Category Archives: Beer Of The Week

Listings of the beerclub beer of the week.

Southern Tier 2X Steam

The #BOTW this week is Southern Tier 2X Steam, taken from the Ray’s Wine & Spirits latest Craft Beer Newsletter. (Sign up for it if you haven’t yet. You won’t regret it. I promise.)

ind_bp_label_2xSteam

From the newsletter,

The first beer on the list is in a league of its own. We’ve dicussed the California Common (aka “steam beer”) in the past, but here’s a quick refresher. Back before commercial refrigeration, it was difficult to ferment beers at the lower temperatures necessary for lagers. As a result, brewers used shallow open fermenters so the air would cool the wort faster. They ended up using a lager yeast (normally activated at 45-50°F) and fermented it at a higher than average temperature (typically 58-68°F).

A unique style to begin with, Southern Tier out of Lakewood, New York ups the ante even further with their 2x Steam. Much like their 2x Stout or IPA, they take the normal ingredients and double it. Clocking in at 8% ABV, you’ll be surprised at how mildly this beer exerts itself. A deep, golden color, honey and mint aromas shine through. The hops are subtle, but firm. Sweet up front, light tangerine notes blend among earthy hop profiles. One of a kind, Southern Tier doubles your fun way better than Doublemint gum ever could hope.

Southern Tier recommends these food pairings: Cheddar cheeses, grilled chicken, salmon, salads and light desserts such as shortcake or shortbread cookies.

I think I may take them up on their cheddar cheeses suggestion, because cheese.

As an added bonus, the good folks at Ray’s Wine and Spirits gives us this incentive:

So be sure to take them up on their generosity and support #beerclub in the process.

And for more information about the brewery and beer:

Established: 2002
Southern Tier Brewing Company was founded in 2004 by Phineas DeMink and Allen Yahn with the vision of bringing small batch brewing back to a region rich in brewing tradition. In 2003 Skip and Phin purchased the defunct Old Saddle Back Brewing Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. All the equipment was removed and brought back to Lakewood, New York and set up at its new 10,000 square foot home, The Southern Tier Brewing Company. The Brewery began operations in February 2004 distributing regionally. By 2005 sales covered the majority of the New York State and the eastern half of Pennsylvania. In the beginning their two Flagship brands were a Pilsner and Mild Ale. Oh yeah they also brewed IPA! As it turned out the flagships were a flop and the IPA was a huge success. They next launched a line of seasonal beers which have gained great success. Since the beginning, Southern Tier has experienced steady growth, currently distributing to over 25% of the United States. Multiple expansions have been made to keep up with demand and the brewery continues to be innovative by producing new products. Keep a look out for new products coming to stores near you.
California Common Beer
Availability: Not Available
Glassware: Pint Glass

Cheers. See you Monday night at 8, at #beerclub.

Pearl Street Brewery – Pearl Street Pale Ale

While Pearl Street Brewery has been around since 1999, #beerclub has yet to sample their brews. This is about to change, as we add yet another Wisconsin brewery to our roster.

Pearl Street Pale Ale

Pearl Street Brewery Pale Ale

I’m trying out a new plugin on the blog to gather data from the online brewery database, so I’ll let the brewerydb.com plugin give you more details about the brewery and the beer. Join us next Monday at 8:00 PM at @hashtagbeerclub and #beerclub as we drink Pearl Street Pale Ale.

Established: 1999
Our brewery started with a dream and a 1984 Eagle Wagon and trailer packed with brewery equipment driven here from Colorado by an ambitious young brewer and his Dad. After a long and tumultuous journey involving disaster and triumph; joy and heartache ~ they began to build. Following fourteen months of design, building and construction they finally fired up the brew kettle for the first time in December of 1999. Although the brewery was tiny and tucked in a basement on Pearl Street, the celebration and Grand Opening was enough to attract throngs of flavor starved people and get Mayor Medinger to tap the inaugural keg. We have come a long way since. Today we brew, bottle and keg our beers from our new home in the historic La Crosse Footwear building with our expanded 30 barrel brewery. The new brewery has over six times the brewing capacity of the old Pearl Street Brewhouse. And while we spent the first 8 years slinging brews out to nearby pubs and restaurants in draught kegs only, in July of 2007, we unveiled bottled beer in six packs and cases.
American-Style Pale Ale
A well-defined hop flavor and aroma distinguish this classic beer. American-Style Pale Ales are amongst this country’s most distinctive brews. Few beer drinkers can pass up the flowery, slightly dry yet full-bodied flavor of this popular beer. Four separate additions of British hop varieties mingle in the brew kettle to create it’s intriguing and assertive hoppiness, and the age-old “dry-hopping” method using our own locally grown hops during fermentation tops Pearl Street Pale Ale off with spicy and floral hop aromatics. Silver Medal Winner at the World Beer Championship, 2003. Available on draught year ‘round.
ABV: 6%
Availability: Year Round
Glassware: Pint Glass

