I hope you snuggled up with a beer on Monday for V. Day and got a bit tipsy. But now for your week in beer.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Southern Tier Cask and Draft Night: Arlington, Virginia
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Rustico – Ballston
Enjoy all that is Southern Tier tonight!
THE SOUTHERN TIER BREWS:
Southern Tier Choklat
Southern Tier Krampus
Southern Tier Unearthly
Southern Tier Gemini
Southern Tier Cuvee 3
Southern Tier Backburner
Southern Tier 2X IPA
PRICE: Southern Tier beers will be priced by the glass and in 4 oz. tasters.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Silver City Brewing Night: Gig Harbor, Washington
6:00PM-8:00PM @ The Tides Tavern
Featuring Silver City Brewing Co.‘s Ridgetop Red Ale, WhoopPass Double IPA, & Fat Woody Scotch Ale.
Head Brewer and Gig Harbor local Gary Winn will be on hand to share a pint with.
Buy a pint keep the Silver City glass while supplies last & Silver City Brewery giveaways as well!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Allagash with Rob Todd: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6:00PM-11:00PM @ Union Jack’s
Join amazing brewer, Rob Todd for some even more amazing Allagash beers. Here is what he has is store for you tonight.
Big Little Beer
Friday, February 18, 2011
Firestone Walker Beer Dinner: Mesa, Arizona
6:30PM-8:30PM @ Il Vinaio
Come join us for a Special Firestone Walker Beer Dinner hosted by Firestone Walker’s ~ David Walker. See below for Beer Dinner Details!.
Course 1: Baked Crawfish Cheddar Tart with Pale 31 Pale Ale
Course 2: Grilled Shrimp with Roast Corn & Black Bean Fritter with Double Barrel Ale
Course 3: BBQ Duck Sausage with Okra and Cheesy Grits with Double Jack Imperial IPA
Dessert: Chocolate Bread Pudding with Velvet Merlin Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout
Firestone Walker Beer Dinner Nightcap @ilvinaio: 4oz Tulip of 14th Anniversary Ale!
$29.00 per person / Firestone Glassware included.
See Il Vinaio for Details!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Boulder Strong Beer Festival: Boulder, Colorado
12:00PM-5:00PM @ Avery Brewing Company
Mark your calendars for Friday, February 18th and Saturday, February 19th for the 9th Annual Boulder Strong Ale Festival! We’ve decided to move this event back to February for 2011, since strong ales seem to taste even better in the dead of winter. This event featured nearly 80 different strong beers over 8% abv in 2010, and we hope to have even more this time around. All attendees will receive 16, two-ounce tasting tickets and a commemorative festival tasting glass with admission, along with the chance to mingle with many of the brewers and creators on the beers on hand. The Friday tasting session will run from 5PM-10PM and the Saturday session will be from 12PM-5PM.
To ensure that all attendees have a fantastic time, we’re limiting ticket sales to 400 tickets per day. Tickets will go on sale for $35 apiece on Monday, January 3rd from our online ticketing partner Ticket Alternative (Friday tickets: Saturday Tickets: ) and from the Avery Tap Room. Tickets will be available at the door only if they do not sell out in advance. Act fast!
We hope to have over 50 participating Breweries this year!! To name just a few who have already committed: Allagash (ME), Avery (CO), Cambridge (MA), Deschutes (OR), Dogfish Head (DE),Moylans (CA), Ommegang (NY), Oskar Blues (CO), Pizza Port (CA), Pumphouse (CO), Redstone Meadery (CO), The Bruery (CA), Trinity Brewing (CO), Victory Brewing (PA)
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Keg of Bell’s Hopslam: Raleigh, North Carolina
12:00PM-2:00PM @ Busy Bee Cafe
Looking for something to do on your lazy Sunday? Well go to Busy Bee Cafe and down a couple of Hopslams- Bell’s amazing Double IPA. The keg will be tapped at noon.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Winter into Spring with Rouge: Seattle, Washington
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Latona Pub
Latona is a cool place to get a beer. Tonight they feature Rouge.
If you want us to promote an event or if you want to review an event, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment! Cheers!
Sorry Im late. Busy weekend with a road trip and lots of football! But now for your week in beer.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Allagash Abduction: Burlington, Vermont
4:30PM-11:30PM @ The Farmhouse Tap & Grill
Allagash Brewery…need we say more? Brewmaster Rob Tod will be in the house with the full gamut of Allagash offerings.
We suggest coming early to this one.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Duck-Rabbit Dinner: Durham, North Carolina
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Guglhupf Bakery And Patisserie
In honor of 1/3 of bb.com living the beer life in NC, I wanted to post about this event which features local NC brewery, Duck Rabbit. This menu along with the beer pairings is an event you dont want to miss:
TOASTED RACLETTE ON PAYSAN TOAST POINTS WITH HOUSE CURED DUCK AND RABBIT SAUSAGE, BRAISED CABBAGE AND CHIVE AIOLI.
HAZELNUT CRUSTED SCOTTISH SALMON WITH WHIPPED POTATOES AND WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD SAUCE.
SLOW BRAISED OX TAIL RAGU WITH CHESTNUT SPATZLE AND LOCAL ARUGULA.
MOLASSES LACQUERED BREAST OF VEAL WITH GLAZED BABY TURNIPS AND HOUSE SAUERKRAUT.
