Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Smuttynose Beer Dinner: Milton, Massachusetts
6:30PM-9:00PM @ Abby Park
Smuttynose is one of my favorite breweries- their IPA, Wheat Wine and Barleywine are all amazing and hopefully on the menu tonight! Enjoy a 5 course specialty dinner paired with 5 Smuttynose beers for $55.00. Call 617-696-8700 or email Aja (email@example.com) for reservations.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Grand Teton Thursday Beer Tasting: Greenville, South Carolina
5:00PM-7:00PM @ The Greenville Beer Exchange
Grand Teton Brewing Company hails from Victor, Idaho and brews some extremely delicious beers! This week we will be tasting their Bitch Creek ESB, Sweetgrass American Pale Ale, Pesephone Pils, and Black Cauldron Imperial Stout. Drop in anytime between 5pm and 7pm this Thursday to experience four Idahoan beers (and how many of those can you say you’ve had?) completely FREE!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Stone Brewing Co. Tasting: Boston, Massachusetts
5:30PM-7:30PM @ Wine Emporium
Stop by tonight to sample Stone Brewing Co. beers all the way from Escondido, California (sounds warm and sunny): Featured beers will include:
Stone Smoked Porter
Arrogant Bastard Ale
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
2010 Old Guardian
2011 Old Guardian
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Dogfish Fest: Dallas, Texas
11:00AM-5:00PM @ The Common Table
The Common Table is tapping 12 Dogfish Head beers all on one day, Saturday March 26th- starts @ 11AM.
Here’s the lineup: HOT DAMN!
Palo Santo Morrin
Red & White
90 Minute dry-hopped through a Randall
Namaste (yet to be confirmed but likely will be available)
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Meet the Brewer, Cantillon: Escondido, California
3:00PM-5:00PM @ Stone Brewing Co.
Spend two hours in the presence of beer holiness- Jean Van Roy, the head brewer of one of Belgium’s finest, Cantillon. Cantillon is known for brewing traditional lambics for over 100 years. We have been there, its amazing as are the beers.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Brown Bag Night “Stouts”: Los Angeles, California
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Blue Palms BrewHouse
The idea is that this is a way to strip away any pretensions and preconceptions about specific beers you are drinking, and to challenge and educate your palate about the flavors and aromas you experience.Price of admission? Just a bottle or two of beers that you bring in for the occasion. If you’re bringing a 22 oz. or 750 mL bottle, one should be enough. If it’s a 12-ounce bottle or can, please bring two (if possible– if you only have one, just bring the one).
If you want us to post about an event, go to an event or want to just drink good beer- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment!
The article reviews Belgium as an educational trip abut beer. A place where you can sample endless styles, visit age old breweries and settle down at some of the best beer bars in the world. Its true. Its totally true. I have done quite a bit of travelling especially around Europe and even beer aside, Belgium stole my heart.
The article touches on the key places you should go in this tiny country. Of course, there are so many amazing places, the article couldn’t mention all of them.
IF YOU GO
In de Vrede (Donkerstraat 13, Westvleteren; 32-57-40-03-77; indevrede.be)
Moeder Lambic (Place Fontainas 8, Brussels; 32-25-03-60-68)
Cantillon (Rue Gheude Straat 56, Brussels; 32-25-21-49-28; cantillon.be)
’t Brugs Beerje (Kemelstraat 5, Bruges; 32-50-33-96-16; brugsbeertje.be)
De Dolle Brouwers (Roeselarestraat 12B, Esen; 32-51-50-27-81; dedollebrouwers.be)
Brouwershuis (Trappistenweg 23A, Watou; 32-57-38-88-60; brouwershuis.com)
We were fortunate enough to visit the top four places listed. De Dolle is one of my favorite breweries in Belgium and the 1998 Stille Nacht at the Kulminator (another amazing beer bar in Antwerp). Next time, that will be at the top of my list!
Other honorable mentions from our trip include:
Pater’s Vaetje ( Blauwmoezelstraat 1, Antwerp, http://www.patersvaetje.be/)
Kulminator (Vleminckveld 32, Antwerp)
Eetcafé de Gans (Diephuisstraat 6 (zijstraat Korreweg, bij het Noorderbad),Groningen, http://www.degans.nl/index.php?page=contact-locatie)
Brasserie Thiriez (22 rue de Wormhout, Esquelbecq, France) Although not in Belgium, it is a mere 4 miles from the boarder of Belgium and if you are in West Flanders, it is worth the trip!
For the full NY Times article, click here.
