Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not So Fast on That Early Spring...

Since in my last blog I speculated on a possible early spring, we had to get more snow.  Not a lot, but enough to remind everyone that winter's not quite done yet.  So batten down the hatches and stand by for some more heavy weather until we can finally escape this weird winter we've been having.

I wrote about the Beer and Swine Festival on April 5th in my last blog.  Nothing really new to say about them, but they do have a new poster out, which is a bit easier to read than their original one, so here it is:

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Last time round I also wrote about the Talkeetna Beer Trippin' that the Great Northern Brewers will be holding the same weekend as the Beer and Swine Festival.  The menu for the Beer Dinner at Twister Creek on Friday, April 4th has now been released.  Here it is:

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Looks like there will be plenty of delicious food paired with outstanding beers and exceptional company.

Baranof Island Brewing Company is still on a roll after receiving their $350k loan from the city of Sitka.  They'll be holding an event at Nome's Arctic Native Brotherhood Club the Friday, March 14th, to raise money for the ANB.  Besides their beer, their will be food and live music.  Here's the flier for that event:

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Midnight Sun Brewing Company has a nice new ad in this month's Beer Advocate magazine.  Here it is:

Sunday, March 8th, was National Brew Day for the Pink Boots Society.  I'm looking forward to tasting their collaboration brew.

Anchorage Brewing Company is working on Batch #2 of Arctic Soiree (see my review of Batch #1 in my last blog).  Look for #2 to hit shelves in about a month.  They also said to expect more Love Buzz Saison in June.  Gabe was also trying to enter Batch #2 of The Tide and Its Takers Tripel in the World Beer Cup.  If he was able to scare up enough of it to do so, I suspect ABC will have another award to hang on its wall soon.  Tickets for The Culmination Festival have still not yet gone on sale, but when they do, I will make a Breaking News post (after I've bought my own, of course!).

I had a data dump from Tyler Jones at Broken Tooth Brewing regarding beers that are on tap at Moose's Tooth.  Rather than paraphrase it, I'll just give you the whole thing:

Better Off Red (India Red Ale) When you’re down to one ski and you need fuel to tackle an untamed slope like the wicked K12, look no further. Takeoff with a burst of lavish flavor from Amarillo, Challenger and Crystal hops. Then ride the fortified base of pale and Munich malts, and finish with a touch of roast malt to score a luscious crimson hue. Go that way really fast, if something gets in your way, turn! You'll be the hottest thing since sunburn! Brewed by Sean Heyer. OG 1.058,  ~65 IBU, 6.2% ABV

Vanna Brown (American Brown)  Still missing the Midtown Brown? Solve the puzzle with this smooth, malt-rich roasty brown ale! Brewed by Sean Heyer OG 1.055 ~38 IBU ABV 5.4%
Something Red (Red Ale)  A beautiful single-hop red ale featuring fruity/citrusy Simcoe hops. Brewed by Dave Parker OG 1.064 42 IBUs ABV 6.1%.

Let It ESB (Extra Special Bitter)  A big ESB which straddles the fence between a traditional ESB and a contemporary IPA. Brewed by Sean Heyer OG 1.068 ~50 IBU ABV 5.9%

Méprise (Belgian Brown)   A fortuitous accident while loading grain yielded this Belgian Beauty. Spiced with Coriander & Orange Peel. Brewed by Dave Parker OG 1.084 ~26 IBU ABV 8.4%

Wheatwine ’14 (WheatWine) You all know by now what a BarleyWine is. A WheatWine is similar, only it’s brewed with, you guessed it: Wheat.Brewed by Dave Parker OG 1.091 ~65 IBU ABV 10.1%
C’est Chic (Belgo-Amero IPA) Auhhh - Freak Out! Le Freak - C’est Chic… Freak Out! Le Freak - C’est Chic... Brewed by Dave Parker OG 1.078, ~87 IBU, 8.4% ABV
Smokin' Willie Porter (Smoked Brown Porter) Based on our Prince William Porter, this beer begins very subtly and (slowly) develops into a filling, rich and adventurous experience. A beautiful balance of chocolate and brewery-smoked malt character that’s flavor-forward without being overwhelming. Brewed by Aaron Benolkin OG 1.065 29 IBU ABV 6.0%
Darth Delirium 2014 (Belgian-Style Stout) Bold, Black & Beautiful. Brewed with love and chocolate and aged for a year. Brewed by Sean & Dave    OG 1.099 ~78 IBU ABV 10.1%

