Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beer Porn!


No not really porn, but Beer Porn. the kind of pictures that get beer geeks excited. Each one of these brews represents a number of bottles of the same type that are either what we call "special finds" or Geographically distributed to other regions besides Missouri. The list includes, Goose Island (Chicago) special reserve "bourbon County stout", Sierra Nevada (Chino Calif.)Stout, Dogfish Head (Delaware)90 Minute IPA, Westvleteren 12 (Belgium, "no1 beer in the world" - Beer Advocate), Boulevard's (Kansas City) Bourbon Barrel aged Quadrupel, Karmeleit Tripel (Belgium, Thanks TAMMIE&DANNY!), Ayinger (germany) Celebrator Doppelbock, Brasserie d'Achouffe (Belgium) Houblon Tripel Belgian IPA, Flying Dog GONZO! Imperial Porter, Anchor (california) "Our Special Ale 2008", Stone (california) Ruination Double IPA, Samuel Smith (England, Brewed for her Majesty's Special Forces) Imperial Stout. This is about half of our stash because I'm sure Kevin has quite a few that he's proud of as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter






Busy time of the year, and we have not had alot of chance to get some reviews going. But let it not be lost how good of a season this is for fantastic craft brews. Winter seasonal, the spices flow and the time of year to get those winter warmers, these beers are actually designed to give you that nice warming sensation going down and that wonderful warm behind the ears feeling.






There are many different great beers out right now headlined by, Odell Isolation, Great divide Hibernation, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Boulevard Nutcracker and Avery Old Jubilation and many many more. One note if you get the sierra Nevada Celebration be warned this is not a winter warmer, while it is their winter seasonal many people go in with the thought that all winter beers are warmers and thats not true, Celebration is in fact an IPA (and a damn good one at that) so get out there and try some great winter beers, hopefully me and Nate will be able to get a review session out soon, and when things die down a bit we will be back blogging here more often.






One more thing I have for everyone before I go and that is some great news! Boulevard just announced 2 new beers! One year round the Single wide IPA and a new seasonal Maibock, which we are not sure what time of year it may be, but both me and Nate agree we hope they do not replace the Zon. It is awsome to see Boulevard doing new beers both in their standard line and their Smokestack (Which they just released a new Bourbon barrel Quad) and we hope to see as many new brews as they choose to put out. Here is the link for those who wanna know more http://boulevard.com/beer.htm

Friday, October 17, 2008

Good times! Great brews!




So our evening turn out to be a raging success. 1st and foremost thank you so much to boulevard for allowing us to be one of the tasters for the absolutely amazing "big stout" test run it was really good and we both appreciate the chance to try it and give feedback.




Also during this evening we tried the hop rod rye from bear republic, this beer is on the top 100 at beeradvocate.com and with real good reason, hop heads rejoice that this is available in springfield cause man is it good, not for the feight of heart but if your looking for a challenge or think your ready to step up to the next level give this one a shot. At only 4.99 a 750 its priced right and in a killer brew.




One more for you, we also got a London porter from arcadia ales, my girlfriend andie spent the evening with the beer geeks and wanted this one, and it was very good as well, very rich and creamy this was a pretty big porter, very thick and rich in flavor, lots of malt and a nice but not to overbearing coffee flavor in the finish. So there ya have it folks one very successful beer geek evening, hope you have a chance to try some of these as they are well worth the shot. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beer Geek Evening!


Tonight is in celebration of...well, not Wednesday, but artisan brews! Kevin and I will be drinking and reviewing some fantastic new brews from Boulevard, Bear Republic, Sierra Nevada, and maybe more! This Week I received a Gift Brew from Jeremy at Boulevard Brewing Company. This special beer is a multi grain Russian Imperial Stout. Brewed with 11, that's right 11 grains, including 7 kinds of Barley, 2 kinds of rye, and 2 kinds of oats. Let's just say we can't wait to give this a taste! Next on the tasting schedule is a "Hop Rod Rye" from Bear Republic, This is a serious rye IPA that boasts a whopping 96 IBUs and is listed on the top 100 beers of the world according to reviews from Beer Advocate.

