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Upright Brewing To Celebate 2nd Anniversary

Scandalous

 

Upright Brewing is one of the Northwest’s brightest young talents (to put in a sporting vernacular). In just 2 years they have managed to gain a much coveted spot on ratebeer.com‘s annual Top 100 Brewers In The World List (92 position) and they came in at number 14 in the top 50 breweries to visit list.  I’m fairly confident that if rate beer had made a top 50 list of best beer labels in the world that Four Play label over there would be highly ranked as well.

Needless to say, these guys are doing some really fantastic things.  They’ve effortlessly coupled innovation with pristine quality and impressive craftsmanship.  If you’ve had any of Upright’s beers and you’ve visited their basement brewery, I know I’m preaching to the choir.  It’s mostly just exciting that they have been acknowledged so quickly, especially since so many amazing NW breweries go under the radar.

For me, being a huge fan of saisons, Upright has become a brewery that I would rank very highly in my own list of most exciting breweries, either new, old or in between.  Their use of open fermentation is something that is most intriguing to me.   I still don’t know much about it, but it’s clearly working very well for these Portland fellows.  There is no doubt that Upright Brewing is a great inspiration to me and should be to anyone that has a dream of opening a brewery.

This anniversary party ranks up there in excitement levels (for me) with such recent Portland area events as the opening of the Cascade Barrel House and the opening of the Hair of the Dog Tasting room.  The prospect of getting a few bottles of Four Play and Apricot Anniversary Ale are what cellar dwellers dream of.  If anyone else is going down there let us know by adding a comment.  Maybe we can hook up and chat beer.

Here’s the details from Upright:

 

What/Why:
Oregon’s only farmhouse inspired craft brewery Upright Brewing is turning 2 years old and celebrating with a party on Sunday March 20th from 1-6pm at the Tasting Room. The party will also mark the return of perhaps the breweries most anticipated annual release Four Play a sour farmhouse cherry wheat beer aged in Pinot Barrels.

About Upright Brewing
During the last two short years the small production brewery just east of the Broadway bridge has been devoted to producing some of Portland’s most diverse range of beers, focusing on a French/Belgian inspired farmhouse-style, but brewing without inhibition as evidenced by their historic takes on English Old Ale and Oyster Stout or their authentic German Gose and Engelberg Pilsener.

Upright recently added three new tanks, using one to produce a year-round hop forward German-style pilsener for draft only. It’s called Engelberg Pils, a nod to Mt. Angel where all of the brewery’s hops are sourced. The other two tanks will enable the brewery to produce more one-off draft beers and also allow production of at least eight annual seasonal bottled batches throughout the year. As always, the numbered beers that Upright has focused on since the beginning will continue to be fermented in our unique open-top tanks. The new year has also brought expanded distribution for Upright’s beers with Lime Ventures now bringing the bottles and occasional draft beer to the Northern California market adding even more west coast cities that include north to Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

About Four Play
In celebration of the brewery anniversary, it’s becoming tradition to release Four Play, a very Belgian-esque beer based on Upright’s wheat beer (named Four) but barrel-aged for a year with cherries, souring yeasts and bacteria. Four Play is blended from former pinot noir barrels that yield a rosy looking sour ale with wonderfully complex aromas and flavors. It’s always a limited release and the 2011 batch is represented by only 67 cases and 3 kegs, all of which the brewers believe is their finest and suitable for cellaring up to 5 years.

About the 2 Year Anniversary Party
In addition to the extremely rare Four Play one of only 3 kegs on draft Upright will also be releasing something even more rare in bottle, last years Apricot Anniversary Ale aged in Ransom Spirits Old Tom Gin Barrels of which there are less than 3 cases of 750ml bottles. To top it off look for a special cask of this years edition of the World Beer Cup award winning Gose stuffed Dry Hops and extra Salt.

