Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Archive for August, 2010

Deep-Fried Beer

Here’s something a little unusual out of Texas, where someone has a new patented process for making “Fried Beer.” Not sure when, or if, it will hit California, but we can hope it will be soon. Personally, I’ve often used the proverb “frying makes every thing taste better,” and people who’ve eaten with me know I take that seriously. I live for French fries and potato chips, and my favorite sandwich is the Monte Cristo, essentially a deep-friend sandwich. I’ll fry pretty much anything, and indeed have tried frying many an unusual foodstuff. There’s certainly a rich tradition of using beer in batters and other sauces that food is cooked in, but I confess I’ve never considered frying the liquid itself, for what I thought were obvious reasons. But then I don’t have Mark Zable’s experience and wherewithal. His father Norman has had a Belgian Waffle concession stand at the Texas State Fair for 47 years, and several years ago his som Mark began tinkering with a number of new food ideas, such as Chocolate Covered Strawberry Waffle Balls and Sweet Jalapeno Corn Dog Shrimp.

But it’s his latest creation that made me sit up and take notice: Fried Beer, which they’ve trademarked and the process they use is also being patented.

fried-beer-2

To me they look a bit like ravioli with beer inside. Three years in the making, the Dallas Morning News has the story:

For three years, Zable has been on a mission to concoct Fried Beer. He remembers staring at a bar menu in a restaurant. Calamari. Nachos. Fried cheese.

Bor-ing.

“Someone needs to figure out a way to fry beer,” he thought.

Zable started experimenting. But the beer-and-dough concoction kept exploding once it hit the fryer. He kept getting burned.

So he consulted with a food scientist — still, no luck.

Then, earlier this year, he finally found the recipe for success. Now Zable keeps the process shrouded in secrecy and has applied for a Fried Beer patent and trademark.

Mark Zable figured out how to fry beer by sealing it in dough. He had to persist because early efforts blew up.

I’m certainly willing to give it a try. Apparently when you bite into it, the beer squirts out into your mouth to mix its flavor with the dough. How bad could that be? It will debut at the Texas Fair and is also one of eight finalists in the Sixth Annual Big Tex Choice Awards.

fried-beer
Mark Zable with his fried beer. [photo by Vernon Bryant, Dallas Morning News.]

And here’s Zable talking about what he went through to come up with it:

They’ve also set up a website, where they further describe Fried Beer:

People said it could not be done; impossible is what we were told! When you put beer into a fryer, it will cause a violent reaction with the oil…

We took that challenge and did everything we could to prove naysayers wrong! As a result of three years of research and development, we are now excited to present Fried Beer™ to the world! In such a revolutionary way, we are able to put beer inside dough that is shaped like a ravioli and deep fry it. The process is so unique, we have a patent pending on the manufacturing process!

By using our patent pending process, we are able to place beer inside a salty pretzel like dough, and deep fry it. When you take a bite, beer pours out of the inside pocket of dough. We even had to get the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to rule on our new product. The verdict… You have to be over the age of 21 to purchase Fried Beer™.

CBS also did a video report on Zable’s Fried Beer:

The only other food I’ve seen that’s even similar is a Korean dish also called “Deep-Fried Beer” at the Korean Food website ZenKimchi’s Korean Food Journal. ZenKimchi even includes the recipe, though it seems more like a deep-fried batter that includes beer as an ingredient, so I’m not quite sure if it’s misnamed or it is similar at all. Though I may have to give the recipe a try one of these days.

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Korean Deep-Fried Beer

Posted on Thursday, August 26th, 2010
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You Should Know Jack

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Jack McAuliffe may just be the most elusive figure in the short history of craft beer. He was craft before craft beer was cool. The former Navy man and engineer founded the very first modern microbrewery in Sonoma County, California in 1976 (New Albion incorporated October 8, 1976) and began production the following year using a brewery he built from spare parts. His New Albion Brewery was all alone for at least three years until Sierra Nevada Brewing joined him in 1980, essentially doubling the number of new breweries.

