Here’s the latest offering from Glacier Brewing Company. I wonder if the fact that there is no art work says something about the name or if the name says something about the fact that there is no art work?
Well, tomorrow is THE day.
We will be releasing the bald beaver into its native habitat: our tasting room!
This big beer will be served in nine-ounce snifters and is intended to be warmed and sipped.
This beer packs a very large punch so PLEASE treat it with respect. You know how a bald beaver can be!
Summer time and hefeweizen on the deck of your favorite brewery or restaurant go hand in hand, and it’s great to see places like Caffe Dolce in Missoula serving beers like Pinkus Organic Hefeweizen. The German hefe’s are a unique breed when compared to the American-style hefe’s that most of us are used to. And so drinking a Pinkus might be a interesting experience if you haven’t had a real German hefe before.
This beer pours up lighter than the orang-y American-style hefe’s and could look almost faded or pale yellow. And the nose and flavor are decidedly different from the American varieties. This particular hefeweizen is very light on flavor, but it exhibits a lot of juicy fruit gum flavors as well as banana, but it’s not as yeasty as some other German hefeweizens.
The biggest characteristic of this particular German hefe is the fact that it finishes very dry even though it initially exhibits some grainy sweetness and breadiness. This characteristic makes this one of the best food beers you’ll find in the hefeweizen category. Like a dry, spicy white wine, this hefe would pair nicely with lighter meats and especially fish or seafood.
One of summer’s most sincere pleasures is sitting outside under a yellow umbrella and sipping on something cool and refreshing. If it were me, that would be a tasty beer from some far off land or something fresh and brewed close by.
Luckily in Missoula we have several such places. Last night I decided to peruse the beer menu over at Caffe Dolce. While there are a lot of lighter, summer-style beers available in cans and bottle there, I decided to try a Faro from Lindemans in Belgium. I felt like something a bit wild, and this beer seemed like the perfect choice. And it was good, though a bit on the sweet side for my tastes.
I like my wild, sour beers to be a bit more bold on the wild and sour sides and not so much on the sweet sides. But, I will say that this beer, which has a good sour edge to it without being vinegar or too whiney, would be a great beer for those who aren’t quite up to the level of drinking the big Belgian sours.
The sweet quality of this beer tends to temper down the sour, rather than the other way around, and I find this a bit too cloying. However, I totally see the potential in this beer for a dessert pairing. The sweet forward nature of the beer would pair well with desserts that are not too decadent or rich, but with desserts that have a bit of delicacy to them. Perhaps a fruit tart rather than a cheese cake.
Faro is a blended Lambic that has been chaptalized to increase the alcohol content. You’ll find this beer at Cafe Dolce, and I’m told it has been spotted at Worden’s Market.
Now that the sun is finally out and about in Missoula, the Kettlehouse Brewing Company Northside location has a back deck area that is open for the enjoyment of a beer outside. They don’t have any furniture yet, so come prepared to stand and don’t forget to wear sunscreen.
Courtesy of beer buddy Cory, it seems New Holland Brewing has produced a whiskey distilled from a dry hopped India Pale Ale. The resulting liquor, according to this article in the Sacramento Bee, puts is somewhere between un-aged whiskey and the floral, citrus-like flavors of tequilla.
Having thought long and hard about distilling down different beers, I really like the idea of creating a whiskey from dry hopped IPA. It’s genius, really. The intense floral characteristics would have been preserved with the right kind of distilling, kind of like with distilling perfume. And some IPAs smell so darn good, it’s not difficult to believe this would be an amazing whiskey, like nothing people have tried before.
That a brewery came up with this is not difficult to believe at all. The list of breweries distilling their own liquor is growing, and I have nothing but respect for those that do. It’s a great way to diversify and offer up something that can be done with barely any conversion of a brewery’s current equipment.
That they use Centennial hops is even better. They are my favorite aromatic hop, their scent invoking the fields around my hometown in Oregon.
Would love to hear from any readers who are able to get their hands on this product. We don’t currently have it in Montana, but it would certainly be fun to see a video review or a print review of this.
