By William Brand
Friday, December 19th, 2008 at 12:12 pm in Uncategorized.
Thanks to Stephen D’Arcy, the Campaign for Real Ale’s man in Brussels, Belgium for this Australian video….
Some new beers for Christmas…
Ballast Point, the San Diego brewer, has begun shipping beer to Beverages & More stores and other good beer spots in the Bay Area.Ballast Point beers are regulars at fests at the Bistro in Hayward and the Toronado in San Francisco, So it’s great to see them up here.
The list includes Sea Monster Imperial Stout, a 10 percent monster. Quite tasty: an inky black color with a big, lasting head of thick, tan foam, leaving lacework trailing down the glass. The taste is fetching: multi-level, roast malt and ripe fruit in front, chocolate and figs in the follow. THREE STARS PLUS.
Also new to the Bay Area, a few beers from Sprecher, Glendale, WI. I’ve tried Sprecher beers over a few years during family visits in Chicago. I’ve never been overwhelmed. However, the first Sprecher beer I cracked the other night was total dynamite.
It’s Sprecher IPA2 Double India Pale Ale. It’s 8.4 percent, an unfiltered copper color with a lasting, creamy head and a nose of apricots, orange marmelade and maybe grapefruit — ahh those West Coast hops. Brewers no longer live in isolated enclaves do they. There’s a medium full mouth-feel with a rush of fruit and jam fading into a dry finish with a bit of warming alcohol. Damn nice. IPA2 could holds its own at the Bistro’s Double IPA fest next year. THREE/FOUR STARS.
And finally, Black Diamond, Concord, CA has released their Winter Ale. It’s 7.2 percent, fermented with a Belgian yeast. Taste is quite dry with a spicy background. THREE STARS.
Stumbling onward into the world of bureaucrats and beer kings and non-profits. The National Association of State Attorney Generals announced in San Fracisco this week that they cut a deal with MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev. The brewers have agreed to discontinue caffeinated alcoholic drinks.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Washington-based non-profit that brought the lawsuit which started the process, salutes the decision.
- “It was a bad idea that never should have gotten as far as it did—adding caffeine to sweetened, high-alcohol-content malt beverages and marketing them to young people via word-of-mouth and infantile web sites. Marketing caffeinated beer demonstrated a disturbing lack of restraint on the part of major companies like MillerCoors, and it put millions of young Americans in harms way. That’s why we sued the company in September,” CSPI said.
To view this video, go here.
On to happier things… While drinking beer at Barclay’s in Oakland a few years ago, Chris Nelson and his wife, Merideth Canham-Nelson had an idea: Travel the world, visit great beer festivals and beer-loving countries and shoot video and publish it on the Web.
Now in 2008, they’ve done it: A year in beer – The Czech Budweiser, 2007 Oregon Brewers Fest, Beer Beyond Denver, Dublin (Ireland), Germany (two episodes) Alaska, Ireland, Great British Beer Festival, Oktoberfest in Munich, the Great American Beer Festibval and San Diego. The last episode: Belgium and The Netherlands is in the works.
Also on the beer video front, If you’re a total beer newbie. That is, you like the stuff, but know almost nothing, Check out beertaptv/TasteBuds. It’s a simple plot: Two guys who love beer, Erik Boles and Dusty Frazier do a weekly beer tasting video. Their explanations are coherent, their choice of beers respectable. In the latest episode: Barleywine, they taste Rogue Old Crustacean and Avery Hog Heaven. Check ‘em out.