Newsletter: Reinheitsgebot – gesundheit?

The Reinheitsgebot (i.e., German Beer Purity Law)

This past weekend marked the 500 year anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot (i.e., the German Beer Purity Law) and multiple articles and opinions on it have been circulating throughout the beer community as a result. This brings us to our…

Ask the Brewer

…where we ask “What the heck is the Reinheitsgebot, anyways?”

The Reinheitsgebot dictates that only 4 ingredients are allowed to be used in making beer.  Those ingredients are water, barley, hops, and yeast.

Preliminary versions of beer laws were passed in Augsburg in 1156, Nuremberg in 1293, Munich in 1363 and Regensburg in 1447.  Most of the laws focused on either preventing the addition of harmful ingredients to beer as either flavorings or preservatives (such as pitch, soot or henbane) or limiting brewing to using barley so that wheat and rye were reserved for bread.  In 1487 the direct predecessor to the Reinheitsgebot was passed in Munich by Duke Albrecht IV.  This law stated that only barley, water and hops could be used to make beer.  In 1516 this law was expanded by Bavaria’s Wittelsbach Duke, Wilhelm IV, to cover all of Bavaria.  Yeast was not added to the list until centuries later, when it’s role in brewing was discovered and understood.

The Reinheitsgebot matters because it is still in active use.  There are over 5,000 different beers (primarily produced in Germany) that still adhere to this law and carry it’s seal.  Many brewers in Germany feel that this law represents the purity and high quality of German beers, and is enough a part of their cultural heritage that it should be part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, as are the Argentinian tango, Iranian carpet weaving and French gastronomy (all considered unique and worth protecting).  While many German Brewers are being more creative with their beers by using more aromatic varieties of hops while still holding true to the Reinheitsgebot, other German Brewers feel that it is outdated and restrictive.

Under the Beer Purity Law, beer made in Germany with anything other than the approved ingredients cannot be labelled “bier”.  This stance is being challenged by German breweries, such as Klosterbrauerei-neuzelle, which has been brewing the same beer recipe since 1410, but falls afoul of the Reinheitsgebot because they add sugar to their brew.  Small brewers like Neuzelle, who produces 6 million pints a year, and a growing number of craft beer producers who are keen to experiment with different ingredients such as fruits and spices, say the purity law stifles creativity and innovation.

As gluten-free brewers who can’t use traditional ingredients, but who also re-create traditional beer profiles, we can see the value of both points of view.

Taproom Tidings

We still have a partial keg of Raspberry Pyro on tap for Thursday, but will be switching that out for the Belgian Dubbel on Friday, April 29th. For those who don’t know, a Belgian Dubbel is a mid-strength Belgian style beer with slight spicy notes.  The style was originally brewed in the Trappist Abbey of Westmalle in 1856. (updated 4/30/16)

Food on Friday, April 29th brings us the Native American flavors of the Tatanka crew, and Saturday, April 30th we are joined by Signature Cafe, and their unique take on American classics.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Raj-Agni IPA, Parched Lime Shandy, Raspberry Pyro on Thursday and Belgian Dubbel on Friday
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Coconut Turtle Cupcake from Groundswell includes a coconut chocolate fudge cake with pecans, whipped cream, honey caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache

Final Thoughts

There are two events going this weekend, join us at either.

For those who like to keep it local (as in, your neighborhood local), we will be at Yarmo Liquor in Highland Park doing a tasting on Thursday, April 28th.  They specialize in local and unique craft beers, and their Thursday tastings (from 4 to 6pm) are a chance to try something new.

On Saturday, April 29th we will be at the SNIT of MN.  This event hosted by the St. Michael’s Lions Club at the Fox Hollow golf course runs from 7 to 9:30PM, and features only Minnesota breweries, distilleries and wineries.  Why SNIT, well our understanding is that a Snit is the little glass of beer, served next to your Bloody Mary – who knew!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Earth, the only planet with beer

One heck of a good reason to celebrate Earth Day!

This Friday, April 22nd, is Earth Day. At Burning Brothers, we feel this holiday is important because it helps to focus attention on our society’s use of natural resources, including one of the most important for beer which is water. Good beer requires good water, so, on Friday, we’ll be raising a glass to Earth Day, abundant clean water, and great beer!

Ask the Brewer

How important is water to the brewing process?

Considering that beer is 90% water (or more), the quality of the water is incredibly important.  While you can’t brew a good beer with bad water, it is also possible to brew a bad beer with good water!  Good water comes in a wide range of hardness, alkalinity and mineral content, and all of these can affect how a brewer in one location can brew a specific style of beer successfully, while a brewer in another may not.

One simple truth when it comes to brewing is there is no one water that is ideal for all beer styles. That is why you end up with certain regions that are known for producing a specific style of beer really well.  For example, water in Dublin, which has high alkalinity, is best suited for brewing stouts and other dark ales, while in Pilsen, the water has very low mineral content, making it perfect for Bohemian Pilsners.

