Sunday, February 19, 2012

Newcastle Founders' Ale

Newcastle continues to diversify their portfolio and at the same time stay competitive with fast growing craft beer segment. Their most recent limited edition beer is called "Founders' Ale". This beer is meant to be a throw back to a style of beer that the original 5 founders of Newcastle had brewed. Founders' pours a rich amber color with a fluffy white head. Their signature nutty/malt aroma was present, but this beer has a much lighter mouth feel than their popular Nut Brown Ale. Founders has a dry character and bitter finish. I found it to be very sessionable, which is a plus for me. But the overall flavor profile was subdued and nondescript. It gave me the impression of stock English Ale you'd find in most every UK pub. If Newcastle Founders' Ale is supposed to reflect the heritage of the Newcastle Brewery then I would say they succeed. So give it a try. Cheers!

2012 Tampa Bay Beer Week

 Last month local Tampa, FL brewers did a rush brainstorming for a week long event to be called "Tampa Bay Beer Week". The event is scheduled for March 3 thru 10th, but an early list of promotions has things happening on March 1st and 11th as well. This is a great shot in the arm for the Central Florida craft beer scene. With breweries like Cigar City, Dunedin Brewery and Tampa Bay Brewing all  producing wonderful beers, the west coast of Florida is quickly establishing itself as new haven for craft beer.

 Below is the article published in the Tampa Bay Times, on the upcoming Tampa Bay Beer Week.....

Tampa Bay craft brewers plan beer week in March
By Tom Scherberger, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Friday, February 10, 2012

TAMPA — The email went out last month, a call to arms of sorts to the Tampa Bay craft beer community.
It began with a simple question: Any interest in starting a regional beer event modeled after Philly Beer Week? If so, let's talk. And they did, gathering for a series of meetings at a conference room at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa. The result: the first ever Tampa Bay Beer Week, March 3-10.

A loosely knit group is organizing the event, representing virtually all the major players in the Tampa Bay craft beer scene — brewers, distributors, tavern and home brewers. And it's being run with the same sort of collaborative spirit that has characterized the development of the local brewing industry. "We said, let's collaborate and see what we can make happen,'' said Ben Mills, a spokesman for the event. "Everybody was on board.'' About 50 events are planned so far, with more expected to be added.

Organizers hope the week will spotlight the already thriving Tampa Bay craft beer scene — and become an annual draw for tourists. "It is such a huge, positive step in order to make this a craft beer town,'' said David Doble, head brewer at Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City. "I've always said Tampa has everything it takes to become the next major point of growth ... the next Portland. ''The week was chosen because March is the height of tourist season and to take advantage of two established beer events.

The week kicks off March 3 with the annual Florida Brewers Guild Beer Fest at Centro Ybor — it has sold out in advance the past three years — and ends March 10 with Cigar City's third annual Hunahpu's Day, a mini-beerfest expected to draw about 2,000 people eager to buy the first bottles of the brewery's most highly regarded beer, Hunahupu's Imperial Stout, while sampling beers made specially for the event. In between will be smaller events at locations around the Tampa Bay area breweries, taverns, brew pubs and restaurants from beer pairings to special-release beers to brewery nights at taverns to home brewing demonstrations.

Philly Beer Week began in 2008 and has grown into the largest event of its kind in the United States, with more than 1,000 events spread over 10 days in June.About 70,000 people attend and spend about $11 million on beer-related events. More than 50 similar events have popped up across the country.

Doble said Tampa Bay Brewing has 10 events planned that week, including a beer dinner at its Ybor City brewery and pub and another at The Pub at International Plaza, and three brewery nights at local taverns that specialize in craft beer. Willard's Tap House in Largo plans to have all locally brewed beers on its 40 taps that week. Peg's Cantina in Gulfport will tap five barrel-aged beers specially made for the week.

 Some of the scheduled events:

 For more info on  Tampa Bay Beer Week visit their facebook page at: TBBW 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti

 It's Super Bowl Sunday and we are sampling one powerhouse of a beer: Great Divide's Espresso Oak Aged Yeti.  This version of Yeti is one of the newest to the Great Divide portfolio.  It's a variation of their enormously successful Yeti Imperial Stout.  This beer showcases a playbook of tasty brewing processes into one action packed offering.  Great Divide felt it necessary to improve upon an already great beer by not only oak aging it, but adding espresso coffee beans to the blend as well.  The beer pours opaque black with a tan colored head.  Depending on your pouring skill, you will either complete a first down with a 2 finger head, or be sacked for a third and twelve on a 4-5 finger head.  The aroma is rich in espresso (go figure) with a hint of vanilla.  It's taste is of dark roasted coffee with a long lingering bitterness.  It's offensive line boasts a 9.5% ABV rating which ranks it with some of the finest unsessionable beers available.  In defense of this championship brew, it's simple flavor profile makes it a winner.  I searched the sidelines for any presence of hops; yes, I checked everyone's credentials.  I guess they didn't make the bus.  So as I reach for my cheerleaders uniform and head for the sidelines, please forgive my appearance and show your support for Great Divide's Oak Aged Yeti.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The World's Least Interesting Man

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shipyard Brewing Blue Fin Stout

Hello Gang! This'll  be a short and sweet posting about Shipyard Brewing's Blue Fin Stout. I picked this one up at my local grocery store strictly based on the great label art work. Kinda' like how I used to buy record albums in the eighties. None-the-less, Blue Fin is a rather tasty Irish Style Stout, with all the typical flavor components you've come to expect from Stout beers. It pours a rich oily black with a light brown head. It's aroma is of roasted malt and coffee. The taste is roasty, toasty and chocolaty with a bittersweet finish. Blue Fin is comprised of 2-row British Pale, Crystal, Chocolate, Black and Roasted Barley malts. The hops are Warrior, Goldings, Cascade and Tettnang. Blue Fin also fits in with my new quest to find more sessionable beers. At 4.7% feel free to enjoy as many of these as you like, I know I will.

For more information visit Shipyard Brewing