Beer Profile: Straight to Ale’s Hellfire

Profiled by Ken Carman for professorgoodales.net

Beer-Profile1-258x300Firm pillow head: lots of. Great clarity, brown: mid 20s SRM… tad dark for a Quad. Great highlights.

Nose: white Belgian candy sugar sense up front. Sweet in back ground with some pale malt in background.

Sweet mouthfeel: full with a Trappist yeast sense… slight sweet tart funk. Firm caremilized malt behind that fills the mouth just a tad. carbonation slight: low in body. For the style I believe this is off. Should be well carbonated in the body. Nice alcoholic warmth.

Guessing about 8.5 abv or 9.

This is meant to be similar in strength to a dubbel, but in character more like a strong dark among Belgian beers.

Taste: this is classic Belgian yeast: Trappist-like with a tart tang. Malt is both sweet and malty. Nice and complex character that would do well by a fire with your faithful dog by your side. Little bitter, as expected. Medium dry: in that sense more like an Abbey version. There’s a sense of currants, or plums. Perhaps a bit more like prunes.

Overall, with a few off style skews that are slight: very good. A 4…

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.”

Beer Profile: Napa Smith Hopageddon

Hopageddon-Label

Profiles by Ken Carman for professorgoodales.net

Beer-Profile1-258x300Cascade/grapefruit nose in the bottle, but upon taste this is no American grapefruit bomb. There is definitely “other” in there: mix of spice and earthy hop. Nice firm bitter complimented by grapefruit nose. My guess: dry hop was one of those grapefruit-like varieties. Pinpoint bubble head with lots of foam too. Great clarity: deep gold.

93 at Rate beer, 84 at Beer Advocate: good but not REAL good. One reviewer claimed 144IBU. No way. I’ve had barely 100 IBU beers with more hop sense. Just a little fresh hop-like, which is why I think some think more hoppy than it is.

Says 9.2abv, but the slight harsh bitter of the hops that cling to the roof of the mouth. And the nice caramelization of the sweet alt that baklances nicely with the bitter, with some more dextrinous malts: if you’re looking for a nicely bittered balanced double IPA where the abv is somewhat hidden, and the overall sense of the hopping might be described as not “zest,” but “spicy orange,” this would be a great choice.

Here’s a link to the history of Napa Smith.

I gave it 4.

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.”

Against Hoppy Beer

Belgian 61-year-old master brewer Jean-Pierre Van Roy adds hops to a brew kettle at the traditional Cantillon brewery in Brussels.

Photo by Francois Lenoir / Reuters
Belgian 61-year-old master-brewer Jean-Pierre Van Roy adds hops to a brew kettle at the traditional Cantillon brewery in Brussels.As a beer writer, I often find myself preaching the word about craft beer to people who don’t want to hear it. There are a lot of Bud Light fans and people who’d rather sip a zinfandel, even in the craft beer capital of the world, Portland, Ore., where I live. So when a homebrewer friend recently decided to visit my husband and me from Tennessee, I was excited to spend time with a kindred spirit, someone with whom I could share my favorite brews without having to make a hard sell. The first brewery I took him to was Hopworks Urban Brewery, where I ordered us a pitcher of the Velvet English session beer.

After a few sips, I noticed that he had pushed away his glass. “I’m sorry, guys,” he said when he noticed our puzzled expressions. “This is just way too hoppy for me.”

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Troy Casey of AC Golden Q&A Part 1

Written by Brandon Jones for embracethefunk.com

ac logoI finally finished typing up my latest brewer interview and it’s one I think you will find really interesting and eye opening. A few months ago I spoke with Troy Casey a brewer at AC Golden with their Hidden Barrel Project: A project that is turning out  Sour and Wild Beers in the heart of the Coors Brewery. Since this is the lengthiest interview I’ve done to date, I decided to split it up into 2 parts. I’ll post the second part next week. So meet Troy, a wealth of knowledge and fantastic brewer….

ETF: Okay. Let’s just start out with one of the questions I ask everybody… what was your sour beer epiphany moment, that one beer that made you realize, “Hey, these sour and wild beers are pretty darn good and there’s something else out there besides lagers and IPAs”?
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Bolivia Serves Up Coca Beer To Fight Altitude Sickness

Coca leaf regular.jpg

beer-news10A brewery in Bolivia has come up with a way to get buzzed in more ways than one: coca beer.

