This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.
This Week in Beer is all about “finally’s” — finally drinking some elusive beers and meeting a big influence in my beer journey.
Pinecones in a Glass
A few days ago I received a tweet saying,
Needless to say, days later I was sitting at Glass Half Full finally enjoying my very first Stone Enjoy By IPA. Since I’m in suburbian Northern Virginia, some 2,700 miles from the brewery in Escondido, CA that prides itself on delivering fresh beer, I’ve had a difficult time finding this beer. Incredibly, Glass Half Full had the Enjoy By 09.13.13 on tap. So I ordered one up and indeed enjoyed the piney-goodness. I guess I like eating pine cones more than Tom Aguero.
I’ll buy you a round the next time Glass Half Full has some if you haven’t had one yet. Maybe I’m a sucker for the hype but it’s a beer every beer-lover should have at least once.
Make sure to check out Tom’s blog.
In Chad Lothian style, I (well, the Mrs.) saw a craft beer sale and jumped all over it. World Market, a place where I’m usually skeptical of their craft beer selection, had a 30% off all craft beer sale. While the variety wasn’t as wide as a Total Wine, there were plenty of beers I wanted including Dogfish Head Punkin. A sixer of Rogue Dead Guy Ale, one of my favorites that I usually see for $11.99, was $10.99 and 30% off. That means I scooped it up for around $7.70!
In the midst of my buying frenzy I finally picked up that pink bottle. You know it, you always see it and never buy it either — Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale. It was surprisingly good. I shared it with my soon-to-be-step-brother-in-law, a fellow lover of beer, and he enjoyed it as well. I’m not sure if I can buy Voodoo at full-price again, but it’s something I’ll consider when I know I’ll need to spark a conversation with people who have never drank beer from a pink bottle before. Worth trying? Yeah.
Diving into Sour beers
At Farmers, Fishers and Bakers in Georgetown I finally experienced my first Sour Ale. With minimal knowledge of and exposure to the style, I ordered one in my flight as soon as I saw it buried on the menu. I was shocked by the vinegar aroma when smelling the Belgian-brewed beer for the first time. With hope of me enjoying it quickly fading, I dove in for the first taste. Yep — it tasted like vinegar and I hated it. But I thought back to a few weeks ago when I tried Bulletproof Coffee, which I equally hated in taste but ended up loving the results. So I kept drinking the Sour. About halfway through the 8oz sample I began to get used to the silky vinegar. And, by the end I was quite pleased that I made it through the beer and my dinner wasn’t regurgitated on the table. It did get better throughout the experience and I am more than willing to try a Sour again.
More Friendly People
This blog as led to me find many friendly people. Zach Cook at Glass Half Full is one of those people. I was finally introduced to the man who has provided me tons of Cicerone study material. Becoming a Cicerone is on my Impossible List and Zach has helped me inch closer to that goal. Here’s to you, Zach. Cheers!
I’m not sure why but I’ve been fighting writing this post for almost a week and it seems almost fitting that the post was all about “finally’s.” Thanks for the grammar advice, Oliver. Have you been putting off anything you’ve been working on? Share below!
I have some new beer adventures coming up including pouring at a new local brewery’s event this coming weekend and hosting a unique beer club dinner next week.
The first sour beer I ever had was Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus. I had no idea that it was such a well thought of and hard to find beer, but my untrained palate was repulsed. It was EXTREMELY SOUR. Oddly enough, though, I think it helped me break into Sour’s a lot quicker than I otherwise might have. Since then, no matter what type of sour beer I drink, they have all paled in comparison to Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus and I’ve enjoyed the hell out of them.
I have to confess that I don’t remember who made it, just that it was from Belgium. It could have been something on par with Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus (I don’t think so though because it was $7/glass). But I do want to try more. I feel like the style has so much to offer. And just like any style, there is going to be a learning curve for my palate and I look forward to experimenting. Thanks for sharing!