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Events for Week of March 14, 2011

Upright Brewing Co. Picture courtesy of allecia.blogspot.com

And…here it is…your week in beer.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

$10.00 Tuesday Tasting – IPAs- New York, New York

7:30PM-9:30PM @ Jimmy’s No.43

Come try 6 different craft IPAs. Learn about the what makes these beers bitter and variations between them. $10 gets you a small taste of each beer and into the information session.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish (Inspired) Ale Class: Chicago, Illinois

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Whole Foods Market – Lincoln Park

Come one, come all and join our resident Beer Geek Sean Reilly as we explore the wonderful world of Irish and Irish Inspired Ales. It’s the eve of St. Pat’s and what a great way to usher in the evening. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Customer Service or  http://www.active.com

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Firkin St. Pattys Day: West Chester, Pennsylvania

4:00PM-10:00PM @ Rams Head Bar And Grill

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In celebration, stop by Rams for some Victory brews. They will be tapping a firkin of Victory’s newest beer Headwaters Pale Ale at 4 pm and there will be live music from local musician Pete Groch.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Firkin Friday Featuring Brewdog: Atlanta, Georgia

6:00PM-2:00AM @ The Porter Beer Bar

Brewdog is known for making beers that push boundaries. Tonight, try their Paradox Islay, an imperial stout.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fairfax Brewfest: Fairfax, California

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Faifax Pavillion

Beer Festival which will have 16 Breweries as well as a Cider maker. Unlimited drinks for $25 if you pre-order and $30 if you show up. Breweries include: Iron Springs (hosting), Marin Brew Co, Moylans, Lagunitas, Anderson Valley, and Speakeasy, and many other that you cannot find anywhere else, but Marin. LAsts from 1 PM until 5 PM.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Upright’s Two Year Anniversary: Portland, Oregon

1:00PM-6:00PM @ Upright Brewing Co.

bb.com is going to this- Upright rocks and today they are relasing a sour cherry barrel aged version of the Four. A cask of the upcoming Gose with extra salt and dry hops will be poured. Get there early to get your hands on a bottle of their first anniversary apricot ale aged in gin barrels. Only three cases are available.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oskar Blues Spring Beer Dinner: Stamford, Conneticut

7:00PM- 9:00PM @ Coalhouse Pizza

The menu will include …. sweet potato & beet chips with homemade tzatsiki sauce, an organic mixed green and fresh fennel salad, homemade split pea soup, a goat cheese & asparagus pizza, lamb tenderloin with a miso-chili sauce served with spring vegetables, and our homemade stout ice cream. Each dish is paired with an Oskar Blues brew – Mama’s Little Yella Pils, G’Knight IPA, Dale’s, Old Chub and of course, TenFidy. Two members from the band “Keltic Kick” will be joining us for the evening. Tickets on sale now ~ $60 per guest. Visit our website for more information – http://www.coalhousepizza.com or give us a call directly: 203-977-7700.

If you go to an event, want us to post an event or want to share something about beer- leave a comment or email me at jess@beerblotter.com.

Beer Planning: A Backpacker’s Perspective

Shi Shi Beach: Beautiful images require wondrous beer.

Last weekend we embarked on what might be the greatest “hike-in” beach camp spot in all of the Northwest. Our trip to Shi Shi Beach in the Makah Indian Reservation (Neah Bay, WA) was beyond epic. Many a new terms were coined, wooden implements fashioned, pasty foods consumed, ocean plunges taken, driftwood bonfires lit and even a few articles of clothes smoked for that take home campfire flavor (see SmokedJorts.com).

But like many of you, I was stumped by how to perfectly plan for 50+ hours in no man’s land, sans cooler and additional space for my brethren – beer. Food was a stumble, but doable. Equipment seemed to fit without excess weight. Even multi-weather clothing seemed to be a cinch. But Beer – not exactly.

