Beer # 81 He’Brew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah (13)


He'Brew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah (13)

Name: He’Brew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah (13)

Style:  American Strong Ale

Brewery: Shmaltz Brewing Company (He’Brew) website

Country: USA

Region:  San Francisco, California

ABV: 13.00% Abv

How served: 22 oz bomber poured into a Bon Beer Voyage glass.  Both the glass and the beer are courtesy a very good friend of mine “The Bock Babe” & “Bill Boli”  (seen in background)

The Bock Babe

 My Overall Opinion: Amazing. 

I paired this beer with: A rich and thick fish stew.  The pairing was only OK, as this beer would have much better been paired with a rich chocolate desert or by itself and a nice after dinner sipper.

Tasted on:  Thursday February 25, 2010. 

Note:  This is a limited release beer & was only brewed once.   I believe that this beer should age very well under the right conditions.  So if you can store this beer properly and if you happen to still see some on the shelves of your local beer store, but a few and put it away for next year, or even the year after, you will not be disappointed, as I feel that this beer has not reached its “flavor” peak yet .   There were 13 malts and 13 hops used in making this beer, but the malt hits you much harder than the hops.   

 On the Label: On April 24, 1982, I chanted, gave a speech about Leprosy, got my first Walkman, 3 pen sets, and 2 swiss army knives. The band was called Hot Borscht.  As with all Bar and Bat Mitzvahs kids, my parents recited a blessing thanking God for finally being relieved of punishment for their child’s sins.  Lucky 13 all around. At high Holidays, Jews recite 13 Attributes of Mercy revealed to Moses at Sinai.  13 million Jews inhabit the globe.  Maimonides wrote the dogmatic 13 principles of Faith, and died 13th of Dec. 1204.  The mystical Zohar emerged in 13th c. Spain, ascribed to a 2nd century Rabbi, who studied Torah in a cave with his son for 13 years.  The Jewish calendar follows 13 lunar cycles. Apollo 13 failed to reach the moon after an explosion on April 13 (1970).  July 4th falls 13 days after the summer solstice.  13 Colonies.  The 13th Amendment abolished slavery.  Barach Obama represented the 13th district in the IL State Senate.  In 1957 Sandy Koufax made 13 stats, struck out 13 in his first complete game, and pitched the final Dodger strike before they left Brooklyn.  13 attended the Last Supper.  13 bagels make a Baker’s Dozen, began for fear of punishment under a 13th c. English law regulating the price of brad and beer.  Genesis 13:13 tells of the wicked men of Sodom. Genghis Khan conquered the world in the 13th century.  Black Sabbath released its debut album on Friday Feb 13th (1970).  Recording Rain Dogs.  Tom Waits told guitarist Marc Ribot “Play it like a midget’s bar mitzvah” Happy 13, Shmaltzers.  Together we rise and holler, “L’Chaim!”   Jeremy Cowan, proprietor

