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itap.jpgI may not be very good at most thing outside of drinking beer, but I’m actually a pretty decent bowler. It’s not like I could join the PBA or anything, but I can hold my own when it comes to knocking down some pins.

So, when I saw that the International Tap House was holding an event called “Pumpkin Bowling” on Saturday, October 22nd beginning at 2PM, I was intrigued. I asked iTAP co-owner Brad Lobdell how would the process work. “Basically, we’ve set down a tarp and you roll a pumpkin to knock over the kegs we’ve set up. ”

“It’s a hell of a lot of fun.”

If knocking down kegs and possibly destroying some produce doesn’t interest you, iTAP will also be featuring a bevy of pumpkin beers for you to enjoy.  During the event all pumpkin beers will be $1 off and you can get a sampler paddle for $12. Here’s just a few of the beers they’ll be pouring:

  • Southern Tier Pumking
  • Schlafly Pumpkin
  • Ferguson Pumpkin
  • Charleville Witch’s Brew’mmm
  • Sam Adam Double Pumpkin

The guys from iTAP are trying to dig up a couple more pumpkin beers so you may see a some more hit the line up. If you’re a fan, Saturday will be all things pumpkin at iTAP.

mattingly_84x128.jpgThe Mattingly Brewing Company may now be producing full scale productions of beer, but that doesn’t stop them from showing off what’s yet to come. Tonight, Head Brewer Drew Huerter let his assistant brewer Jerid Saffell take the reins and brew up the Evil Pumpkin Imperial Porter. Drew gives a description of the beer:

A unique take on the rising popularity of pumpkin ales. Evil pumpkin weighs in at 10.25% ABV. Toasty caramel, dark rich malt, toasted organic pumpkin pie and traditional pie spices envelope your senses. With a big porter backdrop. loads of pumpkin flavor with a ridiculously high ABV it is no wonder why we call this pumpkin EVIL!

Be sure to head out tonight and taste some of Drew and Jerid’s excellent beer.

Here’s a list of what to expect over the next few weeks:

11/13 – Funky Friday the 13th – Special Friday Tapping
11/18 – Black Past Historical Porter

beer-1397_1280x960.jpgThe summer months are usually a quiet time for craft beer drinkers.  It’s not that there isn’t new beer coming in, but the Summer just doesn’t seem to get people into the same frenzy that beers coming out in the Winter and Fall do.

Well, it’s still officially still Summer and we’re going through a beer bonanza this week.  Here’s a list of beers that have begun hitting stores this week:

  • New Belgium Lips of Faith Folie
  • New Belgium Transatlantique Kriek
  • New Belgium Lips of Faith Biere de Mars
  • New Belgium Lips of Faith La Fleur Misseur
  • Schlafly Pumpkin
  • Koningshoeven Le Trappe Isid’or Trappist
  • Laughing Dog Imperial IPA
  • Avery The Kaiser

Word has it that Founders Breakfast Stout makes its way into the city next week.  As always, make sure to check out the STL Hops Twitter for the quickest new beers news in St. Louis. It may not yet be Fall, but we’re getting a large amount of great beer now.

beer-1397_1280x960.jpgAs I’m a fan of Lukas Liquor’s blog, I was already aware but that didn’t mean I was any less surprised to see “Pumpkin Ale” on the chalkboard at the Maplewood Farmer’s Market today. One of my all time favorite seasonal beers is back on the shelves and more importantly back on draught at the Tap Room and the Bottleworks. While Irene purchased vegetables and meat, I bought myself a case of Pumpkin Ale. Hey, it’s local and it’s got vegetables, if you can’t buy that while at a Farmer’s Market, then I don’t know what you can buy. Now, where’s that vanilla ice cream?

pumpkin-puke.jpgIn my quest for trying to find as many of my homebrewing ingredients as humanly possible I’m reaching out to all of my blog readers to help me find a pumpkin. I was talking to Sauce’s own Mr. Burge yesterday and he recommended that I purchase a pumpkin now instead of in August, because in his words, “the early ones aren’t as sweet, the colder it gets, the flavors are more concentrated.”

