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Swinging on Sunbeams was a collaboration brew for International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCBD) between ourselves and Creative Juices Brewing Company (CJBC).  It was brewed entirely by a team of women, led by our Director, Larissa, at CJBC’s facilities.  Every step of the brew process was to be handled by members of that team and were held to the highest standards of cleanliness and quality control.  This included a thorough cleaning and sanitation regimen that was a considerable upgrade to existing practices implemented at the time by CJBC as well as additional Quality Assurance (QA) measures that are Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for us.

These additional practices yielded a beer that was free from defect and contained no spoilage organisms.  For all intents and purposes, it was a fantastic beer.

One week before the agreed upon scheduled packaging date, a CJBC staff member, who was not a part of the brew team, chose to transfer the beer to a pair of Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) for delivery to their packaging contractor.  Despite having previously briefed that nitrogen was to be used to displace the volume of beer leaving the fermenter (the beer was uncarbonated at this stage, therefore N2 was a more cost effective alternative to CO2), he chose instead to significantly deviate from our SOP and instead rely on the CO2 “blanket” in the fermenter as a barrier against air ingress and the only precaution against O2 pickup.

Despite our protests, CJBC chose to continue with the transfer, only adding ascorbic acid (commonly used as an antioxidant in the food industry) at our insistence as the minimum mitigation against a potential air add (also the only antioxidant readily available, as CJBC did not stock or use any at the time).

When the beer returned packaged, we were informed that the accompanying lab report showed that final gravity and ABV matched the in-house values.  No other information was shared.

In hindsight, we should have pressed for the full report, but at this stage we trusted CJBC to inform us if any other significant results were returned.

The beer tasted exactly as desired and customers gave it favorable reviews.  For what it’s worth, Swinging on Sunbeams was, and still is, CJBC’s highest rated beer on Untappd.

On 18 July, 2022, during weekly routine quality checks on our products, we found that a random sample of Swinging on Sunbeams tasted stale.  We tested it with a Dissolved Oxygen (DO) meter as well as several other samples of the beer from a dozen cans and one keg, and found all measured above 800ppb DO.

As you may already know, the presence of oxygen in beer does not pose any threat to human health.  It does, however, cause the product to stale prematurely, often causing a “cardboard” flavor to gradually develop (there’s more to it than that, but we’re trying to keep this from turning into a dissertation). 

CJBC acknowledged the DO meter readings we demonstrated in their taproom.

It was at this point that CJBC chose to disclose to us that they were *already aware* of the presence of oxygen in the beer, and that they had omitted that the lab report recorded 1025ppb at the packaging site.

To be clear, this is 10x higher than anything we have ever recorded during our own packaging process, and is 5x higher than what we consider the allowable limit for us to sell to the public.

We immediately informed our customers once we had assessed the number of individuals and organizations which had been impacted by our own sales of the product.  We also strongly suggested to CJBC that they, at a minimum, disclose to their customers that the oxygenation had occurred and that it would very likely shorten the shelf life of the product.

Today we had to ask a shop to disassociate The Mad Yank Brewery from a social media post referencing us with the beer.  When asked why, we provided full disclosure, as anything less would be a lie of omission.  Given the fact that those who are actively involved in the sale of the product to the public (i.e. bottle shops) have not been given the information necessary to ensure the product remains viable while on their shelves, we have decided that public disclosure is necessary.

The Mad Yank Brewery is committed to producing quality products that you can trust and creating an open and transparent beer community.  We are deeply regretful that a beer bearing our logo has been released to the public that is significantly below our standards – we will choose future partners with greater care and diligence and exercise significantly more oversight on all future collaborations in order to ensure our customers get products worthy of their patronage.


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A Look at Our Latest

We’ve been on a bit of a sour and/or fruit kick lately, and this lineup reflects that.

First we launched the over-the-top Hyper-Grapefruit Hefeweizen of “Zesty My Bestie” at Trekker’s in Chesham, which started as a traditionally-brewed hefeweizen but evolved into a 6.7% ABV pink grapefruit monster. That was followed just a few short hours later with the launch of the Eurovision parody-inspired “JÁJÁ ĐINGĐONG”, a 4.1% ABV Raspberry Black Currant Sour brewed especially for and with our friends at A Hoppy Place in Windsor.

What time is it? Beer time (yes, that’s a beer mug. I don’t care if it looks like coffee. It’s beer – prove me wrong).

Our third in this not-quite-intentional triumvirate is the White Chocolate Cherry Gose “Disco Duck”. Coming in at 5.0% ABV, it has already put smiles on the faces of the handful of tasters we sent early access samples to. We think this one is going to remain in memory long after the glass is empty.

Each of these are seasonal brews, so we’ll see their return, but it’ll be another year before we make room in the fermenters for them.


23 August – mark your calendars.

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Dear Twitter: A Love Letter

Remember these?

Hi there Twitter®. No, not you, Twitter Users. No, not you either, Twitter Execs. I’m writing directly to the app.

