Some Pretty German Ladies!

Tonight is a good reminder why I love Germany and their long standing tradition of making superior beer!  The other night I picked up a few bottles of some sexy ladies.  It really is dangerous to have a beer store as good as Joe Canals within walking distance of my house!  Well I picked up Ettaler Kloster Dunkel, Weihenstephaner Korbinian, and Aecht Schenkerla Eiche.  When I bought them I wanted them right away but I put them in the fridge for the beginning of a good weekend!  To start a great weekend I devoured some wings great wings with my wife.  Afterwards I cleansed my palette and started cracking open my beers!  I enjoyed these ladies around 10 when the Lewis Black special started on comedy central.

I started with the unfamiliar Ettaler Kloster Dunkel beir!

Ettaler Kloster Dunkel

I have always seen this beer and I don’t know why I haven’t ever tried anything by Ettaler!  Shame on me!  Ettaler has a great history, founded in 1330 in the town of Obberammergau at the Klosterbrauerie Ettal monastery.  To say the least these monks have been kicking out some famous beers for almost 700 years!  Not only do they make beer there, the monks also are famous for their fruit schnapps and cheese.  German monks make me sort of wish I grew up in the dark ages when brewing beer was mostly to make water favorable and drinkable.  It also was an evil way to get people to come to church!  Well onto the beer… When I poured the Kloster Dunkel from the bottle into my Aventinus weizenbock glass it poured a clear light brown with a reddish hue.  There was a slight head that quickly dissipated with a slight lacing on the glass.  I took a good sniff and smelled roasted malts and some burnt chocolate.  When I took that first mouthful the taste was pretty much like it smelled, roasted malts, a little bready with a burnt chocolate taste.  The mouthfeel is a medium feel, a little thinner than some of the dunkels, but not light on taste.  Not an abundance of carbonation.  Also there isn’t a hint of alcohol.  This Dunkel is a nice easy drinking Dunkel.  I could have drank a bunch of these for sure.  The taste is very nice with a sweeter taste.  I highly recommend this if you haven’t had it by now!

The 2nd beer I enjoyed was the Weihenstephaner Korbinian

Weihenstephaner Korbinian

Weihenstephaner brewery is the worlds oldest brewery!  The bottle says it was founded 1040 but I did some research and the abbey started in 8th century.  There was some saints that found this Bavarian brew staple that their names are continued as beer names.  One of them, the founding saint is the name of my beer, Saint Corbinian(Korbinian doppelbock).  There is also Saint Vitus which also became Vitus Weizenbock.  Weihenstephaner is usually the brewery they send future students trying to become a brewer.  I would love to visit this famous brewery, next time I am in Germany for sure!  Onto the Korbinian… I poured it from a bottle as well into my Aventinus Weizenbock glass.  It poured a dark deep reddish tint with a slight head that dissipated quickly.  When I took a good sniff of this complex beer I got a nose of roasted malts and dark fruits.  The taste was similar to the nose of this beer.  I tasted the roasted malts, the dark fruits like figs, prunes(i couldn’t really put my tongue on it) and some chocolate undertones.  The mouthfeel is a medium to full body doppelbock that hides the 7.4% abv well.  That makes it quite dangerous since I could keep drinking this.  There is a medium level of carbonation.  Overall this is one of the world’s top doppelbocks.  I maybe biased because doppelbocks are my favorite style of beer, but this is a fine specimen of one!

The last beer of the night was the Aecht Schenkerla Eiche smoked oak doppelbock beer…

