Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bedazzled by Belgiums

It's all New Belgium all day today. I can't help that they're hogging all the blog space- what else can you write about when a brewery releases four beers in one day?
First up is an old favorite, La Folie. Blended from beers aging in French oak barrels up to three years, this one has some sour going on. We also usually see it on tap at O'Niell's, so keep an eye out for it. Price has gone up a little this year, $14.99 for a 22 oz. bottle.
New from New Begium is Transatlantique Kriek. Why did they have to come up with a name that takes me forever to type? Because portions of this beer actually did make the transatlantic (spelled the right way. The American Way.) trek to be blended into the beer. The Kriek portion was brewed and barrel-aged at Boon's in Belgium, then sent here and blended with a lager to create a slightly sweet, slightly sour 8% ABV beer. This one is selling for $8.99.
Another collaboration beer, this one with Dieu De Ciel! out of Quebec. Heavenly Feijoa is the name of the beer. I also think that's the name of a linebacker at Notre Dame. The beer sounds interesting: a Tripel with hibiscus, pineapple guava, black malt, and Nelson Sauvin hops. Also $8.99.
Finally, another Belgian-inspired beer: Cascara Quad. They can't just make plain old Quads at New Belgium, it seems. This one has cascara, the dried berries of the coffee plant. Cherry-like in flavor, the cascara adds exactly that flavor to the beer. Hersbrucker hops add further to the mish-mash. Another $8.99 beer. All of these were spotted at Kelly's on Wyoming, and all of them sound intriguing. Which one are you bring to Easter dinner?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Amuste Increase My Buste

Not everything goes together as well as chocolate and peanut butter, I've found. Arabs and Israelis, for example. Don't bother asking me why that is- I'm still trying to figure out why the Coronado Mall has two "Treasures of the Orient" type stores. How many people in Albuquerque are decorating their houses to look like Ko Palace?
Odell Brewing is trying out a beer that, on paper, combines ingredients that don't exactly sound harmonious: Porter and grape juice. That's right. Welch's stock isn't exactly going through the roof as a result of this combination, but let's look into this beer a little further. In Odell's own words, they mention the "primordial ooze". Hmmm. Let's look into this beer without Odell's own words for a minute. The "grape juice" added to the beer isn't exactly purple drank or even Four Loko; it's actually Tempranillo grapes grown in Colorado (Odell keeps with its tradition of using Colorado grown products). The Porter part is actually an Imperial Porter, which at 9.3% ABV can certainly withstand a grape addition. Might even benefit from it. The beer would certainly benefit from some aging in red wine barrels, don't you think? Odell did too, so they aged it and blended it and here you go: Amuste, packaged in caged and corked 750 ML bottles. Odell suggests you replace red wine with Amuste for your next pairing. I always suggest that. It doesn't take a Brut to drink a beer like this one- give it a shot. It's sure to be better than that bottle of Asti Spumanti in the back of your fridge.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Post-Paddy's Depression, Please

Everyone out there recovered from St. Patrick's Day? I'm sure some of you are vowing to never wear green again, but c'mon- it's time to start drinking again. New beers are out there, just waiting to be brought to a good home. Personally, it's not the beer that makes me queasy after the holiday, it's the corned beef that my shitty crock pot decided to somehow boil for hours while on the Low setting. How does that happen? Now I've got a ton of disgusting corned beef and cabbage that is going to sit in the fridge until it turns green. But onto to the new beers. First, we have another New Belgium release: Hoppy Bock. More like a description than a beer name if you ask me. It's the first release in New Belgium's Hop Kitchen series. So now they have a Hop Kitchen series, an Lips of Faith series, and a "What I Won't Buy From New Belgium" series: Abbey, Fat Tire, and Trippel. This Hoppy Bock is a Maibock style beer that is hopped with Fuggles, Hallertau, and Perle hops and is 6.9% ABV.