From their website: The oldest archaeological artifact to mention “Israel” is dated from 13th century BCE Egypt. The eve of Purim (the only official Jewish drinking holiday) falls on the 13th of Adar (Hebrew calendar). Famed scholar Rambam (Moses Maimonides) died on December 13 (1204). While preparing for his bar mitzvah, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg sold Christmas wreaths door to door to raise money for Boy Scout camp. On the Simpsons, in 2003, Krusty the Klown, prodigal son of Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, is moved to celebrate an adult bar mitzvah after discovering he cannot get a star on the Jewish Walk of Fame without it. “Part of the bar mitzvah is that you become a man supposedly at 13 years old. And as I was a man, I decided never to go to a synagogue again” -Jack Black. I growled and I roared and my rabbi did as well / it was a rocking werewolf zoo at Temple Beth-Emmanuel / Werewolf bar mitzvah / Spooky scary / Werewolf bar mitzvah / Kooky hairy / Boys becoming men / Men becoming wolves -30Rock. Seth Rogen (born the week before my bar mitzvah) made his stand-up comedy debut at age 13: “A good Bar Mitzvah joke is a good Bar Mitzvah joke regardless of your age and sexual orientation.” Harpo Marx once broke his stage silence when a fire broke out in a theatre in Detroit. “I didn’t know what to say, so I just delivered the speech I made at my bar mitzvah. It quieted the audience until the fire was put out.” In the early 90’s, Paul Rudd worked as a DJ and MC at bar mitzvahs. In his first acting role out of college, he was duped into delivering a fundamentalist Christian moral to the story. “My Bar Mitzvah was perfect. It was in my basement… For the invitation, I drew pictures of the band KISS and things that I loved from the Torah. We all need rites of passage.” -Jeremy Piven. Ben Stiller played drums at his own bar mitzvah. “We covered ‘Hey, Jude,'” he recalled. “My father panicked thinking our lead singer was belting out ‘Hey, Jew!’ to a roomful of Holocaust survivors.” Fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia. About 9% of Americans believe that Friday the 13th is jinxed, according to a 1990 Gallup poll, running behind a black cat crossing your path, which worries 14%. To mock the fear of Friday the 13th, Civil War vet Capt. Wm. Fowler formed the 13 Club, first meeting on Friday Sept 13th (1881) at 8:13 p.m. 13 people dined in room 13, entering under a ladder and seated among piles of spilled salt. Future members included 5 US Presidents. Wilt Chamberlain wore #13 his whole career and was selected to 13 All Star games. Basketball originally had 13 rules. Every pineapple contains 13 counterclockwise spirals. California produces 13% of the US’s GDP. About 13% of New York state residents claim no religious affiliation. Fidel Castro was born on Friday the 13th (August 1926). In the late 13th c., Venetian Marco Polo became one of the first Europeans to travel the Silk Road to China. Eyeglasses were invented in Italy in the 13th c. At age 58, believe it or not, Robert Ripley died while taping the 13th episode of his tv series which explored death and death rituals.

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Beer # 80 Southern Tier Hoppe

Southern Tier Hoppe

Name: Hoppe

Style:  Imperial Extra Pale Ale

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company website

Country: USA

Region:  Lakewood, New York

ABV: 8.0% Abv

How served: 22 oz bomber poured into a Hennepin glass.       

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with: 3rd beer of the night & used to erase the remaining taste of the Chapeau Winter Gueuze I had earlier tonight off my palate.   

Tasted on:  Monday February 22, 2010. 

Note:  What a great drinking beer, could this be a session beer?  No way it’s 8% abv so be careful.   I say find it & buy it, and you’ll like it.

 I feel better now, the taste of the Chapeau Winter Gueuze is finally gone.  It took 2 beers to do it, but it is gone!!

On the Label: Besides what is listed below “from their website”.  An Ale of Simple Composition. Don’t be deceived by the innocence of Hoppe.  Please enjoy in moderation. 

Alc: 8% by Vol.

19° plato

4.0° L

2-row pale malt, malted white wheat

Kettle hops:  Columbus

Aroma hops: Amarillo

Dry hop; Amarillo , Columbus

Store in a cool place

Serve chilled in a fluted glass

Best at 42° F ( 5.5° C)

From their website: hoppe Imperial Extra Pale Ale:

an ale of simple composition The simplicity of Hoppe tests the skill and ability of the brewer to create something truly majestic. We craft this much like a sculptor who uses only a hammer and chisel to shape stone into a masterpiece. Hoppe is spawned of these few essentials: barley, wheat, hops, yeast and water. This limited palette is an exercise in minimalism, with refined elements which are deliberately selected. This simple combination creates a golden shimmering brew infused with delicate aromas. The artful nature of this beer is exposed with the first taste. As the malt and hops create a composition of flavors, an elegant finish leaves an impression that your tastes will not soon forget.
8.3% abv. • 8.5ºL • Imperial Extra Pale Ale • 22 oz / 1/2 keg / 1/6 keg / (pronounced ‘hop’)

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Beer # 79 St. Bernardus Tripel


St. Bernardus Tripel

Name: St. Bernardus Tripel

Style:  Tripel

Brewery: Brouwerij St. Bernard  website

Country: Belgium

Region:  Watou

ABV: 8.0% Abv

How served: 330ml capped bottle poured into St. Bernardus chalice.       

