***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 11/2/2010
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Co.
Location: Lakewood, New York
Beer: Creme Brulee
Presentation: 22oz – Blown Glass Bottle – Capped
Style: Imperial Milk Stout
Hops: Columbus, Horizon
Malt: 2-row pale malt, dark caramel malt
Recommended Serving Temp: 42 degrees, as per the bottle
We are not the harbingers of truth as some may suggest but it may indeed be argued that our brewing philosophy is tantamount to a dessert with a bellicose past. How, you may ask, would a brewery determine a likeness to hard-coated custard? Our response is simple; it’s all in the power of history, and of course, the extra finesse needed to top off a contentious treat with definition.
By comprehending the labyrinthine movement of time, one would not think it strange to trace the errant path of an ordinary object such as a cream dessert only to discover that it has been the cause of cultural disputes since the middle ages. The British founders of burnt cream and from Spain, crema catalana, both stand by their creative originality and we respect that, but it was the French Crème Brûlée, amid the strife of contention, that survived to represent our deliciously creamy brew.
Food Pairings: Oysters, Cheesecake, Chocolate
Cheese Pairings: Brie, Gouda
Music Pairing: Cream or Vanilla Ice
Beer Advocate: B+ (3.95)
Rate Beer: 97 (3.69)
I’ve never met a Southern Tier beer that I didn’t like. Though that may not mean much to some (especially my Beer Blotter brethren, who are staunch in their stance that I think every beer is good), I assure you that it is not meaningless, as least in my mind. For me, there is only a handful of American breweries that I would say that about, and it must be noted that I wouldn’t even consider publishing such a statement about a brewery that is anything less than prolific in their releases. Some breweries that immediately come to mind are Avery Brewing, Brooklyn Brewing and Clipper City Brewing, all of which have extremely solid year round releases as well as stunning seasonals and special releases.
In the Seattle market, STB’s 12oz year round releases are often harder to find than the 22oz imperial ones. We have discussed this phenomenon before on the blog and it continues to be true, most recently with the entrance of Uinta Brewing to the local market. In a nutshell, it is a common marketing scheme for breweries entering a new market to send their most hotly desired beers first, to build hype and excitement, and hopefully market share, and then further expand from there. For nerds like me, this is a pretty successful game plan.
This particular brand of marketing is especially advantageous for STB considering that they have 16 beers in their “Imperial Series”. Yes, I said 16. That is way more than their non-imperial releases. Now that is a quality that I can’t help but respect in a brewery. Long live Southern Tier!
My liquid dessert this evening has a fairly small crown of tan bubbles. As the head approaches the rim of the glass it appears to be more of a brownish rust color. With time, it settles to a wisp and ring. Each and every sip brings a foamy wash of lace across the nearest face of the glass, but only small splotches remain affixed. One could say that the “legs” are impressive on this one. Yet again, Timperial Stout’s favorite style pours completely opaque. Though impenetrable to all light, it brightens my eyes with its gorgeous roasted malt depth.
Sweet Fancy Moses this beer cannot possibly be anything other than liquefied Creme Brulee! All the sweetness of heaven was impossibly condensed into the fermented concoction before me. This solution stands so supersaturated in sucrose, lactose and fructose that any honest scientist would be frozen, googly-eyed in dismay. I have a sudden urge to make an appointment to have my teeth cleaned. Yowee!
I hope I’ve successfully put a bit of weight behind my words. From an odor standpoint, this beer is the absolute epitome of desert. I have always thought that all of STB’s beers were crazy sweet, in a good way, but this is above and beyond, in a better way. The scent is pretty much exactly of creme brulee. The vanilla is so prevalent here that I can only assume that the entire planet’s reserves of vanilla beans were swiftly depleted in the days leading up to the brew. I can’t even carve through the non-beer scents that are at play here. Other than the onslaught of creamy vanilla, there is a milky and a caramelized sugar sweetness that plays perfectly to the inclination that this beer is not only called creme brulee but that it tastes like creme brulee. The custard, the jagged edges of splintered, solidified caramel, the eggy creaminess, it’s all there in the smell. Mind blowing! I feel as though I should be sipping this one out of a ramekin rather than a snifter.
This is an imperial milk stout with a dump truck’s load of sugary goodness in it. To say that this is smooth in the mouth is probably the biggest understatement of my life. Yes, there is a faint pop of carbonation that tickles the back of the tongue right before the swallow, but what prefaces it has a smoothness that I thought could only be exuded by a spirit. If this was my Hop Brief column and there were ratings to pair with each section, Creme Brulee’s mouthfeel would be a perfect 10.
