Saturday, April 25, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: Beer For Breakfast

That's why the promotion, 'er, post is a bit late:

"Some colleges brewing up new courses; Programs take up the craft of beer making" by John Rogers Associated Press  April 25, 2015

POMONA, Calif. — A bachelor’s in beer? A master’s in malt? Not quite. But these days some colleges are teaching students to make beer as part of their studies.

When California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, fired up its gleaming new stainless steel brewery in December, it joined a small but growing number of colleges instructing students how to produce high-quality craft beers. At the same time, it took the movement a step beyond — kegging the results of their labors and selling it on campus.

No worry about underage college drinking, or.... ??????

‘‘To make the beer here and sell the beer here and have a cafe and have an educational component, we’re the first to have put all those pieces together,’’ Aaron Neilson, director of dining services for the Cal Poly Foundation, said over a lunch of pizza and — of course — beer at the school’s new Innovation Brew Works.

A few feet away, senior chemistry major Stephen Moser was in the back room of this former campus bookstore, brewing up a batch of ale.

‘‘Right now my goal is to work for an established craft brewer,’’ said Moser, who graduates in June. ‘‘I really want to do small-batch projects, like creating new and interesting brews.’’

Although Cal Poly officials say theirs is the only college in the country to make its own beer and sell it on campus, that could soon change. Colorado State University expects to begin selling its microbrewed beer at a campus pub later this year, said Jim Francis, director of the school’s Beverage Business Institute.

Students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Oregon State University, and other campuses around the country also make beer on campus.

A pioneer in the process is the University of California, Davis, where students have been brewing beer since the makers of Lucky Lager built them a microbrewery in 1959. Like the other campuses, however, Davis doesn’t sell beer and has no plans to. Charlie Bamforth, the university’s Anheuser-Busch endowed professor of brewing science, believes getting into the retail end of things would be a distraction for him and his students.

Asked what happens to his students’ creations, his gives a reply guaranteed to send a shiver down any serious beer drinker’s spine: ‘‘It all goes down the drain.’’

Well, almost all.

Students studying for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fermentation do have to taste each batch to ensure what they have produced is not what Bamforth, a former Bass Ale executive, would dismiss as ‘‘absolute swill.’’

There’s also an annual competition to determine the school’s best brewmaster.

What’s driving the interest in college brewing, beer makers say, is the increased fascination with craft beers. They note that the number of US breweries has tripled over the past 10 years to about 3,000. That counts everything from those operated by industry giants to small regional producers.

‘‘A lot of young people, 30 and under, consider themselves beer geeks,’’ said Francis, whose school offers a degree in fermentation science.

The question I asked still hangs out there and I'm waiting for the other cup to spill.

Cal Poly, Pomona, located in a semi-rural section of Southern California 30 miles east of Los Angeles, appears well positioned to take the trend to the next level.

For years, the university, with a strong emphasis on agriculture and hospitality studies, has operated its own ranch, hotel, and events center. These days, the ranch is producing several of the ingredients going into the school’s half-dozen new signature beers.

Bronco Brown, a pungent dark ale named for the school’s mascot, is made with ranch-grown barley and hops. Oranges and barley from the ranch go into Ortiz Orange, a light, flavorful witbier named for the university’s recently retired president, Michael Ortiz.

Associate dean Michael Godfrey, who brought brew studies to Cal Poly in 2000 with a single class on the culture and history of beer, envisions Innovation Brew Works eventually becoming the centerpiece of studies for chemistry students interested in learning the complicated science of making good-tasting beer, as well as for hospitality students interested in marketing beer.

With the industry expanding, there is a need for just such people, said David Ryder, chief brewmaster for MillerCoors.

‘‘This could be a natural progression for college programs,’’ he said. 

It's a problem if it's pot for medical though.

‘‘They’ve got to get the quality right and, most importantly, they’ve got to make sure this is regulated toward responsible, legal drinking-age consumers,’’ Ryder said. ‘‘But I think if you can do that you can bring some new excitement to college programs.’’

????? They are selling kegs on campus.


Oh, how quickly the carriage turns into a pumpkin  to take you back to the dorm.

