Friday, March 22, 2013

Arkose Brewery At Last

As someone who loves beer and brewing, I naturally love visiting breweries.  Each one is as unique as the brews they produce.  Since starting our book project last year, such visits have taken on even greater importance for me and my wife Elaine, as we need to do interviews and take photos for inclusion in the various volumes.

I'd been trying to make it to the Arkose Brewery in Palmer for over a year, ever since they opened in October of 2011, but events always conspired to keep me from making it.  I passed through Palmer twice last spring, but both times were on days that the brewery was not open.  Still, persistence paid off in the end, and Elaine and I finally made it there last Friday, March 15.

Arkose Brewery is the brainchild of the husband and wife team of Stephen and June Gerteisen.  Stephen is the brewer, having trained at the U.C. Davis Master Brewers Program, while June puts her talents as an artist and graphic designer to work handling their marketing and website.  Their brewhouse is a 7-barrel direct-fired system from MetalCraft Fabrication in Portland, Oregon, that they purchased new in March of 2010.  They brew their ales in a single infusion mash and to-date have only used White Labs 0041 Pacific Ale Yeast as their house yeast, though Stephen is considering bringing in a Bavarian yeast in order to brew a  hefeweizen later this year.  They have about 28 barrels of fermentation tankage and five beer taps in the tap room, The Growler Cache.

They currently have four beers on offer: Spindrift IPA, Bitter Earth ESB, Maiden Mild, and Boxcar Porter.  I had sampled the first two beers at their booth at this year's Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival, so I opted to sample the mild and the porter during this visit.

With 4.3% ABV and an auburn color, Maiden Mild was lighter in color and stronger than most (but by no means all) British examples of this rare but delicious beer style.  With only 11 IBUs, the emphasis was clearly on the malt character and the drinkability was extremely high.  I have long championed this wonderful but sadly neglected style as the quintessential session beer; see my review on 6/5/2009 of St. Elias Brewing's Marathon MildHooDoo Brewing in Fairbanks also has one on tap.  Could this mean a Mild Ale revival?  I certainly hope so!

While milds are rare, porters are much more common.  Arkose's Boxcar Porter poured almost opaque, nut with some ruby highlights and a nice tan head.  The aroma was mostly roasted malt and caramel, though my wife thought she could detect some faint apple notes.  On the palate there was good mouthfeel and nice carbonation.  The profile was well-balanced, with the 25 IBUs of bitterness complimenting rather than clashing with the roasted coffee notes from the malt.  At 5.3% ABV, this is an excellent brown porter, very drinkable and moreish.

Finally, I'd be remiss not to mention the great support Arkose Brewery provides to and receives from their local community.  For the former, they have frequent events -- usually involving some combination of art, music, and/or food -- which they support and invite the community to participate in.  For the latter, in the few hours that we were there, it was obvious from the number of folks who came in to have a growler filled, yet chose to linger over a pint to talk, just what a community hub Arkose has become in a few short months.  This symbiosis between local brewery and community is one of the best aspects of craft brewing anywhere, but especially here in Alaska.

So to June and Stephen, I say thanks for the hospitality, keep up the good work, and we'll be sure to stop by the next time we are in Palmer.  And to you, dear reader, I say that if you like good craft beer, you should strongly consider doing the same.

I've written in the past about The Brauler from The Zythos Project. Drink Tanks is developing a similar stainless steel growler, only this one has thermos walls and the ability to attach a tap to its lid, so you can use it as a mini keg!  Sounds pretty skookum to me. You can sign up to receive one via a Kickstarter donation here.

Moving on to other news, Glacier BrewHouse reopened for dinner yesterday, and reopens for lunch tomorrow.  Based on the photos they've been posting, it looks like the refurbishment was a great success, so stop by and check it out.

Over at Midnight Sun, their Embrace the Funk event was delayed a day, but took place last night.  It was highlighted by the release of Sex Machine: James Brown Sour Ale. This beer was aged in oak barrels for over three years with pediococcus, lactobacillus and Wild Alaskan yeast.  The Wild Alaskan Yeast was originally introduced in Open Container, a Wild Alaskan Ale. Now out of the barrels, the beer has been blended in with a fresh batch of brown ale to balance its sourness.  Coming in at 5.1% ABV and a mere 17 IBU's, this beer will only be available by the glass at The Loft, with the exception of  one keg at La Bodega's growler bar at some point in the future.

