One of my writers in crime here at Beer Blotter, Jess R., quite recently published a very well crafted article about glassware. It reminded us all of the overwhelming importance of presenting beer in its proper vessel.
In turn, we were reminded of the the one place in the world where bartenders actually feel the need to offer a heartfelt apology for momentarily being out of the proper glass for the beer ordered: where else but Belgium. Thoughts of Belgium take us down never ending roads of memory that we will most definitely not get into right now.
But for us three blotterers, a chance to get together, drink beer, and reminisce about our mighty Euro trip will never go unrealized. In the midst of that exciting undertaking, we figured why not clear out a small corner of the cellar that drastically needed to be cleared, all the while bringing it full circle with just the topic that spawned the meeting, glassware.
This night was epic. I guess we had a lot more cellar space to open up than we thought. Time will not allow me to copy all of my notes on all of the beer-glass pairings of the night in one sitting, so here I present part 1.
Pilsner Glass – Victory Brewing Summer Love Ale
Though dubbed an ale right there in the name, this was most likely brewed with California Common yeast, which would indeed make it an ale but would attribute many characteristics of a lager. Thus, the pairing with the pils glass, which allowed the head to stay compact and lively in the decreased circumference, where it would normally dwindle and lay dormant in short time. This beer was specially made for Philly Tourism, who recently contacted us due to Timperial’s roots there.
We took our popular With Love, Philadelphia XOXO tourism initiative from campaign to consumer experience by partnering with Victory Brewing Company to create Summer Love Ale. Brewed locally in Chester County, PA with pale malts, German hops and water from the Brandywine River, the golden brew began flowing at bars throughout the Philadelphia region during the annual Philly Beer Week in June.
Check out this quote from Victory Brewer Bill Covaleski:
Summer Love starts with an all German malt base upon which we overlaid crisp German hops for that familiar, import quality that some many beer drinkers find attractive and comfortable, then we put bright, lemony Citra hops, grown here in the US, into the mix for an exciting aroma to start and refreshing and enduring finish. Kinda like Philly. Mostly familiar but always surprising!
My notes of the beer read as follows: This pours, not surprisingly, light in color, hazy yellow with a white head of very large bubbles. The odor is very impressive in it’s hoppiness; floral and grassy. This is very easy drinking with excellent sweetness coming from mild caramel notes. From a light(er) beer perspective, this is really well balanced with a striking lemony, citrus hop profile. I could drink this for days!
Tulip Glass – Victory Brewing Saison Du Buff
This beer was originally released under Stone Brewing’s liscense as part of their collaboration series. Dogfish Head, Stone and Victory teamed up to create this one, but each brewery is now releasing it under their own license and with their own distinctive artwork.
I found this beer to be hazy golden in color with intense carbonation. To call it spicy and floral would be an understatement. Herbal to the nth degree. Some possible herbs at play are chamomile, ginger, coriander, citrus peel, rosemary, sage… It’s a cornucopia.
The head quickly subsided to nothing at all, which I found to be very odd with respect to the lively carbonation. Perhaps oils from the herbs had negative effects on the retention?
The aftertaste seemed to linger for days, and I also found it to be surprising that the finish was not super dry, which seems to be commonplace with saisons in general. Damn good beer!
Goblet – The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel
This is seriously no ordinary beer for no ordinary glass. For branding consistency sake, I turned the glass around to the non-logo side for the picture (left) but just take my word for it that it’s a Westvleteren glass. We got that shit straight from In De Vrede in West Flanders! And the beer…well, it’s made by The Bruery…’nuff said!
This puppy weighs in at 8.1% and is brewed with rice and Thai basil. It pours a soft amber hue with above average carbonation and pretty poor clarity. Arising on the pour, a luscious white head that sticks around. In the nose, that striking candy sweetness that accompanies nearly all true Belgian tripels. There is also a malty sweetness that lends credibility to the brewer’s art.
The basil manifested itself into a simple, neutral spicy characteristic, and I also found there to be a very pronounced green apple quality. The lacing on the glass is not to be scoffed at and all that sweetness lends to a fantastically smooth mouthfeel.
The aftertaste is mesmerizing as well. Booze and grains come out as it warms, but I don’t find either to be negative here.
Flute – Ommegang Zuur
This 6% Flemish Sour Ale was brewed in collaboration with the much heralded Belgian sour brewer Liefman’s. It fills the glass with a brownish ruby red color and possess respectable clarity.
Initially, as it makes contact with the glass, the carbonation is wild and it’s very difficult to pour anything but a glass full of foam. As quickly as the suds rise up they dissipate to not but a trace. I find dark fruit in the scent, mostly the cherries that it was brewed with, and a good dose of funky, sour tartness, spot on for the style.
On the tongue, it’s prickly with the carbonation and tensing with tartness. Puckering yes, but I’ve soireed with many Flemish ales with much more zing. There is a pleasant bread-like maltiness in behind all the pizazz, but the overall body and intensity is underwhelming in the end.
