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4 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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Fall 2016, Issue 26

The autumnal shift is right around the bend, and as ......


the hues of leaves skew brighter, the beers get darker.
Easy-sipping ales with whiffs of lemon and mango give
way to bold browns and hearty porters, and long nights TaBLE OF CONTENTS
under lights with lagers cede to fireside stouts as the
days grow shorter. From the Editors
No matter how technologically advanced we become,
we are reliant on living, breathing nature. Brewers Contributors
may be especially aware of this fact – all grains, hops
and yeast are or were, at least in some stage of the Industry News
beermaking process, alive. The intrinsic connection
of beer to nature is enescapable. Just ask The Mixed-
Culture Master, Chad Yakobson. The Crooked Stave
founder goes to great lengths to ensure the organisms FIRST RUNNINGS
living in his barrels thrive, but don’t run rampant.
For more on foeders, the large barrels in which these The Mixed-Culture Master
micro-organisms work their magic, check out The Art of
Coopering Part II. Chad Yakobson of Denver’s Crooked Stave discusses
his brewing techniques and pioneering work with
For a different look at how nature can inspire, we’ll talk Brettanomyces.
with Red Hare co-founder Bobby Thomas to find out
how Chasing the Rabbit put a new hop in his step, and
enjoy specially prepared seafood and beer pairings Chasing the Rabbit: Bobby Thomas of
with award-winning Chef Erin Coopey. Red Hare Brewing
Our thirst for knowledge leads us to do some Drinking The head brewer of Red Hare Brewing in Marietta,
in the French Countryside with Owen Ogletree, before Georgia talks background, beers and bunnies.
sniffing out the difference of two harvest-time favorites
in Oktoberfest vs. Marzen. Meanwhile, Jonathan Ingram
lays down the law regarding Why Beers Need Packaged Why Beers Need “Packaged On” Dates
On Dates, and we keep you covered with all the news, Jonathan Ingram delves into a question of time in his
events, and more expert reviews than you can shake a Connoisseur’s Corner.
snifter at, with Brewer Q+A’s to boot.

Here’s to the joy that comes with opening a bottle, can


or (digital magazine), and savoring every last droplet
(of knowledge). We hope you enjoy the Fall Issue of
The Beer Connoisseur!

6 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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Owen Ogletree treks across the French countryside in
search of the finest libati

Long Beach Craft Beer Festival


Events for craft beer fanatics.

8 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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From the Editors

Despite the fact that autumn technically won’t begin process, allowing our readers to simply open up an
for another 10 days, please enjoy this, the Fall Issue email and read entire articles with no finicky clicking,
of The Beer Connoisseur! We’ve got all the usual distracting collapsible menus or miniscule thumbnails
coverage, including a spectacular review of Tree House on a phone’s screen.
Brewing’s King JJJuliusss Double IPA, which is one of
a record-breaking eight (8!) World-Class beer reviews Featuring the vivid images, fascinating subjects and
in this issue. excellent writing that you’ve come to expect from The
Beer Connoisseur, we feel that this is the best way to
We learn at the feet of Chad Yakobson, mad scientist/ deliver our fans and readers the quality content that
head brewer at Crooked Stave, in Jonathan Ingram’s we produce.
The Mixed-Culture Master then head south to hear Red
Hare Brewing Company’s head brewer Bobby Thomas So enjoy the articles now online, or sit back and
talk about its 4th-place finish at the U.S. Open Beer await the stories in full in your inbox – it’s up to you!
Championships as well as a beer inspired by an orange We are but humble connoisseurs, sipping eternally
creamsicle. scrumptious craft brews and serving up stories on all
the brew that’s fit to drink.
You may have also noticed your email inbox getting
peppered with eNewsletters from us on a regular basis. Cheers!
With our Industry News and Official Beer Review
eNewsletters getting a warm reception, we’ve decided Jim & Chris
to provide all Premium Members with even more high-
quality content via email.

Starting with choice stories from Issue 25, we will


be sending full articles to all of our subscribers and
Premium Members via email. This streamlines the

10 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


Contributors

Sherry Dryja
Sherry is a travel writer, lifelong traveler and taster of life. A reformed cookie scorcher, she now
shows others how to avoid kitchen failures, occasionally teaching baking classes and catering
small events. To know her is to be recruited as a taste tester for the recipes she develops for The
Beer Connoisseur® and her blog, Kitchen Dilettante. She and her husband split their time between
Seattle and Phoenix with their miniature schnauzer, Lukas.

Jonathan Ingram
A freelance writer for 32 years before crossing over to the dark side of editing, Jonathan’s
original “I Write for Beer” T-shirt was a tie-dyed model. He also enjoys running – yep – for
beer. He’s written six books on motor racing, a sport pursued to the ends of the earth
because he enjoyed being paid to travel and write stories daily about danger and passionate
individualism. A perfect day ended at the nearest emporium holding good food, beer and
conversation.

Owen Ogletree
The founder of the popular Classic City Brew Fest held in Athens, Georgia each spring, Owen
runs Brewtopia.info and writes for the bi-monthly Southern Brew News. Full-time in beer,
Owen has also served as a beer judge at the Great American Beer Festival and the Great
British Beer Festival.

Carolyn Smagalski
A frequent contributor, Carolyn won the Brewers Association’s Beer Journalism Award in
2006 for her work on the website BellaOnline, where she is known as “the Beer Fox.”

Carl Kins
An active member of the European Consumers Beer Union, and Zythos, Carl is an international
beer judge, educator, a scholar, and a frequent contributor to The Beer Connoisseur.

Max Bahnson
An Argentine living in Prague since 2002, Max is a translator, beer writer and beer
philosopher who is a Contributor to the Spanish magazine Bar & Beer, the Czech magazine
Pivo, Bier & Ale, and The Beer Connoisseur.

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 11
Industry News

AB-INBEv Buys BElgIAN BrEwEr BostEEls, Sabeco seems to only be interested in the cash:
sEts sIghts oN othErs “Sabeco doesn’t care if the buyer is an international or
That’s right, Brouwerij Bosteels, the seventh generation domestic company,” said CEO Le Hong Xanh. “All we
brewery famed for producing Tripel Karmeliet, Pauwel care about is who will pay the most. The government
Kwak and DeuS, will sell to AB-InBev for an estimated wants to sell its stakes as soon as possible.”
200 million euros, or $225 million.

Bosteels, which was founded in 1791, will continue to AmErICAN homEBrEwErs AssoCIAtIoN DEButs
run its brewery as part of ABI’s High End. BrEw guru App
The American Homebrewers Association today re-
But wait, there’s more! leased Brew Guru, a beer app that “does beer better,”
according to a release from the AHA.
The megabrewer has also purchased SpikedSeltzer
creator Boathouse Beverage, which creates flavored The mobile app delivers homebrewing knowledge,
alcoholic seltzer beverages in flavors such as Valencia nearby deals and local information on breweries, bars
Orange, Cape Cod Cranberry and Indian River and homebrew supply shops. The release outlines
Grapefruit, at 6% ABV. Brew Guru’s menu, which features the following op-
tions:
While financial details of the acquisition have not emerged,
ABI is reportedly in full ownership of the company. Locator: Thirsty? Hungry? In need of supplies? Use
the handy locator to find nearby breweries, pubs and
Last but not least, ABI is in the running to purpose brewing supplies, as well as money-saving AHA Mem-
Vietnam’s largest brewer, Saigon Beer Alcohol ber Deals participants.
Beverage Corp, or Sabeco at a price of at least $1.8
billion. Also in the running are Heineken, Asahi Group Dashboard: Get a glimpse of the freshest content
Holdings Ltd. and Kirin Group Holdings Co., along with from the AHA and the closest deals from participating
four other regional companies. breweries, pubs and homebrew supply shops.

12 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


Industry News

On Tap – Three Taverns “A Night In Brussels”

Collections: Improve your brew IQ with handpicked Ponce & Rapturous Can Release Party
recipes and resources from Zymurgy magazine and the
AHA on themes ranging from Belgian ales to bottling to Join us Friday 8/19 at the brewery for our Ponce and
brewing in a bag. Rapturous Can Release Party. This will be a special
night of tours and tastings that includes a canned 6
My account: See how many Member Deals you’ve re- pack to go. Your to go 6pack includes the option of
deemed and Collections you’ve completed; view your Ponce, Rapturous or a combination 6 pack of both.
digital membership card; renew your membership; Also included in the $20 ticket is a Three Taverns pint
manage your Brew Guru settings. glass, and live performance from Nashville recording
artist Marc Scibilia.
Brew Guru is available now as a free download on the
App Store and Google Play. AHA membership is not “Buffalo-born and East Nashville-based Scibilia may be
required to use the app. up-and-coming, but not completely un-known. In 2015,
he turned heads and set Twitter abuzz for his ethe-
real rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your
thrEE tAvErNs CElEBrAtEs rElEAsE Land,” as part of the Jeep Chrysler commercial that
oF FIrst CANs aired during the Super Bowl and became the most
Atlanta-based Three Taverns is celebrating the canned Shazamed moment of Super Bowl XLIX outside of the
release of its flagship Belgo-American IPA, A Night on halftime show. The success of the ad lead to cover-
Ponce, and the newly minted Rapturous, a tart and re- age from Rolling Stone, Billboard, Forbes and USA
freshing lacto-fermented sour ale matured on raspberry. Today and helped launch a busy year of touring with
The brewery will host a release party Friday, August 19. over 100 shows performed across North America and
Tickets will include the option of a six-pack of Ponce, Europe.” marcscibilia.com
Rapturous or a combination pack of both. Also included
in the $20 ticket is a Three Taverns pint glass, and live We’re privileged to have Marc perform with his band
performance from Nashville recording artist Marc Sci- at the brewery during our special night of celebration.
bilia. For all the details, see the release below: Learn more about Marc and his debut album, Out of

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 13
Industry News

Style, produced by critically acclaimed artist and Geor- brewers stepping into larger ponds with bigger fish.
gia native, Butch Walker, at marcscibilia.com.
Yusuff Cherney, who helped found the company
Pallookaville’s Corndog Wagon will be on site offering almost a quarter-century ago, made the following
their standard truck menu of six corn dog varieties statement:
with three different batter options, homemade sides
and more. (Food not included in $20 entry fee) “Starting as a Clerk at Home Brew Mart 24 years ago
I never imagined where this voyage would take me.
$20 at the door. Doors open at 6pm. Show at 8:30pm. From gold medals to travels around the world my life
has been one that I could have only dreamt for in my
younger years. This voyage seems brief in retrospect
BAllAst poINt ExECutIvE tEAm stEps DowN but an eternity to others just beginning. The ship
In the past week, the majority of Ballast Point’s would never have sailed its course without assembling
executive team, including Yusuff Cherney, who was co- a world class team that furthered the vision that is
founder, COO and head brewer, Jim Buechler (President Ballast Point. I have never seen a more dedicated,
and CEO), and Julie Buechler (General Counsel) have enthusiastic and genuinely happy group of people
stepped down to be replaced by Constellation Brands who live for the craft beer industry. This team brought
executives. Constellation president Marty Birkel will Ballst Point to where it is and will continue to sail
assume Jim Buechler’s positions. onwards with a very capable captain at the helm. As
it goes I must raise the davit and deploy the dingy to
Editor’s Note: Since the publication of this article, begin my voyage on a new course. As I sail away I have
Ballast Point Founder Jack White and COO Earl Kight due course and hope to embark on my new adventure
have also departed. with a short journey…and yes I hope to catch a few fish
While the news may not be shocking to many, it marks before the real work begins. Since I can’t reach out to
another step away from the original ownership of a everyone that has been part of my life personally I just
long-beloved craft brewer and another foot closer to want to let you all know that my passion was fueled by
the new “big-craft” paradigm of successful independent your belief in what we do and without the dedication

14 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


Industry News

and love that all of you have showed it could have fermentation sour ales. Unlike the year-round offerings,
never been possible. Always dedicated to the craft. beers in the Funk Farm series are fermented with non-
Much love.” traditional microbes and wild yeast to produce a variety
of complex flavors. The brewery will offer some of the
Ballast Point has been a West Coast pioneer for beers on a regular basis while some smaller varieties
decades, and has helped usher in the era of $15 six- will be limited in quantity.
packs worth buying, along with the fruited varietal
trends and the expansion into spirits. We’ll keep you “We’ve been interested in sour beers and developing
posted on what the company’s future holds. ernment new beers for a couple years now. The Funk Farm series
wants to sell its stakes as soon as possible.” showcases the creativity and innovation of our brewers.
Through experimentation, we want to explore the art
of aged, mixed-fermentation sour beers,” says Jason
gooD pEoplE BrEwINg ANNouNCEs sour BEEr Malone, Co-Founder and Brewmaster at Good People
progrAmN Brewing.
Good People Brewing in Birmingham, Alabama has
announced plans to open The Funk Farm, a dedicated A Sour Blonde Ale with raspberries and blackberries
sour beer program within the brewery. will be the first beer released from the new series. This
beer was aged in French oak red wine barrels for 8
Unlike the brewery’s year-round canned offerings, The months, which resulted in a beer that is light, refreshing,
Funk Farm will focus on small-batch, mixed-fermentation and tart to balance the berry flavors.
sour beers in 750-ml bottles that will only be available at
the brewery. The first Funk Farm beer is a sour blonde The Funk Farm offerings will be available in 750 mL
ale brewed with raspberries and blackberries aged in bottles only at the brewery. These bottles will be
red wine barrels that will release on September 24. available for sale at the Good People taproom starting
on Saturday, September 24, 2016.
Here is the full release from Good People:
For up-to-date information about Good People’s Funk
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – Good People Brewing Co., the Farm release and more, “like” Good People Brewing
oldest and largest craft brewery in the state of Alabama, Co. on Facebook or follow on Twitter or Instagram at @
announces their sour beer program, The Funk Farm. GPBrewing.
Funk Farm is Good People’s program for brewing mixed-

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 15
The Mixed-Culture Master
Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave discusses his
brewing techniques and his pioneering work with
Brettanomyces.
By Jonathan Ingram
Photos courtesy Crooked Stave & The Brewtography Project

The image of the brewer who is part mad scientist and part artist has long been one of the
iconic images of craft brewing lore. With Chad Yakobson, it seems to work the other way
around. He’s more of a pure scientist who gets a little crazy on the artistic side with his
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, where the specialty is mixed-culture fermentations and
Brettanomyces beers.

