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Events for Week of February 7, 2011

Spend V Day with some amazing brews at Saraveza- Pic courtesy of portlandmercury.com

What was your beer of choice during the Superbowl? Perhaps something to represent the Mid-West? For us, it was homebrew all the way- Hop Chocolate. But now for your week in beer…

 

 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Silver City’s Whoop Pass Double IPA Event: Seattle, WA

4:00PM-10:00PM @ 74th St. Alehouse

Silver City, a brewery located across the Puget Sound on the Kitsap Peninsula, is coming to the city to show off their Double IPA, Whoop Pass. Stop by the 74th St. Alehouse and grab a pint.

 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dogfish Head Night: Limerick, Pennsylvania

6:00PM-12:00AM @ Craft Ale House

Get Ready! Go! DOGFISH HEAD!

60 Minute IPA
75 Minute IPA – firkin
90 Minute IPA
**120 Minute IPA ’09
**Red & White
**Black & Blue
Sah’tea
Theobroma
**Midas Touch
Indian Brown Ale
**World Wide Stout
Raison D’Etre (being poured through Randall the Enamel Animal filled with …)
and maybe more.

I’ve double starred my favorites.

 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heavy Seas Beer Dinner: Cambridge, Maryland

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Blue Point

For $60.00 you get a 5 course dinner paired with deliciously amazing Heavy Seas beers. Here is the menu- get ready to droooool.

he Menu (subject to change)

Heavy Seas Classic Lager paired with Oysters Bingo

Heavy Seas Gold Ale paired with Rock Shrimp & Corn Fritters, Smoked Paprika Aioli

Heavy Seas Marzen paired with Baked Ziti With Italian Sausage, Marinara and Parmesan

Loose Cannon paired with Loose Cannon Braised Short Ribs, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables

Siren Noire paired with Chocolate Bread Pudding, Caramel Anglaise

 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chocolate Beer Craziness: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

5:00PM-8:00PM @ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Check out Iron Hill Brewery‘s line up of chocolate inspired beers. Beer and chocolate, pretty much my two favorite things.

Overload Stout served on nitro
Shokolad Stout served on cask
Oompa Loompa Stout served on nitro
Cowabunga Porter
Bourbon-aged Cowabunga

Plus – complimentary chocolate treats from our kitchen for mug club members.

 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pizza Port 2nd Annual Brewbies: Carlsbad, California

12:00PM-5:00PM @ Pizza Port Carlsbad

Pizza Port Presents its 2nd Annual Brewbies festival! Benefitting the Keep A Breast organization (a local breast cancer awareness organization)! Brewbies is a beer festival for boobies!! 25-30 local and regional beers February 12th, 2011 from noon to 5pm at Pizza Port Carlsbad. Buy your tickets online in advance for $25 or at the door for $30. Ticket includes (4)6oz tasters, collectors glass, I love Boobies Bracelet and (1) raffle ticket. Additional tasters and raffle tickets are $1 each. 100% of the proceeds are donated to breast cancer awareness.

 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Imperial Stout v. Imperial IPA: Plymouth, Massachusetts

12:00PM-5:00PM @ British Beer Company

This is a tough one- two amazing styles head to head- Imperial Stout vs Imperial IPA: a tag team match-up between Dogfish Head Bitches Brew and NE Brewing Co Imperial Stout Trooper vs Sierra Nevada Hoptimum and Dogfish 90 min IPA run through the Randall stuffed with fresh hops and grapefruit peel.

 

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Beery Valentine: Portland, Oregon

5:00PM-9:00PM @ Saraveza Bottle Shop & Pasty Tavern

Brewpublic’s 2nd Annual My Beery Valentine offers a variety of unique, specialty, and one-of-a-kind craft beers with sweethearts and sweettooths in mind.
Pouring on this night:

* Block 15 Love Potion #9

* Cascade Chocolate Raspberry

* Double Mountain Bonne Idée Avec Kriek

* Fort George Bourbon BBL Cavatica

* Fort George Murky Pearl Oyster Stout

* Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis

* Oakshire Heart Shaped Box

* Upright Blend Love

Saraveza will also feature special treats courtesy of Sugar Pimp to pair with these delicious brews.

This event is open to the public. No tickets sold, just show up. It is recommended that you arrive early. For full descriptions of the beers listed, visit  http://brewpublic.com/events

 

If you would like us to promote an event or want to comment about an event that you went to, please leave a comment or email me at jess@beerblotter.com! Cheers!

