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.)
Barry's B-day at the Pig
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Went to the Muddy Pig yesterday with Jess, Nick's brother Matt, Nick, Cari, Markie, and Barry's friend Eric for Barry's actual b-day.
It was a fun time, although I have to say that there wasn't much in the way of conversational overlap when it was just Nick, Jess, and Our Bold Hero there: either Nick needs to become a bigger hippie or Jess needs to get into videogames.
I started off with a Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing, which until just now I thought was a barleywine. Apparently it's a "wheatwine." Here's the style description from Beer Advocate:
A somewhat recent and over-looked American strong ale, the Wheatwine (or Wheat Wine) is akin to a Barleywine in strength, but contains a large portion of wheat malt; upwards of 50%. The wheat provides a soft and fluffy mouthfeel. Color and bitterness varies.
That's about right. I really liked it; the beer was sweet but not cloying, and as you'd expect from the name and the recipe, it had a nice wheaty character to it. I like barleywine and apparently I like wheatwine as well.
My next beer was the Brown Shugga from Beer School–favorite Lagunitas Brewing. This is an American Strong Ale (9.9% ABV — I remember being amused by the almost-10 percentage) and despite the name it wasn't too sweet for me. Again, I liked it.
For whatever reason I had a Summit Great Northern Porter before we left the bar: I've really got to stop wasting money on that third beer.
I think that I can have smoky beers now if they're paired with the right food, and the casked version of this was a favorite of mine at last year's Winterfest, but this isn't something I particularly enjoy on its own.
Barry and I stopped at the liquor store on the way to his place (I had no idea that they closed at 8 Monday through Thursday in St. Paul: we made it with seconds to spare) and he bought some Stella for everyone to drink while we watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at his place. Ah Stella.
Ben and Nora's Going-Away
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
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.