Weekend Reading And Beer News

I hope everyone survived IPA Day. Here are some interesting articles I have found to help you recover or get you through the weekend!

I have briefly brought up the topic of Ebay beer sales before here, fortunately for some and unfortunately for others, the topic may soon be over as Ebay is rumored to have begun removing some beers from its listings. http://beerpulse.com/2012/07/ebay-and-beer-the-end-is-nigh/

Live in Arizona? Lucky for you, the Arizona legislature just passed a new law that allows many new places to fill growlers. http://www.foodandflourish.com/guest-columns/2012/8/1/coming-back-with-a-growl.html Now that you can purchase growlers in Arizona, here is an article on growler etiquette and care. http://www.beerphxation.com/2012/08/be-knowledgeable-growler-user.html

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s purchase of the rest of Grupo Modelo may actually help small craft Mexican Brewers, now that its largest producer is foreign. http://news.yahoo.com/mexican-craft-beers-against-big-brands-164148317.html?_esi=1

Boston Beer Company’s income slipped 48pct in 2Q. http://news.yahoo.com/boston-beers-net-income-tumbles-48-pct-2q-231455994–finance.html?_esi=1

Major beer acquisitions continue to occur as Heineken has reached a deal to purchase Asia Pacific Breweries for Sg$5.1 billion ($4.1 billion). Asia Pacific Breweries includes Tiger Beer. Luckily, many of the Trappist beers are readily available in Singapore so, my next trip will involve plenty of Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue). http://news.yahoo.com/heineken-buy-maker-tiger-beer-4-1-bn-140355353–finance.html?_esi=1

Bad news for beer drinkers in Russia. Putin is considering more tax hikes on beer and advertising restrictions to combat “beer alcoholism” in Russia. http://news.yahoo.com/putin-says-russian-beer-taxes-could-raised-again-143107976–sector.html?_esi=1

Top 5 Wines at Total Wine for $9.99 http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/2012/08/top_five_wines_at_total_wine.php?page=2

The state of the global beer industry. To the surprise of NO ONE, beer production in China is dominant and growing.  http://www.businessinsider.com/beer-a-reflection-of-the-world-economy-2012-7?utm_source=twbutton&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=main-contributor

Because, I spent so much time earning a masters of arts degree in non-US history (mostly modern Germany), my inner history nerd comes out from time to time. Here is an extremely well written letter from Hitler’s nephew William Patrick Hitler to president Roosevelt, requesting permission to enlist in the United States armed forces in order to help fight his uncle. He was allowed to fight in 1944 and served until he was injured in 1947. http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/08/to-hell-with-hitler.html

Beer trading is like Christmas in August!







This is just for fun, 5 Fake sounds found often in modern society. http://www.humansinvent.com/#!/936/5-more-fake-sounds-to-fool-you-today/

I found this YouTube video through Beerpulse.com and would like to learn more about the All American Beer Company. If you have heard anything, please contact me or comment below.



Dogfish Head Festina Peche (Review)

I have mentioned the Berliner Weisse Style several times on this blog, it is simply one of my favorite types of beers. Now, that I live in Fort Myers Florida, I have access to a whole new world of great beers (conversely, there are some great beers such as Odell, Founders and New Belgium that I no longer have easy access to). The famed brewery Dogfish Head is one of the great producers I know have easy access to! While they make many incredible and innovative beers, I think I have a favorite, the Festina Peche!

The Festina Peche is a modified Berliner Weisse brewed with peach concentrate. If you like light, tart beers with a hint of peach flavor, this is the beer for you. It pours a sandy yellow with a small effervescent head. The aroma is fairly clean with a slight peach accent and noticeable acidity (I am sure sour does not count as a smell, but you can tell it is going to be tart just by smelling it). The taste is much the same, it is light and tart with just enough peach to spark the imagination and provide complexity and a counterweight to the sourness. It is fairly mellow for a sour beer, remarkably refreshing and highly drinkable. The Festina Peche is perfect for summer or Florida weather!


Major League Baseball Craft Beer Guide (A Look At All 30 Stadiums!)

