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HipFlask
09-27-2009, 20:56
Well, it is a Sunday afternoon in the fall and that means 2 things. Football and Beer. For me I started up with a Bloody Mary and a Sam Adams Octoberfest back just before the Packers Rams game. It was followed up New Belgium 1554 Black Ale and then Spaten Optimator and a Green Bay Victory! The New Belgium was the best of the three beers. A dark malty brew that paired well with cheedar cheese and venison sausage. So whatcya pouring this fall?

Josh
09-28-2009, 07:45
Well, it is a Sunday afternoon in the fall and that means 2 things. Football and Beer. For me I started up with a Bloody Mary and a Sam Adams Octoberfest back just before the Packers Rams game. It was followed up New Belgium 1554 Black Ale and then Spaten Optimator and a Green Bay Victory! The New Belgium was the best of the three beers. A dark malty brew that paired well with cheedar cheese and venison sausage. So whatcya pouring this fall?

Well yesterday had a couple current favorites, a Goose Island 312 ale and a New Holland Golden Cap saison ale. Both mighty tasty, the Golden being my all time fave at this point.

MarkEdwards
09-28-2009, 18:26
Well, it is a Sunday afternoon in the fall and that means 2 things. Football and Beer. For me I started up with a Bloody Mary and a Sam Adams Octoberfest back just before the Packers Rams game. It was followed up New Belgium 1554 Black Ale and then Spaten Optimator and a Green Bay Victory! The New Belgium was the best of the three beers. A dark malty brew that paired well with cheedar cheese and venison sausage. So whatcya pouring this fall?

I was up at Costco getting a new case of Shiner Bock, when I came across the Chimay Blue, "brewed by Trappist monks". Okay, I bit, and took home a 750 ml bottle of this Belgian ale.

I poured it at room temperature, and was very happy with it. Next time I go to Costco, I think I'll pick up a few more bottles, even though they are a bit pricey. I'll have to at least try it chilled.

smokinjoe
09-28-2009, 19:00
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. Very nice on a coolish night, and MNF.

Josh
09-28-2009, 19:47
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. Very nice on a coolish night, and MNF.

Great choice. If you dig that, try New Holland's Poet stout or Arcadia's London Porter. They're so money and they don't even know it.

smokinjoe
09-28-2009, 20:15
Great choice. If you dig that, try New Holland's Poet stout or Arcadia's London Porter. They're so money and they don't even know it.

Bell's is pretty new here in Georgia, but I'm not sure about the status of the others. Thanks for the recs, Josh. I'll check them out.

ODaniel
09-28-2009, 20:49
Bell Expedition Stout is amazing. I'll probably pick up a Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout tomorrow, maybe a Beer Geek Breakfast, Ayinger Celebrator. I need to try all those, and a whooole lot more. Trying to expand my knowledge of imports. I usually just drink American Craft brews.

nor02lei
09-28-2009, 23:23
maybe a Beer Geek Breakfast

Hm…Isn’t that a Danish beer from Mickkeller? If so it is a good one.

Leif

bigman
09-29-2009, 00:23
The most current list of the Brews in my fridge is;
Michigan Brewing Co – Pumpkin Spiced Ale
Upland Brewing Co – Wheat Ale
Leinenkugels – Oktoberfest
I’m sure that there will be others this fall, however, for now these are what I’m rotating threw. I’m on a constant search for good beer, and I have cut my drinking down to a level such that I can justify buying a 6-pack every other week of something new, my goal is to try as many new micro/craft brews as possible.

Josh
09-29-2009, 14:23
The most current list of the Brews in my fridge is;
Michigan Brewing Co – Pumpkin Spiced Ale
Upland Brewing Co – Wheat Ale
Leinenkugels – Oktoberfest
I’m sure that there will be others this fall, however, for now these are what I’m rotating threw. I’m on a constant search for good beer, and I have cut my drinking down to a level such that I can justify buying a 6-pack every other week of something new, my goal is to try as many new micro/craft brews as possible.

That's a kickass fridge. I'm currently loving this Founders (Grand Rapids) Breakfast Stout. A dark, gloomy day deserves a dark and rich beer.:drink:

unclebunk
09-29-2009, 14:47
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. Very nice on a coolish night, and MNF.

Bell's is arguably my favorite microbrewery these days, certainly one of the best in the upper Midwest. I love their entire line, though I should mention that you really have to be a hop-head to enjoy their Two Hearted Ale. We drink Bell's Oberon Ale all summer long and move into their porter and stouts during the autumn/winter. Great stuff!

unclebunk
09-29-2009, 14:51
I was up at Costco getting a new case of Shiner Bock, when I came across the Chimay Blue, "brewed by Trappist monks". Okay, I bit, and took home a 750 ml bottle of this Belgian ale.

I poured it at room temperature, and was very happy with it. Next time I go to Costco, I think I'll pick up a few more bottles, even though they are a bit pricey. I'll have to at least try it chilled.

Chimay has long been regarded as one of the great Trappist Ales but you may wish to chill it, as you mentioned. Chimay Red is a regular in our house, with the Chimay Blue coming out for special occasions. Try some Corsendonk too if you haven't already. Mighty fine, mighty fine.

bigman
09-29-2009, 22:34
We drink Bell's Oberon Ale all summer long ... Great stuff!

I have to agree that Bell’s is some fine brews, and I too love the Oberon Ale, however, the last six pack of Oberon I got this year must have had a rough life before it got to me, it was in rough shape, tasted like it had made the trip in a pizza oven then was flash chilled in liquid nitrogen, before they warmed it back up with a propane torch. Never the less I can’t wait till it is in season again. This is the good/bad part about seasonal beers, its like waiting for sweet corn the excitement is the good part, and the wait is the bad.

Phischy
09-30-2009, 11:25
I worked as a steward at GABF this last week. So I had a chance to try....everything. Mind blowing, esp getting a chance to try pub-only beers that had been bottled the 1x for the competition. Sneak peaks at beers yet to be released and a massive amount of...beer.

So much fun, I hope I can do it again next year!

smokinjoe
10-02-2009, 14:53
Oh heck, it's close enough to 5:00 this Friday, that I'm calling it a week. First out of the box is a devastatingly delicious New Holland Dragon's Milk Ale Aged in Oak Barrels. Creamy, thick, sweet, and potent at 8.5%. Very malty with an old timey Ovaltine tinge to it. The oak lightly gives definition, and ties the whole thing together. (I have no idea what that sentence means, but it's a close as I could come to describe what I'm thinkin'. Plus, I thought it sounded good.:)) The finish is just perfect, as it tones down the sweetness that sometimes just lingers too much in Ales such as this. This is a beautiful beer.

augustgarage
10-02-2009, 17:51
I worked as a steward at GABF this last week. So I had a chance to try....everything. Mind blowing, esp getting a chance to try pub-only beers that had been bottled the 1x for the competition. Sneak peaks at beers yet to be released and a massive amount of...beer.

So much fun, I hope I can do it again next year!

What were the standouts for you?

Did you get a chance to try The Bruery's Black Tuesday? Impressions? The only other super-high ABV beer from them I've tried was Melange #3 - quite tasty if not particularly well balanced/integrated.

I'm looking forward to picking up at least a couple of extra bottles come release day (good trade bait for LA Cable Car, Darkness, Kate the Great, Barrel-Aged Alesmith, Allagash Gargamel, etc).

HipFlask
10-03-2009, 09:02
Run through the beer frig. Karmeliet triple, Spatan Octoberfest, Spatan Dunkel, New Glarus Bock, Zotler Bier Korbian Dunkel, Specker Imperial Russian Stout, Spaten Optimator, Sam Adams Octoberfest, Pauliner Salvator, Kostriker Octoberfest, Dupont Moinette Bruin, Lagunita little sumpin extra, Weihenstephaner Korbian Dunkel, Hacker Pschorr Octoberfest, Meantime Porter and IPA, Guiness. And for the masses that might stop by Bud light and Miller Lite. The Moinett Bruin is going to be my Monday Night Football Beier - Go Pack!

smokinjoe
10-04-2009, 14:00
A little football, and leftovers from last nights Oktoberfest Party. Washing it all down with Franziskaner Weissbier, Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen, and Kulmbacher Monchshof Schwarz. As Wayne Newton might say, "Danke Schoen".

ODaniel
10-04-2009, 15:05
Three Floyds Behemoth barleywine, Left Hand Oktoberfest, and Steelhead Extra Stout (gets a 94 on ratebeer, and I was very disappointed. I guess because my Extra Stout is better :D )

Whiskey Willie
10-07-2009, 12:06
Got a couple different brews in the fridge...Spaten Oktoberfest, Guinness 250, PBR!, and the always in-stock Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Phischy
10-07-2009, 17:24
What were the standouts for you?

