Team Upstate NY Gang Bang BIF Round 5 Packing Party

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.

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BeerAdvocate Top 100

At the beginning of the year I like to take a look back at the BeerAdvocate’s Top 100, see what’s moved up and down the charts, what’s new new on the list, and how many I’ve been lucky enough to try over the past year.

No surprise, Heady Topper is still number one and Hill Farmstead takes the most spots on the list. Cantillon, Three Floyds and Russian River still dominate here, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon, same with Alpine’s excellent hoppy offerings. The new Bourbon County variants have made a huge splash since their release, all landing on the Top 100.

Newcomer Toppling Goliath has taken a few spots with their PseudoSue, Morning Delight, and KBBS. Nice to see Jester King, Prairie and Perennial show up this year, and I’m sure Cory King’s Side Project will make an appearance next year as more of the product gets in the hands of BAs.

Beers highlighted in bold are beers I’ve had in the past:

  1. Heady Topper – The Alchemist 4.7 5274
  2. Pliny The Younger – Russian River Brewing Company 4.65 1797
  3. Pliny The Elder – Russian River Brewing Company 4.64 7920
  4. Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.64 3160
  5. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) – Founders Brewing Company 4.62 6142
  6. Zombie Dust – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.61 4521
  7. Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) – Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) 4.61 3708
  8. Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean – Dark Lord Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.6 661
  9. Parabola – Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.58 3288
  10. Double Sunshine IPA – Lawson’s Finest Liquids 4.57 1069
  11. Cantillon Fou’ Foune – Brasserie Cantillon 4.56 1204
  12. Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.55 6008
  13. Supplication – Russian River Brewing Company 4.54 3556
  14. Abner – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.54 992
  15. The Abyss – Deschutes Brewery 4.52 3796
  16. Citra DIPA – Kern River Brewing Company 4.52 910
  17. Founders Breakfast Stout – Founders Brewing Company 4.51 9336
  18. Bell’s Hopslam – Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.51 7212
  19. Trappistes Rochefort 10 – Brasserie de Rochefort 4.51 5650
  20. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Cigar City Brewing 4.51 1791
  21. Duck Duck Gooze – The Lost Abbey 4.51 741
  22. §ucaba (Abacus) – Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.5 2502
  23. Bell’s Black Note Stout – Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.5 1886
  24. Black Tuesday  - The Bruery 4.5 1799
  25. Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th – Dark Horse Brewing Company 4.5 1217
  26. Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia – Kuhnhenn Brewing Company 4.5 1124
  27. Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.5 1094
  28. Abrasive Ale – Surly Brewing Company 4.49 2135
  29. Beatification – Russian River Brewing Company 4.49 1317
  30. Cantillon Lou Pepe – Kriek – Brasserie Cantillon 4.49 896
  31. Ephraim – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.48 550
  32. Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) – Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) 4.47 1374
  33. Barrel-Aged Abraxas – Perennial Artisan Ales 4.47 342
  34. St. Bernardus Abt 12 – Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV 4.46 5779
  35. Darkness – Surly Brewing Company 4.46 1909
  36. Cantillon Saint Lamvinus – Brasserie Cantillon 4.46 1104
  37. Everett Porter – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.46 1104
  38. Double Galaxy – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.46 441
  39. Consecration – Russian River Brewing Company 4.45 2855
  40. Permanent Funeral – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.45 870
  41. Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.45 253
  42. Mornin’ Delight – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company 4.45 203
  43. Temptation – Russian River Brewing Company 4.44 2254
  44. Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic – Brasserie Cantillon 4.44 1632
  45. Chocolate Rain – The Bruery 4.44 965
  46. PseudoSue – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company 4.44 546
  47. Cable Car – The Lost Abbey 4.44 487
  48. Adam From The Wood – Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room 4.44 408
  49. AleSmith Speedway Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged – AleSmith Brewing Company 4.43 828
  50. Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company 4.43 149
  51. Cantillon Blåbær Lambik – Brasserie Cantillon 4.42 473
  52. Double Citra – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.42 462
  53. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier – Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan 4.41 4895
  54. Enjoy By IPA – Stone Brewing Co. 4.41 4244
  55. Samuel Adams Utopias – Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) 4.41 1327
  56. Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.41 436
  57. Sculpin IPA – Ballast Point Brewing Company 4.4 6263
  58. Dreadnaught IPA – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.4 3904
  59. Nelson – Alpine Beer Company 4.4 1472
  60. Mother Of All Storms – Pelican Pub & Brewery 4.4 1061
  61. Imperial Eclipse Stout – Elijah Craig (12 Year) – FiftyFifty Brewing Co. 4.4 866
  62. AleSmith Speedway Stout – AleSmith Brewing Company 4.39 3546
  63. Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) – Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel 4.39 2931
  64. Prairie Bomb! – Prairie Artisan Ales 4.39 766
  65. Hoppy Birthday – Alpine Beer Company 4.39 407
  66. Society & Solitude #5 – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.39 393
  67. Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze Vintage – Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.39 345
  68. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – California Brandy Barrel Aged – Cigar City Brewing 4.39 323
  69. Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter – Ballast Point Brewing Company 4.38 2841
  70. Duet IPA – Alpine Beer Company 4.38 1253
  71. Melange No. 3 – The Bruery 4.38 974
  72. Exponential Hoppiness – Alpine Beer Company 4.38 833
  73. Cascade Sang Noir – Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub 4.38 708
  74. Cantillon Lou Pepe – Framboise – Brasserie Cantillon 4.38 599
  75. Susan – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.38 533
  76. Tröegs Nugget Nectar – Tröegs Brewing Company 4.37 5028
  77. Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale – Lagunitas Brewing Company 4.37 4691
  78. Matt  - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room 4.37 488
  79. Society & Solitude #4 – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.37 365
  80. Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.37 347
  81. Ten FIDY – Oskar Blues Brewing Company 4.36 5332
  82. Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break – Evil Twin Brewing 4.36 1551
  83. Edward – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.36 1082
  84. Cantillon Lou Pepe – Gueuze – Brasserie Cantillon 4.36 486
  85. Bad Boy – Alpine Beer Company 4.36 338
  86. Imperial Russian Stout – Stone Brewing Co. 4.35 5506
  87. Founders Imperial Stout – Founders Brewing Company 4.35 3858
  88. Lunch – Maine Beer Company 4.35 1828
  89. Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek – Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.35 591
  90. Atrial Rubicite – Jester King Brewery 4.35 286
  91. AleSmith Speedway Stout – Kopi Luwak (Bourbon Barrel-Aged) – AleSmith Brewing Company 4.35 280
  92. Murda’d Out Stout – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.35 219
  93. Baudoinia – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.35 215
  94. Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock – Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying 4.34 4260
  95. Double Jack – Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.34 4135
  96. Blind Pig IPA – Russian River Brewing Company 4.34 3223
  97. Wisconsin Belgian Red – New Glarus Brewing Company 4.34 1795
  98. Fat Head’s Head Hunter IPA – Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon 4.34 1696
  99. Pure Hoppiness – Alpine Beer Company 4.34 1515
  100. Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze – Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.34 1471

