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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lagunitas Hop Stoopid (Presidential Brief)

What: Lagunitas Hop Stoopid.
Where: The Pour House, Westmont, NJ.
When: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011.
What-have-you: Described as an American Double/Imperial IPA, the hops ring out at first then vanish into that full-bodied Lagunitas earthiness. They have a honey thing going on, and Hop Stoopid keeps it rolling. Oh wait. Here come the hops again. Grapefruity and crisp with a lingering bitterness that's just... well, stoopid.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The PHILLY CRAFT BEER FEST returns to the Navy Yard on March 5, 2011—another sold out event is expected

From Phillycraftbeerfest.com:

Back for the 5th year in a row, the PHILLY CRAFT BEER FEST is a true craft beer tasting event featuring an incredible variety of beers from some of the best craft brewers in the country.The Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at the Navy Yard is the perfect venue for this tasting event. Located at 5100 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19112, it is easily accessible by SEPTA and offers free on-site parking. Complimentary shuttle bus service will be provided for festival attendees from the Broad & Pattison SEPTA station to the event. The Navy Yard is located about 100 yards off exits from 95 or 76.

See you there! 

Check out some images from 2009's Craft Beer Festival

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brewers Association Predicts Record-Breaking Participation in 2011 American Craft Beer Week

From CraftBeer.com:

Nationwide Toast to the Craft Beer Community: May 16-22, 2011

Boulder, CO • Feb 22, 2011-Cheers. Salud. Prost.L'Chaim. The Brewers Association-the national non-profit association representing the majority of today's U.S. breweries, and publishers ofCraftBeer.com-will celebrate American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) May 16-22, with local events held nationwide. 
Considered The Mother of All Beer Weeks, ACBW recognizes one of America's true culinary arts and provides a platform for small and independent craft brewers to salute supporters and connect with their local communities. Thousands of today's beer enthusiasts, beginners and hard core geeks will toast craft beer, with ACBW events predicted to take place in all 50 states.
"American Craft Beer Week is an annual celebration of these historic beer times and the amazing community citizenship of craft brewers," said Julia Herz, a spokesperson for the Brewers Association. "With an emphasis to savor the flavor responsibly and the resurgence of a rich brewing culture here in the U.S., the week is a chance to highlight and recognize the incredible contributions of America's craft brewers."
There are close to 30 local beer weeks/beer months in the U.S. annually, each with its own identity and organizer. Established in 2006, ACBW builds on these local celebrations and is the largest national effort focusing solely on American craft brewers. Economically, small and independent U.S. craft brewers contribute an estimated 100,000 jobs, accounting for $3 billon annually in wages and benefits.
In 2010, ACBW logged 341 participating breweries that hosted 621 events with recognition at multiple retailers in 45 states. In addition, U.S. Congress passed House Resolution 1297 to support the goals and ideals of ACBW and recognize the significant contributions of craft brewers to the economy.
Throughout the week, a variety of events will be hosted by craft brewers and beer retailers across the country. Mirroring the diverse styles and brands of the industry, events include charity fundraisers, new beer releases, brewery openings, festivals, unique craft beer dinners and special brewery tours. Additionally, participating breweries will once again encourage beer enthusiasts to sign the Declaration of Beer Independence, an official document to support America's small and independent craft brewers.
For an ever-expanding list of events visit the official calendar on CraftBeer.com.

2011 ACBW registered celebrations to date:

Augusta Brewing Company, Augusta, GA: BBQ food pairings and a special release craft beer.
Kreuz Creek Brewing Co., Sugar Land, TX: Limited release tastings, extended tour hours, discounted merchandise, and a Wranger National Patriot Fundraiser.
Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Warren, MI: Free personal pizza giveaway for patrons who tape their signed Declaration of Beer Independence to the pub wall.
Intuition Ale Works, Jacksonville, FL: Will celebrate American Craft Beer Week at the Jacksonville Craft and Import Beer Festival on May 20.
Mountaineer Brewing Company, Martinsburg, WV: There will be daily brewery tours and on Saturday May 21, an open house with live music and a motorcycle stuntman.
Omaha Beer Festival, Omaha, NE: The largest craft beer festival in Nebraska, will include craft beer tastings, beer-related seminars, beer and food pairings, a comparative beer glass seminar, and live entertainment/local food vendors on-site.
Rogue Ales, Newport, OR: To benefit dog charities in Oregon, Brewer's Memorial Ale Fest will include over 30 microbreweries, live music, doggy musical chairs, dog wash, dog dancing, and celebrity dog look-alikes.
WEBSITE: CraftBeer.com


