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!
Enjoyed on 9/15/2010
Brewery: Russian River Brewing Co.
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Beer: Pliny the Elder
Presentation: 16.9 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped
Style: American Style Imperial India Pale Ale
Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer, and writer. Although not considered his most important work, Pliny and his contemporaries created the botanical name for hops, “lupus Salictarius”, meaning wolf among scrubs.” Hops at that time grew wild among willows, much like a wolf in the forest. Later the current botanical name, Humulus Lupulus, was adopted. Pliny died in 79 AD while observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who continued his uncle’s legacy by documenting much of what he observed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pliny the Elder, the beer, is brewed with 40% more malt and over twice the amount of hops as compared to our already hoppy IPA.
Beer Advocate: A+ (4.55)
Rate Beer: 100 (4.24)
beeradvocate.com recently posted their 2010 “Top Beers on Planet Earth”. At the time of that list’s release Beer Blotter felt obliged to lend their opinion on the extremely interesting phenomena surrounding it, but alas, time did not allow. Seeing that the beer to be reviewed here is the controversial number 1 on said list, we will take this opportunity to toss out a few thoughts.
First, the background. I believe that this list comes out every year and is essentially beeradvocate.com‘s version on ratebeer.com‘s The Best Beers in the World (overall), or possibly The Top Widely Distributed Beers. These lists are always created exclusively with the use of the reviews of the website’s users. That being said, no matter what you may think of the results, they are the will of the people.
I personally prefer ratebeer’s Best in the World list over BA’s Top Beers list because I feel it gives credit to beers that, yes, may be very rare, but most likely taste the best, or are the most complex. BA’s list seems to have been compiled only with beers that have been reviewed by roughly 1,000 users, or have roughly 1,000 total reviews. This, however, makes the list much more accessible to the masses. A decent majority of the beers on the list have a sizable distribution.
For us Seattleites, the only breweries represented in the list that don’t distribute to our state are Founder’s, Bell’s, Three Floyds, Troegs, Great Lakes, Brooklyn, and Smuttynose. That’s really not that bad. 7 out of 44 breweries. Of course, none of those 44 breweries are from WA, but we kinda already knew that would happen. Tell me what WA beer deserves to be on the list, but before you answer, ask yourself what that beer’s distribution looks like. When you weigh quality with the number of mouths that get to taste it, you will begin to realize why our state is never represented.
Now, to number 1 on the list. Pliny. This is insane! Don’t get me wrong, Pliny is an amazing double IPA. I’d drink it everyday for the rest of my life if I had to and I’d be quite happy. Vinnie Cilurzo is truly a hero of mine, but…there should never, ever be an IPA in the number one spot on a list like this. IPAs lack depth and complexity. The number 1 spot should be reserved for a beer that has so many layers and nuances that you struggle to describe it. Even my beloved imperial stout, though unarguably complex, doesn’t have the depth of some of the greatest Belgian ales. This is why I will never argue with the ratebeer perennial champion Westy 12. Now that is a worthy beer for number 1 on planet Earth. But, Westy 12 is very rare and therefore has no place on this list. Rochefort 10 on the other hand, found in the number 3 position on the list, should be on top in my opinion. Anyone who has ever had this beer knows a little something about speechless.
But, I deeply digress. This article is about hops and Pliny has plenty of it. Wherever Pliny should end up on this list, or any other list for that matter, is up for debate; but what surely is not up for debate is if it should be on the list, or any other list for that matter. There is absolutely no doubt that this is one of the world’s best hoppy beers and I’m ecstatic to be drinking it tonight.
The filling of my pint glass is no easy task. A huge, rocky head arises of a just off-white, nearly yellow hue. It takes a while to fizzle down into beer, so you can imagine the pains it took to hold patiently. In fact, I failed. Refusing to wait, I slurped up a big, prickly mouthful of foam that seemed a microcosm of the taste experience soon to come. Immediately evaporating like a pinch of cotton candy between my lips, waves of citrus and pine span past me in fractions of a second before a stern slap of bitterness stung my senses.
Before even one liquid sip made it to my mouth, I felt as though I had climbed just slightly too far up a pine tree, became fearfully stuck, then became the target of a potato gun loaded with citrus. I’m taking it square in the jaw with propelled fruit and hanging on to the sharp, sappy branches of my captor with all that I have. It sounds like a nightmare, and to the bitter bewildered, it just may be, but to The Hop Brief, it’s an extreme sport. We do it for the love of the thrill.
