This weekend was low key as 1/3 of Beer Blotter headed to Ohio and is currently enjoying all that the Mid-west has to offer- Bells Cherry Stout, Great Lakes Christmas Ale and so much more! But now for your week in beer.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Christmas Beer Night: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7:00PM-12:00AM @ London Grill Bar And Restaurant
Celebrate the upcoming holiday, check out this tap list!
On Tap for the night…
Anchor 2010 Christmas
Great Lakes Christmas
St. Bernardus Christmas
Sly Fox Christmas
and the always anticipated…Troegs Mad Elf.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Mother of All Tastings: Pacific City, Oregon
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Pelican Brewing Co.
With the release of 2010 Mother of All Storms, a barrel aged barleywine from Pelican Brewing Co., stop by and enjoy a vertical tasting of the beer from 2008, 2009, and 2010 Mother of All Storms (previously The Perfect Storm)!
Also pouring, 2005, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, and 2010 Stormwatchers Winterfest Barleywine!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Ugly Sweater Party: Bellaire, Michigan
7:00PM-11:00PM @ Short’s Brewing Co.
Come celebrate Short’s reopening in style. So throw on your worst sweater and receive $1 off pints from 7 PM until close!
Friday, December 24, 2010
What’s going on tonight?: Everywhere, USA
Find your favorite people and your favorite bar- go there, and toast to the loved ones around you.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Boxing Day Beer Festival: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
11:00AM-11:00PM @ Memphis Taproom
The holiday isn’t over in countries like Canada and England, so get up early and stop by the Memphis Taproom!
December 26th Memphis Taproom will be serving some
of the best Holiday & Seasonal Ales from around the world.
As in years past, in addition to celebrating great beer, we’ll be celebrating the true spirit of Boxing Day by collecting canned food and gently used winter coats and warm blankets for donation to local organizations that distribute to families in need.
Earn $1 OFF EACH BEER you have by bringing
in a coat, a blanket, or 3 cans* of food!
(*The goal is to collect cans of food that is nourishing. Please, not just any old can of water chestnuts from the back of your cupboard!)
Christmas and Winter beers will rotate steadily
throughout the day and will include:
Burton Bridge Bitter (on the engine)
DuPont Avec Les Bons Voeux
Allagash Fluxus 2010
De Ranke Pere Noel
Hitachino Red Rice Ale
De Dolle Oerbier
Port Older Viscosity
Sly Fox Christmas
Not to mention the following casks, poured off the edge of the bar:
Hannsen’s Oude Gueuze
Rare Franconian Lager
Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA
If you go to an event, want to let us know about an event, we would be happy to post about it. Please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
When we last left off I had 15 more breweries to chose in my top 25. If you missed the intro and the first 10, check this out. Remember, these are in no particular order. No sense in delaying any further… here is my next 8.
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. – If I where to say that these guys are the best production brewers in my home state of PA, I’d be telling you that they are better than Stoudts, Troegs, and Victory. That would be a very bold statement, so I’m not going to make it, but they are the only one of the four that I’m putting on this list. I miss their brews severly. Double Simcoe IPA is outstanding, as is pretty much anything they attempt in the Belgian realm. Oh, and Blithering Idiot Barleywine…what I wouldn’t give to have one of those in hand right now…
Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Company – You have heard our OH contingent gush about these Akron brewers for a while now. HFB makes some seriously extreme stouts and IPAs. It seems as though they have an endless supply of recipes for both. Or maybe they just take one and let it manifest in as many ways as possible. Either way, it’s very exciting to follow, and I know I’m not alone on that. We all know what styles the beer nerds like the most – stouts and IPAs. Good game plan boys. Keep it up.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company – Over the past few years this NY brewery has been getting loads of praise from media sources of all kinds. I’m sure being based just north of the Big City doesn’t hurt on that front, but they do have 20 beers with scores of 90 or greater on ratebeer.com. From what I have read, they have a passion for sours and they do them very well. Stroll up to their booth, ask about Flemish influence and see where it leads you. I don’t think you will regret it.
Portsmouth Brewery – There is this little beer that comes out of a little New England brewery called Kate the Great. Ever heard of it? Talk about outlandish hype. No matter what feelings you may harbor about wildly hyped beers, you know full well that, given the chance, you would want to taste and build your own opinion. That’s where I’m at and that’s why I want to visit their booth. Even if they aren’t pouring Kate, are they a one hit wonder?
Short’s Brewing Co. – My knowledge of Short’s is actually quite, well…short. Since I have plans to go to MI for the first time this Christmas, I have been doing extensive research about breweries and bars to visit. MI has to be one of the best states in the entire union to visit for beer purposes. There are so many fantastic breweries there, it’s kind of absurd. I’ve already mentioned Kuhnhenn, and will follow this addition with Founders. I’ve decided to leave off Bell’s because, though I love them, they simply aren’t in the top 25 for me. This is not to mention Jolly Pumpkin, Arcadia, Dark Horse, Dragonmead, New Holland, good god… so many to chose from. Alas, I can’t chose them all. Of those that I have never tasted, Short’s seems to have the most community support behind them at the moment, and thus, they make my list. Oddly enough, I received a tweet from Short’s very recently announcing the beer that they will be pouring at GABF. Instead of just posting the link here, in fear of you not taking my word for it and following said link and reading what they are bringing, I’m going to just paste it in below. This is insanity to the nth degree.
