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Notes of a Beer Nerd: Southern Tier Brewing Co.’s Creme Brulee

Hmm...I wonder why they call it Creme Brulee...

***Notes of a Beer Nerd is a column written by resident cellar dwelling mammal, Timperial Stout. Feel free to e-mail him at timperial@beerblotter.com with any questions, concerns or comments***

Enjoyed on 11/2/2010

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Co.

Location: Lakewood, New York

Beer: Creme Brulee

Web: http://www.southerntierbrewing.com

Presentation: 22oz – Blown Glass Bottle – Capped

Vintage: 2009

Style: Imperial Milk Stout

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 10.0%

IBU: N/A

Hops: Columbus, Horizon

Malt: 2-row pale malt, dark caramel malt

Vessel: Snifter

Recommended Serving Temp: 42 degrees, as per the bottle

Commercial Description:

We are not the harbingers of truth as some may suggest but it may indeed be argued that our brewing philosophy is tantamount to a dessert with a bellicose past. How, you may ask, would a brewery determine a likeness to hard-coated custard? Our response is simple; it’s all in the power of history, and of course, the extra finesse needed to top off a contentious treat with definition.

By comprehending the labyrinthine movement of time, one would not think it strange to trace the errant path of an ordinary object such as a cream dessert only to discover that it has been the cause of cultural disputes since the middle ages. The British founders of burnt cream and from Spain, crema catalana, both stand by their creative originality and we respect that, but it was the French Crème Brûlée, amid the strife of contention, that survived to represent our deliciously creamy brew.

Food Pairings: Oysters, Cheesecake, Chocolate

Cheese Pairings: Brie, Gouda

Music Pairing: Cream or Vanilla Ice

Beer Advocate: B+ (3.95)

Rate Beer: 97 (3.69)

Timperialstout’s Notes:

Background.

I’ve never met a Southern Tier beer that I didn’t like.  Though that may not mean much to some (especially my Beer Blotter brethren, who are staunch in their stance that I think every beer is good), I assure you that it is not meaningless, as least in my mind.  For me, there is only a handful of American breweries that I would say that about, and it must be noted that I wouldn’t even consider publishing such a statement about a brewery that is anything less than prolific in their releases.  Some breweries that immediately come to mind are Avery Brewing, Brooklyn Brewing and Clipper City Brewing, all of which have extremely solid year round releases as well as stunning seasonals and special releases.

In the Seattle market, STB’s 12oz year round releases are often harder to find than the 22oz imperial ones.  We have discussed this phenomenon before on the blog and it continues to be true, most recently with the entrance of Uinta Brewing to the local market.  In a nutshell, it is a common marketing scheme for breweries entering a new market to send their most hotly desired beers first, to build hype and excitement, and hopefully market share, and then further expand from there.  For nerds like me, this is a pretty successful game plan.

This particular brand of marketing is especially advantageous for STB considering that they have 16 beers in their “Imperial Series”.  Yes, I said 16.  That is way more than their non-imperial releases.  Now that is a quality that I can’t help but respect in a brewery.  Long live Southern Tier!

Appearance.

My liquid dessert this evening has a fairly small crown of tan bubbles.  As the head approaches the rim of the glass it appears to be more of a brownish rust color.   With time, it settles to a wisp and ring.  Each and every sip brings a foamy wash of lace across the nearest face of the glass, but only small splotches remain affixed.  One could say that the “legs” are impressive on this one.  Yet again, Timperial Stout’s favorite style pours completely opaque.  Though impenetrable to all light, it brightens my eyes with its gorgeous roasted malt depth.

Odor.

Sweet Fancy Moses this beer cannot possibly be anything other than liquefied Creme Brulee! All the sweetness of heaven was impossibly condensed into the fermented concoction before me.  This solution stands so supersaturated in sucrose, lactose and fructose that any honest scientist would be frozen, googly-eyed in dismay.  I have a sudden urge to make an appointment to have my teeth cleaned.  Yowee!

