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?
Here, in the third installment of the collaborative brewing article, we present a bit of a list of some of the most notable collaboration projects of the past, present and future.
This write up would be remiss to not mention the prolific Danish brewer with no brewery, Mikkel Borg Bjergso of Mikkeller. If brewing beer at someone else’s brewery were criteria enough to evoke the collaboration moniker, every Mikkeller beer to hit the shelves would be just that. Even still, Mikkel has, over the years, joined forces with Stone, Brew Dog, Three Floyds, Struise, Alesmith, Nogne O, and others to make some really exciting beers.
A collaboration that us Seattleites are very familiar with is that of Elysian Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing Co. The ‘Trip’ series allows Elysian to brew with more volume on the New Belgium system and New Belgium to brew more experimental, small batches on the Elysian system. Lucky for us, these beers are only available on draft in the Northwest.
The first brew was Trippel (not triple) IPA, a Belgian-inspired Indian Pale Ale. Trip II was a unique hoppy Belgian Golden Ale spiced with lemongrass and grains of paradise. Trip III was a sour brown ale and Trip IV, a Finnish style sahti brewed with juniper. Beer Blotter will be on the edge of their seats in anticipation of each subsequent release.
The darlings of the Florida scene, Cigar City Brewing, just may be sending a bit of their art in Seattle’s direction when they collaborate with The Bruery in what will be the most anticipated collaboration release for yours truly. Keep your eyes peeled in July or August of this year.
Terrapin Beer Co. of Athens, GA and Left Hand Brewing of Longmont, CO have actually decided to make a somewhat regular go at collaborating together with the ‘Midnight Project’ series. Brew One in 2008 produced Terra-Rye’zd, a black rye lager. Last year’s Brew Two saw Depth Charge, an espresso milk stout. Sadly, WA is not amongst the 6 states that receive these beers, but if you are in TN, NC, SC, GA, FL or CO, we will gladly offer you our address and some packaging materials.
Quite possibly the biggest (in terms of brewery size) collaboration yet sees Boston Beer Co. and Weihenstephan join forces. The largest American craft brewery and the oldest brewery in the world, that’s pretty monumental! The uncharacterized style will come at the intersection of brewing innovation and the old German purity law, the Reinheitsgebot. According to Realbeer.com, “their yet-to-be-named beer will be released in both the United States and Germany next spring in cork-finished bottles. Effervescent and Champagne-like beer it will weigh in at more than 10 percent alcohol by volume.”
Another fairly sizeable collaborative effort came at the hands of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. These two have been quite active lately, in fact, on the collaborative front. Life and Limb came when Sam Calagione and Ken Grossman, two monumental names in American craft brewing, decided to cook up a beer together after sharing a pint or two at the Craft Brewer’s Conference. Their concoction ended up being a 10% strong ale brewed with maple syrup, fermented with a combination of both breweries house yeast strains and naturally carbonated with birch syrup. Limb and Life was also created in this session, a small beer made from the second runnings of Life and Limb.
Boulevard Brewing Co. of Kansas City, MO just recently made its first mark on the collaboration scene with a very unlikely cohort, the Belgian Trappist brewery Orval. Using an old recipe that Orval brewmaster Jean-Marie Rock had, an Imperial Pilsner was made using only one kind of malt, Saaz hops, water, and a lager yeast. Beer Blotter has never wanted to try a pilsner so bad. This beer is available in Seattle so look for it, we will be.
The final collaboration to be discussed in this round will be another America-meets-Belgium pairing that, well…I’m sure you can all imagine just how much that concept gets our blood pumping. Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego County and Brasserie St. Feuillien of Le Roeulx, Belgium have teamed up to make Bière De L’Amitié, or “Beer of Friendship”. Beernews.org reports that this 9.5% blonde Belgian strong ale will be released in June of 2010. Rye and wheat malts were used, along with Amarillo hops, St. Feuillien’s yeast strain, “secret” spices, and the whole mess was dry hopped with Amarillo. Sounds stupid good.
Any thoughts on collaborations? Know any good ones we missed? Join the conversation with a comment.
Ok, T-minus ten minutes until we leave for the airport (this was written on Wednesday) for Belgium. Last week we celebrated our journey to the land of beer with our last Belgium Night….
375 ml green glass, corked and caged
Clear light orange with no carbonation. Expected funkiness is present with a lot of sharp fruit juice flavor and mild sourness. Light, smooth mouthfeel. The wood from the barrel aging has clearly left its mark here. A bit reminiscent of grapefruit juice.
Brouwerij Drie Fontreinen
Doesjel Old Lambic
375 ml green glass, corked and caged
Oak aged lambic bottled on 2/23/06. 6% abv. Bright clear orange pour with no carbonation to be found. Very tart and sour, especially compared to the Hanssens. The scent is strikingly wine like. Wood is very present in scent and flavor. Very perfume like. Cidery. My mouth waters with each sip due to the sour clench in the corners of my mouth. Green apple comes to mind. Slight grainy finish.
Panil Birra Artigianale
750 ml green glass, capped
Cognac barrel aged sour brown ale. The pour shows a clear brown fluid with a thin white head and mild carbonation, minimal lacing. First bubbles of the evening! Very odd scent of wet wood and mushrooms, Earth to say the least. We are taken to a soggy, mossy land…drinking with the toads. Once you push past that oddity, some cinnamon and chocolate squeeze through. Glazed doughnuts come to mind. Already we’ve spanned a remarkable gamut! Taste matches that first scent up front, which is a bit strange, but not off-putting. The flavors transform mid way through and turn to sour, then finish with a baked, caramelized desert like essence. Some aged qualities are noted in the finish as well. U-fricken-nique.
Goose Island Brewing Co.
22oz brown glass, capped
Bottled on 7/17/09. 80% Belgian style ale blended with 20% Belgian style ale aged in wine barrels with orange peel. Pours a very pale yellow, almost white hue with a pure white head. The smell is so precisely of white wine it’s remarkable. White or skinless grapes with a slight dash of orange zest. Massive amounts of carbonation are present. Each sip bursts into foam as the liquid is jostled by the tongue. The aftertaste is very lingering. Minutes after the swallow I feel as though I have Concord grape skins stuck in my teeth. A slight graininess and fruitiness from the yeast are the only differentiators of this beer from a sparkling white wine. Easy drinking and delicious. I could drink this on a daily basis and be very happy.
De Struise Brouwers
11.2 oz brown glass, capped
13% “Royal Stout” brewed for Ebenezers Pub in Lovell, ME. Pours black with red highlights and a gorgeous rust colored head. The scent is slightly vinous, but also sweet like fudge brownies. Booze plays a large role in both the nose and flavor, but it’s not painful. Rum chocolate truffles come to mind, with a chalky drying effect on the finish. The complexity is deep. Further reflection brings some cigar box to the front which reminds me of Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout. The mouthfeel is decadent; smooth with momentary coating of sweetness that converts to a dryness, begging for the next sip.
Thats its, off to the airport. Sorry for the lack of links!!!! Check back for video updates of our trip!!!