STIBINGER BROTHERS WHITE ALE

The Stibinger Brothers decided to brew two versions of their white ale and let the public determine which version was the preferred – a throw down if you will.

On a flawless Saturday in July, waterfront on Lake Hopatcong was an appropriate setting for the throw down. The guys picked KaBob’s restaurant which has outdoor seating, a sizable downstairs pub, and one of the better draft selections on the lake. I couldn’t think of a better establishment in the area to hold a throw down at.

Gabor and Adam Stibinger with game faces on ready to pour! The kegs were tapped and pouring without flaw.

Above is the spec sheet for White Ale Version A – a pretty typical white ale, but a little thin in body compared to Version B.

Version A in the glass.

All the patrons seemed to be enjoying the freshly brewed white ales..I Drink Good Beer and Stibinger stickers were going like hot cakes.

No shortage of good beer drinkers at this event. Caught this guy rocking a sweet Flying Fish shirt.

Version B Spec Sheet – Another great example of a white ale. Although, a bit hoppier and more body than version A thanks to the citrus hops and flaked barley. This is the first time I’ve had a beer with “Falconer’s Flight” hops – HopUnion’s proprietary blend of Pacific Northwest “C” hops honoring Glen Hay Falconer, a legend in the Pacific Northwest brewing world.

Version B in the glass

I would call it a road soda but, he arrived by kayak. Gabor asked him if it was possible to get a KUI.

By the end of the day, all the kegs were dry leaving those who arrived late a little bit disappointed. Although, those who were able to get a taste of both “A” and “B” filled out a survey resulting in the majority of drinkers that day leaning towards Version A.

Another successful tasting with the Stibinger Brothers in the books… There’s talk of a black IPA and a rye infused hefeweizen in the works. Stay tuned for more from these guys in the near future.

SMUTTYNOSE HUMUNCULUS

Smuttynose latest and newest big beer, Homunculus, has recently hit shelves. Homunculus was the first edition in the Smuttynose short batch series and was originally called The Gnome, an homage to Brasserie d’Achouffe. There is an awesome story to read here about that. I would also like to add that this label is awesome. Adourned with Smuttynose employee’s impregnating a bottle of brew, this has to be one of the funniest and clever labels I have ever seen.

 

 Brewed with belgian yeast this brew gives off a very fruity scent with a mild hop flavor that is all balanced out with some sweet malts. The beer has minimal carbonation and retention. Not being a belgian fan I found this beer to be very tasty and can’t wait to try the one’s I stashed away years from now.


It’s not often that I catch my favorite Smuttynose on tap. A lot of beer bars in the area don’t seem to carry them. I don’t know why anyone would pass up having one of the best East Coast breweries on their lines but that’s where my friends from Mohawk House step in.


Steve makes sure he gets the rarest and most exclusive brews for his taps so naturally when Homunculus came in you can assure he would be selling it on draft. I found the beer to be much better on draft then out of the bottle. I don’t know why really. I felt the flavors were more pronounced and it had a little more carbonation obviously due to it being on gas.


I have always been a fan of Smuttynose Big Beer series and verall this was a very good beer. I look forward to trying it again next year as well comparing to the one I have stashed away in my cellar. Now if only we can get them to bottle some other short batches like Vundebar and Noonan, hint hint guys.

-Brian

Smuttynose Brewing

SIERRA NEVADA LIFE AND LIMB

Now that Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head have re-released Life & Limb I am compelled to share a story that happened way before the days of I Drink Good Beer. It was around Christmas time and I had just got word from my cousin that his distributor had received a case of Life and Limb. My cousin knows I’m a beer drinker and lets me know when they get special cases like this. Naturally I told him to hold the case for me as I could pick up 2 days later on my way to West Virginia for an event. Fast forward to the weekend, Jared and I are an hour away from the distributor and my cousin calls and says “I know you didn’t get the case and not leave your cousin a bottle.” I said “dude I’m still an hour away.” I hear silence on the other end and my cousin says he will call back. When he does call back he informs me of another patron who caught wind of my case and scooped it up. That patron was nice enough to give the mis-informed employee one of the bottles which I in turn got for his huge mistake.

I brought the bottle back home and we did a little beer tasting at Adam’s old apartment.

Just the label had me anxious to crack the bottle open. It looks so fun and inviting.

We have been through too much anguish over this one bottle of beer so lets crack it.

Our main contributor, Jared, sniffs and smells the syrupy goodness and pairs it with an amp energy drink.

