Saturday, March 14, 2009

Barleywine Show

Mark, Rick, Tracy and Jim the Brewer joined Terri and I on Friday the 13th to record the much overdue Pacific Brew News Barley Wine show.
The order of consumption....... or somewhere close to it....I highly recommend listening to the show for better details.
22oz - Bitter - Jim's Homebrew we used for a starter...or...calibration beer
22oz - Lollihop IPA - Rick's IPA recipe brewed here last year....more calibration

12oz - UINTA BREWING CO - Salt Lake City Utah. XV Fifteenth Anniversary Barley Wine. 10.4%. 2009 Release.

12oz - HALES'S ALES LTD - Seattle Washington. Rudyard's Rare. 9.2%. 2008 Release

12oz - SPEAKEASY - San Francisco, CA. Old Godfather. 10.2%. 2006 Release

12oz - BREW IT UP - Sacramento CA. Sky Diver. 10.5%. 2007 Release

12oz - VALLEY BREWING - Stockton CA. Rye Based Barley wine. 2006 California Brewers Festival entry

22oz - STONE BREWING - Escondido CA. Old Guardian. 11.26%. Early 2006 Release.

22oz - LAGUNITAS BREWING - Petaluma CA. GnarlyWine. 9.7%. 2006 Release.

750ML - ROGUE BREWING - Newport OR. Old Crustacean. 11.5%. 2006 Release.

22oz - MIDNIGHT SUN BREWING - Anchorage AK. Arctic Devil. 10%. 2006 Release.

12oz - SIERRA NEVADA BREWING - Chico CA. Big Foot. 9.6%. 2006 Release.

22oz - PUBLICAN PUB & BREWERY - Pacific City OR. The Perfect Storm. 13.5%. 2008 Release

After the show choices.
22oz - TREE BREWING COMPANY - Kelowna BC. Hop Head. 8% Double IPA
Growler - RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING - Santa Rosa CA. Blind Pig IPA. 6%. 3 months in the growler and still delicious (Thanks Bob)
12oz - GREEN FLASH BREWING - Vista, CA. HopHead Red.

The Lagunitas GnarleyWine and the Midnight Sun Arctic Devil were pretty much the run away winners on the night. They were both just a pure joy to drink and what I believe we would all agree is the state of the art in West Coast style Barley Wines. Big bold sweet malt flavors backed by prodigious hops throughout. Smooth, balanced and big. Highly recommended.

The Publican Pub The Perfect Storm is bourbon barrel aged and was quite the overpowering treat as well, big time Bourbon presence. The only two entry's that I don't think really measured up to the group we sampled was the Hale's Rudyard's and the Rogue Old Crustacean.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hop Growing

The rain has finally backed off a bit here in early March and the Hop Hunter is busy preparing (or as Terri might say) destroying our back yard.
My plan is to put in some hops before the window of opportunity closes this Spring. Of course I have no idea what I'm doing .....but with a little luck and a few gallons of sweat perhaps later this summer we may even have a little harvest of those beautiful lupulin cones to call our own.
It just seems to me that brewing at home with one's personally grown hops is something worthy to aspire to.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bilco's Billiard's

If you find yourself in Napa and need a beer....I suggest Billco's at 1234 3rd Street. They have no less than 60 taps and the day we showed up they sported 15 IPA's as well as other assorted goodies like Chimay (White), Lagunitas Brown Shugga, Old Rasputin, Red Rocket, Three Philosophers, Affligem Noel Affligem Blond and even Babycham.
The IPA's included RR Bling Pig and Pliny the Elder, Racer 5, Firestone Walker Union Jack, Hopsickle, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Dogfish Head 90 minute and Stone IPA. The new Napa Smith brewery was also well represented with 4 tap handles.
Bilco's also have a decent assortment of bottled offerings including all three Chimay's, Duvel and Budvar. Interestingly I convinced the Bartender to recommend the Budvar to a customer that was somewhat pissed that they were out of American Budweiser. The guy eventually relented and decided to give the Budvar a shot. By the time we pulled out and headed home the guy was on his fourth one and recommending it to a late arriving buddy.
Beer education slowly but's a beautiful thing.