A very abridged version of what is happening today in Edinburgh, Scotland to a friend of CellarMonks - The Elixir Brew Co.
It seems that a regional brewer, Everards Brewery Ltd, has sent Elixir a cease & desist letter brandishing trademark of the term "Elixir". Everards has produced one beer that was termed "elixir". This was produced as a summer cask special. As of this writing, the company's own website makes no mention of that beer.
The owners and brewers of Elixir are hardworking, gracious people just trying to produce unique one-off beers for the enjoyment of those in and around Edinburgh. They are no threat commercially to Everards, yet are looking at having to shut down (possibly) as of Friday, March 7th in order to comply with the C&D.
What You Can Do
Jump on Twitter, do a search on #SaveElixirBrewCo and keep up to date on what is happening.
Head over to Everards Brewery's Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/everards} and let them know what you think.
Just keep spreading the word in general.
There are already more than 30 beers with "elixir" in their name (according to another beer review website).
We will be updating this article should we receive any more information. Stay tuned.
Update: For a detailed description of what is happening please read The BeerCast - Everards to trademark Elixir Brewing Co out of existence
Update: A statement from Everards Brewery's Facebook Page:
Update: A statement from Everards Brewery's Facebook Page @ 8:37PM:
Thanks for your comments. Trademarking is a standard business practice that we will continue to use, however the team at Everards have reflected on this particular case. We have decided that, as the name refers to the company rather than the beer, we will not pursue this any further. We are passionate about ale and support other brewers - this is demonstrated by our Project William work. We usually handle such issues directly between breweries but were keen to update immediately.
A first here at CellarMonk Beer. In our entire interview collection we had yet to interview someone from the serving end of the beer lifecycle. Well, we can cross that off the list now. We were lucky enough to get a Publican (for Americans that is someone who runs a pub, not a political party) to sit in the Comfy Computer Chair of Fame and tell us about his experiences running a pub. So please welcome to CellarMonk, our first publican, Mr. Matt Wickham.
Name of the Pub: The Evening Star (A Dark Star Pub)
When was the business founded and by whom?
It has been under current ownership since march 1992, owned by Peter Halliday and has been run since 1995 by Dark Star Brewery of which he is Chairman
Has the location that the pub is in always been a pub? If not, what was the previous business? Why the change?
It has always been a pub and can be seen on the 1871 census. It was previously owned by Courage.
How many employees (full and part time)?
3 full time and 7 part time working between 1 and 4 shifts per week.
How long is the typical day for the publican?
It can vary and certainly rarely 9-5. On a bad day I can be doing deliveries at 8.30am and still working at midnight. Staff sickness is always one to mess with hours if nobody else can cover.
Do you simply manage the pub or are you also the keg/cask wrangler, keep, table clearer, etc?
We're very hands on here, I always do the majority of work in the cellar, being a cask led pub this is often hard work! There's not much we don't do really, even unsavoury things like unblocking drains has been known!
Is food available at your pub? If so, your favorite meal (beer and food)?
Being a small bar it's never really had a big food trade. We had a chef a while ago that made amazing burgers but the food trade wasn't enough for a chef to make a living. In recent years we've only had cold snacks. People come for the beer!
How much can you pack into a week of travel? What places and people will you run into? How many different beer experiences can you have?
These are questions that just about every traveler serious about beer and a sense of adventure should ask themselves. Whether going alone (not recommended, if for nothing else than sharing expenses) or traveling with a group of friends, the traveler should try to experience what they can within the the bounds of time and camaraderie. I'd like to share with you one of my favorite experiences of the past few years which took place over nine days in 2008 and had us in five cities. To add at least a modicum of detail, I will be breaking my adventure into four parts.
Amsterdam - Day 1
As this trip was planned (our little group usually plans at least the cities we will visit a couple months prior to travel), our first stop would be Amsterdam, The Netherlands. My roommate, for at least the first few days of the trip, had gotten us a hotel room very convenient to the main train station. We would be leaving early the next morning and heading to Brussels, Belgium in order to attend a once every two year beer festival (more on that later) and this made it easy to pick up and go. My first day in Amsterdam was what I expected. Amsterdam is a very large city and for someone unfamiliar with its streets, it can be somewhat confusing. Not knowing where exactly my roommate had booked the hotel, led me to wander around one of the busiest parts of the city looking like the quintessential lost tourist (backpack, water bottle, sleepy glazed over been on a plane for 8 hours look). As it happens, I did a lot of wandering for nothing. The hotel was within eyesight of the train station (my new phone has GPS). Lesson learned.
