Your week in beer:
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Founders Tasting: Gahanna, Ohio
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Lounge 62
Not sure what the tap list is here, but its Founders, so its sure to impress! Check it out and report back!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
25 Beers for 25 Years: Ann Arbor, Michigan
11:30AM-12:15AM @ Ashley’s Restaurant & Pub
This is amazing- 25 years is epic and so is this tap list:
Celebrating Bell’s Brewery with twenty-two beers on draft all day and three special releases beginning at 9 PM.
9PM Hopslam Firkin release
9:45 PM Batch 10,000 release
10:15 PM Black Note release
Special guest Larry Bell, owner and founder of Bell’s will arrive around 8:30 PM.
Complete Bell’s Draft Line-Up:
Lager of the Lakes
Quinnanan Falls Special Lager
Third Coast Beer
Third Coast Old Ale
Best Brown Ale
Hell Hath No Fury
Double Cream Stout
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Mardi Gras Mambo with Oskar Blues: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3:00PM-3:00AM @ The Sidecar Bar & Grille
I left a piece of me when I moved from New Orleans, so to honor the city- here is a Mardi Gras event….not in New Orleans…
You know us, then you know how we do, especially with the NOLA vibe – we’ll have the Oskar Blues premiere line on the taps, Chefs Brian Lofink & Kevin McCue with be throwning DOWN with the New Orleans fare and we’ll be spinning the best in New Orleans music – now and then~
Taps for the night will be updated soon!
Friday, February 25, 2011
9th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal: Seattle, Washington
2:00PM-2:00AM @ Beveridge Place Pub
Twenty-four (24!) dedicated taps for the biggest, boldest brews born between Bellingham and Boulder (and elsewhere, too)! Over fifty barleywines in all! This event will boast new beers through March 5.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Washington Beer Open House: Seattle and outside of Seattle, Washington
12:00PM-4:00PM @ various locations
Today, breweries in and around Seattle open their doors for beer lovers to sample and experience their beers. Admission is free but beer prices at the various locations will apply. Check out the Washington Beer Commission’s website for details of where to go and what to do!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Sunday Funday: Escondido, California
11:00AM-9:00PM @ Stone Brewing Co.
Every Sunday Stone offers something from “the cellar.” Today its 2005 Russian Imperial Stout. This stout is top notch, my personal favorite of all the Stone brews. Check out what the 2005 has to offer!
To add to the excitement, we’ve raided our cellars for some awesome rare and vintage brews. Every Sunday, we’ll have these special beers available either to purchase in bottles or to fill up your growlers.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Randall, Meet Bacon. Bacon, Meet Randall: Providence, Rhode Island
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Graduate Center Bar (GCB)
The first time that Randall visited the GCB he went nuts with peanuts and dried cranberries in Dogfish head’s Raison D’Etre… now he’s coming back and bringing the bacon…and roasted peppers. Keith will be with Randall and infusing Palo Santo Marron with thick cut bacon and roasted hot peppers. Come check it out!
If you want us to post about an event or if you went to an event and want to tell us about it, leave a comment or email me at email@example.com! Cheers!
Oh yes, the annual RateBeer.com awards are upon us. Every year in January, beer nerds come out from the woodwork, run a regression analysis, compute multiple methodology, average the cosign – plus tangent – and come up with these pretty rad rankings. Bon appetite.
I believe its a bit more simple than I made it out to be, but the rankings are up and that means the chatter begins. I have always been a staunch supporter of the RateBeer rankings. In fact, they have led the way on a number of significant beer tours around this great globe. Lets see how they did this year.
Here are the top performers in each category and some notes about NW people performing well:
Best Beer: (Click here to see list)
Närke Kaggen Stormaktsporter – If you have had this beer, kudos to you. I have looked, believe me. From Belgium to the Netherlands, you aren’t going to find it. Someday, someday. It is interesting to see Westvleteren 12 unseated. Perhaps the lore of Michael Jackson has finally left the building. For the NW – Deschutes Abyss came in at a very impressive #17. Hair of the Dog’s Matt and Adam both made the Top 100. Surprising that Adam still topples Fred.
Top Beers By Category (Click here for the list)
I am not going to spend a lot of time on these, you can review them here. Suffice it to say that the only showings from the NW were from a sake producer out of Oregon and a surpirsing top spot in dark lager for Rogue’s Chatoe Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager. Yikes. While expected, its so sad to see this repeated each year. Russian River whooped some ass, once again.
