Draft Magazine is a nationally published magazine focused beer culture. They have been around since 2006, sometimes featuring celebrities on their covers. All in all, its not the nerds guide to beer. Its more of a sassy celebration of all things barley pop.
Don’t let my description drive you away. Draft Magazine is good. In fact, all 3 of the Beer Blotter writers are subscribers. We enjoy the fact that Draft presents a global expose on happenings in the beer world. Its really a good way to locate beer venues from around the world.
Just this week, Draft released its annual Top 100 beer bars list. This list is sorted geographically into 4 regions. I was afraid that they were attempting to force options for each of these regions, but it appears that the selections are not equally divided (for example, the Northeast has many more than the South). So, it appears that the choices are without prejudice.
In scouring the list, I was very pleased to see places like Avenue Pub (New Orleans), Apex (Portland), Blind Lady Alehouse (San Diego) and our very own Monk’s hole – The Stumbling Monk (Seattle).
But, one cannot peruse the list without finding their own list of absentees. While less deserving pubs made it (i.e. Cooter Browns (New Orleans), Green Dragon (Portland), McNulty’s Bier Markt (Cleveland)), some of the nation’s most celebrated beer venues are missing.
While that absentee list will differ for each of us, here are my Top 5 Absentees:
- Brouwers Cafe (Seattle) – They must have pissed off a Draft Magazine writer. Many of us know that Brouwers can sometimes rub the wrong way (and its been stated by commenters here on the site), but there is no better selection of ale in the NW. Brouwers routinely procures 60 taps of rare beer, one of the best bottle lists in the country and an unprecedented number of unmatched in-house beer festivals (See Sour Fest, Hopfest, Big Wood, and Hard Liver). Again, they must have pissed someone off.
- Bangers & Lace (Chicago) – This might simply be too early for Draft to call this place a winner. But, Bangers & Lace has quickly ascended to the top of the Chicago beer world. Presenting an unmatched selection of rare beer, along with phenomenal food, B&L deserves a spot. Guest writer For Whom the Bell Toales agrees that this is the #1 beer venue in Chi-town.
- Small Bar (San Diego) – Ok Ok, they got it mostly right. Hamilton’s Tavern, Blind Lady Alehouse, and O’Brien’s Pub should all be on the list. But, Small Bar gives that Top 3 a run for their money. Mixing a spectacular beer selection with epic food and spunky surroundings, I think it deserved a spot above many of the LA selections.
- Brew Kettle (Strongsville, OH) – Draft picked one of the many Cleveland suburb favorites – Buckeye Beer Engine. But, I think they got the wrong one. The Brew Kettle blends an incredible draft lineup (thank god for the connection with Founders), house made ales, and some spectactular bar grub. Get drunk enough? Go brew a batch in the back. Beyond that – its just a cool dark place to grab a beer.
- New York’s Forgotten Trio – Ginger Man, Mug’s Alehouse and d.b.a. (NY, NY) – They picked a lot of NY spots. I can understand that its pretty tough to run into your editor’s office and say we picked the Top 100 – 20 of them are in NY. Its a tough job to pick between the excellent spots in NYC. In my mind, they got the top 3 on the list – Rattle N Hum, Blind Tiger and Spuyten Duyvil. Those three are iconic, and the three places that I spend the most time while in NY. But, the above three all deserve a shot at the list. The Ginger Man is just a few blocks from Rattle N Hum – many would say its the cooler bar. Mug’s is tucked away in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But unlike the uber-hipster crowd at Spuyten Duyvil, you will find comfort at this grog spot. d.b.a. is the lone East Village fave. d.b.a. has been pouring beer for a long time and has an excellent wide spread selection.
I will say, writing the Top 5 absentees was pretty tough. All in all they did a great job finding the appropriate bars. The Top 100 is a worthy list and you should take a glance.
What else is missing!?
Happy New Year to all! Can you believe another decade has come and gone? What will this year in beer bring? Can’t wait to find out! But now, your week in beer.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Beer Geek Tuesday: Atlanta,Georgia
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Cypress Street Pint and Plate
Tonight He’brew Jewbelation 14 will be tapped. “14” stands for fourteen malts, fourteen hops, and fourteen percent ABV all in one glass. Hot Damn!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Founders Tapping: Chicago, Illinois
6:00PM-11:00PM @ Haymarket Pub & Brewery
This Wednesday Haymarket Pub & Brewery will be holding its first big tapping event. 12 of our taps will be taken over by Founders Brewing specialties. Hopefully this will help hold everyone over until the Pub Beers are available in the second week of January.
