Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brew Dog is Here!

Starbucks Take Notice!

Dunedin Brewery's Biere de Café is a hybrid of their Beach Tale Brown Ale cold-infused with whole cocoa nibs and a coffee blend created specifically for Dunedin Brewery by Joffrey's Coffee and Tea Company. This 5.3% dark brown ale drinks much like a porter with a light brown head. I have had this many a time and depending on the roast of the coffee it can present your palate with slightly different variations from each batch that is brewed. Some friends of mine were making a trip over to the brewery so never would I pass up a chance to have them bring me back a growler of Biere de Café. Hell, it beats some stupid T-Shirt saying "My Buddies Got Drunk in Dunedin and All they Brought Me Back Was This Damn Shirt!"...... now there's a thought.

Dunedin Concurs The Scottish Highland Games

A small little brewery in Central Florida made a showing to make a Scottish king proud. Each year the city of Winter Springs is host to the Central Florida Highland Games. Those of Scottish decent, and some that are not, come out to watch teams of men and women brave the competitive perils of ancient Scottish games such as Sheaf Toss, Hammer Throw, Caber Toss, Braemar Stone Put and more. Dunedin Brewery provided the libation to the tune of 120 kegs of some of the finest Craft beer Central Florida has to offer. The fill of the day consisted of Pipers Pale Ale, Celtic Gold, Dropkick Murphys Erin Red, Apricot Peach Ale and Brewmaster Reserve Nitro Stout. If you are in the area next year I would "highly" recommend joining the celebration and enjoy the great taste of Dunedin Brewery.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ahh.... Maryland in the Winter Time

Even the name "Baltimore, Maryland" sounds blustery and cold. So Clipper City Brewing's "Winter Storm" seems like a no brainer when it comes to winter warmers. As a member of Clipper's "Heavy Sea's" line "Winter Storm" holds it's own in even the most dangerous of nautical conditions. Pen named "Category 5" this 7.5% ABV brew is a hybred Imperial ESB chock full of English and U.S. hops. The strong hop aroma is there in this rust colored amber ale. But I would balk at the notion that this is an extremely bitter beer in the true definition of an ESB . At the risk of contradiction I would say that the bitterness does linger but the matly character blended with the higher octane could confuse your palette, or your brain. All and all, I suggest you give it a try and judge for yourself. But if I had a choice of digging out my car or staying inside and enjoying a Clipper City "Winter Storm", I would choose to let the car deal with another 3 inches.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New York State Of Mind

I'll start off by saying that if there is one "season" that could accept responsibility for an extraordinary number of seasonal beers it would have to be Winter. From "Samiclaus" to a "Winter Warmer" to one "Very Bad Elf" the "Winter Welcome" has allowed us "Celebration" in that "Old Jubilation" we have come to know as Christmas. Today the snow has fallen on Brooklyn, and as we sit is some snowed-in, over crowed airport wondering if we will ever get to St. Barths, our thoughts go back to a quieter time (only last night) snuggled up by a fire (not in an old oil drum) sipping on a Brooklyn Winter Ale. Amid the onslaught of beers meant to warm your soul with heavy malts, spices, and whatever was left in the Thanksgiving Day cupboard, along comes a beer which is nothing more that an a superbly balanced malt ale which could be enjoyed in any of the other three seasons. But the story wasn't always this way was for Brooklyn Winter Ale. Trying to find an identity in the most popular brewing season of the year was difficult. So in 2006 Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn's Brewmaster, completely overhauled the recipe. The result was nothing less than "Pimp My Beer". Garrett opted for a Scottish Ale profile using Scottish Floor-malted Maris Otter, English crystal malts, Belgian Aromatic malt, American roasted malts, American oats and then hopped it with Willamette. The result was very crisp amber ale with a very tasty malt balance. Winter Ale pours with little head and even less lacing. But don't let this fool you as the natural carbonation remains in tact all the way to your last draw from the pint. At 6% ABV, with a gravity of 16.5 degrees Brooklyn is a very session-able beer. I only wish it was brewed all year long. But if it was, then would the only thing to look forward to at Christmas time be "Santa's Butt"?