May 20, 2008

News May 8 - 20

Alright, after a longer hiatus than expected, here are some links I found interesting. Hopefully I'll get some beer "reviews" up in the next few days. I've got quite a few to post.

Onto the news:
  • Beer for dogs - even man's best friend needs a good beer every now and then.
  • Looks like Miller has announced price increases for the next two years. I'm sure this is a sign of things to come from other brewers as well - raising input prices = more expensive beer.
  • Here's an article out of Cleveland regarding the popularity of bock beers this time of year. Anyone have any favorites they'd like to recommend?
  • Looks like the folks to the north, in Canada, are getting pretty excited about American craft beer. When they can't get their fix, they travel to Buffalo to buy hundreds of dollars worth of beer.
  • Will Three Floyds follow the lead of other craft brewers and start distilling liquor? Has anyone had the Rouge Gin?
  • Will PA finally end their sales by the case law? Here's an editorial regarding the lawsuit.
  • Anyone in Chicago enough of an insider to get invited to the Glunz Global Beer Expo? Sounds like a pretty interesting event.
  • Looks like Diaego won't close the Guinness brewery after all - here's an update.
  • A former head brewer at Great Lakes Brewery is now heading up brewing operations at a new brewpub in Akron, OH.
  • Even Wired magazine is reporting on the increase in prices related to brewing beer. They talk a bit about how folks are changing their recipes to cope with the price spikes.
  • Here's a great article about the history of beer in Cincinnati and the reintroduction of Morelein beer. Looks like it will hit Indy soon - I'm interested in trying the "discovery" pack. Anyone see it on the shelves?
  • Memorial Day weekend is the 2nd biggest weekend for beer sales - an estimated 21 million cases will be sold. Who knew that 50% of all beer sold during the summer is "premium" beer. I'd be interested in finding out the definition of premium, as Nielsen defines it.
  • Miller says their cheaper beers are seeing a growth in sales at the expense of their middle of the road, flagship products.
  • Is vintage beer the next big thing? Looks like Newsweek tried a few at Gramercy Tavern in NYC.
  • Another Newsweek article about craft beer - this time about it's growth and the influence they're getting in DC.
  • Coors is having significant growth, especially compared to the other macros. Is it all about the brand?

May 8, 2008

Beer News & Blog Roundup - May 5-8

Any good Cinco de Mayo stories out there? Last year we were on a cruise at this time and we were Cozumel for 5/5 - I shouldn't have been too surprised that no one in Cozumel seemed to care that it was 5/5 other than one bar that was right by the port for the cruise ship. In fact I had forgotten about it until as we were getting ready to get back on the ship and we passed a group of folks (fellow cruise ship passengers) with about 20 empty Corona bottles on the ground and one of them was shouting something like "Cinco de Mayo - whoooo!!!!" Ahhh, good times, good times.

I'll be out of town on a fishing trip until next weekend, so this will probably be my last post until 5/17.

Here's some news from the last few days:
Here's a roundup of blog posts I've enjoyed this week:
  • The stale beer ethanol home pump is now available for only $10,000. You know, for those of you who have more $$ than sense.
  • Generik has a post about a beer brand I'm not familiar with (but would like to be) - Long Trail.
  • Another post from Generik about new brew pubs in and around Indy. I couldn't agree more about his west side comment (as a north-west sider).
  • Brookston Beer Bulletin has posted a list of the 10 worst beers in the world (from the Tampa Bay Times) - clever. I've only had the Beast (#9) .
  • Brew Blog has a roundup of earnings reports and beer releases and some other tidbits about some of the macros.
  • Looks like the folks at HBG have mixed feelings about the Three Floyds beer dinner at R Bistro. Here's the first post. Here's the second.
  • Looks like Flying Dog is growing their own hops, partly to offset the hop shortage?
  • DIG-B has some local tap updates.
  • Might AB be acquired? Via the Brew Blog.
  • Anyone been to Fireside on the south side yet? In addition to hearing about it on Matt's Beer Blog, my barber was telling me about it (she kinda, sorta knows the owner). All indications point to it being a pretty nice place.
Alright, that's it for now. See you after 5/17.

