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The Visual Art of Craft Beer Part 1 – My Top 5

March 25, 2011 2 comments

New and...improved?

There has been quite a few stories in the beer press lately that have really got me thinking about beer artwork.  There’s the new look of Red Hook (check out this post on Washington Beer blog), a new label design for one of my favorite beers of all time – Stone Imperial Russian Stout (see this post at beernews.org), the North Coast Brewing logo upgrade (the old logo has always been a favorite of mine) and most notably the new Upright Brewing Four Play label that has been subject to much controversy (please check out this article on Beervana).

When I first started thinking about it I was leaning toward the fact that there really aren’t that many labels/logos out there that are especially noteworthy.  There’s a few that really jumped out at me right way, but for the most part…far too many exist that fail to catch my attention.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I discussed it with friends, the more epiphanies I had and the more I realized just how wrong I was.

The Classic. Is is better?

There’s actually a lot of breweries out there that are putting serious attention toward their image.  Clearly, this isn’t surprising.  Anyone possessing even the slightest bit of entrepreneurial savvy knows how important branding can be to creating a successful business.  Here, in my Visual Art of Craft Beer Series, I plan to discuss some of my favorites.  Hopefully, in doing so, I will open up the floor for debate.  I’m sure there are a bunch out there that I either don’t know about or have simply overlooked.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to present them all in this initial article, so the debate just may have to wait.  Start thinking about your choices now and see if I end up agreeing with you.

The following is my top 5.  This is not limited to logo alone.  I feel that if it were, the scope of this exercise would be drastically diminished.  This includes not only the straight forward logo of a brewery but the labels of all, most, or some of their bottles/cans/mini-kegs/what-have-you.

5) Three Floyds Brewing – FFF does not mess around.  They make some of the most unique beers in the country and their labels follow suit.  In may ways, they remind me of Garbage Pail Kids.  All have a comic book/cartoon like quality.  Some are lighthearted and humorous, others are dark and disturbing, all are well designed and fun to look at.  I’m not sure whether I like the Clockwork Orange themed Moloko Stout, Zombie Dust, or the Dark Lord (above) the best.  No matter how you look at it, they are all undeniably bad ass.

 

4) Southern Tier Brewing – The logo above isn’t very glamorous, and it by no means is the sole reason why I have put STB in the number 4 position, but I must say that I’m a very big fan of it.  I find it to be very slick, clean and simple, yet highly effective.  The tools of the trade encircled by the ingredients of the trade.  Classic.  I’ve often thought of having a variation of that logo tattooed on myself.  Good logo aside, the continuity and simplicity of all of STB’s label designs is so well done that I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised to find them being celebrated in HOW Magazine (or something similar).

 

 

3) New Belgium Brewing Lips of Faith Series – Take a minute to gaze upon the above image.  Tell me you wouldn’t want a full size print of that framed and mounted in your living room.  It’s beautiful…and it’s just a beer label.  I could have posted a picture of almost any LoF label and it would be equally stunning.  Whomever is behind this is really doing fabulous work.  Give them a raise.

 

 

2) Stone Brewing Co. – This logo is absolutely unmistakable.  It may not be number one on my list but it’s very possibly the number one most recognizable beer logo in craft brewing.  It’s bold, like Stone beers and the attitude of the owners/brewers.  If you’ve ever taken the time to read the lengthy, screen printed text on any of Stone’s 22oz bottles, you know just what I mean.  Stone is hard fucking core and their dark, devious mascot exemplifies that to the t.

 

1)  Flying Dog Brewery – Can someone please explain to me how FDB got Ralph Steadman to illustrate all of their imagery?!?!  Whether you like his style or not, this has to be the most lauded, continual collaborative effort between a brewery and a world-famous artist of all time.

Yeah, I guess I do sort of get how FDB pulled this off.  Supposedly the owners of the brewery were friends with Hunter S. Thompson.  It’s quite clear that his influence is felt throughout much of FDB’s advertising and marketing campaign.  Since Ralph Steadman is most famous for his work with Hunter S. Thompson, in lies the connection.  God knows how much money they must dish out for his work, but I for one thing it’s worth every penny.

Notes of a Beer Nerd: Southern Tier Brewing Co.’s Creme Brulee

Hmm...I wonder why they call it Creme Brulee...

***Notes of a Beer Nerd is a column written by resident cellar dwelling mammal, Timperial Stout. Feel free to e-mail him at timperial@beerblotter.com with any questions, concerns or comments***

Enjoyed on 11/2/2010

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Co.

