A Beery Merry Christmas!

Our 2012 Christmas List

Our 2012 Christmas List

Let the Festivities Begin!


The Bruery 2 Turtle Doves 

Au Baron (Bailleux)  Saison Saint Médard Noël

Ommegang Biere D’Hougoumont

Gouden Carolus Noël

Fantôme de Noël

St Bernardus Christmas Ale

Scaldis (Bush) Noël

Mikkeller Santa’s Little Helper 2011

Abbaye des Rocs Triple Impériale

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

Three Floyds Alpha Klaus Christmas Porter

Dugges High Five!

Westvleteren XII (x 2)

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout 2009

Stone 12 Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout


This is what’s on our Christmas List, we hope you get everything on your Christmas List too!

Happy Holidays!

Ruth & Mike

Bon Beer Voyage

Beer #182 Mikkeller & BrewDog Devine Rebel

Mikkeller Devine Rebel brewed at BrewDog

Name: Devine Rebel

Style:  English Barleywine

Brewery:  Mikkeller   website  Brewed at BrewDog  Fraserburgh Scotland

Country: Denmark

Region:   København

ABV: 12.1% abv

How served:  11.2 oz capped bottle poured into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass       

My Overall Opinion: Very Good

I paired this beer with:   Grilled Salmon steaks (what else do I eat?)

Tasted on:  Monday  December 5, 2011  

Notes:  Batch # 243 Bottled on: May 07, 2009

This beer an opaque copperish orange with a one finger light tan head which left a small and thin lacing on my glass.    

The nose had aromas of toffee, roasted malts, vanilla, dark dried fruits like prunes and a hint of whiskey.

The taste starts off with the sweetness of caramel and dark dried fruits then in the middle you get some layers of vanilla, oak, and whiskey, near the end of the taste I picked up some of the dry bitterness of the hops were there.  

This beer had medium slick body with a very nice warmth from the alcohol which lingered a while.  It was  a sipper for sure and a  mighty fine Barleywine, wish I had more!

On the Label:  In a rock ‘n roll collaboration 2 of Europe’s most extreme, experimental brewers have combined forces, talents and ideas to produce this innovative ale.

Uniting inspiration, ingredients and people from around the world this beer was brewed and aged at BrewDog in Scotland.

This rebellious beer is partially aged in oak Speyside whiskey barrels and partially aged in stainless steel, combines an ale yeast and a champagne yeast and showcases a single hop variety. 

Produced and Bottled by Brewdog Ltd. Fraserburg, Scotland.

From their website:    Welcome along to the BrewDog label workshop. We thought we would give you a little look behind the scenes at the early stages and concepts of designing a products packaging. You know all about this beer and how it is made, we hope you would like to know a little bit about the thought process behind the packaging as well. Let’s go deeper into the rabbit hole and deeper into the innermost workings of the BrewDog machine.

Firstly the collaboration beer now has a name. The 12.5% Barley Wine which BrewDog and Mikkeller joined forces to make in December 2008 will be called Devine Rebel. It has now fully fermented and tastes amazing! It is being partially oak cask aged, 25% of the beer is ageing in Speyside whisky barrels and the other 75% is ageing in one of our conditioning tanks. We wanted to get some oak flavours and tiny hints of whisky but we wanted to make this a minor part of the beers flavour profile which is why only some of it is ageing in oak. The barley wine ageing in the oak and the barley wine ageing in the tank will be re-united in April 2009 and bottled.

You can see the logo with the BrewDog dog appearing on the right of Mikkell.

With the packaging, what we wanted to incorporate visually into the label was key elements of both brewer’s strong branding. The Mikkeller and BrewDog logo are both prominent, we also added a fun tweak to the Mikkeller logo for the collaboration with the original BrewDog dog appearing alongside Mikkell. The more minimalistic feel of the label is a nod to the style of the Dane’s packaging, we still have some text to add to the front of the label (name, ABV, product of Scotland) but we are going to try hard to keep the simple minimal feel. The label also incorporates the cool vertical lines typical of a Mikkeller label, yet these lines are scuffed and in various blues, typical of a BrewDog label. The version of the label I am currently working on is for the US market so there is the big blank space top left for the mandatory US government health warning.

To get the initial visual we end up cutting out and sticking loads of early concepts and drafts to bottles to get the right visual feel for the development. Our office is full of mocked up prototype product packaging and labels and designs which did not make the final cut as well as visual concepts for new products. Once we have a rough visual for the beer, then it is a case of fine tuning it and writing the text for the product. I usually draw, write and scribble on loads of draft label sheets like the one in the image above as all the various bits of text for the packaging begins to take shape.

