Always on the lookout for something new and unique, I stumbled on Haand Bryggeriet’s Dark Force, Imperial Double Wheat Stout at The Good Food Store. The name sounds impressive, and perhaps a little too much so. But no, this beer lives up to most of its name.Using a wheat and lots of dark roasted malts as well as the brewery’s house wheat yeast, the beer is light on body but little else. At 9 percent ABV and with 65 IBUs, this beer holds up so well to sweet desserts, like the chocolate and caramel crepes my wife and I enjoyed it with.Norwegians have had a long tradition of brewing, but craft breweries are brand new in that country. Haand Bryggeriet is not content to be a small local craft brewery though. There beers often are explorations of regional brews from Belgium, Germany and other famous beer regions. And Dark Force is an example of their willingness to explore new styles.Prost,GG
Check out America’s most remote brewery. Lang Creek Brewing Co. has some interesting things going on. If you can get there, do so. It’s well worth the trip.
Each is a great beer city with individual influences.
Denver, of course, has the Great American Beer Festival, while Seattle holds its own with such renowned breweries as Pike Brewing Co., and Portland, well, Portland has more breweries within its city limits than any other city on earth.
The reason for the post is that I have friends who travel to and from these great cities almost weekly. And they do so without the necessary knowledge about where to find great beer and bring it back to Missoula for me. Oh, sure, in Portland you can’t turn around without running into a brewery, but maybe you’ve been to all of them and want to try something new. You know who you are.
While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, I’ve put together a website or two I would check out before a visit to each city.
Denver: Realbeer’s travel guides are not always updated, but they usually contain the most notable breweries and beer stores in town. Realbeer’s City Guide helped me quite a bit when I was in Denver for the GABF last year.
Seattle: I can’t find a single beer resource blog for Seattle. I’m sure they are out there, and if you know of one, send it this way, but for now, all you need to know about great beer in Seattle can be found at the fabulously Flemish Brouwer’s Cafe and Bottleworks. The fellows who run these fine establishments know beer well, and besides featuring a fantastic selection of well-known and not-so-well-known Belgian beers, they keep just about everything noteworthy from Seattle and beyond available to their patrons.
Portland: There might be as many blogs about Portland beer as breweries within the city limits. Maybe more. But one I enjoy going back to for tips on new beers and new places to consume beer is the Portland Beer Blog. Another great beer resource for Portland is PortlandBeer.org, and, if you Google Portland and Beer, you can find any number of beer resources for your traveling pleasure.
If you’re going to Denver, Seattle or Portland, grab something new and unique and bring it back to Missoula. We’ll trade, drink it together, talk about it or otherwise create the modern Silk Road of the Great American Beer Culture.
Where Tim drinks Bitterroot Brewing Co.’s Saison and talks about the famous French farmhouse-style ale.
To steal a title from Big Sky’s beer education page, beer betty’s are the topic of today’s post.
Why? Well, women usually have a unique take on any given subject. I should know, my wife always has a different take on whatever subject we’re discussing.
We had some good friends in town this week. They are beer lovers like me, and we got down to the subject of how my wife learned to stop worrying and love beer. This having happened since we moved to Montana of course.
For my part, I learned that not all women simply think beer = carbs = fat thighs. In fact, my friend’s wife, we’ll call her Annette, likes motor-oil stouts as much as she likes a summertime Kolsch. Oh, she also likes sour beers of all things, so I had to put a lock on my beer cellar.
Turns out my wife’s palate is more sensitive than mine, something I’ve heard that is actually true of many women when compared to guys.
So, I’ve learned to trust my wife’s palate when it comes to tasting peculiarities and commonalities in our beer selection.
One of the things I love to do when it comes to finding out what women think about any one beer is to visit A Beer Sort of Blog, and Beer for Chicks. For one thing, A Beer Sort of Girl, being in the advertising industry, has some interesting insights into beer marketing. That and she’s really fun to read. And Christina Perozzi, the blogger behind Beer for Chicks, well, she’s just awesome. Her quest to educate the world about beer as a sommelier and beer writer is not only admirable, it’s working.
I guess the reason I’m writing this is because we, as guys, don’t include women in the beer conversation very often. And this is pretty bad because beer shouldn’t be sexist just as wine shouldn’t be snobby.
Take your girlfriend, wife, sister, mom, daughter (provided she’s 21) out for a beer or pour one with dinner and see just how much they have to contribute to the beer conversation. I guarantee it’s a lot more than you think.
Women are being marketed to more and more as the principle beer buyers in many households. This being the case, advertising is going to change, and brewers may start brewing more styles that accord to marketing research about womens’ tastes in beer.
I’m tired of sitting at a brewpub only to hear a woman ask the guy, “What kind of beer do you think I will like?” Every time that happens, he scans the list for the lightest thing available. Barring that, he inevitably orders her a hard lemonade or some such alcapop.
Given the same exposure and respect for her individual ability to taste beer, she should be able to enjoy a wider range of beers than he ever will. It’s no secret that women often branch out, while men tend to find a particular style and stick to it.
Turns out quite a bit more than just, “Could I have a shot with my beer?”
The 4th Annual Great American Distillers Festival is happening right now in Portland, Oregon, and one of the things you can do at this festival is attend a tasting of three modern American craft whiskeys and the beers that inspired them.
In another lifetime long ago, I worked as a bar tender and manager at McMenamin’s Thompson Public House and Boone’s Treasury. Now, McMenamin’s is one of the modern American distillers that made a whiskey based on their beer.
