Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Things are starting to Fermenting

If you would have told me a year ago that I would be in this position, I wouldn't have believed it. If you would have told me a month ago that things would be at this stage of planning, I would have called your bluff. So if I told you that I have 2 people on board to be a part of this brewery, would you believe me? I wouldn't either.

Last week, I met with my attorney to talk about the brewery. Usually when I call him, it's for bad news. He was already for me to start giving him the story about what happened and how I needed him to help me out. He has heard about the new venture before. He was aware that I was setting up my own company. But he didn't see the term "Brewery" getting mixed into the conversation. Much to my surprise, he was excited. He was interested. He thought it was "cool idea". Great minds think alike, because I thought the same thing.

We talked about the liquor laws in Arizona and what I needed to do. He pointed me in the direction of many, many different websites that I needed to be aware with a lot of information that I needed to know. He explained about trademarks and and articles of incorporation. And when we were done, he told me to keep him in the loop. He was interested in becoming a part of it. Everyone hates attorneys until they need one. So I think it would be a good idea to have one as part of my team.

Once I figured out what I needed to do, I put in a call to another friend. This friend is the kind of guy would feel fortunate to have. A guy you could never begin to understand the importance of. He is an advertising Guru. I wish I could tell you the circles he runs in, and if you met him, he wouldn't even tell you. But I'm sure you listened to their music, while driving a car he is associated with, on your way to a place he helped put on the map. Needless to say, he is kind of a big deal.

When I set up the appointment with him, he didn't know what I was going to talk about. I told him that I was about to start a new venture and I really wanted to pick his brain and hear his thoughts and ideas. We met at Rock Bottom so I could give him a sense of what I was going for. We spent the next 2 hours talking about mission statements, branding, emotions, people, thoughts, logos, and a thousand different things I never thought of yet. Once we were finished, I had a plan, an outline. I had a sense of direction and purpose to really get this brewery going. But what happened next is what really inspired me and made me realize that this was really going to work. "I want it". This guy who works with Fortune 500 companies, rubs elbows with the rich and famous, and parties with rock stars wanted in. He wanted to a part of my brewery.

We agreed to start meeting on a regular basis. We are going to meet again next week. Schedules permitting, I hope to bring along my attorney so we can all figure out what the next step is.

Did I mention that I have a financial guy, and my first venture capitalist? I didn't? Well I think I will save that for the next post. There are going to be a lot more now. So wish me luck.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brewery Update


Things have been very hectic lately. Over the last month or so, I have been working constantly on my plans for a brewery. So much that there is a constant buzz in the air. Friends, family, and even acquaintances have been asking me about it. Most want to work for me, but most want to be a part of it. They are offering to help out, advise, supply labor, and offer money. Even my Doctor was excited about it. That has to be a good thing.

Lately, I have found myself visiting a local brew house or pub three or four times a week. I've been reading more now than I ever have. I've been spending most of my free time looking at blogs and forums, reading books and magazines, and listening to podcasts. While I'm at work, I listen to audio books about breweries and beer. I think I'm on the verge of obsession.

When I first wrote my blog post about starting a brewery, I knew deep down that I could do it. However, I wasn't sure if I would really ever get if off the ground. I knew it was going to be a lot of hard work. And I was worried about the people who would doubt me and dismiss the idea. How was I going to pull it off? Many others have tried and failed. I didn't want to be one of those people.

So I decided the best way to be successful was to learn from the ones that did it. I needed to immerse myself in the beer culture. I needed to stop dragging my feet and just start doing it. So that's what I did.

Without going into boring detail, I will tell you that I have talked to my attorney, met with my advertising agency, started the paperwork for trademarks, and started building my first production brew system. Things are starting to roll. Wish me luck.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Around the World

On Fridy or Saturday nights, I like to do this thing I call "Going around the World". It's where I try a bunch of different beers from around the world and tell people on Facebook and Twitter what I'm drinking. I hope by mentioning what I'm drinking, the masses will find the urge to go out and give them a try. Does it work? I don't know, but it's worth a shot.

Tonight is one of those nights. I have a plethora of different beers to try tonight. Most were sent to me by my friend Brian at I am Beer Wise. He was cool enough to send me some really great beers that I can't get. I felt bad sending him sending him just New Belgium and a bunch of local brews. But he was happy and in the end, that is all that matters.

So what am I drinking? I'll tell you. Barley Wine is the theme of the night. Lets talk about them shall we?

Brookly Brewery - Monster Ale. This is a beer I really like. When we made the beer trade, Brooklyn Brewery was the only brewery that I requested he send to me. I can't get it in Arizona. I would have been happy with anything he sent me, but a barley wine moved him into my inner circle. I'm really enjoying this. It says 12 Fl. oz and 10.1 abv. That sounds like a good time. Trust me, it is. But you would never know it. There is zero taste of alcohol like some other barleywines. It has a great taste and a smooth mouth feel. If you were a rookie, you could drink 2 or 3 of these before you realized you were in trouble. It leans against the malt side of the fence so I am enjoying it. Of all the beers Brian sent me, this is one of my favorites so far. Grade - 4 Burps

Samuel Adams - Mile High Barley Wine Ale. This is one of the American Homebrew contest winners. Ben Miller from New Mexico knows how to make an award winning beer. I have had the other beers from this years Longshot competition, and this is my favorite. Like the Brooklyn Brewery offering, there isn't that harsh alcohol taste some barleywines have. It hides it well with the roasted malt. Sorry to tell you Ben, but I enjoy the Brooklyn Brewery offering more. But you still make a good beer. Good job. Grade - 3 Burps

I have a few more to tey before the night is over, so I have to run.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oktoberfest 2009 was a good year, 2010 will be better

I love to buy beer almost as much as I enjoy drinking it. The thing I hate about beer is that once it's gone, it's gone. To help ease the withdrawals of missing my favorite beer, I try to buy additional bottles (or cases) before they go into hibernation. Nothing hits that spot like a nice Oktoberfest Marzen in June.

