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Old 03-15-2017, 10:18 AM   #5826
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The Beer connoisseur thread

Spider,

Omg Avery is I think my favorite brewery experience in the US. So ridiculously good. Between that, Bissell Brothers, and Wicked Weed.

I did Asheville this weekend - Wicked Weed/Funkatorium is an absolutely world class brewery. Medora is one of the best sours I've ever tasted, Freak of Nature is west coast DIPA perfection, great space and people. My only mistake was only checking one bag which limited how much I could bring home.

I did visit a bunch of breweries and none of them stuck out to me besides WW and Burial. Really cool places to hang out though and the proximity is good for brewery hopping. Think I'm spoiled by the ridiculously good quality in NYC these days.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:42 AM   #5827
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

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Spider,

Omg Avery is I think my favorite brewery experience in the US. So ridiculously good. Between that, Bissell Brothers, and Wicked Weed.

I did Asheville this weekend - Wicked Weed/Funkatorium is an absolutely world class brewery. Medora is one of the best sours I've ever tasted, Freak of Nature is west coast DIPA perfection, great space and people. My only mistake was only checking one bag which limited how much I could bring home.

I did visit a bunch of breweries and none of them stuck out to me besides WW and Burial. Really cool places to hang out though and the proximity is good for brewery hopping. Think I'm spoiled by the ridiculously good quality in NYC these days.
I could have saved you some time.

Wicked Weed and Burial are definitely the best breweries in downtown Asheville. Hi Wire has just recently started producing a sour, barrel-aged series which has been pretty close to the WW stuff.

Bhramari Brewing has some interesting beers and a solid food menu. Asheville Brewing Co has a few decent pale ale variations (haven't been too impressed by other styles there), but their pizza is pretty good.

Most of the ther options in the downtown area include Greenman, Catawba, Twin Leaf, One World, and Lexington Avenue are all pretty meh. Sometimes these places will have a decent beer here or there, but I don't visit them much if at all.

Non-brewery options:
Thirsty Monk is a great beer bar with plenty of local and national choices in their upstairs bar, but IMO their best asset is the Belgian bar downstairs which has an amazing bottle and tap selection.

Bruisin Ales is a cool small bottle shop with a ton of variety. I go there many Wednesday nights for a bottle share, so I enjoy the people there too.

Tasty Beverage is another bottle shop that has about 10 taps and those taps are typically filled with beers from all over.

I think that's the best run down of downtown AVL beer locations I can give, since I have only lived here ~6 months. There are quite a few other really good options if you're willing to drive a little bit (Wedge, UpCountry, Zebulon Artisan Ales, Blue Ghost, Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues) or even up to an hour (referring specifically to Fonta Flora).
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:20 PM   #5828
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The Beer connoisseur thread

Nice post. I stopped in for a pre-dinner drink at Thirsty Monk, cool spot. Wasn't impressed with beers at Hi-Wire, Wedge, Green Man, Catawaba, or Highland. I went to Appalachian Vitner for bottle shop, great selection on tap and for bottles. I was only there for 2 full days so I didn't hit Sierra Nevada due to time constraints.

Food wise I was very impressed with the city and had awesome meals that I normally pay 2x for in terms of equivalent quality so that was nice. Great spot for a weekend trip.
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:46 PM   #5829
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Stout fans,

Did a couple taste-offs recently.



Rye v Bourbon BA Rasputin. Not a huge barrel component in either of these, so not a huge flavor difference. I felt like the bourbon barrel was a touch sweeter, but neither of these stood out as a clear winner. Overall very good beer, but not super amazing or anything.



Bourbon county stout 2014 - clear winner, big and rich and smooth, so much depth to the flavor. Yum.

Bourbon county coffee stout 2014 - very good, but not as rich as the regular, and the strong coffee notes seem to have faded somewhat. Still an excellent beer.

Lagunitas high westified - more alcohol on the nose and taste of this one, and the flavor is a touch thinner than the others, but it still holds its own in the lineup. Pretty amazing at a fraction of the price. Definitely a very solid BA stout.

Prairie bomb! - disappointment of the evening. Not sure if it was this bottle or due to tasting against the others, but the nose had a prominent sort of chestnut almost vegetal note to it that was not very pleasant and I've never noticed with bomb before. That wasn't present in the taste, which had a great coffee flavor and good bit of vanilla, but not as much spicy component as I remember. Will have to try again on its own.
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:59 PM   #5830
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

I've never loved Bomb! all that much. Tasting results sound about right.

btw, my brother-in-law just moved over near the Target on Geary and discovered their wacky world of beer pricing. He said they had Allagash Curieux labeled at $15 and only ringing up for $10. He was talking about going back to buy a case of it, lol.
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:03 PM   #5831
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Coffee beers fade pretty quickly. Aging any coffee beer significantly is a bad idea.

