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The Lois Beer Club

Viewing life through the bottom of a Pilsner Glass

For Its Latest Beer, a Craft Brewer Chooses an Unlikely Pairing: Archaeology

Published: June 17, 2013

CLEVELAND — The beer was full of bacteria, warm and slightly sour.

By contemporary standards, it would have been a spoiled batch here at Great Lakes Brewing Company, a craft beer maker based in Ohio, where machinery churns out bottle after bottle of dark porters and pale ales.

But lately, Great Lakes has been trying to imitate a bygone era. Enlisting the help of archaeologists at the University of Chicago, the company has been trying for more than year to replicate a 5,000-year-old Sumerian beer using only clay vessels and a wooden spoon.

“How can you be in this business and not want to know from where your forefathers came with their formulas and their technology?” said Pat Conway, a co-owner of the company.

As interest in artisan beer has expanded across the country, so have collaborations between scholars of ancient drink and independent brewers willing to help them resurrect lost recipes for some of the oldest ales ever made.

“It involves a huge amount of detective work and inference and pulling in information from other sources to try and figure it out,” said Gil Stein, the director of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, which is ensuring the historical accuracy of the project. “We recognize that to get at really understanding these different aspects of the past, you have to work with people who know things that we don’t.”

There is an unresolved argument in academic circles about whether the invention of beer was the primary reason that people in Mesopotamia, considered the birthplace of Western civilization about 10,000 years ago, first became agriculturalists.

Read Entire Article

Michael F. McElroy for The New York Times

A team at the Great Lakes Brewing Company, including Pat Conway, second from left, is working with archaeologists to replicate a 5,000-year-old Sumerian beer

Bigfoot bounty: Olympia Beer offers $1 million reward for safe capture of a Sasquatch

Finding Bigfoot could pay off big time.

A beer maker in Washington state has offered a $1 million reward to anyone who can do what has eluded mankind for generations: snaring a living Sasquatch.

Evan and Daren Metropoulos, owners of Pabst Brewing Company and Olympia Beer, have offered to pay $25,000 a year for the next four decades to the person who can reel in a live Bigfoot.

Check it out here


Just in case you assumed few folks would join the quest for Bigfoot, you ought to know that 14% of Americans believe in its existence, and another 14% are unsure.

Beer: Five summer beers in cans

By    Jesse Tigges

For whatever reason, I associate drinking beer in the summer with cans. Does beer taste better in cans when it’s hot outside? Possibly. Do cans get colder than bottles? Some believe so, but I generally don’t want ice-cold beer anyway.

Whatever the case, cans do offer distinct advantages to bottles. Cans don’t allow light or oxygen in so, in theory, the beer tastes better. (I’ve heard some complain about a metallic taste, but that’s hogwash — most cans have a spray-coated lining inside to eliminate this.) Cans are also much easier to transport — to and from a cookout, hike, swimming hole, etc.

With more craft breweries offering their delicious wares in cans, it’s worth finding some that please your palette. Here are five I enjoyed and that cover a variety of styles.

Dog Days Lager, Two Brothers Brewing Co. (5.1 ABV)

Two Brother’s Dog Days is the most crowd-pleasing of the cans I tried. There aren’t a lot of big flavors here, but a simple enough hop presence is countered by an equal amount of citrus — most similar to a lemon zest. The Dog Days is ideal for after sweat-inducing outdoor activities — yard work or sand volleyball come to mind — because it’s refreshing and endlessly drinkable.

Firefly Amber Ale, Jackie O’s Brewing Co. (4.5 ABV)

Oh Jackie O’s, can you ever do me wrong? The Athens brewery has been producing great beer and recently made its beer available in cans in the Columbus market — currently only at Weiland’s Gourmet Market. The Firefly Amber Ale has a slight malty sweetness that’s followed by a more-potent-than-expected earthy (Cascade) hop profile. Not my favorite of Jackie O’s beers, but worthwhile nonetheless. The Chomo-lung-ma Brown Ale is also available in cans.

Hell or High Water Watermelon Wheat, 21st Amendment Brewery (4.9 ABV)

21st Amendment has a wealth of great beers in cans — hello, Brew Free or Die IPA. But it’s the brewery’s fruit beer that intrigued me. When it’s done right these beers can be quite refreshing, even if that’s generally not your thing. The Hell or High Water isn’t overpowered by the watermelon — watermelon isn’t a very powerful flavor — giving it an initial sweetness that quickly fades as a crisp wheat beer takes over.

Resin, Six Point Brewery (9.1 ABV)

This is the canned beer for the hardcore hop lovers. Six Point’s Resin is a double IPA with huge, bold hops — best described as just straight dank. The piney, slightly floral hops are somewhat countered by some citrus notes, but it’s minimal. It may not be ideal for summer drinking, but this is a great DIPA. And if that’s your thing — I feel you, brother — this is the beer in a can for you.

