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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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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The Ever Bustling The Bruery

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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.

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Curve Your Life Path for Cuvee Des Jacobins

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This now will be the third advent of heaven upon my lips with Cuvee Des Jacobins visiting me. This beer, as for sour beer, is the best on the market. It does not get better than this sour ale. With sweet strawberry and cherry notes this sour ale will grind your stomach into submission and leave you dead on the floor wanting more. Those monks in belgium sure know what they are doing when it comes to great beer. And if I have not already mentioned this, sour ales are the pill to be swallowed for wine drinkers to enter into the craft beer world. Love this beer…beg, borrow, and steal for it!

Until next time, Pour Proper my friends….

Mad Tree Brewing: Happy Amber and Gnarly Brown

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Mad Tree Brewing revolutionized brewing in the Cincinnati area by their cans. They were the first brewing company to bring cans to the Queen City. And their so underground they dont even have a functional website. So check their facebook for updates and beer dinners that they are hosting weekly.

We recently had our best friends move to the Queen City and after a few internet searches I realized that Mad Tree was where it was at for brewing in the queen city. And after a few more hours I had also discovered more craft beer than all my friends. And after this interview that stole my heart over at Queen City Fresh with Kenny Mcnutt of Mad Tree I knew where and what I had to drink.

But woefully the only remnants of Mad Tree that I was able to find were one can of Happy Amber and one of Gnarly brown. And the biggest mistake I made was waiting to drink them. For a small out of the way Midwest city the guys at Mad Tree have crossed styles and used classics to create unique beers that are easily becoming my favorites. Now for a quick rundown on the ones I tried:

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Happy Amber: This beer has the punch of a pale ale with the smoothness of an amber. The copper tones made me salivate like setting a dog before a steak. This beer is something I would buy in the 12 pack.

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Gnarly Brown: Brown may be an underestimate because this beer poured black, tasted like burnt coffee, and rolled into my mouth with the pretentiousness of an imperial porter. Loved it. They crossed the nuttiness of a brown with the roastiness of a porter and came out with a winner.

Social Media Stats for Breweries in DC

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After a recent post by Queen City Fresh on the Social Media Standings for breweries in Cincinnati I decided to put the same thing together for DC. The results were predictable but informative. I also echo his comments on the validity of Likes and Follows for the authenticity of these breweries. Social Media is not a barometer for the goodness of these breweries, going to them and trying them yourself is. Dive into them. Also maybe the twitter handles will be helpful for those in DC wanting to keep up with events, new beers, etc. for these breweries.

These stats were taken on 8/28/2013 between 12pm and 1:15pm Eastern Standard Time.

Note: Gordon Biersch was not included.

Facebook First:

Breweries FaceBook Likes
DC Brau Brewing 9879
Chocolate City Beer 2842
Bluejacket 2646
3 Stars Brewing 2531
Atlas Brew Works 906
District Chophouse and Brewery 768
Ommegang DC 126

And Now for Twitter:

Breweries Twitter Followers Twitter Handle
DC Brau Brewing 11362 @dcbrau
3 Stars Brewing 4107 @3starsbrewing
Chocolate City Beer 3920 @ChocCityBeer
Bluejacket 2484 @Bluejacketdc
Ommegang DC 905 @OmmegangDC
Atlas Brew Works 799 @AtlasBrewWorks
District Chophouse and Brewery 758 @chophousebrew

All in all this is a post to get knowledge of these breweries out so that we can enjoy, support, and continue to drink great craft beer from these amazing microbreweries.

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.