Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beer Review: The Bruery Hottenroth Berliner Weisse

I have to be honest I have had some mixed feelings about some of the beers from The Bruery.  The most recent beers I have had are Mischief which I enjoyed and now Hottenroth.  Hottenroth is a Berliner Weisse style, which is apparently an upcoming trend in beer styles.  As I have said many times, my girlfriend is a huge fan of sour beers, which gives me great incentive to purchase them when I can.

Hottenroth pours out hazy, light yellow straw color.
Aroma:  tart, some barn funk, and wheat
Taste:  sour upfront, citrus notes, nice wheat malt flavor
Mouthfeel:  medium carbonation, dry finish
Overall:  It's a very good beer, coming in at 3% it's super drinkable and the sourness is not overwhelming.  I would definitely grab another bottle.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Visit to Epic Ales

Not a bad weekend for Seattle beer.  Friday we headed out to Epic Ales in SoDo to taste some wild new flavors from Cody on his 1 Barrel System.  Epic Ales is a one man operation and his tasting room is open from 3:30 to 8:00 with 1$ tastings and 22oz. bottles on sale for $4.  We got there a little late and one of the three kegs was already killed but we were fortunate enough to get a our fair share of tasters. My notes are a little pitiful, we were busy talking it up with Cody, but I think I got a good idea of flavors as we were chatting.    

We started off with Lyli (no pics available).  Lyli is a wheat and green tea beer.  Nice golden color, good crisp dry mouthfeel and a very earthy finish, thanks to the tea.  Not a true wheat in any way, but a good new flavor. 

Next up was Terra-saurus.  This is a huge dark beer, Cody didn't really have a style for this one it's kind of a a porter/stout/strong hybrid brewed with Shitake mushrooms.  This is a truly tasty beer, very forward malt flavor and aroma, with a bit of earthy flavor that balances with with the roasted malt.  A truly unique beer, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Last taste was from his "Simple series", which is a series is beers brewed with one variety of malt and hops, hence the simple name.  The Simple Summer Ale is a saison hybrid that pours out golden,  with a nice white head.  Aroma of yeast, barn, straw with a hint of hops.  Tastes of yeast, banana and a nice hop finish.   Cody just popped one open at room temp for us to try and I really enjoyed it.  Very drinkable beer nice mouthfeel and a good dry finish. 

Overall a great experience at Epic Ales, I left with two bombers one of the Simple summer and one of the Fuj.  You can find Epic Ales at a number of good beer bars in Seattle. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Two Beers Brewing Co. Anniversary Party

I found this on the Washington Beer Blog and wanted to share it with everyone.

For Immediate Release
August 16, 2010
Two Beers Brewing Co. Celebrates One Year in SoDo
Seattle WA — Two Beers Brewing Co. is celebrating being in SoDo for a year and wants to invite anyone and everyone down for their celebration.
“It’s been quite a year for us” said Joel VandenBrink, Founder and Brewmaster of Two Beers Brewing Co. “We have made many friends along the way thus far and want to have a party to thank everyone for the continued support.”
The Party will be at the brewery, 4700 Ohio Ave S. Seattle WA 98134, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday August 28th. On tap will be the only keg of Winter Hop 2009 remaining, Orange, Grapefruit, and Lemon Peeled Belgian Wit, Summer Hop, and all your other favorites from Two Beers Brewing Co. In addition, Casks will be on the bar all afternoon, a BBQ will be cooking up Spicy Sausage from Zoe’s Meats, and live music will be on the dock out front.
All our encouraged to stop by and help Two Beers Brewing Co. celebrate their first year. For more information visit www.twobeersbrewery.com
Other Useful Info: We will have two pouring stations, the one inside the tasting room with 6 taps, and another one outside on the dock with 4 taps. Special “one and offs” will be inside as will the cask.
Throughout the day all of our beers will be on tap: 20:20 Blonde, Crooked Belgian Wit, Immersion Amber, Persnickety Pale, Echo IPA, Evo. IPA, Sodo Brown, and Summer Hop.
Kids are welcome, as are dogs.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Tumbler Brown

I found a six pack of this at Trader Joe's in Queen Anne.  This is a seasonal brown I have never seen from Sierra Nevada.

Served in my commemorative Star Trek III glassware (yep, that's Kirk and Spock) from Taco Bell.  Tumbler pours medium brown with a light off white head. Great roasted malt nose and a hint of hops. Taste was sweet caramel, roasted malt and a nice hoppy finish.  Mouthfeel was light, with medium to high carbonation. 

