Posts Tagged ‘brewery’

Saturday Get Together Ends In Darkness

Monday, September 14th, 2009
American craft beer lovers: Ed, me, Shawn, Mark, and Jon

American craft beer lovers: Ed, me, Shawn, Mark, and Jon

Saturday’s get together was a really good time for all: beer drinkers, spouses, and kids alike. The burgers, hot dogs, brats, and chicken on the grill hit the entire gambit of what anyone would like. The edible waffle bowls filled with ice cream was a perfect after dinner touch that kids and adults both enjoyed. The games of bags were fun, especially if you won. Thank you Mark and Carmen for opening your house to us all.

Each of the guys brought their own touch to the party in terms of beverages. West Coast IPA by Green Flash Brewing Company, Hop Whore by Tyranena Brewing Company, Marsala Mama by Townhall Brewing, and Collaborative Evil by Flossmoor Station Brewing Co. were all beers that everyone tried. There was nike kobe 9 even some Pabst Blue Ribbon. 🙂 My favorite of these beers was Hop Whore. It is a mighty good Imperial IPA that finishes smooth with no alcohol presence. Both Marsala Mama and Collaborative Evil were in bombers that had been shipped from Minnesota and sat for a good 7 to 10 days. I don’t know if this had anything to do with my experience, but neither lived up to the hype. We all agreed.

Yeah, Darkness by Surly Brewing Company is that damn good!

Yeah, Darkness by Surly Brewing Company is that damn good!

During the evening Ed went around to each of us and let us know that his wife is pregnant with their first child. A very special occasion. Congratulations! I am excited for him and his wife as he will make a great father and loves kids. In honor of the news, Mark went down into the cellar and and broke out a bottle of Darkness by Surly Brewing Company.

Darkness, oh sweet Darkness. That is one fine beer. We had 2008 at cellar temperature. So smooth, so fine, so damn wonderful to all of the senses. This beer is the best Stout I have had to date. I will be making the trek up to Minnesota in a month with Mark to get some for myself.

Mark's ginormous and awesome craft beer collection.

Mark's ginormous and awesome craft beer collection.

Speaking of Mark’s cellar: what a wonderful site for any American craft beer lover. It is truly a great collection. There easily had to be 125 bottles (mainly bombers) nike kobe 9 elite gs of hard to get and highly sought after beers. I thought I was in a beer museum or beer heaven; maybe both. He has beers that are numbered and one really rare one in which only 30 or so bottles were every created. You could easily say it was a celebrity list of beers. Next time I am over I will take my shoes off before entering the sacred cellar and never look a beer straight in the eye. The best thing about all these beers: Mark wants to share and enjoy with the group. That is awesome and greatly appreciated.

I even got an invite to the Tuesday Night Beer Club (TNBC) a once a month get together by Ed, Mark, Shawn for sharing good American craft beer. From what I understand the group is growing too. More to come as I find out the details. Enjoy!

Sun, Fun, and Some Good Brews

Saturday, September 12th, 2009
Hop Whore by Tyranena Brewing Co.

Hop Whore by Tyranena Brewing Co.

Beautiful weekends in the late summer in Chicagoland are something to be enjoyed outside, with friends, and, of course, with a few awesome American craft beers. That’s exactly what the family will be doing today, Saturday. We will be heading over to Mark’s house with appearances from Ed and Shawn. All four of us are craft beer guys with myself probably being the biggest minnow of the group. I will have to prove myself worthy.

I don’t know which beers everyone will be bringing to share but I look forward to some PA beers that Ed purchased on a recent trip out there. So I know that Ed will bringing some to share. nike cortez femmes Mark has a cellared beer collection to rival many with easily over 100 beers ageing in the depths of his cement cellar. Just witnessing the collection will be good enough for me. Shawn I don’t know that well, but if he hangs out with Ed and Mark he should be a good guy. I am sure the good weather and beer will help us get acquainted.

I plan on bringing some Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale and some Tyranena Brewing Hop Whore. I am looking forward to the other beers that will be brought over, shared, and appreciated. Enjoy!

Beer Economics

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Recently I had an invite to go up to Darkness Days at Surly Brewing up in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. The event is the weekend of October 23rd and the beer is released on Saturday, October 24th. They only release the stuff at Darkness Days and it sells out quickly. Too quickly. Bombers can be purchased for $15 (unless they raised the price).

Surly Brewing Co. Darkness 2009 label.

Surly Brewing Co. Darkness 2009 label.

In order to get this beer we would have to drive some eight hours each way, get a hotel for the night, party on Friday and Saturday, eat, and purchase as many bottles as allotted. Doing some quick calculations that is about $125 for two or more bottles of Darkness. I can’t make the ends meet financially to meet those requirements. My loss or is it?

More and more beers are coming out that are low run, single batch, new jordan hyped up beers that run at least $12 for a bomber. Might not sound like a ton of money but a bomber is less than two beers. When I beer I purchase costs more in bottle form than something I would purchase on tap at a bar, I start to wonder about the financial future of specialty beers.

