Saturday, December 29, 2012

Aged Victory Storm King Stout - 2008

A recent treat from Sheffield's vintage beer cooler was Victory Brewing's Storm King Stout, 2008 release.   I'm beginning to think that aging imperial stouts is the way to go, without exception.  Just as women improve with age, so do stouts.  Imperial stouts often drink too hot with alcohol at their initial release, or are overly-steeped in one of their signature ingredients - hops, coffee, chocolate, rye, whatever.  The aging process melds the flavors together into a more seamless concoction, often heightening the drinking experience.  I'm still talking stouts here, tactfully.  And there's no question that Storm King benefits mightily from cellaring.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout Review

Chase away the winter doldrums, and all the annoyance of those ubiquitous car commercials co-opting the Christmas season like parasites, by indulging in a Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout.  Everyone has a Christmas beer on the market, and most are the same: an ale with spices recalling Christmas desserts and grogs.  It's similar to how every car company has a Christmas-style ad currently airing, and the ads are produced in paint-by-the-numbers fashion:  show red car, play familiar Christmas tune, show people in down coats and ski hats, show Santa Claus, tout 0% financing.  Yeah, yeah.   This Christmas, at least Sierra's offering something different.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lagunitas Sucks Ready for Action

According to this piece from Beerpulse, Lagunitas Sucks - Brown Shugga Substitute Ale, f/k/a Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale but renamed to reflect the beer's newly-bestowed year-round status, is awaiting bottling and shipment.  An incredible IPA from Lagunitas, Sucks stood in for Brown Shugga in 2012 when the latter's annual holiday release was circumvented by throughput issues.  Sucks is finishing its fermentation as we speak and will soon return to shelves and taps, marking the first installment of its reported year-round production. 

The return of this breathtaking IPA should be a cause for celebration among hop lovers everywhere.  Sucks merges the best qualities of an imperial IPA with those of a standard American IPA.  It delivers the striking, refined hop assault of an imperial, yet maintains the drinkability, accessibility, and manageable ABV of a standard.  Imperial IPA's rule, but their ABV levels are simply outrageous.  This often renders them unfit for holiday wassailing.  In contrast, Sucks' lightness and effortlessness recall a pale ale, and I would tag it as one of the few beers of hops to surpass Zombie Dust.  It's no wonder that this beer appealed to many non-IPA fans, and even converted someone I know who had previously proclaimed a hatred for IPA's. How the stubbornest of palates has fallen.  Whether or not it's Laggie's most accomplished beer, Sucks' crossover appeal without sacrificing the robustness of a great craft brew makes this beer Laggie's crowning achievement.  That feat counts as ingenuity in anyone's book. 

Chicago should see quite a bit of Sucks again, given this city's status as a core Laggie market which will soon boast the Petaluma brewer's only other production facility.  Bring on the Sucks! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA Review

It has been almost two months since I last posted so I thought I'd end my delinquency and write about some beer!  I haven't tried much lately, certainly not many new brews, but one beer of note I tried recently from a bottle at The Green Lady was the Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA.  It is styled as a "double IPA" and its roasted malts classify it within the genre of black IPA's that emerged several years ago, led by beers such as Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous.  This one's a no-nonsense, straight-ahead creamy black beer with a lot of strong piney hops.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Upcoming Fall Beer Festivals in WA

There are a bunch of fall beer festivals coming up in Seattle and the area. Here are a few so get out there and drink some beer!

1) Brouwers Hopfest 9/27- Be Jealous Mark! This is all things great in the hop kingdom. From Pliny the Elder to fresh hop beers and everyone else in between. Starts at 11am on Thursday sept.27th so plan on a 4 day weekend.

2)The Fresh Hop Throwdown at the Noble Fir 9/29- If you remember my fresh hop series from last fall then you know I love these beers. Definitely check this out as it's a rare gem we get only in the PACNW. Satu

3)The Yakima Valley Fresh Hop Festival 10/6 - If you are up for making a weekend out of it. Go to the source. 75% of the hops in the US come from Washington.

4)Elysian Pumpkin Festival 10/19 - Elysian puts out my favorite pumpkin beers and one of the highest quality beer festivals. The list of brewers here is always spectacular. Tickets online only or at the brewpubs so purchase ahead. I'll be there Saturday morning session.

5)Snohomish Beer Festival 10/26- Family friendly and more than just Hops and Pumpkins.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Flying Dog Imperial IPA - Citra Review

Out of nowhere came the Flying Dog Imperial IPA - Citra.  In my reality this didn't exist until it popped up at The Green Lady here in hometown Chicago.  Flying Dog is one of those brewers that may end up in your local supermarket next to the Kraft cheese, but they never miss on a beer.  Their work is not always jaw-dropping but they don't ship swill.  I had never seen an imperial single hop citra IPA before, and figured the Imperial Citra would be like a Zombie Dust on steroids.  Citra hops bring a grapefruit and grassy flavor to any beer in which you insert them, and they're seriously aromatic.  The question here would be how they blended together with the malts.  As Ross Perot used to say, the devil is in the details.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to Pour a Draft Beer Tokyo Style

During my after hours adventures in Tokyo we met up with some friends of a co-worker who showed me how to pour draft beer Tokyo style. One of them owns a great little American style comfort food restaurant, Cravings. If you're visiting Tokyo and have the urge to have some familiar breakfast fare for a change. I recommend this spot.

This little tap gadget takes a page from the Toyota Production System playbook and applies a new control to the typical tap handle to attempt to "mistakeproof" creating the perfect head. Unfortunately for me it's not quite "mistakeproof" enough. It has two modes. One mode to pour perfectly carbonated beer. Then the second mode engages when you push the handle away and it creates a perfect fine foam to top off the beer with the perfect creamy head. Check out the video to see "how not to do it."

Stepping up to the tap

Tune in Tokyo! Traquair Jacobite Ale

I'm in Tokyo for work this week. Near the Meguro train station is this lovely underground beer bar, Meguro Republic. They have an envious selection of US, German, Belgian, and British beers. I picked out the Traquair Jacobite from the UK. This is a 250 year old recipie for a dark spiced strong ale.

As it pours It has a hazy brown hue and thin white head. The nose is rasin and malt with some cinnamon and spices almost like a holiday ale.