Another entry into the White IPA category, Wasatch's Ghostrider blends the Belgian style with the American IPA. Some of the breweries attempting this style make more of a wheat beer with hops, but this one strives for more of a Witbier IPA. Do the styles need to be mixed? I dunno. Deschutes Chain Breaker is selling pretty well, so Deschutes can fill their pockets and laugh at me while I question the White IPA style. I'll shut up.

Yes, it's a Full Sail beer. But don't click away just yet! There's bourbon in these Hood River parts- Four Roses, Jim Beam, and Maker's Mark, to be more precise. Imperial Stout was aged in barrels from all of those distilleries for a year to create this 9.6% ABV beer. The Black Gold name seems to have been dropped from the beer, so now it is just known as Imperial Stout. Not as descriptive as Hoppy Bock, but you all know what an Imperial Stout is supposed to taste like. For $12.99 a 22 oz. bottle, hopefully Full Sail does as well. I'm willing to give any bourbon barrel-aged beer a shot. Found all of these beers at the Kelly Liquors on Wyoming. Hey, who wants to do a Car Bomb???

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bet on a Good Goose Island Brewery Dinner

You may have noticed Goose Island six-packs of Honkers, 312, and Summertime in stores as of last week. That's never a bad thing, especially if the powers that be in Chicago decide we are worthy of Bourbon County Stout bottles again someday. for now, I'm enjoying the Summertime, a Kolsch-style ale. Is that the only bottled American Kolsch out there right now? I know Shiner did one but don't know if there's any out there now. In any case, it's a nice lighter option.
An option for you beer-and-food-together fans is the Goose Island Brewery Dinner at Sandia Casino. The Council Room Restaurant and Bar at the casino, described as "delicious, affordable dining", will be holding the event. Delicious and affordable, huh? The only affordable food I have found at a casino is at that crappy little snack bar at Isleta/Hard Rock that serves up the 7-11 style nachos. Affordable for sure, but delicious they're not. The Council Room pairing sounds good for $42, getting you 312, IPA, Sofie, and "Pepero Nero", which must be a typo. Pepe Nero is what they meant to say, and I'm glad I could help with the proofreading there. I should get paid for that stuff. I can't do a good job at anything myself, but I can damn sure tell you when someone else is doing it wrong. The dinner happens this Thursday the 14th at 7 pm, so hurry and call 798-3700 for reservations.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What the Firk are You Doing on Saturday?

Heading over to Il Vicino this Saturday for a ye olde-style Cask Fest? Good call. There's a nice lineup of beers for this year's fest, put on by the NM Brewers Guild. Here's a list of some of what you can look forward to:

Blue Corn: Hop Assailant IPA
Il Vicino: Mosaic IPA, Cask-Aid Pale Ale, Chocolate Brown
La Cumbre- Red Red Rye, Project Dank IPA
Marble: IPA, Irish Red
Nexus: Scottish Ale
Turtle Mountain: Steam, Belgian IPA
Wellhead: 2 casks TBD

That's nice to see The Wellhead involved in the Cask Fest. I don't have much reason to get down to Artesia (or south of Central Ave.), and I guess email takes longer to get there, because I haven't heard back from the brewery as to what they will be bringing to Cask Fest. But I will be sure to leave the couch and try all these new beers that will be available at Cask Fest. The fest runs from 12-5, so there is plenty of time to sample. Get your tickets for $15 at or stop by Il Vicino, where there are still a few tickets available. The price gets you samples of all the casks plus a glass of the beer you like the best. The brewery that gets the most votes wins the title of "Best Frickin' Firkin". I've been called worse.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Oh Thank Heaven!

The Albuquerque downtown area has a new beer destination for those who don't feel like traveling almost all the way east to 11th and Lomas: the 7-11 at 12th and Lomas!
That's right, locals and homeless can now intermingle behind the dumpster and drink IPAs from their choice of breweries- Marble IPA, La Cumbre Elevated IPA, Odell IPA, Stone IPA, Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, and New Belgium Ranger IPA are all in stock. No Stouts to speak of, though there are some Nut Browns, Ambers, and some Blue Moon thrown in for you health nuts (because of the orange peel part. You're welcome.). Don't forget the free chili and cheese for your Big Bite.