My Overall Opinion: Amazing. 

I paired this beer with: 2nd beer of the night & used to erase some of the Chapeau Winter Gueuze off my palate.   

Tasted on:  Monday February 22, 2010. 

Note: This is one of my favorite Triples, & I rated this beer for the style.  If you like the Tripel style and haven’t tried this one yet, what are you waiting for?

BTW this did not cleanse my palate from the Chapeau Winter Gueuze, maybe I need something hoppy.  Ok then I’ll try something hoppy next.

From their website: This beer, with high fermentation, has a pale amber colour and a flowery, fruity taste with a harmonious balance between sweet and sour (8% alcohol content).
This beer has a thick and vivid froth and strikes by its balanced taste with a delicate bitterness.

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Beer # 78 Chapeau Winter Gueuze

Chapeau Winter Gueuze

Name: Chapeau Winter Gueuze

Style:  Gueuze

Brewery: Brouwerij De Troch  website

Country: Belgium

Region:  Wambeek

ABV: 5.6% Abv

How served: 12.7 oz capped & corked bottle poured into an Alexander Rodenbach glass.       

My Overall Opinion: OK.

I paired this beer with: Lemon Pepper chicken.    

Tasted on:  Monday February 22, 2010.

Note:  As a Gueuze fanatic I was really looking forward to trying this beer.  I also haven’t had any beer from De Troch to date, so I was curious to taste one of their beers.   The presentation of a capped and corked bottle got me thinking of Fantôme, so my expectation was raised a bit.  The aroma was good with a hint of cherries. Then a huge let down on the taste.  This was a bit too sweet for my taste.  It didn’t have a bad taste & it didn’t have an over powering cherry flavor, it just tastes as if it was sweetened with fruit syrup.  Now I do not know if fruit syrup was actually added to this Gueuze, it just tasted like artificial flavor to me.

 I need to go have a different beer now to get his taste off my palate.  Maybe a nice crisp St Bernardus Tripel will do the trick.

 From their website: Visit the bucolic countryside around Brussels and discover Wambeek and the Brewery De Troch, which produce the “CHAPEAU” fruit beers. A 19th century land-use plan of the area mentions a brewery owned by a certain Petronnella De Troch. Even older records indicate that her father, Pieter De Troch, was running a brewery on the same site in the late 18th century. Petronnella married Egidius De Troch and in 1898 their son Louis took the family business over. Louis Married J. De Neve, and their son, also Louis, inherited the brewery and farm in 1936. The same Louis married M.L. Van den Moortel. Their nephew Jos Raes and his wife M. Vanderhasselt took on the family tradition in 1974 and have been running this rare craft brewery ever since. In 2002, their son Pauwel Raes jointed his parents into the family business.

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Beer Travels in Belgium Part 4 (Gent)

This is the 4th installment of our Beery Adventures in Belgium.  We visited Bruges, Gent, Mechelen, Antwerp & Brussels over 7 days, meeting with vendors for our beer travel company,  During our whirlwind week, we were able to visit over 50 beer related places and tasted over 50 different beers.

With Bruges behind us, we are now going to focus on Gent.  During our 2 nights and 1 day in Gent we visited 9 bars, discovered a new brewery and tasted 13 different beers.

