Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Check out the new logo pints and mugs!

logo pints We got a new batch of logo pints and mugs for sale.  Come to either one of the Yak and Yeti locations.  $5 for a pint and only $8 for our infamous 18oz dimpled mugs.  See your server for details.  Wish the photo showed how cool they look in person.

Prost! (with new glass in your hand)

Introducing the Haunted Beer Series

Some of you already know that our brewpub resides in an 1864 mansion that is actually “haunted.” Our owner, Dol, had hired some ghost hunters (it’s probably more PC to say “paranormal investigators”) to do some surveillance and you can see the news story about it here. The haunting is supposedly from a woman named Cora who fell down the stairs and died. (there is also an Uncle Ned who may be one of the ghosts). The stories that I’ve h

eard are basically harmless. Neither are ghosts that pull practical jokes or tries to scare the bejeepers out of you. I personally haven’t had any run-in’s myself and since I’m usually at work a few hours before anybody else, I’ve spent a lot of time in the building alone. Any encounters will definitely be blogged about, so stay-tuned (indefinitely!) If you like to know more about the history of the house or Cora, this page has the most information that I’ve run across.

Beer brewed in a haunted fermentor and served from haunted kegs via a haunted tap handle = The Haunted Beer Series. But seriously, this small batch series I am targeting to release on a monthly basis. These beers will all be bigger beers and will showcase double IPA’s, barleywines, Belgians and maybe I’ll pull out the recipe for my infamous Draegerator dopplebock.

On Sept 1st we will be releasing “Haunted Hops” an Imperial IPA (IIPA) or Double IPA depending what school of thought you subscribe. Haunted Hops comes in at 9.4% ABV and contains only Cascade and Centennial hops. Experts say that the taste threshold for hoppy beers is around 100 IBUs (international bittering units), so take it with a grain of salt when I say that this beer has a calculated bitterness rating of 181 IBU’s (our Himalayan IPA has about 75-80 IBU’s for comparison) This beer was also dry-hopped for a week as well. Dry-hopping a beer will add aroma and flavor, but cannot increase the IBU’s, which is usually done in the kettle.

The Haunted Beer Series will be served in 1/2 pint snifter glasses for the same price as a full pint of our regular offerings (happy hour still applies!) or $1.50 for a 4oz sample. In addition, every time a person orders a 1/2 pint of these beers you have a chance to win a hand-made wooden tankard by Don Lewis (click link to see his awesome work). Just fill out a simple tag with your name and way to contact you if your name is drawn (phone, email, address, etc). The drawing will be held during our Anniversary celebration on July 1st. The more glasses you buy, the better your chances to win (limited to serving only 2 glasses per visit due to the high alcoholic content—drink responsibly please!)

Stop in to see the tankard that is on display above the bar or to celebrate the Haunted. Prost!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stories from a long time local

I never caught the guy’s name, but a person came into the bar the other night and was telling me about Arvada.   He says his family moved here in 1947 and Arvada had a population of only 1700 people (nope, it’s not missing any zeros).  

Although he moved away from the area, he still comes back to Arvada about once a year.  He has seen every High School and Middle School open, change and close, including the one that apparently used to be where the strip mall is next to Gunther Toodies.  He told me that the library is the location of the first King Soopers and that Carr St. used to be the edge of town.  Also that farmhouses speckled the country-side between Denver, Arvada, Golden, and Westminster. 

I had the chance to ask questions that only a transplant like myself could ask, like “Why is it called Church Ranch Rd?” (I learned that Church is a last name and their ranch was located there)  And in exchange for learning some cool history, I even listened intently when he and his friend drummed up fond memories when he played football for the Buffaloes (apparently both offensive, defense, quarterback and running back)

This guy remembers when the Yak and Yeti Brewpub was still a home that was lived in and tells me of what the neighborhood was like.  Neat stuff.   Here’s to last 60 years in Arvada growing to over 100,000 in population and the next 60.   Prost!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Some like it hot…

This Wednesday Wheat will be a Chili Pepper Wheat available at 4PM as usual.  You’ve heard of dry hopped beers?  This is a dry peppered beer!  I used about a dozen dried Guajillo chili peppers (actually a dried Mirasol pepper is called a Guajillo and has a Scoville rating between 2500-5000).  Instead of my usual format for blogging about the wheat beer flavorings, I thought I’d give you more information about using peppers in beer.

