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Notes of Two Beer Nerds – New Belgium Brewing’s Kick, imbibed by Timperial Stout and For Whom the Beer Toales

September 26th, 2011 1 comment

Spooky Good

***Notes of a Beer Nerd is a column written by resident cellar dwelling mammal, Timperial Stout. Feel free to e-mail him at timperial@beerblotter.com with any questions, concerns or comments***

Enjoyed on 9/25/2011

Brewery: New Belgium Brewing

Location: Fort Collins, CO

Beer: Kick

Web: http://www.newbelgium.com/

Presentation: 22oz. – Blown Glass Bottle – Capped.

Vintage: 2011

Style: Sour Pumpkin Ale

Barrel: Blended with beer aged on oak

ABV: 8.5%

IBU: 14

Hops: Target

Malt: Pale, Carapils

Vessel: Tulip

Recommended Serving Temp: 50 degrees

Commercial Description:

New Belgium and Elysian are together again with Kick, a rich and tart pumpkin cranberry ale blended with wood-aged beer for a uniquely complex harvest season sour. The russet and orange of autumn shimmer through a slight haze like sunlight through the smoke from burning leaves. The taste and texture of pumpkin give way to the refreshing tang of cranberries and critters, satisfying and exciting with each swallow, finishing with an urge for more.

Kim brought sour from New Belgium; Dick brought pumpkin from Elysian. You’ll get a Kick out of their collaboration.

Food Pairings: Turkey, Salad, Pie

Cheese Pairings: Brie, Gouda

Music Pairing: Bvdub – I Remember (Translation of moerketid)

Beer Advocate: B+ (3.78)

Rate Beer: 94 (3.51)

From Timperial Stout:

If you read my last NoaBN post you know that I regretfully shat on a New Belgium beer.  I have an outrageous amount of respect and love for NBB and their staff.  I figured that I would write a review of their other very new edition to the Lips of Faith series because it’s fucking amazing and maybe, through doing so, I’d feel a bit better about myself (even though Todd already said that he liked my review despite it’s less that glowing result).  So here it is.  Get this beer while you can.  You will not regret it.

Also, oddly, it came to my attention earlier today that one For Whom the Beer Toales was enjoying this very beer today as well from her home in the windy city.  Even more strange, we both, almost simultaneously, suggested that we collaborate on the review.  The funny thing about that is that Ms. Erin Toale is an expert at succinctness, where I am very, very much not (as I’m sure you are painfully aware).  So, with that being said, I first offer you her thoughts, and then I offer mine in the fashion that you have come to know.  As a quick side note, amidst all of this strange phenomenon, Erin and I made plans to formulate some sort of recurring column in which we both drink the same beers at the same time (in our respective cities) and review them at the same time as we progressively slip deeper into an inebriated state.  I see time stamps and ridiculous commentary being signatures of this project.  Something to look forward to perhaps.

For Whom the Beer Toales: Avoiding Responsibility or “What Was I Thinking?” (That Time My Fiancé Went to Oktoberfest Without Me and I Exacted Revenge by Drinking Too Much) 

Have you ever been so hungover that your tongue hurts? It just feels like this lump of sad, foreign matter in your mouth? That’s where I am, today, folks. I woke up this morning (afternoon) and I knew there was only one way to make it through the day. Keep drinking.

I went to Binnys last week to get some Autumnal brews. Fall is, by far, my favorite season for beers. Maple! Pumpkin! Spices! Hoodies! (not a flavor, but still relevant.) On that note: KICK! (Aside, what the crap New Belgium has such an amazing website! Our site runs on windpower… ADORABLE.)

I am SUCH a New Belgium fanboy. Environmentally friendly, female CEO, FUCKING AMAZING BEER!! I LOVE YOU NB! This latest collaboration with Elysian is described as a session sour. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I  am picky about sours – I require moderation of funk. (I get heartburn, ok?) Kick is fruity in the front with a pleasant sour after-pucker and not overly sweet. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon on the couch with dogs and Clash of Kings. What, jealous?

