Thursday, September 29, 2011

Great Divide Brewing Company Belgian Style Yeti Imperial Stout

Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Company
Location: Denver, CO
Name: Belgian Style Yeti
Style: Imperial Stout

Aroma: A nutty yeast like aroma from the special strain of yeast that is used.

Taste: A strong coffee maltiness slams your palate & drives you to sniff more & take your time sipping this beauty of a unique Belgian style Imperial Stout. Smokey undertones present themselves as the tasting continues and the beer warms up.  Overall, a deliciously unqiue beer & one that should be sought out.

Color: A dark chestnut brown.

Thickness: A medium to full body mouthful with excellent carbonation. Close to an inch of  a tan, creamy head lingers leaving lacing along the glass.

ABV: 9.5%

Mom Factoid: Given that today marks the beginning of the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, I thought it was fun & appropriate to review a beer from Denver.  In spirit, by drinking a beer from Denver, I'm transported out there, with everyone participating in the incredible three-day GABF events.  Of note, in 1982, when Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association first sponsored the GABF, there were only 24 breweries with 47 beers to sample.  Whereas, the 2011 GABF features 466 breweries and 2400 beers.  Talk about providing concrete evidence that the craft beer movement in the US is growing!  Maybe, someday, I'll fly out to Denver and blog from the GABF, but until then, it's fun to hear about it from afar.  Looking forward to learning which beers take home medals this year & crossing my fingers that a few from New England will be winners! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Maine Beer Week

Maine Beer Week has been announced for November 10-17th.
As more information becomes available, I will post updates on the blog, Facebook & Twitter.
Can't wait to support local craft brewers in conjunction with local restaurants.  Should be a fantastic week.
Make your reservations, early!  Cheers :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Guest Post from: Twilight Brewing

My good friends at "Twilight Brewing" (aka home brewers)  in Binghamton, NY have been kind enough to provide us with some tasting notes from their night at the Brew In The Zoo event that occurred last evening at Ross Park Zoo, in my hometown of Binghamton, NY.  Though they aren't new to home brewing, they are new to sharing their tasting notes & are a bit nervous to have them 'published' on the blog.  I assured them that their information was great, informative, witty and helpful to all craft beer drinkers.
Without further discussion here is their recap after tasting a plethora of beer out of, as they noted, blue plastic mugs while listening to Journey & Chicago over loud speakers:

Name:  Nova Scotia Pale AleOrigin: Not positive but am going out on a limb here and will dare say Novia Scotia?

Style: Pale Ale

Aroma: A lovely caramel scent....not very hoppy at all.

Thickness: Very light

Taste: For those who don't prefer the bitter side, you may enjoy this light pale ale. Caramel bursts abound... very nice on an Autumn afternoon. Personally, I think a package of Whoppers malt bars would go nice with this- but maybe that was just my stomach talking! Would sample it again- one thumbs up. 

Name: Leffe Blonde
Origin: Belgium

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Aroma: Smells like a medicine cabinet!

ABV: 6.6 %

Color: Not sure- taste disoriented all my senses.

Taste: If you like the scent and taste of bandaids, this may be the right beer for you. Perhaps, I just don't have a sophisticated enough palette but I could not stomach this.... However, if you can get past the taste you probably will be feeling no pain for the rest of the night...Overall, I'd say leave the Leffe at home.....

Name: GooseIsland 312
Origin: Chicago

Style: Wheat Ale

Aroma: A bit of citrus

Color: Honey Wheat

Taste: Delightful. A very refreshing light wheat ale... with a fruity flavor that is not overpowering. It added a bit of a spring to my step....would definitely sample this again- I'm thinking in the Spring.

**For more information on Twilight Brewing, click below to check out my past review of their special Kentucky Derby brews that I reviewed here back in May.

