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Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend

So how was everybody's holiday?  We at the Ferment Nation hope that all of our good citizens enjoyed the company of family, friends, pets, and beer.  Oh, and food, too.  We also hope that the good fortune that our family enjoys can make its way into the rest of the world.  We were lucky enough to share this holiday with good folks.  Here are some of El Presidente's adventures in craft beer over the extended holiday weekend.  Cheers!

Thanks for reading our blog!  Please remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and stay tuned for more exciting adventures.  Love you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Hello Citizens,

From everyone here at the Ferment Nation, we would like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  It's easy to get bogged down with the stresses that accompany holidays, especially if times are tough.  But if you have the ability to step back from the chaos and "zone out" or "zen out," then you can remember what you truly have.  Get into the spirit of Thanksgiving that should never be lost, and take a minute to realize that we could be a lot worse off.

If you're reading this blog, you are fortunate enough to have the creature comforts that allow you to be connected to the internet;  You are probably sharing Thanksgiving Day with someone you love (or at least someone you can tolerate);  You are probably enjoying a craft beer with your meal;  So think for a moment about every random event that brought you safe and sound to the dinner table.  Then, to follow along with one of my favorite Native American sayings from the Arapaho, "Before eating, always take a little time to thank the food."

Then, after dinner, take some time to read last year's Thanksgiving Day post! You might even want to recollect Thanksgiving Day recommendations from 2009...

Finally, you may want to hear which side dishes Little Richard recommends for your special meal:

So if you drink some awesome craft beer this Thanksgiving, or taste an amazing food pairing, give us a shout and we'll say thank you to you by sharing your info and  reviews on our site.  Thank you most of all for reading the Ferment Nation.  Cheers!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tommyknocker @TKBrew Imperial Nut Brown Ale

Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale:

Direct from the bottle, this beer smells like a dark ale or stout.  It has a rich malty smell, but I wouldn't be surprised if it has a bitterness like a Samuel Smith beer, which is a compliment to Tommyknocker.

You can taste the alcohol, but it is not overpowering, which is nice considering it is 9% abv.  Right out of the fridge, this beer lacks some complex tastes, so I wanted to let it warm up a bit.  As for coloring, a very deep, dark, and rich brown, very dark at its center, letting just enough light into the beer by the pint glass's edge.

After I let it warm up a but, you get some of the more complex tastes I was looking for.  In one way, I was hoping and searching for a very deep, vibrant maple syrup taste, but I had to come to my senses.  This is not called Maple Syrup Ale.  In fact, if Tommyknocker had tried to come up with some witty play on words and maple trees, like Uncle Jemima or something, I would not like this beer at all, because I would feel it was too gimmicky.

I had a similar dislike of Troegs' Java Head Stout, which I have reviewed (click HERE to read).  They called it Java Head and the bottle label art featured a Death's Head made out of coffee beans, and it was very disappointing, in part because of the lack of coffee taste, but also because I thought Troegs was above such marketing ploys. Tommyknocker writes on the label, "Brewed with pure maples syrup," which in mind is truth in advertising and accurate labeling. So, the fact that I can taste some of the earthy sweetness and aroma that goes along with nuts and trees and maple syrup from Tommyknocker's Imperial Nut Brown Ale combined with its Imperial kick, makes this a satisfying beer.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My BIG Weekend

Hello Citizens,
This post is a long time coming... Sorry about the delay but I've had a crazy week.  If you're jonesing for Ferment Nation news, keep yourself informed by following us on Twitter @FermentNation.  But finally, here is a Storified collection of tweets regarding the beers I had this past weekend.  Thanks to my buddy Nick for sharing them with me, otherwise I'd be dead right now.

Hopefully, as previously indicated, I'll have some nice brews to review soon.  I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving with my wife's family down in Maryland.  I hope to bring some Victory Dark Intrigue with me...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Founders CBS

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout is as vast as the Canadian wilderness.  It is an imperial stout (imperial enough, I'd say, at 10.6% abv) that is brewed with imported chocolate and coffee.  It is aged in bourbon barrels that have also aged maple syrup from Founders home state of Michigan.  Complex?  You bet.

The initial aromas and flavors that I detected were the bourbon and the coffee.  The maple syrup seems to mellow the bourbon's bite just enough to give it the illusion of a Canadian blended whiskey like Crown Royal. The depth of the brew becomes  more evident as it opens up and warms just a touch.  The chocolate and maple syrup flavors begin to emerge, bringing out CBS's more breakfasty characteristics.

By the time your glass is empty, you hesitate to put it down because you can't help but keep sniffing the aromas that linger.  Everything comes together in a warming and fortifying breakfast drink.  Well, I guess it's good for breakfast if you're in Canada.  Some fellow drinkers suggested that it would be a suitable companion for a crispy slab of scrapple.  If you're not from the Philadelphia region, you may have a bit of difficulty imagining this pairing, so I'll elaborate: Scrapple is a spicy, mealy, sausagey paste that's sliced in a loaf-like fashion.  Many people enjoy it with maple syrup, but I prefer to dip it in some yolk from an over-easy egg that's trying to escape to the shelter of my home fries.  Mmmm...scrapple...and CBS...

Here's my tweet from the CBS tapping event at the Pour House on Halloween Night:

Hope you get a chance to sample this rare and delicious treat from Founders Brewing.  If you get your hands on some, please weigh in with a pic and a review.  We're happy to share it with our Citizens.  Cheers!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Keegan Ales Brewpub

Visit their website HERE

Straight away from the parking area, I knew Keegan Ales was not your typical brew pub. The space was covered with huge mural-type images. After further investigation later, I discovered they were actually huge paste ups part of short-term fundraising art display by Andy Milford, a local artist.  When I stepped inside, the walls were decorated with pop-art Stormtroopers, and uniquely beautiful photography from the same local artist.

The food was pretty typical, but tasty, pub fare. You could either order at a small counter in the back, or at the bar, and it was brought to you when ready. I had the grilled cheese with tomato, which was served with a nice scoop of fresh homemade potato salad. The seating is primarily large picnic tables, and the floor is littered with peanut shells from the complementary peanuts. Back by the order counter was a good sized stage for live music. At the rear of the stage were two large windows where you could look into the brewing area for Keegan Ales.

Speaking of brewing, let's get down to the important stuff - the beer.  The selection was small with only five beers on tap, but nicely diverse.  The beers included Old Capital - a typical Blond ale, Hurricane Kitty - a nicely balanced, not overly hoppy, amber colored IPA, Mother's Milk - a pleasantly creamy milk stout, and an Autumn seasonal I did not have the chance to try.  I have had Mother's Milk bottled previously, and found it quite comparable on tap, the only real difference being a slighter more carbonation.  As a milk stout it holds its own nicely.  While it is not quite a creamy or smooth as Left Hand's Milk Stout, it has better flavor and body than Lancaster Brewing Company's Milk Stout.

But my staple beer for the evening was the Joe Mama's Milk Stout.  Self described as the "Big Brother" to their Mother's Milk, it is worth taking note of this very tasty coffee stout.  Added brown sugar in the brewing process, and the addition of cold coffee extract from a local roaster, make this a beer have a big coffee flavor, and a higher ABV than it tastes like.  It was very drinkable, and I continued to enjoy it as it warmed up.  My only complaint?  There were no bottles available to take home to share!

So if you happen to be up in the Kingston, NY area, make sure to check out Keegan Ales -- you will enjoy the visit.