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100 Best Beer Bars: How About These Five Noted Absences

January 18, 2011 7 comments

No Brouwers? Something went wrong there.

Washington Beer Blog reminded me that Draft Magazine put out their annual 100 Best Beer Bars this week. Thanks for the reminder, Kendall. Now let me go spend two unproductive hours ogling it!

Draft Magazine is a nationally published magazine focused beer culture. They have been around since 2006, sometimes featuring celebrities on their covers. All in all, its not the nerds guide to beer. Its more of a sassy celebration of all things barley pop.

Don’t let my description drive you away. Draft Magazine is good. In fact, all 3 of the Beer Blotter writers are subscribers. We enjoy the fact that Draft presents a global expose on happenings in the beer world. Its really a good way to locate beer venues from around the world.

Just this week, Draft released its annual Top 100 beer bars list. This list is sorted geographically into 4 regions. I was afraid that they were attempting to force options for each of these regions, but it appears that the selections are not equally divided (for example, the Northeast has many more than the South).  So, it appears that the choices are without prejudice.

In scouring the list, I was very pleased to see places like Avenue Pub (New Orleans), Apex (Portland), Blind Lady Alehouse (San Diego) and our very own Monk’s hole – The Stumbling Monk (Seattle).

But, one cannot peruse the list without finding their own list of absentees. While less deserving pubs made it (i.e. Cooter Browns (New Orleans), Green Dragon (Portland), McNulty’s Bier Markt (Cleveland)), some of the nation’s most celebrated beer venues are missing.

While that absentee list will differ for each of us, here are my Top 5 Absentees:

 

  1. Brouwers Cafe (Seattle) –  They must have pissed off a Draft Magazine writer. Many of us know that Brouwers can sometimes rub the wrong way (and its been stated by commenters here on the site), but there is no better selection of ale in the NW. Brouwers routinely procures 60 taps of rare beer, one of the best bottle lists in the country and an unprecedented number of unmatched in-house beer festivals (See Sour Fest, Hopfest, Big Wood, and Hard Liver). Again, they must have pissed someone off.
  2.  

  3. Bangers & Lace (Chicago) – This might simply be too early for Draft to call this place a winner. But, Bangers & Lace has quickly ascended to the top of the Chicago beer world. Presenting an unmatched selection of rare beer, along with phenomenal food, B&L deserves a spot. Guest writer For Whom the Bell Toales agrees that this is the #1 beer venue in Chi-town.
  4.  

  5. Small Bar (San Diego) – Ok Ok, they got it mostly right. Hamilton’s Tavern, Blind Lady Alehouse, and O’Brien’s Pub should all be on the list. But, Small Bar gives that Top 3 a run for their money. Mixing a spectacular beer selection with epic food and spunky surroundings, I think it deserved a spot above many of the LA selections.
  6.  

  7. Brew Kettle (Strongsville, OH)  – Draft picked one of the many Cleveland suburb favorites – Buckeye Beer Engine. But, I think they got the wrong one. The Brew Kettle blends an incredible draft lineup (thank god for the connection with Founders), house made ales, and some spectactular bar grub. Get drunk enough? Go brew a batch in the back. Beyond that – its just a cool dark place to grab a beer.
  8.  

  9. New York’s Forgotten Trio – Ginger Man, Mug’s Alehouse and d.b.a. (NY, NY) – They picked a lot of NY spots. I can understand that its pretty tough to run into your editor’s office and say we picked the Top 100 – 20 of them are in NY. Its a tough job to pick between the excellent spots in NYC. In my mind, they got the top 3 on the list – Rattle N Hum, Blind Tiger and Spuyten Duyvil. Those three are iconic, and the three places that I spend the most time while in NY. But, the above three all deserve a shot at the list. The Ginger Man is just a few blocks from Rattle N Hum – many would say its the cooler bar. Mug’s is tucked away in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But unlike the uber-hipster crowd at Spuyten Duyvil, you will find comfort at this grog spot. d.b.a. is the lone East Village fave. d.b.a. has been pouring beer for a long time and has an excellent wide spread selection.

 

I will say, writing the Top 5 absentees was pretty tough. All in all they did a great job finding the appropriate bars. The Top 100 is a worthy list and you should take a glance.

What else is missing!?

 

 

52 Weeks: Melt Bar & Grilled, Cleveland, OH

January 2, 2011 1 comment

Two locations. Same incredible booze and food.