Twilight Brewing Review

Mom Factoid:  If in the Binghamton area, you can pick up Goose Island brews at Wegmans, as I did when I was visiting my parents back in August.  Also, regarding Goose Island, my younger brother, Cedric, interned in Chicago over the summer for the WNBA Chicago Sky.  He became a HUGE fan of the 312 & being the great younger brother that he is, brought me back a special six-pack of the Goose Island Harvest that I quickly enjoyed! From the below picture, you can imagine why!  Cheers :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Warriors

Lots going on this weekend to share on the blog:

First on the list, the Switchback Brewing Company came to Portland's Brian Boru's on Friday & the husband, along with his fun co-workers, spoke to Bill Cherry the President & Brewmaster.  After a lengthy chat, which included sharing a few brews, the husband came home with a pint glass for me & Bill's business card.  He tells me that I'm invited to Burlington to tour Switchback & meet with the brewmaster to interview him for a piece on the blog.  Super excited that we might take a 'beercation' to Burlington this Fall & super psyched that my husband is doing PR for my blog--what a win/win!

Next up, yesterday, Saturday, September 17, 2011, was International Zwanze Day & Portland's Novares Res Bier Cafe was one of only 21 places in the ENTIRE WORLD to have a barrel of Cantillon's Zwanze 2011.  If you're like me, you have NO idea what Zwanze is or what type of beer it would be considered.  Please click the following link, to understand more about Zwanze Day: International Zwanze Day.  From what I've learned, based on that site, Zwanze is a collaboration of lambic beer & other ingredients. Lambic beer is a type of beer produced through, "spontaneous fermentation, its characteristics will by definition vary from one batch to another. On top of this, the types of barrels, fruits and hops used during production can sometimes cause the beer to mature in new and unexpected ways."
Ok, enough beer geekiness for you, the bottom line is that by the time the husband & I arrived at Novares Res to celebrate Zwanze Day, the barrel of the 2011 was gone but I was still able to try the Zwanze (2010) Blanche de Quenast & Classic Gueuze both from the Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, Belgium. I have never had lambic or sour beers before and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed them.
Here's a few pictures from yesterday's Zwanze Day in Portland at Novares Res:

Following the Zwanze event, the husband & I grabbed a bite to eat at The Grill Room in Portland.  Delicious food & tasty local Allagash Black brew was consumed.
Last but not least, this weekend, I had the cool honor of writing a guest post for the blog Mug of Saint Arnold. My review focused on the Maine Beer Company's amber ale called Zoe. 

Click Zoe to read the review over on Mug of Saint Arnold.

Cheers to a great weekend!  Settling in for a snooze with the little duo on this Sunday afternoon, what about you?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest Post: Tequesta Hop Scotch Ale

Excited to share the blog with a fellow beer blogger, Chalie Beatty, from Florida. 
He writes his own beer blog, the Mug Of Saint Arnold, which you should check out the link at:  Mug Of Saint Arnold & he's on Twitter @MugOfStArnold
The neat thing about having a guest post is that I'm going to do one on his blog too.  One that focuses on a Maine craft beer; now just to pick one, taste it & review it....soon, I promise!  Fortunately, Chalie is more organized and got his done for me.  Based on what I've read & others he's posted over on his blog, it's time to vacation in Florida this Winter, for the sun & the brews!  Enjoy & thanks, Chalie :)
Here's his take on Tequesta Hop Scotch Ale & the craft beer scene in Florida:

Florida has been known as a craft beer waste land, but that is rapidly changing. New local breweries seem to be popping up all over the place. One of these breweries is Tequesta Brewing Company. Initially their beers were being small batch brewed in a local restaurant. Quickly the beers grew such a following that brew master Matt Webster opened his own brewery and you can now find his taps throughout south Florida. Recently Webster released his first bottled beer, Hop Scotch. This ale was inspired by golf legend Alexander Findlay who built golf courses in Florida by blending Scottish golfing elements with the tropical paradise of south Florida. Hop Scotch is a Wee Heavy Scotch ale brewed with Amarillo and Citra hops to bring some tropical flavors to the traditionally malty beer.