There is almost no hops to speak of in the nose or flavor. The main flavors are sweet raisin with a strong malt backbone. Like boston brown bread. There is a bit of alcohol to balance but it comes in on the sweet side. It's not cloying or oversweet. The spices help to balance it out and keep drinkable so you can enjoy the entire glass.

Pros: Good hearty alternative to an IPA that has an interesting and enjoyable flavor profile.

Cons: It's on the sweet side and will turn off the hop heads out there.

Verdict: A good hearty beer when you're ready to switch it up from the hop set.

3.5 out of 5 on the Mark-o-meter

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA Review - For Adult Palates

Swing and a miss!  I tried Ballast Point Sculpin in San Diego, the first day of my last trip there.  This sports bar near the airport, O'Brien's, had it and also had amazing pea soup.  But I was on a mission to have impossible amounts of Pliny the Elder on that trip, and I merely sampled the Sculpin while they were pouring my Pliny.  I found it to be striking but unmemorable.  Fast forward to 2012 when a buddy of mine brought me some Sculpins and Pliny the Elders.  This time the Plinys were the afterthoughts.  My heart was set on some Sculpin.  Perhaps it was Sculpin's insanely high Beer Advocate score, a 98, that sent me on a mission to find it.  Whatever the case, I had been asking more than a few friends to ship some of that San Diego IPA goodness my way.  My turn to try it was today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stone Brewing Enjoy By 9/21/12 IPA - And Where To Find It

Wow.  Many of you know that I love Stone IPA and it's one of my favorite beers.  I love Stone in general and several beers in their lineup are among my favorites.  They've got hops; and they know how to use them.  All allusions to bad 80's songs aside, I was excited to try Stone's latest hop offering, an IPA with a due date. They brewed the Enjoy By 9/21/12 IPA with the idea in mind that you must - it's not optional - drink it by such date to fully appreciate its effects.  Fortunately, Maria's Packaged Goods - an incredible beer spot and a must-visit if you love great beer bars - surprisingly had this one on tap tonight.  I presumed I would never get it on tap given its limited release.  Maria's beers are nothing short of fresh - the Zombie Dust was amazingly fresh tonight.  So, I knew that the beer that arrived to me as seen above would at least have freshness going for it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lagunitas Brewing A Little Sumpin' Wild Ale Review

Every kid in the 70's and 80's loved Superfriends.  First off, the intro music is totally bad ass.   You also had to love how everyone on the team brought their own special talents into the mix.  The Trinity brought their respective games - Superman brought his ability to do, well, just about everything; Batman brought his unmatched guile, and Wonder Woman brought whatever the hell she does, but does well.  Depending on what iteration of the Justice League you watched, you might see some niche skills from players like Aquaman.  Everyone contributed in a way that others could not.

What if I made a Super Tap of the world's best beers, featuring the best beer in each category.  You'd see a lot of different brewers' tap handles.  Victory would have a handle for some type of German beer, perhaps one of their fine pilsners.  Founders would certainly get lines for their dark beers.  Three Floyds, of course, would undoubtedly have taps for Dark Lord (imagine Dark Lord on tap at a neighborhood pub) and some of their other awesomeness.  Stone IPA would represent as the gold standard for American IPA's.  Then there's Lagunitas.  Laggie does many things well, but their true superpower is in making the best limited-release hoppy beers out there. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Firestone Walker Pale 31 Ale

"This beer sucks."  That's something you won't hear anyone in his right mind saying about Firestone Walker's Pale 31 ale, a beer that's described as a classic California pale ale named in honor of America's 31st state.  I don't know about the classic status; I've had better CA. pale ales, namely Coronado's which blew me away.  Pale 31 is fairly ordinary with a bit of elegance around the edges.  Its look and smell are pretty expected, slightly pale yellow with a huge white head, and the smell of citrus, sugar, and bread.   It's got a momentary hop bite that gently eases off the palate, providing a lingering foundation for the sweet, slightly bready malts. Champagne-like carbonation makes it seem perhaps a bit more classy than a pale ale aught to be.  Maybe that's what informed their serving it to me in a wide tulip.  But nothing really stands out about this beer; and maybe that's the point.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Firestone Walker Wookey Jack Review

If you want to know what the weather's going to be, look west.  Do the same when you want a great IPA. That maxim includes black IPAs.  Firestone Walker Wookey Jack is the acclaimed brewer's foray into the black IPA world, a world that's become quite a crowded place.  One of my first black IPA's was Grand Teton's amazing Trout Hop.  Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous set the standard for the genre and is my favorite.  Then came along Uinta's Dubhe, a very good entry.  So, given my growing affection for all things Firestone Walker, an affection driven by my crush on Double Jack, when I read reviews comparing their Wookey Jack favorably to Sublimely, I had to try it.  After months of checking online to see if it had finally arrived in Chicago, the day of reckoning came on Sunday when Northdown Cafe - who else? - became first in Chicago to tap it.  I understand that they tapped it at Whole Foods in Schaumburg earlier this past weekend, but I had no need to pay two tolls and go to IKEA so that journey was out. 

Once I confirmed Northdown had indeed tapped it, I strolled down there, each step with increasing anticipation.  I hoped the beer would live up to the lofty expectations.  Usually when I'm this hyped about a beer it disappoints.  It arrived to me in a miniature pint that they dub as an old man glass, and it certainly looked appealing enough.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oskar Blues Brewing GUBNA Imperial IPA Review

I'm not sure whether it's an acronym or not but the name of this beer appears to be GUBNA, not the mostly lower-cased spelling, "Gubna".  A web search couldn't confirm this and neither did a brief tour of their website.  Anyway, I'm in a hurry with no more time for research, so just hope your bartender understands phonetics and your order of this should arrive at your hand without incident.  As for the beer, I credit Josh for supplying a can of this at a recent backyard barbecue.  It's from a Colorado brewer that has dived head first into the ever-crowded Chicago beer market's maw.  Oskar Blues is most noted for being the first craft brewer to can their beers.  Cans are understood to be better beer preservers than even the darkest bottles.  It would figure that this beer's aluminum casing would be ideal; after all, it's an IPA which, by genre, is robust-but-fragile, with aging as its kryptonite.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dryhop Brewing American Biere de Garde Review

Prepare to be dominated.  They're not officially off the ground yet but I can already tell you that Dryhop Brewery is going to star in Chicago.  Regardless of genre, you can spot new stars as easily as you can spot a shiny new Mercedes among a roster of used compact cars.  Maybe it's a new employee that just seems to "get it" right away, and quickly has co-workers seeking his advice.  Perhaps it's a baseball player like the Angels' Mike Trout who splashes on the scene out of nowhere as an instant MVP candidate.  Remember how meteoric was Nirvana's rise if you're old enough to recall?  You knew from the first episode that Entourage was going to be around for a while.

