Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alesmith Tasting Room Hours

Alesmith Brewing Company has finished the remodel of its tasting room. Alesmith just posted a comment to an old post announcing new, expanded hours at the tasting room:

We (Alesmith) added more hours, the AleSmith tasting room hours are now as follows:
Wednesday: 2-7pm
Thursday: 2-7pm
Friday: 2-8pm
Saturday: 12-7pm
Sunday: 12-6pm


Alesmith's tasting room is now open five days a week.  This is excellent news.

More Alpine

There was more information in the last Alpine Brew Company email than its decision to cease Exponential Hoppiness growler fills.  Alpine is releasing this sour beer:
On Wednesday, February 29th, bottles of “Chez Monieux” will go on sale. Limits on bottles will be enforced to a maximum of 4 bottles per person per day. If we suspect you are a retailer buying for resale, you will be denied sale, period. Since I don’t get out much, going to Belgium and concentrating of “Belgian Kreik” as a style to perfect was a big deal. I put my entire brewing prowess to work on making this edition one for the ages. We used very tart Balaton Cherries to infuse this sour, tart elixir into a beer we’re very proud of. Chez Monieux” is 7% abv and comes in a 750 ml Belgian style bottle for $23.95 plus tax and crv.
It's out of my price range, but maybe I'll see Chez Monieux on draft closer to home than Alpine, assuming it's available on draft at all.

Paying For Sins Of Others

I just received Alpine Brew Company's latest email.  No more growlers of Exponential Hoppiness due to a growler showing up on ebay.  Here is the quote from Alpine:
You have seen your very last growler of “Exponential Hoppiness” ever to be dispensed. http://www.ebay.com/csc/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=exponential+hoppiness&LH_Complete=1&rt=nc

Since I previously stated if I ever saw a growler of “Exponential Hoppiness” for sale on ebay there would never be another growler sold again. Don’t blame me, but you can see who to blame on the above link. As for bottles of “Expo” on ebay, I’m seriously considering never bottling it again. This is not just a personal issue, it’s illegal. The fact that people drove down from LA to make a quick buck and denying the locals the chance to buy some is also just plain wrong.
Bombers of Expo, which sell out in a mater of hours, are in jeopardy, too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New (Limited Edition) IPA at Pizza Port Ocean Beach

If you're sick of running around San Diego trying to get a half pint of that once-a-year triple IPA, only to find that the bar you were racing to tapped the keg while you were at work and it blew five minutes before you arrived, Pizza Port Ocean Beach is releasing a new, limited edition IPA this Thursday evening, February 16, 2012.  The IPA is The Burning of Rome IPA, and it was brewed to promote a band with the same name (obviously, without the IPA appendix).

I don't know anything about the band, but I am going to try to visit Pizza Port Ocean Beach over the weekend to grab a pint, as I can't see this beer selling out in one night.  Port Brewing and its four Pizza Port locations brew multiple IPAs, many that are outstanding, and even its comparatively pedestrian IPAs (like PPOB's Jetty) are better than most brewers' best IPAs.  PPOB's special IPAs and DIPAs - While the Wife's Away, While the Wife's Still Away, and Cho-Saiko - have been outstanding, and I'm hoping The Burning of Rome is a flavor bomb like some of these.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Over-Hype Reality Check

The early February hype around Pliny the Younger is in full mania mode.  When I linked to the Russian River website for my previous post, I noticed the twenty beers on tap at the Russian River Brewpub in Santa Rosa.  I saved the tap list, and have copied and posted it below:

Beer ABV Description
O.V.L Stout 4.40% Nitro Dry Irish Stout
Aud Blonde 4.50% Blonde Ale
Gaffer's 4.50% English Pale Ale
Rusian River Porter 5.75% Robust Porter
Segal Select 5.75% Pale Ale - Segal Hop Farm
Row 2, Hill 56 5.80% 100% Simcoe Hop Pale Ale
Blind Pig IPA 6.75% IPA
Rusian River IPA 6.75% IPA
Pliny the Elder 8.00% Double IPA
Pliny the Younger 10.50% Triple IPA
Redemption 4.80% Blonde Ale
Perdition 6.10% Biere de Sonoma
Rejection 6.30% Belgian-Inspired Black Ale
Sanctification 6.75% Blonde Ale w/ Brett
Supplication 7.00% Sour Aged in Pinot Barrels
Defenstration 7.25% Hoppy Blonde Ale
Damnation 7.00% Golden Ale
Temptation 7.50% Sour Aged in Chardonnay Barrels
Consecration 10.00% Sour Aged in Cab Barrels
Damnation 23 10.75% Triple Aged w/ Oak Chips

