Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A few random tastings....

I admit it, I have not been keeping up writing about my tastings. I have been tasting and taken notes but with the whole craziness of the holiday season, time just seemed to slip away. Now on my plane ride to the East Coast for Christmas, I finally have time to break it down.

Lately I have had the pleasure to have tried:
Dogfish Head, Burton Baton, Imperial IPA, 10%
Avery, Brabant, American Wild Ale, 8.65%
Three Floyds, Anniversary IX Fantabulous Resplendence, Imperial IPA, 7%
Stone Brewery, 13th Anniversary, American Strong Ale, 9.5%
The Bruery, Saison Rue, Saison, 8.5%
Sierra Nevada & Dogfish Head, Life and Limb, American Strong Ale, 10.2%

In order of personal preference (which is hard due to they are all different styles):

Stone Brewery, 13th Anniversary This beer is limited due to they release a new version each year. It poured a murky deep red color. It smelled pretty hoppy at first, then a strong deep caramel malty flavor took that over. The taste is a bit fruity, malty, some smokiness to it and finishes bitter and tart. It's pretty smooth tasting, even though you can smell the alcohol. I am curious to see how this ages.

Three Floyds, Anniversary IX Fantabulous Resplendence. This may surprise my other fellow tasters, who weren't that big into this beer, but I really enjoyed it! I think this is another beer that a lot of women, as long as you like hops, will particularly enjoy as well. It's made with Jasmine! It pours clear orange. It smelled like beautiful, floral fresh jasmine tea, slight citrus fruits, and hoppy. It tasted like hops and jasmine tea dancing in your mouth! Not in an overwhelmingly way either. Just beautiful. I would definitely love to serve this one at a party as an aperitif or try to pair it with dinner.

Sierra Nevada & Dogfish Head, Life and Limb.Everyone is making such a huge deal about this beer. I recently saw one go for $80 on ebay! Personally I am hoping this one will get better with age. It was good, not fantastic, and definitely not worth the $80 that people are paying. But for $10, it' s a good beer that I would suggest you age and see if it gets any better.  It poured almost black. It smelled like molasses, raisins, prunes, chocolate but no hops. It tatsed like dark chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel, and it was a bit spicy. It was thick in my mouth and you can definitely taste the alcohol. The spiciness added an interesting character to the beer body. But I am hoping the alcohol will mellow out a bit in a year. I wonder how much the bottles will go for then?

Avery, Brabant. I am honored to have tried this one. A friend brought it back with him from Avery itself. I don't believe it's being distributed that much yet. This beer surprised me when it was poured- an opaque dark chestnut brown with a tan head. It almost looks like a stout. It smells like overripe grapes, cherries, dark malt and vinegar. It tasted like roasted malt, currants, cherry, some sweet tones and a hint of chocolate. Vinegar and Brettanomyces were in the aftertaste and not pronounced and definitely not in the forefront, which was a bit disappointing, especially since I am a huge fan of sour beers.

Dogfish Head, Burton Baton. This beer is an oak aged imperial pale ale. It's a blend of an oak aged English strong ale and their 90 minute IPA.  It poured a clear golden sun orange color. It smelled like a fresh pine forest, melon, grapefruit and orange blossom honey. It tasted like citrus/piney hops, toffee, roasted malts, some honey and a hint of wood. It was interesting to have the malt in there. It's not a huge hoppy beer but I felt the malt balanced the wood and orange aftertaste.

The Bruery, Saison Rue, Saison. This beer was a gift from a friend and being a fan of most Bruery beers and made with Rye and Brettanomyces I was excited to try it. It poured a deep cloudy copper. It smelled like spicy rye bread, orange peel, black pepper, honey and some Brett. I tasted only a hint of rye and Brett and a bit malty, which was surprising for a Saison. It just didn't live up to its aroma.

So there you go. I am updated as of now for all of my random tastings. Hopefully I will be able to update you on the way back from all the delicious beer I will try while in NY!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A little Stout Tasting

Out of all styles of beers, the one that I am not drawn to instantly is Stouts. It's not that I am not a fan, it's usually that there are other beers that I enjoy as other options. Usually Stouts that are more on the heavier and bitter sides are not ones that I enjoy drinking a ton of. It's funny because I started with Stouts in college, the usual Guinness and Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stouts. Guinness, even though most people consider this beer to be 'heavy' -is actually quite light. So to have a Stout tasting was interesting, especially in comparison to each other.

The beers I tried were:
Mikkeler, Beer Geek Breakfast, Imperial Stout, 7.5%
Dogfish Head, Worldwide Stout, Imperial Stout, 18%
Ballast Point, Sea Monster, Imperial Stout, 10%
Three Floyds Brewing, Black Sun Stout, Irish Dry Stout, 5.25%

Amazingly they were all across the board in terms of flavor.  Some were more roasty and bitter while others were more on the sweeter and hoppier side of things.

In order of favorites:
Dogfish Head, Worldwide Stout- This beer is according to the label, 'A very dark beer brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley'.  Of course, I chose the one that's 18%, right? I tend to like sippers!  This beer poured pitch black. It smelled like espresso, dark chocolate, hints of licorice, toasted malt, mixed in with a little vanilla. You can definitely smell the alcohol, although it smelled more like a Brandy or Cognac. The taste is fantastic- Black licorice, almost burnt malts, some raisins, and a twinge of tobacco. This Stout feels more like a Port to me, which I love!  It's sweet and a lot of flavor, one of the best stouts that I have ever tried. I am very happy that it has just been released to our side of the coast.

Ballast Point, Sea Monster. This beer was made in limited quantities and the only reason we were able to try some was because my husband did a trade on Beer Advocate for it. It's not distributed out in the Bay Area. This stout poured ink black and smelled of freshly roasted coffee, burnt caramel and citrus/piney hops. It tasted a bit toasty, with some dried raisins, plums, licorice, toffee, alcohol and subtle hops. What made this stout stand out to me was the hop flavor mixed into it. I usually only taste sweet or bitter stouts, but this one seems to be rounded out and a bit smoother due to the hop content.

Mikkeler, Beer Geek Breakfast. This beer is made with flaked oats and roasted gourmet coffee. It is definitely something heavy for breakfast! It pours black and smells of dark fudge, espresso, molasses and roasted malt. It tasted like burnt sugar, toffee, and roasted malt. It is bitter around the edges but all in all a solid coffee stout.

