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Beyond the Pour Podcast Episode 17: Wood-Aged Beers and the GABF

We’re trying something new now, using Google Hangouts to record a live video stream, which I then download, pull the audio from, and annotate. Hence there are a few bugs in the overall process. Namely, apparently we missed the first minute or so of the broadcast. We’ll start the broadcast a few minutes early next time, which I’ll trim out of the finished episode. I’ve embedded the video at the bottom of the post if you prefer that version.

Download episode.

Show notes:

0:00 to 1:30 Introductions.
1:30 to 15:57 What we’ve been drinking. I talk about the Stone Double Bastard 2010 3L and Firestone Walker XVI, both of which I consumed during the Breaking Bad finale, and Short’s Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. (Don’t Panic.) Jamison was drinking a Firestone Walker Double Jack at the time of recording, and had recently had their Velvet Merkin, which had a disappointing lack of barrel character for him. He also talks a bit about a 2012/2013 vertical of Sierra Nevada Narwhal. Lee swears he hasn’t been drinking any Labatt products, and was currently drinking the third beer in the Garrison Single Hop Series, a single-hopped East Kent Goldings beer. He briefly talks about the Stone/Wil Wheaton collaboration, the Wootstout, and also talks about a local pale ale with green tea from a new Nova Scotia brewery. Ryan was drinking the R&R Coconut IPA during the show, and had had some of a 2003 3L Double Bastard at a recent bottle share. Also, yeah, a couple of Cantillons. Just because.
15:57 to 16:38 Good segues and oral sex from supermodels.
16:38 to 31:00 Beer news: Duvel-Mortgaat and Boulevard are merging.
31:00 to 58:00 Jamison wanted to talk a bit about wood-aged beers. We all assumed it was going to be a classic Jamison rant, but he ended up having a much more contemplative perspective on his topic. We go on an extended conversation about the history, use, practice, and theory of wood in beer.
58:00 to 1:19:10 Ryan just got back from the Great American Beer Fest. We talk about his experiences there, and also a lot about some of the polticial issues surrounding having your beer at the festival.
1:19:10 to 1:23:12 Wrapping up and where you can find us on the internet.

This is the article I was referencing from a Mystery Brewing co-founder entitled “Thoughts From a Brewer on NOT Winning at the GABF.” Worth a read for anyone discussing the GABF medals.

Links:
Ryan and my 500th subscriber Malt Liquor Extravaganza! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq3urDzNBGc
http://beerpulse.com/2013/10/boulevard-brewing-company-and-duvel-moortgat-usa-to-combine-in-mega-deal-1640/
http://newhollandbrew.com/beerbarrelbourbon/
http://www.topfermented.com/2013/10/12/thoughts-from-a-brewer-upon-not-winning-at-the-gabf/

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Founders Bolt Cutter (10ish months old)

I did a video review for this one back in December, and found it a bit underwhelming. I bought a couple of bottles for trade and one to drink. Tonight, just for shits and giggles, I open this Founders 15th anniversary beer.

Founders Bolt Cutter with homemade glass.

Founders Bolt Cutter with homemade glass.

Pours very hazy, ruddy brown/orange, with a one-finger off-white head that dissipates quickly. It’s been at 60F or so in my house, and even after ten months or so I get some oxidation on the nose and flavor. It isn’t necessarily bad, even, that sherry characteristic helps to give the beer a bit of rustic complexity that keeps it interesting. Some herbal qualities present on the nose.

After half an hour, I’m getting some citrus/pine notes that are likely coming from long-subdued hops, and a certain chewy spicy quality that’s probably some kind of yeast ester. Interestingly, the alcohol is incredibly well-hidden even as the beer gets up to room temperature.

Is this a world-class beer? No. In fact, pretty much all of the Founders special releases in 750mL bottles have been disappointing on one level or another. But it’s pretty awesome stuff, and I’ll bet it’ll keep getting more interesting as it ages. If you’ve got one of these, feel free to open it now or save it for later. I’d love to hear thoughts from the peanut gallery if you’ve opened one recently.