Here in St. Paul, multiple factors came together in the mid 1800’s to fuel a beer boom.  There were lots of German immigrants, with a love of “bier”, and the knowledge necessary to brew it well.  There was fertile soil for growing the necessary ingredients, sandstone caves for cold aging lagers, and a well balanced water profile, especially suited to lighter beers.  The water was also plentiful.  This wonderful congruence can be seen in the fact that breweries have existed here in one form or another since the mid 1800s.

Taproom Tidings

Back by popular demand… (no, really, we get asked about it all the time) our brewer’s choice for this weekend is our Raspberry Infused Pyro. We’ll be tapping it on Friday, April 22nd, so plan to stop in, have a pint and grab a growler before it’s gone.

Food options on Friday, April 22nd brings us our first seasonal visit of Crazy Puppy G.W. and their Gluten-Free fair food.  On Saturday, April 23rd, Signature Cafe will be here with their unique take on American classics.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Raj-Agni IPA, Parched Lime Shandy, and Raspberry Infused Pyro
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Coconut Turtle Cupcake from Groundswell includes a coconut chocolate fudge cake with pecans, whipped cream, honey caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache

Final Thoughts

There are three (count them, 3) events going this weekend.  We would love to see you at any or all of them.

On April 23rd, we have both the MN Craft Beer Fest and the Second Annual Arts & Crafts. The MN Craft Beer Fest benefits Habitat For Humanity, while the Second Annual Arts & Crafts benefits COMPAS.  Whichever one you are going to, you can drink beer and listen to music while supporting an organization that provides housing for all, or arts for all!

On Sunday, April 24th the second ever gluten-free beer dinner pairing Burning Brothers Beers with Signature Cafe foods is happening.  Seats are still available, so call Signature Cafe at 612-378-0237 to make your reservation!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Beer Garden?

Beer garden… I do not think it means what you think it means

Goodbye Sprinter. Hello Spring!

This weekend is going to be absolutely lovely, which of course makes us think of being outdoors and of course, beer drinking weather! (If you think about it though, is there a time, atmospherically speaking, when it’s not beer drinking weather? Just sayin.)

Whether it’s getting together with family or friends, running errands or even getting your hands dirty in the yard, you should definitely pick up some  beer to enjoy outside.

Ask the Brewer

What are some good uses for beer in the garden?

Not one… not two… not three… but four! Four awesome uses for beer in the garden.

First and potentially most commonly known, is the use of beer as a slug and snail killer. Both are as attracted to beer as we are (it’s too late for you to deny it), so setting out a dish of it is a great way to catch and eliminate these garden pests, without the use of pesticides. Make sure the dish is deep enough for them to drown in.

Our second way is to use beer as food for butterflies. (Yup, they like beer too!) For this, you can use a pint or two of flat beer along with the following:

  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 or 2 pints stale beer
  • 3 mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 cup of molasses or syrup
  • 1 cup of fruit juice
  • 1 shot of rum

Mix all of the ingredients together and then put it in a butterfly feeder or paint it onto flat rocks, trees, fence posts or stumps.

Our third use for beer in the garden is as a fertilizer and growth accelerator for those brown spots in your lawn. Supposedly, the fermented sugars in beer can stimulate plant growth and kill fungi. So, if you have leftover beer in your glass that has gotten too warm, you could just pour it out on your lawn.

Our final and of course best use for beer in your garden is to drink it! There is nothing quite like a cool beer on a warm day as you lean back and survey the results of your hard work!

Taproom Tidings

We are still working our way through the latest batch of American Lager. We are predicting it will probably run out on Thursday, so get here early if you want some before it is gone!

Food options this weekend include Soup Coupe on Friday, April 15th and Tatanka Truck on Saturday, April 16thWhether you are in the mood for a cup of deliciousness or a plate of authentic Native American cuisine, we’ve got you covered.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Raj-Agni IPA, Parched Lime Shandy, and American Lager
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Coconut Turtle Cupcake from Groundswell includes a coconut chocolate fudge cake with pecans, whipped cream, honey caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache

Final Thoughts

The Brewer’s Ball is happening this Friday, April 15th and your favorite brewers will be there. This unique tasting event offers a variety from over 30 of the region’s best breweries, wineries and distilleries as well as fantastic food from D’Amico Catering. The Minnesota Brewer’s Ball is all about good people, drinking good beer, for a great cause – to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Sprinter is still here

King Gambrinus – Patron Saint of Beer!

We keep waiting for serious beer drinking weather to get here, and it keeps sliding from spring back into winter, (like this upcoming weekend) but we know it will warm up sooner or later.  In the meantime, we thought it would be good to celebrate yet another beer based holiday, which brings us to this week’s edition of…

Ask the Brewer

What’s a good day to celebrate beer in April?

While today (April 7th) is National Beer Day, we decided to go with a more obscure, lesser known beer holiday. (Although, there is nothing stopping you from celebrating both!) King Gambrinus Day is celebrated on April 11th and it honors Gambrinus, the supposed King of Flanders, who, in the late 13th century is credited with first adding hops to beer. As such, he is considered one of the “unofficial” patron saints of beer.