Did you get a chance to try The Bruery's Black Tuesday? Impressions? The only other super-high ABV beer from them I've tried was Melange #3 - quite tasty if not particularly well balanced/integrated.

I'm looking forward to picking up at least a couple of extra bottles come release day (good trade bait for LA Cable Car, Darkness, Kate the Great, Barrel-Aged Alesmith, Allagash Gargamel, etc).

BT was awesome. In reading Patrick's post, they left it in the barrels until it was bottled today. He says it even tastes better now. I'll be driving up on the 27th for the release. Melange #3 is also outstanding and will likewise be bottled for a future release.

I honestly had so much beer that I can't recall everything. One buddy tried to write everything down w/ notes, but there's simply too much going on. Abacus from Firestone Walker is likewise a great beer, totally dug it.

Was talking to Peter from Alesmith, not sure when they're going to do their next BA release. From what a worker told me after they did their brewery expansion they had to bottle all the big beers to get them to their accounts and thus don't have a lot in the barrel right now. Bummer! I do believe the next release will be a BA Wee Heavy.

I'm picking up 4 BT's. 2 are paid for, so I'll owe 2 there, plus probably 2 bottles ea of BA Autumn Maple and White Oak. Plus they'll have plenty of good beer on tap. I'll be there around 4pm.

augustgarage
10-07-2009, 20:14
GABF sounds like a great time...

As for The Bruery, I'll probably be there around 4:30 (I know Patrick doesn't want people lining up before then) - looking forward to trying BT on cask (I think they gave it some unfortunate name like "Chocolate Rain" though :lol:) and picking up some Papier and BA Autumn Maple.

HipFlask
10-07-2009, 21:08
Got a couple different brews in the fridge...Spaten Oktoberfest, Guinness 250, PBR!, and the always in-stock Samuel Adams Boston Lager.


Also had a Spaten Oktoberfest along with a Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest and a Sprecher Black Bavarian. Also the Belgian Moinette Strong Ale was excellant on Monday night even though the Pack lost.

Phischy
10-08-2009, 11:21
GABF sounds like a great time...

As for The Bruery, I'll probably be there around 4:30 (I know Patrick doesn't want people lining up before then) - looking forward to trying BT on cask (I think they gave it some unfortunate name like "Chocolate Rain" though :lol:) and picking up some Papier and BA Autumn Maple.

Cool, then I'll see you then. I'm leaving work at 3pm from downtown SD, picking up 3 guys and we ought to be there a tad after 4pm. A bit early but we'll just go with the flow. I'll be a big tall guy w/ a beard and a brown cap on that says "QUAFF" my homebrew club. Def come over and say hi.

I want the BT, BA Autumn Maple and I have no idea what White Oak is, but i'm curious. Plus all the delicious beers on tap...hell, I'll probably get tehre and eat something before the event starts.

ratcheer
10-17-2009, 15:15
I just picked up a 6-pack of Michelob Original Lager. I noticed the labeling looked a little different from what I remember from just a short while back, so I examined it, carefully. It no longer says "All Malt Recipe", so I am wondering if they have changed it, again?

It is still mighty tasty, though. :drink:

Tim

texascarl
10-17-2009, 19:07
Boulevard Pilsner, Boulevard Single Wide (IPA) and Spaten Optimator in the fridge right now. Yay Beer!

HipFlask
10-18-2009, 00:19
I went to the store for Chimay Blue Strong Ale. And ended up buying 2 6packs and large bottle. The first pack was a Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre at 8% ABV because some guy was handing out samples at the store and it was made of beet sugar and Raisons. The next was a New Belgian Tripple. This is had a nice frothy head and was very tasty. Half the six back was gone in flash and I felt it! I recommed this beer if you can get it. The last was another New Beligian Wit. I have not had this one yet but am looking forward to it. Another one that I would suggest is Lavalin little sumthin extra.

OscarV
10-18-2009, 18:51
Schlitz.
Yesterday at Binny's I got a 12 pack of the new (old) Schlitz "The Classic 1960's Formula".
Schlitz changed their beer somewhere around the mid '70's and it was so bad that I thought that I didn't like beer anymore, I didn't know at the time their was such a thing as changing recipes.
So it's been 35 years and as far as my taste memory goes I'd have to say that they got it right.
I don't know who brews it for them because there is no Schlitz Brewery, only a Schlitz seller and marketer.
On the label it says,
Jos Schlitz Brewing Co
P. O. Box 739
Milwaukee, WI
See they pick up their mail at the Post Office.

jesskidden
10-19-2009, 07:14
Schlitz.

I don't know who brews it for them because there is no Schlitz Brewery, only a Schlitz seller and marketer.


"Them" is Pabst (http://www.pabstbrewingco.com/portfolio/default.aspx) (which bought the Schlitz brand when former owner, Stroh, collapsed in the late 1990's and Pabst bought most of their vast collection of classic brand names - including most of the old Heileman stable, as well).

Like most of the Pabst-owned brands, the beer is brewed by Miller. The first batches of the new/old Schiltz (called "Schlitz Gusto" sometimes, to distinguish it from the economy, canned Schlitz which is still on the shelves in some markets) came from Eden, NC but now, after some renovations to the Miller brewery, the brand's "returned" to Milwaukee.

unclebunk
10-19-2009, 07:25
"Them" is Pabst (http://www.pabstbrewingco.com/portfolio/default.aspx) (which bought the Schlitz brand when former owner, Stroh, collapsed in the late 1990's and Pabst bought most of their vast collection of classic brand names - including most of the old Heileman stable, as well).

Like most of the Pabst-owned brands, the beer is brewed by Miller. The first batches of the new/old Schiltz (called "Schlitz Gusto" sometimes, to distinguish it from the economy, canned Schlitz which is still on the shelves in some markets) came from Eden, NC but now, after some renovations to the Miller brewery, the brand's "returned" to Milwaukee.

Pabst has also returned Ballantine and Schaefer, two East coast beers, to the market, though, sadly, neither is available to me here in Chicago. I pick up cases when I return to New York every year and drink them when any of my New York sports teams are on television. I guess I'm turning into my old man, who drank them regularly, along with Rheingold, Utica Club and Genesee.

jesskidden
10-19-2009, 11:53
Pabst has also returned Ballantine and Schaefer, two East coast beers

Neither ever really left the market- but they sure became less common than they were in their heyday. The only Ballantine product remaining is the XXX Ale (Ballantine Beer and Ballantine India Pale Ale having been dropped in the 1990's) and is actually one of the two "oldest" brands (in terms of their ownership) of the company now known as "Pabst"- what was once the S&P Corporation (owners of the General, Falstaff and Pearl brewing companies before also buying Pabst in the mid-1980's) and currently called the Kalmanovitz Charitable Trust. The only brand they've owned longer, by my way of figuring, is Haffenreffer- having dropped or sold their older brands like Falstaff, Lucky Lager (reportedly- some say it's still used as a supermarket brand on the West Coast?), Krueger and Narragansett, etc. Most of their other current brands were picked up when Stroh threw in the bar towel, with a few exceptions.

Sadly, the Ballantine XXX Ale is a mere shadow of it's former self and hasn't yet undergone the sort of "revival" that Pabst's done with Schlitz, McSorley's, Heileman Old Style or Primo, tho' the now-ex Pabst CEO suggested it might. (http://www.beverageworld.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&Itemid=127&id=6242)

Likewise, Schaefer, tho' reduced to "economy brand" after being purchased by Stroh in the early '80's, never disappeared completely tho' the marketing area has been shrunk (as has that of Ballantine XXX Ale) and it's certainly not commonly found on tap anymore in it's historic home region of the Northeast. I found a fresh 6 pack of 16 ounce cans a few months ago and took a chance on it, but I found it very light (in color and flavor) and insipid- typical "macro US adjunct light lager"- and nothing at all like the rich, creamy Schaefer of my youth (especially the draft).

unclebunk
10-19-2009, 13:02
Neither ever really left the market- but they sure became less common than they were in their heyday. The only Ballantine product remaining is the XXX Ale (Ballantine Beer and Ballantine India Pale Ale having been dropped in the 1990's) and is actually one of the two "oldest" brands (in terms of their ownership) of the company now known as "Pabst"- what was once the S&P Corporation (owners of the General, Falstaff and Pearl brewing companies before also buying Pabst in the mid-1980's) and currently called the Kalmanovitz Charitable Trust. The only brand they've owned longer, by my way of figuring, is Haffenreffer- having dropped or sold their older brands like Falstaff, Lucky Lager (reportedly- some say it's still used as a supermarket brand on the West Coast?), Krueger and Narragansett, etc. Most of their other current brands were picked up when Stroh threw in the bar towel, with a few exceptions.

