Friday, December 21, 2012

Reserve Tapping Today

Just a heads up for those of you who hadn't already heard- Marble Brewery will be releasing the 2013 Reserve Ale (aged in bourbon barrels) at 4 today to members of their mug club and at 6 to non-members. Bottles will also be sold today for $12. If barrel-aged strong ales aren't your thing, Marble will also be tapping Daisy Mae, a Farmhouse Ale with brettanomyces.
It was weird being in Costco the other day (actually, horrible being in Costco) but weird seeing Marble Imperial Stout bottles sold there alongside the 3 liter bottles of Dewars. And now you can find Marble along with the Kroger products, as Marble is being sold in area Smiths stores.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mistletoe Beers

These aren't Christmas beers. Don't let that headline fool you. I only wrote it because it popped into my head because the beers I'm telling you about are from New Belgium's Lips of Faith series can see...yeahhh.
First up is a collaboration between New Belgium and Grand Rapids, Michigan's Brewery Vivant. Who? You know you have to be doing something special for one of the big Americans like New Belgium to invite a Michigan brewery with a French name brewing Belgians to collaborate, and to further confuse matters, they flew to Belgium and brewed an Irish Red!
No, actually they stayed in the states and brewed a Biere de Garde, a French somewhat-relative of the Saison style but with more maltiness. Citrus notes come from the lemony Sorachi Ace hops and the orange peel addition. Retails for around $9.

The second New Belgium beer is the Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout, a beer that New Belgium did all by itself. I guess they didn't think Starbucks needed any hype. Nor The Candy Lady in Old Town, though a collaboration with The Candy Lady would surely bring about a more interesting label...yeah, we know you only go there for the x-rated chocolates. You buy the regular chocolate at the deserted third floor candy section of the department store at the mall. That's the good stuff. Does New Belgium need any help in the Imperial Stout department? I only wonder because, well, how many stouts can you remember New Belgium ever brewing?? This 9% ABV beer delivers what it advertises, which is 1 pint, 6 fl. oz. of beer. It also delivers the chocolate and coffee it promises, so you may not want to make this beer your nightcap if you have to wake up early. Both of these New Belgium releases are available at the Juan Tabo Kelly Liquors, where they are keeping an eye out for old IPAs while playing music that reminds me of when Anodyne used to play good music.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tis the Season for...Saisons?

A little bit of Portland-flavored weather here in Albuquerque today has already put me in a bad mood. I don't know how people in the northwest deal with it, and I also don't know if it's a good idea to just let the dog out to walk herself for a while and see if she comes home, but it sounds like a great idea right now.
And while the chilly weather might have you thinking about opening something stout, I thought I'd let you know of a lighter option, should the mood strike you. Horse and Angel Tavern, where the beer is always better than the service, has tapped the only keg of Goose Island Sofie in the state of NM. Sofie is a Saison blend with 20% aged in wine barrels and the addition of orange peel. Amarillo hops add citrus notes, and the wild yeast give the beer some tartness. Expect to pay about $6 for an 8 oz. pour. I give the service at Horse and Angel a hard time, but it's been a few years since I actually tried to get a drink there. I failed, but that doesn't mean the service is still poor. I'm willing to give them a shot if they keep putting interesting beers on tap (and I hear Goose Island Matilda is coming up next).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Seasons in the Abyss

The 2012 Deschutes Abyss has hit Jubilation, but it wasn't enough for those guys to be one of the few places in town that already has it. No, they had to go and bust out bottles of 2009, 2010, and 2011 to sell as well. I love that they keep vintages of different beers, it's just perfect for those of us who said, "I'll get that one next time", only to come back and having the beer be gone for the year. There is a markup for the older ones (example: the 2009 is $21.99, while the 2012 is $14.99). Partially aged in wine, oak and bourbon barrels, The Abyss tastes a little different every year- especially in 2009, when there were some infection issues. Be careful if you're thinking about picking that one up. I'd like to see Deschutes use more than 6% of the bourbon barrel Abyss in the finished product, but it's still a beer I seek out every year.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

