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Old 08-30-2009, 05:48 PM   #1626
MrWookie
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

For drinking while drafting tonight, I cracked open Stone's 13th Anniversary ale. It was $8.89 for a 22 ouncer and weighs in at 9.5%, but I don't know any more about it because reading the fine print on Stone's bottles is a pain in the butt and filled with vacuous bull****. I choose not to.

The beer pours a darkish brown without too much head. It smells very strongly of Stone's classic dry grapefruit hops. The flavor is a whole lot of dry hops and a syrupy malt behind it. Huh. I would have to classify this as a disappointment. I mean, it still may be a hop head's wet dream, but in my opinion, you're better off getting the double bastard or something. I may even prefer the original Bastard, and you get a better buzz for your buck buying two 22s of that. I'll give this a and a half rating, but I'd advise against anyone buying it. There are better beers to be had from this brewer or in this style in this price range.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:57 AM   #1627
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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I don't know any more about it because reading the fine print on Stone's bottles is a pain in the butt and filled with vacuous bull****. I choose not to.
Meh, they do have a bunch of worthless crap, but you still have to applaud them for even including ingredients unlike so many other breweries.

http://www.stonebrew.com/13th/ale/

Looks like an Imperial Red w/ Chinook for the bittering and Simcoe/Centennial for flavor/aroma. That would definitely explain the strong grapefruit you tasted.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:10 PM   #1628
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Yeah, I'd probably read it it it was more legible, but the print is fine, and the red color doesn't contrast well with a brown bottle.

It surprises me that the call it an imperial red. It wasn't very red at all. Oh well. Either way, I'd skip this one and enjoy a Double Bastard or two of the originals.
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:36 PM   #1629
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

This year's brewery trip was on the west coast.

Quick rundown of the trip:

Monday - Got into San Diego late and the closest brewery that was open and had food was a chain called Callahan's.

The place was about as expected, marginal but it would do the job after a long flight. An extremely drinkable, yet flavorful pale ale and a porter that currently escapes me (I think it was a chocolate porter, website doesn't help) certainly stood out as the only above average beers here. The food was substandard for sure, a cheese plate with sausage was regrettable for the next 12 hours or so. C- including expectations, probably a D overall.

The next day we walked a few miles to Ballast Point. I started out with their big eye IPA, which was very refreshing after the walk. We then headed on a tour of the brewery, which was appreciated but it was rather basic. I learned a few new things about distilling, though they were basic things I just did not know.

After the tour we dove into the rest of their lineup. The amber was rich and hoppy. The yellowtail pale ale felt like it was lacking to me, but now I'm reading their description and it says it is a kolsch style pale. I haven't really heard of anybody naming their beer xxx pale ale and it actually being a kolsch, a little strange to me.

The real highlight was the session ale they had on tap. It was around 3.5% and very well hopped. It went down like water, of course, but it wasn't a bad thing.

I have a 22oz of the porter I'm waiting on in the mail, I'll review that when it comes. My buddy had that one and really enjoyed it.

We had the Ballast Point Sculpin IPA at Stone the next day and were a little let down. The hype on that beer was pretty big and I just didn't enjoy the hop combination as much as I thought. It tasted like a Simcoe hopped beer to me, but not as intrusive as Simcoe usually tastes to me when it is heavily hopped. It wasn't unpleasant or anything, but nowhere near what everybody kept telling us (OMG DRINK THIS).

As far as the brewery goes, they only had a tasting room with no chairs, but did have bathrooms, complimentary pizza and a very nice staff. I will give them a B, maybe a B+ if you take into consideration expectations.

After this we got a ride to Pacific Beach ale house which was just north of Mission beach.

The amber, pale, ipa and cream were all above average, though none of them stand out now. They were out of both dark beers (stout and porter), so that was a bit disappointing, but their food was pretty good. Get the thai-style chicken wings, you won't regret them. My friend said the lobster blt with apple wood bacon was good as well.

We then walked 4+ miles up the beach to La Jolla brew house, a little brewpub a few blocks from the beach.

I wish I could say walking over 4 miles while approaching 10 beers before 3pm in 90+ degree heat was the biggest mistake of the day, but I would be lying.

La Jolla was easily the worst brewery we visited, and that is saying something with the likes of Callahan's in the mix. The latter was a chain, La Jolla is not. I had a flight of beer and had to finish a marginal heffe from 2 friends that met us there, which was not very rewarding.