The same goes for Dryhop.  From my very first sip of their Wheat IPA a few months back, how those spicy and biting hops perfectly blended with that buoyant wheat flavor, I knew these guys were serious players.  So I was excited to try their Biere de Garde.

Atlas Brewing Company Review

Kudos!  Those go out to my pal who recommended that we go to Atlas Brewing Company and review their beers, that pal being none other than Dr. Kenneth Noisewater.  If you don't get that reference, look around on the web or perhaps Netflix and you'll come into light.  You can find the good doctor's review here.  It's hilarious as is his usual work.  As for Atlas, they're a new brewer on Lincoln Ave. here that is making their way the only way they know how.  And that's just a little bit more than the law will allow.  Well, no, they're not the Dukes and as far as I know, perfectly legal.  But they are a new dot in the constellation of brewers popping up all over Chi-town, including Hamburger Mary's of Andersonville which just hired a buddy of mine.  Go, B!  Anyway, let's get to the review.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Victory Brewing Golden Monkey Review

Not too long ago, friends of mine went ape over this beer and overindulged themselves.  It all started at the Old Town Pour House when my buddy's girlfriend learned that I was into beer.  She had ordered something before I arrived and asked me to identify it. The only hint I received was that the beer was from Pennsylvania.  One smell was all it took to immediately guess that it was none other than Victory's Golden Monkey.  She was so impressed that she went on to drink three more of them that day and then encouraged my friends to order it.  Yet to that point I had never tried one, and even on that day of people reveling in it I stayed away from its 9% trappings. I finally did my own research on it the other day.

Firestone Walker Double DBA - Review

Firestone Walker is one of those rare brewers that pretty much can't miss on a brew, and they score another solid addition to their deep lineup with the Double DBA.  It's the oak barrel-aged version of their silky, caramel malt-forward DBA with a far broader array of engaging flavors.  The nose is an intriguing welcome, offering sweet caramel and this odd, possibly sour cherry or berry aroma, but it doesn't come remotely close to telling on this beer's fascinating profile.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Glarus Brewing Imperial Weizen - Dan Carey's Creation

Mark sent me home with a New Glarus Imperial Weizen. It's a specialty summer beer where they let their Brewer, Dan Carey, lock himself in the brewery and go to town without adult supervision.  Mark reviewed this a year ago (to the day). You can find his review here. The Results of mine, after the break...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Trader Joe's Vintage Ale - Review

Here's an interesting one you weren't expecting for the next review.  The hat tip goes to Shaun for recommending this interesting ale from my favorite grocer, Trader Joe's.  You read that right.  The store known for private labels and Two Buck Chuck also makes a very good private label beer.  It's said that Firestone Walker anonymously brews at least one of TJ's beers, a pale ale.  This one is openly a Unibroue brew, so one can expect this beer to carry that brewery's delicate, artisan touches.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Victory Brewing Dark Intrigue - Review

I took this apartment near Montrose Ave. in Chicago for a number of years.  The neighborhood was so bland it didn't even have a name.  Every other neighborhood in Chicago has a name - some of them, like Wrigleyville, are barely a square mile.  But they still have names.  No one could tell me what the name of this neighborhood was.  I heard everything from Ravenswood, to Uptown, to Andersonville, to Lakeview - even Graceland.  Well, I saw no Elvis sightings, but on my usual route home, walking up Greenview Ave., I always saw this guy in a basement apartment which had a window facing the sidewalk. You could easily look down into the apartment, and at night you'd see the blue light from the t.v. and a pair of men's feet propped up on a raggedy ottoman.  I never saw the guy's face; but every night I saw those same feet.  I always thought, there's one lonely guy.  You couldn't help but be a little intrigued by what this guy's life might be like.  Someday I figured I would walk by and finally see a pair of female feet next to his, cozying up together enjoying the telly.  In other words, this guy's life seemed to be a bit incomplete.  Intriguing but incomplete.  You can see where I'm going with this.  Because I also found this to be incomplete:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Big Hurt - aptly named

I was challenged to review a cheap mass produced beer. So I was handed "The Big Hurt" in the pounder can.
Nose of corn syrup and cheap sake. Points to using corn and rice as the major fermenting solids. I imagine the name comes from how you will feel on the toilet tomorrow morning.

Sweet, watery, and hoppless. This beer has no ingredients I typically associate with beer. I pick up a slight formaldehyde taste and wooly dryness on my tongue.

This feels like its poisoning my body and rapidly sapping minutes from my life. Excuse me, I think I need to use the restroom...

Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter XXIII - Review

Ah, yes.  Will Farrell has some funny outtakes in Anchorman that appear in the closing credits.  In one of them, Ron Burgundy runs through a series of exclamations in his typical style where he references something that makes him appear to be smarter than he is.  "Great Zeus's beard", he exclaims.  I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut Burgundy has no clue who Zeus is, or which culture deified him.  Hell, Burgundy probably has no idea where his last beer came from.   Well, I know where my last great beer came from: Bend, Oregon, by the hand of Deschutes, their Black Butte Porter, XXIII.  It's described on the bottle as being brewed with cocoa nibs, orange, and natural flavors - whatever the hell that is - added to a 25% bourbon barrel mix.  Believe me, it made me exclaim, "Great Zeus's beard." And, "By the word of Holy Moses."

Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown

I like founders malty beers. This one is not worth your time. This reminds me of that fake hazelnut coffee creamer that you put in bad coffee to
Make it taste sweet and drinkable. If you like fake syrup coffee creamer syrup product, you'll like this. If you like beer, you won't.

Dark Horse Crooked Tree - another not Three Floyd's Beer

This is a pine forest fresh IPA. This is a little lighter bodied and a little watery. This lends a little freshness to the pine forest that gives it a more refreshing taste then you typically get from an IPA. Solid and sessionable.

