Last Thursday, May 30th, we had our first canning run on our brand new Wild Goose canning line and overall it went pretty smooth but we did end up with 60 cases of beer that we weren’t able to sell as our dissolved oxygen numbers were too high for our standards. Our first beer canned was our cream label throwback “CRAFT BEER” which contains one of our original recipes the British Bitter/ English Pale Ale. Luckily our staff was able to put a large dent in that and still show up on time on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. No doubt they are true professionals. If you didn’t already know one of our company tag lines has been, “Beer not consumed by the staff, is put up for sale to the public.”
Our high standards come from our head brewer, Dylan, who sometimes sits up late at night with a pint of genuine Civil Life beer and thinks about a lot of same things beer drinking aliens think about. Things such as,” Why am I trying to drink beer through my finger?” or, “Do you remember that time NASA sent a spacecraft to Mars but the scientists failed to convert English to metric measurements?” Or more importantly, “How do we get more inter-galactic beer customers?” With craft beer growth on Earth slowing down there is no doubt it’s time for the Civil Life needs to go where no other beer has gone before but for now we will go to Illinois. Got to start somewhere.
This kind of commitment is what makes the Civil Life beers great. Dylan, Mike and Seymour make up our brewing team and they are always searching for ways to improve and always paying attention to the small details. It will be forever true that the substance of any company is in the small details.
On Friday May 31st, our small Civil Life brewery crossed another milestone and added another flag in our cap when we loaded up a truck from our Illinois distributor Robert “Chick” Fritz with cans of our flagship American Brown and CRAFT BEER. (For now, we are holding off on a bigger piece of our distribution puzzle, our great home state of Missouri). Since this was only our second day using the canning line, (it’s able to pump out 2 cases of beer every minute) we knew it would be hard to predict exactly what time we would be ready for the pickup. When their driver, Eric showed up we still had to can about 85 more cases to get him a full 3rd pallet of American Brown. He jumped right in and started helping us fill pallets and load his truck. “Your Friendly Beer Distributor” is printed on the door of every beer truck Chick Fritz owns. I’d probably add hardworking to that as well.
I seem to only remember a few dates these days, my wife’s birthday, my child’s birthday, the day I tried to sit still for 24 hours straight and the day Chick Fritz began distributing us in Illinois in 2015. I’ll tell you more about this when I serve you a pint in our pub. Our Civil Life American Brown is on tap at many great Illinois establishments and it’s entirely because Chick Fritz has believed in the Civil Life and took a chance on us. Some of our many great Missouri customers would be shocked to learn how many times patrons cross the mighty Mississippi to come to the Civil Life. I am looking at you Rob, Bill, Bonnie, Erin, Zach (Go to Taqueria Z in Edwardsville and say hi to Zach and the gang), Matt, Charlie just to name a few. I was sure for many months all of you lived in Tower Grove South. If you live in Missouri and haven’t been to Illinois lately for a few pints you are missing out. There are many great establishments on the other side of the river and we shouldn’t let any river, even if it is a mile wide uh now, 2 miles wide divide us. We are one economic region.
There are many reasons why we chose to distribute first in Illinois and hold off on Missouri for a bit. If you have been paying attention to the odd slow way the Civil Life has grown in reverse the last couple of years, you probably realized that we have been very methodical and patient even when numbers haven’t gone our way. Perhaps to a fault as many other breweries have passed our volume numbers as they went into cans first or have been able to afford a sales staff. It’s okay, I’d say to myself as getting involved in a production race is a bit too much for me since I haven’t been on a track team since 1988. The Civil Life will set no land speed record this year either but Chick Fritz has grown our draft every year we have been with them and they have invested heavily in the Civil Life. Fun Civil Life factoid: Illinois has more Civil Life neons than even St. Louis. We have done several events in Illinois over the years and every time a group from Chick-Fritz is there to enjoy the event. Each year, one of my favorite beer dinners is at Trenton House in Trenton, Illinois (I’ll mark you down for next year) and each year, Chick-Fritz shows up with at least 10 people. Of course, Erin, Bill, Rob and Bonnie were there too this year. The Trenton House annual Civil Life Beer dinner is also the only place in the world that cans have been sold outside of the Civil Life for the past two years.