Best Beer in USA (Click here for the list)
Russian River Pliny the Younger – By now, we are all familiar with this hop monster. Though we would prefer to see something with a bit more complexity, its a deliciously unmatched hop beast. As for the NW, Deschutes Abyss at #13 and Hair of the Dog Adam #43 are all that made it. Strikeout, Washington.
Best Brewer in World (Click here to see list)
Three Floyds Brewing – I like em; hell i love em. But are they really the best? Their lengthy list of offerings and impressive showings in multiple categories (stout, IPA, pale, etc.) probably gets them the spot. My choice would have been the #2 on the list – Founders Brewing Company. Great to Hoppin Frog, Akron, OH, at #17. Great work Fred! Oregon did incredibly well: Rogue #21, Hair of the Dog #24, Deschutes #49, Cascade Brewing #57, and Upright Brewing #92 (wow). Washington = Elysian #92. I was actually surprised not to see Black Raven Brewing on this list. I think this is a testament to the fact that Black Raven is not yet bottling. Upright is probably smaller in production, but they send bottles into various states. I think thats the ticket here (plus great brewing).
Best Beer Bars in World (Click to see list)
The Kulminator – Its probably the most deserving, considering their iconic collection of cellar aged beers. Kudos to them for keeping this epic collection rolling. Our visit to Kulminator in March could not have been more eye-popping. The most amazing thing on this list – Avenue Pub at #8!!! Congratulations to Polly, the bar’s owner, who has worked her ass off to deserve this recognition. This is the only must see in New Orleans. This is typically a strong category for Washington – perhaps the only one where they typically overtake Oregon. This year they did the same, but only 2-0. Uber Tavern was #14 and Brouwers Cafe was #22. This is a bit of a drop for both of these two. The list also booted Naked City Taphouse, who made a daring showing last year. Nothing in Oregon made the list.
Best Brewpubs in World (Click to see list)
Brouwerij de Molen – The Windmill strikes again! This place has climbed up and up the list and I will agree that it deserves this spot. In a remote area of Holland, Bodegraven’s only beer spot is hidden inside a windmill. Inside you can enjoy excellent food, phenomenal beer and a pretty incredible bottle shop with a collection of US brews that makes me jealous in Seattle. This is a must see for anyone in Northern Europe. Great to see Walking Man make the list at #10. We finally got out there this past summer and thoroughly enjoyed this sunny spot. Deschutes Brewing was #18, Cascade’s Racoon Lodge was #48 (and will be bumped next year for the new Barrel Room) and then there is Pelican Brewing at #26. 26? Cmon man. If you have ever been to this magical surfers cove, you would spit at anyone that left this out of their Top 5. Go visit.
Best Beer Store in World (Click here to see list)
Het Oude Schooltje – Struise Brouwers @ The Old School – Ummm, I’m confused. I was in Oostvleteren and never saw this place! Kill me now. This is my own fault and I’m stuck with the consequences. Next time. Great to see some Washington guys on here as well: Malt & Vine #27 and Bottleworks #29. Oregon got showings from The Bier Stein in Eugene and Belmont Station in Portland, who fell all the way to #44.
Best Restaurant in World (Click here to see list)
Ebenezer Kezars Restaurant and Pub – This is on my list and will be visited in June when we do a brief NE trip. Tucked away in the Maine mountains in the little town of Lowell – this gem awaits. Is it shocking to anyone else that despite the NW’s extremely well-received culinary presence and beer presence, we cannot produce one beer restaurant in the Top 50? What about Brouwers Cafe? Ebenezars is just a pub, too.
Best Breweries to Visit in World (Click here to see list)
Picobrouwerij Alvinne Den Bier- en Proefzolder – Yes, yes and yes x 1000. This is the single greatest beer visit of my entire life. If its a little strange that we have yet to speak about this visit here on BB.com, its because I am intimidated. Timperial and I have feared drafting this inconic article for just about a year. Alvinne is located in a large barn-like space off a highway in Belgium. We arrived after closing on St. Patricks day and were awarded with private drinking stock from the owner. An unprecedented adventure. I was so glad to see Hair of the Dog Brewing on here as well at #2. Alan Sprints has done an incredible job putting together their new taproom, which is a must for any visitor to the NW. Great to also see Upright Brewing (Portland), who has a very cool tasting room where you can grab some schooners and some tunes for a few hours. Rogue, Bridgeport and Hopworks also made the list. A complete zero for Washington.
Ugh. Washington has to take a failing grade this year. I am really disappointed to see so many of the stalwarts take drops. It was very encouraging to see the locations do alright, but what about our beer?!
