Five Rules of Strong Beer Month

Dave McLean of Magnolia (center), Shaun O’Sullivan (right) and Nico Freccia (left) from 21st Amendment.

Strong Beer Month kicked off yesterday and on the eve of festivities 21st Amendment posted a series of helpful and amusing rules worth mentioning below. With alcohol content hitting 8% and up, the unsuspecting suds sipper could get blindsided. Spilling beer and head splitting is frowned upon.

Following the rules are a few pictures of the menus at both locations, Magnolia Pub & Brewery included, along with a nice photo by @magicanddrew.

A Great American Chimp Joins 21st Amendment Brewery

Visit almost any craft beer store and you’ll notice the shelf is filled with double and triple IPA’s. While these big hoppy beers are a pleasure to imbibe, they’ll often leave you weak in the knees if your not careful. There’s usually a high ABV (alcohol by volume) backing up that rich flavor.

21st Amendment Brewery is releasing a new “Session IPA” called Bitter American that counters this trend with a lowly 4.4% ABV and enough hops to reach 42 IBU’s. It will be in stores soon and available until March.

Here’s some of the logic behind the beer from the press release:

Why a session IPA? Well a few years back after looking around at the trend where India Pale Ales were headed toward the bigger, bitterer hoppier, stronger end of the arc, we thought how cool would it be to make an IPA that you could drink a few more than an Imperial/Double or Triple IPA. The bigger beers are fun to enjoy, but they sometimes get you in trouble with your significant other, the floor above your bar stool, or the morning after for that matter.

The concept of the “Session IPA” or “Nor Cal Bitter” as brewer Rodger Davis from Triple Rock has coined is something that has started to gain popularity with good beer drinkers and might be an artifact of the brewer’s world as we age (gracefully of course) and require lower alcohol beers. Those big IPAs are not going anywhere nor should they we all need hops and lots of them, but the session ale is starting to make a come back.

So what does the name of the beer have to do with a chimp in a space suit? Ham the Chimp must have been bitter about being shot into space or 21st Amendment just wants to pay homage to another great American (See Fireside Chat).

Jay Brooks: Best New Beers of 2010

At the conclusion of every year we’re inundated with top ten lists. It’s an obsession that helps us evaluate and celebrate the good, the bad and what simply needs to be forgotten. They also generate controversy and a healthy debate, which is also part of the fun.

Writer and beer judge Jay Brooks published his top 10 new beers of 2010 available in the region. It’s a great mix of styles from breweries primarily based on the West Coast.

10. Sierra Nevada Tumblr Autumn Brown Ale
9. Lost Abbey Deliverance
8. Lagunitas Lil Sumpin’ Wild Ale
7. Deschutes Red Chair NWPA
6. Marin E. S. Chi
5. Brouwerij De Ryck’s Arend Tripel
4. Shmaltz Lenny’s RIPA on Rye
3. 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA
2. Firestone Walker Parabola
1. Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary Series

Be sure to pay a visit to Brooks on Beer for the full commentary and descriptions.

How does this list equate with your assessment of the year in beer?