Oh yeah...that's right, I maintain a blog. No, I haven't forgotten about this beautiful piece of work, but I have certainly neglected it. I've been busy, what can I say? Well, so what's new? Hmmm...the maple/oak brown ale was a success (didn't win any medals at Sunshine Challenge, though...but my Serrapale Ale did!), the braggot overcarbed (dangerously), the dubbel finally carbed (needs some age, but very tasty), I helped one of our best friends brew a gluten-free hefeweizen for her stepfather with celiac disease (still waiting for that to finish conditioning), my wife and I made a spiced hard cider for family/friends this Christmas, and I'm sitting on a vanilla-cinnamon porter that is still fermenting away (taking its time...).
Next on the list is an overdue espresso stout my wife has been waiting to brew for a while (we're shooting for all organic again if we can secure the ingredients, which will be reminiscent of the organic honey blonde ale I made last summer), and a heather braggot with some all natural, organic honey I received from a beekeeper near Tampa, FL. After this...we'll see. I've been re-exploring the idea of something sour again, after having saved the Berliner Weisse for a later date. I'm thinking a Flanders Red this time, but the year it will need to fully ferment is definitely going to require patience!
On the sustainable front, nothing really new to report, as far as I can remember at least (much has certainly happened over the course of the past few months, but this was quite a busy semester for me, making it hard to keep up and report everything). New Belgium's Tour de Fat appears to have been a success, as always. There also seems to be some progress with the organic hop farmers and the American Organic Hop Grower Association: beginning in January 2013, organic beers must contain organic hops in order to be labeled as such (right now, they don't necessarily need to).
I'm presenting a paper at the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion this coming March on the recent collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the Trappist Abbey of New Clairvaux to produce a line of American Trappist ales. This will be the third paper addressing Trappist brewing in the contemporary world that I will have presented at an academic conference...perhaps it's time to work on another publication this summer...
More to come soon - I apologize to those of you reading for the hiatus!
Peace and Love!