De Dulle Griet at night

De Dulle Griet bar


Our 1st visit was to De Dulle Griet (50 Vrijdagmarkt).   De Dulle Griet is a cool, quirky bar which you will find on the square called Friday Market (Vrijdagmarkt in Dutch).   The bar is named after a very famous medieval supergun from Gent.  You can see this large red canon on display just outside the Friday Market on the canal front.  Dulle Griet has over 250 beers to choose from,  including their famous “The Max” which is Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels poured into a Kwak Yard Glass.

Ceiling Shoe Basket in De Dulle Griet

 As you may know, these glasses are not cheap, so in order to deter sticky fingered visitors from making them into souvenirs, patrons ordering “The Max” must take off one of their shoes as collateral.  The shoes is then put into a basket and hoisted to the ceiling by a pulley system.  When the glass is returned, so is the shoe! This bar can get crowded, so as a courtesy to your fellow imbibers, if you plan to have a Kwak, wear your odor eaters, please! 

Malheur 12 at De Dulle Griet

Ruth starts off her night with a Rochefort 10

After searching the packed pub both upstairs and down and not finding a seat in the house, Ruth & I were fortunate enough to be invited by another couple, on a holiday from Holland, to share the next available table.   I started my night off with a Malheur 12, which is a Quadruple and 12% abv from Brouwerij De Landtsheer NV .  Ruth started with a  Rochefort 10, also a Quadruple at 11.3% abv from  Brasserie de Rochefort (Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy).   After we finished our Quadruples, we said goodbye to our new Dutch friends and left to check out one more pub before heading off to dinner.

Den Trollekelder

As we walked to Café Den Trollekelder (17 Bij Sint-Jacobs) we heard what sounded like a jazz band practicing nearby.  So as I went to check out Den Trollekelder, Ruth went to track down where the great music was coming from. 

Den Trollekelder's troll window

Den Trollekelder's troll window

The 1st thing I saw upon approaching Den Trollekelder were all the trolls in the window.  The 2nd thing I noticed was the beer list hanging in the window, at a quick glance it appeared they had about 150 beers.  Great list, now to find a seat.  As I entered I noticed how empty the place looked.   I walked through the 2 levels and the only person I saw was the bartender.   I thought this was strange, given the fact of how crowded Dulle Griet had been and how good the beer menu looked.    I headed back out the door to find Ruth who hadn’t appeared in this troll den yet.


I saw her standing next door in front of Trefpunt (18 Bij Sint-Jacobs) talking to an elder man with a small plaid shopping cart.   The stranger my wife was chatting it up with was Coen, a local artist and poet.   He apparently carries all his poetry in that shopping cart.  He confirmed that the jazz band we heard would be playing shortly in Trefpunt, which is a music and theater café.   We went in & found a couple of seats at the bar near the stage.    They have a small beer list of 6 beers on tap and 18 bottled.  We both managed to find a something to our liking.

Mike & Ruth toast with an Orval & Rochefort 8 in Trefpunt

Ruth stayed with Rochefort and this time ordered a Rochefort 8, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, 9.2% abv from  Brasserie de Rochefort. I matched her Trappist with an Orval, a Belgian Pale Ale.  It is 6.90% abv and brewed by Brasserie d’Orval S.A.  

Coen and Ruth got into a conversation about everything from the French Poetry to Bob Dylan. This was followed by her attempt at interpreting his Flemish reading of one of his poems, (the Rocheforts obviously somehow endowed her with translating superpowers).  By the time the band started to play we were starving so after the first set we headed out in search of dinner.  

Aba Jour

Board welcoming you into Aba Jour











We went to the beer enthusiasts’ restaurant Aba-Jour (20 Oudburg) which serves Italian & Belgian fair.   Aba-Jour had 6 beers on tap, 55 bottled plus 10 specials on their menu board including Vin de Céréale and Stille Nacht 2003.