#Beerclub #BOTW Capital Brewery Mutiny IPA

Things they are a changing at Capital Brewery. Kirby Nelson, Capital’s longtime brewmaster, left the brewery in October to start a new brewery with Carl Nolen, Capital’s former president. In the wake of this shakeup Capital is working to reinvent itself.

In the nearly 30 years since the brewery first opened, they have never brewed an IPA.

Until now.

IPAbodyTTB

The brewery has just released Mutiny IPA and their new limited release Imperial IPA Capsized. The Mutiny IPA is a new year round beer from the brewery and can round out the traditionally lager and bock heavy lineup.

Join #beerclub on April Fools Day as we drink Wisconsin’s newest IPA.

Established: 1984
Located in a former egg processing plant building, Capital Brewery produced its first brew at 6:30 pm, April 17, 1986. The brewhouse features two copper brewing kettles. These units, now over 50 years old, were originally used at the former Hoxter Brewery located in Germany. At the heart of the operation is a group of loyal and hard working employees dedicated to producing the high quality beer that Capital Brewery is known for. Most of the beers brewed here at Capital consist of traditional ingredients, water, malted barley and wheat, hops and yeast. However, we do believe in experimentation to develop unique beer styles and varieties. We invite you to enjoy one of our beers in our brewery or take some home for a true Capital experience. Capital Brewery was established with an important mission in mind, and we continually build on that sentiment, by delivering a unique experience and award winning beers to meet the changing demands of the craft beer community.

 

#Beerclub BOTW Sprecher Hard Root Beer – 1/21/2013

This week’s beer of the week isn’t actually a beer at all. Our friends over at Sprecher Brewery released a limited run of their new Bootleggers Bourbon Barrel Hard Root Beer.

Hard Root Beer

Sprecher Bootleggers Bourbon Barrel Hard Root Beer

Building on the success of the Sprecher Sodas, this Hard Root Beer bridges the gap between the breweries soda lineup and their beer lineup. Sweet and complex in flavor, the Sprecher root beer is one of the highest rated root beers on the market. Coming in at 5% ABV, this drink promises to be something to remember.

The brew is available at the brewery and at several area liquor stores including Rays and Discount Liquor.

Join us at twitter hashtag #beerclub on Monday night January 21st at 8:00 PM Central time as we drink the Sprecher Bootleggers Hard Root Beer.

#beerclub BOTW: Sixpoint Brownstone

Sixpoint Brownstone

Sixpoint Brownstone

A new beer to the canned Sixpoint lineup, Brownstone is a fan favorite from the brewery since it’s been available on tap for some time.

This beer should be a little easier for many of the #beerchat folks to find, if they choose to join in with the #beerclub discussion. This Monday night at 8:00 PM Central.

http://sixpoint.com/beers/core/brownstone

#beerclub BOTW – Sierra Nevada/Russian River Collaboration – BRUX

What do you get when two breweries who are consistently rated as some of the best brewers in the world pair up for a collaboration beer? In this case you get Brux Domesticated Wild Ale.

I could discuss this more, but why not let the guys behind it do it for me.

Brux Domesticated Wild Ale

Drink with us next Monday August 6th, 8:00 PM on twitter at hashtag #beerclub. Join us for the #beerclub afterparty on Google Plus.

Can’t get the beer? No problem, #beerclub is all about learning, and discussing beer. We often have participants who are drinking different beers, or even water, or wine.

#beerclub gives back

When I started #beerclub I wasn’t sure what it would become. I had visions of trying a new beer each week, but the friendships forged over the virtual bar are what really make the club what it is. We’ve sampled beers from several breweries, been on brewery tours and been to a bunch of great beer bars. It’s been fun, but I’d like to take this club to a place we haven’t been before.

