Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast

I don't know much about the Danish brewer Mikkeller but their beer started arriving on Chicago shelves within the last couple of years.  And single bottles of it are really expensive.  For example, they make a pilsner that retails for nearly $7 a bottle - for a 12 oz.  I finally got to try several of their stouts at a specialty brew night at the Local Option pub in Lincoln Park.  I sampled the Beer Geek Breakfast that night but returned several days later to drink a whole one, and have since purchased a bottle of it. 

Smuttynose Brewing Big A IPA

I've written about a lot of IPA's here; I confess they remain my favorite type of beer.   I've developed beer crushes on many.  This involves trying a new IPA - new to me, that is - falling in love immediately, gushing about it in texts to friends, buying 3 sixers of it as if the government were about to ration it, and growing so sick of it that I gave most of it away to homeless guys.  I guess my point is that I have overrated a few IPAs on first blush.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

G'day from the Other land down under - Beer from New Zealand!

Jen and I recently took a trip to New Zealand for vacation and being the beer geek I am I did some research on the best places to get a beer in the country. I did a little research on what New Zealand had going on the beer front. If things went well I figured I could convince Jen to segway to a couple of special beer spots along our Journey.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grand Teton Brewing Arrives From Idaho.

It's getting hard to keep up with the beer explosion here in Chicago. Every week it seems that a new beer bar opens up or a "new" brewery is offering their products in the area.  The latest "new" brewer of note I've come across is Grand Teton Brewing which hails from Idaho. Yes, Idaho, from the town of Victor to be exact.  I've recently tasted two of their offerings and can report that the Idaho brewing industry is well represented by the products that have emigrated here.
The Grand Teton beer that's a must-try is the Trout Hop Black IPA.  Black IPAs are hot right now with many brewers attempting them, led by Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.  Trout Hop is similar to Sublimely and is itself a sublime beer.  It pours an oatmeal colored head and appears cola black.  It smells of pine hops and some oats.  It is creamier than Sublimely with a denser mouthfeel like a porter.  Smoke, roasted flavor, and grainy hops pave the palate.  It has a long silky finish.  This beer is highly recommended.
As I type this review, I am currently enjoying Grand Teton's Double IPA.  It has a slight grapefruit nose and pours a yellow-orange color with a substantial head and moderate lacing on the glass.  The mouthfeel is light to moderate.  It has that "watery" hop taste in which the hop flavor is thin and juicy, similar to Founders Harvest Ale and Avery "DuganA" Double IPA.  This brew is a pleasant experience but the liquor store clerk talked it up way too much.  It's a fine beer and the alcohol volume is not killer but it is just another above average double IPA of that thin, refreshing variety.  You can find many of these on the market without having to commit to a 22 oz. bottle, as is this.
Overall, I am extremely impressed with Grand Teton and would commit to drinking anything they have to offer.  My next goal is their Black Cauldron Imperial Stout.  Come on; with a name like that how can it be anything other than Grand.  Plus, it is sold in a four pack of 12 oz bottles.  Grand!