Sadly, the Ballantine XXX Ale is a mere shadow of it's former self and hasn't yet undergone the sort of "revival" that Pabst's done with Schlitz, McSorley's, Heileman Old Style or Primo, tho' the now-ex Pabst CEO suggested it might. (http://www.beverageworld.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&Itemid=127&id=6242)

Likewise, Schaefer, tho' reduced to "economy brand" after being purchased by Stroh in the early '80's, never disappeared completely tho' the marketing area has been shrunk (as has that of Ballantine XXX Ale) and it's certainly not commonly found on tap anymore in it's historic home region of the Northeast. I found a fresh 6 pack of 16 ounce cans a few months ago and took a chance on it, but I found it very light (in color and flavor) and insipid- typical "macro US adjunct light lager"- and nothing at all like the rich, creamy Schaefer of my youth (especially the draft).

Thanks for all the info on Ballantine and Schaefer. I guess what I meant to say was that Pabst returned the two beers to a greater number of markets, prior to which they were quite difficult to find, even in areas where they had once been popular. It's a pity that Ballantine Beer and IPA are no longer being produced, and that the remaining XXX Ale bares almost no resemblance to the beer I knew so many years ago. I wonder if Miller has changed the recipe during the time that they've been making the XXX Ale because I bought a few six packs approximately 4-5 years ago in Chicago (having not had a Ballantine in over ten years) and the moment I cracked open the first beer, I instantly recognized the aroma, though the flavor was slightly diminished. But the stuff I bought in New York this summer no longer had the same old bouquet at all and the flavor was even lighter than before. I mean, what's the point of re-launching the beer, so to speak, only to replicate the bottle but not its contents? As to Schaefer, I don't think I've seen it for nearly fifteen years and even my friends back East have said they rarely stumble upon it. What a shame.

ratcheer
10-19-2009, 16:47
The first beer I ever tasted was a Ballantine Ale.

Tim

unclebunk
10-19-2009, 17:56
The first beer I ever tasted was a Ballantine Ale.

Tim

Me too! Actually nicked a six pack from my father's beer fridge so my friends and I could get drunk in the woods. Lots of fun was had...until I got home! As I recall, his face looked a bit like this: :hot:

jesskidden
10-20-2009, 05:40
Thanks for all the info on Ballantine and Schaefer. I guess what I meant to say was that Pabst returned the two beers to a greater number of markets, prior to which they were quite difficult to find, even in areas where they had once been popular.

I wasn't aware of any new expansion of Ballantine's distribution area (I've been in NJ the last few decades, the "ancestral home" of the beer, where it's always been around in most every liquor store and traditional neighborhood bar- even if the bottles/cans are often a bit dusty) but if that's the case, that's good news. I have seen the Ale, sometimes in cans, featured at some bars that have an ironic "Retro" or "Old Man's" beer selection and, IIRC, it was so featured at Yankee Stadium (once home to the Ballantine Blast!) this year.

Last time I checked the Pabst Ballantine Ale website (http://www.ballantineale.com/locator/default.aspx) (which says "Schaefer" - they also call it "Ballantine Beer" on their own corporate website (http://www.pabstbrewingco.com/portfolio/default.aspx)), the Ale was only available in New England, the Northeast (NY, PA, NJ) and a handful of other states (OH, KY, MD, GA, SC - according to my old notes). It's not even available in NC (where it's sometimes brewed at Miller's facility there- tho' mostly it's from Trenton, OH lately) or it's last Falstaff home, Indiana. A far cry from Ballantine's once national distribution, both from P. Ballantine & Sons and the early years of Falstaff ownership (when some sources claim it was even brewed in their SF, CA brewery for a time).

Ever since that Beverage World interview with Kotecki, I've been watching Ballantine Ale for some evidence of a "revival". The only thing I've seen happen is dropping the old "America's Largest Selling Ale" (which it hasn't been since at least the 1980's, when Genesee Cream Ale's sales surpassed it) slogan from the cardboard shell graphics, replacing it with the awkward "Dry Hopped Flavor" slogan. (Why not just "Dry Hopped"? Of course, dry hopping wasn't the tradition for Ballantine XXX Ale, it was infused with distilled hop oils.)


I wonder if Miller has changed the recipe during the time that they've been making the XXX Ale because I bought a few six packs approximately 4-5 years ago in Chicago (having not had a Ballantine in over ten years) and the moment I cracked open the first beer, I instantly recognized the aroma, though the flavor was slightly diminished.

Well, Pabst ultimately is responsible for the recipe that Miller uses (tho' they don't own a brewery, Pabst does employ "brewmasters" who are supposed to oversee the contract brewing of their products), so you've got to blame Pabst for the current poor version.

The history of Ballantine Ale after the closing of the last Falstaff plant in Ft. Wayne is a bit confusing because the Feds didn't require them to put the actual city of brewing on the label (for a time, the label had a post office box number in Detroit on the label(I guess because Stroh- a Pabst contractor at the time- was headquartered there?) I remember thinking "A post office box? Now, THAT is truly a "microbrewery"!)

Reportedly (see this now decade old Modern Brewery Age (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3469/is_13_51/ai_63841298/) article for some 1990's info, tho' lots of errors, too), Pabst (S&P) brewed it at the breweries they still owned at the time (Milwaukee, the old Olympia brewery in WA, the former Pearl in TX and, for a very brief time, at the ex-Schaefer/Stroh brewery in PA) but there was also supposition that it was brewed at Heileman>Stroh's Lacrosse brewery, too. I do recall a version a decade or so ago that was GREAT stuff- beautiful hoppy nose, that nice hoppy/slightly sweet taste- but never really investigated it at the time (too many other great beers coming out).

unclebunk
10-20-2009, 08:32
I wasn't aware of any new expansion of Ballantine's distribution area (I've been in NJ the last few decades, the "ancestral home" of the beer, where it's always been around in most every liquor store and traditional neighborhood bar- even if the bottles/cans are often a bit dusty) but if that's the case, that's good news.

I still have numerous family members and friends in New York, both upstate and in the Long Island/NYC metropolitan area, as well as many ties to people in and around Philadelphia, and received many reports over the years that Ballantine had disappeared completely from most taverns, as well as many, if not all, of the liquor stores in their area. We used to find it all over Long Island, for example, and then in the late nineties it gradually became more difficult to track down. And my friends/family upstate in an area spanning from Albany in the east, to Oneonta and Binghamton in the west, to Syracuse in the north, all reported at one time or another that they could no longer find Ballantine anywhere. Then, approximately four or five years ago (when Pabst took over?), I began to get reports that Ballantine had suddenly reappeared in a few stores here and there, after which it became much easier to find in liquor stores, but still remained unavailable in virtually all the taverns for some reason. I was even finding it here in Chicagoland for a brief time in 2004-2005 before it vanished again. So I suppose the deep thinkers at Pabst decided to primarily concentrate on the New York/New England area, with somewhat more limited distribution in a number of other east coast states. (I know that some friends in Philadelphia have no trouble finding it but others in western PA say it remains tricky, if not impossible, to locate. How odd!)

unclebunk
10-20-2009, 08:42
Well, Pabst ultimately is responsible for the recipe that Miller uses (tho' they don't own a brewery, Pabst does employ "brewmasters" who are supposed to oversee the contract brewing of their products), so you've got to blame Pabst for the current poor version.

I do recall a version a decade or so ago that was GREAT stuff- beautiful hoppy nose, that nice hoppy/slightly sweet taste- but never really investigated it at the time (too many other great beers coming out).

As mentioned in an earlier post, I too came across a few six packs of Ballantine XXX Ale that retained the wonderful aroma of old, but with somewhat less body than in the past. I thought that this was around four or five years ago, but I was corrected last night by my wife, who pointed out that it was probably closer to eight or nine years ago when this occurred. Not sure who would have made that batch, but it was sure closer to Ballantine as I knew it than the Ballantine I brought home from New York this summer. Maybe we can write to Pabst and inquire about a restoring the old recipe, much as has been done with Schlitz, Pabst and Old Style. It might be worth a try!

jesskidden
10-21-2009, 04:56
and received many reports over the years that Ballantine had disappeared completely from most taverns, as well as many, if not all, of the liquor stores in their area.... Then, approximately four or five years ago (when Pabst took over?), I began to get reports that Ballantine had suddenly reappeared in a few stores here and there,

Well, after S&P took over Pabst in the mid-1980's (not the other way around), I'm sure there were big shake-ups with local distributors, etc., just as it is whenever one brewer takes over another and the two brands are distributed by rival firms in local markets.

What complicates the situation even more in the case of Ballantine Ale is that S&P was a notoriously difficult company to deal with, and had been sued a number of times over their marketing, distribution and sale of certain brands. I'm sure some of those situations and resulting suits had a negative effect on the availability of Ballantine Ale.