CHOCOLATE MALT TORTE WITH PRETZEL BARK AND CANDIED KUMQUATS.
We look forward to seeing you there! Contact Guglhupf to make a reservation.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Firestone Walker Pint Night and 14th Anniversary Release: San Diego, California
4:00PM-12:00AM @ Urge Gastropub
One of my favorite beers, Firestone Walker’s 14th Anniversary beer is amazing. One of the many epic beers I had in San Diego, 14th Anniversary is flavorful and complex. Tonight take home a pint, taste 14 and several other beers from Firestone Walker.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Firkin Friday Bell’s Hopslam: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
4:00PM-2:00AM @ Stubby’s Pub & Grub
Join us Friday 1/21 @ 4pm as we Tap into yet another Firkin! If you can’t make it right at 4, don’t worry it will be flowing for the duration of the evening, or at least till it’s gone.
Bell’s Hopslam is one of the Midwest’s most sought after beers, and Firkins of such a beer are surely a rarity. We @ Stubby’s are honored to get our hands on this beast of a brew and would like to invite all of our friends to come and enjoy it with us!
For those who aren’t too familiar, a Firkin is a cask conditioned ale in which the final stage of the brewing process and carbonation occurs right in the keg. A sort of old school way of making and drinking beer….the way beer should be and the Horizon Red is going to be phenomenal this way!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Belgium Fest: Seattle, WA
12:00PM-4:00PM OR 5:30PM – 9:30PM @ Warren Magnuson Park
This is a very popular event so don’t be disappointed if the tickets are sold out by the time you get to the door. For a full list of beers, click here!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Winter Beer Fest: Las Vegas, Nevada
10:00AM-10:00PM @ Aces & Ales
$15 entrance fee
Gets you a 7oz satin-etched commemorative sample glass, as well your first taste FREE and ~just $4 per 7oz tastes after~
For those of you who do not want to pay the $15 fee and get the glass, 12oz goblets of any beer on will be available for $8
In addition to all the mind-blowing beers you will be enjoying, we have lined-up a ‘who’s-who’ of the Brewing/Beer World daily for you to talk/learn/heckle/pick the brains of~! This line up is as follows:
Yuseff Cherney, Head Brewer - Ballast Point
Scott Wilke, Deschutes Brewery
Lisa Godbey, Southern Alebassadors
(Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, Firestone, Sierra Nevada)
Kellan Bartosch, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Ed Gebler, Stone Brewing Co
Greg Green, Bonanza Alebassador (Rogue, Deschutes, Stone)
Commemorative ‘Aces & Ales Winter Beer Fest’ Shirts will also be available for purchase for $15.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Beer U: Strong Ales: Escondido, California
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Stone Brewing Co.
Here at Stone, it’s no secret that we have a special place in our hearts for huge malty brews. Join “Dr.” Bill Sysak for a delicious evening featuring one of our favorite beer styles. Hear the story behind these big beautiful brews while you do some heavy duty hands-on learning!
Tickets are $25 and are available at the Stone Company Store or online at:
If you go to an event, want me to promote an event- email me at email@example.com! Cheers!
Written by Jess R.
Week 41 of 52- still behind
3416 Adams Ave.
San Diego, CA 92116
Type of Establishment: Ultimate Beer Bar, First stop of many during San Diego Beer Week
Visit: A whirlwind trip from Seattle to San Diego, we have been anticipating this trip for months. San Diego Beer Week was nearing its end, and we were there as it went out with a bang.
Saturday morning: With the sun shining, we arrived at Blind Lady 15 minutes before it opened at 11:30AM in the highest of spirits. What awaited us?
Beers on Tap (at time of visit):
Flights of New Belgium beers including,
Biere de Mars
Alpine Brewing Co. beers,
Bad Boy Double IPA
and Green Flash Beers such as,
’09 Grand Cru
Firestone Walker Union Jack Double Jack
There are so many that I am missing. All were top-notch beers. This list was to die for.
Couldn’t get past the tap-list.
Since we were on a time crunch with so many places to visit and so many beers to drink, we did indeed skip the delicious looking menu options. The main fare is pizza with mainly fresh, local, organic ingredients. With ingredients from local markets to near by farmers, the Blind Lady Alehouse cares about the quality of their food and the community they serve.
As I mentioned, we were anxiously waiting outside The Blind Lady Ale House, peering in the sun-reflected windows. As we waited we read the poster displaying all of the San Diego Beer Week events that had taken place inside these very walls. Mind-blowing stuff. We could only hope that remnants of these events were still on tap.
11:30AM on the dot and we walk in the front door. The space is open with sunlight streaming in, illuminating the wooden picnic tables. Third in line, I gaze up at the chalk board, enamored with the selection. As the guy in front of us took his sweet ass time, I looked around. A wall of old bottles and cans behind a glass casing, exposed brick walls and a ceiling displaying piping and shafts. I am loving the raw look of this place.
Our turn? Sweet! The wonderful and accommodating bartender was nice enough to let us mix up a flight with some Alpine beers and Green Flash beers. Of the Alpine beers we had Nelson Rye IPA, Duet IPA (made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops), Bad Boy Double IPA and Captain Stout.
