One of my writers in crime here at Beer Blotter, Jess R., quite recently published a very well crafted article about glassware. It reminded us all of the overwhelming importance of presenting beer in its proper vessel.
In turn, we were reminded of the the one place in the world where bartenders actually feel the need to offer a heartfelt apology for momentarily being out of the proper glass for the beer ordered: where else but Belgium. Thoughts of Belgium take us down never ending roads of memory that we will most definitely not get into right now.
But for us three blotterers, a chance to get together, drink beer, and reminisce about our mighty Euro trip will never go unrealized. In the midst of that exciting undertaking, we figured why not clear out a small corner of the cellar that drastically needed to be cleared, all the while bringing it full circle with just the topic that spawned the meeting, glassware.
This night was epic. I guess we had a lot more cellar space to open up than we thought. Time will not allow me to copy all of my notes on all of the beer-glass pairings of the night in one sitting, so here I present part 1.
Pilsner Glass – Victory Brewing Summer Love Ale
Though dubbed an ale right there in the name, this was most likely brewed with California Common yeast, which would indeed make it an ale but would attribute many characteristics of a lager. Thus, the pairing with the pils glass, which allowed the head to stay compact and lively in the decreased circumference, where it would normally dwindle and lay dormant in short time. This beer was specially made for Philly Tourism, who recently contacted us due to Timperial’s roots there.
We took our popular With Love, Philadelphia XOXO tourism initiative from campaign to consumer experience by partnering with Victory Brewing Company to create Summer Love Ale. Brewed locally in Chester County, PA with pale malts, German hops and water from the Brandywine River, the golden brew began flowing at bars throughout the Philadelphia region during the annual Philly Beer Week in June.
Check out this quote from Victory Brewer Bill Covaleski:
Summer Love starts with an all German malt base upon which we overlaid crisp German hops for that familiar, import quality that some many beer drinkers find attractive and comfortable, then we put bright, lemony Citra hops, grown here in the US, into the mix for an exciting aroma to start and refreshing and enduring finish. Kinda like Philly. Mostly familiar but always surprising!
My notes of the beer read as follows: This pours, not surprisingly, light in color, hazy yellow with a white head of very large bubbles. The odor is very impressive in it’s hoppiness; floral and grassy. This is very easy drinking with excellent sweetness coming from mild caramel notes. From a light(er) beer perspective, this is really well balanced with a striking lemony, citrus hop profile. I could drink this for days!
Tulip Glass – Victory Brewing Saison Du Buff
This beer was originally released under Stone Brewing’s liscense as part of their collaboration series. Dogfish Head, Stone and Victory teamed up to create this one, but each brewery is now releasing it under their own license and with their own distinctive artwork.
I found this beer to be hazy golden in color with intense carbonation. To call it spicy and floral would be an understatement. Herbal to the nth degree. Some possible herbs at play are chamomile, ginger, coriander, citrus peel, rosemary, sage… It’s a cornucopia.
The head quickly subsided to nothing at all, which I found to be very odd with respect to the lively carbonation. Perhaps oils from the herbs had negative effects on the retention?
The aftertaste seemed to linger for days, and I also found it to be surprising that the finish was not super dry, which seems to be commonplace with saisons in general. Damn good beer!
Goblet – The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel
This is seriously no ordinary beer for no ordinary glass. For branding consistency sake, I turned the glass around to the non-logo side for the picture (left) but just take my word for it that it’s a Westvleteren glass. We got that shit straight from In De Vrede in West Flanders! And the beer…well, it’s made by The Bruery…’nuff said!
This puppy weighs in at 8.1% and is brewed with rice and Thai basil. It pours a soft amber hue with above average carbonation and pretty poor clarity. Arising on the pour, a luscious white head that sticks around. In the nose, that striking candy sweetness that accompanies nearly all true Belgian tripels. There is also a malty sweetness that lends credibility to the brewer’s art.
The basil manifested itself into a simple, neutral spicy characteristic, and I also found there to be a very pronounced green apple quality. The lacing on the glass is not to be scoffed at and all that sweetness lends to a fantastically smooth mouthfeel.
The aftertaste is mesmerizing as well. Booze and grains come out as it warms, but I don’t find either to be negative here.
Flute – Ommegang Zuur
This 6% Flemish Sour Ale was brewed in collaboration with the much heralded Belgian sour brewer Liefman’s. It fills the glass with a brownish ruby red color and possess respectable clarity.
Initially, as it makes contact with the glass, the carbonation is wild and it’s very difficult to pour anything but a glass full of foam. As quickly as the suds rise up they dissipate to not but a trace. I find dark fruit in the scent, mostly the cherries that it was brewed with, and a good dose of funky, sour tartness, spot on for the style.
On the tongue, it’s prickly with the carbonation and tensing with tartness. Puckering yes, but I’ve soireed with many Flemish ales with much more zing. There is a pleasant bread-like maltiness in behind all the pizazz, but the overall body and intensity is underwhelming in the end.
Many respects for Ommegang for taking a swing at this exciting style, and though it’s very drinkable, it’s no Rodenbach.
After a long day at the mountain, we are just going to jump right into it.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Hebrew/Coney Island Beer Tasting: Jacksonville, Florida
7:00PM-9:00PM @ European Street Cafe
Get a taste of New York tonight with a tasting of 8 beers from Hebrew/Coney Island Brewing Co. On tap tonight: Albino Pytho; Jewbelation; Coney Island Lager; Sword Swallower Lager; Human Blockhead; Lenny’s RIPA; Genesis and Massiah.
Ommegang Beer Dinner: Rhinebeck, New York
5:00PM-9:00PM @ Terrapin
Upstate New York is home to Brewery Ommegang. Tonight entails a three course meal paired with 9 different Ommegang beers such as Chocolate Indulgence, Beirre de Mars and Three Philosophers. There are menu items for both meat lovers and vegatarians.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Pliny the YOUNGER Keg Tapping: Seattle, Washington
5:00PM or 6:00PM- until its GONE @ Brouwer’s Cafe
PTY, Russian River Brewing Co.’s triple IPA has made it up North to Seattle. We missed the keg at Collin’s Pub on Friday, but we are NOT missing out this time around. This keg is bound to be kicked in an hour, maybe even less, so get there early.
