Beer Selection - Podcast 8

We had a wide range of beers for podcast #8 in honor of our guest this week Dr. Dre. It turned out Dr. Dre was not the rap mogul of NWA and headphone fame, but a sharp witted physics post-doc who had some very funny things to say in response to Dan's very pointed interview questions. Anyway first on our list of beers was another Lost Abbey beer Lost and Found. This was bit darker and a bit stronger (8% ABV -- alcohol by volume). My take on the beer was again "It's good". Actually I'm getting the idea that I'm not such a big fan of Belgian style beers. But anyway according to the official description there's some hint of cocoa, raisins and banana tones or other gum esters. Maybe, just maybe, I got the cocoa but as for the rest ... anyway it was a good beer. Oh and I noticed that each beer has a back story to it. For example, for Lost and Found  we are told "He pauses to inhale the aroma of figs and dried fruit that remind him of the orchard near the west walls of the abbey grounds. He sips the liquid bread contemplating the balance of sweet malts and a nutty dry finish. ..." and it goes on like this but you get the idea. Anyway I want this guys job i.e. the one who writes this beer porn description. For the full story you can go to


The next beer was from the Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau Alaska Alaskan Amber. The website lists this as an "Alt" style of amber (alt meaning old in German) this beer was voted "best beer in the nation" in 1988 but not sure who voted it best beer. It was OK. Despite my mocking of the Lost Abbey flowery descriptions of their beers I thought the Lost and Found was better. I was the one that brought the Alaskan Amber and this was based on having sampled their seasonal winter ale which was brewed with spruce tips and did have a piney flavor which I liked (hmm... beer and Pine-sol -- no actually the winter ale is good and interesting). Nothing really wrong with the Alaskan Amber but I guess based on their winter ale I expected something more unique.



My favorite beer of the night was the Radeberger which Dan brought. This is a German pilsner and the fact that I was born in Germany did not at all color my judgement in this matter. Radeberger has a list of famous people who claim it as their favorite beer. Otto von Bismarck (first chancellor of Germany) liked it so much he elevated it to "Kanzler-Bräu" (chancellor brew) in 1887. During the splitting of Germany into East and West Radeberger brewery was run by the communist East German government. A young Vladimir Putin apparently favored Radeberger when he was a new KGB agent on assignment in Dresden in the 1980s. In fact it was rumored Mr. Putin used to practice walking shirtless and flexing while enjoying a Radeberger. You can find out more about this awesome beer at


There were two other beers on this podcast, but I've got papers to grade and these other beers -- Stella Artois and Fire Rock a pale ale from Kona Brewing in Hawaii (so we had two beers from the non-contiguous states in the US, Hawaii and Alaska) -- are more commonly found in the supermarket where we shop so we'll have these again at which point I should be less lazy and write something about these beers.


Beer Selection - Podcast 7

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This week for podcast #7 we were drinking three beers: (i) The Lost Abbey's Devotion a Belgian blonde ale which Max brought; (ii) Firestone's Pivo Hoppy Pils; (iii) Newcastle's Brown Ale. The Devotion was definitely the top shelf beer of the night. Just look at the bottle!! It was huge and had a cork instead of a cap. It was very tasty though and came with a very extravagant description of all the things you could taste in the beer (e.g. cellar mushrooms, notes of spice, the brett, etc.). During the podcast Dan asks me to describe the beer and I ended up repeating the same foofy description on the bottle. The story behind this is I don't think a lot before talking *and* I really want a job as one of the people who write copy for beers, wines and whiskeys that talk about all the smells and tastes your supposed to get from the drink but never do.  I did find out that "brett" refers to Brettanomyces which is a type of yeast that is usually seen as a contamination and hence something you want to get rid of, but Lost Abbey boldly put this in their Devotion. Good for them for not listening to the nay sayers who classify "the brett" as contamination. The term Brettanomyces is actually Greek for "British Fungus" since the brett first came to peoples' attention when in 1904 there was an interest in finding out what was spoiling British ales. It was "the brett"! One persons dross is anothers elixir.



Firestone is one of our favorite local breweries and this week we sampled some of their "Pivo Hoppy Pils". This was an excellent beer -- a German Pilsner with some extra hoppiness to give a Bohemian flair (yep I'm just paraphrasing what someone told me to say about the beer). No, but really, it was good. I picked this up at the store because of the Pivo in the name which reminded me of the Russian word for beer "piva". This in turn reminded me of a famous Russian drinking saying "Beer without vodka is like money to the wind." Hopefully if we talk about their beer enough Firestone will invite us to do a podcast at their brewery.



