Monday, October 4, 2010

Most Of This Has Nothing To Do With Much Of Anything

Some beer you should drink that is new on the market. No, not all of it is new on this market. Hell, some of these you can't even get in the state. But, there's some cool stuff out there and this is just some of it.

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. No, not Guinness Stout - originally an "export porter". No, not even Guinness Extra Stout - a heavier version of Guiness Stout. But, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. Available in the rest of the universe since forever, it is now available in the United States. Lew Bryson seems to really like it. If stouts are your thing, this is your holy grail. But it's more like the Holy Grail is now being mass reproduced and sold at Target, which sort of ruins a bit of it's "grailiness", no?

Rodenbach Vintage 2008. Tired of the wife yelling at you for taking up so much damned space with all of that beer that you're saving for some apocolypse that will probably never come? Well, worry no more. Rodenbach is doing the aging for you. "Vintage 2008 was aged in oak vat number 96 at Brouwerij RODENBACH in Roeselare, Belgium for the last two years. The 750 ml bottles are cork topped and the Flanders sour ale resembles an Oloroso sherry wine with its deep red, coppery glow. Cask 96 was chosen for this year’s special Vintage because its track record in producing sour beer over the years has been superior." Rodenbach's availability can be sketchy so who knows whether this will actually be available in Wisconsin. Speaking of which ... anyone know if this is available in Wisconsin?

Tiny Bubbles. You have to go to Hollister, California for this one, but it's an authentic Gose (Mr. Snooty McSnottipants requires that we all pronounce this "goes-a"). What is a Gose? Well, it's sort of like a wild fermentation berliner weisse, though not actually wild since he pitches Wyeast lactic cultures, and with hefe yeast, and not from Berlin. It's similar to Gueze, but pronounced with a pinky out; described as a salty gueze, or a Berlinner with balls, the recipe is about 60 percent unmalted wheat and 40 percent pilsner and 100% sour. This ancient style is from Goslar and Leipzig, and it was almost dead; expect a Sam Adams Gose within the year.

Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project Once Upon A Time. Dan brews beer as a "gypsy brewer" (a pretty stupid title if you ask me, but it effectively connotes what he does - travel around to different breweries brewing beer on their stainless). He gets some of his ideas from a crazy Dutchie named Ron. Ron and Dan are obsessed with the past. In particular Ron is obsessed with digging up obscure facts about obscure beer brewed in a relatively concrete past. Dan is obsessed with brewing these beers. This project is called the Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project and the series of beers that involves Ron is called the Once Upon a Time Series. The latest in this series was released this past weekend and it's called KK. Pretty lame name if you ask me. "The beer itself is a KK, brewed on Chiswell Street in November 1901. ... If you've paying attention to these pages you'll realise that we're talking about a Burton. ... Dark, hoppy and 7.8% ABV, ...." That, on the other hand, does not sound pretty lame. Sounds pretty f-ing awesome actually.

Finally, something a bit more local: Furthermore Hopperbolic. The latest quirky release from Furthermore is a not-quite fresh hop IPA that really won't be all that quirky. Challenged to stop putting non-beer things in beer, Brewmaster Madden brings you a straight IPA the only way Furthermore knows how - a 100% local hop brew (hops courtesy of Friends-of-MBR Gorst Valley Hops) with no recipe. Well, obviously there's a recipe. But, the recipe will change based on the availability of hops. Summits aren't available? Goldings and Nugget it is. Oh? No Cascade? We'll use some Centennial instead. Chris can explain it better than me: "A few words about Hopperbolic - it's a beer we're releasing and changing over time based on the volume and varietal yield of the hopyard - it WILL evolve over time. Presently, Gorst Valley is able to provide us Nugget, Cascade and Mt. Hood. We will be producing a total brewed yield of between 40 and 60 bbls this fall. We'll be doing it in two or three batches, the first of which will be keg only. While we're kind of known for doing funky stuff, we wanted to serve up Gorst Valley's crop in the best way to assess the hops themselves. We're not getting too crazy with process or recipe, just really trying to let the harvest shine through. Maybe you'll like the changes from one batch to the next, maybe you won't - that's cool. We hop(e) you will enjoy the idea, indulge the experiment and revel in the return of hops-growing to southern Wisconsin." Some more news coming on the release of this beer; for now you can just drool.


  1. Regarding Rodenbach, I know you can get one version at such places as Woodman's (for the past couple years), but I cannot recall whether it is the Reserve or the Grand Cru. $8 for a 750mL bottle is a great deal, in my opinion.

  2. I had Guinness Foreign extra stout when I was in the UK, it is the best of the Guinness beers.
    Hopperbolic sounds cool, keep us posted as to where it will be available!

  3. It's good to see Ron Pattinson developed beers again! And in cooperation with Pretty Things! I've got one of their beers in the fridge right now....

    Ron is actually an English-type that lives in Amsterdam - his Amsterdam pub guide is an amazing resource. He's also doing crazy research into the history of brewing ingredients, recipes and methods. Really cool stuff for those of us that love the history and how world events changed the industry, but very dry and data based for many.

  4. Speak of the devil, we just got the Guinness Foreign Export Stout in at Barriques this week. There's a 4-pack in my fridge, just a-waitin' to be given the ol' how'dya'do.


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