Since I am not currently indulging in libations, Im going to cut to the chase– Your week in beer!
Tuesday, January 24, 2011
Jolly Pumpkin, Stone and Nogne-O Collaboration Dinner: Detroit, Michigan
6:30PM-9:30PM @ Michael Symon’s Roast Detroit
Stone Brewing’s Greg Koch, Jolly Pumpkin’s Ron Jeffries and Iron Chef Michael Symon of Roast come together for the release of JP Collababiere, the final brew of the three brewery collaboration (between Jolly Pumpkin, Nogne-O and Stone) series. Each beer was brewed at each breweries facility in their own style with a base recipe and a local ingredient. The three beers will be featured within a four course meal along with other favorites from the three breweries.
The event starts at 6:30 and there will be two live bands as well.
The restaurant is closed to the public for this event.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Founder’s Double Trouble Tapping Release Party: South Bend, Indiana
5:00PM – 12:00AM @ Fiddler’s Hearth Public House
We are talking one of the best Double IPAs in the country- made by Founders. Tonight taste this epic brew and its brandy barrel aged version. Hot damn!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Dogfish Head Night: Hulmeville, Pennsylvania
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Hulmeville Inn
There is a pretty amazing line up to accompany the firkin Dogfish Head 75 min IPA and it goes a little something like this:
75 Minute firkin
90 Minute on the Randall with homegrown Cascade hops
World Wide Stout
Palo Santo Marron
maybe the Punkin’
Friday, January 28, 2011
16 Tons IPA Fest: Eugene, Oregon
5:00PM-10:00PM @ Sixteen Tons Beer & Wine
January 27th-29th Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5-10pm Featuring 60+ IPAs!
No entry fee. Cash Only Event. Beers are $1-$2 for 3oz tasters. Event will be held at 16 Tons.
Friday & Saturday eat dinner at the Fest! Nosh Pit will be set up out front making a fresh delicious sandwiches with local ingredients.
Initial Breweries/Beer List here: http://sixteentons.biz/blog/?page_id=527
(work in progress)
* Sierra Nevada Hoptimum
* Uinta Crooked Line Detour Double IPA
* Vertigo Brewing Friar Gone Wild Imperial IPA
* Coalition IPA
* Fort George OmegaTex
* Hop Valley Alpha Centauri Binary IPA
* Avery duganA IPA
* Mikkeller 10
* Revelation Cat Woodwork Series Acasia
* 10 Barrel Apocalypse IPA
* Alameda Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA
* Southern Tier Oak Aged Un*Earthly
* Victory Yakima Glory
* Victory Hop Wallop
* Silver Moon HOPpopatamus
* Southern Tier Gemini
* BrewDog Hardcore IPA
* BrewDog Mikkeller I Hardcore You
* Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA
* Flying Dog Double Dog
* Marin Eldridge Grade White Knuckle DIPA
* Midnight Sun Cohoho
* Midnight Sun Mayhem
* Mikkeller 1000 IBU
* Mikkeller I Beat yoU
* Mikkeller Single Hop Simcoe IPA
* Moylan’s Hopsickle IPA
* Natian Old Grogham Winter IPA
* New Belgium / Elysian Trip VII Black Belgo Winter Here / Summer There
* Cascade Lakes Centennial IPA
* Deschutes Hop Henge
* Dogfish Head Burton Baton
* Draper Brewing IPA
* El Toro IPA
* Southern Tier Iniquity Imperial Black Ale
* Deschutes Hop Trip
* Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale
* Dieu du Ciel Corne du Diable
* Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
* Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA
* Epic Armageddon IPA
* Flying Dog Raging Bitch
* Great Divide Hercules Double IPA
* Green Flash Imperial IPA
* Green Flash West Coast IPA
* Hale’s Supergoose IPA
* Lompoc C-Note Imperial IPA
* Mad River Steelhead Double IPA
* Ninkasi Mystery IPA
* Ninkasi Tricerahops
* Oskar Blues Gubna
* Sierra Nevada 30th Our Brewers Reserve
* Southern Tier Un*Earthly IPA
* Stone Cali-Belgique IPA
* Stone IPA Stone Lukcy Basartd Ale
* Three Creeks Hoodoo Voodoo IPA
* Victory HopDevil
* Widmer Brothers Deadlift Imperial IPA
* Alaskan Double Black IPA
* Beer Valley Leafer Madness
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Cigar City Brewing Total Tap Takeover: Sarasota, Florida
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Stout Brunch: Exton, Pennsylvania
11:00AM-3:00PM @ The Drafting Room Taproom And Grille
Forget the brunch buffet- check this mouth watering list out!
