Since I am not currently indulging in libations, Im going to cut to the chase– Your week in beer!
Tuesday, January 24, 2011
Jolly Pumpkin, Stone and Nogne-O Collaboration Dinner: Detroit, Michigan
6:30PM-9:30PM @ Michael Symon’s Roast Detroit
Stone Brewing’s Greg Koch, Jolly Pumpkin’s Ron Jeffries and Iron Chef Michael Symon of Roast come together for the release of JP Collababiere, the final brew of the three brewery collaboration (between Jolly Pumpkin, Nogne-O and Stone) series. Each beer was brewed at each breweries facility in their own style with a base recipe and a local ingredient. The three beers will be featured within a four course meal along with other favorites from the three breweries.
The event starts at 6:30 and there will be two live bands as well.
The restaurant is closed to the public for this event.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Founder’s Double Trouble Tapping Release Party: South Bend, Indiana
5:00PM – 12:00AM @ Fiddler’s Hearth Public House
We are talking one of the best Double IPAs in the country- made by Founders. Tonight taste this epic brew and its brandy barrel aged version. Hot damn!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Dogfish Head Night: Hulmeville, Pennsylvania
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Hulmeville Inn
There is a pretty amazing line up to accompany the firkin Dogfish Head 75 min IPA and it goes a little something like this:
75 Minute firkin
90 Minute on the Randall with homegrown Cascade hops
World Wide Stout
Palo Santo Marron
maybe the Punkin’
Friday, January 28, 2011
16 Tons IPA Fest: Eugene, Oregon
5:00PM-10:00PM @ Sixteen Tons Beer & Wine
January 27th-29th Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5-10pm Featuring 60+ IPAs!
No entry fee. Cash Only Event. Beers are $1-$2 for 3oz tasters. Event will be held at 16 Tons.
Friday & Saturday eat dinner at the Fest! Nosh Pit will be set up out front making a fresh delicious sandwiches with local ingredients.
Initial Breweries/Beer List here: http://sixteentons.biz/blog/?page_id=527
(work in progress)
* Sierra Nevada Hoptimum
* Uinta Crooked Line Detour Double IPA
* Vertigo Brewing Friar Gone Wild Imperial IPA
* Coalition IPA
* Fort George OmegaTex
* Hop Valley Alpha Centauri Binary IPA
* Avery duganA IPA
* Mikkeller 10
* Revelation Cat Woodwork Series Acasia
* 10 Barrel Apocalypse IPA
* Alameda Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA
* Southern Tier Oak Aged Un*Earthly
* Victory Yakima Glory
* Victory Hop Wallop
* Silver Moon HOPpopatamus
* Southern Tier Gemini
* BrewDog Hardcore IPA
* BrewDog Mikkeller I Hardcore You
* Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA
* Flying Dog Double Dog
* Marin Eldridge Grade White Knuckle DIPA
* Midnight Sun Cohoho
* Midnight Sun Mayhem
* Mikkeller 1000 IBU
* Mikkeller I Beat yoU
* Mikkeller Single Hop Simcoe IPA
* Moylan’s Hopsickle IPA
* Natian Old Grogham Winter IPA
* New Belgium / Elysian Trip VII Black Belgo Winter Here / Summer There
* Cascade Lakes Centennial IPA
* Deschutes Hop Henge
* Dogfish Head Burton Baton
* Draper Brewing IPA
* El Toro IPA
* Southern Tier Iniquity Imperial Black Ale
* Deschutes Hop Trip
* Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale
* Dieu du Ciel Corne du Diable
* Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
* Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA
* Epic Armageddon IPA
* Flying Dog Raging Bitch
* Great Divide Hercules Double IPA
* Green Flash Imperial IPA
* Green Flash West Coast IPA
* Hale’s Supergoose IPA
* Lompoc C-Note Imperial IPA
* Mad River Steelhead Double IPA
* Ninkasi Mystery IPA
* Ninkasi Tricerahops
* Oskar Blues Gubna
* Sierra Nevada 30th Our Brewers Reserve
* Southern Tier Un*Earthly IPA
* Stone Cali-Belgique IPA
* Stone IPA Stone Lukcy Basartd Ale
* Three Creeks Hoodoo Voodoo IPA
* Victory HopDevil
* Widmer Brothers Deadlift Imperial IPA
* Alaskan Double Black IPA
* Beer Valley Leafer Madness
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Cigar City Brewing Total Tap Takeover: Sarasota, Florida
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Stout Brunch: Exton, Pennsylvania
11:00AM-3:00PM @ The Drafting Room Taproom And Grille
Forget the brunch buffet- check this mouth watering list out!
