“Too Big” Syndrome and Other Thoughts on High ABV Beer

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As the marauding hordes of craft beer geeks attack local liquor stores for Bourbon County I sat quietly sipping on a 2013 vintage of Black Tuesday by The Bruery ignoring the fleeting desire to run like a chicken with my head cut off through the internet and BUY MORE CRAFT BEER!

And upon this momentous occasion of tasting Black Tuesday for the first time I came across the following thought: is high ABV beer helping us experience more beer? Maybe yes, but also maybe no.

High ABV beer seems to be a holy grail of the dark beer experience with booming flavor and uncharted flavor profiles in the labyrinth of barrel aging. For example Samaus and Mephistopheles by Avery, Black Tuesday and Sucre by The Bruery, and The End of History by Brew Dog all give us mammoth flavors that catapult us into the outer space of big beer. They have discovered the rare air of this. And for new flavor profiles I am all for it! The uncharted territory is incredible.

But during my 2013 vintage tasting of Black Tuesday I realized (this is also post Samaus, Mephistopheles, and Sucre see my Untapped to prove it) that I could not handle this beer if it had not been aged I would not have been able to handle the flavor profile! What happens when you age beer is that the harsh and sharp flavors round out to create the perfect easy coasting turns of malt forward beers. This was my experience completely with aging Black Tuesday. I remember also when I had Sucre for the first time that the astringency of the alcohol almost burned my mouth. The sugariness almost gave me heartburn like when I eat donuts!

Long story short I am a fan of high ABV beers.

Long story short, super psyched that I aged my high ABV beer.

Thus are high AVB beers helping the craft beer scene? Maybe yes because they push the boundaries of flavor and engineering in the brewing world. Maybe not because the astringency is burning my tastebuds and I am unable to enjoy this beer.

Whatever your preference think about your beer and the best way to enjoy it.

Until next time, pour proper my friends…

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And In The News Craft Brewers Are Fighting Again

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And people are getting pissed about craft beer again. Selling out to the man and shit.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-tiny-craft-brewer-sells-itself-to-anheuser-busch-and-a-beer-war-erupts-2014-11-14

Your Local Craft Beer Is Not That Good

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After living in one of the country’s greatest craft beer mecca’s, namely the illustrious San Diego and the up and coming Washington DC, I have come across an interesting phenomenon.

To illustrate lets talk about my boss calling me a snob. This happened after I said, to the agreement of another coworker, that his IPA was not that good. He then replied something of the effect you are from Cali so you are a beer snob.

At the very least this got me thinking about local loves of local craft beer. With the resurgence and renaissance of the american craft beer market breweries are popping up all across the country. And people are becoming vehemently attached to their “local” craft breweries. Thus, when visitors or new immigrants to this local craft beer scene come in an become nay sayers of these local brews, legitimate or illegitimate nay sayers, they usually get the boot! Hence my boss, “You snob.”

All this to say I am not saying one or the other position is right. All I am saying is that we have attachment to beer, not necessarily because it is objectively good (by which I mean to follow the BJCP and GABF standards) but because its ours. Its our local beer.

I think we should be open to the possibility that our local craft beer is only good because its local. I also think we should be open to the possibility that our local craft beer is good because it was recognized or could be recognized on the national level. You may have a local jewel in your local industrial park, or you may not.

All in all, just drink more craft beer.

Until next time, pour proper my friends…

Sweet Sweet Love

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Have you ever felt the love of a Labrador retriever? Brown, black or yellow they are always excited, happy, minus the drool. They always want to see you! And even when you don’t know you are down they come over, lay on your feet, brush up against your side and change your day. In a subtle fashion they know how and when to love.

In the same sense Ellie’s Brown Ale displays the same subtleties as a beer. It smoothly and quietly slides into your mouth and gives you it’s love. The nutty goodness eases a bad day into a good afternoon.

Queen City Jewels Part 2

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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

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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.

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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.

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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…

Plan a Trip to Plan 9 Alehouse

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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…

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