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Beer Blotter’s Guide To Brouwer’s Big Wood Fest 2010

December 1, 2010 4 comments

Can't miss.

If you live in the Seattle area and you like beer enough to read this blog, chances are pretty good that you will be hitting up Big Wood Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe, if not on opening night (Thursday Dec. 2), at some point this coming weekend. Hopefully you have already gazed upon the outstanding preliminary list which can be found on our site here and on Brouwer’s blog.

Clearly, there’s a lot of options to chose from, and all of us, most unfortunately, only have one measly liver to assist us in tackling them.  This is where we come in.  We drink a lot of beer.  We have been to BWF several times now. If you want to make sure that you order your barrel aged beers wisely, heed our advice.  We don’t think that you will be disappointed.

I’ve decided to choose my top 15.  These are the beers that I plan to sample, based on the current list.  It’s my game plan.  I know what you are thinking, and yes, I actually do think that I can try 15 beers.  When bb.com goes to big beer events at Brouwer’s, where there is never a cover, we make sure to roll deep.  We bring out as many friends as possible, we direct them on what to order, and then we drink their beers (of course we let them drink ours too).  Always be sure to order the smallest size that is offered, every time.  These events are all about getting your hands, and tastes buds, on as many special and rare beers as possible.

This list is, as always with Brouwer’s events, subject to change because it is very likely that the final list will include a few eye-popping secrets.  This year I’m hoping to see a few more special Hair of the Dog beers, more vintage Bottleworks Anniversary beers like barrel aged Ivan the Terrible, and maybe some more killer locals like Petite Mort from Black Raven or some Big Time treats.

 

15. People’s Barrel Reserve – Brouwer’s has started a little trend in the past few years with bringing in some Midwest offerings that are rarely, if ever seen in WA.  Last year we were graced with Stoudt’s (PA represent!) Barrel Aged Fat Dog and some absolutely insane Founder’s beer.  I think it was a maple barrel aged Breakfast Stout or KBS.  Dunno but is was bonkers!  If this is the People’s Brewing Co. from IN, then this is a beer that you will most likely not see in Seattle for a very long time to come.  Why not give it a whack?

 

14. Skagit Oak Aged Gospel – Gospel is an IPA.  I had to have at least one IPA on this list, and I’m proud to support SRB.  You might remember reading us gush about the Bourbon Barrel Reverend at Hop Fest.  If this one is even close to as good we are in for a treat.  Brewer Mike Armstrong is an amazing guy and an amazing brewer.  He almost always attends these event on opening day so seek him out and shake his manly brewer hand.

 

13. Snipes ??? – What will it be?  My guess, Twangzister, their barrel aged sour cherry stout.  If I’m right, this beer deserves to be much higher on the list, but I can’t just go around making bold moves on pure speculation now can I?  I do feel confident putting this on my list either way, because Chris Miller makes amazing beer, some of the best in the state.

 

12. Cascade ??? – Those erotemes could easily read “Barrel Aged Bile” and I would still order it, yes…mostly because I wouldn’t believe that it was actually bile, but also because Cascade shits gold.  Hand me any Cascade beer, any time, any day, and I will love you forever.  Just get this, please.

 

11. Boundary Bay Imperial Oaked Oatmeal Stout – BBB Impy Oatmeal Stout is, like their Imperial IPA, a beer that I can never see and not order.  It’s just so smooth and dark and mysterious.  An oak aged version…shut the f…ront door!  Purchased! Beer Blotter couldn’t heart a brewery more than we heart Boundary Bay.

 

10. Hale’s Rye Whiskey Aged Imperial Stout – Ok, I admit it, I rarely recommend a Hale’s beer in my festival previews.  It’s not at all because I have a problem with the brewery, in fact, I’m a fan.  The things that they do with that hopback of theirs really impress me… but this is not an IPA…  What excites me about this one?  Well, it’s quite simple actually – when I see the words “Rye” and Whiskey” and “Imperial” and “Stout” all lined up in order like that, it’s such a thrilling sight that I absolutely must participate.  Yeah, I’ll be trying this one.

 

9. Stone Lucky 13 – According to Brouwer’s twitter/facebook, this is a blend of Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Bastard, and Double Bastard.  I guess that would make this aka Lukcy Basartd (yeah, that’s how they spell it).  Despite the fact that I don’t particularly like any of those three beers (I know, I’m pure freak), I’m really intrigued.  This is a one time, limited release from Stone, so give it some rare points.

