India is a tough place to have a beer apparently:
Don't stare at anybody at a pub, even if you just mean to admire his shirt or her hair. Staring is not taken well inside a pub and has often been the cause of brawls. Pub regulars feel drinkers are getting more belligerent these days, summer being a time for beer binges. Brawls are more common in pubs that stay open beyond the stipulated closing time of 11.30 pm. Says general secretary, Bangalore Bar, Pub and Restaurant Owners' Association, Ashok Sadhwani, "We notice that, on an average, a pub-goer drinks 2-3 large pegs or 2-4 mugs of beer. In pubs that flout the deadline, drinkers tend to go beyond their limit and there are brawls."I have no idea as to the volume of a "peg" (large or otherwise) or a "mug" - any ideas?
...perhaps one of the best IPAs in America...
We were this close to staying at a hotel between the Dogfish Head Brewery and the beach at Lewes, Delaware...this close...then I bailed on the great southern credit card run and opted for the nearer north-east of New England. I would have learned so much about Dogfish Head - not to mention and Victory Brewing in PA on the way. Ah well, next year in Delaware.
Thanks, however, to the good folks of Galeville a little bit of the Delaware shore makes it upstate. I picked up this four pack of these 9% brews for about 8 bucks US which is a good deal. I don't need six 9% brews and that savings allows me to pick up another quart of Rogue or maybe a little something from Middle Ages. I have had Dogfish's Pumkin' Ale and their Belgian dark strong ale, Raison D'Etre. Both are quality with a bit of querky and expect something of the same and get it. The brewery explains the "minute" the 90 minute IPA in this way:
Our family of Indian Pale Ales includes the 60 Minute I.P.A. and the 90 Minute Imperial I.P.A.. Both feature our unique continuous hopping program, where they receive a single hop addition that lasts over the course of the entire boil (60 and 90 minutes respectively). This breakthrough hopping method makes for a beer that is extremely hoppy without being overly bitter.The hop effect is very nice, giving great green gobs of hops which bite the back of the throat coat the mouth and fill the nose while maintaining a mellowness which envelops the ale's hot boozy heat. It would make a heck of a match for hot Cambodian soup or a curry. The effect of the continuous hopping also is a lack of layering or steps in the flavours. There is not so much a noticing of that nutty tone or that raisin in the corner as a continuum of shifting thoughts bouncing off the palate. Under and amongst all the hops and heat is sweet pale malt with maybe cherry/apricot notes as well as perhaps a twong of crystal sultana and definitely a grainy edge in the finish. The body is medium-large without quite the bigness of a Stone.
Clear rusty tan in color, slim foam. A small hint of hops in the smell but not to much at all. The taste is hoppy but is unfortunatley covered by the terrible alcohol taste , like wise it leaves an after taste of alcohol. IMHO not a great brew, not at all.So...he gave an Imperial IPA at nine percent 2.2/5 for being hot and boozy. Please stay away from the Belgians, pal. Hands off the Belgians.
One of the greats: hot, hoppy and handsome.
Even though I live 1500 km away, I like being on the email list of the Spitfire Arms Alehouse in Windsor, Nova Scotia. If I was anywhere near there I would be checking on my mid-June availablity:
AND NOW SOMETHING FOR THE BEER NUTS (you know who you are) - I'm heading to Montreal this coming Sunday to attend the largest BEER festival in North America. For those of you who really know me, this is a huge sacrifice but "market research" must be done! As is the custom, upon my return there will be "goodies" for you to enjoy and The Spitfire Arms Alehouse will be having another BEER TASTING NIGHT. I'll let you know the details later.Wee gifties. Everyone loves wee gifites. Then again, there are these plans for the brewer of Belgian ales Ommegang about three hours south of here:
FATHER HENNEPIN AND GENERAL CLINTON REGATTA RIVER RAT JAMBOREE AND BLUES FESTIVALThese are folk working hard for your hard working dollar. Any more out there?
(Holy long name Batman!)
May 27-30 Friday - Monday
This is the weekend that 3000 crazed long-distance canoeists descend on the Cooperstown area for the race from the mouth of the susquehanna River at Lake Otsego, in Cooperstown proper, to Bainbridge, 70 miles distant. What in Gods good name would make someone want to do this? Maybe it's because Ommegang will be offering camping for canoeists, family, friends, and anyone who wants to stay on the brewery grounds. Beer sales, music and other amusements, including late night bonfires and story-telling According to Ommegang, they will supply the bonfires, you supply the stories! Camping fee of $15 per night, or $45 for the weekend.
While across the way on the weekend we had dinner at King Arthur's Steakhouse and Brewery in Oswego, New York and we were very glad we did. I had a little problem with the camera but I expect that you get a sense of the place from these photos. The building is quite impressive and is on one of the main corners downtown in this small city of 18,000 or so on Lake Ontario. The dining area is split into two, a bar and a restaurant. The site also has conference rooms on the second floor as well as suites for overnight on the third.
Lew Bryson, in his book New York Breweries, does not cover the spot as it came into being after his first edition came out - but he does provide notes from his visits over the last couple of years at his websites' updates page for New York:
Opened in the Buckout-Jones building (1st & Bridge Sts., Oswego, right by the river), site of a former brewery (Buckout). Strongly medieval in theming. Visited 8/12/03: not good news, I'm afraid. Very cool place, great location, but two beers were horrible, others mostly flawed, one good one. A new brewer had just been hired, I'm hoping for the best.
12/19/04 Update: Just saw on Pubcrawler that former Empire Syracuse brewer Andy Gersten is brewing at King Arthur's. This is great news for both the pub and Andy; glad to see him working and them getting his excellent beers!
4/22/05: Andy Gersten has moved on to Sackets Harbor (excellent news for them), will be replaced by former Flour City (and Empire Rochester) brewer Greg Smith.
The beer was excellent. Earlier in the afternoon, I had taken a long drink of Oswego water and thought how good it was, soft and likely drawn from the lake. The beer had that quality as well. I scribbled some notes from the sampler. The brown as lighter on hops than most US browns, had a nice medium body with some chocolate notes. The APA was malty with some crystal sweetness and good green hops. The IPA was higher test with lots of fresh green hops and loads of fruity malt. It went really well with a blue cheese toped Delmonico with garlic mash totties - which is something of a testamony to its size. The oatmeal stout was thick espresso mocha with a rich creamy yeast. It could take on a scoop of Hagan Daz vanilla as a float. I thought the Old English did not have any noticeable stale or soured quality that should be part of the style and, yet, the Bitters was a light green English hopped clean sip. Drinky drama trying to think it all through.
All in all, despite the shifting brewmasters over the last two years that Lew notes, I think they have achieved quality. The ingredients are clearly first rate and the choice of yeast is particularly well suited to the local water - something not often achieved by many good brewers wanting to copy a style rather than express what is local. Two litre growlers were available for take-away. We refrained but if I was passing though, I would definitely pop in for one of the IPA and another of the Oatmeal Stout.
What will fundamentalist beer lovers
do next year?
I popped into the Galeville Grocery this afternoon and picked up, in my usual mad scramble to drop $100.00 US in about 5 minutes, a bottle of this fine beverage. I have loved every Stone product I have tried. And it looks like I still have a few to go so I thought it would be nice to sip a new one. Well, I guess it will be nice to try the beer I bought today...in seven years. Apparently this is a beer in an eleven bottle set brewed on 02-02-02, 03-03-03, 04-04-04, etc., all to be opened after 12-12-12 ages nicely. The bottle reads:
As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics and twists & turns as the adventure unfolds. This bottle conditioned ale is chapter four, and is specifically designed to be aded until sometime after December 12th, 2012. At that time enjoy it in a verticle tasting along with its other ten Stone Vertical Epic Ale brethren.OK...this is just weird but I will play along for now. Then again, come to think of it, I will have a four month and 24 day window to after that release to my fiftieth birthday. What better way to celebrate a half century of me than with friends who love ale? I better start collecting.
$6.09 US for the 22 ounce bomber with another 33% at the border for the powers that be.
[Ed.: Sadly, this post is entirely out of date and the URL of the the Belgian beer blog referenced has become a porn site.
I received an email today from Filip Geerts in Brugge Belgium who has a fantastic beer blog about his country's brews simply called Belgian Beer. The photos are quite useful if you ask me like the one below - obviously set up but natural and documentary. Good investigative beer blogging by a pal of the blog's author.
At De Kasteelkelder, Ingelmunster, Belgium
The title of this post is an exaggeration. I spent four days in Seattle last week, at a conference of technical writers, and in that time I managed to get around a bit and to catch a glimpse of that city's brewing life. With only four evenings to spare and a bit of afternoon time, it hardly qualifies as a full tour.
I was at the conference with my cohort, Binky. Binky and I have attended five such conferences over the past nine years. The first was in Seattle, and so too was this most recent one. Others we've attended have been hosted by Toronto, Cincinnati, and Chicago.
Seattle has always seemed like a special place for both of us, as that is where we first revealed to each other our secret, hidden degeneracies. You see, we both have a "thing" for fermented and brewed beverages, particularly of the kind that is made in small batches by brew masters whose main focus is on quality and distinction, and not just the bottom line.
Seattle, I am glad to report, is a fine brew town. There are plenty of brew pubs to choose from and they are scattered all over town.