Devil’s Thumb Double IPA (Double IPA) 6 Varieties of American hops balanced with strong citric and tropical flavors. Brewed By Dave Parker OG 1.082, ~86 IBU, 9.4% ABV
Cheechokoholic (Brown Ale plus Cocoa) Chocolatey and Fresh in Alaska!Brewed by Sean Heyer OG 1.057, ~28 IBU, 5.2% ABV

Tyler also reports that Broken Tooth should be releasing their bottle-conditioned beers soon, perhaps as early this week. They had some problems with the labeling, but that's been taken care of.

Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Company will be having a First Tap Party this Saturday, March 15th, at 5 PM.  In homer of St. Patrick's Day, they will be serving Kachemak Bay Oysters and corned beer and cabbage to pair with their news Dry Irish Stout.  Here's how they describe it:

 Stepping Stone Stout
(Irish Dry Stout)

Stepping Stone is a tip of the hat to the Yukon Quest and one of the most inviting hospitality check points on the trail. Congratulations to Mandy Nauman and her dogs for their 2014 Quest finish!

This stout should not be feared. While it is dark and roasty it is smooth, easy-drinking and ‘session-able’. This stout starts with hints of coffee and chocolate then gives way to a clean and dry finish leaving you yearning for the next sip. Sláinte! 4.9% ABV, 30 IBUs.
South on the Parks Highway from Fairbanks, 49th State Brewing has begun to stir to life after a long winter's nap.  It may be -22F in Healy, but that's not stopping them from taking delivery of new tanks which will triple their production capacity.  Still a month or so until they open, but it looks to be another banner year for them.

Alaskan Brewing has released the latest beer in their Pilot Series: Jalapeno Imperial IPA.  I've seen it on sale locally, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.  Their release notes describe it as an "Imperial IPA made from glacier-fed water, the finest quality Centennial, Sterling, Magnum, and Apollo hops, premium two-row and specialty malts, and a whole lot of fresh jalapeños."  I'm sure I will have a review done soon.

Speaking of reviews, I only have two for this blog, as I haven't been drinking a lot of new beers lately. But first, I want to do a quasi-review of the latest batch of Czech Point Pilsner from St. Elias Brewing Company.  I reviewed this beer back on 4/12/2013, and this year's batch is just as excellent.  The only difference is that this year, Zach Henry used Sterling hops, rather than the traditional Saaz.  Comparing the present beer to my memories, I couldn't taste a difference. It would be interesting to taste them side by side to look for changes, but alas, that's not possible.  Regardless, it's an excellent pilsner, so get it while it lasts.

Midnight Sun's 3000 Belgian-style Barley Wine: I reviewed this beer on 2/15/2013, shortly after its release, so how has a year in the cellar changed it? It poured opaque with a mocha-colored head that was much bigger and denser than is typical for such a strong beer; it was also surprisingly long-lasting and left excellent lacing.  The red-wine & oak notes in the nose had eased off a bit after a year, but they were still there, while the alcohol and malt notes seemed to have increased.  Carbonation was excellent and the mouthfeel was good, though a bit drier than its typical for such a big beer.  The flavor profile was just a complex as you'd expect, with the rich caramel and toffee notes contrasting to the vinous oak notes, before falling off to a nice finish.  A year in the cellar has definitely improved this beer, but I still don't think it's reached its peak. 13.% ABV, 25 IBUs.

Mikkeller's Beer Geek Breakfast: Brewed at the Anchorage Brewing Company, this is an oatmeal stout made with coffee and fermented in oak.  It poured opaque with a nice tan head that left good lacing.  The aroma was a blend of roasted coffee flavors and sweet malt notes, like a cup of black coffee with sugar in it. The carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was medium.  On the palate there was a silky smoothness from the oats and a roasty bitter bite, that grew even stronger as the rest of the flavors fall away at the finish. An excellent example of a coffee stout. 7.5% ABV.

Well, that's it for this week.  I should have more beer reviews next time around.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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