Week 51 of 52

Melt Bar & Grilled

East Side Spot (place of visit)

13463 Cedar Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118

(216) 965-0988

Monday-Thursday: 11:00am – 11:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:00am – 12:00 midnight
Sunday: 10:00am – 10:00pm
Bar open till 2:00am every night.

They are also located on the West Side of Cleveland

14718 Detroit Ave

Lakewood, Ohio

(216) 226-3699

Rank: 4/5

Type of Establishment: Psychotically creative meal emporium; home of grilled cheese magic.

Visit: A homecoming for Xmas, I went to Cleveland to spend an evening with my little brother. He recently graduated college and became a man. It was time for him to finally buy his big brother a beer (he bought 1, I bought all the others).

 

Beers on Tap (at time of visit):

 

Yikes. Unfortunately, it was so dark that I couldn’t get a legible photo. This is from memory, but they have about 25 beers on tap at any time.

Bells Two Hearted Ale

Bells Winter Ale

Breckenridge Small Batch IPA

Breckenridge Christmas Ale

Troegs Mad Elf

Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Thirtsy Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

Left Hand Milk Stout

Southern Tier Old Man Winter

and many others…..

 

Bottle List:

 

Excellent bottle list for a place more geared towards food than beer. The full list is here, but they supplement that list seasonally, with some random others.  All in all there are about 100 bottles on hand at any time. I was really excited to see the offerings from New Holland Mad Hatter, Jolly Pumpkin selections, and Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Imperial IPA.

They also have an impressive Belgian list. This is one of the few places in Cleveland where you can find a bottle of Gueze from Cantillon, the full gamut of Trappist ales, and a tasty bottle of Boon’s Oude Gueze. Don’t forget to check that list out here, as well.

 

Food Options:

 

This should be the focus of this article, not the beer. The beer is simply a pretty cool little throw in, to the epic food options available here.

Melt was featured on Man v. Food, and several other eatery TV shows. It has the distinct pleasure of being called Cleveland’s greatest pub food venue. I cannot disagree, after partaking in their grub for two meals during my 24 hours in Cleveland.

Sorry so dark - the Godfather in the flesh

Melt’s name means something – melted cheese. The pub offers about 20 grilled cheese masterpieces, along with about 12 burgers, which might as well be grilled cheeses stuffed with burger.

The motif is this – take two giant pieces of texas toast, smother then in butter, fill them with an epic proportion of cheese, stuff it with some other artery clogging delight – grill that puppy. Check out the full list of options here. Pay attention to the one stuffed with bratwurst, the one stuffed with pierogi, the one stuffed with LASAGNA!

I will talk more specifically about the sandwiches that we ordered, below. But, Melt also offers some amazing appetizers. We had the grilled pierogis and the buffalo chicken soup, which has become a cult classic. Both of these items were incredible. I especially loved the soup, stuffed with blue cheese, celery, carrot and a delightful spicy broth.

Whether you elect to go savory or sweet, you cannot miss with these sandwiches. Get one.

 

Bar Opinions:

 

Melt is my type of place. Its dark, heavily decorated in Cleveland lore, and full of great bar seating. When you enter the Cleveland Heights venue (they also have a place in Lakewood, on the west side of Cleveland), you see a wide open space, with the bar in the center. The bar area is rectangular, providing seating all around a central “island” where the booze is stored. This provides maximum area for lounging at the bar and starting at the taps and bottles. I like it.

We grabbed some bar seating and some menus. We are clamoring for some christmas beer and some massive heart attack initiating sandwiches. Luckily, our menu obliges. We decided to start off with some pierogis and a couple of xmas ales. I start with the Breckenridge Christmas Ale, and my brother grabs the Mad Elf from Troegs.

While we sip on these beauties, I begin mulling over my stomach’s demise. The menu’s best options appear to be the Municipal Stadium Magic, stuffed with local bratwurst, vodka kraut, grilled peppers and american cheese; the Parmageddon (named for local burb, Parma), stuffed with potato & cheese pierogi, vodka kraut, grilled onions and sharp cheddar; and of course – the Godfather, 3 cheese lasagna, fresh fennel-oregano pasta sheets, spicy red sauce, provolone and garlic spiked bread. No lies, lasagna in a grilled cheese. Got to have that one.

We grab a Godfather and decide to get the Municipal Stadium for the other, as we had already had some pierogis. The sandwiches weigh in at no less than 2 lbs a piece, but to add insult to your small intestine, they dump a large serving of their delicious house-made slaw and a pile of their fresh cut fries. Someone get the stomach pump ready.