Overall I liked the beer.  I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase another sixer. I would rather have the Mission St. Brown or the Tamerlane from Black Raven, but overall not too shabby.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brouwer's Cafe Seattle

My girlfriend and I have been taking our time exploring Seattle and its beer scene.  I am admittedly a little bit behind my projected visit list so far, but the places we have gone have been great and Brouwer's Cafe is no exception.

As soon as we walked in I said "it feels like home", I only wish they had a nice comfy bed and I would never leave.  With a huge bar and a wall full of taps from Wa, Ca, and Belgium beer, it's a beer lovers dream.  We arrived 10 minutes prior to happy hour (from 3-6)  and our server was right on it and told us she would hold our orders for those 10 minutes to get the $1 off we deserve.

I started off with Fremont Brewing Universal Pale Ale, which is located right down the street from Brouwer's and I expect to take enjoy a pint at their beer garden next weekend if weather allows.  The Pale was great West coast style, nice balance of the sweet and hoppy.  I found it more balanced and drinkable than Sierra Nevada PA.  What?  Nice citrus notes and great mouthfeel, you could sit down and enjoy a few of them.   I am really looking forward to my hopeful visit next weekend.

My girlfriend got the Le Fleur Misseur, which I had a couple "tastes" of.  It's a very mild sour ale, less tart than the La Folie, I think the malt sweetness balanced out the sourness well.  Not my fave sour they make, but I think for a person starting on sours, it was a great price and a pretty tasty beer.  Check out that lacing.

Last and absolutely not least Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout, which almost impossible to find on tap in California.  I have only tasted this beer at the tasting room in Paso Robles.  Pours out dark brown, nice malty nose, rich chocolate and licorice aroma.  This is a tasty sweet stout, roasted malt, coffee and chocolate.  Drinkability is superb, it has a great light mouthfeel, medium carbonation, another awesome beer by FW.  I am thinking about starting up a Facebook page demanding they bottle this beer, it should be on their regular list of beers, at least in 22oz. 

Not a bad afternoon for beer.  If you are around Brouwer's it is a must go to.  With 64 beers on draft, 300 bottles including RR, Lost Abbey, Dogfish and Rochfort to name a few, it's absolutely amazing.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Visit to Black Raven Brewing

The weather was incredible this weekend and to celebrate I went to Black Raven Brewing in Redmond.  The weather could have been horrible and I still would have gone, but any excuse to try great beer I guess.  I had visited Black Raven last year while my girlfriend was living up here and I wanted to see how they were doing.

Black Raven is located in Redmond, in an industrial area.  The tasting room is very cozy and clean and they just recently opened a beer garden in the back with grilled sausages.  We arrived around 1:00 and the place was packed.  I guess the word has got out and rightly so, the beer was great and well worth the 20 minute drive out there.

In the two years that Black Raven has been open they have really made an impact.  Already bringing home three World Beer Cup Awards,  including Gold for their Tamerlane Brown Porter, Silver for Barrel aged La Petite Mort and another Gold for Coco Jones Porter. 

I started out with the Tamerlane Brown Porter, I loved this beer the first time I tried it and enjoyed it just as much the second. 

Tamerlane is dark brown and has nice sweet malt aromas, chocolate, very reminiscent of a nut brown.  Flavor is roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, it had a great grain flavor that was clean and well balanced with the sweetness. Mouthfeel was light body, medium to high carbonation.  This is not a big porter, it is a great light hybrid, very easy to drink and super tasty. 

 Overall, I would have more than one.

Next up Trickster IPA

I am pretty sure Trickster was not on tap the first time I visited or I just passed it over, not too sure.  But they had it this time and being the hop head that I am, had to go for it.  Trickster pours out golden copper with a nice white head.  Aroma is a like sticking your head in a bag of hops, pineapple citrus.  Taste: good balance of sweet malt, hoppy pineapple, citrus, but not overwhelming.  I would have thought the 6.8% avb would have come through more, but it didn't.  Mouthfeel was light body with medium carbonation. 

Overall it is a super drinkable beer.  Well balanced and perfect for any hop head.