This weekend we saw a good friend off to Philadelphia (tear) with a lot of Rainier and a relaxing Sunday compiled of a vertical tasting of Southern Tier’s Pumpking- ’08, ’09 and 10. A great way to end the the season of pumpkin ales and the weekend (double tear). But now for your week in beer.
Monday, November 8 , 2010
Coronado Brewing Co. Beer Week Event: San Diego, Califoria
5:00PM-10:00PM @ Urge Gastropub
San Diego Beer Week continues (T-minus 5 days until 2/3 of bb.com take their trip down “south”) with a tasting of San Diego’s first microbrewery, Coronado Brewing Co. beers.
Urge will be featuring 5 specialty CBC draft beers and a very limited edition cask of Mermaids Red Ale soaked in Buffalo Trace distillery oak chips! Be sure to make it for this cask and enjoy CBC beers at Urge with their excellent food! Idiot IPA on tap, Orange Avenue Wit, Red Devil Imperial Red, CBC Summer Ale made with Ginger and Kaffir Lime and Ingrid’s 1 in 8 limited release collaboration with Ballast Point!!!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Green Flash Debut: Mount Holly, New Jersey
7:00PM-11:00PM @ High Street Grill
The first time that Green Flash will be on tap at the High Street Grill….with the Imperial IPA and the West Coast IPA. Live Irish tunes from 7 to 11 pm. All you can eat mussels in beer for just $ 10. HSG is bringing the West coast to your pint glass.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Evening of Rare Founders Beers: Washington D.C.
6:00PM-8:00PM @ The Big Hunt
A private tasting of Founders‘ Black Biscuit, Breakfast Stout, Canadian Breakfast Stout, Backwoods Bastard, and Devil Dancer, hosted by Founders National Sales Manager Michael Bell. Tickets are $30 per person. $30 for only beers sounds a bit steep. With an outdated event page, you might want to give The Big Hunt a call with any questions- 202.785.2333.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Beer Belly Dinner: Portland, Oregon
Ill let the event description speak for itself. Beer Belly is a great weekly beer inspired event!
Our casual meet & eats are bringing together Great Food, Great Beer & Great People
The events are hosted on our 4-season patio combined with our special events Annex. Picture a backyard griller, but you don’t have to cook, serve or clean-up, and best of all some super beer guru shows up with “the goods”
This month we are proud to welcome Walking Man Brewing Co., with Brewer Jacob Leonard.
The Dinner begins at 6:30pm, serving food and beer throughout the night. Cost is $35 per person, including a 4-course dinner and 1 of each beer.
All proceeds are donated to RideOn, Portland’s Safe Ride Program.
Reservations must be paid in advance via PayPal or by stopping in to the EastBurn.
for questions please email Tina
or call the EastBurn 503-236-2876
Friday, November 12, 2010
Bell’s Tasting: South Beloit, Illinois
5:00PM-7:00PM @ Everett’s Liquor Store
I’ll give you 6 reasons to go to this event: Bell’s Brewery beers such as Christmas Ale, Oarsmen, Winter White, Cherry Stout , Expedition Stout, Third Coast Ale (there will be others…).
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Public Brewing Session: Brussels, Belgium
7AM-12PM @ Cantillion
I know this isn’t in the USA, but how cool is this?? You actually get to see the Cantillion (House of Lambics) brewing process. See below (its an incredible opportunity):
In a 19th Century brewery with its original equipment :
from 7.00 to 9.00 Brewing process
from 9 to 13.00 Filtration and hopping
from 12.00 to 15.00 Cooking
at 15.30 Pumping of wort into the cooling tun
from 7.00 to 12.00 Barrel cleaning “ancient method”
Guided tours every 2 hours as from 7.00
Admission fee: EUR 6 per person – this includes guided tour and one drink of your choice
Croissants and coffee are proposed until 8.30, free of charge
BRUSSEL’S TYPICAL TRADITIONS AND ITS FUN FILLED ATMOSPHERE GUARANTEED
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Local Farm Beer Dinner: Rehoboth Beach, Delware
6:30PM- 8:30PM @ Dogfish head Brewing Co.
Totall Local, natural and paired with Dogfish head beers- I’m in!
Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Truffle Cream and Fresh Ricotta – paired with Shelter Pale Ale
Mixed Greens with Roasted Pumpkin Dressing and Fresh Goat Cheese – paired with Punkin Ale
Life & Limb Braised Duck Breast with Winter Vegetable Ragout paired with Life & Limb
Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake with Chicory Stout Ice Cream paired with vintage Olde School Barleywine
If you go to an event, want us to post about your event or want to just state a fact, then please leave a comment or email me at email@example.com! Cheers!