Three Floyds Brewing, Black Sun Stout. This baby poured cloudy dark brown with a hint of red to it. It smelled like chocolate, roasted malts, and a tinge sweet. It tasted roasty and bitter but with some fruitiness. It was a bit dry and bitter with a slightly leathery finish. It isn't as sweet as it leads you to think it is when you smell it. That was a bit disappointing in my book, but it doesn't make it a bad beer. It was just a bit bitter for my taste. This was another beer that my husband traded for and we also have the  2008 & 2009 Dark Lord in our beer closet from Three Floyds as well that we are looking forward in trying.

All in all, I am definitely getting the Dogfish Head whenever I am in the mood for a stout!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jug Shop Holiday Beer Series Part 1:Domestic

I know this is a little out of order, as I just posted my blog below about Part 2 of the Jug Shop Holiday Beer series, but I wanted to quickly write about what we tasted Dec 6th (St Nicholas Day) for $20.
This will be short but sweet:

1- Shiner Holiday, 6 pk/$7.99
2- Sam Adams Winter Lager, 6pk/ $8.99
3- Moylan's White Christmas, 22oz/$5.99
4- Ommegang Adoration, 750ml/ $12.99
5- Anchor Christmas, 6pk/ $10.99
6-Deschutes Jubelale, 6pk/ $8.99
7- Marin Brewing Hoppy Holidaze, 22oz/$5.99
8-Sierra Celebration, 6pk/$8.99
9-Abita Christmas Ale, 6pk/$8.99
10-Port Brewing Santa's Little Helper, 6pk/$8.99
11- High and Mighty Home for the Holidays. 22oz/$8.49
12- Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi, 22oz/$11.99
13- Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve, 6pk/$10.99
14- Avery Old Jubilation, 6pk/$6.99
15- Widmer Brrr, 6pk/$6.99
16- Bridgeport Ebenezer, 6pk/$7.99
17- He'brew Jewbelation 13, 22oz/$5.99
18- The Bruery, 2 Turtle Doves, 750ml/$11.99

First and foremost, you definitely get your money's worth. However, we knew a few to skip, so we did just that on a few of them or poured them out.

My top 5 for fantastic Holiday Beers:
1-The Bruery, 2 Turtle Doves
2-He'brew Jewbelation 13
3-Ommegang Adoration
4-Port Brewing Santa's Little Helper
5-Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi

My top 5 for great & drinkable (session, if you will) Holiday Beers (a bit lighter)
1-Deschutes Jubelale
2-Anchor Christmas
3-Avery Old Jubilation
4-Sierra Celebration
5- Widmer Brrr

My bottom choices, mostly for way too overwhelming spice or lacking in overall flavor:
1-Marin Brewing Hoppy Holidaze ( hoppy and allspice spicy, NOT balanced at all)
2- Red Hook Winter Hook
3- Sam Adams Winter Lager
4-Shiner Holiday Cheer
5-Moylan's White Christmas

Jug Shop "Prestige" Holiday Beer Tasting

Being a female and liking beer can definitely be intimidating- no matter what your beer knowledge. So the idea of going to a "prestige'" tasting without my husband and solo wasn't quite the top event on my list, but once I read what we were tasting, I decided to brave the crappy rainy weather and the  'going out to eat in a restaurant solo' factor.

I was not disappointed.

It was at the Jug Shop and it was the 2nd in their 3rd round of Holiday Beer Tastings this month. We tried 12 beers for $40 and some expensive ones at that:
1- Scaldis Prestige de Nuits- $50 for 750ml- caramel, port flavors
2- Scaldis Noel Premium 2009- 13%, $18.99 for 750ml- raisin, pine nuts, currants, sweet malt
3- Scaldis Noel Premium 2008-13%, $18.99 for 750ml -way more pungent than the 2009, maltier and way better in my opinion
4- Fantome Hiver- 8%, $15.99/750ml- lightest of the night, a little spicy, not my favorite
5-Fantome Noel 2008- 10%, $17.99 for 750ml -hoppy yet light, leathery finnish
6- Struisse Tsjeeses, 10%, $8.49 for 330ml- banana clove, hoppy, a bit bitter and dry
7-Mikkeller To:/From:, 8%, $13.99 for  a750ml- heavy, malty, it tasted way off balanced, my least favorite of the night!
8-Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper 2009, 11% $13.99 for a 750ml- hoppy nose, citrus, pine with malt undertones
9- Norrebro Julebryg, 7%, $11.99 for a 660ml- malty nose, spiciest body of the evening, cinnamon too predominant for my taste
10- Howling Wolf Weizenbock, 8% $14.99 for 1 L- apple cider, currants, sweet malty toffee, yum!
11-Glazen Toren Winter Canaster, 9.5%, $15.99/750ml -winter scotch ale, rich malt with vanilla and cinammon
12- Samichlaus Bier- 14%, $119.99 for 3 L, dark dried fruit, sweet malt.

My personal top 3 were:

The Scaldis Prestige de Nuits by Brasserie Dubuisson.
The Scaldis Prestigede Nuits is Scaldis Noel beer aged for 6 months in burgundy barrels from the St. George Vineyard.  It was a pretty fantastic beer, although I didn't think it was worth $50 a bottle, or $45, with the 10% off any beer that was offered to us at the tasting.  I would buy it if it was in the mid twenties price range though, as there are in my opinion really great beers for around that price on the market.  It tasted a bit wild, a hint of sourness (mmm Brett!) with port flavors that lingered on the tongue with a great balance of caramel- not too overwhelmingly sweet.

Howling Wolf Weizenbock
This beer is a bavarian weizen beer, in which they use authentic Bavarian top-fermenting ale yeast. It is modeled after a centuries-old Bavarian style and, like all of their 2009 Cellar Reserve Beers, brewed in strict compliance with the German Beer Purity Law, or Reinheitsgebot.
This beer smelled like spicy bananas and toffee malt.  It tasted like apple cider, currants, sweet caramel and malt. It was a bit on the sweeter side of things for the evening but a sweet caramel weizen beer?
I had never had anything like this style before and I truly enjoyed it!

Samichlaus Bier
This beer is brewed once a year on December 6th for St. Nicholas Day and at a whopping 14%, it is said that it is the strongest lager beer in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. This beer smells like caramelized malts, honey, eggnog, dates, and a high alcohol nose. It tastes sweet more toffee than honey, with a hint of hops, raisins, plums and a hint of molasses. It definitely goes down dangerously smooth for 14%! Now, I have had this beer before, I even served it at my own Holiday Tastings because I like it so much. But to have it served out of a 3L? That's pretty amazing. Not to mention how much smoother it smelled and tasted.

I also had a great time. I met some great folks- Brian Yaeger of beerodyssey.com,  Rich Higgins, the brewer in the works at the soon to open spot that used to be Eldo's in the Sunset, along with some other great beer drinking geeks like myself. All in all, not a bad night!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2nd Women who like Beer meetup Spiced up the evening!