As for how many of these beers I’ve actually been able to try? Last year at this time I had 47 out of the beginning of 2013′s Top 100. Today, I stand at 90 out of the beginning of 2014′s Top 100. A respectable jump in numbers. I’m sure I’d be saying otherwise this time last year but I don’t think the last 10 would be that hard to try if I really was interested in getting my hands on them (although I shudder to think about the amount of Hill Farmstead I’d have to give up to do so).

How many on the list have you have you had?

Night of Great Thirst at Ebenezer’s Pub

Ebenezer’s Pub has been on my bucket list for what seems like ages. I think I first took interest in Eb’s when I started paying attention to Draft Magazine’s Top 100 list and it was always prominently featured year after year. Of course running in the New England beer circles I run in the pub is always touted with high praise. And I’ve come across countless articles mentioning Eb’s as the “Greatest Bar in America You’ve Never Heard Of”, on a list of “Top Bars to Visit Before You Die” or something of the like. After my first visit to Ebenezer’s Pub, meeting Chris Lively and his crew, and attending one of his amazing events, I’m inclined to agree with the sentiments above.

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Bottle Share with Night Shift Brewing

Too fun not to share this one. Got this tweet last week from the crew at Night Shift Brewing:

Night Shift is in Everett, MA and doesn’t distribute much outside of the Boston area, so for my house in Loudonville, NY to be the #2 venue only behind the brewery itself is a pretty awesome. Elise has been saving a few bottles in the beer cellar and I had recently picked up a bottle of Taza Stout for myself, so when our friend Anthony was coming in from Boston I asked him to snag one of their latest beers, Citranation, and their blueberry berliner I missed out on. Thankfully he obliged and we had a pretty nice lineup of Night Shift beers for tasting, along with some other randoms from Pig Destroyer Jon and Jeff2, mostly because we’re Untappd badge whores. Check it out:
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Sours and Stogies at The Doom Saloon