Not a three Floyd's beer

And we had another Maximus. Did I mention I like this beer?

FFF Alpha Claus - the love fest continues.

Okay at this point I'm starting to get tired of complimenting Three Floyd's. You must be getting sick of it as well. But I can't turn down the opportunity to try an Alpha Claus. Their heavily hopped Christmas Porter. This has some lovely layers. Nice warm coffee and raisin in the nose. The Carmel coffee up front leads to a nice bitter pine hop profile that leads to a chocolate finish. Then you sit back and the lingering aftertaste combines all these flavors for you to enjoy and savor. Or saveur depending on how you prefer to pronounce it. Man I finished my glass 5 minutes ago and can still taste it on my tongue.

Three Floyd's Gorch Foch - Helles Lager

Now that we're into Saturday afternoon Mark set up a beer tasting with some buddies to hang and talk beer. Excellent. We've burned through a few excellent offering including Brett's Savor 2012 Sierra Nevada/Boulevard collaboration.

But on to the review. The Gorch is an excellent reminder of how good a fresh Lager can be. Clean straw color, bright white head, and a spicy bready nose. The flavor just knocks you back! It's got a spicy peppery hop start and then a biscuity fresh zing that reels in the peppery and cleans off the pallet. I am refreshed and thirsty for more. This is an amazing session beer!

Mark and Shaun Hangin in Chicago

Man whenever Mark and I get together one thing is certain: there will be mischief and there will be beer. I guess that's two things. As I'm recovering from last night looking forward to a Bloody Mary at the Twisted spoke I reflect on the hijinks from last night. We started at a well curated beer bar called Kaseys. I had a Three Floyd's Apocalypse Cow. A lactose fortified IPA. Like all FFF the hop profile was inspired and it started off with a lovely creamy sweetness to balance. By the end though, the sweetness kept growing and started to unbalance the beer. Good for a few ounces but a little much for a pint. Then we headed to the Twisted Spoke where I had an in characteristically bad service. I received a bad sputtering pour of St Ambrose Nitro Stout, it was, as expected, flavorless. I called the bartender on it and returned it, but not before she tried to convince me that nitro stouts are supposed to taste like that.

So we switched to an amazing wine and barbecue pairing for dinner at Que Syrah. Mark and I were in full swing at this point and lit up the table with our shenanigans. We charmed this lovely couple into joining us at Northdown. We stepped up and and scored an excellent FFF Arctic Panzer Wolf. I enjoyed this one emensly. So much That I need to start using Arctic Panzer in conversation more often.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hoppin' Frog Brewery Hop Heathen - Review

Wow.  Northdown Cafe and Taproom has really scored a rare gem - again.  This time, they have put up the only Hoppin' Frog Brewery beer I've known to have been on tap in Chicago, the Hop Heathen black IPA.  It was cool to see the bar owner, Tom, himself present me with a glass of it, unsolicited.  As with all things Hoppin' Frog, it's quite unusual; the Ohio brewer does nothing conventionally.   After all, they offer an IPA-stout "black and tan" beer, itself sort of a black IPA.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wrap up

Seattle Beerfest delivers every year but this year was sweeter thanks to the crappy June and amazing July.

Yay Summer and Yay Beer!!

#SIB Tilquin Oude Gueuze

Lovely Delicous sour. Lots of lactic and Brett but balanced. It's a pure sour in the sense that there's not wine or liquor barrel aging. Just the beer and the bacteria. Usually I think these are too much and basically horse barn swill but this is well balanced and approachable.

Go pick some up.

Further adventures at Beerfest. #SIB

I went back for another Lagunitas Maximus. It's that good.

Lompoc mystery beer. Where is the taste?

Okay mystery beers are kitschy fun and lure us with the hope of amazballs excitement. But Lompoc either didn't taste this or decided no taste is better tha. Nothing. Really there is nothing here. It looks like beer, smells slightly sweet, but tastes like...nothing.

Breaking my rules St Bernardus Abt 12

Beerfest gets to a point where there is no longer any connection between the brochure and what's actually available. When that happens all bets are off and its time to just wander. St Bernardus 12 is an excellent beer to just take with you and sip as you see what's left. It is exactly what you expect from a Belgian quad. Dark malty and spicy sweet. Great door sipping as you decide what's next.

Deschutes Hop Henge. #SIB

Side by side with laggy Maximus. The nose is wanting. Very little nose and a much more subtle flavor. Pleasing and balanced but not the full force assault I just experienced. This doesn't step up as a double IPA. I think this is more of a summer IPA then a double. Good and refreshing but not challenging. Okay but I prefer the Maximus or mad Viking DIPA.

Lagunitas Maximus #SIB

Lagunitas Maximus. Clear Carmel colored fresh IPA goodness. This is fresh pine forest in a glass. Lovely. And it just screams fresh.

Anderson Valley Sour Stout

Smells like a butcher shop and tastes like vinegar. I have no idea right now how to feel about this beer. It's something new and experimental. It's what I might have hoped for from the Mo Better Brett. This is Mo Betta.

There isn't much stout thickness but there is enough coffee in te back to pull it back from the edge.

I'm in to see more sour stouts. Nice job Anderson Valley!

Mo Betta Brett Lost Abby/New Belgium collab. Or $5 dollars worth ofDisappointment

Okay I've had the New Belgium version and now drinking the lost Abby version. And both are equally forgettable. The only indication of any Brett in this simple wit beer is a slight banana nose. Which I might just as easily chalk up to contamination. It's a expensive wit beer. Skip it.

Seattle beerfest More Mad Viking Double IPA

Time to clear the stout out of the palate. What better to clean off a strong stout than a strong Double IPA.

This is Delicous! Rich floral perfume nose. Carmel colored, amazing floral nose. Did I mention this thing smells great? This hits that great double ipa sweet spot. Nice malty backbone lights up that sweet spot on your tongue, the hops light up the bitter on your tongue. It's so lovely balanced that you could burn through a pint and not burn out your tongue.

I'm officially a Mad Viking fan.