Oktoberfest style beers are my favorite. They represent everything I love about beer. It's so special, they only serve it during the greatest festival in the entire world, Oktoberfest. Every fall, American breweries help celebrate the great festival by rolling out their version of an Oktoberfest Marzen. Most are enjoyable, but one stands above the rest, Flying Dog Dogtoberfest.

I've said it time and time again, I love these guys. They brew with a certain machismo, a kind of "Bad Ass" mentality. I think that's why I relate to them so well. The masses might be scared away by the art work on their labels, or the names of their brews. That's why there are other beers out there. Beer for people like that. Flying Dog is for the rest of us. For people like me, who like to drink good beer, be different, and do their own thing. They make "good beer, no shit".

This evening, I felt the overpowering need to open one of my few, precious, remaining bottles of Dogtoberfest from 2009. These are the infamous "Total Wine Incident" bottles. At one point, I think I had roughly 32 bottle on hand. Most of them were enjoyed during the Oktoberfest season. I did manage to hide a few in the back of the fridge in the kitchen and four others in my beer fridge.

I spent this weekend dreaming and planning my trip to Europe. One of the countries I will be visiting will be Germany. As luck would have it, I will be there during the 2010 Oktoberfest. However, I will not be in Munich, my favorite place in all the world. No, instead I will be to the north, in Berlin. It's not quite Bavaria, but I'm sure I will be able to partake in quite a few liters of Marzen.

AS I read about the the history and interesting places to visit while I'm there, I couldn't help but think about the beer of Germany. And that I was going to be there during Oktoberfest, but not able to attend. Then I remembered those 2 bottles of Flying Dog I had stashed in the fridge. I couldn't help it. I had to have one.

It's Wednesday, and I have been thinking about my trip and that beer since Saturday. As I sit here, and write out this post, I am finishing off my final, and last Flying Dog Dogtoberfest. It's a little bitter sweet. I'm enjoying it more than I did on Saturday, and possibly a little more than I did last October. But I know it will soon be over. Once I finish it, that's it. There is no more. All the bottles I had, visible and hidden are gone. And it isn't even July yet.

In a few months, September will be in sight. The cactus will start to turn brown, and I'll be getting my suitcase out of the closet. All the while, Flying Dog Brewery will be making beer. A few of those barrels will be filled with Oktoberfest, which will eventually be transferred to kegs and bottles and be on their way to Arizona. Once they get here, I will take a little time off from packing and brushing up on my German so I can make a trip to the BevMo and Total Wine.

There are a few beers out there that really move me. Flying Dog Dogtoberfest is one such beer. As I finish my last sip, I can't help but feel a little sad. But I know that we will be together again soon.

I'm going to miss you old friend. But I can't wait to meet your younger sister.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

BevMo 5 Cent Beer Sale

Doesn't that sound nice, 5 Cents. I think it does. There isn't many things one can buy for only 5 cents. How about for a bottle of alcohol? To the many wine lovers around the world, getting a bottle for just 5 pennies is in fact, a real deal. At BevMo, when you buy one bottle of wine, you get the second one for just 5 cents. If I enjoyed wine, I would take full advantage of this deal. But I don't. I like beer.

So, what about beer? I would love to purchase a second bottle of beer for 5 cents. But I can't. I want that same deal. I deserve that same deal. Why can't I buy a bottle of beer, at regular price, and get the second one for 5 cents? I want the same deal the wine people get. I don't think this is fair. In fact, I think this is discrimination.

Aren't beer drinkers considered a minority in the country? We are usually treated like it. I never see a Beer Cellar in an upscale apartment in New York City. The Wall Street guys aren't taking a vacation to Munich for Oktoberfest, or Denver. Instead they head to France, or the Napa Valley to sip and spit out their wine. That's doesn't sound like a good time to me. Belgium is right next to France people. And there, you don't have to spit out the beer.

I'm getting off topic here. I'm starting to rant and rave a little.

Lets crunch some numbers. At BevMO, a bottle of '08 McManis Chardonnay California sells for $11.99. One more bottle of this will cost you only $.05. So that makes 2 bottles for $12.04. Not bad, if you like wine.

Now lets compare the wine above with a beer we all love, Stone Double Bastard. BevMo sells a 22 oz bottle of this award winning ale for $6.99. The second bottle is going to cost you, $6.99. That makes the grand total $13.98 for two bottles of Double Bastard. Still worth it to me, but not a good deal compared to the wine.

Lets look at this another way. What if that second bottle of Stone was priced accordingly, at just $.05. That would take the price for two bottles of Stone from $13.98 to only $7.04. Now this is a SWEET DEAL! Even the wine snobs would have to agree.

However, that isn't the deal. It's not a deal at all because I can't buy the second bottle for 5 cents. I have to pay full price. I have to pay $6.99. That's $6.94 cents more for a bottle of beer than the bottle of wine. What does that say?

It says that beer is better than wine if you ask me. It also means that people are paying too much money for it. Damn, I'm happy I don't drink the stuff. But if I did, I would buy in bulk.

So what's a man to do? This man is going to "man up" and pay $6.99 every time.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beer Trade

For the past year, I have been reading a blog about a guy in Philly who seems to drink some kick ass beer while constantly making me jealous. I don't know how he does it, but he seems to get a hold of the rare, limited, special, and mysterious beers that I can never seem to find out here in the desert. Honestly, it pisses me off some time. My jealously doesn't stem from anger, but pure envy. The man lives a charmed beer life.