In short, most of our beer stays here. I think you can somewhat blame that on our alcohol regulation rules, because they facilitate a healthy market at home. But, you can see that the Oregon brewers making a name for themselves are selling bottles.
Forget Rogue and Deschutes – they are pretty big. But, think about Hair of the Dog, Hopworks and especially Upright. These guys all have bottle sales that go across state borders. That stuff helps.
In the near future, we hope to see bottles from great upstarts like Black Raven Brewing, Schooner Exact, Fremont Brewing and more. Hopefully, we can start to show the world why Washington beer is so damn good.
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!
Happy New Year to all! Can you believe another decade has come and gone? What will this year in beer bring? Can’t wait to find out! But now, your week in beer.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Beer Geek Tuesday: Atlanta,Georgia
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Cypress Street Pint and Plate
Tonight He’brew Jewbelation 14 will be tapped. “14” stands for fourteen malts, fourteen hops, and fourteen percent ABV all in one glass. Hot Damn!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Founders Tapping: Chicago, Illinois
6:00PM-11:00PM @ Haymarket Pub & Brewery
This Wednesday Haymarket Pub & Brewery will be holding its first big tapping event. 12 of our taps will be taken over by Founders Brewing specialties. Hopefully this will help hold everyone over until the Pub Beers are available in the second week of January.
The final list for this event is not finalized but we should have both CBS, Black Biscuit, & Nemesis ’10 along with other hard to find kegs from our friends in Grand Rapids.
Come in and enjoy these great taps and try some of the items off of the Pub’s menu.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines: Vail, Colorado
7:30PM-10:30PM @ Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
If you love big beers, you must come have dinner with us! The 2011 event will be a tremendous treat. The original weekend event was suggested by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and much ado has been made of them by our guests. The celebrity beer pairing dinners show off the ultimate flexibility of beer with food. The Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner shows off our Featured Brewmasters for this year’s event, and the Calibration Dinner with Avery & Dogfish head really starts our celebration weekend off “calibrating your palate”!
For more information visit http://www.bigbeersfestival.com/ !
Friday, January 7, 2011
4th Annual Williamsburg Cask Festival: Brooklyn, New York
1:00PM-1:00AM @ D.b.a.
Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. Cask ale may also be referred to as real ale, a term coined by the Campaign for Real Ale, often now extended to cover bottle-conditioned beer as well.
Today, stop by D.b.a for an amazing line up of 15 rare, cask conditioned beers all on tap at once! This event will last all weekend long!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
13th Annual Ice Cold Beer Festival: Minocqua, Wisconsin
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Campanile Center For The Arts
Tickets: $25 in advance; $30 at the event
Tickets available at the Minocqua Brewing Co. & at participating Trig’s Cellar 70 locations.
Micro-Brews from around the state. Food and Music. This wonderful event benefits the Dr. Kate Hospice / Ministry Home Care.
Please call 715-356-2600 for more information. Hope to see you there!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Belgium Beer Class: Annapolis, Maryland
The Belgians have a remarkable brewing tradition, so much so that breweries all over the world work to perfect Belgian style brews. Learn about and taste some of our favorite Belgian beers from award-winning breweries in Belgium (of course) and the U.S.
Snacks and beer are provided. $30 per person.
Classes tend to fill quickly, so please make your spot reservations early. Call us at 410-571-7744 or email us at dmccabe @ punksbackyardgrill.com with questions or reservation requests. Obviously, you must be 21 years of age or older to participate.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Bell’s Hopslam Release Party: Indianapolis, Indiana
6:00PM-11:00PM @ Beer Sellar
You know how we love Bell’s Brewing Co. and this tap list is rocking my world!
Monday, January 10, Beer Sellar Indianapolis will join Bell’s Brewery in releasing HopSlam to the market. On tap Monday will be:
HopSlam (tapped at 6pm)
Batch 10K (tapped at 6pm)
If you go to an event, want us to post about an event or have an event for next week, email me at email@example.com. Cheers!
The New Year quickly descends upon us. What will you be drinking to ring in 2011?