The final list for this event is not finalized but we should have both CBS, Black Biscuit, & Nemesis ’10 along with other hard to find kegs from our friends in Grand Rapids.
Come in and enjoy these great taps and try some of the items off of the Pub’s menu.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines: Vail, Colorado
7:30PM-10:30PM @ Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
If you love big beers, you must come have dinner with us! The 2011 event will be a tremendous treat. The original weekend event was suggested by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and much ado has been made of them by our guests. The celebrity beer pairing dinners show off the ultimate flexibility of beer with food. The Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner shows off our Featured Brewmasters for this year’s event, and the Calibration Dinner with Avery & Dogfish head really starts our celebration weekend off “calibrating your palate”!
For more information visit http://www.bigbeersfestival.com/ !
Friday, January 7, 2011
4th Annual Williamsburg Cask Festival: Brooklyn, New York
1:00PM-1:00AM @ D.b.a.
Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. Cask ale may also be referred to as real ale, a term coined by the Campaign for Real Ale, often now extended to cover bottle-conditioned beer as well.
Today, stop by D.b.a for an amazing line up of 15 rare, cask conditioned beers all on tap at once! This event will last all weekend long!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
13th Annual Ice Cold Beer Festival: Minocqua, Wisconsin
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Campanile Center For The Arts
Tickets: $25 in advance; $30 at the event
Tickets available at the Minocqua Brewing Co. & at participating Trig’s Cellar 70 locations.
Micro-Brews from around the state. Food and Music. This wonderful event benefits the Dr. Kate Hospice / Ministry Home Care.
Please call 715-356-2600 for more information. Hope to see you there!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Belgium Beer Class: Annapolis, Maryland
The Belgians have a remarkable brewing tradition, so much so that breweries all over the world work to perfect Belgian style brews. Learn about and taste some of our favorite Belgian beers from award-winning breweries in Belgium (of course) and the U.S.
Snacks and beer are provided. $30 per person.
Classes tend to fill quickly, so please make your spot reservations early. Call us at 410-571-7744 or email us at dmccabe @ punksbackyardgrill.com with questions or reservation requests. Obviously, you must be 21 years of age or older to participate.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Bell’s Hopslam Release Party: Indianapolis, Indiana
6:00PM-11:00PM @ Beer Sellar
You know how we love Bell’s Brewing Co. and this tap list is rocking my world!
Monday, January 10, Beer Sellar Indianapolis will join Bell’s Brewery in releasing HopSlam to the market. On tap Monday will be:
HopSlam (tapped at 6pm)
Batch 10K (tapped at 6pm)
If you go to an event, want us to post about an event or have an event for next week, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
After Big Wood Fest this past Thursday, we dedicated this weekend to laying low (aside from the Friday night trip to a casino). We did however indulge in Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Co. (Akron, OH) B.O.R.I.S. Imperial Stout, Great Divide Chocolate Yeti and Russian River Pliny the Elder.
I sit here writing events and sipping on this delicious Cranberry Saison homebrew. Thanks guys! But now for your week in beer.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Smuttynose Short Release Party: Peoria, Illinois
5:00PM-10:00PM @ Kelleher’s Irish Pub
Several beers from their everyday lineup, plus a few from Smuttynose‘s “Short Batch Series” will be available. What is this “Short Batch Series”? See below for a description from their website:
The Smuttynose Short Batch Series- brewed in volumes anywhere between 20 and 30 barrels, these limited-release, experimental beers are available on draft only and found at select beer bars up and down the East Coast. We normally release a few batches in a year, so they go quickly.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Jolly Pumpkin Rare Beer Auction: Ann Arbor, Michigan
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Jolly Pumpkin Brewing
This is epic, for a good cause and a great way to spice up your beer collection with rare and aged Jolly Pumpkin beers. Here are some of the beers that will be auctioned:
Biere de Mars Grand Reserve (16 months on Oak)
Oro de Calabaza (from 2004, 2006, 2006)
La Roja (2005 and 2006)
Fuego del Otono (2005)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Christmas Beer Dinner: Lake Zurich, Illinois
6:30PM-8:30PM @ Binny’s Beverage Depot
Binny’s has something to say:
Join us for our biggest tasting of the year! Sample over 30 different brews from 7 different countries. This is rare opportunity to try some of the most sought after and highly rated beers from around the world.