Aecht Schenkerla Eiche

Schenkerla Brewery is the youngest of the 3 breweries, it was first found in 1405 but the modern family, the Trum family continued the tradition in 1877.  It changed hands many times between them.  Aecht Schenkerla is known for their line of rauchbeirs… a smokey beer.  This bavarian brewery makes strictly rauchbeir versions of good german beers.  The style I got is their “christmas beer” or the Eiche.  It is a doppelbock flavored with smoked oak malts.  On to the beer, It pours a light orangish/red with a small head that dissipated quickly.  I took a sniff and there was a smell of smoked malts which almost smelled of a smoked gouda cheese.  The taste was quite complex, there was a taste of the smokiness like a smoked cheese/oaky flavor.  That was then surpassed with a sweeter aftertaste of fruits and brown sugar finish.  The mouthfeel is a a full body and heavy beer like most rauchbeirs.  There is light carbonation.  There is also a slight hint of alcohol, but it does weigh in at 8% abv.  Overall, this rauchbeir is probably at the top of my list of rauchbeirs.  I can only drink one or 2 of these bottles and then feel full.  If you are into Rauchbeirs get this around christmas or whenever you can find this one!

I hope I informed you shlubs on the german beer history!  If you haven’t had any of these go out and try these fine specimens of beers.

“Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today.”
– Edgar Allan Poe

Happy Easter and Passover!

Happy reading everyone!  It has been a month since the last post, very sorry for the few readers I have out there.  I have been very preoccupied with life and all things that life throws at you.  Well yesterday after a very exhausting day of painting, cleaning, and getting a house ready for sale, my brother wanted to come over for pizza, beer and movies.  We hit up the wonderfuland did some shopping for something that would quench our beer loving palette! We ended up getting a 6 pack of Wolaver’s Alta Gracia(a coffee porter) and a 750ml bottle of Bruery’s Saison De Lente(for the easter spirit). We enjoyed them while eating our excellent pizza with mushrooms and onions and cheese fries(I know dessert beer(wolavers) wasn’t the best choice to pair it with, but I am not making this a beer dinner(HA).

Well here are the reviews:

Wolavers Alta Gracia

I drank from the bottle, but when you pour this, it pours a dark brown almost black look with a visible tan head.  The smell is of coffee, vanilla and roasted malts.  When I took that first sip and swirled it in my mouth I got a good taste of coffee, vanilla bean, a little bit of a roastiness.  The mouth feel is of a full body porter and a bit of overpowering sweetness, but I probably shouldn’t have eaten this with dinner, but with dessert.  There is no hint of alcohol when drinking and the taste is very balanced.  My only complaint would be it might be a little to on the sweet side.  I recommend if drinking, either drink it alone or with some dessert.

Bruery Saison De Lente:

Right when I popped the cap off there was action, bubbles trying to escape.  I poured this into a tulip shaped glass and there is a lot of action and head build up.  It had a cloudy orangish/yellowish color with a very prevalent and slowly dissipating head.  The smell was of mostly citrus and some hops.  That first sip was quite complex, it took a few sips to get all the flavors.  I tasted grapefruit, lemon/citrus, hops, some light spices, a bit of a sweet after taste.  The mouthfeel was quite light for the explosion of flavor.  It was evened out by the carbonation and not a hint of the 6.5% abv.  I could drink a lot of this for sure.

A woman drove me to drink and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her.
-W.C. Fields-

Published in: on 24/04/2011 at 2:03 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Congress Unites over Beer!

Congress Unites over BEER Bill

John Kerry lifting a glass for victory

I don’t know if many American’s were aware of a major happening in the politics of our country? Congress came together to share in actually voting for something TOGETHER. The Bipartisan system saw Republicans voting the same as Democrats and Democrats voting the same as Republicans. I am happy to say the reason they came together to pass a bill was over small business breweries or as we usually say microbreweries. Yes they came together over BEER! It was a proposed bill to give the smaller breweries a tax break on their first 60,000 barrels produced. It is a drastic tax break of 50% from $7 a barrel to $3.50 a barrel. Also if production exceeds 60,000 barrels there is also a break on those barrels as well. The main 2 signers of the bill were Senator John Kerry of Mass and Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho. Both were joined by 17 cosigners from both sides of the bipartisan spectrum. The bill that passed’s acronym is BEER(properly named!) and stands for Brewer’s Employment and Excise Relief. The Bill besides lowering the taxes for smaller breweries also redefines what a smaller or microbrewery is by production. Before a microbrewer was held to 2 million barrels of production a year and now raises the bar to 6 million barrels a year.