My personal favorite of these brews was the Nelson IPA which is brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops. This beer is very light in color but upon first sip, the taste is powerful with a profile of citrus, pine and some funk. The hoppiness is balanced by this slight tartness. Even at the brewery, Nelson stole my heart.
This moment was the moment I fell in love with Green Flash Brewing Co. Of course prior to this trip I appreciated their beers, but not like this. The last two of the flight were Green Flash’s Silva Stout and Grand Mantis. Later on this trip, a bottle of Silva Stout was procured and safely returned to Seattle via cargo.
Silva Stout smells like the sweetest milk chocolate but the taste lends to more bitterness. This beer is well-rounded and the word “calm” came to mind. Perhaps its because when you drink this delicious, thick stout, all of your worries just melt away as the sting of liquor sends the flavors down your throat.
Grand Mantis is a Merlot barrel aged Grand Cru. After reading the description, I had to get this beer. There is a tartness of cranberries with a date or fig-like flavor to follow. A complex beer is an understatement.
Also, a side note, the Blind Lady cares about beer, like really, deeply, truly cares. They use the 20oz honest pint and the Direct Draw System. From their blog:
Our Direct Draw System. Direct-draw is a term used to describe a draft system that places the kegs in direct contact to the faucets so they kegs are cooled by the same refrigeration source that cools the beer-line and the faucets. This means that the beer-line is not very long, and that the beer arriving in your glass has only recently left the keg.
We only had time for a flight and a Firestone Walker Double Jack – so good, so fresh. But during our experience, we drank amazing beer, chatted up the bartender who explained why she moved to San Diego and why she loves the area. We even came to own some free swag ( lovin’ the free stuff).
I parted The Blind Lady Ale House with hopes of another visit and with the intention to find a better beer bar in San Diego.
So sorry for the delay. I am finally recovered from Halloween weekend as a shark attack victim. As far as beers go, it was pretty low key: Georgetown Manny’s Pale Ale, New Belgium Ranger IPA and some homebrew. But now for your week in beer.
Skipping Monday, old news.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Victory Brewing Co Takes Over the Taps: New York, New York
4:30PM-2:30AM @ Rattle- N- Hum
A must stop beer bar in NYC, Rattle – N- Hum’s 35 taps will be all Victory Brewing beers. We are talking the best of the best from Wild Devil to Storm King- its going to be one hell of a Tuesday night!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Lost Abbey/Port Brewing Tap Take Over: Worchester, Massachusettes
6:00PM-10:00PM @ Armsby Abbey
Another “Tap Takeover” and I’m loving the idea. Tonight in MA, Lost Abbey/Port Brewing are bringing out all of the stops, 22 of them which include, Mondo Double IPA (one of my favorite IPAs), Red Barn Farmhouse ale, 2008 Older Viscosity and Bourbon Santa’s Little Helper. A-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Jolly Pumpkin Multi-tap Night: Grand Rapids, Michigan
6:00PM-2:00AM @ HopCat
Join us as we celebrate Jolly Pumpkin from Dexter, MI in a rare multi-tap night. We will be featuring almost a dozen(hopefully) taps of one of our favorite breweries. We will be honored by special guest Mike Turriff, who will be on hand to fend any questions, comments, and notes of praise. Maybe even the Captain Ron “Spooky” Jeffries will be in attendance!-no promises. Party starts at 6pm and will end when the beer does…or at 2:30am Which ever comes first. Hope to see you there.
Friday, November 5, 2010
San Diego Beer Week Kick Off: San Diego, California
Starting at 6:00PM @ all over San Diego
Beer Blotter is going to San Diego next week to hit up some amazing events. If you are in the area, check out the website and pick the events that intrigue you the most! San Diego Beer Week is sponsored by the San Diego Brewers Guild, a non-profit whose mission is to promote awareness and increase the visibility of fresh, locally brewed beer through education and participation in community events.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Firestone Walker‘s 14th Anniversary Party Release: Paso Robles, California
12:00PM-3:00PM @ Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Firestone Walker is celebrating it’s 14th anniversary by having a beer release party for is anniversary beer “14″ and will include free samples of all component beers, free food, brewery tours, live music as well as other cool activities.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saison Sunday School: Dallas, Texas
3:30PM- 5:30PM @ The Common Table
First of all, love the concept. Second of all, this might be the first event I have ever posted in TX. Tonight, guests will explore the often overlooked and under-appreciated spicy and refreshing Belgian farmhouse ales known as Saison. We will do it the only real way I know how… drink some. There will be 6 Saisons paired with 6 different types of food. If you didn’t know already, Saison is beautiful with food. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot!
If you go to an event, want us to mention your event or just want to discuss something beer related that is on your mind, please leave a comment or email me at email@example.com. Cheers!
People know that when you drink champagne, flutes are in order and red and white wines each have their own style of glassware. What is the point? The shape of the glass is custom made to enhance the flavors and texture of these beverages. Beer, despite the contrary, generally should not be drank directly out of the bottle or can because flavors will be stifled, textures will be dulled and just like wine, beer needs to breathe.
Each type of beer should be served in a particular glassware such as a tulip glass or a pint. Yes, there is a method to this madness, as well as a sophistication generally not associated with beer. Although this tradition of glassware is not as prevalent in the US of A, head to Belgium and you will visit bars that are stocked with every style of glassware to accompany the many genres of beers.