Follow Upright Brewing:

Website

http://www.uprightbrewing.com

Twitter

http://twitter.com/uprightbrewing

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/uprightbrewing

Blog

http://uprightbrewingblog.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

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 2

September 10, 2010 1 comment

GABF is a comin'

When we last left off I had 15 more breweries to chose in my top 25.  If you missed the intro and the first 10, check this out.  Remember, these are in no particular order.  No sense in delaying any further… here is my next 8.

Weyerbacher Brewing Co. – If I where to say that these guys are the best production brewers in my home state of PA, I’d be telling you that they are better than Stoudts, Troegs, and Victory.  That would be a very bold statement, so I’m not going to make it, but they are the only one of the four that I’m putting on this list.  I miss their brews severly.  Double Simcoe IPA is outstanding, as is pretty much anything they attempt in the Belgian realm.  Oh, and Blithering Idiot Barleywine…what I wouldn’t give to have one of those in hand right now…

Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Company – You have heard our OH contingent gush about these Akron brewers for a while now.  HFB makes some seriously extreme stouts and IPAs.  It seems as though they have an endless supply of recipes for both.  Or maybe they just take one and let it manifest in as many ways as possible.  Either way, it’s very exciting to follow, and I know I’m not alone on that.  We all know what styles the beer nerds like the most – stouts and IPAs.  Good game plan boys.  Keep it up.

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company – Over the past few years this NY brewery has been getting loads of praise from media sources of all kinds.  I’m sure being based just north of the Big City doesn’t hurt on that front, but they do have 20 beers with scores of 90 or greater on ratebeer.com.  From what I have read, they have a passion for sours and they do them very well.  Stroll up to their booth, ask about Flemish influence and see where it leads you.  I don’t think you will regret it.

Portsmouth Brewery – There is this little beer that comes out of a little New England brewery called Kate the Great.  Ever heard of it?  Talk about outlandish hype.  No matter what feelings you may harbor about wildly hyped beers, you know full well that, given the chance, you would want to taste and build your own opinion.  That’s where I’m at and that’s why I want to visit their booth.  Even if they aren’t pouring Kate, are they a one hit wonder?

Short’s Brewing Co. – My knowledge of Short’s is actually quite, well…short.  Since I have plans to go to MI for the first time this Christmas, I have been doing extensive research about breweries and bars to visit.  MI has to be one of the best states in the entire union to visit for beer purposes.  There are so many fantastic breweries there, it’s kind of absurd.  I’ve already mentioned Kuhnhenn, and will follow this addition with Founders.  I’ve decided to leave off Bell’s because, though I love them, they simply aren’t in the top 25 for me.  This is not to mention Jolly Pumpkin, Arcadia, Dark Horse, Dragonmead, New Holland, good god… so many to chose from.  Alas, I can’t chose them all.  Of those that I have never tasted, Short’s seems to have the most community support behind them at the moment, and thus, they make my list.  Oddly enough, I received a tweet from Short’s very recently announcing the beer that they will be pouring at GABF.  Instead of just posting the link here, in fear of you not taking my word for it and following said link and reading what they are bringing, I’m going to just paste it in below.  This is insanity to the nth degree.

Short’s Announces Floor Beers for GABF

In true Short’s fashion, and keeping with the tradition of past Great American Beer Festivals (GABF), this years list of beers to be poured at the 2010 GABF certainly does not disappoint. Short’s will be pouring everything from cult favorites, to popular concept beers, and will even be including a highly rumored yet rarely seen barley wine behemoth!

Anniversary Ale
Blood Orange Wheat Wine
Estimated ABV- 9.6%
Estimated IBU’s- 76
Hops- lots, Simcoe
Malts- lots (from Briess in WI)
Notes- Blood orange puree fermented w/ a super hopped wheat wine, dry hopped and spice w/ blood orange zest and green peppercorns. The blood oranges lend a wonderful purple hue to this amazingly sessionable monster of a beer.