Those first two beers were very good. Breckenridge’s Christmas Ale has a nice spiciness and light body that makes it easy to drink. But, the Mad Elf is the surefire winner. Mad Elf has a sharp boozy finish and a bright euro spiciness. Some say that this beer is off this year. Sometimes when I hear that its because the beer is “too much” for the palette. While that turns off some beer drinkers – it only peaks my interest.

the Mad Elf

In preparation for our meal, we grab a second round – all Mad Elf. When our sandwiches arrive, I am famished. By the time, I box up the remainders – I can barely move. The Municipal Stadium is incredibly flavorful. I love the local bratwurst, which was juicy, spicy and wonderfully matched with the vodka kraut. But, the Godfather is clear victor. As if any lasagna stuffed in a grilled cheese wouldn’t be amazing? Guess what – this lasagna is amazing! The amount of cheese in this puppy is striking. It bursts with flavor and spice and is unmatchable. Its a no-brainer.

The pierogis, slaw and the buffalo chicken soup (which I got on a follow up visit the next day) were all amazing. Nothing that I tried failed to meet expectations. Get as much as you can. Remember that you can always take it home. No one at this place will judge you. Take a visit, eat some food, drink some good beer and take a nap.

 

 

52 Weeks: Great Lakes Brewpub, Cleveland, Ohio

December 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Fear it. Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA will bite back.

Week 45 of 52- (There are 7 more and we have committed to getting them all done before 1/1/2011. A few days left. Expect some OH, CA, OR and WA spots)

Great Lakes Brewing Co. Brewpub

2516 Market Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
216.771.4404
216.771.4466 (fax)
info@greatlakesbrewing.com

Monday – Thursday: 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM (bar open until 12:00 AM)
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 AM – 11:30 PM (bar open until 1:00 AM)
Sundays: Closed

Rank: 4.8/5

 

Type of Establishment: An aged tavern, the home to Great Lakes Brewing and the holiest of beer grails in Cleveland, Ohio

 

Visit: A amazing Christmas vacation back to my roots. I spent an evening in Cleveland stuffing myself with Melt Bar & Grilled’s The Godfather (more on this tomorrow). After it put me in a coma, I needed to resurrect myself. A visit to Great Lakes for lunch on a Monday? Sounds amazing.

 

Beers on Tap (at time of visit):

 

The updated list is available here. Luckily for me, they broke out the big guns for my visit. This is atypical, but you know, when a local icon like me comes home……obviously this was for Xmas and they could give a shit about little ole me. I like to dream.

 

Lake Erie Monster (Imperial IPA)

Christmas Ale (God’s Beer)

Blackout Stout (Imperial Stout) – Replaced Lake Erie after I kicked it. Not bad.

Nosferatu (Old Ale)

Cleveland Brown Ale

Subject to change - subject to wow.

Wright Pils

Commodore Perry IPA

Burning River Pale Ale

Dortmunder Gold (Golden Lager)

Elliot Ness (Amber Lager)

Edmond Fitzgerald (Porter)

 

Bottle List:

 

No need for a bottle, when they pour almost everything they make on the taps. But, their gift shop is attached, where you can pick up any of their currently bottled grog.

Great Lakes bottles the last six beers above, year round. They also bottle the larger beers (Nosferatu, Dopplerock, Blackout and Lake Erie) in 4 packs released during different quarters. The seasonal brews (Grassroots Saison, Holy Moses White Ale, Octoberfest, and Christmas Ale) are available in 6 packs during each respective season.

I do not believe that you can order bottles at the pub. Again, why the hell would you? The beers are about $4-5 per pint.

 

Food Options:

 

Food! One of the reasons to come here is the food – its remarkable. Some people might disagree with me that bar food cannot be remarkable. Of course, those people are evil, shortsighted and mainly, wrong.

GLBC does pub food the right way. They source ingredients from a number of extremely local providers (there is a list on the back of the beer menu). You can actually pick your meal based upon the farm, baker or butcher that you prefer. Awesome.

While many people prefer the pizza, I am a huge fan of the sausage. If you know Cleveland, you know they are sausage people. GLBC serves some wonderful bratwurst and kraut. They also have excellent BBQ pork sandwichs, a crowd favorite.

You really cannot go wrong on this menu. These guys are food people, even suggesting pairings for your brew.

 

Bar Opinions:

 

Which part of the bar do you want first? How about the cave-like cellar? Why not the indoor/outdoor retractable roof patio – or no – the long bar lounge. Wait, but there is also a restaurant, wrapped around the small test batch brewing system. Get my drift – there is a lot to this place.

