Friday, March 28, 2014

Recap of the 10th Brewer's Plate

At this point, it's been over a week (ok, now it's two weeks I think) since the 10th Brewer's Plate occurred. Simply enough, Jo and I had a great time at it and will definitely be back next year if we can. While I bought tickets for the two of us this year, I was also given a media pass which let me check out the VIP stuff as well.

The venue this year was the Kimmel Center which was very nice. The first floor, at least, was relatively spacious and handled the crowds pretty well. Here's a picture of it from the back corner though I think this was when only VIP ticket holders were inside.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Tenth Brewer's Plate is on Sunday!

I obviously haven't written much lately so it's kind of funny that my first post back is going to basically be an advertisement. However, The Brewer's Plate is totally worth it and I'm going again this year so I feel like that's okay. If you want to read about my experience last year, just go here. There are some pictures along with my thoughts. The event itself is fantastic with a ton of great food and a ton of beer and just a lot of fun.

At this point, tickets are $65 for regular admission and $135 for VIP. I definitely think the regular admission is worth it and the VIP seems better this year than last so if you have the extra cash, go ahead and splurge!

Friday, January 24, 2014

FiftyFifty Eclipse 2011 Grand Cru verson

I have a few bottles of Eclipse left on the shelves downstairs, but can never remember what version each is. Since the only defining feature is the color of the wax, I usually don't find out until I take a sip, try to figure it out, then look it up on FiftyFifty's website here. Note, I'm usually wrong and feel dumb, but oh well. This time, I took a sip and swore it was the brandy version. Turns out, it was the Grand Cru version from 2011. Maybe it had some of the brandy blended into it as it was a blend of a bunch of the variants? Let's go with that so I feel less bad about my guess.
Very sweet, almost cherry like nose. It was the fruitiness that really threw me as I thought it was brandy. Some chocolate and fudge add complexity to it as well. Very nice body, thick and chewy which was sort of surprising. I've had other eclipse's that were a bit thinner than I like so this was nice. Body had a vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate sweetness with a very light alcohol burn in the finish. Between the strong chocolate and vanilla flavors and the chewy body, this was really good. Quite enjoyed this.

On a separate note, I still have a pretty big backlog of beers right now. I also want to talk about my trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming before it's too far in the past. Hopefully, some of that will occur next week but we'll see I guess!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Goose Island Gillian

I have quite a back log right now so I'm going to try and work through at least some of it. That means I actually drank this a while ago which was apparently December 6th according to the date on the picture. But, whatever, i'ts not like my notes go bad. Gillian is a sour saison brewed with strawberries and peppercorns (and possibly a few other things) and then aged in used wine barrels. Pretty complicated beast. One fun trivia fact is that the experimental name was Scully, which if you've ever watched the X-Files, Scully was played by Gillian Anderson. Get it? Scully -> Gillian? Okay, maybe only nerds will think that's neat but it totally is.
Spicy, peppery nose with some light fruit and a bunch of oak. Body was similar, starting off lightly peppery, almost bitter, followed by strawberry, oak, and a little white wine flavor. As I drank more, the bitterness faded like it usually does and the strawberry and wine notes really came to the front. Very tasty beer with the only real negative being the price. Not sure what the going rate for it is in Philly, but it easily could be $35 or $40 given the usual markups. Knocks it down a few pegs for me just because for that kind of money I could get other beers. Still, glad to have tried it at least once.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Port Brewing Santa's Little Helper

I may not be writing as much, but I am still making my mostly weekly visits to Kite & Key. They've been varying a bit between Tuesday and Thursday but that's mostly depended on the weather. Regardless, I've still been going each week so that's something. This visit I ordered the Port Brewing Santa's Little Helper, an imperial stout.
Nice chocolate and coffee nose, definitely my style of imperial stout. Nice mouthfeel too. It wasn't oily, but was still a bit thicker, if that makes sense. Body was full of chocolate and roast with a light citrusy, bitter finish. I'm not sure others would get citrus and instead some other flavor of bitterness, but that's how it presented to me. Quite an enjoyable imperial stout and something I'd order again. I know I've seen barrel aged versions of this, but feel like I've heard complaints about it. Not sure but it feels like it would be good after tasting the base. Who knows.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Paul's Amber IPA

Still trying to work out the timing for writing more posts, but we'll see what the new year brings. To start things off, I'm going to talk about my buddy's first attempt at homebrewing. I could have chosen something more available, I guess, but what's the fun in that? Paul called it an Amber IPA mostly because of the recipe he followed.
Masking tape label and nothing else, so homebrew. In all seriousness, the tape came off easily so it's a perfect label as it makes the bottle quickly reusable. As for the beer, it was, well, definitely a first attempt at homebrewing. Still, I wasn't upset to drink it. Pretty sweet caramel nose with a hint of chocolate. Pretty thick body, almost a little syrupy. Body was sweet caramel with no real bitterness to clean it up. Basically it just felt a bit under attenuated aka not fully fermented. The thick body with the very sugary flavor kind of implies that. Funny enough, though, this was still better than the majority of beers Jo and I had at Amherst Brewing Company a while back so go Paul!