Obviously we have had to sample the beer allot over the last few days to check how it is maturing and ensure the packaging reflects the product. Unless you visit the brewery you are going to have to wait a little bit longer until you get to sample it.

As always with our blog, we welcome and feedback or comments!

Posted in – news

Beer #175 Stone, Mikkeller & AleSmith’s Belgian Style Triple Ale


Stone, Mikkeller & AleSmith's Belgian Style Triple Ale

Name: Belgian Style Triple Ale

Style:  Tripel

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.  Website   Mikkeller Brewing Website  AleSmith Brewing Website Brewed & Bottled at Stone Brewing Co.

Country: USA

Region:   Escondido, California

ABV: 8.7% abv

How served:  12 oz capped bottle poured into a Petrus glass.   

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good. 

I paired this beer with:   Nothing.

Tasted on:  Saturday  June 25, 2011  

Notes:  This was brewed once on  June 4th, 2008  & was the 1st of the Stone Collaboration brews.

This beer pours a deep gold with a 1 finger head which dissipated quickly and left a thin lacing on my glass.   

The nose had notes of lemon, spices, sweet malts/candi sugar and Belgian yeast.  

The taste started off sweet from the malts and candi sugar, then was followed with spices like cloves and coriander and ended dry and bitter.

This beer had a crisp mild to medium mouthfeel with a low level of carbonation.     

The drinkability was smooth and easy.  Pour me another please.  

On the LabelThis is a story of how a collaboration brew with – IMO- two of the greatest breweries on this planet initially began with a “fizzy yellow beer.”  It all started in Denmark in the late 09’s when a group of friends and I started going to a bar in our neighborhood that sold a bucket of imported beers. My first love was (yikes) an American fizzy yellow beer…..Well, things have changed since…. We learned that there was SO much more when we discovered American craft beer and we were soon to never touch the fizzy yellow stuff again!  When American craft beer came to interest and with the birth of the first Danish microbreweries, so came the birth of my wanting to brew my own beer.  I got together with Kristian (Keller) and we started brewing in our kitchen in 2003.  As the beer scene progressed more and more US microbrews found their way to Denmark and we started downing beer from far away breweries such as Stone, AleSmith, Three Floyds, etc and they all blew our minds…….I Thought; what’s the heck is going on in Denmark??…why isn’t anybody brewing these kinds of ales?  And so Mikkeller was born…It’s been a couple years now and things has moved faster than the speed of lightning.  Ok let’s get to the case…why are you sitting here in with an ale brewed in friendly collaboration between two US and one Danish brewery in your hands??  Because the world is a small place and because I am one of the luckiest brewers on the planet.  Since tasting the wonderful nectars of the US my dream has been to brew with some of the best brewers on the planet and this ale is the result of realizing this dream.  It’s a result of a fizzy yellow eventually turning me into US beers and getting me turned into Stone and AleSmith. — Mikkel Bjergsø

 From their website:   Sure, we’re a bunch of Arrogant Bastards, but we humbly admit that we were inspired to start brewing by other fantastic breweries and homebrewers. There are a whole lot of fellow craft brewers who we respect and admire, and who we’ve wanted to collaborate with. So why just dream about it? Starting in 2008, we released a new series of collaboration beers. The goal was to get three brewers from three different breweries to put their heads together and have some fun with no regard for boundaries. No restrictions on fitting a beer into a lineup, using familiar ingredients, conforming to preconceived beer styles, using tested procedures in the brewing process or even affordability. Each of these beers is the result of three brewers coming together and doing what they love. Therefore, many of our collaborations include ridiculous amounts of decadent ingredients without regard for shelf price. And because our collaborations are usually only brewed once, they can be rather difficult to find, and once they run out—they run out. Consider yourself warned.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on these liquid tributes to the spirit of camaraderie, you’ll agree that the end result is worth it.

 Brewers:  Peter Zien of AleSmith Brewing., San Diego

 Mikkel Bjergsø of Mikkeller Brewing,

Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing Co., San Diego Denmark

Alc/Vol: 9.5%

Bottle Size: 12oz

Brew Date: June 4th, 2008

Release Date: September 5th, 2008

Beer #139 Mikkeller I Beat yoU


Mikkeller I Beat yoU

Name: I Beat yoU

Style: Imperial IPA

Brewery: Mikkeller   website.

Country:  København, Denmark

Region:  This was Brewed & Bottled by Mikkeller at Brewdog, Aberdeen, Scotland

ABV: 9.75% Abv

How served: 11.2oz capped bottle poured into Stone IPA glass.            

My Overall Opinion: Very Good. 

I paired this beer with: Grilled Chicken.   I.P.A. or D.I.P.A, doesn’t matter they both go well with grilled chicken.

