Thursday, April 29, 2010

Brewery Trivia

The Alaskan Brewing Company donates 1% of all proceeds from the sale of their Alaskan IPA to charities supporting the cleanup and continued preservation of oceans and coastlines.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Label Trivia

Franziskaner's name comes from the fact that its original brewery was located across the street from a Franciscan monastery in Munich. The current label pays tribute to these beginnings with its depiction of a Franciscan Friar.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beer Facts

The Seattlest recently posted an article about the Upright Brewing Company and their new Oyster Stout. They aren't alone, either. East Coast-based Flying Fish Brewing Co and Harpoon Brewery have been brewing their own oyster stouts as well, according to an article from The Washington Post.

The oysters seem to typically be brewed with the beer for a short period of time (15 minutes or so) and then removed. The shells open slightly, allowing some of the liquid into the beer, and the brew retains calcium from the shells.

The articles review the stouts positively, noting that they don't taste at all like seafood. Sounds like an interesting brew, for the bold enthusiast.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Top 50 Breweries of 2009

The Brewers Association recently released the Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies and the Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies of 2009. These lists are tabulated based on beer sales volume. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that 76% of breweries that made the Overall Brewing Companies list were, in fact, craft brewers.

Both lists are available here. Pacific Northwest breweries who made it into the Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies were Pyramid Breweries, Deschutes Brewery, Alaskan Brewing Co., Full Sail Brewing Co., Rogue Ales/Oregon Brewing Co., BridgePort Brewing Co., and Mac and Jack’s Brewery.

Congratulations to the Calf & Kid!!!

Today, Seattle will see the opening of its latest (and our favorite) small business - The Calf & Kid Artisan Cheese Shop. The proprietor, Sheri LaVigne, is a good friend and has been a great inspiration to us as entrepreneurs. She has put an insane amount of work into getting this shop off the ground, and has kicked ass every step of the way. We are so happy and excited that today, she gets to see her dream become a reality.

Fromage lovers, be sure to stop by the shop in the near future for some cheesy goodness. If you're curious, but don't know a whole lot about fancy cheeses, fear not - Sheri knows her stuff and will take the time to find exactly the right cheese to make you fall in love and come back for more.

Anyone who has ever made a go at a small business will tell you that the planning and the building is arduous. It takes phenomenal patience and perseverance, because anything that can slow you down or trip you up will probably happen, and the only way to survive is to deal with it. Sheri took each new challenge in stride, and today, gets to enjoy having it all pay off.

We look forward to experiencing that joy and satisfaction ourselves, one day. Today though, please join us in raising a glass to Sheri and the Calf & Kid, and make time to stop by and visit her in the coming weeks. The shop is located on Minor, between Pike and Pine (next to Sonic Boom).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Business Plan is revamped!

Writing a business plan seems like a straightforward enough exercise - do the math, show your work, share a taste of the inspiration behind the business that has you excited, and keep things clear and readable.

Sitting down to actually put those brushstrokes to the proverbial canvas turns out to be more of a challenge. Some of the best advice we received from the Small Business Association was to keep in mind that a spreadsheet is not a business, just a backbone - and they couldn't be more right. Finding the words to properly convey the heart and soul of the business we've been dreaming about, planning for, and researching for the past four years is no mean feat; my backspace key is about four strokes away from being worn out after the past few weeks of writes and rewrites.

But the good news is, once you finally hammer the last pieces into shape, once the tabs all start to fit into the slots and the document you're holding actually does what you want it to do - to encapsulate the dream that's been keeping you awake for more nights than you can remember and hopefully make it infectious - it's easy to see why it's such a key piece of any venture.

It's a symphony, really - and I don't say that to highlight the work we've done so much as to salute all those who have come before us. Done right, it's complex math and stirring poetry and effective organizational design all woven into a single tapestry that hopefully manages to paint the right picture for would-be supporters. If you've written one in the past, you know how tired we are. If you haven't, I hope you can get to be this kind of tired someday; it's a really good feeling.

If you're interesting in exploring becoming an investor in the Ankerhaus Pub, please email us a request for the business plan at We'd love to welcome you to the team.

Carbon-friendly Bottles

This post seemed appropriate for Earth Day.

