Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Beer Geek Festival!

The Beer Geek Festival is happening!  The information is listed above, as far as breweries, we are bringing the best of the best as this is a PREMIUM beer festival!  Here's a short list of those breweries involved:

Brewery Ommegang
Stone Brewing Co.
Dogfish Head
Breaker Brewing
3 Guys & a Beer'd
Boulder Beer

and so many more!

If you live anywhere near Northeastern PA this is a MUST attend beer festival.

Tickets are available at select locations (list coming soon) you can also buy them directly from Montage Mountain.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 15, 2014 Show

This week we welcomed Freddie back to the show after his week off and we had our first return guest, Jason Jarecki and this time he brought Carl, a fellow craft beer lover.  We examined a few new beers to the market along with some other staples, but all fell within the German styled beer guidelines.

Samuel Adams- Escape Route-  This Kolsch style beer has a strong fruit character, but by no means is it a fruit beer.  This is a very crisp and smooth easy drinking beer, as you would want from a Kolsch beer.  Sam Adams recently brought this to the market as a new Spring seasonal release and it is perfectly times and is a beer that can be enjoyed in large quantities in cold or warm weather.

Troegs Brewing Company- Cultivator Helles Bock- Another new entry to the market, it actually just came into Exit 190 Beer Deli the day we were laying out beers for the show.  This is another new Spring seasonal beer in the German style, this time a Helles Bock with a bit more of a hop bite, but still incredibly smooth.  The malt profile truly shined in this beer and was perfectly sweet, but enjoyable also the 6.9% ABV didn't show at all and this is another beer that can be enjoyed in large quantities.

Samuel Smith Old Brewery- Organically Produced Lager Beer- The lager style is one that many craft brewers have ignored in favor of more complex beers and have left this style to larger brewers, however this is beginning to change and with good reason.  The lager style is one that when done right can be enjoyed by all with it's smooth crisp taste that is highly refreshing.  Samuel Smith's take on the style is incredibly refreshing and the organic selection of ingredients adds an extra layer of freshness with a strong malt aroma backed with fresh grassy hops.  This beer was the favorite of all.

Ayinger- Jahrhundert Bier- The only true German brewery on this weeks show and what a beer it is! The Jahrhundert Bier is a dortmunder export and is very malt forward but incredibly smooth and easy drinking. The mouthfeel, when compared to the other beers, would lead one to believe that this is a much higher ABV beer, however it comes in at 5.9% ABV but still is incredibly complex and a great way to round out the 4 beers for the weeks.

This weeks special 5th beer for our guests is:

Southern Tier Brewing Company- Krampus: This imperial Helles lager is the perfect way to showcase all of the things that we discussed from the earlier beers.  This highly malted beer is still surprisingly hop forward with a perfect spicy hop bite  It remains perfectly balanced and still finishes smooth and crisp as the best Helles lagers should, but still manages to pack a punch at 9% ABV.

February 8, 2014 Show

This week we take a look at beers that are great for Valentine's Day (and any day for that matter).  We were down a man this week with Freddie doing some work in NY around the Beatles anniversary, but we were lucky to have producer extraordinaire K-Mak in the studio with us and even joining us with the drinking!  We also had a special in studio guest Donny from the indie/rock band The Sunset Villains.

We started off with Petrus- Aged Red.  This is a very approachable sour styled beer that has a strong cherry punch up front but without the strong astringency that can accompany others in this style.  A perfect entry level beer for this style that any craft beer lover or newbie could easily enjoy!

Well's- Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale- This was a new beer for all of us as it was only recently added to the market.  The perfect English brown ale base gives the beer a wonderfully smooth mouthfeel and perfect base for the sweet caramel flavors that explode from this beer.  This truly is sticky toffee pudding in a glass and is sweet but not cloying, a very enjoyable beer for all!

Dogfish Head Brewery- Theobroma- The biggest beer of the day coming in at 9% ABV.  The recipe for this beer is based upon a chemical analysis that was done on pottery found in Honduras that reveled the earliest known chocolate alcoholic beverage.  This was a fairly complex beer that balanced between spicy chili's and sweet chocolate.  Very smooth and easy drinking with no hint of the 9% ABV at all.

Stone Brewing Co.- Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla- Smoked beers can be very off putting to some who are not familiar with the style, but once you grow accustomed the woody smoke from the malt can add an extra dimension of sweetness to the beer.  This beer is the perfect example to that but is very approachable.  The strong taste of vanilla bean is front and center in booth aroma and taste and really smooths out the smokiness of the beer and makes it a subtle background note.  A wonderful dessert beer!

This weeks special beer for our in studio guests is the very limited stout from Yard's Brewing Company.

Yard's Brewing Company- Chocolate Love Stout-  Those who are familiar with Yard's Love Stout know how wonderfully smooth and highly drinkable the stout is, now imagine that but enhanced with smooth chocolate and vanilla, drooling yet?  This was a highly favorable beer that all in the studio enjoyed.  The chocolate and vanilla swirled together perfectly and the smooth creamy base of the stout made this a beer that could and should be savored!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 1, 2014 Show

This week we discussed hops, hops, and more hops and took a look at how the malt profile, aging, and freshness can effect the presence of hops in the beers.  We had quite the lineup and this week to present a great discussion on hoppy beers.

We did the tasting from left to right in the photo above, starting with Tröegs Nugget Nectar and finishing with Stone Enjoy By 02.14.14 IPA.

Tröegs Brewing Company- Nugget Nectar:
This imperial amber ale has a great hop punch in the aroma and flavor but is backed with a wonderfully sweet malt bill to subdue the hop bitterness.  This much sought after beer was just unleashed upon the public and gets more and more difficult to find each day and with good reason, it is absolutely fantastic!  This beer had high marks all around.  If you would like to read more check out our own Derek Warren's review on it from the Weekender I'd Tap That- Nectar of the Gods

Dogfish Head Brewery- Burton Baton: This extremely unique beer has 2 threads of beer blended together and aged in oak vats for an extremely wonderful and complex beer.  The brewery has 2 separate beers fermenting, one Imperial IPA and one English Old Ale, upon completion of fermentation of both beers, they are blended together and transferred to large oak vats to age for about a month.  The hop flavors come across as somewhat subdued but are present in the aroma and taste, but the flavors of vanilla and oak give the beer a fantastic base along with the sweetness from the English Old Ale.  This is a beer that can be enjoyed for hours and discussed amongst friends for even longer, which is good because weighing in at 10% ABV, this is certainly a sipping beer!

Green Flash Brewing Company- Green Bullet: This "Triple IPA" was certainly the hoppiest of all the beers with a bitterness that is up front and unashamed.  This is also the beer that would be least recommended to those who are new to craft beer or IPA's as this could put you off due to the strong bitterness.  However, this is still a great beer and was very well received by our hosts, but the in studio guest was a bit overwhelmed by the bitterness and could not handle it, the 10.1% ABV could have also had a hand in the matter.  Certainly a beer to work your way up to, but once you get there it was worth the climb!

Stone Brewing Co.- Enjoy by 02.14.14 IPA- The runaway favorite beer from this weeks lineup.  The freshness of the hops was apparent and the bitterness was strong, but was perfectly balanced and very easy drinking.  The aroma was one that you will want to bottle and have as an air freshener, notes of pine and grapefruit were the most apparent and they also come across on the tongue, but the sweet and smooth malt washed over the palate to sooth and relieve and keep palate fatigue from setting in and it all wrapped up in a perfectly dry finish.  An absolutely world class beer that rivals the best DIPA's on the market!