Tastings and Tappings Report: August 1, 2014

We frequently get updates for our Tastings and Tappings Report after our regular 9:00 am publishing time. Any edited listing will have UPDATE at the beginning of the listing.

HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY TO WIEDEMANN’S BREWING – Check out what they have planned to celebrate in this article from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

TASTINGS

Everything’s d’ Vine Tasting is at 5:30 pm each week and costs $10 for beer and wine tastings. You can get just beer or just wine for $5.00. For this week’s tasting (8/1), the beers are Hoppin’ Frog Turbo Shandy, Hoppin’ Frog Gangster IPA, Stone/Beachwood/Heretic Unapologetic IPA and Stone Rick & Robbie’s Sprocket Bier.

Jungle Jim’s Eastgate – Friday night tasting from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. For this week’s tasting (8/1), the beers are New Belgium. Pints are usually $3 (occasionally $4 or $5).

Jungle Jim’s Fairfield – Friday night tasting from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. For this week’s tasting (8/1), the beers are from Bell’s – Hopsolution, Two Hearted, Oberon and Amber Ale. Pints are usually $3.

Ludlow Wines – Saturday beer tasting is from 5:00-8:00 pm. The cost to taste four beers is $6.00 per person.

Party Town – Friday Night Flights usually features six to eight beers each week and goes from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. For this week’s tasting (7/25), the beers are some of the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America collaboration beers including Chico King American Pale Ale (Three Floyds), Maillard’s Odyssey Imperial Dark (Bell’s) and There and Back Alt Route (New Glarus). Bell’s Oberon will also be on draft. The regular tasting is $2.00. The featured draft pour by the glass will be the four beers listed above. Price is $4 a pint and includes a Three Floyds pint glass.

Whole Foods Cincinnati – Cask & Cork: Beer and Wine every Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. For $5, you get five sips and six delicious bites. Tickets sold until 6:30 pm.

TAPPINGS

Ei8ht Ball Brewing – For next week’s Rare Keg Monday, they will be tapping Prairie (Red Wine Barrel) Noir.

Taste of Belgium Clifton – From Facebook: “Didn’t get a ticket to Lumenocity, but want to experience all of the magic?! Come to Taste of Belgium in Clifton to get a beer and watch the spectacle that is Lumenocity, it will be streaming live on our 7 HD TVs and our HD Projection screen! So come grab a Delicious Lumenocity Pale Ale by our friends at Christian Moerlein”

REMINDER

● Lots of other great weekend events coming this weekend like the Westwood Works’ 3rd Pop Up Beer Garden. More information for all of them in our This Week in Beer post.

Have a better beer weekend, everyone!

— Carla and Tom

Traveling Tuesday: Milwaukee Beer Week 2014

After a long, cold winter like we’ve had this year (and the insult of one more snowfall on April 15th), a better beer lover’s mind starts to think about getting the hell out of dodge and checking out some other better beer cities. Ever since we read Maureen Ogle’s book Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer, we have wanted to check out Milwaukee. And this year’s Milwaukee Beer Week may be the perfect time if you’ve been thinking about it too.

Running April 26th through May 3rd, there is a wide variety of events available to chose from. Some of them are similar to ones offered during our own Cincinnati Beer Week like firkin tappings, samplers and tap takeovers. Some are unique to Milwaukee like the Beer, Cheese, and Sausage Festival scheduled for April 26 from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Wisconsin State Fair Park. Several venues are holding beer cocktail events which sound interesting.

One of the unique features of Milwaukee Beer Week (MBW) that I hope our own Cincinnati Beer Week would adopt is the 2014 MBW Passport. Here is how it works: You can pick up your passport at any official MBW venue or pick it up ahead of time at five specified locations. Then, visit the participating Passport Destinations and get your Official MBW Passport stamped (it’s actually a sticker). Each MBW event is worth two points. At the conclusion of Milwaukee Beer Week, your passport can be redeemed for various prizes. For example, twelve points or six stamps in your passport gets you two brewery tour passes to Milwaukee Brewing Company or Sprecher Brewery. If you have twelve stamps (or 24 Points), you get a brewery wearable AND the two brewery tour passes.

