Sunday, August 18, 2013

Since July, 2013 we are posting at remain proud of our older stuff and hope you check it our here. For newer stuff (Offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked and forgotten), though, he hope you visit us at Eric Model's Blog - again, it's at - THANKS !

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Connecticut’s Beer

(Rev.) Thomas Hooker was colonial leader of the 1600′s and founder of Hartford.

These days his name is also associated with beer – actually beers of the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company of Bloomfield.

First established over ten years ago as the brewing arm of the Trout Brook Brew Pub, the company and its brands were purchased by the current investor group in 2006. Precipitated by the closure of the adjacent brew pub in mid-2003, Troutbrook Brewery became a manufacturing micro brewery with a new focus on distribution. The products were re-introduced to the market as Thomas Hooker Ales & Lagers in August, 2003.

In this Journey into Beer, we speak with Thomas Hooker President Kurt Cameron about the beer, its connection to the state and what accounts for its appeal there and beyond.

As this segment was recorded around Super Bowl time, and this years participants were regional rivals to the South and North(Giants and Pats), we ask whether his customers and his state is made of New England Yankees or fans of the New York Yankees.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Podcast: Can a Ballclub’s Record Justify Its Beer Prices?

In an ideal world, beer prices at the ballpark would be based solely on the quality of the team. Only the very best ball clubs would jack up the prices, while the mediocre teams would offer bargains … and the Washington Nationals would give beer away for free. Regrettably, we don’t live in an ideal world.

According to data collected by Team Marketing Report, beer prices vary dramatically among big-league teams.

We speak with John Greenberg of the Team Marketing Report about the realtionship between baseball and beer and the business of brews and ball.


Podcast: Traditional Irish Cider

Say St. Patrick’s Day and many think of corned beef and cabbage with a beer. Perhaps and Irish coffee.

Fact is that it was cider that was the drink of the Celts of ancient Europe.

These days traditional Irish cider is Imported in bulk and bottled in Florida. Kelly’s Cider is a crisp light dry cider, made from traditional bittersweet cider apples.

John J Kelly’s Irish Cider was started in 1997 by Brendan Daly from Dublin and John Cronin from Kerry. Both had previously lived in the USA and knew of the growing demand for cider there, especially among the thousands of young Irish who had migrated to the States in the 1980’s – this was the initial target group for the cider. Daly had made cider for several years in Tipperary before starting Kelly’s Cider.

The initial plan was to import the cider in bulk and bottle it in the states.

Traditional cider is made from bittersweet cider apples that are grown in Ireland, England and France. These apples are only grow for fermentation and are not used for eating or cooking. They are not grown in the U.S.

Interestingly, in the 19th century, cider was very popular in the Northeast U.S. Very large quantities were consumed even after the German immigrants introduced their new lager beers. Prohibition ended the production of hard cider in the U.S. Old, established orchards of bittersweet fermenting cider apples were cut down and farmers switched to other crops. After the repeal of Prohibition, cider never made a comeback. Beer companies lobbied to have a lower tax than cider and farmers could grow barely very quickly. A productive orchard of bittersweet cider apples would take many years to grow a high productivity level. Beer quickly became the drink of choice in the U.S.

A new demand for cider began in the 1980’s in New York, Chicago, Boston and other “Irish” cities.

In this Conversation, we speak with Jim Massoni about how Kelly’s Traditional Irish Cider is introducing folks to the traditions of cider from both sides of the Atlantic.


Podcast: Innovative Brew in a Classic Setting

Once upon a time beer in Canada meant Molson, Labbatt and O’Keefe.

Now the scene is much more diverse.

One of Canada’s best these days is Steam Whistle Brewing in Toronto. They produce a premium pilsner lager packaged in distinctive green glass bottles and a non-twist cap. In 2004, Steam Whistle Pilsner was voted best beer in Toronto at the Golden Tap Awards. Steam Whistle has also been voted Best Toronto Microbrewery on more than one occasion.

The three founders are former employees of Upper Canada Brewing Company before it was bought by Sleeman’s. The original name for the beer was going to be “Three Fired Guys Brewing Company” since they were all fired from Upper Canada Brewing Company when it was purchased by Sleeman; however, they chose Steam Whistle Brewing to evoke an image of steam rushing from a factory’s whistle signaling the end of the work day. Embossed at the bottom of Steam Whistle bottles is “3FG” as an inside joke, referencing “Three Fired Guys”.

The brewery occupies Bays 1-14 within a building known as the John Street Roundhouse. Built in 1929, it was previously the home of a CPR steam locomotive repair facility, and operated as such until May 13, 1988. The John Street Roundhouse is designated a National Historic Site, and is owned by the City of Toronto. It is located within walking distance of the Rogers Center and the CN Tower. A similar roundhouse, the CNR Spadina Roundhouse, was torn down to make way for the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre).

Steam Whistle is also known for maintaining a promotions fleet of some 8 vintage vehicles used to market their products, ranging a 1949 Navistar International Stake Truck to a 1965 Ford Blue Bird Bus.

In this Journey into Beer, we speak with Greg Taylor about Steam Whistle, its origins, its place today and what it represents in the bigger picture of beer making in Canada today.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Podcast - Brew North: How Canadians Made Beer and Beer Made Canada

This is the story about Canada’s relationship with beer. From Victoriana through thes tubby to the invasion of the Americans to global corporate giants and finally the contemporary story of a new golden era.

Ian Coutts is the author of Brew North (Greystone; 2010). He joins for this journey – a Journey into Beer which is also a Journey into Canada.


Podcast - He’Brew

Founded as “a celebration craft beer for Jews”, HE’BREW Beer began as a Chanukah experiment in 1996 when founder and proprietor Jeremy Cowan and friends squeezed pomegranates to produce juice for the first HE’BREW beer.

Since then HE’BREW Beer has become known for its beer as well as its widely recognized for its playful yet earnest study of Jewish, world, and pop.

In this Journey, we speak with Jeremy Cowan about the beeer, its culture and his story which can be found in his memoir, memoir, Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah, that chronicles the beginning of HE’BREW Beer and the evolution of Shmaltz Brewing Company. The book was launched at Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, and a second edition was released in December 2010.