Mardi Gras Celebration: Grand Rapids, Michigan
4:00PM-12:00AM @ HopCat
Okay, so Michigan is a lot colder than New Orleans, but you can still partake in the Mardi Gras festivities. Beads, a faux parade and Abita beer for all!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Cigar City Unleased: New York, New York
7:00PM-3:00AM @ Rattle -n- Hum
Upright Brewers Dinner: Portland, Oregon
6:00PM – 8:00PM @ Aquariva
A four course meal paired with Upright Brewing’s seasonal beers. This dinner is limited to 25 people at $40.00 per person. Call the restaurant for reservations at 503-802-5850. Beers to be had include: Gose (rare german wheat beer brewed tart with coriander and salt); Flora Rustica (old world saison brewed with yarrow and calendula flowers); Oyster Stout (stout brewed with oysters); Billy the Mountain (pinot barrel aged old ale). Billy the Mountain is especially unique.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Cask Night: Sturbridge, Massachusetts
5:00PM-7:00PM @ Pioneer Brewing Co.
Pioneer Brewing Co. has Cask Conditioned their Stout and added a handful of fresh Cascade Hops. This will be their first time with a Cask Condition brew. Chris Courtney, the assistant brewer will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have. Look for more Cask Conditioned beers in 2010 from Pioneer Brewing Co.
Midwest Night: Brooklyn, New York
6:00PM- 10:00PM @ Baracade
Since 1/3 of Beer Blotter reigns from the great state of Ohio, we wanted to feature this event. Stop by to sample around 20 different beers from the middle of the USA. The draft list isnt posted, but one can only hope breweries like Great Lakes, Founders and Three Floyds will be available for your enjoyment.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Release Party for Great Divide Brews: Denver, Colorado
6:00PM- 10:00PM @ Great Divide Brewing Co.
$20 admission covers snacks and all the Great Divide beer you want, within reason of course. Hoss, Claymore, Colette Saison and Espresso Oak Aged Yeti will be released tonight. Good stuff! Go there.
Bourbon County Stout Vertical Tasting: Chicago, Illinois
8:00PM-10:00PM @ The Long Room
Sample 2007, 2008, and 2009 Bourbon County Stout with the folks from Goose Island Beer Co. Those that show up early enough will also have a chance to sample our very special treat, 2005 Bourbon County Stout. Limited amounts of each, so the beer is first come, first served. This beer ages very well, so it will be interesting to compare the taste through the years.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Dogfish Head Tasting: Bellport, New York
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Bellport Cold Beer and Soda
Dogfish Head beers are available for sale as well as to taste—>6 -8 beers will be for samples! The following beers (only a few are named here) are available in bottles – Singles – 4pks – 6pks – 750’s: Chicory Stout; Midas Touch; Palo Santo Marron and Burton Baton.
HOP FEST: Owosso, Michigan
11:00AM-11:00PM @ Wrought Iron Grill
8 IPA’s on tap, 2 firkins and select bottles will be featured all day starting at 11am. Heated outdoor seating will be available as well as entertainment, food pairings and door prizes. Breweries included will be Short’s Brewing Co., Bell’s, Founders, Avery, Victory, Stone Brewing Co., plus many more.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Hell with the Lid Off Barleywine Fest: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Kelly’s Bar and Lounge
Tis’ the season for Barleywines, so stop by the 6th Annual Barleywine Fest. A massive collection, draft list available upon arrival for those of you lucky enough to participate.
Meet and Greet with The Bruery: Atlanta, Georgia
6:30PM-8:30PM @ The Porter Beer Bar
As mentioned above, we are moving into the barleywine season, so keep an eye out for featured barleywines at your favorite beer bars! Beer Blotter is looking forward to the barleywine festival at Beveridge Place Pub beginning on the 26th with 24 Dedicated Barleywine Taps and 50 different barleywines rotating throughout the Fest! Attending an event, want to attend an event, want to want to attend an event? Leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. Cheers!
A quick shout out to something unrelated to beer. Congrats to the New Orleans Saints for their incredible season and Super Bowl win. New Orleans is a city close to Beer Blotter’s heart and we couldn’t be happier. So a toast in honor of a team and city well deserving of a celebration. WHO DAT?? And now, without further ado, your weekly beer events.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura Release Party: Ann Arbor, Michigan
6:00PM @ Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery
Be one of the first beer drinkers to taste this stout by Jolly Pumpkin tonight at 6:00PM. Madrugada stands for “Dark Dawn”, and this Belgian inspired stout is as dark as a moonless midnight, and brimming with roasted malts and bitter hops. This beer is seasonal, so get it while it lasts!
New Belgium Beer Tasting: Greenville, South Carolina
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Brixx Wood Fired Pizza
This tasting will feature New Belgium‘s spring seasonal Mighty Arrow, newly released Ranger IPA, 1554 Black beer, and of course Fat tire. Enjoy all of these with a few snacks while New Belgium’s local rep talks about the brewery and answer some questions.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Russian River ‘tion Night: San Fransisco, California
6:00PM-12:00PM @ Toronado
Stop by San Fran’s legendary beer bar and indulge in all the goodness Russian River Brewing Co. has to offer. Beers such as (this is not official, just an assumption, so call 415.863.2276 if your looking for a specific brew) Publication, Consecration, Deviation, Damnation, Sanctification, Supplication….Temptation. Seriously if only 3 of those beers are on tap, its worth the trip.
Smuttynose Tasting: Hooksett, New Hampshire
4:30PM-7:30PM @ Berts Better Beers
On the docket for tonight, Smuttynose Brewing Co.’s Big A, Baltic Porter, Wheat Wine, Barleywine and (hopefully) the Imperial Stout. We recently had the Wheat Wine and it is AMAZING. GO THERE, DRINK BEER, REPORT BACK!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Stone Brewing Co. Cask Tasting and Meet and Greet: Washington, DC
6:00PM-10:00PM @ Birch and Barley
What to expect on cask tonight from Stone Brewing Co.? LEVITATION ALE; SMOKED PORTER; ARROGANT BASTARD. Done, Done and Done.
St. Bernardus Beer Dinner: Tampa, Florida
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Mr. Dunderbak’s
Not only will you be able to taste amazing food and sample St. Bernardus beers, you will be able to meet the brewer, Marco in from Belgium. Lamb, mussels, salad and brie tarts will grace the menu tonight. The Witbier, Triple, Prior 8 and Apt 12 will be paired with the delicious menu.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Meet the Brewers of New Old Lompoc Brewing Co.: Portland, Oregon
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Green Dragon
Join all the New Old Lompoc brewers: Dave “Chowdah” Fleming, Bryan Kielty, Zach Beckwith, Sam Orlansky and Jerry Fechter for a meet the brewers session.
Some Like it Hop: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Allegheny HYP Club
The tasting includes beer samples, gourmet appetizers prepared by Chef Shawn, and a presentation on the selected beers. The cost to attend is $15 per person. Please RSVP for the event at the Malt Daddy website. Featured beers include: Troeg’s Nugget Nectar; Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA; Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine and Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Launch of Midnight Sun Brewing Co.: San Fransisco, California
6:00PM-9:00PM @ City Beer Store
California Beer Week continues into the weekend with a launch party for Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Although the beers are not listed, even on City Beer Store’s website, draft and bottle products will be available! This brewery has so many great beers, you really cannot go wrong!
