Cinco de Mayo reading: Mexican microbrews fight for space at bar

May 5, 2011 | Matt Pritchard

Diego Ortelli drinks a beer at the El Deposito bar in Mexico City recently. It was at this bar, which sells beer from microbreweries in Mexico as well as beer from all over the world, that the "Por la cerveza libre" or "Freedom for beer" movement was born, demanding a free market in beer. Photo by Marco Ugarte/Associated Press

Here’s a long look at the status of Mexico’s craft beer scene, which faces an uphill battle going against the giants, Grupo Modelo and Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, which makes Corona, Tecate and other brands. Red tape and politics hinder the growth of the little guys, but with any luck they may be able break through. (more…)

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Coney Island Brewing Co. to recreate George Washington’s beer

May 4, 2011 | Matt Pritchard

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Coney Island Brewing Co. is bringing George Washington’s beer recipe back to life to celebrate the New York Public Library’s centennial. Washington’s hand-written recipe is part of the library’s collection. Coney Island is only making a small batch for the public to taste, so unless you happen to be in Manhattan on May 18, you probably won’t be able to try it.

By ULA ILNYTZKY Associated Press
NEW YORK – George Washington is famous for many things. Yet it’s safe to say few know the nation’s founding father created a recipe for beer.
The New York Public Library, which owns the recipe, announced on Wednesday that it was partnering with Coney Island Brewing Co. in Brooklyn to recreate the brew.
They will make just 25 gallons to celebrate the library’s centennial this year. It will be called “Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew,” and will not be commercially sold.
The handwritten recipe, jotted down on a small piece of notebook paper, resides with other Washington documents at the library’s Fifth Avenue Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, including his Farewell Address, war maps of New York and New Jersey and other personal items.
The public can sample the beer on May 18 at Rattle N Hum, a mid-Manhattan bar. Tastings also will be offered at the library’s 100th birthday gala on May 23.
“We are thrilled to transform Washington’s recipe into an even more complex and flavorful robust porter using a delicious array of the best small batch dark malts and hop varieties to produce a truly spectacular celebration for the contemporary beer connoisseur,” said Jeremy Cowan, founder of Shmaltz Brewing Co., the parent of Coney Island Brewing Co.
Washington’s recipe for how “To Make Small Beer,” reads in part: “Take a large Sifer (sifter) full of Bran Hops to your Taste. Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall(ons) into a cooler put in 3 Gall(ons) Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot … let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm then put in a quarter of Yea(s)t …”
“We have a treasure trove of materials that can be accessed by the public and used to advance the worlds of scholarship, literature, invention, creation – or even beer-making,” said Ann Thornton, director of the library’s collections and exhibitions.
- Matt Pritchard

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In the news: Women crucial to future success of craft beer in U.S.

| Matt Pritchard has a piece by Ginger Johnson on why women are the key to the growth of craft beer:

Women are the future of craft beer in the US of A because they are the seriously under-tapped, misrepresented, and often overlooked market that can be developed to help sustain the entire craft beer community. If you’re a woman, you need to stand up and say, “Yes! I want to know more and drink more American craft beer.” Demand to be heard and respected as part of a viable market share, not some token or niche market. A 50.9% global population segment is hardly a niche.

Johnson proposes more beer makers need to target women for the industry to continue to expand, and women need to connect more with the industry and demand “equal gender beer involvement.”

This got me thinking. In Missoula, I rarely see a woman drinking a Bud Light in a bar, but I see plenty ordering craft beer at the Kettlehouse, Bayern or wherever. My girlfriend and her girlfriends are perfect examples. For the most part, they don’t drink macrobrews, but they will drink microbrews. Now, do I think they will get together to hold a beer tasting event? Probably not. But I’m sure they’d take part, if more were offered.

Anyway, check out the article and let me know what you think.

- Matt Pritchard

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Big Sky Brewing Co. ‘Brewsletter’ for May 2011: Mexican Lager

May 3, 2011 | Matt Pritchard

Can’t believe it is May already.

This month’s Big Sky Brewing “Brewsletter” is odd, but I found myself smiling during it. Mexican Lager and the Big Sky Brewing Summer Concert Series are the topics of interest. Check it out, it’s worth a view.

- Matt Pritchard

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