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Archive for October, 2011

So Four Score and Hopline both won silver here: http://www.colonialalesmiths.org/BeerBlitz/

And Hey Porter! won gold here:  http://www.piedmontbrewerscup.brewcompetition.com/

I shouldn’t have been able to enter the Piedmont Brewer’s Cup due to rule regulations, but the hosts of said competition understood my gaff and were quite gracious in letting me in anyway. I really appreciate that.

Ironically, the rye ale, Awrye, which has been everybody’s favorite around the area didn’t place, but it had faded considerably by the time it was judged. That is a beer that needs to be fresh, as the flavors are more delicate. The same can be said for Hopline, as its killer Citra flavor was gone after one week.

Today I brewed Wassaileth for RoD III, and I will post recipes and more updates soon.

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A Horsehead Union

Today I brewed Horsehead (Belgian Pale Ale). The boil got away from me a little bit, as I was brewing distracted, and I boiled off a bit too much. In the end, I have about 4 gallons rather than 5 and a stronger wort. Still, all else went well, and the beer should taste great if not be a little stronger than I had hoped (might be more like a triple than anything). Either way, I’ll have a good indication of the flavors from the recipe.

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GABF Trip Report

Thursday
Kate and I were up early for a tight-quartered flight with a little, screaming kid kicking the back of my seat. We traversed the secret, underground, mason-funded tunnels of DIA to finally get our rental car and were off to Ft. Collins. It was noon and high time for a beer.

One of our objectives this trip was to settle on a place to live, and Ft. Collins was/is at the top of that list. We drove around the city and checked out some real estate. Great place,  total mountain worship.

Anyway, back on track for beer times, we hit Odell, a favorite from our last Colorado trip.

Here is Odell from the outside:

There we knocked out two flights and their Bourbon Barrel Stout. Standouts include:

  • Bourbon Barrel Stout
  • 5-Barrel Pale Ale
  • 90 Shilling
  • IPA
  • Myrcenary

Odell has one of the most solid regular beer line ups I’ve tasted. I highly recommend checking out the brewery too, as the staff is always nice and the place way laid back.

After Odell, we rolled down the block to Funkwerks:

Funkwerks mostly makes saisons, one of my favorite styles of beer, so I was excited to give the brewery a shot. When we got inside, we were greeted by a stressed/flustered/steaming employee who was on a tear about some brewers from Ohio who gave her a bunch of shit, acting like they owned the joint.

Well, it was an interesting scene to walk in on and proved fertile ground for talk, and we gummed on with her (can’t remember her name), another brewery employee (can’t remember his name), and another dude, Bryan at the bar.

Bryan, the dude from the tap-room bar, found out we were possibly moving to Ft. Collins and offered to show us around town for the night to which we acquiesced and what a night it would be. He’s a fellow homebrewer, intern at Odell, and multi-time drunk of the week contestant on the Sunday Session, i.e. good company, who, when drunk, looks like this:

We had a flight of their main line up, a Tropic King, and two other barrel age saisons. The kind folk at Funkwerks give you big pours in the flights, so after that and the additional full-on glasses of beer, we were starting to feel it.

Anyway, highlights included:

  • Tropic King
  • Saison

Next stop was Equinox brewing, which was highly recommended by Bryan, our new guide, and the Funkwerks employees. Oddly enough, I had met someone from this brewery last time we were in Colorado and they had just opened or were just about to open up. Either way, it looks like things have been rolling along quite well for them.

The tap room was buzzing (as were we), and we ordered a flight of their beers, most of which were in the 8-9% range, which I mention because this is where the night took a turn onto Drunktown Drive.

Anyway, the beers were damned tasty, Bryan’s company fantastic, and the highlights being:

  • Wee Heavy
  • Hefe

At this point, we all needed some food and Bryan recommended a deli not too far. It ended up being one of the better meals of the trip, and we drank some Firestone Walker Union Jack.