Nightly Beers, 2013-09-05

Despite the name of this series, it was never really going to be a nightly thing. More of a “whenever I damn well feel like typing about the beers I’m drinking” sort of thing. So you understand.

Tonight, I figured I’d drink a bit of German beer and go for one of my favorite Weizenbocks, Weihenstephaner Vitus. In my Weihenstephan weizen glass, no less.

Weihenstephaner Weizenbock

Weihenstephaner Weizenbock

Forgive the mess on my table.

Smells strongly of banana/clove. Definite yeast ester going on. Isopentyl acetate FTW! Isoamyl-acetate-3D-balls[1]

(That’s the natural yeast product that creates that banana-like aroma.)

Tastes clean, smooth, definite banana notes, hints of bubblegum. Maybe it’s the exhaustion from my fourteen-hour class/work day talking, but I don’t even taste the alcohol tonight. Schneider-Weiss Aventinus gets the press (and perhaps has a touch more complexity) but this one is top-notch as it is.

Next up, Goose Island Oktoberfest. This is the first year I’ve seen this one, so I definitely had to give it a try.

Goose Island Oktoberfest

Goose Island Oktoberfest

A lot of beer geeks discount Oktoberfest season because the beers just aren’t as aggressively flavorful as sours, DIPAs, barrel-aged monstrosities and the like, but it’s actually become one of my favorite times of the year, beer-wise. When else do you have a season that is predominantly interested in flavorful lagers? Lagers, the red-headed stepchild of the beer geek family, rarely get the attention they deserve.

How’s this one? Eh, about average. A bit overly sweet for my taste, but with a crackery dry aroma and flavor. Pretty much exactly what you expect from a beer like this. InBev or no InBev, it’s worth trying if you get a chance. Relatively cheap, too.

Beyond the Pour Podcast Episode 16: What Craft Beer Fans Think (But Don’t Say)

A long-overdue (and just plain long) podcast this time. We talk for nearly two hours about a wide range of topics, but mostly focusing on a piece posted at First We Feast, a website I didn’t even know about. The article is entitled “15 Things Craft Beer Fans Think (But Nobody Says)” (Link) and is probably worth a read, especially when we get to that part of the conversation.

Ryan and I are joined by Jamison, a fellow Beertuber whose channel can be found in the bar to your right over there. Go give him some love — he’ll appreciate it.

And with that, here’s the show:


Download.

0:00 – 1:25 Introductions and salutations

1:25 to 7:45 What we’ve been drinking. In honor of the then-current attacks on the Boston Marathon, I had a Sam Adams Boston Lager, a classic of craft beer with undeniable historical importance. Jamison’s having a Deschutes Abyss 2011, which is slightly oxidized but still awesome. Ryan’s drinking the most recent batch of Stone’s Enjoy By IPA, the 5/17 batch.

7:45 to 15:16 A brief discussion of the latest Stone IRS “Odd Years” release. I had a bottle which I found to be very coffee-forward, while Ryan had a bottle with hardly any coffee at all. We speculate a bit about why that is.

15:16 to 22:25 We have a celebrity on the podcast! Our own Ryan Reschan won the Stone AHA Rally with a buddy of his, and had a beer of his brewed at Stone. Of course I asked him to describe the experience.

22:25 to 31:08 AB Inbev has allegedly watered down their beer, and a class action lawsuit is pending against them. We spend a few minutes talking about the issue.

31:08 to 42:36 The polotmavy beer style has been added to Ratebeer, which was a big deal to several Czech beer bloggers I read. It’s a great style that gets overlooked (as much of the beer from the Czech Republic does) so hopefully this means the American craft beer scene will start to recognize more styles from that country.

42:36 to 1:56:28 Our main topic. An article published mere hours before we recorded called “15 Things Craft Beer Fans Think (But Nobody Says). Check out the article here. This is a long and meandering segment in which the three of us get progressively more drunk, and it’s best to just listen to it all at once.