After a trip to Ohio full of endless Great Lakes Christmas Ale, we arrive back in Seattle. But now for your week in beer.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Meet the Bruery Fundraiser: Santa Monica, California
6:00PM-9:00PM @ the Library Ale House
The Bruery is one of the newer, yet highly acclaimed breweries in Southern California. Tonight, they will be tapping kegs of 3 French Hens and Rugbrød. Rare bottles of Workman’s Friend Imperial Porter will also be available. A flight of all three will be available for purchase. In addition small bites for pairing will be provided:
- Workman’s Friend with Turkey Meatloaf
– Rugbrod with Jerk Chicken
– 3 French Hens with Bread Pudding
Fellow SoCal brewery Port Brewing will have Santa’s Little Helper for your enjoyment.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Pint Night with Breckenridge Brewery: Exton, Pennsylvania
6:00PM-11:00PM @ The Drafting Room Taproom and Grille
Pint Night at The Drafting Room Taproom & Grille
featuring Breckenridge Brewery
Join us on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 6:00
On Tap from Breckenridge:
Christmas Ale (Winter Warmer)
Lucky U IPA (American IPA)
Avalanche (American Amber)
471 IPA (Imperial IPA)
Regal Pilsner (Imperial Pilsner)
Hope to see you there
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Founders and Friends Benefit and Tasting: Columbus, Ohio
7:00PM-11:00PM @ Bob’s Bar
All things good in the Midwest (and more) will be available on tap tonight!
1) Founders Brewing – Backwoods Bastard Tapping
2) Columbus Brewing – 12 Hops of XMas (Firkin)
3) Fatheads – Headhunter IPA (1st columbus tapping) –> THIS BEER IS SO GOOD!!!
4) Stone Brewing – First tapping of their collaboration with Fatheads (brewed during Cleveland Beer Week)
5) Sierra Nevada – Celebration and 30th Anniv.
6) North Coast – TBA
7) Troegs – Mad Elf and perhaps a little surprise from the brewery
Friday, December 31, 2010
New Beer’s Eve: Chicago, Illinois
4:00PM-12:00AM @ Fountainhead
Ok this event is only $30.00 per person and the beers on tap and the food look amazing- this might be the best New Year’s Eve deal in the country.
New Belgium/Allagash – Vrienden
Left Hand – Fade To Black
Bierbrouwerij Emelisse – Triple IPA
Two Brothers – Bare Tree Weiss Wine
Dogfish Head – Bitches Brew
Bear Republic – Apex Imperial IPA
Mikkeller – Rauch Geek Breakfast Stout
Anderson Valley – Imperial Boont Amber
Half Acre – Big Huggs
Bells Two Hearted
Three Floyds Alpha King
New Beer’s Eve Pre-Fix Dinner:
Beer Cheese Soup, Spicy Beer Cheese Soup with Potatoes, Lime Cream, Bacon, Grilled Rye & Sourdough
Crispy Salad, Spiced Walnuts & Diced Apple with Goat Cheese over Mixed Greens & Cherry Vinaigrette
Pot Roast, Rioja Demi and Root Vegetables over Parsnip Puree
Bourbon Maple Glazed Salmon with Root Vegetable Succotash and Celery Root Salad
Generous slice of Belgian Chocolate Bread Pudding with Caramel and Candied Pecans
Each course paired with a beer by our Beer Director
Pre-Fix Dinner by reservation only, 4-8 pm, $30 per Person
Please email by Wed. Dec. 29th with Preferred Time, Number of People, & Course Choices to: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Beer’s Eve Small Plates, 8-11pm
Saturday, January 1, 2011
20 Stouts on Tap: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
12:00PM-12:00AM @ Monk’s Cafe
Yep, we’re doing it again. Every line will have a stout running though the spout. As always, we’ll have some recognizable stouts and a few keg that most of you have not tasted before. Come in out of the cold and warm up with some hearty food and robust stouts.
Cash Bar, starts around noon.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
All of the events I can find today are not worth going to. Sit at home with some friends and break open something from the cellar.
Monday, January 3, 2010
Diners, Drive-In and Dives Party: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
10:00PM-11:00PM @ Memphis Taproom
The Memphis Taproom will be featured on the Food Network’s show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Tonight, celebrate with PENNY DRAFT BEERS for one half hour! During commercials only — when the show’s on, you will have all eyes on the TV!
If you want me to post about an event, want to talk about an event you went to or just want to talk about beer, email me at email@example.com or leave a comment!! Cheers!
Timeless. Classic. Diverse. Words used to describe Bob Seger‘s musical gift – and wouldn’t you know, Founders Brewing’s beers. Mull that while I wax poetic. Founders Brewing has been my favorite brewer since I first dabbed a droplet of their Double Trouble IPA on my tongue, over a year ago.
Captivated, entranced and bewildered I sought out more of this unknown brewer’s stock. It took no further than my third beer, and not even a departure from one style, before I decided that this could be the one – the brewer for which my palate yearns.