Rochefort 6 in Aba Jour

Drie Founteine Oude Geuze in Aba Jour











While we waited to be seated for dinner, we sat at the bar and Ruth went for a Rochefort trifecta and ordered the Rochefort 6, which is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 7.5% Abv from  Brasserie de Rochefort.   I went with Drie Founteine Oude Geuze,  a 6.0% abv which is a Gueuze from Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen

Cantillon's Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio in Aba Jour

With my spaghetti dinner I stayed in the Gueuze family and ordered Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio,  a 5.0% Gueuze from Brasserie Cantillon.


Ruth holding a haiku by Coen

Above is a Haiku, written that evening for us by Coen (Coenraed de Waele ) with one of the 7 or so pens he had in his jacket pocket for such occasions.  (For those of you not familiar with Haiku, it is a Japanese form of poetry written in 3 lines, the 1st line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables and the 3rd line has 5 syllables.) This is what it says.

 Hear close harmony.

Some Americans in town.

My mind runs open.

                        By Coenraed de Waele

 The next morning and early afternoon we spent touring around Gent.  During our rounds we came across 2 beer bars, which were unfortunately closed at that time of the day.  


Het Verdronken Land

The 1st one was Het Verdronken Land (57 Steendam) which is a tapasbar.   They have about 50 beers on their list and is only a short walk N.E. from Den Trollekelder.


Delirium Café

Delirium Café entrance

The 2nd beer bar which was closed was Delirium Café , (2 Klein Turkije).   The Delirium’s entrance would lead you to their basement bar.  This is the sister bar of the famous Delirium Café in Brussels, but is has nowhere near the 2000 beers you will find in Brussels.  It does, however, have an impressive 150 beers on its menu.      

Gruut in the Christmas Market

While we walked thru the Christmas Market we came upon a booth promoting a new brewery in town named Gruut.   We had a sample of their Belgian Amber Ale which is, as the name says an Amber Ale at 6.6% abv.  We found the beer, the way it was made and the beer glass all very interesting, so we inquired about the Brewery.  Once we found out it was about a half mile away, we headed off to see…

Gruut Gentse Stadsbrouwerij

Entrance to Gruut

Gruut Gentse Stadsbrouwerij (10 Grote Huidevettershoek) is a Hop-less brewery.  The head brewer a female.   They currently make 4 beers, a Wit Beer 5%abv; a Blond 5.5% abv; an Amber Ale 6.6% abv and a Bruin 8% which at the time was in production but not bottled yet.  

Gruut's Amber, Blond & Wit bottles

Gruut is the name of a medieval mixture of spices and herbs used to make beer instead of using hops.  Gruut was also the name of the local currency in the middle ages which was used to pay the taxes on the amount of Gruut used.  





Here at Gruut they use modern equipment and brewing techniques in the old-fashioned tradition.

The bar/brewery/tasting room is very modern and nice.  And it’s worth the visit just to see the restrooms…

Gruut's Mens room

Gruut's Blond & Wit with some snacks

With a snack of hard cheese and salami, Ruth enjoyed the Belgium Wit Beer and while I had their Belgium Blond.


‘t Gouden Mandeke entrance

A peek inside ‘t Gouden Mandeke

A peek inside Gouden Mandeke

The walk back into town from Gruut made us thirsty so we stopped off at ‘t Gouden Mandeke (9 Pensmarkt) for a beer.   This was a quaint bar with baskets hanging along the beams of the ceiling.  They were very crowded and there was no place to sit, not even at the bar.  A quick peek at the beer menu revealed that they had about 50 beers, a good selection, but nothing we couldn’t find elsewhere in town. With a thought of a later return visit, we headed off to find a place where we could sit and enjoy a beer.  

‘t Galgenhuisje

We walked to the end of the block to ‘t Galgenhuisje (5 Groentenmarkt).  This is the smallest bar in Gent.  The location was where they used to hang people, hence its name “the Gallows House”.  They had 4 beers on tap and 14 bottled beers.   They made up for the small beer list with a great atmosphere.   Amazingly enough, a couple was leaving as we arrived so we were able to grab one of the few tables that fit into this doll house sized pub.

