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Events for Week of February 14, 2011

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Calling all Seattliest- stop by Latona for a beer. Pic courtesy of seattleweekly.com.

I hope you snuggled up with a beer on Monday for V. Day and got a bit tipsy. But now for your week in beer.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Southern Tier Cask and Draft Night: Arlington, Virginia

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Rustico – Ballston

Enjoy all that is Southern Tier tonight!

THE SOUTHERN TIER BREWS:
Draft:
Southern Tier Choklat
Southern Tier Krampus
Southern Tier Unearthly
Southern Tier Gemini
Southern Tier Cuvee 3
Southern Tier Backburner

Cask:
Southern Tier 2X IPA

PRICE: Southern Tier beers will be priced by the glass and in 4 oz. tasters.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Silver City Brewing Night: Gig Harbor, Washington

6:00PM-8:00PM @ The Tides Tavern

Featuring Silver City Brewing Co.‘s Ridgetop Red Ale, WhoopPass Double IPA, & Fat Woody Scotch Ale.

Head Brewer and Gig Harbor local Gary Winn will be on hand to share a pint with.

Buy a pint keep the Silver City glass while supplies last & Silver City Brewery giveaways as well!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Allagash with Rob Todd: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

6:00PM-11:00PM @ Union Jack’s

Join amazing brewer, Rob Todd for some even more amazing Allagash beers. Here is what he has is store for you tonight.

Bourbon Black
Big Little Beer
Confluence
Interlude
Curiuex
Tripel
Dubbel
Odyssey
Grand Cru
Hugh Malone
Fluxus 2010
Four
White

Friday, February 18, 2011

Firestone Walker Beer Dinner: Mesa, Arizona

6:30PM-8:30PM @ Il Vinaio

Come join us for a Special Firestone Walker Beer Dinner hosted by Firestone Walker’s ~ David Walker. See below for Beer Dinner Details!.
Menu:

Course 1: Baked Crawfish Cheddar Tart with Pale 31 Pale Ale

Course 2: Grilled Shrimp with Roast Corn & Black Bean Fritter with Double Barrel Ale

Course 3: BBQ Duck Sausage with Okra and Cheesy Grits with Double Jack Imperial IPA

Dessert: Chocolate Bread Pudding with Velvet Merlin Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout

Firestone Walker Beer Dinner Nightcap @ilvinaio: 4oz Tulip of 14th Anniversary Ale!

$29.00 per person / Firestone Glassware included.

See Il Vinaio for Details!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Boulder Strong Beer Festival: Boulder, Colorado

12:00PM-5:00PM @ Avery Brewing Company

Mark your calendars for Friday, February 18th and Saturday, February 19th for the 9th Annual Boulder Strong Ale Festival! We’ve decided to move this event back to February for 2011, since strong ales seem to taste even better in the dead of winter. This event featured nearly 80 different strong beers over 8% abv in 2010, and we hope to have even more this time around. All attendees will receive 16, two-ounce tasting tickets and a commemorative festival tasting glass with admission, along with the chance to mingle with many of the brewers and creators on the beers on hand. The Friday tasting session will run from 5PM-10PM and the Saturday session will be from 12PM-5PM.

To ensure that all attendees have a fantastic time, we’re limiting ticket sales to 400 tickets per day. Tickets will go on sale for $35 apiece on Monday, January 3rd from our online ticketing partner Ticket Alternative (Friday tickets: Saturday Tickets: ) and from the Avery Tap Room. Tickets will be available at the door only if they do not sell out in advance. Act fast!

We hope to have over 50 participating Breweries this year!! To name just a few who have already committed: Allagash (ME), Avery (CO), Cambridge (MA), Deschutes (OR), Dogfish Head (DE),Moylans (CA), Ommegang (NY), Oskar Blues (CO), Pizza Port (CA), Pumphouse (CO), Redstone Meadery (CO), The Bruery (CA), Trinity Brewing (CO), Victory Brewing (PA)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Keg of Bell’s Hopslam: Raleigh, North Carolina

12:00PM-2:00PM @ Busy Bee Cafe

Looking for something to do on your lazy Sunday? Well go to Busy Bee Cafe and down a couple of Hopslams- Bell’s amazing Double IPA. The keg will be tapped at noon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winter into Spring with Rouge: Seattle, Washington

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Latona Pub

Latona is a cool place to get a beer. Tonight they feature Rouge.

If you want us to promote an event or if you want to review an event, then please email me at jess@beerblotter.com or leave a comment! Cheers!

Asheville Continues To Be Awesome

January 21, 2011 2 comments

Thirsty for Belgians?

If you are following me on Twitter (@timperialstout), I’m sure that you have noticed that I have been blowing up your timeline with beer check-ins via Untappd.  Sorry about that.  Hopefully, you’re just a little jealous that I get to have an entire week of unencumbered liver destruction at the hands of many Eastern and Southern beers that I either very rarely get to drink or have never had before.  Needless to say, I’m having a blast!

I’m pretty sure that I could be happy living in Asheville solely thanks to two establishments.  First, Thirsty Monk.  Thirsty Monk is one of the best beer bars I have ever been to.  The owner actually lived in Seattle for a while and is a huge fan of The Stumbling Monk in Cap Hill, as well as Brouwer’s and Hale’s Ales.  The Thirsty fella is much larger than the Stumbling one, and I’d venture to say that it’s more true to form in its Belgian authenticity.  The layout and minimal food offerings (cheese, soft pretzels, humus plate) bring much reminiscing to my time in the true home of the Belgian Beer Bar Experience.  Though, the top floor is home to all American beer taps, many of which are local.  It’s the bottom floor that is the real lair of the monk.  All taps in the depths are of Belgian style, though not all are imports.  During my visit there were several Belgian styles on tap from American brewers such as The Bruery, North Coast and Allagash.