To put this into simple terms, after being out in the heat, especially walking, almost any fresh/cold drink is going to be great to me. Bad beers taste ok to me and ok beers taste good. I still really disliked this brewery.

The environment seemed ok. It was kind of a sports bar, yuppy beach feel but I won't hold that against a place. It wasn't loud nor annoying, the beer was just poor. D, only because they have guest bottles so it's possible if I actually lived in La Jolla I could come here once a month.

Karl Strauss
was next, in downtown San Diego. We met up with our ride's friend, as well as another old friend here in addition to 2p2er Indiana.

Strauss is a chain brewery, similar to Rock Bottom I believe, but with an even stronger reputation from what I've heard.

I had some belgian strong beer that tasted a little rubbery and young. It was similar to a few belgians we've made that were over-sugared, though I'm not sure if that was the off flavor I was getting. It wasn't terrible at all, and I could definitely see that negative aspect of the beer mellowing with age, but at a minimum I think it wasn't aged enough.

I think I had a pale and a red here as well, but I really don't recall. I hadn't met Indiana before and our friend from SD that met us there I hadn't seen in over 5 years, + the walking and drinking all day, I just can't remember what else I had or if it was any good. I'd likely remember if it was really poor or really good, so I'll just end this review with a C+/B-. I wish I had grabbed a few bottles here, but I totally forgot about it. Their food looked good but I didn't eat here.

To cap the night off, we headed to the Blind Lady beer bar.

I had found out earlier that Alesmith only had a tasting room and would not be open until Thursday afternoon, so I decided to have a speedway stout from them. This was quite a beer, deep and complex as most any imperial stout I've had. It was $4.50 for a small brandy snifter of this, and they gave you a piece of chocolate. I had 3, and at around 12% this finished me off for the night.

The pizza here was pretty good too. Unique, not incredible, but good. If you don't live in a good pizza area like NYC, Chicago or CT, you may like it even more. The rest of their tap selection was pretty standard, it wasn't ground breaking or anything but it was a very good beer bar. Points off for it being intrusively loud here though. I'll give it a B.

Wednesday we took it slow, since Tuesday was a bit much. We took 2 buses up to Escondido in the early evening and then a short cab ride to Stone.

Now, the only thing I really knew about Stone up until this point was that they had some good, but probably overhyped beer (c'mon, those IPAs have nothing on places like Floyd's and Arrogant Bastard is better marketed than William Shatner). I also saw a small thumbnail picture of a tree in the brewery and heard the food was pretty good. All in all I was expecting a good time, but nothing like this.

First of all, the place is massive. The parking lot was packed with at least 100 cars. This was a Wednesday evening. We walked into the store, which also had a small bar for to go bottles and growlers, very nice looking. We then walked into sort of a hosting area, where they get you a table. There's a big rock in here as well as some stuff (awards I think) on the walls. From there, you walk into the actual indoor restaurant/bar area. The indoor tree was very cool, as was another big rock with water sprinkling down the edge. One whole wall is glass and shows you the brewery. Another wall is stone and leads up to a 2nd floor, sort of banquet area. And the wall that separates it from the outside is actually glass that can be opened (and was later on) about 25 feet or so into the air.

The bar is a circle and everything is done very nice.

Now, for the best part, the outdoor garden. This is basically an oasis. There is a dining area in the main section, complete with a little stream and mini waterfalls and fire pit (with seating around the entire thing), tables and torch lights. An outdoor bar is sectioned off a little bit, yet still pretty much open, with another fire pit. Above that is an outdoor balcony that opens up from the indoor 2nd floor. Then there are paths, a few hundred feet at least that go around a lower field section. They were playing Indiana Jones in the lower field when we were there. The actual garden area had so much plant life, including hops, as well as a little cavern with falling water and a pond.

The food was also very good. I had a spicy beef dish, recommended by our waitress. We had these potato popper things for an appetizer. They were basically mashed potatoes deep fried, and were tasty, albeit a bit dry (sauce took care of the dryness and it wasn't anything that shouldn't be expected with potatoes and breading).

The beer was also good. ruination IPA, imperial stout (top notch), green flash belgian dipa on cask (++++), smoked porter (subtly smoky, very satisfying).

