Sunday, July 26, 2009

Moving + Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier

I move every summer. Or at least I have for the past 8 years. Sometimes it is long, like from Michigan to New Hampshire. Sometimes it is right next door. This year it was an hour away, to fully move-in with my partner instead of splitting my time between work and home. So not a bad move, but moving nonetheless. And it is a law that moving on a hot day = beer and pizza. No pizza for me, but I did have a delicious brew that I had been saving for a worthy day, this one being a delicious Hefeweissbier (Hefe = yeast, Weiss = wheat, Bier = beer).

The Weihenstephaner brewery in Freising, Germany claims to be the oldest brewery in the world. I don't know if that's true, but I do know that they seem to know what they are doing when it comes to Hefeweiss beer.

I poured this in the "inverted style" as shown on this helpful, and entertaining, video I found via youtube.

Appearance) 2 fingers frothy white head atop of a hazy apple-juice colored brew with lots of visible carbonation.

Smell) YUMMY: lemon, banana, cloves, bubblegum, wheat. Great balance of scents.

Tastes) Started sweet and banana-y then tart-lemon, with a bubblegum-wheat finish. Delicious. Definitely more sweet than bitter, but not in an over-the-top way. Heavier cloves than I've noticed with other hefe's.

MF) Smooth, plenty of carbonation, medium mouthfeel.

D) Fantastic. A great hot-day-after-moving beer. And just 5.4% ABV. Definitely a high drinkability.

This may not be my favorite of styles, but if you're in the mood for a wheat beer, this one is pretty fantastic.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another Delight from Sierra Nevada: Kellerweiss

So yesterday I went to a ginormous liquor store and finally got a bottle of Theobroma, which I've been very interested to try since seeing it featured on a Discovery channel special. I also got a bottle of Sam Adam's Chocolate Bock (for $10 instead of $16-18!) - okay this is because the "best by" date is a few months past, but I'm not worried about it. And I was proud of myself - the cashier talked to me about Dogfish Head Brewery and some of their latest releases, and instead of being intimidated, I was excited to talk to him! I've learned about beer, hoorah! Although the conversation was kept pretty short, due to the long line of people behind me but still...

Anyways, I've had a couple of bottles of Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss for a while now. It's a new release this year, and it's gotten good reviews. Some are saying it's one of the best American Hefeweizens. You may recall from my Big Hefeweizen Taste-Off, that it certainly was the German Hefe that held up. The Kellerweiss is brewed in the "Bavarian tradition" - not sure what it means, but SN says it's complex. If anyone would like to summarize what this means in layman's terms, that would be appreciated.

It was a hot and muggy day, I went for a long walk, and was happy to have a couple of these in the fridge upon my return.

A) Completely hazy straw-colored with sudsy white head that stuck around forever, leaving small traces of lacing
S)The smell was nice - Wheat and lemon up front, but then the banana and cloves came through
T) Extremely well-balanced. Ends on a sweet banana-y note, but definitely not too sweet. Lots of wheat, yeast, and a little bit of spice.
MF) The label describes it as "velvet-y" - not a term I would have thought of but pretty accurate! Soft, fresh, crisp...Um, velvety!
D) Extremely good. Easy and pleasant to drink. And just 4.8%ABV makes having a couple no problem. Great on this hot day.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dinner Party with Hop Stoopid

SO...I had a dinner party a few nights ago! Well, maybe "party" is stretching it. 2 colleagues came over for dinner, but when there's more than 1.5 people, in my book, it's a party. I had a 22 oz. bottle of Hop Stoopid to celebrate, by the Lagunitas Brewing Company in CA. I've heard good stuff, and enjoyed their Cappuccino Stout, so wanted to try it. Appearnce) Was a pretty amber, 1.5 fingers of fluffy off-white head, nice retention, and lovely lacing. Smell) Surprisingly sweet. Pineapple and honey, along with citrus/grapefruit hops.
Taste) I expected this to be more bitter and straight-forward hops, esp. with 102 IBUs. It was actually a little sweet at first, fairly mellow fruit/honey taste, followed by the bitter hops at the end. Delicious.
Mouthfeel) Good carbonation, medium-to-full feel
Drinkability) Great. Sometimes crisp and tasty IPAs are too easy to guzzle, but this was something to savor. Very pleasurable.
Hop Stoopid: A-
But what about dinner, you ask? Fear not. I made salmon burgers (which I never made before - so easy!)
And a cheese tray, naturally, to tease the app. That would be some olive-goat cheese and smoked muenster. Delicious.
My sister taught me about this roasted corn salad: roasted corn, red onion, black beans, and mango with lime juice and cumin = lovely.

