Tampa Bay Beer Safari Weekend February 18th – 20th 2011 in Review

Tampa Bay Beer Safari Weekend February 18th – 20th 2011                                  

Our 2nd Annual Tampa Bay Beer Safari Weekend Beer Tour was quite a success!   We visited 2 brew pubs, 2 breweries, had two great beer paired dinners and 2 after dinner beer tastings.

Happy Hour

We started out our 1st night with a get to know each other Happy Hour.  We had the opportunity to sample:

Anchor Christmas Ale

Anchor Christmas Ale – Winter Warmer – 5.5% abv –  Anchor Brewing Company

Trappist Achel 8 Briun

Trappist Achel 8 Briun – Dubbel – 8.0% abv –   Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse  

Twin Sisters – Double IPA – 9.0%abv – Left Hand Brewing Co 

Left Hand Imperial Stout – Russian Imperial Stout – 10.4% abv – Left Hand Brewing Co 

Kalamazoo Stout – American Stout – 6.0% abv – Bells Brewery

Orange Blossom Pilsner – Fruit beer – 6.5% abv – Orange Blossom Pilsner LLC

 …Plus 2 extra special growlers fresh from the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery in Boca Raton!

So Thank You MusicGinger Lemongrass Wheat – unknown abv

Last SnowCoffee Porter – also an unknown abv

Funky Buddha's So Thank You Music, oh what a great nose you have!

Funky Buddha’s “So Thank You Music”, oh what a great nose you have!

So Thank You Music was the “Hit” of the Happy Hour with its amazing nose of fresh ginger and lemongrass, as well as its wonderful taste which matched the nose.  A close second was Last Snow, which is an interesting name as Boca Raton never even gets a 1st snow… actually it’s a celebration ale for those in South Florida to toast with as the “Last Snow(bird)” leaves the region.

 After the happy hour we took a short walk to Bernini, a fabulous Italian Restaurant in the heart of Ybor City for our first beer paired dinner.

 To honor Sierra Nevada Brewing Co’s 30 years of great brewing I paired 3 of their outstanding brews with this evening’s dinner. 

Cheers from Bernini

For the 1st Course we had Bruschetta and Calmari paired with:

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Kellerweis – Hefeweizen – 4.80% abv.  In my opinion this is one of the better examples of a true German Hefeweizen made in America.

 For the 2nd Course we had a choice between the Classic Caesar Salad (I had mine with extra anchovies) or the House Mista Salad paired with:

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Pale Ale – American Pale Ale – 5.6% abv.  This is Sierra Nevada’s “Flagship” beer and the one beer you can count on finding in most pubs or restaurants which haven’t figured out the craft beer movement yet.

 For our Main Course our choices were either Angel Hair pasta tossed with Grilled Chicken Breast; Shrimp Orecchiette; Margherita Pizza or the New Yorker Pizza with roasted peppers, onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, Italian sausage & mozzarella. (the pizzas as well as the meal servings were HUGE!)  These were paired with:

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Torpedo Extra IPA – IPA – 7.2% abv.  This is their Pale Ale on steroids! 

 We also had the opportunity to try the Torpedo Extra IPA side by side with Cigar City Brewing’s Jai Alai IPA – IPA – 7.5% abv. 

Cigar City Jai Alai

Maybe I’m being a “homeboy” but I felt the Jai Alai had a tad better nose and taste, I have to say, it was it really close.

 Here is a very entertaining short video of an impromptu after dinner discussion of the tour by Ruth & Mike:

After the dinner & the “show” we walked around the corner to see what was brewing at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company.

Tampa Bay Brewing Logo

Tampa Bay Brewing Company was founded in 1996 and is a family business, with mother and son serving as general manager and brewmaster respectively. Their on-site brewery is equipped to produce up to twelve tap beers and several cask-conditioned ales on a 10bbl step-infusion brewing system.  As a matter of fact, 12 of their 16 serving tanks used to hold the beer at the famous Bass Ale Brewery in England.  

Tampa Bay Brewing Co’s Tanks

Here we tried the Wild Warthog Weizen – 5.2% abv;  Jack the Quaffer London Porter – 5.7%;  Iron Rat Stout – 8.0% abv and the MooseKiller Barleywine- 10.0% abv as well as a taste of their fabulous Root Beer, which is made on site.

