A few of us had the day off on Monday so some of the Team got together to finish packing up the rest of the beer and swag to send out to our Gang Bang targets. Some lucky sons of bitches are going to be receiving these bad boys sometime next week, with another box of fresh IPAs coming along a week before their bang date next month. Continue reading “Team Upstate NY Packing Party Part 2”→
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:
Heady Topper – The Alchemist 4.7 5274
Pliny The Younger – Russian River Brewing Company 4.65 1797
Pliny The Elder – Russian River Brewing Company 4.64 7920
Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.64 3160
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) – Founders Brewing Company 4.62 6142
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).
My buddy Richard (of Fourteen Stone fame) has never really done Vermont before so with Elaborative One and Prolegomena still on shelves and the lottery for the Festival of Farmhouse Ales live at Hill Farmstead I figured it was a great opportunity to give him the grand tour (or as much as we could cover in the day) of the Green Mountain State. Follow us along, won’t you?
Another Thursday, another trip up to Greensboro, VT. This time with Pig Destroyer Jon and Mike from Fourteen Stone in tow.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Biere de Norma was released this week. It’s Hill Farmstead’s Biere de Mars, and something I got to try unfinished back in January when I picked beers for the Gang Bang Beer It Forward #3 packing party. It was tasty as hell back then and I knew I had to come back up to grab it when it went on sale, even if it was only a one bottle limit per person.
A trip to Hill Farmstead isn’t complete without doing a tasting. It was pretty much a given due to the wait anyway. I’m sure the lines were even worse today with the inevitable running out of Norma. Even still, it’s a good opportunity to sip on something you haven’t had yet to see if you want a growler or not, such as Society and Solitude #6.
I’m pretty much floored every time I try one of Hill Farmstead’s DIPAs and S&S6 was no different. The mosaic hops hit you with a ton of citrus and tropical fruits, all while hiding the ABV and like all of their DIPAs, drinkable as hell. I followed that up with some Fear and Trembling, which I’m sure is amazing if you liked smoke beers but is are definitely not my thing, although the barrel aged versions of this are insanely good.
Shaun came over and poured me a taste of their unnamed Flanders Red, a beer that surely still has a bit of time to mature and is already one best tasting Flanders I’ve ever had; can’t wait for that one. I rounded the rest of the tasters up with Harlan and another shot at S&S6 because it was so damn tasty I just needed another sip, while running into and chatting with some great beer geeks I knew from MA, VT, CT, NH, and even NJ.
Naturally our next stop was to The Alchemist (with a slight detour to go find some Vermont Smoke and Cure pepperoni and real sticks).
We did a few tasters and grabbed a couple of cases of beer.
And I picked up this ridiculously amazing Heady Topper work shirt. Look for the fat Asian wearing this at a beer festival nearest you.
We grabbed a quick lunch at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Full post on that to come. On our way home, since we were passing it anyway, we stopped at Fiddleheads.
Love this sign. What more does one man need?
We tried the beers that were on tap, including the lager, biere de mars, and IPA. Pretty stiff competition compared to The Alchemist and Hill Farmstead. The beers were very approachable to someone just getting into craft beer, but definitely needed to be a little over the top for us.
I did check out the new Vermont Brewery Tour cards and as you can see, there are quite a few more breweries since I started mine. Craft beer in Vermont is getting big!
