Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Growing Hops in Containers update

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day.  I did some yard work and broke into the Sam Adams Deconstruction sampler.  I will post my results of the Deconstruction sampler in a few days so stay tuned.  I finished one of the trellis systems for my hops.  I'm using the idea I got from BYO to use an adjustable system.  Basically you let the hop plant grow up the string untill it's almost to the top.  Then you let string out and lower the hop plant and it continues to grow towards the top.  I used an 8ft piece of cedar, but about 1ft is down inside the PVC holder.  With part of the post inside the PVC holder I've only got about 7ft total height.  There is a cedar cross member I bolted to the main post to give the whole structure some stability against the wind.  I put small eyelets in the top of the post for the string to go through.  I chose Jute twine as the string component which the hop will climb.  I'm a little concerned that it may rot before the end of the season but I've got my fingers crossed.


Cascade
As far as the hop plants are going the Cascade is almost 2ft tall and is growing the best. 

Hallertau
I think in my original post I mixed up the location of the Hallertau and the Centennial.  The Hallertau is in the second container and is growing the slowest.  It has barely sprouted. 

Centennial
The Centennial is the one planted in the ground and has started out strong but hasn't grown very fast since.  Perhaps the lack of adequate sunlight is stunting the Centennial's growth.

I ran across a good post on the net while doing research for the hops.  It is another bloggers chronicles of hops in pots.

Cheers!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Missouri Lukas Liquor's Tasting

If you have been following me for that past week, I've been reviewing the beers in the Sam Adams Summer Styles Sampler pack.  Have you ever wondered if I'm full of crap or what citrus taste like in beer?  Now is your chance to try them for free!  Let me know what you think.

Lukas Liquor at 13657 Washington, KCMO
Tonight 3-6pm

Sampling Sam Adams Summer Styles:

Boston Lager
Light
Summer Ale
East West Kolsch
Rustic Saison
Latitude 48

Gomer's South Tasting

Gomer's South is hosting Breckenridge Brewing Co. for this Friday's tasting. 

Tonight 4-6pm

Beers available for sampling:

Avalanche Ale
Vanilla Porter
Oatmeal Stout
Summer Bright

Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA

This will be the finale to my review of the Sam Adams Summer Styles Sampler pack.  I will start by saying Latitude 48  is one of my favorite IPAs. It was involved in FatCat’s 2011 IPA shootout and finished 5th overall. Latitude 48 is 6.0% ABV and is brewed with five hop varieties. The hops are Hallertau, East Kent Golding, Ahtanum, Simcoe, and Zeus. All five of these hop varieties are grown along the “hop belt” close to the 48th latitude (hence the name) and are from Germany, England, and the U.S.


The Latitude 48 poured with a large three fingered head. The brew was mainly citrus on the nose with a hint of sweetness from the malt. This brew is a very clean and well-balanced IPA. There is no astringency, as in some other examples of this style, and the Latitude 48 bitterness is not overpowering. The taste initially is light citrus with a small amount of sweetness in the background. The brew finishes clean without lingering too long. As the brew warms, you will get hints of grapefruit and some earthy/grassy notes. These earth/grassy notes are very faint. The thing that struck me as interesting is how this is a whole mouth bitter. Many IPAs you try will have a one-dimensional bitterness to them which will usually hit you in the back part of your mouth. The Latitude’s bitterness will hit you in the back part of the mouth, and a little on the roof of your mouth, and then on the sides. It is a very interesting sensation and is impressive because it is not a harsh experience.

I have come across many critics of the Latitude 48. Most of them are hardcore “hophead” IPA fans. So they expect everything labeled “IPA” to strip the enamel off their teeth. Frequently the lines between Double IPAs and regular IPAs are blurred in the minds of craft beer drinkers. They compare a Stone Ruination, as an example, with the Latitude 48 and claim the Latitude 48 is not hoppy enough or is too malty. These are two different styles with separate characteristics. Unfortunately, this is common. For any of you who are interested in defining the style of the beer you are drinking, visit BJCP Style Guidelines and bask in the plethora of information available.

With my adventures in homebrewing I have found new respect for delicate flavors. In brewing, it is much more difficult to make a brew with delicate flavors in the final product. It is not hard to dump a ton of hops in the kettle and brew a harsh, overly aggressive IPA. It is a challenge to bring out the hop flavors and set it apart from the bitterness. Then to get the hop bitterness and hop flavor to balance with the sweetness of the malt, now that is art. I have respect for beers that are clean and have defined delicate flavors like in the Latitude 48. That is why I say the Latitude 48 is one of my favorite IPAs because it is balanced, super clean, and displays not only bitterness but delicate hop flavor.

Cheers!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sam Adams Summer Ale

The Summer Ale is Sam Adams' summer wheat beer.  It is brewed with lemon zest and grains of paradise.  Grains of paradise are native to West Africa and offer a peppery flavor to the brew.  The Summer Ale poured with a full three fingered head.  There was a definite lemon signature to the nose with a slight spiciness from the wheat.  The taste starts with lemons and finishes with a subtle spice from the wheat much like the nose.  The Grains of Paradise mix well with the wheat and offers a very refreshing experience.  Finishes dry.  Overall this is a mild tasting brew and as with all the beers in the Summer Styles Variety Pack, is meant to be easy drinking for the summer.  At 5.3% ABV it is a bit more significant in strength then the other seasonal brews in the pack.  Overall this is a very clean and refreshing summer wheat beer.  If you're not familiar with wheat beers this would be a good wheat beer to cut your teeth on.  

Sam Adams' Rustic Saison

This is Sam Adams take on a saison.  What is a saison you might ask?  A saison began as a low alcohol pale ale brewed in farmhouses in Belgium.  It was brewed seasonally for the farm workers during harvest season.  It is also called a "farmhouse ale".  Saison is French for "season" and was brewed in cool seasons for consumption in the summer time.

The Rustic Saison poured with a large creamy head.  There was a spicy Belgian nose with some floral notes.  The brew was super clean tasting with a bit of spice from the yeast.  The finish was very dry and refreshing.  Overall this was a very satisfying brew. It is 4.35% ABV so this will not knock you out and will not be overpowering if your out in the heat.  I think what Sam Adams was going for with this brew and the East West Kolsch is easy drinking for the hot summer months.

