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Tasting

Lookin for a Home

Tomorrow I head out with my commercial realtors from Cresa to look at 5 or 6 potential locations - what will we find? A perfect warehouse space? Former Dairy Queen glory? The remnants of an old meat locker waiting to be restored? I don't know but I'm pumped to get the search officially underway; despite our 58 breweries, Portland still has pockets aching for a killer brewery that also scratches the change-the-world-itch. In brewing news, I've brewed another batch of Rufus Red which is predictably good. I've also been experimenting with some new hops via single-hop pale ales - so far I've done Ahtanum and Delta, I haven't tried the Delta yet but the Ahtanum is really tasty. Session-city with light fruit and floral flavors, it leaves nothing on your tongue but the desire for one more sip....I also brewed a Saison-Wheat-Pale hybrid with Amarillo hops that I modified from Drew Beechum (a Saison wizard) and the two carboys finished at an FG of 1.004 and 1.002! Crazy dry, crazy refreshing and wonderful. Could make a few tweaks, but it just might end up being a staple.

In life news: IMG_0089

I can't believe I'm a dad, it's incredible.

Bosque Brewing Visit

Bosque Brewing Visit

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Back in Albuquerque for Christmas, Sarah and I paid a visit to the now-open Bosque Brewing Co. One of the co-owners, Jotham, has been an invaluable sounding board for me during the brewery planning business and I was stoked to finally get in there to try them out. As I often do with a new place, I went with a flight - 7 offerings - which is pretty impressive for a two month old brewery on a 3BBL system. FlightIt was a good lineup of ales - from memory I think there was a golden, two IPAs (one wheat, one English style), a brown, a scotch strong, an oatmeal stout and an amber. Good stuff guys: clean and approachable, laying off the uber-novelty stuff (at least for now). I think the Albuquerque connoisseur and the getting-the-feet-wet-with-craft-beer-person will find something to enjoy at the Bosque.

Hopefully they'll let me hang out after Christmas for a brew day, it's always good to see a new setup and get ideas about what does and doesn't work so well.

Cheers to you discerning beer drinker, merry Christmas.

Completion IIPA Review

Completion IIPA Review

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It's been awhile since I reviewed one of our own beers, as it turns out I'm well pleased with this Double IPA  we have - it turns 2 months old today and it is really coming along nicely. If you hate hops, you will HATE this beer. We did not skimp at all with the late kettle additions and dry hops on the Completion, and the result is a super flavorful, easy to drink big beer that I will be lament being out of. Using the RateBeer system, here are my thoughts - add yours if you've come over to try it...IMG_20121205_114819

This guy finished at 8.2%, 116 IBUs, 1.017 FG

Appearance (4/5): Pours a gorgeous light orange with some ruby hues, good white head on it.

Aroma (8.5/10): Big hop aroma: Grapefruit, Pine and Tropical Fruits all up in your nose

Taste (8/10): Definitely on the hop-focused side of balanced, bitter but not harsh. Citrus and fruit flavor picked up on the nose.

Palate (3.5/5): A little too bitter, but the taste doesn't linger, smooth for a IIPA, no alcohol 'heat'

Overall (17/20) I think it's pretty great, especially for a first attempt. It's a hop showcase, the Pacific Jade and Amarillo dominate, with the citrus and pine flavors filling in the gaps. Next version I suggest we take 15-20 IBUs off and leave everything else the same.

Hope I have some left for our Christmas party...

Winter Is Coming

Winter Is Coming

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Friday night we were invited over to Dustin's for a winter beer blind tasting; this is a totally normal and really fun way to spend a Friday, schedule yours soon. The lineup consisted of 12 winter seasonals and one oatmeal stout - I don't know why only 11 made it into this photo...it was taken after the tasting...

From left to right, the contestants - along with their RateBeer score:

  1. Ninkasi 'Sleigh'r' (85) - Dark Double Altbier
  2. Bridgeport 'Ebenezer' (79) - English Strong Ale
  3. 10 Barrel 'Pray For Snow' (not rated) - American Strong Ale
  4. Great Divide 'Hibernation' (98) - English Old Ale
  5. 21st Amendment 'Fireside Chat' (48) - Spiced English Strong Ale
  6. Hopworks 'Abominable' (95) - American Strong Ale
  7. Nogne 'Winter Ale' (99) - American Strong Ale
  8. Pyramid 'Snowcap' (85 {really?}) - English Strong Ale
  9. Full Sail 'Wassail' (92) - English Strong Ale
  10. Sierra Nevada 'Celebration' (98) - Winter IPA?
  11. Widmer 'Brrr' (92) - Winter Red Ale
  12. Firestone Walker 'Velvet Merlin' (98) - Oatmeal Stout (not pictured)
  13. Schooner Exact 'Hoppy Holidays' (81) - American Strong Ale (not pictured)

Each taster had a scoresheet, and rated each beer on 5 basic categories: appearance, aroma, taste, palate/mouthfeel, finish. I regret that I only scored the beers tasted, I didn't take notes - which makes a recap 2 days later difficult. The overall winner among the group was the widely available Widmer Brrr. It really is a solid beer, and I would wager it won because it is essentially an India Red Ale with flavors everyone is familiar with.

My top 3 were: Nogne Winter Ale, 10 Barrel 'Pray for Snow', and the HUB 'Abominale'. I tried to stay objective and rate based on the category of winter ale or winter warmer, though it seems I favor American Strong Ales to the English style...blind taste tests always reveal interesting things.

 

I am pleased that I was bearish all along on the Pyramid Snowcap, and I ended up rating it the lowest among the 13 - street cred. Also receiving low marks was the 21st Amendment Fireside Chat, though it gets best artwork on the logo design which is certainly worth something. If you want anothers' view on the tasting, Dustin's post is here for your enjoyment.

So go do your own tasting or use my recommendations to choose a winner - winter is coming, time to embrace it.