Ruth & Mike toast in ‘t Galgenhuisje with a Westmalle Triple & Gentse Tripel

I had the Gentse Tripel, which is an 8.0% abv Tripel from the Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.  Ruth drank a Westmalle triple, which is a 9.50% abv Tripel from Brouwerij Westmalle (Adbij der Trappisten van Westmalle).   We meet a great couple sitting at the table next to us.  After a while of chatting across our tables, we invited them to join us at our table, which made for an easier conversation.  And opened up a table for another group!

‘t Galgenhuisje with our new friends

She is a native of Gent and he is also a native from Gent, but he now lives in Canada a few months out of the year.   We enjoyed their company so much that after we finished our drinks here the four of us walked across the street to…

Het Waterhuis Aan De Bierkant

Het Waterhuis Aan De Bierkant  (9 Groentenmarkt).  Waterhuis is wonderful bar, if the weather is nice you can grab some grub and a beer outside while enjoying the canal view and people watching.  Inside it is a two story bar with a casual atmosphere.   They have an excellent beer menu; that night they had 16 beers on tap and over 150 bottled.   

I drank a Oud Beersel Oude Gueze Vieille , a 6% abv Gueuze which is brewed by Brouwerij Oud Beersel,  Ruth had the N’ice Chouffe, which is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 10% abv.  This is a Christmas beer made from by the Brasserie d’Achouffe which was van ‘t vat (from the tap). 

Oud Beersel Oude Gueze Vieille

N’ice Chouffe


Waterhuis cheers with friends

Our new friends and drinking companions treated us to a round.  We look forward to sharing a few with them when we return to Gent during our Belgium Beer Barge Tour in October!

It was then off to dinner after consulting with the locals.  We ate at a restaurant called Coeur d’Artichaut (6 Onderbergen). It had a kind of modern sparse décor, high ceilings, black and white.  Great atmosphere, great food, great end to a great day!  All while having the proper glassware for my Duvel too!

Gent at night:

Gent at night












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Beer # 77 Yeti Imperial Stout

Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout


Name: Yeti Imperial Stout 

Style:  Russian Imperial Stout 

Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Co.  website 

Country: USA 

Region:  Denver, Colorado 

ABV: 9.50% Abv 

How served: 22 oz capped bottle poured into St. Idesbald chalice.        

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.  

I paired this beer with: a great hard Italian salami and a Dubliner cheese.     

Tasted on:  Monday February 15, 2010. 

Note:  I got my idea of drinking this beer yesterday, after reading one of the blogs I follow  365 Days…365 Beers.  One New Beer, Everyday, For One Year.    

In that blog he just picked up 4 different Oak Aged Yeti’s.  He was asking how old his Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout was.   After looking at my inventory I noticed his wasn’t that old, as it had the newer label from Great Divide.  The older label, like the one on the photo above, had a Mountain Range in the background.  Now the question is how old is this bottle??  This is not the Oak Aged version like he has, but it is still a worthy beer to have in your collection.   I think this is a 2007 vintage.  

Anyway, this was a very good RIS.  I’ve had better, but for the price and the availability it is a keeper.  To date I’ve never had a beer by Great Divide which I wouldn’t have rated at least a very good.  As I tasted this brew I was able to pick up some chocolate and coffee notes and the 9.50% abv was very well hidden.  This beer has also aged very well; I didn’t notice much of a change from a “newer” vintage except for the fact the alcohol was more hidden in this “cellared” beer.   

Out of curiosity, right after finishing this beer, I had a Ten Fidy by Oskar Blues Grill & BreweryI feel that Ten Fidy is a more complex and a better RIS then Yeti Imperial Stout, but not by much.