Port Older Viscocity
Founder’s Kentucky Bourbon Stout
Rogue Russian Imperial Stout (Vintage 2009)
Flying Fish Exit #13
Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
Stoudts Fat Dog
Long Trail Coffee Stout
Broolyn Black Chocolate Stout
Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout
Weyerbacher 15th Anniversary
Nogne Dark Horizon (First Edition)
Victory Storm King “Cask Conditioned”
East Meets West: Doylestown, Pennsylvania
7:00PM-9:00PM @ M.O.M.’s – Maxwell’s On Main
Ballast Point Brewing Company from San Diego, Ca
Big Eye IPA
Dorado Double IPA
Piper Down Scotch Ale
Paired with a selection of East Coast cheeses!
Come join us!!!
Call or inquire within
$30 per person. Limited Seating – RSVP now!
If you go to an event or want us to promote an event on the site, email me at email@example.com!
Well, I made it all the way through. There were a few days of struggle, a few pushes. In the end, I had the gumption to get it done. 30 days and many beers – but each night a Christmas ale – are complete.
There were highs thanks to De Dolle and Hair of the Dog – and there were lows due in part to Ninkasi and Bridgeport. But all in all, I loved each evening. The beer did as I had hoped: restored Christmas to its rightful jolly state.
Throughout the process, I posted a blurb about each beer on our Facebook page. After 30 days, I made my choices. Here are the results:
Top 5 Beers – Overall Quality:
1. De Dolle Stille Nacht 2009
2. Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws 2009
3. Troegs Mad Elf
4. Nogne O/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Special Holiday Ale 2009
5. Great Lakes Christmas Ale
Honorable Mentions: Brasserie Thiriez, Goose Island 2009 Xmas Ale, Fremont B-Bomb, and Silver City Old Scrooge
Top 5 Beers – Christmas Style:
1a. Nogne O/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Special Holiday Ale 2009
1b. Great Lakes Christmas Ale
3. Anchor Christmas Ale 2010
4. Maritime Jolly Roger
5. Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas
Honorable Mentions: Eggenberg Samichlaus, Silver City Old Scrooge, De Dole Stille Nacht, and Breckenridge Christmas Ale
Top Beer Description:
Most of the time when I wrote these reviews, I was half intoxicated at a bar typing on my phone. The quality of the review depended on my motivation level and surrounding conversations. Some beers were cheated, others were given too much (See De Dolle Stille Nacht for “too little” and Fremont Abominable for “too much”)
My favorite description came from drinking an Anchor Christmas Ale at Collins Pub in Seattle:
The Xmas ale is their staple, a seasonal release of many years. This year it tastes like some took a glass of milk, nuked it, dropped in 5 gingerbread houses and a black tea bag and put it in a laundry machine for 6 hours. After that, I drank it. It’s delicious, a fine example of Christmas flavors.
Top Memory of 30 Days of Christmas Ale
One night, Timperial came and surprised me with a party pig (finally, my own tap) and a bottle of Brasserie Thiriez Noel. We got sentimental:
I have a pretty good story about this brewer. Timperial and I drove out to West Flanders one morning to visit Saint Sixtus Abbey and drink the Westvleteren 12. After we got biblical, we decided to peruse the towns. We visited St Bernardus, shot the shit with local Woesteners, and proceeded to make the journey across enemy lines (kind of a joke) to France.
Escalbecq is literally 10 kilos across le border. The border is an unrecognizable line where my Tom Tom starts speaking french. We pulled up to a shanty of a farmhouse and went searching for Daniel (owner of Brasserie Thiriez). We bumped into a brute of a man (seinfeld Kramer reference) who had on denim suspenders and a weird rat tail haircut. I engaged him in conversation. He stared blankly and retorted: “oui?….” imagine the most confused vocal tone on earth, in French. That was this guy.
After nearly 10 minutes of charades, awkward hand signals and phony sign language – he finally understood “Daniel” and illistrated that he was sleeping. This guy? Le brassuer.
He also finally grasped my guzzling booze depiction. He led us to the farmhouse and we – extremely awkward – downed a few samples an bought a few bottles. On the way back to Belgium (10 kilos), we road soda’d a blonde and laughed hysterically at the hijinks. Tonight, we formed a consensus that a return was a necessity.