The best part about Thirsty Monk, other than the decor and great taplist, is that they offer taster trays (four samples) and half pints.  No beer is excluded.  This is very similar awesomeness to Uber Tavern’s relatively new service upgrade in allowing tasters of any beer on tap.  When you order a taster tray at TM you are also given a tasting notes card and a pencil so that you can, of course, write tasting notes and have something to take home with you so that you can remember what you had and if you enjoyed it.  This is especially helpful for me in my current situation…drinking beers that I very rarely if ever have, that is.

That brings us to the second establishment that would make it easy for me to permanently reside in Asheville, Bruisin’ Ales.  Before I made it here I had stopped into a few local markets, wine shops and the other bottle shop in town, Hops & Vines.  No one seems to compare to Bruisin’ Ales in selection, and really, that’s what you want in a bottle shop.  BA has an exceptional selection of locals, regionals and Belgians (lots and lots of Belgians).  They also have a great collection of glassware available and sell t-shirts with their logo on them.

The location is prime, right in the mix of it all downtown.  It’s actually on the same road as Barley’s Taproom and Mellow Mushroom, two great beer bars.  I found the staff to be very kind and knowledgeable.  As is always the case when I’m in a new place with a huge collection of beers that are unavailable in Seattle, I was wildly overwhelmed.  I decided that I should hold off on purchasing the final bounty of bottles that I will smuggle back to Seattle until later in the trip when I have a better idea of what’s good, rare, etc.  I grabbed a few bottles to take back to the dwelling for late night options.  These included Terrapin So Fresh & So Green fresh hop IPA, Terrapin Gamma Ray wheatwine, New Holland Blue Sunday Sour, Weyerbacher Riverva 2010 and Ska Nefarious Ten Pin imperial porter.  Good times.

Events for Week of January 17, 2011

Sorry Im late. Busy weekend with a road trip and lots of football! But now for your week in beer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Allagash Abduction: Burlington, Vermont

4:30PM-11:30PM @ The Farmhouse Tap & Grill

Allagash Brewery…need we say more? Brewmaster Rob Tod will be in the house with the full gamut of Allagash offerings.
We suggest coming early to this one.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Duck-Rabbit Dinner: Durham, North Carolina

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Guglhupf Bakery And Patisserie

In honor of 1/3 of bb.com living the beer life in NC, I wanted to post about this event which features local NC brewery, Duck Rabbit. This menu along with the beer pairings is an event you dont want to miss:

AMBER ALE

TOASTED RACLETTE ON PAYSAN TOAST POINTS WITH HOUSE CURED DUCK AND RABBIT SAUSAGE, BRAISED CABBAGE AND CHIVE AIOLI.

BROWN ALE

HAZELNUT CRUSTED SCOTTISH SALMON WITH WHIPPED POTATOES AND WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD SAUCE.

PORTER

SLOW BRAISED OX TAIL RAGU WITH CHESTNUT SPATZLE AND LOCAL ARUGULA.

BALTIC PORTER

MOLASSES LACQUERED BREAST OF VEAL WITH GLAZED BABY TURNIPS AND HOUSE SAUERKRAUT.

MILK STOUT

CHOCOLATE MALT TORTE WITH PRETZEL BARK AND CANDIED KUMQUATS.

We look forward to seeing you there! Contact Guglhupf to make a reservation.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Firestone Walker Pint Night and 14th Anniversary Release: San Diego, California

4:00PM-12:00AM @ Urge Gastropub

One of my favorite beers, Firestone Walker’s 14th Anniversary beer is amazing. One of the many epic beers I had in San Diego, 14th Anniversary is flavorful and complex. Tonight take home a pint, taste 14 and several other beers from Firestone Walker.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Firkin Friday Bell’s Hopslam: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

4:00PM-2:00AM @ Stubby’s Pub & Grub

Join us Friday 1/21 @ 4pm as we Tap into yet another Firkin! If you can’t make it right at 4, don’t worry it will be flowing for the duration of the evening, or at least till it’s gone.

Bell’s Hopslam is one of the Midwest’s most sought after beers, and Firkins of such a beer are surely a rarity. We @ Stubby’s are honored to get our hands on this beast of a brew and would like to invite all of our friends to come and enjoy it with us!

For those who aren’t too familiar, a Firkin is a cask conditioned ale in which the final stage of the brewing process and carbonation occurs right in the keg. A sort of old school way of making and drinking beer….the way beer should be and the Horizon Red is going to be phenomenal this way!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Belgium Fest: Seattle, WA

12:00PM-4:00PM OR 5:30PM – 9:30PM @ Warren Magnuson Park

This is a very popular event so don’t be disappointed if the tickets are sold out by the time you get to the door. For a full list of beers, click here!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter Beer Fest: Las Vegas, Nevada

10:00AM-10:00PM @ Aces & Ales

Details:

$15 entrance fee
Gets you a 7oz satin-etched commemorative sample glass, as well your first taste FREE and ~just $4 per 7oz tastes after~

For those of you who do not want to pay the $15 fee and get the glass, 12oz goblets of any beer on will be available for $8

In addition to all the mind-blowing beers you will be enjoying, we have lined-up a ‘who’s-who’ of the Brewing/Beer World daily for you to talk/learn/heckle/pick the brains of~! This line up is as follows:

Yuseff Cherney, Head Brewer – Ballast Point
Scott Wilke, Deschutes Brewery
Lisa Godbey, Southern Alebassadors
(Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, Firestone, Sierra Nevada)
Kellan Bartosch, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Ed Gebler, Stone Brewing Co
Greg Green, Bonanza Alebassador (Rogue, Deschutes, Stone)

Commemorative ‘Aces & Ales Winter Beer Fest’ Shirts will also be available for purchase for $15.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Beer U: Strong Ales: Escondido, California

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Stone Brewing Co.

Here at Stone, it’s no secret that we have a special place in our hearts for huge malty brews. Join “Dr.” Bill Sysak for a delicious evening featuring one of our favorite beer styles. Hear the story behind these big beautiful brews while you do some heavy duty hands-on learning!

Tickets are $25 and are available at the Stone Company Store or online at:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/140176

If you go to an event, want me to promote an event- email me at jess@beerblotter.com! Cheers!

