Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prepping for Holiday Ale festival

Redundant bitching aside.... The Doc is looking forward to his visit to the Fest!

Just found the "Specialty Beer" list which I will include in this post. I think it's great that Preston provides a selection of cellared beers. It gives the Beer drinking public a chance to appreciate what Maturation (aging) does for a good beer. So many big beers I taste are so cloyingly sweet with flavors all over the board. Maturation helps smooth out these big flavors into ongoing subtleties and new nuances of depth and flavor.

Beating a dead horse with my next point, but....

Palate Fatigue! For those of you who are serious about beer and tasting these quality beers, there's only so many beers you can sample until your palate craps out. I recommend about 8-10 beers. Even at this number of samples I find the last 2 flavor profiles are lost or muddled by a overdone palate. Water and simple palate cleanser like bread or crackers help clear you palate in between samples. It would be WONDERFUL if these were available to the patrons... for Free. Lets not get crazy! As long as I can purchase a bottle of water and some simple bread of crackers, I'd be happy.

For the rest of local drunken slobs who are just looking to get loaded on quality beer.... Please don't drink and drive! I don't want to be killed by one of you drunken idiots while walking downtown. Oh! Please don't drink all the quality beer like a PABST.... Some of us who appreciate what we're drinking would like to try those too!

Anybody interested in identifying the Doc? Feel free to come up to me and ask! I will admit my identity. If you want to cause me bodily harm..... keep drinking and don't bother. We obviously are not on the same wavelength....;-}

Specialty Beer for HAF:

Wednesday, Dec. 1st 2010

Tapping at 2pm (ends at 5:30pm or when keg goes dry, whichever comes earlier)
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg • Samichlaus Bier (2005)

Doppelbock [Doppelbock] • ABV: 14.0%
Samichlaus Bier is brewed only once a year on December 6th and is aged for 10 months before bottling. Samichlaus is one of the rarest speciality beers in the world and with 14% alcohol by volume, it is the strongest of its kind. It is ideal for aging, and older vintages become more complex with a creamy, warming finish; perfect for the holiday season!

Vorchdorf, Austria

New Belgium • Love (2009)

Sour Ale [Sour Ale] • ABV: 6.0%
Aged in an oak Foeder at the brewery. It is the unblended starter for all of New Belgium’s wood-aged beers (La Folie, Le Terroir, etc.).

Oskar Blues • Ten-Fiddy (2008)

Description coming soon.



Thursday, Dec. 2nd 2010

Tapping at 11am (ends at 5:30pm or when keg goes dry, whichever comes earlier)
Lompoc Brewery • 8 Malty Nights

Portland, OR

Deschutes Brewery • Osked-Aged Jubel (2000)

Bend, OR •

North Coast Brewing • Old Stock (2008)


Cascade Brewing Company • Sang Noir (2009)

Barrel-Aged Sour Ale [Sour Ale] • ABV: 10.2% • IBUs: 5
“Sang Noir” is complex dance with the barrels at Cascade Brewing. The 2009 version is a big, full-bodied double Flanders style red ale with distinct barrel notes. This double red comes from a blend of several barrel aged beers, with portions of the beer aging in Heaven Hills and Maker’s Mark Whiskey barrels, Pinot Noir Barrels, and Double red aged on 100 pounds of Bing Cherries. Some Bourbonic Plague and Blond Quad aged in Minnesota oak was added to bring some sweet high notes. And a straight sour pie blend was added to taste to bring the sourness to the front. A little bigger than last years version and available only at the Holiday Ale Festival.

Portland, OR

Friday, Dec. 5th 2010

Tapping at 11am (ends at 5:30pm or when keg goes dry, whichever comes earlier)

BridgePort Brewing Company • Old Knucklehead Batch #11 (2003)

Barleywine [Barleywine] • ABV: 9.1%
This is the 11th vintage of Old Knucklehead Barleywine. A BridgePort brewery tradition since 1989, Old Knucklehead is described as a classic barley wine, "brewed with double amounts of malts and hops to create a formidable drink that is complex and full of character." The 11th vintage label features Fred Eckhardt, a Portland-based award-winning beer and sake writer who is identified as the dean of American beer writers for his role as being one of the first people in the nation to write about beer (he originally published in 1969).

Portland, OR

Ninkasi Brewing Company • Critical Hit

Eugene, OR

Holiday Ale / Hair of the Dog Commemorative • JIM (2008)

Strong Blend [Specialty Beer] • ABV: 10.0%
JIM 2008 is collaboration between the Holiday Ale Festival's beer steward Preston Weesner and Hair of the Dog Brewer Alan Sprints. Made exclusively for the event, JIM honors the late Jim Kennedy, founder of Admiralty Beverage and a tireless promoter of craft beer and a major inspiration for many in the NW beer circles. This is a blended beer, made with Hair of the Dog beers Adam of the Wood aged 4 months in wet Elija Craig bourbon barrels, Fred of the Wood aged in new American oak, Blue Dot for hop nose and Doggie Claws to nicely round it out. Jim was remembered and toasted with a 2003 Samichlaus and 2007 Chimay Grand Reserve. It's a beer not to be missed and the Holiday Ale Festival is the only place to get it.

Portland, OR

Holiday Ale / Hair of the Dog Commemorative • JIM (2009)

Barrel Aged Old Ale [Strong Ale] • ABV: 10%
JIM 2009. Is collaboration between the Holiday Ale Festival and Hair of the Dog Brewing. Made exclusively for the event, JIM honors the late Jim Kennedy, a major inspiration for many in the NW beer circles. This is a blended beer, and varies with each incarnation. 2009 is in the realm of and hoppy barrel aged old ale. Made with Doggie Claws, Adam, Fred from the wood, and Blue Dot. Additionally JIM was blended with a Keg of English Brown Ale, German Bock, and American Strong ale. JIM was toasted with a few bottles; Cantillon St. Lamvinus, Scaldis Noel, Corsendonk Christmas ale, and Orval.

Portland, OR

Saturday, Dec. 6th 2010

Tapping at 11am (ends at 5:30pm or when keg goes dry, whichever comes earlier)

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery • Festina Peche (2008

.