I'm sure you have read his blog as well, I am Beer Wise. You know, Brian in P-Town (Philadelphia). In a way, Brian and I are a lot alike. We both like beer (Dogfish Head) and we both like baseball. What else matters? Not much in my book.

Anyways, we have talked from time to time about doing a beer trade. I have done it before and I loved it. I mean, how cool is it when the mailman brings you beer. It is so much better than junk mail or bills. So a few weeks ago, we decided to do it. We decided to trade some beer.

O, the pressure. As much fun it is to go beer shopping, this time I felt pressure. This was big time. This wasn't a usual trade. This was a trade with a real beer guy. A man who knows his beer. My reputation was on the line. I needed to do it right.

Over the next few weeks, I made 3 trips to Total Wine, and 4 trips to BevMo. I must have spent a good 10 hours researching and trying to decide which beers to send him. It was almost nerve racking as it was fun. I mean we both love beer, but we sit on the opposite sides of the fence in our preference for hops and malt.

I received my bottles last week. They have been chilling out in the beer fridge since they arrived. I've been waiting for a weekend where I can sit, and enjoy, and review each and every one of them. You know what, I think this weekend will be that weekend.

I'll let you guys know how it goes. Before I do, I wanted to thank my friend Brian for taking a few moments of his awesome beer life to send me some. I encourage you to stop by and read what the man has to say. I'm sure you will enjoy it.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Beer Wars and Beer School

Last night I watched Beer Wars, again. It was the first time I've watched it since the night of it's debut on April 16th of 2009. I wonder why I waited so long to watch it a second time. It really moved my the first time I saw it. This time, it inspired me.

For those who might not know what I'm talking about, Beer Wars is the documentry by Anat Baron, formerly of Mike's Hard Lemmonade fame. The film takes the viewers behind the scenes of the world of beer, and the fight between microbreweries and the big guys. Even if your not into beer, the film is still a great piece of film making exposing the battle the small businesses face every day in the fight against corporate america.

When I first saw the movie, I was able to relate because for years, I was that little guy going up against big business. Eventually it came to the point where we just couldn't compete any longer. Special pricing, perks, discounts, rewards, whatever you want to call it, it's easy for a big company to bury the "neighborhood" competition with the help of deep pockets, and/or the legal system. Those with the most money, even if they are in the wrong, usually win.

In the beer world, things seem to be changing. The American consumer is telling those deep pockets in St. Loius and Golden Colorado that they don't want a free t-shirt just to drink their beer. Instead, they want taste and flavor. I too, am in that demographic.

I have talked many times of my love of beer and how it started. Over the past few years, my love and passion for beer has increased to a level I never thought it would. I'm past the point of just talking and blogging about it. I want to live it.

I decided a back in January that I wanted to start my own brewery. I sat down and figured out a time table of how I was going to do it. I realixed over the next few months that it wasn't going to be as easy as I wanted. I didn't have the balls to quit my job and go for it. I'm not that kind of guy. I need to study and plan something before I do it.

Last week, I decided to sign up for beer school. I sent off an email to The American Brewery Guild about signing up for their Craft Brewers program. That's when I found out that all the classes were full until January of 2012. The next shock was price of tuition. That was a bitter pill to swallow. At least I have time to save up the money.

I'm excited about the future. I'm excited about making beer and really living it on a daily basis. No matter what the cost may be, I'm doing it.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Class of 2012, here I come

January of 2012. What is that, a year and a half? 17 months, give or take? Whatever it is, that is when I start Beer School. In the mean time, I think I'll get brewing.

I really didn't think it would take so long to get into Beer School. But I think it is perfect timing. It would have been great to jump right in and start the learning process. Instead, it's like waiting for Chistmas, or your the Christmas after that.

So what to do with all this spare time? I think I'll brew some beer. I think I will brew lots of beer. With all the free time I'm going to have, I should be able to really fine tune some of my own recepies. I can work on my brewing methods and try to become a seasoned home brewer. By the time school starts, I will be ready.

However I look at it, I'm doing it. I'm really doing it. I am taking that dreaded first step. Today really is that first step towards my brewery future. Wish me luck.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Beer School, it's about time

I've reached a turning point in my life. I'm at that age where it's too late to go back to college, and too early to retire. So I need to find something new to do with my life. I think it's time for Beer School.

I knew I wanted to start my own brewery a long time (3 years) ago. I have had my own business before, and I really miss it. I have kicked around the idea of getting an internship or volunteering at a brewery. The problem with that is the fact that Arizona lacks any brewery where I could. In the end, I figure that fact will help my dream come true.

I have been a novice homebrewer for about 2 years now. It's something that started out as a fun way to make lots of good beer, cheap. But it has tunred into a passion. I absolutely love beer. Beer is good. Beer is my friend. And I would love to go into business with my friend beer.

I have been reading books about breweing and breweries for the past year or so. First up was "Brewing Up a Business" by my hero, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head. By the time I was finished reading that, I had my mind made up. I wanted to be the next Sam. Then I read "Beer School, Bottling Success at the Brookly Brewery" by the owners Steve Hindy and Tom Potter. A truely fascinating and educational book for the beer and business alike. Now I'm on to "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing" by Charlie Papazian. I love it. I just can't get enough.

I made up my mind at the beginning of 2010 that I was going to open my own brewery. However, things have been slow. I would have loved to be at that stage of creating my own brews, and looking for locations. But I'm not there yet. In fact, I am still far away from that place. Instead I am reading books, designing logos, and creating websites. Not that any of that is bad, it's just not good enough for me anymore.

