Monthly Archives: February 2013

The ‘Best Beer Labels Ever’

Cantillon Bottle Labels

This morning I came across a list of “the best beer labels ever.” It does not, in my opinion, spotlight the best beer labels ever, despite what its source, CoolMaterial.com says. But these types of lists are obviously opinion-based, and this one does show off some cool-looking bottles and cans. The list should probably be called “Best Beer Bottle Designs Ever” though because it’s not just the labels that make these brews look so interesting. My favorite designs in the list are the Cervecería Sagrada Guero Gomez lager, the Bold City Mad Manatee IPA and the Ippon Matsu Ganko milk stout, though I’ve never tasted any of these beers.

Russian River Supplication Temptation Bottles

I’d have to say my personal favorite labels come from Cantillon and Russian River, which also happen to be two of my favorite breweries. Many Cantillon bottles have labels with beautiful paintings on them, and all of Russian River’s “tion” beers show different, crazy-looking blades.

Hit CoolMaterial.com for a look at its list of the best beer labels ever.

UBN

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Beer Advocate 2013 Extreme Beer Fest (EBF) Rescheduled for March 15/16

Beer Advocate Extreme Beer Fest Ticket

Last weekend, Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Fest in Boston was cancelled due to the massive winter storm Nemo. Boston was an absolute mess, with all public transportation shut down and an active driving ban punishable by a big fine and even jail time. It was necessary to postpone the event. But the organizers just sent out a message with the new dates for the 2013 Extreme Beer Fest.

Here’s the message Beer Advocate sent out to folks with EBF tickets:

Extreme Beer Fest: Rescheduled Dates

New Dates: March 15 & 16, 2013 in Boston, MA

Unfortunately, Extreme Beer Fest (February 8 & 9, 2013) was postponed due to severe weather conditions that forced the city of Boston to close all transportation. As EBF (and the storm) landed on a weekend, our efforts to reschedule had to wait; however, first thing Monday, we began coordinating with the venue to secure new dates and are pleased to announce that Extreme Beer Fest #10 will occur on March 15 & 16, 2013 at The Cyclorama in Boston, MA.

Options and information for existing ticket holders are also included below.

New Dates/Times

Night of the Barrels @ Extreme Beer Fest

Friday, March 15, 6pm-9:30pm

Extreme Beer Fest

Saturday, March 16, 1pm-4:30pm (Day Session)

Saturday, March 16, 6pm-9:30pm (Night Session)

Held at The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Previous Tickets

Existing, non-refunded tickets are valid and will be scannable. Optional: Those who purchased tickets via Eventbrite may also re-download their tickets with the new dates; see http://help.eventbrite.com.

Tickets that have been refunded will not be valid and will be refused at the door.

Refunds

We’ll be waiving our “no refund” policy and will honor refunds to all Eventbrite ticket buyers who file their requests by February 19, 12am EST. Please see the instructions below.

Refund Instructions

If you’d like a refund, please email ebfrefunds@eventbrite.com withonly the order ID number in the subject line. You can find your order ID number on your confirmation email from Eventbrite.

Deadline

As a reminder, refund requests will be accepted up until February 19, 12am EST, based strictly on the instructions given above. Any refund requests beyond this will be dealt with on a case by case basis, but we cannot issue refunds outside of the instructions prior to the deadline or guarantee refunds past the given deadline.

Secondhand Purchased Tickets

If you purchased your tickets from a non-authorized reseller or individual, you’ll need to contact the original re-seller to confirm that each of your tickets is still valid.

All Eventbrite ticket buyers will be alerted of the new dates and options via email.

We can’t even to begin to put into words the collective disappointment shared amongst the BeerAdvocate team, attendees, brewers, vendors, volunteers and everyone else involved, but please know that we’re truly saddened by the inconveniences that this situation has caused, and we appreciate your patience and continued support.

Please see the Extreme Beer Fest website and this forum for future updates.

http://beeradvocate.com/ebf/

Sincerely,

Jason & Todd
Founders, BeerAdvocate

I’m real psyched to see the event reschedule so quickly, but I still feel for all the brewers and beer enthusiasts who came to Boston only to have their EBF plans fucked up by mother nature. I’ll definitely be attending one of the Saturday sessions next month.