Other examples of farmhouse ales currently available are Boulevard Tank 7 and Great Divide Collette.  Both of these brews push 7.0% ABV so they will have a significantly bigger punch and more pronounced flavors than the Sam Adams version.  So if you are looking for something to drink after mowing the grass in 100 degree heat, a Rustic Saison may be the answer.  If you fired up the BBQ and are looking to get a little tipsy, then you might consider the other offerings.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Local Blogger Still Helping the Red Cross


After the close call today in the metro area, Joplin is definitely not that far away.  Tornadoes are a common occurrence in the Midwest and we were reminded of that today.  We could easily find ourselves in the same circumstance as the people of Joplin have found themselves in.  The local beer blogger over at Show-Me Beer is still hard at it raising money and sponsoring American Red Cross donations.  The minimum donation is $10.00 which should be affordable for just about anyone.  Visit Show-Me Beer and see how you may receive a special gift for your generosity.

Visit the link below to see how to donate.  Thanks to all who donate.

Round 3 - Buy a round for Joplin

Sam Adams' East West Kolsch

The East West Kolsch is available in the Summer Styles variety pack along with Boston Lager, Sam Adams Light, Rustic Saison, Sam Adams Summer Ale, and Latitude 48 IPA.  This sampler will be available until July.

This is the first time I've experienced a Kolsch.  What is a Kolsch you may ask?  The Kolsch style is basically Germany's answer to the British pale ale.  It is a specialty brew which is traditionally brewed in Cologne, Germany.  Kolsch is a pale ale with very little malt character and mild hop flavor and aroma.  So now that the introductions are out of the way, on to the tasting.

The East West Kolsch poured with a big fluffy head.  It had very light and clean aroma with traces of lemon.  The taste was extremely mild, almost to the point of tasting like one of the massed produced light lagers we all have become familiar with.  This is pretty interesting considering the brew is fermented with ale yeast.  There is a slight taste of citrus with a mild floral finish.  I was unable to place the finish at first but after reading the bottle I realized it was a floral finish.  Initially this is a very underwhelming brew, but it kind of grows on you as you drink it.

I read the Sam Adams bottle and it states the beer is brewed with Alsation hop and Jasmine Sambac flowers.  With this in mind I checked the guidelines for a Kolsch beer and it didn't mention anything about using flowers in an authentic style Kolsch.  So this is Sam Adams take on a Kolsch and is not actually a traditional Kolsch recipe. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why I love Sam Adams

I finished  up my Sam Adams Summer Styles sample pack and will be doing reviews on a few of the beers this week.  But first I want to profess my love for the Boston Beer Company.

If you read no further please take this from my post.  I recommend to craft beer rookies to buy each one of the different Sam Adams Samplers as they are released throughout the year.  It is a great way to try tons of different beer styles and find out which ones you like.  Continue reading for the full explanation of why I would make this statement.  The samplers are Brewmaster's Variety Pack (Jan-March), Summer Styles Variety Pack (April-July), Harvest Collection Variety Pack (Aug-Oct), and Winter Classics Variety Pack (Nov-Dec).  My favorite is the Winter Classics, freakin' awesome.  I personally buy at least one of each of these samplers every year, the winter one maybe twice (or four times).
My maiden voyage into craft brew began with Sam Adams Cream Stout.  In college I made a history of drinking as many Old Milwaukee Lights as I could, as fast as I could.  If we couldn't find Old Mil we would go to Keystone Light, if we ran out of money then King Cobra 40's.  Man those were the days.  I frequently pay homage to my liver and ask for forgiveness.  I think it's still pissed.  One day the stars aligned and I decided to purchase a Sam Adams sampler.  In that sampler was the beginning of my craft brew addiction, the cream stout, and the sampling of every stout I could get my hands on thereafter.

I love the variety Sam Adams puts into the market.  They brew over thirty different styles of beer and each style is a good representation of the style.  It may not be the best beer you've ever had from the particular style, but it is a solid example.  It is a good way to tell what the characteristics of a certain style is and whether you want to try other brewers examples.  Many Sam Adams' beers have been my introduction into a style, meaning their Black Lager for example is the first Black Lager I've ever had.  These style introductions can be very valuable to craft brew rookies and even to veterans who just may have not experienced a particular style.  Sam Adams puts most of these different styles into samplers where you can try several different styles in one 12-pack.  The advantage is the opportunity to try several styles with one purchase for a decent price.  Your alternative with most other breweries is to commit to a 22oz bomber or a six-pack without knowing if you even like the style.  The disadvantage of course is Sam Adams will bundle their normal brews in with it.  So if you're not a fan of say the Sam Adams Light or Cherry Lambic, well you're stuck with it.

Even with the incredible variety Sam Adams produces, they are constantly coming out with something new.  They are not complacent and are constantly pushing the bar.  They keep coming out with classic styles as well as pushing the bar with brews that are beyond definition.  Many people I've talked to claim Sam Adams is too big to be considered a craft brewery.  They contract out their brewing, blah, blah, blah.  I've posted the definition of craft brewery as defined by the Brewers Association.  Sam Adams was the number one craft brewery in 2010 in terms of sales volume according to the Brewers Association top 50.  Even with being the top craft brewery they represent less than 1% of the total U.S beer market.  The benefit to being the largest craft brewery, which some may find to be a flaw, is that Sam Adams is readily available.  You don't have to hound the liquor store weeks in advance to get the super limited Goose Island Big John, Firestone Walker Abacus, Schlafly Hop Toddy, etc.  Sam Adams makes a style and you can go to the store and it is there.  Here lately breweries are releasing stupid small amounts of brew to create false demand.  While getting your hands on these rare brews is part of the craft brew addiction, it is also very annoying.  You can read how Kate the Great or the Dark Lord are the best beers ever made, but they're not available in KC.  Next get on eBay and search for those beers and see how ridiculous they are priced.  Almost all of the Sam Adams brew can be found in the store and you don't have to mortgage your house to buy it, the exception is Utopias yes I know.
Finally, I love Sam Adams because they are a great resource for the craft brew movement and beer geeks alike.  They have their homebrew competition every year.  They pick a winner and allow the individual to help brew their recipe commercially.  Then that brew is distributed nationally.  Awesome.  They let beer drinkers choose what beer they will be adding into their next seasonal rotation.  They also sponsor small business and beginning breweries with grants called Brewing the American Dream.  If you want further information visit the Sam Adams website, it is full of great information regarding beer.

I know there are those out their that say "Sam Adams Sucks".  My next question to them is always what have you tried?  Then comes, "Ummm that one is no good or I didn't like the one I had last year."  So I then spout off that they make over 30 different styles and their argument loses steam.  If you have tried all of the Sam Adams styles and don't like any of them, well thats like your opinion man.  I love Sam Adams because no matter the level of the beer lover, Sam Adams gives you easy access to try different styles.  Some will argue that other breweries have better beer, that is not my argument.  My argument is Sam Adams provides us with a huge selection which will help us wade further into the craft brew river.  And that is a delicious river to be in. 

