Saturday, May 24, 2014

May 24, 2014 Show

This week was a Dogfish Head feature, we began by discussing the brand new music collaboration beer Rosabi and then went forward with a full vertical tasting of the 60, 75, 90, and 120 Minute IPA's.  We even had time to squeeze in a giveaway!  A great show this week for sure, but enough of that, here are some notes on the beers!

Dogfish Head Brewery:

Rosabi:  The newest release from the brewery is labeled an Imperial Pale Ale, but treads into IPA territory, with the addition of Wasabi.  The collaboration, this time with Julianna Barwick, again leads Dogfish Head into experimental waters.  The Wasabi makes its appearance in the beer and will standout to those familiar with the taste, but for those who are not it comes across as a spicing within the beer reminiscent of something within the hop variety.  While it must be said that this is a beer that is not for everyone, it is very enjoyable and for those who are fans of Dogfish Head's love for experimenting with beers than this is a must try!

60 Minute IPA:  This is an IPA that is certainly familiar to all who love the style and may just be the beer that introduced them to the style.  At 6 % ABV it is the lightest within the sampling today and for many hopheads is a complete session beer.  The hops are dominant in this beer, but the balance is still present as well.  What drives many to this beer is the fantastic dry finish after a crisp hop bite, there is a reason that this is Dogfish Head's biggest selling beer and that is because it's fantastic!

75 Minute IPA:  This is a unique beer unto itself both within this vertical tasting and within the greater IPA category as well.  The idea behind 75 Minute IPA is that sometimes people want more than a 60 Minute IPA, but not as much as a 90 Minute IPA, hence 75 Minute IPA.  This beer comes in at 7.5% ABV and is literally a blend of 60 Minute IPA and 90 Minute IPA with the addition of maple syrup.  This addition gives the beer a deeper layer of complexity and body and makes an easy drinking beer even more enjoyable.  The hops are certainly still present but the maple syrup adds an extra layer of sweetness to quell the hop bite.  A must try for hopheads and newbies to the IPA style!

90 Minute IPA:  This is the beer that really kicked off the Dogfiah Head IPA craze!  This Imperial IPA comes in at 9 % ABV, but has a surprising amount of malt profile and is not a hop kick to the palate that one might expect.  However, this is a beer that is extremely comfortable in its perfect balance.  The hops are present but the hefty malt bill needed to brew this beer provides a great body and keeps the beer from being overly bitter.  Considering that this beer is high in the ABV category and is a DIPA, it is extremely easy drinking,

120 Minute IPA:  Hands down the biggest and maybe the best beer of the day.  However, be warned this 18% ABV behemoth is absolutely not for the faint of heart and is most definitely a sipping beer!  Due to the high alcohol and heavy malt bill to beef this beer up, it is unbelievably balanced and not overly hoppy at all, which is hard to believe given that at bottling this beer clocks in at 120 IBU's!  This is a great beer to gift for friends who love hoppy beers and is also great to buy and age for future side by side tastings.  If you have not tried this beer and you love IPA's, wait no longer and get some!

The vertical tasting really showcased what one brewery can do by continually experimenting and beefing up a recipes.  When the color is viewed there is surprisingly little difference between most, except in the case of 60 Minute which is much lighter.  However, all are very clear, with the exception of 75 Minute which has a bit of cloudiness from the maple syrup addition.  This is a vertical tasting that we all highly recommend you try with friends and don't be afraid to take notes it is part of the fun of this current craft beer revolution!

We also had a chance to give away a FANTASTIC book this week!  One of our listeners called in and won Canned!: Artwork of the Modern Beer Can.  This amazing book is full of fantastic artwork featuring many great craft beer breweries and truly showcases what craft brewers have been able to do with this packaging medium!  If you want to check the book out for yourself click on the photo below!

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 17, 2014 Show

This week we were joined on the phone by Harpoon brewer Charlie Cummings.  Charlie was the brewer involved in scaling up the winning recipe for Harpoon's annual Kettle Cup winner, this year the winning recipe was a fantastic pale ale brewed by an all female team at Harpoon, well done ladies!  We also took a look at Harpoon IPA before moving on to other hoppy-ish beers for a lovely discussion on pale ales and amber ales and of course our special 5th beer!

Harpoon Brewery- Citra Victorious:  This award winning pale ale certainly earned the Kettle Cup award.  Strong notes of grapefruit ooze from this beer, but not in an overall sweet  or off putting manner.  Instead it is a solid punch from the Citra hops backed with grapefruit peel for a lovely and well balanced Pale Ale.  This is certainly a beer for those who love hoppy beers, but aren't interested in an assault on your palate.  Another fantastic beer from Harpoon's 100 barrel Series!

Harpoon Brewery- IPA:  Harpoon's IPA has built itself quite the reputation.  This is definitely an IPA for those new to the style, still very enjoyable but for true hopheads it may fall short in the bitterness category.  Strong notes of floral and citrus aroma come though backed with a sweet malt bill for a pleasant balance.  Trying to convert a friend to IPA's?  Try having them drink Harpoon IPA, it just may win them over.

