Beer of the Week: Boulevard Sixth Glass Quadrupel

Posted on September 14th, 2011

About this beer: Boulevard is a regional craft brewery located in Kansas City, Missouri. They were virtually unknown to me until this year’s American Craft Beer Fest.  I didn’t get a chance to try the quad and was incredibly excited to get my hands on it. It clocks in at a healthy 10.5% ABV and is supposed to have hints of dates with a “sweet malt smell.”

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Beer of the Week: Brewdog Dogma

Posted on June 29th, 2011

About this beer: Scotland’s Brewdog is one of the most intimidating craft beer companies around. They make the world’s strongest beer, The End of History. (41% ABV) They aren’t just known for making crazy high ABV beers alone, they also have an incredibly wide range of non-coma inducing goodness. For this beer review I choose to step away from the relative safety of trying their highly regarded IPA (Punk IPA) and chose to drink something a bit more eclectic. Having never tasted one of Brewdog’s brews before I decided to go with Dogma, which is a strong ale made with honey, kola nut, poppy seed, and guarana.

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Beer of the Week: Victory’s Golden Monkey

Posted on January 18th, 2011

Victory Brewing Golden Monkey

About the beer:

Victory Brewing Company’s Golden Monkey is an American adaptation of the traditional Belgian-style strong ale now commonly found around the world. We’ve talked a lot about Belgian-style ales here at Beeriety and there are several themes that make this beer uniquely different than that of its predecessors from across the seas.

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Style Profile: Wheat Wine

Posted on September 8th, 2009

wheatwine

Wheat wine is a relevantly young style of beer, having emerged from  bolder American craft brewers over the last decade or so. For awhile there has been a trend among these brewers to experiment with older, less alcoholic styles by creating high alcohol versions; these bold versions are often dubbed “imperial,” a reference to the extremely potent Russian imperial stout. Some of these experiments work better than others. Over time wheat ale proved to be a style which did extremely well at higher alcohol percentages, and the one-off batches made by various brewers across the country took shape as a more cohesive style.

Photo Credit: Mark Pansing

Photo Credit: Mark Pansing

As a result of its young age and development it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that wheat whine is not a very precise category. Generally speaking, wheat wines feature a smooth, velvety mouth feel and a sweet, but light taste. Its strong alcohol percentage, (which can range anywhere from 7-14%) also gives the beer a warming affect.

Unlike other high alcohol or imperial beers, such as the barley wine, from which it borrows the ‘wine’ part of its name, wheat wine remains a nicely balanced beer thanks to the subtle flowery and citrusy flavors the wheat gives it. This makes it perfect for consumption any time of year. Color and appearance tend to fairly widely, ranging anywhere from a clear amber to a cloudy gold.

Ever had a wheat wine? Although it’s still fairly rare there are plenty of great brewers with examples of the style. New Hamshire’s Smuttynose Brewing makes a great one, and be sure to check out Gamma Ray from Terrapin Brewing in Georgia and  New Holland’s Pilgrim’s Dole from Michigan for wonderful wheat wine. Next time you do let us know what you think about it or any other wheat wine by tweeting your beer and adding the ‘#mybeer’ hashtag.

Style Profile: The India Pale Ale (IPA)

Posted on July 20th, 2009

In the first of our Style Profile series we’re going to look briefly at the India Pale Ale or IPA. This is a classic style that anyone who’s interested in beer should try out, even if it’s not for everyone. The highlight of any IPA are the hops, the small, green plants which give beer much of its spice and flavor. Although the yeast, water and grains used in an IPA are important as they are in any beer, these other ingredients really take a back seat to showcasing the beer’s hop flavor.

The spicy flavor of hops isn’t the only benefit they provide beer. Hops are also a natural preservative, a quality which lead directly to the creation of the IPA style. During Great Britain’s occupation of India in the 19th century beer would be shipped from England all the way to India for British soldiers stationed there. To ensure the beer survived the long and perilous sea voyage brewers loaded the beers with extra hops, resulting in the hoppy taste that was a hit in India as much as it was at home in the UK and a style was born.

Hops are grown in many regions throughout the world and come in dozens of different varieties which fluctuate in their bitterness, flavor and aroma. Regardless of which hops an IPA features, it can be counted on to feature the spicy bitterness which are a hallmark of the style. Many hops grown in England such as Kent Goldings have a mellow, spicy quality to them, which is reflected in the pale ales of England such as Samuel Smith’s India Ale.

On the West Coast, where most American hops are grown, Cascade is by far the most dominant variety; it’s a style famous for its strong floral and citrus-like qualities. West Coast Brewers, such as Stone, Rogue and Sierra Nevada have experimented with the these hops creating a unique take on the IPA tradition that’s American through and through- the Double or Imperial India Pale Ale.

In craft beer the terms ‘double’ or ‘imperial’ generally refer to a extra strong version of a more traditional (and timid) style. ‘Double’ simply denotes twice as much of something (such as hops) as been used, while ‘imperial’ refers to the Imperial Russian Stout, a particularly strong stout brewed for Catherine the Great (but that’s for another style profile.)

As you might guess, the Double India Pale Ale is a much stronger version of the IPA, both in terms of hops and alcohol (typically ranging around 8-9% alc./volume while a standard IPA is just 5-6%) Rather than simply being a more intensified version of the IPA the DIPA takes on unique qualities all its own.

Serving Suggestions:

Glass: IPAs do well in your standard pint glass, while I would recommend a snifter for DIPAs to take advantage of the intense hop aromas.

Food Pairings: The spicy flavors of IPAs and DIPAs pair great with spicy cuisines such as Cajun, Mexican and Indian. Alternatively, a the sharp hop flavors can provide a nice counterpoint to more savory flavors such as barbecue chicken or pork.