Tampa Bay Brewing Co

After we left Tampa Bay Brewing Co, our plan was to do some beer hunting at New World Brewing Co.  At New World Brewing you will find the best selection of craft beer in Ybor City with 26 taps and at least 100 bottled beers.  You can also enjoy entertainment in their outside courtyard.  However tonight the courtyard was packed, so instead we opted to return to the hotel and do some beer tasting in a more relaxed atmosphere. 

 Back at the hotel, in additional to revisiting some of our “Happy Hour Beers”, we shared:

McChouffe, Gouden Carolus Noël and 2 Turtle Doves

McChouffe – Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 8.0% abv – Brasserie d’Achouffe

Gouden Carolus Noël – Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 10.5% abv – Brouwerij Het Anker

2 Turtle Doves –  Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 12.0% abv – The Bruery

& a fresh growler of

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum via the Funky Buddha Lounge

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum – Double IPA – 10.4% abv – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co

Showing the Funky Buhdda’s “So Thank You Music” some Love

Friday Night after Dinner Get Together

Tarpon Springs and Spongeorama

On Saturday morning our 1st stop was Tarpon Springs. Tarpon Springs is known as the Sponge Capital of the World, so we visited the Famous Spongeorama to see the Sponge Diving Museum and stroll along the waterfront and a few specialty shops. 

Hellas

Tarpon Springs is also Florida’s own Greek village, so we of course had to sample some mouthwatering pastries at the very authentic Greek restaurant, Hellas.  This was a “sweet” way to start the morning! 

Heading over to Saint Somewhere

After spending about an hour here, we headed off to meet our friend Bob Sylvester and see his brewing set up at Saint Somewhere Brewing Company.

 While Bob explained to us his brewing process, including his use of open fermentation, he also showed off his new tanks and told us that he has just expanded to offering his 3 brews- Saison Athene – Saison – 7.5% abv, Lectio Divina – Belgium Strong Pale Ale – 8.0% abv & Pays du Soleil – Dubbel – 8.0% abv- in kegs. 

Saint Somewhere

After seeing the size of this small brewery everyone was extremely impressed when Bob told us that his beers can be found in 35 states!  It is truly mind boggling that that much beer can be produced here.  Bob also said that he will be brewing the next collaboration beer he has planned with Cigar City called Déjà Vu, in this location.  He told us that it will be a completely different style then Vuja Dé, which was made at Cigar City.

Checking the smell of Lectio Divina

Did you know that 11:00 am is the time of day your taste buds are supposed to be most in tune? Well fortunate for us our beer tour happened to be at Saint Somewhere right about then, and we were invited to help ourselves to a taste of Lectio Divina out of the keg…and as if that wasn’t a beautiful thing in itself, Bob also shared with us 3 additional very special brews!  

The Younger Oak Aged Blend

The 1st special brew was an extremely young oak barrel aged blend of his beers.  Bob warned us that it was “young & hot” and really needed to age quite a bit longer before consuming.  The nose of this beer was a mixture between rocket fuel and nail polish remover, however when it came to the taste, it was like drinking a fine port wine with no hint of the fuel or remover.

The 2 oak barrels used in aging the special brews

Enjoying the special brew

His 2nd special brew was a mature 2-3 year old oak barrel aged blend.  This beer was sublime, the nose was mildly tart/sour with hints of oak, caramel and vanilla and the taste was both tart yet mildly sweet of fruit- with notes of the oak and a smooth as silk mouth feel. I could drink this all day. Ruth says just thinking about it makes her mouth water!

Getting a whiff of the Saison Athene with Brettanomyces “C”

Saison Athene with Brettanomyces “C” strain

The 3rd special brew was a taste of a beer which he says never made it to the market. It was his Saison Athene with Brettanomyces “C” strain.  The “C” strain added more tartness and citrus in the nose and taste than you would find in the “regular” Saison Athene.

 After tasting these 3 beers, it made me feel extremely blessed that we have such a great Belgium style artisanal brewer here in Florida. 

Great sign on Bob’s Desk

Dunedin Brewery

So we left Tarpon Springs to head over to Florida’s Scottish heritage town, Dunedin.  Here we visited Dunedin Brewery for a brewery tour, beer tasting and a great lunch! Plus we will have Bob from Saint Somewhere join us too!

