Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some brews and upcoming events

Had these two beers the other afternoon with a buddy to celebrate, well, Sunday daytime.



Cali-Belgie IPA by Stone Brewing of Escondido California. Now, this is Stone's always amazing India Pale Ale brewed with Belgian yeast, creating a whole new monster of delicious proportions. It's bitter and tangy- more hop than barnyard in flavor with a nice piney finish. It bubbles against the lips the same way champagne does on the first couple of sips and bubbles straight up from the center and leaves nice rings on the glass. The IPA nature of this really comes out as it approaches room temperature and grows more bitter as it does. This is a really nice twist on an already good thing. ~7% ABV



Raison D'être A raisin brown ale from Dogfish Head of Milton Delaware. Belgian beet sugars and green raisins give this beer most of it's flavor- heavy and sweet. It drinks like a sweet, almost floral, New Castle Brown Ale. Pretty dark in the color wheel of beer and not very heady. I guess it was a cute idea to name this one after the French expression for "reason for existence", it was named "American beer of the year", whoever awards that title. This brew is great, don't get me wrong, very easy to drink, but I can't get behind it as the best thing I've had all year from this country. It feels too much like wine to be beer. 8% ABV.

And now, somethings that are happening!

Proof

Terrapin Cask Ale and Glassware Giveaway
Wednesday, January 12th @ 8pm
Mike Wallace of Terrapin Brewing will be on hand and as Proof serves up a very special treated cask of Terrapin Wake & Bake Stout. Other great Terrapin beers on tap include Moo-Hoo Chocolate Stout, Big Daddy Vladys Russian Imperial Stout, Wake & Bake Stout, So Fresh & So Green Green and more.

And...I was going to list a Craft Beer Fest happening down on the Space Coast, but I haven't been able to confirm the info. But I'll get on it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

See, i said I wouldn't forget about you

I am fortunate enough to have a family that hates beer (dad lives by the notion that he'd drink beer everyday if he could find something available in Florida that mimics The Walking Man Brewery's Old Kentucky Homo bourbon barrel aged Homo Erectus special batch to a T) but loves that I love beer and have this seemingly insane need to write about it. It's a clever ploy to encourage aloholism, really.

But getting back to the point, while attending Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival my younger sister found a hidden away beer treasure chest, and picked up this first beer:



Viru of Estonia brewed by A. Le Coq who brews Estonia's favorite beer...which is not Viru...The bottle, is cool, though I've always been a sucker for abnormal glassware and most especially when it's presented as though I'm getting it for free. A 5% ABV pilsner and to quote wikipedia (i know, shut-up) "The beer is brewed with malted barley from Lithuania, water drawn from artesian wells at the brewery, and Saaz hops from the city formerly Austrian named Saaz (since 1918 ┼Żatec, today in the Czech Republic).Hops have been produced here for more than seven centuries."

I personally am not a fan of pilsners, there's something in that skunkiness I just can't get behind. However, Viru has a very nice hint of sweetness to it that did find very unique about it...But a pislner, is still a pilsner, there's just something about that hop varietal. This is a beer I'd drink if it was offered to me, but I can easily say I'd never go out and buy it for myself. This was also my very first Estonian beer, and while I can't say I was wowed, I would venture to say I'd like to see what else folks drink there.



400 Lbs. Monkey by Left Hand Brewing of Longmont, Colorado. An English India Pale Ale that ranks in at just under 7% Alcohol By Volume. Made with three types of hops and four varieties of wheat, it smells like biscuits and tastes like amazing. Very unique in flavor, it almost tastes like it was made from some shit you'd find in your backyard, yet finshed with a refreshing citrus undertone. Balanced with it's bready tang from so much wheat, this is a beer I could drink all the time.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I didn't mean to forget about you!

For whatever reason, and I can't really blame this on anyone but myself and sheer laziness, I haven't been posting. Maybe it was because there were all kinds of cask and free glassware nights, maybe it's because I was too busy drinking beer instead of writing about it, but probably because I've spent very little time on the interwebs doing beer related things. Simple nerdery has kept me a bit occupied...but I'll never tell!

So, because the most wonderful time of the year has passed, and to be real, there weren't very many winter ales I tasted this December that totally impressed me, this post will cover the brews that have touched me as of late, or at least, since my last post.



Brown Shugga by Lagunitas in Petaluma, California. According to their website, this beer was originally supposed to be their Olde Gnarly Wine that somehow received too much brown sugar. That said, sugar equals higher alcohol content, and that's very obvious in this brew. Sweet labeling aside, this beer is both hoppy and sweet. Typically I don't care for sweet drinks, booze content or not, but I like how this American strong ale starts off with a nice hoppy tang and ends with a sweeter note. Neither end of the spectrum is too overwhelming with this one.



Old Man Winter Ale by Souther Tier of New York. Nearly 8% ABV but doesn't really feel or taste like a high gravity beer. There's also nothing about this old ale that says Merry Christmas if you ask me, but the hop varietals and barley used def provide the warmth you may be looking for in this very cold winter upon us (yes, guys, it snowed in Florida today). If I wasn't such a lush I would have put some away for next year as Southern Tier suggests, but, where's the fun in that?



