Friday, November 15, 2013

Snow At Last

Well, we finally got some snow this weekend, so I guess winter is here at last, even if it is about 42F
as I write this.  Surely it won't be too long until we've got lots of snow and the temperature is hovering around zero, so now's the time to stock up on those winter warmer type beers.

By the fact that I'm writing this, you can surmise that I'm just about finished with Anchorage, Fairbanks, & Everything In Between, Volume II of Beer on the Last Frontier: The Craft Breweries of Alaska.  I'm waiting for one last contribution to come in, and then it will be ready to upload to the printers so I can get the proof sent to me.  It should be available for purchase in early December, for a $11.99 cover price, on Amazon or at local breweries.  It will be about 164 pages (70 more than Volume I).

So now that I've got that monkey (mostly) off my back, let's get back to some beer news.

There's a new website to assist you in planning your beer travels: the Brew Trail. It lets you map out an itinerary of brewery visits for a particular state.  Looks like it's a pretty cool tool.  I plan to go over the Alaska data in the near future to check it for accuracy.  I'll be surprised if it's perfect, but even with some errors, it should still be very useful.

Here's a new release from Broken Tooth Brewing.  Thanks to Tyler Jones for the info:

Oh My Gourd! Here’s a our take on a holiday favorite. Brown in color, aromas of pumpkin spice are prominent but not overwhelming. Light in body, this malty brown ale offers a well balanced, not-too-sweet slice of pumpkin pie in every pint. Exclaim the name!
I was actually up in Anchorage this Saturday and stopped by the brewery for a quick tour.  Tyler was kind enough to give me several of their beers to bring back to try, so look for reviews in up-coming blogs.  While there, I had some of their excellent Anniversary Ale.  It's in the style of an XPA, so look for good hoppiness without the bitterness or alcohol of a full-blown IPA. Also, there are now Hydroflasks with the Broken Tooth logo for sale at the Moose's Tooth.

Silver Gulch has 40 Below Imperial Stout back on tap.  Here's their description:

An Imperial Stout with an intense flavor of bittersweet chocolate and a hint of raisins and dates. A full-bodied brew with a luscious velvety texture. 8.5% ABV, 77 IBUs.

HooDoo Brewing Company is holding a mustache contest through November to raise money to support men's health. Their Pumpkin Ale is still on tap -- along with their Kolsch, Stout, XPA, and IPA-- but it almost gone, so act fast if you want some.

Today, Friday, November 15, the guys from Denali Brewing will be in Chicago at Spiteful Brewing to make a collaboration saison using an as-yet-undisclosed ingredient.

Arkose Brewery will be having another Beer Meets Chocolate event next Friday, November 22.  Here's the flier for it:

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Tomorrow will be the annual fund raiser at the Sea-Life Center in Seward.  Here's the flier for it:
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On Tuesday, the guys at Anchorage Brewing bottled their collaboration beer Arctic Soiree.  They just shifted to a new bottle supplier, which caused them more than a few headaches adjusting their bottling line, but they got it done in the end. You can see a short video of the bottling run here.

King Street Brewing Company has their Winter Warmer on tap now.  This is a Belgian-inspired Dark Ale with notes of chocolate, raisin, dried fruit and a subtle balance of spice.  Also, the Wheel Good Food truck will be at the brewery from 4 to 8 PM this evening. named the five top places to eat in Anchorage.  Glacier BrewHouse was #2, Humpy's was #4, and Wheel Good Food was #5.  You can read the entire article here.  And don't for get about the Flavors of Fall Dinner at Glacier next Thursday.

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Kassik's Brewery has released another batch of their Pretty Fly for a White IPA. They have also just received a new shipment of stainless steel growlers.

At Kenai River Brewing, the Winter Warlock has come and gone.  However, their new Herkules Imperial Rye Pale Ale (I.R.P.A) will be going on tap today.  It's 8.6% ABV & 103 IBUs of beery goodness!

 I mentioned last time about the slew of beers from The Bruery that Specialty Imports had gotten in.  Well, one of them, Tart of Darkness Sour Stout, has actually made it down here to the Peninsula.  We even had a bottle of it at the last Kenai Peninsula Brewing & Tasting Society meeting.  You can find it at Country Liquors in Kenai.  I reviewed it back on 10/14/2013.

OK, let's do some reviews.

King Street Brewing's Nobility Barley Wine: I finally got around to trying King Street's second
bottled offering. This English-style barley wine was aged for several months in used whiskey and chardonnay barrels before being bottled.It pours a very dark honey color, with a small cream-colored head that dissipates rapidly to a collar.The nose is of caramel and toffee, with hints of oak.The mouthfeel is good and the carbonation is moderate.The flavor profile is quite malt-forward, in keeping with the style, with elements of toffee and vanilla, quite rich and flavorful.It falls away gradually to a nice, long finish. 9% ABV.

Anchorage Brewing Company's Salvation IPA: I had this beer on draft at Humpy's in October.  It poured a lovely clear gold with a small white head. The aroma was packed with bright, citrusy American hops.It was clean and crisp on the palate, with good carbonation and a snappy hop bitterness, plus lots of aroma and flavor.  Very much of piece with the other draft-only IPAs Gabe has produced recently.  Worth seeking out. 6% ABV, 70 IBUs.

Suede Imperial Porter: This beer is a collaboration between Stone Brewing in San Diego, 10-Barrel Brewing in Bend, Oregon and the Blue Jacket  Brewery in Washington, DC.  I had it on draft at Humpy's as well.  It poured opaque with a small mocha-colored head. The nose was a pleasant mix of malt sweetness and roasted notes, like a coffee with plenty of cream and sugar. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was medium. On the palate the flavor profile was quite rich, with more sweet notes than roasted ones in evidence. Suede seemed an apt description of the smooth, silky way this beer went down. 9.6% ABV.

Stone Brewing's Enjoy by 10/25/2013 IPA:  I drank this one on 10/22/2013, so I complied with the instructions on the label. It poured a clear gold with a nice white head.  As expected, the aroma was full of citrusy American hops.  Carbonation was good, and the initial attack of bitterness was not overwhelming, and it was followed by plenty of hop flavors and aroma.  All the flavors were exceptionally bright and clean, as you'd expect in such a fresh beer.  Very nice. 9.4% ABV.

Allagash Brewing's 2012 Fluxus: A little something I brought back from the Bay Area, which we can't get up here in Alaska. In the Belgian farmhouse style, this beer poured a slightly cloudy gold with a big white head that left excellent lacing on the glass.  The aroma had the classic spicy, earthy notes that screams Belgian yeast, at least to my nose.  The excellent carbonation made it very light on the palate, with some spicy, peppery notes, both from the yeast and from the addition on peppercorns.  Overall, one of the most "Belgian" tasting beers I've ever had, from a brewery I wish we could get up here in Alaska.  7.7% ABV.

Midnight Sun's Second Hand Smoke Stout: Brewed from the second runnings of MSBC’s popular Barfly Smoked Imperial Stout, this beer pours opaque with a slight brown head. The aroma is rich with chocolate, coffee and smoke. On the palate, the beers is thick and chewy, a pleasing blend of roasted flavors and smokiness. I had tasted this on draft back in May, but this was from the bottle.   8.4% ABV, 56 IBUs.

Well, that about it for now.  Look for more reviews next week, as I should be back on a regular blogging schedule, at least for a bit.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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