And without further ado, I present you with the various styles of glassware:
Pilsner, a light bodied, light colored, easy to drink and highly carbonated beer is served in a glass smaller than a pint glass, usually in 250 ml or 330 ml sizes. They are tall, slender and tapered. The slender glass will reveal the color, and carbonation of the beer, and the broad top will help maintain a beer head.
The Beer Stein
I am very fond of this style of glass- its large and it has a top that you get to flip open when you want to take a sip. I searched the streets of Dusseldorf, Germany to find one to no avail. This style was invented during the Black Plague so beer drinkers could keep insects and disease out of their glass. Therefore, it is not built to enhance your beer, but protect it instead.
The most popular glassware among beer drinkers in the USA- it is cheap to make, easy to store and easy to drink out of. We have a cabinet full of them, from different breweries and bars we have visited within our country’s boarders. I associate pint glasses with hoppy beers such as IPAs or thick beers such as dry stouts. There are two standard sizes, the 16-ounce (US Tumbler – the pour man’s pint glass and most common) or the 20-ounce Imperial (Nonic), which has a slight ridge towards the top, a grip of sorts and helps in stacking them. The 20-ounce version is preferred to accommodate more beer or beers with large crowning heads.
Goblet or Chalice
These noble glasses are generally paired with Belgian ales- big sipping beers such as Triples, Quads, Weissbier, Dubbels as well as German bocks. A description from Beeradvocate.com tells us the slight difference between a goblet and a chalice:
Majestic pieces of work, ranging from delicate and long stemmed (Goblet) to heavy and thick walled (Chalice). The more delicate ones may also have their rims laced with silver or gold, while the heavy boast sculpture-like stems. Some are designed to maintain a 2-centimeter head. This is achieved by scoring the inside bottom of the glass, which creates a CO2 nucleation point, and a stream of eternal bubbles and perfect head retention as a result.
I associate these glasses with royalty and the wide mouth lends itself to deep sips.
Used for stiff drinks like cognac and brandy, the snifter is the baller of glassware. These glasses are perfect for evoking flavor and scent. Therefore, this particular style of glassware should be paired with strong beers like barley wines, imperial stouts and barrel aged beers, as well as lambics (due to their fruity scent and sugary bodies). My only advice to you is…don’t forget to swirl your glass!
A dainty, pretty shaped glass named after the flower it mimics, the tulip glass is stemmed with an hourglass figure. Bulbous at the bottom, the flavors, aromas and head are all captured at the angled top. This style of glassware is perfect for Imperial IPAs (talk about lacing and a foamy head), Saisons/Farmhouse ales (it will bring the funk to the forefront) and Scotch Ales (the maltiness will knock your socks off).
The size and shape of glassware matters when aiming to get the most of your beer, but decoration is key when showing it off. Decorative glassware has become an art in the beer industry across the globe.
Breweries have showcased glassware with artistic designs to complement your beer drinking experience. Duvel, a Belgium brewery makes their own glassware and has for some time. It is a stumpy tulip glass with their logo on it, simple, nothing out of the ordinary.
Recently, they released a collectible item: the Duvel Collection. Three glasses, four international artists (there is one team of two artists) and three creations make up the Duvel Collection. Each glass has a different creative approach, but all are vibrant and eye catching. Christmas is coming up, if anyone is so inclined.
Another brewery, Delirium Tremens from Brussels, Belgium (been to the brew pub!) is known for their quirky pink elephants which grace their bottles, glassware and other promotional apparel. Although Delirium Tremens refers to a severe form of alcohol withdrawal, the vibrant, fun loving glassware will make your shakes disappear. Generally, the glassware I have seen by this brewery are in the form of larger snifters.
Most pint glasses you see in the USA will have the logo more or less printed onto the glass (which is why you should hand wash your pints or else the design might start to fade away). Firestone Walker came up with a more creative way to decorate their glasses. The Firestone Walker pint glass I own has their logo of a bear fighting a lion (how cool) etched into the glass. This gives the glass a sleekness and the scene some depth.
Beer glassware is the only thing I collect (oh and beer) as each one is unique–some more than others. Owning at least one of each style will enhance your experience and make the beer you are drinking feel that much more special. Buying glassware has become a way to hold onto the memories we have from a brewery visit, a night at a beer bar or a beer tasting. Glassware, the gift that keeps on giving.
Have a favorite to share with us? Let us know in the comments.
Written by Jess R.
A low key weekend began with a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale at Whisk(e)y Bar (my new favorite, local watering hole), several Firestone Walker Union Jack IPAs, a New Belgium/Elysian Trip III and several Fresh Hop beers (it was a rough week at work, ok). Other beer highlights include Port Brewing’s Old Viscosity, an imperial stout worth a moment of silence and a couple of tall boys of Rainier. And now for your week in beer.
