After Big Wood Fest this past Thursday, we dedicated this weekend to laying low (aside from the Friday night trip to a casino). We did however indulge in Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Co. (Akron, OH) B.O.R.I.S. Imperial Stout, Great Divide Chocolate Yeti and Russian River Pliny the Elder.
I sit here writing events and sipping on this delicious Cranberry Saison homebrew. Thanks guys! But now for your week in beer.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Smuttynose Short Release Party: Peoria, Illinois
5:00PM-10:00PM @ Kelleher’s Irish Pub
Several beers from their everyday lineup, plus a few from Smuttynose‘s “Short Batch Series” will be available. What is this “Short Batch Series”? See below for a description from their website:
The Smuttynose Short Batch Series- brewed in volumes anywhere between 20 and 30 barrels, these limited-release, experimental beers are available on draft only and found at select beer bars up and down the East Coast. We normally release a few batches in a year, so they go quickly.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Jolly Pumpkin Rare Beer Auction: Ann Arbor, Michigan
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Jolly Pumpkin Brewing
This is epic, for a good cause and a great way to spice up your beer collection with rare and aged Jolly Pumpkin beers. Here are some of the beers that will be auctioned:
Biere de Mars Grand Reserve (16 months on Oak)
Oro de Calabaza (from 2004, 2006, 2006)
La Roja (2005 and 2006)
Fuego del Otono (2005)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Christmas Beer Dinner: Lake Zurich, Illinois
6:30PM-8:30PM @ Binny’s Beverage Depot
Binny’s has something to say:
Join us for our biggest tasting of the year! Sample over 30 different brews from 7 different countries. This is rare opportunity to try some of the most sought after and highly rated beers from around the world.
Cost is $10 W/Binny’s Card / $15 non-members. Call (847)438-1437 for more information.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Harpoon Tap Takeover: New Haven, Connecticut
8:00PM-10:00PM @ Prime 16
Join Prime 16 tonight with Harpoon Co-founder Rich Doyle and experience Nine different drafts including rare and vintage releases from the Leviathan and 100 bbl Series, 2 casks, and a few year round favorites.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Christmas in Belgium: Cleveland, Ohio
11:00AM-11:00PM @ Buckeye Brewing Co.
This beer list is amazing and will provide you with a broad range of Belgium style beers (most are from Belgium).
Join us for Christmas in Belgium 2010, a pay-as-you-go celebration featuring tons of holiday beers on tap. So far, we’ve got:
-Affligem Noël (Christmas Ale)
-Gouden Carolus Noël (Christmas)
-Corsendonk Christmas Ale ’09
-Buckeye Christmas Girl
-Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux
-N’Ice Chouffe ’09
-St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
-Bush de Noël (Scaldis Noel)
-De Ranke Père Noël
-Achilles Serafijn Christmas Angel
-Mikkeller Santas Little Helper ’09
-Mikkeller Red/White Christmas
-Mikkeller Ris a la M’ale
The festivities start 12-10 at 11:00AM when we open and continue all weekend long, or until the beer is gone! Come celebrate the season with us!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Goose Island Belgium Ale Tasting: Cincinnati, Ohio
1:00PM-3:00PM @ Bigg’s Hyde Park
Today you will taste the amazing Belgium brews from Goose Island. An American brewery that focuses on bringing styles such as Belgium Blondes, Saisons and Sour Ales to our back door. Sofie, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Fleur & Demolition will all be available.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Ommegang Beer Dinner: Seattle, Washington
6:30PM-8:30PM @ The Leary Traveler
The Traveler is teaming up with Ommegang Brewing, for a very special Holiday Beer Dinner. A 5 course meal featuring local meat and produce paired with some of the breweries finest styles of local craft beer. Dinner is at 6:30 PM and seating is limited. Ticket purchase will reserve your seat and tickets will be $45.
What event around the country did you attend this week?
52 Weeks: De Zon, Woesten-Vleteren, Belgium
No other place in Belgium to find a fresher Antiek or Struise.
Week 9 of 52 (We are through Week 12 – this one is late)
057 42 20 62
Rank: #2 of 12 (uniqueness gets the boost)
Neighborhood Pub/Time Portal
BEERS ON TAP (at time of visit) —>
De Zon, in a surprisingly not all that uncommon European business practice, has zero beers on tap.