The head eventually settles to a white wisp and ring. Surprisingly, the lacing is a bit subdued. After such a thick head on the pour and the sweetness expected from such a big brew, I presumed there would be much more stickage. The color is also a bit unexpected, a pale, cloudy amber. Pale enough that I would have projected a lighter brew before me. The most striking attribute of all, gathered with the eye, is the level of cloudiness. Actually, I hesitate to even use the word cloudy, though it seems an appropriate adjective for beers with suspended yeast. Here we have some serious floaters! My mind tells me that it’s hop shrapnel, and I like the thought of that. Maybe I can chew some hop as I drink some hop.
The nose is very pleasant to this IPA lover. There is a slight sting in the nostrils from the multi-tiered potency. Many facets of potent lupulin resins (pine and citrus, as mentioned earlier), backed with a potent booze factor. The biscuity malts that break through add a complexity and balance that is an invaluable sidekick. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a dash of wheat in the grain bill. That may also be a factor in the color and cloudiness. Fruitcake… and no, I’m not talking about you… in the nose. There is a slight but noticeable sweetness in the scent that brings me relief.
The mouthfeel is spot on for the style. Fairly low but present carbonation, smooth and slick with sweetness… I’m not rushing to swallow.
The flavor is pretty fantastic. No shit, right? The taste experience begins with an onslaught of bitterness, which I generally am opposed to, but after the bitter sensing portions of the tongue relax (or are desensitized, I’m not sure which), it’s all so right. An exhale through the nose stirs up all of the crucial hop flavors that were prefaced in the nose. BIG earthy pine (trapped in a tree), grapefruit, pumello, bitter orange (potato gun shooting citrus); it’s all there and wiping about the mouth like a swirl-and-spin of hop-flavored paint, coating every corner of the mouth with aromatic arts.
The malts are like the cool, smooth looking guy that just strolls through the bonkers house party with no worry in the world. He puts it all into perspective, making all the hopped-up party animals look like riotous ne’er-do-wells who will never grow up to do anything with their lives. In this particular case, we all know that those hopped-up animals turn out to forever change American brewing, but don’t tell that to the malty fellow, he is still cool as ice. You may have picked up on my IPA desires by now, but if not, I NEED BALANCE! Get a little heavy on the malt bill, leave behind some unfermentable sugars, arrest fermentation, do whatever you have to do to massage my sweet tooth. This brew gives it a little stroke, and I’m near bliss.
For me, the aftertaste is the peak of excellence as far as PTE is concerned. All the flavors coalesce into a sweet song in the key of sturm und drang. Extremes in emotion mingle. Stabbing, pungent bitterness leads into soothing, relaxing sacchariferousness. There is very little dryness at all and, though I so badly want another sip, I really don’t need it. The flavors just keep going and going. All is right in the world.
With PTE, the sweetness is desperately close to perfect for me, but falls just short. I can actually feel the tension within me. I want so badly for it to be perfect, but no. Lest we not forget though, it’s a rare occasion when I even discuss the possibility of perfection in a beer, of any style, and that is why Pliny the Elder is a legend in both history and beer.
Color/Head/Retention [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.79
Odor [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.86
Carbonation/Mouthfeel [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.99
Hop Flavor [maximum of 3.00 points possible]: 2.94
Malt Flavor/Balance [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.88
Finish/Aftertaste [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.99
Total [maximum of 10.00 points possible]: 9.45
A weekend of home brewing and beers at Fremont Brewing Co., it was quiet and delightful. Fremont Brewing Co.’s Interurban IPA dry hopped with Centennial and Thai Basil as well as their Summer Solstice with lime are both amazing brews. But now for your beer week ahead.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Saison Du Buff Party: Dayton, Ohio
7:00PM-9:00PM @ South Park Tavern
Stone/Dogfish/Victory Party where all 3 versions of Saison Du Buff on Tap as well as other great beers from these great breweries. Not to be missed!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Bell’s Two-hearted Firkin Event: Greensboro, North Carolina
4:00PM-6:00PM @ Brixx Wood Fire Pizza
The first in the series of three Brixx Cask Events. This month will feature Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and tickets are $20 per person. Tasters receive a hearty Pairings Pizza, a pint of Bell’s Two Hearted Cask AND a regular pint of Two Hearted for a true comparison. A real treat as there are only a few of these firkins in North Carolina.