Sour Ale Tasting: Aliso Viejo, California
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Pacific Park Market
CHECK THIS OUT—-> Jolly Pumpkin La Roja; Russian River Supplication (batch 4); Russian River Consecration (batch 3); Bruery Oude Tart; Russian River Beatification and Weyerbacher Riserva. Its only $5 per person to enjoy all of these amazing sour beers. Don’t miss out!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Big Woody 2010: Brooklyn, New York
11:00AM- 12:00PM @ Spuyten Duyvil
Bottles, Drafts and Casks…this event is not only at a extremely cool beer bar in BK, it features some AMAZING beers. For the full list, go to Beer Advocates’ website or click here. Here is a glimpse into the epic beer drinking that those of you in attendance will endure (oh yea, these beers are all 10% and above- enjoy): from the tap-Mikkeller Black (17.5%, Denmark); In Gravity Poured Wooden Barrels-Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock (12%, Germany) and on the bottle list-Brooklyn Black Ops 2008 (10.7%-Brooklyn, NY, USA). Make sure to store the cab company’s number in your phone before going to this event!
Strong Ale Fest: Boyertown, Pennsylvania
12:15PM- 12:15AM @ Union Jack’s Inn On The Manatawny
Similarly themed to the above event, this Strong Ale Fest will feature beers all 10% and higher….so keep that in mind when your throwing ‘em back tonight. A few of the beers available for these 12 hours include, Dogfish Head World Wide Stout 18%; Founders Black Biscuit Barrel Aged Porter 11% and Lost Abbey Angels Share 12%.
February 14, 2010
Valentine’s Day Beer Dinner: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6:00PM- 8:00PM @ Hawthornes
We cant think of a better way to show your love for another than with and among amazing beers. Tonight at Hawthornes, celebrate your love with three courses and the following beers, Southern Tier 07 Choklat; Kasteel Rouge; Rosee d’ Hibiscus (Dieu Du Ciel) and Bells Oaked Aged Two-Hearted Ale. All for $60.00/person. Call (215) 627-3012 for reservations!
Have a Heart for Haiti: Bellingham, Washington
11:00AM-9:00PM @ Boundary Bay Brewing Co.
Ribeye Steak with Wort Compound Butter, Sea Bass in Pappilote, and Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce with Chorizo are just a few of the Special menu choices for Valentines Day. The menu will be available at 5pm along with our regular menu choices. Tables set for two and Music sets by The Mt Baker Toppers starting at 6pm and 7pm. Reservations are recommended. Servers will be donating a portion of their tips & all the proceeds from our Have a Heart dessert will go the Red Cross.
So have a great week, give some love to Haiti, give that someone special a big kiss and drink great beer! If you go to an event, would like us to report on an event or just want to spread the BB love, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoyed on 1/31/2010
Brewery: Victory Brewing Company
Location: Downingtown, PA
Beer: WildDevil Ale
Presentation: 750 ML – Brown Glass Bottle, corked and caged
Style: Belgian Style Wild IPA
Hops: Whole flower American hops
Malt: Imported, 2 row German malts
Recommended Serving Temp: 45 degrees
Notes from the bottle: “It’s arguable that our menacingly delicious HopDevil has always been ‘wild.’ Though the India Pale Ale style that he represents was born in Great Britain, we approach the style with German malts and whole flower American hops, making a unique ale of him, indeed. But what has made him truly wild is a change of yeast. Brettanomyces yeast has given many a Belgian ale its soulful character of sharp tang and deep funk. Fermented completely with Brettanomyces, WildDevil features the greatest flavors of Europe and America combined. Floral, aromatic hops still leap from this amber ale, but a whole host of new flavors are intertwined with the citrus and pine flavors of these hops, making WildDevil a sensation that is wild, worldly and wonderful!”
Bottled on: 6/11/2009
Flavor will continue to develop for some time to come.
Food Pairings: Anything spicy, salads
Cheese Pairings: Blue, cheddar, feta
Beer Advocate: B+
Rate Beer: 94 (3.66)
Victory Brewing has a very special place in my heart. The brewery is about 15 miles from the house I grew up in. I have been to the brewery/brewpub many times. I love everything that they do and I have a huge respect for founders Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski. Though I would be lying if I said I grew up on craft beer (more accurately – lots and lots of Rolling Rock, back when it was brewed in Latrobe and, of course, Yuengling lager from Pottsville), but I can say that Victory taught me a lot about craft beer once I started getting into it, and for that I owe them a lot.
HopDevil was probably one of the very first extremely (at least you could use that word at the time) hoppy beers I ever had. Storm King was definitely the first Imperial Stout I ever had, and I distinctly remember being amazed by the high abv of V-Twelve (you guessed it, 12%). The most exciting thing for me is that now, with many, many craft beer experiences under my belt, my respect and admiration for Victory has only gotten stronger.
I think it’s probably pretty safe to assume that HopDevil is Victory’s highest selling offering. If I’m wrong, it is, without a doubt, one of their most recognizable. It’s a really delicious IPA, and a great name, great logo, and great advertising surely doesn’t hurt the cause. The fact that Brewmasters Bill and Ron decided to experiment with this beer says a lot about these men and the brewery they started as a whole. It speaks of an extreme “ballsiness,” to an almost self-destructive level. It’s moves like this that are the reason that you and I heart American craft brewers. Innovation without fear of failure. In another segment of culinary production and marketing, a slue of corporate suites would have never allowed for such marked brazenness. Muddy your bread and butter with dirty sock (Brett). Risk abandoning and confusing the common Victory drinker. Blasphemy!
It’s moments like this that reaffirm the brilliance of the brewing community that is now. The culture, the figureheads of a movement that we are truly and intensely lucky to bear witness to. Our job here at Beer Blotter is to remind you of this as often as possible. We have been gifted the knowledge of our fortune. Beer Blotter is a beer missionary.
And the word we preach…today it’s Victory WildDevil.
The calmest, most patient among us would pour a glass dominated by creamy head. The bottle conditioning surely makes for a lively solution. The stacked, tiny bubbles slowly subside from a firm white wall to a rocky cumulus cloud that lathers all glass in its wake with a sticky fog. Foreshadowing of a sweetness in taste to go along with that of the view.
The brew beneath the mountains is a most gorgeous orange tinted amber that carries a slight haze. The fluid plays forum to dancing carbonation that rises with great frequency from the depths.
