The Funnel of Vermont Beer

image   image_3

For those of you who follow my Instagram, (warning: shameless self promotion), which is my main social media of choice, you know that I get around. Not like a whore, but, well, kinda like a beer whore. On this last trip to Vermont I was invited via Instagram to the bar The Ruck in Troy, NY. Nick, the cicerone there, invited me to come check out the bar and have a beer. And what I though was going to be a casual 1 hr meeting turned into one of the best blind Instagram dates I have had in a long time! We happened to be driving back from Vermont (yes with a trunk full of Heady Topper I waited to long in line for) and decided to stop by. And what I found hidden in this forgotten town was a funnel of amazing beer from the Northeast at its gates.

image_1

Driving up to The Ruck it pops up in the middle of a block of apartments and the open doors make it seem like a patio to a ground level apartment. Walking in I was struck by the austere rust belt look from the inside plastered with all my favorite brewery stickers. I asked for Nick at the bar and he then met me where we enjoyed quite a few beers in this college town beer cavern.

Nick is a great guy. Just an all around American lover of craft beer. He lights up when you talk to him about how going full time in the bar rescued him from the grave of his 9-5. And my oh my does he know his stuff. Passing the cicerone certification really bled through the conversation but not so much that it was inappropriate. Rather, his knowledge and experience of his passion and love complemented the conversation into the late hours of the night. And, thankfully, the will be soon doing beer education classes at The Ruck!

image_2

Now the Ruck is an old vestige of the Rust Belt for sure. But buried within this old mining company building Nick is hard at work planning Homebrew competitions, organizing taps by genre, and educating the city Troy and beyond about the goodness of craft beer. You can be sure to find a healthy supply of local beer from the Northeast. The likes of which include but are not limited to Long Trail Brewery, Jacks Abbey Brewing, Main Beer Company, Switchback Brewing and many more. They are in fact the only brewery to have Switchback brewing on cask!

So when you drive to the Northeast, get up and get to Troy NY where you can enjoy the treasures of craft beer from Nick at The Ruck. Its well worth your time to stop in and enjoy the splendid variety they have there.

Until next time, pour proper my friends.

Queen City Jewels Part 2

1aa-beer05-gtpj4lm6-10905-pumpale-fd

Surprising? Yes. Beautiful? Yes. Good beer? Yes. That is how Cincinnati rolls.

After a surprising visit to Rhinegeist we are off in search of Sour Beer and headed over to Rivertown brewing.

Rivertown is more like a California brewery in that it is found in an industrial section in a warehouse. Except when you roll up and there are BBQ cooks out front cooking Mets (a Cincinnati only sausage) and ribs out front.

Rivertown has 5 Sour Beers that they highlight, one of which we were able to try. Their Sour Cherry Porter is not to be missed. This beer, although lacking when compared to Tart of Darkness, is well on its way to becoming a dark horse contender for that general category. Very vinegary nose, sour taste, and deep cherry notes throughout the entirety of the beer.

Rivertown also has other incredible other beers that have for a long time been the standard such as Hop Baron and Hop Bomber their IPA and Rye IPA.

Keep your eye out for their new sours, I know I am!

Until next time, pour proper my friends…

Queen City Jewels Part 1

Image

This last weekend Mrs. Proper Pour and I decided to visit some of our best friends that live and reside in the Queen City, Cincinnati that is. On our list of things to do, besides enjoy our friends company, was to hit up as many of the breweries in the area as possible.

One historical fact of note should be that Cincinnati is a drinking town! The German immigrants that founded the city brought their heritage of beer with them when they came to the new world. Moerleins Brewing mainly represents this. On top of this Cincinnati was recently featured in Beer Advocate Magazine for a new and upcoming place to visit for craft beer. And they could not have been more correct. Between Rivertown, Madtree, Rhinegeist, and Ei8ht Ball Brewing this town screams of great beer, better food, and friendly people.

Image

After a quick browse through Findlay Market in the Over the Rhine section of Cincinnati we walked over to Rhinegeist Brewing for a beer or two. Not thinking much of the midwest in general, my mistake, I was not expecting much from Rhinegeist. That was my first mistake on this trip. This brewery, situated in the heart of the old meatpacking district is in the old building originally inhabited by Moerleins Brewing. Walk in and a generous space opens up before you with friend reclaimed wood benches and a small bar hosting all their beers. And they not only host their beers but also those of other craft brewers, a generous and applauded move.

Image

Now to the beer. Rhinegeist quickly and sufficiently supplied our pallates with an array of classic craft beers. The Truth, their IPA, stung sharp and true like a proper west coast IPA. Panther, their porter, was smooth and dark with just enough carbonation. And of a last note Mastadon, the Belgian Dark, was a sweetly caramel awesomeness.

Stay tuned for Mad Tree, Rivertown, and the great surprise!