Thiriez makes amazing beer. They have one of the best yeast strains I have ever tasted. Grassy, earthly, active – but clean – it’s always a different experience under each cap. The Noel is phenomenal. It has a clean, yet significant scent. It packs a mouthful of cherries, strawberries, vanilla, and hay. There is no denying the French farmhouse styling – and we love it. A lively beer with a fresh scent yum.
All in all, it’s the best Thiriez brew we’ve had. Kudos to Bottleworks for pulling this guy in. If it’s on the shelf – it’s a must buy.
It was a good ride. Look for a repeat, with all new beer, next year.
***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 9/19/2010
Brewery: Nøgne Ø
Location: Grimstad, Norway
Beer: Peculiar Yule
Presentation: 16.9 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped
Style: Winter Ale
Hops: Chinook, Cascade
Malt: Maris Otter, Munich, crystal, and chocolate malt
Recommended Serving Temp: 55 degrees
Notes From the Bottle:
This holiday ale draws its inspiration from Glogg, a Norwegian spiced beverage enjoyed hot in the winter. Like Glogg, it goes well with nuts, dried fruits or cookies, but we recommend serving Peculiar Yule at proper cellar temperature of 55F.
The name Nøgne Ø means “naked island”, a poetic term used by Henrik Ibsen to describe any of the countless stark, barren outcroppings that are visible in the rough sea off Norway’s southern coast, where the brewery sits. The founders gave Nøgne Ø a subtitle – “The Uncompromising Brewery” – a plain statement of their mission: to make ales of personality and individuality. Brewing in traditional styles but thoroughly inspired by the boldness of American brewing, these Norwegian brewers fearlessly chart their own course.
Food Pairings: Chili, smoked meats, roasted turkey, nuts, dried fruits, cookies, raisins, gingerbread
Cheese Pairings: Monterey, Pepper Jack
Beer Advocate: A- (4.02)
Rate Beer: 91 (3.45)
One great advantage of cellaring beer is that, if you are in the mood to drink a winter beer in the dead of summer, you can. I have the itch and I’m able to scratch it – lucky me.
I might be alone on this one, but even in the heat of August, the idea of cuddling up by a fire and drinking a rich beer sounds pretty amazing. Now, if that fire was in a cozy cabin in the icy Scandinavian Tundra, well, now I’m really getting excited. With beer, we are able to close our eyes, sip, and let our imaginations expand. In this case, enjoying this Norwegian brew in Ballard, Seattle’s Norwegian center, seems to allow my imagination to expand just a little bit further.
This bottle is from ’08, the first year that Shelton Brothers imported it into America. I’m not completely sure that it was a good idea to age this, due to the fairly low abv, but I guess we will soon find out. But before we get to that, let’s get a little bit better of an idea of what this beer is all about.
First, the brewery. Nøgne Ø was founded by 2 homebrewers in 2002. The story behind the name is right on the bottle and can be found above, but how do you pronounce it? I long thought that it was pronounced “nagano”, as in the city in Japan. I thought that because that was the way that the Stone Brewing reps that I met pronounced it. I figured that they would know since they had recently collaborated with Kjetil Jikiun, head brewer. Well maybe I miss heard but it’s actually “nir-gneh-err”. Good to know. Now, how you pronounce Kjetil Jikiun, you’re on your own with that one.
The founders started their brewery as a mission to show the Norwegian people what real ale is all about – to essential bring American brewing creativity to a demographic that only knows and drinks macro lagers. This is a very respectable undertaking indeed, but it doesn’t seem to be catching on quite as well as they may have hoped. 70% of the roughly 20 different ales that they make are exported. I don’t know how much of that comes to the U.S. but I do know that Kjetil Jikiun is highly respected by many American craft beer brewers and aficionados. Hopefully, for now, that is enough to satisfy the aspirations of Nøgne Ø.
Though American brewing may be a strong source of inspiration for many of Nøgne Ø’s beers, one reason why I am so excited about this one is that it plays tribute to a piece of Norwegian culture, while still utilizing boldness and creativity (obviously, two of the clear hallmarks of American brewing that the founders intended to incorporate). The honest truth is that there isn’t very many breweries in Scandinavia that are worth a damn. Maybe that’s my opinion because a large majority of them aren’t “American Craft” enough for me. The land, the climate, the people, the culture, on the other hand, is all so beautiful and intriguing to this ill-traveled American. Drinking beers from Nøgne Ø allows me to have a deeply profound experience with a little piece of that far off world, and that is such an enormous reason why I love beer in general. Beer allows us to taste far off (some more that others) lands.
