I was at DuClaw's release party for their Baltic Porter. A decent rendition, if a little too much alcohol for my taste (8%). There was a pleasant dried-fruit aftertaste that lingered for the better part of half and hour.
I think the weather soured me on the beer though, I like stuff like porter on cold, damp days. It was 75F and sunny on the deck where they were pouring. =)
I haven't gotten around to writing about crafty beer lately, but I found myself somewhere with some of this, and I'm running out of cans of Busch, so I thought I might try one. It's a pretty good IPA. Not quite as bitey as the Dogfish Head 60-minute, but still not entirely smooth either. I really
I'm guessing that, being as how I live a whopping hour's drive from scenic Frederick Maryland, and I'd never heard of this stuff, it probably isn't going to be terribly easy to get if'n you aren't in the greater Washington DC area, but assuming I can actually find out where this stuff came from, I'll definitely be having more of it.
Howdy ladies and gents,
Just some comments on Great Divide's lineup. First of all, kudos to the fine brewers at GD. I've tried about half of their beers and have been pleasantly surprised. This past year I discovered Hibernation Ale, which is a rich, malty, toffee-like old ale, perfect for the cold months (too bad the weather got toasty here from December on so I've reverted to fucking wheat beers). Oak-aged Yeti is also a superb imperial stout, it has few peers. Mmmm!
Now for a question: Has anyone else ever noticed any problem with Great Divide beers? Specifically, over-carbonation? With the exception of Hibernation Ale, nearly 1/2 of the six-packs of GD beers I've bought (including DPA, Saint Bridget's, etc) have had serious over-carbonation issues. I'm talking at least 3/4 pint of foam on the most carefully decanted bottle. Worse, if I try to drink from the bottle my mouthful bursts into foam and ruins the tasting experience. I emailed the brewery the first or second time I experienced this. But since trying their porter recently I've experienced it again. It certainly detracts from the whole experience. My only option is to pour a glass over the course of 5-10 minutes, then let it rest another 5-10 before it can be enjoyed. Now, that seems like a serious quality control issue to me, and, unfortunately, if it continues to be a problem I will have to stop supporting the brewery with my business. Is it just me? I've considered many possibilities (shipping, storage, elevation change, etc, etc) but I cannot imagine how a filtered and sealed bottle of ale could become over-carbonated after leaving the brewery.
On the bright side, their labels are much like European imports in that a quick soak in hot water and the labels fall right off, needing only for any remaining glue to be quickly wiped clean with a scouring pad. I cleaned almost 2 cases of bottles in only about 15 minutes (plus soak time). I'll be bottling my stout in them tonight.
I visited two Baltimore brewpubs yesterday: Wharf Rat (Pratt St.) and Brewer's Art. I was far more impressed with Brewer's Art than Wharf Rat, both as restaurants, and as breweries.Wharf Rat/Oliver Brewing
* Oliver's ESB, hand pumped. Served at proper temperature (i.e. "warm"), but it tried far too hard to be an IPA. I suspect the hops would be even more pronounced if it were served cold. Relatively weak malt flavor. Dark amber. 2.5/5.
* Oliver's Pagan Porter. Served cold, and again a bit hoppy for my taste in the style. Black, though it fails the Mag-lite test. Good malt flavor. 3/5.
I had the sausage of the day, which was a duck sausage with smoked apple brandy. It was served on a roll, with fries. I will ask if there is an option for a salad or vegetables instead of the fries next time. Dessert was a slice of extremely dangerous chocolate cake, which went well with the porter.
It's entirely possible I was just being anti-hops while tasting these two beers. I will certainly return and try more of the available beers.Brewer's Art
* Resurrection. Belgian dubbel style. As I've mentioned before, I'm a fan of Belgian beers, and this one is no exception. Served cold in a goblet. Hopping and malt flavor correct for the style; somewhat malty, hops understated. 3.5/5.
* Proletary. The people's beer is a porter, served cold. Good malt flavor, well-balanced with the hops. Black, did not have a bright enough light to see if it passed the Mag-lite test. 4/5.
* House Pale. Served cold. Malt predominates in this pale, with the hops as a subtle flavor beneath. Unfortunately, there was an odd flavor in the mix, slightly metallic. It could be an artifact of the yeast, the hops, or simply an old batch of beer. Light amber. 1.5/5. I'll try this one again at a different time, to see if the odd flavor is gone; if so, I will adjust my rating accordingly.