It’s time that #beerclub gave back to the community at large. Most of you in the Milwaukee area know Julie Larsen. She’s not much of a beer drinker, but she is a friend of #beerclub and she’s sat in on a few meetings. She’s putting together a huge fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network called PurpleStride Milwaukee.

PurpleStride is a two mile walk along our beautiful lakefront. Participants can make donations themselves, or get their friends and family to sponsor them.

Not only am I doing this walk because of Julie’s commitment, but I have a very personal connection to pancreatic cancer. My father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July of 2006. I didn’t know much about that particular kind of cancer at the time but I did learn pretty quickly that it was one of the worst types of cancer out there.

We were lucky and his tumor was blocking his liver and he had symptoms far before most pancreatic cancer victims. It was caught early and he put up an amazing fight. He eventually succumbed and died in December of 2008.

Gary would have loved #beerclub even if he couldn’t partake. He was a member of AA for many years though the second A didn’t mean much to him personally. He was a very generous man who fought hard to help as many alcoholics as he could. He spent every Friday night that he could, going to detox in Minneapolis and talking to the inmates. He was always helping alcoholics and fighting alcoholism in any way he could.

Despite this alcoholic past and his personal crusade against alcoholism he was at peace with that part of his life. He loved going to the liquor store and seeing all the new flavors that were coming out. If the family was having a party or other get together he would be the one supplying the beverages. I will never forget him distributing drink tickets at our wedding. Lets just say that the bridal party had enough to drink that night and they had Gary to thank for it. As long as you were being responsible, Gary was glad to get you another drink.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a great organization helping people who really need it. They provide funding to research, offer assistance and answers to families who are struggling to come to grips with this awful disease, and probably most importantly they provide hope to patients.

This is why it’s so fitting that we’ve created a #beerclub team for the PurpleStride walk. Raising money for the fight against Pancreatic Cancer and combining it with beer is perfect.

I want to personally challenge everyone who can to join in and support this cause. The day of the walk promises to be fun and you’ll feel great knowing that your efforts will be helping people who really need it. We’ve created a #beerclub team and would love to have you join in.

#beerclub Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been doing #beerclub for a year now. When I started this little thing, I had no idea what it would become, and it’s grown in ways I never could have imagined. I’ve met friends, expanded my beer horizons, been to new bars and breweries, and had a lot of fun doing it.

The idea of #beerclub stemmed from public radio host John Moe’s now defunct #candyclub. They met once a week, ate candy and talked about it on twitter. I had participated in #candyclub a few times when inspiration struck me to create a #beerclub. If they could do it with candy bars, why couldn’t we do it with beers? I approached the guys at Blatz Liquor with the idea and they were on board. A week or two later, we were drinking and tweeting.

The first night of #beerclub we drank Point Brewery’s 2012 Black Ale. There weren’t many of us drinking that night, but I could tell that this was going to be something special. Over the next months we grew, slowly gaining attention from across the internet. As of today we’ve had almost 100 participants from all around the country, and sampled some great (and not so great) beers.

As the group got to know each other, we decided that we should meet in person. The first #beerclubfieldtrip happened in June of last year. We had sampled Lakefront Brewery’s Fixed Gear on one of the #beerclub nights and the discussion turned to the fact that several participants had never been to Lakefront for the tour. As an avid Lakefront tour fan, I knew that we had to do the tour as a group. The first field trip was such a huge success, we all knew we had to do it again.

Since that first tour, we’ve had several field trips. We’ve done the tours at Lakefront Brewery, Sprecher Brewery and Milwaukee Brewing. We’ve also met for drinks at the Glendale Oktoberfest, Roman’s Pub, and Sugar Maple. In 2011 we’ve made a point to have one field trip each month. Plans for future field trips range from big day long voyages to Chicago or Madison to gathering at local pubs. Be sure to follow this blog space for details of the future trips. There has even been talk of field trips especially for the South Central Wisconsin drinkers.

Since the demise of Blatz Liquor, I’ve been lucky enough to team up with Joel from The Wine Cellar of Wisconsin to help with selecting beers. Since they are primarily a wine shop we haven’t been able to source every beer we’ve sampled from them, but he has been very helpful in picking beers, and stocking the BOTW when possible. We even have some ideas that we’re kicking around for a future field trip to the shop. With the increased focus on beer at his store Joel has conscripted Dan to start a new BeerCellarofWI account on twitter. Stay tuned to this account for more #beerclub related news.