Cost is $10 W/Binny’s Card / $15 non-members. Call (847)438-1437 for more information.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Harpoon Tap Takeover: New Haven, Connecticut
8:00PM-10:00PM @ Prime 16
Join Prime 16 tonight with Harpoon Co-founder Rich Doyle and experience Nine different drafts including rare and vintage releases from the Leviathan and 100 bbl Series, 2 casks, and a few year round favorites.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Christmas in Belgium: Cleveland, Ohio
11:00AM-11:00PM @ Buckeye Brewing Co.
This beer list is amazing and will provide you with a broad range of Belgium style beers (most are from Belgium).
Join us for Christmas in Belgium 2010, a pay-as-you-go celebration featuring tons of holiday beers on tap. So far, we’ve got:
-Affligem Noël (Christmas Ale)
-Gouden Carolus Noël (Christmas)
-Corsendonk Christmas Ale ’09
-Buckeye Christmas Girl
-Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux
-N’Ice Chouffe ’09
-St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
-Bush de Noël (Scaldis Noel)
-De Ranke Père Noël
-Achilles Serafijn Christmas Angel
-Mikkeller Santas Little Helper ’09
-Mikkeller Red/White Christmas
-Mikkeller Ris a la M’ale
The festivities start 12-10 at 11:00AM when we open and continue all weekend long, or until the beer is gone! Come celebrate the season with us!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Goose Island Belgium Ale Tasting: Cincinnati, Ohio
1:00PM-3:00PM @ Bigg’s Hyde Park
Today you will taste the amazing Belgium brews from Goose Island. An American brewery that focuses on bringing styles such as Belgium Blondes, Saisons and Sour Ales to our back door. Sofie, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Fleur & Demolition will all be available.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Ommegang Beer Dinner: Seattle, Washington
6:30PM-8:30PM @ The Leary Traveler
The Traveler is teaming up with Ommegang Brewing, for a very special Holiday Beer Dinner. A 5 course meal featuring local meat and produce paired with some of the breweries finest styles of local craft beer. Dinner is at 6:30 PM and seating is limited. Ticket purchase will reserve your seat and tickets will be $45.
What event around the country did you attend this week?
Oh Thanksgiving – I miss you already. Alas, there is one heck of a week ahead.
A first pouring of our 1st Anniversary beer met a quite amazing meal on Thursday. We followed that up with a journey out to Kitsap, stopping by Silver City Brewing, Der Blokken Brewery and 7 Seas Brewing, along the way. I have got to say that Kitsap is one heck of a trip. The beer gets better each time I visit.
After a day at Mt. Baker on Saturday, we got our first ever taste of the Beer Shrine – North Fork Brewery. Later this week, expect some write ups on some of these wonderful excursions.
Lets embark on a new week in beer:
Monday, November 29, 2010
21st Amendment Beer Dinner: New York, New York
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Spring Lounge
The first of these events features 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat (in a can!), the newest winter seasonal by 21st Amendment Brewery of San Francisco, and is catered by Jeff Maslanka, head chef of Black Shack Burger in midtown and 67 Burger in Brooklyn. He’ll be serving up short ribs braised in Fireside Chat, along with some seasonal sides that will both highlight and be highlighted by the taste of the beer.
The food is complimentary, the beer is not. So bring your wallet and your appetite.
We’ll also be featuring these great brews by 21st Amendment on draught – Brew Free or Die IPA, Back in Black, and Hop Crisis
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Yeast Strains with Mikkeller: New York, New York
7:30PM-9:30PM @ Jimmy’s N0. 43
Join in the sampling of 6 different beers from Mikkeller‘s Yeast Series. This will only cost you $10 and these beers are not only delicious, but will provide insight into this innovative, international brewery.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon
2:00PM-10:00PM @ Pioneer Courthouse Square
Its that time of the year, so gear up for some Christmas beer drinking fun!
The 15th annual Holiday Ale Festival will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 1, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 5 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave at the intersection of SW Broadway and Yamhill Streets, immediately on the MAX Light Rail line.
Wednesday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission & Costs:
*FREE* re-admission into the Festival all 5 days with wristband and current year’s mug!
