Monday, December 31, 2007

The Sober Brewer's Bowl Predictions

Happy New Years!

It is college football bowl season and I must confess I haven't been following all that close this year. Nevertheless, I will make our first annual "Sober Brewer Bowl Predictions." The predictions will be based on the per capita beer consumption of the state the University resides in. So without further delay, here we go:

Dec. 31 bowl games

Armed Forces Bowl
California Golden Bears vs. Air Force Falcons
California drinks 26 gallons of beer per person per year, while Colorado consumes 33.4 gallons. The Falcons pull this one out.

Humanitarian Bowl
Georgia Tech Yellowjackets vs. Fresno St. Bulldogs
Georgia Tech wins this one with 29.5 Gal/person compared to California at 26

Sun Bowl
Oregon Ducks vs. South Florida Bulls
Oregon loses a squeaker with Floria drinking 33.8 gal/person vs. 30.6 for Oregon

Music City Bowl
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Florida St. Seminoles
Rest easy Wildcat fans you pull it out 36.8 to 33.8

Insight Bowl
Indiana Hoosiers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Good for IU, they win in a tight game 28.3 to 27.0 (The loss of Eddie Sutton was a major blow to the Cowboys. He was good for another two gallons.)

Chick-fil-a Bowl
Clemson Tigers vs. Auburn Tigers
The tigers from South Carolina win 37 to 30.6

Jan 1 games

Outback Bowl
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Big surprise, Wisconsin wins 38.2 to 30.2.

Cotton Bowl
Missouri Tigers vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
Mizzou and booger eater Chase Daniels win it 33.4 to 27.6

Capital One
Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida Gators
Florida swamps the Wolverines and spoils Carr's last game 33.8 to 29.3

Gator Bowl
Virginia Cavaliers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Don't mess with Texas 37.4 to 29.3

Rose Bowl
Illinois Illini vs. USC Trojans
Illinois in a shocker 31.3 to 26.0

Sugar Bowl
Hawaii Warriors vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Hawaii proves legit as they beat the bulldogs 32.7 to 29.5

Jan. 2
Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma Sooners vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
The most annoying song in the world (Boomer Sooner) is not enough to distract the Mountaineers, they cut their teeth on John Denver. WVU rolls 31.3 to 27.0

Jan. 3
Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Kansas Chickenhawks
The Hokies win as Kansas University only drinks white wine spritzers at the local "alternative" bar.

Jan. 7
BCS Championship Game
LSU Tigers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Bourbon St. carries LSU to the victory 37.1 to 33.5

There you have it, put your money down with confidence. But remember:
never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Updated Bowl Predictions:
Take every prediction I had and reverse it! I swear I could have done a better job picking teams out of a hat. Next year we will do the opposite, where the state with the least beer consumption wins. Take my advice and lay your money heavy on Ohio State, it's the Sober Brewer's "lock of the century."

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Canada; The Global Scapegoat

The face of Global Terror has been revealed and it wears a toque and plaid flannel!

Catherine Brahic wrote the following article for

Getting rid of vintage “beer fridges” – secondary fridges which many North American and Australian homes boast – could have a significant impact on household greenhouse gas emissions, suggests a new study.

Beer fridges are additional fridges that are generally used to keep beer and other drinks cold on top of a household’s primary fridge for food. One in three Canadian households has a second fridge, many of which are aging, energy-guzzling models, according to Denise Young, a researcher at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Young suggests that getting rid of older models, in Canada at least, would have an impact on energy usage. Her study analyzes industry data and the results of a national survey to look at the environmental effects of having beer fridges in Canada.

"People need to understand the impact of their lifestyles," says Joanna Yarrow, director of Beyond Green, a sustainable development consultancy in the UK. "Clearly the environmental implications of having a frivolous luxury like a beer fridge are not hitting home. This research helps inform people – let's hope it has an effect".

High demands

The survey that Young analysed was commissioned by Natural Resources Canada and suggests that 30% of households have two or more refrigerators. About 20% of secondary fridges are older models that are kept after the household buys a newer model as their primary refrigerator.

Having a second fridge for cooling drinks means more demand for electricity, and this demand is even worse when the second fridge is an older model.

The Canadian Appliance Manufacturers Association estimates that typical 1985 refrigerator models use 1060 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per year, while a 1975 model uses 1580 kWh per year. In contrast, more recent and energy-efficient models can use as little as 380 kWh per year.

The survey shows that in 2003 about 65% of beer fridges were more than 10 years old. About 30% were at least twice that age.