 

8. Port Townsend Maple’s Best BBN Imperial Stout – PTB has always been a great brewery, but lately it seems that they have really been stepping up their game.  I have a personal rule, if I see a PTB beer on tap that isn’t one of their standard offerings, I will never let it pass me by.  I think you should have the same rule.  In this particular case, you had me with impy stout, and then you really rubbed in it with the maple.  Gimme.

 

7. Midnight Sun Beserker – MSB makes a lot of really sick beers that rarely make it out of AK.  Berserker is one that was bottled and came to Seattle in a very, very limited supply.  I only have a bottle in the cellar because DSR and Jess were in the right place at the right time and they hooked it up.  I think all that I really need to do to sell you on this one is to tell you the description… it’s a 12.7% imperial stout brewed with molasses and maple syrup and aged in oak.  Game over.

 

6. The Bruery Three French Hens – I was fairly recently informed that bottles of Partridge in a Pear Tree (the first in their 12 Days/Years of Christmas Series) were going for nearly $300 on ebay.  Ever since, I’ve gone to great lengths to find and procure each new release in the series.  The cellar is caught up, but you better believe that I’m not going to crack one for another 9 years, that is if I don’t just sell the set and retire young.  This will be my chance to actually try one, and you better believe I’m going to take it.

 

5. Hotd Matt – Just in case you had a brain aneurysm in the past few seconds, HotD stands for Hair of the Dog, and it’s in all three members of Beer Blotter’s top 10 breweries in the world list.  Alan Sprints is beer royalty.  We love Matt, which was specially brewed for the owner’s of Brouwer’s/Bottleworks for Bottlework’s tenth anniversary.  It’s sour, and like every beer from this Portland brewery, it’s fantastic.  We are very hopeful that this is not the only HotD on the taplist come Thursday, but if it is, we will never complain, because we just savored Matt (the beer, not the person, but hey Matt(s)…call me).

 

4. The Bruery Coton – I know, I’m sort of obsessed with The Bruery, but god damn it they deserve my obsession!  Coton is The Bruery’s second anniversary beer and it’s basically a blend of oak barrel aged Papier (their first anniversary beer) and a new, un-aged brew of Papier, which is an old ale.  When I bought a bottle of Papier in ’09 I thought it was a little overpriced, but Coton is probably the most expensive “new” beer I have ever bought.  Get it on tap, if for no other reason than the fact that it will be slightly more affordable.  Oh yeah, also because old ales are amazing and their version is beyond amazing, and very rare.

 

3. New Belgium Sour Blackberry Whiskey – So I’m not 100% sure of this, but some mild research has lent me to believe that this is NBB’s Love (true lambic, foeder #3, blended into La Folie & Le Terroir, insanely, amazingly good, amazed that it’s made in America and not Belgium…), transferred into whiskey barrels and aged with blackberries.  If I’m right, this might be the greatest beer on Earth.  Again, speculation, blah, blah…

 

2. Firestone Walker 14 – Like far too many beers, I went to great lengths to get this beer in the bottle and could only afford one, so I have it but have never had it, if you know what I mean.  DSR and Jess had it during SD Beer Week and said it blew their collective mind.  If I went into what this beer consisted of here…well…this article would take a lot longer to read than it has already taken you.  Just check out this post by the good people over at beernews.org and salivate yourself into a puddle.

 

1. Russian River Deviation – HAHA!  Wow…where to start.  Ok Tim, try to keep it together… Every time that I see this beer on tap at Brouwer’s I treat it like it’s the last time I’ll ever have it.  Deep inside I know that that isn’t really true, because I have a bottle in my cellar that I bought on the day that it came out in ’08, but who knows, my house could burn down some day or global warming could scorch the Earth’s crust and it could boil itself undrinkable.  I consider that bottle to be the most valuable bottle of beer that I currently own.  Yeah that whole Partridge in a Pear Tree thing, if it’s true, might prove me wrong, but there’s more to it than monetary value alone. 