We headed home to split up our spoils. Until next time…
Well, since BeerAdvocate has gone and changed the way they are determining the ratings of their beer, there’s been a bit of a shakeup at the top of the charts. Long time champ Pliny the Younger has gotten knocked down from newcomer Heady Topper, and there have been plenty of other changes down the line as well. After seeing Adam’s post on the matter, I thought it’d be a good idea to go down the line and see how many I’ve been able to try in 2012. Hads are starred and in bold:
*1 Heady Topper The Alchemist 4.71 2362
2 Pliny The Younger Russian River Brewing Company 4.69 1309
3 Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.67 361 *4 Founders CBS Imperial Stout Founders Brewing Company 4.66 1821 *5 Pliny The Elder Russian River Brewing Company 4.64 5311 *6 Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) 4.64 2431 *7 Zombie Dust Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.63 2283
8 Peg’s G.O.O.D. Rare D.O.S. Peg’s Cantina & Brewpub 4.63 92 *9 Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Founders Brewing Company 4.62 3917 *10 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout Goose Island Beer Co. 4.61 1486 *11 Parabola Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.59 1860
12 Citra DIPA Kern River Brewing Company 4.59 595 *13 Double Sunshine IPA Lawson’s Finest Liquids 4.59 445
14 Kaggen! Stormaktsporter Närke Kulturbryggeri AB 4.59 126
15 Adam From The Wood Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room 4.58 259
16 Duck Duck Gooze The Lost Abbey 4.57 367
17 Cantillon Blåbær Lambik Brasserie Cantillon 4.57 328 *18 Double Galaxy Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.57 226 *19 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Laird’s Apple Brandy Barrel Cigar City Brewing 4.57 211 *20 The Abyss Deschutes Brewery 4.56 2693 *21 Supplication Russian River Brewing Company 4.56 2338 *22 Cantillon Fou’ Foune Brasserie Cantillon 4.56 758
23 Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Dark Horse Brewing Company 4.56 579 *24 Ephraim Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.56 322
25 Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia Kuhnhenn Brewing Company 4.55 624 *26 Abner Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.55 447
27 Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze Vintage Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.55 210 *28 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout Cigar City Brewing 4.53 981 *29 Cantillon Lou Pepe – Kriek Brasserie Cantillon 4.53 592
30 Cable Car The Lost Abbey 4.53 312
31 Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.53 282
32 Peg’s G.O.O.D. RareR D.O.S. Peg’s Cantina & Brewpub 4.53 119
33 Keene Idea Alpine Beer Company 4.53 65
34 Alesmith Speedway Stout – Vanilla & Coconut AleSmith Brewing Company 4.53 32
35 Bell’s Hopslam Ale Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.52 4953
36 Black Tuesday The Bruery 4.52 1068
37 Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) 4.52 1037
38 Hoppy Birthday Alpine Beer Company 4.52 234 *39 Founders Breakfast Stout Founders Brewing Company 4.51 5896 *40 Trappistes Rochefort 10 Brasserie de Rochefort 4.51 3860 *41 Bourbon County Brand Stout Goose Island Beer Co. 4.51 3495 *42 Beatification Russian River Brewing Company 4.51 879 *43 Bell’s Black Note Stout Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.51 696
44 Ann Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.51 89
45 Oude Tart With Sour Cherries The Bruery 4.51 82
46 Abrasive Ale Surly Brewing Company 4.5 1296 *47 §ucaba (Abacus) Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.5 1261 *48 Everett Porter Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.49 492
49 Bad Boy Alpine Beer Company 4.49 216 *50 Society & Solitude #5 Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.49 146
51 Darkness Surly Brewing Company 4.48 1285 *52 Cantillon Saint Lamvinus Brasserie Cantillon 4.48 677
53 Mother Of All Storms Pelican Pub & Brewery 4.48 667
54 Silva Stout Green Flash Brewing Co. 4.48 363
55 Imperial Eclipse Stout – Elijah Craig (20 Year) FiftyFifty Brewing Co. 4.48 345 *56 Birth Of Tragedy Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.48 259 *57 Society & Solitude #4 Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.48 186
58 Bell’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.48 151
59 Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout – Zhukov’s Final Push Cigar City Brewing 4.48 46 *60 St. Bernardus Abt 12 Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV 4.47 3952
61 AleSmith Speedway Stout – Barrel Aged AleSmith Brewing Company 4.47 429
62 Imperial Eclipse Stout – Elijah Craig (12 Year) FiftyFifty Brewing Co. 4.47 387
63 Imperial Russian Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged Stone Brewing Co. 4.47 225
64 Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale Kern River Brewing Company 4.47 186
65 Churchill’s Finest Hour 2012 Port Brewing Company / Pizza Port 4.47 98
66 Dirty Horse De Struise Brouwers 4.47 91
67 Darkness – Bourbon Barrel Aged Surly Brewing Company 4.47 55 *68 Consecration Russian River Brewing Company 4.46 1808 *69 Temptation Russian River Brewing Company 4.46 1534 *70 Cascade Sang Noir Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub 4.46 365
71 Matt Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room 4.46 323 *72 Double Citra Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.46 158
