Archive for February, 2010

Revolution Bottom Up Wit Tapped

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Revolution Brewing in Chicago opened its doors about ten days ago becoming the third brewery to open in Chicago over the past three years. Very needed and welcome additions to the American craft beer industry in such a beer starved area.

Well they are off and tapping more beers and, it sounds like, adding to their rotation of beers. From their blog:

Today we tapped our newest house brew, Bottom Up Wit. It’s a departure from the rest of our beers as it has little hop flavor and is comes out out hazy from the special yeast we use and all the wheat in the recipe. air max thea femmes It’s a refreshing beer that we plan to keep around all year, although I think it is best suited to the warmer months. We grind up coriander seeds and throw them in to boiling kettle near the end of the 90 minute boil with some dried, bitter orange peel for that spicy flavor you expect from a witbier.

Since I always root for the home team, here is hoping that Revolution makes a big splash in the craft beer industry. Enjoy!

Long Overdue Sips Redesign

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

It is hard to believe that almost eight months ago I started blogging on Sips, Two Beer Dudes Blog, which are reading now. In all that time I have been using the default design that comes with wordpress out of the box. Nothing fancy but functional. Not that the new design is complete but it makes the blog now feel like it is part of the “normal” two beer dudes site. Hopefully it won’t be another eight months before I get inspired to knock out some more of the design work. Enjoy!

Half Acre Ginger Twin Coming Soon

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
New label for Half Acre Ginger Twin

New label for Half Acre Ginger Twin

Half Acre Beer Company will be releasing a new beer soon: Ginger Twin. The label calls it an IPA red ale while the information in their blog mentions that it will be big on hops.

Also from the site and bringing a good chuckle:

Ginger Discount:

*Anyone with God given red hair will be granted an 8% discount on Ginger Twin purchases.
**Anyone with God given red hair and a Longshoremen’s beard will be granted a 10% discount on Ginger Twin purchases.
***Identical Twins will be granted a 15% discount on Ginger Twin Purchases
****Identical Twins with God given red hair will be granted a 25% discount on Ginger Twin purchases.
*****Identical Twins with God Given red hair and Longshoremen’s beards will be granted a free bottle of Ginger Twin (each) and 50% off additional Ginger Twin purchases.

(The Ginger Discount only valid at the Half Acre Beer Emporium located at the Half Acre Brewery & World Headquarters. 4257 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL)

I was born a natural red head but my hair is now blonde. air yeezy 2 Maybe I can bring an old picture?

Also coming out of Half Acre is news that Invasion is fermenting away. Invasion is a collaboration between Half Acre and Three Floyds and it a lager. There is a good chance that it will be out sometime in March according to Gabriel Magliaro, the owner of Half Acre.

I am really looking forward to the new beers that Half Acre has coming out. I also emailed Gabriel and he said: “We have a lot going on for 2010. A new release every few weeks. Collaborative brews. Big beer dinners. CBC in April. Having as much fun as we possibly can.” Keep an eye out. Enjoy!

half acre and fff collaboration Invasion Label

Smuttynose Big A IPA Reviewed

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Tasting an American craft beer from another part of the country gives me an above average level of satisfaction as I know there is a good chance that I will not have a chance to taste the beer again. Big A IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company was the perfect beer to fit into this category: it is an imperial ipa, comes from a brewery that I have heard good things about, and even though it is from the east coast, it has some west coast style.

smuttynose brewing company big a ipa

The bottle has an old school boxer in sepia tone with a red/pink hue background. I popped the cap, and as I always do with ipas, inhaled deeply to take in the fresh ephemeral hops. air yeezy 2 femmes Very pleasant and I didn’t hesitate to pour to take in more. Citrus and hops dominate at the beginning of the nose with mild caramel notes to balance. Unfortunately, a strong alcohol aroma took over form there and almost dominated (the only minus to the beer). The taste is a balancing act between a caramel sweet malt and floral, citrus, and pine hops. The bitterness leaves a congenial after taste that isn’t over powering nor lingering. A touch viscous and creamy forming a medium body with a bigger carbonation seem to round this beer off nicely. If not for the aforementioned huge alcohol on the nose I would rate this higher, nonetheless this is a really good beer. 8/10

The good news from all of this: I have another four bottles left to continue my taste testing and possibly improve my review. Enjoy!

