Around Town at Saratoga Beer Week


Just a short post today. Friday Richard and I headed up to Saratoga to check out a few of the events going on for Saratoga Beer Week.

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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?

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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Fourteen Stone Drinking Crew #3

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.

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Richard acting a damn fool.

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Dave showcasing pretty much how everyone felt by the end of the night morning.

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Random Ass Beer Tasting with Merc and Jon

— You guys didn’t actually think that Merc and I sat down and only had two beers when we did the Pliny vs Pliny tasting did you?? C’mon, we’re talking about me and Merc here. Fifty percent of all of the times we drink until I end up calling in the next day.

It wasn’t our best tasting, and there were definitely a few duds but that doesn’t mean you guys shouldn’t check em out. Luckily I cracked open all of the Tree House growlers I picked up from that weekend’s visit to offset some of the bombs we opened. Here was the line up for the night:

  • Batch #69 Double Cream Ale by Cigar City Brewing – another dud from Cigar City, kinda disappointing considering that both Cucumber Saison and 110K+OT were not my cup of either and it’s one of my favorite breweries
  • Black Phoenix by Bootlegger’s Brewery
  • Horseneck Golden IPA by Just Beer
  • Julius by Tree House Brewing Company
  • Miller High Life by Miller Brewing Company – this was when I was still going for my All-American badge. Don’t judge me.
  • Old Man by Tree House Brewing Company
  • Sea Bass by Cigar City Brewing - sludgy, and kinda gross. This one did not cellar well AT ALL.
  • Talon Extra Select Double IPA by Mendocino Brewing Company – the week of their release. Like most Mendocino beers, completely forgettable
  • That’s What She Said by Tree House Brewing Company
  • Zes Zes Zes by Three Floyds Brewing – Merc really hyped this one up but honestly it didn’t knock my socks off. The artwork on the label is fucking killer, though.

Annnnnd surprisingly the not worst beer of the night (Sea Bass took that crown for me):

Beer Mail from Illinois, Part Deux

— Little bit of a delay on the follow up from this one but I’ve finally got some Zombie Dust! I’ve never had it before, gonna crack one open tonight. If it’s as any good as Dreadnaught I’m in for a treat. Not to mention the new Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout which just came out (which means it should hit shelves in Upstate NY in about three months, if at all). Thanks, Yet Another Beer Blog!

BCBS Available in the Capital District

— OK, last one for the day. Savemore Beverage just posted they have Bourbon County on their shelves. As far as I know, none of the other big bottle shops in the area have announced likewise, but I’m sure they’ll be following suit soon enough. With FBS on the shelves, too, could be a good time to stock up. For me? I’m anxiously awaiting the release of Bourbon County Cherry Rye.

Bourbon County Brand Stout Variations Out 11/23

The annual Bourbon County Brand Stout variations will be available on Black Friday!

This years Bourbon County Coffee is made with a coffee from Honduras called La Tortuga from our friends at Intelligentsia. In addition, we will also be releasing Bourbon County Brand Cherry Rye Stout. This beer is aged in rye whiskey barrels with whole Michigan cherries normally used for Madame Rose.

We cannot guarantee that the beers will be on shelves on Black Friday, this is dependent on wholesale delivery schedules.