May 6, 2008

Left Hand Brewing Company - Warrior IPA

What: Left Hand Brewing Company - Warrior IPA
Style: American IPA
Vessel: Pint Glass
Price: $5.99 (22 oz. bottle)
Where: Home
When: May 6, 2008
Rating: 2
Comments: Before I started this blog I received two beers from Left Hand Brewing Company (Deep Cover and Sawtooth ESB) as part of the Beer of the Month club. I remembered them being pretty good and saw this IPA offering on a stock up trip to the store. This one is what I like out of an IPA - smooth, bitter, and not very sweet. The hop profile isn't very citrus-y, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I do tend to prefer more of a citrus hop flavor (i.e. Hopslam). I'll be adding this one to the rotation (assuming I can find six packs). I didn't notice this on the bottle, but evidently this is a wet hopped beer - probably the best one I've had (not that I've had all that many).
Ratebeer Link:

May 4, 2008

Blog Roundup

Alright, I've been negligent in posting the last few weeks. In lieu of another News post, here's a post of some blog entries I've enjoyed (now that I've actually had the chance to read them):

Goose Island Beer Co. - Imperial IPA

What: Goose Island Beer Co. - Imperial IPA
Style: Imperial IPA
Vessel: Pint Glass
Price: $5.29
Where: Home
When: May 4, 2008
Rating: 3
Just got back from a great Sunday dinner of Hollyhock Hill. Best damn fried chicken in the city, if you ask me. What better than a comfort food Sunday dinner with some family from out of town and getting to meet a new addition to the family? Anyway, decided to have a beer and cracked this one open. It's malty, but not overly sweet. It has a very nice hop finish to it. I'm a fan.
Ratebeer Link:

Beer News - May 4

Here's the news from the weekend:

Three Floyd's Brewing Company - Behemoth Barley Wine

What: Three Floyd's Brewing Company - Behemoth Barley Wine
Style: American Barley Wine
Vessel: Tulip Glass
Price: $4.50 (ish - I didn't see a detailed receipt)
Where: Hot Shotz Gastropub
When: May 3, 2008
Rating: 2
Comments: I had time to grab a quick lunch, and decided I was close to Hot Shotz, so why not get a good beer with lunch. I had a great burger, and a great beer. I'm normally not a huge barley wine kind of guy, but I enjoyed this one. It didn't have an overpowering alcohol flavor and it was nice. I'd say give it a try. I wasn't going to until Chris, one of the owners, offered me a free taster of it (and a couple of other beers). That's the benefit of getting there before any crowd starts arriving. I really need to add this place into the rotation. They've got great food, beer and service.
Ratebeer Link:

Three Floyd's Brewing Company - Dreadnaught Imperial IPA

What: Three Floyd's Brewing Company - Dreadnaught Imperial IPA
Style: Imperial IPA
Vessel: Pint Glass
Price: $13.00 (22 oz. bottle)
Where: Bada Boomz Restaurant (Downtown)
When: April 25, 2008
Rating: 3
Comments: I split this bottle with Brewer McDuff, and I'm not finding many notes on it. I do remember liking it quite a bit. It's defenitely not a session beer, and a little goes a long way. I think I need to give it a whirl again to be able to comment on it more intelligently.
Ratebeer Link:

Bada Boomz Downtown - Samplers

What: Bada Boomz Sampler
Vessel: Sampler Glasses
Price: $9.00
Where: Bada Boomz Downtown
When: April 25, 2008
Comments: Here's a continuation from the guy's night I had with Brewer McDuff. After dinner at Rock Bottom, we hit Bada Boomz for some good craft beer. We had a great time, with an entertaining bartender (Christopher). There was also a group of folks who stopped in on their way from Atlanta to DarkLord day (it was the next day). For an update on Bada Boomz, check out DIG-B. These are my comments.