52 Weeks: The Traveler, Seattle, WA

November 5, 2010 1 comment

The sign beckons the traveler in all of us.

Written by Jess R.

Week 40 of 52

The Traveler (ak.a. The Leary Traveler)

4354 Leary Way NW

Seattle, WA 98107

(206) 783-4805

Rank: 4/5

Type of Establishment: Chill beer bar, brunch spot

Visit: After writing the Beers in the Hood: Ballard, I was accosted by my dear, close friends about The Traveler. How could I have left this gem off my list? Simple- I had never been there. This weekend, I changed that with back to back visits.

Sorry Photo: Yikes. Sorry for the poor quality. A night time shot via iPhone is not so hot. My apologies to the good people at the Traveler, because this place is a beaut and deserves a better shot.

 

Beers on Tap (at time of visit):

 

PBR

Ommegang Hennepin

Trumer Pils

Guiness

Manny’s Pale Ale

Maredsous 8, Belgium

—The top 6 are a constant on tap here. The bottom 4 beers are constantly changing–

Allagsh Black Belgian Stout

Glacier  Brewhouse IPA (AK)

Full Sail Lupulin, Fresh Hop

Sierra Nevada Tumbler

Bottle List:

A glorious refrigerator with at least 35 bottle varieties from Russian River to Port Brewing. The Traveler also carries a seasonal selection, which makes things interesting and switches it up. It appears that the owner puts a lot of thought into selecting his bottles and rotating taps–this is all we ever ask of any and every bar owner.

 

Food Options:

 

The first visit occurred on a Friday evening. We had already indulged in a home-cooked meal, so we only perused the menu but man, does it look delicious.

The menu is served from lunch time through dinner and includes mini-burgers with crispy prosciutto and chipotle aoli and The Irish Interloper made up of house made Painted Hills corned beef (seriously made it the back of the house), sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Gruyère on rye bread with a side salad. Belgium mussels and frites showcase The Travelers’ European inspired fare.

The next morning, around 10:30AM we rallied the troops and headed back to try the food. Saturdays and Sundays until 3PM, brunch is served.

French Toast, an open-faced egg, cheese and prosciutto sandwich as well as all of the lunch options made our food choice an agonizing one. Bloody Marys and a Mimosa (served in a pint glass) started us off as we each ordered: corned beef (remember, made on site) hash with two over easy eggs and the steak and eggs were the highlights. The Bloody Mary bar is a never before seen treat – don’t miss it.

The corned beef hash was steamy, rich, chewy and the perfect start to a day and a hang over cure. The steak and eggs doesn’t sound all that exciting, but the cut of the steak was top-notch and it was cooked to perfection, making the eggs just an added bonus. The food is great, no dispute.

 

Bar Opinions:

 

A small space and barely noticeable from the busy street in Fre-lard (the small area between neighborhoods Ballard and Fremont), I present to you The Traveler. As you walk up to this bar, you can peer through the floor to ceiling windows and see the candle lit tables with the patrons laughing and drinking.

A quaint place with exposed brick, hard wood floors, an open kitchen and a chalkboard full of glory, The Traveler can accommodate a cold winter night or a steamy summer day out on their back patio.

Glacier, Allagash, Ommegang - oh my!

Tonight, in honor of Halloween, The Traveler was holding a pumpkin carving contest. As people were busy fashioning faces and scenes into these over-sized gourds, we found a standing table by the exposed wooden columns.

A quick glance at the beer board and I was instantly intrigued. I ordered the Allagash Black Belgian Stout which had a roasted flavor complemented with a silky, chocolaty mouth-feel and had a bitter coffee nose. My companion ordered the Glacier IPA (which I had at brunch the next day) which was a pleasant surprise from a small brewery in Alaska.

With a tap list guaranteed to have a several good choices (Ommegang Hennepin is always on the list which makes this bar Ommegang’s largest Washington state account), killer food and a cozy atmosphere, I would hit up the Traveler any day. You simply can’t go wrong.

Those of you passing through from Ballard to Fremont or vice-versa should consider the same! If you have been there and have something to say – post a comment below.

 

52 Weeks: Cascade Brewing Barrel House

October 6, 2010 2 comments

The view as you approach the Barrel House

Week 36 of 52:

Cascade Brewing Barrel House
939 SE Belmont Street
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 265-8603

Rank: 4.5/5

Type of Establishment: Barrel house, blending facility, taproom, house of sour…

Visit: A Sunday day trip to Beervana, U.S.A. Our very first of many beer related stops of the day.

Beers on Tap (at time of visit):

Funk III

Beck Berry

The Vine

Nightfall

Noyeaux

Sang Rouge

Sang Noir

Bourbonic Plague

Vlad the Imp Aler

Amber

Fresh Hop Porter

RyIPA

Mid Summer’s Pale

Summer Gose

Winter Gose

Razberry Wheat

Kriek

What can I say, it's beautiful.

Bottles (available to go): Apricot, Kriek, The Vine, Sang Rouge

Food Options: Small plates/appetizers/soup/salad/sandwiches.  The owners wanted the Barrel House to be open to families with children, so local law states that food must be served to allow for those under 21 to enter.  The menu is fairly small and simple, but if you need a nibble whilst sampling the stellar brews, the option is there for you.  Considering that almost all of the sours are in the 8% to 12% range, a little substance in the belly is highly recommended.  Our visit did not include food, so we are not able to comment on the quality.

BAR OPINION: About a year ago, when Beer Blotter first heard that one of our favorite sour brewers in America would be opening a brand new tasting room in Portland, we all just sort of looked at each other with wide eyes and growing smiles and knew that we would be there as soon as it opened.  The simple reason: Cascade Brewing is just downright exciting.

This brewery exists in a niche of State Side breweries that is occupied by a very elite few.  An elite few that have the know-how and brewing facilities to allow for mass production in purposely infected beers.  Sours.  This art is not for the faint of heart, especially for those that also brew “traditional” ales and lagers that could easily be tainted with all those hazardous bugs crawling around.