UBN

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Payday and Beer

Rudyard Kipling in a Pliny the Elder hat

“Payday came and with it beer.” – Rudyard Kipling

I always drink good beer. But on payday, and the few days after it, I drink really good beer, because I usually make the trip to the expensive beer store shortly after I get paid. As the week rolls on and I get further away from the last payday and closer to the next, I tend to drink less expensive beer or (GASP) no beer at all.  So this quote is spot on, at least from my perspective. (You go, Rudyard.)

UBN

Image (sans Pliny hat) via FamousAuthors.org

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Barfly’s View: Burger Bar in Las Vegas, Nevada

Burger Bar Las Vegas entrance

I haven’t found too many quality beer bars in Las Vegas, but Burger Bar in Mandalay Place qualifies.

Burger Bar is literally located in a mall between Mandalay Bay and Luxor so it feels kind of out of place, and the ambiance isn’t exactly beer-nerd chic. But it has a solid beer list with dozens of drafts and even more bottles.

It’s not called Burger Bar for nothing; the burgers (Black Angus, Naturesource or Kobe beef; lamb; buffalo; chicken; salmon; turkey; or veggie) are to die for. You build your own burger monstrosity using dozens of possible toppings, and they have four different kinds of French fries (skinny; fat; sweet potato; and buttermilk zucchini) in addition to a bunch of other greasy shit for sides. Neither the beer nor the food is cheap, but that’s to be expected in a mostly-upscale Vegas bar.

Burger Bar Las Vegas

I had a turkey burger with a fried egg on it, a side of skinny fries and a St. Louis Framboise draft, and I was in heaven on The Strip.

The servers didn’t seem particularly knowledgeable about the beer, but they were extremely friendly and attentive, even though the bar was busy when I stopped by.

If you’re looking for bar with an interesting craft beer selection and good eats in Las Vegas, you could definitely do worse than Burger Bar. (Todd English P.U.B. in Aria is also worth a visit.)

UBN

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Hands/Lips On with Dogfish’s New Spiegelau IPA Glass

Dogfish Head Spiegelau IPA Glass and 75 Minute IPA

Guess who just got a visit from Shippy Shipperton.

Last week I posted about Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s fancy-schmancy new IPA glass from German glass-maker Spiegelau, and I promptly ordered one of the glasses. Today, my Spiegelau IPA glass arrived, and I’m currently using it to consume a frosty Dogfish 75 Minute IPA.

Along with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Ken and Brian Grossman, Dogfish founder Sam Calagione and his wife Mariah designed their IPA glass to have the following attributes:

  • Thin, round walls to maintain proper temperature longer.
  • A slender, bowed shape to amplify hop aromas.
  • Wave-like ridges to aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass.
  • A wide mouth, allowing drinkers to comfortably nose the beer.
  • A laser-etched logo on the bottom of the bowl to sustain carbonation and head.

Anybody who is familiar with Spiegelau glassware knows it is of exceptional quality, but it’s also extremely thin and delicate. The Dogfish IPA glass is no different, and I bet lots of clumsy and/or inebriated Dogfish drinkers will be breaking these badboys in the not-so-distant future. But if you’re careful with the glass, wash it promptly after use and store it somewhere safe, this fine piece of funky German glassware should serve you well in your adventures with hoppy brews.

Dogfish Head Spiegelau IPA Glass

The Dogfish Head Spiegelau IPA glass is kind of fucking weird looking. But so am I, so I’m okay with that. And I must admit this IPA tastes—and smells—pretty darn good right now. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Learn more about Dogfish Head’s nine-dollar, 19-ounce Spiegelau IPA glass on the brewer’s website. And you can buy a Sierra Nevada branded Spiegelau IPA glass for the same price on SierraNevadaGiftShop.com.

UBN

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Maine Beer Company’s New Lil One Ale

Maine Beer Co. Lil One Ale

UPDATE: I added Maine Beer Company’s official description of the beer below. (In bold.)

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of Maine Beer Co. I have never had a Maine Beer brew that I did not thoroughly enjoy.