Midnight Sun will also be having a Belgian Beer Dinner at Kinley's Restaurant on April 17th at 6 PM.  Considering how blown away I was by the beer dinner I attended at Kinley's during AK Beer Week, I'm convinced that this one will also be fabulous.  If you'll be in Anchorage on that date, you should certainly make a reservation.

Speaking of beer dinners, the 2013 Beer Trippin' Dinner will take place in Talkeetna one Friday, April 5th, at 6:30 PM at the Twister Creek Restaurant, the home of Denali Brewing Company.  Here's the menu of food and beer:

Click to enlarge

The events in Talkeetna will continue through Saturday and Sunday.  Here's the complete list:


Keg and Growler fill drop offs @ Denali Brewing Company Tasting Room
Starting at 9am and continuing throughout the day, drop off your kegs and growlers, let us know what you want in them and we’ll have them cleaned, filled and ready to take home on Sunday.

10am | Beer Bakin' @ Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe
Wake up and put beer in your muffins! Learn about baking with beer in the kitchen at Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe. Owner Anita Golton will teach a fun class including demonstration, participation, and of course, eating. We'll prepare bacon, beer and cheddar muffins as well as Chai Brown Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. The class is appropriate for all ages over 5 (children under 8 should be with a parent). Participants are asked to reserve a spot by calling 907-733-NUTS. $5 materials fee. If you don't want to cook and you just want to eat - come by the Squirrel around 11am to taste what your friends baked with beer!

11am | Deadline for entries in the Golden Carboy Homebrew Contest. 
Please turn in all entries at the Denali Brewing Company Tasting Room, 9am-11am.

1pm | Beer + Pizza @ Mountain High Pizza Pie
The brewers at DBC take over the taps at Mountain High with a lineup of homebrew inspired test and pilot batches, some never to be heard from again.

3-5pm | Homebrew Taste + Share @ Twister Creek
Bring your best, as Twister Creek will be devoted to homebrew, homebrewers and the magic that happens when the two collide.  This is a private event, so please bring your GNBC membership card.  

5:15pm | Cask Tapping @ Twister Creek
We'll be cask conditioning one of our favorite ales especially for this moment.

5:30pm | 2013 Golden Carboy winner announced @ Twister Creek
Your chance to see the trophy you want your name on. 

9pm | Ukulele Russ @ The Fairview
The Last Ukulele Frontier is invaded by the stringed testosterone of Alaska's Guitar Alternative, Ukulele Russ. 


Keg and growler fill pick ups @ Denali Brewing Company Tasting Room
Starting at 10am and continuing until 8pm, pick up growlers and filled kegs before heading home.

10am | Farewell Breakfast @ Talkeetna Roadhouse.
Soak up your hangover blues with the Roadhouse's world-famous breakfast and the beer brewed by the homebrew class of Northern Susitna Institute's Folk School. All proceeds of the sale of this beer go directly to NSI.

1pm | Brewery Tour @ DBC Spur Road Brewery, mile 2 Talkeetna Spur Road
 It's a whole weekend of beery fun, so if you can make it to Talkeetna then, by all means do so!

As of this writing, there were only a dozen or so tickets left out of 300 for The Culmination Beer Festival on April 20th.  This looks to be one of the best festivals ever held in Alaska (or anywhere else for that matter), so if you haven't gotten a ticket yet, jet over to before they are all gone!

The guys at Anchorage Brewing Company report that they will be brewing a collaboration beer with Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead Brewing when he comes up for the festival.  This Arctic Saison will be 6% ABV and will be fermented in their oak foudres using brett (of course).  Here's the label:

Up at Silver Gulch in Fox, they have their Osculum Infame Belgian Golden Quad on tap again.  Check out a review of this excellent brew in my 1/19/2010 blog. 10.5% ABV, 30 IBUs.

St. Elias Brewing has a new brew on tap: Forbidden Fruit, a light Munich Lager laced with pomegranate juice.

OK, let's do some reviews.

First, as promised last week, Deschutes Brewing's 2008 The Dissident.  I reviewed this beer back on 9/22/2008, so how has it changed after over four years in the cellar? When I opened it, it started to foam, so I poured it quickly.  It poured a clear, ruby color with a lasting, off-white head.  The aroma was tart with notes of sour cherries.  On the palate there was good carbonation, medium mouthfeel, restrained sourness and some nice woody notes.  It fell away to a long, interesting finish.  Comparing to my notes, I'd say the main change was a slight increase in sourness and carbonation.  Otherwise, it tasted a lot like the beer I had in 2008.

