Sunday, July 29, 2012

July Beer Dinner - Oskar Blues

Dennis and Gayle hosted the July Beer dinner and we focused on the beers from Oskar Blues. Gayle made some family favorites and the food was excellent – sausage that has specially prepared from a family recipe, cheese grit casserole, corn on the cob, carrot salad and strawberry rhubarb pie. Lori made guacamole and her salsa that is just fantastic for appetizers. Nicole and Tibor brought over chocolate chip cookies and a cherry cheesecake. Everything was excellent and all of the beers were fantastic. Tibor brought over some of his home made wine – a Gew├╝rztraminer that was very good. I had picked up beer earlier and Tibor picked up beer too – we had all that is currently canned by Oskar Blues. Oskar Blues is based in Lyons, CO and there are 7 different styles available in cans. Ten Fidy is brewed in the fall and luckily, I had some stashed away in the beer fridge. I wanted to age some and taste it as time passes.

We started off with Mama’s Little Yella Pils (5.2% ABV and 35 IBU) a Traditional Pilsner and Silver medal winner for Bohemian Style Pilsener at the 2011 GABF - Great American Beer Festival.

Next up was Dale’s Pale Ale (6.5% ABV and 65 IBU) an American Pale Ale.

Followed by Old Chub (8% ABV), a Scottish Ale and winner of the Bronze medal at the 2011 GABF - Great American Beer Festival.

G’Knight (8.7% ABV and 60 IBU) was formerly called Gordon Knight and is an Imperial Red / Double IPA.

Deviant Dale’s (8% ABV and 85 IBU), an IPA that took a sliver medal at the 2011 GABF – Great American Beer Festival.

Gubna (10% ABV and 100 IBU) an Imperial IPA

We ended the evening with Ten Fidy (10,5% ABV and 98 IBU), an Imperial Stout. I think the beer improved with aging and I was amazed with the balance and smoothness enhanced by a little aging.

The food and the beers were excellent. All of these beers are really good and I highly recommend anything made by Oskar Blues. We were split on the favorites for the evening. Gayle liked Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Dennis picked G’Knight, Tibor picked Deviant Dale’s, and I picked Ten Fidy. I always have something in my fridge that is brewed by Oskar Blues. We are planning to go tour the brewery in August and eat at the Tasty Weasel. Next beer dinner will be in September – just in time for Oktoberfest.

Oskar Blues -

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wookey Jack & Hop 15

We went to Parry’s the other day for dinner and I tried a couple of new beers. I am a “fan” of Firestone Walker and I had not tried Wookey Jack (8.5% ABV and 60 IBU) that is an unfiltered Black Rye IPA. I also tried Port Brewing’s Hop 15 (9.7% ABV and ?? IBU) that is a Double IPA. So, two beers with the IPA as the base or foundational style and I liked Wookey Jack the best. I thought Wookey Jack was very well-balanced and I liked the combination of Citra and Amarillo hops. I have used both these in home brews and they add great aroma and flavor to the beer. Hop 15 was a good beer and really focused on the hop bitterness, Wookey Jack was just preferable to my palate. I would have either of these again. 

Wookey Jack website description  – “Wookey Jack is our first foray into the dark outer world of black IPAs. Rich dark malts and spicy rye careen into bold citrus laden hops creating a new dimension in IPA flavor. This brew has been left unfiltered and unfined to retain all of its texture and character. At 60 IBUs, Wookey Jack is gnarly on the outside yet complex and refined on the inside.” 

Hop 15  website description – “Welcome to San Diego- Home to Hop Heads on every corner and THE best place in the world to live if you enjoy Humulus Lupulus and the smell of a well hopped beer. This is Southern California, it’s the place where Blind Pig started the Imperial IPA revolution and San Diego Brewers have continued to be at the forefront of its evolution. Today, fans of Double IPA come from every corner of the globe in search of many of the world’s best and most incredibly well hopped beers. It’s no secret that you can find many of them at Port Brewing as well. Like you, we love these beers and mostly we enjoy the happiness they bring us. First brewed in 2002 to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Pizza Port in Solana Beach, Hop 15 was imagined and designed by Tomme Arthur and Jeff Bagby as a celebration of 15 years of “Good Beer Brings Good Cheer.” Hop 15 has 15 different hop varieties added to the beer every 15 minutes. Over the years, Hop 15 has racked up numerous accolades. It has won two silver medals at the Great American Beer Festival. It also was named Alpha King in 2004 and 2008, and received a first place award at the Bistro Double IPA beer festival in Hayward, CA. Hop 15 remains won of the stickiest most resinous beers we have ever tasted and for that, we are thankful it is on tap at our brewery each and every day.

Firestone Walker -
Port Brewing - 
Parry’s Pizzeria and Bar -

Friday, July 20, 2012

Denver Beer Company

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to stop by my bike shop, Salvagetti, and was also able to get in a stop at the Denver Beer Company for a quick sampler. Denver Beer Company has been open for just under one year and they took a medal at the 2011 GABF for their Graham Cracker Porter. They were out of Graham Cracker Porter, but I tried a sampler of 4 different beers and they were really tasty.