It didn't help reading Burr Street Brew Blog. Here is a guy that quit his job to persue his dreams of "working in the craft brew industry." He has inspired me more than any of the books I have read. He is doing it. He is living the dream. He is living all our dreams. He is chasing his dream, and he has been documenting his journey on his blog. He has gone from insurance, to the Siebel Institute. I read with envy, and admiration every time.

So, I'm going to do it. I'm taking that next step, or leap Whatever you want to call it. I am going to do it. I am right there, looking over the edge, deciding if I should go sit down, or jump. I need to make up my mind once and forall. This weekend, I did.

I'm going to jump!

In the next few weeks, I will sign up for my first official beer class. I want to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can. Homebrewing has been all the education some people have ever needed. But that's not me. I want more. I want to know it all. I'm sure that will never happen, but I can try can't I?

There it is. It's put there now. I can't look back. I've jumped off the edge, and I'm falling fast. Now all I have to do is decide if I'm going to fall on my face, in the dirt, or fall into a wonderful pool of beer. I pray for the latter.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Total Wine delivers

On a (planned) whim, I stopped by my local Total Wine last Saturday. I've been meaning to get in there for weeks. I love their single bottle section, and I was hoping to find a batch of new seasonals to try. What a good idea that was.

I picked up a bottle of 400 Pound Monkey from Left Hand Brewery. I'm not a big fan of primates, but they make a good beer. It's an English style IPA that likes to play around on the malt side of the tree. I think that's why I enjoyed it more than a typical IPA. The orange and bread like aroma was nice. The mixture of hops and caramel was the surprise. It has a nice mouthfeel, and a clean finish. While it might not be for everyone, and really doesn't fit into one particular catagory, it is an enjoyable beer. Grade: 3 Burps

I've been a fan of Odell Brewing Company from hello. I've been lucky enough to experience most of their beers over the years via Beerfests. To have it available on the shelf is a wonderful thing. Their Cutthroat Porter is one of my favorites.

I love me a nice, dark, and malty porter, and that is what you find in a pint of Cutthroat. I have enjoyed it before, and I will enjoy it again. I felt that I needed to give it the props it deserves. Now this isn't a seasonal, but to some a porter wouldn't qualify as a Spring beer. I beg to differ.

I'm a huge fan of dark and malty London ales, so I could be biased in my opinion. However, even the Queen enjoyed it. She seems to prefer the hops side of the spectrum (Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA), but she said it was good. How can you go against the Queen? I know I can't. Grade: 4 Burps

There was 1 bottle of North Coast Brewing Scrimshaw left. Lucky me. It's a pilsner style beer which surprised me. I'm not a guy who usually drinks a beer like this, but I was willing to give it a try. I'm happy I did.

It has a light and clean aroma, with an unusual medium body. Much more than I would have expected from a Pilsner. I wasn't expecting the dry, wheat overtones. I think that's what pleased me. It's a very drinkable beer. Grade: 3 Burps

But my favorite of them all was Garde Dog Biere De Garde from the guys at Flying Dog Brewery. I've said it time and time again, they just get it. I love these guys, and Garde Dog is another example why. Their interpretation of the French style "Beir DeGarde" is better than I expected. The temperatures are hitting the high 80's out here in desert lately, so this it perfect session beer on a Saturday night. Who am I kidding, it's a 5.5 abv from Flying Dog. You can have one any day of the week.

It's a nice, clean beer that's very easy to drink. A crisp floral aroma is what you notice first. The taste is lighter with a slight hint of hops, spice, citrus, and malt. I wouldn't call it a medium feel, but it's almost there.

This would be a great "cross over" beer for someone looking to experiment a little. To take that next step past Deschutes and New Belgium. This isn't a Kronenbourg 1664, it's a Flying Dog! Grade: 4 Burps

There you have it. 4 new beer reviews. Take my advise and give them all a try. I'm sure you will find one in there that you might add to your beer fridge on a regular basis.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Of Weeds and Stone

So I was watching Netflix last night. A night like most other nights. This week I'm watching season 5 Showtime's series, Weeds. It's a great show. Although not as "real" as the first few seasons were, I still enjoying it.

***Spolier Alert***

Episode 2 "Machetes Up Top",

Uncle Andy has fled with his nephew Shane, to Nancy's sisters house in Oakland. You see, Nancy figured "Oakland" would be a safer place for her son, Shane. Oakland people. How safe is Oakland? I've watched that video of the 67 year old Vietnam Vet Tom Slick beat the hell out of a guy on the bus to the point of "leaking."

Anyways, back to the story. In an attempt to convice Nancy's sister to look after Shane, Uncle Andy pulls out all the stops. He adorns his kick ass Stone Brewery T-shirt and proceeds to convice her to keep Shane in Oakland for a while. For his own protection.

Little did the average Weeds viewer realize the power of a Stone Brewing T-shirt. But I knew of that power. On occasion, I have used such power. I'm sure most of you figured out what happend next. That's right, Andy proceeds to seduce the girl from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Yes, Brad Hamilton's (Judge Reinhold) little sister, Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Not a bad triumph for Andy.

Episode 4 "Super Lucky Happy"

Even though it was a school night, I decided to watch a few more episodes. In episode 4, Uncle Andy, Shane, Nancy, and her sister Stacy Hamilton have fled again. This time she chose a new hideout, "Family Fun Bowlarama". I guess that was a safer place than Oakland.

As Nancy takes out her frustrations by blowing away bunnies and owls in the arcade, Andy runs out of tokens, gets tired of bowling, and starts to drink. In a time like this, what would be the perfect beer? If you can find it, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. If that's not available, a Stone Brewing IPA would be a great consolation prize. That's exactly what Andy does. He chills out with his bottle of Stone IPA while attempting to speak a little wisdom into Nancy. What's even more impressive about this situation is the huge Moosehead sign glowing on the wall behind them. Yep, Andy just moved a few notches up the cool chart.