I hope we still have a palate that will recognize the "Harvest Fresh hop ale" from Sierra Nevada. This beer is brewed with fresh (wet) hops that are picked and immediately driven to the brewery and put directly into the brew kettle. Fresh hops add a completely un-paralleled dimension of taste and mouthfeel. Well, pictures and reviews will follow (however the typing might be a bit mis-spelled) Cheers Friends! Nate

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oktoberfest 08'


Sorry this blog is a little late but WOW, We had a blast. Took a tour of Boulevard Brewing company and got to see the huge new expansion. Sampled some amazing beer, and got to try a Pilsner test brew as well. This is a picture of the clan in the tasting room. The picture below is the historic Mash Tun imported from Belgium when the brewery was being established and the picture at the bottom is the new bottling line that isn't even operational yet. I think next year will be a definite return trip to the Boulevard Brewery.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bell's Cherry Stout


Adventurous? are you sure? well, if you aren't shaking in your boots I have something that will possibly change your mind. I have never (and We've had lots of different beers) EVER had anything quite like this. From Bells Brewing Company, who have always suprised in the way of adventurous brewing. Have releases this iears batch of their Cherry Stout. This Fruit Stout is brewed with Cherries and Cherry juice. Poured into a Glass it looks like one bloody mother of a stout. But so incredibly dark I couldn't see through a small amount up to a bright light. tAstes smooth and chocolatey with a strong Dark Cherry presence, which almost seems like Black Cherries. KEvin didn't like this one, but I thought it was one of the best but most interesting stouts I've ever put to my lips.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Plesent Suprise




I picked up a beer from a brewery that I have never had anything from before, so of course it was their IPA. 7% abv 69IBU this is what I have been waiting 3 weeks for, this hophead has been jonesing real bad. If you are around the Wine center anytime soon defiantly worth a shot its nice and hoppy so if you are a beginner be careful this isn't a small step up. Citrus and hops drive this one a nice medium body and a very piney clean finish, I'll be buying more from this brewery as it seems they are well above average.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Goose Impresses Bigtime


I started out a big skeptic of Goose Island brewery and for a completely unfair reason, hear-say. People told me time and time again it was not good beer, or it was mediocre at best, and its my own fault for waiting so long to get around to trying their beers. But that being said they do have alot of quality brews and this year they have just flat outdone themselves with the fall Harvest Ale.
When you crack this cap remember walking outside on a crisp cool fall morning, try to think of all the scents before you take a good smell of this one.


This beer has a extremely complex smell and flavor that will honestly appease just about any palate whether it be new to the world of craft beer or a veteran I think this one has something to offer us all. I am not going to go into all the specifics of this one just know it comes extremely highly recommended by both me and my fellow beer geek. Next time your out and feel you want something most definitely unlike anything you have ever had before please give this one a shot, I can almost guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale 2008


This week marked the midwest release of the Fall seasonal from Sierra Nevada. This year is one of the best, without a doubt in the top two of the Fall seasonals. That being said, I'll tell you what I thought.

Color: pours golden and clear, thick and foamy head with nice lacing head all the way down.

smells a bit piney, more malt in the nose than anything, a kiss of Cascade hops but not too much at all.

tastes pleasantly bitter at the front but smoothes out, piney/woody taste and a nice hop bite. the finishing hops are nice in the aftertaste.

crisp and very light bodied, great carbonation and a wonderful drinkability. possibly one of the best fall seasonals this year. I also think that the style on BA is right, I would never guess this as an IPA, more of a APA. there is too much of a lager-type malt quality to this beer to call it an IPA

IBUs: 55

Serving type: bottle

Monday, September 1, 2008

The best around


So for the last week We've been enjoying the best Oktoberfests available to us here in Missouri. Paulaner (Germany), Samual Adams (Boston, US), and Boulevard (Kansas City, US) have possibly the best Oktoberfest varieties here in MO. Now I'm not Biased in any way but I have to say Boulevard's Bob's 47 has taken the cake this year, even past Paulaner. I have always said that I'll probably have an Ale in my hands 9 out of ten times, but I've been drinking these delicious lagers for weeks now.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oktoberfest 08'!


