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From The Vault: A Date with The Bruery Hottenroth

Oh you beautiful thing, you

***This was one of my favorite reviews that Timperial ever did and I wanted share it with you all. Enjoy!***

 

Enjoyed on: 1/11/10

Brewery: The Bruery

Location: Placentia, CA

Beer: Hottenroth

Web: http://www.thebruery.com/

Presentation: 750 ML – Brown Glass Bottle

Vintage: 2009

Style: Berliner Weisse

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 3.1%

IBU: 2

Hops: N/A

Malt: Wheat

Vessel: Goblet

Recommended Serving Temp: 45 degrees

Notes from the bottle: Brewed in memory of Fred & Sarah Hottenroth, this traditional ale can be served with raspberry or woodruff syrup, or simply enjoyed as is! Sour = Yum!

Food Pairings: Salad, chicken, raspberry or woodruff syrup

Cheese Pairings: Brie, gouda, havarti

Beer Advocate: B+

Rate Beer: 94 (3.68)

Timperialstout’s Notes:

Once again, one requires a degree in linguistics to pronounce The Bruery’s latest offering. Luckily, their creations continue to be so downright inspirational that it’s easy to forgive them for their indulgences. Well, in this case, it seems to be a noble cause. This one is named in memory of owner and head brewer Patrick Rue’s grandparents.

First, a bit about the Berliner Weisse, for the tale is an intriguing one. A German story says that the Berliner Weisse style was once called “The Champagne of the North”. “Champagne” was actually one of the first words that came into my head after sipping this rare style, after, of course, thinking: “whoa…sour, I wasn’t expecting that”. Berliner Weisse literally translates to wheat beer from Berlin, and in addition to the obvious use of wheat, it is also characterized by a sour flavor and a very low abv. The style was once the most popular drink in Berlin, with over 700 breweries producing it. Not so rare back then, but now there are only 2 breweries left producing it in Berlin.

One thing (yes, there is a few) that Germany has been good at through the years, when it comes to brewing, is making up strange laws to govern beer’s production. The Reinheitsgobot, or German Purity Law, once strictly stated that all beer brewed in Germany must be made with water, barley and hops, and nothing else. The word “Berliner Weisse” has been reserved, much in the way that the word “Champagne” is throughout the world for sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France, for beers brewed in Berlin. In other words, you can’t produce a Berliner Weisse in Germany unless your brewery is in Berlin. Unlike the Champagne rule, the Berliner Weisse rule seems to only apply within Germany.

A final intriguing note on Berliner Weisse is that it is often traditionally served with flavored syrups to cut the tartness. The two suggestions given on the bottle are raspberry and woodruff syrup. Woodruff is a potently scented herb that is used in a variety of foods and drinks, mainly in Germany. Beyond its addition to beer, it can be found in sausages, jellies/jams, and even ice cream.

Oh by the way, we are drinking a beer here.

Pours a very peculiar hue. Extremely pale, straw-yellow that reminds me of white tea. It’s quite hazy, with sediment clumps found on the bottom of the glass. A pure white head barely rises on the pour and settles quickly. Despite the fleeting head, this brew has a lot of carbonation. Tiny bubbles quickly race from the depths of the goblet up to their freedom. This breathing lasts for quite a while. The sharpness of the fluid dancing in your mouth plays a large role in its reminiscence of Champagne.

If it weren’t for the carbonation I’d say this looks a lot like a lawnmower beer. Maybe we call this a plough beer? Either way, there is a lot of land around us…and farm animals.

We have just traveled to a backcountry German farm. A curious stroll from pasture to horse barn brings a battering to the olfactory nerves. Hay and earth and wet wood and mold and all sorts of horse related funkiness. It’s all there.

Side note: If I ever own a horse, his name will be Hottenroth, end of story!

Point is, the smells are plentiful if you really breathe deep and reflect. Wheat/hay and lactobacillus/brettanomyces (both used in fermentation) funkiness are most present, with some unleavened sourdough, a bit of lemon peel, white or skinless grapes (possibly infiltrating my mind due to the lingering Champagne thoughts) and periodically, a very faint strawberry and green apple odor persist.

The flavors…well…tart and funky, but in a really good way. Also, she is surprisingly sweet for a wheat beer. The carbonation makes it feel more like a lemon soda pop…that was…possibly left in the sun for too long…but in a good way. The wheat is omnipresent and makes it feel all the more like a hot summer day at the homestead. Ahh, escapism at its finest.

And then there is the matter of Hottenroth’s extreme session-worthiness. There is no mistake above. This beer is 3.1% abv. This is where Hottenroth is most noteworthy in my opinion. What do you session with, a lawnmower beer or a plough beer?