Here’s the trick to a hot or a mild and flavorful beer using peppers: pith and seeds.  I scraped out the pith and seeds leaving just the meat of the pepper thus this beer should have plenty of chili flavor without the heat.  (if you want hot, you’ll have to bring a bottle of your favorite habanero or ghost face pepper sauce to spike it)  Some like it hot….I like them flavorful.  For those who want to make hot homebrews and not have much pepper flavor, just use the pith and seeds and don’t add the skins.  I guess it’s like the 95/5 rule.  95% flavor and 5% heat for my beer and if you just used the hot components, your additions would have 95% heat and 5% flavor.

Colorado has actually been embracing the chili peppers in beer for quite some time.  The three most noteworthy examples are Wynkoop’s Patty’s Chili Beer, Coopersmith’s Sigda’s Green Chili Lager and Twisted Pine’s Billy’s Chilies (the hottest of the three).   Twisted Vine also has a chili beer that uses the ghost face pepper, (I’m told is currently the hottest pepper in the world). 

There are many different approaches to using the peppers in beer, I described my approach.  Other recipes and processes can found here, here and here.  Another philosophy, especially if you are a commercial brewery, is to skip the cutting and skinning and just use pure pepper extracts for flavor and heat.  One could have greater consistency and control by using such a method.  I haven’t heard of homebrewers successfully using this approach.  If you have experience with this, please comment in the form at the bottom of this blog.

My first experience with a pepper beer was Cave Creek Chili Beer.  I’m not sure if it is still available, I’ve heard the company went under, but maybe somebody has saved the label and is contracting it again.  I was at “The Perfect Pint” in Platteville, WI, which is a beer bar that is still in existence.  This was at over 10 years ago when I was trying all the different microbrews I could find.  The bar always had free popcorn so I grabbed a basket of buttered goodness and ordered the chili beer, which came with two little peppers in the bottom of the bottle. (way less offensive than the worm in the tequila).  What I remember most about my first sip was that it was nice and cold, but then the heat hit.  The first reaction when you have hot in your mouth is to wash it down with something cool and cold, so I quick had another drink.  The downward spiral was futile, so I switched to the popcorn to drown out the heat.  Two baskets of popcorn later I had finished the 12oz bottle!  Sweet defeat.  I’ll normally eat the peppers off a Chicago style hotdog or other foods that it is used as a garnish, but as I sat there holding the pepper in my hand agonizing over whether or not I should eat it….I ended up giving up and not finishing the peppers at the bottom, so maybe I didn’t defeat the bottle after all.

For those who want more, need more, there is even a chili beer website dedicated to the lover of chili beers. (enjoy the cheesy intro)


Sunday, August 21, 2011


I always have to mispronounce the word “raspberry” in order to spell it correctly.  (“rasp” and “berry”) Guess what?  It may be in the middle of NFL preseason, but it is also Raspberry season right now as well, so come on down to the Yak at 4PM this Wednesday for some tasty Raspberry Wheat.  Last week’s Cantaloupe Wheat was finished off in record time, so who knows how long this keg will last.  If you wish to learn some history about the berry, read on…

  • There is actually a black raspberry and blue raspberry variety out there
  • Also known as the “hindberry”
  • between Russia and Serbia, they produce about 1/2 the world’s production of raspberries
  • there are approximately 100 drupelets on each berry
  • a raspberry is hollow when picked, but a blackberry is not (thus a black raspberry is hollow when picked)
  • the Boysenberry and Loganberry are both hybrids that came from the Raspberry’s genus—Rubus
  • they are high in antioxidant vitamin C
  • the raspberry aroma comes from a phenolic compound called the creatively named “raspberry ketone”
  • The raspberry grown in Colorado is probably the “Boulder Raspberry” or scientifically, “Rubus deliciosus” (yes indeed!)
  • They can grow in elevations up to 7000 ft

There are many uses for Raspberries (besides beer, of course), and I won’t be able to capture all of them here, but here is a sampling:

  • Raspberry leaf tea
  • Baking: pies, pastries/donuts, cakes, bread, cookies, cobbler, muffins, Raspberry Tart
  • Flavorings: candy, ice cream, lip balm, yogurt, frosting, cream cheese, popsicles, vinegar
  • toppings: cereal, ice cream, yogurt, cake
  • jams and jellies
  • sauces, salsas, spreads, glazes (eg. for chicken)
  • smoothies, and other ice drinks
  • alcohols: schnapps, liquors (specifically rums and vodkas), malt beverages
  • perfume and other scented products like shampoo and lotion
  • aren’t you hungry yet?