 Some cool signage Adam had up in his kitchen at the time.

Our culinary author at IDGB, Brandon, was also on hand to sample this East Coast West Coast collaboration.

This beer was truly good till the last drop. I stated above that I Drink Good Beer was pretty much a brain fart in 2009. We had an idea for a beer blog but no name to it. That night I said to Adam “these pics are for the beer blog when ever we start it.” This is the first I Drink Good Beer post that was ever documented so I am happy I saved these pictures to share with you. It makes me think about how far craft beer has gone in the past two years. What I thought was a one off brew has been reintroduced and I can’t wait to share more Life & Limb content with the rest of you.

-Brian

Sierra Nevada

Dogfish Head

LAGUNITAS APPRECIATION NIGHT

Monday night I was invited to Mohawk House for a very special brewery night. Although, this was no ordinary brewery night. This was a night of gratuity and thanks for the local restaurant and bar owner’s of New Jersey. The thanks comes from Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma California and what better way to say thank you than throw an all night cocktail party with fresh west coast beer and amazing appetizers.

The crowd that came out is a perfect representation of the Lagunitas tagline “Beer Speaks, People Mumble.” There were over 200 people who showed up, all supporting one of Americas’ greatest craft breweries.

 7 kegs of Lagunitas best were tapped for the festivities.

 The staff was already in the swing of things with some eye catching stickers.

 VIP pass for free beer.

Featured beers for the evening.

 I started with a Pils. I am very familar with the Lagunitas brand but this is the one beer we get around here that hasn’t graced my palate. It was amazing to say the least, truely a style meant to be enjoyed fresh.

Crisp and hoppy, rounded out with some malty sweetness. An easy drinking brew for sure.

 Good lacing too.

 I love their tap handles!

 The Lucky 13th Alt tap handle had to be the most eye catching.

 Steve recently had this sign made to represent the restaurants excellent draft selection.

 Before I could even realize it, the bar was bum rushed with people looking for a fresh pint of Lagunitas.

 Keeping the crowd entertained for the evening was The Hollow. Awesome local band playing some amazing covers throughout the night.

 James Vidale, the bands singer, was in good beer spirits wearing his Duff beer shirt.

In the kitchen Chef Stefan was preparing the nights h’ordeuvres. Here he’s putting together some spiced pork belly tacos with apple and savoy cabbage with a truffle vinaigrette

Bacon and onion liverwurst gougeres with Hop Stoopid jello

 Bacon and goat cheese brioche sandwiches

 Spiced pork belly and egg vinaigrette

Peanut Butter stuffed dates wrapped with bacon

5 Spoke Creamery cheddar with figs and chocolate & oat cracker

Sweet potato danish

 While I was back in the kitchen I spotted one of the staff rocking a Lagunitas shirt

 It was about time for me to have another beer and I couldnt really decide. Do I get Undercover Shutdown? How about a Pale Ale?

 Being the hop head I am, it wasn’t hard to settle with the IPA.

 The man behind the event, Trevor Jankowski, other wise known as the Lagunitas East Coast Consigliere.

It seems as if the dog on the mason jar was a little sad I was nearing the end of my beer. I would have love to keep refilling it but my night was cut short because of my dreaded day job.

I would like to thank Rachel and Steve for inviting me up for the event and a huge thanks to Hunterdon distribution and Trevor from Lagunitas for putting on this spectacular event. I would like to see more of this from other breweries in the future. It is a good way to give back to the people, further spreading the love of craft beer to the masses.

-Brian

Lagunitas Brewing Company

DOGFISH HEAD SHELTER PALE ALE

 

Everytime my Aunt and Uncle from Delaware visit, they bring me a sixer of Dogfish Head brew. Not that we don’t get it around here, but there is one particular year round release from them that we don’t receive in New Jersey – Shelter Pale Ale. Originally brewed in 1995 and exclusively available to the Mid-Atlantic region of the US, this is the beer that started it all for Dogfish Head. As you’re already aware, we don’t get this beer in the Garden State, which I find a little odd given the hype of Dogfish Head beers these days.  I feel this beer would do very well in this state – anywhere, really. It is a great brew: well balanced, light and full of flavor. To those seeking some Shelter Pale Ale, I am sorry, but you’ll have to take a trek to Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to get your sample. Thanks for the six pack Uncle Rob! Also thanks to my friend Mike for the DFH glass and backdrop at his bar.

Dogfish Head

-Brian