CORRECTED AUDIO: Beyond the Pour Podcast Episode 15: The Ratebeer “Best Of” Awards, Beer Snobbery, and Ding!

We’re back again with another delayed episode, this time delayed just because I’ve been busy enough not to have time to edit it. Sorry. I’ve done a light editing job here and I haven’t created a roadmap for you this time, but I’ll be better in future episodes, I promise. 

Download.

NOTE: This episode originally ran with a slowed-down piece of audio at the beginning. The version currently uploaded should be good. Email beyondthepour@gmail.com if you have any problems with the audio.

Has Anyone Ever Had a Zwick’l? (A review of Veldensteiner Zwick’l)

It’s not often that I get to taste a beer that’s of a beer style I’ve never tasted before. Here’s the BeerAdvocate description of a Kellerbier/Zwick’l bier:

A rather old, rare, and unique German beer style, Kellerbiers are unfiltered and unpasteurized lagers that date back to at least the Middle Ages. The beer is matured, unbunged (beer is exposed), in deep vaults. The final product is a smooth, naturally cloudy beer that’s rich in vitamins (from the yeast). Hop bitterness can be high and alcohol will vary. Zwickel Bier is similar to a Keller, but not as pronounced.

Sounds like a nice after-work beer. Let’s give it a shot.

I know a lot of people love these swing-top bottles, but I’m not a fan. They don’t really hold carbonation as well as a crown cap, and they tend to pop off and explode if the beer hasn’t been babied. Just a personal preference. Anyway, this one didn’t explode on me but it did start to foam up a bit. Poured into my half-liter Weihenstephaner mug and the head actually spilled over the side of the glass a bit. Whoops. Dark dingy orange/brown body with a thick white head made up of big bubbles. Head dissipates quickly. Lots of carbonation in the beer but not so much protein.

Smells sweet, “lagery,” with that slight caramel note that you get from sweeter German lager. No real hops to speak of. Slightly grainy. Tastes clean, with a nice golden malt character and a sweet earthy aftertaste. It’s been stored well if it is aged “un-bunged,” as there’s no sourness or off flavors at all. Significant yeast in the bottom of the bottle — when I pour it in I get a lot more bready and yeasty notes. It’s a bit pricey here in the States ($4.99/bottle) but I could see drinking something like this regularly if it were made locally and inexpensively. Not sure why this style isn’t more popular, unless it’s just the need for extended cellar times.

Beyond the Pour grade: B+

Vlog 2011-08-02 Beyond the Pour, Viewer Request Month, and a bunch of random nonsense

Sorry this vlog is so long, but I had a whole lot to talk about this time. As you can tell by how fast I talk in the vid.

First, I’m changing the brand I’m using for my beer reviews, to something that people can actually say. From now on instead of Zymurgical Explorations (which I rarely say in the vids anyway) it’ll be “Beyond the Pour.” To this end, I’ve also registered this domain. I’ll be doing text reviews and other beer-related content there as well as posting vids, so I welcome all to continue to check it out.

Second, I talk about Viewer Request Month and the various things that entailed. It was fun, but a lot of work, and I’m sorry I didn’t get to everyone’s request. If I missed your review and you’re not mentioned in text in the video, send me an email to daniel.e.harper@gmail.com and I’ll see if I can get your beer done at some point. I’m always taking requests, so even if you didn’t email me during the project please feel free to send me a request even now.

I’ll be going on vacation from August 7-14, so this space will go dark during that period. I’ll be uploading the final four videos to get to #250 before I leave, and when I get back I’ll finally get around to doing all the beers I got in beer mails during the last couple of months. This includes all the beers sent by Chad and Lee.

Chadz Beer Reviews
elharlock

Finally I give a shout-out to two new beer reviewers who have contacted me lately. Tommy actually game to visit me in the area (although unfortunately our schedules didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped) and Mr. Grim Viking has given me several shout-outs lately, so I figured I’d return the favor.

Whew! All that in thirteen minutes! I should have just shot two vlogs.