I initially found it odd that the brewer suggested drinking this beer cold, since I almost always prefer my imperial stouts when they warm up to around 55 degrees, but after my experience with it I see why. The main result of allowing this beer to warm is that it becomes more like the 10% beer that it actually is and less like the scientific spectacle that it maybe should remain as. Out comes the alcohol burn, the grain, the bitterness. My goodness, that sounds ridiculous coming from me, I know.
Allow me to explain. When cold(er) this beer tastes like it smells, pretty much to a T. There is no booziness to be found. There is oodles of desert sweetness that, seemingly, could never be the result of commonly used brewing malts. Some may call it a ploy, but in my world, the flavor of something is why you drink that something. If you like Mike’s Hard Lemonade because you like the way it tastes and you get a pleasant buzz from it, I will NEVER give you shit about it. Life is short, drink what you like…have fun. If I were to tell someone that was typically apposed to imbibing a beer the same color as motor oil that it tasted like bitter baker’s chocolate, tobacco and wood, I’m not at all confident that that would settle their nerves. On the other hand, if I told then that it tastes EXACTLY like one of the most delicious, sweet deserts you can buy, I may be able to tip the scale. Are the STB brewer’s a bunch of panty peeling bitches for going that route, I say hell no, but I guess that’s up to you to decide.
This is precisely where I expected it to be considering all of the predecessor characteristics. There is no dryness when cold and just a hair when warmer. The Flan like qualities linger for ever and ever. The mouth remains completely coated in syrupy sweetness and its truly a delight. Though it may result in a boat load of cavities, I’m pretty sure that it would be sickly sweet (very pleasurable) to have one of these for desert everyday.
You may have gotten the feeling that I like STB. It’s true, they are in my top 10 in the world. The fact that they have 5 different imperial stouts doesn’t have anything to do with it, err…wait…I’m Timperial Stout…yeah…maybe top 5.
If you like Southern Tier Creme Brulee, 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.
October is nearly over, and you know what that means right? It is pretty depressing, so I’m not surprised if you are having a hard time answering. Yeah, it means that we will soon be saying goodbye to the fall seasonals until next year. Oktoberfests are pretty much already gone. Fresh Hops, you still might be able to find some, if your really search, but they are nearly gone. Pumpkin Ales…oh good god, please don’t say it…sorry but, almost gone.
Sure, if pumpkin ales were all of a sudden available year round, they would probably lose their luster after a while. I kind of like it the way it is, though I wouldn’t mind if I could hoard some bottles and crack them open at some other time in the year, where the mood to strike. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s really hard to find bottles of the good stuff. It seems like the moment they hit the shelves, you blink and they’re gone. This element seems to add to the excitement around finding pumpkin ales on tap. You really have to keep your eyes and ears open and pounce when the opportunity presents itself to sip on that nectar of the great gourd.
Lucky for us here in the Seattle area, we have Elysian Brewing, kings of pumpkin mashing, right in our backyard. We get to attend The Great Pumpkin Beer Fest at their Capitol Hill location (read our review here), which is indeed great. But, it still doesn’t fulfill my unrelenting hunger for pumpkin and spice. I even made a batch at home this year…still want more.
In steps Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle, to provide that one last dance of the season. Tonight they will be tapping five pumpkin beers for their Plethora of Pumpkin celebration: Elysian Night Owl and Dark o the Moon, Southern Tier Pumpking, Schooner Exact Gutter Punkin, and Snipes Mountain Pumpkin Death. These gems will be available all day and night, and they’re happy to pour taster trays of all 5.
If you are like me, and your hunger for pumpkin is not unlike a zombie’s hunger for brains, lurch and groan, with arms outstretched in front of you, over to West Seattle’s finest beer bar and feed on the flesh (of a pumpkin please).
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 email@example.com. Cheers!
As you all know, we indulged in and celebrated all that is Humulus lupulus at Brouwer’s Cafe this past weekend. Highlights include Black Raven Wisdom Seeker, Dogfish Head Burton Baton and Skagit River’s Barrel Aged IPA (the only barrel aged beer on the list). We continued our hop adventure at home by cracking Dark Horse’s Imperial IPA. On Sunday, we enjoyed the weather on our roof, while drinking kegs of Lazy Boy Oktoberfest and IPA, finishing the weekend with a present from some friends who just got back from Hawaii, Maui’s Coconut Porter. My god. Although this beer, as well as their IPA, Big Swell and their Hefe are available at Whole Foods, they got a hell of a deal purchasing this beer on the motherland. But now for your week in beer.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Goose Island Invasion: Chesterfield, Missouri
7:00PM-9:00PM @ International Tap House
This tap list is outrageous. Goose Island features: 312, Honkers, their IPA, Harvest Ale, Sofie, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Stout VANILLA, Bourbon County Stout COFFEE and Pepe Nero. My god. Get Matilda, all the Bourbon County Stouts and Pere Jacques.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Double Bacon Event: Sherman Oaks, California
5:30PM-9:30PM @ Boneyard Bistro
Sip on Mikkeller Beer Geek Bacon and feast on a special tasting plate composed of about seven bacon themed bites that will compliment the smoky/salty richness of the beer. There will be a set price for the tasting plate and a glass of the beer. Sounds damn good.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
New York State IPA Fest: Peekskill, New York
6:00PM-12:00AM @ Birdshall House
An evening featuring IPAs exclusively from the Empire State. Participating breweries include but are not limited to Brooklyn Brewery, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Sixpoint Craft Ales, Southern Tier, Blue Point Brewing Co plus a few surprises.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Boulevard Beer and Food Tasting: Lawrence, Kansas
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Genovese
Cost- $35 bones gets you four courses of delicious foods and Kansas’ very own Boulevard beers!