Had a solid grimm beer recently: Neon Lights. Dry hopped Belgian pale. BA reviews aren't high on it, but this is a new batch. I'm beginning to really dig beers in this vein.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:13 PM   #5832
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

I've been meaning to do that same coffee taste

Diablo - did you do the taste blind?
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:10 PM   #5833
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Kbz,

First one yes (Rasputin), second one no. Would have loved to, but wasn't really logistically possible. I have one more bourbon county coffee and the lagunitas (and bomb easy to find), so I'm gonna try and do it again blind in the near future, replacing the regular bcs with a fourth coffee stout.
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:10 PM   #5834
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Beer/travel question: going to Europe in a couple months with the girlfriend (who also enjoys good beer) and we're stopping in Paris and Amsterdam for a few days each. Given that Brussels is right in the middle, is it worth stopping there for an afternoon (or stay a full night?) for beer stuff? Beer isn't the focus of our trip or anything, but since we're beer fans I'm curious if there's any "omg you HAVE to do this" type of stuff we should do when we're so close by.

Similarly, is Copenhagen worth a stop for Mikkeller type stuff?
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Old 03-17-2017, 03:13 AM   #5835
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

How are you traveling around Europe? Train? Car?
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:35 AM   #5836
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Cantillon is well worth a visit
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:40 AM   #5837
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

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Beer/travel question: going to Europe in a couple months with the girlfriend (who also enjoys good beer) and we're stopping in Paris and Amsterdam for a few days each. Given that Brussels is right in the middle, is it worth stopping there for an afternoon (or stay a full night?) for beer stuff? Beer isn't the focus of our trip or anything, but since we're beer fans I'm curious if there's any "omg you HAVE to do this" type of stuff we should do when we're so close by.

Similarly, is Copenhagen worth a stop for Mikkeller type stuff?
Cantillon is the best brewery visit I have ever done. It's in downtown Brussels, very easy to get to. And it's completely unique, they will 100% have stuff there you can't find anywhere else in the world.

Paris has a couple good shops for Belgian beer as well, but the Cantillon experience is unique and amazing

note that Copenhagen has another of the other best lambic experiences you can do at Ølbutikken
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Old 03-17-2017, 04:57 PM   #5838
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

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Sip of Sunshine and Super Session now getting distroed to MA. Big news for all us. rich get richer. woo-hoo!
Packy here tweeted about it this morning so I swung by. One 4pck per person. They ran out of super session by the time I got there.



Canned 8 days ago. Not gonna lie, while good, fairly underwhelming given the hype. Aroma nowhere near what you get with TH or Trill. Floral and piney and yeasty. Taste is solid. All the beer advocate reviews are lying. This isn't some tropical flavorful experience. Fairly standard DIPA flavor profile, lots of grapefruit and pine. Maybe a bit of pineapple and mango. Fairly bitter with a tad of an astringent aftertaste. Malt sweetness is there in a good way. Bit of alcohol kick. Nice smooth feel.

I will say I had this on a nearly empty stomach. Maybe a factor.

Other IPAs I've had recently that I'll review later: Abandoned Building Brewery's The Other End (Easthampton MA, DIPA), Nightshift's OHTT: Ella, Fort Hill Brewing's Jigsaw Jazz (also Easthampton MA, DIPA). All were quite tasty.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:41 PM   #5839
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

I've tried to explain Sip to people that have never had it before and I could not do a better job than KC did. It's on tap 9 out of 10 times at my local beer bar and I usually pass to have something else. Though on a football Sunday downing the 4pack of 16 Ounce Sips to your face gets you right for the games.

Super Session #2 just sits on the shelf here all the time at the package stores I go to. Good beer but not worth dropping the $12.99 or whatever it is for the 6 pack. Would rather drink All Day IPA if I'm wanting a session ipa.