A reincarnation of last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Weekend at Bernie’s is a slightly hoppier version of that traditional Czech-style Pils, according to head brewer Matt Long, who said the biggest difference in this year’s version is the use of Weyermann Pilsner Malt as opposed to the Breiss IdaPils they used last year. Besides being a great movie, the tap handle has a dead guy on it, which makes it my second favorite Dead Guy tap handle of all time.
I walked into Big Sky Brewing Company the other day with the intention of trying some more of their delicious Saison, but I heard a bunch of people murmuring about the new Pilsner. More than one guy was gushing over the new light beer with a ton of flavor and good hops, so I had myself a sampler, and I was quickly engaged by the Noble presence of spice and earthiness typical of the Bohemian-style Pilsners. In this case, Long tells me they used all German Hallertau Tradition.
Very light with a nice grainy body, this beer seems at first to be your typical Pilsner, but it quickly reveals itself as a hoppier, more robust version of the European favorite. As always, this beer is fantastic with brats, smoked pork chops, grilled chicken and big salads with complex ingredients. The higher hop content makes it stand up a little more to lighter foods, but this is a very drinkable Pilsner. All the more since it’s as fresh as can be.
As with all specialty beers from Big Sky, you better get in and get yourself some soon, because it will be gone before you know it.
Is it just me, or does this Saison have a slight hint of gasoline on the nose? I said, before turning around to look at the three large gas cans behind me.
Relegated to the garage so we wouldn’t wake up the babies, six guys sat around a brew pot and sipped on some really nice beers last night. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything about them. Mostly because I broke all the rules of beer tasting.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for hanging out in the garage with gas cans and smoking cigars and drinking some beer, but if you’re trying to taste through a style or educate your palate, you might want to do it a little differently.
What are the rules of beer tasting?
Strong smells tend to overwhelm a delicate palate, and even though beer flavors are often much bolder than wine flavors, you have to work pretty hard to pick up the light flavors and smells. Try to hold testings in neutral areas that won’t be subject to strong smells, and don’t ever wear perfume or cologne.
Hoppy beers will destroy your palate in a hurry, so tasting less and moving them to the end of the line will help your tasting experience. Also, try not to go back and forth between light and dark beers or many different categories. You’ll end up getting a muddled palate.
Try using wine glasses instead of pint glass, as you’ll get a better idea of the beer’s nose. And while it’s perfectly acceptable to spit out your beer to avoid ruining your palate, it’s likely that you won’t. So, try giving smaller pours than you’d normally give yourself.
The last thing to remember is to pace yourself and take some time with each beer. You can’t really get to know a beer with just a few sniffs and a sip or two. You need to ponder it and talk through the tasting notes with your friends.
I used to walk around the concourse at Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium during Dynamo Kyiv soccer games thinking about how lucky I was to be doing my initial journalism internship in a country on the brink of revolution. It’s every reporter’s dream. At least it is for those reporters who got into this to be foreign correspondents. A ticket to the Ukrainian Premier League games was fairly affordable, so I’d buy a bag of blackened sunflower seeds and sit up on the wall of the stadium watching during the late summer of 2004.
After the match, I’d usually meet up with the mixture of journalists, politicians, pundits, bloggers and foreign embassy staff for a stroll through Kyiv. We’d stop at the little roadside kiosks and purchase any cold beer we could find. We’d usually get a few bottles of the Slavutych and walk two or three miles to find a small Ukrainian-style eatery. Sometimes we’d opt for Georgian food in the trendy neighborhoods popping up around the city center.
Beer, politics, football, art, social networking face to face, I cannot think of a more idyllic time in my life. The memories sustain me to this day.
Even in the midst of the chaos of the upcoming national elections, there was an optimism and a calm that ran down the heart of the city like the central metro line. The football matches were almost serene, a far cry from the boisterous English Premier League events where paddy wagons are parked outside to haul away dozens and dozens of rowdy fans at a time.
I missed out on seeing the amazing Andriy Shevchenko, the 2004 European Footballer of the Year, who was by then playing for Serie A Milan, but his legend lived on in Kyiv that summer. On a side note, he’s now back with Dynamo Kyiv, and I look forward to seeing Sheva, as the fans call him, lead Ukraine to a 2012 European Championship.