Founders Brewing can be found along the Grand River, in the Western portion of the State of Michigan, in a nice little town called Grand Rapids. The mighty Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan and was once referred to as “Furniture City” because, well, take a guess. While it might not be the maxim of metropolis, it once was a heavy industrial area that thrived throughout the auto and lumber boom of the early 1900s.
As the auto industry boomed, so did Detroit’s music scene. Berry Gordy’s Motown thrived throughout the 60s and 70s, launching the careers of iconic stars like Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. We also saw Rock & Roll take a new form in Detroit. Iggy Pop & The Stooges, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper and – perhaps most importantly for this article – the great Bob Seger, all saw incredible success with their raw, uncensored and blue-collar version of music’s greatest gift (um, Rock & Roll).
But like all great things, Michigan took a hard turn in the late 20th century. The adversity facing the Great Lakes State drove a major artisan sub-culture that helped bring Detroit out of the ashes. From that, we saw the birth of funk from George Clinton, which some say spawned the creation of techno – the Detroit spectacle that arose from Parliment Funkadelic melodic melodies. A new progressive culture remained.
Also, from the ashes came a focus on reviving dead markets. Once a major player in the beer brewing industry of the U.S., the beer production industry had shrunk to producing nothing more than Strohs by the 1970s. By 1985, Strohs’ brewery was destroyed and not one brewery remained in Detroit’s once vast beer industry. The company finally sold off to Pabst in 1999.
Beer came back to Michigan in the 1980s, but this time it went West. Bells Brewery began operations in 1983 in Kalamazoo, MI. After 8 years as the only (still remaining) craft beer producer, Founders Brewing joined the fold in 1991. Its funny to think that a short stretch of 50 miles of highway is all that separates two of America’s pioneering, and still dominate, craft breweries.
Founders Brewing epitomizes everything about survival in the craft beer industry. Two college grads who enjoyed homebrewing decided to make a go for it, quit their jobs and make beer. After years of making balanced beers to pander to blue-collar Michigonians (made that term up), they hit the brink of bankruptcy. Realizing that they had to quit or develop their own unique niche, they decided to dump the “crap” beer and move on to a bigger challenge: “complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body, and tons of flavor.” (from their website)
Well hell yes! Nothing like a little American ingenuity and a dab of elbow grease to get the fire cooking on a damn good idea. By taking the plunge into uber-complexity, Founders risked utter decimation. Alas, they knew that separating themselves from the herd of 1990s lightly malted, pathetically hopped beers, was the way to go. They flourished.
Founders Brewing now takes on a bevy of intriguing, mouth watering, mind melding styles. Check out their Breakfast Stout, which by the way, is made from an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee. No big deal, its only one of the most revered beers in American beerdom (again, made up). Not enough stuff? How about the Kentucky Breakfast Stout, which adds CAVE-AGED (no lie) oak bourbon barrels at 11.2%. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’d hate that 100 on Rate Beer.
But alas, it was the IPAs which made me fall on bended knee. It was the sweet taste of unearthly nectar that said – “Hi, I’m beer. Know nothing else.” Founders packs a lineup of 4 incredible hop bombs. Centennial IPA is a standard used for Beer Judge training, Red Rye PA is no doubt the best rye IPA on the market (and I will physically fight you if you say otherwise. Seriously, grab a 2×4 and meet me behind your parent’s house), and Double Trouble turned my head Beetlejuice style, for about 5-6 minutes. But there was one more that I had yet to try – the gem of our 4 beer panel this week: Devil Dancer Triple IPA. Just wait, I’m getting there.
For our tasting panel, we selected 4 amazingly diverse styles. We tried to have no beers overlap because we wanted to savor the magnificent diversity of….NAY! we just had dumb luck and it worked out that way. Hooray random success; boo excess beer terms. The board: Cerise Cherry Fermented Ale, Porter, Devil Dancer Triple IPA and 2010 Nemesis. We proceed.
This one had caught my attention during a press release earlier this Summer. The beer was marketed as a “cherry fermented ale” which to me screamed “something like a kriek.” I could have not been further from actuality. I have read many that say that the beer has a slight tartness and soft fruity aroma and flavor. I’m just not there.
I had the Cerise once back in Ohio when it was fresh from the case and again during this panel, about 2 months from purchase. The first tasting opportunity brought a very rich fruit flavor that mimicked cherry soda; the panel tasting was straight blush wine. I believe that the first tasting was more of what they were going for, a fruity summery ale that packed a lot of cherry blast. Our panel version might simply have been the victim of skunk. It was interesting to see that much change in only 55 days or so, but worse things have happened.