Using the survey's information on the distribution of beer fridges and the data on energy consumption, Young calculated that the 65% of beer fridges that are 10 years or older consume 1165.7 million kWh of energy each year – roughly equivalent to the annual consumption of 100,000 average US suburban homes.

By abandoning beer fridges altogether, Canada's 11.5 million households could save 3500 million kWh each year, says Young.

Class divide

Young also found that low-income families were less likely to retire their old refrigerators to the garage to store drinks after buying a new model. She says this is probably because these households find the cost of running an additional fridge (up to $150 per year) too high.

She concludes that middle- to high-income families should be targeted by campaigns to remove old secondary refrigerators. Existing schemes encourage people to buy new more energy-efficient fridges by offering financial bonuses for each purchase – sometimes with a cash-back offer for handing in older fridges.

Young warns, however, that "these financial incentives may also induce a household to purchase a new unit earlier than they would have otherwise done so", which can actually encourage people to keep a second fridge.

Instead, Young supports government-run "round-ups" offering to pick up and dispose of old refrigerators. A 2006 study commissioned by the Ontario Power Authority showed that such programmes have been successful in the past, especially when they are boosted by information on how much money and energy can be saved by getting rid of the beer fridge.

But environmental effect of beer fridges depends on the source of electricity. "In Canada, there are major regional differences," notes Young. "In places where hydroelectric power is used, the greenhouse gas emissions are negligible. In places where coal or natural gas are used, the impacts can be substantial."

She calculates that a 1975 fridge in British Columbia – where most electricity comes from hydropower – is responsible for a negligible increase in emissions. But the same fridge in Alberta, where electricity is primarily generated from natural gas and coal, would be responsible for 1.4 tons of greenhouse gases every year.

In the words of the McKenzie Brothers, I say you global warming nuts can Take Off!

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Propaganda of Prohibition

This week marked the 74th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition. I thought it would be fun to look at one of the tools that prohibitionists used to sway people to their side. "The Prohibition Alphabet" is certainly one of my favorites.

A stands for alcohol, king among men, who takes them to gallows or puts them in pen.

B is for beer, the slop of the brewery; it lead to the judge, and right to the jury.

C is for cruelty the demon we fear, who lives in the wine, the liquors, and beer.

D is for dram, a social or not; it leads from the moderate to the old drunken sot.

E is for early, when drunkards arise to add some more flame to their blood-shot eyes.

F is for fickle, we wish you to note the defect on drinkers, for license to vote.

G is for grog shop, a hell upon earth, where men are defiled from day of their birth.

H is for health, for happiness home, but all will be blighted in the foul liquor zone.

I is a pronoun, of dignified heft; but, bloated with liquor, there isn't much left.

J is for jug, the home drinkers pet; he fights the saloons but he is still wet.

K is for kindness; but she'll never know, who lives with a drunkard, but sadness and woe.

L is for liquor, the robber of life; he's cruel to children, and mean to his wife.

M is for millions who travel the road, in coffin and shroud, by the old whiskey goad.

N is for nickel, buys one glass of booze, though the children are hungry and the wife hasn't shoes.

O is for onion; its odors are rank, but not half so bad as a walking beer tank.

P is for plaster, a mortgage, or note, that's put on the house of the old whiskey bloat.

Q is for question; is a man really sane, who drinks of a poison that injures his brain.

R is for reason; where reason should be, is absent in men who go on a spree.

S is for slicker, a saloon keepers trait; for he gets all the suckers in town on his bait.

T is for trixter, the breweryman's suit; he'll take all you have, and your own soul to boot.

U is for uncle, our dear Uncle Sam; his battle with liquor is not any sham.

V is for virtue, the greatest of all; exposed through to liquor, this virtue must fall.

W is for will power, hard liquor destroys in the great and the small, the men and the boys.

X is for quantity; of course it's unknown, but equal at least to an old whiskey drone.

Y is for youth, an age of content; but liquor indulged will make it misspent.

Z is for Zion the church of our King, who judges a notion, a misguided thing when'er it is married by the foul liquor crew, and takes the blood money of cursed revenue. But let us, by voting the victory bring, and give to the nation a temperance ring.

Not exactly Longfellow, but see what can be accomplished with the clarity of thought, that sobriety brings? Just kidding, let's go have a beer.

never trust The Sober Brewer
Jerry Gnagy

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What Brewers Do - 03 - Recipe Formulation

A little insight into what the brewers do at the BBC. This time we share our process of formulating a beer recipe.