Monthly Archives: May 2015

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 5/28/15

Here are today’s links, there is some things about beer law, a preview of a beer/food event I really want to attend someday, and some Wu-Tang Clan.

Also, there should be a new beer review posting tonight or very early tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why (with an extra today), 5/27/15

Here are a few interesting articles today.  You will notice that there are more than five because one is an article that has very little if anything to do with beer.  Actually, it isn’t even an article.  It is a Department of Justice press release.

  • My growing love of small town newspapers continues. This story out of Brainerd, MN shows the continued complexities of US beer/alcohol laws. I have no problem with a local municipality deciding on things like this, and as someone who doesn’t go to his own county’s fair so that he doesn’t have to deal with people, I understand the sentiment to keep the drunkenness to a minimum. The part I love most, however is the biography of the reporter at the end of the story.  I’ve never seen a reporter’s bio include their high school.  “She ain’t no outsider, she’s one of us.”
  • Here is a fun read on the crazy things homebrewers try putting in their beers. Remember this the next time you get a beer with something like scorpions brewed in it.  Most craft brewers started out as homebrewers just trying stuff.  That attitude is one reason I love craft brewers.
  • Nanobrewing is growing in popularity. It is driven by a consumer base always searching for something different and something new and the let’s just try some shit attitude of homebrewers.  That can be good or it can be bad.
  • The Ontario government will now run craft beer retail stores. At first I thought this was another twist in the rather confusing Canadian beer/alcohol laws, but the more I thought about it, the less strange it is.  I live in a state, North Carolina, where the state government owns all the liquor stores.  It isn’t that much of a stretch to see a state government own and operate beer and wine stores as well.
  • One of my beer dreams is to take a trip to Belgium and tour breweries. This article explains why.
  • I went to bed last night and the world was as it always was. FIFA was a corrupt gang of pirates plundering the soccer world at will.  I wake up this morning and while this is still true, some of the pirates have been arrested.  Here is the DOJ press release about the people they hope will roll over on Sepp Blatter.  We are at the part of the NYPD Blue episode where the detectives have arrested all the people they can prove are involved in the crime and put them in separate rooms.  Next comes the speech.  You know, “There is five of you and one deal to be had.  Whoever talks first walks, the rest of you go to jail.  What do you want to do?”

Growler Taste Test: Mother Earth/Trophy Golden Globe Sticke Altbier

Mad Men is one of the greatest shows in the history of television.  It is meticulously put together.  Every stitch of clothing, every piece of furniture, every syllable uttered by an actor was specifically chosen to evoke everything that was in creator Matt Weiner’s head.  My favorite part of the show was how characters got an ending but not the mythical literary closure.  It was as well-crafted a piece of art as you will ever experience, and I didn’t really like it.  That is not quite true.  I liked it well enough, but I appreciated the craft behind it more.  I respect the hell out of Weiner’s genius and what and everyone who worked on that show achieved.

What does this have to do with a beer review? In a word, everything.

Mother Earth Brewing and Trophy Brewing have gotten together to create a sticke altbier 20150525_190739collaboration, Golden Globe.  The Globe pours a nice clear copper color in the glass.  It produces a full off-white head that stays around for a while.  The aroma is a good sweet bready malt with suggestions of fruit, maybe a little orange and a little raisin.  There is also a little floral/herbal hop aroma.

It has a nice easy feel on the tongue and just enough hop bitterness to make you want to take your next sip.  The bready and sweet malt taste morphs into an easy drinking caramel sweetness.  This is the exact beer you should give a friend who has only ever drank big beer lagers and pilsners.  It is easy to drink and easy to like.  It is a well-crafted beer.

Having said all that, this is not the beer for me.  German style beers rarely are.  They are usually a little too clear and crisp and easy drinking, when done well.  The lagering process often eliminates some of the messiness I like.

Occasionally you should have to wrestle with a beer. Like life and art, a beer should be a little messy, a little difficult.  Not that there should be problems with it, but the key to it should not just be how well-crafted it is.  It should also be in how complex the tastes and aromas are and how there are many things going on with it all at once.

I will freely admit to the possibility that my prejudice against German styles could blind me to the complexities of Golden Globe, yet I still recommend this beer because it is so well-crafted.  Like with Mad Men I appreciate the skill and care that went into Golden Globe and the achievement of a beer this well made even if it isn’t my kind of beer.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 5/26/15

It’s your first day back at work after a long weekend.  Take your time to easing into the work day with a few nice beer articles.

Taste Test: Blind Squirrel Belgian Tripel (bottle tasting)

20150525_102749If you live in North Carolina, you have more than a passing familiarity with the squirrel.  Particularly the Eastern Gray Squirrel, that annoying rodent you spend time avoiding as it darts out of the woods in front of your car and back into the woods as you drive to the grocery store.  The Eastern Gray Squirrel is so ubiquitous in North Carolina it is the official state mammal.  It therefore makes a ton of sense that a western NC brewery would name itself after the critter. (Here are all the official symbols of NC. My favorite is the Plott Hound. It was bred to hunt wild boars.)

Blind Squirrel Brewery is in Plumtree, NC, a small community a little over an hour northwest of Hickory.  If you have no idea where Plumtree is, don’t feel bad I’ve lived in North Carolina my whole life and didn’t know where it was until I knew of this brewery.  The brewery opened in 2012 at the Vance Toe River Lodge.  I have had a few of their beers and I’ve loved them all, but we are here to talk about their Belgian Tripel.

When you pour it, it has a nice golden color with a good initial head on it.  The head dissipates rather quickly, but as you drink a nice lacing is left on the glass.  It has a pleasant aroma of plums, raisins, bananas, and a clove/cinnamon mixture with a little Belgian yeast funkiness.  There is very little hops aroma (as they use a minimal hop bill).

It does weigh in at a healthy 9% ABV (it is a tripel), but you only get a hint of the alcohol at the beginning.  The alcohol does come through more as it warms up, however.  You get a lot of fruit sweetness, mostly dark fruit (raisins and plums), bananas, and a little tangerine/orange/citrus touch.  It has a nice medium body with just enough carbonation that is soft on the pallet and tongue.

For a beer with as much heft as this one has, again it is a 9% beer, it is really kind of light and refreshing.  Overall, this is a quality version of the tripel.  I really like this beer and plan to drink it often and if you are in western NC you should seek it out.  It should not be hard to tell if your local bar has it.  The tap handle is a squirrel with a hat, sunglasses, and a cane (He’s blind.  Here is how he got that way.).

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 5/25/15

Apparently, here on Memorial Day, I am doing the international addition of the links with stories from Canada, England, Australia, and Poland.  The other story is from southwest Michigan, which if you live in North Carolina is almost a foreign country.  On to the links.

There’s trouble around, it’s never far away
The same trouble’s been around for a life and a day
I can’t forget the sound, ‘cause it’s here to stay
The sound of people chasing money and money getting away

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 5/24/15

A nice tour around local newspapers for this Sunday’s links.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 5/23/15

Memorial Day weekend is here so you are drinking beer, watching auto races, and generally doing nothing.  Good on you.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 5/22/15

A long weekend approaches (for most of you) and that means you will be drinking beer.  Here a few links to get you started.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 5/21/15

There were almost too many links today to choose from. From a great video on Beer Geek TV about how the smaller craft breweries are beginning to get crowded out of shelf space to brewery news from Greenville/Spartanburg.  I decided to concentrate on a question I get a lot at the bar and news from Charlotte, Asheville, and around North Carolina.

I was one review short this week, so my goal next week is to get an extra review or some other type of post completed for Monday.