old Dylann Roof,
    —Via New Yorker.
  • 2015.06.17
    A list of twenty-two of the best beer gardens in America, as compiled by Time Out New York.
    —Via Time Out New York.
  • 2015.06.16
    To further American craft beer promotion and education in Europe, the Brewers Association (BA)—the non-profit trade association dedicated to American small and independent craft brewers—has hired Sylvia Kopp as its American Craft Beer Ambassador in Europe.
    —Via Brewbound.
  • 2015.06.16
    American farmers planted more than 44,000 acres with hops in year 2015, an increase of 16% over year 2014. In 2009, 69% of hop acreage was devoted to alpha hops (hops used for bitterness rather than aroma), while in 2015 only 23%. The percentage of acreage of aroma hops has more than doubled from 31% in 2009 to 77% this year.
    —Via June Hop Acreage Report by (U.S.) Brewers Association.
  • 2015.06.15
    The Magna Carta was signed 800 years ago, on 15 June 1215, by England’s King John I and rebellious barons and nobles. It established that “nobody was above the law, and the rule of law as paramount.” The Magna Carta contains 63 clauses, including weights and measures for the sale of beer and wine.
    Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale.
    —Via Washington Post.
  • 2015.06.14
    A newspaperman’s newspaperman. John S. Carroll, acclaimed newspaper editor for Lexington Herald-Leader, Baltimore Sun, and Los Angeles Times, winning numerous Pulitzer prizes, has died at age 73.
    —Via Washington Post.
  • 2015.06.12
    After several years of promoting competing bills for excise tax relief, the Beer Institute and the (U.S.) Brewers Association have agreed on a compromise bill, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.
    —Via Brewbound.
  • 2015.06.11
    Ohio supermarket chain, Heinen’s, has removed a Maryland ‘craft’ beer from its shelves, after customers complain about the name: Sweet Baby Jesus, from DuClaw Brewing.
    —Via Cleveland.com.
  • 2015.06.11
    Ornette Coleman, one of the great innovators of modern American classical music, jazz, has died, at age 85.
    —Via New York Times.
  • 2015.06.10
    The decline of hops in German pilsners? The Journal of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling has published a study that indicates that the bitterness level of German pilsners has has dipped, now brewing with about 27 International Bitterness Units (IBUs).
    —Via Stan Hieronymus in Appellation Beer.
  • 2015.06.07
    Bright, filtered, unfiltered natural, or murky? The case for cloudy beer.
    —Via Stephen Beaumont The Globe and Mail.
  • 2015.06.07
    The 17th/18th-century English story of porter. Three-threads was NOT porter; it was tax-dodging beer-blending.
    —Via Martyn Cornell at Zythophile.
  • 2015.06.07
    Beer color for beer geeks: vocabulary, SRM, hexadecimals.
    —Via Jay Brooks at Brookston Beer Bulletin.
  • 2015.06.07
    Obituary for Reg Drury, 1939-2015: the brewer who saved cask ale at Fullers Brewery in London. Worked for the brewery for 40 years, ending as director of brewing.
    When he retired from Fuller’s, he became an assessor for Cask Marque, the industry-funded group that monitors the quality of real ale in the nation’s pubs. Statistics released just a few days after his death showed that sales of cask beer, the style he helped improve and foster, have grown appreciably in 2014 and 2015. Reg was good beer’s best friend.
    —Via Roger Protz (Guardian).

—–more—–

  • Clamps and Gaskets is a bi-weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Fermentables.com. Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not.
  • YFGF has been remiss: Clamps and Gaskets has fallen several weeks behind the calendar. Until things are set right, there will be a weekly —not bi-weekly— Monday update.
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.
  • For more from YFGF:


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.


Summertime Chilled Tomato Soup With Guacamole

View the article’s original source
Author: ajeanroy

The wonderful thing about the garden season, is that you have such a variety of foods that need little done to them to taste wonderful. Try harvesting a few of your favorite veggies, and breaking out the hand blender to make the perfect appetizer or first course. 
If you have never tried cold soups,  you are in for a treat. They retain all the robust flavor of the fresh ingredients, and are perfect for an evening meal, with a baguette of crusty bread and some good cheese. 
Try this recipe from
Eatwell 101: Tomato and Strawberry Gazpacho. It’s unique blend of fruit and vegetables makes this a one of a kind meal. 

Then, try this cool, smooth Cucumber Gazpacho for something different. This one is from Joy of Kosher and it’s fabulous! 

Finally, how about this new twist on the more traditional Tomato soup? This one, from Patissiar Francois Payard, is lovely served as an appetizer, or a light lunch. It’s beautiful and interesting with the dollop of fresh Guacamole. We just love this! 