Back to Timperial:

Appearance.

 

I had a sense that the “wild” nature of this beer would cause it to be highly carbonated but a soft pour evoked a not all that abnormal rise in foam.  That foam ended up being stark white and consisted of tightly packed, small bubbles with some larger blow-outs resting on top.  As the head settled, some very impressive lacing was left on the inside of the glass.  The use of Carapils seems to have paid dividends.  The white crown is evidently content existing as a ring and wisp atop the brew and is regularly fed by an impressive precipitation of carbon dioxide escaping from the lower recesses of the glass.  It’s like watching an autumnal rain shower while hanging upside down on a hammock.  I’m comfy.

The fluid itself is a brightly glowing, orange tinged amber and when held to the light it appears quite clear.  From all outward appearances, this beer has no lack of sex appeal.  Like a bird of paradise, it has flaunted it’s feathers and I have surrendered to it’s brilliance.

 

Odor.

 

The head rise may not have indicated a principle wildness but the scent certainly does.  A tart, sourness can be perceived well before the nose reaches the rim of the glass.  It’s potent.  It has a very wood aged and Brett spiked notion to it from my perspective.  There is a lot of earthiness involved.  Damp log is the best way that I can think to describe that particular aspect of the nose.  But there is so much more.

The scent seemed to just fire out of the glass and penetrate my nose deeply.  There is an effervescence that inspires thoughts of crystalline citrus candy shards propelled from a canon.  I know that it’s cranberry at play but I feel as though it is sensed as being more like blood orange.  Both acidity and perfectly ripened sweetness mingle with the oak and it’s like discovering a wood hewn cornucopia full of fruity desires after being island stranded for far too long without food.  Near elation.

It takes some concentration to find the subtle squash within all the potency of jarring tartness and stunning fruitiness, but it can be unearthed.  Obviously, this beer is not like many other beers.  As such, the phenolics come in abnormal forms.  It is very hard to tell where the spiciness originates.  Is it the wild yeasts, the sour fruit…pumpkin spice?  This may just be the true brilliance of this recipe.

 

Mouthfeel.

 

Though it would be insane of me to dub this the best part of the beer, it’s a mandatory mention that the mouthfeel of Kick is absolutely world class. It’s crazy smooth but not thick and there is plenty of bubbly.  It coats the mouth with a protective film that hugs you in all the right places and spurs you just enough to elicit a stimulation, not a coma coaxing of the pleasure receptors.  It’s just right and I want it to stay almost more than I want it to go down and warm my innards.

 

Flavor.

 

I find it a challenge to describe the flavor of a sour beer.  In most cases, it can be described as sour and that’s about it.  I get most of the fruit or graininess (or whatever the case may be) from sours in the aftertaste.  This makes sense to me because tartness has a tendency to seize up the tongue.  It’s almost like a paralyzing effect is incited after the immediate knee jerk reaction of intense puckering.  Tartness causes involuntary reactions on a small scale.  This is where a lot of the pleasure comes from, I think, when dealing with this style.  It allows us to toy with a part of our body that is rarely toyed with.  We could snack on a bag of sour patch kids, but who wants to deal with the tongue and mouth abrasions that coincide with that venture?  Here, our only after effect is a calming buzz.

Still, I must make an attempt.  Honestly, the cranberry taste really does come through quite strongly.  It’s a flavor packed fruit.  Cranberry juice, straight up, is probably one of the most intense juices there is.  It’s a bold move to use it in beer, but often bold is better.  There is a good portion of wood flavor sensed as well, which grounds it a bit and allows me to keep in mind that this is a beer I’m consuming, not a juice.  It must also be noted that the overall impression is not simply “sour”, which is more of a feeling than a flavor, but funky.  Without the funk, and the aforementioned wood, this could be a carbonated fruit juice.