Mad Viking Vintage Cognac IRS

Oooh yeah. Brewer out of Denmark with a cognac aged imperial stout. Inky with a Carmel and coffee nose. Butter chocolate and coffee up front. Sweet cognac burn in the back of your throat. Lights up the bitter sensors in my tongue. This is drinkable yet strong. And I am starting to feel that alcohol warmth wash over me.

Be warned. My spelling and vocabulary are swiftly heading downhill.

Fremont Kentucky Dark Star

Kentucky Bourbon oatmeal stout. Sweet nose. Carmel sweet stout. Bourbon warmth at the finish. Okay now but should age well. Very tasty and drinkable.

Seattle Beerfest live blog 1 Logsdon Saizon Brett

Lemony citrus light sour little Brett. Some nice funk and banana nose. Good citrusy summer beer.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA - Review

I'm headed to the birthday party of a beer-loving buddy and deciding what to bring.  I logged onto our blog here to check out today's traffic stats and I saw a funny tweet in our Twitter widget feed.  It reads: "It's that good: you can have Ruination 10 at a bar next to Jar-Jar Binks and not mind being next to Jar-Jar Binks."   I love it!  Good one, Alemonger.

Indeed, Ruination 10 is a special celebratory incarnation of Stone's much-lauded double IPA.  Here, Stone amps the hops ("five pounds of hops instead of 2.5") and juices the alcohol from 7.7% to 10.8%.  The results are devastating - devastatingly good and devastating to your palate.  Ruinous, perhaps.  This Ruination strikes a slightly softer initial blow due to the added malts, but ultimately slaughters the palate more wickedly than standard Ruination.

Live blogging at SIB on Sunday

I'm going to try some live blogging Sunday at Seattle International Beer Festival. So sign up for my RSS feed and look for the twitter updates if you're interested in a play by play of Shaun getting hammered 4oz at a time.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Boulevard Brewing Saison-Brett

One of the more talked about beers of late has been Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing's Saison-Brett, their saison farmhouse ale brewed with that dangerous wild yeast, Brettanomyces.  This potentially uncontrollable culture, Brett, as it's popularly called, actually plays a prominent role in beer and wine couture.  It has been a longstanding ingredient in various French wines and also beers such as lambics and other varieties.  For American brewers, it's the next level.  Stateside brewers have begun playing with it of late to some stunning effects.  That, of course, assumes they avoid all-out disaster.

Shaun's Picks for Seattle International Beer Fest 2012

Now that summer is officially on in Seattle we have the excellent, Seattle International Beer Festival at Seattle Center this weekend (July 6th-8th). It is always an excellent festival that has a huge variety for everyone. Here are my picks and my advice.

1)Go to get something you can't normally get in the store. Drinking Blue Moon at beerfest is a waste of a beer ticket.

2)Figure out what will be on which days. Not everything will be available each day and things run out. Check the fine print.

3)Start early. It opens at 12 and you can walk right in and hit up the tents. by 4pm there will be lines everywhere. Start early and spend more time drinking and less time standing.

My picks in alphabetical order:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Surly Brewing Abrasive Ale - Review

Easily one of the best beers I've tried this year is Surly Abrasive Ale, their double IPA.  Yeah, I know that the fact of me writing about IPA's is about as new and surprising as Kim Kardashian getting photographed in People or Us with a new, soon-to-be-ex boyfriend.  But when you read my IPA posts, you can tell by my my impassioned writing that I love them, and they're usually what I seek out when I want a beer.  When you want an IPA, nothing else will do.  And Surly Abrasive is an IPA par excellence

Piece Brewery and Pizzeria - The Weight Pale Ale Review

Chicago's Piece Brewery and Pizzeria has long been known for three things:  good pizza, good beer, and impossible waits.  I never go there because you can't get in the door unless you want to start your pizza and beer day at 11 a.m. I think folks camp out there overnight to be first in line.  They may even sell their spots on Craigslist.  So, I rarely get to try the beers of Piece, one of Chicago's earliest and longest-running craft brewers.  Fortunately, Northdown got a rarity, a Piece keg tapped off the pizzeria's premises, as it recently offered The Weight Pale Ale on tap.   It was a must-try.

Nogne-O Imperial IPA - Batch 500 Review

Short and pithy is the new standard for these days' posts, as set by Shaun. In that vein, I'll spare verbosity in my Nogne-O Imperial IPA - Batch 500 review, a beer which I just had on tap at Northdown Cafe.  They served it in a shorty pint glass, an increasingly popular style and one I love.   It left a nice one-and-a-half finger head and had a luminous orange color.  Contained in a medium body, a bit of graininess marks the flavor, and I also detected some pine.

Top Ten Beer Destinations

Hey, beer lovers.  Yahoo! has a rundown of America's top 10 beer destinations.   They're not ranked but here is the list of hot spots for craft brewing that they think are worth your frequent flier miles.   I was a bit surprised at Portland, ME making the list.  I know that Asheville is highly rated but I have yet to try a beer from there.   Milwaukee was an odd choice. I'm not a huge fan of too many brewers from there although Sprecher is pretty solid.  Oddly, the article discusses New Glarus Brewing, which is great, but not in or near Milwaukee.  It's around 60 miles away and closer to Madison.   That's not exactly stumbling distance from your room at the Sheraton-Milwaukee Downtown.   Anyway, enjoy, and debate the list's inclusions, omissions. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cascade Flight IV- Barrel Aged Bruin

This beer has a dark auburn color. It is aged 18 months in new oak for an aggressive oak flavor. Wow, its smoky with a vanilla nose. Did I mention the aggressive new oak? It is slightly tart with a smoky peaty taste that dominates. It is so different from the sour line up and it's so welcome. I has a uniquely citrus/lactic tart, lime, and rhubarb taste at the end. Not so much sour as tart and smoky. Lovely way to end the flight.

Cascade barrel House Tasting III - Sang Noir

One of my all time favorites from cascade. Red ale base blended from part aging in whiskey barrels and part in Pinot noir barrels. Then aged on sour cherries. Strong sour bite, tart cherry and rhubarb pie in the middle and warm slight bourbon at the end. This is one of those special knife edge beers that is big and complex but knows how to maintain it's balance.if you have the opportunity get a bottle or a glass. Drink it now. It will get better but it's excellent now so only wait if you can.