Chilled Tomato Soup with Guacamole

Makes Enough for 20 Small Glasses

For the Soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 medium Spanish onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1/2 fennel bulb

1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bouquet garni (1 thyme sprig, 1 rosemary sprig, 2 parsley sprigs, and 3 basil sprigs, all tied together with kitchen twine)

8 large, very ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 8 pieces each

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground white pepper

4 drops Tabasco sauce

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

For the Guacamole

1/2 ripe avocado, coarsely chopped

Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped

1/4 red bell pepper, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped

1 cilantro sprig, chopped

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground white pepper

For the Garnish

20 basil leaves

1)     Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, fennel, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, until very soft. Do not let the vegetables brown. Add the bouquet garni, tomatoes, and 21/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened. Season with salt and pepper.

2)     While the soup is cooking, fill a large pot with very cold water and ice cubes to make an ice water bath. When the soup is ready, place the stockpot in the ice water bath to cool. Remove the bouquet garni.

3)     When the soup has cooled, transfer it to a blender and puree until smooth. Pass the purée through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Add the Tabasco sauce and celery salt, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set the soup aside.

4)     Place the avocado in a small bowl and mash it with a fork until smooth. Stir in the lime zest and juice, red onion, jalapeño, bell pepper, and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.

5)     Ladle the chilled soup into 20 small glasses or bowls. Place a spoonful of the guacamole in the center of each one, and garnish with a basil leaf. Arrange on a platter, and serve cold.


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.


Radar Day

View the article’s original source
Author: Sandy Sue

Every three months the apartments in our complex get inspected for bedbugs.  We had an infestation a few years ago (remember when the varmints were everywhere?)  Since then regular inspections became mandatory.  While I haven’t had any creepy crawlies since the first outbreak, I know if an apartment next to mine becomes infested, I’m at risk.  So, I’m glad to get the notice.  Not because I’m worried about parasites.  Oh, no.  I’m thrilled because I know Radar is coming.

boxelder bug

Eau de Stink Bug

Pest control companies train beagles to sniff out bedbugs.  They have a distinct odor.  Think back to your wayward youth.  If you ever smashed a boxelder bug, you’ll remember the stink.  I’ve been told bedbugs have a more refined bouquet, but similar.  It takes a nose of distinction and refinement to tell the difference.

These canine prima donnas require man-servants and Garbo-esque privacy in order to perform.  Soaps, chemicals and food must be sequestered.  Pets and their lowly accoutrements (food, litter boxes, doggie chews) must vacate the premises at least an hour before the Star’s arrival.  The only human allowed in the apartment with the Super Sniffer is his agent.  Tenants may wait outside at a discrete distance, behind queue barricades and ropes.

The cats and I camp out in my car—close enough to get a good look, but far enough away to avoid the heavy-handed security squad.  Since we never know when Radar will make his appearance (how can a hound of such stature be held to a timetable?) we have missed him on occasion.  Especially in the winter when we’re forced to keep the car warm by driving around the block.  And since Henry gets car sick, the Winter Radar Watch requires paper towels and baby wipes as well as the litter box.  Small price to pay for a gander at the infamous pup.

Radar Day 3Today provided perfect Radar-Watching weather.  We nabbed front-row seats across from our front door.  As you can see, Henry is in the throes of fan-girling at the thought of catching a glimpse.  This is Henry at his most excited.

Emmett, on the other hand, preferred to guard our luggage.  He understood how dangerous hoards of fans could be—and he already had Radar’s paw print.  *sniff*   Plus, the treats were in one of those bags, and if Henry wasn’t going to puke on this outing, there was a good chance the human would fall for some sad eyes and piteous mewling.  Emmett knows how to work a room.

Radar Day 6

Tension mounted as we waited.  First a leaf flew in from the moon roof.  Then, a snicker doodle, or hershey’s terrier, or one of those yappy fluff balls set to howling at the grass in his yard.  Henry, however, remained vigilant and undeterred.

Radar Day 5

Our nerves at the point of snapping, we spotted the cavalcade of white and red Preferred Pest Control vans turning onto our street.  Our street!  Within moments, the entourage exited their vehicles, fingers pressed to their wireless headsets, in communication with Radar’s helicopter film crew.  And then… there he was!  Super Schnoz!  The Scourge of Cimex lectularius!

Security hustled Radar into the building while we gawped.  Only luck and muscle spasms caused my camera to fire in time.

Radar Day 9

And just like that—it was all over.  How does one recover from a brush with greatness?  From the image of celebrity burned onto one’s retinas?

I guess, the way most fans do—with a sigh and a hearty deposit in the litter box.


All of these texts are owned by its respective writers and are published here under a Creative Commons License.