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Archive for February, 2008

Had a couple of packages of beer arrive this week, though I’d share some pictures. The first is from my buddy Scotty who lives in Colorado. Luckily for all of us, we’re seeing more and more Colorado beers available in the local area, but Scotty sent me a few that we can’t get here quite yet. I’m sending him some beer from this area he can’t get there. I know that he wanted some Two Hearted and I have some things in mind, but do you have any suggestions?

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  • Bristol Brewing Company – Red Rocket Ale
  • Bristol Brewing Company – Wet Mountain IPA
  • Bristol Brewing Company – Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale
  • Dillon Dam Brewery – Sweet George’s Brown
  • Bristol Brewing Company – Winter Warlock Oatmeal Stout
  • Oskar Blues – Ten Fidy
  • Oskar Blues – Old Chub

The other two packages I received this week came from San Diego, CA, specifically from The Lost Abbey. A while back someone alerted me to the Sinners and Saints Club. Each club provides special and often sought after beers each month of the year. Here are January and February’s selections:

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  • The Lost Abbey – Red Poppy
  • The Lost Abbey – Carnevale Ale

I’ll let Tomme describe both for you:

Carnevale Ale- Be one of the first consumers to sample our newest seasonal release called Carnevale Ale. Brewed to mark the Lenten Season before Easter, we expect this to be a great addition to our lineup of Specialty Releases. 

Red Poppy 2007- Our first release of this beer. Brewed in 2006 and aged in French Oak barrels for one year on Sour Cherries and wild yeasts. 

Sorry about the lack of content this morning, but I’ve got a pretty busy day ahead of me.  In fact, the entire week may be a bit hectic, but I’ll do my best to provide everyone with new information all week.

Sorry about this folks, but this is going to be short and sweet because I’m a busy man. I got lucky that it’s kind of a quiet week.

Stuff from around the web

Beer Releases and News

  • Andrew from Bon Vivant Wines informs me to some new beers he has in his stock:
    • Victory Brewing – Old Horizontal Barleywine
    • Victory Brewing – Hop Wallop
    • Avery – New World Porter
    • Two Brothers – Cane & Ebel
  • Paul at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton alerts me to some new beers he has in stock:
    • Odell Brewing Company – ODell Imperial Stout Single Batch Series
    • Odell Brewing Company – ODell IPA
    • Fuller Smith & Turner – Fullers Vintage Ale 2007
    • Avery – White Rascal Belgian Wheat

Here’s a list of upcoming beer events:

Irene and I recently received some good news and I decided that we should celebrate by visiting Newstead Tower Public House. In reality we probably would have visited anyway, the celebrate is just an excuse to go. If you’re interested in a review of the food, I’d check in with a couple of guys that will do far better justice than I. But I’ll give you my thoughts from a beer nerd’s perspective.

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Newstead Tower Public House
4353 Manchester Avenue (Map It)
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 535-7771

Beers: (Menu) The first thing you think of, or at least when I think of, when you hear the word “pub” is beer. Newstead carries 12 draught beers and 14 bottled beers. The 12 draught beers have a heavy emphasis on local and American craft beers, whereas the bottle selection tends toward European beers with a lot of the old standards (Orval, Smithwicks, Guinness, Sammy Smith). I appreciate the selections of the local beers, but I personally would have liked to have seen a couple of export draught selections as well. While by no means a terrible selection of beer, I think a little more creativity could have been put into the bottle selection. Perhaps the addition of a cask beer would have also lended a more authentic feel to the pub.

Food: (Menu) Instead of trying to juggle a number of different dishes, it looks like Chef Anthony Devoti has deicded on concentrating on kicked-up versions of classic pub cuisine. While the menu may seem limited, each dish seems like it’s extremely well put together and well-thought out. Prices are extremely reasonable as well.

