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Dr. B and I toured 13 more Midwest breweries in the last couple weeks and we thought you might like to see a few pictures of our adventures. We had a too great time visiting old friends and meeting new ones… is that even possible? (probably not.)

4 Hands Brewing, Saint Louis, MO

All of their beers were solid and we tried each one! The one that brought us to town on that night was their Lemon Gose. It’s summer in a can and we took a bunch with us. Definitely visit these folks. They even had free skeeball!

Square One Brewing & Distilling, Saint Louis, MO

The best beverage I had here was the Hefeweizen with GIN in it! All of it is made in house and it was fabulous. I’ve never had anything like it.

Schlafly Brewing, Saint Louis, MO

Schlafly has solid beer that can meet everyone’s tastes, including our friend that cannot drink beer. She had their cider and we were super impressed with it’s drinkability (at 7% ABV) as well as it’s balance of sweetness, dryness, and carbonation. Get the house salad and/or the charcuterie plate. We loved this place eventhough their beer is not wacky. Sometimes you need a beer you can depend on, right?!

Sun King Brewing, Indianapolis, IN

Sun King is a brewery both of us have wanted to visit for a while, especially since we used to live in Indiana and never made it there. I had their Anniversary GFJ (Grapefruit Jungle) and it was insane. If we did not have to finish the beer in 20 minutes (because we arrived that close to closing), we could have stayed and tried them all… if our livers let us.

Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery, Ann Arbor, MI

This place has a menu that is half sours and half non-sours. As far as we were concerned, the sours were the creme of the menu because Jolly Pumpkin is known for their great sours… tart, balanced, entirely too drinkable. We enjoyed talking with their outgoing, beer-educated bartenders and they had cool art all around the downstairs bar and restaurant, especially the silverware chandeliers. We could have had all of the sours if it wasn’t for driving…Definitely visit this place!

Dark Horse Brewing, Marshall, MI

Dark Horse is a funky taproom in the middle of nowhere, with a fish tank featuring fermentation tanks and brewery equipment. They have a mug club with over 4,000 members… it’s breathtaking. We tied 4-5 samples of pales and IPAs. All were well made, clean, and delicious. My favorite was “Smells Like A Safety Meeting.” Their mercantile had fun and eclectic merchandise, and the all around experience was unique, to the point where if you’re traveling near, you should stop here!

New Holland Brewing, Holland, MI

New Holland was a much larger bar and brewery building than I expected. I was hoping for some variations of their Dragon’s Milk Stout and was able to try the S’mores and Raspberry Lemon… sounds weird, but they were delicious! Oddly, the place was near empty on a weeknight at 10pm in the summer tourist town. We heard the entire town shuts down at 10pm…figures.

Our Brewing Company, Holland, MI

It turns out that everyone in the town was next door to New Holland, at Our Brewing Company, because it serves delicious and creative beer as well as had a DJ playing only the finest of 80s music! (This place was open to the wee hours.) I had a coffee stout named, “Study Buddy,” that was so smooth and tasty, that if I was trying to study “on” this beer, I would be a drunken failure. I would have one now if someone brought one to me… Go here!

Saugatuck Brewing, Douglas/Saugatuck, MI

Saugatuck Brewing makes a wide variety of beer flavors, a great cider (our choice!), and offers the public the ability to brew their own recipes on the cutest copper jacketed 1 barrel system I’ve ever seen. Food was decent and although nothing was too wacky or weird (as we like it), we were able to have a quick bite to eat and hang out.

Round Barn Brewery/Winery/Distillery, Baroda, MI

The Round Barn was a return trip for Dr. B and a new brewery for me. It is located in between hop farms, fruit trees, and a ton of vineyards. The round barn itself was built in 1881 and is absolutely worth a check inside. You will find semi-private wine tasting areas and beautiful windows. To get a beer, you need to visit the barn up the hill. All of the beer was clean and delicious. The entire experience is worth the trip… bring a picnic and spend the afternoon!

Greenbush Brewing, Sawyer, MI

When you drive into Sawyer, you will notice that most of the town’s buildings are owned by Greenbush Brewing. They have two main buildings near a main street, and we chose to visit the Annex building because the Taproom was packed with a 45 minute waiting list mid week! (Impressive.) We had the small cheese plate and a few IPAs to cut the creaminess and richness of the cheese. The Annex has a screened in porch, corn hole, bocce, and a huge patio area. I could have hung out all day. We loved it here.

