Monday, December 24, 2012

Cycle Brewing's End of the World Barrel Aged Beer Party

Cycle Brewing's Rare D.O.S.
by douglas reeser on December 24, 2012
Back from Belize
and missing the stout,
December 21st
is taking us out.
What better way
than to enjoy the day
with a barrel-aged brew
from the Cycle Brewing Crew!

A year and a half working on research in Belize has left me pretty broke, so I haven't been able to truly enjoy the crazy variety of beers available here in the Tampa Bay area. I've had a few good ones to be sure (like Cigar City's Moat Water), but drinking craft beer on a budget has meant lots of Sierra Nevada beers. I've been trying to keep my eyes open for can't miss events since I've been back, and have really only missed out on a few at Cigar City. One I circled on the calendar though, was the Rare DOS event scheduled for the End of the World. I decided I couldn't miss it.

The Rare D.O.S. beers are building a small legend around themselves, and for good reason it would appear. It has a score of 100 on both Rate Beer and Beer Advocate. Impressive. And with the recent announcement that the brew works will be expanding from the small bungalow restaurant, Peg's Cantina, to a new brewery location under the name of Cycle Brewing, this would probably be the last chance to get this beer in such a small-event atmosphere. It's a drive, and I was alone, so I didn't get to try everything, but here's what made it into my belly:

The 12-21-12 Beer Menu
Rare D.O.S. ~ a deep, dark, and thick stout, reminiscent of some of the best big stouts I've had from Cigar City. Bourbon was very present in the aroma and the taste, along with some chocolate, and even a hint of anise. Sweet, but not sugary. The perfect belly-warming way to start off a beer event. This beer is outstanding and delicious!

Waste Not Want Not Sour Brown Ale ~ I love me a sour, and I couldn't wait to try this one. Doug, the head brewer, has brewed an excellent Berliner Weiss in the past, so I had some expectations with this one. To my surprise, this was a real sour, and a really good one. A nice puckering brown, low carbonation, but very nice and drinkable. A surprisingly good sour.

Sun Exploder Tart Cherry ~ I tried this one next since I was already on the sour-kick. I was expecting a light fruity beer, but it came at me dark as night. It turned out to be a sour cherry stout! Thick and chocolatey at the beginning, but as I drank it down, the cherry really started to pop. By the end it was something like a sour cherry dipped in chocolate. Yummy.

The RareR DOS growler.
Funky D.O.S. ~ I couldn't pass up one last D.O.S. (Doug's Original Stout), and this one had my attention all evening. I wasn't disappointed. The funk really stood out, and I was wondering if I was getting lactose in there - lactose soured? The Funky was another big beer, but the light souring made it a very easy drinker. Another excellent beer.

Sadly, I only had these four beers. As you can see from the menu, prices were pretty steep, and these were all big beers at somewhere between 8-11%. I also wanted to pick up a growler of a Rare(r) D.O.S., a special, older version of the Rare D.O.S. that I had on draft. The keg of Rare(r)was kicked before I got there, so my only choice was to bring one home. At $20 for a 500ml bottle though, I wasn't able to get as many as I wanted. Since the world didn't end, I'll be able to drink that one on Christmas.

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