Monday, October 11, 2010
” I Love New York” Beer Week Begins: New York, New York
All week @ the Spring Lounge
Start spreading the news, its All New York, all week, with beer from Brooklyn, Ommegang, Captain Lawrence, Ithaca Brewing Co., Greenport Harbor, Coney Island, Sixpoint, Southern Tier, and more. Check out www.beermenus.com for details on the special events this week.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Green Flash Night: Whittier, California
7:00PM-9:00PM @ The Bottle Room
Not only will all patrons receive discounts on beer, the first 36 guests will receive a complimentary Green Flash Brewing Co. pint glass with the purchase of a regularly priced draft (minus $1 for LA Beer Week). From there, bring your pint glass in and receive a $1 off Green Flash drafts until the kegs are kicked. Green Flash flights will be available–4-4 ounce pours for $11. Expect some special Green Flash beers not available elsewhere to the public.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Avery Rumpkin Release: Boulder, Colorado
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Avery Brewing Co.
AN IMPERIAL PUMPKIN ALE AGED IN RUM BARRELS. Stop by Avery Brewing Co. (where the magic happens) and experience the release of what sounds like am amazing, seasonal brew. Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin puree and a blend of five spices. Aged in extremely fresh Gosling’s Rum barrels for six months. Consume fresh and often, preferably with a pumpkin pie and/or s’mores.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Unibroue Beer Tasting: Cincinnati, Ohio
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Catskeller
Just $10.00 and you get beer from Unibroue paired with small plates. What a deal! The menu reads as follows:
Maudite: with bruchetta
La Fin Du Monde: with bacon scallops
Ephemere: with brie and apricot phylo
Don de Dieu: with smoked turkey club with feta cut in fourths
Terrible: with sharp cheddar quiche
Trois Pistoles: with rich chocolate brownies
Friday, October 15, 2010
Cleveland Beer Week Begins: Cleveland, Ohio
From the website:
The second annual CLEVELAND BEER WEEK will take place from October 15-23, 2010. A celebration of craft and import beers, CLEVELAND BEER WEEK features plenty of tastings, dinners, activities and more at more than 100 venues throughout Cuyahoga County and beyond. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the world of craft and imported brews at CLEVELAND BEER WEEK.
This beer week will not disapoint with participating breweries such as Hoppin’ Frog, Thirsty Dog, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and more. As if you weren’t excited enough, 12 breweries who participated in the largest known collaboration of its kind in the world, creating six brews. Family members have already agreed to mail us a six pack. Oh man! For more information, visit the event site.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Great Pumpkin Beer Fest: Seattle, Washington
(Saturday and Sunday) 12:00PM – the beers get tapped and the place shuts down @ Elysian Brewing Co., Capital Hill Location
I know we already did a write up about this event, but I am so damn excited, I had to mention it here- click here for details about the event from bb.com. Expect a crowd, a well-deserved crowd of people thirsty for pumpkin beers from Elysian, Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin and so many more. Sour pumpkin beers, pumpkin stouts, spiced ales and possibly beer brewed in a pumpkin. Also, get there early and you might get a sweet little taster glass (at least we did last year).
Sunday, October, 17, 2010
Farmhouse Ale Dinner: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5:00PM-9:00PM @ The South Philadelphia Taproom
If you go to an event, want to talk about an event or a beer you had at an event, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Brouwer’s is the best beer bar that I have ever been to in America, and believe me, I’ve been to quite a few good ones. There is a lot of reasons for my confidence in that stance, but one of the larger ones is the fests that they host. Yes, there is a decent number of bars in the country that host barleywine fests, and probably even more that organize IPA fests. It seems pretty doubtful that there would be many that put on sour beer festivals or stout festivals, but I’m sure there are a hand full out there. But, the question is, how many bars in America do all of those, and do them so well that beer nerds like myself take off of work to attend them? I’d say that the answer is probably very, very few. I love pretty much everything about Brouwer’s and HopFest is surely no exception.
So you know that I love Brouwer’s, you know that I love HopFest, you know that I will be there at the moment the doors open, and you know that I will imbibe many an IBU packed brew, but one more question need be answered: what will I be drinking? That’s where the guide comes in.
First, check out the full list that we posted on the 1st. After much consideration, I have developed a game plan. Granted, there is going to be a few additions and most likely, a few exciting surprises come Friday. If these surprises include Russian River Pliny the Younger or Firestone Walker Double Jack, you are going to want to forget the entire remainder of this article and just drink those until the kegs kick.
Top 10 beers to try:
10.) Russian River Blind Pig – I hear more and more people say “Pliny isn’t even their best IPA” in reference to Blind Pig. I personally don’t agree, but everything that Russian River makes is good…damn good. Blind Pig shows up in Seattle from time to time but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a decent contingent of folks out there that haven’t gotten a hold of it yet. Here is your chance.
9.) Black Raven Dry Hopped Trickster – My boss at Lazy Boy always gives me shit for my blog claiming that Black Raven is the best brewery in WA. I’m sure he will also give me shit for not putting our Imperial IPA on this list (sorry boss, I feel a little weird self promoting. It is a damn good beer though.) Well, we stand by our claim about BRB. The people spoke over at The Bev when they voted it in as the house IPA. This brew is super solid in it’s regular form, I can only guess that the dry hopped version will be even better. If you have cheated and looked down at number 1 already, you have seen another reason why we are confident in our claim.
8.) Elysian Idiot Sauvin – I honestly don’t know what this beer is. That is precisely why I want to try it. Elysian and experimentation go hand in hand, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this one had some peculiar adjuncts added. No matter what, Elysian makes great beer and this will likely be worth your money.
