Beer #177 Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout

Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout (Note:the lettering should be purple, but the flash turned it blue)

Name: Imperial Stout

Style:  Russian Imperial Stout

Brewery:  Nøgne Ø Det Kompromisslose Bryggeri A/S website

Country: Norway

Region:   Grimstad

ABV: 9.0% abv

How served:  500ml capped bottle poured into a Dogfish Head snifter.    

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good

I paired this beer with:   Nothing.

Tasted on:  Wednesday July 13, 2011  

Notes: 

This beer pours out a thick hazy dark brown to black with a large billowing tan head which left a nice lacing on my glass.    

The nose is heavy with roasted coffee, roasted malt and dark chocolate and a bit of smoke.   

The taste is of bitter dark chocolate, coffee, licorice and sweet molasses with a dry finish.

This beer has a thick, chewy and creamy mouthfeel with a perfect level of carbonation for the style.      

The drinkability was very good, with a nice level of warmth from the alcohol.

Overall this is a very delicious beer, but it is better off drunk in the wintertime instead of the middle of July, or maybe I should have turned my a/c down to 60 degrees.

On the LabelA rich, dark ale in which a generous sweetness perfectly balanced roasted malt bitterness.  Serving temp 10°C/50°F.  Great with vanilla ice cream or dark chocolate.  Ingredients: Maris Otter-, Munich-, crystal-, chocolate-, black-, oat-, wheat-malt and roasted barley.  Columbus hops, English ale yeast and our local Grimstad water.

“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:   IMPERIAL STOUT 23°P,75 IBU, 9% ALC/VOL

We think the russian tsar would have liked his stout this way. A dark, rich ale in which a generous sweetness with roasted malt bitterness. Serving temp.10°C/50°F. Great with vanilla ice cream or dark chocolate.

Ingredients: Maris Otter, Munich, roasted barley, oat, black, and chocolate malt; Columbus and Crystal hops; English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water.

Beer #166 De Struise Cuvée Delphine

De Struise Cuvée Delphine

 Name: Cuvée Delphine

Style:  Russian Imperial Stout

Brewery: De Struise Brouwers.  website

Country: Belgium

Region:   Oostvleteren

ABV: 13.0 % Abv

How served:  330 ml capped bottle poured into a De Struise glass.  

My Overall Opinion:  Amazing

I paired this beer with:  After dinner drink, no food pairing is needed with this beer.

Tasted on:  Monday April 11th, 2011  

Notes:   This beer poured an almost pure black and opaque, with a thick 2 finger dark tan head on a very slow pour.  There was very little lacing left on my glass when I was done.  The smell was of chocolate, roasted malts/coffee, dark fruits and hints of the bourbon barrels this was aged in and oak.  The taste started off mildly sweet with cherries, roasted coffee, licorice and a bit of cocoa.  Near the finish I picked up mild bourbon flavors from the 4 Roses Barrels and ended mildly bitter.  This beer had a medium creamy mouthfeel with a moderate  level of carbonation.  The drinkability was very good especially since this is a 13% abv brew with the alcohol level not very noticeable.   This was extremely well balance as the bourbon was not over the top in this well blended brew.  I prefer this over the base beer Black Albert. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the Label:  Vintage 2009    Lot: BR26.230.610       Best Before 15 07 2015

Black Albert was used in a new barrel aging project.  More than a year ago, Carlo was able to get his hands on a stock of Four Roses Bourbon barrels, and we happily filled them up with Batch “0”.  This unique creation was originally to be named 4 Black Roses in honour of its heritage, but our friends in Kentucky strongly advised us not to do so!  What to do?  As the disowned offspring of Black Albert, the name Cuvée Delphine imposed itself.  Savouring the Belgian irony, we are most honoured to have the by Delphine Boël shining on this label.  You will not find this ale all over the globe.  There is no export program, but we will try to provide stock through our web shop and some specialty beer pubs.

 Art Work on the label is:  Blue Sky, Vicious Rumor.

 

Bon Beer Voyage and Special Guests Jason & Todd of  BeerAdvocate will be visiting De Struise Brouwers on one of our stops during our this October’s Amsterdam to Bruges Beercation Cruise.  

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!

Recap of the 3rd annual Jupiter Field of Beers

Jupiter Field of Beers 2011

Roger Dean Stadium 

 This was the 3rd annual Jupiter Field of Beers and I was fortunate enough to be at all 3 events.  Like the last 2 years, Fran, from Brewzzi, did an outstanding job of putting together this event.  I’m already looking forward to next years!