It has been about 6 years since I last truly explored the GLBC’s Brewpub. I know that its supposed to be my first visit – but the brewery has grown a lot since then. I need to give it another go.

Located in Ohio City, its a mere 5 minute trek from downtown Cleveland. Its a “got to go” destination. The brewery is nestled back off the main roads, disconnected from the Brewpub. But, the pub is right down the alley, less than a 3 minute walk.

My little brother, having dreams of electric sex gleaming in the window

No more than a block away is Cleveland’s epic West Market. After visiting again, I’m fairly sure it blows Seattle’s Pike Place Market out of the water, in terms of food offerings. I’m talking 30 places to grab a sausage, a dozen or more pierogi stands (a Cleveland fave) and the infamous Steve’s Gyros (bring your cash and something to do for 45 minutes).

This is also not far away from the home that housed Randy, Ralphie and the old man, stars of A Christmas Story. Though the movie took place in Inidiana, it was shot in Cleveland. The storefront next the Brewpub pays homage with its very own leg lamp. My brother was entranced.

The Brewpub spans about a half block. Over time, it appears to have grown. They have added a side patio, which is covered and sealed in the winter time. We get seated here.

Its not my first choice for seating. The cellar basement is incredible. For good reason – its packed. So, we are relegated to the brightly lit patio. Not the best choice for a couple of hungover guys trying desperately to cling to life. We manage.

I have already notice that the Lake Erie Monster was on tap before even arriving to Cleveland. I had been scouring their website endlessly in the week before my trip, praying that the beer would stay on tap. I order one, I drink it, I fall in love. Then another.

According to the brewery, Lake Erie Monster has a tale: “a beer this distinctively hoppy inspires many a tall tale. And they don’t come taller than South Bay Bessie, the legendary monster that roams the shallow depths of Lake Erie.” The monster in this bottle is attractive, sexy, provocative and deeply addictive. Thanks Bessie, for my drinking problem.

The beer is described as being brewed with Simcoe and Fuggles hops, exclusively. That seems to be an interested combination, but the taste is magnificent. Pineapple and lemongrass are both popping up in this glass. At 9.1%, every sip packs a punch. Check out the stat sheet here.

GLBC also brews one of the greatest porters on earth – Edmond Fitzgerald. This is a must try for anyone who loves cocoa and coffee in their brew. On top of that, we also enjoyed the Cleveland Brown Ale, a homage to the lovable losers of Lake Erie.

After consuming 8,000 calories of sandwich the night before, I had to opt for a salad at the Brewpub. Sue me. I promise you would have had nothing to say after seeing what I did to my stomach the night before (tomorrow, i promise). But, my salad was briskly whisked down and we paid up so that we could move about and jockey for position at the bar.

The cellar was still flooded with lunch visitors who had given up on the thought of returning to work, so we opted for the upstairs lounge and bar. We grabbed two seats and had a few more pints. I immediately kicked the Lake Erie. Instantaneously, I felt the gaze of every waitress and patron in the place. Not to fear though – they have tapped Blackout Stout.

Blackout Stout is amongst my favorite imperial stouts to compliment a meal. It has an uncanny roasted flavor, matched with a brightly bitter hop profile. Though 9.0%, it doesn’t weigh you down. Its an incredible beer that has won a bevy of awards. Check out its profile here.

Coming soon.....more beer.

After we finished our beers, we hit the gift shop. GLBC will sell you just about anything with its logo on it. We got a tap handle for the old man’s keg/fridge and some new glassware and hit the road.

Another amazing beer adventure ends in Cleveland’s old town. Alas, there is much life to this place. A second brewery called Market Garden Brewery will be opening in 2011. The brewery will feature many german styled brew, crafted by Andy Tveekram. Andy was a former brewer at Dogfish Head and GLBC. So, 2011 brings much promise to Ohio City.

 

 

Photos From The Road: Cleveland Beer

December 21, 2010 1 comment

Smutynose Imperial Stout!!!

 

Some pictures from the road.

 

The Tremont Taphouse is a cool spot in a little known neighborhood called Tremont. They have about 40 taps, half of which are constantly being turned over. We reviewed this place last year, but they are improving. Its a must visit beer spot in Cleveland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Lakes!

 

Great Lakes Brewing will always have a special place in my heart. Their Christmas Ale is the thing of legend and lore. In the above picture is a pint of Cleveland Browns Ale and Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA. The monster has alluded me in its first year of circulation. This is an amazing beer! Make sure you can track it down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More GLBC

 

Here is the current list at Great Lakes. Salivation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Market Brewery is coming soon....