My memories about raspberries go back to when I was little and we’d visit my grandma, who grew many raspberry plants.  She would take a bowl of freshly picked raspberries (and maybe some blackberries or black raspberries too), then she would sprinkle on some sugar to cut the tartness and just have us eat it straight from the bowl with spoons.  I’ll take that over a candy bar any day of the week!  I also remember our local IGA bakery making a cream cheese pastry with raspberry filling that was unbelievable.   When I worked at the store I would have at least 1 or 2 of those a week.   In recent years, I ran across the peanut butter aisle in the Gateway Market.  They had an amazing peanut butter from “P.B Loco” (who appears to be out of business now) with chunks of white chocolate and raspberry, what a crazy and tasty combo?!  I guess the only negative thing about raspberries are the teeny tiny seeds.  No promising that your beer won’t end up with seed or two in it…but I guess you’ll have to order one to find out.  Do you have any other good uses or stories about raspberries?  Comment on my blog.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Confession from a melonhead…

  • I must confess that on Wednesday at 4PM, when we release the Cantaloupe Wheat, there won't be any Cantaloupe in it.   We Americans have come to call our Muskmelons, "cantaloupes", so much that it is official accepted to call them "Cantaloupes" and anything with orange melon flesh, for instance "Rockmelons".  (scroll to bottom of blog for a pic of a real European Cantaloupe)These melons (yes, fruit) come from the species of Cucumis Melo.  If you want other little known facts about this melon, read on:


  • The cantaloupes of Europe were originally non-netted and had deep ridges (like the honeydew melon)
  • First cultivated by the Egyptians
  • name comes from the "Gardens of Cantaloupo" near Tivoli, where they were once cultivated
  • Our netted version came from France around 1881 (who also brought us the honeydew 20 years later)
  • not surprisingly the melon is about 90% water (but who is knocking it, is beer)
  • Part of the same species as the Armenian Cucumber
  • high in potassium, vitamin A and folate
  • so rare in Japan that they can pay between $30-$70 US dollars for them
  • Europeans are known to refer to them as "pepo"
  • first brought to the New World on Columbus' 2nd journey
  • Cantaloupe Island" - Herbie Hancock on Blue Note in 1964
  • smashing

There are also many uses for muskmelons (aka Cantaloupes):

  • eaten as just fruit
  • eaten as a dried fruit
  • put on skewers with other fruit
  • used in desserts like pie
  • liquors
  • Stews
  • jams
  • salsa
  • soup
  • salads
  • used for it's oil (from the seeds actually)
  • pureed and used in drinks or milkshakes
  • as an antipasta (pieces are wrapped in prosciutto)

Growing up I always remember having the mixed fruit bowls of sliced fruit including watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and cantaloupe.  I find that it also tastes great on the rind with a little salt to bring out the sweetness.  What other uses for cantaloupe have you and your family used?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Brewer’s Tools

Yes, I have come to the realization that certain tools are just necessary and I would have a hard time living without these tools to do my job.  There are some necessary tools and other ones that are just (really, really) nice to have.

Tools I have found essential around my brewery:  Screwdriver, crescent wrench, pliers, tape measure, flashlight, shovel, zip-ties, measuring cup, funnel, all sorts of buckets, teflon tape, scissors!, pen/paper, and even my laptop with wifi access. (I didn’t mention some of the standard: hop scale, hydrometers, sanitation spray bottle, mash paddle, etc and focused on ones that aren’t dedicated to breweries)flashlight retractable cord

Tools that are more in the nice to have category: three-hole punch, hose cutter, electrical tape, 7/8” wrench, fans (several of them), and a new tool that I purchased for a whopping $3.95 and I love it! – “retractable cord for belt” of which I keep my flashlight hooked. 

This was actually an LED flashlight that Chris left behind for me (essential in looking in the kettle, fermentors and bright tanks).  I saw how he was always fishing it out of his pockets and it looked inconvenient.  I too, was inconvenienced by the fact that it kept falling out of my shirt pocket when I bent over to pick stuff of the ground.  All I could think was if I accidentally dropped this in a batch of fermenting beer that I would contaminate thousands of dollars of finished beer (and I’d have to buy a new flashlight)…..   So I solved two problems at once – easy to access flashlight, and tether it so it can’t fall into a fermentor…..brilliant!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Love, Glove, Dove,….Clove?