Location: Lakewood, New York

Beer: Creme Brulee

Web: http://www.southerntierbrewing.com

Presentation: 22oz – Blown Glass Bottle – Capped

Vintage: 2009

Style: Imperial Milk Stout

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 10.0%

IBU: N/A

Hops: Columbus, Horizon

Malt: 2-row pale malt, dark caramel malt

Vessel: Snifter

Recommended Serving Temp: 42 degrees, as per the bottle

Commercial Description:

We are not the harbingers of truth as some may suggest but it may indeed be argued that our brewing philosophy is tantamount to a dessert with a bellicose past. How, you may ask, would a brewery determine a likeness to hard-coated custard? Our response is simple; it’s all in the power of history, and of course, the extra finesse needed to top off a contentious treat with definition.

By comprehending the labyrinthine movement of time, one would not think it strange to trace the errant path of an ordinary object such as a cream dessert only to discover that it has been the cause of cultural disputes since the middle ages. The British founders of burnt cream and from Spain, crema catalana, both stand by their creative originality and we respect that, but it was the French Crème Brûlée, amid the strife of contention, that survived to represent our deliciously creamy brew.

Food Pairings: Oysters, Cheesecake, Chocolate

Cheese Pairings: Brie, Gouda

Music Pairing: Cream or Vanilla Ice

Beer Advocate: B+ (3.95)

Rate Beer: 97 (3.69)

Timperialstout’s Notes:

Background.

I’ve never met a Southern Tier beer that I didn’t like.  Though that may not mean much to some (especially my Beer Blotter brethren, who are staunch in their stance that I think every beer is good), I assure you that it is not meaningless, as least in my mind.  For me, there is only a handful of American breweries that I would say that about, and it must be noted that I wouldn’t even consider publishing such a statement about a brewery that is anything less than prolific in their releases.  Some breweries that immediately come to mind are Avery Brewing, Brooklyn Brewing and Clipper City Brewing, all of which have extremely solid year round releases as well as stunning seasonals and special releases.

In the Seattle market, STB’s 12oz year round releases are often harder to find than the 22oz imperial ones.  We have discussed this phenomenon before on the blog and it continues to be true, most recently with the entrance of Uinta Brewing to the local market.  In a nutshell, it is a common marketing scheme for breweries entering a new market to send their most hotly desired beers first, to build hype and excitement, and hopefully market share, and then further expand from there.  For nerds like me, this is a pretty successful game plan.

This particular brand of marketing is especially advantageous for STB considering that they have 16 beers in their “Imperial Series”.  Yes, I said 16.  That is way more than their non-imperial releases.  Now that is a quality that I can’t help but respect in a brewery.  Long live Southern Tier!

Appearance.

My liquid dessert this evening has a fairly small crown of tan bubbles.  As the head approaches the rim of the glass it appears to be more of a brownish rust color.   With time, it settles to a wisp and ring.  Each and every sip brings a foamy wash of lace across the nearest face of the glass, but only small splotches remain affixed.  One could say that the “legs” are impressive on this one.  Yet again, Timperial Stout’s favorite style pours completely opaque.  Though impenetrable to all light, it brightens my eyes with its gorgeous roasted malt depth.

Odor.

Sweet Fancy Moses this beer cannot possibly be anything other than liquefied Creme Brulee! All the sweetness of heaven was impossibly condensed into the fermented concoction before me.  This solution stands so supersaturated in sucrose, lactose and fructose that any honest scientist would be frozen, googly-eyed in dismay.  I have a sudden urge to make an appointment to have my teeth cleaned.  Yowee!

I hope I’ve successfully put a bit of weight behind my words.  From an odor standpoint, this beer is the absolute epitome of desert.  I have always thought that all of STB’s beers were crazy sweet, in a good way, but this is above and beyond, in a better way.  The scent is pretty much exactly of creme brulee.  The vanilla is so prevalent here that I can only assume that the entire planet’s reserves of vanilla beans were swiftly depleted in the days leading up to the brew.  I can’t even carve through the non-beer scents that are at play here.  Other than the onslaught of creamy vanilla, there is a milky and a caramelized sugar sweetness that plays perfectly to the inclination that this beer is not only called creme brulee but that it tastes like creme brulee.  The custard, the jagged edges of splintered, solidified caramel, the eggy creaminess, it’s all there in the smell.  Mind blowing!  I feel as though I should be sipping this one out of a ramekin rather than a snifter.