American Craft Beer On The Mind

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

telepath beer

As I sit here at work staring out the window, from the fifth floor, at the liquor store across the street, I can’t help but wonder what has changed from last week through this week. Although it is probably nothing, my mind races around and around the beer glass lip speedway trying to telepathically get inside of that store and force beers onto the shelves.

It is almost like Christmas Eve when I would go to bed as a child, making up these delusions of grandeur on what would and could be under the tree the next morning when I awoke prematurely on Christmas Day. free run 3.0 v2 femmes Although most of those dreams would never come true, I was never disappointed.

The thoughts that always make me come full circle: why isn’t there a liquor store that has all of the American craft beer that I could ever hope for? Why doesn’t this store know exactly what I want on that day and the shelves are lined with that beer?

Only if life was that simple with an answer of: there would be nothing to pursue, no fun to the chase that gives each and everyone one of else that sense of accomplishment and rush of adrenaline when we find that rarity, that oddity, that one was searching for. Enjoy!

Sharing the craft beer journey with friends

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Change is never easy no matter what is involved.  Whether it be a new job, new school, new town, and even new food; making any adjustment is difficult and some people accept it well or they do not accept it all.

Beer is no exception.

Sharing craft beer amongst friends

I have been drinking craft beer for almost three years now and have not looked back.  Every beer I drink is a wonderful experience; a journey, if you will.  It does not matter what the occasion is either: a cookout, a successful hunting trip, a party, or just because.  Every beer is a celebration and should be appreciated for what it is.

That celebration and experience is not something I want to keep for myself.  I want others to go on that same journey and see it for themselves.  In a world full of the “Great American Lager” and other beers whose difference is “drinkability”, how do you bring other people along for the ride?

For me, it has not been as difficult as I imagined it would be. 
free run 3.0 v3 femmes I love Miller Lite as much as the next person but it is not something I keep on hand nor is it something I will purchase for parties.  So, what beer do I serve?  Craft beer.

I cannot serve any craft beer, mind you.  Some of the beers I like are very extreme and are not ones in which someone new to craft beer should drink for the first time.  I made that mistake once and vowed not to do it again; to this day he still reminds me.

What I have done is pick beers that are not extreme so as to not close people off to craft beer but allow them to embrace it.  And it has paid off.  So much so that I heard one friend at a recent gathering say he “never [has] had a bad beer” at my house.  That was the biggest compliment I could have ever imagined.

The biggest challenge in bringing people on this journey is breaking the perception of what craft beer is.  That, my friends, is a story for next week.  Until then, keep the beers coming.

New Glarus Trip Rewarding

Sunday, February 7th, 2010
A back side view of the brewery on the hill top.

A back side view of the brewery on the hill top.

For the third time in the last nine months I found myself making the trip some 2.5 hours long to New Glarus, WI. The wife and kids went with to get out of the house and make the trek north.

This time around I was more than impressed. free run 3.0 v4 We walked through the brewery and one of the staff came with and gave us a personal tour. While meandering we happened across one of the brewers and he excitedly asked if there were any questions he could help answer. I said, “Where is the Cherry Stout.” The Unplugged series beer isn’t due out until this week. I gave him a quick sob story and he sent one of the staff to the old brewery to get me a case. WOW! That is some mighty customer service. So I can say I was the first to get this beer. 🙂

Good beer, beautiful location, and now a staff that is top notch. I understand why my wife likes going there so much. My hat off to New Glarus: thank you for helping out and making this American craft beer fan happy. Enjoy!