 

This is great due to the higher demand of microbrew beer in the US and also helps the Microbrews compete with the large multinational beer brands in the American market. I am also proud that the split of the American political system was put on hold for 1 day so they can help smaller businesses like microbreweries by lowering their taxes.

“Make sure that the beer – four pints a week – goes to the troops under fire before any of the parties in the rear get a drop.”
-Winston Churchill

Musically inclined?

Well I know I have posted about beer mostly up to this point, buuuuuut since I haven’t really had anything new or started brewing a new batch since last writing.  I thought I would use this time to inform people of my other major interest, music.  My friend(who will be left nameless) was nice enough to go ahead and buy me a ticket to see one of our favorite philly bands, Paint it Black.  But for some unforeseen circumstances I was left with both tickets.   Well on this dreary rainy Sunday I grab one of my favorite places to park near the First Unitarian Church, which has been a big part of my childhood and life.  The First Unitarian Church has been a place that I have seen many live acts, bands I first checked out, I have seen some of my favorite bands, met many of good friends there, if it wasn’t for the punk rock community I wouldn’t be fortunate enough to have a place like this in my life.  Onward, I get there, even being alone I run into people I know and spot friends.  Awaiting the opening act I go from table to table looking at the bands merch, seeing nothing I really want, I purchase an espresso from the Paint it Black table, yes an espresso.  They brewed their own, and it was quite good. It also gave me that much needed energy boost to get me in the mood for the show after a long day of cleaning.

Give was the first band, a weird mash of different influences from the DC area. The singer was the most noticeable of the group, white jeans, a white tshirt, and long hair… Andrew WKesque, but nothing like him. They played a style sort of similar to Revolution Summer but with the other influences added in there. Sticking with the DC standouts of standing out. They were entertaining, Check them out!

Iron Chic went on next, let me start off by saying they put out one of my top 5 records of last year. They play pop-punk/punkrock style with meaningful lyrics to life. I have been meaning to see these guys for quite a while, and they hail not to far from home from Long Island, NY. They probably were my favorite band of the night when it came down to it. They played a great set, kept the inbetween song banter to a minimum and just played songs. Got to jump around, sing along, and feel great about the show!

Punch was next, hailing the farthest of all the bands, from San Francisco and quite possibly the band I looked forward to seeing most. How to describe them, hmmmm, lets say if you mash together fast in your face hardcore with blast beats and some once in awhile down tempo break downs fronted by a female. Definitely an energetic set, they got me moving with their mish mash of different styles.

Then Screaming Females went on, they were the one band I knew I could miss and go out and get some fresh air. They are like the odd band, from New Brunswick, NJ and is a 3 piece rock outfit with a female singer. She is much better at guitar then singing in my opinion.

Last but not least was Paint It Black, it was their first headlining show in philly, their hometown in about 2 years. They have an Allstar cast of members in their band hailing from the area. Dr. Dan Yemin fronts the band with his raw emotion which shows through his singing style and between song banter. Andy Nelson and Josh Agran hail from a long running sometimes jokey band that hold lore within the philly area in a band called Affirmative Action Jackson. Mash em together to bring you music and they play fast somewhat melodic punk hardcore that is probably one of my top hardcore bands from philadelphia ever. They played a good mix of songs from old stuff to the new 7″.

if you have no idea about any of these bands I say click on the links, and enjoy or cover your ears. Now I will go back to nursing my old muscles and bones.
Next time I hope to have some beer reviews or some news of the brewing nature.

The Second brew!

Well it has finally been opened!  Well for me anyway.  The tripel was opened by me this weekend, and oh was the wait worth it!  My uncle, he couldn’t wait for me to get over to his place to unveil it to the world.  He would even rub it into me every chance he got.  Well Sunday was the day I got my ass over there.  This brew was a much better brew, and not because I prefer the style but because it was smoother, had a fuller taste and no after taste.  Let me start out with the look, it poured a nice deep almost ruby red/deep reddish tan with a sizable head.  The smell was of malts and lots of sweet scents like some sweeter fruits.  I took the first sip and I tasted a mouthful of flavors.  I tasted an abundance of fruit along with some grains and malts.  At the end there was an extra blast of sweetness.  There was a pretty good amount of carbonation, not like most tripels that lighten their beer with champagne yeasts.  There was a good balance of carbonation and had a good balance.  This beer is definitely a sipping beer.  It has very good flavors and has a pretty high ABV weighing in in between 9.5-10%.

