January 28, 2015

Interesting Tidbits from Goose Island Barrel Warehouse Visit

While out in Chicago, I got to meet up with Eric Ponce, the Grand Poobah of the Barrel Program at Goose Island. For those of you who have not yet heard of Eric, you probably know of his work. Besides being responsible for the latest wave of barrels aged projects from GI, he has also worked at Alaskan Brewing, Crooked Stave, and Lost Abbey, where he played a big part in the Ultimate Box Set.

I was meeting with Eric to get some input on a barrel blending piece I’m working on for All About Beer, and thought I’d share a few interesting notes on some of their upcoming projects:

+Bourbon County Brand Stout  has been put in bourbon barrels that were used to age maple syrup. Before you totally lose it though, here some’s more deets:

*They only have three barrels, all from the same maple syrup company, but all different types of bourbons

*They’re unsure how this is going to turn out, this being the first time they’ve used these barrels, so he didn’t commit to there being a BCBS Maple. Said if it didn’t meet expectations, they might use it to blend into something else to add complexity

*If they do end up serving it “as is” it will probably just end up in kegs to be served at select events, since 3 barrels is not enough to make up a bottled variant.

+They’ve got quite a few sherry and port barrels filled with Bourbon County Brand Stout. The plan is for a Bourbon County Brand Sherry variant in the near future

+They’re working on a Rare Part Duex. For those of you who don’t recall, the first (and only) batch of Bourbon Country Brand Rare was their classic stout aged in 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle barrels. It was released back in 2010. This second batch actually manages to top that by using a combination of 32 year old (!) freshly-emptied Heaven Hill barrels. Yeah, I think my jaw is still on the floor.

+The warehouse is beyond gigantic and they’re doing their best to fill it. Instead of a once-a-year brew they’re now brewing it about 6 months a year, filling roughly 120 barrels every two weeks. Great news for us BCBS lovers. And while not yet, sometime in the semi-near future the warehouse will be open to the public for tours. I can tell you right now it’s one of the most delicious smelling places I’ve ever encountered.

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October 3, 2014

Thursday Night GABF Takeaways

It was a great first night for the Great American Beer Festival. I signed book for a spell in the Bookstore both and few people were crazy enough to step out of the land of ever-flowing beer into the book stop and chat with me. Here are a few of the things that stick in my mine about this year’s fest:

*The crowd seems even geekier this year. More beer discussion, more civilized, also more lines at the good breweries. This has slowly transformed back into a beer fest, versus a drunk fest. Jawesome.

*The only timed release I came across was for the Bruery’s Black Tuesday. It was at 7:29 and they said they anticipated doing it each night. Even though it requires some frantic running around the first hour ensure you get everything, I prefer it this way. I don’t like having to look at my watch all session.

*The Topplling Goliath Assassin was my beer of the night. Holy pajoles that is good. The TG guys were great as well.

*Lost Abbey had a longer line than I’ve ever seen at GABF. It still went incredibly fast though. 3 minutes or so tops.

*Almanac is still killing it. Just such impressive stuff across the board (though the Pumpkin Barleywine needs at least a year to mellow the booze a bit).

*Beachwood BBQ is my sleeper hit. OK, I know everyone has heard of them, but there was essentially no line, and every one of their beers was freakin fantastic.

*I suppose my real sleeper hit was Barley Browns. Small brewpub out of OR that bends hops to their will. Epic stuff, and really nice guys.

*There was an incredible amount of owners and/or brewers pouring beer. A real treat for geeks like myself. Additionally, the volunteers were very up on what they were pouring.

*Three Floyds apparently brought more than 3 growlers of beer this year as when I walked by 30 minutes in they were still pouring.