I’m not going to tell you that this 3.1% beer is the most complex-mind-blowing-must-buy-immediately beer I’ve ever had, but I can tell you that this sessionable beer is not thin and boring, and it sure doesn’t taste like the mash was cut with rice. It is a darn tasty beer, and you can easily drink a few of them in one sitting without slobbering on yourself and blathering like an idiot about farm animals or god-knows-what. Hottenroth is exciting, refreshing, delicious, and most of all inspiring. I choose the plough beer, and plenty of it.

My hat’s off, yet again, to the Famille Rue.

If you like Hottenroth you should try:

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Festina PecheTelegraph Brewing Co.’s Berliner WeisseSly Fox Brewing Co.’s Berliner Weisse

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

Notes of a Beer Nerd: Cigar City Brewing Bolita Brown

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Who's down for a game of Bolita?

***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 2/22/2011

Brewery: Cigar City Brewing LLC

Location: Tampa, FL

Beer: Bolita Brown Double Nut Brown Ale

Web: http://www.cigarcitybrewing.com/

Presentation: 750 ml – Blown Glass Bottle – Capped

Vintage: 2009

Style: Double Nut Brown Ale

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 9.0%

IBU: N/A

Hops: N/A

Malt: N/A

Vessel: Snifter

Recommended Serving Temp: 45 degrees

Commercial Description:

Bolita was a type of lottery popular with the working class citizens of the Ybor City district of Tampa. Bolita means, ’little ball’ but profits from the illegal (and often rigged) game were anything but little. In the 1920’s Tampa native Charlie Wall was the undisputed kingpin of the Bolita racket.

Our Bolita is a Double Northern English-style brown ale that has a complex malt forward character with notes of chocolate, toffee and hints of roasted nuts in the finish. Bolita pairs well with Baklava, Big Band Music, Cool Evenings and robust cigars.

Food Pairings: Pork, brownies

Cheese Pairings: Camembert, Asiago

Music Pairing: Sun Ra

Beer Advocate: A- (4.09)

Rate Beer: 98 (3.76)

Timperialstout’s Notes:

Background.

I have been saying for a while now that The Bruery and Cigar City are the two most exciting new breweries to open in the past 5 years.  In the case of The Bruery, I have relatively strong access to their beers and can speak with experience.  With CCB, I am forced to go completely by word of mouth, publications and ratebeer/beeradvocate ratings…until now.  Thanks to the overwhelming kindness and social grace of Jess and DSR, the better 2/3 of Beer Blotter, I was gifted with this bottle after they toured NYC in 2009.  I had been waiting for a special occasion to open it.  When I received a god-awful bill from a recent ER visit I made, I decided that I’d substitute “special occasion” with “extreme desire to escape reality”.  Let’s see if they live up to the hype.

Appearance.

Just after opening the bottle, at a very cold temperature mind you, a bit of foam formed and began to slowly creep over the rim of the bottle.  Out of fear of losing some of this rare brew to the table top, I quickly filled my snifter.  A lively head rose up but I was able to get a good pour and not overflow the vessel.  Bottle-conditioning success!

The fluid itself is a gorgeous mahogany color, and when held directly to the light it appears slightly toward a very dark, murky amber.  Light does not pass through and though it is evident that the carbonation is strong, it is nearly impossible to see any rising effervescence.

The head is tan in color and fairly light in density.  It falls somewhat quickly from its initial heights but leaves behind immense globs of lace, eventually settling into a soft, brownish-tan wisp.  As I revel in the appearance, from a top view, I’m reminded of being on a beach, right at the point in which the crashing waves dwindle and recede.  A froth of salty water resting upon dark, drenched sand, awaiting the next gravity fed barrage of the mighty sea.  If I could shrink myself down and anxiously submerge my feet in these cool sands, I would not hesitate.

Odor.

The scent is surprisingly vinous and estery…almost tart.  It takes a deep waft and some searching to find the nuts and malts beneath, but they are there.  The full experience in the nose – that being the combination of the before mentioned attributes – is actually really enjoyable, though my first impression is that this was not intended by the brewers.  Though, upon further reflection, this is a Cigar City beer and there is no doubt that, in its current state, this would pair effortlessly with a cigar.  Even still, as this is my first and only experience with this beer, I ponder the role that travel and age may play here.  It may require a trip to the Southeast to truly know.

Had the label come out and told me that this beer was aged in wood I would feel much better about everything, but really, if it isn’t, and this isn’t the intended scent, maybe it should be because it’s amazing!  It’s full of cherry notes and brown sugar, strawberries and rhubarb, pie crust and sugar cookies filled with jam.