We split a Coronado Brewery IPA here. I was picking up fruity hops in this one, my friend more of sweet pine. Either way, the hops were interesting, the beer was good but not great in this one.

Beer B+/A-, food A-, brewery/garden A+. Overall this was the nicest brewery either of us have ever been to out of the 30-40 breweries we've visited.

We took a cab back to the hotel after this (impatience with the bus transfers trumped $50 expense) and just relaxed in preparation for Thursday's road trip.

Thursday we went to Ogie's pizza and brewery while waiting for our friend to pick us up for the start of the trip north. I ate the 5 cheese pizza with garlic oil sauce. It wasn't great, the feta cheese really stuck out over the others (fontina, parmesan, mozzarella and mild goat) but I wouldn't call it bad. I had a beer flight, they were mostly average beers, except the Torrey Pines IPA, which was good.

Unfortunately, we hit a massive nail about 2 hours outside of San Fran, which destroyed my buddy's tire. We didn't end up getting into SF until about 1am, at which point 21st Amendment was closed. We did get to see some of what I imagine is their red light district, the Tenderloin. Pretty shady, but interesting stuff there. I haven't seen such an active, yet seedy area in any cities I've been to. Most of the shady parts of town here in Chicago don't really have so many clubs, bars and normal people among the legions of bums, street walkers and corner dealers.

So, after getting a replacement tire in Concord (northeast bay suburb), we picked up some beers from a local store. We grabbed a 6 pack of 21st Amendment's brew free IPA. It's in the mail one the way to Chicago, but I was fortunate enough to split a can of this with a friend awhile back and remember it being very good.

Next up was Russian River, in wine country (Santa Rosa). The atmosphere of the place was pretty relaxed. A younger, somewhat attractive but dressed plainly crowd was here in mid afternoon.

I ordered a sampler, as did our driver. I believe it was 16, 2 ounce samplers, ouch. It was like a mix of heaven and hell, as it was mid afternoon and we still had about 10 hours of driving ahead of us.

As for the beers, simply divine. I'll start with the famous DIPA, Pliny the Elder. I had a small bit of a bottle of this one time and it was rather warm, but still superb. It was just as good as I remembered, right up there with my favorites, FFF Dreadnaught and 2x crooked tree. Blind pig and russian river are the other two IPAs (single ipas) that they have, I preferred river to pig, but it seems most people like blind pig best.

My next favorite beer after Pliny was Concecration. This is a dark ale aged in cabernet barrels with added bret for 6 months. I don't usually like beers with bret, or barrel aged beers in general, but this was so complex and felt incredibly balanced. I could pluck flavors out of this beer all day. The downside was that it was so overpowering that I could only sip it, so it took quite awhile to finish both 2 oz samplers (driver had to stop about halfway through the sampler). This would make the perfect dessert, an hour long 6-8 oz pour of this would be extremely rewarding.

Another noteworthy beer was a brown, which was the 2nd best brown I've ever had (Pullman from Flossmoor Station is #1 by a fair amount). The other beers were mostly interesting and ranged from ok to very good. If you like sour beers or barrel aged stuff, this is definitely a gold mine. If you like belgian beers, you're also in a good place. I'm not particularly keen on either style but I still felt this was the best beer we had on the trip. A+ beer, B+ environment. Beer pieces (appetizer) really hit the spot. Bought a cool looking growler of Pliny that I hope doesn't break to pieces in the mail.

We didn't quite make it to Portland that night. Ashland, Oregon, about 4 hours south of Portland, was our 11pm stop. We hit Standing Stone brewery first. Their pale rye was pretty good and very drinkable. Dry stout was outstanding, I have a growler of that on a friend's suitcase scheduled to arrive later this week. IPA and double IPA were both above average, but did not stand out. There were one or two other beers that were ok as well (amber and cream I believe).

Their food was excellent. The margarita pizza, which is really just a cheese pizza with tomato sauce, the chicken quesadillas and the chicken pizza with cream sauce were all excellent. We split those up amongst the 3 of us and we all agreed on the quality of these.

