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Beer taps installed in Colorado governor’s mansion

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govwithbeerDENVER (AP) — Colorado’s governor used to brew beer for a living, and now he has new beer taps in his home.

State officials announced Friday that private donors have paid for a new “draft beer system” in the governor’s mansion.

The mansion now has three taps that will feature changing Colorado-made brews.

The Colorado Craft Brewers Guild helped pay for the taps, along with the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Fund. The price of the taps was not disclosed.

Gov. John Hickenlooper co-founded a downtown Denver brewpub in the late 1980s and frequently espouses his love for Colorado beers.

“It just seemed appropriate,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former brewer who founded the Wynkoop Brewing Company in LoDo back when downtown was a ghost town and craft beer wasn’t anything close to the $800 million a year industry it’s become with 232 federally licensed breweries and brewpubs in Colorado.
“If you’d have told me we’d one day have 235 breweries, I’d have laughed,” Hickenlooper told FOX31 Denver Thursday. “I think it’s a symbol of Colorado; I think it stands for freedom, having a lot of choices.
“The mansion is another symbol of Colorado. It’s where we entertain. It’s where we kind of show off Colorado, and beer has become a big part of what Colorado is.”
Not surprisingly, a Wynkoop beer, Silverback Pale Ale, was the first small batch keg tapped at the mansion on Thursday; and the plan is to rotate unique small batch brews from breweries all across the state.
“We’re going to try and rotate all the different breweries, all the different beer,” Hickenlooper said. “So it becomes a showcase for the quality of Colorado.”
The taps will be ready in time for a party at the mansion Friday night to kick off Colorado Craft Beer Week, a celebration of an industry that now employs around 5,000 Coloradans.
“With more than 200 different breweries in Colorado, we’re probably brewing several thousand beers in a year,” said Steve Kurowski with the Colorado Brewers Guild. “These are some of the freshest, some of the most world-class beers being brewed around; to have these on showcase at the mansion is very exciting for our industry.
“They will create a conversation; it’ll be very unique every time there’s an event here and these beers are being poured.”
The industry has grown steadily since the first brewpub was founded in 1979; but the growth is really frothing of late, with 53 new small breweries licensed just last year.
“That’s one new brewery opening up every week,” Kurowski said. “It’s just getting bigger and better every single day.”
Installing the taps inside the mansion’s historic first-floor parlor, already home to a bar and photographs of every governor in Colorado history, wasn’t a done on a whim but with months of planning and consideration for preserving the integrity — structural and historical — of the mansion itself.
But it wasn’t as difficult as some staffers thought it might have been.
“We were lucky,” said Kevin Patterson, Hickenlooper’s deputy chief of staff. “The drain worked extremely well; we were able to just run [the tap line] straight up from the basement. We only had to add a little bit of electrical power for the refrigeration unit downstairs.”
Patterson, who’s been involved with this project from the start, says the former brewpub founder governor hasn’t left much to chance, wanting to sign off on the pint glasses and the pours.
Hickenlooper, who’s been criticized by GOP rivals heading into his reelection year as a “state bartender”, isn’t worried about the new craft beer offerings at the mansion, being tapped now just a few months into Colorado’s recreational marijuana experiment, impacting his own fortunes or the state’s.
“Craft beer doesn’t fit into that notion with the legalization of marijuana that Colorado is a party state,” said Hickenlooper. “If you’re going to get drunk, you’re not drinking craft beer.
“Craft beer is really about drinking less and partying less to some extent, but really enjoying it more. It’s about the flavor and bouquet of the beer.”

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How much beer is left in that keg? There’s an app for that

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kegman

By LuAnn LaSalle

MONTREAL _ Beer servers can find out in real time how many pints of their customers’ favourite brews are left with the help of an app on their smartphones or tablets.

Steve Hershberger, CEO of SteadyServ Technologies, says he wants to eliminate the guess work of how much beer is left in kegs to help bars and restaurants keep track of their inventory with his iKeg system, which has sensor and an app.

“How much beer is left in a keg due to guessing and shaking?” asks Hershberger, who’s based in Carmel, Ind., and is courting beer distributors, breweries, bars and restaurants.

“You can’t see inside the keg. It’s this heavy and unwieldy thing.”

Hershberger estimates there are about 20 pints of beer left unsold in each keg, wasting thousands of litres of beer.

He incorporated social media into the app because “beer is a supportive actor to virtually any social engagement.” Bar owners can post their current beer selections to Facebook and Twitter so customers know what’s available.

“If you go to a bar and your favourite beer isn’t there, you won’t leave but you will drink one third less,” he says.

Hershberger’s iKeg system uses a sensor that goes under a beer keg to keep track of how many pints are left through changes in pressure. The information is sent wirelessly to the app.

Hershberger’s inspiration for the iKeg came from his background in the software industry and as a former co-owner of a craft brewery.

He wanted to know if his brewery’s primary beer was being offered on tap when he was out for an evening and more often than not he was told: “We’re sorry, we’ve run out.”

“At first, I thought that problem was unique to us. It was not. It’s unique to a lot of breweries.”

Roger Mittag, founder of the beer education company Thirst for Knowledge, said there’s already a system in use in Canada that basically shuts down draft lines once there’s no more beer left in a keg, eliminating guess work or shaking kegs. But he likes the app that’s part of Hershberger’s iKeg system.

“If the app actually tells you that this is how many usable pints you can get out of this keg, what it then helps the bar to do is hold the bartenders responsible for making sure there is no waste,” Mittag said from Toronto.

“It can then show a bar owner where the waste is being created.”

But Mittag said he’s not impressed with idea of telling patrons how many pints of a particular beer are left in a keg.

“That frightens me because if I see when that keg was tapped and there’s a certain amount left in there, I might not buy it anymore because I might think it’s not the freshest beer.”

Source: Canadian Press DataFile

Coffee and Beer

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coffee and beer

 

Brandon Mannino pours a coffee-beer cocktail at Uppers and Downers. (Julie Verive / October 22, 2013)

By John Verive at Los Angeles Times

Coffee finds its way into a lot of beer, and the natural affinity was explored at Uppers and Downers, a weekend event that brought together brewers and coffee roasters at Intelligentsia Coffee’s Pasadena outpost, and which culminated in coffee and beer coming together in novel and delicious ways.

Fans of both brewed beverages filled the Colorado Boulevard coffee shop, which also serves beer and wine, to sample a bevy of coffee beers, snack on luscious charcuterie from Lindy & Grundy, and learn the stories behind the beer from the brewers and roasters themselves.

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67.5 per cent alcohol content – Snake Venom Beer

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snakevenombeerDaily Record – Two pals who brewed the world’s strongest beer have unveiled an even more lethal recipe – after fans said the first one tasted too weak. Lewis Shand and John McKenzie, of Banffshire’s Brewmeister Brewery, broke the record with 65 per cent alcohol Armageddon last year. They sold 6000 bottles around the world but some fans said it didn’t taste strong enough. So Lewis and John, from Keith, bought a new brewery and spent nine months creating Snake Venom, with a head-spinning 67.5 per cent alcohol content. Lewis said yesterday: “Snake Venom is definitely sharper in taste. With Armageddon, we actually tried to disguise the taste by making it quite oily. “We thought if it was too strong, people wouldn’t like it. But the problem we found is that people said we shouldn’t have tried to cover up the intensity. “Some even said they didn’t believe it was 65 per cent, so this time we thought we’d go full out. We were too nice last time.” Snake Venom has a warning label on its neck to tell buyers not to drink too much at once. Read More

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