Good Robot Brewing Co.

Beer News

My Beer: My Friend, My Confidant

A column about booze, anxiety, and feeling like you’re a part of something.

Walking through the gates of Good Robot on a busy weekend can feel intimidating as all hell – even for an employee. The people are crowded together, the cups filled to the brim with a new beer that you don’t recognize, and you feel like not even the shadow that casts over the gastroturf can protect you.

But our beer, it doesn’t judge. Our beer doesn’t ask questions or cast expectations. Our beer will run right up to you and ask you to be its friend.

That’s at least what I found in my 3 months working with GRBC.

The Goseface is my sour friend when I’m in need for a little bitch-fest and a half, or when I’m really ticked off about my “grown-up job.” She gives me the salty edge I need to carry on.

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Now, the nuttiest of them all, is the smoky Camacho Lager. He can be a really big ass, but man, can I let loose with this guy. He is a goof, and he is a great listener. He’s my go-to when I need to just be myself. Continue reading

It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere

By Dan Hendricken
5pm. 17:00 hours. Quitting Time. For years, this has been the time society has told us it’s ‘appropriate’ to have a beer. Well, personally I am sick of this. I’m tired of being told when i can have a drink. I’m a +19 adult, and just like doing my taxes, I’ll start drinking whenever I feel like it.

This freedom train is not done rolling though, because I’m talking about having a few beach beers on a long weekend. I’m talking about having a few adult beverages on a Tuesday in March. Break out the bus tickets, Daddy is having himself a weekday.

Do not go boldly into this brave new world of day drinking blind though, my friend. Day drinking is a tricky beast, look no further than every episode of Cops for proof. So here is a quick guide to day drinking, along with some classy recommendations to pair your beer perfectly with the time of day. Continue reading

By in Beer News 0

Beer Releases – May

It’s raining outside, which means summer is on it’s way. And with these scorching 13°C days come some crushable beers to sweat out as quick as you drink ’em.

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Our Koji Kondo – Sake Beer was a fun little experiment. See, we love sake. For a long time it was our go-to on nights where we just couldn’t fit any more beer in. Something about the crisp rice and fruity character just screamed, “$14 at the NSLC.” And typically, we’d play a lot of Super Smash Brothers while drinking it. So it’s only appropriate that we paid tribute to the composer of so many classic Nintendo themes with a beer brewed with flaked rice, pale and pilsner malts, Sorachi Ace hops and sake yeast. Available May 12 as part of Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week.

Speaking of Super Smash Bros., Doug bought a boatload of Oceanian hops and is doing a series of SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beers in order to empty out our freezer. First up: a beer brewed with pale malt, Dr. Rudi hops and Californa Ale yeast (name TBD). Look for it sometime in late May.

May also marks the return of the David Lynch classic Twin Peaks. Naturally, we had to capitalize on this and are releasing the Damn Fine Coffee & Cherry Pie – Pale Ale just in time for the show’s debut on May 21.

Also look for a variety of our other classic beers on tap in the next little while, including the Leave Me Blue – Corn. As always, our beer page is updated daily with the current tap list.

By in Beer News, Brewing 0

Insane in the Spent Grain: Barley Shortage

Beer, as we know it, may be in danger.

We frequently hear of hops shortages, though rarely does one hear of an equally important problem: malted (roasted) barley shortage. While demand currently fits supply, within a decade, supply could be problematic.

How did this happen?

CLIMATE


In the past 135 years of global temperature data, 4 of the 5 hottest months on record all happened in 2015. Near-droughts, excessive rain and weather fluctuations yielded poorer quality crops in 2013 and 2014.

AMERICAN BREWERIES

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As poor as the Canadian crops were, the American crops suffered even worse. By virtue of NAFTA, tariffs on Canadian malt were eliminated and American breweries began purchasing Canadian crops without restraint.

BEEF

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Most barley is produced to feed cattle. Canadian beef production is down. Mad cow disease continues to hurt Canadian beef export. In addition, an increasing number of citizens are eating healthier and sustainably by reducing or eliminating red meat from their diets.

GMOs

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Barley for beef feed is competing with soybeans, canola and corn, all genetically modified crops with better resilience, production and pricing than barley. Monsanto Company invested $10M over 10 years for short-season corn in Alberta, destroying barley competition in Canada’s biggest barley province.

CRAFT BEER

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Macrobreweries tend to use alternatives to malt, such as corn and rice, to cheapen production. Popular macro beers also tend to be lighter and lower in alcohol. Therefore, craft breweries use, on average, 4x the amount of malt per unit volume than macrobreweries, creating a higher demand on barley.

THE FUTURE OF BEER

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In the next 10 years, we have 180k metric tonnes of malting capacity under build. Projections show we’ll need 1M metric tonnes (Canada Malting Group Annual Presentation, Halifax, 2015). Canada will begin importing European and Australian malt sooner than later, though the incoming El Niño cycle will likely yield a very harsh winter in Europe and hotter and drier conditions in Australia. Expect wheat beers to gain prominence since wheat is more resilient than barley and GMO wheat will likely enter the commercial market soon. Brewers may also begin experimenting more with sugary alternatives to barley, like sorghum, millet, rice, corn, quinoa, spelt, oats, and rye.

But, you know, the picture isn’t that bleak. We adapt. We’ll always find a way to get buzzed. Ever had prison hooch with rotted fruits fermented in a sock?