But New Albion was a bit ahead of its time and by 1982 was out of business. As I understand it, a disheartened McAuliffe tired of reliving his brewery’s failure, and eventually disappeared from the burgeoning beer community that his efforts inspired. For a number of years, few people knew where he was, but Maureen Ogle managed to track him down living in Las Vegas when she was working on Ambitious Brew and provides one of the fullest accounts of the New Albion Brewery beginning at Page 291. More recently, after a bad car accident landed McAuliffe in intensive care, he moved to San Antonio, Texas to live with his daughter. Happily, San Antonio has taken to their adopted son, and the San Antonio Express-News had a nice story about Jack and his new collaboration with Sierra Nevada Brewing, San Antonio’s Jack McAuliffe is namesake of commemorative Sierra Nevada beer.

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Ken Grossman pours a beer for Jack McAuliffe as (I think) Charlie Bamforth looks on.

The latest collaboration beer celebrating Sierra Nevada’s 30th anniversary this year is based on a beer that Jack used to make at New Albion for another annual celebration.

In the late ’70s, New Albion brewed a special beer for annual Summer Solstice parties that didn’t particularly hew to any style, but occupied a space somewhere between a porter and a barley wine.

Using that concept and the ingredients that were available at the time, Ken and Jack’s Ale recipe was born. It contains Canadian two-row and European caramel barley and a combination of Cascade and cluster hops.

Grossman describes the beer as a “dark barleywine that is bottle fermented.” It clocks in at 10 percent ABV, which McAuliffe points out is the upper limit of what conventional yeast can survive. Like any beer, you can drink this one right away, but it will likely improve with age.

It’s certainly great to see Jack McAuliffe in the public eye again. Few people deserve to be more well-known in the beer world than him. It’s a real shame that so few people know Jack and his contribution to the modern craft beer community. We all really should know Jack.

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Jack & Ken’s Ale, a black barley wine.

The beer is available at a number of locations throughout the Bay Area, from BevMo to Whole Foods. The Serra30 website had a beer locater that can direct you to your nearest store by inserting your zip code in the online form.

So far, I think this one is my favorite of the anniversary series. It’s a very unique beer. Barley wines are already one of my favorite beer styles, and the roasted qualities of a black version is quite nice. There’s a great complexity of flavors with tasty chocolate and vanilla notes. I recommend picking up at least two bottles; one to drink now and one to lay down. You won’t be sorry.

Posted on Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
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Miette’s Beer-Infused Cupcakes Make the Food Network List of America’s Top Ten Sweets

Alton Brown, from the Food Network, recently handed down his choices for the Nation’s Top Ten Sweets. Making the list for the “Best Beer-Spiked Cupcake” was the Bay Area’s own Miette. With two locations in San Francisco (the Ferry Building & Hayes Valley) and one in Oakland (at Jack London Square), here’s how Brown describes them:

A former dot-commer started this mini-chain after a successful stint at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, and her gingerbread cupcake might be the reason for Miette’s popularity. Made with a dark stout beer, it’s super moist and topped with lightly sweetened cream-cheese frosting and a candied orange flower.

A cake made with beer, and picked as one of the best in America? That’s something I just had to eat. So I stopped by the Ferry Building location last week to try one for myself. Because it was late in the day, they were actually out of the cupcakes, but they did have a full-sized cake left. So I splurged on the whole cake. Besides, like beer, sweets are best when they’re shared.

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Miette’s website describes their Gingerbread cake and cupcakes as “[o]ur all~time best selling cake. Made with a dark stout beer, molasses, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom then topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting.” I spoke to the manager of the Ferry Building Miette’s, and she checked with the owner about what beer they used. It turned out they use Guinness as the stout for the cake.

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So how does it taste? It was quite delicious, especially paired with a nice stout. It was extremely moist and the ginger worked wonderfully with the beer. It’s very rich. The sweetly delicate icing was a great compliment to the flavors in the cake. It’s easy to see why it’s their best-seller. My only criticism? I would like to see them perhaps use a locally brewed stout. There are plenty of tasty stouts made in the Bay Area. But apart from that, definitely pick up Miette’s lovely gingerbread beer cupcake or cake.

Posted on Monday, August 16th, 2010
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Happiness is Handley Cellars’ Gewurztraminer

Recently, I tasted through a bunch of Mendocino dry white wines, and this one was a stand out.

Handley Cellars

The Mendocino coast’s cool climate is famous for producing pinot noir and a host of white wines, including chardonnay. But the aromatic whites, with their exotic, almost intoxicating aromas, are my favorite.