When they introduced Hogshead, way back when, we all thought it was a joke. Who would make whiskey when you’re so good at beer? And too be sure, the first few batches were better used for removing paint from old battleships.
But things improved and Hogshead was aged longer and started to taste better. I remember ordering one several years later with a Hammerhead, one of the company’s flagship beers. I was surprised by how good the whiskey was instead of just noting that it was drinkable.
And years later even, one of my favorite breweries, Rogue Brewing Co., produced a series of distilled drinks. They started with the staple whites, rum, vodka, gin, and later produced a whiskey based on their Dead Guy Ale. I also remember ordering one and being surprised at the taste and definite taste similarities to Dead Guy Ale.
All this to say that I’m really happy to see our craft brewers doing well and branching out into something as exciting as craft distilling.
I know there are those of you who think that breweries should stick to what they do best, but the similarities in producing beer and liquor make it easy for some breweries to add the stiff stuff to their product base. I see nothing wrong with it, and if learning to enjoy craft beer for all its nuance and historical meaning has any carryover to distilled beverages, well, that’s good too.
Hello everyone, I’d like to introduce you to Beaver Creek Brewing Co. from Wibaux, Montana. Chances are you might not get out to this brewery that often, but in case you’re in that part of the country, look them up, they’ve got an exciting lineup of new beers. But I’ll let Jim tell you about them.
Beers we plan to have on tap are:
1. Wibaux’s Gold-5.5%-lightly hopped made with some locally produced honey. What we call our “Bud Light Transformation Beer.”
2. Beaver Creek Pale Ale-6.6%-Refreshingly hoppy ale
3. Redheaded IPA -Rich red India Pale Ale with bold hop flavors
4. Paddlefish Stout-Made with dark roasted malts with a smooth espresso finish
We’ll have a 5th rotating beer someday!!!!!!! And root beer on tap. Hours are 4-8pm Thur-Sun
See you in Wibaux,
This article in the Denver Post highlights the desperation of the big breweries to catch the fast-growth craft beer industry. They are failing badly.
- Craft beer is a relationship between brewer and beer lover. Big breweries lost that relationship when they went after market share.
- Craft beer doesn’t skimp on flavor for production. Though some brewers filter their beer to prolong shelf life, most brew to exacting standards to preserve the taste and quality of their beer for conscientious beer drinkers.
- Craft beer drinkers like real choices, not one beer interpreted three ways.
- Craft beer often is real beer. It is a living organism not heat pasteurized and cold filtered. With apologies to Bayern, which produces lagered craft beers that go through a cold filtering. See the video here.
- Craft beer is a lifestyle, not an unrealistic beach volleyball scene with voluptuous women falling out of their bikinis.
- With the vast majority of the more than 4,000 breweries in this country being destination craft breweries, it won’t be as easy to dupe beer drinkers into believing the Miller Light Brewing Collection is anything other than Miller Light.
- Craft beer is local. Even regional microbreweries are pulling back to make sure their own backyard is covered. With so many small non-production craft breweries popping up, the landscape has changed to hyper local. There is nothing hyper local about Miller Light’s Brewing Collection.
- Craft beer is changing the way people think about drinking and eating. Beer is not just for chugging any more. Beer is now the hot item at fancy restaurants as sommeliers are constantly asked for a beer to match with food. Beer is food. Miller Light is not.
- Craft beer’s growth can be partially attributed to the education of the American palate. Once you go craft, you never go back. Though my best friend Jason has reverted to drinking PBR, I attribute that more to the fact that he’s an urban hipster and doesn’t want to hurt his image by drinking that bourgeoisie craft beer.
- There’s a new king in town, and its called craft beer. It is not one dominant brand, it is a nation of breweries as distinct as the geography and the humanity that define them.
A rose by any other name does not apply here. Cheap beer still is cheap beer, even if you call it craft style.
We all know things are changing rapidly out there. People are brewing 4,000-year-old Chinese beer recipes and putting lychee fruit in beer for cryin’ out loud. Because the beer world is changing as rapidly as the regular world, I feel as though I must adapt. I already do a lot of video on this site, but it’s always been meant to augment print coverage. I am a writer after all. But that is all changing. Video is the new E-mail, the new medium through which we connect. We don’t just sit behind a computer screen and type our clever screen name anymore, we post videos on YouTube, Facebook, Myspace and on and on. So, in light of this, I’m starting a new feature that may just become the blog some day. I’ll be posting a video of my ugly mug talking to you about beer at least once a week to start. The idea is that you’ll watch this, come up with some clever retort and post a response video. In this way, we can have a very informed and active conversation about beer face to face. OK, so it won’t be real time. Who cars, it’ll be funny at least.
Forgive the low audio on this first post. I was playing around with a new microphone, and I never did get the levels on right. So without further ado, here’s the new format:
I couldn’t go very long without including my homeland. Ukraine, with its vast wheat and barley fields is not only the breadbasket of Europe, it is a brewer’s paradise. It is also the place I watched the last Olympics. Every night of my internship at the Kyiv Post, we’d put the paper to bed and go down to the local bar, the Harry Lemon, and drink vodka or beer and watch the Ukrainian heroes in action.
Ukraine: Light lagers pretty much sum up beer in Ukraine, but the differences is the high quality of the beers. They may look light and feel a bit light on your tongue, but they pack a punch and are full of flavor. In Ukraine, you can partake of your favorite beverage anywhere, so there is much more public drinking of beer.
Oh, and the Ukrainians took home gold medals for team fencing today.