Visiting cascade barrel house II- Figaro

This is a limited release blend on tap that weighs in at 9.5%. Golden with a thin ring of a head and sparkling carbonation. They're having fun with this one. Chardonnay barrels, figs, and lemon peel.

Tart, sweet, and lactic tang. A stronger sour and Jen likes it too. Dangerously drinkable. Which is where I like to live!

Visiting The Cascade Barrel House - 2011 The Vine

Jen and I are taking our baby girl on an Oregon road trip for the 4th of July weekend and our first stop is Portland. So we are taking the opportunity to stop by Cascade Brewing's Barrel House. Their sours are legendary and they are, in my mind, one of the top 2 brewers in Portland. The first in my sour flight was the 2011 "The Vine." a sour blonde aged 12 months in oak and then aged on white grapes. It's a really nice sessionable sour. The grape flavors come through along with a champagne like effervecent. It's a great refreshing summery sour that you can drink now or lay down. It comes out once per year and it's a great way to enjoy summer!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout At Map Room

Ultimately, the tables were turned.  I had a week-long debate with a buddy of mine, J, about the quality of Kentucky Breakfast Stout, easily one of my 5 favorite beers on the planet.  He has a fantastic palate for beer; and for all things, really - wine, cigars, food, you name it.   Having tried KBS from a bottle and once on tap, he had branded it a lesser ale, claiming it as not even in Founders top 5 offerings.   Them's fighting words to me. I'll sit there and take it if someone says they hate beer.  Even dissing my precious IPA's won't stir me.  But when a known beer lover who's a die hard stout and barleywine fan starts ripping KBS as an also-ran, it's on.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Firestone Walker Walker's Reserve Porter

Let's talk about fire.  That is, let's discuss a brewery on fire, namely Firestone Walker Brewing.  Few brewers nail it as often as Firestone Walker up and down their lineup of offerings.  Name them.  Double Jack, Union Jack, Parabola, and the Anniversary Ale are all winners.  I'm sure Abacus is great too.  Tack on Walker's Reserve Porter, a beer that I finally tried last week at Sheffield's.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

Favorite New Seattle Beer Spots

Mark's post (and my lack of posting) has inspired me to jot down a few of the newest craft beer bars in Seattle I think are worth checking out.

1)The Pinebox. This is my favorite new spot on Capitol Hill! They have 30 taps of craft beer, excellent wood fired pizza and olives, and always have something fun running through a Randall. They're in the old Chapel location on Pine and Melrose. It's a much warmer and brighter place then it was when it was Chapel. It's an excellent atmosphere with great bartenders and you're guaranteed to have someone interested in beer sitting next to you for instant conversation. The best part is they have a mobile site with a live feed of what's on tap. So I can instantly look and see if there's something special I must have.

2) The Wurst Place. Clever name aside this is a brand new craft beer and brat place that has great potential on Westlake next to Guitar Center. The have 3 things: Beer, Brats, Fries. They have a nice broad selection on tap and some secret stashes of bottles (*cough*HOD Bourbon Fred*cough*). They have interesting and unique brat combos (Spicy Bison, Jalapeno Elk) and great fries. It's a quite place right now but will, no doubt, gain popularity and give Brave Horse a run for their money.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Avery DuganA Imperial IPA

    Chicago Craft Beer Week 2012 has treated me quite well as I've gotten to try some stunning offerings from local and out-of-town brewers. There have been quite a few high points, and I hope to touch upon some of them in this blog in the coming days.  Surely, one of the week's highlights was having Avery DuganA IPA on tap at The Norse Bar in Edgewater.  Norse, a quiet tap room behind a modest storefront in the 6300 block on Clark Street, has become one of Chicago's hidden craft brew gems.  They consistently offer terrific beers on tap, often pour unusual ones, and maintain clean lines.  Naturally, when I found out that Norse was hosting Avery Week featuring the top tier Boulder, Colorado brewer, I knew that my CBW travels would take me to the outer reaches of Edgewater at least once.  I'm a huge Avery fan and find their beer roster to range from good and solid to breathtaking.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Green Flash West Coast IPA

With both Shaun and I lacking in the posting area this year, it behooves me to start firing off some posts.   I usually only write about a beer when there's an event surrounding it or if it really catches my attention, in a good or bad way.   I went to the Twisted Spoke not too long ago and had a Green Flash West Coast IPA.  I needed a reminder of the goodness that is San Diego brewing and that's this beer. The locals out there love it.  They're proud of it. I can see why.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Full Sail Top Sail-Return of the Great Imperial Bourbon Porter

The first time this beer came out I absolutely fell in love with it and found my favorite Porter. I unwittingly only bought a few bottles thinking I could get more next year. Little did I know this beer alternates with Full Sail's Black Gold Imperial Stout and only comes out once every 2 years!

Well it's 2012 and it's back. So I bought a case and a few to drink now. This is a beer that can lay down and improve with age but I'll let you know how it is now.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stone Sublimely Self Righteous - The Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of Beer

Round here we call them Cascadian Darks but hybrid IPAs are all the rage right now. Black/white/red you name it and people are hopping it up to 11. Stone's Aptly named Sublimely self righteous is what you'd expect. And that's a very good thing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lagunitas Brewing to Open Chicago Brewery

That's right.  Lagunitas is coming to Chicago.  This story is big news as it helps Chicago establish itself as one of the true craft beer meccas in the U.S.  Story after the jump. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Arcadia Brewing Company B-Craft Black Hits The Market

My contact at Arcadia Brewing, Tim Surprise, was nice enough to send me an update on their upcoming release, the B-Craft Black, a black double IPA.   I've hardly had any black IPA's that I don't like - my favorites so far have been Stone Sublimely, Grand Teton Trout Hop, Stone Escondidian - and I have no doubt Arcadia will deliver the goods with this one.  They've proven their hop chops already with the deliciously piney Hopmouth double IPA.  I'm excited to see what they'll do with this and can't wait to pick it up. 

Anyway, read the official release notes after the jump. 

