Four friends came over last night to share bottles, the most attended Tuesday night so far. The bottles shown are in the order in which they were opened. Only 3 of 13 bottles were available within NY state, the Pliny the Elder traveled back from CA in a friend’s checked luggage, and the Biere Blanca is typically only available at Bianca in Brooklyn.
There was not a bad brew, with my favorites being Caractère Rouge, Biere Blanca, and Coffee BBAged Framinghammer. I would definitely check out the Hibiscus Gose again, as it was tough to get a good feel being split five ways. Definitely not bad for a Tuesday, but glad I’m still on vacation - I ended the night with Ruck wings and La Fin Du Monde on tap. Cheers!
What happens when four beer geeks take two compact cars to northern Vermont and spend over a thousand dollars on beer? Well, as soon as everyone got back to my apartment building, a somewhat convoluted sorting process and one very confused look as I snapped a picture, for starters. This was a quite fun and successful trip, one you will be hearing more about over the next week or two. Cheers!
At the time this posts, I will be on a short beercation with three friends… (some of) these growlers may give one stop away…
I had this a few months ago and don’t have tasting notes, so here’s what I remember: rich, smooth, pleasantly boozy and super-duper delicious. I made a comment in an old post that Evil Twin’s “home runs tend to be grand slams” and that is definitely the case here.
It has been almost three months since Rare Form Brewing Company opened - a less than ten minute walk from my apartment - so it’s about time I actually write about the place. The above picture, stolen from Rare Form’s Facebook page, shows how busy it was on the night it opened (those who know me personally may be able to spot me).
I arrived just as they opened and rode solo until my friends showed up. This allowed me to overhear lots of different conversations, such as a super enthusiastic guy (maybe from Troy BID?) going on about “THIS BLOCK”, talking up a coffee place down the street that will have some sort of rare coffee you can’t get in this area yet. It is definitely an interesting time to be living in downtown Troy.
They opened on May 30 and, with such high demand for the beer already produced as well as a problem with their cooling system that led to dumping several batches in production, they ran out of their own beer on June 28. There was a period where they featured other NY farm breweries, first Climbing Bines and then Abandon. Thankfully this period was not long - within three weeks they had four of their beers available again, and by the end of July they were back to six (the same number they had at opening).
It was nice to see them at BCTC, complete with a consistent line of pleased beer drinkers, and a friend reported positively about an event they did with The Cheese Traveler. The taproom is not overwhelmed like it was in the beginning, but most stools are occupied every time I stop in or walk/drive by.
My favorite beer they have done so far is Tripped Out. In speaking with the brewer, it seems like he was inspired by La Fin Du Monde, by the spices used and high fementation temperature, but uses honey instead of (more traditional for style) candi sugar. He is planning on tapping kegs every three months or so to see how the beer matures with time. I think it is pretty good now, but am excited to see how it develops. Cheers to Rare Form!
I grab any new Evil Twin brew I see, and this week featured four - the three pictured above (Femme Fatale Kabosu, Sour Bikini, and Femme Fatale Sudachi) as well as cans of NoMader Weisse. It is refreshing to see Jeppe explore this area of beer more, as I am trying to do so myself.
My initial thought in tasting the kabosu variant was that it reminded me of the yuzu variant, which makes a lot of sense as kabosu and yuzu are similar enough to be mistaken for one another. I have not had kabosu, yuzu, nor sudachi on their own, so I’m not familiar with the flavor differences I should be expecting, I just know that all three variants were delicious!
Tuesday nights seem to be the most common as far as friends coming over to my place to share beers. Last night featured two friends, last week featured two different friends. This bottle line-up is fairly typical of what is shared - some not available locally, some available locally but limited or otherwise worthwhile - not epic, but definitely solid. My proximity to Defazio’s is often utilized as well, with consistently delicious results. Next week (already planned) will make three Tuesdays in a row.
The past two Wednesdays have been good beer nights, starting with Hill Farmstead Everett at The Ruck (see Fuj’s post for more) then Rushing Duck vs Goose Island at The Lionheart last Wednesday. I’ll seek out special Rushing Duck kegs whenever I see them, and this night featured several.
Rushing Duck Remarkable Liquids IPA was specially made to celebrate the two year anniversary of Remarkable Liquids. It was also featured at Oliver’s Brew Crew earlier this week, which provided for the above picture. It was interesting to hear multiple people talk about the beer, both from Remarkable Liquids as well as Rushing Duck directly. While it didn’t blow me away like War Elephant, I would definitely get it if it were to be released again.