Our 2nd meetup, Sugar and Spice and Everything nice was another success! 24 amazing beer loving women came and enjoyed some very tasty holiday brews~ This event had so many attendees that I had to close the event in order to have enough beer for all!

Let me just say, on a side note, what great, amazing women keep showing up! Everyone is so fantastic and it truly gives me great pleasure to talk to you all!

They were a vast range of styles and tastes, as most holiday beers are; due to the fact that the only thing that ties them all together is the fact that they all come out around the holidays to celebrate the season-  so they all should be impressive brews. Whether or not each one was loved by everyone is not the point- but each woman tried all of these great beers and found some that they truly loved as well as finding some that maybe wasn't quite their style (we are all different and have different taste buds!) but all in all enjoyed being able to try so many new different beers.

We talked about different pairings and which ones went well with:
Game, Roast Beef, Fruitcake, Irish Soda Bread, Cimonimo ( a ridiculously strong, creamy salty cheese from Italy), buttery cheeses, Burgers, Grilled meats, Sausage, nuts, vanilla ice cream, cuban cigars, sweet potato pie, stuffing, root vegetables, rice pudding, flan, and dark chocolate, just to name a few.

As well as fantastic places in San Francisco to buy these great beers, like the Jug Shop and City Beer to name a few..

We tried 12 beers, for the 12 days of Christmas and then 1 more 'special' beer was added to make it a baker's dozen....the 2008 Partridge in a Pear Tree.

We tried in order:
1-Jubelale by Deschutes 6.7%, Winter Warmer
2-Christmas Ale by Anchor (magnum) 5.5% ,Winter Warmer
3- Special Holiday Ale  (Collaboration between Stone Brewery, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales and Nogne O) 8.5%, Winter Warmer
4- Chicory Stout by Dogfish Head 5.2%, Stout
5- Winter Ale by Nogne 0, 8.5%, Porter

6- Solstice d'hiver by Brasserie Du Ciel, 9.8%, Barley wine
7-Adoration by Ommegnag, 10%, Belgian Strong Dark Ale
8-N'Ice 2008 by Chouffe, 10%, Belgian Strong Dark Ale
9-Partridge in a Pear Tree by The Bruery, 11% Quadrupel,
10-2 Turtle Doves by The Bruery, 12%, Belgian Strong Dark Ale
11-Santa's Little Helper by Port Brewing, 10%, Russian Imperial Stout
12- Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah 13th Anniversary Ale, 13%, Russian Imperial Stout

13-Samichlaus, Castle Brewery, 14% Doppelbock

We also had some tasty treats to pair with these fine ales: Cranberry Stolen, dates, dried cranberries, apricot pistachio bread, truffle chocolate, wafers, honey, cheese curds, swiss cheese and candied nuts.

We also had a raffle for $2 where a lucky winner, Ashley, won a Magnum of Anchor's Christmas Ale, a 'Rate  that Beer' notepad and an awesome scarf/wrap I designed. Our 2nd runner up, Jillian, won a 3 year vertical of Old Stock Ale!

Some women even stayed to pour their own beer of Prohibition from our kegerator, while some were adventurous enough to try the pint of beer in which everyone poured out what they didn't like!

A jolly good time was had by all! I look forward to our next 2 meetups:
Belgian Beer and cheese pairing
Beer and Chocolate pairing (open to both men and women)

In the meantime, I will be enjoying some 2 Turtle Doves, Adoration  and Santa's Little helper....until I can't get anymore this year. I am still waiting for everyone's votes!

ON another side note, check out one of our attendee's write ups about this event:
Casi, you are amazing! Thanks girl~

To see more photos from this meetup
click here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

...for BEER that is!

I am getting very excited for our 2nd meetup this Thursday Dec 10th!
I have been busy tasting (tough job but somebody's got to do it) and running around town gathering our tasty Holiday brews to try~

Some of the beers that we will be trying are:
A Chicory Stout made with Organic Mexican Coffee,
A Belgian Ale brewed with Thyme and Curacao Peel
A Dark Belgian Ale brewed with Cocoa Nibs and Toasted Pecans
An English strong ale with perfect blend of five specialty malts
A Christmas beer whose recipe changes year to year
A Jewish beer made with 13 malts and 13 hops

and much more! Don't forget it's $20 cash at the door. Please sign up if you are planning on coming and bringing any friends so I can get the correct amount of beer.
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice…

We will also be having a raffle for $2 to win a special Christmas beer!

Happy Holidays~

Friday, November 20, 2009

1st Women Who LIke Beer was a SUCCESS!

Thank you EVERYONE who attended and made the first meetup a success! We learned a little about the history of women and beer....and how we need to TAKE BACK THE PINT!

We learned all about different styles of beer- from a double IPA, to a Fresh Hop Ale, to the oldest recipe of beer dating back to King Midas to Sour Beers, to Belgian Beers, to Fruit Beers, to Barley Wine,  to Porters and to Stouts!

We tried 13 beers total for $15:

Hell or High Watermelon Wheat
Trader Joe's Bavarian Style Hefeweizen
Midas Touch Golden Elixir
Punkin Ale
Hop Trip
Le Merle
Chimay Grand reserve (Blue)
He'Brew Origin Pomegranate
Pliny the Elder
Coconut Porter
Speedway Stout
Mirror Mirror

We also talked about how to taste a beer through the 5 components of tasting:
5-Drink ability

We also talked about what we thought would pair well with the above beers. From beers that paired well with Brie, Camembert, Scallops, Lobster, Triple Cream, Duck, Gamey meats, Curries, Cheddar, Coconut Pie, Blue Cheese, Dried Fruits, Tiramisu and more!

I know not everyone likes every style but it was fun trying them all and seeing which ones everyone liked! I am glad everyone had so much FUN and I look forward to our next meetup~ which is
Thursday Dec 10th at 7pm $20.

Also check out one member-Casi's blog:
She wrote her own review of this first meetup!
Thanks Casi!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

First Women Who Like Beer Meetup this Thursday Nov 19th!

I am getting very excited for this Thursday....Nov 19th from 7-9pm
For $15 you will get to try lots of different beers with very different flavors....
Here are some of the lineups so far:
Hop Trip- Fresh Hop Beer
He’Brew Origin Pomegranate -An American strong ale brewed with the juice of over 10,000 luscious pomegranates.
Punkin Ale A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, & nutmeg.
Hell or High Watermelon Wheat -This unique, American-style wheat beer, is brewed with 400 lbs. of fresh pressed watermelon in each batch.
Midas Touch, Golden Elixir -This beer is made with barley, white muscat grapes, honey and saffron.
Coconut Porter -Porter made with coconut!
Consecration-Strong, dark ale aged for 6 months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants, for a rich spicy brew with a pleasant sourness and hints of tangy fruit

And lots more! MMMMMM
1st Beer Tasting November Meetup
* Please note this meetup is for women only. Please let me know if you plan on attending.

