WHAT’S BREWIN G P. 2
Don ’t Float the Ma ins tre a m
Malt Tru ths
Beer Brine Your Holid a y s
Off Tap. is a bimonthly publication of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Copyright 2015 ABC Liquors, Inc. All rights reserved. Not all products are available in all stores. If the product you’re looking for isn’t available, ask us to order it for you! Meghan Guarino Editor Allie Smallwood Contributing Editor
M EGHAN G U AR INO
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Photos courtesy of SweetWater Brewing
DON’T FLOAT the Mainstream
The lazy characters of SweetWater’s iconic motto
the effort, expanding into some of the projects
drift across everything SweetWater does. Every
the brewery team takes on to keep waterways
can, bottle, truck design and t-shirt has “Don’t
and parks around Atlanta clean. “We also
Float the Mainstream” emblazoned across it,
have the Water Keeper program that we raise
usually with the brewery’s mascot, the rainbow
money for the local water keeper to clean up the
trout, close by.
Chattahoochee,” he said. “We try to do our part.”
The motto, set by founder Freddy Bensch during
From packaging to distribution to spent grain,
SweetWater makes a concerted effort to create
SweetWater Blue is a unique, light-bodied ale
a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. This
with a hint of fresh blueberries. It begins with
the early days of the brewery, serves more of a purpose than to simply welcome the team and their patrons to a laidback atmosphere. Sure, the tie-dye patterns and outdoor scenes readily invite nature lovers and beer aficionados into the open doors of the brewery, but the combination of the motto and the team behind the brews stands for something more important: sustainability and conservation.
dedication to the environment gives credence to brewery’s motto.
an appealing blueberry aroma and finished as a surprisingly thirst-quenching ale.
– Brewery notes
And though the style and laidback atmosphere is evident on cans and in the brewery itself, it is missing not only in the brewery’s passion for sustainability, but in the beers produced there.
SWEETWATER IPA This mammoth India pale ale is loaded with intense hop character and subjected to an extensive dry-hopping process. Our IPA is unfiltered, leaving all the natural flavors intact.
– Brewery notes
hops, body and complexity. There is nothing
college. After graduation, Freddy Bensch and
“lazy” about these beers. “We work hard and play
co-founder Kevin McNeary found their way to
hard,” Medlin said. “We work hard to make great,
California for a more in-depth beer education,
leading them to bounce from West Coast brewery to West Coast brewery, gaining hop knowledge
The brewery’s flagship beer, SweetWater 420,
and stylistic techniques from a number of beer
boasts the boldness of a typical West Coast style
professionals. Soon the pair scraped enough
beer, brewed with generous amounts of Cascade
money together to open their own brewery, and a
and Centennial hops. This extra pale ale clocks
memorable trip to Atlanta during the 1996 Summer
in at 5.7% ABV and has a label adorned with the
Olympics sold Freddy and Kevin on the location
rainbow trout and a couple of buddies fishing. 420
of SweetWater Brewery. (Kevin has since left
stands as a representation of SweetWater’s roots,
SweetWater to embark on other glorious brewery
right down to the beer’s name—it was brewed for
projects. Rest assured, he is still a great friend of
the first time on April 20, 1997, just two beers and
four months after SweetWater Brewing Company
From Colorado to California to Georgia, the love of the outdoors never left Freddy and Kevin. In fact, a creek near the company’s first location in Atlanta lent its name to the brewery. And because of their constant belief in and love of the environment, the brewery aims to make the world a little bit greener in all that they do. “We partner with the Georgia Conservancy on some projects,” brewmaster Mark Medlin said of
SWEETWATER FESTIVE ALE A strong ale brewed with generous amounts of rich malt, coupled with a hint of cinnamon and mace to keep you warm and toasty all winter long.
– Brewery notes
first opened its doors. In addition to 420 and a series of limited and seasonal brews, SweetWater currently brews five other year-round beers, including SweetWater Blue and Hop Hash Double IPA, both as bold and robust as the 420. You can find SweetWater beers in ABC locations around the state.
start in Colorado, working their way through
Instead, SweetWater makes beers full of flavor,
SWEETWATER HOP HASH DOUBLE IPA We scraped all the hash out of the
Yakima hop pelletizers we could get our
sticky fingers on to concoct the dankest
double IPA out there. The pure hop lupulin, aka “hash” (the resiny stuff), meshes
seamlessly with the 2-row, pilsner and wheat malts, allowing it to deliver a pungent punch to the palate.
