Beer # 148 Beer Valley Black Flag Imperial Stout (2009 Fresh Hop Harvest Edition)

Beer Valley Black Flag Imperial Stout Fresh Hops Edition 2009

 

Name: Beer Valley Black Flag Imperial Stout (2009 Fresh Hop Harvest Edition)

Style: Imperial Stout                                 

Brewery: Beer Valley Brewing Co.  website

Country:  USA

Region: Ontario, Oregon

ABV: 11.0% Abv

How served: 22oz capped bomber poured into a Piraat tulip.              

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Lasagna with a hot red pepper sauce. 

Tasted on:  Monday November 15th, 2010   

Note: This is a version of the “regular” Black Flag which is “hopped-up” with 200 pounds of fresh hops and is brewed once a year.    

2009 Fresh Hops Edition

 

 

 This beer poured a dark brown with a tan 2 finger head which left a minimal lacing on the glass. The nose had hints of chocolate, roasted coffee and a mild hop aroma.  The taste was like the smell; it started off with mild chocolate and coffee notes, some mild sweetness from the malts then finished dry and mildly hoppy.  The mouthfeel was a medium body with a nice texture. The drinkability was very good, as this was a well balanced imperial stout with the 11.0%abv not easily detected. I last had this beer in May 2010 and since it was fresher the hops had much more of a presence, however I like it much better today, with the hops slightly muted, as it lets the full imperial stout flavor come through.

On the Label:  Bottle conditioned.  2009 Fresh Hop Edition.

From their website:  Black Flag Imperial Stout, the first beer released by Beer Valley Brewing, is a monstrously huge beer brewed for beer enthusiasts who want to test the edge of sensory perception. Brewed with 8 different malts and 4 different hop varieties to give it depth and complexity, Black Flag Imperial Stout delivers an extreme beer drinking experience like no other beer on the planet.
 

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Beer # 147 Stone Thirteenth Anniversary Ale

 

Stone Thirteenth Anniversary Ale

 

Name: Style: American Strong Ale

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co. website

Country:  USA

Region:  Escondido, California

ABV: 9.50% Abv

How served: 22oz capped bomber poured into a Stone IPA glass.              

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Nothing.     

Tasted on:  Saturday November 13th, 2010   

Note:  This beer is no longer brewed it was a one shot deal for Stones 13 anniverary.

Despite the warning on the label: bottled June 2009 & Do not cellar. Enjoy in 2009.  I did cellar this beer, hence this review at this time is against the warning of the maker.

This beer poured a deep opaque reddish brown with a 3 finger fluffy tan head which lasted most of my 1st glass leaving a minimal lacing on the glass.  The nose, despite the year wait to drink was heavy on the hops, both piney and citrus. The taste was slightly sweet upfront, made me think of a Barleywine, then BAM the hops hit and hit hard.  This was no Barleywine after all.  Wish I made this review when it was fresh, as I forgot how it had tasted then. The bitter taste was all grapefruit rind and a hop heads dream.  The mouthfeel was a medium body and syrupy yet not to thick with a nice level of carbonation.  The drinkability was good but not something I would want to have another right away. It is more of a sipping beer and one you would not want to gulp down.   If this beer was fresh I would have most likely given it a higher rating.

 On the Label:  June 2009  Do not cellar. Enjoy in 2009.

 Triskaidekapbobia sufferers beware. Stone is a teenager now.  Like all teenagers, we’re entering an unpredictable age.  Soon our voice will begin to get deeper, yet crack at the most embarrassing time (like when we’re trying to impress a cute girl…just our luck).  We do finally get to watch the PG-13 movies not that ever stopped us, we do look old for our age. And we have an unmistakable maturity about us.  At least that’s what Aunt Maybelle says.  Just wish she’d cut out that cheek pinching though.

It seems that it may be time to leave behind our younger years altogether.  We’ve actually been feeling a bit like grownups these days.  2008 stats came out recently and it appears that Stone is the 18th largest craft brewery in the nation (20th last year).  We’re nearly out of space in our new brewery (in just three and a half years, no less), and the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens has become a regional fixture in the last two and a half years. And our business has been growing.  We say this with full respect and sensitivity to many that are experiencing challenges during these crazy times and unpleasant economic times. We believe that our growth during these times is a significant indicator that Americans are continuing to gravitate towards better. Everything from artisanal cheeses and breads, to organics and great craft beer continues to grow.  Victory gardens have become an old trend that is new again, and people are continuing to focus on the quality choices available to them in their regions.  No matter where you are, we are thankful and hugely flattered when you choose a quality craft beer that is more local, we understand.  As long as we are all continuing our collective enthusiasm for great quality choices, more and more quality choices will continue to be made to satisfy our hunger…and thirst.  And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing!  Ingredient:  Barley, Hops, Water and Yeast.  www.stonebrew.com/anniv  

From their website:  N/A 

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Cigar City Brewing Needs Your Help!