Intangibles: This is an extremely beautiful location, with a warm and rich decor. This is a place where if I lived within walking distance I could see visiting on almost a nightly basis. While I’ve never visited a pub in the UK, this is almost exactly what I think of when I think of a pub. And if you’re lucky a Mardi Gras float will stop by.

Interesting Note: If the trend continues, it looks like Newstead will have a beer dinner at least once a month. This is an exciting proposition for those of us who love to see people pair food with beer.

I think Newstead is really on to something here and I can see myself visiting here quite often. The beer menu could perhaps use a little tinkering, but overall I think it’s living up to it’s gastropub moniker nicely.

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The item you see on the left is what’s known as a heatstick. There are two different ways to heat up a mash (the mixture of water and grain) One is by infusions of hot water. The problem with this method is let’s say your mash tun can only hold a total of 10 gallons. You have 7 gallons of mash in the tun, but to bring your temperature up 10 degrees it may require 4 gallons of water. A big mess is what you have. The other method of heating your mash is directly applying heat to it via flame or in this case a heatstick.

Basically, this is nothing more than an electric hot water heater coil, a couple of pipes, and a hell of a lot of silicone to keep the electricity away from the water. I gave this it’s maiden voyage while making a Saison last Saturday. I’m happy to say, not only did I not die, but it worked pretty damned well.

The other item is used after the beer has been finished. It’s basically the homebrewer’s version of a Randal the Enamel Animal. If you love hops, then this is your dream device. It’s basically a water filler that you fill with fresh whole hops that the beer passes by on the way to your glass. From what I’ve been told it really helps to give the beer a real final shot of fresh hop aroma that can’t be beat. If you want to see a picture of something like this in action, head over to the Maltose Falcoln’s website or if you’re interested in building one of these yourself, click here.

For those of you that are looking to get your big beers on, Whole Foods has got an event for you.  Ric Syberg and Andy Snead will be hosting a Imperial Beer Tasting on March 5th at 6:30 PM.

Well, it’s still pretty bit chilly outside, so we thought we’d taste the heavy beers before we delve into the lighter spring beers. On this night, we’ll be serving up belly warming imperial stouts, deep barley wines, and some hefty double IPA’s. This class is always a sell out, so sign up quick.

This event will set you back only $20.  You can purchase tickets here.

For those of you who haven’t quite yet made dinner plans for Valentine’s Day, let me remind you of Newstead Tower Pub’s Boulevard beer dinner.  I was just send a copy of the menu for your perusal:

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As you may have gathered from my Store Spotlight of Piasa Winery, I recently made the trip out to Grafton, Illinois. I’m trying to find a way to avoid the old, “no trip to ________ is complete without stopping here” but I’m having a hard time getting around it. If you’re a fan of beer, you need to make a trip out to The Rotten Apple.

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The Rotten Apple
220 W. Main St. (Map It)
Grafton, IL 62037
(618) 786-2798

Beers: A few weeks ago, Jerad from Piasa dropped me a line to let me know what new beers he had available, he also let me know what The Rotten Apple had on draught. As soon as I saw Gouden Carolus Noel on draught, I knew I had to make the trip. Needless to say, what they have in a small selection they more than make up in a great selection. Click the image on the right above for their draught beer selection from 2 weeks ago.

Food: A nice selection of Cajun specialties and American favorites. If you’re looking to eat some red beans and rice or some alligator, The Rotten Apple should be your first choice. Click here for a copy of their menu.

Intangibles: This is a wonderful old building with a rustic charm. If you happen to sit upstairs, you’ll have a fantastic view overlooking the Mississippi. It looks like they even have outdoor seating for the warmer months. The other intangible, Illinois is a no smoking state, so you’ll get to enjoy your meal smoke free.

Interesting Fact: Our server informed us that The Rotten Apple is actually owned by a company called Amalgamated Brewing and according to him, they’ll be opening a new Brewery/Distillery as part of the old Lemp Brewery property. Hopefully we’ll be seeing this new brewery opening soon.

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