Dunedin Taps

Dunedin Brewery is the oldest microbrewery in Florida.  They always have 8 of their beers available year round on tap plus a few extra seasonal beers as well as guest taps.

Dunedin Celtic Gold Ale

We all stated off with their Celtic Gold Ale – Kölsch – 5.2% abv to enjoy while we toured around their brewing facilities

Dunedin Brewery Tour

Sharing a Dropkick Red Ale with Bob

We had all worked up a mighty thirst during our tour, so we were happy to try the samples of their Dropkick Red Ale – Amber Ale &

Dunediin Leonard Croon Stout

Leonard Croon Stout – Stout – 5.2% abv  offered to us by Ricky (our awesome guide, beer tender and server) before we placed our order for lunch. 

Dunedin… I’m ready for lunch

I chose to have their famous Pacific Coast Fish Taco, and since I heard they still had some of their delicious Christmas Farm Ale – Spiced Beer – 5.2% abv available, I paired that with my fish taco.  Boy, this was one great lunch stop!

Having fortified ourselves, we will set off to Cigar City Brewery.  On our way over to Cigar City we passed the time playing a few rounds of Beer Cap Bingo for some beery cool (of course) prizes.

Cigar City Brewing

Cigar City Brewery was founded by beer columnist and Tampa native Joey Redner in the summer of 2007. Since its inception CCB has been guided by Joey’s passion for both great beer and the city of his birth.   With the creative input and expertise of Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup award winning brewer Wayne Wambles, Cigar City Brewing endeavors to make world class ales and lagers which celebrate the rich heritage and traditions that make Tampa one of the world’s most unique cities.

 During our tour of Cigar City’s facilities what struck me the most was how much they have expanded since we were here last year. During our walk around the brewery we even caught a glimpse of a group of B.J.C.P. judges occupying the back end of the brewery where they were hard at work judging something I’m sure we will quaff in the future!

What on Tap at Cigar City Brewing

Once we made our way to the tasting room we had some samples of:

Getting a taste of Vuja Dé

Vuja Dé – American Wild Ale – 10.0% abv

Cubano Espresso – American Brown Ale – 5.5% abv

Jose Marti – American Porter – 8.0% abv

Humidor Jai Alai IPA – IPA – 7.5% abv

Cigar City Tasting Room

After having our fill at Cigar City we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for our big night out at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. (or so they keep calling it…I wonder how long and how many beer dinners it will take to convince them to add Beer to the name?)

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

Stylish, contemporary dining is the hallmark of Fleming’s. The menu features the finest in prime beef, augmented by a tempting variety of chops, seafood, chicken, generous salads, inventive side orders and indulgent desserts.  

Fleming’s

We had a 4 course beer paired gourmet dinner created especially for our Beer Safari by the chef at Fleming’s.

 Here is our menu:

 First Course

lobster mango crisps; Crispy wontons topped with main lobster, mango finished with garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs paired with:

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis  a  Hefeweizen of 4.80% ABV by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
 

Second Course

Malheur’s Spring Salad; Julienned Pears and Gala apples, tossed in Orange Sriracha vinaigrette, finished with candied walnuts and grape tomatoes paired with:

Malheur 10

Malheur 10 a Belgian Strong Pale Ale 10.0% ABV from Brouwerij De Landtsheer NV 

 

Third Course

petite filet; Chimichurri sauce, served with roasted baby carrots with golden raisins and balsamic reduction, garlic mashed potatoes paired with:

Terrapin Hop Karma IPA

Terrapin Hop Karma IPA an American Brown Ale 6.00% ABV by Terrapin Beer Company 

 

Fourth Course

chocolate stout cake; Cake infused with double chocolate stout, served with Chantilly cream paired with:

Young’s Double Chocolate and Stout Cake

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout a Sweet Stout 5.20% ABV Wells & Young’s Ltd. 

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Belgium Barge Re union

Between Courses we had a brief overview of the beer we were drinking and the chef explained how he paired the meal with the beer.  As you can see, we decided to try the same beer for the first pairing as the previous night, in order to do a comparison of appetizer/beer pairing for this beer, just to try something a little different.  This Kellerweis is what I consider the perfect example of this style.

