Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BEER Trekkin Chicago ~ The Dregs

Now that I’m home from my Chicago trip for the Professional Beer Tasting & Styles course at the Siebel Institute of Technology and World Brewing Academy, it’s time to gather my thoughts. Besides being an educational trip, the first of many I plan on taking at Seibel, it was also a mini beer vacation which I wholly exploited.

I flew into Chicago on Wednesday, September 9th and flew back home to Florida Sunday afternoon, September 13th. Both flights were one way because I’ll be darned if I’m switching airplanes for a 2.5 hour flight. The less chance I have of losing luggage and having flight delays, the happier I am.

Taking the rails from Midway to the Homewood Suites by Hilton on Grand Avenue was an experience, to say the least. By the time Sunday rolled around though, I was much more comfortable with how the rail lines work. I’ll definitely be using them to my advantage next year. The taxis in Chicago don’t need any more of my money; they got plenty that’s for sure. I will say though that everyone I rode with was not necessarily talkative, but altogether pleasant. A couple days and a couple trips around the block, I can honestly say that I never felt taken advantage of unlike a previous experience in Atlanta.

But I digress.

The weather was a balmy and dry mid 70s for the entirety of my stay. I say dry, but according to the locals it was more humid than usual. Paging Chicago: I’m from Florida, and it was most certainly not humid. My skin does not lie.

Upon arriving, my room wasn’t ready so I left my bag with the hotel clerk and wandered across the street to PF Changs. Chain restaurants don’t exactly thrill me, but Changs is still better than most. As an added bonus they were close and I was thirsty and hungry.

I spent my first afternoon at The Publican which I have concluded was my favorite gastropub of this trip. I went twice, though the second time was Thursday night and it was CRAZY busy; not my favorite scene. Wednesday afternoon was more enjoyable because there were patrons but the atmosphere was leisurely pleasant, allowing me to converse with the head bartender and his assistant the entire time. Good food and good beer. Be prepared to pay for both, but it’s well worth the money. Quality and not quantity is their mission.

I unwisely diverged to Goose Island Wrigley later Wednesday night where upon arriving I hit the JET LAG brick wall. Ok, so an hour’s difference doesn’t necessarily equate massive jet lag, but between getting up early, the stress of flying, and dragging my luggage from the airport to the hotel via the tramline that is definitely NOT luggage friendly, I was beat. Lugging my suitcase up and down numerous flights of stairs thanks to the sparsely available escalators and elevators left my arm sore and built to Popeye standards. After sitting down at Goose Island Wrigley, I was thoroughly exhausted which ruined any chance of enjoying my time there. After savoring some coffee to pry the eyes open and buffalo wings to silence the tummy, I grabbed my leftovers and hailed a cab home to the hotel.

Locating the building where Siebel resides was an interesting Thursday morning adventure. Considering the long history of this vaunted establishment of beery education, her unassuming outside appearance makes perfect sense. Quaint brick and mortar perfectly welcomes one into a 4 story building with its own draft bar upstairs. Nice. It’s always a good sign when your beer school has beer on draft to slake parched throats at any given time. It’s beer-o-thirty somewhere.

Randy Mosher was our class instructor and after a few moments of geeky adoration, I embraced Randy as just another beer geek like myself, albeit with more experience. He’s just one of the guys (or gals) so to speak. Randy has an excellent book on Tasting Beer which is a must read for professionals, amateurs, and everyone inbetween. There is always something new to be learned about beer.

Class was educational and fun; the best of both worlds. Beer tasting aside and we did a lot of that, Randy was an excellent teacher and speaker. He covered quite a bit that I already knew, along with a lot that I didn’t. I especially enjoyed clearing the air on some common myths/legends/stories/histories that surround beer. Very little is concretely certain when considering the fluid history of beer, especially when considering how little of that history is documented and of what was documented, that which has lasted the ages.

There is a lot to understand about tasting beer, beer styles, and so forth. For me, one particularly beneficial session was the time spent addressing and tasting various aspects of bad beer. There are a lot of variables that will ruin a beer, though certain “bad” aspects of beer are acceptable in small proportions. Many times when I am tasting a beer, I can tell if something is off, but being able to pin down what is off and why is another story. This part of the class brought me closer to being able to clearly define what specifically went wrong. I made sure to purchase one of their Sensory Analysis kits that contain vials of the various control substances that are found in beer both bad and good.

To digress a bit, there are instances where the beer hasn’t gone bad, and instead that particular aspect is an acceptable and expected attribute. For example, German hefeweizens enjoy a large proportion of phenolics which produce very specific banana/clove aromas and taste in their beer. Without these specific phenolics, the beer cannot be said to follow the accepted attributes of that beer style. On the flip side, there are certain beers where a heavy banana/clove presence is not appropriate. Being able to detect and to know when something is appropriate and when it is not requires a knowledged awareness. That awareness and practical experience Siebel and Randy highlighted was extremely valuable to me. Not liking a beer doesn’t make it bad, but not liking a beer because it IS bad does make it so.

All of my classmates were truly a blast and easy to get along with. I was especially pleased to see a large proportion of women in attendance. Almost 2/3 of the class was beer geeks of the estrogen variety from all walks of life and work. Some of my classmates included two ladies from Sierra Nevada, two gentlemen from Southern Eagle (Budweiser), a young couple looking to set up a beer website, a restaurant manager from the heart of California wine country, two Chicago restaurateurs, a distributor, a goat farm owner, and more. Delightfully eclectic which just proves what I have known and believed all along:

Beer is for everybody of all walks of life and gender because beer is about diversity, quality, and fairness of mind despite what mass-marketing would like you to believe. I don’t need nor want a scantily clad model to “sell” me a beer. If the beer is good, the beer will “sell” itself with just a little bit of help from beery education and lots of fun.

For lunch Thursday and Friday, a small group went to the main Goose Island brewpub where we savored excellent beer and excellent food. Friday, or was it Thursday…anyway, after class I and two others went across the street to Sam’s Wine & Spirits where I scored 6 bottles of beervana. As I was checking out and pondering the dilemma of how and where to get the bottles shipped home to Florida, I looked up and voila! Hanging down from the ceiling right in front me was a sign advertising “You buy it. We ship it.” Don’t quote me on that exactly, but it was something pretty similarly catchy.

Kristyn: So, you guys also ship?
Cashier: Yes, we do.
Kristyn: To Florida?
Cashier (after looking at her list of shipping states) Yes, we ship to Florida.
Kristyn: Sweet! Done and done.

The beer arrived safe and sound a week ago (thank you UPS) with nary a scratch, dent, or “mysterious” damage to said product inside:

  • North Coast Bourbon Barrel Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
  • Schneider-Sohn Vintage 2003 Aventinus
  • Baladin Birrifico Xyuayu Copper 2005
  • Abbay de St. Bon Chien 2007
  • Harvieston Ola Dubh 30 year
  • Harvieston Ola Dubh 40 year

Kristyn Lier, Beer Ambassador Extraordinaire, made out like a bandit!

Class ended Friday afternoon with a decadent beer and cheese pairing where one of my classmates generously shared his bottle of 2009 Three Floyds Dark Lord (white wax). Bonus! Some of the pairings were heaven descended and a few fell short. Without a doubt though, separately the beer and cheese were delicious. I’m talking real cheese too, fresh from the local whole foods store where, just like the beers we savored, quality and origin matters. Everyone received Certificates of Completion along with a packet containing current class information for the rest of this year and most of next year.

To digress once more, one of my fellow classmates had just completed the Beer Server Certification from Cicerone. Apparently, I should have no problem. Seeing as I can take it online, I’ll be making it a point to get my Cicerone Beer Server Certification in November. Seeing as it is almost October, that’s not too far away.

Friday night I didn’t feel like going too far from home, aka the hotel, which worked out wonderfully because just one block away was the Rock Bottom Brewery. I had some tasty morsels there, though the highlight of the evening was my massive flight of beers. All in all, I tasted 12 beers that night, once more increasing my backlog of beer reviews to write. Oh well. I can’t think of a better problem to have, personally. The beers were all good with a few highlights that were borderline great. The evening almost ended in tragedy though when I left to use the ladies room. Upon my return a couple minutes later, I stumbled across one of the servers picking up my few remaining glasses of un-tasted beer. I GASPED loudly and cried a woeful “Noooooooooo” which immediately caught her attention. I don’t think her face could have turned a brighter shade of red, so whilst chuckling I told her not to worry about it. Really, I would have gotten new samples if the worse came to completion. My waiter came by a couple minutes later and apologized which was appreciated, and we chatted for a few more minutes. Upon leaving I scoped out their t-shirts, but none of them caught my fancy.

I had all of Saturday to myself so I slept in and worked out later in the morning. Yes, even on vacation, I make sure to get my 45 minutes or so of cardio in every day. If only I was so diligent back home. But again, I digress. After freshening up, I meandered across the street to hit PF Changs for some lunch and a cocktail…or two. I wanted to gallivant wildly about Saturday, but I also wanted to spend the better part of my day at the main Goose Island Brewpub so I hedged my bets and the few…many places I didn’t get to visit this time around, I will next year.