Mouthfeel.

This is an imperial milk stout with a dump truck’s load of sugary goodness in it.  To say that this is smooth in the mouth is probably the biggest understatement of my life.  Yes, there is a faint pop of carbonation that tickles the back of the tongue right before the swallow, but what prefaces it has a smoothness that I thought could only be exuded by a spirit.  If this was my Hop Brief column and there were ratings to pair with each section, Creme Brulee’s mouthfeel would be a perfect 10.

Flavor.

I initially found it odd that the brewer suggested drinking this beer cold, since I almost always prefer my imperial stouts when they warm up to around 55 degrees, but after my experience with it I see why.  The main result of allowing this beer to warm is that it becomes more like the 10% beer that it actually is and less like the scientific spectacle that it maybe should remain as.  Out comes the alcohol burn, the grain, the bitterness.  My goodness, that sounds ridiculous coming from me, I know.

Allow me to explain.  When cold(er) this beer tastes like it smells, pretty much to a T.  There is no booziness to be found.  There is oodles of desert sweetness that, seemingly, could never be the result of commonly used brewing malts.  Some may call it a ploy, but in my world, the flavor of something is why you drink that something.  If you like Mike’s Hard Lemonade because you like the way it tastes and you get a pleasant buzz from it, I will NEVER give you shit about it.  Life is short, drink what you like…have fun.  If I were to tell someone that was typically apposed to imbibing a beer the same color as motor oil that it tasted like bitter baker’s chocolate, tobacco and wood, I’m not at all confident that that would settle their nerves.  On the other hand, if I told then that it tastes EXACTLY like one of the most delicious, sweet deserts you can buy, I may be able to tip the scale.  Are the STB brewer’s a bunch of panty peeling bitches for going that route, I say hell no, but I guess that’s up to you to decide.

Aftertaste.

This is precisely where I expected it to be considering all of the predecessor characteristics.  There is no dryness when cold and just a hair when warmer.  The Flan like qualities linger for ever and ever.  The mouth remains completely coated in syrupy sweetness and its truly a delight.  Though it may result in a boat load of cavities, I’m pretty sure that it would be sickly sweet (very pleasurable) to have one of these for desert everyday.

Summation.

You may have gotten the feeling that I like STB.  It’s true, they are in my top 10 in the world.  The fact that they have 5 different imperial stouts doesn’t have anything to do with it, err…wait…I’m Timperial Stout…yeah…maybe top 5.

If you like Southern Tier Creme Brulee, you should try…

Three Floyds Brewing‘s Moloko Milk Stout; Dark Horse Brewing‘s Too Cream Stout; Bell’s Brewing‘s Special Double Cream Stout

Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard-earned money at a local bottle shop, and aged to perfection by yours truly.

Nothing To Do in Seattle Tonight? Hit The Bev For Pumpkin Beer, While You Still Can

Drink, but not that much.

October is nearly over, and you know what that means right?  It is pretty depressing, so I’m not surprised if you are having a hard time answering.  Yeah, it means that we will soon be saying goodbye to the fall seasonals until next year.  Oktoberfests are pretty much already gone.  Fresh Hops, you still might be able to find some, if your really search, but they are nearly gone.  Pumpkin Ales…oh good god, please don’t say it…sorry but, almost gone.

Sure, if pumpkin ales were all of a sudden available year round, they would probably lose their luster after a while.  I kind of like it the way it is, though I wouldn’t mind if I could hoard some bottles and crack them open at some other time in the year, where the mood to strike.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s really hard to find bottles of the good stuff.  It seems like the moment they hit the shelves, you blink and they’re gone.  This element seems to add to the excitement around finding pumpkin ales on tap.  You really have to keep your eyes and ears open and pounce when the opportunity presents itself to sip on that nectar of the great gourd.

Lucky for us here in the Seattle area, we have Elysian Brewing, kings of pumpkin mashing, right in our backyard.  We get to attend The Great Pumpkin Beer Fest at their Capitol Hill location (read our review here), which is indeed great.  But, it still doesn’t fulfill my unrelenting hunger for pumpkin and spice.  I even made a batch at home this year…still want more.

In steps Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle, to provide that one last dance of the season.  Tonight they will be tapping five pumpkin beers for their Plethora of Pumpkin celebration: Elysian Night Owl and Dark o the Moon, Southern Tier Pumpking, Schooner Exact Gutter Punkin, and Snipes Mountain Pumpkin Death.  These gems will be available all day and night, and they’re happy to pour taster trays of all 5.