Now that September is upon us the best season to get together and have some fun is now in full swing. I know "but aren't Oktoberfests in October?" this is a common myth, Oktoberfests are intentionally celebrated in September (even in Germany). Weather is just about perfect for outdoor events and the rain usually subsides in September. This is the time of year that we, The Beer Geeks gear up for oktoberfest in Kansas City. This is by far the most fun you will ever have in a public place. Full event schedules include Crafts by local vendors, food Vendors (Brats, Nochwurst, Kraut, oh yeah!), Musical Entertainment, and of course plenty of beer. Hopefully this year we will have more to our party and the fun can be even bigger and better. Headlining bands like Prost! perform on the main stage a couple of times every day. Local Kansas City Brewer Boulevard Brewing Company is the main beer sponsor, other sponsirs include Warsteiner, and of course the average BMCs (Bud,Miller,Coors). These are the best times of our life, Good Food, Good Friends, Good Beer, and Good memories. This oktoberfest season YOU, yes YOU need to find a local festivity in your area. So do your beer drinkers responsibility and get out their and do a Polka (don't forget your Leiderhosen) and drink some DAMN BEER! wish you all a happy oktoberfest season. Sincerely(and we really mean that) Nate and Kevin

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Common Beer Terms


We probably should have posted this earlier but we didn't so I suppose I will do it now. Throughout reading this blog if you are new to beer or reviews of beer you will see alot of terms used that you might not know or that are used in a different context when reviewing ie:


-Body-The feel of the beer on your palate, does it sit heavy or light or trail right down the middle

-Mouthfeel-Close to the same as body but this is more to do with the carbonation level of the beer.

-Skunked-We don't like to think about this for it is the death of a beer, this happens most time when a beer is exposed to to much light and causes the hops and other characteristics of the beer to break down and bind with sulfur.....not a good thing. -Nate- Beers like Corona and landshark are bottled in clear glass which lets UV rays penetrate the beer. so long story short, don't buy clear bottles!

-ABV-Alcohol by volume

IBU-International bitterness units, used to measure the hop bitterness in a finished beer...mmmmm hopheads live for this. FYI- IBUs can also be produced by roasting malt in order to create a burnt toast flavor that adds a bite and bitterness.

-Hophead-Since i mentioned it someone who loves the bitter and earthy flavors that an over abundance of hops and alcohol bring to a beer.

-Maltbomb-You probably can guess this one but its a very malty beer...my counterpart can go into this one more I'm not real big on em.

-Head-The crown on the beer, icing on the cake, whatever you wanna call it no matter what anyone tells you this is a good thing. (Tip- If a Bartender pours you a beer with no head and says "no head is good head" pour it out and ask him to re-pour it because he/she is a complete idiot.

-Micro-brew-a beer from a small brewery that produces no more than 15000 barrels a year.


there are many more and I'm sure Nate will hit a couple I missed so stay tuned, also gonna hit on the different syles Ales, Lagers, IPA's Porters etc etc etc.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It Is Time To Polka


Dammit it's Octoberfest time, the time of year when you can walk into a store and buy wonderful brews such as Bob's 47 (boulevard) and Sam Adams Octoberfest. These beers make me happy its my favorite beer season, and it could easily be anyone's I find the octoberfest brews to be among the most accepted of any seasonal as well, that being said they are also among the most complex (excluding the winter warmer) these are rich and sweet brews with notes of carmel or honey, rich sweet malt and a nice bitter finish.

So be a man dammit put on you Liederhosen and crank the F'in polka music is Octoberfest and good times and good brews this time of year brings about does not last near long enough.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beer Braised Pot Roast


One of my personal favorites cooked in my favorite beverage, BEER! One of cookings most effective tenderizers is beer, when slow cooked the acids in the beer break down the fatty tissue to soften the meat. Recipe:
2.5 LB Beef Roast
1.5 Large Yellow Onions cut largley
4 LArge Carrots cut into 1/4 inch peices
2 Shallots cut coarsley
1 bottle stout beer
1/4 cup water
4 Tbs Olive Oil

In a large Pan Heat oil on medium. Brown roast on all sides (about 3 minutes on all sides). Remove roast and place onions,Shallots and Garlic(if desired), Cook until tender. Replace roast and add water and beer. heat to a simmer then turn heat down and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours. (or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees) remove from pan and drain broth into a bowl separating the onions from the juice. replace the juice to pan and add two to three TBS or flour. heat until simmering, wisk frequently until desired thickness is reached. Serve with Mashed Potatoes or any other Veggies that would be good smothered in Gravy. Beer is so fun to cook with, and relatively easy. Good Luck!