Idlewild Creek Robust Porter Recipe Finalized

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

idlewild creak robust porter recipe

In my continued quest to become a better home brewer, I am off determining the recipe for beer number five. This beer will be called Idlewild Creek Robust Porter. I want the porter to stand alone but I plan on using this recipe to bourbon oak chip age it. If I really feel saucy, I want to add a little vanilla but I am also worried about trying to get too complex. free run 3.0 v4 femmes So the vanilla might go by the wayside or I might pull out a gallon of beer just for the vanilla.

From asking questions and searching forums I know that I have to be careful with the amount of oak chips and how long I let them in the secondary as they tend to give off flavor and aroma quite aggressively. I plan on using, at most, an ounce of oak chips and somewhere in the range of five ounces. As for the vanilla, if I use the full batch, I will go with full bean at most and pair down from there based on if I split up the beer in secondary.

Here is the recipe:

SG: 1.063
SRM: 28.4
IBU: 43.8

5 gallon batch, 60 minute boil

Light DME 6.00#
Crystal 40L 0.75#
Crystal 120L 0.25#
Chocolate 0.50#
Black Patent 0.25#

East Kent Goldings 1.00 oz 4.75A 60min
Fuggle 1.00 oz 4.75A 60min
East Kent Goldings 1.00 oz 4.75A 00min
Fuggle 1.00 oz 4.75A 00min

i hope this one turns out well and will be pleasantly mellow by next fall. Enjoy!

Round Barn Amber And Bell’s Christmas Ale Reviewed

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

It is hard to believe how much the car ride home from work can cheer me up as my mind wanders to the cool confines of my pint glass filled with an American craft beer. Who needs a cell phone to be miles away from the expressway, I surely don’t. The only hindrance to these wonderful thoughts is the fact that the beer fridge is running low on options and the wife has put a kibosh on beer money. But, while those thoughts last, I might easily be in the best place of the day. Last night those thoughts landed me on The Round Barn Brewery’s Amber Ale and Bell’s Christmas Ale.

the round barn brewery amber ale

I had the Amber Ale first thinking that it should be the lighter of the two choices. free run 3.0 v5 femmes This is my second offering from The Round Barn and I am quickly beginning to believe that their addition of beer to the winery is a good one. Pours with a nice foamy head that has nice retention and lacing. Yeast clumps seem to cloud up the pour. Lots of mid-ranged malts fill the nose and palate: sweet, caramel, and toffee with some bread malt in their for a nice break. A nice clean, grassy hop aroma that turns into a grass and spice hops in the finish in the mouth. A prickly carbonation that goes well with the medium body to make a nice quality amber ale. I just wish I had more than one so I could experience it again. 8/10

Christmas Ale was next up to the plate and I was a little nervous, expecting the possibility of some crazy spiced beer that would overwhelm. To my pleasant surprise, the beer is a malt man’s wet dream. Nice toffee, sweet, and toasty malt that coexist to form a sophisticated balance with none of the aromas or falvors from the malt smothering the others. This bottle is several months old so the hop profile wasn’t quite what I have heard about, yet, it was a faint presence in the finish that helped to balance further. A medium beer that just doesn’t have anything special to it but on the other side doesn’t have anything wrong. Easy drinking. 7/10

Having two beers in one evening that are as pleasing as Amber Ale and Christmas Ale makes all that hard thinking in the car well worth the effort. Enjoy!

Good Times At Stockholm’s Visit

Monday, February 1st, 2010

stockholm's restaurant and brewery geneva, il

Rich and I had a great time visiting Stockholm’s in Geneva, IL. Michael Olesen, the owner, showed us some great hospitality, some great conversation, and, of course, some great beers. Michael thank you for having us out and giving some insight into your awesome operation. I hope you liked the Milk Chocolate Stout. 🙂

There will be more information up about the tour in the next few days.

While you are waiting, check out Stockholm’s beers, food list, and location. You can’t go wrong and I am sure you will take pleasure in your visit. Enjoy!