Many respects for Ommegang for taking a swing at this exciting style, and though it’s very drinkable, it’s no Rodenbach.
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!
Over the past three years, I have done my share of research on beer spots in Seattle. Every neighborhood has a beer bar, a bar with a decent tap list or a bottle shop to offer those that search the land for all that is fermented yeast. One of the things I love most about Seattle is the variety of neighborhoods (reminiscent of Manhattan) where you step out of one and into the next…almost immediately it becomes obvious that you’re in a whole new world.
Each hood offers distinct characteristics and charm. So in order to give each neighborhood their 15 minutes of fame, I will focus on one at a time.
Tonight: Phinney Ridge.
I’ll start with a nice wiki excerpt:
Phinney Ridge is a neighborhood in north central Seattle, Washington, USA. It is named after the ridge which runs north and south, separating Ballard from Green Lake, from approximately N. 45th to N. 85th Street.
I know for those of you who are not from Seattle or do not live in Seattle, the above quote means little to nothing. Phinney is a quaint neighborhood, very residential with your random spurts of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. Ballard’s subtly hip vibe seeps into Phinney, yet Phinney remains the more reserved, less frequented of the two. Here you will find beer.
If you read Beer Blotter, then you have heard of The Dray, located on NW 65th right off of 8th and across the street from a massive Goodwill. This bar has so much to offer on any given day. First off, their “brand” is a squirrel, so expect to see some taxidermy on the shelves next to epic and rare Hair of the Dog and Dogfish head bottles.
This tiny space is decked out in wood with slabs of polished tree trunks acting as your bar and table tops. On a cold winter’s night, you couldn’t be cozier. On a warm, sunny summer’s day you are guaranteed a breeze through the open garage doors/windows. The Dray molds to the weather outside; its like some kind of vortex.
Food options include some paninis, landjagers and pretzels with amazing stone ground mustard. I still haven’t figured out if you get charged for the pretzels, but I really doubt it.
But we also go here for beer- 12 taps at any given time. Yes, there are times I have stopped by here and been slightly disenchanted by their beer list, but 9 times out of 10, they will have something unique, something seasonal and something that your heart desires.
Off hand, Ommegang Zuur, New Belgium Love, Dogfish head Immortal Ale and Cascade Apricot come to mind as beers I enjoyed in the past. For that one time out of ten, The Dray has an impressive (and reasonably priced) bottle list, so be sure to check it out!
A gem of a bar, a comfort zone and a beer lovers day well spent.
Every time I walk up to Sully‘s it reminds me of a lodge at a mountain resort in the Alps. With a pitched roof and a Bavarian facade, it couldn’t be more welcoming. Inside, it is a dimly lit, eclectic place with quirky decorations, as well as your quintessential Irish pub signs regarding how drunk, humorous, silly and stupid people get. This is another venue where I can spend an entire afternoon shooting the shit over a few pints of beer.
Like The Dray, Sully’s offers limited menu options. The items they do have include grilled cheese sandwiches, random snacks and some damn good chili. Other than that, throw a buck in the box and grab a bowl of peanuts.
You can always count on Boundary Bay IPA to be served on cask here, as well as several Deschutes taps and a decent IPA selection. I wouldn’t go here if your looking for a unique or rare beer, but quality brews such as Victory Hop Devil and New Belgium Ranger IPA have graced the stage here at Sully’s.
I remember sitting at Sully’s, drinking Boundary Bay IPA with the other 2/3 of Beer Blotter – we were sitting in a booth by the window and it started to hail, hail the size of golf balls. Just a sign from the gods that it was time to order another pint.
Directly across the street from Sully’s, The Park Pub took much longer to get on our beer radar then the previously mentioned joints. This bar serves as a place to listen to live bands, play pool and grab some dinner.
Overall the ambiance is less comfortable and intimate but one glance at the tap list and all is well in the world. Arranged in a half circle, the taps glisten behind the bar.
Note worthy beers currently on tap here: Boundary Bay IPA, Avery ‘Maharaja’ Imperial IPA, Stone Smoked Porter, Lagunitas ‘Lil Sumpin Sumpin’, Laurelwood ‘Hop Monkey’ IPA, Deschutes Organic Amber, Double Mountain Kolsch, Big Time Black IPA
and Rodenbach Grand Cru.
I would recommend this place for a Friday or Saturday night hang out session with a group. Good beers, music, activities and once in awhile, the neighborhood magician will amaze you and stick a card to the ceiling. Take a look next time you are there.
So that’s Phinney Ridge’s beer scene in a nutshell. I have many fond memories and have drank damn good beer at all three of these places. If you have a place that you love in this neighborhood, leave a comment or email us at email@example.com.
Next up: Ballard.