Port Older Viscocity
Founder’s Kentucky Bourbon Stout
Rogue Russian Imperial Stout (Vintage 2009)
Flying Fish Exit #13
Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
Stoudts Fat Dog
Long Trail Coffee Stout
Broolyn Black Chocolate Stout
Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout
Weyerbacher 15th Anniversary
Nogne Dark Horizon (First Edition)
Victory Storm King “Cask Conditioned”
East Meets West: Doylestown, Pennsylvania
7:00PM-9:00PM @ M.O.M.’s – Maxwell’s On Main
Ballast Point Brewing Company from San Diego, Ca
Big Eye IPA
Dorado Double IPA
Piper Down Scotch Ale
Paired with a selection of East Coast cheeses!
Come join us!!!
Call or inquire within
$30 per person. Limited Seating – RSVP now!
If you go to an event or want us to promote an event on the site, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The moment you have all been waiting for……
Monday, March 8, 2010
Beer U: Homebrewing Event: Escondido, California
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Stone Brewing Co.
Home brewing, any beer enthusiast can do it. Its fun and rewarding all at the same time. Join Ken Wright and Jacob McKean for a live brewing demonstration and some tasty homebrew samples! Tickets are $20 and are available at the Stone Company Store or online here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/99122
Great Lakes Brewing Enters A New Market: Greensboro, North Carolina
8:00PM-10:00PM @ The Pour House
We wish there was an event like this in Seattle which would indicate that Great Lakes Brewing is being distributed to Seattle. BUT its not, so lets get back to reality. However the lucky cities of Charlotte/Greenboro NC will experience all that Great Lakes Brewing Company has to offer. Visit The Pour House to meet GLBC reps and sample GLBC’s five year round beers: Burning River Pale Ale, Commodore Perry India Pale Ale, Dortmunder Gold Lager, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Eliot Ness Amber Lager!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Allagash Night: Brunswick, Maine
7:00PM- 12:00 AM @ The Lion’s Pride
Allagash is known for its perfection of the Belgium styled beers, so here is your chance to try lots of limited Allagash beers on tap. This is part of the Lion’s Pride Belgian Festival week along and Allagash will be featured with other great Belgian beers.
Oatmeal Stout Night: Brooklyn, New York
6:00PM-10:00PM @ Bar Great Harry
Come taste stouts that have been aged in-house at Bar Great Harry. Before the weather turns warmer, indulge in these tasty brews: Sixpoint Otis, CASK Blue Point Oatmeal Stout, Mcneil’s Oatmeal Stout, Anderson Valley Barney Flats, Young’s Oatmeal Stout, Wolaver’s Organic Oatmeal Stout, Goose Island Oatmeal Stout.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 (the day Beer Blotter leaves for Belgium)
Victory Beer Sampling: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6:00 PM-8:00PM @ Hawthornes
A FREE sampling of Victory Brewing company. As always these fine beers will be paired with a specific cheese.
Brewers Night with Black Raven Brewing Co.: Bellingham, Washington
6:00PM-9:00PM @ The Green Frog Cafe
Black Raven Brewing Co., known for their amazing IPAs (Single IPA-Trickster and Double IPA- Wisdomseeker) is heading North from Redmond to Bellingham to sample their beers and give away schwag.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Cigar City Pre-release Party: Bradenton, Florida
7:00PM-9:30PM @ Lost Kangaroo Pub
Tonight marks the eve of the official release of the Hunapu bottle release and there are some very special Cigar City beers on tap and in bottles. Hunapu, Jai Alai IPA, Bolita Double Nut Brown Ale and Olde Ale will all be on tap and paired with cheese.
Brewery Ommegang Tasting: New York, New York
7:00PM-10:00PM @ Shorty’s
Ken Erdogan from Brewery Ommegang will be at Shorty’s tonight, as will as at least six of his fantastic Ommegang brews. In the line up will be Abbey Ale, Hennpin, Witte, Rare Vos and a couple surprises. Come by for $10 flights (4-6oz glasses) of your favorite beers.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Downtown St. Paddy’s Day Dash: Youngstown, Ohio
5:00PM-2:30AM @ Rust Belt Brewing Co.