Tröegs Brewing Company- Pale Ale:  A brewery that can make a solid Pale Ale is truly a fantastic brewery and Tröegs Brewing Company has certainly built a solid reputation as a great brewery, so the fact that their Pale Ale is also fantastic should be no surprise.  A very refreshing, easy drinking beer that is highly sessionable and great to have in the fridge at all times as a go to beer.  Very nice balance between the hops and malt with neither coming through too much, but hops are certainly present in the beer but have been brewed with restraint as one would expect from a good Pale Ale!

Green Flash Brewing Co.- Hop Head Red:  This hopped up Amber Ale is a hefty beer with lots of flavor, but is still very easy drinking and smooth.  Amarillo hops are on display here with a lot of citrus fruit flavor coming through and mixing perfectly with the sweet malts.  The 7% ABV is very well hidden with no heat whatsoever coming through.  This is a perfect beer to pair with any spicy Mexican dish and another great beer to have on hand at all times.

This weeks special 5th beer from Derek's fridge:

Ninkasi Brewing Co- ReNEWale:  Every year Ninkasi release a different version of ReNEWale and they are not shy of experimenting with this beer.  This years ReNEWale is a blend of 2 styles, a German Altbier and a Pale Ale, the idea of blending a malty beer with a somewhat hoppy beer really shouldn't be too shocking when you think of it.  The result is a smooth beer that has a lot of German characteristics in it with a slight hop backbone.  The mouthfeel is definitely that of a German Altbier,, this is a very smooth and easy drinking beer that would appeal to German beer fans.  Another great beer from the fantastic Ninkasi Brewing Co!  If you would like to find their beers near you click here for a list of distribution areas and distributors!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 10, 2014 Show

We are taking another look at IPA's this week, some very familiar to craft beer lovers and others under-appreciated or not as well known in general.  We were also joined by the lovely and award winning Chef Gene Philbin from Peculiar Culinary Company to take another look at food and beer pairings.  Freddie was running a 5K this week (no joke!) so we were joined by the wonderful Kyle to handle the hosting duties!

Abita Brewing Co.- Spring IPA: We began with the lightest of the bunch, but definitely not light on the flavor!  The hop selection of Amarillo and Centennial combined for a spicy citrus note while the light pale malt made for a refreshingly crisp IPA.  A definite choice IPA for those who are new to the style, but enough complexity and enjoyment for even the most jaded of IPA drinkers!

Stone Brewing Co.- Stone IPA:  This is a very familiar to IPA lovers from all levels and with good reason, its highly drinkable and remains a go to IPA throughout your drinking career!  This possesses much more of a hop punch than the previous with strong notes of pine, citrus, and overall dankness of fresh hops.  Very bitter, but still very balanced and highly recommended.  Despite being very aggressively hopped, Stone IPA still maintains balance and is still a great IPA to try for those getting into the style.

Tröegs Brewing Company- Perpetual IPA:  This Double IPA brings the hops!  The brewery utilizes the hopback and dry hopping to deliver the one-two punch from the hops.  Strong citrus hop notes are backed by sweet pale malts which also shine through in the taste.  The 7.5% ABV is extremely well hidden and will definitely sneak up on you.  If you are a fan of IPA's, do yourself a fan and hunt this one down!

Dogfish Head Brewery- Rhizing Bines: This collaboration beer between Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada resulted in not only a fantastic Double IPA, but also new glassware!  The wonderfully designed IPA glass enhances both aroma and taste in IPA's and thankfully came along with a fantastic IPA to match with it.  The strong malt bill makes its presence known and gives this beer a layer of depth and heavier mouthfeel, but is still extremely smooth and very easy drinking.  This is certainly an example of a collaboration working perfectly!

This weeks special 5th beer from Derek's fridge:

Boulevard Brewing Company- Double Wide IPA: The highest ABV of the day coming in at 8.5%, but incredibly smooth, easy drinking, and absolutely no hint of this high ABV.  This is certainly a malt forward IPA, but in the best way possible.  The sweet malt hits up front and leave the hop flavor and aroma to linger long, making for a truly enjoyable drinking experience.  The hands down favorite IPA of the show and with good reason, it is a world class beer!

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 3, 2014 Show

Food and beer were the theme this week, specifically desserts and even more specifically vanilla ice cream.  The idea was to showcase how just adding a simple pairing with vanilla ice cream can change beer and perceived flavors, and we ended the show with Dr. Johnny Blindside getting to try his first ever beer float!

Unibroue- Ephemere:  Strong notes of apple are dominant throughout, but this is certainly a beer that maintains its balance and does not cross over into the real fruit beer category, hence no lingering residual sweetness from this beer.  Instead you are treated to a wonderfully balanced apple forward beer that still maintains a very crisp and dry finish.  The additional pairing with the vanilla ice cream created a smooth creamy base for the beer that created a flavor explosion of apple pie ala mode while enhancing the body of the beer at the same.

Brouwerij Lindemans- Kriek Lambic: Lindeman's Kriek is a cherry lambic with strong tart cherry notes dominating throughout.  This is more of a fruit beer when compared to Ephemere, but still not resounding over the top sweetness.  This wonderful 4% ABV dessert beer is one that is great to have on hand for any occasion.  Despite the sweet cherry notes this does manage to have a very dry almost puckering finish to it.  The addition of the ice cream took away the overly dry finish and created a smoother beer that danced around the palate and left a creamy cherry pie flavor on the palate to linger, extremely enjoyable!

Stone Brewing Co.- Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers: This is the newest beer on today's show, just hit the market a few days before airing, so this was a surprise tasting.  The smoked porter qualities are certainly still present, but the addition of the peppers gives a flavor profile that smooths out the smokey flavor and adds an extra spicy kick, but is still manageable and not overwhelmingly spicy.  The peppers makes an appearance on the palate up front before the malts wash over and relieve.  This is a beer we paired with 2 different desserts to experiment.  The vanilla ice cream knocked the spices down a bit and enhanced the body of the beer creating a very smooth and creamy American Porter, while the pairing with brownies enhanced the smokey malt bill and brought them forward and pushed the spicy pepper bite back to a finishing flavor characteristic.  Another phenomenal beer from a phenomenal brewery!

Samuel Smith- Organic Chocolate Stout: Easily one of the best chocolate stouts available today.  Samuel Smith, an English brewery that produces some of the best examples of a wide variety of styles, brewed this world class sweet stout with no shame in adding a lot of chocolate to the base.  The result is a nearly identical taste to a melted Hershey chocolate bar, in the best way possible, however there is again no lingering sweetness on the palate.  This is a beer that cries out to be made into a beer float, so we listened.  The combination with the vanilla ice cream made a deeply flavorful beer that was reminiscent of a homemade chocolate cream pie.  Fans of stouts must try this beer!

This weeks special 5th beer for the nether-regions of Derek's refrigerator:

Firestone Walker- §ucaba: This is quite simply put, one of the best barley wines available today.  This 13.5% ABV barrel aged English barley wine explodes with flavors and aromas and is certainly a sipping beer, not just because of the ABV but also because of the complexity, it is a beer that you will want to talk about.  Aromas and tastes of coconut, vanilla, chocolate, and cherries make this not only a dream dessert beer, but possibly a dream and if it is, we never want to wake up!  An absolute MUST try!!

April 26, 2014 Show

This week we were joined by Rick and Robbie from Stone Brewing Co. as they discussed they new beer Spröcketbier which they made and entered into the Stone brewing Co. in hose brewing competition.  The guys won the competition, which had a total of 20 teams enterd, and with a beer this great it is a easy to see why!  We also discussed beer which puch the boundaries for what is typically included in the styles.

Stone Brewing Co.- Spröcketbier: Described as a Black Rye Kölsch, this is dark almost porter like in appearance beer that has a deep richness within the aroma giving off hints of the rye as well. This is certainly a session beer lovers dream coming in at 5.4% ABV as well and still manages to have a huge variant of flavor and incredibly smooth easy drinking mouthfeel, showing it's German roots.  This is certainly a welcome addition to the Stone Brewing Co. lineup and a must have for fans of porters, stouts, and German beers.

Brewery Ommegang- Game of Thrones Blood and Fire: The 3rd Game of Thrones collaboration beer released from Brewery Ommegang and with each release the brewery seems to top itself and get better and better.  Fire and Blood is a spicy Red Ale with very mild spicing throughout, certainly not as spicy as others but we are not complaining!  The Ommegang house yeast creates a very soothing effect and the malt and pepper combine to make a base beer that has a kick with a decadent flavor profile.  A must have for Game of Thrones fans and Belgian beers in general!

Dogfish Head Brewery- Birra Etrusca: This 8.5% ABV beer is far from being a simple herb/spiced beer with roots dating back 2,800 years to Etruscan tombs.  This is another from the Ancient Ales series from Dogfish Head that delivers on flavor, history, and provides a lot of talking points!  The spices are prevalent throughout the aroma and taste with strong notes of pomegranate and honey making an appearance as well.  If you are a fan of the Ancient Ales series from Dogfish Head this is one to seek out, there is a lot here to offer though both to beer geeks and casual beer drinkers!

Harpoon Brewery- Black Forest: This Imperial Porter pushes the boundaries between porters and stouts and treads very dangerously into the stout category while still maintaining a thinner porter mouthfeel.  Coming in at 9.2% ABV as well this is not a beer for the timid.  Strong notes of chocolate and cherry are dominant throughout.  The only knock is that a bit more chocolate characteristics would have made this beer a home-run, but still a solid beer!