The Bistro Wood Barrel Aged Beer Festival...need I say more?

65 barrel aged beers under 1 roof + $40 tasting glass plus 10 tasting tickets + Easy Bart transportation = 3 happy barrel aged drinking fools.
We didn't get to try all 65, but you got to pick your best choices; especially since some beers weren't that rare and you can get them at home. BUT there were a ton of barrel aged beers that they don't even bottle and that you got to enjoy.
The highlights of the day were in my order of top favorites:

1-Avery Voltron 9% (the last keg of it!) (another sour, a little darker than the Vogelbekdieren, aged in 2 Chardonnay, 2 Port and 1 Cabernet barrels)

2--Fifty Fifty Brewing :Concentrated Evil on 'Jack' 10%, (Belgian strong dark ale made with raisins, exotic sugars and aged in Jack Daniel Barrels)

3-Lagunitas: Cruisin' with the Ruben & the Bretts on Cherries 13% (Imperial stout with cocoa nibs, brettanomyces, Sonoma county cherries aged in Heaven's Hill Bourbon barrels)

4- Lagunitas: Imperial Stout w/Brett &  Raspberries13% (Imperial Stout aged in Heaven's Hill Bourbon barrels, with raspberries)

5-Moylans: Wet Hopsickle 2009 9.2% (fresh organic wet picked hops brewed into an Imperial XXXIPA, aged in Girard Chardonnay Medium Toast French Oak barrels)

6-Avery: Vogelbekdieren 10.5% (which is a sour beer aged in Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon, Ferrari-Carrano Chardonnay and Eagle Rare Whiskey barrels)

7-Glacier Brewhouse: Big Woody Barelywine 9%,    ( Barleywine aged 10 months in Jim Beam barrels)

8-Glacier Brewhouse: Ukrainian Imperial Stout 9.7% ( Stout aged in Ukranian Oak, a style originally brewed for Catherine II, the Empress of Russian over 200 years ago) Yeah Ladies!

9-Stone- Old Guardian Barleywine Ale  11.2% (2008 Guardian BarleyWine aged in a mix of Central Coast Winery of Cabernet and Merlot barrels)

10-Bear Republic : Blackberry Grizz 11% (super sour aged in a neutral barrel and 1lb per gallon of free range, sustainable organic Sonoma blackberries)

Not that there weren't others that were really good as well, there are just too many to name.
But there were a few dogs too:
1-Drakes- Geroge Brett Triple (sour aged in Pinor Noir barrels) Tasted like solvent.
2-Marin- Grand Funk (2006 Star Brew wheat wine aged in a 15 year old Chardonnay barrel with Brettanomyces) Tasted like funky apples mixed with solvent.
3- Valley Brewing- Cuvee De Evil (Belgian Style strong Golden brewed with Organic Pomegranate Honey) this sounds better than it is, although my compadres enjoyed this beer. It tasted like Mead, which is made from honey, but I am not a fan of mead and after tasting all of these barrel aged beers and then tasting that- it just wasn't a good mix for me. It's not a bad beer or a beer that's gone bad, it's just not my style.

All in all, a good time was had. Looks like this festival will become a yearly pilgrimage to the exotic land of Hayward each year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Jug Shop gets it done with their beer tastings...

This time it was Deschutes. You can't really ever go wrong with Deschutes, especially with their heavier beers like the Abyss, Mirror Mirror and the Black Butte XXI, which the whole point of the tasting was the unveiling of the 2009 Abyss....all you can basically drink out of a jockey box....

And you can't ever go wrong with The Jug Shop. Their prices are good, their staff is extremely knowledgeable,  friendly and they are always way less crowed than Toronado or City Beer and usually offer the same special release tastings (now that our secret is out).

There tasting was last Friday Nov 13th from 6:30-8:30pm. It was nice to try the whole line up that was offered- Green Lakes Organic Ale 5.2%, Mirror Pond Pale Ale 5%, Jubelale 6.7%, Hop Trip (Bond Street Series) 5.5%, Black Butte Porter 5.2%, Obsidian Stout 6.4%, Inversion IPA 6.8%, Red Chair (Bond Street Series) 6.4%, Mirror Mirror (2009) 11%, Black Butte XXI 11%,  and last but not least, the Abyss (2009) 11%.

It was nice to try the lineup as we usually tend to go for their heavier beers. My favorites of the lighter bunch were the Jubeale (fantastic for a Holiday brew- malty hoppy goodness), The Hop Trip (for a fresh hopped beer this beer is one of my favorites- hoppy, floral, fresh, bitter, everything you would want in a beer that uses freshly harvested hops) and the Red Chair IPA (a less bitter copper beer with a hint of citrus).

Now for the Reserve Series sippers (or gulpers depending on you like it):
Mirror Mirror 2009 is pretty damn freaking good right now, considering it has already aged 7 months...my favorite to drink right now personally...
Black Butte XXI- very cocoa, coffee, large whiskey nose and taste (due to it being aged in whiskey barrels), very go get some right now to try and cellar.
Abyss 2009-  heavy coffee, a hint of anise, bourbon, vanilla...yum!
wow, on draft? Are you kidding me? For $20 tasting and 2009 Abyss on draft? I feel sorry for those of you that couldn't make it...not to mention 5% off bottles and 10% of a case...

Friday, November 13, 2009

2 Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Ah, the beloved 12 Days of Christmas carol. I can just hear my mother's off pitch voice now.  You see, we have a family tradition around this song- (which my husband will find out about this year).  Someone gave my grandmother a set of plates where each plate was a verse from this song. Every year, we all had to sing our part at whichever verse our plates bestowed upon us before we ate. However, these plates had a flaw. Below each verse, say "8 Ladies Dancing", it says "...And a partridge in a pear tree". But you weren't suppose to sing this part, just the person who had the pear tree plate would sing that every time. Everybody knows this song. Each year it is chimed into our heads at each Walgreen's and Mall that we go to. Yet somehow, each year someone manages to sing the pear tree line out of order. It's usually the older folks at the table. Now matter how many years we sing this, it still happens. None of us younger folk ever want to be engaged in this forced holiday tradition yet we are still there singing our line- and everyone's usually off key. My father would classify this in our family, as our "Christmas Torture".  So seeing the name 2 Turtle Doves, around a Christmas Beer wouldn't usually entice me to buy it just because of my predisposed conception of this song. Yet reading the label-2 Turtle Doves, Belgian style dark ale brewed with cocoa nibs and toasted pecans and 12%- this seemed like something quite interesting to try.