Milton, DE

Fort George Brewery & Public House • North III (2009)

Belgian Tripel [Belgian Ale] • ABV: 8.8% • IBUs: 99
Brewed strong, bold and sweet with honey malt and maple syrup, then fermented with our jolliest Belgian yeast, this beer then rests in the bright tank with 60 pounds of finely chopped sugar plums until the elves can wait no longer. The resulting elixir arrives onyx in hue with hints of oak and spice and a rich complex cornucopia of cheer for your palate. This is a fruitcake that won't get tossed!

Astoria, OR

Cascade Brewing Company • Barrel-Select Baltic Porter (2007)

Soured Baltic Porter [Baltic Porter] • ABV: 9%
Cascade Brewing Barrel-Select Baltic Porter is blended from 2006 Bourbon barrel-aged Porter and 2006 French oak barrel-aged Porter and has undergone a lactic souring process in the barrel. Rich round malt flavors of toasted toffee, coffee and dark chocolate provide the foundation for a range of hop flavors. Vanilla and Bourbon mingle in the sweet malt finish. This ale is available only at the Holiday Ale Festival.

Portland, OR




Doc Worts HAF Tasting Picks

Alameda Brewhouse • Papa Noel's Moonlight Reserve

English Old Ale [Strong Ale] • ABV: 8.5% • IBUs: 40
Kettle and dry hopping with East Kent Goldings imparts this ale with traditional British character. After fermentation it was aged with whiskey soaked French white oak spires, lending some dryness to the huge amount of Crystal malt employed in the grain bill. You may taste hints of toffee, raisins, chocolate or caramel.


Bear Republic Brewing Company • Ebeweesner Scrooge

Blended Sour Ale [Sour Ale] • ABV: 6.5% • IBUs: 35
This barrel aged smoked sour ale is a blend of many barrels from the Bear Republic cellar, including Smoked Red Rocket and Black Do, which was then spiked with Bear Republic's own 'spank,' a wild open fermentation beer that is the source of Bear Republic’s sour power. If you like sour beers, this one is the first of its kind.

Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery • Figgy Pudding, Olde Stock

Brandy Barrel-Aged Strong Ale [Strong Ale] • ABV: 11.0% • IBUs: 44
This haunting Strong Ale is brewed with English pale and specialty malts and molasses, then matured in freshly emptied brandy barrels and conditioned with mission figs. It's gently spiced with Ceylon cinnamon and whole nutmeg and further aged with English stock wild yeast.


Cascade Brewing Company • Sang Noir

Bourbon Fruit Sour Red [Sour Ale] • ABV: 9.5% • IBUs: 9
This deep, dark double red was aged more than a year in Pinot and Whiskey barrels, then blended with a barrel of Bing cherries. It's a deep, rich and complex NW double red.


Fifty Fifty Brewing Company • Concentrated Evil

Belgian Strong Ale [Belgian Ale] • ABV: 10.0% • IBUs: 28
This Belgian Style Strong Dark Ale is brewed with raisins and exotic sugars. The flavor speaks of raisins, Belgian yeast generated esters and an overall warming character from alcohol.



Firestone Walker Brewing Company • Union Barrel Fermented Porter

Porter [Porter] • ABV: 5.9% • IBUs: 45
This elegant dark ale features robust flavors of toffee, caramel and bittersweet chocolate. It employs five specialty malts, as well as oat and barley flakes for added complexity and flavor. It was 100% produced on and fermented in the brewery's oak union system.


Lagunitas Brewing Company • Brown Mashuggana

Strong Ale [Strong Ale] • ABV: 10.0% • IBUs: 51
Shugga & Spice plus! This is a cask conditioned version of the brewery's perennial favorite - Brown Shugga - dosed with mysterious spices and a splash of Boubon barrel Imperial Stout to keep things curious.


Laht Neppur Brewing Company • Toe Tingler Stout

Bourbon-Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout [Stout] • ABV: 7.2% • IBUs: 35
A heavy oatmeal addition and extended boil time make this a rib sticking delight. Just a hint of bourbon flavor blended with subtle vanilla and maple syrup undertones make this beer worth savoring. Let it warm in your hands to stimulate the aromatics to their fullest potential.


Lompoc Brewery • Franc'ly Brewdolph

Belgian Red Ale [Belgian Ale] • ABV: 7.6% • IBUs: 50
This Belgian Style Red Ale was brewed with the Belgian Ardennes yeast strain in October 2009 and aged in Cabernet Franc barrels for 13 months. It was then blended in a tank with the 2010 Brewdolph. It has a malty and creamy body, a mild fruitiness, and a spicy, oak flavor.


Shmaltz Brewing Company • Jewbelation Blend

Strong Ale [Strong Ale] • ABV: 10.0% • IBUs: 44
This is a special one-time blend brewed specifically for the Holiday Ale Fest. Multiple re-brewed vintages of the annual Jewbelation anniversary ale were blended together to create a bold, unique and very special Strong Ale.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Doc Wort Snubbed Again!

Monday morning. Thought I'd check out the local Beer Blogs, and what do I find? Blog entries all about a Media tasting held for the Holiday Ale Festival! This is beginning to really piss me off! The Doc has run this blog for almost 4 years. Other local beer blogs have come and gone. I've provided annual positive advertising for the Holiday ale fest since 2007 and have provided readers with in depth reviews of Holiday Ale beers. I could of reviewed these preview beers and then reviewed even more at the fest! Nope! Instead local readers got to read Brainless sloven drivel reviews such as:

Coalition Lost Glove - This beer smacks you in the face with its dank aroma right from the start. I wasnt expecting the massive hop hit like you just packed a bowl. While its not an IPA it will please the hop lovers. It is also strong but not very sweet so you can drink a lot of it without getting sick of it. I predict many repeated mug fills.

Wow! Michael Jackson just rolled over in his grave!

The Holiday Ale Fest is just about the only fest the Doc still attends in NW. Sure I've had my bitches about the Holiday Ale Fest, but so has every other blogger. ;-}

I don't know what the other beer bloggers are doing to an invite, but the Doc doesn't dirty his knees for a few beer samples. :-0

Even though the Doc may not be able to attend some Media Tastings, it might be nice to at least be invited.