If you are like me, and your hunger for pumpkin is not unlike a zombie’s hunger for brains, lurch and groan, with arms outstretched in front of you, over to West Seattle’s finest beer bar and feed on the flesh (of a pumpkin please).

Events for Week of October 11, 2010

October 12, 2010 1 comment

 

Home of the Great Pumpkin Beer Fest- T minus 5 days.

 

Written by Jess R.

A low key weekend began with a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale at Whisk(e)y Bar (my new favorite, local watering hole), several Firestone Walker Union Jack IPAs, a New Belgium/Elysian Trip III and several Fresh Hop beers (it was a rough week at work, ok). Other beer highlights include Port Brewing’s Old Viscosity, an imperial stout worth a moment of silence and a couple of tall boys of Rainier. And now for your week in beer.

Monday, October 11, 2010

” I Love New York” Beer Week Begins: New York, New York

All week @ the Spring Lounge

Start spreading the news, its All New York, all week, with beer from Brooklyn, Ommegang, Captain Lawrence, Ithaca Brewing Co., Greenport Harbor, Coney Island, Sixpoint, Southern Tier, and more. Check out www.beermenus.com for details on the special events this week.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Green Flash Night: Whittier, California

7:00PM-9:00PM @ The Bottle Room

Not only will all patrons receive discounts on beer, the first 36 guests will receive a complimentary Green Flash Brewing Co. pint glass with the purchase of a regularly priced draft (minus $1 for LA Beer Week). From there, bring your pint glass in and receive a $1 off Green Flash drafts until the kegs are kicked. Green Flash flights will be available–4-4 ounce pours for $11. Expect some special Green Flash beers not available elsewhere to the public.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Avery Rumpkin Release: Boulder, Colorado

6:00PM-9:00PM @ Avery Brewing Co.

AN IMPERIAL PUMPKIN ALE AGED IN RUM BARRELS. Stop by Avery Brewing Co. (where the magic happens) and experience the release of what sounds like am amazing, seasonal brew. Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin puree and a blend of five spices. Aged in extremely fresh Gosling’s Rum barrels for six months. Consume fresh and often, preferably with a pumpkin pie and/or s’mores.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Unibroue Beer Tasting: Cincinnati, Ohio

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Catskeller

Just $10.00 and you get beer from Unibroue paired with small plates. What a deal! The menu reads as follows:

Maudite: with bruchetta
La Fin Du Monde: with bacon scallops
Ephemere: with brie and apricot phylo
Don de Dieu: with smoked turkey club with feta cut in fourths
Terrible: with sharp cheddar quiche
Trois Pistoles: with rich chocolate brownies

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cleveland Beer Week Begins: Cleveland, Ohio

From the website:

The second annual CLEVELAND BEER WEEK will take place from October 15-23, 2010. A celebration of craft and import beers, CLEVELAND BEER WEEK features plenty of tastings, dinners, activities and more at more than 100 venues throughout Cuyahoga County and beyond. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the world of craft and imported brews at CLEVELAND BEER WEEK.

This beer week will not disapoint with participating breweries such as Hoppin’ Frog, Thirsty Dog, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and more. As if you weren’t excited enough, 12 breweries who participated in the largest known collaboration of its kind in the world, creating six brews. Family members have already agreed to mail us a six pack. Oh man! For more information, visit the event site.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Great Pumpkin Beer Fest: Seattle, Washington

(Saturday and Sunday) 12:00PM – the beers get tapped and the place shuts down @ Elysian Brewing Co., Capital Hill Location

I know we already did a write up about this event, but I am so damn excited, I had to mention it here- click here for details about the event from bb.com. Expect a crowd, a well-deserved crowd of people thirsty for pumpkin beers from Elysian, Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin and so many more. Sour pumpkin beers, pumpkin stouts, spiced ales and possibly beer brewed in a pumpkin. Also, get there early and you might get a sweet little taster glass (at least we did last year).

Sunday, October, 17, 2010

Farmhouse Ale Dinner: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

5:00PM-9:00PM @ The South Philadelphia Taproom

All you can eat harvest foods and beers for $50.00 (includes tax and tip). Featured beers include: Ommegang Hennepin, Sly Fox Saison Vos, Saison Dupont, St. Feuillien and more!

If you go to an event, want to talk about an event or a beer you had at an event, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com. Cheers!

