Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Follow Your Folie

It's that wonderful time of the year when New Belgium releases the best offering in their Lips of Faith series: La Folie. Unfortunately, it's also the time of the year when the winds start blowing like crazy and the juniper affects your allergies enough to make you swear off gin forever. But at least you'll have a stellar sour beer to match your sour attitude while you suffer through the change in seasons. Jubilation has the 22 oz. bottles selling for $14.99. Save up for your La Folie by buying the generic Benadryl.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Odell Tapping Party

Odell Brewing Company invites you and all your good beer-loving friends to Billy's Long Bar this Thursday, March 1, where they will be hosting a special draft release of their Mountain Standard Double Black IPA. Billy's, with it's 60+ taps, has quietly become the best place to get those beers you've wanted to try on draft but only got to look at out of state friends drinking in their Facebook pictures. If you show up between 7 and 9 on Thursday, you'll not only get to drink Mountain Standard, you'll also get to talk to Odell rep Ryan Bogart, who will be there to geek out on craft beer with you. Tell him how long you've been supporting Odell beers and he might buy you a pint. I'm not guaranteeing that will happen, but it will be fun seeing how many people try to get a free beer from him. We may end up seeing Ryan hitchhiking his way back up I-25 to Ft. Collins after he spends all his money on pints for you faithful Odell drinkers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hoptimum's Back and Smaller Than Ever; Odell's Kitchen Sink Experiment

It is possible that you can find three different Sierra Nevada IPAs in some stores right now, but you will only find one version of DIPA: Hoptimum. Making it's return after a year, Hoptimum has gone from the 22 oz. bottle size to four-packs of 12 oz. bottles. The beer uses Simcoe, Chinook, Citra, Magnum, and "proprietary" hops to create this 10.4% ABV, 100 IBU DIPA. I really enjoyed the beer last year, but I remember it falling off in freshness quicker than I would have expected, so try it while it's brand new. Jubilation has the four-packs for $9.99. EDIT:Drinking one of these now...whew! Bittering hops are more prominent than anything else to me, so if you like the mouth scraping feel in your IPAs, you will like Hoptimum. It might be a little much for me.

Dogfish Head may have made a beer with ingredients unique to each continent, but Odell is keeping things a little more local. And more local means more ingredients. Take that, Pangaea. Odell Foot Print combines ingredients from each of the 10 states that Odell distributes to. Any guess as to which New Mexican ingredient was used? If you guessed pecans, well, that would have been a good guess...but incorrect. Of course it was green chile. Our state staple went in the mix along with Nebraska corn, Colorado and Idaho-grown hops and barley (guess potatoes are only for vodka), wheat from Kansas and Wyoming (I definitely think wheat when I think of Kansas, but Wyoming? They should have taken some water from Old Faithful), honey from South Dakota (bikers), Minnesota wild rice (Norwegians and a nice airport in Minneapolis), and Missouri oak barrels (world's largest rocking chair and vacuum cleaner museum). It's probably better that they invited employees and distribution type people to take part in the brewing of the beer rather than inviting me. You can buy the finished result at Jubilation, where the 9.5% ABV, 25.4 oz. beer is selling for $12.99.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Who's Your Natty?

Don't blame me; I'm just the messenger. I don't even know when stores started carrying this beer, or if it is exclusive to to 7-11 for the customer of discerning tastes and I just haven't been in there in quite a while. But for all of you who love Natural Light's taste but weren't feeling enough alcoholic punch, perhaps the elder statesman of the family will be more to your liking: Natty Daddy. The Daddy is 8% ABV, almost twice the strength of Natural Light, and boasts that is is "brewed with the same all-natural ingredients as Natural Light". That's saying something.
Pick up your 24 oz. can for a couple bucks at a 7-11 near you.

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Beer Friday

Stopped by the Kelly's on Wyoming and picked up the newest releases in the Samuel Adams limited series, Cinder Bock and Dark Depths.
First of all, the name Cinderbock was used on a beer already by the sadly defunct Heavyweight Brewing Company. I don't think the Boston Beer Company has to worry about a lawsuit, as Heavyweight has been gone for about six years now, and the former owner is now busy making flatbread pizzas at his brewpub. Plus, the new beer is Cinder Bock, not Cinderbock. Much different. Cinder Bock is a 9.4% ABV Smoked Double Bock that I'm looking forward to trying, as the Double Bock style is one that Samuel Adams has always excelled at making. The 22 oz. bottle goes for $6.99.
I already have a headache today, and trying to grasp all that is right and wrong with the second of today's beers, Dark Depths, is making it worse. REALLY putting a new twist on the Black IPA, Dark Depths is termed a Baltic IPA. Bu-bu-but...That makes it a mix between a Baltic Porter and an IPA, right? And a Baltic Porter is a lager, right? And the A in IPA stands for ale, right? So...this beer is an ale/lager/porter/IPA, etc., and two of the hop varieties used are Saaz and Simcoe, an interesting mix. Pass the Advil, please. 7.6% ABV, $5.99 per 22 oz. bottle.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Cut Above Foster's