If I were blindly smelling this brew, it would be the hoppy aroma alone that would betray all belief that what lied before me was an Asian sweet and sour sauce. But, the hops are fully present. Therein lies the characteristic that propels this beer far into the realm of groundbreaking. Genius Insanity. Idiot Savant. The mad scientist’s experiment gone right. This is why Victory Brewing resides amongst gods.
The layers of complexity are many. My mind reels with every draw. There is candy sweetness, Brett funkiness, pine, citrus (namely grapefruit), a bit of woody pineapple rind. Earth wrapped in cottoncandy. A rainbow on a rainy day. Technicolor bursts beneath dense cloud cover. It’s perplexing. Even within the sip, the start is so impossibly far from the finish, and the aftertaste is yet another beast entirely.
The entrance is accompanied by the scent and interacts with the tongue bits that speak of sweet and sour. The swallow is packed with hoppy bitterness that has no place mingling with its predecessor. No doubt a startling partnership, but with pleasant results. That bitterness lends a momentary drying effect, but it’s in combat with a sweet tartness that makes your mouth water. It’s stupid to be honest. This beer is one big contradiction after another. Wholly enigmatic, yet ever so uniquely delicious.
To imbibe this beer is to have a religious experience. The Beer Blotter Mission is singing hymns tonight. Go out, find this beer, sip, regain your senses, sip again, and sing with us.
If you like Wild Devil Ale, you should try:
Disclaimer: A good friend of Beer Blotter and fellow Pennsylvanian, with great knowledge of my affinity for Victory, very graciously gifted me this bottle after a recent trek back to the homeland. For this I am truly gracious. Thanks Erin!
Where to go? What to do? What to drink? These are all very pertinent questions for this week and every week for that matter. We, at Beer Blotter are here to tend to your beer going and beer drinking needs.
Monday, January 18, 2010
- Flight Night: Chicago, Illinois
11:00AM -2:00 AM @ Quencher’s Saloon
Stop by Quencher’s Saloon to 1.) continue to dominate Stout Night OR 2.) spend a mere $15.00 and taste 5 different beers (6 oz pours) on tap. We at Beer Blotter love this concept, being able to taste a variety of beers without breaking the bank or suffering from public drunkenness on a Monday evening. This does occur every Monday, so if you can’t make it tonight there will be endless opportunities.
- Women Only, No Boys Allowed: Stout and Porter Night: Escondido, California
7:00PM- 9:00PM @ Stone Brewing Co.
Its Sex and the City, but without the Cosmos and catty conversation…so its nothing like Sex and the City—> its Stout and Porter night with female beer enthusiasts and Stone’s own, Kathryn Bouscaren. This night will be tasty and informative as the women in attendance will learn all about the history and brewing process affiliated with Stouts and Porters. A few of the featured beers include: Alaskan Smoked Porter, Deschutes The Abyss and Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased at the Stone Company Store or HERE!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
- Green Flash Brewing Co. Night: Seattle, Washington
6:00 PM – 2:00 AM @ Brouwer’s Cafe
Finally, another amazing beer from California has entered the Seattle market. Appropriatly so, Brouwer’s Cafe is featuring 9 Green Flash beers on tap which include: 7 anniversary, West Coast IPA, Hop head Red, Imperial IPA, Double Stout, Le Freak, Triple, Coffee Stout and a Barleywine. Read more about these beers on Green Flash Brewing’s website.
- Three Creeks Brewing Bottle Release: Portland, Oregon
5:30PM -7:30PM @ The Beermongers
Oregon’s newest brewery, Three Creeks Brewing made a splash with Rudolph’s Imperial Red Ale. Now they are ready to release more brews and the brewer will be at the Beermongers to give out some samples. While you are tasting these brews, check out Beermongers’ bottle selection, its AMAZING!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
- Emelisse Brewery Debut Party: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Keg is tapped at 4:00pm until its gone @ Tria
Known in the Netherlands as Bierbrouwerij Grande- Cafe Emelisse, this international brewery’s Imperial Stout is featured at Tria for one night and one night only. This is the only keg in all of Pennsylvania and according to Tria’s website, its a “small” one. If anyone gets to have this beer, please leave a comment or email us at email@example.com!
- Festival of Hops: St. Paul, Minnesota
12:00 PM- 12:00 AM @ The Muddy Pig
For twelve straight hours (and through January 24, 2010) come enjoy hop heaven in the middle of winter. Take a break from those winter warmers, stouts and barleywines (although all are equally amazing) and indulge in some hops! The 2nd Annual Festival of Hops at The Muddy Pig will feature over 60 + Pale Ales and IPAs. $8.00 will get you 3 5-oz pours. No tickets necessary.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
- Belgiumfest 2010 Preview Event: Seattle, Washington
3:00 PM- 2:00 AM @ Beveridge Place Pub
Come preview many of the great Belgium style beers brewed by Washington brewers that will be present at this Saturday’s Belgiumfest 2010 in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. Check out Beer Blotter’s post about this event and CLICK HERE, NOW! Oh and stop by Beveridge Place Pub and wet your whistle.
- Dogfish Head Beer Dinner: Longwood, Florida
6:30PM – 9:30PM @ Cravings Restaurant
We wish Dogfish Head would have a dinner somewhere, ANYWHERE in Seattle. The beers are so flavorful and complex, the perfect pairing to a well seasoned meal. Tonight’s menu and DFH pairings include some of the following items: Warm Raspberry Bacon Vinaigrette infused with Midas Touch, tossed with mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers paired with Midas Touch, Braised Short Ribs with a 90 minute demi glace, fire roasted root vegetables, and Smoked Gouda Risotto cake paired with 90 Minute IPA and 120 Minute Ice Cream in a Cream Puff with White Chocolate Ganache paired with 120 Minute IPA. An IPA Cream Puff??? “I want to go to here.” Tickets are $45.00 all inclusive and there is limited seating so call 407-951-8662 for reservations!
Friday, January 22, 2010
- Winter Brew Fest: Denver, Colorado
7:00PM- 10:00PM @ Mile High Station
Come for Mile High Station’s semi-annual festival (summer and winter fests) and enjoy some winter brews while they are still in season. $30.00 in advance and $35.00 at the door, a souvenir glass and UNLIMITED tastings will be offered. Featured breweries include: Great Divide Brewing Co., Big Sky Brewing Co., Avery Brewing Co., and Fort Collins Brewing Co.
- IPA Firkin Tapping: Spring House, Pennsylvania
5:00 PM-12:00 AM @ Drafting Room- SpringHouse
Once a month, the Drafting Room celebrates the history of beer by tapping a firkin keg, tapped and poured in the traditional way of driving a spigot into the front of the keg with a wooden mallet. This month/this weekend has IPA’s galore, such as Green Flash West Coast IPA, Green Flash Hop Head Red with Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA, Weyerbacher Hotel (just released in December) and Weyerbacher Quad pouring on Saturday, January 23, 2010. Experience beer and a taste of history!