If you’ll allow me to speak for all North-westerners for one moment, it feels really good to have a brewery that is unafraid to tackle this challenging but incredibly rewarding style of production in our own backyard.  An Oregon brewer that can be spoken in the same breath as Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin, Avery, Allagash, New Belgium. It feels good…a pleasant sigh of relief.  Cascade Brewing’s brewmaster is Ron Gansberg.  That name should be remembered.

Not my ideal use of a barrel, but still pretty clever.

The Barrel House opened its doors to the public on September 27th, and less than a week later, all three of us were inside.  Let me tell you, we had the highest of hopes for this place, and we were not disappointed in any way.

From the outside, the building, which used to be a produce warehouse, looks a bit like one of those newfangled fire stations.  Very sharp-looking indeed.  There is a very sizable outdoor area that offers both picnic tables and high-top tables fabricated from steel and actual wood barrels (see picture).

The seating is fairly similar inside, consisting of picnic tables, traditional booths, small circular tabletops resting on top of large barrels, and brushed metal bar stools.  If you are able to peel your eyes away from the alluring bar back for just a moment, you will notice the three flat-screen T.V.s strategically placed around the room.

Naturally, we wanted to be as close to the beer as possible, so we pulled up a few stools at the bar and got acquainted with the menu.  We were quickly greeted by one Cody Bottorff, Pub Keeper/Blender.  This was my first time meeting Cody, but the rest of the crew had met him a little while back when he was still at The Horse Brass.  He was expecting us, so after a short bit of banter and the choosing of beer number 1, we had the distinct pleasure of getting a tour of the facility.

Our first stop was the beer cooler, directly behind the bar back.  This little gem has been meticulously constructed to make your beer experience as good as it possibly can be.  To put it simply, the temperature and CO2 pressure regulation is painfully exacting.  You can always be assured to get a perfect glass of beer. One small example of how much care went into the development of the cooler is that they went as far as to assure that the water used to clean the glassware prior to the pour is the same temperature as the beer.

The most fascinating element of this leg of the tour was the sight of the two barrels that have been inserted directly through the cooler wall.  Yes, that’s right, they cut two circular holes in the wall and stuck barrels in them.  This allows for two special beers to be served to the public directly from the barrel.  This is freakin’ sweet!  They used the tube of a bike tire to insulate the space between the wall and the barrel.  That’s some real deal MacGyver action right there.

The next stop of the tour was the space that will soon act as the fruit infusion/secondary fermentation site.  Remember, this place is still really new and there is still work to be done behind the scenes, thus my use of “soon”.

We then ventured to the small side room that is currently housing the fruit infusion/secondary fermentation.  Though this room was fairly boring to actually look at while we were there (just a few barrels and a few recycled dairy fermenters), it was captivating to imagine what it must look like when they are filling the containers with outrageous amounts of fresh fruit.  Or even, what it must smell like when there are hundreds of pounds of Bing and sour pie cherries, apricots, raspberries, blackberries, dates, etc. being generously dumped into oak barrels.  I very much wished that I had x-ray vision and could see what wonderful fruity delights existed within those vessels.

The final stop in the tour was the barrel room.  This was a sight to see.  I can’t even tell you how much this room reminded me of Belgium, specifically the attic at Cantillon in Brussels.  Oh man, I’m getting emotional just thinking about it again.  All I can really say is, there is a little piece of one of the greatest beer cultures on the planet hidden in the back room of the Cascade Barrel House in Portland, OR.

Cantillon?

From here it was back to the bar for more beers, but first, further reflection on our first round choices.  For me, the Funk III was an absolute must.  This was the one ‘straight from the barrel stuck in the wall’ option.  Naturally, it was still un-carbonated, but it was chilled just as much of the rest of the beers.  For me, this had a very strong traditional Belgian gueuze like quality.  Maybe the lack of suds brought this thought on, but it was damn good and again, sent my memory reeling with thoughts of the Belgium trip.  Any beer that causes that to happen is a winner in my book.

Nightfall and Noyeaux were also sampled in round 1.  Nightfall is an oak aged sour blonde wheat beer with blackberries added.  If that doesn’t sound good to you, you probably should have tuned out a long time ago.  If you aren’t into fruit beers, it doesn’t matter, there is so much more to it than that.  But, if you really want to talk about complexity, Noyeaux can pretty much be used as a synonym.

Noyeaux
Noyeaux: 8.5% ABV / 13 IBU / $6 Glass
This one-of-a-kind NW sour is a blend of Belgian strong blondes aged in white port barrels with raspberries, then blended with select barrels of strong blondes that were aged on the toasted meat from the apricot nut, or Noyeaux.

Noyeaux has so many layers of brilliance that I don’t know where to begin.  I’m not going to allow this article to turn into a Notes of a Beer Nerd so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that it’s breathtaking and that you must go get one for yourself.

Our next round saw us order four beers to be sampled amongst the three of us – Beck Berry, the one and only Brett beer that they make/will ever make (apparently Ron gave it a whack and decided that once was enough, he uses Lacto), and the three bourbon barrel aged beers: Bourbonic Plague, Vlad the Imp Aler, and Sang Noir.

I have, ever since it won gold at GABF in the wood and barrel aged sour beer category in ’09, been hoping to try Bourbonic Plague.  It is a very hard one to get a hold of.  Well, it finally happened and it did not disappoint.  Truthfully, none of the beers disappointed, but Bourbonic Plague, of all the beers sampled, most played to my tastes.  It’s essentially a sour imperial porter with strong bourbon wood notes and some spicing.  Just plain insane.

Just before we made our way to our next destination we realized that it was completely dumb of us to leave without tasting the Fresh Hop Porter.  You know, because it’s a fresh hop porter…who makes that?!  Guess what?  It was delicious.  Go figure.