It was a very deep mahogany color, almost black, with a good creamy mocha head. It had a slightly sour beer smell to it that was lost once you tasted it- a little sour beer tease if you ask me, but nonetheless delicious. It also smelled like a deep dark toasted chocolate and a hint of caramel...The first sip had a roasted nutty flavor...deep nutty malt that ends with a  chocolate kiss. It is absolutely full of flavor and pretty smooth for the strength. It's a fairly unique tasting beer and I highly recommend it to anyone. It's my idea of a perfect holiday brew- I am not a large fan of too much spice- but cocoa nibs and toasted pecans are very holiday for me!  Each year The Bruery releases a new version to this song, with last year's version being "A Partridge in a Pear Tree", which was a Quadruppel, 12%, brewed with their own dark candy sugar, and a completely different beer. I am quite satisfied with this year's version and look forward to what they put out for the 3 French Hens next year. This is the type of Holiday Christmas Carol tradition  I can enjoy-

Get yours at City Beer- $11.99- while they last and impress your friends at your holiday table.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the wall- whose the fairest of them all?

Ah, Deschutes. How you have been such a part of my life...You know how to make fantastic beers that are high in alcohol and full of flavor. You don't mess around. The same goes for their 2009 release of the Mirror Mirror. It's a oak- aged barleywine that is taken from their Mirror Pond Pale Ale and doubled to be a barleywine (11%).  They say to cellar and age this beer until April 2010 (the best after date on the bottle). But we cracked this one open now...The 2009 has the traditional dense malt/high alcohol flavor but you get a lot of hoppy nose flavor and a bitter finish...It's definitely a sipper-after dinner or beforehand as an aperitif.... Usually when you age a beer that has such a high alchohol content, the flavors mellow and interact. It's definitely worth buying 2- 1 to try now and one to store and compare when you open it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A few random tastings...

So last weekend was a big weekend for beer for me. My husband had a bunch of his guy friends fly in from all over the country and we all drank beer...the entire weekend (along with some random foolery). Here are some of my tasting notes:

The first beer we tried was a collaboration between Bell's Brewery and Dirk Naudts- Van Twee Belgian Ale, which is a dark belgian ale brewed with cherry juice and 7.5%. This beer was interesting. It did not blow me away with the first sip, as I was expecting more cherry flavor but the flavor grew bigger and bigger with every sip until I really enjoyed it. It was a bit smokey in flavor and had some notes of sour in the finish; which contrasted nicely once the cherry flavor became abundant.

The second beer we tried was Widmer's Cherry Oak Doppelbock, 9%, which is part of their Brothers' Reserve series.
You know when you taste something or smell something and it brings you back in time with a memory? OMG, this beer took me back to Jersey in high school before I could drive and my friends and I would hang out at 7-11....it tasted exactly like a Cherry Cola Slurpee....AND I mean that in a good way. It was not too overly sweet, but definitely had that abundance of cherry flavor balanced with a great doppelbock base with notes of smokey chocolate and a hint of caramel....very tasty and fabulous. I would get this one again!

The last beer we had, was from Avery (one of our favorite breweries of all time) that our friend from Boulder, was so gracious to bring us a bottle. It was the dungaA- a double IPA- 8.5%. It is suppose to be an IPA that is between their Maharaja and their India Pale Ale....
It smelled fantastic-pine, grapefruit and a hint of toffee/caramel.It has a large hoppy flavor explosion with  grapefruit and backed by a bit of sweet malt. Very nice. Very drinkable. Very not available in
California right now....boo!  We await it's delivery....
And until then we will just rely on Brandon...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Macademia Nuts + Toasted Coconut + Kona Coffee= Aloha

Whenever I see a beer from Maui Brewing Company, I always get excited. When people think of Hawaiian Beer, they always think of Kona Brewing Company; which in my opinion is mediocre at best for a microbrewery-  there's nothing that they offer that makes their beers anything special.  However, when I first went to Maui 2 years ago, I was highly impressed with the beers that they were creating at Maui Brewing Company- Coconut Porter, Black IPA's, Stouts aged in Rum barrels and my friend's favorite, Red Cock Doppelbock- my kind of 'Hawaiian' beer. AND I have not been able to find any of their special releases outside the brew pub besides their Bikini Blond Ale (my least favorite but still a good beer), Big Swell IPA (actually this IPA is one of my favorite IPA's) and Coconut Porter (delish). These are so worth trying- they sell them at Whole Foods and it comes in a can;  which by the way, is ecofriendly , it keeps your beer fresher longer and it gets colder faster.

SO I was very very excited to try a collaboration beer with Maui Brewery, Stone Brewery (another great brewery) and the home brewer Ken Schmidt. I enjoyed a bottle of it at Monk's Kettle...for $16..expensive but it is a 8.5% beer and you can no longer buy it at a store. It  is a porter brewed with Kona Coffee, Macademia nuts and toasted coconut.....It was definately full of flavor- it was nutty, smokey with a coffee finish- definately meant to be sipped and loved!

Oh how I love you Maui Brewing Company...I hope you end up distributing more beers out to California soon or just twist my arm and make me go to Maui to get some aloha.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Deal of the week- Monk's Kettle- Abacus- $6.50!

My husband and I went last night to Monk's Kettle and to our surprise, not only did they have a fantastic barleywine beer on draft, but it was only $6.50!? Now, I do enjoy Monk's Kettle- they have really good food- classy bar fare if you will...and really great beer. But price wise they are the highest in the city for beer. They average a 2.2 markup....so when you can go get a great beer at a store in the city for $20, they will have it for $45. Craziness if you ask me. But I guess they are taking the whole wine bar approach and marking everything up....And if you know that and know there are other great places in the city with great beer with normal prices-(City Beer, Toronado, ect) you would probably choose a different place to go too....That is what keeps me away- well that and the fact they have hour long waits for a table and nowhere to wait (the place is small and the bar gets crowded ).  But it is a great place to go on a weekend afternoon for a great fish burger and a good beer. And they have really good beer dinners and they update their menu online often- which is nice. It has a great decor and the bartenders are really courtious - they will explain and recommend beers without any stuffiness....unlike other beer bars in the city...so it is a friendlier beer environment...classier....however expensive usually....But I am getting off track...