That isn’t to say that the grains are absent from the flavor, but they are so simple in this recipe that they’re easy to miss if you don’t think about them.  Imagine the recipe formulation process.  Any time that the grain bill consists of pale malt (base malt that is a requirement in pretty much all non-gluten free beers) and a body building grain (Carapils, flaked grains, wheat, etc.) and nothing else, you know that the “grainy” aspect of the beer is pretty much irrelevant to the brewer.  This beer is not at all about the grain, and that’s fine.

 

Aftertaste.

 

I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is where Kick shines brightest, but from a review perspective, this is a definitive area.  The tartness, which makes up a large portion of what makes this beer this beer, has a chance to subside a bit and therefore makes room for other elements to be revealed.  Those elements are very enjoyable, possibly more so than the shroud that prefaces them.  This fact alone is (and this time I’m sure) the best part about Kick.  It’s like 2 beers in 1.  It’s complexity to the up most.

Pumpkin is still sparse but here it is most relevant.  The grains come through most here too, and they have an almost vanilla like flavor.  If you’ve never smelled uncrushed Carapils, you might think I’m crazy for saying that, or you might think that I’m mistaking grain for oak.  You might be right about the oak part but I swear that Carapils has a vanilla odor.

The cranberry is so unimaginably vivid in the aftertaste.  To paraphrase The DSR, I feel like I’m inside of a cranberry’s hoo-hoo right now.  I feel like a giant cran-creature consumed me and I’m swimming in it’s stomach acids.  It kind of burns a little, but I already alluded to the extremeness of this experience.  It’s invigorating.  It’s like romanticizing self abuse a la Bukowski or Hunter S. Thompson, but on a minuscule level that won’t send you spiraling into oblivion.  Why oh why must this bottle not be bottomless?

 

Summation.

 

A sour pumpkin ale.  I’m no historian so I can’t claim to know to whom to credit the style with but I’m very much inclined to point at Sir Dick Cantwell, the ultimate purveyor of all things pumpkin beer.  Others, like Allagash and Jolly Pumpkin, have experimented with the style and have had great success.  Possibly, they are to honor.  Never-the-less, this all works brilliantly together and needs to be reproduced on a much more prolific level.

It seems that, due to the release date, bottle artwork, and pumpkin theme, this beer was likely created with thoughts of pie and cranberry sauce in mind.  Thanksgiving imagery.  That makes a lot of sense, but if that truly was the inspiration, that may be the only point in which Kick fails.  To me, this is a cranberry sour that could have been released at any time of the year.  The pumpkin is deeply hidden and the grain bill brings nothing to what could have been a pie crust kicker (no pun intended).  Really, that’s just me sharing a random though.  I am always trying to be in the heads of brewers, because I want to be one one day.

The true summation here is that this beer is brilliant.  I absolutely love it from head to toe, or crown to empty glass.  It’s revolutionary in fact, and I hope it inspires brewers the world over.

 

If you like New Belgium’s Kick, you should try…

Allagash’s Goelschip; Jolly Pumpkin’s La Parcela; Elysian’s Mr. Yuck Sour Pumpkin Ale

Disclaimer: This beer was gifted to us from New Belgium staff but solely as a personal gift and with no expectation of a review.

Notes of a Beer Nerd – New Belgium Brewing’s Clutch

September 12th, 2011 No comments

Clutch, engage.

***Notes of a Beer Nerd is a column written by resident cellar dwelling mammal, Timperial Stout. Feel free to e-mail him at timperial@beerblotter.com with any questions, concerns or comments***

Enjoyed on 9/11/2011

Brewery: New Belgium Brewing

Location: Fort Collins, CO

Beer: Clutch

Web: http://www.newbelgium.com/

Presentation: 22oz. – Blown Glass Bottle – Capped.

Vintage: 2011

Style: Sour Stout

Barrel: Blended with beer aged on oak

ABV: 9.0%

IBU: 19

Hops: Target

Malt: Dark Chocolate, Coffee, Black

Vessel: Snifter

Recommended Serving Temp: 55 degrees

Commercial Description:

It started as chance, a sandwich shop encounter between a band and a fan. It ended as the Clutch Collaboration. This pleasing, two-part potion was brewed with chocolate and black malts for a rich and roasty overtone, then fused with a dry, substratum of sour for a bold and audacious flavor. Black as night, this beer is blended at 80% stout, 20% dark sour wood beer for a collaboration that begins with a sour edge and finishes with a big, dark malt character, lingering, sweet on your palate.