 After Dinner we returned to the hotel for another round of beer tasting, but the 1st order of business was to settle our dispute as to which cartoon dog, Muttley or Snuffles, was the one which would jump up and then float down in air on his back like a feather after receiving a treat.  To our surprise it was both!

Muttley vs Snuffles

Saturday Night after Dinner Gathering

This evening we finished what was left of:

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum – Double IPA – 10.4% abv

Funky Buddha Lounge’s Ginger Lemongrass Wheat, So Thank You Music

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout – American Stout – 6.0% abv

As well as the following:

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale – Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 10.0% abv – Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Southern Tier Crème Brulée – Imperial Stout – 10.0% abv – Southern Tier Brewing Company

Paníl Barriquée – Flanders Red Ale – 8.0% abv – Paníl

The Lost Abbey 10 Commandments – Belgium Strong Dark Ale – 9.0%abv – The Lost Abbey

Saturday Night’s Beers

An old cigar factory

On Sunday morning after a leisurely breakfast we enjoyed a perfect day for our guided historical walking tour of Ybor City (the original “Cigar City”).   

A little piece of Cuban Soil found in Ybor City during our walking Tour

The old Florida Brewing Company Building

Our guide informed us that Ybor City is also the home of the 1st brewery in Florida, the Florida Brewing Company (after prohibition it was re-named Tampa Florida Brewery, Inc)In 1896 the construction of the Florida Brewing Company started; when it was finished, it was the tallest building in Tampa at six stories.   They used the water from a natural spring which ran under the building to make their La Tropical Beer.  The Florida Brewing Company exported more beer to Cuba than any other brewery in the USA.  Unfortunately this Brewery closed in 1961.

“Count” Bon Beer Voyage

Then was back to the hotel to say our goodbyes and check out.  Overall, an amazing weekend with a fantastic group of people and great beer to match!  Can’t wait until our next one!  Looks like the  Saint Augustine Beer Safari Weekend will be coming up in September…make sure you are on the BEERmail list to keep up to date on the latest with our Beercation Beer Tours and Weekend Beer Safari beer trips! Cheers!

Summer Beer Tasting: 21 different styles in 26 Beers

My friend Stu returned from California with a nice haul of “West Coast” beers not available in S. Florida.   His philosophy is that good beer is meant to be shared, so he invited a small handful of friends to his backyard for a great beer tasting on Saturday.  

The Beer "Waiting Room"

Above is what I called the Beer “Waiting Room”.  This is a photo before more beer was added as guests arrived. 

I have listed the beers in the Order we drank them.  Our method of picking our next beer was very random.  We would just go to the beer “Waiting Room” stick in our hand and pull out a beer, most of the time not knowing what we were going to pull out.  It actually worked out quite well this way, as you will see the styles did vary and kept palate fatigue at bay.  We were able to taste 21 different beers style from the 26 beers we had.

Stu and the cheese spread as he finished pouring our 1st brew.

   
 
Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale

Beer #1:   Maduro Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale

 Brewery: Cigar City Brewing.  Tampa, Florida

Style: Brown Ale

ABV: 5.5%

Breckenridge IPA Small Batch 471

Beer #2:  Breckenridge IPA Small Batch 471

Brewery: Breckenridge Brewery & Pub.  Breckenridge, Colorado

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 9.2% 

Fort Collins Maibock Zum Leben!

Beer #3:  Maibock Zum Leben!

Brewery: Fort Collins Brewery.  Fort Collins, Colorado

Style: Maibock

ABV: 6.3%  

Flying Fish Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA

Beer #4:  Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA

Brewery: Flying Fish Brewing Company.  Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 8.2%

Cascade Apricot Ale (2009)

Beer #5:  Cascade Apricot Ale (2009)

Brewery: Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge and Brewpub.  Portland, Oregon

Style: Lambic

ABV: 9.0% 

Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock

Beer #6:  Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock

Brewery: Dark Horse Brewing Company.  Marshall, Michigan

Style: Doppelbock

ABV: 7.5% 

Hoppin’ Frog D.O.R.I.S. the Destroyer Double Imperial Stout

Beer #7:  D.O.R.I.S. the Destroyer Double Imperial Stout

Brewery: Hoppin’ Frog Brewery. Akron, Ohio

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.5% 

Marin Brewing Point Reyes Porter

Beer #8:  Point Reyes Porter

Brewery: Marin Brewing Company.  Larkspur, California

Style: American Porter

ABV: 6.0% 

Deschutes Hop Henge Experimental IPA

Beer #9:  Hop Henge Experimental IPA

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery. Bend, Oregon

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 8.75%  

Three Floyds Robert the Bruce

Beer #10:  Robert the Bruce

Brewery: Three Floyds Brewing Co. Munster, Indiana

Style: Scottish Ale

ABV: 6.5 % 

Boulevard Dark Truth Stout (Smokestack Series)