12.12.12 Gets Here Early

It's been a long time coming, hasn't it?
Finally, the last installment in the Stone Brewing Co.'s Vertical Epic series, 12.12.12, has been brewed, bottled, and distributed. Kind of sad to see it end, but what are you gonna do? The series started with the 02.02.02, and if you have any of those laying around you might want to use it as down payment on a Maybach. Hopefully, you at least saved some of the previous years' vintages and will have a nice tasting on the actual 12.12.12 date...and invite me to it. This year's version, of course, uses Belgian yeast just as the previous vintages did. 12.12.12 sees the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, orange peel, and rosehips. I honestly don't have a clue as to what rosehips are, or why someone would add them to a beer. But Stone has had a lot of practice, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, I'm sure they want to make this last Vertical Epic beer a special one. I'm looking forward to bringing out what I have left of my Vertical Epics next week and doing a side by side tasting with the new one. I saw this at both the Kelly's on Wyoming and the one at Mountain Run, though I'm sure Albuquerque's Stone headquarters of Jubilation must have it as well. It was $9.99 at Kelly's. Enjoy your 12.12.12 everybody!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Legal Way to Get Home With a Buzz

Who wants to get handcuffed by a person in uniform?
Yeah, I thought so. Me too. But it isn't as fun as it sounds when it comes to being pulled over for drunk driving. And as we all know from living here in Albuquerque, you don't have to be legally drunk to be put in those handcuffs. How many people do you know who blew something like a .05 and still went to jail? It happens all too often, and, regardless of the validity of the offense, there are ways to avoid it. I've written about alterna-cab independent car companies in the past, and thought I'd revisit the subject today by telling you about Buzz Home.

Buzz Home is a locally-owned (duh! Of course it's local. The chains still haven't caught on to this idea yet, and I hope I never have to be picked up by a person in khakis and blue shirt ala the Best Buy/Blockbuster uniform...though I've had plenty of badly dressed/smelling cab drivers) business that recently expanded to a seven-day a week operation. From Sunday (6 pm-2am)Monday-Wednesday (9 pm-2 am) and Thursday-Saturday (9 pm-4 am), Buzz Home will come get you AND your car and get you both home for $20 in Albuquerque, $30 to or from Rio Rancho- no membership fee required. I once took a cab from Rio Rancho that cost me $65. I was going to call that bad planning on my part, but I just talked to a friend yesterday who really planned badly and got picked up for drunk driving awhile back. Over $2000 in fines, lawyer fees, no license...yeah, I'll pay $30 in a second, let alone $65. And Buzz Home has rolled out an even better deal: the Buzz Pass, which for $40 a month gets you unlimited use. It's a great deal for anyone who goes out even a few times a month. And the Buzz Home drivers don't require tips! Possibly expect them...most likely hope for if you use the service, throw them a few bucks- you're already saving so much just in peace of mind, not to mention the fact that you don't have to ask a friend/family member to give you a ride back to where you let your car, hoping all the while that you don't pull up to a broken window and missing radio.
Sound good? Give Buzz Home a call at 505-205-1110 or visit their website at They accept cash and credit cards and suggest you call in advance to reserve a ride if you plan to come home during the busy late night drinking hours.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wow, Someone Reads This Stuff!

I know you can barely keep up with all my posts lately, but think back to when I wrote about old Deviant Dale's in area stores (You'll have to think back exactly one post)? Well, kudos to Marcus DeGroff, the Western Regional Manager for Oskar Blues. He learned of the problem and sent me a message telling me that the old beer is being pulled from stores. As he says, and I agree, "The beer is too good for someone to try an old one and not get the true experience and taste profile."
The old dates have kept me from buying Gubna and G'Knight in the past, and Deviant Dale's more recently (Ten Fidy is good no matter what the date), so let's hope this will be a trend that continues on. It's nice to see that folks at Oskar Blues addressing a serious problem that plagued other breweries. I'm thinking Great Divide as an example. Their stuff sat around getting old, and a good DIPA like Hercules ended up tasting like a muddled Barleywine. It's no wonder they don't distribute here anymore. Keep it up, Oskar Blues. And get us some Gubna and Ten Fidy on draft.