I am super interested in trying to find the maple stouts Lawson's released. Probably would have to go straight to the brewery up in VT for those though.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:13 PM   #5840
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

There's a packy right next to Trillium in Fort Point that absolutely crushes the CBC that's across the street. They had quite a bit of Super Session in there today which I grabbed along with a bunch of Bruery stuff. Also separately picked up some Funky Buddha beers (Hop Stimulator, nib smuggler and Saint Toddy) and can confirm that Nib Smuggler is highly enjoyable.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:37 AM   #5841
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

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Cantillon is the best brewery visit I have ever done. It's in downtown Brussels, very easy to get to. And it's completely unique, they will 100% have stuff there you can't find anywhere else in the world.

Paris has a couple good shops for Belgian beer as well, but the Cantillon experience is unique and amazing

note that Copenhagen has another of the other best lambic experiences you can do at Ølbutikken


Seconded on Cantillon. Just an amazing place. But if you don't like sours, it might not be your thing.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:56 PM   #5842
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Didn't have a drink yesterday on St. Patrick's Day for the first time in about 15 years so I thought I'd reach into the cellar and have these today.

2015. Non-infected BCBS. I had a few of these when they were released in Nov 2015 and were awesome. Even though this one was a non-infected date I couldn't get the thought out of my mind that it might be. My buddy who isn't too into beer and didn't know about the infection issue thought it tasted perfect so maybe was just my mind playing tricks on my tongue about not tasting quite right.


2011 BCBCS. Earlier in the thread somebody said about coffee fading over time. On this 6 year old coffee stout the coffee was almost all gone, faintly there. There was absolutely no head on this one. Stupidly smooth and still a nice fullish mouth. I've got another '11, '12, '13 laying down that I'm not sure when I'll have as the coffee is just about non-existent. I think I'll try and find a 2014 BCBCS and just do a vertical hopefully soon.


And of course Rare. Had it when it came out in Nov 2015 and now again. Only reason there is some head here is I poured it like a drunkerd. A little more boozy than I remembered in taste. Smell is very intense chocolatey, oak goodness. Still straight fire awesomeness
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:54 PM   #5843
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

I like to pour high abv BBA beers aggressively too. Head4Lyfe.

Enjoying a second can of Sip now. I will maintain my belief that this is nothing special in today's landscape, but I am enjoying this can more. But I just realized one main reason I'm not crazy high on this beer: this is heavily hopped with mosaic, which for whatever reason just doesn't do it for me when it's the main flavor driver. It's great in combinations but I'd venture a guess that this is pretty much all mosaic in the dry hop, which always leaves an odd lingering bitterness for me, and a piney flavor that is less like "good" pine ala simcoe or the "c" hops, and more like air freshener. I guess my best description of it is it's like someone soaked pennies in a mixture of water, toothpaste, a car air freshener, and blueberries.

Might be contradicting my previous point, but I will say for an 8% beer this goes down super easy. Super smooth despite the lingering bitterness.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:01 PM   #5844
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

oh, meant to say, was visiting a bro in NY this weekend and he had a six pack of Alesmith's .394 Pale Ale. I've never had a hoppy offering from Alesmith. Drank it from the 12 oz can. Honestly? This is a crusher and I would pound these all summer. Fantastic pale ale. I find zero faults with this beer for the style. Better than most **** you have to wait in line for. Pleasant surprise for sure.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:12 PM   #5845
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

two more thing: any MA bro try the Trillium anniversary release, The Streets? 10% triple IPA with an eclectic hop bill of all their street IPAs. My guess is it isn't worth going there tomorrow to try to score some. Not a huge fan of huge ABV IPAs anyway (knee deep's simtra maybe the exception).

Also, night shift is going to start distributing other beers. Looks like we'll be getting Pipeworks stuff in the near future. I've had a couple of Pipeworks beers via trade that I quite enjoyed, so this is cool.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:32 PM   #5846
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

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Originally Posted by goofyballer View Post
Beer/travel question: going to Europe in a couple months with the girlfriend (who also enjoys good beer) and we're stopping in Paris and Amsterdam for a few days each. Given that Brussels is right in the middle, is it worth stopping there for an afternoon (or stay a full night?) for beer stuff? Beer isn't the focus of our trip or anything, but since we're beer fans I'm curious if there's any "omg you HAVE to do this" type of stuff we should do when we're so close by.