Stopping and dropping my backpack at the hotel and freshening up a bit was the first order of business. My travel mate, Gordon, had been to Amsterdam before, so he had a much better grasp of the city than I did. Since we would only be spending one night in Amsterdam in the beginning of the trip, with two days spent at the end, we did not do very much sightseeing. Being new to the city as I was though provided me with an immediate mini-sightseeing adventure. Gordon and I took off for parts both known and unknown. You see, many times we travel with a sense of purpose (gonna see this or see that), but not a very good sense of direction. Mainly wandering and stopping when something seemed interesting. Most of the time what interested us was one bar/pub or another. Since Gordon would not be with us the last two days of the trip, he wanted to stop at local shops and try local beers. Being the accommodating person that I am, I obliged. A good part of my time spent wandering with Gordon on the streets of Amsterdam was spent trying not to get run over not by cars, but bicycles. They are everywhere you look. On the streets, in alleys, in the canals or chained to posts, bicycles are a mass mode of transportation in Amsterdam.
Just in time for their 3rd Anniversary and with Veterans Day having just passed, we bring you the latest brewer courageous enough to sit in the Comfy Computer Chair of Fame. Swatting away our grueling questions as if they were just practice targets, CellarMonk is proud to present to you Navy veteran and head brewer for Railhouse Brewing, Mr. Brian Evitts. SALUTE.
Name(s): Brian Evitts
Brewery Name: Railhouse Brewery
How long have you beer head brewer/brewmaster there?
Three years, since Railhouse’s inception. Our third anniversary is December 1.
Any type of formal training in brewing science or art? If not, how did you learn the craft?
I learned by home brewing for 15 years--10 years all grain. I also had 8 years working in a chemistry background in the US Navy. Before opening the brewery, I knew I needed some commercial training, so I took a course with the World Brewing Academy, Siebel Institute of Technology.
If you will, a brief history of your brewing experience (where have you brewed)?
Railhouse Brewery is my first commercial brewery experience. I had brewed for 15+ years as a home brewer and studied extensively on my own (home and commercial brewing text books, online courses, blogs).
How large is the brewery (# of barrels annually)?
Last year's production was just under 1,400 barrels. We expect that to double next year. We’ve purchased an additional conditioning tank to allow us to increase capacity.
Is it automated or is there a lot of exercise involved in your brewery's operation?
Very manual, almost no automation. We still stir in the mash manually! Only automation is our solenoids to keep temps stable. We recently purchased a new bottling machine and labeler, though it will be a couple more weeks until we have them up and running.
Have you ever had a bad batch? If so, how long did it take you to figure out what caused it?
Yes, we had three bad batches in the first year. It was due to us using open fermentation tanks, and we did not have enough of a positive pressure environment so we had some sour beer straight from the fermenter. Took us about three weeks to fix the issue.
After a long haitus, we are back with a new homebrewer interview. Hailing from Durham (NC and not England) we welcome a homebrewer that is pretty new to the hobby. Nonetheless, he seems to have taken it to heart and is enjoying the fruits of his labors. Welcome to the Comfy Computer Chair of Fame, Mr. Bryan Roth.
Name: Bryan Roth Twitter Handle:@BryanDRoth
Day Job: Writer, photographer and videographer for Duke University in Durham, NC
When did you start homebrewing?
November 2011. I bought a starter kit from Northern Homebrewer and a recipe for a extract/steep cherry-chocolate stout. Oddly enough, my brother was planning to get into homebrewing at the same time, unbeknownst to me. We both starting brewing that fall.
What got you into homebrewing? A person? An unfulfilled interest? Sheer boredom?
A little bit of each, I imagine. It wasn’t until 2007 when I started trying to really enjoy craft beer and it took me a couple of years to get to the point where I wanted to know more about what went into making such a delicious drink. I made a friend in Durham who also happened to be a homebrewer, so I joined him for all-grain brew days and got hooked. I bought my starter kit and was on my way.
Do you belong to a homebrew club? What is it?
I will VERY rarely attend a meeting of the Triangle Unabashed homeBrewers club, or TRUB. It’s a group that meets once a month in Durham.
Where do you brew? Inside/outside?
My wife can’t stand the smell of boiling wort – we all have our flaws, don’t we? – so I was sent outside. I’m lucky that my home has a small concrete patio slab, where I set up a turkey fryer and my six-gallon brew pot. I always brew early in the morning on weekends so I can clean up and have the rest of the day ahead of me.
Where do you ferment? Have you had to do anything creative to facilitate this?
I have portions of two closets in my home for beer storage. I ferment in carboys in a downstairs closet where temperature ranges are consistent and bottle condition in an upstairs closet.
I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
-- Tom Waits