I hope I’ve successfully put a bit of weight behind my words.  From an odor standpoint, this beer is the absolute epitome of desert.  I have always thought that all of STB’s beers were crazy sweet, in a good way, but this is above and beyond, in a better way.  The scent is pretty much exactly of creme brulee.  The vanilla is so prevalent here that I can only assume that the entire planet’s reserves of vanilla beans were swiftly depleted in the days leading up to the brew.  I can’t even carve through the non-beer scents that are at play here.  Other than the onslaught of creamy vanilla, there is a milky and a caramelized sugar sweetness that plays perfectly to the inclination that this beer is not only called creme brulee but that it tastes like creme brulee.  The custard, the jagged edges of splintered, solidified caramel, the eggy creaminess, it’s all there in the smell.  Mind blowing!  I feel as though I should be sipping this one out of a ramekin rather than a snifter.

Mouthfeel.

This is an imperial milk stout with a dump truck’s load of sugary goodness in it.  To say that this is smooth in the mouth is probably the biggest understatement of my life.  Yes, there is a faint pop of carbonation that tickles the back of the tongue right before the swallow, but what prefaces it has a smoothness that I thought could only be exuded by a spirit.  If this was my Hop Brief column and there were ratings to pair with each section, Creme Brulee’s mouthfeel would be a perfect 10.

Flavor.

I initially found it odd that the brewer suggested drinking this beer cold, since I almost always prefer my imperial stouts when they warm up to around 55 degrees, but after my experience with it I see why.  The main result of allowing this beer to warm is that it becomes more like the 10% beer that it actually is and less like the scientific spectacle that it maybe should remain as.  Out comes the alcohol burn, the grain, the bitterness.  My goodness, that sounds ridiculous coming from me, I know.

Allow me to explain.  When cold(er) this beer tastes like it smells, pretty much to a T.  There is no booziness to be found.  There is oodles of desert sweetness that, seemingly, could never be the result of commonly used brewing malts.  Some may call it a ploy, but in my world, the flavor of something is why you drink that something.  If you like Mike’s Hard Lemonade because you like the way it tastes and you get a pleasant buzz from it, I will NEVER give you shit about it.  Life is short, drink what you like…have fun.  If I were to tell someone that was typically apposed to imbibing a beer the same color as motor oil that it tasted like bitter baker’s chocolate, tobacco and wood, I’m not at all confident that that would settle their nerves.  On the other hand, if I told then that it tastes EXACTLY like one of the most delicious, sweet deserts you can buy, I may be able to tip the scale.  Are the STB brewer’s a bunch of panty peeling bitches for going that route, I say hell no, but I guess that’s up to you to decide.

Aftertaste.

This is precisely where I expected it to be considering all of the predecessor characteristics.  There is no dryness when cold and just a hair when warmer.  The Flan like qualities linger for ever and ever.  The mouth remains completely coated in syrupy sweetness and its truly a delight.  Though it may result in a boat load of cavities, I’m pretty sure that it would be sickly sweet (very pleasurable) to have one of these for desert everyday.

Summation.

You may have gotten the feeling that I like STB.  It’s true, they are in my top 10 in the world.  The fact that they have 5 different imperial stouts doesn’t have anything to do with it, err…wait…I’m Timperial Stout…yeah…maybe top 5.

If you like Southern Tier Creme Brulee, you should try…

Three Floyds Brewing‘s Moloko Milk Stout; Dark Horse Brewing‘s Too Cream Stout; Bell’s Brewing‘s Special Double Cream Stout

Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard-earned money at a local bottle shop, and aged to perfection by yours truly.

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!

 

52 Weeks: The Publican, Chicago, IL

September 13, 2010 1 comment

The Meat District's Publican

Week 31 of 52

(we are going to get caught up this week. sorry for the delay)

The Publican

837 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

312-733-9555

Rank: 4.5/5

Type of Establishment: Gastropub, Pork orgy

Visit: To say “I have been meaning to visit The Publican” is a vast understatement. I feel deeply ashamed that it took me two months of Chicago residency to make it over there. Fate would have it that the must-attend art openings last evening were a mere 3 blocks away from this holy grail of Chicago beerdom.  As everyone knows, you can’t go to those things sober. The time was right.
Beers on Tap:

Green Flash West Coast I.P.A., Green Flash Brewing Co.