The two flavors come as raucous and riotous as the Maryland band and their Fort Collins fans, getting loud and making beer, together.

Food Pairings: Beef, Smoked Meat, Game, Chocolate

Cheese Pairings: Brie, Gouda, Havarti, Swiss

Music Pairing: Clutch, naturally.

Beer Advocate: B (3.65)

Rate Beer: 92 (3.47)

Timperialstout’s Notes:

Background.

 

As is often the case, I have written this portion of the review at the end.  I hate to preface the remainder with a clear preemption of what’s to come, but I feel this the proper forum to admit some feelings.  Feel free to skip ahead and come back to this at the end.  Admittedly, my friend Todd Gillman of New Belgium gave me this bottle as a gift.  He did not, I repeat, did not give me this bottle with the expectation of a review.  Todd is my friend and friends sometimes do nice things for each other.

I would also call Eric Salazar a friend.  My reasoning for expressing this here is that I feel somewhat bad about the less than glowing review that follows.  Though I am trying with all of my ability to be learned and experienced in beer and brewing, I will always be ages behind Eric and Peter and Lauren and all of the crew at New Belgium.  Here, for Beer Blotter, I just drink and write my thoughts.  It’s mostly bullshit.  I’m just one guy with one palette and (admittedly) minimal pen power.  The thing that I hope I’ve portrayed is an honesty.  I have always and will always tell it like I see it.  That is all.  Take it for what it’s worth.

 

Appearance.

 

This is definitely a strong stout.  I probably could have written this section before I even opened the bottle.  The fluid is jet black with a head of dark tan, near brown.  As is so often the case with “big” stouts, the head is glorious on a firm pour but dwindles quickly.  The bubbles were large while they lasted and some free-standing lace is left in the inside of the glass.  There is something about the description – “Dark Sour Ale” – that makes me think that this should display a faint cherry color or a little bit of brightness when held to the light, but no.  Clutch is black like licorice and impenetrable to light.  One can only imagine the depths of roasted malts at play.

 

Odor.

 

At the moment I type this, the beer is very cold.  More assumptions, but I sense that this beer will evolve dramatically as it warms.  Straight from the refrigerator to glass, the odor is not all that wild.  There is a lot of raw cocoa and black malts with some somewhat subdued British brown malt, black coffee, and the slightest inkling of fruit.  Again, cherries come to mind. I must combat this association.  The fruitiness, at this juncture, is more of the leaf matter of a fruiting plant.  It’s subtle, earthy and green.

I also find some slight smokiness or char, like the smell of a searing steak on the grill.  Wet bark is also noted.  It’s actually quite heavy on the campground imagery.  I could easily have just emerged from my tent to a lush, damp Northwest forest with smokey campfires struggling to stay ablaze.

There is not a lot of sugars present in the nose.  The chocolate is bitter, the coffee is tame and void of sweetener, and the fruit is unripened.  May I say that my hands are tightly wrapped about the glass at all moments that they are not tickling the keyboard in an attempt to warm its contents.  Once this is achieved, much more strawberry is produced by a strong swirling of the glass.  Then, with further warning, wet dog comes out which is, obviously, not so pleasant.

 

Mouthfeel.

 

The body of this beer is appropriate for the style.  The style being a stout since sour stout doesn’t really possess a standard.  The carbonation is minimal and the viscosity is moderate.  If body builders typically found in stouts are used, i.e. flaked grains, they could probably stand to be used less sparingly, but I couldn’t claim to have any experience on how that would interplay with the wood aged and infected blend quotient.  Might it be more succinctly described as “not all that chewy”?  Still, “thin” would not define it.

 

Flavor.