18th Street Brewery, Gary, IN

Every time we visit Northwest Indiana, you will find us drinking beer at this bar. It’s close to my family’s house and the staff are becoming like beer family, too. I have a diverse palate and love all of the beers they make. Try the Sour Note Brewing series for sours and funky beers (I’ve had Goses and Guezes that might as well be from Europe!)

18th Street Brewery, Hammond, IN

This is 18th Street’s second and newest location boasting the largest patio in Northwest Indiana (3000 square feet of outdoor fun!) and will eventually have a distillery, too! Their chefs expertly pair featured meals with house beers and I’ve never seen a disappointed customer. Check out the photos of their murals and other artwork below. It’s always a treat to see what’s new and what’s next. What a cool new space. See you in 2017, beer friends!

Thanks again to all we met along the way for the genuine hospitality. There’s no place like home!

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Hey, craft beer fans! I wanted to let you know that as of today, I am a Certified Cicerone. This means that I will build thoughtfully executed food and beer pairings for our taproom and keep educating myself to be a better brewer.

What is a Cicerone (sis-uh-rohn), you ask? Well, it’s the equivalent of a wine sommelier for beer. According to the Cicerone certifying body,

Anyone can call themselves an expert on beer. But when consumers want great beer they need help from a server who really knows beer flavors, styles, and service. They also want to buy beer from a place that understands proper storage and serving so the beer they drink will taste the way it should. Too often great beer is harmed by improper handling and service practices.

In the wine world, the word “sommelier” designates those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving fine wine. At one time, some beer servers adopted the title “beer sommelier” to tie into the credibility of the wine world. But in the years since its founding, the Cicerone® Certification Program has become the industry standard for identifying those with significant knowledge and professional skills in beer sales and service. The Cicerone Certification Program offers independent assessment and certification so that industry professionals—as well as consumers—can be sure of the knowledge and skills possessed by current and prospective beer servers.

The Certified Cicerone exam is a rigorous four-hour examination of beer knowledge. The tasting portion of the exam requires identification of beer styles, flaws and service problems.  The extensive written exam covers knowledge about beer service and draft systems, beer styles, brewing, and pairing beer with food.  Candidates also perform a demonstration involving an aspect of beer service.  A score of 80 is required to pass and candidates often spend several months preparing for the exam. Only about 200 individuals pass this second level certification each year.

Those who pass the Certified Cicerone exam are mature beer professionals who make suitable candidates for on-premises beer program managers, beverage managers, distributor craft/specialty sales personnel and brewery sales and management representatives.

(Don’t tell my professors, but I don’t think I have ever studied for any topic this well. I AM SO EXCITED!)

See you around tasty beer. Yes, it’s obvious, but that’s where you can find me. Cheers!

Hey all! I have an exceptional class of students from MSU Denver that are planning an event at Factotum Brewhouse, in Denver, on November 21, 2015. We’re holding a “Harvest Hoopla” corn hole tournament (1-3pm) and All-Colorado Trivia (3-5pm), for only $5.00 or 5 canned food items per game. Click on the flyer below to enlarge (to read more details!)and we hope to see you there!

Cheers!  ~Kim

Harvest Hoopla

(For more information, email Kim at kcolli41@msudenver.edu)

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Green CO2, with the help of Thirtsy German, is proud to hose the International Pink Boots Society Meeting as well as educational sessions open to the public, FREE of charge!

Are you attending GABF? Put us on your agenda: SEPT 25

  • ROOM 601 – inside the Colorado Convention Center
  • Pink Boots Society – KEYNOTE PRESENTATION BY: Lauren Salazaar, New Belgium Brewing! (tickets needed, info below)
  • Industry panels and presentations throughout the day- these are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. NO GABF Ticket is required for entry:
  • 2:00 – 2:30p – Denver Fire Dept – New CO2 Regulations!
  • 2:30 – 3:15p – Green CO2, Upslope Brewing, Algae Bloom – Sustainable CO2 Solutions & Algae farms in breweries
  • 3:15 – 4:00p – Joyride Brewing, Epic Brewing, Dry Drock Brewing, Fiction Brewing — All about perfecting FRUIT BEERS!
  • 4:00 – 4:45p – Kent Bailey from Coppertail Brewing + Nicol Winkler from Oktoberfest Tampa – All about Community Collaborations!
  • 5:00 – 5:30p – Ashleigh Carter from Bierstadt Lagerhaus – Lagering!
  • 5:30 – 6:00p – Dev Adams / Miss Lupulin – Cicerone & BJCP tips & guidelines
  • 6:30 – 7:00p – Kim Collins / Guardian Brewing – Training and Management!

