Friday, February 14, 2014

Chocolate and Beer Day, aka Valentine's Day Is Here

My contribution to this esteemed day:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bell's Hopslam Equal to Its Hype

Lots of stories recently about the efforts by some to get as much Hopslam as they could, in some instances, to resell it. Here's my experience as posted on my Facebook page:

Sitting here sipping on Bell's Hopslam fresh from a The Community Tap filled growler. Love those simcoe hops... this beer is not overhyped.... dense, lingering head, full of hop wonderfulness, big mouth feel with creamy, dry finish. 10% abv, but who cares, I'm at home, thumbing my nose at any snow storm silly enough to show up here.
Thanks mille fois (look it up) to the folks at Community Tap for taking care of us hop lovers.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chocolate Stout Class at Greenville Growler Station Last Night

Very fun and educational evening, filled with deliciousness. Works for me. The class will be repeated at the Growler Station again this Saturday, Feb. 8. I highly recommend you attend if you've ever wondered, " how do they get that chocolate in there, anyway?"

Very impressive line up for tasting and comparison, thanks to Big Jon's efforts and knowledge.

First up was the Harpoon Chocolate Stout.
Brewed with chocolate malts and a touch of chocolate, according to the brewer's description. We found it to be very drinkable, with a dry, medium body and . As with all stouts, Big Jon recommends aggressive pouring  to get the dense head we want. 5.9% abv, with ibu of 40. Not complex but I found it satisfying.

Next was the Rogue Chocolate.

A very popular version and readily available, this stout gets its flavor from chocolate malts, roasted barley and "natural chocolate flavoring," which is the brewer's description. Medium bodied, good carbonation, hints of milk chocolate and cocoa in the dry finish. 6.3% abv is not noticeable, 69 ibu keeps the sweetness down. Very palatable and satisfying.

Southern Tier 2X Stout was our third sample:

This is a milk stout with no added chocolate, but man, did it taste like chocolate, all from the malted and roasted barley. Bigger bodied than the others, light carbonation. First sip and I knew I would enjoy this one, even with the 7.5% abv. Dry malt finish, left me swearing that there was indeed chocolate in there somewhere. We paired this one with a brownie and got more sweetness from it. Delicious.

And then came the winner of the evening:

Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout. This is a big one; 9.5% abv but hardly noticeable in the dry finish. Deep milk chocolate aroma, some dry coffee and smooth milk chocolate body. Thick, creamy, but with a good sharpness, bitter and dry, at the end. This one makes quite an impression and the chocolate flavors seem authentic, even tho the brewery grain bill description has no listed chocolates. Paired with our brownie really well.

This could be the after-dinner sipper that we were looking for. All in the class liked this one, so I encourage you to try a taste when you have the opportunity (like this coming Sat, Feb 8.).

And thanks again to Big Jon and Pierre at the Greenville Growler station for offering the class, thus contributing to everyone's enjoyment here in our craft beer community.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chocolate on my Mind Kind of Day.

 Hmmmm.... Chocolate on my mind today. 
 And Stout.

Must have something to do with the Chocolate Stout tasting that I'll be participating in on Feb. 13, at the Greenville Growler Station with a special version of Quest Brewing Company's Kaldi, using a Randalized secret recipe (with help from the Greenville Hop House) from yours truly. 5:30-7:30. Yum!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pre-Valentine's Chocolate Stout Tasting

No cupcakes were harmed for this photo, nor will there be any the night of the tasting. Sorry.

Hmmm.. Valentine's Day approacheth; thoughts of chocolate, romantic interludes, perhaps a delicious sipping stout, follow. Hold that thought, cause on Thursday, Feb 13 (Valentine's Eve), a special Chocolate Stout tasting will take place at the Greenville Growler Station, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, featuring 3 stouts chosen by Big Jon and Pierre and one very special offering courtesy of Quest Brewing Company which will be their Kaldi Imperial Coffee Stout, Randalized with a special recipe from yours truly (with help from the Greenville Hop House).
This will most likely be a memorable event (in a good way) since it's a first for all four of us.

Gotta love all the collaboration in our craft beer community.

Did I mention ice cream?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Brewery85 Now Open For Business

February 1, 2104 will be an important date in the history of the Greenville (and SC) Craft Brewing industry and especially for Brewery85. With their brewery coming on line as of yesterday, we now have 5 producers of liquid deliciousness in our immediate area (counting RJRockers in Spartanburg as a neighbor). What an exciting time for a craft beer enthusiast like me to live here. And what an exciting time was had by all yesterday at the Grand Opening festivities. Don't know the exact number of folks who showed up but from the crowd I saw, Will and the gang have a lot of new fans.

Please feel free to peruse some photos I took of the participants:

Waiting for the opening hour.

Checking IDs and wrist bands are legal requirements which were observed scrupulously.

First guy in the door was Adam Mangel, Brewsmaster for Clemson Brew Crew!

Let the pouring begin!

Ashley Little and Dave Ehrman are fans of Southern Style Pale.

A second pouring station was set up outside and a line formed immediately.

Each participant was allowed 3 pints (48 oz) as required by SC law.

Note the SC state law requirements.

And beer lovers being a fun-loving crowd as well; games and hilarity ensued:

Auditions for designated drivers? I didn't ask.

TV crew made the event official... right?

She was buying, so why not wear it!

Kilt wearers love beer too, as Josua Dover demonstrated.

Laura and Erin Holland obviously have learned that comfort and beer tasting fit well together.

Food trucks and beer events go hand in hand these days.

Speaking of food trucks (well, we were, weren't we?), three of the area's finest were on hand to add to the culinary enrichment:
Thorough Fare, Neue Southern and The Chuck Truck

Whenever I looked, they all seemed to be quite busy so obviously their food and efforts were appreciated.

Even Skjervold, left, and Adam Mangel are major players in our beer community. Look them up.

The guys from Quest Brewing demonstrating solid support for this new endeavor. Good on ya!!

Found this couple appreciating just how much stainless it takes to make a brewery
Nicole and Keith Mitchell stopped pointing and posed. Keith kept saying something about Quittin' Time.

The view from the rear pad is worth mentioning... eventually a Munich style beer garden is planned for this area.

Scot and Debbi Butterbaugh enjoyed the view, the warmer and their Southern Style Pales;  Win-win-win.

From the menu board, you can see that the Southern Style Pale, Quittin Time Helles Bock and the Yeoman Brown Ale were the offerings for the day. Liked them all but chose the Yeoman to accompany my Thorough Fare Slaw Dog.... well paired, enjoyed the snack, was sad that it was over (I was working, you know).

Gotta run.... will be back with more pics and details after we see Porgy and Bess this afternoon.