First course: ZON paired with Wakarusa Valley Mesculan Salad with Grilled Pineapple, Local Goat Cheese and Toasted Almonds
Second course: Tank 7 paired wit…h Crostini with Caponata, Sliced Steve’s Meats Beef and Mustard Aioli
Third course: Lunar Ale paired with Bucatini with Lobster, Calabrian Chilies and Toasted Pistachios
Fourth course: Bully! Porter paired with Broken Arrow Ranch Braised Wild Boar in Boulevard Beer with Roasted Squash and Shaved Pecorino
Friday, September 17, 2010
2nd Annual Saisonfest: Emmaus, Pennsylvania
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Tap & Table
What a great idea- a festival dedicated to the under appreciated (by Americans anyway) style of beer- Saisons. This draft list is to die for- check out all of the amazing breweries: *jolly pumpkin es bam, *st. somewhere saison athene, jandrain iv, jandrain v, nuova mattina, blaugies la moneuse, *dupont avec les bons voeux, bruery saison de lente, glazen toren d’erpe mere, *cigar city guava groove, *lost abbey red barn ale, hopfenstark saison de repos, bullfrog fran-tastique, hop ten dormaal blonde, *nogne-o saison, pretty things jack d’or, *saison dupont. Seriously – one of the best events this fall season. So if you have been waiting for an excuse to visit Emmaus, PA- here it is!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Iron Horse WABL Event: Ellensburg, Washington
6:00PM-10:00PM @ Iron Horse Brewery
Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg is inviting WABL members to their Pint and Potato Fest. The event will feature 6 varieties of Irish Eyes, freshly harvested local potatoes with unique dipping sauces, plus 6 Iron Horse beers on tap. Music by Abby Mae and the Homeschool Boys. $9 entry fee includes taters and dips but WABL members will receive $2 off admission. While you are in town make sure to visit Iron Horse’s new micropub in downtown Ellensburg!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Arcadia Brewing Co. Shipwreck Release Party: Grand Rapids, Michigan
7:00PM-2:00AM @ HopCat
This venue always has amazing beer events and this is no exception! Come for the relase of Arcadia Brewing Co.’s Shipwreck Porter. There will be beer specials, best pirate costume prizes and other great things. I mean, beer AND pirates- how could you not go?
As always, if you go to an event, want us to post about an event or just want to speak your mind, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
Im late. I have an excuse. I just got back from an epic wedding- two great friends, two beer lovers tied the knot. With Bell’s, New Holland and Southern Tier on tap at the wedding (and a growler of 3 Floyds Dreadnaught), I was on Cloud 9 along with the happy couple. Congrats you two- you rock!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
IPA Week: Brooklyn, New York
12:00PM-12:45AM @ The Double Windsor
Tonight, the Double Windsor celebrates year one with IPAs- all week- $5.00 pints.
(ANNIVERSARY PARTY IS SET FOR THURSDAY, SEPT 16TH. CRAZY COOL DRINK & FOOD SPECIALS, DJ’S, LOL-ING, ETC… JOIN THEIR FACEBOOK GROUP TO HEAR MORE ABOUT IT)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Goose Island Harvest Ale Hoppy Hour: Columbus, Ohio
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Park Street Tavern
We literally just left Columbus, Ohio but for those of you who are lucky enough to be in the area, join Goose Island for a casual Harvest Ale kick off! This fall seasonal has the perfect amount of hops & malts to really make fall the “hoppiest” of seasons!