Feel free to send a message to the HAF Contacts to complain about the Docs unfair treatment.

BTW.... To show that I'm a bigger person than the Holiday Ale Festival wimps and whiners, I'll still be providing a review of HAF beers this year.

OH.... and $25 for the fest year??!! 10 tickets.... Your overhead much be going way up or those cheap plastic mugs have turned to crystal? AND!!!! Increased cost with less advertised beer? Where are all the limited release beers for 2010? I hear they exsist, but nothing on HAF web site. The fest is in a couple days..... are we posting a little late or just can't quite get our shit together? ;-}


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Application for EGO Stroking or Profit?

I love a gimmick! I love to watch the average Chump fall for the gimmick! Even though PT Barnum never really said the words, the words hold true everyday, "There's a sucker born every minute!"

Artifice

Part
of Speech:
noun

Definition: hoax; clever act

Synonyms: con, contrivance, device, dodge, expedient, gambit, gimmick, machination, maneuver, play, ploy, racket, ruse, savvy, scam*, stratagem, subterfuge, tactic, wile, scam, hustle, etc.


The Doc came across the this little ditty on Coalitions Breweries web site. A Home brewer program that allows home brewer to brew a beer on a pilot system and then possibly on 10 Barrel system... OK, I'll bite! What's the benefit to the home brewers other than brewing on different system? Bragging rights? "I have my beer on tap at a brewery!" Really? So what? Do we really have home brewers that are that naive and insecure?

Who's benefiting from this fiasco?

This appears more like a corporate scam to leach problem solving ideas from their employees! Management should come up with ideas and concepts to help company run smooth or profit, but in many corporations today they have set up UBT's. Anybody heard of this concept? Unit Based Teams. Make your employees solve your problems for free! Get a group of employees together and have them solve work related problems or search for profit making concepts. Sounds interesting? Have your employees come up the answers... at no extra cost! I always ask, "Why do we have Managers, Vice Presidents and the like?" Isn't this why they're paid the big money? To solve problems and come up with profitable ideas? If I'm going to solve a problem or create increased profit... where's my cash kudos? Don't give me Pin or pat on the back... This is business my friend!

Basically, where this may look like a reach out to the community of home brewers, isn't this nothing more than a UBT screw job. Someone comes up with the idea... Develop the concept with Brewer, uh, manager (or visa versa).... Company profits... Where's the monetary compensation? Is there any profit sharing on this beer? Is the home brewer paid if the beer is brewed into a 10 barrel batch? What if it becomes a standard production beer? Caveat emptor home brewers!!! They have a waiver for you to read and sign. I'm sure there's a reason.... To make sure to acquire no monetary valve or copyright of this beer.

Of course, if you have need for a little EGO stroking or Dick waving accomplishments like Winning a Blue Ribbon at the Local State Fair.... Go for it!

By the look of their standard beers, I'd say they can definitely use some help with some innovative and original beer recipes! ;-}

Here's their application for the Home brewer program:

Name: Dr. Spargamust Wort


Phone: 503 - UBL-OWME


Email: drwortsblog@gmail.com


Favorite Beer Style & Why:


Oh! It's like an interview for TEEN BEAT or TIGER Magazine! Wanna know my Astrological sign and favorite color too?


I don't have a favorite beer style. Why? Why limit yourself to only enjoying one style.


Favorite Flavor Attribute & Why:


Flavor? Beer flavor? Depends on the beer I want to brew! I'd say an IPA should have a pronounced complex hopping. A Stout should taste like a Stout... Chocolate and Roast. I have no favorite Flavor! I want malty beer beers to be complex and malty, but I want a Pilsner to have subtle and clean maltiness. Once again, it depends on the beer.


Favorite Style You Brew & Why:


WOW! Deja Vue! See above, ya putz!

3 Styles You Would Consider For The Coalator:


You tell me what kind of beer you want to make and I'll provide you with an idea. It's the "Consultant" concept. I'm doing this for you! I give you something, you give me something for it!


How Long Have You Been Brewing?


Longer than any brewer you have in house. Over 20 years.


If You Could Name A Beer It Would Be:


I've named many beers. Am I doing this for Money, if so.... It depends on the style of beer. Am I giving you a name for free? .....Blow Me Bock. Busta Nut Brown. Blond Belgian Bitch. Ball Breaker Bitter. Yet Another IPA. Porterish Stout. Ball Sweat Blond ale. Piece of Shit Pale Ale. Dancing Fairy raspberry ale. Limp Wristed Wheat.


How Do You Come To Conclusions:


With my brain! How did you come up with this stupid application?


Snickers Or Twix:


Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.... What the hell is the point to this question?


Baby Ruth... Little nutty, but has Caramel depth too. It's unconventional and not main stream. Is that what ya wanted, Junior?


Thoughts on Pellets:


They're OK for Bittering, but I prefer Whole or Plug hops for Aroma and Flavor. Wanna know why?

The First Time I Drank A Beer, I…:


.... thought it tasted like shit! It was an Olympia from the Northwest and I thought it tasted like stagnant water.


Is that it? Wanna know what kind of brewing systems I've used? Maybe interested in my knowledge of different brewing techniques I've used: Infusion, Step or Decoction? How long Ive been formulating my own recipes? Am I an All-Grain Brewer? What's my knowledge on Hop Backs, First Wort Hopping or even Hot Side Aeration? Do I prefer Forced carbonation vs. natural carbonating? Do I believe in micro filtering? So, many important questions have been ignored.


This is like a typical Psychological Profile interview. You guys know what that is?


Wanna bet I don't get an email back on my application?! I'm a highly innovative and experienced home brewer, who's done some work at the professional level! Want some new beers? Contract can be negotiated. Send me an email.



Cheers!


Doc Wort





Thanks for the info?!


