Ahahhahahaa! A day of gorging. A day of consumption comas – don’t act like it won’t happen to you.
This year, we are celebrating with a wonderful group of friends, amongst a vast cornucopia of grub. A turducken will grace the table – but how will we wash it down?
This week marks Beer Blotter’s 1st Anniversary. That’s right, one year of typing up rantings to project our passion for the nectar. Over the course of the past year, we have done the events, traveled Europe, drank the new stuff and emptied the cellar (don’t worry, we replaced most of it). We had a blast.
Now, its Thanksgiving and to celebrate we will be enjoying a nice hearty keg of Beer Blotter’s 1st Anniversary Ale. For our first season on the web, we brewed an Imperial Cranberry Saison – the perfect of beers for the Thanksgiving celebration. While we wait for the remainder of our brew to finish with a champagne yeast, we will go ahead and sip on a young version (6.5%) for the great holiday.
For today, each of us wanted to take a moment and grace the blog with a Thank You for 2010. We are all thankful for more than beer, but lets humor the great beer gods with a “thank you” to beer in 2010:
2010 has been a year of great growth for me within the craft beer community. The blog…it goes without saying, but it has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people who are doing great things to progress the community. It had also given me a voice and allowed me to express my passion creatively. I am thankful for beerblotter.com and it’s amazing members.
Second, there was the trip to the beer promised land. It was my first ever trip to Europe and it was, honest to god, the best vacation of my life. Any time that I even think about going away to a new place, my primary goal is to take in the beer culture of that place. Often though, my company doesn’t allow for such forays. To go to Belgium, France, Germany, and The Netherlands with my closest friends and fellow beer lovers Jess and DSR… priorities were in line and our lengthy preparations and unyielding ambition produces a trip with zero regrets and 100% joy. I am thankful for EuroBeerTrip2010.
2010 was also the year that I threw caution to the wind and made a bold/exciting/terrifying shift in careers. I decided to give up my job in business and follow my dreams. I began to work for a small craft brewery. I was trained to brew professionally on a 15 bbl system. Almost simultaneously, DSR and I invested in a real-deal, 10 gallon all-grain homebrew system. We are making serious steps toward living the dream, and for that I am most grateful.
So many things to be thankful for these days. To start off with some non-beer related items (although beer is truly what I am thankful for)- my family who is clear on the other side of the country, my friends who are dispersed all over the world, my friends who will be joining in the snow-covered turkey celebration, writing via Beer Blotter and all my experiences. I am a lucky girl.
Furthermore, I am thankful for my palette, my love of various beers, my current location and easy access to the craft brewing industry, to my world travels, all of the beers I have tasted and the people I have met along the way. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Well, Jess made me feel like I need to say all my thanks – but I’m going to stick to the script and talk beer. 2010 was filled with great growth in the beer industry. The Seattle brewery list seemingly grew each week. But, the loss of one in the family, impacted me the most.
This year, I am thankful to the wonderful, tough-willed owners of the Water Street Brewing & Alehouse for sticking together and helping keep Strange Brewfest alive for a 7th year. For many of us, Strange Brewfest 2011 will be a glimpse of our former favorite watering hole; it will bring hope of a new future for the once iconic alehouse that graced Water Street. Thanks, Nina and Mark.
What are you thankful for?
We have arisen from the ashes of Thanksgiving this morning to find about 12 lbs of turkey remaining (YES!) and about 5 lbs of gut remaining (Damn.). But the Beer Blotter festivities were for the record books, and the friends and family attendance was quite pleased with the food…..and more importantly the grog.
The list from last night is long. The Blotter had 18 bottles and 3 kegs up for tasting among its guests. But amongst all that beauty, a few stood tall. Utilizing a moderate budget, we were able to find a few great beers that earn recognition this morning.
This beer is produced on a limited basis during the early fall and winter months, generally right in time for GABF. We had this beer out at the brewery in Woodinville, WA back in October – and we were floored. Wanting to get a more up close and personal look, we added a bottle to the Thanksgiving list.