Recommended Pairings include: Tripels, Quadrupels, Belgian IPA/Pale ales.

The Hop


Humulus lupulus L.
Humulus japonicus Siebold & Zucc.
Humulus yunnanensis Hu

The hop (Humulus) is a small genus of flowering plants, native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The female flowers, commonly called hops, are used as flavouring and stabilisers during beer brewing.

Who doesn't enjoy a nice hoppy delight? I've been doing a bit of studying about hop gardening and identification. I hope this helps a little bit on the understanding about this potent little flower.
For a Identification Guide click here

Hop Variety Shown is Cascade

Saturday, August 23, 2008

O'Dell's Woodcut No. 1 Ale


On the 18th on August Craft Brewing Juggernaut O'Dell Released an exclusive 120 cases of the new Woodcut No. 1 Oak Aged Ale. Given that we probably won't be getting anything this far away from Colorado, I'm secretly hoping I can get my cousin to bring some from Denver this fall. Doug O'Dell says that after this No. 1 release the beer and label will be retired for good. So if you get your hands on one I'll trade just about anything to get one. Here's to No. 2!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Boulevard's Smokestack series


Attention Midwesterners! Boulevard's smokestack series has been on the market for about a year now, but only recently has it been available in surrounding states. Up until January 08' the smokestack series was sold exclusively in the Kansas City area. Expansion of the brewery gave way to expanding distribution of these four specialty beers. Boulevard has long been a missouri treasure and we are glad to say that Boulevard is brewed right up the street in KC. These four brews were inspired by individual experience with remembrance and reverence in mind.

Double Wide-This hop slamming double IPA is inspired by the original IPAs brewed to withstand long journeys across the sea. Here in Missouri we are in the hert of tornado alley and it seems like every thunderstorm that passes through turns over a trailer park. As it says in the label "Relax, it's Twister Proof" this beer is meant to withstand our twister happy state. Brewed with a mixture of Zeus and Magnum hops, with Ahtanium hops for aroma. Then aggressively dry-hopped with Chinook and centennial hops, there is no doubt that beer is a F4 hop tornado that will destroy your tast buds. 8.5% ABV,

The Sixth Glass- "Do you know what dwells in a glass?" This beer is inspired by Christian Anderson's "The watchman of the tower" which was written for an older audience (unlike his other books). This Quadrupel Ale is for the mature palate and should be enjoyed slowly. With brewing inspired by the great Trappist breweries of Belgium, this Quad is a dark auburn delight. Rich creamy head with a date, fig,prune and slight chocolate aromas followed by a malty port-like taste that keeps you sipping. 10.5% ABV

Saison- Birthed from a southern French-speaking region of Belgium and was designed to be readily available for farm hands. This beer was brewed in the winter when water from precipitation was plentiful, then kept for the warmer months. This "Farmhouse" ale is what is was coined as due to the use and environment of it's consumption. A Citrusy Lemon Phenolic Aroma with a peppery, Grassy taste. Refreshing and Generously hopped this beer is a sure pleaser to any beer drinker's palate. 6.2%ABV

The Long Strange Trippel- Mis-Mythed as a Jerry Garcia inspired beer, it's actually dedicated to Boulevard's most dedicated employee. Harold "Trip" Hogue is a eccentric character that single handedly refurbished the original brewing equipment in order for the brewery to make their first batches of beer. This is the Best (which is why it's last) of the smokestack series in my opinion. Thanks to my Fiance for unexpectedly bringing one home. Tripeling the amount of malt makes this a textbook tripel. But underneath the cork lies a complex monster with estery aromas, creamy head and a sweet and delightful finish. 9% ABV

We sure hope this has inspired you to give these magnificent brews a try nest time your looking for something special to drink of even put into the cellar for a couple of years. Happy Drinking. The Beer Geeks, Nate and Kevin

Friday, August 15, 2008

Goose Island Reserve


This post is only for the stout at heart. Onlt for those with a superior taste for perfection. Goose Island Has released a 2007 vintage editions of their special reserve. Matilda(Belgian strong Pale ale), Pierre Jaques (Belgian Dubbel) Bourbon County Stout(russian Imperial Stout), and the Imperial IPA (IIPA) are specially crafted brews that will please the palate of specialty beer lovers.