The Barren Brew Tripel

On top of my own brew I enjoyed other beer…

Ballast Point Victory at Sea

I got myself a growler of Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter, boy was that the right choice!  I poured the beer from the growler into a pint glass.  It poured a dark dark brownish maybe black and has a very nice tan head.  The smell is of roasted coffee, toffee, maybe caramel and a little vanilla.  Lots of sweet smells.  When I got that first mouthful you got the taste of the roasted coffee and some malts and is rounded off with that vanilla and a bit of alcohol at the end.  Its hard to hide 10% but it really isn’t overpowering.  There is about an average carbonation, and it has a medium to thick body beer.  This beer is a great beer to have with something sweet or after dinner.  It has all those sweet flavors of coffee and vanilla and toffee.

If you are a Porter and Stout fan definitely get this!

I am going to let this Poll run 1 more week… I want to know where people’s favorite beers come from… also if you please leave a few of your favorite beers from the given country you voted for.  I want to do a history of beer from some of the reader’s favorite beer producing countries along with my beer reviews.

He that drinketh strong beer and goes to bed right mellow, lives as he ought to live and dies a hearty fellow. – Anonymous

A Better Beer Poll

It has been quite a while since I posted my last post, along with some healing from the Steelers losing the superbowl!  Number 7 should have been theirs!  All in all it was a Superbowl I did predict from the start of the season(yes even with Big Ben being suspended the 1st few weeks).  I got a lot of guff for doing so, I was called a Homer, but I had good picks none the less.  I believe 10 of my 12 picks got into the playoffs(I should bet on these things HA!)

I still have not had the Tripel my uncle and I have brewed, and my uncle finds every chance to rub it in!  I am going over there this Sunday and will sit back and enjoy a few of these.  I might have to only have 2 or 3 due to the high ABV… a whopping 9.5-10%.  I just hope my uncle has saved me some!

On other news, since I haven’t been drinking my own beer, I have had quite a few quite impressive beers.  I enjoyed Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin which if you like pumpkin and spiced ales, you will most likely like this.  A lot of the pumpkin ales are overly sweet, but this is complex and has a great taste.  If you find one of these pick one of these up, or wait til next fall season.  I also was surprised by Red Hooks ESB which started off on the tongue with a sweetness from the malts and then the hops jump right out at you.  It was an easy drinking beer, which I was looking for.  That same night I also had the Red Hook Mudslinger Spring ale which was quite average and not very memorable.  Not lots of flavors.  With it being February I have started looking forward to the impressive seasonal from Boston Brewing Co.  Sam Adams Noble Pils!!!  On Valentines day I enjoyed myself a few of them.  The complex taste of the different noble hops, the honeyed malts, and a bit of citrus in the after taste.

Well I know this is a younger blog, but I was hoping to have a little more discussion or comments, even if they are negative.  So lets see if I can get a few people to answer this poll-

Also add in comments of some of your favorite beers from that country in the comments!

The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.
-Humphrey Bogart-

Chocolate Stout Floats!!!

After a long week of work, the wife was out of the house with her girlfriends, I figured I would pick up a growler of Troegs Nugget Nectar ale at the growler station at the Joe Canals by my house… BUUUUUUUUT big disappointment!  They ran out earlier in the night!  Well I had a a bunch of excellent beers to choose from-

Stone-Arrogant Bastard, Brooklyn-Black Chocolate Stout, Flying Fish-Exit 13(belgian chocolate stout), Rogue-Hazelnut Nectar, Leifmans-Fruitesse, Ommegang- Chocolate Indulgence, Green Flash IPA, and Delerium Tremens.