“Treblehook is vigorously hopped and patiently aged with aromatic malt and spicy hop notes. Smooth and complex, this beer is carefully brewed by hand with sublte caramel, toffee and chocolate notes”
Style: Barley Wine
Malts: Pale, Caramel, Special Aromatic, Flaked Barley, Black, Melenodin
Hops: Cascade, Palisades, Chinook, Simcoe
Bitterness Units: 52 IBU
Original Gravity: 22
Brewed Since: 2007
Shelf Life: 365 days
Awards: Gold Medal 2008 Great American Beer Festival, Silver Medal 2009 Great American Beer Festival
Cellaring: Can be cellared for up to 3 years
The bitterness rating might be an undershoot. This beer is hoppy and has the typical floral and spiced citrus flavorings of the Simcoe hop. The hop/malt balance of this beer is very interesting – in a very good way. The beer allows both the floral hop and caramel malt flavors exist independently, not muddling either taste.
This beer is very similar to Avery Brewing’s Hog Heaven. The difference is complexity and finish. The Treblehook finish is pleasing – adding molasses smoothness to the end of the glass.
This is a GABF favorite. In 2008, it took gold. This year it followed up with a silver. We can see why everyone seems to like it.
No need for introduction on this bad boy. This is a perpetual 100 on Rate Beer and a repeat medal winner at GABF. This Stout is legendary and probably the best of the NW (Sorry Walking Man Cherry Stout). This year’s version is the 4th release and does not offer any changes – which is a very good thing.
“The Abyss has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors draw you in further and further with each sip. And at 11% alcohol by volume, you will want to slowly savor each and every ounce.
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 marks the fourth release of this dark and mysterious imperial stout. Limited availability in wax-dipped 22-ounce bottles and on draft at a few select establishments.”
“The Abyss was one of those beers I didn’t want to end. I was totally blown away – this is precious stuff.” Christian DeBenedetti, beer writer and Men’s Journal contributor”
Silver Medal, Imperial Stout
2008 European Beer Star Awards
Gold Medal, Imperial Stout
2007 Great American Beer Festival
Best Beer Above 7%, International Champion Beer & Supreme Champion
2007 International Beer Challenge
#1 Best Stouts & Porters
2007 Men’s Journal October Issue
Gold Medal, Strong Ales
2007 California Brewer’s Festival
Gold Medal, Stout Category
2007 San Diego County Fair
Gold Medal, Imperial Stout Category
2007 North American Beer Awards
Gold Medal, Strong Ale Category
2007 West Coast Brew Fest
Bronze Medal, Imperial Stout Category
2007 Australian International Beer Awards
Food Pairings: Caramelized Onions and Abyss Infused Cream Cheese on Pepper Crackers
We will agree with all of the award organizations above, this beer simply cannot be beat. Abyss stands alongside elite Imperial Stouts like Three Floyd’s Dark Lord, Bells Expedition and Alesmith Speedway Stout. Deschutes is able to keep up this quality even though it is producing a larger volume on a larger scale.
This year’s version is very appealing, tasting almost identical to the 2008 version. We saved the Abyss until desert, right after the pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate mousse and butterscotch chow mein – oh yes. It went amazingly well with the butterscotch and chocolate flavors present in our desserts.
We are still awaiting the few shipments of Great Lakes Christmas Ale which is on its way. So we decided to grab Diamond Knot’s Ho-Ho and Corsendonk’s Christmas Ale. None of us were very impressed with the Corsendonk offering, and an unwilling member (me) was hesitant to crack his bottle of Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws. Diamond Knot’s offering was impressive and added to the holiday essence.
“A robust, ‘Winter Warmer’ Ale, ruby brown in color with a slightly sweet, fruity nose. Very hoppy, yet balanced with a residual sweetness.”
This Christmas beer has a great hop nose and finish. It is very sweet, but not syrupy in any way. The beer has a wonderful light citrus spice while having the perfect x-mas ale body. I suggest grabbing one of these bottles and drinking it pre-meal.