- Heavy Seas Beer Dinner: Alexandria, Virginia
7:00PM- 9:00PM @ Bilbo Baggins
Hosted by Heavy Seas beer founder, Hugh Sisson, come enjoy beers made by Clipper City Brewing Co. and indulge in a mouth watering menu. Enjoy a unpretentious night of beers and good food with items such as Assorted Bilbo Baggins’ gourmet flat bread pizzas and Handcut french fries topped with Wisconsin cheese curds and homemade gravy paired with the following beers: Small Craft Warning – Loose Cannon – Peg Leg – Winter Storm – Holy Sheet – YuleTide – 2008 Below Decks. Come hungry and thirsty!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
- Day Two of the Three Day Big Beer Event: Norristown, Pennsylvania
11:30AM- 11:30PM @ Capone’s Restaurant, Inc.
No need to go into much detail about this event: Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, Victory Old Horizontal 2008, Allagash Interlude 2008, Stoudts Old Abominable Whiskey Barrel Aged 2008 and Lost Abbey Angel’s Share 2008, should do the trick. There is more, just go and make us jealous!
- BELGIUMFEST 2010: Seattle, Washington
12:00-4:00PM OR 6:00PM-10:00PM @ The Engine Room at Georgetown Studios
Stop by for one of two sessions for $30.00 in advance and $35.00 at the door. Advance ticket sales end at 5am on Saturday, January 23rd, or as soon as the event is sold out. Check out Beer Blotter’s post of BELGIUMFEST 2010 including details and beers to be had by moving your cursor here and clicking.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
- Belgium Beer Dinner: Milford, Massachusetts
5:00PM-7:30 PM @ Prezo’s Grille and Bar
Lets continue to celebrate all that is Belgium and all that is beer by flying overnight from Seattle, WA to Milford, MA. Well maybe not, but please leave a comment if you go to either, all or any! 4 of the 7 (although we all know there are only 6 in Belgium with the 7th in the Netherlands) Trappist breweries will be featured. Orval, Chimay, Rochefort and Westmalle, oh my! Call (508) 634-0101 for reservations! Cheers!
- Festival of Hops Continues: St. Paul, Minnesota
12:00 PM- 12:00 AM @ The Muddy Pig
Done, Complete! Writing this event post every week sparks interest in:
1. travel by means of a transporter,
2. stopping time in order to enjoy all of these beers and
3. checking out places like Milford, MA and Norristown, PA.
Beer is everywhere and that is a great thing! Have a wonderful week and as always, if you attend an event, have more information about an event, want to mention an event, or just want to voice your opinion, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After an amazing beer weekend in Portland, Oregon (more on that tomorrow), Beer Blotter is back on schedule with your weekly events. The weeks just keep passing us by and many great beer related festivals await us here in Seattle (Belgiumfest 2010 and Strangebrew festival). But for now, here is what’s going on in Beer USA.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Stout Fest: Chicago, Illinois
11:00 AM until close @ Quenchers Saloon
We are already on day 11 of 31. Yes, thats right, Stout Fest runs from January 1, 2010 until January 31, 2010- every single day. The goal? Well Quenchers has created four groups with five stouts in each group (buy four stouts, get one free). Spend the month of January drinking as many stouts as possible and “closing out” each group and winning congratulatory stouts. Here a beer from each group: Founder’s Breakfast Stout, Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout, Hitachino Espresso Stout and Left Hand Oak Aged Imp. Stout.
Bridgeport Tasting and Meet the Brewer: Portland, Oregon
6:00PM- 8:00PM @ Belmont Station
Come join local craft brewers for a tasting at Belmont Station. BridgePort Brewing Co. is considered Portland’s oldest craft brewing company. Tonight you will be able to sample, the Highland Ambush Scotch Ale, Hop Czar, Bourbon Barrel Aged Ebenezer and MORE
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Founders Black Biscuit Tapping Party: Columbus, Ohio
7:00-9:00 PM @ Bodgea
Details from ratebeer.com state, “Special guests Michael Bell and John Host from Founders Brewing Co. will be in to tap Founders Black Biscuit, an old ale/porter that was aged in a maple bourbon barrel that was stored in the old gypsum mines beneath Grand Rapids. 11% abv 50 ibu’s .” Founders is a one of a kind brewery and specializes in stouts and porters. This event is not to be missed. It is free and 50% happy hour prices will apply between the hours of 7:00PM and 8:00PM.
Weyerbacher Fireside Ale Promotion Night: Mount Holly, New Jersey
7:00PM- close @ High Street Grill
Stop by High Street Grill and enjoy a pint of Weyerbacker’s Fireside Ale, a dark ale with a hint of roasted, smoke flavor. From 7:00PM-10:00PM this beer will be featured along side 16 other taps, live Irish music and $10.00 all you can eat mussels. A perfect food paring for a beer with a rich maltiness, slight bitterness and robust flavor.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
3 Floyd’s Night: Jefferson, Indiana
4:00PM until close @ Rocky’s Sub Pub
If you do not go to this event, we will be so disappointed! Not only can you enjoy a pizza from Rocky’s, you get to try 10 or more beers from 3 Floyd’s Brewing Co. What the beer drinkers of Seattle would do for such an event! Here….it….is….Moloko, a sweet stout, Dreadnaught IPA, Ham on Rye, Broo Doo, an Oktober style brew, Pride and Joy, Alpha King, Gumballhead, Alpha Klaus, Robert the Bruce, Großer Kurfürst, and Alpha King on cask. Not to mention, Lincoln Anderson will be there from the brewery!
Goose Island Beers Galore!: New York, New York
5:00PM- until close @ Rattle-N-Hum
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Dogfish Head Night: Glenside, Pennsylvania
starts at 7:00 PM @ Union Jacks
Michigan Microbrew Night: Lansing, Michigan
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Reno’s Sports Bar West
For only two hours, you can come experience the great beers of the Mid-western state that is Michigan. Featured breweries include Atwater, Founders, Arcadia, Michigan, Mount Pleasant, Shorts, Bell’s, New Holland, Dark Horse and Dragonmead. $15 Advance, $20 at door, includes 10 samples, snacks, and a raffle drawing. There is a whole lot going on in these two hours!
Friday, January 15, 2010
Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival: Anchorage, Alaska
5:00PM- 10:00 PM @ William A. Egan Convention Center
The price of this festival rivals that of many at $30.00. The major difference is that you get 30 tastes! Make sure you grab some food during and stay hydrated! Live music and amazing food will accompany a line of beers worth the trek across Canada. Dogfish head features their Chicory Stout, Great Divide’s Old Ruffian Barleywine will grace the stage, Midnight Sun Brewing Co. has 10 beers for pouring (TEN!), Brewery Ommegang., Orval, Rochefort, Rodenbach…it certainly does not start nor stop there. Check out the event’s official website here!