Just as planned and promised, I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening at Goose Island tasting flights and chatting with their bartender, a rather eccentric chap who takes a bit of warming up to, but you will and I did. I sampled ten separate 5oz samples which barely scratched the surface of the beers on tap, all of which sounded and tasted lipsmackingtastic. Yes, one word. Don’t argue with me, I know what I’m talking about.

The t-shirt gods must have been on vacation during this trip because I also had slim-to-none pickings at Goose Island. After my previous disappointment, I was determined to leave with two t-shirts: one for myself and one for a dear friend. I also scored a pair of really nice glasses for my sister and her husband Josh. Goose Island’s food was equally delicious; their slider/individual portion part of the menu was exactly what this beer geek craved. I am seeing more of this food trend in various eating establishments which is an occasion to celebrate.

I finally had to call it quits around 10pm, and as I bid good night to the windy city, I slept in sound satisfaction. Did I get to go everywhere I wanted to? No. Did I get to drink all the beers I wanted to? No. Did I get to bring home as many beers as I wanted? No. What I did get to do was exactly what I wanted to each and every minute I was there. I came. I conquered. I drank. I bought. I lived. And I left. There is no way I could have done everything because everything is, well, just another way of saying never-ending. There will always be something else and somewhere else.

Overall, I’d give myself a B for my first ever trip to Chicago. Business or pleasure or both, I didn’t freak out and I didn’t get lost, mugged, stressed, or anything else counterproductive to BEER Trekkin. I’m already looking forward to next year’s class and enjoying more of Chicago’s beery delights.

(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Cigar City Brew News

Back From GABF

What a whirlwind trip. I'd been to GABF before but always on the other side of the booths. It was a great experience and I feel like I learned a lot that we can carry over to next year. We did take home a Gold Medal in the Wood or Barrel Aged category for our Humidor Series Jai Alai IPA. I was thrilled with that, but the funny thing is I was pouring at the Florida Brewer's Guild booth at the time and didn't know we had won. I got a text from a friend back in Tampa saying congrats on the Gold and that was my first clue that we'd either won or that my friend has a cruel sense of humor. Turns out we'd actually won.

I was later told that the 7 beers we entered for judging is a fairly low amount of entries and that many breweries enter much more than that. So I feel especially happy that we were able to come away with a gold medal our first year out considering we only entered each beer in one category and we didn't enter some of the beers (due to being out of them ourselves) we feel had a good chance like Big Sound Scotch Ale or 110K+OT #2. I did feel like Humidor Jai Alai had a good chance in its category because it is the kind of category where deviation from the norm is a good thing. One of the GABF judges had this to say about Humidor Series Jai Alai:

"The stand-out beer for me that I judged, in terms of innovation, was the winner of the gold category in wood-aged beers, the Humidor Series IPA, Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL. It is aged on the wood of cigar boxes, which is called cigar cedar but is actually from the mahogony family, and the spice and aroma it imparts to the beer is absolutely incredible.The base beer IPA itself was technically flawless and the pepper, sandalwood, vanilla, cinnamon, cedar, leather and tobacco notes that poured off it were more akin to a rum descriptor than a beer but still incredible nonetheless."

I met a lot of great folk on the trip which only reinforced my belief that people in the craft beer industry and craft beer fans are by and large some of the nicest and most interesting folks around. We also talked to many distributors interested in picking us up, but we feel like we need to hold pat with what we have in the pipeline already. Still it's nice to know there is plenty of interest for the future.

I am sort of decompressing today, which means I'm gonna do jack squat work wise, but we do have a lot of exciting stuff planned for the coming week. Ohh and the Tasting Room will be open again on Wednesday and we plan to have some new stuff on draft.

I also want to say thanks to Mike Fouch a talented local homebrewer and salesman for Microman Distributing. It was Mike that let me taste one of his homebrews that he'd aged on cigar box cedar and I knew from the first sip he'd created something unique. I believe I said something to the effect of, "Damn this amazing! I'm stealing this idea!" Mike gave his blessing and a few years down the road we actually produced a commercial batch of cigar box cedar aged beer. Naturally I also want to thank Wayne Wambles for being a talented and passionate brewer, Doug Dozark for bringing his hard work and valuable insights to our team, Toni Derby and Beth Boyles for getting us organized and all of our supporters who buy the beer we make and spread the word about what we are doing down here in Tampa. Thanks everyone for supporting CCB's beer making aspirations!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Samuel Adams Brew News

Great American Beer Festival
It's that time of year again! We're headed back to the festival that helped launch Samuel Adams Boston Lager® some 25 years ago. The Great American Beer Festival kicks off Thursday in Denver.

We'll be there with many styles of Samuel Adams alongside nearly 500 breweries and 2,100 styles of beer in total that will be served in the hall. There is no doubt that this is the greatest time in history to be a beer lover in America.

Should you find yourself at the GABF, don't forget to stop by our Longshot booth. There you'll find the three employee finalists sharing their beers and trying to win your vote to become the one employee homebrew to make it into next year's Longshot variety pack.

Longshot finalists:
Jeremy White, Andrew Garvin, & Tim Kerrigan

Taste of Rhode Island Returns
The festival of great beer and great food continues next week as we'll be once again participating in the annual Taste of Rhode Island Festival in Newport.

Taste of Rhode Island captures the essence of why Rhode Island is loved by travelers and locals alike. What's better than fantastic local foods paired with delicious Samuel Adams® Beers! Stop by the Samuel Adams Brew Pub where you can sample a variety of Samuel Adams® Beers and learn about beer and brewing! Also cast your vote in Samuel Adams® Beer Lovers Choice™ competition for the next style you want to see added to our family of beers in January 2010. Other fun activities include beer shucking competitions, cooking with beer demos and a live presentation on the Lager perfect pint glass.

What: Taste of Rhode Island
When: Saturday October 3rd 11am- 9pm; Sunday October 4th 11am-6pm
Where: The Newport Yachting Center, Downtown Newport, RI

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sierra Nevada+Dogfish Head Collaberation: Life & Limb

uber limited, she will be available in 24oz bottles and keg in November. keep an eye on your market and maybe you'll get lucky... if i can get my hands on even 1 case, i'll be happy, but it doesn't look like Florida is anywhere on the distributing ticket.


To Litter or Not to Litter...

During my 3 year tenure in Eugene, Oregon, I lived amongst sleek BMWs and retro VW Bugs. Amazingly enough, both lived together in respectable harmony. Neither disparaged the other; there was an overwhelming sense of individual pride and respect for each other and their home: Eugene specifically and the west coast generally.

Peace reigned and recycling was king. I was working for Albertsons at the time and during my 3 years in Eugene, I was dry. Yes ladies and gentleman, Kristyn Lier the Beer Ambassador extraordinaire was a non-drinking fool living in the heart of craft beer country. Brewpubs stretched as far as the eye could see and beyond. I knew at any given time half a dozen home-brewers and though they tempted me with their liquid gold, I stayed strong. What stood out above all else was a humble respect for Mother Earth and boisterous enthusiasm towards social responsibility, along with great beer of course. Recycling was huge, especially the abundant supply of empty craft beer vessels that one could take to the bottle and can recycling machines scattered throughout the city. These machines were a work of modern wonder, making recycling a snap and both personally and financially rewarding.

Oregon imposes a bottle deposit which was wholly redeemable at these recycling machines. Once the munching and crunching of said bottles and cans were done, you could redeem your ticket for cash. Pretty sweet, right? Self-sufficient, responsible, and a matter of pride, Euguenites reveled in their diversity of beer, food, arts, culture, and outdoor spelunking.

Despite best efforts otherwise, I have very few memories of litter defacing the streets, parking lots, campsites, trails, and so on. What few bottles and cans I saw were of the macro variety and not of the craft/import beer camp. I saw less litter there then I do here in Florida, but in general there was also less quaffing of macro beer in Eugene, Oregon. I’ve been back in Florida for almost 10 years now and in Vero Beach specifically for about 3 years. Since that time, I have watched the craft/import beer scene grow by leaps and bounds, and it’s only getting better.

As the Beer Ambassador, I have obviously forsaken the drylands for more prosperous wetter pastures, but I do so for the slow pleasures of aroma, taste, and good social company. I’d bid farewell to the days of all-night binge parties, but I fairly avoided that path as much as possible. My abstinence of quaffing but not of interest taught me that all good things come to those who are willing to wait and to appreciate all at the same time.

On the opposite end of slow appreciation is immediate indulgence, a world that macro beer perfectly inhabits and dominates. Gone is the interest of slow pleasures, welcoming in the fast, faster, and fastest route to inebriated moronity. Drinking in the fast and tasteless lane deems the drinker far too bothered to pause for just one moment along their road to inebriation to consider recycling their bottle or can. At the very least, to properly dispose of it in a garbage receptacle somewhere.