Next up was Caldera brewery, which was right around the corner from Standing Stone. Caldera is apparently less than 2 months old and is located in the basement of a restaurant. It has a college bar type feel to it, but everybody was really cool and relaxed here. I talked to the bartender a bit when I came in, he was a pretty good guy, at least for a packer's fan. Much like Standing Stone, all these beers were above average. Two of my favorites were dry hopped red and the ginger beer with hibiscus flowers. The latter was probably a little more bland and light than I usually care for, but was otherwise a very good beer. The dry hopped Orange was something both my friends really enjoyed. I didn't actually have one of these, unfortunately.

We hung out with the bartender and head brewer for an hour or so after closing here, they were both good people and we enjoyed many beers that night. I give the brewery a B+, beers were B, people A+, place C+ (it's in a basement after all).

Saturday we ventured on to Portland. We had to replace the replacement tire to match my buddy's other tires (they were out of stock in the bay area near us) so we didn't really have much time with an 11pm flight.

We tried to stop at Hair of the Dog since it was like 2 minutes from the hotel our driving buddy was going to be staying overnight at. It is apparently only open by appointment like Alesmith and Lost Abbey, so that was a bit disappointing.

We did, however, arrive at Deschutes for dinner. The brewery was very nice, a lot of wooden beams and intricate woodwork. They also win the award for most confusing and coolest bathrooms on this trip. The bathroom area winds around and has a ton of mirrors there. I passed the men's room the first time and I think my friend said he ran into a wall on the way in. Inside the bathroom they had some giant urinals and a pretty cool granite sink that arched down like a triangle into the long, flat drain.

Non bathroom wise, the food was above average. It wasn't a gourmet burger, but the basic burger with cheddar was fine. I had some lentil soup with a few things I can't recall in it. It tasted asian inspired and fairly good to me.

Their beers were all above average, but I was expecting more from them. The harvest ale (fresh hops added 2 hours after picking) was a little too mild and the hops were nowhere near as tasty as say, Goose Island's harvest ale (or SN for that matter). My favorite beer was the coffee stout, by far. B overall, B- beers, A ambiance, B food.

Our last stop was Rogue, which was literally around the corner. I wasn't expecting too much from Rogue, as they have been pretty hit or miss for me up until now (like Sam Adams kind of, except my expectations for Sam have always been lower).

I just had a Shakespeare Stout. It was really good, better than I remembered it (I think my last one was in a bottle 2 years ago). I had a small sample of the heffe, which tasted all right, and unfortunately didn't have time to grab anymore beers or spirits (they started distilling, much like DFH, ballast point and seemingly half the breweries on the West Coast).

Weighted lightly because of our lack of time here, but B+ beer, A ambiance (bartenders were both good guys, the shorter, animal house looking guy was cool) and food is N/A. So A- overall.


Some awards on the trip:

Best IPA - Russian River IPA

Best DIPA - Russian River Pliney the Elder

Best Stout - Alesmith Speedway Stout

Best Brewery (not beer) - Stone

Best Beer - Russian River

Biggest Surprise - Ballast Point, Caldera, Standing Stone

Biggest Disappointment - Deschutes

Best City - Portland (runner up SD and Ashland, Oregon).

Worst City - San Fran, I'd imagine a clean freak would have a heart attack in 5 minutes here.

Best Drive - Through the mountains in Sonoma from Santa Rosa to the interstate.

Best Food - Standing Stone

Adding pics when I get them up.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:19 PM   #1630
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Rochefort 10 is quite possibly the best beer I've ever had. Any others agree?

I'd love to get my hands on some Westvleteren, but I have no idea how to get it in the states.
heh, i was looking through this thread trying to find my post, but it turns out that i had posted in the EDF thread. but oh well, that caused me to come across this post.

i was in belgium a month ago on my trip through europe, and i just fell in love with their beers. i had already had duvel and the various chimays (which you can easily find stateside) but i really got to explore more beers there.

my brother asked to me pick up the westvleteran while in europe (which i had never heard of). luckily i came across this fantastic beer store (de bier tempel) which had the westvleteran. the shop keeper was very nice and packed everything up for us, with each beer in its own padded sleeve. along with the westvleteran, i picked up one of each of the trappist ales, and some other belgian ales that looked good.

unfortunately the guy at the post office wasn't very helpful, and wouldn't tape up the box or put fragile stickers on it. so when the box arrived stateside, it no longer had any beer in it =(. that was about $120 worth of beer and another $70 in shipping. so i STILL haven't had the westvleteran despite having 3 bottles in my possession.