As you all know the 2012 Major League Baseball season is well underway. One of my favorite things to do during the summer is enjoy a game and a beer. Beer and baseball have been a formidable team for a long time, now the options are becoming even more sophisticated. The craft brewing revolution has not ignored professional sports. Here is a team by team rundown of some of the craft beers available at each stadium. Furthermore, since I am a broke jabroni both time wise and financially, I obviously have not been able to go to every stadium and check out their selections first hand, therefore, I have included my sources. If I forgot anything, please let me know and I will update this article. (On a side note, I have noticed that, places that carry Smithwicks usually carry Guinness and Harp as well. Also, brands such as Stella Artois and Corona are also so common that I have chosen to omit them from these lists.) If I have missed anything, misrepresented any stadium or you have a link or comment to add to this post, please feel free to email me or comment, I will gladly update this “living post”.

Here is the rundown, in no particular order:

New York Yankees: According to http://beertography.blogspot.com/2012/04/yankee-stadium-live-sports-craft-beer.html one can enjoy some offerings from Goose Island, Widmer Brothers, Leffe and Samuel Adams at Yankee Stadium.

New York Mets: Citi Field has a decent sized craft beer list, including Goose Island, Sierra Nevada, Leffe, Magic Hat and Victory. Source: http://www.ceetar.com/optimisticmetsfan/citi-field-beer-list/

Philadelphia Phillies: I want to visit Citizens Bank Park! From what I have been able to discern there are a lot of great beers available here including Dogfish Head, Sly Fox, Troegs, Victory, Anchor, Sierra Nevada, Red Hook, Yards, Samuel Adams, Smithwick’s, Yuengling, Otter Creek and many others! Source: http://chuckbonfig.blogspot.com/2009/07/citizens-bank-park.html (note that source was from 2009)

Boston Red Sox: Fenway Park is apparently really expensive. As far as craft beer goes Samuel Adams, Smithwick’s, Narragansett Brewing Company are Harpoon available inside the park. However, nearby is a Yard House which contains 100 or so taps! Source: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/706347

Los Angeles Angels: Bootleggers, Hanger 24 and other seasonal craft beers are available at Angel Stadium. Source: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/brew-346275-stadium-club.html

Los Angeles Dodgers: According to http://www.beeroftomorrow.com/craft-beer-at-dodger-stadium-in-2012/ Samuel Adams, Firestone Walker and Gordon Biersch are available at Dodger Stadium. Other craft options may exist as well.

Chicago White Sox: Once I read you can purchase Bell’s Oberon at a White Sox game here, I figured my research for U.S. Cellular Field was done! I mean, what other beer could one want! But for those wanting other options, a large portion of the Leinenkugel portfolio is available here as well as Pilsner Urquell.

Chicago Cubs: Old Style (yes, not a craft beer, but there is history here) will be available through at least 2013. Unless there is some kind of exclusivity agreement with Pabst, it stands to reason that Goose Island is available as they have a Wrigleyville Brewpub located just around the corner from Wrigley Field.

Kansas City Royals: As mentioned here, Kauffman Stadium offers Boulevard and New Belgium beers. You can also find Leinenkugel products, better than nothing, but Kauffman does need to step it up a little bit in this regard….

Tampa Bay Rays: If the Brewhouse in Tropicana Field still sells Cigar City beer (I did not have a lot of luck finding information for 2012) then the Rays are the big winners! I can not wait to visit this bar…err Stadium! Source: http://beerinflorida.com/523/beer-bites-baseball-growlers-tappings/

Pittsburgh Pirates: PNC Park is easily one of the most craft beer friendly ball parks in the nation with Dogfish Head, Erie Brewing Company, Samuel Adams, Yuengling, 21st Amendment, Troegs, Victory, Brooklyn, Flying Dog, Magic Hat, Church Brew Works and others on hand! Source: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sectionfront/life/at-pnc-park-on-the-scent-of-a-crafty-cold-beer-246715/ and http://www.examiner.com/article/pnc-park-has-your-craft-beer-bases-covered