It’s been a while since I’ve made it down to the Doom Saloon. The last time was for our epic IPA tasting over the summer. And while the IPA tasting was great, this week’s sour tasting with Ken, Cavedave, Merc, and Jeff2 definitely took the cake. The lineup for the night:

  • Sour Barrel Aged Burial at Sea by DC Brau Brewing Company
  • 2009 Raspberry Tart by New Glarus Brewing Company
  • Sans Pagaie by The Bruery
  • The Sauer Peach by Sloop Brewing
  • Tart Of Darkness by The Bruery
  • Barrel Select Cherry by Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
  • 2006 Doesjel by Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
  • 2010 Classic Gueuze by Brasserie Cantillon
  • 2010 Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio by Brasserie Cantillon
  • Marrón Acidifié by The Bruery
  • The Vine by Cascade Brewing Company
  • Juliet (2012) by Goose Island Beer Co. (AB-InBev)
  • Madame Rose (2012) by Goose Island Beer Co. (AB-InBev)

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Zwanze Day at Novare Res Bier Cafe

Just got back from a pretty awesome weekend in Portland. I have a TON of pics to post up, but I wanted to get the ones from Zwanze Day up ASAP.

Heading up to Novare Res couldn’t have worked out better. We got there early enough that there were only 10 people in line in front of us (of course Ruth was one of them), got our tickets almost immediately and had just about every Cantillon available that I haven’t had yet. Adam and most of his crew even made it in time to get their tickets as well.

I didn’t know better, so after getting our Zwanze tickets and a couple of shirts, I grabbed a Rodenbach Grand Cru and a Smuttynose Herbaceous while we held down the table and waited for Adam, Eliz and crew to show up.

The bar was hopping from the very beginning of the day and it didn’t cool off until well after Zwanze was kicked and Mamouche was flowing.

There was a very cool room off to the side with some nice couches and an insane amount of Cantillon bottles along the shelves. Every single one of these were dead Loons:

I got back to the table and did a little more reading on the beer menu. They were already pouring the Cantillon Single Barrel 2 Year Lambic, and I had somehow missed it. I immediately got up to grab a couple of glasses and left the Smuttynose and Rodenbach to wait until later.

Cantillon Single Barrel 2 Year Lambic

Hold up, I read the menu wrong AGAIN. They also had some Zwanze (2010) Blanche de Quenast left. Only 5 bottles total were being opened which meant it was going to go quick. I went and grabbed another two, of course. We got the last of the 3rd bottle and some of the 4th. I poked Ruth real quick to make sure she got some and the 5th bottle kicked shortly after.

Cantillon Zwanze (2010) Blanche de Quenast

Cantillon Zwanze (2010) Blanche de Quenast

We had a pretty epic breakfast at Hot Suppa, but at this point, with this many beers, some grub was in order. Elise got some pasta with alfredo while I grabbed sausage plate with kraut that really hit the spot. The table next to us got this impressive cheese and charcuterie plate that I couldn’t help by try to grab a pic of:

Lunch was accompanied by some great bottles Adam chose: 2008 Pannepot Reserva and 2005 Pannepot Grand Reserva, both from De Struise Brouwers. Absolutely phenom, both of them, and I would never have thought about grabbing the bottles. Thanks for sharing them Adam!

I also wanted to order a bottle of the Cantillon Iris, but was waiting until after we got our Zwanze. In the meantime, Adam ordered another killer bottle: 2008 Ommegang Bier de Mars (Batch 2). I had this over the summer with Jon and was a big fan. At $18 for the bottle, it was hard to pass up.

At about a quarter of three the place really started to pack in with the anticipation of tapping Zwanze.

And finally after a grand introduction, we had Zwanze!

…which came right about the same time as my bottle of Iris…

…which I finished pouring right around the same time our Mamouche came along!

Damn. At this point we had about 16 glasses of Cantillon sitting on our table. It was pretty crazy. We took our time sipping on all of these great beers, but by the end of the day Adam couldn’t help but order another bottle: a 2009 Brasserie Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux. Hey, there were going to be no objections coming from me!

Zwanze Day was awesome. I’m really glad I made the decision to make my way up to Portland and hit up a bunch of great spots this weekend. Novare Res was definitely the highlight of the weekend. I had a ton of fun with our group and the crowds and I got to tick FIVE different Cantillons I’ve never had before. My wallet may be regretting it this week but if I had the chance to make the decision again, it would have been the same.