Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Brewer Needed

River City Brewing is looking for a full-time brewer to join our staff. We are looking for a candidate with an excellent attitude and love of beer that preferably has translated into work in a commercial brewery. We offer competitive wages, some flexibility in work schedule, medical benefits and a 401k plan, along with a great work environment. We have a track record of making award-winning beers and are looking for someone to help in every aspect of the brewery, including brewing, fermentation, cellar work, keg and tank cleaning, and some event/sales support. Must be able to lift/move filled kegs and undertake other physically demanding work.

Please submit a resume with all work history, any relevant training or certifications and a cover letter that includes a description of one or more of your favorite beers.  Send to gage __ inlandnwbrewing __ com.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting Dropped

This is a blog repost from a couple of years ago. It is going to be just as true this August as it was August 2011. Sad, but true. 

I know, for sure, that I'm not in very good cycling shape. I would venture a guess that while most people out on the road are in August-shape, I'm more in April-shape. You know what it feels like to occasionally feel good pushing the pedals, but you know you really don't have much depth of fitness or speed? Whether you do or don't, that is where I am. Too much time between rides, too many one to two week breaks, too much beer (or gin or tequila or wine or vodka - well, anyway, you get the point) and the end result is that you can be pedaling around in August with April fitness. But knowing that on a rational level didn't stop me from going out for the Morning Ride today. And really, that was stupid.

It wasn't a brilliant beginning when I didn't get to the start on time. I saw the group way down the road and started after them. It took about 2.5 miles of me going "fast" and them dawdling along, but I managed to catch them a few blocks before the drop down Waneta onto the Palouse Highway. And then . . . something happened that I don't ever recall happening before. I got dropped going downhill. Not panicking, I picked up my speed and caught the tail of the group just as the hill up to Baltimore started. Bad timing for me. I got dropped again. Hard. How hard did I get dropped, you ask?
  • I was so far back that some guys in the group thought about leaving gel pack and water provisions along the road so I could find my way. 
  • I was so far back that Tim Pawlenty felt bad for me. (Apparently election year jokes don't age very well - does anyone buy Ma Pawlenty even remember Tim's candidacy?)
  • I was so slow that a boy scout offered to help me across the street. 
  • I was so bad off that even the Spokane Police Department deemed that I wasn't a threat. 
  • I was so far behind I got worried about getting lapped. 
  • I was so far behind that when I got back to Hatch Road, I immediately headed up to try to be on time for Wednesday's ride.
  • I was so weak that Jens Voigt called me and said I was never allowed to say his name again. 
  • I was so slow that a couple of moms with strollers passed me on High Drive yelling "biker up!"
  • It was so bad off that a Sheriff pulled me over and ticketed me for impersonating a bike rider.
  • I was so slow that when I checked to see if my brake was rubbing, the brake actually laughed at me.
  • I was so far behind that Tom Wessels felt bad about making fun of me. Sure, he did it anyway, but he felt bad. 
  • I was so far behind that Alberto Contador called me to offer me some of his beef.
  • I was so slow that I went to the physical therapist to see if there was something wrong and they told me that if I was really diligent with my therapy that in a few months I could buy a bike and use it to get some exercise. 
That last one sounds like a great idea. I will do that and catch up with you in the Spring, when we all be in April shape again.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Clocktower Imperial IPA – It’ll Ring your Bell

Wow, can't believe I overlooked this.  We have a limited edition beer out at tap handles right now.  River City Brewing’s first limited edition beer is our Clocktower Imperial IPA.  We feel compelled to warn you that it will “ring your bell” because like all imperial-style beers, this one packs a punch with 8.7% ABV.  Some imperial IPA’s hit just one note strongly – alcohol, but ours is a symphony of flavors starting with citrusy hops and rich malt combined with the big kick of a typical imperial.  The citrus aroma comes from Cascade hops, along with notes from the Alpha, Bravo and Nugget hops used four times in the brew and once more at the end of the fermentation process.  The color is a rich copper from our combination of 2-row malted barley.  The final result is a robust, bright imperial IPA.

