For a while now I’ve had the idea of doing an all Gueuze and Lambic tasting with the guys from Team Upstate NY. Diving into this, I knew it would be a massive undertaking. Thankfully the guys put up with my bullshit I think we pulled off a tasting to go down in the record books.
Last week was the second of Creo’s beer dinners, this time Chef David Gibson paired up with Dave Gonzalez to bring us some of Allagash’s Belgian-style beers along with David’s excellent culinary skills.
Team Upstate NY already had a tasting planned for this weekend so it only made sense for us to get some preliminary packing out of the way while we continue to collect the last few of our bottles and swag. No traveling necessary for team members this time around unlike the bang in Buffalo for Round 2 and Team New England for Round 3.
So yesterday was one of those trips that started as a small, innocent beer run over to to Night Shift to pick up Elise’s Barrel Society bottles and the newly released Mainer Weisse (one of our absolute favorite beers of 2012). And then I said to myself “Well… Blue lobster still has bottles of their Berliner and and their Prairie collab on shelves, couldn’t hurt to swing up there while I’m at it”. It still didn’t seem too bad of a day at that point. But then the hits kept coming. Allagash decided to release a new Coolship beer. Jack’s Abby unleashes Baby Maker. And the the big one: Hill Farmstead was finally putting CD7 on the shelves. That was the one that threw me for the biggest loop since while the others were almost on the route back home from Allagash, Hill Farmstead was 3.5 hours out of the way. Still, I had to try to work it into my day.
Over the winter while we were up in Portland for Zwanze Day we got the chance to to hit up Allagash after Maine Beer Co. and nice visit at New England Distilling Co. Although Upstate NY doesn’t get much Allagash love, I’ve had plenty of their beer on my travels and they’ve been one of my favorite all around breweries for a long while, from the core lineup to their special releases.
Well, we survived the packing party (barely). Yesterday Team New England drove in from all parts of the Northeast to drink, pack, eat, and drink some more. George, long-time BA, owner of The Bier Abbey and Team New England member graciously hosted us in the private room and kept the goods coming all night. We were missing team members from NH, VT and NY but still got the job done. Continue reading
Another great get together with the crew, with some of our recent hauls, some beers Richard brought back from his trip to Seattle and Bill’s birthday beers. This was our first tasting since I finally cleaned up the basement enough to have some beers down there. I have a few stools, a nice 8 foot kitchen prep table I’m using as a makeshift “bar”. The beer cellar is repaired, we’ve got this nice water jug/dump bucket system going (although I really want to get a glass rinser but I don’t think that is in the cards for a while) and I should have a couple more glass racks installed in the ceiling by week’s end. Plus the card table, surround sound system, and the dart board that folds into the ceiling I’ve had for a while now. I’m pretty happy with how the man cave “tasting room” is shaping up.
So after a pretty successful night of running around with Mike, we went back to Chez Fuj and met up with the rest of the guys and a couple of friends of Bill’s from NJ. The lineup for the night:
- Tsunami Stout by The Pelican Pub & Brewery
- Madame Rose (2012) by Goose Island Beer Co.
- The Cowboy by Evil Twin Brewing – pretty much locks in my hatred of smoked beers
- Oude Tart by The Bruery – delish, like all Bruery sours
- Meadowlark IPA by Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project – absolutely fantastic. Glad Bill brought this one to share, been meaning to try it for a while/
- Curieux by Allagash Brewing Company – long time fave since first having it back in May. Richard hadn’t had it yet so I broke this one out from my Birthday Beers from Elise.
- Hop 15 Ale by Port Brewing Company
- Horny Devil by AleSmith Brewing Company – meh. Other than Speedway Stout and their IPAs not much has impressed me from AleSmith.