Kick off is at 5pm at the B&O Station 530 Mahoning Ave. Then, two 55 passenger luxury buses will arrive at 7pm to take you and around Downtown Youngstown in search of 6 mystery leprechauns who will be giving out gold coins (plastic coins provided by Amscan on New York) those who collect 5 coins will receive a free Downtown Dash 2010 St. Paddy’s t-shirt. NOTE: Registration begins at 5pm, the cost is $2 with a non perishable donation to Gleaners Food Bank of Youngstown and $5 with out donation. All proceeds will go to Gleaners Youngstown Food Bank.
Berkshire Brewing Co.: South Deerfield, Massachusetts
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Chandler’s Tavern
Featuring the Berkshire Brewing Company’s handcrafted ales. The evening starts at Berkshire Brewing Company at 6:00 with an hour tour of the brewery followed by a four course dinner at Chandler’s Restaurant.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Kona Brewer’s Festival: Kona, Hawaii
2:30PM-6:30PM @ Kona Brewing Co.
Enjoy amazing beers and a stellar view at the 15th Annual Kona Brewer’s Festival. Headliners include, Jolly Pumpkin, Great Divide, Ballast Point Brewing Co., and so many more. From Oregon to Hawaii come celebrate craft brewing in the USA!
Russian River Tapping: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (this is the hot city of the week)
12:00PM- 12:00 AM @ Tria
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Fire and Ice Brunch with Glacier Brewing Co.: Anchorage, Alaska
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Firetap Alehouse
This beer and food pairing with Glacier Brewing Co. is $50.00/person. To make reservations call (the area code in Ancorage, AK plus) 561-2337. Food items include: succulent prawns in a spring roll wrapper, crisped with herbs and spices. Served with Tabboulah salad blended with Red Hot Mama and chile infused olive oil; tender short ribs slow cooked with star anise, brushed with a Jim Bean/hoisin glaze- paired with IPAs, Red Hot Mama and more!
Los Angeles St. Patrick’s Day Festival: Los Angeles, California
2:00PM- 7:00PM @ Taglyan Complex
Ballast Point Brewing Company-Firestone DBA (Double Barrel)- New Belgium Brewing Company-and a bunch of liquors for you non-beer drinkers. We wanted to mention this event, because this is a rare occurrence, a beer event in LA.
So that is it- start priming your liver for St. Paddy’s Day, as we prime our livers for Belgium. We hope to report while abroad but will be subject to internet access, so no promises. There will be plenty of materials upon our return! But check back this week, as we are working hard to get as many posts up as possible. Thanks for the support and if you go to an event, see a sign for an event, know someone who was thinking about going to an event, let us know by leaving a comment or emailing us at email@example.com. Cheers!
After a long day at the mountain, we are just going to jump right into it.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Hebrew/Coney Island Beer Tasting: Jacksonville, Florida
7:00PM-9:00PM @ European Street Cafe
Get a taste of New York tonight with a tasting of 8 beers from Hebrew/Coney Island Brewing Co. On tap tonight: Albino Pytho; Jewbelation; Coney Island Lager; Sword Swallower Lager; Human Blockhead; Lenny’s RIPA; Genesis and Massiah.
Ommegang Beer Dinner: Rhinebeck, New York
5:00PM-9:00PM @ Terrapin
Upstate New York is home to Brewery Ommegang. Tonight entails a three course meal paired with 9 different Ommegang beers such as Chocolate Indulgence, Beirre de Mars and Three Philosophers. There are menu items for both meat lovers and vegatarians.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Pliny the YOUNGER Keg Tapping: Seattle, Washington
5:00PM or 6:00PM- until its GONE @ Brouwer’s Cafe
PTY, Russian River Brewing Co.’s triple IPA has made it up North to Seattle. We missed the keg at Collin’s Pub on Friday, but we are NOT missing out this time around. This keg is bound to be kicked in an hour, maybe even less, so get there early.