Wednesday, August 25, 2o1o
Smuttynose Beer Dinner: Brookline, Massachusettes
6:30PM-9:30PM @ American Craft
Pouring the following Smuttynose beers: 2010 Rouge d’Shire; 2007 Gnome; 2009 J. Lohr Chardonnay Barrel Aged Triple; 2010 Big A I.P.A.; 2008 Imperial Stout; 2006 Wheat Wine (amazing and paired with dessert). Some food highlights include, Chili glazed steak skewers served over a roasted corn and wild rice ragu and Duo of seafood cakes, 1. Crab cake with a sweet chili aioli 2. Lobster cake with Dijon aioli served over a celery root slaw. Tickets are $85.00.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Upright Brewing BBQ Beer Dinner: Portland, Oregon
7:00PM-10:00PM @ Urban Farmer
Chef Matt Christianson of Urban Farmer Restaurant has partnered with Upright Brewing owner and head brewer, Alex Ganum, to celebrate summer’s quintessential ingredients: Beer and Barbecue. Chef Matt and Alex have collaborated on a five-course dinner that pairs Oregon Dungeness crab, Wagyu beef and Afton Field Farm chicken with farmhouse inspired beers that are brewed just a few miles from the restaurant in the Rose Quarter’s Left Bank Project. Price is $65 Per Person plus gratuity. For reservations, contact Urban Farmer at 503-802-4630.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Lost Abbey Night: San Diego, California
5:00PM-7:00PM @ Downtown Johnny Browns
TEN TAPS??? COMPLIMENTARY TRI TIP?? Lost Abbey/Port Brewing is one of my favorite breweries- cant’ go wrong here!
Taps to enjoy: 10 Commandments, Gift Magi, Judgment day, Carnival, Road to Helles, Avant Garde, Red Barn, Angel Share, Devotion
Bottles: Framboise de Amarosa, Red Poppy Bottles (rare, get this!), 09′ Older Viscosity
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Annual Microfest: Adamstown, Pennsylvania
12:00PM-11:00PM @ Stoudts Brewing Co.
From Beer Advocate’s website:
Sample some of the best beers the industry has to offer in your very own festival tasting glass. Soak up those delicious beers with Ed’s “Best of the Wurst” German-style buffet, which includes German sausages, red kraut, potato and pasta salad, and a nice assortment of Eddie’s Breads from the Wonderful Good Market.
The $30 ticket also gets you some great entertainment, and a free shuttle to and from all of the local hotels.
The festival sessions are from NOON- 4PM and 7-11PM. $30 per session. 21+ ONLY!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Aromas Brewhaha: Athens, Georgia
4:00PM-12:00AM @ Aromas
Today experience an eclectic and rare tap list comprised of the following beers:
Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout (Athens Debut)
Founders Black Biscuit (Athens Debut)
Founders Devil Dancer
Southern Tier Creme Brulee
Terrapin Hopzilla Imperial IPA
The Bruery Tradewinds Triple
Ballast Point Sculpin
Coast Boy King
Cigar City Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
Cigar City Humidor 110K + OT Batch #3
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale Cask
If you want to inform us about an event you plan on going to or want to review an event you went to, please leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. Cheers!
Happy belated Father’s Day! I hope all you dads had time to enjoy a beer yesterday. We had a blast on Friday at the Washington Brewers festival so many amazing beers ranging from sour stouts (Snipes Mountain), to epic IPAs (Port Townsend) and bourbon barreled scotch ales (Black Raven). Its still winter in Seattle (today is the official first day of summer) but here are your events around the country.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Come Meet the Genius at Rattle-N-Hum: New York, New York
4:30PM-7:30PM @ Rattle-n-Hum
Seriously, 21 Dogfish Head beers will be pouring tonight- almost everyone you can think of- Black and Blue- CHECK, Midas Touch- CHECK, Burton Baton- CHECK. Meet the man behind it all, Sam Caligione. What a great way to start the week. For a full list click here.
Tuesday, May 22, 2010
Smuttynose Beer Dinner: Providence, Rhode Island
6:00PM-8:00PM @ The Melting Pot of Providence
This $50.00 beer dinner (Please mention “Beer Dinner” when making your reservations) will provide you with a 5 course meal consisting of fine cheeses, a curry dish, a decadent dessert plus many amazing beers from Smuttynose Brewing Co.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Lagunitas Tasting: Chicago, Illinois
8:00PM-10:00PM @ Fizz Bar and Grill
Tonight will showcase Lagunitas Brewing Company from Petaluma, California during a free tasting at 8 p.m. Fizz chef Weslie Bellini will pair light Mexican bites such as ceviche with the brews. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Three Floyds Tasting Night: Michigan City, Indiana
5:30PM – 7:00PM @ Sahara
This event is $15.00 a person which includes 6-7 Three Floyds brews and appetizers to complement these fine crafted beverages. Pray for Dreadnaught (their double IPA).
