Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oberon Day

It just passed us, but Oberon dropped at midnight Sunday, going on Monday, and I was down at the release party here in Ann Arbor.  A Bell's representative was there, and purchasing any Bell's beer resulted in tickets that were drawn to win t-shirts and the like.  Unfortunately, I didn't win anything - I am not the King of Oberon for the next year, but I did get some bumper stickers and pins.  Also, what kind of party would it be without temporary tattoos?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Open Thread

What are you doing today? Drinking?

I have had a Smithwick's, Harp, and Boddingtons at the bar in between classes + 2 bottles of Two Hearted while enjoying spring on the porch.

There will be more after tonight I'm sure.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Upslope Brewing Company

Another Brewery from my trip to Colorado, Upslope is the newest in Boulder.  It is located on the north end of the North Boulder area of town.  Being a little out-of-the-way the trip took a little while, but it was worth checking out.

Upslope is essentially located in what looks like a strip mall that is also home to a winery.  The taproom is very small and was standing room only while I was inside.  There was a large wall-size window that overlooked the production floor, and the door to the floor was cracked open, so the wonderful smell of brewing beer wafted throughout the room.  I sat at a counter in the rear that had various beer books and magazines on it, so I flipped through a couple issues of BeerAdvocate magazine while drinking my beer.

I tried their IPA, which was really solid, but nothing truly unique.  In fact, it was pretty standard.  However, Upslope approaches the microbrewery business a little different than many.  It isn't necessarily trying to make a unique beer.  Unlike most microbreweries that use bottles, Upslope cans their beer.  To some beer geeks this is a sin, but the reasoning for it is pretty neat.

Aluminum is an easily recyclable material, and it's opaque, so no light can get in to ruin the beer.  Also, bottles are much heavier than cans.  A bottle is around 40% of the total weight of a beer.  A can is much lighter and has a little give in it with denting.  These are the keys for Upslope, but why?

The answer: Upslope is making beers for people on-the-go.  Light weight, easily carried cans that can be consumed on the trail while backpacking, or enjoyed after going on a bike ride.  Upslope is there for active people, and that is really cool.

Related: Eco-Friendly beer drinking.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Southern Sun Pub & Brewery

While in Boulder, Colorado for Spring Break I managed to stop by a few breweries in the area.  The first was Southern Sun.  Southern Sun was opened on the south side of Boulder as a second location of Mountain Sun.  It offers up more space than the original, and offers up the same delicious beers.  There is also a third location, the Vine Street Pub, in Denver.

Southern Sun is located near the intersection of Broadway and Table Mesa in the upper level of a very nondescript building in what amounts to a strip mall development.  However, do not be fooled!  This place is very good.

My first trip here was with my friend Jon and his housemates to celebrate my arrival the day before and the end of Stout Month.  I had the Girl Scout Stout, which tasted like a Thin Mint.  I talked with some people who claimed it was far more minty than the year before (and worse because of it), but I found it to be more subtle.  The mint complemented the bitter hop character and sweetness of the beer well.  Plus, any beer that tastes like an already delicious cookie is good in my book.

I made a second trip to Southern Sun Friday night as my week in town was drawing to a close.  I grabbed some dinner and a couple of beers.  For dinner I had one of their specials of the day, the Phryday Phish Phry.  A couple of pieces of fried Alaskan cod with slaw was delicious, but the kicker was the hand cut fries.  They were top-notch.

As for beers, I had a XXX Pale Ale, an FYIPA, and a taster of Blackberry Wheat.  The XXX Pale Ale was pretty straightforward.  Much like many other pale ales there was a slight citrus aroma and taste to it along with decent hop bitterness.  Next, the FYIPA had one of the most pleasant aromas of any beer I can remember.  It was fantastic, and it hid the fact it was an IPA - until you drank it.  It. Was. Hoppy.  From one of the most pleasant aromas to some of the harshest hop bite encapsulated in one beverage was phenomenal.  I haven't tried all of their beers, but if you plan on only getting one, I would recommend the FYIPA.  Finally, I had a taster of Blackberry Wheat, which I was not a huge fan of.  It was a little sad to end on a lower note, but I also chalk it up to not having much experience with Blackberries in general.  It tasted similar to other fruit beers, but it came off a little odd to me and I probably wouldn't get it again.

At this point I remembered what drinking at a higher elevation entails, so I finished up and called it a night.

Overall, I really enjoyed my two trips to the Southern Sun Pub & Brewery and would recommend people try it out.  I think either here or the Mountain Sun is a must-stop while visiting Boulder.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout

I got this stout on tap at Hopcat. It is brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, CA. Seemed to have a decent head and was a deep brown color. It had a very distinct cappuccino flavor at first which faded as the tongue got used to it. It's a little heavy at 8.8%ABV but is still very drinkable. It is one stout that I will try again.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beer and the White House

We know that President Obama enjoys beer, especially his Goose Island from Chicago.  He traded beer with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom over a bet on the World Cup.  Now, he is apparently the first resident of the White House to homebrew!

AMERICA!!! [NSFW *lyrics*]

90 Schilling - Odell Brewing Co.

90 Schilling is a very good amber ale.  It pours with an ever-so-slight head that stays around for quite a while.  It has a very nice smell with slight citrus aroma.  The color is a fantastic "copper" according to the bottle, and I would have to agree.  It has a medium body, right in the perfect drinking zone where its not too light and watery and not too heavy and chewy.  Balance is the name of this game.  It leaves only a minimal amount of lacing on the glass.


Note: Distribution from Odell sticks between the Rockies and Mississippi River for now.