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Posts Tagged Acoustic Ales

Q&A: Jeff Josenhans

Jun 15

Lead Mixologist & Certified Cicerone, Level II, U.S. Grant Hotel & Grant Grill

Picture it: You sit down at a bar, enjoy two or three IPAs rich with the fruity, piney aromas and flavors of hops, then get right up and immediately drive home. This is ill-advised, irresponsible and downright illegal behavior. But the information I didn’t supply you with before introducing this scenario is that those hypothetical beers are non-alcoholic. And though it sounds like a riddle based on fiction—c’mon, there’s no such thing as a vibrantly hoppy non-alcoholic IPA—this is a real-world situation that can be played out at the U.S. Grant Hotel’s bar, lounge and restaurant, Grant Grill, where level two Cicerone Jeff Josenhans has taken to removing alcohol from cask ales, before recarbonating, bottling and adding them to the menu. It’s the latest step in the venue’s non-alcoholic craft beverage program, which also includes spirits and cocktails. We sat down with Josenhans to find out more about his methods and what could be perceived by some purists as madness.

West Coaster: What inspired you to explore non-alcoholic beers in this manner?
Jeff Josenhans: It literally just dawned on me how there are no craft non-alcoholic beers on the market, and I thought to myself “how can this be possible?” The non-alcoholic quality beverage segment as a whole—wine, cocktails, etc.—is growing as well, so I just put two and two together. There’s really no reason you can’t drink craft beer at work in a non-alcoholic form.

WC: Walk us through the process of removing alcohol from traditional beers.
JJ: Basically, we maintain the temperature of the beer at 180 degrees Fahrenheit using an immersion circulator, which also keeps the beer in motion. We keep that process going for about 30 minutes or until we can’t detect any alcohol fumes for at least five minutes. Like other commercial non-alcoholic beers or kombucha, there is still a minute amount of alcohol expected to remain in the beer, albeit less than one percent. There really is no such thing as 100% guaranteed no-alcohol beer. O’Doul’s states 0.5% alcohol-by-volume (ABV), Becks Non-Alcoholic states 0.3% ABV and, similarly, when reducing wine into a sauce, you cannot completely guarantee there is no alcohol and that it is at a level which is considered safe to consume and drive, for example. What we do is measure the volume of the liquid and equate it with the loss in volume per the original ABV. For example, if we have 10 liters of 6% ABV pale ale, after the 30-minute process we should have 9.4 liters left.

WC: What styles do you offer and what led you to select them?
JJ: Our current bottled beers are Office IPA, Strawberry Blonde, PC Pilsner, Safe and Sour, and Button-Down Beer. The selection process is directly correlated to the casks we run at Grant Grill. If we don’t have enough left over from a cask at the end of a night, we do not produce any non-alcoholic beer. If there is at least one-third of the cask left, we make a decision to bottle and start the process. We are creating craft-beverage offerings and avoiding waste at the same time.

WC: You’re using local cask ales. Where are you procuring them?
JJ: We always have cask ale on Fridays and Saturdays, and currently partner with New English Brewing, 32 North Brewing, Mike Hess Brewing, Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment, Fall Brewing and Modern Times Beer.

WC: What would you say to those who don’t see a need for non-alcoholic craft beer?
JJ: There’s no shame in offering people who can’t drink for whatever reason—designated driver, pregnant, religion, whatever—a craft-beer alternative. To be honest, I really don’t understand how the craft market hasn’t got to this yet. It think it’s about time!

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San Diego Beer Week 2014 – Publisher’s Picks

Nov 5

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Kegs have been hoarded, tap lines cleaned, and lineups finalized. It’s go time in the San Diego beer world. Lots of hard work has gone into this 6th incarnation of the 10 day confederation of beer events that is San Diego Beer Week. With 20+ events on the first day alone, tough decisions must be made as to which events will be attended.

As much as my soul wishes to taste all of the beers at all of the places during SDBW, my liver is the one that has to deal with all the alcohol. Plus, drunk driving sucks. I’m limiting myself to three events a day max, with an emphasis on trying tasty, new things. Here’s what I came up with:

From 2012's Rare Beer Breakfast at Stone. Pictured L-R: Colby Chandler (Ballast Point), Shawn DeWitt (Coronado), Dr. Bill (Stone), Ryan Glenn (Ballast Point), and Greg Koch (Stone)

From 2012’s Rare Beer Breakfast at Stone. Pictured L-R: Colby Chandler (Ballast Point), Shawn DeWitt (Coronado), Dr. Bill (Stone), Ryan Glenn (Ballast Point), and Greg Koch (Stone)

11/7 Friday

Stone Rare Beer Breakfast @ Stone Brewing Co. Escondido
Whale hunters will be pleased with the offerings from Crooked Stave, Russian River, Firestone Walker and much more. $65 gets you fifteen 3oz tasters, an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, a cool taster glass and more.