You can always count on the boys at Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo to go after the lesser known but intriguing beers...and I think they have a thing for New Zealanders. They were one of, if not the first, stores in town to start carrying beers from Epic Brewing of New Zealand. And now they have Hopwired IPA from 8 Wired Brewing, another brewery from that island in the shadow of Australia. It seems that the New Zealand breweries outshine their Australian counterparts when it comes to making craft beer, though I'm not sure who's barbied shrimp come out on top. Hopwired IPA uses all New Zealand grown hops: Southern Cross for bittering, Motueka (similar to Saaz), and of course Nelson Sauvin, the best thing to come out of New Zealand since Tony Calder. The 22 oz. beer ends up at 7.3% ABV, toeing that line between IPA and DIPA.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Il Vicino Has a Heart On for Valentine's Day

Whether you're single or in a relationship, you have to save some hate for that sappy couple getting all lovey-dovey (or smush-y, as our Jersey Shore fans might refer to it)over this holiday. The folks at Il Vicino Canteen don't care whether you come with a date or you come in alone, they just want you to come in and try their new Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout, on tap just in time for you know what. I got to try it over the weekend and suggest you save the Whitman's Sampler for another occasion. This beer is sweet; I want to say "decadent", but it makes me think of that gushy couple sharing dessert and proclaiming, "This dessert is sooo decadent!It's absolutely divine!" Shut UP!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dia de los Cocoa Mole

Sorry if I'm a little rusty with my Spanish, but I don't get to hear it spoken very often...
New Belgium has a new beer in their Lips of Faith series that may have you exclaiming, ""Arriba! abajo! al centro! y pa'dentro!". Cocoa Mole is a 9% ABV beer brewed with multiple chocolate malts and boasts the addition of cocoa and cinnamon. New Belgium adds south of the border heat (not the tourist trap South of the Border in South Carolina, but the south of the border where they sell cheap drugs) with ancho, guajillo, and chipotle peppers. This is sure to be a beer you will remember, which is more than you can say about your last visit to Juarez. Jubilation has this for $9.99 per 22 oz. bottle.

Jubilation Breaks Out Some Oldies

How's 2012 treating you so far? This year stands to be a good one for new beer releases and breweries coming to town, but if you find yourself listening to the Gin Blossoms and longing for beers of yore, Jubilation has a few for you.
As of Sunday evening, Jubilation has 2008 and 2009 Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter for $4.99 apiece. They also have the 2009 and 2010 vintages of Deschutes The Abyss Imperial Stout for $16.99. Finally, local Marble Brewery's Reserve Ale 2011 bottles are selling for $17.99 each. You may have noticed that all the prices are higher than the original retail prices, but you may also have noticed that you won't find any of these vintages in Albuquerque anymore. I guess the lesson for 2012 is to buy the beers you are interested in while they are still available...or to save your money to buy vintage releases in 2013.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Three Floyds in NM? Bitch Please!

Why have I been flying 1300 miles each year to Munster, IN to drink at Three Floyds Brewery when we get their beer here??
Well, kinda.
Thanks to the beauty of brewers getting together and brewing up a beer together, we now are all able to taste a bit of Three Floyds since we get beers distributed by their co-brewery for this collaboration, Scotland's Brew Dog. The product of the two breweries is Bitch Please, an 11.5% Barleywine aged for 8 months in single malt whisky barrels. Peated Islay malt was used in the beer as well. I wonder if the breweries flipped a coin as to who got to use the most local ingredients. And guess who won? The beer is at local Kelly Liquors and Jubilation right now, and expect to pay somewhere around $12 for a $12 oz. bottle. That's not euro price, either.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Frugal Friday

Could be the fact that the Wyoming Blvd. Kelly Liquors shares a parking lot with a Wal Mart, or it could be just a coincidence, but they seem to have the most closeout-type sales. Today's example is the four-pack of 22 oz. Widmer Pitch Black IPA and Nelson Imperial IPA. The pack contains two of each and originally sold for $19.99. Kelly's now is offering the four-pack for $9.99. They also have individual bottles for sale for $2.99 apiece. What's the catch on this one, you ask? These beers were brewed on August 29, 2011, making the beer five months old. That's 20 weeks, for all you parents of newborns out there. I hope the beer has held up over that time, but I'm not expecting a whole lot.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Things Burquenos Drink

I know all the Albuquerque folk are busy watching the "Things Burquenos Say" on YouTube and re-posting on Facebook, but I thought the headline might gain a passing glance or two.
New Belgium can't seem to make up their mind when it comes to their seasonal releases. Remember Skinny Dip, Loft, 2 Below, Mighty Arrow, etc.? Now they have introduced a new spring seasonal that sounds allll seeeeek. Dig is a 5.6% ABV Pale Ale that sets itself apart from the everyday Pale Ale by the hops it uses. Of course there are Cascade hops in the mix, but there is also the addition of lemony Sorachi Ace and tropical (and trendy, but good trendy) Nelson Sauvin hops. This is one of the few Pale Ales that have intrigued me and I am looking forward to trying it. Whole Foods on Carlisle is the first place I spotted it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

