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…

French Beer In America? Lookingaftering It.

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Biere De Garde hails from northern France and is the redheads drunk stepchild of the classic Belgian style saison.
And here in America a resurgence of them has appeared! The chief of which is by a small brewery in Washington DC called Right Proper Brewing. They made a beer called Lookaftering which models Biere De Garde like Sophia Loren does 60’s acting.
Now for the review:
The copper yellow hues encapsulated in the wine glass offer everveciant old world delight. The faithfulness of Right Proper to it’s old world roots becomes the strength that girds this brewery and it’s beers.
True to form of higher alcohol and greater yeast peppery infusion leads the drinker subtly into Right Proper’s monopoly on farmhouse ales in DC.
Spice of the yeast doesn’t come in like a bill but rather a sweet maiden to carry you away as the beer slides down your throat and into your liver. Then delivering the bliss of why we drink beer to us all.

Craft Beer and Fricking Lazer Beams

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Washington DC is a city barraged by politics. And more than that the stress of politics. Who needs a beer after that craziness? Me. But under the belly of the beast lies a warm and friendly culture with some ever so down to earth people. One such place is Right Proper Brewing.

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I first heard about Right Proper from my now boss who said, “You should go over there after this interview.” So I did. I went straight over, and straight into their loving arms. And I proceeded to be blown away by their selection of amazing in house beer and cheese (they have more cheese variety than beer. Off the chain right?).

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The mission at Right Proper is to give the people of DC a place where they can go get a meal and some local beer brewed in DC in the heart of one of DC’s most historic neighborhoods, Shaw. And the best part, which in DC is all too rare, is that the only thing they take seriously is good beer and good food.

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Also, they have animals attacking the national mall with fricking lazer beams. As if

Right Proper was spawned as the brain child of highly decorated sour home brewer Nathan Zeender. To beer geeks this means he is a four star general of home brewing and you are a private. To non beer geeks this means Nathan is so good at his hobbies that he got a full time job doing them. Mad skillz here people. And it shows in their wild names often influenced by Walden and the constantly rotating beer list that has more going on in it than a circus carney in a Halloween store.

IF you want an ever changing seasonal beer list with a warm greeting and fun local people who love DC, then come on and love Right Proper with me. I’ll be almost every tues…

http://rightproperbrewery.com/

Until next time, pour proper my friends…

Cheese pic courtesy of the Right Proper Instagram.

Beer of the Week

One of the venues that I try to partake of is Beer Director for the Neighborhood restaurant group Greg Engert and his Beer of the Week. In this video they weekly go over a new offering in their bar, The Church Key here in Washington DC. They talk about the flavors of the beer and also talk a lot about pairings for the beer. For me, as a lay-beer-nerd, I find this very helpful because experts are telling me what the beer should taste like and what it should pair with. Subscribe and get more beer knowledge every week!

In this week’s episode they talk about the new Sierra Nevada Beer Camp. Beer camp is the biggest collaboration in beer history and is super exciting. Watch the vid below to see what they are doing!

The Funnel of Vermont Beer

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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.

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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!

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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 3

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Madtree. What a name. These guys are serious about beer.

Of all the beers that I tried, all of them were consisten with what I said about Robin Hood earlier. Their beers all stand out, and all hit the mark of classic beer. MadTree stands above all brewers because they just do a great job of making the regular genre’s stick out and warm your soul.

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About the time that Cincinnati beer became a hobby of mine Madtree came on the scene. They were the first Cincinnati brewers to can their beer. I got a few of their beers and tried them. And without question these guys know what they are doing. Like Robin Hood they hit the mark when it comes to classic styles, but also like Robin Hood they also defy the status quo. For example Gnarly Brown is a typical brown ale, except for the face that they brewed it like a porter. So in this you get sweet, nutty, caramel goodness with the dark roast of port mixed in. Like great pour over coffee but only with beer.

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So with that being said I had longed to go to the brewing and partake of a smattering of their beers. Finally my day had come. I arrived at the industrial complex in west Cincinnati and entered into the lair of Madtree. I could go on and on about this or that beer, but bottom line is that just as Beer Advocate stated that Cincinnati has become an underground beer destination in a previous article, so it should be because MadTree is there. Get there and enjoy it yourself.

Check their facebook for updates, food truck info, and new beers.

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Next time we will be revealing the special beer that just “happened” to be in town for Proper Pour.

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…

Sour Session 9

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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).

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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

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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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Digging into Outer Darkness

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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….

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