Hope this extremely long post helps someone get the courage to venture away from their monotony and to start on their own craft brew journey.

Thanks for reading and as always...

Cheers!

Local Beer Blogger Helping Joplin


As everyone probably knows, a massive tornado went through the city of Joplin, Missouri on Sunday.  The Governor has declared a state of emergency and the American Red Cross is trying to help.  Local Beer blog, Show-Me Beer, has set up a program where he will be sponsoring donations to the Red Cross through his website.  The minimum donation is $10.00 and Show-Me Beer will send out gifts to those who donate.  See the Show-Me Beer website for more details about the gifts.


Visit the Show-Me Beer site by clicking on the link below and thanks to all who donate.
Buy a Round for Joplin, Help the Red Cross

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Omaha Beer Fest Recap

If you build it they will come.  No not a baseball field, a beer fest!  This Friday and Saturday was Omaha's Beer Fest at the Lewis and Clark Landing.  The Mrs and I made the pilgrimage north for the weekend to wrap up this weeks Craft Beer Week festivities.  And what a way to do it than with 31 breweries on the banks of the Missouri River.

The trip started out a little soggy.  Rain accompanied us all the way up I-29.  When we arrived the rain dissipated to a sprinkle and then to nothing.  Was this the beer gods watching over the FatCat?  We made the decision to hit the festival on Friday night to hopefully avoid any huge crowds.  We found the location and parked.  Three steps outside and it was clear the rain gods had kicked the beer gods' ass.  It started pouring.  We were hunkered together under a single umbrella and ventured on.  Needless to say the number of people willing to endure the monsoon were few.  There was immediate access to 31 breweries and their brew.  So if you overlook the fact we were the equivalent of drowned rats, this was awesome.  I mentioned in my recap of the Parkville festival I was glad the Mrs had a tasting glass so I could try more beers in the huge crowds.  Well this time it backfired.  After we got to the third tent in short order, the Mrs threw in the towel.  This left me two tasting glasses and 28 more breweries to sample.  Sounds great in theory but quickly became a daunting task.  I marched onward and with careful planning I was able to exit the festival under my own power.


The brew was outstanding.  One of my favorites was Crabtree Brewing Company out of Greeley, Colorado.  They have a delicious oatmeal stout that is sweet with hints of molasses.  It was my favorite of the festival and I went back to get seconds.  The Mrs liked their Ginger Bee Blonde Ale.  They also had a mixed beer of 50% Ginger Bee and 50% Twisted Creek Wheat which they deemed the "Killer Bee".  It had a unique taste which was crisp and refreshing.  With this being my favorite brewery and their Oatmeal Stout being one of the best stouts I have tried, I was disappointed.  Dissappointed in the fact that this small brewery doesn't distribute to the KC area, or so I thought.  The day after the festival while perusing the internet I discovered to my surprise that Crabtree distributes in Kansas City.  Yesssssssss!  Of course this didn't keep me from going to Hy Vee in Omaha and buying every bottle of Crabtree Oatmeal Stout they had.

Other brews of note were Empyrean Dark Side Vanilla Porter and Goose Island's Peres Jacques.  There were a couple oak and/or barrel aged beers at the festival that intrigued me.  These wood aged beers were sour, which I have not experienced before.  I didn't really care for them but they were interesting. 

If you are keeping score, this is my second beer festival.  The first being the Parkville Beer festival last month.  My thoughts on how the festivals compare are as follows.  The Parkville festival was better overall in my opinion.  Omaha's Beer fest was $35.00 per ticket and you got a cheesy plastic tasting glass.  The printed tasting guide in Omaha was full of advertisements and didn't list the beers the breweries were pouring.  The breweries in Omaha didn't bring anything special to pour.  It was just their everyday brews.  In Parkville several of the breweries had special brews, even though they ran out by the time we got to them.  I did like how Omaha's festival was two days, which I hope Parkeville would consider in the future.


One of our stops outstide of the beer fest was Stella's.  That cheeseburger was legendary.  And yes that is a Summer Shandy in the picture.  It felt like a summer day Saturday and the Shandy felt right.  It's a brew I usually buy once a summer as a tradition.  If you have not tried the Summer Shandy I recommend at least trying it.  I was "tricked" into buying it the first time.  I didn't realize it's beer mixed with lemonade, which I would normally not be a fan of, until after I bought it.  But I was pleasantly surprised and it has become one of my summer beers. 

Danger... Rant ahead!
(those with weak stomachs please look away)

Our hotel was in the downtown Old Market area of Omaha and our room was right off one of the main streets.  During the day Omaha has many parks and recreation areas that are beautiful.  But when the light fades "they" come out.  Apparently when the hotel we stayed in was constructed, windows made of tissue paper were within specifications.  I say this because you could hear everything from the street in our room.  When it came to 2:30AM we were blessed with the bars closing and people walking down the street.  What would posses an adult to spontaneously yell WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! while walking down a street at 2:30AM is beyond me.  And then it was like a mating call because several other douchebags would answer the first douchebags' love call.  Perhaps the combination of the street light glinting off of foil tiger shirts and the breeze blowing through their faux-hawks is so much stimulation that they must make douchebag mating calls.  Just a guess. With all the talk of the Rapture this weekend I figured I could turn to prayer to help me out with this overabundant douchebaggery.  I began to pray, prayed for Steve Buscemi with a sniper rifle or that M.Night Shyamalan's movie The Happening had some shred of truth in it and trees could really kill people.  Amen.  Nothing, damn maybe I should have prayed to Joe Pesci. 

Cheers!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm going to go ahead and make the call, we survived the rapture! We can step away from our Reverends and Salvations and go straight back to hellfire and damnation. How about some Arrogant Bastard or the beautiful abomination I like to call the Yetti.


Cheers!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hoppin Frog Bombers on Clearance at Tipsy's

Hoppin Frog bombers are on clearance at Tipsy's on Johnson Drive.  You can save a couple of bucks per bottle if you've ever wanted to try Hoppin Frog.  Their Barrell Aged Boris was recently rated 100 on Ratebeer.com.

Gomer's South Tasting

In celebration of Craft Beer Week Gomer's is hosting a tasting with two breweries!  Central States Beverage is bringing out Boulevard and Lagunitas.

Boulevard will have their everyday six-pack line up plus Boss Tom's up for sampling.