So I’m psyched to see that the brewer released a new brew, Lil One ale. I don’t have too much information on this one yet, and Maine Beer Co.’s website is down as I write this. But I reached out to the company via Twitter requesting specifics, and I will update this post if I get any more details worth sharing.

All I know right now is that Lil One is a rather “big” beer with 9.1% ABV, making it Maine’s highest-alcohol beer to date, not counting any limited releases I may not be aware of. I also know that I will be purchasing a couple of bottles of Maine Beer Co. Lil One ale as soon as possible. Lil One should hit beer-store shelves soon. (I’m also anxiously awaiting the release of Maine Beer’s “Dinner” double IPA.)

From Maine Beer Company:

“Some may call this a malty double IPA, some a hoppy barley wine.  We prefer that it not be classified.  We think of it, simply, as our strong winter ale.  Intense hop aromatics and flavor (think pine, candied orange) blended with just enough malt sweetness to balance out the palate.

Malt – American 2-Row, Marris Otter, Victory, Carapils, Caramel 80, Midnight Wheat

Hops –Centennial, Simcoe, Cascade, Falconer’s Flight”

Unfortunately, Maine Beer’s brews are only distributed to nine U.S. states at this point: Maine; Massachusetts; New York; New Hampshire; Maryland/DC; Philadelphia; Rhode Island; Vermont; and Virginia. But hopefully that changes soon.

UBN

Image via Instagram user David Preston

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When Life Gives You Blizzards, Drink Imperial Stout

Fifty Fifty Brewing Eclipse Elijah Craig Imperial Stout in the snow

As you may know, the northeastern United States are currently getting slammed by a “potentially historic winter storm,” a.k.a., a blizzard, nor’ easter or big ol’, fuckin’-cold mess. I’m looking out my apartment window as I write this post, and it’s really coming down.

Public transportation in the city of Boston is shut down indefinitely. You can’t park on many city streets, which is a huge pain in the ass, because the city does not tell you were you can park, only where you can’t. And worst of all, Beer Advocate had to cancel its Night of the Barrel beer fest tonight and both Extreme Beer Fest sessions tomorrow, one of which I have tickets for. Bah.

But you know that old saying, when life gives you lemons, etc., etc? Well, the Urban Beer Nerd has a saying of his own: When life gives you blizzards, drink a high-end imperial stout. With gusto. It’s almost quittin’ time, and I’m about to do just that. I’m going with a Fifty-Fifty Brewing Co. Eclipse stout aged in Elijah Craig 12-year barrels that I’ve had in my “cellar”—a cabinet built into a wall of my apartment—for a while.

And I’m willing to bet I’ll have much more positive outlook on the prospect of shoveling my shitty car out of as much as three feet of snow in the coming 24 hours after I’ve imbibed this pitch-black, barrel-aged beverage.

If you’re in a location affected by Nemo—the storm, not the animated fishy—I hope you stay safe, warm and full of stout. Cheers, ya hears?

UBN

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Dogfish Head Releases Fancy New Spiegelau IPA Glass

Dogfish, Sierra Nevada SpiegelauIPA Glass

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s A Hop Eclipse Now promotion, as part of which it will release two new IPAs and a fancy new beer glass. Today the brewer took the wraps off the glass, which is made by German-glass manufacturer Spiegelau, and it’s calling the glass “a new standard for IPA glassware.”

Dogfish apparently worked along with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. on the glass design.

“I’ve been a longtime believer in the importance of using quality glassware to enhance the enjoyment of quality craft beer,” says Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione. “The process of collaborating on the design of this hop-centric glass takes this concept to the next level.”

Dogfish, Sierra Nevada and Spiegelau IPA Glass

From Dogfish.com:

“Calagione, his wife, Mariah, and Sierra Nevada’s father-son team of Ken and Brian Grossman worked hand-in-hand with Spiegelau to bring this glass to life. Through a series of design and tasting sessions, the team created a glass with:

  •     Thin, round walls to maintain proper temperature longer.
  •     A slender, bowed shape to amplify hop aromas.
  •     Wave-like ridges to aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass.
  •     A wide mouth, allowing drinkers to comfortably nose the beer.
  •     A laser-etched logo on the bottom of the bowl to sustain carbonation and head.”