 

A Quick GABF Review: Washington Shows Up, Pizza Port Destroys.

September 20, 2010 2 comments

The results are in. Washington takes 7 medals.

Well, the results are in. GABF 2010 is officially over and the results have been tabulated. Thanks, Pizza Port, for not taking all of the medals.

While Washington put up a reasonable fight, the show was stolen by several Southern California brewers, who swallowed up all of the best brewpub awards this year at the GABF.

Here is what we see.

 

Washington shows up.

 

Washington appears to have turned in a respectable finish, earning a total of 7 medals (well, if you count Pyramid). Out of the total 237 Medals, Washington will take 1/34th of the medals. But, in a year where the event seems to have been dominated by San Diego brewers, its an ok finish.

Washington award winners include the following:

 

Hales Ales – Kolsch Ale  – Gold Medal

 

Chuckanut Brewing – Vienna Lager – Gold Medal

 

RAM Tacoma – Total Disorder Porter – Gold Medal

 

Elysian Brewing – Dark O The Moon – Silver Medal

 

Pyramid Brewing – Apricot Ale – Silver Medal

 

Boundary Bay Imperial Oatmeal Stout – Bronze Medal

 

Chuckanut Brewing – Pilsner – Bronze Medal

 

San Diego is on fire.

 

This was the year for So. Cal. San Diego brewers, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey/Pizza Port, Ballast Point, Karl Strauss and Stone Brewing, took home a total of 14 medals. Los Angeles brewpub, TAPS, took home three medals, as well.

Pizza Port Carlsbad is the big winner with a total of 6 medals (almost matching Washington state). The brewpub is one of several brewpub locations for the retail line of Port Brewing/Lost Abbey. The Carlsbad location is headed by brewer Jeff Bagby, who took home the Best Large Brewpub of the Year, for the second straight year.

Pizza Port’s San Clemente pub took home the Small Brewpub of the Year, while also collecting the Gold Medals in the two most hotly-contested categories – American-Style IPA and Imperial IPA. We cannot wait to get a taste of these ales during San Diego Beer Week.

One other note: Fathead’s Brewery took home the Silver Medal in the American-Style IPA category. This is the same IPA that floored us during a recent trip to the Cleveland brewer’s pub. Try to get this if you ever visit.

Check out the complete list of winners by following this link. Start planning your trip for next year’s September event!

 

Top 25 Breweries to Check Out at GABF, Part 3

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

It gets a little crazy at GABF

Yes, that’s right, it’s time for the third and final installment of my Top 25 Breweries to Check out at GABF.  Just in case you missed the first two installments, click here for part one (first 10 choices) and here for part two (next 8 choices).

My final 7 choices begin now, and remember, these are in no particular order.

Flossmoor Station – When I think of Chicago area breweries I immediately think of Goose Island, Three Floyds and Flossmoor Station.  Oddly though, I have never had a single beer from FS.  I know them only by reputation.  Since they are technically a brew pub, they utilize their smaller scale and constantly experiment, more often than not, with positive results.  If I were going to GABF, I would be strongly inclined to check them off my list.

Stewart’s Brewing Co. – These guys are from Bear, DE which really isn’t that far outside of Philly, but oddly they don’t have a very strong distribution in the area (at least they didn’t when I lived there).  If things haven’t changed in a big way, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a decent amount of Northeast residents that are unfamiliar with Stewart’s completely.  They are extremely low-key to say the least.  I remember seeing them at some of my first ever beer fests in PA like Kennett Brewfest and Philly Craft Beer Fest and wondering who they were and where they came from.  Quite a few festivals came and went before I actually was brave enough to try their product and, once I did, I was appalled that I had missed out on so many opportunities.  From then on I never passed them by, and was never once disappointed.

Odell Brewing Co. – It wasn’t until Odell started their Woodcut Series back in ’08 that my radar picked these guys up.  This past May saw the 4th release in the line, an oak aged lager.  All four have a 96 or higher on ratebeer.com.  From what I understand, their standard offerings are pretty darn solid as well, especially the IPA.  Working with wood, a lot of hops, brett…these guys might be on the trend train, but I want on board.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. – You know that other massive American-based brew fest, The World Beer Cup?  Yeah well it’s huge and Firestone Walker has won the Champion Mid-sized Brewery three times now.  As far as I know, that’s unprecedented.  It’s quite clear, these guys are one of the best around when it comes to making beer.  Union Jack is probably my favorite single IPA in the world.  Double Jack is easily in my top 5 favorite double IPAs in the world.  Abacus is very possibly my favorite all time barleywine.  Their anniversary beers are outstanding, Parabola, I mean come on… If I didn’t put these guys on the list somewhere I would have to kick my own ass.

