Monday, October 31, 2011

Port City Porter - Beer Review

I guarantee you haven't had this beer - unless you live near Washington DC. However, I think you should try it. It's a pretty tasty beer in my humble opinion. Will the other guys agree?

Port City Brewing just opened in 2011 and they have four beers for sale. There is a tasting room in Alexandria, VA, so if you are in the DC area you should go try it.

Thanks to Richard Hartogs for sending us this beer!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

A general theme for a lot of my travels is that i go for business. While at these various locales, I try to sample the local beer scene or find where to get good craft beer. Las Vegas is a different breed of town since its identity is anything but the desert it lays in.
One night I took my staff to the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino for dinner. Afterwards, I went to the Pub at Monte Carlo where they boast having over 150 beers. I was eager to get there and try some West Coast stuff that I can't get back east. I started with a Deschutes Black Butte Porter, perhaps my favorite beer on the planet. When I asked the bartender about local brews, he let me try some from Sin City Brewery that didn't impress me (although I may have ruined my palate with porter). I asked if they had Pliney the Elder or anything from Russian River; one of the bartenders had no idea what I was talking about.  I finished my evening with a couple of selections from Firestone Walker.
This is not a bad place to sample craft beers while in Las Vegas should you have the need. They carry a lot of different labels from around the world. Being in a major casino, however, the prices were higher than normal.
My first night in town, I started off at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas. Is this a touristy place? Yes, it is. Is it a fun place, Oh yes! I have been to the original and had a great time there. It was duplicated in Las Vegas. You get the good German beer, all of which go down easily from the big liter glasses. I ordered a shot of Jagermesiter (I was on a mission that night) and the waitress spanked me with a paddle! She didn't let me return the favor.
And, the sausage and schnitzel selection were great.  I view the Hofbrauhaus as an amusement park with benefits!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ohio Breweries - Interview with Author Rick Armon

Ohio is the 5th largest brewing state in America, but it doesn't get the same recognition as Colorado, Washington or California. Why is that? Journalist Rick Armon travelled the state from corner to corner to visit all 49 Ohio breweries. What were his picks for the best beer in the state and did he gather any insight into what it takes to open a brewery?

TECHNICAL ISSUE - My apologies to Rick Armon and our viewers for the wide shot that was out of focus. I tried to sharpen it up a bit, but it was too bad. I guess that's what happens when you are the host, the lighting guy, the audio guy and the cameraman.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Southern Tier Pumking - Beer Review

Do you like pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread? Pumpkin beers are very polarizing beers. Some people love them and some people hate them. Pumking from Southern Tier is no exception. It is a bold beer with big, buttery pumpkin spice flavor that forces you to come down on one side or the other.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Amsterdam, more than Red Lights and Northern Lights

After five hard working days in the South of France, I decided on a little R&R in Amsterdam. I went to three really good beer places and could have gone to more, time permitting.
The first stop I checked out was 't Arendsnest in a relatively central location. Unlike most "fancy" beer places in The Netherlands, which serve many Belgium beers, 't Arendsnest offers only Dutch beer. And we are way beyond Heineken here. The interior has copper tones and an old classic look to it. Thomas Wijns was our bartender of records, and he was really helpful in helping us pick out beers. I had a Dutch Pale ale, and an imperial stout of some kind. My friend has a beer called Bed and Breakfast that was made with coffee beans, and had a golden color to it.
A group of locals at the bar seemed to have this place down. They ordered their beers along with an amazing looking assortment of food. A block of aged Dutch cheese served on a cutting board, and meatballs! I wish I was part of their group.
On another day, we visited the sister bar to 'T Arendsnest, Beer Temple; Europe's first American Beer bar (so they say!). With a few tables outside, and various different kinds of seating inside, it was hard not to get comfortable at this place. I started at the bar with a DFH 90 Minute so I could introduce it to my friend. There were taps from Flying Dog, Great Divide, Southern Tier, Stone, Left Hand, and Anchor, and plenty of bottles from even more breweries. It was really cool to see all those taps in Europe. Rick van den Berg was the bartender on duty that day, and he was very good.
I also bought a sample of Brew Dog's Sink the Bismark, one of the strongest beers in the world! It was pretty interesting to say the least. I bought a t-shirt from Beer Temple and will wear it on an upcoming BBA episode.
I also met some cool people from Mississippi, check them out here.
I also found a really good bottle shop, De Bierkoning, which translates to the Beer King. There you could buy all kinds of European and American craft beer, such as Duck Rabbit, Port, Stone, Flying Dog, just to name a few. There was also a nice selection of glasses to buy.

When in Amsterdam, I highly recommend a visit to each one of these places.

Brooklyn Oktoberfest - Beer Review

Oktober is here and once again the local bottle shops are being overrun by Oktoberfest beers. Brooklyn Brewery describes theirs as having a light, brisk, hop bitterness. Will it stand up to the competition? Is this a great party beer? Tune in and find out.
This episode also features a special guest reviewer, Jeff Taynor, who is a homebrewer and a member of the SODZ homebrewing club here in Columbus.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Victory Festbier - Beer Review

For anyone who missed this week episode, I posted it earlier this week, but forgot to share it on facebook and the website. It's October and a great time to drink Oktoberfest biers. Victory Festbier is a great option for you to celebrate with. This episode features guest reviewer Mike Beargie, a member of the local homebrew club.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting the Most out of Oktoberfest

The original Oktoberfest held in Munich each year in September and October isn’t just the biggest beer festival in the world but the world’s largest fair, with an estimated 5 million people visiting each year. Any true beer fan will make the pilgrimage at least once in their life to visit the original festival that spawned smaller imitations around the world, but you’ll need to have a good gameplan to get the most out of Oktoberfest. Don’t leave it to chance like a spin of the reel at slots and instead follow some of the simple tips below:

Rise and Shine: If you want to get a seat at a table in one of the 14 huge tents at Oktoberfest, you’ll need to pre-book your ticket and get there early at around 8 or 9 AM. Show up any later than that and you’ll be facing a huge queue, which just delays all the beery fun awaiting you. Once you’ve got a seat on a bench, guard it with your life; all those late arrivals will be looking to nab an empty spot the minute someone gets up.

Pick Your Tent Well: Each of the tents has a different theme and serves different food and beer (and keep in mind that all of the beer is locally brewed so no Arrogant Bastard Ale available), so do some research online first. The huge queues make tent-hopping pretty difficult so you likely will need to pick one tent and party there. If you think you already have too much of the booze, then try your luck by going to the other great places on Germany like the Casino Royale M√ľnchen but before you do that make sure that you read these guides so that you won't easily waste your money.

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Even experienced beer drinkers are overwhelmed by Oktoberfest, as not only is the beer much stronger (usually around 6% alcohol by volume) but it’s easy to get caught up in the singing and drinking fun. Pace yourself with the beer and be sure you take advantage of the food on hand throughout the day, as part of the charm of Oktoberfest is eating local delicacies like pig knuckles and any of the tons of varieties of sausages served.

Don’t Be Shy: Oktoberfest isn’t for introverts and the real fun is in hanging out and partying with thousands and thousands of other people. Sure, the beer is great but you can get the same local brews in any pub in Munich, so if you’re a shy, quiet type just there for the beer you’ll need to check your shyness at the door to really enjoy Oktoberfest.