Beer #11:  Dark Truth Stout (Smokestack Series)

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company.  Kansas City, Missouri

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.7% 

Stone Sawyer’s Triple

Beer #12:  Sawyer’s Triple

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.  Escondido, California

Style: Tripel

ABV: 7.6%  

Birrificio Italiano Scires

Beer #13:  Scires

Brewery: Birrificio Italiano.   Lurago Marinone, Italy

Style: Fruit (Cherries)

ABV: 7.5% 

Port Brewing Wipeout IPA

Beer #14:  Wipeout IPA

Brewery: Port Brewing Company / Pizza Port.  San Marcos, California 

Style: I.P.A.

ABV: 7.0% 

Old World Dark Knight Porter

Beer #15:  Dark Knight Porter

Brewery: Old World Brewery Inc.  Phoenix, Arizona

Style:  English Porter

ABV: 6.5%  

Black Lightning Porter

Beer #16:  Black Lightning Porter

Brewery: Lightning Brewery.  Poway, California

Style: Baltic Porter

ABV: 8.5%   

The Beer "Waiting Room" at halftime

After 16 beers it looks like we have more beer waiting than when we started!!!!  

Stu chilling out

 Looks like Stu is enjoying the tasting so far. 

 

Ballast Point Big Eye IPA

 Beer #17:  Big Eye IPA

Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company.  San Diego, California

Style: I.P.A.

ABV: 7.0 % 

Homebrew: Habanero pepper something or another

Beer #18:  Homebrew (Habanero pepper something or another)

Brewery: Jason’s

Style: Hot pepper

ABV: ??%  

Southampton Saison Deluxe (looks like the bottle got a little banged up)

Beer #19:  Saison Deluxe

Brewery: Southampton Publick House.  Southampton, New York

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

ABV: 7.4%  

Boulevard Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner (Smokestack Series)

Beer #20: Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner (Smokestack Series) 

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company.  Kansas City, Missouri

Style: Imperial Pilsner

ABV: 8.0%  

Rogue John John Ale #21 (Dead Guy Ale Aged in Dead Guy Whiskey Barrels) #22 (Pale Ale Brewed with Juniper Berries and aged in Spruce Gin Barrels)

Beer #21: John John Ale (Dead Guy Ale Aged in Dead Guy Whiskey Barrels)

Brewery: Rogue Brewery / Brewer’s on the Bay.  Newport, Oregon

Style: Mailbock

ABV: 6.4%

Beer #22: John John Ale (Pale Ale Brewed with Juniper Berries and aged in Spruce Gin Barrels)

Brewery: Rogue Brewery / Brewer’s on the Bay.  Newport, Oregon

Style: Pale Ale

ABV: 5.2%   

The Lost Abbey Judgment Day

Beer #23:  Judgment Day

Brewery: The Lost Abbey.  San Marcos, California

Style: Quadrupel

ABV: 10.5% 

 

Cigar City Gruit Humidor Series batch 02

Beer #24:  Gruit 2010 Humidor Series batch 02

Brewery: Cigar City Brewing.  Tampa, Florida

Style: Gruit

ABV: 5.5%  

Southern Tier Crème Brûleé Stout

Beer #25: Crème Brûleé Stout

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company.  Lakewood, New York

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.2%  

Rogue ÜberFest Pilsner

Beer #26:  ÜberFest Pilsner

Brewery: Rogue Brewery / Brewer’s on the Bay.  Newport, Oregon

Style: German Pilsner

ABV: 5.2%Hope you enjoyed these great tasting pics

 

My favorite brews of the day (in no particular order):

Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA

Cascade Apricot Ale (2009)

Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock

Hop Henge Experimental IPA

Dark Truth Stout (Smokestack Series)

 Point Reyes Porter

My least favorite brews of the day (in no particular order):

Crème Brûleé Stout (Only because I do not like butterscotch) Everyone else loved it.