I was then enticed by an idea that popped into my head… I wanted Chocolate Stout floats, so I chose the only chocolate stout I haven’t indulged in, which was the Flying Fish Exit 13.  I called the brother in-law up and ask him to bring over some vanilla ice cream, and thankfully he jumped at the invitation!  A little later he showed up and I scooped a scoop in each glass and BAM… Chocolate Stout Floats!

Chocolate Stout Float and Growler

I have done this a few times with a few other beers such as Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Southern Tier Chocolate Stout.  This also goes good with a Baltic Porter and other sweeter Porters, I would guess like Wolaver’s Alta Gracia(coffee porter), Southern Tier Creme Brule, Nogno Porter, etc.  I recommend this for dessert or for a sweet snack, instead of the usual rootbeer float!

Since I never had the Flying Fish Exit 13 here is my review of it-

When I poured the beer from my german pop top growler it was black with a tan head, about a finger high that slowly dissipated.
The smell is of chocolate and lots of malt, about what you would smell with a chocolate stout.
The taste is of chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, and a bunch of malts. It is a good dessert beer.
mouthfeel is well balance of carbonation, a little more carbonation than a usual chocolate stout, but not overbearing. The balance of the chocolate, the malt taste and the alcohol is quite great. very smooth indeed!
This is one of the better Flying Fish products for sure! They did a great job with the exit series, and this one in particular!

“People who drink light ‘beer’ don’t like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot.”
-Capital Brewery, Middleton, WI

Superbowl weekend

With the Superbowl this year came some new adventures on top of some set traditions!  Besides having some nervous tension over how well the Steelers will do(yep, they lost), I was hoping people liked my uncle and my beer.  My uncle got a brewing kit from my aunt… she is so nice!  The brew that was being unveiled was an Amber Ale.  It was well conceived and people drank it up!  My thoughts were it was quite average, with a slight aftertaste.  It was the first go at making beer!  I am excited for the next brew to be ready.  My uncle and I tackled a Tripel.  Well someone also brought some beer for my uncle and I to try, it was Philadelphia Brewing Co. Winter Wunder.  Winter Wunder is a winter warmer, but didn’t warm.  Usually Warmers have a little more alcohol, but the ABU was around 6.5%.  The taste had lots of fruit, some plum, pears and some spices.  The Winter Wunder was an average beer for that style at best.  Well back to the Superbowl party, I also made some potato skins.  Another first for me, making potato skins.  Let me tell you these skins are phenomenal!

All you need are about 8 russet potatos, 8oz pancetta(or regular bacon), 12-16oz of sharp cheddar, 8oz of fontina cheese and some oil.

heat the oven to 400 degrees, cover potatoes in oil and cook for 50-60 minutes.  While the potatoes cook, shred the cheese(unless you got preshredded cheese, then your loss!).  It will be quite a chore!  My arm was about to fall off.  After that you should cook the pancetta, brown them or crisp them if you like the bacon that cooked.  After the potatoes are done let them cool, cut them in half, scoop the centers out and then cut the halves in half(quartering the potatos). Cover the skins with pancetta, cheddar and fontina and cook at 350 in the oven for 8-10 minutes.  Take out and ENJOY!  They were a big hit this weekend.

Even though the Packers beat my beloved Steelers, the beer and skins were winners!  Now waiting for next football season(that is if there is one!)

“Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.”

Just another Beer Blog?

Maybe this will be the workings of another bored person who has a love for beer… I will be writing and trying to inform people about the beer I have recently tasted, there will probably be good reviews, some bad, but I see myself having mostly good beer! I will also be writing about my new hobby of brewing beer.  I hope I can learn more and more and share with whoever reads this mess.

Will this blog be just about beer?  I sure hope not.  I will be posting about the other loves of my life as well, Music, Sports, and whatever fun quirkiness comes my way.  If you like what you read, share!  If you don’t like what you read, share your thoughts as well!  If you have any certain tips or creative criticism, this will be an open forum for all!

Stewart

Published in: on 05/02/2011 at 10:07 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Published in: on 05/02/2011 at 9:38 PM  Comments (2)