i did have the westmalle dubbel and it instantly became one of my all-time favorites (along with la fin du monde and chimay red (i think, maybe blue) and your everyday pyramid/widmer hefe). i also really liked the leffe bruin (but not the blond so much) and also a corsendonk (probably the brown ale, but i'm not sure. it was similar to a bruin)

anyone in the sf bay area know where i can find a good selection of belgium beers? most grocery stores, if they have any, just have duvel and chimay (i really like chimay, both the red and blue). i can try bevmo, i guess.

given that i like all of the beers i just said, does anyone have any other recommendations? i'm trying to cut back on my beer consumption as i'm trying to lose weight, but i may still try one new beer a week.
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:25 AM   #1631
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

^ wow, broken Belgians because of a stubborn postal clerk, that even pisses me off just hearing about it. Unreal. I would have instantly written a letter to the Postmaster General, and I'm not joking.

Seeing as you said Bevmo, I take it you're from California, if not, the Pacific Coast...

I worked at Bevmo for a while, and from memory I know they have a great selection of Belgians. Give them a try...you won't find **** at Safeway.
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:46 PM   #1632
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I will write a trip report coming up on Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

Any of you guys had that before. The bar where I work got a keg of it and it is supposedly the only keg in the country or something.

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Old 09-08-2009, 11:09 PM   #1633
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

absoludicrous - yeah i'm in californi (fremont, in the sf bay area). gonna make a bevmo run after i get my next paycheck, lol.

picked up a lagunitas ipa due to this thread. also picked up another lagunitas beer, the lucky 13 ale. i may not be a fan of either as i generally don't like more bitter, hoppier beers, but i'm always willing to try new beers out.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:31 AM   #1634
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

If you're not a fan of hoppy beers, I suggest trying some Amber Ales.

A ambers few that come to mind that are readily available at Bevmo are Anderson Valley's Boont Amber, Alaskan Amber, and Full Sail Amber.

I suggest easing into IPAs by trying Pale Ales first, some good PA's are Sierra Nevada (a staple pale ale for any beer drinker, that is proven good), Full Sail also has a nice Pale Ale.

There are tons of great West Coast breweries, and you can't go wrong with: Rogue, Stone, Anderson Valley, Alesmith, Deschutes, and Lagunitas. All of which craft SUPERB, and I don't use that term lightly, beers. I haven't had a beer from any of those breweries that I didn't like.

Start out by trying Ambers, and Pale Ales from those breweries, and then work your way into IPAs...I didn't care for them at first but after easing my way into them I now prefer a good IPA over just about anything...except a Unibroue beer

Last edited by absoludicrous; 09-09-2009 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:46 AM   #1635
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I just had two bottles of Aventinus and its one of the more interesting beers ive ever had. tootired to do a review great beer. Any reviews of it in this thread?
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:54 AM   #1636
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I'm sure I have a review of it in here somewhere. It's great.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:30 PM   #1637
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Originally Posted by dukemagic View Post
heh, i was looking through this thread trying to find my post, but it turns out that i had posted in the EDF thread. but oh well, that caused me to come across this post.

i was in belgium a month ago on my trip through europe, and i just fell in love with their beers. i had already had duvel and the various chimays (which you can easily find stateside) but i really got to explore more beers there.

my brother asked to me pick up the westvleteran while in europe (which i had never heard of). luckily i came across this fantastic beer store (de bier tempel) which had the westvleteran. the shop keeper was very nice and packed everything up for us, with each beer in its own padded sleeve. along with the westvleteran, i picked up one of each of the trappist ales, and some other belgian ales that looked good.

unfortunately the guy at the post office wasn't very helpful, and wouldn't tape up the box or put fragile stickers on it. so when the box arrived stateside, it no longer had any beer in it =(. that was about $120 worth of beer and another $70 in shipping. so i STILL haven't had the westvleteran despite having 3 bottles in my possession.

i did have the westmalle dubbel and it instantly became one of my all-time favorites (along with la fin du monde and chimay red (i think, maybe blue) and your everyday pyramid/widmer hefe). i also really liked the leffe bruin (but not the blond so much) and also a corsendonk (probably the brown ale, but i'm not sure. it was similar to a bruin)

anyone in the sf bay area know where i can find a good selection of belgium beers? most grocery stores, if they have any, just have duvel and chimay (i really like chimay, both the red and blue). i can try bevmo, i guess.

given that i like all of the beers i just said, does anyone have any other recommendations? i'm trying to cut back on my beer consumption as i'm trying to lose weight, but i may still try one new beer a week.
That's a sad story, why couldn't you just put them in your check in bag on the flight home?