They were sued by the former owners of the Ballantine brands. (http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F2/601/609/377432/)

And they were sued by two of their "master distributors" (unlike most brewers, S&P sold their beer at the loading dock and left it up to other companies to ship it to the markets and local distributors around the country)- Best Brand (http://openjurist.org/842/f2d/578)s and, a decade or so later by Southland (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=11th&navby=case&no=0112321OPNv2&exact=1)

Plus, S&P's notorious lack of promotional support (little to no advertising, etc) probably also meant that the brand simply sold less and less every year and was probably simply dropped by distributors in some markets only to be later picked up by others. I know in my state, while Ballantine Ale is distributed by most of the same companies as a few decades ago, many of the other Pabst-owned brands have changed distributors (Pabst Blue Ribbon and the other Pabst brands at the time were once self-distributed by the company in part of NJ when the Newark brewery was still open).

DeanSheen
10-21-2009, 07:26
Jever Friesland Pilsner

unclebunk
10-21-2009, 09:39
Jever Friesland Pilsner

Now that's some heavy hittin' dry hopped beer! I recently found some on tap in a German tavern in Chicago and it was great, but my friends hated it. Tasteless buffoons!:lol:

smokinjoe
10-23-2009, 16:31
A 500ml of Schneider Weisse Hefe-Weizen. After a disapointment with the Franziskaner Weisse recently, this is a solid and very close #2 to my favorite Hefe, Weihenstephaner Weisse. I dig that nice clove thing that's abundant in the Weihenstephaner, lacking in the Franz, and amply rep'd in this Schneider.

unclebunk
10-23-2009, 17:59
A cold, rainy night here in Chicago so I'm going for the "winter warmer" thing with a nice pint of Beamish Stout and a pour of Scapa 12 to be followed by Caol Ila 12, all accompanied by the Pogues and some bagpipe music later on. Should be a good evening!

SBOmarc
10-24-2009, 19:01
Had a Lagunitas Pilsner and found it very ordinary. I wanted to like it and I gave it every chance. No real flavor for a pilsner with great color and nose. I also had a Stone Arrogant Bastard, it was just fine.

callmeox
10-24-2009, 19:54
I had a couple of New Glarus beers at a cold/wet fall party: The Crack'd Wheat and the Fat Squirrel. Both were great.

nor02lei
10-25-2009, 09:40
I did go to SMÖF witch is a microbrewery beer festival this weekend. I did drink beer from 5 pm-midnight on Friday and from 12-10.45 pm on Saturday. I was much more impressed of the dark assortment than of the ales.The top beers to my personal taste was Närkes stormaktsporter 2007(Swedish) and Ölfabikkens porter 2005 (Danish).
I can really recommend this festival for anyone that visit Sweden this time of the year. Compared to Stockholm beer and whisky festival its more serious and less party and the best/only way to taste beer from most of the Swedish microbrewery’s.


Leif

DrinkyBanjo
10-26-2009, 06:30
On Friday I had a Lagunitas Imperial Red. Very enjoyable, hoppy and malty, very nice. Yesterday I went to a kind of local brewpub for a couple of Oatmeal Stouts, very nice as well.

ODaniel
10-26-2009, 22:31
Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale (IPA). Pretty good.

dean_martin
10-27-2009, 08:59
had my first Dog Fish Head Punkin Ale over the weekend. It was better than I expected - sweet and spicy with the right amount of hoppy bitterness.

Finally got around to trying an Octoberfest - Paulaner Octoberfest Marzen style. Maybe it's the style, or the fact that I've been drinking "big" beers the past few months, but I haven't warmed up to it yet.

unclebunk
10-28-2009, 08:37
Rodenbach Grand Cru and Ommegang Abbey Ale last night with an assortment of imported cheeses. Fantastic!

Vange
10-28-2009, 13:53
Rodenbach Grand Cru and Ommegang Abbey Ale last night with an assortment of imported cheeses. Fantastic!

2 of my fav beers although so very different! Interesting to have them both in one night.

unclebunk
10-28-2009, 14:04
2 of my fav beers although so very different! Interesting to have them both in one night.

Yes. They are very different but I was trying to expand my friend's experience of Belgian ales beyond the standard "golden ale" types (Leffe Blonde, Hennepin, etc.) that he's accustomed to drinking. I loved them both but I'm not sure I made a convert.

Vange
10-28-2009, 14:12
He try any of the quads? Ommegang 3 Philosophers perhaps.
Maybe a dubbel, Allagash Dubbel or from Belgium Westmalle.

unclebunk
10-28-2009, 15:03
He try any of the quads? Ommegang 3 Philosophers perhaps.
Maybe a dubbel, Allagash Dubbel or from Belgium Westmalle.

If I had a bathtub full of Westmalle I'd lay in it and drink my way out!:lol: One of the difficulties you face when trying to turn someone on to Belgian ales is that the person has to temporarily suspend all that they have come to know and expect from beer in order to appreciate the vast differences in various Belgian styles. Given that my friend was never more than a run-of-the-mill lager drinker (Bud, Heineken, etc.), getting him to like Leffe Blonde and Hennepin was a major accomplishment, I guess. But he couldn't relate to the Grand Cru in any way and found it too unusual for his tastes.

ODaniel
10-28-2009, 22:53
Picked up these tonight:
Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout
Schneider Aventinus
Erdinger Hefeweizen
Weinstephaner Hefe Dunkel
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Bells Expedition Stout
Bells Double Cream Stout


I looove the Expedition Stout. Aventinus is pretty damn good. Oatmeal Stout is pretty good, but was expecting better. Haven't got to the rest yet.

DrinkyBanjo
10-29-2009, 06:27
Picked up these tonight:
Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout
Schneider Aventinus
Erdinger Hefeweizen
Weinstephaner Hefe Dunkel
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Bells Expedition Stout
Bells Double Cream Stout


I looove the Expedition Stout. Aventinus is pretty damn good. Oatmeal Stout is pretty good, but was expecting better. Haven't got to the rest yet.

Last night I had Founders Breakfast Stout and a McSorelys Black Lager. The Founders was a much bigger beer but after two I thought it'd be smart to switch to something not quite as strong. I thought McSorley's would be an easy swap but it tasted very different, good, but very different.

unclebunk
10-29-2009, 08:52
Picked up these tonight:
Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout
Schneider Aventinus
Erdinger Hefeweizen
Weinstephaner Hefe Dunkel
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Bells Expedition Stout
Bells Double Cream Stout


I looove the Expedition Stout. Aventinus is pretty damn good. Oatmeal Stout is pretty good, but was expecting better. Haven't got to the rest yet.

That's a fantastic line-up! I love pretty much everything Bell's makes but in the cold weather months it's hard to beat their Expedition and Double Cream Stouts. And Aventinus is a world unto itself. I seem to remember reading that Michael Jackson once said that if he had to pick just one beer, Aventinus would be it. That's a serious endorsement, to be sure. The Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout is a classic but quite different and more subtle overall than the fuller bodied Bell's stouts. Be sure NOT to refrigerate it, which will thin its body out further. Just a quick chill or, better yet, store it in your cellar and you'll likely find it more expressive and enjoyable.

nor02lei
10-29-2009, 14:35
I did have Sierra Nevada Torpedo yesterday and Big Foot from the same brewery today. I must say that I like big foot a lot more and it is somewhat of a classic to me. Torpedo is good but a bit dry a think for a medium strong IPA. Celebration from the same brewery is much better in that class to my personal taste (although it differ from vintage to vintage as big foot).

Leif

Josh
10-30-2009, 12:16
It's funny to hear so much praise of Bells here. They make some damn good beers (which I drink and love), but some microbrew fans here in Michigan are starting to shun Bells because they think they've gotten too big for their bitches.

My favorite pub (which I am currently at) carries 15 Michigan microbrews on tap. There are currently no beers from Bells. They currently are carrying the following:

Kuhnhenn (Warren, MI)- Double Wit
Shorts (Bellaire)- Humalumpalicious (IPA)
Motor City (Detroit)- Pumpkin Ale, Oktoberfest
Michigan Brewing Co. (Webberville)- Mackinac Pale Ale
Founder's (Grand Rapids)- Red's Rye, Breakfast Stout
Dark Horse (Marshall)- Rod Ale, Perkulator (Stout), Raspberry
New Holland (Holland)- Ichabod (Pumpkin Ale)
Arbor (Ann Arbor)- Old #22 Alt
Arcadia (Battle Creek)- Roggenberry, Hop Rocket
B. Nektar (Ferndale)- Blueberry Mead

To acompany my patty melt today I had an Ichabod, a Huma... & just ordered an Old #22.:grin: If I do say myself, Michigan has the best microbrews in the country, period.:drink:

jesskidden
10-30-2009, 14:15
I thought McSorley's would be an easy swap but it tasted very different, good, but very different.