Black Tot Day with Avery Brewing: Boulder, Colorado
5:00PM- 8:00PM @ Avery Brewing Co.
Straight from “source”–> Be there to make sure you get some bottles of this incredible and indelibly unique brew. Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in Gosling’s Rum barrels. Huge. Chewy. Endlessly deep. Smooth beyond belief with endless amounts of subtle flavors that work their way out as you sip. This beer is so good that you can quaff a pint or sip and savor a few ounces with equal ease. The only difficult part is deciding what you want to do with it! $8 per 12oz bottle. Max 6 bottles per customer. We’ll have just a tad over 300 cases of this beer (24/12oz.) to go around. Limited one time release, with a few cases being sent to select states. Coming to Black Tot Day at the Avery Tap Room is the only way to GUARANTEE that you get your hands on some bottles! We’ll also have 5 gallon kegs tapped of unoaked, rye barrel and bourbon barrel versions of the Imperial Oatmeal Stout, along with Black Tot itself. We’ll be pouring a single 5 gallon keg of each and no more…when they’re gone they’re gone! $3 per taster. No door charge!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
The Great Alaskan Beer and Barleywine Festival Continues from 6:00PM-10:00PM
Brooklyn Brewery Night: Greensburg, Pennsylvania
7:00PM- 9:00PM @ Mister Bones Bistro and Brew Hub
Seating is limited at a cost of $15.00 and you will be able to sample Brooklyn Brewery’s Lager, IPA, and Brown ale. Brooklyn will also bring a limited release beer for everyone to sample. The bistro will be creating a special menu for the evening, full of foods that will compliment the different styles of beer featured. The signature light hors d’oeuvres will be included with the purchase of an event ticket. (The full menu will also be available)
World Beer Festival: Columbia, South Carolina
(2 sessions) 12:00 PM- 4:00PM & 6:00PM-10:00PM @ the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
With over 150 vendors, local music and 300 beers, for $40.00 you can sample has little or as much as your heart and liver desire. For more information about the event click here and for pictures from the event last January, click right….here.
Sunday, January 27, 2010
Valley Brew Beer Dinner: San Francisco, California
starts at 6:00PM @ Anchor and Hope Restaurant
Victory Brewing Beer Dinner: Grand Rapids, Michigan
6:00PM-8:00PM @ HopCat
Victory Brewing out of Pennsylvia is featured at tonight’s beer and food pairing dinner. Tonight four beers will be paired with four dishes. The beers you can expect to taste include, Yakima Twilight, Wild Devil, Baltic Thunder and the very rare V-12.
The holidays are surely over, as this week proved difficult in chosing which events to feature. From large beer festivals to small, intimate dinners, we hope those in attendance have a damn good time. If you attend any of the mentioned events, want to share an event or have any suggestions for the event blog, leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. Cheers and have a great beer drinking week!
Ok, I just realized that 1999 was 11, yes 11 years ago. Just imagine all of the great beer we will drink for the next 11! For the first week of 2010, we bring you beer events, the only way to start year off right.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Sad to say, the first Monday of the year proves uneventful. So grab something special from your cellar and drink up! In place of events for the day, as everyone is catching up from the holidays, we present you with “Whats on Tap” at one of our local favorite beer bars, Naked City. Head to the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle to try, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada’s Life and Limb, Speakeasy’s Old Godfather Barleywine, Russian River Damnation and Port Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper. All amazing and/or new beers!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Victory is Mine!: Burlington, Vermont
5:00 PM – 11:00 PM at American Flatbread Burlington Hearth
Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing is heading up North for a night and they are bringing the goods. Prima Pils; Golden Monkey; Hop Wallap ON CASK; Storm King Imperial Stout; Helios; Old Horizontal Barleywine; Yakima Twilight; and Wild Devil which is only available in bottles. We recently had the Old Horizontal Barleywine and it was amazing. That beer alone would entice us to attend this event. However, Victory has a great range of styles for all beer lovers.
Bigger, Badder, Blacker Beer Week: Portland, Oregon
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM until Friday, January 8, 2010 at 11:00 PM at Belmont Station
Not only is Belmont Station worth a trip due to their amazing bottle selection, but attached is a beer cafe. This week, the cafe will have the following “dark” beers on tap: Deschutes Abyss & Black Butte 21, Great Divide Chocolate Yeti, Hebrew Jewbelation 13, Alaskan Baltic Porter and Firestone Walker Velvet Mirkin, among others. Your mouth should be watering just from reading this list. We can only hope that some will survive for Saturday as we make our way to Portland.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The Shelton Brothers Presents: New York, New York
4:00 PM until close at the Blind Tiger Ale House
The Shelton Brothers, importers of fine, microbrewed beers from around the world are at the Blind Tiger to showcase some of the finest. The beers on tap for the night/event include Nøgne Ø Winter, Cantillon Pure Kriek (100 on ratebeer.com), Ridgeway Bad Elf and Mikkeller Imperial Pils, among others. Tonight is a great night to try some beers from afar!
Hop Slam: Cincinnati, Ohio
4:00PM- 9:00 PM at JeanRo
Come join Bell’s Brewery for the release of HopSlam, a bitter, hoppy ale. Tonight’s specials include $1.00 off all Bell’s Brewery’s beers and cheap treats! Later this week on Saturday, Bell’s Brewery will continue to promote HopSlam at the Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Vintage 2007 Old Stone Guardian Barleywine Tapping: Las Vegas, Nevada
5:00 PM-12:00 AM at Aces & Ales
Las Vegas has more to offer than strippers, lights, gambling and strong cocktails. Stop by Aces & Ales to enjoy a beer worth the two year wait. Stone Brewing’s Old Guardian is a bold barleywine with prevalent hop notes. Being poured from the tap, these flavors and the thick body will be sinfully enhanced.
Friday, January 8, 2010
First Ever Williamsburg Cask Ale Festival: New York, New York
Friday January 8, 2010 at 1:00 PM until Sunday. January 10, 2010 at D.B.A.
Expect at least 12 rare and tasty cask beers to be pouring over the weekend, including beers not normally seen in cask in NYC. Stop by the newest of the three D.B.A. locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see whats flowing. Beer Blotter has been to the New Orleans and East Village locations, enjoying pint after pint during our trips. Great atmosphere, great beer lists!
