We Make Beer

We Make Beer

The craft beer movement keeps growing and new stories emerge daily about brewers and their beers. Sean Lewis relates several of those stories in his new book We Make Beer. Lewis brings a reporter’s perspective and also shares personal viewpoints. This is Lewis’ first book but he has written for Beer Advocate magazine and is a skilled writer.

The craft brewers Lewis visits and writes about range from small operations just starting out to the two biggest craft brewers, Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. He finds that some are rather casual about their brewing while others exercise strict control of their beer making. Is it okay if particular brew varies in taste from batch to batch? Depends.

Because Lewis lived in Massachusetts when he began the book and in California when he finished it, those two states’ brewers get the bulk of his attention. But he also writes about breweries in Birmingham, Nashville, Austin, Lancaster/Ephrata (Pennsylvania) and Papillion (Nebraska). The craft beer scene in Portland, anchored by Deschutes, gets its due, too.

Sean Lewis author photo_ Credit Victoria Knowles

(Sean Lewis photo by Victoria Knowles.)

Lewis offers inside looks at the brewing process and the brewery business. There’s enough detail about what goes in and what comes out of a brewing tank to satisfy most serious beer geeks. Those of us who may not care so much for the technical stuff can enjoy meeting the individuals who make beer and learning about their motivations and passions.

He spends a few pages of the book addressing the 2011 sale of Chicago’s successful craft brewer Goose Island to AB/InBev. The sale “felt like a betrayal because Anheuser-Busch had long served as the face of the enemy,” he writes.

(I’ve spoken to Goose Island and A-B folks who defend the purchase, saying the main differences are stricter safety standards, better consistency in product and wider distribution. A-B also has the power to aid in sourcing raw materials plus capacity to handle demand in other locations that can’t be met in Chicago, they say.)

Lewis mentions in a footnote that naming a favorite beer is “an impossible question to answer.” But, he writes, “If I had to choose one beer to drink for the rest of my life, it would be Firestone Walker’s Pale 31.” I’ll be checking this weekend to find out if anybody in St. Louis has it!

Click HERE to purchase We Make Beer from Amazon.

Nuggets!

The in-box is FULL of nuggets! Here are a few…

Angie Ortmann, AKA @STLWineGirl has launched Cork Dorks with Forks. Click HERE to go to the CDWF website and see what all she and Matthew Dulle are up to.Angie

Fleming’s on Lindbergh has a neat September deal. A Filet and Lobster combo for 44.95. That comes with soup or salad and a scallop appetizer. Available through September 30.

image001

The Cochon 555 BBQ event at the Four Seasons happens Sunday, September 14, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Competitors are Gian Nicola Colucci of Cielo Restaurant & Bar, Jenny Cleveland and Eric Heath of Cleveland-Heath, Patrick Connolly of Basso, Josh Galliano of The Libertine, and Lou Rook of Annie Gunns. Tickets start at $100. Get info by clicking HERE.

Cochon

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport hosts the 4th annual Art of Travel event on Wednesday, October 2, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cost is $75. Chefs from HMSHost (vendor for several Lambert food venues) will fly in for the event. The theme of this year’s Art of Travel celebration is ‘40s-style film-noir and will include a drink menu of ‘40s-themed signature cocktails to complement gourmet plates. For info, click HERE. Benefits Lambert Art and Culture Program.

LambertAOT14_LockUp[8]

The Smokehouse Market and Annie Gunn’s are hosting a wine dinner on Tuesday, September 9, 6:30 p.m., featuring wines from Gundlach Bundschu of Sonoma. Cost is $150. Info: 636-532-7684.

current230

Kathleen Flinn has authored a new book Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, a memoir with recipes. She’s a native of the Midwest, now living in Seattle.

burnt

St. Louis chefs Lou Rook, Josh Galliano and Gian Nicola Colucci are scheduled to host Cruising with the Chefs cruises in 2015-16. For info, click HERE. That’s Josh, pictured below.

Josh-Galliano-Web-200x300

KTRS radio (550-AM) host John Carney is featuring Ferguson restaurants throughout September on his weekly Restaurant Tuesday segment which airs each Tuesday between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

John Carney

F & D Prime Culinary Tours is offering several tasting sessions during September at Comet Coffee on Oakland Avenue across Highway 40 from Forest Park. For info on the seasonal fruit and coffee tastings, click HERE.

FDcometlatteart

The Grillin’ Fools 4th annual Backyard Barbecue Bash Amateur Competition is set for Saturday, October 11, in Maryville, Illinois. Registration fee is $110/team. For info, click HERE.

3rd-Annual-Backyard-Bash-594