The Handley Cellars Gewurztraminer ($18) comes from grapes grown on the Boonville end of Anderson Valley, where the warmer weather contributes floral and tropical notes. In 2009, these components developed during the same time as the tannins and sugars, which, according to the folks at Handley, is a rare combination at harvest.

This is the kind of wine you want to keep smelling. The glass is filled with aromas of honeysuckle, lavender, and white peaches. On the rich palate (half the wine is aged in oak foudres and puncheons), I got flavors of grapefruit and lychee. Try it with Asian lettuce cups.

Posted on Thursday, August 12th, 2010
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Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth, from Beer Advocate Ratings, Part 2

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The latest list of the Top Beers on Planet Earth that Beer Advocate released yesterday was an experimental list, aimed at sparking a discussion so they could consider the best way to approach such lists in the future. After a day of constructive feedback, and some not so constructive I’m told, they’ve again redone the list introducing several new changes to the formula, based on feedback they received during the experiment. The biggest difference between the two lists is to be included on yesterday’s list required a minimum of 1,000 reviews. The current list requires only 105 reviews to be eligible. So since so many people seemed to enjoy yesterday’s analysis of the list, I’ve looked at the new list in the same way and again pulled out some interesting statistics about the Top 100 Beers.

In the Top 100, there are beers from 60 breweries, 16 more than yesterday’s list (the Experimental or E-List). Those breweries are from six countries, one less than the E-List. Two countries dropped off (the Czech Republic and Ireland) and one new one was added (Denmark).

The U.S. again has by far the most, with 72 (one more than yesterday’s). The American beers on the list are located in 19 states, 6 more than the E-List. California still has the most, by far, with two more than yesterday’s list, bringing their total to 25, meaning one in four beers on the list is from California. Seven new states had beers that made the list (Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin) and one dropped off (Maryland). Here’s how the new list shakes out:

Countries in Top 100

  1. U.S. = 72
  2. Belgium = 17
  3. Canada = 4
  4. Germany = 3
  5. UK = 3
  6. Denmark = 1

U.S. States in Top 100

  1. California = 25
  2. Michigan = 9
  3. Colorado = 5
  4. Indiana = 5
  5. Minnesota = 4
  6. Illinois = 3
  7. New York = 3
  8. Ohio = 3
  9. Oregon = 3
  10. Pennsylvania = 2
  11. Wisconsin = 2
  12. Connecticut = 1
  13. Delaware = 1
  14. Florida = 1
  15. Maine = 1
  16. Massachusetts = 1
  17. Missouri = 1
  18. New Hampshire = 1
  19. Texas = 1

The diversity of styles represented by the list dropped to 24, losing a dozen but picking up five new ones, and again I simplified and combined a few from Beer Advocate’s list. Around 11 styles have only one beer on the list. The most popular, Imperial Stout, more than doubled over yesterday’s list, while the second most popular, Double IPAs, remained the same. The top 13 (the styles with more than 1) break down as follows.

Most Popular Beer Styles in Top 100

  1. Imperial Stout = 30
  2. Imperial IPA = 10
  3. India Pale Ale = 10
  4. American Strong Ale = 6
  5. American Wild Ale = 2
  6. Belgian Strong Dark Ale = 4
  7. Quadrupel = 4
  8. Stout = 4
  9. Tripel = 4
  10. Doppelbock = 3
  11. Fruit Beer = 2
  12. Saison/Farmhouse = 3
  13. Barley Wine = 2
  14. Hefeweizen = 2

Extreme beers (9% and above) took the lead, with 53, over half, whereas yesterday they numbered only 32. Beers below 5% also dropped in half, from 10 to 5. Beers of middle-strength (over 5% but below 9%) likewise fell from 58 to 42. In the new list extreme beers make up 53%, middle-strength 42% and session beers 5%. In the Top 25, things stayed more constant, with 16 (1 more than the E-List) being 9% or above. The Top 25 also represent less styles, 9 as opposed to 12 yesterday, from 16 different breweries in 4 countries, shaking out like so:

Countries in Top 25

  1. U.S. = 18
  2. Belgium = 4
  3. Canada = 2
  4. Germany = 1

U.S. States in Top 25

  1. California = 6
  2. Michigan = 4
  3. Illinois = 2
  4. Indiana = 2
  5. Minnesota = 1
  6. New Hampshire = 1
  7. Oregon = 1
  8. Pennsylvania = 1

Most Popular Beer Styles in the Top 25

  1. Imperial Stout = 11
  2. Imperial IPA = 4
  3. Quadrupel = 3
  4. American IPA = 2

The top 50 is no longer as middle of the road as it was. Yesterday, extreme and middle-strength beers were nearly equal. Today’s list has extreme beers at about 56%. Again, Oskar Blues was the highest ranked canned beer, but came in at #45 instead of #30.