Roger Dean Stadium, the view from the 1st base side

 This year there were 16 mouthwatering food and beer pairing stations.  2 were alongside 1st base & 3rd base; 3 were found inside each dugout where you could eat and drink while sitting on the dugout benches and the other 6 were scattered along the backstop behind home plate. 

 Here is the list of beers, as they were presented on the Field of Beers, not necessary in the same order as consumed.

 Behind 1st Base

 #1 Wood Fired Flatbread
Saint Somewhere Lectio Divina

 Local Loxahatchee, Florida goat cheese and fresh fig compote on toasted whole grain flatbread with fresh basil.

Paired with: Lectio Divina:  

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Brewery: Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.   website

Country: USA

Region: Tarpon Springs, Florida

ABV: 8.0%  

Unfiltered amber colored ale combining elements of fruity sweetness and a pleasant tartness along with classic Belgian spiciness.

Bob of Saint Somewhere holding a bottle of Lectio Divina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 
 
 
 

Inlet's Monk in the Trunk

  #2 Grilled Kobe Beef Slider

Presented on a soft potato slider roll with horseradish cream sauce.

Paired with: Monk in the Trunk  

Style: Belgian Amber Ale

Brewery: Inlet Brewing Company   website

Country: USA

Region: Jupiter, Florida

ABV: 5.5%

A unique copper colored ale with a fruity, slightly spicy aroma and subtle nutty/malty sweet flavor brewed with fresh organic hops. 

Monk in the Trunk

 Inside the 1st Base Dugout  

  

First Base Dugout

 

Tequesta English IPA

 #3 English IPA Battered Fish & Chips (Florida Snapper)

Served with smoky chipotle aioli in a paper cone.

Paired with: English IPA

Style: English IPA

Brewery: Tequesta Brewing Company

Country: USA

Region: Tequesta, Florida

ABV: ???%

Golden colored, medium body IPA, subtly balanced with floor malted Maris Otter and English Challenger and East Kent Golding Hops.

Fish and Chips in the 1st base dugout

Gordon Biersch Sticke Alt

 #4 Homemade Watercress Gnocchi

In shiitake mushroom ragu, prosciutto, roasted garlic cream and sprinkled with basil and fresh parmigiano reggiano.

Paired with: Sticke Alt

Style: German Altbier

Brewery: Gordon Biersch Brewery   website

Country: USA

Region: Miami, Florida

ABV: ??%   

A bigger version of the traditional Northern Altbier made with all German malt. Sticke Alt  means “Secret Ale” made in appreciation of loyal local brewery patrons.

Enjoying the Field of beers

 #5 Wild Pheasant and White Bean Chili

Served over a white cheddar and jalapeno biscuit with fresh oregano, tomatillo, green pepper and garlic.

Paired with: Helios Ale

Style: Saison

Brewery: Victory Brewing Company   website

Country: USA

Region: Downingtown, PA

ABV: 7.5%  

Starts with an earthy flavor and aromatic hop aroma, and turns to hints of lemon peel and pepper in the invigorating and quenching finish.

 Behind Home Plate 

 
 
 

Stone Smoked Porter

 

#6 South Florida Style Grilled  Apalachicola Florida Oyster “Rockefeller”

Topped with crispy pancetta, spinach, pernod cream with a hint of garlic and anise 

Paired with: Stone Smoked Porter

Style: Smoked Porter

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.   website

Country: USA

Region: San Diego, California

ABV: 5.6%

A smooth, deep-mahogany colored ale with chocolate and coffee like flavors balanced with the subtle smokey quality of peat-smoked malt.

Stone Smoked Porter

Brewzzi Darkhouse

 #7 Ziggy’s Cheese Shoppe Fondue with Homemade Bretzel

Creamy imported limburger, pickled carrot and beets on a caraway, rye “Bretzel”.

Paired with: Darkhouse

Style: Belgian Dark Farmhouse Ale

Brewery: Brewzzi   website

Country: USA

Region: West Palm Beach/Boca Raton, Florida

ABV: ??%   

American take on a traditional Belgian classic. Full-bodied, slightly tart Brown Ale well balanced with fresh American hops.

“At Brewzzi, our beer’s journey doesn’t end at the bottom of the glass.  The spent grain from our brewery goes to a Loxahatchee company which uses it to make organic worm castings…yes, worm poop.  The result is an all natural, 100 percent organic fertilizer which is then sent to an organic farm to help grow vegetables we intended to use in tonight’s beer and food pairings. 

