Monday, January 24, 2011

Strong Ale Fest

Strong Ale Fest tickets are on sale at the brewery and online.  This event will sell out, 400 tickets will be sold for each day.  There will be over 80 different beer that are 8% alcohol and stronger.  You'll receive 16 tickets for 2 ounce tasting.

Strong Ale Fest is Fri. February 18 at 5pm-10pm, Sat. February 19 at 12noon - 5pm.  The event will be hosted by Avery Brewing Co and will be held in their barrel-aged cellars.

Barrel-aging cellar at 1st Annual Sour Ale Fest
Last years fest was at the brewery and with the limited attendance, it made the fest seem less crowded.  There will be beer from local breweries as well as from out-of-state.  
Barrel-aging cellar at 1st Annual Sour Ale Fest

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Avery Brewing beers paired with 4 courses at Choice Ciry Butcher and Deli

Last night we traveled through the snow to Fort Collins for an Avery beer and food pairing hosted by Choice City Butcher and Deli.  The participants along with Russ and his staff had to wait over a half an hour for the Avery Hops 1 bus to deliver beer and guests because of the snow.  I would like to thank them for patiently waiting for us.  My husband and I were privileged to be able to join Adam Avery, Ted, Robby, Lomi, and our driver Seth in the Hops 1 bus. We watch Caddy Shack on the way up to Fort Collins.

I thought there would be Avery's flagship beers paired with dinner but to my surprise the beers were the high end and all over 9% alcohol.  Each course was a full meal and just the food alone would have cost over $60 then add the beers it would have totaled over $100.  This dinner was a steal for just $60.  Russ the owner of Choice City Butcher is an Avery beer fan so we received more than a 8 ounce pour for each beer.  I felt pretty toasty by time we left for Boulder.

The first course was Avery's Holy Trinity series of Salvation, a Belgian style strong golden ale at 9% alcohol. I tend to like the Bad Sally and the Good Sally which have been soured with Brettanomyces.  Salvation was paired  with a crawfish cheesecake with a smelt roe sauce.  I never would have thought you could make a savory cheesecake that taste good with a creamy smelt roe sauce that didn't taste fishy.
Hog Heaven, a barleywine style ale at 9.2%  was paired with a pork loin rolled with goat cheese, pine nuts, and spinach.  The pork loin wasn't my favorite and I love pork but the goat cheese added a weird flavor.

crawfish cheesecake
sweet potato coconut curry soup
 Reverend, is a quadrupel ale at 10%, it  was paired in the next course with a sweet potato coconut curry soup. Very tasty but too spicy hot for my palate.

NY strip steak

The third course was a NY strip steak with a Cuban espresso sauce, zydeco beans, and braubant new potatoes.  This was paired with the Meph Addict, Mephistopheles is a 16% stout with coffee beans from the Blind Bean Coffee.

A salad course had mixed greens, walnuts, grapes, and a honey Depuceleuse dressing paired with Depuceleuse,  100%  brettanomyces  with sour cherries ale then aged in Zinfandel barrels for a year. This ale is 9.7% alcohol and doesn't taste overly alcoholic.  And this beer has been aged even more since it's release in April 2010.

smores pie with fired marshmallow
The dessert course was a smores pie with a fired marshmallow paired with Czar, a 11% alcohol imperial stout.  This imperial stout was a great beer to pair with the smores pie. The marshmallow was individually placed on the pie and then was set on fire.  A really cool dessert.  I really couldn't enjoy the dessert because of the large portions of each course was too filling.

I give the overall dinner and beer pairing thumbs up.  Russ and his staff did a wonderful job for this dinner.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Barrel-aged beers at the Pumphouse and Tasty Weasel

Barrel-aged Belgian Style Sour
A friend calls us from the Pumphouse in Longmont to tells us that they just tapped a seasonal beer, a Belgian Style Sour.  He thought it was a great sour brown ale and we must taste it.  So we head up to Longmont and to the Pumphouse hoping we would run into this friend but alas he was gone but we did taste the sour ale.  It was very good, sour, and rich that I shared mine with my husband. 
Served in a 10 ounce glass, this beer has a reddish-brown color and a sour aroma, not too sour like vinegar but a sour sweetness with a sour finish.

We then stopped by the Tasty Weasel, Oskar Blues taproom and they had a whiskey barrel-aged barleywine on tap.  It had been barrel-aged for one year!  It was so smooth with a molasses sweet aroma with a slightly sweet whiskey flavor.  This is another beer that goes down really good that you'd forget it was over 13% alcohol.
Barrel-aged Barleywine

Barrel-aged Wake-up-Dead

Last weekend at the Left Hand Brewery in Longmont, they had their barrel-age imperial stout, Wake-up-Dead on cask.  It was so smooth to be very dangerous.  This dark rich beer is served in 10 ounce pours and goes down very nicely. Wake-up-Dead on hand pull doesn't have that harsh alcohol aftertaste that most imperials tend to have.  I hope they have this next weekend when we pass by Left Hand Brewery. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dinner with Adam Avery at Choice City Butcher's beer dinner on Wed. Jan 19

