Slate: Against Hoppy Beer Link
DitchChicken Blog Post: Link
I admit I sorta love this article just for the meme.
Anyway, for those of you whose taste runs to darker beers and malt rather than hops, I recommend both of these!
Any recommendations for delicious beer available in cans? As you can probably tell I tend to the darker/maltier rather than the hoppier side of things, though for you hops fans I can recommend Ska Modus Hoperandi.
Feel free to rhapsodize over your favorites in comments. I'm especially interested in cans available in Colorado.
There were 33 brewers on hand. I'm not gonna try to list them all, but thanks to the spiffy program we were handed when we entered, I can list some of them, along with which beers I tasted and some of the food offerings:
Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point, Whole Hog Raspberry Saison
Stone Arch Brew House, Appleton, Houdini Honey Wheat
Northwoods Brewing, Eau Claire, Floppin Crappie
Sprecher Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Summer Pils
Hinterland Brewery, Green Bay, Saison Farmhouse Ale and Door County Cherry Wheat (with House Made Saison Bratwurst with whole grain mustard)
Port Huron Brewing Company, Wisconsin Dells, Alt Bier
Silver Creek Brewing Company, Cedarburg, Imperial Maibock
♥ ♥ Vintage Brewing Company, Madison, Rhine Heights, Jinja Ninja, Daytripper, Hibiscus Saison (Braised Chili Pork Belly in a honey/chipotle glaze with picked red onions, queso fresco and cilantro)
Ale Asylum, Madison, Bedlam (Mongolian Ginger Chicken stirfry)
Bull Falls Brewery, Wausau, Edelbock and Zwickel Bier
Fox River Brewing Company, Appleton, Caber Tossing Scottish Ale (Caerphilly Traditional cheese)
Minocqua Brewing Company, Minocqua, Scottish Ale (Pesto Shrimp with angel hair pasta)
Potosi Brewing Company, Potosi, Hefeweizen
The Grumpy Troll, Mount Horeb, Keller Brau and Dragon Ship Wit
Great Dane Pub & Brew Company, Fitchburg/Wausau, Midwestvleteren - Belgian Strong Ale (Bison chili)
O'so Brewing Company, Plover, Rusty Red Amber Ale
Delafield Brewhaus, Delafield, Fruhlingzeit Maibock
Milwaukee Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Louie's Demise
Titletown Brewing Company, Green Bay, Pullman Porter (Beer braised short rib with whipped carrot, smoked onion and black pepper mustard)
New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, Totally Naked American Lager (pulled pork slider)
Our fair city just finished up the 2nd annual "Craft Beer Week." I didn't get to participate as much as I wanted to, but I still managed a few events:
Last Friday (5/4) we tasted Left Hand Brewing's (CO) 400 lb Monkey IPA at Coopers Tavern. We paired it with mussels steamed in the same ale. Both were DELISH. I'm also a big fan of their Stranger Pale Ale, which I discovered last summer while visiting Greenville, SC. This is a great irony that doesn't need elaboration at this juncture.
Sunday, 5/6, we returned to Coopers for the Samuel Smith's "tasting" except I don't think you can really call it a tasting event if you make people purchase a 20 oz bottle (Sam Smith's std size) to try it. Luckily, our table of 4 chose 4 different things, so we did get to taste: Taddy Porter, Imperial Stout (I ordered this, it's my all time favorite beer even though I'm only in the mood for it once a year or so), Cherry Ale, and Strawberry Ale. None of us are usually into fruity beers, but these two were great - sweet and tart without being too "chick-like." Kinda in the Belgian lambic family. We did get free tasting glasses, but still - shouldn't there have been stuff on tap? I didn't link to SS, because if you don't know already, there's really no help for you, yanno?
During the week, our fridge was stocked with New Belgium Blue Paddle (CO, yes, the Fat Tire people), Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA (CA, and my home-town brewery), Capitol Amber (WI), Abita Restoration Pale Ale (LA), and Founder's Porter (MI)-the label states "dark, rich, sexy" and they're not lyin'. Sometime during the week I also had a Founder's Cerise (cherry ale) which I absolutely loved.
Thursday 5/10 we were at our neighborhood beer pub, The Great Dane, and tasted Ale Asylum's (WI) Common Thread (brewed exclusively for Craft Beer Week) - a common ale that was served at most of the venues participating in the week's festivities. We also had the Great Dane's Texas Speedbump IPA (a long-time fave that's served out of a beer engine and has the most luscious head evar), and the Terminal Gravity Belgian Quad. The quad was deceptive - it's billed at 12% ABV, but wasn't that hot in the mouth - it was rich, deep and sweetly delicious. Thank goodness I had someone to split the 7 oz snifter with.