73 Hop Venom Double IPA Boneyard Beer Company 4.46 108
74 Exponential Hoppiness Alpine Beer Company 4.45 595 *75 Chocolate Rain The Bruery 4.45 397 *76 Dreadnaught IPA Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.44 2668 *77 Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Brasserie Cantillon 4.44 878 *78 Cantillon Lou Pepe – Gueuze Brasserie Cantillon 4.44 282 *79 Maple Bacon Coffee Porter The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery 4.44 186 *80 Susan Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.44 148 *81 Nor Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.44 139
82 Drie Fonteinen Framboos Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.44 89
83 Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan 4.43 3318 *84 Sculpin India Pale Ale Ballast Point Brewing Company 4.43 3251 *85 AleSmith Speedway Stout AleSmith Brewing Company 4.43 2124 *86 Samuel Adams Utopias Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) 4.43 736 *87 Brute Ithaca Beer Company 4.43 634
88 Bourbon Barrel Aged Hi-Fi Rye Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery 4.43 218
89 Humulus Lager The Bruery 4.43 210
90 Columbus Bodhi DIPA Columbus Brewing Company 4.43 128
91 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged Cigar City Brewing 4.43 128
92 Moe’s Bender Surly Brewing Company 4.43 118
93 AleSmith Speedway Stout – Kopi Luwak AleSmith Brewing Company 4.43 61
94 Oil Of Aphrodite – Kopi Luwak Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery 4.43 34 *95 Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel 4.42 2049 *96 Fat Head’s Head Hunter IPA Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon 4.42 527
97 Melange No. 3 The Bruery 4.42 431
98 Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.42 405 *99 Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.42 213
100 Black Damnation V – Double Black De Struise Brouwers 4.42 160
47 out of 100. Not too bad. Ease of access to the numerous Hill Farmstead beers has hit a huge chunk on this list, but I definitely have some work cut out for me. How many of the BeerAdvocate Top 100 (Most Popular) beers have you had?
While drinking a super fresh Heady Topper, of course. For a while now I haven’t been that happy with Tumblr as a blogging platform. I think it’s a great community and I’ve met a bunch of truly awesome beer nerds there. While I still plan on remaining active on Tumblr, I’ve been looking for something a little more robust for the large format pictures + long form text that the majority of my posts tend to be. Some of my gripes with Tumblr:
No Post Titles – Unless I want to do text posts with embedded images (which I don’t, since then the first images will not show up on the Tumblr mobile app), I have to do an image or image set post which means I no longer get a post title. I have to go into the HTML of each post, change my “title” from “P” tags to “H2” tags. And then I add a “–” to the beginning of the first paragraph because Tumblr doesn’t actually know that the H2 tag means it’s a title, so it mushes my faux-title into the first paragraph. Actually, it does that even when I do a text post. Might be a theme issue but it’s nothing I feel like troubleshooting.
Picture Handling – Since pictures added to the text of a post are limited in size, I host all of my pictures on Google+/Picasa. All pictures below 2048 pixels are free to host there, for life. Hosted images with most themes must have it’s size specified hard coded in the image tag and will not resize for screen size, which means on smaller screens it extend past the edge of the screen. It’s ugly as fuck.
Lack of Search – Since all of my posts are done in an image caption, none of that text is searchable. If I want to find anything on my site, I have to use Google for it and I REALLY have to diligent about my tags.
Metadata Sucks – This goes hand in hand with my post title issue. Since Tumblr doesn’t actually know what my post title is, it mushes the first 200 characters of a post as the title metadata for a post, and makes sharing to facebook and other sites look like shit. Also, the way that the theme has all of my Tumblr Likes up top, there are times when it grabs an image from someone else’s site instead of my own for posts.
Fluid Theme – There are plenty of fluid tumblr themes out there, but for the features I want with a fluid theme, without a ton of custom CSS, and without costing me $49, there isn’t one out there. I’m losing some pixels switching to WordPress (so far) but getting the sidebar with a calendar and a few other widgets I’m looking for I might be happier here.
Not actually using Tumblr as Tumblr – As I said earlier, I think Tumblr is a great community and since I’ve been using it really as my “website” instead of using it like other Tumblrs, I’m missing out. Not wanting to reblog something that isn’t beer-related, not wanting to share any of my other hobbies, etc etc.
For now, I’m going to be posting here at blog.thefuj.com. Just have to figure out how to get IFTTT to post my WordPress pictures (not just a link to the post, I mean a whole picture, with Post Title and Link to this the post after) to Tumblr/Facebook/Twitter and I’ll be happy. I plan on keeping it that way until I’m satisfied with WordPress as a platform, and then I’ll probably point thefuj.com here and set up tumblr.thefuj.com or something for Tumblr in the future. Until then, you can continue finding my posts over on Tumblr at thefuj.com.