White Rascal, Avery Brewing Co. (5.6 ABV)

My favorite of the beers I sampled for this article. The White Rascal is an unfiltered — giving the beer its cloudy coloring — Belgian wheat with a nice mixture of flavors throughout. While the flavors (coriander and orange peel spice, with a subdued hop profile) are quite welcome, the beer’s refreshment factor was most surprising, offering the best combination of both.

Photo by Meghan Ralston

Happy Memorial Day! Break out the white shoes and the L.B.C.

There’s a big conference of beer producers. At the end of the day, the presidents of all beer companies decide to have a drink in a bar.
The president of ‘Budweiser‘ orders a Bud, the president of ‘Miller’ orders a Miller Lite, Adolph Coors orders a Coors, and the list goes on. Then the waitress asks Arthur Guinness what he wants to drink, and much to everybody’s amazement, Mr. Guinness orders a Coke!
“Why don’t you order a Guinness?” his colleagues ask.
“Naah. If you guys won’t drink beer, then neither will I.”

Brewers team up on beer to help military families

By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM AP Business WriterRICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Craft breweries from around the country are toasting the troops with a beer aged with a unique ingredient that symbolizes America’s pastime – baseball bats.

Nine different brewers collaborated to create Homefront IPA, all using the same recipe, complete with orange peel and unfinished maple Louisville Sluggers. Toward the end of the fermentation process the beer soaks in a tank with the maple bats.

All proceeds from the beer, which is being released for Memorial Day, will be donated to Operation Homefront, a national group that provides emergency financial assistance to military families.

The Hops for Heroes project began in 2011 when Chris Ray, co-founder of Center of the Universe Brewing Co. in suburban Richmond, was pitching for the Seattle Mariners.

A home brewer at the time, Ray wanted to partner with a local brewery to create a charity beer. Together with Fremont Brewing Co. in Seattle and his brother, Phil, they developed the recipe and chose the charity Operation Homefront, which was suggested by Ray’s childhood friend that served as a soldier in Afghanistan.

“I was always taught when I was growing up to help out the people that help you,” Ray said while talking about the beer at The Diamond, home of the Flying Squirrels minor league baseball team. “They’re putting their lives on the line for us every day. The least we can do is help them keep their car on the road or help them keep their house.”

In addition to Center of the Universe and Fremont Brewing, the list of participating breweries has grown to include Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Fla., Sly Fox Brewing Co. in Pottstown, Pa., Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis, 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, the Phoenix Ale Brewery in Phoenix, Left Hand Brewing Co. in Longmont, Colo., and Stone Brewing Co., in Escondido, Calif. Other sponsors within the craft brewing industry provided ingredients and supplies to help brewers keep their costs down and increase the amount of money raised for the cause.

Last year, the project helped raise $165,000, with additional donations to the group coming in because of the beer project, Ray said. After the beer is brewed, the bats also are dried and auctioned off.

The breweries will sell the beer in bottles and kegs in their areas, with all proceeds being donated to local chapters of the charity. Bottles in the Richmond market even include American flag caps.

“It doesn’t really get any more Americana than beer, baseball and America’s troops,” Ray said.

While Ray is glad more breweries are participating in the project, he said he wants it to grow slowly to keep the beer novel.

Aaron Taylor, spokesman for Operation Homefront, said the project is a great opportunity for folks to support military families and have a good time.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” said Taylor, whose group helped meet the needs of 151,150 military families in 2012 by paying for car and home repairs and other financial aid.

Craft brewers are known for using their beers to support causes that they believe in, said Julia Herz, the craft beer program director at the Brewers Association, a Colorado-based industry group.

“They’re just so tied to their communities,” she said. “It’s a very symbiotic thing,”

And with beer lovers excited to see a craft beer that benefits a charity, the beers usually sell out fast.

“What feels good tastes even better,” Herz said.

Other adult beverage makers also support projects that benefit the military.

Several wineries a have created wines to support military groups like Operation Homefront.

Bourbon bottler Jim Beam has partnered with Operation Homefront for the past five years to raise money and awareness through promotional events such as concerts. And whiskey company Wild Turkey has teamed up with The Boot Campaign, which supports veterans through the sale and promotion of combat boots. Its “Boots and Bourbon” initiative raises money and highlights returning veterans’ issues.

Pliny the Elder Review #10

Russian River Brewing Co.              This Review was completed 12/31/2012 – Happy New Years from Lois!


Bill F. – “Feeeling Alive!”