That’s a weird pronunciation….clove?!  Regardless on how ridiculous it sounds pronounced, this Wheat Wednesday will debut a Clove Wheat beer at 4PM.  Not sure you are familiar with the clove spice?  Learn more from these interesting trivial facts:

  • Cloves are used as an aromatic spice but are technically the flower bud from a very tall evergreen tree.
  • Until modern times, cloves only grew on the Maluku Islands, otherwise known as the “spice islands". 
  • The characteristic aroma comes from Eugenol, approximately 15% of the bud is comprised of this chemical
  • Western medicine has used clove for dental pain, so many people associate the smell of clove with the dentist
  • Chinese medicine has many many uses for cloves including: aroma therapy, impotence, and morning sickness
  • The clove tree can grow upwards of 24-36 feet tall
  • The word “clove” comes from the French word “clou” which means “nail”.  The shape of the whole clove bud is remarkably close in shape to a nail.
  • Used in cooking as both “whole” and “ground”

And how about additional uses for clove (besides beer):

  • Christmas time potpourri usually mixed with oranges
  • clove cigarettes (technically can’t be called cigarettes in US after 2009)
  • incense
  • used in many Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican dishes
  • breath mint
  • studding pork
  • still used in medicines
  • gingerbread
  • mulled wines
  • sweet pumpkin pie
  • used with pickling fruits and vegetables
  • key ingredient in Worcestershire sauce

The list is definitely endless.  I always remember seeing the bud in mixes of potpourri and so usually associate the spice with that.  Since  Siebel (studying Bavarian Hefeweizens), I have learned to recognize the Eugenol compound much easier as well in this style of beer.  Do you have any favor recipes that use Clove?


Friday, August 5, 2011

Just like in the Movies!

yak temp 003 (Small)

In my last post I mentioned I cleaned out the garden shed.  One thing I found was an entire tub filled with Christmas Lights.  I wasn’t sure if they worked and wasn’t going to keep them if they didn’t.  So I brought them inside and started plugging them in the outlet.  Wow, they actually worked!

Since they were just one big 3 ft ball of tangled, twinkly-goodness it reminded me of a memorable quote from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: (all spoken by Clark Griswold)

[reaching for the Christmas lights to hand to Russ] Unravel these.  We need to check every bulb.

[pulls out a huge tangled ball of lights] Oops.  Little knot here, you can work on that.

Funny how real-life movies can feel sometimes….


one-half ton and what do you get?

In my previous blog post, I mentioned an improvement project that I was working on completing.  I also mentioned that for every batch of beer I haul approximately a quarter ton downstairs into the basement, mill the malt, and haul the same quarter ton of malt back upstairs into the brewery (thus the answer to the blog title question—one batch of beer).   Hauling grain at most breweries involves a forktruck, hand truck or hoist…..due to the stairs and no elevator I use the Hercules methodology. 

Even before I brewed my first batch of beer at the Yak, one of my top priorities was to take over the garden shed in the back for use as a malt mill room. (sounds really cool to have it’s own room, doesn’t it?).  The only four steps that it involved were:

  1. Install 220V receptacle with extension cord
  2. bring the grain mill upstairs and outside
  3. clean out the garden shed
  4. re-organize the saved items back down in the basement, utilizing the old space

Step one, hired an electrician to install…check.  Step two, convince 5 kitchen staff and myself to carry the 500lb+ grain mill up stairs (we did use the dolly during the flat sections which helped immensely.)  Easier said than done…when the 6 of us had difficulty with it at first, I almost resorted to building a wooden sled and getting some ropes so the 6 of us could play tug-o-war with a machine, but I’m glad we didn’t have to resort to that.  Step three, I forgot to take a before photo…bummer, it definitely was disorganized and needed some TLC.  Step four, put the three shelves from the shed into the basement and organized what little we saved onto those shelves or existing shelves.