 

The first flavor descriptor that comes to mind is chocolate.  A light acidic tartness quickly follows.  The more it warms the more squandered the cocoa and the more vinous it all becomes.  Booze increases intensity in equal parts.  It seems that, at no point does the earthiness depart.  Grape skins and leaves wash over the tongue and make for imaginative strolls through pre-harvest vineyard.

As I attempt to deconstruct the processes employed, as difficult as that is with a blend, I sense that the stout brewed for this was high in specialty grain proportion and over-attenuated.  That sounds contradictory but if I were making this beer I would have no qualms with a hot fermentation to let the yeast consume at will.  The byproduct of that, ester formation, will only feed into the Belgian, wood aged funkiness of the latter addition.  Unfortunately for me, that means minimal residual sugars.  I think the introduction of actual fruit post-fermentation would have helped round out the overtly dry, earthiness of the beer.  Of course, I am nobody and Peter Bouchart and Eric Salazar are absolute geniuses of beer.  Also, I have no clue what Clutch hoped for in this collaboration.  There is no doubt that many beer lovers prefer a dry brew.

 

Aftertaste.

 

Sour tartness not withstanding, after the brew goes down there is a lot of bitterness and a near overwhelming earthy, woodiness.  The tartness doesn’t seem to be enough to elicit a puckering mouth water, so the other elements all lead to an inevitable dryness.  Well after the swallow, the flavors seem to unfold more elegantly.  Possibly, the natural warming of the mouth livens the taste buds.  Brownies come to mind, with the slightest fruit infusion.  Esters are perceived as tannic with unripened fruit astringency.

 

Summation.

 

At the risk of sounding like a complete jack-ass, I honestly feel that the unquestionable palette of Lauren Salazar may have been on holiday when this blend was conceived.  Of course, I must offer some fine print to this bold statement.  This was a collaboration with a band.  I don’t doubt that Clutch is a band of beer aficionados, but I’m thinking that their personal preferences played a role in the final product.  These preferences may have been a compromise for New Belgium.  Also, when I see a stated blend percentage that is so straightforward as 80-20, I question whether that was pre-decided versus decided in taste tests and experimentation.

I don’t think that this beer is a complete failure.  It’s a sour stout.  What the hell is that?  I don’t think anyone really knows quite yet.  For me, in concept, it has the potential to be the greatest thing ever.  I love both sours and stouts.  In a perfect world, New Belgium, American craft kings of both experimentation and infected foeder aging, will hone the style and soon remove any questions on what a sour stout is all about.

 

If you like New Belgium’s Clutch, you should try…

Jolly Pumpkin’s Madrugada Obscura; Valley Brewing’s Wildcat Bourbon Barrel Sour Stout; Odin’s Thor’s Shadow

Disclaimer: This beer was gifted to us from New Belgium staff but solely as a personal gift and with no expectation of a review.

Diary of a Hop School Student, Part 1

August 30th, 2011 No comments

Hops!

This past Thursday and Friday I attended Hopunion‘s Hop School in Yakima, WA and I can wholeheartedly say that it was one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time.  Not only did I learn a lot, meet a lot of amazing people, and get to experience some of the most grounding, of terroir elements of beer making, but I got to drink amazing beer pretty much the entire time I was doing it.  I’d strongly suggest the experience to anyone interested in beer, especially those, like myself, thinking about opening a brewery someday.

 

It all got started for me on Wednesday night following a 2.5 hour drive over the mountains.  After checking into the hotel I was shuttled to the Hopunion campus where the closing/opening party was going down.  That is, closing for the first session (Tuesday, Wednesday) and opening for the second (Thursday, Friday).  There was a pig roast and what seemed like endless coolers of beer.  The first thing that really grabbed my attention was the beer, of course.  There seemed to be a lot of interesting options.  More specifically, there were many offerings from Colorado breweries that don’t distribute to Washington.  I still don’t really know why they had these beers but it added just another little element of excitement.