Urge Beer Run: Day 2
The guys from Urge road tripped from San Diego to Seattle, packing the RV with treats from breweries along the West Coast. With beers you just don’t see coming on tap from Oregon & Washington, this is a good stop for beer tickers looking to try something new.

Guild Fest: VIP Brewer Takeover
One of the three official Brewers Guild events for SDBW, the VIP Brewer Takeover on Saturday evening is not to be missed. There’s a good chance you’ll get to say hello to your favorite brewer and the tap list is pretty solid. I’m going to taste Queen of Tarts by Karl Strauss, Green Flash’s Hammie’s 8th Anniversary Wheat Wine & the 12th Anniversary Sour Pale Ale, Twisted Manzanita’s Serenity, Rip Current’s IIIIPA, and New English’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Brown.  I’m also looking forward to checking out all the newer breweries as they’re anxious to show off on their 1st Beer Week. Tickets are $75 for unlimited tasting of food and beer.

December / January 2012-13’s cover of the 2012 Guild Fest

11/8 Saturday

San Diego Brewers Guild Festival
The largest of the three official San Diego Brewers Guild events of SDBW, this will be a snapshot for the current state of San Diego Beer with unlimited tastings from over 50 SD-county breweries. My personal favorites on the list include Electrocution by Amplified Ales and Stone Liberty Station’s Witty Moron. I’ll be looking to try beer from newcomers 32 North, Bagby, Dos Desperados, Fallbrook, Prodigy, Toolbox and Urbn St.

NorCal Beer Night @ Hamilton’s Tavern
Hammies is orchestrating a massive taplist with lots of Northern California beers you just don’t see much of down South. Marin Brewing, CellarMaker, Social Kitchen, Magnolia, Moonlight, Moylan’s, Iron Springs and many more will be on tap.

Chef Calvin Hanis of Carnitas Snack Shack with his pet pig, Carnitas

11/9 Sunday

Green Flash Smokeout @ Carnitas Snack Shack
The realm of tasty that is Carnitas Snack Shack is hosting the 6th Annual Green Flash Smokeout. Green Flash will have Chuck Silva & Dave Adams curating on hand to talk about Green Flash happenings and any of the beers on tap. The food will be killer. This one will put you in the right place for our next event pick:

The World’s Biggest Bottle Share on 30th Street
I love DrinkAbout and I love bottleshares. This is a hybrid of those two things taking place in the greater North Park area. A bus will connect Polite Provisions, Ritual Kitchen & Beer Garden, Waypoint Public, Bluefoot, Brabant, Station Tavern, Alchemy, and Hamilton’s. $20 gets you a t-shirt, bus access from 12P-6P and a commemorative taster glass. Bring a few bottles to share with friends new and old while enjoying discounts at each of the stops. Cool new concept from the South Park Business Association.

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Fishing with the Brewers @ Fathom Bistro
The pub on the pier is getting together some friends and going fishin’. For $70, you get a fishing pole with hooks, weights and bait that are yours to keep. You also get breakfast, lunch and a t-shirt, too. Cast lines and hang out with Adam Avery of Avery Brewing, Chuck Silva of Green Flash, Jamie Floyd from Ninkasi, Bear Republic’s Richard Norgrove, AleSmith’s Bill Batten and Yuseff Cherney of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. Beers from each of the respective brewery will be on tap, and the view is awesome.

Brews, Views and Chews @ Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
Across the bay, the iconic Tom Ham’s Lighthouse is hosting a mini-festival including another fantastic view of San Diego. $40 gets you tasters from Ballast Point, Lost Abbey, New English, Ironfire and Acoustic Ales with food from Hanis Calivn (Carnitas Snack Shack), Lance Repp (Tom Ham’s), Chad White (Comun Kitchen) and Don Morales (Bali Hai). There will be live music and a silent action also.

Modern Times Tasting @ SD TapRoom
TapRoom is arguably the most San Diego proud bar with a well curated local-centric taplist to boot. Modern Times is one of my favorite breweries at the moment, and their newer beers like Universal Friend and Aurora have been bold and delicious – complimenting their sessionable core lineup nicely. Starts at 8PM.

May 2013’s cover of West Coaster featuring Benchmark Brewing

11/11 Tuesday

Full Table by Benchmark Brewing Co.
We’re big fans of Matt Akin and Benchmark Brewing. Their subtle but skillfully brewing style is no better explained than by a sip of their core offering Table Beer. For this event, there will be a dozen different variants of Table Beer. This is a great way to taste how things like switching the yeast or barrel aging affect a beer. Flights of 6 are $12 and individual tasters are $2. Benchmark is very close to Groundswell Brewing and San Diego Brewing Company, both worthy of a visit afterwards.