My original post on Stone/Beachwood/Heretic Unapologetic IPA got reblogged by stonebrewingco, which caught me totally off-guard. I mean, I take pictures with my cell phone, almost all involving the one area of my apartment where beers look somewhat OK. Last night’s out-of-apt shenanigans highlight this weakness, beginning with a dim picture of the delicious Unapologetic IPA on tap at The Ruck, accompanied by unpictured but also delicious Ruck wings. I will likely be hitting the Ruck again tonight, as a friend has a rare night off, and foresee several more of these in my future.
And now, for the second crappy photo!
I first saw Madball in 1998, sandwiched between Kill Your Idols opening and H2O headlining. They quickly became my favorite hardcore band, and still are. With last night’s show, I have been going to Madball shows for half of my life. Will definitely be repping the shirt I bought while at BCTC tomorrow!
Sierra Nevada collaborated with twelve other breweries for their Beer Camp Across America mix pack. I worked through one pack over several nights by myself then split another with two friends last night. It was interesting to get a first impression with a full beer and then talk shop with friends over a smaller sample. We agreed on the same three favorite beers of the pack - Double Latte (with Ninkasi), Maillard’s Odyssey (with Bell’s), and Yonder Bock (with Cigar City) - though we sometimes disagreed with which beers least impressed us. While I won’t be seeking out another pack, both trips were well worth the experience.
Dark Horse Nation premiered last Tuesday night, so I stocked my fridge with these to celebrate in style. The show has some promise, though I would like it more if they spent more time focusing on the details of the beer they are making. For example, the second episode’s “beer plot” focuses on bottling line issues, which only serves to get in the way of the “non-beer plot” (ice fishing). All of the other beer-related shows I’ve seen, such as Brew Masters, Brew Dogs, hell even some episodes of Drinking Made Easy, get into the details of beers, listing ingredients, brewing steps, what the brewer is aiming for, research done, etc etc. Why would I want to watch an episode where the only reference to beer is that they are having trouble bottling some unmentioned type of it?
My hope is that the first two episodes are trying to cast a wide net, attracting viewers who would get turned off by the level of detail found in other beer shows. Perhaps the focus on beer will increase in time. Until then, it’s entertaining enough to watch, but not re-watch.
While not necessarily apologetic, Stone did play the role of the apologist with their recent collaboration Unapologetic IPA:
I have had 45 beers from Stone, 16 being some variety of IPA. So yes, it is “another IPA,” “another Stone IPA” at that. Do I view this as a bad thing?
Biscuit and brown bread from the malt, sugary sweet orange and white grape from the hops, expected clean finish and masked abv. Will be perusing draft lists to try this on tap soon.
I’ve been sick for the past week and a half, which didn’t stop me from making a run to Spirited last Saturday, though it did stop me from having any of the beers until last night. Space Cake from Clown Shoes has a sweet malt backbone for its plethora of juicy hops - orange marmalade, tropical fruit, and grapefruit. Definitely going to have to try this again when not on the tail end of being sick.
After several months of discussion and a month of planning, I finally got the chance to brew on my friends’ computer-controlled all-grain homebrewing setup. The picture above shows the power of their system - the pot on the left contains water that is held at mash temperature, the pot on the right is the mash tun, with the tubing connecting the two continuously recirculating the mash for increased efficiency.
Everything is connected to and controlled by a computer, which checks the temperature to the hundredth of a degree every second and adjusts the power fed to the heating element as necessary. After the mash, it only took 15 minutes to reach a full boil. This system absolutely SCHOOLS mine.
The day was not without a few hiccups - after all, it was my first time doing all-grain, their first time helping brew a recipe with such a large hop bill, plus there was a mistake in transferring from the mash. These three factors resulted in less wort than intended and a more difficult time chilling. I had the choice of hitting my intended gravity at a lower batch volume and spending extra time chilling before pitching, increasing the risk of infection as well as oxidation, or topping off with cold water, accelerating the chilling process while lowering gravity and hop utilization; I opted for the latter.
Don’t let the last paragraph fool you - I am more excited for this beer than I have been for any other batch I have brewed. Homebrewing is a learning process and we all concluded the brew day with ideas to improve future batches. With a few tweaks, I cannot wait to brew on their system again!