Mardi Gras Celebration: Grand Rapids, Michigan
4:00PM-12:00AM @ HopCat
Okay, so Michigan is a lot colder than New Orleans, but you can still partake in the Mardi Gras festivities. Beads, a faux parade and Abita beer for all!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Cigar City Unleased: New York, New York
7:00PM-3:00AM @ Rattle -n- Hum
Upright Brewers Dinner: Portland, Oregon
6:00PM – 8:00PM @ Aquariva
A four course meal paired with Upright Brewing’s seasonal beers. This dinner is limited to 25 people at $40.00 per person. Call the restaurant for reservations at 503-802-5850. Beers to be had include: Gose (rare german wheat beer brewed tart with coriander and salt); Flora Rustica (old world saison brewed with yarrow and calendula flowers); Oyster Stout (stout brewed with oysters); Billy the Mountain (pinot barrel aged old ale). Billy the Mountain is especially unique.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Cask Night: Sturbridge, Massachusetts
5:00PM-7:00PM @ Pioneer Brewing Co.
Pioneer Brewing Co. has Cask Conditioned their Stout and added a handful of fresh Cascade Hops. This will be their first time with a Cask Condition brew. Chris Courtney, the assistant brewer will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have. Look for more Cask Conditioned beers in 2010 from Pioneer Brewing Co.
Midwest Night: Brooklyn, New York
6:00PM- 10:00PM @ Baracade
Since 1/3 of Beer Blotter reigns from the great state of Ohio, we wanted to feature this event. Stop by to sample around 20 different beers from the middle of the USA. The draft list isnt posted, but one can only hope breweries like Great Lakes, Founders and Three Floyds will be available for your enjoyment.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Release Party for Great Divide Brews: Denver, Colorado
6:00PM- 10:00PM @ Great Divide Brewing Co.
$20 admission covers snacks and all the Great Divide beer you want, within reason of course. Hoss, Claymore, Colette Saison and Espresso Oak Aged Yeti will be released tonight. Good stuff! Go there.
Bourbon County Stout Vertical Tasting: Chicago, Illinois
8:00PM-10:00PM @ The Long Room
Sample 2007, 2008, and 2009 Bourbon County Stout with the folks from Goose Island Beer Co. Those that show up early enough will also have a chance to sample our very special treat, 2005 Bourbon County Stout. Limited amounts of each, so the beer is first come, first served. This beer ages very well, so it will be interesting to compare the taste through the years.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Dogfish Head Tasting: Bellport, New York
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Bellport Cold Beer and Soda
Dogfish Head beers are available for sale as well as to taste—>6 -8 beers will be for samples! The following beers (only a few are named here) are available in bottles – Singles – 4pks – 6pks – 750′s: Chicory Stout; Midas Touch; Palo Santo Marron and Burton Baton.
HOP FEST: Owosso, Michigan
11:00AM-11:00PM @ Wrought Iron Grill
8 IPA’s on tap, 2 firkins and select bottles will be featured all day starting at 11am. Heated outdoor seating will be available as well as entertainment, food pairings and door prizes. Breweries included will be Short’s Brewing Co., Bell’s, Founders, Avery, Victory, Stone Brewing Co., plus many more.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Hell with the Lid Off Barleywine Fest: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Kelly’s Bar and Lounge
Tis’ the season for Barleywines, so stop by the 6th Annual Barleywine Fest. A massive collection, draft list available upon arrival for those of you lucky enough to participate.
Meet and Greet with The Bruery: Atlanta, Georgia
6:30PM-8:30PM @ The Porter Beer Bar
As mentioned above, we are moving into the barleywine season, so keep an eye out for featured barleywines at your favorite beer bars! Beer Blotter is looking forward to the barleywine festival at Beveridge Place Pub beginning on the 26th with 24 Dedicated Barleywine Taps and 50 different barleywines rotating throughout the Fest! Attending an event, want to attend an event, want to want to attend an event? Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
Well the trip to New York was everything we expected and more. A lot more, as in painful mornings and the worst headache of one man’s imbibing career (12/27 is a day that will live in infamy).
You could not be there, but we wish you could. So, lets take a peak inside the 3.5 days of NYC beer jaunting in a 3 part segment known simply as “The NYChronicles.”
Christmas is in the air – then its gone. This is a traditional and historically catastrophic comedown. A month long climax and subsequent deep descent stemming from childhood wishes and dreams. But, the cruel honesty of adulthood sets in and you recognize that you only get about 12 hours of real Christmas spirit, then its back to your mobile device, answering emails of customers, back to the bankbook to ensure your account is not overdrawn, and back to the reality that gifts are enjoyed by wearing them on your back and not by tearing open a box for 1 to 2 hours of technological amazement.
