Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sour beers

My newest taste obsession

Monday, September 23, 2013

Northern California Homebrewer's Festival

DOZE (Winner of Best Club Booth!)

Elk Grove Brewers Club

Worts of Wisdom

Mad Zymurgists

Chico Home Brewers Club

The festival grounds (and the pouring rain!)

Other sights

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tidying up

Yesterday I undertook the long-postponed, and long-overdue, task of cleaning and reorganizing my "brewhouse", or as we call it around here, the beer closet.

The first step, of course, was to empty it out, and clean up the space with anti-septic wipes.

Then, I sorted through the stuff, identifying items that needed to simply be tossed out, and putting those that were to be retained together with similar items.

Two boxes of empty bottles were set aside for storage elsewhere, thus providing a lot more room in the closet.

Another useful addition was the purchase of a small, 16-drawer organizer, that'll keep me from having to dig around in the deep drawer for small parts, such as fermentation locks, rubber bungs, hose clamps, bottle caps, and so on.

It took a while, but it will make things much, much easier.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Peruvian Craftbeer: Cerveza Amarilis from Cerveceria Aldon

Trapist ales tasting

Westvleteren XII is often mentioned by beer aficionados as their favourite beer, and has been ranked by industry magazines as "the Best Beer in the World".  The fact the beer is generally only available for sale direct to customers at the abbey has only added to the beer's mystique.

Last spring, the Trappist monks at the Abbey of Saint Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren, in Vleteren, Belgium,  decided to release some of their beer for retail sale in the US, in order to raise funds for the abbey.  Thus, a limited amount of their famed Westvleteren XII quadruppel became available to an eager market.

 DOZE managed to get ahold of a number of bottles, thanks to the generosity of several of the club's members, and thus the club held a Belgian Trappist ale tasting session.  

Of course we all eagerly awaited our first taste of the coveted Westvleteren XII.

What's really dumb is that I took some notes on these beers and now I can't find them!

Anyway, I do recall that the Westvleteren XII was very smooth, with a nose and taste reminiscent of dried cherries to some extent, with a bit of wood, a bit of sweet.  Even t 10.2% ABV there were no discernible alcohol aromas, nor alcoholic "burn" or off-flavors. Definitely good stuff.

 The Trappistes Rochefort 10 was also excellent.  Also with cherries and stonefruit flavours. 

Much the same profile was to be found in the St. Bernardus Abt 12.   However, despite the similarities, and the hype given to the Westvleteren XII, the St Bernardus Abt 12 was my favourite of the three, an opinion shared by most of my companions at the table.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Session: Beer Audit

The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry.

 For this week's Session we were asked (in the spirit if tax season!) to undertake a "Beer Audit".  Basically,  to take stock of and reflect upon our beer stash.

So, I went digging into the beer closet and started pulling out bottles.  Same from the keggerator, and one -a lone Black Diamond Winter Ale- from the refrigerator.  Here's what I came up with:

1 Anchor Steam 2012 Christmas beer magnum
1 Allagash Tripel Reserve
1 Omer blond ale
1 Ovila blond ale
1 Brother Thelonius
1 Rogue Imperial Pilsner
4 2012 Trader Joe's Vintage Ale (brewed by Unibrue)
2 2011 Trader Joe's Vintage Ale (brewed by Unibrue)
2 2010 Trader Joe's Vintage Ale (brewed by Unibrue)
1 2009 Trader Joe's Vintage Ale (brewed by Unibrue)
1 Ommegang Rare Vos amber ale
1 Ommegang Three Philosphers quadrupel ale
1 Crispin hard apple cider
1 Black Diamond Winter Ale

The most obvious thing is that I favor Belgian style brews and big beers -dubbels, tripels, quadrupels.  The other thing, which might not be so obvious, is that lately my beer purchasing has taken place largely at Costco, which has started carrying microbrews and specialty beers.

It is also evident that I am not overly fond of Black Diamond's Winter Brew as I still have it -and, now that I come to think of it, several more in the shed- left from a case I won at a homebrew club drawing two Christmases ago.

I am particularly pleased with small collection of Trader Joe's Vintage ale that I have managed to put together.

It is a beer that I enjoy and whose release I look forward to each year, so having the ability to at some time -in the not too distant future- to be able to pour and share a 5- or 6-year vertical flight of it will be a real treat for me.