Friday, June 25, 2010
First Day of San Diego International Beer Festival: San Diego, California
4:00PM-8:00PM @ Del Mar Fairgrounds
Tickets are $37 if purchased in advance for a four-hour session and $43 at the gate. Ticket prices include admission to the 2010 San Diego County Fair. Tickets are sold through the Del Mar Fairgrounds Box Office or at www.Ticketmaster.com. For more information on the Festival and the San Diego County Fair, please visit www.sdfair.com/beer.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Bell’s Fermented Eclipse: Minneapolis, Minnesota
3:00PM-10:00PM @ Stub and Herb’s
Music, Bell’s Brewing Co. beer and BBQ- Check this out-Stub and Herb’s has some Expedition Stout Barrels that they will be chopping up and throwing in a smoker for bbqing chickens. That just sounds amazing. The Bell’s beer trailer will be outside pouring this lineup: Batch 9000, Black Note, Bourbon-Barrel Hell Hath No Fury, Oatmeal Stout (1st time tapped in MN) plus 3 other special taps that are apparently secret thus far. Also look for Expedition Stout, Cherry Stout, Double Cream, Kalamazoo and Rye Stout on tap.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Cheese Loves Beer VIII: Burlington, Vermont
1:30PM-3:30PM @ American Flatbread Burlington Hearth
Stop by today and sample artisanal cheese and craft beer pairings. This event will highlight cheese makers new to the local artisanal cheese scene and pairing them with the exceptional beers crafted by Zero Gravity Brewery. This event is very limited and a pre-paid reservation is necessary to attend. See the host at the restaurant, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation. Cost is $30 per person.
Is it really Monday again? Sure enough we had a weekend excursion..where to? Wenatchee, WA along with Cashmere, Leavenworth and Ellensburg. Along the way we drank Deschutes Hop Henge and Jubel at the Applewood Grille, enjoyed a German brew at Munchen Haus in Leavenworth and stopped at Iron Horse Brewing Co. for some IPA, Hefe (6%!!) and Biere De Garde. Always a good time. Now, for times to come….
Monday, June 7, 2010
Bell’s World Record Draft Event: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7:00PM-11:00PM @ City Tap House
31 different and rare beers on tap tonight, all from Bell’s Brewing Co. Oh man….this event is amazing. Fresh Hop Slam and Golden Funk, Kal Haven Brett Rye Ale, Black Note and Sparkling Ale, Oracle, Wheat Love, Deb’s Red, Q Falls Lager, or Bourbon Barrel Hell Hath.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
3rd Annual Belgium Beer Festival: Queens, New York
6:00 PM- 4:00AM @ Sunswick 35/35
Can’t get to Belgium? Then just go to this event: 5 rotating Belgian beers on tap. Six specialty bottled beers will also be available. The menu will feature Belgian-inspired dishes, such as Belgian cheese plates, waffles, fries, and salads. Check out Brugze Zot, Saison Dupont, Westmalle Trappiste Tripel and more!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Meet and Greet with Great Lakes Brewing Co.: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6:00PM- 8:00PM @ the Devil’s Den
Owner of Great Lakes Brewing Co., Pat Conway will be here to discuss and enjoy his beers with you. GLBC, out of Cleveland OH, makes amazing brews, ranging from Blackout Stout to an unbelievable Christmas Ale. Their American style IPA, Commodore Perry and their Burning River Pale Ale are also not to be missed.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Victory Beer Dinner: Purcellville, Virginia
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Magnolias at the Mill
This $80.00 dinner will be worth every penny….6 courses (including a greeting beer) will be paired with Victory Brewing Co. beers. 8 beers will be tasted including Old Horizontal Barleywine and Wild Devil!!! Enjoy!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Allagash Night: San Diego, California
5:00PM-8:00PM @ Downtown Johnny Browns
The beer line up for the Allagash Night will include: Curieux, Victor, Victoria, Confluence, Wit, Interlude, Odyssey, Fluxus 09′, Four and Dubbel. Also, enjoy some smoked brisket with a Curieux BBQ sauce! Check out Johnny Browns for brewer nights in the future.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Monthly Brew Day: Anthem, Arizona
9:00AM-5:00PM @ Hops and Tannins
If you don’t have room at home or want to get out to meet other home brewers, this is the event for you! Equipment is available for purchase at the store. But feel free to bring your own equipment to this event. You will have access to electricity, running water, a workbench area and use of two propane burners on a first come, first served basis. As a part of “buy here, brew here”, an area to store fermenters will be provided in shop if needed and access on Saturdays to transfer/rack, and bottle. For more information, call 623-551-9857.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Sunday Funday with New Belgium Brewing: Fort Worth, Texas
2:00PM – 5:00PM @ Ginger Man
That’s it, that’s all. Email us at email@example.com or leave a comment if you want to discuss an event, want us to post an event or just want to talk about beer! Cheers!