Events for Week of September 13, 2010

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Stop by Boneyard Bistro and experience Mikkeller's Beer Geek Breakfast Bacon Stout

As you all know, we indulged in and celebrated all that is Humulus lupulus at Brouwer’s Cafe this past weekend. Highlights include Black Raven Wisdom Seeker, Dogfish Head Burton Baton and Skagit River’s Barrel Aged IPA (the only barrel aged beer on the list). We continued our hop adventure at home by cracking Dark Horse’s Imperial IPA. On Sunday, we enjoyed the weather on our roof, while drinking kegs of Lazy Boy Oktoberfest and IPA, finishing the weekend with a present from some friends who just got back from Hawaii, Maui’s Coconut Porter. My god.  Although this beer, as well as their IPA, Big Swell and their Hefe are available at Whole Foods, they got a hell of a deal purchasing this beer on the motherland. But now for your week in beer.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Goose Island Invasion: Chesterfield, Missouri

7:00PM-9:00PM @ International Tap House

This tap list is outrageous. Goose Island features: 312, Honkers, their IPA, Harvest Ale, Sofie, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Stout VANILLA,  Bourbon County Stout COFFEE and Pepe Nero. My god. Get Matilda, all the Bourbon County Stouts and Pere Jacques.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Double Bacon Event: Sherman Oaks, California

5:30PM-9:30PM @ Boneyard Bistro

Sip on Mikkeller Beer Geek Bacon and feast on a special tasting plate composed of about seven bacon themed bites that will compliment the smoky/salty richness of the beer. There will be a set price for the tasting plate and a glass of the beer. Sounds damn good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New York State IPA Fest: Peekskill, New York

6:00PM-12:00AM @ Birdshall House

An evening featuring IPAs exclusively from the Empire State. Participating breweries include but are not limited to Brooklyn Brewery, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Sixpoint Craft Ales, Southern Tier, Blue Point Brewing Co plus a few surprises.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Boulevard Beer and Food Tasting: Lawrence, Kansas

6:00PM-9:00PM @ Genovese

Cost- $35 bones gets you four courses of delicious foods and Kansas’ very own Boulevard beers!

First course: ZON paired with Wakarusa Valley Mesculan Salad with Grilled Pineapple, Local Goat Cheese and Toasted Almonds
Second course: Tank 7 paired wit…h Crostini with Caponata, Sliced Steve’s Meats Beef and Mustard Aioli
Third course: Lunar Ale paired with Bucatini with Lobster, Calabrian Chilies and Toasted Pistachios
Fourth course: Bully! Porter paired with Broken Arrow Ranch Braised Wild Boar in Boulevard Beer with Roasted Squash and Shaved Pecorino

Friday, September 17, 2010

2nd Annual Saisonfest: Emmaus, Pennsylvania

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Tap & Table

What a great idea- a festival dedicated to the under appreciated (by Americans anyway) style of beer- Saisons. This draft list is to die for- check out all of the amazing breweries: *jolly pumpkin es bam, *st. somewhere saison athene, jandrain iv, jandrain v, nuova mattina, blaugies la moneuse, *dupont avec les bons voeux, bruery saison de lente, glazen toren d’erpe mere, *cigar city guava groove, *lost abbey red barn ale, hopfenstark saison de repos, bullfrog fran-tastique, hop ten dormaal blonde, *nogne-o saison, pretty things jack d’or, *saison dupont. Seriously – one of the best events this fall season. So if you have been waiting for an excuse to visit Emmaus, PA- here it is!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Iron Horse WABL Event: Ellensburg, Washington

6:00PM-10:00PM @ Iron Horse Brewery

Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg is inviting WABL members to their Pint and Potato Fest. The event will feature 6 varieties of Irish Eyes, freshly harvested local potatoes with unique dipping sauces, plus 6 Iron Horse beers on tap. Music by Abby Mae and the Homeschool Boys. $9 entry fee includes taters and dips but WABL members will receive $2 off admission. While you are in town make sure to visit Iron Horse’s new micropub in downtown Ellensburg!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Arcadia Brewing Co. Shipwreck Release Party: Grand Rapids, Michigan

7:00PM-2:00AM @ HopCat

This venue always has amazing beer events and this is no exception! Come for the relase of Arcadia Brewing Co.’s Shipwreck Porter. There will be beer specials, best pirate costume prizes and other great things. I mean, beer AND pirates- how could you not go?