Its not easy to diss an offering from your favorite brewer – but skip this one. I think that increasing the tartness with a wild yeast might add something to this guy, but right now its a straight fruit beer that gets easily agitated.
Again, I have danced with this guy before. Once upon a time, I was dying of heat exhaustion after trouncing the streets of Washington DC in 99 degree weather. Lugging my baggage for 5 hours had left me screaming for a beer, and as always, I plead for something new and mind-bending.
We came across Pizzeria Paradisio in Dupont Circle and had heard of its lore. A dedicated pizza and alehouse, they offered some damn good choices across the board. One of those, was this guy – Founders Porter. I placed myself in a bubble, blocked out the heat and grabbed a pint from the tap. Delicious. One of the greatest, most complex porters that I have ever seen, smelled or tasted.
Our panel got to sample a bit of the goods. As I lifted the hood on this dark, sexy vessel of black grog, it exploded all over the place (not sure if this is sexual innuendo…still mulling it over). The beer had either been primed too much or aggressively disturbed during storage and retrieval – we shall never know. But, the beer had a much more aerated body this time around, and I like the subtle difference in how it affects the flavors.
The mass of chocolate and rich caramelized sugar prevails in this guy. This is a meal in a glass and a no-brainer for any dark beer fanatic. Get this one.
Devil Dancer Triple IPA.
The lore of this beer runs rampant. Rumors of its existence had plagued me for days, months,.. ok thats it. But still, I wanted it. When I got the call that the final bottle available at our favorite Cleveland shop had been acquired – I literally shot out of my pants. Devil Dancer: how I have waited for this dance.
The beer opens perfectly and with a moderate carbonation and maximum aroma that almost blows my eyes into their sockets. The beer pours with flawless orange-auburn hue and a slight head. We can dig in quickly.
The scent is explosive and I wonder what the hop bill must have looked like. This puppy is packing 112 IBUs and 12% alcohol, but the floral aroma hides the fermented wonder inside the bottle. Devil Dancer is an exploration through hop science. 10 different types of cones dry-hop this mother over the course of 26 days, to reach hop maxim. Though the malt bill is designed to allow the hops to prevail, they aren’t absent from the beer. I taste a simple butterscotch or caramel flavor that gives this monster some balance.
The resins alone will baffle you. Buy every bottle you see, inject them with formaldehyde (don’t do this) and preserve them for yourself. Seriously, don’t share.
What an amazing name eh? I think about this now and I say: “what’s my nemesis?” and “Is the beer trying to be the drinker’s nemesis, or its own nemesis?” Yep, we go that deep.
If I had to create a beer that had to be its own nemesis, I think that I would try to pack as many aromatic malts and the brightest hops in a bottle and add a psychotically active yeast. That’s the ticket. Lets see who wins! Hahaha (morbid laugh). Well, that’s not my own creative brilliance, because I think that is exactly what they did.
Nemesis is classified as a dark barleywine and we had some disagreement about this nomenclature. One of us called it an imperial stout (its black and 12%); one said it was a crazy ole ale (it has a ridiculous aged malt flavor) and I called it a hoppy barleywine (its 100 IBUs). Whatever you call it – you should make sure to use the adjective “spectacular” because this beer is a gauntlet of flavor.
The beer pours a deep black with almost no head. Its thick like maple syrup and has a mild burnt sugar scent. The beer develops from the first sip to the swallow, starting bitter and ending with a furious “I just ate a meal of pancakes” syrupy swarm. As the beer warmed up, I noticed that the hops became more noticeable and I thought it was a great touch. The beer somewhat resembled a dark roasty version of Avery Brewing’s Hog Heaven, though more complex and inevitably better.
If you read anything above, you can guess my recommendation. Get it.
When we do these panels, we like to think about the brewer. Each brewer has a story behind its operation; its location, history, culture and its message are oh so important to the beer’s delivery. So, when I thought about which Michigan musician’s music would best espouse the Founders Brewing delivery – the Silver Bullet smacked me in the face.
For decades, Bob Seger has developed a musical sound that it fights for relevance, meets the needs of the everyday man, and yet strives to remain timeless with its unique character. Seger and Founders each fought from the trenches for relevance and after many years in the game, find themselves just as beloved as the day their first single (bottle) hit the market.
For me, they are both beloved because they each speak to the common man’s desire for something to love. With Seger, it was “working on those night moves” and for Founders, its working on those complex romances that fit in a glass. Kudos to you both for making Michigan proud and the rest of us happy rock & roll infused beer fanatics.