San Diego Padres: Petco Park is a solid craft beer ballpark simply because San Diego is an amazing craft beer city. One can not go wrong with Ballast Point or Stone on draft at the stadium. I do wonder why Green Flash and Alesmith are not featured at Petco Park as well? Source: http://www.sdbeergeeks.com/2011/04/san-diego-beers-at-petco-park.html

Cleveland Indians: Progressive Field sells Hoppin Frog, that is all I needed to hear! Sign me up for one….or seven! There are many other excellent craft beers available at Progressive Field as well such as Great Lakes Brewing Company.  Source: http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2011-04-12/sbj-indians-selling-30-beer-at-progressive-field and http://www.cleveland.com/taste/index.ssf/2011/03/cleveland_indians_boost_brew_o.html

Arizona Diamondbacks: Chase Field sells the new microbrewery Fretzy’s Beer. It also made this list for best stadiums to party at. Source: http://downtowndevil.com/2011/09/30/14014/phoenix-ale-brewery/

Florida Marlins: Apparently, Sun Life Stadium has a very weak beer selection as showcased by this article http://www.dailybeerreview.com/2011/07/sun-life-stadium-urinal-study.html.

Toronto Blue Jays: It looks like the Rogers Centre does not have anything too unique going on in the beer world. Considering all I have drank, read and heard about the Canadian beer scene, I am surprised to discover a lack of craft beer at the Rogers Centre. Perhaps my source was mistaken? Source: http://www.bluejayhunter.com/2011/03/ballpark-beer-overpriced-liquid-that.html

Texas Rangers: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington sells some good craft brews such as St. Arnold Brewing Company, Rarh & Sons Brewing Company, Shiner, Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn and New Belgium. Source: http://beyondthebrew.tumblr.com/post/8178776913/beer-guide-to-the-ballpark-in-arlington-for

Seattle Mariners: Safeco Field is filled with a selection of rotating local brews such as Lazy Boy Brewing, Dick’s Brewing Company and Skagit River Brewery. There are also some larger operations like Lagunitas and Red Hook. Certainly a stadium worth checking out! Source: http://seattlebeernews.com/2011/05/a-dog-and-a-beer-craft-brews-at-safeco/

Atlanta Braves: Atlanta is an exciting and dynamic city, Turner Field’s beer selection reflects that, with craft beers like Abita, Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada and local favorite Sweetwater Brewery. Source:http://bottlesofbarley.blogspot.com/2010/06/beer-at-ballpark-turner-field-atlanta.html

Houston Astros: Minute Maid Park looks like it has a few gems to offer such as St. Arnold, Samuel Adams and Leinenkugel beers. Source: http://blog.chron.com/beertx/2009/04/a-beer-drinkers-guide-to-minute-maid-park/

Cincinnati Reds:I must say the name of the Red’s stadium, The Great American Ballpark, is just plain awesome. Luckily for the fine people in Cincinnati the available beer selection lives up to the name as well, with offerings from the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, Bell’s, Goose Island, Stone Brewing, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Avery, 21st Amendment and even a bottle offering from Founders! Source: http://www.redreporter.com/2011/4/20/2100755/a-guide-to-craft-beer-at-gabp

Minnesota Twins: The brand new and beautiful Target Field sells some beers to match its venue! Surley Brewing Company launched Bandwagon which is exclusive to Target Field, this year. Other offerings from Surley as well Grain Belt and Summit Brewing Company beers are sold at Target Field. Source: http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2012/04/surly_launches_bandwagon_exclusive_target_field_beer.php and http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/stories/2010/03/29/daily37.html

Detroit Tigers: Comerica Park may have high prices (exactly which stadium has cheap beer?) but being in Michigan great beer too. I know they carry Bell’s, Atwater and Magic Hat. Source: http://www.freep.com/article/20120426/SPORTS02/120426012/beer-at-Comerica-park-Tigers and http://www.bsimichigan.com/Home/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1380/Cheers-to-the-Tigers-and-Michigan-Beer