As always, if you go to an event, want us to post about an event or just want to speak your mind, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com. Cheers!

Events for the Week of September 5, 2010

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Stop by Wednesday and celebrate the Double Windsor's 1st birthday with an IPA!

Im late. I have an excuse. I just got back from an epic wedding- two great friends, two beer lovers tied the knot. With Bell’s, New Holland and Southern Tier on tap at the wedding (and a growler of 3 Floyds Dreadnaught), I was on Cloud 9 along with the happy couple. Congrats you two- you rock!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

IPA Week: Brooklyn, New York

12:00PM-12:45AM @ The Double Windsor

Tonight, the Double Windsor celebrates year one with IPAs- all week- $5.00 pints.

(ANNIVERSARY PARTY IS SET FOR THURSDAY, SEPT 16TH. CRAZY COOL DRINK & FOOD SPECIALS, DJ’S, LOL-ING, ETC… JOIN THEIR FACEBOOK GROUP TO HEAR MORE ABOUT IT)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Goose Island Harvest Ale Hoppy Hour: Columbus, Ohio

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Park Street Tavern

We literally just left Columbus, Ohio but for those of you who are lucky enough to be in the area, join Goose Island for a casual Harvest Ale kick off! This fall seasonal has the perfect amount of hops & malts to really make fall the “hoppiest” of seasons!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Culinary Connectors Denver BeerFest Walking Tour: Denver, Colorado

3:00PM-5:00PM  @ Various Restaurants

Take a stroll down Denver’s historic streets, taste amazing beer and indulge in decadent foods. This is what you need to know:

Candid & informal chef interactions
Delicious tastings and pairings
12 guests maximum
4 locations
2 hours
$39.00/person

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lompoc Oktoberfest: Portland, Oregon

12:00PM-8:00PM @ Sidebar and Lompoc’s 5th Quadrent

The brewers at Lompoc Brewing are welcoming autumn with a release party for their fall seasonal Lompoc Oktoberfest. the menu will feature a selection of German sausages with a variety of condiments/toppings. There will also be a traditional accordionist playing beer polka tunes from 2 to 5 pm.  This event is for ages 21 and older. Beers on tap include: Marzen Lager, Barrel Aged Boadicea, Red Scare Imperial Red, Centennial IPA, and 2008 Brewdolph.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cincinnati Beer Fest: Cincinnati, Ohio

12:00PM-9:00PM @ Fountain Square

3oz beer tastings will start at $1 and there is NO ADMISSION FEE! In addition to over 200 different flavors of beer, there will be over 30 live music acts plus multiple food and merchandise vendors. This festival begins on Friday, September 10th and runs through the weekend.

If you go to an event you want us to post about or just want to chat about beer, please leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com. Cheers!

Events for Week of August 30, 2010

Stop by New Belgium Brewing Co for Tour De Fat this week!

Saturday was a good beer day- Big Al Brewing Co. for a sampler: Tripple, Alt Bier, Abbey Wheat, Smoked Porter and the IPA were all very tasty. The Alt Bier and Abbey Wheat stood out among the crowd. We stopped at Cask in West Seattle, a new wine/beer bar that opened just 5 weeks ago. The owner offers a “to-go” section that focuses on imports. We stayed for just one, Fremont Brewing Co.’s Interurban IPA dry hopped with Cascade hops, Lime, Orange and Grapefruit zest. Damn good. Porter House- just across the street has about 12-15 beers on tap- Pliny the Elder was up for grabs but I went with this new brewery- North Sound Brewing. Both their Stout (classic dry Irish stout served on Nitro) and their IPA were stellar. A night in was filled with IPAs- 7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA (in a tall boy can) and an IPA from Yakima Craft Brewing Co. But now for your week in beer:

Monday, August 30, 2010
Southern Tier Tasting: Jacksonville, Florida

4:00PM-7:00PM @ Grassroots Natural Market

Although I do not know what beers will be poured- Southern Tier will not disappoint!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Founders Nemesis Tapping: South Bend, Indiana

8:00PM-10:00PM @ Fiddler’s Hearth Public House

Nemsis, Founders’ Barley Wine is out and available tonight! Stop by and if you get your hands on this, please report back to bb.com. Look for this beer at your local beer bar – you lucky people that live in the mid-west or north east!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to (Beer) School, Mikkeller: New York, New York