Founder's Dry Hopped Pale Ale:

This was an OK beer. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. It had a bit of a smoky flavor, compared to some of the others we sampled. I also gave it another shot at Hot Shotz on 5/3 during lunch. My opinion hasn't changed.

Rating = 4

Mad Anthony IPA:

This seemed more like a pale ale than an IPA. Having said that, it was nice and hoppy. I'd order it again (and again).

Rating = 3

Bell's Hopslam:

Yeah, I really like this beer. The hand pull adds another dimension to it.

Rating = 1

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA:

It seemed to have a smoky aftertaste, similar to the Founder's. It also seemed to have a nutty flavor. I was enjoying it until the aftertaste kicked in. I really didn't like how it finished.

Rating = 4

Stone IPA:

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It was smooth and hoppy. It really seemed to smooth out at the end also. A very nice finish.

Bell's Oberon:

As the bartender, Chris, said - this is just like Blue Moon, but everyone loves it just because it's Bells. I wasn't crazy about this year's offering. There just wasn't too much to it. It tasted a bit like a lager to me. (For the record we sampled all the IPAs after all the non-IPAs).

Rating = 5

Red Hook CopperHook:

The mouth feel on this was a bit slimy, but not necessarily in a bad way. It seems a bit like Budweiser, but more "funky" (in a weird way). I don't think I'd get this again.

Rating = 5

Abita Turbo Dog:

I didn't write down too many notes 0n this one. I might need to give it another chance. My notes say "nutty, watery, but smooth".

Rating = 4 (with a 3 scratched out)

Brugge's Triple De Riple:

I really like this beer. It was pretty solid, but not as good as I remembered it being. Having said that, it was still one of the best of the night.

Rating = 2

3 Floyd's Gumball Head:

This had a nice floral hop profile for a wheat beer. It also had a nice hoppy flavor. Pretty good.

Rating = 3

Founder's Devil Dancer Triple IPA:

Christopher, the bartender, was nice enough to let us sample this one. He was raving about it. It was pretty good. It's an extremely complex beer. It had a nice hop profile, but it was also scotchy, warm and buttery. Evidently the only places this is on tap is at Founder's and at Bada Boomz (although they were almost out of it at Bada Boomz).

Rating = 3

Bison Brewing Company - Organic IPA (Columbus Hop)

What: Bison Brewing Company - Organic IPA (Columbus Hop)
Style: American IPA
Vessel: Pint Glass
Price: $4.50 (22 oz)
Where: Home
When: May 3, 2008
Rating: 3
Comments: I found this beer at Goose the Market and decided to give it a whirl. I didn't have very high hopes for it, being an organic beer from Berkeley, CA, but I enjoyed it. It is part of a single hop series, featuring the Columbus hop. If had a nice hop profile and was crisp and clean. I'd recommend it.
Ratebeer Link:

Introducing a new author

Sorry it's been such a drought on the posts - work was kicking my butt last week. Anyway, we will now have a guest poster who will post beer related reviews at his leisure. He's a good friend of mine who I've shared many a beer with.

Here's his self penned (typed) introduction:

Hello Brew Bits readers, I am Brewer McDuff and as Brew Bits alluded to on the 29th, I am going to be posing a guest blog every now and again. I, like Brew Bits, enjoy beer a lot and I especially enjoy trying new beers whenever possible. I am not a man of many words, and I am still trying to figure out how Brew Bits talked me into this, but I think that I might enjoy it.

May 3, 2008

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery - Sampler

What: Rock Bottom Brewery's Sampler
Vessel: Shot Glasses
Price: $6.79
Where: Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery
When: April 25, 2008
Comments: A good friend and I had a guy's night on the town and decided to hit the downtown Rock Bottom for dinner. Of course, for blogging purposes, we had to get the sampler plus a sample of the cask conditioned beer. Below are our thoughts - My comments are the Brew Bits comments (easy enough). His comments are the ones under Brewer McDuff.