But mother nature had other plans. Two months ago, the frost and freezing temperatures ruined a large percentage of crops throughout South Florida, including our veggies.  So, while we were unable to use sustainable vegetables this time around, we promise to try again next year.

 
 
 

Brewzzi Darkhouse

 

Big Bear Imperial Stout

 #8 Stout Braised Bottom Round of Grain Fed Beef

Crusted with pasilla pepper and toasted coriander and slow roasted with a veal demi glace. Carved to order with white cheddar grits.

When they say “grain fed beef” they meant “beer grain feed”!!  “Big Bear brewmaster Matt Cox contributed to both the beer and food in tonight’s pairing.  Matt donates his spent grain to a local cattle farmer in Delray Beach, who has been feeding it to his cows since last year.  The resulting beef is part of this pairing tonight.  It’s a great example of how craft beer and sustainability can go hand in hand.”

Paired with: Big Bear Imperial Stout

Style: Imperial Stout

Brewery: Big Bear Brewing Co   website

Country: USA

Region: Coral Springs, Florida

ABV: ??%     

Big and bold, rich, dark and roasty with a hint of smokiness. Balanced by a slight malt and toffee sweetness with a smooth and creamy mouth feel from the nitrogen tap.  

Terrapin Wake n' Bake

 #9 Coffee Stout Mocha Float

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Paired with: Wake n’ Bake

Style: Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

Brewery: Terrapin Brewing Company   website

Country: USA

Region: Athens, GA

ABV: 8.1%  

Black as night, this Stout is thick, rich and full of real coffee flavor. Brewed with flaked oats, flaked barley and balanced with Chinook and Northern Brewer hops.

Terrapin Wake n' Bake Ice Cream Float

 
 
 

Swamp Head Catherine's Passion

 

#10 Warm Chocolate Beignets

Cocoa and red velvet devils food doughnut with salted caramel dipping sauce.

Paired with: Catherine’s Passion

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Brewery: Swamp Head Brewery   website

Country: USA

Region: Gainesville, Florida

ABV: 9.75%  

Big flavored, dark ale infused with organic cocoa nibs and Fare Trade coffee with a noticeable (9.75 abv) alcohol presence.

The last Chocolate Beignets

 

W
O
W
After tasting
Catherine’s
Passion
My Eyes Swirled
&
My Feet Felt Different!!

My eyes started to swirl

My Feet Felt Different!

Widmer Brothers’ Reserve Brrr

 #11 Fresh Grilled Lamb Sausage

Spiced with rosemary and sage and served with savory minted anjou pear and beer reduction compote.

Paired with: Brothers’ Reserve Brrr

Style: Winter Warmer

Brewery: Widmer Brewing Company   website

Country: USA

Region: Portland, Oregon

ABV: 9.4%

Aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels. Soft oak flavor transitions to a sweet, slightly dry finish with hints of vanilla and caramel.

Widmer Brothers' Reserve Brrr

 Inside the 3rd Base Dugout

 

Left Hand Polestar Pilsner

 

 #12 Chef Carlino’s Lobster Mac and Cheese

Made with sharp aged cheddar fresh chervil and green parsley.

Paired with: Polestar Pilsner

Style: Pilsner

Brewery: Left Hand Brewery   website

Country: USA

Region: Longmont, Colorado

ABV: 5.5%

Light, crisp, elegant pilsner. Brewed with American hops yet delivering a true European Pilsner flavor.

Left Hand Polestar Pilsner

Cigar City Jai Alai White Oak aged IPA

 #13 La Caja China

Marinated, roasted whole pig with “Rincon Heat” gourmet hot sauce.

Paired with: Jai Alai White Oak Aged IPA

Style: India Pale Ale

Brewery: Cigar City Brewing    website

Country: USA

Region: Tampa, Florida

ABV: 7.5%  

Amber colored American IPA brewed with six varieties of the freshest northwestern hops with notes of macaroon, vanilla and dill.

 

Blue Point Rastafa Rye Ale

 

 #14 Florida Gator Wontons

Marinated Gator tail with sweet and spicy Florida citrus (Beer Infused) dipping sauce.

Paired with: Rastafa

Style: Rye Ale

Brewery: Blue Point Brewing Company    website

Country: USA

Region: Patchogue, NY

ABV: 7.5%  

A hearty, deep copper ale with just the right amount of rye flavor to offset the spicy, floral characteristics of the hops.