Seriously people, Cascade Brewing Barrel House is well designed, comfortable, and full of mind numbingly unique, complex and delicious beers.  If I lived in Portland, I have little doubt that I would go completely bankrupt because of this place.  No matter where you live in the world, consider it an absolute, 100% can’t miss beer location.  Go there, you will thank me.

I’d also be insane if I didn’t mention that the staff is crazy knowledgeable and super nice.  The world’s biggest high-five and a heart-felt THANK YOU goes out to Cody for EVERYTHING that he did for us.

Our gracious host. Thanks again Cody!

Events for Week of June 14, 2010

Dogfish Head's Brew Pub: Bring your old man her on Father's Day!

Currently 1/3 of Beer Blotter is living the life in Southern California. Reports have been made that include Alesmith Speedway Stout and Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast on tap at Stone’s Brewpub. Several, if not all of the beers made by Alpine Brewing Co. have been consumed and loved. I on the other hand, enjoyed a relaxing weekend in the San Juan Islands which concluded at a BBQ. All the while drinking Boundary Bay IPA, Rouge‘s Juniper Pale Ale and Fish Brewing Co.‘s Organic IPA.  But the past is the past…

Monday, June 14, 2010

Allagash Night: Boston, Massachusetts

6:00PM-9:00PM @ The Kinsale Irish Pub & Restaurant

Allagash brews will be on tap tonight. Come one, come all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Smuttynose Brewing Co. Meet the Brewer: Cambridge, Massachusetts

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Atwood’s Tavern

The following Smuttynose Brewing Co. beers may or may not be on tap tonight. Shoals Pale AleOld Brown DogStar Island SingleIPARobust Porter, the Big Beer Series & our seasonal specialties – HanamiSummer Weizen, Pumpkin Ale & Winter Ale. Their IPA is amazing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Avery Craft Beer Dinner: Elkhart, Indiana

6:30PM-8:30PM @ Chalet Party Shoppe

Grab some amazing grub paired with Avery Brewing Co. beers like Hog Heaven (a barleywine with a hop component), Mephistopheles Stout, Avery White Rascal (a Belgium Wit beer), IPA and Karma Belgian Pale. YUM!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Firestone Walker Tasting: Beverly Hills, California

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Vendome Wine & Spirits In Beverly Hills

Featured tonight, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Beer Tasting. Keep in mind that there is limited entrance and delicious appetizers will be present.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Washington Brewers Festival, Day 1 of 3: Kenmore, Washington

4:00PM-9:00PM @ Saint Edwards State Park

$15.00 tonight will buy you 4 tokens, Saturday and Sunday, $20 (or $25 at the door) will buy you 6 tokens. Check out the Washington Beer Commission’s website for more information about who is pouring what this weekend!

Saturday, June 19, 2010: Wynola, California

7:00PM-10:00PM @ Jeremy’s On The Hill

All I have to say is Horny Devil and Speedway Stout by Alesmith Brewing Co. will be in play tonight and will be paired with delicious plates.

Sunday, June 20, 2010: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

9:00AM-11:00AM @ Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats

Bring your Dad and Join us for a Special Brunch here at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats.  A killer menu and of course your favorite DFH beers will be on tap. Celebrate your dad with some beers!

Comments, questions about an event or a beer….you know what to do- leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com!

Events for the week of June 7, 2010

City Tap House in Philly, PA. "Great Food- Craft Brewed"

Is it really Monday again? Sure enough we had a weekend excursion..where to? Wenatchee, WA along with Cashmere, Leavenworth and Ellensburg.  Along the way we drank Deschutes Hop Henge and Jubel at the Applewood Grille, enjoyed a German brew at Munchen Haus in Leavenworth and stopped at Iron Horse Brewing Co. for some IPA, Hefe (6%!!) and Biere De Garde.  Always a good time. Now, for times to come….

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bell’s World Record Draft Event: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

7:00PM-11:00PM  @ City Tap House

31 different and rare beers on tap tonight, all from Bell’s Brewing Co. Oh man….this event is amazing. Fresh Hop Slam and Golden Funk, Kal Haven Brett Rye Ale, Black Note and Sparkling Ale, Oracle, Wheat Love, Deb’s Red, Q Falls Lager, or Bourbon Barrel Hell Hath.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

3rd Annual Belgium Beer Festival: Queens, New York

6:00 PM- 4:00AM @ Sunswick 35/35

Can’t get to Belgium? Then just go to this event: 5 rotating Belgian beers on tap. Six specialty bottled beers will also be available. The menu will feature Belgian-inspired dishes, such as Belgian cheese plates, waffles, fries, and salads. Check out Brugze Zot, Saison Dupont, Westmalle Trappiste Tripel and more!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meet and Greet with Great Lakes Brewing Co.: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

6:00PM- 8:00PM @ the Devil’s Den

Owner of Great Lakes Brewing Co., Pat Conway will be here to discuss and enjoy his beers with you. GLBC, out of Cleveland OH, makes amazing brews, ranging from Blackout Stout to an unbelievable Christmas Ale. Their American style IPA, Commodore Perry and their Burning River Pale Ale are also not to be missed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Victory Beer Dinner: Purcellville, Virginia

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Magnolias at the Mill

This $80.00 dinner will be worth every penny….6 courses (including a greeting beer) will be paired with Victory Brewing Co. beers.  8 beers will be tasted including Old Horizontal Barleywine and Wild Devil!!! Enjoy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Allagash Night: San Diego, California

5:00PM-8:00PM @ Downtown Johnny Browns

The beer line up for the Allagash Night will include: Curieux, Victor, Victoria, Confluence, Wit, Interlude, Odyssey, Fluxus 09′, Four and Dubbel. Also, enjoy some smoked brisket with a Curieux BBQ sauce! Check out Johnny Browns for brewer nights in the future.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Monthly Brew Day: Anthem, Arizona

9:00AM-5:00PM @ Hops and Tannins

If you don’t have room at home or want to get out to meet other home brewers, this is the event for you! Equipment is available for purchase at the store. But feel free to bring your own equipment to this event. You will have access to electricity, running water, a workbench area and use of two propane burners on a first come, first served basis. As a part of “buy here, brew here”, an area to store fermenters will be provided in shop if needed and access on Saturdays to transfer/rack, and bottle. For more information, call 623-551-9857.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Funday with New Belgium Brewing: Fort Worth, Texas

2:00PM – 5:00PM @ Ginger Man

New Belgium beers on tap, money spent will go towards The Ryan Family YMCA Step Up for Kids program. Give back on a Sunday while enjoying brews from NB. If they have Eric’s Sour Ale on tap- get it!