Also happening in the same space…

  • CRAFT BEER ART will be on display by Pink Boots Member and uber-talented: Amanda Willshire from AwdArt!
  • MEDIA WELCOME. Email: editor@thirstygerman.com for press info.
  • SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES. Have a brand you want to share and market at our event? Email Nicol:
    editor@thirstygerman.com
Pink Boots Society Int’l Meeting (event on FB)   w/ link to Tickets (Eventbrite)
The Thirsty German hosts: Green CO2 Hall – Brew Talks  (event on FB)

12038570_741329955971550_1418573870440828206_o(Click to enlarge flyer!)

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Dr. B and I shared our 10 Villains of the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) yesterday, so we want to make sure to come through and share out 10 Heroes with you today! GABF is full of SO MANY beer heroes, but we cut the list at ten to be concise. Hope you enjoy these people, recognize them, and hug them at GABF (not in a creepy way, of course)!

The “Savior”

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Saviors are our designated drivers and people who make sure that everyone is okay and gets home safely. Festivals could not run without their assistance and the Denver Police jail cells would be packed without them. Thank you, drivers!

The “Supreme Volunteer”

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Thank you to all of the hundreds of selfless volunteers found giving their talented time and effort to make GABF a huge success. These volunteers donate countless hours of sobriety and will stand behind the table pouring beer until every last festival goer gets to try their chosen taster. (They even have to work 2-3 shifts just to earn a free ticket to a session the following year!) Our friend, Beth Walter comes to mind… Coordinator of volunteers and a genuine smile beaming from her face all through GABF week. We hope to see you in a couple days, Beth!

The “Storyteller”

storyStorytellers are the living history of Great American Beer Festivals of last. They are so dedicated to the concept of GABF that they keep coming back decade after decade to try beers, volunteer, and make the festival successful. They are a wealth of beer tasting information, but yet know how not to talk your ear off about it all. They remember when the award ceremony was held in the main hall and everyone got to attend, yet they embrace the new and creative ways of running such a large event. We toast you, Storytellers!

The “Zen Dude/Dudette”

buddabeerIt’s always good to run into and/or have a Zen Dude/Dudette in your group for GABF. This person has no worries and no amount of crowd stress can break their good energy… even when his/her favorite beer kicks, all is well in the universe, because you are drinking beer at one of the best festivals in the world!

The “Special BREW-er”

averygabf-495x328Thank you to all of the brewers and breweries (Look out for special HOURLY releases from Boston Beer, Deschutes, Goose Island, Avery, Dogfish Head, etc.) that bring special beer for all to try at GABF. We know it is customary to bring something special to the Saturday morning session (AHA Session), but this toast is to the ones who bring it to the regular sessions, too! The general public may not know how special the beer is initially, but when they try it, you are sure to be their new favorite brewery because of how much you care.

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The “Super Brewer”

one-well-brewing-chris-oneilljpg-8e1c7faca92ca458“Super Brewers” are brewers who attend the regular AND AHA sessions during GABF. These wonderful men and women will take time to tell you intricate details about their beer, take photos with you, and give you their time all day long. It can be challenging and exhausting to put forth this much personalized energy, but making drinkers feel important, special, and educated is always worth it!

The “Pretzel Man/Woman”

gabf-media-feature-582x600“Pretzel Man/Woman” carries around with him/her the most amount of pretzels that you think one could fit around one’s neck in an evening. Better yet, she/he will share with you and all of your new friends because making friends and drinking tasty beer is what GABF is all about! Thank you for being so generous, “Pretzel Wo/Man!”

The “Costumed Hero”

what-it-s-like-to-volunteer-at-the-great-american-beer-festivalLike the “Pretzel Man/Woman,” the “Costume Hero” embodies the spirit of GABF by sharing boundless enthusiasm for festivals, beer, and friendship. It starts with solo costumes and flows into large groups winning the competition on Friday night. Their joy is contagious and always my favorite part of GABF!