FiftyFifty Brewing Co. – I would imagine that there is a few of you out there that read Draft Magazine.  You know, the Playboy of beer.  Beer porn.  Anyway, do you know the section called “What’s In a Name?”  That is where I first heard of FiftyFifty.  Though I can’t exactly recall the details of the story, I remember being intrigued.  I also liked the imagery and design that they evoked through their labels and website.  As it turns out, they make a killer imperial stout, or so I gather.  It’s a 100 on ratebeer.com and it won bronze at last years GABF in the “Other Strong Beer” category.  Obviously, Timperial Stout wants to take a stab at this one.

Ballast Point Brewing Co. – The San Diego beer scene is a force to be reckoned with.  Stone, Green Flash, Alesmith, Port/Lost Abbey/Pizza Port, Alpine, Coronado…I’m out of breath.  All of these breweries make amazing beer and It’s really impossible to dispute that.  If you were to fish for one thing that seems to tie all of these breweries together, it would be hops.  Every one of these breweries, with the exception of the Belgian style based Lost Abbey (but Tomme’s other labels pick up the slack there), make stellar IPAs.  Ballast Point makes at least three and each is more stunning than the last.  If you find yourself in dire need of a little IBU boost at GABF, take a gander at BPB’s booth and see if Sculpin is a flowin’.

AleSmith Brewing Co. – I shudder a little bit when I think about Alesmith, in the very best way possible.  I love this brewery so much.  I wish everyday that Seattle would distribute their product, though all it really takes is a trip to Portland for purposes of stocking-up.  I love Alesmith so much because I very passionately enjoy a lot of their beers.  I’ll never forget the first time I tried, well, most of the beers that I’ve tried by them.  The IPA is, like I said above, from San Diego.  There’s just something special about those SD IPAs.  Horny Devil is so perfectly Belgian with its fantastic sweetness and remarkably balanced spiciness.  Old Numbskull is all that you could ever ask for in a barleywine.  And Speedway Stout my friends…to drink Speedway Stout is to have a religious experience.  I can tell you that there was a large period of time when I was very quick to answer any brave soul willing to ask me what my number 1 favorite beer of all time was with, Speedway Stout.  Now I’m a bit more cautious to answer that question but, if I was forced to at gun point, my answer would be Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.  Possibly if I were to get a hold of the barrel aged version of Speedway, that answer would be different.

Well that about covers it.  If you are going to GABF this week, damn you, I am super jealous.  Please do your very best to enjoy each and every minute of it.  Visit the breweries that you know and love, but also visit the breweries that you have always wanted to try but couldn’t for whatever reason.  I am very hopeful that my musings can be found valuable to you in some way.  If you have other suggestions for our readers, please do not hesitate to post a comment.  If you end up checking out a brewery that I recommended and you have an opinion on their product, good or bad, let us know.  Safe travels to you all.

Top 25 Breweries to Check Out at GABF, Part 1

September 3, 2010 6 comments

"Great" is in the name for a reason.

The 29th edition of the Great American Beer Festival is just 2 weeks away.  Sadly, I’m not going to make it this year.  Even sadder, I’ve never made it.  It’s on my bucket list, I assure you, but I can only really afford one big trip a year and the last few years…well, it didn’t make the cut for one reason or another.  I already took my trip this year.  I went to Belgium.  I think that that’s a pretty good excuse.

But, just because I’m not going doesn’t mean that I can’t pretend.  I’ve decided to make a list of the 25 breweries that I would visit at the fest if I where going.  Hopefully, this will be of assistance to some of our readers out there that are going.  Of course, this list is strongly influenced by my beer experiences, which are most likely very different from yours.  Maybe you grew up in WI and have had all the New Glarus you can handle.  That’s OK, but I have had a very minimal experience with NGB and given that it is a very well-respected brewery with minimal distribution, I’d visit their booth.  Just a small example of the way this will go down.