Lagunitas will have some of their everyday beers plus three brand new beers on special release.

Tonight from 4-6pm at Gomer's South.

Avery’s The Reverend and FatCat’s Evil Belgian Ale Throwdown

Last weekend FatCatKC had plans of exploring the Sam Adams’ Latitude 48 Deconstruction sampler. But last weekend’s weather was less than IPA-like and in addition to that put FatCatKC under the weather this week. But never fear, the FatCat is back! And now I bring you a good old fashion throwdown. The two brews were The Reverend, a Belgian Quadruple, and my very own Evil Belgian Dark Strong Ale.


I have an affinity for the name, “The Reverend”. This particular affinity is due to my love for a bourbon named Elijah Craig. Not only is this delicious bourbon affordable, it is named after the reverend who invented bourbon whiskey. Now when my friends and I enjoy this particular bourbon, we can officially say we are speaking with “The Reverend”. Naturally when I see a craft brew with this moniker, I must try it.



Avery The Reverend

Stats:
OG: 1.093

ABV: 10.0%

IBUs: 10

The Reverend poured with an off-white head about one finger high. There was a definitive yeast character accented with subtle fruit in the nose. The taste of this brew was dominated by the character of Belgian yeast. If you hunted intently you may detect a very small amount of dark fruit in the taste, but it would immediately be overwhelmed with the spice of the yeast. The finish was very dry with bite from the yeast. As with all Belgian style ales, the strength of this brew is deceiving in the mouthfeel. Overall the brew was drinkable but was borderline offensive with the yeast flavor.



FatCat’s Evil Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Stats:

OG: 1.100

ABV: 10.6%

IBUs: 23.6%

This is FatCat’s first attempt at a Belgain style strong ale. I was excited to try my hand at this style due to the complexity and the high ABV. I added my own stove top Belgian Syrup and table sugar to increase ABV without increasing body. I brewed this in November 2010 so it has been marinating for a while. I poured out the Evil and it was a dark ruby color. There was very little head as the brew is under-carbonated. I attempted to bottle condition the ale with respect to the tradition of the style. Unfortunately, it is not easy to bottle condition a high ABV ale and consequently the Evil did not fully carbonate. There were hints of caramel and plums in the nose. It was time swallow my fear and drink the Evil. It was slightly sweet in taste, with subtle spice from the yeast. There were dark fruit flavors like plum and raisin in the background. The caramel flavors came through more as the brew warmed. The finish was somewhat sweet but satisfying. The mouthfeel obviously suffered due to the under-carbonation and was thicker than The Reverend’s. Overall I am happy with how the beer turned out and the taste was great.



Conclusion:

Some may accuse me of being biased because this throwdown involved FatCat’s own concoction. Well the accusers would be correct, but based on taste alone the Evil would be my favorite. It had better flavor and was more complex. Based on the Evil’s character flaw of being somewhat flat, The Reverend would probably win out in an unbiased competition. Since I’m the only judge, and this is my throwdown, I crown Evil Belgian Dark Strong Ale the winner!


Epilogue:
I was disappointed in a brew with a name of “The Reverend” being so one-dimensional (yeasty). Every drink of The Reverend gave me the impression I was ingesting spoonfuls of yeast. I checked the bottom of the bottle and I didn’t see any yeast residue to indicate this brew was bottle conditioned. I am usually very careful not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the bottle, so I don’t think this was operator error. I was expecting great things from this brew so I checked out Beer Advocate to see what others thought. Overall it had a B+ rating out of 658 reviews. The thing that struck me as odd was the plethora of descriptions used to describe this brew. Everything from cherries, plums, grapes, malty, apples, too much hop bitterness, floral, citrus, thin, syrupy, etc, etc, etc. So I’m not sure if it is better at different times of the year, or if the recipe has changed frequently. It is a very affordable brew at $5.99 for 22oz of 10% ABV. I may pick up another bottle to see if the unpleasant yeast signature was exclusive to my particular bottle as I really wanted “The Reverend” to match the distinction of its name.



Cheers!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

IPA round-up No. 1 – Founders Centennial IPA review

All hail the king of FatCat's IPA shootout.  The Founders came, it saw, and it dominated!


STATS:

ABV:  7.2%
IBU:   65

Founders has a tremendous reputation when it comes to the stellar stouts they offer.  But the question was, could the IPA measure up to the likes of Two Hearted or Odell?  The answer was a definitive YES!  In 2010, Ratebeer.com ranked Founders the 4th best brewery in the world.  Founders also has several beers listed in the top one hundred beers on Beeradvocate.com. They were winners of four medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup, and the winner of two medals at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.  Founders is one serious craft brewery.

The Centennial IPA poured with a small white head that dissipated quickly.  The nose yields gentle hop aroma with slight hints of caramel in the background.  The taste of this brew is balanced perfectly with hop flavor and caramel.  Yes this brew has malt character with caramel notes, but it was not overpowering as was the case for some other beers in the shootout.  The caramel notes create perfect harmony with the beautiful hop flavor in this brew.  The brew finishes clean and leaves you hunting for more.  Luckily there's five more where that came from.  This brew is a pure joy to drink.

While doing research I found this brew has something in common with the Bell's Two Hearted Ale.  What's that you might ask?  It is also brewed exclusively with the Centennial hop.  This is the reason I love craft brew.  Here are two beers brewed with the same type of hop and are completely different.  The Two Hearted is a refreshing citrus brew and the Founders is a more complex caramel brew of pure deliciousness.

Conclusion:
Man that is one super freakin' sweet ass delicious hop!

Cheers

Monday, May 16, 2011

IPA round-up No. 2 – Odell IPA review

Odell Myrcenary = awesome so Odell IPA = awesome, right?

Stats:
ABV:  7.0%
IBU:  60 

I never had this brew prior to the shootout.  However, based on my previous experience with Odell Myrcenary, it was my intuition that this brew was going to be awesome.  The beauty of human nature is some how intuition, also known as gut instinct, is frequently correct.  This particular magic of the human psyche has proved correct and the Odell IPA placed second in our shootout.  The Odell IPA poured with a big fluffy head.    The nose of the brew expressed citrus and floral notes.  This IPA was very balanced with consideration of malt sweetness to hop bitterness.  Along with the balance, this IPA had a very clean finish.  The hops on finish are not astringent but instead very pleasing.  The balance along with the clean finish leads to a very pleasant and enjoyable IPA.  As this brew warms, it expresses hints of grapefruit which enhances the overall experience.  This IPA is top notch and I would recommend this to anyone.

Conclusion:
Intuition is a delicious trait.