Nope. No can do.

This stark contrast between the craft/import beer drinker and the macro beer drinker is evidenced by every single bottle and can of malt liquor and beer I see carelessly tossed aside. It would require far more time than I have in any given day to scour my hometown and properly dispose of their waste. After all, why should the macro drinker have to clean up after themselves? That’s neither their job nor their concern. Environmental and social responsibility is for lame-o wussies, pansies, and koala huggers. The macro drinker is obviously far too important to accept such simple selfless responsibility.

What sounds extreme really isn’t that far from the truth, though even the greatest truths include dashes of fiction. In Oregon, Florida, and any state inbetween where I have observed in one social sphere both the craft/import culture and the macro beer culture, time and time again the main culprit of littering and general disregard for their environment are the macro drinkers. Sometimes I even stumble across empty cardboard cases.

Enter my question in point:
Why do craft/import beer drinkers choose environmental and social responsibility while macro drinkers choose to blatantly disregard, ignore, and even scoff at it?

Ultimately, it boils down to the individual; while generalizations and demographics are just that, there is also truth to be found within. The average craft/import beer imbiber is a person of various social standings, and what they have in common is a greater appreciation for the craft of real beer which leads to a greater sense of social, economical, and environmental responsibility. Our world is the world of our children, our children’s children, and our children’s children’s children. The decisions we make today, tomorrow, and beyond hold a greater value than the temporal immediacy of right here, right now. Of course, right here and right now is enjoyably pertinent, but there is a burgeoning appreciation for the long picture. Embracing craft/import beer ultimately leads to a deeper sense of gratification and responsibility that inevitably works its way into the very fiber of your being.

Craft/import beer and the people who drink it choose to be consciously aware of where our daily needs come from and where they are taking us. Recognizing that careless detachment from life’s responsibilities and pleasures is not a healthy sustainable path. The Slow Food Movement is an excellent example of this, along with the continual growth and popularity of tapas style foods, slider portions, and natural products.

Less is more.

For those who are willfully active in the world of macro beer, there is no larger picture, just a larger case to down faster. Empties and trash are nothing more than sidewalk decorations and toys for nature’s animals to play with. More is better, no matter if the more is of such little standing and standards they bear little resemblance to their namesake.

No matter how many times I stop and look, it will always be a macro bottle or can I see lying stranded somewhere other than the recycling bin or, at the very least, the garbage. Each time I stop and look (and properly dispose of) the macro litter, I ponder this puzzling contrast between the craft/import quaffers who accept their responsibilities and the macro beer drinkers who dismiss them. While this isn’t meant as a missive for the macro beer drinker to abandon their beer of choice, it is a reasonable request for the macro beer drinker (and brewers) to share their burden of responsibility.

(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Brooklyn Beer Tasting @ Hurricane's

come join myself, Rich, and other fellow beer geeks this coming Thursday, September 24th at Hurricane Grill & Wings in Vero Beach, FL.

(see link w/google maps below for detailed directions and contact info)

Hurricane Grill and Wings
Brooklyn Brewery Tasting
Thursday, 24 September
7-9 PM

Brooklyn Lager
Brooklyn Brown Ale

Brooklyn Local 1
Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Beer Tastings/Samplings:
Buy a pint of Brooklyn Beer, keep the glass while supplies last!
Brooklyn Trivia Contest


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cigar City Brew News

Tasting Room Hours For GABF. Treasure Coast Beer Fest Lineup.

Next week, Wednesday to be exact, we leave for GABF. The whole brewery is going which means we will NOT be open during our normal Wednesday thru Friday hours. What we will do is allow people to stop in Monday and Tuesday to satisfy their growler/keg needs. We'll only have Jai Alai and Maduro on, but we are planning on bringing the one-offs hard when we get back from GABF.

In the mean time I encourage everyone who will not be at GABF to attend Fort Pierce's 2nd annual Treasure Coast Beer Fest. We'll be pouring Jai Alai IPA and Maduro along with a special treatment I did of Wayne's 110K+OT Batch #2 Imperial Stout. It is a Cherry, hazelnut and cacao nib aged version of Bourbon Barrel 110K+OT Batch #2. I added cherry puree, raw hazelnuts and Peruvian cacao. In my samplings I get big cherry notes up front which quickly segues into chocolate, vanilla and lightly boozy bourbon notes. It's an after dinner/fireplace kind of beer so shove some ice in your undies before you drink it to get that cold weather effect.

Joey Redner

p.s. Anyone who brings me a loaf of Cuban Bread while we are in Denver gets a free growler fill when we get back to Tampa! And that crappy Publix Cuban bread doesn't count!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bold City Brew News

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well. Just an update on the anniversary celebration, (October 3rd) and to remind you about game day growlers as well as Jolly Mon's Game Day menu. Also, I'm told the bottling line should be shipping next week, so we'll be able to get those bottles of the O stout (as well as others) out soon. Be BOLD! Go JAGS!

Oh yeah, Look for Bold City Beer @ the half way to St. Patty's Day block party, this Saturday September 19th @ O'Brother's Irish Pub. Come out and support two local businesses working together for your pleasure.


Bold City One Year Anniversary
Anniversary event is Oct 3rd. We will be tapping the Bourbon Barrel Aged Anniversary Ale with $2 pints all day long. A Special Jolly Mon menu, Trivia contest and more. Additional details to come.

Schmaltz Brew News

Greetings Friends!!

This is NOT an Oktoberfest... This is Freaktoberfest! Shmaltz Brewing Company proudly releases the second coming of a bewitching offering of the season: Coney Island Freaktoberfest(TM). A tasty treat for Oktoberfest through Halloween, Coney Island Freaktoberfest(TM) is artfully crafted to lure the spirit's deepest rapture, conjured to exorcise the grim horrors of the armies of soulless Lagers everywhere. 22 oz. bottles and a limited supply of kegs will be available starting October 1, 2009.

Shmaltz nationally launches Coney Island Freaktoberfest(TM) at the 2nd Annual FREAKTOBERFEST Boutique Beer & Music Festival on Saturday, October 3 at Public Assembly in Brooklyn, NY (see event details below). Additional Freaktoberfest events across the country will be announced soon at

Please take a look at the Shmaltz updates for our family of wholesalers, retailers, and bar owners on all the latest and greatest press accolades, Shmaltz GABF event info, September Jewish holidays, and a sneak preview of Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah: our 13th Chosen Beer in 13 years of Shmaltz. That's right, this year Shmaltz turns 13, which in Judaism marks the year of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah (the coming of age for a Jewish boy or girl). Brewed with 13 malts, 13 hops and soaring to 13% alc, Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah will be available beginning October 1, 2009.

Coming up on Friday, September 18, 2009, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) marks the first of the High Holidays, which concludes with Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement) on Sunday, September 27, 2009. Sukkot (Pilgrimage Festival) also occurs on Friday, October 2, 2009. In a time of family gatherings, special meals and sweet foods, HE'BREW Beer's line-up is the perfect complement with such featured selections as Genesis Ale, Rejewvenator, Origin Pomegranate Strong Ale and Messiah Bold. Check out what the press is saying about each specialty brew. Happy Holidays and a sweet New Year to all!

Shmaltz will host two special events at this year's GABF, which will serve as the national launch of Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah: Thursday, September 24, 2009 @ Falling Rock Tap House (10pm)- Shmaltz celebrates its 13th birthday with the official unveiling of Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah.

Friday, September 25, 2009 @ GABF (8pm - 9pm)
Shmaltz proprietor Jeremy Cowan, the Shmaltz posse and Joe Carroll of Brooklyn's famous Spuyten Duyvil and Fette Sau will launch Jewbelation 13 with an outrageous Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah throw-down.

Any good Jewish celebration demands delicious food, and Williamsburg Brooklyn's Fette Sau (named by Zagat as "Best BBQ in NYC") has stepped up to the culinary pulpit to create divine pairings that are sure to make you yell "L'Chaim!!" Our Bar Mitzvah party at GABF on Fri. Sept. 25 at the Beer and Food Pavilion will feature a variety of Shmaltz beers as well as Fette Sau's classic and innovative offerings. So bring on the braces, awkward suits, and frizzy hair (just be over 21 by 8pm), and join the Tribe!

Maui Brewing Brew News

Septemberfest at Paramount Studios!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
2:00pm - 5:00pm

Aloha Friends!

A little bit of a late notice but wanted you all to know we will have a booth at this Saturday's Septemberfest at Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. It's "America's answer to Oktoberfest". Come by and say "Aloha"! Tickets are $40 and will not be available at the venue so get your tickets today at the event website:

Sample unlimited pours of over 200 beers from more than 60 breweries, enjoy food and live music. We hope to see you there!