Moloko Milk Stout, Three Floyds Brewing Co.

Founders Dirty Bastard, Founders Brewing Company

The Czar, Avery Brewing Company

The place setting for a meal at the Publican.

New Holland Black Tulip Trippel Ale, New Holland Brewing Company

Long Thai Rainbow Rye, Half Acre Beer Company

Weihenstephaner Original, Brauerei Weihenstephan

Minx, Goose Island (this beer is mindblowing and well worth the $10+ dollars you will have to shell out for it. Find and imbibe at all costs)

Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Red Ale, Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Bluebird Bitter, Coniston Brewing Co, Ltd.

De Ranke XX Bitter, Brouwerij De Ranke

Ayinger Bräu Weisse, Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG

Bottles: Way too many to list. Full selection here, highlights include Founder’s Breakfast Stout, Victory Wild Devil, Dogfishhead Bitches Brew, Autumn Maple and 2 Turtle Doves from The Bruery, and all of the Goose Island, Jolly Pumpkin, New Holland and Two Brothers offerings.

Food Options: “Pork based” – need I say more? Having only partaken in their “afternoon snack” menu, I will limit my commentary to that, but I visually devoured their dinner menu as well as the drool-worthy plates parading by me.

Verdict: Sans the surly hosts, Publican gets a perfect score from For Whom The Beer Toales!

BAR OPINION:

Right off the bat: terrible impression by the host and hostess. They were visibly irritated by our party of six (for which there was more than ample room in the bar area) and rude to everyone in line, going so far as to snap at someone for taking a menu to look at! I expected a little more from a place with such a far-reaching reputation, especially at 5:30 on a Thursday.

The inside space.

Luckily our server Christine, who was as knowledgeable about the menu (food and beverage alike) as she was friendly and patient (my party had about a zillion questions, she showed no sign of annoyance or condescension), turned our frowns upside down.

The interior of the restaurant is beautifully executed. The main dining room is lined with stall-like tables (you are literally closed into them) that provide cozy privacy. There are more family-style dining tables with high backed chairs that provide large party seating throughout the rest of the room.

What really tickled me was the adorable “standing bar” area where we ended up. There is a small cluster of two-tiered round tables at bar height that are perfect for a post-work drink and some shared plates with friends. I really have a soft spot for the standing bar, so many places in Chicago will shuttle you into a formal dining setting (sit down table) and roll their eyes at you when you only want a beer and some fries.

In addition, The Publican has a wondrous assortment of purse hooks and shelves (built into the chair!) for all you heavy traveling lady drinkers to store your baggage. All this combined with an open kitchen and a deli-style meat slicer installed right at the end of the bar provide a great ambiance for enjoying The Publican’s knockout beer list and, in the words of Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Brian Huston, “pristine product, simply prepared.”

I had a very hard time selecting which beers to order. My companion and I decided to share the New Holland Black Tulip Trippel Ale and Half Acre’s Long Thai Rainbow Rye (very reasonably priced at $5 each). The Black Tulip was smooth and sweet in all the right places, it coated my tongue with honey happiness. The Rainbow Rye was one of the best I have had of that style, and I have to hand it to Half Acre Beer Company. A bartender at Hopleaf tipped me off to this relatively new Chicago brewery. I’ve not had a bad beer from them yet, and their Daisy Cutter Pale Ale might be my #1 beer of Summer 2010.


Eggs and Frites

We also split the frites with fried eggs – do not sleep on this, people!! Frites are perfectly prepared, required no seasonings OR KETCHUP (and I love me a ketchup). The combination sounds weird but tastes so, so right.

My brief encounter left me wanting more. I went back today for a few more rounds and some beer banter with the lovely bartendress. Please excuse typos as I indulged in a Bluebird Bitter (perfect pairing for the Hannahs’s Bretzel with Bavarian mustard) and The Czar (coming in at an impressive 11.5%). Get there early or make a reservation because this place gets busy, and don’t forget to visit the bathroom (just trust me on that one).

Happy Birthday to Beer Blotter Editor Jessica Reiser

BeerBlotter.com's Jessica Reiser at the Manneken Pis in Brussels, Belgium.

Yesterday was the 27th birthday of our editor and fearless leader – Jessica Reiser. We all really appreciate her dedication to BeerBlotter.com and her amazing thirst for excellent beer at home and abroad on our many beer excursions!

We celebrated this joyous event with a weekend full of camping in Southern Washington’s Seaquest Park, topped off with a day in Seattle drinking beer at Collins Pub, dining at Cafe Campagne and having a nightcap supplied by cellar treats! There was some good beer along the way….

On the way down south, we stopped for a lunch over at the Nothwest Sausage and Deli, the home of Dicks Brewing Co. This place is a mecca of smoked meats, cheeses and of course Dick Young’s famous beers. A more substantive article will appear this week in our 52 Weeks column – but this place is simply amazing and should never be missed by any beer lover.

Lazy Boy Brewing supplied a jockey box and 1/4 kegs of its new Pale Ale and its Imperial Red for our camping trip over the weekend. New Lazy Boy assistant and Beer Blotter writer Timperial Stout helped create what we are calling a “dixie cup randall” filled with fresh smoked wood chips, soaked in Makers Mark. We used the mini-randall to create a bourbon wood infused imperial red (we kind of wish we had used the Pale Ale, but this was still a damn good beer).

Yesterday, Seattle’s Collins Pub supplied some exciting beers with pours of Boundary Bay’s Imperial IPA, Midnight Sun’s 3767 Belgian-style IPA, New Belgium’s Eric Sour Peach Ale and Allagash’s Trippel. We are all such big fans of 3767, an IPA wort engineered by Ballast Point Brewing (San Diego) and infused with 3 different yeast strains (Brett included) and bottle conditioned by Midnight Sun (Anchorage). Its amazing beer in the bottle – and better on the tap.

We enjoyed an incredible dinner at Cafe Campagne, comprised of escargot, country pate, roast duck, steak and fine grenache wine. But we finished up with a nite cap filled with some cellar favorites that had been pushed back for a special occasion. Avery Brewing‘s Brabant Wild Ale was a splendid surprise. The beer has the body of a Cascadian Dark Ale, but the Belgian undertones of a Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire. The beer is fermented with Brett and conditioned in Zinfendel barrels. Very impressive, though not as sour as we hoped.

The Grand Cru Bruscella from Cantillon.

We also enjoyed a special beer from Brussels’ Brasserie Cantillon. Cantillon’s Grand Cru Bruscella was a beer that we first enjoyed during a meal at De Gans, a quirky house/restaurant on the outskirts of Ghent, Belgium. After visiting the Cantillon brewery back in March, we decided to take a bottle for the road. The beer is a simple 3 years old lambic with virtually no carbonation and little body – but bursting with flavor. This particular bottle was from the 2006 vintage and is from the “Bio” series of beers made with organically grown ingredients. We very much enjoy this beer, as its flavor develops down to the last drop.

Again – Happy Birthday to Jessica! Expect to see an article reviewing her night with Tomme Arthur during Seattle Beer Week at Brouwers Cafe, later this week.

Events for Week of April 5, 2010

Stop by Coasters Pub in Melbourne, FL for some Cigar City Beers!