BOTTLE OPTIONS: I don’t know for certain, but experience tells me that neither Brouwerij Deca, nor Struise Brouwers keg their beers. This pub is one block from Deca, and is therefore the unofficial brewery pub. Struise is a brewery with no brewery. They make a large percentage of their brews at Deca. De Zon carries many of each brewery’s offerings in the bottle.
FOOD OPTIONS: Well this is quite humorous, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Read on.
Though visiting In De Vrede and sampling the beers of the legendary Wesvleteren Abbey was without a doubt a top highlight of West Flanders Day, Beer Botter’s experience at De Zon was quite possibly the most hilarious and notable destination of the entire trip. Our experience here will forever live on in infamy.
Woesten is, at most, 8 km from Westvleteren. Struise is, without a doubt, one of Beer Blotter’s favorite breweries of all time. You can do the math, we were REQUIRED to go to De Zon. We knew, however, that the chances it would be open at the time of our attempted visit were very small. In De Vrede, in a stunning display of oddity, opens at the early hour of 10am, and you better believe that we were there when the doors opened. This meant that our foray into West Flanders would, for the most part, be confined to the daylight hours. As we had already discovered earlier in the tip, this is bad news when you are in Belgium and trying to drink beer.
Generally, beer bar owners in Belgium open and close their establishments at will. One could easily go to a bar at 10pm one night, have a great time, attempt to go to the same bar the very next night at the very same time and find that they are closed, completely randomly. This was a subject of much frustration on our trip, but 10pm is a reasonable hour of imbibing, mid-day on a Thursday, not so much.
Our attempts to view both the Saint Bernardus brewery and the Van Eeche brewery in Watou had already failed due to timing, so we were prepared for disappointment when we pulled up to the unassuming bar front in the tiny town of Woesten. Before even trying the door, quite possibly in a move to circumvent potential rejection, we trotted down the street to take a gander at the brewery. It looked much more like a beer distributor than a brewery from the outside. Various unrecognizable beers were stacked up to extreme heights all about the outdoor lot. It was like nothing I’d seen before at a brewery.
We figured we should get a closer look, but simultaneously, as curiosity grew within us, so did bravery, and an attempt at the De Zon door was made. For the love of Black Albert, the door opened and a bright heavenly light led us into the promised-land (promised-land, maybe, but that light thing…I just made that up!)
A rare moment of humor was found in Tim Webb’s guide when he described De Zon as a “Seventies time warp”. Humorous as it is, its god damn true. The inside of this place is small, smoke stained, old as all hell, and full of dog…
Most likely, many dogs have come and gone since this place last had a makeover, but the latest little yapper to frolic amidst De Zon was the first to greet us, after quite a few awkward moments sitting at the bar completely alone. We felt as though we had “broke and entered” into someone’s home and an uncomfortable feeling of not belonging washed over us.
We soon came to realize that we actually were in someone’s home! De Zon, as you can see above, looks like a pub in every way from the outside, once you enter, suspicions arise, and then by the time you leave you wonder how you ever were fooled into any thought to the contrary.
We were finally greeted in Dutch by the pub owner/inhabitant/dog whisperer, a woman in her 70s (or so) that was very kind, but as we came to find out, spoke no English what so ever. Now those of you reading who have never been to Belgium may not think that odd, and believe me, I’m not making note of it because I have expectations that everyone should be able to speak my language, but we were a good handful of days into our trip at this point and this was our very first encounter with someone that spoke absolutely no English. It was weird. I had expected it from the beginning of the trip, but it was still weird.
We fumbled a bit through the ordering process (and actually learned how to accurately pronounce De Struise in Dutch in the process), but we were eventually served beer, and that was an accomplishment of great ecstasy. I really wish you could hear our conversation with this woman in your head like I can. The words “De Struise” were said aloud at least…oh I don’t know…like 10 times each by all parties present. That was about the extent of our communication. We understood “De Struise”, the end. Could be worse things to bond over.
We were kindly served a bowl of nuts to snack on, a bowl full of nuts and…dog hair. I present the food options of De Zon. Yum!
At least we drank well. Bottles enjoyed: Brouwerij Verstraete’s (of Diksmuide, one of our favorite town names, pronounced like male genitalia and wet dirt all smashed together) Papegaei, a Belgian strong pale ale brewed at Deca, Deca’s Vleteren Dark Old Strong Ale, Struise Tsjeeses, a Belgian strong pale ale, and Struise Black Damnation, a Russian imperial stout. All were amazing.
Amidst our beer drinking, two joyous events transpired. First, a trip to the bathroom.