 

This is the most exciting news going round Cleveland beer. Market Garden Brewery will be located right around the corner from Great Lakes and directly beside Cleveland’s famous West Side Market. The Brewery is being run by Andy Tveekram, a famed former brewer of Dogfish Head and Great Lakes Brewing fame. I cannot wait for this puppy to open.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who said this was vacation?

 

Just because we left Seattle – doesn’t mean that we left our love for brewing. Got to love my pop’s little stovetop setup. Some Simcoe IPA on its way.

Hope you all enjoy the Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Lakes. Great Beer: A Tale of a Pub and a Christmas Ale

December 14, 2010 2 comments

Oh how I yearn for you - my sweet sweet holiday love.

***This is a reposting of an article I wrote last year, shortly before my yearly bounty of Great Lakes Christmas Ale appeared in my mailbox. This year, I have been slighted by my Ohio beer shop, who promised to have my package here last week – WHERE IS IT!? Each afternoon, I scurry to the mailbox like it was Xmas morning, hoping to see my Xmas passion. Nothing. This morning, I had to read back at what once was – and what hopes to show up today. Enjoy!***

 

I will go ahead and clear this up – I have an Ohio bias. I hail from the great Canton, OH region, home of football, wings and crappy beer.

But over time we have seen some good ones pop up. Hoppin Frog, out of Akron, OH, is probably the best critiqued in the beer world. Check out their RateBeer ratings here. We will rate them later, but as a teaser – get the BORIS (oatmeal imperial stout – theres a barrel-aged version too!).

And now to return to my favorite – Great Lakes. When I fall in love with a brewery, its for several reasons:

 

(1) beer quality

(2) list quality

(3) pub aura

(4) historical connection

(5) the crew of the brewery

 

Great Lakes Brewing excels here in all respects. Though they do not have the most amazing of beer reviews historically, they are typically respectable around the board. For instance, their stouts are damn good (Blackout is a 100), their porter is above average, their specialties (saison and 2x IPA especially) are appealing, and their normal rotation is very drinkable (my father is a Burning River Pale man).

But……its their Christmas Beer that remains fixated in your mid year round. Shockingly, this beer is not immortal in the beer nerd spectrum. It holds an 87 at RateBeer. But after a cursory review I am chalking that up to the 30-40% of reviewers who just said – “I dont like xmas beer.”

Curse you, and curse your palettes. Actually, I can understand that reaction to this beer. The beer holds an incredible smack you in the face aroma of X-mas packed into the bottle. Nutmeg, cinnamon, spice and ginger make you feel as if you are ten years old again, sipping hot cider with mittens on singing deck the halls in 12 feet of snow, below a 30 foot christmas tree, with 1000 wrapped goodies beneath. I love it.

But what is best about this release, is that Great Lakes Brewing has recognized the cult following and really made a bi-annual ritual out of it. In July, they do a “Christmas in July” promo at the brewery, where they tap a few kegs for a few days and Clevelanders black out in unconscious glee. Again in October, the begin the real seasonal release at the brewery with a one week tap-only period and then they begin distributing.

The brewpub at Great Lakes is amazing. They are located on West side of Cleveland, very close to downtown in the “Westside Market” area. As I remember, the Brewpub was the first non-smoking establishment in Cleveland and has always offered a full locally-produced food regimen. (Note: the sausages are amazing)

On top of the food and grog – the Brewery also offers tours and a hefty gift shop where you can pick up pub exclusives (im looking at you Lake Erie Monster, the 2x IPA) and other garb.

If you are stuck in the NW – or elsewhere outside the nether-regions of the Midwest (i dont blame you), you likely cannot get Great Lakes beer. Thats ok because there is a heck of a shop in Cleveland, that can help you out. Rozi’s Wine House carries an amazing selection of beers. They will ship to wherever. Call them up and make an order.

The luscious x-mas grog can be purchased at your local (Midwest only – damn) beer shop, up until about January 10. Do not wait, because at the rate I am moving now, I will have bought out all beer stores and it will be stored in my Seattle basement.

 

Events for Week of December 6, 2010

Picture courtesy of directorofpeoria.com.

After Big Wood Fest this past Thursday, we dedicated this weekend to laying low (aside from the Friday night trip to a casino). We did however indulge in Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Co. (Akron, OH) B.O.R.I.S. Imperial Stout, Great Divide Chocolate Yeti and Russian River Pliny the Elder.

I sit here writing events and sipping on this delicious Cranberry Saison homebrew. Thanks guys! But now for your week in beer.