- Survival 7-Grain Stout by Hopworks Urban Brewery – very solid, just like the IPA goofybear sent me
- Sled Dog Trippelbock by Wagner Valley Brewing Company
- Beer Hop Breakfast by Mikkeller
- Black Hole Barrel Aged Bourbon by Mikkeller
- Femme Fatale Brett by Evil Twin Brewing – Can’t get enough of this beer, really. Evil twin is killing it.
- Rye Hopper Ale by French Broad Brewing Co.
- Declaration by Backlash Beer Company
- Fat Scotch Ale by Silver City Brewing Co. – Dave’s 500th unique Untappd beer
- Tripel Threat by Cambridge Brewing Co.
- Luscious by The Alchemist Pub & Brewery – my 500th unique Untappd beer
- Head Hunter IPA by Fat Head’s Brewery
- Winema Wit by The Pelican Pub & Brewery (Oregon)
- Gandhi-Bot by New England Brewing Co.
- Vampire Slayer by Clown Shoes
- Aphrodisiaque by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel
- Black Butte Porter by Deschutes Brewery
Other than Luscious, which we only incidentally opened because of Untappd, I don’t think any beer stood out as the clear “best beer of the night” or anything. A lot of really solid beers here, of all different types so it’s tough to compare. Fat Head’s never ceases to surprise me with that IPA, same with that Meadowlark. Black Butte was great, as was Curieux, Oude Tart and Madame Rose. No complaints here.
Richard acting a damn fool.
Dave showcasing pretty much how everyone felt by the end of the night morning.
Allagash Coolship Red Availability Announced
—According to Allagash’s Faceebook page, Coolship Red is now on their shelves. Man, you guys couldn’t wait until Zwanze Day weekend could you? Hopefully there are still some left when I get there on Friday. Or maybe one of you Maine beer nerds wanna hook me up??
Allagash Black Nightcap After The Bier Abbey
— Hadn’t had this yet and I just narrowly missed it while at The Bier Abbey last night before the keg got kicked, so I decided to open up my bottle when I got home. Like everything that comes out of Allagash Brewing, it was exceptional.
Still got some stellar brews at the Abbey though including some La Grande 10 by Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles, Bellhop Porter by Evil Twin Brewing, Rosée d’Hibiscus by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (thanks Jeremy), and Mad Dog by Evil Twin Brewing. Not to mention the best god damn house battered chicken tenders in the Capital District (ask for extra mustard, though). AND I got to avoid all of the Halloween bullshit. Pretty good night.
Sour Beer Tasting with Merc
- After a failed attempt at disc golf due to weather and a few beers with grub over at The Bier Abbey, we decided to head back to Chez Fuj to open up a few gems that Merc had brought along to open since he was not gong to be around for the birthday shit show. (Jon showed up mid-tasting committing Merc’s most mortal sin: showing up with no beers at all. He’ll pay dearly for this in the future, I’m sure.)
I’m really just dipping my toes into sours right now (although I’m going to get a baptism by fire at Night of the Funk, I’m sure) so after telling him how much I enjoyed my first Duchesse De Bourgogne the prior weekend, he picked out a few sours from his cellar that would be fit to my liking.
- Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus
- The Lost Abbey Cuvee De Tomme
- The Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale
- Allagash Old HLT
All of the beers were fantastic. To my sour-newb palate most were very similar, varying only slightly in appearance. As for taste, they all had tart cherries present. The Cuvee De Tomme was aged in bourbon-barrels, and while the bourbon added a flavor the differentiated it from the rest of the beers that night, it didn’t improve the beer for me. Actually, the bourbon kinda took away from the tartness experience a little bit and I preferred the other beers. The Cantillon was my fave, but I’ll admit I’m a bit of a Cantillon fanboy these days.
We cracked open a few other beers through the night including some Alchemist Heretic (this hasn’t aged well), Heady Topper and Chatham Bourbon Barrel Brown, a beer we didn’t get a chance to try from the last Doom Saloon tasting. Of the two BA beers from Chatham, the 8 Barrel is the clear winner.