"A University of Florida fraternity expelled three of its members Friday after allegations that they spat at a group of disabled military veterans at a Panama City resort. Laurence Bolotin, executive director of Zeta Beta Tau, said the group made the expulsions after finding that its members had behaved inappropriately. ‘‘I am deeply saddened that the actions of our members ruined this special event and failed to show the respect our military and their families so deserve,’’ Bolotin said. The incident occurred while the fraternity and veterans with the Warrior Beach Retreat were at the Laketown Wharf Resort last weekend. Linda Cope, founder of the warrior group, says the frat members were drunk and insulted the veterans."

Maybe thershzz a prablumb now (although I doubt it)? 


Just don't spit on the subway, and you need not worry about paying for the free ride (although she may need to be shut off)! 

Don't even have to worry about blowing:

"The Massachusetts Bar Association called Thursday for an independent investigation into the reliability of breathalyzer tests used to prosecute people suspected of drunken driving and urged a moratorium on introducing the tests as evidence until concerns are resolved.

Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel for the association, said the state attorney general should appoint an investigator without ties to law enforcement to lead the inquiry.

The call from the state’s leading confederation of attorneys emerged as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the State Police scoured case files for evidence that breathalyzer readings were improperly calibrated. The tests can play an important role in prosecutions, often persuading motorists who have been observed driving erratically to plead guilty, defense attorneys said.

“Drunk driving is a very serious issue in Massachusetts, and the Mass. Bar Association recognizes that,” Healy said. “But people’s constitutional rights are also important. We don’t want to see people convicted and taking plea agreements based on faulty evidence.”

No, we do not.

Maybe you should just call a cab, 'er, whatever. Maybe you could catch up on some $tudying. Just make sure he/she has their lights on:

"15 buffaloes put down after escaping from upstate N.Y. farm" Associated Press  April 24, 2015

COEYMANS, N.Y. — Fifteen buffaloes that escaped from a farm were intentionally shot and killed Friday after they dashed past a group of police, crossed a major highway, and ended up near some schools, authorities said.

They are killing everything in sight, aren't they?

‘‘The last thing we wanted to do was put these animals down,’’ Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said. ‘‘But it wasn’t a safe scene.’’

I'm thinking tranquilizers, but....

Three men hired by the farm opened fire on the animals Friday afternoon in woods in the town of Coeymans, about 10 miles south of the capital.

Bethlehem police Lieutenant Thomas Heffernan said the decision was made after experts agreed tranquilizers would not be effective and no portable corrals or trailers could hold the animals.

They escaped Thursday from a farm across the Hudson River in the Rensselaer County town of Schodack. The owner believes they swam across the river to the town of Bethlehem, where they wandered across a busy stretch of Interstate 87 and into neighboring Coeymans.

The killing of the buffaloes, which were confined in a stream bed, turned chaotic at the start, with deputies detaining a hunter who refused their order to finish off one of the three that was initially shot.

Apple said the wounded animal was floundering in the water. ‘‘We wanted that animal down,’’ he said, and the man continued instead to shoot blindly into the brush at the other retreating buffaloes.

Looks like he didn't want to kill them after all, bless his soul.

‘‘It was turning into the Wild, Wild West,’’ Apple said. ‘‘It was ridiculous.’’

The hunter was detained but hasn’t been charged, Apple said. It’s not clear why the hunter refused to shoot the wounded buffalo.

I think it is.

The buffaloes came from GEM Farms, an operation that has been raising buffaloes for their meat since 1973.

Are you sure about that hamburger?

Authorities said some buffaloes that escaped with the others were killed Thursday. Heffernan said the owner had the right to kill the buffaloes.

Yeah, maybe, but the callous taking of life.... Gandhi said something about animal treatment and a nation, but they worship the cow so....

Thomas Gallagher, a Cornell Cooperative Extension large-animal expert who has worked with GEM and who consulted with authorities Friday, said tranquilizers are not effective against buffaloes because of their thick hides and doses need to be so high they are generally lethal.

Okay, if you say so, but will they at least be eaten?


I suppose it's better than what happened in Washington state (web Globe must have missed the buzz).

The sad thing is I know people who do drink beer for breakfast. It's one reason I think bars shouldn't by allowed to open before noon, but that raises hackles with all sorts of people so.... drink up (drought coverage dried up)!