Cheers!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

American Craft Beer Week in KC

This week, May 16-22, will be American Craft Beer Week.  This is a week where retailers, brewers, and restaurants sponsor events to showcase craft brew in the community.  This is a great opportunity to try some brew you may not try otherwise.  One of the perks of this great country is we never pass up an opportunity to drink alcohol.  New Years, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo and now the American Craft Brew Week.  So if you need an excuse to drink, this week is your week.  Take this opportunity to expand your craft brew horizons and support the local craft brew people.

See Beer KC for complete details about the celebrations at the Foundry, McCoy's, and the beer Kitchen.

McCoy's will be tapping a rare beer every day to celebrate:

   - Monday, May 16th: Schlafly Hop Toddy
   - Tuesday, May 17th: Firestone Walker 14
   - Wednesday, May 18th: Goose Island Vanilla Bourbon County Stout
   - Thursday, May 19th: Stone Chipotle Smoked Porter
   - Friday, May 20th: New Belgium Ooh La La

Monday May 16th, 6pm-7pm;  Boulevard will be offer sampling of their Smokestack Series at Cellar and Loft in the river market area.

Monday, May 16, starts 6pm; 23rd St Brewery in Lawrence kicks of the week by tapping a firkin and offering tours throughout the week.


Monday May 16th;  Old Chicago in Overland Park starts their Craft Beern Mini Tour. 

Tuesday, May 17, 6:30pm – 8:00pm; Boulevard will be offering sampling of their brews at Barley's Brewhaus in Shawnee, KS.

Thursday, May 19, 6pm – 8pm; Berbiglia on 103rd St in KCMO will be hosting a 15+ brewery tasting.  You get an etched tasting glass for $2.00.

Thursday, May 19, starts 7:30pm;  Free State Brewing Co. in Lawrence will feature a cask beer tasting and meet the brewers out on the Front Porch with live music on the sidewalk.

Saturday, May 21, starts 5pm;  23rd St Brewery in Lawrence taps another firkin.

You can scroll down the page and I have a calendar of events that will have details about some of the above mentioned events.  I keep this updated with upcoming information about tastings, beer releases, and beer festivals.  It is a quick and easy way to keep up with craft brew happenings in the KC area.

For more information about American Craft Beer Week and ideas to celebrate go to Craftbeer.com.  Be safe and never drink and drive.

Cheers!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

IPA round-up No. 3 – Boulevard Single Wide review

The sleeper, at least from our past experience, was the Boulevard Single Wide.  It turned out to be one of our favorites.

Stats:

ABV:  5.7%
IBU:   57

The Single Wide poured with a huge white fluffy head.  The carbonation in this particular bottle was very high causing about a three finger head when poured.  The smell out of the bottle was very hoppy with hints of grapefruit.  Once poured in my glass the head seemed to block most of the smell of the brew.  What could be detected in the glass was delicate citrus and faint grapefruit.  What surprised me about the Single Wide was how the taste and mouthfeel didn't indicate the lower ABV.  At 5.7% it was one of the lower ABVs in our shootout, but it tasted just as big as the others.  The initial reaction to the Single Wide is that it is well balanced and is not overly bitter.  The signature of the Single Wide is the deep and complex grapefruit flavors. 

Conclusion:

Kudos to Boulevard Brewing Company for the delicious local brew and keep up the good work.

Cheers

Friday, May 13, 2011

IPA round-up No. 4 – Bell’s Two Hearted Ale review

I will be wrapping up FatCat’s 2011 IPA shootout by reviewing the top four. And without further adieu, the number four beer in our shootout is Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.



Stats:

ABV: 7.0%

IBU: Not disclosed

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale was my initial favorite to win the shootout. It is one of the best IPAs available in this area. The Two Hearted poured with a huge persistent head, white in color. The smell is bright and citrusy. This brew is super smooth and refreshing. It is so delightfully refreshing you can put a couple of these down without realizing you are drinking a high abv IPA. That is of course, until you stand up from your lawn chair. The real signature of this brew is the slight lemony flavor mixed in with the hoppy goodness. The other IPAs in the shootout did not have this lemon taste and is part of the reason the Two Hearted is so refreshing. Yes I know I’ve used “refreshing” several times here but that is immediately what I think when I think of Two Hearted. It’s like peanut butter and Jelly, Two Hearted and refreshing, see it works! One of the most intriguing aspects of the Two Hearted Ale is that it uses one type of hop and one hop only. The Centennial hop is the only hop used and is added several times throughout the brewing process.

Conclusion:

Man that is one delicious hop!



Cheers
Two Goose Island Big Johns at Gomer's midtown on the shelf.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sam Adams Deconstructed finally in KS

I live on the Kansas side so we usually get stuff way after Missouri.  The announcement of the Sam Adams Deconstructed sample pack has left me in wait.  Like a lion on the Serengeti I have been hunting this sampler pack for weeks now.  Crouched in the grass and visiting the liquor store every other day, my hunt was finally rewarded.  The thrill of the kill (well, the purchase) will be enjoyed this weekend.  The sampler will include two of the regular Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA's.  With this they are including 5 single hopped versions of the Latitude. All 5 hops are used in the original Latitude 48 but you will now be able to taste each hop as it would appear in the beer individually.  The hops are Hallertau Mittelfrueh from Germany, East Kent Goldings from England, Ahtanum, Simcoe, and Zues.  The last three come from Washington's Yakima Valley.  I think this is a great idea and will help further the education of beer geeks and casual consumers alike.  Even if you don't care for the Latitude 48, I think this would be a good way to experience what unique flavor each hop contributes to the final beer.  I've contemplated trying something like this as a homebrewer and the amount of time involved in making 5 separate small batches would be hard to commit to.  So for around $14.00 this is a super cheap and quick way to increase your hop knowledge. 

Mikkeller also produces some single hopped IPA's that are supposed to be exceptional.  These are harder to find but I have seen one of them at Tipsy's.

Happy Hunting and as always...

Cheers!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Brew Master for the Army

A day late and four dollars short (inflation), but there was a posting on USAJOBS for a brew master for the Army.  The listing ended yesterday. In my head I immediately envisioned Pauley Shore from In the Army Now. Then I came back to reality and thought to myself, self, that would be cool you should apply. The opening was located in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and I had to re-read the posting to make sure the Army part was right.


The major duties:
Plans and manages the day-to-day operation of a brewery. Prepares and/or oversees the preparation of beer following and creating recipes. Develops operating budget, identifying labor, equipment and supply cost elements. Controls pricing, beer production methods and techniques. Supervises assigned staff.

