1001 Beers: Catch Up 2

1001 Beers: Troegs Troegenator, Brooklyn Local 1, & Anchor Our Special Ale

Again, this time of the year has me a little behind, but I have to get caught up and keep it that way. Though, maybe I should have thought about it from the get go that maybe a post for each beer is a little... whats the word I'm looking for... eh, screw it!

Beer Number 119: Troegs Troegenator
Troegenator is slightly bronze, a little less dark than a typical double bock. Its bill of Munich malts tend to produce a bit less licorice bite. Smooth and silky, the lager is a sneaky one, its sweetness balanced by Saaz and Hallertau hops and its alcohol well hidden. Because it's so easy to drink, this medal-winning beer has become the brewery's second biggest seller.

In this one I got a lot of crazy deliciousness. Cherries, plums, a bit of alcohol character, and a little must. Sweet malt and a touch of spice on the nose. Deep cherry flavors linger well into the finish and the sweetness is cut by a nice bitterness. Very complex but tasty.

Beer Number 120: Brooklyn Local 1
If you open a bottle of Local 1, you'll find yourself at the crossroads, where Brooklyn meets France, and beer meets wine. This uniquely styled ale is almost impossible to classify; it's refreshing and spicy, like a saison, yet its strength and yeast bite will remind you of a Belgian tripel.

This one was a big surprise. I did read about this beer in the book before, but I expected a not very good approach to the whole wine/beer mix thing... boy, was I wrong. It was very wine-like but delicious all the same. I like wine, so that is not why I thought it would be bad. Just the idea got me. Nice fruitiness to the nose, tangerines and sweet, a bit phenolic. You can really pick out the Belgian character and it finished dry. One I will go back to again. Maybe Number 2 will be just as fantastic.

Beer Number 121: Anchor Our Special Ale

I was up in Raleigh just having a few beer and found out about this awesome taco place not far from where I was. What really shocked me is they had some craft beer in their fridge. Apparently, this is not common.
Anchor's winter seasonal has an official name--Our Special Ale--but most people, including Anchor's employees, call it simply "Christmas Ale." First brewed in 1975, it was the first new U.S. holiday beer made in modern times, and remains one of the few that changes its recipe each year.
One fact about this beer is that the label changes every year as well. They contract different artist to draw the tree for them and boom! Label!

As you can see, I had this beer presented to me very fancily. But it was tasty nonetheless. Very big molasses flavor, full bodied, some slight spice. Not a bad year to try my very first one. I may pick up more of it while I am in San Francisco this week! I mean, why not? I have other Anchor beers to knock off as well!

880 Bottles Of Beer To Go!


Homebrew Advent Calendar: Day 2

Today we step into a new world! Completely different from the last and I am very much looking forward to it. A Gingerbread Stout. I had one before at White Street Brewing that was fantastic. Real quick, here are some notes from the brewer.
With the weather about to get cooler I was in the mood to try my hands at a Gingerbread Stout. The goal was to end up with a sweet stout, that had a full mouth feel and could provide a little warmth.
The recipe looks pretty involved, so I wonder how that will play out. Some basic stats about this beer,
Brew date: 9/22/2013 Kegged: 10/27/2013 OG 1.088 FG 1.032 ABV 7.38%
Lets get to the tasting!

So I may have been in the real of, I was not really paying attention/I didn't care because it's Quad Day and I poured it a little overly aggressive. My bad. I got a lot of sweet character on the nose that I am attributing to the lactose in this Sweet Stout. No hops, esters, or anything crazy but there was one aromatic that stood out above all else... Ginger!

Let me just say, I LOVE GINGER! So that did not bother me at all. I love how aggressive it was. Whether that was the brewers intention or not, fantastic move. I hate when a beer advertises a specific ingredient and you cannot find it at all. Even something as simple as "Bourbon Barrel Aged".

As you can see from the photo, the big fluffy tan head and the beer poured quite clear and deep brown. The first sensation you get while drinking this one is the ginger that is cut by a very roasty/bitter character. Sweet initially but then dries out and finishes slightly astringent, but I would say appropriately so. Creamy full body, perfect carbonation. A little chocolate malt characteristic in there as well. A nice warming character to round it all out.

I love this beer and glad it made the calendar. Might have been better on a cooler night, but the Advent Calendar Gods decided this would be the day.