So on his recommendation, I’m going to purchase a pumpkin now, roast it, puree it and freeze it for next August. I’d prefer finding a pumpkin from one of the local farmers, but I have a feeling that pickings may be light. Any help?

beerturkey1.gifTomorrow’s the big day. For some of us, like me, it’s a day of cooking all day and trying to get a feast on the table for everyone. It can be fun and it can be tiring, but if you can pull it off, it’s quite a feeling. But for everyone else it’s one of the best holidays of the year. I mean how can you go wrong with football, turkey, family and of course beer?

Oh sure you could go to the old stand-by and have wine with your turkey dinner. But why not give your old buddy beer a shot? It’s been your friend for a long, long time so doesn’t it deserve a place during your holiday festivities?

But you may be asking, “What beer goes with turkey?” I’ll default to Garrett Oliver for the answer to that:

“Biere de garde is brilliant with turkey. And not just with with turkey – it is also brilliant with the turnips, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, the potatoes, the whole darned thing. Biere de garde is the Thansgiving beer. My sommelier friends rack their brains every year, trying to answer the constant nagging question everyone asks them – what wine is good with turkey? The answer, or course, is not wine but beer.”

Geoff from What’s on Tap also has a few suggestion as well:

Orval – This would be a perfect beer to serve pre-dinner. It’s a refreshingly bitter and herbal beer that helps to cleanse the palate between different appetizers. One of my favorite beers of all time.

Any Saison – Saison just may be the most versatile beer style and would be a great choice to match the dizzying array of sides your mom might be serving this year. A complex mixture of spices and herb flavors combine with a sharp bitterness to make this beer stand out with any dish. Saison Dupont is the classic example of this style and is widely available. The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale is a great choice from the new-to-Seattle brewery.

Any Biere de Garde – These complex beers are perfect complitments to dishes with strong herbal components (such as stuffing) and help to refresh the pallet. Sadly, I don’t have much experience with this style. I’m going to head to a local bottle shop tomorrow and ask them to suggest something. The Jolly Pumpkin Biere de Mars is fantastic, but I am not sure that is in stores at the moment.

Elysian The Wise ESB – If you’re looking for a more hop-forward beer for dinner, this would be a good option. There is enough sweet malt to go along with the roasted flavors of the turkey. I had this last year and was happy with the pairing.

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout – This would be a fantastic choice to pair with dessert, especially pumpkin pie. It has lots of roasted malt with a dry, smooth finish.

If you’re looking for something a bit more unusual or festive, I’ll throw out a few suggestions as well. If you’re looking for something fruity, may I suggest a cranberry beer? Unibroue (one of my all time favorite breweries) makes a cranberry beer called Éphémère (Cranberry.) You can also find a cranberry lambic (though it’s a pretty loose use of the word lambic) in the Samuel Adams Holiday Pack.

Or maybe you just don’t have any more room for dessert. Instead of a piece of pumpkin pie, why not that pumpkin beer that you’re still holding onto? Even after a big holiday meal, there’s always room for beer. Maybe you’ll be lucky and you’ll find some Schlafly or O’Fallon Pumpkin beer at your local grocery store.

Also, don’t be afraid to use some beer in your recipes as well. A Belgian dark strong would be absolutely fantastic in your turkey gravy. Where a recipe calls for wine, maybe give beer a shot instead. Plus, it’s always fun to have a little beer while you’re cooking dinner.

Whatever you decide to do for the holiday, make sure you have a great time and be sure to stay safe.

Drew from Morgan Street Brewery informs me that along with their Pumpkin Honey Wheat, a new batch of Irish Stout is on tap now. They also have got a batch of Doppelbock fermenting away and should be available soon.

Be sure to visit Morgan Street and say “hi” to Drew and the rest of the brewers down there.