Oh Thanksgiving – I miss you already. Alas, there is one heck of a week ahead.
A first pouring of our 1st Anniversary beer met a quite amazing meal on Thursday. We followed that up with a journey out to Kitsap, stopping by Silver City Brewing, Der Blokken Brewery and 7 Seas Brewing, along the way. I have got to say that Kitsap is one heck of a trip. The beer gets better each time I visit.
After a day at Mt. Baker on Saturday, we got our first ever taste of the Beer Shrine – North Fork Brewery. Later this week, expect some write ups on some of these wonderful excursions.
Lets embark on a new week in beer:
Monday, November 29, 2010
21st Amendment Beer Dinner: New York, New York
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Spring Lounge
The first of these events features 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat (in a can!), the newest winter seasonal by 21st Amendment Brewery of San Francisco, and is catered by Jeff Maslanka, head chef of Black Shack Burger in midtown and 67 Burger in Brooklyn. He’ll be serving up short ribs braised in Fireside Chat, along with some seasonal sides that will both highlight and be highlighted by the taste of the beer.
The food is complimentary, the beer is not. So bring your wallet and your appetite.
We’ll also be featuring these great brews by 21st Amendment on draught – Brew Free or Die IPA, Back in Black, and Hop Crisis
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Yeast Strains with Mikkeller: New York, New York
7:30PM-9:30PM @ Jimmy’s N0. 43
Join in the sampling of 6 different beers from Mikkeller‘s Yeast Series. This will only cost you $10 and these beers are not only delicious, but will provide insight into this innovative, international brewery.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon
2:00PM-10:00PM @ Pioneer Courthouse Square
Its that time of the year, so gear up for some Christmas beer drinking fun!
The 15th annual Holiday Ale Festival will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 1, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 5 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave at the intersection of SW Broadway and Yamhill Streets, immediately on the MAX Light Rail line.
Wednesday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission & Costs:
*FREE* re-admission into the Festival all 5 days with wristband and current year’s mug!
To enter and taste beers, the purchase of an initial tasting package is required. Advance tickets cost $20, or $25 at the door. This package includes a souvenir mug and 10 beer tickets.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Big Wood Barrel-Aged Beer Festival: Seattle, Washington
11:00 AM-Close @ Brouwers Cafe
You’ve read about it here on BeerBlotter.com. This is one of those “can’t miss” beer events that happen in Seattle. The initial tap list has already been handed down by the good folks at Brouwers Cafe. We are astonished at some of the iconic names, including a rare appearance by the elusive Russian River Deviation (a Bottleworks Anniversary beer from several years back).
The event begins at 11:00 AM and will continue through the weekend. If you are trying to sample the big guys (HOTD, Russian River, The Bruery, Lost Abbey), I would suggest getting there early on Thursday. See you there!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Founders Brewing Co. Sampler: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4:00PM-6:00PM @ Bell’s Beverage
As you might already know, Founders is a Beer Blotter favorite. Although I do not know what beers are pouring- Founders will not disappoint!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Strong Ale Festival: San Diego, California
11:00AM-11:00PM @ Pizza Port Carlsbad
The 14th San Diego Strong Ale Festival at Pizza Port Carlsbad will be held Friday and Saturday, December 3rd and 4th. The festival will feature more than 75 beers all over 8% alcohol from all over the United States. Admission is $30 and includes 8 taster tickets each good for a 4 ounce pour. If you can’t make it today, Pizza Port always has stellar beers on tap!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Belgium to Brooklyn: Brooklyn, New York
11:00AM- 11:00PM @ Mugs Ale House
Oh my- this is epic and actually begins on Saturday, December 4th. 5th Annual Belgium 2 Brooklyn Mug’s Ale House Belgian Style Beer Festival: Saturday 12/4/10 & Sunday 12/5/10 from 11 AM onwards. No entrance fee, pay as you go. Over 40 Belgian Style Ales on draft + Mug’s Ale House usual enormous bottle selection.
Check out beeradvocate.com for a full tap list! Highlights include, ‘t Smisje Speciaal 2009 10.5% ; Struise Tsjeeses 10% ; Mikkeller Santas Little Helper 10.9% and Dogfish Head Au Courant 2003 7% among so many more!
If you have an event you are going to or have an event you want us to post about, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
Last weekend we embarked on what might be the greatest “hike-in” beach camp spot in all of the Northwest. Our trip to Shi Shi Beach in the Makah Indian Reservation (Neah Bay, WA) was beyond epic. Many a new terms were coined, wooden implements fashioned, pasty foods consumed, ocean plunges taken, driftwood bonfires lit and even a few articles of clothes smoked for that take home campfire flavor (see SmokedJorts.com).