Finch's Beer Company Threadless IPA - Review

Everybody I've talked to hates this brewery.  And I don't get it.  I hear people diss Finch's Golden Wing and their Cut Throat Pale Ale.  Yet, when people are blindly handed these beers with no attribution to the brewer, their reactions have been positive.  "That's pretty good!"  Finch's should hire me as a secret shopper, or rather a secret beer handler who hands random people a Finch's ale, "try this."  In a hurry they'd double their market share.   Finch's is a new Chicago outfit, popping up in the last couple of years.  Their beers come in cans.  They are also on a few taps.   I'd rate their roster of fermentations as aggressively hoppy and imbalanced; but everything I've had has been on the tasty side and a good one-off.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Founders All Day IPA

Pathetic.  That's how I would describe the last month of posting for me.  And please resist the temptation to fight me on this one.  All scorn for my silence is deserved, as our loyal readers (all 12 of you - thanks, dad) have continually visited us despite my inept posting efforts.  At least Shaun's pulling his weight a bit, and in grand style, weighing in a couple of times on Pliny the Younger.  In posting terms, that counts for double.  It's almost metaphoric to have the near-mythical Pliny, with its celebrated day-a-year release, as our last beer of of record for March.  In many people's opinion Pliny is the final word on beer.  Since I can't provide a post that trumps a beer of such immense stature and cult-like worship, I'll resume things in small fashion, with a beer for the common man, the non-aficionado, the everyday drinker:  Founders All Day IPA.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pliny the Younger - The Review

 Alright So now that I've come down off my soap box about the whole PTY event thingy, I'll get back to the important part. How good is Pliny the Younger really?

Well to my palate it's damn good and worth the short wait in line. Just not worth getting disappointed over. As you can see in the picture it's a looker and does all the things right to your senses.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half - Review

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half is styled as the "better half" of Old Curmudgeon, their Old Ale. The marriage occurred when Old Curmudgeon took nuptials with a bourbon barrel and they honeymooned in Kentucky whiskey.  Released in February, I knew two things about this beer as the release date approached.  First, it was going to be a difficult acquisition.  It's part of Founders Backstage Series of barrel aged beers, a lineup that includes the heralded CBS and Blushing Monk.  Backed by the Founders brand there's sure to be a feeding frenzy every time.  Second, the beer was going to be rich, supple, and at least a bit sweet.  Whatever the effects of the bourbon, it was certainly not going to strip away the caramel and dried fruit goodness of the base beer, the husband, if you will, Old Curmudgeon himself.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pliny The Younger - Be Jealous or It's Not Just About Beer

Well we PACNW folks are truly blessed. Not only do we get an amazing array of beers distributed up here. But the beers in that array are truly amazing. Worthy of special events. In this case Russian River's Fabled Pliny the Younger was in town over the last few weeks. I was fortunate enough to wander 8 blocks from my house and get myself a pint. It was not as easy a feet for some as it should be. More on that after the break

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Full Sail Top Sail is Back!

Just swung by my favorite local beer spot and found my favorite bourbon barrel aged porter is back! Full Sail's Top Sail is back in stock. It's a bit pricier than it was two years ago but it's still worth it. Pick up a couple bottles. One to drink now and one to keep. I'll probably pick up a case. I'll report back with a review soon!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Flying Dog Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter

Whiskey can do wonders for beer.  When you take an outstanding beer, such as Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter, and hand it too a great brewer, which would be Flying Dog, and barrel age it in oak whiskey barrels, you get the excellence that is this beer.  I was impressed with the value of it.  At $7 for a 12 oz. bottle, that's a bargain, considering some of the other barrel aged prices out there.  And you can probably actually find this beer somewhere.

Jester King Craft Brewery Black Metal Review

A recent addition to the family of stouts I have consumed is Jester King Craft Brewery's Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout.  If that's a lot for one to say, just know that you are dealing with a beer that is itself a handful.  First of all, you've gotta love the bottle. It's black with heavy metal-type Gothic lettering, as if this is the dark occult-favored beer at sacrifices, as the endless 12-string guitar solos blast away around the towering pyre in the night.  A cartoon drawing of a black haired man draped in chains who's a cross between Ozzie and Kiss with serpentine eyes is showcased on the bottle.  This dude does not look happy.  Perhaps he hasn't had his share of this beer, which is one that would brighten even the angriest metal rocker's disposition.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Shaun Pops an '09 Hair of The Dog Doggie Claws - Why HOD is Awesome

Well it's the cold dark winter Doldrums out here in Seattle. The sun is starting to stay up longer but spring is a long way away and the grey is starting to weigh on your soul. It's perfect weather for something strong, hearty and special to bring you out of the funk while sitting in front of your full spectrum light. I rummaged through my stash and found a 2009 Doggie Claws Barley-wine from Hair of the Dog. Perfect!

Pliny the Younger is in Town

Most of you in the know already know Russian River's Triple IPA, Pliny The Younger, has been floating around Seattle the past few weeks. It's being served up at your favorite beer bar so go out and talk to your bartender and find out when they're tapping it. It is worth getting a glass of. I know where I'll be...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine's Day Double IPA Event at Jerry's Sandwiches

As I post here, Jerry's Sandwiches, an unusual Chicago spot located in Wicker Park, is having a Valentine's Day - or, perhaps, Valentine's Night - event called Double IPA's for Single People.  More information is included behind the link to Chicago Foodies, but Jerry's is letting it all hang out, imperial IPA-style, with some absolute gems on tap.  Most of the top IPA's you can get in Chicago will be featured.  Actually being single is optional for admittance.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale: Is It Really You?

It was November 2008.  We were at the Village Tap in Roscoe Village watching the Bears blow coverages to ex-Bear receivers and get pummeled by the Vikings.  Easing our pain was my buddy's having purchased a pitcher of Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale.  For the first and only time, I was trying Laggie Red on tap, never having previously seen it on a Chicago tap.  Somebody pinch me.  We were getting it on tap via pitcher.  I believe that to be a pitcher of 8% beer.  Shaun would say, "Are you kidding me!!!"

But if I had only known at the time that this would be my last ever Laggie Red.  In the prior years Red had become a given.  Bottles of it were a Chicago summer tradition easily taken for granted.  Lush Wine and Spirits routinely stocked it cold.  Then, just like that it disappeared into the ether. That is, until now.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Half Acre Brewing Night at Northdown Cafe and Taproom - January 31st

Always an inviting spot for a beer event, Norhtdown Cafe and Taproom is having Half Acre Brewery Night Tuesday, January 31st, at 6:00pm.

