Beer #199 Weyerbacher Riserva 2012

Weyerbacher Riserva 2012

Weyerbacher Riserva 2012

Name: Riserva 2012

Style: American Wild Ale

Brewery:  Weyerbacher Brewing Co  website

Country: USA

Region: Easton, Pennsylvania

ABV: no abv listed on bottle or their website.  11.4% abv

How served:  750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip. glass.   

My Overall Opinion: Very Good. 4 Stars a

I paired this beer with:  Xtra-Hot Grilled Chicken wings.  Awesome pairing.  Heat from the wings was balanced perfectly with the crisp tangy tart raspberry.

Tasted on:  Saturday April 6, 2013


The beer poured a cloudy reddish brown with a 1 finger off white head.  This brew left no lacing on the glass. .

The nose was of tart raspberries, mildly acidic with hint of woodies oak.  

The taste was like biting into a raspberry sweet tart, without having an over the top raspberry flavor nor sweetness.  As time went by the brew became tarter (acidic) and some of the woody oak flavors came through.   The finish was very dry and refreshing with almost no hint of alcohol.

This beer had a medium crisp body with a low level of carbonation.

Overall I really like this brew; I feel it is something which might benefit from a little age on it too.   

On the Label:

Ale with Raspberry Puree added and Aged in Oak Barrels

From their website:

Riserva 2012 is an American Wild Ale fermented on red raspberries. Riserva is fermented with a blend of Saccharomyces yeast, Brettanomyces yeast, and lactic acid bacteria that produce funky, sour, and fruity flavors and aromas. The beer is aged for more than a year in oak barrels with Raspberries, giving the beer a pungent raspberry aroma, a lovely red color and a balancing wood character. This brew is a beautiful beer both to your eyes and to your taste buds. The microflora responsible for giving Riserva its character reside in the wood barrels and change somewhat over time depending upon factors such as the age of the barrel and the ambient temperature at which the barrels are stored. New barrels are rotated into the mix as old barrels are rotated out and as such, Riserva varies somewhat in color and tartness from year to year. Riserva is much higher in alcohol than its Belgian lambic framboise cousins and is a true treat to experience.

A very limited quantity of Riserva is distributed to select states.

Bon Beer Voyage

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. 


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.  


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!

Impromptu Tasting of 19 Beers.

Saturday night started out as 3 couples (my wife & I, my neighbor and another couple) who planned a mellow evening of grilling steak and drinking only a few beers.  Well it turned out to become an impromptu tasting in which we had the opportunity to taste 13 different beers style from the 19 beers we went through that evening.   

After 19 beers & 24 glasses

Here are almost all the bottles and all of the glassware 6 people went through on the evening.  Having all those beers made cleaning the glasses a little easier.

 The Aperitif Beers:   


Cigar City Jai Alai

Beer #1:  Jai Alai

Brewery: Cigar City Brewing.  Tampa, Florida

Style: I.P.A.

ABV: 7.5% 

21st Amendment Hell of High Watermelon Wheat Beer

Beer #2:  Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer

Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery.   San Francisco, California

Style: American Wheat/Fruit                                

ABV: 4.9% 

Rodenbach Vin de Céréale

Beer #3: Vin de Céréale.  2004 bottle #7392

 Brewery: Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.  Roeselare Belgium (Brouwerij Palm NV)

Style: Flanders Red Ale

ABV: 10.0% 

Goose Island Sofie 2009

Beer #4:  Sofie

Brewery: Goose Island.  Chicago, Illinois

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

ABV: 6.5% 

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast

Beer #5:  Beer Geek Breakfast

Brewery: Mikkeller. København, Denmark (Brewed at Nøgne Ø, Grimstad, Norway)

Style: Oatmeal Stout w/ Coffee

ABV: 7.5%  

Kern River Just Outstanding IPA

Beer #6:  Just Outstanding IPA

Brewery: Kern River Brewing Company.  Kernville, California

Style: I.P.A.

ABV: 6.8%  

Pisgah Baptista

Beer #7:  Pisgah Baptista

Brewery: Pisgah Brewing Co.  Black Mountain, North Carolina

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 11.5%

 Dinner drinks:

Beers #8 & #9 were paired with grilled Filet Mignon, grilled asparagus and corn on the cob.