Bourbon Wizard
Barley Wine aged in Bourbon barrels for 10 months
Estimated ABV- 12%
Estimated IBU’s- 50+
Hops- Cascade
Malts- 6 different varieties
Notes- This beer had a boil time of 6hrs and 66mins, and was batch number 666 brewed on devils night 2008. It was also fermented w/ 30 lbs of raisins. Big sweet toffee flavors complimented by the sweetness of the raisins. The bourbon barrels add some subtle vanilla tones and slight oak qualities. A very session worthy barley wine.

Black Licorice Lager
Black Lager spiced w/ Vanilla bean, chocolate mint, and anise
Estimated ABV-6.5%
Estimated IBU’s- 24
Hops- Santium
Malts- lots
Notes- Sweet chocolate and roasted malt characteristics compliment the additions of vanilla bean, anise, and chocolate mint. The vanilla aromas are found in the nose and in the initial flavors up front, followed quickly by the anise. The finish (especially when it warms a bit) contains the chocolate mint, preventing the anise from becoming too overwhelming.

Key Lime Pie
Golden Ale made w/ fresh limes, milk sugar, graham cracker, and marshmallow fluff
Estimated ABV- 5.5%
Estimated IBU’s- 21
Hops- Cascade, Simcoe
Malts- Pilsen, Munich, Vicotry
Notes- This beer sounds too good to believe, but it’s exactly that. Attempted last year as a new concept beer, it has already been remade twice, and there are plans to distribute a limited amount in six packs. Made w/ fresh limes, milk sugar, graham cracker, and marshmallow fluff we were able to recreate this popular dessert into a heavenly drinkable version.

Imperial Spruce India Pilsner
Imperial Pilsner hopped as an IPA and spice w/ Blue Spruce needles
Estimated ABV- 7.2%
Estimated IBU’s- 90
Hops- Summit
Malts- Pilsen and maze from Briess Malt in WI
Other Notes- fermented w/ tons of N. Michigan blue spruce tips. The spruce presence is enormous giving the beer a refreshing “gin like” quality when it is cold, that almost becomes “sap like” as it warms up. Surprisingly light bodied considering the big flavors of spruce and complimentary summit hops

Founders Brewing Company – Everyone that I know that has ever tried the product of Founders considers them to be one of the best breweries in America.  I have tried their product and I think they are one of the best breweries in America.  If you go to their website and take a look at their 5 year round beers, 3 seasonals and 7 specialty releases, you will most likely be impressed.  What they do, they do extremely well.  This is one of those breweries that you could blindly approach their booth, outstretch a finger, and no matter what ends up in your glass, you will not be disappointed.

Clipper City Brewing Co. – You may know these guys as Heavy Seas.  Not at all unlike Founders above, each and every beer that CCB makes is outstanding.  I’m a beer geek, and light pilsners are generally boring and worthless to me.  Hand me a Small Craft Warning Pils and I’d thank you twice.  The thing that would most excite me about visiting the CCB booth at GABF is the fact that, when I lived and drank in PA, the Pyrate Fleet (see brewery website) was all there was.  I want some of that Mutiny Fleet so bad!

Three Floyds Brewing Co. – I just laughed to myself.  You know, of all of the breweries I have listed so far, for some reason this one seems the most obvious.  It’s Three Floyds people, it’s Three Floyds.  Ok, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t make such assumptions.  TFB makes a beer called Dark Lord.  It’s an imperial stout.  It’s amongst the most sought after beers in the world.  TFB also makes an imperial IPA called Dreadnaught.  If Dark Lord didn’t exist, Dreadnaught would easily take it’s place as one of the most sought after beers in the world.  Oh yeah, and everything else that they make is delicious.  Another note – they host the best brewery tour that I have ever experienced.