Sample 1 – American IPA – an American India Pale Ale
Sample 2 – Belgo IPA – A Belgian India Pale Ale
Sample 3 – The Wilderness – Russian Imperial Stout
Sample 4 – The Wilderness aged in Wild Turkey Barrels

The Wilderness aged in Wild Turkey Barrels was my favorite and captured nice oaky and vanilla flavors from the barrel. The other beers were very good too and Denver Beer Co. has a great “vibe” to the place. The facility is in an old garage and the beer is brewed on site and then served at bar in the same facility. There was a large crowd and the garage doors were open to an outdoor sitting area. I will try more beers from Denver Beer Co., probably on my next trip to the bike shop.

Denver Beer Company -
Salvagetti -

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New Belgium Tap Takeover at Parry’s

On Saturday, the family went to Parry’s Pizzeria and Bar for lunch and for me to sample a couple of beers from New Belgium that I had not tried before. We arrived shortly after 1 pm and I ordered the New Belgium / Lost Abbey Collaboration – Brett Beer (7.5% ABV), a beer with Brettanomyces, and the waitress informed us that they had just tapped a keg of La Folie (6% ABV and 18 IBU), a sour brown beer, and it was already half consumed – in 10 minutes. So I placed an order for La Folie as well. For lunch Lori and I ordered the Greek salad and Fried Mozzarella – both were excellent and went well with the beers. I enjoyed both of these beers and La Folie was my favorite – I had been looking forward to trying this one for some time. I really enjoyed the sour beer and I will try more sours in the future.

Note - Photo from the Parry's Facebook Page.

La Folie (Left) and Lost Abbey / New Belgium Collaboration Brett Beer (Right)

Last weekend when we were at Parry’s, I tried Black Fox – Debut (6.6% ABV) a Saison or Farmhouse-style Ale that was quite tasty. Black Fox is a new brewer based in Colorado Springs that is transitioning from a “contract” brewer to a new brewery. If their other Saisons are as tasty as Debut, I’ll look forward to sampling more from Black Fox.

The next tap takeover will be Dogfish Head on the 28th and I am looking forward to it.

Parry’s Pizzeria and Bar -

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stone – Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA

I watched a recent podcast review of Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA (10.8% ABV and 110) that was very positive and I just had to locate it and try it.  Whenever I see something new or a special release from Stone, I try to obtain some.  I picked up a couple of bottles at a local shop and promptly sampled one.

American Double / Imperial IPA - – BeerAdvocate

Appearance – Copper and perfectly clear with great carbonation that poured with a three-finger head that stayed around for some time.
Aroma – Hops and glorious hops – citrus, grapefruit, pine, and perhaps a touch of tropical fruit (mango / orange).
Taste – Excellent – if you like hops you will like Ruination 10th Anniversary.  You get just a touch of sweetness, but the hops are focus.  You get tastes similar to the aroma.
OverallA+ - Ruination is called Ruination because your palate is “ruined” after trying it and this is a good thing.  Ruination is a very good beer and Stone made it even better with the special 10th anniversary edition.  If you like hops and IPAs, try to find Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA – it is a real treat. Hopefully, you are worthy – to borrow a phrase from Stone. 
Website description – "Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA was created as an homage to the almighty hop. As the celebrated Stone Ruination IPA approached its 10th birthday this June, we knew we had to do something special, so we cranked it up from 7.7% to 10.8% and used twice as much hops–a whopping 5 pounds per barrel, including a pound each of Citra and Centennial in the dry hop. The results were GLORIOUS, but don't take our word for it. The only people more bitter than those who don't get any... will be those who do."

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Beer Dinner – Pizza & Amber Ales

Nicole, Tibor and Dennis came over for a evening of amber ales and tasty food.  For the menu, Dennis brought over a fresh fruit tray for an appetizer, we made grilled pizzas, and Nicole and Tibor brought over Watergate Salad and 7 Layer Cookie Bars.  Everything was very good and the Amber Ales went well with everything.  I served two homebrewed Amber Ales – Peregrine and Citra Ace.  There was a split decision on these two and I will probably end up entering both into competitions.  We choose Widmer’s Drop Top Amber Ale as the best of the evening – all were good – Drop Top is a bit sweeter and went with the food very well.
For the commercial beers we sampled the following:
North Coast – Red Seal (5.5% ABV and 42 IBU)
Odell – Levity Amber Ale (5.1% ABV and 24 IBU)
Widmer – Drop Top Amber Ale (5.3% ABV and 18 IBU)
Alaskan – Amber (5.3% ABV and 18 IBU)
Full Sail – Amber (5.5% ABV and 31 IBU)
Red Seal -
Levity -

1 12-ounce bottle or can brown ale, room temperature (I used an Amber Ale)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons instant yeast
21/2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
11/2 teaspoons salt

Whisk together the ale, oil and yeast in a medium bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pulse together bread flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal and salt in a food processor fitted with a dough blade. With the motor running, add the ale mixture to the food processor. Pulse until the dough comes together, then process for 30 seconds. (You can also use a stand mixer or make the dough by hand. If using a stand mixer, mix the dough for 4-5 minutes with a dough hook; by hand, knead the dough about 10 minutes.) The dough should be smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

1. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Very generously coat a pizza peel, unrimmed baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal. Gather your pizza toppings together and put on a baking sheet or plate for easy transport. You’ll also want a large metal spatula or tongs. 2.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut dough in half (or desired size). Roll and stretch one piece of dough into desired size and shape and transfer to the prepared peel or baking sheet. Head out to the grill.
3. Clean the grate of your grill. Using a single, quick motion, transfer the dough to the grill. Top with sauce and desired toppings; close the grill top. Grill the pizza until the underside is brown and crispy and the cheese is melted, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to the peel or baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and toppings.