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Awesome Cycling Blog (funny stuff)
Brew Your Own Magazine
Washington Brewers Guild
Tasting Notes and Beer Talk
Steve and Jaye
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Homebrew Heaven
Beer Brewed Since Starting this Blog:
124 US Gallons


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Monday, March 28, 2005
Brewery Move

Brewery has been moved due to our host leaving the house. We will be moving the brewery again when a sufficient space is located. Oh, and our attempt to nitrogenate beer has somewhat failed. it kind of bubbles, and is kind of nitrogen fizzy like, but just doesn't taste like there are many bubbles in it if you know what I mean. Answers are being sought. Micah

Posted at Monday, March 28, 2005 by Micah
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Friday, January 21, 2005
Great Beer in a CAN!!

Hey all you beer afficianados, great beer has come to a can near you. That's right, I said a can. Oskar Blues brewing in Colorado has canned two of their beers and are distributing to Washington and elswhere. The only one I have tried to date is the Scotch ale, and it was quite good as well as packing an 8% punch. Very caramel and malty flavor, great mouth feel, and a smoky follow through. This is a good beer. It does lack the esthery undertones common to great scotch ales such as McEwans, but it was a great beer. Seattle PI had an article on this this week and mentioned that they sent a 60 day supply up here and it dissappeared in less than 20. Not surprising with the buzz it's causing. I got my 12 pack at Central Market in Mill Creek about the 2nd day they had it. Look for it in several beer toting local grocery stores, and be sure to check out the Supersuckers cd that comes in their "Singing 12 packs". I'll get the links in here as soon as I get home and am not working on a MAC!! Micah

Posted at Friday, January 21, 2005 by Micah
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004
What a day, what beer...

It was a fantastic way to start any Saturday, much less the Saturday before Halloween; drinking several damn fine cask conditioned beers, and a few suspect ones.
The first beer of the day for Joey and I turned out to be Fat Woody from Silver City Brewing Company. This was their scotch ale, fat bastard, on oak. It was absolutely devine with a bit of the esther flavor common to scotch ales, mellowed by the oak undertones. Along with a very good scotch ale, this made for the winning brew of the day as voted by the attendees of the 1-4 session.
The second place beer was the imperial stout from Snipes Mt. This was mellowed in french oak and had the buttery chardonnay overtones to show for it. The imperial stout was mellowed by the oak and cask conditioning and had the complexity and velvety smooth touch found in great wines, and a lingering finish that continued to reveal new flavors as it went down.
The oddest beer of the day was the belgian ale from Anacortes Brewing Company. It was "dry hopped" with ginsing. This led it a very distinct, herby smell, and a slightly bitter flavor that was almost medicinal. Upon first taste it wasn't all that unpalateable, but at the end of the sample, it was no longer good.
Other great mentionables will be mentionables later as I have to go to bed, but these were both our selections for the best cask beers, and the attendees voted best, of course, I had them in the reverse order when I voted.

More Later,

Micah "Brewer" Bonkowski

Posted at Wednesday, November 03, 2004 by Micah
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Monday, October 18, 2004
Latest Adventure: Speed Brewing

Well, Ladies and Germs (preferably saccharomyces cerivasea), we have finally brewed again. This time we opted for an Irish red with a bit more hops than usual for a little bite, mellowed by some brown sugar addition during the last five minutes of the boil. For those hoping to quaff some of this brew, I apologize, but it is already spoken for by a Mr. Bruce McDougall our brewery space benefactor. If you want to taste it, you'll have to look for the time and place of the next party here. Our brewing was done quickly this time, about the fastest we've ever brewed a 10 gallon batch. It took us 5 and a half hours to have the batch done and have the place cleaned up. Not bad for a two man team of Myself and Steve Hopkins. ( I should mention that John took a break from going to the mall to come up and help us out for a bit). Look for how it turned out here in a couple of weeks. Micah Oh, and the last keg of our IPA is going to be at Hopkins Halloween Bash. It's very hoppy now that it's been maturing for so long.