Maybe I should try to get some food in you:

"After turning in another quarter of sliding sales and profit, McDonald’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook said the chain will unveil initial details on a plan to turn around its fortunes on May 4. Some say Ronald McDonald is linked with marketing unhealthy food to kids. Retiring him could enable McDonald’s to start rebuilding trust with moms, said Jesse Bragg, spokesman for Corporate Accountability International. However, while the clown had recently faded to the background, McDonald’s has defended him as a ‘‘force of good,’’ and last year gave him a new outfit and said he will appear more on its social media sites." 

I'm sorry for laughing, but the semi-retired clown a force for good, also seemed a little gay to me (no insult intended or inferred, just an observation). They think all-day breakfast, more vegetarian food, higher wages, and back to basics will help? Maybe it's the crap food, period. The GMO garbage.

Here is your entrĂ©e: 

#3 McDonald’s has announced that it will be closing 700 “poor performing” restaurants in 2015.  Why would McDonald’s be doing this if the economy was actually getting better?


Don't choke on that.

Gotta be a better burger around: 

"BetaBurger coming to Mission Hill in Boston" by Dan Adams Globe Correspondent  April 24, 2015

Adrian Wong had one of those plum jobs his friends kind of hated him for having, pulling in six figures a year advising startup companies from the investment bank Morgan Stanley’s Boston office.

In the back of his mind, however, Wong dreamed of striking out on his own. He toyed with different concepts, but nothing clicked — until he saw a documentary about the rapid success of Chipotle.

That’s when Wong made his move, chucking cuff links for an apron and a $9-an-hour gig in the kitchen of the Mexican food chain.

Now, after six months of learning the nitty-gritty mechanics of the restaurant business, Wong is unveiling the reason for his inexplicable career change: Beta Burger, a Mission Hill eatery scheduled to open this summer that he hopes will become the Chipotle of the beef-and-bun segment, but with an unusual cooking technique.

We will tour the kitchen a bit later.


“Fast food is all about customization now,” Wong said. “Millennials especially are saying, ‘I don’t want someone to tell me what I should eat. I want to create something personal to me.’ ”

Wong loved fast food as a kid. Moreover, the so-called “fast-casual” segment, which combines the convenience and low price of fast food with the quality of a sit-down restaurant, has generally outperformed traditional chains such as McDonald’s.

Meanwhile, friends in the business cautioned that restaurants were a world unto themselves. “The manager didn’t even know what Morgan Stanley was,” Wong recalled. “I told him it was like a bank. I think he assumed I was a teller or something.”

Wong worked both jobs at once, leaving his office on the 24th floor of a downtown skyscraper at 5 p.m. each day for a nearby Chipotle, where he worked until 11:30 p.m.

“It really humbled me,” Wong said. “I was cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes. It was not a glamorous job.” 

I lasted a little over two years swabbing shit; still a record.

It also taught him subtle but invaluable lessons he never learned getting a finance degree at Bentley University, or working at Morgan Stanley: Intangibles such as culture and morale were all-important to productivity, he discovered; adapting to slow or busy periods necessitated quick changes to employee schedules to prevent labor cost overruns; vegetables take longer to prep than meat — and so on.

I was going to say quit buttering me up, but.... more like $eared.

Meanwhile, each morning, the oven will cook the patties for about an hour at 135 degrees, then hold them at that temperature. At this stage, even Wong admits they resemble unappetizing “pink-gray hockey pucks.”

Pink slime!

Not to worry — when a customer places an order, the burgers are finished off on a conventional flat-top grill, the direct heat adding texture, flavor, and visual appeal.

What else is on the menu?

The result? A moist and flavorful patty that’s uniformly pink inside, something a good home chef might make on the backyard grill.

Maybe I'll do that then.

Beta Burger is gearing up for a June or July opening in a small storefront on Tremont Street.

What's the rent?

Wong said he’s excited, though not without reservations. Days before leaving Morgan Stanley for good in February, Wong’s boss asked how he was feeling.

“I was honest — I told him I was scared,” Wong said. “I was saying to myself, ‘Your life was just coming together and all of a sudden you’re taking a huge leap into the unknown.’ But I did my homework and this is the right time.”

Hard to do homework (or blog, for that matter) when you're hungover. 


Think I'll order out for lunch today.