While earning his master’s degree at Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University in the school’s
distinguished center of brewing and distilling, Yakobson wrote his

16 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 17
“I don’t think beers need to be complicated – the less you touch it, the more the beer is
going to show off its characteristics.”

dissertation on Brettanomyces yeast, which is now into them at the brewery in the Sunnyside neighborhood of
beer-world famous. The idea was to isolate strains of Denver. But beer aficionados continue to pony up and the
Brettanomyces, then study how they worked in the brewery continues to grow, expanding from 2,000 barrels
fermentation of wort and what compounds they produced of production last year to 5,000 barrels this year.
in the process. Available online, the dissertation reads
scientifically, but is totally engaging for anyone interested New approaches to mixed-culture fermentation beers are
in the process of making beer. It also serves as a great part of a Nouvelle Vague in brewing, which would be
introduction to the underlying appeal of sour beer as a somewhat difficult to pursue on a macro scale, but looks to
more creative vessel for brewers. play a significant role in the future of craft beer. Yakobson,
who travels frequently to talk about his Brettanomyces
By understanding the characteristics and compounds Project, finds that America has become a jumping-off point
produced in fermentation and by developing his own for a worldwide surge in sour interest.
strains of yeast, Yakobson is like a painter who seeks
to add more colors to his palette, then works on how to You travel and give talks regularly
combine these colors to create unique renditions. When it
comes to his processes to make the Crooked Stave beers, on the subject of brewing with a
think Dali, maybe, then Matisse and some Jackson Pollack. variety of yeast cultures and methods,
The resulting beers such as the peach sour Persica, which
is a fairly complex and approachable creation, can be especially concerning Brettanomyces.
pricey due to the amount of work, aging and expertise put What is that experience like?

18 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


It’s really exciting. I was just in Amsterdam for Festival I don’t think beers need to be complicated – the less
Brettanomyces… One of the most interesting panels at the you touch it, the more the beer is going to show off its
festival featured Jean van Roy, brewmaster at Cantillon, characteristics. It’s not like you’re in the kitchen and
Yvan De Baets of Brasserie de la Senne and myself, you’re trying to make curry.
brewers who do spontaneous beers. I’m very fortunate to
call Jean a friend. Cantillon is a traditional brewery – it’s
over 100 years old, making spontaneous beers and using Crooked Stave has generally been
yeast that can’t be bought.
on the high end of pricing in large
The trend that I’m seeing is sour beers are what part due to the number of steps
people are really most interested in. It’s what people
know the least about. and amount of fruit used, plus the
expertise applied.
As for barrel brewing, the science aspects are going from
zero to 100. Five years ago most of what people knew We continue to take it further and further every year at
about Brettanomyces or wild and sour beers wasn’t Crooked Stave. It continues to cost more and more every
correct – things that had been passed on for 20 or 30 year. The quality and the time we put into these things is
years that came from wine or different research, and that insane. I see where beers sell at $800 a bottle or $1,000 on
weren’t the full truth. the black market. I think it’s pretty amazing that someone
out there thinks our beer is worth $500 a bottle.
The Crooked Stave beers are some of
It’s hard on the one hand as a beer drinker to see beer
the most subtle and flavorful sours priced that high. You’re starting to see more beers that
found in america or anywhere else. Is are $50 and $80. At Crooked Stave, we are planning to
release magnum bottles of beers, one and a half liters,
the brewing process as complicated as and some might be upwards of $80. I think you’re going
the beers taste? to see more of that same format and price tier. Not from

“If you taste Crooked Stave,


you’re going to taste beers
that are completely different.”

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 19
“Everything at Crooked Stave develops symbiotically, including the mixed-culture and
naturally occurring yeast and bacteria found within the brewery’s foeders.

everyone, but from more and more breweries that have The peaches are grown in Colorado?
the ability to brew those kinds of beer.
Those are Palisades Peaches. The things we ask the
a big storm occurred last spring on farmers to do sound crazy. We ask them to leave it on
the tree as long as possible – I want them to pick this
the first Persica Day, but turnout peach at the point when you would pick it from the tree
was good. Do you plan to have and enjoy it immediately. I want this fruit so ripe that it
another one? will go bad in a couple of days. We’ll use 95,000 pounds
of whole fruit this year, and sixty percent of that will be
Persica is the first beer that really put us on the beer map from Colorado.
about four years ago – it was a Colorado peach sour that
we did. That was one that really got people’s attention You’re an expert in identifying and
and got us going. We were a really, really small brewery.
generating pure yeast strains. For the
We are working now on plans for a new taproom by everyday craft beer drinker, how would
the brewery. A big part of that taproom is so we can you sum up the value of generating
have releases like Persica Day and other festivals
and celebrations. your own pure yeast strains?

20 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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www.perfectpuree.com
I would say the value comes with the choice and we’ve got naturally occurring bacteria and wild yeast.
selection of flavors. If I enjoy them, we want to introduce We’ve had everything developing throughout our
them to other people. It gives us unique flavors and brewery in very symbiotic ways.
characteristics you’re not going to find elsewhere. If you
taste Crooked Stave, you’re going to taste beers that are How do you keep the Brett cultures
completely different. And that’s important. The yeasts are
our signature. isolated and keep them from invading
the rest of the brewery?
What do you find most attractive
We’ve segregated out everything and transfer everything
about mixed-culture fermentation? Is into stainless steel pipes. We don’t ferment any of
that also a signature of the brewery? the mixed-culture stuff in stainless, that’s all primary
fermented in oak.
Absolutely. I’m an extremely process-oriented person.
That probably is instilled in me from the master’s We have three sets of color-coded hoses and pumps:
program I did at Heriot-Watt. A lot of that revolved around Green means clean, Brett is black and red is for sour.
chemical engineering. It dictates to you that process is Same thing for our valves and everything the beer will
everything when you’re brewing beer. touch.

Mixed-culture fermentation is process, art and science. What’s the background on the
Over time as we blended our favorite beers into the
foeders, those flora and cultures got ingrained in the Sourless IPa?
wood. After a little while as we kept our fermentations in
it, we started to realize the flavor changed to be more like I was in Kansas City for a festival called Boulevardia.
the sour beers we have in smaller barrels. There was a brewer who’d gotten a little drunk, and he
challenged me to make a clean beer. Every beer we make
For mixed-culture fermentation, we never buy anything before a sour is a clean beer. He was just having fun. I
from a lab, and we never have to inoculate any of our told him, ‘I’ll take you up on that challenge.’
beers because this mixed culture exists throughout our
entire brewery. It’s in everything that’s been allowed to I brewed a lot of IPA when I worked for Odell in Ft.
be in the wood. Collins. Now I like more English-style yeast characteristics
for IPA, as long as you can get them to ferment out.
It’s not a manipulation of flavors, and I mean that in a
positive aspect. When we want to make a Kölsch, we I’ve wanted to brew this IPA for six years. When I went
buy a Kölsch yeast so that we get the yeast strain that out to visit and brew with Shaun Hill at Hill Farmstead
makes the beer we set out to make. But our house beers in 2012, Heady Topper had been around for a little while
come from the yeast in our foeders that’s come together and was starting to grow in popularity. I tasted one of
naturally. Fortunately, they’re the flavors we really love Shaun’s IPAs and was blown away, and I thought to
and we’re very proud of them. myself, ‘Oh my God. I thought I was the only person who
wanted to brew a beer like this!’ Well, six years later,
those types of unfiltered IPAs are becoming popular. Now
You have an entire room full of that we finally have our own brewhouse and it’s dialed
foeders, but only three of them have in, we are brewing everything we have always wanted to.
the Brettanomyces cultures you’ve
Our IPA is very centered on flavor and aroma. When
created in-house? you’re drinking it you’re tasting apricots and pineapple
juice – very, very juicy characteristics. It obviously
Two of the Brett strains are really the signature comes from hops and not from fruit, but very heavy on
flavors of our beers. All the other vertical foeders got the aroma and flavor is what we’re going for.
beer blended into them, and sometimes they were
used for primary fermentation. When we get new
foeders, beer goes straight into them and they start
to build up their mixed culture. Some of it is from the
beer that was in wine barrels. In those wine barrels

22 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


Advertisement

www.BeerKnurd.com
Chasing the Rabbit:
Bobby Thomas of Red Hare Brewing
The head brewer talks background, beers and bunnies.
By Chris Guest

What led you to become letting them sample our product and we were off. Well,
not really. It took a good bit longer to beg, borrow and
a craft breWer?
steal (just kidding) the rest of the money we thought
we needed to actually start a brewery. We had no idea
In short, I like to drink craft beer. I was selling plumbing
how much it was really going to take in the end, but
supplies with Roger Davis (now my business partner)
we kept pushing forward. Roger and I headed to San
before the Great Recession. At some point, we both
Francisco for the CBC and I ended up going out to
decided that we were pretty good at drinking beer,
UC Davis for the Intensive Brewing Science course.
and sales were slowing on the job, so we decided to
Before we knew it, we had a building, equipment and
give making our own beer a try. It seemed better than
a lot more debt. We’ve been brewing ever since and
making sales calls at the time since everyone was just
haven’t looked back.
so damned depressed about the economy. We started
brewing beer in Roger’s basement while making some
sales calls at the same time. Of course we drank a What is your favorite red hare beer?
good bit while doing so – trying as many different
beers as we could. Time went on and we got better My favorite beer of ours changes over the seasons.
and better at brewing and drinking beer. All the while, I’m really digging our SPF 50/50 right now with the hot
the economy kept going down the shitter (literally for weather. They just go down so easy, especially by the
those of us in the plumbing business), and we finally pool. I love all of our seasonals but usually fall back
decided to seriously look at starting a brewery. We put to our year-round Cotton Tail Pale Ale followed by a
together a plan, presented it to friends and family while Gangway IPA, then back to a Cotton Tail.

24 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 25
SPF 50/50, a self-styled India Pale Radler, is a half- Bobby is responsible for all the recipes in Red Hare’s lineup,

and-half blend of Red Hare’s popular Gangway IPA and which make up a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors.

grapefruit juice (and is one of Bobby’s current favorites).

What red hare recipes have you We have little powwows at the brewery where we kick
been responsible for? around ideas until we have an agreement of some kind
on the direction of artwork. Then our in-house artist,
I’m ultimately responsible for all of our beers, be they Elyse Moore, takes those crazy, random and often
good or bad. As far as recipes go, everyone around indecisive ideas and puts her own spin on them. She’s
the brewery puts in their thoughts for what goes into a really great artist and somehow brings all of our
the next brew. From sales team to taproom staff to the ideas to life.
entire production team, everyone has input on what
they want to see in a new beer. That’s part of what red hare Was recently named 4th-
makes it fun to be part of our team. best breWery in the nation at the
us open beer championships. hoW
red hare also has a line of sodas. Why does it feel to receive such an
the focus on non-alcoholic options? honor?

Roger and I both have big families and multiple I was ecstatic when I saw the list come through of the
children. Family is a very important part of our lives. winners that morning. I immediately texted everyone
When we started having the tours/tastings at the and was on cloud nine all day. I still am. It’s truly a
brewery, we noticed that people liked to bring their great honor to be held in such high regard, especially
kids. This was a relief to us as our kids were dragged with the other breweries that were ahead of us.
there to play while we worked the day away. Anyway,
we decided we needed a non-alcoholic option for kids any plans for expansion in the
in the taproom. This led to the root beer and eventually future?
the grapefruit soda. We’re playing with the idea of
more non-alcoholic options in the future, but still We actually went through a major expansion last year.
mostly focusing on new beers right now. We pretty much sold all of our original equipment
and doubled production. We went from a 20-BBL,
Who designs the cans and the can two-vessel brewhouse to a 40-BBL, three-vessel
artWork? brewhouse (with all kinds of fun extras). We traded in

26 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


Red Hare went through a major expansion last year, selling Bunny taps at the brewery.
off its original equipment and doubling production.

our 40 BBL unit tanks for 160s and went from a five- You know, it’s really funny when I start looking back
head Cask can filler to a 40-head rotary filler, which (or having flashbacks) of my past; I’m remembering
has been amazing. We used to can at about 28 cans more and more things that inexplicably had some
a minute. Now we push 200-220 cans a minute – it’s sort of rabbit in them. I remembered that I actually
really fun to watch our canning line. got on stage with Gallagher one time at a comedy
show. He picked me out of the crowd, and I don’t
any cool neW beers on the think he knew what he was in for. I had the crowd
horizon? rolling with laughter within seconds as he had me act
out a skit as, you guessed it, a rabbit. I remember
We’re working on new beers constantly these days. watching the animated Watership Down when I was
We’re really trying to come out with something new a kid and thinking how messed up of a movie it was,
as often as we possibly can, but it’s hard to keep up what with all the oppressed rabbits and such. When
with production on top of that. We just launched our we were coming out with our Brown ale, I knew it had
Cotton Tail Creamsic-Ale, which is like drinking an to be called Watership Brown. It only made sense.
orange creamsicle. We’ll release some barrel-aged When I was in college, one of our group projects was
Sticky Stout in August at our 5th anniversary party and creating a new business and of course we named
then the Long Night Lager (an American Lager brewed it Hasenpfeffer, which is a type of rabbit stew in
with coffee) in September, which is a collaboration Germany, and so naturally, that would be the name of
with Cool Beans coffee roasters in downtown Marietta, our Oktoberfest too. Memories like that make it easy
Georgia – it’s going to be so good! Then we’ve got a to name beers after rabbits.
few more things up our sleeve for the winter months
(maybe a beer that tastes like Blueberry Belgian
Waffle?) and all kinds of fun new stuff for next year.

one final question: red hare’s


branding and numerous beer
names seem inspired by richard
adams’ Watership doWn. any
reason Why?

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 27
WHY BEERS NEED “PaCKaGED ON” DaTES
By Jonathan Ingram
I recently completed a beer trade with a couple of with a six-pack. It’s more of an identity question.
friends and ended up with the equivalent of two mixed How do craft brewers want to present themselves to
six-packs after the swap. Once home, I put the 12 the community they participate in? Do they want a
beers, which reflected the eclectic tastes of my fellow community where the beer drinker continues to feel a
craft enthusiasts, into two separate camps on my direct kinship to the brewer?
kitchen table. One had either “bottled on,” or “canned
on,” or “best by” dates and the other side had none. If distributors and retailers do their jobs, which means
As it turned out, it was a 50-50 split when it came to watching dates on packaging like hawks, then everybody
identifying the age of the beer – or not – among this comes out ahead in a way that’s palpable when all
far-reaching sample of American craft. packages carry dates. Absent this, things can get murky,
possibly raising issues of trustworthiness and kinship,
I was disappointed but not necessarily surprised. But two values highly prized in any industry and often
isn’t it time that all craft brewers come to the aid of the enjoyed by independent brewers. One could suggest that
consumers that keep them in business by adding notice these two values are key points of differentiation in the
of when their beers were put into bottles or cans? minds of many between craft and macro brewers.