Every year, the Doc gets excited reading the Beer Descriptions for the Holiday Ale Festival. Kind of the same way a child loves to read the Comic Strips! Just like the ongoing satire and irony found in most comics, The Holiday Ale Fest Beer descriptions have something in common.... They kind of look and sound like descriptions of reality, but not quite there. Either lacking in true definition or exaggerating the unaccomplished wishes of the brewer. Now, don't get the old Doc wrong! I find some of these beer descriptions to be on the button. Not many, but some. Other descriptions have no comparison to the real beer! That's where I have fun.... Trying to find the flavors profiles that are described vs. what I'm really tasting.

I'm really hoping we get all the beers on tap everyday.... This "Here now" and "Gone till some unannounced time later" is highly annoying! I've gone multiple days to the same fest and never got a chance to taste some beers after 3 days of visits. There's something majorly wrong with that. I understand supply and demand, but there needs to be better communication to the public. Maybe a board that states when certain beers will be on tap.... How about using the HAF web site to have a real time list of beers with a schedule of popular beer tap openings and closings?

In preview of the fest, I'm reading the current descriptions. Here is some of my concerns and critiques of the current descriptions. WHY? WHY not!

10 Barrel Brewing Company • Pray For Snow

Strong Ale [Strong Ale] • ABV: 7.6% • IBUs: 37
Dark copper in color with slight reddish hues and a light tan head, this beer features a big, malty aroma with a Munich character. A spicy noble hop aroma, medium-bodied mouthfeel, and German malt flavor profile with slight roasty notes lend a subtle toffee sweetness balanced with spicy hop bitterness and slight alcohol warming.

**Munich Character? I assume this means Munich Malt? If so, tell the public want Munich Malt tastes like! "German Malt profile?" What is a German malt profile? An Oktoberfest Malt profile? A Dopplebock Malt profile? An Alt malt profile? Helles? Or are we just saying it tastes like German Malts were used? What's the difference in flavor of German malts and American or British or Belgian or other? were German Malts used? Is this beer a Lager? DW


Alaskan Brewing Company • Alaskan Barley Wine (2008)

Barleywine [Strong Ale] • ABV: 10.4% • IBUs: 60
This 2008 vintage Alaskan Barley Wine is a full bodied ale, mahogany in color and brewed with an array of complementing malts. Multiple hop additions in the boil and dry hopping during fermentation provide contrast to the big malt character resulting in the smooth balance that distinguishes this specialty brew.


VAGUE, but they use the word Mahogany in color.... A Color Description ol' Jeff didn't know and used to mach me for using. DW


Bear Republic Brewing Company • Ebeweesner Scrooge

Blended Sour Ale [Sour Ale] • ABV: 6.5% • IBUs: 35
This barrel aged smoked sour ale is a blend of many barrels from the Bear Republic cellar, including Smoked Red Rocket and Black Do, which was then spiked with Bear Republic's own 'spank,' a wild open fermentation beer that is the source of Bear Republic’s sour power. If you like sour beers, this one is the first of its kind.


** No matter what you call this or describe it.... I want to try it!

Beer Valley Brewing Company • Ho Ho Ho Slapper

Strong Ale [Strong Ale] • ABV: 10.0% • IBUs: 50
This winter warmer is brewed with six different malts and a hint of zesty Pacific Northwest hops.

**Wow! That's just a whole lot of nothing for a description! Hell.. Lie to me and tell me Triple hopped and uses some exotic grains from Morraco! DW


Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery • Figgy Pudding, Olde Stock

Brandy Barrel-Aged Strong Ale [Strong Ale] • ABV: 11.0% • IBUs: 44
This haunting Strong Ale is brewed with English pale and specialty malts and molasses, then matured in freshly emptied brandy barrels and conditioned with mission figs. It's gently spiced with Ceylon cinnamon and whole nutmeg and further aged with English stock wild yeast.

** Not a description, but an ingredient list is good enough for me! I can at least use my tasting skills to see if I can find the ingredients! Listing ingredients is sometimes far better than a shitty description! DW


Boneyard Beer Company • Femme Fatale

Sour Ale [Sour Ale] • ABV: 6.5% • IBUs: 10
This Sour Ale has been fermented with raspberries and cranberries. It's medium bodied and red/brown in color, with a somewhat fruity nose.

** Ever notice, no one ever tries to describe the sourness beyond using the word "SOUR"? FUNNY! DW


Brasserie Dubuisson Freres • Scaldis Noel

Belgian Dark Strong Ale [Belgian Strong Ale] • ABV: 13%
Three different malts give Scaldis its complexity, including a caramel malt for a rich, amber color. This beer is dry, with a clean, nutty finish. The nose is characterized by sherry, caramel, and roasted filbert aromas, complemented by some floral, hoppy notes. The finish is long and warming, but remains in balance with the flavors.

*** This beer will cost 2 tickets for a sampler and just 6 tickets for a full mug. ***

** Believe it or not.... $6 for a mug Scaldis Noel is quite the bargain! DW


Breakside Brewery • Belge d'Hiver

Belgian Strong Ale [Belgian Ale] • ABV: 8.1% • IBUs: 55
Brewed using Belgian Pils malt, wit yeast, and an absurd amount of Continental hops, this light colored brew defies easy style categories and stakes out new territory in the brewing world. It's finished with a touch of secret holiday spices for additional complexity.

** Wow! This is a lot of gibber jabber! Not a lot of info... This guy should go into marketing! Tell us nothing, but make them want to buy it! BTW, Continental Hops are NOT HOPS per sec. Continental Hops refer to any Hops grow on the European Continent. I would NEVER expect the average beer guy to know this! This term is used more in Beer judging. This means this guy has knowledge of judging but chooses to dumb the description down to a marketing POS... Shame on you! DW





Fort George Brewery & Public House • North the Fourth

Strong Ale [Strong Ale] • ABV: 9.6% • IBUs: 80
This holiday delight was made with a two pounds of candy canes, 60 pounds of cranberries, and over 40 pounds of spruce tips. Chocolate, caramel and 2-row make up the malty profile, balanced out with US Challenger and Czech Saaz hops.

** This one kind of makes me laugh.... 2 lbs of Candy Canes? Why? Peppermint extract would give ya Pepermint and sugar can be added in any form. Spruce, Peppermint and Cranberry.... Hmmm..? DW



Holiday Ale • Moore Holiday Ale

Imperial Bohemian Pilsner [Pilsner] • ABV: 7.5% • IBUs: 32
This recreation of a past Collaborator beer - Moore Maibock - was resurrected specifically for the Festival. Saaz hops were used to grab your attention so you would notice the smooth Pilsner malts refreshing your palate.