Next, let's talk Midnight Sun's 2013 Arctic Devil Barley Wine.  It was released back in January, and I've finally gotten around to trying a bottle.  It poured a dark honey color with ruby highlights and a small, cream-colored head that dissipated quickly to a collar.  The aroma was strong in malt, woody notes, and a touch of alcohol heat.  The flavor profile is deep and complex, with notes of brown sugar, molasses, toffee, oak, and some alcohol heat on the long, rich finish.   Once again, this is easily one of the best barley wines on the market.  Delicious now, but fully capable of being cellared for years, if your like English-style barley wines, how can you pass this one up?

Finally, when I was over at Kenai River Brewing a few weeks ago, Doug Hogue gave me a test can of the upcoming canned version of his Peninsula Brewers Reserve, run off on his fancy new automated canning line.  I got around to drinking it this week.  It poured a clear, deep gold with a nice white head.  The aroma was of light hops and some biscuity malt notes.  The was good carbonation and a light mouthfeel.  Overall, a good, balance, light golden ale.  Extremely drinkable, a classic lawnmower beer, and one which is unlikely to spook a newcomer to craft beers.

Well, that's about it for this week.  More news and reviews next week.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cellar Diving

I had some business down in the crawlspace under my house this weekend.  Since I had to go down there anyway, it was the perfect time to both move some new bottles (MSBC's 3000 & 2013 Arctic Devil) in and to pull some old bottles out of my "deep storage".  I don't cellar a huge amount of beer - my entire collection down there is less than 75 bottles - but even so, it can sometimes be difficult to keep on top of dates to make sure some bottles don't age too long.

This time around, I pulled four bottles to drink: bottles of Alaskan's Barley Wine from the 2007 & 2009 vintages and Deschutes' The Dissident from 2008 and 2010.  I've sampled the first two and my reviews are below.  Look for reviews of the other two bottles next week.

The beer list for The Culmination Beer Festival on 20 April has been finalized.  I posted most of the list back on 1 March, but here are the rest of the brews on offer:

New Belgium Brewing:
Cascara Quad
Fujuia Fruit Tripel
Tar Lychee

Gigantic Brewing Company
Anchorage/Gigantic Collaboration Belgian Imperial stout aged in cognac barrels
Chocolate IPA

Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Lower Dens Hibiscus and Spelt Beer
Folklore Belgian Stout
Cellar Door Wheat Beer with White Sage
Stateside Saison

Hill Farmstead Brewing
Biere de Norma
Convivial Suarez
Civil Disobediance #4

Jackie O's:
Cellar Cuvee
Oil of Aphrodite 

Lost Abbey:
Saints Devotion

Port Brewing:
Hop 15 Fresh
Board Meeting Imperial Brown
Santa's Little Helper

The Billy Booth:
Dupont Bons Voeux 2005
St. Feullien Cuvee Noel 2005
Gouden Carolous 2005

Stone Brewing:
Enjoy by 4/20/13 IPA

Cigar City Brewing:
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout
Humidor IPA
Cherry Cordial

Cascade Barrel House:
Cerise Nouveau

 More news about the festival.  Tickets ARE NOT be on sale via Ticketmaster, since they wanted to charge 22% on top of the $100 face price.  Instead, there is a separate website where you make reservations using a credit card.  Then, when you show up at the door to redeem your reservation, you pay for the ticket in cash.  Your credit card will only get charged if you fail to show up to claim your reserved tickets. Not sure if there will be any seats left by the time this is posted but go to to find out.

Hoo Doo Brewing in Fairbanks has released a Belgian Saison.  they say it's "Locally made, globally inspired."  That sounds pretty good to me!

Glacier BrewHouse will be having a brunch on Easter Sunday, March 31st.  Go the their website to make reservations.

Kenai River Brewing has their Falconer's Flight 7-C's IPA on tap; see below for my review.  They will be open this Sunday from noon until 2 PM for a for mini-St. Patrick's Day potluck, so stop by if you're in town.

I'll be at the Arkose Brewery tomorrow, Friday, at about 2 PM.  I'll be happy to sign copies of my book for any Valley folk, and I will also have copies to sell, if you haven't gotten one yet.  It'll be my first visit to that brewery and I'm looking forward to it.