Friday 5/11, we hit our gang's favorite dive, the Crystal Corner, where we imbibed Sprecher Amber (WI) and New Glarus Two Women (WI). Two Women is billed as a Country Lager, and is the collaboration of the women who run New Glarus brewery and Weyermann Malting. It's a very nice session beer, which I've been drinking on Fridays since it was released.
Today, we went to a friend's retirement party, where we had our choice of Lake Louie Arena Ale (WI) and Tyranena's Rocky's Revenge (WI). I love Tyranena, I love it's founder/brewer Rob beyond reason, but Rocky isn't for me (it's a bourbon barrel aged brown ale). I tend to drink Bitter Woman IPA and Headless Man Amber Alt. If you haven't gathered by now, I'm a hop head, with a fair appreciation of deep chocolatey porters and stouts. Just up the street, a great taproom was having a Bell's tasting party, and a few folk (including the honoree) walked over for a bit of a tasting, but I was too busy playing Bocce Ball to go ;) Bell's is quite popular in these parts.
Any road, I had a GREAT beer week! Looking at the list, I did more than I thought, but really, there were events I wanted to attend that just did not mesh with my schedule or energy level, and that made me (briefly) sad. I'm so lucky to live in a place where I'm surrounded by fabulous brewed potables at all times - the week seems a bit redundant, but hey, it's all about really f'ing good beer! And it didn't totally ruin my diet progress - just delayed it a bit.
A subtle malt flavor in the nose and the mouth and a hint of sweetness on first taste. It builds up to a bitter cacao flavor that's surprisingly refreshing for such a dark beer. And speaking of color, this stuff is truly black. You can't see through it.
Very, very delicious.
And I'm having this particular pint at Creek Monkey Tap House in Martinez, CA, but now I know where to go when I'm trying to kill an hour in Oakland.
I'm having their Emerald Ale. They only have it in the cask right now (I suspect they'll put it on tap for St. Patrick's Day) and it's beautiful as a result. Beautiful rooibos red color, velvety feel on the tongue, smooth on the tastebuds with a walnuty-malt finish. I like a highly hopped beer as much as the next hophead, but sometimes you've got to have something that lets you taste the malt. This Emerald Ale is the perfect beer for that kind ofbe beer-drinking mood.
Crossposted to real_ale and my account.
There is a calendar of S.F. Beer week events at http://sfbeerweek.org/schedule
crossposted to beer4breakfast and real_ale
We sampled their wares, but as it usually goes when I'm in that part of the country, Schlafly's seasonal was the one to write home about. I've heard that people run hot and cold on Schlafly, but I've yet to sample anything on tap that wasn't spectacular.
As it so happened, one of my husband's favourite singer/songwriters, Jeffrey Gaines, was in town the same time we were. So we bought tickets and hied us hence to the Riot Room for the highlight of the week. I knew I wanted something from Schlafly, but my husband was feeling adventurous - so he asked for a flight of Southern Tier's Creme Brulee, and... well, it was strange. It did taste exactly of creme brulee, but we bought decided that this was a flavour that beer simply shouldn't have. XD
Schlafly's Double Pumpkin, on the other hand, was heavenly from start to finish. I think I made a Schlafly convert of him. I'm trying to sort out a jaunt up to St Louis in April, and the Schlafly Tap Room is where I plan to spend a goodly lot of my time.
After a few moments, the older gentleman said to the group, "they serve artisnal beer here."
The younger gentleman asked, "what's that?"
"It's, it's, well, they make it from water that comes from really, you know, deep underground wells..."
I've gone two years running now and I'm going again this year. There have been some great beers and it's been fun.
The website, which include a list of participating breweries (although I've always found these lists to be a little iffy in terms of exactly who'll be there) is at http://www.nightthatneverends.com/
They started in 1997, but we only found out about it in 2007; we buy two dozen each year, lay down  20, open 2 from this year and 2 from each previous year , and save two for boozemergencies. However, it turns out the brewery shop stocks a lot of previous years, and we bought a chunk more bottles and made it retroactive for '06, '05, '04, '02. Some rascals have drunk all the '03, and I'd never seen any previous year except one bottle of '99 which we split in 2009.
Except last week, where I went in and found a whole stack of '00. "Oh", they say, "we found a bunch of them in a storeroom. We didn't know we had them". I came away with four because that's all the space I had in my luggage...
Anyway, the point of this rambling post is to say - I don't know what availability is like where you are (wherever you are, I guess mostly Leftpondia from the previous posts I've read here), and they're all worth a go, but I meant to write up the annual tasting one of these years to make recommendations. I didn't do this this year, but I can tell you the '06 and '07 were the best we opened, and they're not quite as pricey as earlier years; if the opportunity arises, snap them up. Sometimes people in the US sell them on ebay under the "collectible bottle" rule (which they're breaking, but who cares?)
 I crawl under my bed with the dust and spiders and put them where there's room. It's not like I have a cellar or anything. :-)
 Not all on the same day, obviously!