Craft’s calling card has always been fresh in the sense When it comes to what info to put on labels to help
of being unique, whether it be a creative approach to buyers, I think it would be more worthwhile for craft
styles, names of beers, labels and can design, marketing brewers to embrace a canned or bottled-on date instead
via social media and on and on. So why can’t craft of a “best by” notice. The latter puts a lot of pressure on
brewers commit to providing notice on when its beer distributors and retailers. The vagaries of transportation,
was freshly packaged? stocking and even unpredictable consumer response
may result in a beer staying in the cooler or on the shelf
I tend to not think this is a make-or-break industry longer than anticipated. If it’s past the “best by” date,
issue. It’s a little like the mythical argument that poor- then it’s tough to move, even if the beer can sustain its
quality craft beer that tastes sub-par hurts the entire quality beyond the recommended date.
independent brewing industry. Doesn’t the marketplace,
which now has plenty of competition in all 50 states, sort It was in the mid-1990s that August Busch IV launched his
the quality issue out pretty quickly? “born on” campaign for Budweiser, which did a pretty
good job of scaring some buyers away from craft and
When it comes to stale beer on the shelves, I don’t think helped popularize the phrase “skunk beer.” In my case,
anybody interested in craft is going to stop buying beer I began carefully inspecting my favorite and generally
from independent brewers due to one bad experience available bottles of Anchor Steam for color and taste. As

28 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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www.fizzics.com
it turned out, California Common is not a style that travels How difficult is it to mark cans or bottles? For starters,
well if mishandled or left on the shelf too long and I ended all consumer products must carry the identification
up straying elsewhere to consistently reliable Sierra codes required by federal standards. So getting the date
Nevada Pale Ale, Guinness and other imports during of origin on the package is not a major challenge. Every
this period when craft was not jumping off shelves and portable canning company can add data lines. If cost
retailers didn’t particularly pay attention to it. is a consideration, then the plastic can holders can be
imprinted so that at least a six-pack can be identified by its
In general, the macros have not been big on “born on” packaging date.
dates other than Budweiser. Instead, big brewer salesmen
and their distributors have been keeping up with the A “packaged on” date would not only help at the point
freshness of their beers via the product identification of purchase. If, as with many craft aficionados, there’s
codes required by federal mandate. It’s more or less always a mix in the fridge, it can help keep in-home
a “trust us” approach since consumers can’t interpret rotation working better. It is, without much debate, a
these codes. In general, the macros do a very good job of better mousetrap for consumers, no matter where they
delivering fresh beer. It’s been an important element of choose to buy packaged beer.
their past success.
Another reason I like the “bottled on” or “canned on”
The lack of consumer information on macro brews is is the involvement of the consumer. It puts some onus
about to change at the behest of the Beer Institute, which on the buyer to know his or her beer styles and why an
is the Washington, D.C.-based advocate for major brewers. Imperial Stout from a year ago may still be on the shelf –
The BI has announced virtually all of its major brewers and might be better than when it first arrived (depending
will begin using “freshness dating.” This is part of a larger on the store’s lighting and assuming a consistent,
initiative to include nutrition information and ingredients relatively moderate temperature). That’s one reason why
on packaging or via websites and QR codes. you find so many bomber bottles of dark, high-ABV beers
in stores, some with dust on them, including at craft-
One imagines this move by the BI membership to be centric emporiums. Even with year-old packaging dates,
yet another foray in the age-old shelf space wars. Craft consumers can have at it.
brewers already do an excellent job, for the most part, of
making ingredients available. Nutrition values are nice I follow a lot of brewers’ recommendation to avoid
enough – and might help more drinkers recognize that keeping an IPA longer than 90 days from its packaging
dark beer does not mean more calories – but when it date, which can also apply to other hoppy brews. I don’t
comes to packaging, can craft brewers afford to fall behind think there’s much room for debate on this, although
in making sure consumers know the beer is fresh? some might disagree. It is almost certain the drinker does
not get the brewer’s intended taste of an IPA beyond 90
“Skunk beer” is no longer a vogue term or something days from packaging.
to be feared when buying craft or imports. On the other
hand, I routinely check for dates, because aged beer is Of course growlers and crowlers go a long way toward
only best when that’s what you intend to buy. I rarely, if guaranteeing fresh beer at home, the beach or mountains,
ever, go the “make your own six-pack” route at some of although one generally chooses not to store them for
the larger retailers, if only because it’s a system that is longer periods like packaged beer.
most likely to result in a beer well past its drinkable date
being carried home. Too often, you end up wondering, “Is At a time when there’s more good beers being brewed
this what the beer is really supposed to taste like?” than there is shelf space in some outlets, one would
think that it’s just common sense for brewers to not
So what then happens to the “shelf turds” as they are leave themselves open to disappointing a consumer or
known in the vernacular? Generally, a retailer can ship confusing distributors and retailers.
beer back to the distributor, who then usually suffers
the loss – even if the retailer has not kept up with stock Man up, I say. If you believe in your beer and the
rotation. On the other hand, if a craft consumer buys a consumers who buy it as well as your retailers and
really old beer that shouldn’t be on the shelf, it’s the craft distributors, there isn’t really a choice. Besides, the macro
beer lover who ends up holding the, well, you know. In brewers will soon be setting “freshness dating” standard
neither case does the brewer directly suffer in the short for all their brands, including those recently acquired
run, raising the specter of passing the buck in order to from the ranks of independent brewers.
avoid additional cost and to make a profit.

30 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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www.st-feuillien.com
Foeders
The Barrel’s Big Brother
by Jim Dykstra

The Art of
Coopering
Part II
L
ast time, we looked at what it takes to be other bells and whistles, such as permanently mounted
a cooper – years of training, an intense spray balls, which can spout a variety of cleaning and
attention to detail and a well-trained preservative solutions within the foeder as needed. The
sensory toolkit amongst many other skills. shape of a foeder may trend towards ovular or more
But becoming a cooper is just the first step cylindrical than the standard barrel shape, as they are
if you want to build a foeder. Though it is generally immobile and kept upright. Some may even
more commonly found in the winemaking world, foeders come with ornamental touches.
have a celebrated beermaking tradition, championed
by legendary European brewers such as Rodenbach, “Foeder construction involves contemplation and
Brouwerij Boon and Liefmans, to name a few. patience in a kind of communion with the wood and the
task at hand,” Cantwell writes. “A scaffolding is erected
What is a foeder? that encircles the work in progress and allows access by
A foeder (prounounced food-er), in its simplest form, is the foudriers… In various foeder works around France
a large barrel. When exactly it becomes a foeder rather we saw artisans with tools and chins in hand, variously
than just an oversized barrel is somewhat discretionary, smoothing the channels for a manway, monitoring
but the line is often drawn at 600 liters, which is around interior toasting, or disassembling a 13,208-gallon foeder
160 gallons, or roughly three times the size of the average bound for an Italian customer, each foudriere pondering
oak barrel. exactly the right way to do it all. A typical foederie
will turn out perhaps 200 tanks a year, compared with
Foeders are also distinguished by the lengths required the spawn of tens of thousands – even hundreds of
to construct them. As we mentioned in Part I, foeders thousands, in some cases, of smaller barrels produced
require a specially trained team of foudriers, which works
together to complete the construction over a period of
weeks, or even months, depending on the size of the
vessel. The world’s largest foeder belongs to the brewers
of the aperitif Byrrh, in France. Though no longer
operative, it once held up to 1 million liters, and required
200 trees over the course of 18 years to complete.

The time such a process takes leads to a special


relationship between foudrieres (Editor’s Note: In France,
foeder is written as “foudre”) and the vessels they birth,
and the amount of detail required demands more than
what is asked of a standard cooper. As described in Dick
Cantwell and Peter Bouckaert’s luminous tome, Wood &
Beer, the process is “more akin to artisanal construction
than manufacture.”

the shape of a foeder may trend towards ovular or


more cylindrical than the standard barrel shape. This foeder appears to be on its way out the door.
some may even come with ornamental touches. Rolling a vessel of such size would likely require sig-
nificant repair upon reaching its destination, though
The obvious difference in size makes for a number it may have been the only option the workers had.
of differences in foeder construction. Most notably,
foeders usually have manways, allowing for access
to the inside. This can make cleaning the inside a
bit more comfortable, but it also means that staves by their accompanying cooperages. Cranes and forklifts
must be sawn short, which can reduce the structural are needed to move them along the phases of their
integrity of the vessel. construction, as well as out the door once completed, a
far cry from the benedictively dismissive roll along the
In fact, all staves for foeders must be sawn, rather way of the individual barrel.”
than split, due to their size. Splitting wood is a more
painstaking and less efficient process, but it preserves As Cantwell suggests, the movement of a foeder is a
the medullary ray of the tree, making for a much hardier serious undertaking, and can be disastrous if not done
stave. Therefore, in foeder-making, extra care must be with great care. Weeks of labor and thousands of dollars
taken to preserve the grain and avoid knots. Aside from can be undone with a heavy hand. Often, foeders will
the manway, foeders are also far more likely to have have to be disassembled just to make it in the door, only

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 33
This foeder appears to be on its way out the door. This foeder appears to be on its way out the door.
Rolling a vessel of such size would likely require sig- Rolling a vessel of such size would likely require sig-
nificant repair upon reaching its destination, though nificant repair upon reaching its destination, though
it may have been the only option the workers had. it may have been the only option the workers had.

to be painstakingly reassembled inside, as was the case can maintain and repair, St Louis-based Foeder Crafters of
for Anchorage Brewing Company’s Gabe Fletcher. America is the first of its kind.

Before moving a foeder, though, a brewer must The yankee foederie America was founded by Justin
acquire one. This is no small feat in itself, as supply Saffell and Matt Walters, who have been crafting foeders
far outstrips demand. Similar to the used-barrel from American White Oak for about two years, with
market, craft brewers have historically bought foeders vessels ranging in size from seven to 250 barrels, at a
secondhand, most commonly from vintners who cost of $6,900 to $43,000 respectively. Though that may
require fresh foeders for their wine. Or, the vintner seem exorbitant, their prices are an estimated 20 percent
will exchange a used foeder for a fresh one from the cheaper than European competition, even without
foederie for a discounted rate. The foederie can then shipping cost.
resell the used foeder to a brewer for a premium, as
the mellowed notes a used vessel imparts are often So what does it mean to acquire a foeder? The cost of
preferable to brewers. a foeder is just one of many considerations due to the
large investment of resources and risk involved. One
One of a growing number of exceptions to the must understand the most intimate vagaries of the wood-
secondhand rule is Asheville’s Wicked Weed, whose aging process, and how they will differ from a barrel
Funkatorium is the East’s first and best sour and funk- to a foeder. They must also have a firm grasp on the
only taproom. Founder and head brewer Walt Dickinson maturation and blending processes of foeder-beer, as it
bought his first foeder from a California winery, with can quickly turn for worse – or better. Lastly, a brewer
less-than satisfactory results. Since, he has resolved only in possession of a foeder must know at least basic barrel
to buy new foeders, choosing to purchase from Nadalié, a maintenance, which becomes increasingly complicated
French cooperage. as the size of the vessel increases, although not entirely
different. Basically, anyone interested in acquiring a
Despite the added shipping costs, American buyers foeder should experiment with a standard barrel first;
often preferred European coopers for their expertise there’s just too much at stake.
and heritage. After all, they are the progenitors of the
craft. But America has recently become home to its own Stay tuned for Part III, in which we’ll discuss how barrels
foederie, and while there are cooperages in the U.S. that are made from tree to stave.

34 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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Oktoberfest vs. Marzen
What’s the difference between these two autumnal favorites?
By Chris Guest

With autumn seasonals and Oktoberfest beers getting Märzens are a fascinating bunch. The nose often
released earlier and earlier each year – to the chagrin hints at sweetness, but the rich, bready, toasty malts lead
of many craft beer lovers – we delve into the differences to a moderately bitter and quite dry finish. Hop aromas
between two of the most popular fall seasonals: are nonexistent and hop flavors are low or not present,
Oktoberfest and Märzen. though they do serve as an important counterpoint to the
In the 2004 iteration of the BJCP style guidelines, hefty malt bill, which would overwhelm the palate with
these two styles were lumped into a single category, sweetness without them.
despite their disparate backstories. Currently, in the 2015 The mouthfeel is flawlessly smooth, as remember,
BJCP stylebook, Oktoberfest has been replaced by the this beer was meant to be quickly quaffed in giant steins
Festbier category, which is usually lighter in color and at the longest-running beer festival in the world.
body and represents the modern interpretation of beers The rich history and rich flavors of Oktoberfest
served at Munich’s original Oktoberfest celebration. continue to hold an intoxicating sway over modern
While the Oktoberfest style is no longer an officially brewers, however, despite the fact that the Reinheitsgebot
sanctioned BJCP category, that doesn’t stop innumerable is all but ignored.
breweries from using the moniker to describe their Festbiers are the other side of this coin. Even though
disparate fall seasonals. Oftentimes in this case, an this style is now the standard-bearer beer for Munich’s
Oktoberfest beer also happens to be a Märzen. How is venerable Oktoberfest celebration, American brewers still
this possible? prefer to make Märzen Oktoberfests.
The short version is: there’s no difference. According Festbiers are typified by fragrant hop aromas, a
to the 2015 BJCP guidelines, Oktoberfest and Märzen bright golden color, and a smooth, slightly creamy
are technically the same thing. The only reason for the mouthfeel. This beer will be doughy and crisp with a soft,
difference in nomenclature is the legality of the term elegant sweetness.
Oktoberfestbier, which “is a protected appellation for The Festbier style was first created by Paulaner
beer produced at large breweries within the Munich city brewers in the 1970s as a less-filling version of the Märzen
limits for consumption at Oktoberfest,” according to BJCP Oktoberfests. Though still malty, Festbiers are far less
guidelines. malty, less intense and lighter in body than their Märzen
The official Oktoberfest style, in that case, has been predecessors, which makes the style a perfect option for
replaced by Festbier. swift swilling at Munich’s Oktoberfest, or any celebration
Despite this fact, it hasn’t stopped thousands of craft or festival where beer is the drink of choice.
breweries from using the term Oktoberfest to describe So why have American brewers adopted the Märzen
their fall seasonals, which are technically Märzens. style as their Oktoberfest beer of choice?
The Märzen style is a malty, amber, European-style Perhaps the history and elegance of Märzens swayed
lager that can trace the roots of its modern variants all them, or perhaps golden-colored, hoppier beers have to
the way back to 1841, when Spaten created the first recipe be IPAs in order to get noticed in America.
for the style. Märzen become the official beer of Munich’s Either way, the darker, richer and heartier Märzen
Oktoberfest in 1872, a tradition that lasted over 100 years Oktoberfest style is here to stay in craft beer. And it must
when it was replaced by the lighter-bodied, golden- be said, no matter what its origin is – it’s quite delicious.
colored Festbier in the 1990 Oktoberfest. Prost!