I have usurped control of this column for this week. This is primarily for the sole reason that this is the most mindless and least intimidating of all of our columns. Hooked yet!? No really, I need some spiritual soul seeking, and a look at the beer calendar might just satisfy my urge.
What, pray tell, did our squad do last week, you ask? Lots. Depending on who you asked, we either visited some pretty amazing beer taps in New Orleans (Brooklyn Detonation Imperial IPA!!!!), hung out at Brouwers Cafe’s Washington Beer Fest, dabbled in a first-time Jillian’s craft beer night, soaked up an epic and undeniably amazing Elysian Great Pumpkin Beer Fest (we all were there – no way to miss that) or we brewed a massive batch of our very first pumpkin beer during Harvest Fest 2010.
Yep, we were busy. But, as we spend the week saturating the blog with mouth-watering tales of yesteryear – we focus on the week ahead. Giddy up.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Hoptoberfest Brewer Shenanigans: Seattle, WA
All Month Long @ Beveridge Place Pub
Since we are already a bit late on this event, I thought I would borrow from the comments of the amazing people over at Washington Beer Blog, Kendall and Kim Jones. Today, they ran a piece on the Elite Eight selections for the Hoptoberfest at Beveridge Place Pub. Hoptoberfest is an annual event spanning the month, during which Beveridge Place Pub slowly eliminates IPAs to eventually select its house IPA for the next year to come.
They are now down to the final eight at the mid-point of the month and the heat is on to make the final 3. Kendall Jones at Washington Beer Blog has been discussing the rumors of brewers sending in-house squadrons down to stuff the ballot box to ensure that they land in the top 3. Black Raven is trying to remain at the top spot, while Boundary Bay is trying to grab back what was their’s just two years ago.
By 6 PM, Kendall and Kim were already there at the Pub. But since that time, nothing to report on. Hopefully, they are simply inundated with enjoyment to give us an update. Regardless, if you want IPA, you still have two weeks of madness over at Beveridge Place Pub. Check it out and don’t forget to vote.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Can You Handle the Randall?: Cleveland, Ohio
Part 1: 4:30 – 6:30PM @ Winking Lizard Tavern (Gateway Location)
Part 2: 7:00 – 9:00 PM @ Winking Lizard Tavern (Cleveland Heights Location)
If you have yet to explore the wonderful world of Dogfish Head Randalls – do not miss this event! Dogfish Head started using Randall at many of their nationwide events several years back. If you have no idea what this is, check this picture, and then understand that you stuff it full of flavorful things and pump beer through it.
We have had the pleasure of tasting the Aprihop with fresh apricots and hops, as well as the 90 Minute Double IPA with Woodford Reserve soaked oak chips. Both were incredible. Well, now here is your chance at two different locations. More from the event pub kit:
Donn B. from Dogfish Head and Kev from Winking Lizard hit the Gateway Winking Lizard Tavern with Randall the Enamel Animal and a keg of 90 Minute IPA! Randall will be packed full of fresh hops and filter the 90 Minute IPA through it imparting even more hoppiness into an already ultra-hoppy Imperial IPA!
Randall the Enamel Animal leaves Gateway to make an appearance at the Coventry Winking Lizard Tavern. This time Randall gets packed full of fresh Saaz hops and hooked up to a keg of Dogfish Head Midas Touch. Find out what happens to Midas Touch, Dogfish Head’s mead-like ale, when it gets filtered through Saaz hops! Can you handle Randall?
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Farm to Table & Field to Pint: Boulder, CO
7:00 – 10:00PM @ Avery Brewing Company
Everybody is going local these days. Join the movement.
Freshcraft is a new bar and restaurant in downtown Denver, with an impressive beer list. They are joining forces with one of our favorites, Avery Brewing, for a night of local food and amazing beer. Check out these fairly rare Avery brews:
Freshcraft is one of Denver’s hottest new craft beer / fresh food joints to hit the scene. Owners Jason and Lucas have a particular fondness for great beer, and that’s where we come in! Freshcraft has devised a three course meal paired with three Avery brews (duganA, Fumator and Out of Sight), and Society members can sit down the for the entire meal or pick and items a la carte. The Avery crew will be out in force for this evening, and Freshcraft will be bringing a speaker from one of their local produce suppliers to talk about farm to table.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Founders Night: Cleveland, Ohio
Part of Cleveland Beer Week!!!
