And…here it is…your week in beer.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
$10.00 Tuesday Tasting – IPAs- New York, New York
7:30PM-9:30PM @ Jimmy’s No.43
Come try 6 different craft IPAs. Learn about the what makes these beers bitter and variations between them. $10 gets you a small taste of each beer and into the information session.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Irish (Inspired) Ale Class: Chicago, Illinois
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Whole Foods Market – Lincoln Park
Come one, come all and join our resident Beer Geek Sean Reilly as we explore the wonderful world of Irish and Irish Inspired Ales. It’s the eve of St. Pat’s and what a great way to usher in the evening. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Customer Service or http://www.active.com
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Happy Firkin St. Pattys Day: West Chester, Pennsylvania
4:00PM-10:00PM @ Rams Head Bar And Grill
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In celebration, stop by Rams for some Victory brews. They will be tapping a firkin of Victory’s newest beer Headwaters Pale Ale at 4 pm and there will be live music from local musician Pete Groch.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Firkin Friday Featuring Brewdog: Atlanta, Georgia
6:00PM-2:00AM @ The Porter Beer Bar
Brewdog is known for making beers that push boundaries. Tonight, try their Paradox Islay, an imperial stout.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Fairfax Brewfest: Fairfax, California
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Faifax Pavillion
Beer Festival which will have 16 Breweries as well as a Cider maker. Unlimited drinks for $25 if you pre-order and $30 if you show up. Breweries include: Iron Springs (hosting), Marin Brew Co, Moylans, Lagunitas, Anderson Valley, and Speakeasy, and many other that you cannot find anywhere else, but Marin. LAsts from 1 PM until 5 PM.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Upright’s Two Year Anniversary: Portland, Oregon
1:00PM-6:00PM @ Upright Brewing Co.
bb.com is going to this- Upright rocks and today they are relasing a sour cherry barrel aged version of the Four. A cask of the upcoming Gose with extra salt and dry hops will be poured. Get there early to get your hands on a bottle of their first anniversary apricot ale aged in gin barrels. Only three cases are available.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Oskar Blues Spring Beer Dinner: Stamford, Conneticut
7:00PM- 9:00PM @ Coalhouse Pizza
The menu will include …. sweet potato & beet chips with homemade tzatsiki sauce, an organic mixed green and fresh fennel salad, homemade split pea soup, a goat cheese & asparagus pizza, lamb tenderloin with a miso-chili sauce served with spring vegetables, and our homemade stout ice cream. Each dish is paired with an Oskar Blues brew – Mama’s Little Yella Pils, G’Knight IPA, Dale’s, Old Chub and of course, TenFidy. Two members from the band “Keltic Kick” will be joining us for the evening. Tickets on sale now ~ $60 per guest. Visit our website for more information – http://www.coalhousepizza.com or give us a call directly: 203-977-7700.
If you go to an event, want us to post an event or want to share something about beer- leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Its Thanksgiving week which means a short work week and snow for people in Seattle- a rare occurrence, I might add. This weekend I warmed up with some Firestone Walker Double Jack, Stone‘s 2008 Russian Imperial Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout (unreal), The Bruery‘s Autumn Maple Strong Ale and Upright‘s 5 Rye Saison. But now for your week in beer!
Monday, November 22, 2010
BrewDog Night: Washington, D.C.
4:00PM-9:00PM @ Birch and Barley
Tonight, Birch and Barley will be serving the insanely potent Sink The Bismarck (a Quadruple IPA at 41 % abv) and Tactical Nuclear Penguin by BrewDog (Uber Imperial Stout at 32 % abv) in 1.5 oz. pours beginning at 4 PM! Come and taste these singular libations and discover that there is much more too them than hype!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Firestone Walker 14th Anniversary Release Party: Seal Beach, California
7:00PM-10:00PM @ Beachwood BBQ
I recently had this beer in San Diego and it is out-of-this-world! Beachwood BBQ will be taping a keg of Firestone Walker‘s 14 as well as Union Jack, Double Jack, Velvet Merlin, Solace, Pale 31, and DBA.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Emerald City Brewing Co. Tasting: Seattle, Washington
6:00PM- close @ Jillian’s
Check out our article about this event. Emerald City Brewing Co. is new to Seattle, so get out and discover all the beers this brewery has to offer.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
HAPPY TURKEY DAY from bb.com!
What beers will you drink today?