You May See a Lot More of Me

Not because I started eating again instead of skipping meals in favor of drinking, either. It's that I've just found out about Designated Drivers on Demand, a local service that drives you home in your car, saving you from: a)driving drunk, or b)leaving your car somewhere sketchy and having to find a ride to your car the next day, hoping that the windows aren't all smashed out. The monthly fee is $29.99 for an individual membership or $39.99 a month for couples who reside together. Couples? Sounds gay friendly- unlike the south. The price goes down $10 if you sign up for an entire year. There is an initial sign-up fee of $50 (sounds like joining a gym or something- you think Planet Fitness is really just $10 a month??) On those rare occasions I do leave the house to drink, I have to find a ride, and mom is often too busy/won't return my calls. Then a cab ride home costs me $25, so this Designated Drivers on Demand pays for itself in two nights out drinking. And God knows I can do a lot more than two nights out drinking a month. A hefty tip seems customary, but we all know someone who is paying The Man much more than a hefty tip after getting caught driving drunk. You can find out more here:

Monday, February 6, 2012

This IS Your Grandma's IPA

Finally, a new addition to the Widmer Rotator IPA series that actually comes to us fresh. Soon to be a hit in nursing homes everywhere, Spiced IPA utilizes Falconer's Flight, Zeus, Millennium, Alchemy, and those great Galaxy hops in Widmer's newest IPA. What will really have people gumming at the bit is the addition of these other ingredients: Assam black tea, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, star anise, clove, and cardamom. That's right. 7% ABV, 70 IBUs, and a science experiment in a bottle. Depending on which store you visit, you might find previous Rotator IPAs, but I know for sure that Wyoming Kelly's has it now. Just follow the line of Buicks and Oldsmobiles.

Beer Dinners Aren't Just for Dinner Anymore

And for a long time, I didn't think beer dinners were my thing, either. Showering and finding a shirt to wear that had the perfect combination of being clean/not full of holes was enough to keep me home drinking my own beer. But I decided to suck it up and attend the Left Hand beer dinner at O'Niell's in Nob Hill last week.
What happens when you put a beer geek at a table with five total strangers? Things are about to get real! But since I just looovvveee meeting people, that part wasn't a problem. Give people five courses of beer and it isn't hard to talk to people. Making sense may be tough, but talking is easy.
The Left Hand offerings of Nitro Milk Stout, Nitro Sawtooth, Polestar Pilsner, Stranger Pale Ale, and Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout were all solid, and having head brewer Ro Guenzel there to talk about the beers was a nice touch. I enjoyed the food too, but wondered whether the chef was pissed at not getting to talk a little about each dish. Maybe if you ever get to cook at a food dinner, chef.
What made me not swear off beer dinners was how well prepared the O'Niell's staff was for the event. Really, I can't remember a second when my water glass was empty or wondered when my next course was arriving- the service was spot on, and that isn't easy when you have a sold out room full of people needing to be served. I recommend attending one of these beer dinners at O'Niell's. They usually run around $45, and Big Sky will be the next brewery featured. Great Job!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Saboteur Gigante

Furthering the trend of taking a good everyday beer style and adding the extra Oomph! factor that today's kids are craving, Odell is proud to offer you Saboteur. This beer begins as a Brown Ale, but don't stop reading just yet- Odell puts in the twist of using Brettanomyces yeast for a funky character and then ages the beer in oak barrels. This takes the beer about as far away from Newcastle as you can get. Saboteur is packaged in 25.4 oz. bottles and is caged and corked so you can plan on getting a workout in/eye knocked out while uncorking. That isn't to say just the Odell corked beers are like that; I have trouble with corks in any beers because I am impatient when opening because I just want to get at what's inside the bottle already. You can pick up Saboteur at Jubilation for $12.99.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Everything You Wanted to Know About Oregon

I guess it isn't a strange coincidence that all the beers in today's post are Oregon-brewed, considering the sheer amount of Oregon breweries. The first is an oldie but goodie for many of you: Deschutes' Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter, both of which are on sale at $10.99 a 12-pack at Kelly Liquors on Wyoming. The six-packs of each beer are selling for $7.99, so that's a $5 savings. That's good.

MacTarnahan's has been in operation in Portland, OR since 1986, meaning it only took 16 years for their beer to make its way down I-84 to I-15 to I-70 to 191 to 550 to I-25 to here. Actually, only one MacTarnahan's beer has made it here thus far. Maybe the others stopped in Salt Lake and converted. Spine Tingler is the beer we got, an 8.5% ABV Belgian Tripel style. The 22 oz. bottle is selling for $7.49, and I've seen it at Jubilation and multiple Kelly's.

Bucking the trend of Black IPAs, Bridgeport introduces a Black Pale Ale style. Not sure that is really breaking through boundaries style wise, but it stands to be an interesting beer just the same. Black Rain is the name of the 5.6% ABV beer, and it is selling for $7.99 per six-pack. I first saw this at Kelly's on Wyoming. Oregon probably has some too.