Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween, Beer Nerds

craft beer bottles and a pumpkin

Halloween is upon us once again. If you’re a female, go dress extra slutty and act like you haven’t been waiting all year to do so. If you’re a dude, put on whatever random costume you can throw together at the last minute and go stare at extra-slutty looking woman. Or just sit on your couch eating candy and watching horror movies.  I don’t care what the fuck you do. Just do it with a nice cold (craft) beer in hand.

Happy Halloween, beer nerds.

UBN

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Samuel Adams 2007 Utopias Expected to Become First Officially-Auctioned Beer in US, Sell for ~$500

Samuel Adams 2007 Utopias

Massachusetts-based auction house Skinner will soon auction off two bottles of Samuel Adams 2007 Utopias as part of a fine wine auction, and the auctioneer says it will be the first time a beer has been officially auctioned off in the United States.

Beers were auctioned very frequently on eBay in the past, and some buyers paid absolutely ridiculous prices for rare or hard-to-find brews. But eBay recently promised to crack down on shady alcohol sales, and few, if any, beers are currently for sale on eBay.

Samuel Adams released its 10th anniversary Utopias this month, and its list price is $160. (Read more about the 2012 Samuel Adams Utopias here.) The 2007 Utopias retailed for $120 when it was released. Skinners says it expects the 2007 Utopias to sell for between $350 and $550 in the auction, but auctioneers usually overestimate projected sales, so it will probably sell for a figure that’s closer to the bottom of that range.

Beers like Samuel Adams Utopias that are produced in small quantities and that age well due to very high ABVs sometimes become collector’s items that may never actually be consumed. So who knows? Some rich and crazy collector many drop a fortune on one of Skinner’s bottles.

UBN

Via The-Leader.com; image via Bookofjoe.com

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Respect Beer — and Trees. Read Beer Advocate’s Digital Magazine for Android

Beer Advocate magazine for Android

I’ve been reading Beer Advocate magazine for years, but it wasn’t until last month that I actually subscribed to it. In the past, I’d just pick up a free copy at my local watering hole. That meant I’d sometimes miss an issue because the magazine always disappears from bars quickly—it never ceases to amaze me how much people like free shit, doesn’t matter what it is.

I figured it was about time to subscribe to Beer Advocate, because I really like the magazine, and I appreciate what it and its associated website, BeerAdvocate.com, do for the craft beer community. I’d been freeloading for long enough. But what really inspired me to subscribe was the release of a digital version of Beer Advocate for Android tablets and smartphone. Now I’m able to read my favorite craft beer publication on my Nexus 7 Android tablet and my Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone.

The digital subscription is half the price of the print publication, at $7.49 a year, or just $0.63 per issue, via Google’s Play Store for Android. (The print subscription costs $14.99 a year, or about $1.25 per issue.) You can buy individual issues for $1.99 each, and you get a 14-day free trial from Google. Back issues are available. You can download the digital edition of Beer Advocate instantly, as soon as new issues are released, so you don’t have to wait for the USPS to deliver them—and you don’t have to worry about your shiesty-ass, Bud-Light-guzzling neighbor stealing your copy. You can read Play Magazines on Google Android smartphones, and both 7- and 10-inch Android tablets. And you can read the digital version of Beer Advocate on your desktop computer using Google’s Chrome browser. (Unfortunately, Beer Advocate digital is not available for Apple iOS devices or any other mobile platforms at this point.)

Beer Advocate magazine for Android

The digital Beer Advocate interface is good-looking and intuitive. You can access a table of contents at any time by tapping your Android screen once and then tapping the box that appears in the bottom left corner of your display. You can also quickly scan through thumbnail images of all the pages; just tap the screen and then slide the horizontal bar of images that appears at the bottom of your display. And you can click into a text version, which strips out some of the images and formatting for easier reading, by tapping your display and then choosing the “View Text” option at the top of your screen.

My one complaint about Beer Advocate‘s digital version for Android: Existing print subscribers have to pay separately for the digital edition. That sucks, because print subscribers already pay double the price of the digital edition, and Beer Advocate should reward these folks for their loyalty, not punish them by charging an additional fee.

Beer Advocate magazine’s motto: Respect beer. Now you can follow that advice while respecting Mother Nature and saving some trees, thanks to the digital edition of Beer Advocate for Android.

Learn more about the digital edition of Beer Advocate on BeerAdvocate.com or download it from Google Play.

UBN

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Stone Releases Its Latest Illegitimate Children: Lukcy Basartd and Double Bastard Ales (2012)

Lukcy Basartd and Double Bastard Ales (2012)

On Monday, while the American east coast was being slammed by Hurricane Sandy, Southern California’s Stone Brewing Co. released the 2012 versions of its Lukcy Bastard and Double Bastard ales.

Lukcy Basartd is one of my favorite Stone beers, and it’s a unique blend of three other Stone creations. From Stone:

The trmiraivute of Arorgnat Basartd Ale, OEKAD Arorgnat Basartd Ale and Dbolue Basartd Ale are all in paly in this cvueé de Basartd you now hlod, and wihle it is idneed a Lukcy Basartd, lcuk had ntohing to do wtih it.