Okole maluna!
Maui Brewing Co.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Samuel Adams Utopias ~ 2009

look for the newest release of this precious beer sometime in the next few months. a super-limited release with a single-malt price tag, you get your money's worth and then some.

a beer that transcends beer, one taste and your world will simply not be the same. make sure to have a quality single-malt or small brandy snifter on hand for her arrival.


my review of the 2007 Samuel Adams Utopias:
Just recently someone asked me when the last time I was floored by a beer, and I must say that it was but a few days ago when I was privileged and blessed to share some of a 2007 Sam Adams Utopias. Even those who aren’t really in the know about beers usually have heard of and know about the coveted and rare Utopias. A pioneer in breaking the beer brewing barriers, Sam Adams Utopias is a barleywine which has been brewed so strong the ABV is somewhere in the mid 20s and what results is a beer like no other. Anyone presented with a snifter of Utopias without knowing what it was would figure it for a fine brandy or cognac with maybe a touch of sipping rum, and they would be wrong.

Utopias graced her snifter with delicate hues of brown-sugar, cinnamon, and brandy. Absolutely no carbonation or lace is to be found. Instead, she coats the sides of the glass in a thin film of luxurious alcohol, aka legs. That is fine with me for it leaves no barrier for her rich and decadent nose to reach mine. Wave after wave of brown sugars fresh and caramelized, toffee, maple, caramel, cinnamon, vanilla and warm spiced brandy notes secure their hold on my heart. My breath catches in my chest and my heart beats fast in my throat. With trembling fingers, I raise the snifter to my lips and we meet in a sweetly warm, sticky kiss.

A moment please.

Very few beers have reached the heights of nirvana as Sam Adams Utopias just has. That isn’t to say she won’t be topped by another, but such a divine supping experience belies her true nature: beer. Almost immediately alcohol nips at the tip of my tongue while a warm breath of maple, vanilla, and brown sugars linger beyond our initial embrace. Adding further complexity to her palate are warm spiced fruits such as nectarines and apricots. As my mouth waters, a sweet honey film clings to my cheeks and tongue while euphoric warmth slowly pervades the rest of my being. Some nutmeg creeps into her palate, mingling perfectly with the sweet sugars, warm brown spices, and brandy notes. Far too soon our love affair must come to a close as I gaze smitten at my empty snifter. Not quite ready to say goodbye, I close my eyes and revel in the afterglow, a contended smile teasing my lips.

I don’t mind spending a pretty penny on a fine bottle of single-malt whisky, but a bottle of beer could be a different story depending on various circumstances, mainly quality. But, having come to know the Sam Adams Utopias most intimately, I can say in all seriousness that she is worth every single penny and when the next limited batch of Utopias is released, I will be bringing a bottle home with me.

(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Stone Vertical Epic 090909 & Sierra Nevada Chico Estate

both will be making their way to the Treasure Coast sometime in the next two weeks. very limited and very tasty, be sure to keep an eye out and get them while you can.

Stone Vertical Epic 090909
**this ages beautifully. if you can only get one bottle, i recommend setting it aside and aging it for at least a couple years before trying it. if you can get two bottles, enjoy one fresh but be sure to age the other bottle.

Sierra Nevada Chico Estate
**why wait. enjoy this baby as fresh as possible.

(original work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Lost Abbey Brew News

Musings From The Director's Chair
Greetings from Your Director of Brewery Operations. I'm sure many of you wonder what I actually do around here. Me too. It's kind of strange being a Director. I mean I don't yell "Cut." I don't "frame scenes" in the air with my hands and I most certainly don't hide behind the lens in a Directors Chair. Nope, what I do matters around here. I show up each and every day (except Sundays, that's family day) and I support the brand. What this means exactly know one knows. Like today, I am being asked to support the Lost Abbey brand of information communication by writing this piece. Tomorrow, I will show my support as Mike and Ryan stuff body bag after body bag of Fresh Hops in the dry hopping tank. On Thursday, I'll make some beer (it still won't be enough brewing for me) and on Friday, I'll settle into the bar and rehash the week with each of you. Being a Director is still very weird to me. It's like having Business Attention Deficit Disorder. I always have things to do but seemingly never get any of them done. But at the end of each and every day, there is always beer. So I guess, I should get used to life as a Director as long as there's all this beer around, it can't be that bad. Can it?

New Faces at The Lost Abbey
One of the reasons we can now restrict Tomme's activities to his actual job of "directing" operations (as well as company figurehead and sex symbol) here at Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey, is we've got a couple of new folks handling our brewing operation. They actually joined us back at the beginning of the year, but we've all been so busy that we haven't had time to introduce them properly. So we're making ammends now. Allow us to introduce our new faces:

Mike Rodriguez, Head Brewer
Mike hails from Kansas City, MO where, prior to joining us, he was a brewer and cellarman for the famed Boulevard Brewing for the past six years. Before that he was head brewer at The Power Plant restaurant and brewery in Parkville, MO. Mike's wealth of skills and experience from his time at Boulevard is the driving factor behind our ability to scale production upward to meet the growing demand for our beers nationwide. When he's not running the brewhouse, Mike loves to play rugby and, in true Kansas City native style, BBQ just about anything that fits on a grill. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of the lines from just about every romantic comedy and action-adventure movie made in America since 1975. If you ever have a chance to drop by the brewery or see him at an appearance, buy him a beer and ask him to act out all the characters in Die Hard.

Gordon Gerski, Brewer & Bottling Line Wrangler
Like Mike, Gordon, or "Gordie" as everyone calls him, comes to us from Boulevard Brewing and The Power Plant before that. One of Gordie's jobs while at Boulevard was to run and maintain their bottling line, a skill that's come in handy here at the Abbey since our shiny new bottling line is of the same make (albiet much smaller than Boulevard's). As anyone who's ever run a bottling line can tell you, keeping one of those Rube Goldbergian contraptions running smoothly is no simple feat, so his knowledge of which dials to turn and knobs to fiddle with (or which panel to kick) are invaluable to us. Outside of the brewery Gordie's an avid cyclist who enjoys climbing and decending our local mountains on a bike with ridiculously thin tires. He's also got a very large husky named Molly who can bark her ABCs.

Brewery Updates
Beyond just new faces, we've also been growing our brewery like gangbusters. Earlier this year we acquired two new fermenters, Heaven and Hell, named for what had to be moved to get them into the brewhouse (See the photo album here). The aforementioned bottling line is now up and running (most of the time) which has increased our bottling capacity from a couple hundred cases a week to well over 1,000. We also acquired several hundred more oak barrels, pushing our total to over 500, and signed a keg contract that'll allow us to significantly increase our draft accounts across the country (read: more fresh beer for you). As you might guess, all of the new stuff has significantly increased our storage requirements, so we also added 10,000 square feet of warehouse space to handle our rapidly growing distribution. And in the coming months you'll be seeing even more changes. This fall we'll also be adding cold storage to our warehouse allowing us to move shipment-ready kegs out of the brewery, tear down the exiting coldbox, and build a brand new tasting bar complete with a fancy refrigeration unit to keep some of the rare stuff chilled and ready for tasting. So when you visit the brewery, you'll not only be able to sample our regular fare, but you'll also be able to experience some of our epic beers from the reserve (2006 Cuvee de Tomme anyone?). Finally, just this past week, we added a new feature to our tasting hours -- food in the form of Marty and his amazing hot dog cart. Marty's the real deal, and his authentic New York hot dogs, brats, cheesesteak sandwiches and other streetside eats are simply amazing (inexpensive too). So the next time you're down to the brewery for a tasting, or a new beer release, make sure to grab a dog or two -- you'll be glad you did!

Third Annual Barrel Tasting Night
Here's an event you won't want to miss -- Each year a limited number of guests are invited to join the Port Brewing family as we delve into the barrel archives to sample a few of the specialties waiting within. Barrel Tasting Night is limited to 125 lucky people who will be the first to taste craft releases aged as long as two years by brewmaster Tomme Arthur and crew. This year is our third annual Barrel Tasting Night which will be held on Saturday, November 7 to coincide with the kickoff of San Diego Beer Week. The event is from 7pm to 10pm and includes a number of increadibly rare beers coupled with hors d’ oeuvres and fine foods prepared by The Lost Abbey chef in residence, Vince Marsaglia. Tickets to the event are $80 each, $150 for a couple, and are guaranteed to sell out quickly. If you're going to be in town that week, this is definitely a "can't miss" event. You'll find all the information on our website here. Tickets are available online here.