 

Monday, December 6, 2010

 

Smuttynose Short Release Party: Peoria, Illinois

5:00PM-10:00PM @ Kelleher’s Irish Pub

Several beers from their everyday lineup, plus a few from Smuttynose‘s “Short Batch Series” will be available. What is this “Short Batch Series”? See below for a description from their website:

The Smuttynose Short Batch Series- brewed in volumes anywhere between 20 and 30 barrels, these limited-release, experimental beers are available on draft only and found at select beer bars up and down the East Coast. We normally release a few batches in a year, so they go quickly.

 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

 

Jolly Pumpkin Rare Beer Auction: Ann Arbor, Michigan

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Jolly Pumpkin Brewing

This is epic, for a good cause and a great way to spice up your beer collection with rare and aged Jolly Pumpkin beers. Here are some of the beers that will be auctioned:
Biere de Mars Grand Reserve (16 months on Oak)
Perseguidor 1
Oro de Calabaza (from 2004, 2006, 2006)
La Roja (2005 and 2006)
Fuego del Otono (2005)
Lambicus Dexterius

 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

 

Christmas Beer Dinner: Lake Zurich, Illinois

6:30PM-8:30PM @ Binny’s Beverage Depot

Binny’s has something to say:

Join us for our biggest tasting of the year! Sample over 30 different brews from 7 different countries. This is rare opportunity to try some of the most sought after and highly rated beers from around the world.

Cost is $10 W/Binny’s Card / $15 non-members. Call (847)438-1437 for more information.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Harpoon Tap Takeover: New Haven, Connecticut

8:00PM-10:00PM @ Prime 16

Join Prime 16 tonight with Harpoon Co-founder Rich Doyle and experience Nine different drafts including rare and vintage releases from the Leviathan and 100 bbl Series, 2 casks, and a few year round favorites.

 

Friday, December 10, 2010

 

Christmas in Belgium: Cleveland, Ohio

11:00AM-11:00PM @ Buckeye Brewing Co.

This beer list is amazing and will provide you with a broad range of Belgium  style beers (most are from Belgium).

Join us for Christmas in Belgium 2010, a pay-as-you-go celebration featuring tons of holiday beers on tap. So far, we’ve got:

-Affligem Noël (Christmas Ale)
-Delirium Noël
-Gouden Carolus Noël (Christmas)
-Corsendonk Christmas Ale ’09
-Buckeye Christmas Girl
-Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux
-N’Ice Chouffe ’09
-St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
-Bush de Noël (Scaldis Noel)
-De Ranke Père Noël
-Achilles Serafijn Christmas Angel
-Struise Tsjeeses
-Mikkeller Santas Little Helper ’09
-Mikkeller Red/White Christmas
-Mikkeller Ris a la M’ale

The festivities start 12-10 at 11:00AM when we open and continue all weekend long, or until the beer is gone! Come celebrate the season with us!

 

 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

 

Goose Island Belgium Ale Tasting: Cincinnati, Ohio

1:00PM-3:00PM @ Bigg’s Hyde Park

Today you will taste the amazing Belgium brews from Goose Island. An American brewery that focuses on bringing styles such as Belgium Blondes, Saisons and Sour Ales to our back door. Sofie, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Fleur & Demolition will all be available.

 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

 

Ommegang Beer Dinner: Seattle, Washington

6:30PM-8:30PM @ The Leary Traveler

The Traveler is teaming up with Ommegang Brewing, for a very special Holiday Beer Dinner. A 5 course meal featuring local meat and produce paired with some of the breweries finest styles of local craft beer. Dinner is at 6:30 PM and seating is limited. Ticket purchase will reserve your seat and tickets will be $45.

 

What event around the country did you attend this week?

Cheers!

 

This Week in Beer: Freaking Sweet Events in Your Hood

Ribs. BBQ. Beer....events that shock and awe. Don't miss the Brew Kettle on your Cleveland Beer Week tour

I have usurped control of this column for this week. This is primarily for the sole reason that this is the most mindless and least intimidating of all of our columns. Hooked yet!? No really, I need some spiritual soul seeking, and a look at the beer calendar might just satisfy my urge.

What, pray tell, did our squad do last week, you ask? Lots.  Depending on who you asked, we either visited some pretty amazing beer taps in New Orleans (Brooklyn Detonation Imperial IPA!!!!), hung out at Brouwers Cafe’s Washington Beer Fest, dabbled in a first-time Jillian’s craft beer night, soaked up an epic and undeniably amazing Elysian Great Pumpkin Beer Fest (we all were there – no way to miss that) or we brewed a massive batch of our very first pumpkin beer during Harvest Fest 2010.