Even if you can’t make it to Milwaukee for their beer week, you might want to LIKE their Facebook fan page for some beer travel ideas in Wisconsin. They are also planning daily daily giveaways via their Facebook page during Milwaukee Beer Week plus the grand prize is a “hard hat” tour for four at New Glarus Brewing Company with a certificate towards an overnight stay.

Milwaukee Beer Week

Election 2012: Craft beer and the candidates

Since we’re knee-deep in the muck and mire of election season here in the US (and doubly lucky since Ohio is not only vital, but a swing state), I figured I should maybe take a look at a topic that’s been shockingly, utterly ignored by not only both campaigns, but the media too.  Namely, where does each ticket stand, respectively, on craft beer?

Paul Ryan – As both a Catholic and a resident of Wisconsin, you kind of expect Mr. Ryan to be a beer guy.  Oh, sure, he’s got to live up the squeaky clean image the Romney/Ryan campaign is trying to project and as an apparent P90X fitness nut, you don’t figure he goes for a couple of pints with the boys too terribly often.  Still, in a speech in Wisconsin shortly after nabbing the GOP Vice Presidential nod, he said, "My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, and a little Spotted Cow, Leiney’s, and some Miller."  Like him or not, you have to give the man props for putting New Glarus at the top of his list.

Mitt Romney – If you ask me, Mitt Romney doesn’t look much like a beer drinker.  I’d wager some 25 year-old scotch or a shaken-not-stirred Gibson is the more appropriate drink for the big cats he hobnobs with.  Wait, what?  Mormon, you say?  What do you mean?  You’re kidding!  At all?  Not AT ALL?  Ahem.  So, um, I guess Mr. Romney’s a teetotaler.  I’m suppose then that maybe homebrewing rights aren’t going to be a key tenet of his administration.  Sorry, Alabama.

Joe Biden – Now, just looking at Mr. Biden, you almost have to think of him as a party dude.  At least, I did.  I’m mean, he’s got a boisterous, all-smiles personality that’s largely reminiscent of a lifetime member of Animal House.  And not only that, but he’s Catholic too.  Everybody knows what we’re like, right?  In other words, can’t you see the Veep at a summer church festival with a tall souvenir mug, throwing money down on the Big 6 wheel and giving everyone that walks by a "thumbs up"?  Or is that just me?  Regardless, it’s way off the mark.  Our sitting Vice President also abstains from the evils spirits, and even enjoyed a "non-alcoholic" (less than 0.5% ABV) Buckler during the famous Beer Summit of 2009.  Something to keep in mind when he fires up his own, inevitable Presidential campaign in 2016.

Barack Obama – When it comes to our current Commander-In-Chief, one can see both pros and cons in his assumed beer preferences.  On the one hand, he seems positively jovial at the opportunity to engage in sharing a beer or two with his constituents.  Then again, given a choice of pretty much any beer in American to consume at the aforementioned 2009 "Beer Summit", Mr. President picked Bud Light.  All I can say for that is, well, at least at the time it was still an American company.  Either way, that’s not exactly the kind of response those of us who believe in better beer are looking from of the White House.  Then again, so what if he enjoys himself an American Light lager from time to time?  It’s not like a crime or anything.  Besides, what’s more important is that he’s turned the White House into a home brewery.  When you stop to think about White House Honey Ale and White House Honey Porter, it’s not hard to say that homebrewers, for sure, and craft beer drinkers, as well, probably haven’t enjoyed such a craft brew-friendly resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since Thomas Jefferson or one of the post-Revolutionary Presidents.

So, is any of this really going to factor into your decision when your time comes in the voting booth this November?  Admittedly, probably not.  There are certainly bigger fish to fry in this election.  But, then again, when you consider that craft brewing has been a incredibly strong growth industry over the past for years, an bright spot in a sluggish economy that’s been providing solid jobs for Americans, perhaps the candidates should look at craft beer with a slightly more analytical eye.

Obviously, the US economy is the Big Issue in this year’s election, giving us contentious debates of tax policy and deficit spending.  But if you look past all that, I’m pretty sure that there’s a lesson to be learned from the humble, thriving, craft brewing industry.