** So... Is it a Maibock or a Pilsner? DW



Migration Brewery • Nor'Easter

Belgian Strong Ale [Belgian Ale] • ABV: 10.0% • IBUs: 30
This medium bodied, light copper colored Belgian Strong Ale is made with fresh New England maple syrup. The full palette of flavor is highlighted by a slight sweetness coupled with subtle smokey, woody undertones. Built on Belgian Pilsner, Munich, Biscuit and aromatic malts and rounded out with Noble hops, this beer is robust and delicious.

** Aromatic malts!! I;m assuming they mean Belgian Aromatic Malt.... which is a Munich Malt, but they already said Munich Malt.... Woody? Where's that come from? Barrel? Smokey? Drop a cigar in the mash? DW



This is taking way to much of my time.... While reviewing all these descriptions I find many misdirected descriptions; Vague twisted marketing verbiages; Poor ingredient descriptions and some that are just lists of ingredients. I think I prefer the list of ingredients! That way I can pick out out those ingredients within the beer and see how they work or don't work together. It may be better to just tell us what's in the beer, rather than giving the public a schlocky description that may or may not live up to the served product.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pilgrims - Pecker -Turkey!




I'll let you decide which one is the Pecker and which is the Turkey.... Pilgrims are obvious!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bailey's Belgian Fest


Caveat Emptor! This appears to be an OREGON brewed Belgian Beer Fest. The fest clearly advertises this point. Don't think you'll be getting any beers from Belgium. Just thought that was important to state up front.

Should be an interesting sampling of what Oregon Brewers are doing in the realm of brewing Belgian type beers. The Doc is unable to attend this little fest. Lets' hope we can all get some good beer reviews from other Bloggers. Something beyond single descriptions like: "That was tasty." " This was Stellar." " It was a big beer" "Chewy" "Belgiany." " Yeasty." "Hoppy and alcoholic".... wait that a two word description! ;-}

This SATURDAY, November 13 @ Bailey's Tap Room
4 Pm to Midnight

$15 for a glass and 5 tolkens. $1 per additional samples.

The list of beers so far:

10 Barrel Dubbel Woody Cabernet
A deep amber brown. Spicy and complex. Aged in Leonetti Cabernet Barrels for 8 months. 7.7% , 26 IBUs

Ambacht G++
Belgian Golden Strong Ale. Slightly darker and very smooth. 8%

Astoria Blueberry Lambic
165 pounds of blueberries and an additional 3.5 pounds added to each keg. Brettanomyces was added along with oak chips soaked in wine barrels and aged for five months.

Barley Brown’s Trappist Strong Ale
Crystal malts along with some Munich Bonlander, a touch of rye malt and flaked oats. Simcoe and Amarillo hops. 8%, 50 IBUs

Beetje Blonde Beetje
A blond ale with a twist. Clean pilsner base layered with a dash of Golding and Sterling hops. A dose of lambic blend and oak chips in the secondary adds a hint of funk. 5.8%

Bend Wicked Medicine
Belgian Strong Ale. Aroma teases of ripe banannas, sweet candy and warm spices.Tastes of sweet malt, dark Mexican sugar and an underlying spicy, cherry essence. 10.6%

Block 15 La Fermé de Demons (The Demon’s Farm)
Black Farmhouse Ale aged in bourbon, Oregon oak, and Pinot barrels with Brett. Blended with a touch of Oregon tart cherry. 8.8%, 31 IBUs

Caldera Vas Deferens Ale
Belgian-style Strong Ale brewed with blood orange zest, orange bitters, and dark Belgian candi sugar. 8.1%

Cascade Sour Bain de Brugge
This Belgian spiced porter has a rich porter flavor with soft, spiced undertones for a complex finish. Spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise and orange peel. Aged six months in Pinot Barrels.

Deschutes The Marooned Belgian
Namedfor some experimental hops which got marooned in the cooler due to their higher strength and color. This may just keep you stranded here longer than you predicted. 13.7%

Fort George ’08 North II
Grand Cru, aka Belgian-style barleywine. Canadian Pilsner Malt, Golden Promise from Scotland, Belgian Wit yeast, raw Hawaiian sugar, and oats from the mainland USA.

Laurelwood Tripel
Chad Kennedy brewed this beer exclusively for the fest. It is still fermenting, so we don’t have much additional info yet.

Lompoc ’08 Brewdolph
Belgian-style red ale features a malty and creamy body, boasts a mild fruitiness and a spicy clove character and has been aging in Port barrels for about 1.5 years. 7.6%

Lucky Lab Doggie Kong Sour Lychee Saison
Sour mash with about 20% of the grain bill. No hops. Lychee fruit added during fermentation to give just a hint of fruitiness to help balance the sour flavor. 6.4% ABV, 0 IBU

Oakshire Oak-aged Collaborative Evil ’09
Belgian Golden Strong Ale. Aged in an Oregon Pinot Noir barrel for 15 months. Mild vanilla notes blend with flavors of cinnamon and fruit. 9.5%

Roots Brune “O”
Belgian Brown brewed for the Cheers to Belgian Beers festival early this year. One of the few remaining kegs from the now defunct Roots Brewing.

Seven Brides Abbey Dubbel
A spicy nose and a complex fruity taste that lingers for some time. Full-malt taste, with deep, smooth flavors and almost no hop aroma.7.8%, 18 IBUs

Upright Barrel-Aged Seven
A batch of Seven that has been aging in two wine barrels since August 2009, one with Brett Lambicus and the other with Brett Clausennii. This is a blend of both.

Tis the Season to Cellar some Beer?




This post is based (largely!) on an article I read in Southern Draft Magazine many years ago, written by SARA DOERSAM.