Dr. Vino recently posted an article on Tony Soter, of the Soter Vineyards in Oregon. In an effort to reduce his wine's carbon footprint, Soter is decreasing the packaging mass of the bottles by going from bottles weighing 900g to bottles weighing 600g. These new bottles will be locally-produced (rather than imported from France) from recycled glass, and made using hydro-electric power.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jurassic Beer

That's right, you heard me. Take a look at that title again if you need to.
This story originally broke a couple of years ago, but it's worth revisiting.
The Fossil Fuels Brewing Company brews beers from yeast dating back 45 million years. Dr. Raul Cano, scientist and brewery co-founder, cultivated yeast that he extracted from the body of a bee encased in amber. He then used it to brew beer. You see where I'm going with this? It's awesome. It's like Jurassic Park, but with beer, and way fewer Velociraptors.
Apparently, this ancient yeast makes an interesting brew, giving the beer a slightly spicy, clovey flavor.
The beer had originally only been available at the Stumptown Brewery in Guerneville, California and at Kelley Bros. Brewing in Manteca, California, with plans to expand to additional markets. These businesses don't seem to be serving it anymore, but the Stumptown website indicates that Fossil Fuels plans to start brewing in a new facility in the near future, so maybe we will get the opportunity to sample it some day.

From the Vine

The Snoqualmie Winery was one of the first Washington wineries to make wine from USDA-certified organic grapes. They employ sustainable practices in all of their winemaking, and established the Snoqualmie Naked label to distinguish their wines grown from grapes in their organic fields. You can find more information about their wines and view a copy of their Sustainability Report at their website.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brewery Trivia

The Alaskan Brewing Company opened in 1986, making it the first brewery to open in Juneau since the Prohibition era. Their Alaskan Amber (a favorite of ours) is based on a recipe from a local turn-of-the-century brewery. They have since expanded and now brew a variety of year-round and seasonal beers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Tour de Fat Dates Announced

Attention bike lovers! The New Belgium Beer Company's annual Tour de Fat will be headed to 13 different cities (including Seattle) throughout the summer. This event raises money each year for bicycle and environmental charities. Check out their website and Facebook page for details and a schedule of events.

Here is a full list of participating cities:

June 26 - Chicago, Palmer Square Park
July 3 - Milwaukee, Humboldt Park
July 10 - Minneapolis, Loring Park
July 31 - Seattle, Gasworks Park
August 14 - Portland, Waterfront Park
August 21 - Boise, Anne Morrison Park
September 4 - Fort Collins, Mothership
September 11 - Denver, City Park
September 25 - San Francisco, Lindley Meadows in Golden Gate Park
October 2 - San Diego, Balboa Park
October 9 - Tempe, Tempe Town Park
October 23 - Los Angeles, L.A. Historic Park
October 30 - Austin, Fiesta Gardens

Sustainable Wine

A couple of weeks ago, the Seattle Times ran an article detailing the various sustainable practices that are being utilized by eco-friendly vineyards. The article only focuses on a couple of specific wineries, but it does give some interesting information regarding the process and the different methods that can be put into place to try to produce a minimal environmental impact.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Beer Facts

Irish red ale is traditionally a pale ale that gains it reddish color from a small amount of roasted barley that is added during the brewing process.

Friday, April 16, 2010

World Beer Cup Winners

The Brewers Association has just announced the winners of the 2010 World Beer Cup. 642 breweries from 44 countries competed with 3,330 beers across 90 different beer style categories.

A full list of winners is available here, but below, I have highlighted local favorites from Washington. Congratulations!

  • Black Raven's Coco Jones Porter won Gold in Herb & Spice or Chocolate Beer
  • Snipes Mountain Brewing Co's Harvest won Silver in Experimental Beer
  • Boundary Bay Brewery's Dunkles Bock took silver in German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock
  • Golden Hills Brewing Co. took Bronze for American-style Dark Lager
  • Redhook's Mudslinger Ale took Bronze in English-Style Brown Ale
  • Black Raven's Tamerlane Brown Porter took Gold in Brown Porter
  • Walking Man Brewing's Jay Walker won Bronze in British-Style Imperial Stout
  • Boundary Bay Brewery's Cabin Fever won Bronze in Strong Ale
  • Rock Bottom Brewery's Hop Bomb IPA won Silver in American-Style Strong Pale Ale
  • Boundary Bay Brewery's Imperial IPA won Bronze in Imperial India Pale Ale

From the Vine

In 1965, David Lett established the Eyrie Vineyards, becoming the first person to produce Pinot noir in Oregon, and the first person to produce Pinot gris in the country. He had spent time studying Pinot grapes in Europe, and theorized that the Willammette Valley would perfectly offer the marginal climate that the grapes require to properly achieve their desired expression. Lett took his Pinots to the Wine Olympics in France in 1979 and 1980, where they finished third and second, respectively, and put Oregon on the map as a serious Pinot-producing region. Eyrie continues bottling quality Pinots to this day, and has been producing Pinot noir from a single vineyard longer than any other winery in the country.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brewery Trivia

In 2005, the Full Sail Brewing Company introduced its Session Premium Lager. A tribute to pre-Prohibition-era beers, Session is packaged in a short, stubby brown bottle.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

North American Organic Brewers Festival

The North American Organic Brewers Festival will take place June 25th-27th in Portland, OR. This annual event features beers from around the globe that are either certified organic, or brewed with organic ingredients. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Oregon Food Bank.