But like many of you, I was stumped by how to perfectly plan for 50+ hours in no man’s land, sans cooler and additional space for my brethren – beer. Food was a stumble, but doable. Equipment seemed to fit without excess weight. Even multi-weather clothing seemed to be a cinch. But Beer – not exactly.
The Dilemmas of Beerpacking
Here are some of the dilemmas:
- (1) Weight - The ratio for alcohol to weight in beer is grossly disproportional. For most of us, its part of the reason we love it so very much. It allows us to consume various types and flavors over a long period of time. But for the camper (not you, car campers!) its a pain in the ass.
- (2) Shape & Proportion - Our common vessels are the bottle, growler, keg, party pig and can. Lets toss kegs, growlers and party pigs pretty quickly. Unless you have constructed some amazing carriage that allows multiple people to share the weight, a three mile hike up and down cliffs will not facilitate these receptacles. That leaves us with smaller vessels, such as cans and bottles. Of course, bottles are glass and would need to be separated or wrapped to prevent breakage. Not enticing. This leaves the common can – but many of you are still weenies about drinking from a can. Get over it. I’ll discuss more below.
- (3) Cooling - I bet you aren’t going to carry your cooler three miles down the trail eh? Excited to have ice last for about 2 hours? There is no great solution to the cooling challenge. Ice packs add unnecessary weight for the duration that they last. Soft pack coolers are a decent try, if they fit in your pack.
A Good Set of Rules to Live By
So, I thought long and hard about these things. We did some things right – and some wrong. Lets discuss the goals:
- (1) Cut Weight & Volume Usage With Cans - We all want to drink beer when camping. Liquor just can’t satisfy the mountain man inside. Here’s the solution: Get cans. Unless you have been living in a cave, you probably know that many of our nation’s finest brewers can their beer. Here are a few of the best: Oskar Blues, Big Sky, 21st Amendment, Anderson Valley, New Belgium, 7 Seas, and soon to be – Fremont Brewing. Canned beer is great! Newer cans keep beer fresher, reduce transit costs and are better for the environment. Its the easiest to pack in and to pack out, reducing in size to easily recycle. This one is a no-brainer. Get yourself a few sixers of canned beer.
- (2) Forget the Chilling Vessel – Use Nature - I realize that this one might apply only us in the high north. In Washington state, all of our water is cold! Whether you are by the sea or in the mountains, a fresh supply of frigid water will await you. Hauling around any type of chilling device, whether it be an ice pack or a soft cooler is probably a waste of space. It will not protect your treasured ale from the sun and humidity. Find a water source early in the trip and something to lodge your beer beneath the water’s surface to keep it from the sun’s heat and light. A good choice is that good old bear canister that you are most likely required to have in order to camp in the vast NW. Once the sun retreats, pull your canister, drink up, seal off food for the night and repeat the next day.
- (3) Pace Yourself & Conserve - Unfortunately, you need to leave your Saturday city drinking behind. Do not expect to have the same epic consumption schedule you typically fly through each weekend. Be a grown up and consume at a reasonable pace. Remember, nothing is worse than spending some time on an amazing beach and knowing that you are out of ale. Always keep a few in the cooler and educate your friends on properly preparing. Otherwise, they’ll be hounding you to pass one over.
Suggestions From Beer Blotter
If you decided to go can and on-site cool – here are some pointers:
- (1) ABV is King – Think about ABV when you are planning. In our instance we wanted the best ABV to price ratio. The golden rule in my opinion was a perfect 1 : 1 of ABV % to 6 Pack price (i.e. 8% for $8). This led us directly to Oskar Blues Old Chub, which rings in right at the sacred 1 : 1 ratio (actually I paid $8.99, but close enough). While you might be tempted to go for that Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, Gordon or Gubna, remember that a 6 pack might take you into the $20-$24.00 range. Yikes! Look for the 7%-8% grogs; they seem to have the best value.
- (2) Flavor Should Match Your Surroundings - Here is where I admit my first error. Beach camping requires a specific type of beer. Old Chub, a scotch ale with complete caramel maltiness was not our best choice. Instead, 21st Amendment’s Brew Free or Die was our best selection. The IPA matched all weather conditions, was refreshing, and still maintained an acceptable flavor at air temperature. Unfortunately, we had a small 6 pack supply. Remember to look out for Fremont Brewing’s potential IPA release soon in the future. Another great choice would absolutely be 7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA, which comes in 16oz cans at 8.4%!!!! Wish we could have found a few of those for the trip.
- (3) Suffer the Weight, Not the Beer-less Moments - Nothing is worse then getting to your site and knowing that you could have handled another 6 pack in your pack. You will want that 72oz of greatness! Pack as much as you can possibly muster without injuring yourself. Remember that the trek back will be a heck of a lot lighter!
From all of us at BeerBlotter.com – Have a hell of summer!