11:30AM-11:30PM @ The Ginger Man

Get schooled on hops and yeast! The Ginger Man will be featuring Mikkeller’s Single Hop Series and their Yeast Series. The beers in the Single Hop Series use a control recipe with a different hop in each brew, showcasing the flavors and aromas of one variety of hop. Same rules for the Yeast Series, this time with varying yeast strands. The Single Hop Series will be on draught and the Yeast Series will be in bottle format.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Best of the Belgians: Beverly, Massachusetts

6:00PM-9:00PM @ Bogie’s Beer and Wine

Tonight- 15 beers…15 different styles….including Rochfort 8 & 10, Orval, Duvel, and many more. There will also be a special something from De Struise. This event is free, but Bogie’s is asking for a $5.00 donation. All proceeds will be donated to MCPCA Walk for the Animals.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Little Woody Barrel- Aged Brew Festival 2010: Bend, Oregon

5:00PM-10:00PM @ Des Chutes Historical Museum

The Little Woody celebrates this ancient brewing technique as adapted by American craft brewers, featuring beers aged in wine barrels, whisky barrels and oak barrels, which uniquely flavors and intensifies the beer. The Little Woody 2010 will encompass two days-September 3 from 5 -10pm and September 4 from 12pm -10pm on the lawn of the Des Chutes Historical Museum in Downtown Bend. Admission to the event includes a commemorative glass. A tasting package is available and includes a commemorative glass and tasting tickets. For more information click here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tour de Fat: Fort Collins, Colorado

10:00AM-4:00PM @ New Belgium Brewing Co.

Annual national moving bike festival put on by hometown heroes New Belgium. Featuring bands, good people, good brews and a damn good reason to get silly! Bring a bike and a funky costume for maximum enjoyment. For more info, click here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

6th Annual Festival of Iowa Beers: Amana, Iowa

1:00PM-5:00PM @ Millstream Brewing Co.

Iowa microbrews are getting some love today- Come down to the brewery and taste the best beers that Iowa has to offer and meet the brewers who make these great brews as they serve you. Live music, local food will also be part of the event! Proceeds go the the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation and Iowa Brewers Guild.

So thats your week in beer. If you go to an event, want us to post about an event, please leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com! Cheers!

Events for Week of August 16, 2010

Porter Beer Bar, ATL- has anyone been here? It looks awesome.

Highlights of beer for this weekend: 1/3 of Beer Blotter visited Walking Man Brewery (look for a 52 places article later this week) while I stayed in Seattle soaking in the 90 degree plus weather. I stopped at Fremont Brewing Co. on Saturday and enjoyed their Interurban IPA on cask dry hopped with Cascade hops and Mango. Damn good. But now for the week ahead.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Give a Pint, Get a Pint: Escondido, California

9:00AM-2:00PM@ Stone Brewing Co.

Stone held this charitable event last December. The premise, donate blood and get a free Stone Brewing Co. pint glass. No beer today, you need your strength for this good cause. Come support the San Diego Blood Bank and Stone Brewing Co’s efforts to give back to the community.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beer Class Subject- Wild Ale: Atlanta, Georgia

7:30PM-9:30PM @ The Porter Beer Bar

One of my favorite styles of beers, the Sour Ale or Wild Ale is not for everyone. However, its origin, history and chemical make up are down right fascinating. Call 404-223-0393 to save your spot!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ballast Point Brewing Co. Tasting: Brooklyn, New York

7:00PM-11:00PM @ The Double Windsor

Come taste some amazing brews from San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing Co.

$5 beers from 7-11 (list below only).

* Yellowtail Pale Ale
* Calico Amber Ale
* Big Eye IPA
* Sculpin IPA
* Wahoo Wheat
* Super secret special surprise!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blind IPA Tasting: Mt. Pleasent, South Carolina

5:30PM-7:30PM @ Wine a While

Want to see if you have the palate of a beer judge? Come find out during a blind tasting of some of the popular IPA’s on the market. See if your favorite is really your favorite. Prize if you can correctly identify all the beers. Good luck!