Ølfabrikken Abbey Ale Special Reserve

Beer #8:  Abbey Ale Special Reserve

Brewery: Ølfabrikken   Roskilde, Denmark

Style: Dubbel

ABV: 8.5% 

AleSmith 2009 Decadence

Beer #9:  Decadence 2009 Anniversary Ale

Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company.  San Diego, California

Style: Dunkel Weizenbock

ABV: 9.0%

 Pre Dessert Beers: 


Good Karma Tripel version 5, 6 and 9

Vertical Tasting of Good Karma Tripel Version #5, #6 & #9

(IMHO Version #6 was the better of the three. It is an outstanding example of the classic Belgian Tripel)

 Beer #10:  Tripel #5 (made with Westmalle yeast) 

Brewery: Good Karma Brewing.  Boca Raton, Florida

Style: Tripel

ABV: 9.0 %  


Beer #11:  Tripel #6 (made with LaChouffe yeast,  sold as Ardennes yeast)

Brewery: Good Karma Brewing.  Boca Raton, Florida

Style: Tripel

ABV: 9.0 %  


Beer #12:  Tripel #9   (made with Uniboue yeast)

Brewery: Good Karma Brewing.  Boca Raton, Florida

Style: Tripel

ABV: 9.0 %  

 The Dessert Beers, Part 1:

Beer #13 & #14 are paired with chocolate cover strawberries

Southern Tier Crème Brûleé Stout

Beer #13: Crème Brûleé Stout

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company.  Lakewood, New York

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.2% 

Consecration in the glass with Supplication, Crème Brûleé, Older Viscosity & Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

Beer #14:  Older Viscosity

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

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 12.10%

 The Palate Cleanser:  

Beer #15:  Supplication

Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company.  Santa Rosa, California

Style:  American Wild Ale

ABV: 7.0%

The Dessert Beers, Part 2:

Beer #16 was paired with a chocolate lava cake.


 Beer #16:  Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

Brewery:  Mikkeller. København, Denmark (Brewed at Nøgne Ø, Grimstad, Norway)

Style: Imperial Oatmeal Stout w/ Vietnamese ca phe chon coffee

ABV: 10.9%

 The Digestif Beers: 


De Dolle Stille Nacht

Beer #17:  Stille Nacht

Brewery: De Dolle Brouwers.  Esen, Belgium

Style: Belgium Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 12.0%


Beer #18: Consecration

Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company.  Santa Rosa, California

Style:  American Wild Ale

ABV: 10.0%

De Proefbrouwerij Boerinneken

 Beer #19:  Boerinneken

Brewery: De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot).  Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 9.5%

 My Favorite Brew of the Day:

Vin de Céréale. 

 My Least Favorite Brew of the Day:

Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Ale


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Beer # 126 Jolly Pumpkin La Roja

Jolly Pumpkin La Roja

Name:  La Roja

Style:  American Wild Ale

Brewery: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales website 

Country:  USA

Region: Dexter, Michigan

ABV: 7.20% Abv

How served: 750 ml bottle poured into an Augustijn Grand Cru glass.       

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Smoked and grilled tilapia on a bed of couscous topped with a spicy fruit and tomato salsa.  I liked this pairing as the tartness of this brew played off the spiciness.  However the other day I had this same meal with Sculpin IPA & this IPA was a much better paring with this spicy & tasty dish.

Tasted on:  Tuesday June 15th, 2010. 

Note:  Poured with a nice 2 finger head.  The nose wasn’t as funky as I had recalled in the past and the only aroma I picked up was that of souring cherries.  The taste was mostly mildly tart cherries and then a mild sweetness followed in this very refreshing ale.  I enjoyed this brew today but I’ve had much better beer from Jolly Pumpkins & they are in the top 10 of favorite brewers in the USA.

On the Label:  Blend 5, 2008.  La Roja, an artisan amber ale brewed in the Flanders tradition.  Deep amber with earthy caramel, spice and sour fruit notes developed through natural barrel aging.   Unfiltered, unpasteurized and blended from barrels ranging in age from two to ten months.  Truly an ale of grace and distinction.  Please enjoy our beers in good health, Cheers & Mahalo plenty! 

On their Website: La Roja

An artisan amber ale brewed in the Flanders tradition.  Deep amber with earthy caramel, spice, and sour fruit notes developed through natural barrel aging.  Unfiltered, unpasteurized and blended from barrels ranging in age from two to ten months.

Year round production: 7.2% Alc./Vol.  750ml bottles – 12 case

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Beer #123 HaandBryggeriet Wild Thing


HaandBryggeriet Wild Thing

Name:  Wild Thing

Style:  American Wild Ale

Brewery: HaandBryggeriet website

Country:  Norway

Region: Drammen

ABV: 7.0% Abv

How served: 500ml capped bottle poured into a St. Louis Premium glass.       

My Overall Opinion: Good

I paired this beer with: Nothing.

Tasted on:  Saturday June 12th, 2010. 