Until next time, pour proper my friends…

Sour Session 9

20140228-095547.jpg

At first glance you may think this is some sort of cynics group but nothing could be father from the truth. Rather it is an event that The Church Key in DC holds every year to rejoice in sour beer from all over the world. Somehow this bar has it’s hands deep in the pockets of importers as they had a sixtel of Fou Foune on tap, the rare sour from Europe. And not only did they have that but also a decent smattering of sours from all over america as well. This included #mrsproperpour’s favorite sour, Sour In The Rye by The Bruery.

Not only was there a plethora of sour beer but, for us longing to partake of the experience, a scorecard so you could remember what beers you drank! Its like keeping score at a baseball game (yes, nerdy I know but I love baseball).

20140228-095532.jpg

All in all there were too many beers to highlight but the Fou Foune was by far the most delicious and exciting that we had. Till next time!

Pour Proper my friends…

Plan a Trip to Plan 9 Alehouse

20140204-101407.jpg

Going to San Diego? Going on a Beercation? Planning on drinking great craft beer and being around better people? Plan on going to Plan 9 Alehouse. This little jewel is tucked in the hills of North County Escondido and hiding in the shadow of Stone Brewing down the street from The Lost Abbey. They carry on the tradition of the great craft beer of San Diego.

The owners of this bar know their beer. For example one of the owners, my friend Chad who manages the front end, worked at Stone Brewing for numerous years before he was approached about opening a new bar in downtown Escondido in North County San Diego county. And thus was educated by the best in the business on how to serve and drink craft beer.

With a modern appeal get ready to have beers slid down their 25+ concrete bar and into your hand. Then, now that you are tulip glass equipped for bouncing your tongue off of multicolored ecstasy, get ready for the best of southern California’s beers. Plan 9 regularly have taps from the best of Stone, The Bruery, Alpine Brewing, and many other classics of our current craft beer renaissance. Then engorge and gorge yourself on their Cali style food. The bourbon Siracha (can you hear the mariachi band?) wings are not to be missed and make you dream of more Californication in your life.

My favorite thing, and yes I’m biased because Chad is a dear friend, is the attitude that the bar has. The locals congregate only to be given nicknames and have their beers poured as they walk in the door while visitors are greeted and shown to their seats by a kindly server.

And did I mention they have Monty Python playing all night in the background?

Visit this place and make it soon and you will get Beer To The People!

But until next time, pour proper my friends…

20140204-101420.jpg

20140204-101440.jpg

20140204-101536.jpg

Digging into Outer Darkness

20140211-191725.jpg

 

When I think of Squatters, until recently, the last think I think of is great craft beer. But true to form Utah beer shines in a corner that no beer has due to their imposed limits by the the government. Long story short, because of the low ABV requirements by the religious theocracy in Utah, Utah brewers have to be deadpan accurate at the their brewing, which creates en environment that breeds great beer like bacteria in a petri dish.

Now back to Squatters Outer Darkness Russian Imperial Stout. This stout, as opposed to dozens of others shines clean and true despite the name (see instagram from a few months ago where we had a bottle share and I passed out on the couch). Most stouts hide their imperfections amongst large ABV’s and barrel aging. However this beer has the most crisp and clean taste of any stout I have had. The sweet coffee and chocolate hints shine like light reflecting from a mirror. As far as the ABV, didn’t even notice it because it was that clean. I want to say like a minerally chardoney it was so perfectly balanced that the slackline walkers of Moab would beg for advice.

Squatters, its no wonder you all have survived for so long in such an oppressive state for alcohol. Its because like Picasso, you shine under oppression and bring forth the best in the midst of statist difficulty.

Until next time friends, pour proper….

20140211-191736.jpg

20140211-191750.jpg

The Ever Bustling The Bruery

20140204-101048.jpg

20140204-101135.jpg

Kid in a candy shop and sensory overload cannot even begin to describe my senses during my recent visit to The Bruery.

From the freeway exit, if you know what to look for their tower calls you from afar. Illuminating your desires and becoming a lighthouse of your desire. Then to walk in is to become accustomed to Southern California and the crampedness of Orange County, and also to its opulence.

One thing I love about my home state is its diversity. And this trait erupts at The Bruery. Upon entry we see Sons of Anarchy there, bro’s and their girlfriends, old and young, cool and nerd abound in this center of craft beer.

20140204-101122.jpg

20140204-101108.jpg

Belgian Beer in the Land of Tea

This is a great article on something that #america has yet to understand: craft beer outside of #america. Yes it exists and thrives in small beautiful communities.

Zythophile

La SalamandreIt is a truth universally acknowledged – in Wan Chai, at any rate – that a single man walking down Lockhart Road at night-time must be in want of a nice Filipina lady friend to be the Suzie Wong to his Robert Lomax. Hong Kong’s most persistent mama-sans will tug at your sleeve, trying to persuade you into their lap-dancing bars, where smiling young women from Manila or Luzon (so I am told) will attempt to get you to buy them drinks, at HK$300 – £25 – a time.

But while the image many people have of Hong Kong’s bar scene is probably based on Wan Chai’s pole-dancing clubs and places like the Old China Hand, where homesick expats can watch Six Nations rugby while washing down a full English breakfast with a pint of Stella, in fact the former colony’s drinking places are far more diverse and, sometimes…

View original post 1,681 more words