– Brewery notes
The duo behind SweetWater Brewery got their
Technically speaking, there is no real reason to cover the caps of your beer in wax. And when I say “technically speaking,”
How to remove that dang wax cap you just put on your beer:
what I really mean is that from a scientific standpoint, waxing the caps of your bottles serves no purpose in the development of a beer’s flavors unless you do not want them to develop at all. M E G H AN G U AR IN O
There has been little research on the subject, but what research has been done suggests that waxing the tops of beer bottles
seals the cap so tightly that no oxidation occurs, preserving the beer’s current flavors, body and aromas. Little oxidation occurs with a crown cap. This small amount of oxidation is the cause of
Like I said, the wax cap looks cool. It’s all about presentation. And when you’re doing it for someone else’s holiday gift, it’s no sweat off your back when it comes
the changing flavors in beer you age.
time to open a bottle for drinking… That said, a waxed cap looks cool, even if it is hard to get off, and it is something you can easily do at home with any beer bottle in your collection. If you’re planning a beer-studded basket for your craft-loving friends this holiday season, try waxing a few
Unless that someone is you and you’re stuck doing the dirty work your so-called
gift bottles for a personal touch on a usual present. Here’s how.
“pal” handed over as a gift. Here’s hoping
1. Get the goods. Stock up on your favorite beers that are
the beer is at least one you like. And if
good now. Not the brews you want to age if the rumors are true about the wax removing any chance of oxidation. 2. Get the wax. Either snag a bag of bottling wax or grab
that’s the case, here are a few tips to unwaxing your sealed bottle.
hot glue sticks and crayons from your kids’ art supply stash. If you’re smuggling the crayons and hot glue sticks, keep in mind this ratio: 3 mini hot glue sticks to 1 crayon.
• Take the wax off before you chill the bottle. You’ll thank me later.
3. Get to work. Strip the labels from the crayons and break up your ingredients into smaller pieces. Heat them in a container you don’t mind ruining, like a cleaned out soup or soda can.
• Heat the wax around the cap and use
4. When I dip, you dip, we dip. Practice your dipping technique
a knife to slice through the softened
to get the look you want. Dip and twist for a clean line, or dip and quickly set aside so the wax drips down the sides like a limited Terrapin brew. Truly, beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
seal. Peel away to expose the cap while the wax is still pliable.
• Use a wine key. Those things are like Swiss army knives. There are a lot of tools in one to help you work your way through the wax.
• If you love your friends, add a short string around the neck of the bottle before you wax, leaving a tail sticking out, just like those little Babybel cheese rounds. A quick pull of the string and you’re a step ahead of the wax removal process.
62°+ 62°+ 62°+ 62°
WARM 59-62 degrees
English Pale Ale
beer geek-dom few ascend.
Each and every style of beer falls into a bracket Sour Ales
correlated with the temperature at which it’s to Baltic Porters
temperature at which it should be enjoyed. Weird, Trappist Ales
designed to be sipped slowly, so that each stage
textures. Lower alcohol beers are usually served as refreshment first and foremost, but of course can still
spice, malt and hops that only warmth can coax out. Cream Ale
notes of a brew that would harmoniously echo
Climb the ladder this winter and geek out with this handy guide to serving temps.
VERY COLD 32-39 degrees
the flavors of the meal if the temperature
craft beer and food; one would entirely miss key
This is especially important to note when pairing
Craft beer is chock full of flavors, complexity, fruit,
India Pale Ale
contain beautiful bouquets and vast flavor profiles.
American Pale Ales
COLD 45-54 degrees
of enjoyment is one of new flavors, aromas and
the colder you want it, right? Well, strong beers are
though, because the higher the alcohol in spirits,
CELLAR TEMP 55-58 degrees
robust flavor. The higher the ABV, the warmer the
be served; strength as in ABV, not strength as in
Bière de Garde
of serving temps. The strength of the beer is usually
The serving temperature of beer is a ladder of craft
AL L IE S M AL LWO O D
WARMER 62+ degrees
Dark, Spiced Winter Ales
Low Alcohol Cider
COLDER 40-45 degrees
MALT TRUTHS: Your beer is probably TOO COLD
Beer Brine Your Holidays M A K EN Z IE L ADD, BEER CONSULTANT – SARASOTA @ A BC BE E RMAK E N Z IE
The combination of words may change
primary flavors coming from the addition of
As soon as the brine has cooled and your
from family to family, but it is universally
the tart and citrusy cranberry. Be aware that
turkey is ready to go, slice the tangelos and set
acknowledged by children everywhere that it
if you choose a beer that tastes differently
them aside. If you would like to baste the turkey
takes one simple phrase to set up the most
from Kvasir, you may want to adjust certain
with citrus and/or flavors from your brine as it
classic of dinnertime wars: “Eat your steamed
ingredients. For example, many people find
cooks later, slice only four tangelos and save
vegetables.” Now you are welcome to insert
that an IPA brings out the saltier and spicier
two, setting them aside with a small portion of
“carrots,” “broccoli” or “peas” as experience
flavors in food which means that you would be
brine in a separate container. For easy handling
suits, but whether uttered over weekday
wise to add different herbs and spices to the
and transport from fridge to counter, I put the
dinner, a restaurant outing or the monumental
brine if you have your heart set on using that
turkey into an oven bag and set the bag into
particular style of beer.