Half Acre is helping lead the local Chicago brewing charge.  Their beers are loaded with personality, and even if they have yet to mind-erase me with an outright stunner, almost all of their beers are memorable with distinct and unforgettable tastes and aromas.  As they keep pushing the boundaries it's only a matter of time before they stumble upon greatness. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Three Floyds Cimmerian Sabertooth Berzerker

Why that name, I have no clue.  That's Three Floyds for you.  And thanks to Northdown Cafe, which continues to deliver the freshest selection of unusual, unique, rare, and interesting craft brews in town, I got to try some "CSB", a pub-only imperial IPA from Three Floyds.  Northdown tapped their small barrel of this last night which I'm sure will be gone in a few hours.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ale Asylum Ballistic IPA Review

I got some new glassware from Victory in the mail recently and thought I'd use it to try out the latest IPA to cross my path, Madison, WI's, Ballistic IPA.  I've never heard of Ale Asylum but the word on the street is that they're putting a lot of product in Madison tap rooms these days.  Ballistic has been reviewed at Beer Advocate over 60 times, and that is since 2009. It's been out there for a while.   I received a sixer of it from a friend of mine and used my new Victory Hop Devil English style pint for evaluating it.  I love the way the top of the glass sharply curves out.  It has the coolest Hop Devil logo on it with the word "Victory" in gold block lettering.  The Hopdevil himself is pictured, and the word "Hopdevil" appears in red.  This glass is going to present many a beer nicely for me.  Anyway, on with the review.

Alpha Beer Event at Local 22

The latest beer event in my uber-exciting life was last week when I attended the Alpha Beer VII event at Local 22 Bar on Hubbard Street.  Yes, that’s 22 E. Hubbard.  Cool name.  Chicago website has put on a series of these beer tastings designed to educate someone not terribly familiar with microbrews about the styles and flavors of craft beer.   For the event they assembled 26 beers organized alphabetically by either the brewery's or beer's name.   They deserve a hat tip for filling the Q and X slots.  Chef Jill Houk, noted as a home brewer, was the master of ceremonies and broadcasted information about each round of beers.   Here are my thoughts about the event, organized by the beers I tried, ranked worst to first:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Firestone Walker Double Jack Review

"Just about a year ago, I set out on the road", starts the Credence Clearwater Revival song, "Lodi", a song about a musician lamenting a small town one-night gig that quickly traps him in a "Groundhog Day" nightmare.  In that vein, it was just about a year ago that I wrote a less than flattering post about Firestone Walker's Double Jack Imperial IPA, which I had sampled at the Map Room. It left me greatly underwhelmed. Fast forward to January 2012 and times have changed, or perhaps tastes.  I now lament that misguided post.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brooklyn Brewing Sorachi Ace Review

Summer has its dog days, but I don't know what you call winter's worst.  It's been brutal here lately with strong winds, bone crushing cold, and a snowstorm last Friday that came upon us so quickly it paralyzed traffic for hours. It took me two hours to get home 9 miles on Friday.  It was a good thing the weekend came around on time to erase some of the blahs.  Brooklyn Sorachi Ace pitched in as well.  This bottle, a 750 ML, was a Christmas or birthday gift (I'm never sure anymore) from a pal here who's crazy about all things Brooklyn Brewing.  He once sent me a photo he took of Garrett Oliver.  Well, he loves Sorachi Ace and I can see why.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Founders Brewing Double Trouble Review

I was watching this McDonald's commercial the other day.  They love to make ads with the following theme.  A really wussy acting guy is too scared to match wits with his girlfriend or some love interest.  Said wuss-boy pumps himself up with inner dialogue by reminding himself that he's really smart because he bought items off of Mickey D's Dollar Menu (ignoring the fact that McDonald's isn't even food and is shaving off his life years in thicker swaths than an illegal West Virginia stip mining outfit).  Anyway, that's the theme.  The particular ad I saw had this guy trying to impress a French girl with, perhaps, his knowledge of art - I didn't hear the artist's name that was stated.  After wreaking his brain with inner dialogue he spits out that the artist has a certain je ne sais quoi.  Of course, this invited more trouble for him in the form of his French tart inquiring whether he spoke French.  Fat chance. 

As for myself, while irked for the aforestated reasons, I siezed upon je ne sais quoi.  It means an X factor.  An undefinable, perhaps indescribable intangible factor. What else has it?   What brewery has it? What beer?  Why, Founders, of course, has it.  Their Double Trouble Imperial IPA embodies it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This Saturday 1-21-12 Uber's Remodel party - You should go

If you are a beer fan in Seattle you know Uber is one of the best places to have an amazing beer. They are going under the Knife on Sunday Jan 21st for a remodel and are having a blowout party on Saturday to celebrate and clean out the closet. You should go...

Details from their website:

Avery Muscat d’ Amour and Récolte Sauvage Barrel-Aged Wild Ales debut in February |

New News on Avery brought to us by the folks at! Wild ale aged in Cabernet barrels. Yum!

Avery Muscat d’ Amour and Récolte Sauvage Barrel-Aged Wild Ales debut in February |

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lincoln Square Beer Festival January 28th

Here's a treat for beer fans in Chicago.  It's a beer fest.  In two weeks, Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood is having a beer fest featuring beers from several local breweries.  All of the information about it is included in the link after the jump below.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Local Option Dampf Loc Review

It was time to go slumming with the commoners.  California common ales, that is.  And let me add that California commons are hardly low class.  Over at Chicago Foodies, I give Local Option pub's Dampf Loc the once over twice (you'll know what I mean if you are an X fan) and express my lament that there are not nearly enough other beers like it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thank You, Lagunitas

Welcome to 2012 folks, a very late welcome on our part.  I've been massively under the weather hence the paucity of posting.  We appreciate your visits to the site and your re-posting and re-tweeting of our Shakespearean posts here.  Okay, so we're not making anyone forget Macbeth here but we are truly grateful for your readership which is climbing to new and startling heights each month, shattering our expectations.

And we're not afraid to admit when we get it wrong, either.  Earlier we printed a "fact" from a source that Lagunitas Brewing was discontinuing its Brown Shugga in favor of the Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale.  We received a clarifying response from Lagunitas itself; you may have seen it in the comments section of the above-linked post.  If not, here it is: