December 3, 2009

Beer Notes

-- Initial report from Victoria Gastro Pub's first-ever 'Belgian Beer Fest': good stuff. The Columbia establishment put 20 Belgian beers on tap, I tried the La Rulles Estivale, a pale Belgian beer with a distinctive grapefruit bitterness from the Amarillo hops. I also tried an Augustijn Abbey Ale, which was quite difficult to describe beyond its amber color and sort of toasty malt profile. Other members of my party enjoyed two of the great Chouffe offerings, LaChouffe and the excellent winter seasonal N'Ice Chouffe.

-- Its Firkin Thursday at Columbia's Frisco Grille and Max's in Fells Point. Flying Dog will also make an appearance at Victoria Gastro Pub for their 'Beer Club' night Monday (12/7) from 530-8 PM pouring four styles including the great Raging Bitch BIPA, K-9 and Gonzo on nitro.

-- Pratt Street Ale House brewer Steve Jones is back hard at work this week putting together the beer so many of us hopefully enjoy. However, he did take the time to pen an interesting writeup about the yeast he works with and the process involved in keeping it lively.

-- Another interesting writeup is from Alexander Mitchell at his Beer In Baltimore noting the decline in Baltimore brewpubs and the related space/production dilemmas. Good point about Pratt Street Ale House rapidly providing many of the 'default' reserve cask at many places now, not that its a bad thing as they make great beer! The downtown location is a tough spot to get into without taking a bath on parking so hopefully the suburban folks like myself will continue to show appreciation for their fine beer when it pops up near us as well as at more accessible spots like Max's.

-- Reader Trip Klaus informs us in a comment that Ram's Head Tavern is having a release party for their Dopplebock from 4-6 PM Thursday (today) at their Savage and Annapolis locations.

-- A correction from the previous Beer Notes, the Sun may have dropped Kasper On Tap from its offerings but the esteemed Rob Kasper will still write Kasper On Tap at his own site. Bookmark it. Thanks to the also esteemed Tom Cizauskas for the tip on that. Incidentally, Kasper went the extra mile in sampling 59 winter brews for a writeup in the Sun that was published yesterday.

-- One more Steve Jones item, he'll be organizing an informal seminar about cask ale production and cellarmanship w/tastings of specially prepared beers at Pratt Street Ale House sometime down the road. Should be a great event.
Of special interest will be the chance to see how the yeast forms a sediment in the cask using a glass ended firkin generously provided for the occasion by Steve Parkes, brewing guru and main man at the American Brewers Guild. The event will most likely be ticket only and will be held in the upstairs Library Room. More details will be posted as they are finalized.
Congratulations, BTW, on seeing your beers making it to the great Pizzeria Paradiso (awesome beer joint, you must go there if you haven't already) and regular rotation at the much-hyped ChurchKey.

-- A rare American style IPA called A-10 IPA is currently on tap at Red Brick Station in White Marsh, wow! Anyone have any reports? I dearly wish they were nearer, that side of the Beltway is one special kind of headache from my direction.

-- On tap this week at the sneaky-good Lures in Crownsville (another place I need to check out soon, think: 15 great taps!): Stone Ruination IPA, Anchor Steam Christmas Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale and Southern Tier's Pumking.

I'm not sure what's going on but there's something called 'Beer Club' on Tuesday December 22nd from 6-8 PM that for $38.50 which includes food, tax and tip includes beers like Clay Pipe's Pursuit of Happiness, Brooklyn's Winter Ale, St. Barnardus' Christmas Ale and Southern Tier's Krampus.

-- Thank you kindly for the linkage, Scottie Knows Beer.

-- Memorize this and/or make note of the macro-owned seemingly micro beers out there when you're at the store. I'm not too big of a stickler but I try in a very small way to steer my beer dollars locally and to the little (but growing!) guys where sensible (see the love for Flying Dog, Pratt Street Ale House, Brewer's Art, etc. on here).

-- D.C. notes Via YoursForGoodFermentables' Tom Cizauskas, basic info on D.C. institution The Brickskeller's main winter events: Christmas Beer Celebration (Dec. 9/16) and Strong Ale Tasting (February 2/9). I've yet to make one of these but hear they're great but keep in mind tickets (at usually around $35/pop) are required.

-- Finally, two questions I hope my readers can assist with:

1)A reader wrote in saying he'd recently moved to Canton and was looking for bottle shops to find good beer beyond his local place. I recommended The Perfect Pour and Wells, those two I always hear about. I know much more about the bars than bottle shops at this time unfortunately so if anyone has further recommendations please let me know in the comments.

2)A brewery representative from out West wrote in asking about major beer festivals/events in the DC/MD/VA area. What are the biggies out here that include outside craft breweries (that is, we probably have to exclude the various Irish and German festivals and the 3-4 Maryland Beer Festivals)? I thought up SAVOR, City Paper Beer Fest, Max's Amerian Craft Beer Week and a few others, what am I missing?


Jason said...

The best bottle shop in Canton (IMO) is at Chesapeake Wine. If you are going to get in a car, you might as well go to Well's or Honeygo. Also, Wine Underground has a nice selection, they are right off Cold Spring, off I83.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

Add to the bottle shop list The Wine Source in Hampden, if he happens to be that way.... closer than Perfect Pour, about the same as Wells for distance.........

plank10 said...

I second the Wine Source

Trip Klaus said...

@ Victoria's Belgian Fest- have to suggest the La Trappe Isa'dor and the Scaldis Noel

BeerGuy said...

Thanks for the suggestions!