 The third beer of our trinity this evening was  Newcastle Brown Ale. I'm not really a fan of the clear bottle but the Newcastle is a decent beer. In the UK it's considered a working man's beer while elsewhere (i.e the US) it's seen as an upscale import. 


Geordie Schooner1



The Lost Abbey Brewery and a listing of its fine beers can be found at

The link to Pivo at Firestone is at

The Newcastle Brown Ale link is You'll need you birthday to enter.


Beer Selection - Podcast 5





This week we were drinking Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut Down Ale -- a very bitter ale with a refreshing 9.9% alcohol content. Lagunitas makes many fine brews but this one has an interesting back story. Lagunitas Brewery hosted a Thursday brew and food fest - $2 beers and free music and food. The event would always start at 4:20 pm. Lagunitas Brewery is in Petaluma CA which coupled with the 4:20 kick off time led to the idea that there might have been pot to be had/smoked at these events. So the California ABC for several weeks in 2005 sent an undercover team  (a man and a woman) to find evidence for this and to try to buy some pot. People were willing to give the undercover pair pot but no one would sell them any. After several weeks of unsuccessfully trying to buy pot the California ABC gave up and shut down the Lagunitas Brewery using an old Prohibition era law dealing with houses of ill repute -- gin joints, gambling places and brothels. This occured on St. Patrick's Day 2005. Lagunitas Brewery was closed for 20 days (during which time they upgraded the brewery). Three people were charged with some pot related offenses with the charges being ultimately dropped. The full story can be found at

Anyway -- a great beer and a great brewery.


Lagunitas Undercover Investigation 0



Beer Selection - Podcast 6





Podcast 6 was powered by a variety of Anchor Steam Beers from the San Francisco based brewery. The term steam beer refers to a lager beer brewed with lager yeast at higher fermentation temperatures leading to more carbonation. Steam beer is brewed without refrigeration or ice and as a result ferments at higher temperatures. Steam beer is also called California common beer and was associated with San Francisco and the Gold Rush. The term "steam" may come from the method of cooling the hot wort -- it was pumped up to the top of the brewery in San Francisco into shallow cooling pan where the Pacific Ocean winds cooled the wort and created steam. Such a shallow cooling pan is pictured below

open fermenter 500


Another "true story which may be true" as to why it is called steam beer is that due to the higher temperature of fermentation, steam beers had a high level of  effervescence so that one had to let off "steam" i.e. carbonation. Because of the crude brewing process, steam beers were considered low class, blue collar beers but we found the four different Anchor Steams in the variety 12 pack very good to excellent. Here is a partial line  up of Anchor Steam's offerings.



Our variety 12 pack had the first three beers above (regular, Liberty Ale, and Porter). The fourth in the 12 pack (but not pictured) was a wheat beer. Steam beers are thought to be related to German "Dampfbier (in German dampf=steam and bier = beer). However dampfbier is an ale.

The band NOFX references Anchor Steam beer in their song "Scavenger Type"



Links to Topics in Beer Selection

  • Amazon - If you are going to buy from Amazon follow any of the Amazon links from our site first and we will get a small percentage of your purchase. It costs you nothing and helps us keep the beer flowing. 
  • Anchor Brewing - THe official web site
  • Anchor Steam Beer - Straight to the beer we love
  • Anchor Steam Beer Soap - ??? or shameless plug


Beer Selection - Podcast 4

#drunkphysicists #SaveDougFromTheMexicanCartel




Podcast 4 Beer Selection



SpeakEasy Logo

 For those of you that are keeping up with our beer selection you will be familar with SpeakEasy from the last podcast. Dan keeps bringing this one in and we are always grateful.

Dan likes the IPA's the best, Mike tends toward the wheat beers, and Doug just likes anything that you put in his mouth. I don't think that Max got to this beer during the podcast time. We will have him try some next time he is in the studio.






This beer comes the Firestone Brewery located in Paso Robles, CA. You can find more info at their website. If you are in the central California region you will know this brewery from their 805 brand which is served at many local restaurants.


When Dan first tasted this beer he thought is was too sweet. Mike and Max were in agreement that it was sweet, but actually liked the taste and drank all of Dan's portion. If you navigate to the podcast 4 page you can listen to the extra audio near the bottom  and listen to our opinions. 









This is another new one that Dan brought in. I would say that everyone classified it as 'alright', and not much more. We may have one one back in the future but not anytime soon. Maybe Doug wants to give it a try.