The thunderstorm that hit in late August was the most violent display I’d ever seen. The green sky reminded me of warnings I’d heard about tornadoes forming, and the thunderclaps were so loud they rattled the glass in our building. I refused to take the elevator, having been stuck in and old Soviet-style elevator for four hours a few weeks before.
We took the subway into the heart of town headed for Olimpiysky National Sports Complex, where the Ukrainian National Team was preparing to play a friendly against arch rival Turkey. There is no love lost between the country of the Cossacks and the homeland of the Tatars, or Turkic raiders.
My companions and I grabbed a couple Obolons, a lesser beer than the Slavutych, but we were parched and tired of dodging the sudden down pours that would flood intersections in seconds. By the time we reached the stadium, my clothes were absolutely soaked, and I had to stop at a restaurant to ring them out in the sink.
I was shocked to walk into the stadium and find the mood much less bright than at the Dynamo Kyiv matches, those sunny, lazy Saturdays a distant blur in the cold, hard concrete of the Olympic stadium. There were guards everywhere, steel-eyed military types with huge machine guns lined every walk way, and this caused us to keep our conversation quiet and to a minimum.
We bought our blackened sunflower seeds and walked to our seats at midfield and about halfway up the deck from the field. We wouldn’t move again the entire match. A line of soldiers bearing heavy duty weaponry extended from the field to the top of the stadium, and at least 300 police officers lined the inside of the pitch looking back at the crowd. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so trapped in such a large stadium in my entire life.
I don’t even remember the score of the game, just that Ukraine went on to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, where they made it to the quarter finals. The difference between the attitude of the easy going Saturday games at Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium and this International Friendly was amazing. More than 100,000 people filled the stadium that day, and it took us nearly five hours to get home through the crowded streets of Kyiv.
A cold Slavutych or two definitely made the commute easier especially since enjoying your beer while walking around town or riding the subway was perfectly acceptable, but I had never realized the almost frenzied nature of football fans when they take the world stage, and my thoughts on the ride home were about football, guns and beer.
I can imagine there is some of that and more going on in South Africa right now.
I don’t know if it’s like a prayer, but Russian River’s Supplication could be a religious experience
I love wild, sour ales. I can’t stress that enough. I’ve been holding onto bottle of Russian River Brewing Company’s Supplication since Christmas, waiting for the right opportunity to sip on it with a good friend. That day arrived when some dear friends stopped over on their way moving from Madison, Wisconsin, to Tacoma, Washington. After a hot afternoon of walking around Missoula, we retired to the dining room, each with a glass of Supplication to discuss work, family, the future and beer, among other topics.
Classed as an American wild ale, Supplication is a brown ale aged in French oak Pinot Noir barrels with three strains of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus as well as sour cherries. Picking flavors out of this mix is almost overwhelming, but the big sour at the center of this beer is a good place to start. The nose is actually fairly light and fruity with an almost delicate effervescence. Some hints of Jolly Rancher fruit candy are evident, while a hint of something like rain forest vegetation is evident just under the pink fruitiness. It’s not quite dank like mushrooms, but it has a rain-smothered vegetation quality to it.
The taste is almost overwhelmingly sour at first, but it gives way to something bright and complex. I’d be inclined to attribute this to the Pinot Noir barrel aging, but I don’t have any way to quantify how much of that comes through.
My drinking companion commented that the beer was actually light and refreshing for a warm day. I had to agree, but part of me thinks we may have enjoyed the beer a little colder than it should’ve been served. Waiting for my beer to warm up a bit took some patience, but that was when I was able to discern the more complex elements of the beer. The wood didn’t come through as much as I would’ve thought, but some of that structure and complexity must surely come from the wood.
When warmed, the brown ale comes through more, and I have to say this is one of the more enjoyable Belgian styles that I’ve enjoyed. I’ve not always been a big fan of brown ales, Belgian or otherwise, but this seems to hold the fruit so well.
If not a prayer itself, I’ll likely practice a little supplication in hopes of finding another bottle of this soon. I purchased this one at John’s Market in Portland, Oregon.