Thanks Sara! I've tried to contact ya many times to no avail. I've gotten years of mileage out of your great article! DW

As Fall bleeds into Winter here in the North West, we are immersed into the COLD season. Cold weather brings out out warmer beers. Big, deep flavors and high in alcohol to warm the body kind of beers. While many of these beers can be enjoyed at time of purchase, many of these beauties can mature and morph into a new animal. The maturation process brings out new flavors and aroma; Sometimes drying out and smoothing out flavors.

Over the years, I've had many people ask me, "Can I cellar this beer?" or "Will this cellar well?" On the other hand, I've been a big advocate for Cellaring Young high alcohol beers. Just like a young Wine with lots of gloppy tannins, big beers fall into the same clumsy category at times.

Cellaring Beers not only dries out and rounds out the beers high points, but often morphs the malt and hops into a different realm. I have to note, Big Hopped Beers could morph the Hops into a gritty ratty almost rancid flavor. Some people enjoy this flavor, I do not. You've been warned! Big malty beers, like those made by Hair of the Dog or many Belgian Beers, age extremely well.

OK.... Here's some of Sara's suggestions and antidotes for cellaring.

MASS-PRODUCED BEERS of today are heat pasteurized and filtered, which extends their shelf-life but makes them unsuitable for laying down. While pasteurization and filtering stabilize beer and destroy bacteria that are potentially harmful to its flavor, these processes also prevent beer from improving with time. Vintage beers that are appropriate for laying down have not been through these stabilizing processes and, thus, exhibit a change in character over time.

Take, for example, Thomas Hardy's Ale, the quintessential beer for laying down. A bottle of the 1995 version tastes vastly different now, some 15 years after it was produced, than it did right off the bottling line.

Several chemical and physical changes, such as the effects of oxidation, fermentation, yeast and bacteria, as well as cellar temperature and exposure to light, play a role in the aging of beer. Certainly, you could try your hand at cellaring beers without any understanding of the effects of these factors, but you would probably also discover some years later, when tasting your vintage beers, that you wasted a lot of time and money on beers that have become undrinkable. While aging beers is always a crap shoot, the more you know and understand about the process, the more success you will have when cellaring your prize beers.

**This is a very important point! You need to have some yeast still in the bottle! If you look at the bottle of the bottle and you see NOTHING but the bottom of the bottle... No yeast... It's not going to cellar well. usually these beers will just dry out into nothingness. Don't waste your time! Check those Jubel and SN Celebration ales! See any Yeast on the bottom? Nope! Just drink and enjoy, it ain't getting any better! Drier, maybe, but we're going for greatness not dryness. DW

OXIDATION

Oxidation, or the exposure of beer to air, can have a detrimental effect on beer by imparting a sherry-like characteristic or what is sometimes described as "wet cardboard." In delicate beers such as light lagers, milds or Pilsners, the effects of oxidation can dominate the flavor and aroma, but in hearty beers like strong Scotch ales and Trappist ales, the vinous character can enhance the beers by adding flavor and complexity.

Beer enthusiasts have long debated what role bottle size plays in the maturation of beers. For example, how does the flavor of a vintage Belgian Scaldis Noel aged in a 25-centiliter bottle compare to the same beer aged in a 1.5-liter magnum bottle? In larger bottles, beer has less exposure to air in the head space relative to the total volume of beer, so the larger bottle reduces the risk of excessive oxidation. Nevertheless, while large bottles may be preferred for aging beer, given no other choice, I would not reject a beer well suited for aging just because it is in a small bottle.


YEAST AND FERMENTATION

When a beer is bottle-conditioned, meaning it is bottled with live yeast suspended in the beer, the beer continues to ferment in the bottle, all the while changing in character. As the yeast feeds on the residual sugars in the beer, the beer loses some of its body and becomes drier. Even after the yeast runs out of sugar to feed on, it contributes to beer's body, aroma and flavor profile. Still, it is not imperative that a beer be bottle-conditioned to be a good candidate for laying down. There are many beers and beer styles that improve with time despite a lack of live yeast munching away on sugar in the bottle.

**Note: If you plan to Cellar your beer. Try and find beers that are unfiltered and unrefrigerated! Grab these beers from a BOX from from the refrigerated cooler. The yeast becomes more dormant in the cooler compared to the chilled version. More viable yeast, better cellaring effect. DW

BACTERIAL EFFECTS

As a rule, bacterial infection is not a desirable characteristic in beers that are best drunk fresh. Indeed, bacterial contamination can dominate a beer, rendering it unpleasantly sour and virtually undrinkable. The sourness is usually derived from wild strains of yeast or bacteria that hop aboard the beer as it's being brewed or fermented and wreak havoc on the final product.

But some styles of Belgian beers are highly prized for their distinct sour or lactic character. In particular, Belgian lambic ales employ spontaneous fermentation induced by wild yeast, which is allowed, indeed invited, into the breweries' open fermentation vessels. So while most beer is fermented with cultured yeast strains, many Belgian ales are intentionally fermented with wild yeast strains and influenced by bacteria which impart that lactic character.

If you question how lactic or sour beers could possibly taste good, consider gourmet vinegars, some cheeses, sourdough bread or yogurt, all influenced by aging bacteria and appreciated by acquired tastes. Thus, in controlled conditions, that same sourness or lactic character can surely enhance some beers.

**ALCOHOL Content

As a rule of thumb, age beers that have 7% alcohol or more. Beers less than 7% don't usually mature well or dry out much quicker. DW


CELLARING CONDITIONS

The temperature in which beer is stored or even transported plays an important role in its character. Cold temperatures abate changes to beer during aging; therefore, to reduce the effects of time on most beers, keep it cold. But if your intent is to transmogrify your beer with age, it is important to allow it to mature at cellar temperatures ranging from 50-65 degrees F with little fluctuation.

At these temperatures, the yeast, particularly in bottle-conditioned beer, is warm enough that it can remain active. If conditions become too cold, the yeast may slow down or become altogether dormant, and if too hot, the yeast may die.

Likewise, it is important to store your beer in the dark. Light can interact with the hops in beer, causing your beer to become light struck or skunky. Beer that smells like skunk is never inviting nor desirable.

A FEW OTHER RULES OF AGING

From the moment beer is put into a container, it begins to deteriorate, but if a beer is bottle-conditioned, high in alcohol, heartily hopped, smoked or a combination of any of these conditions, the effects of time can enhance its character and flavor.

