Sep 162009

Autumn leaf

Fall is here!

Wow – I can’t believe Fall is here already! I had a really crappy summer – the weather ruined just about every weekend I had at home, while wedding planning (T -124 days) took up the rest. I look back now and realize how incredible the odds were that every weekend we planned wedding stuff for would be beautiful, and every other weekend would be raining/hurricaning/fire storming. Yea, I can’t win a scratch off Lottery game, but I can defy the laws of probability when it comes to lost brewing opportunities!

Anyway, with Summer 2009 a bust, we look forward pleadingly towards Autumn to right the wrongs Nature has smacked us with. As previously mentioned, I am planning a nice pumpkin spice ale and a porter with the star anise I picked up a few months ago. A couple of questions for discussion and debate –

1. Pumpkin ale – with or without real pumpkin?
2. Star anise in a rich chocolate porter – yay or nay?
3. Have you ever used cardamom in beer? It goes well with tea…
4. Can I somehow work my avocado fetish into one of these beers?

Also, let me know what you have cooking for the Fall and holiday seasons!

Sep 152009


iPhone - it makes calls, too!

In addition to planning my Fall brews (going to try a pumpkin spiced beer, and make something with that star anise I mentioned last time), I’ve been playing around with developing applications for the iPhone. Naturally, I thought about joining my love of brewing with this new endeavor and making some brewing or beer related apps.

There are already a few brewing apps I’ve seen out there – Joshua Baran created a BJCP Style Guidelines app which is great – searchable, elegant, and free! Also, “nurl” has produced a gem of a brewing app called Brew Pal – this is a steal at $0.99. It is really full-featured, well-supported, and is a lot of fun to use on brewdays. In addition to those two apps (which I own), there are a handful of other offerings out there.

My question to the masses – what kind of brewing/beer apps would YOU like to see? Some brewing calculator or utility app? A beer/bar/brewery related app? Ingredient inventory app? I have a couple of ideas in mind, but I’m curious to see if there is a pressing need out there I could address. Email/comment me with your ideas – if I actually develop it and it hits market, I’ll make sure you get credit for the idea and a free copy of the finished program.