Note:   This beer was brew once.   It is Batch # 246 with a total of 2160 bottles & bottled on Nov 24, 2009.  This beer poured with a very large head, even with a slow pour to keep it under control.  The head did dissipate quickly leaving a nice lacing on the glass. The nose was nothing to brag about, maybe some light smoke, mild funk and a hint of cranberries.  The taste was all smoke to me, I couldn’t get any of the cranberry or currant taste, maybe I just have some weak taste buds. I felt like I was drinking a Rauchbier instead of a Wild Ale.  This brew was neither sour, tart nor sweet if that is possible.   I think this beer would be great to use as a marinade. It was drinkable, but not something I would look for in the future.  This is the 1st brew I’ve had from HaandBryggeriet which has disappointed me.

On the Label:  The Haand brewers- four guys making beer in their spare time, on an absurdly small scale- specialize in recreating old Norwegian farm beers.  Here’s one made with a variety of different grains, and some typical fruits from the region, handpicked by the brewers.  It is fermented by airbourne wild yeast, unfiltered, and unpasteurized.  Wild Thing, you make everything…groovy.  

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Beer #122 Russian River Supplication

Russian River Supplication

Name:  Supplication

Style:  American Wild Ale

Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company website

Country:  USA

Region: Santa Rosa, California

ABV: 7.0% Abv

How served: 375ml caged and corked bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens glass. (I love those pink elephants)       

My Overall Opinion: Amazing.  

I paired this beer with: Nothing.

Tasted on:  Friday June 11th, 2010. 

Note:  This is Batch 04×4.  This bottle opened with a champagne like “pop”.  It poured with a small fluffy head on my slow pour to avoid any yeast on my 1st glass of this beer.  The nose was slightly funky with some sour cherries.  The taste was well… amazing.  You first get hit with a mild puckering tartness followed with delicious sour cherries, and then I picked up some oak and maybe a tad of the pinot.   As for the Brown Ale, well I couldn’t tell what the base beer was if I wasn’t told.  This beer is extremely refreshing for a tart/sour beer and the mouth feel was well… mixed with a tongue twisting tartness and had a massaging action from the medium level of carbonation.  I am a huge fan of Lambics, Gueuze and Wild Ales and Supplication is, if not the top, very close to the top of my list of all time favorites in those styles.   This brew should age very well over the next 3-5 years, so I’m glad I have a few more bottles.

On the Label:  Supplication, sup·pl·ca·tion, n 1. To ask for humbly or earnestly, as by praying. 2. To make a humble entreaty to; beseech.

The beer inside this bottle took more than a year to make- a reasonable length of time for a fine wine, but not for beer.  This is, in fact, a brown ale aged in used pinot noir wine barrels.  During the barrel aging, sour cherries, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus were added to each barrel, imparting a nice cherry flavor and sourness.  While most winemakers and brewers cringe at the idea of adding Brett and bacteria to their wine or beer, our brewer Vinnie Cilurzo embraces these unusual ingredients in beer, despite his winemaking background.  Ironically, Vinnie decided his winemaking days were through when he discovered it takes just twenty-one days to make beer.  Years later, it takes him over a year to make this beer!  Supplication is refermented in this bottle to create its carbonation – a process commonly used to make fine Champagne and sparkling wine. Spent yeast forms a thin layer of sediment in the bottle, adding yet another layer of complexity and flavors.  Pour slowly as to allow the natural yeast sediment to remain in the bottle.  

From their website: Supplication: Brown Ale aged in French oak Pinot Noir barrels with three strains of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and sour cherries .

7.0%ABV / 1.064 O.G / 27 BUs

Silver Medal, 2007 GABF (Belgian-style Sour Ale)
Silver Medal, 2005 GABF (Belgian-style Sour Ale)

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Beer #120 Odell Saboteur (Brett Barrel Brown Ale)


Odell Saboteur (Brett Barrel Brown Ale)

Name:  Saboteur (Brett Barrel Brown Ale)

Style:  American Wild Ale

Brewery: Odell Brewing Company website

Country:  USA

Region: Fort Collins, Colorado

ABV: 10.0% Abv

How served: 750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into my Kastaar tulip glass.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Chicken in a box (Publix’s rotisserie lemon pepper chicken) with a salad in a bag (Fresh Express Italian).   What can I say, just about any beer would pair well with this dinner.

Tasted on:  Wednesday June 9th, 2010. 