To enter and taste beers, the purchase of an initial tasting package is required. Advance tickets cost $20, or $25 at the door. This package includes a souvenir mug and 10 beer tickets.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Big Wood Barrel-Aged Beer Festival: Seattle, Washington
11:00 AM-Close @ Brouwers Cafe
You’ve read about it here on BeerBlotter.com. This is one of those “can’t miss” beer events that happen in Seattle. The initial tap list has already been handed down by the good folks at Brouwers Cafe. We are astonished at some of the iconic names, including a rare appearance by the elusive Russian River Deviation (a Bottleworks Anniversary beer from several years back).
The event begins at 11:00 AM and will continue through the weekend. If you are trying to sample the big guys (HOTD, Russian River, The Bruery, Lost Abbey), I would suggest getting there early on Thursday. See you there!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Founders Brewing Co. Sampler: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4:00PM-6:00PM @ Bell’s Beverage
As you might already know, Founders is a Beer Blotter favorite. Although I do not know what beers are pouring- Founders will not disappoint!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Strong Ale Festival: San Diego, California
11:00AM-11:00PM @ Pizza Port Carlsbad
The 14th San Diego Strong Ale Festival at Pizza Port Carlsbad will be held Friday and Saturday, December 3rd and 4th. The festival will feature more than 75 beers all over 8% alcohol from all over the United States. Admission is $30 and includes 8 taster tickets each good for a 4 ounce pour. If you can’t make it today, Pizza Port always has stellar beers on tap!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Belgium to Brooklyn: Brooklyn, New York
11:00AM- 11:00PM @ Mugs Ale House
Oh my- this is epic and actually begins on Saturday, December 4th. 5th Annual Belgium 2 Brooklyn Mug’s Ale House Belgian Style Beer Festival: Saturday 12/4/10 & Sunday 12/5/10 from 11 AM onwards. No entrance fee, pay as you go. Over 40 Belgian Style Ales on draft + Mug’s Ale House usual enormous bottle selection.
Check out beeradvocate.com for a full tap list! Highlights include, ‘t Smisje Speciaal 2009 10.5% ; Struise Tsjeeses 10% ; Mikkeller Santas Little Helper 10.9% and Dogfish Head Au Courant 2003 7% among so many more!
If you have an event you are going to or have an event you want us to post about, please email me at email@example.com. Cheers!
So sorry for the delay. I am finally recovered from Halloween weekend as a shark attack victim. As far as beers go, it was pretty low key: Georgetown Manny’s Pale Ale, New Belgium Ranger IPA and some homebrew. But now for your week in beer.
Skipping Monday, old news.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Victory Brewing Co Takes Over the Taps: New York, New York
4:30PM-2:30AM @ Rattle- N- Hum
A must stop beer bar in NYC, Rattle – N- Hum’s 35 taps will be all Victory Brewing beers. We are talking the best of the best from Wild Devil to Storm King- its going to be one hell of a Tuesday night!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Lost Abbey/Port Brewing Tap Take Over: Worchester, Massachusettes
6:00PM-10:00PM @ Armsby Abbey
Another “Tap Takeover” and I’m loving the idea. Tonight in MA, Lost Abbey/Port Brewing are bringing out all of the stops, 22 of them which include, Mondo Double IPA (one of my favorite IPAs), Red Barn Farmhouse ale, 2008 Older Viscosity and Bourbon Santa’s Little Helper. A-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Jolly Pumpkin Multi-tap Night: Grand Rapids, Michigan
6:00PM-2:00AM @ HopCat
Join us as we celebrate Jolly Pumpkin from Dexter, MI in a rare multi-tap night. We will be featuring almost a dozen(hopefully) taps of one of our favorite breweries. We will be honored by special guest Mike Turriff, who will be on hand to fend any questions, comments, and notes of praise. Maybe even the Captain Ron “Spooky” Jeffries will be in attendance!-no promises. Party starts at 6pm and will end when the beer does…or at 2:30am Which ever comes first. Hope to see you there.
Friday, November 5, 2010
San Diego Beer Week Kick Off: San Diego, California
Starting at 6:00PM @ all over San Diego
Beer Blotter is going to San Diego next week to hit up some amazing events. If you are in the area, check out the website and pick the events that intrigue you the most! San Diego Beer Week is sponsored by the San Diego Brewers Guild, a non-profit whose mission is to promote awareness and increase the visibility of fresh, locally brewed beer through education and participation in community events.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Firestone Walker‘s 14th Anniversary Party Release: Paso Robles, California
12:00PM-3:00PM @ Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Firestone Walker is celebrating it’s 14th anniversary by having a beer release party for is anniversary beer “14” and will include free samples of all component beers, free food, brewery tours, live music as well as other cool activities.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saison Sunday School: Dallas, Texas
3:30PM- 5:30PM @ The Common Table
First of all, love the concept. Second of all, this might be the first event I have ever posted in TX. Tonight, guests will explore the often overlooked and under-appreciated spicy and refreshing Belgian farmhouse ales known as Saison. We will do it the only real way I know how… drink some. There will be 6 Saisons paired with 6 different types of food. If you didn’t know already, Saison is beautiful with food. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot!