 

The first thing I got my hands on was Funkwerks White.  I’d never had anything from those guys before so I was super excited.  By the end of my time at Hop School I also got to try Funkwerks Saison and Maori King.  It ended up being strange timing that I had Maori King just two days before beernews.org posted an article about how there was a massive uproar about the name from not only the Maori peoples themselves but many others.  If you haven’t read the article yet check it out here.  Since, the brewery has decided to change the name to Southern Tropic.  A brief tangent.

 

I also ended up having New Belgium‘s newer Lips of Faith beer called Clutch during this opening shindig.  Read more about it here.  It’s fantastic, but that kind of goes without saying as far as I’m concerned.  I ended up spending most of the evening under the wing of Wyeast‘s Owen Lingly.  He has become a good friend of mine and has been through the school in the past.  He showed me the ways.  These “ways” included hanging out in Hopunion’s awesome game room above the main offices (billiards, air hockey, foosball, table tennis) and then a later trip to Sport’s Center, a bar that has become the go to spot for students through the years.  There ended up being a lot of people that I recognized at the bar and at this point in the evening, the social lubricant was applied liberally.

 

Some notable conversationalists included staff from White Labs, Midnight Sun Brewing, American Homebrewers Association, and Norther Brewer Homebrew Supply.  There was a whole lot of beer, whiskey, and brewing talk that evening and I kinda wish I remembered it better.  Welcome to Yakima.  Night 1 was a blast and classes hadn’t even started yet.  The biggest challenge was ahead…waking up in the morning.  More on that in part 2.

 

A Brief Barrage of Beer Becomings

August 9th, 2011 No comments

Fish comes to Everett

There’s always a lot going on in the beer world and we can’t cover all that we’d like to as extensively as we’d like to…so…here’s a brief spotlight on some things that we think are worth noting.

The Fish Tale Brew Pub Heads Northbound

Olympia, WA’s Fish Brewing Co. (Fish Tale Organic Ales, Leavenworth Biers, Spire Mountain Ciders, Reel Ales) obviously is quite prolific in their production and branding.  They have been pumping out some super solid brews as of late, especially under the Reel Ales brand.  10 Squared and Swordfish Double Cascadian Dark Ale are both fantastic and the latest to join the troop, Starfish Imperial Red Ale, is possibly the best Imperial Red I’ve ever had.

Those who have spent some time in our state’s capital know that the Fish Tale Brew Pub is the oldest brew pub in the city and a great place to sample Fish’s many wares.  This past Friday, August 5th, was the “soft opening” of Fish’s newest brew pub in Everett, WA.  This is great news for the northenders because ever since Alligator Soul shut down the options in Everett have been highly limited.

Fish Brewing Company from Olympia, Washington is celebrating the opening of our second Fish Tale Brew Pub in Everett, WA. The new Brew Pub, a nod to our flagship Olympia location, is located at Hewitt and Broadway directly across from the Comcast Arena. Here, our welcomed guests find their visit rewarded with a robust menu and the freshest hand-crafted ales available.

Entering our new 175 seat restaurant, guests will be greeted with the same wood finish and open space that has given our Olympia location its character ambiance since 1993. The Pub offers a full menu featuring local, organic meat, bread, and produce. And while the Pub’s 14 taps of beer and cider can present guests with a daunting selection, our knowledgeable staff will be there to help find the one that’s right for you.

In their formative years, both the Olympia Pub and the Fish Tale brewery stood under one roof. With the brewery’s 1996 move into larger facilities across Jefferson Street, the Pub embarked on its own transformation. What began as a cold-food tap room known as The Fishbowl has since blossomed into two full-fledged restaurants featuring Fish Tale Organic Ales, Leavenworth Biers, and Spire Mountain Ciders and our limited-edition Reel Ales.