Beer Releases For Fall 2009
Here's what on tap for release over the next few months (please note that all dates are estimates). If you're in an area in which we distribute (click here for a map), you should see these start to hit your favorite tap rooms and store shelves in 7 to 14 days after release.
  • Sept. 1 -- Panzer Pils, Imperial Pilsner
  • Sept. 18 -- High Tide, Fresh Hopped IPA
  • Oct. 19 -- Santa's Little Helper, Russian Imperial Stout
  • Nov. 2 -- Gift of the Magi, Holiday Golden Ale

Upcoming Events
Here’s a list of upcoming events for the next few weeks. You can always find a full list of events, appearances and releases on our website.
  • Sept. 24 - 26 -- Great American Beer Festival, Denver, CO
  • Oct. 9 -- Beer for Boobs fundraiser, Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey
  • Oct. 10 -- Sinners & Saints Party, Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey
  • Oct. 29 -- Port Brewing Dinner, The Crossings at Carlsbad
  • Oct. 30 -- Boos and Brews Night, Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey
  • Nov. 7 -- Third Annual Barrel Tasting Night, Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey

World of Beer News

October Brewery Night
We're going to switch it up a bit in October, and instaed of focusing on one brewery, we are going to bring you some of the best beers of the season from a select few breweries. We're going to call it "Brewery Night in 'Hop'tober. Click here for the flyer and draft lineup.

WOBtoberfest '09 Music Lineup Announced
There's not a whole lot of other news about other events because we are focused on making this WOBtoberfest the best yet. We are investing in some serious musical talent this year. Check out this sick lineup...
5:30-7:30pm :: Bird Street Players
8:00-9:30pm :: Chris Nathan
10:00-12:00am :: The Black Honkeys

12:30-1:30pm :: Kim Stein
2:00-4:30pm :: Early Morning Project
5:00-7:00pm :: Daniel B. Marshall
7:30-9:30pm :: Ingram Hill
10:00-12:00pm :: Eric Lindell

Friday, Oct 23rd and Saturday the 24th. For those who have been to our event, you know that this is no boring old Oktoberfest event. It's an international celebration of Beer and Music. Of course, we'll have the standard German beers and Liter Mugs, but we take it a step further and add our own twist to the event. The focus is definitely on the music (great music) as much as it is on the beer. This year we have an UNBELIEVABLE lineup of both national and local acts. Headlining the event will be Eric Lindell, Ingram Hill, and Chris Nathan. Local acts include The Black Honkeys, Bird Street Players, and Kim Stein. It's a family-friendly festival packed with great beer, great music, and plenty of fun. Stay tuned for more details or visit

Each year we donate a portion of the event's proceeds to a deserving charity. We are very excited to announce that this year's event will benefit, an organization that helps fight breast cancer by offering a free self-check reminder service to participating women. You can learn more about their charity by visiting

Tailgating Sundays
It's here...FOOTBALL! That means that our monthly Customer Appreciation Cookouts turn into our WEEKLY Tailgating Sundays. Starting September 13th through the entire NFL season, we'll be cooking out every Sunday at the bar AND in the Raymond James parking lot before the Bucs games.

In order to be able to continue bringing you great food for free, we've decided to limit the free food to Loyalty Card holders only. Whether it's at WOB or at Raymond James, just flash your loyalty card, and the food is on us! If you have yet to signup for a Loyalty Card, just ask your server next time you're at WOB. It's only $15 to signup, and aside from the regular rewards, you'll get a WOB coozie at signup, and free food at our cookouts for life! To learn more about our Loyalty Card program, click here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brooklyn Brewmaster's Reserve ~ The Manhattan Project

The Manhattan Project

Just as good restaurants will often feature the Chef's special new dishes, every two months our "Chef" creates a new draft beer for our Brewmaster's Reserve line. Brewmaster Garrett Oliver certainly loves beer best, but many good things provide inspiration. In this case, it was the realm of traditional cocktails. So Garrett decided to conjure up something unique with his friend David Wondrich, America's top cocktail expert and winner of the 2008 James Beard Foundation Book Award. A few years back, David introduced Garrett to the classical version of the Manhattan, made not with bourbon but with rye whiskey, red vermouth and bitters. It quickly became Garrett's favorite cocktail, and it spawned an idea. A robust rye beer, partially aged in Rittenhouse 100-proof Bonded Rye barrels from the Heaven Hill distillery, and then infused with the herbs and spices that flavor red vermouth and bitters. Then a dash of tart cherry, and the result is THE MANHATTAN PROJECT, a tasty new beer showing echoes of New York's most famous cocktail, the Manhattan. It is great as an aperitif, but also with game dishes, especially duck.

Malt: Malted Rye, Crystal Rye Malt, Canadian Two row pilsner malt, British Maris Otter

Hops: German Perle

Other sugars: Caramel syrup, brewer's sugar, Organic cherry juice

Other Herbs/spices: Bitter Orange Peel, Sweet Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Gentian Root, Cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, cloves.

ABV: 7.5%

**all Brewmaster's Reserve beers are keg-only releases**

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Maui Brewing Brew News

Aloha Friends!

Tickets for this year's GABF are sold out! Tickets went on sale in June and sold extremely fast. 3362 beers were entered into this year's competition and 2100 beers from 495 breweries will be sampled on the festival floor. For those of you who will be attending, stop by our booth to say "Aloha" and to sample our trio of packaged microbrews as well as two of our pub favorites.

"Big Swell IPA", "Bikini Blonde Lager" and "Coconut Porter" are our canned products and the pub beers we are presenting this year are "Milk of Amnesia Stout" and "Smoked RiPA". We are looking forward to seeing you! As usual, Maui Brewing Co. logo merchandise items will be available in the hall.

Dates for the 2010 Great American Beer Festival have already been announced: September 16-18, 2010. Tickets for the 2010 event will go on sale next June.

Okole maluna!
Maui Brewing Co.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BEER Trekkin Chicago ~ Day 05

got to sleep in yesterday which was nice, but it's early to rise n late to bed tonight. gotta get me workout in (woohoo) before repacking and heading home. i'm ready to see my baby, mr D, again.

my time in Chicago? nice.
the class? excellent! i'm looking forward to getting to spend more time here next year.
traffic? ugh! why people would willingly want to drive here is beyond my comprehension.

had another surprisingly well-made cocktail at PFChang's yesterday for breakfastlunch. chilled a bit in the room afterwards, then headed to Goose Island where i spend the rest of the afternoon and evening. had a couple flights and added to my backlog of beer tasting notes. time to put the review writing crunch ON when i get home.

(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mikkeller Brew News

Herra Huurteinen

As a gypsy-brewer Mikkel travels a lot. One of his many journeys took him to the Finnish city Mikkeli.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and when in Finland do as the finns, so Mikkel went to the nearest sauna. Here Mikkel met former weapons dealer Timo Vuoppola.

Even though Timo has vast amounts of body hair, Mikkel could not help but notice that Timo had three testicles.

Timo and Mikkel start talking. Timo tells that his father built nuclear power plants in former USSR. 'That is the reason for this deformity' Timo says and points to his groin. 'Here in Mikkeli I am known as Triple Timo, Timo Three-Balls or simply TB.

TB tells Mikkel that the job as an arms dealer led him round all of Europe – among other places to Düsseldorf where he tasted an Altbier that he really liked for the first time. That story becomes the beginning of a long talk about beer. That night Mikkel ends up in Timo's home and together they consume a substantial amount of Timo's Altbier stash.

Meeting Timo made a lasting impression on Mikkel, which made it only natural for him to brew an Altbier especially for the Finnish market. As a tribute to Timo, a hairy finn with three testicles and a heart of gold.

BEER Trekkin Chicago ~ Day 04

~yaaaaaaaaaawns~ stretch ^_^

i almost got up early to work out, but sleep called my name and, well, i answered. got up at 9am which was nice. i'm going back to the 5am wake-up tomorrow morning, but that's all good. of course, i'll still work out this morning. i'm thinking a bit later and i'll have the bike to myself.

i have ALL day today to do whatever i want. i'm hitting up The Hop Leaf for sure. they are supposed to have a huge Belgian selection and, after browsing their beer menu, i'd have to agree. i'm going to hit up Goose Island of course. grab a flight of beers and a couple t-shirts. one for me and one for Tim. i must have some Bourbon County Stout. mmmm.... delicious!

i'm itching for The Publican again...but shall see.

went to the Rock Bottom Brewery last night. food good, especially the burger i took home. the PJs were calling my name so i answered. while i was there though, i supped on their flight of beers, all their beers. i saved their two stouts for last which worked wonderfully. by the time i got to them, they had risen to the perfect cellar supping temperature. i was going to get a tshirt, but none of them grabbed my fancy.

i'm also going to wander around a bit, and try to use the Red Line to my advantage today. i'm growing tired of giving the taxi drivers my money. and speaking of the taxi drivers...CrAzY. but, i'm glad i don't have to drive in this atrocious traffic. next year, i'm definitely going to use the red line far more than this time.

like a dork, i forgot to buy the Sensory Analysis Kit yesterday from Siebel, so i am going to have to pay s&h to have it mailed to me in Florida. meh, that's life. if they're anything like the few vials we used in class, then they are more than worth the money.

i scored 6 fabulous beers from Sam's Wine & Spirits. the one i am most excited about is the Le Baladin Xyauyu Copper, vintage 2005. i am soooooo excited about this. i'm salivating giddily just thinking about it. saving me the trouble of finding someone to ship them for me, Sam's also offers shipping service. score!

