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This is my personal drinking blog: don't take it too seriously.

Previous Posts

Furthermore: Furthermore
Festival of Hops
Winterfest highlights
A fridge full of New Belgium
Darkness and the last Porterfest
Barry's B-day at the Pig
Happy Hour at the Blue Door Pub
In which sweetness is a weakness
Flat Earth Porterfest: Xanadu

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Winterfest highlights
Sunday, February 8, 2009   12:34 PM

I went to Winterfest with Jess this weekend. It was fun, but not quite as good as last year: there were less people I knew and the venue was more cramped. The glasses were way cooler though. Little mini-goblets.

The beers... I think the beers were better this year, though part of that may just be my palate changing. I actually didn't like Fitger's last time I had their stuff, but this year they were one of my favorite brewers. I tried about 30 beers; here are the ones that stood out:

  • Schell's U Bier, an uncarbonated, unfiltered pilsner. Reminded me of sitting around drinking kölsch in Germany.

  • Cold Spring's Moonlight Ale, a 50/50 blend of porter and bock that really worked.

  • Cold Spring's Honey Almond Weiss, an unfiltered honey wheat beer with almonds. Not mind-blowing or anything, but it had a cleanliness I liked.

  • Fitger's El Diablo, my favorite of the three Belgian golden ales they had. We recommended this to an older couple that liked lighter beers, and they thanked Jess later for the tip.

  • Fitger's Procrastinator Doppelbock, which was... delicious. Love the style, loved the execution.

  • Fitger's Framboise, the sour result of a 5-year wild lambic project.

  • Great Waters' King Boreas Imperial Witbeer, a 8.25% ABV witbier.

  • Lift Bridge's Imperial Stout, for which my only note here is "good." I'm a Darkness guy, but I liked this better than all the non-Surly stouts on offer.

  • Lift Bridge's Belgian Biscotti, which I foisted upon Jess immediately. I told her I'd double her vote if she picked something delicious, so this is what we both voted for.

  • Rock Bottom's Tripel Framboise, which was fruity and drinkable. Good, but not sour like you might expect from the name.

  • Surly's Three was good, 50% honey, 50% German Dark Munich malt. That was a nice surprise, since I didn't like Two when I tried it last year. I had this late in the night though, so ideally I'd like to taste it again on draft, unrationed.

  • Surly's Darkness is still good, still exactly what I'm looking for in an Imperial Stout. This was my original vote before I changed to match Jess.

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Ben and Nora's Going-Away
Tuesday, August 5, 2008   9:27 PM

Went to the Happy Gnome tonight for a final happy hour with Nora and Ben; plenty of other people showed up to see them off as well. I started off with a Golden Cap from New Holland.

I'm not sure, but this could have been the spelt Saison we had at the Four Firkins. If it was, then I liked it more, it was decent, but I couldn't identify any of the flavors (maybe honey?) and I'm not sure that I'll have it again. There are plenty of Saison beers that I like more.

It turned out that they were out of the second beer I tried to order, so I panicked and got the Schell's Bavarian Forest Dampfbier, from their 150th Anniversary Series. I should have known better, as I don't think I've ever really liked anything from Schell's: the beer tasted like caramel and little else. (Standard caveats about my stuffed-up nose apply.)

In any case, this will quite likely be my only exposure to the Dampfbier style.

I pondered over the menu for a while tonight, but I think I may have tried everything at the Gnome that I'm interested in. For my last beer I went with a Surly Cynic. It was delicious as always, and bold enough (especially for a Saison) to stand out even as the last act.

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O'Gara's and one last Hookah
Sunday, August 3, 2008   11:21 AM

Met up with Ben and his former roommate Matt for drinks yesterday at O'Gara's, a run-of-the-mill Irish bar near Ben's apartment.

Ambitious Brew has a very sympathetic take on American-style lager — which is refreshing after hearing so many beer snobs bash the various macrobrews — so I was in the mood for Premium.

Back at Ben's the three of us split a bottle of Ommegang Hennepin, a delicious Saison. After finishing my glass all-too-quickly, I opened up my last bottle of malty Kerberos. It's a fantastic beer to nurse in the wee hours, and the fruity hookah smoke added some interesting character.

This beer, maybe the entire Tripel style, is definitely something you want to end the night with: I felt like an old man savoring a glass of scotch.

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