Its officially spring in Seattle….there are blossoms, tulips and its cold and crappy. The weather can’t get us down as we head for Florida this weekend (Cigar City…what!) and DC next month. Beer adventures to come!  But on with your weekly events.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Avery Beer Dinner and Tasting: Colorado Springs, Colorado

6:30PM-9:30PM @ A Second Cup

The tasting will be four unique beers that are not normally available and these rarities will be on tap plus one of our current tap Avery Beers.  4 of the 5 will be tap beers….that in itself is a rarity for many. We will start at 6:30 with a social time until dinner service at 7:00pm. You will be served a five course dinner specifically paired with each beer.  Hurry and sign up fast there are only 32 seats available! YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Boston v. New York: Auburn, New York

6:00PM-10:00PM @ Bistro One

Let the rivalry continue into the realm of beer. Although the Yanks lost the opening game, I have complete faith that the NY Breweries are up for the challenge. Come support the city of your choice and enjoy beers from Ommegang (NY), Brooklyn Brewery (NY), Sam Adams (Boston) and Harpoon (Boston).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brewers Night with Port Townsend: Bellingham, Washington

6:00PM-9:00PM @ The Green Frog Cafe

Stop by and taste one of Washington’s premier breweries. Located on an island across the Puget Sound from Seattle, Port Townsend Brewing Company brews amazing IPAs and killer Porters.  Enjoy the beers and the free give-a-ways.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cigar City Night: Melbourne, Florida

5:00PM-10:00PM @ Coasters Pub

Coasters will host a night spotlighting Cigar City Brewery’s fantastic beers. Expect to see Hunupus #1, Cuban Espresso Brown, Double Cream Ale, Jai Alai IPA and Maduro Brown ale, along with whatever else we can get our hands on! Fingers crossed for Huna Phu Stout!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Victory Brewing Tasting: Boston, Massachusetts

5:30PM-7:30PM @ Wine Emporium

For your pleasure and enjoyment from Victory Brewing Co. -Prima Pils; Hop Devil IPA; WildDevil IPA with Brett (seriously, try this!); Golden Monkey Triple and Storm King Imperial Stout.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Brewer Meet and Greet: Chicago, Illinois

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Binny’s Beverage Depot

Stop by and drink with the owners of Belgium brewery, Brouwerij De Musketiers. We had the pleasure of trying Troubador Obscura in Belgium and tonight it will be on draft. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Left Hand Vintage Bottle Dinner: Grand Rapids, Michigan

6:00PM-8:00PM @ HopCat

The menu is to die for and the beers from Left Hand Brewery will only enhance the flavors. Eat, drink and be merry. Celebrate your Sunday with the following pairings:
1.Smoked Meat and Cheese Plate-2007 Goosinator
2.Plantain Crusted Catfish Bites-2007 Chainsaw
3.Roast Pork and Root Vegetables-2006 St. Vrain
4.Barleywine & Walnut Ice Cream-2003 Oak Aged Widdershins

Beer Blotter is off to Florida, Tampa and Sarasota this week. So if you have any suggestions on breweries, beer bars, beers in general and/or bottle shops, please pass it along via comment or email- beerblotter@gmail.com.

Cheers!

Events Week of March 22, 2010

The taps at Birtch and Barley in Washington, DC

Ok, we are back, wishing we weren’t and jet lagged. But we are ignoring our heavy eyelids in order to bring you events for this week. Enjoy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mikkeller Single Hop Draft Bonanza: Washington, District Columbia

4:00PM-12:o0AM @ Birch and Barley

Come and enjoy 10, yes 10 different single hops by Danish brewery, Mikkeller on tap- MIKKELLER SINGLE HOP CENTENNIAL IPA; CASCADE IPA; AMARILLO IPA; NELSON SAUVIN IPA; EAST KENT GOLDING IPA; TOMAHAWK IPA; NUGGET IPA; WARRIOR IPA; CHINOOK IPA; SIMCOE IPA. This is a great event to truly learn about the various hops and their individual flavors.

Terrapin Kick Off Night: Mount Holly, New Jersey

7:00PM-10:00PM @ High Street Grill

Be one of the first in our area to get a try at the Terrapin Beer Co brews during this beer tasting at High Street Grill. Several beers from the featured brewery will be on tap for your pleasure and enjoyment. Report back!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Big Sky Brewing Co. Party: Grand Rapids, Michigan

6:00PM-12:00AM @ HopCat

Tonight Hop Cat will feature several Big Sky Brewing beers on tap, so come down and have a few with the men behind the brews.