Nuts and chocolate, again, can be found, but much deeper than the rest.  The moment that they are found, it all comes together in a holiday-like harmony that really sends me to another place and time.  It’s a magical experience.  Very, very much unlike most brown ales, there is no subtlety to the nose.  It bursts out of the glass like an overly perfumed grandmother.  In this case, I want to rest my shoulder on granny all evening long.

Mouthfeel.

The MF is on the high side with respect to carbonation, which slightly inhibits my ability to gauge anything in this category.  Through many sips I determine that it’s above average in body but not overly cloying or oily.  It’s spot on for a double brown ale.

Flavor.

It’s in the flavor that the nuts and chocolatey, roasted malt characteristics truly shine, but that only really holds true when the beer is colder.  In that stage the flavor is much reminiscent of Nutella.  When you couple that with the fruity nose, well, quite literally… it’s like enjoying a Nutella dipped strawberry, which, let me tell you, is simply stupendous!

The grains do not present any acridity or chalkiness and it all goes down smooth and sweet.  As the beer warms the experience has much less of a yin and yang effect and the flavors seems to devolve more into what was experienced with the surface scents.  The maltiness is pressed to the aftertaste and it all transitions into something very Belgian in nature.  If there was ever a time that I’d bet wood was involved in the production of this beer it would be now.  Strawberry bubblegum screams the loudest, but a woody, earthy flavor rests below.  That may be my palate misinterpreting the nuts since they are rare in this context.  The booze really brightens up here and plays yet another role in my (spiked?) barrel theory.

Amidst all this seeming mayhem, there is not an ounce of me that is disenchanted by any of it.  In fact, I can’t get enough.  It’s a chameleon of a beer.  What strange shade will I see the next time I blink?

Aftertaste.

The aftertaste is an afterthought for most of my time with this beer.  It’s all sweet and just slightly acidic, but with warmth there is a lasting, cocoa powder graininess that gives the impression of a chalky dryness that isn’t actually there.  This is probably the worst part of the entire experience of Bolita Brown but that is a bit of a misnomer because the whole experience is grande.  There is no doubt that I want to continue to the next sip.

Summation.

It’s been a long time coming, this foray into the realm of Cigar City, and whether I “compromised” the product or not, I really enjoyed my time with it.  I have great hopes that the time will soon come that I have full access to CCB’s product line.

If you like Cigar City Bolita Brown, you should try…

Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale; Smuttynose Brewing’s Old Brown Dog Ale; Lazy Magnolia Brewing’s Southern Pecan

Disclaimer: This beer was purchased by Beer Blotter with our own hard-earned money, and aged to perfection by yours truly.

Asheville Continues To Be Awesome

January 21, 2011 2 comments

Thirsty for Belgians?

If you are following me on Twitter (@timperialstout), I’m sure that you have noticed that I have been blowing up your timeline with beer check-ins via Untappd.  Sorry about that.  Hopefully, you’re just a little jealous that I get to have an entire week of unencumbered liver destruction at the hands of many Eastern and Southern beers that I either very rarely get to drink or have never had before.  Needless to say, I’m having a blast!

I’m pretty sure that I could be happy living in Asheville solely thanks to two establishments.  First, Thirsty Monk.  Thirsty Monk is one of the best beer bars I have ever been to.  The owner actually lived in Seattle for a while and is a huge fan of The Stumbling Monk in Cap Hill, as well as Brouwer’s and Hale’s Ales.  The Thirsty fella is much larger than the Stumbling one, and I’d venture to say that it’s more true to form in its Belgian authenticity.  The layout and minimal food offerings (cheese, soft pretzels, humus plate) bring much reminiscing to my time in the true home of the Belgian Beer Bar Experience.  Though, the top floor is home to all American beer taps, many of which are local.  It’s the bottom floor that is the real lair of the monk.  All taps in the depths are of Belgian style, though not all are imports.  During my visit there were several Belgian styles on tap from American brewers such as The Bruery, North Coast and Allagash.

The best part about Thirsty Monk, other than the decor and great taplist, is that they offer taster trays (four samples) and half pints.  No beer is excluded.  This is very similar awesomeness to Uber Tavern’s relatively new service upgrade in allowing tasters of any beer on tap.  When you order a taster tray at TM you are also given a tasting notes card and a pencil so that you can, of course, write tasting notes and have something to take home with you so that you can remember what you had and if you enjoyed it.  This is especially helpful for me in my current situation…drinking beers that I very rarely if ever have, that is.