There was one hallway that split off from the bar area that was clearly the only possible home for the bathrooms. After a few steps down the hall it became apparent that the men’s room was behind the door straight ahead. A bit of confusion struck me as I opened the door and found daylight…an outdoor courtyard of sorts was behind the door. Had I misinterpreted the foreign markings for men’s room? Not unlikely, but a quick second glance at the door supported my initial decision.
I allowed the door to close behind me, and it immediately was evident, I was in the “men’s room” after all. Two urinals were fastened to the wall that marked the right hand side border of the patio. Quite possibly the greatest bathroom ever!
Next up, a visit from the perma-smoking co-owner/co-inhabitor/co-whisperer. This was clear not only due to the fact that he was in just as many photos tacked to the walls of the bar as our female host (who was so rudely interrupted from her sit and magazine read at the table directly next to us [awkward!]), but also due to the fact that he was greeted much less jarringly from the shedding dog at our feet.
Soon after his arrival, both hosts slipped through the non-bathroom door in the hallway that let into the house portion of the building. Smoking was soon accompanied by a lover’s quarrel, quite visible and audible through the door that was left wide open for our pleasure. At this point, we tried our very best to make a quick exit, which wasn’t easy, but we escaped relatively unscathed.
Thanks De Zon, you were…a…ma…zing!
That closer look at the brewery that we were earlier distracted from came directly after our departure from De Zon, and after our loss of a single tear out of pure respect for De Zon’s epicness.
The Deca brewery visit was very much worth it. We ended up acquiring some very rare versions of Black Damnation; III (Black Mes) and IV (Coffee Club). These were successfully transported back to The States for future enjoyment. Woesten = Great Success!
A quick shout out to something unrelated to beer. Congrats to the New Orleans Saints for their incredible season and Super Bowl win. New Orleans is a city close to Beer Blotter’s heart and we couldn’t be happier. So a toast in honor of a team and city well deserving of a celebration. WHO DAT?? And now, without further ado, your weekly beer events.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura Release Party: Ann Arbor, Michigan
6:00PM @ Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery
Be one of the first beer drinkers to taste this stout by Jolly Pumpkin tonight at 6:00PM. Madrugada stands for “Dark Dawn”, and this Belgian inspired stout is as dark as a moonless midnight, and brimming with roasted malts and bitter hops. This beer is seasonal, so get it while it lasts!
New Belgium Beer Tasting: Greenville, South Carolina
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Brixx Wood Fired Pizza
This tasting will feature New Belgium‘s spring seasonal Mighty Arrow, newly released Ranger IPA, 1554 Black beer, and of course Fat tire. Enjoy all of these with a few snacks while New Belgium’s local rep talks about the brewery and answer some questions.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Russian River ‘tion Night: San Fransisco, California
6:00PM-12:00PM @ Toronado
Stop by San Fran’s legendary beer bar and indulge in all the goodness Russian River Brewing Co. has to offer. Beers such as (this is not official, just an assumption, so call 415.863.2276 if your looking for a specific brew) Publication, Consecration, Deviation, Damnation, Sanctification, Supplication….Temptation. Seriously if only 3 of those beers are on tap, its worth the trip.
Smuttynose Tasting: Hooksett, New Hampshire
4:30PM-7:30PM @ Berts Better Beers
On the docket for tonight, Smuttynose Brewing Co.’s Big A, Baltic Porter, Wheat Wine, Barleywine and (hopefully) the Imperial Stout. We recently had the Wheat Wine and it is AMAZING. GO THERE, DRINK BEER, REPORT BACK!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Stone Brewing Co. Cask Tasting and Meet and Greet: Washington, DC
6:00PM-10:00PM @ Birch and Barley
What to expect on cask tonight from Stone Brewing Co.? LEVITATION ALE; SMOKED PORTER; ARROGANT BASTARD. Done, Done and Done.
St. Bernardus Beer Dinner: Tampa, Florida
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Mr. Dunderbak’s
Not only will you be able to taste amazing food and sample St. Bernardus beers, you will be able to meet the brewer, Marco in from Belgium. Lamb, mussels, salad and brie tarts will grace the menu tonight. The Witbier, Triple, Prior 8 and Apt 12 will be paired with the delicious menu.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Meet the Brewers of New Old Lompoc Brewing Co.: Portland, Oregon
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Green Dragon
Join all the New Old Lompoc brewers: Dave “Chowdah” Fleming, Bryan Kielty, Zach Beckwith, Sam Orlansky and Jerry Fechter for a meet the brewers session.