You might be wondering still why we didn’t try to also release in St. Louis at the same time. Well, honestly when I sent the entire list of our summer production to Chick-Fritz they said they could take it all but also understood that we have other commitments and would be happy with whatever we could send. I thought to myself for over 5 minutes but I thought so hard that it felt like 6 minutes. Once again, I agreed with myself and me that this was the right thing for our small company and that Illinois was the place to launch our cans. Most importantly, this will give us some time to learn how to use this new expensive machine at a pace that works with our current schedule and what we realize now are fairly significant space issues. A huge thank you to our friends across the street from the brewery at EZ Storage that are storing all of our extra kegs.
Simply put, our plan for our first summer of cans is to learn how to walk first. We’ll get all the protocols in place and get our staff trained properly over the next couple of months. We already have made some adjustments from the way we stack our full pallets (thanks Carl!), the pallets new brite (that isn't mispelled but I did misspell misspelled) cans will come in on, our can supplier, our tray supplier and an adjustment on the canning line by adding a non-violent air knife to get more water off the cans before our labels go on. Wasting a roll of labels makes one think that there must be a better way. The first adjustments are the easiest but we’ll also be relentless in our pursuit for dissolved oxygen numbers so low that people think Dylan is some type of beer Sorcerer. Perhaps we’ll even staff up a bit more in case Eric can’t stop by to help us. We’ll take our time learning to walk as we have always believed that it’s harder to do things right if all we are concerned about is going fast. Mach II with our hair on fire just isn’t much of what we do at the Civil Life. We do not at this time have a time line for when we will get to St. Louis in cans outside of our brewery. So perhaps we should call this a long walk or a walkabout. Of which I actually quite like, you might not know but once I walked 500 miles to Cape Finesterre, Spain (translates as End of the Earth) on the Camino de Santiago and I’d walk 500 more. SPOILER ALERT: There is a bar at the end of the Earth just as there should be.
We hope over the next few months we get learned and educatameted on the canning line and are able to take on a bigger task of supplying our thirsty St. Louis patrons in pubs, restaurants and grocery stores. I can assure you nothing would make me prouder in St. Louis than to walk into a convenience store and be able to walk out with a 6 pack of American Brown and some Cheetos. Not to mention the many great bars, restaurants and retail stores that are chomping at the bit to get our cans. That old adage “Patience is a virtue” might seem like a bunch of crap right now but please pop on into the pub some day and we can talk more over a pint. I don’t like to let anyone down but I do wholeheartedly believe this is the correct path for our little brewery.
If I was to look at my magical cracked crystal ball, I’d say my bet (keep in mind I have never won a bet in 46 years but am feeling pretty good about this one) is we will have the canning line running smoothly sometime in the future and be ready to support the St. Louis market sometime after that future day. I don’t want to pin down a date at this point as many of you may recall we announced an expansion in 2016 at our State of the Beer Union address, well, there still is no building on the lot but there is a pretty interesting formation of weeds taking over. Until then please, please seek out our beers on tap around town. If you are a bar or restaurant, the good people at Major Brands can let you know what is available in draft. If you are a true Civil Lifer yourself, the biggest thing you can do for us is ask for the Civil Life on draft when you are at your local pub or restaurant. As I have always said, “Drinking a beer on tap at any establishment is as good as drinking it at the Civil Life.” Best yet, supporting the many pubs and restaurants that carry our beer is what makes our business work in forward motion and not so much in the moonwalk motion of the last 3 years. We can’t do this without them.
We thank you from the bottom of our livers. We thank you for your continued support of our little brewery and for believing in the Civil Life.
There is another old adage that says good things come to those who wait. We say good things come to those who drink Civil Life. Hopefully this stage won’t take long, but I thought it would be best if you heard it from me. If you are looking for some of that CRAFT BEER for sale. You might want to head across the river and say hello.