7.) Midnight Sun XXX Black Double – When Cascadian Dark Ales, or CDAs took over the craft beer world a little while back, we all knew that it was just a matter of time before the Imperial black IPAs would show up. Well here it is, and I must say, I’m intrigued. I’m even more intrigued knowing that Midnight Sun is behind it.
6.) Boundary Bay Imperial – There are two Imperial IPAs produced in WA that are head and shoulders above all the rest. This is one of them. This is a beer that, if it were distributed with greater reach, would bring some much needed respect to Washington state in the beer war for state supremacy. This is one of the very few beers that, if I hear that it is on tap somewhere close by, I will do all in my power to make it there immediately to get a pint.
5.)Hub Ace of Spades – I have only had this beer once before and it was at last year’s HopFest. I can’t believe that that was a year ago, I remember it so well. It was probably my favorite “new” beer (new to me) of the event. As it turns out, it was voted the second best beer of the fest behind Pliny the Younger. Now that Hub is distributing bottles in WA it may be easier to acquire this one, but I will still be ordering one and bathing in it’s brilliance.
4.) Mikkeller Single Hop – This is actually three beers in one (Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook), sorry to cheat. You probably don’t have to try all three, but it sure would make a fun experiment. I absolutely love the concept of single hop beers and I love Mikkeller for making this series happen. As a fledgling brewer I feel that spending time with these brews will help me gain a better understanding and appreciation for various hop varietals and their impact on scent and flavor. You can sometimes find these brews in 12oz bottles around town , but they are often over $6 a piece. I don’t think I have ever seen them on draft – this is pretty special and definitely a good opportunity to taste them for, potential, a little bit less dough.
3.) Moylans Wet Hopsickle – Hopsickle is a triple IPA and it’s huge. When you add the word “wet” before it, it means that fresh hops were used. I’m getting emotional just thinking about the potential that this beer has to be mind-blowing. God damn, I can’t believe it’s fresh hop season already! Yet another reason why living in the Northwest is spectacular.
2.) Green Flash Palate Wrecker – Green Flash is masterful when it comes to hops. Their West Coast IPA and Imperial IPA are both among the best made in America. Like the Elysian above, I don’t really know what this beer is, but I know I need to have it.
1.) Black Raven Wisdom Seeker – This beer walks around town with a hype attached to it that is so massive and heavy that I’m amazed it can even stand on it’s own two feet, but boy does it ever. When this beer hits a handle in the Seattle area, there is an instant buzz, and 20 minutes later (or less) she is out the door…gone…kicked. Black Raven has clearly taken cues from other perennial buzz junkies (like Pliny the Younger) in seemingly stunting production and causing such a skewed supply and demand curve that on the rare occasion that is it available, people freak out to get a taste. It would be silly of me to suggest that anything different will happen at HopFest. This should go very fast so get there early and order 2 at once.
Enjoyed on 7/28/2010
Brewery: Nectar Ales
Location: Paso Robles, CA
Beer: Nectar IPA
Presentation: 12 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped
Style: American Style India Pale Ale
Hops: Bittering – Chinook
Late Kettle – Mt. Hood, Cascade
Whirlpool – Cascade
Dry Hop – Chinook, Centennial
Malt: Premium Two Row
White Wheat Malt
Commercial Description:Our IPA is created from a base of Pale and Crystal malts and is aggressively hopped throughout the brewing process with a final hop addition in the conditioning vessel. A beautiful flowery hop aroma will greet you as you dive into this hop lover’s dream. A middle caramel malt presence balances high hop bitterness with hop flavor end to end… learn to love hops!
Beer Advocate: B+
Rate Beer: 97 (3.63)
Nectar Ales is a label that falls under the Firestone Walker umbrella. It didn’t always. The three Nectar Ales beers were originally brewed by Humboldt Brewing Company of Arcada, CA, which was acquired by Firestone in ’05. I don’t know for sure if the recipe is the same as it was originally, but I do know that Firestone Walker is a mind-blowingly good brewery, and they sure as hell wouldn’t attach their name to anything sub-par.
I honestly can’t remember if I’ve ever had this beer before. Even though Firestone’s existence in WA is still fairly shiny and new, it seems like Union Jack and DBA are on tap and in bottles almost everywhere. That is not at all the case with Nectar. I would expect to see this IPA on at Brouwer’s Hop Fest, but that’s about the only expectation I have for its appearance on draft in the Seattle area. You know what? Maybe it’s just not all that exciting. I either don’t know or don’t recall. Let’s remedy that shall we?
The brew pours a pale amber color with a large white head of varying sized bubbles. With some time the head subsides but never fully dissipates. A good centimeter or two of white foam remains throughout my time with it. a respectable amount of lacing is found in various sections of the inside of the glass. Visually, the carbonation seems just about perfect, with little bubbles rising from the depths at regular intervals and building upon the white foam cap.
The scent is fantastic! Very floral to my senses. I am reminded of honeysuckles, which in turn reminds me of the house I grew up in. This is a very pleasant feeling. I get the impression that this beer isn’t all bitterness. The C-75 makes it’s presence known, and for that I am thankful. A more potent scent of candied hop flowers has been experienced before, but considering that this is a single IPA brewed year round, I’d say that the ratio is weighted in Nectar IPA’s favor. Very impressive!