 Behind 3rd Base

 

Brooklyn Local One

 

 #15 Green Tea Cured Salmon

Served with longan berries, basil and yuzu jelly.

Paired with: Local One

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery   website

Country: USA

Region: Brooklyn, New York

ABV: 9.0%  

Golden colored ale brewed with raw sugar, as well as German malt and hops. Re-fermented in the bottle with a dusting of Belgian yeast producing complex aroma and flavors.

 

Florida Swamp Ape IPA

 

#16 Florida Seafood Paella

Florida grouper, crab, spicy chorizo (sausage) and fresh cilantro in saffron rice.

Paired with: Swamp Ape IPA

Style: Double IPA

Brewery: Florida Beer Company   website

Country: USA

Region: Melbourne, Florida

ABV:10.0 %

Intense beast of a beer with potent aroma and bite! 10 percent alcohol IPA brewed with five distinct varieties of hops.

Florida Swamp Ape IPA

 My 3 Favorite Beer & Food Pairing of the night were:

(not including the 2 dessert pairings which were both awesome!!!!)

Wild Pheasant and White Bean Chili with Helios Ale

Wood Fired Flatbread with Lectio Divina

Grilled Kobe Beef Slider with Monk in the Trunk

 

My 3 Favorite Beers of the Night were:

(this was difficult as there were many great tasting beers at this event)

Swamp Head Catherine’s Passion

Cigar City Jai Alai White Oak Aged IPA

Saint Somewhere Lectio Divina 

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A Great Time at the Field of Beers

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 # 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 Travels in Belgium Part 2

This is the 2nd in the series of our review of our recent trip to Belgium.  We visited Bruges, Gent, Mechelen, Antwerp & Brussels over 7 days, meeting with vendors for our beer tour company BonBeerVoyage.com.  During our whirlwind week, we were able to visit over 50 beer related places and tried over 50 beers. 

This entry focuses on our 2nd day of the trip, while we were in Bruges.  On this day we visited 1 bottle shop, 5 bars, 1 brewery & finished the night off dining in an award winning restaurant known for their cuisine a la bière.

Bruges has many bottle shops to buy beer & beer related glassware, today we visited The Bottle Shop (Wollestraat 13).

The Bottle Shop

The Bottle Shop

The Bottle Shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bottle Shop has a very large selection of beers to choose from and a very good assortment of glassware.  Above I have shown only 3 of the many walls of beer.   If you do buy here, they do a great job of packing up your beer/glassware safely, which is key if you plan on packing it in your checked in luggage. 

On Breidelstraat, the street connecting the Burg & the Grote Market, there is a very small alley way (De Garre) which leads to 2 bars.  You can very easily walk right by if you’re not paying attention.  You’ll spot what looks like a doorway and has the word Cookie’s written on the glass pane above the alley entrance.

Alley to de Garre

Chalkboard for Garre and Cookies

          In the very back of this alleyway is Cookie’s (2 De Garre).  If you are in the mood for tapas, hot or cold, stop in for a bite and maybe even a beer.  The beer menu is very limited, they had 4 beers on tap (Jupiler, Keizer Karel Blond, Brugse Zot Blond & Brugse Zot Bruin & 8 bottle beers, nothing which you can’t find back in the USA, Duvel, Tripel Karmeliet, Orval, Chimay blue, Westmalle dubbel & tripel and Rochefort 10, all bottles were 3.50 euro except for Rochefort which was 4.80 & the Mystic Kriek at 2.30.

Character in Staminee De Garre

The gem in this alley is Staminee De Garre (1 De Garre).  It is a little bar, with a very nice atmosphere and 135 bottled beers.  If you’re lucky, you might run into the guy in the top hat (above), who was whistling songs.  If it is crowded downstairs, head up the narrow staircase to a larger room upstairs.  If you’re only going to have 1 beer, the beer to try here is the House Tripel, which is brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge.  It is a Tripel and 8% abv and you will not be disappointed!  They serve your beer with a small plate of cheese.

@ The Pub

@ The Pub menu

The closest bar to the Belfry (Belfort) Tower is @ The Pub (4 Hallenstraat).  They have a nice selection of about 100 beers. See menu above. In @ the Pub you have 2 seating areas inside- as you enter to the left is the bar area and to the right is a lounge area.  If the weather is nice you can sit outside and enjoy your beer as well.

