Skull Splitter Faces Ban

The popular Skull Splitter Ale, could be
soon withdrawn from sale in the UK .

A report from an industry watchdog
group claims that Skull Splitter is in breach
of the industry code and recommends
action be taken against the Orkney
Brewery, the makers of Skull Splitter.

Skull Splitter, an 8.5% ale created over
20 years ago and sold internationally, was
singled out in the report because "it's
name implies violence and also the impact
the strength may have on the drinker".

Orkney Brewery has now launched a
campaign to save Skull Splitter, a former
Champion Winter Ale of Britain. They say
that the ale is in fact named after
Thorfinn Hausakluif, the Seventh Viking
Earl of Orkney - nicknamed "Skull Splitter"
and that the name has no other meaning.

Brand manager, Norman Sinclair, added
that  "Skull Splitter, like all our beers, is a
high quality, hand crafted product
designed to be savoured by adults who
enjoy the real ale experience. We never
target any of our beers at a young
market, nor do we allow them to be sold
cut price. In addition, Skull Splitter is not
sold in supermarkets."
Wet Hops

Typically hops are dried before they are packed, shipped and stored to await the brewing
process.  Now, some brewers are now using wet hopping. The theory behind wet hops is
that as soon as the flowers are picked oils, resins and flavors begin to dry up, so by going
direct from the bine to the brew kettle, your hops will pack more punch.  The trick works
-- beers brewed with wet hops hold more of their distinct flavors.

If wet hopping, you might ask, why doesn't everyone do it? Price is a factor plus the fact
that a lot of that subtlety of the wet hop is going to be drowned in malts.  Hop varietals
can be pretty picky in where they will grow and every hour from picking, dryness sets in-  
getting the hops to the brewery in a hurry is key. So, brewers looking to use wet hops
need a field nearby and the dedicated manpower to make it happen.

If you're looking to try a wet-hopped selection, Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale is not only
good it's available in most parts of the USA.   The beer opens with a super shot of
Cascade and Centennial hops but is quickly balanced with a steady stream of malt flavor.

To learn more about wet hopping check out the video at the Sierra Nevada website:

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Oktoberfest Lingo

A Breze is a yeast bread pretzel, small hand sized
variety.  In the Munich beer gardens and at the
Oktoberfest tents you can buy a huge Riesenbreze
(giant pretzel) to go with your beer.  

As for the festival beer, it is only available in a one-litre
glass, called a Maß.  You drink directly from the big
glass. No smaller glasses will be provided. When you
want to order a beer, you simply say to the waitress
“A Maß, bittschön”.  Local Munich breweries create a
special beer which has a higher percentage of alcohol
than what is served at the fest for their thousands of
visitors. You drink that beer out of a one liter Maßkrug.

Bud Ale?

Budweiser American Ale makes its nationwide debut on
draught, 12-ounce six-packs and 22-ounce singles in
October.  Budweiser American Ale has been in
development since early 2007. "We're very pleased
with this brew. In competitive blind taste tests of craft
beer drinkers, Budweiser American Ale significantly
outperformed other craft brands in terms of consumer
preference," said Tom Shipley, Budweiser brand
director, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.  Budweiser American
Ale is an all-malt, top-fermented ale that is dry hopped
with Cascade hops from the Pacific Northwest and
finishes with an ABV of 5.3 percent.  Early independent
tasters say the beer is fairly nondescript for a 'craft'
beer but will have too much flavor for most Bud fasn.