The glasses are available now online for $9 each at Dogfish.com and at the brewer’s Delaware brewpub. I’m a huge fan of all three parties involved. I own a set of Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur glasses, and I love them.  And I already ordered a pair of these new glasses.  To be honest, they’re kind of awkward and ugly looking. But I’m a beer-glass nerd on top of being a regular beer nerd, and I these new glasses will be a nice addition to my glassware collection. Can’t wait to fill ’em up with some Rhizing Bines IPA.

UBN

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Jilted Journo Brews ‘Unemployed Reporter Porter’

Unemployed Reporter Porter bottle label

I’ve worked in the Wonderful World o’ Journalism for nearly a decade. To say these are dark days for print journalism is a gross understatement.

I’ve seen countless friends and even loved ones those their journalism jobs during the past years, as publishing companies dropped employees like amateur drunks drop pint glasses in the wee hours of the night. I’ve watched incredibly talented writers and reporters leave the industry after decades of hard work because they couldn’t make the transition to online or because they could no longer pay their bills with reduced salaries. And to be honest, the situation is not all that much better for Web journalists.

Journalism is a largely thankless craft these days, and it can require a lot of levity to keep on clacking those keys. There’s a lot of self-deprecating, gallows humor in today’s editorial offices, at least in my experience. So I got a real kick out of Jon Campbell’s homebrewed Unemployed Reporter Porter.

Campbell, a reporter a with sense of humor and an apparent chip on his shoulder, reportedly brewed the beer along with San-Diego-Based North Park Beer Co. and crafted a rather amusing label for his Unemployed Reporter Porter.

From the Unemployed Reporter Porter label:

“Porter style beers were first popularized in the nineteenth century by merchant sailors and manual dock laborers. Unemployed Reporter is crafted in the same tradition, honoring a profession likewise doomed to decline and irrelevance….[W]e’ve included chocolate and roasted barley malts that are as dark and bitter as the future of American journalism, and a high alcohol content designed to numb the pain of a slow, inexorable march toward obsolescence. While Unemployed Reporter is especially delicious as a breakfast beer, it’s still smooth enough to be enjoyed all day, every day. And let’s be honest: what else do you have going on?”

Campbell even tweaked the government warning that appears on beer bottles in the United States:

“(1) The Surgeon General says women shouldn’t drink alcohol during pregnancy, but between Gawker and the Huffington Post, hasn’t the act of procreation itself become a moral liability? (2) Drinking alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car, but it’s not like you have to wake up and drive to work tomorrow so fuck it.”

It’s unclear if Campbell or North Park will ever sell this beer or not—or if this whole thing is just a joke—but if they do, and I can find it,  I’ll certainly buy a few bottles.

UBN

Via CT.com

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Dogfish Head Sixty-One is Part IPA, Part Red Wine

Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA label art

I was extremely busy last week with work writing—you know, the kind I actually get paid for—so I missed some significant news from one of my favorite U.S. brewers: Dogfish Head announced a brand new “core” beer called Sixty-One, which will be available in four packs starting in March. And it’s the first new core beer, meaning it will be available year round, from Dogfish since 2007.

Sixty-One is a blend of Dogfish’s most popular beer, its 60 Minute IPA, and syrah grape must from California. Dogfish’s founder Sam Calagione has apparently been mixing red wine and IPA for years, and he enjoyed the product so much that he decided to bottle it.

Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA bottle

From Dogfish:

“The name Sixty-One is a reminder that this beer is Dogfish Head’s best-selling 60 Minute IPA plus one new ingredient: syrah grape must from California.”

Sixty-One is 6.5% ABV, and it will be available in the 27 U.S. states in the Dogfish distribution network.  (Thankfully Massachusetts, which I call home, is one of them.)

Dogfish has certainly been busy in recent days. Last month it announced its A Hop Eclipse Now promotion, as part of which Dogfish will release a new signature beer glass and two new IPAs. It released a brand new Ancient Ale. Dogfish is collaborating with the Grateful Dead to make its American Beauty ale. And its latest Life & Limb collaboration with Sierra Nevada, Rhizing Bines, is expected to release later this month.

Read more about Dogfish Head’s new Sixty-One IPA syrah-grape concoction on the brewer’s website.

UBN

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