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!


Chaz said...

Know how the festival is going to work? Limited number of tickets like Barleywine Fest? At $100 I'd hope for a free for all but since all the beer isn't distributed here...

I'm Bill Howell. said...

Yes, it will be limited to 300 tickets, first come first served. Gabe has promised to announce the start of the sale well in advance, so people should be able to mark their calendars.

Chaz said...

I guess I wasn't very clear in my wording but I meant tickets for beers at the festival. Is it going to be like the barleywine festival where you get a limited number of tickets for samples or maybe an option to buy additional drink tickets or an unlimited sample kind of deal a la Great American Beer Festival?

I'm Bill Howell. said...

Oops, sorry, you're right, I misunderstood the question. I will try to find out for sure, but I suspect that there will not be any tickets used, given the limited number of entrants and the high ticket price. Once I know for sure, I'll make a post.

I'm Bill Howell. said...

OK, I put the question about drink tickets to the guys at Anchorage Brewing Co. Here's their response:

"I'm going to try not to, but we might have to.

We'll see."

So that's where we stand as of now.