Thursday, September 27, 2007

Beer For 18 Year Olds?

Not a shocking proposal to me but I was shocked to see this opinion column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) written by a UGA senior. Not an notion that would normally be entertained in the Bible Belt south. Good stuff, even only if it means people are beginning to talk about the idea.


I never really addressed this story about the Georgia Legislature making changes to what is allowed in brewery tours in the state. The change that's really sticking in the brewers' craw in the provision that would make it unlawful to charge admission and then serve beer. Now I don't agree that this would "cripple" the brewers' as Fred Bench from Sweetwater says. I've been to plenty of tours and I can't think of one that charged me a cover to get in. I mean, there are other business models out there that allow for tours and samples that would be OK under this new law.

But really, what's the big deal? Is this practice that is done by three breweries in the state and makes up a mere fraction of a percent of GA's beer drinkers really worth all this consideration? For being such a Republican state, Georgia is sure inhospitable to small business sometimes...


The Brick Store Pub in Decatur is participating in the Michael Jackson Toast on September 30th. Ditto for Aromas up in Athens, GA.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beer Coaster: Lieve

Yet another coaster from my last Belgium trip in 1997. I got this one in Antwerp and after your drink your beer you can flip the coaster over and write a postcard to brag to your friends about where you are drinking.

Lieve was a golden ale that I believe is brewed by a Dutch brewery but honestly it's all a bit hazy...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tasting Notes: O'Fallon Cherry Chocolate Ale

Brewery: O'Fallon Brewing Company
Date Poured: September 2007
ABV: 5.7%

Still more bottles from this summer's trips west of the Mississippi...

This one pours a deep reddish dark copper with a tan frothy head. Some light lacing. Smells cherry soda. Let me try that again...(sniff, sniff)...yeah, black cherry soda mixed with a malty pale ale. That's what it smells like. I am shuddering to see what it tastes like.
It tastes a lot like a bizarre radler of black cherry soda and pale ale. There's lots of extracty cherry flavor with the weird underlying chocolate extract. The chocolate flavor is understated but is just odd in this beer (hell, maybe any beer). The cherry and chocolate flavors do not compliment or meld with the malt flavors (or even each other). They just sort of sit there on top like a plastic coating.

The mouth is surprisingly crisp with the light caramel malt. A bit sticky in the finish though. This is pretty much a mess. Take a pass.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Brewery News From Around Georgia

Twain's brewpub down in Decatur is planning their first ever beer dinner on September 27th. Five courses and five house beers for $40. Beers on tap at Twain's these days: Saison DuCATUR, Hannibal Red Ale (nice and hoppy), Sleepy Conscience ESB, Up The Kriek ("Our Saison DuCATUR brewed without spices then conditioned with a sour cherry slurry") among other regulars. More found here: Twain's Billards and Tap

The opening of the Terrapin Brewery in Athens draws ever closer. (They have primarily contract brewed up to this point...). The target date for the first brewery tour is October 18th. Also, the fall seasonal Big Hoppy Monster is set for release and the India Brown Ale, originally a one-off for the brewery's fifth anniversary, will now be a year-round offering. More at

Sweetwater's latest addition from their recent "Catch and Release" series will be a big hoppy barleywine called Donkey Punch! It will be released on September 21st in liter bottles, perfect for the cellar. More at

Friday, September 7, 2007

Beer Travel: Troeg's Brewery

OK, I'll write this up even though I lost all the damn pictures I took during my visit to the brewery! Argh!

Anyhow, this past weekend (September 1) I was passing through Harrisburg and went to tour the Troeg's brewery as well as to fill up my old Troeg's growler with some tasty beverage. I arrived about 15 minutes early for the tour but they were serving free samples so I decided to partake. The first beer I tried was a very spicy tripel they had brewed called Scratch Beer #3. It clocks in at 10% ABV and showed it a bit in the taste but a very nice tripel for sure. Also sampled some of their new fall seasonal, a porter named Dead Reckoning. Very hoppy for a porter! I ended up filling my growler with that beer so more on that at a later date.

Chris Troeg, one of the two brothers who are the brewery's namesake, gave the tour and it was fairly informative without getting too technical and going over the heads of the non-beer geek crowd. What was interesting to me is how small Troegs still is. You see their beers all over Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania so you get the impression that they would be a bigger operation. Their bottling line in downright tiny!

Anyway, it was a typical brewery tour. They are building some new, bigger fermenters and looking to expand a bit. The most unusual part of the tour is that when it was done, Chris let us basically have the run of the place so we could take a look around. It was then that I found (where the new fermenters were going to be located) several new oak barrels with names of beers scrawled in chalk. There was the name of a beer and then a date (ex: Naked Elf 071407) I did not know that Troegs barrel aged any of their beers so it was quite a surprise to find these.

On my way out, I was paying for my growler and Chris was nearby and I asked him if they were releasing any oak aged beers in the future. He said that no they weren't and that those barrels were holding beer that was being treated with wild yeasts as an experiment. You mean like brett is being added? Yes, he replied. Cool.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tasting Notes: Kilgubbin Red Ale

Brewer: Goose Island
Poured: August 2007
ABV: 4.5%

More from my trips out west this summer:

I was curious to see Goose Islands take on an Irish Red. I am a fan of their Honkers Ale and IPA but this beer should be malt focused, not on the hops. Hmmmm....

Pours more of a deep orangish-copper than red. Topped by a wispy ivory colored head. Smells of fruity english type of malt. Bready aromas and british hops. Sweetish malt smells.

This beer is fruity and spicy in the mouth. There's light but distinct dark roasted malt flavors. A quite bready malt profile and decent balancing hops in the finish. Sweetish mouth but not overly done. Quite a nice and drinkable brew.

Does Goose Island make a bad beer? This is not even a style I am particularly fond of but the guys at Goose Island do it up right. Recommended.

Goose Island Beer Company