Posts Tagged ‘ imperial stout ’

Founders CBS Acquired – What More Can You Say?

Founders Canadian Breakfast StoutYup! You read it right. I am now the proud owner of a bottle of CBS – one of the lucky few in NYC.

I was debating exactly what to write in this post, but I can’t settle on anything thoughtful. I was going to share exact details of how I came to acquire this very sought after craft beer, but I don’t want to bore you with lengthy details.

A quick recap for those that are curious: after some online research, a couple of phone calls, an attempted bribe or two, and two visits to Whole Foods by my amazing little sister who completely supports my craft beer hobby, I am now in possession of this sweet, sweet nectar.

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout - One Tall DudeWhat’s funny is that since I’m away from NJ until Thursday, I have not yet held the actual bottle – I just know that it’s patiently waiting for me at home. Here’s to family members – people you can always rely on.

When Magda sent me these pictures of the bottle, I felt like a 60s kid at Christmas who just got a wooden horse. After all, kids now are brats and nothing is good enough – but man, a wooden horse in 60s, now that was a present worth getting excited about.

People in the craft beer community have been chatting about what they should do with their bottles of CBS – drink them or age them. Being that this is a special beer for me, it’s going right into the back of the aging fridge to hang for a few months.

I already have an idea of the special occasion when I’d like to open it — but that incredible day won’t come until next year!

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout

What’s your take on CBS and the buzz it has created?

New Friends, New Beer, New Experiences – My First Bottle Share

BottlelineOne of the many benefits of my day job (which I cannot be more thankful for) is the ability to travel to many different places throughout the US.

Because I’m typically located in the same distant place for a number of weeks, I am lucky to have enough time to explore various local craft breweries and offerings.

During a recent trip to upstate New York, I stumbled upon two breweries at a local beer store whose beer simply interested me – so naturally I bought a few bombers.

Hop Warrior and Dragonslayer

The Selection: Hop Warrior and Dragonslayer!

Hop Warrior (Imperial IPA, 8%) from Rooster Fish Brewing (website) in Watkins Glen, NY and Dragonslayer (Imperial Stout, 9.5%) from Middle Ages Brewing Company (@MiddleAgesBeer) in Syracuse, NY quickly found their way into my collection.

Score! Couldn’t wait to try these beers out.

Fast forward a few days and I find myself being invited to my first ever Bottle Share. For those unfamiliar with the term bottle share – it’s essentially a gathering of craft heads with the intent of sampling a number of different beers.

Each invited guests brings 2 to 3 different bottles for eager beer fanatics to try. Figuring that not a lot of people would have been exposed to small breweries from upstate New York, I graciously accepted the invite and lugged my two new bombers to the event.

I was the newcomer and was familiar with only two other people – that didn’t matter. Everyone was incredibly nice, polite and welcoming. The guests introduced themselves, asked questions and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say.

As we went through bottle after bottle of delicious craft beer from all over the country, I found myself relating the event to a craft beer festival except with beer not easily found at brewery tents.

The home run brew for me that night was the Reunion Ale ’08 brewed by Bison Brewing Company (@BisonBrew) from Berkeley, California. The Reunion Ale is brewed yearly as a memory to Virginia MacLean who passed away from Multiple Myeloma in 2007. Read more about Virginia’s story here.

Annually, different breweries participate in brewing the ale and there are frequent collaborations (check out this years Shmaltz and Terrapin Reunion Ale ’11 here).

The 2008 version was an organic red rye ale brewed with caraway seeds. Three years of aging did this little gem a huge favor by truly bring out the flavor. Fantastic brew.

Bottle Selections

Various Selections from My First Bottle Share

Other notable craft beers included products from Mikkeller (@MikkellerBeer), Schlafly (@Schlafly), Bell’s (@BellsBrewery), Founders (@FoundersBrewing) and the Sierra Nevada / Dogfish collaboration Life & Limb 2.

When it was my time to share, I found myself a bit apprehensive. I think I now know what home brewers go through when their beer is being judged at competitions – and I didn’t even brew the beer I brought!

I poured samples of Hop Warrior to the guests and eagerly awaited their response. Because no one had tried the beer before (including me), I was very curious about what they thought.

It was a success! Although not an extraordinary brew, the overall response was positive and I was happy to introduce the brewery to the event’s guests.

Unfortunately, not the same could be said about Dragonslayer. The craft beer had a rather unique taste akin to candy and plastic. Everyone was polite and thanked me, but I didn’t see too many folks grab the bottle for another sample. Lesson learned! You win some, you loose some.

Towards the end of the night, I even had the opportunity to try the elusive and hard to acquire Samuel Adam’s Utopias, a 27% American Strong Ale. Although I am extremely appreciative of the complexity of brewing such a beer and the guests willing to share it, I found it a bit overbearing. This is certainly a beer enjoyed very seldom in small sipping quantities.

Overall, my first bottle was a complete success and made me eager for more I’m already thinking about hosting my own bottle share with old and new friends alike.

What was the experience like at your last bottle share?

Recent Pick Ups from @NoCoastBrewCo and @traquairhouse

Old Rasputin and Traquair Jacobite

Next up: Old Rasputin and Traquair Jacobite!

During a recent trip to the beer store, I picked up two craft beers I have yet to try and that absolutely delighted me on the store shelves.

North Coast (@NoCoastBrewCo) Old Rasputin is a craft that practically everyone has heard of and most likely tried. There has always been something very appealing to me about the beer.

Perhaps it is Rasputin’s face on the label or the fact that I am on a complete stout kick since recently discovering the style (can’t wait for Stout Day, Nov. 3rd, 2011).

Regardless of the reason, I am happy to have finally picked up a four-pack which I anticipate on enjoying immensely.

The second selection comes from a small brewery called Traquair House Brewery (@traquairhouse) in Scotland. Their Jacobite Scotch Ale clocks in at a hefty 8% and typically retails between $5 and $7 per 12oz bottle.

I’m really looking forward to popping the cap and will most likely choose this as my guest review for Chris’ blog (@scbeerguy). Be on the look out for my thoughts on this Scottish craft!

Have you recently picked up any craft brew from your local store that you’ve always wanted to try?