Friday, November 26, 2010
Black Friday: Chicago, Illinois
10:00AM-12:00PM @ Goose Island Cylbourn
Join Goose Island on Black Friday for a special preview of the much anticipated Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout. The Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub will be tapping a few barrels of the Rare that morning at 10am. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and we expect it will sell out fast. Aside from this special tapping the only time you’ll see Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout on draft will be at select beer festivals and promotional Goose Island events in the future.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
HOPSGIVING: Barto, Pennsylvania
12:00PM-10:00PM @ Union Jack’s Old Congo Hotel
No cover- pay as you drink. Check the list. Its pretty amazing.
PORT HIGH TIDE
GREEN FLASH IMPERIAL
PORT HOP 15
DOGFISH HEAD 90 MIN
PLINY THE ELDER
SOUTHERN TIER UNEARTHLY
ROGUE XS IPA
GREAT DIVIDE FRESH HOP ALE
BEAR REPUBLIC RACER X
VICTORY HOP WALLOP
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Freakin’ Firkin Sunday: Benton Harbor, Michigan
2:30 – ?? @ The Livery
Brewmaster Steve will be tapping the Firkin cask at 3.00 p.m. (or thereabouts) on this Sunday. Enjoy a pint of real ale in its true form – and also enjoy the lively Irish Session which is the same day from 2-5 pm.
If you have an event you are going to, went to or an event you want us to post about, please email me at email@example.com. Cheers!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Christmas in July: Horsham, Pennsylvania
11:00AM-1:00PM @ Iron Abbey Gastro Pub
I love this concept. Why do we have to wait a full year to indulge in the delicious holiday treats? The Iron Abbey will be tapping Christmas beers such as…Affligem Noel, Unibroue Terrible, St. Bernardus Noel, Brooklyn Chocolate Stout and Tourney Noel. The bottle list will include: Scaldis Noel, Corsendonk Christmas, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence (get this- taste like chocolate syrup), Sierra Celebration, Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve and Samichlaus. Special Christmas pairing menu available to compliment these special brews!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Ommegang Beer and Food Pairing: Albany, New York
6:30PM-8:30PM @ The Standard Restaurant and Lounge
5 courses of delicious food, such as Beef Tenderloin Topped with Crispy Shitake Mushrooms and Pomme Frites paired with amazing beers from Ommegang brewery. Experience this unforgettable dining experience for $65.00 per person. Please call (518) 452-7007 to make reservations.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
CBC Night with Stone and Dogfish head: Charolette, North Carolina
6:30PM- 10:00PM @ The Common Market
The Charlotte Beer Club presents a month long celebration of beer appreciation for our friends at The Common Market. During the entire month of July, we will host tastings and events, each Wednesday throughout the month. Tonight is Stone Brewing Co. and Dogfish head with a few complimentary “featured” beers and beers available for purchase.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Founders Tasting Event: Scranton, Pennslyvania
7:00PM-10:00PM @ Backyard Ale House
As of right now there will beat least 3 different (Devil Dancer, Curmudgeon, and a surprise!) Founders beers on tap and possibly more. On top of the great beer, there will have some cool swag to give away and live music will be provided on the patio!
Friday, July 30, 2010
Kegged, Casked, Bottled, or Canned: 10,000 years of Beer exhibit opening: Fullerton, California
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Fullerton Museum Center
Opening night for this interesting exhibit, is Friday, July 30 from 6:00-9:00pm. The opening will include dinner, drinks, a curator’s talk, and a special beer. This Exhibit goes through the history of beer using advertising material, tap handles, metal signs, prints, beer steins, and fixtures from the home brewing industry. It is $10 for general admission and Fullerton Museum Center members get in for free.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Craft Beer Expo: Saint Petersburg, Florida
3:00PM-7:00PM @ St. Petersburg Coliseum
25 Breweries on hand to sample such as Terrapin, Rogue, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Chimay, Brooklyn, Bells, Brewdog, Shipyard, Hoppin Frog, Swamphead, Fort Collins Brewery, Highlands, Cigar City, Bold City Brewing, Tampa Bay Brewing, Dunedin Brewing, Unibroue, Lagunitas and more. Not to mention a Free Cheese Tasting this year with 15 or more artisan cheese’s paired up with your favorite craft beer. Ticket price $30. Seriously- what a line up- worth $30.00!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
16th Annual Bones and Brew: Portland, Oregon
11:00AM-5:00PM @ Rogue Distillery and Ale House
This year’s family and dog-friendly event will be a celebration of the American Backyard BBQ and include: BBQ vendors, a BBQ contest, Kobe Bleu Ball eating contest, Dog Vendors, Charity Dog Wash, 20+ Microbreweries and Live Music. All of this fun and beer will directly benefit the Oregon Zoo.