Now, Peculiar Yule. Some may know this brew by a different name – Underlig Jul is the original Norwegian name. As you may have inferred from the bottle notes, the inspiration of this brew is a Scandinavian version of mulled wine. According to Wikipedia, the traditional spices used in Glogg are cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and bitter orange. The spices used in Peculiar Yule are ginger, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. Sounds like Masala chai tea spices to me, which I just so happen to be very fond of.
Now on to my experience with the brew in question.
When I cracked the lid, foam came gushing out of the opening and all over the counter. This is not a good sign. The bottle was not disturbed in any way and was refrigerated for the last few days. Let’s hope that I didn’t spoil it by aging it.
After all was settled, Peculiar Yule filled my glass with a very dark brown, near black fluid possessing a breathtaking tan head that never dissipated and left very small traces of lace. The chocolate malts played their role in the hue. Light is unable to pass completely though, but it does make it far enough to show me the lively carbonation suspended within.
Maybe this doesn’t smell or taste exactly like the brewers intended, but all the more “peculiar”. I’m thinking that the intensity of the spices and the illusion to wine has covered up any off flavors that may exist here. PY is wine like indeed, vinous and slightly tart in both nose and flavor. In gathering the aroma, it becomes most apparent why this is best enjoyed at cellar temperature. When cool, all that really comes out is a mishmash of quelled spices. After warming quite considerably, placing my nose deep within the tulip glass nearly brings me to tears. It’s truly sublime and outrageously complex. Layer upon layer of stratified spices become individually recognizable. There is still a lot of wine recollection, but the malts are now standing taller. Sweet chocolate and cinnamon has been sprinkled on candied ginger, coriander and cloves nipping at their toes… Yeah, my imagination is working overtime. There is something in that southern Norway water.
The mouthfeel is slick. The carbonation that previously appeared heavy has mostly subsided, leaving so many attributes that continue to bring the wine aspect home. I can’t seem to pinpoint what exactly it is, but all I think about is wine until well after the swallow when I get a bit of deep malty chalkiness on the very back of the tongue.
At the very moment the brew engages my taste buds, the ginger and cardamom scream for attention. There is a unique interplay between the ginger’s heat and the cardamom’s cool that, well, reinforces just why these two spices play well together. Chai tea is definitely on the mind initially. Late in the flavor profile I’m greeted by a dark, roasted maltiness and a slight tartness. Yet another contradiction with positive results. It seems a fairly short description of the flavor when written, but within those words there is a very distinctive, unique, complex beer that I feel very lucky to have before me on this night.
At this point I can really feel the warmth of the flames…smell the charred wood…hear the crackling sunder… If I could sit by a fire with the good company of the folks from Nøgne Ø, I sure would have a story to tell them. A wild tale about one summer night in Seattle when I was transported to a cabin deep in the white Norway winter, warmed by Peculiar Yule.
If you like Nogne O Peculiar Yule, 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.
Lurking in the shadows of summer beer festivals is the Seattle International BEERFEST. Mark your calendars for July 2-4th for this epic, yes, epic outdoor beer loving, beer gazing, beer drinking event.
We are talking beers from all over our fine country plus the rarest of the rare, beers from all over the globe. Over 150 beers from 15 different countries to be exact. Now you know why I’m saying “epic.”
Let the world unite under the pretense of good craft beers at Seattle Center next weekend. Its going to be magical and not to be missed. With over 150 beers, I am unable to review them all. However, I present you with four top five lists since that seems to be an easy way to organize the blog these days.
1. Top 5 breweries to try from the USA
2. Top 5 breweries to try from outside of the USA
3. Top 5 beers you should try
4. The 5 rarest of the rare
Hopefully that will cover the basics, but for the full list and all of the details visit the 2010 Seattle International BEERFEST’s website. And just a note, there is no particular order to the “Top 5s.”
1. Top 5: US Breweries To Try
Although this is your chance to try some rare, undeniably authentically amazing beers from other countries, I have to represent. After all, the USA did make it to the second round of the World Cup! So my reasoning behind choosing these 5: Festivals are a place where you want to capitalize on those beers you normally cannot obtain and those that have several options. Therefore, the breweries are on this list for mainly those two reasons, plus of course, they are awesome.