6:30 – 9:30 PM @ The Brew Kettle
This is one of our favorite joints in all of Cleveland. The Brew Kettle is putting on a pretty special lineup for the festivities of Cleveland Beer Week, which spans from this past weekend through the end of this weekend.
The Brew Kettle is down in Strongsville, OH, about 20 minutes outside downtown Cleveland. This place has amazing BBQ, phenomenal taps and even a U-Brew component in the back.
We noticed their quite impressive affiliation with Grand Rapids brewer (and my personal favorite) Founders Brewing when we visited back in September. Here is a chance to meet the brewer and taste their hop shocker, Devil Dancer Triple IPA:
Come meet Founder’s John Host and Dave Engbers as they walk you through a lineup of six beers which will include some seasonal/specialty offerings including DEVIL DANCER TRIPLE I.P.A. The beers will be complemented with different appetizers.
For a backup event: do not miss Light Up Night at the ABC Tavern in Cleveland. Founders Brewing’s & Victory Brewing’s brewers will be on hand to pour their amazing ales until 2:00 AM!
Friday, October 22, 2010
Naked City Brewing’s 2nd Anniversary Party: Seattle, Washington
All day long @ Naked City Brewing & Taphouse
You might have read about this can’t miss event on our website today. I am re-posting because of the urgency of this event. Its happening one day only people – be there. Here is the presser:
Join us for Naked City’s 2nd Anniversary Celebration Friday, October 22nd Open-Close! We will have prize giveaways and some very special one-off beers on tap for the occasion. Here is a sampling: Double Header Anniversary Ale (Oak Aged Imperial IPA) New Riders of the Purple Sage (Blackberry Sage Porter) Tay Yay Inna Win (Barrel Aged Sour Ale) Whiskey Oaked Brimstone & Treacle (Cask Old Ale) The Big Lebrewski (White Russian Imperial Stout) Boo Radley Pumpkin Ale Big Chocolate Wood (2010 Pro-Am by Dan Hansen & Will Fredin) Broken Bicycle (Fresh Hop Saison) You get the picture…Mark your calendars!!!
Tapping of a keg of Breakfast Stout that was brewed in 2008. Part of Brew Kettle’s vintage and rare keg tapping series (every day at 5pm during Cleveland Beer Week).
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Bay Area Craft Beer Fest: Martinez, California (near Vallejo, CA)
12:00 (VIP start time) or 1:00 – 5:00 PM @ Martinez Waterfront Park
This is the first go-round for this festival. But, its located in a very cool inland area on the Bay and it has a fairly exhaustive list of Bay Area brewers on tap.
Check out the website for further details on the festival layout and how to get there. Ticket prices are $35.00, and they offer a DD option.
Check out the list right here:
21st Amendment Brewery
Third Street AleWorks
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Black Diamond Brewing Co.
Blue Frog Grog & Grill
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Gordon Biersch Brewery
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Hoppy Brewing Company
Iron Springs Pub & Brewery
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Lost Coast Brewery
Marin Brewing Co.
Russian River Brewing Co.
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Two Rivers Cider Co.
Amazing Alternative: Check out the Pizza Port Hoptoberfest! This string of Southern California brewpubs took major metal home from GABF this year:
Join us for a rooftop party with lots of hoppy beers and a Pig Roast! We’ll be pouring around 40 (yes 40!) beers with tasty hops… wet hops, IPAs, Imperials IPAs, and maybe even a worthy strong pale ale or two!
For your convenience and hoppiness, we’ll also be running a bus from Pizza Port Solana Beach and Pizza Port Carlsbad up to the event. $54 includes roundtrip transportation, beer on the bus, and admission into Hoptoberfest. Bus trip ticket will be on sale at pizzaport.com
Sunday, October 24, 2010
BeerTownAustin & Craft Austin Bike Pub Crawl: Austin, Texas
We very seldom come across a beer event down in Texas. But, if we were to find one, we would guess it would be in Austin.
Two great Austin beer groups are joining forces to put together one heck of a beer crawl by bike. So hop on your pedal machine and get moving. You do not want to miss this one:
Join us Sunday, October 24th for the most epic of pub crawls. It will be a clash of the fanboy titans as BeerTownAustin and Craft Austin go head-to-head in gruesome bike-pub-crawling. There will be biking. There will be pub crawling. There may be copying/pasting.
We will start the ride at Flying Saucer, hit up Draught House, then onto Billy’s on Burnet, with a swing through Thunder Bird, and end up at Black Star Co-op, with local beer specials along the way for everyone on the ride.
Have anything else to announce? Feel free to post below in comments or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Have good beer drinking!