***Notes of a Beer Nerd is a column written by resident cellar dwelling mammal, Timperial Stout. Feel free to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns or comments***
Enjoyed on 10/12/2010
Brewery: Brasserie De La Senne
Location: Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Belgium
Beer: X-Mas Zinnebir
Presentation: 750ml – Green Glass Bottle – Capped
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Recommended Serving Temp: 50 degrees
The name Zinnebir refers to a term from Brussels tradition, — ‘zinneke’ — slang for the wild mixed-breed dogs that used to inhabit the poor quarters of the city along the Zinne. It means ‘little bastards,’ and has been applied more recently to those young men living in the poor quarters of Brussels who have flemish-speaking fathers and french-speaking mothers (or vice versa). De La Senne brewer Bernard LeBoucq identifies strongly with the ‘little bastards’; he is a French-speaking Bruxellois, brewing in the heart of the Flemish Payottenland. This holiday brew is rich and malty with a kick of spice and a warming feel in the mouth.
Food Pairings: Thai, white fish, meatloaf
Cheese Pairings: Edam, feta, romano
Beer Advocate: B+ (3.78)
Rate Beer: I can only assume that the bottle I bought this year is a 2010 vintage, which is not rated on this site.
I will never forget the first time I ever had a De La Senne brew. I was in ‘T Brugs Beertje in Brugge, Belgium – The Brugge Bear. One of the most famous beer bars in all of Belgium, it was an amazing experience to be there, amongst the locals – the many, many locals. It felt extremely full when we were in there, but our waiter said that it was nothing, not even close to capacity. Despite the fact that we were almost uncomfortably packed into a small table in the front room, I took surprisingly detailed notes about the De La Senne Equinox and the Stouterik that we enjoyed there. I remember thinking about how surprisingly “American” they tasted. There wasn’t that overly sugary aspect that is so common in most Belgian brewed ales. As it turns out, De La Senne prides themselves in their “getting back to the roots” attitude, or, returning to the brewing style of old, before everything was overly sweet, overly spiced and overly hopped. I can respect that.
We came to learn, from our wonderful waiter at the Bear, that (at the time of our visit) De La Senne beers were being brewed at Brouwerij De Ranke (makers of XX Bitter, Kriek De Ranke, etc.) until their new space in the outskirts of Brussels was completed. We were told that they would be moving into the new digs in the summer months, but the Shelton Brothers site still suggests that they are brewery-less. That may or may not be up to date. Unfortunately, the brewery website in not in English, so I’m unsure if they are still borrowing space.
A few hours later that day we stepped into ‘t Poatersgat, which by the way, was amongst my absolute favorite spots in all of Belgium. There, we found De La Senne’s Taras Boulba (Belgian Pale) on tap! It was a great beer day in a great city, to say the very least.
You can probably imagine how I felt when I saw this bottle on the shelves at Bottleworks. “A De La Senne beer, in Seattle?!” I was shocked, and very excited. I had never seen the X-Mas beer before. Needless to say, there was no hesitation in purchasing it. Tonight, I have the distinct pleasure of re-emerging myself in a little piece of my trip to the beer holy land. My greatest hope is that the memories rush back to me more and more with each sip.
Just about the only thing attractive about the appearance of this beer is the big rocky, off-white, approaching yellowish orange head. Just a few moments after the cap was cracked, a bit of foam peeked out of the top of the bottle, forcing me to pour before I was ready. Classic Belgian bottle refermentation at play. This unwanted urgency may have acted as an enabler to the glass monopolizing foam that quickly arose, but in the end it was an attractive sight as the head slowly receded and left large heaps of globular cloud cover over the brew.
The brew, here, is a very murky dark amber, near brown color. The fluid is doing an excellent job at suspending the rather large chunks of yeast that have completely infiltrated my glass, which may speak positively to the viscosity, but sure is unsightly. The only positive to the color of the beer itself is the fact that it’s not pale. I had my reservations about a pale ale acting as a holiday brew, and as it stands, I’m relieved.
My very first impression, when the beer was at its coldest, was of apple cider. As it warms a bit, it becomes much more exciting. Cinnamon coated, candied nuts appear. There is still an apple presence, but when it plays in tandem with the cinnamon, caramel and nuts, I’m thinking more about candied apples than cider.
I can already see why this is a holiday seasonal. It’s all coming together now. A bit more warmth brings out some unleavened dough, some vinous notes, more pie filling fruits like peach, pear, apricot… There is a definite baked quality that comes off of the malts, but also a fruity, perfume like waft. It’s not unlike being in Aunt Sally’s house on Thanksgiving day, and being so happily hugged by the smell of her famous pie baking in the oven, but then periodically being accosted by Mom’s liberal application of perfume. Yes, it may be a bit pungent, but that’s Mom’s scent, and it’s comforting. Without a doubt, this beer smells like the comforts of the holiday season. I sure could use a crackling fire and some turkey right now.