Andy Sparhawk, Craft Beer Program Coordinator
303.447.0816 x118

Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director
303.447.0816 x113
Based in Boulder, Colorado, USA, the Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade and education association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. Visit BrewersAssociation.org to learn more. The association's activities include events and publishing: CraftBeer.comWorld Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®National Homebrewers ConferenceNational Homebrew CompetitionSAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food ExperienceAmerican Craft Beer WeekZymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 24,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.
Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

BrewFest at Mount Hope

From Candace Smith:

Hello! I would like to introduce you to the 3rd annual BrewFest at Mount Hope.
Saturday, May 14th, beer fans will gather for the third annual BrewFest at Mount Hope on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in Lancaster County, PA. One admission ticket includes beer sampling with up to 40 amazing breweries,  all-you-can eat buffets, lectures by industry experts, a sanctioned homebrew competition and live music by Toy Soldiers, Josh Albright, Case 150 and Miz. You must be 21 or older to attend.
Is there a way for us to share this information with your readers?
I look forward to hearing from you!

All my best,
Candace SmithCommunications/Educational Programs DirectorCandace@parenfaire.com(717)665-7021, ext. 138Click here to receive our Emails!

Thanks, Candace! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nugget Nectar

Troegs Nugget Nectar.  7.5% abv.  The question is, how many days in a row can I drink it?

This seasonal gem goes fast, so get it while it lasts. Had it last week at the Pour House, then checked out the Blue Monkey.  Oh, then I found it at PJ Whelihan's two days running.  So the answer to the aforementioned question: 4 days in a row.  One of the more perfect beers out there, FermentNation has reviewed Nugget Nectar before. Check out this floral hoppy beauty from Troegs. Right away.

Nugget Nectar is a personal favorite of mine, and just to refresh y'all's memory, check out the previous review of this Troegs triumph.
Be sure to watch the video review at the bottom!

Also, feel free to search the blog for "nugget nectar" to get some other reviews that mention it by way of comparison or contrast.

I may even need to re-review this puppy to boost the already near-perfect score.  The only hesitation is that Nugget Nectar may not appeal to the masses at large because of its sticky hoppiness, but I suppose if you're reading this blog, you aren't one of those folks.  Since you're interested in craft beers and recommendations, please take this as one of my highest!  Cheers!

Troegs's Nugget Nectar description straight from Troegs

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kickin' Chickins with Bells Porter

So poultry goes with a side of metal, but apparently goes with a toasty porter as well. Hearty enough for a hard rockin' show but light enough to drink several. In a row. With your fist in the air.
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Kickin' Chickins

Tonight at the World Cafe Live in West Philly, El Presidente is checking out Kickin' Chickins! These guys are Friends of the Nation and certain to rock tonight. I'll keep you informed of any special beer pairings...though I usually take my poultry with a side of METAL! Enjoy!
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Stoudts Fat Dog Stout at Blue Monkey Tavern

Smooth and rich, a little roasty but dry in its own way. Side-by-side with North Coast Old Rasputin, the body of Fat Dog is a bit lighter with a whiff of hops and less chocolate. 9% but you'd never know.
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Presidential Brief: Yards George Washington Porter

What: Yards George Washington Porter.
Where: Pour House, Westmont, NJ.
When: January 16th, 2011.
English style porter with revolutionary American boldness. Toasty flavor and big malt body make this a solid sit-down beer. Dark pub, roasted game, and whispers of an overthrow... 7% is a bit big to drink all night. Or is it?
El Presidente has briefed the Nation on this beer before.  I feel as the first President of the Ferment Nation, I should send a shoutout whenever I can to the first president of some other nation...
Check out our previous review of George Washington Tavern Porter:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yards Love Stout (Presidential Brief)

What: Yards Love Stout
Where: The Pour House (Westmont, NJ)
When: Valentine's Day
What-have-you: Aroma of smoked oysters; roasted malt in the middle; slightly metallic at the finish. Accompanying calamari quite nicely. Aphrodisiac? Keep you posted ; )
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Leinenkugel's Cream Stout (Presidential Brief)

What: Leinenkugel's Cream Stout
Where: Houlihan's Cherry Hill, NJ
When: Saturday, January 29th, 2011
What-have-you: Excuse me?! Leinenkugel's makes a cream stout? Let's give it a try... Kinda creamy, but not very stout, this brew has virtually no representation points. Style is mediocre but it's actually pretty accessible and tasty.  If you just tell yourself that you're drinking a pale red ale, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Young's Double Chocolate Stout

Young's Double Chocolate Stout:

I am at a bit of a disadvantage reviewing this beer, because previously this very night I have also tasted, drank, and reviewed an imperial stout of unknown alcoholic percentage.  So, I might be missing some subtle scents and tastes with this beer, but I will try my best.  There is kind of a generic beer smell coming from the bottle.  From the glass I do not get much more in terms of aroma, but if experience has taught me anything, it has taught me not to judge a beer by its smell.  Not much in the head department, no lacing to speak of.