St. Louis Cardinals: One of America’s great beer cities with 20 breweries right now. Busch Stadium, despite its macro-brew name has some great crafts on hand such as Schlafly, Samuel Adams, New Belgium, Boulevard, Urban Chestnut and O’Fallon. Source: https://foursquare.com/gostl/list/where-to-find-craft-beer-at-busch-stadium

San Francisco Giants: With beers like Lost Abbey, Highwater Brewing, Victory, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Russian River, North Coast, Allagash, Avery, Blind Pig, Alesmith, Green Flash and Jolly Pumpkin at AT&T Park, I will skip the game and hang out in the bar! Seriously, all I can say is wow. Source: http://www.fangraphs.com/not/index.php/ballpark-beer-review-att-park/

Washington Nationals: Sierra Nevada, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas and others are available at Nationals Park. Source: http://thebeercircle.com/beer-at-the-ballpark/beer-at-the-ballpark-nationals-park

Baltimore Orioles: Oriole Park at Camden Yards has some great beers available including Heavy Seas, Evolution Craft Brewing Company, Flying Dog, Fordham Brewing Company and Old Dominion Brewing. Source: http://beerinbaltimore.com/?p=5593

The great blogger at Beer in Baltimore brought this exert from a press release by Flying Dog to my attention.

Camden Yards is offering Flying Dog at over 20 locations in the ballpark this season, including at the new Roof Deck center field bar and at our own storefront (which will feature locally-inspired food and beer pairings).

Also, starting April 27, our “Firkin Friday” will feature a special cask-conditioned beer at each of the Orioles’ Friday night home games.

And if that’s not enough, a special shipment of our very first cans produced will be available at Sliders and Pickles Pub tomorrow [Friday the 6th] only. Starting at 5:30 am[!?!?!?!], cans of UnderDog Atlantic Lager are just $4 each.  Cans won’t hit the Baltimore area for at least another month, so we are stoked to share this exclusive preview.

If that does not put Oriole Park at Camden Yards high on the list for best beer in Major League Baseball, I do not know what does! I wish I lived near Baltimore!

Oakland Athletics: I know they sell beer and being in a beer rich region it stands to reason at least some of it is good. Unfortunately, all I could find concerning beer at the Coliseum is that one should be able to find Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas on tap there. Source: http://fredsbeerpage.blogspot.com/2012/05/picture-may-be-worth-1000-words-but.html

Milwaukee Brewers: If one expects good beers at a stadium named after a brewery that is home to a team called the Brewers, one would be correct! Miller Park sells Horny Goat Beer, Hacker Pschor, Lakefront and New Glarus! New Glarus alone is worth the trip to Wisconsin, why not watch some baseball while your at it? Source: http://www.millerparkdrunk.com/beer/miller-park-beer/

Colorado Rockies: Another stadium with a macro brewery’s namesake located in a craft beer paradise, Coors Field has some excellent craft beer options. Some of Coors Field’s offerings include Oscar Blues, Boulder Beer Company, Odell Brewing Company, Samuel Adams, New Belgium and Sandlot Brewery. Source: http://www.purplerow.com/2011/7/11/2269472/coors-field-insider-adult-beverages-at-the-ballpark

Here are several similar articles worth checking out http://thefullpint.com/beer-news/craft-beer-pairs-well-with-baseball/ and http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/entertainment-general/index.ssf/2012/06/craft_beers_are_proving_a_hit.html


A Few More Interesting Reads

Good afternoon, I just found this excellent article describing Schlafly’s evolving presence in St. Louis area with its continued success and Budweiser’s 2008 sale to InBev. The article goes much further than just an expose on Schlafly and touches the expanding St. Louis beer industry and culture. “The goal still has to be 40 breweries, because that was the number before prohibition” now that would be a site to see! The article also looks at social media’s place within the business. http://www.thestreet.com/story/11491765/1/the-beer-dance-how-schlafly-craft-beer-shook-up-st-louis.html?cm_ven=GOOGLEN

In March I wrote an article about Hoppy Wheat Beers and White IPA’s here are two more examples of this trend. Green Flash and Founders are teaming up to create a Linchpin White IPA and Springfield’s own Mother’s Brewing Company has recently released their Sandy Wheat which is described as a hopped up wheat beer and I look forward to trying soon.