One of the things I want to emphasize is that #beerclub is more than just me. Without the active participation of you, the members of the club, this would be nothing more than me drinking beer on Monday nights at my house. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I’m no more responsible for the success of #beerclub than you are. Because of that, I am very open to suggestions for how we can improve the club. Be it a beer of the week suggestion, a field trip you’d like to take, a blog post you’d like to write, or a even format change for Monday nights. #beerclub is what we all make of it, so please don’t hesitate to make your suggestion, ask me a question, or heck, just go out and make the changes yourself.

As we enter into the second year of #beerclub, I have some ideas to spur conversations, grow the club, and make it more educational. I don’t want to turn the club into Beer 101 class or take the fun out of drinking, but I do want to see more conversation, more active participation and more experimentation as we go forward. I’ll be posting some of those ideas here on this blog for feedback in the weeks to come. Again, if you have suggestions, or ideas please don’t hesitate to approach me.

I appreciate everyone who has ever joined us on a Monday night, or at a field trip, but I do feel I need to make a special mention of Genevieve and Craig who have been with the club since the very first meeting. Genevieve in particular has the honor of actually managing to make it to more #beerclub meetings than I have (I missed once due to family obligations, and another due to a wicked hangover). Thank you both for helping mold #beerclub into what it has become.

With that, I’ll simply say Cheers! and here’s to many more years of drinking beers with good friends!

Mitch

PS: don’t forget to join our Flickr group, our Facebook group, and to RSVP for the next #beerclubfieldtrip

#beerclub BOTW: New Glarus Brewery Cabin Fever

We’ve been cooped up indoors waiting for winter to pass for months now. Cabin Fever has set in and we’re ready to get back outdoors. Unfortunately Mother Nature isn’t cooperating and it’s still cold and snowy outside. This is when we need a special beer to break the monotony and help us make it till spring.

Thankfully, New Glarus Brewing is all too familiar with this feeling and they created Cabin Fever for this very reason. A honey bock, this beer promises to be sweet and delicious and just what we need on a cold February night.

From their website:

Cool days draw us close to the warmth of home fires. This is the season to sip away the chill and embrace quiet evenings with friends and family.

You hold a Wisconsin Style Honey Bock, easy going and more approachable than its traditional dark German cousin. Bock beers have existed in Wisconsin for over 150 years. This pale bock is brewed with an exclusive blend of Wisconsin two row barley that balances seamlessly with our special European hops. Naturally sweet Clover Honey was added in the kettle accenting warm flavor notes on your tongue.

Whether you reminisce the passing summer sun or thrill to squeaky steps through drifting snow one thing is certain about winter in Wisconsin, this too shall pass.

Style Pale Wisconsin Honey Bock
Flavor Naturally sweet Clover Honey was added in the kettle accenting warm flavor notes on your tongue.
Alcohol 5.50% by volume
Pairings Foods:BratsLambCurryGraham CrackersHamPorkBBQ saucesCheeses:Dunbarton Blue (Cheddar from Roelli Cheese)
Available in 6 packs, Cases, 1/2 Barrels and 1/4 Barrels

Join the #beerclub as we drink New Glarus Brewing Cabin Fever. Monday February 21st. 8PM Central. Don’t forget, we’re doing the February #beerclubfieldtrip this Saturday at Sugar Maple. Details and RSVP on the twitvite.

#beerclub BOTW: Bell’s Hopslam

Bell's Hopslam

Bell’s Hopslam

It’s that time of year again, Bell’s Hopslam is on shelves. This is the third highest rated Double IPA on Beeradvocate.com, and another of the more highly anticipated beer releases of the season.

What makes it so special? It’s a 10% ABV beer with generous amounts of hops that maintains a balanced flavor thanks in part to the addition of honey to the brew.

From the Bell’s Brewery Site:

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repetoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

Alcohol by Volume: 10.0%
Original Gravity: 1.087
Shelf Life: 6 months
Dates Available: Winter seasonal
Available Packages: Bottle, draft, and 5 liter (1.32 gal.) mini-keg

Join us Monday night February 7th 8PM Central as the #beerclub drinks Bell’s Hopslam.