Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week 23: What do a bear, a tiger, and a monster have in common?

1. Bear Republic Racer 5
2. Cigar City Jai Alai
3. Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA
4. Voodoo Pilzilla
5. Weyerbacher Fireside Ale
6. Arcadia Hopmouth (Hand Pump)
7. Troegs Sunshine Pils
8. Great Lakes Brewing Lake Erie Monster
9. Troegs Hopback Amber

"Each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor."

I wanted an eerie quote. Something campfire(ish) for the monsters on the loose this past week. Somehow, and I don't know how, there was a theme brewing with the names of some of these beers.

The Philadelphia area is finally getting their hands on some Cigar City brews again. A few months back a tale was spun that Tampa brewers couldn't keep up with our drinking. Well they have let their Jai Alai slide up our way. It looks just like a Florida Orange. It's piney and grapefruity with just the right amount of hops throughout. It was not as fresh as from a Florida tap. I need a vacation.

Like most monsters, we shouldn't flee from them, but just make friends. Great Lakes Brewing Lake Eerie Monster should be a very good friend to you. He is a fantastic IPA or Double IPA with a pretty thick head...minus the scales. He must wallow in the fruit groves, because he stank of citrus hops. I also saw some mangoes between his toes, but that might have been my imagination. Once I got to know him I found him to be a just a sweet fellow that could talk you to sleep.

I am in the midst of what some call a Beercation.

Cheers for now.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Week 21-22: "I think it is in collaboration that the nature of art is revealed. "

1. Stone Cali-Belqique IPA
2. Terrapin Rye Pale Ale
3. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
4. Flying Fish Abbey Double
5. Southhampton Double White
6. Sly Fox Brotherly Suds #1
8. Philadelphia Brewing Co. Pennsylvania Ale
9. Lancaster Brewing Co. Hop Hog

"The dandelions and buttercups gild all the lawn: the drowsy bee stumbles among the clover tops,
and summer sweetens all to me."
- James Russell Lowell

How sweet is summer. Wheats and Whites are always available. Decadent Belgians and floral hopped masterpieces are never out of season. And nowadays, there is always a collaboration beer to be had. That basically sums up the past two weeks of beer tasting.

Most of these brews are good old friends that I have known for years, but like any summer, you are bound to make some new acquaintances. Philadelphia Brewing Co. recently took a crack a Pale Ale of their own, and like their IPA, they like them malty. Pennsylvania Pale Ale or PPA (yes, a nice shout out to the most hated group of city officials). This beer has a huge hop presence at the nose with a toasted malt mouth on it. It's kind-of spicy and bready. They are now bottling it, for now, so I am hoping to hold on to 1 or 2 for summers end. It's a good beer and probably great on cask.

Sly Fox threw a party and invited some of my favorite people.That is basically what it looks like when you see the brewers behind Brotherly Suds #1. This brew was readily available during Philly Beer Week, and with what appears to have some public demand, it has popped up throughout the summer at some great area bar. I spotted this brew at Johnny Brendas in Fishtown and was pretty eager to have it for the first time. A brainchild of Yards, Sly Fox, Victory, Stouts and Troegs. this is a delicious ESB. It's super smooth, fruity and caramely, and very little hopped and will undoubtedly be gone soon.

Other than drinking beer I finally took a shot at brewing too. So many of my good friends have started brewing or have brewed for years. Tasting what they have been mashing has been a huge inspiration. I've started off on an easy extract recipe. I will write about this experience pretty soon. Like most homebrewers, I assume this is going to become an obsession.

The title quote in this post is by the late Jazz Great, Steve Lacy.