 

The Dilemmas of Beerpacking

 

Here are some of the dilemmas:

  • (1)  Weight –   The ratio for alcohol to weight in beer is grossly disproportional. For most of us, its part of the reason we love it so very much. It allows us to consume various types and flavors over a long period of time. But for the camper (not you, car campers!) its a pain in the ass.

 

  • (2)  Shape & Proportion –   Our common vessels are the bottle, growler, keg, party pig and can. Lets toss kegs, growlers and party pigs pretty quickly. Unless you have constructed some amazing carriage that allows multiple people to share the weight, a three mile hike up and down cliffs will not facilitate these receptacles. That leaves us with smaller vessels, such as cans  and bottles. Of course, bottles are glass and would need to be separated or wrapped to prevent breakage. Not enticing. This leaves the common can – but many of you are still weenies about drinking from a can. Get over it. I’ll discuss more below.

 

  • (3) Cooling –   I bet you aren’t going to carry your cooler three miles down the trail eh? Excited to have ice last for about 2 hours? There is no great solution to the cooling challenge. Ice packs add unnecessary weight for the duration that they last. Soft pack coolers are a decent try, if they fit in your pack.

 

A Good Set of Rules to Live By

 

So, I thought long and hard about these things. We did some things right – and some wrong. Lets discuss the goals:

  • (1)  Cut Weight & Volume Usage With Cans –  We all want to drink beer when camping. Liquor just can’t satisfy the mountain man inside. Here’s the solution: Get cans. Unless you have been living in a cave, you probably know that many of our nation’s finest brewers can their beer. Here are a few of the best:  Oskar Blues, Big Sky, 21st Amendment, Anderson Valley, New Belgium, 7 Seas, and soon to be – Fremont Brewing. Canned beer is great! Newer cans keep beer fresher, reduce transit costs and are better for the environment. Its the easiest to pack in and to pack out, reducing in size to easily recycle. This one is a no-brainer. Get yourself a few sixers of canned beer.

 

  • (2) Forget the Chilling Vessel – Use Nature –   I realize that this one might apply only us in the high north. In Washington state, all of our water is cold! Whether you are by the sea or in the mountains, a fresh supply of frigid water will await you. Hauling around any type  of chilling device, whether it be an ice pack or a soft cooler is probably a waste of space. It will not protect your treasured ale from the sun and humidity. Find a water source early in the trip and something to lodge your beer beneath the water’s surface to keep it from the sun’s heat and light. A good choice is that good old bear canister that you are most likely required to have in order to camp in the vast NW. Once the sun retreats, pull your canister, drink up, seal off food for the night and repeat the next day.

 

  • (3) Pace Yourself & Conserve –   Unfortunately, you need to leave your Saturday city drinking behind. Do not expect to have the same epic consumption schedule you typically fly through each weekend. Be a grown up and consume at a reasonable pace. Remember, nothing is worse than spending some time on an amazing beach and knowing that you are out of ale. Always keep a few in the cooler and educate your friends on properly preparing. Otherwise, they’ll be hounding you to pass one over.

 

Suggestions From Beer Blotter

 

If you decided to go can and on-site cool – here are some pointers:

  • (1) ABV is KingThink about ABV when you are planning. In our instance we wanted the best ABV to price ratio. The golden rule in my opinion was a perfect 1 : 1  of ABV % to 6 Pack price (i.e.  8% for $8). This led us directly to Oskar Blues Old Chub, which rings in right at the sacred 1 : 1 ratio (actually I paid $8.99, but close enough).  While you might be tempted to go for that Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, Gordon or Gubna, remember that a 6 pack might take you into the $20-$24.00 range. Yikes! Look for the 7%-8% grogs; they seem to have the best value.