The Following is a Plea for Help from Cigar City Brewing.  Whether You Live in the Tampa Bay Area or Not, Please Contact the City Council Members Listed Below. 

 Joey Redner has suggestions on what you should say in a polite manner written below.

Thanks for you help.

Cigar City Brewing published a new entry entitled “255: The Tasting Room Needs Your Help Again.” on 11/10/2010 10:15:13 AM, written by Cigar City Brewing.


255: The Tasting Room Needs Your Help Again.

Last Thursday we went to get our temporary wet-zoning made permanent and to extend our hours of operation. Since we have operated for two years without incident this should have been a rubber stamp. But, due to politics, a willful lack of understanding and what I personally believe is just a downright embracing of unfair practices, we got a 3-3 vote (you need 4 yes votes) and had to reschedule.

Our next trip in front of the Tampa City Council will be December 2nd. My birthday. We need 4 votes at this meeting and a following one or we lose our wet-zoning on the 16th of December. This means no more Tasting Room, no more special events, no more limited release parties, no beer for sell, at all, at the Tasting Room.

We have had no incidents at the Tasting Room. There has never been a police call for the brewery. We have never been cited for any violations. In short, we have shown, through our actions not our words, that we are a responsible business and neighbor. And oh by the way, while the economy has been stumbling along we have gone from 2 employees to 22. And some of those employees are in danger of losing their jobs because some members on the city council lack leadership and critical reasoning skills.

I don’t know if we can change any minds. Some bias runs too deep. But I am humbly asking of everyone that supports craft beer in the Bay Area to help us. If you ever wondered why Florida is often considered a beer wasteland, dealing with provincial politicians and unfair laws is one of the reasons.  And we have run headlong into that fact many times. This is just another iteration of the climate breweries have to operate in here.

This is what you can do to try to help. Contact ALL of the members of City Council. If you live in the city and vote, tell them so. If you live outside the city or the state, tell them Cigar City Brewing is one of the reasons you come into the city to spend money. In short, let the council know that Tampa having a craft beer scene is important to you. Handwritten letters (addresses are int he links) are always more personal, but if you simply do not have time there is an online contact for each member. And there is a phone # for each member as well. Feel free to call and let the members know that CCB and craft beer are important to you.

These are the three members of Council who voted against us.

Gwen Miller
Thomas Scott
Curtis Stokes

These are those Council members who voted for us, let them know that you appreciate that they looked at evidence and fact and were not swayed by unsubstantiated claims.

Mary Mulhern
Yvonne Yoli Capin
Joseph Caetano

Finally, the member who was absent. Let Charlie Miranda know you support CCB and craft beer and are counting on his yes vote on December 2nd.

Charlie Miranda

I want to tank everyone for their support. When I look back at the last two years and see the growth we have had it both amazes and humbles me. And I know that any success we have had is due to our loyal supporters who buy our beer and spread the word to others. We appreciate and value that support and regret that we must lean on you again, but we truly do need your help again desperately.

Cheers,
The CCB Staff and Joey Redner

Permalink: blog.cigarcitybeer.com/2010/11/10/255-the-tasting-room-needs-your-help-again.aspx

Beer # 146 Lost Abbey Devotion Ale

 

Lost Abbey Devotion Ale

 

Name: Devotion Ale

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Brewery: The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing Co.  website

Country:  USA

Region:  San Marcos, California

ABV: 6.25% Abv

How served: 750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into an Augustijn Grand Cru tulip.             

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good. 

I paired this beer with: Mesquite Tilapia.     

Tasted on:  Monday November 8th, 2010   

Note:  This beer poured a cloudy light orange color with a fluffy two finger white head which hang out for a while and left a thin lacing in the glass.    The nose was more floral then citrusy leaning more towards what you would find in an IPA then a Belgian Pale Ale, I also picked up a bit of a funky odor.  The taste starts off mildly sweet of citrus and of malt and then midway you pick up the bitterness of the hops and this beer finishes very dry.   The mouthfeel was a light to medium texture with an appropriate amount of carbonation.  The drinkability was very good as I finished this bottle I was left wanting more.

On the Label:  It’s an unassuming road leading to the priory. Here, off the corner of two intersecting roads, dedicated monks have been making beer for over 150 years. It’s always been a simple life — the kind that requires they brew only enough to sustain the activities of their monastery. In the silence of passing seasons, they pray, they brew and retire in solitary existence behind the sheltering walls. They live a most interesting life. Most likely one we couldn’t sustain.