Abacus by Firestone Walker- Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine on draft- 12% only $6.50!  If you have never had a barleywine, this is the one to try!  It is supposed to be $22 for a 22 oz.bottle. Hence why $6.50 for an 8oz pour is a great deal!
It is made to be sipped and warmed in your hands....like an after dinner drink...great with desserts! It's basically the equivalent to a Tawny Port or Brandy....absolutely delicious....It has an alcohol nose (it is 12%),  notes of bourbon, vanilla, and toffee.....It is perfect for the fall/winter season right now....according to my husband, Dave, "I can drink this all day until I pass out.", which apparently, was 3 glasses last night.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Barrel Aged Beer Tasting at The Bistro in Hayward Nov 14th

My husband and I have been looking forward to this event. Our friend went last year and said it was pretty amazing- anything barrel aged is always on our radar! I believe it's $25 for a tasting glass which gets you possibly 7 tastings and then you can buy some individual tastes as well; however our friend didn't need to buy any additional tastes last year....but don't quote me on it- there aren't any prices listed on their website.
Best part is, it is right of the BART station, so there's no worrying about how to get home~

"The Barrel Aged Festival - slated for November 14, 2009 - over 70 beers on tap, live music and party BISTRO style with BBQ smokin' and beer flowin' - 11am - 7pm - street closed for extra room.  Enjoy Sang Matiz will play at 4pm  "

The Bistro • 1001 B Street • Hayward, CA 94541 • (510) 886-8525

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Beer Dinner November 8th

Sunday Novemeber 8th
(Fisherman's Wharf)
891 Beach St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Event time: 5:00 pm
Event Website
Phone: 415-771-6800
Your hosts for this special event are Ken Grossman, Brewer, Sierra Nevada Co. and Sam Calagione, Brewer, Dogfish Head Brewery. This is an amazing opportunity for the craft beer lover and the only time both Ken and Sam will be co-hosting the launch on the west coast. The evening will be a celebration of family, friends, and the craft beer movement.

Only 75 tickets are available to the general public. Your ticket includes a 5-course beer and food pairing special menu and a gift bag with glassware. Tickets are available online exclusively via the ticketing link on this page. Click Here.

Over the years, the two brewers—Ken Grossman and Sam Calagione—have become friends in the industry. They quickly realized how many similarities they share. Grossman's history as a craft-brewing pioneer and his radical approach to brewing are echoed some fifteen years later by Calagione—through his boundary-pushing innovation and tireless promotion for the cause of craft beer.

Both men started out as home brewers obsessed with beer-making. Both share deep values of sustainability and responsibility. Both share the desire to pass their breweries on to the next generation, and both started out small—from humble beginnings—and built vibrant, creative, beer-centered and fiercely independent breweries, despite the long odds. Their mutual respect, admiration, and none-too-few shared glasses of beer led to the collaborative idea and the release of Life & Limb and Limb & Life.

Only West Coast Appearance: Ana Mandara, San Francisco

Enjoy 5-courses at Ana Mandara, each paired with beers from Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head—including cask versions of Life & Limb and Limb & Life. This is the only time Sam and Ken will be together on the West Coast discussing their beers, breweries, the collaboration, answering questions.


About the Beers & About the Food

Life & Limb is a collaborative effort, the brainchild of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Life & Limb is a 10% ABV strong, dark beer that defies style characteristics— brewed with pure maple syrup from the Calagione family farm in Massachusetts and estate barley grown on the Grossman “farm” at the brewery in Chico, CA. The beer is alive with yeast—a blend of both breweries’ house strains—bottle conditioned for added complexity and shelf life, and naturally carbonated with birch syrup fresh from Alaska.

Life & Limb is dedicated to the family of beer drinkers and enthusiasts worldwide who continue to support the little guys, iconoclasts, entrepreneurs, and pioneers who risk life and limb to shape the vibrant craft-brewing community.

Limb & Life is a companion to the big beer It is a 5% ABV small beer--a low-gravity beer made using the residual sugar as "second runnings" from the first larger brew, fortified with American hops. This is a session beer. Its big brother is a sipper. Limb & Life will be a limited draft-only product, a prelude to the bigger beer, available draft only in select bars and restaurants.


Passed Hors D'oeuvres: Seared Rare Beef with Tamarind Crispy Lobster Ravioli with Mango-Coconut Sauce

Appetizer/Salad: Seared Rare Ahi Tuna with Hearts of Palm, Jicama Salsa, Orange Vinaigrette

Main 1: (1/2 portion) Five-Spiced Crispy Skin Poussin, Sugar Snap Peas, White Corn Pilaf, Sweet & Sour Sauce

Main 2: (1/2 portion) Wokked Tournedos of Beef Filet Mignon, Peppercress, Red Sweet Onions

Desserts (Choice): Valrhona Dark Chocolate Semifreddo Flourless Coconut Rum Cake

Order your $100 tickets here

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

It's that time of year again...the holidays are around us and what a better way to celebrate
than to a Holiday Beer Tasting!
Holiday beers are, by design, no one style, but offer an opportunity for individual breweries to let their talents and imagination run wild. At the holidays, when people stop their busy lives and share some precious time with family and friends, the beer they choose should be equally as special as the time they’re sharing. So a holiday beer should be made to impress, to wow its audience, to stand out. Those are the only criteria that should be met by one of these beers.
Will it impress? Different breweries, thankfully, do this in many, many different ways. Some use unusual spices or fruits, some use special malts or hops, some use other uncommon ingredients like spruce or rye, and some make a style that itself is unusual. So there’s nothing to tie these beers together apart from their celebration of the season. That makes them a delight as well as a challenge to judge. Ultimately, perhaps more than with any other tasting, these beers are simply a matter of preference. So come, try some and discover for yourself the many flavors of this holiday season.

We will try and taste 12 Holidays brews
Happy Holidays!
Tasting is: Dec 10th from 7pm-9pm.
Cost is $20

Check it out here

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Japanese Beers Cost Too Much to Not Deliver on Flavor

My husband, friend and I went to the Jug Shop's Ise Kadoya Micro Brewery and Bairy Brewing tasting on Friday October 30th. The only Japanese Micro Brewery Beers we have had before have been the Hitachino Nest, which have made some decent beers and do some interesting Japanese spins on them.
Plus in Japan, microbrews are known as Ji Bīru(地ビール), or "local beer." In 1994, Japan's strict tax laws were relaxed allowing smaller breweries producing 60,000 litres (15,850 gal) per year. Before this change, breweries could not get a license without producing at least 2 million litres (528,000 gal) per year. As a result, a number of smaller breweries have been established throughout the country.