After a long day at the mountain, we are just going to jump right into it.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Hebrew/Coney Island Beer Tasting: Jacksonville, Florida
7:00PM-9:00PM @ European Street Cafe
Get a taste of New York tonight with a tasting of 8 beers from Hebrew/Coney Island Brewing Co. On tap tonight: Albino Pytho; Jewbelation; Coney Island Lager; Sword Swallower Lager; Human Blockhead; Lenny’s RIPA; Genesis and Massiah.
Ommegang Beer Dinner: Rhinebeck, New York
5:00PM-9:00PM @ Terrapin
Upstate New York is home to Brewery Ommegang. Tonight entails a three course meal paired with 9 different Ommegang beers such as Chocolate Indulgence, Beirre de Mars and Three Philosophers. There are menu items for both meat lovers and vegatarians.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Pliny the YOUNGER Keg Tapping: Seattle, Washington
5:00PM or 6:00PM- until its GONE @ Brouwer’s Cafe
PTY, Russian River Brewing Co.’s triple IPA has made it up North to Seattle. We missed the keg at Collin’s Pub on Friday, but we are NOT missing out this time around. This keg is bound to be kicked in an hour, maybe even less, so get there early.
Mardi Gras Celebration: Grand Rapids, Michigan
4:00PM-12:00AM @ HopCat
Okay, so Michigan is a lot colder than New Orleans, but you can still partake in the Mardi Gras festivities. Beads, a faux parade and Abita beer for all!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Cigar City Unleased: New York, New York
7:00PM-3:00AM @ Rattle -n- Hum
Upright Brewers Dinner: Portland, Oregon
6:00PM – 8:00PM @ Aquariva
A four course meal paired with Upright Brewing’s seasonal beers. This dinner is limited to 25 people at $40.00 per person. Call the restaurant for reservations at 503-802-5850. Beers to be had include: Gose (rare german wheat beer brewed tart with coriander and salt); Flora Rustica (old world saison brewed with yarrow and calendula flowers); Oyster Stout (stout brewed with oysters); Billy the Mountain (pinot barrel aged old ale). Billy the Mountain is especially unique.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Cask Night: Sturbridge, Massachusetts
5:00PM-7:00PM @ Pioneer Brewing Co.
Pioneer Brewing Co. has Cask Conditioned their Stout and added a handful of fresh Cascade Hops. This will be their first time with a Cask Condition brew. Chris Courtney, the assistant brewer will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have. Look for more Cask Conditioned beers in 2010 from Pioneer Brewing Co.
Midwest Night: Brooklyn, New York
6:00PM- 10:00PM @ Baracade
Since 1/3 of Beer Blotter reigns from the great state of Ohio, we wanted to feature this event. Stop by to sample around 20 different beers from the middle of the USA. The draft list isnt posted, but one can only hope breweries like Great Lakes, Founders and Three Floyds will be available for your enjoyment.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Release Party for Great Divide Brews: Denver, Colorado
6:00PM- 10:00PM @ Great Divide Brewing Co.
$20 admission covers snacks and all the Great Divide beer you want, within reason of course. Hoss, Claymore, Colette Saison and Espresso Oak Aged Yeti will be released tonight. Good stuff! Go there.
Bourbon County Stout Vertical Tasting: Chicago, Illinois
8:00PM-10:00PM @ The Long Room
Sample 2007, 2008, and 2009 Bourbon County Stout with the folks from Goose Island Beer Co. Those that show up early enough will also have a chance to sample our very special treat, 2005 Bourbon County Stout. Limited amounts of each, so the beer is first come, first served. This beer ages very well, so it will be interesting to compare the taste through the years.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Dogfish Head Tasting: Bellport, New York
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Bellport Cold Beer and Soda
Dogfish Head beers are available for sale as well as to taste—>6 -8 beers will be for samples! The following beers (only a few are named here) are available in bottles – Singles – 4pks – 6pks – 750’s: Chicory Stout; Midas Touch; Palo Santo Marron and Burton Baton.
HOP FEST: Owosso, Michigan
11:00AM-11:00PM @ Wrought Iron Grill
8 IPA’s on tap, 2 firkins and select bottles will be featured all day starting at 11am. Heated outdoor seating will be available as well as entertainment, food pairings and door prizes. Breweries included will be Short’s Brewing Co., Bell’s, Founders, Avery, Victory, Stone Brewing Co., plus many more.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Hell with the Lid Off Barleywine Fest: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Kelly’s Bar and Lounge
Tis’ the season for Barleywines, so stop by the 6th Annual Barleywine Fest. A massive collection, draft list available upon arrival for those of you lucky enough to participate.
Meet and Greet with The Bruery: Atlanta, Georgia
6:30PM-8:30PM @ The Porter Beer Bar
As mentioned above, we are moving into the barleywine season, so keep an eye out for featured barleywines at your favorite beer bars! Beer Blotter is looking forward to the barleywine festival at Beveridge Place Pub beginning on the 26th with 24 Dedicated Barleywine Taps and 50 different barleywines rotating throughout the Fest! Attending an event, want to attend an event, want to want to attend an event? Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!