If you go to an event, want us to mention your event or just want to discuss something beer related that is on your mind, please leave a comment or email me at email@example.com. Cheers!
Written by Jess R.
A low key weekend began with a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale at Whisk(e)y Bar (my new favorite, local watering hole), several Firestone Walker Union Jack IPAs, a New Belgium/Elysian Trip III and several Fresh Hop beers (it was a rough week at work, ok). Other beer highlights include Port Brewing’s Old Viscosity, an imperial stout worth a moment of silence and a couple of tall boys of Rainier. And now for your week in beer.
Monday, October 11, 2010
” I Love New York” Beer Week Begins: New York, New York
All week @ the Spring Lounge
Start spreading the news, its All New York, all week, with beer from Brooklyn, Ommegang, Captain Lawrence, Ithaca Brewing Co., Greenport Harbor, Coney Island, Sixpoint, Southern Tier, and more. Check out www.beermenus.com for details on the special events this week.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Green Flash Night: Whittier, California
7:00PM-9:00PM @ The Bottle Room
Not only will all patrons receive discounts on beer, the first 36 guests will receive a complimentary Green Flash Brewing Co. pint glass with the purchase of a regularly priced draft (minus $1 for LA Beer Week). From there, bring your pint glass in and receive a $1 off Green Flash drafts until the kegs are kicked. Green Flash flights will be available–4-4 ounce pours for $11. Expect some special Green Flash beers not available elsewhere to the public.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Avery Rumpkin Release: Boulder, Colorado
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Avery Brewing Co.
AN IMPERIAL PUMPKIN ALE AGED IN RUM BARRELS. Stop by Avery Brewing Co. (where the magic happens) and experience the release of what sounds like am amazing, seasonal brew. Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin puree and a blend of five spices. Aged in extremely fresh Gosling’s Rum barrels for six months. Consume fresh and often, preferably with a pumpkin pie and/or s’mores.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Unibroue Beer Tasting: Cincinnati, Ohio
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Catskeller
Just $10.00 and you get beer from Unibroue paired with small plates. What a deal! The menu reads as follows:
Maudite: with bruchetta
La Fin Du Monde: with bacon scallops
Ephemere: with brie and apricot phylo
Don de Dieu: with smoked turkey club with feta cut in fourths
Terrible: with sharp cheddar quiche
Trois Pistoles: with rich chocolate brownies
Friday, October 15, 2010
Cleveland Beer Week Begins: Cleveland, Ohio
From the website:
The second annual CLEVELAND BEER WEEK will take place from October 15-23, 2010. A celebration of craft and import beers, CLEVELAND BEER WEEK features plenty of tastings, dinners, activities and more at more than 100 venues throughout Cuyahoga County and beyond. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the world of craft and imported brews at CLEVELAND BEER WEEK.
This beer week will not disapoint with participating breweries such as Hoppin’ Frog, Thirsty Dog, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and more. As if you weren’t excited enough, 12 breweries who participated in the largest known collaboration of its kind in the world, creating six brews. Family members have already agreed to mail us a six pack. Oh man! For more information, visit the event site.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Great Pumpkin Beer Fest: Seattle, Washington
(Saturday and Sunday) 12:00PM – the beers get tapped and the place shuts down @ Elysian Brewing Co., Capital Hill Location
I know we already did a write up about this event, but I am so damn excited, I had to mention it here- click here for details about the event from bb.com. Expect a crowd, a well-deserved crowd of people thirsty for pumpkin beers from Elysian, Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin and so many more. Sour pumpkin beers, pumpkin stouts, spiced ales and possibly beer brewed in a pumpkin. Also, get there early and you might get a sweet little taster glass (at least we did last year).
Sunday, October, 17, 2010
Farmhouse Ale Dinner: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5:00PM-9:00PM @ The South Philadelphia Taproom
If you go to an event, want to talk about an event or a beer you had at an event, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!