As for us, our small brewery just got a little less small. We’ll keep reaching inside and moving onward at a Civil pace. We’re not sure where we are going or when we will get there or even how to get there. But when we do get to where we didn’t expect to be we will let you know we have arrived at someplace in the future. Until then, I will keep asking myself and me if I am really the correct person to run this brewery. Survey says, "Perhaps" as the crowd says, “Build that Bar.” Decoder rings are available for this blog post by sitting at the bar and talking with me. No extra charges apply.
Captain of the “sometimes wayward” Barley Ship
Recent changes in our beer list highlight our movement further into lager season. Civil Lager and Vienna Lager are selling briskly. Regular-favorite Dortmunder is back. Today our hugely popular Czech Pilsner goes on. And stay tuned for the return of Carlbock (the beer that miraculously restored health to one of our regulars after a serious motorcycle accident).
Our Civil Lager is crisp, clean, and simple. This golden lager beer will appeal to craft and non-craft beer drinkers alike. It is a refreshingly crisp beer than still has some bready malt and subtle hop spice. Needless to say, this pairs well with much summer food, especially tacos on Sunday.
Vienna Lager is a lighter, drier cousin of Oktoberfest. It is an accessible copper-colored lager with a distinctive toasted malt character and a dry finish. German noble hops impart a pleasant spiciness. Don’t let Charlie and Alex drink it all … again. Stop in and get it while we have it.
Related to Pilsner and Helles, Dortmunder is a refreshing golden lager with good malt body and pleasant hop character. Fuller bodied and maltier than Pilsner, this lager features subtle floral and spice hop notes. Malt rich but refreshing, this classic German style is always a huge hit.
Czech Pilsner, a crisp and tasty golden beer, is our take on the world’s first pilsner. Ingredients sourced from the Czech Republic give this refreshing lager round malt character and subtle floral and spice hop notes. This great style is anxiously awaited each year and, now, it is back on tap, so stop in for a pint or two.
Ah, the #Carlbock. This golden colored bock beer is named for our good friend Carl. It is a helles bock, or strong golden lager. This complex yet drinkable beer is full bodied with delicate fruity notes and subtle hop spice and a dry finish. It was this hashtagged brew that introduced so many people to that thing called Twitter. A sip of this magical lager will return you to the days when Twitter was used to spread information about beer, not political propaganda.
The beer list is filling in nicely, but in a state of flux, as always. Don’t miss these stellar beers. Come down and visit us at the pub and try them all. Or just return to your favorite. See you soon @TheCivilLife.
A Long-Awaited Spring Brings Spring Beers
As our lengthy winter shows signs of departing for good, we look forward to what some regard as the finest season of all: lager season. Our lager yeast strain is in house and many favorite beers are poised to return to slake the thirstiest of Civil drinkers.
Over the coming weeks, you can expect the return of some old favorites. Now is a good time to revisit our versions of these traditional German styles. As the temperature rises, your options for refreshment will be increasing day by day.
Civil Lager was our newest style using the lager yeast strain last year. This pale golden beer is crisp, dry, and oh so refreshing. Approved for lawn mowing as well as more pleasant outdoor pursuits, Civil Lager will keep you hydrated and happy. Even your friends and family who haven’t made the jump to craft beer will enjoy this classic brew.
Long-time favorite Vienna Lager returns soon as well. This toasty amber lager is a dry cousin of Oktoberfest with subtle noble-hop spice. Food friendly, Vienna Lager belongs in the drinking hand of every backyard griller in Saint Louis.
Our great Dortmunder is another classic German style. Similar to a Pilsner but richer and more complex, Dortmunder marries exceptional malt body with floral and spice notes. If you think pilsners are boring, try this sophisticated alternative.
Speaking of sophistication, the great Carl who gave his name to our Helles Bock is the embodiment of Civility and savoir faire. Carlbock has been called by some the greatest bock beer on earth and these fanatics will be downing this strong golden lager with abandon when it comes available. Its hints of fruit and spice make it an unforgettable spring beer that tastes great in any weather.