Some Like it Hop: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Allegheny HYP Club
The tasting includes beer samples, gourmet appetizers prepared by Chef Shawn, and a presentation on the selected beers. The cost to attend is $15 per person. Please RSVP for the event at the Malt Daddy website. Featured beers include: Troeg’s Nugget Nectar; Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA; Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine and Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Launch of Midnight Sun Brewing Co.: San Fransisco, California
6:00PM-9:00PM @ City Beer Store
California Beer Week continues into the weekend with a launch party for Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Although the beers are not listed, even on City Beer Store’s website, draft and bottle products will be available! This brewery has so many great beers, you really cannot go wrong!
Sour Ale Tasting: Aliso Viejo, California
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Pacific Park Market
CHECK THIS OUT—-> Jolly Pumpkin La Roja; Russian River Supplication (batch 4); Russian River Consecration (batch 3); Bruery Oude Tart; Russian River Beatification and Weyerbacher Riserva. Its only $5 per person to enjoy all of these amazing sour beers. Don’t miss out!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Big Woody 2010: Brooklyn, New York
11:00AM- 12:00PM @ Spuyten Duyvil
Bottles, Drafts and Casks…this event is not only at a extremely cool beer bar in BK, it features some AMAZING beers. For the full list, go to Beer Advocates’ website or click here. Here is a glimpse into the epic beer drinking that those of you in attendance will endure (oh yea, these beers are all 10% and above- enjoy): from the tap-Mikkeller Black (17.5%, Denmark); In Gravity Poured Wooden Barrels-Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock (12%, Germany) and on the bottle list-Brooklyn Black Ops 2008 (10.7%-Brooklyn, NY, USA). Make sure to store the cab company’s number in your phone before going to this event!
Strong Ale Fest: Boyertown, Pennsylvania
12:15PM- 12:15AM @ Union Jack’s Inn On The Manatawny
Similarly themed to the above event, this Strong Ale Fest will feature beers all 10% and higher….so keep that in mind when your throwing ’em back tonight. A few of the beers available for these 12 hours include, Dogfish Head World Wide Stout 18%; Founders Black Biscuit Barrel Aged Porter 11% and Lost Abbey Angels Share 12%.
February 14, 2010
Valentine’s Day Beer Dinner: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6:00PM- 8:00PM @ Hawthornes
We cant think of a better way to show your love for another than with and among amazing beers. Tonight at Hawthornes, celebrate your love with three courses and the following beers, Southern Tier 07 Choklat; Kasteel Rouge; Rosee d’ Hibiscus (Dieu Du Ciel) and Bells Oaked Aged Two-Hearted Ale. All for $60.00/person. Call (215) 627-3012 for reservations!
Have a Heart for Haiti: Bellingham, Washington
11:00AM-9:00PM @ Boundary Bay Brewing Co.
Ribeye Steak with Wort Compound Butter, Sea Bass in Pappilote, and Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce with Chorizo are just a few of the Special menu choices for Valentines Day. The menu will be available at 5pm along with our regular menu choices. Tables set for two and Music sets by The Mt Baker Toppers starting at 6pm and 7pm. Reservations are recommended. Servers will be donating a portion of their tips & all the proceeds from our Have a Heart dessert will go the Red Cross.
So have a great week, give some love to Haiti, give that someone special a big kiss and drink great beer! If you go to an event, would like us to report on an event or just want to spread the BB love, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Its the first of the month, its still winter, its still cold. Let beer warm your soul. Here are your events for the first week of February.
Monday, February 1, 2010
IPAlooza 2010: Willoughby, Ohio
4:30PM- 4:30 AM @ Ballantine
Today marks the first day of 28 days of rare IPAs. 28 IPA will be on tap for the entire month of February. Those who manage to try all 28 by the end of the month will be invited to the “wrap-up party” in March. Rare IPA’s include: Stone Sublimely Self Righteous, Urthel Hop-it, Founder’s Double Trouble, Stone/Brewdog Bashah, Brooklyn Blast and more.
Lagunitas Beer Dinner: Jacksonville, Florida
6:30PM – 10:30 PM @ Kickbacks Gastropub
8 courses of food and 21, yes 21, beer pairings from Lagunitas Brewery. $49.00 per person plus 20% gratuity and tax will leave you satisfied and a little tipsy (or even drunk). Some of the tap beers featured include: Cappuccino Stout, 2007, 2008, 2010 Old Gnarleywine and Dogtown Pale Ale. Vintage bottles will also be served during the dinner. Call 904-388-9551 and pay with credit card over the phone or pay with cash upon arrival.