Salary Range: $22,020.00 - $22,020.00/year

Benefits: Flexible employees are not entitled to benefits

After reading the salary amount and seeing the exclusion of benefits, I was intrigued as to how much head brewers actually made in the private sector. The salary equates to about $10.60/hr if you don’t work any overtime. So you would be running all operations of a business for $10.60/hr, seems kind of strange to me. So I set off on the Internet to research how much head brewers actually make.

I ran into some problems finding up-to-date information on a head brewer salary range. Most of the information I found was at least a couple of years old. After some research, I ran across a post from February 2011 on the Beer and Whiskey Brothers website. Based on the website post, the Brewers Association puts the salary range of a brew master at $30,000 to $50,000. To read the full article visit Beer and Whiskey Brothers.

I never had the privilege of being involved with a commercial brewery operation, so I can not comment on that directly. Drawing from my homebrew experience, I can attest to the fact there is a tremendous amount of work involved.  To put that on a commercial stage and actually be responsible for how the beer turns out would be amazingly stressful.  The compensation for the master brewer does not seem to fit the lopsided equation.  The work and stress seems like it would completely outweigh the compensation.  At the conclusion of my research I have even more appreciation for craft beer and the people behind it. Perhaps someone who is, or knows any of the local master brewers in the area can comment on the accuracy of the Brewers Association salary range.

To the people of local craft brew,
thank you and cheers!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Boulevard Beer tasting at Barleys Brewhaus

Barley's Brewhaus

16649 Midland Drive
Shawnee, Kansas

Tuesday, May 17 · 6:30pm - 8:00pm
 
You'll get to try six different Boulevard brews and learn what makes them each unique. Reservations are not required but samples are available on a first-come basis.



KCbeerblog is looking for gateway beers

Bull E Vard from KCbeerblog is looking for suggestions on what craft brews could be considered "gateway" beers to the un-initiated (i.e. Bud, Miller, Coors drinkers).  This is a very interesting question and I'm looking forward to see what people say.  Head on over by clicking the link below and voice your opinion.

Comment on Gateway Brew on KCbeerblog

Truth in Beervertising from Breckenridge Brewery

Breckenridge Brewery is set to release an advertising campaign mocking Big Beer's advertising gimmicks.  There are about 4 clips that will soon be released and they are absolutely hilarious.  It is really quite insulting what Big Beer's marketers think they can sell us.  Do we really need a label to tells us how cold a beer is?  Or grooves in the bottle?  Seriously, how about making your beer not taste like it came out of the wrong end of a horse. 

Check out the commercial clips at beernews.org it is worth it I promise.

Growing Hops in Containers

Growing hops has always intrigued me. Being locked in the suburban sprawl has discouraged me from attempting to grow hops in the past. However, after reading an article in Brew Your Own (BYO) magazine about growing hops, I have gained enough confidence to attempt the unthinkable...


Growing hops in containers!


My dilemma has been the orientation of my house and the sun. The front yard is the only place that gets a significant amount of sunlight during the day. Hops need lots of sun and I was not willing to plant hop plants in the front yard. Hops are giant plants that grow up to 25ft tall and the roots expand up to 10ft underground. Due to the large dimensions of this plant, when planted in the ground you are limited to where you can plant them, i.e. not the front yard. But with containers, I can put them on the side of the house or move them wherever I want!

There is great argument across the internet of whether you should try to grow hops in containers, of which discouraged me from trying it for several years. However, BYO has come to the rescue and given me the confidence to boldly go where only some have gone before. Hops in containers are possible and I’m attempting just that this summer. The problem with containers is the constraint placed on the hop plant's roots. This constraint limits the size of the hop plant above ground and means you have to change the way you care for a potted hop plant as opposed to an in-ground hop plant. See BYO for the complete article and step-by-step instructions that I am using in my endeavor.



I planted three hop plants about 2 weeks ago. All three are currently sprouting about 1-2 inches. Two are in 24” containers and one is in the ground at the back of my house. I pre-ordered the hops from Midwest Supplies but you can also order from Bacchus and Barleycorn. You usually have to pre-order as hop rhizomes are generally in limited supply. You can search the internet and may be able to find some hop rhizomes still available. I planted the Cascade and Centennial in the containers. The only thing I’m doing different from the BYO article is the PVC housing for the stake. You can see the PVC opening in the picture in which my cedar stake will go down inside of. I did this because I want to be able to remove the stake at the end of the season and replace it the following season without damaging the hop’s roots. I chose cedar stakes as cedar is supposed to be rot resistant without chemical treatment. I planted Hallertau in the ground behind my house. I am not sure there will be enough sunlight in this location but it is worth a shot.

I will follow up throughout the summer with the status of the hops and offer my observations with the benefits of containers vs in-ground hop growing. At the end of the season I will weigh the harvest so we can see how much can be expected from container vs in-ground growing. I have also considered trying to plant some barley so at the end of the growing season I can make a FatCat Estate brew!

Links:
Brew Your Own Hops in Container article

Midwest Supplies has a very good FAQ section under Hop Rhizomes


Cheers!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Awesome beer label art!

21st Amendment Back in Black


This beer is not available in Kansas or Missouri but this label is freakin sweet.  To see the full review of 21st Amendment Brewing Back in Black @ Thefullpint.

In a galaxy not so far far away… Beer Wars!

The documentary film, Beer Wars, is now available in its entirety, free of charge, at www.hulu.com.  I encourage everyone to take the time to watch this documentary.  It contains tons of good information about the beer industry, and how the beer industry operates.  There are several key figures in the craft brew movement showcased in this documentary.   Besides being a plethora of information for beer aficionados and beer nerds alike, it spotlights how politics play a role in the beer industry.  A lot of this information is simply overlooked by everyday consumers, and allows big beer to operate behind closed doors.  Most people (at least I didn’t) know how distributors worked and how beer actually arrived at the local liquor store.   It explains how the three-tiered system operates and how it is supposed to be a system of checks and balances.  But everyone knows that boat loads of money can easily influence and control the market.  This country is supposed to operate as a free market, but with the influence of tons of cash it’s easy to tilt the playing field to the point “free market” is just a cute name flashed at consumers.  Consumer education and awareness is important in a free market regardless of the industry.  Consumer complacency is running rampant and we now fail to seek out information regarding our products.  The lowest common denominator becomes acceptable and innovation grinds to a halt.  Regardless of your interest in the beer industry, this documentary is a wake-up call to consumers of all industry in this country.

