Monday, June 30, 2014

June 28, 2014 Show

This week we were joined in studio by Chris and Mark from Breaker Brewing Company to sample some of their new and fantastic beers!  We also finished the show off with another fantastic beer from Odell Brewing Company, this time sampling their amazing Foot Print!

Breaker Brewing Company:

Mine Fire Blackberry Jalapeno Ale: A wonderfully balanced and subtly spicy Jalapeno ale with a sweet dose of blackberries in the mix, surprisingly refreshing given the qualities you are expecting from the name.

Sour Tomato Ale: A unique twist on an old and beloved style.  Using a sour mash this beer has the tart qualities loved in the sour beer style, but with a sweeter taste from the tomatoes, if you are a fan of sour beers a definite must try!

Quiet Canary Coconut Saison: Another unique taste on a very classic style.  The coconut addition to an already fantastic saison gives it a creamier mouthfeel with a lingering sweetness that is amazing, if you are a fan of coconuts than you have found a new beer to try!

Black Diamond Dark IPA: Call it a Black IPA or Cascadian Dark Ale, or just call it a Dark IPA, whatever you want this is a delicious version of the style.  The Black IPA style is off-putting to some until you find the right one and this is a definite one to try if you are new to the style, great balance with an abundant hop profile.

This weeks speical 5th beer:

Odell Brewing Company- Foot Print:  To celebrate the Odell IPA victory in the blind IPA tasting we sampled another delicious beer from this world class brewery.  This American Strong Ale comes in at 9.5% ABV and is packed full of flavor with absolutely no alcohol heat.  This beer is released in celebration of all the states in which Odell is currently distributed, the breakdown goes as such:

Colorado - Hops & Barley
Arizona - Prickly Pear
Idaho - Barley & Hops
Kansas - Wheat
Minnesota - Wild Rice
Missouri - Oak Barrels
Nebraska - Corn
New Mexico – Green Chilis
S. Dakota – Barley & Honey
Wyoming - Wheat
Texas - Grapefruit

Another AMAZING beer, check the Odell Brewing Company website to search for availability!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 21, 2014 Show

This week we tried something a little different with our first ever blind tasting, for the first attempt with the format we used the American IPA.  We were joined by our 2 wonderful guests Chris and Ed and we each brought our favorite IPA on the show to do battle.

The idea was 2 fold, 1 to see if we were each able to pick out our favorite against the others and also see if there was a true winner amongst all the IPA's.

The breakdown of who brought which beer was as such:

Ed- Sierra Nevada: Torpedo
Chris- Ithaca Beer Company: Flower Power
Dr. Johnny Blindside- Green Flash- West Coast IPA
Derek- Odell Brewing Co.- Odell IPA

This week we were joined by guest host extraordinaire Kyle who served as pourer and and judge as well!

After all the beers had been poured and all the drinking done we voted for our favorites and also tried to pick apart which beer was which and after all the total were counted, we had a winner!

Yes that's right Odell IPA wins again as one of the best American IPA's available on the market!  If you would like to hunt this world class beer down for yourself check out Odell Brewing Co.

The final beer of the beer was from Stone Brewing Co. and it was their absolutely AMAZING RuinTen IPA.  It was first brewed as an anniversary beer for the 10th anniversary of the wonderful Ruination IPA, but with more hops and more malt to top it off at 10.8% ABV.  This is certainly not a beer for the timid and it full of delicious hop aromas and tastes ranging from light citrus to dank and delectable.   A wonderful way to finish off an IPA filled show, be on the lookout for this beer as it is hitting shelves now!  Derek actually did a write up on previously, check that out here.

We also has a great giveaway this week featuring some prizes and glassware from the winning brewery Odell along with a FANTASTIC book that contains all the information you need to really get started on the path to true beer geekery, Tasting Beer by the wonderful Randy Mosher.  If you are a craft beer fan that this is an absolute must have book on your shelf!  Click on the photo below to read more about it and pick up a copy for yourself!

June 14, 2014 Show

This week in honor of dear old Dad we examine the classic Pilsner Lager, a style of beer that many of us recognize as Dad's favorite.  The true intent is to show that many craft brewers have taken back hold of this style that has been corrupted by many mass marketed brewers and has become a watered down and bland example of a truly flavorful and refreshing beer.  We also rounded the show off with Southern Tier's fantastic Imperial Weizenbock Goat Boy!

We were also joined by our dear old friend Chef Gene Philbin from Peculiar Culinary who was kind enough to bring us some AMAZING food to pair with the beer, words cannot describe how fantastic his food truly is and we are lucky enough to be joined by him quite frequently!