The mouthfeel is a bit thin, and the carbonation that appeared hearty doesn’t seem to translate on the tongue.
The flavor is very pleasant. I could surely drink this in succession and be full of smiles. The hop element is juicy and matches the floral scent. Some herbal notes seem to fight through and lend a slight medicinal quality. Most of the bitterness is found in the aftertaste. Balance is definitely there, and that’s big for me – I need a little sweetness to combat the bitterness, and I’ve found it. There is a definite caramel glaze whisked into this one.
The aftertaste is the only place for improvement here. All of the bitterness seems to converge in this area, and most of the best flavor elements seem to wash away. It feels slightly watery in the end, which is sad because it starts off so well. This attribute could actually work in Nectar IPA’s favor because it begs you to take another hit and revel in that most succulent of opening experiences.
Well we now know, this isn’t a rare tap for a lack of worthiness. Most likely just a matter of supply (a major lack of) versus demand.
I’ve never really been fond of scoring beers. It’s all so subjective. I would most likely score the same beer two completely different ways on two different days. But…this column is all about growth, and with the outrageous quantity of hoppy beers on the market, I feel the need to assuage my desire to whittle them down to an elite few. Thus, I developed the following scoring system. This method just sort of came to me on a whim, so chances are it will evolve with time. The goal was to rate each beer on a 10 point scale. Some areas are weighted more heavily because I feel they are more important to the overall experience of enjoying a hop forward brew.
As I rate each category, I am generally thinking in terms of a letter grade (A through F, in comparison to the greatest and worst elements of all hoppy beers I’ve tried to this point) and then converting that into a score out of 100. I then multiply that score by the weight of the category. At least, that’s how it works tonight. Any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated.
Color/Head/Retention [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.93
Odor [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.88
Carbonation/Mouthfeel [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.80
Hop Flavor [maximum of 3.00 points possible]: 2.64
Malt Flavor/Balance [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.88
Finish/Aftertaste [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.76
Total [maximum of 10.00 points possible]: 8.89
Disclaimer: This was not a free sample, but I’d gladly accept any offers.
I have been dubbed Timperial Stout for one simple reason: I love my beers deep, dark and mysterious. Lucky for me, the people over at Brouwer’s Cafe have created a night to honor that holy opaque beverage we call stout. I’d be remiss to not mention it and provide my take on how one would work up a game plan for such an event. I’ve posted the list below, that was so thoughtfully provided by the folks over at Seattle Beer Week. In this case, it has proven very helpful that two members of the SBW collective get a paycheck from Brouwer’s. After each selection I have provided some commentary. I’ve tried to be brief, but you know…I love this stuff.
Allagash Black is delicious and unique, but it’s not all that rare so I’d skip it here and get a bottle at the bottleshop if you’ve never tried it.
Avery Black Tot on the other hand…pretty damn rare. This is the third release in Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series and is an imperial oatmeal stout aged in Gosling’s rum barrels. I’m sure this wont be cheap, but I’d bet it’s worth every penny.
Avery Czar is, in my opinion, one of the best regularly available imperial stouts out there, but for this event, “regularly available” = “skip it”.
Avery Meph Addict is Avery Mephistopheles with coffee added. I have never had (or seen for that matter) this one, so rare…yes. The original Meph is a beast of a brew. I recommend you tread lightly with these fellas, they are over 15% abv.
Avery Mephistopheles – See above
Beer Valley Black Madness – I’m either unaware of this beer or this is a mix up on words. Beer Valley makes Black Flag Imperial Stout and Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale, but I’m not so sure about Black Madness. The SBW site lists “Black Madness” again for the Firkin-Firkin event at Elysian, so I could be misinformed, or not informed at all as the case may be.
Big Sky Bottleworks 11 is going to be showing up at special events at Brouwer’s for a few years to come now I’d assume, considering the beer was made and kegged exclusively for them (Bottleworks, Brouwer’s, same difference). Never-the-less, it’s a very intriguing beer with some intense sour and vinous notes. Worth a taste if you missed out on the bottles.
Big Time Old Rip – Bill Jenkins knows how to make a beer folks. If you don’t make it to the U-district with much regularity, you may have never had this one. Go for it, drink local.
Boulevard Nitro Dry Stout – Boulevard out of Kansas City, MO has been doing a lot of experimenting lately. They seem to be really making things happen, and everything that I have had of theirs so far has been quality. They are still fairly new to the Seattle market…I can’t say that I’ve seen a lot a kegs come through. I would never get this because I don’t like dry stouts, but if you are into Guinness, Murphy’s, Beamish, Moylan’s Dragoons, etc, check it out.
Chuckanut Export Foreign Stout – The words “Export Foreign Stout” are not very commonly used, but they basically indicate a “bigger” stout, built for long journeys on boats and such. Considering the many recent accolades being tossed in Chuckanut’s direction, when I see that brewery name on something I want to try it. Seems like a great starter to the evening to me.
Dick’s Woodford BBN Oak Cream Stout – I, sadly, don’t know a lot about this one, but the words “oak” and “cream stout” get me excited. Worth a try, and possibly a bit more manageable in the abv category.
Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout – This one is extremely high on my list of best beers on planet Earth. ‘Nuff said. Oh, except beware of the strength – 18%.