Bill S. – “Fantastic”

Tracy S. = “Wonderful”

Jeff D.- ” My eyes are burning” ( due to hot wings)

Emily D. – Feels Jeff should wear his “big boy” hat

Kurt O. – “Nice”

Melanie O. – “Happy”

Tiffany R. – “Peace, Love and Happy Days”



Bill F. – Very aromatic, lots of flavor…. Apricoty

Bill S. – Hoppy and Peachy  (cousins of Sneezy, Dopey, Grouchy and Doc)

Tracy S. – “Yep…Ummm,  Bitter Fruit”

Jeff D. – “Very Good…It tastes very good”

Emily D. – Fruity smelling.. “Better than Christmas Ale”  (not a ringing endorsement)

Kurt O. – Very flowery and hoppy ( see Bill S.)

Melanie O. – Flowery and Awful     :(

Tiffany R. – “I’m smelling dead flowers”



Bill F. – I like it alot!

Bill S. – Like it… and would drink it again

Tracy S. – “Not a fan.. I would rather drink gasoline before this..” (Really??)

Jeff D. – I like it. A summer beer.  A warmer weather happy beer! ( goes well with a big boy hat?)

Emily D. – Not bad but too strong and hoppy.

Kurt O. – Enjoyable. Aroma is awsome, could be a big batcch beer.  ( it is dbag)

Melanie O. – “Don’t like it one bit!”

Tiffany R. – “Aweful, give me wine!!”  ( ok its called Lois beer club for a reason)

Beer Myths Debunked

Taken From Thatsthespirit.com

It’s always a  good time to turn our collective attention to some of the outdated myths about beer that continue in circulation even today, when we have such a wealth of diverse brews at our disposal.

By Stephen Beaumont


Myth #1: Dark beer is heavy


Couldn’t be further from the truth, folks. Colour in beer comes purely from the grain used in its creation, with darker beers containing more toasted or roasted barley malt and paler beers containing less or no darker malts. And roasting malt doesn’t make it heavier or more caloric.

Learn more about dark beer.

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Beer Lovers

We all know our usual New Year’s resolutions aren’t always particularly exciting.  They normally involve things like losing weight, or breaking a bad habit. While those types of resolutions are important,  this list is much more fun. Expand your love and knowlege of craft beer in the new year.  Add one of these resolutions (they’re in no particular order) to your list and get ready for 2013!

10. Introduce someone to craft beer.

9. Try at least one new beer a month.

8. Participate in an American Craft Beer Week event.

7. Host or attend a beer tasting.  We even have a video to help you!

6. Cook with craft beer!  We’re adding new recipes to CraftBeer.com all the time. Also try Honestcooking,com  recipe section— get tips and tricks for cookingwith craft beer

5. Give craft beer or brewery gear as a present.

4. Learn more about your favorite beverage; read a book on beer or brewing. Find tons of information at BeerAdvocate.com.

3. Experience a beer festival.

2. Plan a side-trip to a brewery on your next vacation.

1. Bring craft beer to a housewarming, dinner party or a garage near you.

Sam Adams Winter Lager Cookies

Baking cookies around the holidays is a Samuel Adams favorite among our brewers. And like all our favorite things, we take to it the only way we know how – by adding beer!While we know a thing or two about brewing, we tapped some real baking professionals for ideas on how to create this year’s batch of Samuel Adams Winter Lager cookies.

We’re excited to collaborate with LuLu’s Sweet Shoppe of Boston and Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices of Cincinnati – both proud participants in our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program – to create our Winter Lager cookie recipe. While the recipe comes courtesy of Sandy Russo at LuLu’s Sweet Shoppe, Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices provided the spices we needed to add the holiday flavor.

Samuel Adams® Winter Lager Cookie

Recipe by Sandy Russo of Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe


  • ½ cup Samuel Adams Winter Lager
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ginger
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange powder
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg

Winter Lager & Cookes #2Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and sugar for 3 minutes, add molasses, beat for 1 minute.  Add the egg & beer, beat 30 seconds.

Combine flour, salt, spices and baking soda.  On lowest speed of mixer, beat in half of the flour mixture.  Using a spoon, stir in remaining dry ingredients. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2-3 portions; press each into a round, flattened disk and wrap well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll dough to ¼” thickness and cut into perfect pint shapes. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet & bake for 10-15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Royal Icing (optional):

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract or pure vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in bowl and beat on medium high for 10 minutes. Icing will become thick and glossy. Spread over cookies immediately and enjoy!

12 Dogs of Christmas – Best Holiday Ale

Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas — and not Great Lakes Christmas Ale — was selected as the best holiday beer by 60 people participating in the “12 Beers of Christmas” tasting this week at D’Agneses Trattoriain Akron. Earlier, I reported that Great Lakes was chosen as the top beer by mistake. My apologies.

Troegs Mad Elf finished a close second, and Southern Tier 2XMAS was third.

In addition to Thirsty Dog, Troegs and Southern Tier, the event featured Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Avery Old Jubilation, Goose Island Christmas Ale, Anchor Steam Merry Christmas Ale, Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Breckenridge Christmas Ale, Bell’s Christmas Ale and Great Divide Hibernation Ale.