Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Beer I Drank Today: Easter Weekend Edition

I thought that I'd write about the Easter weekend and our trip to Pittsburgh to see R's dad and his wife as well as R's brother and his family. I could tell you about all the family stuff we did, but this isn't a blog about family.

What this blog is about is living in Misery. One reason we live in Misery is the strange beer distribution laws here. Beer must be sold through one of a small number of licensed distributors and that's after the beer has gone through an extensive screening process by the state liquor authorities.

So, whenever i travel out of state or expect visitors from out of state, I do what I can to try and procure as much of the beers not sold in this state as I can. The trip to Pittsburgh provided me this opportunity.

I will review the beers in batches, Friday's arrival, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday evening.

Friday's Arrival:
The Beers I Drank Today: Tom's Rye, Bell's Two-Hearted Ale (I will not review the Two-Hearted here. It's one of my regular/favorite beers, but I thought it worth mentioning that my brother-in-law brought a sixer of this great IPA from the case that Pennsylvania law requires he buy. More on PA laws later.)

Style: Home-Brewed Rye Pale Ale(?)

Color: orange-amber

tan and foamy, more lacing than typically found in a HB (home brew)

Aroma: slight hop, bready

The rye really came through on this one. It's not as hoppy as ryes I've had from He'Brew or Bear Republic, but it's easily one of the best HB's I've ever had. Normally, beer brewed at home feels sort of watered down. I guess it helps that my father-in-law goes the whole grain route.

Context: We arrived in Pittsburgh in time for dinner (featuring a great, creamy scallops dish). My father-in-law offered up some of his personally brewed rye beer.

Would I recommend this beer to you? Yes, but you'd have to know Tom to get any. As far as the Two-Hearted Ale, you can get that in just about any state bordering a Great Lake plus Misery.

Saturday Afternoon:
The Beers I Drank Today: Harp Lager (This is actually not worth mentioning. We ate lunch at a pretend Irish pub and I had to drink something.) and Dogfish Head ApriHop

Style: American IPA

Color: golden amber

white head, leaving decent lacing

Aroma: hops, sweet malt, citrus

tart, hoppier than expected (For those wondering, the apricots are very subtle, but certainly present.)

Context: After some of this at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum...

We hit a pretend Irish pub for lunch. My brother-in-law wanted to take me to Bado's for a pint. Their selection was small but discriminating. He opted for the ApriHop. I followed.

Would I recommend this beer to you? Yes. I haven't had a Dogfish Head I wouldn't recommend, but they are a challenging brewery. The biggest problem is that they defy classification. This beer is supposed to be an American IPA. While that is true, I'd argue that it could be classified as a fruit beer with its tartness and subtle apricot flavor. In fact, I'd recommend it to any IPA-lovers who dislike fruit beers or fruit beer enthusiasts who dislike bitter IPA's.

Saturday Evening:
The Beers I Drank Today: Founder's Dirty Bastard (FDB) and Over the Edge (OtE)

FDB - Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
OtE - Tripel

FDB - dark copper, brown
OtE - cloudy, golden

FDB - big head that doesn't fade with some nice lacing
OtE - thin white head, beautiful lacing

FDB - fruit, hint of chocolate, piny hops
OtE - fruitiness, hops, whatever makes it smell Belgian (yeast?)

FDB - scotch, caramel, hint of chocolate, richer than most scotch ales I've tasted
OtE - typically excellent Belgian tripel...but those hops make it almost American

Context: My father-in-law took us to his new favorite bar in an inconspicuous strip mall in suburban Pittsburgh. Sharp Edge has several locations in the area. The Brasserie happened to be close to his home. I counted somewhere between 40 and 50 beers on tap, most of it high quality. I won't even guess how many bottles they had for sale.

At the end of the night, I gathered a few beers to take home. In Pennsylvania, you can only buy six-packs from bars/restaurants (with some exceptions), but you have to pay bar prices. It was a costly sixer, but I was able to score a few things not available here in MO.

Would I recommend this beer to you?
FDB - Yes. This is the richest, best scotch ale I've ever had.
OtE - Yes. This beer is made by a Belgian brewery especially for Sharp Edge. You can't buy it anywhere else.

The Beer I Drank Today: Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

Style: Imperial IPA

Color: rich copper

nice head and lacing

Aroma: grapefruit, hops

This beer tastes a lot like the Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA I had recently but with more alcohol and a more pronounced bitterness.

Context: This was a beer purchased at Sharp Edge.

Would I recommend this beer to you? Yes. I think anything single hopped with Simcoe is going to be my favorite from now on.

1 comment:

Pizza Cottontail said...

I was not familiar with Missouri's beer laws. That is strange. Is it to keep the Budweiser machine churning?

I'm in Utah now...their beer laws don't make any sense to me. I had to join a private club to drink a full strength beer.