Hefeweizen - Bavarian Wheat

Brew Bits says - This was a darn good beer. It didn't have too much floral or citrus aroma or flavor, but it was very nicely balanced

Rating = 2

Brewer McDuff says - There are two types of beer that I am especially partial to - wheat and IPA. Apparently the Hefeweisen beer was the seasonal beer and I'm glad it was. This was a very good hefe with a nice tart surprise at the end.

Rating = 4

Brickway Brown

Brew Bits says
- Man this beer tastes like coffee. That's not a good thing in this case. I agree with A-dog - very much like a porter or a mocha latte with hoppy booze.

Rating = 5

Brewer McDuff says - I enjoy a good brown ale every now and again, but I wouldn't classify this beer as a brown. The beer board said that this beer was like a mocha latte with hops. This is a very apt descripton - much more like a porter than a brown.

Rating = 5

Circle City Light

Brew Bits says -
This is what you would expect for a light beer from a micro brewer. It wasn't bad - true to the style, but with more flavor than the macro lights. A good intro to flavorful beer for those who aren't used to it.

Rating = 4

Brewer McDuff says - Not much to say about this beer. It tastes a lot like other light lagers, with a little more flavor, as Brew Bits stated. It's probably on the menu just for those who like to debate whether Bud Light or Miller Lite is the best tasting beer you can buy.

Rating = 5

Sugar Creek American Pale Ale

Brew Bits says - I'm a fan of Pale Ales. This is a pretty average pale ale. Not bad, not great.

Rating = 4

Brewer McDuff says - This is a pretty fair beer and I would drink a full glass of it, but only if they were out of the Hefe, or another cast ale.

Rating = 4

Racoon Red

Brew Bits says - I wasn't really sure what to think of this beer. It had the malt flavor of a darker beer - maybe a brown? It started off feeling and tasting like a red, but mid-sip it morphed into a brown. Not bad, just a mind fuck.

Rating = 4

Brewer McDuff says - Ditto, but I didn't like it as much.

Rating = 5

Hoosier Ma Stout Dry Irish Stout

Brew Bits says
- For a stout this had a very light mouth feel. I'm used to (and enjoy) thicker stouts. It was pretty good and had a nice hop flavor in the middle.

Rating = 3

Brewer McDuff says - An average stout, but I agree, it could be thicker.

Rating = 4

Catcher in Rye - American IPA with Rye

Brew Bits says - This was my first rye beer. I'm not sure what I expected, but I enjoyed this. I'm sure the fact that it was an IPA helped my satisfaction level. It had a nice hop profile. Unfortunately it was a bit too carbonated for me, and the carbonation overwhelmed the flavor.

Rating = 4

Brewer McDuff says - This was my first rye beer as well. For some reason, I had always imagined that a rye beer would be very heavy with a bourbon taste to it, but this beer surprised me. If it's still there next time I hit the Bottom, I would order a pint.

Rating = 4

Altbier North German Ale

Brew Bits says - Another new experience for me. I had never had an Altbier before. I enjoyed this one much more than my friend did. It was lighter than a brown and it had a light coffee / caramel finish. It had a decent hop flavor and it was a little buttery. Every sip I had I thought of being on the deck grilling up some good BBQ. A good summer beer.

Rating = 3

Brewer McDuff says - I am not an altbier fan, so I won't bias your opinion by rating this beer.

Red Ale Dry Hopped with Simcoes - Cask Conditioned

Brew Bits says - This beer and the Bavarian wheat were my two favorite beers at Rock Bottom. I wasn't sure which to order a full mug of, and I decided on the Red Ale. It was smooth with a nice floral, hoppy flavor. It seemed to be very well balanced. A very good beer.

Rating = 2

Brewer McDuff says - This was the best beer of the evening. Of course, I'm a sucker for anything cask conditioned. The British have got it right by serving their beer "luke cold". This had plenty of flavor, but it wasn't overpowering. You could definitely have it with a meal, which I did.

Rating = 2