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Brewfari

August 9th, 2010 Bill Zavorskas 2 comments

I was in my natural habitat at Wazoo 2010

Anne and I had a blast at Wazoo 2010 this past Saturday night at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. In addition to having more than 250 beers and beverages from around the world, the event featured cuisine from restaurants as well as live music from area based artists Velvet Jones, Impulse, and The Paper Stanleys. We also had a chance to get out of the heat for a bit at the zoo’s Beastly Beverage Club, which featured dinner and live music as well. Wazoo 2010 was a well organized brewfest, and I had the chance to sample some old favorites, as well as some new ones. I listed a sampling of the latter below.

Samuel Adams Sample A – Belgian IPA; Boston Beer Co.; Boston, MA; Belgian India Pale Ale; ABV: 8.0. Part of this year’s 2010 Longshot Series, this ale is my pick for the brewery’s 6th annual Beer Lover’s Choice. Golden in color, with big notes of citrusy and piny hops balanced by sweet malt and a spicy undertone from the Belgian yeast. As full-bodied as it is complex.

Samuel Adams Sample B – American Rye Ale; Boston Beer Co.; Boston, MA; Rye Beer; ABV: 5.3. This Longshot Series candidate pours a deep mahogany color and has notes of rye and roasted malt complimented by citrusy and floral hops. Very easy to drink with a nice dry finish.

Saint Somewhere Pays du Soleil; Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.; Tarpon Springs, FL; Saison / Farmhouse Ale; ABV: 8.0. A delicious saison from area based brewery Saint Somewhere. Amber in color, the big notes of tart and citrusy fruit are complimented by sweet caramel and toffee with a sour finish typical of a wild ale.

Saint Somewhere Saison Athene; Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.; Tarpon Springs, FL; Saison / Farmhouse Ale; ABV: 7.5. An excellent farmhouse ale. A golden saison brewed with chamomile, fresh rosemary and black pepper. The array of spices are backed by notes of sweet malt and citrusy fruit with a crisp clean finish.

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Chico, CA; American Brown Ale; ABV: 5.5. A smooth brown ale, Tumbler has notes of sweet caramel and roasted malt, balanced by piny hops and a brown sugary backbone.

Dunedin The Rock Double IPA; Dunedin Brewery; Dunedin, FL; Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 8.0. From the local brewery’s Brewmaster Series, this DIPA pours a burnt orange color and has big notes of citrusy fruit balanced by caramel malt and piny hops with a slightly bitter finish.

Southampton Pumpkin Ale; Southampton Publick House; Southampton, NY; Pumpkin Ale; ABV: 5.5. An exceptional pumpkin ale from the Long Island based brewery. Copper in color, with the pumpkin pie presence complimented by sweet caramel and cinnamon spices.

Tampa Bay McBrews Scotch Ale; Tampa Bay Brewing Co.; Tampa, FL; Scottish Ale; ABV: 7.0. A smooth, easy drinking Scottish ale. Amber in color, with notes of sweet malt and chocolate balanced by light hops with a resiny finish.

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace; Brooklyn Brewery; Brooklyn, NY; Saison / Farmhouse Ale; ABV: 7.6. A superb saison from the acclaimed brewery. Golden in color, with the Japanese Sorachi hops balanced by notes of citrusy fruit, sweet malt, and peppery spices. Refreshing from start to finish.

Southern Tier Farmer’s Tan; Southern Tier Brewing Co.; Lakewood, NY; Imperial Pale Lager; ABV: 9.0. An eclectic, straw colored imperial lager. Big nose of citrusy and piny hops complimented by notes of sweet malt, wheat, and peppery spices.

Leffe Blonde; Anheuser-Busch InBev; Leuven, Belgium; Belgian Pale Ale; ABV: 6.6. A golden, easy drinking Belgian ale. The notes of citrusy fruit, particularly bananas, are balanced by sweet malt and light spices such as cloves.

We concluded the evening by sampling an excellent dopplebock from The Beer and Wine Makers Pantry. Called Strawberry Dopplebock, it poured a dark amber color with big notes of strawberries, roasted malt, and a hint of chocolate. I’m guessing the ABV is around 6-6.5%.

All in all, our brewfari was a total success!

Take Flight – Part 2

August 6th, 2010 Bill Zavorskas No comments

I just had to go for seconds

I enjoyed the initial flight with the cheese pairing so much, that I ordered a second one featuring the following beers:

Blue Point Double Blonde Ale; Blue Point Brewing Co.; Patchogue, NY; American Blonde Ale; ABV: 7.4. A delicious blonde ale with notes of floral hops complimented by sweet caramel and toasted malt. Very easy to drink as the alcohol content of nearly 7 1/2% is well hidden.

