A beer this good could only be served in a Teku glass.
Number Five came around right about the time that Dave was hitting his 1000th beer on Untappd. Actually, he went over by a few and his 1000th beer was actually something like Budweiser Budvar. Woof. Anyways, to celebrate is 1000th we broke out, and drank (yeah, really) the leftovers from his super crappy 500th beer: Fat Scotch Ale by Silver City Brewing Co. There was plenty of that beer left so when the end of the night rolled around for #3, we capped it, labeled it and I put it in the cellar for safe keeping and of course to oxidize for a few months. 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
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.
— First time getting beer shipped legally, so that’s new. Some of the guys from Fourteen Stone wanted to get some of this Noyaux before it sold out, so I ordered a couple plus a two of others they haven’t had. Should be a good upcoming drinking night.
Just kidding. This is actually one of my biggest hauls ever. Juicy, Twilight of the Idols, Anna, Abner, George, Edward and Susan are all present. Fourteen Stone, Merc, and Jay are all hooked up. And I got to meet up with a bunch of great beer nerds like Nate and Adam, some BAs and even some Capital District locals throughout the trip, while slamming some Lawson’s Finest at Prohibition Pig for a late lunch. Overall I’d say it was a pretty successful day.
— Naturally I had to grab some growlers and bottles for the Fourteen Stone Drinking Crew while at Hill Farmstead, and with a little coordination from Merc, we made it happen on one of the days he was in town. Elise made a huge spaghetti dinner for the guys mid-tasting, too. The consumption of Tums was plentiful that night.
Like most days Merc is in town, it was a Monday so things didn’t get too crazy. In addition to the Hill Farmstead beer, Jon brought a growler from his Trapp Family Lodge stop on the way home from the Harvest Festival and Merc brought over some randoms from Cascade, Cigar City and others.
Oktoberfest by Trapp Family Lodge Brewery
Simcoe Single Hop Pale Ale by Hill Farmstead Brewery
Society & Solitude #5 by Hill Farmstead Brewery
Apricot by Cascade Brewing Company
Arthur by Hill Farmstead Brewery
Riserva (2011) by Weyerbacher Brewing Company
Clara by Hill Farmstead Brewery
Old Numbskull by AleSmith Brewing Company
Decadence (2011) (Maple Smoked Barleywine) by AleSmith Brewing Company
Sankt Hans by Hill Farmstead/Grassroots
Ephraim by Hill Farmstead Brewery
Everett by Hill Farmstead Brewery
110K+OT Batch #5 by Cigar City Brewing (What a disappointment this beer was. Huuuuge barleywine.)
White Oak by The Bruery
Hoponius Union by Jack’s Abby Brewing
If you’re wondering about the Golden Blend and Saison Asterisk in the main pic, I snagged them at Hunger Mountain Coop on the way home from the Harvest Festival. Haven’t cracked them yet but you know sure as hell I’ll post some pics when I do.
– 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):