That brings us to the second establishment that would make it easy for me to permanently reside in Asheville, Bruisin’ Ales.  Before I made it here I had stopped into a few local markets, wine shops and the other bottle shop in town, Hops & Vines.  No one seems to compare to Bruisin’ Ales in selection, and really, that’s what you want in a bottle shop.  BA has an exceptional selection of locals, regionals and Belgians (lots and lots of Belgians).  They also have a great collection of glassware available and sell t-shirts with their logo on them.

The location is prime, right in the mix of it all downtown.  It’s actually on the same road as Barley’s Taproom and Mellow Mushroom, two great beer bars.  I found the staff to be very kind and knowledgeable.  As is always the case when I’m in a new place with a huge collection of beers that are unavailable in Seattle, I was wildly overwhelmed.  I decided that I should hold off on purchasing the final bounty of bottles that I will smuggle back to Seattle until later in the trip when I have a better idea of what’s good, rare, etc.  I grabbed a few bottles to take back to the dwelling for late night options.  These included Terrapin So Fresh & So Green fresh hop IPA, Terrapin Gamma Ray wheatwine, New Holland Blue Sunday Sour, Weyerbacher Riverva 2010 and Ska Nefarious Ten Pin imperial porter.  Good times.

Events for Week of December 27, 2010

December 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Stop by the Library Ale House this week! Happy 2011!

The New Year quickly descends upon us. What will you be drinking to ring in 2011?

After a trip to Ohio full of endless Great Lakes Christmas Ale, we arrive back in Seattle. But now for your week in beer.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Meet the Bruery Fundraiser: Santa Monica, California

6:00PM-9:00PM @ the Library Ale House

The Bruery is one of the newer, yet highly acclaimed breweries in Southern California. Tonight, they will be tapping kegs of 3 French Hens and Rugbrød. Rare bottles of Workman’s Friend Imperial Porter will also be available. A flight of all three will be available for purchase. In addition small bites for pairing will be provided:

- Workman’s Friend with Turkey Meatloaf
– Rugbrod with Jerk Chicken
– 3 French Hens with Bread Pudding

Fellow SoCal brewery Port Brewing will have Santa’s Little Helper for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pint Night with Breckenridge Brewery: Exton, Pennsylvania

6:00PM-11:00PM @ The Drafting Room Taproom and Grille

Pint Night at The Drafting Room Taproom & Grille
featuring Breckenridge Brewery

Join us on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 6:00
On Tap from Breckenridge:
Christmas Ale (Winter Warmer)
Lucky U IPA (American IPA)
Avalanche (American Amber)
471 IPA (Imperial IPA)
Vanilla Porter
Regal Pilsner (Imperial Pilsner)
Oatmeal Stout

Hope to see you there

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Founders and Friends Benefit and Tasting: Columbus, Ohio

7:00PM-11:00PM @ Bob’s Bar

All things good in the Midwest (and more) will be available on tap tonight!

1) Founders Brewing – Backwoods Bastard Tapping
2) Columbus Brewing – 12 Hops of XMas (Firkin)
3) Fatheads – Headhunter IPA (1st columbus tapping) –> THIS BEER IS SO GOOD!!!
4) Stone Brewing – First tapping of their collaboration with Fatheads (brewed during Cleveland Beer Week)
5) Sierra Nevada – Celebration and 30th Anniv.
6) North Coast – TBA
7) Troegs – Mad Elf and perhaps a little surprise from the brewery

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Beer’s Eve: Chicago, Illinois

4:00PM-12:00AM @ Fountainhead

Ok this event is only $30.00 per person and the beers on tap and the food look amazing- this might be the best New Year’s Eve deal in the country.

On Draft,
New Belgium/Allagash – Vrienden
Left Hand – Fade To Black
Bierbrouwerij Emelisse – Triple IPA
Two Brothers – Bare Tree Weiss Wine
Dogfish Head – Bitches Brew
Bear Republic – Apex Imperial IPA
Mikkeller – Rauch Geek Breakfast Stout
Anderson Valley – Imperial Boont Amber
Half Acre – Big Huggs

On Cask,
Bells Two Hearted
Three Floyds Alpha King

New Beer’s Eve Pre-Fix Dinner:

1st Course:

Choice of:

Beer Cheese Soup, Spicy Beer Cheese Soup with Potatoes, Lime Cream, Bacon, Grilled Rye & Sourdough

or

Crispy Salad, Spiced Walnuts & Diced Apple with Goat Cheese over Mixed Greens & Cherry Vinaigrette

2nd Course

Choice of:

Pot Roast, Rioja Demi and Root Vegetables over Parsnip Puree

or

Bourbon Maple Glazed Salmon with Root Vegetable Succotash and Celery Root Salad

3rd Course

Generous slice of Belgian Chocolate Bread Pudding with Caramel and Candied Pecans

Each course paired with a beer by our Beer Director

Pre-Fix Dinner by reservation only, 4-8 pm, $30 per Person

Please email by Wed. Dec. 29th with Preferred Time, Number of People, & Course Choices to: phil@fountainheadchicago.com
New Beer’s Eve Small Plates, 8-11pm

Saturday, January 1, 2011

20 Stouts on Tap: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

12:00PM-12:00AM @ Monk’s Cafe

Yep, we’re doing it again. Every line will have a stout running though the spout. As always, we’ll have some recognizable stouts and a few keg that most of you have not tasted before. Come in out of the cold and warm up with some hearty food and robust stouts.

Cash Bar, starts around noon.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

All of the events I can find today are not worth going to. Sit at home with some friends and break open something from the cellar.

Cheers!

Monday, January 3, 2010

Diners, Drive-In and Dives Party: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

10:00PM-11:00PM @ Memphis Taproom

The Memphis Taproom will be featured on the Food Network’s show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Tonight, celebrate with PENNY DRAFT BEERS for one half hour! During commercials only — when the show’s on, you will have all eyes on the TV!

If you want me to post about an event, want to talk about an event you went to or just want to talk about beer, email me at jess@beerblotter.com or leave a comment!! Cheers!

Events for Week of December 13, 2010

December 14, 2010 2 comments

 

Head to Santa Monica's Library Alehouse for some amazing brews this week!

Due to my inability to post events on Sunday, I have decided to post on Mondays and give you events from Tuesday through Monday. Hope that is okay. If not, let me know!

 

This weekend, I indulged in a Black Raven Trickster, Cantillon’s Framboise, New Belgium‘ s La Folie, New Belgium’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Sah’ti, Deschutes Hop Henge and 21st Amendment’s Brew Free or Die IPA. A pretty good weekend in beer, if I say so myself.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Beer Dinner: Downingtown, Pennsylvania

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

Nothing like the holidays to have an excuse to splurge! Check out this menu- its simply irresistible, $50.00 per person and paired with Victory Brewing Co. beers.

Duo of Soups
Red pepper bisque and puree of spinach
Served with Prima Pils

Prosciutto wrapped beer blanched asparagus with gruyere mornay sauce
Served with Rauch Porter

Cranberry and chestnut filled turkey breast cutlets with Pursuit giblet gravy and roasted seasonal squash
Served with Pursuit Pale Ale

Cracked barley encrusted oysters with Anaheim chili risotto and saffron aioli
Served with ESB

Cinnamon nutmeg spice cake with Dark Intrigue frosting
Served with Dark Intrigue

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bourbon County Bottle Signing: Homer Glen, Illinois

6:00PM-9:00PM @ Kenwood Liquors

Bourbon County is one of the best stouts EVER and in my opinion the best beer made by Goose Island. Tonight, stop by one of the two Kenwood Liquor locations and pick up a bottle specially signed by Goose Island Founder John Hall.

Time: 6pm-7pm

Kenwood Liquors
12037 W. 159th Street
Homer Glen, IL 60491
(708) 590-8210

Time: 8pm-9pm

Kenwood Liquors
10750 South Cicero Avenue
Oak Lawn, IL 60453-5402
(708) 424-3580

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dogfish Head Bash: Montpelier, Vermont

7:00PM-2:00AM @ Three Penny Taproom

This epic tap list includes Dogfish Head‘s best beers:

- Chateau Jiahu
– Theobroma
– Pangaea
– Bitch’s Brew
– My Antonia
– Red & White
– Black & Blue
– Olde School
– 90 Minute
– 60 Minute
– Indian Brown

Friday, December 17, 2010

Week of Wild Friday Tastival: Eugene, Oregon

5:00PM-10:00PM @ Sixteen Tons Beer & Wine

Hot Damn- Featured breweries will include Block 15, Upright, Hair of the Dog, De Dolle, Cantillon, Rodenbach, Russian River, The Bruery, Orval, Cascade, Deschutes, Victory, Lindemans, Oud Beersel, 3 Fonteinen, De Ranke, Haandbryggeriet, New Belgium, Avery, Mikkeller, Ommegang, and more.