The diversity of breweries also changed dramatically, with several having a great number on yesterday’s list being reduced to very few or even none, notably Anchor, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada. Thirteen breweries, many of them world class, fell of the new list but 30 news ones made the cut, giving the whole list greater diversity. The breweries having the most beers on the Top 100 list is below.

Breweries in the Top 100

  1. Russian River = 7
  2. Stone Brewing = 7
  3. Founder’s Brewing = 5
  4. Three Floyds =5
  5. AleSmith = 4
  6. Bell’s Brewery = 3
  7. Great Divide Brewing = 3
  8. Surly Brewing = 2
  9. Bear Republic Brewing = 2
  10. Goose Island = 2
  11. De Struise = 2
  12. New Glarus = 2
  13. Rochefort = 2
  14. Rogue Ales = 2
  15. Samuel Smith = 2
  16. Unibroue = 2
  17. Westvleteren = 2

And here’s the new list:

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Beer Advocate’s Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth (as of 8.10.2010)

  1. Trappist Westvleteren 12, Brouwerij Westvleteren (Quadrupel; 10.2%)
  2. Pliny The Elder, Russian River Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8%)
  3. Pliny The Younger, Russian River Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 11%)
  4. The Abyss, Deschutes Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11%)
  5. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11.2%)
  6. Trappistes Rochefort 10, Brasserie de Rochefort (Quadrupel; 11.3%)
  7. Trappist Westvleteren 8, Brouwerij Westvleteren (Dubbel; 8%)
  8. Founders Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 8.3%)
  9. HopSlam Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10%)
  10. Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Stone Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  11. St. Bernardus Abt 12, Brouwerij St. Bernardus (Quadrupel; 10.5%)
  12. Dark Lord Imperial Stout, Three Floyds Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 15%)
  13. Supplication, Russian River Brewing (American Wild Ale; 7%)
  14. Speedway Stout, AleSmith Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 12%)
  15. Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe), Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel (American Double/Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  16. Kate The Great, Portsmouth Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  17. Dreadnaught IPA, Three Floyds Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9.5%)
  18. Sculpin IPA, Ballast Point Brewing (American IPA; 7%)
  19. Canadian Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 9.4%)
  20. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Brauerei Weihenstephan (Hefeweizen; 5.4%)
  21. Masala Mama IPA, Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery (American IPA; 5.9%)
  22. Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island (American Double/Imperial Stout: 13%)
  23. Nugget Nectar, Tröegs Brewing (American Amber/Red Ale; 7.5%)
  24. Bourbon County Coffee Stout, Goose Island (American Double/Imperial Stout; 13%)
  25. Celebrator Doppelbock, Brauerei Aying (Doppelbock; 6.7%)
  26. Darkness, Surly Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.3%)
  27. Temptation, Russian River Brewing (American Wild Ale; 7.25%)
  28. Furious, Surly Brewing (American IPA; 6.2%)
  29. Duvel, Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat (Belgian Strong Pale Ale; 8.5%)
  30. La Fin Du Monde, Unibroue (Tripel; 9%)
  31. Schneider Aventinus, Private Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn (Weizenbock; 8.2%)
  32. AleSmith IPA, AleSmith Brewing (American IPA; 7.25%)
  33. Consecration, Russian River Brewing (American Wild Ale; 10%)
  34. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9%)
  35. Double Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 10.5%)
  36. Trappistes Rochefort 8, Brasserie de Rochefort (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9.2%)
  37. Hop Rod Rye, Bear Republic Brewing (American IPA; 8%)
  38. Ruination IPA, Stone Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 7.7%)
  39. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes Brewing (American Porter; 5.8%)
  40. Two Hearted Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American IPA; 7.1%)
  41. Wisconsin Belgian Red, New Glarus Brewing (Fruit Beer; 4%)
  42. Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue), Bières de Chimay, a.k.a. Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9%)
  43. YuleSmith (Summer), AleSmith Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8.8%)
  44. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  45. Ten FIDY, Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  46. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, Cigar City Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11.5%)