Side Note:  If you are new to the craft beer movement currently occurring than these are all fantastic beers to make your move over from mass marketed lagers to craft beers! We have also included links to all the breweries from which you can search your local area to find the beers for yourself!

North Coast Brewing- Scrimshaw Pilsner: This German styled Pilsner offers a lot of flavor in a 4.5% ABV beer!  The light body gives way to subtle earthy hop aroma and flavor while being backed by a sweet malt bill.  The finish is very dry and leaves you wanting more and it certainly delivers in that area with it's crisp and refreshing qualities, a perfect beer to have on hand during warm summer days!

Oskar Blues- Mama's Little Yella Pils: A subtle change in the style is what we have with this one as it falls into the Czech (or Bohemian) styled Pilsner.  This certainly falls well within the style with a more malt forward feel to the beer.  The malts give a taste sweet crackers and bread balanced with German hops to give it perfect balance and again a fairly light beer coming in at 5.3% ABV, another added bonus making this great beer even better is the availability in cans!

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.- Pivo Pils: First off, WOW!  This is a beer that blew us ALL away!  While many may knock it for not being "true to style" with an above hopping, we could care less about that fact!  It is an absolutely STUNNING beer!  The crisp refreshing qualities of a Pilsner are present throughout but this is also balanced against a fairly aggressive hop schedule to tip it into the scales of world class.  Words really cannot describe this beer properly, find this beer for yourself and try it and you will understand!

Smuttynose Brewing Company- Frankenlager: Now we move into the Imperial Pilsner style which basically means a beefed up Pilsner with a higher ABV, this one coming in at 7.3%.  The style also feels a bit closer to the IPL (India Pale Lager) meaning it has the mouthfeel of a lager with a fairly more aggressive appearance of hops, all we know is its fantastic!  While when compared to the previous Pilsners this certainly comes across as more of a sipping beer, it still has the refreshing qualities with notes of tropical fruits and pine from the hops are balanced with a hefty malt bill create a beer that is still in possession of the refreshing Pilsner qualities, but with a bit less crisp feeling on the palate, but certainly a fantastic beer from a fantastic brewery!

This week's special 5th beer comes to us from Southern Tier:

Southern Tier Brewing- Goat Boy:  This Imperial Weizenbock, a style that is roughly described as the combination of a DunkelWEIZEN and a DoppelBOCK.  The aroma and flavors are absolutely FANTASTIC!  Strong notes of bananas, clove, and caramel are matched in the taste as well for a drinking experience that is second to none!  Absolutely world class and a must try for all fans of German beers!  We also paired with this a delicious slice of cake provided by our good friends at AuRants restaurant, if you are local it is a must visit establishment!

We also had a fantastic giveaway this week!  In this past weeks edition of the Weekender I did a write up discussing some fantastic gifts for Dad this Father's Day, or any day for that matter, you can check that out here in that article i discussed a great new book called MANBQUE!  This weeks winner won themselves a copy of that wonderful book and a beautiful Pilsner glass!

If you are interested in the book you can read about it and order a copy for yourself by clicking on the picture below:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June 7, 2014

This week we decided to take it in the can!  The big push for craft breweries is towards packaging their beers in cans and as a result we have a wide array of great craft beers available to us in cans!  This week we took a look at a very small sample, but a very good sample, of craft beers available in cans.  We of course continued in our lovely giveaways to further promote knowledge of craft beer!

Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams)- Summer Ale- This is a beer that Sam Adams has been brewing for quite some time now, but only recently has moved this great summer tradition into cans.  The beer itself is a pale wheat ale with a light amount of spicing from grains of paradise and a touch of lemon zest.  The resulting beer is light, refreshing, and a great beer to have a few cans of in your backpack during your next summer outting!

Anchor Brewing Company- California Lager- Anchor released this beer for the first time last year to rave reviews.  This year they decided to start packaging it in cans.  This is a very clean lager with a lot of flavor, but certainly not heavy on the palate.  Graham cracker notes from the malt balance with fruity notes from the hops to create a perfectly balanced and extremely easy drinking lager that is great for the summer!

21st Amedment- Brew Free! or Die IPA- 21st Amendment is a brewery that put all of their beers exclusively in to cans and has been a frontrunner in the movement itself.  Brew Free! or Die is a perfectly balanced IPA with a lot of hop flavor, predominantly floral backed by citrus and just a hint of pine, but with a strong malt backbone to handle it all and create perfect balance.  A very lovely dry finish is in store with this great beer, another must try beer from a fantastic brewery!