Tasting tickets are $1. Beers are 1-4 tickets for 3oz tasters. No entry fee. GO TO THIS!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Maui Brewing Launch Party: Denver, Colorado

1:00PM-5:00PM @ Freshcraft

Finally, Maui Brewing has reached Colorado. A state full of beer lovers, it’s about time! The long-awaited time when CoCoNuT Porter, Big Swell IPA & Bikini Blonde Lager hit Colorado are now over.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Twelve Days of Barleywine: Anchorage, Alaska

11:00AM-11:00PM @ Glacier Brewhouse

Stop by Glacier Brewhouse for some barleywines. It’s impressive that a brewery makes an array of this specific style. Today is the 10th day, so time is of the essence.

THE 10th DAY OF BARLEYWINE – DEC. 19, 2010
1. 2011 Big Woody Barleywine aged in Ukrainian Oak barrel for 10 months. (9.00% abv)
2. 2010 Eisbock aged 8 months in Makers Mark barrels. (9.00%abv)
3. Cask conditioned selection. 2008 Russian Imperial Stout aged 2.67 years in virgin Czech oak barrels. (9.00% abv)
Pay as you go

Monday, December 20, 2010

Library Alehouse Holiday Beer Fest Kickoff: Santa Monica, California

6:00PM-11:00PM @ Library Ale House

$10.00, just $10.00 gets you:

Library Logo Tasting Glass and Your First Beer
…$2.50 – $5 Refills on ALL Holiday Ale Fest Beers throughout the Fest
10% off food during the festival

Tonight is the kick-off event and this will continue for two weeks. But tonight’s tap list includes:

- Nøgne Ø / Jolly Pumpkin / Stone Special Holiday Ale
– Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza
– N’ice Chouffe
– Dogfish Head Pangea
– Dogfish Head Chicory Stout
– Sierra Nevada Celebration
– Anchor Brewing’s Merry Christmas Happy New Year Ale
– Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice
– Delirium Noel
– Gouden Carolus Noel

What is your favorite beer holiday event? Leave a comment or email me at jess@beerblotter.com!

Beer Blotter’s Guide To Brouwer’s Big Wood Fest 2010

December 1, 2010 4 comments

Can't miss.

If you live in the Seattle area and you like beer enough to read this blog, chances are pretty good that you will be hitting up Big Wood Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe, if not on opening night (Thursday Dec. 2), at some point this coming weekend. Hopefully you have already gazed upon the outstanding preliminary list which can be found on our site here and on Brouwer’s blog.

Clearly, there’s a lot of options to chose from, and all of us, most unfortunately, only have one measly liver to assist us in tackling them.  This is where we come in.  We drink a lot of beer.  We have been to BWF several times now. If you want to make sure that you order your barrel aged beers wisely, heed our advice.  We don’t think that you will be disappointed.

I’ve decided to choose my top 15.  These are the beers that I plan to sample, based on the current list.  It’s my game plan.  I know what you are thinking, and yes, I actually do think that I can try 15 beers.  When bb.com goes to big beer events at Brouwer’s, where there is never a cover, we make sure to roll deep.  We bring out as many friends as possible, we direct them on what to order, and then we drink their beers (of course we let them drink ours too).  Always be sure to order the smallest size that is offered, every time.  These events are all about getting your hands, and tastes buds, on as many special and rare beers as possible.

This list is, as always with Brouwer’s events, subject to change because it is very likely that the final list will include a few eye-popping secrets.  This year I’m hoping to see a few more special Hair of the Dog beers, more vintage Bottleworks Anniversary beers like barrel aged Ivan the Terrible, and maybe some more killer locals like Petite Mort from Black Raven or some Big Time treats.

 

15. People’s Barrel Reserve – Brouwer’s has started a little trend in the past few years with bringing in some Midwest offerings that are rarely, if ever seen in WA.  Last year we were graced with Stoudt’s (PA represent!) Barrel Aged Fat Dog and some absolutely insane Founder’s beer.  I think it was a maple barrel aged Breakfast Stout or KBS.  Dunno but is was bonkers!  If this is the People’s Brewing Co. from IN, then this is a beer that you will most likely not see in Seattle for a very long time to come.  Why not give it a whack?

 

14. Skagit Oak Aged Gospel – Gospel is an IPA.  I had to have at least one IPA on this list, and I’m proud to support SRB.  You might remember reading us gush about the Bourbon Barrel Reverend at Hop Fest.  If this one is even close to as good we are in for a treat.  Brewer Mike Armstrong is an amazing guy and an amazing brewer.  He almost always attends these event on opening day so seek him out and shake his manly brewer hand.

 

13. Snipes ??? – What will it be?  My guess, Twangzister, their barrel aged sour cherry stout.  If I’m right, this beer deserves to be much higher on the list, but I can’t just go around making bold moves on pure speculation now can I?  I do feel confident putting this on my list either way, because Chris Miller makes amazing beer, some of the best in the state.