Posted at Monday, October 18, 2004 by Micah
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Monday, September 27, 2004
Get yer Tickets Now

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Northwest. This is your greatest chance to try the best beer put out each year by some great brewers. That's right, it's time for the washington brewers guild cask beer festival. If you've never tried cask conditioned ale, you have to go. If you have tried it, I don't need to urge you to go, You probably already have your tickets.

This is a limited ticket event, on October 30th and we (John, My father, Reed, and I so far) are going to the afternoon session. Each session is 35 bucks, but it's all you can drink. Not some namby pamby token for a dollar for each additional taste. Plus its better beer for the most part.

To get info on getting your tickets, go to the washington brewers guild link to the left and follow the links to the cask brewers festival.

Get on it.


Posted at Monday, September 27, 2004 by Micah
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Thursday, September 02, 2004
Don't Do This at Home

This ones for the lessons learned file...

   Frozen Solid Keg=Bad Thing

Don't do it.


Posted at Thursday, September 02, 2004 by Micah
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Friday, August 20, 2004
Where can I get one of THESE!!!

Fire truck brewery from realbeer.com. I absolutely need one of these next year for my 10th highschool reunion. Imagine driving in on a functioning brewery. I think that'd just about outdo anyone else.

Real brewers help Monster Garage creation serve real beers

Aug 9, 2004 - Jesse James, host of the Monster Garage on the Discovery Channel, teams with professional brewers tonight to convert an old fire truck into a monster brewery. Brewers from Stone Brewing Co. in California and Coors Brewing Co. will appear on the show. It airs at 9 p.m. (ET) tonight, 12 a.m. Tuesday, and 2 p.m. next Sunday.

"I got a call from (Monster Garage producer) Geno Freselli who said, "We're going to turn a fire truck into a mobile brewery…wanna be involved?"" said Chris Cochran of Stone Brewing. "My initial reaction was 'hell yeah' until I heard more about the details. Then I modified my response to add an exclamation point!"

Stone Head Brewer Lee Chase spent a week imagining, sourcing, and fabricating the brewery. Also on the team creating the brewery were Ron Krol – AAA Metal Fabrication; George Plumlee – a fabricator; Otto Petersen – a welding expert; John Legnard – brewer, Sandlot Brewery-Coors; and Jesse James.

The brewing system on the truck includes a 7-barrel Grundy for fermentation, a single-infusion, open-top mashtun, and a direct-fire kettle. Legnard and Chase brewed two batches of beer - a Scottish-style ale at 6.6% alcohol by volume, and a hoppy pale ale (40 IBUs) - on the brewery.

The beers brewed on the truck are served from the vehicle via an on-board dispensing system. The system includes a converted tool box on the vehicle's front bumper that serves as a beer chiller. The tap handle for serving the beer is mounted in place of the truck's hood ornament.

The Monster Garage Fire Truck Brewery will be making an appearance at the Stone 8th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival on Aug. 21.

It will later be on display at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Denver, Colo.

Posted at Friday, August 20, 2004 by Micah
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Delayed for Progress

It has been awhile since I have posted but before I explain let me say that the beer went over extremely well at Bruce's bash/art house party. It inebriated several and resulted in a jolting sing/jam session in the basement wherein I scared everyone away by doing some sort of cajun bayou scat along to the thrumming base. Gladly (hmmmm...) I can remember it all like it was yesterday.
My reason for delay was that I was doggedly pursuing a new line of employment at which I was successful. I am now the proud bearer of the title "Professional Training Coordinator" for the non profit group the Northwest Environmental Training Center a part of the Northwest Environmental Education Council. I am excited and look forward to schmoozing with lots of really smart environmental professionals and network and put on conferences and workshops and seminars from Alaska, Montana and Idaho to Oregon and Washington. I will start in about 3 weeks, I still have much to wrap up at King County so someone else can do my job after me.

One keg of beer left to drink, so if anyone local wants it for a party, let me know.