Sorry folks, but you are going to have to wait just a bit longer for the remainder of my choices.  Don’t fret, you’ll get them before your plane leaves for rocky mountian high…

Notes of a Beer Nerd: Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.’s Saison Athene

August 16, 2010 1 comment

Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.'s Saison Athene

***This was originally published on 1/1/2010. But with it being summer, and with St. Somewhere finally distributing to Seattle – its time to whet your appetite for a damn tasty saison.***

Enjoyed on 12/23/2009

Brewery: Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.

Location: Tarpon Springs, FL

Beer: Saison Athene

Web: http://www.saintsomewherebrewing.com/

Presentation: 750 ML – Brown Glass Bottle, corked and caged

Vintage: 2009

Style: Belgian Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 7.5%

IBU: N/A

Hops: N/A

Malt: N/A

Vessel: Tulip

Recommended Serving Temp: 50 degrees

Notes from the bottle: Saison Athene is brewed in the spirit of the great farmhouse ales of the Wellonia, a region of Belgium near the French border.  Saison translates to “season” and was traditionally brewed in the winter, to be enjoyed in the summer.  Saison Athene is brewed in Florida, the land of the endless summer, and can be enjoyed year-round.  Spicy, rustic, refreshingly hoppy, a little wild and funky with a dry finish, Athene is hand crafted with attention to the Art of Brewing using only the finest ingredients. Unfiltered and bottle conditioned, Athene can be cellared like a fine wine.  The flavor and aroma will continue to develop and change for several years, but why wait?  Take one to enjoy now and another to save for a special occasion.

Food Pairings: Thai, sausage, hot summer picnic food

Cheese Pairings: Camembert, asiago, gorgonzola

Beer Advocate: B+

Rate Beer: 90 (3.56)

Timperialstout’s Notes:

Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. is the latest addition to the long list of breweries that have added Washington State to their distributorship this year.  I hadn’t ever heard of this one before I saw it at 99 Bottles in Federal Way and co-owner Tiffany expressed her excitement about its arrival.  She had apparently been asking her distributor to carry it for some time, and alas, it arrived.  I’d like to thoroughly thank her for her efforts.  This is an amazing saison.

Saint Somewhere is a small batch craft brewery that produces bottle-conditioned, un-filtered Belgian-style ales.  They only brew with Belgian malts and whole leaf, noble hops.  Along with the use of their own Belgian yeast strain, they use their own dark candi sugar and inject a dose of Brettanomyces yeast at bottling.

As of now it appears as though they only bottle 3 different brews: Saison Athene (Belgian Saison/Farmhouse Ale, found here), Lectio Divina (Belgian Strong Pale Ale, review coming soon), and their newest, Pays du Soleil (Belgian Dubbel, not available in WA, that I know of).  The brewery website says they only distribute to FL, NY, PA, and MA.

Saison is the French word for “season” and is a beer style, sometimes called a Farmhouse Ale, that was developed in the French speaking region of Belgium.  Traditionally, they were brewed in the winter months for the farm workers to enjoy in late summer, read: harvest season.  It’s clearly winter in North America, and us here at Beer Blotter have been doing our best to bring the winter/Christmas beers to the forefront, but sometimes…It’s really fun to get into a beer from/for the opposite season and fantasize about the exciting elements that define the season furthest from us.  Before moving on I’d like to briefly return to the idea of brewing a special beer for the farm workers.  Now I realize that the advent of water treatment has rendered this concept defunct, but man do I wish my boss would feed me this brew (or any beer at all for that matter) on the busiest days of the year.  I’d work like a damn dog!

She pours a cloudy gold that’s just so inviting and bright.  Strong carbonation for sure.  A beast of a voluminous, rocky head rises on the pour and leaves thick blobs on the glass.  It’s slow to subside and never really completely dissipates.  Bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass for quite a bit, fooling the eye into seeing chunky, bottle-conditioning yeast.  Though this is indeed bottle-conditioned and a layer of white sludge can easily be seen on the bottom of the bottle, there doesn’t seem to be any loose yeast settling in my glass.  Never-the-less, the fluid has poor clarity…chalked full of flavor.

