Sep 28, 2009

A new favorite........

My favorite beers are always changing. There are however, always a few beers that are always in my 5. Three Philosophers, one of my all time favorites always, as is Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barelywine (I have a 6 pack of 09 sitting in my cellar!). Stone's Ruination is always awesome. Devil Dancer by found, although I've only ever had one, is one of my all time favorites, and is the highest rating I've ever given a beer.

Lately, I've been drinking a lot of Dogfish Head brews. I've always liked the 60 minute, and really loved the 90 minutes, and always thought the Midas touch was interesting, and enjoyable. However, a while back, I attended a tasting a Whole Foods in Chandler, hosted by Sam Calagione, founder and owner of Dogfish Head. We tried the 60, and 90 and the Midas touch, which was fine with me, all beers I like. However, we also tried the India Brown, which as pretty good, and Rasion D-etra, which was awesome! I ended up bringing a 6 of it home. Since then, I've bought many more! I've since, tried Black and Blue, very good, and Theobrama, which is awesome.

However, a new beer in my top 5 has got to be Palo Santo Marron. It is a dark brown ale, brewed in 10,000 gallon brewing vessels (the largest made in N America since prohibition) made of palo santo (holy wood), gives the beer a smooth, vanilla, caramel mix that is almost breath taking. At 12% ABV it’s pretty strong, but almost goes unnoticed. It’s smooth, some what heavy, but still easy to drink.

Since that tasting, my respect (as well as my knowledge of) Dogfish Head has increased 10 fold. I think they are one of the most daring, experimental brewery's out there, unafraid to take chances, and extremely good at what they do. My hats off, and my glass of Palo Santo is raised to Sam and his crew at Dogfish Head!

Sep 26, 2009

Am I a Beer Snob??

One term I have really come to hate is "Beer Snob". I have been called one more then a few times. What is a beer snob? I've heard the term "wine snob" as well. What is a snob? According to an on line dictionary, a snob is defined as

"a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field"

Well, for one, I don't consider myself an expert, just a fan. While I do have knowledge of beer that most of the people I know don't have, I'm no expert. Also, I don't hold in disdain anyone that doesn't drink what I consider "Good Beer". A friend of mine and I were having a discussion a while back at a bar after a softball game. He asked me, after ordering a pretty decent craft beer they had on tape, in an un-chilled glass "why do you have to be such a beer snob?" I asked him what he meant by that, and his reply "you only drink those girly beers". Well, for one, the beer I was drinking had almost 3x's the amount of alcohol as the one he had, and was, by anyone’s definition, heavier then his. So, why is this considered "girly" for one, and why am I a snob for ordering something the bar offered anyway? He told me, he only drinks Coors Light. I have tried over 200 beers in the last 3 years, he only drinks Coors Light, but I am the snob? I've never understood this line of thinking. I have nothing against the big brewers, Anheuser Busch, Coors etc. I don't like their product, but they have their place in the beer world. If you offered me a Bud Light, I wouldn't take it. If you offered me a plate of broccoli, I wouldn't take that either. Does that make me a vegetable snob?

Sep 25, 2009

When to drink this.....???

I grew up in a small town in western Maine. Since moving out of this small town, one of the top rated beer bars in the country has moved in (the top rated beer bar according to a few years back). Ebenezer's Pub is a small bar in Lovell, Maine. The have what is probably the best selection of Belgian Beers that can be found on this side of the Atlantic. Over 35 taps, and over 700 bottles to choose from.
They have a beer brewed especially for them, called Black Albert, brewed by De Struise Brouwers (rumor has it this beer will no longer be brewed?!).
My dad was recently back visiting Lovell with my brothers. He was kind enough to pick me up a bottle of Black Albert ($16 for a 12oz bottle). This beer is almost impossiable to get your hands on here in Arizona, and if they are going to stop making it, I am left with a delemia? When should I drink this beer???
I think it will be sometime soon, but want to wait for the best time. I will be reporting back when I do, to let you know how good the beer was.

My first entry

I've wanted to start a blog for some time, but never knew what to "blog" about. Someone suggested the other day I do a beer column, or blog. I didn't want to at first, thinking there are just SO many blogs about beer out there. I wanted to do something at least slightly differ ant.
Then I got thinking about a lot of the beer blogs that are out there. Most are from people that appreciate and love beer, beer advocates. The review beer, and discuss beer in terms most of us wouldn't understand. I wanted to do a blog for the every day person. Educate and advocate, but not to the point of being pretentious, or, god forbid be a "beer snob". So, here it is, my blog "the beer czar". (No I have not been approved by congress).

Ken aka The Beer Czar