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Archive-name: beer-faq/part3
Posting-Frequency: bi-weekly
Copyright: (c) 1994-1997 John A. Lock
Maintainer: John A. Lock <>

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Subject: 4-5. Can I make my own it legal? U.S. regulations state that an individual can brew up to 100 gals/yr for personal consumption or up to 200 gals/yr per family without being subject to taxes. Other countries will certainly have different regulations. State laws often override the Federal tax law with more stringent regulations or ban any homebrewing, so check locally. In any case, you cannot sell your homebrew. Also, be aware that the presence of homebrew supply stores does not imply that homebrewing is legal in your state. More often, in a strange quirk of law-making, it is legal to sell the supplies, but illegal to make beer with them!?
Subject: 4-6. How do I make it? Making your own can range from quite easy to very complicated depending on how much of the science you want to absorb. At its most basic, you can make beer following these steps: 1. Mix together malted barley extract, hops, and water and boil to produce what is called the wort. 2. The wort is cooled, placed in a fermenter and yeast is added. Fermentation will take place converting the sugars in the wort to carbon dioxide (which is vented out) and alcohol. 3. When fermentation is complete, the new beer is mixed with a small amount of primer (made from malt extract or corn sugar) and placed in sealed bottles or kegs. The primer will provide just enough additional fermentation to carbonate the beer. 4. Wait until the beer has properly aged and drink! The aging time depends on beer style and can range anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 year. For further details, subscribe to rec.crafts.brewing and lurk for a while.
Subject: 4-7. WIMLIACLDAB? BTABFCTW! What was that? This is a very old, very tired beer joke attributed to Monty Python. I'll spell it out for you: Q: Why is making love in a canoe like drinking American beer? A: Because they are both fucking close to water! But don't ever repeat this on the Net or the following will occur: 1. You will be scorched to a crunchy black by some excruciatingly creative individuals. 2. You will receive a number of "corrective" e-mails. 3. Your family/relatives will be visited by "Guido", a large, ill-tempered man with hairy knuckles. that order!
Subject: 4-8. Is Guinness good for you? Answers to this, and many other Guinness questions, may be found in Alan Marshall's "Guinness FAQt and Folklore". This document is available in the archives or on WWW at <URL:>.
Subject: 4-9. Where is Sam Adams beer made? As the largest contract brewer in the U.S., Boston Brewing Co. uses several breweries around the country to make the various Sam Adams beers. This info is accurate as of JAN-95. Boston, MA AKA Jamaica Plain. Former Haffenreffer brewery, a company-owned facility brewing the Boston Ale and doing R&D work on other recipes. Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh Brewing Co. brews the largest portion (by volume) of Sam Adams beers, mostly lagers for eastern distribution. Lehigh Valley, PA Stroh Brewery Co. brews the ales for eastern distribution. Portland, OR Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co. (owned by G. Heileman). Most Sam Adams brews for western distribution. Nagold, Germany A Gambrinus brewery brews the Boston Lager for the European market. The relationship with F.X. Matt of Utica, NY has ended and Sam Adams beers are no longer made there. There is also a Sam Adams brewpub in Philadelphia, PA which brews ales from malt extract recipes. Also, FYI, the Sam Adams Triple Bock was brewed at the Jamaica Plain facility and then shipped to Bronco Winery in Ceres, CA for aging in their vats.
Subject: 4-10. Why does American beer suck? You might as well ask In fact, any country in the world with a sufficiently large brewer is guilty of brewing beer that is (ahem) less than it could be. In an effort to boost profit margins and still be acceptable to the broadest possible market, the mega-brewers have resorted to using cheaper adjuncts, like corn and rice, instead of all barley malt. The resulting less-sweet beer doesn't need as much balancing bitterness, so they cut back on hops to save money and to make the end-product innocuous to the casual drinker. The change has been a gradual one, taking place in small increments over many years, so that most consumers would not notice the difference. These practices are followed up by huge, multi-media, marketing campaigns that attempt to sell brand image rather than beer flavor. American brewers take the biggest hit because they're the best at this game. In addition, most people outside the U.S. only see the brews exported by the mega-brewers and judge the entire market by these examples. But such blatant generalities as the opening question always fall short of the truth. The truth is that excellent beer is also being brewed in America and Germany/England/Canada/Mexico/Japan/Holland, etc. and the way to enjoy good beer from any country (or avoid bland beer) is to patronize the brewers that provide it and avoid the ones that don't.