Normally Andy is a bit of a loser. A loose cannon, always getting into trouble. However he somehow finds a way to "hook up" with woman after woman. I never really understood how a guy like Uncle Andy could pull that off. Same for George Costanza. How could a a guy like George get Marisa Tomeii? He must have had Stone or Dogfish head on tap in his apartment.

After 5 seasons of Weeds, I figured it out. Andy is a Stone man.

Never underestimate the power of Stone beer.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm Back!

What's up? It's been a while, hasn't it. I had some stuff to do. I'm a very busy and important man. But I'm back despite all that other stuff. I'm sure you missed me, and I have missed you too.

So lets get you all caught up.

Previously, on Lost....I mean Good Burp. "Brandon gives up beer in an attempt to loose weight after he made a stupid bet with his friend Schlampe." (It sounds a lot more cool if you imagine it in that deep, ominous voice like the Lost dude. Or if it was Waylen Jennings telling you as I attempted to jump a creek in the General Lee).

Back to the story.

I gave up beer, for a short time. I went days without a beer and even started working out. That didn't last long. After some encouraging words of advice from my beer buddies, Michael and the Beer Buddah, I started up again.

At first it was just one. Guinness was my gateway beer. Hell, it's nearly diet beer. And that bit about the monks drinkings beer, and liquid bread, why wouldn't I keep drinking it? It's almost as if God himself wanted me to keep drinking beer.

Eventually, I graduated to the better and stronger beers. Before I knew it I was right back at it. But what about that $100? Through the grapevine (Mrs. Schlampe), I found out that Mr. Schlampe wasn't doing so well. In fact, he had gained a pound. At that time, I was down nearly 7 pounds, and doing awesome. But that bit of news did me in. I started to slack off. First the beer came knocking. Then i divorced the exercise bike. The poor thing just sat there, collecting dust. Before I knew it, I was back in line at BevMo every Friday night. Thank God they extended their hours. Coincidence, I think not!

(Swirling music, and a "Flash Forward"...Just like on Lost)

What if I kept hitting the gym, and kept buying and trying and enjoying the beers? What would happen? The Hulk is what happens! OK, not quite, more like Iron Man, with hopes of becoming Wolverine in the not so distant future.

For the past 2 months, I have been hitting the gym 2 or 3 times a week. I try to watch what I eat, but drink just about whatever I want. And it's working. I have managed to maintain my weight, but add nearly 2" in each arm and my chest. In addition, I've lost an inch in my waist. Who wouldn't be excited about that? I might not win that $100, but at least I'm not going to have to pay it out!

To celebrate this glorious day, I'm busting out a very special beer which I've been saving in my very crowded beer fridge. It's a Dogfish Head - Midas Touch. Yes I know, it's so good! Sam is amazing. I'm enjoying it very much. More than that cheap ass Dahrma Beer that Sawyer drinks in his little cabin on his weird, time traveling island. I don't care how thirsty I was, or what you offered me. I would refuse to give up beer here in the world we live, to go to freakin island. What the hell were Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid thinking? They knew there wasn't good beer there, yet they all went back. Idiots!

Back in the real world, I'm moving forward with my plans. It seems that building websites and designing logos takes up much more time than writing blog posts. Luckily, I am really good at one of those tasks, so it's done. The other (websites) has taken much longer than I expected. I have logos, but why is it so difficult to create a website? Actually, it's not that hard. Acquiring the program to create such websites has been a struggle, and the time to sit and design exactly what I want has been very, very time consuming. But I'm working on it.

Everything else is still in the works. The brewery is in it's infancy. I have the domain, and most of the logo. The website still needs work, but I have a plan. I'm working on raising the capital to get it going. That street looks good. I'll know more in the coming months. So stay tuned for that.

I think we are all caught up. But there is a new episode tomorrow. Who knows what is going to happen? A beer review? Some pictures from Beerfest? More about my addition to Netflix? Who knows. But I'll tell you this, It sure feels good to be back!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

My empty promises

I feel that I cant keep up with myself. There is so much I want to do, and so much I want to say, but I can't seem to find the time to do it. Is this an excuse? Probably.

When I sit down to write out my next new amazing blog post, I want it to be right. That's the way I am with most things in my life. I don't half ass anything. Because I do that, it prevents me from doing a lot of things that I want to do. Example, writing a blog post every other day.

I have plenty to write about. My life has been quite hectic as of late, which has really lit a fire under my ass to change things. Therefore my usual time of writing a blog post has been used instead on research, and reading, and education, and figuring out how I'm going to do everything I am setting out to do.

I have a list of 40 beer to write about. I have 3 pages of notes about last weeks Great Arizona Beerfest to share. I have some rough templates of websites I would love to get feedback on before I go live. I even found a welder who has agreed to build my Brutus 10 brewing system for me. I just don't want to write about any of these things until I have completed at least one of them to my satisfaction.

But I'll throw these gems out there. I registered my brewery name last week. That's good news huh. I finished off the Firestone keg in my kegerator, so I need to replace it. BevMo extended their hours so I can pick up my beer even later now. I'm going to play in the Dogfish Head Bocce Ball tournament next month, as long as I can find another couple to play.

Things are changing. Things are definitely changing for the better. Sometimes life gets in the way of fun. But I'm working on that issue as well.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Arizona Beer Festival, another great time

I spent yesterday at the Great Arizona Beer Festival. I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Saturday. Great people, great weather, and great beer. Another beerfest to remember.

I'm not sure how many samples I officially tried. However, I did take notes on 19 different ones. Some good, some bad, and some great! A few really stuck out and reminded me why I love beer. Not that I needed a reminder, but it helps.

