Festival of Hops
Sunday, January 24, 2010
One unfortunate side effect of being cash-poor but house-rich is that I haven't been able to try different craft beers as often as I'd like: expensive hobby. But I did pretty good budget-wise this month, so yesterday I called up Markie and Matt and we went to the Festival of Hops at the Muddy Pig. Lots of hoppy beers at $8 for 3 5 oz tasters.
I had three flights and sampled the more interesting stuff that Markie and Matt ordered. Here's what stood out:
Flying Dog Snake Dog — I didn't like their Doggie Style APA, but I can usually count on Flying Dog, and this IPA was really good. Where some other IPA's are content to hit you over the head with hops, this beer had all sorts of fun stuff going on.
Furthermore Knot Stock, a peppery American Pale that I'd love to try alongside some venison or my brother's famous prime rib. Probably not sessionable but much better than the overwhelmingly peppery Rosee D'hibiscus that I had in Canada.
La Trappe Isid'or. Nice of the Pig to have a Belgian Pale in the mix. I'm a sucker for this sort of thing, but luckily not everyone is. I traded my Rogue Yellow Snow (decent but not exciting) for Matt's taster of this.
21st Amendment Back in Black. Markie had this, according to Beer Advocate it's an IPA (and I'm sure they're right) but yesterday afternoon it tasted like an unusually smoky black lager.
Boulder Mojo. I had a taster of Bell's Hopslam to start, and I'm not sure any beer I had topped that, but this was a nice IPA in the same general taste area. If it's cheaper than Hopslam (and how could it not be) I'll probably give it another go.
New Holland Existential. I don't think I could finish a bottle of this Imperial-ish IPA, but this is one of those beers (like Rauchbier) that everyone should try just because it's so weird. It took us a bit to figure this out, but the overwhelming impression we had was of butterscotch and I didn't even know a beer could do that.
(Note to self, avoid these beers: Rogue Mogul and Founders Cerise. I think I've ordered both of these beers before too, and both times I could barely finish them. Bah.)
Flat Earth Porterfest: Xanadu
Friday, November 14, 2008
Yesterday after work Barry and I drove over to the Flat Earth Brewery for growlers. It's Porterfest for the next two months, and this Thursday's special was the Xanadu Porter, Cygnus X-1 infused with orange.
The bouquet on this beer is amazing: I wasn't expecting so much orange and it totally knocked my socks off. I haven't had more than a tasting glass yet, but my initial impression was that the front is very good, the middle is a little weird, and there's a bit of that roasty/smoky porter back that I don't particularly like.
Announced Porterfest beers so far:
11/20 - Red Barchetta - Cherry infused Porter 11/26 - The Trees - Hazelnut infused Porter 12/23 - Snow Dog Porter - Peppermint infused Porter
Barry and I talked about going back every Thursday to try these. It may be a thing.
We tried a few other beers. The Belgian-Style Pale Ale is still too bready for me (I want to say that it was too "brett" but I'm still not 100% sure what that means) and the Rode Haring, their Flanders Red Ale, was delicious but a little too dry at the end for my taste. That may be the style; I've never had a Flanders Red Ale before and they sound complicated.
They poured some Black Helicopter and while I'm not sure I could drink too much of it, I was shocked by how much I liked it: I've tried this once before and absolutely hated it, and Oatmeal Stout has been on my list of no-go styles for a while now. Nor do I really like coffee-flavored beers.
I think the difference this time was #1. It's winter and I'm in the mood for darker, roastier beers (this one actually has caffeine: hilarious!), #2. It had the mouthfeel I was missing from the other beers and, #3. I've been into beer pairings recently and couldn't stop thinking how good this would be with a nice chocolate dessert.
(Incidentally I have no idea what to pair with an orange-infused porter. Some sort of smoky cheese? Pheasant?)
Barry wanted to get the Curly Tail, but they sold their last growler while we were standing there. I'd been warned to get our growlers first and not dawdle, and now there'll be no Curly Tail until April. We both got a growler of Xanadu.
I'm looking forward to next week: they have a Winter Warlock Barleywine that I don't think I've ever tried, and 'tis the season. Plus now that we've bought our first growlers we can get in on the savings.
The Gnome and Raspberry Tart
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Let's review two different methods of not getting too drunk:
Stopping after two beers at happy hour: smart Overeating at the company picnic: not smart
I was stuffed, and so while I enjoyed the conversation with Jess (and eventually Barb and Markie and Shelley) at the Happy Gnome yesterday, I was in no condition to enjoy more than the first half pint of my beloved Fatty Boombalatty, and I had to nurse the Surly Cynic I ordered afterward.
Barb really likes the Tyranena Scurvy. It takes all kinds, I suppose...
At Barry's I excitedly poured everyone a half-glass of New Glarus Raspberry Tart. It was good, maybe very good, but personally I didn't think it lived up to the rather extreme hype it got from Beer School. I'd like to try it again at some point, as a first beer rather than a end-of-the-night affair on a full stomach, and I'm excited that there's a good, relatively inexpensive domestic framboise... but I'm not a Raspberry Tart apostle just yet.
(I also got to try a bit of Barry's Flat Earth Convention Ale. It might be a bit too smoky for me.)
There are some localish breweries around here, namely in Atlanta and other large Florida cities, but nothing in Tallahassee. Although one of the bars here has 85 cent tap beers every night, so who am I to complain?
Friends of Jess, anonymous
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Met up with some potential Operation Jess roadtrippers tonight at Sweeney's. I had two glasses of their "beer of the moment," Fatty Boombalatty from Furthermore Beer. It's a Belgian Pale that tastes like orange juice, with hops and alcohol. Yes!
Markie's boyfriend Matt is a bit of a beer snob as I recall, so I offered to pick him up some New Glarus Raspberry Tart when I go to Wisconsin next weekend. In turn, he recommended that I get some Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale if I ever go to Canada, because that beer is very hard to find this side of the border.
At home I needed a beer to eat pizza and watch Be Kind Rewind (it's a comedy), so I cracked open a bottle from my dwindling supply of Big Sky Trout Slayer Ale. There's probably a reason why I'm running out that so fast, when I have plenty of Lakemaid and Summer Honey left. It's good.