And just a side note, Beermongers in Portland has some tasty new arrivals
Ambacht Golden Rose Ale
MacTarnahans Lip Stinger
Mikkeller Big Worse Barleywine
Mikkeller Not Just Another Wit
Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour
New Belgium Belgo IPA
Pinkus Ur Pilsner
Rodenbach 2007 Vintage (Vat 230!)
Rodenbach Flanders Red (11.2oz bottles)
Silver Moon High Plains Hefe
Uncommon Brewers Siamese Twin Ale
So have a great week in beer. If you go to an event, want us to post an event or have any opinion whatsoever, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
Ever wanted to drink your beer directly from a taxidermied animal? I know I have. There’s nothing better than popping the cap off a nice squirrel and going lip to lip with it (ok, thats gross).
Well, that’s all a possibility now, thanks to BrewDog. BrewDog is the Scottish brewer who brought us Tactical Nuclear Penguin (ABV 32%) and Sink the Bismarck (ABV 41%), two of the strongest beers in the world.
BrewDog has been the recipients of massive applause – and silent disdain – from beer drinkers of the world. Some applaud their relentless experimentation and combative spirit. Others are simply sick of the battle between BrewDog and German brewer Schorschbraeu.
Regardless of what you think about the battle, the crazy high ABV booze, or their creative approach to labeling and marketing – you have to be intrigued with the latest installment: The End of History.
The End of History is 55% alcohol. 55%. I had to say it again. But what is even more incredibly ridiculous is that the beer is bottled and then implemented within a limited edition of taxidermied animals, ranging from squirrels, chipmunks, and perhaps other rodent-like mammals. The bottle is also considered to be the most expensive beer in the world. A 12oz sauce will hit your check book a cool $765.00 (but hey – collectors item right?).
Really? You might ask that question. But, I have come to expect this from BrewDog. They are constantly testing the boundaries of beer consumerism, marketing laws, and human decency. The new grog has to be celebrated if not for the fact that they decided to invest a lot of money into making something that is so far out of the box that it can only be premised on insane passion.
Check out the bottles over at Geekology. Also, be sure to check out the video that they released on Vimeo, capturing the creation process behind The End of History (well, at least their rendition).
We have had the great pleasure of trying out Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismarck. Both of them were, well, interesting. We had a much better reaction to Bismark, which was masked well with extremely concentrated hop extract.
If you get the chance to try any of these beers – you cannot pass it up. It won’t be long before the TTB and other regulators put a stop to classifying these types of brews as “beer.” It also appears that this will be the last time they do the high-ABV beer thing. Read below for more information.
From the BrewDog press release:
The beer is the last high abv beer we are going to brew, the end point of our research into how far the can push the boundaries of extreme brewing, the end of beer.
This blond Belgian ale is infused with nettles from the Scottish Highlands and Fresh juniper berries. Only 12 bottles have been made and each comes with its own certificate and is presented in a stuffed stoat or grey squirrel. The striking packaging was created by a very talented taxidermist and all the animals used were road kill. This release is a limited run of 11 bottles, 7 stoats and 4 grey squirrels. Each ones comes with its own certificate of authenticity.
After a weekend of Hoppin’ Frog, Jolly Pumpkin, Naked City’s own brews and Rodenbach, I present to you, the next week of beer events.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Great Lakes Beer Tasting: Oakdale, Minnesota
4:30PM-6:30PM @ Cork and Barrel Wine and Spirits
Stop by and sample one of the greats from the Mid-West: Great Lakes Brewing Co. from Cleveland Ohio will be serving Dortmunder Gold (Dortmunder), Edmund Fitzgerald (Porter), Eliot Ness (Dark Amber), Burning River (Pale Ale) and Commodore Perry (IPA). Bring a business card and drop it in the bucket, at the end of the tasting we will draw a name for a six pack of beer.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
BrewDog Tasting: Hooksett, New Hampshire
4:30PM-7:30PM @ Bert’s Better Beers
Try out BrewDog from Scotland. Punk IPA, Rip Tide Stout, Dogma, Paradox Smokehead and Paradox Isle of Arran will be sampled.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Day of the Dogfish: Cincinnati, Ohio
5:00PM- 10:00PM @ Catskeller
Samples flights from Dogfish Head Brewing, a innovative brewery out of Delaware. On draft will be: Red & White; Black & Blue; Burton Baton; Chateau Jiahu; Palo Santo Marron and Midas Touch. Fingers crossed, as there might be some 90 Minute & Raison D’Etre available.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Southern Tier Brewery Night: Tampa, Florida
7:00PM- 10:30PM @ Mellow Mushroom
Southern Tier Brewing Co. ‘s IPA, 422, Unearthly Imperial IPA, and Iniquity Imperial Black Ale will all be on tap along with other Southern Tier bottles. GOOD TIMES.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Smuttynose Tasting: Somersworth, New Hampshire
4:00PM-6:00PM @ Somersworth Village Market
New Hampshire’s very own Smuttynose Brewing Co. is on the board tonight. Although the beers available for tasting have not been listed, fingers cross for their IPA and Wheatwine!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Williamsburg Cask Ale Festival: Brooklyn, New York
1:00PM-1:00AM @ D.B.A.