Thanks in large part to breweries such as Lucky Town Brewing and many other dedicated beer fans, Mississippians can now purchase beer up to 8% alcohol by weight (the previous limit was 5%)! http://news.yahoo.com/miss-gov-bryant-signs-law-allow-stronger-beer-183210964.html

I do not see this method taking off amongst the craft beer world, but here is an interesting new possibility in keeping ones beer cold; beer foam. http://news.yahoo.com/soft-serve-frozen-foam-keep-beer-colder-longer-141500876.html

Beers To Look Forward To This March!

March 2012 is looking to be an excellent month for beer! Here are a few beers you should consider this month.

1) Sierra Nevada Hoptimum: Hotimum was one of the best Double IPAs I have ever had and this years 100 IBU bomb shell is looking even better. The 2012 Hoptimum will be filled with Citra, Simcoe, Chinook hops as well as a new proprietary hop variety developed by Sierra Nevada. Look for it in the next few weeks if it is not already out in your area.

2) Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout: This famous whiskey barrel aged stout needs no introduction. It is great, if you have not tried it, you need to and if you have tried it, you need more! This should arrive in vary limited quantities in stores by the end of the month.

3) Sierra Nevada Bigfoot: The folks at Sierra Nevada have been working very hard lately as it is also time for the annual release of Bigfoot! This big, hoppy barley wine is delicious now and will improve for several years. Its reasonable price, age-ability and yearly release makes it an excellent choice for vertical tastings.

4) Dogfish Head Urkontinent: This extremely unique Dogfish collaboration with Google (yes, I said Google) is being tentatively bottled right now. I was not able to find concrete release date information and it does not matter if you are in Missouri, because this beer wont be…Still, this beer should be worth hunting town or trading for. Here is a video about its construction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiFewPyLlQA&feature=youtu.be

4) Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot: Their website gives a release date of late February for this beer. I know it has not arrived in Missouri yet. Still, like nearly everything Lagunita’s produces should be deliciously hoppy and big. The Wilco Tango Foxtrot will also have a strong malt component to balance this imperial brown ale.

5) Schlafly Irish Style-Extra Stout: If you are looking for a great domestic beer to drink for St. Patrick’s Day, this is the beer for you. This foreign export stout is well balanced, slightly bitter, dark and tasty.

6) Lagunitas Imperial Red: This red ale is exceptionally complex and contains a lot of green hops balanced by enough malt to keep everything together. If you ignore the fact that Irish beers were traditionally not heavily hopped, it is another good choice for St. Patrick’s Day.

7) New Belgium Dig: A great spring session beer. Dig uses both Sorachi Ace and Nelson Sauvin hops in conjunction with some American varieties such as Cascade to produce a zesty pale ale.

8 ) Odell Red Ale: The Odell Red is another American take on the red ale style. It is piney and citrus-y with a mild, sweet malt to back it up.

9) Firestone Walker Sucaba: Formerly known as Abacus, the Sucaba is a beer beyond description. In fact, the 2011 Abacus is one of my favorite beers of all time. While I have not yet tried the Sucaba, I expect it to hold up to its forebearers. Think toffee, vanilla, caramel and so much more. Extremely complex and delicious.

My Favorite Beers of 2011

I know this list is entirely subjective. Sadly, there were many new beers that deserve to make this list that I was not fortunate enough to try and many that I simply forgot (it has been a very eventful year). Still 2011 was an excellent year for beer in my world and these are some of my favorites. Hopefully, 2012 has some tricks to compete! The list is in no particular order and I am trying to focus on beers that were new to 2011 (or at least new to bottles, if I am mistaken on some, I apologize), so classics such as Bell’s Hopslam and Chimay Grand Reserve are excluded.