Other lagers will follow, so stay tuned. In the meantime, plan your outdoor activities with the Civil Life in mind. We have a good stock of Angel and the Sword and American Brown Ale in cans. Stock up!
Our own canning line will be up and running soon. Also look for beer garden improvements, starting with elaborate German umbrellas featuring light and heat. Keep tuned in for more news. As always, Be Civil.
We are in a state of flux again with new beers poised to alter the Civil Brews list in time for summer drinking. The bad news is, we ran out of Scottish Ale yesterday. After meticulously cleaning the lines, we put Civil Lager back on. It joins old favorite Cream Ale, which went back on tap at the beginning of the week.
Let’s revisit these great options for total refreshment. Both are popular with all Civil drinkers.
Our Civil Lager is a deceptively simple summer quaffer. It is clean, crisp, and dry, with pleasant hop spice and grainy malt goodness. Built from traditional German ingredients, this super refreshing beer is accessible and a perfect accompaniment to all warm weather activities. This brand-new batch is brilliantly clear and pale. As pleasant to gaze at as to guzzle, Civil Lager is the perfect choice. Available now!
Cream Ale, too, is crisp and refreshing. It is a light style of North American beer dating back to the mid nineteenth century. These beers are brewed for refreshment, with relatively mild malt and hop characteristics. Cream Ales were brewed as competitors to common light lager beers and have similar characteristics.
The style was generally brewed with some adjuncts to the barley malt, typically corn or rice. Such beers were often light, though with a bit more body than many lagers. Before prohibition, the style did quite well in Canada and the eastern United States.
Early Cream Ales had very little bitterness (usually 15–20 IBUs). After prohibition, variations on the style brewed in the American Midwest were fuller bodied and noticeably hoppier (still in the low 30s IBU-wise).
Our Cream Ale is true to the tradition, especially the more flavorful post-prohibition style. We use Golden Promise as the base malt. This Scottish spring barley is sweet and clean with mellow malt flavors. We forgo corn or rice in favor of a little white wheat and oats. The oats impart a creamy mouth feel and body.
At 4.3% alcohol and 32 IBUs, Civil Life Cream Ale is an all-day quencher for warm summer days. It’s crisp and refreshing, with good body, a little bready malt, and just enough hops for balance.
Stop in now to try these two great beers. And know that the lager train is on track with Czech Pilsner, Vienna Lager, Dortmunder, and Carlbock all poised to return. Prost to summer in Saint Louis. Heat and humidity will only make these beers taste better.
An Old Beer Is Joined by a New One for March Drinking …
Many of you have been enjoying our incomparable extra stout and thinking, no doubt, that it will be the ideal to toast Saint Patrick’s Day. This is true, but now you have another option. Civil Life Irish Red is on tap now (with a limited supply being served on cask)!
A curious fact that will not be evident to the casual observer is that each of these distinct beers uses the same base malt: an Irish malt made for stout. Contrary to what you might be thinking, this malt is actually quite light in color.
In the case of both the Extra Stout and the Irish Red, just relatively small amounts of specialty malts are responsible for their respective dramatic final colors. The Extra Stout is dark black thanks to highly roasted malts. True to its name, the Irish Red has a brilliant garnet hue due to small amounts of roasted barley and dark crystal malt.
Later this month, some drinkers will be quaffing cheap domestic beer enhanced by the addition of artificial green coloring. While admittedly not civil, this practice may in fact improve the taste of these beers. Regardless, green beer is not for everyone. We suggest you skip the green and stop in for a pint of the red or the black.
Enjoy the delightful Irish Red (like a bitter with some roast and slightly less hops) or the Extra Stout (a full-bodied, layered complex beer with cocoa notes and intriguing herbaceous hints). Either beer is suitable for toasting any occasion and relies on the natural properties of roasted malts to achieve its distinct color.
And please note, we have used our new filtration apparatus on the Irish Red Ale and its brilliant clarity only heightens the beauty of the predominantly red cast of this lovely beer. (We used it on our recent batch of STL Best as well … order a pint to see how brilliant it looks, not to mention drinks).