Eetcafe Leopold

Leopold beer / liquor menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eetcafe Leopold (26 ‘t Zand) is located across from the tourist information office.  Besides having 8 different types of Croque’s, which are very tasty, they have a fairly nice beer list of about 40 bottles.

3 Tripels & a Bruin

Shown above are 4 of them, Kasteel Bruin, Kasteel Tripel, Westmalle Triple & Tripel Karmeliet.   The notices written (in Dutch, French & German respectively) on the cigar sign translate to: smoke is deadly, smoke kills & smoke is deadly. 

De Halve Maan entrance

2 beers available at De Halve Maan

Brouwerij De Halve Mann / Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik (26 Walplein).  This is the only brewery within Bruges.  It is less than a half mile walk from the train station.  They give a guided tour of the brewery and museum which last about 45 minutes and cost 5.50 euros.  It is a very entertaining tour and in the museum you will see among other things a huge collection of old metal beer cans and vintage beer glasses.  The tour is well worth the price of admission, plus it includes a tasting of Bruges Zot.

Straffe Hendrik Tripel

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brugse Zot, was poured from the tap.  It is a Belgium Pale Ale and is 6.0%abv.

Straffe Hendrik Brugs Tripel Bier, is a 9% abv Tripel.

't Brugs Beertje

't Brugs Beertje

‘t Brugs Beertje (5 Kemelstraat) is just 250 yards from the Grote Market off Steenstraat.  It is my favorite bar in Bruges.  Not only do they have a fantastic beer menu, but the service is great and it is a wonderful place to meet and mingle with locals and other beer enthusiasts.  We only had time to stop by and say hello to Daisy, the owner and have 1 beer, which was Gouden Carolus Noël.  This is a Belgium Strong Dark Ale of 10.5% abv and is brewed by Brouwerij Het Anker

Den Dyver Gold Award 2009

For dinner we went to Den Dyver  (5 Dijver) which is known for its cuisine a la bière.  They received the 2009 Gold Medal Beer & Gastronomy Award from Bierpassie, Ambiance Magazine & Maxwell Williams.   At Den Dyver you have the choice of ordering a la carte or choosing from their 3, 4 or 5 course menus.  The 3, 4 or 5 course meals can be paired with either beer or wine and are actually cooked in the paired beer.   My wife had the 3 course meal & beer pairing & I went for the 4 course.

hopped up champagne & house pale ale

We started off with an aperitif, mine was the House Pale Ale, unknown abv & brewer.  Ruth had the house aperitif, which was a hopped up champagne.

Blanche de Hainaut Biologique

Struise Rosse

            For appetizers, I had the swordfish steak with an anchovy crust which was paired with Blanche de Hainaut Biologique, a Witbier  with a5.5% abv.  This was brewed by Brasserie Dupont sprl.  Ruth had the duck confit which was paired with Struise Rosse, vintage 2007, 6.0% abv.  This is a Belgian Pale Ale brewed by De Struise Brouwers.  Both were perfect pairings.

Westmalle toast

For the main course we both had the duck paired with the Westmalle Tripel, which is a Tripel with a 9.5% abv.  This is brewed by Adbij der Trappsten van Westmalle (Brouwerij Westmalle).  The Westmalle was a good match for the duck.

Het Kapittel Pater & Bink Winterkoninkske

For dessert, my wife had an assortment of cheese which was paired with Het Kapittel Pater brewed by Brouwerij Van Eccke, it is a Belgian Dark Ale,6.00 % abv.  As usual, the beer was a great pairing for the cheese-and Ruth wondered “Why did we ever waste time pairing wine with cheese in the past?”

I had a pear strudel with Fourme d’ ambert, a French cheese which was paired with Bink Winterkoninkske, Belgium Dark Strong Ale with an 8.3%abv made by Brouwerij Kerkomj. This was an incredible combination, probably the highlight of the evening.

To end the evening of beer and food bliss I had a fig cake with almond cream.

The service was excellent. The son of the owner is the beer/wine sommelier, and presented each beverage with an explanation and a proper pour.  There were separate waiters and bus people, so we were very well taken care of.  The atmosphere is upscale yet relaxed. We are looking forward to returning with our tour group in October.

Coming up next in this series we will finish our time in Bruges by visits to 3 more bottle shops, 3 more beer bars, a gourmet chocolate shop and a cigar shop which serves beer in its backroom bar. Then we’ll head off to Gent.

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