 

  • (2) Flavor Should Match Your Surroundings –   Here is where I admit my first error. Beach camping requires a specific type of beer. Old Chub, a scotch ale with complete caramel maltiness was not our best choice. Instead, 21st Amendment’s Brew Free or Die was our best selection. The IPA matched all weather conditions, was refreshing, and still maintained an acceptable flavor at air temperature. Unfortunately, we had a small 6 pack supply. Remember to look out for Fremont Brewing’s potential IPA release soon in the future. Another great choice would absolutely be 7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA, which comes in 16oz cans at 8.4%!!!! Wish we could have found a few of those for the trip.

 

  • (3) Suffer the Weight, Not the Beer-less Moments –   Nothing is worse then getting to your site and knowing that you could have handled another 6 pack in your pack. You will want that 72oz of greatness! Pack as much as you can possibly muster without injuring yourself. Remember that the trek back will be a heck of a lot lighter!

 

From all of us at BeerBlotter.com – Have a hell of summer!

Events for Week of July 5

Watch the World Cup Finals this Sunday at Sunswick 35/35 in Queens, NYC

I’ve been out of service, out-of-town camping on this epic beach located on the most Northern part of the Olympic Peninsula. This weekend, I went on my first backpacking trip. We swam in the Pacific Ocean, sat by a bonfire on a beach, watched sea lions play and learned that beer is a precious commodity. We opted to bring cans of 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA and Oskar Blues’ Scotch Ale. Damn good beers, especially after being chilled in the cold creek. But we are back to civilization and I have the remainder of your week in beer.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Full Sail Pint Night: Hood River, Oregon

5:00PM-9:00PM @ Full Sail Brewing Co.

Beer blotter loves drinking for a cause, so tonight, for every pint of Full Sail purchased and drank, $1 will be donated to benefit for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

BELL’S ON: Louisville, Kentucky

12:00PM-12:00AM @ Louisville Beer Store

The Bell’s Brewery beer menu includes (its incredible):

* Hopslam
* Batch 9000 (Imperial Stout)
* Bourbon Barrel Hell Hath No Fury
* Rye Stout
* Expedition Stout (firkin)
* Oberon
* Two Hearted Ale
* Oarsman Ale (Berliner Weisse)
* Sparkling Ale (Belgian Strong)
* Poolside Cherry Wheat
* Lager of the Lakes
* Amber Ale
* Consecrator Doppelbock

*2oz samples, beer flights, and full size pours (10oz, 12oz, 16oz.) will be available. Select beers will be available for growler fills.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Oskar Blues Tasting: Post Falls, Idaho

5:00PM- 6:30PM @ Enotea, Fine Wine and Beer

Oskar Blues is brewed out of Colorado and comes in cans only (ideal for backpacking!). This brewery makes a range of beers including a double IPA and an Imperial Stout. Stop by Enotea for an informative session on this environmentally conscience brewery. A fun fact: Lightweight cans enable Oskar Blues to reduce its fuel costs and carbon footprint for shipped beer by 35%.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

POP! Fest, Beer and Popcorn: Warrenville, Illinois

1:00PM-5:00PM @ Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery

This sounds interesting- Beer and Gourmet Popcorn pairings with beers from Chicagoland Rock Bottom locations, Goose Island, Flossmoor Station, Gordon Biersch, and Metropolitan Brewing Co. This event costs $15.00.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Victory World Cup Final Event: Queens, New York

2:00PM – 6:00PM @ Sunswick 35/35

Ok, so the USA isnt in the finals, its still a damn exciting event. Come watch the World Cup Final w/8 selections from Victory Brewing Company. The lineup will be announced sometime this week.

Sorry for the short week, but it was nice to get away and be disconnected from all that is life. The camping trip brought up an interesting article idea: what beers are best for backpacking? You want a can, you want strength, but you want something that will be refreshing and taste good when its not chilled. More on that later. But as always, if you have any thoughts, comments, questions about an event, canned beer and camping or anything beer related, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com. Cheers!


Timperial Stout’s Guide to Brouwer’s Back in Black Stout Night

No, the other type of stout.

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

Give me!

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