Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Short Blog But a Merry One

I'm running a bit behind this week, so I don't have time for a full-length blog, but I have a few things that I really need to mention, so here goes.

First, there will be a Beer Tasting on Thursday evening at the Seward Alehouse, at 215 4th Ave, starting at 7 PM. Midnight Sun & Specialty Imports will be offering up some of their special brews for only $25. I've been to some of their tastings in the past at Mykel's in Soldotna and they were great. If you're going to be in Seward tomorrow night, I wouldn't miss this. Call 224-BEER (2337) for more information. Thanks to Paul Tougas of the Malt Marathon Brewers Association for the head's up.

Second, St. Elias Brewing Company will be having another Firkin Friday this week, on October 8th. At 6 PM they will be tapping a cask of their Black Hole Cascadian Dark Ale, which was dry hopped with Citra hops. Citra is a new moderately-high acid (10-12%) US hop variety, first released in 2008. Citra is a cross between several hop varieties including Hallertau Mittelfreuh, U.s. Tettnanger, E.K. Goldings, and other unknown varieties. The aroma is very fruity, citrus fruits especially, hence the name.

They also have another new brew on tap, their imaginatively named Autumn Ale, a Scottish-style, which I had last Friday. In the glass its was a pretty reddish-brown, with a cream-colored head. The aroma was of malt & caramel, with perhaps the slightest hint of smoke. Since I know Zach did not use any smoked malt in the grain bill, I'd attribute that to a little bit of phenol from the strain of yeast he used, White Labs 028, Edinburgh Scottish Ale yeast. On the palate it was nice and smooth, malt forward in keeping with the style, not excessively heavy, with just enough hop bitterness for balance. Very drinkable, and an interesting counter-point to Kenai River's flagship Skilak Scottish Ale.

Speaking of Kenai River Brewing Company, they now have their Winter Warlock Old Ale on tap. Tasting this year's version, I found it to be a little drier than last year's, which I think makes it even better. If you haven't gone by and picked up a liter or growler of this brew, you are seriously missing out. This beer is always very popular, so don't count on it being around for very long. Get over and get it now.

The recent spate of rain and wind storms have not been very kind to the the folks at Kassik's Kenai Brew Stop, with power outages impacting their brewing schedule and the rain delaying the pouring of the slab for their new tasting room. However, judging by this picture I lifted off their Facebook page, they got the slab poured on Monday. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the finished product. Kassik's beers will also be showcased next weekend at
Fish Tails, the 26th Annual Beer & Wine Experience, a fundraiser for the Kenai Chamber of Commerce. It will be next Saturday, 16 October, at the old Carrs Mall in Kenai. Doors open at 5:30, dinner is at 7 , and the live auction starts at 8. Come in costume and compete for a special prize.

The premiere day and time for the new Discovery channel show Brew Masters has been announced: 10 PM E/P on Sunday 21 November. Check my blog from July 1 of this year for more info about this exciting new show and mark your calenders.

Before we're done, here's another new beer review. A beer has appeared locally from Big Sky Brewing out of Montana, Heavy Horse Scotch Ale. If you've read very many of these blogs, you're probably aware that Scotch Ale (or Wee Heavy) is one of my absolute favorite styles, so I'm always eager to try a new one (thanks to Zach Henry for spotting it and snagging me a six-pack). The beer poured a deep ruby, only slightly translucent, with a big, long-lasting cream-colored head; very appetizing. The nose was full of sweet malt, molasses, and dark fruits like cherries, with a hint of smoke. On the tongue, it's malt & smoke up front, then some of those cherries. Good mouthfeel, and a finish that's drier than many versions of this style. Very drinkable, even at 6.7% ABV. If you like malty, smoky beers, seek this one out.

Last but not least, if you want to see me help the Brew Tap TV guys do a tasting of Midnight Sun's Because, one of their Crew Brews, click here.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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