This is just what you would expect from a bottle conditioned beer from Belgium. Yes, it is a bit odd that a cork wasn’t implemented, but never-the-less, there is above average carbonation. Though this beer is not nearly as sweet as most Belgian brews of a similar style (the brewer’s stance on the subject is fully realized), it is still a dark winter ale of 7% abv, and from an American ale standpoint, there is an appropriate dose of remaining sugars to provide a smooth and slick feel to the liquid. Overall, I’m happy with the feel of this one.
The one word that came to mind after my very first sip was, “metallic”. This isn’t a good adjective for a beer, but I’m kind of glad that I sensed it because it spawned one of those memory flashbacks that I was hoping for. In Beer Blotter’s time in Belgium, we came across quite a stupefying amount of beers with this flavor attribute. I have yet to come up with a foolproof explanation for this. Some of my theories include the water source(s) used, the materials used in constructing the brew-houses, and simply, an undesirable byproduct of the house yeast strains that have been cultivated for centuries in Belgium. Luckily for X-Mas Zinnebir, a little bit of warmth allows more flavors to blossom, most of which are able to mask the metal.
For the most part, the odor belittles the flavor. The is so much happening in the nose, and unfortunately, not so much on the tongue. There is a subtle brown sugar sweetness and some hints of an aromatic malt, but otherwise the flavor is overwhelmed by Belgian yeast fruitiness. It’s a nondescript mish mash of tree and vine fruits. Red grapes and Granny Smith apples come to mind most vividly.
Immediately after the swallow, the flavors seem mostly wine like, with a slight dryness, and then move into a more malty, cereal like flavor. The deeper we go into the aftertaste the more these elements seem to meld together.
This beer is actually more inspired by traditional (or what I think of as traditional) Belgian styles than the way I remember the De La Senne brews I had in Brugge. I think that it’s the yeast that they used for this one. But still, there is no doubt that they are either taking cues from American ales or they have tapped into some much more “traditional” or “older” Belgian brewing process. There is something here that will no doubt set De La Senne apart from the pack, and that seems to be in the vein of the American Spirit. Anytime, anywhere, that the Belgian and American aesthetics collide… I want to be there.
If you like Brasserie De La Senne X-Mas Zinnebir, you should try…
Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard-earned money at a local bottle shop, and aged to perfection by yours truly.
Written by Jess R.
If you all recall, and how could you forget, bb.com took an epic trip to Belgium in March of this year, marking one of the most exciting, most educational, most delicious beer experiences of a lifetime.
Among the beer tastings, beer bar dominations and brewery visits, we stopped at Cantillon. Founded in 1900, Cantillon is a staple in Belgium beer making. Known as the Museum of Geuzes, this brewery has perfected the process of making lambics and gueuzes. Time stands still here despite the ever changing background of the city of Brussels.
On March 16, 2010, Day 7 of our trip, we make the hour or so drive from Antwerp to Brussels. First stop, a little piece of history. We pull up in our rental car, and walk up to a non-descript facade with a large open garage door. We are greeted with a “Bonjour” as Brussels is primarily French speaking and receive a glass to taste Rose de Gambrinis and Faro. I am instantly in love.
Touring the Brewery:
A self guided tour is offered with a beer in one hand and a brochure in the other. I found this description on Cantillon’s website that I wanted to share:
Machines, most of them original, barrels with Lambic, Kriek or Framboise, cellars where bottles of Gueuze, Kriek or Lambic Grand Cru wait patiently till they get transferred to a customer’s table, a mashing tun and boilers, a granary with a cooling tun where the Brussels air has free play, a filter and a bottling machine, these are the things you’ll see during your visit.
We begin our walk through the process- the mashing tun, boilers, the process of natural fermentation, barrel aging and the bottling of these amazing beers. Each piece of equipment shines with copper lining and glistens with wisdom. I remember climbing up these rotting wooden stairs to the attic area. Open rafters let the sunlight in, as well as the wild yeast used to ferment the beer. When I first became a fan of lambics, I was fascinated by the natural occurrence of wild yeast in Belgium.
Brettanomyces is a genus of wild yeast important in brewing lambic, a beer produced not by the deliberate addition of brewer’s yeasts, but by spontaneous fermentation by wild yeasts and bacteria. Brettanomyces lambicus, B. bruxellensis and B. claussenii are native to the Senne Valley region of Belgium, where lambic beer is produced. Here at Cantillon, once the beer is ready to be fermented, it is placed in open containers begging for the hungry yeast to eat the sugar and produce alcohol.