Note:    There was a nice “pop” as the cork was pulled out of the bottle and this brew poured with a fluffy two finger tan head.  The nose was minimally funky.  You first get a bit of chocolate and toffee and maybe a hint of vanilla & what no sour or funk in this “Brett” infected beer.  But just you wait a minute; you get a mild enjoyable funkiness in this beer as it starts to warn.   The mouth feel was of a medium texture and your tongue and throat will get a nice massage from the medium level of carbonation and no hint of the alcohol level to hit you later on.   If you enjoy a “Brown Ale” you would really enjoy this twist on the style.  For those of you who are scared of “sour” beers and see the word “brett” on the label and run away, well don’t fear this brew, just go for it.   I’m curious to see how well this one will age.  Since I enjoy some extra funk, I’m hoping that with a little age the “Brett” will have some time to do it’s magic.

 On the Label:  Brett Barrel Brown Ale 

Our brewer’s created an unpretentious, yet sophisticated brown ale. Then they plotted, and dosed this full-bodied ale with brettanomyces, the ultimate adversary of wineries.
Embracing this vintner’s nemesis resulted in a complex and wonderfully drinkable beer. Intense earthy undertones, and notes of vanilla and pineapple come together with a sour silhouette. Aged in American oak barrels and then bottle conditioned.  Saboteur offers a luxurious texture and depth of flavor to discerning palates.

 From their website:  Our brewer’s created an unpretentious, yet sophisticated brown ale. Then they plotted, and dosed this full-bodied ale with brettanomyces, the ultimate adversary of wineries.
Embracing this vintner’s nemesis resulted in a complex and wonderfully drinkable beer. Intense earthy undertones, and notes of vanilla and pineapple come together with a sour silhouette. Aged in American oak barrels.

10.0% Alc. by Vol.

100% Bottle Conditioned

 Single Serve Series:

The most frequently asked question in the Tap Room at the brewery is, “What new beers are you pouring?” Our talented brewers go to town on our pilot brewing system creating a vast array of beers. Some beers are brewed in the name of research, some are envelope pushers, and some are just for fun. Because the pilot beers are primarily served out of our Tap Room, we’re able to get on the spot feedback. We realize that everyone can’t come to us, so we decided to brew some larger batches of our most popular pilot beers and bottle them for our far away friends.

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Beer #115 New Belgium Eric’s Ale, Lips of Faith Series


New Belgium Eric's Ale (Lips of Faith Series)

Name: Eric’s Ale, Lips of Faith Series

Style:  American Wild Ale

Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Inc.  website

Country: USA

Region: Fort Collins, Colorado

ABV: 7.0% Abv

How served: 22 oz capped bottle poured into a Liefmans chalice.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good

I paired this beer with:  Lobster ravioli.  This was a pairing I could do again, but not tomorrow.

Tasted on: Thursday May 27th, 2010. 

Note:  When you crack open this bottle you get a whiff of peaches.  When pouring brew this into a glass, you get a slow forming head, which disappeared within a minute.  The first sniff out of the glass reminded me of a chardonnay.  The taste is at first slightly tart and in a very refreshing way.  You then get a bit of sweetness and a mild peach flavor, without being to peachy sweet.  Despite the lack of carbonation in this beer, the mouthful was much thicker than I expected.   I will most definitely be looking forward to drinking this one again, especially in the middle of the summer.

On the Label:   Wood- Aged Ale with Peach Juice.

Eric Says It Best.  This Is A Sour Ale For Those Who Don’t Like Sour Ales.  And A Fruit Ale For Those Who Don’t Like Fruit Ales.  More Hypothesis And Wood Aged Ales At NewBelgium.Com

From their website:   We here at New Belgium Brewing are crazy pleased to introduce you to our new and rousing Lips of Faith program. Over the years, we have put tons of love and effort into our core brands such as Fat Tire, 1554 and our imaginative seasonal line-up.

At the same time, we’ve always wanted to keep the brewhouse a playground by creating tiny batch brews for internal celebrations or milestones. We’ve loosely grouped all these playground beers as Lips of Faith. In exchange, we are committing time, resources and boundary-free imagination to the Lips of Faith program to ensure that not only will you have innovative delicious brews, but also a steady and every changing variety available.

With the new release of bombers of Lips of Faith beers and our expanded draft program, you’ll have more opportunities to sample and enjoy the outcome of our brewer’s at play.

Looking to find some Lips of Faith creations? Try our Libation Location.

Eric’s Ale, named for long time New Belgium brewer Eric Salazar, combines a dry, sour beer aged up to three years in oak foeders with a semi sweet, higher alcohol base beer. The resulting blend is re-fermented with peach juice, creating a smooth ale with subtle peach tones and a warm, spicy finish. The aroma has pleasant hints of vanilla and tropical fruit, the wood characteristics are present but nicely muted.

A sour beer for those who don’t like sour beers. And a fruit beer for those who don’t like fruit beers.

ABV 7%

IBU 16

Hops/spicing: Peach Juice

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