Tuesday, February 2 2010
Beer Appreciation Night-Belgium Winter Warmers: Brea, Caifornia
7:00PM-9:00PM@ BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery
This is going to kick off one of many Beer Appreciation Nights for 2010. Tonight, the Belgium Winters will include: Fantome de Noel, St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, ‘t Smisje Kerst, Corsendonk Christmas Ale, and any more. Plus, some of the last of BJ’s Annual Grand Cru will be poured for this tasting!
Founder’s Brewing Co. Tasting: Dayton, Ohio
4:00PM-10:00PM @ South Park Tavern
Come and enjoy all this amazing brewery has to offer. You can’t go wrong with, Double Trouble IPA, Red’s Rye, Dirty Bastard, and more!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Meet the Brewer- Weyerbacher Brewing Co.: Quakertown, Pennsylvania
7:00PM-9:ooPM @ Spinnerstown Hotel
Enjoy four beers from Weyerbacher Brewing Co. paired with opulent culinary creations prepared by Chef Karl. $40.00 per person. For more details on what beers will be poured, call (215) 536-7242.
Brewdog Tasting: New Haven, Connecticut
7:00PM-8:00PM @ Prime 16
Brewdog is an innovative brewery out Scotland. Brewdog beer will be available both on draft and cask. Expect to see Dogma, Punk, and Hardcore to try and buy. Many more will be rotating throughout the rest of the month.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Meet the Brewer of New Old Lompoc Portland, Oregon
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Belmont Station
Meet New Old Lompoc Brewers Dave “Chowdah” Fleming and Zach Beckwith and get a sneak taste of the Bourbon Barrel aged LSD (LSD was brewed in May of last year then aged in Bourbon barrels for five months and cellared for an additional three. It has a malty body with slight raisin and vanilla flavors), as well as Barrel aged Doppelbock, LSD, Proletariat Red, and C-note IPA. Imperial Coffee Stout will be on draft.
Clipper City Holy Sheet Cask: Leesburg, Virginia
5:00PM- 9:00 PM @ Fireworks Pizza
Come grab some tasty pizza and drink Clipper City’s Abbey Ale on cask. Holy Sheet is only available during February and March, so it is VERY limited!
Friday, February 5, 2010
Pliny the Younger Release Day: Santa Rosa, California
11:00 AM – 11:45 PM @ Russian River Brewing Co.
Collaboration Not Litigation Ale- Tapping Party & Vertical Tasting Party: Boulder, Colorado
5:00PM-8:00 PM @ Avery Brewing Co.
Today will mark the release of Batch #4 of Collaboration Not Litigation. Come celebrate the fruitful relationship between Avery Brewing and Russian River Brewing. Rob Rosser will be on hand serving his famous fish tacos at $4.00 a piece. Be the first to experience this batch and if you do, please email us at email@example.com!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Chocolate and Beer Festival: Richmond, California
2:00PM-6:00PM @ The Craneway Pavillion
6 chocolatiers and 6 local breweries will present multiple product samplings with live entertainment and raffle prizes. Advance tickets are $18.00 and $25.00 at the door with $5.00 parking. Click here to purchase tickets.
A Celebration of All Things Coffee, Chocolate and Things Aged in Barrels: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2:00PM-2:00AM @ The Institute
What an amazing combination of items! The Institute’s chef will cook up some spectacular specials including sweet and savory items along with some vegetarian items. Aged beers will include, Wyerbacher Barrel Aged Heresy, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Allagash Curieux and Bells Java Stout (among others).
Sunday, February 6, 2010
Beer Appreciation 101: San Jose, California
5:00PM-7:00PM @ Wine Affairs
Learning about beer and the different styles will increase your appreciation of the many micro brews around the world. Expect a general overview of the brewing process and how the basic ingredients used in brewing affect a beer’s flavor. Develop your beer vocabulary while tasting beers that exemplify certain characteristics of each basic ingredient. Contact Wine Affairs at 408-977-0111 to make your reservation today!
Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Night: San Fransisco, California
6:00PM-2:00AM @ Toronado
So that’s that. Whats done is done. Oh and GO SAINTS!!!!
As always, if you go to an event, want to go to an event, want to promote an event or discuss a beer you had at an event, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!