Subject: 5-1. Were can I get more beer info and tasting tips? Look through the archives (see next section). Also, check out Usenet group with archives at in /pub/ On the World-Wide Web, point your browser at: WWW Virtual Library Beer & Brewing Index <URL:> The Real Beer Page (TM) <URL:> Dan Brown's Beer Page <URL:> Spencer Thomas' Beer Page <URL:> The Virtual Pub <URL:>. Watch for and participate in the beer tastings posted every so often by Joel Plutchak, publican. For lambic fans there is the Lambic Digest mailing list. You can receive it by sending SUBSCRIBE to <>. Michael Jackson (not the pop star) is an acknowledged authority on beer world-wide and has written several books: The New World Guide to Beer The Beer Companion Simon & Schuster's Pocket Guide to Beer Also look for: The Beer Enthusiast by Gregg Smith Evaluating Beer from Brewers Publications The Essentials of Beer Style by Fred Eckhardt Beer Cuisine by Jay Harlow Magazines: All About Beer - 800-977-BEER(2337) Beer, the magazine - 800-646-2701 Beer Magazine - 613-737-3715 (Canada) The Malt Advocate - 800-610-MALT What's Brewing - comes with CAMRA membership (see above) (U.K.) Get beer-mags.Z from the archives or see the Beer Periodicals List, <URL:> for a complete listing. On video tape: The Beer Hunter with Michael Jackson Call 800-262-4800 - $34.95 + t/s/h. Beer and Ale: A Video Guide Call 800-546-5034 - $24.95 + t/s/h.
Subject: 5-2. Where can I get good beer? In most parts of the world, just go to any place that serves beer and ask for it. In North America, micro-breweries and brewpubs are the best places to get freshly brewed, finely crafted beer. But they aren't everywhere, yet. Many bars and restaurants are beginning to offer high quality beers on tap and in bottles. Don't fall into the trap of asking for an "import" when you want a good beer! The market today is such that you could easily end up with a very disappointing import while missing a truly wonderful domestic. Always, always, always ask to see a beer list. Servers are not always educated in beer lore and may misinterpret what you are looking for in a good beer. Most liquor stores carry a good selection of bottled beers. Many major grocery chains are also beginning to carry remarkable selections.
Subject: 5-3. I'm going to "some city", what brewpubs/bars are good? A comprehensive list of brewpubs and good bars is available via anonymous ftp to in /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer/docs. The file is publist.Z. Caution: I don't think this is being updated. There are some other regional guides stored in the archives. On WWW, check out the Real Beer Page's Brew Tour at <URL:>. Also see the Regional Guides section of the WWW Virtual Library's Beer & Brewing Index.
Subject: 5-4. Can I get beer in the mail? Yup, monthly subscriptions just like a magazine. These services send a selection of beers each month until you tell them to stop. For an up-to-date list look for the Beer-by-Mail FAQ posted the 4th Tuesday of every month on r.f.d.b or on WWW at <URL:> or you can ftp it from the archives (see below).
Subject: 5-5. Where can I get details on making my own? Brewing discussions are held in the rec.crafts.brewing newsgroup. The FAQ for that group is posted once each month and can be viewed at <URL:>. On the World-Wide Web, point your browser at: WWW Virtual Library Beer & Brewing Index <URL:> "The Brewery" Brewers Page <URL:> Spencer Thomas' Beer Page <URL:> Eric Wooten's Beer & Homebrewing Page <URL:> Anonymous ftp from in /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer/docs the following guides: beginners.Z how_to_brew_your_first_beer Read the Homebrew Digest mailing list. You can receive it by sending SUBSCRIBE to <>. Good books to read are: The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian The Complete Handbook of Brewing by Dave Miller Brewing Quality Beers by Byron Burch Magazines: Zymurgy - comes with membership in American Homebrewers Association (AHA): 303-546-6514 Get beer-mags.Z from the archives or see the Beer Periodical List <URL:> for a complete listing. Video tape: Home Brew with Charlie Papazian - Call 303-546-6514 - $29.95 + t/s/h
Subject: 5-6. Where can I get recipes? Check the same sources listed above plus look in the ftp site in /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer/recipes. On the World-Wide Web you'll find over 1,000 recipes indexed by style in Cats Meow III at <URL:>.
Subject: 5-7. What is r.f.d.b. about? was created on 16-MAR-1993 as a Usenet newsgroup dedicated to serious discussions concerning beer.
Subject: 5-8. Where are the archives? The archives are available via anonymous ftp from in /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer/rfdb.
Subject: 5-9. What is in the archives? rfd-beer.charter - The charter for r.f.d.b. rfd-beer.faq - This document, in plain ASCII text beer-2buds-sb.txt.Z - History of 2 Budweiser's by Steve Beaumont beer-atlanta.Z - The Atlanta Beer Guide beer-book-list.Z - Library of Congress list of beer-related books beer-by-mail.faq.Z - List of Beer-by-Mail companies and services beer-calories.faq.Z - List of calorie/alcohol content of 200+ beers beer-capacity.faq.Z - Measures of Capacity FAQ beer-guinness.faq.Z - Guinness FAQt and Folklore beer-learning.faq.Z - Alan Marshall's beginners guide beer-mags.Z - The Beer Periodicals List beer-no-calif-pubs.faq.Z - Guide to Northern California brewpubs beer-ontario.faq.Z - A Beer lover's guide to Ontario beer-records.faq.Z - Beer Records FAQ bfest93.faq.Z - 1993 Beer Festivals FAQ bfest94.faq.Z - 1994 Beer Festivals FAQ camra-books.Z - Listing of books offered by CAMRA README.camra.Z - CAMRA info reinheitsgebot.deutsch.Z - German beer purity/tax law reinheitsgebot.english.Z - English translation of above The files ending in .Z are stored in a compressed format. If you use ftp to "get" them, omit the .Z extension and the ftp daemon will uncompress the file before sending it to you. If you can't do this, download them using the .Z extension then uncompress them using a utility on your machine. Check out Yahoo's listing of utilities at <URL: Computers/Software/System_Utilities/Compression/> if you need to get one.