Next is the barreling room. Lambic fumes escape from the barrels in which the beer matures for three years. This process is not for the impatient individual. After our tour, we were lucky enough to try a one year old lambic straight from the barrel! Subtle in taste and without carbonation, it still possessed a sophistication and complexity that I will never forget.
Throughout the tour, cobwebs hung from the corners, from the machinery and cats wandered throughout the aisle and slept on window sills. Every creature, every organism plays a part in the creation of these beers. A well constructed eco-system was before us and we reaped the benefits of these lambics and guezes.
At the end, we took a seat by a fire place (as the place was on the colder side), glanced at the list consisting of Gueuze, Kriek, Rose Gambinus, December 2008 Lambic, Faro, Saint Lamvinus and Lou Pepe (Kriek, Framboise and Gueuze). What a sight! We sat in silence, in awe of this church of beer.
Side notes about Cantillon and the beers they produce. 1. Lou Pepe refers to their top notch batches. A Lou Pepe Kriek would be their best cherry lambic, for example. 2. Gueuze are not brewed, lambics are brewed. Gueuzes are blends of lambics. See how much you just learned?
Cantillon remains a staple in my growth as a beer writer, beer lover and beer drinker. To see this process, to acknowledge the dedication to historical integrity while producing high quality beers is something I think about quite often when tasting beers of this nature. Brewing lambics is a tedious, scientifically extravagant and well defined process. To honor the memory, we brought back several bottles (at 8 euro per 750ml, how could we not) and a little piece of our amazing trip!
Yesterday was the 27th birthday of our editor and fearless leader – Jessica Reiser. We all really appreciate her dedication to BeerBlotter.com and her amazing thirst for excellent beer at home and abroad on our many beer excursions!
We celebrated this joyous event with a weekend full of camping in Southern Washington’s Seaquest Park, topped off with a day in Seattle drinking beer at Collins Pub, dining at Cafe Campagne and having a nightcap supplied by cellar treats! There was some good beer along the way….
On the way down south, we stopped for a lunch over at the Nothwest Sausage and Deli, the home of Dicks Brewing Co. This place is a mecca of smoked meats, cheeses and of course Dick Young’s famous beers. A more substantive article will appear this week in our 52 Weeks column – but this place is simply amazing and should never be missed by any beer lover.
Lazy Boy Brewing supplied a jockey box and 1/4 kegs of its new Pale Ale and its Imperial Red for our camping trip over the weekend. New Lazy Boy assistant and Beer Blotter writer Timperial Stout helped create what we are calling a “dixie cup randall” filled with fresh smoked wood chips, soaked in Makers Mark. We used the mini-randall to create a bourbon wood infused imperial red (we kind of wish we had used the Pale Ale, but this was still a damn good beer).
Yesterday, Seattle’s Collins Pub supplied some exciting beers with pours of Boundary Bay’s Imperial IPA, Midnight Sun’s 3767 Belgian-style IPA, New Belgium’s Eric Sour Peach Ale and Allagash’s Trippel. We are all such big fans of 3767, an IPA wort engineered by Ballast Point Brewing (San Diego) and infused with 3 different yeast strains (Brett included) and bottle conditioned by Midnight Sun (Anchorage). Its amazing beer in the bottle – and better on the tap.
We enjoyed an incredible dinner at Cafe Campagne, comprised of escargot, country pate, roast duck, steak and fine grenache wine. But we finished up with a nite cap filled with some cellar favorites that had been pushed back for a special occasion. Avery Brewing‘s Brabant Wild Ale was a splendid surprise. The beer has the body of a Cascadian Dark Ale, but the Belgian undertones of a Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire. The beer is fermented with Brett and conditioned in Zinfendel barrels. Very impressive, though not as sour as we hoped.
We also enjoyed a special beer from Brussels’ Brasserie Cantillon. Cantillon’s Grand Cru Bruscella was a beer that we first enjoyed during a meal at De Gans, a quirky house/restaurant on the outskirts of Ghent, Belgium. After visiting the Cantillon brewery back in March, we decided to take a bottle for the road. The beer is a simple 3 years old lambic with virtually no carbonation and little body – but bursting with flavor. This particular bottle was from the 2006 vintage and is from the “Bio” series of beers made with organically grown ingredients. We very much enjoy this beer, as its flavor develops down to the last drop.
Again – Happy Birthday to Jessica! Expect to see an article reviewing her night with Tomme Arthur during Seattle Beer Week at Brouwers Cafe, later this week.