Now milling grain will entail backing my vehicle within 8 feet of the grain mill room door and then moving the crushed grain approximately 20ft all on the same level (no stairs!!!).  I could even use a dolly if I wanted.  So there you have it, working smarter….not harder. 

yak temp 004

Can’t wait to put it to use.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I am (was) an Engineer…

Not sure I like the title of this post, but for my new Coloradan followers, this might help them understand my past a little better.   Last week I went back to Iowa to supervise our movers and bring back another load of things that they can’t haul like bleach, acid, and batteries.  While I was in town, I bumped into many familiar faces, as you do in a small town.  One person was from Pella Corporation, specifically from my old department, the Door Plant, in which I worked 4+ years.  She told me there were people in the plant reading this blog on a weekly basis….so, as an update to them, I’m dedicating this post to those at Pella Corp, specifically those in the Door Plant.

I liked my job as an engineer, some days I even loved my job and loved going to work.  When I quit my job to go back to school to become a professional brewer, I had doubts that I would enjoy brewing as much as I enjoyed engineering, or at least would miss trouble-shooting, problem solving, organizing and improving processes.  I didn’t need to be in my new role 8 weeks to be able to write these conclusions, but having done so, I can put more detail to this post.

Except for the fact that I get to taste beer throughout the day (if the task at hand requires it), being a head brewer is like being a engineer, continuous improvement technician, maintenance technician, stockroom keeper, scheduler, marketing coordinator, sales rep, water spider (see below), truck driver, accountant, quality technician, safety coordinator, admin assistant, and chef (final line employee) all in one.  Needless to say, my job keeps me busy, but is super-wicked-awesome-cool at the same time.  Maybe I should expand on these since not everybody reading this post knows what a water spider does….

Engineer: At the Yak and Yeti Brewpub, the management realizes I have the technical skills to assess problems and make logical decisions about how to proceed.  I also have had the opportunity to spec and quote new equipment like my wort/water heat exchanger.  Everyday I get to prioritize all my tasks at hand while keeping SQPD in mind (inside joke). 

Continuous Improvement (C.I.): I’m fortunate that the previous brewer left ample opportunity to improve my surroundings.  Just today I had a light installed in the stairwell so I can see better in the dungeon, err, I call it the fermentation cellar now.  My favorite C.I. improvement involves malt, but that will get its own blog post in a week or two.  It hasn’t been shadowed yet, but I did put up a peg board and have a lot of my fittings and quick-change parts hanging near point-of-use.

Maintenance technician: At the bigger craft breweries like New Belgium most of these roles have been specialized just like at Pella, but here I get to turn wrenches, fix leaks (like the CO2 leak and beer leak I fixed today), and troubleshoot pumps, coolers, temperature controllers, fans, valves and the like.   I have even used my multi-meter!  Maybe if brewing doesn’t work out I will become a maintenance tech at a big brewery, it’s a blast!  I guess another responsibility that falls under maintenance scheduler or engineer is hiring/resourcing sub-contractors to do jobs.  At Pella Corp this would have been MES, construction crew or central maintenance and here I have outside contractors that I hire for electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling, etc. Example: the electrician who hooked up my keg washer to 220V today (you remember Karla, don’t you?).

Stockroom Keeper: Well it is more like inventory management of malt, hops, chemicals, cleaners and other brewery things like fining agents, yeast nutrients and kettle additions.  I take a beer inventory and ingredient inventory every month.  As much as I’d like to Kanban and FIFO my chemicals, I don’t use them enough, so right now I just buy more when I’m around 1/4 left.

Scheduler:  This is probably my least favorite, but somebody has to be responsible when we run out of beer.  I would prefer to have enough bright tanks (serving tanks) so I could have 2 tanks for each flavor, so that I never run out.  That is wishful thinking and I just need to try to guess 4 weeks out what beer will run out next and then transfer it 3 days before I can physically tap it.   I guess like marketing people predicting sales figures.  Which is a segue to:

Marketing coordinator:  This is one of my favorite tasks.  I get to buy screen-printed glasses/mugs, coasters, labels for our growlers, business cards, consult on websites, Facebook and promote the brand in general.  I’ve put together table top advertisements and beer descriptions to enhance the customer’s experience.  I even get to write this blog!

Sales: Now that I have Karla, I need to get out to bars and restaurants and sell kegs of my product.  Dol (the owner) is actually going to do the brunt of this task for me, so I guess that makes me an assistant sales rep.

Water-Spider: Non-Pella people would be interested to know that this is a person who delivers parts to assembly line workers so employees do not have to leave their station.  Technically impossible since I leave my station to do this job task, but I do get a lot of my own supplies….all the time.  Up the stairs, down the stairs, oops, I forgot something, repeat!

