Friday, April 23, 2010

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

Actually, it's more like "Coming up this weekend, in a brewery close, close to home..." Anyway, I just wanted to post a little "what I'm looking forward to this weekend" note... and for you CT locals, perhaps this will be a heads up for any of you beer geeks out there that haven't heard.

This weekend I'm planning on taking a little trip to the New England Brewing Company in Woodbridge, CT. (You mean, there's a brewery in Woodbridge??) I know, I asked myself the same thing. Several months ago, I learned of a beer growing in popularity that was just on the brink of breaking into BeerAdvocate's Top 100. And if the name alone, didn't reel you in, the label and taste certainly would. I admit, I bought it because of the name, but also because it came highly recommended. So I used the force and picked up a bottle for New Years Eve and shared it with my friends.

NEB's Imperial Stout Trooper... fantastic. (And currently resides as #94 on BeerAdvocate's Top 100).

Fast-forward to the present... this weekend they are releasing the highly anticipated Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Trooper. Unfortunately, since it's growth in popularity, George Lucas did not take kindly to his Storm Trooper on the label. Apparently, they can continue to brew the beer, they just can't use the same label. Then there's talk of if NEB will be allowed to keep the name... I don't know. I'll find out more this weekend I'm sure. But for those brave few that are coming to Woodbridge this weekend... here are the details from NEB's site:

Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Trooper Release: This Saturday- April 24th. 700 bottles (500ml) 2 bottle limit per person @ $15 each. Tickets will be handed out at 9am first come first served. Your ticket will guarantee you 2 bottles to purchase at noon. Any leftover bottles will be for sale after all ticket holders have their bottles.

I don't think I'll be in line at 9am... but maybe around 11am or so. We'll see.


So after looking into the details of this weekend's release, I start hearing more and more about this Double IPA that will also be available:

My friend Bill over at Southington Wine and Spirits simply cannot keep this on the shelf its going so quickly. So this weekend, I not only hope to pick up a bottle or two of the Stout Trooper.. but also hope to snag a growler of this Gandhi-Bot Double IPA. BA's ratings have people consistently giving this brew an A+. Sounds like something I need to look into...

So whatever you're drinking this weekend... be safe, have fun, enjoy. For all you UConners, enjoy your Spring Weekend, too!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

So you think you know beer?

Brewing Company: Stone Brewing Co.
Style: Black IPA
Size: 22 fl oz.
ABV: 8.7%
IBU: 90

I love beer. I do... and when the time comes, I definitely hope to join the ranks of my fellow homebrewers so I can begin tasting the fruits of my labor. But expenses being what they are, and the space of my apartment being the on smaller side, I can't exactly set up shop yet. So in the meantime... I continue to research and appreciate.

Which brings me to yet another Stone Brew offering... the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.

I consider myself somewhat educated when it comes to beer, but I also know that I will never ever stop learning about new creations and infinite brewtastic combinations. Just the other day, I blogged about Stone and BrewDog collaborating on a Golden Stout. Crazy.

BeerAdvocate categorized this beer as a "Strong American Ale". Yes... I agree. But what does that mean really. Strong (High ABV), American (Origin), Ale (Middle of the road beer... not bitter, not hoppy, not light, not dark). BA gives this as their description:

Catch all style category for beers from 7.0 percent alcohol by volume and above. Some may even be as high as 25% abv. Characteristics will greatly vary; some have similarities to Barley-wines and Old Ales. Barrel aging is certainly not out of the question.

With the amount of combinations, you could really create several more categories within the Strong American Ale heading. I'd like to nominate a NEW category, particularly for said offering; Black IPA. When you pour this beer, it appears to be a light black or dark brown with light tan head. From sight alone your taste buds are setting up for a heavy beer - dark associates with porters, stouts, etc... But, all the things you've learned about "dark" beers will turn your mind 180 degrees. The smells from this beer have very little hints of the chocolate, coffee, and caramel. But the domination is clear once you get a noseful of grapefruit/citrus aromas, piney hops (Chinook?), and some floral.