Deviation is the best Russian River beer that I have ever had (and that puts it very high on my all time list, if not at the top).  Also, Bottleworks periodically pulls some out of their cellar and sells it for nearly $100 a bottle.  I think I bought it for $15.  This beer is the epitome of rare and the epitome of mind-blowingly delicious.  Please, don’t order this so that I can drink it all, that is, if it really does still exist…

 

Terrible

 

Beer Events for the Week of January 4, 2010

January 5, 2010 1 comment

Belmont Station, Portland, OR: Beer bar and bottle shop all in one

Ok, I just realized that 1999 was 11, yes 11 years ago. Just imagine all of the great beer we will drink for the next 11! For the first week of 2010, we bring you beer events, the only way to start year off right.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sad to say, the first Monday of the year proves uneventful. So grab something special from your cellar and drink up! In place of events for the day, as everyone is catching up from the holidays, we present you with “Whats on Tap” at one of our local favorite beer bars, Naked City.  Head to the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle to try, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada’s Life and Limb, Speakeasy’s Old Godfather Barleywine, Russian River Damnation and Port Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper. All amazing and/or new beers!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Victory is Mine!: Burlington, Vermont

5:00 PM – 11:00 PM at American Flatbread Burlington Hearth

Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing is heading up North for a night and they are bringing the goods.  Prima Pils; Golden Monkey; Hop Wallap ON CASK; Storm King Imperial Stout; Helios; Old Horizontal Barleywine; Yakima Twilight; and Wild Devil which is only available in bottles.  We recently had the Old Horizontal Barleywine and it was amazing. That beer alone would entice us to attend this event. However, Victory has a great range of styles for all beer lovers.

Bigger, Badder, Blacker Beer Week: Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM until Friday, January 8, 2010 at 11:00 PM at Belmont Station

Not only is Belmont Station worth a trip due to their amazing bottle selection, but attached is a beer cafe. This week, the cafe will have the following “dark” beers on tap: Deschutes Abyss & Black Butte 21, Great Divide Chocolate Yeti, Hebrew Jewbelation 13, Alaskan Baltic Porter and Firestone Walker Velvet Mirkin, among others. Your mouth should be watering just from reading this list. We can only hope that some will survive for Saturday as we make our way to Portland.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Shelton Brothers Presents: New York, New York

4:00 PM until close at the Blind Tiger Ale House

The Shelton Brothers, importers of fine, microbrewed beers from around the world are at the Blind Tiger to showcase some of the finest. The beers on tap for the night/event include Nøgne Ø Winter, Cantillon Pure Kriek (100 on ratebeer.com), Ridgeway Bad Elf and Mikkeller Imperial Pils, among others.  Tonight is a great night to try some beers from afar!

Hop Slam: Cincinnati, Ohio

4:00PM- 9:00 PM at JeanRo

Come join Bell’s Brewery for the release of HopSlam, a bitter, hoppy ale.  Tonight’s specials include $1.00 off all Bell’s Brewery’s beers and cheap treats!  Later this week on Saturday, Bell’s Brewery will continue to promote HopSlam at the Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vintage 2007 Old Stone Guardian Barleywine Tapping: Las Vegas, Nevada

5:00 PM-12:00 AM at Aces & Ales

Las Vegas has more to offer than strippers, lights, gambling and strong cocktails.  Stop by Aces & Ales to enjoy a beer worth the two year wait. Stone Brewing’s Old Guardian is a bold barleywine with prevalent hop notes.   Being poured from the tap, these flavors and the thick body will be sinfully enhanced.

Friday, January 8, 2010

First Ever Williamsburg Cask Ale Festival: New York, New York

Friday January 8, 2010 at 1:00 PM until Sunday. January 10, 2010 at D.B.A.

Expect at least 12 rare and tasty cask beers to be pouring over the weekend, including beers not normally seen in cask in NYC. Stop by the newest of the three D.B.A. locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see whats flowing. Beer Blotter has been to the New Orleans and East Village locations, enjoying pint after pint during our trips.  Great atmosphere, great beer lists!

Where the Wild Beers Are: Atlanta, Georgia

6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at The Porter Beer Bar

Need we say more than…Allagash Brewing Co. is taking over the tap list at this Atlanta beer bar for two hours???? Didn’ t think so.  The list will include the following beers: Hugh Malone; Fluxus; Odyssey; Interlude; Victory; Burnam Road; Four; Triple; White; and Curieux. Taste, take notes and report back….please.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hair of the Dog Tasting: Tustin, California

2:00PM to 8:00 PM at Whole Foods

For those of you close enough to Tustin, stop by your local Whole Foods, bring $10.00 and try a variety of Hair of the Dog beers. Now you all must know of our new found obsession with this brewery. Thank you Brouwer’s Cafe and Big Wood Fest 2009.  For six hours, Whole Foods will be pouring Adam, Ruth, Fred & Blue Dot.