Great place in BK (there is also one in New Orleans) – tonight (according to ratebeer.com) expect about 16 rare and tasty cask beers to be pouring over the weekend, all tapped at once, including beers not normally seen in cask in NYC. Beer range is courtesy of Alex Hall (BA: Imbiber) in conjunction with Ray Deter of ‘dba’. Beer will come in half pint and 16oz measures, there’s no entry fee and you pay by the glass.
Italian Beer Festival: Seal Beach, California
11:30AM-11:30PM @ Beachwood BBQ
Italians are known for pizza, art, pasta and wine- but tonight, come sample 18 different Italian brews.
Great Week! At least three of my top ten breweries are having a tasting this week. This weekend we had the conversation of our top 10 US breweries. I could only come up with 9 off the top of my head. What are your favorite breweries? Leave a comment or email me at email@example.com with an event you want us to post or to just start a dialogue about your favorite brewery!
We thought we would start out our bevy of reporting on our trip to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands with a short set of our “Top 3″ in Belgium and beyond.
There were three members of BeerBlotter.com on this trip, so its impossible to come to a verdict about the ranking of the Top 3 at this point. Perhaps by the close of our two weeks of stories on the journey, we will have formed a consensus. For now we are simply providing what we believe to be the best 3 places to visit in a particular category.
Please note: we did not visit everything, we couldn’t. Though Belgium is only about 90 miles across, there are so many places to visit. Those venues are not bunched in any easily manageable way, especially the breweries of West Flanders. Thus, we will expose our limitations – we can only rank those places that we visited. Later in the week, we will be providing reviews on each establishment visited, so you will be able to get a better idea of what was visited.
Also, we are stating the names of these places in Flemish or French so that you can find them on a map/online easier.
So, here we go:
Top 3 Breweries to Visit:
1) Picobrouwerij Alvinne, Heule, Belgium
2) Brasserie Cantillon, Brussels, Belgium
3) Brouwerij De Molen, Bodegraven, Holland (Ok Ok its not in Belgium – its in the Netherlands. But its so amazing!)
***Brasserie Thiriez in Escambeq, France – very cool too, if you speak French***
Top 3 Beer Bars to Visit in Belgium:
1) Paters Vaetje, Antwerp, Belgium (Amazing atmosphere and great bartender)
2) Poatersgat, Bruges, Belgium
3) Moeder Lambic, Brussels, Belgium (new, incredible)
Top 3 Beer Bars to Visit in Holland:
1) Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam, Holland
2) ‘t Arendsnest, Amsterdam, Holland
3) Beer Temple, Amsterdam, Holland (for the variety – and if you miss the USA)
Top 3 Places to Enjoy a Beer in Belgium:
1) ‘t Waterhuis Aan De Bierkant, Ghent, Belgium
2) Picobrouwerij Alvinne’s Loft, Heune, Belgium
3) ‘t Poatersgat, Bruges, Belgium (cmon, its in a medieval cellar)
Top 3 Beer Lists in Belgium:
1) Kulminator, Antwerp, Belgium (vintages really help)
2) Cafe Cambrinus, Bruges, Belgium
3) Bier Circus, Brussels, Belgium
Top 3 Bottleshops
1) Willems, Grobbendonk, Belgium (ridiculous, go here)
2) Picobrouwerij Alvinne, Heune, Belgium (worldwide selection)
3) De Bier Temple, Bruges, Belgium
Top 3 Beer Experiences in Belgium:
1) Drinking Nuclear Penguin & Sink the Bismark with owner Davy Spiessens at Picobrouwerij Alvinne
2) Enjoying Westvleteren 12 at In De Vrede Cafe on the St. Sixtus Abbij
3) Tasting young gueuzes and special lambics at Brasserie Cantillon
***Checking out the cooling cellar at Moeder Lambic was cool too***
Top 3 Places for a Meal in Belgium (Beer Involved Venues)
1) De Gans, Huise, Belgium
2) Bier Circus, Brussels, Belgium
3)Brouwerij De Molen (Holland) & Brauerei zum Fuchschen (Germany) (again neither in Belgium, but damn good)
***We didn’t make it to Den Djiver in Bruges – we dont have 100.00 for a meal***
Top 3 Belgian Food to Eat
1) Toast Cannibale (raw beef across bread)
2) Witloof Casserole (Belgian Endive with Ham and Cheese)
3) Stoemf (potatoes, sausage, herbs and vegetables all mashed together)
Top 3 Issues with the Current State of Belgium
1) Construction in Ghent! (the entire city is under construction – kind of killing the ambience)
2) non-uniformity of business days
3) unknown/spontaneously selected opening and closing hours (its always a guessing game)
***Note: We were there during off-season, and we knew that, so the hours/days issue is partly our fault***
There is more to come. I’m sure I forgot to rank many things. We will try and wrap it together soon.
Enjoyed on 3/7/2010
Location: Escandido, CA
Beer: Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter
Presentation: 12 oz – Brown Glass Bottle
Style: Flavored Porter
Recommended Serving Temp: 55 degrees
Notes from the bottle:
Food Pairings: Barbeque, smoked meats, chocolate, deserts
Cheese Pairings: Gouda, brie
Beer Advocate: A-
Rate Beer: 98 (3.87)
The Stone Collaboration series is another wonderful chapter in the big old book of recent brewing collaborations. To date, 6 have been brewed in this series, each being a triple collaboration with Stone acting as curator and permanent attendee.
It all began with the first brew being sent to market in late ’08 and has continued on a trend of about 2 releases per year. Each is brewed at Stone Brewing and is brewed once. This is what you missed so far:
#2 – a 9% holiday ale brewed with Ron Jefferies of Jolly Pumpkin and Kjetil Jikiun of Nogne-O. This brew has since been brewed at least one more time at Nogne-O in Norway and packed under the Nogne-O label. We are hopeful that it continues to be produced.
#4 – reviewed here.
The last 2 are already in the works and should be seen on shelves in due time.
There are some serious names being thrown around up there. Stone has created a monster! We love it!
Another really exciting thing about collaboration beers like this is that, in some cases, a result of joint brewing is joint distributorship. This means that we get to taste beers brewed, at least in part, by brewers who do not distribute their product to our market. At this time, in reference to this Stone Series, the collaboration involving Alesmith is the only relevant example of this in the Seattle area (lucky us), but this concept is never the less a valid reason for excitement.
Allow me to get back to the beer at hand. Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter (mouthful) has a really interesting story line. It was brewed at Stone in Southern California collaboratively with Garrett Marrero of Maui Brewing and Ken Schmidt, a homebrewer whose creation is the source of the recipe. Ken brewed a beer, inspired by Maui Brewing’s Coconut Poter, he called Aloha Plenty for the AHA Rally in ’09 and won first place. As part of his prize, the beer would be brewed in the Stone system and put on tap at the Stone Bistro. It was just an added bonus that the brewing ended up being in collaboration with Mitch Steele of Stone and Garrett of Maui. When the final product was bottled and sold under the Stone label, the project reached new heights of homebrewer fantasy.
One of the initial challenges of the project was to acquire the 1,000 lbs. of coconut, 300 lbs. of macadamia nuts, and 200 lbs. of 100% Kona Coffee that would be required to brew the beer with volume in Stone’s system. As you can imagine these are not cheap ingredients and not quite as abundant in Southern California as in Maui. The team used their resources and, naturally, made it happen. The second major challenge was to toast the 1,000 lbs. of coconut, a necessary process to pull out the flavors that would be imparted into the beer. The Stone Bistro Crew took up this task, which was done in the small bistro’s kitchen and took a whopping 32 hours to complete. Then, when it came to brewing day, in order to steep the essences of all these rare ingredients into the beer, steeping bags were required…a lot of them. In the end, 22 bags were required, more than Stone had available.
Keeping true to the collaborative spirit, the folks across town at Green Flash Brewing stepped up and lent a few of theirs to make up the difference.
A lot of people came together to make this beer possible, so let’s pay tribute to their efforts and tip one back. Here’s how it turned out:
No light can pass through the coffee black color of this beer. A very nice caramel shade is found in the head, which is fairly subdued on a vigorous pour and whimpers to near nothingness fairly quickly. Coffee possesses a very potent scent, and its presence in this beer dominates the nose. Chocolate and roasted malt does break through however on the tail end of the inhale. Each and every whiff seems to be slightly different from the last, a lot of nuances here. The nuts, as I suspected, are hard to place. I could image them sharing a buttery expression, but the stronger scents are too potent to allow it.
The mouthfeel is very slick and soft. Very little carbonation is felt, which matches the style well and would be off-putting here. This is essentially the best iced coffee (with no actually ice) I’ve ever had. It just so happens to be skillfully spiked with booze, which is slightly present as it warms. It has the aspects of coffee that I most enjoy, and leaves behind those I do not. The sweetness is just right. There is some oiliness and a dash of fruitiness. The chocolate and nut infusion adds complexity without stealing the stage and makes for an aftertaste that is not at all bitter or dry. That is a very key role here. The genius of their addition is now most evident.
It is the aftertaste of this porter that is most pleasurable for me. The aftertaste of coffee itself is often its least desirable attribute. You can feel it gripping to your tongue in a bitter rage and fouling the air before you with every word you speak. Coffee breath is deadly. Hell, beer breath might even be deadly, but, though this theory stands untested, I feel this concoction might intrigue a communicatory counterpart. Possibly, bait with curiosity and wonder.
As this brew gets further and further from iced coffee and closer to room temperature coffee, I am reminded of a coffee liquor and become obsessed with the thought of adding cream to this and making it a Caucasian…I mean, White Russian. Ah, even better yet, some vanilla ice cream would be just lovely in this beer. Yes, both editions would surely spoil the nuances of the flavor, but I can’t think of a better beer to experiment in those ways with. Such a shame this was brewed only once and is very limited. I’d say though, were any hope to exist for a repeat brewing, Stone would probably be the brewery most likely to issue it. There is precedence. Remember Stone’s 11th Anniversary Black IPA? Brewed once…and then made into a standard offering dubbed Sublimely Self Righteous.
Ultimately, this beer is not traditional. Not, as they say, liquid bread. This is liquid coffee-infused chocolate cake with little nut bits suspended within and coconut shavings on top. If that image doesn’t want you to try this beer you should check your pulse.
If you like Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter, you should try…
Kona Brewing Co.’s Pipeline Porter; Surley Brewing Co.’s Coffee Bender; Midnight Sun Brewing Co.’s Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter
Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard earned money at a local bottle shop.
Beer labeling, we seldom think about it. We grab a beer, read the label for ingredients and down the hatch. Why else is there a label, but to tell consumers what your wondrous tonic is comprised of? You mean there is a marketing element?
Well of course there is a marketing element; there is a reason your beer label includes flashy vocabulary and catchy imagery. The brewer is selling beer – a product (we know its more than that, but for the sake of argument…)
There is a whole mess of regulation that prohibits your favorite brew from donning a more sexy label. Beer labeling laws restrict brewers from utilizing images and names that might raise more interest in their grog. This has to be the reason that you do not see gory, sexual, or off the cuff labeling – someone is saying no.
There is a lot of information on the web about beer labeling regulation. A great starter article by Andy Pasquesi, illustrates the laundry list of “no-nos” in the beer labeling world. A sample of the bad and ugly:
On the container or other packaging (for example, the cardboard box surrounding a case of beer cans or the cardboard holder for a six-pack of beer bottles), you are aren’t allowed to:
• Make false statements.
• Say anything bad about a competitor’s product.
• Put obscene or tasteless writing, images or device (for example, pop-ups or microphones).
• Mislead consumers with manipulated information from tests, standards or other analytical data.
• Use a name that suggests your product is endorsed or supervised by a person or organization when it isn’t. The exception to this is if you’ve sold the product under that name for five years or more without incident.
• Make misleading guarantees. You can offer money-back guarantees.
• Use a name that suggests your product is made from distilled spirits. However, existing distilled spirits brands can co-brand themselves with beers, as long as it’s clear from the label that “Johnny Walker Summer Ale” is a malt beverage and not a distilled spirit. This goes for cocktails as well. (You can sell a mudslide-flavored beer, but it must be clear that there is no vodka in the beverage.)
• Use a design or image that simulates a government stamp, meaning no presidential seals, armed services insignias, fire or police emblems, currency graphics or state flags.
• Claim or imply the health benefits of your product.
• Direct consumers to a third-party for information about the health benefits of your product or ingredients therein.
Yuck. You mean to tell us that we need to figure what is “obscene and tasteless” before we print 1000 bottle labels? Statutory ambiguity in the regulations leads to too much discretion for Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) officials, the body entrusted with the power to shut down product packaging and labeling.