Similarly, is Copenhagen worth a stop for Mikkeller type stuff?
I really liked brussels. We did a belgian beer walking tour that was great. Great food and museums and easy to get around. Cheaper than paris and amsterdam too. The thalys high speed train actually stops in brussels on the paris to amsterdam route.
Cantillion is my favorite brewery experience ever, I posted some pics a few months ago in this thread. I would time it so you leave before dark, its in kinda a rough neighborhood.
I think if i were you I would take a morning train from paris, go to the art museum, take an evening food or beer walking tour, and then next day uber to cantillion for a few hours with your bags, and then can walk the 10 minutes to brussels midi station and can take the train from there to amsterdam. You can then buy a few bottles to drink in amsterdam too

I liked copenhagen but it is INSANELY expensive. It was like $14 for a guinness. The other three cities are much cooler
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:13 PM   #5847
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

I'm debating heading down to fort point tomorrow morning to grab the trillium anniversary beer.

Currently drinking one of last year's night shift barrel society beers, the brett saison with blackberry and meyer lemon. Poured a deep purple. Smelled a ton of lemon and berry jam. Taste followed the scent with some barnyard funk. Lots of carbonation. Total winner. Wish I had opened this earlier so I could have bought more.

Recently had:
Lord Hobo Glorious. Galaxy pale ale. Definitely the best thing I've had from Lord Hobo. Really juicy. I'm a sucker for anything galaxy. Would definitely drink again.

Jack's Abby Excess IPL. Huge dry hop. Overwhelming aroma and easy drinking.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:18 PM   #5848
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

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In other news, I'm going to be in Colorado for a couple of days this week and I think I'm going to Avery's Tap Room Friday night. Super pumped.
I went, it was fantastic. I don't have a lot to report, but my quick recollection now that I'm back home:
- We were a little worried about getting a seat, considering it was St. Patrick's Day. It turns out we were able to reserve a table online (4:45 was the latest available), and that turned out to be perfect. Especially for me, on East Coast time.

- Tons of stuff available, and I largely mixed distribution and brewery-only stuff. Maharaja and Tweak were two that I've had before, and they were still really good. (Tweak was hotter than I remember.) The standouts, though, were two that I believe were brewery only: a Chardonnay Tripel and a sour with grapes. That second one was so good I want to quote the description from Avery's website on the off chance I ever get to try it again:

Quote:
Dionysian Series #6: Euterpe

Tap Room Rarity
12.8% ABV

This unique beer is brewed with 45% Barbera grape must, spontaneously fermented, and aged in neutral barrels for 4 months
Just killer.

Oh yeah, just remembered another good one: Dui Cochi "Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coconut Porter with Pumpkin and Spices Added". I think pumpkin beers are generally gross, but this was quite nice. (18.6% ABV, so I was pretty happy with just the free sample we got to try.)

- Food was decent, but nothing stands out as memorable. This isn't really a place I'd want to go to if I were a non-drinker.

- The staff were all crazy nice, especially given how crowded it was. There was a small upstairs area that offered about 8 taps (some of which were different from what was offered in the main room), and the guy there was super friendly and talkative while a couple of us stood around asking questions. Had a few varieties of hop pellets sitting there in plastic cups to smell, which was neat.

Anyway, just an absolutely great destination. So glad I went.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:28 AM   #5849
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The Beer connoisseur thread

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oh, meant to say, was visiting a bro in NY this weekend and he had a six pack of Alesmith's .394 Pale Ale. I've never had a hoppy offering from Alesmith. Drank it from the 12 oz can. Honestly? This is a crusher and I would pound these all summer. Fantastic pale ale. I find zero faults with this beer for the style. Better than most **** you have to wait in line for. Pleasant surprise for sure.

This is a great beer. One of my favorite spots stocks it pretty regularly but I didn't try it for so long because of....I don't even know. Shouldn't be surprised it's great given how good Speedway Stout is.

As an aside, next time you're in NY I would hit up Interboro in "East Williamsburg" (really bushwick). The head brewer used to work at Other Half and has been making some absolutely killer stuff lately. They actually just did a collab with Pipeworks and their non-IPA offerings are impressive too. Def worth a visit.

As another aside, any PNW bros (or anyone else) tried Urban Family stuff? The saisons and sours are popping up around here, but pretty pricey (like $13-$15 for 500ml bottles) worth it?
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:40 PM   #5850
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

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two more thing: any MA bro try the Trillium anniversary release, The Streets? 10% triple IPA with an eclectic hop bill of all their street IPAs. My guess is it isn't worth going there tomorrow to try to score some. Not a huge fan of huge ABV IPAs anyway (knee deep's simtra maybe the exception).
Went to the party yesterday and again after work today and scored a bunch. Good, if a little green. My friends thought it would be better in a week or two. Alcohol well balanced for 10%.
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