Check out the Ram for the $10 “Recession Buster” event Saturday

With all the dire economic news and gloom and doom percolating around, the staff at the Ram has decided to do local craft beer enthusiasts a solid and continue their “Recession Buster” series on Saturday.

How does $10 for several pints of the Ram’s award winning St. Mick’s Dry Stout, Dubbel Barrel Belgian Ale, and Lachsa Lager sound? With some snacks to go with? Fresh, homegrown beer and food for the price of a sixer sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

The event begins at 5 p.m. at the Stonehouse — the building attached to the main Ram Brewpub, located at 709 E. Park Boulevard (just off Broadway Avenue). It will go until 8 p.m. or until the guys run out of beer.

New IPA from Sierra Nevada is great

It’s taken about 30 years or so, but American craft brewing legends Sierra Nevada have finally settled on a recipe to create their first year-round IPA.

It was time well spent. The new Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA kicks ass.

Of course, that is what I would expect from brewing legend Ken Grossman’s iconic Sierra Nevada brand. But it is always nice when it works out that way.

Will Utahns finally be able to legally homebrew?

Living in Utah must really suck for a craft beer enthusiast.

Not only do they have the most uptight, beer-hating legislature in the U.S. and restrict beer sales at package stores and on tap to the dreaded 3.2 alcohol-by-volume level (you have to go to a state liquor store to buy a regular-strength sixer) — it is not even legal to homebrew.

You read that right — it’s like prohibition. In 2009. In the U.S.!

Utah expatriates (I don’t blame you, by the way) will tell you there are homebrew supply stores in their home state and people brew at home anyway, as they should. But it is still technically illegal.

Thankfully, the Utah Legislature is finally considering a proposal to make homebrewing legal.

GIANT bottles of beer for sale at Boise Co-Op

If you want to dazzle your beer loving friends this winter, have tons of cash to spare, and want to casually drop the word “jeroboam” into a conversation, get yourself and your checkbook over to the Boise Co-Op.

The Boise Co-Op beer department is selling massive 3 liter bottles of:

Stone Brewing’s delicious Double Bastard Ale for $67.99 apiece.

Sockeye’s Winterfest at $53.99, a very tasty local winter warmer and the best value.

Samichlaus — billed as the world’s strongest lager by Zurich’s Schloss Eggenberg Brewery at 14 percent alcohol by volume — for a mere $90.

Get a pint of Travis Schaff’s award winning Birkenstock Pale Ale at Bittercreek.

Beating out 19 other hombrewers and winning the first place in 2008’s The Treasure Valley Organic Homebrew Challenge was a buzz for Travis Schaff — but the most satisfying part of the victory happens today when he gets to share it with the rest of the Boise beer community.

For $4 a pint.

Bittercreek Alehouse — Boise’s venerable beer drinking destination since 1995 — tapped a keg of Schaff’s award-winning Birkenstock Pale Ale today. There will be a release party at 6 p.m. tonight (Friday, Dec. 9) but you can get a pint right now, if you want.

1231530782 Get a pint of Travis Schaff’s award winning Birkenstock Pale Ale at Bittercreek. Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

MillerCoors to stop making “energy” beers

MillerCoors has followed the lead of fellow brewing titan Anheuser-Busch and has agreed to stop making “energy beers” like Sparks — those “malt based beverages” goosed with added caffeine and other stimulants.

MillerCoors agreed to change the recipe of Sparks Thursday after some prodding by the Attorney General’s of 14 states, including Idaho’s Lawrence Wasden, who felt the marketing of Sparks violated Idaho’s Consumer Protection Act by targeting young people.

Sparks had been the best selling pre-mixed alcohol energy drink sold in the U.S., so MillerCoors is definitely taking a financial hit in this deal — a fact not lost on Wasden.

Samuel Adams founder talks about the current state of the beer business

I just stumbled across this short but enlightening interview with Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch from the New York Times last weekend about what it’s like to be the beer business in 2008.

Koch talks with Times’ reporter Amy Cortese on a variety of issues, including:

* What it’s like to be the biggest remaining independent American brewer, now that Anheuser-Busch is part of a multi-national conglomerate.

* How he doesn’t worry about competition from other craft brewers.

* If beer sales are recession-proof.

Drink the “World’s Strongest Lager” at the Front Door on Friday

Local beer enthusiasts are in for a treat this holiday season as The Front Door will tap a keg of Samichlaus this weekend — a rare holiday beer brewed once a year in Zurich by Schloss Eggenberg Brewery.

The Samichlaus — Santa Claus in the Swiss-German dialect of Zurich — has an alcohol-by-volume of over 14 percent, earning the distinction of the Strongest Lager in the World by the Guinness Book Of World Records.

Coming soon to a store near you, maybe. Kid Rock beer.

Yes, you read that headline right. Detroit-based hip-hop/southern rock icon Kid Rock is working with a company called Drinks Americas to develop and market a Kid Rock signature “premium domestic beer.”

Hmmm. I am having a hard time with the concept of a Kid Rock “premium domestic beer.” I suspect the company’s definition of “premium” and mine are a lot different.

TableRock Brewpub + Dawson Taylor Coffee = “Stimulator Stout”

Long time Boise imbibers know that TableRock Brewpub produces some mighty fine beer and Dawson Taylor Coffee Roasters brew a killer cup of joe.

In the “this idea makes so much sense why haven’t we tried this before?” department — both Boise beverage stalwarts have partnered to make to make a coffee-infused beer, the Stimulator Stout.

TableRock is Boise’s oldest brewpub, firing up the brew kettles in 1991. Dawson’s has been brewing coffee since 1995. Both businesses are locally owned and operated — not part of a chain. This is a local collaboration in every sense of the word — and a very cool idea.

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