Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Beer School Sunday December 15th -"Stuff Dave Likes"

I am starting to run out of names. This beer school is in honour of my buddy Dave Mitchell (eskimoDave). The left4beer team has assembled five of Mr. Mitchells favourite beer styles for us to sample. I'm not certain if these are really his favourite styles, but I couldn't call the school "Random Stuff" again.
Email in early to reserve your spot,Sunday, December 15th, 7:30ish at Clive's Classic Lounge in the Chateau Victoria. Jayce the new barkeep at Clive's is uping the quality of the cheese plates, so there is a slight increase in the cost of the school. The beers in no particular order:
1. Berliner Wiess by Full Sail (Hood River, OR) A low ABV sour
2. Utah Sage Saison by Epic (Salt Lake City, UT) Dave likes spicy Saisons
3. Golden Monkey Tripel by Victory Brewing (Downington, PA) Dave likes monkeys and Triples
4. 2XSteam by Southern Tier (Lakewood, NY) A double California Common. Dave has never tried it.
5. Portlandia Pils by Laurelwood (Portland, OR) Dave hates Pilsners but loves Portland

As always you are there to learn. There will be history, glassware lessons, food pairing suggestions, a cheese plate to nibble on and prizes. The same format as always: bring a pen, your palate and $25. Email me or leave a comment to reserve your spot. There will be only 20 spots for this event. Do not delay as these schools fill up quickly.
There will be only three more beer schools this season, and possibly forever. One will feature barley wines, dark stuff and a school five years in the making! All good things must come to an end.

Please forward this to any other craft beer loving friends who might like to attend. As always plan for a safe trip home.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again,
Ian
www.left4beer.com

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Centennial Saison by Swan's and no comment

I think things need to be spruced up around here. Readership is increasing, which is nice. Either that or more bots are subscribing to learn about beer. No one leaves any comments though. Barley Mowat gets lots of comments, especially when I post dumb stuff. Then again, his stuff is interesting and thought provoking. Here are the top five reasons why, I think, no one leaves comments on my blog. I also like making lists.

5. People just read the score I gave a beer and move on. Confirmation of one's palate is important.

4. No one actually reads my crappy blog. They just subscribed to be polite. I can't blame them. The layout is ugly, there are no pretty pictures and nothing else to click on.

3. My description of a beer is the definitive guide and should not be questioned. Highly unlikely.

2. Most - actually all - posts never leave room for debate or opinions. I drink, I comment, I provide food pairings. It is more of a lecture and not a forum for debate. There is no lingering question that needs to be answered. Which leads me to number 1.

1. ??? You fill in the number one reason below in the comment section below - yes there is one. Everyone hates an uncompleted list. True, this is a dirty trick but I'm OK with that.

Centennial Saison = 7/10

This is a very simple beer, but highly enjoyable. The saison part is bang on with dry citrus fruits, spicy yeast, slightly musty with a dry finish. Add to this the juicy tartness of apricots and we have a winner. It didn't linger very long, which only leaves you longing for more.

I can't find a photo of this beer, but VictoriaBeers.com has lots of pretty pictures.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 Didn't say, but it tastes around 6%
Value +1 its nice, very nice
Appearance +1 always tastes better in the brewpub

Glassware: Tulip.

Food Pairings: So this saison is sweet, fruity and slightly spicy. Indian dishes would be an ideal pairing. The fruity sweetness could act like chutney to help calm the spice, yet the spicy yeast would harmonize well. I bet you could use this beer in a reduction to glaze just about anything. Perhaps a spicy pound cake would be nice. It's effervescence could help lift the fat from any dish. Peking duck suits this option nicely.

Cellar: I don't think it was bottled, but if it was, it wouldn't cellar well anyways.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Driftwood Lustrum Sour Ale

My goodness time flies; Driftwood has been brewing for five years. Driftwood has been the first for many things on Vancouver Island, if not BC. The first wet hopped ale, the first sour and the first beer release achieving cult status. I'm not certain if they were the first to start a regular barrel aging program in BC. Regardless, this brewery has done much to open the palate range of BC beer drinkers. Fittingly, their fifth anniversary beer is a sour. It also happens to be the fifth sour to be released. The twist this time is aging in French oak and the addition of black currants. Most can guess what my review will be.

Driftwood Lustrum Sour Ale = 9/10

This juicy, red brew starts with a furious attack of tart currants, vinegar and tannic astringency. An acetous aroma instantly starts the Pavlovian response with its dark berry sourness. It has this odd flavour of young, but not green, wine. Perhaps due to the heavy presence of tannic and juicy black currants. An equal mix of lactic and vineous sourness fades linearly to a finish that appears to be dry and gritty. Very peculiar, as this is a very juicy, thick feeling brew.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 9.4% (I'm not so sure about this number)
Value +1
Appearance +1 (Nice label art with good description of beer flavour)

Glassware: Something bowl shaped is required to trap the sour and fruity aroma. A tulip or red wine glass would work well.

Food Pairings: Pairing with unique ales is challenging. Contrast this sour ale with something sweet and berry-like. I'm thinking cheesecake or fruit sorbet. Perhaps a duck breast with a wine and berry sauce would be in order. For those pesky Vegans/Vegetarians avoid the carnage and try a berry risotto or roasted squash with cranberry sauce.

Cellar: I am going to take a left turn here and say this beer will not cellar well. This beer will certainly not spoil, but I don't feel the flavour will change much. This is based on the fact that there is little residual sweetness for the yeasts to work on. The currant derived tannic character might not fade. Regardless, I plan to buy a couple more to try and prove myself wrong.