Fourteen Stone Drinking Crew #1

– For a while now I have been begging for decent tasting group in the Capital District. There have been a couple of threads on BA about starting one but for the most part they have all petered out and have amounted to nothing. And I’m talking about a quality tasting group, here. And no, I’m not saying whales at every tasting or anything (Albany is a tough area to land those) but at the very least a group of guys that I can crack open a $25-30 bottle of beer with, who will appreciate it, and who will bring something to share of just as good quality rather than bring their #9 homebrew clone or a single can of New Belgium Shift.

In the mean time, I have been riding on Merc’s coat tails with the Buffalo tasting group, in New Paltz with the Doom Saloon tasting group, and heading up to VT when I can to meet up with the local BAs there. It’s been good, and I love meeting new people and traveling for good beer, but I’d rather do something in my home town and try to do my part to cultivate good beer culture in the Capital District.

How about a short intro to the guys first:

  • For a few months now Jon and I have been sharing and muling some bottles with each other week after week and he, like myself, is no stranger to driving 3+ hours away to MA or VT to grab a bottle we’ve been looking for. ERMEHGERD!
  • Bill (mrsheeps) and I have done some drinking together down at The Ruck and more recently have been going back and forth on Tumblr here, me going after beers he’s posted about or him after stuff he’s seen here. He’a big fan of beer shopping in MA and always brings back some tasty goods to share, or at least brag about.
  • Dave was introduced to us at BCTC this year, loves trying new and different beers and has a way of showing up with stuff from our local bottle shops I’ve never seen before. He brings to the table something the rest of us lack: some serious culinary skills. I’m hoping that leads to tasty beer pairings in the future.
  • Mike is a friend of Jon’s that has some good experience with drinking beers on the West Coast and a great addition to our tastings. He also doesn’t mind driving out of the way with Jon for a good brew.
  • Lastly Rich is relatively new to the area and was looking for some Tart of Darkness at Hoosick Street Beverage. Now that beer isn’t a typical request at a bottle shop around here which means this kid was definitely a beer nerd. Knowing that we were going to crack open a bottle of the beer requested, I invited him along. That’s what being a good beer advocate is all about, isn’t it? Luckily, he isn’t a serial killer rapist (that we know of. Time will tell, Patrick Bateman.)

So what the fuck is up with that name? Let me explain. At one point in the night we got drunk enough to try to figure out how we fit together as a group and what we had in common. It turns out, we have absolutely nothing in common other than we all drink craft beer and we all weigh over 200 lbs. The next day, while hungover I decided to start a facebook group so we could all keep up with each other, with what our latest hauls were and what shit we have going on that might interest the rest of us. Clearly it needed to have a name. “Albany Tasting Group” was thrown around but only two of us are from Albany and only one in Albany proper. The rest are all from Troy. So Capital Region was thrown around and a couple of other things, but eventually I thought, as a play on us over 200 pounds why not call us the “Fourteen Stone Tasting Group” (if you don’t know what “stone” is in reference to weight, go educate yourself). And then further thinking about it, “Tasting Group” makes us sound like we sit around drinking out of tea cups with our pinkies out the entire time, so I decided “Fourteen Stone Drinking Crew” sounded much better. And here we are today.

So how about this tasting? As I said, we’re not going to get mind-blowing rarities month by month here in Albany but I’m just as happy getting together with the guys and trying a bunch of stuff I haven’t had before. I tossed in my two Oregon beers I traded with goofybear, plus some of the birthday beers I got from Elise and even broke a couple Heady Topper virginities that night. Jon and Mike did a Captain Lawrence and Grand Cru trip earlier that day to grab some stuff for the tasting. Rich even went to Hoosick Street Beverage and grabbed some Jolly Pumpkin, Tilquin and Evil Twin from our area’s newest distributor: Remarkable Liquids. Overall it was a pretty excellent night. I’m sure I’m missing a few and maybe the guys can help me fill in the blanks but here was what I can recall of the lineup that night:

  • The Keeping Biere – Ben’s Brew
  • Open Saison – Ben’s Brew
  • Brownstone – Sixpoint Brewery
  • Black Death Beer – Viking Ölgerd
  • Golden Delicious – Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
  • Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA – Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
  • Debutante – Stillwater Artisanal Ales
  • Speedway Stout – AleSmith Brewing Company
  • Tricerahops Double IPA – Ninkasi Brewing Company
  • Kasteel Donker (Bruin-Brune) – Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck
  • Hopworks IPA – Hopworks Urban Brewery
  • Freudian Slip – Evil Twin Brewing
  • 12 Horse Ale – Genesee Brewing Company (Jon brought these by because I want to take some pics of the new retro Genny stuff)
  • B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout – Hoppin’ Frog Brewery
  • D.O.R.I.S. the Destroyer Double Imperial Stout
  • Saison du BUFF – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • Saison du BUFF – Victory Brewing Company
  • Saison du BUFF – Stone Brewing Co.
  • Hops N’ Roses – Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
  • Samael’s Oak-aged Ale – Avery Brewing Company
  • Tart of Darkness – The Bruery
  • Oude Gueuze Tilquin à l’Ancienne – Gueuzerie Tilquin
  • Black Hole Barrel Aged Tequila – Mikkeller
  • Heady Topper – The Alchemist Pub & Brewery
  • Jai Alai IPA – Cigar City Brewing
  • Gandhi-Bot – New England Brewing Co.
  • 18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA – Great pide Brewing Company
  • Olde School – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti – Great pide Brewing Company

Like I said, pretty good tasting for our first attempt (by Capital Region standards) and I know it will only get better from here as we learn what each other has had, what we like, do more beer runs, get these guys into beer trading and add more people to the group. Now, without further ado, beer porn (and bacon. And fire):

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