Subject: 5-10. I don't have ftp, can you e-mail files to me? To get a file, send e-mail to No subject is required, but you can use one to identify your request. In the body of the message, type the following: connect chdir /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer/rfdb get ???????? quit Replace ???????? with the name of the file you want. If the file has a .Z extension (meaning it's been compressed), leave it off and it will be automatically uncompressed before mailing. A maximum of 10 files can be requested per submission. Just use multiple "get" statements. If you want full details on this service e-mailed back to you, just send "help" in the body of the message instead.
Subject: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I'd like to thank Craig Verver and Alan Marshall for their support and encouragement in taking on this task. In addition, special thanks to our other FAQ posters who publish in-depth FAQ's on some of the more popular beer topics. Other individuals who have contributed information to this FAQ (either directly or because they posted something of value): Jon Binkley <> Aaron Birenboim <> Dan Brown <> Stephen Dunn <stephen@bokonon.uucp> Rich Fortnum <> Brendan Halpin <> Marc de Jonge <> Ed Lingel <> Alan Marshall <> Bill McGinnis <> Brendan Molloy <> Ian Nottage <> Alex Oliver <> Joel Plutchak <> Alison Scott <> Richard Stueven <> Craig Verver <> And, of course, thanks to our subscribers who are dedicated to the common goal of enjoying beer as a beverage to be relished in its myriad forms.
Subject: MAINTENANCE HISTORY 16-MAY-1997 Altered to meet "Minimal Digest Format" and RFC-1153 Re-organized FAQ sections and contents Combined Web version back into single file for easier searching Added news.answers mirror resources Merged into new Beer Info Source architecture 01-DEC-1995 Miscellaneous updates and corrections Added CAMRA Web site 01-SEP-1995 Debut on The Beer Info Source! 04-JUL-1995 Update Belgian ale terms in 1-13 Updated labeling info in 2-3 Updated CAMRA address in 2-7 Clarified Chimay description in 4-2 Added 4-10 regarding American beer Updated brewpub sources in 5-3 Updated numerous WWW links 14-FEB-1995 Modified lambics definition and added 1-13 regarding Belgian ales Modified all clear text URL's to RFC 1738 syntax Split into 3 parts for posting 31-JAN-1995 Changed archive site references Change ftp-by-mail procedure Added IRC beer tasting info 27-DEC-1994 Expanded lambic answer and added pointer to Lambic Digest Updated various WWW page references Added copyright notice Added Sam Adams Q&A 29-NOV-1994 Added Guinness Q&A Expanded "brewery/microbrewery" size definition Updated "ale, malt liquor, barleywine" labeling definition Clarified Koelsch and Alt definitions 01-NOV-1994 Reformatted, converted to HTML, and published on WWW the ASCII version will still be maintained concurrently Added Coors politics Q&A Clarified "cold-filtering" answer Added "gravity" Q&A 20-SEP-1994 Added Vegetarian/Kosher/Organic Q&A Changed mail-order beer answer to point to new FAQ Added Q&A for the perennial Chimay topic Expanded Internet beer resources Updated archives listing 09-AUG-1994 Clarified "skunking" description 12-JUL-1994 Added Quick Index Added city/brewpubs question and answer 28-JUN-1994 Clarified filtering section Clarified brewpub definition Changed "Steam Beer" statement Added storage recommendations 14-JUN-1994 Updated "Reinheitsgebot" section 31-MAY-1994 Added beer magazine info Updated beer club list Added porter description 17-MAY-1994 Clarified "Draught-flow" (tm) description Added additional notes to judging Changed r.f.d.b. archive name to rfd-beer.faq 03-MAY-1994 Corrected alcohol measurement figures Expanded mail order beer info Added video tape resource info Added FTP by mail info 19-APR-1994 Added beer description and ale/lager comparison Added "800" number for Microbrew To You 05-APR-1994 Expanded description of "ice" beers Added description of bock beers Added pointer to beer book list 21-MAR-1994 Inaugural post --------------------------------------------------------------------------- <URL:> Copyright (C) 1995-1997 Author: John A. Lock - John <URL:>

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