So we were all excited to try them.

We tried 8 beers and thought 3 were decent but only bought 1. We tried in order: Ise Kadoya's Pale Ale (5% $8.29/16oz), Brown Ale (5%, $7.99/16oz), Genmai Ale (5% $7.99/16oz), Triple Hop Ale (5%, $7.99/16oz), Stout (5%, $7.99/16oz), IPA (7%, $8.49/16oz) and Baird's Red Rose Amber Ale (5.4%, $5.29/12oz) and Kurofune Porter (6%, $5.29/12oz).

Ise Kadoya's Pale Ale was nothing to write home about, in fact it had a light soy sauce taste to it. It wasn't bitter, it had a light honey flavor, but it just left me unsatisfied. The Brown Ale wasn't anything special either. It had a light malt flavor, high alcohol nose (strange for it only being 5%) and it was a bit flat.
The Triple Hop Ale, IPA and Kunofune Porter all left me wanting something more. Nothing was special or unique about them and they all come with a high price tag per bottle and low alcohol content.

The 3 that did stand out were:
Red Rose Amber Ale, Genmai Ale and the Stout. The Red Rose Amber Ale is considered a 'steam' lager beer. This means that usually a lager is fermented at a very cold temperature, while a 'steam' beer takes lager beer and ferments it at a higher temperature. This usually gives the beer a more fruity complex taste. This beer had a light bitterness to it, a malt aftertaste and left your tongue dry like a rose wine. The beer's name is a bit deceiving as it does not have any rose in it. This beer is a nice crisp beer to enjoy when you want something light.

The Genmai Ale is interesting because they added roasted brown rice to the recipe. This in itself was bold and resulted with a beer with a nice roasted, slightly sweet cereal taste to it. This is what I was excepting when I came to this Japanese Beer Tasting- some innovative Japanese twists to the beers and this was the only one that did so.

Now the only one we bought was the Stout. Reading the description: roasted black and chocolate malts added to a Pale base malt- coffee like texture, ect; left nothing for us to be impressed with- until we smelled it- Brettanomyces. For those who don't know what 'Brett' is, it is what makes sour beers sour. AND once you use it in your beer, you can NEVER get it out. SO this beer tasted like a SOUR STOUT! Yum! Funny that they weren't selling it that way or had not noticed before they sent that batch out that very evil & dangerous yeast got in their system. But sometimes the best mistakes happen that way...I just hope they keep making it like this!

So as always, a good time was had by all just by tasting beers, BUT I wouldn't go out the door running to get some- unless you like SOUR beers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Japanese Beer Tasting Event tomorrow !

The Jug Shop in San Francisco has pretty great beer tasting/events. It's usually not too crowded ever either and the price is always right -$15
They also have a fantastic beer selection with decent prices.

Tomorrow, Friday, they have their last Oktoberfest Beer Tasting:

Closing out the month of October will be our second tasting of Japanese craft beer. From the Baird brewery two beers, Kurofune Porter and Red Rose Amber Ale will be sampled along with six brews from Ise Kadoya including a Pale Ale, IPA, Tipple Hop, Brown, Stout, and brown rice ale. October 31st, 6:30 to 8:30p

Oktoberfest in The Jug Shop Beer Garden
All tastings 6:30 to 8:30p
$15 per person

Check out their website
Jug Shop

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beer always makes me grateful..

Hey Everyone-
Check out my friend Becca's beer blog
Beer and Gratitude

She lists some great beer places in Tucson, AZ

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1st Female Beer Tasting Nov 19th!

Come for our first female beer tasting! Try 12 different beers and learn how to taste beer , the different types out there, how to taste them and where to buy them in San Francisco. $25 lets you try several different types of beer to taste. We will go over the different types, what beer is made from, proper tasting techniques and places in San Francisco to go and buy/taste amazing beers....
Taste beers that are made with wine, beers that are made with spices, sour beers, chocolate beers, beers that are celebratory, beers that go well with dessert and more!

View my new meetup group: Women Who Like Beer


Beer + Cupcakes = A Winning Combination

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I attended my first meetup group last night- Iron Cupcake's 1 Year Oktoberfest Cupcake Challenge :Beer. I had never been to a meetup before, nor a cupcake challenge where anybody could enter. Iron Cupcake hosts a cupcake challenge every month where they pick one ingredient that each challenger has to use. This time it was beer, so it was right up my alley.

Although, we did arrive 15 minutes late, the place was packed to the gills with people eating beer flavored cupcakes on the floor, outside, and anywhere there was a spot to sit down. There were cupcakes with names like Allegash Smash, Black and Tan, Irish Car Bomb, Snakebite, Holy Trinity and Your Local Pub to name a few.... There were 21 entries, although my friend and I did not try them all as some were already gone....so we missed out on 4 out of the 21 entries. We also decided that eating 17 mini cupcakes might have us go into sugar shock, so we split each one and literally just had a taste of each for voting matters.

I was a bit disappointed in the beer selected for making the cupcakes. Granted most beers are easier to get than others- but we live in San Francisco, where you can get micro-brews at practically any bodega on the corner. The majority of the beer used was, as you could probably guess, Guinness. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing but when a recipe calls for a Stout, there are plenty to choose from. I think if some people did, it would have made their flavors stand out a bit as I felt that if I tried another Stout/chocolate flavored cupcake I was going to go into chocolate overload. However, there were a few entries that used beers other than Guinness, mostly Hefeweizen (with Blood Orange), Blue Moon(with Orange), Cream Stout (with Marsh mellow topping- yum!), Pale Ale for the Black and Tan with Chocolate Stout, and mad props to the Allegash Smash and for someone using a decent micro brew, (although the taste of the beer was lost with the sweetness of the coconut pecan icing). I was upset that there weren't any Root beer ones left, even though it's not exactly a beer cupcake, the flavors might have been fantastic.

The cupcakes were all over the board in terms of appearance, moistness and taste. Some were as soft as clouds, melted in your mouth, had winning flavor combinations and looked professional- While others were hard as bricks, way too sweet, dry, or just had flavors that overwhelmed your taste buds. My personal favorites were #12, the Irish Car Bomb were you could actually taste the alcohol and had a beautiful ganache middle (great surprise!), and #7, Chocolate Stout with Ganache and Fleur de Sel topping. I am actually not sure which entry won as we were so overloaded with cupcakes we left to go home to digest.