Of course, I’m not a economist.  But I did drink a craft beer drink last night.

Pud’n

Do you fruit the beer?

It’s pretty much an unassailable fact at this point, but every now and then I think about how things in the world of beer have come an awfully long way in the past twenty, twenty-five years, at least domestically.  I’ll spare you the long, drawn-out argument for that assertion, because, let’s face it, it’d be kind of like of explaining to a baseball player how a baseball is hard and round.  Which is to say, that discussion in this forum would be about as interesting to read as it would be to watch me write*.

What is interesting, at least to me, is when I happen to notice new examples of the way beer has changed in recent memory.  For instance, think of the fruit.  When I was kid and there was but, you know, the one style of beer in the US, it certainly had no fruit associated with it.

But today?  Well, it seems like fruit is everywhere.  It’s in the brew, it’s on the glass, it’s drawn on the package, and sometimes it’s even shoved into the bottle.

Now, personally, when it comes to beer garnishments, I’m strictly a purist.  Yeah, sure, I guess some people like that orange slice on a tall frosty wit.  And I have otherwise mostly rational friends who simply can’t drink a Corona unless that cliched wedge of lime is squeezed down the neck and rammed into the beer like a load of shot in a civil war musket.  I can be open minded, though, so I won’t be hostile to either party.  Then again, that’s not to say I would refrain from making self-righteous ‘tsk’-ing noises at the same time.  But that’s mostly because I enjoy acting with the maturity of a 12 year-old that likes to stir the pot.

My own opinion is that beer should stand alone.  It shouldn’t need something tart and limey tacked onto the glass to bring out the aroma or make it palatable.  If your recipe produces a brew that is dependant on a wee hint of added citrusy action, well, why not make the beer itself more citrusy**?

I should note, though, that I’m generally more supportive of things like shandy, which although commonly marketed these days as a style of beer, were originally more of a beery mixed drink.  Hey, if you like to add half a glass of lemonade or soda to your beer on a hot, summer day to keep the sun from play it’s tricksy Alcohol Intensification game, who am I to judge?

Fruitiness isn’t just a garnish or mixer for beer, either.  Age-old styles dependent on fruit have big supporters nowadays.  I haven’t found too many beer drinkers that don’t ooh and aah when you mention New Glarus’ Wisconsin Red (which is intensely cherry) or their Raspberry Tart.  Truth be told, though, I wasn’t a huge fan of either myself, as they both brought to mind sour fruit wines.  There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, it’s just not what I’m typically looking for in of a beer.  Oh, and yes, I realize the whole sour thing is, like, bigger than Elvis right now, but it’s just not my thing.  Really, it’s cool if you like it; to each his own.  I just don’t.

So maybe I’m not sold on fruity garnishes.  I don’t mind some fruity mixing, and if fruit-based beers are your thing, more power to you, sour or not.  As with nearly every else beer-related, it mostly all comes down to the palate, anyway, and that’s what my taste buds tell me.

What about yours?  Does the orange on that glass do something for you, or do you dig a little berry brewed into your beverage?

Have you got a position on fruiting the beer?

Pud’n


*The process goes something like this: I sit and stare at the blinky cursory for ten minutes or so, then I lurk about on twitter for an hour.  Then, suddenly panicking that I’ll never finish the post and everyone will recognize me for the writer fraud I truly am, I’ll clack out 1000 words of foolishness as quickly a possible.  Afterward, I’ll do some drinking which leads to more staring at the screen while I contemplate how to transform the rambling gibberish into something that doesn’t appear written by my three year-old.  If you think watching me go through that process seems interesting, well, more power to you.  Also, you’re creepy.
**This is in no way meant to be taken as a supporting argument for Bud Lite Lime, Miller Chill, or the like.