Quad Day: Take 2

#QuadDay is back in full force this year! The Second Annual and celebrating one of the most bad ass of styles. There seems to be more interest in it this year and I even had people telling me that it is not a real holiday without an Untappd Badge. Well maybe that is the problem... You can't drink what you like without having someone tell you that you have to. That is why we have Quad Day. Glorious words from the Founder of this awesome day. And oh yeah, Happy Birthday Beer Drinker Rob!
Seriously, though, before you get too much into another "beer holiday," keep in mind that this one was invented to basically mock the other "corporate" type evangelistic ones. Just so you know, I don't really give a shit if you drink a Quad or any beer. I don't care if you post pictures or use the hash tag. Drink whatever you want. If you want, go ahead and curse at me in the comments. There will be no fanfare or prizes or badges (at least none I worked on setting up). There are no clubs. Let's just drink some delicious beer!
I got this Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 13 in a trade while trying to procure beers for 1001 Beers. He said, well the ones you asked for are fine but here is some real Texas Beer. Awesome. Just awesome.

I also thought that same thing about the beer. Up to light Divine Reserve 13 is a Deep Ruby born with a short lived, bubbly brown head Quad that also boast some amazing clarity. Dark fruits and a bit malty on the nose with a very warming alcohol sensation filling your nostrils, which comes at no surprise since it clocks in at 11%abv.

The body is a little thin but the maltiness, plums, a hint of cherry, some very awesome chocolaty notes, and residual sweetness work together fantastically. There is a bit of alcohol warmth keeping all those flavors in check and making me feel oh, so good. The alcohol does not really come through much in the flavor at all and it finishes quite dry. I think this is a great beer to show you just how big and bad a Quad can be. Glad this was my beer of choice this year.



Homebrew Advent Calendar: Day 1

Everyone that has heard me speak of The Homebrew Advent Calendar has been asking all sorts of questions even before I knew all the answers. The easiest thing I have found to tell them is, "Well, it is kind of like a chocolate advent calendar... kind of like my 12 Days Of Beermas, but this time with 24 (actually 25) beers, and instead of them all being commercial(again, like Beermas), they are all Homebrews!

Now, how might this work? Do I really have to brew 24 different beers to be able to enjoy one a day until Christmas? The beauty of this calendar, set up by Bull City Homebrew, is that I only had to contribute 1 beer to the calendar... well, 24 beers but you know what I mean. Totally takes out a lot of the work. Now that we have finally reached December 1st, it is time to enjoy the beers.

One thing I failed to mention, just like a true advent calendar, you do not know what you are going to get until you open up the door/bottle. Keeps you on your feet and it is a big surprise. More fun than blind pickups at the store. The guys at Bull City gave us two options of how to access the beer information. Everyday there is a thread posted to the forum we are using for the organization of this calendar. The thread contains all the information about the beer we are to be drinking on said day. The part that is up to you, do you want to read the description first? Or do you want to drink the beer first? Which did I choose? Well, it is easier to writ these post while looking at the description and tasting the beer. So that is the route I went.

The first beer is a Belgian Special Ale... Not my beer and not really sure what exactly that is, but I attributed it to the Belgian Pale Ale category. ~Shrugs~ The beer started around 1.060, finished 1.010 6.7%abv, used Wyeast 1214 which is a Belgian Abbey yeast and it had a fairly simple base recipe with only bittering hop additions. Notes from the brewer: The yeast should shine through with a nice red color and decent body for a winter version of a beer I've tried before.

Lets Dive In!!!

Right as I opened up this bottle esters filled the room. It had a very big banana aroma. There was a slight phenolic presence but it was very light and hard to come by. You could also pull out a light beady character but not much at all. No hop aroma as well. I thought the aroma was pretty one dimensional but, again, BIG! A short lived, creamy, very small white head formed on top but it dissipated just as fast as it came and a hazy copper color is what presented itself in front of me.

The very first, and most prevalent taste throughout the beer was a yeasty character. I don't mean like yeast flavors, I mean a big yeasty taste. Past that you get a slight toast in the background, no hop flavor, a bit on the maltier side of the spectrum, light phenols, and a bunch of banana esters. Working with the toasted flavors it was kind of like banana bread. I enjoyed that because I enjoy banana bread and also Wells Banana Bread. I thought I caught some light citrus flavors toward the finish but nothing distinguishable as the hop bitterness began to show its way through.

A slick, oily mouthfeel, very low carbonation level, a medium body with a dry finish but it proceeded to seem a bit astringent. Slight warmth in the finish as well, but at a very low level.

Overall, I thought there were some pretty strong characteristics that detracted from the overall experience of this beer, but it was not a bad beer to start the calendar out on. I thought the flavors seemed pretty one dimensional. The banana and bready characters is what stuck out the most, other than the yeast characteristic that held overhead. The astringency in the finish was also something that detracted from the overall experience.

I suggested, as well as a few others, to the brewer that he pitch a higher concentration of yeast/make a starter when brewing this again and maybe take another look at the base of the recipe. I am not sure much about the recipe, i.e. fermentation temperature, mash temp, etc, etc, but these are also issues that can possibly be looked at for various reasons in the recipe.

Anyway, Day 1 is down! 23/24 more to go! I wonder what else is in store!