 

12. Cascade ??? – Those erotemes could easily read “Barrel Aged Bile” and I would still order it, yes…mostly because I wouldn’t believe that it was actually bile, but also because Cascade shits gold.  Hand me any Cascade beer, any time, any day, and I will love you forever.  Just get this, please.

 

11. Boundary Bay Imperial Oaked Oatmeal Stout – BBB Impy Oatmeal Stout is, like their Imperial IPA, a beer that I can never see and not order.  It’s just so smooth and dark and mysterious.  An oak aged version…shut the f…ront door!  Purchased! Beer Blotter couldn’t heart a brewery more than we heart Boundary Bay.

 

10. Hale’s Rye Whiskey Aged Imperial Stout – Ok, I admit it, I rarely recommend a Hale’s beer in my festival previews.  It’s not at all because I have a problem with the brewery, in fact, I’m a fan.  The things that they do with that hopback of theirs really impress me… but this is not an IPA…  What excites me about this one?  Well, it’s quite simple actually – when I see the words “Rye” and Whiskey” and “Imperial” and “Stout” all lined up in order like that, it’s such a thrilling sight that I absolutely must participate.  Yeah, I’ll be trying this one.

 

9. Stone Lucky 13 – According to Brouwer’s twitter/facebook, this is a blend of Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Bastard, and Double Bastard.  I guess that would make this aka Lukcy Basartd (yeah, that’s how they spell it).  Despite the fact that I don’t particularly like any of those three beers (I know, I’m pure freak), I’m really intrigued.  This is a one time, limited release from Stone, so give it some rare points.

 

8. Port Townsend Maple’s Best BBN Imperial Stout – PTB has always been a great brewery, but lately it seems that they have really been stepping up their game.  I have a personal rule, if I see a PTB beer on tap that isn’t one of their standard offerings, I will never let it pass me by.  I think you should have the same rule.  In this particular case, you had me with impy stout, and then you really rubbed in it with the maple.  Gimme.

 

7. Midnight Sun Beserker – MSB makes a lot of really sick beers that rarely make it out of AK.  Berserker is one that was bottled and came to Seattle in a very, very limited supply.  I only have a bottle in the cellar because DSR and Jess were in the right place at the right time and they hooked it up.  I think all that I really need to do to sell you on this one is to tell you the description… it’s a 12.7% imperial stout brewed with molasses and maple syrup and aged in oak.  Game over.

 

6. The Bruery Three French Hens – I was fairly recently informed that bottles of Partridge in a Pear Tree (the first in their 12 Days/Years of Christmas Series) were going for nearly $300 on ebay.  Ever since, I’ve gone to great lengths to find and procure each new release in the series.  The cellar is caught up, but you better believe that I’m not going to crack one for another 9 years, that is if I don’t just sell the set and retire young.  This will be my chance to actually try one, and you better believe I’m going to take it.

 

5. Hotd Matt – Just in case you had a brain aneurysm in the past few seconds, HotD stands for Hair of the Dog, and it’s in all three members of Beer Blotter’s top 10 breweries in the world list.  Alan Sprints is beer royalty.  We love Matt, which was specially brewed for the owner’s of Brouwer’s/Bottleworks for Bottlework’s tenth anniversary.  It’s sour, and like every beer from this Portland brewery, it’s fantastic.  We are very hopeful that this is not the only HotD on the taplist come Thursday, but if it is, we will never complain, because we just savored Matt (the beer, not the person, but hey Matt(s)…call me).

 

4. The Bruery Coton – I know, I’m sort of obsessed with The Bruery, but god damn it they deserve my obsession!  Coton is The Bruery’s second anniversary beer and it’s basically a blend of oak barrel aged Papier (their first anniversary beer) and a new, un-aged brew of Papier, which is an old ale.  When I bought a bottle of Papier in ’09 I thought it was a little overpriced, but Coton is probably the most expensive “new” beer I have ever bought.  Get it on tap, if for no other reason than the fact that it will be slightly more affordable.  Oh yeah, also because old ales are amazing and their version is beyond amazing, and very rare.