Next Wednesday, March 20, at 5 PM Midnight Sun Brewing will be having their Bring on the Funk Event, at which they will release their new Sex Machine: James Brown Sour Ale.  If you'll be in Anchorage and like sours, be sure to stop by The Loft to give it a try.  Midnight Sun is also running their 3rd Annual Photo Contest.  The the theme is "Where Can You Go", so start snapping photos of MSBC cans in interesting locations.  Entries are due by April 17.  Check their website for details, rules, and prizes.

I've got four beers to review this time.  First up, as mentioned above, I enjoyed bottles of both the 2007 and 2009 vintages of Alaskan Brewing's Barley Wine.  The physical appearance of both beers was the same (obviously), pouring a deep ruby color with a small, cream-colored head that dissipated rapidly to a collar.  Both had the same, deep, rich malt aroma with a touch of alcohol heat.  On the palate, both had the deep malt complexity of a classic English-style barley wine, with almost zero appreciable hop bitterness.  However, I thought the flavors of the '07 were noticeably deeper and better integrated, more mellow, and with a better finish.  This tracks with my past experience, in that I think this beer peaks at 5 to 6 years in the cellar.  So if you have any 2007 or older bottles in your cellar, I'd advocate you seriously considering drinking them fairly soon; they are ready, IMHO.

I also enjoyed a bottle of Meantime Brewing Company's Scotch Ale, which I had in my cellar for about six months.  While fine to drink fresh, I have found that this brew improves after a few months.  Meantime is a wonderful brewery out of Greenwich in the U.K., and I've never had a bad beer from them.

This one poured a deep but translucent ruby with a nice, persistent cream-colored head.  The aroma was true to style, being  complex full of sweet malt/caramel notes, plus figs, leather, and just a hint of peat smoke.  They mouthfeel was medium, with good carbonation.  The flavor profile was as complex as the nose, with caramel, leather, raisins, figs, brown sugar, and peat all making themselves known.  The finish was nice and long, with no cloying sweetness.  All-in-all, and excellent example of a Scotch Ale, one of my favorite styles.

Finally, I picked up a growler of Kenai River Brewing's Falconer's Flight 7-C's IPA on Saturday and drank it on Sunday.  It poured a slightly cloudy dark honey color, with a nice off-white head that left good lacing on the glass.  The aroma was packed with citrusy American hop elements, as you'd expect from this popular hop blend. On the palate there was good but not excessive bitterness, making for a more drinkable than average IPA, with clean, bright hop flavors that gradually fell away to a nice finish.  A delicious beer! I had no trouble polishing off the growler by myself.

Well, that's about it for this week.  More reviews for next week, and don't forget to reserve those tickets to The Culmination Beer Festival!

Until Next Time, Cheers!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Breaking News! Registration Open for The Culmination Festival!


Registration is now open for The Culmination Beer Festival on Saturday,  20 April!  50 spots are already gone!  I got mine, so if you want yours, follow this link:

And register now, before it's sold out!


Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day? I'll Drink to That!

Today is International Women's Day, which gives me a good reason to write a few lines about the growing number of women who are choosing to drink craft beer.  Once upon a time, there weren't too many women drinking craft beer, but these days, they aren't just drinking it, they are brewing it too.

I recently viewed a documentary called The Love of Beer.  It's about women in the business of craft beer, from retailers to brewers.  It talks about the Pink Boots Society, an organization of female brewers.  It's well worth a look; you can buy a DVD via the link above.

I'm also glad to see that there are more and more ladies joining the ranks of those of us writing about beer.  I'm starting to see more and more beer books show up by women, such as The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer by Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune and Let Me Tell You About Beer: A Beginner's Guide to All Things Brewed by Melissa Cole (reviewed 2/15/2013).  Plus plenty of magazine columns and blogs.  There's nothing uniquely male about enjoying good craft beer, even if the advertising for most macrobrews seems aimed squarely at the frat boy crowd...

Moving on to beer news, Silver Gulch Brewing of Fox and the Anchorage Airport, has a new beer on tap: Snow Hook IPA.  Here's how they describe it: "This American IPA pairs a traditional malt base with Pacific Northwest hops, a dry finish with a piney/spicy/earthy aroma that accents a crisp body. 7.0% ABV & 70 IBUs."

As of last Friday, HooDoo Brewing in Fairbanks had four beers on tap: their Mild, their Kolsch, their Barley Wine, and their IPA, at 4.0%, 5.3%, 9.1%, and 7.2% ABV respectively.