On the Label & WebsiteYeti Imperial Stout is an onslaught of the senses. It starts with big, roasty malt flavor that gives way to rich caramel and toffee notes. YETI gets its bold hop character from an enormous quantity of American hops. It weighs in at a hefty 75 IBUs.  9.5% ABV

From their website: Awards: 

Silver Medal Great American Beer Festival, 2009 

Bronze Medal Great American Beer Festival, 2008 

Silver Medal Great American Beer Festival, 2005 

Bronze Medal Great International Beer Competition, 2005 

Bronze Medal European Beer Star Competition, 2009 

Silver Medal Brew New Zealand Beer Awards, 2009 

 Food Pairings: Enjoy with, Grilled steaks, strong/salty blue cheese, chocolate.

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Beer # 76 Bell’s HopSlam

Bell's HopSlam Ale

Name: HopSlam

Style:  Imperial IPA

Brewery: Bell’s Brewery, Inc. website

Country: USA

Region:  Comstock (on the bottle), the Brewery is in Galesburg & the General Store is in Kalamazoo all in Michigan

ABV: 10.0% Abv

How served: 12 oz capped bottle poured into an Oerbier glass.       

My Overall Opinion: Amazing.

I paired this beer with: nothing today.   I am having this as an aperitif today  & a darn good one at that!

Tasted on:  Sunday February 14, 2010.

Note:  This was from batch # 9470 which was packaged on December 23, 2009, which means it is now 54 days old, so the hops haven’t faded too much yet.  As Double (Imperial) IPA’s go, you would be hard pressed to find one which is better.  The other day I had Hop Stoopid, which had a much better nose, then HopSlam, and hide the alcohol better, but HopSlam at 10%abv was still extremely drinkable.  As you take your 1st sip you get the sweet taste of honey and it finished with the “hopslam” which was not extreme and  gave it its drinkability.   I will have to do a side by side with Hop Stoopid in the next few days to see which one I really like better, as they are actually 2 different tasting Double IPA’s.   The only other Imperial IPA which I’ve had which I’ve enjoyed better is Pliny the Elder 

On the Label:   Ale Brewed with Honey.  A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale. With a name like Hopslam, what did you expect? 

From their website:  Limited Release January 7th through February.

Original Gravity: 1.087

Alcohol by Volume: 10.0%

Available Packages: 4/6/12 oz. bottles (case), 15.5 gal. keg

Dates: Limited Release January 7th through February

States Availability: FL, IN, KY, MI, MO, NC, ND, OH, PA, VA, WI.

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Beer # 75 Lagunitas Hop Stoopid


Lagunitas Hop Stoopid

Name: Hop Stoopid Ale

Style:  Imperial IPA

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company website

Country: USA

Region:  Petaluma, California

ABV: 8.0% Abv

How served: 22 oz capped bomber poured into a Samuel Adams glass.      

My Overall Opinion: Amazing.

I paired this beer with: nothing, just your old fashion after dinner beer. 

Tasted on:  Thursday February 11, 2010.

Note:  Hop Stoopid is a well balanced double IPA which wasn’t way over the top hoppy.  This had a very nice and strong “California” hop aroma.  I picked up both a grapefruit rind and pine taste.  As it wasn’t extremely hoppy the drinkability factor is very high for me.

 On the Label:  102 I.B.U. 4U. 

“Clean this mess up or else we’ll all end up in jail…those test tubes and the scale…just get ‘em all outta here…”  He was referring to the complex super-critical-CO2 hop extraction equipment set up on the table in the lab across from the brewhouse. Hop extracts are for the BIG brewers, he thought- suitable only for crummy sub-standard and barely-passable industrial lagers, not the subtle and elegant craft beer made here.  But wrong he was.  The New Brewer does not eschew any possible inputs.  In this case the extract will replace the mountains of hop vegetative material in the kettle thus creating cleaner hop flavors and preventing the otherwise spinach-like mess of a kettle full of  super-hopped wort from clogging up a pump or worse.  The sensuous honey-like amber ooze was administered intravenously to the wort kettle and the sacrament was complete.  Another kettle of Hop Stoopid is once again raised up and fermented on high.  Call us @ 707-769-4495! Cheers!

