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An Amateur Beer Enthusiast is Back!

Wow! It has been a long time since I have written for An Amateur Beer Enthusiast. Since my last post at the beginning of October my life has changed drastically.

For readers who do not know, I have moved to New York City from Twinsburg, Ohio (Near Akron/Cleveland). The reason I moved was because of a job I accepted with an NYC beer distributor. I now work for a company that specializes in the sale of a variety of American craft and specialty import brands. While NYC has a great craft beer scene, there is still much work to be done to improve the growth and development of craft brands and their placement in bars and stores.

Thus far it has been very exciting! I love craft beer and working in distribution has given me the opportunity to learn about beer and the industry. One of my main goals when I began An Amateur Beer Enthusiast was to work with craft beer (in any way possible). Now I have achieved that goal and I want to reignite this blog to share with beer lovers what I have experienced working with beer.

I am entering the craft beer industry at an important time. 2010 has been one of the most productive years for craft beer and the market for higher quality beers continues to grow. (recently rated Men’s Journal Best Beer Website for 2010) recently released an article highlighting major happenings for the craft beer industry. 2010 was a great year for the growth and opening of micro and nano breweries (check out Pretty Little Things Beer and Ale Project to see what a nano brewery is like).

Here is a logo from one of Pretty Little Things beer offerings. Just one of the few nano breweries entering the craft beer market.

And you know what? It is only going to get better in 2011.

So as we head toward 2011 I plan on getting An Amateur Beer Enthusiast back on its feet. With new posts in the works, I look forward to comments and page views.

Drink up my friends. Things are looking great in the craft beer world.


Beer+Chai Tea=Mutinous Battle Chai

Yes. You read the headline correctly. recently highlighted a collaboration project between Mutineer Magazine and New Holland Brewing Company (Holland, MI) known as Mutinous Battle Chai. The idea for this collaborative beer began in July and was finally released at the Falling Rock Tap House (Denver, CO) during the Great American Beer Festival.

Photo Credit:

Mutinous Battle Chai was initially thought of a chai tea inspired saison. Ingredients include:

Malt: 80% two-row barley, 20% Malted Rye

Hops: Summit, Styrian Goldings

Spices: Traditional chai tea spices, Saigon cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, crystallized ginger, pink peppercorns, and toasted fennel

Yeast: Belgian wit (first fermentation), Merlot yeast (secondary fermentation)

Other Ingredients: Michigan beer sugars (first fermentation), Nutty Dutchman Brown Ale wort (secondary fermentation)

This collaborative beer seems like a complex and ambitious beer. According to the article, Mutinous Battle Chai does not fit into any style category. Good thing that is what Mutineer Magazine and New Holland Brewing Company were going for.

Mutinous Battle Chai is another example of how spirited craft beer enthusiasts and brewers are. This crazy and eccentric beer shows how Americans continue to push the boundaries on beer and brewing. Beer styles will continue to evolve as craft brewers continue to innovate the art of brewing.

I am not sure if Mutinous Battle Chai will be bottled or distributed in a larger market. However, proceeds from Mutinous Battle Chai and Mutineer Magazine go towards A Child’s Right. A Child’s Right is a non-profit charity that works to provide children with clean and safe water in areas where drinkable water is scarce.

Photo Credit: A Child’s Right

So even if you can not get your hands on Mutinous Battle Chai, purchase an issue of Mutineer Magazine and support A Child’s Right. This month’s issue is filled with some cool stuff, including a feature on Mutinous Battle Chai and an interview with James Watt of BrewDog.

Drink Up! Beer is healthy for you.

I just do not quite get how mass produced beer is marketed these days. I mean there are so many light beer ads that have are marketed as a light beer that can be enjoyable, but will not make you fat.

As I write this, I think of how Michelob Ultra is advertised. It gets me steamed that they try to market this beer as superior on the basis that it has less calories and carbs. They even have Lance Armstrong as a promotional model.


Truth is beer does not make you fat.

That is right. The so-called “Beer Belly” is a myth.

People are not saving their physique by drinking a low calorie light beer.  In beer, most of the calories come from the alcohol. This means that drinking a Michelob Ultra is not that much better for you than drinking a Guinness. In fact, certain beers like Guinness actually contain antioxidants that help daily body function.

People pack on the unwanted weight from binge drinking. Sure you can drink a Miller Lite because it has “Great Taste” and is “Less Filling”. If you drink 10 Miller Lites every time you go out drinking however, you will eventually grow the mythical “Beer Belly”

In fact, moderate beer consumption (typically 1-3 beers daily is the general definition of moderate consumption) is actually healthy for you! Dr. Charlie Bamforth, who is the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at the University of California Davis, has done extensive research on how beer and alcohol consumption effect the body.

You can find of summary of what he has found at this link on, but here are some facts about what moderate beer consumption can do for you.

-Beer is superior to water in flushing out the kidneys. This is why you pee so much when you drink it!

-Moderate drinking reduces the risk of diabetes.

-There are reports that moderate drinking reduces the risk of ulcers.

-Beer (and alcoholic beverages) may be a beneficial impact to the body as it can directly help bodily functions and indirectly boost morale and well being.

Another big benefit to moderate alcohol consumption is that it may improve life expectancy. A recent article from Time discusses a  journal study from Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research that cites that moderate drinking is linked with the lowest mortality rate. Many fatalities faced by people defined as “alcoholics” actually comes from alcoholics abstaining from alcohol.

Jodi Cobb/National Geographic/Getty Images

Now still does not justify binge drinking, as too heavy drinking has serious health risks. But never drinking at all is not necessarily the answer.

It is important to remember that these health benefits are pretty much null and void if you binge drink on a regular basis. These benefits are caused by moderate alcohol consumption.

So go ahead. Grab a beer and enjoy it. It will be beneficial to your body.

The Beatles and Beer: An Unusual Pairing

Beer and food pairings. are about as technical as beer itself. If you pick the wrong beer for the wrong dish it will severely affect the way your beer tastes. There are even beer and food pairing enthusiasts who approach their subject with the same intensity that I approach beer.

But what about beer and music pairings?

As I was browsing through (which has recently become my homepage) earlier this week, I found a strange article that discussed pairing certain beers with Beatles songs.

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At first I was a bit confused. How do you pair a beer with a song? And what beer goes right with what song?

As I continued to read the article, the idea of  beer and music pairings seemed to make more sense. The concept of pairing a beer with your favorite song is one revolutionary idea.  Both the Beatles and craft beer were revolutions in their own respective fields, so what better way to express that spirit than by pairing them together.

Writer John Fortunato does express that beer and music pairings are subjective. He does, however, demonstrate how certain beers are perfect for certain moods. Some beers are celebratory, others are leisure beers, and some may even be beers perfect after a rough day.

I encourage you to check out Fortunato’s article. I have not tried any of the beers that he has paired with Beatles songs, but I think I am going to follow his suggestions. Besides, what is better than enjoying a cold one with some quality music.

So what do you think? What beers would you pair with your favorite song? Thoughts? Comments?