Where the Wild Beers Are: Atlanta, Georgia
6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at The Porter Beer Bar
Need we say more than…Allagash Brewing Co. is taking over the tap list at this Atlanta beer bar for two hours???? Didn’ t think so. The list will include the following beers: Hugh Malone; Fluxus; Odyssey; Interlude; Victory; Burnam Road; Four; Triple; White; and Curieux. Taste, take notes and report back….please.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Hair of the Dog Tasting: Tustin, California
2:00PM to 8:00 PM at Whole Foods
For those of you close enough to Tustin, stop by your local Whole Foods, bring $10.00 and try a variety of Hair of the Dog beers. Now you all must know of our new found obsession with this brewery. Thank you Brouwer’s Cafe and Big Wood Fest 2009. For six hours, Whole Foods will be pouring Adam, Ruth, Fred & Blue Dot.
Blue Point Raids the Taps!: New York, New York
5:00 PM until close at Rattle-N-Hum
Not only do you want to just be at this bar because of its location, beer selection and excellent bartenders, you want to taste many, all and every beer from Long Island’s Blue Point Brewery. Although we are not familiar with all the beers, here are a few on the list that sound interesting or just plain good: Sour Cherry Imperial Stout; Toasted Lager; Oatmeal Stout; Hoptical Illusion and Winter Wizard.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Pale Side of Tasting Beer: Los Angeles, California
5:00 PM until 10:00 PM at 55 Degree Wine
This local “beverage” shop is hosting a Sunday evening tasting of pale, blonde, fresh, and even hoppy ales. Featuring four Belgium beer and one from France, this tasting will not only tantalize your taste buds but will expand your mind. We intend to drink only French, German and Belgium beers for the month of February as Beer Blotter gears up and primes our livers for the epic trip to Europe in March. More to report on that later.
Another week has come and gone, and another week is ahead. There are so many great events every week around the country, its difficult to pick and choose. However, we hope that our weekly events span the country, touch on a variety of styles and introuduce new breweries and venues. If you attend an event this week, are looking forward to an event or even want to promote your own event, please leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well the trip to New York was everything we expected and more. A lot more, as in painful mornings and the worst headache of one man’s imbibing career (12/27 is a day that will live in infamy).
You could not be there, but we wish you could. So, lets take a peak inside the 3.5 days of NYC beer jaunting in a 3 part segment known simply as “The NYChronicles.”
Christmas is in the air – then its gone. This is a traditional and historically catastrophic comedown. A month long climax and subsequent deep descent stemming from childhood wishes and dreams. But, the cruel honesty of adulthood sets in and you recognize that you only get about 12 hours of real Christmas spirit, then its back to your mobile device, answering emails of customers, back to the bankbook to ensure your account is not overdrawn, and back to the reality that gifts are enjoyed by wearing them on your back and not by tearing open a box for 1 to 2 hours of technological amazement.
But ah ha! Christmas this year was a teaser for things to come. Christmas brought joy, happiness, a few beers (see article) and some curious thoughts of what might be ahead as we traipsed closer to beer jaunting madness. For this Christmas season, the Blotter crew slept well on Christmas Eve, hoping to shred through some gifts (thanks Mom and Linda for the beer gifts) and move on to a long awaited and epic journey to the depths of the NYC beer doldrums – hahahahaha!
OK OK – its not scary. Its also not “doldrums” by any stretch of the word. Its a wondrous and beautiful community of swanky beer bars, old style beer warehouses, acclaimed breweries (though few) and cross-town competition. We had about 72 hours total. We had to sleep, eat, travel (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is not close to Manhattan), attend events (hello Knicks game and Broadway) and work off hangovers with brisk runs which became shorter and shorter each day.
All in all – we did damn good. Here’s the story.
Awake in Brooklyn.
We are staying in the Bay Ridge Neighborhood of Brooklyn. Here you will not find any acknowledgeable beer establishments (mini-shoutout to Kettle Black and Salty Dog for their great bar food though), but you will find Ben’s Pizzeria and Bagel Boy – both food leaders in their respective categories. Nothing primes the stomach for beer consumption like a Bagel Boy Everything bagel following a brisk 5K run. Bagel Boy is great, and worth the morning hike.
We are off for the big city. My companion has a date to see Wicked on Broadway with her amazing mother and rarely does a man get the opportunity to embark on the big city alone, during a family holiday. I relish in this chance.
Approach….Manhattan: New Beer Distributors and Bowery Beer Room
I am being dropped off in Lower Manhattan by the World Trade Center site. I used to work next door to the site in 2005 during my hiatus from Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. Not amazingly, nothing has changed. The site remains largely undeveloped in over 9 years since cleanup began.
I am jumping on the JMZ (brown) line, going north, headed for Bowery and the Lower East Side. When we lived in Manhattan in 2005 we trounced this area nightly. The music scene is incredible, launching careers of the Ramones, Patti Smith and Interpol. I remember spending New Years 2005 in Hi Fi Lounge, up on Ave A, enjoying every last moment. Hi Fi is still kicking and still has the best assortment of music relics on the walls – along with a good beer or two.
But I am on a mission. A mission to find New Beer Distributors (NBD). NBD is a small warehouse on Chrystie and Rivington right below Houston and to the immediate east of Bowery off the Bowery J stop on the subway.
I had heard that NBD had an incredible selection, including several extremely rare items, as well as some vintage bottles. I heard right. They also showcase 4 or 5 taps for filling growlers. None of their offerings were run of the mill, ranging from Southern Tier Choklat to Ramstein Eisbock!
In pursuing the bottle collection I found that their most impressive collection was US beer. They had an equally impressive collection of East Coast and West Coast ales, as well as some excellent Midwest faves (hello Hoppin Frog and Kuhnhenn).
I whipped out a small backpack (remember, Im wandering the city all day) and started collecting. Of course, my eyes were too big for my backpack and I had to do the ole “exclude the least necessary” trick, counting down from #1 until the pack was full. Here is what I found:
Brooklyn Black Ops – dum da da da – she’s a beaut. This was our No. 1 goal for bringing something back. The label tells the tale – “Black Ops is not a beer.” Im fine with that. Whatever is inside is going to be worth the $19.00 price tag (which is cheaper than any other place by about 3-5 bucks).
Cigar City Improvisation (Oatmeal Rye Brown Ale – Yum)
Weyerbacher 13th Anniversary (this year WB did a finely crafted imperial stout, inspired by Belgian Quads – 13.6%!)
Two Brothers Heavier Handed Oak-Aged IPA (bulked up version of the original IPA)
Arcadia Imperial Stout
St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout (a Montreal favorite)
Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA
Troegs Flying Moulan (acclaimed barleywine – 99 Rate Beer)
Captain Lawrence Double IPA
I also noticed some amazing St. Somewhere beers (all three that are bottled) and a slew of Smuttynose limited IPAs. But alas, I accepted my bounty, thanked the amazingly kind shop owner and carried on up to Houston to grab a sandwich at the famous Katz Delicatessen.