That’s it, that’s all. Email us at beerblotter@gmail.com or leave a comment if you want to discuss an event, want us to post an event or just want to talk about beer! Cheers!

Events for Week of May 17, 2010

Grab some sour beers by Cascade Brewing Co. @ uber on May 17!

Seattle Beer Week continues with everything a beer lover could dream of: Cascade Brewing Night, Dogfish Head dinners, vertical tastings and bottle releases.  BB.com heads to DC on Thursday and we are so excited to stop by the beer bars of our nation’s capital.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cascade Night: Seattle, Washington

6:00PM @ Uber Tavern

Come to Uber and enjoy some of Cascade Brewing Co.’s incredible sour beers: Cascade Apricot Ale; Cascade Kriek 2009; Cascade Noyeaux and Cascade The Vine 2009. These beers are top-notch. Cheese and meats will be served and are complimentary!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

East Meets West: Seattle, Washington

6:00PM-12:00AM @ Brouwer’s Cafe

I see beers and burgers in your Tuesday night plans. Brouwers is hosting Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, Dick Cantwell of Elysian Brewing, Christian Ettinger of Hopworks Brewing Co. and Rob Todd of Allagash, each bringing along a list of beers and a signature burger. Check out the burger options and beer lists here!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Weyerbacher Release of Verboten: Warren, New Jersey

5:00PM-7:00PM @ Tap Room at Somerset Hills Hotel

If you have yet to visit Warren NJ, now is as good a time as any for the release of Weyerbacher’s Verboten, a Belgium style pale ale. Cheers!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

SOUR BEER FEST: Seattle, Washington

3:00PM-11:00PM @ Brouwer’s Cafe

This is my favorite of all the festivals…thats really all I have to say, except check back later this week for Timperial Stout’s review of the sour beer line up.

Friday, May 21, 2010

AHA Rally: Portland, Maine

5:00PM-8:00PM @ Allagash Brewing Co.

In the name of homebrewing and how awesome it is, you should 1. homebrew and 2. become a member of the AHA and 3. attend this event.

American Homebrewers Association Rally open to members of the AHA and those interested in joining. Non-members attending will pay $33, receive entry and will become an AHA member, the event is free to members. We will be hosting brewery tours throughout the evening. Light appetizers will be provided along with a raffle and door prizes!- http://www.beeradvocate.com

Saturday, May 21, 2010

Iron Horse Night: Seattle, Washington

5:00PM-7:00PM @ Bottleworks

Join the brewers from Iron Horse Brewing Co., located in Ellensburg, Washington and a local fav. Iron Horse brews beers across the board ranging from Black IPAs, Coffee Stouts, Red Ales and Dry Irish Stouts.

Sunday, May 22, 2010

Closing Ceremony for Seattle Beer Week: Seattle, Washington

12:00PM-6:00PM @ Hales Brewing Co.

Finish Seattle Beer Week with 21 of Washington’s finest Breweries at Hale’s Palladium. Admission is $25 and includes 6 beer tastings. Ok, this beer sounds amazing: Port Townsend Brewing Co. (Seattle, WA), Luciferous Belgian Whiskey Sour. Try that.

So long Seattle Beer Week, until next year…

If you have an event you want us to post about or you went to an event and want to report back, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com. Also, any more suggestions about places to go and beers to drink in the DC area are welcome!

Timperial Stout’s Guide to Brouwer’s Back in Black Stout Night

No, the other type of stout.

I have been dubbed Timperial Stout for one simple reason: I love my beers deep, dark and mysterious. Lucky for me, the people over at Brouwer’s Cafe have created a night to honor that holy opaque beverage we call stout.  I’d be remiss to not mention it and provide my take on how one would work up a game plan for such an event. I’ve posted the list below, that was so thoughtfully provided by the folks over at Seattle Beer Week.  In this case, it has proven very helpful that two members of the SBW collective get a paycheck from Brouwer’s.  After each selection I have provided some commentary.  I’ve tried to be brief, but you know…I love this stuff.

Allagash Black is delicious and unique, but it’s not all that rare so I’d skip it here and get a bottle at the bottleshop if you’ve never tried it.

Avery Black Tot on the other hand…pretty damn rare.  This is the third release in Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series and is an imperial oatmeal stout aged in Gosling’s rum barrels.  I’m sure this wont be cheap, but I’d bet it’s worth every penny.

Avery Czar is, in my opinion, one of the best regularly available imperial stouts out there, but for this event, “regularly available” = “skip it”.

Avery Meph Addict is Avery Mephistopheles with coffee added.  I have never had (or seen for that matter) this one, so rare…yes.  The original Meph is a beast of a brew.  I recommend you tread lightly with these fellas, they are over 15% abv.

Avery Mephistopheles – See above

Beer Valley Black Madness – I’m either unaware of this beer or this is a mix up on words.  Beer Valley makes Black Flag Imperial Stout and Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale, but I’m not so sure about Black Madness.  The SBW site lists “Black Madness” again for the Firkin-Firkin event at Elysian, so I could be misinformed, or not informed at all as the case may be.

Big Sky Bottleworks 11 is going to be showing up at special events at Brouwer’s for a few years to come now I’d assume, considering the beer was made and kegged exclusively for them (Bottleworks, Brouwer’s, same difference).  Never-the-less, it’s a very intriguing beer with some intense sour and vinous notes.  Worth a taste if you missed out on the bottles.