Ooh!  First sips taste really, really like chocolate.  This is very nice.  Lots of cocoa flavor her.  The neck label reads, "Chocolate malt & real dark chocolate are combined with Young's award-winning rich dark ale to craft a satisfyingly indulgent, but never overly sweet experience."  I would have to agree.  At 5.2% abv, this beer tastes kind of like a dessert beer but doesn't taste boozy and doesn't have the high booze content dessert beers usually have.  This beer is smooth, easy to drink, and comes through with its advertised "double chocolate" taste.  Other brewers would take license to make "double chocolate" to mean double the alcohol, but not double the taste.  Young's gets it right with double chocolate taste without making it double boozy.  Nice job.  This beer would appeal to fans of chocolate (buy this beer for the lady in your life) as well as stout fans; however, advanced stout fans might think this is a novelty beer.

Since the chocolate taste really comes through in this beer, representation, style, and overall quality points will be high.  Young's knows what they are doing.  This makes me wonder if they have a pumpkin beer.  I would love to taste some of their other flavored beers.  American breweries do some things incredibly well - they have an adventurous and bold spirit when it comes to experimentation, but if you want some beers done right, you can't go wrong with some old school beer brewing counties, and England is one of those nations.  I love Samuel Smith beers, and this Young's Double Chocolate Stout just made a major blip on my beer radar.  Quality and skill define this beer.  Like a proper Englishman, Young's keeps their word when delivering double chocolate flavor.  I will have to drink this again when I am more sober to verify, but this is bloody well good!

Young's Double Chocolate Stout:

Representation: .85
Accessibility: .90
Style: 1.0
Personal Preference: .90

Total: 3.65 Flags
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weyerbacher Quad at The Oyster House (Presidential Brief)

What:  Weyerbacher Quad
Where:  The Oyster House, Philadelphia, PA.
When:  Saturday, January 22nd, 2011.
What-have-you:  Are you kidding me? Quad on tap?  Aroma of a Belgian double, only double THAT to capture the flavor. The malts have a sweetness and a pungent, dried-fruit dinginess that brings this otherworldly brew back to an earthy level. I have a few bottles of Quad locked away in the Presidential basement, aging itself to perfection.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout 8.1%

Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout:

Let's begin at the beginning.  Pouring this imperial stout is an interesting adventure: The pitch black brew with high viscosity seems to have no head, so let's ruffle up the feathers a bit and pour a little more briskly... Alright, the head appears and look like a root beer float, rising whole to the top of the glass, and sporting a dark brown color.  The aroma is certainly heavy on the coffee, with a slightly herbal scent.  The flavors are powerful and bittersweet, with coffee prevailing but a little chocolate and perhaps anise peek through as sell. The body is rich and full, with a velvety mouthfeel, probably due to the flaked barley and oats.  The lipids in the oatmeal help suspend flavor in the beer, as well as bulk up the body, and I believe that is why the finish is so rich.  This imperial stout tastes a little boozier than its abv% reflects.  At 8.1%, I feel like something a bit mellower would serve this brew a little better.

Let's discuss: I've liked Terrapin's brews thus far, but haven't been a huge fan of Flying Dog.  That being said, I'm perplexed to find out that FD has brewed this Terrapin Beer Company/Jittery Joe's Coffee collaboration.  I think that the recipe is pretty good and the craftsmanship matches.  I guess I'm holding this kind of beer up to an unfair standard, with Founders Breakfast Stout simply blowing me away.
Now, check the Terrapin website and you'll find the Wake 'N' Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout, weighing in at 8.6% abv, but my C.O.I.S. says 8.1%.


Also, my date stamp says "best if enjoyed before: vintage 09AA"  I'm not really sure what that means, but perhaps I should call Smart Suzy Sunset to get on the case.  Do I have a prototype brew on my hands?  An historical artifact?  Well, perhaps I did earlier this afternoon,but it is now most certainly history.

Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout:

Representation:                 .85
Accessibility:                    .825
Style:                                .92
Personal Preference:         .90

Total Score:       3.495 Flags
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