36 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 37
Seaworthy
Craft
Story & photos by Sherry Dryja
Chef Erin Coopey is best known for three things: her Avery’s sour was also deemed a match for Chef
win on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games, her Coopey’s stew-like Shrimp Veracruz. It brought forward
ability to teach regular Joes and Janes how to cook even the tomatoes in the dish, making them taste fresh and
the most daunting of dishes and, lastly, her cookbooks, fruity. Even so, for this pairing, Anderson Valley Brewing
The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook and Infusing Flavors. The Co’s Briney Melon Gose took top choice over the sour.
Kitchen Pantry Cookbook was nominated for an IACP This watermelon sour is refreshingly tart with a hint of
“Julia Child Best First Cookbook Award,” and Infusing salt. It played well with all the ingredients in the Shrimp
Flavors was just published in June. Veracruz, providing a base that enhanced the brininess
of the shrimp and the saltiness of the olives, all while
In addition to her many achievements, Chef Coopey playing up the sweetness of the tomatoes.
is based in Seattle, so that means she also knows
her way around seafood. Fortunately for us, we were On its own, Chef Coopey’s Pan-Seared Scallops with
able to access to one of her seafood recipes from Green Papaya Slaw balances perfectly between sweet
Infusing Flavors plus three others not yet published and savory. Pair it with Rogue’s Pendleton Pilsner to
in her cookbooks. enrich the flavors with a smoky warmth.

Whether she is teaching a class or creating a new The Roasted Oysters with Bacon and Parmesan was
recipe, Chef Coopey’s goal is to make cooking fun, so the only item on the menu that did not go well with
these recipes are easy to follow and are sure to help Victory’s Prima Pils. In this case, we focused on the
you cook up an enjoyable experience worth sharing bacon, parmesan, and cream sauce as the dominant
with family and friends. To add to the fun, we paired flavors to work with. Out of all the beers we tried, 21st
each item with craft beer. Amendment Brewery’s Toaster Pastry Red IPA struck
the perfect note and provided a sweet balance to the
Festive is the word that best describes Chef Coopey’s rich toppings on the oysters.
award-winning Halibut Tostadas with Melon Salsa. The
fish is seared in a lime-infused oil, one of the many Chef Coopey’s recipes are full of flavor and pair
concoctions covered in Infusing Flavors. The oil adds beautifully with a variety of craft beers. For more
just the right amount of zing to the mild fish, elevating recipes worth pairing with your favorite brews, take
the flavors without overpowering them. a look at her website at GlorifiedHomeChef.com.
From there, you can also buy one of her cookbooks,
If you’re looking for a solid beer choice for a variety of sign up for a cooking class or simply learn more
seafood items, Victory Brewing Company’s Prima Pils about this talented chef.
paired well with almost every dish of Chef Coopey’s
that we tried. For a real showstopper, though, try the
halibut with Avery Brewing’s Fortuna Barrel-Aged Sour.
The slight tang from the salt and lime in this margarita-
inspired brew provided the perfect finish to the fish.

38 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 39
Halibut Tostadas
rice wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon sea salt. For best flavor
refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
To make appetizer-sized tostadas, stack the tortillas in 2

with Melon Salsa equal piles. Cut each pile into 6 pie-shaped wedges, or
small circles. Note: If you decide to cut small circles, you
may need additional tortillas to make 24. If you are making
full-sized tostadas, simply leave the tortillas whole.
Recipe by Chef Erin Coopey
Makes 24 appetizers or 4 full-sized portions Add oil to a deep fryer or heavy fry pan to a depth of at
least 1 inch and heat to 375°F. (That’s just a touch above
Ingredients: medium heat.) Add the tortilla pieces a few at a time and
1/2 honeydew melon, peeled and finely diced fry, tossing them, until golden brown. Be careful not to let
1/2 cup minced red onion, rinsed and drained them darken or they will taste bitter. Lift out and drain on
1 cup minced red bell pepper paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt while still hot.
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro Season the fish filets generously with salt and pepper. Heat
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice lime olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
High-heat oil for frying Add the filets and sear until the fish is pale gold, about 3
to 5 minutes. Turn the filets over and cook until the flesh
1 teaspoon sea salt
is opaque on the outside but still slightly translucent in the
2 tablespoons lime zest, for garnish center, about 3 to 4 minutes or more, depending on the
1 tablespoon lime oil (Recipe available in Infusing Flavors) thickness of the filets. Cover loosely with aluminum foil
2, 6 to 8-ounce halibut, cod or rockfish filets, skin removed to keep warm. When you are ready to serve, cut the filets
Sea salt and pepper, to taste cross-wise into thin slices. Top each crisp tostada with
4 thin corn tortillas, each 6 inches in diameter some fish, melon salsa and sprinkle with lime zest.

Erin’s Tip: Rinsing minced or chopped onions under


cool running water for a couple minutes makes them more
Directions:
palatable when served raw.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the honeydew, red
onion, red bell pepper and cilantro. Stir in the lime juice, Recipe excerpted from Infusing Flavors (Cool Springs Press 2016).

40 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


Camarones a
la Veracruzana
(Shrimp Veracruz)
Recipe by Chef Erin Coopey
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium white onion, cut in half and sliced (about
1-½ cups)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 (14.5-oz) cans stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives
1/4 teaspoon green jalapeño pepper sauce or green
taco sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 cups cooked white rice
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Directions:
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat; add bell peppers
and onion and cook until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in
garlic and cook 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their liquid, olives, green sauce, lime


juice, salt and bring to a boil. Add shrimp, reduce heat to low,
cover, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until shrimp is pink, stirring
occasionally.

Stir in chopped cilantro. Serve with rice and garnish with


cilantro sprigs.

Recipe excerpted from Infusing Flavors (Cool Springs Press 2016).

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 41
Pan Seared Scallops
with Green
Papaya Slaw
Recipe by Chef Erin Coopey
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 cups grated or fine julienne green papaya*
½ cup grated or fine julienne carrots
½ cup blanched, refreshed and fine julienne snow peas
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
4 tablespoons lime-flavored olive oil
12 large sea scallops
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
Lime zest for garnish (optional)
12 large sea scallops
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
Lime zest for garnish (optional)

Directions:
To make the slaw, combine green papaya, carrots, snow peas, red
onion and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add vinegar and olive oil,
toss to combine. Season with salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the peanut


oil. Season scallops with salt and black pepper. Add scallops to
pan and sear, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 to 3
minutes per side.

Divide slaw between 4 chilled salad plates. Divide the scallops


among the plates, placing them on the slaw. Garnish with
cilantro sprigs or lime zest.

*Green or unripe papaya is available in Asian markets. To


prepare, peel the skin away with a paring knife, then halve the
papaya lengthwise, scoop out the immature white seeds. If green
papaya is not available, jicama may be substituted.

42 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


Roasted Oysters
with Bacon and
Parmesan
Recipe by Chef Erin Coopey
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 dozen large barbecue-sized oysters, in the shell
1 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 cloves garlic
4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh cracked black pepper
2 to 3 cups rock salt or kosher salt for roasting

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Peel and slightly crush the garlic. Add the garlic and heavy
cream to a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer and reduce by half
(approximately 10 minutes). Remove from heat.

Spread a thick layer of rock salt onto a rimmed baking sheet.


Set aside.

Scrub the oysters with a wire brush until clean. Shuck the
cleaned oyster and place them onto the salted baking sheet. The
salt will help them to stay upright and level while roasting.

Spoon the heavy cream over the oysters, dividing it equally.


Sprinkle 1-½ teaspoons of Parmesan onto each oyster. Top with
bacon crumbles.

Roast the oysters until they are hot, and the cream has begun to
bubble and brown, approximately 10 minutes.

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 43
Drinking in the French Countryside
Story and photos by Owen Ogletree

England, Belgium, Amsterdam, Germany and even the syllabic, Celtic-based dialect. Many Breton brewers claim
Czech Republic rank as noted European beer travel that Parisians see Brittany as a strange, backward, iso-
destinations, but what about France? Sure, some cities lated countryside, filled with odd outsiders. Most Bretons
across France offer the occasional French bière de garde, accept this as a compliment.
pils, blonde, amber and witbier – along with ubiquitous
Belgian-made brews, but beer trekkers who venture The majority of small breweries in Brittany offer no regu-
northward into the rural regions of Brittany and Norman- lar tours or public tasting rooms, but with an advance
dy can discover entirely different drinking cultures. email, many will welcome interested visitors. With a little
research, seeking out the top beer pubs in Brittany makes
Inspired by creative American, U.K. and Belgian craft it easy to sample an interesting range of local craft beers.
brewers, independent breweries are popping up across However, don’t expect to rent a car and see all of Brittany
the entire French region of Brittany. Just to the east, a bit in a single day, as the region is close to the size of the
closer to Paris, farmhouse cideries dot the idyllic land- entire country of Belgium.
scape of Normandy.
Actually found just south of the actual Brittany border,
Brittany – Eccentric and Isolated the city of Nantes offers a few interesting beer bars such
Brittany seems like a completely independent country, as Le Sur Mesure, Le Perrok, Le Coup de Pompe and a
quite different from any other district of France. Similar branch of Belgium’s Delirium Café. Brasserie Will’s, a
to Wales and Cornwall in the U.K., the citizens of Brittany popular nano-brewery just north of Nantes, is run by
(known as Bretons) even have their own baffling, multi- Guillaume Certain who brews a range of traditional and

44 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


experimental beers and offers craft beer workshops and
public brewing sessions.

Just down the road from Will’s sits La Brasserie du Bouf-


fay where the owner Pierre started out seven years ago
fermenting in milk tanks. Bouffay makes a wide array of
unfiltered, classic, bottle-conditioned styles – all made
stubbornly without spices or non-traditional ingredients.
Pierre explains, “Selling craft beer here was a bit difficult
when we started, but the past few years have been a
nightmare – my son and I now struggle to keep up with
demand. It’s a good problem.”

On the Road in Brittany


The quaint lakeside hamlet of Huelgoat, near the center
of Brittany just inside the expansive Armorique Natural
Park region, makes a congenial base camp for exploring
Brittany by rental car. Huelgoat is home to a variety of
casual bistros and the friendly Le Brittany Pub where the
owner and his daughter always pour one hand-pumped
cask ale from a regional brewer.

Head ten minutes northeast from Huelgoat to hunt for


L’Autre Rive pub – an enchanting beer pub and coffee
shop that doubles as a local bookstore. L’Autre sits in the
middle of a lush forest and pours the range of exceptional Brasserie de Bouffay makes a wide array of
ales from the nearby Brasserie An Alarc’h. Also be cer- unfiltered, classic, bottle-conditioned styles.
tain to make the short drive east to the delightful Le Fous
U.K.-style pub where Don, the friendly owner/brewer,
serves his sessionable, cask-conditioned mild, bitter, por- While tooling around the region, seek out scrumptious
ter and stout with deep pride. “My wife Trish and I have Breton beers from Bieres Artisanales de Saint-Brieuc,
taken great joy in bringing a touch of English pub culture Brasserie de Launay, Microbrasserie Da Bep Lec’h Toutes
to Brittany,” notes Don. Directions, Brasserie Philomenn, Brasserie St. Georges,
An Alarc’h and the death metal-oriented Brasserie Les
The town of Plouyé, just south of Huelgoat, is home to Ta- Radicaux Libres.
varn Ty Elise – a Welsh-style pub with cask ales from the
regional Coreff Brewery. Stop in for a pint and a chat with Storming the Ciders of Normandy
the crusty Welsh owner and the cast of eccentric locals, A four-hour drive east from the center of Brittany lies
but note that anyone who says anything against Wales or the somewhat modern city of Caen that’s situated in
Welsh football will be asked to leave. the heart of Normandy. From a Caen hotel, it’s an easy
drive to the main sites of Normandy that include historic
Go online to set up a tour of the Warenghem Distillery in Omaha and Utah beaches, World War II museums, the
northern Brittany for a peek inside the impressive facility American and Germany war cemeteries, the stunning
that turns out an expansive diversity of whiskey, beer Mont Saint-Michel Abbey and the 70-meter, medieval
and cider. Also in the north, seek out the delicious beers Bayeux Tapestry that depicts the events of the Norman
and ciders produced by Brasserie-Cidrerie Kerav’Ale conquest of England. Caen offers interesting restaurants
near Saint-Pol-de-Léon. On another day, journey to the and a handful of fine spots to enjoy a beer – including La
northern coastal town of Saint-Malo to explore the atmo- Case à Bières store and tasting room, Le Trappist pub and
spheric streets of old town, sip local beers at the funky Les 3 Brasseurs brewpub.
Bar L’Aviso and check out the quaint brewing system at
Les Brassins de Saint Malo brewpub. From St-Malo, travel Any craft beer aficionado visiting Normandy should be
30 minutes east to indulge in absolutely amazing seafood willing to branch out and try the world-renown Norman-
and fresh oysters in the seaside village of Cancale. dy farmhouse ciders and calvados-distilled ciders that

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 45
Many Dupont ciders are available in the USA, and Je-
rome works with American importers B. United in sev-
eral innovative projects such as utilizing Champagne
techniques for sparkling cider, experimenting with a
variety of apple blends and aging cider in calvados
barrels. Visitors to Normandy should be sure to stop
into Dupont’s bright and welcoming gift shop/tasting
room and inquire about a tour.

In utter contrast to the grandeur of Famille Dupont, the


nearby François Helie cidery functions on an old fam-
The Brittany region is home to some terrific ily farm. One must drive up, toot the car horn, fend off
local breweries, such as Brasserie de Launay. the overly friendly dogs and let the elderly owner know
that a tasting is in order. He will then lead visitors across
are produced at about 18 cideries located on or near the
circular, signposted Cider Route pastoral drive just to the
east of Caen.

Far from the multitude of overly sweet, soulless, mass-


produced fermented apple beverages available in the
USA, Normandy’s ciders boast complex, slightly bitter,
robust apple and fruit notes – all backed by a some-
what dry finish that includes complex esters, phenol
hints and other pleasant fermentation by-products. Ex-
pect a cidery to offer tastes of three main ciders: Doux
(sweet and around 3% ABV), Demi-Sec (medium-sweet
at 3-5% ABV) and Brut (dry with an ABV of 4.5+%).
Most producers also distill a calvados cider brandy
and offer a sweet aperitif pommeau, which is a blend
of cider and calvados. Many also include a dry pear
cider known as poiré.

“La Route du Cidre”


Normandy’s Cider Route production facilities range from
humble farmhouses to imposing chateaus, and most en- Jerome Dupont helms the cider-making at the
courage walk-in public visits and tastings. There’s never
a charge for tastes, but it’s polite to at least make a small revered Famille Dupont, “the polished prize
purchase before departing. This is not usually a problem, apple of the Normandy cider route.”
as 750-ml bottles of Normandy ciders are quite easy on
the pocketbook by American standards. the backyard to sit at the family’s kitchen table to sip his
delightful assortment of ciders.
With a history of cider production dating back to 1887
and its own 50 acres of on-site orchards, the polished Marvelous restaurants in the area offer ridiculously af-
prize apple of the Normandy cider route has to be fordable three-course French meals to pair with a variety
Famille Dupont. Master cider and calvados producer of local ciders, and no trip to the area would be complete
Etienne Dupont recently passed on control to his son Je- without a drive south to the tiny village of Camembert
rome, who shares the family’s passion for cider. Jerome for a visit to the Maison du Camembert museum to check
relates, “Cider is still considered a peasant drink by many out the history of the remarkable cheese and sample
in the area, but our new traditions and world-class ciders three varieties of Camembert alongside a wide selection
are changing minds. We’ve even hired a full-time som- of ciders. The pairing is a “mariage parfait” (perfect mar-
melier to help alter perceptions about cider and show riage), as the locals would say.
people how to pair it with food.”