A look at the history behind this suggests that the addition of hops can be ascribed to either John the Fearless, AKA Jean Sans Peur (1371-1419), otherwise known as Ganbrivius, or, earlier in history, Jan Primus – John I (around 1251).  Either name can plausibly have evolved over the centuries into Gambrinus, the King of Beer.  While John I was a scion of the burgundy line of princes, neither he nor John the Fearless was a king.  However, when you look at how important beer is to human development, nothing less than king-hood can be bestowed on this man.

Taproom Tidings

We are down to our final keg of Cranberry Shandy for the season. We know many of you may be sad about this, but don’t worry, we’ll have it back before long. (It is the Midwest after all, and winter is coming… I swear I saw snow this morning… WTF?!) Come on down to the taproom and help us kill the keg so that we can make room for tapping Dane’s latest version of our American Lager. This version is a little drier than our last, so the hop flavor is more pronounced.(Updated 4/9/16)

This weekend also brings us a brand new food truck on Friday, April 8th with the arrival of Patacones and their enticing Colombian Street Food. Saturday, April 9th we’ll be featuring Tollefson Pork Farm and their fusion of farm fresh offerings and pork deliciousness. (per usual, both menus are exclusively gluten-free, but you’re not really surprised by that…)

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Cranberry Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, Parched Lime Shandy, and American Lager
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Coconut Turtle Cupcake from Groundswell includes a coconut chocolate fudge cake with pecans, whipped cream, honey caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache

Final Thoughts

While we have no events running this weekend, we want to mention that there is an upcoming event that people may want to check out.  Our second ever gluten-free beer pairing dinner in partnership with the Signature Cafe!  This event is occurring on Sunday, April 24th, and will feature Dane pairing five of our beer styles against five gluten-free dinner courses prepared by Signature’s own Derek Grams. If you were on the wait list for the first dinner, give Signature Cafe a call, 612-378-0237, as you will have preferred placement for this second dinner!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Happy Birthday to us!

2 years and still making great beer!

April 4th of 2014 was the opening day of our taproom, and it seems like so much has happened since then!  We have met so many interesting and wonderful people, served so many delicious beers, participated in so many great events (trains, buses and festivals, oh my!) and eaten some awesome food from so many food trucks.  We hoped to throw a party, but alas, we’ve been up to our eyeballs in making beer and obviously we need to keep our priorities straight.

We’ll try not to get too sappy here, but we would like to pause for just a moment and say thanks. You all make this crazy adventure worth while. Cheers!

-Dane & Thom

Ask the Brewer

What are some fun books for brewers?

With April 1st being April Fools Day (i.e., a day for fun), it seems only right to celebrate the fun that is beer!  There are many jokes, songs, and limericks about beer that celebrate the humorous, but here we’re going to focus on books today.

Goodnight Brew: This “children’s” book is a delightful way to introduce beer and brewing to the next generation (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or for adults who love beer so much they want it as their bedtime story.

Beer is the Answer… I don’t remember the Question is a book full of bar jokes, quotes and cartoons – over 1,000 of them, collected by the publishers of Bartender Magazine!

Beer & Philosophy: The Unexamined Beer isn’t Worth Drinking: The contributors to this volume present intriguing and often humorous arguments for how complex philosophical concerns are intrinsically linked to something as prosaic as quaffing a pint with friends.

B is for Beer is as charming as it may be subversive—B Is for Beer involves readers, young and old, in a surprising, far-reaching investigation into the limits of reality, the transformative powers of children, and, of course, the ultimate meaning of a tall, cold brewski.

The Comic Book Story of Beer: No boring, musty, historical text here!  An informative and humorous mix of words and pictures to please the beer lover and comic book geek alike.

Taproom Tidings

With the arrival of spring, we are happy to be bringing our Parched Lime Shandy back to the taproom!  For those of you still clinging to the Ides of March (or the rest of the winter season), you have one last weekend to get your fix of our Cranberry Shandy before it takes a well deserved break.

Foodwise, on Friday, April 1st we will have the Tatanka Truck crew with us slinging their native American deliciousness, and on Saturday, April 2nd we’ll our friends from the Soup Coupe bringing you their hearty varieties in a bowl.  Nothing goes better with a cold pint on a cool spring evening than hot food! (except maybe another pint?)

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Cranberry Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, and the return of the Parched Lime Shandy
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler fills after 8 on Thursdays, cause, rules!)
  • Coconut Turtle Cupcake from Groundswell includes a coconut chocolate fudge cake with pecans, whipped cream, honey caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache

Final Thoughts

https://i1.wp.com/beerfests.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/JACKPINT-BEERFEST.jpg?resize=104%2C104&ssl=1 We have two events running this weekend! On Saturday, April 2nd, Thom will be at Jackpot Junction for the Jackpint Beer Tating.  This is a chance to get acquainted with the beers and brewers of some of the delicious beverages produced right here in Minnesota.

Our second event is our gluten-free beer pairing dinner in partnership with the Signature Cafe!  This event is occurring on Sunday, April 3rd, will feature Dane pairing five of our beer styles against five gluten-free dinner courses prepared by Signature’s own Derek Grams. Unfortunately, tickets are completely sold out.  However, a second dinner is being planned for April 24th.  If you were on the wait list for the first dinner, give Signature Cafe a call, as you will have preferred placement for the second dinner!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!