The Iron Brewer Night: Seattle, Washington

7:00PM- whenever @ Beveridge Place

Two Local breweries- Naked City v. Black Raven are pit against each other in a competition that includes beer brewed with tea and ginger. Sounds like innovation in a glass.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Southern Tier Takeover: Atlanta, Georgia

6:00PM-10:00PM @ The Porter Beer Bar

I know, I know, this place again. Im beginning to think that when we take a trip to ATL, this beer bar is a must stop! Tonight, 11 Southern Tier taps will be pouring. Fingers crossed for Oak Aged Unearthly IPA, Choklat, Jah*va and more!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Goose Island Beer Event: Peekskill, New York

5:00PM-2:00AM @  Birdsall House

20 Goose Island Taps tonight paired with an available pre-fix menu. Damn.

Sunday, August 22, 2o10

Doti Liquor’s 2nd Annual Big Beer Event: Elmhurst, Illinois

2:00PM-5:00PM @ Doti Liquors

Come and sample many great beers of different styles and origins! Doti’s biggest beer event of the year takes place under a large tent in the parking lot, come mingle with the locals and expand your beer knowledge!!

If you want to mention an event, have a review about an event or want to chat about beer, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com. Cheers!

Events for Week of July 19, 2010

The Busy Bee Cafe: Home to many great beers and beer events!

This was a good beer weekend.

A trip to Portland entailed Stone, Dogfish Head, Victory collaboration Saison Du Boef; Avery Maraja; Hair of the Dog Fred; Russian River Consecration; Double Mountain Saison and so much more! A trip to a new beer bar Apex was top notch (see our 52 weeks article later) and bottle shop, Beermongers was still impressive and reasonable priced!

As if that wasnt enough, we partook in an impromptu beer tour of Southern Washington up through Tacoma. With a Dogfish Head Sah’ Tea at Parkplace Tavern in Tacoma and a Lagunitas Lil’ Sumin’ Wild in Olympia, letting go of the weekend was very difficult. But there is a whole week ahead of us and plenty of beer events.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Captain Lawrence Imperial Porter and 2 Casks tonight!: Peekskill, New York

6:00PM-10:00PM @ Birdsall

Tonight a keg of Captain Lawrence’s new Imperial Porter will be tapped along with two exclusive CL gravity casks: Kolsch & Freshchester(dry hopped with Cascade hops). Dont miss out on this full Captain Lawrence line up, including a couple of new draught additions.

Tuesday, July, 20, 2010

Deschutes Night: Seattle, Washington

6:00PM-9:00PM @ Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

Tonight, Naked City features Bend, Oregon brewery, Deschutes. Known for amazing beers such as Abyss, the tap list includes Miss Spelt, Hop in the Dark, Jubel 2010 and Greenlakes Organic Ale. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hoppin’ Frog Tasting: Shawnee, Kansas

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Barley’s Brewhouse

I am really happy to see Hoppin’ Frog, this Ohio based brewery get some love outside of its home state. Tonight, for $20.00 you can taste the following (they are all o’ so good) with some delicious food pairings: Wild Frog Wheat, B.O.R.R.I.S the Crusher Stout Paired with Teriyiaki glazed Wings, Mean Manalishi, paired with Fish and Chips, Silk Porter paired with our Chocolate Tort and Hoppin’ to Heaven IPA.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

25 Tap Bells Night: Grand Rapids, Michigan

6:00PM-2:00AM @ HopCat

I know we have posted a couple of events similar to this one, but it is so amazing. 25 taps of Bell’s Brewery beers tonight including: Two Hearted Ale (poured from a tap and from a firkin), the Cherry Stout and an ’08 Expedition Stout. SO good….so good.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Meet the Brewer of Brooklyn Brewing Co.: New Orleans, Louisiana

10:00PM- 12:00AM @ The Avenue Pub

We all know how much we love this place. So lets take this place in all of its glory and throw some Brooklyn Brewing beers on tap. Sold! Tonight, for $12.00, meet Garrett Oliver, head brewer and taste a sample of 5 amazing brews.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Barleywine Fest: Largo, Florida

5:00PM-11:00:M @ Willard’s Tap House

Granted its not barleywine season. Its summer after all. However, stop by Willard’s tonight and sample some flavorful beers including: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot, Southern Tier Back Burnner and Avery Hog Heaven (a hoppy barleywine).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rooftop Summer Wheat beer Dinner: Raleigh, North Carolina

7:00PM-9:00PM @ the Busy Bee Cafe

Now, sometime deliciously appropriate for the summer months, a wheat beer celebration. It’ll be a little more laid back than Busy Bee’s usual beer dinner and is only $35 per person. Enjoy Blanche de Bruxelles, Schneider Weiss, Great Divide Dunkel Weiss, and Terrapin Gamma Ray all on draft for this 4 course dinner! Email info@busybeeraleigh.com for tickets or more info.

Whats in stock for your beer future? Plan on attending an event? Want us to post an event? Then please 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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