Homegrown Ale Estate by Sierra Nevada of Chico, California. An organic American IPA that the hippy within me just had to try. Being a gardener I was totally drawn to this beer that was created with hops and barley grown organically on the brewery's property. Growing your own ingredients means that you can control exactly how you want your beer to taste, and I found this brew very drinkable and an excellent example of what we can do here in the good ol' U.S. of A. A bit citrusy and smooth as well as highly complex as it warms in the glass. The wax seal is a nice touch too. Try this as soon as you can get your hands on it, guys, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cigar City Market Launch Party

Last week's Stone Cask Night turned out to be a total bust, stood in line outside for over 20 minutes waiting on people to leave; no more free glasses, no more cask ale...you can see why we split.

Last night, however, was a completely different story. Cigar City Brewing Market Launch Party at Proof and it was Marvelous. 13 of proof's taps were taken over by Cigar City, some ales in which were made especially for the event, or of a small batch that just may never be brewed again. The menu included:

Bolita Brown: 8% ABV Maduro Brown Ale
Caramel Mate Maduro: 5.5% ABV English Brown Ale
Guava Passion Sour: 8% ABV Sour Ale
Improvisacion: 9% ABV Oatmeal Rye Maduro Brown Ale
Jai Alai IPA: 7.5% ABV American IPA
Jai Alai Humidor: 7.5% ABV Cedar Aged Jai Alai IPA
Maduro Brown Ale: 5.5% ABV Oatmeal English Brown Ale
Or: 11.2% ABV Black IPA- Collaboration between Cigar City, Hill Farmstead Brewery of Vermont and Grassroots Brewing of Denmark.
Sound of Big Chocolate Wood: 8.5% ABV Barrel Aged Big Sound Scotch Ale
Spicy Plum Sour: 8% ABV Saison/farmhouse Ale
Tocabago: 7.4% ABV Red Ale
Twig & Berries: 7.5% ABV Juniper Aged Jai Alai IPA
Jose Marti: 8% ABV American Porter

and

Christmas Improvisacion Cask: 9% ABV Holiday Spiced Oatmeal Rye Maduro Brown Ale

My favorite was the Twig and Berries Jai Alai IPA...it's like my two favoritest things in the whole wide world mixed together, gin and an IPA, Ha!

I had a chance to shortly chat with Cigar City teamster Justin Clark about the brewery. I asked him about some of the special brews and whether or not we'd see them in the market soon and his simple answer was this: "We think of ourselves as the corner bistro. We don't want to be anything other than a Micro Brewery, and so, whatever we come up with for the evening, that's what we make. Will it make it back on the menu? Who knows, but most likely not."

Thanks for good time guys, loved the brews, loved the event and hope to see more of you all over the country.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brewfest and Proof Tonight

I have no idea why it's taken me this long to finally sit down and write about Brewfest. Tickets were a wonderful belated birthday gift from my old roommate Matt, and we had a blast. I wish I had made an effort to get this written before with it fresh in my mind, but the subsequent week and a half since then was busy. Or at least, that's going to be my excuse. And because the event, for the most part, is shrouded in a vial of boozery, I'm going to simply make a few shout outs to those who made it a great experience.

Thanks to the Blue Point Brewery for remembering me, chattin' it up with me, boozin' me out, and just being genuiene bad ass dudes.



And Tom Moench, owner of Orange Blossom Pilsner, Thanks again for taking the time to speak with me and also thanks for giving the Tallahassee population at large the chance to try the Toasted Coconut Porter. I'm a girl that can live her life without a porter in it, and that beer changed my mind.



And now, a slide show of the event.





TONIGHT AT PROOF

STONE BREWING CASK ALE NIGHT, VERTICAL EPIC, DOUBLE BASTARD LAUNCH & GLASSWARE GIVEAWAY! Everything starts at 8, guys, hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bluepoint Brewery and Pete Cotter

Last night at Proof was long Island's Blue Point Brewery's launch party and glassware giveaway.

The night started off a little shaky, my roommate was celebrating her birthday and we wanted to be there early enough to plant our asses in a space at the bar and ensure a free glass as we poor boys do, but we ended up arriving right at the stroke of eight. To our surprise, not only was it fairly dead, but the bartenders had mistakenly started handing out glasses, and as we stepped to the bar to get our own, we got a quick, stonerific, answer of "oh, well, we gave them out by accident, you're gonna have to wait until the beer rep gets here." The place packed out about 20 minutes later.

Ra-tards.

Luckily, said beer rep was an awesome dude by the name of Parish, who was a Stinky's rep, once upon a time. I was outside smoking when they arrived and missed out on hearing the obligatory "if you have any questions for us, do it now 'cause we're drinkin'" speech, but I was quickly forwarded this information, and i scooted my way in with the shyest, cutest, non-threatening wave I could muster.

