"Open source" is a term usually applied to computer software, meaning a program with a source code available for use or modification by anyone.
In the world of brewing, it means a recipe that will allow consumers and homebrewers, among others, to make or suggest modifications to the recipe.
It’s the brainchild of Denver’s Flying Dog Brewery, which is announcing plans to release the Open Source Beer Project (www.opensourcebeerproject.com), believed to be the first such thing to hit the market in the U.S.
The starter recipe is a dopplebock, but that could change, says Matt Brophy, Flying Dog’s head brewer, because the style may evolve as participants offer ideas and tweak the recipe.
"We are encouraging input on every part of the recipe, down to how what variety of hops we should use, how much we should use and when we should add them," Brophy said.
The Open Source Beer will be the latest concoction in the brewery’s Wild Dog line and will be available in stores in October. Flying Dog is Denver’s largest brewery and the second largest craft brewery in Colorado. Its products are available in 45 states.
Wild Dogs are extremely limited edition beers that come exclusively in hand filled, corked and labeled 750ml bottles. Only 5,000 bottles of the Open Source Wild Dogs will be available to the public. The current Wild Dog is a whiskey barrel-aged version of their popular Gonzo Imperial Porter.
Drink up, kids.
Sangaria, a Japanese beverage company, is doing what in most countries would be unthinkable: manufacturing pretend beer and other such beverage products for children. This is even more surprising since Sangaria is known for its teas and vitamin-infused soft drinks.
Japan’s drinking culture, which includes educating young people in the practices, is well known and the company says using such products allows children to more fully participate in family celebrations.
A drink called Kodomo No Nomimono, for example, comes in cans, bottles and six-packs. It looks like beer, tastes like apple juice and foams in a glass. The product line also includes fake champagne, wine and cocktails.
Lest you think this is just a little novelty product, go online for a look at the television ad that’s pushing the drinks (www.youtube.com/watch).
The host’s revenge.
I’ve often wanted to find a way to get even with guests who reply to "What would you like to drink?" with the non-committal — and unhelpful — response "Anything" or "Whatever."
Now, I’ve found something that would work on several levels. I simply have to wait for it to become available somewhere other than Singapore and environs where it is manufactured.
A company called Out of the Box (www.anything.com.sg) has just released two new soft drinks called "Anything," a carbonated drink, and "Whatever," a tea-based non-carbonated product. So, when someone makes the appropriate inappropriate reply, you can hand them a can of what matches their response.
But that’s only one level of revenge. The second is that the flavors inside the cans remain a mystery. Oh, you’ll probably identify them once you begin sipping — cola with lemon, apple, root beer, cloudy lemon and something called fizz up for Anything. And lemon, peach, jasmine, apple, white grape and chrysanthemum for Whatever. However, there is no indication on the exteriors of the cans which flavor is inside.
(William M. Dowd covers the world of adult beverages at billdowd.com)