46 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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48 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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Beer review

THE HIGHEST-SCORING BEERS


FROM OUR PaNEL OF JUDGES.
Meet our judges at BeerConnoisseur.com/judges

Judging process
Our reviews are conducted in a single-blind tasting format. This method provides the best opportunity to rely on facts and to
avoid favoritism, ensuring a level playing field for all brewers. It serves both the industry and the consumer to have unbiased
and objective scores from qualified experts. To best implement this approach, the Judges Review is open to those with
established experience as a Master Cicerone® from the Cicerone® Certification Program or as a judge that has accomplished
the rank of National or higher from the Beer Judge Certification Program. In the single blind tasting format, judges are
presented with a chilled, properly poured beer and given its style category. Scoring is then done on the following basis using a
100-point scale:

score Breakdown
100 to 96: World Class – You need this beer in your life.
95 to 91: Exceptional – Don’t hesitate.
90 to 86: Very Good – A brew to savor.
85 to 75: Average – Somewhat unimpressive.
74 and below: Not Recommended – Just walk away.

50 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


99
by Dan Preston
aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
40 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 20 / 20
King JJJuliusss 5/6 10 / 10
Tree House Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes soft, velvety smooth mouthfeel that served


Wow! From the moment the can pops, as a plush throne for the huge amount of
hop aromas completely fill the air. Grape- hops to sit atop. Unlike most DIPAs, there’s
fruit, orange, mango, passion fruit, melon, not an ounce of sweetness to the malt, but
citrus, pineapple – basically every juicy fruit rather a light, airy, doughy presence. This
you can think of is there plus a little bit of beer is aptly named as it just might be the
pine. The flavor is more of the same too -- new “King” when it comes to Double IPAs.
just wave after wave of complex hops, which An amazing beer that’s incredibly well done.
are wicked juicy and tropical. A massive
amount of hops is packed into this beer, and
it even shows in its appearance; this beer is
a murky deep orange with a big white head
that clings to the sides of the glass until the
very last drop, which, admittedly, was much
sooner than a beer of this ABV should be.
This immensely drinkable beer featured a

97
by Jason Johnson
aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Overall
Impression:
19 / 20
Bouket appearance: Mouthfeel:
De Proef Brouwerij & 5/6 10 / 10
Trillium Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes bitterness is low and helps pull together the


The aroma has a lot going on, and honest- tartness and the low sweetness from the malt.
ly it’s all good and superbly balanced. There It’s light in body, highly carbonated and ef-
is some traditional barnyard funk from Brett- fervescent on the palate.
anomyces, but not so much it overshadows I believe this beer to be near perfection; I
anything else. The hop presence is medium have not had a commercial beer this fresh or
and bright, and I get a lot of tropical notes bright. The balance between the Brett charac-
of mango and overripe pineapple. The malt ter and the hops is excellent. Normally, I find
is crisp and has a wheaty aroma to it. This Brett to be overdone in many beers; it tends
beer pours a deep yellow with a well-formed, to overtake the rest of the beer, but the brew-
fluffy, long-lasting, white head. The flavor is ers of this were able to restrain the Brett to
right in step with the aroma. In addition to a perfect degree, allowing the hops to shine
the wheat, fruity hops and Brett funk, I get a bright. A near-perfect beer for any occasion.
little bit of pleasant sourness which creates
a refreshing, quenching factor when coupled
with the dryness provided by the Brett. The
97
by Jason Johnson
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
40 / 40
Overall
Impression:
19 / 20
Alexander appearance: Mouthfeel:
Brouwerij Rodenbach 5/6 10 / 10

Judge’s Notes is solidly in the medium range, with a moderate


The beer pours a deep ruby red, with a half-inch level of carbonation. It’s not too effervescent, but yet
thick, brownish-pink head sitting atop that disap- holds enough carbonation to help clean the palate.
peared quickly. There is a little bit of haze -- it’s clear There is not a lot of creamy texture to the beer, but
but not brilliantly clear. The aroma is heavy with there doesn’t need to be. I do get a very low tannic
tart cherries, which is to be expected for the style. astringency that becomes more apparent as the beer
I do pick up a moderate amount of supporting malt warms, which is not uncommon or inappropriate for
aroma, a very low malt vinegar aroma and very mild the style. In the end, I was very happy to be served
woodiness. All in all, the aroma is very pleasant and this beer and hope to be able to have more of it. To
inviting. The flavor closely mirrors the aroma, but say this is a very solid Fruit Lambic is an understate-
you can add into the mix a refreshing tartness that re- ment of how good I think it is. This beer blew me
ally hammers home the tart cherry profile. The malt away -- all of its flavor components are spot-on, the
is mildly sweet with a hint of caramel, and it is there balance is intricate and the experience of the beer as
solely to support the fruitiness and sourness. There a whole was great.
is a low level of bitterness that helps to bring balance
to the sour and sweet components. The mouthfeel

97
by Michael Heniff
aroma: Flavor: Overall
23/ 24 38 / 40 Impression:
Stone Farking appearance: Mouthfeel: 20 / 20
6/6 10 / 10
Wheaton W00tstout
Stone Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes and complex with dominating chocolate and


This bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout roasted flavors and a background of nutty
is a collaboration between Stone Brewing, pecans, caramel, bourbon, toasted oak and a
actor and noted homebrewer Wil Wheaton light sweetness. The alcohol is readily appar-
(well known for his roles in “Stand by Me” ent but is never perceived as sharp or harsh.
and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” [among A light bitterness allows the semi-sweet malti-
many others]), and website founder Drew ness of chocolate and roasted malt to flour-
Curtis (founder of the satirical news website ish with a hint of bourbon lingering into the
fark.com). The 2016 version of this beer is finish along with a pleasant alcohol warmth.
brewed with pecans and measures in at a A stellar barrel-aged stout with pecans adding
whopping 13 percent ABV with 65 IBUs. The an extra layer of complexity.
rich, complex aroma is dominated by choco-
late and roasted malts with support from
caramel, bourbon and vanilla. The body is
rich, creamy and silky smooth with a light
level of carbonation. Again, the flavor is rich

52 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


96
by Owen Ogletree
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Overall
Impression:
30th Anniversary appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
6/6 9 / 10
Keller Pils
Summit Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes tremely pleasant, lingering, elegant German


Sometimes a modern craft version of hop finish. A truly world-class beer.
a classic beer style is able to blow away
trendy “beers of the moment.” This brew
accomplishes this in a big way. It’s light-
golden, crystal clear appearance comes
across as quite striking, and the aroma pro-
file of honeysuckle, clean pilsner malt, flo-
ral German hops and even a hint of jasmine
almost seems too good to be real. Look for
flavors dominated by crisp lager malts, light
toasty notes, gorgeous noble hop flavors, a
clean mouthfeel and perfect medium bitter-
ness. There’s even a hint of chamomile tea
sweetened with a light touch of sugar. The
lager’s greatest appeal comes with the ex-

96
by Tracy Hensley
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 20 / 20
Expletus 5/6 9 / 10
Avery Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes
This beer starts out with a sour, caramel-
glazed apple tart aroma, then evolves into a
caramelized wafer candy with dried Mont-
morency cherries with a low, floral, barrel
character. The beer is clear with a ruby-
amber glow and a low, ivory-colored head.
Flavors start as warm tart apple galette, with
a finish of tart green apples and fresh, ripe
cherry, vanilla-spiced cobbler. The mouth-
watering flavors linger and evolve over time.
A mouth-coating body with a tingling acidity
brightens up the mouthfeel as it crosses the
palate. This is a fantastic sipping beer -- both
complex and challenging. Perfect for cutting
heavier foods or enjoying on its own.
96
by Jason Johnson
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Overall
Impression:
19 / 20
Vintage 2013 appearance: Mouthfeel:
Brouwerij Rodenbach 6/6 9 / 10

Judge’s Notes malt, hop bitterness and light sour funk. The
The beer pours a medium-brown color fermentation character is obviously evident,
with very good clarity and a beautiful beige but it’s well aged and melds well with the rest
head of long-lasting, compact bubbles. It’s a of the beer. I am honestly very impressed
very pleasing beer to the eye. The aroma is with this beer and can’t wait for the reveal.
quite complex, with a bit of sour cherry, some The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, well-
sweet and subtle caramel malt tones, a light carbonated and smooth as silk. I’ve had my
earthy and woody character, some low malt share of sours and the classics like Duchesse
vinegar and a very subtle leather aroma. The De Bourgogne are still among my favorites;
flavor is very appealing and loaded with com- this beer is right up there with those style ar-
plexity. It is in no way muddled or disjointed. chetypes. I can’t think of a single thing about
For a Flanders Red, this is borderline perfect. this beer I would change, other than the light
I love the juicy dark fruit, the tart cherry, the leather character I got in the aroma. Even
soft yet sweet malt and there is just enough that was mild and easy to look past. If you are
bitterness to help balance some of the sour- a fan of sours, Flanders Reds or Browns in
ness. The balance is like an even swirl of particular, you need to find this beer.

96
by Mike Castagno
aroma:
24/ 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
Rare Traite 4/6 10 / 10
Cerebral Brewing

Judge’s Notes was quite surprising. The finish was clean and
Creamy. Velvety. Luscious. Tropical. These smooth, and it left me itching for more. The
are the main characteristics of this beer, but it is body was creamy but not heavy, making it
also much more than that. The beer puts down dangerously quaffable. Pace yourself and enjoy
my skepticism for both “crowlers” (32-oz. cans the experience. This beer would pair well with
that are filled from the tap then sealed) and Carribbean food, BBQ ribs or even an arugula
hazy IPAs. With a massive citrusy nose full of salad with strawberries and balsamic vinai-
grapefruit, orange and tangerine, the hop profile grette. Unfortunately, I believe this beer is only
deepens into tropical notes of passion fruit and available at the brewery in Denver, Colorado. I
pineapple with a hint of mango. These tropical suggest you get there fast to try this terrific IPA!
notes carry onward into the flavor and make
for an incredibly pleasing flavor profile. There
is a rounding out of the mid-palate with bready
and toasty malt characteristics and a soft but
sufficient bitterness. This does not linger at
all, which given this beer’s turbid appearance,

54 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


95
by Nelson Crowle
aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
Apex 6/6 9 / 10
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes bill balances it out nicely. The beer finishes


This beer pours a hazy deep gold with an crisp and fairly dry, with residual resiny and
orange tint and a big, mousse-like, ivory head grassy notes. With only a medium body and
of small bubbles. The head sticks around for a pretty high carbonation, there’s a slight, grainy
long time and leaves Belgian lace on the sides astringency in the finish along with a moder-
of the glass. There is a substantial grainy and ately high --but pleasant -- alcohol burn, which
bready malt backbone in the nose, but the star is clean, aromatic, and lacking in fusel alcohol;
of the show is the hops. The hop aroma is resin- this beer features a big hop aroma and flavor
ous, spicy and grassy with hints of garlic. The and just enough malt to balance the bittering.
first sip is bread crusts, grainy and some honey, Overall, this is a very nicely balanced (but quite
with a bit of apricot, and a very complex hop substantial) IPA that begs to be paired with a
footprint of black pepper, earthy, grassy, orange French dip with rare roast beef, sauteed onions
and tangerine notes -- all of which work together and peppers.
nicely. The overall balance leans towards
the bitterness, but the fairly substantial malt

95
by Michael Heniff
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
Ground Control 6/6 10 / 10
Ninkasi Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes greets the drinker at the finish with a lingering,


This Imperial Stout is brewed with Oregon rich dark chocolate character complemented
hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs then by vanilla and toasted oak. This Imperial Stout
aged in Old Forester Bourbon barrels for four is just as rich and complex as billed. Enjoy this
months. If that isn’t quite enough, this beer is beer gently chilled from a snifter glass.
part of the Ninkasi Space Program (NSP); the
ale yeast used in this beer has survived a trip to
space and back! The aroma is rich and com-
plex as expected: roasted malt, vanilla, toasted
oak, chocolate, dark caramel, anise and a hint
of bourbon. The body is full and very smooth
with a nice, creamy texture. The rich flavor be-
gins with dark chocolate, layered with roasted
malt, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak before finish-
ing with spicy anise, which helps to temper the
light sweetness. A light and pleasant warmth
95
by Dan Preston
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
Alter Ego 5/6 10 / 10
Tree House Brewing Co..

Judge’s Notes
This beer pours a hazy deep golden with
an orange hue and a big white head that
sticks to the glass and actually hangs around
longer than the beer itself. The aroma is defi-
nitely heavy on the Mosaic hops with lots of
complex fruitiness – melon, berries, candied
orange, apricot and grapefruit all make an ap-
pearance. The flavor is similarly loaded with
tons of the same hop character plus some
additional mango and a touch of pine. The
bitterness is moderate and leaves a nice bal-
ance, which, along with a light doughy/wheat
malt backbone, creates a great vehicle for the
hops with a very soft, creamy mouthfeel. A
highly recommended IPA.