Dinner with Adam Avery at Choice City Butcher and Deli coming this Wed. January 19 at 6:30 pm.  RSVP is required and is $60 per person.
There will be a four-course dinner paired with 5 Avery beers. I have never been to Choice City for dinner so this will be interesting.  Choice City had a beer breakfast that was wonderful.  The food was great and so was the beers that he choose for the each course.  At the beer breakfast you received 2 4-ounce taster for each course.
I'll have more information later next week.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ratman, the ultimate beer geek

Stopped by Strange Brew yesterday and was surprised to see Ratman there. I first meet him a few years ago at events at The Falling Rock Tap House and Avery Brewing.  He's is a real beer geek, writing reviews on all the beers he drinks on a small notebook. You can see his reviews on Just look for Ratman.  If you don't know him by name, you probably seen him at most beer events from Colorado to California.

At first appearance you would assume he was a Hell's Angel with his tattoos, long hair, beard, and overall bad attitude. Once you get to know him, you realize he tells it like it is. He loves to debate points of interest even with Boulderites!  He's great to talk to about beer because of his knowledge of beer.

We keep on bumping into him at many beer venues, he's one of the great attributes of the Colorado beer scene.

Strange Brewing in Denver

Strange Brewing is coming a local hangout and a destination for the beer geek.  This small brewing company has 6 draft beers on tap from an IPA to their popular Cherry Bomb stout, 5.2%.  They will be having some strong ales on draft on Wednesday due to them entering in the Vail Strong Ale Fest. 

I got a taster of their Cherry Bomb and found it too overwhelming taste of the tart cherries.  The beer wasn't as balanced as I would have liked.  I also had a half pint of their Vanilla Porter,is 5.5% alcohol.  It wasn't as well balanced as the Dry Dock version but it was good. 

New beers on tap at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora

Went to Dry Dock Brewing yesterday and wasn't disappointed at their tap lineup.  They have a Poor Richard's Ale on draft that was on hand pull.  They also have a Farmhouse Saison on tap for those in the mood for a light summer ale.

Poor Richard's Ale
Poor Richard's Ale has a sweet caramel aroma with a slight bitter flavor and aftertaste.  The Farmhouse Saison has earthy yeast tone and aroma that are typical of a Saison style beer.  It has a slight bitter citrus flavor and a slight bitter aftertaste.  I don't have their alcohol percentage but they didn't taste too heavy in alcohol.

My true favorite is one of their flagship ales: Vanilla Porter.  I have tasted other vanilla porters but Dry Dock has the best!  It has a nice vanilla aroma that isn't overwhelming.  It is well balanced with a nice vanilla roasted malt flavor.

Dry Dock is a local favorite in Aurora, especially since it's the only true brewery in town.  They have a BJ's Restaurant but let's face it, it's corporate so let's move on.  The taproom was full and now I see why they are extending their taproom into what was the Beer Hut, homebrew shop next door.  They have acquired the unit next to the homebrew shop and moved it into that unit.  The extension will have a fireplace and more tables, it will also serve as a venue for events.
Brew Hut thru archway
Taproom expansion

They are hosting a beer/dinner pairing at Dry Dock Brewing on Jan. 24. It will be a four-course dinner paired with Dry Dock beers.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Upslope has limited release

Went to Upslope Brewing in Boulder last night because they have two limited release beers on tap. Upslope has had these two beers on tap before, at their 2nd Anniversary Party.  They are known for stashing beers then have these limited release.

Oak Stout and the Belgian Style Quad
Oak Stout at 7% alcohol beer was aged in whiskey barrels for two months.  It is dark, with a caramel head with a roasted malted chocolate aroma and it tastes of chocolates with a hint of the whiskey flavor. It is so yummy :)

If you were at the anniversary party you might have tasted their Belgian Style Quad.  It is on tap now but I'm not sure how much longer though.  This Belgian style strong ale is 14% alcohol but doesn't have that alcohol taste. My husband said it has a coconut aftertaste. Fermented in Kentucky bourbon barrel and Cabernet barrel then blended together and aged in stainless steel for 11 months. The Quad has a crisp aroma and a pleasant flavor to me.

Great beers to drink from out of state.

We have a friend, Max who is an avid beer collector.  He has beers from Michigan, California, and Belgium.  Last night we were treated to some really good beers from Michigan, Kuhnhenn Brewery, Founders, and Bells.  The Kuhnhenn beer, a brown cherry sour, we had before and is overall my favorite of the night. The sour cherry is well balanced and we call it the New Glarus Red's big brother.  If you ever had the New Glarus Red, you know what a sweet tart taste that beer has so the Kuhnhenn beer has a bigger flavor but not as sweet.  I recommend going to Kuhnhenn Brewery if visiting Michigan.
Having a beer collector as a friend really pays especially if he likes to share.  Max really extends our knowledge of the beers from out of state.