One thing that I am a fan of is having the malt and hops listed on the tasting menu, as Black Raven does and it allows the drinker to understand the flavors.  If you ever home brew and taste the malt prior to mashing in, it is a great way see how those flavors work together.  I also have to say it is great when a brewer doesn't mess up those flavors.  Beaux does a great job of creating clean drinkable beers that stay true to the ingredients.  Do yourself a favor, take a trip out to Black Raven and enjoy the offerings.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Beer Review: 21st Amendment Back in Black

I was wandering around the market in Seattle this weekend and stumbled upon this in Pear Deli and Shoppe.  This place was great, a huge selection of Seattle beers and a very substantial selection of California beers.  I promise to start doing Seattle beer reviews very soon, but I have never seen this and thought my Cali followers would appreciate a review on this new release from 21st Amendment.  For those of you that may not know, 21st Amendment Brewing is located in San Francisco and is a mainstay of brewing in the bay.  They have are becoming a pretty substantial brewer, so far have released four of their beers in cans.

Back in Black is an American IPA brewed with dark malts.  It comes in at 6.8% and a wopping 65 IBU's. 

It pours out dark brown/black with an off white head.
Aroma:  dark black malt, roasted malt, piney hops
Taste:  starts with black malt, roasted malt, then a nice hint of resin hops and a black malt flavor and a mouth puckering hop finish.
Mouthfeel:  medium to high carbonation. low body. finishes slightly dry.

Overall:  Yummy!  I think most of the beers I have reviewed have been good, I guess I have really great taste.  But this was a great treat.  I think the balance of the Black malt and the hops worked well together.  It is a very drinkable beer, I could definitely have more than one of these and I am little bitter I didn't buy a couple extra.  Thanks 21st Amendment for another great beer.  

Monday, August 9, 2010

Beer Review: Avery Brewing Czar Imperial Stout

While I was in Colorado I picked up a bottle of Avery Brewing's Imperial Stout at the store.  Avery has a series of Imperial's including Maharaja Imperial IPA, Kaiser Imperial Lager and of course the Czar.  If you have read my posts you should know I love my IPA's and I really do love my stout's.  As soon as you add Imperial to front of those styles, my interest is peaked and the beer is an automatic must have.

Czar pours out pitch black, with a nice off white head.
Aroma:  roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, toffee.
Taste:  huge dark malt, molasses, and vanilla, finishes a little hot.

Mouthfeel:  medium carbonation, has good drinkablity, but is an Imperial so do yourself a favor and share a bottle.

Overall it was a great beer.  As I have posted before I love Avery.  He is doing some great things with flavors and I really look forward to getting into more of my stash.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Farewell Party at the Trappist

It has been long overdo, but my first trip to The Trappist was worth the wait.  For those of you not familiar with this place, it is a Belgian and Specialty beer bar in Oakland.  I really didn't understand the hoopla over this place when it opened, but soon after being there, my eyes were opened. 

After a few months of planning my friends and I finally found a day to visit the Trappist.  Luckily for me it was five days prior to my departure to my new place of residence, Seattle.  So to celebrate my relocation, we went and drank and we had a blast.  The Trappist started as a small bar, not much bigger than a closet.  A couple years later they have the original (front) bar, and they have the back bar now as well. Both bars have different beers on tap, but bottles are available at both.  I was informed from my friend that all beers must be refrigerated at all times to ensure freshness.  Now the question is, do they know beer?  I have to say I was blown away by the selection, things I have never seen or heard of before and they were great.  I didn't get to take any pictures, it was too much fun drinking the beer and talking to my friends.  I was surprised because I expected to be overwhelmed by Belgian beers, but was happy to see plenty of other styles that were simply amazing. 

A couple beers that stood out were the Mikkeller  Black Hole an Imperial Stout that comes in at 13.1%.  A huge beer that just hits you in all the right places, huge roasted malt, nice hop balance and the alcohol is hidden beautifully behind it all.   Staying on the dark beer tract I found an amazing beer by De Molen called Stout and Hop.  This is stout has an amazing hop aroma, much like a great IPA.  It starts out with great malt and chocolate notes and finishes with great hop bitterness.  I loved this beer, it was the best of both worlds, as a stout and IPA lover. 

What a fantastic night of great beer and great friends.  Do yourself a favor and take a trip, have a glass of some great impossible to find beers.  What an amazing place and can't wait to go back and enjoy another glass. 

As a side note, there is plenty more beer to write about for this beer blogger.  I am excited to be in Seattle, an incredible place for beer.  With plenty of breweries, bars and pubs, this place has plenty of things to cover and hopefully you will join me while I taste all that Seattle has to offer.