But ah ha! Christmas this year was a teaser for things to come. Christmas brought joy, happiness, a few beers (see article) and some curious thoughts of what might be ahead as we traipsed closer to beer jaunting madness. For this Christmas season, the Blotter crew slept well on Christmas Eve, hoping to shred through some gifts (thanks Mom and Linda for the beer gifts) and move on to a long awaited and epic journey to the depths of the NYC beer doldrums – hahahahaha!
OK OK - its not scary. Its also not “doldrums” by any stretch of the word. Its a wondrous and beautiful community of swanky beer bars, old style beer warehouses, acclaimed breweries (though few) and cross-town competition. We had about 72 hours total. We had to sleep, eat, travel (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is not close to Manhattan), attend events (hello Knicks game and Broadway) and work off hangovers with brisk runs which became shorter and shorter each day.
All in all – we did damn good. Here’s the story.
Awake in Brooklyn.
We are staying in the Bay Ridge Neighborhood of Brooklyn. Here you will not find any acknowledgeable beer establishments (mini-shoutout to Kettle Black and Salty Dog for their great bar food though), but you will find Ben’s Pizzeria and Bagel Boy – both food leaders in their respective categories. Nothing primes the stomach for beer consumption like a Bagel Boy Everything bagel following a brisk 5K run. Bagel Boy is great, and worth the morning hike.
We are off for the big city. My companion has a date to see Wicked on Broadway with her amazing mother and rarely does a man get the opportunity to embark on the big city alone, during a family holiday. I relish in this chance.
Approach….Manhattan: New Beer Distributors and Bowery Beer Room
I am being dropped off in Lower Manhattan by the World Trade Center site. I used to work next door to the site in 2005 during my hiatus from Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. Not amazingly, nothing has changed. The site remains largely undeveloped in over 9 years since cleanup began.
I am jumping on the JMZ (brown) line, going north, headed for Bowery and the Lower East Side. When we lived in Manhattan in 2005 we trounced this area nightly. The music scene is incredible, launching careers of the Ramones, Patti Smith and Interpol. I remember spending New Years 2005 in Hi Fi Lounge, up on Ave A, enjoying every last moment. Hi Fi is still kicking and still has the best assortment of music relics on the walls – along with a good beer or two.
But I am on a mission. A mission to find New Beer Distributors (NBD). NBD is a small warehouse on Chrystie and Rivington right below Houston and to the immediate east of Bowery off the Bowery J stop on the subway.
I had heard that NBD had an incredible selection, including several extremely rare items, as well as some vintage bottles. I heard right. They also showcase 4 or 5 taps for filling growlers. None of their offerings were run of the mill, ranging from Southern Tier Choklat to Ramstein Eisbock!
In pursuing the bottle collection I found that their most impressive collection was US beer. They had an equally impressive collection of East Coast and West Coast ales, as well as some excellent Midwest faves (hello Hoppin Frog and Kuhnhenn).
I whipped out a small backpack (remember, Im wandering the city all day) and started collecting. Of course, my eyes were too big for my backpack and I had to do the ole “exclude the least necessary” trick, counting down from #1 until the pack was full. Here is what I found:
Brooklyn Black Ops – dum da da da – she’s a beaut. This was our No. 1 goal for bringing something back. The label tells the tale – “Black Ops is not a beer.” Im fine with that. Whatever is inside is going to be worth the $19.00 price tag (which is cheaper than any other place by about 3-5 bucks).
Cigar City Improvisation (Oatmeal Rye Brown Ale – Yum)
Weyerbacher 13th Anniversary (this year WB did a finely crafted imperial stout, inspired by Belgian Quads – 13.6%!)
Two Brothers Heavier Handed Oak-Aged IPA (bulked up version of the original IPA)
Arcadia Imperial Stout
St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout (a Montreal favorite)
Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA
Troegs Flying Moulan (acclaimed barleywine – 99 Rate Beer)
Captain Lawrence Double IPA
I also noticed some amazing St. Somewhere beers (all three that are bottled) and a slew of Smuttynose limited IPAs. But alas, I accepted my bounty, thanked the amazingly kind shop owner and carried on up to Houston to grab a sandwich at the famous Katz Delicatessen.