- Cascade Brewing Co., Portland, Oregon- amazing sours beers and once in awhile Uber Tavern will get a few kegs, ONCE IN AWHILE. They are showcasing two mystery beers, which are almost certain to be some wild yeast infected, wood-aged masterpiece. Save your tickets for those.
- Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver, Colorado- The beers that are pouring, you can buy in bottles, but rarely do you get to enjoy a Oak Aged Chocolate Yeti (read our review) on tap. Also, try their IPA!
- Deshutes Brewing Co., Bend, Oregon- Black Butte XXII- its new and its here!
- Dogfish Head Brewing Co., Rehoboth Beach, Delaware- although this brewery is getting more popular by the minute, this weekend 90 min IPA, the 120 min IPA (take it easy on this one, its 21%!!!!) and World Wide Stout will be pouring, so if you missed WWS at Brouwer’s Back to Black during Seattle Beer Week, now is your chance for redemption.
- New Old Lompoc Brewing Co., Portland, Oregon: This is another brewery that although located 2 hours south of Seattle, rarely shows up on tap. Try their barleywine and save on the gas!
2. Top 5: The Foreign Brewers To Try
Now onto more worldly things….the following breweries produce high quality beverages. I will write a little snippet, if you will, on each brewery just for your enjoyment.
- Mikkeller, Denmark: Mikkeller makes beers of all styles and they are all amazing. A line of single hop IPAs, an IPA that combines 10 hops, a-m-a-z-i-n-g-l-y flavorful and thick stouts as well as your finest Belgium styled beers. And, no big deal, but they are pouring 6 beers, one of which is Big Worse (their incredible barleywine).
- Dieu du Ciel, Canada: Amazed that the two beers they are pouring are on tap – Peche Mortel Imperial Stout and Rigor Mortis, a Quad.
- Nogne-O, Norway: If their amazing trademark brand doesn’t entice you, then their innovative beers will. Cant go wrong with a beer from Nogne-O, especially the Batch 100 IPA.
- Cantillion, Belgium: If you are a frequent reader, then you know our love for this brewery, especially after experiencing it first hand. Authentic Lambics are brewed here. When you drink these lambics, you can taste the authenticity…it just tastes…pure. Iris is the only beer pouring, but my God, its on draft.
- Caracole, Belgium: This is a Belgium brewery through and through producing a White Ale, a Blonde, Amber Ale and Brown Ale. Of course, these beers are named for their color…their taste goes much much deeper.
3. Top 5: Beers You Cannot Miss
Now this is challenging- the top 5 beers you should try.
- Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast on draft! Had this a couple weeks ago in San Diego. Fixated.
- Mikkeller Big Worse on draft! And I am back to this brewery. That is what you get for being awesome and also pouring 6 beers. Big Worse is a barleywine and is on tap. A Beer Blotter favorite.We had Beer Geek in San Diego last month and Big Worse on the tap in Amsterdam – best on draft.
- Oud Beersel Oude Kreik: a cherry lambic pouring from the bottle.
- Both of Cascades’ Mystery Beers: take your pick, cannot go wrong. I know that’s two beers – but whatever.
- Nogne- O #100: a Double Imperial IPA on draft.
4. Top 5: Rare Ones Not To Miss
Now, on to the rarest of a the rare.
- Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Bacon: WHAT? BACON? Its out of the bottle but this is going to be unreal.
- De Molen Dispution Stout: We had the pleasure of visiting this brewery in the Netherlands. Every beer they crank out is top notch, this being no exception.
- De Proef K-O: Straight from Belgium, this “Knock Out” is a Triple weighing in at 10% (ok no more boxing puns).
- De Ranke Cuvee: Old sour beer from De Ranke blended with Girardin (another brewery in Belgium) lambic. This is being poured from the bottle. However, if you are in the mood for draft, De Ranke is pouring the XX Bitter which has a hop component with that sour funk you get from good ol’ wild yeast. Both beers are sure to impress!
- De La Senne Equinox: I’ve selected this beer because they are the perfect representation of the “new Belgian” movement across the Atlantic. This young brewer is situated in French Belgium, south of Brussels. They make remarkably progressive beers, while holding on to the classic Belgian styling. Try this beer, one of their best.
There are so many amazing beers and amazing breweries at this event. It truly is unfortunate that my liver and my bank account can’t support my trying every last one. Take notes, report back and let us know which beers you are excited to try. Leave a comment or email us at email@example.com!