Haines Brewing has released Black Oak, a version of their Black Fang Imperial Stout that was aged on black oak chips to give it chocolate and vanilla notes.

Canned versions of Denali Brewing's flagship beers continue to make their way into the local markets.  I picked up a six-pack of their Single Engine Red a few weeks ago at the Soldotna Fred Meyers, and understand that cans of their Twister Creek IPA are now on offer there as well.

Further updates on The Culmination Beer Festival on Saturday, 20 April.  It hasn't been decided yet whether or not there will be individual drink tickets.  Here's the exact response to my query:  "I'm going to try not to, but we might have to. We'll see."  However, we do know what the tasting glass will look like:
The festival also now has a very cool logo:

I'm no cooper, but I believe the hammer shown is used to set the staves or something like that when repairing a barrel

Anchorage Brewing Company also now has their own glass:

I understand it has a laser etching in the bottom to serve as a nucleation point.  They are also getting close to releasing their long-awaited Anadromous Black Sour Ale, brewed with brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus.  Here's the label:

Can't wait to give that one a try!

Down at Kodiak Island Brewing, Ben Millstein reports that the "long awaited" Night Watch Porter is back on tap.

Here on the Peninsula, Kenai River Brewing released the next beer in their Single Hop IPA series at noon today: Falconer's Flight 7-C's IPA.  Of course it's technically not a "single hop", since Falconer's Flight is a proprietary blend of several hop varieties from Hopunion, one of the major hop suppliers.  But it's still a great way to showcase the properties of the blend, so if you're a hophead like me, be sure to stop by and grab some.

I don't have any reviews to share this week.  It's not that I didn't drink any beer over the last seven days.  It's just that I either drank my homebrew (excellent, by the way, but I'm not about to subject you to a review of it!) or brews that I've already reviewed, like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barley Wine and Torpedo Extra IPA, and Traquair House Scotch Ale.  But don't worry, I've got some nice, interesting stuff on deck for this weekend, so I'll eb back with some new reviews next week.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

Friday, March 1, 2013

March Already

Wow, here it is the 1st of March already.  2013 is flying by.  Lots of new and exciting beer news in the last two weeks, so let's get rolling.

Last night, Thursday February 28th, I gave presentation entitled "The American Craft Beer Phenomenon and its Impact on Alaska" as part of the Kenai Peninsula College Showcase series of events.  I spoke for an hour to about fifteen folks, who all seemed to manage to stay awake.  Here are a few photos:

I had a fine time, since the only thing I like more than talking about beer is drinking it!

Glacier BrewHouse had announced that they will close next Tuesday (March 5) and be closed until  4 PM on Thursday, March 21st for some major refurbishment.

Lots of chatter about the new festival being produced by Gabe Fletcher of Anchorage Brewing Company.  We now have a date (20 April), a time (6 to 10 PM), a place (Tikahtnu Ballroom in the Dena'ina Center), and a name (The Culmination).  Tickets will be sold through Ticketmaster and will be $100, plus whatever Ticketmaster charges.  Best of all, the list of brewers and beers on offer keeps growing and getting more and more phenomenal.  Here's the latest list:

Founders Brewing:
Centennial IPA
All Day IPA
Breakfast Stout

The Bruery:
Sour in the Rye
Melange #3
Smoking Wood

The Alchemist:
Heady Topper DIPA

Lawson’s Finest Liquids:
Double Sunshine IPA
Toast Black IPA
Fayston Maple Imperial Stout


Jester King Brewery:
Boxer’s Revenge - Organic Barrel Aged Wild Ale
Funk Metal – Sour Barrel Aged Stout
RU55 - Barrel Aged Sour Red

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales:
West Ashely – Saison aged in French oak Pinot Noir Barrels w/ Apricots.
Maiden Fields – Berliner Weisse
Chavez – Robust Porter

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales:
Seizoen Bretta

Boulevard Brewing:
Love Child #2
Love Child #3

Upright Brewing:
2010 Four Play
Belmont Station 14 Anniversary Beer

Blaugies/Hill Farmstead Collaboration:

Grassroots/Mikkeller :
Wheat is the new Hops


Prairie Brewing:
Prairie Ale (Saison bottled with Brett)
Prairie Hop

FV13 – Foudre aged sour for 4 years
Vrienden- Collaboration with New Belgium- Sour ale
Curiuex- Barrel aged Triple

