Best Beer Related Christmas Gift EVER!

Sarah and I recieved a really great gift this Christmas and we thought we would share it with you. It was the kind of gift that causes you to tear up and leaves you speechless. The gift we recieved was a Michigan brewery quilt made by Sarah’s brother Josh and his wife Kendra. They had to buy the tshirts, design the pattern and sew the quilt. There are not enough words to say how much we appreciate the work they put into our gift this year. All we can say is thanks and we love you both.

Building a backyard brewery airs tonight on DIY Network

DIY Network – Yard Crashers
Wednesday February 18 @ 8 p.m. EST

This home brewer’s mess of a yard is quickly transformed into the ultimate backyard brewery. A custom steel wrap-around bar with a dual-tap beer tower serves as the centerpiece, accented by barstools made from recycled kegs. The party space extends past the bar to a brick “fryer” pit and a keg table topped with beer caps.  More Info here (including future air times).

*DIY Network will typically post episode videos of their shows – when they do, I’ll post the link.

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Beer: A different glass for every brew can add to the drinking experience

San Fransisco Chronicle
By: Derrick Schneider
March 7, 2008

A German wheat beer arrives in a tall glass that curves from wide mouth to narrow base. A Czech Pilsner arrives in a stretched funnel with a small foot. A Trappist beer arrives in a chunky chalice: a glass bowl perched on a stout stem. And that’s just the beginning. How many different beer glass shapes are there? …. (read more)

Raise a Glass for Mugs!

Corner Brewery Club Mugs - Photo by Marvin Shaouni

I came across this photo today on metromode and was inspired to blog about. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s an image of the Mug Club member mugs which hang over the bar at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. Each one is hand thrown, personlized with it’s owners name and glazed in lovely deep earthy blue and brown hues.  Our very own MIBeerBuzz blogger John Nasers and his wife Michelle have their own Corner mugs and each time I watch them sip beer from it I’m envious.  I don’t have one of my own yet and I’m not really sure why because, if you’ve ever drank beer from a hand-made ceramic mug like that you’ll know there’s nothing in the world like it.  Maybe it’s the fact that it’s slightly heavier  in your hand. Or the way the handle fits snugly in your clenched fish. Or maybe it’s the coolness of the pottery as the edge of it your lips. Or maybe it’s because you feel like your traveling back in time, imagining that this is the type of mug that the founding fathers drank ale out of as they sat in Boston pubs and plotted the American Revolution…  Of course it also holds more beer than your average pint glass.  That’s always a plus. 

Another place with great member mugs is Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall. In this Dark Horse Mugspicture that I snagged from the Dark Horse website you can also see their mugs hanging from the ceiling above the bar . Although the photo doesn’t really do them justice, the mugs at Dark Horse are amazing. Each one is hand crafted and, although they aren’t personalized with your name, no two are alike. The nice thing about Dark Horse is that you can purchase a mug even if you don’t join their mug club. Although I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to join because, from what I’ve heard, you pay one fee for a lifetime membership which gets you discounts on drinks and lots of other good stuff.  The last time we were at Dark Horse we were told there was a waiting list to buy a mug.  However, it seems that the wait would be well worth it. Can you believe it? I don’t have one from Dark Horse either!

Kevin and I have decided that if we open a brewery one day, we’ll hire Rob’s wife Jen (who is taking pottery classes at Henry Ford Community College) to make the mugs for brewery. We want ours to have built in whistles so that you can just whistle in to it to let the bartender know that you’re ready for another. Legend has it  there used to be mugs out there that were actually made like this and that is where the term “Wet your whistle” comes from. However, I’ve done a little unofficial online research of this claim and it turns out that it’s probably not true. (Stupid Internet spoilers…always ruining our fun with the Truth.) But wouldn’t it be neat if you could make something like this?  Jen better start working on it now so that she can master the design by the time we  open that brewery!

Does anyone else out there have a cool and unique mug at your favorite brewery? If so, send me a picture and I’ll  post it here on Michigan Beer Buzz.

Have Yourself a Very “Beer-ey” Christmas

One of the great things about being married to a homebrewer/beer lover is that it makes A Very shopping for Christmas gifts easy and fun. Especially if you’re a beer-lover yourself.

Here are the beer-related gifts that I and others got Kevin for Christmas this year.

1. A 6 gallon glass carboy (from his Dad). This was a great gift considering he accidentally dropped his only 6 gallon glass carboy and broke it into a million pieces a few months ago.

2. Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles by Ray Daniels (from me). The book is very technical but is broken down by style which makes it ideal for both in-depth study and quick and easy reference.

3. Basic Brewing “2008 Brewers Log Book” (from me) A great tool to record the beers that he will brew during the next year with fields for noting all of the details: name, style, grain-bill, hop varieties, yeast strain, original gravity, fermentation length, final gravity, ABV, sensory perception notes, etc.

4. Basic Brewing “Stepping into All Grain” DVD (from me) . This DVD, designed for brewers already using the extract or partial mash brewing  methods (which we currently use),  will help Kevin venture into the all grain brewing world!

5. “Beer Smarts” (from my brother and his fiance). Entertaining yet educational flashcards about beer culture, history, styles and the brewing process. The cards were edited by Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmasters Table.  Hopefully Kevin will break these out for our New Years Eve party.

6. A 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of great breweries of California (from me). I California Breweries Puzzlealways get Kevin a puzzle for Christmas and wanted to get him a beer-themed puzzle this year. I was surprised at how rare brewery or beer puzzles are but was lucky to find this one. I think someone should design a Michigan Brewery logo puzzle. The MI Brewers’ Guild could sell it at the beer festivals. What do you think?

and, of course:

7. A Gift Certificate to Adventures in Homebrewing (my parents). Adventures is Kevin’s favorite home-brew supply shop. Enough said

What fun beer-related booty did you recieve for Christmas this year?