 

Widmer Advertising Blows My Mind

I’m desperately behind in my reading of physical print beer publications at the moment.  I literally have a stack of Draft, Beer West, Beer Advocate, etc. magazines on my coffee table that I have yet to get into.  I’m busy.  Point is, I may be late to the boat here but I was just reading the latest Northwest Brewing News (great read on beer education, right up my alley right now) and was really taken aback by the Widmer Brothers advertisement on page 5.  I wish I had the ability to scan it (maybe a reader can for me and send it to timperial@beerblotter.com).  The ad is a page out of the Widmer recipe book for the original 1998 release of KGB Russian Imperial Stout.  Every single detail of the recipe is provided from grain bill, hop bill with alphas, mash temps and times, starting and ending gravities, yeast used and pitch rate… it’s complete.  There is a hand written note at the bottom from the brewer that says “Luckily I’m an only child who likes to share.”  Amazing!

 

Required Reading

If you have ever thought about opening a brewery, the blog over at Fort Collins, CO’s Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project is a must read.  Seriously, trust me, start at the beginning (bottom) and read it all.

 

Silver City Announces Several Exciting Events in Seattle

Silver City Brewery Belgian Beer Dinner @ Quinn’s in Seattle

Silver City will pair 4 – 6 Specialty limited release Belgian Style beers with the wonderful culinary styling’s from Quinn’s chefs! Stay tuned for more details, pricing, full menu, etc in the coming week. Please visit http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Silver-City-Restaurant-Brewery/97461887323 for more information.

Wednesday August 31st

Quinn’s http://quinnspubseattle.com/

10001 E. Pike St

Seattle, WA

Silver City Brewery 15th Anniversary Celebration @ Naked City Taphouse & Brewery

We are turning 15 & need your help to celebrate! Naked City has been so kind to let us bring the party to Seattle. 15 Beers for 15 years, some familiar, some cellar aged, some experimental, some barrel aged. If you’re a Silver City fan you won’t want to miss this!

Tuesday September 6th 6 – 9 pm

8564 Greenwood Ave. N.

Seattle, WA


New Belgium Expands in the East

In a time that other craft beer giants such as Avery and Allagash are pulling out of markets because they can’t keep up with demand, Fort Collins, CO’s New Belgium Brewing is still expanding into new markets.  Only time will tell…

Via www.beernews.org:

(Fort Collins, CO) – In just two weeks, New Belgium Brewing will enter Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., expanding the nation’s third-largest brewery’s distribution into 28 states and the District of Columbia. The expansion will bring New Belgium’s portfolio further north along the eastern seaboard with the initial launch of 22-oz. bottles of Fat Tire, Ranger IPA and fall seasonal, Hoptober Ale. Trippel and Lips of Faith beers will also be available in select markets with draft and 12-oz. packages to follow. These new territories will officially open on August 22.

“We couldn’t be more excited about these new territories,” said Bryan Simpson Media Relations Director for New Belgium Brewing. “Many New Belgium co-workers are from the East Coast, including our CEO and founder Kim Jordan who grew up in Maryland, so for many of us this expansion takes us back to our roots.”

Seventeen distributors will help broaden New Belgium’s reach, which now includes plans to distribute in Montgomery County, MD. At first distribution plans did not include Montgomery County because of logistical challenges. However New Belgium recently reached a deal that allows for distribution of draft and 22-oz. bottles in Montgomery County as well.

 

Elysian’s Pumpkin Fest Changes Locations

This is in my top 5 Seattle beer festivals and it should be in yours as well.  This year it will move from the Capitol Hill Brew Pub to the new production facility in Georgetown.  Read all about it over at Seattle Beer News.

 

Tacoma Craft Beer Fest is Around the Corner with a New Venue

http://tacomacraftbeerfest.com/

Join Us Saturday September 3rd, Noon-9pm for Tacoma Craft Beer Festival!

This year we are all outdoors in one of the Foss Waterways newest parks on Dock Street. Only a few blocks from the Sound Transit parking garage and the Tacoma Dome.

40 Craft Breweries pouring over 80 Craft beers

Live Music, Food, and Games

Admission includes:

5.5 oz commemorative taster glass + 10 tasting tokens

Additional 5.5 oz pours: $1.50

Tickets:

Click Here to Pre Order Tickets and Save $5!