Gruit 2010 Humidor Series batch 02

Sawyer’s Triple

 

Here are some of the beers we did not get around to tasting:  Which is good news as Stu says he will have another BIG tasting soon to finish these and many more!!!!!!!!!

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary, Imperial Helles Bock

SKA Brewing Modus Hoperandi IPA 

Cascade The Vine, Northwest Style Sour Ale

Allagash Musette   

Terrapin Side Project Volume 11 Boom ShakaLager  

AleSmith X   

AleSmith Anvil   

Lagunitas Lucky 13    

Cigar City 110K + OT Batch #3 (The Other West Coast IPA)

Cigar City Hunahpu’s   

Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager  

Thirez EXTRA Farmhouse Ale   

Hebrew R.I.P.A on RYE   

Schlafly Reserve Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout 2008   

Plus many others, including some home brews (see below for pictures of the beer which missed the cut)

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Beer #117 Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Name:  Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Style:  American Porter

Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company website

Country:  USA

Region:  San Diego, California

ABV: 10.0% Abv

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

My Overall Opinion: Amazing.

I paired this beer with:  Fresh blueberries and strawberries.  Wow, you couldn’t ask for a better beer pairing, you get fresh fruit with coffee and chocolate.

Tasted on:  Wednesday June 2nd, 2010. 

Note:    The nose is just about all iced coffee.  The taste is coffee and chocolate (mocha), I didn’t get much of the vanilla, it was there, but only mildly for me.   Not to sweet, not to bitter, just right.  The mouth feel was big and very smooth.  The 10% was very well hidden.  This is one heck of an amazing porter. 

On the Label:  Two of the world’s oldest beverages join forces to conquer your palate.  Victory at Sea embodies the art of masterful brewing by infusing a velvety Imperial Porter with pure vanilla flavor and specially selected, hand roasted coffee.  The addition of cold brewed coffee to the beer lends a subtle roasted flavor, blending perfectly with rich vanilla and caramel undertones.  By uniting two San Diego brewing traditions, Caffé Calabria freshly brewed coffee and Ballast Point beer, we have successfully created an artisanal masterpiece.

Our Robust series gives all beer lovers an opportunity to try our moat rare beers, previously available only on draft at select tap houses.  Enjoy!  Get the Point!

 Love Great Beer?  Join Us on a Bon Beer Voyage Beercation! www.BonBeer.com 

Beer # 90 Flying Dog Road Dog Porter

Flying Dog Road Dog Porter

Name: Road Dog Porter

Style: Porter

 

Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery. website

Country: USA

Region: Frederick, Maryland

ABV: 6.0% Abv

How served: 12oz capped bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.         

My Overall Opinion: Very Good. 

I paired this beer with: Smoked grilled tilapia.   The smoked tilapia paired very well with this porter.

Tasted on:  Wednesday March 25th, 2010. 

Note: This is one of the easiest drinking porters you can find.  I picked up a slight chocolate taste to go with a hint of smoke, which made it a good match with the smoked tilapia I had with it.

On the Label:  We spent four long years in court fighting for our first amendment right to display the phrase “Good Beer, No Shit” on every bottle of Road Dog.  In honor of sticking it to the man… This shit is some dark, rich and malty shit.  The best shit you’ll ever try and that’s no bullshit.

From their website: Blessed by Hunter S. Thompson… Road Dog Porter was our first beer to be illustrated by Ralph Steadman. This is a dark, rich and malty beer, with hints of chocolate and licorice resulting from the use of four prized malts. We also defended Road Dog’s honor when the Colorado state liquor board tried to ban us from selling it because “Good Beer, No Shit” was on the label. It took 5 years, but we won.

Brewers Breakdown:

ABV: 6.0%

Plato: 14

IBU’s: 31

Specialty Malts: 120L Crystal, Chocolate, Black

Hops: Warrior, Cascade

Process: A swam of bats often hovers over the brewhouse during brewing!

Road Dog Goes Well With:

  • · Grilled steak and salmon
  • · Desserts
  • · Anything with chocolate
  • · Dried fruits
  • · Dark and rich food

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Beer #37 Nissefar

 

HaandBryggeriet Nissefar

Name: Nissefar

Style: American Porter

Brewery: HaandBryggeriet  website

Country: Norway

Region:  Drammen

ABV: 7.0%

How served: 500ml capped bottle poured into a Petrus galss.     

