Posts Tagged ‘new belgium’

alpine village, great BBQ, and sweat equity

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

last thursday night, AP and I went over to alpine village for some legit german food and brews.

  • ever since I dropped by AV a little while back, I was eagerly anticipating our return.  I knew it was going to be a great night right when we walked in the door, and were seated immediately and given a healthy serving of liverwurst and rye.
  • thursday was swing night, and there was a full band in attendance along with an impressive singer.  we were definitely the youngest in the crowd by a few decades, but it didn’t keep us from cutting a rug in between courses and beers.
  • ah, the beers – AP got one of her staples, hangar 24’s altbier, and I had weihenstephaner’s kristall weissbier.  well, I ordered it, and ended up with an unfiltered wheat instead, so who knows what I put down.  later AP chatted up the bartender and tried the kristall weiss after the fact, which was definitely tasty and probably the variety of the style that I would pursue ifwhen I brew another wheat.
  • on sunday AP and I rang in the 4th with some heavy BBQ and great beers.  I’m talking a 10lb pork shoulder, 8lb brisket and two dozen brats in the smoker with all the fixins – it was definitely a good time.
  • unfortunately, I was out of homebrew for the occasion, but the food was very well complemented with some firestone walker variety packs and a sixer of stone’s IPA, which was better than I remembered.
  • I also snuck down to the basement for some bottles, including stone’s 14th anniversary empirial IPA (uncomfortably bitter with not enough aroma to balance it out, probably due to the hop selection), lagunitas’ hairy eyeball (killer as always, malty and delicious), and new belgium’s eric’s ale (definitely one of my favorites, the most drinkable sour I have come across).
  • on saturday and sunday JF helped me out with some “brewery expansion construction”: using an angle grinder and some bootleg jig I threw together based off a modification of this idea from homebrewtalk, we cut the tops off of a couple of kegs that will soon enjoy long lives as an HLT and mash tun.  we also installed some weldless ball valves, thermometers, and sightglasses.  once the third keg makes an appearance and all my quick disconnects and other fittings come in, the setup will be revealed, but until then the project will remain shrouded in mystery.

weekend in review 04/23-04/25 (homegrown hops)

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

smoking 22 lbs. of pork butt took up a significant portion of the weekend, but I managed to get in some beer time nonetheless.

  • I tried out a bottle or two of new belgium’s ranger IPA on saturday.  it had a pretty good aroma and was quite drinkable, but didn’t stand out much (maybe I was desensitized after last week’s IPA fest).
  • I also noticed that my hop plants were starting to take off, so i rigged up trellis systems for all four new growth pots.  the cascade and mt. hood varieties have been showing the most aggressive growth, but luckily all rhizomes from this year have been showing potential.
  • on the other hand, my second year zeus and vojvodina popped out and grew a primary set of leaves months ago, but never took off.  I snipped off all but a couple sets in hopes of stimulating growth.

new belgium la folie

Monday, December 7th, 2009

la folie bottle

over thanksgiving AP and I brought a couple of interesting brews over to her aunt and uncle’s place to drink during some football games.

  • we both decided that la folie, a flanders red from new belgium, would get some reactions and be an interesting conversation piece.
  • la folie is definitely a crowd favorite at overcarbed headquarters – it has very well balanced vinegary tartness that is refreshing and not overwhelming, with a great oaky malt backbone.
  • in fact, when it comes to the style, I actually prefer this colorado offering to many from the source.  it is a consistently awesome beer, and is now surprisingly obtainable thanks to the lips of faith distribution series.  recommended pairings can be found here.
  • were EP and TP fans?  judging from comments such as “are you trying to poison me?!” and an allusion to “donkey piss,” I think they might need a few more glasses to get a better idea of the style 😉

la folie in the glass

go bistro SFO

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

anchor steam and fat tire

when AP and I flew down to LA last week our flight was delayed at SFO, so we set up shop at go bistro in terminal 1 to kill some time.

  • usually we go over to legends of san francisco for a beer and some popcorn, but go bistro caught my eye as we were walking past and I figured we should give it a shot.  that, and the place was right next to our gate.
  • I ordered up a staple, anchor’s steam beer.  AP had a fat tire.  both beers were as expected (although AP noted a little funkiness in her brew that I couldn’t detect – I doubt these guys clean their lines that often…)
  • we didn’t try any food, but the selection looked pretty varied/interesting.
  • this place is pretty decent, about average for an airport bar.  I wish SFO had something like the pyramid ale house over at OAK though.

the bar at go bistro

single hop fresh hop vojvodina pale ale brew day

Monday, September 7th, 2009

on the vine

so, my homegrown vojvodina hops appeared to be ready for harvest.  the cones were light and had a papery feel, and the cones themselves appeared to have a decent amount of lupulin in them:

hop cone lupulin glands

after some research, I found that vojvodinas are a hybrid of northern brewer, styrian goldings, and a wild yugoslavian hop.  therefore, I based my recipe off of a single hop northern brewer recipe and adjusted it with respect to other input from various sites.  I also multiplied the required amount of dry hops by 4 in order to account for the use of fresh hops (many sites say to multiply by 4-5; I went with 4 mainly because my plant ran out of hops!).  here’s my recipe:

  • 8lb pale LME
  • .6lb pale DME
  • 8oz cara-pils (@150 for 30 min)
  • 8oz crystal 60L (@150 for 30 min)
  • 4oz fresh hops @ 60, 30, 5 min

first I weighed out the specialty grains and steeped them from room temp -> 150, then held at 150 for 30 min.  I used a grain sock instead of a mash tun since the specialty grain bill was very small (1lb).

steeping grains

after hitting 150 for 30 min., I removed the specialty grains and added the extracts.  I added a little more DME to compensate for the fact that I hate squeezing every last drop of LME out of the extract bag and usually leave at least a few ounces in the trash can.

LME going in

weighing out DME

then I got to picking the hops while waiting for the boil.  CB and AF rolled by to participate in the “harvest.”

picking the cones

the volume to weight ratio of the fresh hops was pretty deceiving.  after picking a bowl full of hops, I figured we were going to have well over the desired 12 oz.  however, that was a small overestimate:

not quite 12 oz

the first batch of cones got tossed in at 60 min and the picking continued.  we ended up picking the hop vine clean, for a total of just over 12 oz.

hops in the kettle

the starter worked great, and the fermentation took off quickly and vigorously. I’m going to give it a week or two in primary, then secondary while carbing in a keg.

spent hops

the end result – months of anticipation culminating in tossing a bag of hops and sweet wort in the compost.

compost bag

to top off my brew day, I primed and kegged the presidio blackberry kolsch, kicked the tripel keg (finally!) and bottled some of it, cleaned my beer lines, and tapped the abt 12 quad semi-clone (review soon – it is pretty awesome).  phew!

post-fermentation blackberries

kegged blackberry kolsch

and what’s a brew day without sampling a few beers to aspire towards?  I popped a bottle of la folie, while CB brought over a great valley brew IPA and deschutes’ black butte XXI porter. thanks again man!

brewday brews

father’s office

Monday, August 24th, 2009

stone 13th and friends at father's office

stone 13th and friends at father's office

More specifically, I guess I went to Father’s Office Santa Monica, since there is now another (evidently bigger) one a little ways away.  A few years back, FO surprised me with some great beers and burgers, as well as an enormous crowd.  Well, the place didn’t disappoint in any of those areas on Saturday.

  • I forgot that you order both food and beers at the bar, so have a friend claim a table (if there are any left) while you order up.
  • this place is both small and popular, so try to come at an off hour.  i came with some friends at 3ish on a Saturday and my buddy grabbed the last table in the joint.  also, parking is a pain in the ass during the week, FYI.
  • evidently, the bartenders pride themselves on beer recommendations.  One of them recommended a tripel to my buddy after he told her he liked his first pint of new belgium’s dandelion beer.  I found the recommendation odd at first but now i guess it was accurate enough.
  • I started off with RR’s perdition.  Pretty decent, I’m not really a biere de garde fan but i figured i would give it a shot.  One BA review of this beer i relate with: “Like I can turn down a RR tap I haven’t had yet?… Those RR guys make very good beers, and really craft them. This was certainly not one of my favorites, but it’s still very well-made” (callmescraps).
  • I finished off with stone’s 13th anniversary.  I LOVE this beer, it’s the quintessential “california beer” to me.  they should do like sublimely self-righteous and make it seasonal instead of a one-time deal.  time to stock up at bevmo in case that never happens.
the bar at FO
perdition, etc.


russian river beer revival 2009

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

image courtesy of

For the second year in a row we headed out to Guerneville, CA for the 7th Annual Russian River Beer Revival.  As usual, the venue was Stumptown Brewery‘s back lot on the Russian River.  The spot was awesome as usual, with tons of BBQ and beers to be had.  Some notes:

  • high-five for the guys at new belgium. although they didn’t repeat this year with eric’s ale, they cracked some lips of faith bottles (kriek, la folie (now in bombers!)) and gave out some generous pours.
  • even though the event instructions stated that beers started pouring at 1, we got there at 12:30 and it was already going down. however, apparently there was a line going down the block to get in at 12:00, so keep that in mind.
  • biggest bummer for me was russian river brewing, and it wasnt even beer related. vinny was pouring, so i got all stoked and rolled by to say whats up.  homeboy brushed me off like i had a can of coors in my hand or something.  plus, even though they had pliny, hugelarge, and redemption on draft, they only had about a 2l of temptation on ice and when they popped it it was like they were handing out cash behind the pour table, the crowd was enormous. screw that, i’m sippin on la folie watching fools claw their way to a half pour.
  • another high five to moonlight brewing, i couldnt get enough of their “working for tips,” plus brian was way cool.
  • dont drive, parking looked like a pain in the ass, and cops were crawling the place afterwards. we stayed near Johnson’s Beach and walked over.  last year we canoed over, you just park it right on the beachfront.

who's that random chick in the middle?