The Commons:
Urban Farmhouse Ale (Saison)
Fleur de Ferme – Dark Farmhouse ale brewed with hibiscus, lavender, and chamomile.
Flemish Kiss- Barrel aged pale ale with brett Brux

Three Floyds:
Dark Lord Imperial Stout 2011
Dark Lord Imperial Stout 2012
In The Name of Suffering – Black IPA brewed for the band Eyehategod

Anchorage Brewing Company:
The Experiment Sour
Darkest Hour Belgian Imperial Stout
Hill Farmstead/Anchorage Brewing IPA

Captain Lawrence Brewing:
Extra Gold- American Style Trippel
St. Vincents Dubbel -Belgian Style Abbey Ale
Golden Delicious – Oak Aged American Style Tripple

Jolly Pumpkin Artisanal Ale:
Sobre Humano Palena’ole 2010
Collababiere – Collaboration with Stone/Jolly Pumpkin/Nogne – 2011
La Roja Grand Reserve

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project:
Surette – Provision Saison
Vieille – Artisanal Saison
Origins – Burgundy Sour

Black Raven Brewing:
Pour Les Oiseaux - Saison

New Belgium Brewing:
Transatlantic Kreik

Gigantic Brewing Company - Beers to come

Stillwater Artisanal Ales – Beers to Come

The Billy Booth???
It will be a Pleasant surprise…

Lost Abbey – Beers to come

Pizza Port Brewing – Beers to come

Hill Farmstead Brewing – Beers to come

I don't know about you, but I definitely plan to be at The Culmination!

Moving on to other news, Kassik's Brewery was featured in a KTVA Channel 11 story.  You can check it out here.

Kenai River Brewing has taken delivery of a new 20-barrel tank and a 3-head automated canning machine.  Check out the video of their test run here. There will be more info on their expansion in my column in next week's Redoubt Reporter.

Now let's move on to some beer reviews.

Alaskan Brewing has now released their Freeride APA in 12 oz. bottles, and it will be available year-round.  This brew has been part of their Rough Draft series for a couple of years, but the Brew Crew in Juneau have finally got it tweaked just right.  It poured a nice, clear gold with a big white head.  The nose is full of bright, citrusy American hops: Citra, Centennial, & Cascades.  There was good carbonation and mouthfeel, with a pleasant but not overwhelming bitterness.  A very nice American Pale Ale, easily pairing with a wide range of food.  O.G is 1047, ABV is 5.3%, and 40 IBUs.  This is the first new, year-round offering from Alaskan since 2009.

I was in Anchorage for a very short time last week, but I stopped by King Street Brewing and got to try their brand new offering, Holy Water Tripel.  This beer is part of this year's seasonal theme: The Year of Good & Evil.  It poured a dark honey color with nice cream-colored head that left good lacing.  The aroma was full of the spicy, earthy notes that I always associate with a Belgian yeast.  On the palate, the beer was smooth and flavorful, with no harsh notes to detract from enjoying it.  There was more spicy notes from the yeast, plus some good hop bitterness.  At 8% ABV, this is a very nice take on this classic Belgian Abbey style; don't miss out on trying it.

Speaking of evil, I sampled the third beer from Crooked Stave that I picked up from La Bodega in January: Nightmare on Brett, a 100% Brett-fermented Baltic Porter aged in bourbon barrels.  That alone sounds totally bad-ass.  It poured opaque with a tan head of dense bubbles.  The aroma was a mixture of brett tartness and bourbon barrel aging that to my nose smelled like sour cherries, though I don't think any fruit was used at all.  Good mouthfeel, lots of brett funky tartness intertwining with the bourbon and wood elements, before dropping off to a long, lingering finish.  This is a complex and challenging beer, which demands your full attention.  The closest thing to it that I've ever had before was The Colonel, a wild porter from the Cambridge Brewing Company that I tasted at the Great American Beer Festival in 2010.  An amazing brew.

Finally, since we're speaking of brett, let's talk about the 2013 Rondy Brew, from Anchorage Brewing Company.  I picked up a growler of it from the La Bodega growler bar, and drank it last weekend.  I reviewed last year's version on 3/7/2012.  This year's version is a White IPA, using Citra hops, I believe. I don't have any more details, since I had it from a growler, rather than a bottle with a label. It's a delicious saison, and I can't wait to grab some more.

Well, that's about it for this week.  I'll be back next week with more news and reviews.  Until then, keep drinking the good stuff!

Until Next Time, Cheers!