 

3. New Belgium Sour Blackberry Whiskey – So I’m not 100% sure of this, but some mild research has lent me to believe that this is NBB’s Love (true lambic, foeder #3, blended into La Folie & Le Terroir, insanely, amazingly good, amazed that it’s made in America and not Belgium…), transferred into whiskey barrels and aged with blackberries.  If I’m right, this might be the greatest beer on Earth.  Again, speculation, blah, blah…

 

2. Firestone Walker 14 – Like far too many beers, I went to great lengths to get this beer in the bottle and could only afford one, so I have it but have never had it, if you know what I mean.  DSR and Jess had it during SD Beer Week and said it blew their collective mind.  If I went into what this beer consisted of here…well…this article would take a lot longer to read than it has already taken you.  Just check out this post by the good people over at beernews.org and salivate yourself into a puddle.

 

1. Russian River Deviation – HAHA!  Wow…where to start.  Ok Tim, try to keep it together… Every time that I see this beer on tap at Brouwer’s I treat it like it’s the last time I’ll ever have it.  Deep inside I know that that isn’t really true, because I have a bottle in my cellar that I bought on the day that it came out in ’08, but who knows, my house could burn down some day or global warming could scorch the Earth’s crust and it could boil itself undrinkable.  I consider that bottle to be the most valuable bottle of beer that I currently own.  Yeah that whole Partridge in a Pear Tree thing, if it’s true, might prove me wrong, but there’s more to it than monetary value alone. 

Deviation is the best Russian River beer that I have ever had (and that puts it very high on my all time list, if not at the top).  Also, Bottleworks periodically pulls some out of their cellar and sells it for nearly $100 a bottle.  I think I bought it for $15.  This beer is the epitome of rare and the epitome of mind-blowingly delicious.  Please, don’t order this so that I can drink it all, that is, if it really does still exist…

 

Terrible

 

Events for Week of November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010 1 comment

Stop by and taste BrewDog's rare and extremely potent beers at Birch and Barley

Its Thanksgiving week which means a short work week and snow for people in Seattle- a rare occurrence, I might add. This weekend I warmed up with some Firestone Walker Double Jack, Stone‘s 2008 Russian Imperial Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout (unreal), The Bruery‘s Autumn Maple Strong Ale and Upright‘s 5 Rye Saison. But now for your week in beer!

Monday, November 22, 2010

BrewDog Night: Washington, D.C.

4:00PM-9:00PM @ Birch and Barley

Tonight, Birch and Barley will be serving the insanely potent Sink The Bismarck (a Quadruple IPA at 41 % abv) and Tactical Nuclear Penguin by BrewDog (Uber Imperial Stout at 32 % abv) in 1.5 oz. pours beginning at 4 PM! Come and taste these singular libations and discover that there is much more too them than hype!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Firestone Walker 14th Anniversary Release Party: Seal Beach, California

7:00PM-10:00PM @ Beachwood BBQ

I recently had this beer in San Diego and it is out-of-this-world! Beachwood BBQ will be taping a keg of Firestone Walker‘s 14 as well as Union Jack, Double Jack, Velvet Merlin, Solace, Pale 31, and DBA.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Emerald City Brewing Co. Tasting: Seattle, Washington

6:00PM- close @ Jillian’s

Check out our article about this event. Emerald City Brewing Co. is new to Seattle, so get out and discover all the beers this brewery has to offer.

Thursday, November 25, 2010
HAPPY TURKEY DAY from bb.com!

What beers will you drink today?



Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday: Chicago, Illinois

10:00AM-12:00PM @ Goose Island Cylbourn

Join Goose Island on Black Friday for a special preview of the much anticipated Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout. The Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub will be tapping a few barrels of the Rare that morning at 10am. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and we expect it will sell out fast. Aside from this special tapping the only time you’ll see Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout on draft will be at select beer festivals and promotional Goose Island events in the future.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

HOPSGIVING: Barto, Pennsylvania

12:00PM-10:00PM @ Union Jack’s Old Congo Hotel

No cover- pay as you drink. Check the list. Its pretty amazing.

PORT HIGH TIDE
GREEN FLASH IMPERIAL
STONE RUINATION
PORT HOP 15
DOGFISH HEAD 90 MIN
NOGNE O
PLINY THE ELDER
BLIND PIG
SOUTHERN TIER UNEARTHLY
ROGUE XS IPA
GREAT DIVIDE FRESH HOP ALE
BEAR REPUBLIC RACER X
AVERY MAHARAJAH
VICTORY HOP WALLOP

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Freakin’ Firkin Sunday: Benton Harbor, Michigan

2:30 – ?? @ The Livery

Brewmaster Steve will be tapping the Firkin cask at 3.00 p.m. (or thereabouts) on this Sunday. Enjoy a pint of real ale in its true form – and also enjoy the lively Irish Session which is the same day from 2-5 pm.
If you have an event you are going to, went to or an event you want us to post about, please email me at jess@beerblotter.com. Cheers!

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