  47. Chocolate Stout, Rogue Ales (American Stout; 6%)
  48. 90 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9%)
  49. Blind Pig IPA, Russian River Brewing (American IPA; 6.1%)
  50. Pannepot: Old Fisherman’s Ale, De Struise Brouwers (Quadrupel; 10%)
  51. Raspberry Tart, New Glarus Brewing (Fruit Beer; 4%)
  52. Fantôme Saison, Brasserie Fantôme (Saison/Farmhouse Ale; 8%)
  53. Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  54. Choklat, Southern Tier Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11%)
  55. Alpha King Pale Ale, Three Floyds Brewing (American Pale Ale; 6%)
  56. Stone IPA, Stone Brewing (American IPA; 6.9%)
  57. Westmalle Trappist Tripel, Brouwerij Westmalle (Tripel; 9.5%)
  58. J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale, J.W. Lees & Co. (English Barleywine; 11.5%)
  59. Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock, Kuhnhenn Brewing (Eisbock; 13.5%)
  60. Old Ruffian Barley Wine, Great Divide Brewing (American Barleywine; 10.2%)
  61. Black Tuesday, The Bruery (American Double/Imperial Stout; 19.5%)
  62. Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, Rogue Ales (Oatmeal Stout; 6.1%)
  63. Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 7.2%)
  64. Storm King Stout, Victory Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.1%)
  65. Live Oak HefeWeizen, Live Oak Brewing (Hefeweizen; 4.1%)
  66. Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue), Brouwerij Het Anker (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 11%)
  67. Vanilla Bean Aged Dark Lord, Three Floyds Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 13%)
  68. Founders Imperial Stout, Founders Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  69. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.1%)
  70. St. Bernardus Tripel, Brouwerij St. Bernardus (Tripel; 8%)
  71. Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (Russian Imperial Stout; 7%)
  72. Bell’s Expedition Stout, Bell’s Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  73. Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel, Klosterbrauerei Andechs (Doppelbock; 7.1%)
  74. Girardin Gueuze 1882 Black Label (unfiltered), Brouwerij Girardin (Gueuze; 5%)
  75. Pure Hoppiness, Alpine Beer Co. (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8%)
  76. Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 7.2%)
  77. Saint Lamvinus, Brasserie Cantillon (Lambic, Fruit; 6%)
  78. Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock, Thomas Hooker Ales & Lagers (Doppelbock; 8%)
  79. Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, Brasserie d’Achouffe (Belgian IPA; 9%)
  80. B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout, Hoppin’ Frog Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.4%)
  81. Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 8.7%)
  82. Hennepin (Farmhouse Saison), Brewery Ommegang (Saison/Farmhouse Ale; 7.7%)
  83. Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (Oatmeal Stout; 5%)
  84. Founders Red’s Rye PA, Founders Brewing (Rye Beer; 6.8%)
  85. Samuel Adams Utopias, Boston Beer Co. (American Strong Ale; 27%)
  86. Beatification, Russian River Brewing (American Wild Ale; 5.5%)
  87. AleSmith Speedway Stout, Barrel Aged, AleSmith Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 12%)
  88. Abrasive Ale, Surly Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9%)
  89. Trois Pistoles, Unibroue (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9%)
  90. Tripel Karmeliet, Brouwerij Bosteels (Tripel; 8.4%)
  91. Racer 5 India Pale Ale, Bear Republic Brewing (American IPA; 7%)
  92. Cadillac Mountain Stout, Bar Harbor Brewing (American Stout; 6.7%)
  93. Siberian Night Imperial Stout, Thirsty Dog Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9%)
  94. Maharaja, Avery Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10.3%)
  95. Oak Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout, Three Floyds Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 13%)
  96. Ølfabrikken Porter, Ølfabrikken (Baltic Porter; 7.5%)
  97. The Angel’s Share, Bourbon Barrel-Aged, The Lost Abbey (American Strong Ale; 12%)
  98. Saison, Brett, Boulevard Brewing (Saison/Farmhouse Ale; 8.5%)
  99. Black Albert, De Struise Brouwers (Russian Imperial Stout; 13%)
  100. Night Stalker, Goose Island (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11.7%)

Posted on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
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Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth, from Beer Advocate Ratings

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Beer Advocate just released their latest list of the Top Beers on Planet Earth, at least according to their ratings. Just for fun, I’ve also looked through them and pulled out some interesting statistics about the list.