Looks like bevmo is the only choice near you.

I feel the need to post this link for you http://beermapping.com/maps/citymaps.php?m=sanfran

I use that site whenever I'm out of town and looking for a place to find/buy/drink good beer. Beer Advocate and Rate Beer also have good sections, but I really like beermapping the best. They also have non US countries and city-specific or region-specific beer maps.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:17 AM   #1638
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
If you're not a fan of hoppy beers, I suggest trying some Amber Ales.

A ambers few that come to mind that are readily available at Bevmo are Anderson Valley's Boont Amber, Alaskan Amber, and Full Sail Amber.

I suggest easing into IPAs by trying Pale Ales first, some good PA's are Sierra Nevada (a staple pale ale for any beer drinker, that is proven good), Full Sail also has a nice Pale Ale.

There are tons of great West Coast breweries, and you can't go wrong with: Rogue, Stone, Anderson Valley, Alesmith, Deschutes, and Lagunitas. All of which craft SUPERB, and I don't use that term lightly, beers. I haven't had a beer from any of those breweries that I didn't like.

Start out by trying Ambers, and Pale Ales from those breweries, and then work your way into IPAs...I didn't care for them at first but after easing my way into them I now prefer a good IPA over just about anything...except a Unibroue beer
heh, some amber ales i like a lot and some i don't. i did like the alaskan amber ale which i usually grab when i'm in seattle, but i didn't like the lagunitas amber ale (lucky 13) that i had tonight. i did like the lagunitas IPA (probably my favorite of that style thus far).

i do like sierra nevada's pale ale a lot. i'll look for the other breweries you mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRy View Post
That's a sad story, why couldn't you just put them in your check in bag on the flight home?

Looks like bevmo is the only choice near you.

I feel the need to post this link for you http://beermapping.com/maps/citymaps.php?m=sanfran

I use that site whenever I'm out of town and looking for a place to find/buy/drink good beer. Beer Advocate and Rate Beer also have good sections, but I really like beermapping the best. They also have non US countries and city-specific or region-specific beer maps.
i couldn't put them in my check in bag since i was backpacking around europe for a month and belgium was halfway through the trip. there's no way i'm carrying 15 bottles of beer around in my backpack for two weeks.

thanks for the link, that's awesome. turns out there's a bevmo about a mile from where i'm living (just moved in last week so haven't learned where everything is yet).
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:05 PM   #1639
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Ah, I see.

I would definitely file a complaint, if the guy did it to you he's likely done it again and one more complaint might be enough to get the ******* fired.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:19 PM   #1640
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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I will write a trip report coming up on Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

Any of you guys had that before. The bar where I work got a keg of it and it is supposedly the only keg in the country or something.
Our local beer store had a few bottles come in recently, but unfortunately I didnt make it in to purchase one and now they are gone.
Let us know how you liked it.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:13 PM   #1641
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I've never had the Kentucky one, I'm not into the bourbon/whiskey stouts enough to pay the money for them (an example, I really didn't like the Goose Island bourbon one that everybody seems to hail as an incredible beer), but I've had the regular Breakfast Stout from Founders and I loved it.

Breakfast is a bit misleading, these things will put you down quickly.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:01 PM   #1642
absoludicrous
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Teaser for all you that can't find Surly in a bar or liquor store near you.



Rating:
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:34 PM   #1643
RunDownHouse
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Anybody going to the GABF this weekend?
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:02 PM   #1644
MrWookie
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I tried Goose Island's Pere Jacques tonight, and unfortunately, it's not worth doing a full review for. It's a Belgian dubbel style, but it's not all that good. It's not as flavorful as Allagash's or Ommegang's offerings, and at $9 for a 22, I think it costs more than both of those, or at least more than the Ommegang (being in NY, I get Ommegang beer very cheap. It's like $6 for a 750). You could identify this as a dubbel if you tried it blind, but it's a little too dry and doesn't have enough of the flavors of dark fruit like cherries or plums. I'd never turn one of these down if it were given to me, but I'd also never buy it again with numerous better offerings out there. .
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:50 PM   #1645
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Anybody going to the GABF this weekend?
Just returned. Lots of fun and many good beers. As a west coast hophead I tried to spend most of my time exploring other styles and localities.