According to the ratebeer.com page, this one was brewed with chamomile, fresh rosemary and black pepper.  How on Earth does the website not say that?!  The pepper was evident before I read that, and now that chamomile flowers are on the mind I can pick them up, but rosemary, not catching it.  I am getting a lot of clove, cinnamon, green apple, earthy hay, and a little funk from the Brett.  Actually, that cinnamon aroma is quite relevant, and perplexing.  Slightly medicinal.  Really, really inviting scent.

The flavors, for the most part, match the scent, which is epic (not sure if I mentioned that).  The carbonation makes the flavors pop and the funky Brett adds to the complexity without being overbearing. The aftertaste is dry, but fills me with ideas of what I’m tasting and urges me to take another swig.  Hops present a lot of citrus, mostly lemon, a drizzle of pineapple juice, but all-in-all, an acidity that dances with the funk and makes me giddy for more.  I would venture to say this is the best saison I have ever had, and I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I bought it.  Needless to say, I will be buying more of this one, not only to enjoy it again in all its glory, but to support the brewery’s decision to ship to WA (or the distributor’s decision to acquire it).
I now must plead to you.  Try this beer, soon.  And if you like it, keep buying it so that we show FL that WA knows and loves great craft brewing, and hopefully we will then be able to get any and every beer that Saint Somewhere ever makes, and our lives will be better for it.

If you like Saison Athene, you should try…

Dupont ‘s Avec les Bons Voeux; Southhampton’s Saison; and Ommegang’s Hennepin

Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard earned money at a local bottle shop.

Props to Local Seattle Bar: Naked City

Naked City: Congrats on making the Top 50 List!

Every year, ratebeer.com publishes their “Top 50″ lists. Top beers, top beer bars, top retired beers, Beer Gods’ top beers….you get the point. Local Seattle beer bar, Naked City Taphouse clenched spot 42 out of 50 for best beer bar in the US of A. CONGRATS!

Naked City is just over a year old and has an undeniable cult following.  Let us divulge why Naked City made the Top 50 Best Beer Bars on ratebeer.com and why its one of Beer Blotter’s favorites as well. First of all, Naked City is one of the only beer bars in the entire country that consistently updates their tap list online via the bar’s website and twitter page. The moment a tap is changed, the bartender or manger on duty heads to the back and inputs the information into a computerized register. Once the new beer is selected in the register, the twitter page and website are automatically updated.  Its like magic.

 With an extensive tap list of approximately 2 dozen beers, there is always something for everyone and a wide range of breweries.  Speaking of breweries, Naked City has several beers on tap that are made in house. Currently, the following Naked City beers are on tap: Brother Orchid- Abbey Style Brown Ale; Simplicity- Belgium Style Singel; Une Terreur Sainte- Belgium Style Strong Golden; and Hoptrocity.

Monthly, sometimes weekly events range from a previews of local beer festivals to featured brewers nights.  Come early if you want a seat or wait and mingle with the crowd. Either way your guarenteed to have a great time and an amazing beer.

Notes of a Beer Nerd: The Bruery Rugbrod

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

The Bruery Rugbrod: One Damn God Rye Beer!

Enjoyed on: 12/13/2009

Brewery: The Bruery

Location: Placentia, CA

Beer: Rugbrod

Web: http://www.thebruery.com/

Presentation: 750 ML – Brown Glass Bottle

Vintage: 2009

Style: Julebryg / Dark Rye Ale

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 8%

IBU: 30

Hops: N/A

Malt: 3 types of Rye

Vessel: Tulip

Recommended Serving Temp: 50 degrees

Notes from the bottle: A deep auburn colored robust Danish-style ale with spicy rye, and caramelly, bready malts.  Rugbrod Rye Ale is suitable for aging up to 2 years when cellared properly, around 55 F (13 C) in a dark place.  Best served at 50 F (10 C).  Pour carefully, leaving the yeast sediment behind in the bottle.  Best served in a tulip or wine glass.  For proper pronunciation, chef recommended food pairings and recipes, please visit our website.

