- I have a beer tasting at the Hastings Coborn's Liquor tomorrow from 12 - 3:30pm. I hope to see you there!
- I'm still working on editing my video interview with the 612Brew crew. It's taking longer than I thought, but I will try to get it posted soon.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Fall is coming quick. How can I tell? Maybe it's all the tasty Octoberfest and pumpkin beers that I keep getting emails about and seeing on liquor store shelves...
I'm getting ready for my favorite Minnesota season, and so should you. We can use some autumn brews to enhance our enjoyment of watching football, outdoor activities in the cool weather, and observing the leaves changing color.
A couple tidbits for you:
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
As many of you already know, I am a big supporter of canned craft beer. Compared to bottles, aluminum cans are easier to recycle, weigh less (which means less shipping costs), and are allowed more places (rivers, campgrounds, swimming pools, etc). To top it all off, cans are actually better than bottles at keeping beer fresh and tasty! All this makes me even more excited that Tallgrass Brewing has started distribution to our state.
Tallgrass is located in Manhattan, Kansas and started brewing in August of 2007. The interesting thing to me is that they actually started off with bottles. After doing some research on the benefits of canned beer, they converted. Three of their beers are available in Minnesota right now:
- Buffalo Sweat - good name for a stout
- Tallgrass IPA - pretty self explanatory
- Oasis - according to their site, they call this one a "Double ESB/IPAish" beer
The beers are sold in 4-packs of pint cans, similar to Surly. So far, I have been able to try the Buffalo Sweat and Oasis and I really enjoyed them!
In Minnesota, we already have access to some awesome canned craft beer from Surly and 21st Amendment, along with a few others. However, it's always nice to see another canned craft beer on the liquor store shelves. Give Tallgrass a try sometime. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Monday, August 23, 2010
I just returned from a nice weeklong vacation and I'm ready for another tasting. This Saturday, August 28th from 12:00 - 3:30pm, I will be pouring samples of 6 tasty brews:
- Abita Purple Haze - An American style wheat beer with raspberry puree
- Anchor Steam - Possibly the most well known California Common style brew
- Great Lakes Eliot Ness Amber Lager - A 10 time World Beer Championships medal winner
- John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale - A bourbon oak aged American strong ale
- Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA - A pleasantly floral, spicy, and strong IPA
- Summit Unchained Series Batch 04 - A Belgian style golden ale brewed with candi sugar
Friday, August 13, 2010
Summer may be winding down, but it's still here. The recent extremely hot and humid weather helped me to decide which beer to use for this session: Schell's Hefeweizen.
This beer is one of Schell's 2 summer seasonals. It is a traditional Bavarian-style hefeweizen made with 60% wheat malt, 40% barley malt, and an authentic German wheat beer yeast strain. In years past, it has taken home 2 medals from the Great American Beer Festival: a silver and a gold.
I pour the 12 ounce bottle into my weizen glass. The transfer generates a nice 2 finger white head which gradually fades into a light, thin layer. The body is golden-yellow in color and cloudy with yeast.
Fruity aromas greet my nose right away. Honey, banana, and cloves combine with just a bit of a sour scent. The smells are not quite as strong as some German imports, but are more powerful than many American hefes.
The taste of bready malt mixes with a pleasant banana character and brings to mind fresh baked banana bread. There is also a touch of lemony tartness present that keeps it from getting too sweet. A polite bitterness visits at the finish to help round out the flavor.
The medium-light viscosity of the liquid allows it to go down my throat smooth and clean. A light carbonation tickles my tongue without becoming prickly or sharp. There is no lacing present as I drink.
This is a great American example of a well known German style. It is clean and easy drinking with wonderful fruity qualities that help to make it quite refreshing. Next time you are feeling miserable in the heat, think about giving this brew a try. It will definitely help to refresh you without getting you too buzzed due to its 4.4% ABV. This a well made summer session beer.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Last night I had quite the beer related evening. It started right after work and didn't end until I got home at midnight. While it indeed kept me busy, it sure was a lot of fun.
I started off by heading over to Great Waters right after work for dinner and a beer. For my meal, I ordered their Rueben sandwich. I will definitely say that if you like sauerkraut, you should try this sandwich! It was different than the Ruebens that most restaurants serve, and it was quite good. My beer of choice? I tried their new 3:10 Summer Ale. According to the Great Waters website, this beer is brewed with basswood honey, white wheat, malted oats, barley and chamomile. Wow! I really, really liked this beer. I'd give you details, but I was too busy enjoying it to care about taking notes. Definitely give it a try before it's gone.
After Great Waters, I made a trip over to The Four Firkins. I had been meaning to get over there for a month and a half, maybe even longer. Oh well, at least I finally got to make a visit last night. I shopped around for awhile (it always takes me a long time when I have a lot of beer options) and ended up leaving with a few beers that I'm pretty excited to try: New Holland Beerhive Tripel, Red Hook Big Ballard Imperial IPA, and Jopen Koyt.
From The Four Firkins I drove over to a 2 stall garage located in an alley behind a duplex in Uptown Minneapolis. This garage was the reason I decided to leave straight from work in the first place. (I didn't need to be there until 8:30, so I used my time wisely to visit the previous 2 beer zones.) My reason for visiting a garage? It is the brewhouse for 612Brew, one of Minnesota's newest brewing companies.