Ska Brewing- Modus Hoperandi-  Those living out West know of this beer and it's reputation certainly precedes it and very few times can beers live up to their reputation, except in the case of Modus Hoperandi it is all absolutely true!  A lovely little hop bomb that still provides great balance behind, strong citrus notes backed by sweet malt and medium body makes this an extremely easy drinking IPA.  It is easy to see why this is the big seller for Ska Brewing!

Surly Brewing Company- Furious- We round the show out with another beer that tends towards the  harder to get side of the spectrum.  Surly Brewing Company is located in Minnesota and has beers that rarely make it out of that state, but those who have had the fortune to try them do nothing but sing their praises.  Furious is a beer that many hopheads have heard about.  The malt backbone is present just in appearance, this is certainly the darkest beer of the day, the aroma and taste are dominated by piney hops backed with a bit of citrus and some toffee in the nose and taste.  The body is set firmly into the medium category and has an extremely pleasing dry finish.  It is is to see why people are clambering to get this beer, it is absolutely world class!

We also had another lovely giveaway this week featuring a Sam Adams Cold Snap glass along with the wonderfully written Beer for Dummies.  Don't worry though, this is certainly not a beer book that will make you feel stupid or is only written for the unedcuated.  Check this book out for yourself it has a ton of great information including: style guidelines, beer pairings, recipes, and much much more!  if you are interested click on the photo below to pick a copy up for yourself!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May 31, 2014 Show

Sierra Nevada Brewing Companywas on the bill today as we examined their wonderful new 4 Way IPA variety pack and we also tacked on the world class DIPA Hoptimum to round the show out!  We also had a wonderful giveaway this week in the form of Beyond the Pale, the true story of how Sierra Nevada formed and became the top notch craft brewery it is today, written by the one and only Ken Grossman!

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company:

Snow Wit: This is Sierra Nevada's take on the white IPA style, emphasis being on the white or wit in this case.  The hops are certainly present in this beer, but it is much more suited in the Belgian Witbier category.  If there was to be a side by side tasting between this beer and a trditional wit the hops would jump out at you in a much stronger fashion, however in this beer they are more of a background note.  Not a knock to the beer at all though, it is refreshing an enjoyable, a perfect summer beer!

Nooner: Session IPA's are quickly becoming the next big thing for many breweries, mainly due to the sheer popularity of American IPA's, it is important to note the AmericaN IPA as the English has been brewing session IPA's since the styles inception!  Many craft beer lovers have longer for more sessionable, lighter beers to enjoy instead of higher ABV and more filling beers that are the norm for most craft beers.  Nooner certainly holds its own and is a very drinkable and well balanced IPA with strong notes of citrus, mainly grapefruit, coming through in the nose and taste.  I long for the day when someone asks their bartender for a Nooner with a straight face!

Blindfold: Now the darker stuff as we enter the Black IPA category.  Another wonderfully balanced beer and not the first Black IPA we have discussed from Sierra Nevada, we have previously mentioned their amazing DevESTATEtion Black IPA.  Strong notes of coffee and bitter chocolate come from this beer and are balanced wonderfully against earthy citrus hops.  The body is certainly more full on this one, but it is still very easy drinking and despite the heavier color and mouthfeel, it still leave the palate light and refreshed.

Torpedo: This American IPA, labeled as an Extra IPA, is the only beer in the variety pack that had a previous existence.  This is hands down one of the best IPA's on the market and has all the wonderful qualities we crave from an IPA, especially the very dry finish.  The malt bill is a bit heftier in this beer and is balanced perfectly against citrus and pine hops that give way to a clean and dry finish, when doing a tasting against the other IPA's this exceptionally dry finish certainly stands out.  If you have not had this beer and are an IPA fan, go get some, heck you can even get it in cans now!

Hoptimum:  The rare beer for this week, it is only rare because it is a beer that is in high demand and each year the moment it hits shelves it seems to disappear.  This 10.4% ABV behemoth packs a punch in the malt department and is balanced against 100 IBU's and the hops do not let up one bit.  There is a reason that this beer is so sought out for and that is because it is a perfectly balanced 10.4% DIPA that presses all the right buttons for what we look for in a DIPA, go and try to find this one!

If you are looking for any Sierra Nevada beers check here

We also had a great giveaway this week in the form of a book written by owner and founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company ken Grossman.  It is a great story of a homebrewers working his way up to building one of America's largest craft breweries.  A must read for all craft beer fans as it gives you a true insight to the beer landscape this country faced not too long ago!  Pick up a copy for yourself by clicking on the cover below!