Big Time Old Rip – Bill Jenkins knows how to make a beer folks.  If you don’t make it to the U-district with much regularity, you may have never had this one.  Go for it, drink local.

Boulevard Nitro Dry Stout – Boulevard out of Kansas City, MO has been doing a lot of experimenting lately.  They seem to be really making things happen, and everything that I have had of theirs so far has been quality.  They are still fairly new to the Seattle market…I can’t say that I’ve seen a lot a kegs come through.  I would never get this because I don’t like dry stouts, but if you are into Guinness, Murphy’s, Beamish, Moylan’s Dragoons, etc, check it out.

Chuckanut Export Foreign Stout – The words “Export Foreign Stout” are not very commonly used, but they basically indicate a “bigger” stout, built for long journeys on boats and such.  Considering the many recent accolades being tossed in Chuckanut’s direction, when I see that brewery name on something I want to try it.  Seems like a great starter to the evening to me.

Dick’s Woodford BBN Oak Cream Stout – I, sadly, don’t know a lot about this one, but the words “oak” and “cream stout” get me excited.  Worth a try, and possibly a bit more manageable in the abv category.

Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout – This one is extremely high on my list of best beers on planet Earth.  ‘Nuff said.  Oh, except beware of the strength – 18%.

Double Mountain Imperial Chaos is a draft only imperial stout from the impressive folks down in Hood River, OR.  I’ve never had this one, but I have continually been impressed by 2x Mountain.  I think I’ll be trying this one.

Elysian Dragonstooth Stout – One of the best single stouts in Washington, if not the country.  Very underrated in this area, possibly due to its permanent availability and therefore lack of hype.  Even still, I wouldn’t get it at an event like this.  Get a bottle at Whole Foods and take it home.

Firestone Walker Parabola 10 is my number one on this list.  I will scratch and claw to get it.  It is a 13% imperial stout that was blended from all sorts of different barrels, vintages, what-have-you.  It’s probably least rare this year then ever before in its existence, but still, very rare.

Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin is a fairly traditional oatmeal stout with a really great name.  Decent beer by one of the premier breweries in America.  I’d look for it on another day.

Full Sail Imperial Stout – Full Sail might be one of the largest breweries in the North West, but they still make really good beer, especially those in the Brewmaster Reserve series.  This is not Black Gold, so it’s not barrel aged, but it’s a great beer.  Worth getting on any other day, but there are better choices on this list.

Glacier Jack Daniels Impy Stout – Glacier is without a doubt one of Alaska’s finest.  Sadly, even though we are the closest neighboring state, we don’t see all that much of their work.  If this is in any way even close to matching the quality of their Big Woody Barleywine, this will be amazing.  Get it!

Great Divide Espresso Yeti – Yeti, like Avery Czar, is one of the best regularly available imperial stouts out there.  The espresso version is not as good in my opinion, but it’s a must try for all coffee junkies.

Green Flash Espresso Stout – I think this might be a keg only one-off brew.  Sounds rare.  Green Flash makes great beer.  I’d go for it!

Hales Machete – This puppy is brewed right down the street from Brouwer’s.  I give them a big “f%&@ yeah!” for the name but I think I’ll have to skip this one, only because of better options.

Hitachino Espresso Stout – This is the best espresso stout I have ever had, but you can get it in the bottle pretty easily.  Not appropriate for this event.

Laughing Dog Dogfather – This is one of the best beers to come out of Idaho.  I will skip it only because I still have a few bottles in the cellar, but it’s worthy of a purchase.

Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout – This one is released annually in the bottle, and can sometimes be found during the “off-season” at local bottle shops.  This beer is really freaking good, but get a bottle.

Lost Abbey Serpents Stout is Tomme Arthur’s idea of a Belgian stout.  If there is an actual Belgian brewed stout out there that is this rich and delicious, I have yet to find it.  Alvinne Podge is about as close as I can think of.  If you have never had this beer you need to get it.  This is fairly commonly available in bottles so I’d skip it here.

Mad River BBN Export Stout – A quality California brew, but not up to par with some of the competition.

Moylan’s Ryan O’Sullivan – I don’t often think of this beer when I ponder the great impy stouts of America, but I should.  It is a high quality brew, but yet again, a bit too common for this event.

Odin Sour Stout – believe it or not, I have yet to taste the nectars produced by Odin.  I know, it’s crazy.  I don’t know much about the sour stout but I must admit I’m intrigued.  This night just might be my first dance with Odin.

Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy – One of the very few, if not only imperial stouts released in a can.  That’s pretty damn cool, and it’s delicious to boot.  If I was at Brouwer’s on a regular day, I’d get it, but not tonight.

Port Brewing Old Viscosity – This beer is great, but not as good as its older brother.  Go with the older.

Port Brewing Older Viscosity – Regular readers will know that I’m mildly obsessed with this beer.  It’s chocolate covered pretzels to a T.  Get this and be like the stout fella above…meditate for a bit – you will go places.  I will most likely only get this one late in the evening, well after my better judgment has evaded me.  This is only because I have had it a bunch of times already.

Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper is a good impy stout, but it’s a bit thin for my liking.  I’d skip it.

Porterhouse Nitro Oyster Stout – This is a low abv dry Irish stout.  Sorry but…not interested.

Porterhouse Nitro Wrasslers 5x stout – Sorry Ireland, your stouts are boring.

Sierra Nevada Fritz & Ken – This was recently reviewed glowingly on this site by yours truly.  It’s a damn good beer with a damn good story to tell.

Southern Tier Jahva – This is a member of the ST Imperial series, which should read “AMAZING”!  Easily one of Beer Blotter’s favorite breweries in the world.  Their stouts are impeccable.  This one is just slightly less impeccable than the Oat below, so get that one.

Southern Tier Oat – See above.

Stone I.R.S. – This beer is very unique.  I have never had an impy stout with such a strong tobacco flavor, which is a good thing in my opinion.  Like Ten Fiddy, I’d order this in almost any other situation, but not tonight.