You can read more about the TTB powers, rights and regulations on their website’s “labeling” page. For all you nerds out there, the beer labeling laws are located at 27 CFR Part 7, Labeling and Advertising of Malt Beverages and 27 CFR Part 16, Alcoholic Beverage Health Warning Statement. Exhilarating reading.
So who is the rouge challenger of beer labeling? I think that no one goes above and beyond the call of duty to fight restriction better than Scotland’s BrewDog. BrewDog has again and again toyed with regulators and private organizations formed to restrict alcohol marketing devices.
The Portman Group is one such private organization. Here is their mission statement:
“Just as people should show personal responsibility when drinking alcohol, companies must demonstrate responsibility in the way that they conduct their business.
We work with drinks producers to raise standards of alcohol marketing. We challenge companies to be socially responsible and inspire them to achieve best practice.”
Well then, what say you Portman Group about BrewDog’s recent super heavy alcohol releases? They didn’t like it. Shocker.
BrewDog’s release of the 18.2% brew Tokyo, included labeling which implies that life sometimes needs excess – this beer is for those times. Apparently that struck a cord with Portman, who released the following statement:
Portman Group Chief Executive David Poley said: “We don’t regulate the alcohol content of drinks but we do control how they are promoted. It’s obviously unwise for any company to urge consumers to drink to excess.
“We won’t allow any irresponsible marketing whether it’s for a big brand or a niche product. That’s why we’re taking action to restrict future sales of this beer.”
BrewDog’s response……target major producers who push 24 packs of Keystone Light, Natural Light and plethora of “light” products, the sole intention of which is to drink in heavy quantity in party atmospheres.
“They should perhaps concentrate their efforts on targeting the brands selling 24 cans of lager for £7 – where literal excess is contributing to Scotland’s problem with alcohol.”
So, the battle comes down to whether a restriction unfairly restricts craft brewers who brew at a high level of alcohol, but less volume, versus those massive producers who keep the ABV low, but package in massive volume. Remember 24 cans of 12 oz is 288 oz. The price of a BrewDog Tokyo’s 22 oz bottle is roughly 18.00, whereas a case of Keystone Light is roughly 16.00. Hint: there is much more alcohol in that case of Keystone.
You can take many different angles on this argument, but the result should be that beer is a changing industry that requires a new approach to regulation. No longer is the beer market wholly comprised of sub-5% malt beverages. The craft industry has made beer climb towards the ranks of spirits. Beer is no longer only consumed in heavy quantities, but can also be enjoyed one bottle at a time, over a lengthy period of time.
Luckily for you beer aficionados who do not see a problem with beer marketing, there is BrewDog. BrewDog seemingly fears no backlash, poking fun at regulators by producing, back to back, Nanny State (a 1.1% beer) and Tactical Nuclear Penguin (at the time the highest ABV on the planet at 32%). Take that regulators.
Even more recently, BrewDog spawned a battle of the heavy beer with German brewer Schorschbraeu, who did back to back releases of a 32% brew and a 40% brew named “Schorschbock.”
Not to be outdone, BrewDog immediately released “Sink the Bismarck,” a brew weighing in at 41%.
Now, we love beer, but has this battle brought out the worst in beer? Is it still about the complexity, flavor and ingredients – or merely the alcohol?
Schorschbraeu Managing Director and brew master Georg Tscheuschner told the media, after BrewDog’s recent release:
“We’ll just brew another, stronger one,” he said. “Forty-five percent shouldn’t be a problem and we have beer enthusiasts waiting for it.”
We just hope they stay on the shelf. Bad or good, the beer is these brewer’s income. Regulators who may aim to shut it down, could easily hit these brewers right in the pocket.
Is it time for a new discussion of beer labeling laws? We think so. How about you? Leave comments below.
Its the first of the month, its still winter, its still cold. Let beer warm your soul. Here are your events for the first week of February.
Monday, February 1, 2010
IPAlooza 2010: Willoughby, Ohio
4:30PM- 4:30 AM @ Ballantine
Today marks the first day of 28 days of rare IPAs. 28 IPA will be on tap for the entire month of February. Those who manage to try all 28 by the end of the month will be invited to the “wrap-up party” in March. Rare IPA’s include: Stone Sublimely Self Righteous, Urthel Hop-it, Founder’s Double Trouble, Stone/Brewdog Bashah, Brooklyn Blast and more.
