A Season of Celebratory Doppelbocks

Since Tom is from Texas, we both have a special place in our hearts for Shiner beer. Based in the tiny town of Shiner, Texas, the Spoetzl Brewery is best known for Shiner Bock and up until a few years ago, you couldn’t really get it outside of Texas. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Spoetzl Brewery and they actually started celebrating five years ago. In 2005, they issued the first in a limited edition series of Anniversary Beers. 2005 was 96 Marzen-style ale, 2006 was 97 Bohemian Black Lager, 2007 was 98 Bavarian-style Amber and last year was 99 Munich-style Helles Lager. Now, even though it’s still not listed on the Shiner web site, the anniversary beer for 2009 is already available in limited markets (i.e. near Shiner, TX) and various online news sources like beernews.org have announced it:

SHINER MARKS ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A BOLD NEW TASTE

In 1909, German and Czech immigrants decided to start the Homebrewing Association in Shiner, Texas so they could make the kind of beers they’d left behind in their homelands.

With the arrival of Bavarian-born and classically trained brewmaster Kosmos Spoetzl in 1915, the brewery was on the way to becoming one of the country’s most respected craft brewers.

Commemorator

To mark this important milestone not just for the brewery but for American beer making, we have literally bottled our history and heritage in a new brew to celebrate the centennial of Shiner Beers and the Spoetzl Brewery.

Shiner 100 Commemorator is a rich and robust brew that is a fitting tribute to our legacy of 100 years of handcrafting stylish and flavorful beers. Commemorator is a bold style that would have been very familiar to Kosmos.

One of the highlights of the Bavarian brewing year is the rollout of strong beer or starkbier, developed by monks as “liquid bread” to sustain them through the Lenten season. Commemorator is brewed in that Old-World tradition and embodies the German-Czech heritage Shiner has proudly stood for since 1909.

This 17 % original extract dark lager is a blend of two row Munich and Caramel 60 malt mildly spiced with Bavarian Hallertau Tradition and Spalter Select hops to allow the toasted caramel flavor to predominate.

Shiner 100 Commemorator will be available in select markets on January 1. Like all Shiner beers, every drop of Commemorator is made by only 56 employees of the Spoetzl Brewery make, very near the site where it all started a century ago.

Specifications:
Alcohol by Vol.: 6.8 % Original Gravity: 17.0 % Bitterness: 17 IBU Color: 30 SRM
Real Degree of Fermentation: 60.7 %

The Spoetzl Brewery is in Shiner, Texas, population 2,070. In addition to Shiner 100 Commemorator, the brewery produces Shiner Bock, Shiner Blonde, Shiner Bohemian Black Lager, Shiner Light and Shiner Hefeweizen year round, as well as Holiday Cheer winter seasonal. Look for a new summer seasonal in May, 2009.

If you would like to try a doppelbock a little closer to home, don’t forget that Hofbrauhaus is tapping their “Adulterator” (Doppelbock) tonight at 7:00 pm (3rd & Saratoga at the Levee, Newport, KY 41071).

This Week in Beer: January 26 – February 1, 2009

Wednesday, January 28th at 7:00 pm: Hofbrauhaus Tapping – “Adulterator” (Doppelbock)
Don’t you just love that name?!?

Thursday, January 29th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm: Build Your Beer Cellar
From the Party Source web site, “Did you know beer can age like wine? Many styles of beer can improve with time in your cellar–sometimes as long as a quarter-century! Beer maven Danny Gold will give you the lowdown on building a better beer cellar.” Cost is $20.00 and reservations are highly suggested.

Thursday, January 29th at 6:00 pm: Rock Bottom Firkin Tapping

Friday, January 30th from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm: Party Town: Beer Tasting
Stop and see what Joe (and Eugene Champion) have in store for tasting this week!

Short Hops for 1/24/09

  • We just got confirmation this week that Mt. Carmel Brewery will no longer be bottling in the 1/2 gallon growlers, but will be in six packs like everyone else. If you want a growler as a souvenir, better grab one fast! The good news is that many places have the growlers on sale, some at cost.
  • Brewers Toast Big Hop Crop
    Good news for hop heads like us!
  • BuyCincy.com – Ludlow Wines: Artisan Wine and Beer in Clifton
    Really nice article on Ludlow Wines. We’ve been by it a million times, but never knew they also handled craft beer. It’s definitely on our list to check out soon!
  • MillerCoors gets Super creative, battles A-B with 1-second ad
    While the one second ads are interesting, the quote from the editor of beer newsletter Beer Marketer’s Insights is what I found interesting. Are you “trading down to below-premium-priced beer”?

Tastings for 1/23/09

  • Bigg’s in Delhi will be having a beer tasting tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 pm featuring Hook and Ladder Beer along with an assortment of snacks from their deli, fresh meat counter, Honey Baked Ham and Rothschild Farms. According to the email they sent out:

    Hook and Ladder is an idea that began brewing in the kitchen of volunteer firefighter Rich Fleischer and has evolved into one of the country’s fastest-growing craft beers. Hook & Ladder Brewing Company, a Washington, D.C.-area brewery founded by Rich and his business-minded brother, Matt, exemplifies the social entrepreneurship trend of giving back to the community. Hook & Ladder is succeeding through its founding commitment to provide an exceptional line of beer while giving back to burned firefighters and burn survivors in communities across America and keeping donations local. A quarter per case (or a penny per pint, watch for Hook and Ladder pub crawl soon on the Westside) sold in Cincinnati will be donated to the burn unit at University Hospital.

    They will be opening the variety pack which features Golden Ale, Backdraft Brown, Ember Amber and Pipe and Drum Irish Ale.

  • Tonight’s Friday Night Flights at Party Town (Florence) features Dogfish Head –

    The Dogfish Head Brewery was founded in 1995 by Sam Calagione and has since become one of the major inovators in the craft beer world. The brewery has produced many different beers, some of which to purposely push the limits of what we think of as beer. For this weeks Friday Night Flights we will open seven from Dogfish: 60 Minute I.P.A., 90 Minute I.P.A., Chicory Stout, Midas Touch Golden Elixir, Palo Santo Marron, Fort, and Raison D’Etre. To top off the evening we will tap a rare barrel of Fort. Please join us and Eugene Platinum tomorrow from 6pm to7pm. Thank you and good day.

Hoppy Birthday!

That’s right! Happy birthday to me! And, by what we have planned for today, it should be a very happy, hoppy birthday indeed!

If you’re like us, you have several chain restaurants that have frequent diner programs which send you something free for your birthday. Usually it’s dessert (and maybe just one specific dessert like chocolate cake) and, of course, the whole idea is that you will come in with your friends and family to eat so you get your free cake. One slice of cake is a cheap way to get a large group into a restaurant.

If you are a member of Rock Bottom’s Mug Club, it’s always been a bit better than that and it just got even better. Mug Club members get to choose between an appetizer or dessert (no, their huge appetizer sampler is not included). Better… And starting this year, they do this by adding $10 to your Mug Club card so you don’t have to carry around a postcard or a email printout. A green alternative that’s less hassle for you. I like it.

Now, here’s the extra special information on tonight’s firkin tapping at Rock Bottom. Because it’s my birthday, several weeks ago I asked brew master Mitch what he had in mind tonight’s cask. He asked me what I wanted it to be. I said, “Something really hoppy.” So, tonight’s firkin is Mitch’s regular pale ale with lots of dry hops thrown in to make it… “Hoppy Birthday Pale Ale!” Well, he may not call it that, but that’s what I’m calling it!

Maybe we’ll see you there tonight!

Beer more important than knife wound

From Monday, January 19, 2009 issue of the Edmonton Sun

A man who was stabbed at the York Hotel opted to return to the bar to finish his beer rather than seek medical attention.

Police responded to the downtown hotel located at 10401 96 St. just after 9 p.m. Saturday with reports that a man had been stabbed.

When they arrived, they found the victim at his table drinking beer.

“He’s got a minor poke to his chest, but he’s not giving us any details,” said Staff Sgt. Regan James. “You can imagine the level of his concern was not that high.”

No suspects had been located and cops said the victim was unco-operative with them.

Thanks to Hoperative #14 Jared Whalen for sharing this with us! Would love to know what beer he was drinking!

Is this heaven? No, it’s Mariemont, Ohio

It’s 515 miles from Dyersville, Iowa to Mariemont, Ohio.

Hang in with me for a second.  That’s going to make sense in a minute

Dyersville, Iowa is where the movie Field of Dreams was filmed.  In its three-hanky-consuming final scene, the long-dead father of main character Ray Kinsella asks his son,  “Is this heaven?” To which the son answers, “No, it’s Iowa.”

In cosmological, if not theological terms, 515 miles isn’t that much.  It would have been a different story and a different movie, but slide the setting 515 miles to the east -southeast and the only answer the Kevin Costner character would have been able to give is “Well, as a matter of fact, it is.”

You see, it turns out heaven has a very specific address.  It’s 6818 Wooster Pike in Mariemont.  Dilly Deli Wines & Gourmet. The bar is in the back.  The bartender’s name is Peanut.  That’s all you have to know.

Many of you already know about Dilly Deli, so you understand (and forgive) the enthusiasm of the newly initiated.  As for the rest of you, well, there’s always time for redemption.  Today, for example, Avery’s Ale to the Chief will be on tap all day today to celebrate the Presidential inaugural. Drop by.  Or drop by tomorrow when something else will inevitably move onto one of the seemingly endless taps (“seemingly endless” being code for “I forgot to count.” The website says 11). Strike up a conversation with Peanut if he’s working*. Mention the most obscure beer in passing.  Not only will he tell you something about the beer you didn’t know, he may run to the back and find you a bottle he’s been holding onto, as if waiting for someone worthy enough to have it. It’s no wonder it appears #12 on the “Best Beer Bars in America” in Beer Advocate magazine. The stock on the shelves is a wonder to behold.

Oh yeah, the food was great.

They sell wine, too.

But for beer lovers, it’s just heaven.


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*If the space-time continuum hasn’t developed a rift, he’ll probably be working.


No They Can’t: Brewery Ommegang nixes ‘Obamagang’

I understand why it didn’t work out, and it’s probably for the best, but give Brewery Ommegang points for trying:

The Belgian-owned brewery located […] near Cooperstown has always had a solid cult following for its Belgian-style brews. But when it decided to put out a special beer called “Obamagang,” the government stepped in to say “No way.”

The single-batch brew was whipped up to coincide with next week’s presidential inauguration of Barack Obama. However, the feds at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau said it is not permissible to use anyone’s name or likeness for commercial purposes without their permission.

Now they’re calling Inauguration Ale 2009.

It was worth a shot.

Mark Your Calendars: Bockfest is March 6-8, 2009

The finest sign of spring in Cincinnati is Bockfest (not taking anything away from Opening Day, but this is a beer blog). Sure, the weather is often more winter-like than spring-like, but it means spring is coming. And there’s beer.  And a goat.  And a Sausage Queen.  What’s not to love?

The Bockfest website (http://www.bockfest.com) has been updated with this year’s information:

Cincinnati is the home to the world’s oldest Bock festival, but many Cincinnatians are unaware of this tradition. If you are one of the unfortunate who have never attended a Bockfest (or who have but can’t really remember that weekend) here’s a quick primer. In the 1800s, Cincinnati was one of America’s most prolific brewing cities. Cincinnatians drank more beer per capita than any city in the country, and Over-the-Rhine was at one point home to more than 40 breweries. A tradition developed among the breweries to release all of their bock beer on the same day. Bock beer is a rich, complex, robust lager that marks the end of the Winter brewing season and the beginning of Spring.

Under 50 days to go.  I can’t wait.