I was still full from the Wharf Rat, so I had just the warm salad -- apples, walnuts, raisins, and a few other ingredients. Separate from the fruit/nut mix was lettuce with blue cheese dressing on it. I was expecting the two to be mixed together. This arrived so late that it was on the house. I was told that the chef apologized for the delay, so I am guessing that this was a kitchen error of some sort.
Note that Brewer's Art is open only for dinner. I sat at the bar on my visit yesterday; I would certainly return here for a full dinner. The restaurant is a beautifully converted townhouse; the dining rooms looked wonderful.
Both restaurants had an unfortunate smell of smoke lingering inside. Baltimore does not have (or, if it does, does not enforce) a smoking ban in pubs. I've been spoiled by Massachusetts.
 Shine a Mag-lite or other bright flaslight into one side of the glass. If you can see light from the beam on the other side of the glass, the beer fails the test. Most stouts pass; some porters also do. Without a flashlight handy, any light source will do, but most are not as bright as a good flashlight pressed against the side of the glass.
I saw the "damn, it's quiet in here" post a week or three back, but life goes by too fast for me to go to the crafty beer store and browse. But, as the ancient philosopher Ly Tin Wheedle says, "you can only taste the beer you actually have", rather than lament about the beer I don't have, maybe I could drink some of the beer I do
have. So, I a-commenced to hauling firewood and drinking( Tupper's Hop Pocket (Dominion)Collapse )
Then, I felt something go 'doink' in my back, and decided to stop hauling firewood, finish that beer, get out the axe, chop wood, and drink ( Millenium (Dominion)Collapse )
Then, having split two weeks worth of firewood, I finished that beer, put the axes away, and sat down to relax with ( BorisCollapse )
So, what's in your
OK beer people here is a nice holiday quiz for you. What is your top party beer? Or maybe top three?
This is a beer you would take to a party or have on hand for a party of your own. It’s harder than it sounds. The beer must be fancy enough to impress. But general enough to have broad appeal and cheap enough that a couple of cases won’t cost you hundreds of dollars.
Well what do you think?
Fri, Nov. 18th, 2005, 08:55 pm
jerro1: happy hour
Stopped by the DuClaw in Arundel Mills on the way home from work, sidled up the bar, and asked for the sampler.
5oz servings, to include their 5 standard and whatever seasonal brews are on tap.
Today it was:
Bad Moon Porter-very tasty; definate coffee notes, quite malty
Bare Ass Blonde Ale-not bad, a easy quaffer
Misfit Red-I didn't care for this one, not enough hops for my taste
Venom-my favorite of the basics, quite hoppy, with generous, well-balanced malt
Kangaroo Love-nasty, all i could taste was the corn
and (these were lined up...and as they weren't labeled, my recollections may be "fuzzy"...)
Devil's Milk-tasty, if you like raisins...a bit too sweet for my taste
Mad Bishop-not so good, seemed unbalanced
Twisted Kilt-interesting piney taste-i liked it
Repentance-nasty, had weird soap overtones.
For those who are still figuring out the whole "how beer tastes" thing, I present this marvelous piece
on what makes beers taste the way they do.
So here is the deal. We should certainly continue to post reviews of the beers that the community has selected for the “month”. In addition however I would like to see folks post a list of their current favorites. This list should not be set in stone. Just write it off the top of your head. Then as other folks post you can use their list and test their favorites up against yours. Maybe you will change your mind (and your list) and maybe you will change someone else’s. Eventually we will all be able to refine our lists and try some beers that maybe we didn’t know about before. Feel free to add new categories to your list this one is just and example off the top of my head.
Stout: Mackeson's Stout
Porter: Entire Butt English Porter
Ale: LAGUNITAS Censored Copper Ale CA
Lager: Red Stripe
Specially: BELHAVEN Wee Heavy
Cheap beer: YUENGLING
Worst beer: Pride of Baltimore
Feel free to get obscure with your beers if it is truly that good and we may all want to start keeping a couple of bottles of our favorites around the house in case we need to make a quick comparison. If you need help with styles you might want to use some thing like this for a reference source http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/
What do you think?