Pere Jacques is a Robust Dubbel with a superior malt quality with a clove and ester nose, sugary and fruity taste and superior balance. At %9 ABV this dubbel packs a whallop of flavor to hide the inherent alcohol content.

Matilda is on the other hand a more substandard (hey I'm not kissing anyones ass here) "Strong Pale Ale". Typically a strong pale ale is a bit more hoppy thatn this was, but overall this was enjoyable. just a little bit crossed on naming. agreat Big malt bomb with a distinct ester quality. %7 percent ABV is sub-par in this category.

Bourbon county Stout, I wish I could tell you how good this is..... no seriously we can't get it here in Missouri.

Imperial IPA, Saving the best for last. This incredibly complex hoppy treasure is a delight in any drinking situation. Definitly a sipper, this beer will please the most experienced "hop-heads" with it's overwhelming floral hop quality. Superiority in taste and drinkability for an IIPA Great work at Goose Island for this one.

I hope this review will help you make a good decision on which one of these tasty brews you will experience. Good Beer! Good times! that's what we're all about.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Local Beer


In the last few months I've come to realize the vast amount of people in southwest Mo. that don't realty want to drink the same stuff over and over but they just don't know that there is anything else out there. Most everyone around has seen Boulevard Wheat, hell most of you have probably drank it, but did you know that they make some of the best other styles of beer as well, Bully porter and Bully Dry Stout are two excellent examples of craft brew styles that some are not subjected to on a regular basis so real fast here is those beers.




Bully! Porter-This is a wonderful beer,(and one of my all time favorites: Nate) extremely smooth and the porter style appeals to most as it is very rich and has a very defined coffee flavor, this is a great gateway into the world of craft beer that you can find right in your own backyard, in fact I had one of these last night and its still one of my all time favorites.




Dry Stout-This one you might want to shy away from a bit more than the porter as it take a little more refining of the palate to really enjoy and pull out the various complexities, if your new to the craft beer scene it mighte a little to big of a jump but if your getting into it or you just feel real froggy this one offers very big taste. The first thin you notice about the dry stout is its much more bitter, it bites ya right in the mouth when you take a drink and then lingers to leave that same bitterness after its long gone (us beer geeks get giddy over things like this) still has the smoothness and slightly less coffee flavor than the Porter also you can taste alot of sweeter malt and hints of carmel in this one.




2 fine beers you can get at near any gas station in springfeild next time you are going after some beer give them a shot who knows ya might open up a whole new world of flavors you had no idea existed, we find new ones almost every weekend.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Feelin Geeky


How is everyone? I'm Nate, I'm the Malt-head in this partnership. Don't get me wrong I love a good hoppy delight, but give me a giant malt-bomb and I'm happy. Now some may say that I have a sweet tooth for malt, but it's not true. I love bitter malts ie. Porters, stouts, and Belgian strong ales. SpecialK and I have created this site (formally on Myspace) to not only blog about what we love, but to learn ourselves. Earlier this year Kevin and I became members of BeerAdvocate.com which opened the floodgates of knowledge about our favorite brews. Little did we know that we would become a caliber of "Beer Geek" that we are today. This blog will unlock the secrets of Craft beer that we have learned and will learn in the future. long story short, WE LOVE BEER and we're here to learn a little more about it. Enjoy! Alcoholic beverages should be consumed in a responsible manor, we Advocate beer, not drunkeness

Introductions

Hey Everyone I'm Kevin, Special K to my friends and I am a beer geek. In case anyone wonders what classifies someone as a beer geek, honestly its just a way to say I love beer. My favorite style is an IPA so im what other beer guys call a "hophead" there are not many styles of beer I don't like at all and I'll try just about any of them, I'm sure me and my counterpart will be using this blog for a great deal of things reviewing, beers of the month etc so check back often there is alot more than alot of you may think to beer, who knows you may learn something!