$25 pre-sale online

$30 at the door

Military discount with active duty ID at the door

Fred Meyer Reward Card Members bring your card for a discount at the door (2 per card)

 

Craft Beer Volume up 14%

From the Brewers Association-

(Boulder, CO) - The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has released strong mid-year numbers for America’s small and independent craft brewers¹. Dollar sales were up 15 percent in the first half of 2011, excluding brewers who left the craft segment in 2010². Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 14 percent for the first six months in 2011, compared to 9 percent growth in the first half of 2010.

 

Rogue Farms Makes Hop Cheese

Hop Cheese: During 2011, we’re releasing several varieties of Hops Cheddar, made with Rogue GYO (Grow Your Own) hops from our Micro Hopyard.
Crafted in collaboration with Rogue Creamery of Central Point, Oregon, hop leaves are removed from the bines, steamed, chopped fine and mixed into the curds.
Look for a release of Liberty Cheddar during July.
Rogue Farms Hops Cheddar are available exclusively at the Chatoe Rogue and at the Rogue Ales Public House and Distillery in the Pearl District of Portland.
Port Brewing/Lost Abbey Night at Brouwer’s Cafe is Tomorrow
This is a can’t miss event!  Meet Tomme Arthur!  See you there!

 

Events for Week of May 23, 2011

May 25th, 2011 No comments

Sweet Pic of Bangers and Lace courtesy of www.chicagoreader.com

Sorry for the delay, I’ve been all caught up with Seattle Beer Week events.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Victory Brewing CO. Rare Tasting: Chicago, Illinois

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Bangers & Lace

Not only have I heard amazing things about this place (see beer list), but tonight, Victory Brewing Co. is there to tap Firkin of Headwater’s Pale Ale, V12 Belgian Quadrupel, Yakima Glory, their Bavarian Pale Ale, and Summer Love, a new beer from the brewery to Chicago.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Release: Akron, Ohio

1:00PM-5:00PM @ Hoppin’ Frog Brewery

Ok seriously this is one of the best imperial stouts on the market. B.O.R.I.S. by Hoppin Frog Brewery already comes with a whirlwind of flavor so this barrel aged version is sure to pack a punch. Be prepared for greatness. no joke.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Goose Island Memorial Day Sampling: Carmel, Indiana

3:30PM-5:30PM @ Crown Liquors #21

We will be sampling an array of Goose Island Beers to get you prepared for Good Beer weather!
We will have some pairings to compliment the offerings.
On deck-

Summertime
IPA
Sofie
Fleur
Matilda
312.

Please call the store for details.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Boston Beer Week Continues: Boston, Massachusetts

10 days of beer madness. Check it out! http://bostonbeerweek.org

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Belgium Tap Takeover: North Liberty, Iowa

9:30AM-10:00PM @ Red’s Alehouse

You dont have work tomorrow, so go to this for many hours!

New Belgium Tap Takeover. Sunday May 29th. This will no doubt be an amazing day for craft beer in Iowa. This is our tap list for the day: Fat Tire, Sunshine, Somersault, Ranger IPA, 1554, Blue Paddle, Mothership Wit, Abbey, Tripel, Fat Tire Super Cru, Abbey Grand Cru, La Folie, Dunkel, Le Terrior, Bier de Mars, Belgo IPA, Fall Wild Ale, Berliner Weiss.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Coney Island Brewing Beer Carnival: Brookline, Massachusetts

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Umami – 1704 Beacon Street

Celebrate Memorial Day with a special event from Shmaltz Brewing Co. & Umami where chef Yoshi Hakamoto’s mouth-watering Asian fusion dishes are paired with Coney Island Craft Lagers. This carnival-inspired event will include outdoor seating, themed contests and live entertainment.

Price: $30

Beacon St & Tappan St, Washington Square, Tappan St “C” Line T-stop

2/3 of bb.com will be travelling back east for ten days next week, so events will take a one week hiatus. If you have an event you want us to post or want to tell us about an event you went to, please email me at jess@beerblotter.com! Cheers!