For more information regarding Beer Wars and updated on the stories presented in the film visit
http://beerwarsmovie.com/.

For information on who donates and how much is donated to political figures visit
http://www.opensecrets.org/.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

15+ craft brew tasting stations at Royal Liquor

Craft Beer Tasting Thursday 5/12 from 6-8pm. 1301 West 103rd Street, KC MO . 15+ Tasting Stations each with multiple beers! Spread the word & bring your friends, the better the turnout, the sooner they'll do it again!

FatCat's 2011 IPA shootout results epilogue

I felt it necessary to clarify the purpose and some details regarding the IPA shootout.  First and foremost the shootout was organized and conducted in the name of fun and fun only.  The IPA shootout results should be interpreted as such.  I nor anybody involved claim to be experts of any kind regarding beer judging.  We leave that to the BJCP certified beer judges. 
  
If anyone wishes to now what beer judges think, check out the Great American Beer Festival winners or the World Beer Cup winners.  These official beer competitions are great sources of information, but I have a complaint.  A great majority of the beers ranked are not available to us and some I've never even heard of.  Therefore if some beer from California is a gift straight from the beer gods, it means nothing to me in Kansas City. 

Another great source of beer information and reviews is Beer Advocate or Rate Beer.  I encourage anyone who is interested in beer rankings or trying craft brews to check out those sites for information.  I frequent these sites and picked many of my entries for the shootout from the top 50 on Beer Advocate.  These sites provide rankings based on reviewers but I always wondered what would happen if these brews were reviewed back to back.  Would the rankings hold up?  So based on my curiosity I organized the IPA shootout.

One of my objectives is to provide useful information to the craft beer un-initiated or rookies through this site.  As I stated before, if we can save one person from the grips of lifeless lager and convert them to the magic of craft brew I have succeeded.  With that note I have sent many rookies to the Beer Advocate website and I get the same reaction.  What is floral?  How do you taste pine? What does a wet blanket on a summers night next to a fire taste like?  Then they look at me like I've tried to introduce a Calculus equation to them and that I'm the biggest nerd within a 20 yard radius.  So with this in mind I wanted to introduce a simple way to rate the beers. We thought some beers tasted better than others so that is how we rated them. Overly simple in some people's mind, probably.  But someone who knows nothing about IPA's can now have a general idea of what's pretty good and where to find it.

I did not want to use plastic cups.  I drink all of my beer out of glass in my everyday life.  I checked the BJCP Judge Procedure Manual and it states that hard plastic cups are a legitimate vessel to sample beer in.  This goes along with pictures I've seen in magazines showing beer samples in plastic cups submitted for judging.  I still did not want to use plastic cups.  My dilemma was I wanted to taste 11 beers back to back.  This would mean we would have 44 glasses piled on the table.  I couldn't figure out a reliable way to label the glasses without ruining the glass.  I contemplated just setting the glasses on labeled cards but wanted no possibility of mixing them up. We used (2) 12oz bottles per entry and (1) 22oz bottle for a total of 23 bottles of beer for this tasting.  This (for me anyway) was a significant investment monetarily, not to mention the time/gas we put into this.  So getting the drinks mixed up and completely ruining the tasting was not an option.  Plastic cups it is then.

I received several comments regarding my comment that we downgraded two IPA's due to there malty character.  In my personal opinion the maltiness in those two beers interfered with the hop aroma and flavor. Hop aroma and flavor are trademarks of the IPA style for me (again not BJCP certified).  I was attempting to give insight to people who might not have any experience with IPA's. If they wanted to try a "mellower" IPA with regards to hop intensity, the two malty IPA's may be a good starting point.

I would like to thank everyone who has read the IPA shootout and for your comments.  The shootout was so much fun and I encourage you to try one of your own.  I think it would be just as much fun with 3 or 4 beers, so don't think you need a bunch of beers to blind test.  FatCatKC has several other shootouts planned for various styles and will be announced as we go. 

Hope you enjoyed the IPA shootout and as always...

Cheers!

Friday, May 6, 2011

FatCat's 2011 IPA shootout results!

The shootout is complete and 11 IPA’s are down. The numbers have been tallied and we have a winner!



This was a blind tasting, meaning we had no idea which beers we were drinking. The Mrs was gracious enough to pour the beers into 44 different tasting cups and deliver them to us on the back porch. We tasted each of our 11 samples and then rated them 1-5, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. We are by no means beer judges and rated them purely on taste and smell. This was a ton of fun and we were surprised by the results to say the least. I will be detailing the reviews of some of the top performers in later posts.

And the winner is:

1.    Founder’s Centennial IPA                 16.5pts
2.    Odell IPA                                         16.0pts
3.    Boulevard Single Wide                     15.0pts
4.    Bell’s 2 hearted                                14.5pts
5.    Sam Adams Latitude 48                   13.5pts
6.    Goose Island IPA                            11.5pts
7.    Arcadia IPA                                      9.5pts
8.    Sierra Nevada Torpedo                     9.0pts
9.    Bear Republic Racer 5                       8.0pts
10. Great Divide Titan                               8.0pts
11. Schlafly Export IPA                            7.0pts



FatCat’s Favorites:

Latitude 48    4.5pts

Founder’s      4.5pts

Boulevard      4.0pts



Super Dave’s Favorites:

Odell IPA   5.0pts

Founder’s   4.0pts

Bell’s          4.0pts

Boulevard   4.0pts



Greg’s Favorites:

Founder’s   4.0pts

Bell’s          4.0pts

Boulevard   4.0pts





Alex’s Favorites:

Odell          4.5pts

Founder’s  4.0pts

Bell’s         3.5pts




Conclusion:

Our results were surprising. We were in agreement the Bell’s 2 Hearted would most likely be the best. None of us had tried the Odell IPA before the shootout, but I reasoned that if the Myrcenary was so good that the regular IPA should be good too. Prior to the test, Super Dave and I both liked the Latitude 48 because of the super clean taste and thought it would finish higher. A few beers were scored lower during the shootout because they had significant malt flavor compared to the others. These were the Racer 5 and the Titan. Neither were bad beers, just scored lower due to the maltiness.

I know there are people out there like WTF where’s the Stone? I swear I bought a 22oz of Stone IPA prior to the shootout, but when all the bottles were lined up, I couldn’t find the Stone. My hypothesis is the beer-drinking gnome that watches over my homebrew drank it. This is the price you have to pay to have a drunk gnome channel the beer gods and guard your house.

This will be the base line test for IPA’s. We will use the top 3 out of this test to compare to other IPA’s like Stone and even some FatCat’s homebrew. We will keep a rolling competition going. If you have any suggestions of what you want to see in the next IPA shootout, email me.