Lagunitas Beer Dinner: Jacksonville, Florida
6:30PM – 10:30 PM @ Kickbacks Gastropub
8 courses of food and 21, yes 21, beer pairings from Lagunitas Brewery. $49.00 per person plus 20% gratuity and tax will leave you satisfied and a little tipsy (or even drunk). Some of the tap beers featured include: Cappuccino Stout, 2007, 2008, 2010 Old Gnarleywine and Dogtown Pale Ale. Vintage bottles will also be served during the dinner. Call 904-388-9551 and pay with credit card over the phone or pay with cash upon arrival.
Tuesday, February 2 2010
Beer Appreciation Night-Belgium Winter Warmers: Brea, Caifornia
7:00PM-9:00PM@ BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery
This is going to kick off one of many Beer Appreciation Nights for 2010. Tonight, the Belgium Winters will include: Fantome de Noel, St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, ‘t Smisje Kerst, Corsendonk Christmas Ale, and any more. Plus, some of the last of BJ’s Annual Grand Cru will be poured for this tasting!
Founder’s Brewing Co. Tasting: Dayton, Ohio
4:00PM-10:00PM @ South Park Tavern
Come and enjoy all this amazing brewery has to offer. You can’t go wrong with, Double Trouble IPA, Red’s Rye, Dirty Bastard, and more!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Meet the Brewer- Weyerbacher Brewing Co.: Quakertown, Pennsylvania
7:00PM-9:ooPM @ Spinnerstown Hotel
Enjoy four beers from Weyerbacher Brewing Co. paired with opulent culinary creations prepared by Chef Karl. $40.00 per person. For more details on what beers will be poured, call (215) 536-7242.
Brewdog Tasting: New Haven, Connecticut
7:00PM-8:00PM @ Prime 16
Brewdog is an innovative brewery out Scotland. Brewdog beer will be available both on draft and cask. Expect to see Dogma, Punk, and Hardcore to try and buy. Many more will be rotating throughout the rest of the month.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Meet the Brewer of New Old Lompoc Portland, Oregon
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Belmont Station
Meet New Old Lompoc Brewers Dave “Chowdah” Fleming and Zach Beckwith and get a sneak taste of the Bourbon Barrel aged LSD (LSD was brewed in May of last year then aged in Bourbon barrels for five months and cellared for an additional three. It has a malty body with slight raisin and vanilla flavors), as well as Barrel aged Doppelbock, LSD, Proletariat Red, and C-note IPA. Imperial Coffee Stout will be on draft.
Clipper City Holy Sheet Cask: Leesburg, Virginia
5:00PM- 9:00 PM @ Fireworks Pizza
Come grab some tasty pizza and drink Clipper City’s Abbey Ale on cask. Holy Sheet is only available during February and March, so it is VERY limited!
Friday, February 5, 2010
Pliny the Younger Release Day: Santa Rosa, California
11:00 AM – 11:45 PM @ Russian River Brewing Co.
Collaboration Not Litigation Ale- Tapping Party & Vertical Tasting Party: Boulder, Colorado
5:00PM-8:00 PM @ Avery Brewing Co.
Today will mark the release of Batch #4 of Collaboration Not Litigation. Come celebrate the fruitful relationship between Avery Brewing and Russian River Brewing. Rob Rosser will be on hand serving his famous fish tacos at $4.00 a piece. Be the first to experience this batch and if you do, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Chocolate and Beer Festival: Richmond, California
2:00PM-6:00PM @ The Craneway Pavillion
6 chocolatiers and 6 local breweries will present multiple product samplings with live entertainment and raffle prizes. Advance tickets are $18.00 and $25.00 at the door with $5.00 parking. Click here to purchase tickets.
A Celebration of All Things Coffee, Chocolate and Things Aged in Barrels: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2:00PM-2:00AM @ The Institute
What an amazing combination of items! The Institute’s chef will cook up some spectacular specials including sweet and savory items along with some vegetarian items. Aged beers will include, Wyerbacher Barrel Aged Heresy, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Allagash Curieux and Bells Java Stout (among others).
Sunday, February 6, 2010
Beer Appreciation 101: San Jose, California
5:00PM-7:00PM @ Wine Affairs
Learning about beer and the different styles will increase your appreciation of the many micro brews around the world. Expect a general overview of the brewing process and how the basic ingredients used in brewing affect a beer’s flavor. Develop your beer vocabulary while tasting beers that exemplify certain characteristics of each basic ingredient. Contact Wine Affairs at 408-977-0111 to make your reservation today!
Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Night: San Fransisco, California
6:00PM-2:00AM @ Toronado
So that’s that. Whats done is done. Oh and GO SAINTS!!!!
As always, if you go to an event, want to go to an event, want to promote an event or discuss a beer you had at an event, leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. Cheers!