Blue Point Raids the Taps!: New York, New York

5:00 PM until close at Rattle-N-Hum

Not only do you want to just be at this bar because of its location, beer selection and excellent bartenders, you want to taste many, all and every beer from Long Island’s Blue Point Brewery. Although we are not familiar with all the beers, here are a few on the list that sound interesting or just plain good: Sour Cherry Imperial Stout; Toasted Lager; Oatmeal Stout; Hoptical Illusion and Winter Wizard.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Pale Side of Tasting Beer: Los Angeles, California

5:00 PM until 10:00 PM at 55 Degree Wine

This local “beverage” shop is hosting a Sunday evening tasting of pale, blonde, fresh, and even hoppy ales. Featuring four Belgium beer and one from France, this tasting will not only tantalize your taste buds but will expand your mind. We intend to drink only French, German and Belgium beers for the month of February as Beer Blotter gears up and primes our livers for the epic trip to Europe in March. More to report on that later.

Another week has come and gone, and another week is ahead. There are so many great events every week around the country, its difficult to pick and choose. However, we hope that our weekly events span the country, touch on a variety of styles and introuduce new breweries and venues.  If you attend an event this week, are looking forward to an event or even want to promote your own event, please leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com.

Cheers!

A Week of Beer Events: December 7, 2009

Inside the Ginger Man: One of New York City's Top Beer Bars

Its Monday again, we know, its getting cold outside and the last thing you want to do is start a work week. Well lets cure those Monday blues by going through all of the exciting beer events coming up this week. Just think, you work so you can pay for beer!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Get A Pint of Black Raven’s Wisdom Seeker IPA: Seattle, Washington

3:00PM- 11:00 PM @ the Beveridge Place

Come get a pint of Black Raven Brewing Co.’s Double IPA. Trickster, the brewery’s single IPA won Beveridge Place’s slot for regular draught IPA. Wisdom Seeker is bitter, hoppy and refreshing.

Granite City Batch 1,000 Tapping: Fort Wayne, Indiana

5:00 PM- 8:00 PM @ The Granite City Brewery

For all of you “Mug Club Members” grab a friend and stop by Granite City Brewery to try a very special beer. This beer was specially made in honor of the 1,000th batch of beer brewed. Quite an accomplishment!

The Remainder of Big Wood Fest: Seattle, Washington

11:00 AM – 11:00 PM @Brouwer’s Cafe

Today makes 5 days of Big Wood and there are still 40 woody beers on tap. Check out our previous blog by clicking here and if any of the beers mentioned in our post are still pouring. GET ONE, GET THREE!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Heavy Seas Takes Over the Taps: Mount Holly, New Jersey

7:00 PM until 11:00 PM @ High Street Grill

Clipper City Brewing Company out of Maryland, is pouring their Heavy Seas line of brews tonight! This list features, Red Sky Saisson, Hang Ten, Big DIPPA, Uber Pils, Category 5 Winter Storm, and Yule Tide.

Brewer’s Night: Seattle, Washington

No time posted @ Naked City Tap House

Tonight is the unveiling of four in house brews by Naked City, Seattle’s local beer bar. The Big Lebrewski, an Imperial Cream Stout aged on Kahlua soaked oak is featured along with the Yankee Drifter, a light Pilsner, Hoptari 664, a fresh- hop harvest ale and Bing, an English Style Old Ale with a surprising twist!

Big Time Brewery is Finally Legal: Seattle, Washington

5:00 PM- until close @ Big Time Brewery

A micro brew out of Seattle’s University District, Big Time Brewery is turning 21 today! Come eat some cake, celebrate in style and go home happy. This event will be featuring a tap list full of IPAs and guest beers brewed by previous brewers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A tasting of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout: Villa Park, Illinois

Starts at 7:00 PM @ Lunar Brewing Co.

Join Goose Island’s Market Manager, Eric Hobbs as he pours Bourbon County Stout 2007, 2008 and 2009. This Imperial Stout is one of the best and this is a wonderful chance to compare and contrast the taste through the years.