Events for Week of April 12, 2010
Hope its sunny where you are and that you are drinking good beers this week. Where can you enjoy a brew this week? Well check it!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Speakeasy Pint Night: Oakland, California
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Barclay’s On College
Speakeasy Brewing Co., located in San Francisco will features the following beers on tap: Big Daddy (single IPA); Double Daddy (Double IPA- hop monster), Prohibition and Scarface Stout.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Nogne O Tasting: Indianapolis, Indiana
4:00PM-5:00PM @ Khan’s Fine Wines and Spirits
Ok, a free tasting of this killer brewery, Nogne-O– cancel all and any plans you might have tonight to join brewer, Scott Larrick for some samples. Tiger, a Tripel just arrived and will be featured along with the Mikkeller collaboration brew, IPA, Winter Ale, Pumpernickel Porter (just arrived) and their barleywine, among many more.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Ballast Point Brews, Burger and Beats: Alhambra, California
7:00PM-1:00AM @ 38 Degrees Ale House and Grill
Ballast Point Brewing Co. from San Diego is the main attraction tonight. Order a Ballast Point flight of tasters or a pint and keep the glass, also try the brewery’s very own gin, “Old Groove.” The Draft Lineup looks a little like this: Ginger Big Eye, Yellowtail Pale, Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Porter, among several others. You basically get to try an array of style and see where the brewery’s strong points are. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Cooper’s 8th Annual IPA Fest: Seattle, Washington
11:30AM-11:30PM @ Cooper’s International Ale House
First, let me rave about the wings at this establishment- so good. With a variety of sauces, chipotle maple, hot buffalo, garlic…you cant go wrong. What better way to complement your wings than with an IPA? I know, exactly my point. Over 50 IPAs will be poured during the fest which runs for the entire month of April. The first week featured only Washington state brewers, so they are onto nationwide breweries. Call ahead if you are looking for something specific.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Chocolate Yeti and Dunkel Weiss Release Party: Denver, Colorado
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Great Divide Brewing Company
Both of these beers are scheduled to appear on shelves for all consumers to enjoy TODAY. So kick off the celebration and fork over $15.00 to enjoy three drink tickets and food pairings.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Third Annual Firkin Festival: Portland, Oregon
11:00AM-2:00PM AND 3:00PM-6:00PM @ Green Dragon Brew Pub
Here are the details: great space, $30 ticket will get you 8 6oz pours, 2 food tickets and a commemorative glass. This festival will feature a mix of cask conditioned beers from Oregon breweries. Tickets to the event are available in advance and can be purchased in person at the Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub; or by phone at (503) 517-0660. Tickets for both sessions are also available online at http://rogue.com/store/.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Seriously Slacking on Sunday (not much on the docket)
Go to Beveridge Place Pub to try out there IPApril, which features a plethora of IPAs on tap all month.
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy – throw something on the BBQ and crack open some special beers.
If you know of something to do on Sunday or any other day for that matter, please leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Cheers!
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.
Enjoyed on 3/7/2010
Location: Escandido, CA
Beer: Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter
Presentation: 12 oz – Brown Glass Bottle
Style: Flavored Porter
Recommended Serving Temp: 55 degrees
Notes from the bottle:
Food Pairings: Barbeque, smoked meats, chocolate, deserts
Cheese Pairings: Gouda, brie
Beer Advocate: A-
Rate Beer: 98 (3.87)
The Stone Collaboration series is another wonderful chapter in the big old book of recent brewing collaborations. To date, 6 have been brewed in this series, each being a triple collaboration with Stone acting as curator and permanent attendee.
It all began with the first brew being sent to market in late ’08 and has continued on a trend of about 2 releases per year. Each is brewed at Stone Brewing and is brewed once. This is what you missed so far:
#2 – a 9% holiday ale brewed with Ron Jefferies of Jolly Pumpkin and Kjetil Jikiun of Nogne-O. This brew has since been brewed at least one more time at Nogne-O in Norway and packed under the Nogne-O label. We are hopeful that it continues to be produced.
#4 – reviewed here.
The last 2 are already in the works and should be seen on shelves in due time.
There are some serious names being thrown around up there. Stone has created a monster! We love it!
Another really exciting thing about collaboration beers like this is that, in some cases, a result of joint brewing is joint distributorship. This means that we get to taste beers brewed, at least in part, by brewers who do not distribute their product to our market. At this time, in reference to this Stone Series, the collaboration involving Alesmith is the only relevant example of this in the Seattle area (lucky us), but this concept is never the less a valid reason for excitement.