I went there to do a video interview with 4 of the partners in the company: Robert, Joe, Emily, and Ryan. My cameraman and I were there for quite a while chatting with them, even after the interview was done. These people are fun to visit with and are very friendly and open about their business intentions. They were also kind enough to share 2 of their beers with us: an IPA and Six, their pale ale. I won't go into too much detail about the beer right now, but I will say that they were both very tasty. I'm excited to have gotten the opportunity to meet with them, and the interview will be available for Lupulin Libations followers to watch within the next couple weeks.
It was a great beer night.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I just got an email from Flat Earth Brewing about some of their tasty beers being released in the coming weeks. I wanted to share it with you, because it's important Minnesota beer stuff!
From the email:
I personally would really like to get my hands on some Extra Medium, but last time they had it the growlers were gone fast! I'm also pretty excited about the release of Northwest Passage and Bermuda Triangle in bottles. I look forward to picking some up at the local liquor store.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I was recently able to sample the Odell Woodcut No. 4. I was unprepared for an official session, but this beer was so tasty I had to at least mention it here on the Lupulin Libations blog.
Woodcut No. 4 is an oak-aged lager. More specifically, it is a double marzen style lager aged in "hand-selected, hand coopered, medium toast, American virgin oak barrels." The description on the bottle was enough to get my mouth watering.
It poured with a large amount of thick head, and I couldn't believe how red the body was. The aromas of the beer somewhat confused me, as I almost likened it to a Belgian sour. There was some sort of tart fruit scent in the nose. When I tasted it, there was no definitely no confusion. Rich, caramelly malt, bourbony oak, and vanilla were all present. The texture and mouthfeel was viscous, creamy and velvety - reminding me of drinking a milkshake.
This brew was an awesome experience, and I highly recommend you try it. Be warned though: you might not want to drink the 750ml bottle yourself, because it is a heavyweight 11% ABV. Try sharing it with a good friend. That's how I was fortunate enough to get a taste.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I just recently received an email from Brau Brothers. They are almost ready to brew this year's fresh hop ale. What will it be called? Hundred Yard Dash.
Some of you may be asking, "What's a fresh hop ale?" Well, most hops used in beer have been dried, which preserves them for a much longer period of time than if left "wet". This results in less hop spoilage for brewers. A fresh hop ale (a.k.a. wet hop ale) uses hop cones picked directly from the bine and added immediately to the boil without drying. It has to be done quickly to preserve the "fresh" hop flavors and aromas.
The Brau brewery grows hops on their own estate (along with some 2-row barley) and use them to make this once-a-year ale. "Hundred Yard Dash" is not just a clever name. Apparently, the hop bines are that distance from the brew kettle. They pick the hops as they're brewing and run them to the kettle.
What's really great is that Brau Brothers will actually brew enough this year to bottle and distribute it. They figure they should be able to bottle under 2000 cases. There's a chance it will sell fast, but at least more people will get a chance to try it this year because of the bottles. I know I'll be looking for it in the local liquor stores!
Check out the Hundred Yard Dash profile provided by Brau Brothers:
Thursday, August 5, 2010
For this Saturday's tasting, I will be pouring the beers from Schell's sampler 12-pack instead of the Sam Adams summer sampler. The distributor ran out of the Sam Adams, so this works as a last minute replacement and we'll be supporting a local brewery.
Here are the beers I'll be pouring:
- Schell's Dark
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Apparently, the Samuel Adams Summer Sampler is no longer available from Coborn's distributor. This is unfortunate because I was going to pour all of those beers for the tasting coming up this Saturday the 7th.
Don't worry, though. The beer tasting will still happen. With it being just 3 days away, I just have to find some suitable replacement brews for all of you to sample. I'll post an update when I know what new varieties will be used.
Sorry to any Sam fans, I'll try to set up another tasting with those beers eventually.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
After searching through multiple liquor stores in the southeast area of the metro for a week and a half, I did it. That's right, I've finally managed to get my hands on some of Summit's Unchained Series Batch 04.
I had been calling stores to see when they would receive it, which they were happy to tell me. However, when I showed up to make a purchase on the expected days, the distributors had not delivered. In fact, most places in this area did not receive the beer until almost a week after they were first expecting it.
My anticipation was getting the better of me, so I told myself to chill out and patiently wait for this 4th brew in the Unchained Series. Patience is a wonderful thing, because soon after I was rewarded with a notification that some Batch 04 was available nearby.
Enough about the wait; let's talk about the beer. Unchained Series Batch 04 is a Belgian-style golden ale brewed with pilsen malt, candi sugar, and Belgian ale yeast. All that adds up to a beer that is nice and strong at 8.6% ABV.
I pour the 12 ounce bottle into my goblet. A 1-finger white head is easily generated before quickly fading into a thin, patchy island of foam and a ring around the glass. The body is clear and golden with visible carbonation floating towards the surface.
The sweet smells of brown sugar and honey are immediately noticeable. There is also a bit of herbal spice aroma along with the moderate scent of alcohol.
Caramel and sweet bread are the first flavors I detect. Then comes a slight fruitiness and just a touch of earthy spice from the hops. Towards the end is a brief metallic tang before some gentle bitterness and a dry finish.
This brew has a medium mouthfeel with some light carbonation. The alcohol is quite warming and even tingles my tongue a little.
Another winner from the Summit Unchained Series, this beer is a tasty and enjoyable golden ale. It starts sweet then turns spicy and dry, which helps to balance it out. It is highly drinkable, but be careful. The high ABV could sneak up on you very easily, and I know you probably don't want to fall out of your chair. If you like Belgian ales, this one won't disappoint. Go out and give it a try. Don't worry, you shouldn't have to wait to get it!