Friday, September 10, 2010
Culinary Connectors Denver BeerFest Walking Tour: Denver, Colorado
3:00PM-5:00PM @ Various Restaurants
Take a stroll down Denver’s historic streets, taste amazing beer and indulge in decadent foods. This is what you need to know:
Candid & informal chef interactions
Delicious tastings and pairings
12 guests maximum
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Lompoc Oktoberfest: Portland, Oregon
The brewers at Lompoc Brewing are welcoming autumn with a release party for their fall seasonal Lompoc Oktoberfest. the menu will feature a selection of German sausages with a variety of condiments/toppings. There will also be a traditional accordionist playing beer polka tunes from 2 to 5 pm. This event is for ages 21 and older. Beers on tap include: Marzen Lager, Barrel Aged Boadicea, Red Scare Imperial Red, Centennial IPA, and 2008 Brewdolph.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Cincinnati Beer Fest: Cincinnati, Ohio
12:00PM-9:00PM @ Fountain Square
3oz beer tastings will start at $1 and there is NO ADMISSION FEE! In addition to over 200 different flavors of beer, there will be over 30 live music acts plus multiple food and merchandise vendors. This festival begins on Friday, September 10th and runs through the weekend.
If you go to an event you want us to post about or just want to chat about beer, please leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. Cheers!
Saturday was a good beer day- Big Al Brewing Co. for a sampler: Tripple, Alt Bier, Abbey Wheat, Smoked Porter and the IPA were all very tasty. The Alt Bier and Abbey Wheat stood out among the crowd. We stopped at Cask in West Seattle, a new wine/beer bar that opened just 5 weeks ago. The owner offers a “to-go” section that focuses on imports. We stayed for just one, Fremont Brewing Co.’s Interurban IPA dry hopped with Cascade hops, Lime, Orange and Grapefruit zest. Damn good. Porter House– just across the street has about 12-15 beers on tap- Pliny the Elder was up for grabs but I went with this new brewery- North Sound Brewing. Both their Stout (classic dry Irish stout served on Nitro) and their IPA were stellar. A night in was filled with IPAs- 7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA (in a tall boy can) and an IPA from Yakima Craft Brewing Co. But now for your week in beer:
Monday, August 30, 2010
Southern Tier Tasting: Jacksonville, Florida
4:00PM-7:00PM @ Grassroots Natural Market
Although I do not know what beers will be poured- Southern Tier will not disappoint!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Founders Nemesis Tapping: South Bend, Indiana
8:00PM-10:00PM @ Fiddler’s Hearth Public House
Nemsis, Founders’ Barley Wine is out and available tonight! Stop by and if you get your hands on this, please report back to bb.com. Look for this beer at your local beer bar – you lucky people that live in the mid-west or north east!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Back to (Beer) School, Mikkeller: New York, New York
11:30AM-11:30PM @ The Ginger Man
Get schooled on hops and yeast! The Ginger Man will be featuring Mikkeller’s Single Hop Series and their Yeast Series. The beers in the Single Hop Series use a control recipe with a different hop in each brew, showcasing the flavors and aromas of one variety of hop. Same rules for the Yeast Series, this time with varying yeast strands. The Single Hop Series will be on draught and the Yeast Series will be in bottle format.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Best of the Belgians: Beverly, Massachusetts
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Bogie’s Beer and Wine
Tonight- 15 beers…15 different styles….including Rochfort 8 & 10, Orval, Duvel, and many more. There will also be a special something from De Struise. This event is free, but Bogie’s is asking for a $5.00 donation. All proceeds will be donated to MCPCA Walk for the Animals.
Friday, September 3, 2010
The Little Woody Barrel- Aged Brew Festival 2010: Bend, Oregon
5:00PM-10:00PM @ Des Chutes Historical Museum
The Little Woody celebrates this ancient brewing technique as adapted by American craft brewers, featuring beers aged in wine barrels, whisky barrels and oak barrels, which uniquely flavors and intensifies the beer. The Little Woody 2010 will encompass two days-September 3 from 5 -10pm and September 4 from 12pm -10pm on the lawn of the Des Chutes Historical Museum in Downtown Bend. Admission to the event includes a commemorative glass. A tasting package is available and includes a commemorative glass and tasting tickets. For more information click here.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Tour de Fat: Fort Collins, Colorado
10:00AM-4:00PM @ New Belgium Brewing Co.
Annual national moving bike festival put on by hometown heroes New Belgium. Featuring bands, good people, good brews and a damn good reason to get silly! Bring a bike and a funky costume for maximum enjoyment. For more info, click here.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
6th Annual Festival of Iowa Beers: Amana, Iowa
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Millstream Brewing Co.
Iowa microbrews are getting some love today- Come down to the brewery and taste the best beers that Iowa has to offer and meet the brewers who make these great brews as they serve you. Live music, local food will also be part of the event! Proceeds go the the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation and Iowa Brewers Guild.
So thats your week in beer. If you go to an event, want us to post about an event, please leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Cheers!