All in all, the experience was pretty amazing. It was just so much fun to try all of the entries and vote on them. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as we did...and how could they not, after all we are talking about beer and cupcakes!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale Spices Up Fall


Pumpkin ales in general have never beckoned my name. Perhaps it was that keg that my sister got when I went to go visit her in college when I was still in high school. We got a keg of Pumpkin Ale, had a party, and was drinking pumpkin ale for the next 7 days straight. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Pumpkin ales are usually just too much to handle- too pumpkiny, too spicey, too undrinkable. But when I saw that Dogfish Head came out with one called, Punkin Ale, a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and 7%, I decided to try this type of beer again.

The nose has a more sweet caramel nutty nose than pumpkin with a hint of spicy cinnamon. The color is a deep red sienna brown. The first sip revealed a spicy beer with a light pumpkin aftertaste- not too pumpkiny and not too overwhelmingly spicy. There is a lingering allspice taste on the tongue after you drink it a while with a hint of sweet syrupy maple. It is not a super sweet beer- it actually smells sweeter than it tastes. The flavors really seemed to open up and balance more after the beer cooled down a bit. It reminded me of a spicy unsweetened apple cider more than pumpkin beer.

This beer is calling for you to grab it for a picnic on a cool Sunday afternoon with a loved one- it wants to be enjoyed outside. Granted I wouldn't go out and buy a keg of it, but a few glasses had me lingering for the holidays to arrive. Perhaps it is my love of Fall that made this beer warm my senses or the fact that someone actually balanced a pumpkin beer for me to actually enjoy to drink.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dogfish Head's Golden Elixir leaves a touching feeling

My husband and I usually have the same reaction the majority of the time when it comes to beer that we enjoy. This is not the case when it comes to Dogfish Head's Midas Touch Golden Elixir. It's a Herbed/Spice Beer, 9% ABV, and is made with barley, white muscat grapes, honey and saffron. The recipe dates back to a residue found in a jar during the funeral feast of King Midas. It is rather expensive for a beer, clocking in at $10 for a 4 pack of 12oz, which definitely adds to my husband's dislike of this beer.

I, on the other hand, became more found of it the longer I drank it. I found it to be fantastic for those who prefer wine, or who are just new to trying beer. I wouldn't classify it as a beer but more of a beer-mead blend. Personally, I am not too found of mead myself, as it is just too sweet for my taste, being made with honey. However, I found this golden elixir to be just what it claims to be- an elixir. It would be the perfect celebratory drink in place of champagne.

My first glance, the color, a golden effervescent amber seemed to be almost glowing in the light. The smell was very pretty, floral with a light honey, sweet grape juice and a tinge of alcohol.

My first sip, was a bit disappointing, the taste seemed a bit light to match the amazing aroma of this beer as well as the alcohol content of 9%. However, with each sip, the flavors grew and the sweetness of the honey and white muscat grapes came out sweeter and sweeter while the saffron perfectly balanced it before it became too sweet. It became much more alive and enjoyable as I drank it.

I think this beer gets a bad rap because people are thinking of it as a beer and not looking at it for what it actually is-an elixir that feels more like a wine than a beer. It feels like the anticipation of a first kiss that is so gentle and sweet but leaves you wanting more. Or that first chill of fall in the air. It feels like a perfect harvest drink.

Personally, I think women would enjoy this beer for its refined taste and celebratory qualities. This beer would pair perfectly with goat cheese and I am just dying to try some with it. This would even work as a dessert beer paired with something light and sweet or nutty. This would be perfect to share with your girlfriends.
Granted at $10 a 4 pack, it shouldn't be your every day run of the mill drinking beer. This beer is meant to be enjoyed and savored.
Perhaps women do have more of a refined palate...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Deal of the week

Whole Foods
$6.99 6 pack of Ruedrich's Red Seal Ale from North Coast regularly $8.99
American Amber/Red Ale 5.5%
Get it until Oct 27th...

Cheese & Beer Pairing Class this Monday

Date From October 26, 2009 7:00 PM
Until October 26, 2009 9:00 PM

18 Reasons
593 Guerrero at 18th
San Francisco, CA 94110

Price $45.00

Website http://www.18reasons.org


In this class Bi-Rite Cheese Expert Anthea Stolz and City Beer's Craig Wathen will guide you through the mysteries of pairing beer and cheese. Attendees with get to sample artisan cheeses and hand-selected beers as they learn the best way to marry this beloved bite and beverage.



Following in the footsteps of six great Strong Beer Months, we're teaming up with our friends at the 21st Amendment once again to debut the BRU/SFO Project this November. It's an exploration of Belgian-style and Belgian-influenced beers, six from each brewery, including both old favorites and brand new beers. Pick up your boarding pass and take a trip to Belgium via Magnolia and the 21st Amendment. The first three beers at each brewery hit the taps on Monday, 11/2 and then both breweries will release a new beer every Monday for the rest of the month. Try all 12 and get a commemorative glass.

Here's the line-up:
11/2: Deep Ellum Dubbel
Tweezer Tripel
11/9: Gordo Brew Libre! Ou Mourir
11/16: Destiny Unblonde Monk's Blood
11/23: Paint it Black Baby Horse

11/2: Via
St. Martin's Abbey
Noir de Blanc
11/9: Brew Libre! Ou Mourir
11/16:Monk's Blood
11/23: Baby Horse

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let's start with the basics...

Taste! Taste! Taste!
It's all about tasting, which goes beyond taste buds.
Tasting actually involves 3 of our senses:
Sight, Smell and Taste.
This applies to all beers(as with wine). You can do this with everything from Budweiser to Dogfish Head...and learn pretty quickly what you like and don't like.

There is also bare ware to use with beer besides the classic pint glass.
Usually, you want a glass that lets you smell your beer- the better it is for you to get a good nose and actually smell the beer as you are drinking it.
However, there are particular glasses made for different types of beer.
You can read more about these glasses here on wikipedia:

I find that just using a Tulip glass is the easiest and gives you the right aroma/head for tastings.

Now just go to your local beer store and just buy a bunch of different types of beer and set them up for a tasting with your friends. What do you smell? What do you taste? It's always fun to buy a mass produced beer like Budweiser and compare to the other beers (you will notice a large lack of flavor).

Beer, of all things, should not be intimidating. You aren't going to do anything wrong and you will find that people love to talk about beer (especially men) and help you out.
This will give you your first lesson in tasting beer.

*Right now, I am drinking a good go to classic- Red Seal Ale by North Coast Brewery in Mendocino California. This is a beautiful copper red pale ale, a little hoppy, a hint of spiciness and a nice light floral aroma. A good classic drinking ale (with actual flavor!)
This is usually a staple in our home. It's not that uncommon and it's reasonably priced around $9 for a 6 pack.

"Give me a woman who truly loves beer and I will conquer the world"- Kaiser Wilhelm