Friday, February 07, 2014

Wrapping up for the Weekend

Let's look into our mail bag....

From the crew at Tailwinds Distillery -- we got this message:



February 2014

Short and Sweet (like Jamey)

Happy New Year! Is it too late to still say that?  This email is premature as we will have a lot to talk about in a few weeks. Right now I am announcing that we are opening up for volunteers for bottling batch 2 of Midnight Caye rested agave this Sunday, February 9th. You can sign up for the volunteer list at
Bottling starts at noon and should take 4 hours.
You heard correctly... Batch 2 of Midnight Caye Rested will be available after Sunday. After sampling it from the barrel we are very excited!
We cant thank you enough for your continued support! This list has grown to well over 420 people. Amazing!
That is all for now stay tuned for more new shortly..

If any of our fans are out there looking for a fun way to spend a Sunday -- and help out a Craft Distiller -- Give them a visit and use the link above to sign up. One day I hope to make a batch bottling someday, but this one we can't do.

From Mississippi River Distillery:
  A whole new flavor is on it's way to help you get through the chill of winter!  Our newest installment of our "Still Crazy" series is a smoked whiskey called Six Shooter Smoke

We added a cherry wood smoked barley to our Cody Road Rye recipe and ended up with a uniquely smokey and spicy whiskey.

The smoke is reminiscent of a sweet barbecue with the spice of rye.  This one is a little crazy indeed!

We only made 1,032 bottles of this one, so it will go quickly.  We will be releasing this at the distillery on Feb. 7.  Make plans to get your hands on some!


Then hold on for April as Queen Bee Honey Whiskey returns!

I really like MRD and will be going out there again. They HAVE to bring back the Sorghrum back!!!

While we are there -- This was mentioned as well - and could not go to a nicer guy!


While he distills whiskey for a living, Mississippi River Distilling Company's distiller Scot Schaar is big into fermenting brew at home as well.  Schaar was recently honored as the 2013 Iowa Homebrewer of the Year.   
To be eligible for this distinction, a homebrewer must enter and place in three of four competitions throughout the year in the state.  The competitions are held all over Iowa with 26 different categories and sub categories.  Each entry in the various categories earns points.  Schaar entered multiple brews in each competition.   
Schaar was also honored as the runner up in the 2013 Midwest Homebrewer of the Year (MWHBOY) competition.  This competition encompasses 13 Midwest states and 15 competitions throughout the year.  Points are accumulated by winning first, second or third place in any of the homebrew competitions in the MWHBOY Circuit.  A brewer's accumulated points are multiplied by his winning percentage (his ratio of medals to entries) to calculate his net score, upon which the competition's rankings are based.  In 2013, Schaar medaled with 26 of his entries. 
            "I've been entering competitions for 10 years, a little more serious in the last three to four years and then sending samples out to farther competitions," Schaar says.  "The competitions really help with brewing by reading the judges' feedback as well as talking to other homebrewers and hearing other techniques.  Craft beer has gotten huge in the past five to ten years.  My equipment and craft has also grown over that time starting with just a pot on the kitchen stove to now having a fairly extensive system in my garage."

            In addition to entering homebrew competitions, Schaar also judges similar homebrew competitions.  He says judging is another good way to expand your palate and learn things to incorporate into his own beers.       
            Schaar has one more prestigious competition to go.  He has two beers qualified for the Master's Championship of Amateur Brewing competition (MCAB).  This is an annual national championship competition for homebrewers.  Brewers qualify for this event by competing in various qualifying events.  Placing first in any MCAB recognized category qualifies the entrant for admission into the MCAB championship competition, known as a "champions' championship" in the homebrew circuit.   
            Schaar started at Mississippi River Distilling Company in October 2012.  He had watched the business from the ground up and often helped during bottling nights and other events.  His knowledge of brewing naturally translated into distilling.  "His brewing background has been a huge asset to Scot and to our company."  said owner Ryan Burchett.  "Until it goes into the still, making whiskey is a brewing process.  So we've definitely learned from him. He has a real passion that shows in his beers and in the spirits he makes here.  We're really excited that he is getting some formal recognition for it."

That's it for today -- see you next time!

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