Food Pairings: Pork, lamb

Cheese Pairings: Monterey, Pepper Jack

Beer Advocate: B+

Rate Beer: 89 (3.58)

Timperialstout’s Notes:

What the hell is Rugbrod?  Good question, I didn’t know either.  As is turns out, Rugbrod means “rye bread” in Danish.  What the hell is a Julebryg?  Good question, I didn’t know either.  As it turns out, Julebryg is a Scandinavian term for a winter warmer.  Tis’ the season.  Now that we have crossed the language barrier, let’s see what this unique brew offers.

This one is unfiltered and bottle conditioned.  A subtle, inquisitive pour brings a glass full of head.  It takes several minutes and a lot of patience to get a tulip full of beer.  A dark  auburn fluid eventually settles out from the luscious tan head.  The scent is so warm and cozy I wish I was enjoying this by a fire in a remote European village.  Understandably Danish, it’s Belgium that comes to mind when i put my nose to it.  So bready!  Croissants and ryes and pumpernickel.  A faint fruitiness lends the Belgium thoughts.

Despite the big head there is not a lot of carbonation feel to the liquid.  The mouthfeel is pleasantly smooth and some alcohol comes through as it warms.

The flavors are more of yeast with mild fruitcake notes.  A drying aftertaste is present, like I just swallowed a mouthful of absorbent, porous bread.  Bread, bread, bread… so much bread here.  Rye beers are not extremely common, yes, but I have no doubt had my share, and none have tasted quite so much like the bread.

I’ve always had a great appreciation for bread, in its many forms.  Some subtle, even bland, other deep and flavorful.  It seems like such a simple food, something that has always fed man.  Sustenance for the most poor, a simple pleasure for the most rich.  The process of baking bread and its ingredients make it a similar product to beer in many ways, and it is surely a great accompaniment as well.  Throw some cheese in the mix and I think I’d have all I ever need for a happy life.

Some chocolaty, caramelly flavors come through well after the swallow reminiscent of Werther’s Original Caramels.  The Bruery really made something special here.  Unique, intriguing, historic, delicious.  My hat’s off to the Family Rue.

If you like Rugbrod, good luck finding something similar.  If you like rye you should try, or buy:

Bear Republic Brewery’s  Hop Rod Rye; Two Brothers Brewing’s Cane & Ebel; Left Hand Brewing Co.’s  Terra-Rye’ZD

Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard earned money at a local bottle shop .

Events for the week of December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009 1 comment

The Old Toad, a British Pub in Rochester, NY

The countdown to Christmas Day is in full effect, so one can only imagine the lack of beer events to unveil.  In place of events, this post will provide more information on what will be on tap leading up to Christmas Day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Extreme Winter Beers: New York, New York

5:00 PM- until close @ Rattle N’ Hum

A continuation from last week, this event wraps up tomorrow night.  This tap list is top notch and full of Christmas beers and “Winter Warmers.”  Start your holiday week off with the spirit of Christmas in liquid form: Corsendonk Christmas Ale, Elysian Bifrost, Troegs Mad Elf, Heavy Seas Winter Storm and many many many more. For a full list, visit ratebeer.com.

Lagunitas Tasting: Portland, Oregon

5:00 PM-8:00 PM @ The Beermongers

Join the Beermongers for a special Lagunitas Tasting Event and Holiday “Give the Gift of Beer” Sale. Although a list is not posted on the venue’s website, expect to taste brews such as Lagunitas Brown Shugga and Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Extra and the brewery’s seasonal Cappuccino Stout.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Give a Pint, Get a Pint: Escondido, California

10:00 AM- 5:00 PM @ Stone Brewing Co.