95
by Rodney Tillinghast
aroma: Flavor: Overall
23/ 24 38 / 40 Impression:
The Discreet Charm appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
6/6 9 / 10
of the Framboisie
Brooklyn Brewery

Judge’s Notes character providing a pleasant, lasting impres-


This earthy, complex ale poured a mud- sion. This is a very difficult style to commercial-
dled, tawny pink in my goblet, with a pretty, ly brew, and this beer represents an outstanding
light pink head and carbonation bubbles rocket- example of a Framboise, and one that’s not to
ing from the bottom of my glass at a frenetic be missed.
rate. In the aroma, there were mature, aged
raspberry notes combined with the traditional
“horse sweat” of a Brettanomyces fermentation.
There were also some straight-up sour notes
that were reminiscent of a watermelon Jolly
Rancher. It exploded on my taste buds with a
refined mixture of light fruit, intense oak and
sourness. Typical to the style, there was no hop
flavor and very little perceived hop bitterness.
The beer featured a long, very dry finish, with
the high level of carbonation and oak/earth

56 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


95
by Rodney Tillinghast
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
On Fleek appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
Stillwater Artisanal & 6/6 9 / 10
Casita Cerveceria

Judge’s Notes Stout, and well crafted for the style. Put your
This ale tumbled into the glass like hot oil feet up and relax with this one.
draining from a car’s drainplug. I picked up my
snifter to check it against the light, but to no
avail -- it would not give up its secrets so easily.
A thick, tobacco-colored foam lifted towards the
top, and stayed in place during the entire sam-
pling duration. I swirled it a few times, which
released aromas of coffee, burnt toast and dark
chocolate, all woven between strong alcohol
tones. After letting it warm, I ventured a taste,
revealing complex licorice, bold earthy bitter-
ness, faint smoke and herbal tea. It finished
with an intense and heavy mouthfeel, slightly
vinous for the style, with a smooth but firm
alcohol warmth. This is a big, honking Imperial

94
by Michael Heniff
aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Overall
Impression:
Ozark Double IPA appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Ozark Beer Co. 6/6 10 / 10

Judge’s Notes at least as demonstrated by this fine west


This canned double IPA from north- coast-style Double IPA! Enjoy!.
west Arkansas seems quite unassuming in
appearance -- just a basic, silver can with
a small green label. Once opened, how-
ever, this beer is anything but unassuming!
The aroma of this IPA exudes prominent
pine, resin, citrus and blackberry hops
with a light caramel and bready malt sup-
port. The flavor mimics the aroma with a
hefty hopping of pine, resin, berries and
currants with a supportive bready and
caramel malt. This beer finishes moder-
ately bitter with a lingering pine and resin
hoppiness that begs for the next sip. Ap-
parently, Arkansas does have a west coast,
94
by Jim Koebel
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Shower Beer 6/6 9 / 10
Champion Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes It finishes on the crisp end of the spectrum


Czech Premium Pale Lagers (also known with medium-high carbonation. This example
as Czech Pilseners) are an interesting breed. achieves a great deal with a seemingly simple
They’re flavorful yet refreshing and one of the set of ingredients; it’s a gem.
few lagers in which diacetyl is acceptable. This
example begins with a clean, sweet, pils-like
malt aroma that isn’t overly bready or grainy. A
very low honey aroma (from the malt) is in the
background. There is also a distinct, moderate
Saaz hop aroma that is characteristic of the
style. This beer pours a yellow-gold color with a
dense, white head. It tastes hoppy (Saaz again)
with a sensation of hop oil. The malt flavor is
bready and simple but also rich and balanced
evenly with a firm and rounded bitterness.
This beer has a medium body but feels fuller.

94
by Mike Castagno
aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
Austin Amber 6/6 10 / 10
Independence Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes character and a bit of a floral note hiding un-


English-style ales are a dying breed here derneath it all. There is a fairly dry finish and
in the U.S. The ones that make it over from moderate bitterness to this beer, which helps
the U.K. are often riddled with oxidation due move it off the tongue and readies you for
to a long boat ride across the Atlantic, and are another sip. The elegant finish is a little more
many times a weak representation of the style refined than a typical beer of this style, but it’s
to begin with. The few made here in the U.S. not unwelcome in any sense.
tend to migrate towards the American mantra
of “bigger is better,” which typically leaves
little room for balance or subtlety. This beer is
a true gem and a pleasure to drink from start
to finish... I want more... a whole case more!
Classic, biscuit-type malt flavor reverberates
throughout this beer with moderate caramel
and even a touch of nuttiness. These flavors
meld together with a well-rounded tea-like hop

58 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


94
by Sandy Cockerham
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
The Keel 5/6 10 / 10
Cape May Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes character. Bittering was medium-low and no


Up front, this wine barrel-aged sour exhib- hop flavor was apparent. The balance shifted
ited fairly clean lactic sourness and a whiff of towards tartness in the finish with slight alcohol
oak. It had medium-low notes of toasty malt warming. I also perceived a low note of cocoa.
and dark fruit (plum and cherry mostly) and The flavors weren’t huge, but they were gently
no hops in the nose. As it warmed up notes of and elegantly interwoven. With a medium body
red wine grapes emerged and the wood aromas and mild carbonation, this beer was tart but
blossomed. Very inviting! didn’t abuse the palate with overly pucker-
The beer poured a deep, ruddy brown ing elements. Very light wood tannins on the
color. Light shone through the glass, giving off a tongue were not harsh, but rather rounded out
striking, ruby glow. A moderate ivory head with the mouthfeel nicely.
fine bubbles hung on for quite a while, espe- This was a delicious barrel-aged sour ale
cially for a sour ale. that had a pleasant sour character that mostly
The beer presented itself with a near- lactic in nature, but the slight acetification lent a
perfect balance between medium toasty malt bit of complexity to the flavor. Definitely worth
with a hint of sweetness and a moderate tart seeking out.

94
by Tracy Hensley
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
18 / 20
appearance: Mouthfeel:
TW Pitchers Radler 6/6 9 / 10
TW Pitchers Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes
Upon pouring, prominent aromas of bright
pink grapefruit fruit pour forth from the glass
with a splash of fresh raspberry juice and all
supported by a backbone of freshly milled
white flour. The beer has a pleasing, ivory head
that sits atop a hazy, straw-colored beer. In the
flavor, I’m first hit by a pithy and pleasantly tart,
mouthwatering slice of grapefruit and big, juicy,
almost fully ripe strawberry elements. With
lots of pleasing mouthfeel characteristics, this
radler is refreshing and crisp with a nice, dry
finish. The high carbonation slices through the
full, creamy body, striking a pleasant balance
between slightly sweet and highly sessionable.
94
by Rodney Tillinghast
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Westbrook Gose 6/6 9 / 10
Westbrook Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes sourness remains. It was indeed slightly


Out of the can poured a hazy, dark puckering, not in an unpleasant, astringent
yellow brew, with a limited head that fell sense, but was actually more candy-like. I
relatively swiftly. Out of the chute, aromas enjoyed its slightly barnyard/earthy charac-
of lemon zest, coriander and fresh dough ter, and while the acidity carried the nose,
arose from the glass. These notes were the salty flavor dominated the finish and
supported by significant bursts of acidity, aftertaste. A touch more carbonation would
along with a subtle funky character. Flavors have been more true to style, but overall,
detected were citrus and the aforementioned it was a quite refreshing and sophisticated
coriander along with a bedrock of saltiness beer, and would be a perfect entry to all that
and acidity. There was a very low bitterness are interested in the delving into the histori-
level, as well as no apparent hop flavors. It cal Gose style.
finished remarkably dry, which reinforced
the refreshing nature of the beer. The salt
component seems more apparent in the
finish, as it sticks to your tongue while the

93
by Rick Franckhauser
aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Hi-Dilly-Ho 5/6 10 / 10
Short’s Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes is accompanied by some toasted coconut.


Bold lactic and Brett aromas are quickly This medium-bodied beer with moderate
followed by lemon and cherry tartness with carbonation and some acidic bite is rounded
notes of currants. As the beer warms, some off in the finish by a tannic, drying effect.
pepper and woody tones come through The only real “off” note is a very low acetate
along with a slight touch of vanilla. The beer flavor that appears as it warmed up, which
is rather cloudy, a tarnished copper color dissipates as quickly as it appears. Some addi-
with red hues, with a creamy, light tan head tional ester complexity and a touch more malt
that drops off too quickly but leaves a slight sweetness would move this beer into perfec-
ring of bubbles around the glass. The flavor tion territory, but it’s still exceptional as is.
presents tart cherries joined by currants,
oak and vanilla. The sourness is complex
and dominates the profile. Acidity provides
the balance to the malt, rather than bittering
hops. Toasty malt arrives in the dry finish
and lingers long into the aftertaste where it

60 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


93
by Jason Johnson
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Grand Teton Gose 5/6 9 / 10
Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes have much in terms of a creamy texture. As far


The beer pours a nice solid yellow color as a Gose goes, I really like it. The flavors and
with a bit of haze. The head was white, fluffy aromas are bright but not overpowering, and
and had a moderate retention. The aroma was they showcase the malt, tartness, salinity and
inviting and refreshing. I got a little hint of lactic spicing of the beer very well. The beer could
sourness, some low wheat aromas and some have benefited, in my opinion, from a little bit
restrained coriander. I don’t pick up any real more hop flavor, but that’s my only qualm. This
hop presence, which is OK for this style. The is a well-balanced, flavorful and quenching beer,
flavor is very good: bright acidity is quite notice- making it easy to drink a lot of it.
able but not overpowering, the coriander and
wheat flavors play nicely together, and you fol-
low that up with a bit of briny salt in the finish.
I didn’t pick up much in terms of hops other
than a low bitterness that does just enough
to balance the malt. The beer is medium-light
in body, moderately carbonated, and doesn’t

93
by Richard Wong
aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
Space Needle appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
6/6 9 / 10
Golden IPA
The Pike Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes
This IPA had a very subtle hop aroma of
pine needles and not much more. Featuring
a very clear, light copper hue with very good
carbonation and a frothy head of small, tight
bubbles. Well-balanced flavors of smooth malt
and refined hops with substantial piney notes
blended well with one another in this classic
example of an American IPA. It had a medium
body and mouthfeel, as well as a somewhat
creamy texture in the palate. A well-made beer
that finished very smooth with just a slight hint
of alcohol warmth in the end..
93
by Michael Heniff
aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Park 6/6 8 / 10
Fort Point Beer Co.

Judge’s Notes influx of hoppy aromas and flavors. Either


Billed by the brewery as a “modern way, this a great beer with nice flavors and
interpretation of the witbier style,” this solid complexity.
golden ale promptly punches you in the
nose with an unexpected abundance of hop
aromas that are resiny, piney and peachy.
The body again is a welcoming abundance
of hops with flavors of resiny, piney, spicy
and peachy overwhelming any wheat that
the brewer’s malt bill had to offer. The fin-
ish is dry, crisp and bitter with abundant
resiny, herbal and spicy hops and not a hint
of wheat. Craft beer drinkers admire innova-
tion and hopheads love their hops. So this
wheat beer might be more appropriately de-
scribed as a “California Wheat” due to the

93
by Rodney Tillinghast aroma: Flavor: Overall
Stillwater is Nothing 23 / 24 38 / 40 Impression:
18 / 20
Big Bunny is appearance: Mouthfeel:
6/6 8 / 10
Everything
Stillwater Artisanal & Arizona
Wilderness Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes stouts, this offered none of the acrid, sharp


I poured this midnight-dark brew quite bitterness typical of the style. Overall, this is
vigorously, and a dark tan foam cap rose swiftly a fine dessert-like sipper.
to the brim of my snifter. It receded quickly,
like a beach wave, and left a cola-colored
liquid behind. After letting it warm a bit,
very pleasant aromas of cacao nibs, burnt
toast and dark, roasted coffee arose from the
glass. A very minor alcohol note also caught
my nose. The brew featured a prominent, al-
most intense, chocolate flavor that was quite
smooth, with very limited hop bitterness
and no perceptible hop flavor. It finished
with a terrifically smooth roastiness, almost
slick, enhanced by a relatively low carbon-
ation level. Compared to other imperial

62 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


93
by Nelson Crowle
aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Blah Blah Blah IPA 6/6 9 / 10
21st Amendment Brewery

Judge’s Notes and dry with a medium body and moderate


This beer pours a slightly hazy deep gold carbonation. Overall, this is a very well bal-
with a large ivory head of fine bubbles. The anced beer for the style, with bitterness, hops
head sticks around for a while, and leaves a and malt all expressing themselves with noth-
bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. Initially, ing too overpowering or in your face. An excel-
the aroma is tropical with notes of mango and lent beer that would be equally at home with a
strawberry, with a supporting malt backbone sweet and flavorful Chinese Hoisin chicken or
that is bready with a touch of toast. As the beer an oily bratwurst.
warms, the malt profile becomes a bit more
prominent with flavors of bread crusts and a bit
of honey taking precedence, and the hop flavor
is tropical, leaning more towards perfumy,
strawberry and tangerine. This beer conveys
a clean fermentation and substantial alcohol
warmth, and, coupled with substantial bittering,
is almost balanced by the malt. Finishes crisp

93
by Rodney Tillinghast
aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Lil’ Heaven 6/6 9 / 10
Two Roads Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes Session IPA, not an American Pale Ale. The


An array of hop oils wafts from the glass beer boasts a dry finish, clean fermentation
with bright notes of cantaloupe, mango and and a soft creamy mouthfeel that is a pleas-
orange pith. The aroma is all hops – no malt ant surprise for this delicate style.
to speak of. The aroma’s hop assault contin-
ues throughout sampling of the beer with
enough complexity to keep you returning for
more. The appearance is light gold with ex-
ceptional clarity. The beer pours with a me-
dium-sized off-white head that persists well.
The flavor has a crackery, biscuity profile
from the malt, which provides good support
for the high hop flavor without getting in the
way. The hop flavor follows the aroma and is
balanced by medium-high bitterness, which
is strong enough to remind you that this is a
92
by Dan Martich
aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 20 / 20
The Oracle 6/6 10 / 10
Bell’s Brewery

Judge’s Notes body and high carbonation give this beer a


This beer poured a hazy golden-yellow hue rounded mouthfeel that works well. The alcohol
that was quite typical of a Double IPA. In the warmth is there as a reminder to take small
aroma I found moderately high notes of citrus, sips, enjoy it, and although many may not abide
lemon rind and spicy hops, as well as some by that message, I’m glad it’s there. Overall, this
ripe melon esters toward the end with a clean, is an excellently produced beer showcasing its
bready malt note to complement it. Upon taking hop aroma and flavor. This beer does a fine job
the first sip, I found a large degree of bready at representing the style, and the different hop
malt sweetness that faded quickly, as if it were characters noted could not be in better harmo-
introducing the next act. Following that, the ny. There is also a sweet caramel malt note as it
citrus, lemon rind, and spicy hop character in warms, which gives this beer another positive
the aroma is back for an encore, and delivers dimension.
the balance this high-ABV beer merits. There
are some piney hop notes as the beer warms
that play very well with the dry finish, and the
aftertaste is long and citrusy. A medium-heavy

92
by Dan Martich
aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Frequent Flier 6/6 8 / 10
Boulevard Brewing Co..