There were a few new breweries pouring this year. That's what I really makes a beerfest outstanding for me. I go out of my way to try the breweries I might never tried before, or ever again. I don't stand in line for a Sierra Nevada, or a Widmer, or Heaven forbid, a Miller. I will stand in line for Odell's and New Belgium, and Stone, and of course, Dogfish Head. You can't go wrong with these guys because at worst, you get a great beer. But if you're lucky, you get to try a new beer or seasonal concoction which you may never try again. Just my two cents.

I'm compiling the data and will post reviews and pictures this week.


Note: The battery in my camera died, so I didn't get as many shots as I wanted.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A two year plan

I'm starting the journey. Yesterday was the first day of my new venture. I'm moving forward with the brewery.

There is a lot going on so far. Most of it is preliminary work. Setting up the llc, designing the logo, building the website, building the brew system, and I'm sure another 30 things I have yet to think about. But for now, its enough to keep me busy.

I know its going to be a long process. I would love to get everything up and going tomorrow, but that's not going to happen. Instead I'm planning on a two year plan. With a lot of hard work, and a descent sized bank roll, I really think two years will be enough time to get the brewery opened and brewing beer.

The other day I wrote about the website. I wasn't being completely truhful when I said it was a place to expand Good Burp. In truth, it's the website for the brewery. I hope to have a site up and running by this weekend. That's my plan anyway. But I know that I'm such a perfectionist that when it comes time to go live, I'm going to want the site to be perfect. So cross your fingers.

As soon as its ready to go, ill let you all know where you can find it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good Burp, the website

That's right, Good Burp will soon have a it's own Website. A site to enjoy more Good Burp.

With a blog, you can only do so much. You can write about the things you like, or know, or hate, or just about anything else. In my case, I love to write about beer. A blog is fine for doing that. However, I am ready to take it to the next level.

I have been slow to update posts, the beers I've been drinking, reviews of the beer, and photos of beer, because blogger just can't handle it. My plan for 2010 was to organize the beer reviews, and start a new beer list, and start a gallery. I wanted to improve the overall appearance and content of Good Burp. But it just hasn't worked out the way I had hoped it would.

By next week, I should have Good Burp 1.0 up and running. It's going to take some time to get all the photos uploaded, list the beers I've tried that past 2 years, and write the reviews of the beers I've evaluated.

But don't worry, I Good Burp isn't going anywhere. I will still write blog post about beer and my adventures with beer. I will link both sites to each other so you can jump from one to the other. There is just going to be more Good Burp to love.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Good news, my liver is OK

I had to go to the Doctor on Friday. Don't worry, I'm fine. Just a routine check up for some of the meds I take. No big deal.

The cool thing about my Doc, he likes beer. We usually spend a good 5 or 10 minutes talking about beer. What we have tried, where the best places in town to go drink beer, and about my blog. This Doc is so cool because his uncle is one of the Widmer Brothers.

Anyways, he was asking me about my typical week of "beer testing". I tried to explain to him that I was currently on a fast (which I broke tonight) due to a stupid bet I made with my friend. I told him that I usually only have 1 or 2 on the weekends since January. I was trying to cut back. Hey, we all hold back when we talk to our doctors, unless it means we are getting better meds if the pain is worse.

He asked me this zinger, "How many times have you been drunk in the past year?"

Hmmmm, I had to stop and think about that one. His definition of "drunk" and my definition of "drunk" are probably quite different. Besides, I have been training for a long time, and it takes me quite a while to get to a condition where I would consider myself drunk.

So I counted. The last time was after the 30 something samples at the last beer fest. That makes 1. This summer, when every one threw up in my front yard, I was hurting pretty good that night as well. Lets say that is 2. What was Friday, and when would the cut off be? I don't know, the pressure was getting to me. So I blurted out 3.

You know what his response was? "Three, that is close to pushing it." Really? Only 3 times a year is pushing it? Who knew. Then in a nearly passing manner, he asked me about my liver. I said it was fine. Then he told me to lay down, and said "No, I want to check your liver."

What? Really? I'm not even 40 yet, and I consider myself to be in descent shape. I lost 5 pounds last week. Do you really need to check my liver? "Yes."

He proceeded to push really hard around the area for a minute or so. What was he checking for? I have no idea. But I do know this, my liver is A.O.K! Awesome!

Then he asked my where I was planning on going for vacation this year. I told him Amsterdam, Belgium, Germany, and Copenhagen. "Are you going to Oktoberfest" he asked excitedly. I told him no, not this year. "It starts on the 18th right?" Honestly, I didn't know for sure, but my Doctor did. Isn't that awesome!

I left the office with a bag full of goodies, and a smile on my face. My liver was good. So what is today, February 15th? I guess I can only get drunk 2 more times this year because I celebrated Friday night!


Monday, February 8, 2010

What would you do for $100?

I must have had way to much to drink the other night. Apparently, I agreed to answer the question stated above. What would I do for $100? Give up beer.

I know, I know, how could I be so stupid to give up drinking my beloved beer for the mere sum of $100? What was I thinking? Honestly, I wasn't.

Here is the story.

April and I met with our most favorite, and awesome friends the Schlampes. We met up at Gordon Biersch on Saturday night to talk about our upcoming Beercation, I mean Eurotrip 2010. It was happy hour, and the beers were flowing. I was trying to get my moneys worth.

By the time we sat down for dinner, I was really happy. And when I am happy, I agree to stupid things which I normally would never do, like agree to see who can loose 20 pounds the fastest. You heard that right, I agreed to a stupid bet with a mind full of hops and malt. All for $100.

It hit me yesterday that in order to win this stupid bet, I would have to pull out all the stops. The main stop being my kegerator and beer fridge. If I want to win this, and God knows I do, I have to give up beer.