Blue Point Old Howling Bastard; Blue Point Brewing Co.; Patchogue, NY; Barley Wine; ABV: 10.0. One of the the best barley wines that I’ve had this year. Amber in color, with big notes of sweet caramel well balanced by bready malt, citrusy fruit, and piny hops. Old Howling Bastard goes down smoothly, and the 10% alcohol content is well hidden.

Blue Point 10th Anniversary IPA; Blue Point Brewing Co.; Patchogue, NY; India Pale Ale; ABV: 7.0. A truly outstanding IPA. Copper in color, with big notes of citrusy and piny hops complimented by sweet caramel malt and a slight bitterness at the finish. Very easy to drink, 10th Anniversary Ale makes an excellent session beer.

Blue Point Rastafa Rye Ale; Blue Point Brewing Co.; Patchogue, NY; Rye Beer; ABV: 7.5. A well balanced rye beer with the feel of an IPA. Deep amber in color, Rastafa Rye Ale is an array of grassy hops, citrusy fruit, and caramel malt with a nice rye presence in the backbone. This IPA is silky smooth with a nice clean finish.

I talked shop with Rob later in the evening, and was pleased to learn that one of my favorite all-time IPAs will be coming out of retirement. Blue Point No Apologies Imperial IPA (Blue Point Brewing Co.; Patchogue, NY; Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 10.0) will once again be brewed in the coming months. This amber colored DIPA is an absolute hop bomb, with the substantial notes of earthy hops balanced by caramel malt and dark fruit.

Pitcher In The Rye

February 19th, 2010 Bill Zavorskas No comments

Rugbrød is truly a Great Dane

I picked up a bottle of The Bruery Rugbrød (The Bruery; Placentia, CA; Rye Beer; ABV: 8.0) at Total Wine & More the other day. Rugbrød is a Danish rye bread, and that’s how this beer is brewed. Rugbrød is a very easy drinking ale. It starts out with a nice touch of caramel and toasted malt, complimented by hints of chocolate, dark fruit and spices with the rye flavor kicking in at the end. The taste is quite smooth and refreshing, and the 8% alcohol content isn’t really apparent. Rugbrød is an ale to be savored.

I had another ale from this brewery last week at Mr. Beery’s; their very enjoyable The Bruery Mischief (The Bruery; Placentia, CA; Belgian Strong Pale Ale; ABV: 8.5). The taste is crisp and clean, with citrusy and piney hops well balanced by sweet malt, Belgian yeast, and spices. The array of hops in this beer stay true to its West Coast origins. As the alcohol content of 8.5% isn’t very noticeable, Mischief can definitely live up to its name if you’re not careful!

Both of these ales are wonderfully complex and original, and I highly recommend them.

Taps & Turkey

December 1st, 2009 Bill Zavorskas No comments

Gobble Gobble

Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving is always a wonderful holiday for us, as we gather with family and friends to enjoy the day. Anne cooked another wonderful turkey, and everyone brought either a delicious side or dessert. The long holiday weekend also gave me time to relax, and to try several new beers that I really enjoyed.

Brooklyn Manhattan Project (Brooklyn Brewery; Brooklyn, NY; Rye Beer; ABV: 8.5) is a complex beer that grows on you with each sip. The dark cherry taste is complimented by sweet caramel, cinnamon & vanilla spices, roasted malt, and possibly even a hint of bourbon. This beer is also quite smooth, so the 8.5% ABV isn’t noticeable.

BrewDog Paradox Isle of Arran Batch 016 (BrewDog Ltd.; Fraserburgh, Scotland (UK); Imperial Stout; ABV: 10.0) is another complex beer. Quite drinkable for a beer of its potency, the taste is an array of dark chocolate, nuts, coffee, and dark fruit. Paradox is aged in whiskey casks, so there’s definitely a smoky feel and aftertaste to it as well.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (Rogue Ale Brewery; Newport, OR; American Brown Ale; ABV: 6.2) is one of the best American brown ales there, and comparable to the classic English browns as well. Crisp and refreshing, the rich hazelnut taste is balanced by dark chocolate, roasted malt, and earthy hops.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Chico, CA; Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 6.8) is a truly exceptional IPA. The taste up front is a blend of citrusy & piney hops, complimented by sweet malt, honey, and spices. Celebration is a very drinkable ale and can easily be a holiday session beer.

I highly recommend each of these beers, and they would definitely go well with any Thanksgiving leftovers!