From their website:  Sold As: 22-Ounce Bombers and Kegs
Net contents:
Malt, Hops, Yeast, and water

Hop Stoopid Ale: For those mornings when you have to cut right to the chase, this is the one. Sure to blast through just about anything still lingering from the night before, this mouthful of Hops and huge rich Malt has a guarantee built right into the name!  Alcohol 8% by volume

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Beer # 74 Nøgne Ø Brown Ale

Nøgne Ø Brown Ale

Name: Brown Ale

Style:  English Brown Ale

Brewery: Nøgne Ø Det Kompromisslose Bryggeri A/S website

Country: Norway

Region:  Grimstad

ABV: 4.50% Abv

How served: 500ml capped bottle poured into a Kastaar glass.      

My Overall Opinion: Good.

I paired this beer with: Publix lemon roasted chicken aka chicken in a box. 

Tasted on:  Thursday February 11, 2010.

Note:  This brown ale like most brown ales has the ability to be a fine session beer.   This one had a pleasant & mellow sweetness.  If you enjoy a brown ale, be sure to try Brown Ale by Nøgne Ø.

On the Label:  “The name Nøgne Ø means “naked island”, a poetic term used by Henrik Ibsen to describe any of the countless stark, barren outcroppings that are visible in the rough seas off Norway’s southern coast, where the brewery sits.  The founders gave Nøgne Ø a subtitle- “ The Uncompromising Brewery” – a plain statement of their mission to make ales of personality and individuality Brewing in traditional styles, but thoroughly inspired by the boldness of American brewing these Norwegian brewers fearlessly chart their own course.

From their website:  BROWN ALE 11°P, 27 IBU, 4,5% ALC/VOL

A dark brown English ale, in which classic English malts meet the spicy hoppiness of the new world.  Recommended serving temperature 8°C/45°F. Goes very well with ‘pub grub.’ 

Ingredients: Maris Otter, wheat, chocolate, brown, amber, and caramel malt; Crystal hops; English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water.

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Beer # 73 Lost Abbey 10 Commandments

Lost Abbey 10 Commandments

Name: 10 Commandments

Style:  Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Brewery: The Lost Abbey website

Country: USA

Region:  San Marcos, California

ABV: 10.00% Abv

How served: 750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice.      

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Bow-tie pasta, with tomato sauce which had baby spinach and rosemary added.  

Tasted on:  Monday February 8, 2010.

Note:  This beer started off with a bang for me.   The raisin and rosemary taste was very apparent.  What I enjoyed most was the “smoked” flavors I picked up.   As I was drinking this beer I was thinking how great this beer would be to cook with.  When I 1st poured this beer it was at 49° and I thought it was an amazing brew. However as this beer warmed up, contrary to most Belgian Strong Dark Ales I’ve had in the past,  didn’t improve but started to go downhill rapidly, therefore I gave it a the very good rating instead of amazing.

On the Label:  Ale brewed with Honey, Raisins & Rosemary.

10 Commandments:

The most imaginative beers are our crusade.

We believe we are all in this together.

We strive for honesty and integrity in our lives like you.

Fresh beer is great.  Aged beer is better.

Now that you have found us, help us spread the message.

There is good and evil in the world.  Our beers are good.

Passion isn’t something you can buy at the corner store.

We believe an inspired life is worth living.

Life is about choices.  The Lost Abbey is a great choice.

We are not perfect, but no one is.

From their website:  A stronger version of our Lost and Found Abbey Ale brewed to a more contemplative alcohol content. Massive in every stretch of the brewing way possible this is the sort of beer that will remind a beer drinker who considers themselves a saint that even saints stray as sinners from time to time.

Not for the faint of heart, this beer weighs in at a heavenly 9% ABV and is available in 750 ml bottles and on draft at select locations.

ABV: 9% (note, on the label of my bottle the abv is listed as 10%) 

Availability: Late Spring Release

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