Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Victory Brewing Dark Intrigue On Shelves Now

Be on the lookout for this one.  Victory Brewing, whom I have waxed poetically about as one of the world's great unheralded brewers, has come out with a special treat that's hitting shelves now but won't be around long.  I'm speaking of the Dark Intrigue, purporting to be a bourbon barreled version of their delectable Storm King Stout.  This concoction was once a brewery only beer that is being made available in bottles through their extensive distribution network at select liquor stores.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Beers

Greetings, folks and happy Thanksgiving!  Yes, I know it's belated, but check out this piece I wrote over at Foodies on Thanksgiving beer pairing ideas.   Thanksgiving may officially be over, but many of you will still be celebrating it in traditional style with your second families or friends this weekend.   And holiday party season has officially begun.  Enjoy and happy drinking. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy Thanksgiving! - My thoughts on what beer to bring

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have an abundance of friends, family,and good food. And a dearth of drama.

Thanksgiving is a great special occasion to break out a special beer to share with your loved ones. Here are my thoughts and recommendations.

My criteria:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oakshire Ill tempered Gnome - Welcome to Winter Damnit!

Well it's definitely winter time. You can tell around here because the sun goes away for 6 months. Well to celebrate the all to quick approach of winter grey and darkness Oakshire Brewing has brought us Ill Tempered Gnome. Which is how most of us start to feel as winter makes itself known. If you don't see the connection just come up to the PACNW for a winter and I think you'll know how Ill tempered a Gnome can get. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Surly Brewing's Darkness: Review

Think of something, it could be any genre, that you find to be "perfect".  Perfection demands a certain economy.  There has to be just enough of one element, not too much of another, the elements must blend together relatively harmoniously, a synergy must be created in that all the elements need to create a greater whole.  Think Kind of Blue or Coltrane's Giant Steps.  Think Goodfellas.   Think Les Miserables.  Think Catherine Zeta-Jones in Intolerable Cruelty when she wasn't actually talking.  That's the Surly Darkness experience. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Glarus Brewing IIPA

Certain New Glarus beers have a "thumbprint" on the bottle, which is a drawing in the shape of Wisconsin with fingerprint lines running through it.  Those beers are affectionately referred to as "Thumbprint" beers, including the Double IPA I just tried, the IIPA.  I guess the print motif is their way of saying that they're putting their mark on Badger State brewing.  That's a hard proposition to argue with as they have some impressive beers.  This is not one of them.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review - Firestone Walker Brewing Parabola Imperial Stout

Over at Chicago Foodies I dissect Firestone Walker's 2011 release of Parabola, and lament over the increasing scarcity of great beers, particularly the limited release, barrel aged beers that have beer geeks crossing state lines.  I have a few more thoughts below. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lagunitas Brewing Bavarian-Styled Doppel Weizen

Laguintas.  9% ABV.   Copious hops.  Long finish.  You'd think I was describing a new Laggie IPA but I'm actually about to speak on the new doppel weizen.  To my knowledge, this is Laggie's first foray into the world of German brewing.  Ok, so they have the excellent Pils, but there are far more barrels of  pilsner and pilsner-like substances brewed in the U.S. than in Deutschland.

Anyway, Laggie's invading Germany and based on the specs I just gave you, it's about to be D-Day for your palate.  This is because Laggie rarely does anything without an abundance of hops, and they come out swinging with this one.  Traditional German brewers will scoff at how the classical style has been inverted here.  If this is served to you in a tulip glass, it will have difficulty holding in the monstrous, gleaming white head on this.  Dandelions, grass, and some citrus dominate the nose, but there's something else in there to let you know it's not going to be a straight up DIPA besides that cloudy orange-yellow color that looks dyed.  That extra something is banana-orange and this beer is plentiful in that department.  You can smell it a bit but, brother, can you taste it.  In fact, it's downright beautifully blended with the hops for the first few sips.  The lacing on the glass is intricate and pervasive.  That's when things start to turn.

Dark Horse Brewing Coffee Dopplebock: Review

I've written in the past about the mighty Dark Horse Brewing, the brewer that owes nothing to convention, and have more to say about their Perkulator coffee dopplebock over at Chicago Foodies.  I just want to add that if you get a chance to check this unique brew out, do so.  To smell it is enough reason to pour one.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

Some of the best beers are ones you take for granted.  With Arrogant Bastard, Stone has a beer that is perhaps overlooked by beer lovers because it's always available and extremely consistent; but it's a beer that cannot be ignored once you try it. It makes you take notice of it.  After not having a Bastard for awhile, I recently had one at The Green Lady bar near my home in Lakeview, my neighborhood.  It was a fall evening and I wanted a heartier, more robust beer, a sipper with some gusto, something not too easy drinking or too sweet.  The Bastard fit the bill, and it was just the way I wanted it, in its rugged original format, not its highly acclaimed but more polished barrel aged incarnations.