According to an article in the April/May '09 Mid-Atlantic Brewing News by Greg Kitsock, Phil Markowski of Southampton Brewing Co. (who has a connection to Pabst via a distribution deal and does "freelance" work for them) reworked the two McSorley beers, and the "Pale Ale" is now an "English-style bitter" (anyone who used to drink the Rheingold>Ortleib>Schmidt version was probably hoping for the return of the beautifully hoppy "golden ale" of that era- no such luck). Oddly, the "Irish Black Lager" (which once was a Black & Tan, in the Heileman>Stroh era) is now, somewhat perplexingly, based on a "German-style schwarzbeer". Both are all-malt now (and priced pretty high - around $7 a six-pack, which is why I've not picked them up.)

Originally they were contract-brewed at The Lion (labels said "McSorley's Brewery, Wilkes-Barre, Pa") but they've since switched (along with a few other Pabst and Southampton beers) to the old Rolling Rock brewery in Latrobe, PA, now owned by City Brewing Co.

ODaniel
10-31-2009, 12:34
It's funny to hear so much praise of Bells here. They make some damn good beers (which I drink and love), but some microbrew fans here in Michigan are starting to shun Bells because they think they've gotten too big for their bitches.

My favorite pub (which I am currently at) carries 15 Michigan microbrews on tap. There are currently no beers from Bells. They currently are carrying the following:

Kuhnhenn (Warren, MI)- Double Wit
Shorts (Bellaire)- Humalumpalicious (IPA)
Motor City (Detroit)- Pumpkin Ale, Oktoberfest
Michigan Brewing Co. (Webberville)- Mackinac Pale Ale
Founder's (Grand Rapids)- Red's Rye, Breakfast Stout
Dark Horse (Marshall)- Rod Ale, Perkulator (Stout), Raspberry
New Holland (Holland)- Ichabod (Pumpkin Ale)
Arbor (Ann Arbor)- Old #22 Alt
Arcadia (Battle Creek)- Roggenberry, Hop Rocket
B. Nektar (Ferndale)- Blueberry Mead

To acompany my patty melt today I had an Ichabod, a Huma... & just ordered an Old #22.:grin: If I do say myself, Michigan has the best microbrews in the country, period.:drink:


If they make damn good beer, I could care less if they turn macro. All that would mean would be more competition and less market share for AB and Miller, and cheaper beer for us.

OscarV
10-31-2009, 13:27
It's funny to hear so much praise of Bells here. They make some damn good beers (which I drink and love), but some microbrew fans here in Michigan are starting to shun Bells because they think they've gotten too big for their bitches.


Their Oberon has gotten lighter over the years.
I think they are trying to get a bigger market share via less tasty beer.
BTW, did you know that it was originally called Solsun?

HoosierBoozer
10-31-2009, 13:39
Ruby Mountain Porter is great beer for this time of year. It's not widely distributed outside of northern Nevada but worth picking up a sixer if you come across it.

Josh
10-31-2009, 13:45
Their Oberon has gotten lighter over the years.
I think they are trying to get a bigger market share via less tasty beer.
BTW, did you know that it was originally called Solsun?

Did not know that! I would agree that the beer has changed and gotten lighter, even since I've been drinking it. Also, just noticed that I wrote "bitches" instead of "britches".:slappin:

Arcadia makes a nice beer called Whitsun that is an alternative to Oberon.

Amy has a funny story involving a dog named Oberon.

bonneamie
10-31-2009, 14:44
Amy has a funny story involving a dog named Oberon.

Actually it's about a sailboat named Oberon. My cousin was at a boat parade in Charlevoix and that boat participated in the parade. Later at the bar she saw one of the macho guys from the boat (I guess you could call him a sailor) and asked him if the boat was named after the fairy. He was quite indignant with his denial. I don't think he had any idea what she was talking about because obviously it was named after a beer. :lol:

funknik
11-01-2009, 16:12
Actually it's about a sailboat named Oberon. My cousin was at a boat parade in Charlevoix and that boat participated in the parade. Later at the bar she saw one of the macho guys from the boat (I guess you could call him a sailor) and asked him if the boat was named after the fairy. He was quite indignant with his denial. I don't think he had any idea what she was talking about because obviously it was named after a beer. :lol:
I get that, too as I named my dog Falstaff after the Shakespearean rogue . . . people ask if I named him for the beer . . .

Last night I had a couple of Allagash specialties on draught at a friend's bar . . . The Cremieux is a Belgian trippel finished in Jim Beam casks . . . it was pretty good and very smooth compared to their regular trippel, but it's not going to set the world on fire. My second beer, however ,was an Allagash Black, which I thought was fan-damn-tastic . . . there's really nothing else domestic I could even compare it to as it is pretty unique . . . it sort of reminded me of the black beers you get in Europe, but smoother and not as aggressive . . . I'll be going back for more of that.

unclebunk
11-01-2009, 16:56
Went to Wisconsin this weekend and picked up a few six packs from the New Glarus Brewery that I hadn't seen before. Stone Soup (an Abbey Ale) and Yokel. I haven't figured out what the latter is supposed to be but their web site describes it as "a whole beer, straight from the tank, smooth, unfiltered and without pretense. Wisconsin, German and English barleys and the finest Bavarian hops combine in classic German brewing methods." Can't wait to try them!

dean_martin
11-02-2009, 11:03
I needed to clean out my beer fridge so I had a friend over yesterday afternoon to sample 7 beers. Here's the breakdown:

Seasonals
Bell's Oberon
Paulaner Oktoberfest
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Belgian
St. Bernardus Abt 12

IPAs
Bell's Two Hearted
Stone IPA
Sierra Nevada Torpedo

We split one bottle of each poured into glasses and took our time. Afterwards we ate chicken wings that I grilled earlier in the day then finished with a pour of Basil Hayden's.

MrB
11-02-2009, 20:08
Sam Adams Light . An old favorite. Please support real American owned distelleries and not conglomerates hiding behind labels.

Kevin
11-04-2009, 21:17
The only thing I love more than trying a new beer is trying a new style altogether for the first time. Tonight I had the Harpoon Leviathan Saison Royale. Given to me for free by a Harpoon sales rep. I LOVED it, it has the nose of a dunkle-weiss, mega effervescence, and a complex flavor of sweet malt, spices, and hops' drying bitterness at the end. Whats not to love, if this is true to the Saison style, then Im smitten.

DrinkyBanjo
11-05-2009, 05:26
The only thing I love more than trying a new beer is trying a new style altogether for the first time. Tonight I had the Harpoon Leviathan Saison Royale. Given to me for free by a Harpoon sales rep. I LOVED it, it has the nose of a dunkle-weiss, mega effervescence, and a complex flavor of sweet malt, spices, and hops' drying bitterness at the end. Whats not to love, if this is true to the Saison style, then Im smitten.

Last night I had an Ommegang 3 Philosophers while watching the series. Being that The Yankees won I had some River Horse Double Wit as well.

unclebunk
11-06-2009, 12:15
Benchwarmer Porter from the Cooperstown Brewing Company. Of course I had to accompany it with a nice little dram of Old Pulteney from the northernmost distillery in mainland Scotland. It seemed fitting to have the porter and SMS on such a cold night and both went down the hatch beautifully!

Josh
11-06-2009, 19:03
Friday= The Pub

Today I had two pretty good beers:
Arbor's Porter & Bell's Rye Stout

The porter was fine, but there was some off note in the finish that I just couldn't put my finger on.

Bell's rye was really unique, and very well executed. I'll be ordering that one again.

ODaniel
11-06-2009, 23:07
Friday= The Pub

Today I had two pretty good beers:
Arbor's Porter & Bell's Rye Stout

The porter was fine, but there was some off note in the finish that I just couldn't put my finger on.

Bell's rye was really unique, and very well executed. I'll be ordering that one again.

I haven't seen that here. Is it seasonal or maybe it's just not distributed here. The Bell's Rye that is. I need to try some Rye beers. Founders for example.

nor02lei
11-07-2009, 03:47
I did have Amarillo (Swedish IPA), Torpedo and big foot yesterday. I did have the big foot with my dinner that was a spicy liver stew. It did work out excellent with the Sierra Nevada beer and better than my previous 3 choices with this dish that have been the other 2 beers I had yesterday and a pretty heavy red wine. Today I will be eating a real hot chilli. The drinking choices will be easy: Big foot (or any other good double IPA if I had any at home)!

Leif

Josh
11-07-2009, 04:59
I haven't seen that here. Is it seasonal or maybe it's just not distributed here. The Bell's Rye that is. I need to try some Rye beers. Founders for example.

Can't speak to the distribution of the ryes, but Bell's is almost everywhere now, so it might be around somewhere near you. I've had two other rye beers, Arcadia's Sky High Rye & the Founders' Red's rye you spoke of. They are all plentiful around here. pm me.