My friend and I focused on lagers the first session and then sour beers the second session. The last two sessions were more more geographically oriented, focused on the Midwest and south.

Highlights include:

-- the standards: Dogfish Head, New Glarus, Russian River, etc....

-- Troegs Troegenator Doppel Bock

-- all the great bock and kolsch being served

-- Sam Adams Millenium, though the crowd opinion seemed to be split on this one

-- discovering a number of smaller and new-to-me beers from MI and WI

-- attending all four sessions allowed me to never feel rushed in exploring and tasting, although three sessions is probably enough to get most of the tasting work done. Unlike a one day festival, is just sooo nice not hurrying through slamming beer trying to hit all the high spots. Being able to take my time and stop to chat and eat and relax and attend some talks was a big part of a positive experience.


Lowlights include:

-- all the sour beers made by people with no clue about sour beer. Some brewers appear to add a little ascorbic and/or acetic acid to a finished beer and think it's drinkable. Sigh.

-- FPS with the smoked/barrel aged beers. Many smoked beers seemed too smokey and even tasted of liquid smoke. Blechhh! Also I don't know why some bourbon barrel aged beers tasted more of bourbon than beer, though I suspect some brewers bypassed the barrel and directly mixed in bourbon.

-- not attending the other convention being held at the same time in the Convention Center


The GABF is strongly recommended for any and all beer lovers.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:01 PM   #1646
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

^ did you get a chance to try any Minnesota beers? Summit, Surly, etc?

New Glarus has pretty good stuff. Bells, and Founders also have great beers.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:58 PM   #1647
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I was at all 4 sessions as well, although only the last 30 minutes or so of Friday night. Totally agree on it being a luxury not feeling rushed. By Saturday night's session I was actually a little sick of it, though. And overall, I had a bit less fun than I thought I would. I don't know precisely what my expectations were, but it turns out the GABF is just another beerfest. A really, really big one, but in the end, it's a beerfest.

I was really surprised by how many wild and sour beers there were. It seemed like every other brewery had one. While I enjoy sour beer every once in a while, I'm not big on wild yeasts/brett, etc, so I didn't have many of them. I did have one of New Glarus', though, which was pretty good. My brewery poured five beers, one of which was a smoked porter. It got really positive reviews, I think precisely because the smoke flavor is fairly mild. Lots of the smoked beers there were like, "SMOOOOKE," where ours used a cherry wood smoked malt and not a ton of it, placing the smoke less in the foreground than others. Lots of people liked it.

Didn't even consider that Sam Adams would have Millenium. I didn't hit up any breweries that I can get in Nashville, so I didn't even look to see what they were pouring.

abso,

I got to drink some Furious and actually thought of you as I did so, since you're so high on them. It was definitely a good beer. I talked to their rep for a bit too and he was a nice guy, so points all around for Surly.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:08 PM   #1648
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
^ did you get a chance to try any Minnesota beers? Summit, Surly, etc?

New Glarus has pretty good stuff. Bells, and Founders also have great beers.
Absolutely, I drank Summit and Surly. I don't have my notes but believe Surly had a coffee beer that won a medal.

Agreed on Bells and Founders. I believe Founders served their Cerise.

I am completely sold on Midwest breweries; I only wish I could find more of them on the west coast.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:01 PM   #1649
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Surly won a bronze for best coffee beer, or rather, third best.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:19 PM   #1650
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NYC Tips

Hey foam heads. Can anyone tell me good beer stops in NYC.
I'm gonna be in NYC (with wife for wedding) with a day to kill. Staying near W 23rd/6th Ave.

I see from beermapping.com that Heartland Brewery is nearby. Worth a visit? What should I try? Anywhere else I should go?

I would also like to find a good beer store somewhere near. We're driving down so I can load up for the remainder of my holiday after we depart the city Means I have to also trawl back through this thread to figure out what to buy.

Thanks. dogs.

PS: I like hoppy pale ales, dubbels and abbey ales, fwiw

Last edited by dogsballs; 10-01-2009 at 05:27 PM.
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