See you soon at the Civil Life. And whatever color is in your pint, be sure to drink civil and be civil. Cheers.
We are currently in one of those periods when our draft lineup offers more than one hop-forward beer. Obviously, we are known for producing traditional malt-driven ales, but being traditional, we know that hops have been used to balance malt sweetness and impart subtle notes that can be floral, spicy, fruity, woodsy, piney, etc.
Our UK IPA is back and better than ever. This classic IPA uses a blend of malts from England and Ireland as well as dark cane sugar, approximating the brewer’s caramel used to increase richness and alcohol, without imparting too much body.
UK IPA is hopped during the boil with four different types of English hops. What really comes through on the nose and palate, though, are the varieties with which this ale is dry-hopped: Challenger, Progress, and East Kent Goldings.
In the end, our UK IPA showcases a range of English hop characteristics without being over the top. While clocking in at a robust (for us) 70 IBUs, this balanced beer does not come off as overly bitter. Enjoy spicy, floral, grassy, earthy, and herbaceous hop notes in this traditional IPA.
American craft drinkers are more accustomed to the American take on IPA or on APA, both styles foregrounding decidedly different hop notes. These styles have their own history. West Coast breweries like Anchor, Sierra Nevada, and Bert Grant’s were critical in establishing American craft beer.
The original workhorse hop at American craft breweries was Cascade, and that is the hop we use for each addition in this delightfully refreshing ale that celebrates hops without bruising the taste buds.
Our APA is just 35 IBUs but has noticeable hop character. Cascade’s dominant characteristics are pine and citrus, with yellow grapefruit notes predominating. Cleaner, lighter, and less malty than English IPAs, APAs are truly refreshing.
Join us as we enter spring with this great style as well as our UK IPA. As always, these beers are balanced and drinkable and are known to promote civility. See you soon at the pub!
American Brown, Angel & the Sword, Northern English Brown and ESB now available in cans ONLY at the brewery!
$32 a case (Mix & Match)
SAME NEW IMPROVED LOGO ON OUR AMERICAN BROWN CAN!
The American Brown you love is now also filtered! SAME GREAT TASTE SAME GREAT BEER. 3 out of 3 brewers agree! And 99 out of 100 people will not notice until they are almost finished with their pint! Last statement is not scientifically proven, yet.
LONG VERSION: READING TIME DEPENDS ON HOW FAST YOU READ.
On Tuesday our new American Brown can with almost SAME NEW LOGO was released into the wild! Due to two average sales days it hasn't been circulating as much as it had wanted to but you have the power within you to change that by coming down to the brewery and buying a 6-pack or case.
There is no doubt that we loved our first version of American Brown cans. Our trademarked chap with two obviously Imperial Pints takes center stage and for good reason on that version. It's not possible to see on the below picture but he is definitely on the new can as well but just a bit more subtle.
We loved the previous can but there was something we noticed in our cold room when these cans were stacked next to other cans. Can you tell? I hope so. The below picture on the left is actually not one but two different beers! So that made us start thinking because if we are ever really LUCKY ENOUGH to be case stacked by some higher than genius level retailer some day we had to find a way to fix this issue. We also know the crazy competitive market is just going to get more competitive over the next few years and we are doing everything we CAN (See what I did there?) to keep this little company of 9 full time and 3 part time employees moving forward rather than just sideways which we have been doing for 3 years now.
Enter problem. Enter solution.
We discussed with our uber talented can designer (Brian Woolbright) and he went to work. How could we improve on what we already thought was a great can? We also pulled in another regular and “big picture thinker” David Boyd to give us real direction on how to someday present ourselves to a wider audience. Now just to be clear, these aren't just two Civil Life drinking regular chaps, these chaps do this sort of thing for a living. We never could have afforded them if they didn't like our beer so much. They also have followed me from my previous ownership of 33 Wine Bar to the Civil Life. I have spent countless hours discussing a range of topics with them and they were the ones we turned to when we realized how important it was to get this right for our little company.
