Been a while, eh?

Usually with most blogs, a multi-week gap in posts usually means that there's big news to come. Well, that's not necessarily the case here - but perhaps no brewery news is good news? I'm thinking that big news is on the horizon - so stay tuned. That's not to say that I haven't been busy on the beer front. Over the past few months, I've been brewing a ton and becoming more and more active with the Executive Committee of my brewer's club - as we inch closer to our most notable annual event: Pints for Paws.

Pints for Paws

As clearly evidenced here, I'm a major advocate for animal welfare; domestic animals included. Three of my pets were originally rescues - one rescued personally by my wife after being hit by a car on one of the busiest streets in all of Jacksonville, FL. That being said, Pints for Paws certainly hits very close to home with me as a person and as a brewer. Essentially, P4P is a homebrewing/tasting event where your entry ticket doubles as a donation to the Animal Shelter Foundation. These donations offset major costs for the Tallahassee Animal Shelter such as food, medication, neuter/spay, housing, etc., etc., etc. At last year's event, the NFBL brewed and donated over 225 gallons of homebrew and the event helped raise more than $7500! Not too shabby, if I don't say so myself! A buddy of mine and I personally brewed and donated two 5 gallon batches: King Oliver's Hard Cider and a summer citrus blonde ale. Both of those kegs floated within an hour and a half of the event's start!

This year, I brewed three separate batches of beer to be dispensed to the massses. All of those, including many of my fellow homebrewers' respective beers, can be seen on the blog page of the P4P Web site. Check it out! The three batches I'm donating are: Ethereal Earth Belgian Strong (renamed King Oliver's Belgian Strong), Happy Wife Hefeweizen (renamed Queen Cami's Imperial Bavarian Hefeweizen), and last but not least - Daisy Pusher Pale Ale (happily renamed Princess Olivia's Pekingese Puppy High Gravity Pale Ale - say that three times fast). Homebrewers will most likely have similar animal-themed names for their respective beers - all in good fun!

When dispensing my brew, I'm going to have to make sure I take it easy as the average ABV of my three beers is just around 8%! You'll definitely get your money's worth at my booth! Regardless, I'm anxious to interact with patrons as that was my one of my favorite parts of last year's event. The best part is knowing what a good cause all this is going to - animals that simply can't help themselves. Hopefully, I'll see YOU there!

So what else is new? I've got a secondary batch of Daisy Pusher Pale Ale that's taking its sweet time fermenting - I blame myself as I used an ancient packet of Pacman yeast in this batch. (For what it's worth: Pacman is the proprietary yeast strain Rogue uses in its beers). We'll see how this sucker turns out, but it's taken twice as long to ferment (expectedly so) than its counterpart - which is being donated at P4P. I mention this as I've brewed Daisy Pusher Pale Ale more than any other beer I've ever made, and I anticipate DPPA to be one of my flagship brews once GrassLands is fully operational. Samples from a previous version of DPPA are heading off to a homebrewing competition in addition to a few of my other beers including Red Panda Rye and Harvest Blueberry Wheat. I'll post the results/feedback of those entries as they come in toward the end of May.

Upcoming brews: Agave & Honey meads, First Light Summer Ale and another batch of Fiery Plains Imperial dryhopped IPA. This will be in navigation of some summer travel along the east coast, but I'll make it work. I also had the pleasure of visiting Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville, FL and I was extremely impressed. If you get a chance, definitely check them out - nice atmosphere accompanied by great service and even better beer.

Like I said, stay tuned for a follow-up on Pints for Paws and potentially big news soon!