Monday, November 7, 2016

Snow Again. Will It Stay This Time?

There's snow on the ground again here on the Kenai Peninsula; we got about an inch or so last night. Will it stay this time or melt away like the last batch we had? Who knows? Meanwhile, we are moving into a bit of a lull beer-wise, after a whole bunch of events last week, so this blog will be a bit shorter than usual.

At the Beers By the Bay Event in Seward last weekend, King Street Brewing's Blood Orange Porter took home the People's Choice Award.

Photo courtesy of King Street Brewing
Midnight Sun Brewing released this year's Berserker Imperial Stout last Monday, and tomorrow is holding a release party for Buzzwinkle Sour Wheat Ale tomorrow, November 8, at 5:00 pm. Here's the flier for it:

Click to enlarge
Speaking of Midnight Sun, Head Brewer Lee Ellis seems to be continuing his quest to be King of All Media. He was on KTVA 11 a few weeks ago, and now he's featured in a Sip Northwest Magazine article. You can read it here.

Bearpaw River Brewing in Wasilla is now open seven days a week. Here are its new hours:

Odd Man Rush Brewing in Eagle River has released its first collaboration beer, Otter Rock Oyster Ale. It's a dark, malty ale brewed with smoked malt and 25 dozen Kachemak Bay oysters from Otter Rock Oyster Farm. 6.9% ABV. Sounds like a great beer to enjoy by the wood stove on a dark evening.

Over a Cynosure Brewing, Clarke Pelz will fill your 5 gallon keg to go, so long as you give him a day or so to do it.

Grace Ridge Brewing in Homer now has a crowler machine, so you can get its beers to go in 32 oz. cans, filled to order at the brewery.

Photo courtesy of Grace Ridge Brewing
Here's the current tap list at St. Elias Brewing Company:

Click to enlarge

On the national beer news desk, AB-InBev, fresh from consuming SAB Miller, has snapped up another craft brewery: Karbach Brewing Company in Texas. This comes less than two months after the Department of Justice promised to “carefully scrutinize any future craft acquisitions,” upon closing an investigation into AB-InBev’s purchase of Devils Backbone Brewing in Virginia. At the time, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Juan Arteaga said the division would “consider whether these transactions, either singularly or collectively, are likely to harm competition by, among other things, giving ABI the ability to prevent its craft rivals from effectively getting their products to the market.” It will be interesting to see if the Anti-Trust Division of the DOJ actually looks at the deal, or just rubber-stamps it. If approved, Karbach will join the ten other former craft breweries in AB-InBev's "The High End" business unit.

The latest morsel for AB-InBev's insatiable maw...

On that somber note, let's do a couple of beer reviews.

Stone Brewing's 20th Anniversary Citracado IPA: This beer was bottled on 7/29/2016. It poured a deep, clear copper color, with a big, off-white head. The nose was full of Citra hop notes. The carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was light. Up front, there was good bitterness, followed by lots of hop flavor and aroma. The use of avocado flower honey lightens the body, while still giving it a hefty 9% ABV. Not fantastic, but a good, solid entry into the ever-growing ranks of imperial IPAs...

St. Elias Brewing's Defiance Black IPA: The beer poured very dark, but with ruby highlights and a small cream-colored head. The aroma had lots of citrus hop notes but no roasted flavors. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was light. On the palate there was a nice, initial bitter attack, purely from the hops. This is what I call a true black IPA, in that it has no roasty flavors. For my money, if a beer has lots of roasted malts notes, it's a hoppy porter, not a black IPA. Defiance drinks like a delicious, well-made American IPA that just happens to be dark in color.

That's it for this week. If you haven't gotten all your wood stacked and your winter tires put on, you'd better hurry up and get done, because I think winter is about here!

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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