The question evolved, into, "How do we convey some of the really great things about Civil Life to a group of people that may not have been to the Civil Life?" Shocking right to find out that some people haven’t been to our pub. But it’s true, just like it’s true I once tried and failed due to a supply error to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in every state across America in my failed PBJ Across the USA train ride in October of 1996. Meanwhile, back to what we were talking about. “How do we get a person that doesn’t know our great staff, the great food we serve and our pub to pick up a can that says Civil Life on it?”
For those that say this new logo looks familiar, you are correct as this new logo was quietly released in the pub on our printed menus a few weeks ago. In the next several months it will arrive on merchandise, coasters and growlers as well.
The new same logo is everything we hoped it would be.
What else is new you say?
What follows is very important news concerning our American Brown! Aren’t you glad you read till the end? After deliberation and a solid tasting analysis we will be filtering our American Brown going forward. This is our flagship beer and no doubt the reason we are still in business. So rest assured, we take no chances or do no experimentation with this beer (rarely with any of our beers) and always, always keep this beer the same. Some business decisions are often made about how to squeeze extra margin into products. You remember when a bag of chips had at least 12 chips in it? In our case it's more of can we use a little less of that expensive grain? Can we pitch the yeast a few more generations? It’s easy at the Civil Life to make these decisions as the number one response I give is, “Will this in any way, even small, change the consistency of our Brown or change the taste of our brown?” Small changes do not work for us as it isn't the foundation on which this company has been built. We aren't some jello manufacturer? We make good fairly priced beer. And drinking our beer is no different then slipping into a conversation with an old friend.
It goes like that for all of our beers, but I just want to settle the nerves of those reading that are not able at this particular moment to also be drinking an American Brown. Our panel gave high marks to the filtered version and found that the differences (albeit really really, really small! Notice the exclamation point and the extra really for emphasis) are very slight appearances in taste and obviously very large in appearance. In all honesty, it really just looks like we left it in the fermenter for a few extra weeks before we canned it. That’s another way to filter.
If there is any disagreement among our customers in the market, we will be providing counseling over a pint of American Brown in our pub Tuesdays to Thursdays 4 to 11. Fridays 12:00 am to 11 pm, Saturdays from 11 am to 11 pm and Sundays from 11 to 9 pm.
So that’s it for today. Please stay tuned to this channel. We have more things coming over the next year. Keep your ear to the grindstone and your nose in your pint glass. Or whatever that is supposed to be.
Long live the American Brown,
Captain of the Sometimes Wayward Barley Ship
Our beer board has seen many changes lately. We have some favorites that have just returned that you won’t want to miss. Stop in soon for UK IPA, Scottish Ale, Wee Heavy, and Extra Stout.
We are not known for brewing IPAs, but when we have them, they sell fast. Our UK IPA is firmly grounded in our love of classic English beer styles. The style of IPA that dominates the American craft beer market celebrates classic American hops, sometimes to extremes. These beers are generally redolent of citrus fruit and pine. Our classic UK IPA balances hop bitterness against solid malt body. Our secret blend of English hop varieties imparts a woodsy spice with notes of stone fruit. It’s so smooth and easy drinking you won’t believe it’s 70 IBUs and 6% alcohol.
While the UK IPA is light colored, dry, and sharp, our Scottish Ale is very dark with a slightly sweet, rich malt character. We haven’t brewed this favorite in years, so get it while we have plenty in stock. Its rich and layered roasted malt is reminiscent of toffee. The hint of sweetness is saved from being cloying in part by the judicious addition of American Cascade hops.
The same Scottish yeast strain is used for our classic Wee Heavy, a very full-bodied and rich Scottish style. Although lighter in color than the standard Scottish, it is sweeter and has a fuller, silkier mouth feel. The Wee Heavy is deep copper to brown in color with a rich, layered malt character. It’s complex with huge caramelized malt notes, nice spice, and a pleasant sweetness.
Our darkest, roastiest beer at the moment is our Extra Stout. This style of beer was originally called Foreign Export and then Foreign Extra Stout, referring to a stronger style brewed for export (most famously by Guinness). Black as a moonless night, this stout has intense roast flavors and a dry finish with intriguing earthy notes of herbs and licorice. This beer is excellent on cask, so try some while we have it.