It's an amazing line-up of beers.  I hope the people that went to Russian River to get a glass of the elusive PtY were able to see beyond the triple IPA myopia and try some of these beers.  PtY is all well and good, but it would be the 16th or 17th beer I'd try given the choices above.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pliny The Younger Dinner at El Take It Easy

I just saw the below paragraph in an email from Jay Porter of The Linkery and El Take It Easy:
Coming up: A chef's dinner at El Take It Easy incorporating the famous Pliny the Younger beer and other rare/allocated beverages in late February; a pop-up on March 4 with Tijuana super-chef Javier Plascencia; and the Linkery's 7th Anniversary party at the end of February. More info on those coming up.
The craze behind Russian River's triple IPA Pliny the Younger is hard to believe, but this dinner sounds interesting.  I followed Toronado's Pliny the Younger release today on Twitter and San Diego Beer Blog.  Toronado was the first bar in San Diego go sell this year's release of the high octane beer.  The frenzy started at 10.00 a.m., and two kegs were finished in less than three hours.   A lot of useless people were stumbling around North Park this afternoon.

By late February the hype to get a pint of Pliny the Younger should have waned, making the El Take It Easy event all the better.  I'll admit that when reading the email I was more intrigued by the olive oil from Ensenada than Pliny the Younger.

Update:  The Pliny the Younger Chef's dinner at El Take It Easy is Monday, February 27th, and will feature rare/allocated drinks in addition to PtY.

Update UpdateHere is the menu for the El Take It Easy dinner

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Speedway Stout

I felt like the Dos Equis guy last Friday night, except less interesting.  I don't always want an imperial stout, but when I do, I want a good one.  Alesmith's Speedway Stout is a good one.  It is a sweet, black beer, brewed with Ryan Bros. Coffee, and the the rich taste of coffee is in every drink.  This is not one of those nonsense "breakfast" beers, but a grown-up night capper.  If you were numbskull enough to drink this beer for breakfast, after a pint, you'd curl up and go back for the rest of the day.

The beer poured black and thick, with a frothy mocha foam (like how I'd picture cappuccino whip cream if it existed).  The aroma of roasted coffee burst from the bottle as soon as I opened it.   The first few sips were a jolt, but I quickly acclimated to the beer's boozy coffee and roasted malt flavor.    The remainder of the bottle became a smooth, two hour sipper.   I am always amazed at the sweetness of an imperial stout.  Speedway, even with its bitter roast coffee, was dessert-like.   I may have even picked up a hint of dark chocolate.  Speedway's sweetness balances the bitterness from the roasted malts and coffee.  Speedway is a big beer, and the alcohol was present throughout and was never shy, and it became more noticeable as the beer warmed.  This beer is a wonderful cold weather beer.

(There are many Speedway Stouts available.  The one above is, I think, the standard Speedway Stout.  It had a silver foil over the bottle cap.)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sensory Overload

I don't like leaving dinner agitated, especially one that involves beer.  This happened last night after dinner at Slater's 50/50 in Liberty Station.  I know I am getting crotchety, but I can't handle loud music in restaurants anymore.  Throw in the poor acoustics at Slater's and it's a cacophony of commotion.   Don't get me wrong, Slater's food is good, its draft beer list extensive, and its staff is friendly and attentive (it could add a few more beers to its 1/2 price happy hour options).  But the music was so loud we could barely have a conversation, and the music wasn't even good, just popular rock with a couple of country tracks for variety.  The loud music means that everyone in the restaurant is shouting.  I need a beer.

Slater's needs to decide if it's going to go the bar route or the restaurant route.  After last night, I know that the two don't mix well.   The bar side wins, and we were at Slater's early (around 5:00).  There were plenty of other families and non-bar patrons, too, as the restaurant was nearly full by 6:00, so there is plenty of dining interest.  Slater's has a large room separate from the main restaurant and bar area.  It should make this room into a dining room for people that don't want to be bludgeoned by the roar in the front room.  I should note that Slater's has plenty of outside seating, but even with the heaters it's still a few months before I'll be eating outside at night.

On a positive note, Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye IPA was quite good.  It was hoppy and the strong rye malt pulled the beer together and gave it depth.  I helped the Beer Rovette, who thought of the title to this post, with her Sam Adams' Alpine Spring, which was light, maybe too light, and grassy with a bit of lager funk.  Slater's had two beers from now-defunct Airdale Brewing on tap, Angry Panda and Dark and Stormy.   Grab a pint while you can.