Friday, December 20, 2013

One last post before Christmas

Okay, things have definitely been very quiet on the Rich on Beer front. We've changed our morning routine to feed Pax breakfast, which is a ton of fun, but it doesn't leave me a ton of time to relax and get in the writing mood. Since I'm not a writer by profession or really talent, it takes me a while to get words on to the screen. Or at least interesting words. I've still been drinking new beers all the time, don't get me wrong, just haven't written anything for a while. Today, to get one more post written before the holidays, I'm going to go back a few weeks and post about Deschutes The Abyss from 2010.
Lots of bourbon vanilla notes in the nose. Medium mouthfeel on it. Body was full of licorice and roast with the bourbon and vanilla taking a back seat compared to the nose. Some molasses sweetness came out as I drank more rounding things out. Pretty nice though the mouth feel could have been a little fuller and the bourbon vanilla stronger in the body. Still, definitely glad I drank it.

I actually opened this because the Friday before I went to Jose Pistola's for the Deschutes Beer Camp lunch and it made me want to try an older Abyss. Muller Distributors paid for my lunch there too which was cool. I think I still have two more years of Abyss in the basement that I will get to at some point.

Also, I'm going on vacation now so look for some posts in the new year, hopefully a little more consistently. We'll see!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dock Street Abt 12

Jo and I were recently at Dock Street after a fun trip to the zoo with Paxton and the PhillyTapFinder family and I saw they were selling bottles of this. I'm a sucker for quads and so decided I needed to try it. At $12 it wasn't too expensive either. Also, I'm pretty sure this was a Scott Morrison beer and his belgian style ones were usually quite good so it seemed worth the risk. If you want to try anything by him, he's actually now at the Barren Hill Brewpub.
Nose was a mix of caramel, a little apple, and some sugary sweetness. Really nice and inviting. Body followed with lots of caramel, some plums, apple, and finished with a slight alcohol burn. Medium mouthfeel, not thick but not thin either. Quite delicious especially as the alcohol faded by the time I finished the glass. I haven't had a genuine Belgian quad in a while and so really enjoyed this. Definitely glad I bought it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Founders Breakfast Stout at Kite & Key revisited

I've definitely written about Breakfast Stout before, even written about having it at Kite & Key, but I'm going to revisit it because it's been a while. Of course, now that I've linked you to the previous post, I do have to make sure I don't just write exactly the same thing. Founders Breakfast Stout is an imperial stout made with coffee and chocolate.
Nose was really nice with lots of chocolate and espresso coffee with some roast bringing it all together. Body, however, was super bitter at first with just a little coffee and minimal chocolate. I was actually surprised at how bitter it was. Luckily, as I drank more and it warmed up a bit, the bitterness fell to more reasonable levels and I started tasting more of the coffee. Maybe out of a bottle it's not quite as bitter but this wasn't quite as good as I remember. Oh well, tastes change and all that.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Firestone Walker Double DBA at Kite & Key

I actually thought this was going to be a repeat post as I swear I've had Double DBA before, but I didn't have a picture of it yet so I guess I was wrong. Kite & Key was pretty great this past Tuesday as they still had a whole bunch of Firestone Walker leftovers from the Craft Beer Express on Saturday. Pretty surprised about it but a win for me. Since I've had Sucaba (aka Abacus) a whole bunch of times, I opted for Double DBA, a bourbon barleywine though I'd argue it's not really a barleywine but a mix of stronger styles. Surprised it's not listed as an american strong ale.
It's a little darker than in the picture since I had to use a flash to take it but it gives you an idea. Really smooth caramel and sweet boozy nose. Very inviting. Body was similar with tons of caramel and vanilla with a little bourbon flavor to top things off. Just a very delicious beer though some may find it a bit sweet. Don't get me wrong, it's not Southern Tier sweet, meaning it'll give you diabetes, but the caramel and vanilla are very strong without any real bitterness to balance them.