Translation:

The triumvirate of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale and Double Bastard Ale are all in play in this cuvée de Bastard you now hold, and while it is indeed a Lucky Bastard, luck had nothing to do with it.

Lukcy Basartd has an ABV of 8.5%, and it is available in 22-ounce bomber bottles and on draft.

Double Bastard is extremely hoppy American strong ale with a 10.5% ABV. It’s available in bomber bottles, on draft and in big-ass three-liter bottles that can be refilled at Stone’s brewery. (Stone also makes a Double Bastard habanero hot sauce that’s no joke.)

More details on all of Stone’s Bastard ales are available on ArrogantBastard.com.

UBN

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Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout Review

Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout

Ever since I wrote about Stone Brewing Co.’s latest collaboration brew last month I’ve been dying to get my hands on a bottle, because I’m a big fan of Stone’s past collaborations. Yesterday, I found one, and today I’m drinking—and reviewing—it.

I’ve had a few different beer styles flavored with mint in the past, and I was not a fan of any of them. So I was somewhat skeptical of the Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout before I tasted it. But I’m pleasantly surprised, because this imperial oatmeal stout is delicious. That shouldn’t come as any surprise because the brew was made by three seriously talented brewers: Stone Brewing Co.‘s Mitch Steele, Iron Fist Brewing Co.‘s Brandon Sieminski and home brewer Ken Schmidt, who won Stone’s 2012 home brewing competition with the recipe for this stout.

I poured my stout slowly into a small Stone tasting glass, and it settled with very little head. Its sweet, pungent aroma of chocolate and coffee is immediately apparent, and you can’t really smell any mint. The brew is a beautiful deep-brown color with a tan head.

I let the bottle cool in my refrigerator overnight, but after reading Stone’s suggestion to drink the beer at cellar temperature, I let it sit for 10 minutes or so after removing it from the refrigerator. And I purposely drank it slowly to let the beer near room temperature.

The stout is thick with very fine carbonation. It tastes strongly of chocolate and coffee, and it finishes with a very mild, almost-indistinguishable mint flavor. That’s a good thing, because the mint is secondary to chocolate, coffee and molasses malts, and it compliments them instead of overpowering those flavors. And as the beer warms up, the distinct flavors really pop.

Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout has an ABV of 9.6%, and the warm alcohol taste combines nicely with the chocolate, coffee and mint. I’m honestly impressed with the brew, and I’d definitely drink it again. I also have to believe that the brew would age very nicely, so I’m going to try to find another one for my cellar.

Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout started shipping on October 8, and it’s available in 18 U.S. states: Arizona; California; Colorado; Florida; Illinois, Massachusetts; North Carolina; New Mexico; New Jersey; New York; Ohio; Oregon; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; Texas, Virginia, Vermont and Washington. I paid $5 for my 12-ounce bottle, which is reasonable for such a complex, high ABV beer.

Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout gets an 8/10 on the Urban Beer Nerd scale. (It has a BeerAdvocate.com rating of 91 based on 27 user reviews.)

Check out the video below for more details on the beer and its origins. (Is it me or is the narrator annoying as hell?)

UBN

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Six Hurricane Sandy Preparedness Tips for Beer Nerds

Beer Emergency in Effect

With Hurricane Sandy set to wreak havoc on the American east coast during the next couple of days, I thought I’d share some beer nerd emergency preparedness tips to help ensure that you always have a frosty beer when you need one, even if the shit hits the fan.

  1. Stock up on beer, preferably in cans.  And buy your beer warm, so you don’t have to put it all in your refrigerator. If the power goes out, it could stay out for a couple of days, which means your local liquor stores will probably remain closed until power is restored. Make sure you have plenty of suds on hand before the storm hits. You can pack more cans into a smaller space than bottles, and tightly packed, chilled cans will stay cool for a longer period of time than bottles. Also, avoid cans of yellow lager made by the likes of Anheuser-Busch or MillerCoors, not because these beers aren’t well suited for emergency situations, but because they taste like shit. Lots of high-quality beer is available in cans today—thanks, Oskar Blues—so you won’t have to comprise.
  2. After you’ve stocked up on beer, you’ll want to buy some ice packs and/or a bunch of bags of ice. Then empty out your freezer of food and pack it with the ice and ice packs. (Fuck the food, beer nerds need to have their priorities in order; beer first, food second.)
  3. Buy a couple of coolers, so you can pack them with ice and beer if you lose power. Styrofoam coolers work well, they’re cheaper than plastic coolers and you can find them at many liquor stores. If you have a spare bathroom or don’t care about personal hygiene, you can also pack your bathroom sink or bathtub with ice and beer in an emergency to make sure your brews are cold when you need them.
  4. Next, you’ll want to pack as many cans into your refrigerator as possible, so they’re already cold when your lose electricity. Pack the cans in as tightly as possible and on top of each other, and they’ll work to cool themselves after they’re initially chilled.
  5. As soon as you lose power, fill your cooler or coolers (or sink or tub) with beer and ice. You’ll want to limit the number of times you open your fridge or freezer so the beer stays cold for as long as possible. It also makes sense to grab brews from the same cooler until it’s empty so your other coolers stay cold.
  6. Above all, do not panic. A calm, focused beer nerd who follows the steps listed above is a happy beer nerd.