Yep, we were busy. But, as we spend the week saturating the blog with mouth-watering tales of yesteryear – we focus on the week ahead. Giddy up.

 

Monday, October 18, 2010

 

Hoptoberfest Brewer Shenanigans: Seattle, WA

All Month Long @ Beveridge Place Pub

Since we are already a bit late on this event, I thought I would borrow from the comments of the amazing people over at Washington Beer Blog, Kendall and Kim Jones. Today, they ran a piece on the Elite Eight selections for the Hoptoberfest at Beveridge Place Pub. Hoptoberfest is an annual event spanning the month, during which Beveridge Place Pub slowly eliminates IPAs to eventually select its house IPA for the next year to come.

They are now down to the final eight at the mid-point of the month and the heat is on to make the final 3. Kendall Jones at Washington Beer Blog has been discussing the rumors of brewers sending in-house squadrons down to stuff the ballot box to ensure that they land in the top 3. Black Raven is trying to remain at the top spot, while Boundary Bay is trying to grab back what was their’s just two years ago.

By 6 PM, Kendall and Kim were already there at the Pub. But since that time, nothing to report on. Hopefully, they are simply inundated with enjoyment to give us an update. Regardless, if you want IPA, you still have two weeks of madness over at Beveridge Place Pub. Check it out and don’t forget to vote.

UPDATE: Black Raven sent in a “gorilla” contingent last night. Washington Beer Blog caught it all on video and its a must see. Check it out by following this link.

 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

 

Can You Handle the Randall?: Cleveland, Ohio

Part 1: 4:30 – 6:30PM @ Winking Lizard Tavern (Gateway Location)

Part 2: 7:00 – 9:00 PM @ Winking Lizard Tavern (Cleveland Heights Location)

If you have yet to explore the wonderful world of Dogfish Head Randalls – do not miss this event! Dogfish Head started using Randall at many of their nationwide events several years back. If you have no idea what this is, check this picture, and then understand that you stuff it full of flavorful things and pump beer through it.

We have had the pleasure of tasting the Aprihop with fresh apricots and hops, as well as the 90 Minute Double IPA with Woodford Reserve soaked oak chips. Both were incredible. Well, now here is your chance at two different locations. More from the event pub kit:

Part 1

Donn B. from Dogfish Head and Kev from Winking Lizard hit the Gateway Winking Lizard Tavern with Randall the Enamel Animal and a keg of 90 Minute IPA! Randall will be packed full of fresh hops and filter the 90 Minute IPA through it imparting even more hoppiness into an already ultra-hoppy Imperial IPA!

Part 2

Randall the Enamel Animal leaves Gateway to make an appearance at the Coventry Winking Lizard Tavern. This time Randall gets packed full of fresh Saaz hops and hooked up to a keg of Dogfish Head Midas Touch. Find out what happens to Midas Touch, Dogfish Head’s mead-like ale, when it gets filtered through Saaz hops! Can you handle Randall?

 

 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

 

Farm to Table & Field to Pint: Boulder, CO

7:00 – 10:00PM @ Avery Brewing Company

Everybody is going local these days. Join the movement.

Freshcraft is a new bar and restaurant in downtown Denver, with an impressive beer list. They are joining forces with one of our favorites, Avery Brewing, for a night of local food and amazing beer. Check out these fairly rare Avery brews:

Freshcraft is one of Denver’s hottest new craft beer / fresh food joints to hit the scene. Owners Jason and Lucas have a particular fondness for great beer, and that’s where we come in! Freshcraft has devised a three course meal paired with three Avery brews (duganA, Fumator and Out of Sight), and Society members can sit down the for the entire meal or pick and items a la carte. The Avery crew will be out in force for this evening, and Freshcraft will be bringing a speaker from one of their local produce suppliers to talk about farm to table.

 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

 

Founders Night: Cleveland, Ohio

Part of Cleveland Beer Week!!!

6:30 – 9:30 PM @ The Brew Kettle

This is one of our favorite joints in all of Cleveland. The Brew Kettle is putting on a pretty special lineup for the festivities of Cleveland Beer Week, which spans from this past weekend through the end of this weekend.

The Brew Kettle is down in Strongsville, OH, about 20 minutes outside downtown Cleveland. This place has amazing BBQ, phenomenal taps and even a U-Brew component in the back.