Tasted on:  Monday September 20th, 2010   

Note:  This beer poured a clear deep orange/copper color with a very large 3 finger fluffy head which almost ran over the top of the glass.  The nose was mostly piney with some grapefruit and citrus notes. The taste was like the nose, piney, grapefruit rind and some mild herbal notes, with only a tad of malt sweetness which did not quiet down the bitterness of these hops.   The mouthfeel was of a medium body with a nice level of carbonation.  The drinkability is fairly good for an Imperial IPA, I could easily drink another as the 9.75%abv is hardly noticed.

On the Label:  

From their website:  I Beat yoU is a really hoppy IPA. It is brewed at BrewDog and the instruction for the Scotsmen was clear: we need shitloads of hops in this one! So be it. This is a hop bomb. Lots of bitter and aroma hops and alcohol and just a little bit of sweetness – just enough to provide response to the hops.

Ingredients :  barley, hops, yeast, water

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

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 #116 Mikkeller 1000 IBU


Mikkeller 1000 IBU

Name:  1000 IBU

Style:  Imperial India Pale ALe

Brewery: Mikkeller website

Country:  København, Denmark

Region: This was Brewed & Bottled by Mikkeller at De Proef Brouwerij in Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium

ABV: 9.6% Abv

How served: 375ml wrapped, caged and corked bottle poured into an Oerbier glass.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good

I paired this beer with:  Mediterranean style sardines.  This beer and sardines were just perfect… for me.

Tasted on: Tuesday June 1st, 2010. 

Note:  Cork is dated with a best by date of 14-01-12. 

This bottle was wrapped with a green paper which is not only decorative, but also helps keep this beer from “skunking” as is prone to happening to beer stored in green glass bottles.

Mikkeller 1000 IBU paper bottle cover

 This beer poured with a wonderful thick head.  The nose was just about all hops, nice fresh and citrusy.  I was expecting a fairly bitter to an over the top bitter experience given the name 1000 IBU, but boy was I pleasantly surprised. I was first greeted with the sweetness of the malt and then picked up some piney and citrusy hops.  Very very balanced throughout the drinking experience between the malt and hops, which made this a very crisp and refreshing beer.  In spite of the name 1000 IBU, this beer should be very enjoyable for those who say they do not like “hoppy” beers &  should be just as enjoyable for the “hopheads.  

From their website:   At the end of February Mikkelers IBU 1000 will be available in Denmark and abroad/domestically as well as internationally. Even though this beer has been called the hoppiest in the world numerous times and even though it was debated vigorously on beer blogs prior to its release date around the world, the story about the IBU 1000 cannot be told properly without the information that Mikkellers intention was never solely to brew a beer with an extremely high IBU. The purpose of this project was to brew a beer with an impressive IBU that at the same time was relatively easy to drink. And that is exactly what Mikkeller has done with this beer.

Because – believe it or not – this beer is actually very well balanced. Residual sweetness contrasts nicely with the bitterness from hop and the result is a beer, that is much easier to drink than what you would assume.

The name IBU 1000 refers to the theoretical IBU of this beer. There are physical limits to how much bitterness beer can soak up. For the benefit of those especially interested in the process of brewing we can tell you that 6½ kilogram of alpha-acid extract was used og 10 kilograms of simcoe-pellets per 1000 liters beer! This means that ”easy to drink” is only for the hardcore hopheads….

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Beer #71 Mikkeller Not Just Another Wit

Mikkeller Not Just Another Wit

Name:  Not Just Another Wit

Style:  Witbier (but don’t expect it to taste like one)

Brewery: Mikkeller website

Country: Denmark

Region:  København

ABV: 8.0%

How served: 750ml corked & capped bottle poured into Duvel glass.     

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Mushroom & sausage stuffed pizza

Tasted on:  Sunday February 7, 2010.

Note: This was Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium. 

 If you were to buy this beer expecting your normal “wheat” beer, well you are out of luck.   As the name says, this not your normal “wheat”.    This did not pour like a wheat beer, as it had a nice head, but didn’t have that “normal” wheat huge head.  This beer had an orange grind taste, which make it taste more like an IPA the your typically sweeter “wheat”.  As the label says this is 8.0& abv, not like your normal “wheat”.    If you buy this beer, do not expect it to taste like any “wheat” beer you’ve had before!

From their website:  Not just another wit bier. The style taken to another level. Strong and hoppy. The world’s first IPW?

Ingredients :
Water, malt (pale and amber), unmalted wheat, flaked oats, hops (goldings, amarillo, saaz and cascade), spices (orange peel and coriander seeds) and yeast.

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

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