OscarV
11-07-2009, 07:47
Had a couple of cold Grolsch's last night to go along with some hot Jerk Wings I grilled up.

unclebunk
11-07-2009, 09:01
It's funny to hear so much praise of Bells here. They make some damn good beers (which I drink and love), but some microbrew fans here in Michigan are starting to shun Bells because they think they've gotten too big for their bitches.

Isn't that always the way things go? For a time, at least, Bells was the best microbrewery in Michigan, IMHO, but suddenly they've become a victim of their own success. The same thing happened to Goose Island here in Chicagoland many years ago, and I suspect that with New Glarus's recent expansion, a similar trend will likely happen in Wisconsin. It's a pity really, but when breweries get bigger they seem to lose their cachet and people move on to other things.

ratcheer
11-07-2009, 14:47
I just got back from Costco with a case of Kirkland Signature brand "hand crafted" premium beer. It contains a selection of Hefeweisen, Lager, Brown Ale, and Pale Ale. I can't wait to try each of them.

Tim

smokinjoe
11-07-2009, 14:58
I just got back from Costco with a case of Kirkland Signature brand "hand crafted" premium beer. It contains a selection of Hefeweisen, Lager, Brown Ale, and Pale Ale. I can't wait to try each of them.

Tim

Really?! Huh... I wonder who did them. I'm going to bet they're pretty good. I can't say I have ever been disapointed by any Kirkland branded item from Costco. Tim, I hope you'll share your impressions of them.

I'm currently on a Fat Tire Amber Ale, after starting off with a Budweiser American Ale.

ratcheer
11-07-2009, 18:57
Really?! Huh... I wonder who did them. I'm going to bet they're pretty good. I can't say I have ever been disapointed by any Kirkland branded item from Costco.

I agree. Their balsamic vinegar is killer, and it hardly costs more than the inferior ones at the grocery stores.

Tim

ratcheer
11-08-2009, 06:29
Really?! Huh... I wonder who did them.

When I was putting a few bottles in the refrigerator, last night, I saw that they were made by New York (or, was it New Yorker? - I hate being old) Brewers of Utica, NY.

Tim

jesskidden
11-08-2009, 08:21
When I was putting a few bottles in the refrigerator, last night, I saw that they were made by New York (or, was it New Yorker? - I hate being old) Brewers of Utica, NY.


On the west coast, the Kirkland branded beers are coming from Gordon Biersch (and, based on the wording on the back label, they also developed the recipes) and are credited on the label to the "Hopfen and Malz Brewing Co. San Jose, CA" . In the east (as noted above, using the dba of the "New Yorker Brewing Co."), they're brewed by F. X. Matt in Utica, NY. The Matt-brewed labels drop the line "Developed for Costco by German-educated brewer Dan Gordon" on the "German Lager".

Don't know where the "dividing" line is, however.

MarkEdwards
11-08-2009, 11:12
I'm drinking these two:

http://professional-geek.com/personal/images/misc/beer1a.jpg

ratcheer
11-08-2009, 12:58
I just had one of the Kirkland Hefeweisens. 5.5% alcohol, 26 IBU. It was one of the very best beers I have ever tasted.

Tim

DrinkyBanjo
11-09-2009, 06:38
I just had one of the Kirkland Hefeweisens. 5.5% alcohol, 26 IBU. It was one of the very best beers I have ever tasted.

Tim

Yesterday I had a Smuttynose Imperial Stout. Very good beer but a bit too boozy in the nose for me.

unclebunk
11-09-2009, 08:24
Had my first disappointing beer from the New Glarus Brewery (Wisconsin). I picked up a six pack of their "Stone Soup" last weekend and drank a few while watching football yesterday and it was...boring. It's marketed as an Abbey Ale but tasted more like an American wheat beer.

augustgarage
11-09-2009, 15:01
Yesterday I had a Smuttynose Imperial Stout. Very good beer but a bit too boozy in the nose for me.

I've got one on the way to me right now, based on what you say I'll probably stick it in the cellar for a year to see if that helps the nose.

Have you tried any of their other "Big Beer" series? I really enjoyed their Farmhouse Ale...

Cheers.

DrinkyBanjo
11-10-2009, 06:22
I also had their Baltic Porter, that was very good. I'll be picking these up as they are released going forward as they are very good quality at a very nice price.

I'm starting to get upset with the rising prices of craft beers. Too many beers are moving away from $5 for a 22oz bomber and closer towards $8, $9, $10. I don't mind spending that for a special occasion but for regular beers that's a bit much.

ACDetroit
11-10-2009, 18:33
Having a 5 Barrel Pale Ale tonight. Very tasty!

Tony

cas
11-12-2009, 17:24
Had my first disappointing beer from the New Glarus Brewery (Wisconsin). I picked up a six pack of their "Stone Soup" last weekend and drank a few while watching football yesterday and it was...boring. It's marketed as an Abbey Ale but tasted more like an American wheat beer.

That's too bad, I really enjoy New Glarus and pick up some whenever I pass through Wisconsin. The Staghorn and the Imperial Saison are each excellent.
Craig

unclebunk
11-13-2009, 14:58
That's too bad, I really enjoy New Glarus and pick up some whenever I pass through Wisconsin. The Staghorn and the Imperial Saison are each excellent.
Craig

I haven't had those two but have loved everything else from NG that I've tried. Spotted Cow flies out of the fridge when I come back with a case. I'll have to check out the Staghorn and Imperial Saison next time around which will be Thanksgiving.

smokinjoe
11-17-2009, 15:17
Cookin' up a pot of chicken noodle soup, while sippin' on a Bell's Two Hearted Ale. Geeze, Bell's is loaded with great beers. Just absolutely loaded. This puppy may be my favorite of the handful I've tried from them. Though, I do dig on that Kalamazoo Stout.

Kevin
11-17-2009, 20:57
I'm trying the 2009 Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale, Its a "wet hop" beer, which tastes very good, but I could not blindly pick it out of a line-up of traditional dry-hopped IPAs.

Joe, I'm there with ya, the Two-Hearted is something really special, no more flavor is possible to pack into that bottle of brew.

unclebunk
11-18-2009, 08:27
Cookin' up a pot of chicken noodle soup, while sippin' on a Bell's Two Hearted Ale. Geeze, Bell's is loaded with great beers. Just absolutely loaded. This puppy may be my favorite of the handful I've tried from them. Though, I do dig on that Kalamazoo Stout.


Joe, I'm there with ya, the Two-Hearted is something really special, no more flavor is possible to pack into that bottle of brew.

I've been championing Bell's Beers for years to anyone and everyone who will listen. Their entire stable is awesome, though I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite. The Two-Hearted Ale is a seasonal (like the outstanding Oberon) and I'm always disappointed when it disappears for the winter, but that makes more room in the fridge for the Expedition, Double Cream and Kalamazoo Stouts! They also make a Java Stout but I've never had it. Be sure to check out their Porter if you get the chance. That's a nice one on a cold, wintry night with a small Stagg or single malt by its side.

jesskidden
11-19-2009, 04:37
. The Two-Hearted Ale is a seasonal (like the outstanding Oberon) and I'm always disappointed when it disappears for the winter,

Year-round according to Bell's webpage for Two Hearted Ale (http://www.bellsbeer.com/brands/info/2). Picked up a case yesterday during a visit to Pennslyvania- I've been deprived of the stuff ever since I left the auto industry and no longer visit Detroit for beer, uh, I mean meetings and classes. I only wish Bell's would drop the "batch number" and go to a real date code one could read in store.

unclebunk
11-19-2009, 08:22
Year-round according to Bell's webpage for Two Hearted Ale (http://www.bellsbeer.com/brands/info/2). Picked up a case yesterday during a visit to Pennslyvania- I've been deprived of the stuff ever since I left the auto industry and no longer visit Detroit for beer, uh, I mean meetings and classes. I only wish Bell's would drop the "batch number" and go to a real date code one could read in store.

I stand corrected. I'm not sure when Two-Hearted Ale went year round, as it used to be a seasonal and would disappear, along with the Oberon, for many months, only to be greeted with great fanfare at the local pub when it returned. I've got a great place by me that has 28 beers on tap, virtually all of which are micros and interesting imports, and it's fun to sample the various Bell's brews side by side. Great stuff!

unclebunk
11-19-2009, 08:35
Last night a friend and I split lots of Belgian beers and had a great time. First up was the Hennepin Farmhouse Saison, followed by the Ommegang Abbey Ale. We then switched breweries and downed the Sprecher's Abbey Triple before returning to Ommegang's Three Philosophers Quadrupel. The grand finale was Gulden Draak (10.5% AVB) which had me walking home in a somewhat zig-zag fashion. Why I poured an Old Forester Signature after all that remains a mystery.:lol:

smokinjoe
11-24-2009, 14:45
There are few things better than a Chocolate Stout on a dreary, damp and cold day. OK, it's not exactly cold here today...cool, let's say. But, it feels colder than 55. :rolleyes: Wuss...wuss...wuss...wuuussssyyyy! :o

This Ft. Collins Chocolate Stout will put hair on my chest, though! I've had better, but this is dang good and hitting the spot.

unclebunk
11-24-2009, 15:21
There are few things better than a Chocolate Stout on a dreary, damp and cold day.