High-alcohol beers like barley wines, old ales and strong Scotch ales are not as susceptible to the negative effects of bacteria. It is more difficult to detect off flavors imparted by bacteria in a robust, strong beer than it is in a delicate beer that readily reveals the most minute of flaws.

Corked beers should be stored on their side, while crowned beers are best stored upright. As a rule, corked beers run a smaller risk than crowned beers of leaking at the seal. But corks can and often do impart a slightly musty, corky aroma and flavor to beers stored on their side, and I personally find that these factors contribute to a beer's complexity.

When opening bottle-conditioned or corked vintage beers, be sure to cover the top with a towel and aim it away from yourself and your quaffing companions. Enough pressure may have built up in the bottle to blast a screaming cork ricocheting throughout the room.

Try to ensure that your beers are in good condition when you purchase them for laying down. Usually, your best bet is to buy them from a reputable beer merchant, preferably in brown bottles. Ask your merchant if the beers you want to buy are good candidates for cellaring.

Imagine the delights and rewards a vertical tasting of several vintages of the same brand can offer. Yes, there will probably be some disappointments, but it will always be interesting and educational. Half of the fun of laying down beer is the quest to find the perfect beer for cellaring. The other half, of course, is tasting it at the optimum moment, but the hardest part is resisting the temptation to drink your vintage beers before their time.

SIDEBARS:

Rules of thumb when cellaring beer

  • Realize that laying down beer is like playing craps. There's no guarantee that each roll of the dice, nor each beer, will be a winner, so improve your chances of winning by stacking the odds in your favor.
  • Best bets for laying down are beers that are high in alcohol, bottle-conditioned, high in hops, smoked or a combination of the above.
  • Cellar your beers in a dark, cool place with temperatures ranging from 50-65 degrees F with minimal fluctuation or disruption.
  • Buy your beer from a reputable beer merchant to ensure that it's in good condition coming out of the gate.
  • Taste your beers periodically, and if you suspect any may be getting worse instead of better, drink them as soon as possible.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Far Far Away.... That's where I'd like to be

For some sick twisted individuals, the current weather condition is considered favorable: Sadomasochists, Social Deviates, Junkies, incestuous creatures with superfluous body parts, guys named Travis and Shane, Serial Killers and other psycho's who say out loud, 'I love the rain!' As I roll out of bed, I looked out the window and thought, 'Damn...Why did I think I could tolerate living with this weather?' Not even in the deep throws of winter and I curiously eyeball the serrated steak knife and my left wrist with a twisted smirk. Drizzly gloom and depressing darkness of winter is setting in! The temperatures are dropping into the 40's. What is there to look forward too? Going to work in this soggy shit and drivring home in the endless mire of coldness? No wonder the Northwest has the highest suicide rate in the nation. Not horrible in regard to temperature or snow, but just endless dreariness. Count Dracula should live on Pill Hill and fly down over the Zillion-dollar tram to nowhere!

Enough of that! Time to close your eyes..... and dream of locals you'd rather be. I like to shut my eyes and allow my brain to wander back to places I've traveled.......places I'd rather be.....

Back to California?
Naw!


California Beaches? Hmmmm?


vs. NW beaches!! Yikes!

AWAY! AWAY! AWAY from...

Local Weather!


Bicycles that are supposed to share the road but the local Government gives them more rights! These are like giant Bulls eye targets to me! Bowling anymore? Round em up and I'll knock em down!


....Useless Hipsters

...Kitschy Decor left over from generations gone by and that should have been bulldozed decades ago...


....Local White Trash... Never thought I would find White people that could be that stupid.....

NO NO NO!! Away! Far Far Far away!


Vienna!


Clear Blue Waters of the Caribbean!



Quaint old Cities like Salzberg!



Rainbow Bridge!


Lake Tahoe in the summer!


Visiting the beauty of an old Subway station in New York?



Hawaii!


Visiting the Oracle of Homers Odyssey in Delphi Greece.


Budapest

Lost on a Caribbean island



Capri Italy


Th Parthenon in Athens Greece...
yes it's on top of the Acropolis.... one that doesn't feature cheap steaks and scruffy naked women....
oh.oh oh... the pain....


Marienplatz in Old Munich


Pyramids of Giza at Dusk

Florida Keys

View from a hotel room at Las Brisas in Ixtapa Mexico

Paris at Night



Ahhh... I feel a little better...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holiday Ale Fest 2010 - Tap List!


Well.... It's finally here! The 2010 Holiday Ale Festival Tap List!

Remember.... The DOC had it first! :-O
(Oops! Ear for Beer had the list first.... but I was close!)

Descriptions are limited, but that may be a good thing! In the past, the descriptions haven't always matched the beer I've tasted. Of course, that could be due to the fact the beers are always served at Lager Temps... like 38'F. These low temps mute the subtle nuances of these complex ales. Many people have been bitching for years, these low temps are not doing any of these beers any justice; Unless the beer is so horrible, you DON'T want to taste the flavors and nuances.

Waiting to see the Limited Specialties!

Shaping up to be a great year of beer! Belgians, Blends, Sours and only a few SNORERS...... ;-}

These are big alcohol beers! The beers are served in 4 oz. tasters for a reason. It's supposed to a tasting festival, not drunken festival. Drink responsively! The life you save could be yours! Use designated drivers and public transportation!


