Too Many Hops? But this is America!

-PHOTO TAKEN 11NOV02- Belgian 61-year-old master-brewer Jean-Pierre Van Roy adds hops to a brew kett..

A very interesting article critiquing the overuse, or supposed overuse of hops in american beer. What do you all think? Agree? Disagree?

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/drink/2013/05/hoppy_beer_is_awful_or_at_least_its_bitterness_is_ruining_craft_beer_s_reputation.html

Are You Looking For A Ranger?

This video is great. Its awesome when companies dont take themselves too seriously.

And the 90s is just rad.

Find a Ranger, Find a Guide

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Rangers, at least in our national park system, are guides to the beauty’s of nature. In the same sense New Belgiums Ranger IPA is a perfect guide to the beauty of IPA’s.
New Belgium’s Ranger IPA skillfully guides one through the geography of IPA with a true and sure compass. The brewers at New Belgium are master guides to the hallmark of American Craft Beer.
Firstly, instead of tromping straight up a talus field of big bodied IPAs the Ranger takes you on easy switchbacks up the IPA Mountain with you its hop character with only %6.5 ABV. Approachable? I think so. But, don’t let this journey take you by surprise as you will get worn out after two or three because its so drinkable.
An easy hop aroma guides you up to the vista’s of the world of IPA and ranger casually says, “Look at that classic peaks of American IPA of Cascade, Chinook, and Simcoe. Aren’t they beautiful?” And you get forced into saying yes as you sink into this beer’s careful and tender hold.
And then as if yo witness the northern lights the citrus and piney aromas display to your nose a wide variety of flavors and aromas bursting nose and causing one to raise and arm, tip the glass, and let euphoria pour into your mouth.
Ranger serves as a wonderful guide to to the world of IPA. Readily available and an easy win Ranger is the perfect beer to keep in your fridge at home or take to a party!

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…

Old World Black IPA

New World Porter

Imagine yourself on a ship with Jack Sparrow, cargo in the hold, sailing along the savage seas. The precious cargo in the hold, Treasures from the new world. These treasures include the precious hops. And herein lies the intrigue of Avery Brewing Co’s New World Porter. They pile the pun on top of a pun with this beer almost lying to you about the name.

Lets talk about what they mean by New World Porter. The Porter came about during the industrial revolution because taxes on dark barely were lower than other malts. So the Porter became the blue collar old world beer. Now then, what are american beers known for? Hops, Hops, Hops! So put the two together and what do you get? A hoppy porter, by which I mean to say, a Black IPA. A New World Porter is what Avery calls their Black IPA. Punny? Yes. Fun? Yes. Good beer? Absolutely.

I actually thought I was going to be drinking a porter so when the hops of this Black IPA smashed through my nose hairs it caught me off guard and I nearly fell off the boat. This beer takes you on a beer journey to the old world with its dark carmely malts. But the best thing is that it does not leave you there but lifts you up puts you back on the boat and takes you to the New world with its incredible hoppy profile. Try this beer if you can get it and you wont be disappointed, as per usual with Avery.

And while you drink it, watch this video if you can hold it down. Until next time, pour proper my friends…

Set Your Sails For Meridian Pint

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In an article I recently found at Beer of Tomorrow they talk about the Perfect Beer Bar. And in that article then mention 4 things: how many beers they offer, the beer menu, serving the beer, and the knowledge of the staff. Meridian Pint in Washington DC has all of these and they excel at them. The two times I have been there I have been served well by knowledgeable staff as Meridian Pint does what they do best and celebrate the art of american craft beer.

Its great that in the city of America there is a bar that lives for variety and diversity of american craft beer. This is illustrated by the events that they hosted for DC Beer Week in 2013. They had a sour night, all maine beer night, and many other events that make the mouth water of any craft beer enthusiast.

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I happened to show up on the night where they hosted the maine beer night. Oxbow, Allagash, and Maine Beer Co were all in attendance to say the least. After perusing the menu the bartender at the time soon realized that I was a craft beer geek and the conversation eventually spiraled into him deciding what I was going to have next. I left myself in his more than able hands and was pleasantly surprised by the glories of the aforementioned beer companies.

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They host a large surplus of over 140 bottles, 24 taps that are changed almost daily, and a knowledgeable staff to help you access what you need to drink and why. Follow their twitter account, go to their informative website, or better yet next time your in DC make sure you wander down to their corner of the world for a pint. Not in DC? Then enjoy this great interview that Hopcast did with Tim Prendergas of Meridian Pint.

22oz of Rampage

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Its hard thing to cast your sail in the sea of IPA today.  The windy and wild seas of California. To successfully navigate these waters you need a burly profile on your beer. Black Diamond Brewing has done this, and they have done it well. Their Rampage IPA casts its sail and then sings the siren song of an incredible IPA calling her victims to her bosom.

The nose on this beer makes you want to drink it with your sniffer. Its in the same bracket as Heady Topper, America’s #1 IPA. Cant get enough of the smell. Aromas envelop your nostrils and drift you away to hop heaven. This beer deserves the title of California IPA.

Until next time, pour proper my friends.

Stone R&R

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Stone R&R

Had the Privilege of sitting down at ChurchKey in Logan Circle of Washington DC this afternoon and dining with the lovely Mrs. Proper Pour. And during this event I imbibed Stone Brewing’s R&R Coconut IPA.

We know the hype. We know the arrogance of Stone. We know their reputation for putting out “in your face beers.” And in fact, we love it. But this beer was different. In the tsunami of IPA’s that the american craft beer culture is under right now its hard to find something that is unique, different, or just more enjoyable than the rest. And you would expect Stone to do that with another “in your face” IPA. But thats the case with R&R. The Coconut comes to you, in a rather hidden and mysterious manner, I wont reveal to you any more but just say that this loud and arrogant brewery has conquered the style yet again but this time by subltly. Its not over the top, its not loud, it is in fact beautiful and subtle. Enjoy this my friends, because it is that good.