Rasputin XII came out earlier this year and with tax was about $24 for a bottle in my area. That is only 16.7 oz or so. Yes, I did buy it. I am currently cellaring the beer but I probably won’t buy it again in the future, no matter how good it is. I only have so much to go around.

If you make good beer it seems like people will pay the price in more than one way. The economics of the country have to play a part in the ability of these breweries to sell high end beers. Their buying public has had to shrink and I am sure there are others, like me, who will buy the beer once as a novelty.

dollar signs around the world for beer

I don’t wish anything bad on American craft beer brewers. I just hope they don’t rely on these special beers to make themselves profitable only to have sales fall off and the survivability of the brewery be in question.

Why not brew more small beers that the masses can enjoy instead of some beer geeks? I think that answer is simple. The beer geeks, despite economic conditions, are a growing fad in which the high gravity, high alcohol, and big beers are good sellers. Does anyone remember the cigar craze of the 90s?

That all said, the fad will pass and the true American craft beer drinkers will be left standing when the dust settles and breweries will concentrate on producing more “small” beers for guys with thinner wallets. Enjoy!

Wednesday? Weekly Beer Store Visit Time

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
Two IPAs picked up this Wednesday: 60 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head and Dry Hopped Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Co.

Two IPAs picked up this Wednesday: 60 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head and Dry Hopped Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Co.

Weekly beer store visits come at the right time each week: in the middle breaking up the mundane craziness of the office. This one is no different and after a rough day in the office Tuesday, I couldn’t help but have fermented hops dancing in my thoughts. What liquid goodness would the distributor bring to my favorite beer store? Let’s see.

The wife asked me to pick up another case of Oberon by Bell’s Brewing Co.. She wanted to make sure she had enough to last her into the colder months as it is her favorite beer. I am still in IPA mode and looking for a few to add to the free run 5.0 collection for when her friend from work comes over.

I have about six or seven IPAs already for that evening and have warned my wife that he may want to bring his wife as a DD. Now the total is up by two more as I picked up 60 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales and Dry Hopped Pale Ale by Founders Brewing Co.

This get together with my wife’s friend is still over 3 weeks away. I am counting them down as I look forward to an evening surrounded by my hop buddies: IPA. Enjoy!

Two Brothers Brewery, Brewery Hop

Sunday, August 30th, 2009
Rich excited that he has found an oak barrel in which to top off his beer!

Rich excited that he has found an oak barrel in which to top off his beer!

Rich and I had chance to make a brewery hop yesterday and Two Brothers Brewing was the target.

Two Brothers is located in an industrial park in Warrenville, IL. This is a short distance away for the Two Beer Dudes to enjoy a pint and a tour.

The tour was crowded, so was the brew pub. free run 4.0 v3 The nicest twist of the tour: three free four ounce tasters of beer, your choice. Yes, free tour and free beer. Is there anything in life better?

They also have a sister company for distributing due to Illinois liquor laws which gives them the ability to serve up a whole lot of American craft brews in their pub that are not their own.

Two Brothers has some good beer and is one of the few places in Chicagoland that you can go on a brewery tour. Enjoy!

Jolly Pumpkin or Firestone Beer Dilema

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
Firestone Brewery Union Jack India Pale Ale

Firestone Brewery Union Jack India Pale Ale

I can’t seem to get the thought of beer out of my mind. I am constantly thinking of the next beer or the next drinking get together with Rich. In either case I think about what I should drink, the possibilities, the delight. I am not up for jjust some goofy grabbing of beer from the fridge, but a careful execution of beers that, in some way, fit together to make for a pleasant evening of enjoyment.

I should be enjoying a few with Rich later this week or early next week, so the planning has begun. I usually like to have bombers (22 oz. bottles) on hand when I am drinking with someone else. free run 4.0 v2 Very easy way to share a beer and not have any left if it wasn’t up to our standards. Win-win.

I have five different brands of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (Michigan) at home and two Firestone Brewery with one Ale Smith (California beer, thank you Russ).

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales seems to make all their beers in oak barrels and with wild yeast, giving each a unique and interesting flavor. Fun stuff. Firestone and Ale Smith are new to me as they are not distributed to the lovely state of Illinois.

Quite the conundrum, albeit a great one to be in. Currently I am leaning towards the Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales but we will need a weekend evening to polish off those five bombers. Enjoy!

Two Beer Dudes Oktoberfest and Site Launch

Monday, August 24th, 2009

oktoberfest-2008

The date is set, Two Beer Dudes Oktoberfest and Site Launch, will be held on Saturday, October 17th, 2009. Yes, we know that Oktoberfest is typically held in September but we won’t have the site up in September and we are both busy. 😀

So the inaugural get together will only be for beer drinking buddies to mainly be our QA department for the website. We will request each person to bring two six-packs of beer off a list, some easier to find than others. As you RSVP, you can have your choice, so there are benefits to committing early.

