PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
Being a native of North-Eastern Ohio, the Christmas season is an exciting time for me. Possibly one of the only things Cleveland is recognized positively for nation-wide is our Great Lakes Christmas Ale. While this is one of my favorite beers, I would like to take some time to appreciate a delicious ale brought to us by our neighbors in Akron, Ohio.
Ultimate Frisbee and drinking goes hand in hand. Last month during a Halloween tournament, Tristan and I went to New Belgium Brewing and got some beers. The nice thing about dressing up (in tights!) and going to New Belgium is getting some free beer. The beer I got was Imperial Berliner Weiss.
Background: This year at GABF Funkwerks really hit it out of the park. Not only did they win small brewery of the year, they also won 2 gold medals for Sasion and Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale. The later was won by Deceit, a strong belgian golden ale. Deceit is a beer that does a very good job at hiding its 9.4%abv. This has been normally a taproom only release but a small amount of bottles have been released in the Colorado market.
There isn’t much that I like about winter. The days get dark earlier, the weather gets colder, up until this year, I wasn’t really into skiing or snowboarding, so my weekend social life was pretty dismal, and it was more often cloudy and dreary especially when I lived in the midwest. The only real positives were college basketball, holidays that revolved around eating, and dark, winter warmer beers.
During the week of the Great American Beer Festival, Epic Brewing out of Salt Lake City, Utah made a splash by announcing that they would likely be opening up a second brewery in Denver.
ABV – 5.6%
“Never judge a book by its cover.” -every mother ever.
We’ve all heard it time and time again, the bit of maternal guidance that we take into account every time something new comes along. If heeded, it can open doors you didn’t even know existed. And beer is no exception. New Belgium’s 1554 was my eye-opening beer that, after diving into a deep, black, creamy pint of it, and despite not being a “dark beer person”, opened the door of infinite beer possibility. All you have to do is drink the neck; within those first few sips 1554 shows its complexity and body, as well as its smooth, softer side. A perfect warm up while reading next to the fire place in the upcoming inevitable Colorado snow storms (please!?!).
The very first beer I ever tried when moving to Fort Collins in November of 2009, was Odell Brewing Company’s winter seasonal, Isolation Ale. I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome to one of the most prolific craft beer towns in the world.
“Hey will you grab me that beer with the little troll wearing a sailor’s outfit in front of the unicorn attacking what it looks to be Princess Peach on it?” said no one ever until after I wrote this post. Three Floyds Broo Doo hop harvest ale lures it’s prospective drinkers in with its trippy bottle and captures them with it’s just as unique flavor.
For a long time now I have considered Bitches Brew one of my favorite beers ever. Its dark rich maltiness has a cappuccino-like bitterness that reminds me of both dark chocolate and toffee. Heavy-bodied goodness, I pair this gem with a band called Starfucker and their song “Rawnald Gregory Erickson The Second.” Think of this: windows down, hand out in the breeze, gazing at the changing aspens in the mountains on a sunny day off; this is a beer that pairs well with the feeling that it’s fall now, so camping is out of the question but a heavy autumn brew might satisfy.
I’m a sucker for anything barrel-aged and I’m an even bigger sucker for trying beers from young breweries. There is nothing more fun than discovering a brewery in their fledgling stages and tasting their beers as they grow and improve. Its like following the way an artist, musician or author develops their style throughout their career. With both boxes checked, picking up Signal De Botrange on the shelf of my local liquor store was as natural for me as breathing.
If there is one issue our nation can come together on, it might just be the right to drink great beer. Avery Brewing Company has resurrected their Presidential Pale Ale from 2008 to commemorate this year’s heated race. This drink pours a regal golden color and tasters are hit with that initial hop bite. But that bitterness quickly mellows to a sweeter malty light finish.
Mexican food is by far my favorite of the cuisine nationalities. You’ve got corn, beans, cheese, spices, chili peppers… oh god, the chili peppers. No meal is complete without some heat. Personally, I like my mouth to be in so much pain that I have to order more salsa just to try to cool it down. So to say that I’m a fan of chili beers is a bit of an understatement.
Distribution: Ariz., Calif., Colo., Fla., Ill., Mass., N.C., N.M., N. J., N.Y., Ohio, Ore., Pa., S.C., Texas, Va., Vt., and Wash.
I love girl scout cookie season more than a fat kid loves… well girl scout cookies. Hmm I think I just had a harsh reality check right there. Anyway what could possibly be better than my favorite GSC Thin Mints? Yes thats right, liquified, beerified, Thin Mints. Enter Stone Brewing’s Collaboration with home brewer, Ken Schmidt, and Iron Fist Brewing, Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout.
Black chai tea and beer: two of my favorite things. But beer flavored with black chai tea? I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. I should have had more faith in Dogfish Head, one of my favorite breweries. I should have known if anyone could pull this off it would be them. I should have known that these two ingredients would never let me down, but I didn’t. And to my pleasant surprise, the mix of black chai tea and Dogfish Head ale blended together is like a match made in heaven. And again, I should have known that all dogs go to heaven, even dogfish. The subtle flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper work together to turn beer into black chai tea… only better.
Remember back when people were all up in arms about the Rapture? That was about the time Stu Thomas and I decided to try brewing our own beer. That is all fine and well except that our first brew attempt was for a double IPA. Appropriately so, we decided to name our soon-to-be inaugural beer Rapture IPA. Our reasoning was that if it rocked, the results would be heavenly. And more likely if it flopped, we’d just say it all went to hell. The finished product sadly sided with the later of the two. While the pour looked decent, the taste could at most euphemistically be described as factory sewage. The brew was under carbonated, too sweet initially and was followed quickly thereafter with a sharp metallic finish.
With the blustery winds of Hurricane Sandy blowing outside, I wanted a beer that would warm my innards. As I searched the Kroger beer aisle, it was as if Barbarossa and his bright red beard were calling my name. It was the last six-pack of the Moerlein beer on the shelf, so I grabbed it with gusto and headed home.
Rolling Rock holds a special place in my heart. I recently rediscovered the joy in a bottle of Rolling Rock that I felt when I first had it a long time ago. It feels slightly carbonated and lacks taste until you swallow and then you get a slightly wheaty, citrus after taste. No, it’s not remarkable or even that good– it’s the sentiment that makes this beer special.
Mt. Hood Brewing Company brings beautifully crafted beer from the Ice Axe Grill in the shadows of Mt. Hood. Their website states that Ice Axe IPA is their flagship beer. Why would you have anything else be your flagship beer when your home and neighboring states produces the largest quantity and best quality of hops in the US?
Cigar City Brewing serves up several brews that have garnered a cult follow, partially because they’re only available in Florida, partially because they are one of the only solid breweries at the moment to come out of Florida and mostly because they make fantastic, cult following worthy beers. One of those pedestal level rarities is Marshal Zhukov.
One of the coolest thing about visiting breweries when you kinda have an inside connection (and I use that term very loosely, as starting a beer blog hardly qualifies as having any clout in the beer industry), one of the coolest perks is snagging a beer fresh off the line. Trust me, it makes a huge difference.