Ice Cream Float Night @ Tap That Tap Room
Tap That will have a full selection of beers ready to be augmented with a scoop of ice cream. You can’t go wrong with beer floats with Karl Strauss’ Peanut Butter Porter and Belching Beaver’s Peanut Butter Stout. Tap That also has bottles and kegs to go, so if your fridge or kegerator needs a SDBW-reload you can do that, too.

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Ignacio “Nacho” Cervantes at Pizza Port Carlsbad, mid 2011

11/12 Wednesday

Crushed & Karl’d Brunch
Pacific Beach’s Karl Strauss is bringing beer for brunch at the new Crushed on Garnett Avenue. Making great use of the old Ciro’s draft system right out of the gate, this new spot is a promising addition to the rapidly expanding Pacific Beach Better Beer Circuit. Brewmaster Paul Segura will be in attendance. Crushed is an easy walk to Tap Room, Barrel Republic, Iron Pig and Amplified, also.

Pizza Port Showdown @ Sublime Ale House
Sublime is putting beers from all SD-county Pizza Ports on tap and pitting them against one another. Taste beers from Nacho Cervantes (Ocean Beach), Devon Randall (Solana Beach), Sean Farrell (Bressi Ranch) and Mike Abuchon (Carlsbad) and vote for your favorites. The winner gets a trophy and beers the beers organized into four categories: Hoppy, Belgian, Dark and Brewers Choice. Beers on tap include: Bacon & Eggs, May the Port Be With You, Barrel Aged Export Stout and Fresh Hop Grapefruit Tap.

August 2011’s cover featuring Mexico’s Insurgente Brewing

11/13 Thursday

Nickel Beer Night @ West Coast BBQ
Nickel Beer Co. owner and West Coast BBQ co-owner Tom Nickel makes some quality beer out of Julian. This is a great way to taste a few of his beers and eat some BBQ from West Coast’s huge smoker. Smoked Beer Cheese plates and Hot Links available for munching.

No Border: Craft Beer & Tacos with Insurgente Brewing @ Tacos Perla
From Tijuana to North Park, Cerveceria Insurgente will be on tap at Tacos Perla. The two brothers Ivan and Damien Morales have been very busy since we featured them in our August 2011 issue of West Coaster (check out our archives: http://westcoastersd.com/editorial). Baja beer has been growing at an incredible pace, and this is one of the breweries we’re most excited about south of the border.

Love Your Mother Earth Brewer @ Ritual Kitchen & Tavern
Farm to table pub Ritual will host Vista’s Mother Earth Brew Co.’s Kamron Khannakhjavani for a beer pairing dinner. Mother Earth’s beer has been tasting really good lately, and Ritual Tavern is the perfect setting for a low key beer dinner.

11/14 Friday

Ballast Point Tap Takeover 2011 at The High Dive

Ballast Point Tap Takeover 2011 at The High Dive

Ballast Point Tap Takeover @ The High Dive
The friendly neighborhood pub High Dive has for years been Ballast Point Home Brew Mart’s break room. Owner Ingrid also recently married BP’s brewmaster Yuseff Cherney. Both of these things mean that you can expect the best from Ballast Point’s beers and spirits to be available: check out a list: http://www.highdivesd.com/events/sdbw-ballast/

Council Brewing Progressive Tart Saison Night @ Council Brewing Co.
One of San Diego’s newest and most promising breweries will be rotating on kegs of their low-ABV, high flavor Tart Saison. Variants include Mango, Pomegranate and Nelson-hopped.

Meeting of the Guilds @ Toronado
Featuring beers from the San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco Guilds, this is a great chance to taste beer from our Northern friends. Ladyface, Strand, El Segundo, Eagle Rock and more will be representing Los Angeles. San Francisco will be represented by Magnolia, Thirsty Bear, Almanac along with several others. Plenty of San Diego beer, too, but for this one I’ll be trying to tick off new beers on Untappd.

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Team BNS

11/15 Saturday

The Bruery Secret Stash @ The Joint
There’s lots of good beer in Ocean Beach these days. Plan to spend some time in the neighborhood and start with The Joint, a funky Spanish / Japanese restaurant that will be serving up rare beers from The Bruery on Saturday. Afterwards, check out the new Culture Brewing Co. tasting room and don’t forget to see what neighbors Raglan, OB Noodlehouse II, and Pizza Port are serving. After your OB beer day, take a unsober selfie on the pier and send it in to us.