Micah Brewer Bonkowski

Posted at Friday, August 20, 2004 by Micah
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Friday, July 30, 2004
More recent brewing discoveries

Archeologists find ancient brewery in Peru This is pretty bitchin, I say whenever we leave a city or home, we have a huge party and light it on fire whilst throwing beer mugs into it.



CHICAGO -- Here's an archaeological discovery that the average guy at the end of the bar can appreciate: An ancient brewery.

A team of scientists from Chicago's Field Museum in July uncovered a brewery in the mountains of southern Peru where members of the Wari Empire made an alcoholic beer-like drink called chicha more than 1,000 years ago.

It wasn't just a mom-and-pop operation, but something that could deliver the goods when dozens, if not hundreds, of Wari decided it was chicha time.

"This was a very large scale of production that they are undertaking here in order to serve large numbers of people," Patrick Ryan Williams, an assistant curator at the museum, said in a telephone interview from Peru.

The brewery may be the oldest large-scale facility of its kind ever found in the Andes and predates the Inca Empire by at least four centuries, he said.

Scientists have long known the Wari made the spicy drink, but nothing on the scale of the brewery they just found. Based on the brewing room that contained the pieces of several 10- to 15-gallon ceramic preparation vats, Williams estimates the facility could produce as much as a few thousand liters of chicha a day.

The brewery was found during the excavation of Cerro Baul, a mountaintop city about 8,000 feet above sea level that was active from A.D. 600 to 1000 and had a population of about 1,000 to 2,000. According to Williams, excavations started in 1989 and about five years ago, archeologists uncovered evidence that the Wari consumed chicha.

Williams said scholars believe that the elite members of the Wari Empire who lived in the city hosted large gatherings. They invited subordinates from throughout the empire, which stretched from northern Peru to southern Peru, roughly the distance from New York to Jacksonville, Fla.

"People were being rewarded for service to the state," said Williams. "They feel like they are being rewarded by being invited to these drinking festivities."

Williams said these gatherings may have been particularly important because they served as a means of incorporating diverse groups of people who may have spoken different languages into a "single political structure."

Archeologists found fire pits fueled with animal dung that were apparently used to boil water and other ingredients such as fruits, grains and pepper tree seeds. The liquid was then transferred from the ceramic vats into fermenting jars.

The last gathering was likely the most memorable. According to scientists, when the Wari decided to abandon the complex they held elaborate closing rites at the ceremonial drinking halls and brewing facilities, then set the whole place on fire. Later, elaborate drinking vessels were thrown into the charred remains of the halls.

"They knew they were pulling out and they had a big bonfire," said Field Museum spokesman Greg Borzo.

Unknown, said Williams, is why Cerro Baul and other Wari cities were abandoned after this last gathering, but there is evidence that it was in part due to internal strife and natural disasters.


Posted at Friday, July 30, 2004 by Micah
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Monday, July 12, 2004
Keg Lube, the best tool I'd never heard of

So one of our biggest annoying problems with kegging beer has been leaky lids and fittings. To some extent this is because we are on a tight budget and always buy used soda cornelius kegs which can lead to old gaskets and etched out metal fittings. To our annoyance up until yesterday we could only get two of our 5 lids to seal with our kegs at a time. One can see where this would be a problem when to much beer is available, and not enough sealing keg space.
Last week I began researching the problem in earnest by searching the web for solutions. I found some listings of KEG LUBE. This is a food grade grease that you can use on your fittins to keep the rubber seals on your kegs in good condition, and to help seal the kegs when they have problems sealing. I did a complete run of long overdue keg maintenance this weekend by dismantling all the fittings on each keg, thoroughly cleaning (with help from Joey, thanks so much) and then greasing with KEG LUBE and putting back together. This fixed the problems with all of our kegs but one and so I am sold on this stuff. Plus it's just fun to say. Keg Lube. Heh, Heh...


Posted at Monday, July 12, 2004 by Micah
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