DOGFISH HEAD 120

A few weeks ago I came across something very special… If you are blatantly staring at the photo above drooling, I’m pretty sure you’ve already figured out what this post is about. Dogfish Head 120 IPA is one the most sought after beers in America and I am happy to have gotten my hands on some, allowing me to share this post with you. Continue reading “DOGFISH HEAD 120”

SIERRA NEVADA BEER CAMP

 

I attended a lot of camps as a child (mostly for sports) and they account for many of my more dreadful childhood memories. The experience was never fun – wake up early, get dropped off, run around, sweat and get sun burned. At best, it keeps you out of trouble. Now that I am older, I obviously don’t attend any sort of camp but that doesn’t mean I’ve written off the experience entirely. There must be some sort of fun camp for an adults these days, isn’t there?

About three years ago Sierra Nevada started up its own camp for people who love beer. Beer camp is an annual event which occurs when Sierra Nevada drinkers from across the country make video entries promoting why they should be selected to attend such a glorious gathering. Some of the entries are funny and creative; others are downright boring. The selected winners are flown out to the brewery in Chico, California, where they receive an in depth tour of the facilities, and then spend time doing guided tastings on experimental brews and one-off beers. On top of all that you can roam Chico and experience the local cuisine and beer spots as well. There have been over 40 camp beers brewed since 2008 and Sierra Nevada has started releasing some of the recipes as “The Best of Beer Camp.” This is the first variety pack and I wanted to share the brews with you.

 

I’m going to start off with my favorite of this pack, the Juniper Black Ale. Roasty, sweet and fruity, I drank these three out of the pack first with no remorse. They should brew this one year round.

The most interesting one out of the pack was the Weizenbock – Very fruity and malty. I felt like I was drinking a jar of banana baby food.

 

I have made it known previously that I am a hop head. I usually like most IPA’s; I hate to say it, but this Double IPA didn’t satisfy me. It wasn’t as hoppy as I’d like it to be and was a little on the alcoholic side.

The good old California common ale. Native to its state, this ale was my other favorite out of the pack. Smooth, flavorful, and refreshing – the perfect summer beer.

 

That does it for this round of The Best of Beer Camp. If you would like to know more about Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp, please visit their site below. It is full of information on previous camps as well as the guidelines for future entrants. Unfortunately this year’s entries are closed as of last month but if you think you have what it takes to make it, bust out that camera and use your creativity. You might just find yourself going to this modern day Willy Wonka factory and making beer with the industry’s most knowledgeable people.

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