Our list of beers is currently about 24 beers in depth. So here goes:

  • Sam Adams Octoberfest – Sam Adams
  • Dogtoberfest – Flying Dog
  • Octoberfest – Bell’s
  • Left Hand Oktoberfest – Left Hand
  • Staghorn Octoberfest – New Glarus
  • Great Lakes Oktoberfest – Great Lakes
  • Oktoberfest – Goose Island
  • Oktoberfest – Sprecher
  • Oktoberfest – Capital
  • MunsterFest – Three Floyds
  • Oktoberfest – Lakefront
  • Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest – Sierra Nevada
  • Fest Bier – Victory
  • Bonfire – Two Brothers
  • Octoberfest – Harpoon
  • New Holland Icabod Ale – New Holland
  • Hoptober – New Belgian
  • Red Seal Ale – North Coast
  • Punkin Ale – Dogfish Head
  • Bam Noire – Jolly Pumpkin
  • Kaiser – Avery
  • Oktoberfest – Brooklyn
  • Oktoberfest – Leinenkugel
  • Oktoberfest Marzen – Summit
  • Double Pumpkin Ale – Hoppin Frog
  • Oktoberfest – Tyranena
  • Victory Wiesen – Victory
  • Pumking – Southern Tier
  • Big Black Pumpkin – Flossmoor Station
  • Post Road Pumpkin Ale – Brooklyn
  • Screamin Pumpkin Spiced – Michigan Brewing
  • Double Pumpkin Ale – Great Lakes

The idea of the night is that everyone will have an equal chance to try a beer. In order to accomplish our goal, we will be drinking from four ounce glasses and have dump pales. Since I am a computer nerd, free run 3.0 v5 femmes we will have about five computers throughout the house that are ready to take reviews.

One last tidbit, when a person arrives they will take two beers from each six pack and place in a community chest. When leaving, each person can take as many beers out of community chest that they added, giving them a chance to take a bottle of something they might have really enjoyed during the tastings. More to come as we pound out the details. Enjoy!

Friday Night Beer Reviews

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
Sierra Nevada Kellerweis one of three beers reviewed last night that all made my palate dance for joy.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis one of three beers reviewed last night that all made my palate dance for joy.

Friday night beer reviews are fun. Actually any day of the week is a good night to review beers and, if you really want to get into it, any day, any time is a good time to review beer. The lineup for last night was mainly of beers I had laying around the house as I am actually getting to a point where I don’t have much to try. free run 3.0 v4 femmes Time for re-drinking.

Friday’s lineup:

Riverwest Stein Beer was in third place, not by much but Kellerweis and 90 minute IPA were both outstanding. Kellerweis was my first beer of the night and lasted a total of six sips. It is a really good Hefeweizen while 90 minute IPA was a really good American Imperial IPA.

I really couldn’t decide between the two as they are both so different but both so damn tasty. My thoughts: depending on the mood you are in, get them both. Enjoy!

Two Beer Dudes Get Together with Belgian Theme

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Rich and I had a chance to get together last night but not much site discussion went on. We ate dinner then got down to business: tasting beer. Rich provided the drink and the three bombers that we had were all Belgians. The line-up consisted of (in drinking order):

If you look at the reviews you will notice that only one of us actually free run 3.0 v4 reviewed the beers but we both enjoyed them. I would rank them in the following order:

  1. Matilda (2009)
  2. Salvation
  3. The Lost Abbey – Avant Garde

Matilda (2009) really was a solid beer followed closely by Salvation while the style (Bière de Garde) of The Lost Abbey – Avant Garde might have been the biggest hindrance for me. I would easily suggest the first two to anyone interested in Belgians. Enjoy!

Weekly Beer Reviews

Monday, August 17th, 2009
Great Lakes Brew Fest in Racine, WI.  Four hours of fun in the sun, tasting beers, and meeting people.

Great Lakes Brew Fest in Racine, WI. Four hours of fun in the sun, tasting beers, and meeting people.

Each week Rich and I try to get together to enjoy a few quality American craft brews, shoot the shit, and discuss our progress on the website. Like any informal meeting between friends, life gets in the way and it is usually a bi-weekly meeting. This week will be no different.

Our wives free run 3.0 v3 femmes are good friends so many times we can get together spontaneously to enjoy a few as the wives always seem to have some type of gossip to catch up on. It is amazing how wives can turn a 30 second man story into a three hour event. Enough about the wives, they are good women that put up with both of us.

Rich and I will be attending the Great Lakes Brew Festival in Racine, Wisconsin. We hope to have a logo in time to get some shirts made up, pass them out, and meet some people that might be interested in playing a big part in the sites launch.

Hopefully this will all come together quickly and you can find us by our Two Beer Dudes shirts. Enjoy!