Traveling Tuesday: New Glarus Brewery – New Glarus, WI (Repost)

Last Wednesday (June 15, 2011) was the first anniversary of our Traveling Tuesday feature. It was also the day that my cousin Debby was killed in a car accident in northern Illinois. Today, we are heading to my dad’s hometown to celebrate her life. Ironically, our first Traveling Tuesday post was on the New Glarus Brewery in Wisconsin. We visited the brewery both this May and last May on a trip that also included seeing Debby along with my cousin Marcy and my always amazing Aunt Norma. Northern Illinois and Wisconsin are so tightly intertwined that we had already decided to run the post again in memory of Debby. When we saw the date it originally ran, we knew it had to be. As I said on both Twitter and Facebook when I found out about my cousin’s sudden death, hug your family members and hold them close.

The photos below are from 2010 and New Glarus has done even more improvements since then. The drive into the brewery is paved now and so is the much larger parking lot. The day we were there, they were adding carriage light style lamp posts all along the drive. We can’t wait to see what next year brings. And, oh yes, we brought back lots of goodies from New Glarus…


Copper Tanks at New Glarus
Today, we are launching a new feature on Hoperatives called “Traveling Tuesdays.” Like many believers in better beer, we always like to seek out new beers to enjoy when we are are traveling regionally or beyond. Through this feature, we hope to share with you just some of our favorites.

Our first Traveling Tuesday visits the New Glarus Brewery in (appropriately enough) New Glarus, Wisconsin. In 2009, they built a new hillside brewery while keeping their long time riverside brewery for brewing seasonal and specialty beers. The photos below give you a glimpse or two at both locations.

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

Carla and Tom



The original Riverside Brewery for New Glarus
New Glarus, WI is known as “America’s Little Switzerland” and the original New Glarus Brewery building reflects this Swiss influence.

The original Riverside Brewery for New Glarus
The phrase “Hopfen und Maltz, Gott erhalt’s” on the side of the brewery loosely translates to “God Save Hops and Malt”.

The new Hilltop Brewery for New Glarus
The new Hilltop Brewery for New Glarus Brewery is gorgeous. It’s an updated version of classic European brewery design. We especially liked the waterfall built in along the rocks and stone steps.

Copper Tanks (2nd view) at New Glarus
Copper fermenting tanks

Stag Railing at New Glarus
A stag figure on the railing

Sign on Stairway at New Glarus
If you’ve ever had New Glarus, you know this really is the Stairway to Heaven.

Aluminum Tanks at New Glarus
Wonder which one contains the Moon Man No Coast Pale Ale…

Tasting Wristband at New Glarus
Of course, we had to taste the beer and their wristbands were a unique way to handle the tastings.

Traveling Tuesday: New Glarus Brewery (New Glarus, WI)

Copper Tanks at New Glarus
Today, we are launching a new feature on Hoperatives called “Traveling Tuesdays.” Like many believers in better beer, we always like to seek out new beers to enjoy when we are are traveling regionally or beyond. Through this feature, we hope to share with you just some of our favorites.

Our first Traveling Tuesday visits the New Glarus Brewery in (appropriately enough) New Glarus, Wisconsin. In 2009, they built a new hillside brewery while keeping their long time riverside brewery for brewing seasonal and specialty beers. The photos below give you a glimpse or two at both locations.

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

Carla and Tom



The original Riverside Brewery for New Glarus
New Glarus, WI is known as “America’s Little Switzerland” and the original New Glarus Brewery building reflects this Swiss influence.

The original Riverside Brewery for New Glarus
The phrase “Hopfen und Maltz, Gott erhalt’s” on the side of the brewery loosely translates to “God Save Hops and Malt”.

The new Hilltop Brewery for New Glarus
The new Hilltop Brewery for New Glarus Brewery is gorgeous. It’s an updated version of classic European brewery design. We especially liked the waterfall built in along the rocks and stone steps.

Copper Tanks (2nd view) at New Glarus
Copper fermenting tanks

Stag Railing at New Glarus
A stag figure on the railing

Sign on Stairway at New Glarus
If you’ve ever had New Glarus, you know this really is the Stairway to Heaven.

Aluminum Tanks at New Glarus
Wonder which one contains the Moon Man No Coast Pale Ale…

Tasting Wristband at New Glarus
Of course, we had to taste the beer and their wristbands were a unique way to handle the tastings.