Double Mountain Imperial Chaos is a draft only imperial stout from the impressive folks down in Hood River, OR. I’ve never had this one, but I have continually been impressed by 2x Mountain. I think I’ll be trying this one.
Elysian Dragonstooth Stout – One of the best single stouts in Washington, if not the country. Very underrated in this area, possibly due to its permanent availability and therefore lack of hype. Even still, I wouldn’t get it at an event like this. Get a bottle at Whole Foods and take it home.
Firestone Walker Parabola 10 is my number one on this list. I will scratch and claw to get it. It is a 13% imperial stout that was blended from all sorts of different barrels, vintages, what-have-you. It’s probably least rare this year then ever before in its existence, but still, very rare.
Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin is a fairly traditional oatmeal stout with a really great name. Decent beer by one of the premier breweries in America. I’d look for it on another day.
Full Sail Imperial Stout – Full Sail might be one of the largest breweries in the North West, but they still make really good beer, especially those in the Brewmaster Reserve series. This is not Black Gold, so it’s not barrel aged, but it’s a great beer. Worth getting on any other day, but there are better choices on this list.
Glacier Jack Daniels Impy Stout – Glacier is without a doubt one of Alaska’s finest. Sadly, even though we are the closest neighboring state, we don’t see all that much of their work. If this is in any way even close to matching the quality of their Big Woody Barleywine, this will be amazing. Get it!
Great Divide Espresso Yeti – Yeti, like Avery Czar, is one of the best regularly available imperial stouts out there. The espresso version is not as good in my opinion, but it’s a must try for all coffee junkies.
Green Flash Espresso Stout – I think this might be a keg only one-off brew. Sounds rare. Green Flash makes great beer. I’d go for it!
Hales Machete – This puppy is brewed right down the street from Brouwer’s. I give them a big “f%&@ yeah!” for the name but I think I’ll have to skip this one, only because of better options.
Hitachino Espresso Stout – This is the best espresso stout I have ever had, but you can get it in the bottle pretty easily. Not appropriate for this event.
Laughing Dog Dogfather – This is one of the best beers to come out of Idaho. I will skip it only because I still have a few bottles in the cellar, but it’s worthy of a purchase.
Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout – This one is released annually in the bottle, and can sometimes be found during the “off-season” at local bottle shops. This beer is really freaking good, but get a bottle.
Lost Abbey Serpents Stout is Tomme Arthur’s idea of a Belgian stout. If there is an actual Belgian brewed stout out there that is this rich and delicious, I have yet to find it. Alvinne Podge is about as close as I can think of. If you have never had this beer you need to get it. This is fairly commonly available in bottles so I’d skip it here.
Mad River BBN Export Stout – A quality California brew, but not up to par with some of the competition.
Moylan’s Ryan O’Sullivan – I don’t often think of this beer when I ponder the great impy stouts of America, but I should. It is a high quality brew, but yet again, a bit too common for this event.
Odin Sour Stout – believe it or not, I have yet to taste the nectars produced by Odin. I know, it’s crazy. I don’t know much about the sour stout but I must admit I’m intrigued. This night just might be my first dance with Odin.
Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy – One of the very few, if not only imperial stouts released in a can. That’s pretty damn cool, and it’s delicious to boot. If I was at Brouwer’s on a regular day, I’d get it, but not tonight.
Port Brewing Old Viscosity – This beer is great, but not as good as its older brother. Go with the older.
Port Brewing Older Viscosity – Regular readers will know that I’m mildly obsessed with this beer. It’s chocolate covered pretzels to a T. Get this and be like the stout fella above…meditate for a bit – you will go places. I will most likely only get this one late in the evening, well after my better judgment has evaded me. This is only because I have had it a bunch of times already.
Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper is a good impy stout, but it’s a bit thin for my liking. I’d skip it.
Porterhouse Nitro Oyster Stout – This is a low abv dry Irish stout. Sorry but…not interested.
Porterhouse Nitro Wrasslers 5x stout – Sorry Ireland, your stouts are boring.
Sierra Nevada Fritz & Ken – This was recently reviewed glowingly on this site by yours truly. It’s a damn good beer with a damn good story to tell.
Southern Tier Jahva – This is a member of the ST Imperial series, which should read “AMAZING”! Easily one of Beer Blotter’s favorite breweries in the world. Their stouts are impeccable. This one is just slightly less impeccable than the Oat below, so get that one.
Southern Tier Oat – See above.
Stone I.R.S. – This beer is very unique. I have never had an impy stout with such a strong tobacco flavor, which is a good thing in my opinion. Like Ten Fiddy, I’d order this in almost any other situation, but not tonight.
Victory Storm King – You might have heard that this was the first impy stout I ever tasted. I owe it a lot. Luckily for me, it’s one of the country’s best, so I started off on the right foot. I’d get it if I didn’t already have a bunch in the cellar.
Walking Man Black Cherry Stout – Beer Blotter finds this beer to be like soda. If that sounds good to you, hop on board. Not so much for me, but I do love Walking Man.
Waterstreet Stout – Skip is gone. I have little faith.
In summary, since that was probably a bit of a task to read, I offer my top 5, in order of importance.
5) Double Mountain Imperial Chaos
4) Avery Meph Addict
3) Glacier Jack Daniels
2) Avery Black Tot
1) Firestone Walker Parabola