Allow me to get back to the beer at hand. Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter (mouthful) has a really interesting story line. It was brewed at Stone in Southern California collaboratively with Garrett Marrero of Maui Brewing and Ken Schmidt, a homebrewer whose creation is the source of the recipe. Ken brewed a beer, inspired by Maui Brewing’s Coconut Poter, he called Aloha Plenty for the AHA Rally in ’09 and won first place. As part of his prize, the beer would be brewed in the Stone system and put on tap at the Stone Bistro. It was just an added bonus that the brewing ended up being in collaboration with Mitch Steele of Stone and Garrett of Maui. When the final product was bottled and sold under the Stone label, the project reached new heights of homebrewer fantasy.
One of the initial challenges of the project was to acquire the 1,000 lbs. of coconut, 300 lbs. of macadamia nuts, and 200 lbs. of 100% Kona Coffee that would be required to brew the beer with volume in Stone’s system. As you can imagine these are not cheap ingredients and not quite as abundant in Southern California as in Maui. The team used their resources and, naturally, made it happen. The second major challenge was to toast the 1,000 lbs. of coconut, a necessary process to pull out the flavors that would be imparted into the beer. The Stone Bistro Crew took up this task, which was done in the small bistro’s kitchen and took a whopping 32 hours to complete. Then, when it came to brewing day, in order to steep the essences of all these rare ingredients into the beer, steeping bags were required…a lot of them. In the end, 22 bags were required, more than Stone had available.
Keeping true to the collaborative spirit, the folks across town at Green Flash Brewing stepped up and lent a few of theirs to make up the difference.
A lot of people came together to make this beer possible, so let’s pay tribute to their efforts and tip one back. Here’s how it turned out:
No light can pass through the coffee black color of this beer. A very nice caramel shade is found in the head, which is fairly subdued on a vigorous pour and whimpers to near nothingness fairly quickly. Coffee possesses a very potent scent, and its presence in this beer dominates the nose. Chocolate and roasted malt does break through however on the tail end of the inhale. Each and every whiff seems to be slightly different from the last, a lot of nuances here. The nuts, as I suspected, are hard to place. I could image them sharing a buttery expression, but the stronger scents are too potent to allow it.
The mouthfeel is very slick and soft. Very little carbonation is felt, which matches the style well and would be off-putting here. This is essentially the best iced coffee (with no actually ice) I’ve ever had. It just so happens to be skillfully spiked with booze, which is slightly present as it warms. It has the aspects of coffee that I most enjoy, and leaves behind those I do not. The sweetness is just right. There is some oiliness and a dash of fruitiness. The chocolate and nut infusion adds complexity without stealing the stage and makes for an aftertaste that is not at all bitter or dry. That is a very key role here. The genius of their addition is now most evident.
It is the aftertaste of this porter that is most pleasurable for me. The aftertaste of coffee itself is often its least desirable attribute. You can feel it gripping to your tongue in a bitter rage and fouling the air before you with every word you speak. Coffee breath is deadly. Hell, beer breath might even be deadly, but, though this theory stands untested, I feel this concoction might intrigue a communicatory counterpart. Possibly, bait with curiosity and wonder.
As this brew gets further and further from iced coffee and closer to room temperature coffee, I am reminded of a coffee liquor and become obsessed with the thought of adding cream to this and making it a Caucasian…I mean, White Russian. Ah, even better yet, some vanilla ice cream would be just lovely in this beer. Yes, both editions would surely spoil the nuances of the flavor, but I can’t think of a better beer to experiment in those ways with. Such a shame this was brewed only once and is very limited. I’d say though, were any hope to exist for a repeat brewing, Stone would probably be the brewery most likely to issue it. There is precedence. Remember Stone’s 11th Anniversary Black IPA? Brewed once…and then made into a standard offering dubbed Sublimely Self Righteous.
Ultimately, this beer is not traditional. Not, as they say, liquid bread. This is liquid coffee-infused chocolate cake with little nut bits suspended within and coconut shavings on top. If that image doesn’t want you to try this beer you should check your pulse.
If you like Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter, you should try…
Kona Brewing Co.’s Pipeline Porter; Surley Brewing Co.’s Coffee Bender; Midnight Sun Brewing Co.’s Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter
Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard earned money at a local bottle shop.