Truck driver: same as water-spider, but Lowes and Home Depot (yes, I can shop at HD if I want to now!!!!) are only 1.3 miles away from the brewery.  Also refer to sales….those kegs can’t be faxed to Boulder, CO.

Accountant: The real accountant at the Yak is training me to do my own alcohol taxes with the state and federal governments.  I also have to save all my receipts for anything I purchase from Home Depot (LOL) with my own money for reimbursement. 

Quality technician:  I have the start of a lab.  I need some more supplies to get it rolling, but at some point my goal is to take yeast counts for batches of beer and to classify any undesirable microbes that I find or run across.  I clean the tap lines, kegs, bright tanks, fermentors, etc (I guess this would be a sanitation worker, but in the brewery business….this definitely falls under quality). This job also involves tasting, bummer.

Safety coordinator:  one of my first purchases was a set of goggles for handling the chemicals.  I already have several pair of heat and chemical resistant gloves, and a pair of brewing boots—brewer’s PPE!  There are some other tasks I need to do at some point too like printing out MSDS sheets and writing up some LOTO procedures.

Administrative Assistant:  The ink cartridge in our printer didn’t change itself, my table tents didn’t print themselves and my cell phone doesn’t answer itself (well with voice mail, it kinda does).

Chef (brewer): I correlate this to a final-line employee at Pella Corp as it is the job that does the most Value-added activities.  If you want to know more about these job tasks…..ask or become a homebrewer.  It might fall under Marketing, but I get to be creative and develop my own recipes, which actually involve a lot of formulas, so technically that falls under engineering too.

Even though I enjoy brewing, I have come to love all the other roles I am responsible for here at the brewery as much, if not more.  I guess I don’t need to stop being an engineer even though my title is “Head Brewer.”

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blueberry – the blue food

blueberries There are probably other foods out there that are blue, but blueberries are the most well-known.  I always thought they were purple, but if left unsquished…yeah, I can see why they are called blueberries.  This Wednesday at 4PM come get a taste of the blue beer (well, sort of maroonish) Blueberry Wheat.  With 1lb of blueberries per gallon, you are sure to taste the fresh goodness.

To learn a little more about blueberries, I’ve put them in easy to read bullet-points, just like the credit card companies do when they change our policies:

  • This fruit is native to North America (which explains why my Nepali friend Rom hasn’t ever tried one before I gave him one)
  • Latin lesson #1: blueberries are classifed as Cyanococcus.  cyan=blue, coccus=spherical ball… you get blue balls.
  • wild varieties are sometimes confused with bilberries, hurtleberries, whortleberries and huckleberries
  • Canada produces half of the North American production
  • Latin lesson #2: they are part of the Vaccinium genus. Vacca= “cows.”  I am not making this up!  Captain James Cook noted that cows like to eat blueberries back in the 1700’s.
  • Blueberries have been picked by hand since 1822 when the blueberry rake was invented.
  • The Joy of Blueberries” a cookbook by Theresa Millang
  • a fresh pint of blueberries weighs 3/4lb
  • out of 40 different common fruits and vegetables, blueberries are ranked #1 in antioxidants. (also high in Vitamin A, B, C and K)
  • you are not supposed to wash blueberries before storing or freezing, only right before using (to prevent mushiness)

If you are a homebrewer, you are familiar with the fruit flavoring extracts that are available for easy additions to any beer.  These typically are a concentrated form of flavoring that comes in a 4oz bottle and you can use between 1 and 4 ounces in a 5 gallon batch of beer.  Last year I set out to find out if this could be better than a real-fruit infused beer.  The results speak for themselves. 

The real-fruit blueberry wheat had a maroon color, real flavor (like that in a blueberry pancake), and a pleasant taste but not much aroma.  The artificial flavored blueberry wheat had no color change from the base wheat beer, was very tart (like phosphoric acid was added) but had an intense and pleasing fruity aroma.   I took some growlers to a homebrew meeting and asked people to vote for their favorite….about 96% preferred the real fruit wheat.  I had the opportunity to be interviewed by James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio about the experiment and you can listen to the archived interview here

Other uses for blueberries besides putting in beer:  Blueberry pancakes. period.  okay maybe pie and jam, but really, what a lazy fruit!  What other uses do you have for blueberries?, Please comment otherwise I will hold my breath until my face….