Brewhouse BlogIndependent. Brewer Owned. Brewing What We Like to Drink.


May 30, 2009

Brewing back-to-back batches of something for the Summer today.

Small Brewers and Farmers' Markets

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Legislation often moves at a glacial pace, but there has been some movement in the New York State Senate on the bill to allow small brewers to sell beer at Farmers' Markets. (Wineries in NY State can already do this.) The history of the Senate Bill is

S02623 Summary:
BILL NO S02623

SAME AS Same as A 2325




Amd S51, ABC L

Permits certain small beer brewers to obtain a permit to sell beer in a sealed
container for off-premises consumption at fairs and farmers' markets.

S02623 Actions:
BILL NO S02623

03/10/2009 1ST REPORT CAL.105
03/11/2009 2ND REPORT CAL.
03/18/2009 PASSED SENATE
03/18/2009 referred to economic development

So, it now needs to pass in the Assembly, and then a reconciled bill would then move to the Governor's desk. (Will he sign it?)

The history of the legislation in the New York Assembly can be found at It looks like this has been on a back burner since 2003.

Bottling and Brewing

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lots to do this weekend:

  • Bottle up some of the Hellsmoke Porter
  • Bottle up some of the Harborfields HefeWeizen
  • Transfer another batch of the Harborfields HefeWeizen for conditioning
  • Transfer that latest batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit for conditioning
  • Brew up a test batch of another possible Summer Seasonal
  • Brew up more of the Hellsmoke Porter (which I decided to not quite retire yet for the season)

Plus the usual cleaning and sanitizing.

On to it...

Oneonta Daily Star: "Area brewers say bottle-bill flaws could end them"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Blind Bat Brewery only sells beer in New York, so my business is not directly affected by this bottle bill. However, I'm a fan of the beer from the
Cooperstown Brewing Company (love that Benchwarmer Porter), so this really alarms me:

From The Daily Star (Oneonta, NY)
May 16, 2009
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If New York's new bottle law takes effect June 1 as planned, the Cooperstown Brewing Co. may go out of business.

"The law's a nightmare, and there's no way I can comply," said President Stan Hall, whose brewery is home to Old Slugger and other beers.
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Breweries and other beverage makers would have to keep separate inventories and records for products sold in New York. New labeling equipment would cost thousands of dollars, he said, and sorting beers by destination would be grossly inefficient.

"We sell beer in Florida, Massachusetts and other places, but we don't know in advance how much is going where," Hall said. "Requirements like this are just going to kill small brewers."

Other brewers, both in state and out, have voiced similar complaints, saying the labeling requirement is unworkable.

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More at

Test Batch Sunday

Monday, May 18, 2009

I hadn't brewed my smoked wit since I got the new smoker, so Sunday saw me smoking and brewing a test batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit. For this one, I smoke about 20% of the total grain bill -- a portion of the flaked wheat -- over mesquite wood chips. The idea is to end up with light notes of the mesquite smoke.

More of the hefeweizen is now conditioning, I tested some of the earlier batch and it wasn't quite ready on Saturday. It might be ready for bottling next weekend, so I'm hoping to roll it out soon.

NY State UPC Label Law: Update

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some arguments, pro and con, about the New York UPC label law can be found
in this article from Schenectady's The Daily Gazette.


Companion legislation has been introduced in the NY State Assembly (A.B. 8069) and Senate (S.B. 5363) seeking to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to eliminating the requirement that bottlers and brewers must include a New York specific universal product code on all redeemable bottles and cans and to extend the start date of registering container labels.

Speak up if you are so inclined. Democracy shouldn't be a spectator sport.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Brewday: Harborfields HefeWeizen.

Just one batch today, Happy Mothers Day!

Back to the Brewhouse

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I only made it through half a day when I went back to the day job on Tuesday, and ended up being out with that flu Wednesday and Thursday. Was back to work on Friday, and am back to the brewhouse this weekend. Today I'll finally be getting that Hefeweizen into conditioning vessels, and that Hellsmoke bottled up. Will then take care of a few more things in preparation for a brewday Sunday (more of the Harborfields Hefeweizen).

If you haven't yet done so, please do consider contacting your representatives in the NY Assembly and Senate about that NY-specific UPC label law. While it doesn't affect me as the Blind Bat Brewery (I only sell in NY State), it does concern me as far as the problems it will cause for other breweries who do distribute across state lines. (See Monday's blog post for more on this.)

Flu, Not Brew

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I've been down with the flu since Friday (just the good-old-fashioned kind, not the swine flu), but it kept me from any brewing duties this weekend. Am crawling back to the day job today, after spending yesterday in bed. Am hoping to get things moving in the brewhouse this week (transferring hefeweizen from fermenters to conditioning vessels, bottling up hellsmoke) and be back to brewing on Saturday. Sorry about the delays.

Action Alert! Protect craft beer, support a repeal of the New York specific UPC requirement.

Monday May 4, 2009

This just in from the New York State Brewers Association, via the Brewers Association's "Support Your Local Brewery" email alerts:

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May 4, 2009

Dear New York Beer Activist,

At the request of the New York State Brewers Association, we are alerting you to an issue which could dramatically affect your access to the craft beers made by small breweries all across the country.

As you have likely learned, the state of New York recently enacted a requirement that bottled products sold in your state must bear a New York-specific UPC code for bottle deposit and redemption purposes. This requirement will have severe negative impacts on many businesses, including and particularly, small breweries. The cost to produce a state-specific label with a unique UPC and the inventory and shipping challenges that presents, will mean many small breweries will be forced to pull their beers out of the New York market because the cost of doing business in the state will be simply too high. And just think of the precedent this potentially sets for other states should they enact similar requirements…small brewer out-of-state sales could be decimated coast to coast.

Several brewing companies have already weighed in on this issue with the Governor, explaining they would have no choice but to discontinue distribution of their beers. This is bad for the state of New York, bad for small brewers everywhere, and perhaps worst of all for New York residents who are craft beer drinkers. Access to the wide range of beer you currently enjoy will be severely limited in the future should this requirement remain on the books.

Please take a few minutes and call or email your State Senator and Assemblyman. Let them know that you feel the New York-specific UPC is a bad idea for business and a bad idea for Empire State residents who drink craft beer and vote. Ask them to support a repeal of the New York-specific UPC requirement as contained in the recently passed Bottle Bill.

To identify your state elected officials by zip code and for contact information:



Thanks for standing up for consumer choice and America’s small brewers.

Charlie Papazian

Brewers Association

Gary Glass

American Homebrewers Association
888.822.8273 x 121
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