Copyright: (c) 1994-1997 John A. Lock
Maintainer: John A. Lock <email@example.com>
Subject: 4-5. Can I make my own beer....is 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
For further details, subscribe to rec.crafts.brewing and lurk for a
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
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.
...in 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
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.
AKA Jamaica Plain. Former Haffenreffer brewery, a company-owned
facility brewing the Boston Ale and doing R&D work on other
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.
Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co. (owned by G. Heileman). Most Sam
Adams brews for western distribution.
A Gambrinus brewery brews the Boston Lager for the European
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
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: BEER RESOURCES
Subject: 5-1. Were can I get more beer info and tasting tips?
Look through the rec.food.drink.beer archives (see next section).
Also, check out Usenet group alt.beer with archives at ftp.wariat.org
On the World-Wide Web, point your browser at:
WWW Virtual Library Beer & Brewing Index
The Real Beer Page (TM)
Dan Brown's Beer Page
Spencer Thomas' Beer Page
The Virtual Pub
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
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:http://www.beerinfo.com/beermags/> 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
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 ftp.stanford.edu 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:http://www.realbeer.com/rbp/rbp.brewtour.html>. Also see the
Regional Guides section of the WWW Virtual Library's Beer & Brewing
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:http://weber.u.washington.edu/~cverver/bbm_faq.html> 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
On the World-Wide Web, point your browser at:
WWW Virtual Library Beer & Brewing Index
"The Brewery" Brewers Page
Spencer Thomas' Beer Page
Eric Wooten's Beer & Homebrewing Page
Anonymous ftp from ftp.stanford.edu in /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer/docs
the following guides:
Read the Homebrew Digest mailing list. You can receive it by sending
SUBSCRIBE to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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
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:http://www.beerinfo.com/beermags/> for a complete listing.
Home Brew with Charlie Papazian - Call 303-546-6514 - $29.95 +
Subject: 5-6. Where can I get recipes?
Check the same sources listed above plus look in the ftp.stanford.edu
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
Subject: 5-7. What is r.f.d.b. about?
rec.food.drink.beer was created on 16-MAR-1993 as a Usenet newsgroup
dedicated to serious discussions concerning beer.
Subject: 5-8. Where are the archives?
The rec.food.drink.beer archives are available via anonymous ftp from
ftp.stanford.edu 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
Computers/Software/System_Utilities/Compression/> if you need to get
Subject: 5-10. I don't have ftp, can you e-mail files to me?
To get a file, send e-mail to email@example.com. No subject
is required, but you can use one to identify your request. In the
body of the message, type the following:
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"
If you want full details on this service e-mailed back to you, just
send "help" in the body of the message instead.
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
Other individuals who have contributed information to this FAQ (either
directly or because they posted something of value):
Jon Binkley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Aaron Birenboim <email@example.com>
Dan Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Stephen Dunn <email@example.com>
Rich Fortnum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Brendan Halpin <email@example.com>
Marc de Jonge <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ed Lingel <email@example.com>
Alan Marshall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bill McGinnis <email@example.com>
Brendan Molloy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ian Nottage <email@example.com>
Alex Oliver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joel Plutchak <email@example.com>
Alison Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Richard Stueven <email@example.com>
Craig Verver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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
Miscellaneous updates and corrections
Added CAMRA Web site
Debut on The Beer Info Source!
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
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
Changed archive site references
Change ftp-by-mail procedure
Added IRC beer tasting info
Expanded lambic answer and added pointer to Lambic Digest
Updated various WWW page references
Added copyright notice
Added Sam Adams Q&A
Added Guinness Q&A
Expanded "brewery/microbrewery" size definition
Updated "ale, malt liquor, barleywine" labeling definition
Clarified Koelsch and Alt definitions
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
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
Clarified "skunking" description
12-JUL-1994 Added Quick Index
Added city/brewpubs question and answer
Clarified filtering section
Clarified brewpub definition
Changed "Steam Beer" statement
Added storage recommendations
Updated "Reinheitsgebot" section
Added beer magazine info
Updated beer club list
Added porter description
Clarified "Draught-flow" (tm) description
Added additional notes to judging
Changed r.f.d.b. archive name to rfd-beer.faq
Corrected alcohol measurement figures
Expanded mail order beer info
Added video tape resource info
Added FTP by mail info
Added beer description and ale/lager comparison
Added "800" number for Microbrew To You
Expanded description of "ice" beers
Added description of bock beers
Added pointer to beer book list
Copyright (C) 1995-1997
Author: John A. Lock - http://www.mindspring.com/~jlock/home.html