Its the middle of the week and time for some Holiday Cheer!: Seattle, Washington

All day this week 12:00 PM- 2:00 AM @ Elysian Brewing Company, Tangletown and Elysian Fields

Elysian Brewing Company is pouring their holiday ales all week. Its getting dark early, its cold outside, you deserve some holiday cheer and beer! Featured festive ales include: Elysian Bifrost, Bye-Bye Frost, Bete Noel, Arboreal Chestnut Brown and Valhalla Christmas Ale.

Rouge Winter Beer Kick Off Party: New York, New York

6:00 PM- 2:00 AM @ The Ginger Man

New yorkers, come one, come all and get a taste of the West Coast. Oregon’s Rouge Brewery will feature their Chocolate Stout, Yellow Snow, Hazelnut Brown, Mogul, Brutal Bitter, Dry Hopped Red, Imperial Porter, Collaborator, and Dead Guy. The Hazelnut brown is a dark ale with an amazing nutty, sweet flavor that does not overpower the beer. A must try!

Cask Firkin of Old Bawdy: Seattle, Washington

6:00 PM- 9:00 PM @ 74th Street Ale House

Tonight, the 74th Street Ale House is featuring Pike Brewing’s 2009 Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine. Come join Pike headbrewer, Drew Cluley, and sales manager, Andy Walls when they raise a pint of the 09 vintage of Old Bawdy.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sweet and Sour Event: Norristown, Pennsylvania

11:00 AM- 1:00 PM @ Capone’s Restaurant

For all of you who live in Norristown or the surrounding areas and if you are reading this post, we are SO ENVIOUS of your close proximity to this event. Southern Tier’s Mokah, Dogfish Head Brewing’s Red and White, RUSSIAN RIVER TEMPTATION, Ommegang Rouge. Great List!

Beer Belly Dinner: Portland, Oregon

Begins at 6:30 PM @ The EastBurn

The EastBurn will be serving up 5 courses of great food and 5 courses of Deschutes’ finest Ales while brewer Cam O’Connor answers all of your questions about Deschutes Brewing Co. and brewing. The $35.00 ticket price goes to RideOn, a non-profit that turns to horses in order to benefit people physically and emotionally.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Night Sampling of Yards Brewing Co.: Wayne, Pennsylvania

5:00 – 7:00 PM @ The Beer Yard

Have we got an early Christmas present for you! Yards Brewing co-founder Tom Kehoe, the last man standing from Philadelphia’s craft brew revolution of the mid-1990s, will be gracing us with his presence and pouring all of your favorite beers. Meet a pioneer and enjoy an ESA, Brawler, Philly Pale Ale or one of the Ales of the Revolution.

Avery Mephistopheles’ Stout Release Tasting: Boulder, Colorado

5:00- 7:00 PM @ The Avery Tap Room

A once in a lifetime opportunity to be the first to taste the 2009 vintage of our Mephistopheles’ Stout along with vintage years 2006, 2007 and 2008. This is a great chance to see first hand how well this beer cellars. The $15.00 will be well worth it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stone Brewing Company Open Late: Escondido, California

8:00 PM- Close @ Stone Brewing Company

Just because Stone Brewing loves filling growlers, they are staying open late! Stop by for some live music and to get your growler filled with Ruination, Levitation or the many other beers on tap.

Cask and You Shall Receive: Newark, Delware

Begins at 12:00 PM until the beer runs out @ Iron hill Brewing Company

Join Iron Hill in Newark for the tapping of not 1, not 2, but 8 different brewery’s beer. Real Ales from Iron Hill as well as Victory, Stoudt’s, Stewarts, Yards, Sly Fox, Troegs, Flying Fish and Nodding Head.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Folly for Charity: Fort Collins, Colorado

Tour of the brewery begins at 3:45 PM, event from 6:00 PM- 10:00 PM @ New Belgium Brewery

Come listen to live music, partake in a silent auction, sip on some amazing New Belgium brews and you might go home with a New Belgium Crusier! All proceeds go to the Larimer County Food Bank and New Belgium is brewing a “special” beer just for this event. It will be a one of a kind, so if you end up going, please report back to Beer Blotter!

And that concludes the week of December 7, 2009. Beer Blotter welcomes events that we did not post and comments on events attended this week! Feed back! Monday has come and gone, now we can face the rest of the week knowing there is good beer to be drank and events to attend.



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