And of course dessert - chocolate cupcakes courtesy of Hungry Girl. I do enjoy a delicious evening.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th! Come Hell or High Water...Melon

GOD. This weekend has ruled so much. 3 days off in a row with my partner is a rarity. We played basketball (meaning "around the world"). We tried to play disc golf but it was super muddy and swampy from the past 5 days of rain. But we played for a bit. We ate some delicious food. At a pub near the disc golf course I got the Best Dessert I Ever Had. It kind of looked like this picture, but it was baked in a ramekin.It was layered, from bottom to top as such: chocolate cake-thin layer of peanut butter-thin layer of chocolate sauce-vanilla ice cream-thick layer of caramelized marshmallow. It was ridiculously decadent.

We watched movies and cuddled and walked around downtown by the waterfront. We watched the fireworks. The fireworks were hard - this is our 2nd year here. Last year we sat up on a tall hill and had a great view but it was crowded. So this year we thought we'd try to sit down by the water. This was just as crowded but also there were no good views. There were trees or boats in the way. So we finally made our way up the hill and caught the 2nd half of the show very nicely. But my mood was then fouled by someone saying, "lesbians!" as they passed us (coincidence? i have no idea), the smoking teenagers in front of us, and seeing people with babies and dogs, both of which are not crazy about loud noises.

Overall though, very fun. For the 4th dinner we had veggie dogs, watermelon, & corn on the cob. Very summery, no? And to drink, a watermelon wheat beer from 21st Amendment Brewing.
I had never heard of this brewing company before, but admit the packaging caught my eye and thought watermelon was a good flavor for the 4th. The 21st Amendment, btw, repealed the 18th amendment (Prohibition).

A) Straw-colored, semi-hazy, between amber and yellow. Thin white foam disappeared quickly leaving no head or lacing.

S) Mildly wheaty and lemony with a definite (but not overpowering) smell of watermelon

T) Like it smelled. Watermelon was the most defined taste, but again, not over-powering.

MF) Crisp and a little thin.

D) Very high. It was refreshing enough, tasty enough, and a 5.5%ABV makes it no trouble to have a few of these. Plus I was fancy and garnished mine with a watermelon slice.

Overall, tasty and a nice addition to a fantastic July 4th weekend. But, also a little boring and nothing I'll be rushing back for.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

What Beer Would YOU Be?

God, I always have to do all the work around here. Hee hee, no just kidding. I took a quiz on facebook about "What beer would you be" and it sucked so I made my own version.

On Facebook?
Go on now, take it. Take it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beer + Haikus = 4 Beer-kus

1) Dogfish Head 120 Minute: Imperial IPA (Delaware)

Over-hyped and -hopped?
Super sweet syrupy booze
20 Percent, Ugh.

Conclusion: Go for the DFH 90 minutes, ANY day. Your wallet, tastebuds, and brain
will thank thee. C-

2) Sherwood Forest's Blueberry Maiden: Fruit Beer (Massachusetts)

Sigh when will i learn?
lovely, tons of blueberries
still tastes like plastic

Conclusion: I want to like blueberry beers. I even garnished this one with blueberries. It smelled like blueberries. It tasted like blueberries. However, there was also an unfortunately strong smell/taste of plastic. C

3) Harpoon's Leviathan Series IPA: Imperial IPA (Vermont)
Gotta have my hops
A well-balanced IPA
Delish, orange, smooth

Conclusion: Very nice. My first from the Leviathan series. This was very pretty, and super hoppy but not overly bitter. There was a bit of sweetness in there that mellowed it out. I really enjoyed it. A-

4) Hoegaarden's Witbier: Wit/Wheat (Belgium)
Belgian Wit delight
Lemons, bubblegum, and wheat
A classic to try

Conclusion? Even if you're not gung-ho about Wits, this is lovely. Refreshing, crisp, and strong with the classic banana, bubblegum, cloves taste of Wits. This is actually the first time I've really noticed the bubblegum smell and taste. It could be a good summer session beer. A-

Now YOU write one!