Dogfish Head Triple Threat Tapping: Las Vegas, Nevada

5:00PM- 10:00PM @ Aces and Ales

Stop by and you shall receive Dogfish Head’s ‘Monster Limited Edition’ beers in 12 Ounce Goblets of ‘Burton Baton 10%; the Red & White 10% ABV’ and the ‘Black & Blue 11% ABV!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Avery Experience: Shawnee, Kansas

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Barley’s Brewhouse

Adam Avery with Avery Brewing is hosting the Avery Experience which will consist of 5 flights (15 beers) with food. Call Barley’s at 913.268.5160 to reserve tickets! Tickets $35/person.

Stone Brewing Co. Growler Madness: Charlotte, North Carolina

7:00PM- 10:00PM @ Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, The

Available this evening will be 2 Litre commemorative Stone Brewing Co growlers full of their delicious and award winning IPA. Buy it, share it among friends, and then take your empty growler home for future fills of….BEER! Growlers are on a first come, first serve basis and are limited.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big, Bad Beer Sampling: Indianapolis, Indiana

7:00PM- 9:00PM @ United Package Liquors

We always like to include free events, so here it is- enjoy a free tasting of Founders KBS,Nemesis and Double Trouble. Lots o’ beers from Stone Brewing Co., Great Divide and more.

Founders Tasting and Meal Pairing: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

7:00PM- 9:00PM @ Harris Grill

In keeping with our love of Mid-western beers and more importantly Founders’ beers, we encourage you to stop by this event. This is a FREE beer tasting and food pairing where a special tasting menu will incorporate and highlight 4 Founders products, including an excellent rarity. Attendees will receive a ticket good for $1 off any forunders product on draft. RSVP is requested but not necessary.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Night Flights: Florence, Kentucky

6:00PM-7:00PM @ Party Town

This event is only one hour, so plan to get there first! A weekly event were at least eight brews, a special barrel or two are poured to coincide with the event. This Friday from 6-7pm Party Town will be opening a selection of beers from the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Troegs Firkin Tapping: Spring House, Pennsylvania

5:00PM – 12:00AM @ Drafting Room

Pouring tonight from the draft tower are special beers from Troegs (sounds cool)- Troegs Nugget Nectar; Troegs Pale Ale and Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat.

Saturday, March 28, 2010

Brooklyn Home Brew Tour: Brooklyn, New York

1:00PM – 5:00PM @ Brooklyn Brewery

A hands on experience to say the least. You will venture inside the homes of the city’s finest amateur brewers to see their set-ups, discuss their craft and, most importantly, sample from their stashes of superlative beer–Rye IPAs, barleywines, saisons, Belgian pale ales and coffee stouts are all on tap. There will be three stops; bring a Metrocard. $25 pp includes samples.

Second Annual Cask Conditioned Festival: Bedford Heights, Ohio

1:00PM-4:00PM @ The Winking Lizard

The Cask Conditioned Ale Festival for 2010 will feature a staunch line-up of some hard to find or specially brewed ales such as Avery Dry Hopped IPA; Thirsty Dog Orthus with Cherries and many more! $30 per person ($25 for 2010 World Tourists) and will include a buffet!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Help for Haiti: Hudson, Massachusettes

3:00PM – 6:00PM @ Bacon’s Wine and Spirits

We have 4 tables of beer vendors and 6 tables of wine vendors, each paired with a restaurant matching food to beer/wine. Both sides (beer & wine) are joining forces for a good cause as all proceeds from the event will go via the American Red Cross to benefit Haiti. Beer vendors in attendance are Berkshire Brewing, Smuttynose Brewing, Mayflower Brewing, and Atlantic Importing. Tickets are $25 and are very limited.

So, its 6AM in Belgium and we are still awake/its time to attempt to get back on Seattle time. Much more to come on our Belgium trip this week on beerblotter.com. As always if you have been to an event, want us to post an event, have a comment about going to an event or just want to profess your love of beer, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com. Cheers!

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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