The “Braveheart”

mikeandginagabf Medium Web viewThe “Braveheart” is a person attending GABF seemly against all odds and defying any adversity. Like the photo above, not even a broken ankle keeps these beer fans at home! Dr. B and I had a chance to meet a woman with Cerebral Palsy last year, while walking the perimeter of the festival. It was so awesome to see ALL of our beer fans present. It can be a scary, daunting task to maneuver through thick crowds and wait in line for the beer you want, but their beer passion draws them to the front of the table regardless of challenges.

The “Super Fans”

tumblr_msvleobzj11rvn2ylo1_400“Super Fans” remind me of the SNL skit about the love of the Chicago Bears and transfers directly to the love of beer, beer names, brands, etc. You’ll be able to easily spot of super fan by their attire. Each piece is specifically chosen to represent their love of beer. They’ll have hop earrings (Miss Lupulin!), favorite brewery t-shirt layered under a brewer’s shirt from another brewery, hats, and some go the deepest and get logos tattooed on their skin. We LOVE Super Fans! You keep brewers on their toes and make us as excited to see you as an old friend.

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References:

Dr. B and I are sitting at home, reflecting on many years of attending the Great American Beer Festival, excitedly awaiting our opportunity to get our press passes, and attend the festival this year. We started thinking of all of the characters we have met over the years, both good and bad, heroes and villains of the festival. Here are some of our favorite villains (followed by our heroes in another post). Hope to see you at GABF this year!

*DISCLAIMER: Please do not read this if you lost your sense of humor.*

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The “Brewer Stalker”

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We all know this guy/gal… He/she looked up photos of his/her favorite brewer before the festival and is on a hunt to find him/her. This person will spend the ENTIRE festival searching for that special brewer. Stand back and watch the show when the brewer is found! It is usually awkward and filled with drunken hugs (if he/she can get across the table to the brewer), but most always ends well enough. This person is seriously determined, but generally harmless. If you have to walk around the fest with this person, you might want to develop a side agenda or a game… it’s going to be a long night!

The “Table Squatter”

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There is nothing more annoying to eager beer enthusiasts waiting in a long line than to be blocked by those who make their way to the front and ask “What do you have?”. Wait, what? Did you even read the signs posted all around the booth announcing the choices? Apparently not. Not only do you get the run-down from the very attentive (but annoyed) volunteer pourers, but you non-transient folk go even further by standing at the front, drinking your sample, and asking for another. Do us all a favor, move to the side and let others partake as you ask your random questions about style and ABV or get back in line and do it again like courteous, sensible festival goers should!

The “Woo Girl/Guy”

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What’s a festival (or concert) without that signature guy or gal wailing their call of the wild expression, “Woo….Woooo….Wah, wah, Woooo!” Here is a questions for you; “What the hell are you “Wooing” about?” Here is another question; “Why the hell are you screaming in my ear?” Your highly annoying antics take me back to the days of insecure early adulthood. Please save your “Wooing” for your Animal House keg-stand parties or at least keep a distance of 2 or more feet before you belch out your war cry.

The “Know-It-All”

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Can you even recall a time in your life when you said; “I absolutely LOVE people who know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING.” Yep, that’s what I thought. For those of you who have that inner desire to tell anyone within a 100 ft. radius how much you know about beer, let me give you some advice. Don’t. Most attendees don’t want to hear anything more than “Wow, that’s a well-made beer! or “That’s not my cup of tea (beer).” Leave the details out until you go home and find your clique of beer neophytes to impress. Otherwise, just drink the damn thing, shut up, and move on!

The “Me, Me, Me’er” (Disclaimer: This is Dr. B’s least favorite person.)

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It’s all about me! I am the only one in the universe that exists and therefore, I can jump line, bump into people without apology, scream bloody hell, and offer insults of all kinds without consequences. Let me tell you one thing you self-consumed, pompous ass…. This is not the festival for you! The GABF is for good-natured beer-lovers, so take your ugliness elsewhere. You will not be the most well liked person in the convention hall and if you aren’t nice, you may be asked to go Snipe hunting, thrown in a burlap sack, and left in a field for only the cows to care.

The “Creepy Costume Guy”

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This guy usually wears a cow costume with rubber udders and wants you to touch the udders that are at the same height as his genitals.

Ew.

(DON’T DO IT!!! It just makes him bother other people to do it again.)

The “Super White, American, Wasted, Woman Wearing An Extremely Lowcut Dirndl”

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A dirndl is an “outfit that consist of a tight fitting Bavarian dress with an apron tied around it. The Dirndl blouses are normally white with the cut depending on how much cleavage you want to show.” These women are cute and fun until they are trashed…then they are half-naked, drunken messes that refuse to get in a cab.

