Hops are in the same family of flowering plants as cannabis.
Hops are not cannabis, mind you, any more than the Unabomber’s second-cousin-twice-removed on his mother’s side is the Unabomber. They simply share some genetic ancestry or something like that. Wikipedia wasn’t that specific.
I probably knew that, but I hadn’t thought about it for a while. If you look at the hop flower, genus Humulus lupulus, there is a resemblence to the flower of the Cannabis branch of the Cannabacaeae family, the big plant clan that includes both of them.
The first time I went to a beer-tasting event, I thought it was impossible to catch a buzz while drinking from 1-ounce cups that looked more suitable for urine samples than beer samples.
Several hours later, sprawled on the dew-soaked lawn of the host museum, I had to admit my error. By golly, it was possible after all, a feat I attributed to all the oxygen one gulps while downing 30 to 40 tiny glasses of beer of various styles and strengths on a hot, summer’s night.
Tom Wallbank might have a move to thank for finishing first Saturday in the second annual Upland Brewing Co. UpCup homebrew competition.
A long process of settling into a new home over the winter meant Wallbank still had a few bottles left from a batch he made last fall using malted barley that had been smoked over wood flames by members of the Foam Blowers of Indiana homebrew club.
I knew next to nothing about TV production when I brainstormed the “What’s on Tap” TV concept with the creative crew of Magnetic Image in Evansville, Ind. Still don’t, but I did grasp the concept of “beer nuts,” which we conceived as quick beer factoids that could serve as fun, entertaining transitions between stories. The Abraham Lincoln quote you saw at the end of the Three Floyds segment was one kind of transition. This was another kind of transition.
Homebrewing is the best way I know to learn about beer. That’s why I was proud to have a small part in this segment featuring homebrewing author Dave Miller, who the “What’s on Tap” camera caught in a Nashville, Tenn., homebrew supply store.
I have a walk-on as a stovetop kitchen brewer. It’s all my equipment, which I still have in storage. Watching the pilot again makes me want to dig out my fermenter and whip up a batch of homebrew. If I only had that wort chiller I’ve been meaning to buy.
Go back in time to 1999 to see what Three Floyds Brewery looked like when it still was located in Hammond, Ind. Then, go to the brewery’s blog at http://www.3floyds.com/ and see what it looks like today in Munster.
This clip features Jim Greulich, a professional actor and voice-over specialist who was the narrator and tour guide for our “What’s on Tap” failed TV pilot. Jim lives in South Bend, which if memory serves me, is why the Magnetic Image crew picked Three Floyds to feature; it was conveniently located near the talent.
One of the first posts on this blog explained the significance of the title “What’s on Tap.” That also was the name of a pilot for a television series about craft beer that never got off the ground. Not because it was that bad, mind you. Why it didn’t, I can’t say. It just didn’t, and that was that. Life is not fair. Life goes on.
Fat Tire rolled into central Indiana this week; look for 22-ounce bombers of New Belgium Brewing’s flagship brew in a beer store or tap room near you. They showed up in Bloomington this week just in time for the Little 500 bicycle races. Great timing. The commemorative bottles read “Happily pedaling into the Hoosier State in 2009,” and they are a nice size to keep around for homebrewing, if you’re into that sort of thing.
You’re not going to find fancy-pants beers at the New Boston Tavern. No Dogfish. No Sierra Nevada. No Rouge. No Magic Hat.
None were in evidence the recent afternoon I spent at the establishment, which is perched on the shoulder of Indiana 545 in Spencer County in the extreme southern reaches of the state. I didn’t hear anyone bitching about it, either.
Most of what passed over the bar that rainy, cold day were traditional American lagers of the Bud, Miller and Coor’s varieties. The taps were Michelob and Amber Bock, but no one was drinking draft.