All I got for now. Here’s a couple of sweet pics. If you happen to be in tonight (Friday) swing into the bookstore from 6-6:30 to say hello

GABF 2014 Lost Abbey Line

GABF 2014 Lost Abbey Line

2014 GABF Book Sigining

MIrrela Amato (Beerology) and I signing books

 

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September 24, 2014

Gigantic Brewing & Wicked Weed GABF Pour Lists

And a couple more GABF pour lists that have trickled in…

Gigantic Brewing

  • Pipewrench – Ransom Old Tom Gin barrel aged IPA (Gold winner at 2014 World Beer Cup – Barrel Aged Category)
  • Most Premium Russian Imperial Stout
  • Too Much Coffee Man – Black Saison with Coava Coffee
  • Gigantic IPL – India Pale Lager
  • Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen

Wicked Weed Brewing

  • Freak Double IPA, 8% ABV
  • Tyrant Double Hopped Red Ale, 8.5% ABV
  • Ruffian Black IPA, 10% ABV
  • Serenity 100% Brett Saison, 5.5%
  • Oblivion Sour Red, 8.5%
  • Mampara, 9% ABV
  • Hopburgular, 6.5%
  • Coolcumber, 4.9 % ABV
  • Malice Wild Ale,
  • Mosaic Saison,  6.2%
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September 10, 2014

A Few More 2014 GABF Pour Lists…

Melvin Brewing (Thai Me Up Restaurant)

  • 2×4, Double IPA
  • 4×8, Triple IPA
  • Melvin, IPA
  • Ch,Ch,Ch Cherry Bomb, Fruit Ale
  • Ginger Ale, Imperial Red Ale

 

Almanac Beer Co

  • Golden Gate Gose
  • Cerise Sour Blond
  • Farmer’s Reserve Citrus
  • Heirloom Pumpkin
  • Dogpatch Strawberry

 

Boneyard Beer

  • RPM IPA, American-Style India Pale Ale, 7%
  • Bone-A-Fide Pale Ale, American-Style Pale Ale, 5.5%
  • Notorious Triple IPA, Imperial India Pale Ale, 11.5%
  • Armored Fist Cascadian Dark Ale, American-Style Black Ale, 10%
  • Bone Light ISA, Session Beer, 4%

 

Funky Buddha Brewery

  • No Crusts
  • Last Snow
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Nickolai Vorlauf Imperial Stout
  • Raspberry Berlinerweiss
  • Floridian Hefeweizen
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September 10, 2014

GABF 2104 Pour Lists

I’m working on my annual North Denver Tribune article on the can’t-miss breweries this year at the Great American Beer Festival. Decide to focus on some of the lesser known joints out there that I’ve been enjoying.

Here are some that I’ve gotten so far:

DC Brau Brewing

  •  The Penn Quarter Porter – Robust Porter – 5.5% abv
  •  The Tradition – Golden Ale – 5% abv
  •  The Citizen – Belgian Pale Ale – 7% abv
  •  El Hefe Speaks! – Traditional Hefeweizen – 5.3% abv
  •  On The Wings of Armageddon – Imperial IPA – 9.2% abv (yes, yes, yes)

 

Prairie Artisan Ales

  • Coolship Truck (Wild Ale collaboration with Evil Twin)
  • Tequila Barrel Branson (Branson is an imperial stout we do, this one aged in tequila barrels)
  • Rum Barrel Beer Wasteland (Beer Wasteland is a barley wine we’ve done.  This version is aged in rum barrels)
  • Funky Gold Mosaic (sour farmhouse ale dry-hopped with mosaic)
  • Ambassador Ale (English style brown)

 

Societe Brewing

  • The Harlot, 6.0% ABV Belgian Extra Ale
  • The Butcher, 9.8% ABV Imperial Stout
  • The Apprentice, 7.5% ABV American IPA with Amarillo and Simcoe hops
  • The Pupil, 7.5% ABV American IPA with Citra and Nelson Sauvin hops

 

Fat Heads Brewery

  • Head Hunter IPA
  • Hop Juju Imperial IPA
  • Bone Head Imperial Red
  • Trail Head Pale Ale
  • Battle Axe Baltic Porter
  • Black Knight Schwarzbier
  • Lagerfeuer Smoked Helles
  • One Night In Bangkok – This is and herb and spice beer made with citrus honey, Yuzu fruit, lemongrass, candied ginger, and kaffir lime leaf.
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