Nearby, each summer, the trellised fields spring to life as rows of resinous green cones are trained toward the heavens. Rumor is some monks love these hops and being surrounded by budding yellow aromas and the leafy pungent fields inspired them. Since we aren’t sensible enough to locate our brewery near hop fields, we can only offer this blond ale in celebration of our Abbey brethren and their steadfast Devotion.

From their website:   

OG 1.050   TG 1.005   ABV 6.25%

Malts– 2 Row and 15L Crystal
Hops– CO2 Extract, Northern Brewer and German Tettnang
Yeast– Blend of three yeasts
Adjuncts– Dextrose

The Devotion story
It was so quiet out here at the Bed and Breakfast. You slept in late and didn’t even realize there was the hustle and bustle of activity taking place around you. Gazing out the window, your eyes are drawn to the hop fields. In neatly framed rectangle growing areas, the flowers rise from the ground stretching for the bluest skies dotting the landscape in Poperinge. In every direction, the work of clearing the fields is taking place as the annual hop harvest has begun.

The big city newspaper you work for has sent you on an assignment and your job is to discuss the economics of hop growing and the impact on global markets. Today you’re in Belgium, tomorrow in Germany and you’ll end your trip in England touring the famous hop fields of Kent. Each step of the journey will lead you to the same conclusion. Farming is lots of things but it will never be confused as a glamorous life. Yet, at the end of each day, there is a sense of satisfaction of reaping what you sow. The farmer swells with pride knowing his hops will find their way into beers from many differing nations

Your research has taught you about the different varieties and which ones are prized by brewers large and small for differing reasons. Your notes tell you they are scheduled to pick Northern Brewer, and Hallertau this week. Heading out in a rental car, you have a 10AM appointment with the Father Thomas. He is in charge of the brewery. It is located a stones throw from the green vines. The GPS tells you to make one last left turn. Instantly, your destination is in sight.

It’s an unassuming road leading to the priory. Here, off the corner of two intersecting roads, dedicated monks have been making beer for over 150 years. It’s always been a simple life- the kind that requires they brew only enough to sustain the activities of their monastery. In the silence of passing seasons, they pray, brew and retire in a solitary existence behind the sheltering walls. They live a most interesting life. Most likely one we couldn’t sustain.

Nearby, each summer, the trellised fields spring to life as rows of resinous green cones are trained towards the heavens. Rumor is some Monks love these hops and being surrounded by budding yellow aromas and leafy pungent fields can’t hurt. Since we weren’t sensible enough to locate our brewery in Poperinge, we can only offer this 6? blond ale in celebration of all things great and hoppy. Pious, like them, we’re not. But that doesn’t mean we can’t offer an appreciative nod to our Abbey brethren and their steadfast Devotion.

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Beer # 145 Cigar City Guava Grove

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to my beer blog.  Sorry, but I’ve been out of the county for a while and had very  limited internet access.  However the county I was in was Belgium, which had no shortage of great beer.  I will update my Belgian adventure in a future post so stay tuned!

 

Cigar City Guava Grove

 

Name: Guava Grove

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Brewery: Cigar City Brewing.  website

Country:  USA

Region:  Tampa Bay, Florida

ABV: 8.0% Abv

How served: 750 ml capped bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter.             

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good. 

I paired this beer with: a potato knish. 

Tasted on:  Sunday November 7th, 2010   

Note:  This beer poured a hazy light amber color with a thin white head leaving a thin lacing in the glass.    The nose a bit tart with some fruity sweetness, with the guava being the dominate odor.  The taste starts off mildly tart then balances itself with the sweetness of tropical fruits. The mouthfeel was of a medium body with a syrupy feel and low carbonation.  The drinkability was good despite this being in the high end of abv for the style.

On the Label:  Guava Grove is a Belgian-style ale that sees a secondary fermentation and extended aging on one of Tampa’s favored fruits, Guava.  The complex flavors imparted by both the Belgian yeast strains and the Guava are unlike anything you are likely to encounter in other beers.  The flavor is a complex weave of banana, guava, and tropical fruit with hints of clove.  This elegant beer pairs well with fresh fish, mussels, fresh tropical fruits, and earthy cheeses.  It also makes a fine accompaniment to Guavaween festivities.   Bottle Conditioned, Pour Gently.  Label Design by Matt Callahan www.manmademurals.com

From their website:  A Belgian-style Saison which sees a secondary fermentation on Guava.  8%ABV June/July release.  Guava Grove Pairings: Spring Mix Salad with Gorgonzola, caramelized pecans and citrus vinaigrette, Tandoori Chicken or Lamb, Honey Glazed Roasted Duck, Cuban style Guava Danish, Paella and Sharp Risotto

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