  • Tequesta Brewing Company, Tequesta, FL
  • Hop Scotch Ale Wee Heavy with 9.5% ABV
  • Limited Release
  • Serving Type: 12 oz bottle
  • Served in a Snifter
Appearance- Clear mahogany body with high carbonation; short lived thin head
Aroma- Very tropical; notes of pineapple, oranges, orange zest
Taste- Notes of sweet toffee, caramel that evolve to the tropical hop flavors of fresh orange and pineapple
Mouth Feel- Medium body, smooth consistency
Overall Impression- Tequesta traditionally brews high quality beers that really complement the style. As a beer geek, I have been hoping to get a beer from Tequesta that really pushes my concept of a style and showcases some brewing creativity; Hop Scotch was that beer! I found the beer intriguing and unique. I really liked this beer and it has become my new favorite from Tequesta.  I am so happy to have gotten to taste it and hope the beer returns soon.
Beer Score- 4.33/5.0    A-

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday's Feature by Seacoast Beverage Lab

As I was on route, to Fort Williams Park, with the little duo, earlier this morning, I received word from a fellow New England craft beer blogger that he was going to be posting an article on the community of New England craft beer bloggers.  He was curious if it would be cool for him to include me in his article!  Talk about making my Friday & for that matter my weekend!  It's a wonderful feeling to have encouragement & support in any endeavor you take on in life & to have the blog receive recognition is a fantastic shot of adrenaline in my tired arms!  Cheers to the other wonderful New England craft beer bloggers mentioned in the article! (Click here to read Brian's article):

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Troegs Hopback Amber Ale

Brewery: Troegs Craft Brewing Company, Harrisburg, PA

Style: Amber Ale

Taste: The perfect balance of malty & caramel sweetness coupled with hoppy floral tones. Very tasty!

Color: As the name indicates, "amber" is the dominant color seen.  Although, look at your pint long enough and hints of copper, like an abundance of pennies, seem to float by too!

Thickness: Light to medium body. Nicely carbonated.

ABV: 6% making it easily drinkable.

Mom Factoid:  The Troegs Brewing Company, from Pennsylvania, is one I've heard of but I can't recall trying their beers before this summer.  So, when I was in my hometown of Binghamton, NY, last month, visiting relatives, I purchased a variety summer pack at Wegmans. This, Amber Hopback Ale, considered their signature brew, was my favorite, out of the group of:  pale ale, sunshine pils and a wheat beer from the variety pack.  
When Wegmans (which has closed due to today's flood) reopens its doors in Johnson City, my Binghamton buddies, should go find the Troegs Amber Ale & toast to surviving another record flood.  My heart breaks for those being evacuated and affected by the rising water in Broome County.  As of noon, today, CNN was reporting that 20,000 people were ordered to evacuate & this is prior to the rivers cresting.  Sending positive thoughts & sunshine your way.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Geary's Pale Ale

Brewery: D.L. Geary in Portland, Maine
Style: Pale Ale (Considered their flagship beer)
Taste: Mixture of mild malt with a slight bitterness in the dry finish.  Overall,  a pleasing combination for your taste buds. Lacks a strong aroma but don't let that fact mislead you in selecting this brew.  It is a top notch pale ale.
Color: Amber & caramel  hues glisten in the glass.
Thickness: Mild body with a less than quarter inch white head on the pour. Balanced carbonation.
Mom Factoid:  Given that September is when school  starts up, I decided to go 'old school' with this selection of a Maine craft beer.  D.L. Geary's has a rich & long history when it comes to microbrewing in Portland, Maine and it claims to be the FIRST microbrewery on the East Coast.  For a more detailed description of their past, check out this link:
Also, in anticipation of things to come in their future, they announced, today, via Twitter & Facebook, that a new Third Silver series draught, Hudson Red, will be available next week!  Cheers to what they've brewed in the past & to what they will brew in the future!