Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A fruit revelation

I can remember trying a Dogfish Head beer called Festina Peche a year or so ago, and really not understanding why a brewery would put out such a thing. It was thin in body, high in carbonation, and was the opposite of whatever I knew "real beer" to be at the time. Fast forward to September of 2008 (last night to be specific) and here I am opening a similar beer just to get it out of fridge. I refer to the Founders Rubaeus, a beer made with 5 (5!) separate additions of fresh raspberries during fermentation. It also happens that I am reading the Lambic section in "THE BREWMASTER'S TABLE:DISCOVERING THE PLEASURES OF REAL BEER WITH REAL FOOD" by Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery.
By coincidence, my super-hot girlfriend places a chunk of Trader Joe's chocolate next to me while I'm in the middle of sentence that reads something to the effect of "there is no better combination in this world than a raspberry lambic beer and chocolate." So there it was, and that is what I did... and the second this beer (not a Lambic, but similar) washed away that chocolate... I realized A.) why we have taste buds, and B.) exactly why this beer was created. End of story. Any fruit beer like this, raspberry, peach or otherwise, will AMAZE you when you try it with a hunk of chocolate.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sixpoint Beer Pairings at The Habitat

So glad to finally see The Habitat have a beer event! And what a great one to kick it off. The way this one worked, as you can see above, is that it was $20 for four 8oz. Sixpoint pours paired with four different small servings of food.

First up was Sweet Re-Action paired with Salted Plantain Chips. Wow, delicious stuff. Apparently this Re-Action is the original recipe before they first brewed Sweet Action. The plantains' saltiness lent the perfect partner to the sweet yet mildly hoppy Re-Action.

Next was the Belgian Rye-PA with Chorizo Sausage. This was originally supposed to be the Belgian IPA but the Sixpoint guys accidentally brought the wrong one. Not a problem though, it was still quite good. My only problem here was that the sausage was so spicy that it somewhat overpowered the taste of the beer. And the spiciness lingered a bit into the next pairing.

Then there was the Brownstone Ale with the Ropa Vieja Empanada. The empanada is tasty and makes for an interesting pairing with the brownstone. You can really taste the brown and maybe chocolate malt there. Mild yet detectable hops.

Finally it was the Carob Porter (also known as Black Market Porter) with a small chocolate cherry truffle. The Porter had notes of coffee and chocolate, perfectly complimented by the rich chocolate truffle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

12 Months. 12 Homebrews.

It's now been one year since we ten dudes started our homebrewing adventure. last night, we sampled one of every beer we've made to really get a sense of what we'd accomplished. It was surprising to realize that we have actually been brewing at a beer a month pace for 12 months. And even though not every brew turned out the way we wanted them to, it was still pretty awesome to see all of these laid out at once.

We all agreed that our very first beer, one brewed using a kit from Homebrew Heaven, was one of the best. Unfortunately, our purchase of a 55lb bag of Dry Malt Extract confined our latter brews to very similar tastes and textures. This of course leaves us with much room for improvement. Soon, we begin our attempts to brew with all grains rather than dry malt, and that should give us the ability to change up the flavors and styles more accurately.

And of course, Lucky Number 13 is already almost ready to go:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Summer? OVER

Yesterday was the first day where you could almost feel a chill in the air, so why not declare the summer officially over with a Oskar Blues Ten FIDY Imperial Stout? This is for sure one of the best imperial stouts out there, and for now I'll declare it the best I've ever had. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is right there too, but at least this we can get out hands on. Anyways, cheers to snow, freezing weather, and room temp Ten Fidy!