Where we got ‘em:

Founder’s Centennial IPA – Gomer’s Midtown          Sam Adams Latitude 48-Tipsy’s
Schlafly Export IPA-Gomer’s Midtown                     Goose Island IPATipsy’s
Bell’s 2 hearted-Gomer’s Midtown                           Arcadia IPA- Tipsy’s
Odell IPA-Tipsy’s                                                    Great Divide Titan-Hyvee State Line
Sierra Nevada Torpedo-Tipsy’s                               Boulevard Single Wide-Hyvee State Line
Bear Republic Racer 5-Tipsy’s

Was Brew Masters canceled due to Big Beer's threats?

Anthony Bourdain from the popular Travel Channel show accuses “big beer” via Twitter of threatening to pull advertisement if the show Brew Masters was not canceled. Brew Masters was on the same network and produced by the same company as Bourdain’s show, No Reservations. To read more see Beernews.org for their report.


For those of you who have not seen Brew Masters, it was a show about the inner workings of one of the most popular craft breweries in the US. Personally, I only watched the show one time. Not because I was not interested, but to my knowledge Brew Masters was only advertised for its premiere. I didn’t see any other advertisements announcing when the show was going to be aired and therefore never knew when it was going to be aired again. The one show I did get to see was very interesting and had relevance outside of just how the brewery operated. I would definitely have watched it again and not just for the beer content.

The accusation from Bourdain is right in line with the message presented in the documentary film,
Beer Wars . The big beer conglomerates use tactics (money) to undermine small brewery operations and keep new small breweries from entering the market.  And if they can't beat them they just buy them, see Goose Island.  In Beer Wars it is outlined how beer lobbyist influence Congress to uphold antiquated laws put in place at the end of prohibition. These laws uphold the three-tiered system and give the giant beer companies an upper hand by having direct influence on distributors. Thus, distributors will not carry a local small brewery because big beer has purchased all of the distributor’s space. This space is purchased whether big beer need’s it or not, effectively pushing out much of the local competition. This is all in theory, but some point to the money that lobbyist pay to Congress as proof of concept. Anheuser-Busch is listed on Opensecrets.org as a 67th out of 100 heavy hitters of all time from 1989-2010. As a side note, if you want to see the top spenders as listed by Opensecrets.org which do not include any beer companies but may be of interest.

So if you don’t already, please support craft breweries. Not only is the beer light years better than the advertised garbage, you will be supporting local people.


Cheers!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Big Brew 2011

KCworthog has a good post with the information regarding the American Homebrew Associations Big Brew 2011.  Basically Big Brew a day for homebrewers to celebrate by brewing a certain beer recipe with fellow homebrewers and raising a toast at 12pm.  Bacchus & Barleycorn along with the Kansas City Bier Meisters are sponsoring a Big Brew event in the parking lot behind Bacchus.  Below is the information provided from Bacchus & Barlecorn's newsletter email:

"Join the Kansas City Bier Meisters and Bacchus & Barleycorn celebration of Big Brew and National Homebrew Day on the lot behind Bacchus & Barleycorn beginning at 10:00 AM , Saturday, May 7. Thousands of homebrewers around the world unite to celebrate National Homebrew Day. The same homebrew recipe is brewed and a toast is raised simultaneously at Noon Central Time. This is a great opportunity to interact with other brewers, ask and answer brewing related questions and see the very simple to the most creative, elaborate systems being used by other homebrewers. So, bring your kettle and propane burner and brew with us or just come and celebrate homebrewing with us and thousands of brewers all over the world. This is a day you won’t want to miss."

For actual recipes you can visit the Homebrewers Association Recipes page.
And again visit KCworthog's site for background, other locations, and additional information regarding Big Brew 2011.

Cheers!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rare Stone brews still in KC!

When Stone Brewing Company stopped in KC to kickoff their Missouri distribution, they brought some kick ass rare brews with them.  Stone has since retreated from the KC area and we are left with only their regular line-up.  If you are like me, you already miss the special brews including the 2010 Russian Imperial Stout.  Well their is great news!  The Riot Room is still pouring Double Bastard 2010, Stone Russian Imperial Stout 2010, Doubly Dry-Hopped Stone IPA, and Double Dry-Hopped Stone Sublimely Self Righteous.  If you missed out on these brews the first time around, or you have an abnormal attachment to beer like me, it's not too late to get them!  I highly recommend the Imperial Stout and the Double Dry-Hopped.

Gomer's South Tasting

Sean O'Malley from Weston Brewing Company is bringing their brew to Gomer's South for the weekly tasting Friday.

FatCat's 2011 IPA shootout - 11 beers, 4 guys, 1 winner

Summer is coming and what better brew for summer than an IPA?  We are going to be blind tasting 11 IPA's and rating them with a score of 1-5.  The one with the highest score at the end of the taste bud assault will be the king of the IPA in Kansas City.  Who will it be?



Bell's Two Hearted Ale
Boulevard Single Wide
Great Divide Titan IPA
Odell IPA
Sierra Nevada Torpedo
Goose Island IPA
Sam Adams Latitude 48
Founders Centennial IPA
Schlafly Export IPA
Bear Republic Racer 5
Arcadia IPA


My initial thoughts on the winner is either the Two Hearted or the Odell IPA.  I've never had the Odell but I did try the Myrcenary the other day and it was awesome!  So with my powers of reason I think the Odell IPA should be awesome as well.  Results will be posted soon after the impending hangover.

Cheers!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Air Jordan for basketball and Brewshoes for craft brew.





Just when you think you’ve seen everything, BAM!  You run across Brewshoes. 

Brewshoes are designed to be comfortable slip-on style footwear and are available in leather and canvas. They come colored in popular beer styles and are water/stain resistant. The outsoles are slip resistant and have a beer bottle shaped tread pattern. Think of how cool your footprint will look in the mud in these. You will be the coolest kid in town for sure! You can do a search for brewshoes on the net and find several places to purchase them.  Doesn't seem like there is much of a price difference.  The best part of Brewshoes is the styles are named after two cult classic legends, Walter and The Dude. The Dude abides!     

Monday, May 2, 2011

Boulevard Brewing Company at O'Dowd's Zona Rosa

Boulevard's Jeremy Danner will be at O'Dowd's at Zona Rosa Wednesday May 4.  There will be a full line up of Boulevard brews to sample and snacks for a cost of $10.00-$15.00.  There will also be a keg of Chocolate ale being tapped at some point in the night.