Piqued up again, Bryan led the way on a whirlwind of the areas bars (the Anvil, Town Pump?, and several others), which was a blast. Bryan really showed us the town in good fashion.

Friday
I got tattooed for the first half of the day, and then we decided to explore Denver a bit more. After looking at the city and possible places to live, we hit Great Divide. They recently expanded their tap room for more seating, and it’s quite a nice place now that you can actually sit.

There we met some nice folk who told us about Denver and one guy’s ex-meth addiction. It was good company; we did a flight. Standout beers that I han’t already had were:

  • Fresh Hop Ale

We rolled on from Great Divide to Falling Rock, which we had also been to before. It’s a killer beer bar. There I got a Pliny, sat back and enjoyed the people-filled bar madness.

Kate spotted this on the wall, which was pretty wild, and I plan to do some research on it to see what it’s about:

Falling Rock was a bit too crazy so we took an interesting taxi ride (ex-army cab driver whose sole mission was to put yellow cab out of business; death to yellow cab!!) over to Cheeky Monk. It’s a Belgian beer bar, and was one of the cooler places we went to even though it’s off Colfax, i.e. hooker street. We ordered several beers, most of them Firestone Walker, and proceeded to drink the rest of the night there. Anyway, standouts include:

  • Firestone Walker Abacus

The beers that did me in probably looked like this:



Saturday

AGHHHH!! Hangover from hell. We ate a way-too-expensive breakfast, and I tried to keep it down as we prepared for our Saturday day session at GABF.

We took a hotel shuttle to the convention center, and in the van was a brewer from Ohio. Funkwerks perp? Seemed possible. Anyway, we got the convention center for one of the largest lines I’ve seen. Thankfully, the line moved really quickly and before we knew it we were in for the fest.
The event itself was so crazy and awesome, and better documented here: http://www.brewingtv.com/episodes/2011/10/6/brewing-tv-episode-46-gabf-30th-anniversary.html

Here are pictures of booths that had good beer:

Anyway, other standout beers included:

  • Lost Abbey-Red Poppy
  • Black Xanthus
  • The Bruery-Black Tuesday
  • FFF-Artic Panzer Wolf, Behemoth, and Zombie Dust
  • Jakie O’s-Oil of Aphrodite and Kentucky Monk
  • McCoy’s-Blackberry Tart
  • Brooklyn-Black Ops
  • The Brewer’s Art-Ozzy
  • Ithaca-Brute, Dark Humor, Flower Power
  • RR-Supplication
  • Troegs-Perpetual IPA
  • Goose Island-BCBS Coffee
  • CC-Hunaphu’s (worth the hype)

I’m sure there were hundreds of other amazing beers we didn’t get to. It was also nice to see the Texas brewers from Southern Star (and Armadillo Ale Works, not pouring), who actually poured their own beers.

We met some great people, had a great time, and Kate got her glass knocked out of her hand in the last 5 minutes of our session. Also, this blue bear really wanted a beer:

Lesson: go to the Thursday night and Saturday day sessions.

Sunday
We spent the day ascending Mt. Evans, which was amazing.

Then we explored the suburb areas around Denver, and ended up at Dry Dock Brewing, which is oddly located in a strip mall.

We met a local who was really nice, bought us a barrel aged strong ale, gave us a taste of their sour, and gave us a tip for another brewery in the area to hit. It was a nice way to wind down the trip.

We got a flight of Dry Dock’s beers, including the Hefe, Breakwater, Whale Tail, Enterprise, Brickhouse, ESB, Nitro Naked Porter, and Apricot ale. They were all fantastic, really.

After that we went to the Copper Kettle brewery and tried some of their beers before moving back to downtown Denver and hitting Freshcraft, which seems like an awesome beer bar. There I met Andy from Crustcake, we drank RR Temptation, and chatted about music.

We had to leave early though to for our 4am wakeup call to catch our flight back. We’ll be back for the fest next year.

Unrelated: today I kegged Black Curse.

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