In the Top 100, there are beers from 44 breweries. Those breweries are from seven countries, with the U.S. having by far the most. In fact, 71 of the beers on the list are American, and are located in just 13 states. California, with 23 beers has the most. Here’s how they shake out:

Countries in Top 100

  1. U.S. = 71
  2. Belgium = 11
  3. Germany = 7
  4. UK = 5
  5. Canada = 4
  6. Czech = 1
  7. Ireland = 1

U.S. States in Top 100

  1. California = 23
  2. Delaware = 10
  3. Colorado = 6
  4. Michigan = 6
  5. Pennsylvania = 6
  6. Massachusetts = 5
  7. Oregon = 5
  8. New York = 4
  9. Indiana = 2
  10. Illinois = 1
  11. Maryland = 1
  12. New Hampshire = 1
  13. Ohio = 1

The styles represented by the list are around 30, though I simplified and combined a few from Beer Advocate’s list. Around 14 styles have only one beer on the list. The top 15 break down as follows.

Most Popular Beer Styles in Top 100

  1. Imperial Stout = 14
  2. Imperial IPA = 10
  3. Stout = 6
  4. Belgian Strong Dark Ale = 5
  5. Porter = 5
  6. American Strong Ale = 4
  7. Brown Ale = 4
  8. Pale Ale = 4
  9. Tripel = 4
  10. Belgian Strong Pale Ale = 3
  11. Doppelbock = 3
  12. Hefeweizen = 3
  13. Pilsener = 3
  14. Quadrupel = 3
  15. Herb/Spice Beer = 2

Nearly 60% (58) are above 5% a.b.v. but below 9%. 32 of the beers are 9% or above and ten of them are 5% and under. That’s far more middle of the road than I expected and it is quite different if you look at just the top 25. For the top 25 beers, 15 (or 60%) are extreme beers over 9% and the remaining 10 (0r 40%) are all over 5% but below 9%. The Top 25 also represent only 12 beer styles from 19 different breweries in 4 countries, shaking out like so:

Countries in Top 25

  1. U.S. = 15
  2. Belgium = 5
  3. Germany = 3
  4. Canada = 2

U.S. States in Top 25

  1. California = 8
  2. Michigan = 4
  3. Illinois = 1
  4. Indiana = 1
  5. Pennsylvania = 1

Most Popular Beer Styles in the Top 25

  1. Imperial Stout = 6
  2. Imperial IPA = 5
  3. American IPA = 3
  4. Belgian Strong Dark Ale = 2
  5. Quadrupel = 2

The top 50, naturally, is somewhat in the middle, with extreme beers and middle-strength beers nearly equally represented, with only 1 below 5%. At fifty, only one more nation is represented, bringing the total to five. The highest canned craft beer came in at #30, with only two canned beers making the list, both of them from Oskar Blues. I don’t know what any of this ultimately means, but I thought it would be fun and interesting to take apart the beers that Beer Advocate users rated the highest and see what patterns emerged.

Obviously, the high number of American beers is a product of having been founded here and I presume the greatest number of users are still either here or at least in English-speaking countries, which may limit access to some beers. That may also be a factor in certain breweries making the list multiple times as a quick scan of them shows that the majority have fairly wide distribution throughout the U.S. The breweries having the most beers on the Top 100 list is below.