Hellllllllllo IPA.

One of my favorite descriptions on BeerAdvocate is someone referring to the taste of this beer as a "malty fist fight". Awesome. The tastes of this beer follow that of your nose with strong citrus and piney hops. Also apparent are the creamy malts. But what's unique about this beer is that while it starts with the hoppiness that you expect from an IPA, it finishes with just the right delicate chocolate/coffee bitterness. There is also a nice carbonation factor happening here. Overall, it has a nice dryness in the end too.

A beer that pours a dark brown, smells of citrus, tastes of hoppy goodness, and finishes with light chocolate/coffee... Moral of the story, don't judge a beer by its color.

Final Grade: A-

Monday, April 12, 2010

An Itch that CAN be scratched

Flying Dog Old Scratch
Amber Lager, 5.5% ABV
Brewed in Frederick, MD

First off, check out the label above. I know -- we’ve had this discussion I am a sucker for marketing.

Ok, now I have to let you in on what’s written on it:
“Some itches can’t be scratched. Like your fantasy involving latex and flavored lotions. So it’s best to concentrate on the ones you can scratch. Like your itch for this Amber Lager, with a malty, mellow flavor. As for your other fantasies, you’ll probably need to find a chat room for those.” = Hilarious.

The label also boasts a quote from Hunter S. Thompson, “Good people drink good beer” -- cheers to that! You can always judge a person by the beer they drink, OR if they don’t drink beer at all.

This beer is tasty. It’s fizzy, crisp, a little sweet and very drinkable -- definitely hitting the spot on this 50 degree night. This brew is not heavy at all, but it’s warming me up enough to take the chill out of the air.
It reminds me of a Magic Hat #9 without the apricot flavors hitting the back of my tongue. says that these suds are fermented at medium temperatures to develop both ale and lager characteristics. Old Scratch is also an award-winning ale. It’s a 2008 Silver Medal Winner - World Beer Cup (American-Style Amber Lager Category) AND a 2008 Silver Medal Winner - Great American Beer Festival (Amber Lager Category)

I am also a huge fan eating around your beverage. I like to figure out what I am drinking before I decide “What’s for dinner.” I enjoyed tonight’s Old Scratch with roast beef, and did right by the suggested pairings which are; roasted meats, hearty breads, spicy food and Cajun food.

Check out more ways to eat drink and be merry at

What are some of your fav beer/dinner pairings? Do tell.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Stone & BrewDog Collaboration?? This Ain't No April Fools.

Admittedly so, I appear to be on a bit of a BrewDog kick as of late. (After all of this attention, I better start "researching" this Scottish Export.)

As work took a bit of a slow turn today, I noticed a new "twitt" or "tweet" that grabbed my curiosity. See, lately I've been a big supporter of the Stone Brewery. Beer geeks out West have enjoyed the Stone offerings for years and years (since they are located in San Diego) but most recently, they've finally made their way to the East Coast.

(I must have done something good.)

If you are a beer drinking (and if you are reading this I take it you are), and HAVEN'T tried something from the Stone Brewery, please put that at the top of your list the next time you hit the packy. A little on the expensive side, I recommend going for one of their bombers first (although not many come in 6 pks anyway). Start off with the Arrogant Bastard... and work your way up to their Double Bastard. You can tell, beer drinkers make this beer. Not corporate suits.

And might I add, I love the ideas the Stone continues to come up with. The head brewer over there, Greg is big on collaborations. And this one just seems like another great idea. Introducing the LUCIFERIN GOLDEN IMPERIAL STOUT!!!

(Did he say, Golden... Stout??)

Take a look at the video below... these guys crack me up. Since it is limited, I expect a hefty price tag on it. But sounds like it could be fantastic.

Happy Thursday, everyone!!

Brewdog / Stone Luciferin Golden Imperial Stout from stonebrew on Vimeo.