Now, mind you, i read up on these guys initially, had a whole set of questions written up in my beer diary which is nice, hard cover, moleskin...and i left it at home. I couldn't of felt more unprofessional approaching him with a Wal-Mart receipt leaning on my wallet to scribble down notes whilst drinking a beer, but after a few words with Pete Cotter, I realized, my inappropriateness was right up their alley.

The beers they they turned out on tap included:
Rastafa Rye IPA
Toasted Lager
Hoptical Illusion and
Blueberry

Kay: How's it feel to be in the armpit of America?
Pete: I thought that was Nassau County where I'm from.

Kay: Why Tallahassee?
Pete: You know, I go to 3 thousand more towns than anyone else? I don't know, I like Tallahassee, it's a classic beer town, but one of a kind at the same time. I came here 15 years ago with my friend, Attorney Bernie...he's not actually an attorney though, hahaha, and I remembered it as a decent place for beer.

Kay: How far away does Cobblestone Brewery and Winery (now closed) feel right now?
Pete: (This is where he gave me a- ahhhh this little girl did her homework smirk) Not that far away, not much has changed, really.

Kay: Are craft beers hard to come by in New York? You are Long Island's first microbrewery, after all.
Pete: Something like that. A lot of people in that area drink Sam Adams and Bass, Bass is a big one, so we wanted to create something that would speak to the Long Island market, which is why we created our flagship beer Toasted Lager. Those other beers are a bit underdeveloped, we wanted something with a lot more flavor and drinkability as well.

This is about where i ran out of room on the receipt, but we talked for some time about Tallahassee, how I know Parish, how I'm unemployed, what places to hit up in North Florida, etc, but one nice tidbit I got from discussing my unemployment and the closing of Stinky's due to the BP Oil Spill, is that Blue Point Has released a new beer called Toxic Sludge, a Black IPA brewed to help with spill issues and available now.

It was a good time, kids, hope you made it out.

And, without further adieu, the beers:



Toasted Lager: Smooth as a lager should be and wonderfully nutty. It finishes sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Easy to drink and more complex with each sip and as it draws closer to room temperature.



Rastafa Rye IPA: My first rye ale. Remarkably light in rye breadiness and hoppy as an IPA better be. Smooth and crisp for a slightly darker brew. More malt intensive than expected but still delicious.



Hoptical Illusion: Armpitish in aroma, which, as gross as this sounds, is the mark of a great hop intensive beer, to me anyway, and really bitter. Feels more like an IPA than the Rastafar Rye and darker and easier to get down the gullet than expected. Very Tasty!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Proof events, beer, and other things

So, the cask night on Wednesday was canceled at the last minute, but I made it out there and stayed at the bar anyway...it was Kill The Kegs, and I was more than happy drinking 2 and 3 dollar beers.

But, what IS happening tonight at Proof:

@ 8 pm Bluepoint Brewing launch party and glassware giveaway! Meet both the owner and Brewmaster tonight as the Long Island company makes it's debut in North Florida.

October 29th: @ 8 pm; Victory Hopdevil India Pale Ale cask ale night and glassware giveaway. That's what the title says, but the info states that it's a cask of Hop-Wallop. I guess we'll see just which one it is.

October 30th: @ 8 pm; Proof's second birthday/Tallahassee Brewfest after party/Halloween party. Horror movies on the big screen, killer specials, treats and a costume contest for bar tabs.

And, don't forget Tallahassee Brewfest @ the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum from 5-9 pm. Tickets are $29.99/$99 for VIP.

Now, with all that out of the way, ON TO THE BEER!



IPA by Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, California. This India Pale Ale is Lagunitas' flagship beer and brewed with 43 different hops and 65 various malts. Such a mixture leaves you with a very well balanced beer that's slightly more malty than hoppy, but don't you dare expect this to be anything other than an IPA. This is the perfect starter IPA for those who have little experience with more bitter beers or those who generally turn their noses up at hop intensive brews.

It wouldn't take long to convince someone to love this beer.

Had this at Fermentation Lounge.



Torpedo extra or double IPA by Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico, California. You kind of already need a little hair on your chest to drink this. In fact, it's hardcore hoppiness is almost too much for even I to bare, but it's ability to titter on the cusp is why I love it. It's Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale's bad ass older brother. Very heavy, very herbal in flavor due to the whole cone American hops used in the dry hopping process, but very enjoyable. It takes some time to get this one down, but that's ok considering it's over 7%.

Bought this for a day with my old roommate Matt and also had this at Fermentation Lounge.



Two Hearted Ale by Bell's Brewing in Comstock, Michigan. An India Pale Ale and another 7%-er, this brew is made exclusively with American Centennial hops from the Pac Northwest which gives it i nice pine aroma and bitter citrus flavor. But don't worry, there's a ton of malts also to balance it out. It's crisp and bitter yet smooth and quickly reminds me of why i can't live my life with Budlight.

Had this for the first time at Fermentation Lounge