Breweries in the Top 100

  1. Dogfish Head = 10
  2. Stone Brewing = 8
  3. Sierra Nevada Brewing = 7
  4. Rogue Ales = 5
  5. Samuel Adams = 5
  6. Victory Brewing = 5
  7. Bell’s Brewery = 4
  8. Anchor Brewing = 3
  9. Chimay = 3
  10. Great Divide Brewing = 3
  11. Ommegang = 3
  12. Samuel Smith = 3
  13. Unibroue = 3
  14. Bear Republic Brewing = 2
  15. Founder’s Brewing = 2
  16. Oskar Blues = 2
  17. Paulaner = 2
  18. Rochefort = 2
  19. Spaten = 2
  20. Three Floyds =2

And here’s the original list:

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Beer Advocate’s Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth

  1. Pliny The Elder, Russian River Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8%)
  2. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11.2%)
  3. Trappistes Rochefort 10, Brasserie de Rochefort (Quadrupel; 11.3%)
  4. HopSlam Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10%)
  5. Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Stone Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  6. St. Bernardus Abt 12, Brouwerij St. Bernardus (Quadrupel; 10.50%)
  7. Founders Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 8.3%)
  8. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Brauerei Weihenstephan (Hefeweizen; 5.4%)
  9. Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe), Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel (American Double/Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  10. Celebrator Doppelbock, Brauerei Aying (Doppelbock; 6.7%)
  11. Duvel, Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat (Belgian Strong Pale Ale; 8.5%)
  12. Dreadnaught IPA, Three Floyds Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9.5%)
  13. Nugget Nectar, Tröegs Brewing (American Amber/Red Ale; 7.5%)
  14. La Fin Du Monde, Unibroue (Tripel; 9%)
  15. Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island (American Double/Imperial Stout: 13%)
  16. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9%)
  17. Two Hearted Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American IPA / 7.1%)
  18. Ruination IPA, Stone Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 7.7%)
  19. Schneider Aventinus, Private Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn (Weizenbock / 8.2%)
  20. Double Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale / 10.5%)
  21. 90 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9%)
  22. Hop Rod Rye, Bear Republic Brewing (American IPA; 8%)
  23. Trappistes Rochefort 8, Brasserie de Rochefort (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9.2%)
  24. Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue), Bières de Chimay, a.k.a. Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9%)
  25. Stone IPA, Stone Brewing (American IPA; 6.9%)
  26. Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 7.2%)
  27. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes Brewing (American Porter; 5.8%)
  28. Chocolate Stout, Rogue Ales (American Stout; 6%)
  29. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  30. Ten FIDY, Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  31. Storm King Stout, Victory Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.1%)
  32. Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, Rogue Ales (Oatmeal Stout; 6.1%)
  33. Alpha King Pale Ale, Three Floyds Brewing (American Pale Ale; 6%)
  34. Westmalle Trappist Tripel, Brouwerij Westmalle (Tripel; 9.5%)
  35. Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (Russian Imperial Stout; 7%)
  36. Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  37. Hennepin (Farmhouse Saison), Brewery Ommegang (Saison/Farmhouse Ale; 7.7%)
  38. Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (Oatmeal Stout; 5%)
  39. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.1%)
  40. Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 7.2%)
  41. Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 8.7%)
  42. Trois Pistoles, Unibroue (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9%)
  43. Bell’s Expedition Stout, Bell’s Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  44. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American IPA; 6.8%)
  45. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American Barleywine; 9.6%)
  46. Racer 5 India Pale Ale, Bear Republic Brewing (American IPA; 7%)
  47. Orval Trappist Ale, Brasserie d’Orval (Belgian Pale Ale; 6.9%)
  48. Hercules Double IPA, Great Divide Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10%)
  49. Maharaja, Avery Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10.3%)
  50. Maudite, Unibroue (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 8%)
  51. Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American IPA; 6.7%)
  52. Palo Santo Marron, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Brown Ale; 12%)
  53. Hop Stoopid, Lagunitas Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8%)
  54. Ommegang (Abbey Ale), Brewery Ommegang (Dubbel; 8.5%)
  55. Anchor Porter, Anchor Brewing (American Porter; 5.6%)
  56. HopDevil Ale, Victory Brewing (American IPA; 6.7%)
