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 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 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


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!