Today and tomorrow, come by Stone Brewing Co., donate a pint of blood and enjoy a great tasting beer in your brand spanking new pint glass.  This event is just one of the many thing Stone Brewing Co. is doing this holiday season to help others in need.  Bring your canned goods down to the brewery for their annual food drive and/or participate in the Toys for Tots program by bringing in a new toy(s).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Special Kegs!: New York, New York

4:00 PM @ Blind Tiger

For the past month, you have been running around buying gifts for everyone in your life.  Today is the day to buy yourself the gift of beer.  This NYC beer bar is cleaning out the cellar and there will be specialty kegs of the following beers (plus others), Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout (GET THIS!), Allagash Victor, Scaldis Noel, Great Divide Fresh Hop and Stone 13th Anniversary. We can only hope that some of these beers will last through the weekend, as we will be in the Big Apple for the Christmas holiday.

Brown Bag Night: Hollywood, California

6:00 PM- 10:00 PM @ Blue Palms Brewpub

Just in time for the new year, Blue Palms Brewpub is holding a blind tasting with a theme of “The Best of 2009.” Price of admission? Just a bottle or two of your favorite beers of the year, that you bring in for the occasion. Any beer of your choice, provided you think it is “worthy” of “Best of 2009″ consideration. If you’re bringing a 22 oz. or 750 mL bottle, one should be enough. If it’s a 12-ounce bottle or can, please bring two (if possible– if you only have one, just bring the one).

Give a Pint, Get a Pint: Escondido, California

10:00 AM- 5:00 PM @ Stone Brewing Co.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Ale Extravaganza: Rochester, New York

4:00PM- 2:00PM @ The Old Toad

Tonight ends the the range of Christmas/Winter beers on tap at The Old Toad.  Featured beers include, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Ommegang Adoration, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Vintage 08′, Avery Old Jubilation and Sierra Nevada Celebration.

Rare Draft Revelry: Seattle, Washington

3:00 PM- 2:00 AM @ The Beveridge Place Pub

It is the night before Christmas and Beveridge Place Pub is tapping some very special brews: Avery Samael’s, Deschutes Abyss, Schooner Exact Bourbon Hoppy Holidays, ‘t Smisje Catherine the Great Imperial Stout, Dubuisson Cuvee des Trolls, and a mystery bottle…Get a few pints and get home before Santa arrives!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Make sure there is plenty delicious beers to taste and have a very Merry Christmas!

From: Beer Blotter

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Brewery Tours: Brooklyn, New York

1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM @ Brooklyn Brewery

The tours are informative and approximately 20 minutes long which leaves patrons plenty of extra time to taste all of the 8 beers on tap.  The brewery is open from 12:00 PM until 6:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays and pints are only $4.00!

Boxing Day Beer Festival: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

8:00AM (oh yes) – close @ the Memphis Taproom

Starting bright and early, the Memphis Taproom will be featuring a rotating tap list of some of the following seasonal beers: **Lost Abbey Angel’s Share, **Port Brewing Older Viscosity, Lost Abbey Gift of the Maji, Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper and Ommegang Adoration. In keeping with the tradition of Boxing Day, a British holiday, the bar will be collecting canned food and gently used winter coats and warm blankets for donation to two local organizations that distribute to families in need.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winterfest ’09 Beer Tasting: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1:00 PM- 4:00 PM @ World Cafe Live

Space is limited to 250 tickets for this winter beer tasting. Get your spot reserved and enjoy a variety of Stouts, Porters, Winter Seasonals, and Special Holiday Brews.  What beers will be there? Ommegang Three Philosophers, Bells Expedition Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout and Rogue Chocolate Stout, just to name a few that pop. All of the selections are subject to availability.

Between Christmas and all these great beers on tap around the country, beer lovers should be pretty busy this week.  Make sure to check your favorite beer bar’s hours of operation this week, as they might be limited.  Beer Blotter leaves this Wednesday for New York City and we have a ton of stuff planned, so check back this weekend for an update on our beer excursions.  Merry Christmas to all, and to all who go to an event that we listed or know of one worth attending, please leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com.