In a continuing effort to promote sustainability, the festival is now using tasting cups made from cornstarch, rather than plastic. The corn cups are 100% compostable, and are made using solar energy and domestically-grown corn. Additionally, all vendors will be using compostable plates and flatware, and the festival's energy needs will be provided by a biodiesel-fueled generator.

If you're near Portland, or can make the trip, this looks to be an exciting event.

Beer Facts

Milk stout is not made with actual milk - instead, it contains lactose. This sugar is unaffected by beer yeast, so it is not broken down during the fermentation process. This leaves the stout with the sweet, creamy quality that it is known for.

My Milk Stout Haiku was inspired by a fantastic brew that Chris and I sampled over the weekend. It's made by the Left Hand Brewing Company, and I highly suggest you check it out, if you have the opportunity.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Milk Stout Haiku

Sweet milky goodness
Offsetting your bitter edge
Dark, creamy brilliance.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bonnie and Clyde

Last weekend, I caught Bonnie and Clyde on TV. It was great to be able to sit down and watch the film in its entirety - the last time I tried to watch it, my cats were being jackasses and accidentally knocked the cable connector out of the wall just moments before our bank-robbing heroes were gunned down.

It's interesting to think about how the state of affairs has come pretty much full circle, and how today's economic climate and hatred of the money system bears a striking similarity to that of the bank-robbing Depression days. In the 1930's, criminals like the Barrow Gang and John Dillinger garnered a certain amount of fame as folk heroes. In the struggling economy, the populace liked to hear stories of rebels sticking it to The Man by robbing the evil lenders who were first robbing decent, hard-working people out of their homes and businesses in the form of foreclosures. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

As we have been approaching this venture, the biggest hurdle has been the financing. Of course, that is true for any small business owner, regardless of the state of the economy. The money is always and will always be the most daunting aspect, but it is especially true in times of recession.

And even though we are told that we should see improvement in 2010, banks continue to be very tight with their lending. We have been told by several banks that they had completely stopped lending to ventures in the hospitality industry. Others refuse to even consider a loan application unless the applicant is able to put up hard collateral, which is not an option. We cannot afford to buy a $300,000 house in order to qualify for a $150,000 business loan. So what alternatives exist for people like us? Regular people, who don't come from old money, who have an idea and are willing to work hard to make it a reality? (NOTE: I am not implying here that we plan to rob any banks. Bank-robbing is not a behavior that we at the Ankerhaus condone or endorse).

Experts say that many small business owners and start-ups are turning to (and finding success in) alternate and less-traditional methods of fundraising. Articles from (another article found here) and Small Business Notes advocate these innovative options, which include turning more heavily to family and friends as business investors.

This method appeals to us greatly - not just because it may help to get this venture off the ground, but because it ties in to one of the guiding principals behind this business. There is something very special and enticing about the idea of a handful of dedicated individuals making this dream a reality. Of the idea that our friends and family will entrust their hard-earned dollars to us in an effort to help make our dreams come true. And in return, we are empowered by the fact that the people we care about will be the ones who reap the benefits of their investment, rather than a faceless corporate entity solely concerned with a bottom line and profit margin. We want this to benefit the people like us - the people who were willing to take a chance and have some faith.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wine Searcher

Have you ever come across a fantastic bottle of wine at a restaurant or a party, only to discover later that your local retailer does not carry it? If the answer is "yes," your next step should be to check out This is a great resource for tracking those bottles down. You can locate local retailers that carry what you're looking for, or find online shops that can ship it to you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Washington Tops 650 Wineries

ABC News posted an AP article last week detailing the growth of the Washington wine industry. It's a short, but interesting read. Check it out!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Brewery Trivia

When the Redhook Brewery first opened in Seattle in 1981, it's original Redhook Ale (brewed in a Belgian style) became known in the city as "banana beer" due to its distinct flavor.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Taste Washington 2010

Last weekend, the Washington Wine Commission sponsored Taste Washington 2010. This annual weekend-long event includes local restaurant awards, various wine and food-related seminars, and culminates with the Grand Tasting, highlighting 200 local wineries and 60 local restaurants. I was sadly unable to attend (though I hope to be a part of the experience next year). Fortunately for all of us, Wine Peeps put together a recap of the experience, including a list of the array of wines they were able to sample, and how they rated.