Here are the numbers for you data geeks: OG 19.6; FG 2.8; IBU 101; ABV 8.7%.

And, for everyone who wants to taste it, and believe me, you DO want to drink this beer, here are the places that have a keg (usual disclaimer - can't guarantee whether the keg is tapped yet or if it has been consumed yet):
  • Manito Tap House
  • Lantern Tap House
  • The Viking Tavern
  • Total Wine & More
  • Rocket Natural Market
  • Enoteca
  • JJ's Grill
  • Vintage Vine
  • Zola (part of our Tap Takeover TODAY (if you are reading this 7/24) 

So get out there, damnit, and enjoy one of these super-fine imperial IPA's.  And while you are there, thank these places for supporting local beer.  It'll make both of you feel good.  Or maybe it's the 8.7% ABV, but in any case, you will feel good.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

There is a Food Babe? Yes. And she has shocking info on big brand beer

The headline to this post was long enough to encompass most of the story, so let's get to it.  There is a person known as the Food Babe.  I know, right?  I guess I should have guessed that, but I still find it amusing.  Anyway, Food Babe has a website that talks about the food supply in America.  She has done some information gathering, some protesting, some rabble-rousing and is trying to get people to pay more attention to what is in the food we are all eating every day.

A few days ago she turned her attention to Big Beer with a post on the stuff she found in the major beer brands.  Not surprisingly, she had a hard time tracking down some of the information because big beer doesn't want to share their secrets.  They have lobbied against labeling for years and I guess we know why now.

Here is a list of what she found:
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) –  alcohol is already addictive with some people, but with MSG?! Holy smokes.
  • Propylene Glycol (an ingredient found in anti-freeze)
  • Calcium Disodium EDTA (made from formaldehyde, sodium cayanide, and Ethylenediamine)
  • Many different types of sulfites and anti-microbial preservatives (linked to allergies and asthma)
  • Natural Flavors (can come from anything natural including a beavers anal gland)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • GMO Sugars – Dextrose, Corn Syrup
  • Caramel Coloring (Class III or IV made from ammonia and classified as a carcinogen)
  • FD&C Blue 1 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)
  • FD&C Red 40 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)
  • FD&C Yellow 5 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)
  • Insect-Based Dyes: carmine derived from cochineal insects to color their beer.
  • Animal Based Clarifiers: Findings include isinglass (dried fish bladder), gelatin (from skin, connective tissue, and bones), and casein (found in milk)
  • Foam Control: Used for head retention; (glyceryl monostearate and pepsin are both potentially derived from animals)
  • BPA (Bisphenol A is a component in many can liners and it may leach into the beer. BPA can mimic the female hormone estrogen and may affect sperm count, and other organ functions.)
  • Carrageenan (linked to inflammation in digestive system, IBS and considered a carcinogen in some circumstances)

I don't know about you, but I find this list surprising.  Even after having been in this industry for more than a decade, I didn't really think about the fact that the big guys probably used the wonder of chemistry to make their products so identical and long-lasting. 

And, just to really clear, we don't use this stuff in our beer, nor do any microbreweries that I know of.  Most of our beers literally only use water, two-row malted barley, yeast and hops.  Our Huckleberry has actual Huckleberry juice added to it (not a chemical that tastes like Huckleberry, the way some bigger breweries replace fruit flavors) and our VB Stout has vanilla extract and a bourbon flavoring (since we can't pour a fifth of bourbon in the beer, the way we experimented with it 14 years ago).  I think it's a lot like the local bakery down the street versus the commercial bakery a state away.  The local person makes a product with actual food ingredients and no chemicals, so it is made to be consumed in a short period (the reason the "day old" bin exists, eh?) and it may not look pretty if it is exposed to heat, light or time.  The commercial product has "better living through chemistry" so that the product can be shipped, stored and be made as cheaply as possible.  There is a difference that you can taste in a fresh loaf of bread or cupcake, right?  Same with beer.

