Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dogfish Head, Stone & Victory Colaborate on Saison du Buff

 Three Superpowers of the Craft Beer World have joined forces in bringing us "Saison du Buff". This collaborative effort from Dogfish Head, Stone Brewing and Victory has culminated in the release of a Saison which will be, or has already been , brewed and released through each of their respective breweries. Saison du Buff is based on the traditional Saison style with the addition of the earthy spices Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme.   hmm... I think I've heard that before?       "ROLL THE TRAILER!"...

Saison du Buff, the Beer

 Saison du Buff is an absolutely delicious beer with all the true character of a Saison. It pours a bright gold color with a white, quickly dissipating head. The natural spices Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme give off a wonderful blend of aromatics normally left to the hops. Its Spice and Fruit Esters create a unique flavor character which I found to be both aggressive and subtitle at the same time. And at 6.8% ABV it's also very drinkable. There's an overall spicy character to the beer from aroma to finish, which I liked. As the beer warms that spiciness is over taken by the hop bitterness which is an interesting transition. Saison du Buff is truly a complex beer which I suggest everyone try. I sampled the Dogfish Head version and hope to have both the Stone and Victory versions in the near future. Cheers!  

For more information visit: Saison du Buff

Single Hop with Citra

 Recently I contributed to a discussion group site and thought about revisiting an article I did last year called Single-Hopped Beers . The question I posed to the group was on what might be the next direction for the IPA. As the opinions began to flow the topic morphed into the area of  "single-hopping" and the use of Citra hops. So for those of you who may not be familiar with this variety of hop here's a wee bit'o info fer ya!

 Citra Hops are one of the most versatile hop varieties. United States in origin and relativity new, they were introduced to the market in 2008. Citra is great example of a hop which covers a lot the profile bases from Aroma to Bittering. Citra is considered a "hybrid" as it was bred from a number of different hop varieties. Those being Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, East Kent Golding, Bavarian, Brewers Gold and U.S. Tettnanger. It's Alpha Acid content is around 10-12% with the aroma and flavor described as citrus, peach, grapefruit, apricot or passion fruit. Citra was also the feature hop when Sierra Nevada created their Torpedo Extra IPA. Examples of some single hop beers utilizing Citra are Mikkeller Citra IPA, Nøgne Citra IPA, Liberty Citra IPA, and Liberty West Coast Blond Citra.

 A vast majority of brewers started out blending hops for their recipes. So although simplistic in nature, the "single hop" philosophy is a great way for the novice drinker to identify each aspect of a hops natural character and the flavor it imparts into the beer. For beer geeks like us, single hop beers are an interesting way for brewers to put their own spin to a beer based on one common ingredient.


For more hop information visit: USA Hops

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Anchor Brewing Co. Brekle's Brown

 Anchor Brewing pays homage to its long standing history with "Brekle's Brown". Gottlieb Brekle was the owner and brewmaster of a brewery, which in 1896 would come to be known as Anchor Brewing. This is a very unique yet simple beer. An all malt based beer which is then single hopped using a relatively new hop called Citra. The rich roasted malt blend of Two Row Pale, Munich and Caramel malts are wonderfully offset by the lemony citrus and peach character of the Citra hop. As expected Berkle's is all malt up-front with a hop tinge on the finish. Very sessionable at 6% ABV, I found this beer to be very reminiscent of an old school English Brown Ale, with a tad more character.

 Relatively new to the Anchor portfolio, Brekle's was first brewed in 2010 by Brewmaster Mark Carpenter  in celebration of the 140 year history of Anchor Brewing Co. This is defiantly one of best the Brown Ales in the market. So hunt it down, you won't be sorry. Cheers!

For more info on Brekle's and all the other great Anchor beers visit: Brekle's Brown

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Record Store Day

 It's time once again for the annual celebration of the independent record store. Record Store Day started back in 2007 as way for independently owned and operated record stores to celebrate their love and passion for music and record collecting. The idea was for musicians, record store proprietors, music lovers and record collectors to all come together in a festive atmosphere for a day of live performances, special limited releases and meet-and-greet sessions. For decades the independent record store has served as the backbone for the music industry. But over the last 30 or so years, these outlets have seen their share of hardships. The advent of  CD's  was supposed to be the next great vestibule of retail hope for independent stores in their battle against the growing number of corporately owned record chains like Music Plus, Wherehouse Records, Tower Records, Peaches, Record Bar, Sam Goody's, Musicland and Camelot. But the digital based format upon which the CD's content is based, only manifested itself into something greater, eventually leading to the extinction of those "big box" corporate giants. At the same time this digital file format proliferated the biggest shift in musical distribution with birth of the file sharing innovator 'Napster'. Napster was fueled by the youth culture. Low income college students with no cash to buy CD's but equipped with a computer and an internet connection (funded by mommy and daddy for "study purposes"), were now able to digitize their existing music collections and share them with friends free of charge. Thus cutting out the middle man, record company  and ultimately the record retailer. Now we have MP3's, iPods, iPads, iTunes, computers and a variety of MP3 players, so convenient  access to the music we want is just a finger tip away. Through all this, the independent record retailer has survived. Maybe not all of them, but a lot have. 700 Stores world wide will participate in this years Record Store Day.

 Being an avid music lover, former record retailer and a record collector for even longer than I have been a better beer revolutionist, I could go on and on about trials an tribulations of the independent record store owner. So I will spare you the long diatribe and ask that if you love music, new independent artists and musicians and the 78, 45 & 33 1/3 RPM vinyl record, that on April 21st you visit your local independent record merchant, by a record, cd, dvd or book and support Record Store Day.  Cheers! 

For more information on Record Store Day a list of participating stores in your
area, limited releases and events  visit: Record Store Day 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

San Diego's Top Brewers

San Diego's Top Brewers: Inside America's Craft Beer Capital
By Bruce Glassman

  Southern California has quickly become a  leader in the Better Beer Revolution. Brewery's like Stone, The Bruery, Green Flash, AleSmith and Karl Strauss are setting the tone for what has clearly become a mecca for craft brewing. California's dominance of the Great American Beer Festival, over the past 10 years, is a testament to the West Coast passion and vision for brewing. "San Diego's Top Brewers"  is where you’ll find out everything you want to know about your favorite craft beers, the people who brew them, and the talented chefs who feature them as the focal point of their cuisine. Personal interviews with each brewery owner and brewer get you behind the scenes for a rare and revealing understanding of what makes San Diego’s unique beer community tick. This book takes you on a personal tour of America’s Craft Beer Capital. Inside you’ll find behind-the-scenes profiles of 18 award-winning breweries, some of San Diego’s hottest craft beer bars, and more than two dozen beer-inspired recipes that highlight some great brews. Plus, tasting notes from all the brewers; links to video tastings with all the brewers; and pages of essential resources for any craft beer fan or homebrewer. 



Simon Lacey from New English Brewing Co. “Top Brewers is the best book I’ve ever seen on San Diego Craft Beer!”

Chris Cramer of Karl Strauss Brewing gives Top Brewers the thumbs up!

Available today in the Beer Book Store

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Founders Brewing 2012 Brew Release Schedule

I snatched this from web. Nothing top secret though...