(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Maui Brewing Brew News

San Diego Festival of Beer Friday
September 18, 2009 (6pm to 11pm)

Aloha Friends!

The 15th annual Festival of Beer will take over the streets at Columbia and B in San Diego once more to bring you a fun-filled evening with a goal of 6,000 beer lovers like yourself enjoying the sounds of live music while sampling from seventy-five different breweries. Proceeds benefit the SDPAC organization (San Diego Professionals Against Cancer).

This is Maui Brewing Co.'s first time in attendance at this event and we are bringing one of our pub favorites, Mana Wheat, along with our trio of packaged beers (Big Swell IPA, Bikini Blonde Lager and Coconut Porter) for you to sample. Some logo merchandise items will be available for sale as well (cash sales only).

Tickets for the event are considered a tax-deductible donation and are $25 in advance from Brown Paper Tickets via a link at the festival website: Tickets are also available for purchase the day of the event for $30.

Looking forward to seeing you there!
Okole maluna!
Maui Brewing Co.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ommegang Brew News ~ September

Sunday, Sept 13
Resto / Feasting Menu Ommegang Beer Dinner
111 E. 29th Street (between Lexington Ave & Park Avenue South) 212- 685-5585

Chef Bobby Hellen will deliver a Large Format Feast beer dinner to kick off NYC Craft Beer Week. The beer dinner will combine Resto's local and seasonal approach, their large format feasting menu and three New York food and beer producers. Brewery Ommegang from Cooperstown will brew the beer, Paffenroth Farms will grow the vegetables and Violet Hill Farm will raise the pig & lamb finished on spent grains from the brewery. Seven kegs of Ommegang beer, some never before served to the public, pairs with a family-style farm-to-table feast at this Belgian eatery. Beers including new Ommegang Triple and Adoration Ale, plus Ommegang Rouge. Ommegang brewmaster Phil Leinhart and Ommegang beer sommelier Kate Stamps will attending and talking.
***$175 for six-course dinner paired with Ommegang beers. Tax and tip not included Limited to 65 guests, reservations suggested.

Thursday, Sept 17, 6 pm
Swift Hibernian Lounge / Brewery Ommegang night
Swift Hibernian Lounge, 34 E. 4th Street, Manhattan 212-260-3600
Complimentary Ommegang Triple will be served by brewery staf.

Friday, Sept 18, 6 pm
Rattle 'N' Hum Craft Beer Bar / Brewmaster Night # 8
14 East 33rd Street, Murray Hill, Manhattan (Between 5th and Madison) 212-481-1586
No entry. Pay-as-you-go. No reservations required. Featuring Phil Leinhart (Ommegang), Rob Tod (Allagash) and Scott Vacarro (Captain Lawrence)
Meet the brewers of Ommegang, Allagash, Southampton and Captain Lawrence.

Sunday, Sept 20, 2 -10 pm
Studio Square / A Walk in the Park
Official Closing Event 40+ rare & special craft beers on draft.
33-35 36th Street, Astoria, Queens 718-383-1001
Ommegang will pour Rouge and Three Phils.

Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Endless LOVE

Garrett Oliver working traditional floor malting at Crisp Maltings in the U.K. The malt will be used in the upcoming Backbreaker Brewmaster's Reserve.


shweeeeeeeet! i'm excited. Garrett and Brooklyn suffer a love/hate relationship with beer geeks, a conflict i don't really understand. very few brewers have as much love for beer, both classic and modern than Garrett Oliver. personally, i can't wait to try it.

Avery rocks out during GABF week

Avery happenings from Monday 9/21 to Sunday 9/27

The Avery Tap Room will be open Mon 10am-6pm,
Tues-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm

Our stellar lineup of beers like Avery IPA, White Rascal Belgian Wheat, Ellie’s Brown Ale and Hog Heaven Barleywine Style Ale will be flanked by new, rare brews all week long. Expect 12 taps of goodness flowing every day from 10 AM to 8 PM(Monday-Saturday), along with these specialty tappings each day at 11 AM:

Monday, 9/21 - Eagle Rare Reverend. Our Belgian Quad aged in Eagle Rare Whiskey barrels

Tuesday, 9/22 - Bad Sally. Salvation Belgian Golden aged in oak and soured up using our house culture of bugs!

Wednesday, 9/23 - Sui Generis Barrel-Aged Sour Ale Release at 3PM. Beginning at 11 AM:

Port Altar Boy ’09 - Reverend aged in a Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel with Bretts and House Sour Blend #1.
Opus Altar Boy ’09 - Reverend aged in a port barrel with Bretts and House Sour Blend #2
Good Sally ’09 - Salvation aged in a Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel with Bretts and House Sour Blend #1

Thursday, 9/24 - Voltron and Hot for Sammy. Think sour, and our Samael’s Oak Aged ale in an altered state.

Friday, 9/25 - Lawnmower beer day:

Sour Cherry Mephistopheles’ Stout. A 2009 vintage of a fav from 2008
Moloch - A blend of our Reverend and Samael’s aged in fresh Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels. 13% abv.

Saturday, 9/26 - Straight Outta Hell - A one-barrel experiment... 50% Out of Bounds Stout, 50% Mephistopheles’ Stout, aged in a Heaven Hill bourbon barrel for six months. 10% abv.

Sunday, 9/27 - The Holy Trinity of Ales. Together in all their glory.

Bold City Brew News

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well. Woo-Wee, We’ve got some good stuff for you this weekend. Tomorrow @ 3pm, we’ll be tapping the all new, Fritz’s Hefeweizen, as well as a test batch of the Foo’s Yer Doos, Scottish Heavy AND to top it all off, a Sour Cherry Chinook IPA Cask Ale. I’m looking forward to it, and hope to see you this weekend. Now some info from the Boss Lady (Mom) on the Anniversary celebration, Game Day Growlers and a special tailgating menu put together by Vernon (Jolly Mon). Be BOLD! Go JAGS!


Bold City One Year Anniversary
Anniversary event is Oct 3rd.
$2 pints all day long.
Special Jolly Mon menu, Trivia contest and more. Additional details to come.

BEER Trekkin Chicago ~ Day 03

it'll be soooooo nice to sleep in some tomorrow before chilling and cruising the fine town of Chicago. though, getting up early does get me dibs on the exercise bike at the gym. hm...

first day of class was awesome. i respectfully didn't geek out upon meeting Randy Mosher, and the man is awesome. laid back, genial, and a pure joy to listen to and talk with.

we snarfed some grub at Goose Island during lunch where i savored a bottle of Sofie along with my fresh spinach greens salad topped by glorious bacon slivers and fresh chicken. after class, a group of us hung out upstairs and supped on some beer and just chilled. a great group, i must say, and i'm greatly heartened to see so many women there.

beer is beautiful and beer is for everyone, man and woman equally. it's very encouraging to see such a strong showing on my fellow estrogen-fueled side.

picked up a few bottles of goodies at Sams. i almost had to worry about how to ship it, but voila! Sam's offers shipping also. problem solved at the source. can't ask for more.

dinner was at The Publican again. crazy busy which shouldn't have been a surprise, but a bit too crazy for myself. i would have enjoyed it more if i'd had someone to chat with, but tis cool. not sure if i'll make it back again before i head back home sunday, but dinner was excellent. the bluefin tuna crudo was exquisite. a steady din of jovial patrons promised a busy night long into the evening for which i didn't stick around. got a bummer ph call from the mom; a problem back home i have to take care of this morning. but i digress. i didn't have the opportunity to chat with the bartender and his lady assistant whose company i enjoyed yesterday, but that's all good. the only "let down" of the evening.

today, i'm thinking i'll hit up Rock Bottom Brewery for some grub and some beer. i may have to get there on the early side since, driving past it last night, the jovial throngs were out in full force. it's also a 5 minute walk from where i was staying. bonus! skip one more cab fee today.

let it be known that i, kristyn lier, have ridden more cabs in the last 3 days than i have ever ridden in my whole 32 years so far. and i still have one more day of Chicago romping...

(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Orlando Brewing Taproom News

Live On Stage at the Brewery:
Friday, September 11th @ 9pm: Bob "Stormcrow" Sanders

Saturday, September 12th @ 7 pm:
"Film, Tunes, and Brew"....Slow Food Orlando and Global Peace Film Festival have teamed up for an evening featuring the film "Playing for Change."-Peace through Music. Enjoy local music by the ForeFathers before the film with local organic beer from Orlando Brewing. Enjoy the Film and Tunes, with donations to benefit Slow Food Orlando and Global Peace Film Festival.