Katz is too good that its become a nightmare. The only way to truly enjoy this place is to come with one other friend, have that person snake a table quick and you weasel your way in at the counter. Once you get to the counter order a lot of different meats, as the sandwich artist will carve you slices to enjoy while you wait. You must get the pastrami – best in the world.
After scarfing down a hald corned beef and half pastrami on rye, I headed back west to take a stop in to the Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room on my way back to the subway. This is the only “beer-centric” Whole Foods that i have seen, harboring at least 1000 different beers and a half-dozen beers on tap, to fill your growler.
I am in quite a rush (behind schedule due to ogling that ensued at NBD), with a full backpack, so I do a lap of the place. Prices are bit heftier than NBD and the selection is a not as impressive. But, the beer room has excellent resources, a bountiful Belgian collection (better than NBD’s) and parking!
Heading North: Rattle N Hum
After finishing my lap – I head back west to the 4/6 green line. I am taking the 6 north up to 33rd Street and Madison. There I will seek out the establishment for which I had held highest hopes - Rattle N Hum.
Rattle N Hum is owned by an Irish chap in his 30s, who often hangs about the bar with his golden retriever. You get the feeling that he is incredibly well-liked by his staff and the regular patrons.
The bar is laden with posters of amazing beer events my palette will not be afforded. Though I crave to be present for the Weyerbacher cask event on 12/29/09 – I cant make.
The bar has my favorite beer menu – and thanks for the copy goes to the wonderful bartender! The menu shows 42 taps, each of which includes the location of the brewery, BeerAdvocate.com rating, and the alcohol by volume. The beers are sorted by their styling for ease of location. One of the best things – you will be hard-pressed to find more than one offering from any one brewer. This ensures that 40 breweries are hitting the taps. (Plus: They have 4 cask beers!)
On the draft list and notable:
Cigar City Jai Alai IPA – I was amazed to see this. Us West Coasters often dream of getting to sample the wondrous nectar that is Cigar City beer, typically aged in amazing woods. Jai Alai does not disappoint – its incredibly sweet and malty, while having incredible pineapple and grapefruit flavor that overpowers any taste of alcohol (its 7.5%). One of our favorites from the trip, it seems to breath best from a wider-mouthed glass. So, stay away from the half pint pours.
Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout – Of the Russian varietal, this beer is not incredibly strong (8.5%) but packs a high-octane flavor. Hints of smoked woods and espresso beans fill the glass in both nose and taste. We were surprised to find that other raters were not as fond as we were (Ratebeer 80), but its surely worth a pint.
Goose Island Pere Jacques – I had been wanting to snag this guy for months now, after I mistakenly grabbed a bottle of Sofie (another one of GI’s Belgians) at a Chicago bottle shop. I now know what I missed. Pere Jacques is a 9.0% ABV Abbey ale, which carries a heavy dark rich fruit flavor and the nose of a dark sour ale. Very enjoyable.
Captain Lawrence DIPA – Another beer I had been hoping to snag (and I grabbed a bottle at New Beer) is this hop monster from NY’s Captain Lawrence. This beer has a rich syrupy body and smells almost of citrus and banana juices. In my rankings, I gave it a 97/100.
Others of Note:
Cigar City Maduro Espresso (they were out! but alas i caught up with it on Day 3)
SixPoint Otis (Oatmeal Stout at 6.1%)
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (13.0% – incredible)
21st Amendment Monk’s Blood (Belgian Dark Ale)
Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA (well liked in public – A+ on BeerAdvocate.com – extremely bitter)
Nogne-O Winter Ale
Rodenbach Grand Cru
Rattle N Hum also boasts a nice food menu with many IPA-infused items. Their wings are impressive and during football games they are only .25 cents (YES!).
Rattle N Hum is a great place for beer snobs and newbies. Just a hop from the Midtown shopping areas, Rattle N Hum caters to tourists who just want a pint and locals who know where to find the best grog. Also, the back of the menu provides hints about how to taste beer from local beer expert Alex Hall.
All in all – its sitting pretty at No. 1 in the beer bar rankings.
Subway West: Pony Bar
Im heading west. I am to meet my co-author at Divine Bar on West 51st for a quick bottle of Hitachino Classic Ale and then we are off to find the next great tap.