In true Short’s fashion, and keeping with the tradition of past Great American Beer Festivals (GABF), this years list of beers to be poured at the 2010 GABF certainly does not disappoint. Short’s will be pouring everything from cult favorites, to popular concept beers, and will even be including a highly rumored yet rarely seen barley wine behemoth!
Blood Orange Wheat Wine
Estimated ABV- 9.6%
Estimated IBU’s- 76
Hops- lots, Simcoe
Malts- lots (from Briess in WI)
Notes- Blood orange puree fermented w/ a super hopped wheat wine, dry hopped and spice w/ blood orange zest and green peppercorns. The blood oranges lend a wonderful purple hue to this amazingly sessionable monster of a beer.
Barley Wine aged in Bourbon barrels for 10 months
Estimated ABV- 12%
Estimated IBU’s- 50+
Malts- 6 different varieties
Notes- This beer had a boil time of 6hrs and 66mins, and was batch number 666 brewed on devils night 2008. It was also fermented w/ 30 lbs of raisins. Big sweet toffee flavors complimented by the sweetness of the raisins. The bourbon barrels add some subtle vanilla tones and slight oak qualities. A very session worthy barley wine.
Black Licorice Lager
Black Lager spiced w/ Vanilla bean, chocolate mint, and anise
Estimated IBU’s- 24
Notes- Sweet chocolate and roasted malt characteristics compliment the additions of vanilla bean, anise, and chocolate mint. The vanilla aromas are found in the nose and in the initial flavors up front, followed quickly by the anise. The finish (especially when it warms a bit) contains the chocolate mint, preventing the anise from becoming too overwhelming.
Key Lime Pie
Golden Ale made w/ fresh limes, milk sugar, graham cracker, and marshmallow fluff
Estimated ABV- 5.5%
Estimated IBU’s- 21
Hops- Cascade, Simcoe
Malts- Pilsen, Munich, Vicotry
Notes- This beer sounds too good to believe, but it’s exactly that. Attempted last year as a new concept beer, it has already been remade twice, and there are plans to distribute a limited amount in six packs. Made w/ fresh limes, milk sugar, graham cracker, and marshmallow fluff we were able to recreate this popular dessert into a heavenly drinkable version.
Imperial Spruce India Pilsner
Imperial Pilsner hopped as an IPA and spice w/ Blue Spruce needles
Estimated ABV- 7.2%
Estimated IBU’s- 90
Malts- Pilsen and maze from Briess Malt in WI
Other Notes- fermented w/ tons of N. Michigan blue spruce tips. The spruce presence is enormous giving the beer a refreshing “gin like” quality when it is cold, that almost becomes “sap like” as it warms up. Surprisingly light bodied considering the big flavors of spruce and complimentary summit hops
Founders Brewing Company – Everyone that I know that has ever tried the product of Founders considers them to be one of the best breweries in America. I have tried their product and I think they are one of the best breweries in America. If you go to their website and take a look at their 5 year round beers, 3 seasonals and 7 specialty releases, you will most likely be impressed. What they do, they do extremely well. This is one of those breweries that you could blindly approach their booth, outstretch a finger, and no matter what ends up in your glass, you will not be disappointed.
Clipper City Brewing Co. – You may know these guys as Heavy Seas. Not at all unlike Founders above, each and every beer that CCB makes is outstanding. I’m a beer geek, and light pilsners are generally boring and worthless to me. Hand me a Small Craft Warning Pils and I’d thank you twice. The thing that would most excite me about visiting the CCB booth at GABF is the fact that, when I lived and drank in PA, the Pyrate Fleet (see brewery website) was all there was. I want some of that Mutiny Fleet so bad!
Three Floyds Brewing Co. – I just laughed to myself. You know, of all of the breweries I have listed so far, for some reason this one seems the most obvious. It’s Three Floyds people, it’s Three Floyds. Ok, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t make such assumptions. TFB makes a beer called Dark Lord. It’s an imperial stout. It’s amongst the most sought after beers in the world. TFB also makes an imperial IPA called Dreadnaught. If Dark Lord didn’t exist, Dreadnaught would easily take it’s place as one of the most sought after beers in the world. Oh yeah, and everything else that they make is delicious. Another note – they host the best brewery tour that I have ever experienced.
Sorry folks, but you are going to have to wait just a bit longer for the remainder of my choices. Don’t fret, you’ll get them before your plane leaves for rocky mountian high…
***Notes of a Beer Nerd is a column written by resident cellar dwelling mammal, Timperial Stout. Feel free to e-mail him at email@example.com 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.
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!