So I am calling it the race to 20! It isn't about the money, or bragging rights. It is a race to drink beer again. I worked out twice today. Yes, 2 times! And I'm going to do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, and then continue down that long and sober road until I get a phone call, or until that scale tells me I win.

Aside from getting that tattoo, this has got to be one of the stupidest things I have ever agreed to do. I am already thinking about quitting. I just picked up a few new beers Friday night for the Super Bowl. Instead, I drank Diet Coke. Now I know how Peyton Manning feels, even though I was pulling for Breese and the Saints.

-No Cheers tonight.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Total Wine, a follow up

A few months ago, I had a little run in with the manager at my local Total Wine and More. You might remembe that, I wrote a post a about it. Since I've been catching everyone up on some old posts, I figured it was about time to catch you up on this one.

After I wrote about the issue at Total Wine, it didn't take long for me to be contacted by the people running things. In fact, they contacted before I even realized it. The Business Development Manager, Rob Hill started to follow me on Twitter, and attempted to contact me by posting comments om my posts.

I have been through this before, and I was again a little apprehensive to reply so quickly. Before I knew it, I was on the phone talking to Mr. Hill about my incident at his store.

We talked for some time, and I will tell you it was a complete pleasure. Mr Hill is a very nice man. He was very concerned about what had happened. He asked that I tell him my story, which I did. He apologized for the situation, and assured me that it wasn't something that they (as a company) tolerated.

When we were finished with our conversation, he asked if it would be alright if he had the District Manager, Mr. Sowden contact me and if I wouldn't mind telling him my story, which I did a few days later.

To my enjoyement, Mr. Sowden and Mr. Hill are both beer men. I have must have talked to Mr. Sowden for 20 minutes just about beer. I learned about the founders of Total Wine and that even though they are called Total Wine, beer runs deep in their veins.

I have talked to Mr. Hill on several occasions sine then. Each time, it has been a pleasure. I've also stopped by my local Total Wine a few times to pick up some seasonal and single bottles of different brews which I have yet to try or review (I have so many to write about).

Did I mention that Total wine has a close relationship with non other than Dogfish Head? I didn't? How could I have forgot? But yes, it's true. And I absolutely loved the Dogfish Head Squall IPA!

So now you are up to date on yet another cliffhanger from Good Burp. I'm sure there are a few more, but lets move on.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sun Devil Ale no more

Just a brief follow up to the San Tan Brewing Company v. ASU rumble.

It's over.

Sun Devil Ale is no more. It will now be known as Devil's Ale. Same beer, just without the "Sun". From what I hear, ASU likes the name.

What is funny about the new name is who inspired it. The owner of San Tan Brewing Co., Anthony Canecchia is giving the credit to Terri Schafer. What is so funny about Terri Schafer? Nothing really. But the fact that Mr. Schafer is the Associate Vice President of Public Affairs for Arizona State Univesity is really funny.

I thought it was funny anyway.

So I say, way to go Terry. Thanks for the help.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Netflix for Beer

Hello, my name is Brandon, and I'm addicted to Netflix.

I don't know exactly when I started, but I think it was around New Years Day. What started off as a fun thing to do, has since turned into a 4 hour a day habit. Everything is suffering as a result. My yard, my blog, and even my beer.

It's weird. I really don't know how to explain it. I sit down at the computer and start to read what going on with my the world, aka what is going on in the world of sports and beer. Eventually, I end up on the Netflix site. Before I know it, I have added 10 new movies to my queue, and reviewed 537 movies. Before I know it, I have missed my chance to drink and review a beer, or even attempt to type out some other post.

But I do have some good news. Because of Netfilx, I have been able to find and watch some great movies about Beer. Who knew there was such a plethora of movies about the wonder full world of beer? I sure didn't. Thanks to Netflix, I have found a new form of beer enjoyment.

Over the last month, I think I have watched 7 or 8 beer related movies or documentaries. Some have been ok, but most have been great. I feel it is my duty to let you know about them.

Beerfest - The name says it all. An group of 5 Americans go to Germany to compete in a Super Secret Beer drinking competition. Awesome movie. One of my all time favorites. Grade - 4 1/2 Burps

Beerwars - Most of have seen it, or at least heard of it. The documentary changed my view of beer. It really is a great story of being the little fish in the pond. If you don't own it already, do yourself a favor and rent it. Grade - 4 1/2 Burps

Last Cup: Road to the World Series of Beer Pong - We have all played it at one time or another. But these guys live it. It documents several teams and the founders of the World Series of Beer Pong. I loved this movie. It was great fun. I'm buying my own table and practicing for next year. Grade - 4 Burps

The Historic Pubs of Dublin - "Join Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes) as he leads you on an intimate tour of Dublin's most charming and famous ale houses, including The Stag's Head, Doheny & Nesbitt, Neary's and The Long Hall" I really enjoyed this Documentary. And I'll tell you what, I am seriously considering adding Dublin to by 2010 Eurotrip. Grade - 3 1/2 Burps

American Beer - It really had nothing to do with American beer. I think this was some sort of Canadian Independent movie. It was so boring and honestly, it sucked. I stopped it about half way through it. Don't waste your time. Grade - 1/2 Burp

Empires of Industry: Brewed in America. There is good and bad in this one. It traces of the history or beer to what it has become today. The bad it that it became Anheuser Busch. It was informative and enjoyable. However, it was a reminder of what beer has become in America. Decide for yourself. Grade - 3 Burps.

There are a few more in there, but nothing to write home about. I still have some very cool ones still in my Netflix queue.