My Overall Opinion: Good

I paired this beer with: Fish and vegetable stew.  

Tasted on: Tuesday December 01, 2009

Note: This is Batch 169.  Brewed in August 2008 with a best before date of August 2010.   This beer had a slightly funky taste, which isn’t expected in a stout.  I’m glad I tried this, but I’ve had better beers from HaandBryggeriet before.   I say give it a try yourself, but don’t expect anything extra special.

 This is the 6th of my daily Christmas/Winter beers which I will be having until Christmas.  There are now only 23 more beers until Christmas!

From their website: Nissefar (father x-mas) is our big Christmas beer that fills our mash tun to its limits with tons of yummy special malts. This beer is very complex, packed with the tastes and smells of Christmas, like chocolate, caramel and raisins.  7% alc, 36 ibu and 70 ebc color.

Nissefar is only brewed for Christmas.  Serving temp: 10-12C, or 50-55F.  Goes well with traditional Christmas dinners and aged  cheeses.

Nisseol

Here you see the x-mas gnome/nisse out looking for the x-mas beer that the farmer is supposed to put out for him. This guy  will play some nasty tricks on the farmer if he should forget his beer.

Beer # 12 Black Butte XXI

Black Butte XXI

Deschutes Black Butte XXI

 

My 2nd chocolate pairing on Halloween eve.

Name: Black Butte XXI

Style: American Porter

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery website

Country: USA

Region: Bend, Oregon

ABV: 11.0%

How served: 22oz waxed dipped capped bomber into a Hennepin glass.

My Overall Opinion: Amazing  

I paired this beer with: Brownies and Halloween cup cakes.

Tasted on: Friday October 30, 2009

Note: On the bottle it is suggested that it is best to consume after 10/17/2010.  So I cheated and had it a year too soon.  Now I can’t wait until next year to try my others to see how well it will do as it ages.  Wow can’t believe it will get better than this. Great after dinner or dessert brew.

Brewed once for the 21st Anniversary and released on June 27th 2009. 

“This masterpiece is a tribute to Black Butte Porter, the revolutionary Deschutes Brewery beer that has excited beer enthusiasts since 1988. This special Reserve Series release is a colossal version of Black Butte Porter. Our brewers enhanced Black Butte XXI by adding some Theo’s Chocolate cocoa nibs from Seattle, dry-hopping it with 100 pounds of Bellatazza’s locally roasted coffee, and then aging a portion of it in Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey barrels. These regional partners provided quality artisan ingredients that give this commemorative beer a truly handcrafted complexity.”

Beer #11 Side Project Volume #4 Dos Cocoas

Terrapin side project Dos Cocas

Terrapin Side Project Volume #4 "Dos Cocas"

Since it is Halloween eve, and Halloween somehow brings back memories of eating lots of chocolate.  So I figure it is time to enjoy some chocolate indulgence tonight.  My 2 beers tonight have the theme of chocolate.  

Name: Dos Cocoas Chocolate Porter (Side Project Volume #4)

Style: American Porter

Brewery: Terrapin Beer Company website

Country: USA

Region: Athens, Georgia

ABV: 5.8%

How served: 22oz capped bomber into a Gouden Carolus, Carolus D’OR  glass.

My Overall Opinion: Good.  

I paired this beer with: Chocolate Pasta with savory chicken & mole sauce

Tasted on: Friday October 30, 2009

Note: The beer was good on its own.  However I would rate it Very Good paired with the chocolate pasta.  On its own the beer was a little thin.  But it was very drinkable with this meal.  I would pair these two together in the future, but too bad this was a limited release and only brewed once.   

 “The “Dos Cocoas” is a traditional Porter with a chocolaty experimental twist.

“Spike” incorporated two types of chocolate at two different stages of production to achieve the balanced chocolate flavors in the “Dos Cocoas.” The first addition was 60 pounds of cocoa powder added in the whirlpool. Next, the porter was aged for one month on a 60 pound bed of cocoa nibs to really bring the dark chocolate flavors home.

The result is a fine chocolate aroma, a unique bitterness and a tantalizingly balanced chocolate flavor from both the cocoa powder and the nibs.”

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