I know I’ve been neglectful. I probably could have tried harder. Things got…complicated. We were both so young when we first met – has it really been a decade? We’ve both come a long way and I feel like we should reconnect.

I remember the moment we were introduced – 16 May, 2009. It was the night the NIN/JA concert came to Chula Vista. The weather was hot and dry, but the air was humid from the sweat of a few thousand concert goers.

Amidst a conversation about the some tamales and fish tacos at the venue with my new friend-for-life-perhaps-even-a-soulmate-even-if-we’d-only-just-met at the concert (I haven’t spoken to them since) showed me their BlackBerry®. They were looking up info for the next performer, seeing if any of them had a website of their own.

And then it happened. I saw Dave Navarro.

I was powerless to turn away from Dave[‘s Twitter feed].

Or, more accurately, I read one of his tweets.

You were pretty limited back then. No pictures, 140 character limitation, not even a decent retweet function. But curiosity had me. I can’t tell you what his stream said, it seems his account got suspended since then. I started to… I…

Um… Can we just go back to Dave again?

I don’t usually go for guys with tattoos and nipple rings, but I think I’d make an exception here. Just look at him. His skin care routine must take hours, he doesn’t have a single blemish!

What were we talking about? Twitter? Oh right, so yeah, I meant to spend more time with you, but after that night it was only a few short days before I moved to Japan, and you just weren’t a thing there. When I finally got back to the West, everything was different. You were different. You seem angrier now, and I want to reconnect, but not if I’m just going to be a lightning rod for your angst. I’ll trust you, though. I’ll give this a second chance.

Besides, you did turn me on to Dave. Unf, Dave…


I love you, too.

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Upstart Brewery Startup Now Online

In what has been an unintentional running-gag for the last several years, the Mad Yank Brewery has been loath to get online, as evidenced by their constantly dragging their feet to get their website up and running.

“Well I wouldn’t say we were ‘loath to’, it just didn’t make sense to pour time and effort into it yet,” whined Chief Brewer and Co-Founder Grant “Boo-hoo I’m SO Busy” Graeber.

The Mad Yank’s Director and Co-Founder, Larissa Graeber (no relation, unless you consider “marriage” a relation), could not be reached for comment, owing entirely to her abiding by the 2-meter rule.

“You are not reading this in my voice. You don’t even know who I am.”

“I’ve been telling him we should have more of a presence online all along,” Larissa happily reported via phone, however. “He kept coming back with excuses like ‘return on investment’ and ‘I need sleep’.”

With a steady output on their modest 1.5BBL kit and a couple of power naps, Grant’s list of excuses ran dry. “I gave him an ultimatum,” added Larissa, “I said he can either get the site built, or stay bolted inside of his office.”

“There’s a window for deliveries,” she pointed out, “and the kids slipped notes under the door with little motivational phrases like ‘I miss you’ and ‘Get back to work’.”

“Get back to work.”

– Your Son

This was apparently the right fire to light under Grant’s arse, because you’re now reading a post on said website. When asked to comment, Grant was quick to defend his position. “I’m stretching out my lower back, stop staring.”

With a conspicuous lack of attention to their social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and, to a lesser extent, Instagram, the self-proclaimed “regular people” duo of Larissa and Grant have brought their website out of mothballs and upgraded it to a fully functional webshop and information hub for the brewery.


I read about the origin of the Mad Yank Brewery and all I got was this lousy tweet!

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the Beer Baroness: What We Know

Artist sketch of Larissa based on no witness accounts.

Strictly speaking, she can’t actually be called a “baroness”, which is defined as:

baroness |ˈberənəs| noun
• the wife or widow of a baron. The term “Baroness” is not used as a form of address in Britain, baronesses usually being referred to as “Lady.”

So far as we know, she’s not the widow of anyone, let alone a baron. As for “lady”? Ha! That’s rich. Title or no, that word has never applied to her, according to our research. Here’s what we do know:

  • She was captain of the rugby team in college. Twice.
  • She’s broken multiple fingers more than once – how is a bit of a mystery, but it wasn’t while picking out hats for Ascot.
  • She’s been to Ascot.
  • An unconfirmed report describes how she fashioned a pair of reins out of a bedsheet during childbirth and proceeded to slap* them while yelling, “heeyah!”
    (*If true, it demonstrates she is not a rider, as this is only done in the movies.)

None of that, however, seems to indicate how she came to be the Director of a small nanobrewery.

It’s a matter of public record that she owns a 50% stake in The Mad Yank Brewery, the other half belonging to her presumed husband. As neither owns a majority stake, they allegedly resolve all issues through a combination of physical combat implements and an old method of arbitration: Boxing Gloves at 50 Paces.

Evidence exists that she once worked for a global fitness corporation, residing over the marketing department for the European branch of the company. Witnesses claim she departed the company after buying “a one-way ticket to Hawai’i” shortly after earning a pay raise.


Ladies take a seat. The women are talking.