How true! Joe, check out Ommegang's Chocolate Indulgence some time if you haven't already. Really terrific!

http://www.ommegang.com/index.php?mcat=1&scat=7&ssnl=1

smokinjoe
11-24-2009, 16:18
How true! Joe, check out Ommegang's Chocolate Indulgence some time if you haven't already. Really terrific!

http://www.ommegang.com/index.php?mcat=1&scat=7&ssnl=1

Holy Schnikies, Uncle!!! The notes they posted almost made me have to take a moment. Wow, that sounds good. Mrs. Smokinjoe loves dark chocolate, so maybe this will be doubly good! I've seen a few of the Ommegangs here, but I'm not sure I've seen the CI. My quest to find it begins tomorrow. Thanks for the rec.

cas
11-25-2009, 05:10
Had my first disappointing beer from the New Glarus Brewery (Wisconsin). I picked up a six pack of their "Stone Soup" last weekend and drank a few while watching football yesterday and it was...boring. It's marketed as an Abbey Ale but tasted more like an American wheat beer.
You're right - I had a Stone Soup last night and it was ok, but not very interesting.
Craig

unclebunk
11-25-2009, 08:08
Holy Schnikies, Uncle!!! The notes they posted almost made me have to take a moment. Wow, that sounds good. Mrs. Smokinjoe loves dark chocolate, so maybe this will be doubly good! I've seen a few of the Ommegangs here, but I'm not sure I've seen the CI. My quest to find it begins tomorrow. Thanks for the rec.

The Chocolate Indulgence really is as good as the notes make it sound. Judging by your previous posts, I'd say this one is right up your alley, Joe. I'd try a few other Ommegang beers too if you get the chance. They are all of excellent quality and a few bucks cheaper than your normal Belgian import. By the way, Duvel bought the Ommegang brewery a few years back which is why it now has national distribution, at least in most major metropolitan areas.

unclebunk
11-25-2009, 08:12
You're right - I had a Stone Soup last night and it was ok, but not very interesting.
Craig

I knocked off my six pack but won't be heading back for more Stone Soup any time soon. By the way, did you hear about the bar in Manhattan that got nailed for selling New Glarus's Spotted Cow? I guess that's illegal, as NG products are technically only for sale in Wisconsin at the moment. That'll likely end soon due to the mutli-million expansion at the brewery.

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/11/sales-of-a-wisconsin-beer-come-to-head-in-nyc.html

funknik
11-25-2009, 08:17
I knocked off my six pack but won't be heading back for more Stone Soup any time soon. By the way, did you hear about the bar in Manhattan that got nailed for selling New Glarus's Spotted Cow? I guess that's illegal, as NG products are technically only for sale in Wisconsin at the moment. That'll likely end soon due to the mutli-million expansion at the brewery.

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/11/sales-of-a-wisconsin-beer-come-to-head-in-nyc.html
Spotted Cow is good stuff -- that's great news.

Lost Pollito
11-26-2009, 10:39
Today it's gonna be Casey Jones Imperial I.P.A. from Iron Springs in Fairfax, CA. My favorite beer. Thankful someone flew me a bottle.:grin:

SBOmarc
11-26-2009, 11:36
Hangar 24 Orange Wheat. A local brewery in Redlands Ca.

smokinjoe
11-29-2009, 20:29
The Holiday Season can now officially begin. Just saw the annual Budweiser Holiday Clydesdale commercial on TV during the Steelers-Ravens game. I really don't want a beer, but I'm going to have a Bud. I drink a lot more micros these days, but I always have some Bud in my beer fridge. Don't have my Budweiser Holiday Steins down yet, but it's still tasting pretty good out of the bottle.

unclebunk
11-30-2009, 07:21
I've just rounded the corner into porter and stout season in my house. I've had loads of great stout from a half dozen micros but less success finding good porters. Any recommendations?

whskylvr
11-30-2009, 18:34
2009 Yorkshire Stingo bottle conditioned ale. aged for over a year in oak barrels that previously held cask-conditioned ale.

dried fruits, toffee, and caramel

very nice

unclebunk
12-01-2009, 08:51
Bateman's XXX Bitter, along with some Ballantine's Finest blended Scotch. Nice combo!

pepcycle
12-01-2009, 16:01
I need to share that I tried a Seasonal Beer from Magic Hat called Odd Notion.
Enigmatic at best, I don't know why a sour beer would be "Seasonal" in the winter.

Here's a quote from the website.
"Winter Odd Notion 09, an American sour ale, is a special holiday gift being given for the first time. This limited edition offering is a temptingly tart carol of a beer whose delightfully sour notes are a perfect foil for everything from roasted meats to rich cheeses, like those that accompany the sour ale in Magic Hat’s Winter Odd Notion Crab Dip."

It is thin and tart with some spice notes. Bready-Yeasty.

Not sure where they were going with this. Maybe I just missed the boat and was caught off guard. (like when you drink your orange juice and it turns out to be milk)

spun_cookie
12-01-2009, 23:47
simple New Castle and thin crust pizza tonight... with some bourbon to follow... I like New Castle for a light easy going drink

dean_martin
12-02-2009, 11:54
I need to share that I tried a Seasonal Beer from Magic Hat called Odd Notion.
Enigmatic at best, I don't know why a sour beer would be "Seasonal" in the winter.

Here's a quote from the website.
"Winter Odd Notion 09, an American sour ale, is a special holiday gift being given for the first time. This limited edition offering is a temptingly tart carol of a beer whose delightfully sour notes are a perfect foil for everything from roasted meats to rich cheeses, like those that accompany the sour ale in Magic Hat’s Winter Odd Notion Crab Dip."

It is thin and tart with some spice notes. Bready-Yeasty.

Not sure where they were going with this. Maybe I just missed the boat and was caught off guard. (like when you drink your orange juice and it turns out to be milk)

Speaking of seasonals, have you seen Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale in your area? I checked my regular sources and more Saturday. No luck yet.

DrinkyBanjo
12-02-2009, 12:51
Speaking of seasonals, have you seen Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale in your area? I checked my regular sources and more Saturday. No luck yet.

Yes, SN Celebration has been out for a few weeks already. I actually have it in my kegerator as we speak!

I've also been drinking Anchor's Christmas Ale. Very good this year. They call it a Winter Warmer but its as dark as a Porter. Very tasty, not overly strong, good session Christmas beer.

smokinjoe
12-02-2009, 16:43
Another terrific offering from Sam Adams. Their Imperial Stout from the Imperial Series. Dark, rich, smooth, creamy goodness.

unclebunk
12-02-2009, 19:31
We've got a huge Polish community here in Chicago, so a number of excellent Polish lagers and porters can be found in just about any decent liquor store in the area. But today I enjoyed a few pints of Okocim on tap which I can usually only find in bottles in most bars around here. I happened to be drinking these at The Tilted Kilt, a chain sports bar not unlike Hooters but with a Celtic slant. Eight pints in, I couldn't tell you shit about how good the beer tasted but I can tell you that I savored them while gawking at the best looking girl I've seen in five years!:lol:

A picture is worth a thousand words: see second beauty on the left.

http://tiltedkilt.com/illinois/woodridge/index.html

tgaut
12-06-2009, 11:54
Abita Pecan Harvest.

DrinkyBanjo
12-07-2009, 06:02
Abita Pecan Harvest.

Yesterday was Troegs Java Head. Very nice coffee stout at at decent 7%, I'm getting a little tired of Imperial Stouts that are too strong. This was very enjoyable.

smokinjoe
12-11-2009, 14:45
Just finished a sluggish run on a very chilly day here in Dixie. Am getting my breath back with the 2009 Edition of SweetWater Brewing's Festive Ale. Dark and soothing, as my lungs are screaming from the chill. But, still spritzy enough to quench. A plethora of Christmasy spices give it a wonderful taste that fits the season. SweetWater makes several beers that I enjoy, but this is my favorite, year after year.

SMOWK
12-13-2009, 09:41
I can't stop mixing good ale's with Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. My 2 favorite ale's to mix with it are Yuengling Lord Chesterfield, or a Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA. The Dogfish mixed with the Brooklyn makes for one strong, sweet, chocolatey concoction. The Lord Chesterfield seems to lighten the stout a bit and add a refreshing quality. 1I highly suggest giving it a try.