Judge’s Notes this beer balances toward the hop flavor and
Upon pouring, the aroma is a welcome par- bitterness. The body comes forward as med-
ty of tropical fruit hops followed by a very faint light with a high amount of carbonation, and
piney hop character. The tropical fruit you’ll it also accentuates the dryness. No astringent
find here is headlined by mango, passion fruit qualities are present; this beer is pleasantly
and papaya beckoning you to a first sip. But smooth. It tastes fresh; as if picked from the
wait there’s also a soft, sweet, malt aroma that hopyard the day it was reviewed. This beer hits
seems biscuity and caramel-like alongside some all the right notes for the style. Enjoy it during
low fruity esters. The color is a rich dark yellow your favorite daytime summer activity.
that is brilliantly clear, the foamy, glowing white
head sits atop a highly carbonated brew full
of larger-than-life, reverse-cascading bubbles.
The flavor comes across as grainy with a small
amount of biscuit and caramel malt character. A
moderate citrus hop flavor and solid bitterness
rounds out the finish. As expected in any IPA,

64 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


92
by Joseph Formanek
aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 17 / 20
300 6/6 9 / 10
Fulton Beer

Judge’s Notes The characteristics of the aroma carry through


300 IPA by Fulton is a Mosaic hop bomb, pure quite well into the flavor; a moderately strong pine-
and simple. From the first whiff upon opening the apple and fruity, citrusy, dank hop flavor dominates
bottle to the final lingering aftertaste, the expression the overall impression of this moderately carbon-
delivered by the generous use of Mosaic hops is the ated brew. The resiny thickness of the hop character
star of the show, and this brew could be a wonderful adds to the overall body of the brew, delivering
learning tool for those wanting to understand Mosaic a medium-full perception. Base malt character is
hop characteristics. relatively subtle compared to the hop assault. Hop
The aroma is loaded with the overripe pineap- bitterness is medium to high. A light fruitiness arrives
ple, berry, orange and grapefruit character of Mosaic and tries to compete in the middle and finish. The
hops, along with an associated thick background finish maintains the same hop character that lingers
dankness that coats the olfactory bulb. There is a well through the aftertaste and into the next sip. The
light malt sweetness behind this. The beer is golden- perception of the finish is rather dry.
amber in color, has a slight haze and exhibits a solid, Overall, this brew is quite the clinic for demon-
lusciou,s white-bubbled head with lace that lingers strating the use of copious quantities of Mosaic hops
quite well into the drink. A very attractive IPA. in a brew.

92
by Susan Ruud
aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Crystal Hero 6/6 9 / 10
Revolution Brewing

Judge’s Notes
This is a very nicely made, light copper-col-
ored IPA. This beer is beautiful to look at, and
upon pouring, the head lasts almost forever.
Wonderful flavors emerge upon first sip, with a
huge explosion of pleasant floral hops blended
nicely with malt, fermentation esters and soft
alcohol. This is an extremely well-made and
well-balanced beer that still showcases the hop
characters wonderfully, making you want to
drink more and more.
92
by Rodney Tillinghast
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Overall
Impression:
Improved Old appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
5/6 9 / 10
Fashioned
Brooklyn Brewery

Judge’s Notes with the effects from barrel-aging, making this a


This complex, vinous beer opened up fine dessert beer.
initially with significant amounts of lemon zest,
clove and a touch of Angostura bitter aromas. It
was also underpinned with cinnamon and star
anise. The brew poured a very murky brown,
with a quickly dissipating head and very limited
carbonation. Upon sampling, a firm amount of
bready flavors were detected, intermixed with
ginger along with a very pleasant vanilla/oak
sweetness. The wood character of the beer
continued into the finish, where it lent a nice
creamy softness to it, aiding with the drink-
ability of this fairly high-ABV beer (12.8%). The
multi-layered approach to the spicing of this
beer was quite impressive, and balanced nicely

92
by Tracy Hensley
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
Snake Bite 4/6 9 / 10
TW Pitchers Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes
This brew starts off with aromas of apple taffy
– slightly tart, salty, dried apple skins on a base
of grape juice. Involuntarily, my mouth starts to
slightly water while the aroma shows a clean yeast
character with a hint of white apple blossoms. The
beer is a brilliant, light gold color with minimal
head retention. The dominant flavor is warm,
white flour pita bread coated with an overindul-
gent amount of apple purée with slices of slightly
dried, but still squishy, red apples thinly layered
on top. Despite a heavy fruit juice character, the
Shandy is refreshing rather than saccharine. This
is an excellent Fruit Beer -- a complex and well-
crafted blend of apple cider and lager.

66 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


92
by Randy Scorby
aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Overall
Impression:
Cucumber appearance: Mouthfeel: 18 / 20
6/6 9 / 10
Farmhouse Ale
Uinta Brewing

Judge’s Notes create the impression of an even drier finish.


For those of you who question whether The farmhouse character could be a bit better
cucumber and beer work together, this beer expressed, but the cucumber offers a clean,
shows that they most certainly do. It displays a fresh character that makes this a very enjoy-
moderate but soft fresh cucumber aroma with able, warm-weather quaffer.
a light lemon and mixed pome fruit character
as well as a light tartness. As the beer warms,
a rich bready maltiness and light spicy aromas
emerge to offer balance. The flavor shifts to ex-
hibit a more prominent cucumber hit followed
by a light, complementary tartness along
with a light lemon zest, stone fruit (mostly
apricots) and light spiciness. The cucumber
lingers throughout the flavor and into the
aftertaste. The beer finishes medium-dry, but
the moderately low hop bitterness helps to

92
by Sal Mortillaro aroma: Flavor: Overall
23 / 24 38 / 40 Impression:
Genessee Mountain 18 / 20
appearance: Mouthfeel:
Rainbow Espresso 6/6 7 / 10
Oatmeal Stout
Bull & Bush Brewery

Judge’s Notes grains provides a balance to the low malt sweetness.


This Oatmeal Stout with coffee pours a very English-style fruity esters become apparent after
dark brown color with opaque clarity. A dense the swallow and linger with the roast. The body is
and fluffy mocha-colored head is well sustained. A thin with tongue-tickling carbonation, and a silky
prominent aroma of fresh-brewed coffee with a touch smoothness from the oats increases perceived body.
of cream is the showcase with undertones of dark The roasted grains lend themselves to a dry finish,
chocolate and earthy roast. The coffee and roast but with no offensive astringency. Overall, this is a
combine into a coffee bean-like nuance that lingers in beautifully interpreted beer for those who love coffee
the background. Malt sweetness is lightly perceivable stouts. While the body is a bit thin for the style, this
and helps soften the roast character in the aroma. may work in its favor when pairing with foods as it is
No hop aroma is detectable. The flavor consists of not heavy and would not obscure the nuances of the
French press coffee (very smooth in flavor), bitter dish like many other larger stouts would. I see this
baking chocolate, roast and earth. Malt sweetness beer pairing wonderfully with a mole sauce dish or
is low and provides just enough of a presence to coffee-rubbed brisket.
springboard the roasted grains. No hop flavor or hop
bitterness, but a slight acridness from the roasted
92
by Tracy Hensley
aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Overall
Impression:
appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
Callipygian 5/6 8 / 10
Avery Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes For an alcoholic, intensely flavored beer,


Upon pouring, I first notice the aroma this is ready to be savored for a night. With
of creamed bananas, followed by a warm additional aging, a prominent ethanol note
chocolate brownie covered in a boozy would mellow out.
vanilla fudge sauce. The beer has a creamy,
dark tan head that clings to the sides of
the glass, and is a dark, almost opaque,
rusty brown color. The flavor starts with
bits of roasted coffee beans and cacao nibs
sprinkled on a dark chocolate bar with a
spicy vanilla finish. It ends with a warm-
ing sensation and a dry, slightly bitter
cocoa powder flavor. This beer is a pleas-
ing balance of full-bodied stout and high
carbonation, followed by moderate mouth-
coating bitterness and slick alcohol heat.

92
by Michael Heniff
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Overall
Impression:
Kick Back Session appearance: Mouthfeel: 19 / 20
6/6 7 / 10
IPA
Drake’s Brewing Co.

Judge’s Notes Session IPA bursting with hop aroma and


This Session IPA pours a crystal clear flavor. Also, this is a great way to help
light golden color, sporting a small ring of fund trail restoration projects at East Bay
off-white head. With plenty of our favor- Regional Park District (in the San Leandro/
ite hops (including Warrior, El Dorado, Oakland area) with portions of the sales go-
Simcoe, Cascade, Chinook and Mosaic!), ing to this good cause.
the hop aroma is readily abundant with
tropical fruit, tangerine, mango, resin and
lightly dank aromas with just a hint of malt.
The hop flavor is less tropical and more
citrusy/resiny in character with just a hint
of malt. The body is appropriately thin for
a 4.3-percent ABV beer, but the minerally
character and the high bitterness create a
slightly sharp, harsh finish, in which citrusy
and resiny hops linger. This is a very good

68 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


92
by Michael McGuire
aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Overall
Impression:
Samuel Adams appearance: Mouthfeel: 17 / 20
6/6 9 / 10
Nitro IPA
Boston Beer Co.

Judge’s Notes this was a well-brewed IPA enhanced, rather


This beer poured clear orange with a than lessened by, its gassy delivery.
very thick white nitro-enhanced head. The
aroma was full of fruity (pear) esters and
hop notes including some initial grassy ones.
The intensity of the aromas was a pleasant
surprise since some hop-forward nitro beers
have their aroma suppressed by a thick
blanket of nitrogen bubbles. The flavor was
well-balanced with strong contributions from
hops and malt getting through the creamy
head unperturbed. Mouthfeel is where nitro-
dispensed beers typically excel and this
was no exception, with smooth creaminess
extending through to the finish with non-
astringent hops coating the palate. In sum,

92
by Sean Coughlin aroma: Flavor: Overall
22 / 24 38 / 40 Impression:
Brewhouse Rarities: 19 / 20
appearance: Mouthfeel:
Cold Press Coffee 6/6 7 / 10
Porter
Flying Dog Brewery

Judge’s Notes The body comes across as a bit thin but is sub-
Robust coffee aroma with notable roast stantial enough to get the job done. The coffee
and light charcoal notes, bold, but well below treatment of this beer is exceptional -- roast with
a French roast threshold. There is no green a bit of spiciness and a complete lack of acidity
bell pepper character present. Underneath the and vegetal notes. With a bit more viscosity in
coffee profile is an inviting dark chocolate note, the body, this beer would be world-class.
and a light floral hop aroma emerges as the
beer gets closer to room temperature. The beer
is pitch black and pours with a medium-sized,
creamy, dark khaki-colored head. The flavor
follows the aroma with coffee in the headlining
role and everything else supporting. There is
a moderate hop bitterness with a pleasant nut-
tiness in the finish of the beer, almost reminis-
cent of unsalted peanuts. A bitter dark choco-
late flavor rounds out the overall experience.
Beer review

very good (86-90)


90 | Paleo ale, Fossil Cove Brewing Co. by Michael Heniff
90 | La Perouse White, Maui Brewing Co. by Randy Scorby
90 | Chillwave Double IPa, Great Lakes Brewing Co. by Joseph Formanek
90 | Fresh Roast, Rogue ales & Spirits, by Nelson Crowle
90 | Devil’s Harvest, Southern Prohibition Brewing, by Sal Mortillaro
90 | Mississippi Fireant, Southern Prohibition Brewing, by Sal Mortillaro
90 | Power & Light, Independence Brewing Co. by Mike Castagno
90 | G-String Pale ale, Funky Bow Brewery & Beer Co. by James Link
90 | So Folkin’ Hoppy IPa, Funky Bow Brewery & Beer Co. by James Link
90 | a Little Crazy, Revolution Brewing, by Susan Ruud
90 | Chene Rustique, Toolbox Brewing Co. by Tracy Hensley
90 | Uinta Pils, Uinta Brewing, by Randy Scorby
90 | Birthday Suit: 23rd anniversary, Uinta Brewing, by Randy Scorby
90 | Rodeo Rye Pale ale, Payette Brewing Co. by Susan Ruud
90 | RuinTen Triple IPa, Stone Brewing Co. by Michael Heniff
89 | Great Beyond Double IPa, Brewery Ommegang, by Josh Weikert
89 | Hopstate NY 2016, Brewery Ommegang, by Josh Weikert
89 | Double aught Pilsner, Bear Republic Brewing Co. by Nelson Crowle
89 | vital IPa, victory Brewing Co. by Joseph Formanek
89 | Jibe Session IPa, Green Flash Brewing Co. by John C. Tull
89 | Hi-Wire Gose, Hi-Wire Brewing, by Jim Koebel
89 | Sweet Child of vine, Fulton Beer, by Joseph Formanek
89 | Cold Brew IPa, Rogue ales & Spirits, by Richard Wong
89 | XS Old Crustacean Barleywine, Rogue Ales & Spirits, by John C. Tull
89 | French Toast, Funky Buddha Brewery, by Owen Ogletree
88 | KSa, Fort Point Beer Co. by Michael Heniff
88 | Midnight Special, Funky Bow Brewery & Beer Co. by James Link

70 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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Beer review

88 | Grapefruit Special Edition, Warsteiner Brewery, by Sandy Cockerham


88 | Stern Line Oatmeal Stout, 3 Daughters Brewing, by Rodney Tillinghast
88 | Lonely Blonde, Fulton Beer, by Joseph Formanek
88 | Green, Tree House Brewing Co. by Dan Preston
88 | Bright, Tree House Brewing Co. by Dan Preston
88 | Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout, Rogue ales & Spirits, by Richard Wong
87 | Serpent Bite, Orpheus Brewing, by Jim Koebel
87 | Dawn of the Red, Ninkasi Brewing Co. by Michael Heniff
87 | Steampipe, Otter Creek Brewing Co. by Mike Castagno
86 | House Beer, House Brewing, Inc. by Nelson Crowle
86 | Pour Judgement IPa, Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island, by Sean Coughlin
86 | Suzy B, Southern Prohibition Brewing, by Sal Mortillaro

Average (75-85)
85 | Sea to Sea Lager, Green Flash Brewing Co. by John C. Tull
85 | GFJ, Sun King Brewery, by Mike Castagno
85 | Hi-10, Terrapin Beer Co. by Sean Coughlin
85 | Fever Dream, Flying Dog Brewery, by Sean Coughlin
85 | Mur, Boojum Brewing Co. by Jim Koebel
85 | Beach Blonde ale, 3 Daughters Brewing, by Rodney Tillinghast
85 | Westfalia, Fort Point Beer Co. by Michael Heniff
84 | GT Gose, anderson valley Brewing Co. by Randy Scorby
84 | Tart Ten, victory Brewing Co. by Joseph Formanek
84 | La Brea Brown, Fossil Cove Brewing Co. by Michael Heniff
83 | Rod Bender Red ale, 3 Daughters Brewing, by Rodney Tillinghast
83 | Bock Bock, Shmaltz Brewing Co. by Nelson Crowle
81 | villager, Fort Point Beer Co. by Michael Heniff
80 | Oaked Chipotle ale, Flying Dog Brewery, by Sean Coughlin

72 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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Brewer Q & A
For beers that receive a score of “Excellent” or above (91+), we’ve asked the brewer a
few questions regarding that beer’s origins.

99 Rating – Tree House Brewing Co. – King JJJuliusss


Responses from founder and head brewer Nate Lanier.

BC: who came up with this beer’s recipe?


I did.

BC: what’s your favorite aspect of this


beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
For me, this beer is the full package. I
think the mouthfeel, flavor and aroma are
in beautiful harmony -- lending itself to a
complete drinking experience.

BC: where does this beer’s name


come from?
It’s the amped up version of the original
King Julius, so adding a bunch of J’s and S’s
makes perfect sense... right?!?!

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”


No. Green is my desert island beer (if we are
talking only about Tree House beers).

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?