1) Anchorage Brewing Company: Bitter Monk with a description like this “Belgian style double IPA with Brettanomyces. this ale is aged in french oak chardonnay barrels. Brewed with Apollo, Citra, and Simcoe hops. Dry hopped in the barrel with Citra hops. Triple fermented- First in the tank with a Belgian yeast, second in french oak chardonnay barrels with brett, and finally in the bottle with a third yeast for natural carbonation.” how can it be bad? The complex, funky taste lived up to the hype.

2) Mikkeller: Mikkeller Nelson Sauvin Brut This is the perfect beer to drink on New Years or anytime for that matter. It is truly fantastic, lots of funk, a little white wine and citrous, just fantastic. It is expensive for a beer, but $20 is still cheap compared to a good champagne.

3) Jolly Pumpkin: Lupulo De Hielo This Michael Jackson’s Rare Beer Club exclusive is one of many reason I will continue to utilize that excellent service. This beer is crisp, funky and complex. Like many of Jolly Pumpkin’s offerings, world class all the way.

4) Boulevard: Collaboration No. 2 – White IPA This beer was the result of a collaboration with Deschutes Brewery. This beer retains some of the lightness and spice of a wit yet boasts some strong citrousy hops. In three words, it is beautiful.

5) New Belgium: Le Terroir Released for the first time in bottles this spring. This beer is astonishingly refreshing, tart and fruity.

6) Firestone Walker: Firestone 15-Aniversary Ale I am not sure where to begin on this one, this is an extremely complex blend of amazing beers. There are layers upon layers of delicious flavors, including toffee, bourbon, coffee, dark fruits and the list goes on.

7) Lagunitas: Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale Do not let the clever, self depreciating name fool you. This American double IPA is astounding. It contains about everything I could ever hope for from an IPA and I have all but forgotten about Brown Shugga. I can not wait for “Leftovers”.

8 ) Founders: Canadian Breakfast Stout Bottled for the first time in 2011. This maple barrel aged version of the already stellar Kentucky Breakfast Stout is a real treat, if you can find it.

9) Avery: Rumpkin This beer is huge clocking in at 15.9%. It is also very sweet and boozy, but unique, complex and delicious.

10) Firestone Walker: 2011 Abacus I have not had previous incarnations of the Abacus, but this English Style barley wine is one of my favorite beers of all time. The 2011 Abacus is decadent, smooth and so complex it is perfect for long contemplation.

A few very unique honorable mentions include, Rogue Bacon Maple Ale, Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head Life and Limb, Odell Friek and New Belgium Kick.

Ten (fairly common) Beers You Should be Drinking This November!

The marzens and pumpkin beers have for the most part departed, leaving us with an even more eclectic bunch of seasonal offerings. Traditionally, this time of year is dominated by malt heavy offerings, coffee stouts and spiced beers. While it is still early in the month, I thought I would highlight a few good beers that should not be extremely rare and may (or may not) be overlooked. Not all of the beers I have included are seasonals, some are just plain good.

1) Bell’s Cherry Stout
Thick, warm, chocolaty stout balanced by tart Montmorency cherries. What more do I need to say?

2) Founder’s Breakfast Stout
An oatmeal stout brewed with coffee and chocolate. Perfectly balanced and absolutely amazing.

3) Odell’s Mountain Standard Double Black IPA
An amazing blend of toasty malts and citrusy hops.

4) St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
Dark fruits and spices, if that isn’t Christmas, I don’t know what is!

5) Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
A rich, refreshing, dry hopped IPA, perfect for those holiday parties!

6) New Belgium Frambozen
It is not out yet, but should arrive anytime. This brown ale is brewed with fresh raspberries and very tough to beat on thanksgiving.

7) Baltika No. 6 Porter
While this Baltic Porter is not a seasonal, its soft roast-y flavors and slight sweetness are perfect for this season.

8 ) Avery Old Jubilation
This malty strong ale pairs well with cold nights and many of the traditional seasonal fare.

9) Schneider-Weisse Adventinus
This wheat doppelbock is available year round and considered by many to be one of the best beers in the world. The complex malt profile highlighted by the wheat and yeast make this an excellent sipper on cold nights.

10) Bell’s Java Stout
I hate to include the same brewery twice on the same list, but man, this is a nice beer to wake up or warm up to.