Also note our Northern English Brown Ale is back on for those who like browns with an earthier, nuttier roast character. The end of this month should see our next run of canned beer. In the meantime, get your Northern English Brown Ale and ESB in six packs while supplies last.
Hope to see you all soon down at the pub. Cheers!
All of us at the Civil Life were deeply saddened to learn recently that one of our beloved regulars had died. Many of you will have seen John sitting at the bar reading a book. He came to the Civil Life about three times each week, always with a book in hand. Each of us enjoyed conversations with this excellent human being. Our lives were all enriched by having known him.
John was a voracious reader whose interests were incredibly varied. We discussed books every time he was in, and I personally shared a passion for many of the same books John loved. But there is one book that came up frequently that I have not yet read. John’s favorite book was Terra Nostra by Carlos Fuentes.
I have decided that in 2019 the Civil Life Reading Group will honor the memory of this most civil of readers by meeting three times to discuss this long, complicated, difficult novel as we work through it together.
The central event of Terra Nostra is Spain’s Philip the Second’s construction of El Escorial, the royal palace and monastery near Madrid. But the book is much more:
"Terra Nostra" is a colossal 350,000-word opus, a kind of panoramic Hispano-American creation myth, spanning 20 centuries (more, if you count the Greek and Egyptian mythologies that help to feed it) and embracing virtually the whole of European and American (especially Mexican) culture and civilization.
(Please read Coover’s excellent review of Terra Nostra in the New York Times
I look forward to the chance to study a work that meant so much to a fellow reader and friend. My only regret is that I will never have the chance to discuss the book with John.
If there is a Valhalla for readers (a great celestial library that happens to serve drinks), John is there now. He lived a very civil life and we are grateful to have known him. Please raise a glass to his memory the next time you are in.
P.S. Dates and details to be announced.
UPDATE: We are having a celebration of John's life at the Civil Life on Saturday 2/16. I'll post more details here as they become available.
Happy New Beer!
The Civil Life is entering 2019 poised for growth and change, but also more of what you know and love. Several stages of our much-anticipated expansion should begin over the course of the coming year. Stay tuned for updates.
In the meantime, we have some new beers coming soon. Over the weeks to come our UK IPA will return as well as some favorite styles originating in Scotland.
Our UK IPA starts with a very lightly kilned base malt and some English specialty malts, as well as dark brown cane sugar. We add some torrified wheat for body and head retention. The finished product is dry-hopped with three English hop varieties: Progress, Challenger, and East Kent Goldings.
The final product is light colored and crisp with a hint of caramel sweetness. Look for floral, woodsy, and slightly fruity (think stone fruit, rather than citrus) hop character. At just over 6% alcohol and a modest 48 IBUs, the beer is well-balanced and elegant.
Our original Scottish Ale is returning after a long absence. You might think of it as a 90 Shilling. This hybrid marries Scottish tradition with American spirit. It’s dark and malty but hopped a bit more than the style generally is. It comes in at 5.7% alcohol and 44 IBUs. The base malt is Golden Promise, a traditional Scottish-grown spring barley. We hop it with good old American Cascade hops, which show subtly on the finish. The beer is a deep reddish mahogany color with loads of caramel malt notes and a little spice. Despite the big malt presence, it doesn’t finish cloyingly, as some Scottish ales do.
“Wee Bit Heavy Ale” is also poised to return. Wee Heavies are Scottish strong ales. Heavy refers to the full body. Such beers, being higher in alcohol, were originally served in a “wee” glass. The Wee Bit Heavy is deep copper to brown in color with a rich, layered malt character. It’s complex with huge caramelized malt notes, nice spice, and a little sweetness. Don’t miss it.
We still have some of our classic holiday beer, Burton on Holt, available, but when it’s gone, the wee heavy will satisfy its loyal fans. Come down soon for new beers and to celebrate the new year. Thanks again for your continued support. Cheers!
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.