Regal, hop-saturated tropical hop smoothie.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
The original King Julius was first brewed in 2012. To honor our fourth anniversary, I thought it
would be fun to revisit the old recipe and try to give it even more punch.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
I prefer to enjoy a beer this special on its own.

74 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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Brewer Q & A

97 Rating – De Proef Brouwerij & Trillium Brewing Co. – Bouket


Responses from Trillium founder and head brewer Jean-Claude Tetreault..

BC: what’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
The unique blend of wild yeast and bugs. The fermentation for this beer was handled by a combination of
a Belgian Lactobacillus strain and our in-house Native New England wild culture.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?


Pineapple, peaches and some background earthiness. Pleasantly thirst quenching.

BC: who came up with this beer’s recipe?


It was a true trans-Atlantic collaborative effort! A modern interpretation of classic farmhouse
beer blending Dirk›s expertise, De Proef›s state-of-the-art brewery and Belgian and New England
microbes, all finished with characterful American hops.

BC: what›s a good food pairing for this beer?


Farmer›s cheese and a fresh, crunchy baguette.

76 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


Brewer Q & A

97 Rating – Brouwerij Rodenbach – Alexander


Responses from master brewer Rudi Ghequire.

BC: who came up with this beer’s recipe?


This recipe was made in 1986 for the 200-year
birthday celebration of one of the founders of the
brewery, Alexander Rodenbach. Before this batch, it
was last brewed in 2000.

BC: what’s your favorite aspect of this beer


(flavor, aroma, etc.)?
The cherry nose in combination with the green
apple aroma, followed by the refreshing aftertaste.

BC: where does this beer’s name come from?


Inspired by name of the founder of our brewery,
Alexander Rodenbach.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”


If I could only bring one bottle with me, it’d be
Vintage 2013. If I could bring a second, it’d be
Alexander.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words


or less?
A unique Kriek with a good sweet and sour balance.

BC: what’s a good food pairing for this beer?


As this beer has a sweeter finish than others in our portfolio, try Alexander with some vanilla ice cream
and warm cherries on top.

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 77
Brewer Q & A

96 Rating – Summit Brewing Co. – 30th Anniversary Keller Pils


Responses from head brewer Damian McConn.

BC: who came up with this


beer’s recipe?
I did.

BC: what’s your favorite aspect of


this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
Great flavor balance and aroma
character from a fairly straightforward
recipe.

BC: where does this beer’s name


come from?
Traditionally, Zwickel or Keller
Lagers are served directly from the
conditioning vessel and remain
unfiltered. As we didn’t filter our
Pils and adopted a fairly traditional
approach to brewing the beer, the
name seemed fairly obvious.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”


Depends on the desert and depends on the island. It’s certainly one of my absolute favourite styles to
brew.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?


An elegant, complex German lager with great drinkability and character.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
We developed this beer as part of the 30th Anniversary Series, which seeks to highlight the roles of
suppliers and customers in the process of creating great beer. In this case, Weyermann Malting Co. from
Germany provided a unique heritage variety of malting barley that is truly the soul of Keller Pils.

BC: what’s a good food pairing for this beer?


Seafood, fish, Caesar salad, traditional German sausages, Muenster cheese.

78 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


Brewer Q & A

96 Rating – Avery Brewing Co. – Expletus


Responses from “Barrel Herder” Andy Parker

BC: who came up with this beer’s recipe?


The original idea on this one was mine. Very few breweries are making tequila
barrel-aged beers, so you have to forge your own path. I went through the
incredibly taxing process of making Tequila Sunrises every night at home to
figure out how to make a sour beer based on those flavors. I quickly found that
I preferred grapefruit juice over orange juice because of the tartness. I also
researched the grenadine that gives the drink its color... traditional grenadine
is made with pomegranates, but the most common grenadines today have more of an artificial cherry flavor. After some
experiments with both fruits, I thought the cherry flavor would be more reminiscent of the mixed drink. So the plan
was to put some cherries in during secondary fermentation, then add fresh grapefruit zest after debarreling the beer.
We made the base beer, added the cherries, and filled a pile of Suerte Tequila barrels.

Six months later I brought a sample of the barrel-aged sour to a blind tasting. There wasn›t a prominent cherry
flavor, but it was easily the most Tequila-forward beer we›ve made. And everyone at the table loved it for that giant
Tequila aspect. Instead of re-dosing with more cherry and adding grapefruit zest, we decided to leave the beer
exactly the way it was and abandon the Tequila Sunrise idea. It can be a little polarizing, but for those of us who
love Tequila, it›s incredible.

BC: what’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
That huge Tequila barrel flavor and aroma. We›ve been working with Tequila barrels for a few years now and we›re
tuned in to those flavor components. If it happens to be someone›s first Tequila barrel-aged beer they might not even
recognize those flavors for what they are, which can make it a pretty confusing beer.

BC: where does this beer’s name come from?


Expletus is a Latin word for «complete» or «satisfied.» It›s a nod to the story behind the beer... the fact that we tried
to make a Tequila Sunrise-influenced sour beer, then realized that the base beer was already a home run and we
shouldn›t mess with a good thing. It was already complete and didn›t need more tinkering.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”


Does the desert island have chips and salsa?

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?


If the GABF starts a Tequila sour category, we›re confident.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
The barrels we get are from Boulder-owned Suerte Tequila, who are good friends of ours. We›ve had blind tastings on
beers aged in their barrels vs. others, and the amount of Tequila flavor we›re getting from their barrels is astounding.
Having that personal connection with people and a company that you respect is invaluable and has allowed us to do
more with Tequila barrels than anyone in the country over the last five years.

BC: what›s a good food pairing for this beer?


Sour beers aren›t always the first beers you think of with food pairings. The big Tequila aroma is something fun to play
with, though. I›d put it on a charcuterie/cheese plate to learn more about it, but I›m guessing that it would balance well
with milder and richer cheeses, maybe something as simple as a triple cream Brie. Nothing too spicy or funky, as I
think the flavors would fight each other and your flavor hole would be too confused to continue.

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 79
European report

by Carolyn Smagalski

First Ever Scottish Beer Awards Preserving the Pub


Scotland’s brewing landscape hit a high note this With the support of CAMRA, Geoff Brandwood has
year, exploding into global prominence with the created a new edition of his book, Britain’s Best Real
launch of the first ever Scottish Beer Awards. An Heritage Pubs, featuring 260 U.K. pubs of historic
independent panel of 19 leading experts, including significance. Long the force of positive community
such names as Hilary Jones (Chair), Dr. Bill Simp- activity throughout Britain, the pub still lives within
son, and author Roger Protz, judged the annual the hearts of its citizenry. The new edition focuses
beer and business performance competition on on watering holes with enduring legacies, tradition-
May 31st, 2016 in Edinburgh. ally unchanged for 70 to 100 years, as well as road-
houses, railway pubs, Victorian designs, and recent
Finalists were chosen from a field of 154 beers in award winners. Released in time for the Great British
the taste segment of the competition. The panel Beer Festival in August, the new book has become
also scrutinized 55 entrants on innovation, export a fan favorite and is expected to sell out by mid-
record, product development, business acumen September.
and more.

Finalists for Scottish Brewery of the Year include Historic Firsts for Great British Pubs
Black Isle, BrewDog, Edinburgh Beer Factory, The Wandsworth Council of South London has
Fallen, and Tempest Brewing Company. logged a historic first, focused on preventing the
demise of pubs of “historic or architectural value.”
Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals will be presented In a move which singled-out 120 pubs in the region,
on September 29, 2016 at the Edinburgh Corn Council took steps to protect heritage pubs from
Exchange. being converted into flats or shops without prior
approval of the councilors. CAMRA applauded the
Truth in Brewing move, encouraging neighboring councils to follow
Dougal Sharp of Innis & Gunn believes it’s time the lead.
for honesty and integrity in the U.S. Presidential
Campaign. Weaving the magic of alchemy into
Smoke & Mirrors, his latest innovative release,
Sharp endeavored to extract the truth out of
America’s candidates by personally sending bottles
of the new release to both Hillary Clinton and
Donald Trump. Brewed with licorice root, mul-
lein and vine essence, the new beer should put an
end to foggy memory and flabby allegations on the
campaign trail. But since Trump is a teetotaler,
there’s not much chance the truth serum will sub-
due his loose tongue.

80 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


European report

by Carl Kins

Show Me the Money brewery located in an old brickworks “De Super special “recycling” initiative in
Brewery Het Anker in Mechelen sold a Herleving“ in the Reepstraat in Sint-Gillis- beer circles. In 2015, the University of
minority shareholder-ship to BNP Paribas Waas. Ghent brewery students made a beer with
Fortis bank for an expansion to the water, recycled from a brewery’s waste
brewery, aimed at more than doubling the Hildegard and Bas van Ostaden, formerly water. They called the beer “From Sewer
brewing capacity. of Urthel (brand taken over a few years to Brewer”. This year they took it to a
ago by Bavaria), and now running the whole different and crazy level. They made
The Bosteels brewery shareholders, i.e. restaurant Hoppeschuur and a small an installation running mainly on solar
the family and the private equity company brewery now also have a small distilling power, that captured people’s urine and
Waterland, which had bought circa 30 % installation and have launched two gins, filtered this, leading to a dry paste that
about two years ago, were looking to sell Bassets Flanders Dry Gin & Bassets can be used as a fertilizer, and clean water.
out. In the Belgian press, speculation ran Scarlet Gin. With that clean water, they made beer.
that Heineken and Duvel were possible The idea is to export this water purity
take-over candidates. Meanwhile, ABI Van Honsebrouck new brewery (Castle device to undeveloped countries where
announced they have an agreement. I am Brewery), named the Beer Castle is clean water is scarce.
convinced they paid a hefty price to keep finished. The brewery has daily brewery
Heineken from having the Bosteels brands tours, and there is a restaurant on ABI is the biggest brewery conglomerate
(most importantly Tripel Karmeliet but premise. Definitely worth a visit. in Belgium (and the world), hence there
also Kwak and finally Deus). So, you see, L’Ermitage in Brussels have brewed a is always news from them. ABI will
ABI not only buys U.S. or Brazilian craft beer called “Lanterne” in Brasserie de stop distributing the special and widely
breweries, but also Belgian ones. Bastogne, but are looking to open their used “ridged glasses” for Stella Artois
own brewery. They have placed a bid on a in Belgium. Stella is not perceived as a
few buildings. Wait and see. This shows premium brand in Belgium, merely as an
New Breweries and/or more and more breweries will open in ordinary pils. Pub owners will now only
Locations Belgium’s capital in next months and
years.
receive either a “smooth” normal glass
or a chalice. This is a huge change for the
There’s a new location for Annick De
Belgian Stella drinker. And ABI’s aim is of
Splenter of the Ghent city brewery Gruut.
Decision has been taken by Antwerp course to erase the idea of non-premium
At the end of August she officially opened
Brewing Company (ABC), brewers of that tourists may perceive when visiting
her new spot in the Dodoensdreef,
Seef and Bootjesbier, owned by Johan Belgium.
the street between Steendam and the
van Dyck, former marketing guru of
Baudelopark.
Duvel. Their brewery will be located in The European Commission, which
the Noorderpershuis (old pump house for also serves as the EU’s antitrust
Armand Debelder’s LambikOdroom was
the cranes and sluices of Antwerp) and is watchdog, has launched a probe into
officially opened in Lot (Molenstraat 47),
expected to be operational at end of 2017. ABI over concerns that it is using
close to the Senne river. The Lot location
its dominant position in Belgium to
contains all except the brewery which
prevent “parallel trade” of its own
remains in Beersel. So, that includes the Miscellaneous brands from neighbouring countries.
beer storage, a tasting place, etc. while Eric Verdonck and Luc De Raedemaeker,
The probe voices concerns that ABI may
a Schaarbeekse kriek orchard is being both well known in Belgian beer circles
be “pursuing a deliberate strategy” to
planted. have co-written a book about Belgian
curtail imports of its own beers from
beer, called “The Belgian Beer Book”.
less expensive countries such as the
Brewery De Graal moved to a new You could say, there are already many, but
Netherlands and France to the more
location, Industrielaan in Brakel, and is they took a special angle, resulting in a
expensive Belgian market. They are
hugely expanded of course, allowing more “biblical” size of 2.6 kg (5.7 pounds).
doing so by having and selling all kinds
than doubling the capacity. The main
of different bottle and can sizes.
reason was to be able to accommodate Belgium’s second biggest beer fest, the
even more brews on demand. one in Bruges goes back to its starting
location, the Belfry. However, as this is
The Musketeers, known for their too small, a big tent will be erected on the
Troubadour beers currently brewed at Market Square.
De Proefbrouwerij, will start their own

www.BeerConnoisseur.com | 81
European report

by Max Bahnson by Jim Dykstra

Ales on the Rise Oktoberfest 2016: Beer Over Fear


It would have been unthink- The world’s largest beer festival begins September 17
able just a few years ago: and will last until October 3. Why not until the end
Plzeňský Prazdroj, the larg- of October?
est brewing conglomerate in
the Czech Republic and pro- According to Oktoberfest’s official website: “By mov-
ducer of one of the world’s ing the festivities up, it allowed for better weather
most iconic beers, Pilsner conditions. Because the September nights were
Urquell, presenting an ale warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens
under one of their core outside the tents and the stroll over “die Wiesen” or
brands, Velkopopovický the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Histori-
Kozel. So far, it’s been only cally, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October
one of the monthly special and this tradition continues into present times.”
brews of the Brew Mas-
ter’s Selection, a series that Sure to spawn hundreds of local festivals across the
began two years ago. Ini- world, this year’s Munich Oktoberfest will be marked
tially, the series was limited by an increased focus on security, as tensions mani-
to presenting lesser known fest from Munich’s recent terrorist attack in which
products of the group, but nine were killed. Backpacks will be banned and se-
this year, they have intro- curity checks will increase, as authorities have stated
duced a couple of ad-hoc brewed beers, including that they will not allow anything to “put a dampener
this A.P.A. It has failed to get much love from the on the festival.”
local beer enthusiasts, but it is clear proof of how far
ale has gotten in Lagerland. “Security is our highest priority,” said Josef Schmid,
deputy mayor of Munich and managing director of
Speaking of things that would have been hard to Oktoberfest.
imagine a few years back – Makro, by far the largest
Cash & Carry chain, is offering beers from selected This year, around 450 security personnel will be
microbreweries in specially refrigerated shelves. On in place, up from last year’s 250, which is expect-
the other side of the border, in Slovakia, Tesco have ed to cost the city a couple million euros, and
taken things a step further. They have commissioned may ultimately be passed on to festival-goers. As
Karpát, a local microbrewery, to brew for them a such, attendance is expected to see a significant
series of beers under the brand Tesco Finest includ- decline this year, as worries of hostile activity
ing an IPA, a porter and a stout. keeps many indoors.

Here’s to a safe celebration of beer in its fertile


crescent.

82 | The Beer Connoisseur® – Fall, Issue 26


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