Saturday, September 12th @ 9 pm: Legacy

Upcoming Events:
Sunday, September 20th @ 2pm
Big Red Bus Renovation Cookout
Menu will consists of:
Basil Wrapped Ground Chuck-featuring Orlando Brewing's Maibock; Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches-featuring Orlando Brewing's Olde Pelican; Brazilian Beer Chicken-featuring Orlando Brewing's European Pilz; Sea Scallop Kabobs-featuring Orlando Brewing's Miami Weiss; Traditional Beer Bratwurst-featuring Orlando Brewing's Red Ale.

Sunday, September 20th @ 7 - 9pm:
Christian Mission for CUBA: Benefit Concert & Auction
Live Music by: Joseph Martens(classic rock, pop and country favorites)
Gypsy & Jay (rock and hip-hop hits
Come and bid generously on a unique Downtown Farmers Market Basket of Gifts-$150.00 Retail Value.
No Cover Charge- Donations Cheerfully Accepted.

Wednesday, September 30th: BEER:30
$2 Orlando Brewing Beers ALL DAY!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Great Divide September Brew News

September's shaping up to be a big month for us here at Great Divide. Just ten days ago, we squeezed two new 100-barrel fermenters into our fermentation room, which upped our production capacity by 15 percent; this means at least 15 percent more work for our brewers, but they're gluttons for punishment anyway.

And speaking of which: As you read this, our brewers are in the midst of creating the brewery's biggest annual spectacle: pouring thousands of pounds of fresh (as in just harvested a few days ago) whole-cone hops into our kettle (and then shoveling them all back out again) to make Fresh Hop Pale Ale. The process makes our brewhouse almost shamefully messy, and we all tend to get a bit weak-kneed and dizzy at the sight and smell of so many beautiful hops, but in the end we get one of our favorite fall treats - a celebration of the harvest as heady as a Thanksgiving feast, only in a bottle. Look for Fresh Hop to hit shelves October 1.

Also due to hit the shelves in just a few short weeks will be our other favorite fall treat, Hibernation Ale. The first few batches have been sitting in our fermenters for nearly two months now, and they're tantalizingly close to being ready for you. And speaking of Hibernation...

...September will see the release of our newest batch of Stranahan's Whiskey-barrel-aged beers, which this year will include a barrel-aged Hibernation in addition to barrel-aged renditions of Yeti Imperial Stout and Old Ruffian Barley Wine. These beers have sat in Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrels for nine months, and they've each taken on heady notes of whiskey mellowed out by the round vanilla characteristics of oak. These bottle-conditioned wonders are sipping beers of the highest order; we, of course, suggest that you try all three.

And we haven't even mentioned GABF yet! From September 24-26, the Great American Beer Festival, the biggest beer festival in the country, will descend upon the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, not even a mile away from Great Divide. The brewery always ends up being a big part of the action, and this year should be no different; we're extending the Tap Room's hours (see below for details) and we'll have some special one-time-only releases available, including a top-secret whiskey-barrel-aged project or two. Be sure to stop by that week, and make sure you check out the event itself, which will feature thousands of fantastic beers from hundreds of talented breweries all over the country in a celebration of the wonder that is the American brewing industry. Buy tickets now - they're selling out quick - at

And last but not least, we want to take a moment to bid a fond adieu to Brew Ninja Allen Johnson, who will be leaving us this month after three years of dedicated service, highly professional-looking satirical company newsletters, questionable wardrobe choices, and fantastic midboil dance moves. A.J., you will be sorely missed.

Drink Beer Here (Tap Room news and events)
September 18 -Free Sample Friday in honor of the kickoff of the Denver Beer Fest, which runs September 18-27. Enjoy up to 8 free samples of Hercules. And Titan. And Hoss. And Yeti. And everything else. 'Nuff said. September 24-27 - Great American Beer Festival weekend! In celebration of the country's biggest beer festival, the Tap Room will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each of these days (yes, even Sunday!), with special beers on tap and tours throughout the day. Great Divide is due to be a festival of its own all weekend, so make sure to drop by and check it out. September 29 - Our monthly beer and cheese pairing, 5-8 p.m. As always, $10 gets you five Great Divide beers paired with five fantastic artisan cheeses. If you'd like to attend, please RSVP to

Drink Beer Somewhere Else (other cool places to drink Great Divide this month)
Denver Beer Fest September 18th-27th . A celebration of all things beer, including beer tastings at local Denver restaurants, beer-paired dinners, "meet the brewer" nights, beer tappings, Denver brewery tours and a variety of entertaining beer events throughout the Mile High City. Here’s a brief list of what’s happening, please check our website under events for more details.
Thursday September 17th-Great Divide Night at City O City
Saturday September 19th-RooBar Anniversary Party
Sunday September 20th-Vesta Dipping Grill Beer Dinner
Monday September 21st-Watercourse tasting, Appaloosa Beer Dinner (see details below)
Tuesday September 22nd-Tag Happy Hour, Osteria Marco Beer Dinner (see details below)

Appaloosa Grill/Great Divide Beer Dinner September 21st, 6:30pm
Appaloosa Grill and Great Divide have paired up for Denver Beer Week to celebrate local food and local beer for - who else? - the locals. This very special evening will begin at Appaloosa, where you'll be treated to a three-course meal paired with Great Divide beers. Then you'll be taken to Great Divide for a dessert course, also paired with beer, followed by a brewery tour. Finally, you'll be taken back to Appaloosa to enjoy live music and whatever else your heart might desire (as long as it's related to beer or food). Space is very limited for this one-of-a-kind event - only thirty slots are available - so reserve your spot ASAP by contacting Mindy Lorens at
Great Divide Beer Dinner with Osteria Marco. Tuesday, September 22nd
Reception at 6:30pm. Dinner at 7pm. $40 per person. 20 Reservations available. Call 303-534-5855 to reserve your spot. 4 courses featuring the following Great Divide brews:
Denver Pale Ale
St. Bridget's Porter
Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti

Abita Brew News

September 10, 2009
6:00PM Thibodaux Abita Beer Pub Crawl
Thursday, September 10, 2009 @ 6pm Abita Beer's Pub Crawls started out small and over the years have grown into giant movable parties loved by thousands. On September 10th, we're bringing the party to Thibodaux! $1 Abita at every location! First 200 people to arrive receive a FREE commemorative t-shirt.

Start the party at...

Peppers Pizzeria
600 W 3rd St
6:30pm-8:00pm (Registration)

Then make your way to...

204 Saint Philip St

Red Goose
205 Saint Philip St

Followed by a stroll to...

200 Saint Philip St

And a crawl to...

The Library
601 W 3rd St

Finally, end the evening at...

Last Call
511 W 3rd St


September 11, 2009
5:30PM New Orleans Fall Fest Pub Crawl
Friday, September 11th @ 5:30pm Come celebrate the release of our next Abita Seasonal Beer with visits to some of our favorite New Orleans places serving Abita Fall Fest. What started out small has grown into giant movable parties loved by thousands!

$1 Abita at every location!
First 500 people to arrive receive a FREE commemorative t-shirt.

Start the party at...

The Boot
1039 Broadway St.
5:30pm-8:00pm (Registration)

Then make your way to...

The Palms
7130 Freret St.

Followed by a stroll to...

733 Cherokee St.

And a crawl to...

Pat Fannie’s
7537 Maple St.

7601 Maple St.

Finally, end the evening at...

7538 Maple St.


September 18, 2009
6:00PM Baton Rouge Fall Fest Pub Crawl
Friday, September 18th @ 6pm Come celebrate the release of our next Abita Seasonal Beer with visits to some of our favorite Baton Rouge places serving Fall Fest. What started out small has grown into giant movable parties loved by thousands!

$1 Abita at every location!
First 500 people to arrive receive a FREE commemorative t-shirt. Start the party at...

Roux House
143 Third St.

Happy's Irish Pub
136 Third St.
6:00pm-8:00pm (Registration)

Then make your way to...

Boudreaux and Thibodeaux's
214 Third St.

Finally, crawl on over to...

Red StaR
222 Laurel St.

Puncher's Sports Bar
421 Third St.

Cigar City Brew News

New Tulip Glasses/New Barrel Fills... The last seven days have been draining. Last Wednesday I pulled off a 19 hour round trip excursion to Atlanta to drop off beer for GABF, including beer from several Florida breweries which will be pouring at the Florida Brewer's Guild booth at GABF. The day after the trip I was delirious and incoherent. More so than usual anyway.

Then Monday Wayne and I left Tampa at 2PM for a beer dinner at Kickback's in Jacksonville (great beer bar by the way) which saw us getting back home to Tampa at 4 AM the next day. The beer dinner went great though. Big thanks to Steve and the staff at Kickback's for putting on a fun beer dinner and for everyone that showed up (even the Seminole Fans) to support craft and local beer. Kickback's is definitely one of those bars you wish you had in your neighborhood. So after getting to bed around 5:30 am I had to wake up early on Tuesday as I had an early deadline for my beer column, which I hadn't worked on as usual. Tonight I am shooting for 16 hours of sleep.