Thanks Food Babe, for promoting some stereotypes with your name while opening our eyes to some startling information.  Here is the link to the story:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Saturday Music

I ran a "Saturday Music" for the last three months, but skipped last weekend.  No one seemed to notice except me.  And therefore what, you ask?  I enjoyed them, but did you?  Leave me a comment letting me know whether to continue this musical meandering.  I'm game if you are, but I can spend the time drinking beer if no one but me is getting anything from it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Updated "On Tap" List

Looking for River City Brewing beer on tap?  Us too.  So here is where we are going these days.

  Italia Trattoria
  Famous Eds
  Mirabeau Hotel
  Tomato Street CDA
  Total Wine
  Bardenay CDA
  Denny’s at Geiger
  Fire Artisan Pizza CDA
  Hop Jacks
  Hugos on the Hill
  Post Street Alehouse
  The Lantern Taphouse
  JJ’s Grill
  Rocket Bakery
  Greenbrier Foods
  West Richland Beer Shop

  JJ’s Grill
  Fox Bear Public House
  Italia Trattoria
  Rocket Bakery
  Vintages 611
  Spencers Steakhouse
  Longhorn BBQ Spokane Valley
  Total Wine

  EJ’s Garden Bistro
  Blue Spark
  Pacific Avenue Pizza
  A-1 Smoke Shop
  Fox Bear Public House
  Tony’s Steakhouse
  Total Wine

  Post Street Alehouse
  Rocket Market
  Manito Tap House
  Vintage Vine

  Moscow Alehouse
  Blue Spark
  Ciao Mambo
  Crickets CDA
  Forza Coffee
  Lucky’s Irish Pub
  Swinging Doors
  The Viking Tavern
  Rocket Market
  Java on Sherman CDA
  JJ’s Grill

  Moscow Alehouse
  Saranac Public House
  Brewforia Eagle
  Eagles CDA
  Lilac Lanes
  Post Street Alehouse
  Roosters Landing
  Seasons CDA
  The Wine Cellar CDA
  Tomato Street
  Total Wine
  Java on Sherman CDA
  Chan’s Dragon Inn
  Gibliano Brothers
  Lions Lair
  Twigs on Nevada

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Top Gear - How do I love thee?

Oh Top Gear, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Well, maybe not after death, but I really do love thee. 

With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

River City Criterium - 2014 Edition

In January, I blogged about a race that we were scheduled to hold on August 3, 2013 and then was rescheduled for September 7, 2013.  I was wrong about one thing - the date.  Instead, we will be looking at holding it on September 6, 2014.  Despite the enthusiasm and sponsor support for the race, I'm sorry to report that we just couldn't hold this race in 2013.  I could say that it was because it was a big project and we just didn't have the person-hours to devote to it in a way that we could pull off a first class race, but the real reason is that I am triskaidekaphobic and I couldn't stand to be associated so closely with something that was established in a year ending in "13".  I'm sorry for disappointed racers, teammates and families, but it's just the way I roll.  Or don't roll, in this case, until 2014.

Stay tuned for future updates.

Original post:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Downtown Crit

There was a cool bike race downtown in Spokane this weekend.  The River City Red team was well represented and had some great results.  Ben Tobin also took some cool pictures, which he has posted here:

Congrats to all of our guys racing.

Pro/1/2 - Pat O'Neil - 7th

Cat 3 - Richie Frahm - 2nd; Andrei Mylroie - 5th; Josh Messinger and Dana Harper

Cat 4/5 - Bill Knudsen - 2nd; Rocky Lobdell - 6th; Ryan Pursley - 13th; Andy Lukes

Masters 40+ - Travis Coleman - 1st; Pat Kautzman - 9th; John Siok - 10th; Brad Hamby - 12th; Josh Messinger and Mark Kraby

Masters 60+ - Sam Joseph - 4th; Ken Hunt - 5th