The “Over The Top Hop Heads”

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You run around the festival, pushing people out of the way on Saturday morning, trying to get the hoppiest beers with the rarest hops and highest ABVs. Chill out! Anyone that likes hops is here for the same reason and the beer is plentiful.

The “Overly Drunk Guy/Gal”

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This lovely festival goer knows how to have a good time. He/she will drink too much, scream and yell versus talking, tell everyone how much she/he loves them, grope his/her friends awkwardly and inappropriately, and will definitely refuse to take a cab home at the end of the night. He/she will be determined to walk home and will probably get picked up for drunk and disorderly conduct. AVOID THIS PERSON AT ALL COSTS! If this person is your partner or best friend, make plans to get him/her out early that night and feed him/her well before the festival. Good luck!

The “Complainer/Beer Hater”

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This guy/gal hates beer, your beer, the best beer, the worst beer, and will never be satisfied no matter how hard you try. Do not try to please this person, just walk around the festival and make sure you get what you like!

References:

 

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To get warmed up for our new GABF content, check out this article, reposted from Inky Beer, 2014…

Now that we barely survived the Great American Beer Festival this year, Dr. B and I wanted to show you what we saw at the festival, in photos. Hope you laugh as hard as we did!

Brewer’s Welcome Party at the Hard Rock Cafe

The opening party for all of the GABF brewers is like the cast of Harry Potter hanging out. Like a group of totally bad ass people that don’t care about being better than one another and all they want to do is drink together.

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Session 1: Thursday Night

People are excited to be in town for the greatest beer festival in the world…and they finally get to have the beer they’ve dreamed of forever. So much happiness and kindness!

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Session 2: Friday Night

Energy is still high, actually higher. People come to the festival in droves, covered in really interesting costumes and whatnot. Time to show off your new beer helmet or monkey suit. The party has begun!

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The Award Ceremony

We’ve all been waiting for this day to come and a lot of our friends (and hopefully us, too!) win awards! Time for the Carlton Dance.

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Session 3: Saturday Morning

The brewers are completely exhausted from the days and months leading to GABF. However, if you won an award, you have at least 20 hours of good energy and drinking left. And yes, you have to buy beer for the losers. At the session, you will meet the most information hungry people ever. Be prepared and have a game plan!

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Session 4: Saturday Night

Brewers and volunteers, if you made it this far in the week and have not quit, you deserve an entirely new award because you look like the walking dead. For those attending the festival as their first session, get ready to run. Run for all of the beers you want…hope that they are not already gone and run for all the weird ones in between. Watch out for crazy eyes trying to steal your sour. Hang tight, hide in the food court if things get to be too much and you’ll make it through the last 5-hour session of the festival. People will drink ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.

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Flying out of Denver on Sunday

Just head home safely, pass out, and we’ll see you next year!

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References:

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We were fortunate enough to get Media Credentials for GABF (The Great American Beer Festival) this year! (It’s our second year, so we are even more excited than normal to do this again.)

To celebrate having credentials, we will be covering the following topics throughout the month of September, just for you:

  • What it means to win a GABF medal
  • Insider/Professional view of the festival
  • Discussions on new and old beer styles
  • New tips for festival goers to have the best festival EVAR! in the new space
  • How art and the festival collide

If you are new to Inky Beer, welcome! This blog is written and edited by Kim Collins (professional brewer) and Dr. B (professor of awesomeness). We are most interested in where art and beer collide in the world. Since becoming a professional beer brewer three years ago, I also add a dash of “inside-the-beer-industry” point of view to our articles.

If there is other information you would like us to share, define, meander around, hit on the head, please let us know via commenting here, twitter, or our Facebook page.

We are able to apply and receive Media Credentials because of all of you. So, thank you for reading our blog and come find us during GABF if you’re in town!

Cheers!

Inky (Kim) and Dr. B

Matt Cooley Tattoo

All pieces made at Rain City Tattoo Collective, Manchester.

For bookings email cooleytattooer@live.com or call the studio 01612224043

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Gallery  —  Posted: June 18, 2015 in Random

Zombie Tiki

Posted: June 18, 2015 in Random

Colors In Los Angeles

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Don’t forget to follow us! Twitter: colorsinla Facebook: facebook.com/colorsinla Instagram: @colorsinla

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