Katz is too good that its become a nightmare. The only way to truly enjoy this place is to come with one other friend, have that person snake a table quick and you weasel your way in at the counter. Once you get to the counter order a lot of different meats, as the sandwich artist will carve you slices to enjoy while you wait. You must get the pastrami – best in the world.
After scarfing down a hald corned beef and half pastrami on rye, I headed back west to take a stop in to the Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room on my way back to the subway. This is the only “beer-centric” Whole Foods that i have seen, harboring at least 1000 different beers and a half-dozen beers on tap, to fill your growler.
I am in quite a rush (behind schedule due to ogling that ensued at NBD), with a full backpack, so I do a lap of the place. Prices are bit heftier than NBD and the selection is a not as impressive. But, the beer room has excellent resources, a bountiful Belgian collection (better than NBD’s) and parking!
Heading North: Rattle N Hum
After finishing my lap – I head back west to the 4/6 green line. I am taking the 6 north up to 33rd Street and Madison. There I will seek out the establishment for which I had held highest hopes – Rattle N Hum.
Rattle N Hum is owned by an Irish chap in his 30s, who often hangs about the bar with his golden retriever. You get the feeling that he is incredibly well-liked by his staff and the regular patrons.
The bar is laden with posters of amazing beer events my palette will not be afforded. Though I crave to be present for the Weyerbacher cask event on 12/29/09 – I cant make.
The bar has my favorite beer menu – and thanks for the copy goes to the wonderful bartender! The menu shows 42 taps, each of which includes the location of the brewery, BeerAdvocate.com rating, and the alcohol by volume. The beers are sorted by their styling for ease of location. One of the best things – you will be hard-pressed to find more than one offering from any one brewer. This ensures that 40 breweries are hitting the taps. (Plus: They have 4 cask beers!)
On the draft list and notable:
Cigar City Jai Alai IPA – I was amazed to see this. Us West Coasters often dream of getting to sample the wondrous nectar that is Cigar City beer, typically aged in amazing woods. Jai Alai does not disappoint – its incredibly sweet and malty, while having incredible pineapple and grapefruit flavor that overpowers any taste of alcohol (its 7.5%). One of our favorites from the trip, it seems to breath best from a wider-mouthed glass. So, stay away from the half pint pours.
Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout – Of the Russian varietal, this beer is not incredibly strong (8.5%) but packs a high-octane flavor. Hints of smoked woods and espresso beans fill the glass in both nose and taste. We were surprised to find that other raters were not as fond as we were (Ratebeer 80), but its surely worth a pint.
Goose Island Pere Jacques – I had been wanting to snag this guy for months now, after I mistakenly grabbed a bottle of Sofie (another one of GI’s Belgians) at a Chicago bottle shop. I now know what I missed. Pere Jacques is a 9.0% ABV Abbey ale, which carries a heavy dark rich fruit flavor and the nose of a dark sour ale. Very enjoyable.
Captain Lawrence DIPA – Another beer I had been hoping to snag (and I grabbed a bottle at New Beer) is this hop monster from NY’s Captain Lawrence. This beer has a rich syrupy body and smells almost of citrus and banana juices. In my rankings, I gave it a 97/100.
Others of Note:
Cigar City Maduro Espresso (they were out! but alas i caught up with it on Day 3)
SixPoint Otis (Oatmeal Stout at 6.1%)
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (13.0% – incredible)
21st Amendment Monk’s Blood (Belgian Dark Ale)
Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA (well liked in public – A+ on BeerAdvocate.com – extremely bitter)
Nogne-O Winter Ale
Rodenbach Grand Cru
Rattle N Hum also boasts a nice food menu with many IPA-infused items. Their wings are impressive and during football games they are only .25 cents (YES!).
Rattle N Hum is a great place for beer snobs and newbies. Just a hop from the Midtown shopping areas, Rattle N Hum caters to tourists who just want a pint and locals who know where to find the best grog. Also, the back of the menu provides hints about how to taste beer from local beer expert Alex Hall.
All in all – its sitting pretty at No. 1 in the beer bar rankings.
Subway West: Pony Bar
Im heading west. I am to meet my co-author at Divine Bar on West 51st for a quick bottle of Hitachino Classic Ale and then we are off to find the next great tap.
While at Rattle N Hum, I was told by the excellent bartender that newer beer bar had opened on 10th Avenue and 45th Street some time ago. The Pony Bar has about 20 taps and has been finding a way to keep the bartender from straying from her resident neighborhood nightly.
Pony Bar is nice, with excellent large wood tables and beer barrel seats well situated on the floor. The bartenders were very accommodating with my requests to sample some offerings – and they even charged my phone, which had been on RateBeer.com hyperdrive all day long.
The taplist, oh the taplist. I was worried when I only saw a few beers on the list. I was afraid when I saw that many were winter ales (not a huge fan of the typical winter ale). But, a closer look and………wow. Pony Bar was pouring some amazing beers that were on my “Have to drink” list. Here we go:
Captain Lawrence Nor’Easter – Of all the beers we tried here – this is the most complex. This beers has at least 3 levels of flavor and ends with such a great bang. The beer has a fruity, funky and almost sour nose and ends with a barrel-aged vanilla smoothness. Highly recommended. We gave her a 95/100.
Troeg’s Mad Elf – One of our authors (timperial stout) has raved about this beer in the past. We found it to be casual, but packing a nice christmas spice that makes up for the lack of other prevalent flavors.
Victory Old Horizonal – Really? that cant be Victory. Oh yes, its Victory. I have never been particularly excited about a Victory beer – but this one gave me a whole new respect for the PA brewer. A RateBeer 100, this beer has an amazing balance of caramel and butterscotch flavorings, melded with some prevailing hop flavor. It is very similar to RedHook’s Treblehook, but with a bit more smoothness. Again – get this beer (i did – bought a bottle to smuggle back on the place). 100/100.
Troeg’s Dead Reckoning Porter – We wanted to give Troegs one more chance to floor us. We were both glad we took this leap (ok, it was a minor step). This smokey porter has a welcoming hop bitterness, which does not sting your throat. Very impressive for a simple porter styling.
In all, Pony Bar is very impressive, even though they lack the sizable taplist a beer geek might want to see. I was very glad to see a quality grog shop show up on the west side, where it was so sorely lacking.
Give Up, Just Give Up
After geeking out on a nice 14oz pour of 10.5% Old Horizontal – its time to not push it. We actually still have to head to Brooklyn for a night of “catch up” with some old friends. Luckily, we will live through this night. But, not without repercussions.
Day 2 is on its way.
Let us know below if you have any comments or questions about any of the places or beers mentioned herein!