While at Rattle N Hum, I was told by the excellent bartender that newer beer bar had opened on 10th Avenue and 45th Street some time ago. The Pony Bar has about 20 taps and has been finding a way to keep the bartender from straying from her resident neighborhood nightly.
Pony Bar is nice, with excellent large wood tables and beer barrel seats well situated on the floor. The bartenders were very accommodating with my requests to sample some offerings – and they even charged my phone, which had been on RateBeer.com hyperdrive all day long.
The taplist, oh the taplist. I was worried when I only saw a few beers on the list. I was afraid when I saw that many were winter ales (not a huge fan of the typical winter ale). But, a closer look and………wow. Pony Bar was pouring some amazing beers that were on my “Have to drink” list. Here we go:
Captain Lawrence Nor’Easter – Of all the beers we tried here – this is the most complex. This beers has at least 3 levels of flavor and ends with such a great bang. The beer has a fruity, funky and almost sour nose and ends with a barrel-aged vanilla smoothness. Highly recommended. We gave her a 95/100.
Troeg’s Mad Elf – One of our authors (timperial stout) has raved about this beer in the past. We found it to be casual, but packing a nice christmas spice that makes up for the lack of other prevalent flavors.
Victory Old Horizonal – Really? that cant be Victory. Oh yes, its Victory. I have never been particularly excited about a Victory beer – but this one gave me a whole new respect for the PA brewer. A RateBeer 100, this beer has an amazing balance of caramel and butterscotch flavorings, melded with some prevailing hop flavor. It is very similar to RedHook’s Treblehook, but with a bit more smoothness. Again – get this beer (i did – bought a bottle to smuggle back on the place). 100/100.
Troeg’s Dead Reckoning Porter – We wanted to give Troegs one more chance to floor us. We were both glad we took this leap (ok, it was a minor step). This smokey porter has a welcoming hop bitterness, which does not sting your throat. Very impressive for a simple porter styling.
In all, Pony Bar is very impressive, even though they lack the sizable taplist a beer geek might want to see. I was very glad to see a quality grog shop show up on the west side, where it was so sorely lacking.
Give Up, Just Give Up
After geeking out on a nice 14oz pour of 10.5% Old Horizontal – its time to not push it. We actually still have to head to Brooklyn for a night of “catch up” with some old friends. Luckily, we will live through this night. But, not without repercussions.
Day 2 is on its way.
Let us know below if you have any comments or questions about any of the places or beers mentioned herein!
So……Friday is the day where we will be introducing the Taplist – an adventure into America’s top tap lists. Beer Blotter did a survey (no we didnt), and we tallied the votes (certainly did not) and we decided in unanimity (eh…maybe) that there are 8 epic beer cities in the U.S. of A.
Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Denver won out. Thus, they will be routinely displayed here every Friday (morning from now on) so that you know where to go to get a beer in your city, your vacation spot, the place where work stuck you with that guy, the place you got stuck on a layover, the place your in-laws live and you tentatively visit, and/or the place you bought that stuff from that dude that knew that chick.
We will try to get to all 8 cities each week…but this week we only get to 6.
And now for the list……
- The Map Room – Updated 12/11/09 – Founder’s Red Rye Ale is up and seriously lacking a response in the beer community. The reviews are spicy with a great caramel balance. Worth a look. Also, appearing are Cleveland’s Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Montreal’s McAuslan St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout (99 on RateBeer), Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Life & Limb (10.2% with maple syrup and birch) – best for last Three Floyds Alpha Klaus (beer of the month = $4)
- The Publican – Get the pig ears. order beer. Green’s Quest is brewed at Mikkeller’s De Proef Brouwerij (8.5% tripel); the list has Port Brewing’s Panzer Imperial Pilz and Older Viscosity (taste like hot pretzels – 2nd at Big Wood); you might want to save your cash and get a Matilda from Goose Island, a beer full of funky yet citrusy belgian flavor while adding a smooth but strong hoppy note.