a roasting pan with high sides that kept the bag
knew the battlefield was set as soon as the
from rolling and spilling. Once you have the
word “steamed” clattered loudly over the good
Beer Brined Citrus Turkey
turkey situated, pour the brine into the bag
china. As an adult preparing to create your own
1 Turkey, completely thawed and rinsed (my
and top with the tangelo slices.
decadent spread this holiday season, I suggest
small turkey weighed in at 6.04 lbs)
going with a preparation method that avoids
3 quarts Water
The turkey should remain in the brine for 16-18
those childhood scars and asserts yourself as
1 quart Beer (32 ounces)
hours, but you can adjust the time according
the grown-up carnivore that you have grown to
Note: A bomber can range from 22-25 fluid
to your cooking schedule. When you are ready
be—and what could be more grown-up than
ounces and a six pack will usually add up
to roast the turkey, remove it from the brine
incorporating craft beer into the cooking of
to 72 ounces, but you should always check
and thoroughly rinse, then thoroughly dry—
a holiday meal with a good old-fashioned
your bottle or packaging to be sure.
otherwise, leaving water on the skin will end up
6 Tangelos (or other citrus fruit)
steaming the turkey. (And who wants steamed
2 cups Salt
turkey? Save it for the vegetables.) Cook your
Though similar to marinating, brining is
1 cup Brown sugar
turkey as you normally would, but if you have
different in that turkey is soaked for 16-18
½ tbsp Cinnamon
decided to baste the turkey with the brine and
hours in a heavily salted concoction of herbs,
½ tbsp Ground clove
tangelos you set aside, pause an hour into
spices and in this instance, beer. Add a little
1 tbsp Nutmeg
roasting and slice your tangelos in half so that
science, toss around the word “osmosis,” and
2 tsp Ground pepper
you can squeeze them over the turkey after you
you get a process in which moisture is drawn
1 Oven bag
have brushed a layer of brine over the skin.
into the meat resulting in a tender and juicy
1 Roasting pan I found that basting the turkey with brine and
turkey that has been enhanced by your chosen ingredients and tenderized by the addition
tangelo juice made the outer meat taste sweet
In a large pot combine the salt, sugar and
with warm flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg,
spices with three quarts of water, stirring
lightening the sugary base that had cooked the
I decided to create a brine recipe that would
occasionally as it warms. When the mixture
skin crispy. The meat underneath picked up a
make my holiday turkey an all-in-one meal.
begins to boil, take it off the stove and allow it
lot of the cranberry beer’s zest while retaining
Typically I only use warm spices on pork, but
to fully cool before adding the beer. Make sure
some of the semi-sweetness of the tangelos
with the heavy salt content present in the brine
that the brine is completely cool before pouring
that sat in the brine alongside the turkey.
that would be applied to the turkey, my taste
it into the oven bag with the turkey because hot
Although they were unusual flavors for
buds gravitated toward citrus and sugar in the
liquid will begin to cook the meat prematurely.
a holiday turkey, the moist and tender meat
hope that it would balance the saltiness that
Placing the brine briefly in the fridge or freezer
had all the fixings of family gathering without
would inevitably be drawn into the meat. The
will help to speed the cooling process as well
the actual dishes: cinnamon and nutmeg,
citrus in this recipe was provided by sliced
as give you time to clean and truss your turkey
pumpkin pie, cranberry-orange sauce and
tangelos and Dogfish Head Kvasir, a beer
if you so desire.
a cold glass of beer.
created using an Old World recipe with the
8 989 SOUT H OR ANGE AVE. OR LAND O, F LORID A 32824
Anchor Brewing Every year for the last 40 years, Anchor Brewing
2 015 C h r i s t m a s A le
decorated. The tree is native to the Himalayas and
has released a Christmas ale that is a liquid
common in many decorated San Franciscan
embodiment of the holiday spirit. This year,
homes, an easy choice for the Anchor team as
the 41st year, is no exception.
they spotted the tree less than a block from the breweryâ€™s front door.
With a tradition as expected as Christmas itself, the San Francisco-based brewery known for their
Celebrate the holidays and the New Year with
Steam Beer revises their Christmas Ale recipe.
a beer fit for the occasion. Made in the spirit of
And though the ingredients are known only to the
the season, Anchor Christmas Ale is as festive
brewers themselves, this beer is always a dark,
and decorative as it is delicious.
spiced ale with rich aromas and a balanced body. As with the annually tweaked recipe, the tree on the label is also different every year, though drawn by the same, faithful artist. In years past, the label held such arboreal beauties as the Sequoia in 1976, the Douglas Fir in 1977, the Paper Birch in 1991 and even the Coconut Palm in 1995. This yearâ€™s depiction is of a Deodar Cedar, a full, lush evergreen with drooping boughs begging to be