Combining the thirst-quenching capability of beer with the stimulating effect of the Andean nation’s coca leaf, Ch’ama is a coca and barley-based alcoholic drink that brewers claim helps locals and visitors cope with Bolivia’s notorious high altitude (close to 12,00 ft).

“As good Germans we love beer,” said Hamburg native Malina, according to The New York Daily News. “There are many types in Germany, but this coca beer is good because here in La Paz it helps us handle altitude sickness.”

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America’s Best Beer Cities

America's Best Beer Cities: Anchorage

No. 18 Anchorage

The Alaska hub scores well for family vacations and for being a great springboard for excursions into the wilderness. If you don’t make it as far north as Fairbanks, you can always pick up a to-go growler of the town’s Silver Gulch brews at the Anchorage airport (its Cheechako IPA pokes fun at Alaska newcomers). In Anchorage itself, beer nerds might take note that the Anchorage Brewing Company is home to Alaska’s first coolship—a shallow vat used in open fermentation beers—and one of its signature beers, the Rondy Brew, salutes the city’s annual Running of the Reindeer.

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Beer Profile: Highland’s Black Mocha Stout

Highland Brewing
12 Old Charlotte Hwy
Asheville, NC 28803
(828) 299-3370< 5.3abv
25ibu

Mocha_pairNose: chocolate, dark… a little sweet. Hint of oatmeal.

Appearance: light tan small rock head, deep dark red garnet highlights. Deep black with a head that holds and holds. This has a lot of head.

Mouthfeel: dark chocolate with a bit of oatmeal-like fullness. Low side of medium body. Hop bitter background and just right. Nice roasty with roasted barley, as expected and a hint of regular dark malt: maybe some chocolate. Low carbonation, but fine. Hint of lactose.

Taste: deep, dark chocolate background with a little sweet. The choclolate, dark, like sense is so slight yet so important: especially when mixed with light touch of roasted barley, pale malt and maybe some darker malts like chocolate in the background. The dark chocolate sense hangs in longer than rest of the taste.

88% on Beer Advocate. 94: Rate Beer.

I recommend this one. A very pleasant quaff. It’s not the best I’ve had, but very respectable entry at 4.
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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.”

Black and Brewed: American Wild Ales Brazenly Spread to the South

It’s tough to forget the first time you drank a sour ale.The beer’s acidity is likely to throw you for a lurch — acid is a taste so foreign to most people’s idea of beer that you’re more likely to wonder what it is than whether or not you like it.

But if it was made correctly, a sour beer’s flavors can form a transcendental culinary experience, introducing a whole new layer of flavors into an already complex beverage.

Brandon Jones, who is now a sour and wild ale consultant for Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing Company, hasn’t forgotten the first sour beer he drank.

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Message from the AHA

 

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Supporters of Homebrew,

On Thursday, May 9, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed homebrew legalization bill HB9 into law, making Alabama the 50th state to legalize homebrewing.

Earlier this year on March 19, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a homebrew legalization bill that officially goes into effect July 1, 2013, at which time homebrewing will be legal in all 50 states for the first time since before Prohibition.

For the past five years the American Homebrewers Association, along with Alabama homebrew advocacy group Right To Brew, has been working towards homebrew legalization in their state.

“Homebrewing has been an integral part of the history of America, so it’s thrilling to know that soon, all 50 states will support this growing hobby and long-standing tradition,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “We appreciate the backing of all of the homebrewers, the dedicated grassroots efforts of Right to Brew and the legislators who have worked so diligently to make homebrewing a reality in Alabama. We are especially grateful to Representative Mac McCutcheon who introduced this bill and has fought long and hard for its passage, along with Senator Bill Holtzclaw.”

Post-Prohibition, homebrewing was not federally legal until President Jimmy Carter signed H.R. 1337 on October 14, 1978, which officially went into effect on February 1, 1979. Shortly after that bill was signed, the American Homebrewers Association was formed by Charlie Papazian and Charlie Matzen to promote and celebrate homebrewing. Since then, the AHA has taken a leading role in advocating for homebrew rights and supporting the legislative efforts of local homebrew communities.


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