- The Hopleaf - Updated 12/11/09 – they win for today’s list. The list includes localites Tyranena Rocky’s Revenge (Barrel Aged Brown), Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (quintessential IPA), Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA (wet hop!), Metropolitan Generator Dopplebock (who makes these? – 8.2% is just right), Half Acre Magnus Schwartz and Point Brewing Cascade Pale Ale. But the show stoppers here are (a) Stone/Brewdog Bashah (8.6%, get this – Black. Belgian. Double IPA – i love these guys) and (b) Goose Island Pere Jacques (9% – banana monster that will turn you upside down)
- Ginger Man – Weyerbacher Quad. enough said. This went up today. Also going up are Abita Christmas Ale (New Orleans favorite), and Smuttynose Big A IPA; but the king has to be Harpoon’s Leviathan Imperial IPA – we sampled this down in New Orleans and were floored. This is an extremely well bittered IPA with perfect smooth sugars. The beer is comparable to Ruination.
- Rattle N Hum – Updated 12/9/09 – Woo. Wow. 40 taps and 4 Dark Star (England) Casks. This list is incredible – we will just rattle them off: Allagash Burnham Road, Smuttynose Finest Kind Kind (2x IPA – no ratings – rare as hell), Captain Lawrence Freshchester Pale, Dogfish Head Burton Baton (2x IPA), Stone Sublimely Self Righteous, Southern Tier Old Man Winter, Brooklyn Back Breaker, and Sixpoint Otis – - but the champs are here Brooklyn Monster ’07 and Cigar City Hunaphu (got to love the NY and FL connection – thank NYC shitty taxes and FL no taxes) . Hunu is a RateBeer Top 50, aged in cigar box wood and severely limited in production. Get it now.
- Monk’s Cafe – East Coasters – they still have Port Brewing High Tide – go get it. Its your last amazing taste of fresh hops for the season. You want a Belgian – get the Nogne O Tiger Trippel.
- Eulogy – Austria’s favorite is Samichlaus (14%) Dopplebock, aged for 10 months and ready for the Holidays. Very rare on tap. The Belgians here are the fare; there are plenty you will like.
- Toronado – Updated 12/11/09 – Unlike the SF version, these guys maintain an ever changing tap list online. Holiday beers on parade. Today you can grab a Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi. This beer is biblical in theme and in effect. An incredible Biere De Garde that has been reviewed as having “hints of egg nog” – really? They also have Mikkeller’ Santa’s Little Helper 2009, Oggi’s- Freakin’ Awsome (SD brewer with some amazing IPAs), Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper, and Santa Cruz Mountain’s Ginger’s Winter Warmer
- Stone Bistro - Stone Brewing’s own brewpub/bistro has probably the most consistently-impressive tap list in the city. Right now you can grab any of Stone’s brews, including Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, as well as Avery duganA (one of the more impressive new 2x IPAs), a winter ale offering from Bootleggers of Fullerton, CA, and Mission Brewing’s Armada Imperial IPA (collaboration with San Diego Brewing @ 9.2%). We would love to try and get our hands on that Mission offering.
- Toronado - These guys do not keep an updated taplist. But, they do have a pleasant surprise for you – Speakeasy is holding an Old Godfather Release Party today at this pub. This beer is a tasty caramel barleywine (10.2%). But the versions on tap today will be Barrel-Aged and extra special.
- The Trappist – OK OK we know its in Oakland, but this bar is incredible. They are hold KerstBier Festival right now, with some amazing Belgians. De Struise Tsjeeses (10%), Mikkeller To From, and Brouwerij De Regenboog‘s Catherine the Great Stout.
- Latona – UPDATED 12/12/09 – They just put up their new tap list. Big Time Malaprop 8 is very intriguing. This abbey style ale (7.2%) has excellent reviews and an interesting spiced malt. Check this beer out.
- Naked City Taphouse – UPDATED all the time. Naked City’s use of Twitter has been an excellent tool for beer lovers. Now you can be sure to know what is running on their taps at all time. Its a must follow. Right now they are pouring Speakeasy Brewer’s Reserve Old Godfather, Snipes Diminished Returns Double IPA and Diamond Knot Industrial Ho Ho. We were especially impressed with Snipes’ 2x IPA. The beer is not too bitter, very floral and extremely smooth, while maintaining a high alcohol content (9%). Snipes has been getting a lot of attention for hoppy beers over the past year. Take a trip to Greenwood people!
- Brouwer’s Cafe – UPDATED 12/11/09 – Brouwers put some good beers on last night, notifying us via Twitter.
Let us know if we are missing something. Next week expect to see a post about all 8 cities!