(Drinker’s note: It should be obvious that this post is a joke. I’m not making light of Hurricane Sandy; I’m trying to add some levity to what will surely be a shitty situation for lots of folks. In reality, it’s a good idea to stay sober and sharp during emergencies, so if you do drink, be responsible and do so in moderation.)

UBN

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Stylish Moleskine Beer Journal Helps You Chronicle Your Adventures in Beer

Moleskine Beer Journal

I’m a big fan of Moleskine notebooks. I literally own piles of them; I have two of them sitting next to me as I write this post. So I was excited to see that Moleskine now offers a beer journal as part of its Passions Collection of notebooks designed for specific uses.

The Moleskine Beer Journal is 5 x 8.25 inches in size, has 120 double-sided pages (240 pages to write on), and it costs $19.95, plus shipping. It also has a bunch of different styles of beer glassware embossed on its cover.

From Moleskine.com:

“[The] journal not only has a glossary, pouring tips and glass types, it has tasting notes, a homebrewing log, space for your recipes, your cellar, and your favorite beer addresses. Easily organize your passion with 5 themed sections, 5 blank tabbed sections, and 202 adhesive labels to personalize the journal. Combine all these new features with the legendary Moleskine styling (black elastic closure, three ribbon bookmarks, expandable rear pocket, and more), and start recording your passion for beer.”

Moleskine Beer Journal

I, like many beer nerds, use the Untappd mobile app—and this blog—to keep track of all the beers I drink, but this beer journal could be helpful for recording specific details about beers and the dates you drank certain them, etc.

UBN

via Uncrate.com

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Zombies Love Good Beer Too (Dogfish Head ‘They’re Alive!’ Video)

The good folks at Dogfish Head just posted this amusing, if slightly corny, Zombie-themed Halloween video that appears to have been filmed at its Milton, Delaware brewery. The message of the video—besides, Happy Halloween—is that Dogfish’s bottle conditioned beers (Namaste, My Antonia and 75 Minute IPA) are “alive,” meaning they’re each bottled with live yeast, and they evolve and change over time in the bottles.

UBN

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On This (Web)Site in 1897…

Samuel Adams Brewery Sign on this site 1897

The image above was taken by Instagram user philips_beth at the Boston Beer Co.’s Samuel Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plain, Mass. (Jamaica Plain is a Boston neighborhood on the city’s west side.)

I’ve been to the Samuel Adams brewery a number of times, for tastings and new brew launches, and I recommend any and all beer nerds in the Boston area put the Sam Adams brewery tour on their to-do lists. (The Sam Adams tour was recently ranked number four on TripAdvisor’s best U.S. brewery tours list.)

I don’t remember ever seeing the On This Site in 1897 sign, but it amused me when Sam Adams posted it on Twitter this morning. (Okay, Sam Adams himself didn’t post it, that dead fuck isn’t on Twitter, but you know what I mean.) The irony is that Boston is a very old city, by American standards at least, so something interesting probably did happen on that site in 1897.

UBN

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In the World Series of Beer, San Francisco Beats Detroit Every Time

Anchor Steam Beer at AT&T Park

I work in San Francisco a couple of times a year, and whenever I visit the Bay Area, I make it a point to attend a Giants game—assuming it’s baseball season, of course. San Francisco is an amazing city for baseball fans and beer geeks, and its citizens genuinely care about good craft beer. That shows in the variety of great beer bars and beer shops in the city. (I left my heart in San Francisco‘s City Beer Store last time I was there. I fucking love that place.) But it also shows inside the city’s Major League Baseball venue, AT&T Park.

AT&T Park is literally home to its own beer bar, called Public House. And it’s great beer bar, at that. (It’s no The Publick House, but it’s still great.)

And you can find a vast array of craft beer inside the park as well, including at a dedicated Anchor Steam kiosk behind the center field seats.

From an AP story on the subject of beer at AT&T Park and Comerica Park, home of the Tigers:

“In a trendy, gourmet food-and-drink obsessed place such as San Francisco, a generic ‘cold beer’ at AT&T Park often doesn’t cut the mustard as a companion to the stadium’s pungent garlic fries or a Caribbean-style concoction called the Cha-Cha Bowl.

At Detroit’s Comerica Park, where only a couple of locally made beers are on tap, the die-hard Motor City fans are just fine with the unpretentious, established American beer brands.

Concessions directors at both stadiums say each facility’s beers reflect the fans – eclectic and diverse in San Francisco, and blue collar in Detroit.”

No offense to Detroit, I have a number of friends in the Motor City, and it’s great it in its own right. But in the World Series of beer, San Francisco take the trophy every single time.

GO GIANTS!

UBN

Via HuffingtonPost.com

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