Today Doug and Wayne filled several barrels and we bottled about 30 cases of Marshal Zhukov's. We still have a full 15 bbl tank to bottle, which will yield another 200-220 cases, but means Zhukov's release will be delayed until early October. So today in addition the bottles filled we prepped about 100 gallons of Hunahpus for fests, new territory kickoffs and special events. And we have barrel aged versions of Brandy Barrel Zhukov's, Bourbon Barrel Zhukov's and Bourbon Barrel Hunahpus in the cellar.

We also got our new tulip flasses in, finally.

That's all for now. As always, thanks to everyone that supports our brewing efforts by drinking our beer.


p.s. I prepped up a 5 gallon test bacth of Guava Grove aged on green and white peppercorns and Scuppernongs that I bought at a roadside gas station/produce stand in North Florida on my way back from Atlanta. The Scuppernong aroma has picked up quickly and it always amazes me how it gives a somewhat funky brett angle to things. It should be ready in a week or so. If I like where it is going we'll make it available for samples and growlers at that tasting room.

BEER Trekkin Chicago ~ Day 02

it's early...but even on work vacation, i like to get my early morning work-out in. if i recall correctly, the hotel gym opens at 6am. works for me. get some sweat on, freshen up, and catch a taxi to the Siebel Institute for the first day of my two day class.

i pretty much hung out last night. i grabbed a drink at PFChangs right across from my hotel along with a munchie after arriving safely. the highlight of my night was The Publican.

i should have just stayed there last night, but i was feeling adventurous so i tried hunting down one of the Goose Island pubs. the first try was a miss, though we found the second location. neither are the main Goose Island pub, and it showed. i was also tired. i hit the veritable brick wall of NEED SLEEP NOW. after sipping some coffee and munching on some wings, i didn't even get a beer. sad, i know -.- but sleep called and i needed to answer.

i'm definitely going to make the main Goose Island on North Clybourn a beer supping and food snarfing destination. i'm saving it for either Friday or Saturday. not sure where i will sup and snarf tonight, but that's hours from now.

~looks at clock~
bout time to hit the gym.

(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

BEERporting ~ The Broken Barrel Tavern

The Broken Barrel Tavern
4700 Babcock Street NE
Palm Bay, FL 32905
Phone: 321.728.4755

Much like Tequesta was an unlikely place to find a stellar gastro pub of heavenly proportions, so too is Palm Bay, Florida. Not exactly high on my list of beer destination cities, apparently they are set to prove me wrong. I’m coming to a sudden conclusion that no matter where you live, big or small or somewhere inbetween, good beer begets demand as demand begets good beer. Thirst knows no bounds.

Let’s just say that I am glad I didn’t follow first impression instincts on this one because, from the outside, it looks like just another whole-in-the wall dumpy dive where inside the smoke billows (well, maybe not so much in Florida…), raunch rules, and the food is something you’d find in a garbage dump behind a fast-food restaurant. Once more, I’m proven wrong.

Stepping inside I am greeted by darkness. Literally. Allowing a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the doom and gloom, I am met by a spartanly modern décor which screams ‘hipster’ and only partially succeeding. The walls are painted black with a sponge-style finish, possibly to pimp out the already pimpin flat screen TVs that are showcasing the most current sports specials. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge college football fan and when season starts, you better not get in the way of me, my game, and some tasty glasses of brew. That being said, I feel as if I have wandered into a parallel world of Buffalo Wild Wings meets Brooding Hipster Lounge. I’m kind of digging it, and I’d be digging it even more if I could hear myself think over the ear-drum shattering music. Oy. These ears are precious and need not torment the likes of this. The background music was appropriately eclectic, but it needed to be at least 10 decibels lower, if not more. Now, it should be noted that I stopped by on a Friday afternoon, and not just any afternoon, Labor Day Weekend Friday afternoon. Maybe tis to be expected, but even still, far too loud to be enjoyable.

After wandering around I settled on a table for four because I can, and I didn’t feel like taking up a table for six or more along the wall. I’m usually a bar fly stoop kinda beer gal, but all the seats were full so I had to settle for second best. At least I had the massive flat screen TV in front of me to amuse my attentions when needed. The staff deserves huge props because 1)it’s obvious they enjoy their work, and 2)they genuinely enjoy their massive beer selection matched by an equally massive menu. Run of the mill menu bar bits are to be found with flair, and the menu just took flight from there. I only got a simple soup and salad, but let me tell you, that meal made my afternoon. Granted, I was starving (the chew marks on the menu are lingering proof) but a picky eater such as I can’t and won’t settle for just average.

I ordered first a Duchess de Bourgogne on draft (insert me drooling shamelessly) which was served to me, appropriately, in her proper Duchess de Bourgogne chalice. For those of you who haven’t supped this Belgian Flemish Sour Brown Ale delight, your life is officially incomplete. After waiting a few minutes for her initial arctic chill to subside, the only unfortunate downfall of draft beer, I proceeded to indulge my naughty side. Exquisite. Definitely fresh and well within her prime. As the Duchess and I made sweet love, I scoured the menu for something filling yet not heavy. I had a long night ahead which involved more food and more drink, albeit at a different locale, so I wanted to munch appropriately. Many menu items lusted for my attention, but after being unable to decide between the Chicken Chili or a Fresh Greens Salad, deliverance came unto me as a Soup & Salad offering. Voila!

Now, what dressing to have on top of my salad… Locking lips once more with the Duchess, my eyes wonder down to the only possible option: raspberry Lambic vinaigrette. Oh be still my beating heart. Supping gently, I peruse a couple games on the TVs, pro football unfortunately, as I await the arrival of my soup and salad. Ok, technically chicken chili, but who wants to be a prude. My late lunch arrives, and I scope out my chili topped with fresh onion slices and my salad composed of the finest quality greens: spinach and romaine topped with cherry tomatoes, whole rings of red onion, and my side of appropriately rose-tinged raspberry Lambic vinaigrette. Drizzling said dressing atop my salad, I crunch into her fresh greens…and time stops. Grabbing another bite, I sup once more upon my chalice of Duchess of Bourgogne. Heavenly... So this is what it feels like when one finally has THE beer+food moment. It is immediately clear to me now that the Duchess simply won’t do for my Chicken Chili, but that is a dilemma for later. Each quaff and bite further clarifies the righteousness of my choice. I could do this pairing a million times over and never grow tired. They play perfectly off each other, and sooner than I desired, both vessels of nirvana lie empty. That’s ok, I still have my Chicken Chili, but the question remains: to what beer shall I pair thee?

I needed a beer that was rich and hearty with enough spice, dark sweetness, and a little bit of smoke to compliment the soul-soothing nature of good chili. I had spotted the Schlenkerla Marzen during my perusal of the beer menu, but their single bottle price is more than I am willing to pay. Being in the retail trade of beer, wine, and spirits, I know what I can and do sell that particular beer for in my store. That being said, one should always expect a 200-300% markup on beer bottles in a restaurant.

My savior came all the way from California: the Stone Smoked Porter. I’ve supped her subtly smoked dark depths from the bottle, but never on draft. Sold! My waiter leaves, and I simply bask in the afterglow of my ravaging tryst with the Duchess and raspberry Lambic vinaigrette salad. Sooner than later, there is a large bowled snifter half-full with Stone Smoked Porter before me. As I take my first sip, I realize my only mistake of this otherwise exemplary afternoon: she’s too cold, and lest I wait long enough for her to warm to proper supping temperature, I’ll be looking at dull and listless chili long past her point of snarfing. I compromise by cupping her bulbous depths in my hands, alternating every so often to bring her closer to my body temp. Satisfied, I grab a hearty spoonful of my chili and enjoy. Wonderful. If I didn’t know beforehand that the chili used ground chicken instead of beef, I would never have guessed. She covers all the chili bases I personally prefer: ground chicken, beans, onion, spices, a slightly sweet base rich with mesquite and finishing with gentle spicy warmth. Washing down my chicken chili is the Stone Smoked Porter and never a better second marriage of beer+food could be found. At this point, let’s just say I let self-indulgence take over and the chili was soon gone while I supped long on the Stone Smoked Porter.

I get it. I finally get it. That being said, beer+food pairing isn’t something I am inclined to do all the time. I am sure there will be many more occasions where I purposely enjoy the two together in the best affair possible. So too will I sup separately many more a tasty brew and snarf a tasty meal.

So how did The Broken Barrel Tavern fair? I’d put it right in the middle. I’m not all that fond of loud music and an overly dark social environment. I can adapt to the darkness, but the eardrum shattering music needs some tweaking. I give fair warning again that when you first enter, leave yourself a good 5 minutes to adjust to the gloom. That’s not to say the atmosphere is gloomy; the opposite, everyone I observed there seemed to be indulging themselves most jubilantly both by themselves and in good company. The staff was honest, friendly, and helpful. My waiter sat and chatted more times than I can remember, a nice bonus.

Would I go back again? Yes, but probably not on a Friday or Saturday, holiday weekend notwithstanding.


(original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)