Victory Storm King – You might have heard that this was the first impy stout I ever tasted.  I owe it a lot.  Luckily for me, it’s one of the country’s best, so I started off on the right foot.  I’d get it if I didn’t already have a bunch in the cellar.

Walking Man Black Cherry Stout – Beer Blotter finds this beer to be like soda.  If that sounds good to you, hop on board.  Not so much for me, but I do love Walking Man.

Waterstreet Stout – Skip is gone.  I have little faith.

In summary, since that was probably a bit of a task to read, I offer my top 5, in order of importance.

5) Double Mountain Imperial Chaos

4) Avery Meph Addict

3) Glacier Jack Daniels

2) Avery Black Tot

1) Firestone Walker Parabola

Give me!

Collaborative Brewing: A Growing Trend in the Craft Beer Industry, Part 1

Brewers working together to make something great.

Collaborative brewing is a trend that has been impossible to ignore lately.  It’s rampant in the craft brewing community.  Beer Blotter couldn’t be more excited about this.  It’s a concept that we wholly embrace.  Communicating, sharing, supporting, uplifting.  We do our very best every day to create a dialogue.  To talk to brewers, bar owners, bartenders, bar patrons…beer lovers of every kind, to teach and to learn.  To build upon this incredible community, to be a constructive member, to both give and receive.  It’s a small faction of a larger concept…life.

It’s a really good feeling to be a part of a sub-culture of like-minded souls.  We love and respect beer, you love and respect beer, let’s hug.  When breweries that exist in the same sub-genre of commerce and compete for the same consumer’s (our) money decide to hug instead of scratch and claw, we get a little emotional.  It reinforces how special it is…this community of ours.  Breweries supporting each other, coming together as colleagues, teaching and learning from each other, and creating something special for us all instead of stepping on each other to reach the top alone.

A warming, parallel example of this hand-in-hand approach to capitalism can be found in the independent music community.  Though it is not as common as it once was, the split 7” epitomizes this concept.  Two or more like-minded bands join together to release an EP length record or CD, most traditionally with one new song from each band and one cover of one the opposite band’s songs.  This can be very valuable to the musicians because it allows for a co-mingling of fans.  Where one listener may have supported one band on a split and previously been unaware of the other band(s) work, there now becomes an instant increase in listenership.  A simple concept, the more folks that hear your work the more potential for success.  It’s pretty obvious when you think about it, but it takes a special kind of someone to put it into play and not feel threatened.  Most “corporations” wouldn’t dare.

Russian River Brewing Co and Avery Brewing Co.'s collaboration beer

One of the first collaboration beers that I remember being privy to was/is Collaboration Not Litigation, an incredibly cleverly named beer by Russian River Brewing and Avery Brewing.  This cross-pollination spawned from the quandary that both breweries had a beer named Salvation, Avery’s a Belgian strong golden ale and Russian River’s a Belgian strong dark ale.  Instead of taking it to litigation in the court room, they hashed it out in Avery’s Boulder, CO brewing space and blended the two.  The resulting concoction was truly a masterpiece (not surprising at all when you observe the work of these two master-brewers) and it continues to be blended and bottles to date.

One of the very first series of collaboration beers came at the hands of the ever –industrious De Proef Brouwerij.  The Signature Series began in 2007 with a collaboration with Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing.  This Belgian strong pale ale could easily sustain my beer needs for the rest of eternity.  So good!  The second, Les Deux Brasseurs, saw Allagash assist in brewing a golden ale fermented with multiple strains of Brett.

At this point it was quite obvious that De Proef had a firm finger on the pulse of American Brewing.  Any doubts that their choice in counterparts came with a roll of the dice were quickly squandered.  And, above all, the prophesy embedded in the split 7” theory was brought to fruition.  To Belgians: a starter course on the strength and boldness of American brewers, while simultaneously proving a knowledge and respect of tradition; to Americans: introduction to a great, and inspirational, international member of the “in it for the community” brewer.  Just mild research on De Proef brings to light their revolutionary “brewery for hire” stance that simply epitomizes the collaborative spirit.

The third, and most recent, was with Bells Brewery.  This was a smokey Belgian dark ale of much intrigue.  The 2010 edition of the Signature Series will be an Imperial Flanders Red Ale brewed in collaboration with Terrapin Beer Co. of Athens, GA.  Beer Blotter has one of each edition saved up in the cellar, and the addition of the 2010 release just may spawn a Signature Series Vertical Night.  The recent announced that the first two editions will be re-released in mid-April of this year gives hope to the not-so-obsessive beer drinker/collector to reproduce just such a vertical.

Quite possibly the most notable collaboration in brewing history is the creation of Isabelle Proximus, or, the beer brewed by the Brett Pack.  When a brew of any kind is made by the likes of Tomme Arthur (Port Brewing/Lost Abbey), Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River), Rob Tod (Allagash), Adam Avery (Avery) and Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), beer nerds are going to freak.  When that beer is a barrel aged sour ale inspired by Belgian lambics, game over!

The story starts in November of 2005 when Sam Calagione was working on his second book, Extreme Brewing.  In preparation for his drafting of said book he asked each member, of what would then become the Brett Pack, to take a trip to Belgium with him and tour numerous Gueze and Lambic producing breweries.  Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen and Boon, amongst others were visited and studied.  Amidst their travels and through various sour beer inspired (drunken) conversation, it became relevant that a collaborative Lambic inspired beer should be made back in the States.

In November of ’06 the travelers reconvened at Port Brewing in San Marcos, CA, each with 4 oak barrels and house cultures from their own sour brewing program in tow.  One base beer was brewed under the direction of all 5 brewers and then aged in 18 of the barrels.  After the aging, each was tasted and then a blending of 17 of the samples produced the final product.  Beer Blotter had the distinct privilege of tasting this extremely rare beer both on tap and in the bottle thanks to the crafty folks over at Brouwer’s.  It was, as I’m sure you can imagine, an orgasmic experience for the ages.

There have been so, so many more collaboration brews of note in the past few years that we will just have to wait until part two for more on them.

To be continued…

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