Gillman
12-13-2009, 17:30
Adnams Broadside, an English ale not identified on the label as a pale ale, but within the pale ale/IPA mode by virtue of its ABV (6.3%) and firm hoppy flavor. It`s got a round malt taste but again firmly underpinned by resinous English hops. Notes of fig and raisin emerge as the drink warms in the glass. While not a craft beer per se - Adnams is an old-established regional brewery - once again the English prove there isn't much about traditional beer you can teach them. The quality is enhanced by the freshness, the best-by date suggests this brew was packaged less than 3 months ago.

I chased it with my personal mingling of Jack Daniels. It combines two or 3 black labels, ditto Single Barrels and a Gentleman Jack to produce a XO cognac-like smoothness and unity of flavor.

Gary

DrinkyBanjo
12-14-2009, 05:59
Adnams Broadside, an English ale not identified on the label as a pale ale, but within the pale ale/IPA mode by virtue of its ABV (6.3%) and firm hoppy flavor. It`s got a round malt taste but again firmly underpinned by resinous English hops. Notes of fig and raisin emerge as the drink warms in the glass. While not a craft beer per se - Adnams is an old-established regional brewery - once again the English prove there isn't much about traditional beer you can teach them. The quality is enhanced by the freshness, the best-by date suggests this brew was packaged less than 3 months ago.

I chased it with my personal mingling of Jack Daniels. It combines two or 3 black labels, ditto Single Barrels and a Gentleman Jack to produce a XO cognac-like smoothness and unity of flavor.

Gary

Yesterday I had a River Horse Belgian Freeze. Nice, Belgian style ale brewed in NJ. A nice Winter Warmer. On Friday I had a Rogue Santa's Private Reserve. A nice hoppy beer with a strong malt backbone.

Both very enjoyable and recommended.

spun_cookie
12-16-2009, 13:23
Picked up a Wells Banana Bread beer here in Catalina from the UK. Neat little bear. Very refreshing with a good overall taste.

rbtrost
12-16-2009, 15:08
Was in Michigan for the GR Marathon (watching) loved the Founders beers. When in Rome........ or Chicago the Goose Island, IPA or Honkers Ale.

smokinjoe
12-16-2009, 17:27
I'm not exactly on an Expedition. Just a short trip to the Tar Heel State. But, I picked up a Bell's Expedition Stout on the way. Good....Lord....Did I say Tar Heel State? This puppy pours like Tar! Color of Tar, too. This is a stout worthy of an Expedition to Everest, K2, or the North Pole but, feels like a lifetime in Hana while drinking it. My all-time fav has been the Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Just Awesome. But, this may be it's equal, and it's a heck of a lot quicker to say. Bell's continues to amaze me.

OscarV
12-16-2009, 17:29
Here I am sitting right next door to Bell's and I never get into it.
But I am glad to see so many of ya'll into MI beer.

DrinkyBanjo
12-17-2009, 06:26
Last night I had a River Horse Milk Stout. Very nice, fairly simple. I followed that up with a Founders Breakfast Stout. Very nice as well, more complex than the River Horse but I suppose it's not fair to compare the two.

I was a bit let down by the Breakfast Stout after all of the reviews. Don't get me wrong, I like it, I just don't see all of the hub-bub.

SBOmarc
12-17-2009, 07:01
Had a Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, and enjoyed every last drop. Has some flavors not found in most beers. If you get a chance to find it, drink it.

SMOWK
12-17-2009, 07:54
I'm not exactly on an Expedition. Just a short trip to the Tar Heel State.

Weeping Radish is a very good brewery in North Carolina. I'm not sure, but I think their only brewery is on the Outer Banks.

unclebunk
12-17-2009, 08:17
Adnams Broadside, an English ale not identified on the label as a pale ale, but within the pale ale/IPA mode by virtue of its ABV (6.3%) and firm hoppy flavor. It`s got a round malt taste but again firmly underpinned by resinous English hops. Notes of fig and raisin emerge as the drink warms in the glass. While not a craft beer per se - Adnams is an old-established regional brewery - once again the English prove there isn't much about traditional beer you can teach them.
Gary

When I lived in England, Adnams Broadside on tap was one of my favorites, especially in cask conditioned form. For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many brewpubs here in America fail to have even one cask conditioned ale on offer when they go through the trouble of producing so many quality beers, only to artificially carbonate them. There's nothing like a beautiful hand-pulled ale in an English pub with a roaring fire on a cold winter evening. By the way, if you like the Broadside, try Adnams Bitter (formerly Suffolk Strong Ale).

Gillman
12-17-2009, 08:25
Good points, although I find increasingly in the large cities here (U.S., Canada) good cask beer is available. Chicago has some excellent examples (Goose Island, also at the Map Room and I am sure other places, Piece perhaps).

Some years ago I found quality variable, in part because cask beer was not well understood and/or not much was sold so the beers sometimes went off, but in recent years I find the situation much improved.

Gary

unclebunk
12-17-2009, 10:24
Good points, although I find increasingly in the large cities here (U.S., Canada) good cask beer is available. Chicago has some excellent examples (Goose Island, also at the Map Room and I am sure other places, Piece perhaps).

Some years ago I found quality variable, in part because cask beer was not well understood and/or not much was sold so the beers sometimes went off, but in recent years I find the situation much improved.

Gary
I do stumble across the occasional cask ale but the brewpubs without any far outnumber the ones that have it, at least around here. I was in a Rock Bottom brewpub recently and they had one non-descript cask ale on offer, along with seven or eight decent beers that would have benefitted from traditional carbonation, IMO. Goose Island is quite good, though not easy for me to get to these days. And I have three other brewpubs within ten miles of my house with no cask ale which I fnd disappointing. I keep asking about it whenever I get a chance to speak to the actual brewmaster, but they don't seem that enthused for some reason. Yet for me, it makes all the difference in the world.

nor02lei
12-20-2009, 04:45
I did have Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Bigfoot yesterday. Both are good, but I prefer the stronger one. I think it stands up very well against all ”modern” double IPA I have tasted. I look forward for February 1 when the Swedish government store realises the new vintage of SN Celebration.

Leif

DrinkyBanjo
12-21-2009, 06:49
This weekend I had a lot of Dogfish Head Chicory Stout that was recently tapped in the kegerator. Must say I like this a lot. There isn't much of a coffee flavor but it is very subtle and enjoyable.

I like this a lot! A great switch from Imperial Stouts.

Special Reserve
12-21-2009, 07:13
Bell's Sparkling Ale.

smokinjoe
12-21-2009, 14:52
A very tasty Sam Adams Holiday Porter, after my run. Poured into my 1999 Budweiser Holiday Stein. Pulling out a new stein each day, I'm working my way backwards down to 1983 (I'm missing the first 2 years--81 & 82). I ain't gonna make it by Christmas. :rolleyes: Will have to double up, I guess! :D The head on this beer is positively cumulous! Very flavorful pour, with a sort of red wine nose and tinge on the mid-palate.

Josh
12-21-2009, 21:12
Bell's Sparkling Ale.

How is that Will? Seen it around but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Special Reserve
12-22-2009, 07:02
How is that Will? Seen it around but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

This is described as a Tripel on the Beer Advocate website. The beer is clear and wheat-straw in color similar to a Pilsner. The taste is a little sweet and fruity and like all good beer it tastes better upon some warming. It has a nice body but is not very aromatic.

Beer Advocate says that it has an 8.2% ABV, the bottle says that it is 9.0%. I know that it didn't take much to get that "this is good beer" feeling.

A couple of other interesting notes: I think that Bell's didn't offer it last year or at least I didn't see it in stores and Bell's does not have any information about it on their website.

I will definitely get more Sparkling Ale. I think I paid $10.49 for a six-pack but it is not in all stores.

Josh
12-22-2009, 18:08
This is described as a Tripel on the Beer Advocate website...I will definitely get more Sparkling Ale. I think I paid $10.49 for a six-pack but it is not in all stores.

Sounds good! I was hoping they would have some of that at Grand Trunk pub today, but no luck.

I did have a pint of the 4 Elf Christmas Ale from Dark Horse. A nice dark bitter w/peppermint and some other spices. Not too bad.

Str8ShooterEsq
12-25-2009, 21:37
I recently bought a case of Founders Breakfast Stout. It is excellent.

Jono
12-28-2009, 15:01
There are just tooo many choices....always something new to try.
Picked up Rogue American Amber Ale....it is a good Ale.

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/132/363
B+

http://www.rogue.com/beers/american-amber.php

I notice they have a distillery too....Dead Guy Whiskey...never had it.
http://www.rogue.com/spirits/dead-guy-whiskey.php

Made from the same grains as their Dead Guy Ale:
"Northwest Harrington, Maier Munich, Klages, and Carastan malts"

Kill two birds with one stone so to speak.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12904&highlight=Dead+Guy+Whiskey