Beer and Wine: The Blog


Washington State Legislature Bill 5060

March 19th, 2009 by Nate

Currently in the Washington State House of Representative, Bill 5060 is being reviewed by the House Committee on Commerce and Labor. It has already passed the State Senate unanimously. The bill will allow for the transport of up to 20 gallons at a time of home-made beer and wine out of the maker’s home for the purpose of private consumption or to be used by non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations.

Currently, the law only allows 1 gallon to be taken out of the home and then only for entry into judged competitions (the remaining, untasted beer must be returned to the home). This means that home-brewers cannot legally share their creations outside of their own home. Hopefully this bill will be passed soon in the house and go into effect to encourage home-brewing and in turn the growth of the brewing industry in our region.

If you’re a Washington State Resident, contact your legislators to show your support for Bill 5060.


Bottleworks and Shoreline Central Market

March 19th, 2009 by Brian

A little day trip today in the search of good beer took us up near the U-District to Bottleworks. The place is kept dark, presumably for a reason, but has a huge variety of local brews as well as international beers, with a focus on Belgian imports. Prices were about average. 6-packs for $9 or so, everything else varying a bit, depending on where it came from and the size and whatnot. They had one 6 liter bottle of beer for something like $250. I guess you need to really like your beer for that one. Came away with some beer…we’ll see how they are.

The second stop for the day was the Shoreline Central Market. It advertises itself as a “destination food store.” They have a good variety of food in there, with a focus on more natural and organic foods. They have a great selection of domestic and local northwest beer in six-packs as well as a lot of imports and a good singles selection (mostly 22oz, some 12oz, some 500mL). We were hoping to maybe find some grain there (looking for sorghum or millet), but no luck, though they had a lot of different legumes and other bulk foods.

The goal was accomplished at both stores, having set out to find Tusker, a good Kenyan beer. Got 2 bottles at Bottleworks and their last 8 from the Central Market. Not bad. Both places also had Ethiopian beer and pretty similar prices, maybe with a few more specials at the Central Market. The Central Market also has a knowledgable staff in their wine/beer department and puts BeerAdvocate shelf talkers next to a number of their beers. Not a bad day overall.


Rebel Cider

March 14th, 2009 by Brian

We had some apples sitting around, so we decided to make a bit of hard cider. This didn’t quite work out as planned, since I guess we bottled it too early, which resulted in losing some of the batch when a 22 of cider exploded. We ended up only getting half as much as we started with. Read the rest of this entry »



March 14th, 2009 by Brian

Beer Number 3

Back to Larry’s as usual, we decided to go for about the simplest recipe possible, a Hefeweizen. Some people think (not home-brewers, of course) that a Hefeweizen would be a difficult beer to make. In fact, it is just malt and hops. No extra grains to steep or anything (there are alternative methods using grain only). Many say the real flavor in a Hefeweizen comes from the type of yeast used. I guess after this batch we’ll be able to see if we need to change our yeast type in the future. Due to a freezing problem, they didn’t have any liquid Wyeast, so we used the dry yeast instead.

Malt Hops
7lb. Bavarian Wheat Malt 1 oz. Tettenang Hops
Yeast Other
1 package (+1) Safbrew WB-06 Dry yeast (Weihenstephaner) 1 tsp Brew Salts
3/4 cup Priming Sugar

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Double Barrel Stout (a.k.a. The Beerskey)

February 28th, 2009 by Brian

Beer Number 2

Nate and I decided to go with a darker beer and got a recipe from Brewer’s Connection for a Whiskey Barrel Stout. We headed down to our awesome local brew store, Larry’s, to get supplies.

2 Lb. Dark Malt Extract
4 Lb. Light Malt Extract
1/2 Lb. Briess 2-row
1/2 Lb. Crystal 80
1/4 Lb. Malted Wheat
1/4 Lb. Black Barley
1/4 Lb. Black Patent
1/4 Lb. Chocolate
1/4 Lb. Smoked Malt (Rauch)
1 oz Cascade Hops
1 oz Amarillo Hops
1 package Wyeast 1318 London Ale Yeast
1 tsp Irish Moss
1 tsp Brewing Salts
375mL Evan Williams Bourbon
4 oz Toasted American Oak Chips
3/4 cup Priming Sugar

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First Beer of our Own: Dirty Lizard Amber Ale

January 1st, 2009 by Brian

So for our first beer, my brother and I took a recipe for an Alaskan Amber Clone and modified it. Here’s our best guess as to our modifications, since we unfortunately lost our original recipe:

7 Lb. Gold Malt Extract
1 Lb. Briess Crystal 60L
1/2 Lb. Winter Wheat Berry
1/2 Lb. Rolled Oats
1/2 Lb. Flaked Rye
1/2 Lb. Flaked Barley
1 oz Cascade Hops
1 oz Kent Golding Hops
1 tsp Irish Moss
3/4 cup Priming Sugar
1 package Yeast (some kind)

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Back in the U.S.A. and Ready to Brew

December 14th, 2008 by Brian

After returning home to the United States, I visited my friend, Keegan in November and found he had gone from making wine to brewing beer. I had thought that the process was complicated and too much work, but we went to work and I helped him brew a Milk Stout. It really wasn’t difficult at all. I decided it was time for me to start home-brewing.


Brian’s History of Alcohol-Making

December 17th, 2007 by Brian

So I started making alcohol while abroad with the Peace Corps in Tanzania. The technique basically involved getting a bunch of fruit or other flavor providing substance, putting it in a five gallon bucket with five kilos of sugar, some baking yeast, and a little bit of tea (the tannins are supposed to mellow it out), and then closing the lid tightly and waiting for a few weeks. I made the following kinds of “wine” while in Tanzania.

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