Netflix, it's like Beer for your Brain.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sun Devil Burp

Could I have named my blog after the Arizona State Sun Devils? Even if I meant it in a good way? It all depends on who you ask.

I went to ASU (Go Devils). Does that give me the right to use the trademarked term "Sun Devil"? Well, I'm not an attorney, but I would love to be admitted to the ASU School of Law.

There are some nice Brew Pubs near Arizona State's Tempe campus. Four Peaks Brewing Company, Papago Brewing Company, and the brewery of which we speak, San Tan Brewing Company.

San Tan Brewing Company opened it's doors in fall of 2007. They are a young company in the Arizona Beer scene. I have never actually made it to their brewpub, but I have had plenty of their beer. One such beer is called, "Sun Devil Ale", and ASU doesn't like it.

Arizona State filed a cease and desist against San Tan, asking them to rename the ale. Ultimately, San Tan agreed to change the name of their beer.

It pains me to write the rest of this post. Why? Because I agree with ASU.

The term "Sun Devil" is a trademarked term, and San Tan was using it without permission. I wouldn;t like it if someone used a term I trademarked for their own benefit. I'm sure you wouldn't either.

Now don't get the wrong idea. I fight for the little guy (that is why I want to go to law school). I have been the little guy many, many times in legal battles. Just ask former Chicago Whitesox slugger, Frank Thomas about it. I can no longer "use the term Bighurt, or The Big Hurt" ever again (God, I hope I don't get sued for using the term "Bighurt" in my blog post).

To San Tan's defense, there are countless business around town using the Sun Devil name. For example, Sun Devil Auto, Sun Devil Plumbing, Sun Devil Boxers, Sun Devil Heating & Cooling Inc., Sun Devil Garage Door Repair, and on and on. There is even a Sun Devil Manufacturing which makes "top end custom billet aluminum rifle parts and accessories." But the best one in Sun Devil Liquors. Located walking distance from the main campus. So why single out San Tan? I couldn't tell you.

What does it all mean? That's not for us to decide. But what you can help decide is the new name for the former "Sun Devil Ale". Show San Tan your support, and vote. Better yet, stop by for a pint. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

One last thing, Wildcats Suck!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'll be your Tourguide

Disclaimer: Some of the information in this post may have been stated in earlier posts. Read it anyway and enjoy the ride.

In August of 2008, I started this blog "Good Burp" as a way to speak my mind. A God given gift that I have honed and crafted over the years. Sometime I use my gift for good, and other times, well, you know.

Over time, I began to write less about everything else, while writing more and more about my love of beer. I slowly realized that I really enjoyed writing, and that beer was a subject that I could drink and enjoy and express to everyone around the world.

Before I knew it, people from all over the country were reading my thoughts about beer. Then more people stopped by for a read, and eventually most of the world was reading what I had to say. The amazing thing is that they kept coming back, and wanting more.

Before I knew it, I was attending beerfests, going to breweries, and making what seems like daily visits to BevMo, Total Wine, and just about any other place I could find the next new beer. It became a passion. And it was all in the interest of writing my opinions about my new discoveries.

Things were moving along at a steady pace. I became friends with other beer bloggers and carved out my little piece in the beer world. We all wrote and shared ideas and opinions. It's been great fun. Eventually, my readership was growing at a pace I never thought it would. Each month, more stopped by than the month before.

Then it happened. I showed up on the radar. Before I knew it, I began to be contacted. As hard as I tried to stay anonymous, people were still able to track me down. Albeit, a difficult task, but nonetheless, they did it. Still today, I am dumbfounded by the results from such contacts.

The next I know, fellow bloggers, breweries, brew masters, distributors, brewery owners, and even CEO's were sending me messages and other "goodies". This was shocking to say the least. I honestly didn't know how to react to it.

After some soul searching, and a lot of deliberating with the special few who knew who I was, I decided it was time to go mainstream. It was time to go PUBLIC!

So without further adieu, here we go.

My name is Brandon. I live in Phoenix Arizona, and I like beer.

All together now, "Hello Brandon"

My love affair with beer started in 2007 after spending time in Europe. I fell in love with the English Ales being served in the Pubs of London. It was such a drastically different style of beer. Nothing like the typical American style lagers I was used to. It was better! I wrote about it in my second post. Go ahead and read it. It's a good post.

When I arrived home, I had a new found love of beer. But not just any beer, good beer. I wanted to try as many beers as I could. And you know what, I have tried many great beers. Even today, I am drinking a new, great beer from Bootlegger's Brewery in Fullerton California.

So what does all this mean for Good Burp? I don't know exactly, but I do hope it is positive. I will continue to attend beerfests and report my findings. And I will still attempt to try as many new and different beers as possible and write about my adventures with beer.

But in my attempt to take Good Burp to the next level, I plan on posting interviews with some of todays newest and brightest breweries, playing in Sam Calagione's Bocce Ball tournement, and hitting as many breweries as I can. In addition, I'm planning a 5 city, 3 country tour of northern Europe (yes Belgium is on that list) this fall. And before I go, I will have a list of breweries, beer, and pubs to try along the way. What I am willing to do for all of you, my fans.

In the meantime, I want to thank all of you who have stopped by, read my posts, commented, and become friends. Without all of you, Good Burp would have amounted to one of the millions of failed blogs sitting out there in cyberspace.


Friday, January 8, 2010

New look for 2010

Please forgive me for the lack of posts so far. The switch has not gone as smooth as I planned.

I have been trying to clean up old post, organize the beer list, and create a newer look for Good Burp.

it seems as if my plan might not work, so I should be back this weekend pounding out some new posts about my adventures with beer.

(It is a little difficult typing on my phone instead of a keyboard)

So check back, because I will be spilling the good about "ME" in the next day or two.

In the mean time, thank you for reading.