East County Hop On, Hop Off Brew Bus
This is a great way to easily check out what East County’s brewing scene is all about. Organized by Urbn Street Brewing Co., a bus will run from 5-10PM and visit BNS Brewing & Distilling, Twisted Manzanita Ales, Main Tap Tavern in addition to Urbn St. The bus is free.

Barrel Republic 1st Year Anniversary
The one-of-a-kind, pour-it-yourself beer bar is going insane all SDBW, but on the final Saturday of Beer Week Barrel Republic is celebrating their 1st Anniversary. The concept is cool and there will be more good beer available then you can shake a Willi Becher at. With loads of proper glassware, you can taste beer at your own pace and in whatever quantity you prefer. Beers on tap will include Telegraph Brewing Co. Rhinoceros 2012, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Velvet Merkin aged in Tequila Barrels, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery Pugachev’s Cobra 2013 and more.

11/16 Sunday

Beer lovers taking in the sights at the 2010 Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

Beer lovers taking in the sights at the 2010 Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

The Beer Garden @ The Lodge at Torrey Pines
In years past, the official closing event of San Diego Beer Week has been a one-stop shop for the finest in SD beer and food in an absolutley stunning setting. With 24 breweries and 12 restaurants being showcased on the edge of Torrey Pines Golf Course, this is a worthy finishing act for the previous 10 days. https://www.sdbw.org/event-info/10-the-beer-garden

 

November is also our 4th Anniversary at West Coaster. We launched during Beer Week 2010, and this post has photos and covers from the past four years. Don’t forget to check out our November 2014 issue online or in print. Thank you very much for reading!

The 1st issue of West Coaster awaiting delivery - November 2010

The 1st issue of West Coaster awaiting delivery – November 2010

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The Friday Five: 5Q w/ Tommaso Maggiore

Sep 13

Tommaso Maggiore is the owner and brewmaster of Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment.

Courtesy Acoustic Ales

Courtesy Acoustic Ales

Can you tell us about the beers you make?  
We’re starting from scratch, so the beers we brew are new to us and we like to think they are unique for the end craft beer drinker. We’ve traveled the globe in search of beer and have seen uniquely different styles and tastes based on the different equipment and processes; this has helped mold the styles we wish to emulate. Because of the name Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment — you can’t go wrong with music and beer — most of our beers have some sort of musical influence in their names. For example our nut brown ale that just won a gold medal at the San Diego International Beer Festival is named “Shake Your $ Maker” Brown, and then there’s “The Groupie” Belgian-style blonde, the “Mad Dub” Belgian-style dubbel, and the “Mosh Pit” West Coast-style red. Coming up with the names can be just as fun as making the beers.

Who are your brewers?
Myself and brewer Zach Jones are both relatively green without a lot of experience in the commercial brewing setting. That poses plusses and minuses; there has definitely been a bit of a learning curve, but that’s part of the sun. The plus side is that we are not locked into a specific way of doing things, and we haven’t brought baggage from previous breweries. One of the downfalls is that this is a trial by fire. if we don’t know how to do something, we try to sort through it, and on occasion it has bitten us in the ass. There are many other breweries opening up in San Diego which are off-shoots from other San Diego breweries , so it seems the beers coming out are just slight variations on previous creations.

20130907_165604-001What makes your tasting room unique?
The brewery and tasting room are located at the historic Mission Brewery Plaza — located right off the 5 freeway at the Washington Street exit — which is the oldest pre-Prohibition brewery building still standing in San Diego. Its roots date back to 1912 when the building was built for the original Mission Brewery, which cranked out suds for the masses along with many other San Diego pre-Prohibition era breweries, but unfortunately Prohibition – formally known as the 18th Amendment – was passed in 1919, and although Mission was trying to make a run with a hop-infused Soda “Hopski,” they were unsuccessful and the doors of the original brewery closed. After that, it was turned into a hospital annex during the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic, and then a seaweed processing plant until the 1980s. It’s changed hands since then, and we’re looking forward to creating beers inside a historic brewing building.

Do you have any events coming up?
Our tasting room just opened its doors, right off the Washington Street trolley station, and we have still a bit of work to do, but there are plans to offer beer classes, plus brewing classes and tours of the brewery. We’ll be working with a lot of local gastrotrucks to create beer-infused foods, and we’re looking at starting a barrel aging program with used small-batch Scotch whiskey barrels. We’ll have plenty of events in the near future, and we’ll list those on our website; or, like us on Facebook.

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Courtesy Acoustic Ales

What are you looking forward to during SDBW?
SDBW is a beautiful celebration of beer and San Diegans love their craft beer! There are so many great events to go to, new people to meet that love craft beer, events to plan, beer dinners to attend. There’s just not enough time to get to everything. We will be doing some fun one-off cask conditioned ales and nitro beers specifically for SDBW.

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