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Small Scale Brewing is Back

In the late 1800's, there were nearly 3000 breweries in America. Most went out of business during Prohibition, and the few survivors were quickly gobbled up by the larger breweries which were embarking on the "bigger is better" mentality of the mid 1900's.

In the late 1970's there were less than 50 breweries in America.

Here at the dawn of the new Millenium, there are well over 1500 operating breweries in America.

The "Pure" Brew

Torrey Nommesen brewing beerThere are only four legitimate ingredients (water, barley, hops & yeast) allowed in beer according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, known as "Reinheitsgebot." This law is commonly accepted to be the world's first "consumer protection" law. The exception to the rule is wheat, which is used in making a hefeweizen (German wheat beer).

Almost every single one of the beers you grew up with in the US adds adjuncts (rice and/or corn) to their beer to make it lighter and less aggressive in flavor, in order to appeal to the masses. This includes our big US breweries, as well as most European, Canadian, Australian, Mexican and Japanese imports. Many of the imports actually reformulate their beers and add adjuncts (which are cheaper than barley malt) for the US market. These adjunct beers would be illegal in Germany.

"In this country (USA), it is legal for a brewery to introduce up to 48 additives and 4 adjuncts, and still call its beer "Pure."

  -Mendocino Brewing Company newsletter, Spring 1997

Redefining Excellence

Torrey Nommesen brewing beerNommesen Beer is a very special limited edition homebrew, not sold in stores. I design the labels for each batch (usually two cases). The beer is so exclusive, that you have to know me in order to get your hands on some.

Nommesen Beer is a fresh food product. It is meant to be consumed within a short period of time from when it is produced. The exact amount of time a beer can stay fresh depends on the style of beer and the conditions under which it is stored. Every large American brewery uses flavor damaging techniques such as adding preservatives or pasteurizing their beer to add shelf-life. I do not.

Nommesen Beer is a pure (without quotes) brew, brewed at home using San Francisco tap water in very small batches.

(Some text 'lifted' from Stone Brewing Co. so that I would have some factual text here)