A Love Affair Between Beer and History: Trappist Brewing

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment

One of the six Trappist Breweries located in Belgium, Rochefort.

Now, we all need a little history in our lives. Knowing the origin of beers will make you understand the complexity of the beer, the flavors of the beer and make you appreciate that specific style of beer even more than you already do. In light of Beer Blotter’s upcoming trip to Belgium, we wanted to provide our readers with some insight into Belgium beers and the monks that brew them.

Trappist beers, are a style of Belgium beers brewed by the Trappist order of monks. The Trappist order originated during the Middle Ages in the Cistercian monastery of La Trappe, France. Currently there are only seven breweries (six in Belgium) authorized to label their beers with the Authentic Trappist Product logo that indicates a compliance to various rules edicted by the International Trappist Association. The following are the six Belgium Trappist breweries and a few factoids about each one:

Achel Brewery

The “baby” of Trappist breweries, the Saint Benedictus Abbey of Achel is the first monastery to take up brewing in Belgium since 1931. Producing beers such as, Achel (Bruin and Blonde) 5° and Achel (Bruin and Blonde) 6° – which are available only at the pub on the grounds of the Abbey. The new Achel 8° is only available in the bottle and is hard to find even in Belgium; in the U.S. it will be the rarest of beers.

Westvleteren Brewery

Founded in in 1838 inside the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in Belgian, all of the beers are sold exclusively at the brewery. Even more reason to go to Belgium! The Trappist Westvleteren Blond (green cap), Westvleteren 8 (blue cap) and Westvleteren 12 (yellow cap) can be bought by the case or the bottle and tasted at the brewery with a reservation made prior to your visit. Due to the brewery’s growing popularity visitors are limited to limited to one order per car per per telephone number within any given month.

Orval Brewery

Located within the walls of the Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval monastery in the Gaume region of Belgium, this brewery produces only one beer for the general public. According to www.ratebeer.com, “it has an intensely aromatic and dry character. Between the first and second fermentations there is also an additional dry-hopping process. Through this the beer acquires its pronounced hoppy aroma and extra dry taste.”

Rochefort Brewery

The Abbey of St-Remy, where Rochefort beer is brewed is located in the southern part of Belgium and was founded in 1230. The monks began to brew beer around 1595.  Three beers are produced out of this abbey: the “6” or Red Cap, “8” or Green Cap and the “10” or Blue Cap. All are darker Belgium beers with “10” being the darkest. As far as visiting the brewery, the monks are very secretive about the brewing process, and the brewery is not open to the public.

Chimay Brewery

The most famous of the Trappist breweries, as it is commonly found state side.  Chimay beers have been brewed in the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Scourmont since 1862.  Three beers (or three strong personalities according to the brewery’s website), Chimay Red, Chimay Triple and Chimay Blue grace many tap lists and bottle shops around our country, so get out an try a trappist beer! Like many of the breweries, they do not invite just anyone to the grounds, only those involved in the beer industry are welcome to visit.

Westmalle Brewery

On April 22, 1836, Westmalle Brewery, located in the Trappist Abbey of Westmalle became a trappist abbey. On December, 10 1836 the monks served their first brew of Trappist beer at lunch.  These days, Westmalle brews three beers (three seems to be the lucky trappist brewing number) including Westmalle Dubbel (9.5% and light), Westmalle Tripel (a dark Belgium beer) and Westmalle Extra.  Since this brewery is located within the walls of the abbey, visitors are not allowed.

In closing, Trappist breweries do not profit from beer brewing or beer sales. The surplus profit made off of the beers is donated to charity.

So, what did we learn from this post?  Beglium Trappist beers are brewed by monks that have been at it for a very long time, these beers are generally rare and visiting these breweries seems damn near impossible for the average beer drinker.  None the less, these beers are brewed to perfection and worth crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

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