We noticed their quite impressive affiliation with Grand Rapids brewer (and my personal favorite) Founders Brewing when we visited back in September. Here is a chance to meet the brewer and taste their hop shocker, Devil Dancer Triple IPA:

Come meet Founder’s John Host and Dave Engbers as they walk you through a lineup of six beers which will include some seasonal/specialty offerings including DEVIL DANCER TRIPLE I.P.A. The beers will be complemented with different appetizers.

For a backup event: do not miss Light Up Night at the ABC Tavern in Cleveland. Founders Brewing’s & Victory Brewing’s brewers will be on hand to pour their amazing ales until 2:00 AM!

 

Friday, October 22, 2010

 

Naked City Brewing’s 2nd Anniversary Party: Seattle, Washington

All day long @ Naked City Brewing & Taphouse

You might have read about this can’t miss event on our website today. I am re-posting because of the urgency of this event. Its happening one day only people – be there. Here is the presser:

Join us for Naked City’s 2nd Anniversary Celebration Friday, October 22nd Open-Close! We will have prize giveaways and some very special one-off beers on tap for the occasion. Here is a sampling: Double Header Anniversary Ale (Oak Aged Imperial IPA) New Riders of the Purple Sage (Blackberry Sage Porter) Tay Yay Inna Win (Barrel Aged Sour Ale) Whiskey Oaked Brimstone & Treacle (Cask Old Ale) The Big Lebrewski (White Russian Imperial Stout) Boo Radley Pumpkin Ale Big Chocolate Wood (2010 Pro-Am by Dan Hansen & Will Fredin) Broken Bicycle (Fresh Hop Saison) You get the picture…Mark your calendars!!!

Backup event: I would have made this THE event, but I feel partial. If you are in Cleveland for beer week, do not miss this one-time event at The Brew Kettle:

Tapping of a keg of Breakfast Stout that was brewed in 2008. Part of Brew Kettle’s vintage and rare keg tapping series (every day at 5pm during Cleveland Beer Week).

 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

 

Bay Area Craft Beer Fest: Martinez, California (near Vallejo, CA)

12:00 (VIP start time) or 1:00 – 5:00 PM @ Martinez Waterfront Park

This is the first go-round for this festival. But, its located in a very cool inland area on the Bay and it has a fairly exhaustive list of Bay Area brewers on tap.

Check out the website for further details on the festival layout and how to get there. Ticket prices are $35.00, and they offer a DD option.

Check out the list right here:

21st Amendment Brewery
Third Street AleWorks
Ale Industries
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Black Diamond Brewing Co.
Blue Frog Grog & Grill
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Gordon Biersch Brewery
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Hoppy Brewing Company
Iron Springs Pub & Brewery
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Lost Coast Brewery
Marin Brewing Co.
Russian River Brewing Co.
Sierra Nevada
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Stone Brewing
Trumer Brauerei
Two Rivers Cider Co.
Uncommon Brewers

Amazing Alternative: Check out the Pizza Port Hoptoberfest! This string of Southern California brewpubs took major metal home from GABF this year:

Join us for a rooftop party with lots of hoppy beers and a Pig Roast! We’ll be pouring around 40 (yes 40!) beers with tasty hops… wet hops, IPAs, Imperials IPAs, and maybe even a worthy strong pale ale or two!

For your convenience and hoppiness, we’ll also be running a bus from Pizza Port Solana Beach and Pizza Port Carlsbad up to the event. $54 includes roundtrip transportation, beer on the bus, and admission into Hoptoberfest. Bus trip ticket will be on sale at pizzaport.com

 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

 

BeerTownAustin & Craft Austin Bike Pub Crawl: Austin, Texas

2:00 – 6:00 PM @ Flying Saucer, Draught House, Thunderbird Coffee Koenig, Billy’s On Burnet, Black Star Co-op

We very seldom come across a beer event down in Texas. But, if we were to find one, we would guess it would be in Austin.

Two great Austin beer groups are joining forces to put together one heck of a beer crawl by bike. So hop on your pedal machine and get moving. You do not want to miss this one:

Join us Sunday, October 24th for the most epic of pub crawls. It will be a clash of the fanboy titans as BeerTownAustin and Craft Austin go head-to-head in gruesome bike-pub-crawling. There will be biking. There will be pub crawling. There may be copying/pasting.

We will start the ride at Flying Saucer, hit up Draught House, then onto Billy’s on Burnet, with a swing through Thunder Bird, and end up at Black Star Co-op, with local beer specials along the way for everyone on the ride.

 

Have anything else to announce? Feel free to post below in comments or contact us at beerblotter@gmail.com! Have good beer drinking!

 

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