Considering that there are roughly 460 breweries pouring at the fest, one needs to develop a game plan.  Otherwise, ones head would likely explode.  My general rule would be to make sure that all of the brewery’s booths that I visit fit into 1 of 3 main categories.

These categories are as follows:

1) Breweries whose product I have never tasted, due to never living or visiting within the distribution area, and whose product is met with great respect in the beer community.  Breweries who I may have never heard a “buzz” about before but have been big winners in past GABFs would also fit into this category.

2) Breweries whose product I have tasted before, but whose product is met with such a profound respect in the beer community that I would desire to drink said product at anytime, anywhere.

3) Breweries whose product I have tasted before in my time living and drinking in the Northeast, but are either missed greatly by me or have released new products since my departure that I have not yet tasted.

With as many breweries as are attending this year’s fest, these rules alone would by no means whittle the list down to 25.  I’ll tell you right now that I will be forced, quite painfully I may add, to leave some true gems off the list, but no one ever said it was easy to make lists like this.  Here’s my first 10 choices, in no particular order.

New Glarus Brewing Co. – I mentioned these guys above so I might as well put them on here first.  NGB only distributes to WI.  That makes it a bit of a challenge for a lot of us to get.  Thanks to a good friend’s willingness to share, I was able to taste a few of the standard releases about a month ago.  They were quality brews with great ratings from the community, but it’s their rarities that really put NGB up on a pedestal.  If they were pouring Raspberry Tart I just might get in line twice.

Dry Dock Brewing Co. – This is a very small brewpub out of Aurora, CO but it was awarded the Small Brewery of the Year at last year’s GABF.  That’s enough to pique my interest.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. – I hope to visit this Michigan brewery in December when I visit my girlfriend’s family.  Their Raspberry Eisbock and 4th Dementia Old Ale are both subject to a cult following in the beer community.  These are two of my favorite styles and I would have a hard time coming up with many beers in the world that I want to get my hands on more.

Foothills Brewing – This North Carolina brewery is mostly famous for their imperial stout called Sexual Chocolate.  Not only is it massively hyped on the internets, but it won the bronze metal last year in the Impy Stout category.  That gives it some pretty respectable cred if you ask me.  Timperial wants.

Pizza Port/Port Brewing/Lost Abbey – This is Tomme Arthur’s world.  Tomme is a living beer legend for a reason.  I’d steer more toward the Pizza Port offerings simply because I have not tasted their particular brand of grog.  There are four different Pizza Port locations that enter beer, and they all seem to do very well in the competition.  I’d lean more toward the San Clemente and Calsbad locales.

McKenzie Brew House – Even the biggest beer junkies in the West may have never heard of this one.  It’s actually in Glen Mills, PA which is the town that I grew up in.  The “town” (no actual downtown) is so small that I very rarely tell people that I grew up there in order to combat the blank stare that I would no doubt receive.  I just tell people that I grew up in West Chester, PA because there is at least a remote chance that they would have heard of that one.  Anyway, this is not only on the list because it fits into category 3 above but because they have been winning a bunch of awards lately.  Check them out, you won’t be disappointed.

Iron Hill Brewery – Another small brew pub that is near and dear to my heart from back east.  I’d venture to say that these guys make some of the best beer I’ve ever had.  Not a single trip back home will pass without a stop here.  Seattleites just may have sampled some of their product at Elysian’s Pumpkin Fest.

The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery – I couldn’t really name one particular reason to check these guys out, I just know that I have read about them for various reasons for quite some time now.  Another very high quality brewer from North Carolina.

Cigar City Brewing – If you have never heard of Cigar City, you need to read more.  These guys are absolutely blowing up the world of craft brewing right now, and they are still super new.  If I could get a little bit personal with you for just one moment.  I have a goal that I’m working toward.  That goal is to open my own brewery in the next few years (I know, aren’t I just so unique).   With this in mind, I am constantly analyzing breweries – learning from their positive and negative attributes.  There are two American craft breweries that have opened in the past few years that exploded in popularity right from the onset.  Obviously, I want my brewery to open in such a way as well.  Tampa, FL’s Cigar City and the next brewery on my list are two businesses that should be analyzed by all future entrepreneurs.

The Bruery – I feel like we talk these guys up on the blog all the time.  These guys are amongst the top ten breweries in America, hands down.  I really shouldn’t have to go into it any deeper.

I have 15 more to choose, so check back frequently in the waning days of the pre-GABF calendar.

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