  57. World Wide Stout, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Double/Imperial Stout; 18%)
  58. Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend, Brewery Ommegang (Quadrupel; 9.8%)
  59. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Wells & Young’s Ltd (Milk/Sweet Stout; 5.2%)
  60. Smuttynose IPA “Finest Kind”, Smuttynose Brewing (American IPA; 6.9%)
  61. Stone Smoked Porter, Stone Brewing (American Porter; 5.9%)
  62. Chimay Première (Red), Bières de Chimay, a.k.a. Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont (Dubbel; 7%)
  63. Indian Brown Ale, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Brown Ale; 7.2%)
  64. Chimay Tripel (White), Bières de Chimay, a.k.a. Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont (Tripel; 8%)
  65. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American IPA; 7.2%)
  66. Prima Pils, Victory Brewing (German Pilsener; 5.3%)
  67. Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier Naturtrüb, Paulaner Salvator Thomasbraeu (Hefeweizen; 5.5%)
  68. Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Rogue Ales (American Brown Ale; 6.2%)
  69. Hop Wallop, Victory Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8.5%)
  70. Gonzo Imperial Porter, Flying Dog Brewer (Baltic Porter; 7.80%)
  71. Fuller’s ESB, Fuller Smith & Turner (Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB); 5.9%)
  72. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American Pale Ale; 5.6%)
  73. Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (English Brown Ale; 5%)
  74. Delirium Tremens, Brouwerij Huyghe (Belgian Strong Pale Ale; 8.5%)
  75. 60 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American IPA; 6%)
  76. Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu (Hefeweizen; 5%)
  77. Sierra Nevada Porter, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American Porter; 5.6%)
  78. Anchor Liberty Ale, Anchor Brewing (American Pale Ale; 6%)
  79. Samuel Adams Cream Stout, Boston Beer Company (Milk/Sweet Stout; 4.69%)
  80. Dale’s Pale Ale, Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery (American Pale Ale; 6.5%)
  81. Mocha Porter, Rogue Ales (American Porter; 5.3%)
  82. Dead Guy Ale, Rogue Ales (Maibock/Helles Bock; 6.5%)
  83. Salvator Doppel Bock, Paulaner Salvator Thomasbraeu (Doppelbock; 7.9%)
  84. Spaten Optimator, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu (Doppelbock; 7.2%)
  85. 120 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 18%)
  86. Hoegaarden Original White Ale, Brouwerij van Hoegaarden (Witbier; 4.9%)
  87. Punkin Ale, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Pumpkin Ale; 7%)
  88. Bell’s Oberon Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American Pale Wheat Ale; 5.8%)
  89. Anchor Steam Beer, Anchor Brewing (California Common/Steam Beer; 4.9%)
  90. Guinness Extra Stout (Original), Guinness/Diageo (Irish Dry Stout; 6%)
  91. Samuel Adams Black Lager, Boston Beer Company (Schwarzbier; 4.9%)
  92. Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Boston Beer Company (Vienna Lager; 4.75%)
  93. ApriHop, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American IPA; 7%)
  94. Midas Touch Golden Elixir, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Herb/Spice Beer; 9%)
  95. Golden Monkey, Victory Brewing (Tripel; 9.5%)
  96. Samuel Adams Winter Lager, Boston Beer Company (Bock; 5.8%)
  97. Raison D’etre, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 8%)
  98. Pilsner Urquell, Plzensky Prazdroj (Czech Pilsener; 4.4%)
  99. Samuel Adams Octoberfest, Boston Beer Company (Märzen/Oktoberfest; 5.4%)
  100. Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager, Sierra Nevada Brewing (Czech Pilsener; 5%)

Posted on Monday, August 9th, 2010
Under: On Beer | 6 Comments »
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Bistro IPA Fest Winners

bistro
Rodger Davis’ IPAX IPA, from Triple Rock in Berkeley, California, was chosen best in show at the 13th annual IPA Festival yesterday at the Bistro in Hayward, California. The full list of winners is below.

P1000771
Me and Rodger Davis, brewer of the first place IPAX IPA at this year’s IPA Festival at The Bistro.

Posted on Sunday, August 8th, 2010
Under: On Beer | 1 Comment »
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Santa Cruz pinotage? Yes, at Loma Prieta Winery

Pinotage is the rather rustic grape created in 1925 in South Africa by crossing pinot noir and cinsault. There are less than 50 acres of pinotage growing in California. You know where this is going…

Loma Prieta Winery is the only winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains growing and producing pinotage. If you want to taste what the Cali sun can do for this wild, red variety, I suggest you pop over to the Los Gatos winery this weekend, August 7 and 8, as they taste visitors through their second bottling of the 2008 Pinotage from the Amarosa Vineyard in Lodi. The first sold out in a flash.

The winery is open from noon to 5 p.m. both days.

Pinotage

Posted on Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Under: Corkheads | No Comments »
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