  • 10 Barrel Brewing Co
    Pray For Snow Strong Ale
  • *** Prayer should stay in church, lets hope this beer doesn't! DW

  • Alameda Brewing Co
    Papa Noels Moonlight Reseve Strong Ale (Olde Ale)

  • Alaskan Brewing Co
    Alaskan Barley Wine ~ Vintage 2008 Strong Ale (Barley Wine)

  • Bear Republic Brewing Co
    Ebeweesner Scrooge Sour Ale
  • ** Hmmm.... Curious! DW

  • Beer Valley Brewing
    Ho Ho Ho Slapper Strong Ale
  • ***Is this a beer for Pimps? DW

  • Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery
    Figgy Pudding, Olde Stock Specialty Beer (Brandy Barrel Aged Strong Ale with Figs, Spices & Brettanomyces)
  • ** Intriguing! Brandy barrel and Figs sound like a wonderful combo! Can't wait for this one! DW

  • Boneyard Beer Company
    Femme Fatale Sour Ale ( sour red brown with raspberries and cranberries)
  • *** Curious what some of these SOUR ales are Soured with? Brett, Lacto, Pedio, etc.?? DW

  • Breakside Brewery
    Breakside Belge d'Hiver Strong Ale (Belgian-style Barley wine/Super saison)
  • ***Wow! Is this a Barleywine or Saison or a barleywine with Saison ingredients? Could be very interesting or a mess! Can't wait to try it! DW

  • BridgePort Brewing Co
    Old Knucklehead Strong Ale (Barley Wine)
  • **SNORE......... DW

  • Buckbean Brewing Co
    Very Noddy Lager Dark Lager (Imperial Schwarzbier)
  • ***Considering the quality of these Reno based beers, I may pass on this one! DW

  • Buckman Village Brewery
    TA Specialty Beer

  • Cascade Brewing
    Sang Noir Sour Ale (Bourbon Fruit Sour Red)
  • *** I was kind of hoping for more Bubonic Plague again! DW

  • Coalition Brewing
    Lost Glove Strong Ale

  • Collaborator
    Aegir's Cauldron Smoke-Flavored or Wood-Aged Beer (Barrel aged porter)
  • ***Smoke "FLAVORED?" That scares me! I have visions of liquid smoke! DW

  • Columbia River Brewing Co.
    Paddlers Porter Porter ( Chocolate - Vanilla Bean Baltic Porter )
  • *** Another Baltic Porter??? DW

  • Deschutes Brewery
    TBA Belgian Strong Ale

  • Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom
    tbd Dark Lager

  • Eel River Brewing Co
    2009 climax noel Specialty Beer (strong belgian hybrid)

  • Fifty Fifty Brewing Co
    Concentrated Evil Belgian Strong Ale (Strong Dark Belgian brewed with raisins, exotic sugars) ***Yum! Sounds interesting! Wonder what kind of sugars? DW

  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co
    Special Barrel Blend Strong Ale
  • *** Potential greatness! DW

  • Fort George Brewery and Public House
    North the Fourth Strong Ale
  • *** Malty Goodness or another HOP Bomb? DW

  • Gilgamesh Brewing
    Cranberry Saison Belgian and French Ale

  • Hazel Dell Brewpub
    Steins Chrismas Ale Specialty Beer (Dark Chrismas Ale)

  • Holiday Ale
    JIM 2010 Strong Ale (Strong Ale Blend)
  • **** Always a HAF favorite! Wonder if there are any past years editions and wonder if I'll get to taste those? DW

  • Holiday Ale
    Moore Holiday Ale Specialty Beer (Imperial Pilsner)

  • Hop Valley Brewing Co
    Festeroo Strong Ale (Old Ale)

  • Hopworks Urban Brewery
    TBD Strong Ale

  • Lagunitas Brewing Co
    Bourbon-Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout Stout (Russian Imperial Stout)

  • Laht Neppur Brewing Co
    To Be Determined Stout

  • Laurelwood Brewing Co
    Black Pepper Belgian Pale Ale Belgian Strong Ale
  • *** This is sounding like a groaner before I even let it past my lips! Maybe a chili pepper, but black pepper? Yuk! DW

  • Lompoc Brewing Co
    Franc'ly Brewdolph Belgian Strong Ale (Belgian Red)

  • Lucky Labrador Brewing
    Pavlov's Russian Imperial Strout Stout
  • ***I've had this beer before! If it's the Port Barrel version it's wonderful. If not aged in Port Barrel it's, meh! DW

  • McMenamins
    Parson Brown English Brown Ale (American Brown / Winter Warmer Hybrid)
  • *** Wow! An American Brown!! Really! Slow down there speedy, don't get crazy! DW

  • Migration Brewery
    Nor'Easter Belgian Strong Ale (Belgian Winter Speciality)

  • Natian Brewery
    Winter IPA India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • *** An IPA! REALLY! Can we please get through one season without the overplayed hits of the NW? I will definitely pass! I advise you to pass too! Send a message! Send them home with all these kegs! DW

  • New Belgium Brewing Co
    Lips Of Faith mix of kegs Strong Ale (Various beers)
  • ***Could be great! DW

  • Ninkasi Brewing Co
    Unconventional Stout (Imperial Stout with Lavendar , Taragon, and Heather)
  • *** Last years was horrible in my book, but I'll try it again! Spices were muddled and muddy last year! tasted like a Ricola Cough drop beer! DW

  • Oakshire Brewing
    Very Ill Tempered Gnome Strong Ale

  • Rock Bottom Brewery
    Blitzen Belgian Strong Ale (Belgian Style Tripple)
  • *** Again!!! Why? DW

  • Seven Brides Brewing
    Weezin-ator Specialty Beer (Doppelbock)
  • *** Sounds more like Doppel Weizen Bock, but lets not be picky about names and styles.... No one else cares! DW

  • Shmaltz Brewing Co.
    Jewbelation Blend Strong Ale
  • **** This was highly praised last year! DW

  • Southern Oregon Brewing Co
    Mrs. Claws Strong Ale

  • Stone Brewing Co
    Stone Smoked Porter W/ Vanilla Beans Porter (Spiced )

  • Three Creeks Brewing Co
    Rudolph's Imperial Red Strong Ale (Imperial Red)

  • Vertigo Brewing
    Special Chocolate Porter Porter (Chocolate Porter)
  • *** Uh, how many frickin Chocolate and spiced Porters do we really need? Just sampled their Apricot Blond and Chocolate Porter.... Apricot was lacking in everything and Chocolate Porter was a mediocre attempt. DW

  • Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
    Black Dynamite Specialty Beer (Lemon, Chocolate, Peppercorn, Baltic Porter)
  • *** Ah yes! Good ol Widmer, always one step behind the trend.... I'll pass! Who out there thinks Lemon and Chocolate sounds like a tasty combo???? I'd go for Cayenne and Chocolate! DW